Wednesday, January 31, 2007

new annoying trend with web

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, not much to say. Here's one that I thought deserved a post...
I've noticed this new "trend" on several websites lately. It's yet another devious form of advertising... You go to a website that catches your interest - like this one that caught my eye about the reunion of The Police at this years grammy awards. You start to read and then you see that some of the words are links [with a double underline]. So in the post I was reading, there was a mention of the "red hot chilli peppers" another band that I like. But when I hovered over the link to see where it leads (I hope you all do that), a small pop-up window appears and it's like a microsoft search engine. So, this new trend, is that this devious code picks apparently random words or phrases, puts a link on them, that takes you to an advertisement rather than an actual link. I'm sure this practice will increase, because I bet the majority of people will not realize what's going on - and people will make money because of this. That's why I like google ads so much. They are simple, straight forward, and un-obtrusive. I'm not complaining about ads, I'm complaining about underhanded tricks to promote your product or message.

ok, one more while I'm here. Yesterday was the big launch date of Window's Vista Operating system. I have seen and heard of various interviews with Bill Gates, making the promotional tour. But other than that, I've not heard a peep. Maybe it will take a few days for people to actually get their copies, install them, and then the feedback will start to flow. Anyway, I did catch the interviews with Bill Gates and John Stewart on the Daily Show the other night... I was a bit surprised at John's questions. He seemed to be asking these corny computer questions, and treated the interview very lightly. I wish he actually asked some meaningful questions. I have to admit though, at the end of the interview, the interviewee is supposed to sit there while they lead into a commercial (This happens all the time, when the guest does not do this, and they start to stand, and John has to stop them). Anyway, Bill stands up immediately and starts walking off (I don't think he heard John's attempt to get him to sit). It was kinda funny. Then at the end of last night's show, they did a "spoof" of this and it was even more funny. They put a "stunt double" in and made it like a camera man was following Bill out of the studio. They showed him being rude and nasty to the people he passed in the hallway, things like knocking a stack of papers out of their hands, spilling water on them, etc... I can't do it justice, and I can't find the clip on youtube (yet).
I'll save my thoughts on Vista for another time - other than to say it looks like they really took liberally from Apple's OSX - but that's nothing new.

Monday, January 29, 2007

We're all just consumers

I saw this post originally over on boingboing, but I wasn't going to post this to my blog because I feel like I just re-post a lot of boingboing topics. But then I checked my other favorite website called and they posted the same article, so now I have to post it :)
It's just an amazing photo. Simple really, but by looking at something we see everyday (or at least once a week when we go grocery shopping) from a different viewpoint it's much more "eye opening". LOOK at all that product that assaults our senses. Here's the link to the consumerist page.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Peace Hippies

First a disclaimer - I'm an old Hippy. I have long hair (what's left of it anyway), I like peace, I like to think about some metaphysical thoughts, I like nature. I do not wear Tie-dyes. I do not own any hemp products. I do not do drugs (except for occasional alcohol and Aspartame). So I guess part of me fits the hippy stereotype, while part of me does not. Ok, got that out of the way.
Today I turned on C-span, and was surprised to see that there was a war protest going on in DC. Not really surprised that it was on C-span, they've had them on before - but surprised that I did not know about it. So after a few minutes, I saw what the protest was titled... Women Say Pull Out. I'm sure this saying has a double meaning and that it was intentional. I don't understand if this was meant to be funny, shocking, cute, or what but I thought it was in poor taste. Next on TV they had a musical performance of two women singing with another person playing the bongos. It was so cliche. As I was watching, these two large tie-dye flags went walking past in the background... I started to realize this was more of a freakshow than it was a war protest. I'm all for expressing individual "style" but something struck me as being wrong at this protest. IF you want to get a message across to someone, you don't want to dress in silly costumes, make sexual entendres, and generally turn something as serious as a peace protest into a circus act. I wasn't going to blog this topic until just now... I went over and was checking out some photos in my flickr contacts. I saw that one person had posted some anti-war protests from the same event but in San Francisco. Again, there are some people dressed here in "costumes" - so that's what triggered this post.
I hope this makes sense. I'm all for peace. I have a GREAT amount of respect for anyone who feels strong enough in their beliefs to pick up a sign and walk in a march or take part in a demonstration. But someone needs to tell these people that they may be hurting the cause by making light of a situation. Put the costumes away, put the tie-dyes away, think about what message you want to put on a poster, and if you were on the other side of the argument, would YOU take it seriously. Here is an example:
60,000+ Iraqis have died.
Over 3000 US Soldiers have died.
These messages are sobering. These messages make people stop and think. These messages are hard for people on the other side to disagree with. These messages are hard for the other side to ridicule.
My two cents - take it for what it's worth.
Here is a link to the flickr account where I saw the protest photos. Some of the photos are good, and some of the messages are good. You should check it out.
(and thanks for posting the photos under Creative Commons: Steve Rhodes)
(He has no connection with this blog post, I just happen to have found his photos)

