Apr 30, 2014

Sprinkler Turn OnAnnual Sprinkler Turn On:
It'll take a while, but eventually I'll become a handy man. Owning a new home brings all kinds of new responsibilities to the first time home owner, and I'm no exception. This week (3rd/4th week of Apr, 2014) I bested the sprinkler system.

It's spring, and it's time to start watering the lawn. Time to execute that annual ritual which beckons the benevolent spirits of spring, and blesses my lawn with a healthy growing season. Last year I didn't wait long enough before I started watering the lawn, I was constantly worried that the cold weather was going to freeze out my sprinklers, causing all sorts of problems. Turning on the sprinklers is always a ritual filled with trepidation and hope. You worry that there might be damage, that you didn't blow out the sprinkler lines soon enough, that you didn't insulate properly, that the parts may not have weathered the season intact. You hope that everything will work perfectly when you turn on the sprinklers - That's seldom the case. It took a few years (we moved into this house (our first) back in 2005), but I think I've finally figured out how to turn on the sprinklers with shocking myself or damaging the system (The mechanical aptitude portion of my ASVAB test was the only portion where I scored below 99).

As usual (since my first few failed attempts (first two years I owned the house), I was armed with a series of photos and notes on how to turn the sprinklers on. This time, when I turned the water on (in the basement), there was a rather apparent problem. A leak! Damn. Thankfully it was right there, in the open. In the basement. Apparently I hadn't drained the pipes properly? and the water had frozen in the pipes (The basement usually stays warm enough to prevent freezing, but it sure was cold this winter). I had a burst pipe (the mains line after the sprinkler valve) and the ball valve on the turn on switch is also damaged (That's why there was water in the line!). Thankfully I know an 'actual' handyman who can handle this sort of repair. Yeah - Refer back to the mechanical aptitude score on my ASVAB test - I'm not inclined to conduct this sort of repair. Once that burst pipe and damaged valve were repaired, the 'turn-on' proceeded without further incident. There wasn't any apparent damage to the irrigation lines or the backflow preventer. After an initial inspection, Kim programmed the sprinkler zones, and a paid professional (that other 'handyman' that I employ) checked to make sure I hadn't missed something.

In addition to the sprinkler battle, I did some other spring, yard work. I cut the lawn - That took three hours; with bagging, trimming, and some thorough edging. I cleaned up the garage a bit. A bunch of leaves and debris from winter had accumulated over the last few months. I picked up all the rocks scattered by the snowblower. Finally, I dosed all those nasty weeds with a good coating of weed killer. I still have one big issue to clear up. There's a couple of bare spots that will need to be tended to. I'll probably have to replace the soil in those spots as nothing seems to grow there... Hooray for Spring!

Apr 12, 2014

Crazy WeatherColorado's Crazy Weather - From the Frying pan to the Freezer:
Everyone has weather, and everyone has 'Crazy Weather'. I've found (after living here for more than 10 years) that Colorado's Crazy weather is primarily caused by two factors. It's elevation relative to its latitude, and the mountains in the western half of the state. Given the altitude of the state, we're often colder than our latitude would otherwise account for, and due to the mountains in the west, weather conditions seem to 'sneak up' on the residents living in the eastern half of the state. The weather conditions can change vastly as fronts move off of the mountains and into the plains. That's most notable in the Front Range area (the area just to the east of the mountains). My wife and I have lived in this Front Range area for approximately 15 years, and the sudden changes in weather (temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, type of precipitation, combinations of conditions, etc) have kept us on our toes (or cracking my toes) for many years. This weekend (March 1st and 2nd, 2014) was one such weekend.

