How to survive a five-hour plane flight in a wheel well

Vox has the story of “How to survive a five-hour plane flight in a wheel well” about the idiot 16 year old in California who inexplicably stowed away on the outside of a plane bound for Hawaii.

The title of the article made me laugh – is this really “advice” we should be putting out there!?

But the best line comes later in the story:

trauma surgeon Kenneth Stahl said the teenager will probably have permanent brain damage from his experience.

I would argue this kid had permanent brain damage LONG before he jumped the fence at the airport.

It’s Time to Ditch the Booth Babes


We need to ban the “booth babes.” It’s awkward. For me. Here I am wandering around, casting a lecherous gaze at this motorcycle or that coupe and I suddenly find myself making eye contact with an exploited model.

First of all, the muscles in my face aren’t developed enough to be able to configure themselves to telegraph a message of “I’m not lusting after you, pardon me for looking at you that way. I was lusting after that inanimate object six inches to your left.”

For the record, I don’t care whether booth babes are there or not. If they are, I will look briefly. I’m not a perv. I’m a fairly normal red blooded heterosexual male, after all.

But this guy saying, “I can’t help myself!” makes him sound like a complete asshole. “I have no control over where my eyeballs go.” What kind of walleyed asshat is this guy that he can’t even look around a booth babe?

He calls himself a “business journalist working in New York”. New Yorkers are famous for their skills at looking the other way and minding their own business. Yet this guy somehow loses all control over his occipital muscles whenever a pretty girl wanders into his field of view? If that were true, he’d have been hit by a bus crossing the street years ago.

And why is he blaming the booth babes for “distracting” him or making him feel awkward? Man up and take responsibility for yourself and your actions.

Don’t get me wrong. I understand all the concerns about booth babes and the objectification of women. But this guy’s attitude of “blame the victim” is bullshit.

Apple tries to Clean Up its Carbon-Spewing Ways


It’s an unusual trip in that its point is to give a reporter exposure to the way Apple works, a departure from the company’s usual maniacal secrecy. But when it comes to the environment, Apple consciously carves out an exception to its standard opacity.

Steven Levy got the grand tour of Apple’s newest data center a few miles outside Reno.

The good news in his article?:

Apple is close to its goal of powering all its facilities 100 percent by renewable energy. Its corporate campuses and data centers are now at 94 percent renewable and rising. (In 2010 it was 35 percent.) The next step is to extend the efforts to its retail stores.

The bad news?:

In this accounting, Apple does not include the manufacturing, transport, and use of its actual products, which accounts for 98 percent of its carbon footprint.

They have a LONG way to go. But at least, they are moving in the right direction.

Americans have no idea where their oil comes from, in one chart


“It turns out that America’s biggest source of oil, by far, is Canada.

If the vast majority of Americans think we’re so much more reliant on Middle Eastern oil than we actually are, they’re going to push for policies they may not want if they knew the truth.”

Knowledge is power. The lack of knowledge gives others power over you.

The “Macumentary”

Way back in the mists of (internet) time, I did a show out of a professional studio in White Rock, BC with a crew of old school radio guys. I found a co-host at a MUG meeting and “The Mac Show” was born. I’d been doing a “broadcast” for several years before meeting these guys but it was definitely not as good as what it eventually became.

We had a great time and the radio guys taught me a lot about how to do things properly. It’s a real shame the relationship fell apart.

A show listener and professional videographer, Adam Tinkoff, pitched the idea of this “macumentary” to us and MacAddict magazine. This video was included on the magazine’s CD-Rom (remember when magazines would give those out?) in August 2001.

I Nearly Destroyed This Dragster And Now I Respect Drag Racing


Let’s just get this out of the way right off the bat: I’m an idiot. I’m a big dumb idiot who made a stupid mistake and got lucky that something really bad didn’t happen. I’m hoping I can use my idiocy for some good, though, and dispel some myths about drag racing. Because drag racing deserves your respect.

“I Nearly Destroyed This Dragster And Now I Respect Drag Racing”

Leaving aside the issue of, “you should have respected them BEFORE, asshole” – I mean, you have to respect someone insane enough to get behind the wheel of a top fuel dragster, sit in front of a engine that generates approximately 7,000 horsepower, accelerates from a standstill to 100 miles per hour (160 km/h) in as little as 0.8 seconds, has a top speed that exceeds 300mph and subjects the driver to an average force of about 4.0 G over the duration of the race. (wikipedia stats)

So yeah – you better respect these guys.

