Month: June 2010

iOS4 Thoughts

So the update is all set.

  • Airplane Mode where it shuts off all wireless (bluetooth, WiFi and if you have the iPhone the phone module).Sort of useless really. I’ve been on a number of flights with cell accidentally turned on, or WiFi device ticking away.
  • Another feature I’m not sure I like is that WiFi remains active even in sleep mode. That will probably drain the battery like nobodies business though I haven’t tried it out as yet.
  • Double clicking the home button to get at the music player controls is nice.
  • Email integration.  Finally! You can get ALL your mail in one place.
  • Folders. Saves paging through screens but increased overall number of taps. Oh well.
  • Slicker interface. Can’t do the wallpaper on the Touch but it’s got a much smoother feel to it.

So overall it was probably worth the update particularly since they didn’t charge for this one.  And I have heard more about the Flash thing. Apparently Apple likes its applications to be exclusive to their iTunes store and not be shared across multiple vendors.

Then of course there’s the ridiculousness of Ulysses being yanked because one of the images showed a female breast. You can just see them clutching their pearls. I have to ask, what the hell is wrong with an image of a male or female body, particularly in animation and graphic arts?

Apple seems to have a low threshold for finding things offensive.

Apple iOS4 install

So first I had to update to v9.2 of the iTunes software. That part took about 40 minutes.

Then download the iOS4 software, an hour.

Installation – well over an hour now because it has to back the fucking thing up, then install the OS, then copy back all the music, apps, etc.

This had god damned well better be worth it. And one annoy-o-factor. The update process keeps switching focus to iTunes so I have to keep clicking back here to compose this post.

And while iTunes is happily playing songs from my library, you cannot control it because the god damned update process takes precedence.

Can you tell I’m getting more and more frustrated with Apple?

This had god damned well better be worth it.

Cox needs to get it’s shit together

Over the past few month I’ve suffered outage upon outage. And I’ve noted a common thread here. When my net connection goes out so too the phones. So I usually end up going over the pay phone nearby and calling Cox to see what is going on.

On my way to the phones I pass by Vinton St. I’ve made it a habit now to look down Vinton because inevitably there are one or more Cox trucks out there with their yellow flashing lights blazing.

Sure enough today – the net connection went down but I had to go the supermarket so I thought nothing of it. By the time I’d gotten back it was up again. Just recently the connection went down again so I took the walk. You guessed it, the Cox trucks are in the SAME place they always go to.

I have an idea what the problems are since we encountered similar on VAN’s we used when I worked for the Sec of State’s office. One of their high tier guys told me what the problem was.

A few years ago Cox had an outside vendor come in and upgrade all the amplifiers on its network. But the vendor didn’t put the temperature gain control PAD’s into the amplifiers.

If you’ve ever worked with RF systems you know that oscillators and RF gear are notoriously sensitive to temperature swings. It’s the reason why amateur radio repeater cabinets in high, cold places have to use a 100W light bulb to warm the cabinet up so that the radios and separation cans work. Same is true of cell service – the transmitters are in climate controlled boxes at the base of the towers or inside climate controlled buildings.

So early this spring when service went out it was because of temperature swings. And I can tell you why it went out today. We’ve had consistent 80F and above past couple days with attendant thunder storms, etc.

So you can bet, the amplifier they’re working on doesn’t have an AUTOMATIC temperature gain control PAD in it.

They really ought to go back to the vendor who did the upgrade and force them to replace the amplifiers.

Providence Gay Pride 2010 Videos and pictures

For the videos just visit the playlist. I found that converting MP4 to AVI files made them look darker and that was 99% of my problems with low light videos.

So I just put the raw MP4’s up on YouTube. It’s split into parts, longest just short of 8 minutes. You can see them here.

However I will give you the Big Apple Corps.

Now I remember years ago what a dump this area was but it’s cleaned up quite nicely. It’s where Memorial Blvd runs into Dyer St. in Providence.

Memorial Blvd to Eddy St.
Memorial Blvd to Eddy St.

