One year ago today
Low-cost hi-fi: the amazing world of cheapo mini-amps: I asked the stereophile friend who recommended the T-Amp had become of it, and he told me that there was a new version, called the DTA-1 Class T, that is better built and sells for a still-very-reasonable $45. Judging from the glowing customer reviews, Sonic Impact has continued to produce astounding sound-quality for the cost of a pair of cheap laptop speakers.
Five years ago today
Julian Comstock: Robert Charles Wilson's masterful novel of a post-collapse feudal America: "If Jules Verne had read Karl Marx, then sat down to write The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire": Julian Comstock is the story of a world sunk into feudal barbarism, 150 years after Peak Oil, plagues, economic collapse and war left the planet in tatters. Now, America (grown to encompass most of Canada, save for deeply entrenched Dutch and "mitteleuropean" forces in the now-verdant Labrador) is ruled over by a mad hereditary president, whose power is buoyed up by the Dominion, a religious authority that represents the true power in a nation where the new First Amendment guarantees the right to worship at any sanctioned church of your choosing.
Ten years ago today
Orrin Hatch criminalizes the iPod: With Orrin Hatch's nation-destroying Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act headed for law, EFF has decided to create a real example of just what kind of "piracy" Hatch is targetting. Here's EFF's hypothetical complaint against Apple (for making the iPod) C|Net (for reviewing the iPod), and Toshiba (for supplying hard drives for iPods). All three of these activities fall within the scope of activity that Hatch's bill seeks to end.