Interesting Links, April 2010

Here are links I found interesting in April 2010:

  • The iPad Launch: Can Steve Jobs Do It Again? – Stephen Fry writes about his recent trip to the Apple mothership and the iPad in TIME.
  • The Texas School Book Repository – “Do the schoolbook publishers of America have standards? Courage? Ethics? In what sense do they stand behind their product?” Roger Ebert asks these questions for a reason. Read more in Roger Ebert’s Journal.
  • Democrat Rep. Hank Johnson worries loading too many people onto Guam could capsize the island – No, this doesn’t seem to be an April Fools joke. It was reported on a number of sites before April 1. Good thing folks like this genius are running our country. Thanks to @BrianDunning for sharing the link. On the LATimes.com blog.
  • Browsers and Transportation – Comparing Web browsers to various means of transportation. Thanks to @estherschindler for sharing the link.
  • Furor Grows Over Celebrity Appearances on Palin Show – “Hours after LL Cool J complained that Fox News was recycling an old interview with him for a new program hosted by Sarah Palin, representatives for the country musician Toby Keith, who was also listed as a guest for the show, made a similar charge against the cable channel.” Read more on the New York Times ArtsBeat blog.
  • Palin, Fox News, LL Cool J tangle over phantom interview – I guess Fox can’t trust Sarah Palin to conduct interviews on her own. (And we were considering her for Vice President?) They’ve taking interview footage from old interviews to present on her new show. Well, they will if the interviewees let them. Or is the whole Palin-on-TV thing just an April Fool’s joke? Thanks to @derekcbart for sharing the link.
  • Grab the Airplane and Go – “How to repossess an airliner without getting shot, or thrown in jail, or beat up, or slammed into a wall, or…” Read this extremely interesting story in Air & Space Magazine. Thanks to @pilotmike for sharing the link.
  • Fools Rush In – Slate’s compendium of this year’s April Fools Day jokes.
  • the oops list – Photos and videos of mostly aviation mishaps. Some are kind of funny.
  • Weather for Pilots – Some basic information and good links to weather resources for pilots and anyone interested in how weather affects flying. On USAToday.com.
  • Distance/Course Calculator – Web-based application that calculates the great circle distance between any two points and the initial course on the great circle route. On AeroPlanner.com.
  • Universal Coordinated Time and Zulu Time – Zulu Time to local time conversion table for U.S. time zones. On the NOAA web site.
  • Sun or Moon Rise/Set Table for One Year – This page provides a way for you to obtain a table of the times of sunrise/sunset, moonrise/moonset, or the beginning and end of twilight, for one year. Provided by the US Naval Observatory.
  • Can Amazon, Sony, or Google Catch Apple? – I like the “microwave vs. kitchen” analogy in this post. With the release of the iPad, the Kindle and Nook have completely fallen off my list of desirable ebook readers. On TechCrunch. Thanks to @DonPerreault for sharing the link
  • Why I won’t buy an iPad (and think you shouldn’t, either) – Cory Doctorow says the iPad isn’t going to save publishing and uses that for a reason not to buy one. I think he’s missing the point. On Boing Boing.
  • You don’t need an iPad. But once you try one, you won’t be able to resist. – Farhad Manjoo says, “You don’t need an iPad; it’s an indulgence.” I bet he’s right. But he’s also zeroed in on the killer feature that I’m most interested in. Read more in Slate Magazine.
  • iWork Pages for the iPad: Good for Casual Writing but Lacks a Few Essential Features – Objective review of iWorks apps for iPad lists its shortcomings. On ReadWriteWeb.com.
  • Measles Resurgence Tied To Parents’ Vaccine Fears : NPR – “Many parents who refuse to get their children vaccinated worry that vaccines — and the one for measles, mumps and rubella in particular — cause autism. It’s a belief that persists despite years of studies and expert panels that find no scientific link.” Read more about the spread of measles due to anti-vaccine beliefs on NPR.org.
