Daniel Eran Dilger in San Francisco
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Apple TV Promises to Take 2008

Apple TV 2008
Daniel Eran Dilger
While 2007 was the Year of the iPhone, 2008 appears to be set as the Year of Apple TV. After languishing for a year with weak sales, derisive media scoffing, and an official designation as a “hobby” for Apple, the product’s newly unveiled software upgrade has already kick started sales, even prior to the new “take two” software being released.

As one Apple Store employee observed a day after Macworld ended, “Apple TV is crackin. We went from selling one a week to one or two an hour.”


The Humble Placeholder.
Apple first announced its plans to deliver a living room set top box in the fall of 2006, shortly before the unveiling of the iPhone. That unusual prerelease preview was clearly made in order to create a bump of attention that would fade just in time for its fated overshadowing by the climate changing, meteoric impact of the iPhone’s release.

Once the iPhone hit, nobody had much reason to talk about Apple TV. That was fine because in 2007, Apple wasn’t big enough to manage more than the three huge hits on its plate: iTunes and iPods, Leopard and the Macintosh, and the new iPhone. Apple TV was a side dish sharing the spotlight of iTunes, and was commonly described as “an iPod for your TV.”

That didn’t exactly cause a rush of consumer attention, because everything Apple TV could do was pretty much possible using a long DVI cable, for anyone who has a Mac within close range of their TV. Given the popularity of MacBooks, it’s simply not that hard to play iTunes movies on TV, and unlike Apple TV, a Mac of any type can also play DVDs.

Why Apple TV?
Why pay $299 for a box that can only sync with iTunes? Most early Apple TV buyers were enamored with its slick ability to display photos effortlessly and serve as a playback repository for ripped DVDs, but ripping a DVD takes a lot of time and is still somewhat legally questionable. Outside of those users, finding a reason to buy Apple TV was more difficult.

Pundits demanded that the Apple TV play DVDs and HD discs, and act like a DVR for straining content from cable feeds. That wasn’t at all what Apple had in mind for Apple TV, however. A more intelligent minority suggested that Apple TV should act more like iTunes itself, allowing users to buy music and movies directly from their TV. I originally argued against this, noting that it’s simply much easier to search and shop for content from the rich iTunes interface, and that trying to duplicate that on a TV display would be difficult to do.

It turned out that I was wrong. I first realized this when Apple delivered the WiFi store for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Rather than cramming the full iTunes interface into the small display, Apple put together a custom client for the iTunes Store that was graphical and intuitive and a perfect fit for a mobile device. The WiFi Store not only made shopping easy, but also integrated into iTunes so that purchases could flow from the mobile to any central iTunes desktop library connected to the same account. Once it was released, the obviousness of creating the same thing for Apple TV was evident.

Curious Stuff About the New iPods
Something in the Air: Anticipating Macworld 2008
Windows XP Media Center Edition vs Apple TV

Apple TV Take 2.0.
I’m happy to admit that my initial expectation for the pace of Apple TV development was too conservative. In a single year, Apple TV has jumped from a placeholder product designed to serve as an alternative to manually cabling your laptop to your TV into a full fledged, self contained media computer for watching and ordering Internet content.

Apple’s overview of the device’s new ability to preview and order any existing iTunes paid content (music, music videos, TV shows, and movies), as well as new HD movie rentals and a new and improved interface for bringing up free YouTube videos, Flickr and .Mac Web Galleries photos, and podcast content streamed directly from the podcasters’ servers is big, really big.

When I recommended that Apple plug into alternative networks and allow broadcasters to pump their programming through Apple TV, it didn’t immediately occur to me that all the pieces to do this were already in place. Apple already maintains a huge selection of podcasts, all organized and tagged and rated and commented upon by users. Anyone can podcast.

Podcast Prowess Plus.
Apple doesn’t archive, manage, or broadcast the podcasts listed within iTunes; it simply hosts the RSS feeds of those programs. When you select and watch a podcast from iTunes (or from the new Apple TV software), you’re watching it directly from the server of those hosting the program. That means podcasters can broadcast HD content, line up their own ad supported revenue models, and begin broadcasting simply by giving Apple a simple RSS feed.

That also means Apple has no proprietary lock on podcast content. Apple’s contribution has been to encourage the development of standards-based content publishing: MP3 or AAC audio, and H.264 video. Any modern device and software running on any platform can download and play back the free, open content delivered for podcasts. Apple is competing in an open race on a level playing field, competing on the merits of its own ability to deliver smart, convenient software and competitive, compelling hardware.

What Apple has helped to cultivate in podcasting is a worldwide, decentralized, uncensored medium that allows any group with news, entertainment, or a information a way to reach millions of viewers without massive investment and without having to build and maintain a distribution network or court the favor of a broadcasting network that already has.

Apple TV Take Two appears to be among the best ways to watch podcast segments, but it also offers commercial music, TV, and movie downloads, movie rentals, and local and Internet photo viewing. That means while anyone can copy Apple’s podcast prowess, to compete with Apple TV, they’ll also have to figure out how to match the sophistication of iTunes and the desktop and web-service savvy that Apple has been developing over the last several years. Given the flaccid competition to the iPod and iTunes in general, Apple’s position on HDTV integration looks pretty secure.

That means Apple is currently the best shot at deploying this wide open pipe, and consumers who are attracted to movie rentals and pop music downloads will unwittingly open themselves to a wide open font of information with the capacity to broaden their perspective and outlook on the world around them.

Five Ways Apple Will Change TV: 1
Five Ways Apple Will Change TV: 2
Five Ways Apple Will Change TV: 3
Five Ways Apple Will Change TV: 4
Five Ways Apple Will Change TV: 5

Why No Composite Video?
Apple TV observers learned last year that the hardware has the native ability to deliver composite video output for use with older TV sets. There wasn’t any obvious reason for Apple to turn this off by default in the existing software. Now that the Take Two software has been unveiled however, the method behind Apple’s madness is more evident.

While composite output would have been marginally good enough for many users of the 1.0 software, fewer would have been happy to see an ambitious 2.0 software release that shoehorned in enough features to make the overall experience too soft and unreadable on anything less than a widescreen display offering 480p quality.

Apple clearly had more ambitious plans for Apple TV than it revealed last year, when the unit was rather quietly advanced in the shadow of the far more spectacular iPhone. Both products were 1.0 releases, but the iPhone was a much bigger bet with a much larger payoff, so Apple invested its resources to ensure that the new smartphone would hit the ground running in 2007. Apple TV could hang out as a hobby while Apple lined up the content and finished the software.

With the iPhone now running along smoothly at top speed, Apple now has the opportunity to fire up Apple TV as its fourth engine. This time, the professional naysayers only have a couple weeks to disgorge their rivers of fear, uncertainty, and doubt before Take Two hits the public’s hands and shows up their analysis as the stupefying nonsense that it is.

Brent Schlender's Apple TV: Fortune Dud or Fortune FUD?

Brent Schlender’s Apple TV: Fortune Dud or Fortune FUD?
Scott Woolley Attacks Apple TV in Forbes, Gets the Facts Wrong
Forbes’ Fake Steve Jobs Is Also Fake On Apple

The Impact of Apple TV.
So far, the biggest complaints they’ve managed to lodge relate to the industry standard, 24 hour limitation on movie rentals once the play button has been hit. I’ve railed against exploding media rentals for years now, and insisted that Apple wouldn’t sell a media rental model. While that’s still the case in terms of music and subscription media rentals, it turns out that Apple can’t always lead every tango.

When the company dances with the Devil in the pale moonlight, it sometimes has to let its partners bust out a few moves of their own. Apple wasn’t able to force Cocoa down the throats of its major Mac developers back in the late 90s, so it went out of its way to produce Carbon for them. It couldn’t squeeze DRM free tracks from the RIAA labels from the beginning of iTunes back in 2003, and was forced to develop FairPlay to appease them. It couldn’t wean AT&T off of pay per message SMS with the iPhone to deliver a standard instant messaging client, it couldn’t immediately ship a free ringtone construction set without throwing coins toward the RIAA, and it couldn’t get Microsoft to support a variety of Mac OS X features in Office.

Apple also couldn’t force all of the labels to sell their movies in iTunes as digital downloads. It could, however, get them all to sign up for movie rentals if it matched the rules the studios have laid out for Pay Per View TV and every other digital rental service. So Apple did. And after things begin to sell, Apple’s movie rentals will obsolesce the NetFlix mail model and the mainstream rental store. This is as obvious as the big Apple logo on top of the box.

Apple might have been unable to deliver the NetFlix ‘return at your leisure’ rental subscription model that I envisioned due to external factors, but the upside is that, as demonstrated, Apple TV’s rental model matches the features of other digital competitors without requiring a monthly subscriber fee as NetFlix does. Based on the forums survey related to the iTunes Rentals article I wrote, users will be happier being able to rent when they want on occasion as opposed to signing up to an all you can eat monthly service with the subscription obligation that entails. The service subscription model certainly has been a huge failure for the music business.

Rise of the iTunes Killers Myth

Rise of the iTunes Killers Myth
Cocoa and the Death of Yellow Box and Rhapsody
How FairPlay Works: Apple’s iTunes DRM Dilemma
How Apple Could Deliver Workable iTunes Rentals

Rated M for Massive Impact.
Good riddance to Blockbuster and its moral monitoring that prevents the rental distribution of anything that might spin the crusty corpse of the MPAA’s Jack Valenti. Apple TV will not make Apple rich on its low profit hardware nor its nickels of rental profits, but it will further establish the company as a major media outlet and bust open the floodgates of content to America’s living rooms.

Apple has included easy to use content ratings limitations for families who want to control access to the content their kids watch, but it won’t act as the nanny of the nation. This is a company that invited Randy Newman on stage to perform “A Few Words in Defense of Our Country,” a song that defends the people of America and observes, “Now the leaders we have, while they’re the worst we’ve had, are hardly the worst this poor world has seen.”

Apple didn’t just serve as the stage for independent political expression, but also allowed Newman a moment of uncensored speech that the company then broadcast to millions in its streaming keynote feed. Seriously, which is more impressive: Newman casually saying “shit” in an inoffensive context on stage at Macworld, or Apple, Inc. making no effort to bleep it out in its keynote feed?

Apple – QuickTime – Macworld 2008 Keynote

Reality TV, Take Two.
Perhaps once we expose ourselves to enough uncensored, unpolished, unscripted reality, we’ll realize that the occasional broadcast of a casual expletive or an exposed boob is really not as big of a deal as widespread corruption that results in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people and ensures a world full of fundamentalist violence.

Perhaps if we all have access to real news, published by anyone with a camera and a voice rather than by a few huge media organizations with a documented desire to convert the world into a single fascist global government, we’ll figure things out for ourselves.

Until this year, the best hope for such a conduit of reality was the Internet. Unfortunately, there’s no accountability or security on the Internet, and no way to really know who’s behind what’s being said. If you trust the Internet, you’ll be led to believe that the Microsoft Zune is a phenomenal hit, that Leopard is as problematic as Vista, that iTunes sales collapsed in late 2006, that the iPhone is in critical danger of turning into a spybot network, and that a Trojan is a Virus if Macworld UK wants it to be.

 Wp-Content Uploads 2007 11 Leopard.Vs.Vista.016-2

Ten Myths of Leopard: 10 Leopard is a Vista Knockoff!
Zune vs. iPhone: Five Phases of Media Coverage

Free TV.
Apple TV promises to deliver the freedom of the Internet with an additional measure of accountability. Watchers will be able to watch Fox News next to news feeds from around the world and actually decide for themselves what’s really happening. It won’t single handily force open the minds of people who don’t want to face reality, but it will serve up reality to those who want it.

Delivering movie rentals is just a way into living rooms for the new box; once there, Apple TV will pipe the world to users over the impartial Internet Protocol, without any external filters imposed by big businesses. No cable cartels, no telephone company filtering or NSA spying, no Blockbuster, no FCC, no MPAA, no Microsoft, no Think Tanks in the Public Interest, and no witch hunting fundamentalists hell bent on inflaming perpetual wars.

Apple TV will be a commercial success as an expansion of iTunes, but more importantly, it will dramatically challenge the hypocritically puritanical layers of mind-control, groupthink conformity erected by a well meaning but wholly delusional minority that think they need to roundup Americans into the OK Corral.

It is fitting that Apple TV is springing on stage in 2008, the year that will define the future of America as either a deeper dive into the black waters of willful ignorance and fear, or a targeting of the moon as John Kennedy did back in the 60s, when America aspired to lead the world as a well educated, optimistic, liberal minded, progressive role model rather than as a inquisitional holy crusader running roughshod over international conventions and hypocritically killing babies while outlawing stem cell research.

I for one welcome our new set top box liberators.

What do you think? I really like to hear from readers. Comment in the Forum or email me with your ideas.

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142 comments

1 Brau { 01.21.08 at 6:15 am }

Wow! I never thought of the AppleTV that way. Liberty seems to be pretty good deal at a mere $249. I do find myself conflicted as to which side of freedom or fascism Apple is on when they so openly court Gore, GreenPeace, and their global political agendas.

2 BjK { 01.21.08 at 6:23 am }

I agree. Take that, liberal media!

(just kidding, don’t get too upset)

3 UrbanBard { 01.21.08 at 6:38 am }

“It is fitting that Apple TV is springing on stage in 2008, the year that will define the future of America as either a deeper dive into the black waters of willful ignorance and fear, or a targeting of the moon as John Kennedy did back in the 60s, when America aspired to lead the world as a well educated, optimistic, liberal minded, progressive role model rather than as an inquisitional holy crusader running roughshod over international conventions and hypocritically killing babies while outlawing stem sell research.”

Boy Daniel, You can sure pack a whole bunch of leftist bigotry into one sentence. It’s too mind twisted for me to decode. Besides, you never listen to anything that I have to say. So, Dream on.

I have a wait and see attitude on Apple TV.

4 timpritlove { 01.21.08 at 6:41 am }

A minor correction: Apple does not “host” the RSS feeds. The iTunes Podcast Directory just “lists” these feeds by storing the URL of the feed in their system.

I wonder if the new Apple TV actually allows subscribing to the feeds therefore creating the first non-iTunes podcast client or if it is just a Podcast Directory browser that allows you to download and view individual episodes on-demand.

5 addicted44 { 01.21.08 at 7:21 am }

I wish they had added a TV tuner to the Apple TV. For no reason other than to make it the only box besides the TV in a living room…

6 lmasanti { 01.21.08 at 7:38 am }

quote:
“No … NSA spying,…”

I think this is utopian.
They will figure it out pretty soon.
(And, of course, will cost billion of dollars to the taxpayer to get an unworkable system!)

7 lmasanti { 01.21.08 at 7:41 am }

quote:
“I wish they had added a TV tuner to the Apple TV. For no reason other than to make it the only box besides the TV in a living room…”

This –I think– is the BIG POINT to Apple, from Dan’s point of view.
We are lazy people. If we have a TV tunner we “just zap” thru the trash they send us.
If we have not “we have to decide” what to look for.

And democracy is about “deciding”, not “eating shit”.

8 kent { 01.21.08 at 8:51 am }

Right on Daniel. I was just reading memos written by Jay Rockefeller in which he recommended using the government power to destroy any critic of Hillary’s National Health Plan in 1994. We need Apple TV so we can fight these forces of fascism when they get back in office.

9 Rich { 01.21.08 at 9:37 am }

The Apple TV has been a niche product so far, but it’s been a niche that I’ve been part of.

About 6 months ago I was looking for a way to watch my ripped DVDs and music on my home cinema system. The 160GB Apple TV seemed ideal since my home wireless network is really too slow for streaming and all my media is stored in iTunes. I even met the requisite of having a HD widescreen TV already. Since then I’ve really been happy with it. It doesn’t have a mass of functionality but what it does, it does well.

The update is an added bonus. I don’t know if I’ll ever pay for movie rentals but we’ll have to see.

“Apple might have been unable to deliver the NetFlix ‘return at your leisure’ rental subscription model that I envisioned due to external factors”

The ‘return at your leisure’ model is doing fantastically well in the UK via physical mail. There’s a lot of competition and the monthly price isn’t much more than renting a single movie per month. A lot of the services also offer video games too. I think a digital version is the way forward.

“The service subscription model certainly has been a huge failure for the music business.”

I think it’s near impossible to succeed when your music service is incompatible with 70%+ of DAPs. I don’t see any reason why an Apple music subscription service wouldn’t be a success. I’d love to have access to the entire iTunes store for $15 a month.

10 Mike in Helsinki { 01.21.08 at 9:51 am }

Daniel,

You’re a great observer and commenter in the tech arena. Been reading your column for some time now. I have even been a donator in the past to your work. I, as most of us, appreciate your competency, skills and passions.

And anyone who is open-minded would also compliment you on wanting to assert your political opinions … even those who would be 180 degrees in thought.

But there comes a point when one transgresses upon the other, and it begins to cloud your judgement. You are being seen as progressively co-opting your tech column now as a forum for your political thinking, and the objective is colliding with the subjective.

You are sounding shrill, dogmatic and detached from the what has been the objective of Roughly Drafted.

Think. We are customers, consuming your product. We compensate you by clicking on your site and by sending you contributions. When you start to become a political commentator, you diverge from serving your customers (surely though, not all. Some certainly like BOTH your tech and political commentary). But it is misguided.

Think.

Why not create a second blog that segregates your political commentary from your tech commentary, of which both have little in common. Your customers, of any political persuasion, would both welcome that and appreciate it.

Its a friendly suggestion.

If, however, you are unable or unwilling to compartmentalize the two subjects into separate blogs, then so be it. Its your column, you have that right.

So Mike in Helsinki indeed lives in Finland. And as such, you could dismiss my advice and pass it off as cultural differences. Here, you’ll find the same breadth of political opinions as anywhere, but we do tend to compartmentalize things to remain clear thinking.

The unforgivable sin here is to be seen as not being able to cope. Are your fits of anger in your articles a reflection of an inability to cope, or a failure to compartmentalize one from the other?

11 ibookfast { 01.21.08 at 10:07 am }

Dan, thank you for writing about two subjects I’m passionate about.. Apple technology, and politics. As usual you’re right on the money. One of these days I’ll send some donations your way. You’ve become my favorite blogger.

12 solipsism { 01.21.08 at 10:19 am }

Not a fan of the political stuff in these articles but I’ll take what I can get from RDM.

Many sites/magazines voted the AppleTV the worst product of 2007. I wonder if it will be voted the best product for 2008 after the software update.

13 lmasanti { 01.21.08 at 10:31 am }

quote:
“Many sites/magazines voted the AppleTV the worst product of 2007. I wonder if it will be voted the best product for 2008 after the software update.”

