Ubuntu phone fundraiser

Canonical has started a fundraiser to develop an Ubuntu/Android phone. There’s a 600 USD early bird tier for one day to get the phone itself, and afterwards it’s a massive 830 USD.

As someone who was extatic at the Ubuntu progress in 2007 through 2009, but foaming at the mouth at their massive “not invented here” syndrome ever since, I don’t think I’ll be pledging anything for this. For example, the dual boot feature. They say they already have the Ubuntu desktop integration working on Android, so you’ll be able to use it immediately. Great, let’s do that. “Then shortly after launch we’ll push out a free software update that adds this desktop integration to Ubuntu mobile as well.” So we’ll have a functioning Android phone with Ubuntu desktop integration from the get go, and then we’ll have to start using Ubuntu natively instead of Android later? You want users to learn to use two GUIs which do the same thing to use one phone? (Actually three, unless the Ubuntu desktop works exactly like native Ubuntu, and assuming anyone who buys this is already familiar with Ubuntu.) Now that’s usability fail. How about either Android or Ubuntu? Sounds more like someone thinks Ubuntu isn’t quite ready for handhelds yet, and they want the users to beta test before reinventing the wheel once again.

This automated message is provided for the sanity and convenience of the Global Academics Research Facilities personnel

From one scientist to another (neither of them me):


Good morning Dr [redacted], and welcome to the Global Academics Mutual Support and Self-Help system. This automated message is provided for the sanity and convenience of the Global Academics Research Facilities personnel. The time in the UK is 10:47 A.M. Current outside temperature is roughly 18 degrees Celsius, but feels like 8 thanks to high winds and a very exposed location. The estimated high for today is 24 degrees Celsius, which will probably feel like 12 for the very same reasons. The indoor areas are maintained at a chilly 15 degrees at all times.

This message is designed to ease your transition into the post-doc world. If your intended goal is to stay in research, you will need to return to your office and remind your bank that it’s no use waiting for more money to pass through your account, as no more will be forthcoming. If you have not yet handed in your brain at the door after burning it out during the thesis writing process, you must report to the the medical service to have it replaced before you will be permitted into the high paper rate branch of the international research system.

A reminder that the Global Academics Board Game Night decathlon will commence this evening at 1900 hours around a table of your choice. The semi-finals for high paper rate personnel will be announced in a separate secure access transmission. Remember, more lives than your own may depend on your ability to tell a garden-variety zombie from a minion of Shub-Niggurath.

Do you have a friend or relative who would make a valuable addition to the Global Academics team? Tell them to run. A mile. Without looking back. Please contact your nearest university for further information. If you have an associate with a background in the areas of “Experimental Theology”, “Creative Geography”, or other sanity-questioning disciplines, please tell them they’d fit right in. The Global Academics Research Facility offers equally depressing opportunities for all employees.

A reminder to all Global Academics personnel. Regular light sensitivity and hemoglobin level screenings are a requirement of continued employement in the Global Academics Research Facility. Missing a scheduled light sensitivity or hemoglobin level check-up is grounds for immediate termination. If you feel you’ve been exposed to an excess of bright sunlight or other hazardous situations in the course of your duties, contact your vampire anti-defamation league representative immediately. Work lots, work nights. The future of your research may depend on it.

Now concluding the automated mutual support and self-help system message. Please have a seat, relax, and breathe deeply. Before getting started, be sure to check your office for zombie intruders. Thank you, and have a very sane, and paper-producing day.


Green Man Gaming web site experience

I wanted to buy the XCOM Enemy Unknown Pack, but this was a major pain:

  1. Checkout and login both result in a HTTP 403 Forbidden error in the latest Firefox. Switched to Chromium.
  2. You have to register with the site before being able to buy anything.
  3. After registering, receiving the confirmation email, clicking the confirmation email link, logging in, re-adding the game to the basket, clicking “Checkout”, ignoring their “Rewards” page, filling in the delivery address (it’s a flipping Steam game!), ignoring their “Trade-in Info” page, filling in the payment info, clicking “Make Payment”, and waiting for the “We are processing your order” page to redirect, I was sent back to the front page with no message of any kind. The payment was apparently not registered. Fffffffuuuuuu

At the second try the purchase went through, but damn!

And after a bunch of cutting and pasting the game is now active. I can see how buying Steam games from third parties is a lot more of a pain than the original shop.