Monday, December 26, 2005

cattle relations (!)

My Way News - Man Pleads No Contest to Cattle Relations

speaks for itself.

iTunes OPML (!)

Musings from Mars > iTunes Interface Controversy
A little exposed part of the iTunes interface:

I just figured out that iTunes imports & exports OPML! Who knew? (iTunes doesn't always expose advanced functionality, but this keeps things simpler for non-power users.)

To import OPML, just go to File > Import... and select the OPML file.
To export OPML, select the "Podcasts" item in the left hand column (of playlists/sources/etc) and then go to File > Export Song List. You may then choose Plain Text, Unicode Text, XML, or OPML from a popup menu.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

farewell, MacIE

As noted here - - Slashdot | Microsoft Ends IE for Mac - MS will officially lay Macintosh Internet Explorer to rest at the end of this year.

I wish it well. It truly raised the bar for a "standards compliant browser" in its day. WinIE remains a "standards complaint browser".

The below is speculation, based on bits and pieces I've picked up online - I might very well be totally wrong:

Wasn't the "missing feature" in IE5 a Radio toolbar that would have been better than the one in WinIE? It was to play MP3 formatted streams, and (may or may not have been) related to SoundJam somehow?

(But what theoretically happened is that Apple wanted to buy SoundJam to make iTunes, and didn't want to ship IE as default browser if it contained a competing Internet radio player?)

Monday, December 19, 2005

comments on Y! buying Flickr and

Participatory Culture: News and Ideas > Blog Archive > Fullscreen Controls

Well… I do think Yahoo’s acquisition of Flickr and raises questions. It all depends on how much advertising Yahoo adds, how they add it, and whether they give users a way to either benefit from it, or opt out of it.

I have dealt with websites before that showed ads and rewarded users for it., for one, in its previous incarnation (not the current one) had a forum, and both reading and posting within the forum were rewarded with points that could be exchanged for money and prizes, and although advertising was present, clicking on or interacting with ads was not a required condition of being rewarded. The idea was to simply offer an environment where users are paid to spend time on this forum, and money was made merely through the normal level of interaction that users would have with ads anyway. A portion of such monies were then returned to users.

Something else that Yahoo! might consider doing (although I don’t know if it would be considered enough “payback” to the community) is offering some financial or technical support to various open source projects, and/or offering open source projects free APIs to access various Yahoo! services.

I realize that in the mind of many users, the best solution would be for Yahoo! to never acquire such “Web2.0″ businesses anyway, but it seems to be inevitable that any site which reaches a certain level of popularity will either be acquired or be coerced by market forces to partner with a top-level portal (Google, AOL, Yahoo!, MSN).

'why not to use windows'

TalkBack: No wonder if they use windows | reader response on| CNET "There is no excuse, except maybe that they tried to use windows."

'the illusion of security' - interesting

TalkBack: Failures are intentional... | reader response on| CNET "The latter is
really the most important -- the illusion of
security, the illusion that the government is
being proactive in defending its citizens
against harm -- because without it, the
government would appear useless to a great
number of people."

homeland security Windows 95 = ?

Aging computers hobble Homeland Security | CNET "An upgrade to Microsoft's Windows 2000 operating system failed ... which meant one division had to ... reversion back to Windows 95."

Friday, December 16, 2005

more surveillance

Bush Secretly Lifted Some Limits on Spying in U.S. After 9/11, Officials Say - New York Times: "eavesdropping inside the country without court approval"

Thursday, December 15, 2005

surveillance society

... it marches onward ...
KWCH 12 | Hidden camera in boy's bathroom

Saturday, December 03, 2005

not critical enough for you?

WorkingForChange-Drowning the hard questions: A Nova special

NOVA may not have been critical enough, but the PBS show NOW has asked the hard questions:

It goes on, and on, and on. NOW continues to deal with this issue regularly. Notably, NOW is the rare PBS show that is not (currently) funded by any corporations. Since Bill Moyers left, and NOW moved to a 30 minute format, it's been funded by a mix of foundations and the PBS network itself. And it's been doing a great job at speaking truth to power. It's the kind of stuff the commercial networks' newsmagazines used to do before they all got sucked into multinational corporate conglomerates.

Friday, December 02, 2005

glad to see

Mall Resurrects Display of Hurricane Town - Yahoo! News

The mall has decided to resurrect an ever-so-slightly-sanitized version of the display, along with a bulletin board where both sides can post their comments. This is a much better solution.


Project Censored - Media democracy in action

My challenge to you, dear reader? Pick any one of the above-linked 25 stories and try to contain your outrage at this media and this government.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

banging the WM DRM drum

Of unintended interactions
I am perfectly well aware that MacBU isn't responsible for WMP. I would certainly hope they would never attach their good name to such a piece of work.

