Friday’s Fish Wrap

All the news that's fit to rant aboutIt’s Friday!
Apollo 12 left on the second manned mission to the moon on this day in 1969. The Dow Jones broke 1000 for the first time in 1972. Fall Comdex 2003 opens in Vegas on Sunday. Yawn.

At least I know how Lego is made. And now the news…

  1. The FCC has approved 255 MHz of additional unlicensed spectrum in the 5 GHz band for use in wireless networking. The move is designed to encourage manufacturers to create new wireless products.
  2. Microsoft is fixing the fix. An Internet Explorer fix issued in September 2002 apparently didn’t take. Windows 2000 users should run Windows Update or download the patch from Microsoft.
  3. A new worm is targeting PayPal accounts. MiMail I arrives in your inbox, advises you not to give out credit card numbers by mail, then directs you to a bogus PayPal “site” ( that’s really a program running on your computer. The program forwards your credit card and other information to the hacker.
  4. I was just looking officer, honest. Shortly after Apple added music sharing to iTunes for the Mac, folks figured out how to capture the shared files and keep them for themselves. Apple patched that hole. Now the same thing has happened with iTunes for Windows. MyTunes cracks the copy protection in iTunes for Windows. The site disingenuously avows, “If you plan on stealing music, do not download this software.”
  5. I’m not dead yet. A new service lets you send a farewell email after you die. For $10 for three years, LifeTouch will keep track of your vital signs, and send off your last missive shortly after your last breath. Two other services were created to do the same during the dot-com boom, but they’re both… dead.

8 Replies to “Friday’s Fish Wrap”

  1. I know you’re a big fan of the Macs and the Itunes – and that’s fine but,What the heck is it with this eye-tunes stuff? I recently wanted to view a Quicktime movie on my Windows machine – and had to get the quicktime player on the machine I was using. But wouldn’t download a copy of the quicktime movie player, unless it could install Itunes as well. No problem – I let it install – but it started doing the same sort of nonsense that REAL always annoyed me with – setting all the default preferences for audio files to quicktime and wanting to make itself the default media player in my machine. Then to top it all off – when I tried to use Itunes – the site tells me that I need a US billing address to download music. Living in the Great White North – I get used to the “only available in the US” stuff, but really Leo – Apple crippling their Quicktime player with an I-tunes download that won’t work outside of the Excited States is not really global thinking.
    Bah – where’s my copy of Kazaa ++ lite?

