May 2005

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Following on from Adam Fields, I'd like to add (with lots of spoilers):

  • In a galaxy far, far away, missiles that release funny little robots that try to eat your spaceship are considered far more useful than missiles that, say, explode.
  • Maybe the Jedi temple should just spend less time on that flashy lightsaber stuff, and more time teaching novices to “Use the Brain.”
  • Dragonball Z shows up in the weirdest places these days: “Dooku! My power-level has doubled since we last fought!”
  • Given how only one person made the connection between a pregnant senator and the guy who was living with her, we can assume that people a long, long time ago haven't yet worked out where babies come from.
  • Clones always inherit the New Zealand accent of their parent genetic material.
  • Two wookies looking sideways at each other and moaning could be considered homoerotic, but only if it were possible to tell what sex a wookie is.
  • Jedi: from tortured conscience to baby-killer in sixty seconds.
  • Jedi also go from ‘impossible to kill’ to ‘deer in headlights’ whenever it's convenient, so to ensure success in killing Jedi just make sure you plan to do it in a way that advances the plot.
  • Using the cutesy sci-fi term ‘younglings’ over the perfectly servicable English equivalent ‘children’ makes me far less sympathetic when they're slaughtered.
  • After defeating the man you loved as a brother in combat, the compassionate Jedi way is to leave him to burn alive rather than deliver the coup de grace.
  • A Jedi's power to be unaffected by the heat of several million tonnes of molten rock quite obviously resides in his feet.
  • ‘Because it would be cool’ is sufficient excuse for any abuse — no matter how flagrant — of continuity, the laws of physics, or just plain common sense.

Music thing is doing a pretty cool series on the origins of various little sounds that are played every day: they've covered the THX "deep note", the Macintosh startup sound, the Brian Eno Windows 95 sound and the Intel Inside notes.

To hear the Channel 4 Jingle (notable because it earned its creator £3.50 every time it was played, or approximately £1000 a week over ten years -- not bad for four notes!), it seemed I would have to download RealPlayer.

Credit where credit is due, Real finally include on their homepage a prominent, obvious link to download the free version of the player. That said, I still don't feel well enough disposed towards this company to trust them with my email address. So when prompted for the necessary registration, I type in (By using, you ensure there's no chance any poor innocent bystander will be spammed).'s response was immediate:

So it seems not only am I not alone in having a serious mistrust of Real's address-harvesting policies, I'm sufficiently not alone that my utterly lame random address has been used before.

(Picking a slightly more random address worked fine, so it wasn't just a blanket block on the domain.)

There's possibly a lesson in this, somewhere.

Featuring employee blogs on your company's website is a very cluetrain thing to do. It exposes the unedited, individual voices that make up your organisation, free from the sanitised, corporate veneer. Generally it makes your company look alive, progressive and interesting.

So what happens when you're a magazine publisher whose founder and CEO has apparently just said "What does ethics have anything to do with professional reporting and journalism?" in a published interview, and the senior editorial staff of one of your magazines has resigned in protest?

Well, the front page of your flagship website looks something like this:

If this sounds like a bit of a cheap shot, it might be because my opinion of this particular publisher was already soured by previous experiences.

Update: An hour later, of course, the offending posts have been excised from the front page. But it was funny while it lasted.

The Powermac range was refreshed, and the Final Cut suite updated last month. Tiger was only released last week. The iMac was refreshed today.

Meanwhile, it's only a month until WWDC. There's the usual scattering of "TBA" sessions throughout the schedule, and I can't imagine Steve Jobs not saving up something cool to announce during the keynote.

So I guess the question is: what's Apple doing next? Well, I had a few ideas.

  • ChiaMac - Organic Computing for the Masses
  • Following the success of the Mac Mini's BYODKM approach, Steve introduces the G5 Powerbook with BYOLNCS (Bring Your Own Liquid Nitrogen Cooling System)
  • OS X 10.4.1, 'Tigger'. With FIVE new features!
  • The Mac Tablet (delivered to Steve on stage by a squadron of flying pigs)
  • Nothing, but in an accidentally double-booked Garageband demo, Trent Reznor builds a five minute musical opus from the sound of John Mayer being stabbed to death.

(If you have a Livejournal account, you can vote for your preferred option here.)