Thursday, June 30, 2005

Like it or not, even though it's far from the first or only podcast directory, Apple's version quickly leaps to the top of the power charts. Inclusion there can put a podcast in front of millions of potential listeners, many -- maybe most -- of whom won't take the time to look anywhere else. That inclusion could make a podcast more valuable to advertisers. Public radio station KCRW, for instance, featured prominently at iTMS, just signed a six-figure, 26-week deal with Lexus to sponsor its podcasts. According to (reg. req.), the deal starts in October. As Ad Age notes, KCRW notched 25,000 downloads the week it started podcasting 22 shows. That number tripled after Steve Jobs mentioned the station. Expect it to go up again with membership in the directory. Lexus will be paying on a CPM basis—by the download.

Rafat Ali, on Apple's strategy with podcasting.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

And you thought it was just a movie:

SCIENTISTS have created eerie zombie dogs, reanimating the canines after several hours of clinical death in attempts to develop suspended animation for humans.

US scientists have succeeded in reviving the dogs after three hours of clinical death, paving the way for trials on humans within years.

Pittsburgh's Safar Centre for Resuscitation Research has developed a technique in which subject's veins are drained of blood and filled with an ice-cold salt solution.

Night of the Living Dead...Dogs?

Hoax, anyone?

Monday, June 27, 2005

Friday, June 24, 2005

I love my i-Pod (okay, who doesn't) but, I can't help the uneasy feeling they could in the long run be contributing to A.D.D.

I've got two daughters: ages 4 and 2, and they've already essentially co-opted my i-Pod. We go in the car anywhere, "Daddy, mussssiiiccc!"

So, I've got about 51 favorites in my Chillin' with John playlist, in shuffle mode, because I like the order to be different every time I plug in. Here's the breakdown so far for the girls:

Two-year-old's favorites:
Peter Gabriel: Solsbury Hill
Tom Petty: Learning to Fly
Billy Joel: Allentown
Christopher Cross: Ride like the Wind

(anything by Sinead Lohan, Sheryl Crow, Sinead O'Connor and, oh yeah, Constant Craving by k.d. lang)

That means anything else that comes on, meaning that Daddy likes, gets this chorus from the back seat:

"NEXT!!"—and I have to hit the Next button.

...Sarah McLaughlin comes on—

...Fleetwood Mac—

...Goo-goo Dolls—


...and so on...y'get the general idea.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Nobody puts it better:
I am now forced to wonder: Who is there who does not know that the Bush administration decided after September 2001 to change the balance of power in the region and to enforce the Iraq Liberation Act, passed unanimously by the Senate in 1998, which made it overt American policy to change the government of Iraq? This was a fairly open conspiracy, and an open secret. Given that everyone from Hans Blix to Jacques Chirac believed that Saddam was hiding weapons from inspectors, it made legal sense to advance this case under the banner of international law and to treat Saddam "as if" (and how else?) his strategy of concealment and deception were prima facie proof. The British attorney general—who has no jurisdiction in these 50 states—was worried that "regime change" alone would not be a sufficient legal basis. One appreciates his concern. But the existence of the Saddam regime was itself a defiance of all known international laws, and we had before us the consequences of previous failures to act, in Bosnia and Rwanda, where action would have been another word for "regime change."
Christopher Hitchens in Slate.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

I'd sign up for this.

"The Bush administration is going to make a terrible mistake if it does not let the American people get involved in this war. Austin, we need a war bond drive. This matters, because this is what it will take."

She was right then, and she's right now.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Flattered Dept. Glenn Reynolds gives me a nice plug in his posting on science fiction. He's right about Larry Niven, too. Ringworld is still a blast to re-read, even after 35 years. There just aren't that many SF novels you can say that about. Most barely survive one reading....

