Monday, March 28, 2005

PyMusique just misunderstood?

So you've heard of PyMusique? The software that lets you buy music from the iTunes Music Store but in an unprotected form (without FairPlay digital rights management)? Well, this came as a suprise to me since I didn't properly investigate, but apparently the software was originally developed to enable Linux users to download (and pay for) songs from the iTMS.

So you CAN download songs from the iTMS on Linux! I'd settle for listening to songs I bought, but this is great. While the Forbes article says that losing the copy protection was an "unintended consequence," so I'm assuming this is because if the software does apply the copy protection, Linux users wouldn't be able to play the music. Apple refuses to let anyone license the technology for media players, especially to Real and Microsoft.

SOURCE: Forbes.com via Yahoo Finance

Friday, March 18, 2005

Anandtech explains the Cell processor

Anand takes you through the inner workingsdesign of the Cell processor in 13 pages.

SOURCE: Anandtech

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Yahoo's new "social networking" service

Yahoo is about to leverage many of its most popular services and roll out a "blogging" service that seems to me like it's going to blow MSN Spaces out of the water. They're focusing on how easy it is to incorporate your photos, news, videos, playlists, and a whole bunch of other really cool things people would love to share into a new way to blog. The social networking aspect comes in when you have easy access to finding other people through their Yahoo 360 pages.

A tradeoff I see is that everything is very much a Yahoo! branded experience and less of a this is me experience. Still, it looks fantastic and is worth checking out.

UPDATE 3/17/05: I should've included this link to the beta sign-up.

UPDATE 4/9/05: Contact me for an invitation if you're interested in seeing what it's about.

UPDATE 3/26/05: And screenshots...

SOURCE: John Battelle's Searchblog

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Wait, there's more!

Someone who works at Google remade the Google home page to be a model of the OS X dock calling it Google X, even paying homage to the OS at the bottom of the page. It was taken down before I got to try it, but there's a picture available. It's an interesting solution to Google's problem of having too many services but not enough space on it's ever growing home page menu.

In other Apple news, people all over are saying that we were wrong to blame the carriers on the delay of the iTunes phone (we thought they didn't want to be cut out of this new money-making deal) and that the true culprit is Apple. Their reason is that it's not their style to announce new devices before they're ready to be launched. I have a feeling is that they want to control their stock price with this down the line. The worry is that giving out too many employee options to get stocks for free or at a discount is bad.

So I can never be done talking about the iTunes phone, and I've resolved to get one. That or a phone that tells me when I have email like an MS Smartphone or a Mobile Messenger/Blackberry/Pocket PC Phone type device. A while back, I stopped wondering when the Blackberry patent infringement suit would be resolved. First they're guilty and an injunction is ordered to stop them from selling their patent-violating wares. Then, that order is stayed. The fact that so many powerful and important people like lawyers and politicians use blackberries always helps. I'm not sure what happened next, but now they've finally settled, and RIM is paying NTP a one time (?) licensing fee.

This is kinda important for them as companies had been wary of them. Just after the announcement of the settlement, mobile device manufacturer HTC announces that it will license RIM's Blackberry technology in its upcoming devices. They already make a ton of Windows Mobile Smartphones, the Palm One Treos, almost all the iPaqs (including the up and coming HP Mobile Messenger which runs RIM-competitor technology likely the for aforementioned reason), and a whole bunch of other devices under other brands.

SOURCE: Lotsa places

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Quote of the day

What a gem from Stephen Shanklan of News.com:
It's not too much of a stretch to say GCC is as central an enabler to the free and open-source programming movements as a free press is to democracy.

SOURCE: News.com via Slashdot.org

And you thought using Firefox was safe

Like a question you'd see on the LSAT

People over at Vitalsecurity have found a flaw in Java that would allow an applet to launch Internet Exporer from any browser and exploit an IE flaw to do potentially bad stuff to your computer. Ironically, the best way to prevent against falling victim to this specific flaw (next to being careful abot what applets you give permission to run) is using Internet Explorer. Microsoft has patched this flaw but obviously hasn't fixed it thoroughly enough.

I wonder how they're going to fix this. It's not so easy to update Java and get users to apply a patch on a large scale. It hardly seems right to expect browser developers to do something where you stop Java from launching IE. This seems a bit like an LSAT question my sister told me about where you have to assign liability, I'd say it's still MS's fault and they need to really fix their browser software. This begs the following question: Is it safe to even have IE on your computer? And that question begs another. Why are you still using Windows? Ok, I guess I'm taking this too far :)

SOURCE: BetaNews

Monday, March 14, 2005

Don't buy those Mac minis yet...

First off, Apple is rumored to have plans to double the standard amount of RAM included in it's computers from 256 MB to 512 MB. This is going to be timed with the release of OS X Tiger (10.4) which is slated to be announced April 1 and be available in stores April 15.

Although Apple says it currently has no plans to license OS X to other manufacturers, it's still got strong products in it's own portfolios. The best case scenario would be OS X Tiger being offered on the Mac mini with 512 MB RAM.

On the music front, although the iTunes phone launch was delayed due to service-provider issues, the real Apple-designed iTunes phone isn't due until Christmas.

The last thing of interest I found was that Apple is rumored to have plans to buy TIVO, which has an ailing stock price and would be cheap considering Apple's cash on hand. Convention says that the buyer in such aquisitions suffers a price drop while the aquiree's price rises, but many doubt whether such is deal is realistic considering the difficulties in merging the brands similar to the arguments used to debunk rumors of IBM buying Apple. Obviously, I'm making a case to buy Apple stock.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I own shares of AAPL and have an interest in the success of Apple's stock price. Of note is a recent drop in price after the 2 for 1 split.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The glory...

Jehangir, the treasurer of the RUTTC and my good friend, wrote up an excellent account of our regional tournament at which we qualified for nationals.

Read it!

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Gmail on the Pocket PC... this time for real.

Apparently, Google has been testing plain-html access to Gmail. This'll be exciting.

By the way, ANY ONE READING THIS at Rutgers should come to the College Avenue Gym tonight, Tuesday, March 1st at 7 PM for a table tennis exhibition like you've never seen.

UPDATE 12:22 AM EST 3/2/05: Once you're logged in, try this link. It seems like it will either work or not work, depending on whether your account is activated. I've yet to try accessing Gmail from my pocket pc.

SOURCE: PocketPCThoughts