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[links] Link salad for a Sunday

Undersea webcams — Some cool stuff. (Thanks to lt260.)

Team records ‘music’ from stars — More on COROT and the observation of stellar interiors, this one with a slightly whimiscal bent.

ACLU: 2/3 of US population lives in “Constitution-free” zone — An article about the Border Patrol and Fourth Amendment rights. (Thanks to chriswjohnson.)

Palin’s ‘going rogue,’ McCain aide says — How about that rigorous vetting process, Mr. Straight Talk? (Special bonus, Language Log comments on the usage of the term “going rogue”.)

Dark Night of the SoulBarack Obama is noted for his powerful intellect, but I don’t think he gets nearly enough credit for the mental dexterity it takes to be simultaneously an Islamic theocrat, atheistic communist and national socialist while posing as a center left candidate. Hahahahahaha. Being a Republican these days is like being OJ’s defense lawyer back in the day. You throw everything you have against the wall regardless of logic or evidence and hope some of it sticks. Unfortunately for the reality-based community, some of that stuff does stick. OJ was acquitted, after all.

ericjamesstone on Obama, Iraq and Afghanistan — I disagree with his argument on a number of levels, but he’s a thoughtful guy with whom I disagree with on a lot of things. In short, the high level argument about Obama makes some assumptions which strike me as facile, while the subordinate argument on both Iraq and Afghanistan seems to hing on logic which says “we in too deep to stop now.” Even if you take the Bush Administration’s stated war aims at face value, we’ve long since passed the point of removing Saddam from power, destroying Iraqi state sponsorship of terrorism and eliminating the threat of Iraqi WMDs. Under Eric’s argument, there seems to be no point where changing policy conditions and changing goals ever enter into the question. “Never stop fighting until we win” is not a strategy, it’s a hope.

Body movement: 2 hour, 35 minute suburban walk
Last night’s weigh-out: n/a
This morning’s weigh-in: 227.6
Currently reading: The Best of C.M. Kornbluth

[tech] iPhone grr

Well, I finally made the transition and joined the cult of iPhone. Day One with my 16GB iPhone 3G has not been happy. Not in the least.

The iPhone has repeatedly hung, requiring me to power cycle it to clear application freezes in the telephony application as well as the highly-rated SSH application I downloaded from the app store.

Very often I have to tap a command multiple times before the touchscreen responds, a ludicrous problem to have. It seems dreadfully slow to recognize changes in its orientation, which is supposed to be a feature of this device.

The AT&T network here in my area of Portland is notably inferior to the Sprint network I’ve been on — which may be creating some of the other problems I’m having, if network latency is a factor in application behavior. I can’t even make a call from inside the Safeway near my house unless I approach the very front of the building.

Under most circumstances I would just have taken the damned thing back already. That’s three strikes, right there. But I’ve switched carriers to get this phone. Untangling that will be a mess. And almost literally everyone I know who owns one sings high praises, which makes me wonder if I have a hardware lemon. The multiple screen tapping issue, and the failure to recognize when the phone has been rotated, suggest this.

I’ll live with it a few days and see if some of the bugs shake out, but right now I’d give this thing a C- at best. Which is a shame, because I’ve been a diehard Apple fan since 1985, and I waited a long time to get an iPhone specifically in order to avoid early adopter issues.

Are you an iPhone user? Did you have problems like this out of the box?

[tech] iPhone 2.0

No tethering, no iPhone 2.0 for me. This is so basic to how I use a cellphone, and it’s a boat that Apple has utterly missed.

(And I have been a bloviating Apple fanboy since ca. 1985.)

[links] Link salad, birthday edition

SF Signal with a make-up Mind Meld featuring me — I bloviate on scientific accuracy in SF.

Bathtub cheese — Mmm. Or maybe not.

Lightning guns — What every homeboy needs.

Charles Taylor’s one wheel experiments — Not exactly a unicycle, but wow…

Sheep flatulence inoculation developed — I can haz less fartz, pleez? (Thanks to .)

How can you fail to read only the word California? — Another fascinating bit on neurolinguistic deficits from Language Log.

Strange Maps with a 1942 New World Order — Rather creepy. Good alternate history stuff, though.

A lot more than you wanted to know about the physics and sociology of traffic — Cool piece, though.

10 airports install body scanners — Security theater goes porno! (Thanks to my Aunt M.)

6/6/08 (my 44th birthday)
Time in saddle: 0 minutes (still recovering from surgery)
Last night’s weigh-out: n/a
This morning’s weigh-in: 260.8
Currently reading: The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia Amazon ]

[personal] “So you say it’s your birthday”

Well, I am now 44. Actually, since I was born in Taiwan, I think I turned 44 sometime yesterday evening. And I had a decent night’s sleep again, so I’ll be able to enjoy the day.

As a birthday present to myself, I’m announcing today my new Web site at I’ve held that domain for years, with a series of fairly lame handcoded html pages. Thanks to Jeremy Tolbert’s excellent design and coding skills, I now have a dynamic site with integrated podcasting, blogging, and even an updated bibliography!

Go check it out.

You’ll also notice I’m now blogging from WordPress at the site, with a cross-post here to LJ. Everything there will be here, while occasional LJ-only features such as polls will still be here. So if you read me on f-list, nothing will change. If you’d prefer to read me on WordPress or RSS, you can pick it up there.

Meanwhile, I am on to my day.