Why would anyone buy Google books…?

January 3rd, 2015

I just bought a book through Google Play, simply because the author chose to sell it there and on Kindle only. The Kindle book cost $62 yesterday ($50 today), the print book $47, and the Google Play version 300 SEK ($38). There’s no PDF version available.

But, all the pain…

Now I have to use an iPad to read the book. Or read it on the net, logged in to Google. Both experiences are less than great. The iPad app is laggy as hell, and the Google Books browser interface is unusual in its formatting, to put it mildly. But both are still better than what the Kindle experience would have been. So now I have GoodReader for most PDF books, Kindle for some, and Google Books for this single book. Great.

I bought the book for my company. The “receipt” Google sent me does not mention my name or my company name, breaking the accounting rules, so I can’t book it. It includes 25% VAT without specifying if that’s Swedish VAT or something else, so I can’t deduct it. The Google account settings don’t have any place where I can insert my Swedish VAT number, either.

In short, all this combines to make this book almost three times more expensive to me than it should have been. Or put differently: I could have bought three books for the same cost.

Oh, adding insult to injury, I had to register a Google Wallet to pay for the book, leaving my credit card info with Google for “future purchases”, which I sincerely hope I will never have to use. Yes, you can remove the card again in the wallet settings, which I did, but it should not have to be stored in the first place.

I wrote to Google customer service about this. I’m not holding my breath.

Please, people, don’t publish this way.

Apple upgrades really don’t work

December 20th, 2014

So the other day I tried upgrading my main work machine from Mavericks to Yosemite. Since we’re now at 10.10.1 I thought it might work. Not really. It took hours to install, hanging on the “4 minutes left” mark, but got through, finally. Then Mail wouldn’t work, freezing at the “updating mail database” (or something to that effect). Tried it multiple times.

This time I’d been smarter, having done the upgrade on a SuperDuper “sandbox” drive, so all I needed to do to revert was to reboot from the internal drive. Lucky for me that the “update” of the mail database hadn’t destroyed it. Worked fine on 10.9.5.

So I guess I’ll wait for 10.10.2 and try again then. Not that I think it will work.

Possible upcoming attempts to disable the Tor network

December 20th, 2014

Possible upcoming attempts to disable the Tor network | The Tor Blog: “The Tor Project has learned that there may be an attempt to incapacitate our network in the next few days through the seizure of specialized servers in the network called directory authorities.”

This is bad.

How Do I Declare A Block in Objective-C?

December 20th, 2014

An incredibly well named domain. Go there and check it out:

How Do I Declare A Block in Objective-C?

TEDx talk public

December 9th, 2014

My TEDx talk is now public. It’s all about how bad current EHR systems are at helping us do our jobs as doctors. The title is “Rethinking clinical thinking: your doctor’s tools are blunt”. Enjoy it at:


Another near-death Apple upgrade experience

October 26th, 2014

So I decided to upgrade my Macbook Air 11, late 2013 to Yosemite. After all, I’ve been holding off for a couple of weeks to make sure no major problems would surface and be reported on the net. Since everything seemed clear, I did it. Or, rather, I tried it.

First, I updated Audio Hijack Pro to eliminate a known problem with that. All other updates were done. I made a full image using SuperDuper (am I glad I did…). Then clicked the upgrade button in the AppStore. 

An hour for the download, fifteen minutes for the upgrade, which gets stuck at the “4 minutes remaining” mark for two hours, and then I do a hard reset. Boots, but crashes at login, back to login, becomes entirely unresponsive. No mouse movement, no nothing.

Now I’m in the process of restoring from the SuperDuper backup, which booted fine, albeit very slowly (running on an external USB disk, that’s to be expected). Let’s hope this works. It usually does, but you never know.

Really, Apple, what’s up with the quality control…?

Horrible Apple update quality

October 25th, 2014

There are two updates waiting to be done on a Mac Mini Mavericks server here. Both cause problems.

