Daily Archives: January 19, 2010

Macs Do Crash! – Sad, but true..

I know, it is unbelievable, but sadly, very true. Today for the first time in probably the whole 2 years I’ve owned my Mac Book Pro 17″, it crashed on me completely, to where the Force Quit Manager wouldn’t even appear, and I had to actually restart.

I will say that I had about 7-8 tabs open in Chrome, 1 in Firefox, and about 6 TextEdit documents open. I’m actually pinning the blame on Chrome. It started giving me the sad folder face when I would use a couple sites. Some sites were fine. However it wouldn’t let me use my gmail, which is why I opened up Firefox, and I then got to my mail fine.

However once I went back to Chrome to check something, I tried minimizing it and the picture at the top was the result. It got about half way there, then just outright froze on me.

While I was staring at the screen in horror, I felt the need to take a picture of this extremely rare occurrence. Then I almost felt lucky to be able to say one day to my children “I remember when Mac’s still crashed.” I then also suddenly felt the urge to spread the news of this rare phenomenon.

I never thought I would see the day. Maybe it’s Chrome’s fault, or maybe there was just too much strain on the memory, I will never know. I am happy to say that Chrome restored all of my windows successfully, and the same with TextEdit.

That, in addition to how fast the Mac restarts, made this experience very far from a nightmare…but I was a little hurt..and disappointed.

For all of those non-mac users, you cannot know my shock, but for me, I’m used to my seamless user experience. Once in 2 years isn’t a bad stat though..let’s hope I have another 2 until the next one!

Written by: Dante Cullari Founder & President Beat-Play, LLC

Browsers the Future of User Profiles? Step it up Chrome!


Today while perusing my Alltop page, I found a post titled: What will be the successor of the current user profile in online networks? by Eric Mariacher. In the post he stated:

My answer is: I guess LinkedIn is pioneering the “successor of user profile” with 3 specific features:
1. who you know – your network
2. recommendations from current and past colleagues
3. LinkedIn Q&A feature where you can advertize your skills by asking and answering question. from what I understand this is what you call “software usage”.

When I read this, I needed to make a comment. LinkedIn is pioneering the successor of the user profile? If that’s what pioneering is, then what is Beat-Play? These three features are cool, and very useful from a professional standpoint. They add reasons to have a profile, other than telling everyone that you’re at the ski lodge for the week so robbers will have open access to your house.

Adding practical functionality is always good, but these uses alone are not enough. Not only should the profile represent you professionally and personally, but imagine if your profile information was tied to the content you view online, and your web use in general. Imagine if you accessed all of your favorite stored content through your profile. Imagine if you only needed one profile!

The future of profiles online will lie in the browser. It seems like a strange concept at first, but given a closer look, it just seems practical. There’s literally millions of websites out there, and every one pretty much does something different, and useful. This goes back to my Toolbox post from last week. We need a place to keep all of these great tools, and the browser is the place to do it.

Browsers like Safari, and now Chrome, are beginning to offer quicker ways to access your favorite sites, by offering a function that shows you screens shots of your favorite websites upon launch, so you can easily 1-click and be off. However this is only a very small way browsers can save us time.

Many websites I use require me to sign up, register, and usually create a profile. For many people, this is a big deterrent from actually using some sites. There have been attempts by companies to create universal profile systems such as Open ID, and many others. However this also requires a person to create a profile, and then not all websites support these forms of identification, or they support one, but not another.

A better solution would be for the browser to house the user’s profile information. Think about it. There are about 5 major browsers on the market today. Compared with the number of websites, which is the more universal medium? If even the top 3 browsers had systems to store profile info, the websites would have a much easier time integrating their logins with those browsers. Many websites already make Firefox Add-ons and widgets. It’s become extremely easy, especially with the open source browsers, to integrate websites into them. Also, it wouldn’t be too hard to sync a user’s Twitter, Myspace and/or Facebook profile with a profile stored on a browser – the ultimate solution!

I cannot wait for the day when I go to sign up to a new website and it asks me to agree to the terms, and then I get a little box that says “Syncing to Browser Profile Data.” That would sure save me a headache, and it could be an amazing thing for websites as well.

But hey, if the big browsers wait to long, then shit, I’ll just have to do it myself. Browsers are for sure the future of profiles, and in my opinion, computing in general, even over OS’s, just ask Google.

Written by: Dante Cullari Founder & President Beat-Play, LLC

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The REAL Difference between Rap and Hip Hop

Whenever I go to a music store or website, I always see Hip hop and Rap in the same section, and many times the terms are used interchangeably.

When you bring up this subject to people, there are many different responses. Most of the time people equate Hip hop to being the older of the two, as the real foundation for the genre.  People also say that Hip hop has more of a Jazzy, upbeat feel. Rap, according to most people, is anything made after 1994. Most of what came before is considered Old School Hip Hop.

Some people say Hip hop is Dead. “Rapper” Nas claimed this a while back. I disagree..and I also don’t consider Nas a “Rapper,” though he is commonly referred to as one.

I’m an independent artist myself. I actually happen to be a lyricist that mostly writes hip hop lyrics, but I also do some electronic music and R&B. I would never classify myself as a rapper though, simply because of the bad associations that the word has. I’m talking about the subject matter that is in the songs I classify as rap.