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

According to the latest Publisher's Lunch:
Viacom to Split; Simon & Schuster Goes to CBS--for Now
The Viacom board announced their approval of splitting the company in two yesterday, with the "growth" assets retaining the Viacom name and the "mature" assets--including CBS, Paramount TV and King World, Infinity Broadcasting, Showtime, the outdoor advertising group and, yes, Simon & Schuster--going under the moniker of CBS Corp., run by Les Moonves. (Please note, if you rely on the NYT for your news, they get the Simon & Schuster story wrong today.) Viacom will announce more specific details over "the next several weeks."

Speaking from personal experience, chairman Sumner Redstone quipped, "Sometimes divorce is better than marriage. In this case, one and one will make three." He also reaffirmed his interest in selling Simon & Schuster entirely: "We've had a lot of unsolicited interest in the theme parks, which is not growing at a pace we would like for the new companies," Redstone said. "Neither is Simon & Schuster, which I would be sad to lose, but it doesn't grow the way I want these companies to grow. So at the right price we would consider looking at (selling) Simon & Schuster."
Redstone in Reuters

Friday, June 10, 2005

Superimposing maps of prevalence of AIDS on prevalence of Catholicism is enough to sink the link between the Catholic Church and AIDS. In the hospice which is Swaziland nowadays, only about 5 per cent of the population is Catholic. In Botswana, where 37 per cent of the adult population is HIV infected, only 4 per cent of the population is Catholic. In South Africa, 22 per cent of the population is HIV infected, and only 6 per cent is Catholic. But in Uganda, with 43 per cent of the population Catholic, the proportion of HIV infected adults is 4 per cent.
You don't have to be a member of the Catholic Church's Rear Guard to realize that the kind of people who believe the Church is responsible for the spread of AIDS in Africa...must be idiots.
Victor Davis Hanson:
As nations come to know the Chinese, and as a ripe Europe increasingly cannot or will not defend itself, the old maligned United States will begin to look pretty good again. More important, America will not be the world’s easily caricatured sole power, but more likely the sole democratic superpower that factors in morality in addition to national interest in its treatment of others.

China is strong without morality; Europe is impotent in its ethical smugness. The buffer United States, in contrast, believes morality is not mere good intentions but the willingness and ability to translate easy idealism into hard and messy practice.
Complete article.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Another superb overview of so-called Intelligent Design theory:

And that's the problem with ID: it's simplistic. To argue that complex biological phenomena are "irreducibly complex" is to abandon the scientific quest. As Richard Dawkins, who boasts the bold professional title of Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University, explains in The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without Design,

To explain the origin of the DNA/protein machine by invoking a supernatural Designer is to explain precisely nothing, for it leaves unexplained the origin of the Designer. You have to say something like "God was always there," and if you allow yourself that kind of lazy way out, you might as well just say "DNA was always there," or "Life was always there," and be done with it.

By James Pinkerton at Tech Central.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Apparently portable media players are not breaking through the way media toy producers had hoped.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Well, this is definitely news. According to OsViews:
MacDailyNews has an editorial which summarizes reports from various research groups that analyzed the number of computer users affected by viruses. The conclusion was that 16 percent of all computer users are not affected by viruses because they use Macs. The lack of viruses on a Mac is commonly known, but the interesting thing is the fact that the results finally provide the first set of conclusive numbers which illustrate the Macintosh's install-base (emphasis added).

So far only "market-share" statistics are commonly published for the public and do not convey install base. (If for example 2 people are using computers and one replaces his 2x in a 3 year period and the other only does once, market-share dynamics dictate that one demographic has 75% market share while the other has only 25% -- even though install base is still 50/50.) Many tech journalists incorrectly use Apple's 4-5% market share demographic to depict Apple's (now known) 16% install-base.

Friday, June 03, 2005

For the first time I can remember, Apple's QuickTime is underwhelming its fan base.
The latest novels by critical darlings Margaret Atwood and Kazuo Ishiguro are science fiction tales. Why the literary interest in this low-brow genre? Join us for a discussion about literature and science fiction.

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