Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Not a Football Blog

1) I'll bet the Ravens' fans won't be nice to Ben Roethlisberger when the Steelers visit on 12/5.This is assuming, of course, that Roethlisberger is with the Steelers come early December.

2) Reading the discussion at the USA Today, the nation's high school newspaper, it's interesting to see how many people are focused on the fact that Roethlisberger may not have committed a crime, and so should not be treated as a criminal. He's not being treated as a criminal. Athletes in this culture are coddled, and Roethlisberger is a prime example of that. Goodell has been trying to clean up the NFL's image, and letting Roethlisberger play, even though he may not be a rapist, is inconsistent with that. I grew up in a town where NCAA football players were thugs, and I applaud efforts to send signals that, perhaps, thuggery is not good.

3) What Roethlisberger has been accused of is much worse than the drug offenses that other players are being accused of. The NFL has looked into this in much more detail, e.g., Goodell has talked to the Milledgeville DA, and so he has more information than we do. My guess is that Goodell believes Roethlisberger's behavior was reprehensible even if not prosecutable, and Goodell is the person the NFL ownership has chosen to make these decisions.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I Sold My Soul to the Online Store

Apparently 7500 customers sold their souls to Gamestation, presumably at least in part because they didn't read the fine print that everyone knows that no one reads. The store says that they've shown that 88% of customers do not read the fine print. This may be about right, but if Amazon or someone like that were to change their terms and conditions, it would probably take me a long, long time to notice.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Mein Gott! Frankfurt has Cots!

Seeing these pictures of cots in the Frankfurt airport made me a bit jealous. Cots in an airport? Someone should suggest this to JFK, where many of us were stranded 3/13 - 3/15 last month.

I'll never again say bad things about Frankfurt Airport.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What, Pearson Learning Solutions can't figure out how to make a PDF?

Check out this atrocious user interface from Pearson:

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Bunny?

Does anyone know if the Easter Bunny saw it's shadow Sunday? If so, it's another 6 weeks till Memorial Day.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


More and more I'm starting to use different browsers for different purposes. Opera is nice because it allows fine control over scripting on a per site basis. For example, at, I can shut off most of the advertising but still use most of the site's features. I especially like this for Blackboard, however.

Blackboard is a commercial course management system. Essentially, it's bloatware loaded with features that I can't imagine many people use, but they persist because, apparently, someone uses each. One of the unfortunate features of Blackboard is that when entering data in a text area, it starts a Java application. Yes, an application, not an applet. For some inexplicable reason, Blackboard wants to run an application with full user privileges on my PC. This is even harder to understand, since disallowing execution seems to have no effect on Blackboard functionality. It's probably innocuous, but as a matter of policy, why subject all the data on my PC to Blackboard's whims and bugs? Plus, what, if anything, are the software folks at Blackboard thinking?

Firefox generates a warning, but doesn't remember negative decisions. It allows one to always trust a site, but not to always distrust a site. Strange.

Opera, though, now knows to never run Java at So far, this is causing no problems, and so Opera is now my browser of choice for Blackboard.