General News

New server, new design

Hi folks.   We're back on the air with a new server and a new design.  Hopefully this less noisy design is a bit more paletable.   Any links to the old site will cease to function today, but there weren't many anyway (according to Google Webmaster Tools), but we have preserved all of the content.

My plan is to post more in 2013 than I did in 2012, which I believe I have already achieved by posting a single article.

Cheers for now, and set the new RSS feed to keep up to date.

 

Flash, ubiquitous mediocrity

So with all the wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth over Adobe Flash in the last few days, I just wanted to make sure I got this little tidbit in. When it comes to user experience, Adobe just doesn't understand. Their "platform" of flash brings a mediocrity born of the Internet of 5-10 years ago into your browser window. Why? Because, with Flash you can build once and deploy everywhere.... Wait a second, wasn't that Java? Have you ever used a Java application? They just don't feel right on any platform and neither does Flash. My troubles today began when I headed over to the Adobe site to give them my bi-annual upgrade fee...

First media rant of the year

That didn't take too long. Dana Milbank of the Washington Post has a column coming out tomorrow (which I won't link to because of my theory that this is all about the flame bait and web hits). The article basically states that Glenn Beck is more admired than The Pope. Ah, the cherry-picking! So, the original poll (Gallup, based on 1025 surveyed adults, estimated +/- 4% error rate) does seem to show that if you look at one particular piece of it whilst ignoring everything else. However....

Pogue on an author's view of DRM for books

David Pogue (NY Times) has written a blog entry about his experience as an author selling an ebook with no DRM... and it wasn't the end of the world, or even his career as an author. With the nook and a possible Apple tablet coming to contend with the Kindle, will the publishing industry realize that this may just be another lock-in like Apple and the iPod (which basically killed music DRM).

Regret The Error: The Year in Media Errors and Corrections

Crunks 2009: The Year in Media Errors and Corrections is well worth a read to anyone who watches the media at all. In particular, the "Correction of the Year" (a 9/11 vs 911 confusion) and the pointer to When should editors "unpublish" online news reports? from the Canadian Journalism Project were very interesting.

AT&T's complaining about iPhone users

I'm an iPhone user... my wife (Hi, Carol!) is an iPhone user, and I even have an iPhone set up for development purposes that doesn't get used for anything else (despite the fact that we pay for it monthly). I also have an AT&T Data card, for use when hot spots are either unavailable or too annoying. Generally speaking, I've had the same experience as most AT&T users in the DC area, "meh". But, this latest complaining from AT&T about iPhone data usage has gotten me a little hot under the collar.

Timing a UPS

In line with my BackUPS/SmartUPS story earlier today, I wanted to say a little something about how I "watched" it.

SmartUPS not equal BackUPS

This is one of those "should have figured that out myself" problems, but I figure I will warn anyone who might be in my shoes.... Check the specifications carefully before investing in an APC UPS. Not that I'm going to suggest going with another manufacturer, just that I'm going to suggest paying close attention to the exact model you purchase.

Replacing old and busted music

In the process of moving, I had occasion to find my CD collection (yes, intellectual property fans, I have every single CD that I used to load my iPod with). I decided that it was time to replace the nasty 128kbps CBR MP3 encoded with the zing encoder using a proprietary disk loader (created by me) in 1999. Consider it a 10-year anniversary gift to my music collection...But, how in iTunes do you do this and keep all your counts and playlists?

Andy Grove lays out electricity initiative

Andy Grove (venerable former CEO and Chairman of Intel), has published a proposal for energy change in the US that's quite a bit different from what most people are calling for, but makes some real sense. The article (from Portfolio.com via Wired) calls for a move to electrify transport without regard for where the electricity comes from because it will provide the US with much more control and agility over its own future.

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