Good stuff, but long.
The fact is, the market for DRM music is nascent. It remains to be seen whether any DRM-protected media format will be a long-term success. The entertainment industry certainly hopes so; consumer advocates certainly hope not.
If consumers revolt against DRM, and protected media slowly fades into oblivion, Apple has lost nothing. The iPod and iTunes have embraced unprotected audio files from the beginning.
But assuming that DRM-protected media takes hold, history indicates that one format will dominate the industry. The three major contenders now are Apple, Microsoft, and RealNetworks — and it’s generous to put RealNetworks in the list.
Is it any wonder or surprise that Apple would like to be the company that wins?
I've been reading Christopher Allbritton's blog from Iraq on and off for the last few weeks. It's amazing to have an unfiltered view from the ground.
So completely excellent.
Talk about pissing in the wind.....But hope springs eternal.
Other possible witnesses included Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Chris Tucker, former child actor Corey Feldman (news), Backstreet Boy Nick Carter (news) and younger brother Aaron, CBS correspondent Ed Bradley, CNN's Larry King, Fox broadcaster Rita Cosby, New Age guru Deepak Chopra, psychic Uri Geller, illusionist David Blaine (news - web sites), Las Vegas tycoon Steve Wynn (news) and relatives of the late Marlon Brando (news).
Wow. This is simultaneously admirable and tragic.
"Four seconds to cold-boot the operating system.
Pretty impressive, no? All it takes is a willingness to look at the traditional way of doing things, recognize massive stupidity, and correct it."
Even though I already have the sublime Complete Cartoons of The New Yorker, I'm quite certain I'll be picking up this multi-DVD set of every page from every issue of the NYer through Feb 2005. There's a Shouts and Murmurs I fondly remember reading in 9th grade that I've been dying to find for....well, since 9th grade.
Ah yes, the old "smoke the smokers out of your house so you can get laid" trick.
A little late, but very cool nonetheless. I'm not actually sure which of the numerous explanations I believe, but hey....
I indeed noticed the super-sized moon on Tuesday night (the 21st, before the moon was actually full) when I was doing some late night windsprints with Veloce on Memorial and Storrow Drives. It was crystal clear, fantastically warm and dry, and that big ol' moon was shinin' shinin'.
[It's Fugazi Month at rotorglow.com/blog. For the month of July, for no particular reason other than I've been listening to them a lot, each post's title will be a Fugazi lyric. I'll try to make it vaguely topical.]
Gonna be some changes around here and over at rotorglow.com. I think it's time to give over to my Flickr obsession, for one thing, and do away with all those Flash based image viewers, slick though they are. This is facilitated in no small part by Daniel, helped me figure out how to get Flickr to talk to b2evo, so I'll be able to send pix over here, from there. Much more elegant.
Etc. So why am I telling you this? Dunno. I guess that's just how we roll.
Seems that FEMA is requiring "first responders" to drop the ten codes that are so handy and cool (like "ten-four" and "what's your [10-]twenty?") in favor of "OK" and "what's your location?"
Yeesh. (Yet) another friend-of-a-friend/family has been named a MacArthur fellow. I think that makes a total of 4, though I only know 3 personally.
I guess my nomination got lost in the mail.
Upshot? Smith & Wesson can't be sued if I go on a murderous rampage, but Grokster can be sued if I download Poison Ivy.
Note the McNabb jersey in the pic.
My favorite part? "I feel if they want us to dress a certain way, they should pay for our clothes. It's just tough, man, just knowing that all of a sudden, you have to have a dress code out of nowhere."
Yeah, that must be tough. How much money do you make? I bet it buys a lot of suits.
...I think this is fantastic.
(Via Boing Boing)
Every time Mr. Jalopy talks about the New Yorker, I get giddy. Almost as giddy as when he gets a new ride.
