4 June 2012

Well-kept gardens also die from activism

Over at lesswrong.com a posting titled Well-Kept Gardens Die By Pacifism makes the case that “Good online communities die primarily by refusing to defend themselves”, and that moderators are necessary. That may be true, but it’s also the case that moderation can kill communities. Any community that really needs to question its moderators, that really seriously has abusive moderators, is probably not worth saving. But this is more accused than realized, so far as I can see. ... Read more

2 June 2012

Google ruins Places

Google doesn’t get social. They really, really don’t get it. I’ve come to realize this because of the latest update to Google Places. I’ve been a fairly frequent user of Google Places since it was launched. It used to be great—tap restaurants, get a list of restaurants nearby. Select one, get directions, menus, opening hours. Once there, enter a quick review and rate the place. No more. Today I went to find a restaurant for an impromptu gathering and the Places icon had entirely disappeared from my phone. ... Read more

23 May 2012

A back of the envelope calculation

I was watching my budgies the other day, and had a thought which led to a brief online investigation, followed by the following back-of-envelope calculation: According to a Boeing presentation on airline fuel efficiency that I found on the Internet, a 1% reduction in landing weight gives about a 1% reduction in trip fuel. A Boeing 747’s operational empty weight (with equipment, flight crew etc) is 390,700lbs. Subtracting that from its Maximum Zero Fuel Weight (max weight allowed before fuel is loaded) gives a maximum value for passengers and cargo of 144,300lbs. ... Read more

21 May 2012

Random encounter

We were discussing whether to head out when I saw it. The light was still on in the bathroom, and through the door I had a clear view of the partially demolished far wall above the bath. The creature was scorpionlike, but with a long thin tail that waved and curved, rather than a stinger. The rest of the family continued to argue as I reached into my courier bag and drew out the buzzsaw gun. ... Read more

29 April 2012

Of MP3 players and Apple complacency

We have four iPods of various ages and sizes: one of the first models with the dock connector, one of the early click wheel ones, a nano with clip, and a nano with a screen. One of the classic iPods lives in the car, the other I used the rest of the time; the two nanos are rothko’s. These four iPods appear to need at least three different charging cables. The “universal” USB cable from Apple that works with the dock iPod doesn’t work with the click wheel one, and makes it crash. ... Read more

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