25 September 2008

links for 2008-09-25

24 September 2008

Once Again, Why Are Comedians the Only Ones Speaking the Truth?



Dave's pretty magnanimous... ball's in your court, Senator.

Dear Amazon.com's MP3 Download Store...

Dear Amazon.com's MP3 Download Store,

Look, I really, really like you. I do; you're great, sweetheart. No DRM. Quick downloads. You're the cat's meow.

But, can we talk about your title naming convention? I know that getting Led Zeppelin IV for $2 is a total steal (aside: it seriously is right now). But why, why baby, do you put that insipid adendum "(Album Version)" on so many damn tracks. I mean, thank god IV is only 8 tracks long, because I have to remove that crap. And I love buying MP3s from you. Which means I have to do that a lot.

Every purchase requires me to fix your damn title naming convention. I'm afraid if you order the lobster, I'll have to remind you not to eat the shells, honey.

Ok, that was cruel. I think I'm In Like with you. But, if you could see through to stop tagging "(Album Version)" onto so many tracks, Sugar, this could be love.

Thanks. How about knocking me a kiss, eh?

Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out

Millen is gone. 31-84 over 7 seasons. If only it could change this season. Oh well, as they always say in Michigan, next year will be a re-building year.

FOX Sports on MSN - Jay Glazer - Millen out as Lions president, GM.

Remember Cuil? Yeah, no else does either

According to the latest figures for the end of August the Cuil market share has dropped to, well, just about nothing at all. Net Applications has the market share being a very meagre 0.01 percent. At least it is a very steady 0.01 percent though.

The article points out the obvious problem: their search results suck. Aside from a disasterous rollout in July, the technology was hyped so high didn't even come close to delivering on it's promise.

And in the "huh" factor, reading this article made me say to myself, "Oh yeah, they did spring up not that long ago, didn't they. Oh well." And off I went to Google.

Cuil frozen out: market share drops to next to nothing.

20 September 2008

links for 2008-09-20

19 September 2008

Hadron Collider forced to halt

Seriously, this is getting a little wierd. First, the LHC has a "glitch", now it's this:
At 1127 (0927 GMT) on Friday, the LHC's online logbook recorded a quench in sector 3-4 of the accelerator, which lies between the Alice and CMS detectors.

The entry stated that helium had been lost to the tunnel and that vacuum conditions had also been lost.

It added that the Cern fire brigade had been called to the scene.

Maybe they've already succeeded in the future or a parallel reality?

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Hadron Collider forced to halt.

The Real Difference Between Liberals and Conservatives

18 minutes you must watch. Whatever your political leanings, this examination of how the mind works is both fascinating and insightful, especially given the political climate we all find ourselves in.

Remember, every politician plays against the types of predilections Jonathan Haidt talks about here. It's not a partisan issue to know how you're being played.



Link to talk

And check out other TED talks; it's really cool to see what other people are thinking about. TED is also available as a free video podcast on iTunes; highly recommended.

18 September 2008

Glitch Shuts Down LHC? Or...

"Transformer glitch shuts down biggest atom smasher." Today's headline from Yahoo News. And my first thought was, "Oh really?"
As the LHC supposedly gears up, Harvard physicist Kevin Black, based at CERN, investigates rumors that the particle accelerator may, in fact, soon be shut down—by ripples from the future. [source]

Hmmmmmmm....

links for 2008-09-18

17 September 2008

DIY Beer Speaker

Among the list of things I will never be good at is wiring. However, I think this project is well worth the multiple failures that will ensue.



Beer keg speaker. Aw yeah.

DIY Beer Speaker

16 September 2008

links for 2008-09-16

ABC News: Match-o-Matic

Too lazy to research candidates for the Presidency on your own? Then let a Flash cartoon from ABC News help you out. In 20 or so questions, a cartoon that lets you choose between quotes from the candidates will animate the way to your deicision for who to vote for as we decide the leader of the free world.

Or, yah know, you could read up on them. Just a thought.

ABC News: Match-o-Matic

10 September 2008

9/10/08

Tomorrow is 9/11, Patriot Day. No politics. No partisanship. A day of remembrance. 

