iTunes 7.1.1 cracked

Boing Boing

I really like boing boing (oh, this has nothing to do with baseball), and I think Digital Rights Management is a fiasco, so when I read this post about the DRM at iTunes being cracked I should have felt excited. But instead I felt a little dirty.

If you don’t like the license agreement at iTMS you can go someplace else. They’re a store, and to say that they’re “evil” for selling stuff is dopey.

And to set out to crack their defense because they believe you’re a sleazy person who doesn’t want to pay for what the creator would like you to pay for (so you steal it) is certainly immoral.

If you’re a cracker and want to beat the iTMS DRM more power to you. But the issue here is one of license. Buy some songs at iTMS and they own the encoding, buy them at and you own them. While that isn’t a solution, it does point to a solution that I think works pretty clearly and fairly:

If you make something you get to sell it, and you get to set the rules. If you really don’t want people to copy your digital stuff you better have some sort of DRM encoding. And they get to choose not to buy it because they think DRM sucks. Or only listen to it on the radio, or in clubs.

That seems fair to me.

Federer, Nadal meet on half-grass, half-clay court

This is like Maddux gets to pitch in LA in his prime, Bonds gets to hit in Coors in the early oughts. Weird, but a strange and brilliant concept. Federer is clearly the best player on any surface other than clay today, but does that make him the best player in the world?

This gets me wondering why some promoter hasn’t concocted an exhibition to pit top pitchers versus top hitters in extra-game situations. I know I’d watch 100 pitches from Santana in Minnesota versus Pujols, followed by a similar exhibition in St. Louis. Talk about fantasy sports. Especially if the money went to charity.

Ice Nine

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The link is to a page about the scientific qualities of ice, which relates to Ice Nine, which Kurt Vonnegut invented for his novel Cat’s Cradle. I had a serious collision with Vonnegut’s novels in the winter of 1975, during which I worked the graveyard shift in a Shell Station in San Francisco. Huddled overnight on a chaise lounge with an electric heater at my feet, I read Cat’s Cradle, Slaughterhouse Five and the rest of them in the wee hours, waiting impatiently for the man driving the donut truck to stop in for a fill up.

I didn’t realize then just how fabulously kind it was that he dropped off still-warm donuts nearly every night I worked, though I certainly appreciated them. I appreciated Vonnegut then, too, though he later became more of an activist gadfly model than a writer model for me.

Maybe it’s time to read Cat’s Cradle again.

Steroids and Bowling

Must reading for those interested in sports and steroids.

Three Citizen Critics Review Noteworthy Recent Albums — New York Magazine

Lily Allen’s ‘Alright, Still’ – The Shins’ ‘Wincing the Night Away’ – Lucinda Williams’ ‘West’ – Of Montreal’s ‘Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?’ – Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s ‘Some Loud Thunder’

Just a little non-baseball selfpromotion. Notice, by the way, the love for the new Lucinda Williams disk, which the NY Times and New Yorker have ripped in recent days. They’re wrong. I’m right.

Ryszard Kapuściński

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

One of his books is named after a war that started because of some soccer games, but this is not a sports story. He’s noted upon his death here simply because he is one of my favorite writers. The Soccer War is a good place to start, but The Emperor, Shah of Shahs and Imperium are all fantastic books, essential if you’re interested in the topics, well worth reading even if you don’t care.

Chase Utley: Marcher

Not only is he the top-rated second baseman in the game this year, but he’s also the only major leaguer marching against Global Warming. There seems to be some sort of contest going on, which Laurie David is winning handily, but a visit go Chase’s page is a vote for baseball fans against global warming. And they’ll be happy to tell you what more you can do while you’re there.

For one, drive less and turn out the lights when you’re not using them. Becoming more energy efficient means we’ll need fewer power plants, and rely less on oil from abroad (if you get what I mean).

Fantasy Football: Draft Tips


I’m not sure I should admit this, but I’m participating in my first fantasy football draft tonight. So, while looking for tips I came upon this pleasant advice from a guy named Andy at the site of a friend, Rob Blackstien, who has worked as editor and writer on both Fantasy Guides. I was worried about tracking Bye weeks, but Andy has made me a little less afraid. Now it’s time for a beer.

And, to be clear, Ask Rotoman will not become a fantasy football site (though you should check out the discussions at if you’re interested).

Rock On

Ben Broussard’s Official Web-site

Somehow I missed that Ben Broussard released his first album last summer, as the Indians stumbled out of the playoffs. Judging from the sampler provided here he has a laid back Jack Johnson-ish sound, and with his hot start this year the record might make a nice present for his fantasy owners with mellow-rock tastes.

Minimum Horizon Two Years

Long Bets

This site books bets on public issues with a long time frame. Today the lead bet is whether there will be bioterror event of 1M or more casualties by 2020. At first I thought this might be a good place to set up a discussion about Barry Bonds’ Hall of Fame chances, but I suspect that wouldn’t pass the importance threshhold. So I link to the site simply because it’s out there.