Monthly Archives: February 2001

Talking about lying with statistics, the RIAA seems to have really put one over on AP, according to Slashdot | Napster Helps RIAA Again; RIAA Still Ungrateful (Updated)
It seems that there is a little difference between what we are being led to believe and what is actually happening. AP is reporting that CD sales are down 39% but /. is looking at RIAA’s actual numbers and finding them to say something else:

That’s right, CD singles. Unit sales for the singles were down 39%, revenue down 36% (they raised prices, of course).
And CD singles account for how much of the RIAA’s profits?
Not quite one percent.
Yes, that’s right: they lost 36% of 1% of their profits.
And the news media is reporting it as a 39% loss.

The article goes on to point out that the RIAA is making money in the areas that Napster is involved in (CD’s and other digital formats) but losing sales in the areas where Napster isn’t involved (analog stuff like cassettes and vinyl).

Hmm, this is very interesting. According to HP’s new handheld exec, may switch to PalmOS. The Jornada is a major player in the MS Pocket PC market but:

In a statement that is sure to cause much debate, joy, and concern to many in the PDA community, HP’s new head of the Embedded and Personal Systems group Iain Morris said that the Jornada handhelds will be overhauled to reach its full potention. Included in this overhaul could be an operating system change to PalmOS or Linux.

This is just more evidence that the PocketPC OS is just too much for the handheld computer market. This will be a huge blow for the PocketPC platform.

Okay, now that Microsoft Announces Smart Tag Software Development Kit (SDK) For Office XP does this mean that they are getting open standards or does it mean that XML will become their standard? Personally, I think this is a good thing but there are those cynics out there that will preach and preach open standards and then scream bloody murder when MS incorporates them saying that MS is just out to coopt the standard for their own. I don’t see how this can be done with XML.

I knew his association with NA was going to be strained. PGP Creator Bolts to Hush

Phil Zimmermann, the legendary creator of e-mail and file-encryption program PGP (Pretty Good Privacy), will become the chief cryptographer for Web-based e-mail company Hush Communications.

I hope ya’ll realize that with Hush Communications being based in Dublin the US has lost any and all control over the export of his code to wherever he wishes to do business.

Arrgh! The insanity continues: Boston Globe Online reports Few limits on who buys knives online

The largely unregulated world of online knife sales was thrown into the spotlight yesterday when prosecutors said that either Robert Tulloch, 17, or James Parker, 16, bought a military-style knife on the Internet – and allegedly used it in the slaying of two Dartmouth College professors.

Will someone tell me what they think is so complicated about a knife that would prevent someone from just making one? It doesn’t take much to figure out how to put a sharp edge on a piece of metal or even a piece of plastic.

Hmm, the Washington Post reports that the GAO is claiming that Key Tests Were Omitted on the Osprey. The Marine Corp has had its problems with the Osprey but this is one aircraft that I’ve heard nothing but positive things about in the development of the civilian version.

One thing I hope people keep in mind is that any military application of an aircraft will be many times more demanding than any similar civilian application. Just because the Osprey may prove to be an inappropriate design for its military mission doesn’t mean the design is inappropriate for civilian roles.

So you think that Napster and all those other file sharing networks only affects the entertainment industry, eh? Napster and its ilk could never have an effect on, oh, say, the sporting goods industry. Could it? Well consider Napster Fabbing. You need a new wet suit? Just open up Fabster, search for a 3D model of the wet suit your looking for, download the file, drop some rubber pellets in your fabber and Presto!, out comes your wetsuit. Imagine the possibilities as nanotechnology matures.

Via Flutterby Microsofts Allchin says open source software is unamerican. Boy, I never thought it would get to this point

Allchin said he’s concerned that the open-source business model could stifle initiative in the computer industry.

”I’m an American, I believe in the American Way,” he said. ”I worry if the government encourages open source, and I don’t think we’ve done enough education of policy makers to understand the threat.”

The implications of this are scary. There is plenty of money here to be spent on lobbyist to take this message to DC. I just can’t figure out what the ramifications could be.

From MSNBCBaby whale jumps onto tourist boat and breaks the leg of a whale watcher. Talking about getting more than you paid for:

THE TOURIST, Sandra Gieb, was sitting in the rear of the 40-foot motorized catamaran on Tuesday when the whale surfaced and placed its head over the back transom, said Doug Phillips, co-owner of Na Pali Eco Adventures.

An adventure like this is priceless but it will probably result in a lawsuit.

From Netscape: Clinton ‘Bewildered’ by Pardon Mess. Actually, I am too. While I can’t see any compelling reason for Clinton to have pardoned Rich, I can’t understand all the heat that it is getting. However, it surely can’t come as a surprise, after everthing else that has been thrown at Pres. Clinton, that he wouldn’t come under some sort of intense attack after he left office. Personally, I think that since he is now out of office he should just be ignored.

Why is it that there is always someone claiming to have evidence of a miscarriage of justice but want to produce it at some future date? Now Gadhafi says he has evidence that Abdel Baset Ali Mohamed Al-Megrahi is innocent and will produce that evidence on Monday.

Gadhafi said: “When I speak, there will be three choices in front of the judges: either to commit suicide or to resign or to admit the truth.

“I have proven evidence that he is innocent and I will reveal the evidence on Monday.”