“If companies are claiming the rights and privileges of people, maybe people should start claiming the rights and privileges of corporations.”

Corporations are people. So what if people were corporations?

Tasty

First NY Times restaurant review, circa 1859?.

Applies to more than games

Raph Koster: When a game is a clone

Fixing (unrelated) annoying problems with Google Voice and the Mac App Store

The Google Voice problem was that incoming unanswered calls were going to an automated switchboard for some San Diego financial service that I have no relation to. If somebody called me and I picked up, that was fine, but if I didn’t pick up the call got forwarded to this financial service’s switchboard. Frankly, the financial service sounds shady. This was merely annoying rather than a big deal because people would just call back, or send an email or a text. But still it was a problem needing solving.

I’ve been unsuccessfully trying to fix this for months, when yesterday I thought to check which numbers were connected to that Google Voice number. Sure enough, one of the numbers Google Voice was set to ring was a landline number in my home office. But I disconnected that phone when I left my previous employer. Solution: Disconnect that number from Google Voice. And now incoming calls to my Google Voice number correctly go to my Google Voice voicemail. Yay!

For good measure, I configured Google Voice to no longer ring my iPhone when I get an incoming call and instead ring the iPhone Hangouts app. I tested it out and call quality is actually clearer through Hangouts than it is on the native iPhone app. And now I have two phone numbers on my iPhone, which could prove useful.

So I’ve gone from hating Google Voice and wishing I hadn’t signed up to … well, if not loving it then at least enjoying renewed hope for it.

The App Store problem was that I have iMovie installed on this Mac, and it’s due for an update through the App Store, but this is a company-issued Mac, and the iMovie update requires me to enter a password for another account, one that’s not mine. I don’t have a password to that account. This has been going on a couple of years now. Today I finally thought of a solution — I deleted iMovie. I haven’t edited a movie on the Mac in ages.

No big deal but that red 1 by the App Store was driving me crazy. And now it’s gone.

Minnie got into the cat food again

The last time this happened, her crate the next morning looked like something out of a Lovecraft story, if Lovecraft had written about puppy diarrhea.

Late this afternoon, I was standing in the kitchen and saw her Minnie wal out from the back of the house. No, “walk” is not the right word. Minnie strolled out from the back of the house, as though it was the most ordinary thing in the world.

The back of the house is a catzone, not a Minniezone. Minnie is still destructive, she has monthly accidents, and two of the cats avoid her. Also, the catfood is in the back of the house. Minnie loves catfood, but the catfood does not love her. The catfood causes Minnie to generate substances normally only seen in early Roger Waters movies. So when Minnie is indoors off-leash, we keep her confined to the kitchen, sunroom, and laundry room, and always supervised. When she’s indoors outside those rooms, she’s leashed, and mostly supervised.

Except this afternoon somebody forgot to leash her and left the kitchen gate open. This someone was almost certainly me, though I don’t remember it at all.

I checked the catfood dishes. Minnie had eaten about a cup of dry food, maybe more. And she ate half a small can of wet food.

I hope we have no disasters tonight. Hopefully she’s had enough time to work it out of her system.

No, thank you

The vast majority of UK Internet users opt out of porn filters.

ISPs are required by law to offer the filters and have them switched on by default. More than six out of seven households opt to have the filters switched off.

Internet filters have a poor performance record. They fail to block problem sites and censor legitimate sites.

Symbolic autocannibalism if you eat it yourself

The Selfie Toaster Toasts Your Face Onto Bread.

Who owns science fiction?

Nicola Griffith ponders how her straight historical novel Hild got nominated for the science fiction and fantasy Nebula Award.

Richard Russo is one of my favorite writers. He satisfies a quality I get from science fiction and fantasy, of living in an alien world. Russo’s alien worlds are contemporary small towns in upstate New York and Maine. Likewise, the Easy Rawlins novels let me live for a time in post World War II black Los Angeles.

I’ve added Hild to my Amazon wishlist.

Who Owns SF?.

By Grabthar’s Hammer, what a wonderful movie

'Galaxy Quest': The Oral History.

image

Who’d a thunk it?

Rand Paul: A Surprising Leader on Race.

Mismatched

Wallace Shawn: I wish people knew me as a radical playwright instead for “The Princess Bride”

Disappointing article. The interview is good but the headline and introduction are terrible. The writer is simply making up attitudes and statements that Shawn never makes in the interview.

I made an offhand comment a couple of days ago about how I dislike the phrases “highbrow,” “lowbrow,” and “guilty pleasures.” Like what you like, I said. Shawn’s career spans the brows (so to speak) as broadly as can be imagined. I’m curious how he looks back on, basically, his two careers. Is he ashamed of is work on Star Trek, Toy Story, and The Princess Bride? As proud of one body of work as he is of the other? Or does he view the character acting as just his day job — something he does to pay the bills for his real life’s work?

This is wonderful

Guy Walks Into a Bar.

I can’t think of any way to summarize this without giving away the joke. Just read it. It’s short — it’ll only take two minutes to read.

Oh, Google Voice, I wish I could quit you

Goodbye, Google Voice: I’m breaking up with you.

Thinking about doing this myself. GV seems to be abandonware, it’s flaky, and there’s no longer need for it now that my mobile is my only phone.

Indeed, what I really need is the opposite of what Google Voice provides: One number for friends and family, another for work, and a third for potential spammers who nonetheless have legitimate need for my phone number, like airlines.

Too many people have my Google Voice number for me to dump it, but it’s become a pain in the neck. I’d hoped for an upgrade at the I/O conference, but that didn’t happen.

I haven’t tested it but I bet he’s right

“You can make about 75% more money with a cat on your head than you can with a cat on your shoulder.”

Dog parks: The strange rituals—and stranger people—you find at the dog run.

Writer Benoit Denizet-Lewis is traveling the country meeting dog-obsessed Americans for a book about dogs in America. He kicked things off by spending a full day with his dog at Tompkins Square Park in New York’s East Village, the oldest in the city.

Dog parks are a relatively modern invention, a “kind of victory over the anonymity and transience of life,” as writer Mary Battiata put it. They’re a place of long-lasting friendships, longer-lasting feuds, and dog-park know-it-alls who disapprove of the job you’re doing with your pet. At a dog park in Boston, where I live, the park’s queen bee once asked me what I was feeding Casey.

She didn’t like my answer. “Well, you can certainly feed him that if you want to _kill_him,” she barked.

I’d come to New York City to experience the rituals and rhythms of the city’s oldest dog run. The New York Times has described Tompkins Square (also called First Run) as a lively and contentious place, one brimming with dog-park politics and the kind of class-related tension that led one woman to declare that some dogs deserved to get “roughed up because they wore sweaters.”

One dog park regular says it’s a great place to meet people, and a few of the regulars have even gotten married. Another regular, a woman, replied, “I try not to date where my dog shits.”

Dog parts engender community. Immediately after 9/11, regulars flocked to the dog park to be with people close to them.

Dog parks: The strange rituals—and stranger people—you find at the dog run..