I wonder if they will say something like…

“It turned out that I was wrong.” (Dan’s dixit)

Or in the lines of…

“We didn’t see it coming…”

14 solipsism { 01.21.08 at 10:37 am }

@ Imasanti,

I think it’s more likely that they’ll denigrate Apple in the process to mask their own short-sidedness.

“We knew the AppleTV would be a hit if Apple would just eat some humble pie and play nice with the movie studios for once.

I figure they’ll pull a cliché out there asses. They always do.

15 heitorfr { 01.21.08 at 10:38 am }

“Perhaps if we all have access to real news, published by anyone with a camera and a voice rather than by a few huge media organizations with a documented desire to convert the world into a single fascist global government, we’ll figure things out for ourselves.”

It’s good point but I’m not sure Apple TV is the answer. I’m fond of Apple for putting out great products but It wouldn’t be fair to give them the credits of liberating information from the media business domain. That is emerging now from a mix of new technologies and new attitudes independently of Apple, they’re just riding the wave.

And I think that kind of effort should come outside of the commercial sphere. You should look at projects such as Miro (previously Democracy TV).

Besides I wouldn’t call Apple liberators of any sort because of the degree of control they want to impose on your computer/media experience, although for positive reasons such as giving you the best user experience. Apple TV is a closed product which you cannot extend with any services, protocols and applications besides what Apple decides fits your needs and theirs.

16 rener { 01.21.08 at 10:57 am }

The one disadvantage the Apple TV has compared to cable (and maybe satellite) is that Apple does not own nor control the pipe.

You not only have to pay for the rental, you have to consumer your cable/dsl/whatever bandwidth to download it.

I don’t know if it’s a coincidence that (was it Warner?) started talking about pay-per-bandwidth the same week Apple TV Take 2 was announced, but I can easily see the pipes trying to throttle Apple by adding usage fees on the bandwidth, while leaving their own competing services with free access.

(I’m in Canada, with a 20GB cable limit per month, no such thing as over-the-air or clear qam HD, no cable card, and large ISPs down-throttling things like Skype to try and “encourage” their own VoIP services already, so I’m not hopeful that HD downloads via Apple TV would be practical based on file size alone — though some independent DSL resellers are still unlimited)

17 ReneRitchie.net » Apple TV Take 2 and Find Bandwidth in the Morning… { 01.21.08 at 11:07 am }

[...] Apple TV Promises to Take 2008 — RoughlyDrafted Magazine While 2007 was the Year of the iPhone, 2008 appears to be set as the Year of Apple TV. After languishing for a year with weak sales, derisive media scoffing, and an official designation as a “hobby” for Apple, the product’s newly unveiled software upgrade has already kick started sales, even prior to the new “take two” software being released.As one Apple Store employee observed a day after Macworld ended, “Apple TV is crackin. We went from selling one a week to one or two an hour.” January 21, 2008 – Apple, HD – [...]

18 MikeInSyracuse { 01.21.08 at 12:08 pm }

Ah, to be a Bay-area leftist.

Apple didn’t just serve as the stage for independent political expression, but also allowed Newman a moment of uncensored speech that the company then broadcast to millions in its streaming keynote feed. Seriously, which is more impressive: Newman casually saying “shit” in an inoffensive context on stage at Macworld, or Apple, Inc. making no effort to bleep it out in its keynote feed?

Why is either thing “impressive”? What would censoring it out have deprived listeners of? Why would you cheer Apple for not wanting to be the “nanny of the nation” while simultaneously being obviously in favor of politicians who want the federal government to be the “nanny of the nation”?

It is fitting that Apple TV is springing on stage in 2008, the year that will define the future of America as either a deeper dive into the black waters of willful ignorance and fear, or a targeting of the moon as John Kennedy did back in the 60s, when America aspired to lead the world as a well educated, optimistic, liberal minded, progressive role model rather than as a inquisitional holy crusader running roughshod over international conventions and hypocritically killing babies while outlawing stem sell research.

seriously, you should be the tech writer for Democrat Underground or Daily Kos or something. Perhaps you already do post over there, this tripe reads like a cut-and-paste from a typical rant on one of those sites.

19 Bob Forsberg { 01.21.08 at 12:34 pm }

Love the AppleTV and will buy one when it does 1080p. Right idea, just slow getting started.

I’d also enjoy your articles more if the left wing looney liberal political stuff wasn’t there.

20 Blad_Rnr { 01.21.08 at 12:39 pm }

Daniel said:
“…targeting of the moon as John Kennedy did back in the 60s, when America aspired to lead the world as a well educated, optimistic, liberal minded, progressive role model…”

Daniel, I don’t know how old you are, but if my memory serves me, President Kennedy was the one who sent American troops to Viet Nam, ignoring the fate of the French just a few years before. Just because he was assassinated before taking the full blame for it is immaterial. And please explain just what spending trillions on moon exploration ever did for us, besides increase American Fascism (us versus the Communists)?

I love your tech articles. You are a voice in the wilderness when you delve into the real stories of the tech age we live in. There is no writer who seems to have your talent. I commend you for telling it like it is.

But mixing your liberal politics into the mix is just awful, especially when you distort the past for the sake of taking pot shots at our President who was elected by a majority vote by the Electoral College, twice.

Why go there?

21 LyndellR { 01.21.08 at 12:45 pm }

Does Apple TV support encrypted protocols? Encryption could frustrate policing the internet and throttling bandwidth.

22 Brau { 01.21.08 at 12:50 pm }

One thing to remember before going too far and predicting Apple will take over the world, is that the movie studios (IE: Time Warner) are hell bent to make sure Apple doesn’t become the defacto distributor. When they signed their contracts with Apple, they did so knowing they already had other alternatives coming down the pipeline. Indeed, they have already announced an initiative to offer movie downloads (Windows only) through HBO (http://tinyurl.com/2j7zlg). More will services be added through the Xbox and the Sony PSP meaning AppleTV will still have a very hard time competing against the features these offer.

So here goes … I going to say it … I predict AppleTV2 will languish (after a brief surge by early Apple fans) just the same as the first version unless Apple truly opens the device and thereby make it the must-have device it should have been. If they had done this it would have sold millions by now. Adding movie rentals simply does not make it that much more attractive, not does the paltry price drop. Instead they continue to employ the same protectionist tactics that Steve Jobs has accused the music industry and cell networks of, by locking down the AppleTV and artificially limiting it to iTunes streamed content. Apple should allow iTunes to be used side-by-side with whatever competing content the customer desires to use on their AppleTV – just like we do on our PCs.

23 solipsism { 01.21.08 at 12:54 pm }

@ LyndellR,
TV supports WEP, WPA and WPA2 encryption for wireless.

They are encrypted files on the application layer only, which is why you need your iTunes account to play them. Even if they were encrypted at the network layer, any network engineer could easily setup priorities based on the origination network to throttle back access from the iTunes servers.

However, i don’t think any US broadband provider would do that. It could easily be considered an anti-trust issue. Throttling back torrents is a different story.

24 David Dennis { 01.21.08 at 1:02 pm }

I have to agree with many of the others, Daniel. I enjoy the technical articles, but leave US politics to the billions of political blogs that do it better. Particularly since Apple is not controlling the content of podcasts and so it’s really no different from the Internet, just with more video.

It looks to me like Apple, despite their image, has a customer list split roughly 50/50 between left and right, so by showing lefty bias you are antagonizing roughly 50% of your potential readership.

However, I thought your expose of the Muni was very well done, so local politics is not so bad. Corruption and incompetence, sadly, crosses party lines.

D

25 UrbanBard { 01.21.08 at 1:11 pm }

It’s more absurd than that, Blad_Rnr. President Kennedy got us into the war, LBJ changed it from a guerilla war using surrogate forces, which we were winning, into a conventional war.

Then LBJ placed incompetent generals to run it, and micromanaged the war for its political value, so we stared to lose it. The TET offensive, which the Leftist Press says we lost, was a stunning victory which destroyed the North Vietnamese Army. Who says that? The North Vietnamese commander, Nguyen Giap, said so in his book five years ago.

Then, the New Left took control of Congress and, in 1975, cut all military aid to Vietnam. This hampered President Nixon’s ability to get us out of the war. When the Communists attacked again against a vastly weaker South Vietnamese army, they naturally won. The leftist press then blamed Nixon and the Republicans for a war they never caused, then won and was sabotaged by the New Left politicians in Congress.

The Left has whipped us with this lie ever since then. They get away with it because of public ignorance and their control of the Mainstream Media. Now, their political drones have no knowledge of the truth since they only read from approved Politically Correct sources.

26 mrbee { 01.21.08 at 1:18 pm }

To the guy in Canada that is paying for cable and now “has to pay for content” … I am in Canada also and what we do is use the second option. We get our internet from the phone company (actually faster) and don’t watch cable at all. That way, you are only paying for the bare bandwidth and not all that programming on the cable that you don’t watch or need.

Kudos to Dan for the censorship angle. Censorship is rampant in today’s world and it’s *always* a good thing to get rid of it (read your history people). Why is it that three year olds are allowed to watch exploding heads on some shows in prime time but the saying “god damn” or showing a bare bum will be censored? Twisted stuff that.

I am shocked also at all the backwards right-wingers here. I would think if you were on the same page as the average Apple user you would be beyond all that George Bush bullcrap, because anyone with a brain can see reality if they want to.

While Dan does wax political once in a while, in this particular case, all he is saying is that JFK was overall a good man with a positive vision for peace and hope for the future. This is not exactly in dispute, regardless of any presidential orders he may have signed. As Americans, you should know that part of the job of being President means signing papers to send men and women to their deaths once in a while. That doesn’t have any bearing on the overall direction of a particular presidency. Even Jimmy Carter, one of the kindest nicest people ever to be elected to President had to do things like that.

The positioning of JFK as the antithesis of George Bush and Dick Cheney is *very* relevant and very indicative of the choice you all face this year, and to argue against that is idiotic and shallow. You may like the way your country is going now, that’s your choice, but to imply that “JFK was just as bad” or some such nonsense makes you look like you just don’t know much about history.

27 Ephilei { 01.21.08 at 1:20 pm }

Yeah, please leave out the political tripe. Or at least isolate it into its own articles so I can avoid it neatly instead of wading thru it in your tech articles.

28 Blad_Rnr { 01.21.08 at 1:32 pm }

Thank you, UrbanBard. I was hoping I wasn’t the only one who was blindly accepting revisionist history.

Seriously, when are we going to all realize that the political spectrum is not one-dimensional? It’s 2-dimensional!

Think of personal freedom as the Y-axis, and financial freedom as the X-axis. Now we have a true picture of where the parties fall (in theory): Democrats are typically in the top left corner (high personal freedom, high taxes for social works) and Republicans in the bottom right corner (lower taxes, less personal freedom). Fasicsts, Communists, Ultra-Left Wing and Right Wings fall in the lower left corner (is there really a difference between Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot and Hitler?).

Where is the party, or group, who is in the top right corner? The Libertarian Party, for one. They support low taxes, high personal freedom, limited government. But on the one-dimensional scale, they don’t (can’t) exist. How convenient for the two-party system.

But I digress.

29 Blad_Rnr { 01.21.08 at 1:40 pm }

mrbee,
Thanks for calling some of us “backward right wingers.” See above.

I wasn’t calling Kennedy anything. All I was pointing out was that he sent troops to a country to fight in a war we couldn’t win, and didn’t learn from the French experience. I agree Kennedy was a forward-thinking visionary. A smart guy. But I don’t agree that we can look at politics in this country along party lines. BOTH parties share an equal amount of blame for the destruction of financial and personal freedoms. They have both abused their powers. You may dislike Bush. You may think he is a red-neck, ignorant crony who is lining the pockets of his friends. But this is somehow a new thing to American politics?

Give me a break.

30 flybynight { 01.21.08 at 1:48 pm }

Tech, tech, tech, Apple is great, AppleTV this and that, WHOA! Liberal landmine!

I don’t agree with you politically, but even if you were a conservative, I still wouldn’t appreciate the political stuff intermingled with the tech stuff.

As for Blad_Rnr, I disagree with your analysis of the personal freedoms. The left has been very hard on personal freedoms (think smoking bans and property rights, nanny-state policies, etc). Unfortunately, many of the Republicans aren’t true conservatives anymore. Government messes things up, so we need less of it, and therefore, they need less of our tax dollars. I think we need to push people that lean more towards the Libertarian to run under the Republican ticket. I don’t see the 2 party system going away, but it can be improved.

31 John { 01.21.08 at 2:05 pm }

I’m with the others as far as the political comments, but I vote that we give Dan a pass on it, and just filter it out as we read it.

As far as AppleTV 2 – in the context of all Apple products, it fits well. Apple provides a nice wireless context that makes life simpler for us. The Apple TV for playing in the family room what’s actually on our computer; Airport Extreme for our network and backup; iTunes for managing our media on all our devices; and now the Apple TV2 for also playing in the family room what’s on the internet. The key is “simpler”. All this capability exists outside of Apple, it just requires a Geek to do it! Now it’s for the rest of us.

32 rener { 01.21.08 at 2:22 pm }

@Mrbee:

While some, usually re-seller DSL companies have unlimited* (*fairuse) accounts, unadvertised limits are increasingly the norm, and if force wholesale prices for re-sellers disappear (as I believe they may be in the US), then there goes unlimited* internet.

33 Robert.Public { 01.21.08 at 2:22 pm }

Electoral college? That institution that should have been tossed a longtime ago disqualifies this county frombeing a real democracy.

And just because it isn’t new to have a red neck ignorant crony lining his pockets, how in any way does that make it acceptable in this day and age? It is an absolute OUTRAGE!

34 rener { 01.21.08 at 2:23 pm }

BTW- The political injection in the article seems to have cause comments to get caught up in that aspect, and mostly ignore the technology discussion. Sad.

35 gus2000 { 01.21.08 at 2:51 pm }

Dear Daniel,

I love your articles, except for when they suck. Could you please leave out any words or topics that I personally find offensive? I’ll be happy to send you a list. Thanks.

YOU GUYS NEED TO GIVE DANIEL A BREAK. He lives in San Francisco! Most of his friends probably think he’s a moderate. I have the opposite problem living in Texas, where drinking a lite beer is enough to get you branded as a left-leaning homo.

Political ideology exists in all media and art; there is no such thing as 100% objectivity. The difference here at RDM is that Daniel will tell you exactly what he thinks, right to your face, no bullshit. If you want to get told exactly what you want to hear, there are plenty of other outlets that will be happy to help you.

36 johnnyapple { 01.21.08 at 2:55 pm }

The ability to rent or buy directly from you T.V. is the killer feature, I think. It makes more sense that purchased content sync back to your Mac or PC and that rented content never does. I believe in time, this will be a game changer in entertainment and information content delivery. I think it’s a fantastic upgrade!

For those offended by political shots from the left I must say, I think that’s one of the qualities that make RDM unique and interesting. Feel free to disagree and post a counter opinion. These forums are wide open to just about anything but spam. Asking that he leave it out or separate tech from social opinion, I’ll have to disagree. It sounds to me like you’re asking that he voluntarily censor his own work.

“when America aspired to lead the world as a well educated, optimistic, liberal minded, progressive role” ah yes, that would be nice. I wasn’t born yet. Those were troubling times and we had a leader who believed in his people. I’m no fan of the current administration – full disclosure – so perhaps I don’t mind the political comments because I mostly agree with them. I don’t mind a good debate though. I don’t like to loose but I’m OK with calling it a draw.

37 johnnyapple { 01.21.08 at 3:02 pm }

well gus, it looks like you hit your submit button before I hit mine. Damn people around here keep interrupting me with work.

38 lmasanti { 01.21.08 at 3:14 pm }

quote:
“…And please explain just what spending trillions on moon exploration ever did for us…”

The transistor and the microcircuits are “rests” from that spending.

(And the famous multi-million space-pen that the russian suplanted with pencils!)

39 Blad_Rnr { 01.21.08 at 3:16 pm }

@ Robert.Public,
When in ANY of my comments did I say it was okay to act as the current administration has? My point was that some people act like it hasn’t ever happened in any other administration. If you read all of my comments, you would see I am not keen on either party.

As for the Electoral College, I was just stating the facts. I wasn’t making an opinion either way.

@flybynight
I agree. Which is exactly my point. BOTH parties are against us: they want to limit our freedoms AND tax us to death while increasing the size of our government.

I will end my political opinions at this point.

Dan, thanks for a great article, once again. I agree that the Apple TV has a chance to become huge this year. I think Apple has all the pieces in place to have a lion’s share of the video download market. I would like to know what your set-up at home is in regards to your flat panel TV. Many accuse the Apple TV of poor image quality. Would a 720P be a better fit than 1080i or p?

40 hrissan { 01.21.08 at 3:37 pm }

Well, it seems people can not stand reading political views reciprocal to their own. Relax guys and try to realize what’s the reason for this in your soul? Try to be wise. :) Daniel is fantastic apologizing for his wrong predictions/opinions. Such a person is not a dumb ignorant moron, right? Then his opinions obviously have at least some ground, whether they are appropriate in this blog or not. Daniel, you may continue to pick people but it really makes comments a bit irrelevant to the topic, sorry. :)

41 johnnyapple { 01.21.08 at 3:47 pm }

Because Apple TV is now connected directly to the internet and not just to sync with you Mac or PC, it has the potential to bring the internets freedom and wealth of information (good, bad, right or wrong) to your TV, much like a blog brings to your web browser. I think the point is that we will have far more freedom to choose where we get our TV content, not just the network approved feeds. Wasn’t that the point of the final paragraph? It is technically relevant to the rest of the article.

42 WebManWalking { 01.21.08 at 3:48 pm }

Apple can call it Apple TV Take Two or 2.0 if they want, but it’s actually Front Row 2.0. Apple TV 2.0 would be 1080p. I already have the 144.63 GB Apple TV, and have been perfectly happy with it as-is, but I’d like to upgrade to a 1080p box, when it and 1080p content are available.

On a tangential subject, Front Row on the Mac, I cannot upgrade my PowerMac G5 to Leopard to get it, because I absolutely need the Classic environment. I will NEVER upgrade that particular machine beyond Tiger as a result. Since I’m clearly in a demographic that Apple wants (people with money to spend on Apple products), I’d like to point out something that Apple may want to heed: They would grow their movie rental market by making Front Row available to Tiger users without forcing us to hack the system software to allow it.

43 solipsism { 01.21.08 at 4:35 pm }

@ WebManWalking,

— How would the rental market big larger in Front Row was on Tiger? You can already get rentals through any machine running iTunes v7.6.
— AppleTV “Take 2″ is much more than an updated Front Row. There is a great deal that needs to be altered on the back end. I’m sure we’ll be reading about it in a couple weeks.
— 1080p content is not going to be coming anytime remotely soon. The files are way to big.
— It’s been 7 years(?) since Apple has developed for System 7. Doesn’t take you out of being Apple’s most common customer type.

