Category: Interesting

Mass Link Dump

Something old, something new, all in one big pile. Enjoy!

I Think We Should Charge The Crazy Nut Job With Murder

At latest count, 99,135 illnesses and 895 deaths have been reported from the CDC since 2007 on vaccine preventable illnesses, as reported on the Jenny McCarthy body count. Quoting the site:

Is Jenny McCarthy directly responsible for every vaccine preventable illness and every vaccine preventable death listed here? No. However, as the unofficial spokesperson for the United States anti-vaccination movement she may be indirectly responsible for at least some of these illnesses and deaths and even one vaccine preventable illness or vaccine preventable death is too many.

Reading Material

Few oldies but goodies here (new for me, at least…)

Web Archive, Reddit, Wikipedia, Mozilla, WordPress, etc… to Go Black Tomorrow in SOPA/PIPA Protest

In an anti-SOPA protest, Reddit, the Web Archive, WordPress, Wikipedia and many, many others are going to go black tomorrow. Google is going to protest on their home page and OpenDNS is going to censor some results. I’ve considering blacking out my site, but am stupid busy at the moment (and have been for weeks) and would need to do some tweaks for things to not break. But you can easily black out your site by putting some JavaScript on your site from SOPA Strike or use the index.html file here or this WordPress plugin.

If you’re wondering what the fight is all about, from a technical standpoint, this is a great write-up that I’m hoping stays up tomorrow. If you need a simple explanation of why SOPA/PIPA is bad, here’s a good one:

Sopa is all encompassing enough to include almost any site capable of hosting user content, from Reddit to Dropbox. This means that the government can and will enforce the law very selectively, which is the entire danger of the bill: it’s a blank check.

They could remove wikileaks because some article they link to has copyrighted material, or take down the site of some political watchdog group because one of their videos has music playing in the background.

The lack of due process also allows the possibility that if a site hosts something the government doesn’t agree with, all it would take is an intern uploading a random mp3 to said site to shut it down.

Very dangerous s**t here.

Reading Material

I Had Nearly Forgotten About Apple’s Rainbow Logo

But this Apple gift catalog from 1983 shows the rainbow Apple was on everything from coffee mugs, t-shirts, race cars, carpeted wall-hangings, and kites.

Does Anybody Else See This As A Really Bad Move For Netflix?

You can read the official word from Netflix here, but it just seems that their plan to spin off their DVD-by-mail service into a new entity (Qwikster) is going to kill their hard-earned brand. Nevermind the other hassles that come along with maintaining two similar, but different, accounts on two different sites (I’m sure somebody will create a browser extension or Greasmonkey script to make things easier by pulling content into one or the other).

Personally, this comment is probably the best explanation of all this I’ve seen:

This is great news! My dentist just did the same thing. It’s so much better. Now when I have cavities on my top row of teeth I go to one dentist, and when I have cavities on the bottom row, I go to the other dentist across town. Sure it’s frustrating that sometimes they can’t access my dental records that used to all be in one place, and yes I admit that it seems strange that they now charge me almost twice as much for the exact same dental care I received six months ago…but they are innovators! Besides, what choice do I have? They’re the only two dentists around. Well done Netflix! If it ain’t broke then don’t fix it. Simply hike the price, alienate your customer base and complicate your user interface under the guise of “progress”. Kudos.

That all being said, if it gets me incredible streaming service, I’ll drop my DVD-by-mail service in a heartbeat. If they had their entire DVD library digitized, then I wouldn’t even have to worry about this whole mess. But Netflix’s recommendation engine has found me some cool shows, and I hate to lose that when I have to maintain two separate queues and rating systems that won’t communicate with each other.

Idaho Has Some Nice Areas…

…but with the slowest Internet in the country, you better believe I wouldn’t move there. Sorry, even in the middle of nowhere, I need good ‘net access that isn’t affected by bears rubbing against towers.

9/11: The Photographers’ Stories

Well worth the read: A four-part expanded oral history of September 11, 2001, told by the photographers who documented it .

What Ever Happened To Steve From Blue’s Clues?

He grew up. Anybody who has kids will recognize this guy.