Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Hardcore Colorado Democrats may serve as national model - In a decidedly Republican election, Colorado and Oregon stood out as two states where Democrats clawed their way back - in Colorado, with a state with a majority of voters registered Republicans. What did they do, and how did they do it? The national party's taking a look.
"We campaigned on pragmatism," state Democratic Chairman Christopher Gates said. "We set ourselves up as the problem solvers, while the Republicans were hung up on a bunch of fringe social issues like gay marriage and the Pledge of Allegiance.

"The notion that moral issues won the 2004 election was disproven in Colorado," Gates continued. "We offered solutions, not ideology, and won almost everything."
Hawt, baybee...very hawt.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Getting the Bible back to its roots. biblical scholar robert altar's giving it the ol' whack-through to correct translation errors in the king james version and restore the "tone" of the original hebrew without dumbing it down:
[John] Updike took exception to some of the translation. For example, he is a lot happier with the King James version in which "the spirit of God moved upon the face of the water" than with Alter's version of the same sentence: "God's breath hovering over the waters."

But Alter, in an interview with Reuters, said he used the phrase "God's breath" rather than the "spirit of God" for a simple reason: "The Hebrew word means life's breath, a constant moving of oxygen in and out. The body-soul split of early Christianity is something not imagined in the early Hebrew."
sounds HAWT--it's goin on my LIST.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Whoa - Mel Karmazin, the ultimate radio guy, grabbed by Sirius. Stock up 23% on news.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Putin Says Development of New Nuclear Systems Under Way in Russia. oh, putin, baybee! whisper more sweetness in our ears. but please, get a little more sun!

i guess now is the time to ask, "how long is our collective memory?" looks like the answer is, "about twelve years."

if you're worried about all the HAWTness leaving washington, don't be! House GOP Embraces Change in Membership Rules to Insulate DeLay Against Possible Indictment:
House Republicans approved a party rules change Wednesday that could allow Majority leader Tom DeLay to retain his leadership post if he is indicted by a Texas grand jury on state political corruption charges.

The current party rule in this area requires House Republican leaders and the heads of the various committees to relinquish their positions if indicted for a crime that could bring a prison term of at least two years. It makes no distinction between a federal and state indictment. Three of DeLay's political associates already have been indicted by that Texas grand jury.
i guess he's just... that... g00d@#$%

Monday, November 15, 2004

Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham to resign

Colin Powell resigns as Secretary of State - The people who voted for Bush because otherwise you'd lose Powell...do you feel like an idjot now? :) (Cabinet secretary #3, Official #5 to go)

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Pixar can afford to play hard-to-get after The Incredibles - Nothing new in this article, except Jobs reinforced they won't make a deal until the last possible minute.

Bordering on Terrorism - Time reports on al-Qaeda's latest plans - to use the much-talked-about but little-done-regarding Mexico border to smuggle in WMDs.

John Ashcroft says judges threaten national security by questioning Bush decisions - So....awesome!

Light adds: In the biggest surprise announcement of the century, the ACLU rips the Attorney General's comments

insider trading goin DOWN in the senate? senators' stock picks are outperforming the market by 12%:
Alan Ziobrowski, one of the study's authors says "there is cheating going on, at a 99 percent level of confidence."
very "of the people", eh?@#

Light says: While it's tempting to jump to that conclusion, and I wouldn't be surprised if that is ind33d the final conclusion, I'll hold off on the judgement. Correlation != causation, and I'm also surprised Alan Z. made that comment - he should know this as well. Having said that, maybe the study documents actual suspicious trading activity by Senators, rather than coming to the conclusion that it's very unlikely (...at a 99% confidence, perhaps?) the 12% difference could have happened randomly.

v-twin SEZ: um, yeah. not sure j00 need to refresh the world on HUME 101@#. nevertheless, i think you're overl00king the real reason to RAGE here: when presented with the study, the SEC refused to investigate. they cited the same thing j00 did--the lack of evidence about specific trades--but the whole point of an investigation would be to find out whether that evidence exists or not, since they could gain access to it and we (and the authors of the study) cannot.

Screwy exit poll questions to blame for 'Value' aberration? - When asked an open-ended question which didn't pre-supply "moral values" as a possible answer, only 9% gave that answer (as opposed to the most popular choice at 27% when it's given as a choice). Poor statistical collection and survey methods = SIN in Stats 101.

Save Private Ryan? Not in the U S of A - TV stations covering almost a third of the country dump 'Saving Private Ryan' citing fears of retribution from the FCC for airing indecent material. Sinclair Broadcasting Group's at it again, as is Sinclair Jr. - Meet Belo Corporation, which also heavily funded the RNC - have now joined the self-censoring brigade for material they deem inappropriate.