Recently he's been struggling with copying the Complete New Yorker 8DVD to his hard drive (the better to eliminate disk swapping). But he's not having any luck. And he's annoyed:
You can't use it in a fair, legal and sensible manner and you don't know that until you own it, as it doesn't have a sticker reading 'This DVD is Fucked.'
I'm hit #10 for can I get into an Ivy with a 1210 SAT
Sigh. At one point in my life, I only thought cars, music, cameras and girls were cool. And Legos. How did web apps get on that list?
It's a super-flexible customizeable homepage/newsreader, with plenty of high-fiber AJAX goodness. You can display any RSS feed (pretty much) on your page, expand/collapse/drag the panels around to suit your needs, and (for now?) not see any ads. It's a little rough around the edges in places, but it's really really cool and promising.
Tim pointed me to an improbably-fantastic blog called Minor Tweaks today. While I was enjoying some of that, my attention wandered (as it does, on occasion) and I noticed a link to (I guess) that guy's other site, I Have OPINIONS!!!, a collection rants read by a voice synthesizer.
And now I am sobbing with laughter. It is the funniest thing ever. At least for the time being.
Go. Go there now.
Woman Charged With Mailing Explosive Condoms (Via FiveSevenFive)
I posted this earlier in a different category, but upon further reflection, I realized I had it wrong. White House Press Secretary Scott "Straight Dope" McClellan has outdone himself, and whoever transcribed today's press briefing about Cheney "peppering" a septuagenarian GOP donor with buckshot has helped Scotty cook up one of the most bizarre things since.....well, I was gonna say Ionesco, but that story last week about the
Tupperware sex-toy parties and explosive condoms was pretty great....
So, let's just say that McClellan's latest masterwork is simply that....his latest masterwork. He more than made up for the 22 hour head start everyone else had on the story including the Corpus Christi, TX, rag--via the Armstrong matriarch who, and I'm just guessing here, rules the ranch in question with a bony yet crushingly-strong fist.
And it's a good thing Scott is around, too. Because the story itself, frankly, needed a little punching up: elderly lawyer in Tejas (who oversees the licensing of funeral parlors) doesn't follow "protocol" by announcing his presence BEHIND PEOPLE CARRYING GUNS and gets sprayed with lead while hunting. The gunman? None other than VPOTUS. So then what? Well, it seems those on the scene took a few hours to
get their stories straight make sure the old fart was going to pull through, and then decided let the rest of us in on what had happened--by allowing a civilian to call the local broadsheet.
So as you can see, there's not nearly enough going on there to hold my interest, but maybe that's just me.
The point is I'm damn glad McClellan was around today. And I'm sure we all look forward to further genius from him (and his unwitting foils in the White House press corps) soon.
Top Topless Beaches from Forbes.com (RealPlayer)
Happily (by which I mean "incrementally more arousingly, much-less creepily, but also a whole lot less amusingly"), the advice is delivered by a couple of J-school bimbos (clothed, and in a studio, at that), and not Steve himself.
So...wow....I found out about this on from a banner ad, I'm sorry to say. And I'm pretty excited. My adoration for Monty Python goes way way back, and when I was in high school, it seemed to trump many of the more typical adolescent hijinks. When MTV started showing Flying Circus marathons, my friends and I would watch them raptly, even though we'd already seen each episode numerous times. Co-ed slumber parties revolved around a couple of Monty Python video tapes, instead of beer, pillow fights or Truth or Dare.
No joke; the first time a girl stayed over at my house was when I had a bunch of people over for a Python all-nighter, and by 3 AM, many people had left, but this girl (and a male friend of mine, which may have put a damper on things) decided to crash at my place instead of head home. So we pulled out the sofa bed, and the three of us chastely dozed through till daylight with the Spanish Inquisition, and Hell's Grannies (among countless others) coming and going all night.
As you can see, my friends and I had wild, raging hormonal urges...
...which were utterly silenced by the Fish Slapping Dance.
So, Monty Python is strong, strong comedic medicine for the dispossesed and disaffected. I've been taking it for years.
