This quote from the cnn article Where have all the viewers gone? is a wonderful example of corporate hope for consumer dependency.
"We let them get out of the habit of watching television a little bit, and it's going to take some time to get these people back in front of their television sets," said David Poltrack, chief researcher for CBS (owned by CBS Corp.). I love it when corporate management describes their product as if it's a living necessity, when it's merely a form of entertainment.
Companies that are building a market come across as hopeful, yet they carry an implicit understanding that the market's existence, and thus their own, has no guarantee. Companies in established markets come to view the market as a given, and are utterly confused whenever anything changes the conditions. They are so focused on the battle for their share of the market that they forget that the market itself could just disappear. The record companies in particular seem to have a hard time realizing this potential, but they are certainly not the first or last to face such a change. Mr. Poltrack seems to be describing television as a learned dependency the television companies have taught consumers. A learned dependency that he expects they can continue to teach. Television was originally marketed as a device to assist in education, as well as for providing entertainment. The television companies have done a wonderful job of keeping their word, it educates people in all manner of topics. It teaches people what they should buy, what they should be afraid of, who they should hate, what they should believe, and best of all, it teaches people to continue watching their televisions. Lifelong learning at it's very best.
Somewhere between many the process of voting and many PBR’s I have come to liken the strange custom of “I voted” stickers to similar adhesive products furnished by doctors, and dentists and various other incentives to induce children to be proud of health related activities.
I am not amused.
However, I am greatly amused that a friend of mine who did not get a chance to vote somehow acquired an entire roll of “I voted” stickers and plans to distribute them in some sort of self-promoting party atmosphere. Would that a similar gratification bypass existed in lieu of a dentist appointment.
This does amuse me.
I am happy that my team won. However, I somehow feel disheartened by the sensation that this was once again the election that was “too critical to vote for a third party” for the nth time. I dislike teams, I dislike games that pretend so hard towards realism that they are, and I am highly critical of the fashion in which politics are little changed from those hard fought political battles enacted on early grade-school playground recess.
People are people, and often continue to be people despite the advancing tide of adult delusions of maturity.
For those few that might understand: I wanna go to the fire station.
What is everyone appalled about? The information was already there,
and as my friend Muerl so nicely pointed out if it hadn’t been added
to facebook directly, then the developer interface at
http://developers.facebook.com would have merely limited the stalker
interface to just the stalkers instead of putting everyone on the same
Secondly, while facebook is kind of entertaining by allowing a person
to wander around learning random things about people, that fades
relatively quickly. It fades because it becomes increasingly more
work to find new information. The new interface actually allows for
content to be useful. Case in point, I am posting this entry to
dgtized.net, but because I setup the feed reader for facebook to
import this as a note, this will appear in all of your feeds. How
else could we even discuss a change like this in the prior interface?
By wall posts? Which of your friends do you elect to flood their wall
with an argument about whether or not the interface is a good idea?
To me that approach seems like utter nonsense, so instead we use
notes, but no one notices a note being posted unless there is an
interface for watching notes be posted. Which leaves us with the
I’ll even bet the only reason your all joining, “We hate the new
facebook layout” groups, or are even aware of them is because they all
show up in the feed.
I for one welcome our new feed overlords. Don’t yell and scream
because what already existed became obvious. If you don’t want your
life under a magnifying glass, then don’t put it there. It’s a public
site, and it’s public information you posted, so don’t complain if
everyone reads it. Close out your account if it makes you
uncomfortable, and certainly don’t broadcast your interest in
boycotting by way of the very service you hate.
The past week or so has been full of frustrating experiences with things that are supposed to work one way, but spontaneously decide to work in ways in which they don’t work.
Of Allen Wrenches
Specifically, they aren’t supposed to strip the head of the associated screw. Given that the associated screw is on the wheel axle of a rollerblade, it makes it very difficult to replace the wheel mounted on the axle. Since said wheel is the rear wheel and a centimeter smaller in diameter than the new replacement wheels, it makes the rollerblades, and by association the newly purchased wheels unusable for their intended purpose.
Needless to say I was not impressed. My options at this point appear to be
- Drill out the screw/axle and buy a new axle.
