Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Latcho Drom


They are called Gypsy, Romany, Rom, Tsigane, Bohemian, Gitano and are known by other names as well. They live primarily in Eurasia where they have wandered and engaged in specific trades for centuries, if not millennia. They constitute a large underclass in European countries like Romania and Slovakia, the poorest of the poor.

They also produce music that is among the finest in the world, that has strongly influenced the European classics and jazz, and that is an intrinsic part of their culture.

Tony Gatlif's 103-minute 1993 film Latcho Drom (Safe Journey) is a homage to the music of the Rom people from Rajastan, India, where the journey begins, to Egypt, Turkey, into Romania, Hungary and Slovakia, and finally into France and Spain.

Unfortunately, the DVD seems to have been discontinued. Fortunately, somebody uploaded the movie. Start at the linked page below and follow the links to the rest of the film:

Friday, April 10, 2009

Turn your iPod Touch into an iPhone (almost)

I'll probably get an iPhone when the next model is released. But some folks simply want to run the cool iPhone apps without getting stuck with a phone company contract, hence the appeal of the iPod Touch. This article introduces iPod Touch owners to Voice Over IP ("VoIP") and SMS software for the iPod Touch. With VoIP software, one can have phone conversations over the Internet without need of a phone company.

The article touches on a disadvantage of this approach, in that you need to be at a WiFi hotspot. Still, a cheap cell phone and iPod Touch might be an attractive alternative to an iPhone for some folks.