Friday, January 26, 2007

The list

I'm so glad I just found this post via Reddit... HERE is the list of (I want to use the word evil, but that's probably too harsh) BAD people who have blocked the Minimum Wage increase from going through... Many Thanks to Political Affairs Magazine for posting this information and doing the leg work. (I tried but met a lot of confusing mumbo jumbo websites). Read the whole article here.
Lamar Alexander (R-TN) – (202) 224-4944
Wayne Allard (R-CO) – (202) 224-5941
Robert Bennett (R-UT) – (202) 224-5444
Christopher Bond (R-MO) – (202) 224-5721
Sam Brownback (R-KS) – (202) 224-6521
Jim Bunning (R-KY) – (202) 224-4343
Richard Burr (R-NC) – (202) 224-3154
Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) – (202) 224-3521
Tom Coburn (R-OK) – (202) 224-5754
Thad Cochran (R-MS) – (202) 224-5054
John Cornyn (R-TX) – (202) 224-2934
Larry Craig (R-ID) – (202) 224-2752
Mike Crapo (R-ID) – (202) 224-6142
Jim DeMint (R-SC) – (202) 224-6121
John Ensign (R-NV) – (202) 224-6244
Michael Enzi (R-WY) – (202) 224-3424
Lindsey Graham (R-SC) – (202) 224-5972
Judd Gregg (R-NH) – (202) 224-3324
Chuck Hagel (R-NE) – (202) 224-4224
Orrin Hatch (R-UT) – (202) 224-5251
James Inhofe (R-OK) – (202) 224-4721
Johnny Isakson (R-GA) – (202) 224-3643
Jon Kyl (R-AZ) – (202) 224-4521
Trent Lott (R-MS) – (202) 224-6253
John McCain (R-AZ) – (202) 224-2235
Mitch McConnell (R-KY) – (202) 224-2541
John Sununu (R-NH) – (202) 224-2841
Craig Thomas (R-WY) – (202) 224-6441
oh look... They all have an "R" after their name. I wonder if that's just a coincidence. So much for reaching across the aisle for the good of the American People.


I've got a few topics I want to post on but I think I'll break them into separate posts...
I used to run a website with movie reviews of me and my friend. It was fun, and I learned a lot on setting up websites. But after a few years, the fun started to fade and it started to feel like work. I stopped enjoying a film for the sake of entertainment because I was always thinking in the back of my mind, what am I going to write about this one. So we both agreed to put the site in limbo.
So In case it wasn't clear, I'm a pretty big movie buff. Between trying to see a movie a week in the theater and my Netflix subscription, I'm never want for looking for a movie to watch. So the other day the Oscar Nominees were announced. I counted up the movie titles and out of 59 films, I've only seen 10 of them. Doesn't sound like that much really does it, but right off the top you could cross about 15-20 of those off the list because NO ONE from the average public has seen some of the nominations for categories like; foreign films, animated shorts, Short films, and Documentary short. Where do these movies get shown even? So, I am usually fairly well versed to make an educated guess as to who might win but this year I am out of the loop. Of the Best Films, I've only seen two of five (I hope to see Babel soon though). So for what it's worth, I hope Little Miss sunshine wins. I loved this movie. BUT I feel bad for anyone who has not seen it as all the talk about the movie, and even the trailers for the dvd release have now given away much of the film and takes away from the surprise - which was KEY for my enjoyment. I knew nothing about the film before seeing it. The only other comment I'll make is that I'm sad that one of my favorite movies of the year was not mentioned... Stranger than fiction with Will Farrell. One other comment... of the hundreds of movies released in 06, I'm a bit surprised by how few movies are nominated. Oh well.

Sorry, one more comment...
Pan's Labyrinth - I just saw that this past weekend. I have mixed feelings on this one. My friend hated it and fell asleep in the theater :) But I was very much taken in by this movie on the visuals alone. I liked the overall storyline, but I will say the movie did really drag at some points. And was so transparent at other times. It was also very violent at times. I HOPE that this movie doesn't end up on a video rental shelf somewhere and some kid picks it up thinking it's a fantasy film and the adult looks at the title and cover and lets them watch it. It is NOT for Kids!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Minimum wage increase blocked

I just saw this post on digg and thought it was a joke. I thought this bill was pretty much a done deal. Apparently I was wrong. The Republicans have blocked the minimum wage increase by a few votes, because they want tax breaks for the businesses. The article goes on to quote Sen. Ed Kennedy...
"Why can't we do just one thing for minimum wage workers? No strings attached, no giveaways for the powerful?"

Imagine being one of those minimum wage workers, who I'm sure, like me, thought this was a done deal, only now are finding out they may be stuck at $5.15 forever. I tried to find out who the 43 that voted against this were, but I'm not having any luck finding that info. I'll try to search again.

reverse graffitti

I've been into "underground art" lately. I discovered a magazine called Juxtapoz and had no idea this "movement" was so large. One of the aspects of this art is graffitti art. I think I posted here once before, that I'm not so much in favor of defacing someone elses property. But a public piece I think is fair game to make a public statement (such as a bridge, or a highway overpass). So, grafitti tends to buck the system right? Well this post illustrates how you can reverse buck the system and play some good headgames while your at it... these guys are finding the dirtiest walls, tunnels, etc, and basically saying "wash me" on them. Read the full story on this guys blog.
(I'm not sure if the photo credit goes to Moose or Matt).