However - Microsoft - some part of it - is responsible for WMP. And they haven't really addressed the Mac community (to my knowledge). I would be interested to know whether they will ever implement a more recent version of WM DRM on the Mac, or whether they will license to do so. Linspire wanted to procure a license for WM DRM, and they were told that MS doesn't license it for "general computing platform" usage. So much for "Plays For Sure".

Reference Links: - Not perfect, but significantly better than the "official" WM Mac player. And officially licensed by MS, to boot. - Article explaining how Linspire was denied a WM DRM license. I just don't see why, exactly, that MS wouldn't want this (except of course to preserve an OS monopoly). Are they honestly that threatened by Linspire? I thought they wanted Windows Media to "Plays For Sure" on all types of devices.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Monday, October 31, 2005

WorldSpace worrying me

Satellite radio going global - Breaking News - World - Breaking News: "WorldSpace would like to add Chinese-language channels and make radios that exclude foreign news channels.

'We're not interested in whether China is setting its media rules this way or that, we're interested in what those rules are and how to follow them,' Samara said."

Ew. I hope they change their attitude. (Or make those radios very easy to hack to receive the foreign news channels. ;) )

Saturday, October 22, 2005

iTunes in NOV = WMA DRM solution ? Forum -> Tim Foreman speaks on protected CD: "... itunes is coming out with a new version for PC users in early November that will be compatible with all of these new CD's ..."

I wonder if this means that the supposed "new" iTunes in november will be either:

  • Compatible with WMA-DRM, and converting such tracks to Fairplay DRM (or adding WMA to iPod (unlikely)).

  • OR

  • Able to rip CDs with no regard to DRM, as before (hopeful, but realistic?)

My other question is whether the Mac iTunes will be affected by any of the above, or whether it will remain blissfully unaware of Windows Media DRM.

Thursday, October 20, 2005 Campaign for America's Priorities

Check out the interactive map I created

It's unbelievable that politicians are cutting vital social services like food stamps, Medicaid, and bridge and road construction while still giving away huge tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations.

Join me in this online march and get yourself on the map with thousands of people who think this just isn't right for America.


Sunday, October 16, 2005

cool pi video

nerd alert! - you may need to be a geek to get this:
Keith Schofield / Pi

Thursday, October 13, 2005

loose nukes @ purdue :(

ABC News: Purdue University: "No guards. No metal detectors."

Sunday, October 09, 2005

stop the "break my VCR" flag!

Public Knowledge - Night of the Living Broadcast Flag!
What I added to their form letter:
"This is very important to me, as I spend the majority of my time helping out family at home. But to do so, and continue to attend college part time, it is essential that I'm able to record TV and radio if I'm going to be able to watch or listen at all, since I don't have the luxury of sitting down to watch programs live. I realize TV and radio aren't essentials for life, but they are an important way for me to stay informed and get entertained when I can't leave the house for a significant amount of time more than one night a week.

I am also majoring in Computer Information Systems in college, and I am very afraid of the chilling effect that these proposed onerous restrictions could have on computer programmers and hobbyists. We could be prevented from building or fixing our own computers, or even writing our own programs. I think we need to encourage more people to experiment with technology at home, if we ever want our country to catch up with the highly competitive job markets around the globe. Let's invent the next great thing right here in the US of A.

I'm also worried about the so-called "digital transition" from analog to digital TV. I think we should accelerate the transition, but the broadcast flag is the surest way to slow it down, and prevent public safety and other future bandwidth users from receiving their desired allotments on time. I don't think anyone will want to buy (or even take for free) a bunch of new digital equipment, which, thanks to a broadcast flag or similar restriction, will automatically delete shows before they've even been watched, prevent copying of shows for archival or sharing with other family members, or even prevent recording of certain shows entirely. That's just awful and greedy on the part of the entertainment industry. Everyone I've asked has said that they would not want a new VCR that didn't work at least as well as their old one."

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


I took the The Gullibility Factor test at - my score was 88 out of 100. This classified me as a "Free Thinker". Interesting test.

Monday, September 19, 2005

UP IN FLAMES - News - EXCLUSIVE: UP IN FLAMES: "Tons of British aid donated to help Hurricane Katrina victims to be BURNED by Americans"

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Sunday, September 11, 2005

thank goodness

BREITBART.COM - Just The News: "'I can't swing a dead cat without hitting a reporter,' Honore said."

Freedom of the press in action. The first amendment, being enforced!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

go CNN !

