Your Eye-Rubbing Moment for the Day, in Reverse Q/A Format
A: Internet Explorer.
Q: About which Web browser was the following said?
I’ve been working on the team for about a month now. I continue to
be impressed at the way everyone is passionate about doing the right
thing. During the recent security work people have been very thorough
and very proffesional to ensure we are taking the right steps. I’m not sure I’d feel
comfortable using any other browser.
Fred Clark of Slacktivist fame has a great post about typical household incomes
that gives me a chance to plug my absolute favorite Internet resource
for economic policy discussions, which is the Statistical
Abstract of the U.S.. If you ever find yourself thinking, “Say, I
wonder...” about some economic quantity or other, this is the place to
look. It is my contention that 90% of bullshit numerical assertions
could be made solid with a glance at the tables of sweet, sweet data.
(The previous sentence falls in the other 10%.)
It also serves as a nice litmus test for the policy/politics
divide. If you can spend hours trawling through the Statistical
Abstract, you’re definitely interested in policy.
Henry Blodgett, a man who knows a thing or two about screwing investors, is starting a series of articles at Slate about the perfectly legal ways in which investment advisors lie to and screw over the people who are paying them for advice.
The bemusing thing is, this isn’t a secret. Blodgett presents his
facts sensationally, but the shocking thing is that there’s nothing
shocking about what he’s saying — these are things that have been said
a zillion times already in a zillion investment guides. That brokers
and advisors — even as you pay them to manage your funds and advise
your investments — don’t have your best interests at heart is a widely
This is such a nonsensical state of affairs that it’s almost
impossible to take it seriously, so you get all sorts of elaborate
regulation of peripheral details, and even the occasional superficial
prosecution, the Blodgett or the Martha Stewart; but the fundamental
absurdity, that people deliberately pay money for bad advice and bad
performance, outlasts the scandal of the moment.
So, if you can’t trust experts to tell you what you should do with your money, who can you go to for help? Well, you could do a lot worse than to take cartoonist Scott Adams’ advice. At least he’s not charging for it.
Is This Thing On?
Yeah, I suck. Sometimes, it turns out, I’ve just got nothing to say. So, let’s point to potentially interesting things.
FafBlog is the new official funniest site on the Internet (with the possible exception of Daily Dinosaur Comics), and a must read.
Mozilla Firefox is the continuing best browser available, and now in a 0.9.1 version, it features higher numbers than ever before. It’s the browser so good, Microsoft subsidiaries recommend it.
WHAT WG is the new best hope for the Web. We’ve spent a charming few years stagnating while the W3C pursues its marketing-driven fantasy specs and Microsoft lazily enjoys its browser monopoly, but maybe now things will get moving again. Opera, Apple, and Mozilla working in tandem might be enough of a force for Microsoft to pay attention (yet not so much of a force that nothing can get done).
Netflix is very cool. Perhaps there’s some kind of future in this wacky “electronic-commerce” idea.
- I’m not really into the board game scene, but this post about a board-gaming convention by Greg Costikyan is fascinating reading nonetheless. And if you didn’t even know there was a board game scene, check out Funagain, which is the Amazon of board game sites. Of the games I’ve played, Puerto Rico seems to be the biggest hit (and Lost Cities is the most enjoyable two-person game) — recommended for geekish people with friends.