iOS 8.1.2 is Available NOW

December 9th, 2014 · General Detritus

I saw a report on Forbes saying that iOS 8.1.2 is out. It also said that Apple customers would be angry at the upgrade. You can go read it if you want. I did, and you really don’t have to.

What it basically says is that iOS 8.1 wasn’t perfect. 8.1.1 didn’t make it perfect. 8.1.2 also doesn’t make iOS 8.1 perfect.

In short: iOS 8 is not utopia. It has been upgraded and is still not utopia. Apple customers, denied utopia, are angry.

I installed iOS 8.1.2 on my new iPhone 6  Plus. It still does all the stuff I normally want it to do. I’m not angry. I’m not even disgruntled or annoyed or psychically uncomfortable as a result of iOS 8.1.2.

I must be one of the weird ones.

No surprise, there.

I’ve been reading around and about the innertubes about the new 27″ iMac 5k HD superwhammodyne computer thingy. Yeah. I want one.

I was in an Apple store a few days ago, and there was one on display. I wanted to go see it, but there was a crowd around it, and there was going to be a wait. So I decided to try again some other time. The size and depth of the crowd made me think maybe Eric Schmidt (I think the “m” is  silent – it is when I say it.) might be over there trying to swallow a Galaxy Note 4 or something.

Anyway, the reviews I’ve read have been universally positive. It turns out you can upgrade the RAM in it to 32 Gb.

I want one.



I was looking for news about Microsoft. They’re releasing a Steam version of Flight Simulator. Too late. I wanted Flight Simulator for the Mac a long time ago. When I had my SE, Flight Simulator was my favorite thing to do on it. Then the bastards discontinued it. Then they quit supporting it. Then they could kiss my lily-white ass.

So, no. I will NOT be buying the Steam version of Flight Simulator. Thank you very much.

A classic of the first order.

Merry Christmas.

My list for today of companies who are scared of Merry Christmas: Samsung and Heineken. They both ran Happy Holidays ads. I wasn’t buying much from either of them anyway, but now it’s on purpose.

If you say Happy Holidays, I’m not buying anything from you.

Merry Christmas.

If “Merry Christmas” offends you, how about “Fuck off.” Does that offend you?


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Input. Input. Input.

December 1st, 2014 · General Detritus

There’s a new gadget. I mean, it isn’t THAT new, but it’s really, really cool. I want one. It’s called iStick. It’s a thumb drive with USB and Lightning plugs. They get as big as 128 Gb. 128 Gb in a little thing that isn’t much bigger than a Chiclet®. Think about the 787, tourist missions to the moon, low-calorie cheesecake that doesn’t taste like lukewarm Elmer’s Glue-All. We’re talking about the FUTURE, people. Thank you, Bimjo for pointing this out to me so there’s one more thing I want but can’t talk myself into buying.

I want one.

The stock price of Apple went down today. Also the temperature outside changed, there were car accidents in which people were hurt and killed, and somebody didn’t put the toilet seat down – again. I’ll bet you can guess which one made national news.

For those of you who don’t keep up with the stock market, there are two things a stock’s price is likely to do on any given day. The price may go up; the price may go down. There is a third, extremely unlikely, possibility, which is that the stock price will stay the same. This is unlikely because nobody makes any money unless the price changes.

Never mind reality. Analysts breathing heavily require that stock prices change so they don’t sound like such perverts talking about them.

Radio Shack is going down the toilet. And that sucks. Radio Shack used to be geek paradise. Nerd Nirvana. The place to hang out if you could splice cables with nothing in the toolkit but a roll of electrical tape. I used to love hanging around in a Radio Shack in my home town just to fantasize about doing something really nerdish.

Nowadays, they’re trying to be a toy store with some cell phones. There’s no real draw for nerds anymore because they don’t hire nerds to work there. They still have all the stuff in the back section of the store, but there’s nobody to talk to who understands what you’re talking about. Most of the hired help doesn’t know a capacitor from a project box.

Also, the employees are grumpy and miserable. You can’t train that away if the job sucks.

Ah well.

Something mellow for a Monday night.

Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me.

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Analyze This.

November 22nd, 2014 · General Detritus

I’ve just been over to to look at what the analysts think of AAPL. It reaffirmed my faith in analysts being less reliable than weathermen. Depending on the analyst you read you should either buy as much AAPL as you can carry or you should run away like a skinny ginger in Ferguson.

Here’s my analysis. It’s fairly brief so watch closely or you’ll miss it.

I can’t get an iPhone from either AT&T store in my neighborhood or from the local Best Buy. They’ve been selling the dogdamn thing since September and I still can’t get one. My daughter has one. My wife has one. I figured that if I waited until November, I’d be able to get one pretty easy. Nope. Apple is selling the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus faster than they can get the nasty things built.

You can do all the technical analysis you want. You can look at forward earnings, P/E ratios, 50 day moving average, alpha, beta, insider holdings, and all that shit until your eyes bleed and then you can do your level best to convince me of buy, sell, hold, overweight, outperform, whatever. At the end of the day, though, Apple is selling its products as fast as it can build its products.

