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Another Quote of the Day
Oct 26th, 2012 by Ken Hagler

After awl, their are spelling miss steaks that the chequer can knot ketch.

The Pragmatic Programmer

Standards slipping
Oct 26th, 2012 by Ken Hagler

From the BBC News RSS feed:

A man from Kent is found guilty of trafficking three teenage girls from Nigeria into mainland Europe using African ‘juju’ witchcraft.

I can’t tell from this summary whether someone did a really poor job of summarizing the case and it was really something entirely different from what this sentence describes, or if it’s actually as appalling a miscarriage of justice as that sentence makes it appear to be. The link in the feed is broken, so I can’t find any more details.

If this really is what it sounds like, well, the British used to have a much better perspective on witches.

Monopolies can do strange things
Oct 26th, 2012 by Ken Hagler

When you’re protected by a government-granted monopoly you can get away with doing some really strange things. Case in point: when I called Time Warner Cable to arrange for my cable service to be moved, they started out being very helpful and saying that would be easy. Then when I told them the new address was in Austin, suddenly they said they couldn’t transfer service outside of California. I had to disconnect my service, then call up the number for Time Warner in Texas (which the California representative didn’t know) and set up “new” service there–even though I’m just getting the exact same cable modem service I already have.

For added strangeness, I have to take the equipment in my apartment (a cable modem and cable TV box) to their nearest store or I’ll be charged “equipment fees.” Strange, they seemed perfectly willing to carry those boxes out to my apartment when I was setting the service up.

Quote of the Day
Oct 26th, 2012 by Ken Hagler

Ample ink is spilled over debating whether the US media is biased in favor of Republicans or Democrats. It is neither. The overwhelming, driving bias of the US media is subservience to power, whoever happens to be wielding it.

Glenn Greenwald

Some perspective on the election
Oct 22nd, 2012 by Ken Hagler

The Wrong Side Absolutely Must Not Win [reason.com]

It seems that the fans are getting worked up again about whether their team will win the Big Game. This article from the Reason Magazine website does a good job of putting their silliness in perspective.

Backups are important
Oct 22nd, 2012 by Ken Hagler

→ Outlawed by Amazon DRM.

Martin Bekkelund on his friend’s apparent ban from Amazon for no reason:

Did she violate any terms? Amazon will not tell. Perhaps by accident? Amazon does not care. The conclusion so far is clear: Amazon closed her account, wiped her Kindle and refuses to tell her why. End of discussion.

The language in Amazon’s responses is painfully corporate-douchey. It’s even worse than Twitter’s recent blog posts.

I’m guessing Amazon won’t refund the full purchase price of all of the Kindle books she “bought” that Amazon now has stolen back from her, or the Kindle itself that she’s no longer allowed to use.

[Marco.org]

This is why it’s a very good idea to remove the DRM from every ebook you buy (not Kindle books, any ebook from any source) and back it up. Many comments on the original post pointed this out as well, and mentioned Calibre, which is what I use for keeping track of my own ebook library.

Firewall strangeness
Oct 17th, 2012 by Ken Hagler

My Mac Pro’s firewall suddenly started blocking ssh connections for no apparent reason. I eventually figured out that I had to set sshd-keygen-wrapper to “Allow incoming connections” before it would start working again. I’m guessing a recent system update suffered from overzealous security.

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