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Showing posts from 2007

Politics

I just watched a speech by the Heritage Foundation. It's interesting to see those so solidly committed to conservatism speak. They seem quite disconnected from me. One of the more interesting statements was the reiteration of their committment to the free market as well as traditional values (i.e.: the importance of family) without any sense of irony. Are they blind to the corrosive affect of the free market on family? Do they completely ignore the late 18th and early 20th centuries? Unfettered markets are destructive, they devalue the human existance and exacerbate suffering.

There are several places I find myself aligned with conservative ideas. For instance, I'm no fan of welfare. However, it's not out of any sense of rage that there are people gaining subsistence without adequate effort. My concern is one of human dignity. The way most US welfare systems were constructed did not provide for getting oneself off the dole. The system actually resisted efforts to improve o…

Responding to tirades

Yesterday I read about Michael Savages' ignorant tirade against Islam. I realise I don't have much bandwidth left to deal with this. They don't deserve my attention or energy. It's time to stop giving these people justification by reacting. Ideally, we'd just shake off their speech for the petty and childish behaviour it is. Not ignored, just acknowledge quietly for what it is, and then the discussion returning to a dialog amongst adults.
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Official Gmail Blog: Gmail + chat + AIM = crazy delicious

Official Gmail Blog: Gmail + chat + AIM = crazy delicious

An interesting development. However, it seems pretty one-sided. You can log into AIM from Gtalk, but can you talk with your Gtalk chums from AIM? Not that it matters that much to me. I have a few friends that I regularly chat with in Gtalk, and even more occasionally in Yahoo. As someone who doesn't live in a chat client (well, I use a variant of MS Messenger at work, but that's integrated with the network...blah blah), this isn't too impactful. At one time, though, this would have been huge news.

Blogging

A goodly amount of blog posts are written in a stream of conciousness style., which may help with the discounting of the medium. I am a great offender in this area. However, I happen to value this way of writing. That might also explain why I enjoy reading blogs so much, too.
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6 Reasons why you should think before you speak

These were emailed to me over the weekend. Some are new, some are
"oldies but goodies", but all are amusing. Enjoy!Here are six reasons why you should think before you speak - the last
one is great! Have you ever spoken and wished that you could immediately
take the words back...Or that you could crawl into a hole? Here are the
Testimonials of a few people who did....FIRST TESTIMONY: I walked into a hair salon with my husband and three
kids in tow, and asked loudly, 'How much do you charge for a shampoo and
a blow job? I turned around and walked back out and never went back. My
husband didn't say a word...He knew better.SECOND TESTIMONY: I was at the golf store comparing different kinds of
golf balls. I was unhappy with the women's type I had been using. After
browsing for several minutes, I was approached by one of the
good-looking gentlemen who works at the store. He asked if he could help
me. Without thinking, I looked at him and said, I think I like playing
with men'…

Snow Hominids

My 5 year old son has discovered Rankin and Bass' "Frosty The Snowman". I, the fan of Calvin and Hobbes, can't help but superimpose "Snowgoons" for "Snowman". Adding snowgoons to the story would certainly add an interesting new dynamic.
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» Apple QuickTime under siege | Ryan Naraine’s Zero Day | ZDNet.com

» Apple QuickTime under siege | Ryan Naraine’s Zero Day | ZDNet.com

Calling Apple the next Microsoft due to the security vulnerabilities in QuickTime might be a bit much. QuickTime is used rather infrequently, at least by me. Certainly nowhere near as much as an average Windows user would use IE. This is not meant to minimize these weaknesses, but simply to put this in proportion.

Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives: TV: Food Network

Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives: TV: Food Network

I know this marks me as somewhat less cultured, but I love this show,and am a bit jealous of Guy. This just sounds like a wonderful job, driving around the country and trying out, shall we say "all American fare".

Another piece of my childhood dies

Evel Knievel dies at 69I didn’t think it was possible for Evel to die. Considering all that he’s survived, it’s particularly stunning for him to be brought down by disease.I remember those outlandish stunts, and the crazy costume, and being fascinated. All us boys were Evel Knievel lunging our BMX bikes over tires and Matchbox cars. Godspeed, good sir

Sears Profits Obliterated - Forbes.com

Sears Profits Obliterated - Forbes.com

A 99% profit plunge...OUCH! Retail may be haggard, but nobody's this weak. One lesson I take from this is that you can only shore up profits with cost cuts for a limited time. There comes a point where you lose your ability to function. I think of all the lame, outdated (and damn depressing) Sears stores out there, and clueless sales staff, and am not at all surprised. I do hope they pull it together, for Sears is a venerable brand and it would be a loss for them to vanish.

