Saturday, April 22, 2006

Conventional vs Hybrid Vehicle Energy Costs

Just when we thought that hybrid cars would help ease the energy crisis, this report comes out.  From CNW’s ’Dust to Dust’ Automotive Energy Report

Hybrids Consume More Energy in Lifetime Than Chevrolet’s Tahoe SUV

BANDON, OR -- As Americans become increasingly interested in fuel economy and global warming, they are beginning to make choices about the vehicles they drive based on fuel economy and to a lesser degree emissions.

But many of those choices aren’t actually the best in terms of vehicle lifetime energy usage and the cost to society over the full lifetime of a car or truck.

CNW Marketing Research Inc. spent two years collecting data on the energy necessary to plan, build, sell, drive and dispose of a vehicle from initial concept to scrappage. This includes such minutia as plant to dealer fuel costs, employee driving distances, electricity usage per pound of material used in each vehicle and literally hundreds of other variables.

To put the data into understandable terms for consumers, it was translated into a “dollars per lifetime mile” figure. That is, the Energy Cost per mile driven.

The most Energy Expensive vehicle sold in the U.S. in calendar year 2005: Maybach at $11.58 per mile. The least expensive: Scion xB at $0.48 cents.

While neither of those figures is surprising, it is interesting that driving a hybrid vehicle costs more in terms of overall energy consumed than comparable non-hybrid vehicles.

For example, the Honda Accord Hybrid has an Energy Cost per Mile of $3.29 while the conventional Honda Accord is $2.18. Put simply, over the “Dust to Dust” lifetime of the Accord Hybrid, it will require about 50 percent more energy than the non-hybrid version.

One of the reasons hybrids cost more than non-hybrids is the manufacture, replacement and disposal of such items as batteries, electric motors (in addition to the conventional engine), lighter weight materials and complexity of the power package.

And while many consumers and environmentalists have targeted sport utility vehicles because of their lower fuel economy and/or perceived inefficiency as a means of transportation, the energy cost per mile shows at least some of that disdain is misplaced.

For example, while the industry average of all vehicles sold in the U.S. in 2005 was $2.28 cents per mile, the Hummer H3 (among most SUVs) was only $1.949 cents per mile. That figure is also lower than all currently offered hybrids and Honda Civic at $2.42 per mile.

“If a consumer is concerned about fuel economy because of family budgets or depleting oil supplies, it is perfectly logical to consider buying high-fuel-economy vehicles,” says Art Spinella, president of CNW Marketing Research, Inc. “But if the concern is the broader issues such as environmental impact of energy usage, some high-mileage vehicles actually cost society more than conventional or even larger models over their lifetime.

“We believe this kind of data is important in a consumer’s selection of transportation,” says Spinella. “Basing purchase decisions solely on fuel economy or vehicle size does not get to the heart of the energy usage issue.”

The goal of overall worldwide energy conservation and the cost to society in general – not just the auto buyer – can often be better addressed by being aware of a car or truck’s “dust to dust” energy requirements, he said.

This study is not the end of the energy-usage discussion. “We hope to see a dialog begin that puts educated and aware consumers into energy policy decisions,” Spinella said. “We undertook this research to see if perceptions (about energy efficiency) were true in the real world.”

For a complete list of all vehicles and their Energy Cost per Mile, contact Art Spinella at CNW Marketing Research, Inc. (541-347-4718) or email

Sunday, March 05, 2006

2005 Best Music



winner: albums


The A.V.Club 2005: The Year In Music

TheAdvovate - The best of 2005: Taking a last look at the year's top music

AllAboutJazz-New York's Best of 2005 Music: Best of 2005 / Top 25 Classical Editor's Picks, 21-25 Music: Best of 2005 / Top 25 Classical Editor's Picks, 1-20 Music: Best of 2005 / Top 100 Editors' Picks, 81-100 Music: Best of 2005 / Top 100 Editors' Picks, 61-80 Music: Best of 2005 / Top 100 Editors' Picks, 41-60 Music: Best of 2005 / Top 100 Editors' Picks, 21-40 Music: Best of 2005 / Top 100 Editors' Picks, 1-20

