Archive for Geekback

Geekback – Mission Control

Talking about the last flight of the space shuttle brought up the age-old topic of “going to the bathroom in space”. The basic question of just how these things work has been answered by greater minds than mine (plastic bags and adhesive? ew!) but the old adage that a picture – or a movie – is worth a thousand words really comes into play here. Text – no matter how descriptive – just does not convey how incredibly fucking complicated it is to go the bathroom in space.

Geekback – Facebook’s Evolution Of Evil

A couple of days ago I linked to an excellent timeline that showed the ongoing erosion of user rights on Facebook. It was a succinct and frank look into how selling your private information for profit is the raison d’être for Zuckerberg’s little creation*.

A couple of interesting follow-ups are out there this morning. One is a super awesome look at the actual “process” of trying to manage your privacy on Facebook (nutshell: 150 poorly documented options spread out amount 70 different buttons that you have to hunt down). The other is a venom-filled and wickedly entertaining look at Zuckerberg and his evil, evil domain. Easily the best article ever written about Facebook. Period.

*NOTE: I felt I had to qualify the description of Facebook as Zuckerberg’s “creation” because there are large and towering schools of thought regarding his having stolen the thing from his early partners who actually did create it.

Geekback – Green Is The Colour, Again

Wow. Just when you think the Grey Cup can not possibly get any more epic, well, there it is. Honestly, words fail me. I’m just surprised that we didn’t actually see any Roughrider players be sick to their stomachs on the sidelines. It would have been entirely excusable.

That one will live in story and song for a long, long time.

And, in a not-entirely-unrelated note, you can get some of Blue Rodeo’s more stellar ablums on the iTunes store right now for less than eight bucks a pop. If you don’t go buy Five Days In July, Lost Together, or at the very least the Greatest Hits package, you are a fool.

A fool.

Geekback – iPhone 3.1 Unlock

It turns out that some, but not most, iPhone 3G users are having an issue with email after applying the legit 3.1 upgrade. I have checked with some people who used the 3.1 3G unlock files here, and none of them report any issues, but just to be on the safe side I am taking down the 3.1 3G files for now. There is some debate as to whether this is a carrier issue or a software issue, but as soon as there is a resolution either way I will make the files available, corrected if necessary.

Thanks to Tod for the tip.

Geekback 2 – It’s Only Rock And Roll

Steve Jobs is on stage at the Apple event right now. I am honestly floored by this. And I guess I am not the only one – trying to hit the “iTunes 9” download link still gives you the 8.2.1 installer. The web guys in Cupertino must also be flabbergasted.

UPDATE: The link to the iTunes 9 download now works. Whew.

Geekback – It’s Only Rock And Roll

The Apple store just went down, meaning that new product goodness is being readied for sale even as we speak. New iPod Touches ahoy!

Geekback – Snow Leopard

So I posted my original assessment of Snow Leopard prematurely. See, for the first 48 hours or so with the retail release I pretty much worked exclusively in the terminal and with BBEdit (the best text editor for coders, ever). But when I finally tore myself away from text from that and surfed a bit of web and settled in for a nice couple of hours of Warcraft I found myself rubbing my eyes and blinking and wondering if my display was going on the fritz. The colours of virtually everything on screen were completely ass.

After a couple of more minutes of squinting and what-the-fuck-ing, I realized that I have seen colours exactly like this shade of crap before. In fact, I see them pretty much every time I sit down at a windoze machine. Sure enough, it turns out that the gamma for pretty much every display in Snow Leopard has been defaulted to 2.2 instead of the correct 1.8. Why? I have no fucking idea. But if you value your retinas at all – or you just care about colour quality – then please note my revised review of Snow Leopard:

Best. Update. Ever. But be sure to open System Preferences – Displays – Colour – Calibrate and set the target gamma back to where it is supposed to be.

Unless, you know, you enjoy peering at rampant hideousness.

Geekback – Fake Gary Bettman – RIP

It’s worth noting that Damien Cox once reported on the twitter feed of the obviously fake Gary Bettman as the real thing. Then again, he also once reported that this clown was the real Jim Balsillie. It would seem that Damien has a fairly tenuous grasp on this whole technology thing.

Geekback 3 – Making A Case For Slippery Jim

A Short Canadian Drama In One Act.

The scene: The newsroom at a mid-sized Canadian daily newspaper.

The players: Myself, and some members of the sports department.

The phone rings, and a sports reporter / page editor answers the phone. We’ll call him “Lem Sportsinterviews” – the names have been changed to protect the imbecilic. Lem listens to the caller, who is later revealed to be one of the “Make It Seven” media relations flunkies – ie: the poor saps who are charged with calling various members of the press each and every day to remind them how to cover the story and to portray Slippery Jim as a Selfless Canadian Hero.

Upon disentangling himself from the call, Lem turns to the rest of the office, rubs his hands and cackles with glee, and says “You’ve got to see this – Balsillie is getting aggressive now!” So we all gather round as Lem brings up the “Make It Seven” website and clicks on the link he was just breathlessly informed of.

“Look,” says Lem, “you can click here to send this letter right to the league! They will crash the NHL’s internet!”

“Uh,” says I, “did you look at the address? That is going to go to ‘’ – why would Gary Bettman have an email address at ‘’? That is just stupid, who would fall for that?”

So Lem turns in his chair and looks at me with much pity and scorn and says “Dude, the guy invented the Blackberry, I think he would know better than you how to get mail to Bettman.”

Ooooookay, With nothing left to say, I just wandered off to find a convenient wall to beat my head against. Fortunately for my cranium, I found no such wall – cubicle partitions just don’t do the trick there – and instead blew off the steam by making my own version of the web page. Yes, it sends the letter to the same bogus address. But I think you will find my version much more entertaining.

Epilogue 1: Lem’s quotes, in case you wondered, are word for word. I tapped them down immediately … some things just need to be saved for posterity.

Epilogue 2: Not only does the Make It Seven email form not work for a lot of people, but the whole web page looks like crap on mobile browsers. You would think that the guy who “invented the Blackberry” would have a better grasp on these things.

Geekback – Game 7

Well played, Mr Bettman, well played indeed. I burns my ass to do so, but I have to tip my hat to your deft touch.

Let this be a lesson to anyone who actually thinks that Jimbo Balsillie will somehow get the upper hand and land himself an NHL team. When push comes to shove the fact of the matter is this: What Gary wants, Gary gets. Which means the Penguins do get the cup, and Hamilton is not getting a fly-by-night “stop in for two or three years of free rent while we wait for our real arena in Waterloo” hockey team.

Bring on the summer.