links for 2009-07-29

But, but…they’re the elites!

The house of representatives … can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as the great mass of society. This has always been deemed one of the strongest bonds by which human policy can connect the rulers and the people together. It creates between them that communion of interest, and sympathy of sentiments, of which few governments have furnished examples; but without which every government degenerates into tyranny.” –Federalist No. 57, February 19, 1788
[Emphasis added. –R]
Keep this in mind during the ongoing “health care reform” debate. Congress already has its own health care and retirement programs, not at all tied to Social Security, et al.

links for 2009-07-22

  • "Centralization is in many ways the worst part. It's the core of the cloud computing model, and anything that takes down the centralized service–network failures, massive malware hit, denial-of-service attack, and so forth–affects everyone who uses that service. When the documents and the tools both live in the cloud, there's no way for someone to continue working in this failure state. If users don't (or can't) have their own personal backups, and don't (or can't) have other tools with which to access their backups, they're stuck.

    "The cloud computing model may be a wonderful system when it works, but it's a nightmare when it fails. And the more people who come to depend upon it, the bigger the nightmare."

links for 2009-07-21

  • "In the same breath that it used to announce a $213 million second-quarter loss, Continental said it will add a $5 surcharge to bag fees paid at the airport. Passengers can avoid the surcharge by paying the fee online. The new airport fees, which come to $20 for the first bag and $30 for the second, are effective immediately for travel August 19 and beyond.

    "Delta is also adding a $5 surcharge, effective for tickets booked on or after July 16 for travel on or after August 4. Delta's airport bag fees will also jump to $20 for the first bag and $30 for the second."

    That's right, you pay a fee for paying a fee. Have these buffoons give any thought to the fact that part of their profit losses may have to do with the incredibly crappy customer service they deliver? Just keep sending more business to Southwest, morons.

links for 2009-07-17

  • "[W]e’ve been taught to believe that e-books are, you know, just like books, only better. Already, we’ve learned that they’re not really like books, in that once we’re finished reading them, we can’t resell or even donate them. But now we learn that all sales may not even be final.

    "As one of my readers noted, it’s like Barnes & Noble sneaking into our homes in the middle of the night, taking some books that we’ve been reading off our nightstands, and leaving us a check on the coffee table."

  • "Because your iPhone knows your location, the app can show you nearby places to eat, stay and explore, as recommended by the Dopplr community. It also comes with built-in recommendations for 250 popular cities around the world.

    "With a single tap, you can add new places you've discovered to the Dopplr Social Atlas. You'll be able to confirm these additions, and enter more details, next time you log in to

    "The app is a great pocket travel guide even if you do not have a Dopplr account; but if you do, it offers much more. You can keep track of your fellow travellers, find out where they are now, and what future trips they have planned. You can even contact them directly from inside the app. You can view your own planned trips, and find co-incidences where fellow travellers will be nearby."