Monday, December 27, 2004

Legal Affairs - The Gentle People

Legal Affairs - The Gentle People

Monday, December 20, 2004

So freakishly accurate

A "P.dro Classic" running System 6 that actually crashes so hard that you have to use the reset button - which makes it all the more realistic. :D

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Examining Bittorrent

I agree with a Slashdot commenter: "... I want to pay for the entertainment I watch!"

Seniors Back Medical Marijuana

AARP Poll Shows that "72 percent of respondents agreed 'adults should be allowed to legally use marijuana for medical purposes if a physician recommends it.'"

Monday, December 13, 2004

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Hell & Snowballs

Two great tastes that taste great together: A product carrying both the "Windows Media Compatible" label and the "QuickTime 6 Required" label. (pdf)

Only In Indiana ?

NewsLink Indiana
covers ambulance gift cards on sale. For only $25, you can give the gift of, well, emergency medical transportation.

Saturday, December 04, 2004


Bush Arrested for War Crimes!: "Canadian authorities have arrested US president George W. Bush"

Sunday, November 28, 2004

absolutely ... hilarious !!!

And not that bad of an idea, really. See: iowahawk: Sears/Kmart Acquires France

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

I can't agree more that ...

Windows security problems: South Florida Sun-Sentinel: "... life is too short to waste time and energy dealing with Microsoft products."

Sunday, November 21, 2004

See, for example:

Celebration, Florida.

Re: Made in USA: "If real estate developers operated on a large enough scale, if they built whole towns ..."

Thursday, November 11, 2004

The NYT on The N

My So-Called Network: My only objection is the dissing of "Just Deal". It's one of the rare series that manages to be educational and yet have a plot. And not just a plot, but a plot that actually connects all the episodes. And we could only ever wish that a US teen series would be as realistic as Degrassi:TNG. I still wish The N would show the abortion episode though.

They really need to add Edgemont to round out their Canadian teen drama offerings. And, Gilmore Girls is already on ABC Family, and given the ratings it's drawing, I think they want to keep it for now. I could see it ending up on The N in another 5 to 8 years perhaps. The N would also do well to add The WB's Popular; another fantastic sarcastic teen show.

If this is true...

... then we're in big trouble. Break for News: "Search engine Google is ignoring thousands of news stories about the alleged theft of the U.S. presidential election."

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Most. Obtuse. Description. Ever.

Microsoft AutoUpdate for Office 2004 for Mac: "This update to Microsoft AutoUpdate for Office 2004 for Mac is part of Microsoft's continued effort to provide the latest product updates to customers."

Saturday, November 06, 2004

This makes me


In this day and age, I really don't want to believe my own two eyes when I look at this flier that was distributed to potential voters of color.

The Postal Service partners with ... The Postal Service.

Pitchfork: "... Sub Pop is considering, under the auspices of their newly minted licensing deal, using local postal outlets as distribution points ..."
I would probably go to the post office more often, if they did have any indie-pop CDs. Maybe even a package, where, like, if I buy the CD, I'd also get a set of postcards and/or stamps bearing the logo/likeness of the band?
I must admit this is probably one of the coolest things that USPS has done in a long time, especially if they want to get a younger crowd talking about them.

Friday, November 05, 2004

ALF's Hit Talk Show

Premiers (as a regular series) tonight on TV Land at 11 PM E/P. (There has previously been a one-off special edition of the show, but I just happened to notice tonight that TV Land has apparently signed on to make it a regular series.) More Info - TV Series - TV Tome

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Sunday, October 24, 2004

The End of Democracy

The Village Voice: Features: Sucking Democracy Dry: The End of Democracy by Rick Perlstein: "George Bush sold out our security in order to pull off a sales job ..."

Sunday, October 17, 2004

The Bush Method

My Way News: "'... everything this administration does - deny it, pretend it's not there, and then try to hide it when it comes out and act surprised,' Kerry said."

Saturday, October 16, 2004

I hate reruns during election season...

Bush Lawyer Anticipates Delay in Tally ( "... it may be days or weeks before we know who actually is the winner ..."

Shades of 2000, folks.

Friday, October 15, 2004

WMA = "popular"?! The IPod In Perspective: "Microsoft ... has a popular audio format in Windows Media ..."

On what planet? Not this one. Apple (and by extension, their FairPlay-DRM/MPEG-4/AAC files) have maintained nearly a 70 percent market share of legally purchased digital music. There *might* be a large number of people ripping their CDs at home into WMA, but where are the statistics to prove it? I'd say most people who rip at home are encoding into MP3 format. More than likely, WMA is a distant number 2 or 3, with OGG, FLAC, etc. trailing behind that.

