Rip Different

MacTheRipper icon

I saw on BoingBoing that Macrovision is threatening VersionTracker for listing MacTheRipper. I had forgotten what a wonderfully useful program MacTheRipper has always been mostly because I’ve taken it for granted.

Basically what it does is strip the CSS, Macrovision, region encoding and menu blocks from a DVD to allow you to create a usable VIDEO_TS file onto your hard drive suitable for burning or down sampling down to a single layer drive.

Continue reading Rip Different

Lunch 2.0 l(a)unches

In 1999, I used to eat lunches in Novell’s offices (now eBay’s headquarters). In 2000, Dave visited me and I showed him all the crappiest food in the valley. In 2001, Dave came to the Valley and we decided we needed to visit corporate cafeteries, because the only thing you got free in the valley, post bubble, was caffeinated beverages.

That was Lunch 1.0 and it sucked.

Then Mark got fired from Google and started inviting everyone to have lunch on Plaxo.

Lunch 2.0 was born

Lunch 2.0 @ Dot’s Café, Yahoo!

Continue reading Lunch 2.0 l(a)unches

You can be sure if it’s Slashdot…it’s wrong

Westinghouse logo

I read this article today about Toshiba buying out Westinghouse Electric.

I shouldn’t be surprised that Slashdot gets it wrong again. Really wrong.

First of all, Westinghouse hasn’t made blenders since around the time I was born. They sold off the appliances division to a separate company, White, which renamed itself White-Westinghouse. The confusion arises because White-Westinghouse used the same W logo, but any Pittsburgher can tell you they aren’t the same. The same holds true for other “Westinghouse” brands like Westinghouse Digital Electronics, the makers of the LCD panels referred to in the article. They have nothing to do with Westinghouse or Westinghouse Electric. The brand name was licensed to them recently when the CBS/Viacom media empire realized they had a merchandisable brand name they weren’t using.

[ore theorizing after the jump]Continue reading You can be sure if it’s Slashdot…it’s wrong

Taking football seriously

My obligatory Superbowl blog entry:

“You can’t believe how seriously these people take their football.”
—overheard, “Gridiron City”

The quote above comes from an op-ed in today’s New York Times. The answer is, “Yes, I can believe,” because, like Holly, I grew up in Pittsburgh, and they do take their football seriously there.

The article does a great job explaining why: the rise of the perennially bad Steelers came during the middle of the decline of the Pittsburgh steel industry.Continue reading Taking football seriously

Domestic spying reframed

The new watchword is to replace “domestic spying” with “Terrorist Surveillance”. It consisted of a three-pronged assault of the news: Bush speaking at Kansas, A.G. Alberto Gonzales speaking at Georgetown University Law Center, and Karl Rove speaking at the Republican National Committee.

I won’t get into a defense or attack about this issue because it won’t convince anyone—we’ll rationalize our own view even in the face of facts.

Instead I don’t think this new frame will work. To me, at least, “domestic spying” sounds a lot more catchy than “terrorist surveillance”Continue reading Domestic spying reframed