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1521  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / The Pope Has Died on: April 03, 2005, 07:51:28 AM
My rambling, probably grammatically-troubled, consideration of the loss of Pope John Paul II.
1522  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / The New Napster on: March 02, 2005, 11:52:26 PM
Quote from: "Laner"
Quote from: "Dafones"
Quote from: "Laner"
the iTunes Music Store *only* offers protected AAC files... no MP3s.

No shit? Wow, that changes things. Can those AAC files be shared on P2P programs, or are they secure to your computer or player?

Nope, they're tied to your account.

There is a program or two out there that will strip the protection from the music purchased at iTMS, while still retaining your information embedded in the file (so if it gets distributed around the world, it's identifiable).  Which is what I've done to the handful of Protected AAC files I have - I'm not about to share them via P2P or any other method, but at the same time I'm not going to let Apple restrict what I do with the music I've legally purchased.

That seems reasonable to me. I wonder if the notion of an identifier tag without actual usage restrictions was ever floated? I suppose it'd be impossible to come up with an identifier marker that couldn't be faked, though.
1523  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / The New Napster on: March 02, 2005, 06:28:28 PM
Quote from: "Dafones"
Quote from: "Laner"
the iTunes Music Store *only* offers protected AAC files... no MP3s.

No shit? Wow, that changes things. Can those AAC files be shared on P2P programs, or are they secure to your computer or player?

Why would legal services be distributing music that you could then put on a thieving network?
1524  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Email App? on: February 15, 2005, 06:45:39 PM
If MacMail is what you're calling Apple Mail, then that's what I use at home. At work I use Microsoft Entourage.
1525  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Google Does Online Maps on: February 09, 2005, 07:26:47 AM
Google's stuff always seems to kick total ass. First, they make the only usable webmail ever. Now, they totally redo maps. Have you looked at their other beta stuff? Google News is excellent. So is Google Suggest (fun to see how much you have to type before your name comes up). Their technological prowess continues to astound.
1526  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Israel and Palestinians agree to cease-fire on: February 08, 2005, 05:10:27 PM
This is a very promising turn of events. Retracting Arafat's infiitada would go a long way to bringing credibility to the leadership of Palestine. However, Hammas is pleding to continue its campaign of terror. Abbas needs to find a way to stop them without undermining his own political base. Not easy.

But none of the challenges facing Palestine are easy. Arafat's autocratic rule, his depsotism, has prevented the development of the apparatus of a proper state. Abbas needs to continue to hold elections, he needs to instill the rule of law. And that must include laws against violence against Israel and Israelis.

I hope Abbas is up to the challenge. The Palestinian people, the bulk of them who are not violent terrorists, deserve a state. Arafat committed himself to a course that, in the end, insured that such a state would never exist. Hopefully Abbas can do better.

Unlike Arafat, Abbas owes his authority to the democratic process. Let us hope that debt plays out in his policy decisions.
1527  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Gay Cartoons? on: February 04, 2005, 08:09:14 PM
Quote from: "Rob_Merritt"
Thats right, there isn't. IF and I do mean IF the public schools were showing the proper way for a boy to go into a gay bar and to bottom for 6 other boys on the pool table THEN there might be a vaild concern.

Damn, I graduated from school way too early.
1528  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Gay Cartoons? on: February 04, 2005, 08:05:39 PM
My statement was a general statement and had no particular bearing on this thread or the OP in particular.
1529  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Holy HELL!!!! Star Wars Ep 3 footage on: February 04, 2005, 07:57:41 PM
That's gotta be a bit sped up.
1530  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Gay Cartoons? on: February 04, 2005, 07:57:15 PM
I think one must be intolerant of oppression which is targeted at a vulnerable minority group. Particularly when children (in this case, the children of gay-led households) are involved.
1531  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Gay Cartoons? on: February 04, 2005, 07:18:16 PM
Quote from: "Andrew Mallon"
Right on! Because anyone who has any concerns or shows the slightest degree of uncomfortableness about this should be immediately labeled a hatemonger and shouted down. You know, instead of listening to them to see if they have a valid concern or not?

What valid concern could they possibly have with showing a gay-led family as one of the many kinds of families in America, other than concerns rooted in hate and malice?
1532  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Gay Cartoons? on: February 04, 2005, 07:13:17 PM
Quote from: "Knightshade Dragon"
The right and wrong would be whether the teacher condemns or condones it.  Its not their place to give their opinion on the matter, just to provide the facts - yes, there are groups out there choose lifestyles outside of the 'norm'.