- Find a skateshop that can replace the axle through some similar process
- Give up on rollerblades alltogether
Unfortunately this city seems to be short on skate shops. Ordering online is probably possible, however that means another week or so of waiting, plus actually finding a drill to remove the axle.
Of Perl Duct Tape
I am considering permently removing perl from my resume. It’s just not worth the pain. I want real objects, and real references, and significantly less kludges. Remember kids, not only is perl the duct tape of the internet, it’s also made of duct tape itself. It is in fact, recursive duct tape. Now the problem with duct tape is there are random things it simply will not hold together, but one is never sure of what exactly these items are. Perl appears to have the same problem, except it nearly always sticks to everything else, but it slowly unravels internally. It also leave sticky residue all over anything it’s used on, consistantly requires re-duct taping, and frequently the jury-rig gives up entirely and needs to be replaced with a shiny new jury-rig, all set and primed for it’s own impending doom.
Actually this one is less of a problem in the last week, so much as a general gripe for the whole summer. Down with perl! Up with ruby, and possibly the snake language! Viva la revolution!
The Apple Mac-Book Pro appears to be a faster machine then it’s corresponding Motorola counterparts given numeric benchmarks. There is however an interesting fallacy involved in some of the qualitative testing being done between old and new Mac’s. This is excluding the interesting fact Apple always claimed that somehow PowerPC chips were faster then Intel chips until the moment they actually put Intel chips into their own machines.
The Ars Technica MacBook Pro article uses a very interesting qualatitive comparison I have seen exhibited elsewhere. That comparison is simply that applications feel faster to load. The fallacy lies in the choice of measuring said speed by the number of “bounces” before an application launches. While I am not a Mac user, my limited experience with them seems to suggest that this is the equivalent of the number of Windows hourglass flips or whatever the equivalent delay indicator in Gnome or KDE is. The interesting thing about using the number of “bounces” as a metric though is the speed of the bounces is probably a variable set somewhere in the operating system. So the easy way to make any application “feel” faster is to slow down the speed of the bounces. Not to say this is all that is occuring, but that is the sort of “feel” tweak that Apple is famous for.
I quite successfully locked myself out of my apartment last night. The front door automatically locks when it’s closed, and I had been accustomed to ensuring I had my keys on the way out at my old apartment locking the door on the way out.
With my roommate out of town and my landlord being of the opinion that I should call a locksmith if something like this happens on the weekend, I determined that I didn’t really need anything in particular from my apartment until monday, certainly not with any need to spend $60 dollars for a locksmith. So monday I will be able to fetch the maintenenc keys from my landlord in order to get in.
I think however, I will demand a better front door lock, as well as the fixing of my magically working all the time AC, my room door, and the back door lock.
Following in my adventures in discovering the total uselessness of fedora core [3,4] I have discovered a whole new set of issues to complain about. I discovered the best way
to fix both the weird iso image sizing/md5sum problem and the unreliability of the cd install medium to successfully install every package is to do a network install. Which works great for me since wuarchive is accessable as a nice reasonable speed of about 8 megs a second. Somehow I don’t think it works well for most people though.
I fail to see why distributions like Fedora core are immensly popular. Fedora core and any corresponding system based on rpm and dependent on the anaconda installer all suffer from the same fatal flaw. If any single rpm fails to install, the entire install process is halted and must be restarted. It doesn’t pause and ask you for a different source for the rpm, in this day and age it could probaby even download the specified rpm online, let alone just wait for you to clean the install disk.
The problem is exacerbated by the fact that as near as I can tell Fedora Core install disks are the most finicky disk images I have ever encountered. The only possible way I can even get a system installed is to install bare GUI desktop install.
Yet once the base system is installed the problems still continue. Apparently it’s only possible to manually select all the packages you didn’t get to install with yum. There is a gui for selecting additional packages but it suffers from the same problem the original install gui suffered from, ie a single failure kills the whole process. I don’t know if this is better here or worse, on the one hand at least you can try several different combinations without needing to walk back through the entire disk formatting procedure, but on the other it would definitely seem logical to allow the tool to download packages from a remote location if the cd fails.