Month: November 2013

All gave some, some gave all

In years past, I had a tradition of linking to MacMinute on Veterans Day. The late Stan Flack would post “In Flanders Field,” a poem by Canadian Soldier Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD, dedicated to the fallen soldiers of World War I.

Since Stan passed away, MacMinute has ceased publication. So I’ll carry on his tradition here, with the wish that we all take a moment to honor all those who sacrificed their safety or their lives on our behalf. The politics of any war aside, it is they who pay the price; they who selflessly put themselves in harm’s way in order to secure and defend the blessings of liberty for the rest of us.

They deserve our respect and our solemn promise to do our best to ensure that did not die in vain and to work towards a time where none need pay the price they did.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

The ‘canary in the coal mine’ in Apple’s transparency report

Several people have pointed out that Apple’s “Transparency” report of government requests for information contains a brilliant end run around the government’s gag order on revealing that certain requests have even been made.

At the end of the report’s Notes section, Apple states it “has never received an order under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act. We would expect to challenge an order if served on us.”

Sounds pretty innocuous, right? But here’s the kicker. As long as Apple never receives such a request, we can expect future reports to contain the same statement. If that statement were to go missing, however, it would be a clear message that a request or requests had been received.

Well played, Apple. Well played.

‘Cosmetically damaged’ PowerPots on sale for $100

BioLite’s stove may have gotten more buzz, but Power Practical’s PowerPot V is — to me — a much better implementation of generating electricity with heat. I’ve talked about it during my Tech vs. Wild sessions, and it always scores high on the “wow factor.”

Now, Power Practical is selling “cosmetically damaged” PowerPots for $99 — a third off the regular price. The sale is this weekend only, so if you’re interested, check them out now. My perspective is that if you’re really using it out in the field, it’s like to get cosmetically damaged before long anyway, so why not get it that way and save some money?

More information, including an online order form, is available here.

Sinbad, the Sox and the long con

My friend Paul Kafasis of Rogue Amoeba is — among other things — a brilliant prankster with a lot of patience. His write-up of a “long con” he played on John Gruber is not to be missed. And as much as it pains me to say it, the fact that it was the Sox (you’ll see) makes it even better. (via The Loop)