May 29, 2007
finally got our emergence day
a huge weekend for cicadas at my house. here's one on it's way out...
May 16, 2007
The beginning of the end for DRM
emusic is too niche, and Apple is too proprietary. But Amazon presenting this MP3 based store has the power and scale to make this work in a mass market - and make the music industry finally re-think the business models around music distribution.
In ten years, we will all look back and laugh that we tried to protect digital media with DRM.
Yes, we will see more product placements in movies, and we will see more ads in videogames, and music, well, music will become the promotional device for a band to make money on other things. Artists will start to produce more music and release it more frequently.
Will people still buy media? Yes, they will if it's easy and cheap enough to get at the very instant someone wants it.
Will music make it's way around to people who didn't pay for it? Sure. But let's face it - it does that now. Any college kid these days who wants a CD but doesn't want to pay for it can tell you where they can get it in 10 minutes. Is there a way to monetize that scale? There must be.
The music industry knows its current business model's days are numbered - and DRM-free stores will force their hand in figuring out the new model.
So here's to putting DRM in the history books.
English Premier League stadiums on Google Earth
Ever wonder where all the English Premier League stadiums are located? Ever wonder how far away Everton and Liverpool's stadiums are? ( 0.8 miles by car)
Launch the following file in Google Earth:
May 14, 2007
the real Emergence Day coming soon
This weekend while removing some rocks from my yard I found a couple cicada nymphs that looked exactly like this:
This means emergence day is coming soon for Brood XIII.
For those who aren't from the eastern half of the U.S., there is a species of cicada (commonly called "locusts") that lives underground for about 13 or 17 years, digging tunnels and doing who knows what until they choose to come up for air, molt, and breed.
I remember seventeen years ago in 1990 - the amount of cicadas flying around the Chicago suburbs was insane. Totally insane. You couldn't walk anywhere without crunching these. Apparently, they've done the math, and we can expect 1.5 million cicadas per wooded acre.
I can't wait for the invasion on May 23rd.
May 09, 2007
Google Reader for the Wii
A couple weeks with the Wii, and the number one use so far has been browsing on the TV. Actually, the kids have mostly used it to watch YouTube videos on our TV. It actually does a pretty good job of this.
Not I need more time browsing feeds - I think I do enough of that already - but if I wanted to, I could now use Google Reader's new controls to make this a lot easier to read feeds on the Wii.
The controls are as follows:
Google Reader can take advantage of the buttons on your Wiimote, letting you navigate easily from the comfort of your couch:
- up/down: scroll up/down
- right/left: next/previous item
- 1 button: show subscriptions
- 2 button: show links
When showing subscriptions:
- up/down: previous/next subscription
- right: select current subscription
- left: close
- -/+: collapse/expand folder
Yep, feeds are making it everywhere.
May 06, 2007
Wireless Wii Sensor Bar
You can never have too many videogame consoles.
A few weeks ago we happened to be at Target when the big-but-seldom-seen Wii truck showed up - so what the hell, we bought a Wii.
Of course, I never really looked at how this machine worked - I had seen and read the splendor of the wireless remotes that allowed you to play madden by actually thowing the ball, but failed to ever think about the technology of how such a thing would actually work.
In the days of Duck Hunt and CRT TVs, one light gun could read something encoded in the picture itself and figure out if the gun was aimed at the TV. But I guess such things do not work with LCD and Plasmas.
Thus, I was a little surprised to find out the Wii has to be placed somewhere near your TV for the Wii remotes to work, because there is a "Sensor Bar" that has to be placed in the center of your TV so that the remote can aim correctly at the screen. And the Sensor Bar has a wire that has to be connected to the Wii.
However, my setup is such that my equipment is nowhere near my wall mounted screen. And it's certianly not in front of it. All our equipment is off to the side toward the back of the room.
Hmm. Surely I couldn't be the only one with this setup and a Wii.
And of course I wasn't. Enter the Nextronics wireless sensor bar . It turns out the Sensor Bar doesn't actually sense anything. It's just an infrared emitter that is always on so that the Wii remotes can triangulate the screen direction - and Nextronics makes a great device in both A/C and battery powered formats.
The Nextronics seems to work perfectly. I just plugged in behind the screen, placed it under my plasma, and all is fine in Wii-land.
May 01, 2007
navicat - great tool for MySQL
Here's a piece of software I've needed forever but just never looked for. I'm a lite MySQL user - we all run a (trimmed down) version of FeedBurner on our laptops here for testing and developing and such, but i've been spoiled by all the scripts we have and I really don't touch MySQL itself very often. But I often do have the need to replicate data from our remote systems to my local db, but had never found an easy way to do it (given that i don't have nor want root access to any of our production data). Today I really needed it for something I was working on, so I did the search and found this tool that worked great....just query off our reporting databases, export, then import.
I tried the OS X version.
Navicat (Product Details) - the Most Popular MySQL Frontend for Windows, Linux & Mac OS X
phantom vibrating cell phone
wow, interesting, ever get the feeling your phone is vibrating on your leg when it isn't even in your pocket? yeah, me too. we're not alone:
the gauchos rock
awesome, 3 brothers from Mesa, Arizona - rock out at 10, 12, and 14 years old. these guys whill go places.... Los Guachos de Acero (sp) Funny, but this song was also one of the first i learned how to play on the guitar. I had a magnificent mullet back then...