Ruckus (from Krrkb) – Krrkb introduced me to this site, which allows you to download music “legally” for free if you’re a college student. You can read more about it on their blog entry: Ruckus is Now Free for All College Students – As of today, January 22nd, Ruckus Music is now totally free for every student on America’s college and university campuses (Sorry Canada, maybe next year). All you need to do is have an *.edu email address and “claim” you’re a student (not alumni or staff).
Their player really sucks. It seems to try to mimic iTunes, but fails horribly. They also include IE inside their player, which I’m guessing is so that you can access the website to download music. Horrible design in my opinion. The player is also littered with advertisement, but I guess that’s how it can afford to be free to all college students. What I’ll give the player is that it’s A LOT more responsive than iTunes. It takes up less memory and doesn’t lag at all. However, my collection is only at a mere 400MB right now, so I’m not sure how it’ll fare when I have many gigs worth.
I’ve been using Firefox to search for songs through their website. To download songs through the browser, you download these files with the extension: *.ruckusdownload which launches the player and the download begins. The music selection is pretty big. However, I did find songs it wouldn’t allow me to download. These songs were rather new, and I’m guessing they’ll be available as they get older. The download speeds are really good. I get a constant 1MB/s.
The songs are DRMed so you’re not able to transfer to a music device or burn to a CD without upgrading.
They have a 1 day limit before expiring and you’ll need to reget the license again, which means you’ll need an active internet connection. The music is encoded in wma at 192kbps.
Since I mention how awesome Pan’s Labyrinth’s soundtrack was, you can download it from Ruckus: Javier Navarrete: Pan’s Labyrinth.
Honestly, if I was a student, I’d actually be pretty satisfy with Ruckus if I didn’t care about transferring music to my iPod or any other music device. It’s like Napster, but without the need to share/upload, and every song at my fingertip.
At first I confused this with Grooveshark (from Digg). Grooveshark is a web-based application for sharing music within a community of music lovers. We distribute DRM-free MP3s across a mostly p2p network. The basic actions a user can take are outlined below. Krrkb mentioned the music was “free (DRMed)”, but for some reason that registered in my mine as DRM-free. Anyway, this is an interesting new program to check out. It’s not available to the public yet, but it rewards (compensates) users for sharing which I thought was a neat system. It didn’t mention how the rewards/compensation system worked, but I’d like to know where more is announced.
Miracle fruit (from Tekman) – A Miracle Fruit Plant, sometimes known as Miraculous Berry, (Sideroxylon dulcificum/Synsepalum dulcificum Daniell) is a plant native to Tropical West Africa. It produces 2 crops per year, after the end of the rainy season. The plant grows in bushes up to 20 feet high in its native habitat, but does not usually grow higher than 5 feet in cultivation. It is an evergreen plant that produces red berries. Although the berry itself is not sweet, they contain a protein called Miraculin, which masks the tongue’s sour taste buds, causing foods such as lemons and limes to taste sweet. This effect lasts for up to 30 minutes but sometimes longer, maybe two hours. It will not however, make sweet foods taste sweeter. The Miracle fruit has been used to sweeten bitter medicines. Tekman was telling the story of how the guy giving the tour would ask people to try out the berries. People said it didn’t really taste all that great. The tour guide agreed that the berries weren’t really that great, but then she the really cool plant is his sweet lime tree coming up next. Haha. I don’t really think they make sour things taste sweet. They just inhibit the sour taste it appears. I’m personally a big fan of limes and lemons and can eat them whole without wincing. They just taste good. Maybe it’s because my sour taste buds are weak or I’ve killed them throughout the years by eating too many sour things, but limes and lemons are naturally sweet with just a strong sour taste. If you block your sour taste buds, then all you taste is the sweetness of the lime or lemon.
May I take your order? (from Digg) – a hilarious Chinese restaurant menu where the translations of the dishes seemed to be pulled directly from the likes of Babelfish. My favorite has got to be Good to eat mountain (花雕). I never really seen a dish called 花雕, but it can be a type of beer or a way to cook food (especially crabs or chicken). As the poster mentions, “what’s with all the verbs?” You can see more funny pictures at rahoi.com.
