Swimming with the Razorfishes

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Asian call centers just kill me:

Other Person: Your security question is "who was the main character in"?

Me: It is what?

Other Person: "who was the main character in"?

Me: That doesn't seem like the entire question

Other Person: That is what I have here, sir.

Me: Doesn't it seem like something is missing?

Other Person: No sir.

Me: Shouldn't it be something like "who was the main character in something"?

Other Person: I don't know, sir.

Me: Um...ok.

Other Person: I need the answer to the question, sir. Do you want to take a guess?

Me: Is it "Myrna Minkoff?"

Other Person: Thank you. That is what I have here. Now why do you want to cancel your account with us?

I'll leave it to the reader to guess which large domain registrar this was.


I'm getting really sick of these "bloggers." Stop writing about other people doing things. Go do something.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


...and speaking of compression, John Atkinson has updated his MP3 vs AAC vs FLAC vs CD article.


Reznor: Radiohead offering was insincere, industry is inept

I agree. Radiohead disappointed me with the In Rainbows launch. They could have done so much more. There is so much room for innovation in music downloads.

Strangely enough, I just downloaded the Apple Lossless version of NIN's latest, Ghosts.


Speaking of AOL, they appear to be acquiring Bebo. Where do they get the money to do this? Does TMZ throw off that much cash?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Joss Stone

I was just watching a Joss Stone show. As much as I wanted to like the music, I really didn't.

It had an antiseptic quality to it, like someone feigning soulfulness, that annoyed me. That, and she has a terribly narrow vocal ability, had me reaching for the remote.

Her band, however, was great. Particularly the bass player, Pete Iannacone. Excellent.


On a conference call, blowing your nose. Familiarize yourself with the mute button, sir.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Via SAI: AOL "Disintegrating"

What a fucking mess that company is.

Way back when, while I was working for one of the divisions of Time Warner, they delivered one of those "corporate profile" posters to our in-boxes, listing the many "brands" that composed the business. A big constellation of companies revolving around the Time Warner logo, mostly acquired rather than grown.

It was fun to draw a big X though each one as it became clear that the business had shriveled and died. As a technology person, I was particularly interested in the piles of money thrown at tech companies.

  • CompuServe
  • ICQ (this was particularly good, as the company paid $400 million for a company with no revenue)
  • Nullsoft
  • Netscape

..and these are just the big ones. Anyone remember Truveo? Spinner.com? Userplane? MusicNow?

Monday, March 10, 2008


Eliot! Why?

Sunday, March 09, 2008


Via the AP:

"A vast array of pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones — have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans, an Associated Press investigation shows."

Wow. Frightening stuff. The story goes on to list some of the findings:

Officials in Philadelphia said testing there discovered 56 pharmaceuticals or byproducts in treated drinking water, including medicines for pain, infection, high cholesterol, asthma, epilepsy, mental illness and heart problems. Sixty-three pharmaceuticals or byproducts were found in the city's watersheds.

Anti-epileptic and anti-anxiety medications were detected in a portion of the treated drinking water for 18.5 million people in Southern California.

Researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey analyzed a Passaic Valley Water Commission drinking water treatment plant, which serves 850,000 people in Northern New Jersey, and found a metabolized angina medicine and the mood-stabilizing carbamazepine in drinking water.

And then:

A sex hormone was detected in San Francisco's drinking water.

Well, that should come as no surprise.


I'm not quite sure when this happened, but my MacBook Pro developed the very annoying habit of not sleeping.

For as long as I can remember, the MacOS had an Energy Saver control panel that, after some period of time, would put the computer to sleep. This is one of the things about the MacOS that I took for granted; after 30 minutes, the computer would turn off the monitor, spin down the disks, and go to sleep.

With the introduction of Intel Macs, the sleep function still worked, though bit slowly. Intel hardware wasn't quite as sleep-friendly as the PowerPC hardware was. Instead of sleeping immediately, the OS writes the contents of memory to disk, then sleeps. This tends to slow things down somewhat, but it does work.

Or it did.

I don't know if it was the 10.5.2, or one of the many firmware updates, but the computer won't sleep on its own anymore. If I choose "Sleep" from the Apple menu, it does sleep, but it won't sleep automatically. Very, very annoying.

The only thing that got the MacBook sleeping again was to turn off the "safe mode" of sleeping (pmset -a hibernatemode 0), but this isn't a great solution. Apple's support forums have many people complaining about this, but no solutions.

I want to get rid of my computer's insomnia, dammit!


You just shouldn't touch another person's stereo. That is asking for trouble.