Category Archives: tools

I Think I’m Getting an iPad (3G + Wi-Fi)

“Isn’t Everybody getting one?” I don’t know. I guess.

For me it’s a big deal. I haven’t bought anything from Apple that hasn’t been over $300 in almost half a decade.

The last thing I purchased–that I consider a big purchase was back in 2005. I got a PowerBook G4. Although I sorely lamented having not waited; I was and still am thoroughly pleased with my purchase. (Despite it’s current state: unusable and all the ills I had with it. Head over to my Livejournal for more on that)

During that short time–although I must say it actually is a bit of a time. I’ve seen Apple update and update and update both architecture (that was once), hardware, and software a bunch of times. For their laptops and desktops– well, at least for some. Things like Mac Pros and Macbook Airs have been slow to see the light of change.

Which was why my inclinations were towards the Air when it came to making another big purchase from Apple.

However it didn’t happen–or hasn’t happened…yet.

Very well seared in my mind was the ill and strange sensation of having purchased something and for it to have it made obsolete whilst it’s new smell still yet lingered. Then for it to become entirely defunct still yet not old.

Guess I’m old school in that aspect. I still have an iMac G3 that works and at the time of my big purchase wasn’t ‘obsolete’.

It had been ‘allowed’ to grow old gracefully and not hastily.

Yes indeed times have changed and are a changin’ but still present somewhere in my mind is a cautionary tale…

Buy when sure, ready and not on impluse, presumptions, or speculation.

In the same manner I feel as if I am experiencing it to some degree with my iPhone 3G. Which I have only recently acquired. Yet due to my experience, I bought when sure and ready. Despite the software and the anticpated hardware changes I don’t feel as then.

So comes the iPad into Play.

I am remotely and slightly gleeful that I haven’t purchased an Apple System (by that a mean that it’s marketed, shown as independent and not as part of something like say an iPhone) in almost half a decade.

I say this as I know not what lies June 7th to be presneted by Mr. Steve Jobs.

I believe the iPad will change and is currently in the process of revolutionizing what we know as the Personal Computer as it did so long in 1984.

Insomuch that I’ve decided to purchase an iPad in the following months.

I’ve opted yet, still debating, however a wee bit sure I shall purchase an iPad 3G + Wi-Fi.

Sure Wi-Fi is more readily available and free of charge in many a places however I’ve grown too acustomed to the connectivity.

Sure there are plenty of ways to make the iPhone as a modem for the iPhone however my goal is to be light.

True an iPhone is light as can be. Although I speak from experience, it’s a cramped out light experience. Heavy on the cramping.

Using the iPhone as your only source–no laptop…at all is slightly grim.

The lack of ‘real estate’ first of all daunting after three months.

Yet with iPad that’s there. The ‘real estate’.

The difference between the Wi-Fi only iPad and one with 3G + Wi-Fi is the difference between an Airstreamer (trailer) and a full fledged RV.

Sure you can be autonomous with the Airstreamer but to an extent. You still need a hitch and a vehicle to accomplish it.

With the RV the autonomy is present from the moment you arrive. The vehicle is optional as it (the RV) is the vehicle.

So I think I’m getting an iPad 3G + Wi-Fi…I’ll see.

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Firefox 3.0

I got the new version of Firefox about 5 hours after it’s initial release.

I’ve been using Firefox before it was even called Firefox and before it was Firebird as well (it was called Phoenix then). I can then definitely testify to it’s much new facelift and quickness, etc.

Although recently (for about 9 months now) I have been using Camino more and more.

The awesome bar–not so awesome for me–I like it’s scrolling but other than that it’s too early to give a solid review of the browser.

However I am still enthralled with Bon Echo and how much it reminds me of the old Firebird and it’s usage.

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Microsoft Wants Royalties From Linux

235 is the number of patent violations that Mircosoft asserts that Linux is violating and the reasons which they are saying why it’s such high quality software–because it’s infringing on patents, which they want royalties for.