It's snowing - A heavy snow, not a simple dusting of that fluffy white magical stuff. An onslaught of bruising, crushing, all consuming snow. A blizzard. So what? What's so strange about a snow storm in Colorado, in April? Yeah, April. It's a little late for a snow storm, but it isn't unheard of in these parts. It's just that I was under the impression that spring was here, that winter was kind of - done... After all, to get a snow storm our temperatures had to drop fifty degrees! What? Yeah, just last week we had temperatures in the 80s! We went from 80 degrees Fahrenheit to below freezing (that's 32F for those on the Metric system) in less than a weeks time. Yeah - We live in Colorado. Just another example of that weird weather we sometimes encounter in our Colorado community. What kind of crazy weather do you encounter in your corner of the planet?

Neighborhood WatchSoutheast Aurora Neighborhood Watch / Community Award:
I participate in some community focused events, but haven't found the time to serve on any boards, so I do what I can to help the people who live in my neighborhood. Volunteering with our local neighborhood watch, maintaining the Southeast Aurora Neighborhood Watch website and mailing lists. The South East Aurora Neighborhood Watch serves the residents of South East Aurora by providing information to resident and maintaining close ties with the local Police Department in order to help keep residents safe and neighborhoods crime free.

On the 10th of Apr, 2014, Kim and I attended the 32nd Annual Volunteer Banquet for the City of Aurora Police Department. The dinner was held (at the Summit Conference and Events Center) in honor of the volunteers who serve the city of Aurora, Colorado by volunteering with the Aurora Police Department or Neighborhood Watch. Speakers included Mayor Steve Hogan and Chief of Police Dan Oates. This year I was nominated by the Area 26 PAR (Police Area Representative) Officer. I've been a volunteer with the area Neighborhood Watch since 2007. During that time I've served as a Block Captain for Tollgate Crossing, I routinely fill in as the Head Area Coordinator for all of Area 26, I am the webmaster for the Southeast Aurora Neighborhood Watch website, I've created and manage more than a dozen emailing lists in order to coordinate and inform residents from 10 different communities in South East Aurora. I've organized membership drives, created banners, announcements, newsletters and helped organize and run annual Neighborhood Watch events. I've contributed thousands of hours of my time to keeping our NW alive, vibrant and growing - Informing, protecting and connecting residents of South East Aurora with the Aurora Police Department and other city services designed to server and protect residents.

The Aurora Police Department recognized the dedication and service of all the wonderful volunteers at this annual volunteer banquet. The Neighborhood Watch Program is supported by hundreds of citizens serving as area and block representatives working throughout the community. The volunteers coordinate activities in their area, arrange meetings, picnics, and other social gatherings, and schedule crime prevention and safety training for the residents in their neighborhoods. Citizens are becoming involved in a variety of community projects and are willing to give of themselves to make Aurora a safer place to live. I was one of seventeen NW volunteers honored that evening.

If you are a resident of Southeast Aurora, you might want to check out our Southeast Aurora Neighborhood Watch website (Serving the following communities: Tollgate Crossing, Sorrel Ranch, Wheatlands, Beacon Point, Southshore, Tallyn’s Reach, Saddle Rock - North, Serenity Ridge, Black Stone and Heritage Eagle Bend). If you're concerned about the safety and security of your community, you might want to join our group, or subscribe to one of our mailing lists to receive periodic alerts, updates and information.

Ubuntu Onethe HeartBleed SSL security vulnerability:
Heartbleed is a the latest security bug to shock netizens. As scary as a terrorist attack, as complex as the key exchange and secure handshakes; ultimately ignored and glossed over by the media in a rush to cover the next big headline, this shocking vulnerability affects anyone/any website using the OpenSSL cryptography library. A widely adopted implementation of the TLS (Transport Layer Security) protocol. OpenSSL is a free and widely used code set (a cryptographic software library) employed to connect and keep secure connections alive while connected to various websites (It's used in/included with many operating system distributions (not Mac, iOS or Windows / Mostly Linux operating systems) as well as webservers using Apache and nginx). It's an extremely important part of internet security. Where is TLS used? It provides for secure and private communications in applications such as web browser traffic, email messages, instant messaging (IM) and some virtual private networks (VPNs).

