Monthly Archives: December 2009

Facebook’s Privacy Trainwreck

facebook-small-logo-thumb-360x360-75537-thumb-300x300-78195[1]So here I was, about a month ago, ready to write an article about how to make your Facebook account air tight and secure.  In the past week or so, the stakes have changed and Facebook now has new privacy settings.  New, but not improved.  How would you like all of your information available on Google and Yahoo?  If you’re not careful, and don’t act immediately, you may find your life not to be as private as you want it to be…

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Joao Gilberto’s Chega de Saudade Reissued

Great news from El Records: Joao Gilberto’s first album, Chega De Saudade, is being reissued on January 18 in the UK, and January 19 here in the U.S.  Chega de Saudade was the first bossa nova album ever recorded, which featured Joao Gilberto’s unique guitar stylings with a laid-back, soft-spoken vocal approach that would define Brazilian music for decades to come.  On this album, he teams up with lyricists Vinicius de Moraes and Antonio Carlos Jobim, who also directed the musical accompaniment on the album.  The title track was a major breakthrough hit for Gilberto in Brazil, and fans of bossa nova will also recognize many of the tunes on this collection.

Paired up with this release is an EP of music from the “Black Orpheus” film soundtrack.  “Black Orpheus” is the influential film that broke the bossa nova sound to the world.

Click on the picture or the album title link above to preorder from Amazon.  This album was briefly on CD many years ago, and apparently was also an SACD release, so it has not been available for many years.  Thank our friends over at Cherry Red Records in the UK for this one!

The Jazz Side of Henry Mancini, Part 1

MainHenryMancini[1]When I was younger and first studying music, I didn’t dare tell any of my friends or classmates that I listened to Henry Mancini’s music. That was “old fogie” music. And I’d have been branded a square. While my friends were into sex and voilence, I was into sax and violins.  Looking back, most of the Mancini albums we owned were soundtracks, and aside from some scattered tracks, we really didn’t have much in the way of Mancini’s jazz recordings.  Thanks to a donation from my mother’s aunt, I had a new world open up for me.  And I had a whole new outlook on music and, particularly, on jazz.

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Essential Firefox Plugins

20070520-firefox_logo[1]As much as I’ve been using Google Chrome lately (which still has a blazing fast Javascript engine), Firefox is still my primary browser. The reason I don’t switch is that Firefox has a plugin system. I have a lot of plugins I use that I now consider essential. Here is a short list of plugins I’m currently using, which I recommend.  I may have covered some of these in past articles, but others have been uninstalled or fallen out of favor due to lack of author support, or instability.  The following are the plugins currently installed and running on Firefox.

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Craigslist Becoming Useless: Keyword Spamming

craigslistI haven’t used Craigslist all that much in the past year or two.  I still have to be very careful of every ad I view since it is, after all, a free service.  In the past six months or so, I’ve had good luck getting rid of some of my old electronics gear and tools to some happy end owners.  (I even had one drive over an hour to pick up an old Sony reel-to-reel deck!)

While searching for another Zune player (to give as a gift), I came across an annoying problem: keyword spamming.  For each Zune listing, there were ten others that were completely unrelated. Only after I opened a couple of ads did I realize the problem: the bottoms of the ads all contained dozens, if not hundreds, of keywords that had no relation to the item for sale.

All I can offer is this: flag all keyword abuse as “spam/overpost”.  Recruit some friends to help you out.  Since the folks behind Craigslist don’t do anything about it (other than make the rules which do, by the way, prohibit using keywords), it’s up to the community–us–to clean it up.  As it stands, keyword spamming just annoys regular users, and it is making Craigslist even more useless.

One final recommendation, to the folks at Craigslist: give us an option to search on the listing title only.  If someone lists a Zune in the title, then that’s what I want to see.  This would easily weed out the pathetic folks who post dozens of keywords into their ads, trying to deceive us into clicking on them.  Something needs to be done.  I’m using Craigslist a lot less now thanks to these spammers.