44 macmo { 01.21.08 at 4:55 pm }

Rock on Daniel. I enjoyed every word.

Why are people so quick to classify under left or right? Whatever your political views, I submit that if you write thoughtful, well-supported, refreshing articles on tech, perhaps your points on other topics are just so.

Some are simply afraid of being ‘corrupted’ by different points of view. Just another sign of the sad state of our public discourse.

45 nat { 01.21.08 at 5:17 pm }

UrbanBard said:
“Boy Daniel, You can sure pack a whole bunch of leftist bigotry into one sentence.”

Leftist bigotry’s = oxymoron. :b

One of my favorite articles, Daniel. The depth is always there, but sometimes the subject really hits a chord.

At the moment I’m in my senior year livin with ma. While I know when I move out during college that all I’ll need is WiFi and a MacBook Pro to get my music, movies, podcasts, etc. my mom is still hooked on cable TV. I showed her how almost every cable news station she watches can be viewed online, but since many only offer video clips and confounding Flash displays (at least for ma) she decided she couldn’t deal with it. Now AppleTV 2.0 is out and it’s sooo easy, all I’ll have to do is download some episodes of Meet The Press and subscribe to a few nature podcasts and she’ll probably give in.

On that note, what does everyone think of the chances of podcasts playing on their own? One of my complaints about the idea of AppleTV (and the internet in general) is that many people only watch what they’re into, rather than exploring. Cable has a horrible selection of media, but on occasion I’ll stumble on to a show or movie I’d otherwise have never thought to watch. Is there a chance of an option that allows the user to switch from podcast to podcast like changing the channels, with different media streaming at different times set by the creator? If you stumbled upon something interesting, you could just start it from the beginning or if it got boring, you could fast forward. I know iTunes’ can recommend other media based on your purchases/downloads, but what about things I don’t know I want. :D Then again, I guess one of the ideas of AppleTV is to end the passive consumption of whatever might be on.

On censorship, is there none on iTunes? I’m sure the shills would jump on any podcast that featured nudity, but I’ve never heard of such a podcast. Whenever I write a review of anything on iTunes there are tips for writing and the use of profanity, racism, etc. is prohibited, but is that enforced? Is there an atomized profanity-checker, or does Apple only check reviews people report? Should porn be allowed on iTunes if there were parental controls that could block it from young users? Would Apple allow that? These aren’t rhetorical questions, I’m asking anyone that might have some insight.

The idea of people enjoying podcasts over the reruns that have been playing for the last few months is not hard to imagine. While I feel sorry for the writers, the strike will help freely available content and AppleTV become very popular, which would shift people from paying for lame content they have no control over to free content they can rate and listen to on their computer, iPod, iPhone. If AppleTV becomes the iPod of set-top boxes for the mainstream, I can’t imagine how much more fresh, creative, free content would be at our fingertips! It reminds me of Radiohead and other groups putting up their music for free while charging a bit more for concerts. If Apple added a “Donate to Podcaster” button, for the first time in a long time, independent content creators could really get their dues.

46 Moeskido { 01.21.08 at 5:20 pm }

Strongly-worded opinions breed backlash, which is why comment threads which venture into politics have become such a predictably shrill ping-pong game. Nobody wants to reconsider long-held beliefs after having invested so much faith and energy in them.

Nifty article, Daniel. But I don’t hold out much hope for the utopian promise of Apple TV’s democratization of consumer entertainment, except insofar as I’ll finally have some sort of non-cable, a la carte method to choose only the tv I want, without paying for hundreds of channels of crap.

Our country’s public education system has deteriorated for far too many decades. Most citizens raised within it haven’t been given the basic critical-thinking skills necessary to process the kind of choice you’re describing. Our nanny federal and local governments now outsource our expertise, because government “can’t perform that function” well enough any more. (I work for one of the companies that benefits from this brave new world.) It makes for a very cushy, ongoing, campaign-partner relationship for corrupt officials at every level, in both parties.

Viet Nam was a mess that the French created, abandoned, and left us to clean up. It was never our fight, until foreign advisors convinced several presidents that it could prove politically valuable, aligning individuals with “patriotism” in the public eye.

Those advisor guys are still around, providing similar wisdom to almost every presidential candidate on either ticket, advocating wars which will kill more innocent civilians. And so we continue to sacrifice the lives of working-class children everywhere, tax revenues disappear into private offshore accounts, the middle class disappears, and budgets for essential public services are cut once again.

47 nat { 01.21.08 at 5:30 pm }

Blad_Rnr said:
“But mixing your liberal politics into the mix is just awful, especially when you distort the past for the sake of taking pot shots at our President who was elected by a majority vote by the Electoral College, twice.”

Ha! A “majority vote BY THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE!!” :D
Gore got the popular vote, made by the…the…POPULACE. If the candidate with the highest popular vote had also gotten the most electoral votes, which has been the case for every president in America’s history, Gore would just be finishing up his second term.

As much as I loathe the current administration, there’s a bittersweet relief from the realization that Bush will NEVER be able to run again. In one year Obama will be in (b/c the Bush/Clinton dynasties are through) and this country will wake from its indifferent slumber of futility.

48 chotty { 01.21.08 at 5:51 pm }

Sadly, what many Leftists like this writer don’t see is that today, John Kennedy would be considered a right-wing hawk by today’s “Liberals”.
Oddly enough, John Kennedy was also the last Democrat with a pair of balls to sit occupy the Oval Office… and you KNOW IT.
*Harry Truman and John Kennedy were LIBERALS.
The kooks today are LEFTISTS and COMMUNISTS.
People like “Dan”are sorely in need of reading some Theodore Dalrymple, the best British Essayist since Orwell:

http://www.city-journal.org/html/16_2_oh_to_be.html

Take 2 Apple TV is merely what Take 1 should have been… ;-)

[It's easy to dismiss your POV as ignorant when in reality, the main difference between US Dem and US Rep are where they stand on legislating religious/moral issues. That's pretty sad when you stop to think about it.

Both parties are really right of center on the world stage, and cater to special interests and business as usual rather than espousing a particular political idea, so calling democrats leftist/communist just portrays a rabidly delusional mindset. I mean really, I'm open hearing a variety of opinions on things, but talking point jingoism is a bit too much.

Your casual remark that a "version 2.0 product is what the 1.0 product should have been," while made in jest, conveys the same kind of shallow shout-thinking that makes it easy to write off the efforts of others while barking up nonsense. - Dan]

49 Michael Vasovski { 01.21.08 at 5:54 pm }

I don’t know how much longer ‘impartial’ will be correct in describing internet content. With HR 1955/S 1955 being so vaguely worded, I wonder how hard it would be to organize a false news story, propagated by the internet, that causes catastrophic results. With enough loss in life or economic damage, the government could be called into action against such ‘violent radicalization’ and begin to suppress all ‘non-sanctioned’ media outlets. They’re now setting up college think tanks on the best ways to do this type of censoring… Make no mistake, the central banks, governments, and military industrial complex have every enticement to make sure you get their version of the news. And if they can make an easy opportunity to silence any naysayers, all the better.

50 the shadow { 01.21.08 at 6:03 pm }

Who knew that so many apple fans were reactionary?

The only story in politics today, in spite of the fevered efforts of their apologists and illusionists, is the Bush administration’s gutting of the Constitution, endless criminal war, pillaging of the public purse, illegal spying on the citizenry, and their open hostility to the Ideals that have made America great. No habeus corpus promised by the Constitution indeed. These are not run of the mill political hacks and criminals, they are radical reshapers of the mechanics and values of the republic. While your critics stay focused on the shiny stuff waved in the periphery, America is morphing into an oligarchy presided over by C students from Yale.

Please continue to make connections between thought and consequences, continue to dig at knuckeheads who blame innocent bystanders for the sins against the republic. Your reward will come in heaven.

By the way, couldn’t agree with you more that the story of MacWorld is Apple TV. I will purchase one soon and turn the 42″ electronic campfire in my living room into a democratic device, choosing of my own volition what media and information entertains the household and informs my world view.

Great article. Your critics can get their tech information from the Australian’s many media outlets.

51 Michael Vasovski { 01.21.08 at 6:11 pm }

PS: To the guy above… Obama; Member of Council on Foreign Relations. Also Clinton, Edwards, Dodd, Richardson. Kucinich; No… Romney, McCain, Giuliani, Thompson; CFR members. Paul; No (Huck also not, but being advised by president of CFR).

52 UrbanBard { 01.21.08 at 6:22 pm }

The only reason I posted is in an attempt to persuade Daniel to leave out the politics out of his technical articles. They are like pissing in the soup. You might like the flavor, but many don’t.

It would have taken a half hour to unpack all the implications of that one sentence. Since, I used to be a Democrat who left when the New Left took over, I know full well Daniel’s position. Mostly, his contentions are either rendered moot by technology like Environmental Stem Cell research or they are Leftist contentions long ago disproved when they were tried and failed in the real world. Or they are Daniel patting himself on the back for having a mixed up world view.

Not that Daniel will argue his position with me. I’ve tried. He tries to slip his propaganda beneath other people’s notice. I know my history better than him and apply the rules of logic to everything. Like most Leftists ideologues, he runs out of argument quickly and has not the intellectual honesty to allow him self to be persuaded when he is in the wrong.

Too bad. I like his technical writings. But, his politics are screwy.

53 roz { 01.21.08 at 6:24 pm }

I really think the appleTV is great now but I would be happier still if I could play a dvd and blueray in it. then I could eliminate a box and save an hdmi port.

I could live without vcr, but no blue ray dvd slot is annoying.

54 Jesse { 01.21.08 at 6:27 pm }

Dan, your charts are mystifying to me.

55 IntelVet { 01.21.08 at 6:30 pm }

Leaving out the “politics” washes out the message, the “Think Different”. Rather than being shrill, it is the crux of what Apple is all about.

It would be like describing the most beautiful woman in the world with simple measurements. The “politics” connect the dots and fill in detail.

Thanks

56 netytan { 01.21.08 at 6:30 pm }

Is Apple going to add Remote Disk to the AppleTV, it seems like it would be a good idea.

If the AppleTV does get Remote Disk then surely it could be used as a DVD player too. That would make a lot of people happy :).

What do you think?

57 flybynight { 01.21.08 at 6:34 pm }

At any rate, Daniel is entitled to his opinion and since this is his site, he can write whatever he damn well pleases. I just personally prefer to separate my tech and political (if I agree or not) news/opinions – due to what you see here in the comments. A great article on what AppleTV will do for entertainment has become a battleground for rival ideologies to slug it out with glee.

And we ignore questions that should be relevant… like when will we see TV show rentals??? You can do it at the video store or NetFlix now, but I’m sure it will take some convincing for the networks to let it happen. If you do like TV shows that are offered on traditional TV/cable channels, renting (DVD or hopefully soon digitally) is the best way to do it.

58 gus2000 { 01.21.08 at 6:38 pm }

OMG Nat, you’re right! Every US President until now has won both the Electoral College AND the popular vote!

Oh wait, except 1824. And 1876. And 1888. And there were several others that were very close (Nixon won an electoral landslide with less than a 1% popular margin).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Electoral_College

Actually I support the use of the Electoral College, I just despise the “winner-take-all” system that was never intended by the founders.

59 kent { 01.21.08 at 6:39 pm }

Maybe there would not be such a huge number of negative comments about Daniel’s political comments if he would stop characterizing those who differ with his leftist San Francisco worldview as “fascists”. Not a good way to treat your readers. Sadly those with the “San Francisco world view” run the Canadian Human Rights commision, where they use public funds to prosecute writers who “offend” anyone who makes a complaint. If you want to true fascism, or at least totalitarianism, infecting Canada, see http://ezralevant.com/ – where you can watch a government interrogator deciding if a Canadian should be put out of business for exercising free speech. I have not seen this from the “evil” George Bush yet, but maybe some of the enlightened liberal observers on this board can provide hard evidence of something similar in the US. Daniel is determined to piss off any conservative who likes his technical blog. That’s OK. Just don’t look for donations.

60 mrunderhill { 01.21.08 at 6:54 pm }

Jeeez i forgot what i was going to say.

Ah i remember now…my Apple TV arrived today and now i’m just waiting for the HDMI cable.

Then is it just a case of putting on my colours, getting my gun and Viva la revolution?

Seriously though i agree with some of the others who comment here when they ask to keep the politics separate from the techie talk.

61 WebManWalking { 01.21.08 at 6:54 pm }

Apple TV is hardware. Its interface, Front Row, is software. So if you change just the interface, on the same hardware, it’s Front Row 2.0.

As for 1080p, the heart wants what it wants. I’m willing to pay for it. I accept that this implies large file. Apple needs to know that there’s a existing market for electronic delivery of 1080p.

62 nat { 01.21.08 at 7:08 pm }

gus2000 said:
“OMG Nat, you’re right! Every US President until now has won both the Electoral College AND the popular vote!

Oh wait, except 1824. And 1876. And 1888. And there were several others that were very close (Nixon won an electoral landslide with less than a 1% popular margin).”

Thanks for the link, but it doesn’t disprove what I was saying. The examples you brought up were during a time when a number of states didn’t have popular elections that decided the votes of that state’s electors.

I was saying that for every US election in which ALL states had popular elections, no president has ever lost the popular election and then won through the Electoral College. Bush is the only one in history thanks to Florida, in which Bush’s brother was governor at the time.

63 daniel.lucas { 01.21.08 at 7:08 pm }

@ nat

I found your flicking through podcasts idea quite interesting and it got me thinking of how that could be implemented.

The closest I got was bringing up a list of related videos/podcasts, similar to YouTube. Or a Google-style “I’m feeling lucky” button. Of course, related videos wouldn’t be much use if the idea is to explore new and unrelated content, but something along those lines could work.

I have to admit that I’m not very good at exploring new stuff but mainly because there’s so much choice I’m not sure where to start. Then again, when I do come across something new that takes my fancy, I wonder how I didn’t find out about it earlier.

64 solipsism { 01.21.08 at 7:22 pm }

@ netytan (#55),

I don’t think it would be hard to hack the AppleTV’s OS X to auto-mount the optical drive your Mac. They have created the software I’m sure the hackers will put it together.

Leopard’s FrontRow will show a DVD option when one is inserted. I don’t know if the software has been altered or just isn’t activated because there is no DVD player attached to the AppleTV. I guess we’ll see soon.

65 kent { 01.21.08 at 7:29 pm }

Nat,

So we had a close election last time. The system worked and we have a president. We have never had a system based on direct popular vote. The same people who complain about the 2000 election also complain about Ronald Reagan, who won two landslides. George Bush would not have won in 2000 if Tennessee had voted for Al Gore, but they knew him. In 2004 Kerry would have won if North Carolina had voted for him, but they knew John Edwards. The Democrats lost both elections. If you want to engage in what ifs, then just remember John Kennedy only defeated Nixon because of fraudulent votes in Illinois and Texas. Nixon decided not to make an issue of the obvious fraud because he did not want to put the country through a post-election trauma. There’s one difference between the parties.

66 leifwright { 01.21.08 at 7:34 pm }

I disagree with those who want you to keep your political opinions to yourself.

Part of what makes RoughlyDrafted a great site is that you look unwaveringly at the issues that get you riled up, which happens to most often be FUD about Apple. Despite that, politics, it seems, occasionally gets you, too, and that’s OK.

After all, this isn’t APPLEroughlyDrafted. It’s RoughlyDrafted. No eschewing of political commentary promised or implied.

Yeah, I happen to be a leftie, too, but I’d support your right to vent even if you were *gasp* a right-winger. Although, come to think of it, you’d probably be using a Dell.

67 flybynight { 01.21.08 at 7:43 pm }

WebManWalking said:
“Apple TV is hardware. Its interface, Front Row, is software. So if you change just the interface, on the same hardware, it’s Front Row 2.0. …”

Actually, Front Row 1.0 existed before AppleTV. AppleTV (Take 1) had the code name “Back Row,” and that rolled out to Leopard users as Front Row 2.0. I suppose you could call AppleTV Take 2 “Front Row 3.0″ but I doubt we will see this interface updated in the desktop version of Front Row. I could be wrong, but on the desktop, you have iTunes, so it seems a little redundant.

As for 1080p, yes there is a market for it, but a lot of obstacles as well. Everything I’ve read leads me to believe that the AppleTV hardware couldn’t handle it. Sure, they could have revised the hardware, but I think giving existing users a free update will make a lot more people happy than offering it only to new buyers. And to have 2 different sets of hardware out there with different resolution options would be a support nightmare – at least when first starting the rental store.

The other issue is file size vs. download time. If they compressed 1080p enough to make reasonable download times (for most people in the US), the quality would not be much/any better than 720p. I think they found a nice balance. 1080p will happen eventually, but for now, this will be good enough for 95% of users.

netytan,
Interesting idea about Remote Disc and AppleTV. Could be interesting, but perhaps too confusing for some consumers. Maybe not. And of course, Apple will have to start shipping Macs with BluRay drives. Is there enough bandwidth on home networks to stream 1080P?

My personal (unrelated) hope is that the iPhone/iPod Touch gains the ability to output to AirTunes (AirPort Express). How cool would that be??? They added that in the new AppleTV, but it don’t see most people using it there. The AppleTV will be right where most people have their good stereo speakers. I suppose for a cheap “whole house audio” solution, it could work if it can output to multiple AirTunes in unison.
Think about it – the iPhone/iPod Touch is the only networkable iTunes device that cannot send audio to AirTunes.

68 higher ground { 01.21.08 at 7:45 pm }

Gee, I can’t wait for Daniel to take on religion!

69 nat { 01.21.08 at 8:06 pm }

daniel.lucas,

I hear what you’re saying. It’s pretty easy to think of systems that can recommend media based on purchases/downloads, but more difficult to think of a way to find random diamonds in the rough.

Your YouTube example reminded me of the rating system. I suppose the best way to find good random gems would be to look at something like YouTube videos listed under the “Popular” heading. I’ve discovered a few interesting sites and bands that way. Digg has to be my favorite site for finding completely random, strangely appealing stuff. Perhaps I should put more faith in iTunes rating system, but at the same time it would recommend me Brittany Spears over Elliott Smith. I guess the problem lies in the type of person that frequents and submits stories to a place like Digg compared to those buying tons of music off iTunes, though that’s not a slam of iTunes users as a whole, just those buying the singles of the top 10 BS pop artists.