  • Calculator Index Page – Excellent calculators of density altitude for pilots.
  • Possible New Human Ancestor Discovered – “Two 1.9 million-year-old skeletons found in a South African cave have added a new and intriguing member to the primate family.” Read More on Wired.com. Thanks to @mjvalente for sharing the link.
  • Spectacular South African Skeletons Reveal New Species from Murky Period of Human Evolution: Scientific American – “The discoverers argue that the nearly two-million-year-old fossils could be ancestral to us–but other scientists are not so sure.” Read more on Scientific American. Thanks to @mjvalente for sharing the link.
  • Free Reading Apps – Why buy a Kindle when you can put Kindle books on your computer, smartphone or iPad? On Amazon.com.
  • File Sharing with an iPad: Ugh! – Ted Landau documents using iWorks apps on an iPad. It isn’t pretty. On The Mac Observer.
  • Daring Fireball: The iPad – John Gruber reviews the iPad. On Daring Fireball. Thanks to @DonPerreault for the link.
  • The Faith-Based Militia: When is Terrorism ‘Christian’? – “The arrest of the Michigan-based Hutaree Militia has drawn worldwide attention and in so doing, surfaced one of the knottiest issues we face as a culture to which religious freedom and free speech are so central: How do we think about and describe religiously motivated violence?” Read more in Religion Dispatches.
  • On Darwin’s Birthday, Only 4 in 10 Believe in Evolution – “As Darwin is being lauded as one of the most important scientists in history on the 200th anniversary of his birth (on Feb. 12, 1809), it is perhaps dismaying to scientists who study and respect his work to see that well less than half of Americans today say they believe in the theory of evolution, and that just 55% can associate the man with his theory.” See the poll results at Gallup.com. Thanks to @manp for sharing this link.
  • Fake and counterfeit goods promote unethical behaviour – “Adorning yourself in fake goods, be it a replica Gucci handbag or knock-off Armani sunglasses, makes a statement. It says that you want to feel, or be seen as, wealthier than you actually are. It signals an aspiration towards a richer lifestyle. Of course, such products can’t actually change a person’s status, but a new study suggests that they can change people’s behaviour, and for the worse.” Excellent article in Discover Magazine. Thanks to @Slate for sharing the link.
  • Science vs. religion and how I discovered the skeptical movement – “I don’t feel that once the true believer makes it a faith argument that the skeptic just has to take it on the chin and has to concede that they can’t disprove it. There are certain ideas that are simply too idiotic to even entertain in intellectual discourse and that line in the sand is falsifiability.” An excellent read for new members of the skeptic movement. On Skepacabra.
  • 15 iPad Apps You Should Download Today – In case you needed a shopping list for your new iPad. Thanks to @DJGrothe for sharing this link. On Wired.com.
  • New Hominid Species, Au. Sediba, Discovered in South Africa – New York Times coverage of this new find.
  • The shock of the old: Welcome to the elderly age – The population ages as people have fewer children. Personally, I think this is a good thing. In New Scientist.
  • The economy and the 2010 election (with graphs!) – Ezra Klein graphs the economic results of the Obama administration so far. Numbers don’t lie. Obama is doing better than I thought. Thanks to @Maddow for sharing the link. In the Washington Post.
  • Saturday Night Live – Sarah Palin Network – Great clip from Saturday Night Live. Thanks to @Slate for tweeting the link.
  • Connecticut bishops fight sex abuse bill – CNN.com – “A bill in Connecticut’s legislature that would remove the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse cases has sparked a fervent response from the state’s Roman Catholic bishops, who released a letter to parishioners Saturday imploring them to oppose the measure.” Read more on CNN.com. My question: What have they got to hide? Thanks to @dcolunduno for sharing the link.