Wired News - AP News

Wired News - AP News

Rather weird, and scary. However, I can't imagine a cell phone battery having a strong enough chemical reaction to injure someone that severely. That would require quite a bit of force, and I don't see how a standard battery could generate that. It would need to be an abrupt, rapid and fully contained reaction, and (again) I can't imagine a commercially produced battery would have that capability. Odd...

Hidden crime of ‘wi-fi tapping’: only 11 arrests but most of us are guilty - Times Online

Hidden crime of ‘wi-fi tapping’: only 11 arrests but most of us are guilty - Times Online

Well, one piece of the "is using someone else's unsecured wireless internet account ethical" has been answered. In the UK (at least) it's apparently illegal. Interesting...

Though I've always been adamant about locking down my account, I don't see someone else surfing using my account a crime, per se, especially if the account is unencrypted. I can think of several times that my computer had logged onto a neighbor's network without my knowledge (when my network had dropped, generally). And I think that viewpoint's more prevalent. The analogy of leaving my front door open doesn't really hold water. I've known several people over the years who are rather communal about their service, and are happy to let others use their access point. Perhaps the articles alarmist rhetoric about being held culpable for someone else's downloading of illegal content will in…

Brave New Medium

This fine medium, our blogosphere, is still in being birthed. Its power is only at the initial "fleshing out". Anti-corporate protests and political campaigns are just the beginning, I'm sure. We have two things combining.

Greater numbers of people, globally, are coming online every day. The vast majority of western school children are well versed in web issues, and most in the global south have a real awareness if not intimate experience. And the rest of the population is getting drug into this world, if for no other reason than to be able to fill out job applications.

This, meshes nicely with the media's desperate need for conflict. They have a ready supply of well thought out critique of -name-your-issue-here-. Anyone who hates something can build a blog or full blown website, and others can coallece about the orbit, via the power of the Google, et al. And the media can easily find these folks, and the might of the Google.

Yes, some of these folks are crack-pot…

Homeland Security slams FEMA for staging fake wildfire news conference - On Deadline - USATODAY.com

Homeland Security slams FEMA for staging fake wildfire news conference - On Deadline - USATODAY.com

Not just unethical, but plain dumb. Anyone with an iota of Public Relations/Public Affairs knowledge would have nixed this early on. Mike Widomski, FEMA's deputy director of public affairs really should be sacked for gross incompetence. There are plenty of ways to have spread this information without, well, this. Sheesh!

Adrants has a cute take on this.

Evening thoughts

I'm adrift within my psyche's abyss. Mists of my deceptions weave amongst the stone, dreams and the real intertwined. As moss, or lichen grows upon stone and tree, my life lays upon my core, becoming one, indistinguisable.
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Political Thought

Oine thing I've become weary of hearing are voters concerned about someone's "electibility". This is a rather strange discounting of their opinions. "I like this person's ideas, but will vote for someone else because nobody will vote for what I value." Sad, really.
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This is just wrong...simply wrong....

Reindeer pate is odd enough, but read the label.

Today

Today was surprising in its warmth and clarity. Filled with bright light, more akin to late summer than the middle of autumn. Almost none of my day was spent in this delight, though I did get a clear view from my office's windows. Perhaps the proverbial gilded cage. Oh, the delights of corporate life.
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Worst Traffic

From BizjournalsThe most telling thing to me with this photo story is how many people are in their own cars. Even in New York, more than ½ of the daily commuters drive in single occupancy vehicles. Interestingly, this piece on the best commutes in the country has even higher rates of SOV. At least 79% of the commuters in these cities drive their own cars to work (and, in most of them, the percentage is much higher). I wonder if parking presents any issues at all.

More Thoughts

My brain seems empty of late. I don't feel greatly inspired, no grand need to write. This is one of those times that I need to push, to drive, descend into the depths of my being. I know that I need to spend more time within my fears, trying to calm this realm forever. Face them down, yes, but also chase them to their roots, and then pull them up. Only then can I truly be free, and then I can see that deep desire, that which is based upon love, and nothing more.

