Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hulu Desktop for Ubuntu

I have been having all sorts of trouble with Hulu on my new Ubuntu desktop. When it does work it has a great fullscreen display. But the fullscreen mode would not work quite often. And when it did work it would always choose the smaller of my two monitors no matter what I did. The Popout option was nice and I could move it to the monitor I wanted but the control (pause, restart etc.) wouldn't work.

In trying to find solutions to these bugs I stumbled across Hulu desktop for Linux (including an Ubuntu 64 bit option). It works very well. The interface for Hulu desktop is flashy and nice in some ways but in some ways it is not easy to navigate. For example, it is much easier to see a list of the episodes you have subscribed to and their expiration dates.

And I get to watch programs like Caprica that I couldn't otherwise, since I don't have cable TV.

Related: Embedded YouTube Videos Won't Play - Using Multiple Firefox Profiles at the Same Time in Ubuntu

Problem: Hulu full-screen mode fails on Ubuntu in Firefox, Chrome and Opera. Hulu popout screen controls fail - Ubuntu 9.04, 64-bit. How to move a Hulu fullscreen to another monitor (using Hulu Desktop you can choose which monitor to use).

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Our fiscal practices have been irresponsible for years

Thoughts At Tax Time: Big Bill Coming Due by Emily Anstaett

We all agree on the facts: the national debt is closing in on $13 trillion and our fiscal practices have been irresponsible for years. With that starting point, we can all come to both an understanding of the gravity of the situation and the realization that difficult decisions and sacrifices will have to be made to get our economy back on track and restore the overall satisfaction of Americans to comfortable levels.

Unfortunately we don't all agree we have been "irresponsible for years." We have lots of politicians acting like the huge debt problem is some new issue. Every time times are good they want to give favors to their friends. And when times are bad they want to give favors to their friends. And we keep electing politicians that don't care about ruining the country so long as they can give their friends big amounts of cash favors. Until we grow up and realize we are selling out the future of our country by electing those they seek to put favors to the friends today above the interests of the country we will fall further and further into debt.

I am pretty cynical about the ability of us to vote for ethical, competent, intelligent leaders. Or for the type of people we elect to take sensible steps. I can be surprised though. The ability of the Clinton administration to pass a balance budget (even if you say that it wasn't really balanced given the funny accounting Washington uses it was still pretty amazingly good).

I would love to be wrong and see our politicians put the well being of the country 1st or even 3rd or 4th but I don't think that is very likely. I believe we will have to show them we expect them to put the country first and I don't think we, as voters, will. And even if we did we have to elect people that have the skills to know what is right and the leadership to put the right policies in place.


John Hunter

Related: Taxes – Slightly or Steeply Progressive? - Taxes per Person by Country - Failed Leaders Protect Trust Fund Babies Instead of the Country

Thursday, April 08, 2010

The Boom in Adult Interns

The great recession and huge loss of jobs has created a growth in internships. Working for Free: The Boom in Adult Interns

When you hear the word intern, you probably don't think of people like Kristina Shands. For starters, she's 38. And she had notched 10 years of experience as a fundraiser at a nonprofit in Tennessee before she was laid off last year. But now that Shands is considering moving into sports management, she's interning with the Knoxville Ice Bears hockey team, writing game summaries and handing out stats on game day. She devotes about 10 hours a week to the Bears, and she does it for free. "I'm getting to see the inner workings of a professional hockey team, learning about the business side of sports, and I get to watch hockey," Shands says. "I'm having fun."

The increase in internships, however can go to far: The Unpaid Intern, Legal or Not

Convinced that many unpaid internships violate minimum wage laws, officials in Oregon, California and other states have begun investigations and fined employers. Last year, M. Patricia Smith, then New York's labor commissioner, ordered investigations into several firms’ internships. Now, as the federal Labor Department's top law enforcement official, she and the wage and hour division are stepping up enforcement nationwide.

Related: find internships by state - Federal requirements for internships - USA Unemployment Rate Remains at 9.7%

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Embedded YouTube Videos Won't Play

On my Ubuntu machine embedded YouTube videos won't play (in any browser (Chrome, Firefox, Opera) but videos from the YouTube site play fine.

Lazyweb: What is causing this? How can I fix it?

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Health Care System Needs Much More Reform

Why is every other rich country able to provide universal health care for far less than the USA can provide partial health care? Are we just less capable than every other country? The only other area I know of we are so universally worse than every other country is in the percentage of the population that is free (not locked up in jail). All the health care system performance studies I have seen show the USA on the low end of performance and at a cost 50-100% higher than other countries. If the system we have used in the last 30 years is so great why are we do we have bad to mediocre results at a huge cost?

I don't think the current health care reform bill does anywhere close to enough to address the huge problems with our current health system. It seems that yet again (they have been doing so for decades now) those trying to restrict changes have successfully stopped much in the way of reform.

I am not sure how anyone can believe the new law changes to a new cycle of increasing health care costs. Health care costs have taken an increasing percentage of the GDP every year for decades. The worst that can possible happen is the continuous cycle of costs increases are increased.

This heath reform failed to do enough to stop the increases. But we can see how good a job of those against reform did to stop reform. Until more people refuse to accept the continued extremely poor USA health care system results those against reform are going to continue to stop attempts to fix the system that hugely damages our economy year after year, decade after decade. There is no question reform will happen it is only a matter of how long we wait.

Special interests can maintain systems that harm the society to maintain their special interests to an extent. But the health care system failures have grown so large the economy cannot sustain the special interest favors without drastically reducing economic performance for everyone else. Currently we waste easily $500 billion a year (compared to what other countries can do). It is sad we have to through so much money away year after year. Unless we are just not capable of matching even the 2nd most inefficient health care system in the world, in which case we are going to suffer a great deal. But I don't believe we are incapable of being say 30% worse than the next poorest run health system. So now we tax the rest of society some hundreds of billions each year (and increasing). So far the rest of us are willing to accept this. But at some point the increased demands of those against having the US even perform much much worse than the 2nd worse country in the world will be too much and reform will happen. And it already happens in lots of small way. Companies move jobs offshore due to the poor health care system in the USA...

My blog post on health care system economics - health care system improvement