Friday, January 29, 2010

Dangerous ground

If I wasn't so perilously close to being a candidate for AARP, this would bother me. As it is... - Seniors engage in sexting, says AARP

JAMES O’KEEFE: “The government has now confirmed what has always been clear: No one tried to wiret…

On the other hand, it's really hard for the MSM to explain why this important without first pointing to the barely-covered ACORN scandal.
JAMES O’KEEFE: “The government has now confirmed what has always been clear: No one tried to wiret…: "

JAMES O’KEEFE: “The government has now confirmed what has always been clear: No one tried to wiretap or bug Senator Landrieu’s office. Nor did we try to cut or shut down her phone lines. Reports to this effect over the past 48 hours are inaccurate and false.” Yeah, the story’s not totally gone, but it has completely failed to live up to the hopeful — and subsequently retracted — hype from a lot of Big Media outfits that took ages to cover O’Keefe’s ACORN story, but something akin to a Planck Interval to jump on to an embarrassing story about O’Keefe.


There's Your Problem

It's not the job that makes you significant, it's what you do with it.

Otherwise you're just famous.

in reference to:

"What Obama wanted was political power, and that is what sent him to Harvard Law School. "He was constantly thinking about his path to significance and power," another organizer, Mike Kruglik, told me. "He said, 'I need to go there [Harvard] to find out more about power. How do powerful people think? What kind of networks do they have? How do they connect to each other?'""
- (view on Google Sidewiki)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I truly don’t understand why so many people seem to think Microsoft needs to play catchup to the iPad.

If Microsoft + partners don’t respond, I do see the next version of the iPad making tremendous headway, especially in vertical markets. The current iPad isn’t compelling at this point due to not having a camera, but I suspect version 2 will have it. Cameras are huge in the vertical space, consumers love them too for video chatting. Multi-tasking is a HUGE miss for Apple and one that Microsoft can capitalize on. Apple left some big holes that Microsoft could take advantage of if they act quickly. They have awesome solutions, but shoving Windows 7 down consumers throat won’t win it. Apple iPad has no camera, no multi-tasking, no handwriting reco. Tie it all together in a drop dead simple UI solution and Microsoft, et al might just come out the winner here.

This is ridiculous.  All of the holes that the iPad exhibits are currently plugged by Windows based solutions.

Not only does the iPad lack a camera of any sort, or multitasking, it also lacks voice recognition, pinpoint control with a stylus, or expandability.

They like to talk about use by artists, but unless your artist wants to do fingerpainting, it may not be his thing.

We haven’t even seen stats on this A4 chip, but if I had to guess I’d say it pretty much sucks.  In order to maintain the user experience they’ve crippled the OS to the point where it won’t multitask, and the first person who says that it will be hackable will get a sharp snort and a hearty laugh from me.

Seriously people?  It’s like a big, color Palm IV more than computer.  This is more like That 70’s Show than it is Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.  Same haircuts though.

And a calendar that you flip through like a book?  WTF is that?  Books are a lousy interactive interface, they were just a step up from stone tablets!

Having said all that, the iPad will be a huge hit if M$ & Co. don’t get out there and point that out.  The desperation that I’ve seen as Fanboyz try to make lemons out of lemonade is critical, and they will buy, buy, buy and attack anyone who doesn’t agree with them.  I’ve seen it, been mugged by it while minding my own business.

Honestly, I don’t dislike Apple.  I dislike the ridiculous hype that gets attached to all of their products, the assumption of superiority and innovation where none exists.

The iPad is different.  I can feel a serious frustration building in me because this thing is a weak, lame attempt at a slate computer and the thought of dealing with legions of rabid fanboyz shouting their superiority at me with no other basis than sheer volume is enough to make me want to bang my desk against my iDesk.

How to spur posting in one easy step

I read most of my stuff via Google Reader, and long ago stopped looking at straight news feeds because, well, they didn’t really catch my eye.

But yesterday I added an RSS news feed gadget to my Windows 7 desktop, so selected feeds now scroll constantly.  I’ve put some local news in there and I’m finding that the motion is causing me to occasionally notice some things.

Will this cause me to post more?  Perhaps. 

Will it cause me to read more local news?  So far.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I never thought I’d say this, but I kinda dig this rap song.

John McCain is Consistent

I dunno, are you sure we’ve spent enough?

Sen. John McCain will support President Obama's plan to freeze much of the federal budget for the next three years, but said the president must also promise to veto any bills that are stuffed with pork barrel spending items.

McCain called for this during the campaign.  Somebody thought it was silly.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

America Rising

Politics aside (and I’ll bet you can guess where mine are) (and I’ll also bet you’re at least partly wrong) this video has impact.

