Monday, July 31, 2006

Metallica and Music Downloads -- Harken Back to the Old Napster

So Metallica has joined iTunes after a long holdout. These guys are nothing if not shrewd businessmen. However, it did take them a long time to get on the biggest music bandwagon EVER. Well, EVER, besides the old Napster; you know, the one where the kids could download expensive music for free over the internet on an old, albeit new then, Peer to Peer network?

Sunday, July 30, 2006

That's No Way to Treat the Marketing Guy! So Make Him a Sales Guy Instead!

Okay, this is finally the last one in the trilogy --

That's No Way to Treat the Marketing Guy! -- Revisited

Sorry to those who like original posts (you're obviously in the wrong place!), but here's a 2nd of 3 installments of Dilbert cartoons that pretty much sums up how marketing and sales guys are made --

That's No Way to Treat the Marketing Guy!

The first of 3 in a series --

Return from Vacation :(

Well, as I imagined, vacation was rewarding yet challenging. Spending a week in a "foreign" atmosphere is fun and difficult, especially with the extended family. We got to see some beautiful country, ate great, got to fish, took a few bike rides, took a trip to a volcano (non active, I am happy to say), and saw a few family arguments. I even was the main player in one of them.

All expected. All's well that ends well. I'm back. Posting to begin again in earnest tomorrow.

Friday, July 21, 2006


I am taking some time off next week to hang out with the family and to do some "family" stuff. I will not be reading or responding to email, viewing the web, or otherwise even watching TV. My family and I will be solely dedicated to one another and will give our undivided attention to each other. We'll take some bike rides, do some swimming (the heat here is ri-di-cu-lous), and take in a few books.

No doubt, when the week is over, we will have grown tired of each other and perhaps may even want to be apart :)

Our lives will return to their normal state of abnormal and I will return to posting tidbits and random thoughts again. Until then, have a wonderful next week!

I'm a Chump

Today, I stopped by my favorite AM/PM to get a Mountain Dew to sustain my caffeine dependency I got during my jury duty for the past 4 weeks (personal injury lawsuit resulting from an accident 4 years ago -- both sides' lawyers were, for the most part, boring; hence, the caffeine intake, to which I am now addicted).

As I was paying for my Dew, a young man entered the store, walked around a bit, and asked the merchant if he could have some water, to which the merchant said, "No." It's going to be 103 degrees today so I figured I'd do my daily good deed. So I bought the guy a bottle of water.

Then I felt good and bad. A little bittersweet. Mostly sweet, just a little bitter. I always feel that way after giving somebody I don't know something for free. So, the question is,

Am I a chump? Did I do the right thing? Did I enable bad behavior (as in the right-wing charge, "Get a job!")?

I think I did the right thing and obviously cannot change it now. The water's gone. Plus, I don't think I would have wrestled the guy for the full bottle anyway. Just didn't seem that important to me. However, I do feel like the guy appreciated it (he said he did a couple of times) and perhaps I have kept a guy from dying a slow death of water starvation?

NSA Case Involving AT&T and the EFF Can Proceed

Federal judge rules that lawsuit brought by the Electronic Frontier Foundation against AT&T can proceed. AT&T and the federal government claimed that critical harm would come to the nation's security if the trial were to proceed. Apparently, the judge doesn't think so.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Bush Names Syria, Iran to "Axis of Assholes"

From The Borowitz Report:

"President's Obscenity-Laden Keynote Address Rocks G-8 Summit

"Days after using an expletive in discussing the Middle East conflict with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, President George W. Bush's potty mouth was at it again, this time in a 45-minute obscenity-laden keynote address to the G-8 summit."

Google Guide Quick Reference: Google Advanced Operators (Cheat Sheet)

Pretty useful google stuff here.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Bush blocked probe into spying - U.S. Security -

There you have it -- our president doesn't want us to get to the bottom of the issue he fully knows about already. Talk about legacy maintenance...

Wicked Electric Car: Zero to 60 in 4 Seconds (In First Gear) and Gets the Equivalent of 150mpg

The Roadster’s advantage is that it avoids gasoline at $3 a gallon. At the national average retail price for electricity and fuel economy of 200 watt-hours per mile, it will go 150 miles on the price of a gallon of unleaded regular.

Ralph Reed Concedes Defeat in Primary for Georgia Lt. Gov

Ralph Reed photo at

Ralph Reed loses bid for Lt. Governor of Georgia. Apparently, the voters of the Peach state didn't think too kindly of Reed's ties to infamous lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Madonna Made Into Muscle Goddess by Vibrator (um, vibrating plate)

Madonna and other superstars and the mega rich are buying these things like hotcakes (they're only $14000) to slim down and shape up. Sounds like a bunch of crap to me (like those old vibrating belt thingies in the Olivia Newton-John "Let's Get Physical" video), but it's neat to think that a vibrating anything could make one more muscular.

