25 May 2010

Why I won’t buy a Nokia smartphone

In 2007, the Nokia N800 came out. Nokia released Maemo OS 2007, and dropped support for the N770 they had been selling a few months before. The OS2008 / Maemo 4 release wasn’t released for the N770 by Nokia, though hackers released an unofficial distribution. Next came a point release, which was a major pain to install, but added APT support so that the OS could be updated without having to mess with firmware tools. ... Read more

24 May 2010

New study on bullying

My attention was drawn to a recent news story, which reported that bullying can be good for children. Oh, really? Assuming for a moment that the Daily Fail story was accurately representing the results of the research, I drew a very different conclusion from the one in the headline (and URL). A study has shown that youngsters are more popular and more admired by teachers and friends if they return schoolyard hostility in kind. ... Read more

20 May 2010

Reflections on Everybody Draw Mohammed Day

It’s Everybody Draw Mohammed Day, and as the festivities continue, predictably there are lots of well-meaning people saying that we should all put our pens and pencils down and not offend all those awfully nice Muslim folks. An article at Huffington Post suggests that Muslims are being singled out, and that black religious extremists would never be ridiculed. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen the Black Panthers parodied in numerous movies. Maybe Everybody Draw Mohammed Day makes peaceful Muslims angry, but we wouldn’t have the day if it wasn’t for the non-peaceful Muslims, so maybe it would be more productive to focus anger on the cause of the issue, rather than the reaction to it. ... Read more

17 May 2010

The Ophiuchi Hotline

Recently I picked up a copy of The Ophiuchi Hotline by John Varley. I had always wanted to read it. After a couple of dozen pages, I realized that I had read it, years ago. I then realized that I couldn’t remember how it turned out, and that I wanted to know. So I had to read it again. It’s quite rare for me to read a book more than once. ... Read more

11 May 2010

Facebook privacy drama

On TechCrunch, Paul Carr pretty much nails the Facebook situation. Yes, Facebook’s privacy “promise” has been steadily eroding. However, the problem isn’t that Facebook has given up on offering privacy. Rather, the problem is that Facebook initially sold people on the myth that they could fill the Internet with personal information and magically expect that it would stay personal. I don’t know whether that was a deliberate bait and switch, or simply naïvety on the part of its founder. ... Read more

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