5 June 2016

Microsoft’s downfall and pinning the blame on Ballmer

A Vanity Fair article tries to pin Microsoft’s downfall on Steve Ballmer: How could a company that stands among the most cash-rich in the world, the onetime icon of cool that broke IBM’s iron grip on the computer industry, have stumbled so badly in a race it was winning? First of all, Microsoft was never an icon of cool. Unless you happen to live or work in Redmond I’m betting you’ve never seen anyone wearing a Microsoft T-shirt, let alone someone cool. ... Read more

19 May 2016

Allo, goodbye

So, Google are releasing another messaging/conversation app. After Google Talk, Hangouts, Voice, Google+ Chat, Wave, Gmail chat, Messenger and Spaces, comes Allo. You’d think that after eight attempts, Google would have learned what it needs to do to make a chat app succeed, but no: Allo doesn’t have SMS integration. Director of engineering Erik Kay says the diversity of Android hardware precludes Google from creating an iMessage-like system that co-opts SMS, according to The Verge. ... Read more

12 May 2016

Needing new luggage like a hole in the head

I’ve been listening to the Sawbones podcast, an often delightfully bizarre and disgusting discussion of bogus medical practices through history. (For instance, did you know that some plague doctors would treat bubonic plague by applying human feces to the wounds?) During the episode about trepanation I learned that a tumi is a blade used for early attempts at said procedure, as well as for general evisceration of sacrifices. This obviously left me wondering about the luggage company. ... Read more

4 May 2016

New dishwasher

Last week our dishwasher’s display froze. Instead of showing “2h” or “15” (minutes), it stuck showing a zero then something that looked like a backwards 6. The next time I power cycled it, the display stopped working entirely. The unit still seemed to wash dishes, though. I’d performed repairs once before, when the door latch broke. I had ordered the replacement part from some guy on eBay and done the replacement myself. ... Read more

1 May 2016

Not exactly Stephen King

One summer in the 1980s a family of four took their RV into the depths of the Maine backwoods, and apparently stayed in it overnight. They were never seen again, but the vehicle itself is still glimpsed from time to time in the misty forests. According to local Micmac, it became possessed by the wandering cannibal spirit of the Wendigo — it became The Winnedigo. If you see strangely yellow headlights of a Winnebago while vacationing in Maine, do not approach. ... Read more

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