Archive for April, 2005

They’re everywhere.

Monday, April 18th, 2005

On the walk from the train station to my office this morning, I spotted twelve of them in five blocks. That’s only counting those passing right by me. Of the various competition, I spotted three, maybe four.

In case you haven’t noticed, iPods are everywhere these days.

Note: I counted all direct sightings as well as any pairs of those distinctive white Apple earbuds. Of the competition, I only saw one actual player in someone’s hands — the others were all “other” earphones or buds coming out of pockets. This of course means that all but one of those could have been iPods with different headphones. I myself fall into the latter category when I use mine.

John, you ignorant slut!

Wednesday, April 13th, 2005

Via Instapundit: John Kerry goes fishing.

(with apologies to Dan Ackroyd on the title…)

Jeeves Rocks Out

Monday, April 11th, 2005

The term “PC”, in the technological context, stands for “Personal Computer”. In theory, that computer you’re sitting in front of is a PC, whether it’s a Windows machine, or a Mac, or Linux, or whatever. In practice, of course, when you refer to a computer as a “PC” most people assume a Windows computer. The question “Is it a PC or a Mac?” is not uncommon in terms of wording, because Windows is so ubiquitous that it is the default — the assumption.

While I don’t think that we’re entirely there yet, it is notable that the term “iPod” is becoming shorthand for “portable digital music player”, much the same way “MP3” in turn means “digital music file”, even though there are many players other than the iPod, and most of them, (including the iPod), do in fact play several file formats other than MP3.

Much as many people feel they are locked into Windows because they have Windows software, Apple is further cementing its position with the iTunes Music Store — every song they sell (several hundred million so far) is another dollar’s worth of music that will only play on the iPod (or a PC — Windows or, of course, Mac).

Image: Ask.com's Jeeves mascot listens to his iPodWhich brings us to this (partial) web ad for Ask.com, a.k.a. “Ask Jeeves”. Here is a company, totally separate from Apple, putting out an ad relating to digital music — so they want to depict their mascot, Jeeves, listening to a portable digital music player. He is holding a small rectangle with rounded corners, white on one side, grey (metallic perhaps) on the other, with the headphone cord plugged into the center of the narrow top side. Looks pretty iPod-like to me.

And that, right there, is why I own Apple stock.

(That and the fact that my Dad, who is not a gadget person, owns one; and the fact that as I was leaving my building Friday morning, I reached into my pocket to get mine, and at the same moment, the woman walking next to me pulled hers out of her pocket; and the growing numbers of white earbuds I see in Chicago as I walk from the train to my job — not to mention on the train itself; and… you get the point.)

Now about those Mac Minis….

(Side Note: The image above is not actually the full animation. The original ad was done in Flash, and I recreated it only roughly by turning screen captures into an animated GIF. The full ad was more smoothly animated, and among other things, Jeeves actually is supposed to be snapping his fingers….)

Update (15 April 2005): Another good example is the term “podcasting“, which has a lot to do with digital audio, but is ostensibly not specific to the Apple iPod.

I don’t blame her.

Sunday, April 10th, 2005

Rachel disapproves of cats.

The New Black

Friday, April 8th, 2005

So… one of the big things to come out of the whole Terri Schiavo fiasco was that a whole lot of people are now saying “Damn! I’m going to get a Living Will so that people know what to do if something happens to me!”

Not so fast. Mae Magouirk has one, which pretty clearly says “feed me”, and they’re starving her anyway — on the instructions of a granddaughter who incidentally has no legal right to give such instruction.

(Under Georgia law, such authority is given to the closest living relatives which in this case is Mae’s brother and sister)

The granddaughter is quoted as saying “She has glaucoma and now this heart problem, and who would want to live with disabilities like these?”

Well girlie, it seems you grandma would. Says so in her living will. Did I mention that the granddaughter is the sole beneficiary of granny’s will?

It seems that as societal fashions go, euthanasia is the new black this season.

Hat Tip: Gut Rumbles and Lileks both had this one. I say the more the better if this all is true.

Update: Ms. Magouirk is now being fed and cared for properly (see here and here). The rest of her family has stepped in and taken charge for her sake.

Battle of the Bond

Friday, April 8th, 2005

A friend just enthusiastically introduced me to the music of Bond. They’re okay, I guess… but I can’t help but feeling that if this were four overweight bald guys, nobody would have ever heard of them.

And thus, the ascendance of the music video format has probably contributed more to the degeneration of popular music than any other force.

The Absoluteness of Rights

Monday, April 4th, 2005

An interesting observation about the United States Constitution: as it is written, the right to bear arms is conspicuously more strongly protected than the right to free speech (and the several other rights protected in the First Amendment). The statement on Free Speech is, in its essence:

Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech….

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

While the statement on bearing arms is:

[T]he right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

The Second Amendment prohibition on infringement is absolute. This right shall not be infringed. The First Amendment prohibition simply states that the Federal Congress can not pass a law infringing free speech (or religion, etc.). In theory, an individual state could pass the Shut the Hell Up Act of 2005 and the Federal Government would have no legal issue with that; but a state passing a ban on personal arms would run afoul of the Second Amendment.

Perhaps the blunt strength of the Second Amendment was designed in such a way because the founding fathers recognized that this fundamental right protects all of our other rights.

(Of course, our sophisticated, nuanced court system has seen fit to read all kinds of exceptions and loopholes into that single straightforward sentence — I’m just talking about what’s actually written on the page.)