Friday, July 30, 2004

Is more Congressional intelligence oversight g00d?
Richard Clarke reminds us that: "It is no accident that the only intelligence agency that got it right on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction was the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the State Department - a small, elite group of analysts encouraged to be independent thinkers rather than spies or policy makers."
marginal revolution argues for less oversight, vis a vis similar groups.

Ebert SLAMS The Village. oops--l00ks like M. NIGHT bonked@#

july 19: July Surprise?
A third source, an official who works under ISI's director, Lieutenant General Ehsan ul-Haq, informed tnr that the Pakistanis "have been told at every level that apprehension or killing of HVTs before [the] election is [an] absolute must." What's more, this source claims that Bush administration officials have told their Pakistani counterparts they have a date in mind for announcing this achievement: "The last ten days of July deadline has been given repeatedly by visitors to Islamabad and during [ul-Haq's] meetings in Washington." Says McCormack: "I'm aware of no such comment." But according to this ISI official, a White House aide told ul-Haq last spring that "it would be best if the arrest or killing of [any] HVT were announced on twenty-six, twenty-seven, or twenty-eight July"--the first three days of the Democratic National Convention in Boston.
july 29: Pakistan captures a "most wanted" al-Qaeda operative. so... beautiful@

Jazz in 2500: iTunes vs. Preservation. some very salient points on the challenges the iTMS poses for musical preservation. it's one thing to download disposable pop tracks for 99¢ and bemoan the lack of HAWT metadata, but the rich history of JAZZ deserves some LUV. of course, i'd argue that the likes of "white light/white heat" and "loveless" are worthy of historical RESPECT too, but that's another story...@#

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Powell calls Saudi proposal for all-Muslim Iraq security force 'interesting'? dunno--i'm waiting for a direct quote, myself, but anything other than 'fucking insane' would be disappointing@#$

The Trouble with Tethering: an xxxcellent opinion piece on Real's recent Harmony RAGE and how it might impact Apple.

Reclaiming the center - An interesting article analyzing a fundamental shift in the "getting one's rear kicked" strategy of the Democrats with regards to traditional weak points, rhetorically and politically speaking.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Apple debuts iPod mini in Tokyo while a month backordered in the US

Seems like a great way to deal with demand you can't keep up with - introduce more, without introducing any plans on increasing supply! Let's keep in mind Europe's coming up soon. It seems like a pretty desperate attempt to keep people from forgetting the thing exists at all: By making waiting lines yet longer for everyone, be they American, Japanese, or Euro-peons. Weak.

Apple's slow boat to China - A great article on how Apple is continuing to drag its feet in an extremely profitable high growth market, especially with its iPods....time to ramp up production some more!@#$#@% - Any THAWTS?

Kerry enters DNC getting REAMed at the polls - We'll see how the BOUNCE goes....

Monday, July 26, 2004

Jobs announces iTunes for Motorola mobiles. whoa--didn't see that one comin'@#$%

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Disney and Pixar back in LUV? it's pure unfounded rumour, baybee, but a boy can dream, can't he?@#$ note: i'm only posting this so we can say "j00 heard it here first" in the unlikely event that it's tr00. if it turns out to be BULLSHIT, it might get 1984'd@

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

The "Best" Thin Client? no comment on the value judgment in the title, but this anecdote in a slashdot comment details one school district's solution for supporting multiple platforms. the five-second summary: they plan to run file, print and directory services on xserves, windows-specific apps on windows terminal server systems and linux and x11 stuff with the linux terminal server project. all of this gets accessed via emac thin clients. the end result? $599 systems that can run mac, windows and linux apps at reasonable speeds and can be centrally managed. ain't that leibnizian?@

Power Measurement on the Power Mac G5. wes felter and tom keller of ibm do some HARDCORE analysis of the power mac g5's power usage. their conclusion:
We have observed that there can be significant power consumption differences between 970 processors. We hope that interested readers of this report will extend this work to take further advantage of the first consumer desktop system which makes power and thermal data so readily available.
lots of g00d data in here if you're interested in the 970's power consumption (attn. all PBG5 beggars@#$).

Experts: Beheadings pervert legitimate laws - A bizarre article on various scholars explaining why the beheadings just ain't cricket@#$

"Many people in countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar and elsewhere think that beheading -- if it is done appropriately, that is, if a person is found guilty at the end of a trial with evidence and witnesses, and [the execution] is done in a humane manner -- then it would be acceptable," said Shehata, an assistant professor of politics.

