COOL APP: iTunes Export

As I’ve said many times on this blog, iTunes is a great program for moving songs to your iPod, but it’s a crappy program for managing your music. That’s because it’s a “closed ecosystem”. As I noted in this post about iTunes Library Updater, after you install iTunes the program will scan your computer and look for music files to add to the iTunes library. Once this is done, however, there’s no way to add music to your library other than by ripping a CD with iTunes or buying music from the iTunes online store. If you want to use another program to rip your discs, or if you’d like to buy music from some other source, like Amazon’s MP3 store, you can’t add that music to your library without a third-party application like iTunes Library Updater.

I recently came across a need to export an iTunes playlist into the standard .M3U format. As you might guess, there’s no way to do this within iTunes itself, but I did find a nifty little app that can handle the task: iTunes Export.

The program is as simple as they come: just run the EXE, point it to your iTunes library, choose the iTunes playlist you want to export, then pick a destination for the new playlist. In a few seconds, you’ll get a M3U playlist (or a Windows Media (.wpl) or Zune (.zpl) playlist, if you prefer). You can then play the playlist in WinAMP or any other software player that supports M3U playlists, burn an audio CD with Nero, or copy the playlist to a portable player that supports M3U playlists.

Monica Bellucci

Wikipedia sez:

Monica Anna Maria Bellucci (born September 30, 1964 or 1968) is an Italian actress and fashion model. Bellucci was born in CittĂ  di Castello, Umbria, Italy, the daughter of Maria Gustinelli, a painter, and Luigi Bellucci, who owned a trucking company. Bellucci started modeling at 16, when she was attending the Liceo Classico. Initially pursuing a career as a lawyer, Bellucci modeled to pay her tuition at the University of Perugia, but the lifestyle tempted her away from her law studies. She speaks Italian, French, and English fluently, Spanish semi-fluently, and she has had speaking roles in each of these languages as well as in Aramaic for her part as Mary Magdalene in The Passion of the Christ.

(click to enlarge)
(click to enlarge)

“The Chick List”

Two Fridays ago, Lisa and I were at Sir Ed’s, celebrating Calvin’s birthday. At one point, Lisa brought up the subject of male celebrities that she’d sleep with. She went through her list, then the conversation moved over to Calvin, who has Shirley Manson of Garbage in slots 1-4 of his “Top 5” list.

Eventually, of course, they came around to me. Unfortunately, I was having a complete brain fart and couldn’t think of any celebrity I wanted to sleep with at the time. For one horrifying moment, I had a list… and it was empty.

So this past week I’ve kept a Notepad window open on my computer, and I’d add a name to the list as I thought of it. After a while, the list got ridiculously large. Just for fun I divided it up like a football roster: Varsity and JV squads, with first and second strings for each team and a practice squad for each, as well as “Future Draftees” and “Retired Jerseys” sections). It’s silly, but I hope you enjoy the list:



The First Team

1) Angelina Jolie
2) Kelly Brook
3) Emma Pierson
4) Kate Winslet
5) Jenna Fischer
6) Scarlett Johanssen
7) Kristen Bell
8) Jill Wagner
9) Sarah Wayne Calles
10) January Jones
11) Dana Delaney
Continue reading ““The Chick List””

American Brewers

Back in 2002, South African Breweries bought Miller Brewing, forming SABMiller. And then, in 2005, Coors merged with Canada’s Molson to form Molson Coors. And of course, earlier this year Belgian brewing giant InBev bought Anheuser-Busch. Are there any AMERICAN brewers left any more?

Look, I’m not normally one of those “BUY AMERICAN!” people. There are several reasons for this. First of all, American companies own huge chunks of foreign companies around the world, so it would be hypocritical of me to scream “BUY AMERICAN!” then complain when British people bought Sainsbury’s baked beans instead of Heinz. Secondly, global business is such that it’s hard to tell what’s “American” and what’s not these days. My maternal grandfather would never even have considered buying a “foreign” car, even if Ford owned 25% of that “foreign” company, or even if 45% of the car’s parts were made in the US and the whole thing was assembled in Tennessee. I just don’t have the time and energy to track down who owns what or where it’s made, so I just try to buy the best thing I can afford. Lastly, although I generally don’t have a problem with patriotism, there’s just something… ugly about “BUY AMERICAN!”. There’s an implicit xenophobia there, as if the Belgians are going to buy Anheuser-Busch… then take our women! As my econ professor pointed out, foreigners buy American companies because they’re a good investment, not to run them into the ground or take them home with them. Back in the 90s, there was a huge brouhaha in Atlanta over a Japanese company buying the IBM Tower… which my econ professor put into perspective by joking “What, are they gonna put it on a flatbed and take it home with them?”

