ACTA: Get Informed & Take Action! Say NO!

On the occasion of the Free Culture Forum in Barcelona, La Quadrature du Net releases three films to inform citizens and urge them to take action against ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.

ACTA is a threat to Internet users’ fundamental freedoms and to EU Internet companies’ competitiveness and free competition. The European Parliament will soon decide whether to give its consent to ACTA, or to reject it once and for all.

Every citizen can help defeat ACTA by spreading this video across the Internet, urging their fellow citizens to mobilize, and contacting their elected representatives.

Learn more about this dangerous agreement at http://lqdn.fr/acta.

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Going Unity with Ubuntu 11.10

Last Friday I’ve decide not only to make bold switch to Ubuntu 11.10, but also to stick to Unity desktop afterwards.

With past version I wasn’t big proponent of Unity. Partly because all the controversly around it not being 100% FLOSS project. And partly I’ve really enjoyed Gnome 2 as my primary window environment.

As in my opinion Ubuntu it the best Linux distro for laptop, and Unity is here to stay with Gnome 3 moving in the same direction, after giving it second thought, probably this move was only a matter of time.

As I want to have sometime before 12.04 LTS, now is perfect time to check what is Mark’s vision for perfect Linux desktop. Wish me luck!

ps. Below you will find some links which helped me a lot during my first days with Unity:

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Firefox Add-ons: show old versions

Recently I found myself in a situation when I needed to install firefox add-on for older version of the browser. By googling around and trying various approaches, I have found straightforward and elegant approach.

So, when you are on Mozilla’s page for your favorite add-on, just add ‘/versions’ to the url and voilà, you have access to past releases.

An example (shows priori versions of colorfultabs add-on):
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/colorfultabs/versions/

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How to create Gmail filter based on many senders (From:)

Today I made very interesting discovery in my Gmail account. It seems that you are able to create Gmail filter based on more than just one sender criteria. Just use ‘I’ (pipe character as logical or) to separate sender to get mails from many sources.

If you know any other useful Gmail tricks, please leave a comment below.

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Be like Guillaume Nery

Guillaume Nery is French free-diver. Recently I was checking best sport videos for 2010 on youtube and his base jumping at Dean’s Blue Hole was amount top 10.

It’s fine clip, with good camera shots and cool music by Archive. I am sure most of you would appreciate it during those cold short winter days or long nights.

ps. Following Guillaume’s wikipedia link you could learn sometime need about extreme diving.

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Geek Music – Osmos / High Skies / Mat Jarvis – An Interview

Christmas is coming, so I thought I would prepare something special for this Holiday seasons. I’ve recently written a piece about Osmos and High Skies’s “Sounds of Earth” album for it. A day later Mat Jarvis I had short conversation with Mat by Twitter and we’ve agree for short Q&A session regarding Osmos and his projects, which I think would be complementary to my blog post.

So without further overdue, I hope you’ll enjoy it and Merry Christmas!

How you end up adding your music to Osmos soundtrack?

It started about 3 years ago. Eddy Boxerman contacted me about using some of my music for a game he was creating, It wasn’t even called Osmos, there was no Hemisphere Games, and the graphics were just circles on a plain background, but you could tell it had good gameplay. He didn’t even know if it would be released.

Have you played Osmos? What you think about the game?

It’s a great game with great game-play and a unique look. EDDY had a vision and stuck to it, so that the music and graphics and game-play all work together.

Why have you decided to add your album as an bonus to the Osmos? Do you consider it as a way to advertise your productions to broader publicity?

see below…

On your webpage you describe High Skies – Sounds of Earth as “Blade Runner meets Voyager; an interstellar soundtrack to NASAâ?Ts Voyager spacecraft. Six tracks of deep phased electronics.”. Could you elaborate this sentence?

To me it kind of fits in the Blade Runner period Vangelis, and the concept that runs through the music and booklet is the golden Record from NASA’s Voyager probe; ‘deep phased electronics’ sums up the sound.

Do you remember what has been your inspiration when working on Sounds of Earth album?

I love old analogue synths and modulars, and the best time for them was perhaps the 70s. There were no rules, unlike today where if you use certain type of sound it’s classed as trance, another as acid etc, there are many well trodden paths. So I tried to keep the spirit of the raw experimentation without hopefully the alienation of a just having a bunch of weird noises.