"But that is a fundamentally different scenario," he said, "than the case of Nick Berg or Paul Johnson or the South Korean, where someone just took a kitchen knife and cut somebody's head off. That is disgusting universally."

Why registration sites suck - A nice Wired article on how people are circumventing the garbage registration a bit too many newspapers pester you about for demographics information they can show their advertisers for greater revenue. One site to remember, baybee:

BugMeNot

Use it. Live it. Love it. --via BoingBoing

Incidentally, you might want to use it on the latimes article about Bob Weinstein, too!@

If one Weinstein stays, Disney hopes it's Bob - A nice article informing readers of the lesser Weinstein and his outfit within the Miramax - Dimension Films, something that's now turning out to be a supergood superprofitable studio.

An inside look at the birth of the iPod - A blow-by-blow account of how the iPod was developed by Apple and PortalPlayer, by a former senior manager....hawt!@

Knauss said Jobs' influence was sometimes idiosyncratic. For example, the iPod is louder than most MP3 players because Jobs is partly deaf, he said. "They drove the sound up so he could hear it," Knauss said.

Of course, this guy quit PP 'cuz he thought the iPod wouldn't be a success. Aw :<

v-twin sez: this part was HAWT:
"There was no discussion of (digital rights management)," Knauss said. "Their belief was DRM would hurt sales when they rolled out the music store. They specifically wanted no DRM in the original iPod."
l00ks like fairplay came into being to appease the riaa during negotiations. imagine how NUTZOID itms sales would be if the original plan had held@#

Light says: Heh...this is a much better way of commenting on the article in a meaningful way as compared to the comments feature....more for people who don't have nifty admin access, I guess :>>

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

The Anarchist's Cookbook. PVTMKT RAGE from health-f00d hippies. sounds like a bunch of commie bullshit, but it's actually cold, hard BIZNIZ shit.

Hide-and-seek for grownups - An article on the sport of letterboxing. What is it? Well, think of when you used to hide easter eggs for your friends. Now, think of doing that with a global community of people interested in finding stuff other people hid. You put a notebook in a clear waterproof container, hide it somewhere, and publish clues (simple, complex, or mindbogglingly vague) on a centralized website....then wait for people to take you up on the challenge, and leave their stamps in that notebook in the box you hid. More details of the art in the article.

Honor killings rise in Iraq - Apparently, the US had made a big deal of womens' rights in Iraq...which is idiotic, because women had more rights in Iraq than in any other Muslim country, save perhaps Turkey and Lebanon even 5-10 years ago, under Big Bad Saddam. Now, of course, religious fundamentalism is on the rise...whee!#@

Japan and America: Two "Cultures of Piracy". an analysis of how the rise of peer-to-peer, mobiles and cd burners have impacted the two countries differently.

Former Clinton aide removes terrorism-related documents. sandy berger BONKS hardcore@#$

WSJ: Fahrenheit 9/11 has recruited an unlikely audience: Soldiers

"I hear they've got a lot of interviews with soldiers," says Sgt. Alsobrook, whose one-year tour in Iraq ended in February. He expects to return in September.

The Florida native said: "I want to see another point of view on Bush. It never hurts."

With this one...it just might@#

Vegas casino RAGEs as performer praises Fahrenheit 9/11

Ronstadt called Moore a "great American patriot" and "someone who is spreading the truth" during a performance at the Aladdin venue on Saturday.

Some among the crowd of 4,500 stormed out, tore down concert posters and tossed cocktails into the air.

Apple vs. Sony - Businessweek's summary of the hard drive capacity squabble between the two 'pod makers.

Monday, July 19, 2004

SF clubs you can't join - From BB:

Yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle surveyed the most exclusive clubs in San Francisco, from the San Francisco Golf Club (with an alleged "no Jews, no people-of-color" policy) to the shadowy Bohemian Grove, a frat party playground for the conservative rich white guys running our shadow government:

Hawt#$

Olympians Gone WILD! your faithful editors feel compelled to DELVE into tabloid territory occasionally:
Edith Thys, an American skier at Calgary and Albertville, agrees that the partying gold should probably go to the Canadians, but she awards the licentiousness medal to the French. "They are by far the most promiscuous," says Thys, "but only with each other. I’m not sure if that’s because they wouldn’t sleep with anybody else, or because nobody else would sleep with them."

