Last weekend, justom convinced harrock and I to see Elysium, but my goodness, it was terrible. I think part of the problem was that I was expecting something a little more clever, and I expected something better from Jodie Foster and Matt Damon, so when it turned out to be about as stupid as Die Hard 2 (my personal touchstone for disappointingly stupid action movies), I just couldn't forgive it.
Now, my sliding keyboard has stopped working. I bought SlideIT a while back, and I find it much better than tapping keys as far as input is concerned. But because I paid for it, it has to log in to check my license every so often to make sure I'm not a software pirate. Which it does by connecting through the Android Market and verifying my login. Right. (Now that I am on a computer and can search more properly, the answer seems to be "reinstall and it should work", but still.)
This second rant is not something that personally thwarted me, but is really kind of hilariously wrong.
Amazon has been doing this thing recently, where they excerpt (randomly chosen) sentences from user reviews and say things like "5 other reviewers made a similar statement", thus lending Great Weight to that particular statement.
I was looking at Redshirts by John Scalzi, and toying with the idea of pre-ordering it (the alternative is getting the audiobook read by Wil Wheaton, so I may do that instead). Now, it's a book called "Redshirts." You can imagine what it's about. You can imagine what very precise franchise it's a satire of. So, what are the three review quotes (from Amazon Vine) that Amazon chooses to showcase?
"The characters exhibit wonderful chemistry, and despite no huge amount of effort spent on development there are some surprisingly touching moments."
Heh, cute and informative.
"All three codas are more serious in nature and are worth reading."
"My favorite television show is Doctor Who."
Wait... what? Ha ha ha ha hah. Okay, first, this is like putting "I really love Batman" as a reviewer quote on your Avengers poster. Second, Amazon tells me "3 reviewers made a similar statement." Really? There's twelve reviews, so twenty-five percent (or maybe thirty-three percent, it probably means "3 other reviewers made a similar statement") of people reviewing this book made a point to say how much they liked Doctor Who?
As it turns out, no. Only one reviewer mentioned Doctor Who at all. (They actually say "I am a quasi-sci-fi-fan. My favorite television show is Doctor Who. I watch Fringe. I loved Firefly. I know my Star Wars and Star Trek just enough..." so it makes sense in context). Two reviewers use the word "favorite", so that's not it either. Two reviewers use the word "television", but two others use "tv", so that's probably what it's counting.
"My favorite television show is Doctor Who" and three other reviewers mentioned television, so they must have meant the same thing, because you really only need to read one word in order to figure out what the sentence means.
I see what you're trying to do, Amazon, but "My favorite television show is Doctor Who" is hilariously silly as a showcase quote, and "Three reviewers made a similar statement" would probably be rated as "Pants on Fire" by any proper fact checker.
Anyway. This is the intersection of the one-way Dover Street with Mass Ave, in Cambridge. At the intersection, Dover is two lanes - one left turn lane, one right turn lane.
The other Intersection of Inexplicability is four blocks down, at Cameron and Mass Ave. Let me describe the intersection. Mass Ave is two lanes on either side of the divider. Cameron Ave, to the right, is one of the more major smaller roads - it's a snow emergency route, it's the first through street past the bike path, it has a lot of traffic. To the left is Harvey Street, which is tiny and one way away from Mass Ave. I used to say that I never saw anyone turn left onto Harvey Street, but while I was hanging around taking pictures, I did finally see one person do so.
Anyway. When the light turns green on Mass Ave, the northbound folks briefly get this set of lights before the full green:
Allurent, a provider of online shopping technology based in Cambridge, and clothing retailer Anthropologie are piloting a computer application that allows shoppers to browse Anthropologie's catalog and place orders through a button on their desktop, without downloading cumbersome portable document files or connecting to the Internet.I was ranting about this to harrock earlier - how exactly is placing an order on line done without connecting to the Internet? And we grumbled about how in modern user technology, "the internet" means "anything you can access with a web browser". But it's not even that! It goes to the web site at the end! I don't even know what they think "without connecting to the Internet" means at this point! And ooooh, they don't have to download cumbersome PDF files, they only have to download a WHOLE APPLICATION.
Someone shopping for clothes from Anthropologie would download the application to a desktop [...] When a shopper is ready to check out, the application seamlessly transfers to Anthropolgie's website, where the shopper pays and fills in the shipping information.
I mean, I could understand "this is a better UI" as an argument. Maybe it is. But the arguments they're making about why this is better are crazy-headed.
( Metaplanetary, Superluminal, Well of Lost Plots, Atrocity Archives, Singularity Sky, the Companions, and Survival )
(The Fforde books are borrowable; the rest were from the MITSFS)