Updating Your Printer’s IP Address on a Mac

The work printer nearest me apparently changed IP addresses. I had no idea, so I kept trying to print and it kept failing. Eventually, I noticed that my Mac thought the printer was on one IP, and the printer had a different one.

So I figured, no biggie, I’ll change the IP address.

Turns out, that’s a lot harder than it seems. I finally found this article which walked me through the steps.

Net-net: Apple needs to make this process much easier. I shouldn’t have to log into a hidden web interface to change the settings on a printer.

American Airlines Launches Real-Time Tracking For All of Their Lost Bags

“‘It’s something our customers have been asking for [for] a really long time, and we’re excited to make this available to them,’ American Airlines spokeswoman Laura Nedbal tells the Tribune.”

Really, what customers want is to have their bags show up at their destination. That fact that we’ll now know in advance that American lost our luggage is some sort of improvement, I guess.

(Via Consumerist.)

Some Commentary on News from This Week

It’s been a pretty awful week in the world. There’s a couple of news stories that caught my eye that I felt worth sharing.

The War on Cops

From The Washington Post: a well-sourced, data-driven article pointing out that there’s no war on cops.

Violence against police is reprehensible and generally makes me ill. That’s a personal thing, as I grew up in a rural area where two of my uncles were cops, both of whom were shot at, one was stabbed (thankfully stopped by his vest), and they absolutely put their lives on the line. My cousin is in the police academy. One of my groomsmen’s brother is a cop in my hometown. 95% of cops are fantastic people who really are just trying to do the right thing and keep people safe.

5% of cops are assholes on power trips. It’s like any job, honestly. There are people who are just dicks. Or maybe they’re just dicks on bad days. We’ve all been there.

But we don’t have guns, the ability to put people in jail, or otherwise ruin people’s lives.

Even saying all that, according to the mainstream media, cops have a reason to be on edge. They’re being attacked on all sides.

Except it’s not true.

All of this fact-free fearmongering is having an effect. A Rasmussen poll taken last week found that 58 percent of respondents now believe there is now a “war on police.” Just 27 percent disagreed.

So let’s go through the numbers. Again. So far, 2015 is on pace to see 35 felonious killings of police officers. If that pace holds, this year would end with the second lowest number of murdered cops in decades.

Maybe it’s true that violence against cops for being cops is on the rise, and we’re just seeing the result of better health care and equipment? As the article points out later, assaults against police are also basically at an all time low.

The crux of it all:

Any murder of a police officer is a tragedy. (As is any murder of a non-police officer.) But media outlets, politicians, and police advocates do real damage when they push this false narrative about a rising threat to law enforcement. First, this sort of propaganda weights the public debate and discourse. When there’s a fictional “war on cops” blaring in the background, it becomes much more difficult to have an honest discussion about police cameras, police militarization, use of lethal force policies, police discipline, police transparency, training, police accountability, and a host of other issues. Of course, that’s precisely the point.

But there’s also a much more pernicious effect of exaggerating the threats faced by law enforcement. When cops are constantly told that they’re under constant fire, or that every interaction with a citizen could be their last, or that they’re fortunate each time they come home from the job in one piece, it’s absolute poison for police-community relations. That kind of reminder on a regular basis would put anyone on edge. We’re putting police officers in a perpetually combative mindset that psychologically isolates them from the communities they serve. Incessantly telling cops that they’re under fire can condition them to see the people with whom they interact not as citizens with rights, but as potential threats. That not only means more animosity, anger and confrontation, it can also be a barrier to building relationships with people in the community — the sorts of relationships that help police officers solve crimes and keep communities safe

Read the whole article.


If you’ve been reading me for any length of time, you know I went to Virginia Tech. I don’t have a particularly fond view of people who believe that the solution to guns is more guns. I grew up with guns. I’ve shot guns. It’s fun. Much of my family hunts in the fall/winter. I don’t hate guns.

I hate that we have so many guns. I hate that it’s so easy to get them. I hate that we can’t even have a discussion about some way of managing our gun problem without folks talking about taking up arms to defend their constitutional rights.

(Which, by the way, to those of you who react that way: fuck you. Fuck you for not even having the decency to have a discussion about things without resorting to being a complete, childish prick.)

That has all lead to the new, empowered by being on his victory tour, President Obama laying out a challenge:

Have news organizations tally up the number of Americans who’ve been killed through terrorist attacks in the last decade and the number of Americans who’ve been killed by gun violence, and post those side by side on your news reports

So Vox (and others) did. Here’s the data from Vox.

It’s exactly what you’d expect.

More than 10,000 Americans are killed every year by gun violence. By contrast, so few Americans have been killed by terrorist attacks since 9/11 that when you chart the two together, the terrorism death count approximates zero for every year except 2001. This comparison, if anything, understates the gap: Far more Americans die every year from (easily preventable) gun suicides than gun homicides.

President Obama:

We spent over a trillion dollars, and passed countless laws, and devote entire agencies to preventing terrorist attacks on our soil, and rightfully so. And yet we have a Congress that explicitly blocks us from even collecting data on how we could potentially reduce gun deaths. How can that be?

How can that be?

Full Screen Caller ID Photos on iOS

For whatever reason, it used to be very easy to have your contact photos show up full screen on the iPhone when a particular contact called. And then, a few versions back, it just seemed to stop working.

This iMore thread explains how to get it back. Basically, just make sure that the picture you choose for your contact fills up the whole screen, even as you pick the little circle version that show up around the OS.

