Episode 618: Cranberry juice for copyright law

Best metaphor yet for DRM sparks hilarious podcast title (if we don't say so ourselves). Also, Facebook is really sorry.

Best metaphor yet for DRM sparks hilarious podcast title (if we don't say so ourselves). You'll see what we mean. Also, Facebook is really, really sorry and shows the world how to say so--they also let you turn off the Beacon ad program completely. Good call. And is a new House bill the end of free Wi-Fi hot spots?


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Arioch from Flagstaff
Unified Client.

Andrew from New York
Oh say it ain't so.

Windows apps on a Mac
Hi Buzz crew,

Regarding the possibility of Windows applications running natively in Leopard as mentioned in episode #617. You seem to think this would be a boon for Macs. I disagree. Way back in the day there was a little company called IBM that had a little product called OS2. One of the big features that IBM touted with OS2 was that it was a better Windows than Windows. You could run all your Windows apps in it, and it actually did a better job managing multitasking and memory. The problem was that all the software companies recognized that there was no need to write native OS2 apps, because they could build them in Windows and still get the OS2 market. When the cross-licensing agreement between IBM and Microsoft expired, and new Windows apps would not run on OS2, the platform was left without any meaningful applications. This is, at least in part, why OS2 went the way of the dinosaur.

If Apple decided to run Windows apps natively in Leopard, why would anyone want to build native Mac apps? Software developers would write everything in Windows because it would serve both markets and reduce development costs. Ultimately Windows becomes the common denominator, and wouldn't Microsoft like that?

Love the show.

Kevin in Clandeboye

Crossover Mac
Good day Buzz crew,

It's Mat the Apple tech from NYC. There is already an app that will let you use Windows programs in OS X with out installing Parallels VM Ware etc. Its called "Crossover Mac" and its from Code weavers.

It is based off of the open-source wine project from Linux. Best of all game support is getting better!

Just thought I would let you know but if Apple does it even better.

Thank you,
Matthew Cox

Opt in/out
Hey BOL,

I think there is an argument missing from the discussion about Facebook's Beacon program. While I am impressed by how thoroughly Facebook botched the entire roll-out of the program, and I have no idea what Facebook's Chief Privacy Officer does if he signed off on the whole deal; I don't think the issue is as clear as opt-in = good and opt-out = bad.

I remember when Facebook launched the mini-feed being initially annoyed that once I logged in I didn't go straight to my profile (to see my wall posts), but rather had to click past this annoying feed-thing page. I also remember the controversy as the mini-feed was also opt-out. But being the sometimes lazy user I am, I didn't bother to adjust my privacy settings to get out of the whole thing. I have since found that the mini- feed is my favorite part of Facebook because at a glance I can see what all my friends are up to.

In a way, I think the mini-feed was somewhat transformative as we (the online community) hadn't experienced something quite like it before. If it had initially been opt-in, I doubt I would have made the effort to opt-in because I wouldn't have understood the benefits of the experience. On the whole I think the opt-out on the mini-feed was a good thing. That's all to say that there is probably a space for opt-out programs that developers think will be positive for users but may be hard for users to appreciate (and opt-in to) without experiencing directly. Beacon may fit that category, it may not. I don't defend how horribly Facebook fumbled the Beacon roll-out, but the commentary on Beacon specifically, and web development generally, seems to over simplify to "all opt-outs are bad."

Thanks for the podcasts,


Digital switchover
Tom, Molly, Jason (in no particular order),

It's Sperling, the digital cinema product manager from Los Angeles. In the last couple of episodes you discussed the digital switchover of television to occur in February of 2009 and I thought I'd chime in with an interesting tid-bit. Back in October, at the annual SMPTE conference, all of the engineers from broadcast outlets and television stations were bemoaning the time of year the FCC has chosen to complete the switchover.

Apparently, most, if not all, of the television transmission towers in the country will require some work to be done on them before they will be ready to serve up digital television signals. While some of these towers in major markets have already been outfitted for the digital switchover, a majority of them have not. One might think there would be enough time to convert all the towers before February 17, 2009, however the problem is these towers, many of which are 1,000 feet high and go as high as 2,063 feet, can not be climbed by just anyone. There are only about seven highly specialized crews in the U.S. that are capable of doing the work, mostly in warmer weather.

This has raised some serious concern among broadcast engineers about whether all of the towers can be converted in time, not to mention what will occur when the inevitable last-minute fixes need to happen in the middle of February. Getting a crew to climb a tower in the dead of winter is no easy task.

Just a little something to think about as you are racing out to get your brand new digital plasma or LCD television this holiday season.


Director of Product Development
DTS Digital Cinema

Get CNET e-mail on the iPhone

I am willing to bet my lifetime membership to Spectacle Fest that you can get your CNET e-mail on the iPhone. My office sent out on official e-mail saying that the iPhone can not receive office e-mails (due to repeated askings by employees), however after adding a new IMAP e-mail account and tinkering with the settings, I am now sending and receiving Microsoft Exchange e-mails beautifully. What server does CNET use?

Best regards

iPhone 2 imminent?
Here you'll find conclusive proof that the iPhone 2 is due to be released very soon.

Happy to help. :)

Again, please withhold my name. (CONFIDENTIAL) In GPS data there are vehicle-based restrictions which can be put into the data. This technically wouldn't promote roads for trucks, but you'd have a better chance of going around. Also, you can have height-based restrictions, etc. For example, when there was the bridge collapse in Oakland, we just set two gates on each side, so we can't route through that point. I have no idea why TA doesn't just add these restrictions into that data, laziness?


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