Kwik Hits

A couple random observations from a surprisingly busy week here in sunny Saint Paul:

Last night, I managed to find time to watch that Pixar animated film Up. It was a decent movie, don’t get me wrong – but I found the advertising, playing it up as a comedy, pretty deceptive, and am left wondering: how on earth is this a kid’s movie? I mean, did it escape everyone’s attention that the protagonist winds up killing his childhood hero at the end of the movie? And does so with no apparent remorse or other emotional response? Wholesome comedic entertainment for the anklebiters? I don’t think so…

A group called the Minnesota Ultra High Speed Broadband Task Force – how’s that for an unwieldy name? – have announced the need for 10Mbps residential broadband throughout the state by 2015. Apparently, this is a “social and economic necessity”, according to these people. Now, I can understand the desire to put Minnesota on par with parts of Europe, but it seems a fantastically and retardedly expensive bit of lobbying, to me. Get people stable 1.5Mbps – 3Mbps connections, and a robust network backbone that can fully support those speeds, and the world will build technological tools that support those transfer speeds. Teleworkers and telecommuters don’t need freaking high-definition 10Mbps video-conferencing, you know…

If you live outside the United States, you may not understand just how terrible and useless our postal system can occasionally be. (Admittedly, our postal workers don’t go on strike, but, still.) Don’t get me wrong – the basic service is usually very reliable, it’s just things that the rest of the world tend to take for granted, like useful package tracking, which is sometimes a bit… lacking.

Consider these two packages:

This package reached the United States in about six days, then spent almost two weeks lost in New York, for reasons that will never be known. It wasn’t inspected by customs, or damaged, or mis-addressed. Note that it was scanned and tracked pretty much every step of the way.

Now look at this one:

This package transited through the exact same facilities as the one above; it was sent from the same place, the same way. Yet it was never scanned in the custody of the USPS until it reached our door yesterday.

Confidence-inspiring, isn’t it?

Elsewhere, I was excited to hear that Cable network TNT has closed the deal to air ‘Southland’, the awesomely good police drama that was inexplicably axed by NBC a few weeks ago to make room in their programming for Jay Leno’s ratings-failure of a show. It airs starting in January, yay.

The dawn of a new era? Meet the electronic manhole cover.

Published in: Geekiness, General | on November 6th, 2009| Comments Off on Kwik Hits

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