Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A lust of the mind

Desire to know why, and how, CURIOSITY, such as is in no living creature but man, so that man is distinguished, not only by his reason, but also by this singular passion from other animals, in whom the appetite of food and other pleasures of sense by predominance take away the care of knowing causes, which is a lust of the mind that by a perseverance of delight in the continual and indefatigable generation of knowledge exceedeth the short vehemence of any carnal pleasure.

Are you watching QI?


Sunday, August 23, 2009

मृत्योर्मा अमृतम् गमय*?

Conventional history has long shown that, in many ways, we have been getting kinder and gentler. Cruelty as entertainment, human sacrifice to indulge superstition, slavery as a labor-saving device, conquest as the mission statement of government, genocide as a means of acquiring real estate, torture and mutilation as routine punishment, the death penalty for misdemeanors and differences of opinion, assassination as the mechanism of political succession, rape as the spoils of war, pogroms as outlets for frustration, homicide as the major form of conflict resolution--all were unexceptionable features of life for most of human history. But, today, they are rare to nonexistent in the West, far less common elsewhere than they used to be, concealed when they do occur, and widely condemned when they are brought to light.
quantitative body-counts--such as the proportion of prehistoric skeletons with axemarks and embedded arrowheads or the proportion of men in a contemporary foraging tribe who die at the hands of other men--suggest that pre-state societies were far more violent than our own. It is true that raids and battles killed a tiny percentage of the numbers that die in modern warfare. But, in tribal violence, the clashes are more frequent, the percentage of men in the population who fight is greater, and the rates of death per battle are higher.

* मृत्योर्मा अमृतम् गमय: Lead Us From Death To Immortality

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Boycott Apple.

I've been an Apple fan since before I could dream of buying an Apple computer. Their hardware and software design is phenomenal.

In the past 5 years, I've bought 3 computers and 3 iPods from them, multiple copies of iWork and iLife, and songs from the iTunes store.

I've been very satisfied with all the Apple products I've bought.

But the nonsense with the App Store rejections has gone too far.

But Ninjawords for iPhone suffers one humiliating flaw: it omits all the words deemed “objectionable” by Apple’s App Store reviewers, despite the fact that Ninjawords carries a 17+ rating.

Apple censored an English dictionary.

A dictionary. A reference book. For words contained in all reasonable dictionaries. For words contained in dictionaries that are used every day in elementary school libraries and classrooms.

Let's stop buying all Apple products until they stop this. I have.

Aug. 6 UPDATE: Phill Schiller (senior vice president at Apple) responds to the story.
While we may not always be perfect in our execution of that goal, our efforts are always made with the best intentions, and if we err we intend to learn and quickly improve.

Aug. 6 UPDATE: Pogue's coverage of the AT&T/Apple/Google Voice debacle.

I'm going to wait and keep a watch on if this translates into a better App review process.

Aug 21 UPDATE: So it turns out Apple didn't actually reject the Google Voice app. Hmmm... Perhaps I should buy Snow Leopard after all? :D

Aug 29 UPDATE: Uh Oh...
the most recent version of ConvertBot (1.4) had been rejected by Apple. What was Apple's reason for the rejection? [The] ConvertBot icon for time conversions looks very similar to the Phone app icon for recent calls. This is the same icon that has passed Apple's scrutiny in previous versions
how can we make Time different? What if it’s set at 9 o’clock instead of 3? Is that acceptable? The big problem here is the only way I can get that answer is by making the change, resubmitting the app, and waiting another week or 2 for Apple’s verdict.