23 October 2010

NPR funded by tax dollars? OMG!

With Sarah Palin calling for an end to federal money going to NPR, I thought it would be worth investigating just how much of the average American’s tax money actually goes to NPR. CBS news has an article with a bunch of facts and figures scattered through it. Teasing out the information, let’s start with a brief description of how the money flows: There is no direct government funding of NPR. ... Read more

21 October 2010

Did the Mac just die?

Months ago, I outlined what I considered a nightmare scenario: that Apple would gradually lock down OS X to be like iOS, with Apple exercising absolute control over what software you were allowed to run, and requiring that software be developed in Objective-C, like on the iPhone and iPad. Yesterday, it started to happen. Apple announced the App Store for the Mac. Just as with the iPhone, there’s now an annual fee to be a Mac developer for the store, and a long list of things your software is not allowed to do. ... Read more

13 October 2010

Movie review: “The Room”

I’ve seen a lot of terrible movies, from “Night of the Lepus” and “Battlefield Earth” to “Xanadu” and “Plan 9 From Outer Space”. “The Room” beats them all. Believe the hype, this could be the next Rocky Horror Picture Show. Let me start by listing the things that are right about this movie: The sets are competently lit. Everything else is wrong, even the most basic elements of movie making. Scenes are intercut with what you might mistake for establishing shots, for no apparent reason. ... Read more

7 October 2010

US Music Find bogus charges

Just got my landline bill, and it had a charge from “US MUSIC FIND INC” for $14.99. A Google search located them; they’re apparently a ringtone vendor offering ringtones each month for a monthly fee. Ringtones for my landline? Oh, you’d better believe I didn’t sign up for that. I don’t even buy ringtones for my cell phone, because it’ll play any old MP3 file as a ringtone and I’m more than capable of making my own. ... Read more

11 August 2010

Phone numbers

I’m in the process of migrating to using a cell phone as my only phone. I’m also cleaning up my address book. Here’s a tip to make life easier for me, and everyone else who might call you. Whether you’re listing your phone number on Facebook, in e-mail or on your web site, it makes my life a lot easier if I can just copy/paste or tap the number to call it, no matter where I happen to be. ... Read more

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