anarag's blog

a disturbing shade of green

Apple, ah Apple.  Has there ever been a greater idea than power connectors that hold themselves in place with a magnet?

Well – yes, so letʼs narrow it down – has there ever been a greater idea for power connectors (for semiportable appliances) than ones which hold themselves in place with magnets?  I wonʼt actually limit this to MagSafe because MagSafe is not the original nor the only implementation of the idea.  I will say that on the whole I am greatly appreciative of Appleʼs MagSafe connectors, which are generally safer than those which could more easily pull a laptop off a surface (has happened to me) or which might be a worse trip hazard by remaining in place (have watched it happen to others).  This applies to older Apple connectors and to other brands, to other devices than computers, and to non-power connectors on computers generally.  (And especially Appleʼs locking LocalTalk connectors, for those old enough to remember them.)


evil alert

What do you call a site which, to display a page, requires so many hundreds of cookies to be set – or at least brings up so many hundreds of cookie alerts, possibly all doing the same thing – that you simply lose count and the will to ... live with the page, and so go away?


Iʼve been having a discussion around the meaning of slavery, shortly after encountering this intervew with an escapee from the Westboro Baptist Church. Iʼm not quite certain whether this kind of domineering upbringing should count as slavery. But I would think it could, unless knowing youʼre a slave from the outset is an essential characteristic – but if it were, no-one could ever have been born into the condition.


Funniest comment in weeks:

“thanks all, will put amended version into a Word doc for posterity”

Now why is that funny?  Er, because we already canʼt read five-year-old word documents?  Not exactly, I mean, quite often we canʼt read ten second old word documents.

Plone: Born to be Wild

...and free once more to roam...

.ui-widget { font-family: \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'Lucida Sans\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\',Verdana,Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 1.15em; }

Yes: thirty one escapes in a css file generated via zettwerk.ui, as found in the Zope Management Interface ... I assume thatʼs five levels of processing safety.  Impressive?

When the Ink Moves Again (the future of squidgy)

Cory Doctorow suggested recently that Digital Rights Management and its shoring-up exercises may be only the start of a “War on General Computing” to come – in which various interests, probably more powerful than the entertainments industry, will attempt to control peopleʼs use of computers by requiring that they only operate with built-in spyware to monitor and control our activities – no matter how impossible that is to actually achieve in any comprehensive sense.  (And I might add, no matter the problems prohibition and wars always create.)

This sets me thinking:  As others have observed, one area this might happen is 3D printing.  Right now, weʼre in much the same place microcomputing was in the mid-to-late 1970s, with build-it-yourself kits (like the original Apple) being about the most popular way of obtaining them.  We have yet to see the 3D printer equivalent of the Vic-20, ZX81, or BBC Micro.  Thatʼs not to say that there will inevitably be such a thing.  (If history really did repeat itself it would be easier to learn from.)  Itʼs questionable whether there will ever be the kind of demand for 3D printing at home that there has been for computing and 2D printing.  But it can be expected that something like the IBM PC will emerge and dominate the market anyway, because thatʼs what mass-production markets do.  And going by present trends, it will have DRM; instead of USB it will connect with something like HDMI, a cable (or at least an interface) which restricts the actions of a computer, owned by anyone, to those permitted by a Luddite industry association.  There is no particular reason to think that industry associations in this case will be any less inane than the entertainments outfits, so there will probably be something like DVD region encoding too.  Which is one reason why I plan to get in early and get the equivalent of an Apple I (in memory of the days when Apple did not seem like part of the problem).

But thatʼs not what I came here to blog about.

dirty work

Ammpol recently made a comment about unemployment and the “Protestant Work Ethic”, which set me thinking...  I probably have only a vague grasp of the concept – but I assume it has to do with (or descends from) a salvation-by-something-or-other angle on religion as distinct from a supposed earlier (Roman) Catholic salvation-by-something-else.  Itʼs always puzzled me as I had the impression that Catholicism allowed for salvation-by-good-works whereas most varieties of Protestantism seem to be more about salvation-by-grace.  But thatʼs a whole other boring topic, and not one Iʼm qualified to speculate about.  I doubt itʼs really germane to economics, or more to the point, itʼs not the actual “work ethic” we appear to have in contemporary society.


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