10 April 2013

Perverse incentives

It’s commonly believed by right-wingers that US public radio has a left-wing bias. If you want to hear an example of a program that disproves the assertion, I suggest This American Life episode 490: Trends With Benefits. It has turned out to be somewhat controversial, though TAL are standing by the facts they reported, unlike with the Mike Daisey piece. As most people know, the US economy has a deficit problem. ... Read more

22 March 2013

Python drama circus

So, the ongoing Python dongle joke kerfuffle. My main thought is that nobody cares what I think, but that hasn’t stopped anyone else, so here goes: Everybody involved in this story has behaved like an idiot. Let’s have a quick run-down: Dick jokes during a keynote presentation is bad behavior. In fact, unnecessary conversation during a keynote is bad behavior. You’re there to listen, keep it quiet. Plus, the language is called Python, we can come up with our own dick jokes. ... Read more

16 March 2013

Zombie direct debits

Back in 1919, not many people could afford to buy a car. Loans to do so were often hard to obtain. So General Motors set up the General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC) as a financial services subsidiary. GMAC would provide you with a loan you could use to buy a GM car. By the 1990s, GMAC pretty much had the car financing thing down pat, and decided that the real estate market was easy money. ... Read more

14 March 2013

Google Reader alternatives

So, Google decided to kill one of their most useful products: Google Reader. If you don’t use a feed reader, well, it’s a way you can subscribe to one or more web sites, and collect headlined summaries of what’s published. You can then sort, browse and filter the summaries, and click through to the articles that interest you. In short, it’s the only reasonable way to keep up with more than a handful of web sites. ... Read more

7 March 2013

Connecting some tech news dots

27 February: Freescale announces a KL02 ARM chip, just 2mm across. Freescale says that the KL02 was specifically designed in response to a customer’s request. (They aren’t saying who.) There was a need for a chip smaller than 3 by 3 mm and this was the result. Who needs a chip this tiny? We look forward to finding out — we think. When a component manufacturer dare not speak the name of its customer, you can make a pretty good guess who they’re talking about. ... Read more

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