Fear is what drives me to weariness, what grabs at those roots and plays demented songs. This is what I loath about my life right now, the unbidden fears that gurgle up like swamp gas and belch their stink into my day. I really don't need this. My fears are unrealistic and, dare I say, silly. They are out of balance. Fear is valuable, it provides guidance and works to keep us safe. When it is the primary driver, when reason, compassion and love are weakened, or, worse, obliterated, my life is worsened. Joy withers, dro…

designboom weblog, design related news, reviews and previews

Clever little costume, anyone gonna grab it for Halloween? (No, this link isn't for a costume".



This is where I first found this. And here is the site with this, and many other photos like this. Sadly, I don't have the slightest idea what language this is in.

Update:It's Portugese.

Career Thoughts and Personal Observations

For many years I’d considered a career in IT as I have something of an aptitude and a modicum of interest. However, I soundly lack passion. Today on my train journey into Seattle and to work, I sat nearby a chap reading a book on Linux. He was an immersed and interested by this as I was by my current read, “Cry The Beloved Country”. Not the first time I have witnessed such, I still find this amazing. While I was in the Navy, I had colleagues would delight in reading arcane texts specializing in some opaque mathematically based concept. Though I have a reasonable grasp of the mathematical arts, I do not claim much joy. If I never studied another thing based upon math, I would be rather content.I understand that there are many levels and tiers to one’s career, and that one can pursue a work-path remarkably different from one’s passions. However, at this point at least, such is not my path. I would rather have my interests and passions before me, and driving my daily life, as opposed to …

BBC NEWS | In Pictures | Day in pictures

For those of you that like spiders.

Local News | No rental tax for Flexcar — for now | Seattle Times Newspaper

Local News | No rental tax for Flexcar — for now | Seattle Times Newspaper

The notion that Flexcar is in the rental car business is similar to saying a condominium is in the rental house business. People are all co-owners of the cars, and that is a critical difference. With Flexcars, they're timesharing, not renting. I'm surprised that this critical difference hasn't been pointed out yet.

Children

Amazing gifts from my child. So much that I don't grasp, which only becomes clear before my son's eyes. Amazment with a butterfly or spider's web, or anguish from a block's inability to defy gravity. All speak to things buried deep within, lost to sunlight, yet still real, deeply real. Perhaps I can rebirth that, bring it forth into the daylight. Try and see the world simply, in all it's joy and pain. Perhaps what children offer most to the world is not their abilty to experience unbridaled joy, but their grasp of pain. This pain felt so deeply, unhidden by convention or stigma, at things WE can't allow tears for, though we still long to spill forth sobs. Perhaps it is this, and our ability to allow that grief which is the greatest gift.

Microsoft and Online Storage

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/333748_software01.htmlThis move by Microsoft is, to me, a clever and well timed one. Yes, it’s a bit lacking when you consider that one can’t edit the documents without Office, but excellent when you consider that they’re trying to expand, not cannibalize themselves. And, I do believe, that the ability to edit online, independent of having Office software on a particular computer, will be forthcoming. They’re staying relevant, but not jumping too hard on the cutting edge, which is a good way to bleed.

Want

It would be interesting, indeed, to figure out if there is simply enough on this planet. If we flattened the income curve, would we eliminate want? This would answer a critical question about the sustainability of our current system, as well as question the morality of our system.

My believe is that, in this circumstance, want would be eliminated. When you hear statements like "the cost of one long-range bomber would feed all the world's hungry", it gives great credence to this vision. What such a mechanism would look like has yet to be fully visualized, at least in a way that doesn't mandate violent redistribution. Unless one considers the ideologies of Christ, Buddha, and the like.

» Everything you’ve read about Vista DRM is wrong (Part 1) | Ed Bott’s Microsoft Report | ZDNet.com

» Everything you’ve read about Vista DRM is wrong (Part 1) | Ed Bott’s Microsoft Report | ZDNet.com

It's interesting how the blogosphere has gone rather nuts with Vista. It's a significant upgrade to the major operating system and will have some "issues". Personally, I don't tend to upgrade until I need to. Whether it's driver issues, no new software (or some piece of software that I want) is issued for the OS, it's what's installed on computers when my machines tanks, or some other such thing. I enjoy the Mac OS, but have a Compaq that I've been using quite happily for about 2 years (the best Wintel machine I've ever had, though awfully heavy nowadays).

