I'm making no secret of the fact that I think the MS Zune is a piece of crap iPod knock-off. That said, I was shocked to find out how the Zune came to be.
In a move that should surprise no one, in light of a threatened lawsuit, the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has taken down its Christmas trees instead of adding a giant menorah to the display. While this could certainly be viewed as a defeatist reaction, I think the analysis by the airport spokeswoman really cuts to the heart of the matter:
"After consulting with lawyers, port staff believed that adding the menorah would have required adding symbols for other religions and cultures in the Northwest. The holidays are the busiest season at the airport," Betancourt said, "and staff didn’t have time to play cultural anthropologists."
As much as it reeks of stupidity, the business of a city isn't to get embroiled in frivolous lawsuits over religious expression. That said, I find the response of the lawsuit-happy rabbi to be somewhat disingenuous: “Everyone should have their spirit of the holiday. For many people the trees are the spirit of the holidays, and adding a menorah adds light to the season."
I would totally agree with that, if it weren't that the menorah were being proposed with the threat of a lawsuit. The attempts at self-exculpation on the part of the rabbi's lawyer are particularly humorous to me: “They’ve darkened the hall instead of turning the lights up,” said Bogomilsky’s lawyer, Harvey Grad. “There is a concern here that the Jewish community will be portrayed as the Grinch.”
I, for one, think the Jewish community ought to be disgusted with Rabbi Bogomilsky and his lawyer. Whenever you resort to threatening lawsuits over something silly like putting up a religious symbol (especially when you note that Christmas trees are pretty much as close to a neutral symbol of the "Holiday Season" as you can get), you more or less make yourself and your organization out to be an belligernent ass regardless of what the response is from the other side.
I have no idea why I can't stop watching this and laughing.
Just because I haven't been posting hasn't meant that the stuff coming to me has stopped piling up. Here are a couple of the fun ones:
A History of the Wilhelm Scream Through Movie Clips:
A Thorough Justification for Piracy
For those who have attempted to debate my rationalizations of various forms of piracy, I give you a justification for pirating BBC products. Please note: pirating HBO products has, in fact, been proven to prevent cancer by Swedish experts from the Piratbyrån.
Lawsuits for Haxx
And lastly, the WoW crowd will probably appreciate this a bit more than the non-players, but I hope you'll all be amused. World of Warcraft just released a patch which eliminated the ability for a variety of third-party interface modifications (known as mods) to do complex decision-making and acting at the push of a button. In short, they've eliminated a variety of programs that skirted close to game automation (which is against the game's Terms of Service) and a variety of players are unhappy. Some even feel that they could get away with suing Blizzard (the makers of WoW) and win. Look, if (and that's a big if) some of these people are actually handicapped and these mods let them play in a way approaching a fully-functional person, I feel for them. But what's next? Sue the makers of Dance Dance Revolution? You do not have an inalienable right to play video games.... sorry.
So where did I go for the last month? Well... it started out as something of a break by virtue of the fact that I was swamped at work. And by the time I got that sorted out, I was waiting for a post to come to me, and then it was the computer and so on it goes. But I figure I owe it to myself to go and backlog and stuff... if only for my own mind in posterity.
Oh, I'm not on hiatus... I'm back from hiatus.
I an scheduled to put Anna on a plane to Austin this afternoon. I am then a bachelor until Friday. Consider yourself warned.
Two weeks at the RMA facility in Kentucky after they receive my motherboard before they ship it back.
As a note, the email from ASUS regarding the RMA is copied in all of its 1995-era HTML glory below the fold... Dear Sir or Madam:
Dear Sir or Madam:
Your RMA# is ########.PLEASE KEEP YOUR RMA# ON HAND, AS YOU MUST PROVIDE IT TO THE CUSTOMER SERVICE REPS FOR ANY STATUS CHECKS AT (510) 739-3777 EXT. 5105. The RMA Process runs approximately 10 BUSINESS DAYS (excludes ALL holidays, weekends, and transit time back to you) from the date your product is RECEIVED AT OUR FACILITY. Customer's are responsible for 1 way freight to ASUS. Our standard shipping back to customer is FEDEX Ground.
***Please note if your product is one of the following, please return your product with the following accessory:
P5 series Motherboards-Please make sure to put the CPU Cap back on the motherboard to prevent pins from bending. If it is returned without the CPU Cap the product may incur a fee to have the product repaired or rejected back to you.
VGA CARDS - MUST be accompanied with the fan/heatsink, otherwise it will be rejected as physical damage.****
A8N SLI Deluxe-If you use only 1 video card with this product, please return the EZ Selector Card so that it may be properly tested as well***
You must write your RMA# on the outside package. (If you don't write the RMA on the outside of your package your product will be rejected at time of delivery).
Attention your package to RMA department. Do not attention your package to an RMA representative, unless instructed otherwise.
Do not include any accessories such as manuals, software, CPU, memory, retention mechanisms or clips, cables, or your original box. If you send any of the above mentioned items they WILL NOT be returned or replaced.
Also to insure proper troubleshooting/ testing, please include a brief description of the problem you are having with your ASUS product, any troubleshooting steps you may have tried, AND your CASE# from technical support if given one.
Please be sure to package return product very carefully to prevent damage during transit.ASUS is not responsible for losses or damages incurred due to shipping / improper packaging. We recommend two inches of padding all the way around your product itself. You MUST package your product in a box.
Physical damage is NOT covered under your ASUS warranty under NO circumstances and automatically VOIDS your warranty on your product. This damage can include any shape or form of corner / edge damage, broken traces, broken CPU socket, and/or burns. If you do send a product in that is physical damaged, you will be notified and the product will either be repaired / replaced for a fee or rejected.
The RMA Process runs approximately 10 BUSINESS DAYS (excludes ALL holidays, weekends, and transit time back to you) from the date your product is RECEIVED AT OUR FACILITY. Customer's are responsible for 1 way freight to ASUS. Our standard shipping back to customer is FEDEX Ground.
ASUS will reject any products packaged in an envelope.
Your Technical support case# . Please keep your case number in hand if you will be needing technical support regarding this issue.(Technical support: 502-995-0883)
**ASUS Computer International (USA) is a warranty repair service center. Please contact place of purchase for credit, refund, upgrade. Asus does not provide these services under any circumstances.
**RMA numbers that begin with (EK)
Ship to address:
ASUS Technology Service
Attn: RMA Dept, RMA# _____________
7100 Intermodal Drive, STE# A
Louisville, KY 40258
To check status please email firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com
ASUS RMA Dept.
So... yeah, my motherboard is getting RMA'ed. Woo-hoo.
On the upside, I'm not going insane... at least about my computer. Nor did I set my motherboard setting wrong. Yeah... my motherboard is just a lemon.
Hey, I had to call at 5.30 am pst to get through, but get though I did.
Happy birthday to me.