Pre-October 2006 entries are listed over here.

  • Wayback Machine

    Sometimes, I hate the interwebs.

    Update: Thanks for your emails of support. It's interesting to know it's happened to other people, and it's also heartening to know I still have a good reputation in the web development community despite my total inactivity in that area recently.

  • Update: The way around the MP3 Download geographical restriction

    [Update: This workaround no longer works, unfortunately.]

    In the comments to my rant about the geographical restrctions on the MP3 download service, Mark wrote that he could use it from Japan, using his mother's mailing address. This lit a lightbulb in my head (dim as it was): it seems that Amazon uses the default I-Click address to determine whether you have the right to download the MP3 or not. My default address was set to my Swiss address, so first I reset it to my U.S. address and tried buying a tune. No go still - I still got the rejection notice. So, I un- I-Click'ed all my non-U.S. addresses, and tried again. This time I was asked which address I wanted (I had two U.S. addresses to choose from). And bingo, I could download with impunity.

  • Flying to Zürich is always a culture shock

    In this Op-Ed article in the NY Times, Thomas Friedman says, among other things:

    Fly from Zurich’s ultramodern airport to La Guardia’s dump. It is like flying from the Jetsons to the Flintstones.

    That made me laugh. Flying back to Zürich-Kloten airport from most everywhere, but especially the U.S., is always a visceral shock. "Ultramodern" doesn't adequately describe it.

  • Amazon MP3 service is useless for expats like me

    [Another update: The workaround no longer works.]

    [Update: There is a way around the Amazon geographical restriction thing. See here. ]

    There have been a lot of raves about the new MP3 download service, mainly because it's 10 cents cheaper than the iTunes Music Store, and it's (allegedly) DRM-free. (I say allegedly, because I'm quite skeptical about these claims from any source, but that's besides the point here.) However, just like their awful UnBox video download service, they restrict download by 'geographical location', meaning that they probably filter by your IP address:

    We could not process your order because of geographical restrictions on the product which you were attempting to purchase. Please refer to the terms of use for this product to determine the geographical restrictions. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

    Well gee thanks for the concern, Amazon.

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