Drunk, hungover, away, working, listening to aforementioned iPod, having a broken home PC. All of these things have kept me away from SBBS for a few days. Now, however, I return like a phoenix.
Unfortunately, I can also think of about as many interesting and/or amusing things to say as a phoenix. If I were a newspaper columnist who had to say something (anything!) substantive, I’d probably go off on a dull techie rant about how consumer electronics manufacturers have managed to solve the extremely-hard-to-solve problems of fitting a CD library into a 1cm by 5cm by 10cm package, and of creating a similarly sized device that gives you fast Internet access everwhere in the world – but not the comparatively-easy-to-solve UI problems that mean both devices perform below their potential .
But I’m not, so I won’t. Instead, you should muse on human rights versus vending machine rights, and possibly also on why the president’s idiocy matters. I’d also recommend reading about a more exciting but (hopefully) more doomed campaign by an unglamorous war hero to oust a terrible, terrible corrupt, warmongering Republican. The fact that it’s written by a certified, certifiable genius with a head full of ether and mescaline helps, as you might expect.
 Perhaps engineers shouldn’t be put in charge of consumer-focused projects. Despite the obvious intuitional bias to the contrary, it may be that designing a functional UI is actually harder than doing clever things with microelectronics.