This is politics as a Hollywood movie trailer.  It uses an energetic score coupled with images flashed both quickly and slowly, subliminal associations, and an uncomplicated message in plain language.

It’s marketing gold.  This is going to be a very interesting season.

Treacher on Coakley

Jim Treacher works off his indentured servitude by rounding up a bunch of links regarding the Massachusettes Massachusetts race.

Tucker wants me to write about Coakley, but I’m just not sure there’s a humorous angle there | The DC Trawler


And what does it say that I knew what was coming from the first 3 seconds of that last video?

Friday, January 15, 2010

More Lemonade from Lemons

Gotta go count the change in the sofa cushions:


Tone Deaf

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is running an ad about Scott Brown, one of the contenders in the hotly contested Massachusetts Senate race.

They clearly link him to his stance opposing Obamacare, and exhort voters to not “let him derail President Obama’s agenda for change.”

Considering how poorly Obama - and Obamacare specifically - are polling, I’m not sure that’s a good idea.

Harrison Bergeron

In the story Harrison Bergeron those who are exceptional are "handicapped" so that they're no longer above average. Everyone is enforced to be the same.

What happens when everyone is forced to conform with the lowest common denominator?

in reference to: (view on Google Sidewiki)

Summit Palooza

When in doubt, hold a summit! Less talky, more worky!

in reference to:

"“Improving the technology our government uses isn’t about having the fanciest bells and whistles on our websites — it’s about how we use the American people’s hard-earned tax dollars to make government work better for them,” Obama said in a statement. Obama had proposed the meeting in April. CEOs from Craigslist, Facebook, Microsoft, Adobe Technology and are among those taking part."
- White House budget director blames old computers for ineffective government - The Hill's Hillicon Valley (view on Google Sidewiki)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Do Bullet Proof vests float?

Who knew selling boats was so dangerous?

in reference to:

"A cigarette boat is a slender, fiberglass vessel that is built for small crews and high speeds. The "go-fast" design—which raised the bar for the maximum performance of speedboats—was the brainchild of professional racer Donald Aronow in the 1960s. By the early 1980s he was rich and his boats were legendary, both for breaking speed records and for breaking laws in the Florida Keys as Colombian cocaine smugglers used the speedboats to flee from Coast Guard and other law enforcement officials. Aronow got a multimillion-dollar contract to build an equally quick boat called the Blue Thunder for U.S. Customs agents, but the program ran into problems in 1983 when he sold his business to a man reputed to have drug ties. Aronow bought the company back in 1984, and revived the Blue Thunder order. He was eventually gunned down in the streets of Miami in 1987, allegedly by criminals hired by the short-time, drug-affiliated owner."
- (view on Google Sidewiki)

Learning from Other's Mistakes

It's what civilization is all about!

7 things we CAN tell you about Lost's final season | SCI FI Wire: "'Obviously, not every question is going to be answered, so obviously some people are going to be upset if particular questions don't get resolved,' Cuse said, adding: 'We feel if we just tried to answer questions, it would be very pedantic. Apart from that, we also really embrace this notion that there's a fundamental sort of sense of mystery ... and to sort of demistify that by trying to literally explain everything down to the ... last little ... midichlorian of it all would be a mistake, in our view. So I think there will be hopefully a ... healthy cocktail of answers, mystery, quick character resolutions and some surprises.'"

Harry Reid Alert

There’s been a lot of hay made lately about comments that Harry Reid made.  Ward Connerly makes some very good points:

For my part, I am having a difficult time determining what it was that Mr. Reid said that was so offensive.

Was it because he suggested that lighter-skinned blacks fare better in American life than their darker brothers and sisters? If so, ask blacks whether they find this to be true. Even the lighter-skinned ones, if they are honest with themselves, will agree that there is a different level of acceptance.

Was it because he used the politically incorrect term "negro"? If so, it should be noted that there are many blacks of my generation who continue to embrace this term. In fact, "negro" is an option along with "black" and "African-American" on the 2010 Census.

Was it because he implied that Mr. Obama might be cut some political slack because of his oratorical skills or his looks? If so, that fact was not harmful to Joe Biden, who was elected vice president after praising Mr. Obama as "articulate" and "clean-looking."

Or, finally, could it be viewed as offensive that Mr. Reid suggested that blacks often have a distinctive way of speaking? If that is, indeed, the offense, then I will offend a lot of individuals when I assert that I can tell in probably 90% of the cases whether an individual is black merely by talking to him on the telephone.

This is a fantastic example of being right on the details and wrong on the conclusion.

I agree that there is often more made of racial issues than need to be, and as a result real race issues are completely overlooked.

However, the right has been beat over the head with the race card so many times, valid or not, that it’s not surprising they’d like a little payback.  What’s more, refusing to use this opportunity would directly violate Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, i.e. “Hold the enemy to their own standards.”

