October 25th, 2008


[links] Monster link salad for a Saturday

The pizza post [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ] is drawing a fair amount of comment. Go read, and add your wisdom, if you have an opinion about pizza.

calendula_witch on the issues of reader trust and background knowledge in the critiquing process

Six-Legged Soldiers: Using Insects as Weapons of WarA cockroach-based cyborg developed by Garnet Hertz at UC, Irvine. Movements of the Madagascar hissing cockroach are transferred to a three-wheeled robot via a modified trackball I for one welcome our new cyborg insect overlords. Actually, a fascinating, creepy article.

Low-tech Magazine: A steam powered fish — Cool very retro submarine tech. (Thanks to lt260.)

How could Ilan Ramon’s Diary Survive the Fall from Space? — Fascinating. (Hat tip to Bad Astronomy Blog.)

COROT’s First Look Inside Distant Stars — Surveying the interior of stars not our own. Wow.

Transplanted cornea in use for record 123 years — Immortality in parts? (Thanks to willyumtx.)

Archaic English verb endings and the Book of Mormon — Textual analysis and grammatical history applied to the Book of Mormon, not especially favorably. From Language Log.

Plus, since it’s that time of the quadrennium, lots and lots of politics.

Sarah Palin refuses to acknowledge abortion clinic bombers as terrorists — Disgusting. (I commented on exactly this issue a few weeks ago [ jlake.com | LiveJournal ], much to the irritation of some of my conservative friends. Yet amazingly, here we are, right where I said we were — not pissing off the base by pretending Christian terrorism isn’t terrorism. Are you still proud of your Republican party?)

Religious right group upset over GOP abandonmentThe Family Research Council’s (FRC) political arm ripped Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) Thursday for withdrawing ad spending on behalf of two endangered Republican candidates. Wing nuts being defunded? What has happened to the party of Reagan? Couldn’t happen to nicer bunch. I’m looking at you, Bachmann and Musgrave.

In McCain’s Uphill Battle, Winning Is an Option“The McCain campaign is roughly in the position where Vice President Gore was running against President Bush one week before the election of 2000,” said Steve Schmidt, Mr. McCain’s chief strategist. A Republican is using that analogy?

Ron Howard on the election — Hahahahaha. (Thanks to garyomaha.)

Pro-Prop 8 Protestors in California — The reasoned discourse of conservative principles in action. Or maybe just bigoted hate. You decide.

Media Matters: The clouded wrath of the crowd — Documenting some of the bizarre right wing hate speech emitting from the leading voices in the conservative commentariat. These people have millions of listeners every day. If you can’t win on ideas, you can at least peddle slime. It worked quite well for the GOP during the Clinton years.

Abu Nidal, notorious Palestinian mercenary, ‘was a US spy’President George Bush was to use claims of a[n Abu Nidal] relationship with al-Qa’ida as one of the reasons for his 2003 invasion The article claims Abu Nidal was a CIA asset at the same time the Bush White House was citing him of evidence of Saddam’s links to terrorism.

Body movement: 30 minutes on stationary bike
Last night’s weigh-out: n/a
This morning’s weigh-in: 228.6
Currently reading: The Best of C.M. Kornbluth

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.


[tech] iPhone grr

Well, I finally made the transition and joined the cult of iPhone. Day One with my 16GB iPhone 3G has not been happy. Not in the least.

The iPhone has repeatedly hung, requiring me to power cycle it to clear application freezes in the telephony application as well as the highly-rated SSH application I downloaded from the app store.

Very often I have to tap a command multiple times before the touchscreen responds, a ludicrous problem to have. It seems dreadfully slow to recognize changes in its orientation, which is supposed to be a feature of this device.

The AT&T network here in my area of Portland is notably inferior to the Sprint network I’ve been on — which may be creating some of the other problems I’m having, if network latency is a factor in application behavior. I can’t even make a call from inside the Safeway near my house unless I approach the very front of the building.

Under most circumstances I would just have taken the damned thing back already. That’s three strikes, right there. But I’ve switched carriers to get this phone. Untangling that will be a mess. And almost literally everyone I know who owns one sings high praises, which makes me wonder if I have a hardware lemon. The multiple screen tapping issue, and the failure to recognize when the phone has been rotated, suggest this.

I’ll live with it a few days and see if some of the bugs shake out, but right now I’d give this thing a C- at best. Which is a shame, because I’ve been a diehard Apple fan since 1985, and I waited a long time to get an iPhone specifically in order to avoid early adopter issues.

Are you an iPhone user? Did you have problems like this out of the box?

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.