Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
The track record and profileration of USB, if nothing else, models my generation of Internet users. We came onto the Internet at a time when everything was just beginning to solidify out of the AOL's and CompuServe's and into regular, dial-up ISP's.
We have been able to observe the progression from computers with few peripherals other than your parallel port printers, serial port modems and PS/2 keyboards and mice to computers with an unlimited number of configurations based on the USB interface.
We may not all remember disk or cartridge-booting our operating systems, dialing directly into our BBS', or writing in Word Perfect 5, but we DID witness the transformation of the PC into a multimedia and extensibility powerhouse and the beginnings of the popularization of the WWW.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I only see one major drawback so far:
What is the streaming bitrate of a web song?
64kbps streaming is pathetic. 128kbps is better, but it won't cut it for people who actually spent time ripping their music at 192kbps or higher (CD quality). Hopefully Lala will do what Napster has done and up their collection to 192 over time.
But is 128kbps for $0.10 a fair price?
Probably. But I'd pay $1 per album to stream in 192kbps VBR.
And this part of their Terms of Service:
We use non-personally-identifiable information including IP addresses and aggregate user data to analyze trends, to administer the site, to track movement around the site and to gather demographic information about our membership base as a whole.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there--on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.
Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.
It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
-- Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994