U.S. Debt Ceiling Is Reached

New York Times > Washington > As U.S. Debt Ceiling Is Reached, Bush Administration Seeks to Raise It Once Again: "Less than a day after President Bush implied that Senator John Kerry lacked 'fiscal sanity,' the Bush administration said on Thursday that the federal government had hit the debt ceiling..."

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Spyware is Windows-only

The Register: "Prominent anti-spyware developer Webroot says it has yet to detect a single Apple or Linux spyware app."

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Air Force: Suicides > Insurgent Combat Deaths

Suicides Have AF Officials On Edge : "'Our kids are killing themselves at a greater rate than the insurgents are killing our kids,' he said."

Monday, October 11, 2004

I am Fish "Tacos".

fish tacos
You are Fish 'Tacos.' You might think you're
exotic and worldly-wise, but in reality you're
just a bunch of crap on toast. Repeat after
me: 'just because you put something in
quotation marks doesn't make it so.' And
'taco' isn't Spanish for 'toast.'

What Weight Watchers recipe card from 1974 are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thursday, October 07, 2004

I guess it's true that smart computing choices abound on both sides of the platform. See below a photo of post-debate analysis, showing both a Democratic and a Republican analyst. (courtesy MacBidouille)
There is also much balance in the real world - Al Gore, for example, is an Apple board member, but prominent Mac users include Rush Limbaugh and even President George W. Bush.

Anti-Draft Petition

Democracy For America: "If we 'stay the course' with this president, we will face a choice: drastically reduce our commitments or reinstate the draft."

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Washington Times: Technology - October 05, 2004

Macs rule for value when cost is the key: "At almost every level ... Macs were less expensive than Dells with similar features."

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Linux News: But Macs Are Slower, Right?

Linux News: Developer: But Macs Are Slower, Right?: "Macs generally cost less than comparable PC products"

Monday, September 27, 2004

Dell $$$ > Apple $$

NO, Mac's are NOT OVERPRICED!!!: "We could practically fund the war in Iraq on the cost of Windows virus attacks between 1998 and 2004."

Look at the map (link)

The Washington Monthly: "one major country in the entire Middle East that al-Qaeda was unable to operate in"

BBC | Florida vote trouble

BBC NEWS | Carter fears Florida vote trouble: "Voting arrangements in Florida do not meet 'basic international requirements' and could undermine the US election, former US President Jimmy Carter says."

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Former CIA says ...

Government Computer News: "slow creep toward nationwide fingerprinting"

Friday, September 24, 2004

the truth (not dot com, but still...)

President's Remarks: "And I think the world would be better off if we did leave ... [Iraq] ..."

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

800 planes at risk

News: "'A major breakdown in Southern California's air traffic control system last week was partly due to ... Microsoft Windows servers ..."

USA TODAY - Mac or PC?

Windows' security issues help some users choose: "'I like Windows XP, but the risks are too high these days. It's sad ..."

Homeschoolers: The new terrorists?!

Michelle Malkin: Anti-homeschooling bigots strike again: "'The exercise will simulate an attack by a fictitious radical group ... who believe everyone should be homeschooled. Under the scenario, a bomb is placed on the bus ..."

This is about one thousand kinds of wrong - although there are some homeschoolers who certainly do believe public schools shouldn't exist, or at least shouldn't exist in their current form, I have never in my entire life heard of any homeschoolers who would advocate any kind of violence or attacks on public schools. There are certainly homeschoolers who are trying to change things, but they are all using peaceful methods of action like political protests, letters to the editors of newspapers, and so on.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Windows malware count 4500 in first six months

Can you afford over 24 new pieces of malware (viruses, worms, etc) unleashed every day? Can you afford to reconsider Windows? Read more at

Monday, September 20, 2004

Behind the Music

Yahoo and Musicmatch: I was surprised to learn that "Thomson Multimedia is the largest investor in Musicmatch". Never heard that anywhere else on the net, in all my various travels. It does, as the author explains, account for MusicMatch's relatively pioneering offer of free unlimited MP3 encoding even in its unregistered, "free" version jukeboxes (as well as the MP3Pro encoding, I bet). However, I beg to differ with the author when he states that competitors must pay a licensing fee for each "MP3 encode". The larger licensees, at least, only pay a flat fee to be able to distribute a large number of encoders each year. Smaller licensees, AFAIK, do pay some amount per encoder distributed. But I haven't heard of anyone having to pay per MP3 file encoded, at least for consumer software. If that was the case, I suspect there would have been outrage from privacy advocates about MP3 encoding / "ripping" activities being logged and reported to a central authority.