Uh-huh, I read this and I automatically recalled the ‘Tainted’ Piracy Stats of the MPAA–as the article has language and complaints much like the MPAA and the RIAA have made in regards to the so called ‘piracy‘.

So they are saying that Linux and the free software (it doesn’t go into too much detail what other free software besides Linux are) are high quality because of the infringement of 235 patents?

So their stuff sucks why?

It’s high quality because it’s open source first of all. Mircosoft is getting mad because they can’t code something as high quality as this and instead of seeking new ways to use this to their advantage they instead do as the MPAA and the RIAA–they want royalities…

but let’s be serious here–that’s not what they really want. What they want is the “lost revenue” as the MPAA and the RIAA always do. They will first whine about royalties and then when they have those they will want that “lost revenue” and when they don’t get it they will sue.

Why now? Why bring this infringement now and not back in September 17, 1991 when the first Linux kernel was introduced?

The answer is very simple and it’s even in the article:

“And as a mature company facing unfavorable market trends and fearsome competitors like Google (Charts, Fortune 500), Microsoft is pulling no punches: It wants royalties. If the company gets its way, free software won’t be free anymore.” (emphasis mine)

The reason is due to unfavorable market trends and fearsome competitors that they’re bring this infringement plea–and scapegoating free software, in particular Linux and alluding in some ways as it being the cause for the unfavorable market trends and fearsome competitors.

As I said before, much the same language as the MPAA and the RIAA–it’s like they went and took: “Scapegoating and Suing 101: What to Do When Your Product Sucks and the Alternative is Free and Online” by the MPAA and the RIAA.

Which goes a little something like this:

  1. Claim that you have been infringed upon
  2. State that you have lost revenue or the like
  3. Demand royalties
  4. Sue the companies, organization, or entity that is infringing
  5. Sue the individuals that use/distribute/host/promote the infringing products and/or byproducts.
  6. Repeat if desired

So basically this is what they are doing at least it seems they are going down that path. Yet they state:

“Microsoft counters that it is a matter of principle. ‘We live in a world where we honor, and support the honoring of, intellectual property,’ says Ballmer in an interview. FOSS patrons are going to have to ‘play by the same rules as the rest of the business,’ he insists. ‘What’s fair is fair.'”

First and foremost what “world” is he from?  “We live in a world where we honor, and support the honoring of, intellectual property…,” now I know he took, “Scapegoating and Suing 101: What to Do When Your Product Sucks and the Alternative is Free and Online

“…play by the same rules as the rest of the business…” What rules would those be? Oh, yeah no one gets more money than my company and if they do, we start the 6 step program. Uh, huh, I see that’s really fair–yeah.

They definitely took “Scapegoating and Suing 101: What to Do When Your Product Sucks and the Alternative is Free and Online” I’m sure of it.

So Mircosoft is doing the 6 Step Program, hmmm…

Well, you should go download Ubuntu Linux 

Ad of Terror

The GOP is going to air an, “Ad Warning of Terror Attacks“…

Um, I think that qualifies as blatant ‘terror’ propaganda–putting a spin on ‘terror’–either you elect us or we give you ‘terror’–this is ‘terror’–yeah, that’s definitely propaganda and even intimidation some could argue.

Oh I forgot about the change–‘terror’ now means please–ah, yes makes sense now…

Zero-Day Flaw In Firefox

So claim 2 ‘hackers’–Um, yeah, if the Mozilla “foundation offers $500 per reported bug” then why would they want to ‘unleash’ them to spam/malware industry? It’s dumb.

ShiftSpace

I’ve been using ShiftSpace which is a, “second layer on top of a webpage (a street level above a subway station). These top-level neighborhoods will offer a rich topography, overlapping each other and spanning the web to create virtual cities built on top of any website. These ‘Spaces’ are composed of modular applications, each adding a specific capability. One space might allow for text annotation and discussion, while another could accommodate a collaborative collage work, with a third providing links that support or refute the underlying webpage’s core argument. ShiftSpace accompanies each webpage, unobtrusively hidden until invoked by the user with the keyboard shortcut shift + space. In that sense ShiftSpace is the stairway to the lively street above the station, should you choose to take it. ”

It’s pretty cool.

