I need more ears

Macworld: Jays to release stylish, midrange earbuds in U.S.

I like the way these things look, but damned if I can figure out why some rubber earbud headphones vary so much in price, when the sound quality is so highly subjective. I’m currently using a $40 pair of Scosche earbuds I picked up at the Apple Store—annoyed that they needed a repair very quickly, but sound and mic quality both seem to be pretty good.

Taking cheap shots at Samsung

Macworld: Samsung unveils new, small color printers

I enjoyed writing these turns of phrase:

Polymerized Chemical Toner may sound like the next head-to-head battle in Congress over environmental pollution, but it’s actually the technology in Samsung’s upcoming line of laser printers…. [$199] might be a good price for polymerized chemicals, but it’s hard to tell, as that phrase is about as specific as marketing your white bread as produced using Endothermic Infrared Radiation Transfer.

Macworld roundup 7/6

SyncMate connects your Mac’s data to… everything

SyncMate synchronization software boasts a list of compatible devices and operating systems which includes anything more sophisticated than your blender.

The Onion adds paid download to the iTunes Store

Unfortunately, my editors killed this image with the article. “The Y! Phone uses Google’s operating system and should be on the market in 3 to 4 years.”

Back in TidBITS, and Jeff gets Boinged

The first part of my two-part article on how DRM technologies are destroying the world (slight exaggeration for dramatic effect) is up at TidBITS.com, and I’ve been linked for the first time in BoingBoing.

In case you’re not convinced to click over just yet, here’s my editorial blurb: “While attending CES last January, roving correspondent Jeff Porten realizes just how broken technology has become in the name of protecting intellectual property, causing him to ponder the societal costs of such a dependence on technology that is designed to fail.”

My CFP coverage in TidBITS

My coverage of the Computers, Freedom, and Privacy conference has just been published at TidBITS. The conference was chock-full of information and I’ve got more to say about it, which had to be cut from the article to keep this issue from becoming 30,000 words long, or from taking on more of a political tone than is usually the case. I’m still catching up on a pile of work from last week, so feel free to keep checking the CFP topic here to see my new articles as I post them.

Thanks go out to Adam Engst and the rest of the TidBITS crew for asking me to cover the conference, and to the Association for Computing Machinery for putting it on in the first place. As I say in the article, if you’re in the least bit interested in these topics, by all means come to Montreal next year.

Another shout-out goes to my buddy Brian Greenberg, who surely is shocked as hell to read this. The reason? Because Brian was the audience I had in mind when writing the article; he’s my standing skeptical sounding board on issues related to privacy and whether the current administration is living up to Orwell’s 1984, and I consciously wrote my piece with the hope of convincing Brian — and others like him — why these topics are important.

I’m sure he’ll tell me if I succeeded. Hope you do too.