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Nature vs Nurture

16 years and 10 months ago · listen

I have just read an excellent article about the differences between Pandora and Last.fm. Both, as you know, are services that gives you a radio stream with musics selected for you, that is, a personalized stream. But they are totally different in the way they select your musics, and that difference is the inspiration for this post title.

Pandora uses a nature approach since Pandora's recommendations are based on the inherent qualities of the music. Give Pandora an artist or song, and it will find similar music in terms of melody, harmony, lyrics, orchestration, vocal character and so on. So you will get similar musics, or as Pandora likes to call it, music with similar "genes".

On the nurture side (as in, it's all about the people around you), Last.fm is a social recommender. It knows little about songs' inherent qualities. It just assumes that if you and a group of other people enjoy many of the same artists, you will probably enjoy other artists popular with that group.

The article brilliantly explains the differences in these two different approaches, as some of the problems that can occur in each other. It ends with some results for different tests the author has made, it seems Last.fm is better.

Click here to read the full article

Novell Linux Xgl demo

16 years and 10 months ago · listen

Novell Linux has just released this amazing technology demonstration video showing off some of the new features of their impressive operating system.

The system used was an old system with only 256MB's of RAM. Windows Vista won't even boot on that.

Snow trip unpluged

16 years and 11 months ago · listen

I'm going for one week of snowboarding and tracking at Avoriaz, with no laptops attached, so this blog will have a break. It's gonna be freezing, with weather forecast pointing maximum temperatures of -6 and minimums of -19 celsius. But who feels cold when you have adrenaline?

Netlabels

16 years and 11 months ago · listen

Recently I read (in more than one place) about netlabels, so I decided to take a deeper look at it, and try to better understand what's behind it. A netlabel works like a traditional record label, producing and promoting music projects. But similarities ends here, since they are different in a matter of formats and economics:

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Get your problems right

16 years and 11 months ago · listen

People say that I'm a good person in problem solving. They say that because sometimes I get out of the box solutions, and they see it as something unusual. Well, I'm not a special guy, what I do is always trying to get the problem right, and that is half way to good problem solving.

When I was in university, I had a course named "systems analysis", and one day, the teacher told us a story on this matter, which I will share with you. Every time I'm confronted with a difficult problem, I think on this story and try to use the lessons learned. So, here is the story.

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