Justin Moss

Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category

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World's Tallest Skyscraper (Copyright 2008 David Hobcote)

World's Tallest Skyscraper (Copyright 2008 David Hobcote)

Note quite “curvature of the earth”, but from almost 1km up (801m / 2,620ft), this might have presented a quicker resolution to the claims by Bacon, Copernicus, Galileo, Columbus, and Magellan.

Links: burjdubaiskyscraper.com | David Hobcote Photography

Source: E-mail (thank you Geoff!)


steve_jobsIn the article “Steve Jobs taking leave from Apple due to complex health issues” at AppleInsider.com, Steve writes “I’ve have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for Apple’s day to day operations

What are they running over there, a 7-Eleven or something?!  This is the single biggest problem with Apple  – too much reliance on a front man, translating to consumer and Wall Street confidence volatility.

Apple’s ideas need to be seen come from a team of brilliant engineers and creatives (which I am sure is the case) – however, Wall Street will see this as the ‘ideas guy goes loco’ for six months (so no products until then).

Here’s an idea

The best thing Apple can do now, is come out with some killer products in Steve’s absence.

The odds of being the victim of a shark attack are said to be very low (worldwide: 75 shark attacks per year) and only 2% of them are fatal.  So, what’s with the daily reports of attacks (and deaths!) at Australian beaches this year?

Lies, damn lies and …

Statistics suggest (1|2) you have a:

1 in 8,000,000  chance of being the victim of  a shark attack
1 in 7,000,000  chance of dying from an adverse reaction to antibiotics
1 in 5,900,000  chance of dying from a wasp, bee or hornet sting.
1 in 4,300,000  chance of dying from a lightening strike
1 in     500,000  chance of being killed by an agricultural machine
1 in     400,000  chance of being killed by a falling object
1 in     200,000  chance of dying from a fall down the stairs
1 in          6,000   chance of being killed in a motor vehicle accident

And, an obscure fact (albeit expressed differently and impossible to translate to ‘1 in’ form) heard on a brilliant UK TV Channel 4 series “Black Box” (think Air Crash Investigation, but so full of content that it doesn’t need all the padding!) comes this incredible fact about the safety of air travel [from memory]:

If you flew on a  commercial airline every day of your life, you’d be 800 years old by the time had an accident, and even then, chances are, you’d survive it.

Still, you ‘d be forgiven for thinking otherwise given the recent spate of stories regarding shark attacks around the Australian coastline this summer.  It feels like one-a-day at the moment – Hammerheads, Great Whites (aka White Pointers) and Bull Sharks have shared the headlines.

Disproportionate Coverage

How Hannah, 13, fought off a shark

Lifeguard’s close encounter with shark

Now bull sharks give tourists a fright

Swimmers flee as sharks come for an afternoon of fishing

MobileMe wont detect Firefox 3 Properly if you use the Firefox Add-on, Ubiquity

Whilst starting Me.com in FF, Apple advise:

We recommend the following browsers.
To make use of rich web applications in MobileMe, we recommend one of the following supported browsers:
Update your browser now to access your email, calendar, contacts, and more at me.com

Questions? Go to MobileMe Support
. Hrrrmmm!  unsupported browser!

Update #1: it looks like the Ubiquity add-on (/plugin/extension) is the cause (also here).  I think this is an issue for Apple to address – not the makers of Ubiquity.  What do you think?

Update #2: I’ve submitted a technical support case for this issue to the MobileMe Support – to which they’ve advised that they’ve “provided the details of [my] report to the MobileMe Specialist team“.  I will post their response as soon as it is received.

Update #3: There was a report by Mister Mac on the MacRumors Forum about modifying About:Config settings.  He reported that an uninstall of Ubiquity was required,  however, simply resetting the value for the general.useragent.extra.ubiquity string was possible without uinstalling.  As it happens, the solution did not fix the issue – so I suspect the fix Mister Mac dicovered was not [directly] related to this setting. On the other hand, the “general.useragent.extra.ubiquity” value seemed to restore itself on browser reboot, so perhaps the fix is simply uninstalling Ubiquity.  A “fix” I say?  … was my mouth out! – that doesn’t solve the issue of getting MobileMe and Ubiquity to play nice in FF sandbox (it simply ejects one to make the other happy). Next!….

and New Prices

Apple announce iTunes store to go completely DRM-free and at three price levels $0.69, $0.99 and $1.29.  It’s about  time Apple!