Anyway, I've heard some of this stuff over the past few months and haven't given it too much thought. It seems rather outlandish to me. However, it's apparent that quite a few folks have taken these "issues" with Vista DRM to extremes. Mr. Bott does a nice job deconstructin…

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Burmese military threatens monks

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Burmese military threatens monks

As understandable as the energy surrounding Ahmadinejad's speech at Columbia, the chain of events in Myanmar is much more compelling to me. The steady escalation has me convinced that we face one of two outcomes: another fierce crackdown by the junta, or their overthrow. And, it's quite possible that a display of intense brutality could very well precipitate the collapse of the regime. Very tense times for a regime that might be a much better fit for the title "evil" leveled against Iran.

Thought of the day

Do you remember when beaming addresses was going to replace business cards? The delights of the original Palm. Of course, some would say that Google is about to do the same thing, but I doubt it. It’s too hard to sift the “wheat from the chaff”.

Quote of the Day

"The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them." -- George OrwellIt’s frightening, at times, how relevant Orwell is currently. The man was amazingly prescient. It still amazes me how little his concerns have been heeded. Some find great comfort in the idea of a huge, omnipresent government. One irony is that this is true for many on either ideological extreme. Of course, for these folks, a large, deeply monitoring government is exactly what we need to ensure adherence to their brand of morality. If this government were to adopt the philosophies of their opposition, then it’s intrusive.

My Childhood

This fellow was a key part of my childhood. What a delight to find Mr. Patches is still the hinterlands of Puget Sound.

OS Ideas

Idea number 1: make a stripped down Linux build. This would be to extend the life of older systems, as well as craft something that would simply scream on current systems. 2: take an OS and gut all the visual compentry, then craft a system that is maximized for blind users. Seems wasteful of system resorces to utilize an tweaked version of Windows or Mac, with all the visual stuff going on and not adding value.

Advertising Age - Garfield The Blog - Comcast Must Die

Advertising Age - Garfield The Blog - Comcast Must Die

Reading this first reminds me of my own Comcastic experience (shudder). However, I also think about these at a larger level. Customer service is a serious problem industry-wide, and it might be so throughout significant segments of the economy. Consider Jeff Jarvis' "Dell Hell" campaign, or the constant vilification of every cellular carrier (just read the comments in any CNET carrier review). Service is dreadful on a macro level. Those companies that specialize in exceptional customer experiences (Nordstrom's the first to come to mind) seem to be thriving. The anger that these experiences generates needs to considered by these companies. No amount of PR will rebuild relationships thus sacrificed. Steven Covey's model of the emotional bank account is apt. Sadly, so many companies are grossly overdrawn, and will be forced to declare bankruptcy.

Online predators keep the police busy

Online predators keep the police busy
Seattle police detectives in the Task Force on Internet Crimes Against Children haven't seen a significant drop in their caseload and say online predators aren't deterred -- even though most end up convicted.
What I find the most fascinating is that this tactic still works, and works well for the police. You’d think that the predator community would have “wised up” when you consider the increasing numbers of arrests and captures, along with the high profile nature of so many of these busts (many on live tv). Perhaps this speaks to a hidden desire to be caught, as Freud would’ve said. Or that this disorder causes a shutdown of certain logic centers. Or, perhaps, the compulsive need is so great as to blind them to the likelihood of capture and arrest. Hard to say, I’m afraid.

Rock bottom for Palm and Hawkins? | One More Thing - CNET News.com

Rock bottom for Palm and Hawkins? | One More Thing - CNET News.com: "The company is in danger of watching a category it helped create leave it in the dust."

This sums up the situation at Palm rather well. It's quite sad, as I've been a Palm fan for years. But this year, when my Treo was near the end of its useful life, I went with a Blackberry 8700 and have been quite pleased. The issues and anguish of the Palm have become seriously entrenched. I know several companies that were complete Treo operations (mine included) that are now completely pulling the line. With Good porting it's service to anyone who asks, the new Exchange server/Windows Mobile synergy, as well as Blackberry offering serious new offering every few weeks (so it seems), I can't help but think that the Treo is doomed. And, to be frank, if the Treo is doomed, Palm is doomed. PDA's are dying out. I only know a handful of people who use them anymore. So many more use a smartphone, or are unw…

Weird Thought

Can the police and fire departments use gps and rfid in place of the strobes with traffic lights and emergency vehicles? It's conceivable, if really challenging to implement.

