"An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." - Arthur Miller

Monday, December 24, 2012

Linkfest - Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

The year is almost done and fortunately the Mayans were wrong as we are all still here. The problems remain but so does hope for the future. In the last post of the year we look at another cool Lego creation, info on data caps being scam, Wal-Mart hell, great Stephen Colbert interview, Google's year in review, and the Man of Steel.

Lego The Legend of Zelda Map
The image is a Lego re-creation of the map for the classic NES game The Legend of Zelda. From Michael Kuroda, the map re-creation really isn't that large with it being 256 Lego studs wide by 88 studs high.

Data Caps are Cash Cows and Unnecessary
Hit the link to read a little bit about how cable companies and telephone service providers lie when they claim tiered data systems are necessary because of a need for data caps. The reality is the cost to move data gets cheaper every year. Also the cost of the transmission remains the same whether 1 megabyte of data is moved or 1000 megabytes. Long story short, the more you use the internet should not cost you more because it doesn't cost the service providers more. They just pretend it does because its an easy way for them to charge more while providing nothing more thereby increasing their profits. The upper management gets their huge bonuses while having done literally nothing for their customers. Its a scam so next time a company or a politician pretends otherwise, don't believe them.

Welcome to Wal-Mart Hell
Above is part of an occasional series of stories from Gawker that shows how horrible it is to work for Wal-Mart. The chain may provide great deals but they do it at the expense of treating their employees like human beings. The pay and treatment is horrible. Most are still on food stamps (paid by your tax dollars) despite the working full time (as defined by Wal-Mart to avoid actual full time benefits like health insurance). On top of that are managers that put working a shift above even the health of an employee. You have stories of employees getting hurt, going to the hospital and the manager wondering why they didn't return to complete their shift. Others involve refusing to buy needed equipment until threat of lawsuits from injuries. The list goes on but it all comes down to a belief that each store must avoid spending even one penny more then forced too under threat of lawsuits just so one of the most profitable companies in the world can continue to line the pockets of some of the richest people in the world. If employees get hurt along the way...well that is a tax payer problem not a corporate one. After all taxpayers are "only" paying $1.5 billion a year to supports its employees.

Stephen Colbert Google Talks Interview
Below is an hour long interview with Stephen Colbert as he talks about "Stephen Colbert" the character from his The Colbert Report, his career and what he tries to do with his show. The interview was held on December 7th (so before the Newport Shooting). Google CEO Eric Schmidt hosts the interview and while well meaning tends to botch it but the audience Q&A portion tends to be great questions with fantastic answers. Worth watching if a fan. Hopefully Colbert will do it again and maybe next time it will just be all audience Q&A.

Zeitgeist 2012: Year in Review
A great video that Google created to look at some of the most popular searches on the website. It really is a glorified advertisement but a highly interesting and well done look at 2012.

Man of Steel Trailer #2
The trailer is so somber and slow I honestly can't get a feel if this movie will be any darn good. It will be pretty at least as some of the scenes are gorgeous.

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