I just found this post over on BoingBoing... Boy this just hits the nail on the head doesn't it!?>
UK prosecutor: terrorism is a crime, not an act of war

Carsten sez, "A moment of judicial truth which may sound bitter in the ears of Tony Blair and his friends in the White House. Here's what Sir Ken Macdonald, British director of public prosecutions, says about the 'war on terror':

It is critical that we understand that this new form of terrorism carries another more subtle, perhaps equally pernicious, risk. Because it might encourage a fear-driven and inappropriate response. By that I mean it can tempt us to abandon our values.

London is not a battlefield. Those innocents who were murdered on July 7 2005 were not victims of war.

We wouldn't get far in promoting a civilising culture of respect for rights amongst and between citizens if we set about undermining fair trials in the simple pursuit of greater numbers of inevitably less safe convictions. On the contrary, it is obvious that the process of winning convictions ought to be in keeping with a consensual rule of law and not detached from it. Otherwise we sacrifice fundamental values critical to the maintenance of the rule of law - upon which everything else depends.

boingboing link
original link

Monday, January 22, 2007

Mon words

Well another Monday is here. I swear the last two days went buy in only 2 hours and not 2 days. I'm just on auto-pilot today.
First a quick update on my imac mouse... So Friday night I drove up to the local apple store with my mouse in my pocket. I walked in and there was a young guy who asked if he could help me. I described my problem with the mouse and said how the side buttons were clicking when I wasn't pressing them. He looked at me like I was nuts. First he argued that there were no side buttons. Once I proved to him there was (by using the mouse right next to us on one of the demo computers) I showed him my mouse. So he plugged it in. Don't you know, it worked perfectly! The kid had to throw in a few comments like "Nope, it seems to be working fine" Making me feel like a complete idiot. After a round about of questions, and me finally giving up because I couldn't replicate the problem, he then explained that even if there were a problem I would of had to make an appointment with the "genius bar" for this. So not only did I waste a 40 minute trip to the apple store, I felt like a complete idiot, and got absolutely nowhere. NOW I need to determine if I want to pursue this. Sure enough, I got home, and the problem was there. I've since think that I have it figured out how to replicate the problem. But do I risk another trip, and another long explanation as to what is wrong with the mouse, or do I just go buy a new mouse. ugh.
Over the weekend I finally got around to watching the DVD I recently bought from Robert Anton Wilson called "Maybe Logic". Wow, I had forgotten so much of what he talked about and at times realized how much of a "kook" he was (I mean that in the nicest way too). What I liked about the video was that it incorporated some old footage (lousy quality) mixed with modern day footage of him. It talked about his disease and how he coped with it (much with medical Marijuana usage). I know it sounds corny, but I almost started to tear up towards the end when I realized this incredible soul has moved on from this plane. One of the things I forgot about RAW was that he was an atheist. That and his promotion of Psychedelic drugs are where his and my views differ but the rest of it is mind boggling. One of the comments he made made me laugh... he said everyone should try LSD, but only after 40... By 40, your reality tunnels are strong enough to deal with an LSD trip and that he would not be responsible... apparently this was something Tim Leary promoted too (they were friends). I had forgotten a lot of the terminology that RAW used... Reality tunnels, Belief Systems (or BS), discordia, The Church of the SubGenius, just to name a few. I think I'm going to have to dig up my old books of his and take another read. I think my Belief Systems have become too closed lately. I haven't been challenged on a philosophical level in a long time.
Last night was the return of Battlestar Galactica! Still a great show, and it didn't disappoint. One of the things they had on their promotion screens as to what show was coming up on Monday was a closeup of the word "MOND" which made me realize how redundant it is to put "day" after every day's name. MonDAY, TuesDAY, etc... I'm going to experiment with dropping this.
OK, that's enough random thoughts for today's post. Go out and challenge your own Belief System this week. Enjoy your Mon.
oh... and look at this photo... so sickeningly cute:

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Self promotion

Just wanted to shout this out to the world...
I just posted a handful of new photos to my flickr account. Stop by and check em out.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

