The Deal

A castle in Germany? DAH!

A castle in Germany? DAH!

Today I got some mixed news and I think (without getting too personal about the whole deal… it is business after all) that the best way to deal with challenges is to use some creative energy to recharge myself  and to just simply tear into some DJ mixing. With that– I have recorded “digitalflood Pirate Radio Vol. 5 Ep. 4” in raw mix session format. It’s the only way I know to deal with challenges in life (to create). A few glasses of Bacardi Rum Select and a few hours later– I believe I have recorded the best mix tape ever. Angst breeds artistry. Artistry leads to creation. And now you the viewer can prosper from my angst. This Sunday (12/13/09) I promise you the best mix tape session ever. It is heavy on a certain genre. It is a tribute to a certain club in Newark, NJ (the select few of you have caught on already) and it is possibly the most incredible mix ever. On 12/13/09 the new digitalflood Pirate Radio drops. It is unreal. I promise you this much. I’m listening to the raw mix right now– prepare to be blown away.


DF Pirate Radio – “The 2009 Beat Feast – Redux”

Title: Vol. 5 Episode 3 (Click link to play) Rel: 12/06/09
Description:The 2009 Beat Feast – Redux” – We actually did a “Beat Feast” for 2009 during Episode 1 of this season (Volume 5 – 2009), but that was actually to make up for us missing doing one in Volume 4 (2008.) With that, this is the latest in our series of annual live recorded deejay mix sessions we call “The Beat Feast”, which is released around Thanksgiving each year. It’s our way of kicking off the holiday season and a nice background mixer for your weekend get together. This “Beat Feast” doesn’t let you down– there’s tons of music (new and old) and the usual hip hop heavy mix is present. You’ll find a few surprises such as an American metal band that is big in Germany and a German metal band that is big in America (figure out who’s who!) along with a couple of other classic surprises. If this doesn’t get you dancing, then nothing will! Total run time is just over an hour and half (with no commercial interruptions or spoken interludes). The live mixing is all done by DJ digitalflood and as usual he pushes the limits of what can be done with two virtual turn tables and a very real two channel mixer.This year’s “Beat Feast” is dedicated to the memory of Shiva Welch who was both the Welch family pet and a digitalflood Pirate Radio mainstay. Many of our guests met this three legged cat and were inspired by how it never held her back. She passed away earlier this year of terminal lung cancer. She is sorely missed by all who knew her, but her indomitable spirit lives on. Shiva was born sometime in 1999 (she was a stray so nobody knows her exact month of birth) and passed away in April 2009. You can hear her often referred to by radio guest during Pirate Radio shows as “Tripod”. She loved meeting new people and Pirate Radio recordings quickly became one of her favorite times to come meet those new people. She loved being petted and playing with toys. She loved hopping on the computer during radio show recordings as well. She was adopted by DJ digitalflood from a local animal shelter in 2000 and spent the rest of her life living with his family. Veterinarians were never sure if her partial right hind leg was the result of a birth defect or an injury, but it didn’t stop her from getting around at all. We miss you and love you Shiva… thank you for teaching us to never let minor disabilities hold us back from living life to its fullest.

The Freebie Experience

It seems after a few months (read-  year) of bad news from the stock market we’re finally starting to see a  small turn around including continued gradual movements northward in both trading volume and closing average prices. Nevertheless, the cost cutting trend surges on as corporations big and small discover the benefits of running lean.

Maybe it’s the years of excess and complacency finally wearing itself away, but across the US you can see corporations publishing financial filings with key notes of “cost reduction” and “expense consolidation” with pride. Think what you will, but this trend seems here to stay for the time being. The truth is there are some really great (and not so amazing) ways to reduce reoccurring expenses. Over the course of the next few weeks we’ll be visiting ways you can think about cutting cost without cutting service because truly running efficient should not result at the cost of customer experience or create reduction of service offerings.

We’ll be looking into ideas small and large that can be implemented easily throughout an organization of any size. These ideas can be implemented by any member of a staff. We’ll focus on various portions of the business including operations, finance, buildings/facilities, and marketing. My hope is that with these ideas you’ll spur initiatives of your own and let us know how you take these strategies to the next level.

The first area we’ll focus on is one that is near and dear to my heart– free IT desktop programs that cut costs day one while offering the same functionality of user applications costing hundreds more. Think of it this way– for each license you don’t purchase you’re saving cash for other initiatives such as improving the infrastructure and operation support elements that most support the applications. In short, it’s money well saved.