Being gay is not a "lifestyle."
1533  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Gay Cartoons? on: February 04, 2005, 06:16:27 PM
First of all, that's a different topic than this cartoon, which is about all the different types of families there are. Are not gay families one of the types of families out there?

Second, is a book that shows Heather and her two moms any more of an indoctrination than a book that shows how neat life is in China? Or how Christmas celebrations are nifty yet different around the world? Or how every religion has its own interesting customs? Of course not. They're books written in bright and happy language because that appeals to kids, and they're showing kids that the world is a far more varied place than their home life. Certainly that is an important function of the socialization aspect of education.
1534  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Gay Cartoons? on: February 04, 2005, 06:02:53 PM
This is absurd. It's a cartoon about families. Here's a family with a mom who works. Here's a family with a mom and dad. Here's a family where the kids live with grandma and grandpa. And here's a family where there are two moms. Families come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, isn't that neat?

Gasp. The horror.

Hello, welcome to the real world. The civilly unionized lesbian couple is just as legitimate  family as any other. You'd be hard pressed to find a major school district in America without kids from gay-headed households.

It is offensive that the reactionary right would try to make it somehow "wrong" to even mention that these families exist. Worse yet, it victimizes the children of gay parents. Not that conservatives give a damn about such children. They're happy to... what's the phrase... oh yes... leave them behind.
1535  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Enterprise be dead... on: February 04, 2005, 03:14:40 PM
It´s been a bad show, and it's end is finally here.
I'm sick of Star Trek, which I used to hold so dear.
I just hope that this show's Rick Berman's last. Please don't let him stay.
Don't let that jerk make bad Star Trek no more, let's just send that hack away.

Cause it's time for a break. When even your true fans don't care.
Let's give Star Trek a rest. Until they put some thought back in there.
I´ve got other shows to watch, there's no room for bad Trek in my day.
I can't take it anymore. I'm sick of Trek, I'm sick of dreck, please let's send Berman away.
1536  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / [Survey] What do you do for a living? on: February 03, 2005, 04:31:17 PM
I am the head of the graphic design department (which is me and a bunch of student employees) for the small independent company which publishes the newspaper and yearbook at Southern Methodist University. I coordinate the production of ad copy for local clients, and the proofing of ad copy for clients who send us in their ads.

I am also in charge of our various websites.

I also manage the 30-machine Macintosh portion of our company network. Which isn't that much to do. Macs basically maintain themselves, and there's no spyware, malware or viruses to worry about. The three Windows machines we have are in a constant state of duress,  but that's not my problem.

I also prepare and design promotional materials for our company, and the advertiser kits we send out to potential clients.

On the side, I occasionally do some freelance graphic and web design. Mostly for friends and Democratic political groups.
1537  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Please sign this Metallica Petition on: January 19, 2005, 09:24:24 PM
Whoever wrote that petition has, at best, a passing familiarity with a language, but I'm not sure that language is English.
1538  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Got my iPod Shuffle today on: January 18, 2005, 03:21:14 AM
I ordered it within 90 minutes of the end of the Stevenote.
1539  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Got my iPod Shuffle today on: January 18, 2005, 02:54:22 AM
I do believe it's a one-playlist device. When you click on the iPod Shuffle in your Sources pane, it lists  the songs on  the device, and has some controls at the bottom, including an option regarding what playlist to sync it to.

My playlist in question is actually 900+ songs long. It randomly picks from that playlist to fill up the iPod when I hit the "Autofill" button.

Now, I can leave the iPod Shuffle in my sources pane, and go in and carefully organize the playlist, with it plugged in or not, and then sync that playlist onto the Shuffle and play through it linearly, but there's no mechanism that I can see to sync more than one playlist on there.
1540  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Got my iPod Shuffle today on: January 18, 2005, 02:19:11 AM
Yes. Sorry. smile
1541  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Got my iPod Shuffle today on: January 17, 2005, 10:25:36 PM
Quote from: "Jancelot"
Coming from a happy iPod owner and officially-jealous-of-your-Shuffle person I still thought this was very funny (especially after dealing with people who work at the Apple stores).  Apple's marketing team is certainly top-notch and this is a fun poke at its effectiveness.

