Monthly Archives: August 2009

Fox News: What do Republicans Really Want?

Fox News Blogger Scott Blakeman hits the nail on the head about why the Republicans are against Obama’s health care reform:

As Republicans, we ask ‘Who says our healthcare system doesn’t work?’ The CEO of AETNA made $24 million last year. It certainly works for him. Sure there’s 47 million Americans who don’t have health insurance, but we’re more concerned about making sure those CEO’s don’t get a salary cut.

That’s why we hate the idea of a public option. By increasing competition and lowering costs, the CEO of AETNA might have to settle for only $12 million a year. Who can live on that? And if the insurance companies make less money, that means they’ll contribute less money to our reelection campaigns.

Mac Up-To-Date

UK Apple customers who bought a Mac after June 8th can now buy an upgrade to Snow Leopard for £7.95.

Interestingly, the listing for the upgrade states a shipping date of “by August 28th”.

Pinch Media: iPhone Spyware

iPhone Home reports on Pinch Media enabled iPhone apps collecting and sending sensitive data such your location, your gender, and your birthday.

Once the application has stored the data, it will attempt to send this information back to the pinchmedia servers. In most cases this is done every-time you open & close a pinchmedia enabled application.

Some of the biggest apps such as Camera Zoom and Twitterfon are both Pinch Media enabled. I’m all for in-app advertising, but I wouldn’t expect such agressive spyware to be installed with it.

Quotes from Another Planet

Inverstor’s Business Daily gives a great example of why you should fact check everything you post on the web:

People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn’t have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.

Stephen Hawking has lived and worked in the UK his entire life.

Planet Calacanis

Marco Arment dissects Jason Calacanis’ “out of this world” criticisms of Apple:

This, unfortunately, is the fate of Calacanis’ piece: he has some good points, but they’re buried in so much off-base ranting and misplaced frustration that it’s difficult to take any of it seriously.

American’s Unjust Sex Laws

The Economist again hits the nail on the head, this time about the draconian and harsh sex laws in America that are being emulated in the UK:

Garsh laws often do little to protect the innocent. The police complain that having so many petty sex offenders on registries makes it hard to keep track of the truly dangerous ones. Cash that might be spent on treating sex offenders—which sometimes works—is spent on huge indiscriminate registries. Public registers drive serious offenders underground, which makes them harder to track and more likely to reoffend. And registers give parents a false sense of security: most sex offenders are never even reported, let alone convicted.

Edit: The Economist has another more in-depth article on the same subject.

Movie Industry Admits It Overstated Piracy on Campus

The MPAA overestimated the amount of piracy by campus students by a factor of three.

No wonder public opinion is so against them.

Ninjawords Dictionary: Censored by Apple

John Gruber from Daring Fireball writes about the ridiculous process Ninjawords had to go through to get their dictionary app approved on the AppStore.

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.

New Campaign for Left 4 Dead

Crash Course is a new campaign for Left 4 Dead which will be free for the PC, and cost 560 Microsoft points on the Xbox 360.

It looks like Valve listened to user requests for an attack regeneration timer for infected teammates, and a fairer item spawn system. This should improve public teamwork, and prevent balance issues when one team gets loads of items compared to the other.

I suspect Microsoft’s policies forced Valve to charge for this DLC, but it’s nice to see it free for PC users.

The Edge of Reason

Simon Parkin has written a very detailed article for Eurogamer on the on-going legal battle between Mobigame and trademark-troll Timothy Langdell over Mobigame’s iPhone game Edge.

The Decline and Fall of the British University

Ex lecturer Dr Mark Tarver on the declining teaching and research standards in British universities.

In my experience, many degrees are having their acedemic content diluted to be more attractive to potential students. I consider myself lucky to have taken a degree which had compulsary modules on hard-core foundation subjects that I would’ve avioded otherwise.

Ironically, a recent report from MPs criticised universities for failing to maintain standards, which is a byproduct of their own socialist policies for higher education reform.

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