Babies Need Dashboard Dials and Gauges

I am a new dad. Well, it's been 7 months since my son was born and I have come to a conclusion: Babies need gauges. It's hard to tell if a baby is hungry, tired, poopy, thirsty, hot, cold, or just plain fussy. So, how do you tell? I try different things, but it would be so much easier, if on their backs, they had dashboard-like gauges to tell parents "Getting close to empty," or "I need a pit stop," or (my favorite) "I am in a foul mood. Back off, but love me."

Wouldn't that be a great incremental add to the human condition? Evolutionists, get going!

Meeting Decision Style -- The Dilbert Way

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Airport Cell Phone Lots

Unless you're lucky, airport police will have to shoo you away from the terminal door a time or two, the result of tighter post-9/11 security. So you drive the airport loop until the traveler arrives. That, of course, was before airports discovered cellphone lots.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Apple: Avoid death -- integrate iPod with your car - Crave at

"We suggested to Borchers that Apple should allow drivers to use their car steering wheel as a giant Clickwheel interface, so that you can change tracks by changing lanes. Borchers foresaw certain safety problems with such a device and rejected the concept."

Can't Do Attitude

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Mumbai Bombings Shake Outsourcing Community

How do the recent bombings in India affect you or your company? Do you know what your outsourcing company's business continuity plan is? Do they have one?

Fortunately, the companies cited in the linked article below do have plans. But they are 3 of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of companies that do outsourcing work.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

What is a "Real Conservative?"

What do I mean by "real conservative?" The term conservative pre-dates the conventional American left-right division. Depending upon the era, a conservative can fall to the left or to the right. Conservatism is different than that.

Webster's defines conservatism as "a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions, and preferring gradual development to abrupt change." I think I agree with that definition as well as adhering to the general priciples of conservatism.

Change happens. But when looking at a situation where change would be beneficial, one has to wonder: What is the nature of the change? Does the change have to be drastic or can it be more gradual? I generally choose gradual change. It's an iterative approach that builds on what has already been established as good and makes it better.

How does this play out from a governmental position? What kind of government would I choose if given the choice? I certainly believe that our government should provide its residents with a basic level of security and stability. It should also protect the minority from the majority and ensure that certain rights are indeed self-evident and inalienable. It should also be involved in critical infrastructure, like the highway system, the ports, and border control. In short, the government should uphold our Constitution and existing laws, making changes only when absolutely necessary.

What does this mean in terms of how our government should operate? Certainly, because I generally believe that change should be gradual rather than abrupt, our government should seek to enforce existing laws and keep new legislation to a minimum. It should also refrain from prying into its residents' personal affairs.

The government should seek to be small, only requesting funds (i.e., taxes) to provide this basic level of security, stability, and infrastructure. It should stay out of religion, out of the schools for the most part (the federal government can certainly pony up some money for science if it believes it can achieve its primary objectives with more quality engineers, physicists, or doctors).

So these are the things that make a conservative government:

1. Small government. This means fiscal restraint. Less pork. Raising taxes in times of prosperity, lowering them in downturns.
2. Right to privacy. The government should stay out of my personal affairs. It should stay out of people's bedrooms, bathrooms, churches, and libraries.
3. Separation of church and state.
4. Protect the borders.
5. Develop and/or guide critical infrastructure, like highways, bridges, dams, telecommunications, etc.
6. Fully back the dollar.
7. Develop a military that can protect us against invasion.
8. I will add more as I think of them, but this is a good start.

Next post on this topic will be how our current government is doing in these respects.

Defending Your Identity

Nice introductory story on identity theft and how you can avoid it. Not a deep article, but it does contain a few good suggestions as well as some links to other information. Worth a look.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Lasers and Microwaves Coming to an Airport Near You

Several defense contractors have devised short-range missile defense systems that could potentially be installed in and around airports. Difficult to say whether the systems will work or whether they're really feasible even if they work. After all, the article makes no mention of nuclear device defense capability. This writer's opinion is that in a few short years, terrorists will have nukes and won't even bother with "conventional" weapons.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Ted Stevens Fan Club

So this guy makes a song about the Dumbass Senator from Alaska, Ted Stevens, and cancels his account. Is it coincidence that myspace is owned by Fox News' Rupert Murdoch, the most unfair and unbalanced news mogul on the planet?

The account was later reinstated. The canceling of the account had been done in error.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Scientist developing coated 50TB DVDs that can make hard disks obsolete

An Indian born scientist in the US is working on developing DVDs which can be coated with a light -sensitive protein and can store up to 50 terabytes (about 50,000 gigabytes) of data.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Creative Snubs Steve Jobs' Proposals in 2001 ...thus the iPod was Born

"Things could have turned out very differently. Instead of slugging out in the courts, the two companies could have been business partners.

"According to Creative's lawsuit, Apple's chief executive officer Steve Jobs had praised Creative's first MP3 player, called the Nomad Jukebox, at a January 2001 Macworld trade show.

"The prototype was launched in 2000.

