Apple iTunes Store

So Apple has launched their online music service with a lot of hype and many positive reviews. Unfortunately, it uses a digital rights management scheme (Apparently, not a very effective one, though). I like what The Register had to say about it:

So DRM has happened, and no one seems to mind very much. Effigies of Hilary Rosen (Al Gore’s friend) are not being burned in the streets, an angry mob is not besieging Apple HQ in Cupertino and the world looks very much like it did on Sunday. Only we now have an extra way to obtain a small selection of music we have already heard.

Mozilla Naming Weirdness

Mozilla.org has released some branding guidelines for the projects formerly known as Minotaur and Phoenix. If you haven’t been following this story, Mozilla.org recently caused a little bit of uproar when it decided to rename its standalone mail and browser applications Thunderbird and Firebird. Unfortunately, Firebird is the name an open source relational database project. Mozilla.org’s new policy is to refer to the released products as Mozilla Mail and Mozilla Browser. I think this is a good idea, why waste the Mozilla name? However, they will still be using Thunderbird and Firebird as the development codenames. This seems silly because plenty of people will continue to refer to the browser as Firebird; thoroughly stomping on the Firebird project’s toes while, I assume, undercutting any legal complaint they might have had. Besides, if it is just a codename, why use something so controversial?

Online music singing the contraction blues

A review of the industtry wrangling among online music services.

“My estimate is, a year from now, we’ll see everything being centralized. There will be about three or four big music services, all owned by the bigger companies,” Lee said. Even the new entrants to the market, like Apple with its planned service for Mac users, will be brand-name firms with a built-in marketing arm.

BitTorrent

BitTorrent has delivered over 13,000 copies of the Red Hat Linux 9 ISOs. I got my ISOs through BitTorrent and it was a pretty cool experience. I thought BitTorrent worked like the other file sharing apps, you run the client in the background and anything you have downloaded is available for sharing. That’s not how it works, though. You fire up BitTorrent for a particular download and, as soon as it starts transferring, the data you’ve downloaded is available for upload. The downstream rate you are allowed is proportional to the rate at which you are uploading to other BitTorrent users. I got download rates of 60-80 KB/S, which is about the max for my DSL connection.

Mozilla mitosis

In a major revision to the Mozilla.org roadmap, the Mozilla suite is going to be broken up into the Phoenix browser and Minotaur mail client. Also, the Gecko rendering engine will be significantly re-architected. The Mozilla folks have obviously been paying attention to the success of Phoenix and to the Safari-Gecko-KHTML debacle. Now I can’t wait for 1.5.

NWN Linux

LinuxWorld: How to install Neverwinter Nights on Linux. Unfortunately, my desktop system is non-functioning. I’m not sure what’s wrong, I think my motherboard is hosed. Actually, this is probably a good thing. The last time I was unemployed I spent about 40 hours a week playing NWN, maybe this time it won’t take me four months to find a job.