"I know there is corruption in America. But I have lived here for a year, and have not seen it. In Kyrgyzstan, corruption is everywhere. You can not do anything without corruption. To send your child to school, to apply for a job, you must pay a bribe. If there is a car accident in America, the police and insurance companies determine who is at fault. If there is a car accident in Kyrgyzstan, the person with less money or less power is at fault. In Kyrgyzstan, if you build a business, you can do everything right, and pay all your taxes, and still have it taken away. In America, if you do everything right, it belongs to you.”
(Some will say this is not the time. I disagree. This is the time when every mixed emotion needs to find voice.)
Since his arrest in January, 2011, I have known more about the events that began this spiral than I have wanted to know. Aaron consulted me as a friend and lawyer. He…
Absolutely tragic. There isn’t a better example of how fragile our personal freedoms are. Please consider signing a petition to remove Carmen Ortiz over handling of Aaron Swartz/JSTOR case
Ah, JB, you’re drinking too deep the conservative nut job well this morning.
This is about whether ALL health insurance providers (not just the one’s you pay for) should be required to cover an important expense for women’s health care (they should).
The uses for what are commonly sold as “contraceptives” are many and varied: hormonal balance, period control, acne reduction, prevention and treatment of utero cysts, etc.
Vasectomies and Viagra are typically covered or subsidized by insurance companies RIGHT NOW!! Where is your outrage?!! Where is the shame??
Everyone knows it’s better bareback, why are you fighting this???
If, at the end of all this, we’re left with a society that thinks there’s an inalienable right to free contraceptives, I’m going to demand an inalienable right to free tacos because, at present, that is a much more useful right for me.
If we’re just making up rights, I’d like to be on the payout.
On Saturday I dropped my brand new iPhone 4S on the pavement. SMASHED IT. Here is the story of my replacement:
- Made a 7:30PM appointment for Grand Central Apple Genius Bar at 5:54PM, online.
- Arrived at 7:32PM, checked in and sat down.
- At 7:43PM was seen by an Apple Genius.
- At 7:52PM received a new iPhone 4S ($49.99 w/ AppleCare Plus).
- At 8:00PM my iPhone was fully restored from iCloud and I checked out.
- Walked across Apple Store to the iPhone accessories section.
- Picked out a case for my iPhone.
- Checked myself out with the Apple Store app (on my new iPhone).
- I walked out of the store without anyone asking for a receipt.
- I was back in my apartment at 8:30PM.
By making an entirely frictionless reservation beforehand, I was in and out in 30 minutes with a new phone, fully restored to its previous state, a new iPhone case and an 8 minute walk to my apartment. I don’t think you can get better service experience anywhere in the world. It’s not enough that Apple’s stores are beautiful, conveniently located and well staffed. You could copy all of those things and you’d still miss out on online appointments, iCloud restore and self service checkout. Hardware, software and services. Apple is the only company in the world that dominates all three in such a startlingly seamless way that I have only one word to describe it… magic.
Two small quips:
If I make my Apple Genius appointment using my iTunes account, and need to pay for some additional service, let me pay with my iTunes account.
I had to inform the Apple Genius I was working with that I had AppleCare Plus, he didn’t seem to notice the phone had the additional warranty and originally quoted me $149.99 for repair. This may have been due to the fact that he was working with two iPhones at the same time (both with smashed screens), but a $100 mistake is not trivial.
Really have to feel for these guys, debugging Magento is no fucking joke.
Bonobos.com is a pretty awesome male apparel company, but they had a huge Cyber Monday failure. Their site has been down for 4 days or so, a disaster anytime, and they lost a ton of sales. Their head of UX explains what happened and why. Very interesting if you care anything about online retail, site stability, or cool, good fitting pants.
Also, BustedTees had zero downtime on Cyber Monday. Therefore, we can only assume we are a better company.
Do all of this with Virtualbox
So, you’ve got your graded support matrix, making kick ass web applications that Just Work (TM) for everyone. Problem is, since you’re a web application developer, your primary machine is a Mac, which means testing Internet Explorer can be a hassle. Discounting IE 6 because IE 6 must die, you still have to test IE7, IE8 and IE9. So, IE 7 testing… how hard could that be?
- Microsoft doesn’t sell an operating system that works with IE7.
- Microsoft does provide a Virtual PC image that allows you to test IE7 by emulating Windows Vista. Great!
- It only works with Windows 7 and you’re on a Mac. Fuck.
- You have copies of Windows 7 and VMWare Fusion installed, so you’ll just run the Virtual PC in Windows 7 in VMWare Fusion in OS X. We need to go deeper.
- Windows Virtual PC won’t run in a virtualized environment because hardware accelerated virtualization isn’t available. Wut?
Here is how I got the Virtual PC image provided by Microsoft to work within VMWare Fusion.
On the Windows 7 system in VMWare Fusion:
- Download Virtual PC image for Windows Vista IE 7. Make sure you have enough space allocated in VMWare to download these 6 parts and extract the image (~20GB).
- Run Windows_Vista_IE7.part01.exe, this will extract the Windows Vista VHD.
- Download and run the VMWare vCenter Converter, which will convert the VHD files (which only work with Windows Virtual PC) into a collection of files that will work with VMWare Fusion.
- Transfer the converted files from the Windows 7 system to OS X using a shared folder (VMWare provides this for you).
- For performance reasons, exit out of Windows 7.
In VMWare Fusion on OS X:
- Use VMWare Fusion to open the transfered files.
- The first time VMWare Fusion starts, your Windows Vista image takes a while to boot, be patient.
- Click Validate Windows Later.
- Allow the instance to restart a couple of times as hardware is detected (you may have to restart 4 or 5 times, each time select Validate Windows Later).
- Install VMWare Tools (Virtual Machine > Install VMWare Tools) once you have a working desktop. Restart after installing VMWare Tools.
That’s it! You now have a working instance of Windows Vista with IE7. Be sure to take a snapshot, because you’ll never want to have to do this again.
I made some helpful notes for Microsoft:
This is genuinely Microsoft’s idea of a “streamlined”, “optimized” UI for Windows Explorer. They were so proud of it they wrote a blog post about it.
The post is a sort of masterpiece of crazy rationalization, but I think my favourite part may be this screenshot:
Here, they proudly overlay the UI with data from their research into how often various commands are used. They use this to show that “the commands that make up 84% of what users do in Explorer are now in one tab”. But the more important thing is that the remaining 50% of the bar is taken up by buttons that nobody will ever use, ever, even according to Microsoft’s own research. And yet somehow they remain smack bang in the middle of the interface. The insanity is further enriched by this graph:
Again, this is Microsoft’s own research, cited in the same post: nobody — almost literally 0% of users — uses the menu bar, and only 10% of users use the command bar. Nearly everybody is using the context menu or hotkeys. So the solution, obviously, is to make both the menu bar and the command bar bigger and more prominent. Right?
Microsoft UI has officially entered the realm of self-parody.