Windows 8 and Microsoft Accounts

Windows 8 and 8.1 consumer versions need and use and Microsoft Accounts. A lot of the incremental value of the modern UX and even some of the operating system fundamentals (ex: device encryption by default) is wrapped up in having an account. If you choose to go a different way, as did this Washington Post reporter, please understand that you have gone a different way and your opinion of the tiles, modern UX and the like is going to be relative to a custom mode you’ve arbitrarily set up. Like shutting off the file indexer for “performance”; the OS will limp along best it can, but it’s not our intended experience. There are plenty of places in the OS to criticize (including making you use a Microsoft account) about what we did intend without making us own an experience you created by following 3rd party instructions on the web.

Also, I’ll note that cloud integration is a big part of where computing is going. If you are running a mainstream computing experience, there will be a cloud ID attached to soon it if there isn’t already. There may someday be a mass market for a consumer experience without such, but I haven’t seen it.

Marriage and Party Identification

A friend recently pointed out that there is a “Marriage Gap” in Party Identification and I went to look up more. This surprised me since I have a bunch of friends and myself who got married and haven’t seen much in political changes. Gallop does some analysis and find that even correcting for other factors (age, economics, etc) there is still a gap. They don’t however know which comes first the Marriage or the Party Identification:

There are a number of potential explanations for marriage’s impact on presidential vote choice. One might be that conservatives and Republicans, with their philosophical commitment to social traditions and customs, are especially likely to get married. Setting aside religious considerations and the innate desire to marry that apply to a broad cross-section of people, it may be that Republican voters also consider marriage an expression of civic responsibility that stems from their political beliefs. On that point, a Gallup poll earlier this year found that 45% of married individuals believed their views on social issues to be conservative or very conservative, while 30% of the nonmarried described their social beliefs similarly.

On the other hand, it is entirely possible that marriage and the ensuing transformation of a person’s life that accompanies such an action have a profound impact on a person’s political philosophy. Such changes include a stronger interest in matters of importance to a household/family, such as a desire for greater security and stability, and that may alter a person’s vote preference.

2010-04-16 – Reading

A History of the Polticization of Washington Think Tanks

Intresting to see this explination of the think tank ecosystem. I would of loved to have heard how much of the same stuff was happening to the more liberal leaning ones.

What People actually Pay in Income Tax vrs. Popular Perception

It’s hard to take the Tea Party Protesters seriously when they seem to live in an alternate reality.

Windows 7 Networking Information

Someone asked me today about some information and links about the Windows 7 networking stack especially regarding IPv6. I’m going to cache my response here for future reference and updating:

Generally speaking Windows 7 shares the same networking stack architecture as vista plus the following stuff:

  • DirectAccess
    • IPv6 transition technology improvements
    • IPTLS transport
  • BranchCache
  • Network Tracing and Diagnostics
  • Better Firewall Multihoming behavior

Random Stuff to go read:

Getting the ical/ics feed from a King County Library

I’ve been working on being an event calendar curator ala Jon Udell’s system and was stuck getting a good calendar feed from the King Country Library System for my local Snoqualmie library. As in most projects, you start with some HTML page of calendar entries. In this case a search for Snoqualmie Library leads to this URL:

http://eventinfo.kcls.org/evanced/lib/eventcalendar.asp?ag=&et=&list&cn=0&private=0&ln=36

Which is missing the ICS feed. So the next step in the process is to try fusecal, which had done the trick many times before. However this time the page formatting was preventing fusecal from having useful event titles.

Today I came back and looked at the problem afresh. My first thought was that I could have something scrape the VCS links on the page and build a ical, but I really didn’t want to own any automation on my own servers (and I wasn’t ready yet to write a service on something like azure). So I poked into the link to the software maker of this calandar: Evanced. Fortunately there I discovered that some ical feature had been added to an eventsxml.asp. Putting that on the KCLS url I got:

http://eventinfo.kcls.org/evanced/lib/eventsxml.asp

Yay, I can see one event in XML. This is progress. Some sample code for client side rendering of eventsxml.asp gave me a couple parameters to try:

http://eventinfo.kcls.org/evanced/lib/eventsxml.asp?dm=xml&lib=all&alltime=1&nd=14

The next step was to filter to my specific library. Back on the HTML page there was one url parameter that seemed to be relevant; that ln=36. On the eventsxml.asp the same parameter doesn’t work, but lib=all was a tempting place to put my magic number “36:

http://eventinfo.kcls.org/evanced/lib/eventsxml.asp?dm=xml&lib=36&alltime=1&nd=14

Bingo! Now I’ve got a nice xml feed for local library. However I need ics. and trying dm=ics didn’t work. Remember back to the feature list calling it ical, I tried

http://eventinfo.kcls.org/evanced/lib/eventsxml.asp?dm=ical&lib=36&alltime=1&nd=60

Which along with the North Bend, Carnation, Fall City and Duvall is now in my delicious events curator list for Snoqualmie valley.

Random Ideas/Concepts

  • AIG’s latest problems has triggered some discussion of the economic D word.
  • The savings rate in January has gone up quite a bit (6%?)
  • More then 50% of hospitals are operating at a loss with the increase of people without insurance as they lose their jobs and the hospitals “safe” investment take losses.
  • Dow hits 6700
  • Take aways from Gene Robinson talk on Speaker’s Forum
    • argues the translation of passages regarding homosexuality is lacking understand of the cultures in which the bible was written.
    • Example, spilling seed in the light of the belief that all genetics are in men and women are only wombs.
    • There has been reinterpretation of many of the other passages regarding regarding sexuality, slavery and marriage
    • What’s an –ism? it’s set of prejudices, values and judgments backed by the power to enforce those prejudices in society. Which leads to a structure in society where one group to benefit at the expense of another group. Someone in the first group doesn’t have to believe or act on the prejudices or values to still benefit from that structure in society.
    • At this point the main problem in US Society is Hetrosexism and the strong negative religious interpretation of homosexuality.