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Tim Cook on workplace rights

So long as the law remains silent on the workplace rights of gay and lesbian Americans, we as a nation are effectively consenting to discrimination against them.

Tim Cook
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Olympics

As sceptical as I am about the Olympics, I thought the opening ceremony was absolutely brilliant.

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The iPhone is not and never was a phone. It is a pocket-sized computer that obviates the phone. The iPhone is to cell phones what the Mac was to typewriters.

John Gruber, looking back on five years of the iPhone.
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Starting with the opening gag with Siri doing stand-up comedy and continuing through to Apple’s new maps and Siri’s new features, there was an unmistakeable “Fuck you, Google” undertone to the whole keynote. Apple is forcing Google out of iOS.

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Stuck

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Brave

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I love to research stuff. Any time I have a conversation with someone and I’m not 100% on the details, I’ll go look it up on the Internet. So now my obsession with research is driving me crazy 🙂

I’m really enjoying this TV show on Netflix that is a few years old (that’s if it’s not still running). Incredibly obscure, it’s not British or American. But I’m enjoying it so much that I want to research it and find out more about it, except that might mean spoilers. So I vow to watch all 100-odd episodes before I look it up.

And that’s killing me! 🙂

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If you’re a programmer or designer, then you’re not like most people. Just because you change your settings in apps you use doesn’t mean that your users will, unless they are also programmers and designers.

Do users change their settings? » UIE Brain Sparks

I change settings on everything I use, and one of my favourite things is getting a new program just so I can look through the settings. They’re right, I’m not like other people 🙂

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Apple conditioned us to forget about terminals and command-line interaces. Apple conditioned us to forget about floppy disks. Apple conditioned us to forget about parallel ports and adopt USB. And now Apple is conditioning us to rethink the way we scroll our content, but also, the need for disc drives and physical media.

Before you set scrolling back to the “old” way, think about this.

On User Conditioning and OS X Lion, on FarukAt.e?

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BBC Worldwide have published their Annual Review for 2011 which highlights Doctor Who as one of the ‘most valuable’ brands, largely responsible for the corporations commercial success.

Doctor Who was also the number-three TV series purchased globally on iTunes in 2010/11.

Wow! Very good news for Doctor Who fans: looks like it will carry on for the foreseeable future!

Doctor Who Online – Doctor Who Boosts BBC profits in the 2011 Annual Review

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My new order of importance for things to read when I’m on the web:

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Why Harry Potter Should Really Be All About Hermione Granger

Why Harry Potter Should Really Be All About Hermione Granger

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Focusing is about saying no. And when you say no, you piss people off. But the result is truly great products.

Steve Jobs, 1997
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Jean-Luc wishes he could play WoW with us.

Happy birthday Jean-Luc!

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Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.

Douglas Adams, “The Salmon of Doubt”
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Apple is now the largest mobile phone manufacturer by revenue

Apple is now the largest mobile phone manufacturer by revenue

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Human beings are perhaps never more frightening than when they are convinced beyond doubt that they are right.

Laurens Van der Post
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Overcoming Bias : Opinion Warning Signs

Overcoming Bias : Opinion Warning Signs

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Shh! Sleeping.

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Protected: Controversial theory!

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Every person in this room has more access to information and scientific knowledge and what is now basic common sense than the authors of the Bible and the Koran. In fact, there’s not a person in this room who has ever met a person whose worldview is so narrow, just by the sheer time in which they appeared in history, as the worldviews of Abraham or Moses or Jesus or Mohammed.

Sam Harris

Something worth remembering. Jesus didn’t even know the germ theory of disease, and thought it was demons that causes all disease. This is someone people look up to as the son of God?

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Words That Don’t Exist in the English Language

L’esprit de escalier: (French) The feeling you get after leaving a conversation, when you think of all the things you should have said. Translated it means “the spirit of the staircase.”

I often feel “The spirit of the staircase”!

More words.

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Text and email are polite invitations to a conversation. They happen at the speed and leisure of both the sender and the receiver. In stark contrast, when you get a phone call, it’s almost always a convenient time for the caller and a bad time for the recipient, who I refer to as the “victim” because I insist on accuracy. My philosophy is that every phone conversation has a loser.

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Science is an ongoing process. It never ends. There is no single ultimate truth to be achieved, after which all the scientists can retire. And because this is so, the world is far more interesting, both for the scientists and for the millions of people in every nation who, while not prefessional scientists, are deeply interested in the methods and findings of science.

