1. He said it.

    brian on 2005.12.24
    at 01:33 am

    These two blog entries make me nearly tear my hair out.

    {Minor update: I agree with Kottke, there is still good in him…}

    Winer: The user interface on iTunes is awful. It’s the worst piece of crap I’ve ever used…I buy the CDs and scan em in… [explains he lost some music] What did I do wrong? I swear, I have no idea, and I’m a professional software designer. What about the poor schnook who is just a user?

    Take a quick look at his blog, then look around the web for screen shots of Frontier or his OPML… and he thinks iTunes has bad interface? I’d say their interfaces are from the stone age, but that would be an insult to the tools developed then. But wait it gets better…

    What’s better than iTunes/iPod? Why, his Archos.

    Winer: Let’s say I bought an audiobook, it comes on eight CDs, I rip it into eight folders, write a script to name the files 001.mp3, 002.mp3, 003.mp3, etc. From there, if I copy the files to the Archos, it does the right thing when I start playing the first file, it goes to the second, then to the third.

    But the iPod can’t be made to care what the filename is, so it plays them in the order of the ID3 info, which is almost completely random because the ripper has no idea that the eight CDs are actually one big document… So the Archos wins (emph. mine)

    Oh. My. God. I cannot barely refrain from profanity. This expert in software development thinks writing a goddamn script is easier than using iTunes? Are you f*n kidding me? OMFG. It’s simple. You rip it in iTunes, Select all the tracks your ripped, you click Get Info, you give them all the same title (album name) and author (artist). Then close the window, deselect all, then click Get Info on each and make a track number. 1, 2, 3. Move the music to your iPod. Now simply select the album on the iPod and press play… it magically plays in track order. Call it a miracle.

    But, no the Archos is better. That’s why the sweet, seventy year old grandmother today I spoke with today came in with her Archos explaining she takes that ten pound brick with her every where. And when she’s home she listens to it in her Archos speaker system. Yup, that’s right. Oh wait, that was an iPod. The same one “professional software designer” Dave Winer cannot operate. But forgive her. She may have been sweet, but she’s just “poor schnook who is just a user”

    Minor update #2: I might have gone off the deep end in retrospect, but, damn that was cathartic.

    Posted in: Apple · Hardware · Software · Technology

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  2. Winter Desktops

    brian on 2005.12.22
    at 05:24 pm

    Winter is my favorite season. Pray for Snow!

    Today, I went and grabbed some images from the web for my desktop. Inspired to look by my blushing (soon to be) bride, I found some great images of Montana under snow from Chris Lombardi via Flickr. I combined these with three from Mike Matas (all in the corporate family, I suppose). And one image of a lit (Maple?) tree from Canada from a gentleman who posted in the winter tag.

    Thanks all.


    Posted in: Photography · Weather · Web

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  3. F* the what now?

    brian on 2005.12.22
    at 04:36 pm

    From the father of “Fuck the South” comes a biting sequel, F* Christmas. OK, I’ll admit. I’m not a church-goer, but I just couldn’t actually type it out.

    That didn’t prevent me from reading it. LOL.

    Go forth and read. It’s not an attack on Christians nor Christianity. It’s an attack on the “Oppressed Christians” who live in our cruel secular nation. Good thing they have the ACLU to protect them.

    Oh, wait…

    Posted in: Humor · Politics

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  4. Serenity released on DVD.

    jake on 2005.12.20
    at 06:02 pm

    Serenity Now!

    Serenity DVD coverToday is the Day! Serenity is finally out on DVD. My Amazon preorder should be waiting at my house when I get home.

    I read a terrifying thing (from Digg) today about the possiblity Joss Whedon wasn’t going to continue with the Firefly universe. While I that would be a tragedy I wanted to touch on something the article said.

    …Serenity’s status as a franchise nonstarter; despite Universal’s best marketing efforts…

    Has anyone seen the promotional material on TV for Serenity? The 15-second spots where it’s basically just River Tam (Summer Glau) kicking everyone’s ass? I’d just like to point out that there is a fucking lot more to this movie than River beating people up.

    The movie was so well received by critics because of the character development. Not because it was an action movie along the vien of Rambo. Universal dropped the ball just like Fox did with promoting the show.

    Give the movie a chance, it’s not all that bad being a Browncoat.