  • When the Outlook Is Hazy – The Conference Board Review – Ideas and Opinions for the World’s Business Leaders – “Some executives are seeking advice from corporate psychics. No joke.” Read more on The Conference Board Review. The article quotes psychics and skeptics. Thanks to @BrianDunning (quoted in the article) for sharing the link.
  • MEDVEDEV APPRECIATES A ‘THINKER’ IN THE OVAL OFFICE – So do I. Interview on WashingtonMonthly.com. Thanks to @jodene for Tweeting the link.
  • Sarah Palin Has Earned An Estimated $12 Million Since July – THIS is what I’ve been saying for months. Sarah Palin is in it for the money. It was quite obvious when she QUIT her low-paying job as governor. Conservative America, you are being DUPED and EXPLOITED by this woman. On ABCNews.com; thanks to @Slate for sharing the link on Twitter.
  • Twitter Has a Plan to Make Money With Ads – Twitter announces plans to earn revenue based on an advertising program. (Like what else is new on the Internet?) You can read more in the New York Times. Thanks to @estherschindler for tweeting the link.
  • Twitter’s Entire Archive Headed to the Library of Congress – “The U.S. Library of Congress announced this morning via its official Twitter account that it will be acquiring the entire archive of Twitter messages back through March 2006.” Read more on ReadWriteWeb.com. Thanks again to @Slate for tweeting this link.
  • 30 Ways You Can Spot Fake Online Reviews – Good list; makes sense. Be skeptical of all online reviews. On the Consumerist. Thanks to @slate for sharing the link.
  • We survived Bush. You’ll survive Obama. « Margaret and Helen – “So now a black man named Barack Obama, elected by the will of the people, has decided to fight for the poor, and work for world peace… and a bunch of white guys who think Fox really is News just can’t stand it.” Read more by Margaret and Helen. Thanks to @PattyHankins for sharing this link.
  • Federal Court Rules National Day of Prayer Unconstititional – “U.S. District Court Judge Barbara B. Crabb of the Western District of Wisconsin today ruled that the federal statute designating a yearly National Day of Prayer (36 U.S.C. § 119) violates the separation of church and state enshrined in the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.” Read more on the Center for Inquiry. This is a major breakthrough for the folks who don’t want religion crammed down their throats by the government. Thanks to @factually for tweeting the link.
  • Daily Kos: Poll: Tea partiers fear socialism, but love Social Security and Medicare – “According to a new poll from CBS and the New York Times, 92% of tea partiers are scared that America is moving towards socialism — but in a strange twist, most of them seem to like it.” Read more in the Daily Kos. Thanks to @derekcbart for sharing this link. It has some really great stats; these people are seriously out to lunch.
  • How to: Make an iPad Booksafe Case – Detailed, illustrated instructions for creating an iPad case/cover out of a regular book. If you use one of mine for this, please don’t tell me. On CarryPad.com. The piece also includes a link to a YouTube video that’s getting a lot more attention than these instructions.
  • Old New York in Colour – Part 1 – Downtown – New York, NY – Great color photos of New York City taken in 1941. On CityNoise.org. Thanks to @Slate for sharing the link.
  • Mark Fiore can win a Pulitzer Prize, but he can’t get his iPhone cartoon app past Apple’s satire police – To me, this is a clear-cut case of censorship. Apple is censoring what can appear on its mobile devices. Read about it in Neiman Journalism Lab.
  • SEC accuses Goldman Sachs of civil fraud – “The Securities and Exchange Commission filed charges Friday against Goldman Sachs, one of the most successful but vilified banks on Wall Street, for misleading and defrauding investors in selling a financial product based on subprime mortgages.” Read more in the Washington Post. Thanks to @Slate on Twitter for sharing the link.
  • Apple Wants to Own You – “Welcome to our velvet prison, say the boys and girls from Cupertino.” Read more on Slate.com. Thanks to @Swoopy for sharing the link on Twitter. This is something I’ve been saying for a while. I don’t own an iPhone primarily because I hate AT&T, but Apple’s control over its mobile computing devices is a definite concern. One of the reasons I’m still sitting on the fence about an iPad — although I’ll likely have to buy one for my work. (Yeah. Poor me.)