Thursday, September 16, 2004


With her Everybody Gets A Car! idea - I think she's just ripping off "Richard Simmons' Dream Maker" this season.

NYT > Pogue

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > From the Desk of David Pogue: Considering Microsoft's ITunes Store: "[A] Microsoft manager admitted ... 'We told our developers, 'Look at how Apple does it.''"

NYT > A Computer With the IPod's Bloodlines

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > State of the Art: A Computer With the IPod's Bloodlines: "The iMac ... actually less expensive than comparably equipped PC's ..."

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Policy on Windows Networking in the dorms

Policy on Windows Networking in the dorms: "[At] The University of Chicago ... over 3,200 computers running some version of Microsoft Windows were broken into last year, and we estimate that the 2004-2005 school year will be even worse."

Rob Glaser @ /.

My thoughts on: Slashdot | Rob Glaser Responds, Talks Up Real Networks

When Rob says he's "working on it" in regards to paid services for Linux users, I'd bet dollars to donuts that he is NOT talking of Rhapsody,, or the Real Music Store. More than likely, he means they are looking into offering Linux users the same two subscription services they offer Mac OS X users - SuperPass & RadioPass. Since there is no actual downloading or burning of content involved, but merely password authentication (to make sure only paying customers are accessing the service) and perhaps an integrated browser (which could easily be provided on Linux with KHTML or Gecko), it would be relatively simple to implement the two services I mention.
More than likely, the big issue is support; I think that's Real's biggest headache when it comes to offering services on Linux. The only thing I can suggest to them, is hope that their community can help out - perhaps even giving free subscriptions to certain influential and/or helpful members of the Helix Community so that they can help debug the services and support users on an unofficial basis.

Honestly though, I have ended up with these impressions:
A. Rhapsody/ ($10/m all you can eat) is not available on non-Windows platforms because it uses Windows Media DRM that simply isn't supported anywhere else. They plan to move this service to Harmony-flavored DRM at some point in the future (or so I have gathered by STFW) and at that point, (since Real will be using its own in-house DRM layer) it will probably be much easier to implement Rhapsody on other platforms.

B. Real Music Store (99c/song ownership) is not available on other platforms because they wanted to be as expedient as possible in getting it out the door. I get the impression that as long as it took them to figure out how to get into the iPod, they wanted to start making money based on that knowledge ASAP. They felt the most expedient way to do this involved supporting only Windows for now, and running some crazy half-price sale. Whether that will prove profitable in the long run is anyone's guess.
I suspect that since it does use their own in-house DRM, Real Music Store may possibly show up at least on the Mac before Rhapsody does. I also think that once they can port the DRM code, Real should be able to offer CD burning right away to both Mac and Linux users by taking advantage of support built into each OS. Supporting any type of MP3 player at all will probably take longer, but again, I'd expect at least iPod & Palm support on non-Windows platforms at some point. The real sticking point here is that since Harmony is relying on Windows Media DRM to put its music onto a large percentage of players, it will only be able to support loading those players with encrypted music on Windows OSes; since the iPod & Palm (as well as one unit from Creative, IIRC) rely on Real's own code to load encrypted music, that will be much more easily ported to alternative OSes.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Grace To You

A Good Idea: "... extend grace to the one who has fallen."

Saturday, September 11, 2004

WM : mac

A third partyhas finally created a codec to offer (what sounds like it will be) full importing & exporting support for Windows Media on the Mac.

I'm glad to see this (even though it doesn't appear to add any DRM support) because it proves it can be done, even if the Microsoft Windows Media team itself isn't interested in releasing it. (I think it will be interesting to see how much of this upcoming product relies on Microsoft's own code and how much had to be be created by this developer.)

Microsoft vs. Apple

Combat in High C: Microsoft vs. Apple - Knowledge@Wharton: "... Internet Explorer; it dominates the market but has so many security flaws it's a 'national disgrace.'"

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Cheney Warns Against Vote for Kerry

AP Wire: "another terrorist attack if voters make the 'wrong choice' on Election Day"

Monday, September 06, 2004

This is what we're up against

Cleric supports targeting children: "... holding women and children hostage would be a reasonable course of action ..."

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Kokomo makes CNN Headline News ticker (!)

Nearly verbatim:
Down In Kokomo Mayor of Indiana city to ask state for permission to raise property taxes to combat deficit

Friday, September 03, 2004

MSNBC's gone round the bend!

Apparently, due to low ratings, "Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog" is a political commentator right now at about 2:10 AM ET on MSNBC. If you ever wanted to see a potty-mouthed rubber dog debate stem cell research with Ron Reagan, here's your chance.

