East of the Sun, West of the Moon


Linkage (16)

Filed under: Linkage,News,Software,Technology — Erwin @ 11:19 pm

Arnold is a bit of a spoil-sport (BBC News) these days.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has confirmed he will veto a bill endorsing gay marriages.

State legislators voted on Tuesday to allow same-sex marriage in California, but the governor said the decision flew in the face of public opinion.

Privacy? What privacy (BBC News)?

EU plans to make telecommunications companies store details of calls and e-mail traffic for a year or more were criticised by the industry on Thursday.

European interior ministers meeting in Newcastle heard that the measure would be hugely expensive and would violate EU data protection laws.

I’m curious what Vint Cerf is going to do at Google (CNet):

Google announced on Thursday that it hired Internet pioneer Vint Cerf, as the search giant seeks to build a network foundation for its future Internet applications.

Cerf, who co-designed TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol), will help Google develop architectures, systems and standards for next-generation applications, the company said.

Looking forward to taking the new Firefox (1.5) for a spin, sometime soon (InformationWeek):

The Mozilla Foundation Thursday posted previews of the upcoming Firefox 1.5 beta, and said that the real deal would be available for download Thursday night or Friday morning.

That’s all for now. See ya!

iTunes 5.0

Filed under: Software — Erwin @ 6:44 pm

The interface look’n’feel changes I can take or leave, although I have no doubt that after a while they’ll grow on me and then seeing the 4.9 and older versions will just seem strange and outdated.

Parental Controls… I don’t see the point in that for just music, plus I’m the only one that uses iTunes, or this computer, so it’s either locked or I’m at it. Simple. It might make more sense for a shared family-computer where you want to lock away certain music tracks or podcasts with language or content not suitable for, for instance, your local 10 year old.

The added Smart Shuffle setting, a slider that goes from more likely via random to less likely seems about as useful (i.e: not) as the Play higher rated songs more often checkbox. There is no indication what terms like more likely and friends actually mean, so while I do (usually) want to avoid having tracks from the same artist in sequence, I don’t know how setting it to less likely will change the behaviour of the Party Shuffle.

The good parts, for me:

  • Support has been added for folders of playlists and/or smartlists. That immediately allows me to sanely organise my lists. Yay!
  • There is now a Podcast is (true|false) mechanism for smart-lists. I haven’t quite figured how to make good use of it, but it looks promising, at least. I hope to use it to automate mixing the occasional podcast inbetween the non-podcast tracks that I listen to, without having to go into the Podcast folder, pick-and-choose some podcasts, and select Add to Party Shuffle in the context menu.

Mistakes that I hope they’ll fix in 5.1:

  • You can create folders that have names identical to a smartlist or playlists, but then in the pulldown menus, the folders and other lists are shown all together (no hierarchy visible) and you can’t tell them apart.

Enough for now. Off to see what others have written about it.

Does Software Hate Me?

Filed under: OS X,Software — Erwin @ 3:21 pm

This morning I realized that there was a new iTunes (5.0) available for download, so I sat myself down to install it, plus a Quicktime bugfix upgrade (as far as I can tell). Hah! The Quicktime upgrade required a reboot, so I (just in case) exited various programs, then started the upgrade process, thinking that the reboot would be the most interrupting part of it all. Nuh-uh.

In fact, the Quicktime part was done in no time flat, but the iTunes part caused some trouble. First it was telling me that iTunes needed to not be running for it to be able to continue. So I exit iTunes. It still insists that iTunes should not be running, … and insists, and insists. See, it gives a little dialog that you need to click away, but the only thing you can do is click ‘Ok’, but as long as it thinks iTunes is running, it’ll give you another popup, and another, and another. But you can’t exit the Software Update program, aside from brutally killing it using the Force Quit Application feature (command-option-ESC).

Doing that, I went ahead and rebooted, logged back in, exited iTunes again as it’s in my start-up items, and tried again. No go. This time (after forcefully quitting the Software Update program again) I decided it would be a good idea to take the iTunes and iTunesHelper applications from my start-up items, and I rebooted again for good measure.

After logging back in and starting the iTunes upgrade it complained that it could not access some file or directory in /tmp/503/TemporaryItems/com.apple.SoftwareUpdate, even though those files and directories were all owned by the correct user, etc. I (not-so-gently) removed all of /tmp/503 and tried again. Sure, now it went back to complaining about iTunes. Eh? You’ve got to be kidding me. So I go to a shell prompt and not being able to think of anything else, I do a ps aux | grep iTunes, which turns up… SizzlingKeys4iTunes. Would that be the cause of all this trouble? Surely not.

But alright, I go ahead and stop the process, and click away one more Please quit iTunes popup… and the Software Update actually proceeds to finish the actual iTunes install!

So does this mean that Apple, with all the programmers it employs, can’t see the difference between iTunes.app and <somethingelse>iTunes.app? I’ll try to forgive it for tripping over some file access problem (even though it made no sense to me), since I killed the process midway at least twice, but… sheesh. This cost me far too much time and I haven’t even started the new iTunes version yet!

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