Leech invasion makes residents see red

Leeches really suck.(Forwarded to me – I’ll track down a link soon)Leech invasion makes residents see redTOKYO (Reuters) - Long confined to the mountains, Japanese leeches are invading residential areas, causing swelling, itching and general discomfort with their blood-thirsty ways. Yamabiru, or land leeches, have become a problem in 29 of Japan's 47 prefectures, according to the Institute for Environmental Culture, a private research facility in Chiba prefecture, east of Tokyo.The little suckers are riding into towns and villages, hitching lifts on deer and boar whose numbers have grown due to re-forestation and dwindling rural populations.Once there, the leeches, which measure in at about 1.5 cms before a meal, take to feasting on warm human flesh."Yamabiru will climb into people's socks and stay for about an hour, growing five to 10 times in size. Unlike with water leeches, people don't immediately realize they've been bitten. Only later when they see their blo…

Short Celtic Christianity Rant « haligweorc

Short Celtic Christianity Rant « haligweorc
Reading Derek's post at Haligweorc, I'm deeply struck by my ignorance on the Celtic faith. I've been an Celtophile for many years, but have not had the opportunity to delve quite a deeply as I would like. Particularly, the works of Pelagius. I'm familiar with the critical debate between Pelagius and St. Augustine, but haven't gone further than the summation. I know of Columcille, Patrick, and many others. In other words, I have breadth but lack depth. Perhaps the dearest irony is reading this while listening to Liveireland.com.

Continuing the spiritual theme, I just finished reading Francis S. Collins "The Language Of God". Dr. Collins presents a compelling argument for the coexistence of faith and science. I found the book interesting and well written, and well beyond the scope of my scientific knowledge. Here's one review of a dissenter, Sam Harris. However, Harris' derision of everything spiritual and c…

Quote of the Day

"Life is our dictionary. ... This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it. ... I embrace the common, I explore and sit at the feet of the familiar, the low. Give me insight into to-day, and you may have the antique and future worlds." ~EmersonBesides inspiring the likes of Thoreau, I believe this ideal drove such luminary figures as Kerouac, Snyder and Ginsberg. It’s one that sings to the deepest kernel of my being.

Economics

As I’ve been watching (ever the innocent bystander) the credit market flail, articles such as this one in Forbes are fascinating. Sadly, the more of these that I read, the more my ignorance on things economic becomes obvious. I’ve been wondering for sometime the mechanics of the markets, and the ways that government can influence. There are quite a few variables, whether considering the Fed, Treasury, IMF (though not a US governmental institution, still profoundly affected by US policy), and on and on, which are directly related to governmental influence. However, the huge array of actors within The Market can make one’s head spin. Besides the US, which has a huge impact on the global market, consider the effects of regional organizations (APEC, OPEC, blah blah) and other governments (Europe, China). And international events and actions ripple through the ever more tightly connected marketplace, affecting the economies of other nations in ways that were unfathomable simply 10 years ag…

Oh, Lotto

Have you ever thought about what you’d do if you were freed from your obligations for income? The scenario I picture is winning an uber-jackpot. What would you do? Personally, I’d pay off my credit cards and car, next stop the mortgage, then a new car. I would expect that I would replace my wardrobe, though not my personal style. No fashion magazine styles, no Italian sports car (though I’d be sorely tempted by Porches), and no mad run from here. I’d look for a nice home towards Puget Sound with a view. Nothing more grandiose than that.These imaginings tell one a great deal. It, if nothing else, shows where one’s mind is right now. However, it also shows one’s priorities and values. Perhaps these images also show one’s pathologies as well. Perhaps…

Evening thoughts

It is so easy to become overwhelmed by concerns. Fears stoked by my old list of wounds, this maddening list of slights and petty miseries that I keep reflexively. This serves as inspiration for a host of potential tribulations, of course with no guarantee, neither for avoidance or their arrival.

.Mac and iTunes

The upgrades that Apple has made to the dot Mac service are good, though a long-time coming (however, anyone else notice that Hotmail upped their email allowance, as well as allow email forwarding, right on the heels of Apple’s announcement?). I would like to see some additional features, though. Particularly, I would love to see a greater integration with iTunes. One idea I had was the ability to carryover any customizations from one machine to another. Also, it would be great if we could store all of our music in one place and listen to it on multiple computers. Dot Mac would be a great way to facilitate that.