The REAL difference between the two categories is lyrical content. Rap, I classify, as being a genre that focuses on particular concepts over and over again. The subject matter never really changes very much. It is almost like Rap is a mass produced form of music, and the artistic dynamic to the music is often lost.

However Hip hop on the other hand, which is still very much alive (overshadowed, but alive), has a greater value to the listener. It offers poetic and often insightful lyrics that give you a second reason to want to listen again. Take a look at one of my favorite Hip hop lyricists, Emmanuel Jackson in the video below. He’s unknown right now, but look out for him in the next couple years. Hip hop will be making a huge comeback. His style is also the closest to my own that I have ever seen and I have tremendous respect for his art.

I hope this post cleared this issue up for a lot of people. Rap is a mainstream pop genre that goes through fads faster than an elementary school, and Hip Hop is a fundamentally pure art form who’s roots are so deep that it will never really die. In fact, I think Rap may be in danger pretty soon, especially with people like Emmanuel Jackson emerging, who happens to feel the exact same way as me on the subject. The REAL difference is all about the REAL.

UPDATE:

It’s been a while since I wrote this so I felt I’d update it. Plus there was a good comment today from cola that brings up a good point:

“sorry, after reading this i still don’t feel educated about what hip hop is vs. rap. it sounds subjective. if you think it’s good, it’s hip hop. if you think it’s commercial and shallow, it’s rap. i need a meatier and more objective answer. thanks, though.”

That’s just the thing about hip hop though. It’s about the lyrical content.

Hip Hop is all about heart. Heart is the essence of Hip Hop. Listen to the name..Hip Hop..it sounds like a heart beat. Then listen to the name rap..it sounds like….crap.

But this is where the subjectiveness is really made apparent. Somebody might be spitting about some nickel bags and some spinners, and some people might not feel it because they can’t relate. Then it’s not Hip Hop to that person. To other people, that same verse might strike them differently, paint a different picture for them, and so to them it might be Hip Hop. It’s really about making a connection from one person’s heart to another person’s. That’s Hip Hop, and if that’s the MC’s aim, usually the music will reflect that as well.

Take this song for example. This is my good friend Dot the One, with The World is not Enough, off his new mixtape Aviators and Bombers. The whole concept for the mixtape is emphasizing how people are so concerned with the shallower things in life, like a pair of sunglasses. To someone who doesn’t know that this is Dot’s intent, it might sound like he’s glorifying this stuff to the extreme, and that might be whack to some people, but if you know what he’s really trying to do, which is inherent in his flow if you listen carefully, then you feel it, and to me it’s pure Hip Hop.

I like to equate it to visual art. Some guy that just throws a bunch of paint splatters on a canvas, with no real technique, and calls it art might actually end up touching some people, and to them, that is art. But I feel like it all comes down to the motive of the “artist.” Are they just trying to make as much money as they can while putting in the least amount of effort possible, or is there actually a deeper method to their madness. I think that’s the definitions of trash and art, respectively.

Unless you really know what the person’s motives are, you may come out with a different definition, which is where the subjectivity of art comes in, since usually people don’t know the motives of an artist when they encounter a work. Art is intrinsically subjective because it has to be a personal thing to be considered art..it has to touch someone..not everyone, but someone. But, on the more objective side, there is, in actuality, 1 true motive behind the work, and that’s where subjectivity doesn’t really matter anymore. It either is, or it isn’t, worthy of the title of Art, based on real motive.

I think that Hip Hop is a similar title to that of Art. To me, and many other people who put a lot of time and effort into their rhymes, if the motives are to touch people in a particular way, for the purpose of communicating something somewhat important, or meaningful, from one person to another person, that’s worthy of the title of Hip Hop. If they’re just rapping about some hypocritical garbage to get attention and to get money, it can’t be hip hop..that’s rap. I would almost consider Tyler the Creator in this category, because he just says shit to create a reaction..but then again he puts a lot of effort into creating those visuals in your head, and I don’t really know him or his motives behind his work so I couldn’t really tell you for sure, only what I think about it, and that’ll be different for each person.

I find though, like almost everything in life, that’s it’s not always just black and white, but instead it’s more of a spectrum, with a million different possible points of variation in between. Hip Hop, and Rap are the two complete opposite ends of the spectrum, but in the end, if it gets through, for some people, the spectrum can seem to bend and even come full circle, and definitions can change..subjectivity = art.

I’m sticking to my belief that Hip Hop is all about heart, because that’s how it’s made me feel, and if it doesn’t have that, it’s not Hip Hop as far as I’m concerned. A lot of respected and proven hip hoppers agree with me. Notice how the title of the song is Phony Rappers, and Qtip makes a reference to the real as MC’s, not rappers. He obviously thinks there’s a difference too. I’m of course partial to Hip Hop..some people are partial to Rap, and that’s great. Then again, it also depends a lot on mood too. Once again, the real difference between Rap and Hip Hop has to be about the real – real motives, real feeling, real love, real hate, real heart, whatever the flavor. That’s the difference.

“Cause once you add the hip to the hop kid, it equals out to love”

– Phife Dawg

Written by: Dante Carmelo Cullari (aka ILL principe) Founder and CEO Beat-Play, LLC

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