Upgraded to Classilla 9.2

I support a fleet of three classic iMacs, so I was delighted to update to Clasilla 9.2:

Classilla is a free, open source browser for Mac OS 9*
Classilla is bringing back web browser support to your classic Macintosh — built on WaMCom, a port of Mozilla to classic Macintosh systems, using the same technology underpinning the popular Firefox browser. It’s completely free and it’s open source, and it’s standards-compliant. Use it without cost or restriction; or, if you’ve got the skills, hack it and make it your own. Classilla brings your wonderful old Power Macintoshes back to life and back online.

Thanks Classilla!

Negative Review of ‘World War II’ on The History Channel

Hat-tip to CPS, a review of a show that seems someone less believable than Battlestar Gallactica

So it’s pretty standard “shining amazing good guys who can do no wrong” versus “evil legions of darkness bent on torture and genocide” stuff, totally ignoring the nuances and realities of politics. The actual strategy of the war is barely any better. Just to give one example, in the Battle of the Bulge, a vastly larger force of Germans surround a small Allied battalion and demand they surrender or be killed. The Allied general sends back a single-word reply: “Nuts!”. The Germans attack, and, miraculously, the tiny Allied force holds them off long enough for reinforcements to arrive and turn the tide of battle. Whoever wrote this episode obviously had never been within a thousand miles of an actual military.

Probably the worst part was the ending. The British/German story arc gets boring, so they tie it up quickly, have the villain kill himself (on Walpurgisnacht of all days, not exactly subtle) and then totally switch gears to a battle between the Americans and the Japanese in the Pacific. Pretty much the same dichotomy – the Japanese kill, torture, perform medical experiments on prisoners, and frickin’ play football with the heads of murdered children, and the Americans are led by a kindly old man in a wheelchair.

Read the whole thing.

Roundtable: Afghanistan 2050

An upcoming blog roundtable will feature retrospective posts, and subsequent reactions, to Afghanistan in 2050. The distance between 2050 and now is 40 years, and as Lexington Green writes

40 years is the period from Fort Sumter to the Death of Victoria, from the Death of Victoria to Pearl Harbor, from Pearl Harbor to the inauguration of Ronald Reagan. It is a big chunk of history. It is enough time to gain perspective.

This exercise in informed and educated imagination is meant to help us gain intellectual distance from the drumbeat of day to day events, to understand the current situation in Afghanistan more clearly, to think-through the potential outcomes, and to consider the stakes which are in play in the longer run of history for America, for its military, for the region, and for the rest of the world.

I am excited to be a part of this upcoming roundtable, along with Mark Safranski, Shane Deichman, and others. I hope my own upcoming post, The Long Type of Time, will be considered a worthwhile contribution.

The Backlash Against China

Catholicgauze has an interesting post up, titled “China versus the United States in popularity.” One factor that goes unsaid is that because of China’s economic policies, it is rapidly leaving behind the developed world that once championed it. While much is going on behind the scenes, this shot from a Thai newspaper shows something of what the developing world is saying about its largest member

Whether or not “the globe is waking up to the arrogance of Chinese power,” other developing countries are no longer happy with China’s policy of manipulating its currency so as to undercut its competition.

Very Satisfied with iPad

This matches my experiences:

Executive summary in case you don’t feel like reading the rest of this article: They like it. A lot. Ninety-eight percent say they’re satisfied with their iPads overall; ninety-six percent think it’s a good value. In category after category–3G service, most of the individual bundled apps, battery life, speed, the absence of Flash–a majority of respondents are pleased.

As does this:

Interestingly, Nielsen’s results appear to show that reading on the iPad is significantly faster compared to the Kindle 2. But Nielsen was quick to dismiss this conclusion arguing that the reading speeds between the two devices were “not statistically significant.” “The difference [between reading times on the iPad and Kindle 2] would be so small that it wouldn’t be a reason to buy one over the other,” Nielsen wrote.

The study also asked each user to rate how they liked each format on a scale of 1 to 7. The iPad, Kindle 2, and printed book were nearly tied at 5.8, 5.7, and 5.6 respectively, while the PC monitor ranked last at 3.6 points. The test subjects said that reading on the PC felt too much like being at work, while they found it more relaxing to read a printed book than on an electronic device.