* Posts by Jim Westrich

15 publicly visible posts • joined 26 Jun 2007

Blyk goes bye-bye

Jim Westrich


Shouldn't this be about "Adtard" not "Freetard"?

LaCie d2 Network

Jim Westrich
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I doubt they really fixed this but like others commenting above I had lots of problems with an earlier generation of Lacie NAS. The thing would have all sorts of trouble if you left it on for any length of time. It would also interfere with network traffic even when it was not being used (but connected obviously).

Taking a first bite out of Wolfram Alpha

Jim Westrich
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It would help Wolfram's case somewhat if they did not get the answer to the first question I asked it wrong (it gave me the wrong population of a city which seems like a pretty basic thing to get wrong--even Wikipedia gets it right). I asked other things and got some interesting information but the formatting needs work.

Tram driver crashes while texting

Jim Westrich


The driver will face possible criminal prosecution (which was why he was "sick" --consulting a lawyer-- for the initial review) as well although I do not know how serious the charges and punishment will be.

My wife rides that very train around that very time every weekday. Last Friday we had to attend a funeral.

Renault intros e-MPV

Jim Westrich

The Title

So the "fuel guage" is available for the public to view. This is obviously a boon to hitchhikers looking to go the extra mile but has anyone thought this through.

People would have charge more often and not run down the battery as often if they were going to be publicly ridiculed for their limp charge. This would obviously be a problem with visiting worrying nags ("you only got a quarter tank why didn't you fill up before you came over?").

How about the issues within relationships (you said you were going around the corner but I can see from your door that you went across town!)? It seems to me there would be security implications as well but I won't get into those.

Yelp (half-)answers 'Extortion 2.0' claim

Jim Westrich


I am really surprised that everyone is so "sensitive" to "FALSE negative" reviews. I have been using Yelp for years and I can assure you that "FALSE positive" reviews dominate "FALSE negative" reviews by an order of at least 10 to 1. There is a genuine shortage of TRUE negatives which are invaluable to consumers. The fact remains that it is nearly impossible for a small business to maintain (and the fact they do not at least try to be consistent also hurts them) consistent service so "TRUE negatives" are inevitable. Its just some people cannot handle the truth.

For the record nearly all my reviews are "TRUE Positive" with only one "EXTREMELY TRUE Negative".

User-generated reviews - blessing or bull?

Jim Westrich

On Yelp

Yelp is actually pretty interesting to use. It is pretty accurate, if a bit generous, to places I live near. I reviewed a half dozen places near where I lived and worked where I thought I could be helpful. I even had the satisfaction of savaging a really bad pub.

However, when I use it medium sized places (particularly in college towns) when visiting, it becomes somewhat comical to use. I roll into a town of 100,000 people and apparently they have the best dry cleaner in the world (who knew?), the best pizza "I have ever tasted", and the best martinis in the history of time. I just find it helpful thinking that Yelp in certain places in helpful in letting me know what a few young people think.

But the problem is that in smaller places or even in large places where you are not just a faceless consumer the review can be a problem. I gave my favorite lunch place where I had been a known regular 4 stars. I had not thought through the fact that they would be reading my review and even though it was positive I could not help but notice that the friendly staff was a little less attentive. This is why there is such a temptation to extremes in smaller places of politeness, pride of place, and ultimately your reviewing yourself.

Stop'n'search gets touchy-feely

Jim Westrich

Stopped in Boston

We have "random" bag searches for the Boston (US obviously). About a month ago I was "randomly" stopped. The transit cop could see I was upset and assured me that this was for my safety. They were quick and efficient in their search. I tried to be friendly about it but I had to note that there many other things they could be doing to keep me safe.

While I understand the liberty based arguments I have a much more practical view of the matter. There are just much more effective and useful ways to spend time and money then hoping to stop an extremely rare event. In the day in question this obviously true and why I was so upset with my search. You see, it had snowed that day and was extremely slippery around the entrance to the subway. I was angry because no one had cleared the snow and a 50-something had just fallen as I had entered. "Stopping Terrorism" is really about laziness in so many ways.

Infant calls cops to dad's dope plantation

Jim Westrich


Ricky should never have let little Randy have the phone.

Airport baggage screener charged with stealing passengers' stuff

Jim Westrich

I hate to say I told you so but . . .

One thing I never understood in the "security" calculation was the simple fact that more hands on other people's stuff means more stuff stolen (I once had something stolen by baggage handlers). People try to argue that the security theater is "harmless" even if it is wasteful but I disagree, it is hardly harmless.

Yelp 'pay to play' pitch makes shops scream for help

Jim Westrich


I have only made a handful of reviews on Yelp for places I frequent and had a knowledgeable angle on. But that actually made me feel uncomfortable as this article confirms--the small businesses look at their Yelp pages and know who you are! I always gave positive reviews of places I frequent but I could not help but notice that it got a little awkward at my favorite lunch spot at the time for about a week after I gave them 4 out 5 stars.

The weird business angle is that some businesses put up Yelp! approved signs in their windows. I always wondered how that worked--do they pay for that (it seems that they most likely do from this article)? One place with the sign was not very good and I wondered if it was possible to lower the ratings enough to get the sign removed. I never gave that place a bad review both because it seemed pointless and the owner was really nice--just the food was bad and overpriced.

Mozilla CEO blasts Apple for putting security of the internet at risk

Jim Westrich

This is a major annoyance

I don't think the angle of FireFox complaining about this should be the issue and I think it is sad that a normally savvy and user/admin friendly site like Der Regg is framing it this way.

It is simply irresponsible and sleazy for any software company to do what Apple has been and is now doing. They know it as well. It does not matter that other companies do it. I would argue that other companies (Real comes to mind) that have done this have been punished by knowledgeable consumers with choices.

I have been very annoyed with Apple software over the years for its trying to get its hooks into settings and software where it doesn't belong. I will not use I-tunes for this reason (the store part is a decent app but I will not use it for other reason's). I thought Apple was getting better (it improved the Quicktime install a few years ago due to complaints).

It is easy to dismiss my behavior as "one-off" but when I talk to users I know I am in the strong majority. Now, I doubt I will ever use or try Safari.

Secret mailing list rocks Wikipedia

Jim Westrich

Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition

It's chief weapons are fear, surprise and a length bcc: list.

Ubuntu chief bids for prima-donna status

Jim Westrich

Duckrabbit Beer?

Drink Duckrabbit beer for a living?


(The beer is quite good)

America wastes gazillions with always-on PCs

Jim Westrich

Bad Time Management

I wonder how many people leave their computers on simply because they have to "punch in" and "punch out" with their computers. Given that Windows computers can take 2-3 minutes to boot up and start the first app it is certainly gives the worker the incentive not to turn their computer off.