I began telling them that if they would buy a Mac, I would give them 24/7 tech support without complaint. Initially, they scoffed, but as the Mac became fashionable, I had more and more family members calling to let me know they had switched. Now, most of them are Mac users and the rate of support calls have dropped from several a month to several a year.
These days, tech support calls involve questions of how to do stuff these folks like to do. Because they can now actually use their computers instead of simply restarting them, I’m able to better see how they use them. And the one commonality I’ve seen is that no one knows how to use the file system.
Unfortunately for the average person, the file system is so complex that everything outside of the desktop and the documents folder appears to be a vast labyrinth which most likely hides booby traps and minotaurs.
In Japanese aesthetics, one of the most striking things is the focus on negative space. The Japanese concepts of “Ma” and “Wabi-sabi” put as much focus on what is omitted as what is added. The result is beautiful art and architecture that invoke a sense of peace and stillness.
Apple is doing something rather daring with their new iPhone OS. They are essentially omitting features that people once took for granted in a typical computer. And one of the biggest things they’ve omitted is the visual file system. Instead, in the iPhone OS, the concept of the file is essentially gone. It’s been replaced by “apps and their stuff.”
This year the World’s Billionaires have an average net worth of $3.5 billion, up $500 million in 12 months. The world has 1,011 10-figure titans, up from 793 a year ago but still shy of the record 1,125 in 2008. Of those billionaires on last year’s list, only 12 per cent saw their fortunes decline.
Now you know where your money is going.
Pink Floyd won a ruling at the High Court today which will bar record company EMI selling single downloads from their concept albums.
Chancellor Sir Andrew Morritt accepted arguments by the group that EMI was bound by a contract forbidding it to sell its records other than as complete albums without written consent.
The judge said the purpose of a clause in the contract was to “preserve the artistic integrity of the albums”.
Pink Floyd alleged and EMI agreed that it had allowed online downloads from the albums and had allowed parts of tracks to be used as ringtones.
The record company had argued that the contract related only to physical records and not to online distribution.
Dear EMI, no, you do not get to redefine contracts as you please. Fuck off.
Representative Patrick Kennedy denounced the “despicable” US media on Wednesday, charging it was snubbing a House debate on Afghanistan while lavishing attention on a congressional sex-scandal.
In an unusually angry outburst on the floor of the House of Representatives, Kennedy, the son of late Democratic icon Ted Kennedy, blamed reporters for the US public’s cynicism and disengagement from public affairs.
“It’s despicable, the national press corps right now,” he thundered, taking aim at coverage of fellow Democrat Eric Massa, who resigned his House seat under an ethics cloud and allegations he sexually harassed male staffers.
“Cynicism is that there’s one, two press people in this gallery. We’re talking about Eric Massa 24/7 on the TV! We’re talking about war and peace, three billion dollars, 1,000 lives and no press! No press!” said Kennedy, pointing to media seats that overlook the House floor.
No surprise- the websites of all major news outlets, like CNN, also prefer to talk about Tiger Woods instead. For real news, tune to BBC International of Al Jazeera.
One reason programmers dislike meetings so much is that they’re on a different type of schedule from other people. Meetings cost them more.
There are two types of schedule, which I’ll call the manager’s schedule and the maker’s schedule. The manager’s schedule is for bosses. It’s embodied in the traditional appointment book, with each day cut into one hour intervals. You can block off several hours for a single task if you need to, but by default you change what you’re doing every hour.
When you use time that way, it’s merely a practical problem to meet with someone. Find an open slot in your schedule, book them, and you’re done.
Most powerful people are on the manager’s schedule. It’s the schedule of command. But there’s another way of using time that’s common among people who make things, like programmers and writers. They generally prefer to use time in units of half a day at least. You can’t write or program well in units of an hour. That’s barely enough time to get started.
When you’re operating on the maker’s schedule, meetings are a disaster. A single meeting can blow a whole afternoon, by breaking it into two pieces each too small to do anything hard in. Plus you have to remember to go to the meeting. That’s no problem for someone on the manager’s schedule. There’s always something coming on the next hour; the only question is what. But when someone on the maker’s schedule has a meeting, they have to think about it.
For someone on the maker’s schedule, having a meeting is like throwing an exception. It doesn’t merely cause you to switch from one task to another; it changes the mode in which you work.
The Rev. Gabriele Amorth, the man who has served as the Vatican’s chief exorcist for 25 years, says the signs are there: The devil has infiltrated St. Peter’s.
