Hello, world. I’m MacDara Conroy, and this is my blog.

Date: April 2010

MagCloud: Publish your own printed magazine

Very nice print-on-demand service for small-scale magazine publishing. They don't ship to EU countries yet (except for the UK) but this could be very useful in the near future... #link


Homestead Records: Frontier Days

A brief history of the US alternative indie label that wasn't Sub Pop or SST, and the dodgy business practices that brought about its downfall. I thought late-period SST was shady, but Greg Ginn's got nothing on this. #link


Charlie Brooker: My plan to save mankind

Basically, the inability of the average individual to transcend the linear comprehension of time is to blame for everything from climate change to the obesity epidemic. And it's a very convincing argument. Says Brooker of the exceptional few: "Every jogger is essentially a clairvoyant. They've transcended the shackles of contemporary subsistence and risen above the likes of you and me, to witness a vision of the future so captivating it blocks out the pain of the present, so enticing, they're literally compelled to run towards it." #link


Counting the cost of the long journey home

The one thing that seems to be forgotten with the recent stories and flighty prose about the ash cloud disruption is how most people just don't have the time or the money! We have tight budgets, jobs to get back to, medicine to take, promises to keep, etc -- we simply can't sit there and wait while the airlines leave us hanging. #link


John K reviews Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

One from the backlog, here. The verdict? It's pure formula, but with enough interestingness in the animation to put it above the competition. That's probably why I enjoyed it more than I expected, too. #link


Lazyweb request: a social network for TV

I’ve been thinking a lot about television recently — more so since we got our first PVR last weekend. I hadn’t felt I was missing out in not having one before (apart from the programme clash conundrum); I’d always been in the habit of scheduling myself around my favourite shows, and didn’t think that would ever change.

But it’s been three days now and I’m already converted. It’s really been one of those ‘you don’t really know until you try’ experiences. From now on TV will be fitting into my schedule, not the other way round.

Now, while I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s part of the ‘democratisation of television’ or anything, thinking about it does lead naturally to ideas about how the TV audience behaves in the networking age — and how this audience isn’t adequately served.



Film Noir Checklist

A primer for anyone who always wanted to but was afraid to ask. I defy you to watch Sweet Smell of Success and not be knocked out of your socks. #link


Kottke on 'the new rules for reviewing media'

It's an interesting phenomenon, but not the kind of trend I want to see. Kottke says: "In the end, people don't buy content or plots, they buy physical or digital pieces of media for use on specific devices and within certain contexts." I disagree: people DO buy content. If I buy a book, I'm buying it for the story; the format is entirely secondary, regardless of my personal preferences. Giving a book a bad rating because you can't read it on your Kindle or whatever? That's just bullshit whatever way you cut it. #link