The backlash is starting: just weeks after launch the new version of iTunes featuring the Apple Music Store, today Apple modified iTunes to include "a number of performance and network access enhancements" - in reality just weasel words for removing the ability to stream between Macs across the internet.
Apple has a real problem here, so soon after launching their new music service, they've now clearly demonstrated the problem with relying on software-as-an-appliance - it's easy to cut consumers off at the knees. What's worse is that those who were using this facility as a convenience (e.g. to stream their music collections from home to work - it never did allow users to copy music Napster-style) may not have the expertise to work around the new limitations; but those who want to pirate music will do so (of course, by the time this is posted they already have). Since there is already a mechanism for authenticated Macs sharing music for personal use they should have allowed this to take place either locally or over the Internet as well.
Apple released a statement to MacCentral:
Rendezvous music sharing, another new feature in iTunes 4, has been used by some in ways that have surprised and disappointed us. We designed it to allow friends and family to easily stream (not copy) their music between computers at home or in a small group setting, and it does this well. But some people are taking advantage of it to stream music over the Internet to people they do not even know. ... The new iTunes 4.0.1 update limits Rendezvous music sharing to work only between computers on a local network (its intended use) and disables music sharing over the Internet. All iTunes 4 users should upgrade to iTunes 4.0.1.
The Apple Music Store got off to a great start, but the honeymoon period was all too short.
Apple Music Store
How to share with iTunes
Streaming Music with Andromeda
Apple Force-Feeds Customers Shit, Calls it Sunshine
iTunes update disables Internet playlist sharing [via MacCentral]
Users of 'discreet' wireless video cameras beware:
One hour into a credit union's office party on a Thursday evening cruise from Perth Amboy, N.J., to the Statue of Liberty, the boat's engineer made a startling find near a toilet: a fake air freshener that contained a suspicious device with wires.
The discovery, around 8 p.m., set in motion a two-hour odyssey that involved three law-enforcement agencies, several antiterrorism units and the D.J. at the party, who the authorities say had planted the device in the unisex bathroom.
Terror Scare on a Cruise Leads Police to a Voyeur [via New York Times] (registration blah blah)
Wal-Mart, Swansea, Massachusetts. You can't buy a bottle of wine. You could get a nice line in rifles or pump action shotguns though.
In other news, I quit smoking a year ago. Cold turkey - not a single puff since. Go me! The new New York smoking ban seemed comfortably familiar. Now if I could just kick that damn crack habit...
I'm on the road in New England. It's very confusing driving here - all the place names are just like Old England, and therefore very familiar, except they're all in different places - like someone just put a map of the southern half of Great Britain in a blender. There are old holiday haunts of mine, like Tiverton, Taunton, and Somerset (a entire county in the Old Country, but just a nice small town Over Here), as well as Swansea (in Wales Back There, but right next to Somerset Over Here).
It seem the prefix 'New' worked pretty well for a while: New York, New London, New Bedford, Newport... ah, well maybe New Newport? But soon it becomes clear they just gave up. In fact it's worse, because the names are often repeated in each state: Bristol, MA, Bristol, RI, Bristol, NH - make up your mind people! Can't you think of some new names?
I'm sure you've heard the argument: 'if only the government could tax drugs, then we could all benefit from the underground economy.' At this point I usually reach down and pick my eyeballs off the floor 'sorry, they just rolled right out.' But some enterprising wag in the Kansas State Department of Revenue has actually implemented a solution - not the legalising drugs part - just the taxing of them.
'How do you pay taxes on illegal goods?' I hear you ask. Like this:
The fact that dealing marijuana and controlled substances is illegal does not exempt it from taxation. Therefore drug dealers are required by law to purchase drug tax stamps.
The drug tax is due as soon as the dealer takes possession of the marijuana or controlled substance. Payment of the drug tax will purchase the drug tax stamps. Attach the stamp to the marijuana and/or controlled substance immediately after receiving the substance. The stamps are valid for 3 months. Drugs seized without stamps or having expired stamps may result in criminal or civil penalties which may include fines, seizure of property or liens against real estate.
Simple! And like any sensible dealer, they don't take personal cheques.