Categories
it could be called work

sometimes things work out

I ordered the wrong kind of cable for my digital image system, and the seller is shipping the right one to me — without even waiting for the other to be returned.

eBay’s feedback system needs to go to 11 for moments like this.

Now playing: You Can’t Hide by Maktub from the album “Khronos”

Categories
family fun

would a warning system have helped?

Since a tsunami has a large wave length, tsunamis act as a shallow-water wave even in deep oceanic water. Shallow-water waves move at a speed that is equal to the square root of the product of the acceleration of gravity (9.8 m/s^2) and the water depth. For example, in the Pacific Ocean, where the typical water depth is about 4000 m, a tsunami travels at about 200 m/s (about 712 km/hr or 442 mi/hr) with little energy loss even for far distances, while at a water depth of 40 m, the speed is 20 m/s (about 71 km/hr or 44 mi/hr), much slower, but still very fast to run away from.

Interesting article at Wikipedia: I had learned prior to this that these waves traveled at 400 mph or so, but didn’t realize that they changed so dramatically as they reached shallow water. I have to wonder how useful a warning system would have been: I think we would have seen less loss of life in the tourist areas, but I suspect the native people would have borne the brunt of this.

Categories
obscure pursuits

It’s as bad as he says

I’m coming around to seeing Cory is right to be as indignant as he is.

Cory responds to Wired Editor on DRM:

I would be sure that every single review of a DRM device carried the following notice: WARNING: THIS DEVICE’S FEATURES ARE SUBJECT TO REVOCATION WITHOUT NOTICE, ACCORDING TO TERMS SET OUT IN SECRET NEGOTIATIONS. YOUR INVESTMENT IS CONTINGENT ON THE GOODWILL OF THE WORLD’S MOST PARANOID, TECHNOPHOBIC ENTERTAINMENT EXECS. THIS DEVICE AND DEVICES LIKE IT ARE TYPICALLY USED TO CHARGE YOU FOR THINGS YOU USED TO GET FOR FREE — BE SURE TO FACTOR IN THE PRICE OF BUYING ALL YOUR MEDIA OVER AND OVER AGAIN. AT NO TIME IN HISTORY HAS ANY ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY GOTTEN A SWEET DEAL LIKE THIS FROM THE ELECTRONICS PEOPLE, BUT THIS TIME THEY’RE GETTING A TOTAL WALK. HERE, PUT THIS IN YOUR MOUTH, IT’LL MUFFLE YOUR WHIMPERS.

It’s clear that the media cartels are as bad as he claims — the whole idea of “giving away” PVRs that will erase programming you recorded, unbeknownst to you, is amazingly bold. I have been soft on Apple and iTMS for no better reason than that I like it and have been taking the admittedly wobbly middle ground that if Steve can snooker the RIAA into DRM that’s as weak as it is — ignoring the “updates” that remove features for a minute — I think it is a kind of progress.

My fear is that without the wobbly middle way, all we have is the cartels claiming “piracy” and a lot of energy being spent on lawsuits and incredibly lame DRM (shift key or magic marker, anyone?). I think stuff like iTMS has the potential of showing the cartels that there is some way to open up to digital distribution. I realize some smaller companies get it already: there are labels that refuse to even consider DRM and some bands who openly endorse P2P sharing.

I guess I’m just wobbly.

Categories
obscure pursuits

shared giving

Buy Generously:

So Belle and I are donating the humble proceeds from our Amazon Associates Account for the quarter. So far that comes to almost exactly $100. A nice round number to pony up for starters. Given that I have resolved to donate x, where x = my commisions, you might consider buying some Amazon products through my Associates account. Hint, hint.

Prof. Holbo’s idea is worth following: my associates account is empty (at least it was last I checked), but I can extend the same offer for the next quarter. Anything that gets credited to my associated account until March 31, 2005, will go to Southeast Asian tsunami relief (the Red Cross/Red Crescent). I just made the text red so you can see it better. And don’t feel compelled or even obligated to consider the displayed products: once you get to Amazon.com from here, everything Amazon shares with me goes to the relief effort.

Surely there’s something you didn’t get this holiday season that you want?

Tim Bray points out you can give directly through Amazon: do that if it moves you.