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I’ll start off with this quote from McClatchy-Tribune Information Services’ Jon Dawson who is reviewing the new Britney Spears release: “The Singles Collection gathers all of Britney Spears singles released between the years of 1999 and 2009. This is a good thing, because if they’re all in one place, maybe somebody with a flamethrower can destroy them before more people are exposed to them. The earth is running out of oil and water, yet both of these fragile resources were used to create this 29-disc box set.” That’s fantastic. That’s more brutal than almost anything I’ve ever written. I laughed. I posted it on Facebook. I want to share it with my readers because it’s hysterically funny.

This link goes to a list of theme parks and various brochures and maps of them, some back to the 1930s. It’s got Carowinds, Opryland, Disney, Six Flags, Great American, and many, many more. There’s a European section too. Thanks to John Carney for this link.

I rarely take the side of Microsoft or say anything nice about them. If you feel the shock of me saying nice things will be too much for your system, you might want to skip this bit. As you’re well aware, the only Microsoft product of the modern era I don’t hate are some of their mouse products. I use an Optical IntelliMouse at home and the wireless version at work and the Bluetooth one with the laptop (the mouse is mine, not work’s).

Earlier this week Microsoft did something that warmed my heart considerably. Microsoft decided that anyone who modified their X-Box wasn’t allowed to use their on-line servers anymore.  Now, before you get your knickers in a knot or your panties in a wad, I absolutely and unequivocally support your right to do whatever you want to your X-Box (PS3, Wii, etc.) once you own it. It’s yours, not theirs.

However, they are in business to make money — leaving aside any argument whether or not they deserve it — and so if their terms of use for their On-Line service say, only original unmodified equipment can be used, then that is their right. It’s a private company and nobody has right of access. That’s the end of that. Period. You can bet others will follow suit. Microsoft told BBC News that banned machines will be permanently barred and “unable to connect to Xbox Live.” Users will have to buy new machines if they want to do that. Yeah, it’s a bit harsh, but there ya’ go. When you did it, you knew there would be consequences, so don’t be mad that this is what they are. The unit will still work for off-line play. Will someone come up with a mod-chip that bypasses this? Likely so. Do I care? Not at all. I am just amused at all the whiners — they won’t win, can’t win this battle. Microsoft, to use their own terms PWND them.

This parallels my feelings for Psystar vs Apple. If Psystar actually buys the copies of OS-X as it claims — which I am skeptical about — then they should be allowed to modify them. Sadly, courts have time and time again ruled that software that you buy is not your software. In most cases, you are purchasing a license to use the software. That means you can’t legally modify it. I modify software for various reasons, mostly performance tweaks and such. Considering I actually buy my software and don’t steal (pirate) it, I feel perfectly entitled to do what I want with it including installing it on more than one machine. If I’m only using one copy at a time, I think that’s fine — many companies have seen the light and now let you install the software on both a desktop and laptop. Others continue to suck. Our corporate Twitter account continues to gain followers though it’s still something we’re not active with. Same goes for our FaceBook page . I’ve packed for the trade show and managed to get it all into one overstuffed piece of luggage and one way-too-heavy backpack. If I’m lucky, I’ll be able to ship most of it back and not have to check luggage. I have to check in for my flight, cancel the paper, and all those things.I  heard U2’s With Or Without You today. I happened to look at the RDS data and noticed this song was from 1987. Damn. 22 years old. I think I’ll just go to a retirement home now. Due to the trade show, I will be slow to reply to e-mails, moderate comments, and all that good stuff. Be patient. I’m a bit more phlegmy and a lot more coughy.

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