    Posted in: Movies

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  5. Rejoice

    brian on 2005.12.16
    at 04:19 pm

    The Congress has heard us yell, and apparently, it’s starting to sink in.

    Senate Rejects Extensions to the Patriot Act.

    Especially good news on the hells of the NYTimes reporting

    Bush authorized the National Security Agency to monitor the international phone calls and international e-mails of hundreds — perhaps thousands — of people inside the United States. Previously, the NSA typically limited its domestic surveillance to foreign embassies and missions and obtained court orders for such investigations.

    Finally, I think we have a chink in the armor of the continuously dangerous Bush Administration.

    Posted in: Politics

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  6. More Serenity

    jake on 2005.12.12
    at 06:48 pm

    I’ve seen two recent posts about Serenity lately. Miraculously they both were brought to my attention through Digg. Of course it seems that Serenity and Firefly has a lot of fans on Digg.

    The first is that Serenity is just shy of breaking even. I’ve already pre-ordered my DVD. You should too, then we might get “bullet” number two.

    And the second is that there is some talk of a sequel. The only problem I see is that the discussion revolves around bringing it straight to the Sci-Fi channel. Personally I wouldn’t mind Sci-Fi bringing back the series but I’m not sure how I feel about a movie.

    Previous posts…

    Posted in: Movies

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  7. Updates

    jake on 2005.12.11
    at 10:47 pm

    I have decided that this site will not be actually updated until I just start rebuilding. So for however long it takes, you will see Re¢ently in “live update” status. I will try and make sure that the site does not lose functionality but because it’s all custom programming some things may stop working, even if I reset the template we’re using to the backup. Thanks for your patience.

    Posted in: Service Announcement

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  8. Family Guy, Bathroom privacy, Tim Tom Short, Jon Stewart, How cancer spreads, Ann Coulter at UConn

    jake on 2005.12.08
    at 04:11 pm

    Oh baby I have a lot of tabs…

    • How to watch your new Family Guy DVD – Latest DVD for Family Guy has uncensored audio for some episodes.
    • Camera in School Bathroom (from Digg) – Interesting comments over on Digg. Though many are fairly judgemental. The story doesn’t reference location of the camera. It was placed in the bathroom to prevent vandalism supposedly. I can imagine a bunch of places a camera could be put in a boys bathroom in my old high school where you wouldn’t see the users in compromising positions. However, the student should not be suspended and the camera should have been divulged. Students knowing about it would also provide prevention.
    • Tim Tom (from Screenhead) – A wonderful little animated short making the rounds.
    • Jon Stewart Named NSCAA Honorary All-America (from gawker) – Holy crap! Jon Stewart used to play soccer (football) in college?

    Jon Stewart playing soccer many years ago.Before Stewart launched his highly successful comedic career, he played intercollegiate soccer at the College of William and Mary. As a member of The Tribe’s team from 1981 to 1983, he scored 10 goals and was credited with 12 assists for a total of 32 career points. As a senior, he scored William and Mary’s lone goal in a 1-0 victory over Connecticut which helped propel The Tribe to the ECAC title and the school’s second appearance in the NCAA tournament.

    • Scientists discover how cancer spreads (from Digg) – According to some of the comments on Digg it’s “old news.” Either way, it’s one of those things everyone should know about.
    • Coulter’s UConn Invitation Opposed (from Wonkette) – Hooray, students from my alma mater waste a lot of money and don’t actually do anything productive. Who cares if we can have a discussion, lets just scream at her till she goes away!

    Posted in: Television · Science · Politics

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  9. The Saab Performace Team

    brian on 2005.12.08
    at 01:43 am

    Speaking of remakes.

    The Original.

    The Remake.

    Enjoy both.

    Oh, and they make/made fighter jets too.

    Posted in: Auto

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  10. Dick and Jane, again...?

    jake on 2005.12.06
    at 01:51 am

    Have you ever met someone who has no idea that some new song is actually a remake, or that the new hit hip hop song is sampling a song by a rock band from the seventies? Yeah? Well I kinda felt like one of the people on the naive side today.

    Fun with Dick and Jane at Circuit City Did everyone but me realize that the new Fun with Dick and Jane movie is actually a remake? I was sifting through the Circuit City flier and noticed the title in a pile of bargain DVD’s. Jim Carey can probably make it humorous. But do we really need another remake?