Amazon's Best of 2005: Top 100 Editors Picks

Amazon's Best of 2005: Top 100 Customers' Picks

Basement Galaxy's Best Albums of 2005

The Black Angels Death Song: Best of: 2005

chinese restaurant in the forest* v6.0 best of 2005 Critic's list of best music from 2005

Director's Cuts: Cuing Up Year's Best Music Staff's Favorite Albums of 2005

EAR FARM's top 15 albums of 2005

East Bay Express critic's Best Records of 2005

eMusic Albums on WOXY's Best of 2005 List

Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands - Part One (#16-20)
Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands - Top 20 of 2005 (the final five)

Filter Jason Lytle of Grandaddy's Best of 2005

Filter: Nick Harmer of Death Cab's Best of 2005
Filter: Ricky Wilson of Kaiser Chief's Best of 2005
Filter: Shirley Manson of Garbage's Best of 2005

Fuck Your Best Of 2005

Gorilla Vs Bear's Top 50 Albums Of 2005

Grey Will Fade's Top 50 Of 2005

The Guardian: The year in music

i (heart) music: The best albums of 2005: #1-25

Information Leafblower's Top 40 American Artists Of The Year

John Brady: The Best New Music of 2005

Ken Tucker's Top 10 Music 2005:

King Blind's Top 15 Albums of 2005

Largehearted Boy's Favorite Albums of 2005

The LARRY Page:Top 50 Albums of 2005 (#50 - #26)

The LARRY Page:Top 50 Albums of 2005 (#25 - #1)

marathonpacks: Top 50 of 2005
marathonpacks: More 2005 Lists

Meredith Ochs: Top Ten CDs of 2005

Metacritic best of 2005

Milkfactory Best of 2005

The Minor Fall, The Major Lift: MUSIC OF NOTE, 2005

More Cowbell’s Favorite Albums of 2005

The Morning News - The Top 10 Albums of 2005, by Andrew Womack

mp3 blogz0r: MY TOP 25 ALBUMS OF 2005 - do yourself a favor, check these out


Music For Kids Who Can't Read Good Top 25 Albums of '05

My Old Kentucky Blog's Top 25 Albums Of The Year

NPR : The Best Music of 2005 Countdown

The Observer Music Monthly:

10 best tracks of 2005, Top 100 albums of 2005, Readers' top 50 albums

Other Music: Best of 2005

Phish & Chips

Pitchfork: Artists' Best of 2005
Pitchfork: Top 50 singles of 2005
Pitchfork: Top 50 Albums of 2005 50-41
Pitchfork: Top 50 Albums of 2005 40-31
Pitchfork: Top 50 Albums of 2005 30-21
Pitchfork: Top 50 Albums of 2005 20-11
Pitchfork: Top 50 Albums of 2005 10-1

PopMatters Picks: Best 50 Albums of 2005, 41-50
PopMatters Picks: Best 50 Albums of 2005, 31-40
PopMatters Picks: Best 50 Albums of 2005, 21-30
PopMatters Picks: Best 50 Albums of 2005, 11-20
PopMatters Picks: Best 50 Albums of 2005, 1-10
PopMatters Picks: Best Reissues of 2005
PopMatters Picks: Best Country Albums of 2005
PopMatters Picks: Best Jazz Albums of 2005
PopMatters Picks: Best 10 Electronic Albums of 2005

Popsheep's List Of Songs

Product Shop NYC's Top 57 of 2005

Q magazine's top records of 2005 | This is London

Reality Check's Top 19 Albums of 2005

Relative Coffee: JOY TOP TEN 2005 SUCKA!

