Category Archives: Social

Bluetooth woes

After spending the best part of 4 hours trying to get Bluetooth to work on my Dell Win 7 laptop, I gave up and went to Best Buy and bought a MS mouse that uses some proprietary protocol.  I have shit to do and I can’t spend hours trying to track down why Bluetooth stopped working at some point in the past week following the usual 40 or so updates.

I was initially going to complain about Microsoft’s piss-poor implementation of BT, but then I remembered that while the BT mouse works fine on my mac, the BT audio to my 30-pin iPod dock has become so lossy and unreliable to be unusable.  So neither Microsoft or Apple can apparently deliver basic functionality and reliability to Bluetooth – which may explain why momentum is dying.

The only thing that “just works” is BT pairing between cars and phones and between phones and hands-free headsets, so perhaps that’s where this promising technology is going to remain.

Update and clarification on my WinMo phone posting


That last blog posting generated the most traffic of anything I have ever posted here.  I certainly did not intend to enter the religious wars of the middle ages.

People certainly are invested with their choice of mobile device OS.  I didn’t think of that, because I don’t feel strongly either way.  I like my iPad and iPhone, but I don’t think it would be a great hardship to switch platforms (apart from the learning curve and repurchasing costs). I certainly don’t identify myself by those choices.

Happy New Year!

Civility online?

Earlier in the week I was posting on a Lifehacker thread about cold-weather gear.  As someone who has spent a lot of time in extremely cold climates over the past 30+ years I thought I had something to contribute. And then “that guy” showed up – the one saying nobody needs all that fancy stuff and plain-talkin’ folks get by fine with flannel-lined jeans.  I responded to say we were talking about something a little more specialized than that and it began:

  • You’re a liar – you have never been where you say you have
  • You don’t know what you are talking about
  • I googled some things to prove you’re lying
  • Various insults and homophobic slurs

It left me annoyed and rattled and made me want to just step away and disengage completely.

And then I realized this is a tiny fraction of the degree of what many women online suffer every single day. I read Kathy Sierra’s heartbreaking and awful account of her history of threats and attacks. Penny Red has been bravely talking about her similar experiences over the years on her blog and twitter.  Linda Sandvik is another great source who is unafraid to call out those small (and large) putdowns that too many women get every day in tech.  When I read about the horrors that these women (and hundreds or thousands more) have to face every day, my brush with trolling and incivility faded into the minor annoyance that it was – but it gave a sliver of insight into what they face.

If I felt so shitty after one interaction with an aggressive troll, how do Kathy, Penny, Linda, and others deal with it every day?  I received no death or rape threats, stalking, or vile personal attacks (well, a little, but it’s not an insult to be called gay by a fool) – all of which are apparently common.

I don’t know how this can be stopped.  I guess those of us who are straight, white, middle-class males must stand up alongside everyone being abused online for whatever reason and make it clear that it’s not OK.  These horrible, evil trolls will presumably find something else to do, but in the meantime I’ll do what I can to support everyone’s right to participate online no matter who they are.

<Update> I don’t know how helpful the above message is. It just makes me so angry and frustrated that talented, smart, thoughtful women are being chased off from online participation and careers because of horrible small-minded shitheads.

I guess all I wanted to do is stand up and say “this is not OK”

<Update 2> Realized today that pretty much anything that Linda or Laurie say on Twitter will be contradicted by a dude trying to prove he is smarter or better than them.  There are very few (if any) guys in the world who have to deal with that – even if the response is just condescending rather than overtly offensive or threatening.

<Update 3> This is helpful and way more articulate than me.