Happy Hump Day

well, we’ve all made it though another mid-week hump, so let’s sit back and take a moment of reflection… hmmmm… yeah…

a few more random booties:

happy hump day!

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Ivy League Schools Are Overrated

Ivy League Schools Are Overrated. Send Your Kids Elsewhere.

“Super People,” the writer James Atlas has called them—the stereotypical ultra-high-achieving elite college students of today. A double major, a sport, a musical instrument, a couple of foreign languages, service work in distant corners of the globe, a few hobbies thrown in for good measure: They have mastered them all, and with a serene self-assurance that leaves adults and peers alike in awe.

A friend who teaches at a top university once asked her class to memorize 30 lines of the eighteenth-century poet Alexander Pope. Nearly every single kid got every single line correct. It was a thing of wonder, she said, like watching thoroughbreds circle a track.

These enviable youngsters appear to be the winners in the race we have made of childhood. But the reality is very different, as I have witnessed in many of my own students and heard from the hundreds of young people whom I have spoken with on campuses or who have written to me over the last few years. Our system of elite education manufactures young people who are smart and talented and driven, yes, but also anxious, timid, and lost, with little intellectual curiosity and a stunted sense of purpose: trapped in a bubble of privilege, heading meekly in the same direction, great at what they’re doing but with no idea why they’re doing it. Continue…

a bit longer than most articles i either browse or skim through, but actually found myself reading through the whole thing… good stuff.

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US: Why’s The Internet So Damn Slow?

Why Is Internet Still So Slow And Expensive In The U.S.?

Most people in the United States can’t get a decent Internet connection. That seems like a simple enough problem, but there is no easy solution. To make matters more confusing, most information floating around about broadband availability is confusing and contradictory. A lot needs to be sorted out before we get decent connections at an affordable price.

Take the National Broadband Map. Many of us in the industry define true broadband as a symmetric connection with at least 100Mbps.  If you believe the National Broadband map, 97% of North Carolina (where I live) has access to 100Mbps.  Yet, almost no one that I know either in North Carolina or across the United States can download at at that speed. (Check my earlier article for a chart of speeds that my technology aware friends shared with me last fall.)

Meanwhile, the FCC’s minimum standard for broadband is set as 4Mbps download and 1Mbps upload, but no one I know considers that true broadband.

interesting read on the current state of “broadband” here in the US… can you imagine how great it’d be if 97% of the country had a 100Mbps connection?



Destiny Beta on Xbox One, Today

saw a tweet last night from bungie and got all excited, so kept checking my email until i got one from them, then went to redeem the code and started downloading the Destiny beta on my Xbox One.

was hoping to fire it up and at least play it for a bit, but the download was taking forever… so finally just went to bed and figured i’d play it later today… damn glad to hear bungie got it running at 1080p @ 30fps like the PS4 version, too.

got a chuckle from this one… never thought of it, but some user asked the guys at bungie if we could get Serenity in the game, and i guess not — awesome idea though! heh.

No skin thick enough: The daily harassment of women in the game industry

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LG’s 18-Inch Flexible Display

LG’s 18-Inch Flexible Display in Action Is What the Future Looks Like

holy hell that’s awesome! been hearing about flexible displays for years now, but i didn’t know they had working prototypes — especially in this size… niiiiice.

just read an article the other day about how 3D was dead, and it was all about 4K… interesting, but at the same time i was like “well, duh”… saw some super slick curved 4K HDTV’s in best buy the other day and just had to pause and watch for a bit… still not sold on the whole curved display thing going on, but the picture really is amazing.

Beard Husks On Sidewalk Indicate Start Of Hipster Molting Season


Titty Tuesday

no reason needed… it’s tuesday, mang.


HK: New Prison Cell Sized Apartments!

Asia’s richest man is building Hong Kong apartments barely bigger than a prison cell

Hong Kong property mogul Li Ka-Shing, who recently said that inequality keeps him awake at night, is building his next property venture for Hong Kongers who are willing to buy even the tiniest apartment imaginable.

Li’s development company Cheung Kong will start selling “micro-apartments” for between HK$1.94 and HK$2 million ($250,000 to $260,000) a unit on July 26. The 196 mini flats, part of a larger development (pdf) of 1,071 units, are among the cheapest in Hong Kong and less than 200 square feet, or around 18 square meters. The smallest of the apartments come with usable area of just 177 sq. ft, including a 97 sq. ft living room, a 13 sq. ft kitchen and a 31 sq. ft bathroom. That’s only about 50% bigger than a Hong Kong prison cell, as the South China Morning Post helpfully pointed out.

i just can never really seem to get over just how fucking small these hong kong apartments are… i know there’s a whole “live small” movement going on in some places, but… damn that’s small.


