Thursday, 13 December 2007

Intercity squabbles ruin lives

This is a letter I wrote last year to Adam Vaughan, Toronto city councillor for the riding of Trinity-Spadina, a very large area where I used to live. Unfortunately, I received no response.

Hello Mr. Vaughan,

I would like to say that I appreciate the work you have done in this diverse and extremely busy ward. I have become increasingly frustrated with politics in this city (and region, province, and country!), and from what I have seen, you have added a measure of integrity to the process.

But of course, if everything were great, I probably wouldn't be contacting you!

I read this morning that there has been some sort of resolution reached in the ongoing squabble between Mississauga and Toronto regarding airport limos and taxis and where they may or may not pick up passengers. That resolution is that Airport Limos will no longer be allowed to pick up passengers in Toronto for their long drive back to Mississauga. (As I understand, the reverse is currently true and Toronto cabs are not allowed to take passengers from the airport to Toronto.)

I'm not sure where you stand on this issue, but personally I find the whole thing petty. This "resolution" seems more like it's out of revenge rather than thinking of the good of the region or its citizens. I can imagine no good reason why any cab, be it a taxi or a limo, should have to drive one way on its 30km trip with no passenger. To me, this flies in the face of reason, good civic relations, traffic responsibility, and our environmental plan. It is simply a waste of time, money, and resources.

Now, I am not concerned with "who started it", or anything like that. I am concerned that we reach an intelligent solution rather than continuing with this pointless politicking.

I am contacting you because you are the councillor for my ward, but I will certainly contact Mr. Moscoe, who I understand instigated the current solution, if that is more appropriate.

Thanks very much for your time! I look forward to hearing your take on this issue.

Regards and season's greetings,

Adam Gorley
Read on..!

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

The new music industry model

If you haven't heard of "Guitar Heroes", you're probably Amish—which is fine. But if you haven't heard of the open-source Guitar Heroes-style game "Frets on Fire", then you are missing out on the beginnings of what will be a huge story in the coming years.

That story is "interactive music", and I'm pretty sure that it will evolve into an alternative music industry, eventually to mate with and eat the current one, producing a freaky and amazing bastard offspring.

The point is, in Frets on Fire, you can make your own songs, add your own songs, play your own songs. You can give them to other people and they can play them. Other people could "cover" your songs, sample them, remix them, and give them back to you, just like with "real" music, but in video-game format, which makes everything better and more real.

And now (actually for a while now), you can actually create music with the guitar controller that comes with Guitar Hero. There's a band called the Guitar Zeros who have been playing live shows using two guitar controllers and a drum kit (and various computer equipment).

It's only a short step to a version of one of these (types of) games that allows players to improvise (solos!) and be judged on the quality of their improvisations, or to write songs on the fly and be judged on those also. And much more, of course

But the real advantage and interest here is that if musicians can write and create songs and immediately release them to a willing market of gamers, well, I think they'd give major traditional label artists a run for their money. Of course, any indie artist can release stuff about as easy as 1-2-3 as it is, but the market is limited. People are listening to music less and playing video games more. If the two are combined—voila!—a massive new market, and a product really worth paying 99 cents for.

The Guitar Zeros

An interview with the Guitar Zeros Read on..!
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The New Dilettantes by Adam Gorley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License.