So this is what passes for Creative-ity in the music player market

If you remember from an earlier post, I pointed out that Creative’s strategy just doesn’t understand the iPod market. With over $1 billion in iPod-related accessories sold last year alone, the iPod is not just a device, it is a platform.

It seems Creative has given up trying to compete with Apple, and is suing Apple on the “Zen Patent.” This smacks of desperation to me.

One thing not noted by a lot of blogs linking this lawsuit: although the patent was only recently awarded, Creative applied for this patent before the iPod existed (they applied for the patent in January 2001, the iPod was released that October). Back then, Creative had the Nomad: a shitty player if there ever was one—I borrowed a friends at the time and decided to stick with my Rio and wait it out. It was probably the first hard-drive based MP3 player (there may have been one other).

It is fine debating prior-art and the triviality of the patent (how else are you going to navigate a hierarchical menu except sequentially?), but don’t dismiss the lawsuit out-of-hand.Continue reading So this is what passes for Creative-ity in the music player market

The best advertising database in the world

It’s making the news now and really should have come as no surprise if you have been following the news. It’s a reducto ad absurdum of the Administration’s “creative” interpretation of the Constitution.

If you parse the up-to-date denials and spin, you will see they’re not denying it. The only claim is that the profiles are anonymous. Their interpretation of the law seems to be as long as its not tied to your social security number, no warrant is needed and the 4th is not violated. (There is this separation in their minds between “unreasonable search and seisure” and “probable cause” along the lines of “these are terrorists, this is war, it is not unreasonable to search these records without warrants in times of war.)

I’m not interesting in talking about the legality of that. Instead I want to think about two things: 1) Why the outrage now? 2) Even if you take the most restrictive definition of what that database does, how useful is it?

Continue reading The best advertising database in the world

Noise as a GUID

An interesting article from the Discovery Channel about using noise to match digital images to the camera that shot it in much the same way bullet markings can be used to match to the gun that fired it.

My Nikon D70 has a really hot pixel in the lower left of the sensor (upper right). And D70’s in general on long exposures have a large amount of dark current digital noise in a distinct area caused by off-chip processing unit heating up.

The only problem I see is when one applies statistical noise reduction processing on the image (a la Neat Image or NoiseNinja), it should make noise identification very difficult. Heck, even in-camera noise reduction should make this hard? I wonder the impact of long exposure NR in my camera.Continue reading Noise as a GUID

Applying common sense to what you read

As has been mentioned many times on the blogs already, The Apple v. Apple lawsuit ended in favor of Apple Computer.

And to everyone who claimed that that Apple Corps were sure to win, I’d like to point out more of us need to do a common sense parse of the news we read.

Look, if Apple Computer actually expected to lose this lawsuit do you think they would have merged their countersuit in California (home turf) into the one in Great Britain (enemy turf)? Did you miss the part where Apple didn’t “lose” the last two lawsuits, but settled? That because they were settled, people could only deduce the implications of the settlement and nobody besides the two Apples and the judge actually could actually be qualified to make a ruling?
Continue reading Applying common sense to what you read

The Truth about [insert YASNS flavor of the month]

From some random Flickr browsing, I came across an amusing description of MySpace profiles. The site I guess is a parody of “The Drudge Report” a conduit by which the right-wing field tests their latest talking points.

The article felt eerily familiar, like something I read once on a Right-Wing humor site, Buttafly (Part II in a series with this and this).
Continue reading The Truth about [insert YASNS flavor of the month]

mediamux

Caitlin started a blog about content creation in sight, sound, and motion called mediamux.

It’s just a start, but if you ever do video content creation, or just like to discuss it, you should subscribe to it.

One of her early entries covers the RedOne digital cinecamera, which I wanted to blog about but was too lazy. She promised me she’d also do a quick write-up of Sony’s 60fps dSLR sensor and digital image processor.

She’s into cinema and video so she has a lot of insights that escape poor little old still-photography me. Her running catalog of various camera and non-linear editing tricks alone are worth reading.

So subscribe to her newsfeed.

Plus, she’s a whole lot hotter than me…

Plaxo is hiring!
“Plaxo is Hiring”

Music for free (with strings)

Neil Young has introduced his new album on his website for free. The interesting thing is it forces you to listen to it in its entirety—the actual website consists of two interacting swf file and a GIF used to track stats.

Living With War

This way it won’t undercut sales of the CD or downloads when it is released on Tuesday. Pretty clever.

(The spin on this form of delivery is quite clever. From The New York Times review:

Mr. Young wants the album heard as a whole. The online streams play through from beginning to end; until the CD is ready, the downloadable copies will be available only as a bundle of the full album. “That first impression is so important,” he said. “Instead of just going to ‘Let’s Impeach the President,’ people will have to absorb the whole thing. To understand the songs, you need to understand where the whole album’s coming from. It protects my right as an artist to have the work presented the way I created it.”

Continue reading Music for free (with strings)

Aperture team rumors

I found this article about Aperture’s future in ThinkSecret.

Because of all the misconceptions in the MacRumors discussion of it, I decided to post the link without any commentary in order to encourage people to actually read the article.

In any case, the rumor and its assorted fallout has generated a lot of discussion in the photographic world. I replied to two parts.

[my reply after the jump]Continue reading Aperture team rumors