Exploring the intersection of creativity and technology.
- Posted on November 18, 2012
- Posted on October 24, 2012
An astounding endorsement for Romeny
The Orlando Sentinel, central Florida’s largest newspaper, endorsed Mitt Romney:
Other presidents have succeeded even with the other party controlling Capitol Hill. Democrat Bill Clinton presided over an economic boom and balanced the budget working with Republicans. Leaders find a way.
With Obama in charge, the federal government came perilously close to a default last year. Now it’s lurching toward another crisis with the impending arrival of massive tax hikes and spending cuts on Jan. 1.
It is absolutely incredible how this editorial conveniently disregards the previously unimaginable levels of Republican obstructionism in both chambers of Congress. (“Democrats held strong majorities in the House and Senate during his first two years,” it argues, ignoring the GOP’s unprecedented use of the filibuster.)
And “leaders find a way”? Obama did indeed find a way — to, among other things, rescue GM, pass an economic stimulus bill, add millions of jobs, and reform healthcare, despite consistent and nearly complete Republican opposition.
Romney is not our ideal candidate for president. We’ve been turned off by his appeals to social conservatives and immigration extremists.
Well, it’s a good thing, then, that Romney’s economic plan makes so much sense.
If he doesn’t produce results — even with a hostile Senate — we’ll be ready in 2016 to get behind someone else who will.
Yeah, what could go wrong in four years?
The Sentinel’s endorsement of Romney isn’t itself bothersome — newspapers are, of course, free to support any candidate they’d like. But the editorial makes no mention of how Romney would specifically help Florida residents, and its reasons for supporting Romney in general are disingenuous or misleading. It’s disappointing to read.
So you want to log into WebCT?
People using the newest version of OS X, Mountain Lion, might see this warning after logging into WebCT:
This stems from a new feature called “Gatekeeper,” meant to protect your computer from untrusted and possibly nefarious apps. But that doesn’t matter – the main problem is that you can only seem to press the “Deny” button, since “Java will not allow any access to this applet.” So how are you supposed to access WebCT?
Clicking on “Show Details” offers more information:
A certificate, in essence, is cryptographic file that verifies someone’s or something’s identity, and provides one of the most foundational elements of security on the Internet. With digital certificates, we know that facebook.com is really Facebook, not steal-your-facebook-info.com, and that your data is passing safely between your computer and Facebook — or in this case, that WebCT is really WebCT, not a malicious third-party.
In this case, the certificate exists, but expired over five months ago: this means, in theory, that the certificate could be invalid or stolen. They can expire by mistake, though, and Emerson is trustworthy, so it’s probably safe to trust this certificate. It’s not really obvious, but the only way to do this is to check “Always trust ‘BlackboardInc.’”
After entering your computer’s password and clicking “Allow” in the Java prompt, you may face another warning:
This browser is unsupported? But it’s the latest version of Safari (6.0.1) on the latest version of OS X. Checking what browsers are supported identifies the issue:
The page hasn’t been updated since the days of OS X 10.6 and Safari 4 – which were released more than three years ago, and are two versions outdated. I managed to track down a more recent version of the page, though:
The penultimate OS X release is at least mentioned, but every browser tested is “unsupported,” or, according to the page’s glossary, “either impossible or not tested.” Since WebCT seems to work, it’s probably the latter. The page also says that “Google Chrome is not supported” — which might make sense, if Chrome wasn’t the most popular browser in the world.
Maybe some these problems stem from the fact that this version of WebCT was initially released in 2005 — the year President Bush started his second term, YouTube was founded, and Pope John Paul II died. At least it still works, though — if a little slowly.
A study in sensationalist science journalism
According to The Telegraph, a recent study showed couples that share their housework are more likely to divorce – a finding characterized by the writer as “a slap in the face for gender equality.” A co-author of the study, Thomas Hansen, says that “the more a man does in the home, the higher the divorce rate.”
Yet midway through the article comes this paragraph:
But the deeper reasons for the higher divorce rate, he suggested, came from the values of “modern” couples rather than the chores they shared.
"In these modern couples, women also have a high level of education and a well-paid job, which makes them less dependent on their spouse financially," continues Hansen.
Another article admits:
Researchers found no, or very little, cause-and-effect. Rather, they saw in the correlation a sign of “modern” attitudes.
In other words, sharing housework is only correlated to higher divorce rates. Specifically, “modern” couples are both more likely to share housework, see marriage as less sacred, and have wives with more economic mobility – but it is probably only the last two factors that actually cause higher divorce rates.
It’s the typical cum hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy – correlation does not imply causation. Unfortunately, sensationalist headlines, not logic and reason, often drive clicks to websites.
- Posted on September 26, 2012