Category Archives: Geek

Hip hop heads can be nerds too.

Geek Music

Game of Thrones Mixtape

HBO commissioned a bunch of hip hop heads to put together a mixtape based on the hit series (it was a book series first!) Game of Thrones.

Stream it below.

Especially tracks 6 and 9.

Geek Music

Verbal – Revenge of the Nerds

Remember the TV show Better off Ted? Solid show, untimely demise.

Malcolm Barrett (who played Lem in the show) is actually a rapper named Verbal. The cast of the show actually reunited for his video Revenge of the Nerds, from the album Backpacker's Guide to the Galaxy. Check it out below:

Geek Music

Will.i.am debuts his track from Mars

CTVNews reports that Will.i.am, the Black Eyed Peas frontman, is going to debut his new track from Mars.

Literally.

The Mars Curiosity Rover is going to beam his song back to Earth, which is how the world is going to first hear it.

While a technological marvel, it’s an embarrassing use of the rover and the tech behind it.

Members of the team overseeing Curiosity’s work on Mars will be on hand too, to explain how the song was sent from the Martian surface to Earth, as well as other details of the rover’s mission on the Red Planet.

I guess that’s the useful part.  NASA is using Will.i.am to get people interested in the technology, and will hopefully actually explain the science behind it.

Let’s hope this song is better than the last BEP album.

Geek

The Impact of Music Downloads

A few years ago, Birgette Andersen and Marion Frenz of the University of London published a study (available through Industry Canada) titled “The Impact of Music Downloads and P2P File-Sharing on the Purchase of Music: A Study for Industry Canada“.

It’s a short and fascinating read, and found  that, contrary to popular belief,  peer-to-peer file sharing increases purchases of CDs.

Here’s a short quote from the study:

Our review of existing econometric studies suggests that P2P file-sharing tends to decrease music purchasing.  However, we find the opposite, namely that P2P filesharing tends to increase rather than decrease music purchasing.

Among Canadians who engage in P2P file-sharing, our results suggest that for every 12 P2P downloaded songs, music purchases increase by 0.44 CDs.  That is, downloading the equivalent of approximately one CD increases purchasing by about

half of a CD. We are unable to find evidence of any relationship between P2P filesharing and purchases of electronically-delivered music tracks (e.g., songs from iTunes).

The fact that this focuses mostly on CD purchasing, and discerned no impact on electronic purchasing is demonstrative of how dated the study may be.  I would be interested to see an updated survey and study, since iTunes/electronic purchasing is rapidly expanding.
Cool Geek

Lost Nintendo Commercial Featuring ODB, The RZA and Prince Paul

Greatest commercial ever? Yup! Hearing RZA scream “and the BORDERS” is a surprising effective advertising technique.

COD CREW & WU TANG NINTENDO VIDEO from WEN1COD on Vimeo.

Props: TheRapUp

Geek

Will Shortz is illin’

Okay, not really.  But Shortz and a fan got into a little spat over the definition of the word “illin'” and it’s inclusion as a clue in the New York Times crossword puzzle.  For those of you who don’t know him, Shortz is the NYT crossword editor, and seems to be a pretty nice guy.

A clue in Saturday’s New York Times crossword has caused an Internet uproar over the correct meaning of the word “illin’.”

The divisive clue, 28-down, read, “Wack, in hip-hop,” and the correct answer provided was ILLIN.

UPDATE: Colbert had a field day with this, and invited Mike D from the Beastie Boys up to discuss.  According to Mike D, Shortz is wrong.

 

Geek Music

Look at Me Now Covers

Don’t get me wrong, Chris Brown is an awful human being, but a ton people have been giving the cover treatment to his track Look at Me Now.  I can’t even say that I like the original that much, but I get a big kick out of the covers.  It might just be the idea that these random people (granted, Karmin is getting a bit famous now) are surprisingly talented.  But regardless, I present to you two of my favourites so far.

Serious

Karmin

Extra Serious

Mac Lethal
Geek Music

Massive mashup

Check out this pretty serious mashup.  They had me when they mashed the Theme from Shaft and the Imperial March from Star Wars. 

Don’t hold back, just push things forward from Ithaca Audio on Vimeo.

 

[Ithaca Audio via Gizmodo]

Geek Politics

First Healthcare, Now Twitter. Well Played, Obama.

Proving once again the irresistible allure of Barack Obama, Twitter has announced they will scrap the 140-character tweet limit for the President’s upcoming Twitter town hall.

Now let’s see if he can use that mojo to raise a more important limit: the debt ceiling.

Props: Death + Taxes

Cool Geek

Scanning books but keeping them, too

pa4

I kind of like this idea.  For those of you who don’t know what the Internet Archive does, they’re stated mission is to offer access to a “non-profit digital library offering free universal access to books, movies & music, as well as 150 billion archived web pages.”  An ambitious goal, no doubt.

As part of this mission, they have been scanning as many books as they can get their hands on.  They state that:

The goal is to preserve one copy of every published work. The universe of unique titles has been estimated at close to one hundred million items. Many of these are rare or unique, so we do not expect most of these to come to the Internet Archive; they will instead remain in their current libraries. But the opportunity to preserve over ten million items is possible, so we have designed a system that will expand to this level. Ten million books is approximately the size of a world-class university library or public library, so we see this as a worthwhile goal. If we are successful, then this set of cultural materials will last for centuries and could be beneficial in ways that we cannot predict.

Thus, as they scan these books, they also want to archive a hardcopy of the same volume for the future.  In an age where traditional publishers are hurting, and ebook sales are starting to surpass traditional book sales, I think this is a noble goal.  I love the tactile feeling of a physical book, even though I tend to favour my ebook reader these days.

 

The system, as described by the Internet Archive, is as follows:

In January of 2009, we started developing the physical preservation systems. Fortunately there is a wealth of literature on book preservation documenting studies on the fibers of paper as well as results from multi-year storage experiments. Based on this technical literature and specifications from depositories around the world, Tom McCarty, the engineer who designed the Internet Archive’s Scribe book-scanning system, began to design, build, and test a modular storage system in Oakland California. This system uses the infrastructure developed around the most used storage design of the 20th century, the shipping container. Rows of stacked shipping containers are used like 40′ deep shelving units. In this configuration, a single shipping container can hold around 40,000 books, about the same as a standard branch library, and a small building can hold millions of books.

Props to: Internet Archive