Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, September 05, 2021

touch me
I think I can abandon my plan to hack the iPhone just for the wi-fi action.

Yes, I’ll be queued up later this month, waiting to get my hands on the iPod Touch, most likely the 16-gig model (my current 30-gig is less than a quarter full, and I’m not planning on loading up on fat-file videos in the future, so the drop in disc size doesn’t faze me). And the key motivator for me — as it was for my brief flirtation with the iPhone — is the wireless Web capability. Finally, I’ll have a pocket-sized way to access the Internet while out and about!

It’s just as well. I wasn’t wild about switching phone service from Verizon Wireless to AT&T. And really, I was even less wild about combining my phone, music player, mobile Web and whatever else into a single device. I don’t care how high-performance the iPhone battery is, I’m not counting on it having enough juice to last the amount of use I’ll put into it. Besides, I’m well used to carrying both a phone and an iPod around; it’s not a hassle.

I’ll admit, I’m just as intrigued by the other new capability for this refreshed iPod line, including the Starbucks interface and mobile iTunes service. I’m not sure I’ll utilize either to a great degree. But it’s fun to tinker.

Back to the iPhone, on a side note: I’m curious about the new service allowing conversion of select iTunes tracks into customized ringtones. I’m surprised AT&T went along with this. Ringtone sales are a hot revenue-generator for the phone companies; this would seem to undercut that. Maybe it’s a test market thing, given the iPhone’s relatively small base.

Just counting down the days now…

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 09/05/2021 11:21:27 PM
Category: Tech, Wi-Fi | Permalink | Feedback (5)

The good news is that Laredo Bucks head coach/general manager Terry Ruskowski has been re-signed to a new “lifetime” contract with the Central Hockey League team, meaning he can stick around for as many more years as he wants.

The bad news is that, well, it’s Laredo. (Kidding, of course. I’ve got nothing against the southern Texas town. In fact, I’m glad to see hockey thriving on the Rio Grande, even on the Double-A level.)

I’m always dubious about these extra-long-term contracts in sports, whether for athletes or management. What happens if the Bucks hit a sour stretch for several seasons? Not that a lifetime contract can’t be terminated…

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 09/05/2021 11:05:14 PM
Category: Hockey | Permalink | Feedback

If you own stock in any sort of microwave popcorn companies, now’s the time to sell, before the “popcorn worker’s lung” panic sets in:

Exposure to synthetic butter in food production and flavoring plants has been linked to hundreds of cases of workers whose lungs have been damaged or destroyed. Diacetyl is found naturally in milk, cheese, butter and other products.

Heated diacetyl becomes a vapor and, when inhaled over a long period of time, seems to lead the small airways in the lungs to become swollen and scarred. Sufferers can breathe in deeply, but they have difficulty exhaling. The severe form of the disease is called bronchiolitis obliterans or “popcorn workers’ lung,” which can be fatal.

As it happens, the very smell of microwaved butter-flavored popcorn tends to gross me out, if not make me outright sick. I never touch the stuff, and would dread when someone in home or office would nuke up a batch of the stuff (I’m okay with the non-butter flavored bags). In light of this info, it seems my sense of smell was coordinating with my survival instinct!

I hope panic versus the Orville Redenbachers of the food universe does set in. Maybe I’ll never have to endure that smelly stuff ever again.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 09/05/2021 10:47:03 PM
Category: Food, Science | Permalink | Feedback