Archive for June 2003

GWB in the bay area…

Ya know, the president is going to be landing at SFO soon, to hold a $2000 per plate lunch, to contribute to his re-election fund. Easily, it’s going to net him a million dollars. However, let’s think of the costs involved to allow him to do this… Air force one, must cost several hundred thousand dollars to fly anywhere, let alone all the way out to california. There’s all the security detail, surely costing several hundred thousand dollars per location. The location of the actual event with full catering, for 5k people, plus staff, 100k… (but it’s “comped”, surely.) They’re closing highway offramps and causing a huge traffic jam all up and down the 101, translate that into lost productivity and wages, maybe another 100k or more…

so, what I’m getting at is that for the president to come and give a lunch you and I would never go to or even be able to afford to go to, it’s going to cost a lot of money that comes out of our wages and taxes, and it all goes into the president’s pocket for free… on our dime.

I propose a new presidential system where you can only ever serve one term contiguously, but you can run for re-election as many every-other-election cycles as you want. If you have great ideas and we all love you, give someone else a shot, and take a breather. Do your effing job without spending anyof your time on the clock trying to get people to give you money for your reelection campaign. If you’re so good, come back in 4 years and prove it… but don’t waste my tax dollars on your politcal career.

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OMG, a new font!

after about a 10 year hiatus, I’ve created a new font… called Caltrain 1.0 after the fact that I created it while shuttling back and forth to WWDC on caltrain.

if you want this Mac OS X dfont that you can throw into your /library/fonts/ folder, click on this link to download Caltrain 1.0

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WWDC check in…

I’m kind of shocked… There’s basically no internet access out from the horrible airport reception at moscone west…. Everyone sitting around on the break trying to sniff their way out to get their mail… It feels really wrong for some reason…. Too many dhcp connection requests, not enough base stations, bad directional reception, no outbound ip traffic… At the world wide developer conference… Seems wrong to me.

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Japanese heavy truck modding

OMG, this is too cool… My counterparts in Japan, or the generation that grew up on transformers and lots of mecha anime, find themselves not piloting fighter jet-robots to defend the earth as they expected, but driving an effing dump truck for a living…

So, they search their soul and their wallet, discover a small fortune from their unexpectedly lucrative dump truck driving job, and decide to mod the hell out of their rig…

see the rest…
(thanks, boingboing)

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deeje writes:

PHP5 moves towards Java

…three major new features of PHP5:, new object model, exceptions, namespaces.

This could be an interesting development. My bro is getting into PHP because it has a low learning curve and allows him to produce results quickly. I can definitely see the appeal. I’m hoping I can share some of the art and science of computer programming with him, to show him some of the benefits of 3rd generation languages (3GLs). OOP has dominated the comp.sci scene for a while now, and AOP is starting to gain wider exposure. Tools can also be a huge differentiator, more so than I previously considered. IntelliJ IDEA has shown me that, with its tight Java language integration to provide real productivity gains that are simply unheard-of for other languages/IDEs. PHP seems to be moving in these directions, and given its open source nature and rapid development so far, it may catch up on all these fronts. Consider these IDEs for PHP: DevPHP, PHPIDE, and PHPEdit. Too bad they’re all windows-only.

dude, last time I checked, there’s a bunch of stuff in Dreamweaver, too… (but I don’t own a copy of that)… so I still code directly using BBedit and JaneBuilder

man, I wish I didn’t have to copy your content here and then hope you read it then I gotta see if you recomment… ugh.. how exhausting… how do we link these stupid things????

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Cory Doctorow on iTunes 4.0.1’s loss of functionality

it went something like this:

original story:

Apple force-feeds customers shit, calls it sunshine
This morning, Apple’s Software Updater notified me that there was a patch for my iTunes 4 installation, a 4.1 patch that, according to the release notes, offers:
a number of performance and network access enhancements
including that it
only allows music sharing between computers using iTunes 4.0.1 or later on a local network (in the same subnet)
So, in other words, Apple has “enhanced” iTunes so that it can’t be used to play music from one computer on another if they’re on different subnets (i.e., if you have a computer at home that you stream to from work). Apple’s apologists say that this is to prevent “stealing,” but there are many legitimate uses for the feature (imagine if Paul Frank “enhanced” his jackets by sewing the pockets shut to make them less useful for shoplifters).

