Monthly Archives: February 2014


By | February 28, 2014

There’s hardly a worse feeling than firing someone you like. I’ve had to do it several times in my career and it is a dreadful thing to have to do. When I worked as night shift supervisor over 10 years ago now, there was someone who was just a pleasant person, kind, punctual and enthusiastic,… Read More »

Hidden costs

By | February 26, 2014

This rent vs. buy calculator from Trulia contains some pretty dubious assumptions in its calculations, making it mostly invalid unless you go in and change quite a few things. And even then, there are some costs that the majority of people will pay that are large and completely unaccounted for. Basically, don’t trust it at… Read More »

Usability and its opposite

By | February 25, 2014

My mind boggles at all the user-hostile unusable software released lately. Even in Mac OS — which I like — some of the decisions are frankly fucking stupid. Such as not having scroll bars. Or having tablet-style scrolling on a non-tablet device. By not having any scroll bar, it is impossible to easily determine where… Read More »

How we’re getting ripped off

By | February 22, 2014

Here’s a post examining the true cost of bandwidth in a worst-case scenario, using as an example a very-expensive 14,000-kilometer undersea cable. I like these worst-case scenarios as they illustrate just how much we are being overcharged for much, much cheaper (by about two orders of magnitude) over-land fiber (on the back end, not to… Read More »

Net loss

By | February 18, 2014

This has to be one of the dumbest articles I’ve ever read, about how supposedly getting rid of net neutrality will help underdogs. It shows an extensive and willful misunderstanding about how bandwidth works, how peering works, how cheap data actually is these days for ISPs and how that cost is falling all the time.… Read More »


By | February 12, 2014

Comcast to buy Time Warner Cable. This will be disastrous for the open and free (what’s left of it, anyway) internet in the US. Comcast has data caps, too, and this will make it all the more likely they will get smaller. Wherever we live next we should make sure it’s not in a Comcast… Read More »


By | February 10, 2014

I hadn’t thought of it this way, but I agree. This is why Windows 8 and equivalents are coming in so heavily. Windows 8 separates those who will handle data and those who will be excluded from any form of competency in this area. I don’t think it’s a formal conspiracy, but like many great… Read More »

DRM == no security

By | February 6, 2014

Another reason DRM is unacceptable. An increase in the security of the companies you buy your media from means a decrease in your own security. When your computer is designed to treat you as an untrusted party, you are at serious risk: anyone who can put malicious software on your computer has only to take… Read More »

NB don’t see

By | February 5, 2014

Well, I just deleted from my bookmarks. What in the hell have they done over there? What is that optimized for? Reading on the side of a cow? Insane designers have apparently taken over the entire internet. There’s about 10 sites left now that I can read without having an aneurysm. How did that… Read More »


By | February 4, 2014

Here is a good example of several false dichotomies that seem on the surface very convincing. One of the most common human cognitive failings is falling victim to false dichotomies in arguments, as they are very powerful. That framing just utterly bamboozles our brains. Even very smart people fall for this rhetorical technique routinely.