The heartbleed vulnerability can be exploited from the server or client side of a TLS transaction. The vulnerability is a buffer over-read type, which can result in more data being read than should be (up to 64kb worth of data). This could result in the disclosure of login credentials, passwords, credit card numbers, message content, etc, during a secure transaction. An active exploit would allow attackers to listen in on communications, steal protected data directly from the servers or users, and then impersonate trusted services or users. It's bad! Thankfully, the vulnerability has been identified and a fix has been released. Unfortunately, it will take some time for all websites to be updated with the fix, and there may have been exploits available prior to the fix. Web sites that are vulnerable should NOT be used for any type of secure transactions. i.e. Don't log in, don't do business, don't provide them any information.

Who's affected? Well, not every secure website uses the OpenSSL implementation for secure transactions, but it is quite popular, due to the fact that it's free and readily available. Estimates on the number of affected secure web servers ranges from 15 - 20% world-wide. It is the most popular open source implementation of TLS. If you visit, have visited or do business with a website that uses OpenSSL, you should probably change your password now, and don't do any business with that site until you're sure that they've installed the updated OpenSSL components. Thankfully the vulnerability isn't in the TLS protocol itself, so only the OpenSSL implementation is actually vulnerable (there are other unaffected implementations such as GnuTLS, Mozilla's Network Security Services, and Microsoft's TLS stack).

How do you know which websites are unpatched? Thankfully, several websites exist which can be used to 'check' for the presence of the vulnerability. If you're planning to do commerce or use an untrusted/unknown connection, do yourself a favor and check the site before you offer any information. A google search for 'heartbleed checker' should return a list of sites that will check for the vulnerability. Don't assume that a site will patch or has patched to correct for this vulnerability. Odds are most websites, companies simply won't or haven't gotten around to it. Many will, but the vast majority of sites are procrastinators - just like me and you. They'll ignore the problem, put off the patch, think it's too complicated to correct (there are three essential steps to fully patch against the vulnerability, and many websites will only implement the first/easiest), etc. Do yourself a favor, always check before you commit your data to an unchecked site. Note: If you're using a Chrome or Firefox browser, you can download a 'Heartbleed' checker extension.

Ubuntu OneUbuntu One file services shutting down:
Back in April of 2013, I discovered (quite by accident) a file storage solution that I had never heard of before. UbuntuOne file services. I discovered this service when I bought some music from a new digital download destination. While searching for some alternate music download sites, I stumbled upon 7digital.com. While 7digital has been around (A London/UK company) since 2004, it didn't have a US presence until 2011. That's when it set up shop in San Francisco. In April of 2013 I purchased (12 tracks for $10.99) and downloaded the Shout Out Louds album 'Optica' from 7digital.com. Along with that purchase came a free Ubuntu One digital storage locker.

Ubuntu One is a cloud based storage provider. With the basic/free account you get a free 5gb account with a desktop download, and I discovered another benefit to this free offer. They also provide a digital music locker for people on the go. If you purchase music from their music store partner - 7digital.com, you get a free digital music locker for free. Any music you purchase through the 7digital store is instantly and always available through their cloud based player. So I gave it a spin. The stores prices are on par with iTunes so they don't really stand out in that department. Their selection isn't as good/large as iTunes or eMusic, and they can't touch the eMusic prices, so I doubt I'll be heading back anytime soon.

In November of 2013, 7digital was merged with UBC media as part of a 'reverse takeover'. This merger may be part of the reason why Ubuntu One file services was shut down. The merger was completed in May of 2014. On the 2nd of April, 2014, Canonical (owners of the Ubunto One brand) announced that they would be shutting down the Ubunto One file services (I received an email on the 9th of April, 2014).

Here's the email I received:
Ubuntu One email

According to the message, the file services will be shut down effective 1 June, 2014. I will need to get all my files out of the 5gb storage locker before that date.

As of April 9th (possibly earlier) you could no longer purchase storage or music through the Ubuntu One store.