Today, however, being 9/10 it's worth noting that Osama Bin Laden still walks this Earth in relative freedom. It's worth noting that, seven years later, 9/11 has become the emotional wedge used for the repression of our freedoms in the name of "security". It's worth noting that 9/11 has become the iron that one side uses to brand the other as cowards or traitors. 

Tomorrow, we will remember those who died in and around the towers, as they deserve. Tomorrow, we should forget our politics, like we did seven years ago. But we won't, because we can't. The scars of that day are still very fresh in the minds of many, but only because we never stop picking at them.

Instead, tomorrow we'll see countless editorials about the importance of various laws, programs, and policies. Tomorrow we'll hear that, somehow, by supporting a certain political party, we're somehow supporting terrorism. Tomorrow we'll see opinions that don't just border on jingoism, but relish in it. Tomorrow, instead of honoring the dead, we'll use them to further the power of the living. 

2 years ago, Keith Olberman sat in front of the hole in the ground at Ground Zero and used that backdrop to highlight the corruption of the goodwill that followed the attacks on the World Trade Center. Today, new buildings may be rising in their place, but the rhetoric and fear-mongering continues unabated. Reading or watching that comment is as relevant today as it was then.

So, tomorrow, I will not post about the election or any of the idiotic or maddening articles I will read. I will not talk about George Bush, John McCain or Barack Obama. I also will not parade myself around in a flag to prove my patriotism or allow anyone to disparage someone who dissents. 

But today, I will unequivocally say that I believe, firmly believe, that this country has lost its way in the last seven years. I will not pretend that my life is more secure than it was on September 10, 2001. I will continue to wish that every soldier were home from Iraq and that no more were being deployed there. And I will continue to be angry at the way a national tragedy has been turned into a cultish denunciation of anyone who dare offer opposing opinions on how we should run one of the most powerful countries on the planet. 

We, none of us, will ever forget 9/11. Some have just forgotten what it was like before.

McCain tax plan rewards the richest of Americans

Taxes. We all pay 'em and we all hate 'em. Both candidate have set forth their tax plans should they be elected. The Tax Policy Center, a non-partisan think tank, crunched both campaigns' numbers. Business Week (hardly a lefty publication), has the details.
Len Burman, a former Treasury tax official who is now a senior fellow at the Urban Institute [ed. part of the Tax Policy Center], says if Obama's proposals—which include plans to rescind the Bush tax cuts on couples making more than $250,000, close corporate tax loopholes, and tax private equity earnings known as "carried interest" as ordinary income—were adopted in 2009, for example, married couples with earnings in the lowest quintile of the population would see their aftertax income rise 5.8%. Those in the next quintile would see an increase of 4%. Those breaks would be paid for by those with high incomes: the top 1% of taxpayers would see aftertax income fall 8.4%.

Under McCain's proposals, by contrast—including an extension of the Bush tax cuts for all taxpayers, a corporate tax cut, and a larger reduction in estate taxes than Obama would support—far more of the benefits would go to the top. If his plans went into effect in 2009, married couples in the bottom fifth of the population would see aftertax income go up just 0.2%, while those in the next quintile would see a 0.7% hike. But those in the top quintile would see a bump up in aftertax income of 2.7%.

And the middle class? Yeah, we all get a 0.7% increase with McCain and a 4% increase under Obama.

And how about that deficit the Bush administration is leaving us?
[Under Obama] those moves would bring an estimated additional $734 billion to the Treasury over 10 years.

...

... McCain's combined proposals would slash tax revenues by an estimated $253 billion over the 10-year period.

Brilliant. An income increase for the richest of the rich and no meaures to increase revenue to the Treasury. Of course, as the article points out, this is all based on their plans being implemented as promised, which rarely happens. So what's the value in this kind of analysis?
"It gives us some sense of their view," says Burman.

Exactly. And that view is pretty telling.

Obama vs. McCain: Taxing and Spending

06 September 2008

The Omnivore’s Hundred

I don't usually do whatever list-of-intItemToDoPreDeath, but this was food, a subject at which I excell, so, what the hell. Found at titled: some amusing blog pun.

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here atwww.verygoodtaste.co.uk linking to your results.

