Angry Robot

Ballroom dancing on Harper's Economic Scare Tactics Express

“Conservative principles generally hold that the economy is essentially a beautiful and self-regulating thing, from which only excellent things come, and with which it’s best not to tamper too much artificially. It’s pretty much their version of a vagina.”

Jack Layton, on the record

Worth a read.

Online video surging in Canada

highest in the world for online video viewing, and still going higher. Keep this in mind for usage-based billing debates

Exclusive: Majority out of reach, Tories say

pretty sure this is a Tory attempt to demotivate left wing voters

The Economics of Death Star Planet Destruction

“Doesn’t the Empire take a huge economic loss from the lost productivity of an entire planet?”

Quite the Election

Fascinating bit of analysis from John Duffy:

The NDP may be in first place, or pretty darn close to it.

Let me explain. The Nanos research poll, probably the heaviest covered of the campaign, this morning reported national voting intentions of Conservative: 37.8 per cent; NDP: 27.8 per cent; Liberal: 22.9 per cent; BQ: 5.8 per cent; and Green: 4.7 per cent for the period ending April 26. It takes a little arithmetic with this three-day rolling poll, but when you isolate last night’s numbers, you get the NDP in first place with 36.2 per cent; the Conservatives second with 35 per cent; the Liberals with 17.5 per cent, the BQ with 4.4 per cent and Greens with 6.9 per cent.

That’s right. Nanos’s April 26 sample had the NDP in first. This is not definitive; it has a high margin of error; it must be handled with great care. But add to that today’s Forum Research poll, which showed a mere three points separating the Conservatives and the NDP, and it’s pretty clear what is happening. The NDP either has closed, or is close to closing, the gap with the Conservatives.

None of this means that Jack Layton will be our new PM. In fact, as NDP support tends to hurt the Liberals rather than the Tories, there is a risk that a modest NDP surge will hand Harper the majority he has been begging for.

But it certainly does mean we’re having an exciting election, with an uplifting campaign from Layton, desperation from Ignatieff, and delicious fearmongering from Harper and others. At this point I’d expect a bit of a pullback in the NDP surge, with the end result being a Harper minority with the NDP as official opposition, which would most likely spell the end of the road for Ignatieff. But seeing as the weekend will be busy with weddings and hockey and such, who knows.

That all-bets-off feeling sure is fun, isn’t it?

Cancel your credit card, users warned after PlayStation hack

bad scene, Sony, bad scene.

The Mace

interesting Canadian politics site to follow that does seat projections and commentary. Again, a range between Conservative majority and NDP minority.

NDP hits new heights, rocks election race

now this is an election. Conservative 35% / NDP 30% / Lib 23%. Conservatives below what they need for a majority probably, but depends on how the left splits. NDP could pick up 50 seats in Quebec!

Sitting All Day Is Worse For You Than You Might Think

in terms of heart disease, may be as bad as smoking; exercise doesn’t help; only regular breaks do. Which, ironically, smokers take a lot.

Britain's crisis of succession: Charles and the story behind the royal wedding

this is fascinating. Many including those in the House of Windsor want the succession to skip Charles, because he is an ‘activist’ and may cause the Commonwealth to abandon the monarchy.

60 Completely Unusable Stock Photos

quite possibly the funniest internet comedy photo compilation I’ve seen. Thanks, Y!

jonathan hobin: in the playroom

‘images that depict children reenacting major current events and headlines of our time. including major news items such as 9/11, hurricane katrina, the north korean missiles, and the jonbenét ramsey trials’

Stephen Elliott | The Days of Yore

‘Talent is a total myth, as far as writing goes. If you had talent, your early stuff would be good. You would write well immediately. Nobody ever does that. But if you write continually for a long time, say ten years, you will become a good writer.’

Born Digital

‘One day he printed out a high resolution image on photo paper and left it on the coffee table. He noticed his toddler come up to up and try to unpinch the photo to make it larger, like you do on an iPad. She tried it a few times, without success, and looked over to him and said “broken.”‘

What the World Needs Now is 1500 Words About the iPad

All the things that make a laptop better than a desktop computer are true about the iPad compared to a laptop – it’s lighter, more portable, more personal. And the things that make a laptop worse are mostly true, as well – it’s not as powerful, and there are input and screen size limitations, so it’s not the best way to do processor or screen intensive work.

But at the same time, it has these things it does better, things that computers have never been crazy great at. No one thinks a computer is the best way to look at photos or watch movies. You certainly would never choose it as the best way to read a book. The iPad performs these tasks amazingly. I still prefer my Kindle for books and a big ol’ TV for watching films, but the iPad beats any computer, including a laptop. And you often turn to it because it’s the thing that’s already within arms’ reach.

That’s because of the iPad’s single greatest feature: its battery. 10 hours means I don’t think the battery has ever been dead when I wanted to use it. My previous laptops all got about 2-3 hours when their batteries were still healthy. So you’d have to think about how long you had, where the charger was, etc. The fact that you don’t have to think about that with the iPad means you grab it instead.

When laptops were still relatively rare, and WiFi a new thing, I remember explaining to people why it was a great setup: use your computer from anywhere in the house, to look up stuff on IMDb while watching a flick, catch up on email in bed, heck, watch a movie in your back yard. These are all things I now use the iPad for. A 15-inch laptop seems archaic to me now. I lust after the Air of course, as the biggest downside of the iPad is the lack of a keyboard (no, I’m not saying they should stick one on it, and yes, I’m aware you can use a bluetooth keyboard with it – I have one, and have used it once).

