Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Broadband Tuner

Apple released a utility today that tweaks OS X's networking settings to operate more efficiently with broadband Internet connections. I installed Apple's Broadband Tuner 1.0 and have found a noticeable web browsing speed increase on my machine. (Not huge, but noticeable.)

Requires Tiger and is only recommended for users with a broadband (DSL, cable, office LAN) Internet connection (i.e. the vast majority of people who are using Tiger).

Here's how I recommend approaching this:

First go here to measure your connection speed:

http://speakeasy.net/speedtest/

Measure a few times to get a feeling for what your average is.

Then, download the Tuner from here:

http://www.apple.com/support/downloads/broadbandtuner10.html

Install.

Measure connection speed again. You should find a noticeable increase.

If your speed consistently goes down after installing the Tuner, run the installer again, and it will automatically run in uninstall mode to remove it from your system and revert your settings.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Steve Ballmer nails it

In this Business week article from back in September, Steve Ballmer nails exactly what's wrong with Microsoft. Unintentionally.

"We won the desktop. We won the server. We will win the Web. We will move fast, we will get there. We will win the Web."

Problem is, "the Web" doesn't want to be "won".

The essence of the Internet repels individual entities that are out to control it- both technologically and philosophically. "The Web" isn't just another product category- it's an evolution of the purpose for using computers.

Successful software companies now are the ones that provide valuable, flexible, and open tools and services for their users. They are merchants in an open air bazaar.

Microsoft wants to build a mall and own every store inside. But unlike with Windows and Office, where they're got mostly captive audiences, people on the Web don't start out inside the Microsoft mall. And when you've got a choice, does it really sound like an appealing place to shop?

Friday, November 18, 2005

Democrats may be incompetent...

...but 20q.com is amazing.

Iraq

GodDAMMIT, when is the Democratic Party going to get its act together?!

Bush and Co. got us into this unnecessary disaster and have continued to mess up the execution for two and a half years. It was a bad idea and it's been handled miserably.

But frankly, the Democrats have- amazingly- bungled things even worse. The party line mostly supported the war in the first place because they were too cowardly to oppose it. When the inevitable problems became obvious, they blamed Bush. Now that the majority of the country agrees that the war was a bad idea and is going nowhere- and are ready to severely punish the Republicans for it- the Democrats have no solid solution or answer.

John Murtha's immediate withdrawal proposal is poison. Abandoning Iraq now would turn it into a terrorist factory worse than Afghanistan was prior to 9/11. And it would allow Republicans to blame the Democrats for the entire Iraqi debacle- "don't blame us, we were hanging tough and killing terrorists, then the Democrats came and forced us to accept defeat."

Poison.

At the same time, simply staying there and continuing on the present course is only slightly better. We might be able to prevent the country from slipping into complete and total chaos, but we're never going to be able to achieve anything that feels like a solid victory. And every day we're there, more tragedy is created for Americans and Iraqis.

Republicans want to either stay indefinitely (aka no plan), or make it feel like they're slowly getting out so that they can deflect the war's consequences in 2006 without looking like they're retreating from the battlefield.

Some Democrats want to pull out immediately; others support the vague "draw down in 2006" option; most just want to revel in the political damage Bush is facing.

We need LEADERSHIP.

We need people to come forward, lay out the facts, and give us some REAL OPTIONS. Granted, there's no "magic bullet" solution out there, but the complete and total helplessness we're going through- that's the result of a leadership vacuum.

Blaming Bush, talking about the past, and floating immediate withdrawal are not the answer. (Granted, Murtha was demonstrating a form of leadership in making his bold proposal- I just SERIOUSLY disagree with him, and I think most people who were opposed to the war in the beginning do too.)

Bush is hurting badly and Republicans are looking vulnerable in 2006. It's a shame that the opposition party in our country has taken its role literally- all they do is oppose. We need leadership, and if Democrats aren't able to provide it, then they're just as guilty as Bush- if not more- for screwing up our country.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Naked President

Every time I see George W. Bush speak, my nervous system shuts down because the input it's receiving makes absolutely no sense. It's like dividing by zero, or flying a piece of popcorn shrimp to Mars. Seeing a man of such obvious fundamental stupidity and knowing that he's the President of the United States- re-elected!- is the most stunning and frightening contradiction I know.

This video contains a pretty good dose of him in action. What I'd really like to see, though, would just be a straight, unedited collection of clips of him speaking. That would be unbearable.

The emperor has no clothes. See you on Mars.

Don't go there

Really- don't go here.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Not a joke

Fake testicles for your pet.

Thanks for finding this, Clara.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

New flight record

Boeing's new 777-200LR achieved a milestone today by completing a 11,664 mile trip from Hong King to London (nearly 23 hours in the air). When it enters commercial service, the 777-200LR will be the longest range commercial airliner in the world.