RWD: Your Only Mobile Strategy?

You May Be Losing Users If Responsive Web Design Is Your Only Mobile Strategy

You resize the browser and a smile creeps over your face. You’re happy: You think you are now mobile-friendly, that you have achieved your goals for the website. Let me be a bit forward before getting into the discussion: You are losing users and probably money if responsive web design is your entire goal and your only solution for mobile. The good news is that you can do it right.

In this article, we’ll cover the relationship between the mobile web and responsive design, starting with how to apply responsive design intelligently, why performance is so important in mobile, why responsive design should not be your website’s goal, and ending with the performance issues of the technique to help us understand the problem.

Designers and developers have been oversimplifying the problem of mobile since 2000, and some people now think that responsive web design is the answer to all of our problems.

We need to understand that, beyond any other goal, a mobile web experience must be lightning fast. Delivering a fast, usable and compatible experience to all mobile devices has always been a challenge, and it’s no different when you are implementing a responsive technique. Embracing performance from the beginning is easier.

Responsive web design is great, but it’s not a silver bullet. If it’s your only weapon for mobile, then a performance problem might be hindering your conversion rate. Around 11% of the websites are responsive, and the number is growing every month, so now is the time to talk about this.

According to Guy Podjarny’s research, 72% of responsive websites deliver the same number of bytes regardless of screen size, even on slow mobile network connections. Not all users will wait for your website to load.

ineresting, and a good read as far as responsive web design and mobile goes… though as often the case, it’s usually easier said than done — but even accomplishing one good mobile optimization is pretty damn good in my book, and usually worth it.

i’d still love a nice, simple, clean way of serving up different sized images based on desktop/tablet/phone requests.


IRS Needs Help Destroying Hard Drives

IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 hard drives…

Days after IRS officials said in a sworn statement that former top agency employee Lois G. Lerner’s computer memory had been wiped clean, the agency put out word to contractors Monday that it needs help to destroy at least another 3,200 hard drives.

The Internal Revenue Service solicitation for “media destruction” services reflects an otherwise routine job to protect sensitive taxpayer information, but it was made while the agency’s record destruction practices remain under a sharp congressional spotlight.

Congressional investigators of the IRS targeting of conservative groups have been hampered by the unexplained destruction of emails and other records of Ms. Lerner, the former head of the IRS tax-exempt division and a central figure in the scandal.

The loss of Ms. Lerner’s hard drive also raised broader questions about why the tax agency never reported the missing records to the National Archives and Records Administration, as required by the Federal Records Act.

While those questions remained unresolved, IRS officials signaled plans to destroy tens of thousands of additional electronic records.

after all the shit that’s happened and come out about the IRS these past two or more years, isn’t it a little bit amazing that some hold hasn’t been put on any and all destruction of electronic records (and hard drives)?! i mean, seriously… what the hell.

if the republicans ever get the upper hand, i hope like hell the push hard on passing a Flat / Fair Tax… and while i’m dreaming: term limits, a secure border, an energy bill, and a balanced budget amendment.

NYPD Investigating White Flags On Brooklyn Bridge…


Bill’s Dirty Secret? The Energizer.

Bill Clinton’s secret ‘mistress,’ code name: ‘Energizer’

Bill Clinton reportedly has a buxom blond mistress who visits so often when Hillary Clinton isn’t home in Chappaqua that the former president’s Secret Service detail have given her an unofficial code name: Energizer.

This is according to Ronald Kessler in “The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of Presidents,” due Aug. 5 from Crown Forum.

Kessler is no stranger to the controversies surrounding the Secret Service.

He broke the story that Secret Service agents protecting President Obama in Cartagena, Colombia, hired prostitutes, and put the president in jeopardy.

The book, portions of which I’ve obtained, says none of the normal protocols is followed when Energizer arrives in her SUV, sometimes just minutes after Hillary has left the Westchester house.

you almost just gotta laugh, i mean… do those secret service agents have a sense of humor or what? the “energizer”… haha

p.s. how long until TMZ gets a pic of the energizer?

Federal court rules Obamacare subsidies illegal…

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Some Crazy Ads

most ads are all about selling — boring and annoying… but most of the “controversial” ones you see crop up are usually pretty damn creative.

i still think those ads of various world leaders kissing each other will forever be burned into my brain — i’d almost like the smack the shit out of the bastard that came up with those.

