Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Why I don’t like Jon Stewart

Well, one of the reasons, anyway.

44% of the people surveyed by Time magazine picked Jon Stewart as the most trusted newscaster in America.

I suppose it shouldn’t surprise me that a generation brought up to be cynical and rude would pick a cynical and rude talking head with an army of writers and researchers who sets up ambush interviews and makes a daily occupation of constructing straw men.

And despite the slavishly repeated denials of his audience, who insist that he’s just comedy, it’s plain that he has an effect on the the decision making process of a large and influential group.

The fact that his comedy is almost completely one sided, and that he’s practically the Minister of Information for the Democratic Party Proletariat, as well as the Hero of the People, ensures that his influence coincides with all right thinking people.

I can’t watch him carry water for the Anointed One night after night without being frustrated over the lack of acknowledging that there might be a different point of view.  And the fact that he treats divergent viewpoints with ridicule only underscores the lack of political discourse that’s currently affecting this country.

I’m not saying that he invented the political divide, or rudeness in politics, but he sure as hell is reinforcing it

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


There’s been a lot written about Gatesgate (I couldn’t resist) but I think that Sgt. Crowley is showing an uncanny ability to deflect the false charges of racism.

Via Hot Air:

These cops aren’t black or white, they’re blue.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Comparing Apples to Grapefruit

Spin and spin again:
The Mac Versus PC Debate Has Never Been Clearer: "Instead, Apple is content to keep churning out its high-quality, high-margin machines, and watch the profits roll in. If it happens to gain market share as a byproduct of that, that’s great. You can’t be so naive to think that Apple doesn’t care about that at all, of course it does, but it’s clearly a secondary goal, which most people don’t seem to understand.

It’s a metaphor that’s often used, but a way to think about it is if Windows-based PCs as a whole are thought of as a top selling car like the Toyota Camry, Apple’s Mac computers would be more like a luxury car, like a Porsche. Porsche sales are just a fraction of Camry sales because it does not sell any models in the low-end price range. But at the same time, Porsche makes more money on each car sold and maintains a premium branding. If Porsche started selling cheap cars, it would move a lot more units, but it would no longer be the Porsche brand that we know.

That’s not to say the Camry sucks or that the Porsche is perfect. They’re just two different cars that cater to different markets. And they represent the two different goals that most Windows-based PCs have (market share) versus Apple’s Mac computers (high-end revenue share)."
The problem with the metaphor above is that it assumes that Mac's are remarkably more reliable than Window's based PC's. That may not be the case.
There's bad news, however, for Apple, in this quarter's report: they've fallen to spot number two. For the overall year of 2008, Apple reigned supreme in terms of reliability. But in the first quarter of this year, Asus and IBM's Lenovo have had their numbers rise above -- both of their shares of the US market are smaller than Apple's 6%, according to this report, but Apple's 2% of calls to RescueCom still means Asus and IBM/Lenovo have them beat in overall reliability.

All the numbers above prove is that Apple doesn't spend a significantly larger amount of money on quality control. Asus, particularly, makes some very fine low cost machines, and most of them are well under $1000.
Not that I have anything against higher priced or higher quality machines.  but what are you really getting for a $1000 Macbook that you can’t get in a $800 Toshiba?  You’re not getting better speed, a bigger screen, or more memory.  So it must be the OS, right?
I don’t know how to accurately gauge OS reliability, because it’s very subjective.  I’ve never had a problem with Vista other than the occasional idiosyncrasy that any complex OS has, but I’ll grant that Mac’s have fewer problems than PC’s.  But not to the extent that Mac users like to think.
If you’re a consumer looking for a bargain computer, you’re happy to save money buying a PC. If you’re looking for a premium computer, you’re happy to spend more money buying a Mac.
If you like Mac, great.  Enjoy yourself, it’s your money.  Just don’t pretend that it makes you better, smarter, or more evolved. 

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Someone has to stop the madness! Make sure you follow the link and read the whole thing!
PRESIDENT OBAMA’S BIRTH CERTIFICATE�|�Weekly World News: "WASHINGTON, DC – The official copy of Barack Obama’s birth certificate was stolen this week by Republicans wishing to halt his health care reform.
Since before the election there has been a great deal of speculation regarding President Obama’s birth certificate. A growing movement among conservatives known as “Birthers” believes Barack Obama was actually born in Kenya and wants legislation passed requiring Presidents to provide an official copy of their birth certificate."