Take a look at a site like Neave.tv which features original content from a number of different sources. The videos differ greatly, yet they all seem to go together in a strange way. Fortunately, at least for podcast-lovers like myself, the content is dominated by interesting and creative works like those on neave.tv, rather than the mediocre mainstream crap that always makes it to the top of iTunes’ Top Songs list.

I share your ironic frustration with the endless choices. Yes, there are hundreds of great artists out there, for example, but WHERE DO I BEGIN!! I have a Last.fm account, but I get discouraged when I listen to the music it recommends and it’s just not my kind of stuff, so I discontinue my search. Same with websites. I want to find more sites like RoughlyDrafted that just seem too good to exist! :D

70 nat { 01.21.08 at 8:19 pm }

kent said:
“So we had a close election last time. The system worked and we have a president. We have never had a system based on direct popular vote.”

The last election was close, but the system did not “work.” The candidate who has the most popular votes has = the candidate who has the most electoral votes.

That changed for the first and only time in US history in 2000 and the fact that Bush’s brother governed the state which gave him, the candidate that held the minority vote the presidency was no coincidence.

As for 2004, yeah Bush won both the popular and electoral votes mainly due to him being the incumbent (incumbents have a much better chance of being reelected for a second term) and swift-boating by his followers.

71 WebManWalking { 01.21.08 at 9:46 pm }

Thanks, flybynight. I wasn’t aware that Leopard had already hollered dibs on calling its version of Front Row 2.0, because, as I said earlier, I don’t and won’t have Leopard on my G5. All I knew was, my Apple TV had 1.1 and the Tiger hack talked about downloading 1.3.

P.S.: You might be interested that, in the Washington DC area, the Yellow Pages once listed a computer consulting company called Nocturnal Aviation.

72 kent { 01.21.08 at 9:50 pm }

Nat,

You are confused. Our system chooses by state with electors from each state generally voting for the popular winner in the state. This is how the founders set it up to balance big state and small state influence. Read The Federalist Papers. George Bush won the Florida vote with about 7 recounts. His brother had nothing to do with it. There were strong efforts by the Democrat controlled Palm Beach machine to change the outcome thru the invention of the “chad” issue as a means of disallowing valid Bush votes. Gore did not win any recount.

73 daniel.lucas { 01.21.08 at 10:24 pm }

nat said:

“I want to find more sites like RoughlyDrafted that just seem too good to exist!”

My thoughts exactly. This is the only blog I read on a truly regular basis. I find myself checking the RSS feed several times a day just in case there’s a new article that I can distract myself with instead of doing whatever it is I’m really supposed to be getting on with.

Mind you, the main reason behind that is of course that I’m a true Mac evangelist and I find myself defending them to so many people, so much of the time that I wish I could be as eloquent as Daniel is at explaining just how good they are and why :)

74 nat { 01.21.08 at 10:26 pm }

kent,

I know how the Electoral College works.

Bush got Florida, but he did not have the popular vote of the US as a whole – that’s the issue.

75 nat { 01.21.08 at 11:02 pm }

daniel.lucas said:
“I’m a true Mac evangelist and I find myself defending them to so many people, so much of the time that I wish I could be as eloquent as Daniel is at explaining just how good they are and why.”

I’m in the same boat. At first, I really enjoyed Macs, but I couldn’t tell the guys in my computer certification technician class, in which I had to diagnose countless Windows problems (both created for our correction and those that happened for no reason other than Windows’ instability) why. I had to deal with this one foreign exchange student everyday who debated me using misinformation that sooo many people have been fed, including myself. I can’t remember when I found RoughlyDrafted, but once I did I swear I spent days reading these articles I kept expecting to be bored by. That’s the difference with Daniel here. He can talk about complicated technical topics I might not even understand in a way that makes logical sense. Our shared political views are the icing, though I do not believe tech and politics or any other facet of one’s life should be or can be segregated.

76 dicklacara { 01.21.08 at 11:41 pm }

I do not mind being lambasted as a “conservative” but being called a Dell user is beyond the pale…

I bought my first computer in 1978, an Apple ][… I have never owned a PC!

Great article, Dan!

77 Nicky G { 01.21.08 at 11:43 pm }

The diatribes of some of this site’s readers are insane. I don’t care how much you identify with conservatism, liberalism, socialism, capitalism, anarchism, you name it. There is a lot of truth to the idea that the two-party system, as far as what it’s evolved to today, is deeply flawed and corrupt and needs major change.

But geez louise — I don’t understand how ANYBODY could look at the Bush administration, the neocons, the vast shredding of the constitution (used to be conservatives loved the constitution?), vast expansion of power in the executive branch, gagging whistle blowers who reveal the extent of high-level corruption in the FBI and other agencies — man, I could go on and on. I just don’t know how ANYONE despite their political leanings could look at what’s going on today and not be SHOCKED and FRIGHTENED by the state that things have come to. It had NOTHING to do with liberalism versus conservatism or anything like that at all, we are talking about a criminal cartel that has deep influence on both parties, is made up of people from different nations, and is fundamentally opposed to the tenets of BOTH conservatism and liberalism. But man, they sure can get away with it so long as they can keep decent folks bickering about completely inane BS!

*sigh*

78 kent { 01.21.08 at 11:44 pm }

Nat,

Since you understand “Bush got Florida” and you understand “how the electoral college works” then you know Bush won the election. If we had a system based on popular vote, Gore would have won. We don’t. And there are reasons for that.

79 kent { 01.21.08 at 11:53 pm }

Nicky G

In your listing of “shredding of the constitution” you failed to mention the Clinton’s stealing of 500 FBI files of their political opponents, their fabricating of charges against the Travel Office employees so they could put Harry Thomason in this job ( a jury exonerated all after they spent a life’s fortune defending themselves), their use of NSA spy satellites to listen to John Boehner’s cell phone conversations with other Republicans, and the release last week of Jay Rockefellers memo in 1993 encouraging use of government resources to smear opponents of Hillary’s Soviet health care system, including planting innuendos in the media about opponents “lifestyles”. I guess you just forgot these things, or you are OK with crimes by government committed by Democrats. By the way, your diatribe was pathetically weak or real concrete examples of the supposed shredding of the Constitution by Bush. You are lame.

80 Nicky G { 01.22.08 at 12:13 am }

kent, you are nuts — first of all I am not a fan of the Clintons, but guess what, BILL CLINTON IS NOT OUR PRESIDENT NOW, BUSH IS. And I hate to say it, but the scale of it all is so over the top now, it’s on a level that Bill CLinton can’t compare to. I don’t remember Clinton getting us into a MAJOR WAR with the WRONG COUNTRY. Did we even lose ANY soldiers when we invaded Yugoslavia under Clinton? I didn’t support that war at the time, although in retrospect maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing, because now I know how you REALLY mess up a war! Oh and guess what, Bin Laden is still missing, so is the head of the Taliban, but I suppose that’s Billary’s fault? You are a nutball, something about your type must be very susceptible to the charms of fake southern drawl (remember that the Bushes are as Eastern Establishment as any other Power Family in the USA.) I simply do not understand what motivates you, I guess you need something very square to “hate” and for some reason that equals “liberals.” SOme liberals are the same way, they have to hate “conservatives.” Me, I have both liberal and conservative tendencies, don’t tend to support either of the two parties, I just believe in a little thing called the constitution, freedom to do what you want so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else, etc. I’m probably closest in some ways to a libertarian, but I do believe there needs to be some government, I mean, you can’t live int he world of today with no government, it just couldn’t work. But people like you HAVE to try to pigeonhole people who don’t agree with you, and because idiots like you happen to be particularly verbal about your insanity, people come to believe they have to put up with it! Guess what, WE DON’T — and just to be ironic we will send the likes of you to the Afghani/Pakistani borderlands, because despite your rantings I think you’d actually fit in quite well with the the type of nutballs who live out there!

81 kent { 01.22.08 at 12:28 am }

NickyG

Unless you missed it we were attacked and 3000 citizens killed on our soil within one day. Our financial center and our capital were directly attacked by Islamic terrorists who receive direct support from regimes including Iraq. The war was voted on by both parties – Bush did not do this on his own. All current candidates have supported the Iraq war – including Hillary, Obama and Edwards. In case you did not know this, you pathetic product of our public education system, soldiers are killed in war. And I dare say you don’t like the military including the soldiers killed. The soldiers aren’t complaining about the war – it’s left wing loons who don’t even let military recruiters on campus. War involves death. So does failure to confront enemies. The World Trade Center was first attacked, you nut job, in 1992, and Clinton treated that attack as a legal case to be solved by Janet Reno. You are so stupid you don’t deserve freedom.

82 Nicky G { 01.22.08 at 12:32 am }

Oh and kent just for you bucko, here are a couple of primary examples of how Bush and his administration has exacerbated the shredding of the constitution:

• Asserting “executive privilege” when it comes to releasing ANY documentation relating to ANYTHING they have been up to, and this extends to the administration’s encouragement of agencies like the EPA to do the same. I doubt any other administration in history has prevented the release of such documents to the extent as the Bush administration.

• The administration’s embrace of executive signing statements, more than all other presidents COMBINED I believe, which essentially assert that they have executive privilege to ignore ANY LAWS THEY WANT TO by virtue of being president!!!

• The administration’s leaking of a major CIA operation’s existence which was fighting anti nuclear weapon proliferation — while not strictly anti-constitutional, I think it can be argued that these actions were BLATANTLY TREASONOUS.

• Using Colin Powell and other high-level members of the administration to spread FABRICATED EVIDENCE to get us into a MAJOR WAR WHICH WE ARE LOSING. Again, you could argue that it was just stupid, or bordering on treasonous, if the intentions were really to benefit OTHER foreign powers, which to my mind seems to be the case.

I could go ON AND ON, and you won’t see me defending the Clintons, that’s for sure! But to say “because the Clintons did/do bad things, the Bush administration is incapable of doing bad things,” well, that’s just pretty much NUTS dude!

83 kent { 01.22.08 at 12:37 am }

NickyG

Your list is a rambling tirade. Where a specific constitutional violations? None listed.

According to you Colin Powell is some sort of puppet who will say what Bush tells him to that Powell thinks is untrue? You trash Powell like that.

Since you are concerned about leaks of security information I suppose you would like to see prosecutions of the New York Times for leaking details of the financial tracking system used by our government to track terrorist finances – all within the law. Their leak destroyed a tool used by the US Govt to protect real citizens. You don’t care about such details – or you are too stupid to know these things.

84 Nicky G { 01.22.08 at 12:38 am }

kent, you have revealed yourself as nothing more than an internet troll with too much time on his/her hands — nobody could possibly be as dumb as you, I just refuse to believe it. There are plenty of people in the military at very high levels who are against the war, they told Bush the only way to win it is to send in a few hundred thousand troops at least, and you know what, he fired them! Either you are just wasting everyone’s time pretending you’re a freak, or you really are way more crazy than I can imagine, which is scary but not worth too much of my time. FOr the record, there is NO CONNECTION between Iraq & Al Qaida and repeating it over and over DOES NOT MAKE IT TRUE. Iraq HAD NO WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION, saying it over and over DOES NOT MAKE IT TRUE. Believe you me, I was VERY affected by 9-11, and I support going after anyone who had any level of involvement at all, to the fullest extend possible. BUT OOPS WE KIND OF LET AFGHANISTAN GO, BECAUSE WE WERE TOO BUSY FIGHTING THE WRONG WAR IN IRAQ! D’OH!!!! SO don’t try to label me in any way you IDIOT, I will call you out as such, and you will NOT be able to pigeonhole me into a corner as much as you would like to! Thank GOD in a few years I am convinced history will ask “WHAT THE HELL WAS WRONG WITH THOSE PEOPLE WHO SUPPORTED THAT LEVEL OF INSANITY?!?!” I don’t want to straight up call you a NAZI, but I will say, the last 7 years or so have taught a lot of us how something like the holocaust could have occurred — there are always a bunch of STUPID CHUMPS who will eat up ANY OLD BULLSHIT if it allows them to reinforce their own BIGOTRY, HATRED, and STUPIDITY.

85 kent { 01.22.08 at 12:41 am }

By the way, this started not because I said Bush or other Republicans were incapable of mistakes. An intelligent conversation could include a long laundry list of the administrations mistakes. This pathetic discusssion began with the naming of our administration as “fascist”. This type of name calling by morons who haven’t a clue about what fascism is what destroys dialog. So until you can engage in debate without labeling your opponent as fascist then don’t be surprised if you receive a few names back – you big dope.

86 dicklacara { 01.22.08 at 12:43 am }

Ahh… the Nazi card… so it ends…

87 kent { 01.22.08 at 12:47 am }

NickyG

Since you are so knowledgeable about Iraq, perhaps you can explain how the prior administration (Clinton) had a stated policy of regime change toward Iraq based on their WMD. And how the intelligence agencies of all UK, Germany and France all supported this. And, of course, knowing this, and knowing of the documented interactions between Iraq and Al Queda and the attack we had already endured and the civilian losses we had already incurred, you would have been OK with the risk. Oh yeah, and both parties voted by a lopsided margin to give the authority to remove Saddam. But you know better. What an ass.

88 Nicky G { 01.22.08 at 12:58 am }

Dude, I can’t continue to chat with someone online who is an obvious loony, it’s over. I hope some sensible people out there can read what you’re saying and realize “man, that is kind of crazy” and maybe be convinced to vote later this year, and speak out against equally crazy stuff when they here it spouted and nobody calls it out for what it is. You are nuts, thank THANK GOD I think a lot of people are catching on and it will be a while before such a level of craziness is allowed to happen again.

Oh and by the way, I hope you love reaping what you’ve allowed to be sown, when Obama or Hillary has all the executive power the Bush administration invoked uncontestedly for the executive branch — or did you think that only neocons were going to get elected from now on? Yeah that’s right, you’ll be crying about how Hillary “destroyed the Constitution” the first time she invokes the same privileges Bush and his fellow dweebs have been invoking for years now. “WAAAAAH WAAAAH” you’ll whine, and we’ll all laugh at you.

89 kent { 01.22.08 at 1:07 am }

Believe me, when Hillary is in office there will be true constitutional issues – she believes she owns the revenues of oil companies, believes they and drug companies are evil, believes she can nationalize industry, believes she owns your income, and in the words of her husband, “loaths the military”. We get the government we deserve and it looks like we deserve the govt of Ted Kennedy, Barney Frank, Monica Lewinsky, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, etc. Don’t get in Hillary’s way or she will treat you as she is treating Barak Obama – the uppity black guy that both Clinton’s are lying about left and right to win the primary.

90 s00p3rd00d { 01.22.08 at 1:15 am }

Kent -

Unfortunately you are misinformed with regard to the 2000 election. Don’t feel bad, you aren’t alone, as our friends in the so-called liberal media have ensured. A recount in Florida never occurred. It would have if the Supreme Court hadn’t short-circuited the Constitutional process in order to declare Mr. Bush President. By the way, chads are, and always have been, an issue with punch card voting systems and have nothing to do with Palm Beach. You’re thinking of the butterfly ballot, a completely unrelated issue that exacerbated the Florida voting problems.

As for your Clinton conspiracies … I don’t even know where to start. What is it about Bill and Hillary that get Republicans so worked up? As a certified far-leftist, I can assure you that the Clinton are, to my disappointment, standard moderate-liberal corporate Democrats – not the crazed socialists you fear (and I long for). But I guess that’s the point, eh? You declare the Clintons (who are slightly left of Nixon) Communist and you shift the “center” way over to the right, leaving no room for socialism (Western European or otherwise).

Bringing it back for Daniel … Microsoft, much like the “GOP” and its Authoritarian foot soldiers, are in the business of smothering alternatives in order to prevent honest, open and fair comparisons.

91 UrbanBard { 01.22.08 at 1:24 am }

Nicky G, I have some disagreements to your statements. I doubt of their accuracy. Many Leftist contentions about the Bush adminstration have been disproved. You must not have gotten the memo. It is not my responsibility to support your contentions; it is yours. Let me look at you examples:

1. It is often routine for the papers of an administration to held for twenty years to avoid embarrassment. I understand that the Clinton papers have been held up until after the 2008 election. This practice is nowhere in the constitution, but is merely a presidential custom. How this shreds the constitution, I don’t know.

2. Executive signing statements are instructions to the executive branch on how to implement a law. Such statements are necessary because not even Congress knows what is in these bulls. Since Executive signing statements are Constitutional, how is more or less of them harming anything?

BTW, the declaring a law unConstitutional is not a prerogative of just the judiciary. The Constitution indicates that all branches have that power. It’s called checks and balance.

3. Armatige, not anyone in the White House, told Novak all about Valerie Plame. Armitage was in the State Department and was known to be antiwar. The bureucracy is so huge that disaffected bureucrats can thwart the White House’s plans. The President did not have to out Plame since she had alredy been outted six years before. Her husband, Joe Wilson, was a liar as the Senate select Intellegence Committee proved.

There were hearings on this. If any laws could be proven to be broken, then Fitzgerald would have indicted the person. I must assume that this was a tempest in a teapot.

4. I dispute this contention entirely. It is a Leftist tissue of lies. America was already at war and had be since Saddam Hussein broke in 1995 his cease fire agreement in UN Resolution 687. Nothing was done in the mean time because the country was waiting for a Republican president to be elected. Clinton got congress to authorize the Iraqi Liberation act, but he appropriated no money, nor moved any troop to the Iraq border.

Nor are we losing the war in Iraq. The proof is that there is no news out of Iraq these days. This is typical Leftist ignorance.

You have been listening too long to the Mainstream Media. You are gullible and are swallowing their lies and spin without question.

92 UrbanBard { 01.22.08 at 1:33 am }

This is exactly why I wish Daniel would stop putting Political material in his technical articles. Not only is it that he is in error, but it prompts people to reply. It is not as though anyone here will likely change their minds, so why stir this up this fuss?

So, why did I reply? I did so as a public service. To quote Edmond Burke, “All that is necessary for evil to win is for good men to do nothing.” So, I reply to blatant errors and political propaganda.

93 Nicky G { 01.22.08 at 1:33 am }

UrbanBard, just calling me a liberal does not make it so, sorry to disappoint you. And I’m sorry dude, if you can’t look at the Bush administration and say to yourself “criminal stooges” I simply don’t know what your problem is. Sometimes I guess things that are SO OBVIOUS are actually oblivious to some people, it’s funny how it works that way. But hey, call me a liberal if you want, even though I don’t believe most of what I read in the “liberal media” (HAHAHAHAH what a ridiculous notion!) and have many opinions that are contrary to socialistic policies. I guess also that folks with simple minds can’t understand how sometimes some things can’t be black or white, but might be shades of grey, and that maybe BOTH parties have major problems and the main thing that needs to be fixed is the system itself. No, I guess “conservatives” (whatever that means) can do no wrong, and only the Clintons and their communist stooges (yeah, right) are the ones capable of doing anything untoward. Sure, if that’s how your simplistic mind needs to understand things, so be it.