The Management of Innovation. some interesting notes here. i tend to equate "managing" innovation with stifling it, but i'm willing to give PVTMKT the benefit of the doubt occasionally@#

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Martha Stewart compares herself to Nelson Mandela - Alright...time to upgrade her 5-month sentence in a minimum security prison to almost 30 years in Robben Island with sadistic guards and the brisk labor of crushing limestone, where long-term exposure to sunlight glinting off the limestone resulted in Mandela going blind. :>

Friday, July 16, 2004

House votes to strip Saudi aid - for a royal total of $25,000. But it's the principle that counts, damnit!@

Apple posts quarterly results conference call on iTMS (free download). c00te@#$

Thursday, July 15, 2004

End of an era - Mike Dell steps aside as CEO after 20 years at the top. He'll continue on as Chairman, and current President Rollins will assume his duties. This is the place to leave the leadership of a company - when it's doing better than ever before. RoCK.

Stephen Hawking retracts breakthrough suggestion he made 30 years ago regarding black holes - This, in turn, allows for the possibility that some things may be able to escape from a black hole's gravitational pull, putting the possibility in line with commonly accepted quantam physics theory, and solves a paradox Hawking set up 30 years ago.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Uh Oh:
In short, 1) economists publish papers with results that are not replicable, and 2) few make enough effort to notice. Economists - we have a big problem here. It looks like we fib to each other, and then wink at the liars. This is not the way to run a science.

Armitage apologizes for Indian "strip search" saga - Heh....this article is noteworthy for the title, if nothing else :>>> - Apparently, the defense minister of India was made to go through the same security procedures as mere mortals (taking off shoes, belts, etc.), even though high-level dignitaries are exempt from these rules in all airports. Now, Armitage, "horrified," apologizes to the dOOd.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Whose Life Would You Save? a princeton philosopher tries to tackle some classic problems in ethics and economics with neuroscience and fMRI studies. this is g00d shit; it even gives some LUV to d.hume, the greatest scottish philosopher in the history of time.

IMWatching: stalktastical instant messenger profiling@#

Six Design Lessons from the Apple Store. As everyone but Alex Salkever seems to know, the Apple Stores are key to expanding Mac marketshare in the home market, and Adaptive Path analyzes some of design elements that make them effective.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Wired reports on bloggers suffering burnout - Since we've almost got a blog started, we've almost become famous, which means we're almost on the verge of burnout. Right?

Several bloggers contacted for this story noted that their readers seem to look at their regular, consistent posting patterns as somewhat akin to a sign of physical health. And any break in that pattern is sometimes seen as a cause for alarm.

"I know that if I go more than about five or six hours without posting, or telling people that I'm not going to be blogging for the rest of the day," said Reynolds, readers e-mail him and say, "You haven't posted anything in five or six hours. Are you OK?"

Is economics a science? Cambridge sez "no", the Royal Society sez "yes"! Sir Partha Sarathi Dasgupta, newly inducted Royal Society fellow and Cambridge econ prof, is in the "yes" camp.

it's waaaaay early to be talking benchmarks, but that hasn't stopped geek patrol: tiger vs. panther vs. jaguar

Sunday, July 11, 2004

MI6 "withdraws" Saddam WMDs "evidence" - Oop!@$

Bush set to be first president since Warren G. Harding to fail to address the NAACP while in office - This can possibly convince the organization to organize better voter drives than the ones in 2000.

Key conservatives uneasy about Bush

But nearly 150 conservatives listened in silence recently as a veteran of the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations ticked off a litany of missteps in Iraq by the Bush White House.

"This war is not going well," said Stefan Halper, a deputy assistant secretary of state under President Reagan.

"It's costing us a lot of money, isolating us from our allies and friends," said Halper, who gave $1,000 to George W. Bush's campaign and more than $83,000 to other GOP causes in 2000. "This is not the cakewalk the neoconservatives predicted. We were not greeted with flowers in the streets."

Say it ain't so!$#

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Amnesty: US continues to show contempt for Gitmo detainee's rights - Yes, that silly organization which was ignored when it said abuse in violation of the Geneva Conventions was taking place in Iraq months before the Army "discovered" this.

How Bush addresses a press conference question regarding Ken Lay - Because it's pretty clear any attempt at an answer, particularly by Bush, with regards to Kenny Boy, can hardly lead to better events.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

Six steps for turning around Apple's (core business,) Macintosh sales - THOUGHTS? Step 6 may be particularly fascinating.

So there you have it. I can't say my prescription is guaranteed to flip the switch. But I might suggest you enact my plan at around the same time you launch your much anticipated new iMac line. If you want me to head your marketing department or even do a guest consulting gig in exchange for some autographed T-shirts, you know where to find me. In the meantime, I'll just keep writing columns.

