Sleeping Controller Hysteria

The New York Times on the sleeping controller at Washington National Airport a few days ago:

In fact, the vast majority of the nationé─˘s 19,000 airports do not have control towers. At those smaller airports, typically used for general aviation, pilots are responsible for logging into a specific frequency to broadcast their position and their intention to land. Airports that have scheduled commercial traffic, however, are required to have a tower that is staffed.

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posted on 25 March 2011 at 1102aviation0 commentstrackback

Memo to Sarah Palin

Ronald Reagan, quoted in a Sarah Palin press release:

It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.

Memo to Sarah Palin: If you’re going to quote Reagan in a press release decrying “the left” “blaming” you for Jared Loughner’s massacre, you should probably be willing to accept personal responsibility for using over-the-top rhetoric and imagery in campaign literature and admit that you shouldn’t have done that when you were called out for it EIGHT MONTHS AGO.

We don’t let people off scot-free who hire hitmen merely because they didn’t pull the trigger themselves. Inciting violence is wrong, too, and apparently you don’t realize this, or simply aren’t willing to admit that people might have interpreted it that way.

Also, stop being childish by prohibiting NPR from embedding the video. You’re clearly unfit to be anything more than a modern celebutard.

posted on 12 January 2011 at 1437politix0 commentstrackback

The HIG is Dead; Long Live the HIG

Michael Tsai:

Custom UI makes sense when you have a problem that the standard controls and conventions doné─˘t solve, but too often there doesné─˘t seem to be any design benefit from the deviations.

Exactly. This is why Gruber is wrong — as is Apple’s iTunes, to name just one particularly egregious example — and Read the Fucking HIG and Tim Morgan are so right.

posted on 07 January 2011 at 1240computing0 commentstrackback

Voter Fraud in 3…2…1…

The local state senate race is shaping up to be one of the more interesting races this fall, because longtime Representative Robert Jones, who was running on the Democratic ticket against Republican Tonya Schuitmaker, died a couple of weeks ago. Of course, all the ballots had already been printed, and many absentee ballots had already been distributed. Local Democratic freaking-out aside, this caused a great deal of consternation and confusion, since Michigan law discards any votes for a deceased person.

The solution for absentee voters determined by The Powers That Be, apparently, was as follows:

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posted on 28 October 2010 at 1850politix0 commentstrackback

The Internet Death Penalty

If you are one of those people who adds every single e-mail address that passes through your inbox to your address book, and then sends out totally irrelevant forwards and pleas for charity assistance to every single address in your address book, you deserve the Internet Death Penalty. No e-mail, no Facebook, no MySpace, no sports scores, no stock quotes, no YouTube, no Farmville, no NOTHING for five years. If you so much as see the Internet in use, you owe $100 to the continent of Africa.

This has been a public service announcement brought to you by the Free and United Champions of Keeping E-mail Respectable and Safe. We now return to your irregular and unscheduled blogging.

posted on 13 October 2010 at 2032computing0 commentstrackback

Dumbass of the Day

If you are high on crack, drinking alcohol, and driving around lost without a valid license, the last person you should ask for directions is probably…a police officer.

Of course, this is only a hop, skip, and jump away from the lady who set her husband’s go-kart on fire after they watched a Jennifer Lopez movie, so maybe we shouldn’t be all that surprised.

(Hat tip to Dave Barry for both links.)

Red FormanRed Forman Dumbass Rating: Bob (Dumbass) Bob (Dumbass) Bob (Dumbass) Bob (Dumbass)

posted on 10 September 2010 at 1927d'oh, the humanity0 commentstrackback


The New York Times:

That means no pennants baring sports team logos, no Jolly Rogers, no rainbow banners celebrating gay pride and no historic flags showing a coiled rattlesnake bearing its fangs.

Indeed, I’m sure that were rattlesnakes capable of written language, they’d have written themselves a constitution granting the right to bear fangs, especially since fangs are an inherent trait of their species and all, but I do believe the copyeditor over at the old Grey Lady somehow managed to interchange “baring” (uncovering or showing, often in a display of aggression) and “bearing” (bringing or carrying) in this sentence.

(The article has since been fixed.)

posted on 31 August 2010 at 1953language0 commentstrackback

A Modest Proposal

I love soccer, and I’m fully aware that 90% of Americans don’t care about it, but how’s about FIFA grant the ability to the referee, in consultation with the linesmen, to award a goal when an opposing defender (say, Uruguay’s Luis Suarez) commits an intentional handball within the six-yard box, and said infraction is the last line of defense between the ball and a certain goal?

Heck, limit it to within the lateral limits of the goal mouth if you want. But it’s pretty clear to all involved that what Suarez did was a (legal, under the current rules) deal with the devil that cost Ghana the match. If that goal is awarded, Gyan doesn’t miss a penalty, and Uruguay is forced to score in the last few seconds of the game. Suarez himself said the red card and automatic one-match suspension were “worth it”, and no one would argue otherwise — without that handball, the match for which Suarez would earn his suspension would be some meaningless international six months down the road with Uruguay out of the World Cup.

Life isn’t fair, but sport is man’s attempt to construct a framework of fair competition. Awarding only a penalty as compensation after a defender has illegally prevented a certain goal is, well, unfair. Memo to FIFA: fix it.

posted on 05 July 2010 at 2056sports0 commentstrackback

Memo to the BBC

Australia in sex-tourism campaign” does not in any way mean the same thing as “Australia launches a nation-wide advertising campaign to accompany tough new laws against sex tourism.”

posted on 07 June 2010 at 1124language0 commentstrackback

Useless Error Message of the Day

My mom was trying to send a .zip file of photos to my aunt and my cousin tonight. Easier than e-mailing a folder, especially since my aunt uses Hotmail and my cousin doesn’t have a Mac. Gmail’s SMTP server threw up this ever-so-helpful error in Eudora (which is not addressed at all in Gmail Help):

Couldn’t send message; server says “552 5.7.0 review our attachment guidelines. f6sm13922652anb.16”.

The same attachment sends just fine if you change the extension from .zip to .txt.

The ultimate solution? There isn’t one. Gmail, for whatever reason, does not like this file, which was created by Control-clicking a folder of a few JPEG images (all with the “.jpg” extension) in Finder and choosing “Compress”. Hey, Google, a folder full of JPEGs created on a Mac is not a security risk.

Red FormanRed Forman Dumbass Rating: Bob (Dumbass) Bob (Dumbass) Bob (Dumbass)

posted on 23 May 2010 at 2233computing0 commentstrackback