Category: Stupidity

Read More

Don’t ‘Fall into the Gap’

The Internet outrage over the photo for a Gap Kids advertisement is rather ridiculous. The meme accuses racism, because the taller white tween rests her arm on the shorter black girl’s head. Gap was wrong to apologize and replace the pic, bowing before the will of social media bullies. They read too much into the modeling, and you shouldn’t side with their idiocy.

The posing isn’t unusual for Gap marketing, and there is at least one earlier instance where roles reversed: Black tween resting arm on the head of a white girl, as filmmaker Matthew A. Cherry tweets with question: “Does the @GapKids pic on the left make the pic on the right okay? Let’s debate”. The answer is immaterial, because motivation and meaning are assigned, in conspiratorial fashion. I look at the pic and could, purely for contrarian perspective’s sake, assign equally-outrageous interpretation. 

Read More

Bernie Sanders DMCA burns Wikipedia

I have a whopping “WTF?” headache this fine Saturday over a Wikipedia report that the Bernie Sanders campaign filed a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) request demanding removal of the Presidential hopeful’s logos. Seriously? From an encyclopedia? If this is the future under so-called Democratic Socialism, run for cover. The Police State pounds the door! He talks the good talk—gentile Uncle promising freedom for all—but I look where he walks, and that’s with a club beating baby seals of free speech. Yikes!

I am decidedly non-partisan, meaning: All politicians are fair game for our bow and arrows to shoot and Bowie knife to gut. (Got a taxidermist on contract to stuff them, too!) The Donald is easy prey, but I never expected Bernie to gloriously trump Trump! The take-down notice’s absurdity outdoes the proposed Wall protecting Americans from Mexicans south and Canadians north. 

Read More

Seriously, Wikipedia?

I would like to wish Wikipedia happy birthday, but wonder what the Hell this photo has to do with free, curated, online information? The pic appears in a blog post self-celebrating the site’s 15th year of operation. What do I miss here? Is the encyclopedia into printing books for distribution to schoolkids? Perhaps use is backhanded commentary, suggesting these tykes would be smarter if only they had access to “free knowledge”.

Maybe the pic is subliminal, instead, and the purest form of propaganda fundraising. To celebrate the birthday, Wikipedia launches an “endowment”, with goal of raising $100 million over 10 years. What’s more stereotypical than using cute kids of color to pull the heart strings to open wallets. For others, donations will be guilt-giving. 

Read More

The ‘Cesarean is Safer’ Lie

So I’m sitting at McDonald’s with my 93 year-old father-in-law, who likes to eat from the all-day breakfast menu for lunch. Behind him, across the aisle, sit three elderly gents who don’t look to be quite as old but nevertheless it’s a 70-plus group. They gather daily apparently.

One man announces that he can’t make lunch tomorrow. “My daughter is having a baby”. When, another geezer asks. “At 9:30 in the morning” is the answer. “How do you know?” I could answer that one, and the reason why. I lean forward and listen with greater focus. “She’s having a Cesarean”, the man answers. What he says next chills my bones and inflames my anger: The doctor says that the procedure is “safer” than natural childbirth. 

Read More

This is How the Economist Looks on My iPad Air 2

Do you see anything missing? Nothing essential other than most of the content per page. At times like these my paranoia meter rises and I resist, often with difficulty, giving in to conspiracy theories.

This problem started with installation of iOS 9 Beta (second now). The operating system makes changes to the Newsstand, which future role is questionable. Apple is prepping a new Flipboard-like News app and content deals with it. I always wonder who exerts pressure on whom during the licensing negotiations process. 

Read More

Don’t Go There

While sitting with my 93 year-old father-in-law outside the Starbucks in San Diego’s Hillcrest district, I observed a directional sign for two shops, today. Then I read them as a sentence and laughed. Okay, you—think like an imaginative kid and not a stuck-up-the-butt literal adult: Ignore the K. It’s funny, yes?

Strangely, I came to live the sign not long later. As we walked into Trader Joe’s, a neighbor said hello on her way inside. I politely introduced my father-n-law, then she started on about the Neighborhood Watch group that she recently organized. The first meeting went well, but she wasn’t sure how to contact me. That’s when I blew her holy smoke up her arse. 

Read More

Shattered Dreams: When Apple Watch Falls From the Wrist

Saturday afternoon, new Apple Watch owner Ken Lecomte posted a frightening photo to Google+: His device with shattered screen. The spider-spray pattern is eerily familiar—one seen so many times—like an iPhone clumsily dropped to floor or pavement. The fruit-logo company boasts about the gadget being a wrist computer, but should it be as easily breakable as the other that customers carry?

I contacted him yesterday, and he shared his story, providing photos that also authenticate him as the watch’s owner. The problem with Ken’s story isn’t truthfulness but lies spun around it. Fanboyism is a cancer that spreads across any tale like his. Already, accusers flame his original post and others resharing it. Apple defenders are venomous. “I’ve been amazed with the amount of negativity”, he says. “It seems a lot of people just can’t believe that Apple could make a product that could break or have a design problem”.

Meanwhile, Apple critics call for label strapgate; there have been too many “gates” already. We don’t need another caustic moniker. In this toxic climate, legitimately aggrieved customers cannot easily step forward. The focus should be the device and whether there is a design flaw or owner error. 

Read More

Amazon Warehouse Makes Me Mad

Yesterday, I made the mistake of ordering Harman/Kardon Nova speakers from Amazon Warehouse, which advertised: “Used, Like New. Item will come in original packaging. Packaging may be damaged. All accessories are present and undamaged”. Present, yes. Undamaged, no.

A cord connects the two speakers together, but the pins on one end were badly out of alignment. I did try to straighten out the damn things but failed. I’m not sure success would have been better than what happened: Demanding a refund (that will take days); writing a stinging one-star review; and reboxing and returning the Nova. 

Read More

You Could Buy So Much More Than Apple Watch

As Apple Watch hype increases and the preorder date (April 10) approaches, a question gnaws me: Why would anyone spend so much money on the device? A buying poll I posted on BetaNews now exceeds 1,000 responses, which is large enough sample-size to get some sense of the readership’s intentions. Two percent of respondents—that’s 14 people—plan to buy the Edition model, which price ranges from $10,000 to $17,000. No disrespect, but talk about money to burn! Forty-five percent of respondents plan to purchase any Apple Watch, while another 5 percent of you are undecided.

So I wonder: What could you buy instead of Apple Watch? I intentionally single out the big spenders, settling on $13,000 as mean between $10K and $17K, being it’s such a lucky number and Apple looks to make lots of luck—eh, money—from the smartwatch. Before continuing, an important reminder: Functionally, there is no difference between the cheapo timepiece ($349) and its massively-expensive sibling. The price difference is all bling. 

Read More

Let’s Boycott Hershey Chocolates

Yesterday, I saw headlines about a forced legal settlement, involving the Hershey Company. New York Times story “After a Deal, British Chocolates Won’t Cross the Pond” says it all: “Let’s Buy British Imports, or L.B.B., agreed this week to stop importing all Cadbury’s chocolate made overseas”. Hershey insists that Toffee Crisp packaging too closely resembles Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, which is ridiculous considering they are very different confections and presented in different shapes.

Same must be said about Yorkie bar, which presumably so resembles York Peppermint Patty that chocolate buyers must confuse one for the other. Of course! People mistake finger-shaped confections with circular patties every day. Don’t you? The argument for Kit Kat is stronger, given name and packaging. But the ingredients are quite different. Have you ever eaten imported chocolate bars? British Kit Kat is creamier—fudgier might be better word—than its U.S. counterpart.