Mashups

Are Rock Operas Too Weird For Remixing?

I love remixes, mashups, and covers. I love it when bad songs get good covers, I love it more when it’s a bad cover. I’m a fan of Coverville and I get excited every time I find yet another version of Smells Like Teen Spirit (hey, this is just a sampling: lullaby version, Patti Smith, The Bad Plus, another jazz version, and another jazz version, a string version, no, two string versions, a tango, a damn chant version, some lounge thing, and one for the opium lounge).

But I think I have yet to hear a decent cover or remix of a track from a rock opera. Take One Night In Bangkok: sexing it up doesn’t help. You just can’t out rock a rock opera. (Really, look for yourself.) It might help that Chess featured a character loosely based on eccentric chess master Bobby Fischer, but rock operas just might be too weird for remixing.

Though…I’d like to be surprised. Perhaps a folk version?

I can, however, appreciate the irony in a sex-laden video for a song that had criticized moral decay. Video may be NSFW.

Remixability vs. Business Self Interest vs. Libraries and the Public Good

I’ve been talking a lot about remixability lately, but Nat Torkington just pointed out that the web services and APIs from commercial organizations aren’t as infrastructural as we might think. Offering the example of Amazon suing Alexaholic (for remixing Alexa’s data), he tells us that APIs are not “a commons of goodies to be built […] » about 400 words

Usability, Findability, and Remixability, Especially Remixability

It’s been more than a year since I first demonstrated Scriblio (was WPopac) at ALA Midwinter in San Antonio. More than a year since NCSU debuted their Endeca-based OPAC. And by now most every major library vendor has announced a product that promises to finally deliver some real improvements to our systems. My over-simplified list […] » about 800 words

Google MyMaps and GeoRSS

O’Reilly’s Where 2.0 Conference isn’t until the end of May, but Google just released two sweet new map-related features: GeoRSS support and MyMaps. The GeoRSS support means that any application that can output it’s geocoding — as simple as <georss:point>45.256 -71.92</georss:point> — can now be linked to a live map with no more effort than […] » about 300 words

APIs Are Big Business

ProgrammableWeb pointed out an InformationWeek story that claimed 28% of Amazon’s sales in early 2005 were attributable to Amazon affiliates. And C|net claims Amazon now has 180,000 AWS developers (up from the 140,000 Amazon was claiming about a year ago).

(Note: not every Amazon affiliate/associate is an Amazon Web Services (AWS) developer, but Amazon hasn’t shared more specific numbers.)

These slides, from Amazon’s AWS developer relations team explain a lot about what AWS is.

Who Knew Transit Maps Were Copyrighted?

The MTA, the folks who run New York’s subways and busses and such, weren’t the only ones to smack a cease and desist down on iPod Subway Maps last week, but they’re the first to tell they can pay $500 for the privilege of distributing those maps in an iPod-readable format — but only for non-commercial distribution.

Cluetrain moment: doesn’t the MTA understand that services like this serve potential tourists like me? Don’t they understand that the availability of such maps increases both the likelihood of my visit and the commercial opportunities of my visit (tourists don’t spend money in subways)?

What I really want to leave with, however, is this: Barb Dybwad at Engadget got this one right when she aknowledged the two sides of the issue and added:

These are exactly the kinds of cases in which traditional copyright law feels unsatisfying in the age of digital mashups, and we can only see the demand for these kinds of “information conversions” increasing.