God bless! Akismet seems like the answer to a boon. It is a WP plugin that is said to stop spam commenting. I REALLY hope for it to be a working solution. If it works, I promise that if I ever WILL make “mad paper” (not likely, though), I’ll send some Akismet way.
I just installed WordPress 2.0.1, and as usual, the update was simple as simple can be. And, oh, a while ago I installed the egocentric Scrobbles plugin. “Scrobbles is a simple WordPress plugin that fetches your Audioscrobbler data and displays it on your site where you wish”, which in my case is the right hand menu. So now you can see what’s playing, at least at one of my computers…
Terry Teague was one of the many unsung heroes of Apple, both as an idealist and an employee. An Apple employee since 1988, Teague was much involved with freeware projects in his spare time, keeping the good part of the 60s spirit alive: helping people and not think of it in terms of capital gain. Read an eulogy at Twiddly Bits.
Totally silly: MPAA has decided that BitTorrent is a criminal protocol per default, which has resulted in the autobanning of people using BitTorrent for totally legal purposes. There’s an article in Boing Boing that tells about a case in particular. The huge free media repository archive.org also uses torrents for distributions, as does game companies such as Blizzard, and many many MANY others. Shall I EVER be able to stop complaining over the sheer stupidity of Big Biz? Not bloody likely.
Aha! I recently installed an olden goldie on my G5: Duke Nukem 3D. That takes me back.
Thanks to ambitious freeware mavens like icculus.org, macologist and ScummVM we can now play plenty of older games on OS X and Linux, including Duke 3D, Monkey Island 1 + 2 and Unreal Tournament 99. It is really nice to see what one “ooh”ed and “aah”ed about almost a decade ago. Duke 3D really is so damn blocky it’s a wonder I ever thought it looked “real.” That shows what the mind can do to a fundamentally good idea.
Since last time i wrote, I bought and installed OS X 10.4 (“Tiger”, in Apple vernacular). It’s some slick shit, but I assume it will have some bugs ironed out in the next few months, making it slicker still. The biggest fly in the ointment is the fucking Finder: still the causer of the spinning Gay Pride ball. Its sluggy file copying is still there, its non-adjustable and frankly erratic “snappy grid” and strange network behaviour too. As icing on the cake, it seems to have a real fucking issue when it comes to “Bonjour” (nee Rendezvous) printers. What did they change? At any rate, some stuff is really impressive, especially where graphics are concerned. I recommend John Siracusa’s massive review, which is basically great, although very metadata-heavy. Heh!
(Just now listening to Devo by Warm Wires)
What else? Well, Apple just launched iTMS in Sweden. At about the same time, a Tiger-compatible Roxio Toast was released. Among the new featureas was the ability NOT to be able to burn DRM‘d AAC tunes sold via iTMS. This decision was made by Roxio after “discussions” with Apple. I have no doubt that Apple acted big biz and threatened Roxio in so many words. At any rate, this means you NEED iTunes to burn iTMS music. That also means you need to use CD-/DVD-R writers that iTunes can recognize. That is just bogus, Apple. Bite the hand that feeds you, morons. Personally, I feel that services like Warp’s Bleep.com (who offers LAME –alt-preset standard encoded MP3s sans DRM) and Audio Lunchbox (who lets you dl both ogg and mp3s) is a much better alternative. If not, there’s always jhymn. Or go buy vinyl, gramps.
These past few weeks has seen the start of a battle between Swedish anti-piracy groups/Corporate shills/general numbnuts and pro-piracy interests/hackers/general law dilettantes. My take? Shove it, you big corps, you! I think it’s pretty clear that I think artists should get paid, and companies who work for artists as well. But what I don’t think, is that it’s a good thing to stigmatize file sharers.
Sure, I’ve downloaded my share. Let’s see, what movies did I last “steal” from those companies? Last of England and Jubilee by Derek Jarman, 12 Stories About John Zorn by Claudia Heuermann and finally La Société du spectacle by Guy Debord. Oh, and that Bruce Haack documentary by Philip Anagnos. I ask you, why the FUCK would I spend time downloading mainstream crapola that I can rent in any store for 2 bucks. And why the fuck would YOU do anything of the sort, either? Forgive me, but clogging the networks with readily available Hollywood schlock is just plain insipid & boring. I’d rather go to archive.org and dl some ephemera without being stigmatized by the “Biz”. That said, I actually rented a Hollywood movie yesterday. Not for the first time, not for the last, I’m sure, but the shenanigans of the movie industry will make me think twice before renting or buying from them again.
Did I mention I just ordered yet another TV series today?
Basically: die, you dinosaurs, die. An industry that was once exciting and happening (Columbia’s Odyssey branch even tried to sell Stockhausen and musique concrÃ¨te to HIPPIES in the late 60s, for chrissakes!) is now but a qliphoth. A husk, void of what was once good.
Yesterday, Little Lord Bill told the Danish government that if they didn’t get the software patents law proposal through in the EU, he would close down a Microsoft-owned firm in Denmark & move it to the USA. 800 jobs would disappear. Now, I AM against software patents, for a number of reasons, but mostly, I guess, because it would mean that “real companies” can & will stop a number of small companies & open source projects. What non-commercial project would dare to test their might against the judicial powers of Microsoft, Adobe or whatever? Possibly, most people (or politicians) don’t understand the ramifications of passing the software patent law, but luckily some do- Poland, for example, was instrumental in stopping the Software Patents Bill last year.
As a reply to the Microsoft threat, Danish Social Democrats replied:
“Danish policy should not be dictated by corporations – no matter how big they might be. What’s crucial is finding a solution that serves small as well as big IT companies best. And that is not necessarily the solution that Microsoft or other software mastodons feel to be the right one”, says the Social Democratic IT spokesman Thomas Adelskov.
Good one. Understandably, Microsoft wants to see to it that they will get money, even if Windows loses ground as an OS platform/Office standard package. Presumably, they will try to stop projects such as Windows emulators for Linux and free Office alternatives such as OpenOffice and StarOffice if such a law were to be. Gimp would probably be sued by Adobe, and many of the Linux extra programs would be sued by any company with the money for a law suite.
You can read more about Microsoft’s threat at FFIIs Wiki. If you’re in Europe, be sure to sign those petitions!