Idea of the day

I wonder, within software development, whether the idea of collapsing silos is accomplishable. Can we liberate data and still keep it within a traditionally structured database?

Ahhh...Amiga!

Arstechnica has a great series looking at the Amiga. A great story and very descriptive of the issues that the tech industry faces regularly. We have conflicts between managers and technical experts, over-hype, enthusiastic over-exuberance, as well as the usual cast of characters.A history of the Amiga, part 1: Genesis: Page 1A history of the Amiga, part 2: The birth of Amiga: Page 1

Smooth Sailing for I-5 Seattle Construction and Traffic This Morning; WSDOT Urges Drivers to Stay the Course

Smooth Sailing for I-5 Seattle Construction and Traffic This Morning; WSDOT Urges Drivers to Stay the CourseFor my ex-pat and other out of (Seattle) area friends, here’s the latest on the joyous commute. For me, it’s been pretty tame. Of course, I live (and thus commute) in the opposite direction of this.This has been the talk of the region for several months, with the past few weeks hitting quite a feverish crescendo. It has been a non-event so far, compared to Y2K by many. I find that comparison apt, since I felt that Y2K was a non-event because of the incredible attention and energy expended. The same with this project. All’s good, I guess.

Hygiene

From a friend of mine…Hello Comrades,Some disturbing news from the Department of Bathroon Hygiene:·The percent of women who wash their hands after leaving a restroom is 80%. ·The percent of men who wash their hands after using a restroom is 55%. Does anybody else feel dirty?Nope, just wiped….

bLaugh

» Has Ubuntu clinched the desktop Linux market? | Open Source | ZDNet.com

» Has Ubuntu clinched the desktop Linux market? | Open Source | ZDNet.com

Having played with a few Linux builds, Ubuntu is by far the most thought out and well developed in terms of the average user. It's straightforward and utilizes the same sort of GUI "intuitiveness" as Windows or Mac. Meaning that if you understand how these systems build apps, you'll understand how to get things done with Ubuntu. Blakenhorn is dead on with his main premise, that Ubuntu's focus on the desktop has made it superior. Other builds have been sidelines, this is their focus.

As for winning any desktop Linux war, who's to say. That's the beauty of Open Source; there might very well be something waiting around the corner.

Keeping secrets secret

It's amazing to me that folks don't even delete their contacts and email, much less do a "clean erase" of their handhelds before selling them on eBay (or some other service). All Blackberry.com has some great advice about preserving your private information.


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Politicians and pay

It's pretty common for people to complain that politicians are disconnected from "the people". There's a certain truth to this, especially when one considers that they are in the highest income bracket. I bring to you an idea, then. Why not pay our federal leaders (at the very least) the median salary? As they need to establish households in DC as well at home, I'm all for giving them some additional compensation. Let's give them a housing allowance for the DC property. Also, let's have the taxpayers cover travel (with public reporting to boot). Lastly, let's have Congress' pay raises pass a super-majority of the popular vote; a national referendum, if you will. At the very least, it'll shave a few smackers off the federal budget.

Geek life

I've been pondering the array of stuff in my life. Besides the gadget, I have collections of other things. Namely, email addresses. I have a Hotmail (from the pre-Microsoft days), Yahoo, an old school account, work, and Gmail. For the sake of sanitya, I need to ditch a few of these, but which ones? Oh, the angusih! Well, this is rather dumb in many regards, but all of these are tied to some other service, which makes dropping it completely quite challenging.
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What's next for Whole Foods, Wild Oats?

What's next for Whole Foods, Wild Oats?CEO's anonymous comments on Web could add new hurdle to troubled deal There really only seems to be one main question here: Mackey was badmouthing Wild Oats in a Yahoo stock forum as a way of devaluing the stock before his attempted acquisition. It would seem (to me) that this would be a concern of the FTC, or at least this conduct’s most damning possible motivation. Otherwise, it’s a goofy episode and little more.  The Yahoo piece, is a bit titillating, but really small potatoes to his boardroom talk.

