The (re)birth of Schmool

After a little confusion, I thought i'd give Alex an fm to r, so here it is. For those of you who were unaware, everything(including each post on this blog) is either cool or schmool. The old examples have gotten a little stale in the past three and a half years, so just to give you an update:
Sony PSP
Nintendo DS
Cylon Number Six
Optic Nerve
The Pony Express
P. Diddy
Donkey Konga
L. Ron Hubbard
T-Mobile Sidekick

In other schmool news, the concept of Dark Chocolate being both cool and schmool has been retconned.


Ugly Asian Rivalry or Ugly Asian Media?

Ugly Asians?
An article in yesterday's New York Times has been circling inboxes lately, especially if you are an Asian American of the Angry variety. It covers the trend in a few new Manga titles in which certain authors are beginning to brazenly deride the cultures and principles of nearby Asian nations (most notably China and South Korea), promoting a xenophobic and supernationalistic mentality. Though I thought it was definitely interesting and possibly something to consider, I did a little investigating and it seems that NY Times' statements about the reactions from the Japanese media were at the very least misinformed, and at the worst alarmingly biased.

Norimitsu Onishi states that the Manga comics in question "have drawn little criticism from the mainstream media", citing a quote from a book review in the Sankei Shimbun that praises the work for its balanced view. I found this to be extremely misleading, as further research revealed that many mainstream Japanese papers did criticize the book, and specifically boycotted ads for "Kenkanryu", the Manga in question. For example, though they did not deign to review the controversial book, Mainichi Shimbun did cover the resulting controversy in Japan, and identified the work as "strongly anti-Korean", noting that the work was turned down by several Japanese publishers for having unverifiable information before it was picked up by Shinyusha. Though Onishi identifies the Sankei as "conservative", the full context is not given; Sankei Shimbun is known as broadly pro-Western and anti-Chinese. The portrayal of the Japanese media as being accepting of this book is akin to painting all American media organizations as staunchly anti-rap music based solely on The O'Reilly Factor. As a media organization with a reputation of its own to uphold, I would expect that the New York Times put more effort into providing context, especially with regard to sources that will be unfamiliar to an American audience. As it reads now, this article does little more than to paint the entire country of Japan as a nation of racists and irresponsibly incite more uninformed, ignorant animosity between different groups.

As an American of Chinese descent, I'll be the first to say that many aspects of this story are worth being worried about. Movements such as the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform are eerily similar to
Holocaust refusals seen in the U.S. If the popular sales of this book
actually do reflect a growing xenophobia rather than a casual interest in a controversial title, this definitely would be something worth getting riled up over. Unfortunately, this information cannot be gleaned from the New York Times' article, which is set on sensationalizing a foreign country's editorial process rather than providing reasonable, reliable facts on the actual subject.


We wuz robbed

Kwik Meal
The first annual Vendy Awards were held last night. While I appreciate the awarding community's attempt to honor the street vendors that sustain me so well, I was a little shocked that they overlooked the best street vendor ever. Kwik Meal is so awesome I have trouble forming sentences about it in my mind without drooling all over my keyboard. I have a lot of friends who evangelize for the Halal Cart man (I even know someone who dressed up as him for halloween), but I gotta tell you all, Kwik Meal is where it's at.


Read white and blue

Whilst IMing a friend, I discovered a huge flaw with the English written language. Wanting to comment on a recent blog post of his, i told him, "I read your blog." I realized that there were two different meanings for that sentence, usually clearly disambiguated in speech, but in the casual medium of typed communication, the pronunciation was lost, along with any useful meaning. The above statement can mean one of two things, based upon the two tenses of the word "read" which share the same spelling:

  1. The past preterite tense: "I read (rěd) your blog" - I happened across your recent post, and am now commenting on it.

  2. The simple or repeated present tense: "I read (rēd) your blog" - I watch your blogspot, constantly hitting refresh, straining for some glimmer of information on your opinions, ideas and possibly what you had for lunch. Also, send me a lock of your hair.

The past tense of the verb "to read" is spelled the same as the present tense conjugation "read". As demonstrated in my simple example above, this is a huge problem that affects IMmers around the world. Er, that speak English. What we need is swift, decisive action to end confusion of this matter once and for all. Luckily, decisive action is what I do best.

To eliminate this ghoti-esque confusion, we should simply change the conjugations of the verb "to read" to match the conjugations of the verb "to lead". Hereforth I shall now conjugate the past tense of the verb as "red". There is little chance of a conflict with the color "red" as one is a noun and one is a verb. Other than the slight problem of verbing, the plan is pretty much foolproof.

From tomorrow on out, if you see me online, tell me "I red your blog". If you tell me "I read your blog", I'll have a restraining order on you so fast it will make your hed spin. For those of you keeping score at home, this means, of course, that Red is the new Schmool.


Who Googles the Googlers?


security pros

robots.txt discussion continued

Is AdBlock Immoral?

I'm switching browsers, from Camino to Safari, which basically completes my transformation into a total Apple Whore. The only thing keeping me from switching earlier was the lack of an adblocker, and a friend recently clued me into PithHelmet, an adblocker for Safari that uses the same rules as the original firefox AdBlock plug-in. However, when explaining this change of heart to The Pos, he pointed out that ad revenue is important to the functioning of a small business; by blocking ads I was cutting off funding to sites that I frequented the most.

Pos has a sympathy for the small businesses that I do not share; his tenure at The Spec has left him uselessly biased in this case. However, I find that his and other people's arguments against the individual use of AdBlock falls into these categories:

  1. AdBlocking devalues the model of web advertising; if the practice becomes mainstream and the ad market dries up, companies will turn to more intrusive forms of revenue generation, such as paid registration.

  2. AdBlock prevents the content provider from receiving click-through or pay-per-view revenue.

The first point is one that has plagued the TiVo thirty-second skip from the very beginning.