According to the Canonical announcement, the company wasn't willing to make any more investments in Ubuntu One file services. I'm thinking that without a partner like 7digital (the music locker storage), they really don't have any way to distinguish themselves from all the other cloud storage services.

I never really saw the Ubuntu One file services as an actual contender for cloud storage (I've been evaluating cloud storage solutions for some time now - ever since Apple shut down it's iDisk storage service). It did offer free storage of any/all music purchased through their partner (7digital), but that partner didn't offer much distinction in terms of price or selection. One good thing about 7 digital... No DRM.

With this announcement, another one bites the dust. It's another cloud based storage provider crossed off my list. SugarSync dropped the free tier in Feb, Ubuntu One shuts off its file services in June, and Hotmail has upped the ante by increasing the amount of free storage.


Amazon PrimeOut to Eat in Greenwood Village:
<rave>Occasionally, Kim and I take the opportunity to eat out at one of the fine restaurants in the Denver/Aurora area. They're not always five star places, but we're not that kind of people. During April, Kim and I enjoyed lunch at one of our favorite restaurants. We've been to the Great Northern Tavern on several occasions. It's one of our favorite places to eat. The atmosphere is outstanding. It's quiet, calm and service is superb. The ceilings don't have that bare industrial warehouse look, so you don't go deaf from the din of a zillion people chattering on about anything and everything. You can even hear each other talking if you're there with a friend. The warm, inviting interior is cozy, rustic and elegant all at the same time. The staff is very courteous and the menu outstanding.

On this particular outing we tried something new. Portabello & Tomato flatbread appetizers - Yummy! For the main dish, Kim and I had differing opinions. Sunday around 11 happens to be 'Brunch' time at the Great Northern - Kim opted for a breakfast dish; She had French Toast & Hash brows, while I opted for the Walleye Fish & Chips. Yes - Walleye. A beer battered fillet to be precise. It's been quite some time since I've had walleye, so this offering came as a bit of a surprise - Unless you consider the restaurant's theme. The Great Northern has a cuisine accustomed to foods found along our country's northern tier, especially those places in/along the great lakes - Thus the Cheese Curds and Walleye! The fish was served with American 'chips' - aka 'French Fries'. The lemon caper tarter sauce was an excellent accompaniment. I washed down this excellent lunch with a couple of Vodka Bloody Mary's... Then I took a nap! Just kidding.

The menu, atmosphere, service and experience make the Great Norther Tavern one of our favorite restaurants. I'm sure we'll be back.</rave>

No Spamphpbb update Scam:
A curious form of spam. Not 'Forum' spam - Actually it's a scam (read on). After setting up a php powered bulletin board I found that there was a lot of tweaking necessary to prevent spammers from inundating my board with registration attempts. Spammers were trying to crack into my bulletin board so they could post 'forum spam'. I found that the best way to defeat those forum spammers was 'Q&A' a series of 'authentication' questions that bots and spammers are unable and unlikely to answer. For example questions about 'Tollgate Crossing' could easily be answered by residents who live in the area. Questions like: "What Color is the bridge in Tollgate?" Residents immediately knew the answer, and they could answer without failing 3 times in a row. Spammers are either not from the area, or they haven't developed a strong enough AI to crack this simple (for a Human) Q&A authentication factor.

After solving that problem, I quickly became the recipient of some interesting email. Every time the php software was due for an update, I would receive an email - An unsolicited business email. Guess what that is boys and girls? That's right it's spam. I don't know the company, I don't have a business relationship with the company, they're offering services unsolicited, and in this case, they crafted their email to make it look like they are the owners/authors of the phpBB brand. Their email is designed in such a way that one might think it's an 'official' update notification. They want me to 'Pay' for an update to the phpBB software; even though the update is free/offered for free through an arrangement with my Hosting Provider. My hosting provider pays a licensing fee for the 'Softaculous' package (a bundle of software applications that I can run on my websites), and phpBB receives a share of that licensing fee. The creators of phpBB are already getting paid for the update, but this spammer seems to think that I should pay him/her in order to update my phpBB installation.

