April 28, 2003


It was one year ago today that Gwen and I met. The best thing that’s happened in my life over the past 365 days.

Apple Music Store

As rumored, Apple has created a store for downloadable music, which ties in with a new version of iTunes.

They apparently have a library of 200,000 tracks from the five big labels. So far so good. They’re charging $0.99 per track. Not good. In terms of an hour’s-worth of music, this works out to be about as much as buying the CD, perhaps more–except you don’t get the CD, booklet or full-quality audio for that matter, but do get restrictions on how you can use your downloads (although the restrictions are admittedly pretty liberal, and easy enough to circumvent).

This does seem like an improvement over some of the existing for-fee music-download services, and the integration with iTunes looks pretty slick, but the pricing is outlandish ($0.25 per track would be my limit), and the pay-per-track pricing model is a bad idea. A monthly-fee all-you-can-eat model is one that I could get behind.

A big Saturday

It seems like everything was going on this weekend. Unfortunately, one can only be in so many places at one time.

Gwen and I elected to start off Saturday with Flugtag, which seemed sorta corporate, but also seemed like it might be sorta fun. We wandered around the staging area to see the (ahem) aircraft before the event itself, which turned out to be a good idea. That’s where the action really was: the Sombrero Aliens had a live mariachi band, cheerleaders, etc. We could inspect the construction and decoration in detail (I got some pictures–log in as adamguest/adamguest). And so on.

Our vantage point for the actual event was fairly distant, and the event was dull: it felt like hours of boredom punctuated by moments of anticlimax. Gwen and I stuck around for five launchings, none of which flew so much as fell.

So after that it was off to Eeyore’s Birthday Party. For whatever reason, I didn’t run into nearly as many members of my freak contingent as I expected, though we did run into some of Gwen’s old friends there. The event seemed smaller than last year (when there had been a sort of adjunct party going on about a half-mile north). The police presence was much lower this year as well. But it was still fun, and remains a funky, anarchic, and essentially Austin type of event. I didn’t pull out the camera because when you’re behind a camera, you’re not participating, and Eeyore’s feels to me like a “no spectators, only participants” kind of event.

My allergies were getting the better of me, and so we wound up leaving earlier than I really wanted. That night, we went to Yard Dog (a gallery specializing in self-taught, outsider, and primitive-style art), where a 92-year-old man was having his first art opening. The writeup in the Chronicle said he’d started drawing nudes for the past 15 years and had never shown any of them, but all the work on display was dated 2002. Go figure. Aside: Outsider art that really is what it claims to be is one thing, but some of the stuff at Yard Dog is clearly done by MFAs who adopt primitivism as a style. This annoys me.

Trojan-horse spamming

In June, I speculated that this would happen. Now it actually has: spammers are distributing trojan horses that infect other computers to relay spam for them.

This is clearly illegal, of course. But spammers have long been exploiting “open relays”–unsecure mail-servers–which should be considered illegal as well.