Combating anxiety. No more economic/political news.

I’ve discovered, despite my desires to act to the contrary, that I simply can’t read articles about politics or the economy without sending myself into an anxiety tailspin. I’ve actually reached this conclusion more than once in the past but once the period of anxiety passes I find myself slowly starting to read all of those websites again thinking that somehow this time I’ll be able to handle it. I woke up at 3AM this morning coming out of what was turning into a nightmare with my heart racing. The part of the dream that was starting I’ve had in the past and every time I’ve had it it’s scared the living hell out of me. It’s been years since I’ve had it and I’m glad I woke up when I did. I have no desire to have that dream again. It really comes as no surprise to me given that over the last several days I’ve been reading so much about our current political and economic woes. The thing about these articles is that they really have nothing of value to add to the conversation. They’ve all been doom-and-gloom and “I told you so!”. Between that stuff and work I’m not surprised that I had problems sleeping last night.

So now I know I can’t rely on myself to police what stuff I’m reading. I also know that there are web browser extensions out there to block a list of websites. As a (currently anyhow) Safari user I found two that seemed to fit my needs: Waste No Time and Mindful Browsing. Waste No Time allows you to browse the list of blocked sites a certain about of time during the day. You can also maintain a list of sites that are never blocked. Mindful Browsing is a bit simpler in that you are simply just blocking sites. You can also set the days and times that sites in the list will be blocked. You can also set a timer if you want that still allows you to get to the site after a preset amount of time (5 seconds, 15 minutes, etc).

I’ve decided to give Waste No Time a spin first and see how it works. I like the fact that it’s more configurable than Mindful Browsing. For instance, Waste No Time gives you the ability to either block websites while browsing or create a list through a preferences page. When you hit a page you’ve blocked with Mindful Browsing the option is there to unblock it but you can never see a full list of what you’ve already blocked.

We’ll see what happens. Obviously it’s easy to change lists of blocked websites. But the speed bump of seeing a page telling me that I shouldn’t be viewing that site should be a gentle nudge to keep me on my path.

Clearly with awful results like these Big Oil still needs those subsidies

Via the AP:

Now I really believe those oil execs who said on Capitol Hill that they still needed the government subsidies to Big Oil:

Exxon Mobil, meanwhile, posted a 41 percent increase in its second-quarter earnings to $10.68 billion, the largest since it set a record of $14.8 billion in the third quarter of 2008. Its revenue grew 36 percent to $125.5 billion.

Yeah they’re really hurting for money right now.

Danny Sullivan has a memory problem

From Danny Sullivan’s rebuttal to Gruber/Hall/Siegler:

Gruber tells us that the Android UI was copied from Apple. Hall says that the idea of a touchscreen smartphone was copied by the iPhone.

Newsflash. As a Windows Mobile user from 2004, I had a touchscreen smartphone that ran apps long before that idea ever punched itself out of Apple.

Really?  Windows Mobile had a multitouch interface?  Last time I checked touchscreen devices of that era used a stylus.  I had a Palm Pilot 1000.  That was also a touchscreen but I wouldn’t pretend that somehow Apple copied that device to create the iPhone.  It also had a stylus.    At my current employer we use ruggedized Windows Mobile-based scanner guns….they still use a stylus and don’t know a thing about multitouch.

I think Sullivan needs to go back a bit further in time, perhaps, 11 years before his Windows Mobile phone, and take a look at it’s great-grandparent.  Oh wait.  Another Apple device.  But those guys don’t do anything innovative do they?



So much for separation of church and state

The governor of Texas is a nut.  What is this all about?

In many ways, the rally was unprecedented, even in Texas, where faith and politics have long intersected without much controversy — the governor, as both a private citizen and an elected leader, delivering a message to the Lord at a Christian prayer rally he created, while using his office’s prestige, letterhead, Web site and other resources to promote it.

He’s using government resources to promote a religious service?  I suppose that since it’s not Federal government this is fine (assuming Texas doesn’t have anything on the books forbidding this).  It really makes me think twice about the direction this country is headed though.

In 2011 we should have fewer people believing fictional stories about a guy who was hung up on a cross and who disappeared mysteriously from his burial place.   If you asked these same people if Norse mythology were something worth believing in they’d think you were nuts….all while believing their own fictional stories.

Ben Duhac – “Why My Mom Bought an Android, Returned It, and Got an iPhone”

So Duhac, a self-admitted Android fanboy, says:

The other day I bought the newest, fanciest flagship Android phone for my mother and it was an unmitigated disaster. She has an iPhone now, which she loves, and when I read that 30-40 percent of Android devices are being returned, I honestly wasn’t surprised.

Funny enough article I suppose given that this is consistently what I hear (and have seen) about Android devices but he lost me here:

She’s pretty tech savvy –uses Gmail, has a Tumblr, does most of her emailing on an iPad– so after some discussion we decided that Android was the way to go.

So she’s already got an iPad that she is used to and there is an iOS phone available that’s relatively well-known and “we” decided Android was the way to go.  I suspect Ben decided Android was the way to go and conned his Mom into it.

Good thing they both came to their senses.