Feds Drop Media Ban on Katrina Recovery - Yahoo! News: "Challenged in court by CNN, the Bush administration ..."

It's high time that someone challenged the Bush administration.

meangirls = bb6 friendship

BB Screencaps BB6 Screencaps
An excellent parody.

Love to see Janelle win HOH again this week. Jedi Janey just needs one more HOH and she. could. go. all. the. way!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

ways to replace cable tv with internet web subscription services

You might want to consider something along the lines of's SuperPass - it includes the 24/7 "ABC News Now" as well as other music and video channels. You can also add a Starz video on demand service for an additional fee. Some people also find they get by with an over-the-air antenna and digital tuner (in many areas you can receive multiple channels free with the appropriate tuner, even if you have an older analog TV set). Another alternative is Netflix, a DVD rental service, or even Peerflix, a DVD swapping service, which can be cheaper if you want fewer than 11 different DVDs during a given month - or would like the option of keeping and owning any DVD you receive.

It's also worth noting that Scripps Howard content (from networks like HGTV, DIY, Food Network, etc.) is available free (on an ad-supported basis) at

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Anne Rice comments on NOLA hurricane

Do You Know What It Means to Lose New Orleans? - New York Times

Good article. Rice expresses the highly complex nature of New Orleans and its importance to the fabric of our national life.

citizens, not insurgents!

Boing Boing: Al-Cajun? Army Times calls NOLA Katrina victims "the insurgency"

Is this a symptom of President Bush's "you're with us or you're against us" mentality? And, is he against the victims of Hurricane Katrina? Federal response was certainly slow in coming.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

props to Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart Commits Additional $15 Million to Katrina Relief: "... Wal-Mart will establish mini-Wal-Mart stores in areas impacted by the hurricane."

I wonder if Wal-Mart will get their aid to the affected faster and more efficiently than the federal government. I wouldn't be shocked if that was the case.

racism makes me cry

"Blacks are Looters and Whites are Finders" - a series of screenshots at Dvorak's weblog.

How insensitive is this? Darker-skinned people are "looters" but those with lighter skin are "finders"!

(I realize these photos aren't all from the same news agency but I think their juxtaposition shows that race is still unfortunately a factor in how judgments are made when very little information is available about a person.)

Please, anyone reading this, donate to the relief organization of your choice.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

another bad decision != shock

Former Clinton Advisor: "No One Can Say they Didn't See it Coming" - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News: "... the Bush administration cut New Orleans flood control funding by 44 percent to pay for the Iraq war."

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


BREITBART.COM - Just The News: "Religious ... " extremist " ... Pat Robertson called ... for the assassination ..."

Silly me. I thought that was the type of headline that I was supposed to hear about from other countries, not my own. How depressing, that a man who claims to be a Christian would call for the assassination of a foreign leader. Or anyone, really.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

friends don't let friends run Windows - Worm strikes down Windows 2000 systems - Aug 16, 2005: "Microsoft in 'emergency response' as worm reported..."

How many times does this have to happen? Will it be more critical systems next time? What if a Windows virus hits computers at a hospital? Or at an air traffic control center? I don't want it to happen, but if the world doesn't move toward an environment of diversity in operating systems, it probably will.

Even the state of Indiana recently realized a cost savings by offering Linspire Linux-based operating systems to schools across the state. They will save money up front, and over time, as maintenance costs will be generally lower than comparable Windows-based systems.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Don't blame Apple for DMB "CD"

The Official Dave Matthews Band Website Guide To Defeating Copy Protection For Fair Use
I put "CD" in quotes because any CD that has copy protection isn't really a Compact Disc according to proper standards. Please don't blame Apple or anyone else for a record label's shortsighted decision to intentionally disable and damage DMB's album with copy protection.
How does the copy protection help if an unencrypted, unencumbered Audio CD can be burned of the complete album anyway? Seems to me you're only making those who legitimately buy an album jump through hoops to enjoy it to its fullest. Meanwhile, true pirates will burn a CD from Windows Media Player once, then take that CD and copy it to sell on the streets.

Christian paradox in USA

The Christian Paradox ( "... the overwhelmingly Christian American nation trails badly in all these categories, categories to which Jesus paid particular attention."

Friday, August 12, 2005

List of county prefixes for Indiana license plates

Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles
This is a numerical list, that is, arranged by numbers, of all the Indiana counties and their corresponding numbered designations on Indiana state BMV issued license plates.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


FRESNO / Girl, 11, to go on trial for rock incident / Mayor stands by police in face of ethnic bias claim
No comment.

yet another use of duct tape

Use #597: Fix the space shuttle.
My Way News: "And if that didn't work, he was supposed to use a hacksaw put together ... with ... duct tape."

