Before long, there won’t be anyone alive who has left earth orbit, let alone reached or set foot on the moon, our closest neighbor. That is, unless the Chinese get their act together. We reached for the stars and decided it cost too much. We deserve to be stuck on this rock with each other.
Newer: Apple is the GOP of computers
Older: Apple wins lawsuit against Samsung, as jury awards $1B for patent infringement — Apple is evil
This is anti-competitive corporate thuggery and bad for consumers. mjh
After a year of scorched-earth litigation, a jury decided Friday that Samsung ripped off the innovative technology used by Apple to create its revolutionary iPhone and iPad.
The jury ordered Samsung to pay Apple $1.05 billion. An appeal is expected.
Apple Inc. filed its patent infringement lawsuit in April 2011 and engaged legions of the country’s highest-paid patent lawyers to demand $2.5 billion from its top smartphone competitor. Samsung Electronics Co. fired back with its own lawsuit seeking $399 million.
But verdict, however, belonged to Apple, as the jury rejected all Samsung’s claim against Apple. Jurors also decided against some of Apple’s claims involving the two dozen Samsung devices at issue, declining to award the full $2.5 billion Apple demanded.
Newer: Mourning Neil Armstrong?
Older: Two takes on Andy Griffith
I wasn’t sure what to say when I heard about Andy Griffith’s death (first from Fred Reiner). Like my cohort, I grew up with Andy of Mayberry. I’m sure my family watched it religiously (an ironic word for my family). I don’t think one can really understand or appreciate those days merely by watching YouTube or reading Wikipedia. Simple, naïve, innocent, unsophisticated times. I much preferred Green Acres, the post-modern Mayberry.
I wonder if I’m the only person Mayberry made uncomfortable. What happened to Mrs Taylor? (Don’t refer me to IMDB or a Wiki page.) Why were so many families incomplete in those days between Father Knows Best and Father is a Bigot (All in the Family)? Did Andy and Helen ever sleep together? Was Otis ever sober? (I have a vague recollection he was once.) Did we ever see any black people? (Am I imagining migrant workers in an episode?)
I hated Barney Fife, the self-important bumbling fool suffered so gladly by Andy. I hated the very odd barber, Floyd — especially his voice. I hated Earnest T Stubbs, the belligerent hillbilly moonshiner. Above all, I loathed Gomer Pyle and shake my fist at the idea that he — of all people — earned a spin-off (a military one, at that). I just threw up a little. mjh
[L]earning of Andy Griffith’s death, a flood of memories came back to me about one particular program. Opie got a new slingshot and killed a bird—I think a robin—and it turned out that it was a female with hungry nestlings. Andy gave Opie a talking to, and Opie felt sad and guilty and tried to do something to save the baby birds. Beyond that, my memories are murky, but I do remember that it reinforced my belief that Andy Taylor was a perfect role model, and I remember sensing a great truth about how even small things we do can have horrible repercussions we hadn’t anticipated. And even the most well meaning, adorable little boy bears an obligation as a human being to repair damage caused by his actions. [mjh: Keep reading at the link.]
Newer: Apple wins lawsuit against Samsung, as jury awards $1B for patent infringement — Apple is evil
Older: Amazon stumbles three time on one order!
I’m a big fan of Amazon. Recently, I bought a Tripp Lite PV150 Portable Inverter with DC Auto Power Outlet. The following is a review I tried to submit but which was rejected:
Amazon is great about returns, which is one reason I buy from them. However, there is something "hazardous" about this device. (Hard to believe.) The package it came in said it had to be shipped ground, not by air — fine. However, when I tried to return it two weeks later, Amazon indicated it cannot be returned and advised me to seek local information on disposing of hazardous waste. I’m not really reviewing the product, I’m warning the next buyer: make sure you want this.
From the guidelines, I understand this review was rejected because it doesn’t focus on the product. I’m not interested in tricking Amazon into accepting this review. I’m simply doubly disappointed. Make that triply, because the rejection advised me to use the Feedback link, but this product is not included in those I can feedback on. I can’t return it and I can’t warn another potential buyer. Amazon failed me.
Newer: Two takes on Andy Griffith
Older: Qwest – CenturyLink Service Disaster
About 10 days ago, we took steps to get rid of our lifelong landline. In the process, Qwest (so much easier to say and type than CenturyLink) offered us deals that made us look like chumps for having paid so much for so little all these years. We stood our ground on the landline, but decided to opt for an upgrade in DSL speed from 1.5M to 7M. Amy in Idaho Falls assured us our old modem would work with 7M, but that she had to order a new modem to ‘trick’ the system, and then cancel that order.
Yesterday, our old landline was disconnected. DSL went down, too, but we were assured that the new speed would be available by 5pm. When we called after 5pm, we were assured it would be by 7pm.
For 24 hours, the DSL light blinked futilely. In that time, we spoke to a half a dozen people and I made repeated attempts to chat online with Qwest service (using a neighbor’s wireless). Understand, I’m very patient, polite, and clear on the phone. Merri could not be more personable or pleasant, as well as thorough. We are not the customers from hell. Each person we talked with seemed helpful but none really understood the problem or had the correct solution. It was tremendously frustrating to have to start over again and again in describing the problem, as if there is no record of previous calls — no institutional memory. However, very late in the process, one rep seemed to see a complete list of our contacts over the past 24 hours. Why didn’t one person look at that and say "we need to do something special"? Why doesn’t Qwest issue an incident number you can enter at the first prompt to reconnect to someone who knows the situation, instead of starting anew with each representative?