Denial - Folks raise almost $100,000 for recount in Ohio. But, wait, it ain't the Dems..it's the Greens. Whoa!#@%

Bob Jones, of Bob Jones University, sees Bush win as 'reprieve' - This article is hawt hawt hawt!
"You have been given a mandate. ... Put your agenda on the front burner and let it boil. You owe the liberals nothing. They despise you because they despise your Christ," said the letter, dated Nov. 3.
There are even better lines in the article than this one, if it were possible. mmMMmm.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Gates v Jobs: The Rematch - A great article by the New York Times covering all the issues related to this digital music RAGE that's now getting serious:
A few days after Apple's U2 extravaganza, Mr. Gates, Microsoft's chairman, paced around his office overlooking the rolling hills of suburban Seattle and recalled another advertisement that Apple made 25 years ago. "When I.B.M. came out with their PC, Apple ran an ad saying, "Welcome,' " said Mr. Gates. "They haven't yet run the ad welcoming us into the music business.

"Apple should," he added.
Overall, a very well-balanced article - It gives arguments on both sides as to why Apple should or should not open the iPod. Good stuff.

the world has lost another great artist and great intellect today.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Microsoft pulls a Microsoft on the PDA market - Handhelds using Windows CE overtake Palm handhelds in market share. Poor Palm :<

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Wikipedia RAGEs out during Bush-Kerry debates - I don't know why an esteemed news source like C|Net would post a blow-by-blow account of wiki wacked out over Bush and Kerry, but here it is ;>

How Lost was found - I know my confrere enjoys this show, and he's gotten me partially hOOked on it, as well. Nevertheless, this is an interesting article on how this shiat-bunny came about.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Why the iPod should remain closed (at least for now) - A good article going against the current RAGE-grain initiated and fuelled by Real, et al. Well written, makes good points.

v-twin SEZ: this is the best analysis of the current state of ipod licensing i've read. unF!@#

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Dean considers run for DNC chairman - I think Dean can get folks excited, but IMHO the chairman's job isn't to be a cheerleader - it's to be, first and foremost, a manager in strategy and fundraising. I don't believe Dean has either quality.

"Fired up" John Kerry may run again - NO. Well, let's come clean here - he now has gOOd face and name recognition, and I think he did a fantastic job running and coming as close as he did (and did a great job planning - he identified OH, PA, and FL as the crucial states, visited OH 36 times in October) - But, it just wasn't good enough. I'm all for his other plans besides running again, and I think it's a great idea that he is determined not to take the Gore route of disappearing and participating in buyouts of TV stations and becoming the board member of fringe computer companies and the advisor to Google.

Don Evans resigns as Secretary of Commerce - Second cabinet member and fourth administration official to resign. He's considered one of Bush's best BUDs from Texas, but Bush has made a whole new set of friends with nicknames, I'm sure.

John Ashcroft resigns - Granted, this move was long expected to shore up support in the freedom-loving section of the Republican party, but nevertheless...woo! This is departure #3 from the upper eschelons of the Bush Administration, and the first cabinet member.

Light adds: Here's the text of his resignation letter, where he claims credit for serving justice. Right-o.

Light adds a bit more: And here are some reactions to the news (Remember BugMeNot). I found the differences between Republicans and Democrats to be most amusing. We go from:
"Attorney General John Ashcroft has served our country faithfully during one of our most challenging chapters in history. ... His courage and leadership are second to none." - Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.
"President Bush now has the opportunity to appoint a new attorney general who will protect not only our safety, but our constitutional rights as well." - Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.
However, my favorite is...
"In addition to protecting this nation against those who wanted to destroy America and our freedoms, Ashcroft also exhibited an unwavering commitment to safeguarding the freedoms of the most vulnerable. We applaud his dedication to defend the national ban on partial-birth abortion and remain hopeful that it will survive the constitutional challenges ahead." - Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice.

The bolded section gave me much wOOd, I must say.

Andrew Card to stay on as Bush's Chief of Staff - Some were expecting a change, but not so.

Arctic ice melting even quicker than expected due to global warming RAGE - In the meanwhile, the Bush administration is taking a "scientific approach" to the problem by trying to reprove what has already been proved by their own administration repeatedly. Global warming due to pollution exists, and must be acted upon. But, hey, let's commission yet another study and waste more taxpayer money by delaying the matter. Maybe the $100 trillion (conservative estimate) cost of global warming biting us in the ass will be far better for the economy?

"Old Europe" getting nervous about excessive strength of the Euro - Fantastic - the EU's beginning to wonder about how weak the dollar can go. With deficits like the US's, there really aren't any limits at the moment.

Operation Phantom Fury begins in Falluja - With such ass-kicking names that you forget the gravity of the situation. Already, the suggestion has been that the troops may need to change their strategy as they blast past the outer "defenses" of the city, as they will soon encounter tens of thousands of civilians. Or not. We'll see how this goes.