Rough Trade Shops Top 100 Albums of 2005

Said the Gramophone: 2005's Best Music

Sarah Bardeen: The Best New Music of 2005

She B Mo: Don't Put Another Dime In the Jukebox: the 2005 Top 10

So...Where Is Helsinki? Top 10 of '05

Stereo Effect Albums of 2005 21-30
Stereo Effect Albums of 2005 11-20
Stereo Effect Albums of 2005 1-10 Best albums of 2005

Stylus Mag: Top 50 albums of 2005

Take Your Medicine's Top 47 UK Bands Of The Year

Tiny Mix Tapes - 2005: The Year I Got Old

Tom Moon: Top Ten CDs

TotesProbsMaybs: Top 30 Songs of 2005

Top 75 Country Music Albums of 2005

Top 50 Albums of 2005

undomondo: Top albums of 2005 : The Best Of 2005:

Whatcha Rockin 2005: In Review : In the Head (and Stereo) of Boroff

Work For It's Top 50 Songs Of The Year

What would Nick Hornby do? -- the obligatory year end "best of" list


Monday, February 13, 2006


CoComment offers a wonderful free comment tracking service. Comments can be tracked at your CoComment accounts page simply by clicking a bookmarklet before posting. Your CoComment hope page will show you your comment content and where they're posted. This lets you have a conversation through your blog comments instead of having a bunch of unrelated posts scattered who knows where. You can get feeds for your conversations:

RSS 2.0 Feed

Atom Feed

Look at my CoComment tracker tool in the sidebar.

From the 'About' page at CoComment:

What is coComment?

coComment is the only service that allows you to enjoy the full potential of blog comments on the web. Before coComment, the blogosphere was not a global conversation, but tons of fragmented, hard to follow, and untrackable discussions.

Using coComment, you can now keep track of what you have been commenting on, display your comments on your blog, and see what is new in the discussions you are participating in (if other users are also on coComment).


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Bitty Browser

Take a look at the Bitty Browser at the top of the sidebar. Pretty neat, huh? This little guy was created by Scott Matthews at Turnstyle.

It features a directory of miniaturized sites:
  • Web site URL
  • RSS, Atom, XML feed URL
  • Podcast URL
  • Backpack -- username
  • Blogmarks -- tag
  • Blogmarks -- username
  • Blogspot -- username
  • -- tag
  • -- username
  • FeedBurner -- feed id
  • Flickr -- tag
  • Flickr -- pool
  • Furl -- tag
  • Furl -- username
  • LiveJournal -- username
  • LiveJournal -- community
  • MSN Spaces -- username
  • Technorati -- tag
  • Wists -- tag
  • Wists -- username
Select the site and plug in the argument and you're mini-browsing right inside another web page! It has a built-in feed reader, and you can launch a detached and resizeable copy of the browser. Every blog should have one!


Sunday, September 04, 2005

emff player

Here's another Flash MP3 player, the emff player from Free for download. I don't want to bother downloading this one, so I'll borrow one by doing a Google search on the player name, emff_lila.swf. I'll borrow one from Again, git'cher own, there's no copyright issues as with the Wimpy player in a previous post Wimpy, it's just not nice to borrow bandwidth without asking.

The object embedding is straight-forward, supply the URL in two parameters:

Here's emff playing the live MP3 stream from the student run radio at the Leibniz Computing Centre of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities, a righteously rockin' station:



Monday, August 29, 2005 and mp3player.swf

How to download the mp3's that are in playlists
(and also for mp3player.swf) has a nifty flash player that you can download for free.
I've had trouble with some sites when playing their songs; the server is just too slow. So I was wondering if I could just grab the songs directly...

Instructions to install and use this player are here.

After reading the installation instructions, I knew that the player's configuration file is called config.xml, located in the same directory as the flash player radioblog.swf. In config.xml, the playlist path attribute points to the playlist, for example

<playlist path="sounds/playlist.php"/>

Looking in the playlist file, you'll see entries like this:

<track trackMod="1120918032"
title="01 5'Nizza - Surnaya"
path="sounds/01 5'Nizza - Surnaya.rbs"/>

The .rbs files are actually mp3's.

