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Comment Fill your head with crap (Score 2) 163

Bennett, I like all of your stuff and this is well-written but...

These apps are just going to increase mass neurosis. We don't need our heads filled with this crap. We need to spend more time thinking about important issues, not the trivia.

"Western man is externalizing himself with gadgets" - William S. Burroughs

Submission + - Conroe company still using computers museums want to put on display (

concealment writes: Sparkler Filters up north in Conroe still uses an IBM 402 in conjunction with a Model 129 key punch – with the punch cards and all – to do company accounting work and inventory.

The company makes industrial filters for chemical plants and grease traps.

Lutricia Wood is the head accountant at Sparkler and the data processing manager. She went to business school over 40 years ago in Houston, and started at Sparkler in 1973. Back then punch cards were still somewhat state of the art.

Submission + - How heavy metal riffs stimulate our brains (

An anonymous reader writes: Like the labyrinths to which they are frequently compared, metal songs create a prediction game within the brain and cause an explosion of neural activity in a part of the brain called the nucleus accumbens. This tiny wad of cells, which sits in the pleasure/reward center of the brain, gives us a throbbing blast of “reward” every time we play the guess-where-this-riff-goes game.

Both metal and classical play this game. They specialize in intense repetition of certain phrases, but unlike rock music, the repeated phrases do not necessarily lead to the same conclusions, and in fact alter their destinations and form throughout the work. This keeps the guessing game intense and, while we’re distracted with the riffology, shows a change in themes, which if themes are metaphorical, shows a learning process by whatever protagonist may be inferred from the work.

Comment Please standardize more (Score 5, Insightful) 302

The web worked when it had a simple standard that worked in every situation.

We've put layers on top of that, and now it's chaos. A bloated, irregular, often incomprehensible chaos designed to allow people to make custom interfaces out of the web.

The whole point of the web, versus having an application for every specific task (like we did on desktops before the 1990s, and like we now do on smartphones), was to have a standard and simplified interface.

The web grew and thrived under that goal. It's become more corporate, nuanced, isolated, sealed-off, etc. under our "new" way.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The perfection of imperfection

A friend in need asked me how I would set up and secure a network for a small private middle school/high school.

At first, I did the good geek thing and started closing every hole, making the "perfect" system to keep the kids from doing anything unauthorized.

Submission + - How to expunge Google products from your life (

concealment writes: Recently, Google announced their decision to shut down Google Reader. This latest step in opposition to an open Internet in favour of Google+ has led me to a decision of my own. It's time to expunge Google from my life, to the fullest extent practical.

It's not because Google chose to shut down a free service they were offering, or because of privacy concerns. It's because I think that Google is now working against the potential of the open Internet, and because I think that one gets a better product when one is the customer as well as the user.

He's dead, Jim.