Also decidedly unclear on the concept

I mean, it’s not like he pre-ordered this from Amazon or anything:

If there is a price reduction after you purchased something such as car, how do you get that rebate? I just bought a 2013 Chevy Volt on July 3. Now, the manufacturer has dropped the price by $5000. How do I get the same deal as everyone is getting now?

The first two words I thought of were “As if,” though two different words may have occurred to you.

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Closer to total recall

This, if you ask me, is long overdue:

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced new plans aimed at informing consumers of uncompleted recalls. From 2014 onwards, manufacturers will be required to provide vehicle owners with the ability to search for recall information by entering their car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) in an online tool.

The new policy won’t take effect until August 14, 2014, giving manufacturers a full year to set up their systems. According to NHTSA, several manufacturers already offer this free-of-charge service, while the new policy will make it mandatory.

You won’t have to go to the automaker’s Web site, either; NHTSA will provide a common front end from a single location (

Downside, and you know you’re going to hear it: “What’s a VIN, and where do I find it?”

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Your team name is bad and you should be sad

The Crimson Reach obviously has a greater tolerance level for this sort of thing than I do:

What can I say, I’m a sucker for this genre. In fact there are few things I find more enjoyable than reading the musings of privileged pasty-white guys striking an over-the-top feigned vicarious offended pose on behalf of all Native Americans. It’s hilarious.

For example, a typical Drum beat.

I’m thinking we ought to hire the WNBA people for the inevitable (well, it is) team-name makeover: hardly any of their team names make a damn bit of sense, which means that hardly anyone is in a position to take umbrage. (Actually, I do think “Minnesota Lynx” is incredibly cool, since you can’t tell if it’s singular or plural.) But instead:

Look, I know that in the future all sports teams will just have nicknames based on cute animals and uniforms with muted nonthreatening pastels. We all know it. It’s part of the inevitable march of progress. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to stand athwart this history and/or yell stop.

Wait. Cute? Nonthreatening pastels? You mean … sorry, we’ve been overtaken by events.

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The audio squeeze

First, the sample wares:

Now the pitch:

The difference between rich, warm, densely processed audio versus digital thinly processed audio could be the difference between you getting a recording contract, radio dj position or any other job where superior audio makes your hard work stand out. Whether it’s your music project or an audition tape for a dj or any other type of audio, we can make your audio sound better, fatter, richer, warmer and denser by running it through our vintage 1960s 77 WABC, New York, audio chain. Today’s world of digital audio sounds thin and boring and that’s why many major artists buy and use vintage audio processing equipment to put back the punch that digital recording doesn’t have. Listen to the density and richness on this song.

Now I picked this one for a reason: it’s probably the worst of the samples they offer, simply because you can hear the variation in levels as the compressor kicks in and out. And their source material was a CD: you may be absolutely certain that the original Seville 45 was in mono. (If I remember correctly, Steve Hoffman remastered this in the 1990s for this very CD.)

Still, a good vintage Motown 45 — say, ’63 to ’69 — will often as not blow away the corresponding LP track. (Ask Martha if you don’t believe me.)

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Decidedly unclear on the concept

Seems too dense to be actually trolling:

If you increase rim size do you have to change tires? I have tires with 18 inch rims on them, say I wanted to replace them with 20 or 22 inch rims. Do I also have to change the tires I have?

Ten-point IQ deduction for the unironic use of the term “rims.” They’re wheels, forddamnit.

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Name that pill

One look in the average medicine cabinet, and you might reasonably conclude that drugs can be named just about any damned thing. You would, of course, be just slightly in error:

Is there anything preventing a company from calling its active ingredient supercurol? Well, yes. The U.S. Adopted Names Council. It has some rules, including the following:

“Prefixes that imply ‘better,’ ‘newer,’ or ‘more effective;’ prefixes that evoke the name of the sponsor, dosage form, duration of action or rate of drug release should not be used.”

“Prefixes that refer to an anatomical connotation or medical condition are not acceptable.”

Certain letters or sets of letters also aren’t allowed at the beginning of new generic names. These include me, str, x, and z.

Then again, coiners of new brand names would be utterly desolate if they couldn’t start names with Z — even double or triple Z.

There are also suffixes: for example, -vir is used for antivirals. I’m trying to figure what I should do with the one drug I take that ends in -lol.

(Via this @fussfactory tweet.)

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A metric for our times

Especially if our times are warm.

The Instant Man has acquired a Lexus RX450h hybrid, which, he says, gets “around 27 or 28 in FKMPG (‘Fred Krause Miles Per Gallon,’ a measurement invented by a college friend; it’s what the car gets while going 80 with the air conditioning on ‘Max’).”

This is close to what my distinctly nonhybrid ride can do under those specific conditions. On the other hand, I’ll never see the thirtyish figures in town that he does.

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Don’t even ask about Moscow

I’ve long suspected that Nancy Grace was out of her depth, and this tells me that there wasn’t that much depth to begin with:

Headline News screenshot placing Morehead Lake in Oklahoma

Geography. Look into it.

(Via this Wendy Suares tweet.)