Saturday, July 30, 2005

too funny

(NSFW) At swanksigns - dedicated to the art of mocking public works, the most demeaning sign I've ever seen. (NSFW)

Thursday, July 28, 2005

a good day for the rule of law

My Way News: "... our courts have not abandoned our commitment to the ideals that set our nation apart.'"

I'm so glad to hear this. There is nothing wrong with our existing justice system - sure, it might be able to use a few tweaks, but there is no reason to set up a completely alternative system to judge and punish just for certain crimes.

Monday, July 25, 2005

it feels like the 90s all over again

Because big companies are giving away a bunch of cool free stuff online. I always liked the idea behind Konfabulator - but not the $20 registration fee and its associated annoying reminders to pay. Now I don't have to. Thanks Yahoo! Just visit to download the engine that will power what will come to be known as Yahoo! Widgets.
More: Yahoo Buys Maker of 'Widget' Applications - Yahoo! News

Sunday, July 24, 2005


So Bush's SCOTUS pick supports abortion? - Scarborough Country - MSNBC: "According to the White House, Judge Roberts now does not oppose Roe vs. Wade."

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

google earth is so five minutes ago

The new hot spot: Google Moon - Lunar Landing Sites

Be sure to zoom all the way in.

Friday, July 15, 2005

BBC NEWS | Cocaine traces at EU parliament

BBC NEWS | Europe | Cocaine traces at EU parliament

Now that's journalism! Why isn't this done in the US Congress and the various state legislatures here? I'd love to know the results. It might explain some of the stranger legislation.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

common sense

The Real Exit Plan - a reasoned strategy to move America forward, bring troops home, and help the Iraqi people.

alcohol, not the cause of, but the solution to, a big problem

Homegrown Fuel Supply Helps Brazil Breathe Easy

Why can't the US produce "Flex Fuel" vehicles and ramp up ethanol production? We could provide clean energy for both transportation and electricity right here at home, and reduce or eliminate dependence on unfriendly foreign powers.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

land of the free?

Our America 2005 | A Musical Gift From Gretchen Wilson, Big & Rich and Cowboy Troy

This song, ostensibly about "liberty and justice for all", is wrapped in a layer of Windows Media DRM. How does DRM further "liberty" or "justice"?

On TV, the artists indicated this was a "free" download. I didn't know that "free" meant Windows Media DRM with an expiration date. (To encourage CD sales (presumably), this download is supposed to expire, according to the page where it is offered.) In fact, the page offering this song refers to it not as "free" but as a "complimentary, timed-out download".

Saturday, July 02, 2005

just a citizen

As indicated at Sibel Edmonds - Official Web Site - - I'd like to see the complete set of facts be released so that the Congress may effectively continue its oversight of federal agencies. Obviously, Sibel Edmonds has valuable information to contribute that deals with with the way our government is fighting against terrorists. (And no, not the "War On Terror". You can't fight terror, it's an abstract concept. You can fight terrorists. They do exist, unfortunately.)

Monday, June 27, 2005


NOW. This Week | PBS
I'm excited to see that the Yum! group quick-service restaurant chain Taco Bell has committed to increase wages for tomato pickers in Florida. For only a penny a pound more, these workers will enjoy a 75% pay increase. Taco Bell has now agreed to lead the way in fairly compensating and respecting the workers of its suppliers.

I will probably try to eat at Taco Bell more often. It's satisfying to think that I can support a corporation that is doing good in America.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Opponents On Different Wavelengths

Opponents On Different Wavelengths: "Another Republican, a House aide, ... who asked not to be identified because his boss is trying to avoid publicly criticizing public broadcasting, recounted traveling through the South recently and hearing 'six Christian radio stations and NPR. The contrast was obvious. There's a real cultural dissonance there.'"

What in the world? I'd be worried if NPR did sound like the other 6 Christian stations. NPR shouldn't be identifiably left or right in its overall programming mix. There certainly are commentators and hosts on NPR that lean to the left in their personal views, and some that lean to the right - and maybe, just maybe, the left-leaning ones do tend to be heard a bit more often. But NPR still does a much better job of identifying commentary and opinion as such than many others, and allowing all voices to speak, whether they be from a red state, a blue state, or a state of mind.

FWIW, it's not as if I think NPR shouldn't discuss Christianity, but it should cover it as one of many belief systems, not the only one out there.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

godwin's law

The Comparison That Ends the Conversation

I have only one comment. When politicians start to sound like Usenet, we need new politicians. I don't have anything against Usenet, but its S/N ratio is not useful when attempting to govern a country.

