The best Vista box is a... MacPro??

11/17/06 | by Adam | Categories: Macintosh


Ok, lots of bias here, but there's an interesting article by a Microsofty about running Vista. The machine of choice is the quad-core MacPro and he's very impressed. I can't say I approve of a) Vista; or b) Desecrating a Mac with it; but it runs, and it works...

He also does a performance comparison of a Mac Pro vs Dell Dimension 9200 which is worth a look.


Finnish Song Of Disguntlement

11/14/06 | by Adam | Categories: Silly, YouTube


Truly, this YouTube video deserves to be the next internet big-thing.


Amazonian Shenanigans

11/14/06 | by Adam | Categories: Technology, Music

Over the years I've migrated from buying the majority of my CDs from stores to buying online. The move is mostly due to availability of obscurities; I've bought pretty much all of the easy to find stuff and these days I'm after back catalogue, deleted material and things not released in North America. Popping into big box stores like Future Shop for these just doesn't work, and the collection at used CD stores like Tramps -- though wonderful overall -- is terrible when trying to find specific items.

Full story »


The Big Score

11/14/06 | by Adam | Categories: Technology, Silly


Over at Kottke, there's a post about getting the big score, the post that drew the most people to the site -- the one that made the weblog what it is.

Over here, my big hitter with a grand total of 114 views as of this writing (yup, that's it!) is about Referrer Searches. Number two, with 106 views, is Tauren Plushie.

Suffice to say, I don't think I'm setting the blogging world alight. I can't figure out the variation in numbers either; if the readership was composed purely of search-bots ("Domo Arrigato, Mr Roboto!") alone, it would produce a relatively even distribution of reads over time but the numbers are all over the place.

I won't give numbers for him, but the most popular hits on Ritchie's side of the blog are Kinjo Sushi Review and Nimblog Moves House.

I have absolutely *no* idea what makes for an popular post based off the above, so you'll have to stick with whatever I find amusing. Sorry about that.


Laptop battery fire

11/14/06 | by Adam | Categories: Technology


Latest arrival from the link-meisters at Engadget is this display of what happens when a laptop battery explodes. Unlike previous recorded fires, this one has been set up deliberately and gives a much better view of the progression as each battery cell blows.


Dolphins Cover the "Batman" Theme

11/14/06 | by Adam | Categories: Silly


Occasionally science reaches new heights; it attains unexpected successes; it moves forwards human knowledge, not merely by a step, but by a mile.

This isn't one of those things. On the other hand, a big woohoo for operant conditioning and pop culture!


Gracenote on CDDB

11/13/06 | by Adam | Categories: Technology, Music, Copyright


A week or so ago, I made an offhand comment critical of Gracenote, the developer of CD recognition tool CDDB, about them taking a publically generated database commercial. I objected to this based on the fact that at the time no one knew they would be contributing to a privately owned, profit making enterprise. It felt quite two faced at the time.

Curiously enough, Wired has an interview with Steve Scherf, one of the owner/developers of Gracenote, that discusses this exact issue. I'm not sure I agree with his conclusions but it certainly gives a bit more background.

Take a look.


MacBook Core2Duo Out

11/09/06 | by Adam | Categories: Macintosh


Looks as if Apple's moving towards a more PCClone release schedule; I wasn't expecting this to be out until February. If reviews of the Core2Duo version of the MacBook Pro are correct, this'll give you about a 10% speed increase over the earlier version and somewhat more battery life. All the other specifications look to be very similar in terms of support chipset, resources and so forth.


Best electioneering slogan from the US today

11/07/06 | by Adam | Categories: Politics, American


Nice to see that the Republicans still have a sense of humour even while going down in flames:

Republicans have been simultaneously informing voters about the confusing process to vote for Negron—whose name doesn't appear on the ballot—and expressing symbolic anger for Foley: "Punch Foley to vote Negron" is their foremost campaign slogan.