Japanese TV apologises for false “natto” diet tip – Shortly after the show was broadcast nationwide on January 7, thousands of Japanese, keen to lose weight, rushed to stores and bought up all the natto on the shelves. Article wasn’t that interesting, but if I had known, I’d invest in so natto stocks. ;p
Sensitive Light : Coloured Smoke (from Digg) – a gallery of pretty neat smoke effects.
The Case of Mistaken Gamedenity (from Digg/Tera) – A hilarious recount of how a mom demands the new Mario game for the Xbox 360.
Phone thief repents after 21 text messages (from Cari) – A Chinese thief has returned a mobile phone and thousands of yuan he stole from a woman after she sent him 21 touching text messages, Xinhua news agency said on Monday. … “I’m Pan Aiying, a teacher from Wutou Middle School. You must be going through a difficult time. If so, I will not blame you,” wrote Pan in her first text message which did not get a response. … But on her way out on Sunday morning, she stumbled over a package that had been left in her courtyard only to discover it was her stolen bag. Nothing had been taken. “Dear Pan: I’m sorry. I made a mistake. Please forgive me,” a letter inside said. “You are so tolerant even though I stole from you. I’ll correct my ways and be an upright person.” A touching story of how a thief has repented his ways and have asked for forgiveness.
Precision driving with Russ Swift (from Derek) – Jeremy Clarkson and Russ Swift do some precision driving Cool parking skills and driving a car on just 2 wheels. Apparently that’s just like riding a bicycle.
Top 10 Magic Trick Tutorial Videos (from Digg) – Today I went to the liberty of scouring the internet to track down the top 10 video magic tutorials that I could find. Many of these are simply amazing, others are simple yet stunning. I hope you enjoy.
High rollers’ Las Vegas hangouts can be yours for a [high] price (from Digg) – These Las Vegas suites are amazing! Too bad the price is so high. But one can dream, right?
McDonald’s And Food Network: Subliminal Advertising? – Reader Janeka sends in this video from You Tube. Someone was watching Iron Chef America when they noticed their screen flash red, and when they went back to see what it was, they found a McDonald’s ad on just one frame! Oooh, scary! It looks to us as if someone just screwed up, or was screwing around. Then again, maybe it’s an insidious attempt to brainwash food nerds into eating more quarter-pounders. Either way, it’s on You Tube now, so we guess the McTerrorists win. Did the Food Network switch from fine dining to fast food? Maybe they should do an Iron Chef where the main ingredient is Big Macs.
Car Dealership Breaks Into Customer’s Home, Steals $70,000 – In July, 60 year old mentally ill Richard Grey wheelchaired into the Huling Brothers dealership in Seattle, his pants encrusted with feces and urine, and bought a truck with $30,000 in cash in a plastic bag. The salesmen learned he had more at home and three of them broke in and stole $70,000 more. I mean how evil can people be?!?! Interestingly enough when I was driving home today, the car in front of me for most of the route as a Chrysler PT Cruiser with a license plate holder showing Huling Brothers on the bottom.
Sinfest – In The Know – Q: What does a microwave do? A: It does this: vvvmmmmmmmm PING! Haha! Awesome answer! I love the dog.
Dunking parakeet becomes Web video star – Teaching a parakeet to putt is no tap-in. Ask David Cota, who spent months training his Indian ringneck parakeet A.J. to use a tiny putter to sink putts on a miniature green, making the 5-inch tall bird an Internet video star. I remember seeing this video a long time ago, but for those who haven’t seen it, enjoy!
Testers Wanted – Nintendo Virtual Reality (from Digg) – This is a live-action performance from the annual Carnegie Mellon University Entertainment Technology Center’s (http://www.etc.cmu.edu) Building Virtual Worlds Show. The performance is from December 6th, 2006, and students have TWO weeks to brainstorm, develop, and implement a virtual world, which in this case, was required of us to make an entertaining experience for a large audience. The performance is given in McConomy Auditorium in Carnegie Mellon, via the technology of the Playmotion. The playmotion is a motion sensor technology that receives data on the user’s head and two hands.