The Browser History Fell Through a Memory Hole in my Pocket

If not careful, the brogrammers responsible for the attention deficit economy and big data collection will find their work has gone the way of interactive television. People use tools because they are — wait for it —¬†useful. You’re not the customer; you’re the product. A web browser keeps, or kept, a history of where the […]

The Customer Perspective

There’s too much wrong with the FCC — in all its various political, technical, and regulatory aspects — to get into arguments on the line. However, I’d like to point out one small piece of anecdata from Number Two Daughter’s iPhone 6. From the customer’s perspective, Internet access providers are common carriers. Number Two Daughter […]

My Sons Build Better Box Forts

My love and I put together the¬†IKEA Billy bookcases for my library last Thursday. They had been occupying the hall, and my books boxes, due to certain logistical issues. Now the books are unpacked and shelved, but awaiting organization. I’ve sorted out the non-fiction and poetry, but I’m not happy with the result. I’m a […]

A Confederacy of Dunces

One style of fiction I most enjoy is what is known as alternate history or, if presented academically, counterfactual history. This genre asks what might have been if such-and-such had happened. Sometimes the counterfactual is presented as a more pleasant, net positive, outcome than what actually is, but more often than not as less desirable […]

Who Forged These Chains?

For someone who works with computers, I have very little respect for them. Perhaps that’s left over from a programming class where the teacher reminded us that the computer only does what we tell it to do. It’s mindless. Or more likely it has been experience reinforcing this: the computer program is only as good […]

Against Full-Day Kindergarten

The Common Core State Standards website asks, Q: Why do we need educational standards? A: We need standards to ensure that all students, no matter where they live, are prepared for success in postsecondary education and the workforce. Let’s assume for a moment that that is the goal of primary and secondary education. (Let’s also […]

Daylight Saving Tricks

Now that we’ve returned to Standard Time, let us pause for my annual rant on Daylight Saving Time (DST). Calling the boiling point of water 100 instead of 212 does not mean the water boils when it is colder. We’re talking about a unit of measurement here, so people can agree to meet at a […]

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 […]

Against the Time Change

Really it’s not the shift in noon that I’m against — though there is a certain rightness to being able to look up at the sun and say, “ah, yes, it’s mid-day” — but that there’s a change at all. Just pick one and stick with it. This business of switching the clock around in […]