23 Jul

links for 2009-07-23

  • I needed this a while back.
  • "We've written before about conservatives claiming that Congress, or Obama, or Washington, or Democrats in general want the U.S. to have a Canadian-style, government-run health care system. The truth of the matter is that the president has repeatedly said he doesn't. In fact, since being sworn in as president, Obama has riled advocates of such single-payer systems by largely excluding them from the health care debate. He has answered several questions from members of the public who asked at town hall events: "why not" have such a system. Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and one of the leaders in drafting legislation, has said bluntly: "single-payer is not going to get even to first base in Congress." Yet, the Canada claims continue."
  • "It’s time for another episode of the Up the Moo Herd: MooTools Tips and Tricks series, where we’ll talk about classes, the backbone of MooTools. Other JS libraries thrive using plugins and extensions, but MooTools keeps its object-oriented focus by using classes and mixins to new functionality to the framework." Creating classes in MooTools.
  • "Human trials of a vaccine to protect against the H1N1 swine flu virus have begun in Australia. Vaxine and CSL have both started injecting volunteers this week, but it will be at least six weeks before the initial results are known." It's going to be a fun flu season.
  • "Morgan Stanley made a loss of $159m (£97m) between April and June, a significant drop on the $698m profit it made in the same period a year earlier. It is the third consecutive loss for the Wall Street bank and was worse than analysts had expected. It was also hit by the cost of repaying government funding. Including that charge, losses totalled $1.3bn. However, a number of Morgan Stanley's rivals have reported significant jumps in second quarter profits."
  • "Some designers create things to show you what they did. I design things to tell you what I solved."
    (tags: quotes design)
  • "The developers I know would rather rip up $50 bills, long sequences of them, than do something that, in their best judgment, is against the best interests of the software and its users. And that’s why it’s kind of insulting, because it goes right to a developer’s pride and craftsmanship. It suggests they’d ditch all that for $50." With my involvement with building a product I would totally agree.
  • "A former Ukrainian general suspected of carrying out the high-profile murder of journalist Georgiy Gongadze has reportedly confessed to the killing. A senior police official said Oleksiy Pukach had also implicated senior political figures in the murder." This is why it's important to not just say you have freedom of the press, but to actually have it.
  • "The gist of the human-rights-violation argument is that multimillion-euro fines should only be issued by criminal courts, not as a result of an administrative proceeding." Probably won't fly in the EU court system.
  • "A court in the Indian city of Mumbai is due to decide whether to accept the guilty plea made by the main suspect in last year's deadly attacks in the city. The ruling is expected one day after Mohammad Ajmal Amir Qasab told the court he is ready to be hanged after admitting his role in the violence. Prosecutors said he changed his plea to guilty to secure leniency. They want the trial to proceed but the defence says it should end if the court accepts his plea."
  • "Show support for "MooTools FTW" and add a twibbon to your twitter profile image." Khabi-MooTools.
  • "So when it comes to creating a fun summer activity for 30 people, I turn to others for their advice. The first answer out of everyone's mouth?"
    (tags: humor)
  • "Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya should return home on Friday, mediator Oscar Arias has said. The country's interim authorities, who removed him, repeated that they would not reinstate him, but said they would submit the mediator's plan to Congress."
  • "News has just broken that Amazon.com has purchased hot ecommerce up-and-comer Zappos for 10 million Amazon shares or $880 million. (The Amazon release said it was $807 million, but that was based on a trailing 45-day estimate of its share price. Closing price today bumps the deal up to $880 million.) Zappos employees also will get $40 million in cash and restricted stock. In other words the deal is more like $920 million all told. And Zappos management will remain in place."
  • "Not too long ago, the CTO at Dudley H.'s company had a startling revelation: there should never, ever be a need for technical support. If a client has an issue using one of their products, then the problem is most certainly in the product. Maybe the UI is a little confusing. Maybe it's not documented enough. Maybe the documentation isn't clear enough. Whatever the case, every client issue means that someone — be it the developer, tester, or helpdesk technician — didn't do their job properly and should strive to improve themselves. Of course, the counterargument to the CTO's revelation, lobbied primarily by the helpdesk staff, was that many users are simply lazy, stupid, or lazy and stupid, and no amount of improvement could ever change that. Not that it mattered, though. The CTO was determined and set a new policy that all client issues were to have "problem/improvement" reports written about them, and that all reports were to be reviewed at the higest level."
  • "The companies announced on Wednesday that Amazon was acquiring Zappos, based in Henderson, Nev., for 10 million shares of Amazon stock, worth nearly $900 million at its current level. Amazon also said it would give Zappos employees an additional $40 million in cash and stock." Awesome news for Zappos.
  • "Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, filed an appeal Wednesday challenging the European Commission’s record €1.06 billion fine and ruling in May that it had abused its dominance in computer processors by offering rebates to computer makers who used more of its chips. The appeal will not delay Intel’s payment of the $1.45 billion fine, the largest ever assessed in Europe in a market-dominance case." So surprised Intel filed an appeal.
  • "The report found that nearly half of all African-Americans and English-speaking Hispanics (the study did not include a Spanish-language option) were using mobile phones or other hand-held devices to surf the Web and send e-mail messages. By comparison, just 28 percent of white Americans reported ever going online using a mobile device. Not only are African-Americans the most active users of mobile Internet, they are also the fastest growing group to adopt the technology: the percentage of African-Americans using mobile phones or another type of connected gadget to share e-mail, exchange instant messages and access the Internet for information on an average day has more than doubled since late 2007, jumping to 29 percent, from 12 percent. By comparison, 19 percent of Americans over all log on to the Internet on a mobile device on a typical day."
  • "And today the company unveiled the FREETALK Everyman headset, a USB super wideband audio headset. While first and foremost the goal was to ensure great call quality, Skype also notes that this headset is, “lightweight and folds flat so you can throw it in your bag with your laptop.”"
  • "An American man has been charged with giving al-Qaeda information about the public transport system in New York City, US court papers say. The man, named as Bryant Neal Vinas, 26, is also accused of firing rockets at US troops in Afghanistan last year."
  • Fun stuff.
  • "Complaints from customers about the airline industry have risen by 11% in a year, a consumer support group says. The Air Transport Users Council (AUC) handled 12,307 complaints and enquiries in 2008-9, compared with 11,077 the previous year. Cancellations, delays and mishandled baggage topped the gripes list but new technology has also led to new types of complaints, the AUC said. It accepted that complaints came from a "tiny" minority of passengers."

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