Adobe, You Owe Me Money

I was wondering why my laptop was not idle when I wasn’t using it, because when I picked it up I burned my hand.

Using the handy-dandy Task Manager, I saw that Mozilla Firefox was using 25% of this 1.8GHz Intel Centrino Duo. Why would it be doing that? I’m not browsing the web, nor did I leave one of my tabs open to a new-fangled Web 2.0 site that thinks I need it to update itself every 30 seconds. I was idle. And by idle I mean that I was outside trimming the shrubs, not sitting in front of my computer.

Well, turns it that some advertisement or other written in Adobe Flash was eating that CPU time. Since I didn’t identify the advertisement, and since Adobe either provides a means for the author to disable my ability to stop the movies from playing, or simply does not provide a means for me to stop the movies from playing, I figure that Adobe owes me the cost of the energy drained by 25% of two 1.8GHz processors over the course of the 12 hours between the time I installed the Flash player to watch some idiot video on YouTube, then enjoyed my Father’s Day offline, and the time when I disabled the Flash player because I had first degree burns on my thighs.

Oh, by the way, Google, now that you’ve bought DoubleClick, if wouldn’t mind simply discontinuing the use of Flash advertisements because they’re evil, we’d love you for it. Thanks.

All Kinds of Jargon

After reading The Austrian Economists site for a while now, I notice it shares some features with some papers Niall Ferguson posted on his website. Namely, name-dropping.

I’ve been out of academia for 15 years now, since I graduated from Fordham, and haven’t really read much “academic” work since I started reading Mr. Ferguson’s papers last year. While they were on the whole interesting, I was struck by how many references he made to his references. Often times it seemed that instead of writing about history, he was writing about writing about history. (And, really, I’ve never found reviews of “the literature” to be very enlightening; though they may reveal other avenues of investigation, they have no place in an expository essay.) Mostly this was a distraction, but in some cases it was downright harmful, since he would explain something only by reference to someone else’s work with which I was not familiar.

The authors at the aforementioned site do the same. They use authors’ names as shorthand for that author’s entire body of work, with which one is assumed to be familiar. Well, I’m not.