Arguing on the internet

11/07/06 | by Adam | Categories: Technology

There's a joke that's been going around for a while -- typically Fark Photoshop related -- that arguing on the internet is a bit like competing in the Special Olympics; even if you win, you're still retarded. Having watched enough flamefests online, I'm inclined to agree. Generally when two (or more) people go at it online, they're both convinced they're right and neither is going to be disuaded. Invocation of Godwin's Law can only be a few replies away.

However, there is an interesting caveat to this that I should have considered before but didn't. From the comments thread over at The Gristmill, Coby Beck said:

.. in online forums the main point in responding, and responding with substance, not vitriol, is not to convince your opponent (you're right they are usually beyond redemption) but it is for the lurkers.

Whenever someone pops in a comment like the list of objections we are all so familiar with, there will always be a lot of people who have not heard it before and will pause and think, "hey, yea. What about that?". If the only answer they see is "what a load of crap!" or similar, it will only encourage them to trust the wrong person.

So do it for the lurkers, not the lost causes!

I think he's right.


Election tampering

11/07/06 | by Adam | Categories: Technology, Politics


Over at QBlog, British computer scientist, Richard Bartle, points out an interesting conundrum about tamper tape on voting boxes. The summary is this: can you throw an election by tampering with a container such that it and its contents become suspect? It's an interesting question as it's applicable not only to the justifiably pilloried touch voting machines but any other receptacle such as the paper ballot boxes we use in Canada.


"Ready, Aye, Ready"

11/05/06 | by Adam | Categories: Canadian

As we approach the sombre memorial of November 11th, Remembrance Day, I thought I'd take a moment to comment on the title I chose for the weblog.

"Ready, Aye, Ready" is a very Canadian term. It's been used a number of times in Canada's political history, initially as a rallying cry for the Empire loyalists and then later as a warning about Canada's lack of foreign policy independence. Coined originally by Wilfred Laurier as Canada prepared to join Britain and France in the First World War, it was later used by Arthur Meighan when trying to induce Canada to enter a conflict against Turkey in 1922. The latter was written off as a jingoistic endeavour and the slogan became tainted with the feeling of a blind following of another country's politics. It reappeared in 1956 during a debate over Canada's role in the Suez Canal Crisis where its new meaning was cemented by Lester Pearson:
It is equally bad to be a colonial chore boy running around shouting "Ready, aye, ready."

To me, the discarding of the term was a critical move towards Canada becoming its own country, and not merely a colony or satellite state of another. It was an important step in letting Canada define itself.

So back to the connection to Remembrance Day. Canadian soldiers are our soldiers. They represent Canada; they are not playing pieces for other countries. They should be honoured for being willing to die to protect and defend Canada. We should remember why Canada has deployed them; we should understand why they served and why they died. They are not figures in a wargame; they are not numbers in a spreadsheet. We don't send them to battle based on a shallow slogan. They are Canadians. This is the purpose of Remembrance Day. This is why we remember them.


A Case Study In DRM Music

11/03/06 | by Adam | Categories: Music, Copyright


The summary of the story is that Microsoft is discontinuing their old MSN Music store, and the DRM'd files it sold are not compatible with anything else. While the story quotes Microsoft saying that tracks could be burned to CD in this case, I've seen more than a few music sites that don't permit CD burning that meaning you're locked into the format and can use only compliant players: reckon they'll be supported indefinitely?

BoingBoing has a reference to this piece too.


Truer words were never spoken

11/01/06 | by Adam | Categories: Silly


...until the next lot.


Automated music recognition

11/01/06 | by Adam | Categories: Technology, Music


A little while ago, I posted a question about how one identifies unknown music.

Apparently there is some software that -- in theory -- can do this Too bad it only seems to be deployed to restrict music listening, rather than to help identify it. Reconsider, please! If nothing else, you, Gracenote, can become known for reducing the scourge of misattributed Wierd Al MP3s throughout the web! It might make up for stealing all the effort people put into building your CDDB system.


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"Ready, Aye, Ready" was a slogan used by Canadian politicians to indicate Canada's willingness to assist the British Empire in any conflict. It remains in use as a motto for some of the Canadian military. It has almost nothing to do with the content of this blog.


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