  2. While on the topic of Global thinking – Thought you’d get a chuckle out of this:
    Recently Forwarded to me – but of interest to all
    Customer Complaint
    What follows is a superb example of British humor in A LETTER THAT WAS
    TRULY WRITTEN AND SENT. The piece suggests two things:
    1) Americans and Canadians are not the only ones who get poor service
    from their ISP, cable and/or alarm companies. (NTL is a cable operator in
    2) The Brits probably write the world’s best letters of complaint.
    Dear Cretins:
    I have been an NTL customer since 9th July 2001, when I signed up for
    your four-in-one deal for cable TV, cable modem, telephone, and alarm
    During this three-month period I have encountered inadequacy of service
    which I had not previously considered possible, as well as ignorance and
    stupidity of monolithic proportions. Please allow me to provide specific
    details, so that you can either pursue your professional prerogative and
    seek to rectify these difficulties –or more likely (I suspect) so that
    you can have some entertaining reading material as you while away the
    working day smoking B&H and drinking vendor-coffee on the bog in your office.
    My initial installation was cancelled without warning, resulting in my
    spending an entire Saturday sitting on my fat arse waiting for your
    technician to arrive. When he did not arrive, I spent a further 57
    minutes listening to your infuriating hold music, and the even more annoying
    Scottish robot woman telling me to look at your helpful website. HOW?
    I alleviated the boredom by playing with my testicles for a few minutes
    an activity at which you are no doubt both familiar and highly adept. The
    rescheduled installation then took place some two weeks later, although
    the technician did forget to bring a number of vital tools — such as a
    drill-bit, and his cerebrum.
    Two weeks later, my cable modem had still not arrived.
    After 15 telephone calls over four weeks my modem arrived, six weeks
    after I had requested it — and begun to pay for it. I estimate your internet
    server’s downtime is roughly 35% — the hours between about 6 pm and
    midnight, Monday through Friday, and most of the weekend. I am still
    waiting for my telephone connection.
    I have made nine calls on my mobile to your no-help line, and have been
    unhelpfully transferred to a variety of disinterested individuals who
    are, it seems, also highly skilled bollock jugglers. I have been informed
    that a telephone line is available (and someone will call me back); that I will
    be transferred to someone who knows whether or not a telephone line is
    available (and then been cut off); that I will be transferred to someone
    (and then been redirected to an answering machine informing me that your
    office is closed); that I will be transferred to someone and then been
    redirected to the irritating Scottish robot woman. And several other
    variations on this theme.
    Doubtless you are no longer reading this letter, as you have at least a
    thousand other dissatisfied customers to ignore, and also another one of
    those crucially important testicle moments to attend to.
    Frankly I don’t care.
    It’s far more satisfying as a customer to voice my frustrations in print
    than to shout them at your unending hold music. Forgive me, therefore,
    if I continue.
    I thought British Telecom was shit; that they had attained the holy
    piss-pot of god-awful customer relations; and that no one, anywhere,
    ever, could be more disinterested, less helpful or more obstructive to
    delivering service to their customers.
    That’s why I chose NTL, and because, well, there isn’t anyone else is
    How surprised I therefore was, when I discovered to my considerable
    dissatisfaction and disappointment what a useless shower of bastards you
    truly are. You are sputum-filled pieces of distended rectum competents
    of the highest order. BT — wankers though they are — shine like brilliant
    beacons of success in the filthy mire of your seemingly limitless
    Suffice to say that I have now given up on my futile and foolhardy quest
    to receive any kind of service from you. I suggest that you cease any
    potential future attempts to extort payment from me for the services
    which you have so pointedly and catastrophically failed to deliver. Any such
    activity will be greeted initially with hilarity and disbelief and will
    quickly be replaced by derision, and even perhaps bemused rage.
    I enclose two small deposits, selected with great care from my cat’s
    litter tray, as an _expression of my utter and complete contempt for both you
    and your pointless company. I sincerely hope that they have not become
    desiccated during transit — they were satisfyingly moist at the time of
    posting, and I would feel considerable disappointment if you did not
    experience both their rich aroma and delicate texture.
    Consider them the very embodiment of my feelings towards NTL, and its
    worthless employees.
    Have a nice day. May it be the last in your miserable short lives, you
    irritatingly incompetent and infuriatingly unhelpful bunch of twits.

  3. The Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency and the Canadian Recording Industry Association reached an agreement in October that would allow music sales online in Canada. So, it shouldn’t be long now!
    I went to Apple’s site to check out that wierd download behaviour you encountered, and discovered that Quicktime for Windows has two download options:
    1) Win 98/Me/2000/XP
    2) QuickTime and iTunes for Windows 2000/XP
    The first would likely just download QT, and the second is what you experienced, which kinda sucks since you only wanted QT.

  4. About the site that will send out an email after you die and the two that kicked the bucket during the dotcom burst, did they send out emails for each other? Just a thought…

  5. Wow Microsoft fixed something in Sep 2002 and only now realized that it wasn’t actually fixed. Microsoft is really on the ball.
    But according to microsoft the problem is not buggy code it’s that user’s don’t apply hotfix’s. I think I even read some articles where microsoft said that all you really needed was a firewall.

  6. Yeah I know,
    I went over to napster site as well and its only available in the U.S.
    Not much choice in Canada, but I’d expect a canadian version of iTunes from Apple soon enough. Just that .99 cent per download might be close to 2 bucks cause of the exchange rate.

  7. Tells you something about the state of the industry when Leo Laporte yawns at the prospect of Comdex, don’t it?

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