The Colors on the Bridge

Colors on the Bridge
Colors on the Bridge

Keyron and I at the festival.

Keyron and I
Keyron and I

Just a random shot towards the stage

Random Shot
Random Shot

Saw a few people I know, people that both Keyron and I know, and people that Keyron knows.

Really that’s what Gay Pride is all about. Seeing people you only see but once a year or so. I didn’t see Tracey this year but again, if you look at the videos you can see there were about 1,500 or so people just in that short little distance. It gets a little harder to find people.

Weather wise a perfect day. Mid 80’s daytime and into the mid 70’s at night. Reminds me of the time a group I was working with back in the late 1980’s entered the parade. We had built a float on a small trailer that was hooked up to a little pickup truck. We had also done up the truck but we left a small viewport for the driver. The poor guy driving roasted in that truck but by golly our float went through the parade!

Contrast to the last few years where it has consistently rained on the parade.

Hope you enjoy our little parade. It ran a couple minutes under an hour from start to finish.

Prop 8 Trial Closing Arguments

And having read the transcripts of the closing arguments I have to say it. The proponents of Prop 8 haven’t got a shred of a legal argument. Their position comes down to an old favorite “The children”.

It’s almost as though the Prop 8 proponents make our case for us. Take the issue of children. Heterosexuals can have kids willy-nilly. They don’t have to be in stable relationships, or even WANT the child. But they’ll use their religious bigotry to say that they’ll marry the opposite sex partner.

That’s all well and good but how many of those marriages end up in divorce? From empirical observation I’d say a good portion of them in end in divorce.

But a same sex couple has to involve a third party be they male-male or female-female couples. They actually WANT those children. And the recent longitudinal study on lesbian parents finds that their kids are well adjusted, more so than the normative families.

Of course this is something I’ve known for awhile now. Good friend of mine is a psychologist and even he says the sex of the parents doesn’t matter, it’s the consistency and love that matter most for kids.

I have to give props to the Olson and Boies team. They’re really putting together a solid case here. But here’s a thought that occurred to me a little while ago. If Judge Walker rules in our favor, it assures an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court (USSC).

I’m not a legal scholar (But I do know a number of attorneys.) and I have to wonder. What happens if the USSC refuses to hear an appeal? It means that the case law stands.

I have a feeling the USSC might not want to touch this one.

Round and round

So today Keyron and I did a six mile loop through the city. Walked up to the east side, then over to India Point Park, then back along Point St. over to Stewart/Cahir and then down Westminster where we finally hooked up with the street we live on.

Weather was perfect for the walk. Not too hot, not too cold. We did break for about 40 minutes or so at India Point.

If there’s one thing I love doing it’s walking around the city. Give me a comfortable pair of shoes (Sneakers!) and I could do ten miles or more easily.

The motivation of the bigots

I think a lot of it is that they lack the ability to think for themselves, or it could be that they think their view of the world should override that of everyone else.

But then look at what most religions have as their first tenets, E.g. I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods before me. You can look it all up in the first books of the Bible, the part shared in common with the Christians and Jews.

Blind Faith - Because Thinking is Hard
Blind Faith - Because Thinking is Hard

But here is an alternate view. They’re simply hiding their bias behind the Bible.

This is most evident in the current dust-up between Porno Petey LaBarbera and Joe Jervis of the bog Joe.My.God

The origin of LaBarbera’s nickname has to do with the fact that LaBarbera likes to go to some of the fairs, festivals and parades and record the scantily clad guys, some of whom might be engaged in plain vanilla sexual practice, some in more B&D practices etc.

But it you read the link I posted earlier you now understand the real issue. It isn’t just their God’s word but their own personal distaste for homosexuality. What I like to call the Ick Factor. I hate to break it to them but the parts do in fact fit together very well, and the majority of us don’t “Eat da poo-poo” in the words of the Rev. Ssempa.

So in LaBarbera’s case, it’s either Ick Factor or the fact that he’s a repressed homosexual himself. I’m leaning toward the latter. I can just picture him stroking away while editing his little video diatribes.