Monday, June 20, 2005

proprietary ?

Rocky Mountain News: Technology: "It's just a proprietary decision by Apple to decide whether to play along or not..."

Hmm. Seems to me, that Sony BMG is the one who made the "proprietary decision" to go with a system (Windows Media DRM) that is not supported by the most popular portable audio player in the world - the iPod family, which also holds the largest share of the market. Maybe Sony should have licensed FairPlay DRM from Apple when Apple gave them the chance. Apple shouldn't have to lower themselves to accepting inferior formats (Windows Media) just because Sony thinks so. Let Sony make all of their digital audio players Windows Media DRM-compatible. I bet that most of Sony's aren't. In fact, Sony's equipment generally uses ATRAC3, so why didn't they use that format on the DMB release? It just doesn't make sense.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

94% think bush lied

WagNews: 94% Think Bush Lied on Iraq -Online Poll

ain't that the truth

Two Top Guns Shoot Blanks - New York Times: "The boundary between reality and fiction has now been blurred to such an extent by show business, the news business and government alike that almost no shows produced by any of them are instantly accepted as truth."

Thursday, June 16, 2005

sick & wrong

Your ISP as Net watchdog | CNET "'We were told, 'You're going to have to start thinking about data retention if you don't want people to think you're soft on child porn.''"

This is a clear violation of the American right to be held innocent until proven guilty. Let the government use the laws on the books today to request a 90 day hold of information about an Internet user if said user is suspect of a crime; that's fine. Ideally, I'd prefer a search warrant obtained from a federal court to be required. However, this new idea of calling ISPs who won't seriously invade users' privacy "soft on child porn" is yet another invention of those who hate freedom of expression and everything this country once stood for.

common sense prevails

My Way News | House Votes to Limit Use of Patriot Act: "If the government suspects someone is looking up how to make atom bombs, go to a court and get a search warrant," said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

hillary's got the right idea (!)

Buffalo News - No clear answer on who closed event to media Hillary Clinton: "... it's ... our Constitution and country at stake. Let's get some spine."

Thursday, June 09, 2005

"9/11 as bush plot"

TV show depicts 9/11 as Bush plot - The Washington Times - June 09, 2005: " In fact, three of the hijackers who seized control of commercial airlines on September 11, 2001, including the ringleader, Mohamed Atta, purportedly had ties to a Hamburg, Germany-based al Qaeda cell."

Wait a minute. "In fact" does not equate to "purportedly". I wish the media wouldn't call something a "fact" when it only "purportedly" is the truth.

Interesting story nonetheless.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

watch, ride & REPORT

At Articulatory Loop - Read, Repeat, Remember, a reminder of how "Homeland Security" has gone too far.

Monday, June 06, 2005

more threats to weather security

Santorum Bill would restrict Weather Service data
Rick Santorum's at it again: trying to protect a few jobs in his home state at the cost of many lives, much liberty, and lots of property. Blocking the National Weather Service from doing its job and forcing citizens to access taxpayer-funded weather information only through commercial providers.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

politics X commerce = ew!

Air America | Rachel Maddow: "... California Governor ... has a political ad running now which features ... Product placement!"

I wish that consumer products wouldn't associate themselves with partisan political efforts such as this - would they want to take a risk that I'd be less likely to want to buy any of their brands? I'd have to think twice if I thought that buying a bottle of Arrowhead Water or a bag of Cheetos meant supporting a member of the Republican Party. A party that wants to take away a woman's right to make responsible healthcare choices, wants to "balance" PBS by adding enough conservative commentators to make FOX NEWS CHANNEL look like a Green Party convention, etc.

contradiction in terms

Tucker Carlson: Unfiltered | PBS: "Years ago ... Web site ... names were reserved for a private client. They were never hosted. Nothing was ever on them. And as we know on the Internet, things never disappear."

Okay - how can there be "things" that will "never disappear" if "nothing was ever on them" and they were "never hosted"? And, of course, these names are hosted, and continue to be hosted, to this day - whether by Gannon or not, but hosted, and with adult material that is X rated on the first page of at least one of them.

(Note that the above link contains a plain text mention of a URL that is definitely Not Safe For Work, Kids, or Families. The URL is not hyperlinked but is present nonetheless.)

Saturday, May 28, 2005

windows security < mac security <> perfect

Security Awareness for Ma, Pa and the Corporate Clueless: Comments Received Offline - Published with Permission: "The lecturer asked how many of the 100 or so people in the audience were Mac users. Two of us meekly raised our hands. At that point, he told us to go and enjoy the buffet, pointing out to the other 98 that 'Mac security issues are so minimal, I don't want to waste their time.'

