Tokyo Nuclear Clusterfuck Update

So, does my rant about Amazon's staggeringly awful Kindle book reader mean that the Japanese Nuclear Clusterfuck of 2011 is over? No. Things are still fucked. The food chain is suspect, some areas are ruined. From my selfish Tokyo perspective, the main problem is the looming electric shortages. We haven't had blackouts for a while, but it's not the hot summer yet. Even though we don't have the blackouts yet, the entire city (and basically eastern Japan), is doing setsuden (節電), or electricity conservation, which completely fucks up a city like Tokyo. It's hot in the buildings, most escalators are stopped, and it's dark on the streets at night as if it was fucking China or something.

So it still sucks. But in one important way, it has improved:

No cesium detected.

That's the levels of cesium and radioactive iodine in the drinking water in Tokyo. None detected. While I don't tend to drink that water (even before Fukushima), I do have to shower in it, and recently since it is looking better I have started to cook with it again.

And then there is the rain:


That's looking good, too. It really sucks when you can't walk around in the rain and get wet without tripping out about what kind of radioactive shit might be giving you cancer and harming your unborn children, etc. I walked to work this morning, got wet, and didn't worry about it.

Those numbers are from (which we all still check every day), and are clearly good news.

This summer is still gonna fucking suck, though.

Holy Fucking Shit Kindle for Mac Fucking Sucks

Amazon is one of my favorite companies, but they sure make some shitty fucking software.

I don't often use the pathetic Kindle for Mac application, because it is a fucking steaming pile of shit. But occasionally, when programming in one of my non-native languages, say, I want to look something up. But every other time I launch this shitty app, I am rudely shown this message:


I grit my teeth and try to remove the book from the 'device', per those shitty instructions, but always get this:


At that point, I try to nuke my Kindle registration and start everything over. I have gone through this process at least a dozen times. It usually goes like this:


...and stays like that indefinitely (it "may take a moment" indeed, it has been hung like that throughout the process of launching MarsEdit and writing this blog post up until here), until I quit the app... at which point, of course, it crashes:




Japan Nuclear Clusterfuck 2011 Links

most useful links:

more links:

Japan's government has proven to be incompetent; its media dysfunctional. So it takes some work to stay abreast of the nuke situation in Fukushima, and how it affects Tokyo. These links are among the most helpful we've found.

(This post will be updated by various people as time/circumstance permit.)


Japan Nuclear Clusterfuck 2011

This is probably the first event that caused anybody to actually seek out this blog in order to read the latest updates, but I've no time to update it.  Instead, I am experiencing my first twitter-can-be-vaguely-useful moment, so for rad levels, status, and links of interest to me, look there.

(I'll probably post a long rant about this whole triple-shitstorm someday, but for now I'm busy with more immediately practical concerns.)

Dear Rubymine

Ever heard of UTF-8?

RubyMine is among the shittiest apps I frequently use...

UPDATE 2011-03-23: less than two weeks after I reported this bug to JetBrains, the issue has been marked FIXED in RubyMine 3.1.1 (aotw still unreleased).

Happy New Year From applemtp.sys


To use Apple's "Late 2010" MacBook Air with Windows 7 (via Boot Camp), you apparently have to hope that there are no bugs found in Windows ever again. That's because the first time Windows Update does an update that requires a restart, the machine will crash during that boot, and every subsequent boot (even in Safe Mode). The only known solution is to boot into the Win7 recovery tool, and roll back the system to an earlier version. But then, of course, the very next time Windows Update does its thing, the machine will again become unbootable (haha, into Windows, that is).

Some people have worked around this bug by installing some freaky-ass freeware trackpad driver (would YOU install anything that came from a home page like that?) which also disables the Windows 7 signed-driver security policy.

My solution, sadly, isn't really a solution at all: we disabled the trackpads (in Device Manager) and told the users they have to connect a mouse when using these Apple machines. And, of course, we decided not to buy any more of these machines for Windows environments unless this gets fixed. Which is really not looking very likely, since this same applemtp.sys has been crashing Macs for years. Oh well.

Opt Out (or, "Dismantle the TSA and Send the Screeners Back to Wal-Mart.")

UPDATE: the big man has spoken. Executive summary is, of course, um, yep, hysterical security theater continues to trump ration.

Recently, as any even moderately informed American knows, the Transportation Security Administration began a new program to coerce travelers into submitting to the porno scanners--the backscatter X-ray machines that the TSA calls Whole Body Imaging--by instituting a new policy to punish those who opt out of being photographed naked.


Many people do prefer to opt out, due to the legitimate safety questions, or perhaps because they just don't feel like having naked images of themselves (or their hot teenage daughters) viewed by airport rentacops and captured on computer (the TSA's ludicrous assurances that they ‘cannot be stored' having already been disproven).

The new deterrent, to prevent people from exercising their right to opt out of the nude imaging process, is that those who do so will now have one of those ubiquitous blue-gloved TSA agents physically grope their entire body, including testicles or breasts and vagina, as a consequence.

The numerous women and children who have recently been traumatized in this way has been fairly well covered in the media, and especially, of course, on the internet tubes. Frankly, it's another fucking disgrace, one which quite rightly has generated some outrage.

However, there are still a lot of uninformed citizens out there (and they couldn't ALL be ignorant cowards who are already prepared to jettison the most fundamental of American values for a theatric pretense of security (could they?)). Plus, few people I meet outside of the US, Americans included, know much about this story.

That's why I was glad to see a new web site that does a fairly clinical job of explaining the issue simply and unhysterically:

This site looks professional and coherent, and it also features a handy printable pamphlet that has already proven helpful in explaining this important issue to people who for whatever reason don't get much information.


Which is good, Because according to a CBS News poll, so far the hysterics and cowards are winning. Will sanity prevail? I wouldn't put money on it, but here's hoping.