ExampleTake a player from a popular mp3 blog as an example, .PLAY . PAUSE. -- The embeded player is in the same directory as the page:

<embed src="radioblog.swf?autoplay=" ...

which means that the config file is The playlist node in config.xml says that the playlist is located at

The playlists are also XML data; for this site the playlist is

<track trackMod="1120918032"
title="01 5'Nizza - Surnaya"
path="sounds/01 5'Nizza - Surnaya.rbs"/>
<track trackMod="1120917984"
title="02 Towa Tei - Bianco (feat. Arto Lindsay)"
path="sounds/02 Towa Tei - Bianco (feat. Arto Lindsay).rbs"/>

<track trackMod="1120917027"
title="14 Rocio Durcal - Amor eterno"
path="sounds/14 Rocio Durcal - Amor eterno.rbs"/>

The first song in the playlist is found at 5'Nizza - Surnaya.rbs.

Winamp can play this song directly.

.PLAY . PAUSE. no longer features, they're now using a new flash player called mp3player.swf

Using a flash decompiler, I found that the playlist file is called mp3player.xml, locatated in the player's home directory The file's are located in the mp3 directory, the XML defines the file names and song titles:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
player showDisplay="yes" showPlaylist="yes" autoStart="yes">
song path="mp3/01.mp3" title ="Music Hall : Roger Roger" />
song path="mp3/02.mp3" title ="I Am Music : Common featuring Jill Scott" />
song path="mp3/03.mp3" title ="Music : Leela James" />
song path="mp3/04.mp3" title ="I Am Music : Timbaland & Magoo featuring Aaliyah & Static (from Playa)" />
song path="mp3/05.mp3" title ="Music Selector Is The Soul Reflector : Deee-Lite" />
song path="mp3/06.mp3" title ="Let The Music Use You : The Writers" />
song path="mp3/07.mp3" title ="We Got The Muzik : Sebastian Ingrosso & John Dahlback" />
song path="mp3/08.mp3" title ="Pop Muzik ('89 Reshuffle) : M" />
    <song path="mp3/09.mp3" title ="El Musica (Original Mix) : Osunlade featuring KB" />
song path="mp3/10.mp3" title ="Music : Sertab Erener" />
song path="mp3/11.mp3" title ="You And The Night And The Music : Mark Levine & The Latin Tinge" />
song path="mp3/12.mp3" title ="Music Like Dirt : The Lyrics" />
song path="mp3/13.mp3" title ="That's What I Call Sweet Music : Jean Goldkette & His Orchestra" />
Happy hunting!


Technorati search

If your blog publishing tool pings Technorati on your new posts (see this list), you can search your blog with a simple form: Technorati: Searchlet configuration. Thanks to Dave Taylor's clear explanation, I've put one in my sidebar. Check it out.

Industry guru Dave Taylor answers questions about a wide variety of technical and business topics, including HTML, online advertising, Cascading Style Sheets, Web design, management, Unix, Linux, search engine optimization, online dating, Mac OS X, shell script programming and Microsoft Windows.


Wednesday, July 13, 2005


There are a number of flash mp3 players to choose from, they can be embedded in your pages or used directly.

The innovative folks at Wimpy have come up with a suite of Flash players for sale. There's a full-blown multiple track player, a video player, and a button player that plays one song. Although these are meant to be installed on an owners site, you can experiment with them by using one installed on another site. (shhhhh...)

The flash module for the button player is called wimpy_button.swf. Googling the player name returns a number of sites where it's installed -- a short list:
We can borrow one of these to see the player in action. You don't have to actually embed flash players in a page, you can invoke them through an URL; the embedded PARAM elements are converted to URL parameters.

Click this link to play

FireFox users can use keywords to make this easier, just make a new bookmark with the location set to and the keyword set to wimpy.

Typing wimpy will play the file.

This alternate keyword search will open a Wimpy button in a small pop-up instead of a new window:
javascript:{var w=open('','wimpy', 'toolbar=no,width=60,height=60');}

To make things even easier, download the SmartSearch extension. Then all you need to do is highlight an mp3 URL, right click, and select wimpy off the SmartSearch context menu.

For demonstration purposes, you could embed an external player in your page...

and here's the result:

The Elected - Greetings in Braille
From Me First
[MP3 4.55m]