Thursday, 18 September 2014

Progress in e-mail

The Atlantic Monthly published a fine article Email is Still the Best Thing on the Internet, laying out all the reasons why e-mail, no matter how often people have claimed it's dead, is still thriving.

On page 2 of the article is a picture of what mail looked like in the 1990s, pointing out how much it's advanced since then.  By golly he's right. Here's his picture of 1990s mail, and a screen shot of the mail program I use every day:



Friday, 4 July 2014

Applying the Hobby Lobby decision

A friend notes:
The company simply does not want to be forced to pay for something to which it objects.
Since it's the Supreme Court, other courts have to apply this ruling in future cases.  So here's a few:
  • I'm a Christian Scientist, and believe that all conventional medicine is wrong.  Does my company have to pay for any of my employees' healthcare?
  • I'm a fundamentalist Mormon who rejects Spencer W. Kimball's 1978 revelation and believes that black people are cursed with the mark of Cain.  I don't like EEO law, but understand that my company has to hire qualified black people. Does it have to pay for their healthcare?

Sunday, 22 December 2013

At least they're warm blooded

Seen in Slate, the online magazine:

Correction, Dec. 10, 2013: This article originally misidentified penguins as mammals. They are birds.

(The article isn't bad, though.)

Friday, 11 October 2013

The Velikovsky Rule

Immanuel Velikovsky wrote a 1950 best seller called "Worlds in Collision." In it he argued that legendary events such as the parting of the Red Sea were due to close encounters by the earth with other planets. These theories were, to put it mildly, highly contentious.

Velikovsky lived in Princeton NJ, which at the time was a small town where everyone knew everyone else, at least in passing. The head of the Princeton University astronomy department told me that one time he was talking to an anthropologist and Velikovsky's book came up.

"The astronomy is nonsense, of course," said the astronomer, "but the anthropology is really interesting."

"What a coincidence," replied the anthropologist. "The anthropology is nonsense, but we think the astronomy is really interesting."


Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Nobody's perfect

From page 8 of Friday's Financial Times:
Correction:
  • The chief executive of Cathay Pacific was misquoted as saying "overseas parrot" instead of "overseas parent" in an article on September 16. 

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Better have big pockets if you want your bank account to be secure

My bank is very concerned about the security of my online accounts, so it sent me these security doozits. They are all real, and each one gives me access to some of my accounts. (Well except the one at the upper right, which is just a key fob.) They would have sent me a fifth one, but for those accounts I had the option of using doozit-like software on my Android device.
A lot of security

Monday, 29 April 2013

On corporate charity

A friend sees press reports that Target has promised to give away a billion dollars to support schools. If they can afford to do that, why not just lower their prices or raise their dividend instead?  Why don't competitors like Walmart, K-Mart, Safeway (to the extent that Target sells groceries), etc., undercut Target on prices by NOT spending money on charitable programs?