"Creative said Apple wanted a smaller version of the hard disk-based Nomad Jukebox, which could store up to 1,000 songs. Its suit said that Apple made two proposals: that Creative either licenses its technology to Apple or spins off its portable player business into a new company in which Apple would invest.

"Creative said that about eight months after it turned down Apple, the iPod hit the stores in October 2001."

Oil and WMD

(Click image for a larger view)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

JOKE ALERT: The Lawyer and the IRS

Ralph arrived at his Internal Revenue Service audit accompanied by his attorney.

Going over his records, the IRS official said, "Well, sir, it appears that you live at a much higher level than your reported employment income. How do you explain that?"

Before the attorney could speak, Ralph replied, "I love to gamble and I usually win."

The skeptical official gave him a disbelieving look.

"I can prove it," said Ralph. "How about a demonstration?"

The official thought a moment and said, "Okay. Go ahead."

Ralph said, "I'll bet you a thousand dollars that I can bite my own eye."

The auditor thought a moment and said, "No way! It's a bet!"

Ralph removed his glass eye and bit it.

The official's jaw dropped.

Ralph said, "Now, I'll bet you two thousand dollars that I can bite my other eye."

The official could tell Ralph wasn't blind, so he took the bet.

Ralph then removed his dentures and bit his good eye. The stunned official was now three grand in the hole.

"Want to go double or nothing?" Ralph asked. "I'll bet you six thousand dollars that I can stand on your desk and pee into that wastebasket by the door over there and never get a drop anywhere in between."

The auditor, twice burned, was cautious now, but there's no way this guy could manage that stunt, so he agreed again!

Ralph climbed up on the auditor's desk, missed the wastebasket completely, and pretty much peed all over the desk.

The official grinned. He had just turned a huge loss into a huge win! But then he noticed that Ralph's attorney looked ashen and was visibly shaking.

"Are you okay?" he asked.

The lawyer replied, "Not really. Before we arrived, Ralph bet me twenty thousand dollars he'd pee on your desk and you'd be happy about it."

Friday, July 07, 2006

Another Data Breach at ADP

When will these guys ever learn?

I don't know about you, but I am getting really sick and tired of people's personal information being compromised when placed in the care of companies with which we do business. It seems that almost every day there is a story about a data breach, a lost laptop, or a posting of personal information on the internet. What gives?

Why isn't there better care of our data? I think it's high time that Congress act in this matter. Put some meat in the law with respect to enforcing existing legislation. Place substantial fines upon those companies involved in the data compromises. Make it a severe jail sentence for those found complicit. Finally, make it a law that your personal information is yours and yours alone. Make it automatically copyrighted and enforce the copyright rules.

It's really very simple. Start making the responsible (or is it irresponsible?) parties, um, RESPONSIBLE. Make them pay. Make them give each customer credit monitoring for life. Each customer compromised should get a sum of money. What shall it be? Say $1000 for the first breach and $10,000 for the second. The third: How about $1,000,000? Is that unreasonable?

How much is my personal information worth? How much is yours worth? What value do you place on your information? I think the public is complicit in this too, for it is us who have not made it perfectly clear to our elected officials just how important this issue is to us. In fact, I am not even sure that most of us believe it's that important.

"Oh, it's never going to happen to me." Well, when it does happen to you, how will you feel? Your data is everywhere. It's only a matter of time before it becomes public. What will you do then? Will your stance on this issue change?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Alaska Senator Ted Stevens is an Idiot Part II

John C Dvorak chimes in on the Alaskan Idiot --

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

It's About Time We Arrest This Commie

The headline belies my intent with this post. The author of the article below was arrested for wearing a T-shirt "Veterans for Peace" at a VA facility. This country is truly becoming insane.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry about this. The guy is a veteran who wants his country to focus on the right things, one of which is to avoid war. Sounds like a worthwhile endeavor to me, but what do I know?

Monday, July 03, 2006 - Lieberman to run regardless of primary results - Jul 3, 2006

I feel really sorry for this guy. He might live in an altered state. There is NO WAY this guy will be President. What the heck is he thinking?

NEA to challenge 'No Child Left Behind' - Yahoo! News

Apparently, some children were left behind with the "No Child Left Behind" act.

Alaska Senator Ted Stevens is an Idiot

It's guys like these that make the laws and policies that continue to befuddle folks like me. Net neutrality is such a hot button issue right now that it's hard to get objective facts about the debate.

One fact, however, rears its head quite appealingly:


Not only is he a raving lunatic, throwing hissy fits whenever he doesn't get his way (like a big ass bridge to nowhere in his home state of Alaska), he is a complete and utter moron, not really even capable of tying his shoelaces and speaking a coherent sentence minutes apart, much less at the same time.

Ann Coulter: Plagiarist?

Remember, Ann Coulter, I am a lowly blogger, reporting a story about you and your alleged penchant for pilfering published works, so don't come after me when you read this -- go to the source!