I just watched a quite excellent video interview, Elon Musk at MIT, talking mainly about SpaceX, and also about Tesla (nothing about Solar City).

My first reaction to this is, why are so many of these kinds of presentations presented in a format (adobe flash) where there is no practical way to listen to them offline? Yes, I know, I could record it on Camtasia or whatever, but that kind of defeats the purpose — too much time and hassle. There are a lot of these presentations that I’d like to be able to listen to as podcasts while walking or exercising. I don’t have time to sit in front of a screen to listen to interviews. I already spend enough time tethered to a screen, working.

(In this case, someone has subsequently put the interview up on youtube, so it’s possible to convert to mp3 and download fairly painlessly using the very useful syncfile.co youtube downloader/converter. I had already watched it by then, guess I should have waited. But there are a great many video interviews that people put up on their own sites in adobe flash or vimeo that never make it onto youtube.) More »

One of the kids’ android tablets mysteriously developed a vexing problem that turned out to be ridiculously hard to fix. The problem: suddenly the tablet has no touchpad keyboard (also the tablet decided to display everything in German). The missing keyboard problem took me over an hour to figure out how to fix, and it seems to be the subject of considerable flailing and gnashing of teeth on the message boards. This episode definitely served to reinforce my growing perception of Android as an abortion on the scale of Windows Vista. You’d think the Google folks would have cleaned up this kind of glitch by now. I’m pretty sure if the iPad OS had a problem that basically bricks the machine in a way that even a factory reset won’t fix, Apple would have fixed it long before version 4.1. More »

It’s easy to list things not to like about Facebook.

The overbearing and often deceptive attitude toward privacy.

The superficiality of most of the content. Wow, other people’s vacation pictures! Break out the popcorn!

The enforced conformity to a bland and boring layout. 100 million web pages that all look exactly identical! More »