There’s No Excuse

August 23rd, 2014 · General Detritus

John Gruber of Daring Fireball is predicting how many pixels will be displayed on both unannounced and, hence, totally mythical next-generation iPhones. I don’t mean he’s predicting kinda how many pixels. 1334 x 750, 336 PPI is pretty damned specific.

He also presents the postulates, theories, hypotheses and mathematical derivations for his prediction.

I was frankly so impressed that I included a link to the post. That’s a lot of extra work when I’m on my first cup of coffee.

Remember this, boys and girls – if you’re going to build castles in the air, take a micrometer to ensure the dimensions are exact. And be prepared to defend your assertions for those dimensions.

Just between us kids, the whole “Ice Bucket Challenge” thing is kinda stupid. If you want to give money for ALS [which we used to call Lou Gehrig's Disease before we knew there was an easy three-letter acronym for it] just go here. You don’t have to dump water on yourself or anything.

If you’re using an Android phone, you should know this: Android is less secure than iPhone.

MacDaily News has a link to an article that says Android apps can attack each other and steal information inside your phone. If you follow the link, the site you get to is called Tom’s Guide. Scrolling down you come to the next post “Windows Store Infested with Fake Apps.” Then if you continue to scroll down you’ll find “10 Percent of Chrome Extensions may be Malicious,” and “Reveton Malware Revs up its Game.”

That last one is only three-days old. It states that computers infected with a Reveton thingy called “Pony Stealer” can be made into botnet zombies  that steal passwords, bit coins, make your cheese moldy, burn out the light in the refrigerator, and make all your nuts and bolts metric and all your wrenches standard.

The reason I haven’t heard of it until now is it infects Windows Operating Systems, which you have to pay for. Those of us who can’t afford pay-to-play operating systems get left out of all that fun.

I’d also like to report that I have installed Yosemite Sam beta 2 into my Mac Book Pro. I’m still not having any problems with it that are worthy of note. I like the way the new interface looks. I’m anxious to be able to use the continuity stuff with iOS 8.

For those of you who are wondering about the “Feed the Cat” app, it still has to be done manually and the noise it makes is still irritating as hell.

I could listen to this guy all day long.

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Slimy, Silly, and Stupid (not family friendly)

August 16th, 2014 · General Detritus

The Westboro Baptist Church was, naturally, going to protest the funeral of Robin Williams because they’re assholes. Protesting the funeral of Robin Williams would have been pretty good publicity for a bunch of assholes. They refer to him as a “fag pimp.” A group called Planting Peace, which ironically lives right next door to the WBC in Kansas put on a fundraiser to thwart the ministry of misanthropes.

Money collected in the fundraiser will go to Saint Jude’s Childrens Hospital – one of Robin Williams’ (and my) favorite charities.

Here’s a link to the site for making a donation.

Okay. Back to business.


Michael J. Fox thinks smartwatches are just the thing for tracking your self-care of Parkinson’s disease. Yeah. Okay.

Here’s the thing. If you’re good about tracking what you do to treat your illnesses, the smartwatch will make it easier. If you’re not good about it, the smartwatch will occupy a place in the junk drawer after about two weeks, and you can add guilt about that to your regimen.

Apple has added Vice Presidents. Something about diversity. Lisa Jackson and Johny Srouji seem to be non white-anglo-saxon protestants. I can’t tell with the other guy, Paul Deneve. From his bio he seems like a white male. Difficult to tell how he represents diversity from this angle.

I’m sure they’ll all be just lovely at whatever it is that they were hired for.

Beats me.

Peter Cohan of Forbes is of the opinion that the iWatch is “all hype and no delivery at this point.” Peter Cohan of Forbes is also of the opinion that this says something negative about Apple.

Dear Peter Cohan of Forbes,

Apple has never said there would be an iWatch. Apple has never said they were working on an iWatch. Apple has never publicly admitted to even knowing what the hell an iWatch is supposed to be.

In other words, all the hype is coming from elsewhere. If Apple ever does release a smartwatch, and if they call it an iWatch, you will be able to write about it with some knowledge of the actual product if you care to.

As things stand, anything you say about a nonexistent, mythical product and its market potential can only be as meaningful, informative, and entertaining as a fortune cookie. The bar is fairly low. You missed.


