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    • Accepting and Using Climate Change
      A couple days ago I was thinking about the problem of surveillance states and I realized “this problem is likely to become less of one because of climate change.” And I started thinking about all the opportunities and good things climate change makes possible. My grieving was done. My pre-grieving, I suppose. I see grieving […]
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Snowpacalypse!!

Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 11.20.31 AM

We’re in the pink! Winter storm but not a blizzard

 

Woot! Woot! Woot!

It’s not actually that bad here in Pittsburgh. The snow is still falling but we didn’t get a white out, the cows ain’t freezin’ in the fields and the children aren’t stuck in the schoolhouse overnight.

But I’m not going anywhere today. I have Netflix and iTunes and Amazon Prime. You know, the three ingredients necessary for subsistence during a weather emergency. Also some fig and olive crackers from TJ’s along with a creamy feta cheese spread.

Maybe we should get together later and discuss Iowa and what’s really going on and why the Democrats are so hung up on the idea that perfectly reasonable people, who are also Democrats who are not Republicans, are still racists or something like that. There’s some obsessive thinking going on there.

I keep toying with the idea of a podcast and have a name for it all picked out. Anyone want to chime in about that?

In the meantime, check out this video by John “Cedars” Lloyd, on his critique of the Jehovah’s Witnesses latest broadcasting video. An apology in advance to my relatives who still believe this stuff. I just don’t know how they can watch this without a drinking game. Too funny. By the way, you don’t have to sit through the whole video. Just the first 4 minutes should be enough.

Take it away, John.

 

Can I just say one thing?: Podcasts

This is a new series about things that are immensely irritating for no good reason.  

I am a podcast fan.  Mostly, I like podcasts on history, language, history of science and cultural trendiology stuff.  When I got my first iPhone, I was ecstatic because I could download podcasts through iTunes and every time I synched my phone, the podcast would magically refresh and I would get a brand new set of stuff to listen to.  

Then, someone at apple had the bright idea to disconnect podcasts from iTunes.  Why this decision was made is beyond me.  Usually, I’m pretty tolerant of interface and design changes.  Sure, many people bitch about how things used to be better and make themselves a pain in the ass but most users adapt within a few days to a week.  That’s how it should be.  We need to be able to adapt.  

So, I didn’t particularly like the new setup where the podcasts were separate but I was determined to adapt.  Give it a couple of weeks and I would never know the difference.

But along with separating the podcasts from iTunes, apple forced users to download a new podcast app.  It was a baaaaad app, oh best beloveds.  It really was.  Steve Jobs is going to haunt that developer for eternity.  For one thing, it didn’t sync well with the podcast downloads.  I had to go back into iTunes on multiple occasions to try to troubleshoot why a particular podcast didn’t download to the iPhone.  And then there was the weird skipping bug.  Right in the middle of the podcasts, the feed would start to skip every 10 words or so.  It was maddening.  So, I looked for a different podcast app and found one but it came with a whole new set of problems, specifically, it downloaded every episode and was difficult to maintain.  

Then the podcast app/iTunes interface was “improved!”.  Over several upgrades, it has gotten marginally better but it has never gotten back to the state of utility that it had when it was fully integrated in iTunes.  In fact, it’s weird that on the laptop, podcasts are still integrated into iTunes but on the iPhone they’re not.  They still don’t sync flawlessly like they did before and I frequently have to go into the app or iTunes and tweak the settings.  Sometimes, I will get three episodes to load, listen to them and then find that neither the app or iTunes will update the subscription any further.  I have to do manual refresh.  This happens a lot. And for some subscriptions, Fresh Air, for example, the podcast episodes never delete themselves as they’re supposed to, requiring me to manually delete many of the same podcasts over and over again.

The latest “feature” is that the podcasts update themselves on iTunes but not on the iPhone.  There’s no option to refresh the podcast on the iPhone so I have to manually delete the podcast and resubscribe to get the newest episode.  

Was this necessary?  Whose bright idea was this?  Could someone fix this please?  

Next week: Siri needs an attitude adjustment.

Add your more notable non-improvement upgrade story below.