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Gas the Jews!

‘Gas the Jews!’: European anti-Semitism during the Gaza crisis

Since the outbreak of fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, there’s been a wave of street-level demonstrations rallying against the war. These protestors are generally highly critical of Israel and blame it for the current round of violence, but the vast majority want an end to the violence and are demanding it peacefully.

But the peaceful demonstrators are not alone in turning out to the streets over the Israel-Gaza conflict. A small-but-disturbing fraction of the international anger over the war has escalated into outright anti-Semitism: shouting “gas the Jews!” during protests in Germany, attacking synagogues in France, and beating a rabbi in Morocco. These attacks are not new: they come at time when anti-Semitic incidents around the world are worryingly on the rise.

To give you a sense of what’s going on, here are incidents from four different countries of anti-Semitism during the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. The worst reported upswing in anti-Semitism has been in Europe, particularly France, and three of the countries we examine are on the continent.

seems like there’s almost always been a strain of anti-semitism in europe — and throughout the world, really — but it is a little alarming to see it rising once again all over europe of late.

personally, i hope isreal keeps pushing forward and actually takes out Hamas this time around… kinda doubt it’ll happen, but that’s what i would do.

9 questions about the Israel-Palestine conflict you were too embarrassed to ask


Teen Strangled, Man Decapitated

Teen strangled, man decapitated in online sex case

WYOMING, Mich. (AP) — A pregnant Michigan teenager was strangled and her boyfriend was decapitated after apparently connecting with a stranger through the online service Craigslist for a sexual encounter, police said Monday.

The police chief in Wyoming, a Grand Rapids suburb, said that 18-year-old Brooke Slocum was held captive before her death. Her body was found Thursday in the trunk of the suspect’s car. She was eight months pregnant.

Chief James Carmody says her boyfriend, Charles Oppenneer, 25, was found decapitated in a park a day earlier. His head hasn’t been found.

It’s likely that Oppenneer died of some kind of head trauma, but that couldn’t be determined without his head being found, police said.

Emails indicate that Slocum connected with the suspect, 31-year-old Brady Oestrike, through a Craigslist ad and arranged a sexual encounter where Oppenneer would be present, according to investigators.

damn man, wtf?!


Step Up, Microsoft

Microsoft CEO, Seeking Growth, Tells Managers to Step It Up

The day Satya Nadella became Microsoft Corp.’s chief executive officer, he invited several dozen vice presidents to breakfast and had a simple, calm admonition for them: “Can you step it up?”

The engineer’s tone was a departure from the yelling and wild gesticulations favored by his salesman predecessor Steve Ballmer and the razor-sharp interrogations of co-founder Bill Gates. Nadella’s approach underlines the low-key and analytical style he brings as CEO since starting the job in February, as he seeks to revamp the world’s largest software maker. Nadella has unveiled plans to cut more than 18,000 jobs, killed unpromising products and boosted sales of computing tools delivered via the Internet, while seeking to reduce the company’s reliance on software installed on personal computers.

good message to be sending from the top down… “step it up, mang!”

also, seems like some people are downright giddy about the new Windows 8 start menu.

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Lady Wins $23 Billion Lawsuit?!?

Widow: Jury sent tobacco company a $23B message

A Florida widow awarded $23.6 billion in the death of her chain-smoking husband on Monday called the massive verdict a message to Big Tobacco, even though she likely won’t see much if any of the money.

The punitive damages — $23,623,718,906.62, to be precise — almost certainly will be significantly reduced on appeal, if not thrown out entirely, legal experts and industry analysts said. In another major tobacco trial, a $28 billion verdict in a 2002 case in Los Angeles turned into $28 million after appeals.

The figure is a pointed, dramatic gesture, said Cynthia Robinson, whose husband took up smoking at 13 and died of lung cancer at 36.

dude, that’s just fucking insane.

some people might not like tobacco companies, i get it… but when did it become a court of justice’s job to “send a message” with something completely outrageous like this? did they force the guy to purchase the cigerettes with his own money, to smoke two packs a day? she was his wife, so does that make her an accessory?

i’m sure it’ll go to Appeals, and i hope they drop at least 9 zeros from that verdict…

$23 billion… geeeesh, what the fuck.


Star Wars: Force for Change

J.J. Abrams Reveals the New X-Wing in Latest Star Wars Set Video

people were geek’n about this one all day today and i can’t really blame ‘em, since we’re all kind of starving for some new Star Wars foot’age — so yeah, cool to see the guy get into the tie-fighter behind JJ.