Starship Sofa – Spaceships, Quantum Physics and Jazz!

This week’s Starship Sofa story Lester Young and the Jupiter’s Moons by  Gord Sellar is absolutely mind-blowing, it has everything, spaceships, aliens, music and thick deep African-American accented voice. I wholeheartedly recommend it for anyone even if you’re not into Jazz music (Which I am certainly not) or Science-Fiction stories.

About the only point of criticism I have about the show, is that it seems to me that some kind of a jazz music track should have been played after the story concluded rather then Gord Sellar`s outro, then again the Starship Sofa never played music before and there are copyright issues, so its probably too much to ask.

Starship sofa had been going from strength to strength recently, with the serialization of  Kim Newman`sThe Serial Murders“, an amazingly entertaining story including a myriad of charmingly British characters played with extremely talented voice acting by Gareth Stack, concluded last week, and a new web site that provides much needed technical improvements over the old site such as the ability to link to an individual show.

Also worth mentioning is Tony C. Smith`s, Starship Sofa’s esteemed host, guest appearance on another favorite podcast of mine, Escape Pod. A few things can put a big smile on my face like this humorous cross-over. Now, if only Escape Pod’s Steve Eley would do a guest appearance of his own on the Starship…

Sound problems on Ubuntu Hardy Heron

Well, I wanted to describe some of the relatively minor sound problems I’ve encountered after upgrading to Hardy, while giving some kind of an overview of how things are with audio and Linux and why are we seeing problems with this release, but this article does a much better job at it then I could.

Very briefly, the solution for my audio problems was to set all the options to “PulseAudio Sound Server” in the “Sound Preferences” administration applet, and install the “libflashsupport” package.

Update: Another class of applications that is affected by the switch to PulseAudio is those appications that use the SDL library. Thos can be configured to use PulseAudio exclusively by installing the “libsdl1.2debian-pulseaudio” package and making sure no other “libsdl1.2debian-*” package is installed.

I got a letter from Amazon/Audible

Having heard them being promoted aggressively on almost all the Podcasts I frequent, and having recognized the practical comfort of audiobooks, I’ve been wondering about purchasing some audiobooks from Audible. However, I’ve heard that Audible uses DRM, even worse, they mandate the use of DRM even when the book author wishes otherwise. I find this to be unacceptable.

Therefore I was happy to take the opportunity offered by this page to make my voice heard.

I’ve followed the instructions on the page and and send a message to Amazon stating that while I’ll be happy to purchase audiobooks from Audible, I will not spend my money on such books if they are encumbered by DRM technology that by its very nature will limit my choice of audio players and operating systems (on the very least it will most probably not support the cheap mp3-only players on the market).

Today I got a reply from Amazon, I’ve posted the full text below.

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Nice EscapePod today, awsome closing music

As I usually do, I enjoyed this week’s installment of EscapePod, the story, as they typically are, was good, but what really made my joy levels rise was the inspiring closing music, “I Feel Fantastic” by Jonathan Coulton.

I’m not a real fan of Coulton, while I find his lyrics imaginative, they typically strike me as childish, and his music style is not really in line with my typical preferences in music. “I Feel Fantastic”, however, seems to be an exception, its a smart and funny song, the music placing you in a comfortable, happy and joyous atmosphere while the lyrics drive cynical arrows through your heart.

Well done. I enjoyed this.