  • Open Office 3 – Developed by Sun Microsystems, Open Office is an open source free alternative to Microsoft’s Office XP Suite. It comes with a word processor, a spread sheet application, a math program, a presentation program, a drawing program, and a database program. The one thing Open Office misses is a true diagram program (i.e. Visio), but otherwise for your standard staff member the goods are all there including spell checking, multi-platform support, ability to write out to many formats (including native PDF output), and interoperability with MS Office. I use the program in my home office as do many of my colleagues. It’s great for students and professionals alike whether you’re home or at work.
  • GanttProject – Microsoft Project is a great tool, but most Project Managers do not touch the true potential of what the program can do. For those of you who are rudimentary project planners or you’re not looking for true server side multi-user input (i.e. one person owns the update of the project plan) then GanttProject will work great for your team. Meant for the Project Manager dealing with projects of all sizes; GanttProject will help you plan, execute, and track a project through its life cycle. It too offers the ability to cross interface with MS applications including Project.
  • FoxIt PDF Reader – I know Adobe PDF Reader is free, but my problem with their program is two fold. First, it’s notoriously slow. Second, it is the constant victim of exploits. For this reason, I’m a huge fan of Foxit’s PDF Reader. It’s fast, small, and not as targeted as its mainstream cousin.
  • AVG Free 8.5 – Technically you cannot use Grisoft’s AVG Free Anti-virus for business deployments, but if you need a free, effective, and reliable anti-virus/anti-spyware application for your home PC (*ahem* home *cough* PC… *wink*) this is the one. AVG is robust and secure as one would expect from Germany’s number one malware protection company. Updates are timely (usually every day) and offer protection through “smart” ID methods that can even catch a virus the program does not have a definition for yet. AVG is the number one tool I install on a PC infected with a virus… usually one that already is running Symantec or McAfee, but was exploited any how.
  • Firefox – Firefox is a free web browser that is secure, expandable, and fast. The multi-tab support has been copied by other web browsers, but no one can match the speed, stability, and over all configurable limits of Firefox.
  • Thunderbird – When armed with the Lightning extension, Thunderbird replaces Outlook XP with ease. This email application includes mutli-account support, junk mail filtering (that works), calendar/reminder/task support, and a flexible contact address book.
  • LogMeIn Himachi – Another program that is for “personal” use, Himachi is a VPN that needs zero configuration aside from being installed on the computers you wish to link. Himachi will change the way you work and liberate your ability to work from the cloud.
  • Pidgin – Pidgin is an IM application that works with all the popular IM networks including Google, AOL, MSN, and Yahoo.  The ability to chat with co-workers in real time is both under estimated and under utilized. It will change the way you communicate internally and the speed which you do so.
  • Google Earth – Need directions to a client’s business? Need to see where you can stay while on a business trip? Want to find a place to eat while out walking the sales beat? Google Earth is not only a mapping utility, but it can be used for finding businesses in an area or measure the distance between two nodes. Once you start playing with cartography (the art of mapping) you too will be hooked and it will change the way you literally look at the world.

Today we focused on common desktop applications. In the future we’ll be looking at more applications that are both free and useful for various tasks. This should, however, get you out the door for the time being and start making you think about what other “free” software alternatives exist. Stay tuned for more blogs on free software that is useful and offers real cost savings for every day tasks.


