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Greed Killed the Trojan Horse

Seems like Apple and music labels are on collision course as iTunes contract renewals approach. Steve Jobs called record labels “greedy“, over alleged plans to move digital downloads to a tiered pricing model. Right now, iTunes buyers pay a 99-cent flat rate for singles, while most albums sell for $9.99. Apple does bundle some singles with music videos for $1.99.

So, I had thought Steve Jobs was being just a wee bit over the top, until a few days later when Warner Music Group CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. said during an investors conference: “We are selling our songs through iPod, but we don’t have a share of iPod’s revenue. We want to share in those revenue streams” [source Red Herring]. Ah, yeah. 

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Frak That

The second season of “Battlestar Galactica” closed with a major letdown on Friday. I suppose it’s really the end of the first season, cut in two. Series typically air about 24 shows per season, which is almost Battlestar Galactica’s count after two, uh, seasons.

The miniseries launching the series is a marvel. The show captures a quality, a flow of good storytelling that transcended anything else on television. The first season (OK, half season) delivers excellent entertainment and, again, some smart storytelling. Acting, direction, sets, special effects, the drama all are exceptional. 

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Backyard Bunny

As mentioned yesterday, I returned to using a PowerBook, the same one let go just a few months ago. One reason the temporary switch was so dumb: Somehow when backing up the contents some error occurred that I missed. The “2005” folder containing all pictures taken this year didn’t copy. So, when wiping the PowerBook’s hard drive, I inadvertently deleted thousands of irreplaceable photos, the majority taken with a Nikon D70. Bummed is too weak a word to describe my reaction. 

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Math Racial Profiling

A few years ago, I was appalled to read a New York Times story about a proposed new math program for New York schools that would promote guessing as a means of doing math. Kids would learn a way of estimating answers. The rationale was to cater to minority students, many of them Hispanics.

I read in shock. The whole concept of estimation made no sense to me. Worse, it looked to me like the liberal school system was really doing racial profiling, essentially saying the minorities are too stupid to learn basic math. Geez, get a life. 

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Search as the New User Interface

In my next blog post, I plan to write about good design. As prelude, I offer my May 23, 2005, column for Betanews:

In 1984, Apple’s Macintosh introduced the world to the graphical user interface, eventually changing how people interact with computers. The GUI may not have been Apple’s idea—great credit there goes to the folks at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center—but the company did deliver the first meaningful, commercial product.