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4 September, 2003

Windows Media Player 9

From ZDNet UK: Did Microsoft 'steal' Media Player 9 technology?

Richard Lang, chief executive of Burst.com, explained to ZDNet UK that his company had spent more than ten years developing and patenting a media transmission technology designed to send video and audio files electronically. From 1999, Burst.com and Microsoft worked together for two years, but while the IT sector was going through economic meltdown, their relationship went cold and Microsoft offered Burst.com $1m for global rights to its software -- an offer that Burst.com turned down.

At the end of 2001, Microsoft announced a "third generation video streaming technology", which appeared to be the Burst.com product, said Lang

WMP 9, as you may know, is a product that cannot be uninstalled. So if you find that it causes problems, your only recourse is to do a system rollback. Glancing through the microsoft.public.windowsmedia newsgroup, it seems that problems with WMP 9 aren't uncommon. I'm sure the product works great for most people. But reading comments like these make me glad that I didn't install it:

  • Recently when I play Win Media Player 9.0 on my WinXP Prof. computer, can play one or two songs (from my hard drive) and the system locks up and I hear a very disturbing loud monotone sound through my speakers. I must restart my computer to get the sound to stop.
  • I Have windows XP home version with media player. Can you please tell me why the playback vocal voices sound like "the chipmunks"?
  • When I try to play a DVD with Windows media, an error occurs and crashes windows media. This did not happen before I installed 9.0
  • I get the following error message when trying to install WMP 9 on my XP system. The error dialog occurs on the last page of setup. The title of the dialog says Cannot complete Windows Media Player 9 Series Setup.
  • Everything was working fine then, but this morning when I started up my computer and put windows media player on it wouldn't play any of my MP3s, or indeed any of my other media files. I get an error; 'Windows Media Player cannot play the file. The file is either corrupt or the Player does not support the format you are trying to play.
  • I took the upgrade from a previous windows media player. Now half my CD collection which is on my hard drive won't play any more because it doesn't have a "digital license." For crying out loud. I OWN the damn CDs which I paid for. Who are Microsoft to tell me I cant play them? Do I REALLY have to go through a time consuming process for my entire hard drive collection for this awful upgrade to recognize what it previously had NO problem with????? Worse still why o why, Microsoft, don;t you WARN people before they upgrade!!!!!!

Posted on 4 September, 2003

Pencil Ads

A decent collection of pencil ads.

I have recently become interested in pencil advertising - partly for the fun of them, but partly as a way of dating the many old pencils that I have. Here's a collection of pencil ads, some of which I own, others I don't.

(via Idle Type)

Posted on 4 September, 2003

Make A Quake

An Earthquake Simulator from the Discovery Channel. You set the parameters, click a button to begin the earthquake, and take a look at the damage.

Posted on 4 September, 2003

Amnesty From The RIAA

From Reuters: Music Biz to Give File Sharers Amnesty

According to sources, the RIAA will not pursue legal action if infringers delete all unauthorized music files from their computers, destroy all copies (including CD-Rs) and promise not to upload such material in the future. Each infringing household member will have to send a completed, notarized amnesty form to the RIAA, with a copy of a photo ID. Those who renege on their promise will be subject to charges of willful copyright infringement.

If this is true, there is only one conclusion: The RIAA is desperate, and it will destroy itself even sooner than I expected.

Posted on 4 September, 2003

Free Backgrounds

Citrus Moon has a nice selection of tile-able graphic images.

...When I first began playing around with making web sites I started looking for seamless tiles to use in certain designs. There were a lot of sites offering tiles and backgrounds, but only a few that had what I thought were interesting patterns. Another problem I had with most of the backgrounds that were available was that they were designated for "personal, non-commercial use", which to me meant that if I used them on a web site that I would be paid for, that was a "commercial use" and therefore I couldn't use those tiles.

Posted on 4 September, 2003

Guitars For Girls

Take a look at some very stupid-looking guitars at the Daisy Rock guitar store.

The Daisy Rock Electric is no toy. Its petite size fits small hands (22-1/2"scale), yet it's equipped with a full-range pickup, adjustable bridge, precision tuning machines, and has an adjustable truss for keeping the neck perfectly straight. The patented body-style and daisy position markers make it definitively hers.

And if you don't like daisy-shaped guitars, they also have an equally stupid-looking heart-shaped guitar.

Posted on 4 September, 2003

Rename Yourself

At BabyNames, you can type in your name, and it will generate a new name for you based on the personality trait you specify. For example, my "philosophical" name is Kaseko Alake Walkenbach.

Posted on 4 September, 2003

Advances in Wine Cork Technology

If you're a wine drinker, you may be seeing a new type of cork: the MetaCork.

Gardner Technologies' first patented product, the MetaCork, consists of a cork removal and reseal device that is integrated with the wine bottle and closure. This break-through product responds to the wine industry's recognized need to make wine easy to open and reseal, yet retain compatibility with natural, technical and synthetic cork.

Posted on 4 September, 2003


After reading about this accident, I think this list may need to be updated.

Posted on 4 September, 2003

Twisted Toybox

The Twisted Toybox seems to be pretty good source for masks and related items.

Posted on 4 September, 2003

WKRP Music

"WKRP in Cincinnati" was a TV sitcom that was on the air from 1978-1982. It's now in syndication, but something is different about the show. It has new music.

Originally, nearly all the music played on the show was real rock music by real artists, both in "WKRP"'s CBS run and in the subsequent syndicated reruns. But in the last few years, a new package of "WKRP" episodes has been distributed, and much of the music has been replaced by generic instrumental music from a music library, or by sound-alike "fake" songs. Also, some of the dialogue has been redubbed by voice impersonators, usually when the actors were speaking over the music, but sometimes to remove references to songs that have been replaced.

(via Eyeno's Blog)

Posted on 4 September, 2003