Tag Archives: technology

God Of War

## [US lags in propaganda war: Rumsfeld](http://go.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=11258249&src=rss/topNews)

> NEW YORK (Reuters) – The United States lags dangerously behind al Qaeda and other enemies in getting out information in the digital media age and must update its old-fashioned methods, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Friday.

> Modernization is crucial to winning the hearts and minds of Muslims worldwide who are bombarded with negative images of the West, Rumsfeld told the Council on Foreign Relations.

> The Pentagon chief said today’s weapons of war included e-mail, Blackberries, instant messaging, digital cameras and Web logs, or blogs.

E-mail? More accounts than I can remember.

Blackberries? I’ve got a Sidekick, close enough.

Instant messaging? Four accounts – oh yeah, and I set up the IM server at work.

Digital cameras? Three if you count the cameraphone, two otherwise.

Blogs? Check.

Who knew I was such a warmonger?

The Worthlessness Of Mac Rumor Sites

I was asked today by a co-worker if the “[true video iPod](http://thinksecret.com/news/0602videoipod.html)” rumors from ThinkSecret were true:

> Think Secret can confirm recent rumblings that Apple is nearing completion of a completely revamped video iPod that will shed the ubiquitous mechanical click wheel for a touch screen and will sport a 3.5-inch diagonal display.

I could go on and on debunking this, but I think [Matt Thomas](http://www.iammattthomas.com/) made a [very clear point](http://www.newsvine.com/_news/2006/02/09/90927-true-video-ipod-to-have-35-inch-display-touch-screen-click-wheel#c27491) over at NewsVine, and for the sake of brevity, I will quote it entirely:

> I’m excited about this new iPod.

> In the meantime, I’ll enjoy watching TV content downloaded onto my new Mac mini with DVR that’s connected to my Apple plasma television. Later I’ll listen to my new iPod shuffle — one of the new ones released at Macworld last month — and fire up my new 13.3″ Intel-based iBook to play a few games.

> Life sure would be fun if Think Secret actually had believable sources. Sadly, that ain’t the case.

The Horror

“[User concerns mount over possible BlackBerry shutdown](http://www.macworld.com/news/2006/01/25/blackberryusers/index.php)” – Macworld

“[Life without a Blackberry? Users shudder to think](http://today.reuters.com/business/newsarticle.aspx?type=ousiv&storyID=2006-01-24T224805Z_01_N24200605_RTRIDST_0_BUSINESSPRO-LIFE-BLACKBERRY-DC.XML)” – Reuters

“[Blackberry blackout threat leaves CEOs aghast](http://www.localnewsleader.com/brocktown/stories/index.php?action=fullnews&id=130484)” – Brocktown News

“Buy a goddamn Sidekick II already.” – Dan Dickinson

Analyze: iTunes 6.0 Video Files

I had some change to blow from a previous gift certificate on iTMS, so I decided to buy an episode of Lost and see what interesting stuff I could find.

First, the main summary in iTunes:

I think the listed bitrate means jack (see below QT screen); very notable is that this has FairPlay version 2 DRM. Also, file type is `.m4v`.

Nothing terribly surprising here, although it’s nice to see proper track numbers on a per-episode basis. I wonder if we’ll lose the “Album” and “Artist” labels for TV shows in the near future, they seem a little inconsistent.

“Remember playback position” is checked by default, so they act as bookmarkable files. The “Video Kind” field is interesting; I obviously can’t select a value here, but on the two videos I did have in my library (both episodes of Teen Homicide), I can only pick from “Movie” and “Music Video”. It would be nice if I could choose “TV Show” for, you know, if I add my own TV shows.

Now, going outside of iTunes:

The path is unsurprising given the metadata (I use `~/Music/` for my music directory), so no tricks there. Failing to find fun here, I pulled it open with Quicktime Player:

Here we can see the proper bitrate (693.96 kbps), dimensions and framerate, and most amusingly, the metadata for the description of the track – which is totally unexposed in iTunes once you buy a show – or at least a chunk of it, anyhow. (This data IS available in the store, as the description.)

Above all else, I am fairly impressed with the quality, although like everyone else, I wish the video was a touch larger.