When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

17 November 2005

Odds and ends from a Dallas high-rise

A few little odds and ends, posted from my Dallas hotel room, up on the 26th floor. (The nice people at the Adam's Mark Dallas have given me a hotel room that's larger than our apartment back in NYC, and I'm rattling around in this huge space like the last jellybean in the jar. Thank God for in-room coffeemakers... the hotel restaurant doesn't open for another hour, and neither does the Starbucks in the lobby.)
  • My goodness, Sony certainly stepped on their collective corporate johnson-sans with the current Digital Rights Management (DRM) fiasco... Sony's copy-protection scheme, discovered and "outed" by blogger Mark Russinovich in late October, installs "rootkit" software on PCs, which creates all kinds of nasty vulnerabilities.

    Law of unintended consequences department: It appears that, for the time being, at least, until this godawful mess is unwound, the only safe way to use Sony's music is to steal it.

    Strange bedfellows department: This is one of the few situations where techies appear to be pulling *for* a class action lawsuit against a technology company from California's overpopulation of commercial tort attorneys.

    Mark's site, linked above, is the best place to go for detailed information, but other geek sites are covering this like white on rice (see, e.g., Slashdot.) Boing Boing has probably the best running summary for non-propellorhead users: Sony Rootkit Roundup.

    Or there's always the MSM: New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek.

  • I see that the New York Times automotive section just covered the new Chevrolet HHR, Chevy's answer to the PT Cruiser ("2006 Chevrolet HHR: Let's Do the Time Warp Again.")

    I drove one of these odd little beasts for two weeks during my recent sojourn in Raleigh (it was all the rental car company had to offer me) and I have to say, it grew on me: there was plenty of interior room in that small vehicle for this large driver, and the retro styling didn't get in the way of a very nicely designed console with good ergonomics. Plus, I thought it had *plenty* of pickup and zip, and handled nimbly, not nervously... I guess the bottom line is, I liked it a little better than the Times' reviewer did.

    (Related site: Chevrolet's HHR page.)

    Stray thought - people who travel on business a lot and rent a lot of different car models would make interesting amateur car reviewers, potentially. Group blog, anyone?

  • Carrie is taking up the Catblogger's Burden this week; look for pix of Mister Gato at her site later on Thursday or early Friday. (I know y'all get cranky when there aren't plenty of Gato pix around.)

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