Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Opening Pandora's Box

This marks the 24,000 post to this particular blog, and oh, the memories:

"Pandora buys service to track music online" by Ben Sisario New York Times  May 20, 2015

NEW YORK — In the latest example of the music industry’s interest in online consumer data, the music streaming service Pandora Media said Tuesday that it had bought Next Big Sound, a six-year-old company that tracks the popularity of songs online and in social networks.

Pandora’s acquisition follows other deals that have gradually consolidated the world of data-tracking in music.

Last year, Spotify bought Echo Nest, a company that finds patterns in the songs people listen to. In January, news emerged that Apple had bought Semetric, which competes with Next Big Sound by gathering information about music’s popularity online.

Terms of Pandora’s deal for Next Big Sound were not disclosed. In a similar deal, Spotify paid $55.4 million for Echo Nest. The Apple-Semetric deal was estimated at $50 million by British news media.

Next Big Sound has quickly become a standard part of the analytical sphere of the music industry, digesting the ebbs and flows of artists’ popularity through activity on YouTube, Twitter, Wikipedia, and elsewhere. It sells its analyses to record companies and other outlets, and its reports on music consumption are frequently cited by the music press.

Brian P. McAndrews, Pandora’s chief executive, said in a statement that “the combination of Pandora’s listening data and Next Big Sound’s analytical capabilities will create a vital source of data.”

Alex White, who started the first version of Next Big Sound as a student at Northwestern University — it was then a kind of online talent contest — said of the deal, “We’ve found a great partner who, like us, believes data has the power to transform the music industry.”

Pandora, which has some 79 million regular users and is one of the most popular of all apps on mobile devices, last year unveiled its own data-tracking system, Artist Marketing Platform, which gives artists free access to a range of information about how their songs are being played on Pandora. Through its deal, Next Big Sound would also gain new access to Pandora’s data stores.

A spokeswoman for Pandora said there would be “no immediate changes” in how Next Big Sound works with its existing customers. But in the competitive world of online music data, the deal with Pandora could change alliances. After Spotify bought Echo Nest, a rival music service, Rdio, quickly dropped that company as its partner for help in making music recommendations to customers.

Pandora’s frosty relationship with the music industry may add another dimension to the Next Big Sound deal. Although Pandora has recently made some efforts to improve its dealings with artists and record labels, like its artist management platform and promotional deals, it has also fought against labels, music publishers, and songwriters over royalty rates.


I didn't like that song. Must be the ma$$ media musicians that played it. Too much war drum.

"Obama — who first campaigned for the presidency vowing to end US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan — has brought home most US forces. He hailed this Memorial Day as ‘‘the first time in 14 years the US is not engaged in a major ground war.’’ But US troops remain at risk in both nations, training and advising Iraqis against the Islamic State and Afghan forces fighting the Taliban."

Who are apparently now battling.... ISIS?

"Veterans call for peace on Memorial Day" by Kathy McCabe Globe Staff  May 26, 2015

The flower ceremony was the emotional high point of a Memorial Day tribute organized by the Boston chapter of Veterans for Peace, an international organization that promotes a nonviolent end to war....

Spectators waved peace flags and wore T-shirts with the message, “War is a racket. A few profit — the many pay,” printed on the back.

“I think the current wars are a big mistake,” said Carolyn Whiting, 65, of Reading, who held a rainbow-colored peace flag and wore strands of red-and-blue peace symbol beads around her neck.

Actually, they are not "mistakes." The are planned and calculated efforts that are based on deception. The "oops" narrative is getting old.

“Amazing Grace” sounded from a harmonica. Poems penned by combat veterans were read.

“It was OK,” Patrick Doherty, 31, of Dorchester, an Army Iraq war veteran, said after reading a poem. “It’s kind of a sad day.”

Vietnam and Iraq war veterans remembered both their fallen comrades and civilians who have lived through war.

“We always remember those who wore the uniforms, but we never seem to recall those civilians, the ones who did not want war . . . and who had nothing to do with it,” said Bob Funke, 63, of Roslindale, an Army veteran who served two tours of duty in Vietnam.

Funke recalled the stark difference between his first tour as an infantryman and his second tour as a medic.

“In my first tour . . . I killed at least 21 people,” he said in a raspy voice. “In the second tour, I was a medic and I saved over 200 people.

“I can tell you right now, saving lives beats the hell out of taking them,” Funke added, drawing applause from the crowd of about 50 gathered before him. “We should be doing all we can to save lives, and bring home those who have gone to war.”

Travis Weiner, 29, an Army veteran who served two tours in Iraq, offered a moment of silence for Army Corporal John M. Dawson of Northbridge, the state’s most recent casualty, who was killed in Afghanistan on April 8, and for six men from his platoon who died serving in Iraq.

“It is good and fitting that we do this,” said Weiner, who works as an outreach worker for Homebase Program, which provides support services to veterans.

But Memorial Day should also be “a day in which people around this country take time to contemplate some fundamental moral, ethical, and philosophical questions related to our country’s wars,” Weiner said. “I believe, with all my heart, that it is dishonoring to our fallen brothers and sisters to refuse to even consider these questions.”


Sorry if you're not happy with my weariness for war or ingratitude to the lying, war-promoting, agenda-pushing paper promoting peace.

NDU: Navy’s Blue Angels streak across Boston skyline

No offense, but how much did that display of militarism cost taxpayers and what kind of carbon footprint did it leave?

Boston homeless veterans center to get $31m upgrade

Homeless vets is a tremendous scandal, and I hope the wasted jet fuel didn't cost that much (or more).

Drone crashes on parade spectator in Marblehead

Related: Marblehead Memory Hole

Walmart to expand hiring of veterans

UPDATEVeterans’ grave markers stolen from cemetery