Monthly Archives: December 2010

Annals of Safe Waste Disposal

(A note mainly to myself, but please read along.) As a result of some delayed Spring cleaning…ok, very delayed Spring cleaning…I find I have a number of things to dispose of.

The useful items are going to charities.

Most of the trash I know what to do with.

But I have three classes of toxic waste that take special disposal: batteries, compact fluorescent light bulbs (aka CF bulbs), and a very very old non-functioning laptop.

Radio Shack kindly took the batteries, including the one from the laptop. I removed the hard drive for security. The issue is what to do with the carcass.

Miami-Dade doesn’t make either of these tasks easy. The only place I can find that will take the CF bulbs are the County’s Permanent Home Chemical Collection Centers facilities, which are not exactly next door:

The Centers are located in West Dade at 8831 N.W. 58th Street, and in South Dade at 23707 SW 97th Avenue Gate-B. Normal hours of operation are Wednesday through Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The web site doesn’t actually say they take CF Bulbs (although this list includes “fluorescent bulbs” generally), but Greener Miami says they will [2010: version], and I trust them. (I did try calling the number for the Centers, but gave up after 10 minutes on hold.) [2010: Miami-Dade has changed the Centers’ web site to make clear that they do in fact take CF Bulbs.]

And even if they will take the CF bulbs, they won’t take the electronics. For that I have to go to certain of the Trash & Recycling Centers (the ones marked with a “2″):

  • North Dade 2*
    21500 NW 47 Avenue
  • Norwood
    19901 NW 7 Avenue
  • Palm Springs North 2*
    7870 NW 178 Street
  • West Little River 2*
    1830 NW 79 Street
  • Golden Glades 1, 2*
    140 NW 160 Street
  • Sunset Kendall 2*
    8000 SW 107 Avenue
  • Snapper Creek 1, 3*
    2200 SW 117 Avenue
  • Richmond Heights
    14050 Boggs Drive
  • Chapman Field 3, 4*
    13600 SW 60 Avenue
  • Eureka Drive 2*
    9401 SW 184 Street
  • West Perrine 2*
    16651 SW 107 Ave
  • Moody Drive 1, 2*
    12970 SW 268 Street
  • South Miami Heights
    20800 SW 117 Court


[Original draft 9/3/2008. In preparation for my blog redesign, I’ve been going through draft blog posts that somehow never made it to publication. This is one of them.]

2010: I still have the light bulbs somewhere.  And as I’m doing another round of cleaning now, the piles of toxics are likely to grow.

Posted in Miami, Zombie Posts | 3 Comments


Yahoo Groupes (sic) is unhappy with me:

Votre navigateur n’accepte pas les cookies. Pour afficher cette page, vous devez modifier les préférences de votre navigateur pour qu’il accepte les cookies. (Code 0)

And it’s true too.

Somehow “Votre navigateur n’accepte pas les cookies” seems like amazing Franglais. This is why I wonder if I still speak French sometimes: The language has borrowed so much English that it has left me behind.

When I go to France, I sometimes wonder if people think I sound like someone speaking Edwardian English. If I could only convince myself the effect was Shakespearean …

[Original draft 1/15/10. As part of my blog redesign, I’ve been going through draft blog posts that somehow never made it to publication. This is one of them.]

Posted in Internet, Zombie Posts | 4 Comments

Comcast vs Level 3 Humor

People deeply embedded in the Comcast v. Level 3 slugfest over whether content providers should have to pay extra to reach customers will enjoy this xtranormal video: Comcast vs Level 3.

Posted in Econ & Money, Internet | Comments Off on Comcast vs Level 3 Humor

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Intel’s Sandy Bridge Processor Has a Kill Switch – Slashdot.  It’s remotely activated over a 3G network — no Internet connection required.   It’s advertised as a way to turn off the machine if it is stolen.

DDOS anyone?

Posted in Sufficiently Advanced Technology | 1 Comment

Other Places, Other Lives

Outpost Nine :: Editorials :: I am a Japanese School Teacher (2010: Linkrot — version is here):

In August 2003 I moved to Kyoto, Japan as a part of the JET program. I am an assistant language teacher in three Jr. High schools. The experience has been…interesting to say the least.

One of the cool things about the Internet is the window it gives you into other lives–although one certainly could suggest here that the window is more into the life of the writer than into the life of the Japanese students he writes about.

