Just not a database kind of guy

I'm fooling around with a new personal database for OS X called Bento and what I'm learning, again, is I'm just not a database kind of guy.

I've been learning databases for a long, long time, since before MS-DOS and Paradox and dBase III - and even taught classes in Access for a few years so, yeah, I know how databases work. And what they do and why they're useful, sometimes, for some people. But not for me. I'm just not compulsive enough about keeping track of things, getting organized. My method is all about writing notes on scraps of paper and then throwing the scraps again. I leave, as the philosopher once said, a great deal to unfinished business.

Maybe some other time.


Or so they say.

Vista: The new ME?

MIAMI--Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates on Friday indicated that Windows 7, the next major version of Windows, could come within the next year, far ahead of the development schedule previously indicated by the software maker.

[From Gates: Windows 7 may come 'in the next year' | Beyond Binary - A blog by Ina Fried - CNET News.com]

Call me a little bit flummoxed here - and no, I don't pay much attention to developments in Redmond, WA - but wasn't Vista supposed to be the Big New Thing? Now it's being demoted to stopgap?

The new Army: Safer to human health

The [Army's] new chromium-3-based coating system [that's paint to us civilians, bunky, used on aircraft and other equipment] is also safer to human health and the environment because it reduces the use of hazardous materials and the release of potentially harmful air emissions.

[From The Army Gets Greener, Can Still Blow Stuff Up | Scientific Blogging]


Here's my advice, bunky

Never go anywhere without your earbuds. I mean anywhere. Even the movies. Especially the movie I saw tonight.

(And never mind. You'd never rent it yourself in a million years, take my word. But bring your earbuds anyway, just in case.)

Or are you just happy to see me?

LEWISTON, Maine—Police are searching for a man accused of shoving an electric guitar in his pants and walking out of a store in Lewiston, Maine.

[From Man steals guitar by placing it in pants - Boston.com]

Wait a minute. Dude. A guitar?

Go figure, huh?

In what may be one of the most pointless studies done in quite some time, a research firm has discovered to its own amazement that people tend to trust their own friends more than well known bloggers.

[From Techdirt: Would You Believe People Trust Their Real Friends Over Bloggers?]




Yeah that sounds about right

The Justice Department memo, dated March 14, 2003, outlines legal justification for military interrogators to use harsh tactics against al-Qaida and Taliban detainees overseas — so long as they did not specifically intend to torture their captors.

[From The Raw Story | Pentagon releases memo on harsh tactics]

Only unspecifically. Unspecifically would be just fine.

I go to the DMV

My driver's license expires next month. All that was really needed for the renewal, I thought, was to fill out a form that came in the mail and take an eye test. I was out and about this afternoon so I figured I'd stop at the DMV and get it done.

Now, my old license had a picture of me on it that was more or less not too bad. It was taken only last year. In the previous picture - the one before last year - I had hair on the top of my head and none on the bottom and when I signed up for a cell phone account, a year ago, the clerk commented the picture on my license looked nothing like, well, me (she accepted the ID anyway, of course). That got me thinking, what with all the ID craze going around these days, maybe I ought to have the picture re-made so I went in last year and had my license re-made. I knew it would have to be renewed again this year but in the past the picture would just carry forward. And it seemed to have been a good move because the picture that was taken last year actually had a strong resemblance to my face.

Now it turns out - today - the State has a new policy that says you can't be wearing glasses for your ID picture. (What's that about? The facial recognition software, maybe?) Which is weird, because my license has a restriction that requires me to wear glasses when I drive. And I wear them all the time anyway.

So it was, literally, up-against-the-wall time, and after the picture was taken the clerk flashed me a copy on a burned-out video monitor that was underneath the counter on the other side of the aisle - and me standing there without my glasses - and asked if the picture was OK. Sure, I said, what the hell. I figured she was looking at it too and if she thought it looked like me it probably did, and anyway I was feeling grumpy without my glasses, like I'd just got out of bed.

Then I had to render a signature on one of those plastic terminals like they use for credit cards in stores. Not only can I not write on one of those slippery things - the stylus slips every which way, like it has a will of its own - but this one was out of register so when I moved the stylus on the plastic a line appeared about a half inch away. On my first try, my signature dropped out of the box. On my second, only half did. The clerk asked, was I satisfied. Sure, I said, what the hell.

So now I have a brand new ID with a picture that looks nothing like me - I mean nothing - and a signature that doesn't look like mine. I get stopped for speeding, I'll wind up in Cuba.

So much for "Real ID."


What is this, some kind of Republican foreplay?

I get a big envelope in the mail from the government, says right on the envelope "Stimulus Payment," red letters and all. Woohoo! I open it! Inside it says, fill out this form. Stimulating? Not so much.

Hell, that's probably even legal in Texas.

Follow the dots

Follow the dots, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

This is really pretty funny

Sony BMG's hypocrisy: company busted for using warez


Sony BMG's hypocrisy: company busted for using warez

I'm thinking all the Sony BMG execs responsible for this should be sentenced to, say, five years of sitting in front of TV sets and watching continuous repetitions of those damn annoying anti-piracy commercials on the DVDs. Call it rehabilitation: it's for their own good.


April showers

April showers, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

And less is more

HONG KONG (Reuters) - The dollar is likely to remain under pressure for the next few months at least, but its weakness is not inconsistent with the Bush administration's strong dollar policy, former U.S. Treasury undersecretary Tim Adams said on Monday.

[From Weak dollar not at odds with policy: ex-US official - Boston.com]

Also, war is peace and fear is comfort.

The primary sport

If these journalists were sports announcers rather than political correspondents, many TVs would be turned off by the end of the fourth inning as the results were already in: "It is now clear that the Red Sox should get out of the game so unity can return to Major League Baseball."



Whoda thunk?

If you ever need an example to demonstrate that security is a function of agenda, use this story about speed cameras. Cities that have installed speed cameras are discovering motorists are driving slower, which is decreasing revenues from fines. So they're turning the cameras off.

[From Schneier on Security: Speeding Tickets and Agenda]