Friday, April 22, 2005

Tiger Ripped...

Think Secret is reporting that Apple's next operating system, 10.4 (aka Tiger), will be available (for free, illegal download) on file sharing systems pretty soon. Don't steal it.

Mac Viruses vs. Windows Viruses

England's Alternative IT paper, The Register, published an article yesterday analyzing Apple's 40% Mac unit growth last quarter. Apple owes this growth to viruses, according to the article. On the Wintel side, viruses, trojan horses and worms are causing IT professionals to bite their nails to the quick.

On the Mac side, the iPod's "halo effect" and Wintel (in)security fears have caused an upsurge in interest in the Mac as an alternative to the insecurity of Wintel and inelegance of Linux. Of course, it doesn't hurt that Apple has moved quietly in the Enterprise space with its XServe products and with SMB and other Windows integration. Finally, the real geeks of the IT world have recognized that Apple computers represent a simple, cheap and attractive entré into the world of UNIX computing.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Bollywood's Casting Couch

The Washington Post reports on an Indian TV sting operation, which caught Bollywood actors, Hindu "holy men" and government officials trading sex for favors. India TV aired a series of videotaped sting operations in which famous actors and supposed ascetics alike traded advancement and spiritual guidance (respectively, of course) for sex. But rather than being saluted as exposing the underbelly of the world's largest film industry and the largest religion in India, the operation is being denounced as trash journalism. Even by other journalists.

Roll Your Own NIN

Trent Reznor, better known as Nine Inch Nails, has released an upcoming NIN song, The Hand that Feeds, on the internet as a GarageBand file. GarageBand is a multitrack audio recording program for the rest of us. "GarageBand lets you easily perform, record and create your own music. Whether you're an experienced or aspiring musician. Or just want to feel -- and sound -- like a rock star. ... And when all your tracks are in place, you can view them in full music notation and take advantage of new GarageBand features to enhance the tuning and timing of your recordings."

Check out the official NIN Blog to download the file. It is 70 MB and you'll need GarageBand to play it, so don't bother if you don't have the requisite hardware and software. NIN's next album, With Teeth, will be released on May 3, 2005.

Just a brief comment on this. This release is pioneering stuff, breaking down, somewhat, the separation between artist and listener. I hope it will result in a wave of fan-generated music, sort of like fan fiction. And I hope that other artists will take notice, and make similar raw materials available for fans and artists alike.

More on America's Imbalances...

The Economist talks up the point that I have blogged about recently, warning that America's trade and budget deficits put the world economy in a precarious position. According to the newsmagazine, while world finance ministers, who met in Washington recently, were fretting about the high price of oil, they were ignoring the distortions caused by America's twin deficits.
This calm may explain why the world's finance ministers have done so little to wean themselves off their addiction to American-led growth and why they spent so much of their time in Washington fretting about oil. That is a pity, for while the oil price seems to be the most imminent risk, the size and rate of growth of the global imbalances are the real reason to worry. And as Rodrigo Rato, the head of the IMF, warned at the weekend, the time to address these imbalances is now, when good economic conditions -- in America, and globally -- can ease the pain of the transition.

Update: Paul Volker also recently threw his considerable intellectual weight into the ring on this issue in the Washington Post. I'll try to find a link.

Update Two: Here's the link.