I sometimes think that in the long run, one of the major things this medium will do for us is make new sorts of national and international connections more common. A few years ago, I suggested that,

The Blogosphere is young, but it shows some signs of potentially evolving into a miniature public sphere of its own, a sphere of shared interests rather than shared geography. Conceivably, the rise of a Blog culture, even one composed primarily of nonpolitical, wholly personal diaries, may enrich the public sphere. The impulse to read some Blogs may not be that different from the impulse that brings viewers to soap operas, but the experience of regularly encountering another person’s diary, of following along in a stranger’s life, might have value. If it encourages readers to identify with someone different from themselves, it encourages them to attempt “the intellectual exercise of viewing life from the perspective of others — to try to walk in each others’ shoes, to respect each other enough to engage in honest discourse, and to recognize in each other basic rights so as to create sufficient autonomy to make the discourse possible.” That encouragement is only part of what is needed for discourse ethics to flourish, but it is a start.

It’s an optimistic, perhaps unrealistic, hope, but it connects to some important theoretical commitments and aspirations,

If a social and legal system reproduces itself in a way that disables honest discourse among citizens, then it deserves to be criticized: it is not legitimate, and is potentially evil. A Hobbesian predator’s value system is more than just repulsive to outsiders — it is substantively invalid in terms of discourse ethics because by putting such heightened value on short-term selfish material gain and so little value on the needs or rights of anyone other than the individual, it prevents the victims of that worldview from engaging in the very discourse that might allow them to learn why they are making themselves so miserable. In contrast, a social system that encourages citizens to embark on the intellectual exercise of viewing life from the perspective of others — to try to walk in each others’ shoes, to respect each other enough to engage in honest discourse, and to recognize in each other basic rights so as to create sufficient autonomy to make dis-course possible — is on the path to legitimate lawmaking. Such a society enjoys at least a relative legitimacy, even if the rules in place today are not the ones that discourse theory would demand.

It may seem absurd to connect any of this to the author of Outpost Nine, an American guy dodging Japanese school children who he claims want to do unspeakable things to him in the hallways. He doesn’t quite seem up to bearing all this freight, or even much of it. But in the end, we’re all in it together.

[Original draft 5/10/2006. As part of my blog redesign, I’ve been going through draft blog posts that somehow never made it to publication. This is one of them.]

2010: The links in this piece all seem to be dead, at least as far as the teacher’s diary is concerned, and replaced with uninteresting ‘editorials’ about his love life. Which is sort of a shame, as the stuff about Japanese schoolchildren was, modulo unreliable narrator, a window into a very foreign world. I’m posting it anyway, (with a link to for those who care about (alleged) weirdness in Japanese schools) as the parts about the Internet reflect what I was thinking about in 2006, and still gnaw on today.

Posted in Internet, Zombie Posts | 3 Comments

Dropbox Goes to 1.x

Dropbox just announced a major new version: 1.0.10. Get it while it’s hot.

Actually, if you already have Dropbox, it will auto-upload in the fullness of time. Mine, however, never does it very fast. So if you are impatient, you can download it and install it yourself, and it will load over your older copy pretty seamlessly. One small warning: I found that it took a lot of CPU to “update” the database for a minute or two when I first ran it, but it then settled down nicely. Here’s some PR about the changes in the new version; Faster syncing is always welcome. Selective upload sounds like it will be useful for some, although I’m not sure I have a use for it myself. Mac users will apparently find Dropbox much easier to use.

If you have never used Dropbox before, and you regularly use more than one computer (e.g. home/office) it will likely make your life a lot better. Dropbox creates a shared folder on every machine you install it to, and it updates and syncs that folder automatically every time you close a file (it doesn’t sync open files, so some programs, like calendar programs, do need to be closed down before you switch machines). Dropbox keeps a backup copy of all the files in this folder, and has revisions going back 30 days, which is a useful backup tool but also has certain privacy implications that you should be aware of. Encryption is your friend.

Dropbox gives you 2GB of storage free, and charges you if you want more. The other way to get more space is to refer new users to Dropbox (If you want me to have the 250MB bonus for your signup, download Dropbox from here.) Dropbox is one of my major productivity apps: No more forgetting my USB key at home in the morning! It’s the best thing I’ve downloaded since Pandora.

Posted in Software | 1 Comment