Scripting News for 7/6/2007

Impeachment is an option 

General William Odom: “Congress clearly and indisputably has two powers over the executive: the power of the purse and the power to impeach. Instead of using either, members of congress are wasting their time discussing feckless measures like a bill that ‘de-authorizes the war in Iraq.’ That is toothless unless it is matched by a cut-off of funds.”

We’re never going to get change in this country until we start routinely using the power to impeach and remove officials who aren’t serving the interests of the country.

Two TwitterGram reviews 

Webware: “Twittergram is a lot of fun.”

Brian Heys: “TwitterGram could do for podcasting what Twitter did for blogging.”

And Daring Fireball has a nice review of nytimesriver.


Which iPod is better? 

There’s no doubt, for someone who knows how to use an iPod, the previous generation iPod is much easier to use, both when loading it at home, and when using it on the road.

The music-playing function in the iPhone is flashy and colorful, but confusing. It’s as if Apple hired a movie studio to design the user interface. They don’t respect the mundane aspects of making a tool work for the user, and getting out of the our way. When you’re on a walk, t’s ridiculous to have to stop for 1/2 minute to move to the next song or podcast. The user interface of the new iPod, like the UI of the iPhone browser, puts the burden on the user to make up for deficiencies in the product design.

The previous generation of the iPod is not flashy, but it works.

DaveD says that there are three different iPods, the video iPod, the Shuffle, and iPhone, each good for different things. Maybe so, but that’s a lot of money for most people. He’s right that the iPhone plays movies well enough to carry it with you in place of a laptop. And get this, there’s no need to do a special rip, as you had to do with iPods. The same movie you play on your desktop or laptop will play on an iPhone. How’s the battery life when watching a movie? Not sure yet. One thing the laptop has that the iPhone doesn’t — a replaceable battery.

Apache question revisited 

In June I outlined a problem I was having with the content system for Scripting News. Writing to a folder served by Apache for Windows was a problem, every few saves it would fail, leaving the site unusable until I manually restarted Apache.

A bunch of people suggested the problem would go away if I moved the static site to a different server from the content system. So I tried that a few days ago, but the problem followed.

Then yesterday I tried switching my transfer method from file-writing to FTP, and voila, the problem is gone. Every save (knock wood) seems to make it to the static folder without error. I guess the key is that the FTP server, since it was written by Microsoft, comes into the file system at such a low level that it can always write a file no matter what other apps think about it. I don’t know and don’t really care, as long as it works, which it does. Whew.

Good morning everybody 

Nothing earth-shaking going on over here today.

Historic iPhone user.

8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by DaveD on July 6, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    I think there are three iPods anymore, with each being “best of breed” for specific things:

    (1) The iPod, able to store your entire music library, particularly well suited for playing music in your car.

    (2) The iPod shuffle, despite it’s relative limited capacity, is the perfect small lightweight player for exercising.

    (3) The iPhone, with it’s fantastic screen is perfect for watching video.


  2. Posted by Chris Woods on July 6, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    One thing the laptop has that the iPhone doesn’t — a replaceable battery.

    There are plenty of third-party external batteries for the iPod. I suspect at least some of those will work with the iPhone or there will some new models that do.


  3. “When you’re on a walk, t’s ridiculous to have to stop for 1/2 minute to move to the next song or podcast.”

    If you use the included Apple headset, just “double-squeeze” the mic+remote thing on the cord to advance to the next song/podcast.


  4. Posted by Jason Ehrlich on July 6, 2007 at 10:32 pm


    I agree the iPhone is hard to use as an iPod in your car. Unless you really like playlists. The interface is not as good for music as a regular iPod and impossible to navigate by feel.

    Unrelated thought. Is it possible for you, or someone, to make a news river from any arbitrary list of RSS feeds? It would be nice to have my Newsgator RSS feeds on the iPhone, in a river of news style, and every time you reload it would sync them all as read to the Newsgator server so they wouldn’t show up again as unread at home.



  5. Posted by James on July 6, 2007 at 11:59 pm

    What Greg said is true. Its actually easier on the iPhone to advance to the next track than on the iPod.


  6. Posted by DaveD on July 7, 2007 at 2:30 am

    I agree with your reply to my earlier comment Dave – purchasing all three iPods is _very_ expensive!

    I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on a form factor that (a) combines all three into a single unit while (b) remaining something close to best-of-breed. For me that’s always been the issue with a smart phone – I’m the type of guy who wants his cell phone to be a cell phone, and his keyboard to be, well, a real keyboard! 🙂


  7. Not sure if you’ve seen this.

    Like twitter with video.



  8. Posted by Diego on July 7, 2007 at 4:08 pm

    “When you’re on a walk, t’s ridiculous to have to stop for 1/2 minute to move to the next song or podcast.”

    0.5 minute to click the next button?


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