Not Watching

I don’t think I’m the only one who wants to watch the fencing matches, though I may be the laziest member of the potential audience: I’m not willing to change my behavior to suit the whims of NBC. It would be nice if I could watch some small snippet of the matches at the Olympics site, but, no, that’s too much trouble for them. Might cut into their television revenues.

Tell you what, dumbass, I’m not watching the fucking commercials. I have TiVo. I’ll just have to look at the schedule to see when I should record.

Partial Translations

The news media have done a partial translation of the name of Moqtada al-Sadr’s militia. They’ve translated “army,” but not “mahdi.” This Wikipedia article on the mahdi may be more comprehensible, or you may prefer citations of the various hadith on the madhi.

Ah, and now you see why it remains untranslated.

The Idiocies of Categorization

The Washington Post reports on radio advertisements which complain about Teresa Heinz-Kerry categorizing herself as an African-American.

Another ad attacks Teresa Heinz Kerry, who, at the Democratic convention last month cited her birth and upbringing in Mozambique and who has described herself as African American. In the radio commercial, the announcer says: “His wife says she’s an African American. While technically true, I don’t believe a white woman, raised in Africa, surrounded by servants, qualifies.”

Look, if you want to differentiate between people based on the amount of melanin in their skin, or by their ethnic origin, then don’t use a geographic category. That just makes you a moron.

Assume the Net Works

I’ve given up Radio Userland’s aggregator. I had to do it cold turkey, but I did it. I tried SharpReader for a week, and while I like some of the features, like 410 GONE support, it’s much faster to read the headlines in a single long scroll than it is to click about. Same thing with Newzcrawler (and the Ouchlook integration issues), NetNewsWire, and FeedDemon. They’re all good for a leisurely read every now and again, but when you’re scanning and deleting lots of lines, they’re just too much work.

On the recommendation of several people, I’m trying Bloglines. It’s nice. It’s fast. And it fails when the network does.

JetBlue needs 37 Signals

Using a 56kb dial-up connection, I really notice failures in the web applications which assume network state will persist, or which have, under other circumstances, minor usability flaws.

Take JetBlue‘s ticketing process for example. All of the pages are POSTs, and don’t persist in cache, so using the browser’s back button could reissue the transaction. This is not something you want when you’re spending $800 on non-refundable tickets. This failure is aggravated when there’s a problem with the credit card, either because their systems fail or you mistype a number; they tell you to go back, but it’s not that easy. And these are nothing compared to your line dropping in the middle of a transaction like picking seats.

Song shows you the seats available on the flight before you begin the purchase, so if that’s important, you can eliminate flights with a paucity of seats.


On Monday I upgraded my account at Pair Networks to include MySQL and PHP support. It just incidentally includes more disk space. My storage over-usage fees have been about the same as the pricing for the new features, so I should have done this many moons ago.

About 5 minutes ago, I installed WordPress. When it works, this shit is easy.

One thing I don’t like, and will have to address, are the post-id-based URIs.

Scenes from Belize

We bought a new camera just before our cruise; here are some pictures.

a house for computers
A House for Computers

A house for computers in Data Park, by Intelco on the Northern Highway in Belize. Shortly down the road we saw

a house for people?
A House for People

a house for people on the intersection of the Northern Highway and the Old Northern Highway.

And this is what a Ford Aerostar looks like after it hits a bus.

crash between a Ford Aerostar and a bus

On our way back from Altun Ha we found this accident. In our tour group were three ER nurses. They saved the life of the Aerostar’s driver while the people in the neighborhood worked to pry the dash and door off. People are incredible.

as we came up on the bus

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Yahoo sends MapQuest packing:

Yahoo said Wednesday that it has stopped using AOL Time Warner online street-finder unit MapQuest and has instead created its own mapping service.
Yahoo’s service, which continues to look and operate like the one powered by MapQuest, is built on data providecnd by Navigation Technologies, Geographic Data Technology, and software application providers Telcontar and Sagent Technology.