Archive for February, 2007

Lent-pedia

February 22, 2007

I think this Lenten sacrifice will have benefits all around:

Wikipedia, as blocked by my /etc/hosts file

So long, Wikipedia! I’ll see you and your Warhammer timelines in 40 days! You won’t be missed!

Jobs On Music

February 6, 2007

Well played, Mr. Jobs!

Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats. In such a world, any player can play music purchased from any store, and any store can sell music which is playable on all players. This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat.

Sure, Steve Jobs is saying this in his own self-interest, with iTunes lock-in being deemed illegal in Norway. But you can never go wrong by comparing yourself favorably to the cold, cold hearts of the music industry.

Apple has long had some of the most unfriendly copy restriction management. Now here’s Steve saying he’d rather Apple not be restrictive at all.

Is this a bluff? If so, he’ll be called on it.

Vistaphobic iTunes

February 4, 2007

Can Apple make a Windows program that plays nice with Windows?

When Apple first ported iTunes to Windows in late 2003, I was quickly annoyed by all its heavy-handed, Mac-centric quirks. Its brushed steel borders were no worse than the awkward skins of Windows Media Player or WinAmp, but I personally suffered from a catastrophically nasty bug: if iTunes was running when I inserted a CD, my HP laptop would instantly reboot. There is no excuse for a music player to wreak that kind of havok on my computer. I bailed Windows before Apple became even more invasive, porting their Software Update to Windows to oversee all of their PC offerings.

What was my solution to Apple’s bad behavior? I bought a Mac. That isn’t good parenting.

I figured more than three years of Windows experience would teach Apple how to play by the rules. Instead, their iTunes behavior is worse than ever:

Apple Inc. is warning users of its iTunes software about compatibility problems with Microsoft Corp.’s new operating system and has recommended against a switch to Windows Vista until a fix is complete.

What is Apple’s own solution to their all-new bad behavior? Don’t buy Vista! There’s no excuse for this: it’s past time for iTunes on Windows to grow up.

Looking at Apple’s list of specific problems reveals that iTunes Music Store DRM may not work, iPod syncing will not work correctly, and:

Ejecting an iPod from the Windows System Tray using the “Safely Remove Hardware” feature may corrupt your iPod.

Orwellian computer commands! Now that’s the Microsoft way.

There are so many other reasons not to buy Vista. Shame on Apple for adding to the list.