Monthly Archives: January 2014

R.I.P. Producer Arthur Rankin, Jr.

Animation Legend Arthur Rankin Jr. Dies at 89

I don’t know how his stop-motion productions look to people who are used to the computer-assisted animation of movies such as Toy Story and The Incredibles. Do they look crude by comparison or does their charm still enchant viewers?

All I know is that when they originally aired as specials, they really were special.

Rankin’s business partner, Jules Bass, is apparently still alive.

They were a hell of a team.


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Chinese New Year


No news out of China until the celebrating ends. Tech blogs basically shut down and even forum posts dry up.

Happy Year of the Horse to all in China.

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Recommended TV: Black Sails, Rake


Black Sails is a series original to the Starz pay TV channel. The first episode introduced so many characters that I had to watch it twice. I also wanted to see if my first instinct to watch more was correct. It was. There is more to this than whatever your notions of “pirates” might be. This has a large canvas. Learn more here (which might have the first episode available to see) and here.

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Family urges flu shots after virus claims News 10 advertising executive

These were Nancy Pinnella’s last days: On Jan. 21, she felt sick, leaving work early. On Jan. 22, she went to a doctor, hardly able to speak or breathe. By 6 p.m. that day, she was in intensive care at Sutter General Hospital in Sacramento. Her kidneys were failing, her lung capacity severely reduced. Doctors sedated her, induced paralysis and put her on a ventilator and dialysis. Then, as quick as that night, doctors told her family she was in very, very bad shape.

The H1N1 influenza was winning the battle.

On Friday, a bright spot: her kidneys and vital signs got better. Then, between midnight and 6 a.m. Saturday, Pinnella suffered three severe strokes in three different parts of her brain. On Sunday, the family said goodbye and took the 46-year-old advertising executive at KXTV News10 off life support.

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“Pity Tablets”

1Pad rips Five Technology for its new very-low-end iFive 100 tablet and coins a new term for these egregiously under-specced tablets [Google Translate]:

If the vendor ‘What consumers need to’ do the tablet as a starting point, I think this kind of people ‘pity’ tablet will not appear.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

And, as I finished reading that, it turned out Archos released a new slew of pity tablets: Archos launches Neon tablet line… in case you can’t afford a real tablet?

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Strange Days: Google + Samsung

First came the news of Google and Samsung doing an extensive patent cross-licensing deal.

Then came the rumor of Google planning to sunset its Nexus hardware.

Now there’s word of Samsung being willing to throttle back on its proprietary additions to Android.

And on top of that Lenovo planning to buy Google’s hardware business. Same-day update: Confirmed by Google.

This is a huge earthquake.

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Retina iFive Mini 3 Evaluated


ZOL gives the still-unreleased iFive Mini 3 with Retina-class screen an examination [Google Translate].

This isn’t a review, so AnTuTu wasn’t run.

It’s about what I expected.

Previously here:

iFive 3 Is A Peek At Retina iFive Mini 3

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Filed under iPad Mini Clones

WTF Iron Man Multi-Device Charger


See more photos [Google Translate].

That’s just Cat Bait.

How long before there’s one with the mug of Mickey Mouse? Stop now.


Filed under Other Hardware

Corporateers Loot NY’s Public Libraries

Queens Library president gets $390G salary, luxe office makeover while shedding 130 jobs

… Galante’s eye-popping salary last year of $391,594 — an increase of $12,000 from the previous year.

Some might ask: Why is the director of a borough library system, one that’s always menaced by budget cuts, paid more than the mayor ($225,000), the schools chancellor ($220,000) or the MTA chairman ($350,000)?


Linda Johnson, head of the Brooklyn Public Library, made $250,000 last year. Paul LeClerc, the former head of the New York Public Library, made $711,114 in 2011, the most recent year available, according to The current CEO is Anthony Marks.

“We need high salaries to attract the best people.”

That is such a crock of shit.

The only people who argue that are the corporateers. A Certain Class of people who Get Over all the time.

It’s obscene that while the public library systems of New York struggle with constrained budgets at a time of increased use, the people at the top are living like it’s the Gilded Age.

Slash their salaries by three-fourths. If they can’t do the job and live within that salary, let them resign. I’m sure there are many qualified librarians who could handle their job and would be glad at the salary increase.


Filed under Public Libraries

eBook DRM Kills eBooks

I believe in stripping DRM from the eBooks you’ve paid for. Not to then pass along those eBooks to others for free. People should pay writers for their work. But you have a right to be free of the potential harm that DRM can do. See above tweet!

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Filed under eBooks: General, Friction, Stupid