Lightning to USB without IC chip

Buyer beware. The latest iTunes 11 update apparently blocks these cables, the iPhone 5 shows the message “charging is not supported with this accessory”. The slightly more expensive clone cables advertised as “with IC chip” are still working at the time of writing.

Farewell NZBMatrix


Who will step up? Will NZBMatrix return? Clearly the need for an indexer still exists, despite numerous premium Usenet mirrors now complying with DMCA take down notices, these are far and few between, usually limited to big film studio releases, which are promptly re-posted anyway. Presumably the owners of NZBMatrix still have all the site code and databases, they need 3 things to re-launch.

1. Money
This is a big problem, with more and more payment gateways refusing to do business with these types of sites, right now BitCoin is the only solution I can think of to this problem, unfortunately it cuts out a large percentage of the user base with people too afraid or too stupid to take the leap.

2. Hosting
The elephant in the room in the wake of recent shutdowns is the Netherlands, due to recent court rulings it is no longer really possible to host here without persecution, leaving site owners little choice but to look East – fortunately there’s still plenty of former Soviet nations impoverished and without unfavorable laws regarding Internet conduct, this comes at a price though.

3. Domain name
This is also somewhat complex, as the owners wouldn’t want to immediately put themselves in the spotlight by using the same or similar site name and domain name, so the question begs – how to spread the word. Tor comes to mind as a reasonable way to keep the name without the unwanted attention, unfortunately again this culls the potential userbase. If there was a reasonable way to contact former members, the site could operate purely without a domain name, instead browseable only by IP (or even IPv6), this would seem a nifty solution to those nasty domain blacklists, as long as you had a twitter or IRC channel to advertise every time you changed address.

New iMac box


Apparently Ars Technica writer Andrew Cunningham never got to play with wooden blocks as a kid.

Taking the new iMac out of its weird-shaped box
New trapezoidal box is harder to stack but much easier to open

You simply place every second box upside down, you could eventually build a pyramid if you had enough of them. I wonder which retailer will be the first to build the iMac pyramid…

Lightning to USB Cable


With IC chip they claim. Roughly $8 from eBay. So much for Apple’s plan to clamp down on aftermarket accessories. That being said, there’s no guarantee these (I assume) cloned chips won’t be blocked by some future firmware update, at least you’ll still be able to charge with these cables (theoretically) even if you can’t sync with them. I’m very curious to know what Apple actually charges for a license to make these cables (and docks) to reputable companies like Belkin and so on. Presumably the pricing is more or less fixed so that aftermarket cables should cost similar to Apple’s genuine ones.

Maybe the real killer app will be USB3.0 when Apple adds that to the Lightning spec for the iPhone 5S. I imagine the Chinese will have difficulty mass producing those in the immediate future – judging by the distinct lack of ordinary USB3.0 cables at rock-bottom bulk lot prices.

Looper (2012)

If you have any sort of understanding of how time travel (theoretically) actually works – avoid this film. Not because it’s mind bendingly complicated, but because it’s mind bendingly stupid. The characters are dry and unlikable, the plot is riddled with holes. Joseph Gordon Levitt looks like a train ran over his face. Predictable ending – which is a shame as the writers could have gone just about anywhere with this one. So many missed opportunities to make a clever, well thought out film that you makes think.


Incidentally, if you want something mind bending with a splash of horrific frightening, try The Triangle.