Here's the email I received:
phpBB spam

Notice that the sender is 'phpbbspprt840@gmail.com' - They use phpbbspprt' in their name in order to make you think that they're somehow affiliated with phpBB brand (Yes - phpBB is a registered trademark, and they're using it in their email address. I doubt that they have permission/license to do business using the registered trademark. So that's likely a violation of trademark (i.e. it's illegal)).

They've sent the email to my 'official' bulletin board management email address. I'm sure they got that by scrapping my website. The address is publicly posted on my bulletin board. They're sending it directly to me/the email address that's associated with my phpBB installation. Perhaps they think that I'll assume it's 'Official' because they're using the phpBB trademark in their email, and they're sending the email to my phpBB administration address?

The email contains 'broken English' - Notice that the punctuation isn't properly applied, the word 'starting' is misspelled, the grammar is odd (we are happy to help you in updating your forum safely). They they ask me to pay for a service that is otherwise free. Do they really think that I will allow them to 'safely' update my website? Of course I would have to give them my admin login credentials in order for them to update my website - Yeah that sounds safe - NOT!

I reported this spam to Google and the owners of the phpBB trademark. I assume that I'll continue to receive this sort of spam, but I'm not about to fall for it, and neither should you. If you're running a phpBB powered bulletin board, don't fall for such an obvious scam.

If you ever need any help figuring out a problem involving unsolicited email, or help hunting down a spammer, don't hesitate to ask for my help. I'm willing and eager to help. Just drop me an email. I'd put the email address here, but this email message is also posted online, where spammers could scrape the email off the web page. Damn those spammers!

Roku 2A new Roku:
I've been a Roku owner since August of 2008. I purchased and set up my first Roku player back in August of 2008, and I've been loving it ever since. What's a Roku player? Well, I'm glad you asked. If you like movies, if you're a Netflix freak like me, it's the ultimate movie delivery system. It's a movie watcher's Nirvana. A Roku player is a little black box with cables and a remote. You can order directly from the manufacturer or find it available through other online shopping portals. It's a set-top streaming appliance. An internet connected device which allows you to stream all types of media to your home entertainment system.

Just recently (Mar of 2014) I bought a new Roku. The new Roku 2 (model 2720) replaces the Roku HD XR in the living room (this is my 3rd Roku). This new Roku has several outstanding features: Two different types of video output - Composite S-Video and HDMI (it's compatible with just about every TV made); Video resolution - 480i/p, 720/1080p (standard definition and high definition); Audio outputs - Standard analog audio out via composite cables plus digital audio via HDMI and private audio output available via the wireless remote (with included headphones); Network connections - No ethernet connection, but dual-band wireless connectivity via 802.11a/b/g/n; Remote control - via wi-fi (using an application for iPhone or Android phones) or direct IR via the included remote (remote has dedicated buttons for Netflix, Amazon, M-Go and BlockBuster); CPU & Memory - 600MHz, 512MB+256MB for channel storage.

The Roku player (as of Mar, 2014) has over 1,000 channels, and that list is growing daily. This list doesn't include the private and experimental channels. The Roku platform has a strong developer community, which is constantly improving, experimenting and pushing the platform to make it the ultimate set-top device. I make extensive use of the Netflix and Amazon instant video channels - Since I'm a subscriber to both, this is an excellent way to bring a huge selection of on demand videos into my living room. Browsing titles in your Netflix instant queue is easy to do with the included remote. As a matter of fact, Roku recently introduced a search function that searches across multiple channels in order to find that Season 3 episode of Star Trek the Next Generation.

