The differences between American media and the BBC World Service in treatment of the financial situation with the automotive industry, or anything really, are just striking. I’ve been listening to WNYC on my drive to the office, so hear NPR‘s Morning Edition, followed by Marketplace Morning Report and then the BBC World Service Newshour. I noticed earlier in the year — after NPR had a short discussion with Barney Frank where they asked him no questions, and he told them no lies — that the interviews on the BBC had more of the nature of a debate. Two guests of presumed opposing viewpoints are invited to discuss the issue of the day, and the host engages with them in a somewhat antagonistic fashion. If a claim is made, he asks for support of the claim.

This tool of the British government is less like a brain-dead parrot than our ostensibly independent media. What purpose does it serve for the media to regurgitate the latest press release?

Electronic Medical Records

On Marketplace this morning, they mentioned that Obama wants electronic medical records.

  1. Why is it any of Obama’s damn business?
  2. I haven’t noticed a reduction in paperwork as a result of computing.
  3. There are normal computing issues magnified by the sensitivity of the data.

Earlier some doctor interviewed on another NPR program said he would love medical records, and that they would save him money — and that the government should pay for them because the tools are too expensive.

Excuse me?

If they are too expensive for you to buy in order to reduce your costs then they are not saving you money. The only way the cost-benefit analysis comes out in your favor is if you don’t have to pay for it.

And so I view this, like many other things, as simply yet another power grab.

DirecTiVo, your return can not be too soon

Our DirecTiVo was dying. Every now and again, frequently at times, it stopped, hung. Maybe it waiting on a bad block on disk. Maybe it was just the heat. But the only option offered by DirecTV was a replacement with their dreaded DVR.

My first impression was positive. The guide responded quickly. The on-screen display is unobtrusive.

But on closer inspection, this was designed by a committee of retarded monkeys with no sense for how the ability to control the television changes how we use it.

The remote is cluttered. Do I really need three power buttons?

Why are you starting from sleep at the Game Lobby? I have never willingly selected that, so don’t even bother showing it to me.

Speaking of sleep, what’s the deal with the screen saver? Trying to keep my cathode ray tube from burning in the Game Lobby?

But now that I have a chance to sit down and completely reprogram all of the shows I’ve chosen to record over the past eight years when there is absolutely no reason why I should have to do that, I wonder WHY THE FUCK DirecTV can’t make a searchable version of the TV guide so that I can find the shows I want to record you fucking incompetent pieces of shit.

How about making one that displays the show that’s actually playing on my TV?

This is why all efforts at interactive television have failed miserably.