Classic DF – 4/9/03

April 09, 2003: [•] Check out BrokenReality’s site for a really cool piece of artwork by some chick named Cat. Good stuff. [•] I woke up this morning to pictures on my TV courtesy of CNN of the Iraqi civilian population amassing in the streets of their respective cities rioting. The crowd was not the expected riot of civilians repelling the “invaders” though, but instead cheering as thanks for US intervention. It was strange to watch all this unfold live. To watch these people place such great hope in my Nation just made me feel happy for them, but concerned. I hope that the US does help the Iraqis like we have helped the Afghanis recently. I hope these people find peace too. The war is far from over, but there is that glimmer of what could be and it’s one that I hope the world doesn’t ignore. These people want to be free and we must stand by them in their quest. [•] No longer do they want to be tortured unjustly and without reason. [•] Even France is backing UN action now. I don’t think it’s fair though that the detractors who didn’t see fit to place stock in these people in the first place should have guidance in their restructuring. No offense to France, Russia, or Germany; but I don’t think that a country who didn’t help to free the Iraqis should take credit for something they didn’t help to achieve. [•] A US F-15 fighter jet was shot down. [•] 120 people are now dead from an Ebola outbreak in the Republic of Congo. [•] An Israeli air strike has left 6 people dead in the Gaza Strip. [•] Rebels in the Ivory Coast killed 15 people. [•] 11 Afghan civilian are dead after a malfunctioning laser guided bomb missed its intended target, a rebel fighting force, and instead hit a house. [•] Comedian Rodney Dangerfield was admitted to a hospital for brain surgery in preparation for a heart operation. [•] The US House has passed a bill that will allow US Postal Stamps to stay at their current rates until 2006. [•] Obese children rate their quality of life the same as young cancer patients. I don’t know why though. I was fat as a teen and I had a hilarious time. Then again, I don’t think obesity ever stopped me from having a good time despite my various size over the years. LOL [•] An ex-police officer has been found guilty of making women he pulled over during his career strip down to their underwear. [•] California is considering adopting strict bottled water content disclosure labeling. [•] Just to validate the point that American Greetings makes a greeting card for every occasion they are now producing a line of war in Iraq cards for troops and their families. [•] Biotech is big bucks right now and several cities are fighting to become the leader in it as a result of it being so. [•] Another town for sale on eBay fails to meet the reserve. [•] Dolly the Cloned Sheep has been stuffed and put on display in a Scotland museum. [•] Speaking of clones, a clone of a near extinct wild cattle species brings hope that animals can be brought back from the verge of disappearing thanks to science. [•] Eddie Griffin takes his dysfunctional family to the big screen. [•] Beethoven’s 9th Symphony handwritten manuscript could fetch $4.6 million in an upcoming auction. I doubt I could sell the scrawled piece of paper I wrote Anything But Me on for more than a penny and a punch in the face. LOL [•] Howard Schmidt is more l337 than you’ll EVER be. He ownZ ur m0mm@… and stuff. [•] The funny part about experimental media is you don’t ever know how things will turn out, but you know that no matter the outcome you’re screwed. Living la vida Net-o. [•] The RIAA and MPAA have both cornered the lobbying market for copyright control, but now software makers are feeling left out. Well… except for Microsoft because they ownz ur m0mm@’s m0mm@. 😉 [•] The FCC is continuing its overhaul of obsolete rules that were created during TV’s infancy. [•] An anonymous backer is giving an open source advocate money to fight the system. Must be nice. [•] Here’s the age old journalism issue: When is a press release more of PR than actual news? [•] America’s most gifted athletes are about to get a major set back to their sport of choice: Smoke free bowling alleys. [•] The Village of Warwick has no grocer. Big deal! We have a clock tower and that just plain rules. 🙂 [•] The expected median gas price per gallon this summer in NY State should be about $1.56 and that’s a downright sexy price if you ask little old me. [•] I’m not a big fan of Evanescence. They are too annoyingly Glam Goth Rock for my taste, but from what I understand those crazy kids of today dig their groovy tunes. Whatever. [•] Okay, forget stadium concerts and selling CDs. Instead, you make fans pay a flat fee for one year of unlimited music downloads, chat time with the band, and a real live personal in house concert. Somehow that sounds like a lot of work and very Renaissance-era patron artist to me. Double whatever. [•] Godsmack gets on my “Nice” list by refusing to join the Summer Sanitarium tour. Not only because I loathe Metallica, but also because they are against the insane ticket price the venue is charging. [•] FYI: Who be the Kurds. [•] The Michigan Technological University is pretty peeved that the RIAA is suing one of its students. Especially since the University agreed to comply with the RIAA to avoid lawsuits against the faculty or students in prior discussions. [•] A man has been sentenced to prison for selling so-called mod chips that allow Xbox video game consoles to play pirated games. [•] Accusations are flying that China is covering up the cause of the SARS outbreak. [•] Ibuprofen and aspirin seem to moderately reduce the risk of breast cancer. [•] US bureaucrats are arriving in Iraq to start the setup of a new Iraqi government and more importantly return every day necessities such as running water to the people. Just a small observation here: Is it me or is Iraq quickly becoming slated as a very large Puerto Rico? LOL [•] Rollingstone plays 20 Questions with Rob Zombie. Fun, indeed. [•] The upcoming single from Peter Gabriel called Growing Up will be released on April 14th. The interesting factor here is that one of the songs on it will be remixed by Trent Reznor (NIN). Well, I guess it’s interesting if you like NIN. Otherwise, just move along. 😉 [•] Even Saab is making an SUV. Saab? [•] Sure minivans have been marked as 1990’s soccer mom passé, but Toyota’s new Sienna makes a commendable effort to give clout back to original economical family taxi. [•] Win an AMC Pacer! Yes, I said a Pacer. Don’t laugh. Okay, I did too. Let’s laugh together– ROFL. [•] A look at the Subaru WRX one year later. Hey, it still looks good. SCORE! Okay, that’s enough for today. 😉


