Entertainment news

Hard to believe the fall is just around the corner, with football and Fall TV. I arrived back to Seattle from France and it felt like summer was just beginning. Then the second day back it was about 55 degrees and rainy.
The season premiere of of the second season of 24 has been set on Oct. 29, a Tuesday, at 9pm. The entire first episode will be commercial free. Maybe we'll see Jack Bauer have to use the bathroom during that episode.
Sarah Michelle Gellar likely won't sign on for season eight of Buffy, so next season's it. Good long run for Joss Whedon.
Baz Luhrman has thrown his hat into the Alexander the Great ring. He's now competing with Oliver Stone, Martin Scorsese, and Mel Gibson to be first to market with a biopic on Big Al. Very strange how everyone in Hollywood is always converging on the same ideas. I can guarantee that if there are four movies on Alexander the Great, not all four will succeed.

Stupid Stupid Stupid Human!

Aaaaaaaaaaaa! So I lug my camera and my big 80-200mm lens over to France for the Tour. The last time I used my camera, I was at a wedding, and it was dark, so I decided to shoot my 400 speed black and white film at 800 and then push process it later. Well, being the idiot I am, I didn't bother checking the rating when I loaded new film in France during the Tour. I shot two rolls of Provia 100F at 800 speed and the slides all came out predictably underexposed. Noonan!
I think it's partially Nikon's fault for not flashing an alert or resetting the speed when a new roll of film is loaded. Damn!
Fortunately, my one good shot of Lance was shot on 400 speed film. Everyone in the camp was so impressed watching me with my giant lens, lens hood, and monopod, running back and forth across the street to get angles on the incoming cyclists. They're going to have a good laugh at this one.

Best of the streaming music services

Listen.com's Rhapsody online music subscription service is supposedly the best out there. Their musical catalog is impressive, and you can play an unlimited number of tracks each month, but you're limited to burning ten tracks a month. That means most of your music listening still has to occur at your computer. Not my preferred mode of listening to music.
Pressplay finally unveiled unlimited downloads and streams for $14.95 per month.
All these services are inching their way towards usefulness, which makes it somewhat more palatable that the file-sharing services online are crippled. Still, lots of problems remain. The quality of downloaded streams is not CD quality, only 128kbps for Pressplay, for example, and streams are just at 96kbps for customers with the fastest online connections. That's weak, and insufficient for music like classical or jazz which counts lots of audiophiles among its audience.
These services try as hard as possible to not tread on the turf of CD sales, and that's their downfall.