News that is currently making me rarr:
1. Strava getting sued by the family of a guy who got himself killed riding like a maniac downhill because he wanted his KOM back. It’s not Strava’s fault he was an idiot. (If I ever kill myself riding like a maniac in search of a QOM you can call me an idiot too.) And don’t tell me it’s not nice to speak ill of the dead. Dying doesn’t all of a sudden turn an idiot into a genius. (Or, for that matter, a gang member into a “good kid” or an asshole into a “nice guy”, although those have nothing to do with this particular guy.)
2. Netflix potentially being forced to provide closed captioning. At the risk of sounding like I hate disabled people, which I don’t, but if someone reads this and concludes I do it won’t matter if I say I don’t anyway, if this goes through it will open a huge can of worms. You know those ADA lawsuits that put mom and pop shops out of business? Now imagine that for the internet.
3. An injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10.1. By “virtually indistinguishable,” I believe the judge actually meant to say, “I am a technology n00b,” which leads me to an even larger rant about how our lawmakers don’t understand technology enough to legislate it, and, more importantly, innovation, properly. Speaking of which, the practice of stifling innovation with lawsuits using patents granted by people who don’t understand them is, in a word, disgusting.
I was going to say that these things make me rarr because I can’t do anything about them, but I suppose I could go find the family, the lawsuit plaintiffs, and the judge, punch each of them on the nose, and tell them to quit being a poopiehead. But that might hurt my hand, and poopieheads are not worth hurting my hand on. So rarr.
Rarring doesn’t make me feel better, but run-on sentences do.
I have an .mp4 I want to watch on the iPad. How do I accomplish this?
Drag-and-drop: Nope. There’s no such thing. Too convenient.
iTunes: I don’t want to install iTunes to sync one file. That’s overkill for what should be an easy task, and I really don’t want to sully my newly installed OS with a giant app I will rarely use that wants to update itself every time I open it. Also, iTunes was never able to find the iPad on my old OS. How do I know that after sullying the system it would even work?
Box.net: I use this to sync all my other video files to the iPad. Unfortunately, this file is too big for my free account. It seems silly to pay for an account to do an unnecessarily complicated equivalent of drag-and-drop.
Dropbox: I use Dropbox for NCWHL files and I can’t sync two accounts on the same machine. I could upload the file to my Dropbox account through the website, but I’d still have to install Dropbox on the iPad. Then I would have TED videos downloaded through the iTunes Store in the Videos app, most of my videos obtained by other means in the Box.net app, and a single video that should belong with the Box.net set in the Dropbox app. WTF.
FTP/Network Transfer: I started looking for an app to do this, then wondered why I was wasting my time trying to solve something that shouldn’t be a problem in the first place.
Why can’t I just freaking drag-and-drop?
Dear company: Please buy me an Android tablet next time.
I was about to tweet yet another rant about the iPad, and I realized I was only going to further mangle the already very dead equine in my Twitter feed. Cry me a river / #firstworldproblem / at least I have an iPad / I didn’t even have to pay for it / I am so ungrateful.
I’m not ungrateful. I’m just astonished. I don’t understand how a device that has on so many occasions made me want to pull my hair out could be so universally revered. If I’d stood in line overnight for one of these things, upon trying to use it the next day I’d want to go back to the store and hurl it through one of those beautiful floor-to-ceiling windows.
*suppress detailed rant about all the things I can’t do on this $500 device*
Instead of wondering ablog about the origin of the phrase “beating a dead horse”, I skipped straight to asking Wikipedia about it. It makes a heck of a lot more sense now.
Hey, look at that, I learned something new today. Thanks, iPad!
I’m not bad at what I do, but I know there are people who are better at what I do, and when I attend a gathering of people that do (or claim to do) what I do, I don’t want to feel like they’re not good at it. It makes me feel terrible about the state and future of our world. On a personal level, I’m disappointed because there’s no one to learn from.
I felt this way about something specific yesterday, but this feeling is by no means specific.
Some Kardashian was all over the news this morning. Something about a divorce? I don’t know. I don’t care. I didn’t realize she was married. What’s her name? Kim? Is there more than one of them? Why is she famous?
On a broader level, even for celebrities who have done something to “earn” their fame, why do people care? How do the marriages, affairs, fashion choices, and body weight of people I’ve never met affect my life? We have entire shows and magazines devoted to this. I don’t get it.
Which brings me to movies, as they are full of “famous” people I’m supposed to recognize. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve had this conversation:
X: Hey, want to see some movie whose name may or may not sound familiar to me?
V: What’s it about?
X: Oh, it’s got name of actor I’ve never heard of and name of actor whose name may or may not sound vaguely familiar.
V: Um, what’s it about?
Oh, and reality dramas. Don’t even get me started on those. Maybe Snookie will get her own post later this month. (I actually didn’t know who “Snookie” was until I got stuck on a cross country flight with a Jersey Shore marathon earlier this year. What’s that high pitched squeal? Oh, it’s my brain cells dying.)
