Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Not a remote possibility

Merry Christmas everyone. Okay, if you are reading this blog post, first let me say, "thank you." My last post was about 9 months ago, so you probably figured I'd just abandoned the whole thing. Well, it wasn't so much abandonment as it was being in a creative rut. I really didn't have a whole lot to write about, and the usual comedic fodder (i.e. writing about the antics of my daughters) was problematic. You see, now that they can read and apparently have feelings, I'm not allowed to talk disparagingly like I used to. So, I had to think of other subject matter to cover, and that's been tough. I've decided to get back into blogging in 2013, because I really found it to be a great outlet and stress reliever. So here I am again. I'm going to start small. The next few posts won't amount to a whole lot, I just want to get the juices flowing again.

So TODAY, I'm going to write about the latest piece of technology to enter our house - an internet-enabled Panasonic HD television. While overall there's nothing TOO exciting to report about it, I feel I have to comment on a big FAIL on the part of Panasonic, that rears it's ugly head in the form of an iPhone app. We bought this TV not for its internet capabilities, but for its quality picture at the right price point. The Internet features were just freebies. but I happen to have a network switch behind the TV, so I hooked it up because, frankly, I really wanted to play with Panasonic's iPhone app. We currently have an AppleTV and a Tivo, and I use the Remote app for those all the time and love them. So, I figured if the Panasonic remote app was any good, I could virtually eliminate the need to go hunting around for the remote control and instead use the iPhone for everything.

It was a good theory, but there was one problem. The remote app has no power button, so you can't turn the TV on with it. Panasonic did a great job of hiding the physical button on the back of the TV making it impossible to find, so really the only good solution is to have the physical remote in hand to turn it on. So of course, once you have the regular remote, what's the point of using the iPhone?

Another fine example of technology produced for the masses without real world testing.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Fate of the Comma

From the New York Times Opinion Pages. Fanfare for the Comma Man.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

"There are three commas. The one after “state” would be used today; the one after “arms” would not; the one after “militia” is ambiguous; and all three have caused a world of hurt, confusion and argumentation over the last 223 years."

The Fate of the Human Writer

From The Atlantic.com. Can the Computers at Narrative Science Replace Paid Writers?

"They claim their technology will reshape our relationship to data, media, and the way we consume information—and, after several hours of interviews, I believe them. The concern in some quarters is that Narrative Science, with its ability to generate reams of cheap, instantaneous content—is going to make human writers obsolete. The truth, however, is more complicated."