    Posted in: Movies

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  11. Playing with Footnotes and Javascript

    jake on 2005.12.05
    at 12:23 am

    A while ago lots of people were talking about footnotes and subsequently sidenotes on the web. There were lots of different opinions.

    John Gruber and Richard Rutter defended the idea that using built in HTML anchors is a perfectly acceptable method of creating footnotes. Joe Clark responded that not only are they not actually footnotes and that nothing exists to represent footnotes. Joe also was frustrated that John was getting heaps of praise for pointing out a fairly obvious solution to the problem. I’d say it wasn’t exactly obvious, it felt more like a brain teaser where when you see the solution you smack yourself on the forehead and go, “ohhhhhh, now I get it.”

    I had a little experience with the sidenote idea back when I was in college. I had a project in English where I created pop-ups with Javascript to show off the explanations my partner created for the project. It was a little messy and not semantic at all but it got the job done for 1999.

    I decided to play with the idea a little bit. I came up with a couple variations in my head to use Javascript to snazzy up the end result. The first variation uses a script to sift through the footnotes at the bottom of the page and when you mouseover the superscripted numbers you get a tooltip with the footnote. And it degrades nicely into a list similar to Gruber’s. Just try turning off Javascript.

    I’ve tested it in many browsers and the only problem I’ve found is that in Opera the tooltip can fall off the edge of the screen. I plan on cleaning it up, but let me know if you see anything I can do to fix it up but still keep it as simple as possible. I also hope to turn it into a full on Behavioral style script.

    So for now you’ll just have to live with the thrown together code. ;)

    Playing with Footnotes

    Posted in: Software · Web

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  12. 1000 Executions in the US.

    brian on 2005.12.02
    at 10:02 am

    The 1,000 US citizen since 1977 has been executed by his own government. 121 countries around the world have banned state-sactioned executions.

    The top four countries who execute their own citizens are China, Vietnam, Iran, and the United States.

    Additionally, 80% of executions are carried out by southern states. Texas has nearly triple the number of killed citizens, 354, for the next most deadly state, Virginia, 94. South Carolina will be executing its 35th citizen in a few days.

    Posted in: Politics · Recent Events

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  13. New Legislation in Washington

    brian on 2005.12.02
    at 09:29 am

    Two pieces of legislation pending in Washington. We’ll start with the more serious of the two.

    By creating a federal agency shielded from public scrutiny, some lawmakers think they can speed the development and testing of new drugs and vaccines needed to respond to a bioterrorist attack or super-flu pandemic.

    The proposed Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Agency, or BARDA, would be exempt from long-standing open records and meetings laws that apply to most government departments, according to legislation approved Oct. 18 by the Senate health committee. “AP report”:

    This is a bad idea. The government that we pay for should be open to our scrutiny.

    Number two, on the lighter side, is a la carte options for cable and satellite television.

    A la carte would allow cable subscribers to pick and pay for individual channels rather than being forced to buy packages. A parent, for example, could pick Nickelodeon and the Cartoon Network — and not have to take MTV or other channels they may find objectionable as part of a bundled package. “AP report”:

    This is a good idea. If you buy a house, you’re not forced to take all the furnishings inside. If you go to buy groceries, you’re not forced to take whatever the supermarket puts into the basket. Why should I have to buy five Christian religion channels, 10 foreign language channels, 10 children’s channels, five shopping channels, or anything else I wouldn’t otherwise support? Consumer choice is always a good idea.

    Interesting twist, conservatives in Congress are for the a la carte option. Normally, they would be against anything that tells a business how to do business despite the government’s role of keeping businesses in line. The interest in a la carte for conservatives is seen in the quote above, people who don’t want to see MTV or CNN or anything but religious channels can simply opt out of them.

    Most cable companies (but notably not all) are expectedly against a la carte, stating that it would thin the choices in television programming. I’m tired of the cable companies choosing my programming. I bought a TiVo to filter out all the junk that’s on my TV. But, I refuse to buy the highest, most expensive cable packages just to get the Outdoor Life Network, or Speed Channel. You can keep the religious, foreign and children’s channels… give me the WRC and Le Tour de France. And cut my bill while you’re at it.

    Posted in: Media · Politics · Recent Events · Science

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