Watching movies on your Roku is a snap. A simple click of the remote starts the download, and you're watching the movie in seconds. It only downloads a small portion of the movie at first - Just enough to get you going. As you watch the movie it downloads and dumps successive portions of the movie, making for a smooth viewing experience with no long wait times. The playback produces excellent quality (given the fact that I have a high-speed Comcast connection (standard residential internet option in the Aurora, Colorado area)). I haven't experienced any lag, the audio is perfectly synced, and the quality is awesome (especially the HD) for a streaming video connection. As a matter of fact, it's better quality playback than I get with the Comcast pay-per-view option - Awesome! The Roku isn't just a platform for IP TV. You can also listen to music, podcasts, check the weather and play games.

Music CollectionApril's Audio Acquisitions:
Here's a list of some of the music I recently acquired. Where do I get all this stuff? Well, I used to find/discover a lot of free (actually free) music by visiting several music web sites (Pandora, 3hive.com, musicalfamilytree.org) and music blogs (Analog Giant, Brooklyn Vegan, Fluxblog, Gorilla vs. Bear, etc), and listening to a few different music podcasts. Used to... Now? Now (Starting in Oct of 2010) I subscribe to an online music streaming service called MOG, and I've recently (as of Sep 2011) started using eMusic 'Radio' stations for music discovery. Combined together, these two services provide full-play access to more than 35 million tracks! (16m on MOG (as of Sep, 2012), >19m on eMusic (as of Aug 2013)) Two fantastic ways to discover music, and no need for illegal downloads or pirated tracks. I occasionally use a few of the other methods (music blogs and podcasts), but MOG now serves as my Primary Music Discovery source.

Artists want you to Hear their music - If you like it, you'll buy it, or maybe you'll buy some concert tickets. The major labels of the music industry want you to pay for their product. - letting you hear it for free is contrary to their business model. Well, guess what? I won't buy the music if I can't listen to it first, and no one listens to the radio anymore (I don't because of all the advertising, interruptions, lack of new music and lack of information - you can never figure out who/what is being played) The major labels are killing themselves with their restrictive distribution and dissemination policies. If you like new music, you can do a web search to find your favorite artists web site, a new music web site, or an archive of free music. Free music is available - Legally! Don't believe the propaganda of the major labels - Not all free music is illegal. You can legally download and listen to all sorts of music for free (Have you heard of Pandora, Audiolizer, Presto, Jango or GrooveShark?). I download (purchase) most of my music from a couple of commercial sources (eMusic and iTunes), but I occasionally download tracks (legally) from various websites, newsgroups and blogs in order to satisfy my craving for music.

Here's a listing of some of the music I legally downloaded - and paid for!

eMusic monthly downloads:
Every month I download ~50 tracks from eMusic.com. This month (Apr of 2014) I downloaded 90 tracks (from eMusic) at the low cost of $23.40! Normally I pay a $19.99 monthly fee, which makes the tracks extremely cheaper - That's right I didn't actually pay $23.40, that was the price for non-subscriber. As a subscriber, I only paid $19.99 for my $23.40 wort of downloads. The price for these tracks came out at ~$0.22 per track - Way less than the cost on iTunes or Amazon. A lot of these albums were free, which brought the price per track way down.

