Saturday, February 22, 2014

A permanent solution to homelessness and welfare

This is an artist's rendering of a small "park" full of tiny, very cheap dwelling units. The article it illustrates is headlined, Tiny Houses for the Homeless: An Affordable Solution Catches On. I've long believed that we need to put up "camps" like these outside of cities, but with bus service several times a day into the city for residents who work or are seeking work -- or are going to school. My thought is that anyone gets to live here as long as they don't impinge on other residents.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Operating Systems Get Less Important Every Day

Last month I posted this article: Cross-Platform Applications Save Time, Therefore Money. This month, let’s ask a related question: “If we use the same programs in all the operating systems we own, does it still matter which operating system we use?” My answer: “Your operating system choice matters less every day.”

I’ve read article after article that said you needed Windows if you wanted to run Microsoft Office. This is no longer true. Microsoft now touts “Office when and where you need it” via, which I’ve tested successfully in Chrome and Firefox browsers, in Linux, Windows, Android, and Mac. So if I ever decide to stop using Google OfficeOpenOffice or LibreOffice, it won’t be a major task for me to switch to Microsoft Office. It won’t even be expensive: Microsoft Office online costs nothing. That’s right. It’s as free as Google Office, OpenOffice or LibreOffice for individual users. 

Read the rest.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Sad Tale of San Francisco Then and Now

Many years ago friends and I liked to go to a place called Hamburger Mary's on Folsom St., which had bikers, drag queens, sissy boys, and all the other assorted life forms who wanted a burger after the bars closed. 

Many years later I was in San Francisco for a LinuxWorld (computer conference) and noticed that Hamburger Mary's was still there. So I went in, sat dow, ordered a burger. Same as I remembered. Good sourdough bread (you could request your bread), a thin slice of tasty cheese, natural-tasting lettuce, a half-handful of sprouts. As California as a burger could be, EXCEPT... I looked around me and saw none of the kinds of people who used to make the city (and Hamburger Mary's) interesting. The damn place was full of tech-type yuppies carrying laptops and cell phones & paying for their food with corporate credit cards. In despair, I called my friend/coworker Rod Amis, another refugee from Baghdad by the Bay, and told him what was going on. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Fighting the War on Christmas

Fighting the War on Christmas
(Alexandra Petri/The Washington Post)

(Alexandra Petri/The Washington Post)

If there’s a War on Christmas, Christmas is winning. I’ve touched on this before. Insofar as there is a war, it’s not on Christmas. It’s by Christmas on everything else. Poor Thanksgiving has been run over roughshod. Now even Wal-Mart employees are being fed dinner and obliged to stay at work for that day, otherwise known as Black Friday Eve.
That’s why I am a vigilante.
I am a rogue. I am a bandit. I am a Thanksgiving Warrior.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Tinfoil hat? Ha! Aluminum is More Modern

When you have an aluminum hat with an adjustable headband, there's no WAY those NSA bastards can pick up your thought waves. Every American should have one!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Our Privacy Has Been Under Attack for Many Years

This is a Slashdot video interview I did with my long-time friend Declan McCullagh about government eavesdropping -- which he and I (and most Slashdot readers) knew about LONG before the recent Snowden revelations.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Do you research products on your smartphone when you're in a store?

"Thirty eight percent of smartphone owners research products while in physical store locations."

This was a flat assertion in a press release I got today. 

I wonder.... I don't see a lot of people with their phones out in BestBuy, Lowe's, etc.

Is that because I live in a techie backwater (Manatee County, FL), or is the PR person wrong? 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Deaths of Manatees, Dolphins and Pelicans Point to Estuary at Risk

MELBOURNE, Fla. — The first hint that something was amiss here, in the shallow lagoons and brackish streams that buffer inland Florida from the Atlantic’s salt water, came last summer in the Banana River, just south of Kennedy Space Center. Three manatees — the languid, plant-munching, over-upholstered mammals known as sea cows — died suddenly and inexplicably, one after another, in a spot where deaths were rare. READ THE REST @ NYT.COM

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Is the American Dream Over?

When I was a child my father worked and my mother only worked part-time. Her real occupation was being a housewife. A real one. In Orange County, no less. This was normal back then.

Dad worked. Mom was in the PTA and volunteered and organized things. So we had an organized society with neighborhood parties and dances and such. It was very nice.

Monday, May 6, 2013