Grabbing Selected Songs from an iPod

February 21, 2008 | programming, technology
Today, I was over at a friend’s house and got sidetracked talking about music we liked. I mentioned that I’d recently discovered Jonathan Coulton, really liked his music. and played her a few songs of his. She liked them and asked whether she could have a copy. Since his songs are all licensed under the Creative Commons, that was no problem. Unfortunately, the only copy of the songs that I had were on my iPod. As everyone knows by now, Apple makes it very difficult to copy songs off an iPod due...

NetNewsWire Now Free

January 23, 2008 | technology
NetNewsWire, an outstanding RSS reader for Mac OS X, is now completely free. If you own a Mac and haven’t taken a look, now would be a great time. Combined with NewsGator (also now free), you’ll have a great RSS reader for your iPhone or iPod touch, too.

Twenty Dollars of Frak You

January 16, 2008 | technology
Though many found Apple’s keynote yesterday underwhelming, and certainly little in the keynote was revolutionary, I’m quite excited about some of their announcements. The MacBook Air, despite the whiny criticism it seems to inspire, looks as if it will be an absolutely superb laptop. (I was originally going to write an article about why the criticism thus far against the Air is ridiculous, but Wil Shipley beat me to the punch with his usual mix of whit and rancor, so just read his rant instead.)...

Hacking CES

January 11, 2008 | technology
I think that Gizmodo performed one of the cruelist, most hilarious hacks I’ve ever seen: they took a TV-B-Gone from MAKE and used it to switch off whole banks of televisions at CES. On the one hand, I feel bad for all the technicians who had to try (and likely failed) to figure out why all the TVs all over the floor were dying, but on the other hand… …well, just watch for yourself.

Browser Stupidity

November 1, 2007 | technology
Yesterday, I went to a website that used MathML to display a few formulae. Because Firefox supports MathML, I figured everything would display just fine. Unfortunately, Firefox notified me that I had to download some free fonts to display the equations. Here’s the dialog it displayed: I don’t mind having to install fonts, but this dialog is so poorly constructed that I ended up laughing: The link they provide isn’t clickable. I’m in a frakking web browser, and they’re not going to let me click...

Chicken Chicken Chicken

October 7, 2007 | personal, technology
Chicken chicken chicken chicken, chicken chicken chicken chicken. (Chicken chicken chicken—chicken chicken chicken—chicken chicken.) Chicken chicken chicken chicken chicken chicken! Chicken chicken chicken chicken chicken.

rm -rf /var/www/* ... wait, which server am I logged into?

September 30, 2007 | programming, technology
Unix needs an undo command. This morning, my roommate and I hauled out some of our “big iron” (a languishing Pentium 4 box) to use as a photo server. Because we had initially planned to use that box to host and its sister sites—a plan since scrapped—it had a full clone of all the data on my Linode hub. Before my roommate got going, then, I thought I’d quickly clean the box and return it to a neutral state. First stop, hose the duplicates of the websites I host. Fire up SSH, sidle...

Blast Your Friends

September 26, 2007 | personal, technology
One of my friends adamantly refuses to carry a cell phone on him. Although I don’t have a lot of sympathy for that these days, I’ll be changing my opinion very quickly if blasting your friends starts to become common.

Half-Baked Features

September 19, 2007 | technology
One of the Big New Features in WordPress 2.2 was a dynamic sidebar. The idea was that developers would write reusable Widgets that users could add to their sidebar through drag-and-drop—a huge improvement over the old method of modifying a bunch of PHP by hand. The good news is that building a sidebar from widgets works great. Unfortunately, the bundled widgets don’t. The archive widget has an invalid capitalization of its onchange event that keeps this site from validating, while the links...

Lotus Symphony Now Free

September 18, 2007 | technology
Lotus Symphony is IBM’s rebranded version of OpenOffice, and ships with Lotus Notes. As of today, Symphony is free. Even if you have OpenOffice, Symphony may be worth checking out, as it sports what in my opinion is a superior interface.