Archive for February, 2006

GYBO – the broken links, rant on podcasting

Thursday, February 23rd, 2006

Since the whole GYBO cease and desist thing, it was kind of inevitable that the number of MP3s linked on the GYBO tracker would only be decreasing. To reduce the frustration of clicking on the link for a track and getting nothing but a 404, I’ve set a script running (as I type this) that is checking all the MP3 URLs to make sure only the ones that are still online are linked to.

What with the GYBO page being a podcast and all, you could argue that the whole thing is simply a tragic example of what is the increasingly common phenomenon of “podfade“. It’s an amazing testament to how up its own arse the current generation of web users are that they could come up with a whole new term for simply “giving up”. Having a long and rich history of giving up on hobbies myself I’ve never felt cause to coin terms such as Guitarfade, Swimdecline or even Unicyle-evanescence. It would be unthinkable for such a forward thinking group of people who could put actual audio files on the internet to come forward and admit that they couldn’t really be arsed after all or that it turns out their kids needed feeding or maybe the job that pays off their mortgage is more important than a half an hour of audio a week. No, they’re the unwitting victims of “podfade”, struck down like innocent victims of a fatal disease.

Then there’s the other direction – podcasts that you have to pay for. Whilst I don’t think anyone could possibly criticise Ricky Gervais and his team for being one of the first podcasts to charge (God knows I didn’t want to hear another Channel 4 ad read by a poor quality impressionist) I’m fully expecting Mr Gervais to discover 2004’s buzzword – Bit Torrent. At $7 for 4 half hour episodes, that’s just a tiny bit too expensive to warrant a purchase and publishing on iTunes is just a tiny bit too much hastle than clicking on the inevitable .torrent link on PirateBay.org, especially now that Opera has a bit torrent client built into it.

Bus times now phone-friendly, new RSS feed

Saturday, February 11th, 2006

Having recently gotten a quite spangly new phone and £12 free GPRS internet credit from Orange I was keen to test out my site on it. I tried out the bus times section and the quantity of memory required to load a timetable into my tiny phone made it go a bit mental. Also, it cost me about a quid fifty to download the thing over my expensive GPRS connection.

Solution: I’ve added shortcuts to just view arrival times at specific stops to the routes listings page through which you can quickly see when your next bus is at a specific stop. The hidden “skip to content” and “skip to navigation” links weren’t quite visible on phone either, so I’ve fixed them too.

Having now created some software which people actually come back for updates on, I’ve finally gotten around to adding an RSS feed to this page which you can subscribe to using the usual methods, or by copying this URL into your news reader. Should save some legwork for people.

Snowboarding

Sunday, February 5th, 2006

Just got back from an awesome week’s snowboarding in La Plagne, French Alps. It is true that wearing a helmet lets you commit to the slope much earlier than you would otherwise 🙂

I’m going to work on my snowpark skills next time…

I’ve just caught up with the fact that the Get Your Bootleg On message board has been sent a cease and desist order and has been forced to re-structure its policies on posting MP3s from the forum. As a result, the bootleg tracker will not be updating until I have gotten the full picture and updated the code. All the MP3s already tracked on there will remain to be linked for the forseeable future.