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Episode 621: Get Windows for free

And get martinis from robots. Both of them involve a vision of a terrifying future, and yet--we're in!

Get Windows for free, and get your martinis from Asimo robots. Both are a vision of a terrifying future that we're strangely OK with. Microsoft will give you free software in exchange for just a little tiny information about your activities--er, all of it. In other news, Friendster is back! Remember Friendster? They're back! Maybe.


Listen now: Download today's podcast



The Chad from San Antonio
Workaround for Western Digital.

John from Belleville
Violin player in fear of losing his job.

AAC is not proprietary!
Well actually....

According to the Wikipedia article on AAC, the format is not technically proprietary. This is a common misconception! AAC is an international standard intended to supplant MP3. It happens to be heavily supported by Apple/Dolby, but they do not own it.

"AAC requires a patent license, and thus uses proprietary technology. But contrary to popular belief, it is not the property of a single company, having been developed in a standards-making organization."

I purchased an iPod solely for the perceptible advantages in audio quality it offers over MP3.

San Francisco

PSA on launching X-wings with (faux) frickin' laser beams--Shalin is not (entirely) amused...
OK--those guys who launch the one-thousand-two-hundred pound thrust may have made it look cool, but, since being an aerospace engineer and a former volunteer firefighter--that was horribly risky. Horribly risky!! I think they should have been at least 3x the distance back from the vehicle than they were--probably 5x at least.

Also, I wonder if they really considered the aerodynamic principles that were needed to avoid a break up of the craft and rocket motors! Sorry...I enjoy having fun with model rockets and aircraft, but it just seemed like a lot of disregard for safety.

I'm just trying to be informative and lookin' out for folks, ya know?


P.S. And another thing: Do your local fire department a favor and keep your holiday decorations from overheating or catching fire. Here's some info on that: