g r o t t o 1 1

Peeve Farm
Breeding peeves for show, not just to keep as pets
Brian Tiemann
Silicon ValleyNew York-based purveyor of a confusing mixture of Apple punditry, political bile, and sports car rentals.

btman at grotto11 dot com

Read These Too:

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James Lileks
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As the Apple Turns
Entropicana
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Capitalist Lion
Red Letter Day
Eric S. Raymond
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Aziz Poonawalla
Corsair the Rational Pirate
.clue
Ravishing Light
Rosenblog
Cartago Delenda Est



Cars without compromise.





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12/27/2004 -   1/2/2004
12/20/2004 - 12/26/2004
12/13/2004 - 12/19/2004
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11/29/2004 -  12/5/2004
11/22/2004 - 11/28/2004
11/15/2004 - 11/21/2004
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10/25/2004 - 10/31/2004
10/18/2004 - 10/24/2004
10/11/2004 - 10/17/2004
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12/29/2003 -   1/4/2004
12/22/2003 - 12/28/2003
12/15/2003 - 12/21/2003
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11/24/2003 - 11/30/2003
11/17/2003 - 11/23/2003
11/10/2003 - 11/16/2003
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10/27/2003 -  11/2/2003
10/20/2003 - 10/26/2003
10/13/2003 - 10/19/2003
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12/30/2002 -   1/5/2003
12/23/2002 - 12/29/2002
12/16/2002 - 12/22/2002
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11/25/2002 -  12/1/2002
11/18/2002 - 11/24/2002
11/11/2002 - 11/17/2002
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10/28/2002 -  11/3/2002
10/21/2002 - 10/27/2002
10/14/2002 - 10/20/2002
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  6/3/2002 -   6/9/2002
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 4/29/2002 -   5/5/2002
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 4/15/2002 -  4/21/2002
  4/8/2002 -  4/14/2002
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 3/25/2002 -  3/31/2002
 3/18/2002 -  3/24/2002
 3/11/2002 -  3/17/2002
  3/4/2002 -  3/10/2002
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 2/18/2002 -  2/24/2002
 2/11/2002 -  2/17/2002
  2/4/2002 -  2/10/2002
 1/28/2002 -   2/3/2002
 1/21/2002 -  1/27/2002
 1/14/2002 -  1/20/2002
  1/7/2002 -  1/13/2002
12/31/2001 -   1/6/2002
12/24/2001 - 12/30/2001
12/17/2001 - 12/23/2001
Sunday, August 12, 2007
01:56 - Bad QA person. No ramen.

(top)
I bought iLife '08 today and tried to upload a recent set of photos to the swanky new Web Gallery system.

The photos, which I'd taken back in June, naturally had to be upgraded to work with the new version of iPhoto, as has happened with every new version; this upgrade process took place at first launch after installation.

But every time I tried to publish the photos, it gave me a "The request was denied from the server" error.

Two hours later, there was an iPhoto 7.0.1 available, which Apple said "addresses issues associated with publishing photos from an upgraded library to .Mac Web Gallery".

Did someone forget to test with old photos, not just photos taken and imported with the new version already installed? Naughty naughty...


17:25 - In the running for The Damnedest Thing

(top)
So I stop at the Office Depot to pick up some dual-layer DVD+Rs, and see this parked outside:



In a handicapped spot, no less! What an asshole, huh?

... Wait, hang on a minute:



Uh...

Hmm.


17:23 - Well that was novel

(top)
I don't believe I'd ever before seen a movie that was shot entirely, from beginning to end, in wobbly hand-held telephoto.

Thursday, August 9, 2007
23:06 - FIGHT THE POWER
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,292813,00.html

(top)
Bet this'll work out great for 'em:

Universal Music Group said Thursday it will sell digital music from artists
such as Sting, 50 Cent and Stevie Wonder without the customary
copy-protection technology for a limited time.

Tracks from thousands of albums will be available for purchase on the
recording artists' Web sites and through several established online music
retailers, although Universal is excluding Apple Inc.'s iTunes store, the
No. 1 online music retailer.

What I have to wonder is, was the decision to exclude iTunes Universal's idea... or Apple's? These are plain-Jane MP3s, not AACs or even WMAs; I wonder if that, or the idea that they'd only be able to sell the tracks for a limited time, might have prompted the Steve to give them the royal nose in the air? Or maybe Universal really is just "testing" the concept, so that if it doesn't work out well for them they don't have to backtrack on having to kowtow to Apple's rules?

Who knows. But it'll be interesting to see what comes of this. Hey, anybody hear how EMI's doing lately?

Via Steven Den Beste.