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Bag all you like

Bill Quick will not support a ban on baggy pants, period. And it’s not because he thinks the “style” has some sort of sartorial validity, either:

If you’re the sort of idiot who idolized gang-banging thugs to the point of wanting to emulate the way they dress, then I want you out and proud about it.

Mostly so I can see you coming from a long way away, and make whatever preparations seem appropriate for the situation.

First person who yells “Profiling!” gets a Virtual Wedgie.

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Sort of neat

I recently replaced the Live Comment Preview, which wasn’t working, with a Not-So-Live Preview, which requires you to push a button. I watched it work on one of my own comments, and noticed that it faked up a URL using comment number 55000. Great, thought I, but what happens when I get to actual comment number 55000, which is due Any Day Now?

I observed last night, and by gum, the plugin was now using 56000. So it’s checking the data before it commits itself. Would that all plugins had that much insight.

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Pettier avarice

Now any day can be Black Friday, and that’s not at all a good thing:

Twenty people were injured, with seven sent to hospital, when a promotional stunt in Seoul for LG’s G2 smartphone went wrong, the company has said.

LG has cancelled a series of events promoting the handset as a result of the incident in Seoul on Friday.

People arrived with BB guns and knives on sticks for a race to grab smartphone vouchers hanging from helium balloons.

Well, what did they expect?

Bayou Renaissance Man says this is not the way he was raised:

I was raised in an earlier, perhaps more civilized era, where such behavior would have earned me an instant thrashing from one or both parents, and where my peers were equally strictly disciplined by their parents. We’d never have dreamed of behaving like that! Scenes like this, or near-riots when new models of basketball shoes are released in the USA, would have had my parents snorting in disgusted disbelief, and reaching for horsewhips (or something stouter) to teach those involved a lesson!

Then again, he’s about my age.

You guys standing in line at Walmart at 9 pm on Thanksgiving? This is your legacy. Choke on it.

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An idea whose time will never come

Endless scrolling. Facebook does it; it’s an option on many Tumblr themes.

Browsers don’t seem to like it; people whose business it is to count page views don’t like it. Who actually likes this, and why?

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Joe called it

And Steve Sailer reminds us of it:

I’m always fascinated by how often Stalin is vindicated in his observation that something bad happening to one person is a tragedy while it happening to a million is a statistic. For example, 500,000 black and Latin young men getting stopped and frisked annually for the last decade in New York City is a statistic that has mildly troubled some of the more sensitive souls in the New York elite, but hasn’t really been much of a story even locally, much less nationally, while Oprah not getting shown a $38,000 handbag is Breaking Global News. It’s like the vast outpouring of sympathy that greets the President of the United States whenever he recounts how his grandmother wanted a ride to work one day. You might think that being black in America has, on net, been good for Obama or Oprah, but that’s not a widespread impression.

More generally, human beings feel sorrier for immensely privileged people than they do for nobodies like shopgirls and grandmas.

Lest you think this phenomenon is somehow ethnic in origin, look who’s on the cover of Vanity Fair this month: Princess Diana. Sixteen years gone, and she still commands a magazine cover. It’s time for Playboy to haul out more Marilyn Monroe pictures, I suppose.

In the meantime: Boo. Frickin. Hoo.

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One pill makes you [insert adjective here]

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t understand the motivation here:

Argentina has begun distributing a free state-produced version of the erection-boosting drug Viagra for the first time, in a move intended to curb its misuse, health authorities announced Thursday.

They said 200,000 doses of sildenafil, better known under the Viagra brand name, is to be distributed free of charge through the public health network of the province of Santa Fe.

The drug is being produced in Santa Fe by the state-owned pharmaceutical firm LIFSE, which plans to eventually distributed it nationally.

Drug can be misused. Solution: distribute free version. Why can’t they do this with meth? The tweakers will expire faster than a Pfizer patent, and we’ll be able to get proper cold medicine again.

If you’re thinking about flying down to Buenos Aires, though, Fausta has a word of caution:

Those of you interested in medical tourism will like to know that Santa Fe is 467 km from Buenos Aires.

If your trip exceeds four hours, consult a physician. Or a travel agent.

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Tech distort

I was working on a sound-card problem last night when I stumbled across this page, which offered me a “repair tool.”

I am deeply suspicious of the “tool” offered, since the nominal home page looks exactly the same, and since the site is running an old WordPress (3.5.1) with one obvious plug-in: one of those SEO things. No tech site worth a damn runs obsolete software unless it’s a custom job that would take a room full of coders to fix. I suspect that their major goal in life is to get you to download malware. Not that I’m going to try any of their links.

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Rock erosion

The new, pitifully shrunken KRXO, sandwiched in at 104.5 between Magic 104.1 and Wild(ish) 104.9, is delivering, at least at my location, the sort of reception I’d expect. The Cambridge 88s have no problems pulling it in. The Big Receiver, now 39 years old, awards it a 4 on its arbitrarily calibrated signal-strength meter; the maximum realizable in practice is about 4.8. (Minimum bearable stereo signal is about 2, which is what I get from Power 103.5, a 100-kilowatt stick stuck out in Anadarko for the usual spacing reasons.) The little portable I keep on the fridge for emergency purposes couldn’t find it at all.

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