Your one functioning brain cell

P.S. While I was thinking about this, you slobbered on your tie. Sorry.

One of the all-time greats.

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It’s Coming

August 13th, 2014 · General Detritus

There’s an Apple event coming on September 9 in San Francisco. At least if the rumors can be believed, and, you know, rumors are everything when you’re talking about Apple. So if we do the arithmetic that’s 26 days from today.

Between now and then I have two Fridays off and I’ll be celebrating my and my daughter’s birthdays. I’ll put new tires on my car before that. The regular pro football season will start. On the day of the event it will have been five days since the Seahawks played the Green Bay Packers.

In other words, I’m having a real hard time working up any enthusiasm. This is amplified by the fact that all anybody has is a rough guess what Apple might unveil or do or say at the event. It could be just Tim Cook and the SVPs singing Broadway show tunes for all we know. And that’ll be okay if they don’t focus too much on Cats and Rent and at least do a few classics from Mame, Oklahoma! and The Music Man.

It sounds like the iPhone 6 and 6C are approved in Thailand or Taiwan or Tae Kwon Do or something like that. I read it somewhere and forgot where.

There’s a lot of talk about diversity in the world of technology. It turns out that the majority of geeks and nerds are white males. For some reason, liberal, guilt-ridden white people – and professional victims who aren’t personally interested in computers but think they deserve some kind of compensation because they are victims of discrimination or something– think this is a problem.

I’m willing to bet half a package of organic uncured wieners that there isn’t a single successful tech company who actively discriminates based on color or gender or sexual preference or religion or favorite food or whether you’re wearing socks that match your pants or any other parameter except attitude and aptitude when hiring. This isn’t to say there are no bigots in human resources, but there are procedures in most companies to eliminate that kind of crap,  so it should be minimal.

The whole diversity thing just gets under my skin. If you’re good at what you do, just work hard to do it well and you should be just fine. If you force everyone to focus on what you are, and you think you need to have some kind of accommodation for what you are, and you need to constantly remind everybody what you are, that’s going to take time and energy away from what you do. That should negatively affect your employability because it annoys people, and annoying people is not profitable as a general rule of thumb.

Now if you have an actual disability, that’s different. My daughter, for example, has an actual disability. She’s had a hearing loss since birth, and she’s worn hearing aids since the second grade. This has held her back terribly. She was almost 25-years old before she got her doctorate and her own audiology clinic, and she was over 25 before she started as an adjunct professor at a university. So I understand about disabilities. They’re different.

If you think you’re owed anything at all because of what you are, or what’s been done to others who claim to be what you are, then your focus is off of where it needs to be. Your focus needs to be on doing what you do.

And if you’re a company trying to make money, you’ll want to hire the best applicants at doing what you’re hiring them to do. It shouldn’t matter if they’re gay, black, female, Christian, Muslim, pagan, left-handed, or stamp collectors. And by “shouldn’t matter” I mean those things should not even be considered in the process.

Now, if you’re hiring someone to be a Presbyterian minister, Muslimness would probably be a disqualifying factor. Also, only males need apply for any job that requires the use of a penis. I don’t know of a job function that actually requires the use of heterosexuality outside of the porn industry, but in those cases it would seem reasonable to discriminate on that basis. If you’re trying to sell suntan lotion, you probably have some preference for the shade of a persons complexion in the ads. Aside from that, though, there are precious few reasons for discrimination. That’s different than “diversity” which suggests that people should be hired for reasons other than their ability and willingness to do a job.

That’s hogwash.

The more I read, the more convinced I am that talking to women is sexual harassment. If she thinks she’s being harassed, you’re guilty. They want you to give them the same respect you give other men.

Seriously. The same. Try that. Give a woman at work a nickname and only call her that, especially when you’re out for drinks. Laugh at her clothes. Do rabbit ears behind her while she’s standing in someone’s cubicle talking. And when you’re talking about the boss, keep it light – grab your package and say, “I got your sales projections spreadsheet right here.” You go first.

Let me know how it works out for you.

R.I.P Robin Williams


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Random Observations of the Planet

August 9th, 2014 · General Detritus

Big news. John Gruber says the iWatch will be introduced next month. Well, he doesn’t actually say “iWatch.” He says “wrist wearable thing,” but you know, it’s the same thing as saying “iWatch.” The blurb on Daring Fireball is a comment about The Verge babbling about the Moto 360.

