Car and Driver’s experience with MyFord Touch in their Explorer test vehicle (September ’11):

The system is often slow to respond or recognize inputs. Late in our evaluation, the touch screen froze. Disconnecting and reconnecting the car’s battery rebooted the system, at which point the screen displayed a Microsoft logo and the words, “Performing Scheduled Maintenance.”

Next question: Do you have to visit the dealer to obtain Service Pack 1, or is it going to download while you’re stuck on the freeway?

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Responsibility unclaimed

There’s only one thing worse than competing terrorist cells popping up to assert that yes, this was all their doing, pay no attention to those other guys, and that’s the deadly seriousness with which the Snooze Media treat those assertions, even when no doubt exists as to the identity of the perpetrators:

Did Edward R. Murrow ever say “An Army Air Force B-17 was shot down over Düsseldorf today. We’ll be back after these messages with who claimed responsibility”? No, he didn’t. And do you know why? Because he wasn’t a microcephalic hairspray-headed cretin whose entire world outside of Manhattan cocktail parties consisted of nothing but an endless globe-spanning daisy chain of identical luxury hotel rooms joined by a pressurized tube of first-class airliner cabins and the back seats of Cadillacs, that’s why, you plush-bottomed yahoo.

This is, incidentally, why we’re not even slightly effective as imperialists: we claim to care about such things. Evidently the War College is no longer offering Subjugation 101.

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A hell of an idea

A fellow named Finrod, given to commenting at The Other McCain and a few other places, left this parenthetical remark at the end of a comment:

By the way, one of my hopeless pet causes is to change the interstate number of the DC Beltway from I-495 to I-666.

Since the Beltway actually connects with Interstate 66, this would be at least somewhat legit, or at least more so than, say, California’s Interstate 238.

Put me down in favor of this change.

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Is there a prescription-strength sunscreen?

Yes, it’s been a long, long stay inside this Bessemer-converter simulation they’ve been calling a “heat dome,” and just when I was adding a couple more points to my Despair Quotient, I got a little surprise from the American Association for Nude Recreation: one of those prescription-savings cards that is definitely Not Insurance, nosiree.

Now this is a fairly common “membership benefit” offered by lots of organizations, and it’s not like I’ve never seen one before. Still: in the age of the four-dollar generic, are these things even useful anymore?

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Zooeypalooza 11!

And the letters keep coming in: “Where the hell is the Zooeypalooza?”

Right here:

Zooeypalooza 11!

Clickage, you may rest assured, bringeth embiggenment.

Previous Paloozas: ZP 1, ZP 2, ZP 3, ZP 4, ZP 5, ZP 6, ZP 7, ZP 8, ZP 9, ZP 10.

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This should get a rise out of someone

Sexist church sign

To quote Adrienne Gusoff: “Any woman who thinks the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach is aiming about 10 inches too high.”

Different level of Buncombe, perhaps?

(Via FAIL Blog.)

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Meanwhile at the House of Duh

I suppose it takes the Boston Globe — which is, after all, owned by The New York Times Company — to consider this revelation newsworthy:

There are signs that hoarders have been busy. Sales of standard incandescent bulbs are up by 10 to 20 percent over a year ago at The Home Depot, according to the chain’s chief bulb buyer. A 2010 survey by Osram Sylvania, the Danvers-based light bulb maker, found that 13 percent of consumers plan to stockpile. At Lucia Lighting & Design in Lynn, some customers are trying to figure out how many incandescents constitute a lifetime supply.

As Glenn Reynolds would say, “There’s still time to stock up!”

Disclosure: I had a CFL fail Wednesday night after eighteen months of presumably-faithful service. An identical fixture four feet away has a Real Bulb (60-watt), now six years old. Subtract the cost of the CFL from the cost of the extra energy used by proper lighting, and I have enough to pay for the gas to drive to the city’s hazmat-disposal unit. (What, you think they allow these things on the bus?)

Bonus excellent Fark blurb: “The most effective government stimulus yet — hoarders have increased sales of incandescent light bulbs by 20%”. Yep.

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The other, other white meat

“Save a soybean, eat a vegan,” Tam snarked, and one of her high-quality commenters (one Global Village Idiot) came up with this idea, which was subsequently deemed worthy of a bumper sticker:

Eloi: It's What's For Dinner

Just wanted to see what it might look like, that’s all.

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None more Black

In the regular Rebecca Black slot this Friday, we are pleased, or appalled, to present a new item from ARK Music Factory, featuring someone even younger and even more blatantly Auto-Tuned. Ladies and germs, please welcome Madison Bray, age nine.

This was running about nine dislikes for every like last night on YouTube, so there’s that much in common with “Friday.” Otherwise — well, if I thought it had any merit I’d have embedded it.

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By any other name would cost as much

There’s been a little bit of carping lately regarding the transmogrification of The Arena Formerly Known As The Ford Center. The objections vary, but they tend to fall into two general areas: (1) Cheasapeake Energy’s chairman, Aubrey McClendon, is a founding partner of the Oklahoma City Thunder and owns a portion of the team, and he shouldn’t be committing corporate funds to something that might conceivably accrue to his personal benefit; (2) the city of Oklahoma City, which owns the facility, isn’t making all that much from the sale of the naming rights to CHK.

The latter point is pretty irrelevant, since the city’s lease to the team specifies exactly who gets to sell the naming rights — the team — and the amount of the city’s cut of the proceeds. As for the former, well, the idea is to raise Cheaspeake’s profile, not McClendon’s, and frankly, Aubrey’s probably anxious for a little more anonymity.

