Stupid Hollywood clichés
Oct 30th, 2009 by Ken Hagler

I realize that tribute must be paid to the vanity of actors, but I’d really like to see a sci-fi show that didn’t have spacesuits with lights inside the helmets.

@sethdill By going into politi…
Oct 29th, 2009 by Ken Hagler

@sethdill By going into politics?

There are times, late at night…
Oct 27th, 2009 by Ken Hagler

There are times, late at night, when I wish my upstairs neighbors would let their herd of elephants stand in one place.

GPGMail being updated for Snow Leopard?
Oct 26th, 2009 by Ken Hagler

This thread in SourceForge suggests that the GPGMail plugin, needed to integrate GPG with Apple Mail, has found a new developer who is updating it to work with Snow Leopard. This is good news, as PGP is once again insisting that they will not update their own Mail plugin–they really want to force their customers into using their horribly crappy encrypting proxy, which is something I certainly won’t do.

Google Wave for RPGs
Oct 26th, 2009 by Ken Hagler

Playing Online: Google Wave. Google Wave excites me because it is everything the other two mediums are. In my series, I said that there were two types of online roleplaying mediums – real-time and correspondence. Real-Time (chat, VTT) requires a greater time commitment but it is immediate and requires no effort of patience. Correspondence mediums (forum, email) have practically zero time commitment, but are slower and require great patience, and are more alien to tabletop gamers than real-time online mediums are.

Google Wave is a hybrid medium. It is both real-time and correspondence, when you choose for it to be. Google Wave is like a chat room with email-style archival, document-style accessible, immediate editing, and even forum-style multiplicity of threads and folders for organizing your material, that every player can quickly access and organize. Play-By-Posters and Play-By-Chatters will find in Google Wave everything their mediums used to do, and everything the other one did as well. [The Spirits of Eden]

Windows 7 review
Oct 26th, 2009 by Ken Hagler

Hasta la Vista, baby: Ars reviews Windows 7.
companion photo for Hasta la Vista, baby: Ars reviews Windows 7

Prologue: A troubled past

A bit less than three years ago, Windows Vista was officially launched after a long delay. The operating system brought a raft of long-overdue new features to the Windows platform to make it truly fit for hardware of the 21st century. In came a new graphics stack and sound stack, as well as significant security, networking, and storage changes.

The changes were all well and good—the graphics work in particular was essential to allow Windows to offer functionality equivalent to that found in Mac OS X for many years—but they came at a high cost. To take advantage of all the new features required the use of all-new Windows Vista hardware drivers. In the OS's early days, these were often slow, unreliable, or simply non-existent. In spite of the extended development process and lengthy open beta, many vendors were apparently caught off-guard by Windows Vista's release and its preference for new drivers, so they chose to ignore the new OS for many months.

Read the rest of this article...
[Ars Technica]

I don’t have any plans to upgrade any of my Windows systems to Windows 7, but I will probably be forced to replace my five year old Micron laptop sometime during its lifespan.

There is one minor feature which got my attention:

The Problem Steps Recorder should be a boon for helpdesks everywhere. This simple tool lets you make a recording of the steps required to reproduce a problem (yeah, I guess the clue was in the name). The recording includes screenshots, system information, and optional annotations as necessary, and should do a good job of taking the guesswork out of supporting end-user problems.

Besides helpdesks, that would also be rather handy for QA. Delibar s…
Oct 24th, 2009 by Ken Hagler Delibar seems pretty neat.

The “two party system” is a fraud
Oct 17th, 2009 by Ken Hagler

Partisan Politics—A Fool’s Game for the Masses. Because I despise politics in general, and the two major parties in this country in particular, I go through life constantly bemused by all the weight that people put on partisan political loyalties and on adherence to the normative demarcations the parties promote. Henry Adams observed that “politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds.” This marshalling of hatreds is not the whole of politics, to be sure, but it is an essential element. Thus, Democrats encourage people to hate big corporations, and Republicans encourage people to hate welfare recipients.

Of course, it’s all a fraud, designed to distract people from the overriding reality of political life, which is that the state and its principal supporters are constantly screwing the rest of us, regardless of which party happens to control the presidency and the Congress. Amid all the partisan sound and fury, hardly anybody notices that political reality boils down to two “parties”: (1) those who, in one way or another, use state power to bully and live at the expense of others; and (2) those unfortunate others. [The Independent Institute]

Inflation news
Oct 15th, 2009 by Ken Hagler

Today the price of the ice-blended mocha I buy regularly at the Starbucks down the street went up to $4.55. It was only $3.70 a couple of years ago when I started buying them there regularly. If I’m not mistaken, that’s a yearly price increase more than double the inflation rate that the Feds admit to.

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