Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Why did I want a Mac- Oh yeah...

Today I got a stark reminder of a reason I wanted a Mac. While I was browsing Digg, I crossed a site that has caused havoc on my computer.

I would presume that the problem arose through a Java Applet, seeing as how that was slowing the page in the first place. I would assume that the perpetrator used a hole in Java to install the program, which since has been setting off all kinds of warnings on my computer. It took me fifteen minutes to get rid of the program. The program was called "OuterInfo", and it even piggy-backed in another program which I am still working to remove. I completely uninstalled Java, seeing as how I never use it, and as shown here, it only causes trouble.

Right now, I am about to look into a few Linux distros. I am not planning to get a Macbook until Christmas, so I need to salvage/hold on to my laptop until then. I need to find a distro that is known to work well with laptops (Ubuntu?).

Update: I went back to get some information so that I could recommend a ban for the user that submitted the site, but Digg has already deleted the page. I haven't seen Digg act so quickly to solve a problem before.

7:27 PM | Posted by mike | Comments (0)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Collection: Friday, July 13

  • Google is being sued for their use of sponsored links. From what I can tell, it is a suit that should not even exist. Perhaps I am missing details, but there are two ways that the "problem" occurred. The first is that a company googlebombed the competition to get their name first. The other is that people are too stupid to know what the "sponsored links" box is. I bet on the latter. As far as I can tell, Google isn't even involved in the conflict (other than the search result).
  • What Google is involved in is a matter of comedy. Google wrote a bad check. An Adsense publisher found that the check bounced when trying to cash it- not what you would expect from a billion dollar company. The publisher also reached phone hell in Google's computer handling of calls.
  • Police brutality on video. While I don't approve of what the fans did in this video, I don't blame them. Police these days seems to believe that they can do anything. If they officers had simply carried the man off the field, everything would have been avoided, but they repeatedly hit the man with the nightstaffs (of all things). There was no reason for what they did.
  • The republicans are not big fans of civil rights.
  • Edwards: Bush's remarks border delusional.
  • Optimum copyright period, as determined by economics: 14 years.
I have a feeling that I am going to be busy this summer.

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12:50 AM | Posted by mike | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Collection: Wednesday, July 11

I am finally back home with my own internet connection, and some time to spare. It took a while for me to sift through the last few days worth of RSS feed items. Here's what I found:
  • Errors in Microsoft's "standard" could prove to be potentially dangerous, depending on it's implementation. Some of the formulas contained in it are incorrect. Microsoft shouldn't even be trying to make this a standard.
  • Rudy Giuliani took a strong stance against medical marijuana saying that it is all a move to legalize it entirely. I am personally annoyed at the fact that he is denying all benefits of using marijuana for medicinal purposes because it may become closer to being legal. If it were legal, it wouldn't need to be sold on the street, and thus be safer than it is now.
  • Michael Moore is demanding an apology from Wolf Blitzer. Blitzer criticized Moore and Fahrenheit 9/11 three years ago, even though Moore turned out to be right. Moore infers that he will only do live interviews because they will edit out his argument if they have time to do so.
  • Want your liquids back from security? Simply take it from the bin.
  • Dell offers Linux computers now, but there is a hidden mark-up. Only Windows computers are offered a $225 upgrade for free. To match that with a Linux Dell, you would need to pay the extra money. I can guess that later Dell will say "we tried, but they didn't sell well."
  • Canadian airport security is wising up by allowing context to the use of "forbidden words." By this I mean that saying "my gun jammed" will not call the police, but saying "I have a gun" will. Basically, they're adding a touch of common sense to airport security.
My sister is having a lot of trouble with the Geek Squad. When my parents bought the laptop last year, the extra warranty was added for the accidental damage coverage. All I can say is that if a device is under manufacturer's warranty and Geek Squad, do not send it to the Geek Squad.

