This tumblr is effectively in ‘read-only’ mode as an archive of past posts. Going forward, I’ll be posting to my Google+ stream (here). Hopefully some day there will be a tool to import from tumblr to g+ but for now things will just kinda hang out here to bitrot
FourSquare updated their Android app yesterday and introduced what they call events. From their announcement:
In particular, we think you’ll love events. If you’re out at a movie, concert, or sporting event, you can check in and share exactly what you’re doing. It’s great because you can easily tell your friends that you’re at the Lady Gaga concert, instead of just at the stadium. And you can see which of your friends went to see Bridesmaids, and not just that they checked in at the theater. It saves typing, makes your history more memorable, and makes your friends’ updates richer.
Essentially, what they’ve done is a nested checkin. And it’s a very cool concept. The problem is, it doesn’t go far enough. They should extend the model so that anytime you checkin someplace, it ‘bubbles up’ to the city level wherever you are. You can think of it like the Russian nested dolls. It would work like this:
I checkin at the store I’m currently shopping at. My checkin would ‘bubble up’ and end up looking like:
This ‘event’ would mark me as ‘checked in’ to JCPenney, The Mall At Tuttle Crossing, and Dublin, OH all at once with just one action by the user.
I get a lobotomy and decide to attend a Buckeyes game. It would end up looking like:
Which would check me in at the game, the ‘Shoe, the university, and Columbus itself. All in one whack.
A final, “simple” example:
I’m eating breakfast at my local Chick-fil-A:
Which would check me into both the restaurant and the city and nothing else (since it’s a standalone restaurant and not part of a mall or other venue).
Please FourSquare, can we have this?
Our Pasta Who art al dente’ Simmered be thy sauce. Thy cheese in crumbs, thy meatballs yum, On our plates, as well as our forks. Give us this day our garlic bread, and deliver us some antacid. For thine is the noodles, the tomatoes and the ground meat forever. Ramen.
Who art al dente’
Simmered be thy sauce.
Thy cheese in crumbs,
thy meatballs yum,
On our plates, as well as our forks.
Give us this day our garlic bread,
and deliver us some antacid.
For thine is the noodles,
and the ground meat forever.
“Rose and Lissa are best friends who share an unimaginable bond, even by vampire standards. Now, after time spent on the run, they have been returned to the school from which they escaped to face ridicule, speculation, and danger.
Welcome to St. Vladimir’s Academy, a private high school for vampires and the half-bloods who are bound to protect them. The Moroi are vampires, and the descendants of Moroi royalty are the social elite of St. Vladimir’s. The Moroi are at constant risk, though. The Strigoi, the fiercest vampires, are out to get them, any way they can. The Moroi are protected by Dhampirs, guardians who are sworn to lay down their lives to assure that the Moroi bloodlines continue.
Rose is a Dhampir and Lissa is the last of the Dragomir line of Moroi royalty. Rose and Lissa share a special bond; one that nearly assures that Rose will be Lissa’s guardian for life. Returning to school, however, proves to be more difficult than either of them imagined. The social politics have changed during their absence and Rose and Lissa are both the topic of several rumors. Their sudden disappearance, their time on the run, and their return are all subjects for speculation. In some instances, the truth may cause them more harm than rumors ever could.
In addition to the social pressures, Lissa may be in even more danger than anyone could have imagined. In addition to being Moroi and royalty, Lissa seems to have special abilities that haven’t been seen among the Moroi in centuries. Abilities that make her an even more tantalizing target to the Strigoi.”
That’s the official summary of the book, but what I found was that the story was a lot more dark and the world painted by the author is actually pretty bleak. In fact, I was fairly surprised at how dark the book is given that it is targeted at ‘young adults’. I particularly liked how the vampire race is split into both the Strigoi and Moroi and what the distinction is between them. I won’t give it away here, but knowing that Strigoi are actually Moroi that have made a certain choice and have committed certain acts makes them all the more of a ‘bad guy’ to me (and all the more interesting).
This was a quick read, and given the target audience I expect the series will remain rather ‘light’. I’m looking forward to the next chapter in the series and hope the author can avoid falling into the trap of writing a ‘life in high school’ story. So far, so good.
