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Episode 580: (MAWV) Mothers against Windows Vista

One mother's brave crusade against Windows Vista leads to a showdown with the CEO himself.

One mother's brave crusade against Windows Vista leads to a dramatic showdown with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Or something slightly less dramatic. Also, AT&T's new terms of service reveal that the company is really sorry about appearing to try to censor free speech. And, all four Beatles are now selling music online--separately. Ahem.


Listen now: Download today's podcast



Phil from Minnesota
Share something positive about Duluth.

David from St. Louis
AT&T won't accept returns from others?

Tommy from Boston
Podlinez lets you listen to podcasts over the phone.

Couldn't get Radiohead.

Trade DVDs for Apple tech
So Mac owners, what's sweeter than a new, improved, faster version of Handbrake?

Why, trading in all those old DVDs gathering dust in my basement for a couple of new iPods!

For 200 3-to-10-year-old DVDs (most closer to 10 than 3), I am being sent a 16GB iPod Touch and a 1GB red Shuffle. The only thing sweeter would be to find a forgotten box of DVDs stashed in a corner that could garner me an Apple TV. Hmmm, I do have some old CDs lying around! Hey, I figure why store things here when the Columbus Metro Public Library stores them all for me?

Dennis O.
Powell, Ohio

Regarding copyrighted buildings
Yes, there are whole buildings that are copyrighted. And what's more, there are some structures (not necessarily buildings, but kind of) that are also--and a little more understandably--copyrighted, yet in some odd ways.

For example: You are allowed to use a picture of the Eiffel tower for whatever purpose you want as long as it is taken in daylight. You are not allowed to use a picture taken at night--for that, you need a permit (possibly a paid one).

I think that other structures such as the Statue of Liberty have some or other copyright things, but if you want to have a better idea about it, you can consult what you can upload or not to www.istockphoto.com--they have a nice list that includes quirks such as the Eiffel Tower one.

Sorry about my probably poor English.

A faithful listener,
Vitor Enes, from Portugal

Problem with Amazon MP3 store and even the new Radiohead album
Hi Tom/Molly/Jason,

I just noticed something somewhat alarming about all of these nice DRM-free tracks I've been purchasing: They're all in joint stereo. Sometimes this can be OK, but often it can introduce audio artifacts--at least to the audiophiles among us. Both the Massive Attack album I downloaded from Amazon and even the new Radiohead tracks (trying hard to not sound ungrateful) suffer from this. I guess Tom was right: those of us who care that much about audio quality still need to simply buy the CD and rip it the way we like it.

Love the show!
Mike in Melbourne, Florida

P.S. What the hell happened to the Linux Chaser jingle? It became the favorite part of my commute to work. Bring it back!

Interesting markings on GeekSquad cables
Hi guys, you might find this blog post by Scott Gruby interesting. Apparently GeekSquad has the following marked on their Ethernet cables: "FireWire 6-6 cable-6' -- Geeksquad.com -- If you need to detain a burglar until the authorities arrive, this FireWire® cable can render approximately three perpetrators immobile when properly hog-tied -- 1 800 GEEK SQUAD -- © 2004 Geek Squad"

Tyler Gothier

Ever heard of the "dentium" chip?
I once worked for a chip manufacturer that produces a line of processors that rhymes with "dentium."

They once did something similar to what Microsoft is doing now and came out smelling like roses. The fourth dentium chip line was an abysmal flop, and everyone was longing for the performance of the third chips. So this manufacturer backported some of the features that worked in the fourth line and created a new line of processors. This new processor line rhymed with "danyas" and was marketed rhyming with "dentrino." It now forms the core of the duo of core chips that the manufacturer makes and continues to get good reviews.

Since Microsoft is closely associated with the manufacturer, maybe they've picked up some tips and will create a Vista-XP hybrid that actually works like everyone wants.

Jason from Albuquerque
(not Howell, not Molly's hubby)