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Month: October 2006

Cell Panorama

Cell Panorama

Check out the panorama I made using my cell phone camera. I would have though the distortion would have been just awful, due to the pinhole lens, but it's not too bad. You'll notice that there are some strange pinkish hues in the sky. Is MCAS Miramar releasing pink dye into the sky for this weekend's air show? My more logical guesses are: A.) dirt on the lens; II.) something funky with the CCD; or 3.)something funky with the JPEG compression algorithm of the cell phone. A.) is likely always the case, but I suspect that II.) and 3.) are also quite likely.


Yahoo! Mail Beta still stinks… less

Yahoo! Mail Beta still stinks… less

Three months ago I wrote that Yahoo! Mail Beta still stinks. I said that Yahoo! had fixed two of my five main quibbles with their newest email interface. Sure, they fixed two, but they were the ones I cared least about.

Lo and behold, Yahoo! came out with an updated version of Mail Beta a month ago, and more recently my server farm received the update. Let's see how Yahoo! fares this round...

1. Fixed-width fonts. Huzzah! Numbah one gets addressed. This is big. Fixing this almost is enough for me to start using Beta every day. But only almost. Yahoo!, you get a nice green check:

green check

2. Message replying format. Nope. Nothing new here. Same, lame behavior as before. Give us some freedom, Yahoo!. Stop putting the minority with good etiquette down! This earns you a Big Red X, and red is never a good color for anything.

red X

3. Message quoting. Nope, again. There is still no way to differentiate the message I'm replying to and what I've written. Another BRX.

red X

Yahoo!, you're getting beat up, down, left and right by Google. They just took YouTube out from under you this week! Shape up!



I came across this transcript of the Chancellor of UC San Diego, Marye Anne Fox, answering students questions during an online chat. The questions were not very interesting. Missing is a question about the vowel shortages in Bosnia, and why she's not helping them out, because she's got some extra 'e's to lend.

I guess in the chatroom format, complete answers aren't really called for. Sometimes I think she hits it just right:

beebop> Hey, Mar...quick question: I was just wondering, what is your favorite sandwich?
MA_Fox> that's easy. a cheeseburger

On the other hand, sometimes she doesn't answer at all, in full politician mode:

fitfreak> I'd like to know more about the upcoming vote to raise fees to help pay for Division 2 scholarships. Why is this necessary?
MA_Fox> I encourage you to get involved with student govt so that you may weigh the pluses and minuses of expanding athletic scholarships.

And there's the people with their little problems:

maricket> I'm a cheerleader on campus, I am wondering why we do not receive priority registration. We are now considered "athletes" and I think we do more than our part to contribute to UCSD's spirit and athletic program. Having practice at least 12 hours a week plus games, rallies, and fundraisers, I believe that we deserve a chance to plan around those events with that priority registration. What do you think?
MA_Fox> I was not aware of this issue and will discuss it with the VC for Student Affairs.

I wonder how MA_Fox would have answered if maricket was a cheerleader off campus...

Overall, I get the distinct feeling that she's not really earning the $408,510 she's being paid as the Chancellor. Honestly, do her answers strike you as concise and to the point? She really doesn't know what students care about. If she was being verbally grilled by a thesis comittee, she'd be flunked. And since this is a university, I think that's a fair measure of her performance.

I thought about putting this post in the Wish List category, but I don't want to be chancellor. I just want half a million dollars to not answer questions very well.