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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