(In tribute to and with apologies to the late Hunter Thompson . . .)
We were just outside San Jose when the technology lifestyle began to kick in. Diploma in hand, I was offered a job in Mountain View, as chief IT monkey for an Internet startup. I was sufficiently underqualified that the job presented a compelling challenge, and a great salary, for a cocky young English major from Illinois, so how could I ever refuse? Fellow alumni and I were recruited by the tens of thousands, and found ourselves settling in the Silicon Valley in quick, overpopulated waves in a mad dash for riches; In my mind, we were the ’99ers, the prospectors from out East who had followed the gold rush to California as the original ’49ers had done a century and a half before. (more…)
So, a user has a laptop whose batteries are shot, and he needs a working battery before travelling next week. (more…)
This past week I read an article in the New Yorker magazine about the policy of my government to secretly kidnap terrorism suspects, without any due process, and to hand them over to foreign governments to be “rendered,” which is a euphemism for “tortured.” There are many in law enforcement who have grave doubts about the efficacy of torture. If you torture a man, he will pretty much tell you anything you want to hear. And, you can not use testimony from, or evidence that leads back to torture in a legal trial. Anyway, the article, found in the Feb 14 & 21, 2005 issue, is very long, very engaging, and left me feeling very disgusted and frustrated and just plain old upset. What follows is the last section of the article, that briefly puts a human story to the situation. It is with a heavy heart that I type this out, but the story bears being re-told. (more…)
I am an NPR junkie, and my new place gets awful reception. And for a long time I have admired TiVo and wondered if my life might not be better if I had a DVR for NPR programs. Add to that KQED’s obnoxious plugin/popup window and the fact that I use an older version of RealAudio to avoid Spyware, which stutters and rebuffers all the time, and I have enough motivation to rig up something different.
I have rigged up a simple system to schedule rips of programs broadcast on the KQED audio stream in to easily manageable .mp3 files. If I had one of them iPod thingies I could even listen to the radio programs on the bus. I might even get around to warezing this to interested friends via BitTorrent and CSS, which would leave us another technical explanation. (more…)