1. Venison.
?2. Nettle tea.
?3. Huevos rancheros.?
4. Steak tartare.?
5. Crocodile?
6. Black pudding.? - ug
7. Cheese fondue.?
8. Carp. ?
9. Borscht.?
10. Baba ghanoush. ?
11. Calamari.? - love it
12. Pho. ?- maybe? had something very similar, but it wasn't Vietnamese. 
13. PB&J sandwich.? - serioulsy? 
14. Aloo gobi.?
15. Hot dog from a street cart. ?
16. Epoisses.?
17. Black truffle.?
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes.?
19. Steamed pork buns.?
20. Pistachio ice cream.?
21. Heirloom tomatoes. - There aren't many tomatoes I haven't tried
22. Fresh wild berries.?
23. Foie gras.?
24. Rice and beans.?
25. Brawn, or head cheese.?
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper.?
27. Dulce de leche.?
28. Oysters.?
29. Baklava.
30. Bagna cauda.?
31. Wasabi peas.?
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl.?
33. Salted lassi.? - coworker brought this in for a potluck once
34. Sauerkraut.?
35. Root beer float.?
36. Cognac with a fat cigar. - oh, college?
37. Clotted cream tea.? - individually, yes, but together? Huh. 
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O.?
39. Gumbo.?
40. Oxtail.?
41. Curried goat.? - wouldn't bar-b-qued goat count? 
42. Whole insects.? - would lobster count? 
43. Phaal.?
44. Goat’s milk.?
45. Malt whiskey from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more. - far too many times?
46. Fugu.?
47. Chicken tikka masala.?
48. Eel.?
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut.?
50. Sea urchin. - not a chance. when even sushi lovers say this is an aquired taste.. no way.?
51. Prickly pear.?
52. Umeboshi.?
53. Abalone.?
54. Paneer?
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal. ?
56. Spaetzle. ?- Ann Arbor folks, go to Metzer's on Zeeb
57. Dirty gin martini.
58. Beer above 8% ABV.?
59. Poutine.?
60. Carob chips.?
61. S’mores.?
62. Sweetbreads.?
63. Kaolin.?
64. Currywurst.? - where oh where can I try this?!?!
65. Durian.?
66. Frogs’ legs. 
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake.
68. Haggis.?
69. Fried plantain.?
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette.?
71. Gazpacho.
72. Caviar and blini.?
73. Louche absinthe.?
74. Gjetost, or brunost.?
75. Roadkill.? - Deer hit by a car, made into sausage. Wasn't bad, actually. 
76. Baijiu.?
77. Hostess Fruit Pie.?
78. Snail.?
79. Lapsang souchong.?
80. Bellini.?
81. Tom yum.?
82. Eggs Benedict. ?
83. Pocky.?
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.?
85. Kobe beef. ?
86. Hare.?
87. Goulash.?
88. Flowers.?
89. Horse.?
90. Criollo chocolate.?
91. Spam.?
92. Soft shell crab.? - so good on a sandwhich
93. Rose harissa.?
94. Catfish.?
95. Mole poblano.?
96. Bagel and lox.?
97. Lobster Thermidor.?
98. Polenta.?
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. 
100. Snake.

61/100... not too shabby.

A Note to All by Anne Kilkenny

I hadn't seen this email yet, but it checks out (surprisingly). I'll put the highlights here, but read the whole thing (especially if the addition of Palin to the McCain ticket made you rethink your vote). This was written by a Wasilla resident and long-time acquaintance of Sarah Palin, Anne Kilkenny. This has also been verified by Snopes.
CLAIM VS FACT
o "Hockey mom": true for a few years

o "PTA mom": true years ago when her first-born was in elementary school, not since

p "NRA supporter": absolutely true

o social conservative: mixed. Opposes gay marriage, BUT vetoed a bill that would have denied benefits to employees in same-sex relationships (said she did this because it was unconsitutional).

o pro-creationism: mixed. Supports it, BUT did nothing as Governor to promote it.

o "Pro-life": mixed. Knowingly gave birth to a Down's syndrome baby BUT declined to call a special legislative session on some pro-life legislation.

o "Experienced": Some high schools have more students than Wasilla has residents. Many cities have more residents than the state of Alaska.

