Embeddable Google Maps!

This is cool beyond belief. For example, here’s a map showing the ridiculousness of US-style hub-and-spoke flying arrangements (unless you book enough in advance, or pay more, to get more direct routes), if you live in a remote place like Bloomington, Indiana (as yours truly do).

Due to WordPress.com limitations, though, you’d have to check my personal blog for it.

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The death of Salon Audiofile

Salon.com’s Audiofile, a remarkable music blog that provides regular song reviews, complete with downloads of the reviewed songs in MP3 format, closed its door last month.

The archives, thankfully, are still (largely) available. But how, pray, would you download hundreds of songs scattered over 26 pages? (one per each letter in the alphabet)

If you use Firefox (and if not, you should. Not because it’s the best browser, but becaue of the add-ons), then it’s simple — look up FlashGot or DownThemAll!. The former is more configurable, I believe (you get to use your own download manager), but the latter is probably simpler to use.

Caveat lector: the (rough guess) 70% or so of the songs that still have functional links total up to more than 2GB’s worth. Will probably post a Torrent link on Mininova once I tidy them up a bit.

Dear Interweb: Watching YouTube in H.264 *without* paying the Apple Tax?

Dear Interweb,

I’ve heard this great news [apple.com] that Google is transcoding its videos to high-quality MP4 format for AppleTV and iPhone users. To my surprise (and disappointment), however, there are no instructions on how to use it from non-Apple devices (or even a non-appliance Mac).

I have been to YouTube Mobile, and as reported by jukkaeklund [allaboutsymbian.com] the video available to other mobile users (or PC users who use the URL) are still H.263, though in a saner container than those horrible FLVs. Not all the videos are there too.

Is Google giving Apple preferential treatment? Is Google becoming like the IBM of the past, with balkanized teams not coordinating with each other? (Hope not). Funny thing is, the video that motivated this question was a Linus Torvalds tech talk at Google, on distributed SCM. Unlike earlier Tech Talk videos hosted on Google Video, this one is on YouTube only — meaning no decent-quality downloads!

I can imagine even ordinary Mac users (as opposed to those on the consumer appliances) getting disappointed at this. They have paid the Apple Tax already, after all.