How Not to Kill an Idea

Sometime ago, I came across this image on a blog, 8 ways to kill an idea. These are all clever and very real ways to kill an idea on the work environment. But it made me think of way's I've killed an idea, on a personal level, and I realized its missing a nine-nth one: Not writing it down.

Restore Samsung Galaxy S to Original ROM

Two weeks ago, I messed up my Galaxy S phone. I was having trouble with the back key activating by itself without touching it. As I've said before, I use Darky's ROM instead of the crappy Samsung/Telcel default one. So searching for a possible solution, I found out that you could update your touchkeys firmware.

Social Presuppositions in a Thermostat

I just bought a dauntingly complicated fancy-pants touch screen thermostat for our house. But Honeywell has encoded so many social presuppositions (into a thermostat!) that I can't believe they're able to sell them. The device assumes that you have a regular daily schedule with wake up times, departure times, return times, and sleep times. It lets you adjust those times and the heating/cooling temperatures that you want for the different times.

Have a Good What?

The other day my wife and I were in the mood for some classic Italian food so we went to the Olive Garden -- because when we're there, we're family. We had to wait for a little while and we sat on a bench near the hostess. As customers would leave, invariably saying, "Good bye," I noticed she said the exact thing to all of them..."Have a good one." I kicked that around my feral brain for a while and then mentioned it to my wife. We both tried to put a finishing touch on what she wanted these people to have a good one of.

Why War on Libya Is Wrong

Should we or should we not support war on Libya? This question is being seriously posed by many on the left and in the progressive world, and I've honestly been quite surprised by who has gotten behind the use of military force. At the end of one particularly nasty piece, after telling a story about how terrible Qaddafi is, Juan Cole, whose analysis I often like, wrote: "Payback is a bitch." Even Phil Weiss of Mondoweiss has written of his mixed feelings on the attack. How people who are so knowledgeable about US foreign policy can buy in to the humanitarian argument for war is beyond me.

IPhone Tethering and Cellular Bandwidth Consumption

Last week's Engadget article, "AT&T tells customers using unauthorized tethering methods to pay up or stop" got me wondering, just how much mobile bandwidth IS our family utilizing each month now that we have three iPhones among us? This month, with 18 days left to go in our billing cycle, I'm definitely on my way to hitting a new bandwidth consumption record with 3.8 GB used so far on my iPhone.

Is There No Other Way in Libya?

One of the arguments that is being forwarded by proponents of military intervention in Libya is that Qaddafi is literally crazy and therefore cannot be reasoned with or expected to step down without force. In an article for Tikkun, entitled "Libya: Acid Test for Nonviolence?," Metta Center for Nonviolence president Michael Nagler, who I deeply respect and have personally learned a great deal from, makes an argument for war along these lines: We in the nonviolence field will recognize this as a "madman with a sword" analogy. Gandhi said flatly that if a madman is raging through a village with a sword (read: assault rifle -- or Glock Automatic) he who "dispatches the lunatic" will have done the community (and even the poor lunatic) a favor.

Dissident Tech

With the recent rise in anti-government protests in the Middle East, there has been renewed interest in the use of the Internet as a means of communication. Authoritarian governments, such as those in Egypt and Libya, have reacted by trying to shut down Internet service, or to sever connections with the outside world.

New Book on Gandhi: A Great Soul with Wrinkles

The New York Times Book Review features a new biography of Gandhi by Pulitzer Prize winner Joseph Lelyveld that focuses on his role as a "social reformer," and often a frustrated one: "Gandhi is still routinely called 'the father of the nation' in India, but it is hard to see what remains of him beyond what Lelyveld calls his 'nimbus.' His notions about sex and spinning and simple living have long since been abandoned."

Crowdsourcing Japan’s Nuclear Crisis

In the aftermath of Japan's recent earthquake, the Japanese have turned to crowdsourcing in their battle against the nuclear crisis. recently launched online, allowing people to submit their own radiation readings that are then posted in comparison to data contributed by official sources.