Rewatching Buffy

Note: minor spoilers ahead, don’t read if you care.

Susan and I are going through Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Netflix instant, and just finished Season 3 last night. I haven’t watched Buffy since it was first on, and Susan hasn’t really ever seen much of it.

One thing that most sticks out to me is how the casting director managed to keep getting the same actors back as extras and bit characters over the years. The fact that Johnathan is seen wandering the hallways from quite early in the series, well before he gets speaking parts, is something I hadn’t noticed before. I also really appreciate how gradually characters are introduced, Anya being a good example, and how organic that makes the whole show.

I also started laughing last night when they were investigating the “Volcanologist” office, which sets up one of my favorite scenes in all of Buffy.

Big Media vs. Google TV

This was a lot of places, but here is the Ars story:

Viacom joins Fox, ABC, CBS, and NBC in blocking Google TV for fear that users might choose to stream those shows over the Internet on-demand instead of watching them the old fashioned way. Google has been trying to assuage the fears of TV execs by insisting that cord-cutting isn’t a real phenomenon, but it apparently isn’t working. Media companies would rather milk traditional TV’s big ad dollars for as long as possible before accepting the less-big ad dollars that the Internet can provide.

This is going to be interesting to see how it eventually resolves. Will the web now diverge into “connected to too nice of a screen” or not camps?

It’s time to rethink the TSA

I think Seth Godin gets to the heart of things around the TSA and the new scanners:

Smart marketers know how to pivot. I think it’s time to do that. Start marketing the idea that flying is safe, like driving, but it’s not perfect, like driving. If someone is crazy enough to hurt themselves or spend their life in jail, we’re not going to stop them, and even if we did, they’d just cause havoc somewhere else. So instead of spending billions of dollars a year in time and money pretending, let’s just get back to work.

The current model doesn’t scale.

Linux Desktop Speedups

Phoronix recently published an article regarding a ~200 lines Linux Kernel patch that improves responsiveness under system strain. Well, Lennart Poettering, a RedHat developer replied to Linus Torvalds on a maling list with an alternative to this patch that does the same thing yet all you have to do is run 2 commands and paste 4 lines in your ~/.bashrc file. I know it sounds unbelievable, but apparently someone even ran some tests which prove that Lennart’s solution works. Read on!
More info, including the commands you need on Ubuntu, here.



The TSA scanners suck, but not because of the radiation

I’m anti TSA back scatter scanner, but it’s not because of the radiation, which is actually quite small. Coming in at a measure of 0.005 mrem, it’s about 1/2 of what you get by eating a banana. If you live in a brick house you are getting at least 20x that radiation level every day.

I’m anti back scatter scanner because I think it’s a 4th amendment violation, and that it’s an incredibly expensive waste of money. That money could be better spent on kitchen safety, as kitchen appliances kill more people a year than terrorists do.