Yeah, I've seen that. It's pretty clever. Though it'd be more clever if they used the right typeface for the Apple logo. smile
1542  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Got my iPod Shuffle today on: January 17, 2005, 10:21:07 PM
It is USB 2.0, but it still won't sustain a throughput rate at the same speeds that FireWire can. USB 2 can burst stuff at a really fast rate, but it can't sustain that speed indefinitely life FireWire can... or, at least, that's my understanding.
1543  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Got my iPod Shuffle today on: January 17, 2005, 09:45:52 PM
Just got it when I got home from work today. Very nice packaging, typical of Apple. It came charged at least partially. It's taking a few minutes to transfer over 512 MB of music, which is much slower than a regular iPod, but something to expect, given that this is running via USB and not FireWire.

Last night I set up a Smart Playlist in iTunes that should filter out all the songs I don't want on the Shuffle, and so now I'm letting the Shuffle randomly select from the songs that are in that list (it grabbed 117 of them). I'm giving iTunes the full 512 MB to play with, but in the iTunes preferences for this iPod I can tell it to reserve a certain amount of space for saving files to it like a thumb drive.

The lanyard is a bit shorter than I expected, but it seems to click well onto the Shuffle, so I don't feel like it's going to slide off. There's a two-color LED underneath the white plastic, which gives some feedback when buttons are pushed.

On the default volume, it seems to produce decent sound. I'm amazed at how little the thing weighs.

Because of the round control wheel, this thing still feels like using an iPod, even though it's nothing like the standard iPods.

On a related note, Apple's ads lie. This is my third iPod. I still can't dance.
1544  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / LOST - 1/12/05 on: January 13, 2005, 07:16:45 PM
Quote from: "RedJak"
I almost thought they had the guts to off Shannon and I was wondering what the hell they were going to do with Boone since he wasn't that interesting with Shannon and a lot less without.

I think Boone is a great character. He's another natural leader, so he is a good source of conflict with Jack.
1545  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / LOST - 1/12/05 on: January 13, 2005, 04:02:25 PM
I really loved the line by Charlie to the effect of "If there's anyone I trust to keep me alive in this situation... it's John Locke." Ahh, Locke saves all as the castaways descend into a state of nature.
1546  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Is a Flash iPod on the horizon? on: January 12, 2005, 09:01:35 AM
I just ordered the 512 MB version ($99), so I'll let you all know what I think. smile
1547  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Is a Flash iPod on the horizon? on: January 11, 2005, 07:52:01 PM
Why would you expect FM? Apple has never included a radio tuner with an iPod product, and none was rumored for this device.
1548  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Is a Flash iPod on the horizon? on: January 11, 2005, 05:47:33 AM
My consideration of the rumored iPod Shuffle. For what it's worth. slywink
1549  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Need some TV recommendations on: January 11, 2005, 05:40:12 AM
Chiming in here for Babylon 5 and Deep Space Nine. So similar, but very different, and both excellent.

I also highly recommend Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I'm looking forward to plowing through Freaks & Geeks in the next few weeks via Netflix. All hail Netflix.
1550  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Is a Flash iPod on the horizon? on: January 11, 2005, 04:21:47 AM
The size, lower weight and colors are apparently quite popular. I thought it would choke, too. I was very disappointed after Macworld last year (Crayola Smoker may be able to recall my "unimpressed" reaction). I was way wrong. The Mini has been a big hit.
1551  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Is a Flash iPod on the horizon? on: January 11, 2005, 02:40:14 AM
Then it appears you may prefer the iPod mini.

I kinda like the random idea, so long as you can turn it off and just play linearly through your list. But with random, it's like a radio station with no announcer which always plays songs you like.

And hey, Think Secret isn't letting that lawsuit slow 'em down. Go, Nick, go!
1552  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Is a Flash iPod on the horizon? on: January 10, 2005, 09:58:45 PM
Laner, you could also argue that they have to charge a bit more because of OS X. They have to recoup investment costs that a parasite company like Dell doesn't have to shoulder.
1553  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Is a Flash iPod on the horizon? on: January 09, 2005, 06:14:02 PM
Yes, I would rerip instead of import. Just offering a suggestion.

I reripped all my physical CDs from which I had produced MP3 files to AAC last year. Saved space and improved the audio quality, so it was win-win all around.
1554  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Is a Flash iPod on the horizon? on: January 09, 2005, 05:27:56 AM
Warning, you can import your WMA files into iTunes in as Apple Lossless, which won't degrade the quality, though it may take up way more space.
1555  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Best music download site on: January 03, 2005, 07:13:05 AM
Quote from: "Xmann"
ok i checked out napster but i see it costs $9.95 a month plus the .99 or whatever a song.  does everyone require a monthly fee or is this just napster?  if this is the case, i'll be passing.  i'm disappointed i would have to pay a monthly fee and a fee for each song.
any that don't require a monthly fee?

