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December 2004

KazaaGate

As you might know, Sharman Networks, owners of Kazaa, are in the middle of a copyright lawsuit. APC has a review of the first 13 days in court (day one), and it's a lot more amusing than any other legal reporting I've seen. Well worth reading, especially if you have a warped enough sense of humour to laugh at this:

When the day wound up around 5pm, Hemming and Morle headed for a conference room down the hall. I followed and just before the door shut I asked the Warrior Woman for a quick word.

WW: Hello Garth

Dispatch: How do you think it's going?

WW: Im leaving my lawyers to comment on everything to do with the case, Garth.

Shuts door.

Dispatch: But the judge said you can all talk now, remember?

The door is still shut.

Dispatch: Are you really happy now that you're finally getting your day in court?

Door offers no answer.

Dispatch: They say you don't control the company but you're CEO, how's that work?

Door is wooden.

Dispatch: How will we know what a Warrior Woman looks like in a fight if you won't take the witness box?

Door can not speak because it has no capacity for speech. There can be no doubt that I look very silly right now.

rdmsoft.com is Two Years Old

Two years, and a whole lot of nothing achieved. Well, not exactly nothing, but I still feel I could have done more useful stuff. A quick recap:

  • Pre-rdmsoft.com - I have different websites on various free hosts, made with such quality tools as Microsoft Publisher and FrontPage Express.
  • December 2002 - I register rdmsoft.com. It's a redirect to some free webhosting with a dodgy ASP-powered chat script and Visual Basic games of questionable quality.
  • January 2003 - I get 15MB of "proper" web hosting, and move stuff across. It never ended up working properly.
  • July 2003 - I put a lot of work into a new ASP-based site, but it never ends up getting finished.
  • September 2003 - I make the original Philby4000's comics site in ASP and put it on a free host.
  • November 2003 - I discover PHP, decide it's better than Microsoft's ASP, and buy some Linux-based hosting.
  • December 2003 - Philby's site magically becomes PHP, and with slightly better HTML coding.
  • January 2004 - I make a new design for rdmsoft.com, but never get around to writing its content. The site goes through a variety of coming soon pages.
  • June 2004 - I start work on "RdMi", uploading a private test at the beginning of August. It works okay, but lacks content.
  • August 2004 - At the end of the month, I write "RdPress"
  • September 2004 - I bring this site online, and the world receives yet another blog.
  • ???
  • Profit.

Ho Ho

...and a Happy Chrismahanukwanzakah to you!

Edit: This version is probably more amusing.

Great Credit Card Deal

Note from the future: link removed, the DeadBrain people couldn't be arsed to renew their domain name.

I don't usually post adverts, but I think it's important that you know about the latest way to get into debt: The David Blunkett Visa Fast-Track Credit Card.

Into My T-Mobile

After previous trouble, I think I've finally managed to get into my "My T-Mobile" account. For something that's meant to be "all about me", it sure is complicated.

Never mind. Now I have to reset my password.

Passwords must be

  • At least 8 characters
  • At least one number
  • Number can't be at beginning or end

Only one of those bullet points makes sense, but I get what they're trying to do: make me pick a complicated password, making their site more secure.

What are people likely to do when they have a complicated password? Forget it. What will people do so they don't forget it? Write it down. Great security.

Buying music without loss

Bjørn Lynne is selling his CDs as downloads. The way I see it, there are a few major problems with most music download shops:

  1. Quality - The sound of an MP3 file varies from reasonable to "omg it bruns teh eaers". Seriously. I put up with it when I download free music, but when paying it's not really good enough.
  2. Software and DRM - RealPlayer, Windows Media Player, and iTunes have all improved recently, but not enough for me to use any one of them all the time. I'd prefer a choice.

    I also don't want to be restricted by silly encryption that doesn't want me to play my music on the computer upstairs, or burn it to a CD, or listen to it without standing on one leg and reciting the DMCA.

  3. Songs cost too much - sometimes buying an album online costs the same or more than getting the CD.

The lynnemusic shop is different. Very different. It uses FLAC, Free Lossless Audio Codec.

Number 1 is solved by the "lossless" bit - decompressing the FLAC will give WAV files identical to the original CD master. The downloads are massive, and FLAC isn't very well known, but that doesn't bother me.

