Computer Mastering Michael W. Dean’s 1983 Magnum Opus, “The Solstice Suite”

Listen:

Download MP3 of Michael’s 1983 one-hour piece, The Solstice Suite, HERE.


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Unlike DJ or Neema, I did not go to “J-School” (journalism school) for college. However, at Jamestown Community College (JCC) in Western New York State, I did take “Communication” classes, which basically taught you to be an intern at a local radio station. And maybe if you were lucky as an intern, you’d eventually get to be on the air. I took a different route to radio. But in my last semester of college, the second part of my second year of the two years I attended, I recorded a one-hour piece of music as an independent study in Communication. I composed and recorded the music, and wrote a paper explaining the process. I got an A. I also got Fs that semester in my other four classes (in English, History, Math and Phys-Ed), because I spent every day that semester skipping all my classes to lock myself in a room and compose and record that one piece of music that got me the A.

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How to Do Encrypted, Off-The-Record Instant Messenger With Pidgin

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Written by Michael W. Dean, Freedom Feen. Most screenshots by Aida_Aida. Tech testing and proofreading by Link Porterfield/QPG, amifreetogo, feendaveoh, Adam Witthauer and Skippy.

The Freedom Feens recently wrote and published an extensive and kick-ass tutorial on setting up encrypted e-mail, here. However, e-mail isn’t always the best tool, especially if you’re going back and forth in a conversational manner. But there is a way to set up encrypted instant messenger, OTR (off-the-record) Pidgin. OTR Pidgin is more instant than e-mail, better for back-and-forth conversations, keeps no record and leaves no trace. It provides actual Plausible deniability (to borrow a phrase from the CIA). I don’t use OTR Pidgin for everyone, only like eight people I trust and know really well, but it’s even better than PGP mail because there is no record, the only record of the conversation is in the heads of both people involved.

A lot of serious hard-core white-hat hacker computer security experts don’t even use e-mail, EVER. They use OTR Pidgin for all Internet communications.

With e-mail and a public key, if someone can get your passphrase, they can read any saved e-mails. But with the OTR Pidgin, NOTHING IS SAVED. Again: The only record is IN THE BRAINS of the two people talking. And it’s even better if you’re using it over a VPN or Tor.

The OTR plugin was created by Cypherpunks. More on them and OTR is here. I showed this tutorial to Cypherpunk Ian Goldberg, who invented the OTR Pidgin plugin. He made a few suggestions for changes, and I made those changes. He added: “If you use OTR and also something like Tor, you can break the link between the username and your physical identity, but *only* if you _always_ use Tor with that IM account, even when creating it….If you need to break the link between the username and your identity, you need to use an anonymous communications network such as Tor in addition to OTR (they’re designed to work well together!).”

Setting up OTR Pidgin is a lot of steps, but each step is simple. The problem with getting more people to use encryption is there’s no way to do it that’s as easy as picking up a phone or using Skype (both of which are uber NOT secure). And so far, the really easy ways of doing encryption (like Hushmail) are not secure. The problem is human stupidity and State evil. Most people say “I have nothing to hide”, and governments don’t want people using encryption. In a real LibPar (without governments, and with all “power” removed from idiots and returned to each honest, smart person), encryption would be in all Internet programs by default.

Instead we get shit like Facebook, where if you’re one of their marks users, they add a chat bar EVEN IF YOU DON’T WANT one. And if you set it to go away, it randomly comes back from time to time like a stalker ex. They WANT you chatting on their un-secure chat program, and they’re a company that will give any information to any law enforcement entity without a warrant. I recently left Facebook, and if you’re interested in security, you should too. You should also use Internet security programs like PGP e-mail and OTR Pidgin, EVEN IF YOU HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE. Because these days, not matter how “legal” or “ethical” your conversations, intentions and actions are, governments around the world (as well as some individuals, and almost all corporations) will try to use what you say against you. The repercussions of this can run the gamut from being spammed to being imprisoned….even if you think you’re not breaking any laws. We’re in a post-Patriot Act world, where doing things that one branch of the government tells you to do (like having a stockpile of food) can get you targeted as a suspect by another part of the government.

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$430 ElectroVoice RE-20 Microphone Sound for $17

So, check out this short MP3 that I recorded talking about my new very expensive microphone, recorded on the same microphone. (If you’d rather hear it as an uncompressed WAV file, it’s not very big and is here.) I posted the file on Facebook and e-mailed it to some radio producers, podcasters and recording engineers I know. I said:

AUDIOPHILE INPUT PLEASE: Please check out this 20-second MP3. What do you think of the sound of this RE-20 microphone? I bought the mic, but it’s a “try before you buy” deal and I have two weeks to return it for a refund. It was expensive, and I might keep it, but need your opinions, especially compared to the ribbon and condenser mics I usually use on the Feens.

The opinions I got back were all great, and several engineers spoke glowingly of the sound and recommended that I keep it. The ElectroVoice RE-20 Dynamic Microphone is the holy grail mic of talk radio, has been since the 60s, and is in the booth of a high percentage of all professional radio studios in the world.

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How to Set Up Your Own Streaming Server with BUTT (live proof-of-concept episode)

Michael W. Dean does a proof-of-concept live cast with callers using the Feens streaming server and a freeware utility called BUTT (Broadcast Using This Tool.)

How to Set Up Your Own Streaming Server with BUTT (live proof-of-concept episode), article and audio HERE.