science not so good

I've recently been in a small email "debate" with a friend of mine regarding global warming. I don't recall who "started" it (I think I did, because I mentioned that I had seen Al Gore's movie An Inconvenient Truth). Well, he's a fan of the Glen Beck Show, and I guess he falls in the religious right category. At one point he said something about not all scientist agree that us humans are the cause of global warming... I was a bit shocked because everything I had read/heard/seen said the opposite. So I started to go online to try and find some "facts" to support my side... and to my surprise, I'm finding it very difficult. I thought this would be easy, I started with the obvious... I went to Al Gore's website on AIT and they had a "science" tab... but when I clicked on it it was very lame. There were 4 general facts, then about 6 predictions... Sorry, predictions are not science! The bullet points had footnotes, but no links... if you wanted to know more or find the source yourself, you had to search the web. Shame on you Al. All you scientists out there... make a website with facts, and easy navigation about global warming. By eliminating the claims like "some scientists disagree with Al Gore" (which may technically be true if there are 2 people out there in the world) you'll help the cause much more. I'm trying to keep a running list of the websites I stumble upon for my facts and figures. Once I figure it out and organize it, perhaps I'll post it here so someone might find it via a google search.
In a related post... I've been visiting the website and when I thought of finding proof for global warming I went to this site to maybe make a post in the forums asking for help... surprise... there is no forum. The website talks about people like "us" coming together, yet they don't even have a message board? I emailed the suggestion to them, but did not receive a response, or even an email telling me they got my suggestion.
I'm trying to keep the debate away from politics, and more on the science, but it is more difficult than I thought. I respect my fiends opinion but I wonder how the two of us can have opposite views on this subject of global warming.

News video leaked to web

This story seems to be getting a lot of play in the news lately, with not very many new details. I just found this link to a video on google (sorry, google video won't let me embed in my blog). It apparently was pulled down from another website, so I don't know how long this link will work. It's about 9 minutes. What new piece of info here is that there may be photos coming sometime in the future! What else is funny is watching the news reporter trying to feign interest while primping himself for the camera. Check it out.
OH, I guess I should say what I'm talking about... a UFO was reported being seen over one of the gates at Chicago O'Hare airport, by airline personnel.

Tech Tags:

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Random posts

Just a few random finds today...
Over on Yahoo, a news item about how the majority of women now in the US are living without a spouse. Based on census data from 2005, they figured that 51 percent of the women in America are without a spouse. (I find the wording curious, because how many men are living now without a spouse?). in 1950, the figure was as low as 35%! I wonder what is the big contributor for this? The last paragraph though is a bit chilling because it's broken down on racial stats:
According to the Census figures, only about 30 percent of black women are living with a spouse, compared with 49 percent of Hispanic women, 55 percent of non-Hispanic white women and more than 60 percent of Asian women.

Only 30 percent of black women have a spouse? Compared to 60 percent of Asian women? What's going on here? Is this a culture shift in only the past 50 years that no one has noticed?
What is not mentioned in the article though is the percentage of kids born out of wedlock. I know our population is exploding so just putting 2 and 2 together it seems most kids being born now, will only have one parent.
I don't mean this to sound crass or uncaring, but I really think that we humans are spreading across the face of the planet like a virus. multiplying like crazy and using up all natural resources with no regard for the future. I don't know what the answer is.

Next topic:
A "real life" superhero?
Now this is what the world needs... a "hero".
I just found this short post over on boingboing. About a Samurai hero who appeared, helped police, then disappeared. Kinda cool.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

first blog

Well, this is it... my first blog post from my new imac. (my apologies if it sounds like I'm bragging about the new computer. I'm just excited about it.) It's been a few days now of use and I have two complaints... The imac speakers are a bit lame. Very "tinny" with hardly any base. I bought some speakers probably about a year ago from Bose that are designed for desktop use, Believe it or not it was difficult to find a decent desktop speaker set up. I have had in the past a NICE set from Yamaha that had two small speakers and about a 10" sub, but for some reason Yamaha stopped making these. So I went with the Bose (no sub woofer, but it's not totally necessary). My other complaint... I think I got a busted mouse. Apple's new mouse design has two "buttons" on the side (funny how they still keep to the visual "one button" mouse design, yet they've hidden multi buttons - almost like they refuse to admit that a 2 or more mouse button design is a mistake). Anyway, the two buttons on the side are meant to trigger a function that you can customize. Well, on my mouse when you press down slight as if you were about to click, for some reason this triggers the squeeze function (many times). So now I'm torn... I'm NOT going to go through the problems of shipping this back to amazon over a mouse, but it's disappointing. I think what I'll do is maybe head up to my local apple store and see if they can help me out. OR I'll try an track down my favorite mouse from Kensington... a whopping $19.
The only other "complaint" is not really a complaint... I am trying to figure out the best way to either 1) start from scratch for my web bookmarks, or 2) export ALL my previous bookmarks. There's something nice about starting fresh, but I don't know how tedious it will be.
Finally, I have ordered a software bundle from Adobe to do all my "work and fun". This should arrive Wed. I have sources that I could have [ahem] borrowed the software from, but something in me this time wanted to go Legit. It was a HUGE expense, but I know I will use all the software, and It will be nice to have all my own serial numbers with all the latest updates.
Ok, I'll try to refrain from computer related posts in the near future.

Oh, I just thought of one more thing that may help other firefox users... (mac especially)...
One thing that "just burns me up" about firefox is that when you try to drag a bookmark into your toolbar at the top, one of the yellow tabs pops up tha BLOCKS the drag and drop function. A while back I found a post on that listed several ways to modify and customize firefox... one of the tips was how to turn off that "tooltip" function. If you use firefox, you may find this link helpful. I'm also posting this on my blog because this morning I had a difficult time trying to figure out what firefox called that little yellow tabby thing. It's called the "Chrome tooltips" So If I forget in the future I can search my own blog... yellow tab, tooltip, chrome, link, about:config, firefox.

