Scripting News for 12/10/2006

The Scobles are stuck in traffic on the San Mateo Bridge. Can you help them figure out what’s happening? 

My iPod got stuck on an MP3 today, a legally downloaded podcast of a favorite public radio show. It won’t respond to any of the various magic keypresses, at least the ones I know of, and of course there’s no way to do a power cycle. And because of the DRM, there’s no backup, so even if I reformat the iPod, I’ll have to set up everything all over. Meanwhile the music industry says it’s all about piracy, that’s why Apple cripples this $400 (now worthless) piece of high design. 

A portal of Santas. Or is it a platform? I’m soooo confused! 

NY Times: “In the south, if the Americans give the Iraqis weapons, the next day you can buy them here,” said one dealer, who sold groceries in the front of his kiosk and offered weapons in the back. “The Iraqi Army, the Iraqi police — they all sell them right away.” 

Steve Rubel stumbled across a weird connect between Google Base and podcasts. Anyone know what’s going on here? 

Scott Beale’s photos from last night’s wedding. 

Michael Gartenberg: The Lessons of Zune.  

Steven Levy: “Microsoft pays Universal a dollar for each Zune sold.” 

NY Times: “It’s borrowed art that has been warped, wrecked, mocked and sometimes improved. It’s blogs and open-source software and collaborative wikis and personal Web pages. It’s word of mouth that can reach the entire world.” 

I’m using free wifi at gate B6 at Sea-Tac. The router is named “co presidents club.” 

13 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by anton2000 on December 10, 2006 at 8:43 am

    Hey dudes,

    Question: How to make money on the internet?

    enjoy 🙂


  2. Posted by John Doe on December 10, 2006 at 12:41 pm

    I don’t see the point of this site. It just seems to be random selections from various RSS feeds you’re subscribed to. How is your filtering of various sites useful? I’m subscribed to the same feeds you are because all the articles you’ve listed I already got notified of today.

    I subscribed to this site mistakingly thinking it was a feed with scripting news (i.e. news about the world of scripting languages like JavaScript, Ruby, Perl etc).


  3. Posted by Phil Thompson on December 10, 2006 at 1:32 pm

    >Pictures and files
    >Attach up to 15 files. Maximum of 20 megabytes for all attachments.
    >Most pictures and documents are okay. See the list of accepted file types.

    Dave – this is from the “Post an item” area of Google Base, after I have selected “podcast” as the type of item I want to post.

    If Google thinks they can get all podcasters to start limiting their shows to 20MB max, they are nuts.


  4. This has been going on for quite a while.

    I looked at the Google Base thing in August.

    I think Google is just trying to collect anything it can into Google Base. The podcast results are a mixed up mash of ads for things like Pitter Patter Baby Shower Party 9” Dinner Plates (8) for $3.70 and podcasts.

    It’s like the ebay ads you see for every search result that has no real advertisers buying the keywords.

    If they can’t fill the inventory with paid customers they spam the adsense network with google base ads telling people to put everything they have into google base.


  5. Posted by Robert Scoble on December 10, 2006 at 9:19 pm

    We’re back home now, thanks Dave! It indeed was a bad accident. Hope it turns out OK for everyone inside.


  6. I’m not sure why DRM is a problem. If you format the iPod, isn’t all the DRMed music, etc on iTunes. So next time you sync your newly formatted iPod all is well?

    BTW, I had a similar problem with files which would not respond to key presses. The podcasts at were all giving me problems. When I pressed, for example, the back or forward buttons nothing would happen. But I eventually noticed that if I waited some 10-15 seconds the keypress did happen. So it did not completely lock up my iPod.


  7. I had a ipod lock up issue too after my computer hung and I had to disconnect it while it said not to. I couldnt revive the ipod but finally Vista noticed it was disconnected improperly, ran some sort of scandisk, found some bad clusters and ‘fixed’ them. Intermittently though it still has problems, they should have some better hard drive utilities or diagnostics.


  8. Posted by Caper on December 10, 2006 at 9:53 pm

    What makes you think that your iPod’s hanging had anything to do with DRM? It could just be a random hangup, or a misencoded podcast. Unless you’re buying songs from iTunes (and I presume you’re not enough of an idiot to do that), the iPod’s DRM has nothing to do with anything.


  9. The DRM on iPods shouldn’t prevent you from having backups. I’m guessing you use iTunes on your Mac, so you could always have a copy of a Podcast sitting in the library to begin with if you choose. If anything happens to the copy on the iPod you have a backup, and you can always burn podcasts to a CD from iTunes too. I’ve had my iPod freeze a few times on MP3’s and its taken a minute or two to come around, but my iPod is pretty old, a second gen 15gig. There’s nothing on my iPod that hasn’t got a duplicate on my Mac. And besides theres some good little apps that can transfer files from an iPod easily onto a computer, although they’re obviously not much value if your iPod isn’t functioning. You have to think of an iPod just like a computer hard-drive and have backups incase something goes wrong. I can’t imagine keeping my music library on an iPod without having a backup elsewhere. Hopefully this is just a bum file and not an issue with the iPod itself.


  10. DRM is why they don’t have an automatic backup and restore feature. Either that or they’re incompetent computer professionals.


  11. Posted by Jeff Walsh on December 11, 2006 at 2:48 am

    I guess I’m confused what the problem is… if you use iTunes to load content onto your iPod (as I do, and Apple tends to require), then you can restore the entire iPod, which removes every MP3/AAC on it, put it back in the dock attached to your computer, and iTunes will restore every files on it the way it was before the issue.

    I’m missing how this is a DRM issue.


  12. Hi there – we’re podcasting and an issue that came up on one of the forums recently was if the album / episode art has been created in photoshop and the file format not set to webready, the metadata in the image created by the Adobe software crashes the mp3 player. Could well be this is the fault of the radio show that created the podcast – then again, maybe not!

    As for the iPod crash – if you’re using iTunes then surely a hard reset of the iPod and then resyncing will deliver all of your content back to you just fine?

    Anyhow – hope you got it sorted.



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