Numbers on Napster: … may portend a return to the ethos of its early days.

According to data from entertainment research firm Webnoize, the number of Napster users on the system at any given time has dropped from 1.5 million in mid-March to 1.1 million as of Friday — a one-week decline of more than 25%. At the same time, however, Webnoize found that the average number of files shared by any one user, which had tumbled by 60% after Napster implemented its blocking technology, has rebounded from 71 to roughly 110 — implying that the users with the least files to share are the ones dropping off the system and that those who remain are renaming their files to avoid the blocking.

I’m not using it as much as I had, but that’s more a function of a 6-gig hard drive than other factors (discriminating taste, the pleasures of filesharing over AIM, all that time spent offline sleeping and eating).

My iBook’s on X-tacy: … Sitting in the cafe at the Berkeley Bowl, watching the sun through a solid scrim of grey clouds, flipping through a leftover copy of the Bay Area Reporter and blogging (whoo-HA!) on OS X via a preview version of Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.1. Now, if enough people are distracted by the Oscars, maybe I can download iTunes and that preview version of AppleWorks …

Saturday afternoon’s all right for writing: … Recently acquired? Apple’s OS X and an optical Pro Mouse from ComputerWare on University Avenue. Missing in action? Four or five trees that used to grow out of planters at the southwest corner of Shattuck Avenue and Kittredge Street, by the once-and-future site of the Berkeley Main Library. It’s foul anytime trees disappear from an urban setting. Browsed? Issue No. 5001 of Seconds Magazine (w/Henry Rollins on the cover, Thomas Stanley watching as Cecil Taylor talks enough immaculate smack — “If I’m forced to analyze music when it’s being played, I know I’m in trouble” — to cause a case of … watch for it … my favorite instrumental pun ever … pianist envy, as well as Burning Spear, Marc Almond, Mark Mothersbaugh and a few other folks); the Spring 2001 copy of Bust (w/a home ec/crafts/domestic arts theme, a Sandra Bernhard cover, a one-page Deepa Mehta interview by Kathleen O’Grady, a few intriguing links and an Aimee Mann quote on “the female perspective” in pop — “It is highly irritating to be told your ideas and words and stories have no global value, no human application … as if a woman’s sense of loss or anger or happiness was qualitatively different from a man’s.”); issue No. 48 of XLR8R (featuring IG Culture and Dego Mcfarlane highlighting the West London jazz-fusion sound); March 2001 copy of URB — that’s Vol 11, No. 82 for those of you keeping score at home — with Daft Punk on the cover in robot garb. Oh, and the New Yorker — who is this Richard Kapuscinski guy, anyway?