I just read an amazing post over on Ars about why paying for tethering doesn’t make sense. I’ve felt the exact same way myself but I’ve never been able to express it so well. To whit:
I have an interesting situation. My water utility sells me metered water for washing dishes, watering the lawn, showering, and other limited purposes.
The utility offers a Tasting plan for an additional monthly charge. Under this plan, I am allowed to use the water also for cooking and drinking. (Even though my water use is metered, and each gallon of water for cooking and drinking is delivered by the same pipes!)
Dear customer: our records indicate that you have been using water for cooking and/or drinking. Please upgrade your water rate plan to our convenient Tasting plan that allows for this usage. If you continue to use water for cooking and drinking, you will be signed up for the Tasting plan automatically.
I think the Tasting plan is just a fee that they made up. It isn’t a service they provide. They just want more money from me. I’ve got a workaround of using a container to obtain water from another room for the purposes of cooking and drinking.
Some people shout: Theft of service!
But what service? They’re already delivering water to me, and metering it, and I’m paying for it, and its delivered by the same pipes!
Some people shout: but you signed an agreement and using the water for cooking and drinking is a breach of that agreement!
Ask a lawyer about the term “unconscionable contract”.
Nobody in their right mind would agree to this if they had any actual choice in the matter. Just because they have the power and can force you into paying this ridiculous fee or doing without doesn’t make it right.
I say that this Tasting “service” is no service at all, it’s just a fee for delivering nothing at all extra to me. It’s a case of the utility wanting something for nothing. Yet people seem to think it is somehow wrong to use the water I’m paying for for drinking or cooking unless I sign up for the more expensive Tasting plan.
In order to add legitimacy to their Tasting plan, the water company says that the Tasting plan is actually delivering something: it includes an additional 2 Gigabytes of water per month, giving you 4 total Gigabytes of water.
But what if I only need 2 Gigabytes of water and therefore my existing monthly 2 Gigabyte plan is plenty? The water company already charges $10 per extra Gigabyte of water I use over the limit. So if I used excess water, it’s not like they wouldn’t get paid.
Furthermore, once I sign up for the Tasting plan, they don’t make any distinction between water used for drinking/cooking and water used for other purposes. I could use 3/4 of it for tasting, and 1/4 for bathing/dishwashing. Or any other split. Or all of it purely for tasting. So then if I paid for Tasting and used only 2 Gigabytes of water, which I already had paid for, then why did I need the Tasting plan?
I seem to be very confused about stealing water for tasting. Someone please set me straight.
(Source: Ars Technica)
I’d LOVE for someone to really do this at a gas station around here. ;)
“In bestseller Reichs’s entertaining 10th Temperance Brennan forensic thriller (after Break No Bones), Brennan, her relationship with Det. Andrew Ryan on the rocks, welcomes the distraction of an unidentified New Brunswick skeleton from Québec’s cold case unit. But when the bones are determined to be that of an adolescent girl, Brennan is convinced they belong to her childhood friend, Évangéline Landry, who disappeared at age 15. Now Brennan must come to terms with Évangéline’s possible death, while trying to ignore her feelings for Ryan as they investigate a series of teenage abduction murders that could be tied to the mysterious bones.”
This was a really good read. I’m a big fan of the series and have read several now. A few have gotten kind of “bogged down” in the forensic details but this entry doesn’t “suffer” from that problem. Of course, some might say it is precisely because of this that they didn’t like it. In my opinion though, this entry strikes a decent balance between being hyper-focused on the science and being glossed-over like the TV series usually is. I had a hard time putting this one down and was always one-more-page’ing it. The emotional ties to Tempe’s past add a nice flavor to the story as well. She’s not just intellectually investigated in the case’s outcome, she’s emotionally invested this time. And I think it makes for a more personable read.
eject: An Open Letter To Another Canadian Mother -
Dear Canadian Mother,
Yesterday I tweeted something like, “I wonder how many waiters serve a pregnant Victoria Beckham and think to themselves ‘Eating for one are we?’”
But I erased it because it was brought to my attention that Joan Rivers already said “Congratulations to Victoria Beckham,…
This is how I feel about all your fancy soccer footwork…