Several things made me laugh today, and one of them was a story about air travel.
It's kind of hard to for me to say just how amazing I think Halcyon used to be. It catered to my every vice (well....except two--one of which was simply because there's no parking around there, and the other only because I didn't hang out there quite often enough): food, beer, coffee, records, furniture, art (but, as I say, not the other two...).
Stupendous record collection, great sandwiches, amazing beer selection (Chimay! Hennepin!), nice espresso, and the swankest used retro-mod-New Frontier-Barbarella furniture you could imagine. They had a couple of turntables, and DJs would do in-store mixes while you sip coffee, eat a bagel, or both. Imagine if Other Music still had a Boston store, and merged with Abodeon the Enormous Room, Zeitgeist and 1369.
They've moved now, from funky Smith Street to becoming-funky Dumbo, and are focusing on records. But it's still the Hanging Gardens of DJ Culture. And Francis Harris, aka Adultnapper, does a weekly-ish mix of new stuff that comes into the store. Done live, in one take, they are universally brilliant. Glitchy, funky, deep and seamless. And they're all archived. There's a new, questionably-useful Flash interface for them all; or you can dig down a directory and find all the mp3s.
Go forth and be musical.
More on this later....but I needed to post the page so I'd remember.
Basically, my fascination with it is twofold: admiration/agreement, and exasperation/eyerolling. (Maybe that's fourfold, dunno...)
(And wait....is "dunno" and eggcorn? Crap!)
Anyway, there's one in particular that I'll write about later. But I'm glad there's a word for these (particular) things that drive me bonkers
Praise Jesus and pass the bourbon.
The only good thing to come out of it is the phrase "glory bumps," which I think must've been the name of that movie on Cinemax last night.
My new/again favorite thing is doing round-trip translations of websites and news articles with Google Language Tools. And now there's a good (or at least organized) outlet for these efforts. Earlier today, Tim announced Quasi-Press, and I'm pleased as punch to be part of the editorial staff.
There's a lot of news out there. And there are a lot of languages. But we have a job to do, and we're going to do everything we can to cover it all.
We know you can choose where you get your news. And every step of the way, we hope and expect to be worthy of your trust.
I forget what the context was (and it can't possibly matter, because I'm sure the context had no bearing on the link itself--and that's not attitude, that's a fact), but Clampants pointed me to something on Modern Mechanix a week or two ago, and I'm now hooked.
I've always loved this kind of retro-futurism, with wild-ass predictions about how nuclear fusion would provide electricity that was too cheap to meter, how quickly the amphibious flying cars we'd be able to purchase by 1983 would get us from our offices 15000 feet above California to our undersea villas in the Caribbean, and how Bakelite would allow for entire cities to spring up in previously uninhabitable places (like Tashkent or Revere).
It's an incredible resource, and I've had to restrict myself to reading only 5 articles a day. Because with lots of things careening off the (invisible, magnetic, atomically electrified) tracks, it's weirdly amazing/amazingly weird to look back on how good things were supposed to be by now.
Retro-Escapism: Solving Today's Problems...Yesterday.
In keeping with a general desire to have as many media under my thumb as possible (the better with which to say absolutely nothing at all), I've started a tumbleblog, rotorglow.tumblr.com
. It seems a good place to put the moment-by-moment cool things that crop up through the day.
Then again, maybe I should just post those here.
Or, through the magic of MT widgets, I can do both, by just embedding the RSS feed for the tumbleblog in the sidebar to the right. So that's what I've done; the "TUMBLGLOW" section shows the 5 most recent entries ("tumbles?"...eww...) on the tumbleblog.
I'm not sure this will raise the quality of discourse around here, or just the quantity.
Like a lot of things, I found about this from Clampants, who's got a nice tumbleblog of his own underway.