UPDATE: Gruber says:

Um, Universal won’t sell DRM-free music through iTunes because they don’t like Apple’s DRM? WTF? Am I even supposed to pretend this makes sense?

He does have a way of cutting to the heart of the matter...

Wednesday, August 8, 2007
01:56 - This ain't Paste picante sauce
http://www.engadget.com/2007/08/09/fake-iphone-cut-and-paste-demo-loves-you/

(top)
So someone comes up with a way that Apple could implement copy-and-paste on the iPhone. And rather than just describe it in text, he makes a mockup video of it in action, looking as professional as any Apple tutorial video.

And rather than just leave it at that, said person gets "John Appleseed" of said tutorial videos to introduce the videos. ...Well, sort of. Not really. Very very creepily.

Eeugh.

—Anyway. As Chris (who sent me the link) notes: "I wonder if someone inside Apple is going 'Oh, crap. I was just coding that, too... now we can't use it.'"

Disney and other studios always approached that problem by refusing to read unsolicited submissions of script ideas, and sending them back unopened; it's the only way they could legally preserve their plausible deniability if they already happened to be working on an idea similar to something some fan-script writer came up with. But what does Apple do in the age of YouTube?


01:46 - Are you Def?
http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1809761737/video/3631941/standardformat/

(top)
You know, this movie—Be Kind Rewind—looks like one of those concepts that, if pulled off well, could become a cultural touchstone.

Paper cutouts. That rocks my world.


18:15 - Those commercials warped my fragile little mind

(top)
You know what I find funniest about perennial Apple detractors? They always seem to have in their portfolio of complaints that Apple's products are winning because of "slick marketing".

As though Apple sends pairs of guys in white shirts and skinny ties on bikes from door to door with an irresistible sales pitch. As though their ads, while good, are better or more persuasive than anyone else's. As though nobody else has marketing, slick or otherwise.

What's the premise here? That Dell and Creative and Microsoft couldn't sell any DJs and Zens and Zunes because their marketing all sucked? ... I mean, yeah, okay, it did, but that's beside the point. Is the idea that a market-defining critical mass of people is susceptible to the power of suggestion to the point that they're going to plunk down $400 for an MP3 player purely on the strength of whose TV ad was prettier? Do we really believe that?

Let me remind such people that Apple had ads—good ads, at that—back in the early 90s when everything sucked. Remember "The Power to Be Your Best"? And yet all that did was provide an incongruous backdrop to Apple's long slide and near-demise.

That said, though: what can one say about an ad that doesn't need anything but rotating images of the product, followed by its name, and some gently hooky music, to sell it against all competitors? That's called existing mindshare, and it has nothing to do with marketing. It has everything to do with having built a reputation, slowly and painfully, and carefully pruned and groomed that reputation with product enhancements and announcements that made a compelling value proposition over the course of years.

When a market-defining critical mass of people responds to that, you win.


13:07 - "A new kind of family" indeed

(top)
So there's this new Flash-animated series called "Slacker Cats" that's showing up soon on ABC Family:


Now, maybe this is the dutiful South Park-trained social reactionary in me talking, but... how do you promote a show with phrases like "It violates all standards of public decency!" —and then follow it up with "Premiering soon... on ABC Family"?

What person who watches a channel called ABC Family will be encouraged to tune in for a show that audaciously flouts the supposed standards of decorum for which they're not watching Comedy Central or HBO in the first place? Presumably the very reason the channel exists is so parents can plunk their kids down in front of it without having to worry that some Adult Swim-esque show will jump out from behind the bushes and carry them away while they're preparing dinner. So what genius at ABC bought this show?

It's not enough to have Star Trek on Spike TV and The Man Show on G4 and Pee-Wee's Playhouse on Cartoon Network, I guess; in the interest of inexorable channel interbreeding, we have to put rude-crude-and-nasty animated prime-time shows on a channel labeled Family. Now that's brilliant marketing.


12:48 - Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Xbox Yankee Zune
http://www.dailytech.com/Microsoft+Calls+Up+Special+Halo+3+Zune+for+Military/article

(top)
I guess I can't quite find fault with this:

On the heels of the Halo 3 Edition black Zune, Microsoft is introducing a new brown version of the Halo-themed player for military service members. After receiving feedback on the popularity of the Zune players from U.S. soldiers, teams from Microsoft Zune and Microsoft's U.S. Federal business joined together to develop a special Zune - Halo 3 Military Edition, which will be available exclusively at military retail stores in August.

The new version of the Zune player will be packaged in a collectible Halo 3 box, and will come pre-loaded with artwork, trailers, and music from all three Halo games – presumably with similar content found on the Halo Zune found at GameStop.