How can I get Windows Media DRM downloads to play on my Mac?

Unfortunately, Microsoft refuses to support the relatively unpopular Windows Media DRM format on the Macintosh, choosing only to support it on their own proprietary operating systems. If you are a Macintosh owner and are unhappy about this, please send feedback to Microsoft and ask them to change their policy and interoperate with other operating systems.

The most popular family of portable audio devices, the iPod family, with over 50 percent of the market today, is completely supported on the Mac today, and we hope that someday Microsoft will join with the industry and support the choice that consumers have overwhelmingly made.

See original: MSN Entertainment - Music

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

They can't all be wrong, can they?

Zogby News!: "half (49.3%) of New York City residents and 41% of New York citizens overall say that some of our leaders 'knew in advance that attacks were planned on or around September 11, 2001, and that they consciously failed to act,' according to the poll conducted by Zogby International."

God is Not a Republican. Or a Democrat.

Take Action if you agree.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Sad, really.

NewsLink Indiana - Universities cope with Windows upgrade
: "'We'd rather solve the problems SP2 creates than have another raging virus or worm like we've had the past two falls,'"

They'd rather put up with a Windows update that will slow their network to a crawl and reduce/eliminate application functionality than the "raging" attacks by virii and their cousins.
Why not dump the "Windows" part of the equation?

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Curious Equation

So, "Domestic Security" > Free Speech ?
Read details at The Memory Hole > Justice Department Censors Supreme Court Quote.

Saturday, August 28, 2004


Op Ed: How Long Can the Country Stay Scared?

Is Windows Killing the Internet?

Low End Mac's Jeff Adkins asks this question. And I have to agree with his answer - Windows and its various virii and bugs have made the Internet a scarier idea for those that are less than savvy about technology.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

California holds 'Garage Sale'

CNN indicates they are also putting some items up on eBay. I actually give props to the Governator for this one; it's a great way to increase revenues without having to resort to increasing taxes or user fees.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Something's wrong when

National ID seen in 9/11 panel plan - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics - August 22, 2004: "'... we know you can drive, but we can't guarantee we know exactly who you are.'"

That's how Tennessee is "solving" the issue of people who need to drive but have a dubious legal status.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Paper checks just "float" away

According to MSN - Your checkbook just became obsolete, at the end of October, some big changes are coming to the way a checking account will function. Interesting read.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Another happy switcher!

News: "Windows thinks it's a surprise worth telling you about when something works. Apple doesn't."

incredibly weird

NYT > What Happens When You Buy a Post Office on eBay

The story of a couple who did indeed buy a post office on eBay, and had to engineer their own sting operation to get noticed by the powers that be, who are now punishing them for trying to point out massive government (or quasi-governmental corporation) problems.

Lots of Lightning

The Town Wire's Lightning Detector currently shows us as 89 strikes per minute are occurring "close" to Kokomo. I can believe it.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Charley Aftermath Live

WeatherGuide has a link in the center of their page labeled "SEE LIVE VIDEO" that will take you to a live stream of an NBC affiliate in Florida.

Herbie, the Homeland Security Shepherd!

NPR/Slate's Day To Day reports on the Department of Homeland Security's plans to name an "American Shepherd" dog as the official mascot for their marketing plan to scare 8 to 12 year old kids into nagging their parents whenever Tom Ridge sneezes.

I feel the current state of "Homeland Security" is about as dubious as the existence of the "American Shepherd" breed of dog.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Hey kids! The bogeyman is coming to get you!

Yahoo! News - Ad campaign urges kids in grades 4-8 to plan for emergency
: "In one radio advertisement, for example, a child asks his mother what to do and where to go if the electricity goes out and telephones don't work."

Isn't it awful when this administration has to prey on little kids and get them scared to convince their parents that the "threat" of "terror" is serious?

Saturday, August 07, 2004


The truth comes out? Or is it just a joke? Seattle Post-Intelligencer: AP - Washington, D.C.: New 'Bushism' born at bill signing: "President Bush offered up a new entry for his catalog of 'Bushisms' on Thursday, declaring that his administration will 'never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people.'"

Disney wants to remove the Record button!

See Electronic Frontier Foundation comments on Disney's new proposal to outlaw anything that could record an audio broadcast at all.

I guess we could all voluntarily quit recording, watching, or talking about Disney/ABC's programs. That sure would help them out, since they think it's a great business model.

(I gotta tell ya, if it weren't for my VCR, I'd never see anything from ABC, ABC Family, or the Disney Channel, because I barely have the time to watch 1 show a night when it's actually scheduled.)