94 Nicky G { 01.22.08 at 1:39 am }

OK UrbanBard, only you can correct other people’s lies, but everyone else should listen to you and bow. Yes, BOW DOWN TO URBANBARD, ONLY HE IS RIGHT. Give me a freaking break dude, you take yourself way too seriously. People like you and Kent, there’s a place for your ilk, it’s called THE LOONY BIN. I can’t possibly imagine what could motivate a person to stand SO STRONGLY behind a single point of view — I guess it’s that you don’t actually have to think at all, and some people are lazy like that? You can take all your cues from the Fox News talking points and not actually have to put together anything yourself. I guess mental weaklings would tend to gravitate toward that way of doing things, it sure makes life easier. YAY BUSH ADMINISTRATION GOOD CLINTONS BAD YAAAY. Too bad it’s ridiculous and boring.

Hmmm, maybe guys like you are really just bots programmed to repeat Fox News talking points ad nauseam, that I could actually believe, and it would explain a hell of a lot…

95 s00p3rd00d { 01.22.08 at 1:51 am }

UrbanBard,

Wow.

1. What you’re referring to are archival documents, the “work product” of the White House, which are withheld from immediate release following every administration since Nixon (whose treasonous behavior necessitated new federal law). And, as a matter of fact, one of the first Executive Orders Bush enacted was re-classifying the archives of the Reagan/BushI White House, which were on the verge of release.

What nat is referring to is the refusal of the current Administration to cooperate with Congressional oversight. See the Energy panel, U.S. Attorneys, and missing e-mail scandals for some egregious violations. Congressional oversight, “[i]t’s called checks and balance.”

2. I agree, every member of Congress should read every word of every bill they pass – that is their job. Signing statements, however, are not at all routine.

For your own edification, *only* the Supreme Court can declare a law unconstitutional. That was what all that Marbury v. Madison jazz was about. A quick primer: 1) Congress enacts laws 2) the Executive enforces laws 3) the Judiciary referee the process.

3. “Scooter” Libby.

4. I thought the U.N. was a bunch of no-good commies, here to take our guns and force us to watch French film? No? You can’t honestly believe this stuff. Did you give one moment’s thought to Iraq between the Gulf War and our invasion? Of course not.

Please tell me what, exactly, we’re “winning” in Iraq?

96 UrbanBard { 01.22.08 at 1:55 am }

Nicky G, I don’t know you. All I can do is judge you by your actions. I’m guessing that you are a Left Libertarian. The difference between us is that I believe we need to win this war. Even a half assed attempt is better than no attempt at all.

All Governments are conspiracy against the public. A Democratic adminstritation is no less so.

There is not reason to be insulting. All that does is presude me that I’ve won. Mine is a reasoned position.

Nor am I lacking in intellegence; I could join Mensa if I chose. I’m just not a joiner.

Many things are black and white in this world; there is right and wrong. But with governments, because they natually amoral, we must do what is pragmatic. The question is what works. Appeasment does not work, Deplomacy had been tried and failed. Doing nothing got us attecked on 9//11. What alterative is there that we have not tried?

Certainly Conservative can do wrong, but that needs to be proven. Making alligations is not enough.

Yes, the Bush admistration made many mistake, but that is Standard Operating Proceedure in war. This is a new kind of enemy, so methods need to be tried to see what works.

Only an idiot mocks his opponent.

I am quite willing to make my case, but the Left gives up after they run out of talking points.

97 Marian { 01.22.08 at 2:09 am }

I personally am outraged about what’s happening in this country. I am outraged about what the Bush administration did (and it’s doing) to this country.

I consider Daniel being very soft with the hypocritical social conservatives that run this country and want to dictate what’s wrong and what’s right for all of us. I consider Daniel being very soft with the Bushies in his commentaries. That’s probably because he tries a lot not to mix politics with tech. But frankly, sometimes they are mixed by our politicians and one cannot abstain from talking about it.

98 UrbanBard { 01.22.08 at 2:41 am }

Thank you for you polite reply, s00p3rd00d.

I merely disputed that his examples were shredding the constitution. They seem mere petty politics.

1. Is using Executive signing statements against the law? No. So, why is the Bush administration doing it? I suspect it is that Bush knows that he has a hostile Press and doesn’t want to give them ammunition. The government changes over time. So what?

The President has powers granted to him by article II of the Constitution. Firing the US Attorneys is one, since they serve at the pleasure of the president. You need to be more specific about the other allegations.

2. Who decides what is routine? Since these are part of the executive branch, I’d say that the President decides. If you say differently, what is your case? Does the President serve at the pleasure of Congress? I think not.

You are wrong about it being “only” the Supreme Court. The founding fathers never envisioned such a power for the court. This was usurpation of power that has grown over the year. Judicial Activism needs to cut back. The best ways are two fold. We need “Originalist” on the court and have Congress to trim their excesses. Both require that the Conservatives be in power for some time.

3. Scooter Libby was not convicted of any crime associated with the Plame case. There was a different between Scooter’s recollections and a reporter’s notes. The grand jury chose to believe the reporter and put a malignant spin on that difference. I suspect that Libby was a scapegoat; Fitzgerald needed some one to charge.

Could Fitzgerald have charged Armatige for leaking information about Plame to Novak? Sure. But, Armitige is a Liberal and antiwar, so he couldn’t do that.

4. I doesn’t matter if I gave any thought to the war in the meantime. If an organization will not enforce it’s edicts then, it has no reason to exist.

I am conflicted over this. I’d prefer that the UN die a swift death by going the way of the League of Nations.

I believe that Bush and Colin Powell made a mistake by going back to the UN. It was already documented that Saddam had broken the cease fire.

A lapse of time means nothing. If you break your parole, you are going back to jail whether it is this instant or twelve year later.

Are we winning? Yes. Did you read General Patreaus remarks to congress? Have you heard about the surge? Casualties of our troops and Iraqi civilians are the lowest in two years. Even bin Laden in his last tape admitted that al Qaeda is losing in Iraq. The Sunni’s are no longer fighting the government. The worse fighting is in Baghdad and bombings are way down.

The Iraqi Government has been working out the mechanism to gain a peaceful society. The Sunni refugees are coming back home because they no longer fear a civil war.

The Parliament recently pardoned the lower ranking Ba’athist party members. There is less gridlock in the Iraqi Parliament than in the US Congress. I know that you haven’t heard any of this. The Mainstream Media is hushing it up.

99 s00p3rd00d { 01.22.08 at 3:33 am }

UrbanBard,

1. Signing statements are not against the “law” because they aren’t real. There is no Constitutional provision for signing statements. The President carries out laws that Congress passes. The end. His *only* say in the matter is by veto. Question: when Bill Clinton was President, the line item veto was pilloried by Republicans – how is this at all different?

As for the U.S. Attorneys, the President most certainly does not have the right to fire Justice Dept. employees for *not* subverting the law, which is what was happening. The Congress was attempting to investigate the firings, and the Administration refused to cooperate. That is the problem. Even if there was no wrongdoing, the Congress has an absolute right of oversight. I suspect when a Democrat regains the White House this will become apparent to you.

2. As a matter of fact, the President does serve at the pleasure of Congress. That is why the Constitution lays out a clear process for how Congress can go about impeaching one for high crimes and misdemeanors.

Are you disputing the finding in Marbury v. Madison? As for your contention about the Founders’ intent, please see Federalist #78. As for “originalism”, if it’s so great, why do you endorse patently unconstitutional power grabs by the Executive branch?

3. “Scooter” Libby was convicted of lying to a jury about *outing Valerie Plame’s undercover identity to reporters*. I don’t know how much more “associated with the Plame case” it could be.

4. I didn’t ask *if* we’re “winning”, I asked *what* we’re “winning”. Violence in Iraq back down to Saddam-era levels? *Fewer* car bombings? Not quite as many more dead people? These are not accomplishments. There can be no stabilization of Iraq until we’re gone, since *we caused the destabilization*.

You’re obviously an American patriot … what exactly would *you* do if China invaded the U.S. tomorrow in order to spread democracy? How about if your friends were routinely killed by aerial bombings and you were afraid to go outside, couldn’t find a job in the devastated economy and needed to go through six check points where you are searched at gunpoint just to visit your parents?

100 Who Was the Biggest Loser at Macworld? — RoughlyDrafted Magazine { 01.22.08 at 4:40 am }

[...] ← Apple TV Promises to Take 2008 [...]

101 UrbanBard { 01.22.08 at 4:41 am }

It’s clear that there is little reason for me to write to you, s00p3rd00d. You make no sense.

1. The Senate and the house of representatives have their own rules; the executive branch does, too. None of that is mandated in the Constitution. The Supreme Court has not forbidden this, because it can’t. It has no jurisdiction. Who would enforce it?

Clinton fired all the political appointees in the Justice department, but Bush cannot fire eight democrats?

2. First, the president has to commit those crimes then there has to be sufficient numbers of members willing to try him. That is not the same as giving them supreme control. Supposedly, the electorate has that.

Yes, I dispute Marbury v. Madison. There is nothing in the Constitution or English common law to warrant that ruling. Thomas Jefferson believed that the Supreme Court would be less open to political corruption, but he was wrong. Allowing the court to “make” law through Judicial Activism is a violation of the separation of powers. The usurpation of power by the court started with McCulloch v. Maryland in 1819.

3. Yes, Libby was convicted of lying in his statements to the grand Jury. But, he wasn’t guilty of lying about Plame. There was nothing to lie about. He did not divulge Plame’s identity to reporters. They got it from Novak who got it from Armatige. The word spread. That made this an open secret. There was no plot by the White House or Libby to “out” Plame. This was the Left trying to rerun “watergate.” But, there was no smoking gun in this case.

4. I said that we are winning the war in Iraq. What we are winning is a peaceful society with a free market and a representative government. It was the judgement of the Bush Administration that many of the problems in the mid east are because there is no freedom and no jobs. All the government are tyrannies and have controlled economies. No future make the young men an easy target for terrorist recruiters.

You must be using bogus figures. Violence is well below Saddam’s levels; Saddam was killing about 20 to 30 thousand of his political opponents a year. There were unmarked graves in the desert where Saddam buried 300 thousand people.

The point is that we will be able to turn over the defense of Iraq next year to the Iraqi Defense forces. May I remind you that we stationed 350 thousand troops in Southern Germany for sixty years? Are you saying that the Germans weren’t free because our troops were there. That is nutty. Besides, Saddam caused the destabilization by refusing to carry through with his promises in UN resolution 687.

China first has to have Democracy, before it can impose it on us by force. Then, we have to be run by the Liberals.

You are creating a specious argument. Iraq was already a mess because of the sanctions. The economy today is larger than it was under Saddam. Saddam wasn’t giving his people the money from the “oil for Food ” program. Oil is being pumped at a faster rate than under Saddam and the money goes to the Iraqi Government which is passing it out to the provinces.

Saddam was using that money to build palaces, to buy off UN officials, reporters and the aid of France, Germany and Russia in ending sanctions.

Talk to the Iraqi people. Their polls show that they are glad that Saddam is gone. The Iraqi’s show a greater expectation that next year will be better than today than the American people do. But then, they don’t have to listen to the Propaganda endlessly from the Mainstream Media.

The Iraqi’s want us to leave, but not until the Terrorists are abated.

There is a robust economy in Iraq where people have a chance for self improvement. In other words, we are doing what we did to Germany and Japan after WWII. The real reason was that we didn’t want to go to war with them again. Setting up a free economy in Iraq means the same thing.

102 kent { 01.22.08 at 8:19 am }

Urban Bard

You make sensible statements and support them with facts. That is not a way to converse. You are supposed to make wild unsupported accusations and use CAPITAL LETTERS when you really want to make a point. And only make accusations about Republicans are open to discussion. There is no history of Democrat misbehavior. If it ever were to occur, it would only be a fiction perpetrated by Bush and Reagan, two Presidents of extremely low intelligence who use tricks to fool Democrats in Congress, like they did when they tricked almost all Democrats to support the use of force to end Saddam’s regime. When Democrats appear to do bad things, like using innuendo to suggest Barack “Hussein” Obama was a drug dealer, as the Clinton’s have done, this is actually the work of Republicans trying to make Democrats look bad. Forget the tapes of the Clinton’s and their paid surrogates making the statements.

103 L { 01.22.08 at 12:15 pm }

I like this blog for the dry tech reading. The looney projections almost sound like Bill Gates. Politics…I go to Mises.org.

104 UrbanBard { 01.22.08 at 12:24 pm }

Oh Yes, kent, it a much better life to take no responsibility for your actions or any accountability for your beliefs. That way you can blame everything that goes wrong in your life on someone else. If you are irresponsible and wreck your life by your choices, you can take a “do over.” You can go into rehab or go on welfare. All you must do is put on a sad face and blame it all on the Republicans. It’s so handy to have all purpose villain. If you have an erectial disfunction, it must be a Republican plot.

It’s such a blessing not to have to think; the Mainstream Media and organizations such as Mediamatters and Moveon.org are eager to do your thinking for you. It is easier to be someone’s mental slave. You don’t have to worry about making mistakes; you don’t have to read history or study economics r politics. You don’t have to find out what worked on the past or in other places. It must be such a comfort to turn off your brain.

But, I’ve been there and done that. I was born into a Democratic Party working class family. I had to struggle to leave behind my roots and my family’s political predisposition. It’s a real pain to live in constant doubt where I have to double check the evidence before opening my mouth. It was more pleasant not to have to care about what I said. It’s much easier not to have to listen to what you opponent is saying. It’s a real stretch to have to give your opponent the benefits of any doubts and to accept them as people of good will. It’s a much easier life to be a Liberal.

But, I couldn’t do it. Something in my nature would not allow it. I know it is a flaw in my personality which causes me to question everything and to make my own decisions. That disgusting habit was why I was thrown out of the Democratic Party.

I miss it; I miss being part of the Liberal herd. I miss being able to dump all my responsibilities, problems and mistakes, with their assorted expenses, onto someone else’s shoulder.

It’s hard being a grown-up.

105 mrunderhill { 01.22.08 at 12:42 pm }

hmm…101 comments, is that a record?

This is why you shouldn’t mix politics with technology Daniel in the same post. I mean we’ve kinda drifted off course a little wouldn’t you agree?

[Drifting off course is so much fun. Who wants to stay on a predictable path? Growth comes through facing new challenges. - Dan]

106 JeffB. { 01.22.08 at 12:58 pm }

I’d like to respectfully agree with Mike in Helsinki. I really, really enjoy the technical content of this blog. It’s superb. But I really, really don’t care for the political ads that get inserted. A second political blog is a good idea. It’s not that I don’t respect your opinions, it’s just that politics are a wholly different discussion. I will probably stop reading if the politics get heavier than what I already have to read through.

I often muse about why it is that people allow politics and computers to go together. In that some dislike Steve Jobs personality, politics, board members, etc. and then use that as a justification for not buying his products. The reality is that the best products and ideas, and yes, even political ideas are a-la-carte.

And that’s why it would be great to separate your blog into two sections, I’d like plenty more helpings of the tech, and no helpings of the politics.

107 Just a Mac Guy in South Beach » Blog Archive » The Pundidiots help AAPL Stock Price Tank……before or after Macworld hardware announcements? { 01.22.08 at 10:28 pm }

[...] off it will be truly evolutionary Daniel Eran Dilger has an extensive report on his webite entitled “Apple TV Promises to Take 2008” [...]

108 Dowap { 01.23.08 at 12:22 am }

Dan,
I have no issues with someone posting some politics.
I must admit I stopped reading the comments when obviously close minded people start throwing around the BS words, such as leftist, liberal, etc.

So to those commentors, you word bashing fell on deaf ears because I skipped what you wrote. Now, perhaps you can learn something and see how the author wrote. You may disagree with his political view but he says it in a way that doesn’t make you want to puke, unlike some of the commentors.

109 kent { 01.23.08 at 1:30 am }

“BS words, such as leftist, liberal, etc.” How about “fascist” and killers of “hundreds of thousands of innocent people. Now that is BS. Makes me want to puke.

110 UrbanBard { 01.23.08 at 1:06 pm }

Dowap, words like leftist, liberal, fascist and communist have meanings, they aren’t merely an insult to hurl at an opponent.

The question is if those meanings fit people’s actions, words or goals. The word “Liberal” used to mean “freedom seeker,” but leftists, who want to turn all important decisions in life over to the government, defaced that value long ago.

When the public began to associate the word “Liberal” with big government projects which always failed and produced onerous taxes, the Left dropped that word and started using Progressive, instead.

The Left are propagandists. Daniel’s original sentence, which I objected to, was loaded with leftist concepts and projects.

He didn’t try to persuade us on them, but used soft intimidation as his tool. If we liked his previous writings and thought him insightful, we were supposed to agree with any nonsense he had to say. I was merely objecting to that.

Since Leftist, such as Daniel, use taxes as a means to accomplish anything, all those items that he was crowing about was paid for by other people. Those other people, if they were allowed to keep that money, were likely to have spent it on other things. Leftists believe that the money that we earn really belongs to them. That we are their slaves. I consider this to be rude and arrogant.

Besides, none of those leftist projects work. The money is either stolen by the bureaucrats or is used in ways which ultimately harm people by ending their independence. The projects were not really intended to help anyone. They were designed to further the interests of the Left in collectivizing our society.

The government can’t even operate a charity (welfare) efficiently. A church spends 9 cents to give away a dollar, while a private charity, because they have advertising expenses, spends 27 cents to give away a dollar. The government spends between three to four dollars to give away a dollar. The Left love that, because they are employed by the government and are the main beneficiaries of the projects.

We taxpayers may want the poor to be helped, but using the government to do it is too inefficient.

The Left, knowing that their methods do not lead their stated goals, must lie about results. They refuse to do any serious thinking about governmental projects and they don’t want you to think about them either. That is why they have taken control of the means of communication in this country. They get to control the intellectual agenda. They can cover things up. They can confuse issues by not allowing a rebuttal. They can tell lies and get away with it. But mostly, they get to defame anyone who dares to question their positions. That is why the Left spends most of their time throwing hate language at people. That is also why they will not argue honestly. They cannot because they have no case; their motives are tainted. They merely have special interests.

We taxpayers are their vicim and are not supposed to question them. They are parasites who think that we never give them enough.

[Louis: You should be cautious about the insults you "hurl at an opponent," particularly in branding me with your jingoism sloganeering. It's easy to write me off as a "leftist" after defining that word as someone who thinks all important decisions should be handed to the government, but your definitions and your characterizations of me are both inaccurate and simplistic. I have never advocated a communist state or the broad expansion of government. Your knee jerk attacks are just silly.

