Category Archives: Weird

Computer Programming Are Hard

An email I just got from Amazon:

I hope this e-mail finds you well. Thank you very much for patiently waiting for my answer.

I’ve been checking regularly with our technical team on their progress with resolving the age range issue. It appears the issue is more complex than expected and we’re still working hard to get a solution for you.

I wanted to send you a quick e-mail to let you know the findings so far:

Since Amazon uses certain characters to classify books according to their content, it tends to be quite limited when it comes to character recognition. In the case of “Safe Is Not An Option,” although our platform gave you the chance to set the age ranges as 8 (min) and 18+ (max), the website is not displaying the (+) symbol because this character is generally used to determine when a book is of mature content or not. Since the book is targeted to people that are 8 and up, the system is finding a contradiction due the title being categorized as children’s, while being also set as an adult book because of the ’18+’.

We are aware indeed that what you wished to communicate is that the book was written for all people starting at age 8; even so, due to legal and international marketplace matters, the store has determined that the ‘+’ sign next to the ’18’ number makes reference exclusively to adult or erotica content, which results in a classification restriction. Due to this, the website removes the ‘+’ sign automatically and replaces it with the single ’18’ number to make your book fall within the appropriate ranges for children and adults.

We are still working to find a way to have the ‘8 – 18+’ displayed on your book’s page. Still, if by any chance the platform was unable to digest that entry, what I’d recommend to do is leave the age ranges as they are, and within the book’s description, you may clarify that the book is indeed intended for people aged 8 and up. I’ll let you know how everything goes!

I hope this information helps explain clearly the situation; I’m very sorry for how long this is taking, but I greatly appreciate your understanding!

I’ll be in touch again with an update as soon as possible.

Thanks again for your patience.

I’m kind of amazed that I’m the first person in Kindle history who wanted to show that a book could be enjoyed by children of all ages.

[Afternoon update]

I’ve at least updated the book description to say that it’s suitable for all ages.

Hope For My Old Age

That’s what I had, until I found out this story wasn’t really true:

Pearson admitted during her arraignment that when she found the 88-year-old Venn trying to turn tricks she and her friends decided it would be funny to sleep ‘with an old guy.’ Word spread and lots of girls paid Venn for sex. Pearson said he only charged five dollars and gave them lollipops afterward.

Nice while it lasted, though.

Musk Versus Bezos

Here’s the story on today’s announcement that ULA is teaming with Blue Origin to develop an RD-180 replacement. Thoughts anon.

[Update a while later, after the presser]

Clearly Jeff Bezos has declared war on Elon Musk. And ULA is showing how desperate it’s become. That’s what disruption looks like. More later, but I have to review our reply to Mann’s latest court filing. Speaking of which, I suspect that he regrets starting this hash tag.

[Update a while later]

Here’s Joel Achenbach’s take.

Over on Twitter, Trampoline Rocket is speculating that this is vaporware, like Amazon’s drones. He makes a pretty good case.

[Update a while later]

Here’s Alan Boyle’s take.

[Another update]

Aaaaaand, Aaron Mehta’s take.

Misandry

Speaking of modest proposals, check out this totalitarian feminist:

I believe we must remove men from the community and place them in their own specific sections of society, akin to subsidised or state-funded reservations, so they can be redefined. We can make not only men safer, but women as well. By subsidising said reservations through the state we can provide men with activities, healthcare, entertainment, shelter, protection, and everything that one could ever require in life. This will remove conventional inequality from society. By reducing the number of men to 10 percent of the total population, their socio-biovalue will be raised. They will live out their lives happily and safely, and male disposability will be a thing of the past.

I can’t wait.

Eating Out Alone

Are you ashamed to do it?

It seems like a strange question to me. I don’t like eating out alone, but not because I think there’s any shame in it. I don’t like eating out, period. It’s expensive, it’s hard to eat healthy, and I don’t like people serving me. The only time I eat out alone is when I’m traveling alone. Eating out is something that I tolerate at best, not enjoy, unless I’m with good company, and then I’d still prefer to be eating a meal at home with them.

Soylent

A New Yorker reporter gives it a try.

I haven’t read the whole thing yet.

[A while later]

OK, I did read it. I was amused to learn that he was hawking it at my own local Whole Foods. One concern I have is his use of seed oils. Canola has too much omega 6 for my health. I’d use olive instead, though it costs more. If you don’t use virgin, though, it doesn’t have to cost that much.

My New Healthcare Plan

Well, I finally broke down and went to the web site last night, before midnight.

After all the horror stories I’d been hearing, I was shocked to get in immediately. It was surprisingly easy to navigate, just like Amazon or Kayak, just like the president promised. All the options were laid out clearly, and the prices were surprisingly affordable, even for the Gold Plan. I signed up, and I finally have the insurance I’ve been waiting for all these years, good in every state, and it allows me to keep all my doctors. It includes free fitted condoms, and I can finally get that hysterectomy I’ve been putting off all these years.

I was wrong, Mr. President, and you were right. I’m sorry I so foolishly listened to ignorant criticism of this wonderful new law these past four years, and so harshly and falsely criticized it myself. I don’t know what I can do to make amends, but I know that from here on out, I will be a Democrat right up until that day that the death panel makes what I’m sure will be the right decision for me. From the bottom of my heart, thank you, thank you Mr. President.

[Update a few minutes later]

I’m a little shocked to hear that some people think I would make jokes about something as serious as health care.

Nancy Pelosi

I hope she remains this delusional right through the first Tuesday of November.

“I think the Republicans are wasting their time using that as their electoral issue, and they will find that out,” she said.

Pressed by a reporter whether Democrats should shy away from the issue on the campaign trail, Pelosi didn’t hesitate.

“No, absolutely not,” she said.

Pelosi has long argued that the healthcare law will become increasingly popular as more people recognize the benefits.

She’ll probably argue it to her grave, hopefully at least her political one.

SLS At A Gun Show

A long-time reader relates a sad anecdote:

I went down to the Louisville, KY Militaria Show of Shows, and on Saturday I also went to the National Gun Day Show in the same complex(I collect antique firearms). After purchasing two old rifles, near the far side of the hall, was a table asking people to sign a petition calling for Obama’s impeachment. What was striking was that in addition to impeaching Obama, the table had a sign asking people to reject cuts to the NASA budget, specifically the SLS. Reading the form, I saw that agreeing that Obama should be impeached went along with increasing the funding for the SLS. (It also included the usual pro-gun rhetoric, needed for a gun show). I asked the people about that, and got into a discussion about the SLS aspect. From what I made of the table renter’s comments, he wants an end to SpaceX and other private sector space businesses, giving all the money to NASA. I was civil, with some effort, since he didn’t have much in the line of facts to back up his arguments on the SLS side, and started getting into personal insults. The “high” point was when he said that if I wasn’t pro SLS, I was anti-gun. This despite my carrying two rifles, a pass from the SOS, and showing him my NRA card.

He wanted me to stay and be insulted argue some more, but I was exhausted from two days of the shows, so I just walked away.

I’ve gone to over 50 shows in the last year and a half, since I got back into the firearms community after my father died and left his firearms to me. Large and small, I’ve never seen someone pushing the SLS. I’ve talked to a few people that support the new space companies, but incidental to the firearms being offered for sale. This guy was more passionate about the NASA cuts than the impeachment or the 2nd Amendment.

Sigh. Fortunately, he probably is a bizarre outlier.