Michael Phelps BONKs - Drunk driving just ain't cool, baybee!@#

Monday, November 08, 2004

virginia tech xserve stunt cluster outta the top 5. it dropped from the #3 spot to become the 7th-fastest supercomputer in the world. schadenfreudealicious!

Sunday, November 07, 2004

malcolm gladwell: personality plus. "Employers love personality tests. But what do they really reveal?" unnnNNNnNNNgh@#$

[LUV to jerry kindall@]

now that i've seen it, the pre-incredibles BLOG moratorium can now end. thus, i give you an interview the onion a.v. club did with brad bird, its director. here's some LUV for my fellow shrek-hatahs:
O: Current American animated features tend to throw in a lot of lowest-common-denominator gags aimed at young kids: fart jokes and body-humor jokes. Your sense of humor seems more wholesome than that. Is there a philosophy there?

BB: Well, I'm just trying to make the kind of movie that I'd want to see. That's probably the simplest answer. But I worked on eight seasons of The Simpsons, and we certainly had our lowbrow jokes. But we'd follow it right afterwards with a joke about Susan Sontag. Any time you think you're making a film for them, not you, that's a dangerous direction to head, because there's something patronizing about it.

Any time you think you can press a certain button and get a laugh, you're probably not pushing yourself. It's like when you go to a comedy club, and the less experienced comics get up and start pulling out the lewd jokes. It's like, "Yeah, you can get a laugh, but you're not gonna make history with that." Then you get the great guys, the guys we're still listening to. Have you ever heard a Nichols & May routine? I mean, that stuff is as contemporary as ever, and it's, what, 40 years old? My jaw still drops at how cool Nichols & May are. I think that's what I would like, to do something that's cool a hundred years from now.

Iraq declares martial law for 60 days - Freedom on hold. Coming soon?

School is accidentally strafed by warplane - How does this stuff continue to happen in Iraq??

Actually, this was in New Jersey. And Frank Lautenberg would like it to stop.

Bush's chief Iraq advisor steps down - When he was brought in, he raidly focussed efforts on power transition, as he crisply grasped the possibility that Iraqis didn't like the US occupation. But, now he's leaving. Shucks. Casualty #2 for second term.

ABC's Person of the Week: Karl Rove
"Karl Rove is the single most influential person with the staff inside this White House. He's a guy who 14 or 15 years ago put together a blueprint to make George Bush the president of the United States and succeeded," said Dallas Morning News reporter Wayne Slater

Bush's terror man quits - This is the person who was responsible for the report that showed the number of terrorist attacks declined in 2002-4, and thus claimed that Bush's terrorism policy was working.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Bill Clinton calls on Democrats to stop "whining" - This article is so HAWT it made me spOOge repeatedly. I am quoting the relevant points:
Despite the GOP victory, the former president — whose wife Hillary is already being mentioned as the top contender for the White House in 2008 — said Democrats "shouldn't be all that discouraged" by Kerry's defeat.

Clinton said it would be "a mistake for our party to sit around and . . . whine about this and that or the other thing."

Clinton attributed Kerry's loss to the Democrats' failure to combat how they were portrayed by Republicans to small-town America.

"If we let people believe that our party doesn't believe in faith and family, doesn't believe in work and freedom, that's our fault," he said.

Democrats "need a clear national message, and they have to do this without one big advantage the Republicans have, which is they won't have a theological message that basically paints the other guy as evil," he said.


v-twin SEZ: this shit's so g00d, i gotta throw it in AGAIN for emphasis@#$
Democrats "need a clear national message, and they have to do this without one big advantage the Republicans have, which is they won't have a theological message that basically paints the other guy as evil," he said.

Avi Rubin, professor of computer science at Johns Hopkins, documents his experience as an election judge at a precinct with touchscreen voting:
The media was setting up the election as potentially marred by e-voting. There was a problem with this. The biggest threat posed by the current crop of electronic voting machines is a software problem, either malicious or due to an unintentional bug, that affects the outcome of the election in an undetectable way. The media, however, focus on detectable problems. To some extent, I felt that the election was going to be viewed as a referendum on electronic voting, despite the issue not appearing on any ballot. However, even if the election were viewed as "successful," it would not alleviate the vast majority of my concerns with the machines. Voting machines that are vulnerable to wholesale rigging can still perform perfectly normally. It is possible that nobody exploited the vulnerabilities this time around, and it is also possible that there was fraud or serious error, but that they went undetected. Electronic voting will be judged on the noticeable failures, and the unnoticeable ones are the most serious.