I don’t mean to be rude, but that’s one giant, butt-ugly, lump of stuff to put on your wrist. And it has a watch face. Seriously? Watches are so 2005. The time is on your phone in your pocket, or you can look around almost anywhere and see a clock.

The really interesting part of the whole thing is that Motorola has joined the “Let’s beat Apple to the punch” crowd by devising an electronic thingy that you wear on your wrist. Wrist-borne electronics are spreading faster than Ebola, and yet nobody seems to care.

There are several reasons that the wrist-wrap accessory idea is such a colossal failure so far.

  • They’re all fugly.
  • They don’t do anything you need done.
  • They do things you don’t need done.
  • They are annoying.
  • They are the size of Rolexes.
  • They are not Rolexes.
  • They are big fucking lumps of years-old technology.

Or – short answer – there are more compelling reasons to not waste your money than there are to own one.


Apple and Samsung are making nicey-nice on all their lawsuits outside the U.S. My guess on the reason is that Samsung isn’t going to honor any of the court decisions made outside of the U.S. anyway, so why spend the money? But who am I?

There’s a report that Russian hackers have stolen more than a billion email passwords. If somebody can get them a note, I’d like to buy mine. I can never remember it.

There’s a rumor of an “Apple event” on September 9. It’s a Tuesday. Here, locally, that means the cafeteria is serving tacos.

Iowa state fisheries have found longear sun fish in the state. And you thought Iowa didn’t have longear sunfish anymore.

In Americus, Kansas, a woman was airlifted to Topeka because of injuries suffered when she was attacked by a pit bull. Just when you thought it was safe in the heartland.

And according to my sources, if you still have a preference, Mary Ann and Ginger are still acting. They’re in their 70s, but they’re still out there. Dawn Wells (Mary Ann) has been busted for pot, but still lives in Idaho; Tina Louise is still doing movies. They’re the last surviving castaways.

I was always partial to Mary Ann. That fact that she’s been busted for pot in Idaho does nothing to diminish that.

No, really. I’ve been all over the innertubes and I can’t find anything Apple-centric to make fun of.

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I Lied. Again.

August 3rd, 2014 · General Detritus

This is the second post of the weekend because I didn’t feel good enough to travel for the reunion. And because I just feel like typing.

Apple Insider is reporting that Al Qaeda prefers Android over iOS. They’re price shoppers, and Android phones are cheap. That only makes sense. If you’re going to blow up a phone, why spend a lot of money on the phone when that money could be better spent buying additional and more powerful explosives.

Also over on Apple Insider I noticed they’re reporting that initially supplies of the iWatch could be limited.

A device that doesn’t exist yet, and has not been officially even mentioned by anyone at Apple, may be in short supply. There are scads of artists renderings of what the iWatch might look like. There are no pictures from Apple.

Also, the iPhone 6 may be coming soon. Woot. This is one the punditbot class might get right. The next number in the sequence after five is six. Kinda hard to screw that up, but if Apple were to – for reasons known only to them – change the naming protocol for phones. The punditbots would be in total disarray, and of course they would call for Tim Cook’s ouster. That would be the only reasonable response, after all.

I’ve just spent the last 30 minutes or so reading Apple Insider. To be fair, I’m just waiting for my bacon to crisp up a bit in the oven, so it’s kind of accidental research.

It’s legal to unlock your cell phone again. President Obama signed the law into effect. Meh.

It’s also legal for Apple to tell you to shove your unlocked phone up your ass because you violated the EULA – End User License Agreement – you never bothered to read. That violates the terms of your warranty. That means you’re pretty much on your own if your unlocked phone which you still owe five-hundred bucks for doesn’t work anymore.

So this law should be of benefit only to those ubergeeks who don’t need tech support when they purposefully bollix up the works.

Not me.

The term “planned obsolescence” has been used by pundits in regards to digital hardware – iPhones and such – and then the possibility discussed seriously amongst them. In case you need further evidence that the pundit class has less aggregate mental acuity than an average coffee cup holder, this should do it.

