Thursday, July 15, 2010

Black VW Golf, WA Lic. 535 FWH

An automotive encounter, in the final years of the 20th century.  This driver (heretofore referred to as "Bimbo") engaged in quite possibly the most astonishingly stupid stunt I have ever seen.  But, do judge for yourself. 

The Setup: I was heading in to work. It's a bit late, around 10am. I am approaching the single left turn lane.  The left turn arrow turns yellow, so I slow down, not wanting to throw myself in front of oncoming traffic.
  • Bimbo is in the car behind me, and lays into her horn as I have chosen not to speed through the yellow light.
  • After a few seconds, the traffic in the lane to the right clears up, although oncoming traffic is still heavy.
  • Bimbo decides to take advantage of clear right-hand lane, pull around me, and place herself in front of me in the intersection. Behold!


I have to say, Bimbo has raised the art of rude driving to unheard-of levels.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Once I built a forum; now it's done. Brother, do you need \/1@gr@?

Me and the Internet go way back.  Admittedly not as far back as some, but we first got acquainted, much to the chagrin of Compuserve, late in '93.  I was there when Martha and Larry first showed us what spam could be.  I blogged before blogging was blogging.  I've fiddled with ads and affiliate links, and have hosted my very own controversial page.

Now, by the early naughts, I was pretty fed up with spam, like anyone else with a net presence at the time.  Since I hosted the aforementioned controversial web page, it seemed like it would be nice to host a simple discussion forum, so people could express themselves to me, without having to give away my email address, which was already getting in the neighborhood of 100 spam messages a day.

Suffice it to say, that lasted for a few years, before it totally blew up.  Any more, you can't host a forum if you aren't prepared to constantly police it for spam posts, and even worse, hacking.  Blogs hosted by big faceless corporations are certainly a better option for the casually opinionated, but it's a little sad that one guy with a web host, Notepad, and a little Perl knowledge can no longer host a vibrant discussion online.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Legalize Sousveillance

Given the upswing of prosecution for recording misbehaving law enforcement (see http://gizmodo.com/5553765/are-cameras-the-new-guns), now is the time for our lawmakers to put on the books the explicit right to engage in video and audio recording of any public servant acting in their official capacity.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Publishing is stuck in the 19th century

Finally vented publicly about the whole Amazon/Macmillan mess, over at a TeleRead post that Scalzi twitter-snarled at.  Repeated below for posterity:

Two things:
1) @Hal Duncan: You are describing exactly what is wrong with the present-day publishing industry. It sells a low-cost product for a higher price to the biggest fans, only because they are the biggest fans, and only lowers the price down toward marginal cost once it squeezes what it can out of them, and then tries to trick them into thinking that the average reader is paying less because they’re buying a cheap, crappy mass-market book. Present-day publishing works the way it does only because it can create artificial scarcity in order to extort the most frenzied consumers. It’s impossible to pretend that a digital product is scarce, and so now the veil is being lifted. The simple fact is that first-release hardcovers are a scam!
2) I lost my faith in Scalzi in this whole mess, when he claimed that what keeps him from going with Baen and their somewhat more rational model, is they they won’t give him cover approval. And yet, he routinely chuckles publicly over the cover choices made by his foreign publishers, proving that it’s not really that big a deal to him, as long as they sell more of his books.

Friday, January 22, 2010

We are 2020's third world nation

Just a random thought I had today.  When talk is made of assisting developing nations, or the poor and downtrodden locally, there is this assumption that the industrialized nations (see the assumptions, just in the name?) are at the pinnacle of innovation and creation, and so the majority of our energies should be spent on improving the lives of the less fortunate.

But consider the world of 2010 aside the likely world of 2020.  Shouldn't we be pushing the most advanced nations/communities even further ahead, as fast as possible, so that common necessities are even more available and affordable for everyone?