No legislative experience other than City Council. Little hands-on supervisory or managerial experience; needed help of a city administrator to run town of about 5,000.

o political maverick: not at all

o gutsy: absolutely!

o open & transparent: ??? Good at keeping secrets. Not good at explaining actions.

o has a developed philosophy of public policy: no

o "a Greenie": no. Turned Wasilla into a wasteland of big box stores and disconnected parking lots. Is pro-drilling off-shore and in ANWR.

o fiscal conservative: not by my definition!

o pro-infrastructure: No. Promoted a sports complex and park in a city without a sewage treatment plant or storm drainage system. Built streets to early 20th century standards.

o pro-tax relief: Lowered taxes for businesses, increased tax burden on residents.

o pro-small government: No. Oversaw greatest expansion of city government in Wasilla’s history.

o pro-labor/pro-union. No. Just because her husband works union doesn't make her pro-labor. I have seen nothing to support any claim that she is pro-labor/pro-union.

snopes.com: A Note to All by Anne Kilkenny.

04 September 2008

The absolute hypocrisy of the Republicans

This piece speeks for itself.

Mayor: 'I lied under oath'

It's over.
The deal calls for Kilpatrick to plead guilty to two felony counts of obstruction of justice by committing perjury, agreeing to serve four months in jail, pay up to $1 million in restitution, and serve five years' probation. He also agreed not to run for office during that five-year span.

The mayor will turn over his state pension to the City of Detroit, which paid $8.4 million to settle two whistle-blower lawsuits three former cops filed against the city.

...

In a rushed monotone, Kilpatrick told the court: "I lied under oath in the case of Gary Brown and Harold Nelthrope versus the city of Detroit ... I did so with the intent to mislead the court and jury, to impede and obstruct the disposition of justice."

I'm watching him consent to the plea deal as I type this. Now, it's up to City Council to get their act together.

Mayor: 'I lied under oath' | Freep.com

03 September 2008

links for 2008-09-03

02 September 2008

Did something happen to Itzhak Perlman?

Itzahak Perlman in Amazon's Top 10 MP3s on Sept 2, 2008

If not, why is he the #1MP3 artist on Amazon right now? I mean, I'm sure he's a wonderful artist, but #1 today for no reason? Google News has nothing that stands out. 

Also, if you look at that photo without paying much attention, does it look like he has a puppet? 

Why does it smell like almonds in... ^H^H^H^H^H

Google Chrome

Played with it tonight a bit. It's freakin' fast, especially for Google apps (natch). I like the new car smell it gives off, could do without the comic.

It feels like Firefox 3.0, but I think that was the point. No add-ons (yet, I assume), but it's a beta. A nice, solid beta for a change. I love the fact that each tab has it's own process; very interesting possibilities for developing on a web app with multiple security roles.

But, I can't say it any better than the chief cynic and anti-plug of all things shiny, Alan.
If the Google Chrome concept is Firefox w/o the dev team's intellectual clutter from XUL plus the backing of Google, we have a new platform. [twitter]

Indeed. Go kick the tires.

Petty Annoyance with Gmail

I have no idea if this is something that I'm not configuring properly, but why, when I click on a link to a new email in various desktop notifier's does the email message open in Gmail without the complete interface? For instance, when I click the new mail notification in Digsby, the window/tab that opens looks like this:



Most of the Gmail interface is missing. I'm not picking on Digsby here because I've seen the same behavior from half a dozen Vista/Konfabulator widgets or gadgets or whatever the frak we're calling them this week. In fact, I like Digsby a bit more because if I double-click, I get the main Gmail window. It doesn't open the message in the full interface, but it's better than being stuck with the options in the screen cap above. How do I delete this message? How do I go to the next message? How do I get back to my Inbox?

Is this a Gmail thing? Firefox? Anyone know how to solve this insignificant annoyance in my life?

Palin Requires Loyalty Tests in Wasilla

Just... wow. Really? Didn't we just have Congressional hearings about the crap that comes this sort of thing ala the Department of Justice?

[Thanks to Alan]

Palin Requires Loyalty Tests in Wasilla