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

radio agony uncle ! ?

BBC | China's dangerous sexual ignorance: One couple thought that sleeping in the same bed together would result in pregnancy.

Monday, May 23, 2005

he's gone too far ...

U.S. Newswire : Releases : MoveOn PAC: "... Pat Robertson, a leader of the religious right, actually claimed that federal judges are a more serious threat to America than 'a few bearded terrorists who fly into buildings'."

Friday, May 20, 2005

america deserves an explanation

The Downing Street Memo :: What is it?

"piece" treaty ^_^

The Northwest Herald - Online mentions that the makers of hot dogs and the bakers of buns have finally agreed to produce both items in packages of eight each.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

save the republic !

At MoveOn PAC: Save the Republic, find a new ad encouraging the public to stop ultraconservative senator Bill Frist from using the "nuclear" option to prevent meaningful discussion and debate on judicial nominees in the Senate.

$8.8bn still missing

Al Franken asks What in God's Name is Going On?

npr everywhere ... but not on the mac

Re: NPR Everywhere - Partners

Why is not listed on this NPR Partners page? They offer many NPR programs as well as those of other public media producers. It seems that with the exception of cell phone services, all services listed are only compatible with computers running the Windows OS. not only works with both Mac & Windows, but also with the iPod, which none of the other listed services do. The iPod is of course the majority leader in the digital audio player market, so I would think NPR would want to promote their availability through it. Furthermore, NPR could optionally choose to use an affiliate link to Audible and let site visitors support NPR and/or a member station when they sign up for a subscription.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

pbs goes back to high school

In P.O.V. - The Education of Shelby Knox, PBS goes to high school to discuss teen sex education (or the lack thereof). From the trailer (which, thankfully, comes in QuickTime format) - it appears to show both sides of the issue. This will be one to watch.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

i want to say yahoo !

But I can't! At this Apple - IT Pro page, it says that: "Yahoo! Finds a Perfect Picture". Unfortunately, they are referring to Yahoo Singapore, as I finally realized after reading most of the entire linked PDF article.

It's all well and good that Yahoo is using QuickTime in Singapore, but why won't Apple lean on Yahoo USA to at least offer QuickTime as an option on their News, Weather, and Music sites? The only Yahoo site that offers QuickTime media is the Movies section, and even then it appears only certain clips are available in QT. Everything else at Yahoo is primarily in Windows Media, with a small dash of Real Media here and there.
I'm not saying WM or RM ought to be removed, but QT should be offered as well. Heck, some of the videos on their news section, last I checked, showed filenames ending in ".MOV" when opened in a standalone player - indicating that those files were actually QuickTime to begin with, and had to be converted to WM format.

Alternatively, I suppose the next best option would be to simply move to Flash video, since just about everyone and his robot has the Flash plugin installed these days.
But I think (especially the new H.264 format of) QuickTime would allow a very high-quality cross-platform experience.

Monday, May 09, 2005

national id = totalitarian government, step 1

Please visit right now, and contact your senators to stop this awful legislation from being passed as part of a "support the troops" bill, with no actual debate on the National ID portion.

My comments:

Please don't let the "Real ID" National ID card bill become law. Yes, we must take steps to protect ourselves from those who would do us harm, but if we change American life in such substantial, restrictive ways to do so, then actually, the terrorists have already won.

This has always been a country where we have had the freedom and liberty to travel, and to enter federally funded public spaces. Taxpayers shouldn't be shut out of those buildings paid for by their own money. Furthermore, it pains me to imagine the world of hurt that travel restrictions will cause the many sectors of the nation's economy that are dependent on tourism. Airlines are already teetering on the verge of bankruptcy, some having entered it, and most of the rest considering it as an option. More restrictions might just be enough to push them over the edge, leading to either economic disaster or more taxpayer-funded bailouts.

Furthermore, merely proving *identity* can never prove *intent*, and terrorists can always obtain falsified documents, or recruit those who have a clean record and a supposed "good" identity to do their dirty work.

Please don't approve this dangerous legislation. At the very least, let's have an open, honest debate on the floor of the Senate for all to see and all to be on the record about their positions.
It's dishonest to slip in a freedom-destroying measure such as this along with an important bill to support our troops overseas.

Friday, April 29, 2005

where is the proof?

