Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Waiting for Baudot

Remember when computers were fast? That was back in the day when we got computers in order to do things. Now, they mainly spend their time updating their own software and reporting your activities to MAGFA (Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon).

And if you do manage to wheedle your way to the computer’s attention, say to open a Web browser, you will be greeted by a spinning something-or-other which may suggest activity, but which is really just a lame way to entertain you while you wait for a barrage of crap unrelated to the page you wanted to visit. If you have the fortitude to wait for all the Web crap to download, the page will tease you with a momentary appearance, only to be supplanted by a dark background and a popup asking if you’d like to register for the site’s free newsletter so as not to miss a single exciting moment of their ceaseless self-aggrandizement.

And further, if you unwarily visited a site that sells something, you will be forever haunted by spectral images of that merchandise infiltrating every other Web site you visit henceforth until the crack of doom. Your most solemn presentations may be adorned with ads for Diaper Genie or an inflatable party doll.

Beyond that, these online purveyors will stalk you via email. You will receive messages urging you to come back and finish what your started, or trying to tempt you with other, similar merchandise.

But, thankfully, your computer will be so slow you’ll never notice.

Monday, November 16, 2015

We'll Always Have Paris

Of course we want to show support, sympathy and comradeship with the the Parisians after the harrowing Friday the 13th terror attacks. Personally, I have never used the term “Freedom Fries,” but beyond that I’ve always had great admiration for the French. Paris is where all the great artists and writers hung out a hundred years ago. While I wasn’t there at the time, it always seemed like it would be really cool.

France was the center of international diplomacy for much of the modern era. French was considered the lingua franca.

French kissing has become one of the rites of passage for young adults.

And, or course, there’s that great bread, toast and fries.

But moreover, the kind of attack that hit Paris could happen anywhere. We’re all vulnerable. It required coordination, but just conventional weapons: bombs, automatic rifles and cars. How can we possibly prevent or defend ourselves against that kind of terror?

We could rely on massive spying programs to keep tabs on everyone, but we certainly don’t want the government looking over our shoulders all the time … reading our emails, listening to our phone calls and tracking our Web surfing. We already have Google for that.

So how can we completely eliminate the threat of global terror without infringing on anyone’s rights? We’ll reveal this in a future post.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Sunday, November 1, 2015