Fascist: A person who favours measures possibly conducive to the survival of the West.— There Will Be Time, Poul Anderson, 1972
Another potentially useful hack for GB: BandToLogic.
Calphalon One is not hype. It really is good stuff, better than their previous non-stick and hard-anodized lines. It browns beautifully, deglazes nicely, and cleans up with little or no effort. I bought the 4-Quart Chef’s Multipan to try it out, and now I’m seriously considering replacing my comprehensive collection of older Calphalon cookware. About the only things I really need to keep are the cast-iron skillet and the Le Creuset casseroles.
I’ve spent the past week filling in my Neilsen Ratings diary. It’s been interesting to actually participate in the numbers that have shaped television programming for so many years.
The basic system is simple: for every fifteen minutes that each TV in your house is on, write in the channel it was tuned to, the show that was on, and who (if anyone) was watching. I live alone and didn’t have any guests this week, so it was pretty easy.
What was difficult was dealing with the fact that Neilsen hasn’t caught up with the times. For several years, I’ve had a Dish Network DishPlayer, which has PVR functionality. Like TiVO and Replay, this box completely changes the way you watch television. You no longer care when the station chooses to air a show, and with your favorite programs regularly recorded to disk, you spend less time watching random crap.
Neilsen’s diary can’t cope with this. There’s a single page at the back that lets you write in up to ten programs that you recorded on a VCR or DVD-R, but that’s ten for the entire week. I recorded only 26 different shows last week, and that’s primarily because it was a dull week and I had a lot of anime DVDs to catch up on. And it doesn’t account for the shows that I’d normally save up for a few weeks and then watch all at once.
It was easy for them to add DVD-R recorders to their data, because it fits in with the model they understand: time-shifting as the exception, not the rule. As PVRs increase in popularity, Neilsen runs the risk of becoming irrelevant, and TiVo’s much-hyped ability to count how many people “rewound” to check out Janet Jackson’s nipple shield is not a replacement. TiVo’s data gathering, like WebTV’s before it, is missing the critical data: the number and demographic breakdown of the people watching.
Happened to stumble across Siobhan Donaghy’s web site. It opened a new window that used Flash to pretend to be a music magazine. I cannot imagine a less useful metaphor for navigating a web site, especially since it is completely unreadable without extensive use of the supplied zoom button and jump-scroll arrows.
It is the stupidest site design I’ve ever seen. Slow to load, hard to read, hard to navigate, effectively impossible to link to or quote from, and actively hostile to large and/or high-resolution displays. It is a remarkable exercise in “polishing a turd.”
It will probably win an award, which the designer will cherish forever and leverage to justify even greater sins.
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.]
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.
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: