The end of AllOfMP3.com?

Filed under:In the news,Music/MP3 — posted by Svein Kåre on 26 February 2005 @ 23:49

It’s not long ago that I mentioned AllOfMP3.com in a post – and no matter what we would like, not everyone think it’s legal. According to c|net news.com, that includes the Moscow City Police Computer Crimes division. So it seems that that’s the end of one source of cheap, non-DRM’en music.

I’m sorry – you’re too popular…

Filed under:Humour — posted by Svein Kåre on @ 22:07

…so we have to boot you.

It seems that science fiction, in the form of the Dragon Page radio talk show is more interesting than politics and/or whatever – so popular they unseated the #1 show, and that’s not acceptable; they don’t sell as much ad space, you know.

Strange but true, but it is possible to be too good for your own good…

Notifying an 8 week crime spree in advance

Filed under:Humour — posted by Svein Kåre on @ 21:53

A couple of students from Cornwall have publicly stated their criminal intent to break as many laws in the USA as possible this summer – such as riding a bike in a swimming pool or cursng on a crazy golf course in the state of California. In the land locked state of Utah they may even incur the wrath of Greenpeach in addition to the law enforcement, as they show some tough spirit and goes whale hunting.

There are many more laws to break – some may call them stupid laws, but nevertheless…

Read the full article in the Guardian.

New Opera 8 beta 2

Filed under:Browsers — posted by Svein Kåre on 25 February 2005 @ 19:37

Opera has now released a new version of the browser, which is now at Opera 8 beta 2. While Firefox presented a “fix” for IDN spoofing by just disabling it, Opera has fixed it with another solution which doesn’t disable it. Neat – that means I can still visit those domain with Norwegian letters! 🙂

But of course, what I took advantage of first was support for atom feed, noticed some updated CSS, but there’s lot of changes. You can read more about that in the changelogs.

I’ll just enjoy browsing a bit more now, and see what more I can discover. 😉

Buying MP3s, cheap and DRM-free?

Filed under:In the news,Music/MP3 — posted by Svein Kåre on 17 February 2005 @ 23:19

Here in Norway the discussions have been hot after a law proposal that would make it illegal to copy a copy-protected CD to your MP3-player. One commented: With such a law, who would buy CDs? Needless to say, suggestions to get the music straight from the web flourished, and it could be burned to CDs afterwards – but where from? Digital music with DRM isn’t something consumers are too fond of, either…

One site recommended by some, was a Russian site: AllOfMP3.com – cheap, DRM free, and lot’s of formats, even lossless. While some already had tried it and felt it as a positive experience with no problems, it still didn’t take long before the words “russian mafia” were heard (or read) in connection with that site. Is it because of prejudice, or the truth? Museekster has made a review of Allofmp3, answering the legality and safety of using this site, and some more.

So it may be a great service (I haven’t tested it) for getting hold of well-known artists, but what about the lesser known and unknown artists out there? There are more sites out there, that offer DRM-free music. I’ll list up some I know here:

  • MP3 Tunes is a new service, which hopes to attract popular artists too.
  • MyMusic.dk – a Danish site with music you can download for free, too.
  • IUMA
  • Vitaminic

Well – there are lot’s more, of course. I don’t know them all 😉

MS changes mind – IE7 will be out

Filed under:Browsers — posted by Svein Kåre on 15 February 2005 @ 22:04

In an announcement today Bill Gates announced that there will be a new version of Internet Explorer after all – IE7 will be out in a beta version this summer.

In the IE blog there is of course much positive to say about this – but just how much can we expect from this update? Will we get what is needed – updated standards support and PNG support – or is this just one of those “don’t leave us, we’ll have something better soon”-announcements? It’s not the first time we’ve heard those, it that’s the case.

What does the announcement say about it?

Building on those advancements, Gates announced Internet Explorer 7.0, designed to add new levels of security to Windows XP SP2 while maintaining the level of extensibility and compatibility that customers have come to expect. Internet Explorer 7.0 will also provide even stronger defenses against phishing, malicious software and spyware. The beta release is scheduled to be available this summer.