In your same posting, you start providing neocon fundamentalist figures for why the government should spin off its responsibilities and and funding to religious organizations. Unfortunately, this "faith-based" outsourcing of government functions to politically established religions is not only contemptuous of the US Constitution, but has resulted in all sorts of neocon backscratching like the "no questions asked" blank checks of support for the murderous Blackwater, which as a privatized fundamentalist Crusade outfit is supposedly more effective at being our military that our actual armed forces.

The more you deceptively try to brand me as a "leftist," the more obvious it is that you are a lied in the wool fascist, promoting an unquestionable police state with strong ties to established religious groups sanctioned by the government. You are not even advocating classically conservative ideals of small government, personal freedoms, and fiscal responsibility, but instead supporting a disastrous boondoggle Crusade and an Inquisition police force that has broad powers to detain and torture anyone without due process. It's not that I disagree with your political views, it's that I don't want to publicize your incessant pogroms against reality and your propaganda that seeks to inflame rather than inform, and predictably and blindly supports a reprehensible, criminal, and very UnAmerican plot to overthrow the US with a right wing fundamentalist regime that obeys no law and demands absolute conformity. No Thanks, Dan ]

111 UrbanBard { 01.23.08 at 11:35 pm }

Please, Daniel, Do not answer my posts by appending your comments to my post. If you want to discuss an issue then write it under your own name. It is less confusing to the reader. Fisk me if you want.

Here is what you appended to my comment. Let makes some remarks:

“[Louis: You should be cautious about the insults you “hurl at an opponent,” particularly in branding me with your jingoism sloganeering.”

Daniel, The words that I use have common definitions. If your actions fit the definition, that is how I call it.

“It’s easy to write me off as a “leftist” after defining that word as someone who thinks all important decisions should be handed to the government, but your definitions and your characterizations of me are both inaccurate and simplistic.”

The truth is often simple and accurate, but you can’t get everyone to agree with it.

There are many groups inside the Democratic party. It is quite legitimate of me to say what the party leadership thinks. Are you a proponent of the Democratic Leadership Council? Your words do not indicate that.

If what I describe is inaccurate, then tell me the differences. You will not debate me on the issues, so how would I know? You merely misrepresent my values. There is a chance for understanding here. All you have to do is argue a case.

“I have never advocated a communist state or the broad expansion of government. Your knee jerk attacks are just silly.”

Daniel, The Progressives in the Democratic Party act in ways which will lead to a Social Democratic and eventually a communist state. You may be ignorant of their aims. Most Democrats are. That is why they remain Democrats.

I left the party in 1976, because I couldn’t stand the “New Left” leadership. They are still in charge, but they have move further to the left.

I merely reacted to you cramming your views down the reader’s throats. Listen to your other reader, Daniel. They would just as soon that you took your politics to another arena, because your statements serve no useful purpose, are divisive and spoil the impact of your writings. So would I. That is why I posted.

“In your same posting, you start providing neocon fundamentalist figures for why the government should spin off its responsibilities and funding to religious organizations.”

I merely said that this was shown to be the most efficient way of achieving those results. You must favor inefficiency. Why?

I don’t assume that the government is bad at everything. Politics tends to be a poor way of achieving social goals. I am a pragmatist. If you have a method that works better, why not use it?

“Unfortunately, this “faith-based” outsourcing of government functions to politically established religions is not only contemptuous of the US Constitution,”

Where would you get that idea? The US Constitution is not hostile to religion. It merely forbids, in the First Amendment, the Establishing of a state religion. An established religion is one where the buildings and the ministers are paid out of tax funds, such as the Church of England was. No Conservative I know of is recommending that.

Evangelical Atheists, who are often Leftists, are attempting to remove the Christian religion from the public arena. This denies a legitimate expression of faith that should be protected by the First amendment.

“But has resulted in all sorts of neocon backscratching like the “no questions asked” blank checks of support for the murderous Blackwater, which as a privatized fundamentalist Crusade outfit is supposedly more effective at being our military that our actual armed forces.”

That is weird talk; you act as if that is common knowledge. There are two points that you introduce: that Blackwater is unlawful and that conservatives are behind them. I read the “so called Neocon” magazines like National Review on line as well as the religious right publications, so I’m up on the various groups in the Conservative side. I’ve never heard of Blackwater, so it is news to me.

“The more you deceptively try to brand me as a “leftist,” the more obvious it is that you are a lied in the wool fascist, promoting an unquestionable police state with strong ties to established religious groups sanctioned by the government.”

You are way off base here, Daniel. Your paranoid fantasies are carrying you away.

BTW, Fascism is a competing form of Socialism. The Communists bad mouth the Fascists because they are like competing religions squabbling over adherents. It keeps them from having to mention that there are “Freedom Seekers” like me. All they have to do is tar us Conservatives with the wrong name.

I wish you knew more about politics, Daniel, and fewer Leftist talking points. I could advise some history books.

I am neither a Leftist, nor a Fascist. I want less government, not more. I want the government out of the citizen lives. Do I want private, individual, social and religious groups to take over functions now done badly by the government? Yes. In short, I want to go back to how it was before the government intruded on those functions. The government does a poor job at them, Daniel. Private organizations are more efficient. The facts are quite clear.

“You are not even advocating classically conservative ideals of small government, personal freedoms, and fiscal responsibility, but instead supporting a disastrous boondoggle Crusade and an Inquisition police force that has broad powers to detain and torture anyone without due process.”

Where would you get that idea? That is loony tunes. I guess that screwy statement has something to do with the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and the government fighting the war on Islamic Terrorism. But, the sentence makes no sense. It’s a mishmash of leftist talking points. Individually, those points are historically and legally false.

“It’s not that I disagree with your political views, it’s that I don’t want to publicize your incessant pogroms against reality and your propaganda that seeks to inflame rather than inform,”

I am a mild mannered man, Daniel, if persistent. The country is quite politicized. All I have to tell the truth, as I see it, and Leftists will argue with me.

That is not a pogrom, since I am not a government. It is freedom of speech. When people are nasty to me, I will sometimes reply in kind.

What you complain about is that I am better at it than my opponents, because I know how to think and can argue a case effectively. You merely disagree with my opinions. I would like to inform my opponents, but bigots have, by definition, a closed mind.

“and predictably and blindly supports a reprehensible, criminal, and very UnAmerican plot to overthrow the US with a right wing fundamentalist regime that obeys no law and demands absolute conformity.”

More looney tunes, Daniel. I have clearly stated my positions. You choose to ignore them and, instead, construct a malignant fantasy of your own.

The Conservatives do not have to overthrow the government. We just need to get elected to political office. We need to do so to remove the Leftist usurpations which were foisted upon the Republic. Hint, it’s called exercising our civil liberties to change the government more to our liking. What’s wrong with that? It’s what the Left did.

There are fads in politics, Daniel. There was a big push toward Socialism and interventionist government from the 1920s on which did not lead to good results. The electorate increasingly does not believe that the government is the solution to all problems. This is a slow and progressive thing. The politics in this county is evenly balanced now, but it is moving toward the Conservative position. Socialism does not work, Daniel; it has never worked, anywhere.

You must partially agree. You can see the evidence. There are things that governments cannot do well. You detailed how messed up the city rail system is.

The Leftists love mass transit while the public hates it. The pragmatic answer, since governments can’t do transportation systems well, is that they shouldn’t even try. There are other methods, Daniel. One’s which were tried elsewhere and have worked. But, Leftist will not listen to them. Why? Because it does not serve their social agenda.

112 kent { 01.24.08 at 1:32 am }

UrbanBard,

I believe you have made clear points in a very friendly way. Others may differ with your views, but you have definitely stated solid reasons for your views. You are not a fascist. You are not conducting pograms. You are not part of a blind right wing fundamentalist regime. Your views are very much in line with what virtually all Americans thought for the first 150 years of our existence.

This long political food fight in this technology blog is happening simply because Daniel likes to insert inflammatory leftist distortions of reality in the midst of otherwise sensible technical discussion. While Daniel has a high degree of knowledge about technology, his political statements are more a form of “fashion”. He makes the appropriate comments to survive and thrive in San Francisco and be cool. Adopting these views is as sensible an act as taking up smoking as a teenager. Daniel wants to have the “cool” “hip” views that will make him popular at parties – even though they don’t stand scrutiny, are not based on facts. His political comments could be picked up from surfing MSNBC and watching Keith Olberman or Bill Maher rants. Daniel does not have a true interest in understanding politics – he is motivated by a dislike of our founding values – freedom, defense of our freedom, the Bill of Rights, liberty, capitalism, federalism, etc. He has a visceral dislike for any position that is not part of the leftist Democrat agenda. This is sad, because it means things like school choice (NEA says it is no good) won’t get a chance which sentences inner city blacks to lives of ignorance due to inferior education; nuclear power, which is truly better for the environment will never be tried, because Democrats have an emotional requirement to fight it despite its virtues; the good news out of Iraq will not be allowed to be transmitted, because the Democrats are committed to the US effort failing because they believe that if they help us fail in Iraq that will hurt Bush. Of course this makes no sense since this is our country’s endeavor, and all of us would be safer if stable democratic countries replaced the violent dictatorships that dominate the Mideast. But this entire party intensely desires that our effort fail. If it were possible to throw a switch that would create true Democracy and stability in Iraq, the entire Democratic party would scream in unison – “Don’t throw that switch”. They prefer that we fail for the simple reason that they hate the US acting strongly defend its interest and to spread freedom. These same people fought freedom efforts in Central America in the 80s. These same people who talk of George Bush being a fascist, have a decades long love affair going with dictator Fidel Castro, who runs a tyrannical regime that steals the liberty “endowed by our creator” from every Cuban citizen. These people believe George Bush is more a dictator than Castro, though they can’t provide a any credible evidence of his doing anything illegal or abridging any freedoms. It makes no sense, but it is a fact. They hate the military – just look at how they react to the presence of simple recruiters on college campuses. These are representatives of the forces which protect our freedom.

Bottom line – these are not rational positions. They are rooted in very strong emotions. The need to hold popular positions. Groupthink like George Orwell described in 1984. A strong dislike of traditional American values. So, your spirit of persistent, polite persuasion is admirable, but not likely to work. Still – good luck.

[Kent, while I don't drop acid in hippie communes, I do live in SF and have never ran into anyone with a "long love affair going with dictator Fidel Castro." This is extreme right wing nonsense from the kind of inflammatory liars who advocate terrorist attacks on the City because it passed restrictions on military recruitment of teenagers in high schools.

Your "you hate freedom" rants are so blind and ignorant that it's simply impossible to wade through you brain dumps. However, if you'd like an outline of why the world, including the educated portions of the US, are not happy with Bush, let me clue you in on a couple obvious ones (and note that Bush has had a ~30% or less approval rating for some time now) :

- he mismanaged the Katrina disaster by appointing a retard to run FEMA. Note the the F in FEMA is for Federal. We set this up to help manage disasters that affect the country overall. Blaming Bush's incompetence on the local governments is irresponsible. Suggesting that we shouldn't have had a competent administrator running FEMA instead of a moron political friend is also criminal, since it resulted in the unnecessary death of lots of innocent people.

- he started a war based on false information and false presences, and used the tragedy of 9/11 to inflame an extremist, unthinking nationalism that allowed him to not just react in Afghanistan, but to shift the military's legitimate efforts into an attack on an unrelated country which resulted in the unnecessary death of thousands of Americans and untold hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, and turned a bad but stable country into a lawless war zone that can't simply be sanctioned.

- after deciding to attack Iraq, Bush and his small group ignored all recommendations on planning for the rebuilding and policing of the country, which resulted in an unplanned, incompetent war strategy that put US soldiers in far more dangerous conditions than necessary, resulted in the permanent destruction of critically important historical works, and more importantly turned Iraq from a banana republic into a terrorist training camp and perpetual war zone, at the cost of untold lives and risking the security of America's future.

- failing to heed any of the mistakes made in Iraq, Bush now hopes to push the war effort into Iran.

- Bush has done nothing to unite the country as promised, and has instead worked to fanaticize and divide us into a partisan civil war where differing viewpoints are regarded as unamerican and taboo and terrorist threats. America is supposed to be about the democratic ideals of open political debate, not a fascist police state where opponents are tarred and feathered by propagandists.

That's the groupthink, and you're on the wrong end of it to be blaming it on somebody else.

As for my political views, you've got everything wrong. I think the US educational system desperately needs reform (please spare us the purported interest in serving inner city Blacks, as we know the Red States are the former Slave States and little has changed in the bac-kkk-roads of the country in the last century); I think nuclear power is a critical part of meeting the nation's energy needs, as opposed to the pro-Oil lobby which wants to keep us dependent upon a single source that flows from the Holy Land; however, I also know there is no "good news" in Iraq that is being held up by the Left Media to prevent us from celebrating a glorious victory, because I'm not an ignorant jackass that gets my perspective from reading Right Wing Books. - Dan]

113 UrbanBard { 01.24.08 at 1:34 am }

You are right, Daniel. I do not know you. You do not reveal yourself.

So let us start by asking the fundamental question: “Where do rights come from?” There are three common answers: the religious and traditional, the Libertarian and the Leftist. Choose one.

The Religious and Traditional answer is that rights are a gift from God that governments should not trespass upon. It is found in the Declaration of Independence,

“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness — That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…

Thomas Jefferson, “The Declaration of Independence,” 1776

So, when the government becomes a tyranny, the people can overturn it, But, I do not advise that. Why? Because the Right is winning anyway. Another revolution would be too unsettling. In another thirty years, the Democratic Party will either be dead or under new management.

The Libertarian answer is secular. It says that there are only humans on Earth and none should have more rights than another. Nor does any group have any more rights than the individual members.

Both of these beliefs lead to the same place: a small government which protects the rights of the individual.

The Left’s answer is that there are no individual rights; rights are the domain of the group or the state. Individuals may share in those rights granted to the group. The group or the state may change them at will. The rule of law does not matter.

Of course, there are the power hungry and the rent-seekers who comprise most of the politicians, bureaucrats and nobles. They say that there are no rights which the government must pay attention to. The reason that they say this is that the government is where they get their money.

They are the noble thieves. The petty thief steals and gets caught. The noble thief gets in control of a government so that he can steal all the money he wants and never gets caught. The Latin American version is called a kleptocracy. Mexico is a good example.

[Hypothetically, lots of things sound great on paper. Lots of intellectuals thought Communism would work, and tried it over and over again in various guises of the last century. Most people now see that as an idealist pipe dream that can't really work. One can talk about how great conservative values are, but again, the problem isn't the idealist dream, but the results of an actual implementation.

The Constitution says a lot of nice things, and its easy to appreciate the well meaning altruism that inspired its writing. It did not however prevent the savage fratricide of Native Americans, the ugly enslavement of Africans, nor the poor treatment of women and other minorities over the majority of the country's history. It also isn't stopping the current administration from establishing religion and setting up torture camps that detain and kill individuals accused of crimes that have not committed.

There are laudable and convincing ideas advanced by republicans and by democrats, and neither side is immune to corruption or misuse of power. It is my opinion that the worst situation for the US is not control by a particular party but control by any party, particularly one that does not represent the interests of the majority of the populace. I don't think the democrats have all the answers nor are infallible, but after 8 years of tragic incompetence that has dragged the US into worldwide shame, I'd like to see somebody else take a shot at leading the country.

That doesn't mean that democratic majority in government would solve every problem nor clean up every corner of politics as usual, but at least we'd get a reprieve from what has become a very shameful, very hypocritical administrative strategy that really doesn't represent classically conservative ideals anyway. - Dan ]

114 nat { 01.24.08 at 2:02 am }

UrbanBard,

It’s pretty easy to be contrarian. I can already hear you saying “Nuh, uh! It’s hard work. Leftist, loony tunes, blah blah blah…”

Freedom of speech has its boundaries though. Don’t expect to get away with misrepresenting the world and labeling people you don’t even know (nor would have the balls to say to their face what you’ve said here) away from the conformable anonymity of your computer.

There’s no line all of one political persuasion would cross in agreement. By sensationalizing a perceived “deep” divide in America, you paint yourself into one extreme minority, which is no better than the other, opposite end of the political spectrum (which Daniel is not a part), and likewise, will never gain significant control of anything.

Bush is the closest you’ve got, will ever get, so enjoy his last incompetent days while Democrats turn out in record numbers to vote for change and Republicans get their pick of the Worst of the Worst same old, same old candidates.

115 slayerjr { 01.24.08 at 4:27 am }

I, for one am happy to defend Daniel for coloring his work with sloppy politics and name calling. I can also understamd his shifts in mood and style depending on the topic covered as well as the psychological reactions he must resolve within to give weight to the replies from his readers received here and on his forum.

It must be truly daunting and frightening to invite as much criticism into one’s life as Roughly Drafted must have brought into his. While posts that are supportive are encouraging and worthwhile in a supportive context they should be sent as a personal e-mail but what really make an impact on the creator are always the posts that are negative and critical.

Think about that the next time you feel slighted or insulted by one of Daniel’s rants and decide to tell him so via this Forum.

Words that most perceive to be harsh and provoking or offensive, are nothing but buttons that provoke different impulses among those that allow such impulses to provoke a reaction strong enough to act upon them.

Your actions and comments have direct consequences on his writing style and mood. Your seemingly passionate defence of what you know or feel as the truth in Politics, Democracy, God, Microsoft, Apple etc provide an ungly distortion effect on Daniel’s brand of color. You are denying him his triumph. His chance to evolve and grow is stunted by your interjections.

If you want to help rather then sit on the fence and argue semantics then provide Daniel with relevant, well documented and official information information that he can use in his articles. This will raise him well above the current crop of wannabe’s. This also creates a rich resource for all to benefit from.

Chances also are that if you ignore the politics, they will go away.

Daniel has exposed himself to be a human being who genuinely means well. He has seen what he perceives to be a wrong and has decided to do something about it. To his credit, he created a fascinating repository of alternative information. To his shame he opened it to public debate.

116 UrbanBard { 01.24.08 at 8:15 pm }

Thank you, Kent, for your encouraging words.

I do not dislike Daniel. I really appreciate the thought and effort that Daniel puts into his articles. He has a technical background that few of us can match. This means that he can provide his opinions in a clear manner while support them with evidence and impeccable logic. I applaud your technical articles, Daniel.

But, Daniel does not support his political opinions in such a rigorous manner. His political opinions are copied straight out of the New York Times or the Washington Post. He neither provides believable evidence nor good logic. The result is that he throws political crud at his readers that only a portion of them can agree with. Thus, he does a disservice to his readers. He devalues the worth of his technical articles by including nonsense.

