Monthly Archives: August 2009

Great Things from South Carolina

S. Carolina Lt. Gov André Bauer has suddenly subscribed me to his PR list (without asking), and sends me this urgent message:

Lt. Governor to Hold Press Conference Wednesday, August 26.

Lt. Governor André Bauer will issue a major public statement concerning the ongoing investigation of Governor Mark Sanford today at 12:00 pm on the first floor of the Statehouse.

Could it be that Lt. Gov. Bauer (whose web page self-congratulates as “South Carolina's Hardest Working Elected Official”) has some national aspirations?

Posted in Politics: The Party of Sleaze | 1 Comment

Truth Gets Its Boots On

From MediaMatters, Debunking The Latest Conservative Health Care Smear: “Death Book For Veterans”

Posted in Health Care | 17 Comments

Can It Really Be that People Are More Credulous Today?

Boing Boing points to a study showing that the Placebo effect is getting stronger. I take this to mean that people today are more credulous.

Which may explain Fox 'News'? How else to make sense of articles such as today's NYT story on a good man driven to activism by total misinformation,

The Colliers are committed conservatives who have voted Republican in presidential elections since 1980. They receive much of their information from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh’s radio program and Matt Drudge’s Web site.

Posted in Science/Medicine | 7 Comments

We’re Hiring: Build Your Own Dream Team

New Dean, new ideas: This year's annual promo message from the Appointments Committee had the usual stuff about wanting to hire great people at the entry level and as laterals. And it also had an unusual wrinkle:

… we especially invite applications from groups of faculty with complementary interests.

That doesn't (necessarily) mean a group of faculty from one institution — on the contrary, the idea is that a group of faculty from different institutions might choose to converge here in order to collaborate.

In short, it's an invitation to build your own dream team. One we can afford as we have twelve new faculty lines — plus some old ones — to fill.

I'm not the relevant committee this year, but I'm happy to act as a conduit for people more comfortable dealing with someone they know. Or folks can write directly to the Chair of the Appointments Committee, Robert Rosen.

Posted in U.Miami | 1 Comment

Batting Practice Will Never Be the Same

Wait until they teach this High-Speed Robot Hand to throw a curveball.

Posted in Science/Medicine | 3 Comments

How To Fix the Gmail Notifier Unavailable Bug

[UPDATE 7/3/15: Google has killed the notifier function as part of its attempts to drive us all towards Chrome.]

I've been using Gmail notifier for some time. It's not that I particularly want to know when I get gmail, since I have that forward to my main account anyway. No, the great thing about gmail notifier is that I can set it to make Gmail the default email program for “mailto” links on web pages.

But a while ago I started getting error messages from the notifier; I didn't mind not having the unread mail count, but there's something about error messages at boot up that makes me grumpy.

An error has occurred.
Cannot connect to your mailbox.
Service temporarily unavailable.

Except it seemed permanent.

So I was happy to find out that the problem was because I forced gmail to use https, and that there's info on a patch,

If you've tried the new https setting and are using the Gmail Notifier, you've probably noticed a conflict between them by now. Good news for Windows users – we have a small download available that will set the Notifier to use https. Here's the instructions:

1. Download
2. Open up the folder.
3. Double-click on the file called notifier_https.reg to install it.
4. Click 'yes' when you're asked to confirm if you want to add the information to the registry.
5. Restart the Notifier.

And you're done! The Notifier will now work with Gmail set to always use https. If you decide you don't want to use that setting anymore, you'll need to install the other file in the zip folder – notifier_https_undo.reg – to reset Notifier.

And it works!

Posted in Software | 36 Comments

There Really Are “Death Panels’

It turns out that there really are death panels. Only they are run by insurance companies.

Posted in Health Care | 7 Comments