Saturday, December 23, 2006

New .torrent file search engine

Sponsored Post is a new meta-search website for BitTorrent files. The unique feature they offer is the ability to see inside a torrent with just one click. In search results, a single click on the filename shows you all the individual files that may be downloaded with that particular torrent, as well as a list of the sources from which the torrent itself may be downloaded.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Friday, July 21, 2006

hard at work ?!

Video: - Hard At Work? Not These Con Ed Workers

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

a perfectly cromulent idea

Should Google Support Computer User Groups? Yes!

(Although, I'm not sure all of the suggested "requirements" ought to be enforced, but I think it would be reasonable to make a group seeking funding pick 4 or 5 of these goals to pursue each year.)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Record labels sue XM

Playlist Magazine: Record labels sue XM Radio for copyright infringement
My post on the subject:

Another poster: "They are actually trying to sell you someone else's music without paying royalties!"

XM is the largest single payer of royalties to the RIAA!
"XM Radio already is the largest single payer of digital music broadcast royalties. More, the record labels receive royalties on every XM recording device sold as provided by Congress under the Audio Home Recording Act (AHRA)."

The RIAA / music labels already get money every time someone buys a satellite radio that can record, and a percentage of the monthly fee each subscriber pays to XM or Sirius. They just want more money than they are getting now, and trying to use the force of government to raise their royalty rates even higher.

And, contrary to the article this feedback forum post is attached to, at no time do songs recorded off of satellite radio channels become MP3 files. They stay on the radio, in their native format (in XM's case, AACplus), and the only way they can be used is by listening through an analog output.

While it is true that MP3 and WMA files can be uploaded to the newest XM Radios, those files must be ones that you already have on your computer hard drive, either from converting a CD into digital format, or legal or illegal downloading. There is no way to record XM music and save it onto your computer by plugging the radio in via any digital method. The only way would be to plug the analog output of the radio into the analog input of the computer, and manually hit record on an audio recording program, which is what anyone could do anyway, and the sound would suffer a loss from going from one compressed format into another, therefore degrading its quality.

In fact, in my opinion, the requirement to maintain a continued XM subscription (and therefore a continued royalty payment to RIAA members as part of that monthly fee) is what makes these devices legal. It's very much like Napster To Go, which charges a similar monthly fee and allows listeners to download as much music as they like, with the provision that they must continue to subscribe or else have that music deactivated and unlistenable. XM forces consumers to pay RIAA members each month to be able to listen to music, and I think the record labels should be dancing with joy that satellite radio has found a way to make monthly payments for music palatable to consumers.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

'The N' TV network

In this article, the author laments the loss of a favorite show on The TV Review: Radio Free Roscoe

I'm here to add a few shows I think The N ought to pick up.

All of these are currently running on the UK network with a similar target demographic called Trouble.

1. 'Sausage Factory' / 'Now What' - This show was apparently produced in Canada, features Adam Brody, and previously ran on The N's big brother MTV USA. I think it's only a six-episode series, but it wouldn't be bad for filling a gap when new episodes of Degrassi aren't airing.

2. Amish in the City - This show was aired on The N's former big brother UPN, and would be a great "real" reality show that would fit with The N's overall programming by not being too glitzy nor too outrageous or "unbelievable."

3. Just Deal - While The N has run this show before, I wish they'd bring it back even as overnight reruns anywhere from 1-5 nights a week. This way, those interested could TiVo (or TiFaux (Tape ^-^)) the program. It's a good show, from Tom Lynch (the creator of South of Nowhere) and deserves to be on TV somewhere. Features the excellent Jewel Staite.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

am - fm protection racket

Anti-Satellite Radio Bill -

I sent the following message to my senators about the Local Emergency Radio Service Preservation Act of 2006 (S. 2418) :

I'm writing in regards to the "Local Emergency Radio Service Preservation Act of 2006" (S. 2418).

As a satisfied customer of both XM and Sirius Satellite Radio companies, I would like to respectfully ask that the aforementioned Act not be passed. It represents an unfair restriction on Satellite Radio's ability to serve its customers. If regular AM & FM radio provided what people want, they wouldn't be voluntarily buying new radios and paying monthly service fees.

To me, this is a simple question of innovation. The Act would curtail the ability of new entrants into the radio market to compete by better serving their customers.

Traditional AM & FM stations should compete by offering a better product, not by asking for protectionist handouts from the government. If the Act is passed, traditional radio loses its incentive to offer a better product to its listeners.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

no more ... until they fix things - Anderson Cooper 360� Blog: "I have a thought here. What if every big news station in the country sent just one crew down to New Orleans and reported every hour on the hour until the country becomes so sick of it they either bang down the White House door telling them to fix this or they go fix it themselves? No more BS about who the VP shot.No more about secret wiretapping that is going to go on wether we like it or not.No more tragic stories about floods or collapses in other parts of the world when we can't even handle our own.No more HollyWood BS about who is dating who, who's pregnant, who's on drugs, who's gay, who's getting arrested and who's wearing what.There are only two things this country should care about right at this moment. Hurricane Katrina victims and the selling of our souls to the UAE.

