Monthly Archives: July 2006

White Burgundies

I was thinking of buying a bottle of 1996 Chassagne-Montrachet Colin-Deleger En Remilly, but then I read this article.

Something is killing the 1996 White Burgundies. When the class of ’96 first hit the market, it was hailed as a sublime vintage, the best since 1990. Collectors snapped up case after case. But now, just as the wines should be reaching their prime, they are turning up dead on dining-room tables—the victims of premature oxidation.

See this forum for discussion on the issue. I bought a bottle of 2002 Meursault Francois Jobard En la Barre instead.

Arstechnica on hacking DRM

Arstechnica has published an article called “Hacking Digital Rights Management” that mentions some of my work.

QTFairUse would not be the program to bring unencumbered iTunes downloads to the mainstream user, but it did represent one possible line of attack. Another approach was provided by playfair, a little program capable of stripping the DRM from iTunes files.

In retrospect, releasing QTFairUse was a mistake. In winter 2003 I did two things:

1. Released QTFairUse
2. Reverse engineered FairPlay and added support to the VideoLAN Client for playing FairPlay files. The tools m4p2mp4, playfair and hymn all use the VideoLAN FairPlay code.

For some reason a lot of people think I only did the first. I guess keeping two facts in your head at the same time is hard.

QTFairUse relied on Apple’s software to decrypt the protected song files and then grabbed the unencrypted music from RAM. It then wrote this data to an unencrypted AAC file that turned out not be readable by most music players.

QTFairUse was aimed at a technical audience and as such I did not include documentation for normal users. In retrospect, that was a mistake. Many non-technical users, not knowing the difference between a raw AAC file (extension .aac) and a MPEG4 AAC file (extension .mp4 or .m4a), claimed that QTFairUse did not work after they had tried to play an .aac file in an audio player that doesn’t support .aac files.

Note: the Arstechnica journalist wanted to interview me for the article but I was busy moving to SF at the time so I declined.

Waffles

Ingredients
1l half & half (cream and milk)
100g sour cream
200g butter
150g sugar
500g flour
2 eggs
1/4 ts salt
1 ts baking soda
1 ts cardamom or cinnamon

Directions
1. Whisk sugar and eggs together until light in color.
2. Mix in the half & half and sour cream.
3. Mix in the mixed flour and salt, baking soda and spice.
4. Mix in melted butter.

Leave in the fridge for 1 hour before making waffles.