7 October 2012

In defense of not voting

Harper’s Magazine this month has a spirited defense in favor of not voting: Try to imagine, if you can, candidate Barack Obama in 2008 running on a platform of balancing the budget and appeasing Wall Street by reducing Social Security benefits, restricting Medicare and Medicaid entitlements, increasing the retirement age, and never challenging the established hierarchy of the Democratic Party but rather returning members of the old Clinton regime to positions of power in his administration, especially those advocates of unregulated capitalism who did so much to bring on the economic crisis in the first place. ... Read more

24 September 2012

Why did they ruin Thunderbird?

On trying to use Thunderbird 15: That tab bar is a terrible waste of space, especially for anyone using Thunderbird in 3-pane mode. There’s an option to turn the tab bar off unless it’s actually needed, but for some reason there’s no UI to turn on that option. It’s slow. Really slow. I mean, I thought Apple Mail was slow, then I tried Thunderbird 15. Sending e-mail seems to take an eternity. ... Read more

23 September 2012

Dear Apple: It’s not me, it’s you

Apple is asking for another $707m in damages from Samsung, in addition to the $1b they were already awarded in the ludicrous patent trial. They also asked for a permanent ban on 29 different Samsung phones — i.e. all the phones that are successfully competing with the iPhone. Meanwhile, Apple’s new iOS 6 purges YouTube and Google Maps. The former is now available as a separate app, but the latter has been replaced with Apple’s own mapping app — which is apparently disastrously awful. ... Read more

4 September 2012

More Apple data loss

Today I discovered that a number of documents I hadn’t looked at in years were no longer readable. They were written using Circus Ponies Notebook. Trying to open them resulted in a fairly useless error saying each page was corrupt. I opened the package and discovered that the actual storage format was Apple’s plist. Unfortunately, it’s Apple’s binary plist format, introduced in OS X 10.4. The same problem has occurred with a bunch of files, so it looks as if at some point, a non-back-compatible change was made in the plist format. ... Read more

29 August 2012

How to start an open source project

Here’s a bitter little thing I wrote a couple of years ago, found on my hard disk during a tidy up and updated for the current zeitgeist. How to start an open source project Set up a project on GitHub, Sourceforge, RubyForge, or wherever. Try to pick a name that’s very similar to an existing project or a commercial product. If you can’t think of one, use an unfunny recursive abbreviation. ... Read more

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