A group of soldiers leaving for active duty yesterday from the Baltimore Washington International airport were the first to receive the new Halo Zune devices. Working closely with the USO, a non-profit organization focused on improving the quality of life of service members, Microsoft contributed 300 of the new Zune players to the USO of Metropolitan Washington to be part of a special USO care package the soldiers received.

Because one thing the Zune does have that the iPod doesn't is ruggedness, or at least the ability to get buried in sand and dropped on pavement and flung around the inside of a Stryker and not look significantly worse than it did before.

What does make me wonder a little bit, though, is this whole Halo/Xbox/military tie-in thing. I mean, have we decided yet whether it's a good thing or a bad thing to act like today's soldiers are video game junkies?

Via JMH.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007
16:13 - Good for a whizgiggle

(top)
Dictionary attacks are something one might legitimately fear. But thesaurus attacks? Those are just hilarious.

Cuties always srieked at me and even men did in the free toilet!
Well, now I whizgiggle at them, because I took M_E_G. ADI. K
for 4 months and now my pecker is hugely greater than civil.

Dames always giggled at me and even boys did in the public water closet!
Well, now I laugh at them, because I took M_E GA D IK
for 6 months and now my putz is quite best than national.

Cuties always hee-hawed at me and even gentlemans did in the public lavatory!
Well, now I smil at them, because I took M_E_G. ADI. K
for 5 months and now my prick is quite greater than national.

Boytoys always hee-hawed at me and even men did in the federal john!
Well, now I hee-haw at them, because I took Me_ga. d_ik.
for 7 months and now my dick is excessively bigger than national.

Cuties always whooped at me and even fellows did in the civil comfort station!
Well, now I laugh at them, because I took Mega. Dik
for 6 months and now my prick is indeed preponderant than civil.

Ladies always srieked at me and even men did in the civil john!
Well, now I whizgiggle at them, because I took Me - ga - Di k
for 6 months and now my shaft is hugely longer than average.

Females always smiled at me and even youths did in the not private comfort station!
Well, now I hee-haw at them, because I took M E _G_A_D_ IK
for 7 months and now my tool is immensely preponderant than usual.

Ladies always hee-hawed at me and even youths did in the urban water closet!
Well, now I giggl at them, because I took Meg, a dik.
for 3 months and now my dick is badly weightier than usual.

Princesses always whizgiggled at me and even boys did in the civil WC!
Well, now I sriek at them, because I took Meg, a dik.
for 7 months and now my tool is extremely weightier than civil.

Virgins always hee-hawed at me and even gentlemans did in the municipal lavatory!
Well, now I sriek at them, because I took M_E GA D IK
for 4 months and now my penis is dreadfully largest than usual.

Chicks always whizgiggled at me and even youths did in the urban comfort station!
Well, now I hee-haw at them, because I took M_E GA D IK
for 5 months and now my tool is badly preponderant than federal.

Ladies always whizgiggled at me and even blokes did in the civil toilet!
Well, now I hee-haw at them, because I took M_E_G. ADI. K
for 7 months and now my member is greatly best than national.

Girls always whizgiggled at me and even boys did in the open comfort station!
Well, now I hee-haw at them, because I took Me - ga - Di k
for 6 months and now my shaft is indeed bigger than national.

Princesses always srieked at me and even youths did in the free toilet!
Well, now I giggl at them, because I took M E _G_A_D_ IK
for 5 months and now my cock is dreadfully preponderant than world.

Womens always whooped at me and even men did in the federal water closet!
Well, now I whizgiggle at them, because I took M_E GA D IK
for 5 months and now my shaft is badly bigger than civil.

Dolls always hee-hawed at me and even gentlemans did in the not private comfort station!
Well, now I sriek at them, because I took M E _G_A_D_ IK
for 3 months and now my shaft is quite preponderant than world.

Baronesses always giggled at me and even gentlemans did in the urban water closet!
Well, now I smil at them, because I took M_E GA D IK
for 5 months and now my dick is dreadfully longer than federal.

Dolls always whooped at me and even gentlemans did in the open bathroom!
Well, now I whizgiggle at them, because I took M eg ad ik
for 5 months and now my pecker is terribly bigger than national.

Chicks always laughed at me and even gentlemans did in the urban bathroom!
Well, now I smil at them, because I took Mega. Dik
for 3 months and now my dick is immensely longer than civil.

Babes always laughed at me and even bucks did in the national toilet!
Well, now I hee-haw at them, because I took M_E GA D IK
for 6 months and now my phallus is badly greater than usual.

Baronesses always srieked at me and even chaps did in the free WC!
Well, now I giggl at them, because I took Mega. Dik
for 4 months and now my tool is immensely more than world.

Girls always whizgiggled at me and even boys did in the civil WC!
Well, now I smil at them, because I took M E _G_A_D_ IK
for 4 months and now my phallus is excessively weightier than average.