Apple has removed a useful feature from its software, and its customers are out in the cold. I paid $50 or so for downloadable iTunes tracks, with the understanding that Apple had sold me something that would stream over the Internet. Yesterday, they had. Today, they took it away. And they called it an “enhancement.” As Winston Smith said to O’Brien, “Don’t piss in my mouth and tell me it’s Victory Gin.”

Sure, I could just skip the update, but how long will that work for? When 10.3 ships next year, will I be able to run an unupdated iTunes on it? Will I have to pickle a computer and keep from updating it in order to continue to use my iTunes music in the way I was promised I could?

Apple wants to be the leader of the Digital Lifestyle pack. The digital lifestyle is all about the fluidity of bits, the fact that all computers on the Internet are, in some sense, in the same place, no matter where they’re physically located.

But Apple is choosing to screw its customers and kowtow to the entertainment interests who have, at various times, tried to ban the piano roll, the radio, the VCR, and the Internet. They’re putting the desires of the companies that tried to ban firewalls ahead of the legitimate expectations of their customers. A digital lifestyle designed by Hilary Rosen and Jack Valenti is a world of “consumers” (us) and “producers” (them). It’s the opposite of the iApps philosophy.

It’s a world I don’t want to live in. Link Discuss

my response

stevecooley – 05-27-2003 08:12 PM ET (US)

Whoa, man.. go easy on apple. 1. it’s a free program that enchances your life by helping you organize. 2. It’s the best way to keep your music with you if you own an iPod. 3.the restrictions are still rediculously generous, and inline with a reasonable amount of sharing through traditional means (borrowing, copying physical media) 4. It’s the best way to buy music I’ve ever used. Maybe you’ve had a better experience somewhere else, and if you have, I’d love to see it.

Cory’s response to me

Cory Doctorow – 05-27-2003 08:20 PM ET (US)

1. It’s a free program that plays music that costs $0.99/track, music in which I’ve already made a substantial investment, in good faith, on the basis that the functionality in their player was there to stay.

2. Who said it wasn’t? But who says it always will be? If Apple is willing to *eliminate features* from iTunes on the basis of the RIAA’s demands, then what guarantee is there that iTunes will do tomorrow everything it does today?

3. Ridiculous, but not generous. “Generosity” implies that they’re giving me something. In fact, I’m giving *them* something. Money. For goods. I’m purchasing music. With an MP3, I can put it on my iPod, stream it to another computer, burn my playlists an arbitrary number of times, and listen to the music on my home server while I’m at work. Those are my rights. I bought the music, I own it. With Apple’s DRM AACs, I can only do a small subset of those things, at Apple’s whim, subject to change at any time (as has been just demonstrated).

4. eMusic. I can buy music and stream it, rip it, transcode it, move it to another machine, install it on any portable player, back it up, and use it even if my network connection goes down and it can’t be “authorized.”

my final thoughts:

Apple’s one of the very few companies in the computer industry that consistently wins awards for innovation. Apple’s also the most immitated company on earth… Apple has one of the strongest brands on the planet… Yet with all these things, they’re still only in command of a tiny tiny fraction of the total market share. For as passionate as you and I are about Apple and it’s products, it’s still a company that needs to make money, and stay in business, and not get entangled in legal issues that could hurt or even destroy it. We both see the major labels as becoming less relavent, and less powerful. Distribution is the largest portion of service major labels provide, and when that’s irrelavent, they’re irrelavent. The RIAA is a dying entity. They’re not dead yet, but they’re on their way out.

I suggest you listen to Harry Allen’s Interactive Super Highway Phone Call to Chuck D, off Public Enemy’s “Muse Sick-n-Hour Mess Age” … which is available off the iTunes Music Store…

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