Sunday, November 18, 2007

So Much Weird

Tagged: I am to post 7 weird things about myself.

The rules are:

A). Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
B). Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.
C). Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
D). Let each person know that they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1) I usually have about 150,000 completely inappropriate and not apt things to say at exactly the wrong time.

2) I get lyrics wrong. With a fervor that is un-ending. I mis-heard what was really "Push it, make the beat go farther." My version was much more apt considering Ms. Manson's hotness, use your imagination.

Seriously, she's making my beat go farther right now.

3) I get names wrong all the time.

4) My dry risk-taking humor is hilarious. (right?) I am always willing to risk anything for a laugh, despite my amazing charm and rugged good looks.

5) I can't rollerblade or ice-skate backwards. Forwards I am great.

6) I never drank anything until I was 28.

7) Haven't you heard enough? I am not sure this is so weird, but sometimes, to concentrate, I have to keep my ears busy. I always listen to music at work while coding. It's like it distracts part of me that needs constant novelty, so I can get some stuffy logic done.

ok I am going to tag the following blogs:

1) because I enjoy the programs and maybe just typing something won't take too much time
2) Skepticality...because there are at least 2 of them so maybe they have 14 weird things...
3) Dooce...because someone should! And I used to live in Utah so, Semper Fi Lehi. That just rhymes, I am from Sandy.
4) Belaja! (or Open Vein) I like British stuff and there really needs to be more posting there.
5) Sister Mary Lisa: world traveller
6) Sarah Bellum... there can't be anything weird about her!?
7) Anyone else I missed, yes that means you, so get postin'.


Saturday, November 17, 2007

NBC on Apple

I was pleased to find the NBC Nightly News back on the iTunes music store.

I really like NBC News. I primarily watch the Nightly News, though sometimes I watch the Today Show and occasionally Date Line and Meet the Press. I also enjoy the many NBC Universal television shows found on NBC and other networks as well.

I have renewed my Nightly News subscription on iTunes. I watch every minute of every broadcast, including all the promotional information. I understand NBC and Microsoft have had a long standing relationship.

I am an Apple Mac OS X (Leopard) user. It doesn't matter to me that I like NBC News and that there is a partnership with Microsoft. I use Microsoft software on my Apple computer, like Word, Excel and MSN Messenger. Sometimes I need PowerPoint, Entourage (the Microsoft Exchange and internet email client for Mac OS X), especially at work. I rely on Microsoft's Remote Desktop Connection software on my Mac OS X workstation at the office.

Apple's Safari browser, Quicktime media software and iTunes music jukebox/ store client software run on both Windows and Mac OS X.

Most people know all this. I say it to point out that I do not see that being an exclusive Mac user puts me in a camp of necessarily hating Microsoft. There are actual useful harmonies and conveniences to using the Microsoft software, especially in a world where so many people use Windows.

I will never use Windows. It's not political, it's just rational. The Apple Mac OS X ownership exeprience is just so much better in its entirety. Having used everything ever, I know what works best and causes the least stress and annoyance.

This means that any media outlet that is Windows only will never get my money. Here I am!

As a Mac user who likes NBC media, I want to be able to buy Heroes, Chuck, Las Vegas, Late Night with Conan O'brien, Madden Sunday Night Football, Bionic Woman, Scrubs, The Office, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, JourneyMan, My Name is Earl and all the other great NBC content on the iTunes music store.

I want to be able to sync my favorite shows to my iPod or iPhone or Apple TV (HD Digital Video device).

To me, my Apple digital lifestyle and the highly desired NBC content are a perfect match. I know I have blogged about this before, but I just have to make the point on behalf of many others who may feel the same way.

If NBC keeps the Apple channel open it would just be a little extra. This channel is not the same as the DVD sales channel. People who watch live will still watch live. People who DVR the shows will still do it. I would bet the almost anyone who buys the DVD's will still do so. Many times the serious fans will buy iTunes seasons AND the DVD collections later. DVD releases will probably have higher quality media than the music store (especially as Blue Ray becomes more popular...or HD DVD..which sounds like a disease to me for some reason). People will also buy the DVD collections for the exclusive content they hold.

I am ready and waiting to buy at least the shows I have bought last season, and maybe more, if NBC will just concede that the pricing is in the right zone and the revenue stream, however small, is additional to their other channels of distribution.

Be creative, NBC! Offer something more and negotiate a higher price for it with Apple, like true 720p downloads could be a place to go when negotiating for a little higher price, even if it's for an introductory period.

