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Archive for August, 2008

29
Aug

Update on Gustav

I’m really not sure what I am going to write here. I just got done updating Plagiarism Today with my plans regarding the storm, setting up the linkroll and doing the show notes for the Copyright 2.0 Show.

I’m preparing to leave my office in an hour or two to head home. There, we plan on boarding up the house (the previous owners were kind enough to provide us with the needed wood, pre-cut) and then, most likely, head out.

This storm has me very worried. It’s track takes it west of us, which puts the city on the strong side and puts the West Bank side of the river, where I live, in the greatest danger.

There are a lot of things that favor my wife and I personally, the location of our house, the nature of my closest levees, etc. but with my side of the river being more at risk, I am finding it difficult to consider staying. Read moreRead more

27
Aug

Hurricane Season in New Orleans

Hurricane season is a very strange time in New Orleans. Before Hurricane Katrina, we were an almost arrogant people, ones who defied the hurricane Gods to blow our way. In just the year before Katrina, we watched as Hurricane Ivan turned at the gates and headed toward Mississippi.

Now, we are a panicky people. Every strong gust of wind that blows in the ocean is greeted with a watchful eye. For six months out of the year, we go from being firemen, lawyers and accountants to padding our resumes with “amateur meteorologist”. A trip to Burget King is more likely to yield advice on high pressure systems and prevailing currents than it is ketchup packets.

It’s a strange ritual in the “New” New Orleans. We sit around, anxiously waiting for updates from the National Hurricane Center, making note of even the slightest shift in tracking or forecasting. If the forecast doesn’t reach land, we trace the line with our finger, trying to see by hand what billion-dollar computers can’t, the future.

It is an exercise in futility and we know it. For one, the hurricanes never stay on their track. Katrina, for example, overshot its original estimations by at least a time zone. Second, even if the storm did follow its “predestined” track, there would be nothing we could do about it. Read moreRead more

25
Aug

Digital Television: It’s a Trap

My wife and I had been seeing the commercials for months. We were well aware that if we did not “upgrade our TV” by February 2009 that it “would stop working”.

Though the melodramatic commercials showed families using old televisions as flower pots and recycle bins, my wife and I were not amused. In fact we were, and are, outright angry that our preferred method of getting television would be cut off.

You see, my wife and I are both from the Internet generation. We’re of a mindset where spending $50 per month on high-speed Internet is a necessity, but spending just $15 on basic cable is a travesty and a waste of money.

However, you can hardly blame us, when your television viewing consists of a few episodes of Craig Ferguson, Leno’s headlines and maybe an episode or two of crime drama, we don’t really watch enough television to justify the expense.

But then I found out about a neat little Federal program that mails you credit card-like coupons for a digital converter. I decided to give it a try, only to find out that I had walked right into a trap. Read moreRead more

22
Aug

10 Things I hate About Mac

To be perfectly clear, I am a Mac user and I love my choice of OS. I’ve used Windows, I’ve used Linux and I’ve used Mac. In fact, I own at least one computer with each OS. However, my main computer is a Mac and I don’t see that changing any time soon.

That being said, there is no reason to believe that Mac is perfect and I cringe at the fan boys that seem to think that it is. Being the best among these three systems is a bit like winning a three-legged race. Sure, you won, but you could have gotten across the line a lot faster without cousin Ralph tied to your right leg.

Even though I love my Mac there are still a lot things about it that irk me. So, in celebration of thinking different (I know, it’s an old slogan), I present to you my top ten pet peeves about Mac. Read moreRead more

20
Aug

The Logic of Captain Planet

There aren’t that many iconic cartoons from the early 90s. For most, the 80s were the heyday of kids cartoons and by the time Ted Turner had created Captain Planet, most of those series had long since gone the way of the dodo.

However, there is little doubt that Captain Planet was an icon unto himself. In addition to teaching kids about how classy one could look with a green mullet, it had a higher purpose, to teach the youth of the world about the environment and where to put their recyclables.

Today, it is hard to think of a series more routinely lampooned than Captain Planet and the reasons go far beyond the camp and cheese that came with it. No, despite our fond memories of the Captain, this series was pretty inane, even for a 30-minute PSA on the environment. Read moreRead more