oh noes the Google!

For a few hours this morning, Google itself was not working properly. The problem, as so happens with computers, was traced back to one silly mistake: in an update to potential malware sites, “the URL of ‘/’ was mistakenly checked in as a value to the file and ‘/’ expands to all URLs” (Mayer). The problem lasted only an hour or two, but I’m glad I wasn’t trying to do a Google search this morning. Google being down . . . that’s like finding out that your dad doesn’t know everything.

Mayer, Marissa. ” ‘This site may harm your computer’ on every search result?!?!” http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/01/this-site-may-harm-your-computer-on.html . Accessed Jan 31, 2009..

A quiet, filling happiness

Today, on this day of days, I will not strive to be profound or insightful. For this one day, any rhetoric would be superfluous. I’ll just say that I am filled with a happiness that’s increased as the day goes on, relieved by the end of a shameful era, and looking forward to the hard stuff.

Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

President Barack Obama

Raggedy-ass cars

One day, one day, I will have a car that’s reasonably new and functioning. Old, raggedy cars don’t just break–they decay in weird, unexpected ways that you can’t do jack about. I went to get out of my car today and the door stuck about halfway. It looks like the body panel just in front of the door has shifted somehow and is blocking the hinge from opening completely. I can still get in and out, but it’s a tight it. Maybe, if I’m very lucky, this is a temporary problem caused by snow and ice buildup shifting that panel. If not, there’s nothing I can do about it anyway–I certainly can’t afford any bodywork right now. All I can do is hope it doesn’t get worse, adapt, and keep an eye on it to make sure my damn door doesn’t fall off..

The Internet is flat

When I read RSS feeds, there’s a way in which everything is the same. It’s a list of things to read through: a war in the Gaza Strip, previews of upcoming video games, ruminations on language, lolcats, government scandal. Think about that list for a second. War in the Gaza Strip has killed over a thousand human beings, with the potential to spread conflict and chaos throughout the region. Lolcats are at worst an annoying trend incapable of actually harming anybody. I especially notice this when sharing links with friends and family–here’s a celebrity death, there’s an amazing Lego project, and over there’s an update on net neutrality. I sometimes worry that the way I treat these pages is leading to my not giving enough times to important things and way too much time to ephemera. I’m not sure what the solution is, or even how big a problem this actually is.

This movie is rated for . . .

We watched Wanted last night. Not a brilliant movie, but lots of fun and made by someone who obviously cared about his work. (Check out the director’s earlier Russian films Night Watch and Day Watch for more insane action.) One thing that amused me was how specific ratings advisories are now–it’s not just violence, it’s “constant bloody violence.” Seriously–that’s a quote from the warning before the film started. My favorite was that the film was rated “R,” in part, for “pervasive sexuality.” There are a couple of brief sex shots, but they only last a few minutes. I realized that there was only possible explanation: the movie was rated for “pervasive sexuality” because Angelina Jolie is in most scenes. Not doing anything sexual, usually–just being Angelina Jolie. I guess her entire being counts as pervasively sexual or something.

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Oh my god learn how to use your goddam computer

How the fuck do you own a Windows computer and not understand the concept of saving a file?! I’ve been trying to help this guy for forty-five goddamn minutes, FINALLY got him connected to the Internet and we’re stuck on the simple task of saving a file from the Internet and trying to put it in a specific directory. We’re going to spend over an hour of a technician’s time for a dial-up account that only pays us $15 a month. It’s seriously hard to explain to someone over the phone how to navigate basic functions, and more to the point it’s a waste of my time. Buy a book, use “the Google,” take a class at the library.