Apple, FLAC, and NIH

Apple is innovating again. This time they’ve decided to create a lossless
audio format. $DEITY forbid that they should use an existing free format, like
FLAC. Shit like this just fragments
the multimedia market. This is not good for consumers. Of course,
Apple probably needed a format that would support their Digital Restrictions

This paragraph is for all the people who say that Apple is being a “good
open source citizen”. Apple has caused more harm in the way of proprietary
multimedia formats than Microsoft and Real put together.

I would like to take this opportunity to ask the following question of Apple:
What the fuck is wrong with you?

Flash Gordon

The person responsible for
should be flogged. That’s not Flash Gordon. That’s Captain
Torch. Sheesh, it’s like I’m talking to a brick wall here.

Silly Alan

Alan Cooper has an unhealthy fixation with maximized windows.
That is all.

Silly Marco

Quoth Marco:
“Port gnome applications to use gtkmozembed. Mikael ported devhelp already and
I need to convince shaunm to let me port yelp :)”

Let you? Yeah, OK. I’ll let you.

A Twisty Maze of Passageways…

…All Alike. So I’ve decided to assemble gnome-doc-utils to house some common
XSLT (like Yelp’s), some other documentation tools, and some magical m4 files
so we can all stop putting boilerplate .make files in our source trees. The
astute reader will notice a distinct problem here: I don’t have the slightest
clue what I’m doing. I’m now lost somewhere in the autoconf manual, which
has inter-node linking footers like this:

   [ < ][ > ] [ << ][ Up ][ >> ]

I’ll take ‘Less Than Less Than’ for 400, Alex. The node graph also appears
to be constructed using some sort of non-Boolean set theory. And to top it
all off, a pirate just stole my treasure. Sigh.

John Fleck

I am, in fact, a fan of Béla Fleck, and I’m sure that Fleck
Controls does offer an exceptionally broad line of high quality
water treatment controls. But nobody carries the
Fleck name like
John Fleck.

Just doing what I can.

A Lesson in Statistics

If anybody ever quotes statistics, always ask for the source. If the source
happens to be a survey, always read the survey carefully. They’re usually
worded in a manner that skews the results in somebody’s favor. Here’s an

I just received a Republican Party Census Document. Apparently they think
I’m one of them. This is an understandable mistake, given that I haven’t
really publicly spoken out against Bush in, oh, fifteen minutes or so.
The survey is a series of 15 questions, each with Yes, No,
and Undecided. Here is a sampling of a biased survey:

  • Do you support President Bush’s initiatives to promote the safety
    and security of all Americans?
  • Do you support President Bush’s pro-growth policies to create more
    jobs and improve the economy?
  • Do you support President Bush’s plan to make our schools more
    accountable to parents and to restore local control of education?
  • Do you support the President’s plan to increase military spending
    to meet our defense needs?

Right, so the natural implication (to normal people, not mathematicians)
to any of these is that if you say No, you oppose the goal, and
not just the plans in question. The fourth one is even more fun, because
it nicely presupposes that our current defense needs aren’t already met.

The form ends by guilting you into giving them money. Here are the choices:

  • Yes, I support the RNC and am enclosing my most generous contribution
  • Yes, I support the RNC, but I am unable to participate at this time.
    However, I have enclosed $11 to cover the cost of tabulating my survey.
  • No, I favor electing liberal Democrats over the next ten years.


Happy Birthday, Trevor

I saw Tea Leaf Green last
night at Martyrs’ in Chicago. I just can’t describe how awesome this show was.
Really, you’ve just got to see them live to understand. Incredible.

Tea Leaf Green was actually the opening act for
The Greyhounds, who also played
a good show. A few songs in, they brought up Trevor Garrod, of Tea Leaf Green,
to jam on the keyboard with them. Awesome. And then Josh Clark came up and
started jamming with them on the guitar. Zarking awesome. I haven’t seen a
jam session this great since Clapton brought out Buddy Guy to trade licks on
Sweet Home Chicago.

We left shortly after that, due to hurting backs and hunger. We ended up in
Wrigleyville with high hopes of eating at Goose Island. Alas, their kitchen
was closed. Instead, we headed over to Pizano’s and had some damn fine Chicago
pizza. All in all, a wonderful night in Chicago. I miss the city.


After being thoroughly impressed by both of the
studio albums
by FunkUs, I decided to grab some
from Wow.
I mean, WOW.

I must see these guys live. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like they
get out of Florida very often. Fortunately, it looks like I’ll be going to
Florida in May for my great-grandmother’s 90th birthday. I really hope I’ll
get a chance to see them.

On a related note, I’m going to see
Tea Leaf Green tomorrow.
(No, wait, today. I need to get to bed earlier.) I expect to enjoy the show.

Eat My Shorts, Entropy

Just like riding a bicycle. Final score for today’s game:
I practice in my sleep.

Some people ask why I waste my time with this silly game, rather than doing
something useful. But it’s not just a silly game. I’m training for
what will be the ultimate achievement of my life: I’m going to prevent the
heat death of the universe.

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States
This work by Shaun McCance is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States.