I’m not a big fan of Alinsky, but you can’t argue with success.  Politically, the right will continue to be pummeled by scandal after scandal as long as they let their opponents set the rules of engagement.  Sadly, that means that taking the high road and taking a truly objective stance on race is a losing position.

Thanks to Instapundit for the pointer.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Raimi & Co. take the high road

Remember the horrible fate of the Batman movies? Remember how much crap was jammed into Spidey 3? If history is any indicator, Sony tried to push more of the same on Raimi, and he did the right thing and walked.

Spidey 4's dead, Raimi & Maguire out, reboot coming | SCI FI Wire: "Seems like the problems hanging up Spider-Man 4 are more serious than previously reported: Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood is now reporting that director Sam Raimi and his entire cast, led by Tobey Maguire, have dropped out and that Son Pictures will reboot the series with a new director and new cast for 2012."

The Future of Transportation

High-speed rail. I can't wait.

in reference to:

"Amtrak says it will pay hotel rooms for passengers who need them. It will also offer refunds on a case by case basis. Because of the weather, the rail carrier is suspending service past Minneapolis today. Trains between Chicago and Denver have also been suspended until tracks can be cleared. In a similar incident, an Amtrak train bound from Denver arrived 23 hours late. A third train which runs from San Antonio to Chicago derailed in St. Louis yesterday, temporarily stranding 176 passengers and a crew of nine"
- (view on Google Sidewiki)

How to Keep a Laptop on Life Support Until the Transplant comes

From Mark Kayser, we see a terrific example of making lemonade with lemons:

What really impresses me here is the results, and the indication of how important cooling is for CPU's, particularly in the cramped space inside a laptop.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Word of the Day is CAS

This makes elegant, organic sense to me.

My readers might well ask, at this point, “Great. Does this mean we’re screwed?” If a meritocracy drawn from the brightest, best-educated people in history can’t cope with our future, what do we do next?

The answer is, I think implied by three words: Adapt, decentralize, and harden. Levels of environmental complexity that defeat planning are readily handled by complex adaptive systems. A CAS doesn’t try to plan against the future; instead, the agents in it try lots of adaptive strategies and the successful ones propagate. This is true whether the CAS we’re speaking of is a human immune system, a free market, or an ecology.

Since we can no longer count on being able to plan, we must adapt. When planning doesn’t work, centralization of authority is at best useless and usually harmful. And we must harden: that is, we need to build robustness and the capacity to self-heal and self-defend at every level of the system. I think the rising popular sense of this accounts for the prepper phenomenon. Unlike old-school survivalists, the preppers aren’t gearing up for apocalypse; they’re hedging against the sort of relatively transient failures in the power grid, food distribution, and even civil order that we can expect during the lag time between planning failures and CAS responses.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Race is Long

Google and Apple's approach are diametrically opposed.

Apple wants complete control of the environment to ensure their vision of a complete user experience.

Google wants to give people choices to find the experience that they want.

Apple will succeed if people, other than their rabid fanboy base, are in fact sheeple.

Guess what, this battle has been fought before, and Gates & Co. won that round. While Apple remained the "premium" brand, the rest of the computer industry bowed to economics and went with more pragmatic solutions.

The real danger to Apple at this point is that the more exposure they get, the more the deficiencies become apparent.

in reference to:

"Mark my words: Google's gonna make it interesting, but Apple's got the innovation, expertise and most important, the experience in software AND hardware to end up on top."
- (view on Google Sidewiki)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Rocket Launcher Found in Texas Home

Apparently the rocket launcher was unarmed, and there’s no harm in that, but it’s part of a pattern:

The woman did tell police that the rocket launcher belonged to Nabilaye I. Yansane, someone whom she allowed to store items at her apartment.

Police records show that she didn't want Yansane at her apartment, so she called them.

According to court documents, officers also found Jihadist writings that allegedly belonged to Yansane. The woman didn't want to talk to KPRC Local 2 about that, either.

"I don't know," she said. "You'll have to ask the police."

Yansane was charged with criminal trespassing and pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to three days in jail, which he has already served. No charges related to the rocket launcher or writings were filed.

"Other people could have had access to the apartment, so maybe if a rocket launcher was located there, as is stated in the offense report, maybe it belonged to somebody else," attorney Garl Polland said.

Prosecutors said there are no state charges for having the unarmed launcher or possessing Jihadist writings, unless they contain some type of threat.

The former director of Houston's FBI office said rocket launchers can be dangerous if they're in the wrong hands.

"I don't know any other use for those weapons except in combat," Don Clark said. "I've had them in combat, used them in combat. That's what they are used for."

Houston police said they did a thorough investigation and did not find any ties to terrorists or a terrorist network.

His name had better not show up in the news again, especially if there’s a body count attached.