Friday, August 06, 2004

Finally ... it all makes sense

We haven't yet won the "war on terror" because we're not miserable enough! That must be the reason for all these "terror alerts" I keep hearing about. The powers that be figure "If only they were more miserable, we could catch those darned terrorists." Look miserable to help the war on terrorism

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

New Al-Qaida info tied to DNC?

NPR reports that, depending who you ask, the Bush administration specifically wanted this released during the time period when the DNC was taking place late last week.

The temperature at which freedom burns...

American Library Association President-Elect Michael Gorman on the destruction of Department of Justice documents

Will they be telling us which books to burn also?

Monday, August 02, 2004

Fighting Terror by Attacking ... South America?

Or a "non-Al Qaeda target like Iraq"?
MSNBC - Newsweek reports.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

"loyalty oath"

Some Democrats seeking Cheney tickets had to sign oath and hand over lots of personal information for a background check.

Saturday, July 31, 2004


Switzerland -
A neutral power for as long
as most can remember, it has avoided war for
several centuries. However, it is still
considered highly advanced and a global power.





Powerful without Force.

Makes Excellent Watches, Etc.


Target of Ridicule.

Constant Struggle to Avoid Conflict.

Target of Criminal Bank Accounts.

Which Country of the World are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Uh oh - Money's not worth the Microsoft printed on it?

Apparently, MS Money users are finding that Money relies on connecting to MS' own .Net/Passport servers (at least in one configuration) and even backups were not available, because, they too, were encrypted with the same system. Makes you wonder what else could quit working one day if someone misconfigured a server. - Glitch Locks Out Money Users

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Timeout for Cheney

A 12-Year-Old Kerry campaigner says: "'When our vice president had a disagreement with a Democratic senator, he used a really bad word,' Ilana said. 'If I said that word, I would be put in a timeout. I think he should be put in a timeout.'"

I agree.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Something is wrong when

A representative of the US Copyright Office implies that "the Betamax decision, which made VCRs legal, should be overturned by Congress".

I can't even decide where to begin with this one. It's left as an exercise to the reader.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Really creepy and disturbing

To read that Tucson, Arizona was [an] al-Qaida hotbed. Especially since I lived there in the early to mid 90s. To think that I lived in the same city as people capable of such terror and destruction. {Shudder} I mean, I don't blame myself, but it really starts to eat away at my trust in the general public. I guess you really can't trust the general public anymore.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Capitol Deliberations

A Webcast from Washington, D.C. with an overview of this country's political process. Neat!

This scares me...

that they want to move ahead with the INDUCE Act, and they don't care if it makes everyone happy. They just think something has to be done. Something *does* have to be done, like voting out any lawmaker that support this awful legislation. According to the article I've linked, eBay - Google - Intel - TiVo - Verizon - Sun - Yahoo and others have said that the INDUCE Act would "... chill innovation and drive [away] investment in technology ..." and they're absolutely right.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Something to watch

Current Electoral Vote Predictor 2004 uses state-by-state polling data to do an electoral vote map, just like the networks do with their exit polling data on election night coverage.

Whither the 1st Amendment?

Free Speech Zones?: "This entire nation is a free speech zone, by design."

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Remain Calm

This Flash Animation is a great example of the (lack of) usefulness of the ongoing unspecific terror alerts.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Is NPR Sirius about newsmags? has an examination of the issue that I find misses the most interesting point: Isn't a purported "public service" denying service to the public by signing an exclusive contract with one satellite provider that prevents the other provider (which consumers have overwhelmingly selected in a competitive marketplace) from offering NPR content?

I think they should also study whether the deal to keep NPR's two satellite channels exclusive to Sirius benefits the public interest or even NPR itself. I bet a larger audience would certainly draw some of the national underwriters they appear to be interested in obtaining. Then again, I've never understood a good "public service" rationale for encrypting NPR's feeds on the older (large) C-Band satellite services. The rationale there (as in the article above) would seem to be affiliate protection.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

a very good idea...

This really does represent where I'm at in life so much. 5 Balls: "Each of us is given five balls. One is rubber and four are glass. The rubber ball is work. If you drop it, it will always bounce back. The other four glass balls are family, friends, health and integrity. If you drop them, they are shattered. They won't bounce back."

Friday, July 16, 2004

one scenario ...

"... since Oregon votes by mail, it would be largely immune from any polling manipulation on Election Day)."

On the west coast? Even in a western time zone? Consider the absentee option. I'm not saying that Bush & Co. would do this, but I am saying I would be upset and not terribly surprised.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Attn: Freedom Destroyers

An editorial states: "America's message to the world should be: We're prepared to vote on Nov. 2, no matter what."