Update (1739 EDT): Rats. Well, reading the fine print confirmed that only the entries in the feed at the time the index template (=this page) is rebuilt get pulled into the page. And it doesn't work with dynamically generated pages. So for the tumbleblog feed to be kept updated would require me to rebuilt the index page everytime the feed is updated (which I'm not going to do), or setup a cron job to rebuild the page periodically just in case there are feed changes to display (which I doubt I'm going to do). So I'll find a more elegant solution soon. Meanwhile, just click the damn tumbleblog link further down the page under the "me" section.
I guess I don't participate in the right communities (or take enough pix?) to get terribly worked up about this specifically, but it seems a shame.
I flipped through JPG Mag a few times, thought it was a cool idea, considered subscribing, and then let it wash away from my head. Now there's a shitstorm spinning up about the ouster/resignation of the founders, Derek Powazek and Heather Powazek Champ, who're (seemingly) crazy-smart people and have been involved in some very cool other projects, like Flickr, The Mirror Project and Fray. All of these things have struck me as awesome at various points.
I didn't know about all of the interconnectedness of these projects things, but as I've dug into JPG a little (admittedly as a direct result of the shitstorm and the indignation of some Flickrites who've canceled their JPG accounts), I'm getting wistful for something that never really registered with me. Weird. And crazy.
Because I work for a startup, the other thing that strikes me about this is that startups are a mess. And I worry that building them with your friends (which I haven't done--I make the friends when I go to work at places, not the other way around) is a mess (especially when you throw investors into the mix). I know a few people with big ideas and I worry about them getting co-opted or usurped as things "move forward" or they try to "grow" the idea.
Maybe I feel bummed out (and left out) because it's an art/community site--and moreover a "community" associated with an "art" that I'm particularly fond of.
Or maybe it's turning out that I simply don't like the new world of business, ideas, information and money.
I've been using the Flip4Mac WMV component to play WMV files and streams on OS X. In general, it's a huge improvement over the decrepit Microsoft app (which, indeed, has been discontinued in favor of the these sactioned-by-Microsoft 3rd party plugins), but there was one glaring problem for me: every Windows Media stream cough mlb.com cough would restart after 5 minutes or so of playing time, restarting from the point at which you started the stream.
To fix it, you have to close and reopen the stream. This is really goddamned annoying if you're listening to a baseball game. Which, I'm happy to say, is the only time I have to deal with Windows Media streams.
I'd tried reverting back to the Microsoft app, which Scooter Girl found worked well for her in this particular application, but didn't want to give up the other notable advantages of the Flip4Mac components. Tried running XP within Parallels on OS X to listen to the stream with the real Microsoft plugin, but 1GB of RAM is a lot to give up just to (basically) run a web
server [wtf?] browser. The eventual solution was to listen to the games on my XP laptop; which is fine, though it (A) means I still deal with XP and (B) means I have an extra laptop lying out on the coffee table.
But Google is my friend, and I finally found an answer to the problem: enable "Create Streaming Movies" in the Player tab of the Flip4Mac pref pane. Not really sure why I didn't try that (besides the fact that there's nothing that would indicate I should have), but there it is.
Stay Free! is a pretty great print zine, published initially in NC when I lived down there in the 90s. I met Carrie McLaren a few times when I was down there before she (and Stay Free!) moved north, and was always impressed with her (and other SF! contributors') wit and insight. Now it looks like the print edition is going going south (in a bad way) and is ceasing publication soon. Boo.
But they've got a nice interview with one of my favorite fiction authors, the incomparable George Saunders, which was apparently supposed to appear in the final print issue, but for now is online.
Nobody reads those pages anyway, but I finally got around to fixing the layout of the category and date archive pages. So the righthand column is no longer empty, and I made some relatively careful decisions about the crap that oughta be available in that sidebar on those page. So....if you're one of 3 people who's ever gone through and read every post via the archives, you no longer have to jump back to the index to get to a different archive.
What I didn't do yet is redesign anything else, which is overdue. Nor have I written anything of consequence lately. Depending on your perspective, that last fact may or may not matter much.