Corrupting? The conservative right advocates “small government” idea until it comes to issues of Christian morality. Then things need to be regulated by big government. Take gay marriage. Not only do members of the conservative right want to use the Constitution to limit the rights of people (which worked sowell during prohabition), members are using the Republican majority in Congress to threaten cities if they enable marriage-like rights for gay couples. Gotta love “small government”.
Archive for April, 2005
I’ve been a minor developer in the Rockbox development. My one claim to fame is the design and implementation of the bookmarking capability (with help from others). I did it because I use my Rockbox to listen to audiobooks, some of which are 25+ hours long. The advantage of my implementation is that it can bookmark any file, including playlists (mostly because of the architecture of the Rockbox code). Well, I now have an iPod thanks to the TiVo rewards program. I’ve got it synced up with my iTunes and all my music files are on it. I’m impressed with the overall hardware, the screen and touchpad being a leap above the interface of my 3 year old Archos Recorder 20. But like just about every MP3 player out there it’s bookmarking capability is primitive and limited to audible.com/m4b content. When it comes down to it, I just can’t warrant buying a piece of equipment that lacks such a basic capability. Fortunately TiVo Rewards has been kind enough to provide me with a free iPod, so I guess I’ll just have to use it for a while. Now if someone much smarter then me would port Rockbox to the iPod!
One of my biggest gripes with Mac OSX is the inconsistency when closing an application. Some, such as Abiword or Text Wrangler close when you press the red button in the corner of the application (which is conveniently unlabeled with the other two), shutting down any open documents you might have in them. Other applications, such as iTunes or iPhoto go into this non-minimized state where it continues to function, in the case of iTunes, playing songs. This inconsistency makes it confusing to the user who now can expect two different possible outcomes from a single button press on an app. Further, it reduces the usefulness of the minimize button next to the red button by effectivly duplicting it’s functionality.
Why can’t I drop things into the trash can while it’s being emptied?
I was in Houston the other week to visit a friend. One of the things I wanted to do was help him get his computer (Windows 98 SE!) running again, pesky spyware. Since he only has dialup, I spent a good couple of hours prepping for the fixit by gathering drivers and other useful files and then burning them to a CD. It was an unnecessary effort. When I got out there I started up my laptop and started searching for APs. There were three within range, one secure, the others not. A couple of minutes later, I was surfing the web using one of the two APs. Gotta love free Internet.
It did get me thinking about the ethics of the matter. Is this stealing? The bandwidth consumed, even on low-end broadband, is going to be more then sufficient for the small amount of traffic I am generating and I have yet to hear of a US broadband provider that charges per-meg. Still, is it consuming something that is freely distributed (via RF) stealing. It’s not trespassing as I wasn’t on their “land”, their “land” was in my friends place. Ultimately I figure it’s fair use. If they didn’t want to share their network, it’s their responsibility to contain it, either by wire or by encryption.
Is it a bad sign when the United States government can’t protect it’s borders well enough without it’s people stepping in to do the job? I don’t have a problem with people stepping up to doing a job that needs to be done (though I’m not convinced the guarding the borders as one of those jobs), but I do have a problem with the people taking the law into their own hands.
Since I got my Mac Mini, I’ve been forced to restart the computer at least once a week. Either it locked up coming out of sleep (that I later diagnosed as a driver problem with my Canon scanner), Finder locked up giving me a perpetual beach-ball, or, for the first time today, the OS prompted me with the following message:
“You need to restart your computer. Hold down the power button for several seconds or press the restart button.”
Fortunately the last one was presented to me in 3 different languages. For what ever reason, the fabled stability of the Mac (“I haven’t rebooted in 2 months”) has yet to impress me. And it’s not like I have any low-level hacks like uControl to blame. The OS just doesn’t seem that stable. Both my Linux and Windows boxes can go at least a week without having to restart (though Windows can get a bit sluggish after about 2).
An indication that a computer is starting up is fine. The loud, low quality bong that the Mac makes when it is booting is not fine. It’s annoying, especially late at night after my Mac has crashed (which is happening more then on my XP or Linux boxes).
Um, why can’t I drag and drop files into a mail.app message?
I despise application drawers in OSX. It’s a tiny little sub-window that hangs off the side of the main app acting like some hidden capability of the application. I ruins the symmetry of the application by having a slide in and out. Let it be part of the app and not some bastard step-child part of the window.