Podcasting comes to iTunes

Filed under: — menk @ 8:18 am


Apple rolled out iTunes version 4.9 yesterday formally embracing and supporting ‘Podcasting’. Starting as a technology hacked together by Adam Curry, podcasting has assumed a life of it’s own. With Apple integrating podcast access and subscription into the most widely used digital audio jukebox (iTunes) podcasts as a media stands ready to explode on the scene in a big way.

Apple has provided an easy to use interface for consumers with iPods to load content they are specifically interested in right onto their iPod for later listening. This process can be automated to ensure that you always have the latest of your preferred podcasts right their on your iPod when ever you have spare time to listen.

My prediction is that over the next two years or so podcasting with have a significant impact on the radio industry and it will do for audio content what blogs have done for the written word.

Check out the new podcasting features of iTunes at a computer near you!


Pfizer: Viagra doesn’t cause blindness

Filed under: — menk @ 3:28 pm


Last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it had 38 reports of blindness caused by a a condition called NAION or non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy among users of Viagra. According to Pfizer the producer of Viagra. the drug has gone through exhaustive studies and has not been linked to blindness or any other sight related disorders. I’m sure these findings will evoke a sigh of relief on behalf of the many users of the product.

The FDA had little to say about Pfizer’s statements but indicated that it continues to investigate the numerous reports of hair growing on viagra users palms. They have said that it is unlikely that this is directly linked to the consumption of Viagra, but tied to the personal activities of patients while on the drug.


Intent is the key to the Supreme Court

Filed under: — menk @ 3:06 pm

Today the supreme court came down right on the fence in the battle over copyright infringement on the Internet. By saying that companies can be sued for the illegal acts of users of the technology a company creates, they have taken a step in the wrong direction and created significant forces to stiffle innovation.

A key aspect of this ruling is that companies can be sued if they are viewed as encouraging illegal behavior by users of their technology. Given the deep pockets of the media industry I would expect that tech companies will avoid creation of technologies that might be viewed negatively by the media industry.

In trying to sit on the fence on this issue the Surpreme Court has effectively empowered the side of the argument with the deepest pockets.


Jeb Bush Moron or Right Wing Shill?

Filed under: — menk @ 4:37 pm

The recently released autopsy report of Terri Schiavo has proved 1) She was less likely to be cured than a pet rock is to talk and 2) her condition was not the result of any misdeeds by Michael Schiavo. This apparently dismayed Jeb Bush and his bible pounding supporters. Jeb has now announced that he has asked a prosecutor to investigate the supposed delay in the 911 call at her original medical emergency when she was found unconscious in 1990 by her husband Michael.

Jeb is grasping at straws to ‘kiss up’ to his Radical Christian base. He is waving as his evidence a statement made by Michael Schiavo in a 1992 medical malpractice trial that he found Terri unconscious at around 5am and that he called 911 at around 5:40am. Jeb announced that he has asked the Pinellas-Pasco County State Attorney Bernie McCabe requesting an investigation. He specifically says in his letter to McCabe, “In light of this new information, I urge you to take a fresh look at this case without any preconceptions as to the outcome.” Is he kidding? Does he really classify a statement made in 1992 (13 years ago for the math challenged like Jeb) as “new information”. Does he believe for a second that the insurance companies involved in the multi-million dollar payout that resulted from this 1992 case would have not investigated this in detail and used it as evidence that the doctors were not responsible for the outcome if it was even remotely possible.

Jeb give it up! Michael Schiavo has suffered enough through this protracted years long nightmare carrying out the wishes of his wife to die with dignity. Based on the facts of the case Jeb’s perspective is “braindead” and he is proving that Terri’s level of mental function was only slightly more diminished than his own.


Schiavo’s Brain was atrophied

Filed under: — menk @ 2:27 pm

A formal autopsy report on Teri Schiavo has been released and concludes that it was not possible that Teri was semi-conscious as her parents contended. In fact her brain was so damaged it weighed half of what a normal human brain would have and the parts of her brain associated with vision were essentially gone so she was blind. (So much for the nonsense her parents spouted about her responding to faces and a ballon.)

There are no winners in this sad case, but I for one am pleased that the autopsy was performed to determine the facts. Her parents had strenuously objected to the autopsy after her death.

Perhaps now the religious right and the republican leadership will realize how inane it was to insist that she should be allowed to live on the chance she could recover fully with treatment.

Read the full autopsy report.


