"What Firefox has done is shown competitors that giant like Microsoft can be beaten, without venture capital, an IPO or a marquee brand name. All you need is a good product, and consumers will find it."
Right on — GetFirefox!

iPod Photo

MacWorld Editors Blog, iPod Photo: Color does make a difference:
"Setting up a photo slideshow from the iPod couldn't be simpler. The slideshow settings are straightforward, allowing you to choose music to play, repeat, shuffle, transitions, etc. After you're done with the settings, plug the iPod into your TV using the included AV cables from Apple, choose your photo album and click play."
Agreed — instead of lugging my Powerbook & associated cables with me to Philly for Thanksgiving, I simply copied my India photos to my iPod and brought it instead. When I had all my unsuspecting aunts/uncles/cousins/parents/grandparents rounded up in the living room, I plugged it into the TV and showed them my month in India. Worked brilliantly.

Great work, iPod team!


America and Design

Paul Graham's written another outstanding essay, Made in USA.

Check it out.


iTunes Wishlist

Ever since the iTMS launched I've been wanting a way to queue up music, Amazon wishlist-style, for purchase later. I'm not always in the mood to buy/hear new music, but with a wishlist I could at least keep track of 'stuff to check out' should the mood strike. With each successive iTunes release I've wondered to myself, "where the heck is that wishlist feature?!"

Turns out it's been there for a year and a half. I was expecting it to be server-side, a button or setting somewhere in the store's interface, but it's actually a preference you must enable:

iTunes Preferences

That's just backward. Wishlists/queues should be server-side, centrally hosted, syndicatable and externally-linkable. David Galbraith suggests more...



AudioScrobbler FAQ:
What is the relationship between Audioscrobbler and Last.fm?

Last.fm is a 'profile radio station'. It adapts what songs it plays based on your musical profile. Last.fm is run by the same team that run Audioscrobbler, your profile and login details should work on both sites. Last.fm radio is available via Audioscrobbler user pages, look for the button.
I just signed up — looks wickedly cool so far.


City of God

City of God
Reading Asha's post on City of God reminded me that I haven't yet written about it here. She's right, the accompanying documentary will leave you more stunned than the film. (get it on Netflix). But check out what Nat Friedman did while he was Rio — upon seeing how fascinated the favela kids were at seeing themselves in his digicam's LCD, he and his hostel-mates bought every disposable camera they could find and passed them out to the kids the following morning:
"The return rate was pretty good; many of the kids were waiting in the street from 7am to noon for us to pick up their cameras. We got 26 back out of maybe 32 we handed out. This amounted to 632 photos. Many of them are excellent, especially for someone who's probably never used a camera before, and with a cheap disposable. Some are sad, some are funny."
This is similar to what Xeni did when she was in Guatemala. Check out the rest of Nat's photos.

Awareness, not vanity



Quality Podcasting

As Ottmar mulls creating a subscription-based service for his music, Podcasting enters the equation:
"It would be sooo cool to Podcast music for our subscription service. Especially if one could build an authorization process into the Podcast software. No need to come to our web site... just set your podcast software to look at our site and automatically download the latest music files."
I haven't done any Podcasting (producing or consuming) yet because I'm already sorted in that department. But I'd definitely sign up for fresh OL.

Awesome URL schemes?

Pete's wondering about webapps with delightful URL schemes, like Flickr:
del.icio.us comes to mind...
... though usability of the domain itself is debatable. (Personally, I really dig it. If you can't be bothered to figure out what comes between del and us, you shouldn't be using the service)

Anybody know of any other shining examples of URL usability?


Eminem 'n Apple

This email just arrived from Apple/iTunes, promoting a whole slew of Eminem stuff — the new album, the old albums, exclusive tracks, etc. This is entertaining because Eminem is currently suing Apple.

But even funnier are the broken image links in the email:

<img src="http://ibrator.apple.com/~quarkx/email/images/
emimenemail_top.jpg" alt="Eminem - iTunes New Release, Encore" height="285" width="413" border="0">

A staging server, perhaps? Does this link work for any of you folks inside Apple? Heh.

My Sister is Hilarious

She's in Barcelona right now studying Spanish, and is apparently feeling the 'gosh I need to blog more' pain. Here's her latest update. These two bits had me cracking up:
"We recently saw “Shall we Dance” with Richard Gere, J. Lo, and Susan Sarandan. This was indeed a great chick flick and the dancing! I am now interested in ball room dancing, so if any males are known of that want to be my dancing partner, let me know! I am available, I don’t know how to dance, I’m great fun, and of course will be back in the United States in late December."
"So, that is a tiny update of the happenings of Natalie in the BCN. Of course lots more happens, but shit, I am out doing things, I haven’t been blogging. You can all sleep well tonight, SHE’S BACK AND BLOGGING."
See you at Christmas, Nat. :)




Caterina sez, "IM and RSS make things easy." I definitely concur — while I'm working I often have 7-8 tabs open in Adium, and am subscribed to over 300 feeds in Bloglines. But apparently she's the only one at Flickr who uses feeds. Fascinating, given that Flickr offers feeds for, well, everything.


iTunes Hackin'

Bummed about iPodDownload being disabled in iTunes 4.7?

No worries - you can fix it by opening iTunes with a hex editor and changing a single letter.

Maybe Cory'll see this and stop making so much noise about it...

Update: He did.

[via The Unofficial Apple Weblog]

California Ballot Propositions

We have something like 20+ 16 propositions here on the California State Ballot, and the bureaucrat-speak used to describe them is pretty confusing to me. Fortunately some articulate folks have written up their views on them; here's a short list:
Feel free to add more via the Comment Form.