Such is the LOVE Apple still generates...#@$@

Michigan GOP gathers petitions to get Nader on ballot - How much more obvious can Nader's effect on the future of this country be? (= - But, hey, let us RAGE about voting for what we truly believe in#$

Greg McNeilly of the state Republican Party said the GOP is doing nothing wrong and hopes Nader will draw votes from the Democratic candidate. Republicans will make sure Nader has more than the 30,000 valid signatures he needs by July 15 to qualify for the Michigan ballot, McNeilly said.

"Unlike the Democratic Party, where 'D' stands for disenfranchisement, we want voters to have choices," he said.

The choice to screw themselves over, no doubt. And, undoutably, we'll have a portion of the population more than willing to take up that offer by Mr. McNeilly.

CIA was informed by people in Iraq's WMD programs that program was abandoned - But, this information never got to anyone? The passing of the buck may continue yet!$@

When universes collide: Inviting Republicans to a Fahrenheit 9/11 screening in Texas - And it is indeed like a whole 'nother country out there. One of the guests is Larry Forrester:

White, male, middle-aged professional, solid Republican supporter, regular church-goer, and proud father of three - all being raised with Christian values - his movie tastes run more to The Passion of the Christ, which he pronounces "excellent". Nor is Forrester likely to prove susceptible to Moore's broadside against Bush, or give way to weepy self-criticism of America's invasion of Iraq.

Forrester describes himself as a "patriot's patriot", and the president as the "flower of the country". He says he admires Bush's honesty, his Christian values, the black and white clarity of his views. "He is what he is," Forrester says. He gets his information from a parallel media universe - the conservative Fox television network, rightwing websites and commentators that are unknown outside their partisan audience.


He only gave the film a 4/10 ):

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Senate confirms wacko to the Judiciary 51-46 - And the Democrats show their galvanized unity once again. Five Republicans voted against the appointment (Including one citing a lack of commitment to the equality of women in the country), but six Democrats crossed over to make the confirmation possible (Including one who said she accepted his apology, and both Democratic Senators from Arkansas in a show of support to their homestate boi).

[Leon Holmes] apologized for writing in 1980 that rape victims rarely get pregnant, calling them a "red herring" in the debate over abortion. But Holmes said his 1997 comparison of the Catholic Church's subservient relationship with Jesus Christ to a wife's duties to her husband was unfairly taken out of context. In an article he co-authored with his wife, he said a wife has an obligation "to subordinate herself to her husband" and "to place herself under the authority of the man."

Reporter gets inside look at Iraqi insurgency - A scary/interesting/etc. read on how an Australian reporter for Time has been serving as a go-between between the Iraqi insurgency and the Western media, and now has stepped into the spotlight when given videotapes of the planning and execution of horrific attacks in Iraq.

Congressmen: Military is stretched too thin - Bring on...the draft?!$^#$ gOOd things happen when folks unnecessarily open up theaters of war which distract and undermine their efforts where they're needed most (In that place called Afghanistan - which the American public's 15-second memory span has undoubtably forgotten).

Pentagon personnel chief David Chu said defense officials can make better use of those in the service by reorganizing brigades, making sure uniformed personnel are not performing jobs civilians could do and temporarily increasing troops levels with stop-loss and other devices.

``I really think you're wrong,'' Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., told Chu.

Matt Drudge showers kudos on Fahrenheit 9/11 - It's a cute article which shows some shills can appreciate work done across the party line that resembles their own.

Mr. Drudge was not concerned with the loss of objectivity in the news; it’s not something terribly important in the scheme of history. “Nixon said history belongs to those who write it,” said Mr. Drudge. “That’s what it is. You see things through your own prism. I feel what I do on the Internet is just one guy’s outlook in the world…”

Al D'Amato: Bush should drop Cheney - Always knew I liked ol' Al for a reason!@ D'Amato's recommendations for the replacement? Colin Powell. Or, John McCain. Ideas that could potentially mean something for the Republican ticket, but I think Cheney's taken too much of a liking running the country to give up his seat. (:P)

It's official - Saddam statue toppling staged - Finally, we have an official Army report that confirms all those wide-angle shots that suggested the toppling wasn't all of Baghdad's citizens coming together and holding hands to celebrate the coming of Americans. Military PSYOPS pounced on an American soldier's initial assessment of a "target of opportunity." Cute.

New guidelines gut HIV prevention and endanger young people's lives. st00pid. at least bush is carrying on reagan's legacy in one respect...!@#$

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

The End of Management? - A really, really, really interesting read: Companies have started opening futures trading markets to their own employees to gamble on....their employers. And, it turns out the predictions are more accurate most of the time than the shiny reports generated by analysts and the managers of those analysts. The article gives some unfalicious details on this stuff. If you're a technophile wondering if any large organization will ever meaningfully embrace revolutionary ideas and implement them with bleeding edge technology, or even if you aren't, give 'er a whirl!@$

Some thoughts on Apple's iPod Mini supply issues - It's a gOOd read.

