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Aurich Lawson
Creative Director for Ars Technica. Derp derp.
Creative Director for Ars Technica. Derp derp.

Aurich's posts

I guess I don't care because I already abandoned G+ but the new layout is kinda irritating me. Especially the scroll bar, pet peeve. This isn't a 2001 Flash site, please.

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I wrote a tribute to Star Wars artist Ralph McQuarrie for Ars. Tried to include some quotes and details you might not know already. Definitely sad about the loss, he was a hugely influential figure in my life.

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I have to say, being a fan of the Pen & Pixel era ( ), this graphic is going to be tough to top for most fun I had doing an image this week.

Edit: It's ridiculous that I can't make a normal hyperlink in this. FFS Google.

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Did a couple little Android mascot illustrations for Ars in the last couple days, one published with the ICS review the other for an upcoming story. Always nice to have the time to do something original instead of just photo manipulating.
2 Photos - View album

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Man, only came back here to see if I could get the multi admin stuff set up on the Ars Technica account (answer: no) and I can see Google is already cluttering up the interface with bullshit. WTF is that YouTube tab on the right? Get that shit out of here.

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Messing with setting up an Ars Technica page on G+ now that brands are allowed. Not sure what our plan is for it yet though. Just getting it set up since there doesn't appear to be any kind of brand-ownership verification in place.

So quick follow up to my earlier discussion on manual vs automatic transmissions, for anyone who still cares:

I test drove a couple BMW 335i's the other week (a 2009 and a 2011, so N54 and N55 engines respectively) with automatics. I used both manual and sport mode, but didn't bother touching the paddle shifters or 'manually' shift at all.

I gotta be honest, it was better than I expected. Even with the twin turbos (auto tranny + turbo lag can be meh) it was just super responsive. It was admittedly just a test drive, but there was a real variety of streets in it. At no point was I feeling like I was fighting the car or that it was second guessing me.

I realized I had to consider this more, but for the first time I was feeling willing to give up stick if it became too much of an obstacle to finding a car. (I'm shopping CPO not ordering new, so it's take what you can find.)

I would miss the fun of shifting myself, but I'd probably only truly miss about 10% of it, the other 90% of the time I'm shifting on autopilot and it really doesn't matter much.

After sleeping on it I've decided I'm going to still look for a stick, but if a car I want otherwise is an auto I won't let it be a kill factor. Quite an endorsement I know. ;)

By popular request, another one from the Ars Mailbag™:

"*Fwd: [Ars Technica] Assignment: I do not troll.*

I teach. I instruct. I do try to make folks angry at times by being critical. I also make every effort to get folks to think critically, sometimes by spoofing folks who support stealing technology or folks who have no idea what they are talking about.

I know that many IT administrators might not have liked some of my posts. Many might not have understood some of them. But my point was one emphasized by Steve Job: The fusion of liberal arts with science helps create user-friendly computing. By citing poetry, literature or art, and by pointing out that it might not be commonly appreciated by purely scientific IT types, I was insisting that the IT types should broaden their horizons, or at least focus on making users more productive.

If you think that concept is trolling, then you need to expand your horizons. I do not suffer much ineptness.

I am 65 years old, an Apple user of every product the company has made since 1988, except some models, of course, a newspaper editor of 30 years, a computer-aided designer, Internet page creator, page designer for the front pages of two large metropolitan newspapers. I have been a newspaper writer, reporter and editor for my entire life. I won a Pulitzer Prize honorable mention for a series exposing political corruption in Fayetteville, NC. I run a small business with customers worldwide.

I was awarded a Westinghouse Science Talent Search scholarship and attended Davidson College on a Merit Scholarship. I later attended Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William & Mary in Virginia. I also taught undergraduate courses in literature at William & Mary on an assistantship.

I know what I am talking about, and as I get older I tolerate far less ignorance than I once did.

I also use Linux and Windows and do some fairly sophisticated programming in five languages, mostly Java and html, a little Pearl, Applescript, and C.

I have been an Ars Technica reader ever since there was an Ars Technica, and have always, until now, considered your approach to be both enlightened and knowledgeable.

I do not troll. The only response I seek is self-questioning, not a flame war.

I was recently named mentor of the year by a computer programming professional group with more than 500 members. Perhaps I'm getting too pedantic in my old age.

If you think I have nothing to add to your exchange of information, you are, perhaps, correct.

But I would appreciate the favor of your insight. I'd like to know which of my posts offended you and why. I admit that I intended to offend any unthinking reader who doesn't understand the effect of stealing intellectual property. I also intended to offend any IT person who has no interest in creating the greatest possible productivity among people who use his company's technology. And I believe that a site where no one is ever offended may be too milquetoast to inspire much thought or to attract many readers.

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