Friday, January 12, 2007

RAW 1932-2007

I was just heading to bed last night around 1am, and checked my email once more. On my google homepage I have feed to "" and on it was a small blurb that made me sad.

One of my favorite authors has passed away. Robert Anton Wilson who is best known for the Illuminatus trilogy. This book changed the way I think and for a large part influenced who I am today. I read it back maybe 15 years ago and although I've forgotten a lot of the details, I was just blown away by this book. (I suppose I should mention that there was another co-author Robert Shea). But RAW as he's usually known went on to write a series of books that really opened my mind and I thank him for that. I knew RAW was not doing well. Not too long ago, there was a post on the internet that his health was deteriorating along with his finances... the people and fans rallied and raised approx $68,000 to help him.
I have read many of his books:
The Illuminatus Trilogy
Promethus Rising
Cosmic Trigger I, II, and III
Coincidence: A head test (another of my favorites)
Reality is what you can get away with (favorites)
Right where you are sitting now: Further tales of the Illuminati
Schrodingers Cat (A REAL favorite - my first real understanding of "maybe logic")
(That's all I can remember from looking at a list of his works)

I only just recently bought a dvd of his on Amazon called "maybe logic" but have yet to watch it yet. Somewhere I have 2 audio tapes of some of his lectures, and to hear him speak was a real treat. He has the kind of voice and mannerisms that you know if you met him in person that he's a really nice guy.
RAW is also associated with the drug culture. He at times promoted the use of "mind expanding" drugs (such as LSD). This is where I differed in opinions. I never believed that the mind need help doing anything, but I don't fault him for his beliefs and experiments. He was also friends with Tim Leary.
He recently started a blog, and I was on last night and reading some of the very nice comments about his passing. Here is his blog. Google has a blog search and there are some interesting posts there.
I have heard it said of him, and I pretty much agree, that he is the greatest philosopher of our generation.
He will be missed, and the universe feels a little smaller today. One of the comments that really struck me on his blog:
... If you by chance re-incarnate, please come back as something that can speak and write.

I'm going to pick out a star and think of it as you. And imagine you watching this crazy place, and laughing hopefully (meaning laughing with hope).

A few final thoughts that have let an impression on me:
Never whistle while you pee.
All Hail Discordia
A man with one watch always knows what time it is... A man with two watches is never quite sure.
The cat is both alive and dead at the same time!
Everything is possible
I believe in everything and nothing at the same time!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Computer setup

Well, I got the new imac set up last night. I was up until about 1am but mostly because I didn't start until around 10pm... and most of that time was spent pulling apart all the cables and wires from my old computer. I know it sounds nerdy, but... what a beautiful machine! That's one thing Apple knows how to do is design a beautiful piece of machinery. (Well, except for their mice, I really don't like their mice). So, I checked my watch at about 11:48 when I had finally gotten the old computer removed, and then said to myself "do i really want to attempt to set up a new computer at this late hour?" But I knew it was an imac and it was supposed to be easy... Sure enough... Here's the setup process after pulling it from the box...
1) Plug mouse into keyboard.
2) Plug keyboard in
3) Plug Ethernet cable in
4) Plug power cord in*
5) turn on computer and fill out the personalization stuff.
6) That's it! In about 20 minutes I was surfing the web.

* I had one panic moment... I had an old device on my other computer called a "power key" which when I turned on my computer it powered up all the external devices (zip drive, modem, printer, light, etc). Well, when I pulled the old computer off, I forgot I had that do-hickey. So when I plugged my new computer in and hit the power on button, nothing happened. DOH! A little flutter of the heart, a little dry mouth, a little pre-anger to NEVER order a computer online again, then my geek-sense kicked in and said "step 1... always check the wire connections". So I found it and everything worked well. whew.

On a totally unrelated note...
I did something stupid this morning.
I was driving to work, and stopped at a stop light. The light turned green, and only about a block away I had to merge onto a ramp. I glanced in my rear view mirror and here was a car half way in the shoulder and RIGHT on my back bumper. I thought it was going to pass me in the shoulder. So I slowed a tiny bit, and started up the exit ramp. It was like deja vu. I had an experience like this about 5 years ago with a guy tailgating me in the same exact spot. So I knew what to do. I got about half way onto the ramp and slowed the truck to a complete stop. Of course, the car behind me was so close she was right up on my bumper and had no way to backup now. And since it was a small one lane exit ramp she was "trapped". I got out of my truck. I walked up to her car, and actually surprisingly she rolled her window down about half way. I said "Don't tailgate" (genius huh?) She said "what? What are you doing?" I repeated myself "Don't tailgate - it's dangerous" (I thought up the dangerous part on the spot - genius x2). She said "What? Why are you stopped on on exit ramp? That's dangerous". So I said my piece, I turned, and walked back to my truck. Got in, and drove away slowly. First chance she had, she sped past me and turned off. I bet even now, she doesn't have a clue as to why I stopped. But... what I did was stupid because at the time that I got out of my vehicle I had no idea if it was a cute blond (which she was) or a 300lb professional weightlifter out on bail behind the wheel. I wasn't really angry during all this. I was calm, so it wasn't done out of rage, it was done out of wanting to STOP this person from what they were doing and TRY to make them think about what they were doing. I really don't think it worked.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

