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Showing posts from January, 2007

I can't get it up anymore!

After reading "Assemble your own PC for $1500", in "PC Extreme", I decided to assemble a PC. Just like when I was young. When I was young, I could get a PC up and running in no time. I have done it many times.

Well, $2500 later, I have been stumped for 2 days, I can't even get the freaking mobo to POST on my screen, ZIP, NADA! I am completely held back and out of ideas on how to make it work. Not even a "BIP" from that darn mobo, NOTHING! AAAARGH, I can't get it up and running!

Irony is I would spend LESS money on a pre-assemble PC of that quality. Tomorrow, I will go to "Geek Squad" see if they can figure it out and admit that I am impotent.

The sadness, the sorrow, the humiliation.

Tragame Tierra,

marcf

Evolution vs ID vs Descartes: Part 3: SUM

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If you haven't read part 1 and 2 here is what you need to know:

If there is a designer then evolution was part of the design. Therefore "ID" vs "Evolution" is a red-herring.

/endofstorysofar

Of course, the debate is one of those "science vs faith" issues. Please do not construe the above as statements about faith, or religion, they are not. The following toughts are though.

Personally, I think it is the wrong debate, the wrong issue. I find one can wonder at "the creation" without having to pick a fight with Science. In my case, I am in awe of the creation. Period. Thank you.

What bothers me is when people flaunt their religion in your face. By all means, practice if it makes you happy and you have decided to devote a part of your life to regligion. If that is your thing, then good for you! Keep it private.

I think faith and logic should operate in orthogonal and NON-EXCLUSIVE worlds. Therefore religion and science should as well. Science doesn…

Evolution vs ID vs Descartes: Part 2: QED

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If you haven't read part I: here is what happened:

In looking at networks of protein protein interactions, many single points of failure (SPF) appear, cancer seems to be linked. If someone designed nature, why would SPF's appear?

SPF's are also linked to evolution. If a network fails, the individual fails resulting in negative selection of its genome from the population, that is evolution.

/endofstorysofar

Ok, so if you are still with me, at this point I will ask you go into a suspension of disbelief for a second and you won't regret it. Follow me, this is going to be surgically quick, I am going to basically prove that Evolution vs ID IS A RED-HERRING of a discussion.

Here goes,


Either

a/ there is no designer,
in which case there is no intelligent design, end of discussion.

or
b/ there is a designer,
AND "it" designed SPF in protein networks.

or
c/ there is a designer
AND "it" has not designed these SPF.

I will focus on case b/ as I have no good argument for case…

Evolution vs ID vs Descartes: Part I, SPF

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Part I: Single points of failure in networks of protein interaction, cancer as a result.

Evolution vs "intelligent design" is a public debate that is raging in the US. See cover of Time. Out of irritation, I have decided to go and take a look for myself, just to make my own opinion.

One of the tenets of intelligent design is that nature is so well designed, so "perfect" that, well, very simply there had to be a designer. SOMETHING interfered during evolution. The blind statistics could never account for the complexity we see in Nature. The chances are too small.

Coming from a software background, the idea of "system design" is quite natural. It is something we do everyday. But also consider this: we, humans, as a specie, are ALREADY doing "intelligent design". We routinely manipulate the genome of plants every day. Think of transgenic crops, corn is a great example. These have been totally engineered, designed, at a genomic level.

Imagine someone …

Working the street, Part II: Halo Lounge

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On Tuesday night, after my surrealist experience at Lotus, instead of driving back home, I decide to go to Halo on the tip by the lady from Lotus that "mike" the owner would be there on the decks.
I have been there before, it is one of the better places in ATL. Nice bar, nice video screen, nice DJ booth, nice staff and usually nice crowd. It is medium sized on two floors. It strikes a genuine balance between full-on club and bar. I remember the music as being decent there. Maybe the lady is right and "my sound" would fit better there.

I get there and ask to speak to the manager. This guy called "Ian" comes up. He looks like a hipster with his rectangular glasses. I ask for "mike". "Mike is not here tonight", he explains, "he will be here tomorrow on the decks". Bummer, I came here for nothing. The guy is nice enough, keeping with their reputation so I stay and I order a drink.

