iPhone can’t keep time

I think the New York Times application for the iPhone is pretty good. My chief complaint (other than the random crashing) is that the head short
I think the New York Times application for the iPhone is pretty good. My chief complaint (other than the random crashing) is that the head short
Every now and then my iPhone has this issue where it can’t tell time properly. I wake it up, and it shows me a time several hours ago, then as if waking from a drunken stupor, slowly tries to catch up to reality, moving the clock forward by a small, random number of minutes. During these episodes the whole UI is sluggish, and it apparently doesn’t even accept phone calls. When “phone” is 5/6 of your name one would think at least that would work all of the time!

Check out this screenshot from the missed call sheet. It recorded 3 missed calls that arrived over the course of an afternoon all with the exact same arrival time, 9:40 AM. The phone never rang.

That was with v2.01, so I sure hope this is fixed in the future.

Update: to Frank’s comment – this wasn’t a matter of the phone bouncing between time zones. The phone’s time isn’t a whole number of hours behind.

A concoction most foul

The building I work in threw a building BBQ last week. There were hot dogs that were actually pretty tasty, diagnosis there were tough hamburgers that made me think of beef recalls, and there was Tropicana “Lemondade” Juice Drink that made me rethink all the connotations that Tropicana had for me.

It used to be that the Tropicana brand meant some combination of pure, natural, and juice. Indeed if you go to their web site, there are real people who make their juice talking to you about how great it is, and I think everything there is 100% juice. Unfortunately there’s a seamy underside to the brand. I present to you, Tropicana Brand Lemonade Flavored Juice Beverage.

Only after drinking a third of the bottle did I stop to ponder the label. 260 Calories per bottle (cleverly divided up into 8oz servings that no one ever actually drinks), lots of high fructose corn syrup, and my favorite: glycerol ester of wood rosin. If that doesn’t quench your thirst, I don’t know what will. Oh there’s some lemon juice in there too, just one of thirteen ingredients.

The tropicana web site fails to acknowledge this line of delicous and nutritous beverages, which is a real shame. There’s only an entry here at a PepsiCo FAQ.

I just think its a shame when companies whore out their relatively good name like this.

Barack Obama is 46 and not a Muslim

This week and recieved this troubling (forwarded) email that was for profiling on the basis of age and ethnic backround. It listed a whole bunch of terrorist attacks visited upon Americans, ending each instance with “by Muslim male extremists between the ages of 17 and 40.” at the end of this screed, this gem appears:

And Now:
For the award winning
Act of Stupidity
Of all times the People of America want to elect, to the most Powerful position on the face of the Planet —
The Presidency of the United states of America

A Muslim
the ages
of 17 and 40.

Really? I think the most basic research would show that Barack Obama is indisputably 46 years old! Oh yeah, and he’s not a Muslim. And only an extremist if you think transparent government and access to health insurance for all Americans as extreme.

Are there really people in this country that are this stupid? That’s just really sad.

Olympic Torch Relay

This morning I was reading about protests during the Olympic torch relay in Paris forcing the torch’s security team to extinguish the flame.
That got me to thinking: does anything say “committed to reducing carbon emissions” like carrying a glorified burning stick 85, 000 miles around the world? That’s a lot of jet fuel, not to mention all the resources used by security teams in each site, as well as traffic jams caused by that kind of disruption. For reference, that’s more distance than the previous two torch relays, combined. In fact it’s only about 3000 miles more than the previous three torch relays combined.

Torch relay distances

(Stats from Wikipedia)

The carbon footprint of this endeavor has to be pretty large- measured against the problem its a drop in the proverbial bucket, but huge endeavors like this must signal some people that continued consumption is ok. Why trade in the SUV for a smaller car if this stuff is going on?

Astute graph readers may notice this tradition got its start in Nazi Germany in 1936.

Another fun fact is that the relay for the 1976 Olympics traveled only 775 physical kilometers, because it was transmitted by satellite from Greece to Canada by generating an electrical signal from the flame.

Here’s the torch tracker google gadget:

My personal info on lost IBM tapes

I received a letter today marked “Urgent message from IBM. Please open immediately”. What’s this I thought? It turns out my information relating to my IBM employment was on the tapes lost back in February. I had read about the incident some time ago when it became public back in April.

At the time I figured I couldn’t be involved, because I hadn’t already been offered this free id-protection for a year. Turns out they just took a month and a half to notify me after it became public knowledge (3 and a half after it happened). Nice job all around IBM.

Long hold times at Authorize.net

Over the past two days, I’ve had the misfortune of gathering a good sample of Authorize.net’s support hold time. (fyi, they are an internet credit card processing gateway) Four calls – each with hold times between 12 and 15 minutes! At between 9 and 10 eastern time, so a good chunk of the country is still sleeping no less. That doesn’t seem like any way to run a business. When I asked about the hold times (on the third call), the guy said its because its the first weekdays after the monthly billing cycle. That was meant to be reassuring but its got to make you wonder what are they doing wrong with their customer billing so that everyone has to call them about it?

In their defense, the problem I was calling about wasn’t their fault, and they indicated they thought some of our information was wrong right from the get go.

Hopefully it’ll be smooth sailing from here on out and I won’t have to call them again.

Jet Blue’s woes, and the rights of travelers.

I was dismayed to hear about Jetblue’s recent mistakes leading to people spending 11 hours trapped in unmoving planes. It seems even with TV’s and leather seats, they don’t treat their passengers as any more than human cargo.

They sent me an email today about their new bill of rights. It’s impressive at first, especially the $1000 for being bumped, but littered throughout the document is the (intentionally?) vague term “controllable irregularity”. We’ve all heard or read about instances where airlines blame the weather for delays, even as passengers can see people working on some problem with a plane, so what’s to stop Jetblue from doing the same thing?

As far as being trapped on a plane goes, they still thing five hours is a reasonable time to be on a plane without motion, which is ridiculous. I can’t really understand why nobody on those planes snapped and popped an emergency slide to get out of there after five hours, let alone eleven.

This debacle, and the case of American airlines doing the same thing to passengers diverted to Austin during a thunderstorm show that voluntary corporate promises aren’t enough to protect passengers. Moreover, from what I’ve read American airlines defended their actions in Austin by saying that if they deplaned the passengers, they’d lose their takeoff “slot” and might not get out of there for three days. This tells me we need a directive covering not just airlines, but the airport authorities and the FAA as well. The airport should be required to make a gate available to deplane passengers after two to three hours, and the FAA should be required to let that plane leave as soon as everyone has returned to the plane and is ready to go, not make it go to the back of the queue as is apparently the case now.

MSNBC has a roundup of some of the recent incidents here. The coalition for an airline passenger’s bill of rights has a site with more information.

Hopefully people will (for once) have the attention span to see that something concrete happens here, rather than be distracted by some BS corporate policy changes or some celebrity car crash or new dress or haircut and let the issue fade away, as with so many other important things.

24 Intuit support hours

To make a long story short, I’m on hold with Intuit (turbotax) support. I would have used their instant message support, but apparently their idea of 24 hours a day, monday – sunday is different than most people’s, because its closed.


I’m using support because I’m trying to get started with my taxes, but I can’t get into turbotax online because I’m unable to reset my password. Their process ends with mailing a link AFTER you’ve already chosen a new password to confirm it was you. The email has a link to a form where I can enter my new password again- only every time I do this it says my time has expired (you only get 28 hours to confirm).