I have tried to persuade Daniel that this is the wrong venue for his political opinions. Or that, if he throws them out, at least, he should defend his beliefs like a man. On another thread, he started deleting my post because he could not win any arguments against me.

This is not about Daniel’s freedom to post anything he wants on his web site. It is the fact that if he chooses to post material that will provoke a response from those who disagree with him, then he was no one to blame but himself if they expose his sycophancy to the Mainstream Media. It is simply too easy to take daniel’s political opinions down.

Daniel, I’ve said this many times, that you are an ignoramus when it comes to economics and politics. Please go get some knowledge, besides your leftist views, before you talk through your hat. It offends those of us who have long studied economics and politics.

[Perhaps you should stick to pointing out actual cases where I make mistakes rather than just reiterating your contempt for anything I say that doesn't align with neocon dogma. I haven't actually read politics in the New York Times or the Washington Post, so your assertion that I'm repeating other's opinions without thinking is simply another example of how you copy and paste fundamentalist right wing talking points when trying to tear down another person instead of discussing issues as a free thinking adult. I imagine you are significantly older than me and have a lot of experience and perspective you could share; I would appreciate it if you'd stick to that rather than just regurgitating Sean Hannity style character assassination, because that is really tiresome. - Dan ]

117 UrbanBard { 01.24.08 at 8:44 pm }

nat, I did little more than to say that I disagree with Daniel’s last paragraph. I did not even take it apart, because it would have taken thirty minutes or more to decipher what Daniel was referring to and make a reply. It was you Leftist who would not let my comments lie. So, I had to replied to your contentions.

slayerjr, I have tried emailing Daniel. He no longer replies to my emails. I would not object to his political diatribes if he would honestly debate them, but he will not.

It expects his peanut gallery to take down anyone who objects. But, they cannot do that with me, because I know how to think, have studied the evidence before making my judgment and know how to build a logical case. The peanut gallery is just as ignorant of economic, politics and history as Daniel is.

I have studied Saul Alinski’s methods for radicals, so they do not work on me. Consequently, I am not an easy mark. I invite a rigorous debate with a knowledgeable opponent. I would like a courteous tussle. But, I’ve had no one from the Left, in the last two years, who could meet that level of competence.

What Daniel dislikes about me is that I will neither go away nor let him win. If anyone is to win against me, then they have to earn it. No easy propaganda or soft intimidation will do it. It is pathetic how low the Left have let their debate skills lapse.

118 nat { 01.24.08 at 10:04 pm }

UrbanBard said:
“I did little more than to say that I disagree with Daniel’s last paragraph.”

That’s exactly my point! All you do is stonewall and then complement yourself for it. You just did it again.

UrbanBard said:
“It was you Leftist who would not let my comments lie.”

Let me quote what you obviously didn’t read from my post: “Don’t expect to get away with misrepresenting the world and labeling people you don’t even know (nor would have the balls to say to their face what you’ve said here) away from the conformable anonymity of your computer.”

UrbanBard said:
“So, I had to replied to your contentions.”

What? You didn’t address my comments, just the opposite, proving my points and giving a response I predicted: “Nuh, uh! It’s hard work. Leftist, loony tunes, blah blah blah…”

119 UrbanBard { 01.24.08 at 10:28 pm }

Nat, I do give explanations, but you can’t seem to understand them. Perhaps, I need to expand my remarks. What comments do you say were neglected? Oh! I see. You are saying that I am merely a contrarian. That assumes that the Left are the consensus. Not so. Polls show that there are far fewer Liberals and Socialists in America than Conservatives, but for various reasons not all of the vote Republican. Hey! I was a Democrat until 1976. We all have a varying tolerance for lies and deception.

I don’t misrepresent the world. I merely have a different viewpoint which you will not credit.

I did give my world view in the previous post to Kent. Too bad you missed it in your rush to pound on me.

BTW, I am replying to your comments which I find to be poorly constructed, illogical and biased. I am not attacking you personally. I’m sure you are a grand fellow, kind to strangers and have a single harsh feeling toward anyone. Except Conservatives and Republicans, but that’s okay.

I invite you to make a better arguments.

It is true that I did not address many of your remarks because they were too bigoted to warrant a reply. I cannot take seriously a person so blinkered.

120 nat { 01.25.08 at 12:58 am }

UrbanBard said:
“What comments do you say were neglected? Oh! I see. You are saying that I am merely a contrarian. That assumes that the Left are the consensus.”

You being contrarian has no real connection with politics; that’s simply the subject being discussed. By simply stating “no” for every “yes,” never compromising, you don’t advance the discussion. You could be an extreme liberal and still be contrarian, as I said in my comment, which I’ll quote here:

“By sensationalizing a perceived “deep” divide in America, you paint yourself into one extreme minority, WHICH IS NO BETTER THAN THE OTHER, OPPOSITE END OF THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM (which Daniel is not a part), AND LIKEWISE, WILL NEVER GAIN SIGNIFICANT CONTROL OF ANYTHING.”

UrbanBard said:
“Not so. Polls show that there are far fewer Liberals and Socialists in America than Conservatives, but for various reasons not all of the vote Republican. Hey! I was a Democrat until 1976. We all have a varying tolerance for lies and deception.”

Where are you getting these polls from and why are you bringing them up?

UrbanBard said:
“I don’t misrepresent the world. I merely have a different viewpoint which you will not credit.”

Perhaps I was a bit overzealous by saying you falsely describe the entire world. I’m too lazy to read all of your previous posts that could possibly hold a more realistic picture of everywhere other than the U.S. However if you read my post, I was mainly alluding to your unsubstantiated deep divide between people of differing values and perspectives. The first line of that quote I reposted above, on being contrarian, addresses that.

UrbanBard said:
“I did give my world view in the previous post to Kent. Too bad you missed it in your rush to pound on me.”

Which post was that? Where?

UrbanBard said:
“I am not attacking you personally.”

UrbanBard THEN said:
“It is true that I did not address many of your remarks because they were too bigoted to warrant a reply. I cannot take seriously a person so blinkered.”

What’s that term Bush coined? …Flip-Flop, Flip-Flop, Flip-Flop!

121 The Unrealized Potential of Apple’s Hybrid Platform: Mac, iPod, iPhone, and TV — RoughlyDrafted Magazine { 01.25.08 at 1:56 am }

[...] Apple TV Promises to Take 2008 [...]

122 UrbanBard { 01.25.08 at 5:31 pm }

UrbanBard said:
“What comments do you say were neglected? Oh! I see. You are saying that I am merely a contrarian. That assumes that the Left are the consensus.”

nat said”
“You being contrarian has no real connection with politics; that’s simply the subject being discussed. By simply stating “no” for every “yes,” never compromising, you don’t advance the discussion. ”

I’m not being contrarian, nat. I have specific criticisms and arguments which I am fielding. I can’t help it if you are too obtuse or bigoted to perceive them.

My major argument is that these webpages are the wrong venue for political propaganda, Daniel’s or anyone else’s.

I would welcome a real debate. I posted about “Natural Law” in an attempt to get Daniel, or anyone else, to state where they line up on the political spectrum, but got no takers.

“UrbanBard said:
“Not so. Polls show that there are far fewer Liberals and Socialists in America than Conservatives, but for various reasons not all of the vote Republican. Hey! I was a Democrat until 1976. We all have a varying tolerance for lies and deception.”

Where are you getting these polls from and why are you bringing them up?”

There are two problems here: The Left will not read, let alone believe, anything from unapproved sources. They consequently have a distorted view of where their candidates stand versus the common voter. That is why they are constantly surprised when Republicans win.

Very often people on the far left think that they are moderates because they live in a liberal enclave like Daniel does. They are merely responding to their locale; none of their acquaintances are Republicans. I suggest that you read about the implications of a recent Pew study at:

http://www.modernconservative.com/the_metablog/1365_Pew_study_shows_Democrats_are_delusional.html

I hesitate to provide source material, because Daniel resents my trying to inform people, so he deletes my posts.

The chart is what is important. The chart for “all voters” says that the electorate stands to the right of the center moderate position. Thirty years ago, the electorate was slightly to the left of moderate. Just to the electorate’s right is Giuliani while McCain stands moderately to right of him. Romney is one and half times farther to the right than McCain. Bush and Huckabee are a bit farther on. Clinton and Obama are seen as far to the left of center as Bush and Huckabee are.

The Republican voters use the same political spectrum as “all voters,” but there are minor position changes. Bush is seen as more conservative than Huckabee. There is a wider space between Giuliani and McCain as Giuliani moves to the center. Most Republicans see themselves at Huckabee’s position between Romney and Bush, but there isn’t much difference seen between them. The Democratic Candidates are extremely to the left with Clinton seen as more leftist than Obama.

It is the Democratic Voters who’s political spectrum is skewed. They see themselves as moderates with Clinton slightly to the right and Obama moderately to the left. All the Republicans are, thus, seen as the far right.

But, you are probably so blinkered that you cannot credit this source.

Another source is one that has been true for the last thirty years as it accurately indicates where members of the American electorate stands. Its evidence is put into a quiz where you can see where you fit:

http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz.html

“UrbanBard said:
“I did give my world view in the previous post to Kent. Too bad you missed it in your rush to pound on me.”

Which post was that? Where?”

Post #116.

“UrbanBard THEN said:
“It is true that I did not address many of your remarks because they were too bigoted to warrant a reply. I cannot take seriously a person so blinkered.”

What’s that term Bush coined? …Flip-Flop, Flip-Flop, Flip-Flop!”

No. Your post seemed like one long personal attack. I do not respond to personal insults. I have trained myself to pay them no mind once I have discovered that hey are devoid of content.

123 UrbanBard { 01.25.08 at 5:48 pm }

Daniel snuck this into my previous post #116 probably hoping that the readers will not see it. It toggles no automatic emails, so many readers may miss it. I expect next that Daniel will be editing my posts to render them nonsensical.

“[Perhaps you should stick to pointing out actual cases where I make mistakes rather than just reiterating your contempt for anything I say that doesn’t align with neocon dogma. I haven’t actually read politics in the New York Times or the Washington Post, so your assertion that I’m repeating other’s opinions without thinking is simply another example of how you copy and paste fundamentalist right wing talking points when trying to tear down another person instead of discussing issues as a free thinking adult. I imagine you are significantly older than me and have a lot of experience and perspective you could share; I would appreciate it if you’d stick to that rather than just regurgitating Sean Hannity style character assassination, because that is really tiresome. - Dan ]”

Daniel, you will not debate me honestly on the specifics of my contentions. You refuse to divulge yourself and lob potshots from behind a shield of anonymity.

You ask for specifics that you will not provide, so I must guess by your comments what political group on the left that you inhabit. You say that I make mistakes. If so, it is your fault in not revealing yourself.

Furthermore, the far leftist diatribes and your character assassinations of me, with its distorted worldview of Conservatives and the Religious Right, place you far to the left of Clinton. If you will not reveal yourself, how should I know differently?

124 UrbanBard { 01.25.08 at 7:09 pm }

Daniel snuck this into my previous post #113 probably hoping that the readers will not see it. It toggles no automatic emails, so many readers may have missed it. I expect next that Daniel will be editing my posts to render them nonsensical.

“[Hypothetically, lots of things sound great on paper. Lots of intellectuals thought Communism would work, and tried it over and over again in various guises of the last century. Most people now see that as an idealist pipe dream that can’t really work. One can talk about how great conservative values are, but again, the problem isn’t the idealist dream, but the results of an actual implementation."

Again, Daniel, you refuse to debate issues. You have no real alternatives. You merely ignore your opponent's issues. I was talking about basic values which determine current politics. I asked you to choose and you refused.

"The Constitution says a lot of nice things, and its easy to appreciate the well meaning altruism that inspired it's writing."

The Constitution provided a means to a political alternative to the monarchy. Since the United States is the longest existing government on the planet, I'd say that it did rather well.

No, England does not qualify as the longest existing government. As wikipedia says, "The Act of Union of 1800 formally assimilated Ireland within the British political process and from 1 January 1801 created a new state called the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, which united the Kingdom of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland to form a single political entity." Thus, it became a new government, since there was no existing mechanism which allowed for expansion.

None of the Left's userpations have been voted on by the electorate. The Left found it impossible to legally change the Constitution and the Federal Government to their liking, so they used the fact that they controlled Congress and Judicial appointments for thirty years. Thus, they used the illegal method of judicial activism to subvert the meaning of the Constitution rather than using the legal methods inside it. None of the legal methods would have been approved by the voters. Even the ERA amendment failed.

"It did not however prevent the savage fratricide of Native Americans, the ugly enslavement of Africans, nor the poor treatment of women and other minorities over the majority of the country’s history. "

True. The Constitution's protections were extended to only the white voters. Your argument does not contend that there was any flaw in the original Constitution, but that it's protections were not extended widely enough.

That is the nature of politics, Daniel; American Society is imperfect and always will be. We grew out of the constraints imposed by the original thirteen colonies. If the anti-slave states of the North had insisted on freeing the slaves in the South then there would be no United States. You'd love that, wouldn't you?

"It also isn’t stopping the current administration from establishing religion and setting up torture camps that detain and kill individuals accused of crimes that have not committed."

We disagree on those points, but you will not seriously debate them.

"There are laudable and convincing ideas advanced by republicans and by democrats, and neither side is immune to corruption or misuse of power. "

True. My greatest problem is with the Republicans who are not Conservatives--that includes President Bush. He is a Big Government Republican with some Conservative tendencies while I am a Small Government Conservative.

But, Bush may have a better reading of the electorate than me. Is the electorate ready to be freed from intervention and political spoils system provided by the Federal Government? I doubt it.

"It is my opinion that the worst situation for the US is not control by a particular party but control by any party, particularly one that does not represent the interests of the majority of the populace. "

Daniel, the Democrats have deluded themselves into thinking that they represent the majority of voters when many studies say that they do not. The Democratic Party is in serious decline. What is likely to happen, when the Democratic Party becomes too small to contest elections, is that a mass political realignment will take place between the Small Government Republicans and the Big Government Republicans.

Socialism has lost in the real world, but its current adherents must die off before major changes can occur. Twenty years is likely to do it.

"I don’t think the democrats have all the answers nor are infallible, but after 8 years of tragic incompetence that has dragged the US into worldwide shame, I’d like to see somebody else take a shot at leading the country."

Again, you are buying into Left wing propaganda. The Left have no solutions which have not been tried and failed repeatedly, The Left even failed to confront our Terrorist enemies under President Clinton. You want a repeat of that?

"That doesn’t mean that democratic majority in government would solve every problem nor clean up every corner of politics as usual, but at least we’d get a reprieve from what has become a very shameful, very hypocritical administrative strategy that really doesn’t represent classically conservative ideals anyway. - Dan ]”

Since you show a complete ignorance of Conservative ideals, you are no one to make recommendations.

[You are such a nut its both painful and oddly amusing to read your rants sometimes. You can't keep posting books of rambling off topic junk though, as it really isn't fair to other readers who are forced to skip over your stuff. Post that in your own blog. Also, don't tell me what I think. You are welcome to take issue with or disagree with any point I make, but don't ramble on for pages copied verbatim from some neocon playbook and then stuff words in my mouth about what my position is in your mind, based on what you've been programed to attack by your red state brainwashings. I'm not your scarecrow, and your stereotypes have grown tiresome. You have also failed to ever respond to any of the issues I present, so I see your frequent, off topic musings as spam and will remove them if they continue to grow in vitriol or mass. - Dan]

125 UrbanBard { 01.25.08 at 7:48 pm }

I agree with you, Daniel, that the Educational System needs a major reform. Technology has improved to the point that sites on the web can provide central instruction and testing.

Home schooling is mainly better than Public Schooling, these days. That is why National Merit Scholar winners and National Spelling Bee winners are most often home schooled.

Great gains in productivity can be achieved by using such a system and the costs are minimal. But, the Educational Establishment will not have that, because it means losing their jobs.

The Public Schools cost between 10 and 20 thousand dollars per year per child. Private Schools are usually half of that. Home schooling for children with “stay at home moms” is about a thousand dollars a year. The State Politicians should be eager to endorse that, but they are not because the teacher unions are a huge voting block. Instead, those politicians do all they can to retard private adoption of Home Schooling.

This educational reform also isn’t being implemented because the Democratic Party objects. Why? Because this would undercut the Teacher’s Unions since this instruction could, and mostly would be, done at home.

Next, an open instructional system would not allow the covert leftist indoctrination which is routinely practiced in the Public Schools. Without that early indoctrination, few Liberals would graduate from high school. The reason that so many children graduate as Functional Illiterates is that the Public Schools spent the children’s time of social and political issues, not fundamentals.

Parents could choose the form of religious or social indoctrination they want their children to experience. Since, even atheists want to have their children to experience exposure to religious values, the parents are likely to ask for much less leftist indoctrination than is currently experienced. This is not in the Democratic Party’s special interest.

[Steve Jobs advocated education reform. Making broad generalizations about what democrats or the "left" do and think is just ignorant and shallow. There is scant functional difference between various party designations and how members of congress act. Lieberman was a D but is a fascist war monger for instance.

Public schools are not really any bastion of liberal thought; that would be higher education. Privatized schools like Edison failed in the market. There isn't any conclusive proof that profit-based schools would do a good job teaching our kids. The US should examine what's working around the world in successful countries, not blindly try to turn over the public welfare over to profiteering experimentalists. Our kids deserve better.

Home schooling might work well for some families, but most parents aren't equipped to be their children's general purpose teachers (let alone parents) - Dan ]

126 nat { 01.25.08 at 7:52 pm }

UrbanBard,

I’m pretty much done with this conversation. Good debates are not about winning or reaching a consensus, they’re about moving the discussion forward in a respectful manner. This should be a fun and enlightening back-and-fourth, with each side willing to accept some hypotheses. I’m tired of debating a brick wall.

You call me bigoted and obtuse for having stances on issues that differ from yours, yet I’m sure you realize just about everything in this world, save 2+2=4, is relative. What may feel “good” to you might bother me and likewise, things I spend my time doing that I consider “fun” you may find incessantly boring. That doesn’t make you “wrong,” blinkered, bigoted, and it doesn’t make me “right.” That’s just how it is.

The sun doesn’t revolve around the earth, let alone one person.

Now I’d like to address a few lingering remarks from your most recent response to my posts.

UrbanBard said:
“The Left will not read, let alone believe, anything from unapproved sources.”

My asking for your source and the reason you even brought up these polls had nothing to do with me being Right or Left. If I randomly throughout statistics for no apparent reason that supported “the Left” without backing them up, you would have done the same thing. Sheesh!

UrbanBard said:
“It is the Democratic Voters who’s political spectrum is skewed.”

Democrats lean to the left while Republicans lean to the right. That’s the idea.

