“​‘Moral?’ The outworn hypocrisy of ‘morality’ is for the weak and foolish. We live in a modern, dynamic, masculine society. It is free and independent — it needs nothing but itself.”

“Are you saying it can’t get a date?”

— Leutnant Winzig and Udo, from The Desert Peach

Even when it’s free, they’ve got to cheat


Some people have figured out how to examine Pepsi bottles to find the ones that contain codes for free songs from the iTunes Music Store. At least one high-profile site has a detailed how-to on the subject, demonstrating their affection for gaming the system.

Should Pepsi have been more clever about securing the codes? Sure. The technique has probably been used against them for years, but it didn’t get publicity until it combined two of the Internet’s favorite obsessions: downloading music and outsmarting a large corporation. Fucking over your neighbors is just a bonus; after all, if they were plugged in, they’d be able to do it, too. Feh.

[Oh, and the site I found the link on is the same one that once posted a link to a site in France that contained a large archive of Playboy centerfolds; they thought it was just so cool that someone had made it possible to compare twenty years of Playmates online. They were so thrilled by this service that I almost didn’t have the heart to point out that the people who actually owned the pictures did it first. And better. And legally. Made me want to ask them if that EFF group they’re so fond of was really called Easy Freebies Forever.]

Apple hardware service


2/3/2004 — well-known “white spots on PowerBook display” issue finally annoying enough that I call AppleCare.

2/4/2004 — box arrives at house, driver waits while I pack it up.

2/5/2004 — AppleCare web site acknowledges receipt of unit.

2/7/2004 — AppleCare confirms problem, orders part.

2/13/2004 — AppleCare web site updated with “Begin testing” and “Ready to ship”.

2/13/2004 (cont.) — box arrives, brand-new screen installed. J verifies absence of white spots, and lack of dead pixels (better than the original).

2/13/2003 (cont.) — Overjoyed, J splurges on additional gigabyte of RAM.

Minor GarageBand update


It’s not on Software Update yet, and it’s not prominently linked on the support site, but GarageBand 1.0.1 was released today.

It looks like they’re just clearing up the performance warning dialog boxes (many of which were either confusing or just plain wrong).

Update: Some folks are reporting other improvements, such as performance of some keyboards. I noticed that the online Help includes some new FAQs (and a working link to the keyboard shortcuts), but nothing else yet. The error dialogs are definitely clearer, though:

new GB error dialog

Spammers For Jesus


Apparently that ends-justifies-the-means thing isn’t just for sinners any more. Actually, now that I think about it, spam-witnesses are less annoying than the ones who show up at my door with vacant stares, carrying logic-free tracts that proclaim “science textbooks are for burning.”

Update: and another one! Apparently spam-witnessing is sufficiently different that it evades my Bayesian spam filtering. A bit more of this tripe, though, and I’m sure it will decide that “Jesus”, “church”, and “Bible” are just as spammy as “penis” and “Viagra”. If that’s what they want, I don’t mind.

By the way, if God is actually stupid enough to want mindless prayers like the one this clown promises will save me, I’d rather be damned. And a hearty “nyah, nyah” to the twerps who get all warm and fuzzy from the thought that they’ve accomplished something with this email masturbation. If their cause was worthwhile, they’d be pursuing it honestly.

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Bond franchise doomed, film at 11.


Latest rumor is that Britney Spears wants to be the next Bond girl.

I suppose the only sane response is to hold a competition to name her character. I nominate Trampona Streetcorner.

“I disbelieve”


The more they try to explain it away, the harder it is to swallow:

Freston, whose company produced the halftime show for CBS, said Timberlake was informed of the stunt just moments before he took the stage with Jackson.

More GarageBand resource usage


I finally got around to testing my piano overload song on my other Mac, a dual 1GHz G4 tower with 768MB of RAM, booted off of a 4200 RPM external FireWire drive. The second CPU more than made up for the slower hard drive and lower memory, allowing me to add four more software pianos than I could use on the PowerBook.

Final total: nine software pianos, five software percussion instruments, a software acoustic bass, and seven sampled loops. I’ll try again when I finish rebuilding the fast internal hard drive, to see if that will let me squeeze in another piano.

Update: Nope, the faster hard drive didn’t make a difference. It looks like CPU and RAM dominate, and dual CPUs make a big difference (as they should).

Update: Past a certain point, more RAM doesn’t make a big difference, either (says the guy who just bumped his PowerBook to 2GB). It looks like 512MB is a good working minimum, and 768MB or so will handle just about anything a G4 or two can keep up with. Above that, you’re basically adding buffer cache to compensate for the speed of your hard drive.

If it saves one bird…


Propagandists for various causes are fond of taking an annual statistic and dividing it by the number of days/hours/minutes in a year to create A Scary Statistic. I have a new one for them:

Every second, 32 birds are murdered in the US by plate-glass windows.

Kinda puts that whole silent-spring, DDT-egg-thinning flap into perspective, don’t ya think?

“Need a clue, take a clue,
 got a clue, leave a clue”