  • The Library of Congress Is Now Following You on Twitter | The American Prospect – “On Wednesday, the Library of Congress announced it had signed an agreement with the microblogging service Twitter to archive all public tweets sent since the service began in 2006.” Read an interview with the LIbrary of Congress about this on The American Prospect. Thanks to @Slate for sharing this link.
  • “In Good We Trust,” Says New Humanist Billboard – “Last week the American Humanist Association (AHA) unveiled a new billboard in Moscow, Idaho, the latest of a series of billboards that have appeared in the in area since last year. The new billboard features the familiar image of a U.S. quarter–but with one important revision: in place of the national motto, the coin reads ‘In Good We Trust.’” Read more on the American Humanist Web site.
  • Steve Wozniak On Apple Security, Employee Termination, and Gray Powell – The Wired Editor says, “It’s Steve Jobs’ honor code. Like Michael Corleone’s: A mistake can be forgiven, but he would kill his own brother for betraying the family.” This really rings true. Read More on Wired.com
  • A program designed to reduce energy consumption persuaded some Republicans to consume more. – “UCLA economists Dora Costa and Matthew Kahn analyzed the impact of an energy-conservation program in California that informed households about how their energy use compared with that of their neighbors. While the program succeeded in encouraging Democrats and environmentalists to lower their consumption, Republicans had the opposite reaction. When told of their relative thrift, they started cranking up the thermostat and leaving the lights on more often.” Read more about this by Ray Fisman on Slate.com. Thanks to @Jodene for tweeting the link.
  • Scott Adams Blog: That Lost 4G Phone 04/26/2010 – For Dilbert fans following the Apple/Gizmodo/4G iPhone debacle. Thanks to @sonorandragon for tweeting the link (sort of).
  • Steven Newton: In Defense of Scientific Methodology – Steven Newton’s rebuttal to Larry Dossey’s skewed view of science education. On the Huffington Post. Thanks to @Swoopy on Twitter for sharing the link.
  • The (Potential) Intern From Hell – Generation WHY indeed. The sense of entitlement and downright rudeness is appalling. On Gawker. Read the comments, too.
  • A month with the iPad: Surprises and disappointments – Another objective review of the iPad, this time from Macworld. I agree with much of this, but not all. I think it’s because I’m a single user, not interested in games, and I’ve never had an iPad.
  • The Tea Party Challenge – One reason the Tea Partiers get history wrong. On Inside Higher Ed.
  • FRONTLINE: the vaccine war – “In The Vaccine War, FRONTLINE lays bare the science of vaccine safety and examines the increasingly bitter debate between the public health establishment and a formidable populist coalition of parents, celebrities, politicians and activists who are armed with the latest social media tools — including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter — and are determined to resist pressure from the medical and public health establishments to vaccinate, despite established scientific consensus about vaccine safety.” Read more and watch the program on PBS.org.
  • Steve Jobs Email Reply Generator. – Do you admire Steve Jobs’s ability to create short, concise email replies? We do too! Now you can use this handy tool to practice and hone your own terse skills!” Try it out at GeekCulture.com.
  • Celebrities Endorsing Stupid Things: (like) The Anti-Vaccination Movement – The Relatively Interesting Blog’s take on Jenny McCarthy and the Ant-Vaccine movement.
  • Too deliciously ironic for words: Gary Null hoisted by his own petard – The maker and promoter of natural remedies suffers kidney damage from taking his own supplement. This is pretty damn ironic.
  • 21 Reasons You Should Quit Your Day Job And Travel The World – These reasons sound pretty good to me.
  • Thoughts on Flash – Steve Jobs shares his reasons why Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch do not support Flash. Well thought out. An excellent read. I hope it shakes some sense into Adobe and the developers to continue to develop using this archaic tool.

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