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8:56 PM | Posted by mike | Comments (2)

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Collection: Saturday, July 7

Round-up, today environmentally:
  • Five things that are worse than global warming. Basic gist: we're taking faster than nature provides. Trees are removed faster than they grow, we pollute more than time will decompose, etc. I would not consider myself to be a tree hugger, but it is sick how little people seem to care about the environment.
  • An environmental group says that computers running all night cost businesses $1.7 billion. But the real gem is in the last paragraph: people just don't care. My computer runs all the time because it causes too much trouble to have to reboot it (read: time). Until the computer can intelligently determine when I am going to use it and power on/off accordingly, nothing is going to change.
New York is behind me now. I have a college campus tour Monday, then I am on my way home. I just learned today that my sister is taking my laptop on a trip in the coming week. Her computer is caught in the infinite loop of repairs, and seeing as I have another computer I can use, it is only suiting that I loan her this one. The real trouble is how I will be able to work, I always use this computer, it has all my files.

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11:26 PM | Posted by mike | Comments (0)

Friday, July 6, 2007

Collection: Friday, July 6

Today's round-up grew a bit:
  • A new poll shows that a majority (54%) of americans favor impeachment of Dick Cheney. There is even a site that has video evidence for Cheney's impeachment (link: site auto-plays video).
  • Why the cable industry sucks: companies are blame CableCARD for an upcoming rate hike. They say that it would simply cost too much. I don't know how much the CableCARD even matters, but I don't like how cable companies have such a lock-in (read: get service from them or not at all).
  • Toledo cops sell out their cruisers for $15,000. I think this is a wise idea for side-stepping the costs, but I don't trust cops enough to feel that this is right. I can see a CEO being pulled over and declaring that he should not get a ticket because he helped finance that officer's car.
  • There was a case similar to Libby's where Bush did just the opposite as he did the other day. Foul play? Surely.
  • Fox News reports that Universal healthcare is breeding grounds for terrorists. I think that Fox's viewership is the 20% mentioned in my post yesterday (point two).
  • Rupert Murdoch has bought Dow Jones. Part of the deal is a legally-enforceable agreement that the WSJ will remain independent in it's reporting.
Goodbye New York. Tomorrow morning I leave the city. When I have time, I'm going to write a post about all of the things that I saw/learned/etc in New York.

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11:37 PM | Posted by mike | Comments (3)

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Collection: Thursday, July 5

Politics. The more you know, the more you despise the general public:
  • The White House lip-mover (Tony Snow) said today that Bush's commutation of Libby's sentence was "what he does normally." Yes, ignoring the supreme court and protecting political allies, however corrupt, is what Bush normally does.
  • Oh, but the grand-daddy of them all: 1 in 5 americans believe that the sun revolves around the earth. This makes me think, there should be some basic questions on the ballot similar to this. If someone doesn't even know that the earth does the revolving, their vote should not be counted. We need not just voters, but educated voters. How many people go to the polls and vote by the name of the candidate, not what they actually know about them?
Sadly, I only have one more day in New York, then I am heading off to see the rest of my relatives. I'm going to miss New York and all the fun I had this year.

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10:55 PM | Posted by mike | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Collection: Wednesday, July 4

Happy fourth! Not much today in the news:
  • Subaru, no doubt, is an environmentally friendly company. Just about every car they sell gets at least 20mpg. Based on that, it should not surprise that they haven't sent anything to the dump in three years.
  • Ron Paul has always had a grip on social media, particularly digg, but today it was uncovered that he has people who are gaming the system. One person has noticed that masses of people digg only Ron Paul stories. Anything with his name they digg.
  • Africans are asking the wealthy donors to stop sending aid. For one, the biggest flaw has always been giving the money to the government. It's fairly obvious that the presidents there are quite corrupt and much of that money never reaches the people. Besides, there are better things we can do like build wells and buildings. Throwing money doesn't solve anything.
Today was a lot of fun. Fourth of July party all day long.

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12:10 PM | Posted by mike | Comments (1)

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Collection: Tuesday, June 3

News galore:
  • AT&T is trying to set the record straight by refunding customers who were forced to buy accessories with their iPhone. The bad press was getting to them.
  • Windows is losing developers quickly. In the last year, the number of developers has fallen 12%, which is something you notice.
  • Firefighters are attacking Giuliani for his failures during 9/11. Among items on the list is false air quality assurances and the poor handling of those who risked their lives to save others. There is also the fact that h placed (or left) the emergency command in a building that had been previously attacked. I root for the firefighters.
  • James Madison once said: "[I]f the President be connected, in any suspicious manner, with any person, and there be grounds [to] believe he will shelter him, the House of Representatives can impeach him; they can remove him if found guilty." We have a word for you Bush, it's "impeachment."
  • Oh, and McCain is failing off the the tail. His campaign only raised $2M. That's bleak compared to Obama's $32M.
I made a second trip to the Apple Store today to make up for all of the things that I forgot to pay attention to. It was mostly the little things like the camera, where things like the power button was, and so on. It turns out that the speakers that I was looking at don't work- I think I just realized the problem: The Harman Kardon Soundsticks have a special volume adjustment that I totally forgot about.

