Monthly Archives: August 2013

pizzaspaghettiA new kind of nuclear reactor could lower electricity costs by 40%.

Amir Efrati updates us on self-driving cars. Google is designing one. On Twitter they’re talking about Google and Apple buying Tesla. They could probably get Mitsubishi for a song right now. They could have gotten Saturn really, really cheap.

Britain’s health care system sometimes seems to be more popular abroad than it is at home.

We’re #1! We’re #1! At porn website hosting, anyway.

The emotional toll of recording your own audiobook.

The most expensive real estate in New York? Rikers Island.

Andrew Gelmen explains how and why the Democratic Party because the party of Very Serious People.

The waiting list of Louisiana’s online voucher program continues to grow.

Adweek writes on a Samsung video with terrible, terrible acting. One of the actors responds with why the acting is so, so terrible.

We’re apparently making monkeys dumber.

Category: Newsroom

I may have mentioned this before, but when we relocated from one house to another in Arapaho, the automatic payment system we had in place couldn’t follow us. I had apparently been grandfathered in to a payment method they no longer had.

But have no fear! They had a new payment system. The only catch was that it cost a $6 a month “convenience” fee. I’m not going to fret too much over $6 a month, especially when our electricity bills were effectively cut in half with the move, but it always kind of irked me.

You know what’s convenient? Getting paid every month on time. That’s convenient.

But perhaps not as profitable as $6 a month or hoping people make their payments late and getting late fees added up.

Category: Market

Due to technical difficulties, posting and commenting has become inordinately difficult. Stay tuned.

Update: Is anyone else having a problem? I am starting to think it is actually just my Internet connection. Try leaving a comment. If it doesn’t work, try again and mention the failure. (it’ll usually work for me after a couple of attempts.)

Category: Server Room

sideshowbobCharlie Jane Anders asks why Warner Bros can’t incorporate Arrow into their plans for the Justice League. I was skeptical of the idea at first, but I can’t why really come up with a good reason not to do it. The more tying-together the better, probably, unless it sidetracks stories. Which it wouldn’t here, I don’t think.

I am quite pleased to see my friend Abel participating in the petition by LDS authors to get a uncancel a book by a gay author on account to his acknowledging his partner.

David Wilezol argues that you can get a good job without college. He is technically right, of course, but that still doesn’t make it a good bet in the current economic environment if you’re the type of person capable of doing the sorts of jobs listed.

Our kidney shortage hits the unemployed hardest.

The Conservative Party of the UK is going to bat for working mothers.

Dear Dylan was brilliant. So brilliant that NBC ought to make a sitcom out of it. Their answer to The Big Bang Theory, if you like.

Karl Rove points out that the Republicans have ideas for health care, too. You know when would have been a good time to talk about these things and perhaps negotiate these things? When we were having a national debate on health care.

A Reality Bites TV show? Well, I hated the movie, but it could be fun. I also hate how it’s considered the quintessential General X film. I hope it’s not true because we come out of it looking awful. But… could be fun.

It used to be that place-kickers in football were short guys with foreign names usually of poor-ish countries (Latin America, Eastern Europe). That’s changed.

Will fracking undermine Scottish independence?

Eleven words that can’t (easily) be translated into English. Cool.

Category: Newsroom

Shortly before the move, I had to do an format and restore on one of the computers. I was surprised that programs that had not, in the past, been bundled with questionable software had suddenly been bundled with questionable software. And not just that, but the same sort of software. CG Hill had noticed it as well, with OpenOffice and Divx. It turns out, there was a reason for it:

SourceForge, once a mighty force for the good of Open Source, has fallen far from its previous lofty heights.

Dice, the new owners, bribe strongly encourage the top projects to use a new (closed source only) installer that pushes spyware / adware / malware.

Developers using SourceForge should migrate away from it if they want to keep their integrity. End users using projects hosted on SourceForge should immediately find an alternative.

I was quite agitated at first. Though, to be perfectly honest, I decided it wasn’t such a bad thing after that. It seems to have standardized the methodology with which they sneak unwanted software on your computer, thereby actually making it easier to avoid.

I will be downloading OpenOffice and installing OpenOffice 4 soon. I will report anything that transpires.