New Computer day

I'll try to keep this short because I hope to go home now and start setting up my new computer. I just bought a new 24" imac! I lost a few of my geek points in this purchase though... I wanted to purchase it in 2006 so I can claim it on this years taxes. So I bought it on Dec. 30th. BUT then shortly after, I realized the big Macworld Expo was TODAY, and as any good geek knows, you should never buy a new computer this close to an expo. That's when they make the new BIG announcement of new computer models. So I've had this brand new computer still sitting in the box that it shipped in, waiting until today. Luckily... Steve Jobs was sidetracked with creating a new gizmo so as not to release a new imac! (So I'm probably safe for another 6 months ;) I was "listening" to the announcements live via the internet where a guy was posting 60 secound updates (for the 2 hour talk) on his blog (with photos!). It was pretty cool.
So what was the big announcement? You're gonna hear it all over the news, web, etc for the next week at least... a new phone. Apple teamed up with Cingular to create the new iphone. I have to say it looks Really cool! BUT I'm still in sticker shock over the price of $499! I know... it's also a mini-computer, an ipod, a mobile web surfing device, a movie player, etc... but ouch... that's expensive. They've set a ship date of June 07.
The other big announcement was some sort of iTV device. I'm not too excited over this one. I think the computer world is still not quite sure how to tie in a TV with a computer. They keep trying to make a computer around a TV... when I think what most of us want is a computer with TV capabilities. Let me plug a device into my cable, that will stream live TV to my computer, with the ability to record shows, and we all will be happy.

ok, this is much longer than I wanted. Have a good one.

PS> Someone left a long (knowledgeable) comment to my last post yesterday. I encourage you to read it.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Happy Birthday Steve

Just a quick post that I forgot to mention my earlier post...
Today is Stephen Hawking's Birthday! He's the guy who wrote "A Brief History of Time" (It's also a movie). He's probably THE smartest guy on the planet right now. That's a pretty amazing feat.

And speaking of Birthdays... It's also David Bowie's Birthday who turns 60! How time flys.

Oh, and one more thing...
I just found out that Berkeley is offering some of their college courses and lectures online via a podcast! That's pretty cool. I think Stanford started this trend. I also heard that MIT is doing the same thing. Imagine being able to listen in to some of the top school's lectures from your own home! Ok, so you don't get credit for it, but to have access to these educational depots is pretty cool. I just signed up for podcast at Berkeley for Non-Violence. Who would have thought there is a class for that? Only in Berkeley I bet :)
Here's the link:
I don't think you need itunes specifically but it probably helps with the automatic updates.

more free energy

I just realized that this idea of "free energy" may be misleading... technically speaking a hydro-electric plant is free energy in that the company is simply harnessing the power of the water via a damn to creat energy then selling it to the users. Hmm, pretty good deal for them huh. Well, There's been mention of this idea before, and I think it's a GREAT idea... to harness the power from the ocean via the ups and down of either waves of tides. This guy over on the MAKE magazine site has made his own prototype and it works pretty well. (though one person claims it's only genereating a minuscule amount of power). The real point of this though is that it can be scaled up and used to create continuous power, and cleanly too! I think this is the answer in the future that there will be large off shore power plants that are anchored to the ocean floor yet bob up and down on the tidal flow. Here's the link to the make site.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

"f the corporate media"

I am not one who usually uses curse words. On occasion yes. If I'm hanging out with my friend(s) yes. But in general I try to watch what I say. I choose to do this. I for the most part, don't have a problem if others use curse words. Unless they use them around kids, it doesn't really bother me. But, I'm going to post this video clip here (which contains curse words obviously). In the right place and the right time, this language is acceptable and in some occasions neccesary. OK, got that out of the way... This is an excellent video (mini-documentary really) that shows the manipulative powers of the corporate media. I found it over on a website that I had forgotten about, and while I was flipping through the TV channels I was reminded of it... it's called "Throw away your TV" (TayTV for short). In a nutshell this website scours the web to look for interesting video clips (often related to politics). So Kudo's to TayTV.
Check out the clip.
Sidenote: I wonder how long it will be until Bandannas are outlawed.
I saw a new movie last night... The Children of Men. I have sort of mixed feelings about this movie. I read a comment over on the yahoo movie reviews that did strike a chord with me... A lot of points in the film were not explained. I think the story really suffered for this. It could have been a really great film, had they spent less time on the action sequences and more time on creating a story. For this reason, I think I'll recommend you wait for the dvd release. The premise of the movie is quite simple... it's set in the near future around 2026 (I think). A time when Women for some reason are unable to conceive children (unexplained - though it's insinuated that it's due to all the chemicals/medicines we use like "niagra" and other mood/body changing chemicals). Then along comes... well I probably shouldn't spoil it... since the story is not too complicated anything you know will detract from the movie. The movie also left me with a bad taste in my mouth about humanity. How we're headed towards such hatred towards one another. After watching the video of the police state in this youtube clip today and last night's movie about how Britian becomes a police nation, I'm feeling a bit down. I need to go find a flower or something to admire.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