Gov. Praises 'Minuteman' Campaign
They are volunteers, not vigilantes. If they had harmed anyone, legally, illegally, or otherwise, I'm sure there would have been a media blitz about it by now. Where is the evidence that the Minutemen Project has done anything wrong? I have not seen any yet.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

don't take my weather away

Weather info could go dark
Sen. Santorum wants to privatize most weather forecasting in this country, by banning the National Weather Service from providing regular forecasts. Weather forecasting and the issuance of warnings, is a matter of protecting and securing life, liberty, and property, and those functions should be handled by the government. I don't think private businesses should be banned, but they shouldn't get special treatment either. Do we shut down the U. S. Postal Service just because it would compete with FedEx and UPS? No! Because having a postal service and a weather service is essential to the proper functioning of our nation.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

energy independence

MnEthanol: Let's "change to an ethanol economy today"!

Saturday, April 16, 2005

VOA <> Voice Of America

Voice of America Outsources News to Hong Kong
It seems really unethical, immoral, and possibly treasonous to have a "workforce in Hong Kong" producing "news" for the "Voice of America".
Especially since Hong Kong is part of China, a communist country that regularly censors journalists and has a poor human rights record.
I guess it's now the "Voice of America" 16 hours per day, and the "Voice of possibly censored Contract Workers from the Hong Kong province of China" 8 hours per day.

i agree with

"The Episcopal Church position on abortion": Planned Parenthood - The Washington Times

Abortion is a serious matter; it should never be taken lightly, or used for "any reason of mere convenience", but it should be a safe, legal option available to women without stigma or judgement attached. How can anyone pretend to know the particulars of each unique situation, and the factors involved? Best to let these important decisions be made privately, by the woman, her partner, and her physician.

Friday, April 15, 2005

budget shortfalls threaten timely tornado warnings

KRT Wire | 04/15/2005 | Budget shortfalls threaten routine programs of the National Weather Service: Let's find a way to support the National Weather Service - what other agency in government plays such a direct, critical role in protecting against the loss of life and property?

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Apple + AOL + XM = AAC?

Apple, why not help AOL and XM in the AAC vs. WMA format wars by adding AOL/XM's new radio service to iTunes as an option on both Mac and Windows platforms. This would "solve" for the most part the need for a subscription service for iTunes, and help promote standards-based AAC/MPEG-4 streaming instead of proprietary WMA. Plus, think how many more songs the iTunes Music Store could sell with a "Buy Song" button next to the "Now Playing" feature in this new radio service.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Ball State proposes expansion of NewsLink Indiana

The Ball State Daily News - BSU finds room in budget for program: They are suggesting a "statewide public television newscast", and I think that's a great idea! It could be first run on primary/analog signals (if each IPBS station wants it) and have a second run (in late evening?) on the new ideas! network.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

pbs on demand

PBS | I, Cringely . March 31, 2005
Good idea - why doesn't PBS hook up with RealOne? Local stations could even sponsor local mirror servers to host R1's content on the "edge" of the network, and benefit by adding VOD of local productions & live streams of local events.

feel good branding

Good Goes Around - a free song from the parent of Song :)

(it's nice to click on a banner ad offering something free that actually works seamlessly on my mac!)

Monday, March 21, 2005

bring it on's Mac Matters: I DARE you to compete with iTunes and the iPod: "If Microsoft and the rest think they have the better solution, let's see it. Fully support Windows Media, DRM and all on the Mac."

Friday, March 18, 2005

buried lead

In Playlist: The Need for Weed, I found the buried lead.

If the part about Mac support for Weed being available in "weeks" is correct, then that's the buried lead in this story.
Quoting Weed's FAQ: "Weed uses Windows Media DRM..."

I think WMA DRM being available on the Mac would qualify as BIG NEWS!

This would (at least) allow Mac users to buy music from Wal-Mart,, and others. (I don't necessarily want to, I'm pretty happy with iTMS and, but I think the best marketplace is the one with the most options and more competition.)

more spin

My Way News: "Medicaid savings"

If you call it "savings" it favors one side, if you call it a "cut", it would favor the other. Why not just say a reduction in spending? That would seem to be the unbiased way here.

Monday, March 14, 2005

you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a ...

reality blurred : "jealous discarded FOX reality TV person"

scary stuff !

New York Times > Washington

Under Bush, a New Age of Prepackaged TV News - federal agencies are producing "news" reports by the barrel. The only solution is to require a visible "FEDERALLY FUNDED VIDEO" tag not just before or after, but during all such videos. Viewers ought to be informed. If the government chooses to not produce such pieces knowing they will be identified, then we are so much better off for it. Otherwise, at least we'll know the score.