Category: Server Room

How OKCupid determines eligibility:

(It seems to me that the two fictitious individuals do not supply enough information to be 94% compatible, though.)

Category: Theater

waittobeseatedPeter Capelli argues that employers are not helping themselves by discriminating against the unemployed.

As you all know, I am a sucker for photos of the Dakota oil boom. Also, an article on the Canadian oil boom. Not the one in Alberta, the oil boom in Newfoundland.

Evidently, the notion that clowns are scary has long roots in history.

Nissan is dusting off the Datsun brand to sell cheap cars in developing countries.

Technology is at war with itself on the subject of digital security. Same with analog, apparently.

The correlation between sleep deprivation and weight gain is of interest to me. Could it be because sleep deprivation makes us hungry for fat?

Not so long ago, “competency-based degrees” were considered the provice of degree mills. These days, public universities are giving it a try.

If you rent textbooks from Amazon, don’t take them across state lines.

Some uncomfortable truths about men, women, and dating. Women dig jerks, men only refrain from being useless because we want to have sex, and more.

I don’t see why these Belgian houses are supposed to be ugly.

The adventures of a bartender… in Antarctica.

Category: Newsroom

Update: Well, well. There’s now a donation site for the family with the goal of raising $20,000.

Here’s my pitch for a reality show:

A dad who’s a professional Elvis impersonator, and a mom with multiple sclerosis and a degree in “entertainment administration,” are raising two boys with autism, ages 16 and 13.

The high-functioning boy, Jackson, who looks a little like Justin Bieber and a little like Harry Styles, is an aspiring pop star who sometimes performs with his father, James. (Check out this “Agent Friendly Promo.”) Jackson’s stage name is “Jackson X” (see his website here).

The other boy, Max, 13, was the subject of an disgusting, outrageously cruel, anonymous hate letter to his grandmother that went viral after his mother posted it on her public Facebook page. After it was internationally publicized, their neighbors rallied around the family and condemned the anonymous evildoer.

The merits of the letter’s pro-autistic-boy-euthanization argument were the subject of contentious debate … nowhere. Shockingly, there was a unanimous thumbs-down from media reports and its many Facebook sharers. And strangers are offering the family gifts, as often happens after this type of story.

The letter has gone on to make international headlines and the family has received offers of help from across the country, including a charity in Montreal that contacted Millson to say they had received offers from people wanting to help the family pay their bills, buy gift certificates, or send them on an excursion.

“I suggested that Max would just love Canada’s Wonderland,” said Millson who hadn’t yet spoken to the family about the offer. “He’d go every day if you could take him.”

My experience with stories is this: If there’s no other side to a story, it’s probably not a real story. Anything that Perez Hilton and Glenn Beck agree about should be presumed brown and stinky until proven otherwise. And if the ultrasympathetic story comes from people who have been trying to promote themselves in other ways, watch out.

Sorry to say, but I’m getting a Balloon Boy feeling about the Begley family. Coincidentally, the Heene boys are trying to make it big with a band too.

Category: Newsroom


A testimony against premarital cohabitation.

A government in Louisiana is arguing that they should not be held responsible for a guard sleeping with a fourteen year old inmate because she consented.

Almost three in ten doctors would not recommend the profession to young people.

A Russian man altered the terms of his credit card contract and sued the bank. A judge ruled in his favor.

Flying conditions were recently used as an examplar for increasing inequality and the uhmm… crunch of the middle class. Here in the US, though, our airline seats are actually pretty average in size.

Here’s how UK’s Ryanair is saving money. During the last conversation on the subject, I was actually thinking about #6.

We flew on US discount airliner Frontier Airlines and actually thought quite a bit of it. They offer a nice balance of free-discount and amenities for those who want to pay a little extra.

Ladar Levison, seller of encrypted email, ceased his business operations rather than comply with the government’s surveillance plans. The government was allegedly not pleased.

Did our obsession with stock prices kill the recovery?

The “real” history of Area 51.

Sonny Bunch writes about cell phone and theater etiquette.

Category: Newsroom

A report on the Internet, from 1981.

The enthusiasm with which newspapers sought to get their product online was quite progressive.

And suicidal, as it turned out.