High Skies – Sounds of Earth mini album, distributed with Osmos, contains DRM free mp3. Considering you are still selling it on your page, aren’t you afraid of losing possible revenue?

It’s hard, really hard to sell music these days with all the piracy, and it’s even harder to be heard. So it will stop some revenue, but it also helps with being heard. I even offer a free copy on my site to anyone who helps spread the word, but some people have still chosen to support me by buying it even though they don’t have to, which I’m very grateful for.

Do you consider yourself as a Geek?

I like Geeky things; Synthesizers, technology, gadgets, science, art, BBC4, so I guess so.

I am suspecting being ambient artist is not what you are doing for a living. What are you doing to “pay your rent”?

It’s a tough life but I get by.

If you could describe your working process in few sentences, how would it be? Are you using particular applications or have a schema when producing a piece?

It’s always different, but usually I have a vision of the finished music in my head and I try to create it. Sometimes you have to wrestle hard as the music wants to go down a different path. I have quite a simple setup, a computer, which I use as a digital tape recorder, and a few analogue synths.

I hope this is not too much. I’ve started with only 2 questions, but before I’ve ended writing this email, few more came to my mind.

Yes I know that happens all the time with me too.

:)

ps. Maybe one of Mat’s albums would feel as a perfect gift for you this Christmas. Won’t it?

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Geek Music – Osmos / High Skies / Mat Jarvis

Today I’ve decided to buy a copy of The Humble Indie Bundle 2. Partly because you can find good linux games. Partly because by spending those few dollars you can support valuable and noble causes. It’s up to you to decide on a price of a set. In bundle you will find Revenge Of The Titans, Osmos, Machnarium, Cortex Commander and famous XBOX and PC game Braid. Additionally you will get soundtracks for first three games.

As this post is about music I won’t be getting into details for all the games, but focus myself on a single one.

Osmos is a ambient physic game in which you are directing a sphere of something across different levels and tasks, trying to absorb and not to be absorbed by other orbs. On Hemisphere Games website you can find their own description of the gameplay.

Enter the ambient world of Osmos: elegant, physics-based gameplay, dreamlike visuals, and a minimalist, electronic soundtrack.

Your objective is to grow by absorbing other motes. Propel yourself by ejecting matter behind you. But be wise: ejecting matter also shrinks you. Relax… good things come to those who wait.

Progress from serenely ambient levels into varied and challenging worlds. Confront attractors, repulsors and intelligent motes with similar abilities and goals as you.

At first game looks fairly easy and straightforward, but after few beginning levels the difficultly is raising. Visuals and gameplay keeps high standards, not only for a linux game, but also for any other independent one.

The music which we listen during our adventures is pretty good piece of ambient from artists as Mat Jarvis (Gas/ High Skies), Loscil, Julien Neto, Biosphere, Vincent Gagnon and Tristan Bernier and DJ Paw. Frankly speaking, before I started to play Osmos, I only associated Biosphere, but the songs prepared by Hight Skies also fits my musical taste.

High Skies’ Sounds of Earth mini-album with songs  included in Osmos’ soundtrack, which you receives with The Humble Indie Bundle 2, is also remarkable. Maybe it’s is not much, only 6 songs and 22 minutes of ambient sounds, but I always appreciate something extra. Otherwise you would need to pay $5 to get a copy.

This is what can be found on Mat’s webpage, regarding music on High Skies – Sounds of Earth album.

Blade Runner meets Voyager; an interstellar soundtrack to NASA’s Voyager spacecraft. Six tracks of deep phased electronics.

The Shape of Things to Come, 6 minutes song,  is featured during first levels. It’s very “light”, let you focus on a game, almost as the game itself has been made for it. Or at least by programmers influenced by its vibrating sounds.

If you like listening to calm electronic sounds, those few tracks from mini-album, would fit perfectly to your music collection. Especially as the music itself won’t cost you a penny. Go to The Humble Indie 2 or Hemisphere Games website and get yourself a copy.  And if you are not a type of person who like ambient, I almost 100% sure you would enjoy the game.

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