Shit that pisses me off

I feel like swearing in a witty manner, so here it goes.

1) The driver Snow Leopard uses for my new mouse is horrible. The cursor moves around jittery and there’s absolutely no way to disable acceleration. It’s like trying to drag a tin can behind your car, try closing a window like that. To top it off, Logitech only supports Windows with the MX518. The strain is taxing my wrist, because in order to click on anything, I have to move the mouse extremely slowly. None of these problems are evident when I’m using Windows 7 or Ubuntu 9.04.

2) iTunes likes to not play random songs I can only describe as “corrupted” where I can’t see the length and bit rate in Finder. To remedy this, I have to re-encode the song at the same bit rate using Max. (The program I use to convert FLAC to MP3 at 320 Kbps because the iPod in no way supports playing FLAC files).

3) The hospital system in eRepublik now uses the following logic: You fought in a battle, okay we’ll heal your wounds but not treat any preexisting conditions. We want you to fight for us.. but we don’t want to insure you’re at full health. To me this says, we don’t care if you die of other causes, apparently fighting in a battle requires no valor at all and deems absolutely no reward other than being able to gain exp.

4) People who read powerpoints off the screen. Stop that shit, I can read without you flapping your gums at me.

5) Computer science professors that attempt to write out assignments that “illustrate concepts” instead of cogently describe the logic behind the code I’m supposed to write.

6) The state of Illinois owes NIU over 55 million dollars.

7) For-profit insurance companies.

8. The cost of Adobe products.

9) Single license versions of Windows that the Microsoft Developer’s Network Academic Alliance distributes. Are you aware that there are such things as virtual machines? Once I install my copy of Windows XP or Windows 7 in a virtual machine and it automatically activates, I’m shit out of luck if I ever want to use it again. This of course forces me to use the Enterprise Server versions they distribute, which are perfectly usable if you know how to “fix” them.. but c’mon Microsoft, really? A single license copy?

10) Loud music blaring from cars. I don’t like headaches, I don’t like rap, and I don’t like the rattling sound of your car attempting to commit suicide. What makes you think other people want to listen to it? Is there no law against loud music? There’s a goddamned seat-belt law, and this is a college campus, can the police here do something about it? Keep me here and happy, give me what I want, and I’ll pay you my money, that’s why I’m here. Aren’t colleges worried about having an attractive campus? Oh wait, I went to NIU. Never mind.

11) Republicans.

11.5) Sarah Palin.

11.5.1) Any one group of people generically referred to as “Joe the….”.

12) People who smoke and walk to/from class.

12.1) People who sit right in front of the doors and smoke. You decided to have a disgusting habit, I didn’t decide to put the door here. Fuck off.

13) Guys who completely miss the urinal in the men’s room. There’s absolutely no reason for this. “Hi, you decided to drink last night and came back drunk. If you had decided to stand closer than three feet, maybe, maybe you would have made a smaller mess. Here’s a mop, I’m going to watch you clean my bathroom floor.”

14) Single answer questions on a test that are worth close to 10% of the entire score. I missed one question on a computer science exam, costing me 12 points out of a possible 150.

15) The crap that passes for news on American news sites. The next time you want real news, check out news.bbc.co.uk.

16) The Daily Show, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother, and many many PBS programs not being on Hulu.

I’m probably going to change soon and go out for a run. It’s a nice enough day and all, I might as well. The only thing I’m worried about is running over three miles only two hours after a meal. Normally I run in the morning, after not having eaten anything since dinner. It’ll be an adventure I guess.

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Disappointments with the content industry

I like Hulu, I have ever since it was a one-off site that got a mention on Buzz Out Loud. There was only content from NBC, but that wasn’t a problem because those were the only shows I watched. At the time, I saw nothing wrong with the site, even if I couldn’t skip the ads. You see, I’m not a fan of the television, because 1) I can’t pause it 2) I have to watch the shows on their schedule 3) The ads are generally obnoxious. The five or so twenty second ads that are shown during a half-hour of a Hulu show are not that bad. I actually watch them because they’re not a problem. If I were watching TV, I’d simply get up and do something else, seeing none of the ads.

Watching Hulu it’s hard to miss the lack of ads, and I hate how some sites don’t have full episodes online. I would probably watch The Big Band Theory if it were on Hulu, instead I’ll have to torrent it.

Dear CBS, you get no revenue when I torrent your shows, how can I support you if you don’t put them online for me to watch? Aren’t you supposed to create content for everyone to consume? Last time I checked, I’m the target audience for that show. You’re missing out on money, and if I encounter litigation, I’ll use that as my defense. CBS made me do it, just like buying the off-brand pop tarts because they cost half as much, only one’s free and the other are sitting out in the open half way across the city.

I probably had more to say, but I got distracted.

State of The Network

Here at NIU the torrent protocol is outright blocked and downloading any file ending in .torrent from an HTTP server ends in a reset connection error. Blocking the most efficient and distributive method of transferring files, is a careful balance between laziness and the want to cover their own ass.

Every time I watch a video on Hulu or YouTube, it’s nearly impossible to get all the way through without it stuttering or stopping to buffer. Each time that happens, I think about how happy I’d be if NIU simply allowed me to torrent overnight at 1Mb/s. The Cogent connection that NIU uses for student connections is a 1000Mb connection, of which, only a quarter is utilized at peak usage. During peak usage, I get more than 1Mb/s download speeds, so what’s the problem?

It’s not a matter of usage or statistics, it’s the scare tactics used by the MPAA, RIAA and other like-minded, archaic thinking, self-serving regulatory agencies that keep bringing this nation down.

Take a look at the insurance agencies in this country, which make astounding amount of money to prevent sick people from getting care, while siphoning money out of our pockets on a recurring basis. The RIAA takes a cut of what artists get, and in every lawsuit, they get the court-ordered payment. I’d think the artist should get the money but you have to look at it from another point of view, are they really losing money or not making what they would if everyone paid for the music.

Sure stealing is illegal and wrong, but copying and using isn’t stealing, is it? Would you arrest and fine heavily someone with a photographic memory who walks into an art gallery and fills their mind with paintings, which later get painted and hung up on the walls of his house? This person doesn’t sell them or attempt to make any money from them, they use these for their own. He has a copy of an original, and the only loss here is tim spent to make a new painting. You may say, well the artist lost money! I beg to differ, it’s only a perceived loss.

It all stems from money.

That’s what it all comes down to, isn’t it? NIU doesn’t want to deal with lawsuits and having to lose money.

Challenge: What does a college need with money? It needs to pay the staff and bills, (if you simplify it a bit). What do those people need the money for? All of it ends up in the hands of an individual, more or less, which they use to buy shit.

What if there was no money?

I find it an interesting proposition. Would the world be a better place? I don’t know, but I’d probably be able to torrent, and Hulu wouldn’t annoy me because they still use flash.