Zero Tolerance

Ars:

A movie theater industry group and the Motion Picture Association of America updated their anti-piracy policies and said that “wearable devices” must be powered off at show time.

The joint statement Wednesday, meanwhile, said “we maintain a zero-tolerance policy toward using any recording device while movies are being shown.”

And that would be why I have a zero-attendance policy towards movie theaters.

Seriously, I haven’t stepped foot in a movie theater since the first Captain America movie in 2011. I see everything first via iTunes or Blu-ray.

RMS and LLVM

To paraphrase our toe jam-eating friend, RMS, since clang and LLVM don’t share the same political views I do, and let anyone, even that bastion of evil, Apple, use it to compile software I don’t think should exist, you should still use our old, inferior compiler because reasons.

Like unicorns.

With neckbeards*.

I swear, if I didn’t already have LLVM running as my default compiler, I would switch just because of this.

*Don’t run an image search for “unicorn neckbeard”. My eyes are still bleeding.

Easier AND Better

Great video explaining the video rental store (with just a touch of walking uphill, both ways). Clearly they’re a lot more nostalgic about it than I am, but maybe I’m weird for not appreciating having to spend 2 hours driving all around the city to find the one Blockbuster that still had a copy of whatever we were trying to watch that night.

Somehow, I don’t think I’ll be wanting to trade in iTunes, Netflix, Amazon Prime and my media server for a return to that any time soon.

Cross Platform

I’m kind of surprised that Gruber missed the real zinger of Frank Shaw’s comment that MS Office is cross-platform, while iWork isn’t.

• … come with full versions of Office 2013, including Outlook, not non-standard, non-cross-platform, imitation apps that can’t share docs with the rest of the world.

In what universe is Office cross-platform? Yes, there is a suite called MS Office [$YEAR] for Windows and for OS X, but those are in no way the same apps, and don’t even read documents the same way! Hell, Office is even incompatible with itself, with how many different formats over how many different versions, spread across two platforms? Shaw’s definition of standards and compatibility clearly differ from mine.

Real Reasons

I’ve been having trouble writing about the shutdown and impending economic apocalypse because its just so stupid. And insane. One thing is clear, this is entirely the fault of the Tea Party for being a pack of selfish xenophobic assholes, and the rest of the GOP, John Boehner in particular, for being cowards.

The other thing that’s clear is that the Tea Party and the GOP leadership are lying about their motivations. If they really cared about the deficit, they wouldn’t be cheering a shutdown that’s costing hundreds of millions of dollars every day and harming countless small businesses. They wouldn’t be threatening to violate their oaths of office by destroying the United States’ financial standing. Its becoming increasingly clear that this is just the same song its always been. Paul Krugman said it best today:

It’s about anxiety over a changing America — the multiracial, multicultural society we’re becoming — and anger that Democrats are taking Their Money and giving it to Those People.

You can’t see it right now, but I’m totally making my shocked face.

NSA

Reactions like this are pretty typical among geeks. Good crypto is a necessity both online and local. All of my hardware uses full-disk encryption and I use secure communication whenever I can. Problem is, the NSA isn’t just looking at the global stream or taking snapshots. They’re collecting and storing everything. The problem is, crypto that’s good enough, or even excellent today, will be laughably inadequate and trivially breakable in the future.

There’s a reason why you don’t hear about the NSA doing things like this. It’s because they don’t have to. That’s why this whole thing is such a problem. A free and democratic society cannot survive such pervasive and overarching surveillance.

Cutting the Cord or Ignoring it?

This was an excellent series on the state of TV and what it would take to really disrupt it. There was one thing that I at first disagreed with, and then decided it’s actually another use case. I don’t have cable, but watch TV using an HD antenna. In fact, I have never had cable. My parents have cable, my university offered cable, but I have never paid a cent for cable TV and am unlikely to start. I am definitely one of the zero-TV households, but can’t be considered to be a cord cutter, because I never hooked it up in the first place.

I’m now wondering if that’s the real threat to the current TV model: not a consumer rebellion, but a population shift that doesn’t care about TV? My reason for not having cable is very simple: I don’t think there’s enough content to justify the cost.1 Granted, I also don’t care too much about sports, so the lack of ESPN and CSN doesn’t affect me and I’m perfectly willing to accept that I’m an outlier.2

The question for me is, how big is my particular outlier group, and is it growing or shrinking? How many people are not leaving the fold, but for whatever reason are simply not joining it in the first place?


  1. There’s also the fact that I have a small child who, for some reason, demands a lot of my attention. I have maybe 2 hours a night to actually watch something, as opposed to just having the TV on for background noise.
  2. I did waste $130 on MLB At Bat. My fault for not reading the fine print, but stupid and arbitrary restrictions do not lead to repeat customers.