Moore’s law may or may not last into the 21st Century, but there is no question that the power of computers is still increasing at a pretty good clip. And if you have a five-year old piece of digital processing hardware, it’s time to get a new one. That’s not planned obsolescence, that’s progress.

I’m saving up my milk money for a Mac Pro and a badass monitor when my iMac finally won’t run the latest OS. And I’m definitely going to upgrade to the next iPhone. Because I can.

Planned obsolescence.

Morons with keyboards.

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It’s gonna be August in the Morning

July 31st, 2014 · General Detritus

Apple still hasn’t released the iWatch, the iTV, the iCar or a Dance Remix of the Soundtrack to Oklahoma!

I’m frightened, Auntie Em.

Not Really.

I haven’t heard lately how Android is kicking Apple’s ass in the world marketplace. Have you? I mean, I’m sure it still is, but nobody is talking about it much anymore. I did just read that Ford Motor Company is going to buy all of their employees who they used to provide with Blackberries iPhones. I’m willing to bet that most of the employees that were carrying company-provided Blackberries already have their own iPhones to, you know, actually do things. Then all Ford really has to do is say, “Hey. We’ll handle your mobile bill from now on and you can get to carrying just one thing around all day.”

But I’m just guessing.

I wonder how many Blackberry and Samsung employees carry iPhones, and use them when nobody’s looking.

I don’t know how many of you are investors, but if you are, go take a look at Nvidia [NVDA]. They’re deeply involved in the technology of driver-assisted car stuff, and I think they offer a ground-floor opportunity in driverless car technology.

Up to you to do the due diligence. I did some reading. I bought some.

This is Apple’s fiscal 4th quarter – back to school. The first quarter starts in October. It includes the holiday season. I just thought I’d mention that because the later we get in the year, the less time Tim Cook has to introduce the metric ass ton of new goodies he’s been promising. And if he’s not going to introduce new stuff in the next few days, it must not be exciting scholastic stuff.

That can only mean sexually alluring gift-giving ideas are in the next wave of Apple goodies – technology you want to put under the tree and inside of decorous underwear nailed up above the obsolete combustion chamber (or reasonable facsimile of same).

I’m thrilled.

Not really.

Deep Somethingorother isn’t giving me any good information lately. Although, based on information I’ve received so far, I’m pretty sure the iTV is going to feature the Newlywed Game channel, with an option to watch, 24/7, the episode where the wife says, “That would be ‘in the butt,’ Bob.”

I’m still playing with OS X 10.10 Yosemite Sam on my MacBook Pro. It still works fine. I’ve noticed Safari and Mail do some goofy shit from time to time, but it’s stuff that’s on the minor-annoyance level and that quickly corrects itself. I’ll let my bitchier beta testers snivel. I haven’t gotten an update yet to fix the little boo-boo with my JBL Flip, but I have a nice set of amplified speakers in my office that plug into the audio-out jack and do the job pretty well so it hasn’t really caused me a problem.

This just in: John C. Dvorak has predicted that the iWatch is going to fail. I read about this over on MacDailyNews. They have a link to the story, if you really need to fund blatant, flagrant click bait.

There is no iWatch. Apple has not announced the existence of a plan to make an iWatch. Add to that, I’ve been reading John C. Dvorak predicting the demise of Apple since about 1987.

JCD is routinely wrong – for almost 30 years. I don’t know how he missed his calling as a stock analyst. He would have fit right in, except that he might just be a moron. Recent information shows that may not be the case for analysts.

For those of you who read regularly, you already know I think stock analysts are an insult to practicing village idiots all over the world. Well it turns out they’re not just dumber and less useful than an equivalent mass of candy wrappers, they’re also dishonest.

I present this column from Philip Elmer-DeWitt.

The story pretty clearly explains that the analysts make up numbers based on guesses and political necessity. It’s good, then, to listen to them to get a feel for what might happen based on their phony-ass estimates, but it’s bad to have any faith whatsoever in the validity of their observations.

All that said, I’m going to a 40-year class reunion this weekend. Most of the attendees will be people I have not seen since high school, mostly because I left town and never went back. So, this is the weekend post.

With that in mind, it’s time for some badass rock. If you don’t think Led Zeppelin is badass rock, you’ve come to this blog by mistake. Apologize and move along.

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