Wednesday, June 30, 2010

G20 Toronto Black Block get green light to rampage?

A billion for security and 20,000 police can't stop the “Black Bloc” idiots from rampaging for an hour and a half… but they can beat down the peaceful protesters later.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Police attacking non-violent protesters

And here's some video showing police attacking some non-violent protesters with bikes, batons and some sort of nasty spray (pepper? mace?):

Way to go, guys.

And conveniently Parliament is out until September 20th, so this might have all blown over by then. At least, that's what the government is hoping… they've used this sort of “wait a bit, everyone will forget” technique a bunch of times.

Toronto police crush out-of-key singers

Here's how the G20 version of the Toronto police react to some peaceful protestors mangling the Canadian national anthem. Note that this is (IIRC) Queen Street, not the “G20 Security Zone” or whatever they were calling it.

Prime Minister Harper, Premier McGuinty, Mayor Miller and Chief Blair should be ashamed and should be voted out/fired as soon as possible.

This isn't my Canada.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Cell service in Canada makes me angry

Hey cellular companies of Canada! You keep telling me how awesome your plans and rates are, and how you listen to your customers and give them what they want… here's what I want:

  • a website where I can actually choose what features I want on my account; stop bundling useless crap together and forcing me to take a bunch of things I don't want
  • a website where I can see what my charges will actually be; stop hiding those extra 911, “system access” and “regulatory recovery” fees (all bullshit, BTW) you like to tack on
  • a store where I can walk in, tell them what I want, and have the salesdroids be able to tell me what my monthly bill will be

I'm still undecided on iPhone vs. Android, but my requirements aren't even ridiculous or (IMHO obviously) challenging:

  • minimal voice minutes; 60 would cover me easily, I really don't use the phone much
  • reasonable data; 500MB might be reasonable, 1GB is probably lots… I'll happily use WiFi wherever it's available
  • caller ID
  • minimal texts; I use maybe 5/month now, but I might do it more with a smartphone
  • LET ME USE ALL THE FEATURES SUPPORTED BY THE PHONE; you shouldn't be able to advertise iPhone's Visual Voicemail feature if you're going to charge extra/month for it to be available

I'll suffer with your three year contracts, ridiculously complex bills and the spam you send to my phone (I used to get text spam from Rogers on a phone plan that didn't have texting enabled). Just give me what I want and I'll be a low-maintenance customer for three years.

Maybe even longer if you manage to give me the service you're selling me without “accidentally” over-billing me or doing other shady things.

Is giving your customers what they want and treating them with a little respect too much to ask?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Ants subterranean structures revealed!!!!?!

This video of an ant colony being filled with cement and then excavated is amazing; their city is complex and well designed!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mind mapping

I started messing with MindNode last night, doing some Marooned! brainstorming and planning; it was pretty useful, I think, and definitely works well when you're throwing down ideas as fast as possible without necessarily aiming them all in the same direction.

Here's the start of my Marooned! map in MindNode:


MindNode lets you export/import FreeMind files as well, so I grabbed it to compare. It's a Java app (ugh), but it's got a lot of additional features, and will auto-fit your items, automatically adjusting the map so nothing is overlapping. If MindNode does that, it's limited to the Pro version.

Here's the same map in FreeMind:


As much as I hate Java apps (non-native UI! klunky widgets! the horror!), I'm going to give FreeNode a fair shake. If actually using it feels fairly fluid and straight-forward, I'll go that direction. It's certainly got more features (attach icons to nodes, for example) beyond even what MindNode Pro offers.

Choosing a Java app over a similar native app is a big step for me. Maybe one day I'll overcome my Java prejudices in the name of productivity. Eclipse is the only other Java app I don't mind using…

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

50's Empire Strikes Back

Holy cow, this is absolutely awesome:

Friday, June 4, 2010

Doing it wrong…

Apparently I need to read some docs on… my last post was intended to show up only on the Marooned! blog/Twitter, but it got posted in both places. And it failed to pick up my tags.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Cure OCD via… bone marrow transplant

Hey, check this out:

Info about a study that seems to have cured OCD in rats by giving them a bone marrow transplant, to compensate for the mutation causing OCD.