great speech on cc

It's kinda late here 12:20am so I'm gonna try to keep this short...
I just watched a really good lecture on google video about copyright. It was given by this guy named Lawrence Lessig who has quite a background. I'll admit I don't know much about him, other than he's a name that I hear a lot in my geek circles. I know he's involved with this new movement called "creative commons" or "cc" for short. He's also involved with the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation). If you want to know more about him check wikipedia here. Anyway... It's a long lecture 1 hour 15 minutes, but it's pretty interesting IF you have an interest in copyright. As a creative person myself who occasionally does art/illustration/photos etc, I have an interest in this. AND if you are a USER of art: Music/photos/text YOU should be interested in this too. Have you ever downloaded an MP3? Have you ever made a copy of a cd or tape to give to a friend or relative to listen to? Have you ever posted a photo online? Have you ever written a story and posted it to a blog or some other online community? These issues should matter to you. IF nothing else, load the video to your browser... let it load in the background while you have a cup of tea or surf the web... then skip all the way til about the 1 hour mark... to hear a question/comment posed by John Perry Barlow (I'll skip the intro... read about him here)... It's a good confrontation, and Barlow's endorsement of "massive civil disobedience" is enough to give one goosebumps, or a least a "right on" murmur.
So here's the link to the video... enjoy freely.
PS> I have no idea what 23C3 means... I'll have to look into that myself.
PS2> I love how he's drinking a beer during the lecture!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Huh, wha'?

I probably shouldn't post anything here but I will anyway. I've been up since a little after 4 am! After going to sleep around midnight. So My head feels like mush right now. I agreed to take my Bro to the airport (and was glad to do it) but getting up that early for me is not my cup of tea :)
The good thing was the traffic was a breeze getting to the airport, he made his flight with no problems. And I got to see a very strange sight for me... I think most of you daywalkers call it a "sunrise". It was actually really fantastic with oranges and reds and pinks. It also lasted for most of the trip to the airport so it was nice to glance in the rear-view mirror and see it full of those colors. I also was up at about 4:20 with my camera trying to take some long exposure photos of the moon through the trees. I'm curious if they turned out at all. Ok, well just a few random posts here...
I stopped by and the top post caught my attention...
Thomas Jefferson did WHAT to his Bible?! I had to know. So it linked to this article that was pretty interesting. I loved the one line where he's writing very eloquently, then pauses and says "nonsense". AND I had this same idea too. I have often thought... what if we took all the "mumbo jumbo" and mish-mosh out of the bible and just brewed it down to a simplified "guide book"? I guess I wasn't the only one. What would interest me is if by doing so, would it be considered a new "religion" or could it be viewed by all humanity as simply a guidebook. And by "mumbo jumbo" (I hope that's not a derogatory term) I mean things like all the begats, and who has to do what to kill an animal, etc... Just turn it into a moral guide book on how to be a good person. Not to replace the Bible, but simply a book that all religions (and non-religious people) can agree on. Nah... who am I kidding... MAN will complicate and screw it all up.

Yesterday, I stumbled upon this link about Nicola Tesla. I have not read it all, but It seems interesting. On a related note... Google has realeased a new section to their many tools... an online patent search. Just previous to this article, I was over on google looking up to see if Nicola had secured any patents. (many claim that was his biggest fault was not wanting to patent the ideas). Turns out I found a couple. It was cool to see the illustrations. I am curious if those illustrations are in his hand, or if he had to hire an engineer. The heat/electromagnetic motor caught my attention.

And more UFO talk>
It seems that there was some funny going's on over at Chicago O'hare airport. Many people apparently witnessed a strange object hovering near the airport. When they questioned the local FAA authorities they denied they had seen anything on the radar and said "it was probably just the clouds". The reports came from pilots! Don't you think they would know the difference between a cloud and a flying object?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Faux News

I just read my blog updates via "bloglines" (thanks sis). and I have subscribed to one called "News Hounds". Basically, it's a website where someone (various people) watch fox news, then point out what is wrong with their comments. Is it biased? Absolutely. Is it opinion? Yes. But, it lets you keep up with what the "news" channel is up to without having to watch it 24 hours a day. Here is one clip from today: Straight from God apparently!
Pat Robertson Predicts Massive Terrorist Attack For 2007 And Fox News Spreads The Fear
Reported by Deborah - Wed 7:04 AM
Pat Robertson claims that God told him there will be an " horriic" terrorist attack in the U.S. during 2007 killing millions of people. This dubious information was reported seriously by the F&F crew. Nothing like starting the new year with a dose of fear. 1/02/07

Their next article is just as amusing as BOR goes to compare "Good vs Evil" and uses the deaths of Saddam and Ford as an analogy. Related to this... I can't believe I've not heard more about what BOR has on his shows more and more, where they do a segment called "behind the words" - He has some (usually women) "experts" on Body Language on, to disect minute movements, etc, of people in the news, to tell the "REAL" story behind what they are thinking vs what they are saying. I have to give a tip of the hat to Faux news for thinking of this. To be able to take body language and report it as NEWS about what they want the news to be about is genius. Wrong! But genius. What's next - Psychic News?