Not much. Add new levels of security? OK, it’s needed, but what more? “Compability” – that may not sound as good as we’d first believe: Compatible with what? Earlier statements from MS staff tells us that one reason IE hasn’t been updated to support the standards, is because the compability with previous versions – and solutions that build on the non standard functions and implementations of those. Supporting the standards would easily break those solutions, in addition to that web pages will break, too. (Gee, how bad. The web designers of those sites need to be updated anyway.) Now, if that’s the kind of compability we can expect, we might not keep our hopes too high of a better rendering engine.

However – this is not going to happen until summer, at earliest, and that’s with a beta version. The finished version will be available – when? Until then – and maybe/probably after then – there are better and more secure alternatives. Such as Opera (and Firefox and Safari and…) MS has felt the pressure to do something about their browser because of these increasingly popular alternatives. Keep up that pressure to make MS do the right thing with their browser; install and use one of the alternatives. Nothing prevents you from going back to IE should you wish to at a later stage, when – hopefully – IE does supportthe standards too.

WordPress 1.5 is out

Filed under:Crazee Aftermoon — posted by Svein Kåre on @ 19:23

Well – version 1.5 of WordPress is now out and I thought, maybe I should upgrade? Never having done this before, I wasn’t sure what to expect; would it be easy and pain free, or would I have to spend a long time carefully hacking away?

I think I spent more time reading the instructions to figure out what to do before I started, than I used at the update itself. And no problems. Well – apart from a little one that puzzles me, concerning making my old design as a template; that one has had a few problems, but it doesn’t matter. What matter is: I’ve upgraded to WordPress 1.5 – and it was easy.

I can look into making and tweaking templates later. 🙂

Are you serious, Bill?

Filed under:Browsers,Web anything — posted by Svein Kåre on 12 February 2005 @ 22:30

Bill Gates, a well known head of the company Microsoft, has talked about the importance of interoperability. The question is, should we believe him this time? HÃ¥kon Lie from Opera asks him a few questions in an open letter: Get real about interoperability, Mr Gates.

A nice read!

But what about Opera?

Filed under:Browsers — posted by Svein Kåre on @ 22:19

There’s Firefox this and Firefox that everywhere you see, glowing reviews and all, it’s almost as it’s the only browser in existence besides Internet Explorer. Now, it is a great browser which truly deserves a lot of praise – but it’s not the only great browser, and not the alternative browser to IE. What about Opera?

True – some say they want a barebone browser, and true, Opera does contain a lot more than Firefox does as standard – but still, it’s a smaller download and a lean, mean browser. I’ve always said Opera felt much quicker and more responsive, which in addition to being the most customisable browser is one reason to use it. But – how fast is “the worlds fastest browserr” compared to the other alternatives out there? Luckily, there’s no longer a need to guess – just look up in the browser speed comparisions and see the numbers and graphs.

Opera is no slouch 😉

I got married a few days ago

Filed under:Games — posted by Svein Kåre on @ 00:40

I got married some days ago. My young wife is a beautiful girl from Port Royale, daughter of the governor there. Actually, I retired after the wedding, having earned myself quite a reputation and properties in four countries – and with top ranks and loads of money I’m not only wealthy but also popular. After retiring from the hard, manual work at sea, I’m now myself working as a governor.

Of course, all this in the game Pirates! that I mentioned in a post earlier. Am I satisfied with the game so far? Indeed!

So, what is it like? As I previously touched, the game is made up of several sub-games; sailing and sea battles, land attack, fencing, dancing, and treasure hunt. All this while coping with a crew that can grow mutinous if they don’t get enough plunder, or stay too long at sea.

Also, when you start the game, you choose in which period you will play, something which will affect the game quite a bit; the hostility between the nations is different, and how many cities and settlements the different nations have varies. This means it can be easy to be a pirate – or hard.

But let me tell a bit more about the different sub games in detail.


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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace