The Continuing Shitty Adventures of iTunes

So, today’s fun is me trying to create a smaller playlist than my honking big ones for a device with a smaller capacity. Spent like a solid fucking hour last night picking out a nice selection of music and creating the playlist in iTunes. Today, I go to sync said playlist and get this fucking HILARIOUS vision presented to me in iTunes:

I can’t fucking even

Are you fucking shitting me, iTunes? Is this Schrödinger’s Playlist or something?

This fucking software can’t go the way of the dodo soon enough.

The Party of Big Business Doesn’t Understand Business

Well. Isn’t THAT interesting.

For the TL;DR crowd, the link above goes to an NPR story about the Department of Energy’s Loan Program. You remember that one, of course, because the fucking Republicans couldn’t shut the fuck up about it when it turned out that one of the companies that received a loan (a rather large one, for about half a billion), ended up failing.

Even though the program, as it was launched in 2005, was expected to lose money, and a big ol’ pile of change was set aside to cover those losses at the time. This was about investing in the future of America’s energy infrastructure, not making short-term profits. And, anybody with actual business sense realizes that, when dealing in a nascent industry, there are going to be a ton of failures and setbacks along the way.

When Solyndra went under in 2011, the GOP couldn’t pile enough scorn on Obama (the company received the loan under his administration, and was run by people who had contributed to his campaign, because no Republican anywhere EVER has ever kicked back a dime to a business that funded his election, ever).

Yet, today, as news comes out that:

Overall, the agency has loaned $34.2 billion to a variety of businesses, under a program designed to speed up development of clean-energy technology. Companies have defaulted on $780 million of that — a loss rate of 2.28 percent. The agency also has collected $810 million in interest payments, putting the program $30 million in the black.

Everybody on the Right seems to be awfully, dare I say, CONSPICUOUSLY silent about this. For those of you who are bad at math: those are GOOD NUMBERS. VERY. Particularly for a program (and, let’s give credit where it’s due here, a program founded under Bush II) that was never expected to make money, it was just supposed to incubate the technologies we’ll need to deal with an increasingly difficult fossil fuel future.

I daresay this one little (by government standards) program was a hell of a lot better an investment than the $7.6 TRILLION we’ve spent since 2001 on Homeland Security and two wars that accomplished jack and shit, respectively.

So why aren’t our Republican politicians touting the success of this program from a Republican president’s term that is a rare example of Federal spending overachieving its goals?

Oh, that’s right; because then they’d have to admit that the whole screaming tantrum they threw over Solyndra was a tempest in a teapot based solely on their irrational hatred of the black guy in office, and we can’t have that. Never retreat, never surrender, right, guys?

Assholes.

iTunes Must Be Destroyed

Yes, I’m taking another turn on the “I hate iTunes as writing inspiration wheel”. When this fucking thing stops coming up with new ways to piss me off, I’ll stop writing about it. Nobody forced you to come here.

Anybody who knows me knows that I don’t really give a shit about brand allegiance. I own smartphones of the iOS, Android, AND Windows Phone variety. I own and use about equally both a Mac and a Windows laptop. They’re each good at almost everything, and each are best at some few things, and I switch around them according to my mood and what’s most important to me at the moment.

HOWEVER.

iTunes is no longer defensible on any rational level. And it’s making me want to sell my iPhone 6+ and just use Android devices.

Why, oh why, does Apple sell a 128GB device (which no other credible smartphone maker does, almost all of them cap out at 32GB with a smattering of 64GB devices available as well) when their walled-garden’s sole approved software for managing that garden is literally and absolutely incapable of handling the job? iTunes BARELY worked with 8GB devices; it absolutely does fucking not work at all with 128GB devices.

I won’t bore you with the details, but let’s just say that a) I’m not technically illiterate so b) I’ve researched, Googled, opened tickets with iTunes support and yet c) I have an iPhone that:

  • has not successfully synced music ever. Not once.
  • Yet somehow has 80GB of storage being consumed by something called “Other”
  • is therefore absolutely useless at the task I consider second only to keeping me in communication with others: giving me music on my hell commute

“but, smr, just get with the program and use Spotify”

FUCK. YOU. I have not spent the last 20 fucking years carefully buying and curating my collection of 80GB of music to throw it all out and have some streaming bullshit service try to guess at what I’d like to hear. And I like to just shuffle my collection; this way, there will be endless surprises, but it will ALSO be shit that I personally and specifically said “yes, I will want to hear this so here is my money let me own a copy of it” to at some point in the past.

In other words: I sometimes might wanna hear stuff from LA Guns first three albums. I will NEVER want to hear anything they’ve done since then. Spotify, Rdio, fuckin’ Sirius XM, whatever, can’t guarantee that I won’t, so they can go to hell.

None of the streaming services can do dick when it comes to offering me my extensive collection of bootlegs, either.

Every time Apple announces any sort of event, one of my first thoughts is, “Man, I hope they’re finally announcing a ground-up replacement for iTunes this time”. I’ve seriously had that thought going back to when they announced like iTunes 6, when it was already becoming a bloated, unusable piece of shit.

