Betteridge’s law of headlines

May 30, 2013

I had heard of this before, but I saw it today on Daring Fireball. It’s a simple adage:

Any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.

This is the link Daring Fireball was referring to, but I’d be hard pressed to find an exception to that rule.


Citi Commute

May 30, 2013

The NYC CitiBikes are here. I’m a member, so basically I can grab a bike anywhere and ride for up to 45 minutes for free (not really free, I paid the annual membership). The bike racks are all over the place in my neighborhood, including right outside my office.

The bike share concept makes you think a little differently. If I had a dentist appointment in the middle of the day, to ride there, lock up the bike, go to the dentist and ride back would be pushing the 45 minute limit (you can keep them longer, you just pay).

But that’s not how you have to think.

I would grab a bike outside my office and ride to the closest rack to the dentist’s office and return the bike. 10 minutes. Then after my appointment, I’d grab a different bike and ride back. Each ride has to be fewer than 45 minutes.

The concept only works if there are racks everywhere. And for me, they pretty much are.

The bikes aren’t anything fancy. They are obviously built for durability, not speed. They are heavy, sturdy 3-speeds. They have this interesting basket in the front with no sides and a built in bungee cord. So today leaving my office I had my scooter with me. But I had to go someplace where I knew there was a bike rack and it was far enough that the speed different bike vs. scooter made the bike better. So I folded the scooter, stuck it in the bike basket and rode. To make the  Brooklyn experience complete, I scootered the half block from the rack to the store.

We’ll see how well CitiBikes work in the long run, but I think it’s a winner.

Kill the Violin Section

May 29, 2013

Today is the 100th anniversary of Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring”. I’ll assume that most readers have never heard (or barely heard) of it. This was a ballet and orchestral work. Stravinsky was one of the early avant-garde classical composers and this is a classic work. I was about to write that most readers would not like this music, but frankly most readers don’t like highly accessible classical music, so that’s not a profound statement.

But I think this is:

When first performed, … the avant-garde nature of the music and choreography caused a sensation and almost a riot in the audience

Think about that. It’s 1913. You are at an orchestral ballet performance. You are probably dressed in full formal attire. Had a nice dinner before. All the best of the best are in attendance.

And a riot almost breaks out. Seriously, think about that.

This isn’t Rhianna showing too much skin in a country that doesn’t like that. This is a classic music performance in Paris where they love classical music.

And it almost caused a riot. Mind boggling.

It’s worth listening to just for that fact (you’ll often see it as Le Sacre du Printemps, the French translation). And if you aren’t used to modern classical music (“modern” in the classical music sense means post 1900) it will be somewhat jarring.

But a riot?

Anyway, Stravinsky was brilliant, but not that accessible to most folks so you may have to take my word for it. Russian born, moved to Paris and then the US. No modern (in our sense of the word) classical composer was not influenced by Stravinsky.

So this is the 100 year anniversary of a brilliant musical debut that nearly caused a riot. That sentence may never be written again.

Fact Checkers Out of Work

May 29, 2013

From conservative David Frum’s site today:

Michele Bachmann won’t be running for re-election in 2014.

In totally unrelated news, fact checkers are increasingly worried about their career prospects.


May 28, 2013

Investing in the future?


May 24, 2013

We got FiOS about two weeks ago. Overall the comparison to Time Warner cable is no comparison.

The big issue was internet speed. We had also been having big issues needing to reboot the DVR box with Time Warner a couple of times a week.

Internet speed is no contest. We started on Verizon’s 50/25 package. We wanted a few more TV channels so as a package upgrading the internet to 70/35 was only $5/month more. So we did that.

The speeds are only guaranteed with a wired connection. That is important since we function wireless 95% of the time. But for Netflix or if I need to download something big, wired we are actually getting 80Mb down. Crazy fast. Wireless, it tends to be a consistent 18Mb down. But here the key word is consistent. Unlike cable, it never slows down. And the upload speeds are just as good.

TV wise, they are pretty comparable. We have yet to need to reboot the FiOS DVR and the box seems faster overall (using the guide, on demand etc.). We also got a second DVR and we’re still saving money.

There is one area that FiOS is not as good. They don’t have full “watch TV on your other devices” capabilities yet. It’s supposedly coming, but with Time Warner I could watch any TV on my laptop, Nexus, iPad, whatever.

FiOS, you need to catch up here.

So overall, a better experience (way better on the internet) and we are saving money every month. Clear win.

Nuts in the line of fire

May 24, 2013

Truly one of the great sports quotes:

I have no problem putting my nuts in the line of fire.

– Roy Hibbert, Indiana Pacers

Potentially painful…