Monday, 29-Dec-08 14:01
Spotify <3

A friend sent me an invite to Spotify, which is essentially a service where you can listen to any music you want. You can't download it, but as long as you are connected, you can listen to whatever they have in store - and they've got a LOT of stuff. You get to create your own playlists, and share them with others.

To me, Spotify is exactly how the music experience on the internet should work. For a long time, one of the arguments why piracy is so rampant is that the user experience of the legal download places is so crappy. Even when the user experience is tolerable (like on iTunes), the stuff that you get sold is mostly encumbered with DRM, which is just another fancy way of saying that you don't actually buy anything, you license a right to listen to the music for some time, but you pay for it per song. But they still make it look like you had actually bought something like a CD, which you can e.g. legally sell onwards.

Spotify sells you a monthly subscription for all the music they have. So the question of who owns the bits is moot, and so is the question of DRM too. Spotify makes music like water in an apartment block - you buy a subscription, and you get it from the tap. You drink it, you bathe in it, but in general, you don't hoard it.

Spotify is the first service that really gives you a better experience than Pirate Bay. You can, of course, still go apeshit about their player interface and how much better Amarok is, and that they don't support Linux, but for the most part, Spotify is really a trouble-free way of listening to music. It's not perfect, but I think it's the first one to light the way.

And now that they've enabled scrobbling to last.fm, it's even so much better :-) (Via Arctic Startup). I wouldn't still call my iTunes obsolete (since someone needs to sync my podcasts to my iPod, and Apple is really trying to make sure only they can do that - gagh, that's a good reason to start weaning myself from Apple stuff. My next media player is very unlikely to be an iPod, for that reason.)

Sunday, 28-Dec-08 20:15
What constantly surprises me...

...is the highly efficient pipeline that you get thrust into the moment the blue bars appear in the pregnancy test. Of course luck plays some part in the whole thing (you might get a nurse with whom your chemistries just don't match), but simply put - the level of the healthcare in this country is quite amazing. The reason why I am amazed about this is that I've never ever have had to check into a hospital as a patient - only a few visits to the company nurse or dentist are the only ones I've ever really needed. So I haven't really had the slightest clue as to where all my taxes are going.

Since May, we've been working our way in this tube, and the end is nigh (starting wk 35 today, and the probabilities are that this one is early rather than late). Even though there have been complications on the way in, they have been dealt with extreme professionalism and care. We've received all sorts of training, and while it certainly is one of these "you get out of it what you put in" -situations, we've felt that it has been worth the time. Everybody has also been really great towards us (except the people who constantly remind me that I'm not going to get any sleep soon. Oh please - and I say this in all friendship - it was fun the first three times. Now please shut up and tell me something that is actually useful. ;-)

And the motherhood package - essentially a box full of goodies - has a tendency to turn people not living in Finland green with envy. Purchasing power of the government FTW!

But I guess it makes sense to optimize the society for efficient reproduction of people. When only few children are born, it makes sense all around to make sure that they grow up well, and that the strain of parenthood is not too big. It's like designing a software process - make sure the components are developed in a healthy environment with proper tools by knowledgeable people, and it's all gonna be all right in the end ;-)

At any rate, I feel about as ready as I can be about being a parent. Yes, it is a great unknown, and I am trying very hard not to really expect anything. People tell me that everything will change - but I suspect we have a different definition of "everything". Of course many things will change, but that's what they do all the time anyway. This is just another change among others, and I will adapt.

Besides, I'm looking forward to the kid.

Monday, 22-Dec-08 01:25
Thwoa

I was just bored the other day, and so was Thwoa born.

It's stupid and simple, but I find staring at it oddly calming.

Tuesday, 09-Dec-08 13:07
A minor point

I can't really add anything new to the discussion around the Wikipedia censorship, but I can remind you about this quote:

"The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation."

-- Adolph Hitler (Mein Kampf, the Ralph Manheim translation published by Houghton-Mifflin, 1943. pg 403)

Just remember this, ok?


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