Baronesses always hee-hawed at me and even men did in the free toilet!
Well, now I whizgiggle at them, because I took Mega. Dik
for 5 months and now my peter is indeed bigger than average.

I've just got to say that some of the mental images that these permutations of the theme conjure up are so, so very awesome. What I wouldn't pay to see some Smilin' Bob-type guy shrieking and whooping and hee-hawing at hapless passersby in a public restroom.

And when we have such a thing as a "national toilet", then we can really get incensed about federal government intrusiveness, huh?


13:03 - Shiny
http://www.macworld.com/news/2007/08/07/macevent/index.php

(top)
New iMacs, new iPhoto and iMovie.



There's new keyboards with dedicated Exposé/Dashboard keys too, and—though not much has been said about it yet—a new Mighty Mouse. If it's an honest-to-goodness mouse upgrade that involves a better sensor and driver such that the pointer doesn't randomly scoot off into the corner half the time if I nudge it or grab it, that right there will be the big news of the day. My kingdom for a frickin' mouse.

UPDATE: Looks like iWork is getting a big boost too. I freaking love how people are Photoshopping rumors out of screenshots from earlier in the keynote before the keynote even gets to talking about them.

UPDATE: Holy hell. How often do you see a website layout that you just want to play with? These guys have been biz-zay learning their AJAX. (Via Gruber.)

UPDATE: Yep. I've been waiting to buy this for years.

At last, we can banish the unquiet shades of AppleWorks still drifting and sobbing around some people's computers.

UPDATE: Gyee! Look at that freaking wireless keyboard with that gigormous power button on the side.

No number pad, chiclet-style arrow keys, a Fn button—this is a laptop-style keyboard. Which means it's built for a small footprint, which would make it fit nicely on the edge of my comfy chair. Still, that's freaky-looking. Like something Apple would have designed back in the mid-80s. Seriously, didn't I see this in that AppleDesign book somewhere?

And it sounds like the Mighty Mouse is indeed laser-based now. I'll have to give it a try. Wired, please. No heavy clunking thing to huck around and run out of batteries.

UPDATE: Argh. The wired one is still old-school optical. At this point I'd rather have a ball mouse than the twitchy skittery thing that passes for an optical mouse today.

Monday, August 6, 2007
18:20 - First Mountain View, then Cambridge, now Nanaimo
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070806.wnanaimo06/EmailBNStory/

(top)
Google Earth junkies in Nanaimo got it good:

During its first year Nanaimo's maps looked fairly blurry, but these days 10 centimetres on the ground in Nanaimo equals one pixel on Google Earth – significantly higher resolution than maps covering the rest of the world. Google Earth estimates that about 30 per cent of the world's surface has been mapped, and only 50 per cent of that has resolution that is more detailed than one metre a pixel.

“You can find your house, you can find your boat, you can find your trails,” said Guyllermo Ferrero, Nanaimo's manager of business applications.

. . .

“If there's a tsunami coming, the government's eager to put warnings on the radio, television and newspaper,” he said. “You want the information to be where the readers are. Well, with more than 250 million users of Google Earth, we're one of the major places where people are looking at things.”

Now wait'll someone lets the Globe and Mail—or perhaps the Nanaimo city council—in on the fact that Google Earth's imagery is not updated in real time.

I mean, of course it is, right? Hey, I'm zooming in on you right now! Wave!

Via JMH.


18:08 - Benevolent despot
http://lefsetz.com/wordpress/index.php/archives/2007/07/09/blood-on-the-click-wheel/

(top)
This (via JMH) has got to be the angriest giddy retrospective on the iPod's impact on the world I've ever read.

Microsoft ain’t going away. But when it comes to new products, usability, STOCK OWNERSHIP, one goes with Apple.

It was a trojan horse. A supposedly overpriced device that only worked on Macs. Now, the iPod and its attendant store are viewed as behemoths, which rule the world of music with an iron fist.

How funny.

But even funnier is that the consumer is on APPLE’S side. No one professed love for their Dell, certainly not for Windows, but Apple can sell ANYTHING based on the reputation it built with the iPod.

You know, I can't even seem to find the Penny Arcade strip from shortly after the iPod's launch where Gabe defends his decision to buy a Discman versus an iPod: "Mine doesn't skip either. It's cushioned by $380 in cash."

Down the memory hole, perhaps? Or am I just losing my mind?



11:23 - Sensitivity Training
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/625872/sensitivity_training/

(top)
Hilarious as this is, it actually looks like a pretty ingenious technique—at least until the kids all realized they could simply stare DEEP INTO THE RA'S EYES...

Via CapLion.

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