Specifically, Amorth cites recent sexual abuse and pedophilia scandals as well as what he deems a cover-up in the shooting deaths of two of the Vatican’s Swiss Guards and one of the guard’s wives as proof that the Catholic Church’s most famous site is less than pure.
Well, anything to avoid personal responsibility, I guess..
The parents of a Kentuckiana seventh grade student say their young daughter was suspended from school for doing exactly what she’s been taught to do for years – to just say no to drugs.
Rachael Greer said it happened on Feb. 23 during fifth period gym class at River Valley Middle School when a girl walked into the locker room with a bag of pills.
“She was talking to another girl and me about them and she put one in my hand and I was like, ‘I don’t want this,’ so I put it back in the bag and I went to gym class,” said Rachael.
The pills were the prescription ADHD drug, Adderall. Patty Greer, Rachael’s mother, said she and her husband are proud of their daughter for turning down drugs, just like she’s been taught for years by DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) instructors at school.
“I’m proud her conscience kicked in and she said, ‘No, I’m not taking this. Here you can have it back,’” Patty Greer said.
But just saying no didn’t end the trouble for Rachael. During the next period, an assistant principal came and took Rachael out of class. It turned out the girl who originally had the pills and a few other students got caught. That’s when the assistant principal gave Rachael a decision.
“We’re suspending you for five days because it was in your hand,” said Rachael.
We wanted to know what would have happened if Rachael had told a teacher right away. Bell said the punishment would not have been any different. District officials say if they’re not strict about drug policies no one will take them seriously.
Dude, don’t look now, but… nobody is taking you seriously!
Victims of Bernard Madoff and accused Ponzi schemer R. Allen Stanford are banding together to lobby Congress for a law that could require Wall Street firms to pay billions of dollars to cover some of the losses they suffered.
And by “losses” they mean the money they would have earned if Madoff hadn’t been a crook.
Harbeck declined to comment on the victims’ lobbying. “Speaking only for myself, I cannot see where it would be good policy to change the law to pay fictional, contrived investment profits in a Ponzi scheme,” Harbeck said.
Some of the Madoff victims in Chaitman’s group are separately involved in legal cases against SIPC. They lost one round on March 1 in federal bankruptcy court in New York when the judge agreed with SIPC that it shouldn’t base payments on fictional account statements. They are appealing.
As the phrase goes; there are lies, damn lies and statistics. If you don’t know much about statistics then it can be used to confuse and obfuscate. A classic of denialist obfuscation is the meme that there has been no warming since 1998. When you plot the temperature changes over time it looks like nothing much is changing.
The argument then goes; well as there’s been no warming since 1998, climate change must have stopped. This clicks my bullshit detector into the red; why pick 1998? Why not 1990 or 1995? In fact why not 1880? 1880 is a good year to start from because that is the year we started collecting accurate records of global temperatures.
Altering your database schema to accommodate gay marriage can be easy or difficult depending on how smart you were when you originally set up your system to accommodate heterosexuality only. Let’s begin.
Apple, Research in Motion, and a gaggle of other deep-pocket firms have been slapped with a wide-ranging patent infringment suit by an obscure Texas firm.
The suit was filed in – where else? – the patent infringement capital of the US, the District Court of the Eastern District of Texas. The judge assigned to the case is – who else? – Leonard Davis, who is currently presiding over or has recently closed hundreds of patent infringement cases, including the recent decision that outlawed Microsoft Word.
To put it bluntly, the case has all the earmarks of typical East Texas trolling. The plaintiff, SmartPhone Technologies LLC, has no website, doesn’t show up in the business directory of its stated hometown of Frisco, Texas, and a search for businesses listed at the address it provides in court documents, 6136 Frisco Square Boulevard, Suite 400, turns up merely law offices, mortgage brokers, a psychotherapist, and – amusingly – a document-shredding service.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is confirming Amazon.com’s controversial 1-Click patent following a re-examination that lasted more than four years.
“This case may be a public relations boon for supporters of patent reform that have been calling for an overhaul of the reexamination system.”
I’m a supporter of patent reform, and I’m NOT calling for an overhaul of the reexamination system, I’m calling for an overhaul of the entire fucking concept!
Street signs warning Romanian drivers to be careful of drunken pedestrians lying on roads were erected by road safety chiefs worried about the “despairing” levels of accidents.