September 30, 2002

Auction Patent Yeah Right

Alright enough is enough. This guy Tom Woolston claims to have originally come up with the idea for online auctions, and is suing eBay for patent infringement. Well, what was it I was building in 1992 at my old startup, Coconut Computing, then? In 1992, a client named David Hunt came to us with a project: he wanted us to use our COCONET HOST and CocoTalk API software to build him an online auction service for sellers and buyers. Buyers could browse or search categories and subcategories and make bids on items that sellers had listed. I even hired a full-time programmer to work on the project. I'd like to see Woolston claim he was doing this in 1992!

Update 5/27/2003: More comments on this in a more recent brianstorms blog entry talking about eBay losing the lawsuit.

Posted by brian at 03:05 AM | Comments (0)

September 29, 2002

What's Going On With

I used to listen to a lot of Internet Radio. My favorite station by far was "Groove Salad" from The voice of "Big URL" and everything! I even wrote about it right here in this blog back on Feb 1. "Groove Salad" was great music to listen to while working at the computer. I was saddened when the CARP craziness came along and SomaFM like so many others announced at the beginning of the summer that they were shutting down.

Did they shut down, like the "official" recording says they did? Now I'm not so sure.

Over the months I saved a number of "Groove Salad" entries in my iTunes app on my Mac. Yesterday while browsing through my personal music collection I clicked on a Groove Salad link by accident. Almost instantly, my headphones started playing the famliar downbeat chill-out ambient grooves I'd come to love on this station. Wait! Did something happen? Did SomaFM cut a deal? Did they get funding? I raced back to the site and the familiar mourning and announcements of SomaFM's demise were still plastered all over the homepage.

So why is it that Shoutcast shows "35 of 50 users" at the moment I'm writing this? Is this an underground Groove Salad or what?

If this is official doing something sneaky, I'm concerned because this dampens the argument if on the one hand they shut down to fight the good fight, but on the othe other hand keep playing surreptitiously. They announce they're forced to shut down immediately back in June, citing $180k annuual fees they'd have to pay to CARP. They put a bunch of text up on their homepage saying "Killed by the RIAAi. June 20, 2002" and "SomaFM was forced to end our broadcasts." Well, right at this moment, I'm chillin' to some great grooves and my iTunes says "Groove Salad: a nicely chilled plate of ambient beats and grooves." Sounds as great as ever. Hmm.

Ok let's give the folks the benefit of the doubt and assume it's a lone wolf DJ using Groove Salad's old "broadcasting" servers. Who knows.

The signals seem to bounce around. At times in the past 24 hrs, using iTunes, I've found Groove Salad playing at one or more of these addresses:

If anyone else knows any more URLs (er, "big URLs" :-), please let me know!

Update at 9:59am
If you go to and in the search box type "Groove Salad", it returns showing you that indeed there is a "Groove Salad" radio show playing at that (as I type this) there are now 40 out of 50 listeners listening. Very interesting. And I found another server serving 10 out of 10 users just now. Also at Hmmmm.

Update II at 10:39am
Ok so I'm not the first to discover this. Scroll down the huge guestbook page at SomaFM and you'll see starting in early September, everyone's talking about (and wondering HOW) Groove Salad is back on the air. Yet a quick glance at the homepage would suggest all is still gloom and doom. SomaFM, care to explain?

Posted by brian at 03:04 AM | Comments (0)

September 24, 2002

iTunes critique

Posted a critique of Apple's iTunes software over at the nettle blog.
Posted by brian at 03:04 AM | Comments (0)

September 17, 2002


A clock done in flash.
Posted by brian at 03:03 AM | Comments (0)

September 14, 2002

Smiley Schmiley

The media and the web are going crazy in the past 24 hrs posting stories and articles about "the first smiley". They're all wrong. Emoticons were in use on PLATO years before. I put up a page today that provides proof.
Posted by brian at 03:01 AM | Comments (0)

September 04, 2002

Low Carb Blues

The Low Carb Blues

I can't call you sweetie
No, I can't call you sweetie
You sho' ain't sweet to me

An' I can't call you honey
No, I can't call you honey
Cuz you sho' ain't sweet to me

Just leave me alone,
Me and my ketones,
Livin' a life of misery.

Yo heard what I said...
I can't call you honey
I said I can't call you honey
Cuz you sho' ain't sweet to me

And I can't call you sugar
No, I can't call you sugar
cuz you sho' ain't sweet to me

Just what you are I ain't sure
But I know I don't want anymore

I got those low, low, low carb blues
I'm talkin' low, low, low carb blues
If I never have a cookie for the rest of my life
I ain't know what I'm gonna do

Posted by brian at 03:00 AM | Comments (0)
brianstorms is Brian Dear's weblog. Non-spam email:

Be sure to take a look at these other fine websites:

Copyright 2002-2004 Birdrock Ventures. brianstorms is a trademark of Birdrock Ventures.