Archive for January, 2009

We’ve got SocialFeet!

January 14th, 2009

I am pleased to announce that Connected Conversations now has “Social Feet.” Now, you can browse this site with your friends. Want to know if Nat has read a particular post here? Want him to know that you have read something? Just log in with the Facebook “connect” button on the right-hand side of the blog. Social Feet has a half dozen sites, and will be adding (a lot) more over time, so it’s also way to find out what interesting things your facebook friends are reading elsewhere on the ‘net!

And if that isn’t enough of an incentive, then how about doing it as a favor to us? We’d love you to help us test our alpha launch. :)

1. technology , ,

Abolish the income tax: the Atlas Shrugged Alternative

January 14th, 2009

This article in the WSJ raises a provocative question: if government policies brought us the current crisis, shouldn’t we abolish government rather than double down with a gianormous stimulus package?

So, this part is quite interesting:

In the book, these relentless wealth redistributionists and their programs are disparaged as “the looters and their laws.” Every new act of government futility and stupidity carries with it a benevolent-sounding title. These include the “Anti-Greed Act” to redistribute income (sounds like Charlie Rangel’s promises soak-the-rich tax bill)…

but then it starts stretching a little bit:

…and the “Equalization of Opportunity Act” to prevent people from starting more than one business (to give other people a chance). My personal favorite, the “Anti Dog-Eat-Dog Act,” aims to restrict cut-throat competition between firms and thus slow the wave of business bankruptcies. Why didn’t Hank Paulson think of that?

And now the article plunges off the deep end and the analogy seems to be only relevant at the highest level of government bashing:

These acts and edicts sound farcical, yes, but no more so than the actual events in Washington, circa 2008. We already have been served up the $700 billion “Emergency Economic Stabilization Act” and the “Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act.” Now that Barack Obama is in town, he will soon sign into law with great urgency the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan.” This latest Hail Mary pass will increase the federal budget (which has already expanded by $1.5 trillion in eight years under George Bush) by an additional $1 trillion — in roughly his first 100 days in office.

Well, I think that Ayn Rand is a dystopic future that is not inevitable. And I hope–and believe–that despite some similarities between the current crisis and the book’s premise, that Obama is both not doomed and in fact unlikely to make the same mistakes that animate that famous book.

2. politics , ,

Introducing the MacBook Wheel

January 7th, 2009

Simplicity and cult of personality gone wild…spot on parody of Apple. Enjoy!

Apple Introduces Revolutionary New Laptop With No Keyboard

1. technology, 3. et cetera , ,

New look and feel for Connected Conversations

January 6th, 2009

I stumbled on a new theme for wordpress called “inove” that I liked. This theme is fairly simple, and is more modern than the previous theme I was using. Although some of plugins and widgets are no longer working, this new theme seems to have a better looking and more functional subscription feature. Over time, I’ll consider re-adding the omitted blog bling if it seems that it is missed.

Right now, received about 60-80 readers daily split evenly through subscribers to the blog and visitors to the web site. Thank you for reading my thoughts; please do consider posting a comment from time to time. I hope you enjoy the fresh new look and feel of Connected Conversations!

3. et cetera

In case of emergency…

January 6th, 2009

I can still remember the days when spell checking seemed like a neat new feature. Networked study aids now go much farther than mere computer aids, helping students with their bibliographies, avoiding plagiarism, watching lectures and more.. But this service takes the cake:

File Destructor is a tool that should only be used for emergencies. Basically, it’s a tool that creates a fake file that you can send to your teachers. You can choose the extension as well as the size of the file, and when your professor can’t open the file up, you can just blame it on your computer. Of course, many teachers are starting to not accept these excuses, so be careful when using this. This web tool allows you to spend hours browsing MakeUseOf instead of working on that stupid project.


3. et cetera ,

Good move, iTunes!

January 6th, 2009

Great news from apple. They are removing DRM (i.e., crippled music), moving to tiered pricing and allowing songs purchased over the air to be transferred back to a computer. I’ve recommended and wished that Apple would do this for a long time (as I’ve posted here before). I think these moves will be good for consumers and for apple.

For my friends and family, starting in April you should consider purchasing music from iTunes again. And don’t forget that Amazon also sells DRM-free music.

1. technology

Olark Livehelp