In a market where price pressure should be driving down prices, the threat of $1.29 is of concern. However, an optimist might correctly suggest that competition between the publishers will keep price pressure towards the $0.69 end.  We might end up with a CD store paradigm whereby new releases are $1.29, reducing down overtime to $0.69 ~ will Apple’s pricing structure allow such dynamcism.

Apple says their entire catalogue will be DRM free and 256kbps by the end of March (2009).

iTunes Plus redundant?

So if iTunes Plus = 256kbps + DRM free, and all content will be both these things after March, iTunes Plus will surely be redundant, wont it?  Speaking for all Virgos,  I’ll be glad for this redunandancy to be cleared up.

128kbps > 256kbps DRM-free @ $0.30

Apple will offer purchasers [the suckers faithful) of DRMd content, the ability to upgrade each of their 128kbps DRMd [hobbled] tracks for $0.30 each.  In as much as that contributes towards the bandwidth, I guess that’s reasonable.  For the extra income they’ll derive from the unschackled format however, they should have just offered free upgrades, or something nominal, like $0.01 per track.

Amazon Selling Incomplete Season (as Whole!)

How do Amazon get away with selling “Season 4.0” of Battlestar Gallactica with only half the episodes on it.

bsg40_partAccording to IMDB and the Wikipedia entry, there will be 20 episodes in total when Season 4 is complete.  I realise that Season 4 was carved up due to the Writers Strike, but this shouldn’t afford Amazon a free pass.

Seriously, how do Amazon (or more correctly the producers of the DVD, Scifi.com) get away with advertising half a season as a whole season?!  And how will they market the actual complete Season 4 – “Season 4 Ultimate”?

Update: Amazon replies “after researching the item “Battlestar Galactica – Season 4.0 (2004)”, I see that this item is complete of 20 episodes onto the DVD.” So, since when has Amazon started selling DVDs of seasons in advance of their completed broadcasts?  According to all sources, only 10 episodes have been aired, and yet, the DVD information  lists “Run time:755 minutes” – and the arithmetic comes out about right: 755mins/38min episodes = 19.8 (let say 20!) episodes.

Mmmm: That’s all good [as I hover over the Buy Now button] but then I find these two comments on the Wikipedia article:

The first set (sometimes referred to as season 4.0) consisted of 10 episodes …


“The second half of season 4 (frequently referred to as season 4.5), consisting of 10 episodes, is scheduled to begin airing on January 16, 2009 …”

The question stands: Is Amazon selling half of Season 4 as “Season 4.0” or all of it (ie., Season 4.0+ Season 4.5)?  In fact, looking at the Wikipedia article closer, I see the first half of Season 2 was sold as “2.0”

The definitive answer: Universal Studios says: “They’ve traveled millions of miles and defied relentless attackers, but nothing will prepare the human race for what lies ahead as Battlestar Galactica 4.0 arrives on DVD! In ten gripping episodes, relive each pivotal moment as the civil war amongst the Cylons escalates and the quest for Earth continues. Loaded with riveting bonus features, this 4-disc set includes the unrated, extended version of Battlestar Galactica: Razor that never aired on television. Presented uninterrupted and in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, it’s the epic phenomenon that critics call “a truly great show!”

Dubious arithmetic, but I am glad that’s over!

Apple iTunes releases only censored version of The Daily Show

jon-stewartThough no other movies or TV shows on iTunes are censored, for some reason, The Daily Show is censored on iTunes  – that is, the only version of the show you can buy is the one with expletives ‘beeped out’ … talk about  a clusterf#ck!

Feel the same way? – Tell Apple via there Request a TV Show page.

Apple, please explain!  Insight anyone?


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  • mattvolke: Cool blog! Check it out my movie blog at themoviebros.wordpress.com/
  • justinmoss: Hi Dave, thank you. Yes, you can have it synced with multiple computers (I used to do this though I no longer have a need for this). From my experie
  • Dave Watkins: Excellent information. Thanks for sharing. Is you iPhone synced with multiple computers? dave