Great Free Apple Mac Audio Converter

So I had a .flac file (lossless, and therefore very large) audio file. Apple iTunes wouldn’t touch the thing with a bargepole. Needed to convert into something it could read and then transfer to my shiny new 3rd Gen iPod Nano.

Mother Google had a thread listed discussing this very thing. Couple of people mentioned Max from Downloaded the Universal binary, set it up to export to the first MPEG-4 listed with High quality at 256kbits/sec. Converted the file in less than 30 seconds (2.4Ghz Macbook Pro) and the result was happily imported into iTunes.

Best bit? Max converts to/from many, many formats, and is completely free (GPL)!


Best anti-piracy ad (video)

From Channel 4’s the IT Crowd.

Raymond Crowe – Simple Yet Brilliant Video

Australian Raymond Crowe performs shadow puppetry to Louis Armstrong’s “A Wonderful World”.

Apple demonstrates being American can suck

When Apple took the wraps off the most hyped phone in history, the iPhone, the American public went “oooh” then quickly bought them off the shelves almost as fast as stocks would supply.

They paid what they thought was a reasonable price for the goods.

A mere two months on and Apple have dropped the price an astonishing $200. And dropped the smaller of the two models.

Some customers who bought the device most recently may be able to claim money back but Apple Chief Steve Jobs has publically stated that wholesale refunds are not an option. The forums are full of fuming customers who’ve wasted $200.

I guess being forced to wait because I’m outside the USA might have it’s advantages after all. Doesn’t make up for all the price hikes after the currency is converted though…

Edit: Steve Jobs probably just read this post. He’s made an announcement offering $100 store credit for every early iPhone adopter.

Best Bug Report. Ever.

Not to be read with little-uns reading!

There are times when it is prudent to self-censor.

Then there’s this chap’s bug report.

Edit: Now links to the https web site as the non-ssl version now redirects to home page probably due to traffic.

Chinese getting pissed with strong American demand for shit

Possibly the best article from the Chinese manufacturing front-line ever: The Onion interviews a factory worker for whom making random plastic goods for the Western world is getting a tag boring.

Of all the “goods” he has helped to manufacture perhaps the most rediculous is the “toothpick dispenser”. But I’ll leave you to judge yourselves.

UK prison pays inmates to sit still and do nothing

UK prison Whatton in Nottinghamshire is under fire for literally giving inmates money in return for doing nothing.

It is perhaps the ultimate job. Sit there and earn money. I checked and found nothing like it down the local job centre.

While on Wednesday prison officers across Britain were on an unofficial strike over pay and conditions the inmates at Whatton decided that rather than behave in a manner unbefitting a human being, they would in fact sit still and wait for their guards to return. Apparently the prison Governor Peter Wright noticed this and decided a £2 (US $4) bonus payment should be awarded to each one.

Now paying prisoners is not without precedent. They can earn money (up to £8 per week) by cleaning and gardening and other essential yet not exactly risky or exciting jobs. But rather unsurprisingly the Prison Officer’s Association isn’t welcoming the idea of paying them for doing precisely what any normal human being would be expected to do under similar circumstances.

Glyn Travis, Assistant Secretary of the Association told the BBC it was “absolutely despicable“.

Can’t really argue with that conclusion…

I might however argue that if the UK Government felt it had some spare change:

  • Could I have some money for paying my bills? On time, naturally.
  • Could I have some money for going to the gym to try and keep healthy?
  • Could I have some money for mowing the lawn?
  • Could I have some money for yawning and going to bed?