Does This Make Me Look Fat? 
Thursday, June 26, 2008, 02:37 PM
No, that's not a contributing factor.
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On Deliberately Missed Opportunities 
Wednesday, May 21, 2008, 07:08 PM
The NYT reports that Israel and Syria have begun peace talks, mediated by Turkish officials. This is a major missed opportunity on the U.S.'s part -- mediating peace talks between Syria and Israel would give us a major boost of credibility among Arab states and could help us bring Syria into a useful role in Iraq. Instead, the administration has strongly opposed negotiating with Syria and has been shouting that talking our enemies is appeasement of the same order as Neville Chamberlain's Nazi appeasement (Chamberlain gave away half of Czechoslovakia, which is a tad different than merely talking).
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Thursday, April 10, 2008, 07:16 PM
To its advertisers Facebook, the online social networking site and anti-social time sink, markets itself as intelligently targeting ads based on the information in your profile. I was impressed until, despite being listed as "interested in women," I found two shirtless men to left of my screen inviting me to become their "gaybor." Apparently, I'm not alone in the struggle:
But this morning - hand to God - the bond of trust was broken. I woke up completely baffled to see the following ad on my profile:

"Lonely? Have herpes? Come to the largest dating site for people with herpes! As featured on"

No. No. NO.

Kirk Cooper goes on to explain his quest to discover how the Facebook ad machine really works, in much greater humor than I could ever summon.
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Thursday, April 10, 2008, 03:17 PM
The Economist talks about post-protest Myanmar and takes the military dictatorship to task, now that the afterglow from opening fire on unarmed Buddhist monks has faded:
But a few months on, the generals appear as immovable as ever... A squall has been weathered, and they can return to what they do best: wrecking their country and making a good living out of it.

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008, 02:02 PM
Via Slashdot:
iPhone developers enrolled and active in the iPhone OS 2.0 beta program got a nasty surprise today when Apple inadvertently 'expired' the recently released version. While for a beta program this typically would not be an issue, Apple has yet to release a new deployment of the iPhone OS. So developers like myself who use their iPhone for both actual phone and iPod use are bricked. Of note, this particular expired build is just 11 days old.

"Whooops!" said Apple. Or more likely: "hahaha, SUCKERS!" After all, who wants a bunch of developers with their pesky little applications running around your device, providing features that users claim they "want." I'm APPLE and I tell you what you want.
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Mark Vargas and John Fioretta Are What's Wrong With This Country 
Tuesday, April 8, 2008, 12:45 PM
Mark Vargas' neighbors planted some redwood trees starting in 1996. In 2001 Mr. Vargas installed solar panels, and began complaining that the already existing trees where obscuring his solar panels. In 2005 he convinced the district attorney, John Fioretta, to commence criminal prosecution against his neighbors for violating California's Solar Shade Act.

Not satisfied with merely having his neighbors criminally convicted of blighting the neighborhood with redwood tress, Mr. Vargas is now "consulting his lawyer about filing a civil suit, possibly related to the storm-drain easement." Keep up the good work, Mark.
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Apple Computer's PR Strategy 
Saturday, April 5, 2008, 03:31 PM
Apple Computer is suing the City of New York for trademark infringement. The city's new environmental campaign, called GreenNYC, uses a green apple woven out of an infinity symbol as its logo. Apple, apparently afraid that people might come to associate the company with environmental consciousness and generous support for civic projects, has decided to take the matter to court to preserve their image. Shown below are two of Apple's logos, with the city's logo on the right.

To be clear, I am not some sort of Mac Hater; I own a Mac, grew up on Macs, and love the computers -- I just hate the company and the way they do business. The company is consistently marked by arrogant disregard for anyone other than themselves (including their customers -- the iPhone $200 price drop for example), and a calm assurance that they know what you want better than you do. Take iChat for example, which refuses to allow you to create a "user info" page for when you friends click on you and press "get info." Steve Jobs says you don't want that feature even if you think you. Or the old MacBook that used to catch your pants on fire because Steve Jobs wanted a computer without a fan so very badly. What were you thinking anyways, trying to set your laptop on your lap?

Throughout the multiple iterations of its operating system, Apple has made sport of its loyal software developers, springing massive platform changes with little notice and taunting them to "keep up if you can." If you ever wonder why there's so little non-Apple software for the Mac, the answer it not simply the small market share: it's Apple's general hostility and arrogance towards its developers. Adobe just discovered first hand that loyally developing software for the Macintosh platform isn't going to get you any loyalty in return. The company just explained why the 64-bit version of Photoshop will not be available for Macintosh:
At the WWDC show last June, however, Adobe & other developers learned that Apple had decided to stop their Carbon 64 efforts. This means that 64-bit Mac apps need to be written to use Cocoa (as Lightroom is) instead of Carbon. This means that we'll need to rewrite large parts of Photoshop and its plug-ins (potentially affecting over a million lines of code) to move it from Carbon to Cocoa.

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Friday, April 4, 2008, 01:36 PM
A guy by the name of "Dev Corvin" knocks on blogs while explaining the purpose of his site:
This site is not, however, a "blog" as seems to be popular these days. This site shall not be an outlet for ramblings about my life or my feelings, it will purely be for original, on-topic content.

He also has an interesting look into Microsoft's next version of Windows (via Slashdot).
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We're All Going to Die 
Saturday, March 29, 2008, 10:03 AM
The NYT reports that two men filed lawsuit in a Hawaii courtroom to prevent a European NGO from operating a large particle accelerator, known as the Large Hadron Collider, outside of Geneva. Aside from the obvious lack of jurisdiction, what makes this so hilarious you ask? The men are afraid that activation of the device will create a black hole that will swallow up the Earth.

Interestingly enough, scientists have actually taken the time and money to perform several studies that disprove this theory.
Dr. Arkani-Hamed said concerning worries about the death of the Earth or universe, “Neither has any merit.” He pointed out that because of the dice-throwing nature of quantum physics, there was some probability of almost anything happening. There is some minuscule probability, he said, "the Large Hadron Collider might make dragons that might eat us up."

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Think of the Children! 
Friday, March 28, 2008, 02:36 PM
From a study in the UK looking at the risks to children from exposure to potentially harmful or inappropriate material on the internet and in video games, some surprisingly clear-headed conclusions in the executive summary:
Children and young people need to be empowered to keep themselves safe – this isn’t just about a top-down approach. Children will be children – pushing boundaries and taking risks. At a public swimming pool we have gates, put up signs, have lifeguards and shallow ends, but we also teach children how to swim.

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