Security update 2014-005 1.0

This one causes the App Store app to become corrupt. There’s no way to do more updates once this happens. Also, there’s no way I know of to download it and reinstall it. If this isn’t a FUBAR, I don’t know what is. Yes, I restored an image and tried again, same thing. The restore didn’t recover the app, though. Don’t know why. Had to take it from another Mavericks machine and copy it over (you have to use sudo to get past OSX’s reluctance to replace that app). Now I’m wondering if applying the update, then replacing the App Store app would work, but I’m sick and tired of this nonsense, so it will have to wait until I gather enough energy to try yet again.

OSX Server 3.2.2

This is the second update in the queue right now. According to the description, it brings all kinds of improvements, but in actuality, the only thing that it clearly brings is a total failure of the wiki system. There’s no connection to the database. Had to restore from backups every time I tried this update.

This is not good. Let’s just hope that some later update is better.

One more thing…

It would be good if I could tell software update I don’t want these two updates, but I don’t see how. So the machine continuously keeps bugging me about restarting to do them. Very, very aggravating.

Pure speculation: MS servers for OSX?

October 21st, 2014

Why Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Loves What Steve Ballmer Once Despised | WIRED

(Via KimN.)

Now, what if MS became the server supplier for Apple’s devices (OSX and iOS)? Apple doesn’t seem to want to be in that business, and IBM is doing something else.

TEDx Uppsala tickets open

October 19th, 2014

I’m copying over the promotional email I got. Note that the last day to apply for a ticket is October 24, 2014.


A Day of Mind-Blowing Talks and Personal Stories

 TEDxUppsalaUniversity will run their second event ever at Uppsala Stadsteater on Saturday, November 15. 

 Eight local and international speakers, ranging from scientists to authors to activists to musicians, will give unique, surprising and personal talks around the theme ‘Who Cares?’. Join us for a day of brilliant talks and workshops that will blow your mind and make you wonder: what do I really care about?

 TEDx is designed and organised entirely by local volunteers in Uppsala. The independently organised event will be held in the globally recognised TED style.

 And our guests are…..

 Speakers are being added to the event throughout the whole of October, and the list is still growing. Preliminary speakers include: 
  • Sofia Falk, a former undercover agent for the military who has since devoted her life to making organisations better for women
  • Ida Lod, Stockholm-based violinist and performer will give us a musical piece with a surprising twist
  • Otto Cars will talk about the dangers of infectious diseases in today’s world.
  • Alan AtKisson will tell us “how to create a long-term global art project that can involve thousands of people and change the world”
  • Malin Forsgren, who shelved her career to build the Swedish branch of worldwide organisation Operation Smile, which now provides half a million free health checks and 20 000 cost free operations every year to children with facial deformities, will talk about how “reason leads to conclusion, but emotion leads to action”.
  • Martin Wehlou will show us how he aims to revolutionise the way doctors make their everyday decisions.
  • Jan Chilar will give a short, practical talk “what does ‘clean’ mean?” will challenge our conception of how we should use chemicals in our lives. From bathing rituals of ancient Romans to sophisticated cleaning products of contemporary society, improvements in hygiene have always gone hand in hand with increased public health… but do we need all those cleaning products? What if our grandma was right when she told us to spray vinegar all around the house?
  • More to come!

Watch TEDxUppsalaUniversity live!

If you want tickets to the live event at Uppsala Stadsteater on Saturday, November 15 can apply on the TEDx Uppsala University website www.tedxuppsalauniversity.com from Monday, September 29.

The event will also be live streamed on our website during the event for those who want to be a part of TEDx live. Get a few friends together and watch a day of brilliant ideas and personal stories. Edited videos of each talk will be posted the week after the event. Check our websites, Facebook or twitter for this release.

Lakin Anderson, Film, Marketing & Media Coordinator, TEDxUppsalaUniversity 2014, Uppsala, Sweden  lakin@tedxuppsalauniversity.com +46 (0) 760 90 58 52

EU home affairs chief secretly worked with US to undermine new privacy laws

September 28th, 2014

EU home affairs chief secretly worked with US to undermine new privacy laws, campaigners claim — Tech News and Analysis: “The digital rights group Access has revealed an email that suggests outgoing EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström collaborated with the Americans in a successful attempt to water down Europe’s new privacy laws.”