One of the big stories in the world of charity at the end of 2007 was a new kid on the block, a hedge-fund-trader-headed meta-charity called Givewell which was promising to shake up the world of philanthropy by analyzing other charities on a number of points and soliciting money to give as parts of its own grants. However after its founder transparently attempted to game the Ask Metafilter web site it turns out that Givewell combines a mix of high administration costs, shady publicity pratices, publicly bad-mouthing other charities and questionable behavior by board members.
Today I used a crack to start a computer game I like to play. Now, don’t get me wrong. I own the game, a few months ago I went down to the shop and bought it fair and square. I haven’t lost the DVD, or even just thrown out the guide with the DVD access key by mistake. No sir. The reason I’m using a crack is because I have to. And I’m here to tell you that neither I nor anyone else should have to do that.
This morning I noticed a message entitled “Happy birthday Windows Vista” in my inbox. The message was in French but the subject line was still in English, which kinda hints at the idea that Microsoft “doesn’t get” Canada’s bilingualism, but that’s nit-picky of me… the message offers me a 2-for-1 on Vista Ultimate upgrades. If I buy one, I get a second one free.
I don’t often return stuff to the store where it was bought, especially technology goods. I always have this little drive within me to just work harder at making the devices I buy work, and usually that works. However this year alone I’ve managed to have to return two HP computers back to the shop. One of them was bought in April (I blogged about that), and one of them was the laptop I bought just 3 weeks ago, and which I decided wasn’t going to do.
With two competing rather-similar-but-incompatible standards both coming from industry heavyweights it’s easy to think that the high-definition DVD industry is being set up to fail no matter which camp wins. And now film director Michael Bay is squarely alleging that HD-DVD is actually somewhat of a scam orchestrated by Microsoft to ensure the failure of both high definition DVD formats and eventually ensure success for its own upcoming downloadable solutions. Hmm… Sony vs. Microsoft… there’s really no one to root FOR here.
I’m restoring the original software on my HP tx1218 tonight and came across something I found amusing: HP makes driver installer, called the File Based Installer. Now this doesn’t seem all that amusing, and in itself it isn’t, but note the initials, it’s going to be relevant. And at least mildly interesting.