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The iPhone Moment

Maybe the iPhone phenomenon is about purpose or community, making people feel like they can participate in something important or unusual.

My wife put forth that theory this morning as we discussed my experiences covering the iPhone launch at Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, Md. No question, the people I talked to in line yesterday had a sense of being caught up in a historical moment.

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iTunes Music Madness

On May 29, Apple opened up iTunes Plus as a subset of its broader music store, offering DRM-free songs and albums encoded at 256kbps. Apple also offers to upgrade lower-bit-rate, DRM songs for 30 cents a piece. It’s a good deal. But the licensing is downright confusing. While browsing iTunes Plus, yesterday, I saw “Pat Benatar’s Greatest Hits” available DRM-free. I thought, “Huh? I’ve got other Pat Benatar music, and I don’t remember getting an offer DRM-free replacements”. I upgraded 25 other songs from other artists.

Sure enough, my iTunes library contains three Pat Benatar songs, from three different albums. My version of “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” from album “Pat Benatar: Best Shots” is available DRM-free from iTunes Plus. But Apple offered me no 30-cent replacement option. Is it a glitch? I don’t think so. The song in my library lists publisher as Chrysalis, while the DRM-free version is Capitol Records. 

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A Whirlwind Rebuttal

Last week’s Nature—that would be the June 7 issue—blows one hell of a hole in one of the proof points for global warming theory: Increasing number of hurricanes. If I rightly recall, former vice president Al Gore used increasing numbers of seasonal hurricanes in movie “An Inconvenient Truth“.

Good science isn’t about what you know but what you realize that you don’t know. Too many of the proof points for global warming are nothing more than seemingly related observations that probably aren’t as interconnected as they might first seem. Gore and others have attributed warming seas—presumed by-product of global warming—as reason for worsening seasonal hurricane cycles. 

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Do You Like Pie?

The best definition I have seen for describing U.S. conservatives and liberals came from a sociology book, which used analogy of a pie and who gets it.

The liberal philosophy is equal share, that everyone should get the same slice of the pie. By contrast, the conservative philosophy is equal access, that everyone should get equal chance at the pie but not necessarily equal piece. 

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LOL, The 20-Hour Work Week

When reading that Gartner predicted the end of the 40-hour work, I assumed more hours. Not the case. The analyst firm proclaims the 20-year work week will come by 2015. Say that again?

“As the need to employ skilled staff from demographics unable or unwilling to work 40 hours a week increases, Gartner believes the ’20-hour-per-week job description’ will emerge—a role that can be successfully accomplished in half the normal time…Rather than a draconian measure to halve the working hours of all employees, the 20-hour job description, as suggested by Gartner, is an approach to help increase an organisation’s ability to attract and retain skilled and highly qualified workers”.