Tony Blair’s interview (Real Media stream) on BBC Radio 4′s Today programme this morning is worth a listen. Not only is it an example of why the BBC is great, it’s an example of the best things about democracy – an interviewer with absolutely no fear pressing the leader of a country on the most vital issue of the day.
I’ve actually got more respect for Blair after hearing it, even though he doesn’t really win his case. But at least he had the balls to do an interview that he knew would be tough. If only George Bush would have the same courage.
Jonathan Ive, head design honcho at Apple, is giving a talk at the Design Musuem on 28 October. Grab those tickets now!
Walt Mossberg posts in his WSJ column:
If you tried to match the specs of the base iMac G5 in a traditional Dell tower, you’d also pay more. A Dell Dimension 4600, with the best processor, Windows XP Pro, the best 17-inch flat-panel monitor, a CD recorder and the same graphics card, costs $7 more than the 17-inch iMac. And it’s much bulkier and uglier.
That’s certainly not true in the UK. I did a similar price comparison and could have saved about £150 by buying a similar product from Dell – and, of course, Dell is not exactly the biggest value PC maker around.
On a similar topic, OSviews posted an analysis of how a build-it-yourself PC cost more than an iMac, with some rather dubious figures in it (why, for example, not use a board which includes Firewire?) that was picked up by Leander Kahney’s Cult of Mac. As a poster in the comments section puts it:
I can put together a PC that has twice the HD space, twice the onboard video RAM, comes with a 19″ flat monitor, and costs over $300 less. The 19″ clone will cost me $1366 Canadian, the 17″ iMac $1749… If I stick closer to the actual iMac specs, I can pick up a clone for $897 ($917 if you add speakers), a savings of $832. At that price I can almost get TWO clones for the price of the iMac.
Not sure where that guy is purchasing his DIY clone, but methinks he’s getting ripped off.
I love Macs, but trying to pretend that an iMac is cheaper than a bog-standard PC (let alone a build-it-yourself model) is just clutching at straws.
Blogdigger – Media lists the latest posts with MP3, BitTorrent, and more. Handy if you’re using iPodder.
ArsTech has a brief but good overview of the Freescale dual-core PowerPC. I wouldn’t expect to see this in a Mac anytime soon, but you never know.
Scoble points at my review for PC Pro magazine of eight Tablet PCs, which was one of the most enjoyable things I’ve written of late. One of the things I noticed was the diversity of the models, from 8.1in slates through to the giant Acer c300 convertible. At the end of the day, the winner was Toshiba’s m200, with the Acer TCI111 a very close second, but all of the machines on test had their plus points, and with a slightly different set of criteria any of them could have been a winner. The Motion M1400, for example, is a great slate with the best screen I’ve seen on any Tablet. The RM Teacher Tablet has battery life to die for. And the HP Compaq TC1100 has a unique and highly usable design that would perfectly suit someone who used it as a slate most of the time, with occasionally keyboard use.
I still wish that Apple would make a Tablet, but meanwhile, the Acer TCI111 – the machine that I actually bought for myself – is my primary laptop, and a good compliment to the Power Mac I use for desktop work.
Tablet Enhancements for Outlook recently got upgraded to version 2.0, and it’s one of those pieces of software which I’ll always run out and buy whenever there’s an upgrade. If you use a Tablet PC and Outlook, you should definitely check it out – especially if you’re using a slate-style tablet and don’t use a keyboard. This version adds the ability to take notes directly into the Outlook Journal, which I think is worth the money on its own.
Get it while it’s hot. The list of bug fixes and other goodness makes a day’s worth of reading alone.
Or at least the three DVD boxed set. Via Boing Boing:
The new Star Wars bonus DVD erases elements of your Xbox’s firmware without informing you or giving you a chance to decline. This is apparently deliberate, as part of an “anti-piracy” effort aimed at punishing people who play the Star Wars DVD bonus disk in a modded Xbox.
Thank you, LucasArts. You’ve given me another good reason not to give you any more… although the fact that I don’t like Star Wars much helps. Personally, I agree with what Michael Moorcock said about Star Wars in his excellent essay Starship Stormtroopers:
There always comes the depressing point where Robin Hood doffs a respectful cap to King Richard, having clobbered the rival king. This sort of implicit paternalism is seen in high relief in the currently popular Star Wars series which also presents a somewhat disturbing anti-rationalism in its quasi-religious ‘Force’ which unites the Jedi Knights (are we back to Wellsian ‘samurai’ again?) and upon whose power they can draw, like some holy brotherhood, some band of Knights Templar. Star Wars is a pure example of the genre (in that it is a compendium of other people’s ideas) in its implicit structure — quasi-children, fighting for a paternalistic authority, win through in the end and stand bashfully before the princess while medals are placed around their necks.
Mark Mulligan: Don’t Believe the Copyright Hype
The argument put forward by the industry is that the 50 year limit prevents the music industry the right t exploit its works. No. It prevents particular segments (typically the big majors) from exploiting the works.