Music Blogging With BLIP.fm

Lately I've been getting into music blogging on BLIP.fm. The premise is simple - search for a song you want, add a 1-line comment, and post it to your page. You can listen to all of the songs the entire BLIP.fm community is posting, or you can follow specific users and listen to a continuous stream of songs posted by your friends.

The music is powered by imeem and YouTube, so you I'm able to find most songs (or videos) I'm looking for. And if the song exists somewhere else online, you can provide a URL to add the song to the library.

For the last few years I've been moving more and more to the web and social music communities for my music listening. Pandora is great for streaming radio, and Hype Machine and Tumblr (specifically music-oriented blogs) are pretty good for new band discovery. I haven't tapped into MySpace or iMeem much yet, but I'm sure I will over time. Right now I'm following friends as they post music daily to their BLIP.fm microblog, and I'm loving the variety of music that I'm listening to daily.

Listen to my radio station below or add me on BLIP.fm here.


Shakespeare in Battery Park

A few weeks ago I went with a bunch of friends to see a performance of King Lear. It wasn't in a theater on Broadway, though - the play was performed across the grounds of Battery Park. New York Classical Theater is "a group dedicated to reinvigorating and creating audiences for the theatre by presenting free productions of popular classics and forgotten masterpieces in non-traditional public spaces throughout New York City." King Lear was performed scene by scene in different areas of Battery Park. Each scene lasted about 5 to 10 minutes, and after one ends the entire audience is rushed behind the cast to a new environment. Backdrops such as the old fort, the river, and the forest were all included as an impressive substitute for set change. The performance itself was great, and the experience was pretty cool. We brought blankets and food, but it was a bit difficult since we were constantly moving. Also some environments were easier to view and hear, though the cast always tried hard to project their voices. Next time I see a theater in the park performance I'll read up on the story before hand so I can fill in the plot gaps when I miss a scene or two to the outdoors. Otherwise, it was a really fun night and a very interesting spin on theater. And if this sounds interesting, I also suggest checking out Shakespeare in the Parking Lot.


The CrunchPad Touch Tablet Web Computer and Dreaming Big

In a few weeks Michael Arrington, leader of TechCrunch, is going to unveil his biggest project ever - the CrunchPad. The CrunchPad is a touch-sensitive tablet computer that loads directly to the web browser. It's low-powered and low on features, but completely optimized for web applications. It's designed to be the computer you keep on your couch to check fantasy sports on, to read email on, to look up IMDB on. It will have a USB drive so you can plug in a keyboard if you need, and it may end up having a web-cam for Skyping, but other than that it's likely everything you see in front of you. In a few weeks Arrington will unveil the CrunchPad at a press event and it is expected to go on sale soon after for less than $300.

Whether the CrunchPad ends up being everything we are hoping and everything we are expecting from the visionary Michael Arrington is really not the story. Arrington went from being a lawyer to a blogger to the leader of a blog & web development empire. But a year ago he decided to set his sights on something bigger; he wrote a call to arms saying he was tired of no one building the perfect and affordable web-optimized tablet. He put a call out to anyone who was interested in helping him achieve the vision, put together a team of partners, and embarked on a journey to build a piece of hardware. One year later he's days away from achieving his lofty goal, testament to his dreams, his work, his cunning, and his work ethic, regardless of his lack of prior experience. This from a lawyer-turned blogger. So despite the product that we see, or whether it succeeds, the fact that he dared to undertake it and see it through is really what's important.

Oh and if it means anything, today's Google announcement is at least a vote of confidence for his vision.

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The Fabled Google OS Arriving Soon to Conquer Windows

Big news from the Google empire this morning! Team Google, never choosing to sit on the sidelines when they see an opportunity to make something better (see: browsers, mobile phones, TV advertising, etc, etc), has announced that they're currently building an operating system offshoot of their lightweight web app optimized browser Chrome- called Chrome OS. The operating system will essentially boot directly to a browser and run applications designed for the web. It will be open source so anyone can build off it and focus on web standards so applications that work on Chrome OS could work in any modern browser (meaning, at least today, most browsers not named - Internet Explorer). It will be clean, safe, and streamlined for optimal use on lower powered machines such as netbooks.

Google is providing no pictures right now, but they are in discussions with partners and the more information will be out soon. And around this time next year we should expect to be able to buy some Google Chrome OS powered netbooks from major manufacturers.

Whatever you think of Google and their quest for world domination, you have to give them this - when they enter a market, they go strong and they go big, and they look at how they can push the boundaries, make it better. Booting directly to a web OS isn't new (I'll write more about it later today), but Google will surely bring a polished idea to the table in a big way leveraging the clout and relationships they already have. This will likely push Microsoft hard to re-think Windows in terms of the new landscape. It remains to be seen how successful Windows 7 can be but if it's not able to maximize the effect of lower powered computer then Microsoft could lose that market by 2010.


gdgt is a gadget community built by the tech obsessed for tech lovers

After months in the works, new tech community gdgt from tech legends Peter Rojas and Ryan Block launched. gdgt is a site for gadget lovers. You can create a profile, build a portfolio of gadgets that you have or had, review them, and start discussions around them. It's also designed to be the most detailed knowledge-base of gadget info and specs around - if a gadget isn't there yet, you can add it, or you can add specs to any existing product through wiki-like approach. Jump to a product page and you can see reviews, discussions, and more all in one spot; and not just from gdgt, but pulling in reviews from across populare tech sites like engadget and gizmodo (the old homes of the gdgt founders). One feature I think might be interesting on the product pages is a twitter search feed around the product; when I was trying to decide whether to buy the new Macbook Pro, I spent a while just watching the sea of twitter posts around the product for some community commentary.

gdgt as a brand has been around for a year or so, with Peter and Ryan giving a weekly podcast and running the best live blogging of big tech events (like the Apple keynotes) around. The podcasts, the live blogging, and some editorial will be continuing, and they promise many more features added as they role out their vision for the world's greatest gadget community site around.

Above is what my portfolio looks like right now - more gadgets will be added as the pages I submitted are approved (my Dell 20.1'' monitor, and my canon SD700 IS camera). Once you join, friend me here: http://user.gdgt.com/kskobac/

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