Archive for January, 2009

23
Jan
09

About That iWork Virus

From the pirates are dumb category

Update Jan 26: There’s now an Adobe CS4 crack with the same trojan. While I have no love for Adobe and their stratospherically priced software, pirating software always carries risk that you just don’t see (usually) from vendors. This problem has been endemic with Windows krackz since forever, and I’m actually surprised that its taken this long to show up on the Mac, even in such an easily detectable and removable manner.

Anyway, if you need Photoshop, buy it. Yes its expensive, but if you need it, especially for your business, you should buy it. Sucks, but there’s always Acorn or Pixlemator if you’re poor. /Update

I have no idea why people insist on putting everything and anything on Bit Torrent sites, even if its freely available from a legitimate source. Without further comment, here’s the safe way to pirate iWork ’09:

Source: http://www.apple.com/iwork/download-trial/

Serial: https://thepiratebay.org/torrent/4628297/iWork_09_Serials
(Check the comments)

Or, you could, you know, buy the fucking software.

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18
Jan
09

Site Admin Durrr

I just realized that I had never written anything in my about page, and looking at my stats, that’s one of the first things that people look at.

Oops.

Well that’s fixed now with a short bio. Anything else anyone wants to know?

Oh, and while I’m at it, I just uploaded a bunch of stuff that’s been sitting on my iPhone since like November onto Flickr.

18
Jan
09

My Awesome and Totally Unique BSG Conspiracy Theory

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen Sometimes a Great Notion yet, and care about spoilers for some reason, stop reading now. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should also stop reading now, because you’re obviously not a Battlestar fan, and therefore suck.

I’ll just some out and say it: the planet that the fleet arrived at in Revelations is not Earth. Or at least is not our Earth, the planet that was shown in Crossroads, Part 2 at the end of Season 3.

You might be asking where or what is my proof? Its quite simple. Nothing that is shown in BSG is done by accident. The Darth Mojo blog goes into great detail about the agonizing detail that the artists and producers go into for each shot. In his podcast, Ron Moore mentioned that he showed Earth that was clearly Earth with a clear shot of North America. He did that to show the audience that the series was clearly going to end and that the fleet would find Earth.

However, we were never shown the surface of the planet in Sometimes a Great Notion. Ever. All we ever got was an oblique angle of the planet’s terminator with the fleet silhouetted against the sun. We saw ships flying through clouds, but no glimpse of the continents or large swath of surface.

If the planet in Sometimes a Great Notion was Earth, it would have been clearly shown as such. It wasn’t shown; its not Earth. Look at my proof:

crossroads_part2_earth.jpg

Crossroads Earth. I can see my house from here!

sometimes_a_great-notion_Earth.jpg

Notion Earth.

Of course we’ll get more information over the course of the next nine episodes, but its far more fun to speculate!

Any thoughts?

18
Jan
09

Off to DC

I dropped my mom off at SFO so she can go to DC to watch Obama’s inauguration. As much as I’d like to go, she really deserves it. She froze in New Hampshire in 2004 supporting Dean in the primaries, and was an early Obama supporter because he continued Dean’s 50 state policy (and seems to be a firm believer, even after the election). Plus, she got the tickets through my cousin Cindy, who just got back from an extended tour in Iraq just a few months ago.

My parents had been sending Cindy care packages for her whole tour in Iraq and my mom is recording an album for military families left at home. The last two years were really shitty for her, and she really deserves this trip. Hopefully, it’ll be the start of a better year for all of us, but especially her.

04
Jan
09

My Macworld 09 Predicition

I don’t have any special access to Apple (which is to say that I have none and read the rumors like everyone else), but I do have logic, history and wishful thinking, so here’s my take on what’s going to come out of Macworld.

Snow Leopard: We’ll get a demo and release date. Some people are saying that Apple will release OS X 10.6 during Macworld, but I have to call bullshit on that. Based on what I’ve heard coming out of NDAland says that 10.6 is not done yet. Close, but no way in hell are disks getting pressed yet. Probably a late spring or June (WWDC-ish) release.

Display Port: Everyone’s getting it. Monoprice says that its mini DP adaptors are coming on 1/16/09. That’s a whole four days after the Phillnote. I think they know what’s up. Additionally, the iMac and Mac Mini will be getting new graphics (the Mini will probably get the 9400M, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed for the 9600).

Mac Pro: Clearly, the Pro’s going to be the first Mac to go Core i7, but the question is when. My gut says not at Macworld, but in the next month or so, via press release and an hour long store.apple.com outage that makes some MacMacs wet themselves. I’d like a new case for the i7 Mac Pros, simply because I never liked the cheese grater G5 case and because the iMac and laptop Intel transition cases are all gone.

iMac: Same case, Display Port, new graphics, minor updates (bigger default HDD, RAM, etc). I don’t think that the iMac will be getting any HTPC features like a TV tuner or HDMI port. What’s the point of hooking up a 24″ iMac to an HDTV, right?