Last November, I wrote about how MROSD removed some rocks at one of the switchbacks on the Saratoga Gap trail.
Last month, State Parks turned Rough Go (pictured below) into a smooth dirt trail.
Earlier this month, I learned that MROSD had transformed the somewhat interesting, mildly rocky trail into Saratoga Gap into dirt and gravel.
I’m reminded of this because of my dinky little ride at Alum Rock Park today. I haven’t ridden there since last year and all little rocky patches of trail I remember seem to be less rocky now. I realized that when this happens, I’m never sure whether it’s because I’ve become a better rider, or because the trails have been sanitized / bubble wrapped to protect us from… nature.
I’m going to go scream now.
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Update: 2011-05-01 @ 7:43 AM
RIP Manzanita trail at Skeggs. I woke to pictures of its once rocky surface covered in dirt with a backhoe on top. I never did manage to clean the fearsome rocky wall. Now it’s just a dirt hill. Another great challenge destroyed by MROSD. I don’t even know why they keep doing this. I say this as a biker and a hiker: Smooth trails are boring. If I want an easy walk in the park, I will go to the park. But I wouldn’t call that hiking.
How exactly does seizing websites for copyright infringement keep us more secure? Am I supposed to feel safer now that http://atdhe.net is http://atdhenet.tv? Because I don’t. Believe it or not, I actually feel less safe knowing that the Department of Homeland Security is spending my tax dollars ineffectively protecting me from… I don’t know, what ARE you protecting me from? Brain rot?
How exactly does not carrying big liquids, presenting my little liquids in a plastic baggy, emptying my pockets of change, removing my sweater and shoes, getting pornoscanned, and being cursorily groped help keep me safe from a Domodedovo-style attack?
At the airport security checkpoint this morning, I thought I was all clear to zip through the metal detector. Then, just as I started putting my stuff on the conveyor, they unroped the backscatter machine and started sending people through there. I opted for a pat-down instead.
The TSA agent actually had a little script attached to his name tag to read to me about the enhanced patdown. Then I walked through the metal detector and they called over a female agent. She gathered my items and walked me over to a quiet little area for X-ray (or security theater prop) averse travelers.
She explained everything she was going to do as she put on fresh gloves. I tried not to laugh when she said, “Since I’ll be using a sliding motion I’ll be turning my gloves inside out to assist with the slide.”
Then came the surprisingly cursory enhanced pat-down. It was far less thorough than others I’ve received prior to the TSA’s “enhancement”. As for “resistance”, apparently that meant the crotch of my loose-hanging jeans, not my actual crotch.
The TSA agent seemed apologetic and embarrassed. I guess this new backscatter BS sucks more for some of them than for most of us.
No thanks to the fog, my flight, along with many others, was canceled. Maybe I’ll get to do this again tomorrow.
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Update: 2011-01-21 @ 12:15 PM
I had to request a pat-down on my return trip Wednesday. Compared to Monday’s experience, there was less explanation and even less patting. Did the agent even check my inner thighs? I really don’t remember. I just remember finding the experience seriously disappointing. The pat-down just feels like more security theater. Do I feel safer? Not one bit.
The week before I left for Oregon, I got a call from Discover Card. Someone had stolen my credit card number to buy flowers and a bunch of electronics. We quickly figured out which charges were fraudulent, they closed my old account, and sent me a new card.
I received the new card a day or two before leaving on my trip. When I called to activate it, I told the CSR I would be traveling between California and Oregon and gave him the dates of travel. He made a note in my account so I wouldn’t have my card disabled by a false fraud alert during my trip.
The day I returned from the trip, I got five phone calls from Discover Card. When I finally had time to reply, I called and spoke with another CSR. My purchases during my trip had triggered a fraud alert.
I explained to him that I had specifically asked for a note to be made on the account about my trip so that a fraud alert would not be triggered. His response was that the alerts were automatic. I asked what the point of notifying Discover was if the alert system didn’t take notes into consideration. He replied that if they couldn’t reach me, a rep would then look at the note and clear up my account. I asked why he didn’t look at the note on my account before calling me. He said the calls were made by the system.
So let me get this straight: Despite letting Discover Card know ahead of time that I would be traveling, if I had still been on my trip someplace without phone reception, my card would have been deactivated and I wouldn’t have had a way to reactivate it. How can I trust a card like that for future travels?
The rep didn’t have a good answer for me, except that there was nothing he could do because everything was automated. I asked to speak to someone who could do something about their flawed system. He put me on hold, and after several minutes his supervisor joined the call. The rep then disconnected his line, and with it, the entire call.
Discover, you FAIL. AGAIN. I tried to help you improve your customer service and you hung up on me.
And you wonder why I don’t use your card much anymore. Yes, I know you wonder, because you keep calling me and sending me surveys about it.