Archive for the 'Miscellaneous' Category

Who Will See What I Type Here?

When I email someone, I know exactly who can read it: the recipient. Same for instant messages. This here blog, now that you mention it, can be seen by anyone with a browser.

I know these things, and it affects what I say.

Twitter? Facebook? Google Buzz? Utter mysteries to me. Just when I think I’ve figured it out, they change all the rules.

I am afraid. I don’t want to share that hilarious text-from-last-night with my Mom.

The internet pundits talk a lot about “privacy controls” these days. That’s fancy-talk. My problem is not nearly so complicated as to require a “control.” Just tell me: who will see what I type here?

Kindle DX

Wendy, ever the early-adopter, brought her new toy to work.

mark++ on the Kindle DX browser

mark++ on the Kindle DX browser

Like, such as, the Iraq

(credit to Ganesh for noticing the similarity)

Annoying QuickTime Bug

Apple: please fix this very old and annoying bug with browser-embedded QuickTime on x64 versions of Windows.

If only I could get John Mayer to install Vista x64, that would probably do it.

Tethering: The Next Big Scam

If you thought 20 cent SMS was bad, hold on to your hat.

The next big scam coming out of your favorite cellular telco is tethering. What’s tethering you ask? Tethering is the act of connecting your laptop to your phone in order to get on the net and take advantage of that data plan you already pay for.

Why would anyone bother to give this behavior a name? Well to charge you more money, of course!

But wait, you say, I already shell out for the “unlimited” data plan! Yes but it’s only unlimited within the, uhh, limits of AT&T’s imagination! War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Limited is Unlimited

Perhaps next they’ll sell us the relaxification plan, whereby we are given permission to use our phones while napping in a hammock.

Mark my words: this is going to be a big deal soon. Avoidance of tethering rates will be the number one reason to jailbreak your iPhone. Customers will find enormous surprise bills as AT&T combs their usage logs to track down the rogue tether-ers. Web forum goers will trade tips on flying under the radar.

I must admit that I’m a bit shocked at the lack of uproar over tethering. Apparently consumers are just accepting it. There are even folks eagerly awaiting a tethering option for the iPhone.

Someday my phone will just be a small computer connected to a wireless internet. Someday.

Integrate, Damnit!

I’ve been a Bank of America customer for years now, starting when I lived in Austin in 2000. Back then I was impressed by their web banking stuff. When I moved up to Seattle, I stuck with BoA and eventually even got my mortgage from them.

Unfortunately, the online banking experience for BoA here in the Seattle area is different and craptacular. For example, there is a 5-10 day lag between adding a payee and actually being able to pay them.

I had heard, months ago, that BoA had a great iPhone web app. Today I discover that it doesn’t work for me or anyone else who selects WA from the dropdown menu.

I can only assume that some years ago BoA swallowed a smaller Northwest regional bank†, and I am suffering the consequences to this day.

† Perhaps this one.

RIP George Carlin

The world is a little bit less funny today.