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Back to the future

Remember Tron? There was a story after the story...

Genius, Visionary, Modern Hero.

That is Kevin Flynn.

He came into our lives and showed us the limitless possibilities of the future. And then, all of a sudden, he "disappeared."

Some people believed he died. We don't. We know that Kevin Flynn Lives.

We're not crazy, we're not obssessed, we're not lunatics. We simply have followed the facts wherever they lead. And the facts tell us that Kevin Flynn Lives.

We are here for Kevin. Nobody can make us stop believing that he is out there, that he's waiting for us, and that he will return when the time is right.

High Noon

The famous time of day is usually synonymous with a quiet time of the day when people struggle to get out of the noonday sun and bear the heat in silence. When the sun itself is silent, it's a different story.
Is the Sun Missing Its Spots? - "Indeed, last year marked the blankest year of the Sun in the last half-century — 266 days with not a single sunspot visible from Earth. Then, in the first four months of 2009, the Sun became even more blank, the pace of sunspots slowing more.

“It’s been as dead as a doornail,” David Hathaway, a solar physicist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., said a couple of months ago.

The Sun perked up in June and July, with a sizeable clump of 20 sunspots earlier this month.

Now it is blank again, consistent with expectations that this solar cycle will be smaller and calmer, and the maximum of activity, expected to arrive in May 2013 will not be all that maximum."
Hat Tip: Instapundit

Regulation of dangerous equipment

Warner Crocker has some interesting things to say:
"Today all of the research is being made public (you can see them on the NYTimes site.) I’m sure it will provoke cries for more stringent laws. I say save us all the aggravation and the expense and just enforce the laws we already have, even if it upsets Congress or whomever."
Warner is no doubt correct about the outcry for more laws. People in general are very concerned about other people having dangerous items.

What's curious about the quote above is that it could easily be applied to gun control laws. That's not what the story is about at all:
Quite honestly, I don’t think there need to be new laws put on the books about using cell phones, and texting while driving. There are already laws on the books about reckless driving and to my mind anyone who is texting while driving is already guilty enough. The same holds true, in my opinion, for those who don’t use a hands free solution while talking on the phone and driving. If we need to spend money to determine if using hand held devices while driving is a potential danger, then I think we need to look more at the deficiencies caused by having our heads stuck in places where they don’t belong.


I remain unconvinced. Perhaps I'm getting old, but the few "roundabouts" I've been in have left me stressed as I attempt to keep up with traffic, not get hit by incoming drivers, and navigate to the exit I'm looking for while reading a bewildering array of signs arranged like a Chaos Arrow.

American drivers should learn to love the roundabout. - By Tom Vanderbilt - Slate Magazine: "Safety. Intersections are perhaps the single most dangerous environment in traffic. According to the Federal Highway Administration, more than one-fifth of all traffic fatalities happen at intersections. If you think the problem is a lack of signals, think again. Reports FHWA: 'Only 10% of all intersections are signalized, but nearly 30% (2,744) of intersection fatalities occurred at signalized intersections.'
Roundabouts are safer than traditional intersections for a simple reason: By dint of geometry and traffic rules, they reduce the number of places where one vehicle can strike another by a factor of four. They also eliminate the left turn against oncoming traffic—itself one of the main reasons for intersection danger—as well as the prospect of vehicles running a red light or speeding up as they approach an intersection to 'beat the light.'"

Making Better Choices?

Help me out here. We're going to eliminate waste by making better choices? Sounds simple, but I have to ask if a pacemaker for a 100 year old woman is one of those choices that might go the other way?

YouTube - Obama to Jane Sturm: Hey, take a pill: ""

Monday, July 20, 2009

Evoloterra -- When We First Left Planet Earth

I like to link to this every year in the hope that some day I won't have to search for it.

Evoloterra -- When We First Left Planet Earth


I've been considering a move to Blogger from my own personal Wordpress blog for some time, but the difficulty in moving post from the old blog to this one has been causing me to delay.

Today, I was told that my blog wasn't responding. I couldn't even get to the control panel or support. So if nothing else, I'm now familiar with the ways and means of switching my name servers.

I'll continue to try to recover all my old posts, but I fear they may be down the digital memory hole.