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Tuesday, 11 March 2003

Tuesday morning

  • Quote of the day (and it's only 8:50) has got to be Tam Dalyell on the Today programme describing as "vomit-making" a previous story on the US awarding $900m worth of Iraq rebuilding contracts to American (and only American) companies. One of the contracts went to Halliburton.We like Halliburton so much because a) their ex CEO was Dick Cheney, b) they've been implicated in improper accounting practices, and c) they're just plain evil.
  • The Pentagon has spent $200,000 on constructing a television set for American military commanders to present daily updates, reports the Times. The set was built in Chicago and reputedly FedExed over for $47,000 and has five 50in plasma screens and two 70in television projection screens.
  • Apple has finally updated OS X to Java 1.4.1. New improvements and additions include, amongst others, the ability to Applescript Java. There's a readme, and the update clocks in at 30MB via Software Update or bin disk image. This news would be much more exciting if I could download the December Dev Tools without it stalling at around 98% each time.
  • Parts two and three of AlwaysOn Network's interview with Sony's Idei are now online. AlwaysOn Network has a stupid URL, but an interesting interview. Salient points: Sony say they aren't worried about the XBox, and Idei loves iLife, calling it a model of what Sony wants to achieve.
  • There might be a prototype PPC970 Mac at this May's Apple Worldwide Developer Conference. Yawn.
  • The Google weblog on the day without Google.
  • Brad proves yet again that Economists are funny.
  • No doubt pleasing some of my American friends, David Aaronvitch's column in the Guardian today contends that the British need more therapy.
  • Oh, and more for American readers: Sue Ellicott wrote in The Times yesterday on what happens when you displace your children from sunny California to dreary London. It seems that the lack of expensive astroturf in school playgrounds here is a, um, sore point.
  • Gizmodo may say that this is vaguely unsettling, I say that it's pretty damn cool: a new Bluetooth headset from Samsung eschews the traditional, nay, Victorian, sensibility of using a microphone to pick up resonating air around your head, for the positively twenty first century concept of using a microphone to pick up resonating bone inside your head.
  • Gizmodo says that SACD players use RCA cables, and that Firewire's a much better idea (good job that's what Sony's doing). I could've sworn that people would be able to use, say, TOSLINK or SPDIF instead. Oh well (please prove me wrong and explain why).
  • Stumbling upon the blog of someone who works at the BBC is always fun. Stumbling upon the blog of someone who works at the BBC and plays (I use the term loosely) with search logs is even more fun (via 2lmc's spool)
  • Oh, and also from the above: Another RIP SI is due. Quick, do it while we're distracted by the war on terror. I mean Iraq. Or whatever.
  • Nice to know that AOLTW still doesn't get it, their TIVO beater will let you do everything that Tivo does, with the added benefit to the consumer that if the network doesn't want you to, then you won't be able to do it. Sorry. Did I say added benefit to the consumer? I must've slipped.
  • Short notes on the Google panel at SXSW.
  • Fred Durst wasn't right, he was lucky. Via Bronwen.
  • Oh, and today's Den Beste quote? "Maybe after we get done straightening out the Middle East we should start on Europe." Okay, fine, it's (vaguely) out of context. But still!

4 comments and trackbacks

Two things: 1) it was actually US aid money to begin with, so it makes it a *little* more forgiveable. If it had been UN money, which I think the Today programme didn't make clear enough, then yes, that would have been disgusting.
2) I've got a 1MB connection at home, and even I cracked on the 5th attempt at getting the dev tools. Download it in segments, honestly.

Posted by: Blatant Optimism on March 11, 2003 01:28 PM

Re: The Today Programme's outrage--I agree that the point that it was US money being spent wasn't highlighted enough. As far as I'm concerned, I'm not surprised that no non-American companies have managed to secure any of the core contracts.

Re: segments. I really should've thought of giving that a shot earlier.

Posted by: Dan Hon on March 11, 2003 03:03 PM

SACD and DVD-Audio players are required to not output audio in an easily "stealable" digital format, to supposedly prevent piracy. Hence the use of RCA only audio-out on most players, with no S-P/DIF or TOSlink output. Even the Audigy 2 disables its digital outputs when playing DVD Audio.

Players which can use Firewire use encrypted streams and must be paired with a compatible amplifier (eg Pioneer's VSA-X10Ai and DV-757Ai).

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