Beyond the whole syncing issue, even as a standalone media-playing app, it leaves a LOT to be desired. It’s UI, something that, in almost everything BUT iTunes Apple excels at, is a dog’s breakfast of half-baked ideas loosely jumbled together in order to serve eighteen different purposes that were all introduced at different points in time and were therefore jammed on top of what was originally just an app that played music.

I really, really hope there’s some sort of skunkworks team in Cupertino that’s working on a full-bore replacement app (or, properly, apps) for iTunes right now. Because it’s fucked, and I can’t use a device that cost $900 due to its fuckedness.

Ted Cruz Is The Horse’s Asshole of Politicians

ted_cruzGive me a second here: AAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Okay, let’s move on…

Why didn’t Cruz just come out and say “Net Neutrality murders white children”? Because that’s about as accurate a comparison as comparing it to Obamacare, which resembles what is being proposed in as much the same way as a meatball resembles a warm bath. And it would spark the exact kind of comparative fear he was shooting for amongst the ignorant assholes who vote for him.

I’m sure his voter base understands how the Internet works about as well as it understands Obamacare, which is to say: not at fuckin’ all. They just have had “Obamacare = The Absolute Worst” pounded into their empty fuckin’ hateful heads by FOXNews and their chosen political front agents in the GOP to the point where they gleefully believe it so therefore associating this other complex issue they literally do not understand that literally cannot be compared to the Affordable Care Act does Cruz’s work for him just fine. And, since Cruz just does whatever the fist of Big Business firmly lodged up his asshole tells him to do, everybody he needs to keep happy, is happy.

This crass tribute/update on Lee Atwater’s Willie Horton ad-style of expressing political discourse is squarely aimed at and surely hit a bulls-eye with the same sort of befuddled, angry old white shitheads who were screaming about keeping government out of their Medicare in 2010.

Is it too late to start up a pro-Net Neutrality campaign based around the concept of “VOTE FOR NET NEUTRALITY OR YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE TO PAY THE GOOGLE TWENTY DOLLARS EXTRA A MONTH TO SEE BOOKFACE PICTURES OF YOUR SHITTY GRANDKIDS!!!”? Because that would be about as accurate, but at least would steer them towards the correct decision.

Getting Mad At The Wrong Thing

Browsing the news online yesterday, I saw an argument from some conservative talking (shit)head whose name I can’t be bothered to recall that basically amounted to this:

Obama’s failure to immediately close the borders to all flights from Africa means that we will now be flooded with Africans coming to receive the half-million dollars in health care that the one Liberian national who showed up here with Ebola got for FREE!

There is SO MUCH wrong in this one argument that I hardly know where to start, but, natch, I’ll give it a go.

For one, the number of Africans already sick with Ebola who can afford to drop everything, get to their not-so-local international airport, pass the internal safeguards every African airport has against sick travelers getting onto a flight (and, yes, calm your racism, they do have these protocols and they are actually very effective for the most part; Nigeria, for example, has absolutely squashed their Ebola epidemic to the point that the WHO has declared Nigeria Ebola-free; I mention this as the average person screaming about Africans coming here with the disease want all of Africa quarantined because they seem to believe that all Africans live in one crowded pre-industrial jungle village that is also somehow right next to an international airport with direct flights to the United States), get to the United States and then pass our own (if belatedly-established) border protocols for incoming passengers from the affected region is statistically quite small.

For two, if we ban all incoming flights from the region, what do you think the actual outcome of such a decision will be? That every single desperate person who actually has the means to get here will just give up and await their fate? Or that they might maybe just fly to Munich or Istanbul or London or some other country that is still accepting flights from Africa and also has flights to America, thereby arriving here maybe at an airport we’re not keeping as nearly as close an eye on via a flight from an unaffected country? Maaaaaaybe just letting the direct flights continue so we can watch them as they arrive and let the in-place safeguards at both ends do their job might just be the most effective possible regime? Maybe?

For three, and this is the big one to me: HE DIED. You’re angry that your wild-assed guess of a half-million bones for his care was spent? I’d be angry at the fuckin’ result. But, hey, questioning WHY health care would cost that asinine an amount to begin with, well, that’s just not done in America.

The sense of anger this commentator was filled with seemed to be that only Americans should get that level of health care,which is a disgusting sentiment to begin with. Left completely unexplored was the fact that a large percentage of Americans, facing a bill of that size (or greater, as many sick Americans can attest), would rather die than inflict that level of financial harm on their families and survivors. And those who want to fight and live often face financial ruin in doing so.

Maybe if he hadn’t been turned away (as a poor black man without insurance) to begin with, treatment could’ve been started earlier and, I dunno, maybe he could have LIVED so that all the dumb assholes screaming about how his care was “free” could aim their vitriol at him directly.

But no, let’s not question the insane costs of health care in this dumb country, the insane way it’s expected to be paid for, or the insane idiocy of demanding that the president unilaterally order the borders closed while screaming at the same time about how he’s a dictator.

Let’s instead just get angry that the insanely-rich corporation that runs the hospital that failed to save this guy’s life didn’t get paid a fat wad of cash for their failure.