I ask if he has a DJ tonight, he says yes and that …

Working the street, part I: Lotus Lounge

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Tuesday night I decided to go and try my luck for a new gig after dinner. I told Nathalie I would try Lotus and be back. I am out the door in seconds as I got all my gear in the Berlin edition of the JBoss backpack.

One place that is close to home and wanted to play at is "Lotus Lounge". It is an interesting place, very well decorated (see insert). Most of the art there is done by a local artist and welder. Her name is Corinna Mensoff, she does great work and we have some of her art at home. The formula of Lotus is simple: charge "membership" for fabricated exclusivity.

Having grown up in the acid-house era with it ultra-democratic partying ethos, the idea of fabricated exclusivity is kinda of foreign to me. I just don't get it. I haven't blogged about our experience with "Mansion" in Miami on New Year's eve, and how much it sucked?. Did you know I partied two tables down from Lindsay Lohan and Kevin Federline? Me neither! I discovered that in t…

My father in law weighs in

After my mother comparing me to Snoopy vs the RedBaron, after Google offering advertisement for "areYouASlackerMom", Tommy, my father in law decides to pile it on.

He calls me "DJ Dr Snoopy". Nathalie and I have had a good laugh over this DJ Dr Snoopy thing, it is so... un-DJ like. What do I have to do to get some RESPECT.

Well right now I feel more like Charlie Brown than I feel like Snoopy.

I am an artiste, gad damn it, an artiste.

Minimal Techno + 70's rock== something NEW

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+

==


What is good and bad about this modern so called "minimal" trend, is that it is minimal. It is music by music lovers. They focus on beats, high hats, rythmical patterns and they are well... minimalists at it. The net result is actually quite boring as standalone tracks :)

I like my melody, I like it thick. I dig a good prince vocal when he sounds like he has just lost his balls. I like the messiness of some disco and 80's track, it is fun. The whole "minimalist" thing is a bit too dry for me.
HOWEVER, Yesterday I was sampling 70's and 80's. Jimmy Hendrix and Jessee Johnson to be precise. Both have great melodies. See my post on "drum beats" but J.Hendrix, despite being on LSD most of the time could actually hold his beat very well. J.Johnson, being a disciple of the prince cult was versed in electronic drum beats so he is a treat.

So. Take "A summer in Paris" which is a minimal track you never heard of, and is not even worth the ef…

Gig at El Bar.

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So I finally did it. Played my fist "professional" gig. I did 10-12 at a place called El Bar. It is an underground place, all right. It is in fact so underground it is quite hard to find the damn place. It is under a popular restaurant called "El Azteca" but the door is not marked. The door is a big metallic thing that looks like the entrance to an industrial meat locker more than anything. It was in fact the former storage area for the restaurant.

The area inside is pretty nice however, nicer and bigger than I remembered it. It is well decorated. It is darkly lit, relatively small and definitely has this "underground-je-ne-sais-quoi". Jeff, the owner, is an interesting character. Tall, bald and talkative, he is a lawyer by day and a bar owner at night. He opens the place Thursday through Sunday as a hobby.

When I got there, one of the resident guys wanted to know how to hook my system up to their sound system. I said I didn't need anything but a regula…

Thank God for Drum Machines

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I'll tell you,

mixing Rock and Trance is a cow. For a simple technical reason that I want you all to grok.

See, when you load a song in a digital DJ program, the first thing it will do is to try and calculate the beats. If you look at the envelope of a song you can sort of guess the peaks and those peaks usually correspond to beats. Most modern song will have a regular drum structure, due to the use of electronic beat machines. Assume a song is perfectly tempo'ed and your program will easily detect "130BPM" or "Beats per Minute". Your program will use this information to "beat match" whatever record you are trying to mix in. The result is seamless mixes.

That is the theory, and it is based on the assumption that the beat is regular THROUGHOUT the song. That statement is true with modern dance music, since the beats are synthetic, but absolutely NOT TRUE of most rock and roll where, unfortunately, humans are involved in creating the rythm :)

It seems t…

Slacker mom: Google weighs in

Dude! The ad that keeps popping up on my gmail page is :

"AreYouASlackerMom.com"...

Should I get a hint? Does google detect too much talking about nails and hobbies? The truth always comes out of the mouth of children, my mother, and automated search algorythms.

Ouch!

