unixronin: Galen the technomage, from Babylon 5: Crusade (Default)

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March 11th, 2011

unixronin: Galen the technomage, from Babylon 5: Crusade (Default)
Friday, March 11th, 2011 08:13 am

Pop quiz:

About how many terrorist bombings occur on airliners in any given year?

OK.  Remember that answer.

Now:  About how many rapid depressurization events occur on airliners in any given year?

You don't know?  It's between 40 and 50 per year.

Which makes it completely brainstampingly stupid that the FAA has ordered — quietly, behind the scenes, and without public notice or discussion — that emergency oxygen masks and their oxygen generators be removed from airliner bathrooms, lest terrorists figure out a way to use one to blow up the plane.

Yes, just when you thought they couldn't possibly overreact any further, the bureaucrats who squander our tax dollars for a living have come up with something new to wet their pants over while running around in circles screaming that the sky is falling.  Any time now.  Honest!  Would we lie to you?  It's for the chiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiildren!

But don't worry.  They assure us that "Rapid decompression events on commercial aircraft are extremely rare".

Yeah, well, terrorist bombings on aircraft are at least 40 to 50 times rarer.  This is the same kind of "logic" that leads zealots of the Church of Offensively Loud Motorcycle Exhausts to assert that "Them helmet things will kill ya!", because they heard a story once about a rider in Tennessee, or maybe it was Oklahoma, no, wait, Montana, or perhaps Iowa, who [insert freakishly improbable series of events here] and died, because, you know, he was wearing a helmet when the Peterbilt crushed him.

unixronin: Galen the technomage, from Babylon 5: Crusade (Default)
Friday, March 11th, 2011 09:37 am

Sometimes you don't need to think outside the box, so much as build a better one.  Rather than describing, I'm actually going to just paste from the newsletter I just got from Infinite Kind LLC, the creators of Moneydance, announcing their new iPad app, SyncSpace.


I'm pleased to introduce our amazing new iPad app: SyncSpace is a drawing/sketching/brainstorming app that lets you express your ideas on an infinite, shared, zoomable canvas.  My objective in creating SyncSpace was to connect people remotely to brainstorm and share ideas visually in a way that can't be done with a phone call or video conference.  For example, people in different geographic locations can use SyncSpace to work together in real-time to sketch out an application's user interface, web site, magazine layout, network architecture or a variety of other projects.  SyncSpace can also post your drawings to Facebook, Twitter and 37 Signals' Campfire.  It's available for an introductory price of only 1.99 USD on the app store , so check it out soon.

Now THIS is smart thinking that leverages the strengths of a touchscreen tablet device.  It's an intelligent use of the technology.  Every application like this is worth a hundred or a thousand Angry Birds.  Yet Another handheld game device that can also kinda sorta be used as an awkward phone?  Meh.  Working interactively on a diagram or flow chart in real time with someone a thousand miles away, without needing ten thousand dollars of teleconferencing hardware or some inflexible remote-collaboration package designed for the PowerPoint mindset?

...OK, NOW you have my attention.