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.

bmj.com(British 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 News.com: "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.