Number 2 is solved by the "free" bit. An open standard and many free players means my music does what I want it to do. Record companies, and sometimes artists, seem to be convinced that not "protecting" their music will lead to piracy, but I don't see that. DRM schemes that are annoying enough get cracked. Then the warezmonkey that gets all their music illegally is better off. Great.

Number 3 is debatable, but Bjørn's FLAC downloads are a few pounds cheaper than the physical CDs. I'll probably buy some after Christmas.

Desktop Search, Bah Humbug.

With desktop search programs recentley released by Google, MSN, and Copernic, I was wondering if it's all necessary. Windows obviously has built in "Files and Folders" search and its hyped "Indexing Service", but:

With Indexing Service turned off, searching for a file on a Windows PC is glacially slow. And, with Indexing Service turned on, searching for a file is still glacially slow.

The Inquirer explains that you need to use a special method to actually get any benefits. And it does work, incredibly fast.

Games Knoppix

I haven't done anything productive over the weekend, and part of the reason why is Games Knoppix.

It's a bootable GNU/Linux on CD, focused mostly on games. As with other Knoppixes, you can download and burn it from Windows, boot into Knoppix, then return to an unmodified Windows afterwards.

The CD includes games I already knew about, such as BZFlag and TuxRacer, and games I'd never heard of, such as rafkill and SuperTux. The games included can't compete with new Windows releases on graphic quality, but I'm not bothered. The games in Games Knoppix are fun, addictive, and - importantly - free.

Games Knoppix 3.7 is on the Unix-AG bittorrent tracker, and also available as a simple HTTP download.

Status update

  • RdMise is mostly done for now, I just need to make the navigation code faster and possibly make a site map script.
  • RdPress doesn't need any more work until I decide to make it multi-user. I think I've finally fixed the trackback slashes problem.
  • RdPict, the image gallery, is also mostly done from a user's point of view. I've got a lot of coding to do before it has a working admin interface. Once I've got basic stuff done, it'll be uploaded here.

He's from Texas, he's gotta be right...

This is downright scary.

"More War?" at CNNNN

RdPress Categories, RdMise Update

I'm still working on this. Main bits are done, I need to sort out the admin scripts, and possibly RSS feeds.

Menu length limits are sorted out for RdMise and RdPress, I'll be limiting the menu to 10 posts and having a View All link.

Timezone stuff and 404 page are completed, and I've got rid of all the hard-coded variables I can think of - so evrything I posted in the TODO is sorted. I'll probably upload testing versions to here later today.

And before you ask, there won't be a "useless things nobody cares about" category.

Firefox 1.0: 8 million downloads!

[02/12/2004 20:34] =-= Wolf has changed the topic to ``Welcome to #spreadfirefox! http://spreadfirefox.com/ -- Igniting the Web! || *8,000,000* Firefox 1.0 Downloads!...

If it's on IRC, it must be true. 23 days and the download count is still climbing. The target of 10 million downloads isn't far away.

If you're not using Firefox, give yourself an early Christmas present today. You won't regret it. *cheesy grin*

A few stats

Just a few statistics from my first month on this server, thanks to awstats.

  • Operating Systems:
    • 69.8% Windows XP/2003
    • 6.5% Windows 2000
    • 3.4% Windows NT/98/ME
    • 1.6% Mac OS X
    • 0.8% Linux
    • 17.9% Unknown
  • Browsers:
    • 30.2% Microsoft Internet Explorer 6
    • 2.7% Microsoft Internet Explorer 5
    • 45.9% Mozilla Firefox
    • 1.3% Mozilla Application Suite (includes Netscape 7)
    • 1.1% Netscape 4
    • 1.5% Safari
    • 0.7% Opera
    • 16.6% Unknown
  • RdMise XHTML bandwidth used: 9.1MB (388KB/day)
  • RdPress RSS feed requests: 679 (28/day)
  • Google position for crap snow: 27

Notes: For the OS statistics, Solaris and Mac OS Classic were ignored for having less than 10 requests. The Konqueror, Firebird, and UP browsers were ignored for the same reason. Statistics cover last 24 days of November.

I'm not really surprised about the high Firefox/Windows XP numbers, since that's what I and most of my friends use. The unknown numbers are probably so high due to the new msnbot being really active recently (Microsoft is working on a new MSN Search Beta.).

It'll still be very interesting to see if the site grows in the next month, and what happens to the browser stats...

tH