Rants Posts 1–5 of 13

  • Check out these awesome glasses that allow people with hearing loss to enjoy going out to the movies


    Regal Cinemas plans to distribute new closed-captioning glasses from Sony to more than 6,000 screens across the country by the beginning of summer and hopes to have them in all their theaters by the end of the year. As you can see from the picture (right), the glasses look kind of like bulky 3-D glasses except these are used for captioning, not 3D. The captions are projected onto the glasses and appear to float about 10 feet in front of the user at the bottom of their field of vision. In ddition, the glasses also provide "descriptive narration" which describes the action on the screen for the visually impared and they can also boost the audio levels of the movie for those who are hard of hearing.

  • Unfit for Work

    This story by NPR Planet Money's Chana Joffe-Walt shocked me and totally changed the way I used to think about our economy. What I didn't know, what most people probably don't know, is that the number of Americans who are collecting social security disability has increased tremendously since 1980. Every month, 14 million people now get a disability check from the government for around $1,000.

    Joffe-Walt spent 6 months exploring the disability program. As she reports, the story of the U.S. economy we normally hear is not the full picture, not by a long shot. Our federal disability program is only slightly caused by an aging workforce; it is primarily an increasingly expensive, relatively hidden safety net.

    The federal disability program, along with the associated health care benefits, costs about $260 billion a year. That’s not only eight times more than we spend on welfare, it’s more than we spend on welfare, food stamps, the school lunch program, and subsidized housing combined! And the worst part is that the disability program incentivizes people to stay on the program forever and never get off of it. You know, the opposite of what a welfare program should do.

  • Click to Play


    Even when think you are being safe, browsing the web can be a dicey affair. Websites use Flash to initiate “drive by downloads” or to track you sureptitiously. More worrisome is the constant stream of Java exploits (37 so far this year and it’s only March). Even mainstream sites can get hacked and end up serving malicious code to your browser. However, there is an easy solution supported by all major browsers and it’s called Click to Play.

    Click to Play temporarily disables all your browser plugins. When a website embeds a Flash file or a Java applet, you will see a grey, clickable rectangle. You can ignore it or click inside the area to enable the content on just that page.

    Not only does this keep you safer, but it will also speed up web browsing because Flash and Java contents are not loaded automatically. And you can stop worrying about a plugin crashing your browser.

    So here’s how to enable it in your browser of choice.