* @Reverend_Makers - Reverend and the Makers: (10 tracks) Discovered by listening to MOG recommendations. An English rock band fronted by Jon 'The Reverend' McClure. The tracks on this album mix traditional rock sounds with synth and a lot of vocal dubbing/manipulation. Highly produced, the sound is top notch, well timed with excellent pitch, tempo and perfectly edited loops. It's highly danceable, electronic with just a touch of ska and psychedelic.
* First Issue - Public Image Ltd.: (10 songs) A band/artist (John Lydon/Johnny Rotten) I've been following since I first heard them in the early 80s (just after the Sex Pistols broke up) This album (First Issue (mislabelled as 'First Edition' on eMusic - When it was available on eMusic) marks the debut album for PiL (Public Image Limited). The sound is slow, plodding and primitive. It's challenging - The vocals and lyrics are bitting, sarcastic, rants. The later albums are much more accessible.
* So Red the Rose - Arcadia: (29 songs) During a break in the Duran Duran touring schedule (in 1985), some of the bands members - Simon Le Bon & Nick Rhodes, formed 'Arcadia' as a 'side-project'. A pop group that sounded identical to Duran Duran - This band/album features the Song 'Election Day', several variations of that song and a few other notable tracks. For that one song the album went platinum, but the band/side-project didn't persist, and the members went back to being 'Duran Duran'. This side-project featured some very heavy hitters from the music scene (David Gilmour (Pink Floyd), Carlos Alomar, Herbie Hancock, Sting, Grace Jones and others. The music is quite good - If you enjoyed Duran Duran and the New Wave sound of the late 80s, you'll enjoy 'So Red the Rose'.
* 1000 Things / Kitsuné - autoKratz: (2 track single) I've been consuming autoKratz since 2011, when I stumbled across a single on a sampler. Since then I've been consumed by their electro-techno beats. Another excellent single containing two tracks - 1000 Things and Last Show. Kitsuné is the label name. I'll keep looking for an album on eMusic, but I don't know if one will ever appear there. It's getting more and more difficult to find what I want on eMusic.
* Save Me - Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark: (single) OMD - OMG! I've been listening to this band since the early 80s, and they've always been the best. On the cutting edge/creators of a new synthesizer driven electronic music. OMD continues to be a fantastic mover and shaker for the industry. The broke up in 1991, then they reunited in 1993 for a brief period. In 2006 they reunited for live performances and a new album in 2010. It looks like the 80s are going to last forever! This track (Save Me) was released as a single and as part (a bonus track on the US release) of the 2010 album 'History of Modern'. The song is a mash up of OMD's 'Messages' and Aretha Franklin's 'Save Me' - Of course it features vocals by Aretha Franklin (from her original 'Save Me' recording).
* Five Years - Mexican Summer - Various Artists: (12 tracks) A Mexican Summer Compilation. Here's a label that's made it past the five year mark; and they're still in business. Here you can sample (for free) some of the artists they carry.
* New West and NormalTown Records, Spring 2014 Music Sampler - Various Artsists: (16 songs) Another sampler from a label I've never heard of before. This compilation contains various country music genres. Some really good artists, including: Ben Miller Band, The Devil Makes Three, New Madrid, the Whigs and others. Once again, eMusic makes it easy to discover new music.
* Carpark Records 2014 Sampler - Various Artists: (11 songs) Another catalog sampler. As I've mentioned numerous times before. There's no need to 'pirate' or download illegal copies of music. The artists, the labels, the bands, they're all giving there music away. If you can't find something you like in these free downloads you're not trying hard enough. There are literally more free tracks available than I could possibly listen to. Here is Montag, GRMLN, Memory Tapes and Speedy Ortiz. Enjoy.

Unlike some music outlets, eMusic doesn't have any DRM and they don't insert unique track id's into the ID3 tags. Their terms of service are consumer friendly. eMusic allows you to burn as many CDs as you like and copy downloads to an unlimited number of your computers and portable MP3 players. At less than $.50 a track (I'm currently paying $19.99 for $22.99 worth of downloads per month). You don't have to be a member/monthly subscriber to access the site or buy music, and the membership prices (per album) are compared to the non-member prices right up front, so you can see how much you save as a monthly member. eMusic offers a really good value for your download dollar. iTunes and Amazon still charge more. eMusic offers more music for your money, and the variable bit rate recordings make for exceptionally high quality recordings. If you still want your own copies of the music, check out eMusic.

These are some of the items I added to my music collection during this month. Since revamping my music collection back in September of 2005, I've been slowly adding, revising and updating the collection. If you have a comment, question or correction regarding my music collection, please don't hesitate to send me an email. Please keep in mind that my collection isn't for sale, and I'm not interested in giving you any copyrighted materials. I'd rather not go to jail for music piracy. :-)