At the end of your post (#122), you took the last part of my original comment out of context, which is ironic considering I was quoting you.

For those that wish to read my original post, scroll back up to #120. For those that don’t, here it is again:

UrbanBard said:
“I am not attacking you personally.”

UrbanBard THEN said:
“It is true that I did not address many of your remarks because they were too bigoted to warrant a reply. I cannot take seriously a person so blinkered.”

I placed those two posts of yours next to each to illustrate you are contrarian unto yourself.

UrbanBard said:
“Your post seemed like one long personal attack. I do not respond to personal insults. I have trained myself to pay them no mind once I have discovered that hey are devoid of content.”

There’s a difference between calling someone bigoted, obtuse, and blinkered and giving some constructive criticism. I find it ironic that you claim my post was nothing but a personal attack considering it was largely made up of your own statements in quotes.

I’d like to suggest something you might actually agree to: READ WHAT YOU WRITE.

127 UrbanBard { 01.25.08 at 9:00 pm }

I’m sorry that you are too blinkered or biased to keep up with the conversation.

In a good debate, the person who has the best argument should win. But, that only happens when both parties are persuadable–that is, intellectually honest.

All I wanted from you was to provide me with good arguments. You should have gathered your evidence, put it into a logical case and fired it at me. Unsupported opinions are ignored as rubbish. Where I can, I will agree. If not, I will provide counter evidence and logic. So, we will continue. That is a debate.

Perhaps, we will reach a point where neither of us can convince the other. That is fine, too. But, obstinately and blindly holding onto an opinion when all your arguments have proven flawed, is not. That is bigotry.

“nat said:
“You call me bigoted and obtuse for having stances on issues that differ from yours, yet I’m sure you realize just about everything in this world, save 2+2=4, is relative.”

That is where we disagree. There is absolute truth. Those people who believe that every person has his own truth are subscribing to a logical error. Relative truth cannot prove itself, but absolute truth can. It is circular logic. I suggest to take a philosophy course. You might learn how to think from it.

“UrbanBard said:
“The Left will not read, let alone believe, anything from unapproved sources.”

My asking for your source and the reason you even brought up these polls had nothing to do with me being Right or Left. If I randomly throw out statistics for no apparent reason that supported “the Left” without backing them up, you would have done the same thing. Sheesh!”

See? You did exactly what I said you would do. Since the article I sent you to and the Pew study do not come from approved Leftist sources, you rejected it.

“UrbanBard said:
“It is the Democratic Voters who’s political spectrum is skewed.”

Democrats lean to the left while Republicans lean to the right. That’s the idea.”

No. What makes the Democrats skewed is that they place themselves as moderates when they are really on the far left. This is delusive. Since they are not addressing the centrist issues of the moderates, they constantly lose elections.

In the 2006 elections, they had to pretend to be Conservatives by fielding 40 “Blue Dog” Democrats who ran to the right of their Republican opponents. Then when those “Blue Dogs” convened in Congress, they turned out to vote little different from the Democratic herd. So, it was all a fraud.

George Soros and is ilk are even farther to the left of Clinton or Obama. Since they have the money they are pulling the Democratic Party further toward the left. But, that path leads to doom, because it is away from the centrist position. Increasingly, the Left come off as nutty.

“There’s a difference between calling someone bigoted, obtuse, and blinkered and giving some constructive criticism. I find it ironic that you claim my post was nothing but a personal attack considering it was largely made up of your own statements in quotes.”

When I read your statement I saw little of substance to reply to. So, I replied to what I could. You can insult me all day and I will pay it no mind.

You are blinkered because you will not even entertain the possibility that I could be right. Therefore, you reject my contentions out of hand, rather than expose my contentions to logical analysis.

You see, I have studied the Left. I used to be a member of the Democratic Party. I was a Small government, strong defense “Scoop” Jackson type of Democrat. But I had to leave when the “New Left” took over the Democratic Party leadership under the McGovern reforms in 1976. So, I know exactly where you are coming from and why you are wrong.

128 UrbanBard { 01.25.08 at 9:01 pm }

[You are such a nut its both painful and oddly amusing to read your rants sometimes. You can’t keep posting books of rambling off topic junk though, as it really isn’t fair to other readers who are forced to skip over your stuff. Post that in your own blog. Also, don’t tell me what I think. You are welcome to take issue with or disagree with any point I make, but don’t ramble on for pages copied verbatim from some neocon playbook and then stuff words in my mouth about what my position is in your mind, based on what you’ve been programed to attack by your red state brainwashings. I’m not your scarecrow, and your stereotypes have grown tiresome. You have also failed to ever respond to any of the issues I present, so I see your frequent, off topic musings as spam and will remove them if they continue to grow in vitriol or mass. - Dan]

Of course, I am painful, in the same way that Socrates was. Anyone who relentlessly points out the flaws in your thinking must be painful.

I don’t tell you what to think; I ask you to honestly defend your positions. This you will not do.

[No, you tell me "what I think," and prattle on about how I love Cuba and and hate freedom and oppose States Rights of the 1850s and whatever other nutty stuff that jumps from your keyboard. I don't like being at the wrong end of your stereotype marker, and your batshit comments are scaring away the smart people, so please cool it down several notches.

I have yet to see anywhere you have pointed out any rational flaw in my thinking, but I also don't want any examples from you, so let it go. Your inflammatory castigations of people is really becoming a problem. It's not opinion or politics or world view, it's just that you are acerbic and rude and don't say anything really interesting, and can apparently only repeat right wing jingoism that I've already heard. So stop. - Dan]

129 nat { 01.25.08 at 10:36 pm }

UrbanBard said:
“Of course, I am painful, in the same way that Socrates was. Anyone who relentlessly points out the flaws in your thinking must be painful.”

*on hands and knees* UrbanBard, PLEASE, I’m begging you, end your all-knowing, almighty, absolute, intellectual torture on we, the unworthy Leftists, for a debate with your ego. :’(

130 Michael Vasovski { 01.26.08 at 6:44 am }

I fully support Ron Paul for President, having recognized that all other candidates, both Republican and Democrat, only exist to further the agenda of the elite. Democrats pander to inner city welfare recipients; NeoCons, to war loving heehaws. Neither will touch big business -ever.

Ron Paul is the only one that will bring the troops home, immediately, without question. Incidentally, this is also more than slightly ‘touching’ big business. Certainly no NeoCon will support that. Hillary has received more money, from military contractors, than any other candidate (Rep or Dem). Obama talks of bombing Iran… Ron is the only candidate that will end that nonsense, as he recognizes not only the significant moral compromise that we’ve allowed our government to impose on our reputations; But that the war is draining our resources faster than any of us can imagine.

Ron will do his best to end the wasteful and inefficient Department of Education. He’ll return educational decisions to the states, where parents will have an easier time directly influencing their children’s educational futures. Possibly, for once, high school kids will be taught, in their economics courses, the realities of the credit system; the odds that if they take the credit, they will spend the next 10-15 years paying it back; the odds that most of them WILL take that credit and end up in serious debt. Perhaps, kids will be taught, flat out, to tear up the credit offers. However, that is unlikely, as the banks will put significant resources into making sure this never happens. It would take a concerted effort, on the part of the parents, to travel to their capitols and apply the proper pressure.

Ron will end the war on drugs and pardon app. 120,000 ‘criminals’ that were convicted of drug-related, non-violent crimes. Platform Lesson: What you do on your time, as long as it causes no harm to anyone else, is your business. This is not a libertarian view. This is common sense and the simple respect that any human adult deserves. No government should be watching over us and dictating our decisions, ever.

The media continues to do their best to ignore Ron and hope that mainstream America doesn’t come to know him. But we have loud mouths…

I nominate Urban for the Poon Award for managing to get his post past my junk mail filter and into my Inbox *How’d he do that?* and for managing to spur me to write this. I love reading Daniel’s RDM. I just never thought it would go off in this interesting direction… I’d also give Urban a Zoon Nomination for sounding like a pompous pr!ck that could only rival Frasier for intellectual egotism. That dude needs to take it down a notch. It really is nauseating.

131 UrbanBard { 01.26.08 at 12:11 pm }

nat, it is my intellect that you are contending with, not my ego. I am not emotionally involved in this discussion. I am merely making the best case that I can.

Am I being provocative? Yes. Why. Because it works on you liberals; you are unused to having your motives questioned. I don’t want the Left to have any sacred cows, specially one’s that they force me to pay for. Too often, the left stands on supposedly high moral ground while looking down their noses at us lesser fellows when there is no support under them. So, when I am attacked, I go for the Left’s jugular. Nothing personal about it though.

All I have asked of Daniel, or you, is an honest discussion and have attempted to start one and had no takers.

The Left have nothing valuable to argue for. All leftist contentions run aground on the fact that their fancies must be enforced and paid for. When those fancies are enforced deprivation, starvation and death follows because those fancies are not grounded in reality or human nature. Socialism is a mass delusion.

132 nat { 01.26.08 at 12:17 pm }

Michael Vasovski,

While you’re kind of spamming here, it’s nice to hear from what I consider a true conservative. People love to compare Hillarycrats and Neocons like Bush to make it seem as if there will only ever be a deadlock in government. Fortunately, neither of those groups are very popular. Bush has the lowest approval ratings ever and Hillary, with her grandstanding and continuous misrepresentation of the facts in her rather uninspiring speeches with help from Bill, show both sides don’t appeal to the mainstream.

However, while I wouldn’t mind having Ron Paul as president, and I would most definitely vote for him over Clinton, Obama is who I really want. Paul is great, but due to there being a higher percentage of Neocons voting than true conservatives, he doesn’t have much of a chance. However, if a centrist like Obama got in for a term or two, someone like Ron would have a much better chance.

On that note, I would like to know what you meant by “Obama talks of bombing Iran.” When and where was this said? What was said? I don’t see the point in badmouthing a candidate Ron himself said he agreed with and related to.

133 UrbanBard { 01.26.08 at 12:46 pm }

“[No, you tell me “what I think,” and prattle on about how I love Cuba and hate freedom and oppose States Rights of the 1850s and whatever other nutty stuff that jumps from your keyboard. "

Stop being so narcissistic, Daniel. The world does not revolve around you. I may speak of the Left in general terms hoping that I will expose you. This is a direct consequence of you refusing to reveal yourself or to argue issues. I force me to judge your position on the left by what little you reveal. When you go into a Leftist rant, I place you far to the left of Hillary and Obama. Why wouldn't you love Castro?

Why get so emotional about it? If I am wrong, simply state that and I will believe it. There is nothing personal in this, Daniel. I am trying to correct you atrociously bad manners. Hence, I must come across harder and less compromising than I ordinarily am.

"I don’t like being at the wrong end of your stereotype marker, and your batshit comments are scaring away the smart people, so please cool it down several notches."

The Left are used to giving insults, but not receiving them. Again, If you want to avoid my derision, then argue a case, rather than giving me Leftist rants.

My main point is that politics is not the proper venue for these technical webpages. So, if you stop throwing leftist crap at me, then you will never hear from me. Do you think that your leftist bullshit isn't scaring away smart people? Apparently not, since you believe that no Conservative can be "Smart Person."

"I have yet to see anywhere you have pointed out any rational flaw in my thinking, but I also don’t want any examples from you, so let it go. "

That is your flaw, Daniel. You ask me to point out the flaws in your thinking while simultaneously asking that I don't ask them. That is an idiotic position to take.

What you want to do is to take potshots at other people while receiving none in return. You disrespect me and my values and I am supposed to respect yours? Get real. Your behavior provokes a reply, so I give you one. If you stop disrespecting other people, Daniel, they might be nice to you. Your behavior, so far, deserves a whipping.

"Your inflammatory castigations of people is really becoming a problem. "

It is a problem that you started.

"It’s not opinion or politics or world view, it’s just that you are acerbic and rude and don’t say anything really interesting, and can apparently only repeat right wing jingoism that I’ve already heard. So stop. - Dan]”

Daniel, I am merely replying to your disrespect. Reread my first post; it was rather mild. I merely stated that I disagreed with you but it was too time consuming for me to dissect your mixed up rant.

The Leftist on this web pages could not tolerate a contrary opinion. Of course, neither they or you addressed my contention: that if you persist in disrespecting your Conservative readers by throwing out irrelevant leftist rubbish, then you will get an argument. You are acting rather childishly, Daniel.

[It is juvenile and disrespectful for you to post another long missive of self-indulgent bullshit after I asked you to tone down your off-topic and irrelevant foaming. Seriously, stop or I'll ban your account. I'd prefer not to have to do that, so self regulate and we can keep our government small and limited as we both prefer. - Dan ]

134 UrbanBard { 01.26.08 at 1:02 pm }

nat, Michael Vasovski is not a Conservative, let alone a true one. He is a Libertarian. There is a decided difference.

In normal conditions, the Libertarians and the Small Government Conservatives work together. But, this war had divided many people.

135 Michael Vasovski { 01.27.08 at 6:55 am }

Nat,

Google ‘Obama bombing Iran’. It should give you enough quotes… As for spamming, I was content to leave this well-enough alone. Like I said, somehow this all ended up in my inbox. And that’s what prompted this. I just wanted to get my two cents in…

Urban,

I don’t know what is correctly considered to be a true conservative. From my personal experience, as a high school kid, I had the unique experience of having parents that purchased a house owned by the late Senator Strom Thurmond. Because he and his wife, Nancy, were having problems in their relationships, he ended up living, in the apartment, over our garage, for app. 1.5 years. He would come home, every other weekend, from Washington. And he’d always spend some time talking with us about DC politics. It was because of that that I ended up serving as a page for him in DC. The list may be short but distinguished of the ‘true’ conservatives that I met and shook hands with. But I certainly know who I am and who I identify with.

Despite all of this, I never saw it upon myself to cast a vote for any candidate. To me, all of the guys that ran for Pres came across like used-car salesmen. When Kerry was asked a question, he would start to answer it. Then he would pause, look at the camera, and say, “…But as President of the United States, I would…” I was like, “Come on. Sell that to someone else.” It also didn’t take much to see past G.W. either. I was none-too-surprised to learn that the reason he lost his first run, as Gov of Texas, was that the general public thought he sounded too much like a know-it-all from the North. Obviously, he did a decent job of reinventing himself and dumbing down his rhetoric.

Point is, if I’d had my way, there’d have been a check box, on the ballot, that read, “Do over.” I don’t believe in voting for the ‘lesser of two evils’. And I won’t cast a ‘protest vote’. To be frank, I’ve never voted at all, much less registered to vote, until I heard of Ron… I just never saw a reason to.

As far as whether I’m a ‘true’ conservative, I guess that may be appropriately gauged on the modern definition of the word. And if, by modern definition, what I consider to be a NeoCon is a true conservative, then I suppose I’m not. I’m quite proud to say that. Possibly, you and I are too young to remember what real Republicans were, unlike the older Dr. Paul. We’re definitely too young to remember when the conservatives were considered Democrats and the liberals, Republicans. But I think that party affiliations and political ideals are only divisive machines meant to separate us.

Call me what you will. You’re still pompous and irritating.

136 nat { 01.27.08 at 12:21 pm }

Michael Vasovski,

I did a search for those exact words and came up with nothing on YouTube. I even searched Google Video, but I’m not finding the video. Could you provide a link? I think I actually remember hearing about him saying something about Iran a while ago, but when I search Google, I only find stories that seem to have been written during Kerry’s run for president. I usually prefer to do my own research on stuff like this, but since this is a point you’re trying to make, I think I’ll let you make it with some links. Thanks. :)

137 avocade { 01.27.08 at 11:32 pm }

Bravo! Your best article in a long while. You write the best when you’re the most passionate about a subject, that’s for sure.

138 Michael Vasovski { 01.29.08 at 5:11 am }

nat,

Correct me. The links I found were also dated. Have been searching on and off for any recent reference. But I’ve not been able to find anything… Bravo for him… War is the big issue for me. If he’ll join my man in an unconditional pull out of the middle east, and if my guy doesn’t make it to the g.e., I have to say that I’d consider it. Thanks for bringing me up to speed. I admit that I don’t research the others as much as I should. I did like Kucinich a lot, though. They rail him for the UFO thing. But did you see that youtube video of the Fox News report? The Mex gov. released official video of their jets tracking the things. They said they and the other nations are tired of deferring to the U.S. gov to make the official announcement -Holy sh!t! Next thing you know, G.W. will take off his mask and reveal his true reptilian nature:)

139 nat { 01.29.08 at 7:50 pm }

Michael,

Glad to hear you’d consider voting for Obama if Ron doesn’t win the Republican Primary. If you don’t wanna go about researching him in a traditional way, just look up some of his speeches on YouTube. My favorite was made when he won South Carolina last weekend. It addresses racism a little bit due to the Clintons making that an issue, but it’s mainly has a universal message of hope and change.
You can watch it here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iVAPH_EcmQ

I liked Kucinich too, but apparently he was too liberal. While I had initially hoped he might be Obama’s running mate, wouldn’t it be amazing if Ron Paul became Obama’s VP, or vice versa? I know, nothing like that has ever really happened, but man it would be extraordinary!

140 Video Game Consoles 2007: Wii, PS3 and the Death of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 — RoughlyDrafted Magazine { 01.31.08 at 2:27 am }

[...] Apple TV Promises to Take 2008 Analysts, Investors Take Apple to Task For its Best Quarter Ever The Sealed Fate of Microsoft Media Downloads. After its peak year of Xbox 360 sales in 2006, Microsoft was still failing to sell any significant number of digital downloads through the Xbox, while Apple was selling 99% of online TV programs and 40% of movie downloads through iTunes. At this years’ Macworld, Steve Jobs announced Apple had sold 7 million movies, 125 million TV shows, and 4 billion songs, and noted that Apple’s share of the movie market had increased to over 50%. [...]

141 NB { 02.03.08 at 1:17 pm }

Nice article, I’m pretty much in agreement. Too bad about the trolling in the comments but such is blogging, I suppose.

The Russians used pencils and consequently littered their space station (a closed system) with lots of floating particles from the shavings, leading to polluted atmosphere and short circuits in electronics. Not a good tradeoff. Remember that the Mir project was jettisoned after almost a decade.

142 Three Barriers Holding Up Apple TV — RoughlyDrafted Magazine { 05.30.08 at 6:30 am }

[...] Apple TV Promises to Take 2008 A Supporting Role. Apple TV is not the classic economic razor and media sales are not the disposable blades; both are only minor product offerings that help support Apple’s other businesses. Apple TV was created to allow Apple to get established in the emerging market for Internet movie rentals and purchases. Without it, the company would have had a tough time trying to sell the movie studios on its plans to market their movies exclusively on iPod and iPhone screens or for playback directly on PCs. [...]

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