| Sep. 28, 2008
Why the frell did no one tell me about this?
The small print indicates the new series will “revive and expand” the Farscape universe — so no guarantees on John, Aeryn, Chiana, D’Argo, or Rygel. But if it’s the same universe, with the same people behind the scenes involved, I remain optimistic.
| Sep. 27, 2008
The state was kind enough to send me a booklet discussing the propositions on the ballot for the next election. While friends of mine take issue with props 4 and 8, what caught my eye was the fiscal impact of CA Prop 12. It’s a proposition to take out a $900 million bond to help veterans buy homes and farms, which I guess means there’s some truth to the cliché about hardened vets wanting to live on a farm after this war ends.
But I digress. The bond itself is $900 million. The interest paid back on the bond — i.e. the money that goes straight to the lenders, not the veterans, not the state, nor the public, is $856 million.
The interest paid on the bond is 95% of the amount borrowed.
When borrowing money costs nearly as much as the amount being borrowed, there seems to be something fundamentally wrong. Especially since if the state is going to have to raise $856 million on its own, why does it need the bond in the first place?
Hey, a lot of banks are failing. When they make 95% profit on the money lent out, while my “high yield” savings account is in the neighborhood of 3.4%, I really wonder how they managed to fuck up a 91% profit margin?
| Sep. 24, 2008
Work | Sep. 24, 2008
| Sep. 20, 2008
It has come to light that two applications written for the iPhone have been denied a place on the iTunes store, not because of some malicious intent, or because they enable users to violate the law, but because they duplicate features already offered on Apple software. Which Apple doesn’t like.
Daring Fireball has already commented on how the Podcaster app has been rejected though it doesn’t actually break the iTunes SDK agreement (apart from a nebulous part about Apple excluding apps it doesn’t like).
MailWrangler has also been snubbed for “duplicating functionality”.
What I don’t get is if these apps cost extra, and do the same thing as apps Apple includes on the iPhone for free, and people need to buy an iPhone in order to use these apps in the first place… what is Apple afraid of?
Finally, if you’re still confused how apps get approved for the iPhone, The Joy of Tech will spell it all out for ya.
| Sep. 18, 2008
I went to the federal building on Wilshire to get some night shots when security stopped me. I asked them whether what I was doing was illegal and they pointed me to some GSA rules, which I read. Here are the rules in part:
Photographs for News, Advertising, or Commercial Purposes (41 CFR 102-74.420) Except where security regulations apply, or a Federal court order or rule prohibits it, persons entering in or on Federal property may take photographs of:
(c) Building entrances, lobbies, foyers, corridors, or auditoriums for news purposes.
So I am allowed to take pictures of the inside and outside of the building. Pointing this out, I was told “not to look for trouble” and asked to leave. Reiterating once more that their rules stated I was actually allowed to take pictures didn’t seem to get through to them, which is to be expected. So I went across the street.
Al-Qaeda, have at it.
For future reference, here’s a link to The Photographer’s Right.
| Sep. 16, 2008
Here are some pics I took while wilderness camping with three friends in the backcountry of Joshua Tree national park over the weekend.
Read more »
| Sep. 12, 2008
Like pretty much everyone else on the internet, I’m not a fan of DRM. What always irked me about the iTunes store was the possibility that, in some far-off unforeseen way, their DRM was going to interfere with my ability to play the media I bought.
Then about two weeks ago, I learned of a little app called EasyTunes which would happily strip away any iTunes DRM. (And an app called 0xED that strips out your user information.)
Naturally, my response was “sweet, I’m going to buy SO MUCH crap with iTunes now!” Then iTunes 8 broke it. Should have known better.
I was so gung-ho to buy things off iTunes when I knew I could de-DRM it, but now I’m going to have to hold off on all their spiffy new content until the next version of EasyTunes.
| Sep. 8, 2008
Remember that extremely risky stock investment I mentioned a few weeks ago? Well it blew up in my face to the tune of about a 90% loss. And just like in early 2000, my stock market adventures have come to a close.
To put this in perspective, I could have used the money to go out and buy myself a Foster’s — in Melbourne.
UPDATE: Still not thinking about what a fuck of a lot of money that was.
| Sep. 8, 2008
My last host provided 1GB of storage and 2MB for email. This should suit me better.