I wholeheartedly agree.

I invite you to consider...

Voting absentee in case elections are postponed.

If enough voters were to do so (say, 75 percent of expected turnout), perhaps it would pressure the administration to go ahead and count the absentee votes and pick winners. I don't know if this would work, and it would require a very impressively high turnout of absentee voters, but on the other hand, I am really scared of disenfranchisement and running out of ideas.

Isn't it ironic, don't you think?

That VH1 is pushing MSN Messenger with a bunch of (putting it nicely) Mac OS 6/7 - inspired icons, and manages to (conveniently?) completely forget to mention that MSN Messenger is available for the Mac? I even checked the box when I entered their sweepstakes to get an extra entry for downloading MSNM and a box popped up indicating I (running Safari) didn't meet the minimum system requirements for MSNM.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

SBC Yahoo DSL Tips & Info

Boing Boing: Weird sticker on my DSL modem got me thinking about my DSL connection, and here are a few tips.

Some of the downsides / things to be aware of:

*If possible, avoid installing any software you may have received with your kit. The vast majority of it is unnecessary bloat. Support for PPPoE, the method by which SBC Y! allows users to log on and have access, is built into Mac OS X and Windows XP, and is easily added with a very small free driver to Windows versions greater than 95 but less than XP.

*Don't expect the special Yahoo features to work reliably or as you might expect. Email and the custom home page work fine. For example, the unlimited Y! Photos space is nice, but the photos aren't directly linkable. The Y! Briefcase space does have a large storage limit, but each file can't be very big. Launchcast Plus only works in an awful combination of Netscape & OS 9/Classic on the Mac (one of my sore spots). It would appear the "SBC Premium Video" service is in the process of becoming Mac compatible, but currently only works on Windows (and that is not official, just based on my own observations).

*I've never gotten SBC's official speed test Java applets to work in any browser, but I use the speed tests at, and they seem to work fine.

*The TOS used to contain a provision that appeared to indicate that a formerly free Yahoo ID, once merged into a paid DSL account, would never be free again, and instead Yahoo would charge a $9.95/month fee to maintain each ID you wanted to keep. The only way to get an ID back free would have been to cancel it entirely and try to sign up for it again before someone else got it. They seem to have eliminated this provision as of late, but I would still not merge an existing (free) Yahoo ID into the system as a paid DSL account ID. I have intentionally kept my old free Yahoo ID separate from the new paid one. I don't know if they'd add that old idea back to the TOS, and wouldn't want to be caught in that situation.

There are also upsides:

*The newly upgraded email to 2GB is nice (at least on the primary account, I don't use the 10 subaccounts so I don't know about them). Also nice that anything filtered and moved to the bulk mail folder *doesn't* count toward the 2 gig limit.

*SBC doesn't block any ports except 135 (IIRC) and if you do really need it for (some type of Windows network, I think) you can call them and they will unblock it just for your account. They used to not block any, but the Windows virus threat became too great.

*They still offer Usenet (which I think some ISPs have dropped) - server details found in the help system

*They've recently upgraded their phone system to be more "natural lanugage" (seems to be powered by TellMe). Obviously, YMMV as to the usefulness of this, but I prefer it to pressing buttons.

*You can have 1 DSL & 1 Dial-up connection active simultaneously (or 2 Dial-ups) and the TOS allows it.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

' violence has claimed 43 lives so far this year.'

Rocky Mountain News: Columbine covers this shocking increase in school shootings. When you look at the total number of kids that died because another kid shot and killed them in their school, that number was at its previous high of 37 in 1999. It had gone down to less than half that amount each year since 99, until this year, when (so far, as far as we know) 43 kids have died because another kid killed them in their school.

I don't really know how to put this, but it seems so obvious to me:
No kid should die because another kid killed them in their own school. It's just not acceptable by any standard. We have to find a better way. Somehow.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Phonecam art (?!)

SENT: An art show with Megan Mullally, Mark Cuban, and Wil Wheaton, amongst others.

Friday, July 09, 2004

It makes me want to ... scream!

Ridge's Ruffled By Eric Umansky: "vague-but-dire warnings" are all we ever get about terrorism at this point, and I can't take it anymore. When there is a serious warning, the population will probably ignore it.

Thursday, July 08, 2004


Stephen Stromberg explains the Bush adminstration's threat to veto legislation if it contains a provision that would restore privacy and freedom to buying and borrowing books.

Clear concrete!

