Monthly Archives: January 2007

Zune Posts Bring out the Sleaze

My posts about the Zune have been picked up by a dubious website called My first thought was that it is some sort of automated scraper site, but the volume of postings is low enough that there must be a human involved somewhere. However, all they seem to be doing is excerpting a significant portion of the post (40-75%) and posting it with the same title, and a single link back to the original post. No commentary is added, not even a little bit. Of course, they are using Google ads on the site.

If I have a chance tonight, I’m going to file a DMCA take down complaint against them. If they’ve been republishing your blog posts, I suggest you do the same thing.

Speaking of Zune and Sleaze, I noticed that someone from the Seattle branch of a big national PR company (Edelman) read my Zune posts.

First Zune Virus Discovered

Well, it didn’t take long. The first Zune virus has been spotted in the wild. The virus prevents users from wirelessly sharing songs with other Zune users using the much hyped “Social” feature of the Zune. Apparently this afflicts a huge percentage of the music purchased from the Zune store.

Actually, technically, it probably isn’t right to call it a virus. It’s more like a trojan horse, and as it turns out, it managed to infect Zunes before they even left the factory. It was placed by Microsoft and the major records labels.

Yup, you’ve got it right. The Zune’s major distinguishing feature is “The Social,” the ability to beam songs that self-destruct after a few listens to other Zune users (if you can even find them), and then they go ahead and make the feature broken by design in order to appease record labels who don’t want free promotion.

The record labels are even worse. The promotion isn’t free, it’s actually revenue generating, because Universal (one of the major record labels) get $1 for every Zune sold. Moreover, it’s not just promotion, it’s people recommending things to their friends, which has got to carry more weight than just about any promotional channel.

Grrrrr. I hate blogs with date-ignorant navigation and search

I’m trying to do some research and I’m curious about postings Jason Calacanis made in November 2005 As far as I can tell, the only way to find the posts in that range is to page through the archives of his blog. His post URLs all encode the posting date ( ie ), but if you try hacking the URLs down and remove the post-specific portion, you end up getting redirected to the main site URL. His site has search, but it’s pretty much useless for what I want to do.

His site isn’t the only one with this problem. Ask Metafilter is a great question & answer community, but it’s more difficult than it should be to find old questions and answers since they moved their site search over to Yahoo’s site search, which is completely ignorant of the date an item was posted. This totally blows, because often times I’ll remember a question that someone asked recently and want to find it again. I can either page back through all the old questions, which quickly becomes annoying, or I can search for some relevant keywords. What I get back is ranked by some algorithm that completely ignores the date associated with the posting, and there is no way to sort by date.

New Iraq Policy Stillborn, Bush Tries for War with Iran

I can’t help but be cynical about this:

US forces, backed by helicopters, have raided the Iranian consulate’s offices in Arbil, the Kurdish capital in northern Iraq.
The offices of the Kurdish prime minister and Kurdish president expressed their “disturbance and condemnation” at the pre-dawn operation and urged the US military to release employees arrested during the raid.
Al Jazeera English – Middle East