May 15

8 up

No, fuckstick, the reason there has been so much complaining about and disapprobation of Windows 8 is because you wanted hundreds of millions of desktop users who need to get real work done to use a fucking phone interface on their work machines.

Also don’t believe this for a moment – it’s a lie due to the way Microsoft counts licensing.

So let’s pause for a moment and consider the center. In the center, selling 100 million copies of a product is a good thing.

For instance, we use Windows 7 at work and only Windows 7. Yet all of our Windows installs count as Windows 8 sales. Why? Because when a new OS is released, you can only buy a Windows 8 license and then have “downgrade rights” to Windows 7.

Microsoft would’ve recorded 100 million sales if they had released any OS at all, even if said OS were just a single line of code that said, “Print ‘Windows 8 is the shit!’”

And the same is true of OEMs – Dell, HP, etc.

Those 100 million sales of Windows 8 are probably less than a quarter of that actually used in the real world, and maybe far less than that.

Pretty sad when you have to lie about sales numbers.

May 15

Dressing down

I’m not convinced this is necessarily sexism (though I am not saying it is not), mainly because I hear this all the time and I am male.

I don’t do casual Friday and I wear what I call “business goth” most of the time. I wear dark, dressy pants and a dark, formal collared shirt nearly every day.

I also work in IT where often wearing shoes is considered “dressed up.”

Most weeks I get the “Why are you so dressed up?” Or the, “You know, you don’t have to wear that. You can wear jeans” statements about 2-3 times a week, and sometimes more often than that.

I’m pretty sure that most of my co-workers know I am male, so I don’t think sexism explains that.

I don’t wear jeans. I don’t even own jeans. I wear what I want to wear.

I think humans are just naturally good at singling out anyone different/deviant for attention and covert criticism, although of course this can be combined with sexism.

May 15

Touched

I will probably never buy an iphone or similar as I can’t use touchscreen keyboards. I can type – even with practice — 4-5wpm, and often slower.

On a physical phone keyboard, I can do easily 20-30wpm. On a real keyboard, I can usually exceed 100wpm.

So you can see how crippling a touchscreen keyboard is to me. Part of it is that there is no tactile feedback. Another part is that touchscreens often do not respond to my touches due to low conductivity of my fingers (perhaps due to not enough sweat?).

May 14

The Army doesn’t pay much

I just realized today that I make more in an hour now than I made in a day in the US Army.

They did pay for lodging and food so that helps. But still, that’s wild.

And in the army I felt like I had a lot of money because I’d never really had much before.

May 12

Yielding

I yield for pedestrians in crosswalks as long as there are no cars behind me.

But particularly in Florida if there is a car following closely behind my own, I often do not yield because the likelihood of my car being rear-ended at high speed (and thus pushing me into the pedestrians) is extremely, extremely high.

I don’t do anything to endanger pedestrians as some in Florida do, but it is very dangerous to stop a car in the middle of the road here even if you and the pedestrians are obeying all laws.

And when I mention that I don’t do anything to endanger pedestrians, I mean that I don’t swerve or slalom around pedestrians as I’ve frequently observed other Floridians do. If they are already walking across the road and there are cars behind me, I will stop even if I think I might be hit from behind.

I’ve gotten well-practiced at stopping well ahead of where I need to so when the car behind me invariably locks up its brakes, I have room to move up and give the idiot some space.

I’ve driven in Cairo, Egypt, and in many ways driving in Florida is more dangerous.

May 11

Josstastic

Here’s why I and many other people fucking love Joss Whedon works.

Notice anything unusual about this photo of the cast of the new S.H.I.E.L.D tv show? Because it jumped out at the me the first time I saw it.

http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/underwire/2013/05/SHIELD.jpg

There’s no “token” woman! There’s three women and three men. You know how often that never happens? All the time! Except when Joss is doing the showrunning.

The show may be terrible. I have no idea. But I do know I have a lot easier time watching a show that doesn’t feature women as some strange, indecipherable peripheral creatures to be the random love interest at need, and then to disappear again when they are inconvenient.

Also, from this distance and angle, the guy on the right looks like Bruce Campbell.?Marvel's The Avengers?..Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders)..Ph: Film Frame ..© 2011 MVLFFLLC.  TM & © 2011 Marvel.  All Rights Reserved.

Even in The Avengers, Whedon included women that he didn’t have to – he could’ve easily cut Maria Hill (which Colbie Smulders did a damn fine job portraying) in The Avengers movie and no one would’ve noticed.

I wish it weren’t so rare to make it worth commenting on, but in fiction women being the heroes, the ones making things happen, the ones bleeding and fighting alas is uncommon enough that it is extremely noticeable in the best of ways when it occurs.

I would’ve likely watched the S.H.I.E.L.D show at some point anyway, but now I will make a special effort to catch it.

And some people complain, “But, but, but most ‘heroic’ roles in the real world aren’t done by women! This isn’t like real life!” (Which isn’t even true, of course.)

Motherfucker, this it the Marvel universe, which features some 9 foot tall green dude running around throwing 62-ton M1A1 Abrams tanks like Tonka toys and jumping 200 feet straight up into the air. And you’re demanding so-called realism when it comes to female characters? Give me a damn break.

Let’s just hope the show itself is not S.H.I.T.

May 10

Guarding the plants

Not the greatest photo in the world, but this little jumping spider was guarding our plants. Note that I changed the photo a bit – the spider was hanging vertically on the wall, but I thought its eyes looked better if I rotated the photo a bit.

spiderish

Unlike most spiders, jumping spiders have very large, completely front-facing primary eyes and six other eyes that can see in all directions. Pretty freakin’ cool.

May 10

Fri

Instead of “casual Friday,” I want to make an “acausal Friday,” where all effects are separated from their causes.

May 10

Cloudy with a chance of bullshit

This is what will happen to you if you store any of your stuff – mail included – in the so-called “cloud.” Without frequent backup, that is.

instagram

And it is also what happens when you buy anything with DRM – one day, you will lose it all.

And I’ll still have all my stuff.

May 10

Emp of reason

I’m not sure why I was reading this post as it’s about something that doesn’t really interest me, but I am glad I did for this portion and what follows.

I’m frequently confronted with a very seductive, corrupting empirical failing: the tendency to think “that which I cannot measure is not real.”

I see this all the time among the more empirically-minded. Even when statistical tools are used to guard (sort of) against this error of human cognition, people still fall prey to it, and to a huge extent, too.

I’m a weird hybrid – I straddle fields of human endeavor. I’m as comfortable reading a scientific paper in nearly any field as I am an analysis of the transition from Mannerism to Baroque, as interested in art and languages as I am in quantum chromodynamics. It might not be possible these days to be a polymath, but I still try. And sometimes I even succeed. (And no, I don’t enjoy being seen to be smart. I would do this if I were the only person left on earth. Even more so than I do now, as I’d have more time!)

Dancing lightly through so many fields, even if I am not truly skilled in them, I often notice fallacies and errors that others in those fields, having little experience and no knowledge of anything else, do not notice.

This “measurement fallacy” is one I see nearly everywhere. It’s sort of like misogyny that way, alas – once your eyes are open to it, it appears all over the place.

I’m not really sure how to combat it, as you can’t make people see something that is invisible to them. But once you do notice it, it’s just about everywhere.