Posted By Theresa Costello, Immaculata, PA"

Monday, February 20, 2006

internet as chopsticks / Asia-Pacific / China - China’s virtual cops pinpoint web dissent : "... if my child does not lay her chopsticks down properly, then I will smack her ..."

Friday, February 17, 2006

kamen alert

Dean creates water, power, and jobs:
The Segway creator's next entrepreneurial spin - Feb. 16, 2006

Saturday, February 11, 2006

go multicast

PBS | I, Cringely . February 9, 2006 - Stupid Net Tricks: "If Congress wants to do something truly useful, they should force network providers to support multicast in every router. The capability is there already, just waiting to be turned on. Flicking that switch would do more to help multimedia applications (and to foster continued U.S. leadership in multimedia applications) than Congress can even imagine."

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Sunday, January 15, 2006

great description of the internet

Saving the Net: How to Keep the Carriers from Flushing the Net Down the Tubes | Linux Journal: A commenter, Jacob Hallén, says that "... the Internet is an electronically based outdoors ..."
Scroll *all* the way down and read his description - it's quite good, and explains the Internet in a way I've never seen it done before.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

MSN:mac gains AV chat?

BetaNews | Microsoft: Mac Consumers Important: "A goal for the Mac BU in coming months is to put the Messenger client on more even footing by adding features ..." such as "... video and audio functionality, and that would come soon."

Friday, January 13, 2006

second life

On BBC NEWS | Programmes | Newsnight | Do avatars dream of electric racoons?, the show briefly moves to a virtual set inside Second Life, and the story moves on from there ... very interesting ... worth a watch.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Sandvox: Public Beta | Karelia Software
You should check out Sandvox, the website builder for the Mac that is coming soon from Karelia Software. It is in public beta now, so you can try it out even though it's not ready to buy yet.
(I'm encouraging people to sign up because it's a cool program, and because if you sign up, I'll get a discount when it's released. If you start referring people, you can get a discount too.)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

hell has frozen over - again

I'd like to thank Microsoft for licensing the Flip4Mac QuickTime components that play Windows Media for free distribution. This is the second best thing that the Microsoft Windows Media group could do for Mac users. Number 1 is still making WM-DRM Mac compatible, but this is a very, very strong number 2.

Windows Media - Components for QuickTime

Sunday, January 01, 2006

canadian satellite radio

The Tea Makers: CBC and Sirius do satellite radio: the easy and the queasy

I (being American, but frustrated at the lack of international content) think this is a great opportunity for Canada to get its voices heard in a wider market.

It's not just a ghetto of Canadian channels, either. XM's license with the CRTC states they will ensure a minimum of 7% of all new songs added to all music channels are "Canadian content". By the end of XM's license term, 10 percent of everything on XM will be Canadian. ( )
So, really, the majority of channels will have some Canadian content, probably more than most US-based terrestrial music stations. (Presumably Sirius has a similar mandate to add Canadian music to all music channels.)

I also think the CBC can stand to make some decent money from this venture, as they own 40 percent of Sirius Canada. Sirius USA only owns 20 percent. (The remaining 40% belongs to Standard Radio.)

I wouldn't be shocked if Sirius Canada eventually does add Howard Stern, even if as part of a premium package. XM Canada carries the High Voltage "shock jock" channel with Opie & Anthony and Ron & Fez.

Also, I think that CBC/Radio-Canada is finally able to present a full service to all of Canada this way. CBC Radio 1 & 3, Premiére Plus, Bandéapart, Infoplus, and RCIplus are now available with complete nationwide coverage.
Also, note at that CBCR1 on Sirius has been reformatted to avoid duplicating terrestrial R1 stations. (It also, cleverly enough, avoids duplicating the CBCR1 programs already carried on Sirius USA by Public Radio International. (

XM really does need to improve its Canadian offerings a little if it wants to compete in that area. However I think they do have a leg up with their NHL coverage, including a Canadian-produced 24/7 hockey network "Home Ice".

I suspect, for starters, that XM 52 "(un)Signed" will change its name in the new year, as the name is not mentioned at all when I've listened. They ID as "XM 52. New. Emerging. Now."

I am also looking forward to what I hope will be a 9th channel of Canadian content from XM, the multicultural music station to be named "Mosaic". If they do indeed add this instead of changing an existing Canadian station, they'd be able to add 9 more channels from the US service, filling out the music lineup and possibly including a few more news stations. More info on XM Mosaic here:

XM also needs to beef up their news offerings. "Canada 360" and "Quois De Neuf" are not exactly engaging or interesting. Surely they can find a partner who could at least help them add some produced feature stories to spice up their "rip and read" style of news. Help should be forthcoming from Corus in this department: