Thursday, September 30, 2004

Which way do polls lean? pretty thorough cross-poll comparison of bush's job approval rating and current voter sentiment. the variance between polls is deep and wide, baybee@#

IBM Claims Its Supercomputer Is World's Fastest. take that, apple@#$ bluegene/l stomps nec's earth simulator, which was already stomping every xserve cluster to date. booyah@

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Bad: HR4077 Passed the House. RAGE:
HR 4077 passed in the House this afternoon. This major label dream-law would send people to jail for sharing 1,000 songs, or just one unreleased album. That's right, up to 5 years in jail for sharing one album. It passed on a voice vote, so you can't even go see if your Congressperson supported it-- their votes simply aren't on record. They'll send hundreds kids to jail as a favor to some corrupt industry but they won't put their names on it. Cowards.

The bill also includes charming things like restrictions on devices that let you skip commercials (remember, America: if you don't watch the commercials, you're stealing TV). HR 4077 still has to go through the Senate, but it could easily sail through.
today's thought exercise: how many representatives have college-aged kids? how many representatives would ok with their college-aged kids rotting in jail for five years over some mp3s?

Friday, September 24, 2004

holy. SHIT. solarian ii for os x. this is one of the greatest mac games of all time, and it's been ported to panther. it was one of the first color games for the mac (i think crystal quest was the original gangsta, but i never liked it), and it was shareware! i still remember studiously avoiding all the challenge round bonuses, because they crashed my mac iici.

solarian ii's a classic. it was funny and intricate and it set the tone for mac shareware games; the same sort of spirt was present in later classics like malestrom and ben haller's own asteroids homage, lunatic fringe.

Republicans Admit Mailing Campaign Literature Saying Liberals Will Ban the Bible. this could really just pass with no comment, but it'll make me feel better if i attach a "what the FUCK?", so here it is! ahhh. now i'll count backwards from ten and pretend like this never happened!

Star Wars: Comedy in the Making - A very cOOt article with a series of anecdotes on how haphazardly and nuttily this thing was made, and how the mOOd around making it was far less serious than people take it to be. Motions to remove "Wars" from the title, make Chewy wear pants, etc.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Ashcroft to let enemy combatant go:
(1) If he is such a threat that he was held without charge for 3 years, why is he suddenly being released as soon as the Supreme Court required the DoJ to actually give evidence as to why he was designated as an enemy combatant in the first place?

(2) If he was not a threat, why was he held in a manner which should be truly disgusting to any American citizen (He is one, though he will have to give up his citizenship)?

(3) Let us also revisit Ashcroft and the DoJ's brilliant use of sweeping post-9/11 powers given to it in the form of PATRIOT Act. Total number of successful prosecutions against al-Qaeda, or any group associated attacks against the US in Afghanistan or Iraq: ZERO. If they cannot use virtually unlimited surveillance power to get a guilty verdict, perhaps they don't particularly need to continue rolling back lawyer-client privileges and other assorted rights which all Americans should cherish, and actually concentrate on actually building cases which prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, instead of detaining whomever they please and letting them go as soon as the spotlight focuses on them?

I hate to use such strong language....but this is absolutely ridiculous.

A well-written editorial on how Kerry needs to stop the BS - The author is of the opinion that the assorted crap by well-meaning parties on the airwaves is drowning out the New Kerry. I couldn't agree more. Just as an example of how keen this author's ears are:

The Democrats' dogged pursuit of the National Guard story through all this is perhaps an understandable desire for political payback. But it is also a fundamental misunderstanding of the voters. The Swift Boat Vets story got legs because it addressed Kerry's primary claim for what kind of wartime leader he would be (i.e., a good one because he was a good soldier in Vietnam). Contrary to the efforts to make it a parallel issue, the National Guard story is irrelevant to most people because they already know — for better or worse — exactly what kind of wartime leader Bush is.

Still, despite Bush's widening margins, this election will hinge on the ability to turn out the bases. Judging by Kerry's recent tough rhetoric and even the conversion of John Edwards into a rabid golden retriever, the debates may provide Americans with a crisper choice than they've seen thus far in the campaign.

Kerry is a good debater and could come off well, provided he doesn't announce himself as "reporting for duty."

unF.

Bush dismisses pessimistic CIA report on Iraq - La-la land mentality continues.

"The CIA laid out several scenarios. It said that life could be lousy, life could be OK, life could be better. And they were just guessing as to what the conditions might be like," Bush told reporters during a picture-taking session with Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi.

By "lousy life" he means "region collapsing into civil war." - I wasn't aware the president was such a master of discrete understatements.

Zogby Poll shows Kerry hanging onto slim lead - If the elections were held today, the Poll calls for Kerry to get 264 electoral votes to Bush's 241, with Florida and Arkansas too close to call. AK's begun to swing because of the sympathy regarding Clinton's heart surgery and his apparent pity on Kerry's campaign. There's a lot of interesting and wittily written analysis in this Zogby PR, though - it's well worth a read.

Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) may not support Bush Nov. 2 - Before the seeds of Republicans for Kerry are planted, he also wishes to say that he'll probably write in another Republican's name - Geurge HW Bush's. Since when was making frivolous votes a Republican's cup 'o' tea?

Kerry's campaign lashes out at a gently mocking ad - This appears to be a positive sign that he (and his new advisors) isn't willing to take crap anymore. These "gentle mockings" were the precisely the penny/nickeling to death that occured to Dukakis. It may be too late for Kerry already, but it's a bit refreshing to see someone fighting a spin machine with a lot of pre-packaged RAGE.

"They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That's the Chicago way." - The Untouchables (sound clip)

It increasingly lOOks like that's going to be the Electorate way of getting things done.

Andrew Sullivan write on Time why a word of thanks is due for bloggers - RAGE on, baybee!@#

Does this mean the old media is dead? Not at all. Blogs depend on the journalistic resources of big media to do the bulk of reporting and analysis. What blogs do is provide the best scrutiny of big media imaginable—ratcheting up the standards of the professionals, adding new voices, new perspectives and new facts every minute. The genius lies not so much in the bloggers themselves but in the transparent system they have created. In an era of polarized debate, the truth has never been more available.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

The Official God FAQ

Dear Content Producers and Owners: We lied to you. this is a must-read.

science builds better ice cream. and the same science might some day enable better cryonics. mmm, people popsicle!

when economists RAGE on relationships:
I figure that everyone, men and women alike, derives diminishing marginal utility (MU) from relationship time. But the MU diminishes more quickly for men than for women.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Noam Chomsky encourages like-minded folks to Vote Kerry - Even if you agree with Nader on the issues, as he does.

"Anyone who says, 'I don't care if Bush gets elected' is basically telling poor and working people in the country, 'I don't care if your lives are destroyed. I don't care whether you are going to have a little money to help your disabled mother. I just don't care, because from my elevated point of view I don't see much difference between them.' That's a way of saying, 'Pay no attention to me, because I don't care about you.' Apart from its being wrong, it's a recipe for disaster if you're hoping to ever develop a popular movement and a political alternative." --Noam Chomsky, 2004

So very very hawt!@ - My thought that Noam Chomsky was idealistic to the point where he was disconnected from reality has been DRUBBED by ol' Noam - always thought he had it in him!$@

Saturday, September 18, 2004

The hand-marked ballot wins for accuracy - Turns out, MIT did a study on what voting methods actually worked after the 2000 elections. Their finding: Electronic voting - both the old and new variety, perform scarcely better than punch cards, the worst existing form of voting. The best? Hand marking (complete the arrow), and SAT-style bubble filling voting slips.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

apple profiles the mach5 xserve cluster at colsa. this is the 1,562-node supercomputer recently installed at a defense contractor. it's good to see a legitimate demonstration of the xserve's power (as opposed to the jokers at vt).

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

the first trailer for frank miller's SIN CITY is out. shows promise, but wtf? when will people get the hint that bad acting does not make a movie feel like a comic b00k?@#$%

[via]

"[Bush's] is the excuse presidency -- never wrong, never responsible, never to blame... no, it's not our fault; no, there's nothing wrong; no, we can't do better; no, we haven't made a single mistake."
thank FUCK someone is finally saying it. and that someone is john kerry.

Monday, September 13, 2004

The man who lost his past: the true story of the guy whose story inspired "The Terminal". hint: it ain't xxxactly a Spielberg-o ending@#

i guess all hawtness comes at a price; now, this unconscionable news: Pill propelled into abortion debate. calling it chemical abortion, some us doctors are refusing to prescribe the pill. feel that women's rights slope? mmm, yeah, it feels slippery!

i'm sorry, but... this is so HAWT i can barely stand it@#: Beatles' suit could upset the Apple cart
Word among the legal community is that an out of court settlement could be imminent and that it will massively dwarf the $26.5 million paid to the Fab Four's company in 1991 in a row over trademark use. One lawyer told Daily Variety, "People are expecting this to be the biggest settlement anywhere in legal history, outside of a class action suit. The numbers could be mind boggling."


Light says: This part's particularly hot hot hot!@

Some speculation suggests the settlement could see Apple Corps. becoming a major shareholder in the computer company, with Paul McCartney maybe even becoming a board member.


RAGE, baby....RAGE!$#

Saturday, September 11, 2004

BoingBoing: Matthew sez: "Last night, BBC Radio 4 aired a fascinating programme about Yale's ultra-secretive Skull and Bones club. Both George W and John Kerry are members of the club and the programme suggests it has a wide-ranging influence in American life. Direct link to the RealPlayer stream of the show, which should be available for seven days.


It's skinny on facts, but what's available is absolutely fascinating - Quite possibly the most powerful organization in America, a secret society with 800 members, tops, with an upper-class network far-reaching into the top levels of business, government, media, and the élite of the élite. unF.

Friday, September 10, 2004

WSJ: Eisner to step down as CEO when contract ends in '06 - You heard it here first, folks@#!

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Paul Samuelson says outsourcing may not be the best thing for the US - Whoa!@Y$@#(& - Didn't really expect the father of modern economics to say that!@#

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

what the FUCK?
"It's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on Nov. 2, we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again and we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States." --dick cheney, 07 sept 2004.
i don't care who you are, what party you represent, or what you've said in the past: saying this is completely UNACCEPTABLE.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Michael Eisner describes President/COO Bob Iger as his "preferred" successor - Which I'm not so sure about. Iger publicly committed himself to turning around ABC, and then backed off when the turnaround didn't happen. I'm not a big fan of people who do that - I'd rather they say, "I tried everything, and am continuing to try everything," instead of saying, "Well, it's really that division's problem, not mine." after suggesting otherwise.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

I've got an avalanche of LOVE regarding the RNC, and the flipflopped side of the charges etc. associated with it:

First, a couple of articles from Blue Lemur, with extensive sourcing:

(1) Dubya photograph in Bush I's presidential library shows him wearing medal he didn't earn:
Punishment for wearing an award one hasn’t earned is punishable by bad-conduct discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and/or confinement for 6 months under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.


(2) Reagan's Secretary of Defense confirms Bush was AWOL in '72...and that he constantly has shown attempts to deceive the public about this matter. A good read that summarizes the case against Bush's military record (or lack thereof) with a nice series of documentations laying out various charges.

Now, visiting the war-record theme a bit more:

(3) Ben Barnes, former Lieutenant Governor of Texas, says he's "ashamed" of securing George W. Bush a position in the Texas Air National Guard in 1969 so he could avoid serving in Vietnam.

Barnes, who was the Texas House Speaker at the time, says it was a recent trip to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., that led him to the realization that aiding the children of rich donors, including President Bush, in their efforts to avoid service in Vietnam was "the worst thing I did." Link to Quicktime movie.

(4) Incidentally, you'll note these articles or movies have solid sources backing them up, like Defense Secretaries and Lt. Governors. In the meanwhile, a veteran whose name appears in a letter defaming Kerry by questioning his war record reveals his name was "signed" onto it without his permission, and that he does not support it.

(5) Delegates mock Kerry with "purple heart" bandages - This was SO witty that I had to revisit this, despite the fact the traditional RNC coverage went over it. What a slap in the face: Not just for Kerry, but for every other veteran who was awarded one, and our armed services as a whole.

Readers, pass this LOVE to a veteran near you - I hope they find it as witty as the delegates do.

(6) And just in case it wasn't exceedingly obvious already: Yet another link between the Bush administration and the "independent" Swift Boat Veterans for Truth organization is revealed - An Admiral who claims Kerry did not deserve one of his purple hearts turns out to be a lobbyist who helped his client get a $40m contract from the government. And, he's given generously to the Bush campaign.

(7) Oh, and it also turns out that two other SBVT vets were appointed by Bush to a panel advising Veterans Affairs.

Now that we've dealt with the Vietnam War theme, let's actually talk non-Vietnam era related mudslinging, and the convention itself:

(8) Fairness in Accuracy and Reporting: Failure of fact-checking at the RNC - A strong, well-documented summary of the embellishments and corner-cuts that strengthened misrepresentations of parties and their positions, not to mention the candidates.

(9) John McCain believes Zig Zag Zell Miller's divisive speech could hurt Bush

(10) An amusing montage from the Daily Show regarding Bush, his words, and his difficult challenge facing reality.

(11) And, it turns out the GOP, to further trumpet the military-lovin', chest-beatin', 9/11-exploitin' horn, has been bending and breaking laws passed down from many-a-convention ago that prohibits active military personnel from attending conventions. There's a reason why on-stage military folk at the DNC had all retired.

(12) Incidentally - my personal reaction to the RNC? I thought John McCain had a gOOd speech. :)

The Democratic response:

(13) Edwards observes there's RAGE at the Convention - And muses whether a bit of RAGE couldn't be spent on reacting to job losses and suffering by Americans, instead of spending it on trying to destroy Kerry.

(14) Kerry finally takes the gloves off - Dems can hope this ain't just a small phase of releasing the pent-up responses to the ridiculous charges facing him. Dukakis decided to take the high road, despite the fact his Veep thought he should fight back. Dukakis lost. We'll see how effective Kerry's fight is.
Some pundits also wondered whether Mr Kerry had left his counter-attack too late.

"We're at the point now where all's fair in love and war, and politics is war," said Larry Sabato, a political science professor at the University of Virginia. "The problem is Kerry is out of synch. The time for this was a month ago, but it came on a night when all the coverage went to Bush's speech. I find it incredibly odd."


But, of course, none of this will matter:

(15) Better media coverage leads to Bush opening up a 11 point lead over Kerry - The Bush-Cheney team opened up a lead or closed a gap in essentially every issue anyone thinks is important to this election, and Bush's approval rating went above 50% for the first time in a long, long time.

(16) You thought the Swift Boat Vets for Truth was tOO gOOd to be trOO? You ain't seen nothin' yet! A new "independent" organization, disappointed by the Bush team's "timid" ads, have a new lineup of ads, one of which compares Kerry to Hitler, set to air nationally next week. unF.

(17) Bill Clinton hits the surgery table - In the process, cancelling non-stop campaigning for Kerry he had committed to, starting at the end of the book tour. His chest pains started on the last day of the book tour. unF.
Let me just say this: Republicans aren't the only people who want four more years," Mr Clinton joked.(link)

Will both parties will get their wishes?!@$ Well, maybe not...poor Clinton :(

(18) And, if everything else goes to hell, have a plan B: Bin Laden capture "nearing."

Have a good night, amigos!@$

Hatefest at Madison Square - The RNC, indeed, redefines the catchy term used by Republicans. Paul Krugman writes on why the Republicans are just so enRAGEd. He suggests they're compensating for something ;)

"I don't know where George Soros gets his money," one man said. "I don't know where -- if it comes from overseas or from drug groups or where it comes from." George Soros, another declared, "wants to spend $75 million defeating George W. Bush because Soros wants to legalize heroin." After all, a third said, Soros "is a self-admitted atheist; he was a Jew who figured out a way to survive the Holocaust."

They aren't LaRouchies -- they're Republicans.

The suggestion that Soros, who has spent billions promoting democracy around the world, is in the pay of drug cartels came from Dennis Hastert, the speaker of the House. After standing by his remarks for several days, Hastert finally claimed that he was talking about how Soros spends his money, not where he gets it.

what is your dream career?

if you don't have one yet, please allow me to provide one, free of charge: animating for a third-rate studio that farms out tweening to south korea. your job is to insert as many blatant sexual innuendoes as possible without getting caught. blending the word "sex" into some fucking leaves in a disney movie does not count. no--we're talking about low-rent crap that parents buy to pacify their kinds, instead of going straight to the heroin like any sensible human beings.

i commend those who are already living the dream. for example, whoever was responsible for huge volcanos that blast a milky white substance on “strawberry shortcake's ice cream island" deserves snaps.

the words speakers used at the democratic and republican national conventions, in POG FORM. the breakdown of who said what the most is intriguing.

not convinced that electronic voting is a fucking trainwreck yet? i offer this for your evaluation:
By entering a 2-digit code in a hidden location [on Diebold systems], a second set of votes is created. This set of votes can be changed, so that it no longer matches the correct votes. The voting system will then read the totals from the bogus vote set. It takes only seconds to change the votes, and to date not a single location in the U.S. has implemented security measures to fully mitigate the risks.

votergasm: buying votes with sweet lovin'. needless to say, i approve@#