HP moves forward - (finally)

Filed under: — menk @ 5:09 pm

Years too late, but perhaps better than never; HP has now decided to create more separation between the personal systems (PC) business unit and the printer/imaging business. Part of Carly’s grand and failed strategy was based on combining the units to leverage them to the company’s benefit. (Stupid Plan and bad result)

After hemorraging stockholder equity buying Compaq, HP doggedly continued under Carly’s direction to cook the books and hide the bad business conditions at the company. (Fortune Article on the undercover finances) Finally this year the HP board got a clue and showed Carly the door now HP appears to be headed in the right direction. Unfortunately for HP stockholders it’s too late to get back the cash we lost to the stockholders of Compaq who got the sweet deal (equity interest in the few money making areas of HP in exchange for equity in a failing business) while HP stockholders got the ‘shaft’.

To take this to it’s logical and appropriate conclusion HP should spin off the imaging and printer business and focus on it’s strengths. Along the way dumping the PC business if it can’t carry it’s own weight would also be a good idea.

Perhaps if HP’s current CEO (Mark Hurd) can survive the current SEC investigation of his sales of NCR stock just prior to joining HP, he can move this company forward rather than in the rearward direction favored by Ms. Fiorina.


Dean still screaming meaningless crap

Filed under: — menk @ 7:09 am

Howard Dean is at it again. Infamous for totally losing control and screaming like a maniac after losing the Democratic primary ballot in Iowa, Howard is unfortunately making less sense now than he did then.

He went on the record last week slamming all republicans as having “never made an honest living in their lives,” and going on to say that the republican party is “pretty much a white, Christian party.” Asked about it on the “Fox & Friends” show, GOP Party Chairman Ken Mehlman joked that “a lot of folks who attended my Bar Mitzvah would be surprised” he heads a Christian party.

Now as quickly as they shunned him during the primaries Democrats are distancing themselves from the moronic rants of ‘Dr. Dean’

Howard: Don’t you wish your problems were as simple as when you said this?


Is that rain or body parts?

Filed under: — menk @ 2:01 pm

Some poor soul in Dakar, Senegal decided to catch a ride to America in the wheel well of a South African Airlines plane departing for NY. Unfortunately rather than making it to America in one piece they arrived in many.

A leg fell from the plane when the landgear was released over Long Island damaging a homeowners garage there. Other body parts were found smashed into the wheel well itself causing damage to the plane.

Yet another anonymous entry to the 2005 Darwin Awards. Or as they call them in Kansas, the Steve Abrams braindead awards.

The lesson here is “ride inside the plane or not at all”.


Apple to Intel

Filed under: — menk @ 3:13 pm

Intel Inside Logo

Steve Jobs formally announced that Apple will be migrating it’s systems to Intel processors over the next two years. During his keynote at the 2005 Apple Developers Conference in San Francisco, Jobs said the first systems would appear in 2006 and the entire product line would be migrated by the end of 2007.

I am certain the next year will be an interesting one but I am equally certain that Apple customers will stick by the company as it makes this transition. One thing we know from experience is that when Apple Computer and Steve Jobs commit to do something they do it right. The transition from OS 9 to OS X is proof of that.


Lame internet client? Blame AOL.

Filed under: — menk @ 1:12 pm

Having worked for Netscape Communications Corp. I am sensitive to the fact that as time marches on the ‘Netscape Communicator’ gets more bloated and buggy. Friends knowing my past experience call on me to answer questions and advise them on how and when to upgrade.

Netscape Logo

My response relative to the Netscape Internet Client surprises many of them: “Don’t use Netscape it’s crap!” AOL has taken the baseline of the open source project ‘Mozilla’ and dumped in a bunch of worthless and buggy AOL features and released this calling it Netscape (most recently 8.0).

I would advise anyone willing to listen that they should use either the cleaner ‘Mozilla’ integrated client or convert to ‘Firefox’ (browser) and ‘Thunderbird’ (mail client).

Netscape Communications is gone and all that remains is a brand that AOL appears to be working hard to equate with some of the poorest code available for download today.


Wild Ride

Filed under: — menk @ 11:24 am

One of my friends and business associates, John MacKay is an avid mountain biker. While I am home playing with my kids, John and his fellow ‘rough riders’ are on the trail.

They build a lot of crazy jumps and stuff that are just scary. I have loaded two quicktime movies (approx 1.8MB each) of some of these jumps.

John Mackay Jumping ——————————- Brian Looney Jumping

point of no return

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