Napster only costs $9.95 a month for their all-you-can-download plan, which lets you download many of their songs without a per-track cost and play them on your computer. However, these songs cannot be synced to a portable player or burned to a CD. Microsoft's Janus technology will make the syncing possible in the near future, but only through Windows Media Player 10 (and for $14.95 or $19.95, I'm not sure which, to Napster).

You can use Napster just like the iTunes store, browse, pick and buy for 99¢ without a subscription fee.

The problem with Napster's hybrid approach is that some songs are subscription only, others are download only, so you end up with a hodgepodge of songs which may not have similar usage rights. If you're going to offer the two models, I think that you should be sure that all songs are availlable under both. Napster wasn't willing to stand up to the labels and push that, I guess.
1556  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Best music download site on: January 02, 2005, 08:42:27 PM
Napster is now like any other download store: it's songs are encoded professionally at a set bitrate, so the quality is consistent. I belive they use 128 kbps for their Windows Media Audio files. They also offer streams of various bitrates.

Playing the same songs off of iTunes (128 kbps AAC) and Napster (128 kbps WMA), I couldn't really tell the difference between the two. I use iTunes because it's got the best interface for the store, and it's been my media player software for years. I've not found any other program where building playlists is as easy as in iTunes. They also tend to have most of what I want, which isn't always true for the WMA stores.

The MSN Music store is pretty much the exact same as iTunes or Napster in terms of quality/DRM, and has a very good selection as well. It's built into Windows Media Player 10, so if anyone's not going to be using iTunes I think they should check out MSN as well as Napster and maybe MusicMatch (which uses 160 kbps WMA files).
1557  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Surprise! I got an extra $150 for Christmas! How to spend? on: December 31, 2004, 02:47:23 AM
What you really want is a VHS copy of my student films from New York. The Special Autographed Edition, no less. And it just so happens my list price is $149...
1558  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Looking for thoughts on an MP3 player on: December 29, 2004, 07:30:38 PM
Apple's purchase of a ton of flash memory is not a rumor. Whether or not they're going into iPods is supposition, but it is a logical one.
1559  Non-Gaming / Hardware / Software Hell / Issues setting up Fedora Core 3 on hp laptop on: December 29, 2004, 05:39:09 PM
I'm attempting to set up Fedora Core 3 on my hp pavilion zt3101 (a model in the zt3000 family). It's a Pentium M system with the 802.11b Intel wireless card (full Centrino system) and a 15.2" widescreen display and CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive.

I'm fairly inexperienced with Linux (installed it a few times, played with it every now and then but never used it as a primary operating system), and I'm having a few issues with getting set up. I've searched through the archives, but didn't see precisely what I was looking for, so I thought I'd turn to the kind folks on this list.

Everything installed all right. But I'm sure that my ignorance is what's causing me a few problems.

My LCD's resolution is 1280 x 800, but that's not an option listed in my Display system settings. I've set my video card to the proper card (ATI Radeon Mobility 9200), and set my display to Generic LCD Display 1280x800, but to no avail. Do I need to figure out precisely what brand of monitor HP has included with my laptop?

Also, how do I put the system to sleep so that I can safely close the lid and move it about? I've been able to get a nice little battery monitor to show up in the top corner, but that's about as much as I've been able to do. Double clicking it produces an error that '/usr/bin/apm -s' was unsuccessful. Eh?

I'm very new at Linux, but I'm pretty impressed so far. This is by far the most polished looking and usable Linux I've ever seen -- I never used to feel like I had any ownership over my computer when I tried previous releases, but I do now.

Any suggestions for a very newbie-friendly resource to walk me through all this sort of stuff?

Next I need to see if I can get my wireless card working.

Thanks in advance.

1560  Non-Gaming / Off-Topic / Looking for thoughts on an MP3 player on: December 29, 2004, 04:02:16 PM
If you need more than 5 gigs, you're also welcome to borrow my 15 gig iPod. The neat thing is that since it syncs to a computer, you can plug it into your PC, it'll wipe away my music and sync on yours, and when you give it back, the reverse'll happen when I connect it to my Mac.
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