The Long Tail has just had another run-in with large amounts of real-world data, and again come out the worse for wear. Tens of millions of music transactions were analyzed by economists and the shape of the sales distribution shows no resemblance to the Pareto (or Power) Curve, 1/x^n of the Long Tail, but a near perfect fit with a log normal, exp(-x^2). So can the Long Tail survive?

The Long Fail: Web 2.0’s faith meets the facts • The Register.

Way of the Wreckferret: Kung Fu Panda!.


I was reeling last night from more dentistry so Penny got me Kung Fu Panda as a rental to cheer me up. Unfortunately I didn’t get on with it. The animation felt too harshly false with characters not really looking like they were in the background, but floating on top of it. They were desperate to ram home their message that it doesn’t matter how hard you work, as long as you believe in yourself then you can kick awesome ass, even if you’re the unpopular fat kid.

I’m afraid to say that my favourite part was actually the 2d intro of awesomeness….

So, the owl, his other half and I went to see Monkey perform at the Green Note last night for the ginger-themed Utter spoken word night. It was an open mic slot, with the winner getting a paid gig next month at the finale. And I’m very happy to report that not only was a good time had by all, but our very own Vinnie Gibbons won the night.

So, to the Green Note next month for the final of the Utter Ajar Open Mic competition!

Warren Ellis wrote the following in December 2006, gods bless him:

Since writing this, I have received a note which read in part, “Barak [sic] Obama will not run for Prez. To suggest so means one doesn’t have an understanding of the racial politics in America.” To which I replied, I’m not sure if anyone’s told Obama that yet.

Warren Ellis » Snakepit 2008.

Is it a double win? In Tuesday’s live text, we mentioned that two American bison – named John and Barack – were engaged in a popularity contest among staff at the UK’s Whipsnade zoo. Well, the law of the jungle – or is that the prairie? – dictated that only one beast could succeed. A zoo spokeswoman says: “Barack won hoofs down, thanks to his friendly personality and hairy good looks. He is currently munching on his carrot, triumphantly, while John watches from the sidelines. Keepers have commiserated with him and he’s had some hay to compensate.” A bitter taste indeed, one imagines.

BBC NEWS | World | Americas | Live text: US election 2008.

The UK’s Whipsnade Zoo solemnly informs the BBC that two American bison – named Barack and John – are involved in a tightly fought popularity contest, to be judged by staff. The winner receives a carrot. Surely it beats the sort of crunch their human counterparts are going to have to deal with.

BBC NEWS | World | Americas | Live Text: US election day 2008.

Way of the Wreckferret: Hallowhine.


Halloween is always a fun time for me ever since, as a child, I dressed up as Darth Vader three years on the trot to terrorise the neighbourhood (“Give me sweets or the Dark Side of the Force will crush you!”). But I’ve never been on the receiving end of the whole Halloween experience, sitting indoors waiting for little monsters to knock on the door, demanding sugary sweets. I’m not counting Hull, where we had uncostumed youths knocking on the door a week before Halloween demanding cash. 

So, this was to be the first year of proper “traditional” Halloween. (I don’t care whether it came from America, the Moon or anywhere else. As far as I’m concerned, Samhain is a different kettle of fish entirely.) But I approached the whole thing with some trepidation, since there are some unsavoury youths in our area. But it turns out that the local youth centre ships out the local teens and tweens to Thorpe Park on Halloween. Combining that with the fact that the small army of parents and their charges only seemed to knock on doors of people they knew, turnout ended up being very small. One fairy (shy), a witch (green) and a werewolf (grrr-ing) was the total count and now my colleagues are feasting on sugary treats of the leftovers.

So I’m glad it was a gradual start to the whole “kids knocking on the door” Halloween experience and there was no problems. Perhaps next year though the local paranoia can be assuaged somewhat and we may even have more little monsters knocking on the door.

As for other Halloween activities, Penny and I carved pumpkins (photos soon) and watched E4’s ‘Dead Set’, it’s Dawn of the Dead/Big Brother zombie feature. We’d recorded all five episodes and watched the lot in one go. Not bad, if derivative and badly paced. But fun enough. We’ll have to watch Dog Soldiers another night.

These days I seem to be doing nothing but test posts, or blogging that any day now I’ll actually do a proper blog post rather than ducking around with my iPhone.

Today is not that day.

Posted by ShoZu

Okay, so this post is a few weeks late, but what can you do? In theory my new iPhone should mean I blog more often but if you believe that, I’ve got a bridge that I’m willing to let you have cheap…

Anyway, a few weekends ago Penny and I went to see Wicked, unusual for me since musicals aren’t really my bag. Mostly I’m with Mark, who wondered why people liked weak plot, bad acting and bad singing, unless it was for the convenience of having all three under one roof. I say mostly because, even though I too prefer straight theatre, Wicked was excellent. This was mostly due to the, for once, strong plot derived from the same-titled book about a different perspective on the wicked witch in the land of Oz. I’ll most likely pick up the book at some point.

The other event of the weekend was to see Vinnie Gibbons, bastard attack poet, in action in Angel. It was my first time at the evening of an ‘arts collective’ and for the acts ranged from dire, through okay and into good, depending on the performer. Vinnie’s act was excellent, which was as much due to the performance as the words. Others presented crimes against the spoken and written word,