Carl Sagan, from the introduction to the mass market edition of Cosmos
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You know why Harry Potter is a phenomenal book series?

rabblevolunteer:

Because it addresses SO MANY THINGS and attempts to explore them:

  • Gender roles (in which this book series destroys them)- In this series you have a HUGE burly man (Hagrid) who treats animals like they are his children, cries publicly, shows his emotions, KNITS IN PUBLIC, and gardens. You have Mrs. Weasley who is the major mother-figure for Harry but who fights just as hard in the final book as the men even though she’s “just” a housewife. She kills Bellatrix for crying out loud!
  • Racism and privilege– The full-blood, half-blood, muggle-born aspect runs throughout the whole series and is meant to be seen as a type of racism. Hermione is a muggle-born but her abilities far surpass her peers’ and Neville, who is a full-blooded wizard is expected to be a better wizard simply from his ancestors, is one of the worst in his classes.
  • Classism- The Malfoys vs. the Weasleys.
  • Ageism– Harry isn’t taken seriously because of his age (in fact it actually helps him obtain the fake locket with Dumbledore because he isn’t seen as a “real” wizard due to his age) and neither is Dumbledore. Dumbledore’s age becomes an issue for the news and people start to question whether or not he’s gone senile when he and Harry claim that Voldemort has returned.
  • Speciesism– The treatment of House-elves, centaurs, giants, and other magical populations are seen as beneath wizards and Hermione tries to take steps to fix that with S.P.E.W.
  • Education– Hagrid was expelled and so he’s seen as uneducated and Malfoy calls him a servant, a savage, etc. But he’s able to earn a position as a teacher at Hogwarts and overcome his lack of an education. Fred and George are the same way, they drop out of Hogwarts and become successful joke shop owners, the implication being that they were not ever really suited for a traditional education (they were not traditional learners and that’s okay). Or when Harry becomes the DADA teacher during Order of the Phoenix, he chooses to teach it hands-on while Umbridge has them write lines all class period. This book explores different learning styles and shows that there are many different ways to learn a subject.
  • Ableism– Neville’s parents live in a hospital because they experienced severe brain damage after being tortured by Voldemort for information. We see them in Order of the Phoenix and it’s through those chapters that we not only understand Neville better but we find out that he isn’t ashamed of them nor does he feel he should be.
  • Sexuality- This book portrays a gay relationship, (even though it is not brought up within the canon ever): Grindelwald and Dumbledore. JK Rowling stated this shortly after the final book came out, that’s how we know this.
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Christians are not bothered in the least that they are risking Allah’s hell by not being Muslims. We all risk the hell of other religions. All I do is risk one more hell than what others do. Once I risk one hell they all look like nothing but empty threats.

John Loftus, Debunking Christianity 
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This is officially Jean-Luc’s chair. He pushes anyone else off who dares sit on it!

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To argue with a man who has renounced his reason is like giving medicine to the dead.

Thomas Paine, The Crisis
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Chillin’

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A smartphone retrospective

A smartphone retrospective

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If you care whether the things you believe are true – including religious beliefs – you ought to be willing to subject your beliefs to rigorous testing, and to let go of them if a solid body of evidence contradicts them. And if you don’t care whether the things you believe are true, then don’t try to defend and/or spread those beliefs to others.

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Toy Story 3

Just wonderful! A fantastic way to end the trilogy, lots of laughs and some really sad moments too (yes I cried a bit!). I can’t fault it.

5 Stars.

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Truth does not demand belief. Scientists do not join hands every Sunday, singing, yes, gravity is real! I will have faith! I will be strong! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up must come down, down. down. Amen!

If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about it.

Dan Barker
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District 9

Thought-provoking and realistic, it really gave you the impression that this was a documentary of an event which really happened. The story was good, although slightly cliche, and left room for a sequel.

4.5 Stars

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State of the Climate: Warming, with No sign of Waning

State of the Climate: Warming, with No sign of Waning

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This is Mr Giraffe.

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Aww the kitten found a big cuddly toy in Elliot’s room & brought it downstairs to play. I think he thinks it’s another cat. It’s a giraffe.

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(My phone alarm going off – making crickets chirping sound, Andrew’s phone alarm going off making duck quacking sound, cat meowing outside the door)

Andrew: It’s like a farm in here! Sometimes I hear a pig noise too *oink oink*

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Whenever it does anything new these days, you have to ask how does it help them collect more data and learn more about its users.

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The sciences are not sectarian. People do not persecute each other on account of disagreements in mathematics. Families are not divided about botany and astronomy does not even tend to make a man hate his father and mother. It is what people do not know that they persecute each other about. Science will bring, not a sword, but peace.

Robert G. Ingersoll
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*tells self* calm down, just a battery charger. *self replies*: but it’s the BEST BATTERY CHARGER! (oh dear)

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I’ve had the same mobile number for as long as I can remember. Go a new number now. Message me if you need it!

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As I originally suspected, but then was told otherwise, I have once again been told that the ‘Apple Store’ in Ipswich will not be official.

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…it will just be an “Apple Authorised reseller” called iStore – ugh!!

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Sleepy time!

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Andrew, Greg and I all have our new iPhone 4s!! Finally!