View 746 Saturday, October 20, 2012
I’ve been recovering from stuff including having my nose chopped on. The good news is that the cancer on the tip of my nose wasn’t the kind that metastasizes, and after two MOHS job operations they have apparently got it all. They also got all the other little stuff, so once again I am cancer free.
This leaves me free to start Chaos Manor Reviews up again. There’s a lot going on in the high tech world – Newsweek folds, Apple iPhone 5 and a new iPad, Windows 8, silicon drives that you can afford as your boot drive making new systems screaming fast, Sprint is being bought by Japanese capital that looks to me as if it’s a capital export from Japan to the US, which is an interesting prediction about the relative economies (and possibly of the election). And more.
The bad news, such as it is, is that this is the week of the KUSC pledge drive, which means that it’s pledge drive week here at Chaos Manor. I confess that I ignored the Spring pledge drive because I wasn’t too sure just how much work I’d be able to do, but we’re back.
For those who don’t know, this place and Chaos Manor Reviews operate together on the ‘public radio’ model, which is to say they are broadcast free, but I won’t keep them up unless I get enough subscriptions to make it worth while. As I get older what I consider ‘enough’ changes a bit as does how much I am able to do, but I am the first to say I haven’t done as much in the past few months as I think I should do. That changes now. I’m catching up on fiction – I’ve done a few hundred words a day for the past week – and that takes time, but I also have more energy. It’s the energy factor that’s the true limiter (although I will say that I have not been enjoying the election; but then I never wanted this place to be a political commentary site to begin with. Yes, the election is important, particularly to the future of high tech, and yes I’m supposed to know something about politics having managed several winning campaigns and having been science/tech advisor to a number of officials including a Speaker of the House; but I find the interaction of high tech and politics more interesting than politics itself.
All of which brings us to pledge week, and Paying for This Place. I don’t bug you about that very often, but I will during pledge week. I time my pledge drives to correspond with KUSC’s since I got the idea of running this like public radio from listening to them. So there you have it. And my hearty thanks to all those who continued to subscribe and to renew their subscriptions – we have a pretty high renewal rate – even through this year when there has been no pledge drive.
We have a new and very fast Windows 8 machine here, and I’ll have a preliminary review presently in Chaos Manor Reviews. I have some complaints, but they may be due to my ignorance: as usual the Microsoft HELP system is ghastly and unhelpful, and since Windows 8 does things much differently from Windows 7 (which works very well but very differently) knowing Windows 7 won’t help you with 8.
Windows 8 has drivers for a lot of stuff, and for the most part they work: but when it comes time to disconnect something, like an external USB drive, when you go to the “Safely remove hardware” icon (which still hides in the hidden icons thingy at the lower right of what used to be the task bar) and click on that, often as not it will tell you that the device is in use, and you have to close the app that’s using it before you can remove it. The problem is that there is no way I know of to get a list of running applications. Task Manager doesn’t work the way it used to, and there’s really no way to know what is and isn’t running. I think I have closed down ALL applications, but I still get the same error message when trying to remove an external drive. Removing it anyway can cause Windows 8 to go into what amounts to paralysis, requiring a hardware reset to recover from it.
As I have said, there are a lot of things to like about Windows 8, but that isn’t one of them, and so far I have no source of information on what to do about it. Perhaps one of you knows? Otherwise I’ll keep looking. And yes, I have a bunch of top flight advisors who usually know this sort of stuff, but none of us are experts on Windows 8, and I’m putting it to them at the same time I’m asking you…)
I understand that the UN wants to monitor the US elections to be sure they are fair. This should be interesting.
The debates worked as planned. The Republican strategy is to make the Democrats run on their record. “You know what President Obama will do for the next four years because you see what he has done in the last four.”
The Democratic strategy is to change the subject and show that Romney is unfit to be President. “He doesn’t have a five point plan, he has a one point plan” to tax the middle class and let the rich get richer. And the ads show grandma going over a cliff in her wheelchair, and feature the man whose wife died of cancer because her health care benefits weren’t good enough, and so forth. Romney, they say, doesn’t care about you, and in fact he’s a bit of a monster.
The Republican counter to that is to show Romney as Presidential with plenty of dignitas and gravitas.
The debates are of course the epitome of those strategies, and they have worked that way. And absent videos of Romney pulling the wings off flies or torturing puppies, we’ll hear complaints about putting women in binders – whatever that means, sound like something from a John Norman novel – and other stories about Romney’s evil intentions, countered by Romney keeping his temper and looking Presidential as he chides – gently – the President of the United States. A tough job, of course. So far Romney has done it well.
That may change with the foreign policy debate, since it is now clear that the CIA station chief reported that the attack on the Benghazi consulate was not a demonstration but a planned attack, and did so well before the US ambassador to the UN told everyone that it was something else. Why did the President not know this? But I do not think Mr. Romney will press this hard, nor should he. He is the President of the United States, and as Mr. Clinton reminded us, he’s the only president we’ve got. And debating foreign policy is a tricky matter. I would guess that Romney will come out of this debate unharmed and possibly a little ahead. The President will try to make any criticism of his policies a criticism of the United States; Romney must be careful about all that.
It promises to be an interesting evening. And we are closer and closer to the election.
This would be a good time to renew your subscription!
© 2012, jerrypournelle. All rights reserved.