The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

April 14, 2016

terrible days configuring linux audio hell

running between alsa and jack cutting each other out
in the meantime supercollider moderates and sometimes
i can't hear the results. the alienware got bricked
way beforehand. misery. audio randomly disappears and
linuxmint audio configuration guis are also miserable.
supercollider works with jack. jack kills alsa. alsa
sneaks back through jack. jack dies and on reboot
there's alsa again. up pops jack and alsa's dead as a
doornail, an expression i don't understand. too much
configuration to make it through the night performing
with linux mint. windows works or doesn't but win10
tanked the alienware. i just realized bricked and
tanked somehow play together. it's 4:20 and last night
i was trying unsuccessfully to straighten the mess out.
a week from now i'm performing. i'll use violin and
hope for the best. there's nothing like a good violin.

anyway the result is a few brief pieces that pass for
signals because that's what they are, spewing noise
that says something to me.

miniature ghichak ghichak bowing plucking

a miniature ghichak similar to the larger one we gave to the
National Music Museum, but less ornamented. it's very difficult
to play, given the setup. here are two pieces which sound
strange (and, i think, wonderful). they're extremely high-
pitched. bowing is traditional; i like the intensity, harmonics,
and fascinating timbres in the second part of the piece. the
strings aren't pressed to the neck, but touched above or on the
side. the plucking piece is a bit traditional, although not for
the ghichak; again, the strings aren't pressed down. thanks
greatly to Mitchell Clark for the ghichak; these instruments
are rare. i think it's from Balochistan; the decoration seems
from that area, but i could very well be wrong.

Verizon Strike

From CNN Money -

36,000 Verizon workers have walked off the job Wednesday after
failing to reach a new labor agreement.

This is the largest strike in the United States since Verizon
workers last walked off the job in 2011, according to the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. That strike involved 45,000 workers.

Most of the striking workers service the company's landline
phone business and FiOS broadband network -- not the much larger
Verizon Wireless network. They have gone without a contract
since August, and their union, the Communication Workers of
America, says it is fighting to get Verizon to come to the table
with a better offer.

The union's list of complaints is a long one: Verizon has
outsourced 5,000 jobs to workers in Mexico, the Philippines and
the Dominican Republic. Verizon is hiring more low-wage,
non-union contractors, the union says.

"The main thing is that's it's taking good-paying jobs and
taking them away from the American public," said Ken Beckett, a
technical telecommunications associate for Verizon and union
board member with 1101 CWA, as he picketed with colleagues
outside a Verizon office in Manhattan.
verizon protests 041316
Union members picketed outside Verizon's central office for
midtown Manhattan. Their chief complaint? Outsourcing 5,000 jobs
to Mexico, the Philippines and the Dominican Republic.

The union also claims Verizon won't negotiate with people who
work in Verizon stores and is closing call centers. And Verizon
is asking workers to work out of state, away from their homes,
for months at a time.

Meanwhile, the union says Verizon is cutting costs as its
profits have soared.

"Verizon's corporate greed isn't just harming workers' families,
it's hurting customers as well," the CWA said in a statement.

It's true that Verizon continues to post record profit, but most
of that is coming from its wireless business. The "wireline"
business that most CWA workers serve is in decline.

Wireline sales have been steadily falling over the past several
years. Last year sales fell by nearly 2%, and Verizon lost 1.4
million voice customers.

To help make up for the losses, Verizon continues to offload
some of its wireline assets, and it has been offshoring some of
its workers overseas. The company says it saved $300 million in
employee costs in 2015.

Still, Verizon managed to post an $8.9 billion operating profit
in its wireline business last year. That was down slightly from
2014, but not by much.


*/sick sick sick of corporate greed/rhetoric/profit and the
implicit violence; meanwhile the quality of life is going down
for so many people. video from our window./*

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