Classic DF – 12/11/01

December 11, 2001: [•] The Eastern Alliance has issued an ultimatum to al Qaeda forces; surrender by 8 AM local time or die. Meanwhile, US President Bush is marking the 3 month anniversary of the September 11th attacks today and has decided to release a videotape that definitively proves Osama bin Laden is responsible for that aforementioned attacked. [•] The UK will lead postwar peacekeeping forces in Afghanistan. [•] Ex-Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic has entered a not guilty plea in his genocide trial. [•] China has joined the WTO. [•] The 2 major parties in Trinidad have both won 18 seats each in the 36 seat Parliament. [•] US military officials met with Somali warlords to discuss terrorism issues. [•] Kenyan authorities have arrested Ahmed Hassan Mursal for unspecified charges. [•] Colombia is trying to rehabilitate and educate captured rebel minors. [•] A fireworks factory explosion in Guatemala City has left 7 people dead. [•] Guatemalan President Alfonso Portillo has apologized to his people for a government sponsored massacre 19 years ago. [•] Nauru has agreed to allow Australia to detain illegal immigrants in detention centers on the tiny island. [•] Saudi Arabia has begun issuing identification cards to its female citizens to prevent fraud. [•] The Syrian government has resigned to clear the way for reform. [•] A KFC/Taco Bell worker led several of his coworkers into the woods where he shot them in Malvern, Pennsylvania. [•] Norman Pyle McCann was killed when a 15-foot trench wall collapsed on him during construction in Rising Sun, Maryland. [•] The Honda Accord and Toyota Camry are the most often stolen autos. [•] The Lion & Lamb Project, an nonviolent toy advocacy group, has listed the top ten toys it sees as violent and thus harmful to children. [•] Everything is peachy keen up in space. [•] New high resolution images of Jupiter’s moon Io show incredible volcano eruptions. [•] Anonymous e-mail services are on the rise. [•] An international treaty will bring 30 countries into synch as far as copyright laws go. [•] Napster has signed a license agreement with Matador Records. [•] Oracle says that it’s software is unhackable. [•] The Interior Department shut down Net access by court order to protect an Indian trust fund. [•] Another hole has cropped up in Microsoft Outlook Web Access software that can allow unauthorized access to users’ accounts. [•] Can worms create a better fertilizer? [•] Retirees may not realize just how expensive long-term care is. [•] A new device makes facial defects nearly a thing of the past for newborns. [•] Court scribes are protected from libel just like journalists. [•] Life as an accused child porn trader sucks. [•] The Duh Study of The Day: Teens are as likely to trade music online as to seek health information. Isn’t that the point of the Net? [•] A new X-ray machine lets you see bone structure in real time. [•] Nigeria will be the first country to issue inexpensive generic anti-retroviral drugs to HIV and AIDS patients. [•] The New York DMV says that a National ID card wouldn’t be a big deal to issue. [•] Just down the street from me an idiot hunter almost killed a kid simply by being reckless. Please watch where your shooting before you fire! [•] 3 men plead innocent to a murder indictment in Monticello, NY. [•] Orange County Executive-elect Edward Diana defends choosing Justice Catherine M. Bartlett as his pick for county attorney. [•] Melvin Canales is charged with having sex with a minor, Jazmin Roberts poses as someone else, Town of Lloyd historian Dot Gruner is calling it quits after 15 years of service, a pedestrian drug down the street by a car has been identified as Bonnie Flores, 2 men held up the Country Convenience Food Store in Monroe, a basketball tournament will benefit the victims of WTC, Richard Beach gets 15 years for committing burglary, Joseph Rivera is charged with maliciously killing a cat, Daryl Watkins is charged with falsifying his ATV ID number, Milton Munroe is caught with stolen items, and Kenny Mitchell is put in jail for selling drugs. [•] J. Lo, Kid Rock, and Ja Rule performed at a USO show for US troops stationed in Germany. [•] Ocean’s Eleven may be a movie remake, but the music is all original. [•] Eminem’s boyhood bully is suing the rapper for using his name on a track citing that it ruined his potential rap career. Are you buying this crap because I’m sure not! [•] Google will allow you to look up Usenet articles all the way back from 1981 (Now, that’s a news archive). [•] Zacarias Moussaoui has been charged with conspiring with Osama bin Laden in the September 11th attacks. [•] Guns N’ Roses tickets for their New Year’s Eve Concert didn’t sell out in record time like last year. Frustration over lack of new material may be to blame. [•] Why the Acura RSX made Car & Driver’s Top Ten Autos list. [•] Microsoft’s Window Media format will be supported by some DVD chipset makers. [•] I love you wife and daughter! “Phew” Another busy day 🙂