Google Assistant Was Creepy Smart This Morning

This morning, as I listed to the radio, I heard a NPR story about the Ethiopian airline that’s been in the news. I quickly wondered if this was an airline that I heard Craig Ferguson and Bruce Dickinson discuss in one of the best interviews I’ve ever heard in my entire life (from the former’s far-too-shortlived SiriusXM show). I wanted to ask my phone if it was but the part of my brain that stores rock information was temporarily unable to recall Dickinson’s name.

“Okay, Google. Who is Iron Maiden’s lead singer?”

I expected the correct answer, but Google did even better.

“The lead singers of Iron Maiden are Bruce Dickinson, Paul Di’Anno, Blaze Bayley, and others.”

“Okay, Google. What Airline did Bruce Dickinson own?”

After Google told me about Astraeus — a British, not Ethiopian, airline — I wasn’t quite sure how to ask about some African airline he’d had something to do with so I stumbled a bit …

“Okay, Google. What African airline … um … did …” and so on. Google was very intuitive or human or whatever, and knew exactly where I was going and gave me the details about Air Djibouti — which answered my original question: No, Dickinson’s airline/business wasn’t involved.

 

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I Can Feel the Power

Geeky Iron Maiden data is at the bottom.

Learning so much in the Mobile Web Specialist nanodegree. My Dev Tools skills have exploded. For example, I’ve struggled for hours (all together over the course of many days) to figure out what’s making my pretty new album chart display with either way too much margin:

idol
Note also the horizontal scroll showing how much space is there for nothing.

or, when I tried (among other “fixes”) the fix that did anything remotely desirable, up against the left with no margin:

billyIdol

Well, today, I used my little web app to look something (Iron Maiden related — see below if you’re interested) up and — a combination of irritation and actually having the time — I fought with it until I fixed it.

The chart is in a DIV with

id="forChart"

No matter what style in CSS or property in D3 I changed, nothing seemed to work. I also tried removing various DIVs and, opened my dev tools and saw that the page was still seeing a style for #forChart I’d commented out a while back. Even though the page file itself was being updated when I refreshed, the CSS wasn’t!

Once that was fixed by clearing my cache, it was better but still didn’t look right so I uncommented the “container” DIV I’d commented out while debugging and that added some huge margins again. I was back to having Yucky Version A …

ironMaiden_2400.png

or Yucky Version B.

ironMaiden_wContainer.png

Just to make sure — because I was going insane — I at least identified the culprit was something in Bootstrap by removing all the Bootstrap:

ironMaiden_noBootstrap.png

I went back to Dev Tools and, while I couldn’t see anything affecting the margins, I scrolled all the way down to the little diagram showing the margins and padding. When you click the components inside, it highlights them in the browser so I could see there was a buttload of margins — I just had to figure out where. Then I realized that when I clicked in the code (the Elements tab of DevTools), it showed much more specific information under the Styles tab.

Then I finally got to do one of the coolest things Dev Tools can do which is hack around in the code to change what’s displayed. So I could test it “live” without uploading, refreshing, testing, changing the code again, etc. … OH MY GOD what a time saver!

Once it was beautiful, I copied the new CSS fromt the Styles tab, pasted it into my CSS file, uploaded, and viola! Awesomeness.

fixed.png

What made me visit my little app today was this … the sort of nerdy curiosity about data that inspired the app in the first place.

Geeky (Geekier) Iron Maiden Data

I was celebrating yesterday’s purchase of Iron Maiden‘s Live After Death by pricing some of the other albums on Amazon — in particular, Brave New World because it is my second favorite album of theirs and it has a wicked cool cover similar to Live After Death.

And this nonsense is what I saw …

nonsense.png
Can you see it? What a … a travesty! an injustice!

“Blood Brothers” — obviously the best song on the album, has like zero popularity. I couldn’t even hum what Amazon says are the most popular tracks from memory. I almost lost my faith in humanity. So, I went to my little app to see how the song rated on Spotify.

First I sorted all their tracks by Track Name.

myspotBlood.png

Various versions of “Blood Brothers” do seem to be a bit low on the curve. For comparison, I sorted by popularity. Here are their top tracks as of last Sunday.

topMaidenTracks.png

Then I sorted by album so I could see how the song placed compared to other tracks on the album — the way Amazon showed them.

braveNewWorld.png

On Spotify, it is the second most popular track on the album and by a decent margin.

Major Milestone Monday

After lots of hard work, I have D3 not only working with my database but have album art to go with the albums. It took me a while — even after I got the album covers to appear — to get the covers to display where I wanted them. I had to do math a lot. Still not “done,” but this is a big, big deal. This is my #BadAssTakeover.

I have cron jobs that regularly reach out to Spotify and store the popularity of artists, albums, and tracks. Here is a sampling of the bar graphs I can now do. Albums are in chronological order and the numbers are the popularity scores as of Sunday, April 22, 2018. Their popularity scores are relative to all albums on Spotify but I don’t know how they work … I don’t know if an album’s popularity takes into consideration the tracks’ popularity.

Click all images for full size

Alice Cooper

aliceCooper_01

Alice has tons of compilations which is frustrating for multiple reasons. He’s one of the artists that makes me think a vertical graph might be better.

aliceCooper_02

David Bowie

davidBowie_01

As you might expect, Bowie has a ton of albums even without compilations.

davidBowie_02

I’m not sure what the albums without art are … their titles are visible in a sortable table on a different page but I’m busy at the moment …

Bride

I chose them as a sample for a couple reasons. One, they have relatively few albums and two, they were played last night on IntenseRadio during The Great Scott Diversion.

bride

Deliverance

I really don’t like Deliverance but a lot of people do and they have a new album out.

deliverance

Iron Maiden

I feel like I should like Iron Maiden more than I do. Today was a bad Iron Maiden day for me. I’ve been trying to find a relatively inexpensive used copy of Live After Death (on vinyl) and finally found one at a local used record shop but they wouldn’t sell it to me because it wasn’t priced yet. How do I know it was relatively inexpensive if it wasn’t priced yet? The cover was in horrible condition.

ironMaiden

Led Zeppelin

I chose them because I wanted to show some really tall columns … all that “gray space” in the screen shots is how high up the columns could go.

ledZeppelin

Led Zeppelin is another reason my recent … I’ve started buying records again — for the first time in over 30 years — and it’s a lot less fun than I thought it would be.

Meat Loaf

meatLoaf

I think all those blank spaces are compilations. He’s like Alice that way. Ew.

Mortification

Mortification, like Deliverance, are in my database because I wanted a health selection of thrash and black metal and similar artists to compare to each other.

mortification

One Bad Pig

Because I love them.

oneBadPig

They only have four albums which is sad. Well, they’ve also got a demo and a live album but those aren’t on Spotify.

Resurrection Band/Rez Band/Rez/Resurrection Band

rez

For some reason, there’s at least one … wait … it does say Resurrection Band … I thought Ampendectomy was a Glenn Kaiser solo album. Can you believe Lament isn’t their most popular album? People are dumb.