As a consumer who wants an iPhone 6, that’s annoying as hell.

As an Apple stockholder, it’s wonderful.

An old guy goes into an ice cream shop. He’s obviously struggling to walk and in pain as he approaches the counter to order.

When asked what he wants, he says as he winces, “I’d like a chocolate sundae with whipped cream.”

The clerk asks, “Crushed nuts?”

He replies, “No. Hemorrhoids.”

Apparently there’s still a dust-up over Pay versus CurrentC. CVS and RiteAid and Wally World are going to test their ability to say,”We don’t want your money,” to a swillion skillion iPhone 6 users who have waited MONTHS for the chance to use Pay. Next year, when they get CurrentC operating they’ll be able to count on the Android Lollipop I-don’t-spend-any-money-but-I-have-a-smart-phone demographic. That should work out well for them.

CurrentC will be a sales promotion for iPhones, going forward.

That’s just too mellow to end with.

There. That’s better.

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Merry Thanksgiving

November 19th, 2014 · General Detritus

I’m just about in full pissed off mode. The only thing that keeps me from firing randomly into the crowd is this inexpensive organic red wine. Well, that and the fact that I’m tired. And have you seen the price of ammo? If you can even find .40 cal FMJ for plinking, it’s spendy, and never mind jacketed hollow points. Those bad boys are a buck a round if you can even find them.

Anyway, the thing that has my dandruff up is that we just cleared Halloween and everybody is all Jingle Bells and Santa Claus. I haven’t even started thawing a turkey yet.

Ten or fifteen years ago I went into a Sears store in a pretty nice shopping mall. It was mid-September. They had a Christmas tree trimmed. Ever since that day, not one penny has moved from my pocket into any company or business that I knew dealt with Sears. Not. One. Red. Cent. Christmas advertising before Thanksgiving is wrong. Christmas advertising before Halloween is beyond irritating. Christmas advertising before Labor Day is no improvement over the store manager posting photos of his hemorrhoids in the lobby.

And don’t even get me started on the dogdamn mountain of catalogues we already have with green and red and snowflakes and pictures of ribbons and bows, and  fat, white-bearded pedophiles on the covers.

There’s an article over on Reuters that says the FBI claims that Apple’s secure encryption is bad because children. Children. Homicide. If the government can’t have access to your private conversations and data it will result in children being beaten, raped, murdered, deprived of Cap’n Crunch, and forced to learn English.

As soon as I hear, “It’s for the children,” from a federal person of any job description, I field strip a pistol and oil it.

Apple. There isn’t a lot of news.

Last week I was reading something that I thought was just about the dumbest-ass thing I’d ever read, on PC Mag. Out of curiosity I decided to look at the byline. It was John C. Dvorak. In Mr. Dvorak’s parallel dimension, John Sculley was a great Apple CEO. And now, John Sculley is somehow associated with another company that’s going to make a $25 phone. Apple needs to buy this company because John Sculley or something. You can read it if you want. I read it twice, hoping to make sense of it before I read the byline.

When I bought my first Mac, an SE, in 1987, JC Dvorak was writing the back page of MacWorld. I loved him, then, because I thought he was a humorist. I never thought he was serious. Now I realize he’s fooled people into thinking he has something real to say. He makes a living writing shit like that.

It’s sad.

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November 10th, 2014 · General Detritus

As is my new habit, my vacation plans involve Texas. We’re in Texas for the week to visit Jas in her new digs. Unfortunately, the vacation was planned when she lived in San Marcos. Now she lives nearer to Austin. We’ve had to commute some. Learning to drive in Texas is a steep learning curve.

I have learned, so far, that if someone honks the horn at you in Texas it can mean one or more things. This important to know because people honk horns a lot in Texas.

It may mean:

  1. You have cut me off.
  2. You are ahead of me and I would prefer that you were not ahead of me.
  3. You are ahead of me and going slower than I think you should be going.
  4. Hey! Look! I have a horn.
  5. All of the above

I have learned that the posted speed limit on interstate highways is entirely a tongue-in-cheek comment by the state of Texas for the amusement of residents in the form of laughing at tourists.

Case in point: Jas was driving to work one morning and looked in her rearview mirror to see a state policeman close behind her. She was traveling at 78 miles per hour – eight mph above the posted limit – in the far left lane. Fearing that she was about to be pulled over, she moved over one lane. The policeman passed her and waved politely on his way by.

This does not happen in Washington unless Dunkin’ Donuts is having a big sale at the next exit.

There are interstates and there are other roads in Texas. We got off the interstates and drove around on some other ranch roads and farm roads on Friday. I think I got to see some actual Texas. Also, nobody seemed willing to kill us on the back roads. On the interstates, everyone seemed willing, if not eager, to merge their cars with ours.

One thing not about driving. Before arriving, I had never heard of Gruene (pronounced: green), Texas. Now, I’ll recommend it. The oldest continuously operated dance hall in Texas is in Gruene. Pat Benatar played there while we were here. Willy Nelson is going to be there next week. Next time we’re in Texas we’re bringing the kids to Gruene. The Gruene River Grill is excellent, as is the Grist Mill.