Go check it out

First Install Greasemonkey

then Install ShiftSpace version 0.03

No More UMD Movies?

No more UMD movies?

All right so I knew that some studios had stopped…or were going to stop releasing films in the UMD format…and that there were some Target stores that were taking UMD movies off their shelves and sending them back to Sony–somewhere along those lines but I couldn’t verify that.

Sony discontinuing the UMD movie format and relying solely on a Memory Stick for ‘movie portability’…?

Okay so I did see some advertising for such a thing–wherein one would buy a DVD and then a code was provided wherein one could rip/download the DVD to the memory stick.

Yet the question is brought up–“Why would consumers pay for an additional copy of their favorite movies in a UMD format if they already own the DVD to rip and transfer to their PSPs?”

The answer: People don’t want to be dealing with renaming of files, bit rates, long encoding times–sometimes in excess of 2 hours, decrypting of DVDs, VOB files, Video_TS Files, un-fluid video, lapse of audio in sync with video, crummy video quality, etc.

My Brother and I both have a PSP–both have a 512MB Memory Stick, which has about a 483MB Formatted Capacity.

I have a 1.5 GHzPowerbook w/ Mac OS X Tiger and 512MB of RAM and (un)fortunate to also have a PC w/ an AMD Athlon Processor and 512MB of RAM.

On the Windows Machine it takes my Brother depending on which program he uses–anywhere from 2 to 4 hours, give or take with something like an 10 to 18 minutes to decrypt a DVD–again the decrypting of the DVD is dependent upon the program. Be it DVD X Copy or PSP Video 9 w/ DVD Decrypter or another decryption program depending on the DVD.

On the Mac it takes me anywhere from 3 to 4 hours again give or take with something like a 18 to 20 minute to decrypt a DVD with Mac the Ripper if I use iPSP. If I use Instant Handbrake I don’t need to decrypt a DVD but again the encoding can take anywhere from 3 to 4 hours give or take on either program. Instant Handbrake is freeware yet iPSP is not and cost like $25 to register. If not you can only convert like 10 minutes of anything–be it a file or a DVD.

Also both on the Windows and Mac 1 in 10 DVDs will be rendered with either a lapse in audio, a problem with fluidness, a crummy picture, no audio at all, or on a rare occasion audio in a different language in spite of having configured it to be in English or all of these.

It is extremely frustrating to have waited anywhere from 2 to 4 hours to be met with such results.

With a UMD movie you just go to the store an buy it. At times it’ll be around the same price of a DVD or just a slight bit more but still in the range of other DVDs.

Now, Memory Sticks–someone tell me the price of a Memory stick–the price tag is on average $30 to 40 bucks for like 512MB, $80 to 100 for 1GB, $120 to 140 for 2GB.

They’re going to be selling movies on Memory Sticks?

The physical size of a Memory Stick for the PSP is about the size of quarter yet much thinner. I can’t imagine carrying around a bunch of these Memory Sticks with movies on it. They’d more than likely have a high rate of getting lost.

But going back to: buying a DVD and then having a code provided wherein one could rip/download the DVD to the memory stick which I said in the beginning. It would still take some time if it involved a computer–and most likely with no Mac version if there is an in between. So if they’re going to do this–the memory stick should come preloaded with the movie.

Yet again one has to remember–how much does a Memory Stick cost? This would no doubt raise the price of the DVD drastically to accommodate the cost of manufacturing of the Memory Stick.

So as far as Sony discontinuing the UMD movie format and relying solely on a Memory Stick for ‘movie portability’…it’s a very bad idea as far as cost and making a profit. If Sony is discontinuing the UMD format due to sales suffering they’re only going to suffer even more on the Memory Stick. That is unless they lower the price of Memory sticks. This is the only way that this is possible.

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