I hope they can work it out.


Friday, November 16, 2007


Don't get me wrong. I like It seems its purpose in life is in harmony with my values, like debunking myth and rumor by shining the cold light of reason on ALMOST everything.

I have noticed a strange phenomenon. It is that some of the most credulous people around are the first to jump to snopes and wield that racket to deflect any notion anyone has of believing something without proper reasoning, research and evidence.

It is always the most pious, religious, believing person in the office or peer group, often a female, who snaps up the snopes and hands them about like a super rational truth machine.

To use a handy biblical reference...they are so quick to reach to pluck the mote (sliver) from another's eye without seeing the beam (timber!!!) in their own eye.

There should be things on for these people like:

-There is no evidence Jesus existed
-The Earth is ACTUALLY far older than 6000 years!
-Humans do share more DNA with Chimps than rats do with mice!!!
-Christian symbolism may very well have been derived from ancient astrology and astronomically observable phenomena...I'm just saying.

What good is Snopes if it does not cause the most duped most credulous among us to be nudged? They, in fact, curiously love this site. Probably because it does not ask them to use the same standards of evidence and level of scrutiny with their own irrational beliefs as it does with others.

Yes, if you read me you know I read the works of scientist/ authors like Sagan and Einstein etc. Sagan talks about how believers cling to the gaps in scientific knowledge as a place to wedge in the role of God. It is true, Science is a way of thinking and arriving at understanding through a rigorous method that has a high standard of evidence and requires experimentation. Science is not a complete explanation of all that ever was...though I think it strives for this.

So there are gaps in the scientific knowledge. Religion has a tendency to place God in the Gaps. "The God of the Gaps" as Carl Sagan says. When science bridges these gaps and fills in this knowledge, the need for that god (now lower-case) disappears.

Every Christian agrees that Zeus and other gods were quaint ancient metaphors for celestial bodies, or astronomical events that were used to explain all that was not yet understood like tides and seasons and fate and events.

The trouble is, no one dares to see the myths of our own time. That Jesus is a character that came from myths that have symbolism for the Sun, solstice, seasons and ages. Jesus may only ever have been a character in fables of Sun worshipers and astrologers.

There IS evidence to prove that our fables our also fables, just like the ancient Greek and Egyptian mythologies. For some reason many just don't want to know it or consider it.

Maybe ignorance IS bliss.


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Ye Olde Printing

What is DPI? Dots per printing. Which is akin to pixels per inch on a screen.

So why do we need paper for documents? Of all the reasons paper isn't better than up to date live information, there are two advantages paper still has.

1) It keeps information in a fairly stable way, long term, without continual or even the apparent subsequent need for energy.

2) The resolution of printed information is higher than our screens can display.

So let's discuss these things. Keeping paper dry and stable for a long time does require energy. Reading a printed page requires energy from lighting and printing the page required energy in the first place. This information is already in our computers which require energy to retrieve it and view it anyway.

Also, printed pages impact the environment by using up trees and the process of manufacturing paper. Which, again, is in addition to that required to manufacture the computer.

The printed page is not up to date. A friend of mine told me about an executive that rushed to his office to tell him a report was not up to date, slamming a stack of pages on his desk. My friend re-ran the report on his computer and sure enough it was up to date. "Your paper is 2 days old", he informed his boss.

So now we are printing many more than just one version of things. That multiplies the energy needed.

Now to the other issue. The sharpness or resolution on printers is better than our screens have been. Screens typically have had 72 or so dots per inch of screen space. While printed pages have 150 to 300 dots per inch or even much higher.

A 150 DPI page is good enough for a high school term paper. 300 DPI is good enough for black and white fonts in a professional environment. 600 DPI might be what you want for full color imagery or even photo prints.

Consider this:

The iPod Nano has an awesome 200 pixel per inch screen. What if they made a tablet that has this kind of resolution expanded to 8 1/2" x 11" ? That would be a device that could begin to replace paper. Vector based media would scale to use as many dots as are there and a full page could be displayed as legibly as a print out but on a screen. Adobe's Portable Document Format renders this way. That should reduce the need for paper. Soon even 300 DPI and 600 DPI screens will be available further removing the need for the many office uses where paper offers no advantage.

Someday screens will replace printouts. Like on Star Trek the next generation, we will all carry around tablets. Hopefully we can do it with some style, especially if Apple makes it.