Best cartoon description of DRM I’ve ever seen.

songbird takes a bite of the Apple fruitsongbird gets diahrhea

Found at Songbirdnest, home of the up-and-coming Open-Source/Free Software music player which does everything iTunes does but is Free (as in freedom) and also does more. The software itself isn’t ready for public use yet, but I have high hopes of switching to it when it’s ready.

The cartoons were on this great article about how Apple intentionally built it’s newly released iPods in a way that makes them only work with iTunes, which means that you not only are put in a position where you’re more likely to use their store and other products, but also that people using computers running operating systems other than Mac OSX or Windows are unable to use the new iPods because only Mac and Windoze have iTunes. Luckily the article links to a way of fixing the intentionally broken iPods, but it’s just one more example of Apple trying to control their customers with DRM when just leaving it alone would have been easier.

My tummy is rumbling, I wonder if it’s cause I’m excited about Songbird or because I’ve been using iTunes all day?

YouTube series shows WoW in brutally honest light

The guild - youtube series about WoW Found this yesterday on the YouTube front page and checked it out out of curiosity, The Guild. It’s a funny, clever and informed look at what WoW (World of Warcraft) players are doing in real life.

At first it comes off as just a cutesy look at the sillier aspects of WoW gaming, people’s little grottos they set up for themselves to play, their use of voice chat without knowing what the other players look like etc.

What I loved was the almost depressing level of honesty that develops as series works through the problems that come up in people’s lives. Somewhere between the main character hanging up on her shrink (who’s telling her that she won’t admit she has a problem) and another character looking spitefully at her own children for distracting her from the game, the show takes on a tone of morbid realism that I think is pretty honest. It’s still funny though, and the plot is actually pretty good (though the episodes are very short and there’s only 3 at this point).

More Hummer Fun

Crashed hummerEntertaining article in the Globe and Mail about the abuse Hummer owners have come to suffer at the hands of people like myself who find them horrible and insulting to the idea of moving humans around. Mostly the tone is neutral bordering on defensive, it’s fun to hear people trying to justify their ridiculous purchases to themselves. Best quote hands down (though I can’t believe they printed this in the paper, isn’t it a legally actionable threat?):

“A hippie guy and girl were crossing the street in front of my vehicle when the guy pulled down his pants and mooned me in the middle of the street,” says Mr. DeRisio, who ignored the young man until he doffed his trousers once more.

“The second time I slammed the gas pedal down and chased him down the sidewalk with my truck,” Mr. DeRisio says.

“He ran so fast it was like the doors just opened at a Grateful Dead concert and he had general admission seats. I slowed down and let him catch his breath, and rolled down the window and explained to him the next time he did something like that he would be eating granola bars through a straw.”

Link to the article.

Also, on the subject of the Cadillac Escalade and the Ford Expedition, SUV/Trucks which apparently have worse mileage than the Hummer: If you are driving them just to look badass, you are an asshole. Anyone driving a car that gets sub-optimum mileage in general, or that is not compact in the city, is an asshole. At least the Escalade and Expedition have somewhat useful shapes/layouts, so that contractors, technicians and DIYers can use them to lug big messy things around without buying a giant truck (which is obviously worse if you just needed a small truck). A hummer is not useful for anything except combat situations and swamps, and last time I checked, the gang violence at the St-Laurent club scene isn’t that bad.

(unrelated pathetic image found here, article courtesy of dad)