Stuff Seth needs to know about

Random things I found Google Reader I thought Seth should know about:

“That thing I said? I didn’t say it. And if you say I said it, you’re a liar.”

Anyone need an iPod Touch? This would be a better promo if it offered an iPad 2 instead.

Thunder, thunder, thunder, Thunder Cats HOOOOOOO! (x2)

Great news for comics?

I still buy comics, but I’m way behind in my reading. I spent part of my maternity leave trying to catch up, but only partially succeeded. I got through my Marvels and most of my DCs, but there are plenty of independents I need to read. The problem? Comics are too physical. Do I have all of the issues? Where did I put them? Did I finish the last issue, or am I just half-way through? And who spilled apple juice on the cover? And forget going to the comic book store – no time. I have them delivered.

That said, I read a lot of books before I went back to work — all on my Kindle for iPhone. The screen was easy to read, I could always tell where I left off, and I could read whatever I wanted with one hand. I didn’t have to worry about where I’d left the book or whether my bookmark had fallen out. Why can’t reading comics be as simple?

It’s starting to look like maybe it will be. I’ve been hearing rumors of an Apple tablet for years, but this latest round seems pretty credible. It looks very likely like we’ll see this tablet in the next year or so. Coincidentally, LongBox is a company which is developing an iTunes-like store for comics (great concept; lousy website so far). Depending on how this works out, this could be a partnership made in comic geek heaven. No more storing comics in big boxes. No more accidentally missing an issue or buying the same comic twice. No more worrying about random toddler incidents.

So, Apple, hurry up with that tablet already.

Lazy link post

From my open tabs in Flock:

The Hero Factory – an improved costume maker.

Achievement Unlocked – when you only have 1/2 hour to play a game but want to feel like you’re making progress

One way to pay bonuses – “Want your bonus to be worth something? Work for it.”

I had that. And that. And that. And now I have those. – SLYT

Science in the palm of your hand

Say Hello to sci-Phone: 10 great science applications for the iPhone.

Via GeekPress.

Good Job, Jobs!

Steve Jobs said that music should be DRM-free, and now he’s working with a major music company to offer DRM-free products: EMI, Apple partner on DRM-free premium music. Don’t stop with that, though — there’s still too much DRM.

(I checked the date. This is an April 2nd story.)

You first

Steve Jobs recommends we get rid of DRM. A good suggestion, but his letter includes some rather odd bits:

Jobs comes up with a a few numbers — possibly pulled out of his butt, I don’t know — and concludes, on average, only 3% of the music played on iPods is from iTunes (but who knows what the actual percentage is on iPods — could be more, may actually be far less since iPods cost a lot and iTunes is free):

It’s hard to believe that just 3% of the music on the average iPod is enough to lock users into buying only iPods in the future.

No, it’s not. If I’m going to lose some fraction of my music if I switch to a different kind of player, even a small fraction, that will make me less likely to switch. Something that works as a deterrent will, not surprisingly, deter at least some fraction of users. I suspect Jobs (and Apple’s accountants) know this very well.

Jobs and Apple won’t license Apple’s current DRM to other companies because “icensing a DRM involves disclosing some of its secrets to many people in many companies, and history tells us that inevitably these secrets will leak.” And they haven’t, already? Also, just about any software-based DRM is crackable, leaks or no leaks. The major music companies must know this already.

For second, it looked like Jobs knows this, too: “The simplest answer is because DRMs haven’t worked, and may never work, to halt music piracy.” But then he says: “No DRM system was ever developed for the CD, so all the music distributed on CDs can be easily uploaded to the Internet, then (illegally) downloaded and played on any computer or player.” I’m pretty sure some CDs have some kind of rights-protection, protections which often mean they don’t work on Macs. And didn’t Sony put DRM on some CDs?

I liked this one as well: “Much of the concern over DRM systems has arisen in European countries.” You know the countries which keep suing Apple?

So, Jobs, I think your ultimate suggestion is a good one. But I think you’re going to have to offer it first. Are you that brave?

A big story about a little app

More maybe it should be vice versa? Anyway, you’ve probably seen this, but if you haven’t don’t miss the story behind the classic Mac application, Graphing Calculator. It’s the story of a programmer’s determination, the people he inspired, and the less-than-stellar security at Apple Computers:

I was frustrated by all the wasted effort, so I decided to uncancel my small part of the project. I had been paid to do a job, and I wanted to finish it. My electronic badge still opened Apple’s doors, so I just kept showing up.

Well, I guess if you have nothing better to do…

The Fun of an RSS feeder

Like everyone else in the world, I’ve been playing with the new beta version of NetNewsWire (I use NNW lite from time to time). This beta version is really kind of fun. I liked being able to open up stories into another tab to read. Here are some of the stories I looked at today:

Unhappy Customers Slam; Owners Blame Apple — If we don’t get ‘em, you don’t get ‘em.

When the hell did John Byrne lose his mind? — Somewhere around NextMen, I think.

Milkmen: Fathers Who Breastfeed — OK….

Craziest — Cool Scrabble Flash movie. For me, 311 points would be a good game.

When The Web Goes Missing, Users Suffer Withdrawal – It’s not just me.

Woot! — A new high-tech bargain every day.

Kanji Alive – A neat little dictionary and kanji tutorial. It’s web-based and uses QuickTime. I found it a little slow but over all it’s very cool!

If America were Iraq, What would it be Like? — It would suck. About his subsequent story, however — Cat Stevens may be an ass, but I’m not sure he should have been deported. If the grounds are he supported the fatwa against Rushdie, can we deport members of anti-abortion groups who support murdering doctors?

TalkLeft Censored By Paypal – Post a politically incorrect link, lose your money.

The TIVO limited edition IPod — Two cool things that are cool together. If three more people buy TIVOs and give me credit, I could get one! OK, I already have an IPod, but this one is newer. With a TIVO logo. And then Seth could have one, too.

When does 24 hours = 3 months – You didn’t really want that software, did you? A tragic story of trying to buy just one product.

Bushisms! The Movie — Rarely is the question asked, is our children learning.

The one thing I wish I could do is note which blogs these links come from. If there’s a way to do that, I haven’t figured it out yet. Just assume they come from those lovely links to the side.

Apple’s new release for Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Introducing the iPatch!