Marginally more interesting than the objections, at least to me, was the actual price of those rights:

The 12-year naming rights agreement has an initial annual cost of $3.0 million with a 3.0% annual escalation.

So we’re talking close to $40 million in one of the smaller NBA markets. Compare that to what is paid in the Bigger Leagues:

The Oakland Coliseum, home stadium of the Raiders and the A’s, will be renamed Overstock.com Coliseum. The six-year naming-rights deal will cost the Utah-based e-tailer “a modest $7.2 million,” reports the New York Times baseball blog, Bats.

Oh, and there’s this one minor detail:

Overstock is rebranding itself as O.co (.co is a top-level domain that’s become a popular alternative to .com), and the company retains the right to rename the Coliseum.

Which they did, in June. Locals, unsurprisingly, still call it simply the Coliseum; they weren’t impressed by all the nomenclature adjustments across the bay at Candle3Monsterstick Park. This may or may not explain the bargain price paid by the yocos at O.co.

And just yesterday, Nancy Friedman, from whom I borrowed that Oakland story, tweeted this:

I hope they remodel Oakland’s O.co Coliseum. Then it could be a rococo O.coCo.

Suddenly all the upcoming ‘Peake jokes don’t seem so horrible.

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There’s a screensaver for recess

Jennifer’s Weebot is attending one of those newfangled Virtual Schools this fall. How does this affect the traditional back-to-school frenzy? Not so much, really:

I’ve been frantically gathering the appropriate paperwork, including the silly things. (Really, you need an immunization record for a virtual school? And yet, they don’t need to verify that the anti-virus software on his PC is up to date.) Since they are still part of the public school system, they require all the same documentation.

Maybe we shouldn’t say anything out loud about AV software, lest they decide to require a specific package next school year.

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Don’t touch our staff

Former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn has evidently read Coffee, Tea or Me? too many times:

Air France ruled that only male cabin crew were allowed to serve Dominique Strauss-Kahn, currently fighting accusations he attempted to rape a New York hotel maid.

The claim was reported Thursday by Le Parisien newspaper, which also says lawyers for the former IMF chief’s alleged victim, Nafissatou Diallo, are soliciting testimony from female flight attendants at the national carrier, who may have been subjected to inappropriate behavior by the Frenchman.

The lawyers already received two accounts from disgruntled staff, along with an anonymous letter detailing the Air France male-only order, the report said.

Strauss-Kahn is due back in New York to face charges in the Diallo case on the 23rd. It’s just too bad he can’t take the bus.

(Via Fausta Wertz.)

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There has to be a twist

I was going to say “He gives them no quarter,” but obviously he does:

(Via Fark.)

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‘Cause that’s the way boys are

Apparently it’s Bait Amanda Marcotte Week at The Other McCain, using what Reverend Lovejoy used to call “rock and/or roll,” which gives me an excuse to refer back to the only extended piece I’ve ever done on something she said (as distinguished from something that was said about her), which was a musing on, of all things, girl groups from the late Fifties and early Sixties.

It’s safe to say that we didn’t agree on a whole lot, and I suspect she’ll never get the hang of appreciating art forms without regard to political context — but I offer this as a small piece of evidence that it’s possible to read some of her stuff, even to comment about it, without becoming utterly bilious. The question of whether this is any fun or not is left as an exercise for the student.

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Getting Maybach up

Due to wholly-unforeseen circumstances, The Truth About Cars got to do a review of the Bugatti Veyron 16.4, a motor vehicle which costs eleventeen bazillion dollars, presumably beyond the site owner’s Visa limit — even just the test drive would otherwise have been a budget-buster — and it didn’t take long before someone weighed in with the standard class-warfare whine, the one that involves, yes, starving children.

Ronnie Schreiber, who runs Cars In Depth and occasionally contributes to TTAC, was ready with a response:

I once was describing the Ferrari Enzo to my cousin. When I told her it was $600K, she said, “they could be feeding people with that money”. I replied, “They are, they’re called Ferrari employees”. All the people that I know who have $100K+ cars already give a substantial amount of money to charities.

I know of a guy with an Enzo, a Carrera GT Porsche and an LP 640 Murcielago. That’s in addition to more plebian Porsches and Mercedes Benzes. The amount he’s spent on his cars doesn’t come near the $22 million that I know of that his family’s donated to local non-profits, nor the money they spend underwriting the Special Olympics.

When you tell rich folks not to buy extravagant things, the people who get hurt most are the folks making and selling those extravagant things, not Richey Rich, Scrooge McDuck and Mr. Burns.

John 12:5: “Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?”

Keep in mind, though, who said that, and with what motivation.

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Know thy vehicle

I don’t normally poke through Reddit threads, but this one had so much potential … and then I thought better of it, because it would take hours to read, and darn near as long to cut and paste.

So you get this one representative excerpt, and you can poke through the rest if you like:

All these chain repair shops are jerkoffs like that. There’s one in BC called Big-O tire that a friend took her old 70s era Volkswagen Beetle to for service and ended up getting charged over $500 for various things, including replacing the radiator. On an air-cooled engine, that’s a really neat trick. I went back with her and showed the service manager the bill and manifest and then asked him to come out to the parking lot and show us where the new radiator is. He turned a unhealthy shade of grey and then quietly refunded the whole service amount.

My own experience with Big O — which seems to have withdrawn from my market area — was a bit more positive, but then I never bought anything from them but tires.

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