Shameless plug

Just gotta take a moment to throw out a plug for DestroyTwitter to any of my readers who use Twitter but haven’t experienced the joy that is DT. It’s a well-designed app with a streamlined interface that makes using Twitter just that much more fun and easy. I didn’t really get the “Twitter thing” until I started using this.

It’s also really nice that Jonnie Hallman, the guy who created the app, is very active in the community and is literally a tweet away for questions and comments. It’s really cool to have been able to watch this app go from a pretty small app with a few hundred installs to one with nearly two hundred thousand and growing rapidly.

Keep up the good work, Jonnie!

Google Maps is Awesome

So I’ve been messing around with a little website project I came up with, and part of it requires the use of the Google Maps API. With more than a little fear and trepidation, I set forth to give it my best shot…

…and was blown away by how simple it was. Seriously, the team that came up with Google Maps did a fantastic job with the API. It’s functional, extremely easy to use, and just plain works. No unexpected quirks or errors whatsoever. So I thought I’d take a moment and tip my hat to the team at Google for doing such great work, and now have one more reason to look forward to Google Wave, since it’s done by the same team.

Now if only OpenID was so easy…

You keep using that word

…I do not think it means what you think it means.

Charles Johnson, over at LGF, has grown a (rather well-deserved) reputation as an anti-Creationist – to the point where he vehemently opposes allowing anything other than the theory of evolution in a classroom setting. He defends himself most recently by saying that if prominent Republicans believe intelligent design theories should be taught, then they will cost us elections, because they are anti-science.

Unfortunately, intelligent design is not “pseudo-science.” It is a scientific theory that explains the facts we have available to us – much like Darwinian evolution. Both follow the scientific method as far as they can, both have holes in their theories, and both can never be proven as scientific fact. The key difference is that one allows for the existance of a god and one does not (or at least does not allow him/it to be involved).

Mr. Johnson considers himself an agnostic, last I read – however, over the years, he seems to be turning more and more into an athiest, bordering on the evangelical variety. His mental leap from “anti-exclusionist” to “Creationist” to “anti-science” is only further evidence of the violent reaction he has to the idea of science accepting the possibility of God – and so he uses his immensely popular blog to preach against the ID movement with almost the same fervor he uses to decry terrorism, presumably thinking he is being noble, or a “true scientist.” However, stifling a legitimate theory that is supported by a large number of scientists is not noble, or scientific – it is simple censorship, and it’s a sad thing when such a brilliant writer as Mr. Johnson succumbs to this type of thinking.

Cox decides it wants to be hated like Comcast, too!

Techdirt and Ars Technica both reported this morning about a new plan unleashed on us poor Cox customers by the corporate talking heads: bandwidth throttling! And not even the innocuous “only when you’re using a lot” style of throttling, like Comcast uses (and got burned for), but the Jack-the-Ripper-style “whenever we feel like and only on certain kinds of traffic we don’t like” kind. The traffic they’ve moved to the “lower-priority” queue (read: throttled) so far includes:

  • File Access – Specifically FTP – this one makes no sense at all.
  • Network Storage – Bulk transfers of any kind – even less sense, if that’s possible.
  • P2P – Bittorrent, Limewire, and friends – because efficient distribution takes second seat to political correctness.
  • Software Updates – Windows Update and friends – you didn’t need that security patch any time soon, did you?
  • Usenet – Cox has hated on newsgroups for years. Big suprise here.

Cox was first to implement the three-strikes policy in regards to file sharing accusations, as well as lying about their reasons for doing so, and recieved what I found to be surprisingly minor backlash for it. Perhaps that lackluster response is what is prompting Cox to think they can get away with this relatively unscathed. Thankfully, in the meantime, Google has officially released its Measurement Lab, which aims to offer end users a good way to test their broadband connections and see what they’re really getting. This will offer customers a valuable tool, and give people like me who work in tech support a massive headache when everyone finds out their ISPs are shafting them.

Cox claims to be “your friend in the digital age.” With friends like these, who needs enemies?