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11:21 PM | Posted by mike | Comments (0)

Monday, July 2, 2007

Collection: Monday, July 2

A day's round-up:
  • Bush could very well be facing contempt charges for ignoring a subpoena.
  • Of course, the "traditional" media is completely ignoring the impeachment movement. There are 10 co-sponsors, and it has not made a single headline. This is why the internet is so great. You are not spoon fed by corporations.
  • The majority (72%) says that if the founding fathers were to see today's current government, they would be disappointed. It's nice to see one thing that the country agrees on.
When you follow politics, especially in the "traditional" form, you are disgusted in many ways. The AP had a story a few days ago about Giuliani's stop at a bagel shop. Who Fucking Cares?

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10:17 PM | Posted by mike | Comments (0)

My visit to the Apple Store

...Fifth Avenue that is. First off, I didn't take any pictures because I didn't have a camera. Overall, I must say that I was very impressed (even at the building). I looked at everything that I could.

[Image: iPhone]Considering how it was making such a big headline in the news, I played with one of the iPhones as they had them out on display. The interface is very slick, but I could easily imagine being caught in all the layers of menus. The "home" button helps with that though. The only drawback is fat-fingering. It is hard to be precise, but Apple did well with larger buttons.

[Image: Macbook]The big reason that I was even there was to look and touch the Macbooks. I will be honest when I say that I am in love. It is slim, and very light- about half the weight of my current laptop. I think that most of things that I am worried about are primarily how well I will adapt to a new operating system. I have used Windows machines for as long as I can remember, so I have no idea how smooth it will be. I totally forgot to pay any attention to the camera, but that is very minor. Thinking back, there is a bit that I overlooked.

[Image: Apple displays]I also looked at the displays, as I plan to get one when I go to college if I am entirely impressed with the computer. An extra display would be nice for managing space, as well as to be used as a larger area for watching movies, something that I know is very common in college. From what I saw online, I was split between the 20" and the 23". I needed to get a feel for the actual size (20" is good). The 30" is simply enormous.

I may go back again later this week so that I can cover all of the areas that I now realize that I missed. I tried testing some speakers, but found that some other jackass was playing with another set, making it impossible to judge the Harman Kardon Soundsticks. In many ways, I am going to miss New York; I don't want to leave.

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5:33 PM | Posted by mike | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Collection: Sunday, July 1

Today's news round-up:
  • Google took a big bite in the rear when the Health Advertising blog published a negative review to Moore's Sicko. Google took in all of the negative headlines over this story. Since then, the author of that post has stated that it was only her opinion. But that does not explain why Google allowed that to be published, and it is still untouched since the coverage. I think that Google made a huge mistake in even getting involved. As such a large company, they have no business in making such statements.
  • Obama outdoes all other democratic candidates in fund-raising. He must be making a good impression on people.
  • AT&T is ruining Apple's reputation. Some AT&T stores were forcing customers to buy accessories with the phone. This has to be Apple's biggest mistake. They may have a flawless device, but ever time the AT&T blunders, Apple takes a hit.
I am finishing up my Apple Store post mentioned yesterday, so expect it tomorrow.

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10:46 PM | Posted by mike | Comments (1)

Collection: Saturday, June 30

Here's today's round-up:
  • O'Reilly claims that "lesbian gangs" are taking over the country. And by taking over, he means that there are three instances. Way to try to classify gays as violent and then trying to say that they are "recruiting." How can anyone anyone listen to this guy and not feel lied to?
  • The video of Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech is cleverly cropped so that the banner is no longer in the video.
  • AT&T is ruining the iPhone. The mass of people trying to activate has crippled AT&T's service. I seriously think that it was a huge mistake of Apple to limit the iPhone to AT&T. The iPhone now is only as good as AT&T, and that doesn't say much.
I did make it to the Apple Store, but I will write about it later.

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12:43 AM | Posted by mike | Comments (0)
Barack Obama for President