Yahoo! Underground

Yahoo! Underground

Lameass that I am, I've not seen this section of Yahoo!. And I consider myself a Yahoo! junkie. Anyway, I stumbled upon this following a link to a Bonnie Burton interview. Fun stuff, methinks! The rocket bit is something else. Brings back my childhood love of blowing things up or launching things into the air.

Sprint's Customer Service

I just read on CNET's Crave about Sprint's "dear John" letters to their more frequent customer service callers. It's an interesting tactic to streamline their customer service experience. The first thing I wonder about is whether these dismissals are not the work of Sprint. I just can't see how these can solely be those high-maintenance/"Dinette Set" types. Personally, I see much of this as messes of their own making. Comically, they're being quite gracious, since they're fully canceling their service, with no penalties. Considering their reputation, I'm quite certain that I'd be quite pleased with the option to bail. Somehow, I doubt that this will help their churn rate.

Thoughts in the evening

Another day where I am just weary. I'm looking forward to a short week, and accompanying rest. It's strange, I think, how hard it is to just think at times. Reading the news is empty. I get to the end of a paragraph and retain zero. Perhaps it's the early summer warmth, or allergies, or just being run too thin.

I wonder where I want to take my love of technology. There are so many directions. The two that come readily are to puruse programming/development and to follow a more artistic avenue. Part of me craves combining my old love of photography, poetry, writing and music. Perhaps I can do something with web design?

It's painful, though, to my overworked brain to think of anything too deep right now. I sit on the cusp of a migraine, with medicines (thank goodness) being effective. I hope the weariness wears off soon and I can give these thoughts the deeper consideration they deserve.

"The 100 Acre Personality Quiz"

HeraldNet: 1,652 filmed running lights

HeraldNet: 1,652 filmed running lights

This intersection seems to spawn recklessness. To be fair the ticketed, this light is poorly timed; I can think of several times that, in low/medium traffic I've needed to wait several cycles to get through the light. Not that it excuses running the light, but frustration increases the likelihood. I guess that makes this rather akin to road-rage.

This does force one to ask a bigger question, though. There is something rather Orwellian about this system. Is this the first step down a slippery slope towards perpetual governmental monitoring? It may seem paranoid, but I find the question interesting. At what point do we say "no" with a camera based justice system? Cameras at work, at the store, at school, on the bus, now intersections. Where is the "line", and how do we quantify it?

So damn tired...

I have no idea what’s up, but I’m just feeling wiped out. Some blasted bug, I guess. Argh…It’s Friday, if you can believe it. And Sunday is July 1st; we’re officially over ½ through this year. Time’s moving fast enough that I’m starting to feel motion sickness. I’m hoping the long anticipated healing of my car’s transmission will be complete sometime today. Though I do love taking the train, I do miss my car. Not particularly green of me, I know, but I like having flexibility in the morning (only two trains from Edmonds to downtown Seattle; the last leaves at 7:05). Plus, I’m rather anti-social in the mornings.

eMusic

One worry I had when I chose an iPod over sattelite radio was that my music would become stale. Howver, with so many podcasts, internet radio, and services like eMusic, Magnatune and the like, there is no excuse for musical stagnation. Heck, it's no effort at all, really. I love Irish music, and have spent my train ride to work listening to podcasts by LiveIreland.com and the Thistlepod (NPR's Thistle and Shamrock). All kinds of great new music. Life is good!

Our Family Hostage Crisis - New York Times

Our Family Hostage Crisis - New York Times: "Our Family Hostage Crisis"

It's stories like this that make me a fervent believer in critical importance of open, transparent government. The leaders of Iran believe that they are exempt from scrutiny, that they are accountable to no-one.

On only one point do I disagree with Professor Bakhash. The actions of Iran in these cases don't make the government look "inhumane", they make them look evil. This shows them to be beasts willing to brutalize anyone who, ever so slightly, diminishes their power.

Save Net Radio

I am a heavy user of net radio. As such, I’m a bit impacted by today’s “day of silence”. However, I fully support the efforts that our net radio friends are working on to save this medium. The way things are right now, net radio stations are looking at a 300% royalty increase that will be effective on July 15th. And that increase will be retroactive to January. The net effect (please forgive the pun) will be many of these stations imploding. I am in full support of artists being compensated for their work. However, this will remove a revenue stream as well eliminating a channel to expand their fan base. There are two big losers with this system: artists and listeners.I urge you to head over to savenetradio.org to learn more about the issue. From there, you also will be shown how to contact your representatives in Congress, where there is legislation underway to reverse this. With all of our efforts, we can bring about a more sensible solution to ensure that artists are fairly paid and…

Cars

As a "true" American, I have a deep love for the automobile. However, I'm a bit urban in my love. Though I have a deep respect for the historical American auto (watch my head turn after a Hudson or Packard), for my Modern car passions, I turn to Europe.

