Thursday, January 31, 2008

Lost is Back

The fourth season of this worldwide aclaimed series will premiere today in the USA. Here is a sneak preview of it.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Happy B-day Lego!

Well, 50 years have passed since the first Danish lego bricks were released on the market and the product still goes strong shaping the imagination of children and once in a while giving birth to masterpieces that usually reproduce some icons of the modern life (Trafalgar Square, Empire states building etc).

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Beirut - strange lovely music

Beirut is the name of the band of Zach Condon a 22 yrs old from Santa Fe (US). A friend (thanks Akie!)recommended me one of their songs (Nantes) which incidentally is also the best of what I could find from their releases. Their music is heavily influenced by Eastern European specific sounds and it resembles terribly much with a more modern version of Goran Bregovic's work.
Members:Zach Condon, Jeremy Barnes, Heather Trost, Perri Cloutier, Hari Ziznewski, Jason Poranski, Nick Petree, Kristin Ferebee, Paul Collins, John Natchez, Kelly Pratt. Live, Beirut's shifting roster generally consists of Condon accompanied by Perrin Cloutier (cello/accordion), Jason Poranski (guitar/mandolin/ukulele), Nick Petree (drums), Kristin Ferebee (violin), Paul Collins (organ/keys/tambourine/ukulele), Jon Natchez (baritone sax/mandolin/glockenspiel), and Kelly Pratt (trumpet/euphonium).

Their discography includes two albums: Gulag Orkestar (2006) and The Flying Club Cup(2007) which are both pretty good. Condon has spent some time wandering the former Soviet bloc and his Balcanization of this Indie rock is the emerging result:lurching accordions, blaring brass-band fanfares, and other romantic, dolorous sounds. Among my favorite tracks: off the first album Mount Wroclai, Bratislava and Postcards from Italy while from the second EP definetely Nantes, Guyamas Sonora and Cliquet.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Fighting the flu

After the cold central Romania, the windy northern Germany broke my record two year firewall against the flu. However, there is still hope for a quick, short interlude since the symptoms are not that bad. (till now)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Fixing some issues on a ACER Aspire 5315

It seems that many ACER notebooks models have two issues with their keyboards:
1. if one types fast it may find him/herself typing within past typed words and if you keep your eyes down frustration will be probably the only thing achieved.
2. second, these keyboards are really slow. Type something today, see it probably in about 1-2 seconds...which is brrr, a bit creepy.
For #1 the best advice is to disable the oversensitive touchpad while typing(a) or (b)decrease its sensitivity and it works.
For #2, I haven't explored it sufficiently, since I am quite pleased that I solved the 1st:). No, but seriously, is not such an issue. I am used with old computers and this is what they sometimes pull on you.
On top of this, something that I have read on many forums of ACER owners and confirmed by my current borrowed aspire 5315 is that once you put it in standby mode the cooler doesn't kick in afterwards leading to an unavoidable shut-down once the processors reaches 70 degrees C.
Moreover for its wireless card Atheros, XP drivers are really hard to find. Out of the five that I uncovered, the last one worked and I felt relief.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Everlasting Ferihegy

Ferihegy is the airport in the capital city of Hungary, Budapest. No, Bucharest is in Romania, for all you blonde creatures out there. Whenever, I fly somewhere internationally I usually use this hub. Although it's quite ok, do not imagine it as big or well served. After all it is probably the biggest in Eastern airport (although not so sure). Again, I am sitting here for six hours or so, which is kind of hard to bear..especially when one had to wake up at 4am after only a couple of hrs of sleep. But..Thank God for the free wireless email, laptops, madvillain and blogs to keep me awake..

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Almost done with Some of my work

Last Friday I finished writing the bulk of my current paper dealing with international R&D spillovers. After the relief of the weekend and inherently dealing with other stuff in the meanwhile this week I truly have to finish it. Plus some revisions, application and the usual readings for a coming course. But somehow I am quite relaxed:)..which is good. After all Spring is just around the BIG corner:)

MacBook Air - latest Apple Magic

Today, the visionary Stev Jobs announced the new Macbook Air- the world thinnest and lightest notebook to date. This fact makes me even more anxious to buy a Mac once I get back to the US. But I am not so sure about the Air model since it starts at 1,8000$. However, the slick design and usual features of a Mac make the extra dough worthwhile for the delicate snobs in us. After all, Air is so thin that you can actually fit it in an office mailing envelope. More specs: a 13.3-inch LED-backlit widescreen display that has a 1280 x 800 pixel resolution; weighs about 3 pounds, and sports a thickness of 0.16-0.76 inches; 12.8 inches wide and 8.95 inches deep;backlit keyboard; large trackpad capable of recognizing multiple movements;intel core duo at 1.6-1.8 Ghz; 5 hours claimed battery life and the list goes on. Pre-orders available now on

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Latest Playlist

Beastie Boys - The mix up (2007) The latest BB release is the only one 100% instrumental (which is a bit strange). However, the music is pretty good, a bit doll sometimes, but tarantino-sque enough most of the times to be exciting. Worthwhile checking. I really like it.

Hotel Costes vol X by Stephane Pompougnac (2007) The latest Hotel Costes release is a special one. A great mix in the style of the traditional Costes releases...flowing, energetic but classy. A special mention for the French guy Orsten - "Fleur blanche" (Track 13) and $olal - "Psycho girls & psycow boys" (haaksman & haarksman remix) (Track 14)

Blockhead - Uncle Tony's Coloring Book Another interesting release from a NinjaTune artist.

BONOBO - Live at Merlin (2007) This is a recollection of Bonobo's previous live album with more live tracks from his latest album

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Glitch Music **for true connaisseurs**

Incidentally, I started to listen to some old Prefuse73 album (Vocal Studies) and it really got me. Great stuff indeed...really independent, experimental and original. Glitch (also known as clicks and cuts from a representative compilation series by the German record label Mille Plateaux) is a genre of electronic music that became popular in the late 1990s with the increasing use of digital signal processing, particularly on computers. The origins of glitch music are derived from the failure of digital technology. The effects of failure in technology, such as bugs, crashes, system errors, hardware noise, skipping and audio distortion, can be captured on computers and provide the basic building blocks of Glitch music. Interesting isn't? Often considered a sub-genre of electronica or intelligent dance music, glitch eschews traditional instrumentation, preferring instead the use of mechanized and non-natural sounds. Though rhythm is a central focal point of glitch, the style's various sub-genres range from the ambient to the dance-oriented.

Glitch is often produced on computers using modern digital production software to splice together small "cuts" (samples) of music from previously recorded works. These cuts are then integrated with the signature of glitch music: beats comprised of glitches, clicks, scratches, and otherwise "erroneously" produced or sounding noise. These glitches are often very short, and are typically used in place of traditional percussion or instrumentation. Skipping CDs, scratched vinyl records, circuit bending, and other noise-like distortions figure prominently into the creation of rhythm and feeling in glitch; it is from the use of these digital artifacts that the genre derives its name. However, not all artists of the genre are working with erroneously produced sounds or are even using digital sounds. (wiki)

I really love this glitch hop thing so I will probably look more into the rest of the glitch current that originated back in 1985 (in New York with Yasunao Tone who used damaged CDs in his Techno Eden performance) and spreads more into electronica. Moreover, I am curios about Prefuse73's 2007 album Preparations.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008