DGTL12002 – Week 1

The subject of this post is a required question for one of my current subjects at university.

We are to explain why we’re a member of a particular social media site, and what we get out of it.

Having written about pinterest for my tutorial exercise, I have chosen to write about rdio for this post.

I was recommended rdio by b, who was finding it easier to search for individual 80s tracks than in iTunes. Being stubborn and not easily swayed into a new environment it took me some time to succumb — however now that I have I find it invaluable.

What rdio does is attempt to understand your tastes, and provide you wish new musical experiences you may not have thought of. With me, the algorithm works; with b, not so much. For me, the more I use it, the better the algorithm can predict something I would like to listen to. For b, the longer he uses it, the more confused the poor program becomes.

I think the reason that it works better for me than for b is because of how I believe the algorithm works. It appears to be a statistical based model; if user a likes song x, he is likely to enjoy the same songs as other people who like song x. This is further refined by the rest of your music collection; the more correlations found between your tastes and the tastes of the other people who like song x the closer the recommendations will be to your actual tastes.

There is some tuning available to this idea, there are currently 5 stages of similarity to your own collection, or artist (previously there were 7):

TuneStation

With someone like me who likes music based on the sound of a group, and tends to like most of what they produce; an algorithm can predict what I would like relatively easily using a statistical model. The more similarity there are between the bands in various users collections, the more they are likely to enjoy a band that does not appear in their own collection.

For someone like b who likes individual tracks, the algorithm does not work quite so well; it is hard to build up a statistical model for individual tracks as they can differ greatly even on a single album, and when ‘Various Artist’ albums are brought into the mix it makes it even harder for a statistical model to build up. This can easily be seen with the autoplay feature.

autoplay mode in rdio

autoplay mode in rdio


Take the song ‘Eleanor Rigby’ for example; If one went by the name of the track alone it could be reasonably safe to assume that I would like the rest of the Beatles catalogue, however the version I actually like is by Godhead and sounds very little like the original. Likewise, listening to 2Cellos play Thunderstruck has as much chance of giving the user more cello music as it does ACDC tracks.

I use that track as an example as I would not have even heard of it without rdio, it has expanded my musical universe considerably.

So, I also have an outside cat.

…who is trying desperately to be an inside cat, I’m assuming she’s female, because well, all cats are female until proven male.

I thought my cat had a shrill voice and talked a lot, but this one is so high pitched I can hear her mewing from outside the townhouse complex.

She doesn’t miaow like my cat, she mews. It’s actually almost like she’s saying MEW in a little girl’s voice.

She’s a bit fatarse long haired grey cat, and she’s now happy to just waltz inside if I open the door (or she walks in the back sliding door), and my cat has retreated to the top floor in protest. I guess she’s smaller than the grey fatarse, so it’s understandable. They also fight through the glass of the window next to the front door. I’m not sure what either of them think they’re going to achieve but it entertains them.

I’ll take a photo of her next time she comes looking for food during the day, so you can see her in her glory. She’s quite a beautiful creature, but she’s got a bit of a temper for an outside cat. I tried to encourage her to go back outside by walking out with the food, and she hisses at me.

I pour some food in her outside-cat-dish, and she took a swipe at my leg. I guess I didn’t get whatever message she had… I do feel sorry for her though, but my cat comes first, and the house is her territory so I can’t let her inside and pet her too much.

The Dress pt 2

Maggie Sottero 'Victoriana'

Maggie Sottero 'Victoriana'

So, The Previous Dress was just far too freaking expensive, and this one is more realistic (for a ‘I wanna be a Princess’ kind of budget, anyway) option — I still feel like it’s too expensive, but now that I’ve seen what Ian Stuart dresses go for, this is suddenly much more affordable sounding!

Bridesmaids, option 1

Bridesmaids option 1, Henry Roth 70330

So that’s kind of what I want the bridesmaids to be wearing, except in a greenish colour (similiar to the colour of green orchids), with my sister as Matron of Honour in a dark fuschia kind of colour, or a dusky pink… maybe. Or just a different design and a darker green, with the flower girls in the pinkish colour.

Who knew I had so much girlie inside me?

We set a date

So, we finally have a date, in sept next year.

And a venue – a bay cruise, so now I need help with flowers.

I don’t really like blue as a colour, except the deep greeny blue ocean colours, but I’m stumped as to flowers that would fit a boat/sea theme… Or maybe do I cheat and do red & white like the life saver things on old fashioned cruises?

I’m not really a pastel kinda gal anyway, but I was leaning towards calla lilies before…

Prepare for inane girlie wedding posts more often.

Another one, just like the other one

So, forgive me for worrying you, for not posting much after the accident, but it all just sucked so hard.

However, we now have a ‘new’ car, which to the untrained eye looks exactly like our old car. It’s just a newer model, and we took it and got after market leather upholstery done, which makes it nicer.

It feels better that way, and some days I actually forget the whole thing happened, which is kinda nice.

On the plus side, my brother is now famous, he’s the one with the white curly hair and the suit jacket. Totally not his own clothing, I might add, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen him wear anything like that at all :-).

On the minus side, my aunt and uncle‘s house got badly damaged in a bushfire, and their bed and breakfast studios burnt to the ground. My uncle also lost his shed with all his surfboards and anything he’s made, ever.

On the plus side, the crazy busy work period is over. Yay

So I’ll be trying to post more often.

it just seems a bit too hard

I still feel like the drunken moron who slammed into our car has taken something away from our lives that is really hard to replace.

Yeah, it was just a car, but the whole incident has represented more. For the fiance, while not a car kind of guy, the car represented freedom, and travelling, and something that was all his, not owned by a finance company or anything, but all his.

For me, it’s the shock that someone can come out of nowhere and destroy something of ours. It doesn’t matter how careful you are, yourself, other people can have that much of an impact … I’m just so grateful that we’ve been working so hard, and have the money to replace our car — not that long ago, losing that car (and insurance will not pay enough to replace the car, just about 70% of one, depending on how old a car we want) would have been a disaster. Part of the deposit for our land is going to have to go into the new car, and I’m still so angry that this has been caused by just some random drunk guy.

Who won’t even pay for anything, who’s life won’t even change measurably, the piece of shit car he drove is easily replaceable, they’re two a penny around here, and under $10k second hand. Even new they’re only about $14k.

I’m still remembering stuff that we couldn’t get out of the car before they took it, cds and stuff, things that might have been under the seats, or whereever. We didn’t even get to see it again after the tow truck guy drove off with it.

We sat in a same make/model but newer version of the car, and it felt kind of like ‘home’, but one that someone had been living in and had moved everything around while you were gone… familiar, but alien at the same time.

I’m actually mourning the car, and I don’t even really care about cars… so I guess I’m mourning part of our lifestyle that I’m worried we won’t be able to get back. We used to lay the back down, and turn the back of the wagon into a big double bed, and park near the beach and listen to the waves slapping against the shore and watch the moon above the water… and sometimes just fall asleep there listening to the rhythm of the waves, or the wind through the trees. Modern cars don’t have the same space in the back, so we’re probably going to lose that … and it really sucks.