January 27, 2006

Knock me over with a feather.

07:26 PM | Comment (1)

January 26, 2006

The brouhaha over the new collaborator Google version that's launching in China strikes me as possibly the most public sign yet that the sheen is rapidly coming off the internet's wundercorp.

Think about it. Other than the basic web search and maybe Gmail, which of the plethora of products that have flooded into public view really work that well or can even remotely be considered category competitive?

12:02 AM | Comment (2)

January 18, 2006

The recent iTunes 6.0.2 update introduces a new Music Store feature that I'm going back and forth on. Not sure if it's helpful or annoying. If you haven't seen it, there's now a mini Music Store at the bottom of your Library view. It's easily toggled on or off with new button in the lower right group, which I did as soon as I saw it. However, Rich pointed out a couple of days later that the MiniStore display dynamically changes to reflect what you're listening to at any given moment. I suppose that's kind of a convenient way to find more work from an artist you presumably like since he/she/it is already in your collection. However, there's still something annoying about the commercial intrusion.

07:42 PM | Comment (2)

January 15, 2006

Sign that you fly too much. You're browsing flickr and come across a random photo of an airline meal tray. Even with no logos visible, you know the airline based on the shape of the cocktail glass and style of salt and pepper shakers.

11:21 PM | Comment (0)

January 12, 2006

In the category of the most ridiculous iPod accessory yet, it's the toilet paper dispenser/iPod dock. I mean come on. You're probably alone on the can so aren't headphone good enough?

12:25 PM | Comment (2)

January 10, 2006

I have to admit that I'm shedding a little tear for the retirement of the PowerBook name. Probably was predictable with the transition to Intel but still sad to see it go. If nothing else than it predated the actual PowerPC processor.

11:22 AM | Comment (2)

January 04, 2006

Autoweek has official images of the Chrysler Imperial concept that's supposedly bowing in Detroit next week. Please tell me this is an ill-timed April Fools gag. I've never seen an uglier show car.

Oh wait, that's a lie. I was at the Detroit show when the Pontiac Aztek debuted.

01:12 AM | Comment (0)

So if you didn't get the reference from the Happy Tree Friends mention in December, Amex finally coughed up the replacement iPod. Of course, I had to get the current video-enabled version because who sells last year's model still? (That's rhetorical, I don't want to know thank you.) I actually was tepid about the video abilities. No really. Then I saw how nice the screen actually looks and I was hooked. Not for movies (that's why I've got a widescreen PowerBook) but music videos. We've got a fair number on DVD so I've been exploring the options for converting.

Let me tell you, the current tools are woefully inadequate. Handbrake the generally-praised app has been making me pull my hair out. Sometimes its results look great. Other times they play with all the fluidity of a slide show. Sometimes the audio is nice. Others it pops and crackles as if Ma Bell was at the sound board. The only thing I can figure is that the folks loving Handbrake are converting movies and tv shows that are less demanding than quick cut music videos with end-to-end raucous music tracks.

So far, I'm having much better luck with a two-step process. Mac the Ripper followed by a quick trip through iSquint. Hmmm, as I was getting that last link, I noticed that a new version was released yesterday. I'll check it out and report back. But you gotta love the tag line he's using.

What does all this mean? I have no idea. I'm putting this up mainly as a reminder for myself and in case any poor soul is googling out of frustration because most of the conventional wisdom on the topic is a bit lame.