Mac Mini: I think the 2009 Mini will be a totally different beast compared to what’s currently shipping. I’m going to combine logic with some wishful thinking here and say that the new Mini’s going to be Apple’s real push into the living room. The rumors say that it’ll have two video outs, a mini Disply Port and a mini DVI. I’m going to call bullshit and remind everyone that DVI is now dead to Apple. I say mini Display Port and HDMI. Since DP supports ACDP just like HDMI, the DRM’s not an issue, which leads to a Blu-ray build to order option. Combine that with an updated Front Row and HD rentals all in a new good-looking case, and that’s a winner.

iWork/iLife: 09 updates are a pretty safe bet. New templates, new features, probably no new apps. Takes Phill less than 10 minutes to get through.

iPods: Phill brags about how great the holiday season was, record sales, massive iPod Touch market share, etc. No new hardware. Duh.

iPhone: Same deal: Record sales, kicked WinMo’s ass, RIM better sleep with one eye open, etc. No new hardware, including the Nano. iPhone apps are not resolution-independent, and a smaller screen would break a lot of apps and make everything look like crap.

Maybe an iPod-based dumbphone for the cheapskates, but I highly doubt that.

One More Thing: the fabled xMac. Kinda. I think Apple realizes the value of the home server. The problem is that a good home server is an expandable box that I can put a bunch of ever-larger hard drives into, like HP’s MediaSmart WHS box. I can kind of see Apple making a box two or three times as tall as the new Mini, with a removable back plate that you can slide SATA drives into, a la the Mac Pro.

Such a machine will either run vanilla OS X with some specialized server software or, more likely, an embedded OS X with all the admin functions based on an app on the client machines.

04
Jan
09

Bush’s Bunny Ears

You should read the Crooks and Liars summary before getting to the actual piece, if only for the great picture!

http://crooksandliars.com/node/24995

04
Jan
09

War on Photography – Jan 4 2009 Edition (Updated)

Stories like this just piss me off. Its yet another example of police abusing their powers by making up anti-photography laws on the spot, usually because of 9/11 or terrorism.

Right.

That’s why this police shooting at the Fruitvale BART station is so infuriating. The official story is that police broke up a fight between two groups and that one of the officer’s weapons accidentally “discharged” while they were questioning the men, killing one, Oscar Grant. The witnesses tell a different story. They said that the doomed man was handcuffed behind his back and on his belly when one of the officers shot him in the back. The bullet passed through his body, ricocheted off the floor and re-entered his belly.

Anyone who’s ever taken BART should immediately be asking themselves why what happened is a mystery since there are surveillance cameras in every station, including on the platform. Except that according to BART, those cameras are for monitoring only and are not capable of recording anything.

Riiiiiight.

So here we have a situation where witnesses’ and the police accounts differ significantly, and there’s a man dead at the hands of the police. There are cameras everywhere, but they’re apparently useless. There’s an investigation, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the officer will be found to have applied appropriate force and suffer no consequences, just like pretty much every other time a cop murders someone.

But the real reason why I’m pissed about the Amtrak story is because of what wasn’t mentioned in the Chronicle stories, but was mentioned in the Kron (SF Channel 4) piece: the police confiscated cell phones and cameras from people in the crowd. Cops lie, witnesses can lie, be intimidated or be simply mistaken, but pictures don’t. Especially when multiple pictures and videos from several sources at different angles all tell the same story. As much as governments and corporations want to use cameras to watch us, it is those same cameras, in the public’s hands that can hold those with power accountable for their actions, and THAT’S why there’s a war on photography. It has nothing to do with terrorists, but with abusive and corrupt officials knowing that they can’t act with impunity as long as people are there recording them.

I know from personal experience that the mere act of pointing a camera at people can cause them to behave differently. But there’s a difference from people not making complete stops at a stop sign in the middle of the night and a badged officer of the law, armed with a deadly weapon and baked with the power of the state and the authority to take your freedom away deciding to abuse that power. That’s why we need to keep our cameras out and pointed at power.

UPDATED 21:00

Well, well, well. It would seem as if the cops didn’t get all of the passenger videos, because one of them got out and guess what? It shows the cop in question shooting Grant in the back while trying to handcuff him. Of course, BART Police are “seriously investigating.” Somehow, I still think its going to be ruled a good shooting with no consequences whatsoever. On the other hand, it seems as if the only way the truth would ever come out was through citizens recording police abuses. Another shocker there.