Whew! With that rant done, let me get to the point of this article, which is this: now that America’s top 3 brewers are all either completely or partially foreign-owned, can you guess which are the three largest American-owned brewers?

1) The Boston Beer Company (Sam Adams)
2) Yuengling
3) Sierra Nevada

Popeye’s Redux

PopeyesPopeye’s Chicken and Biscuits, a popular fried chicken chain here in the South, is getting a makeover. The restaurant will now be known as “Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen”, in order to better reflect its Crescent City roots.

Man… I’d kill for some of their spicy chicken, red beans and rice, green beans, and mac and cheese right now! Sadly, we don’t have any Popeye’s in Charlotte (we do have Price’s, the home of the world’s best fried chicken, but it’s too damn far away… and they don’t make a spicy version… and it’s take out only). Charlotte does have a single Church’s Chicken, but I stopped eating there once the Muslims bought it and took all the pork off the menu. Fuckers. Sigh. Bojangles it is, I guess.

For the record, Popeye’s was named after Popeye Doyle, Gene Hackman’s character in The French Connection, and not the spinach-lovin’ cartoon character.

Tonight’s the night!

The Pittsburgh Steelers travel to Cleveland to take on the Browns at 8:15pm Eastern Time tonight.

Just for the record, “Pittsburgh leads the all-time series 57-55 (including postseason) after sweeping the Browns for the fourth consecutive year in 2007… the Steelers are 48-24 against the Browns since 1970… the Steelers are looking for their 10th straight victory over the Browns…the Steelers are 8-1 against the Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium, which opened in 1999… the Steelers defeated the Browns, 43-0, in the first game at Cleveland’s new stadium on Sept. 12, 1999… the 112 games played between the Steelers and the Browns are the most between any two AFC teams… the Steelers have won 15 of their last 16 games against the Browns, and 22 of the last 25 contests… the Steelers have not been swept by the Browns since 1988 but have swept Cleveland five of the past six years.”

Bwahahahahahaha!! SUCK IT, BROWNIES!

(Thanks to for the statistics)

Kelly Brook

Wikipedia sez:

Kelly Brook (born Kelly Ann Parsons on 23 November 1979) is an English model, actress, and occasional swimwear designer and television presenter. After leaving school in Rochester, Brook studied at the Italia Conti stage school in London for three years before becoming a professional model. Kelly attended The Thomas Aveling School in Warren Wood, Rochester, Kent. Her mother is cousin to well known Lady Margeret.

(click to enlarge)
(click to enlarge)

Obama: Keepin’ it CLASSY!

The Obama campaign is showing its ugly side with this ad:

Prominent in the ad are the words “[h]e admits he still doesn’t know how to use a computer, can’t send an e-mail…” This, my friends, is bullshit, plain and simple. Of course John McCain knows how to use a computer and send an email. He was Chairman of the Senate Telecommunications Subcommittee, and more recently served on the Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Innovation. This Forbes article from 2000 says that McCain is

regarded as the U.S. Senate’s savviest technologist, McCain is an inveterate devotee of email. His nightly ritual is to read his email together with his wife, Cindy.

But here’s the thing: due to the injuries he received while being tortured by the Vietnamese, it is excruciatingly uncomfortable for him to type or use a mouse. So he normally has his wife or a staffer type out his responses while he dictates to them. He can use a computer all by himself, but normally doesn’t.

Way to keep it classy, Obama!

Motorola w370: Hacked?

One of the most popular articles on this site is this post about “hacking” the Motorola w370, a mobile phone distributed by Tracfone, a prepaid cellular provider in the US. The phone recharges via a standard “Mini USB B” connector, the same type of connector used to connect most digital cameras to desktop computers. However, with this particular model, the USB connector is connected to a standard charging unit; you cannot use a regular USB cable to charge the phone.

Or can you? reader Andy left a comment in the original “hacking the w370” post that said this:

I was able to get my phone to charge off of any windows XP or Vista computer. To do this you need to download Motorola End User Driver Installation which you can find here When you plug into a USB port it will detect the phone and install the drivers (first time only). Now I hardly ever use the wall plug.

I can confirm that this works, albeit with a couple of caveats. First of all, the hyperlink to the required software on the page Andy links to gave me a 404 error. I found an updated version of the drivers at this page. And, in testing this software out at home, I think I found an even easier way to install the phone on your computer and enable charging via USB:

Continue reading “Motorola w370: Hacked?”

Outage Possible

Hi folks! I just wanted to let you know that outages are possible for this site over the next few days, as the datacenter that hosts is located in Houston, which is currently in the path of Hurricane Ike. My host assures me that their emergency plan is fully in place, and that they have several days worth of diesel in the generators, so everything should be good… but you never can tell with these things.