German cars, mostly Volkswagen, garner my focus (It is important to note that I currently drive a Honda Accord; necessity, not passion). (I don't know if I would have a wider range of loves if my wallet were fatter.) Comically, my favorite VW has been the van. Though discontinued in the US, the Multivan still exists. The fact that I covet one of these, and would be willing to ship it to the States (with a few years of saving my pennies, of course) marks me as a geek (as if I needed another marker). I guess I'll need to put the Linux penguin on the back window.

What I find fascinating is the "why". I can't put my finger on a particular wow factor. Some of it comes from my cyclist/outdoorsy days, where …

Yahoo! Go

I was just perusing the Yahoo Go website (Cingular section) and was quite surprised to see every single phone on the “coming soon” list. As I clicked around on the other carriers, I saw every phone with every carrier was “coming soon”. Then, bright guy that I am, I went to the main Yahoo Go page and saw that Yahoo Go 2.0 is coming this Friday (aka: tomorrow). We’ll see what comes.Also, though the 750 is on the “coming soon” list, the 680 is not on the list, which bugs me. I’m not going to be in the market for anything as upscale as the750 for sometime. Oh well, I guess I’ll need to find another app to play with.
I wonder if Medusa's curse was purely optical. Perseus was able to handle her severed head, but not gaze upon it. Why?

China overtakes United States as world's biggest polluter

Well, China has been working hard to catch up to the US in many areas, why not this one? As a response to Zou Ji’s comments (he of RenminUniversity and quoted in the article below). "When we become richer and richer, and feel safer and safer, then people will have more time and more resources to pay attention to something not directly linked to themselves", you need to realize that the costs of retrofitting your economy to both stop polluting as well as clean up your mess will be prohibitively expensive. China, both as a state and its citizenry, would be far better served by its leaders being more forward thinking. Additionally, the long-term health of their eco-system, of which their bodies are mere extensions, is something that’s hard, and expensive, to buy back. This attitude is much like, knowing you have cancer, to wait until you’re richer so the financial bite is less painful. Anyway, as is so often the case, Grist says it so much better than me.And They're Off
Chin…

Work with me, people!

On my drive in this morning, I watched a Krispy Kreme truck twice start to merge right with a line of cars where he wanted to be. Even if the driver’s eyes didn’t work, fortunately, the ears did. Part two of my saga: the fellow who tries to pass me on the left…when I’m in the left lane! Then the fellow just zips over several lanes without the slightest awareness of the wee little stick on their steering column. Then there was the several miles where I was stuck behind 3 cars, all in a row, dawdling along the highway. 30 in a 45 in the left lane…sigh…at least I made it in.

Look who's joined the browser wars...

http://www.apple.com/safari/ Safari on Windows? Right on! However, I can’t get it to work on my work computer since I can’t configure proxy settings. I’ll give it a whirl at home soon, though. Exciting news; but I’m not sure of what value it is. I would much rather had heard an announcement about .Mac upgrade/update/merge with Google. I’m quite close to dropping it altogether.

FW: Cell phone bill, text message ban signed into law

Several of my friends have been unaware of the status of this bill. If you live in Washington, get used to no texting while driving and you may want to spring for a decent headset. At least you have until January (texting) and July (handsfree) to get it all figured out.Cell phone bill, text message ban signed into lawhttp://www.komotv.com/news/local/7470007.htmlStory Published: May 11, 2007 at 4:42 PM PDTStory Updated: May 12, 2007 at 4:48 PM PDTBy Associated PressOLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Hang up or pay up: Using your hands to talk on the phone or tap out a text message while behind the wheel of a car will be illegal next year.

Gov. Chris Gregoire signed the measures into law Friday, flanked by children who suffered serious injuries after being hit by distracted drivers.

Under the new laws, drivers who read and compose text messages or talk on a cell phone without a hands-free device could face a $101 ticket. The text-messaging ban takes effect Jan. 1; the cell-phone law …