It’s a small thing, but it’s really nice to have full screen photos on the big iPhone 6S screen.

iOS9 Makes the iPad Awesome(r)

I mentioned using my iPad as my “go” machine for weekends and vacations so I don’t have to bring a full laptop. An iPad, WINGStand, and keyboard have generally proven enough for me to get a couple of hours of work done (or a work emergency) without much fuss.

With iOS9, which came out last week, its even better.

iOS9 multitasking on the iPad makes it even better. I can pull up a chat application, or email, or Twitter, while I keep a terminal open and do my work. Rather than having to bounce back and forth between apps, or having to work some network mojo to get onto my corporate chat system using a client on a server somewhere, it’s all right there in the iPad window.

If I do need to switch apps, now I can use the same cmd+tab keyboard shortcut that I use on the desktop to pop between apps.

Oh, and then when I’m waiting on something to run, or just want a background distraction, I can watch a movie in the picture-in-picture mode.

iOS9, on the surface, might seem like a smaller update, but for the iPad, it’s a pretty significant update and makes me even more confident that I can take off for a week and get by just with my iPad.

“Peak Podcast?”

There’s been a good bit of conversation around John Landgraf’s “Peak TV” quote:

“My sense is that 2015 or 2016 will represent peak TV in America and that we’ll begin to see decline coming the year after that and beyond,” John Landgraf, the president of FX Networks

The idea, of course, is that there are so many channels and so many talented creators that there’s almost too much good TV to watch. Anecdotally, that rings true for me. I’ve not watched The Americans. I’m only a couple of episodes into Mr. Robot. I’m a season behind on Halt and Catch Fire. There’s an entire cohort of Comedy Central shows that are acclaimed that I’ve not seen a lick of (other than Review, which everyone should watch).

I wonder if we’re also approaching “Peak Podcast”. There’s an overwhelming number of podcasts out there, with every major media entity adding their own podcasts to the already overflowing amateur, semi-pro, and newly professional podcaster ranks.

Looking at my podcast app, I’m subscribed to 38 podcasts. Most of which produce at podcast weekly, if not multiple times per week. And there’s a bunch of podcasts that I’ve never added to my list purely because I know I’ll never have a chance to listen to them. Most of my podcast listening is done during my commutes (let’s say 5 hours a week), at bed time (maybe another hour or two), and then doing errands on weekends. The podcasts in my queue tend to already overrun the time I have to give them.

Given that, much like I’d do with television, I’m taking a close look at the podcasts that I’d think about dropping from my subscriptions to free up time for some of the better ones (or maybe to watch The Americans.)

On the chopping block …

  • This Week in Tech: The venerable tech podcast recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. And, in doing so, I think highlighted what may have gone wrong with the show. It continually runs past 2 hours, which is a long time for a movie or sporting event, let alone a tech podcast. Looking back at the early episodes, it normally ran somewhere between an hour and hour and a half, a much more palatable runtime. In the early days, this was the tech podcast. They got guests that didn’t go on ten other podcasts, and it really felt like it was a bunch of nerds talking tech. These days it’s tech pundits, a lot of bloviating, and rehashing of things that were often covered in depth by the rest of the tech news media. Really, this is just a sign of how far the tech media has come. TWiT used to be the place you’d hear the tech news discussed. 10 years later, it feels like the dated weekly news shows that can’t keep up with the 24 hour news cycle. Dropping back to the hour to 90 minute length would likely keep it on my list. As it stands, I’ll probably be moving this to the “only listen when something really interesting comes on” bucket (or dump it all together).

  • ESPN Fantasy Focus Baseball: A daily podcast covering fantasy baseball. This year is the first year with new hosts (Tristan Cockroft and Eric Karabell). Cockroft and Karabell are good, but they just lack the dynamic that the former hosts Matthew Berry and Nate Ravitz had. The running gags that the original crew created don’t fit the new team, and when they’re used, it’s often just frustrating to hear them. With the offseason coming up, I’m hoping the current crew will think about retooling the show around their dynamic: being incredibly sharp analytically.

  • The Ihnatko Almanac: A sort of general purpose tech podcast that features the genial tech industry expert Andy Ihnatko. It’s really not a bad podcast, and it’s something that, when I listen to it, I mostly enjoy it. But it feels so terribly inessential. Rather than unsubscribing, this feels like a podcast that heads into a bucket that I peek into once in a while to see if there’s a really interesting topic to explore (like the recent episode covering Project Runway.)

Must listens …

  • Harmontown: A podcast I’ve mentioned before that you must be listening to is Harmontown. It runs nearly 2 hours each week, but it’s worth it. The last few weeks have been amazing listening, with one week talking about the absurdity of the movie Boat Trip, to having Horatio Sanz on to discuss it the next week. Recently, they accidentally had Bobcat Goldthwait and Curtis Armstrong on, not realizing they’d starred in One Crazy Summer together. It lead to a long discussion of the exploits making that movie. It’s occasionally offensive, occasionally hard to listen to, but almost always incredibly funny and though-provoking.

  • The Incomparable Network: What started with the namesake podcast, a nerd-leaning pop culture podcast, has expanded to a number. The one that I think is, surprisingly, my favorite: Game Show, a podcast of people playing odd game show-type games. Balderdash, 70s Family Feud, Trivial Pursuit. It’s oddly entertaining, especially once you understand the personality of the various participants.