Sunday, March 06, 2005


Finally, hip-hop as a study aid for standardized testing. Should have come out years ago! WOW!(I only say WOW! because it's the new "That's Hot!") :D

Friday, March 04, 2005


LinkBack - OpenDoc Rides Again? Publish & Subscribe 2.0? Whatever you call it, I'm in favor of it. Kudos to these fine Mac developers for making this freely available. It's truly filling a niche that Apple's left untouched.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Accessible Airwaves

Accessible Airwaves: "extravagant welcome" - a great message from the United Church of Christ

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Drunk On Listerine ( ! )

local6 - News - Woman Sentenced To 2 Years Probation: "... original formula Listerine contains ... alcohol, more than four times that of many malt liquors ..."

Friday, February 11, 2005

very dry, but very funny

I highly recommend the show reviewed here: TeeVee Station Break Archive - Look Around You

(BTW, FWIW, the show seems to be on BBC America Thursday nights / Friday mornings at :40 past the hour, where Manchild immediately preceding on the hour.)

Real on Linux

What could be coming to a Real may or may not mature on Linux | The Register: "... future version of Real for Linux are new radio stations."

It'd be nice if they'd offer those Rhapsody Radio stations to Mac OS X SuperPass holders as well. The stations they offer now (while not having awful quality at 64k RealAudio8) could be a lot better. There are formats I find missing, and there doesn't seem to be much new music. It'd be nice if they could offer stations streaming at 64k AAC, or better yet, 32k-48k aacPlus (for a sampling of what that could sound like, check out and use the VLC media player to listen.)

FWIW, I wonder if Linspire would be interested in bundling such a subscription service with their Linux distro? Linspire and its founder are both rather anti-DRM, but since this wouldn't be an actual music store, just a paid radio, they may have some interest. It would allow them to offer popular music to their customers, not just the limited selections of indies at

Thursday, February 10, 2005

What I'd like to buy for $99

Apple and the $100 Laptop: "Mac Portable in a handheld configuration"

(especially if Apple made sure it was compatible with all my old System 6 goodies) :)

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Wired: Hide Your iPod, Here Comes Bill

A Microsoft employee says that:
Wired News: Hide Your IPod, Here Comes Bill: "'The industrial design on the iPod is absolutely amazing. The usability of the device is light-years beyond anything else I've seen.'"

I do like my iPod, but I'm not wowed by it. Maybe my constant use of the Mac and avoidance of Windows has conditioned me to expect quality design & great usability? I mean, why would I want to have to work hard just to listen to music?

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

"Fort Knox" Technology | Hallelujah, the Mac is back: "... the Mac is a Fort Knox of security ... analysts could not identify a single instance -- not one -- of spyware aimed at the Mac." (emphasis mine)

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Jailed for using the "lynx" browser !

Boing Boing: Jailed for using a nonstandard browser: It really scares me (as someone who used lynx quite a bit when I first began accessing the Internet) that someone could be jailed in a First World state for simply using a different sort of web browser. What has the world come to?

Thursday, January 20, 2005

I want ...

THE ADVERT CHANNEL TV - The Worlds Best Adverts: "The Advert Channel" - we ought to have this in the US. Sounds like an advertiser's dream - a network all about ads, all day long.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Free-Lunch Health Insurance

Slate - A simple idea for insuring some of the poor. By Daniel Gross

I like the idea of simply expanding eligibility - but I'd like to see an analysis that would also take into account the effect of insuring more people, thereby providing them access to primary care on a much more cost-effective basis than emergency room visits and the like. I think society at large saves time and money when everyone (or as many people as possible) are cared for in the most appropriate way. By unclogging emergency rooms, we can cut costs for care providers and make sure that capacity is readily available in the event of a true emergency.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The way I've always felt ...

Support Insight says "Apple's brand extension potential is the most under-exploited commodity in the history of marketing."

UNICOR | Callcenter

UNICOR Online: "Your company will enjoy all the benefits of a domestic operation, with the cost savings of going off shore."

Maybe all those slightly angry / aggressive / "gruff" telemarketing calls I receive are from federal prisoners?

"used" Reality Shows ?

I'll admit to feeling used after/during watching some reality shows, but never before I have been solicited to buy used reality shows.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

XM + Apple = SkyPod (?!) "Word Mark SKYPOD"

Thursday, January 06, 2005

iTunes user sues Apple over iPod

BBC NEWS | Technology: "... forced to purchase an Apple iPod."

Was the CD burner broke on his computer? When I bought iTMS songs before owning an iPod, I burned them to CD to listen to with my existing portable CD player, and I never had a problem with it. iTunes is generally very reliable with burning. I realize Apple doesn't support other device makers, but I have yet to see significant evidence that other device makers would have made compatible hardware if Apple had offered at the beginning of the iTunes Store. Some device makers might be interested now, but where are they? Could Apple rely on them to treat Apple's customers with the same level of care and service that Apple's customer base is accustomed to?