Is Apple being badly managed? Can you blame Apple/Jobs for the fact that you cannot buy an iPod mini if your life depended on it, or that the new iMac won’t ship for at least 2 months, yet you can no longer place an order for a flat-panel G4 iMac? Or do you simply give Apple a pass, and instead blame Hitachi or not making enough 1” hard drives to satisfy demand, and IBM for their 90-nanometer problems with the G5? Is it time to take a long hard look at Steve Jobs performance as CEO, or give him another Gulf Stream Jet?

Yes....let the Mac apologista continue their wretched existance!@

Tony Blair: "WMD may never be found." - As in, they aren't there. Looks like the reality signals are interfering with the la-la land ones finally.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Coke opens $9m plant in Somalia - So much for the country descending into genocidal civil war since they kicked the US out. Yes, there was civil war, yes, it's a dangerous place - but Somalia is also the home to a gun-enforced economy that's slowly blossoming.

bin-Laden family secures contract to build tallest tower in the world in Dubai - One that dwarfs the absurdly-named Freedom Tower by over 500 feet, and has design elements that evokes memory of the original WTC complex for this writer, at any rate. This is old news, I know, but it's amusing that mainstream press failed to cover this story adequately.

the plan for a new tower in Dubai and the visual connection it makes in relation to New York's former Twin Towers represents a new turn in the symbolism the company embraces. It blurs the lines between Osama's actions in the name of Islam and the kinds of Islamic projects for which the company has become known.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

US General confirms Baghdad will be overruled regarding war on terrorism - So, so far we have: The military forces in a country that aren't accountable to the government, which don't follow orders of the government, and now it's clearly stated that the military can do things despite the government directly opposed it. Yes, sovereignty indeed.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Florida cans error-ridden list of to-be-disenfranchised citizens - And promises to do a careful investigation before bOOting people from voter registration. Of course, verification is left to the counties, in a shining example of decentralized inefficiency making. Proving the inefficiency, many have yet to start looking at the lists. Some are considering hiring consultants to do the work for them, as they are running short on time and expertise to do it.

Army admits completely disasterous logistics in Iraq invasion - And here I was, thinking that the US had rushed into war..?

More on the Alaska Senate battle - Nepotism doesn't WARM Alaskan Republican souls? :o

An ad sponsored by the GOP Senatorial Committee highlights Democratic opposition to drilling in the refuge and links Knowles with Massachusetts Sens. Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, who "wouldn't know a caribou if it dropped in for a bowl of Boston clam chowder.

Maybe, but at least Knowles won his elections instead of being appointed Anchorage mayor/Governor by his progeny (=

Friday, July 02, 2004

wKetchup: If you don't support Dems, neither should your ketchup - This particular crossroad in the internet supercity grid brought to you courtesy of Google....thank you, AdSense.

One of the features that supposedly distinguishes Sony's new Walkman from the iPod is battery life: 30 hours for the Sony versus eight for the iPod. But Wes Felter points out the numbers game Sony is playing to get there:

Dell has been advertising "twice the battery life of iPod" on the radio lately, but the fast talk at the end of the commercial says they assume 64kbps files. Most people probably have 128kbps files on their iPods, so the Dell DJ probably accesses the hard disk half as often -- voila, twice the battery life. And if you use 48kbps audio, like Sony does, then you get three times the iPod's battery life -- around 30 hours. When everybody's using the same parts, the only way to get a 2x or 3x advantage is to cheat.

The won't be iPod-killer - A not-so-optimistic look at the next generation Walkman from Sony, pitched directly by Goliath to whomp David...Whomp i'm, I say!@$#

Sony's dual nature as both a consumer electronics manufacturer and a record company has forced it to walk an impossible path where, in a market that demands maximum openness and flexibility, its obvious need to support music player technology is contradicted by its interest to protect its intellectual property.

Economic recovery hits the skids - Only a few more than 100,000 jobs added in June (Yes, 2,000 jobs per state..), which is opposite the trend of a recovering economy. Also noteworthy - May job stats are revised to show lower gains in May, unemployment rate continues at 5.6%, and fewer jobs were created than the number needed to absorb newly available workers at the end of an academic year. The oil spike could have something to do with it - another possibility is that the economy's strength has been overhyped for quite some time.