But the story is still a good one. The writer makes the same mistakes many of us would have when faced with such an insane situation without the years of training a drag racer goes through.

Memories of Steve

Don Melton posts his Memories of Steve:

I have no plans to watch that new movie about Steve Jobs. As I have no plans to read Walter Isaacson’s biography of him.

It’s not because I think those efforts are somehow not worthy of his memory. It’s just that I have my own recollections of the man. And I’m very jealous in guarding them. I don’t want those few and fleeting memories fractured and confused by other people’s interpretations.

Consider that a fair warning, because I’d like to recount a few of my own stories about Steve here. Not only for you, but for myself. Because maybe in the process I can remember him better.

Yukari Iwatani Kane’s “Haunted Empire” is as bad as you’ve heard.

I read the first paragraph of this except on Re/code and it literally stopped me in my tracks. I had to reread it several times to make absolutely sure I was getting the full effect of The Stupid. Here it is:

On the evening after the first iPhone went on sale, a couple dozen visiting designers from Samsung were dining at a Korean barbecue restaurant in San Francisco called Hanuri when a friend showed up with the device. The phone was locked, so the designers couldn’t see the home screen or open the applications. But it didn’t matter. They were impressed enough with the sleekness of the device and the elegant ease of swiping their finger to pull up the pass-code screen. They oohed and aahed as they made the gesture over and over again. They had never seen anything like it.

Do you see the problem?

Supposedly, a “friend” showed up with a brand new (it had gone on say that very day) iPhone. If that was the case, why couldn’t they unlock the phone? Where was the friend? Why couldn’t he do it? Wouldn’t he let them? Was it stolen? If they had access to the phone and access to the friend, WHY COULDN’T THEY USE THE PHONE!?

How does such an obvious oddity in storytelling get past the writer and any number of editors and fact checkers?

BTW, I read the rest of the excerpt so you don’t have to. Don’t bother.

A (bad) MacWorld/iWorld 2014 Expo Hall wrap-up

The Powerpage has been around a long time. Which begs the question – has it always been this clueless? (spoiler: yes)

Tom Hesser posted his MacWorld/iWorld 2014 Expo Hall wrap-up (let’s just ignore the intercap W because…sigh…) on Tuesday – a short three days after the show closes. Perhaps he banged his head in the interim. It would explain why he says:

The first day, Wednesday, was my traditional walk around the show floor.

The show floor opened on Thursday.

Hesser mentions some missing vendors like Mophie without pointing out Mophie had already attended (the much bigger) CES show in the iLounge Pavilion.

It would be interesting to find out if there were specific reasons for some of these changes or it was just a matter of timing. The Expo, occurring much later in the year than normal, may have had some affect on attendance.

Yes, it would. Did you ask them? Have you sent an email or called any of the companies you mentioned asking them why they didn’t attend Macworld Expo this year?

In regards to the software developer section, Hesser says:

these areas are populated by cylindrical kiosks that can accommodate one company/developer per side…

I’m no geometry whiz but…how many sides does a cylinder have?

In response to why Hesser believed these small kiosks were popular, he says:

This area was created as the result of a couple of factors. One, the economy was cutting tech budgets, but not conference booth fees. After 2009 when Apple dropped out of Macworld Expo, vendor attendance began to drop off…Smaller spaces meant a lower priced option and the return of smaller vendors.

True. But, if that’s the case, why wouldn’t the vendors who had been there in the past taken up residence in those spaces? If it was simply a cost measure, you’d think the companies who left after Apple did would come back, wouldn’t they?

Yes – If it was only about costs. The lack of vendor attendance is about a lot of issues – cost only being one.

This year saw a number of new developers as well as some well-known ones who seem to have elected for the smaller, cheaper spaces

Hesser either doesn’t know or ignores the fact IDG has, in the past, restricted these small booths to developers who hadn’t attended the show in previous years. These booths were smaller and cheaper and designed to tease developers and companies to come to the show. They also wouldn’t allow vendors to show in that small space two years running. Obviously, with companies like AgileBits, Readdle, and BusyMac there, IDG has changed that policy. I wonder why that would be? (actually, no I don’t…)

I could list a ton of products old, new, or improved that I saw, but that would be a bit crazy.

Umm…why would that be crazy?

…throughout the show flow.


The people are still there, but in fewer numbers.

That’s just shitty writing. And it’s what you get when you send the “West Coast Correspondant” to the show.