Boing Boing on concrete mixed with glass fibers so that light will shine through it. We can't possibly be very far away from transparent aluminum at this rate. :D

AOL/AIM offer IM Relay

As explained here, the new IM Relay service for those who communicate better with text or sight than hearing or speech is also available to users of iChat AV on Mac OS X. I think it would be so cool if (perhaps as part of the launch of OS X 10.4) Apple put up a "Relay Phone Booth" in each store, which would simply consist of a privacy screen, an iSight, and either an iMac or any other sort of Mac. The accessibility features of 10.4 would be activated and/or a poster would explain how to activate them easily, and Apple could invite people to make free IM Relay calls at Apple Stores. It'd be a nice service to provide. I'm sure this could already be done, btw, but if Apple were to promote it properly, it could be another way to show customers how an Apple product can make life easier.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Pick a number, any number

News: "using IE is like playing the lottery"
according to Johnannes Ulrich, CTO of an Internet Security Centre.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

You can ... help = not run Windows

LJ Maintenance's Journal: "One thing you can do to help is not run Windows."
So it's not just the Department of Homeland Security advising against Internet Explorer, it's now LiveJournal advising against Windows itself.

Say it with me:
"I'm committed to homeland security through operating system diversity."

Hotmail email link redirection soon to be removed!

Also: More storage space, etc.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Sony's "ipod killer" - yeah right!

the Mp3 player that does NOT play Mp3's!
I will add one small correction to this link:
They say of the iPod's 8 formats that only one has DRM. That is slightly wrong. There are *two* DRM formats on the iPod, Protected AAC (as downloaded from iTunes Music Store) and Audible (*.AA files downloaded from However, it doesn't diminish in any way, the main point, which is that the iPod is compatible already with the format that most people have most of their music in, which is MP3. You need not convert, fold, spindle, mutilate or otherwise harm your MP3 files to play them on the iPod. This in fact, as far as I know, is what has made it so simple for third-party developers to work with the iPod; it will play standard unencrypted formats such as MP3, MP4/AAC, and even Text files (for the Notes feature). AIFF, WAV, and Apple Lossless MP4 support is also included, for those that can't stand even the lightest lossy compression.

Thursday, July 01, 2004


MSNBC - Guantanamo prisoners could be moved to U.S.
Visit this link and scroll down to find the "INTERACTIVE" box on the right hand side. You can pretend you're an airport baggage screener for two minutes.

(I found all the threats, but also had a few false alarms, and I took too long, as judged both by my end score and the complaints that ensued during my two minute period. (Yes, you get to hear the passengers complain if you don't do it fast enough.))

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

IE Too Dangerous To Use

Internet Explorer Is Too Dangerous to Keep Using
I don't really feel the need to add anything, except perhaps to mention that this specifically applies to IE on Windows. The (now-deprecated) Mac version doesn't suffer from its cousin's myriad of infirmities.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Kokomo makes "The New York Times"

Democrats Find Relief Among Allies at 'Fahrenheit 9/11'
And it takes a movie that's not even playing here (yet?) to do it.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Shopping Card Case

Lawsuit Against QFC Allowed To Continue
Maybe if they realize the potential liability they open themselves up to, supermarkets will quit with this "discount card" business and just offer everyday low prices.

As easy as ABC

Bush Backs Condom Use

Won't this upset his base? Nonetheless, I find it a very interesting position for him to take.

Monday, June 21, 2004

No Child Left Undrugged. Medical Journal) explains how Dubya plans to screen everyone to see if they need to be placed on an expensive, patented prescription drug treatment.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

No Starz, for Real.

The Verdict: No Starz - The cable network's new online downloading service...
Furthermore, the biggest turn-off for me was "Requires Windows 98 or higher."

If it did work on the Mac, I'd at least take the 14 day trial.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Dirty little secret.

Big music stores squelch download plan | CNET "The first few weeks of Apple's store, in which millions of songs were sold to the relatively tiny audience of Macintosh computer users, had created a heady optimism among the retailers. When Apple moved into the Windows market, sales increased, but not nearly to the extent that the retailers had hoped."

IMO, the dirty little secret of Apple's success with the iTunes Music Store is that Mac users represent a disproportionate percentage of sales as compared to market share (which is a bad measurement anyway, but that's another blog entry.) I would bet that Mac users are responsible for at least 30 to 50 percent of ongoing sales through iTunes. I just don't think that Windows users are as willing to pay for content. Otherwise, wouldn't some of the WMA-based services have taken off in a big way by now?

I'm guessing Apple doesn't mention this secret because a. they don't want to offend Windows users, b. they don't particularly want to 'tip off' the competition, and c. it may not be possible for a third party to fully realize increased sales in the Mac market, simply because of the 'Apple factor' - that is, the third party wouldn't be Apple.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

High-quality audio via iTunes and/or Music Store?