Texas drivers are not the worst in the country. Boston still holds that distinction. Texans may be bad drivers, but they’re still nice people. They’ll honk at you, then pull up next to you and ask if you need to leave the turn-only lane. Then they’ll wave you on in front of them. That actually happened to me. I haven’t tested it, but I think they’ll probably honk at you again at the next light.

There’s a new iOS malware thingy out there. It’s called Masque. You can catch it if you have unprotected sex with an Ebola nurse in an unclean mens room in Sierra Leone and then cough or sneeze without covering your mouth, then eat something made with GMOs, brominated vegetable oil, soy milk, and high-fructose corn syrup. In that order. Masque is evil.

Masque makes your children want to wear their pants with their ugly boxer shorts showing. And that’s just the girls. Nobody is even saying what it does to boys.

Masque puts six-month-old take-out Mugu Gai Pan in the back of your refrigerator

Masque makes the thing you just set down right frigging THERE vanish without a trace.

Masque clogs the sink.

Masque turns your tighty-whiteys pink.

Masque makes your yolks break and your toast burn.

If you’re in Sierra Leone, eat lunch first.

Same thing with the new malware that’s attacking OS X 10.10 Yosemite Sam. WireLurker. If you download pirated software while sacrificing a virgin goat to the Prince of Low-Wattage Bulbs, you’ll get a WireLurker thingamabob trojan whatchamacallit on your computer. That would be bad. Don’t. Sorry for getting so technical.

As long as I’m in Texas…



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Profiles in Courage

October 30th, 2014 · General Detritus

Tim Cook announced, today, that he’s gay. Several people have applauded his courage.


We’ve had a mediocre football player kiss his boyfriend on national TV to celebrate being selected in the NFL draft. We have openly gay talk show hosts, senators, congressmen, governors, and mayors. The performing arts are awash in openly gay performers. I personally know and am friends with several people who are openly gay.

What the hell is so courageous about coming out in today’s culture? Courage is joining the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Corps. Courage is putting on a badge and a gun. Courage is running into a burning building to save the lives inside. Courage is putting sliced jalapeños on your peanut butter and cheddar cheese sandwich.

The public announcement of sexual preferences may be uncomfortable, but next to the mountain range of bravery it’s a low foothill. Now, if he moved to Iran, and then publicly announced it, that would be brave. Dumb, but brave.

I still think Tim Cook is an awesome CEO who’s making me money and providing me with cool toys. What he does in his free time has no effect on my life.


I didn’t want to know, and now that I do know I don’t care. Moving right along.

I have heard from DC and Baxtrice that they think iOS7 and OS X 10.10 Yosemite Sam suck.

I respectfully disagree. The interface looks different, but it still does all the same stuff. Some of it has a learning curve to it. I’m thinking some of it had to change a little to accommodate some of the newer stuff like Continuity and Handoff and the Stockmarket Trend algorithm that guarantees 20%/year returns. You just can’t squeeze all that into an OS without making some adjustments along the way.

The Aqua interface has been dying a slow death for quite a while, and it’s finally gone completely. I never really wanted to lick my computer, anyway, but that temptation has been almost completely done away with in the new, flatter interface. Photos of Megan Fox in a bikini or Chrissie Hynde performing Brass in Pocket are rare exceptions, but they don’t have much to do with the function of the OS.

CurrentC is all over the internet. It’s a big threat to  Pay. Lots of big retailers are going to turn off their NFC doohickeys to block  Pay because they have their own system, CurrentC. They have all sworn to the Holy Committee that they will only worship at the shrine of CurrentC.

CurrentC is going to be the first  Something killer. We’ve had iPod killers (remember the Zune?), iPhone killers, iPad killers. But now Apple is ditching the “i” in favor of “.” Why? Well that’s easy. There’s an “i” in front of so much stuff these days that it no longer means a dogdamn thing – not that it ever did.

The CurrentC Cartel has a lot of big companies. Walmart, CVS, Rite-Aid, and a bunch of other big retail companies. They’ve all signed in blood that they will not accept other e-payment schemes like Google Wallet, and  Pay. I just read that one member of the cartel, Meijer grocery stores, is going to accept  Pay. The Cartel has said there won’t be any penalty against them for that. This bears watching. If  Pay users start to leave these retailers in large numbers, and there’s no penalty for defecting, I suspect CurrentC to be to  killing what the Zune was to the demise of “i,” an early, expensive, humorous flop.

The most important aspect of CurrentC that makes it an  Pay killer is the most obvious one: it doesn’t exist. It’s supposed to appear in 2015. So,  Pay has at least a three month head start, and early reports say it already works pretty well.

Another fatal flaw is that it’s being designed by a committee, and the committee is composed of people from companies who compete with each other. Each member has only the profit of one company as a motivator. I’ve been to committee meetings of people who all shared, at least officially, the same goals for the same company. The very best ones do no measurable harm.

I suspect the motto of the CurrentC committee is something like, “We’re all pulling the same oar.”

I’ll bet my whole collection of silk neckties CurrentC isn’t even in the news this time next year.


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