Like the uninformed person who told us we could not go back to 1.5M, as if overnight the feature was gone from the earth. Like Ellie, stammering through her script, who asked if I’d called Netgear to discuss the modem with them, and who was rattled out of her script but did the right thing when I said "either give me to a supervisor or hang up — your choice." Like that supervisor, JoAnn, who patiently listened as I said she would be the last person I ever talked to at Qwest: "downgrade the service or get us a compatible modem by 5pm," I said. She apologized and connected me with someone to downgrade our service (rather than recommend a $99 modem), but Eisley had to talk to her supervisor about an odd $25 fee; no follow up. Or Sue J, Tia, and Bambi — all online — who repeatedly forwarded me to Internet Services, which instantly triggered a Remote Support function that plastered a graphic on screen and nothing more — no way forward, no way back. The second and third times I started my chat with "Don’t activate Remote Support or forward me to Internet Services" — yet each time they did. As an aside, the Qwest website is NOT compatible with Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8. (The Qwest website is simply gawd-awful. However, IE10 crashes every day and is incompatible with Google and Facebook, ad nauseum.)
In the end, the fix was simple. Ten days ago, Amy in Idaho Falls should have told us that a new VDSL modem cost only $99. You can’t find that info on Qwest’s website, even if you’re logged in as a customer. Or the tech who switched service yesterday should have known — from Amy — that we had an ADSL modem and configured the system accordingly. This, we got from Johnny in Idaho Falls, whom Merri dubs a hero. Johnny even told us where a CenturyLink store is (a mile away).
I can’t convey the misery, anger, depression, and powerlessness both Merri and I felt over the past 24 hours. We lost most of two full days to this nonsense. But, I know anyone reading this has a comparable story.
Lastly: for god’s sake, don’t run loud endless ads on hold. It’s clueless at best, infuriating at worst, to make me listen about your great service while on hold for tech support over and over and over again. Some VP bought a summer house in Aspen with the proceeds from that idiotic idea. How is it possible that large corporations with vast sums paying VPs hundreds of thousands of dollars can’t provide the service they exist to provide? Management and the board should be very, very embarrassed. Maybe some overpaid suit should steal some ideas from Amazon’s service. Amazon’s going to take everything from the Unservices, if it can continue to avoid becoming like them.
Newer: Amazon stumbles three time on one order!
Older: Some people should not have dogs
I was walking Luke in the neighborhood this afternoon. I heard a couple of whistles and saw a small but muscular brindle pit-bull roaming up ahead, a man following, a second man farther behind. The pit-bull sees us and comes over slowly, head down, licking lips. "Is it friendly?," I ask. As the two dogs circle and sniff, the first man replies, "I don’t know. She’s not mine. I think she belongs to the people across the street." I watch, warily, trying to stay cool. "I don’t want to scare her or she might do something weird," he adds. Weird? Like attack my dog or me? Stay calm. The second man arrives, "I’m sorry, guys, my dumb-ass brother just picks up dogs off the street." He sports the finest prison-style, long baggy shorts falling off, revealing 8 inches of boxer shorts; white tank top; tats and beard that say don’t fuck with me. Just breathe. The thug grabs the dog hard by the collar. "She seems sweet," says the guy who needs new neighbors. "She’s not. She’s already tried to kill two of my dogs. I’m surprised she didn’t attack that dog." WTF?!!! He slaps her flank hard, holding her front legs off the ground by her collar. "That’s not gonna help," says the unbelievably nice guy who needs bars on his windows and doors, "that will just make her try to get away again." I think, speak, say something, confront the ignorant brute, confront the abuser. "She’s going to the pound as soon as possible. I can’t keep her in the yard. She’s already tried to kill two of my dogs.," he repeats. Meth’ll do that to you. Say, "she’ll be better off the sooner she gets away from you." No – we will. Shut up. Stay calm. Let the danger pass you by. Luke just grins and walks on. My hero.
Newer: Qwest – CenturyLink Service Disaster
Older: “People who don’t have money don’t understand the stress” of being nauseatingly rich. Yeah, it sucks to be in the .001% (HT @edbott)
“People who don’t have money don’t understand the stress” of being nauseatingly rich. Yeah, it sucks to be in the .001% (HT @edbott)Wed 02/29/12 at 3:20 pm
Don’t elect a rich guy to fix this system.
Most people can only dream of Wall Street’s shrinking paychecks. Median household income in 2010 was $49,445, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, lower than the previous year and less than 1 percent of Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein’s $7 million restricted-stock bonus for 2011. The percentage of Americans living in poverty climbed to 15.1 percent, the highest in almost two decades. ….
The smaller bonus checks that hit accounts across the financial-services industry this month are making it difficult to maintain the lifestyles that Wall Street workers expect, according to interviews with bankers and their accountants, therapists, advisers and headhunters.
“People who don’t have money don’t understand the stress,” said Alan Dlugash, a partner at accounting firm Marks Paneth & Shron LLP in New York who specializes in financial planning for the wealthy. “Could you imagine what it’s like to say I got three kids in private school, I have to think about pulling them out? How do you do that?”
In Election, WTF?!:
Newer: Mitt Romney is NOT moderate, he is “an extremist for the privileged”
Older: The party of fear and irrelevance