And finally on a totally unrelated note:
Today in history

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Robin Hood

About a week ago or maybe longer, I happened to watch a reality TV show about Gene Simmons. The rock star from KISS. It was supposed to be a glimpse into his world. After watching the show I felt sick to my stomach. Gene's wife and her sister wanted to go on a shopping spree while Gene took his son to a ranch to figure out why he had lost $20,000 dollars on an investment. Ok, I know that Gene is probably worth several million dollars, and I can understand how he may have lost $20,000 in an investment gone bad. What I could not understand is the activity of his wife. She and her sister hired a guy to help them purchase clothes. Yes - you heard me. He was some sort of "fashion consultant". Well, long story short, the two women ended up making fun of the guy for his height because they had different tastes in clothing. Then when they got home, she had to tell her husband how much she spent at ONE store that he had to go back and settle the bill... $17,000!! I felt sick to my stomach. He didn't seem to mind, She felt like she had it owed to her.
I understand that people have to right to spend their money on whatever they wish. But there is something wrong in this world when a person can go out and drop $17,000 on a whim, on such things as clothes. There is a real disconnect between the people who have, and the people who don't.
What sparked this blog entry was an article I just read about putting it in perspective... The top CEO's in Canada, have earned the average workers yearly salary ($38,010) by 9:46am on Tuesday morning. (I am assuming they had Monday off and started at 9am). It's an interesting article (though it still makes me feel sick to my stomach).
I have just bought a new computer and in spite of me saving for about a year, and it's partly for my job, I still have a tinge of guilt over buying something so expensive ($1900). I guess it's all relative.

2007 is here!

Well, hope you survived the new year celebrations. I did, though just barely... We had a few bottlerockets go astray that ended up doing a loop which brough the flying projectiles rather close to our heads! Not to mention exploding near a parked car! But all is fine. I brought in the new year also by drinking wine instead of beer, so my two glasses of wine I hope are going to bring me a mellow 2007. (I had a Benziger Syrah red wine that was pretty good.)

ok, I have a few random websites I want to post here.
This one is about an article in the Washington Post about how spies are posting their secret messages out in the open (encrypted of course). I can't remember if I blogged on this topic before, but I was caught up in this for a day or two about 6 months or so ago. There was an advertisement on Craigslist (that had been pulled after it became popular) that was a mysterious ad that said to call a toll free number. When you called it was a strange sounding voice that would repeat a series of numbers. Kinda creepy. When I read that some people were speculating that these were possible messages to spies, I stopped snooping around the internet. Next thing the M.I.B. will be showing up, and I'll be locked away in a cell trying to say "But I saw it on Craigslist!"

I was complaining previously about 2006 being fraught with diebold, and possible fraudulent e-voting machines. Well, we're not even into day two of 2007 and there are new reports coming in about how a Judge in Florida has stompped out a request for a candidates attempt to read the source code of the machines used in the election that they lost. Turns out the Judge ruled in favor of the company saying that their "trade secret" code is more important than a little thing called "democracy". The Techdirt article has some interesting comments too. One has got me curious because it says we are not in a "democracy" but a "republic" and that I have to know figure out what the difference is. I tried reading a wiki article today at lunch but I got lost and confused. Just google "Democracy vs Republic" and you'll see what I mean.
Here's another article over on that has another recap of the judges ruling.

Lastly (for now anyway)...
I have thought about this in my head many times... Just today I find an article that apparently I'm not the only one! (which shocks me a little). How do airplanes fly? I know... the answer that is always given is pretty simple. (a wing has a curved surface on the top, and that when wind rushes over the longer top surface it creates a "vacuum" above the wing, thus creating LIFT, which PULLS an airplane up.) Well... I'm not buying it. I don't agree with this. I think the reason a plane flys is much more simple... It is the air that is underneath the wing that PUSHES the plane up. I'm not denying that the lift part exists, but I don't think that force is strong enough. Well, here is an article that talks a little more about this (and probably more eloquent than I can).
Here's a quote that should peak your interest:
How can aviation be grounded in such a muddy understanding of the underlying physics? As with many other scientific phenomena, it's not always necessary to understand why something works to make use of it. We engineers are happy if we've got enough practical knowledge to build flying aircraft. The rest we chalk up to magic.

Well, enjoy the beginning of your 2007.