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Archive for March 7th, 2008

Cellphone Camouflage

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cellphone camouflage

Kitty looks so casual accessorizing with my old cell phone and the new one I picked up after lunch today.

Despite our recent trouble with Verizon incorrectly coming after me on the delinquent wireless account held by my old employer, I wouldn’t go with any other company for reliable wireless telephone service. So sign me on up for another term.

But no, I don’t need a Blackberry. Yes, I have more gadgets than a Swiss army knife; and yes, there are times in airports and trips visiting Jen and other such excursions when I do miss that old wireless account; but I really don’t need that level of connectivity 24/7. Just give me the current version of my old LG, and I’ll be fine. (Oh, and maybe a microSD memory card for it, although I won’t complain if we hold that purchase up until next Christmas.)

bumper sticker [] - monarda

Written by macheide

7 March 2008 at 6:39 pm

Posted in monarda

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Google Makes a Mess of SMS

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Google Makes a Mess of SMS

At the right is Google‘s illustration of how your cell phone might look if at the appropriate moment you were to send “score red sox” to Google SMS. Nice, eh? If you can’t make it to City of Palms Park, you can still be in the know enough to catch the action virtually up to the minute: cross-league opponent Pittsburgh failed to score in the top of the 8th, leaving them only 3 more outs to catch Boston. Not only that, but Google SMS promises to be so good, you’ll even get the scoop on Boston’s previous outing: a Grapefruit League scoreless tie. *smirk*

At the left, promise becomes reality as I try to get an update on the Houston Rockets’ current winning streak, extended to 16 on Wednesday night (March 5) in a 117-99 home victory over the Pacers and to 17 last night (March 6) in a 113-98 road win over the Mavs. So where’s Google with this? Still back on Sunday’s 15th win in the streak. Even a smirk doesn’t quite go far enough on that screen.

Rant about twitter like I did recently, and at least we can offer them the “growing pains” excuse. Still doesn’t mean I won’t go off hunting for a better moblogging solution that will permanently displace my temporary affair with twittering, but at least one can maybe shrug it off and wish them well on growing out of it.

For Google? There is no excuse. None whatsoever. Only a very strong word of advice: don’t use Google SMS. Look elsewhere for alerts (and not to MSN – I’ll get around to their particular brand of SMS mess shortly), and don’t waste time coming back around to see if they’re still stuck on March 2 or not.

Bumper Sticker [] - reprobate

Written by macheide

7 March 2008 at 5:53 pm

Posted in reprobate

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Next Best Thing

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Next Best Thing to an Aurelian Dream, an old article I wrote over 17 years ago for Contingencies, the U.S. actuarial community’s flagship magazine, is now all but forgotten.

Perhaps Art — the magazine’s software column adviser — would remember it even after almost two decades, since he was reported to have very heartily advised the magazine’s editors to print the piece, despite their profound confusion over what the hell I was trying to say. To anyone else, the piece is a forgotten dream one doesn’t even know was ever dreamed.

A month or two before, I’d written a dry technical article for the Pension Section News promoting the idea of a pension actuarial bulletin board. Contingencies requested a follow-up “me too” article. They would have been happy with me simply plagiarizing my earlier article; but the actuarial community is too small to risk boring the same small set of readers with the same little bit of sermonizing. Besides, in the previous two years when I’d been rallying for an electronic pension actuarial network, I had always envisioned something far beyond a mere bulletin board set-up. As early as 1985, back in my Wall Street job, I had managed to get authorization for a project to create what I had already worked out a mock-up for on my own IBM XT (which was what I had bought that machine for in the first place, having envisioned this network back in 1980 during work on a Wang mini-computer with my insurance company employer of those years) — a hypertext knowledge base of pension actuarial information and wisdom.

No, I’m not another Al Gore pretending to have invented the Internet. But I did have a system very closely representing the Web on my own PC, had worked it into a formal project for a Wall Street firm, and was pressing the pension actuarial community to develop it years before the Web itself was a twinkle in anyone’s eye.

Ancient history. No longer matters, and very distantly remembered, if at all.

bumper sticker [] - macheïde

Written by macheide

7 March 2008 at 11:03 am

Posted in macheide


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piecing together huge jigsaw puzzles on th floors of meeting rooms and dining halls. at risk of criticism from supervisors for doing so, but looked forward to what th finished puzzle would show.

managed to get a friend to help me move some puzzle sections over from a side floor area where i’d been working on a draft section of th puzzle

[My dreams have been angry with me, I think. The morning after the last previous one recorded here, I remembered only a brief segment about Roger Clemens, which I elected against posting. The next morning I remembered a slightly longer sequence in which Southwest wanted my endorsement, and I again elected against posting. Even now I can still feel the touch of all the dreams since, but can not even recall so much as one face, one scene, one action, one word. Nothing. As though my dream’s writers had gone out on strike, in protest against my editorial authoritarianism.]

Bumper Sticker [] - oneirra

Written by macheide

7 March 2008 at 4:04 am

Posted in oneirra