Let's see the nails

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So I mentioned I started growing my nails in order to be able to mix music using my Lenovo X60 tablet and DJ software. Andy Oliver, a good friend from the JBoss days, wrote in asking to see the "freaky nails". Here you go, Andy O!

On the right you can see "Virtual DJ" in action. It is software developed by a fellow "polytechnicien" in Paris. It is pretty cool actually, very intuitive. I am pressing play on the left deck. You can see the waveform on the top. This particular action does not require a fingertip as the button is pretty large.

On the left you have a close up on one of my nails. You can see the point shape I am trying to give it so I have more accuracy using the touchscreen. It works well. As you can see the arrow follows the tip pretty well.

I am using the fingers not just for the mixing but also as a generic mouse on my tablet. Instead of using the red "button" that poses as a mouse on the IBM/Lenovo laptops, I use my finge…

Thank God for Internet Porn: the story behind the title

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So what's with the title?

I wanted a title that was catchy and expressed "techno-fetichisme". And what better example of tech and fetishism than the Internet plus porn. Plus I am French and, in theory, I can get away with it.

Seriously though, it is an insider joke from the early JBoss days. We were talking among developers about the "Holy Trinity" of IT customers with the most stringent up-time requirements. See, if your product is succesful it will quickly be adopted by the Holy Trinity: telco, banks, and of course, the porn industry.

Banks are very aggressive when it gets to new technology, they will usually look for that added value in software and will almost always aggressively evaluate technology. Making it in production is another story. It is easy to get in the door, much harder to sit at the table.

Telcos are a very different profile, what they usually look for is technology they will deploy for the next 10 years. It is extremelly hard to get in the door …

DJ Red Baron?

Well I had been struggling for a while with a good DJ name. The only thing that wasn't taken was "DJ Marc Fleury". I was gonna go with "Doctor Flurry" just to spice it up.

Well... turns out DJ RedBaron is not used... no hit comes up on google. I find it fun. I maybe onto something here. I will check with my mother see if she sees the humor in it.

See, when I first created JBoss I called it "EJBoss" pronounced "eeeh-jay-boss" which in retrospect was a pretty horrible name. I am french, sue me. What happened then is that the SUN lawyers called us to say they disaproved of our usage of the EJB trademark in our name and suggested we drop a letter. And so we went with "JBoss" which frankly sounded MUCH better.

So you see? the lesson here? it's deep man: Listen to your mama and big bad lawyers for marketing advise.

DJ Red Baron, you dig?

marcf

Snoopy vs The Red Baron vs My Mother

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I had my first gig on Saturday. Ben and Becca were hosting a little house party and I provided the music. I had a blast. I was up and running in 20 seconds, hooked into Ben's XM line and wham! I was on. I did about 1:30 min. I liked having people tell me they enjoyed the music. I had people come down and see the setup. In short, I had fun.

But it was to be expected: MY PARENTS DISAPPROVE OF MY NEW HOBBY. I am dead serious. I am 38, professionally succesful and my parents, in their 60's call me up to tell me they "disapprove".

So my mother makes fun of me. She says "you know when snoopy thinks he is the red-baron? with his glasses and his red scarf? but in reality he is just a dog sitting on his dog-house", "yes, mother", "well", she says, " you are kind of like that, you and your DJ'ing, you are not a DJ, you are the father of 4, you just think you are one". When i probe a bit, she claims she is concerned about the fact that…

Graceful Grace Jones

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As I mentioned before I am trying to become a DJ in my old age. Not a job mind you, nothing big and serious like say DJ AM :). No, I am doing this as a "professional hobbyist".

I am making progress. I have been using the IBM X60 tablet to mix, it is really nice. It works really well. It is intuitive and one of these things I don't think about after 30 seconds.

For those of you that listen to dance music I totally recommend the site "Beatport". It is the main site for a lot of producers and it is fully electronic. No vynil. Downloads are in mp3 (320 kbps) or WAV or MP4. I was turned onto it by Brad, one of the JBoss execs and I haven't disconnected in 3 weeks.

Every modern dance artist puts out their old and new records there. Which is nice. With that kind of volume going on every day, you gotta have patience and time (I got time). You have to sort of dig through piles of crap to find the one gem. You can go straight to some classics, rely on playlists, browse …