The Good, the Bad, and the Stupid.

It's a link day, but instead of the normal format I'm going to link to three articles today.

First, the good is Switchfoot. I've long enjoyed their music but they just went up a million notches in my estimation over a DRM fiasco with their publisher, Sony. It seems Sony added DRM to the new CD against the band's wishes (because "industry standard" for the Recording Industry is to be a freedom hating Nazi), and their DRM effectively keeps people from importing the songs to many portable music player managemers(yes I just did it again, whoops). Switchfoot's Tim Foreman posted a note on the bands official forum (hosted by Sony) apologizing for the DRM and listing several workarounds that will dreak the system. My hat is off to the boys in Switchfoot for knowing that DRM is a mistake, and speaking out against it publically.

For the record, bullshit DRM schemes like this are the reason I no longer have the autoplay feature enabled on any of my drives. Essentially these new schemes equate to viruses that break parts of a computer's functionality to serve the unholy purposes of some asshole in a suit at Sony who wants a second Porsche to drive on the weekends. He's damaging your computer so he can make more money. Fuck him.

In case you were wondering, to disable autoplay on a drive in Windows XP, head for [my computer], right click on the drive, and choose [properties]. Then choose the [autoplay] tab and select "prompt me each time to choose an action" then simply refuse the prompt when you drop a disk in the drive.

For full control of the autoplay system, pick up TweakUI from the Microsoft Powertoys website and check out the [my computer -> drive manager], there you can completely disable the autoplay capability on a drive-by-drive basis and you won't even be bothered by the prompt.

Second, the bad news: Apple is giving etailers shit for referencing their iPod line. Basically Apple is threatening lawsuits against anyone who uses the iPod name, in any way. So if you're a maker of an FM transmitter that turns headphone output into an FM signal, simply dropping a note in your device's FAQ saying "yes, this device works with portable media players, including the iPod." means you could be receiving a C&D soon. Hurray!

And lastly, the stupid: Wired news is generally written by smart people, for smart people, about computers and issues related to computers. That's why I like it. However, this article on random playlisting is inane. The writing is sophomoric and the statements about mathematics and computers are stuff that any nerd already knows and any brain-dead hipster with an iPod isn't smart enough to grasp. Perfectly useless. I could rant about statistical clustering and how this entire article could be written in 200 words, but I won't. Instead I'll just grumble some more and then go back to playing Google Earth War. . . Damn you, GEwar--I want my life back!

Monday, September 19, 2005


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