Monthly Archives: June 2006

Music recommendation engines

In a discussion of music recommendation sites (like and Pandora) over at jwz‘s livejournal, someone mentioned, which builds its recommendations by looking at what stuff people are sharing over P2P networks. Seems to work pretty well.
Also in that thread, a link to a blog that seems devoted to music search and recommendation technology.

Adobe Acrobat as a spellchecker

Shoshanah Forbes posts a neat tip about using Adobe Acrobat (with OpenOffice) for verbal proofreading of long documents – Use OpenOffice to create a “tagged PDF” version of the document, and then use the free Adobe Acrobat Reader’s Read Out Loud option (in Acrobat Reader 7, that’s in the View menu) to listen to the document – misspelled words will be easy to notice by the way they are mispronounced.

It sounds a bit like a Speak&Spell, but it does sentences quite well (with the pauses of the punctuation), and has a much, much better vocabulary. Not as fun as the voice-activated Mac (Computer! Start FireFox!), but amusing in its way. And now, apparently, even useful.

Your PC is not a familiar

Not to pick on Greif specifically, but this habit people have of giving cutesy nicknames to their appliances, I’m begining to find it tiresome.

Giving something a name just gives it more power over you; Computers already have too damn much power over us. My car frustrates me enough without attributing intent to its breakdowns.

Hmmph. I’m thinking that even giving my blog a name was a foolish move.