The Macworld Blog says "If iTunes is playing back a digital multichannel file format like AC3 (Dolby Digital) or DTS, those bitstreams are wrapped in Apple's compression and encryption, and then decoded at the other end. In those cases, AirPort Express would end up streaming the raw AC3 or DTS stream via an optical cable to your home theater receiver for decoding."

Where would iTunes obtain such audio, and how? (Would iTunes also downconvert said audio to Apple Lossless for listening via the analog output of Airport Express?)

Something here smells an awful lot like either a. higher quality of songs to be sold at iTMS soon (probably for more money) and/or b. video(s) of some type to be sold at iTMS soon and/or c. iTunes incorporates DVD playback (?)

I would say that the audio would be coming from the DVD Player, except for this:
In the comments to the first Macworld blog post about Airport Express, user 'kwimalar' asked 'Does this mean that Powerbook users will be able to get
surround sound for their music and DVDs, without having
to use an adapter like the Sonica?' and Dennis Sellers (one of the editors) replied that 'kwimalar, this is for iTunes only. Not for DVD Player or any other app.'

So have I proven anything interesting? Obviously, iTunes will somehow be obtaining DD/DTS audio to play back via APEX - and if you look at the second Macworld blog post about APEX, in context, it appears that the information in the post is primarily credited to the post author's conversation with Greg Joswiak.
So Greg Joswiak is indicating high-quality audio in iTunes, at least at some point. The only other way I could think of this audio being available (besides my points a, b, and c above (regarding songs/videos to be sold, or DVD playback) would possibly be movie trailers offering DD/DTS surround sound via iTunes, but that wouldn't make much sense in conjunction with APEX unless video was also going to be sent to the living room; unless Apple merely intends the feature for those who have surround speakers in the computer room. Nonetheless, it would seem strange to me to offer that for movie trailers but not for actual DVDs being played back. Maybe SACD support in iTunes? That would seem to be the only other type of quality audio I could think of.

BTW, how long until someone offers a free/cheap utility that hacks the Airport Express to be usable as an audio output for any application (not just iTunes)? Of course it could be done right now with Rogue Amoeba's Nicecast (just hijack application of choice, turn around into MP3 stream, play MP3 stream in iTunes, and let iTunes send it to APEX). But I bet someone will offer a utility for those who would like to let Windows Media or Real Player audio be sent to another room (for example) or any other app floating around.

(P.S. For those who want Ogg support, I'd say that the new Airport Express probably *does* support Ogg, provided you have the proper QuickTime plugin installed. I get the impression that virtually anything you can listen to using iTunes, you can also listen to using this unit.)

Monday, June 07, 2004

AOL Cancellation Settlement Website

AOL Cancellation Settlement Website
Hey? Been taken by AOL? This is the place for you.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

WZWZ Z92.5

Is running ads about how supposedly "awful" satellite radio is. Please. If they provided anything at Z that I wanted to listen to, satellite radio wouldn't be necessary, now would it?

For that matter, WZWZ itself is "satellite" radio after about 7 or 8 each night, until you hear Allan & Amber the next morning. That whole time, they carry an ABC Radio Networks service (delivered by satellite).

Saturday, May 29, 2004


Popular Mechanics' Tech Tuesday: "Microsoft says it's staying true to its original vision--which, as near as we can tell, is to be as much like Mac OS X as possible"

Monday, May 24, 2004

100 Percent Success

MSNBC - Charter School

Now this is the right idea - promote a more structured, goal oriented environment and even inner-city youth that start 3 years behind can all, repeat all, go on to higher education.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Tricked-out brains

Is yours? Watch the animation and find out. NPR : Tricks the Brain Plays

Friday, May 21, 2004

Yahoo! News - Pringles potato snack to get printed designs

Pringles to get designs

Sometimes, food really is educational. Other times it's just junk.

Sometimes, sex is the answer.

Rare, but it happens: Ananova - Childless couple told ...

It is on. And when it is on, it is on!

WXXB vs. court

B102.9 vs WAZY - throwin it down in Lafayette.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

no. comment.

Wired News: XXXchurch Wants No More XXX: "...Christian sex addicts in Kentucky."

Live HTML Editing

WebRev looks pretty cool... too bad it's $250 (or, rather, requires a $250 product) to be used.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

chilled out?

Elisabeth Eaves indicates that "...for five or more hours every afternoon, the nation is seriously chilled out..."

Might be just the ticket to mideast peace. Will they export the stuff?

the best PBS shows all end in 'house'

So true! Seth Stevenson of Slate says so.

More alliteration later.


This is just a test, to see if this darn thing works.