The iPad is the perfect couch computer. It’s nearly the perfect travel computer. At some point in the future, it may be the perfect computer period.

Just a big iPod Touch

I probably don’t have to address this, do I? I also may not be the perfect person to do so because my iPhone is ancient (3G) and totally slow as shit compared to the iPad, so I always choose the pad when it’s available. But I imagine others do this because of the extra screen real estate, which makes it better at anything that displays content or has a fair amount of interface elements.

But running the same OS and all, the phone and pad do have a lot in common. There is this feeling of newness and optimism still. When you turn to these devices and ask them to do something, they’re like, “sure! I mean, I’m just learning how to do that, but here’s some attempts! Is a dollar too much?” Where a PC would say, “that will cost $200, and take you a few weeks to learn.” That’s why the App store is so integral to these things – you go there to see what new things are being tried, each success adding new capabilities to your gadget.

Not everyone who has a smartphone needs a tablet as well. I’ve found that the roles I ask of my devices change a lot. I use the iMac when I want to edit, design, type a lot. The iPhone is great for music, texting, twitter, email notification, and mobile reference. And the iPad…

iPad Apps I use the most

Reeder. It could still be improved upon, but this is about as good as newsreading gets, and makes the iPad my preferred way of reading feeds.

Safari. This is a damn fine web browser, still missing some power features, but it has enough that I’ve never bothered downloading any of the other available browsers. And I’m a real browser enthusiast.

Instapaper. I probably don’t have to explain why this is so good.

Maps. I think the maps app is the best existing interface for dealing with google maps. Pinch-to-zoom just makes it all worthwhile, bro. Google Earth is pretty sweet too.

Plex and Netflix. I have a longer post about Plex in the works, so I won’t go into it here. Anyway, these are the killer apps for portable movie & TV watching.

Remote and VNC Viewer. Lumped together because they are for controlling computers, Remote for iTunes, and VNC for the whole deal. Remote is my preferred way of choosing music.

Kindle. I have an actual Kindle that I use 90% of the time, but I love that the read position is synced to the iPad app so I can use it at night, screen inverted, when my lady is asleep.

Evernote. I’ve been using Evernote for a while and while the service has plenty of downsides, it works very well on the iPad. I’ve been doing a lot of cooking lately, and the method that seems to work the best is keeping recipes in evernote, and calling them up on the iPad in the kitchen. That way I can save them from any website, edit them myself, and always get at them from anywhere. There are some slick note-taking apps out there that sync to dropbox and are super full of awesome, but I love the web clipping aspect of evernote and that keeps me using it for general research and writing as well.

Games – it’s a great platform for gaming, but still immature. Here are some I have dug on though: Scrabble, Pinball HD, Osmos, Infinity Blade, Galaxy on Fire 2, Robokill, Plants vs. Zombies, Civ Rev, Supremacy Wars, Strategery, Ascendancy.

Please fix this

The problems with the iPad are all problems with iOS. I do hold out hope that things will improve with time.

Sync. Apple’s solution is so backwards it blows my mind. I am sure they are working to fix it, but it’s still crazy. The iPad should not need a computer to do things for it. Jobs said computers are like trucks, and people still need trucks, but most of the time people buy a car. So imagine you make them own a truck just to tow their car home.

File system. So people never really understood files and file systems, yeah, yeah. Still not a good reason for why I can’t click on an mp3 on the web and download it into my music library. At the very least, why can’t they do for files what they did with photos, and allow you to save into a big catch-all bin?

Lack of hardcore apps. I’m thinking of this in the sense of hardcore games – there are plenty of casual games on iOS, but few hardcore ones (that work well anyway). Likewise there are plenty of casual apps, but few good hardcore ones. Apple itself is just now getting iMovie and GarageBand onto the thing. I am already impatient for Final Cut, Aperture, Ableton Live.

OK, one hardware complaint, but not about Apple – the lack of a good keyboard case. Seems like a no-brainer: a good case with a built in keyboard that makes the iPad into a netbook. Yet I’ve been following all the models released thus far, and they all seem to suck it.


So that’s where I’m at after eight months of tablet action. I’d say the iPhone has had way more impact on my life, but the iPad has already taken root and has far more potential. It’s already making other things feel obsolete. You ever try and touch a screen that’s totally not a touchscreen? That’s how you know these tablet things are here to stay. And I’m okay with that.

Is Sugar Toxic?

Sounds like it.

Thank Bill Cosby for today's comedy boom

Gamasutra – Features – The Necessity Of Making Free-to-Play Moves

The Sad, Beautiful Fact That We're All Going To Miss Almost Everything : Monkey See : NPR

In Xanadu Did Kubla Khan a Stately PowerPoint Decree.

Final Cut Pro X Announcement Video

Here’s footage of the event. Man, there are some amped up editors in the crowd. But yeah, some of these features sound really, really great. Someone wake Avid, please.

Apple outs 64-bit Final Cut Pro X, more pro video updates to come

FCP has a new interface, lots of new features. Will be $299 on the Mac App Store in June. That’s not for the whole Suite of course…

Authorities in Awe of Drug Runners' Jungle-Built, Kevlar-Coated Supersubs

as in submersible boat, not sandwich

Chicks With Steve Buscemeyes