The Griffin PowerPod costs about $19. Apple's Firewire-to-iPod cable costs about $24. The PowerPod includes the equivalent cable, plus the doohickey for going from automobile cigarette lighter to Firewire. Paying a premium for the Apple brand does not apply to cables that should cost under $10.
Judy and I went to see Patti Smith last night in Santa Cruz. I haven't seen her in 26 years; it was 30 for Judy. In short: Patti was great, go see her now if you've ever wanted to see her.
She mixed songs from her recent album, recent albums, and great old stuff. "Ghandi" was intense, but "Dancing Barefoot" was flat-out transcendent. I really hope the guy who was taping the show gets me a copy eventually; if so, expect the MP3 "Dancing Barefoot" here about ten seconds later.
The crowd was pretty wonderful too. About half of us were old enough to have seen her before she stopped touring around 1980. Another third could be categorized as the Santa Cruz women's music crowd. Not as many people dancing as I would have hoped, but everyone had a pretty good time.
It was my birthday today (2f in hex), and I kept thinking about a birthday song I remembered from my childhood. It wasn't a "traditional" song; it came from a local (Los Angeles area) kids TV show that I hadn't thought about in years. Stick "sheriff john tv" into Google and out pops a site for the Sheriff John show. And they even had a copy of the song! But wait, there's another Sheriff John site with all the lyrics for the song! Talk about birthday heaven....
If you need to know the difference between the two, download this movie. They explain it to you in side-splitting (and crude) detail; it's worth the 22 meg download. And if you don't understand the medium they use, the RedVsBlue FAQ explains it all, kinda.
Wired News is now going to spell it "the internet". Actually, I'm glad. I have been using lowercase for "the web" for a few years now, and have caught a fair amount of editorial flack for doing so. I did so because the web cannot be easily defined. I guess I should have realized that the internet couldn't be either.
Microsoft is pinning its security story on the much-vaunted Windows Service Pack 2. That's a bad gamble on Microsoft's part. Most of what they are relying on is in the new and easier-to-use personal firewall, and that firewall will probably be used by fewer than half of all XP users. They'll simply turn it off.
People hate firewalls. Corporate users blame every software problem with Internet applications on "the company's firewall". They go out of their way to circumvent the corporate firewall whenever they can. When they can't, they complain bitterly about the idiots in the IT department.
Some people buy personal firewalls, but only a few. And, more importantly, many people who buy personal firewalls turn them off after a day or two after discovering that they firewall kills some of their favorite Internet programs. Microsoft is about to find this out, and is about to lose most of the good security they hoped to gain with SP2.
The list is woefully incomplete. It doesn't list the dozens of popular P2P and instant messaging programs that will no longer work.
Microsoft isn't being completely honest here. The first sentence of the summary says "...some programs may seem not to work". They seem not to work? Wrong: they really don't work. The firewall broke them.
Note how cumbersome the procedures are to poke a hole in the firewall for your favorite program. After someone discovers that they can no longer use a program, which do you think they will do: follow the detailed and often-nerdy instructions, or just turn off the firewall?
A few months from now, when few people are using the built-in firewall and Windows security is perceived to be nearly as bad as it is today, expect Microsoft to go into "blame the customer" mode, saying that if everyone just did as Microsoft said, they will be safe. No one will believe them, and their reputation will be worse than ever.
Until Microsoft significantly tightens up the ability for a user to receive and run executable content, they're going to (quite rightfully) get beaten up on security.
Update: Now Microsoft is delaying the release of SP2 because they need more time to perfect the tool that companies can use to prevent employees from downloading SP2. They didn't think of this ahead of time?.
The usability of the iPod is not nearly as good as that of most Apple software. For example, if the iPod sleeps for "too long", it forgets what song (and even what playlist) you were listening to. The same thing happens when you plug the iPod into a Firewire port, even if you don't launch iTunes or change any settings.
Admission: I don't carry a Pilot or such device. I rarely have more than one event during a day (or even a week!) that has a particular start time. My calendar mostly consists of to-dos, many of which can be slipped day to day. I print out a week-at-a-glance each week and wing it from there; wheee.
Most folks, however, seem much more calendar-oriented. They move their calendars from their computer to their palmtop. They get events from other people so they can coordinate their calendars. If you're that way, and you care about the standards for how events are handed around between calendars, you might find Lisa Dusseault's recent article about the state of calendaring standards interesting an worthwhile. Her exhortation at the end to get involved is really aimed at protocol folks and software developers, but everybody is welcome.
Me, I'm quite happy in my mostly-uncalendared world...