“It was very difficult to get the Irish girls to expose their breasts.”

— Insightful commentary from John Boorman, director of Zardoz

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?

SuperBowl Scandal


After reviewing the highlights of the game (which, for me, were the few good commercials), I used my DishPlayer to hunt for the Justin-strips-Janet scene that’s getting lots of negative attention today.

When we originally watched it, it looked very deliberate. If we hadn’t had the volume muted, the fact that his last words were “…gonna have you naked by the end of this song” would have supported that impression.

Watching it again, though, I’m convinced that Justin’s grab-and-yank was actually intended to remove the rest of her costume, leaving the bra intact. He just grabbed a little higher than he had during rehearsals.

The clincher was seeing the still photos that make it clear that she wasn’t wearing pasties. It was a nipple shield, held on by a piercing, not something the FCC would be happy to see.

I figure that by tomorrow, every fetish shop on the planet will be advertising “Janet’s Sunburst”.

Update: The official word from Janet’s fetishist, er, publicist is that it was in fact the bra cup that was supposed to tear off, but the red lace was supposed to stay behind, covering the breast. She also claims that it was set up after final rehearsals, without the knowledge of MTV or CBS.

Update: Sure enough, sales of nipple shields, and the piercings to wear them with, have gone way up.