Friday, November 05, 2004

do economists have some kinda collective HARD-ON for the federal reserve board? in the past month, i've seen two independent proposals for modeling the intelligence community and a national healthcare system on THE FED. wtf?

itms goes hip-hop friendly. apple's going to offer a new hip-hop mixtape every month on the itunes music store; this month's is free (don't know if the forthcoming ones will be). one's own artistic impressions of hip-hop aside, i find it pretty fuck'n... fascinating on several levels:

- it's built on novel uses of intellectual property; NATCH, the entrenched PLAYAs ain't too happy about that, but the creative and commercial potential has fueled debate
- as evidenced by the mixtape phenomenon, hip-hop is fostering alternate distribution paths, and apple seems to recognize this

on a related note, here's what dj danger mouse said about these issues last month:
For some reason we [artists] think we should be millionaires for making people smile. But I don't worry too much, because it will be over soon. There won't be a market for making people smile because kids will just do it for free.

the decline of brands. james surowiecki, that fuck'n HERETIC, suggests that the value of branding is being eroded by the increasing ability of consumers to spot product quality:
Consumers have become far more willing to experiment with products, because the amount of information out there makes taking a chance far less risky. By the time you think about buying that digital altimeter barometer, chances are the bleeding edge has already weighed in at Epinions. This gives nascent brands an opportunity to succeed, but it also makes staying power a lot harder to come by. Welcome to the What Have You Done for Me Lately? economy.
so, what's the takeaway message for your favorite brand and mine?@#$ are people buying the ipod because it hit the mp3 player industry's first sweet spot in functionality, build quality and user interface? or do they want their friends to see the WHITE EARBUDs? the reality is, i doubt we'll find out until the guts of the ipod become commoditized; right now, it ain't worth losing STYLE to save $50 on a $300 mp3 player.

The Black Watch loses 3 soldiers just as operations begin - The suicide bombing came on day 2 of a 30 day mission which put the esteemed Scottish regiment in Iraq's Sunni Triangle. At this point, American forces are stretched thin enough that they needed the Black Watch to take over large sections just to free up enough Marines for the assault on Falluja.

Arlen Specter warns Bush against nominating extermist judges - And he also clarifies anti-abortion judges as being extremist. Has the BATTLE for the REPUBLICAN PARTY begun?

Thursday, November 04, 2004

ibm set to top supercomputer list with bluegene/l. at 70.72 teraflops, it's twice as fast as the previous #1 (nec's earth simulator). take that, vt stunt cluster@#$%

i'm surprised my partner in THOUGHTCRIME hasn't posted to gloat yet@# i merely offer this scene from high fidelity:

"do you have SOUL?"

"that all depends..."

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

so, um, just for shits 'n giggles: let's say you wanted to hack the election. what would it take? as it so happens, you could do it with only one manipulated vote per machine. unNNnnNNNnnNgh@#$

iran parliament oks nuke enrichment bill:
To shouts of "Death to America," Iran's parliament unanimously approved the outline of a bill Sunday that would require the government to resume uranium enrichment, legislation likely to deepen an international dispute over Iran's nuclear activities.

in an anti-bush world, key backers. the world HATEs bush, right? well, the christian science monitor offers some notable xxxceptions:
The Russian public is split 52-48 for Bush in the US contest, according to a Moscow News poll. But Putin has robustly backed Bush's terror war, partly out of a desire to do fierce battle with Chechen insurgents - without outside criticism. Bush has largely obliged. And when Putin recently introduced reforms that some considered an authoritarian power-grab, the White House didn't balk.

However, "If Democrats come to power, they are more likely to intervene in Russia's internal affairs," highlighting democratic lapses or human-rights abuses, says Sergei Rogov, director of the official Institute of USA-Canada Studies in Moscow.

At least one top Iranian mullah has a similar view. "We haven't seen anything good from Democrats, so we won't be happy if the Democrats win," said Hasan Rowhani recently. He heads Iran's Supreme National Security Council and referred to sanctions imposed by President Clinton and poor relations with the US under Presidents Kennedy and Carter...

Despite Bush's "axis of evil" talk, Iranian leaders see Republicans as "people we can do business with, but Democrats keep bugging us about democracy" and nuclear proliferation, says Mr. Kupchan.

drop it like it's unHAWT: shares of "bush wins" fall HARD on one of the electronic election markets.

TONs o' electronic-voting FUN at the electronic frontier foundation. 13,000 ballots in FL jeopardized, 80+ "incidents" in new orleans, poor user interface causing misvotes in texas, the list goes on...@#$

a reminder: wtf? the consensus on the TEEVEE seems to be, "e-voting was supposed to be a big issue today, but there haven't been many problems@#$% if they understood (or cared) about e-voting, they would recognize the true issue: there's no practically no way to tell if there have been problems. nevertheless, for skeptics: concrete evidence of electronic vote tampering in a real election, six weeks ago.

two electoral reform articles. there's some HAWTness here, and some of it is WHACK--i leave it to j00 to decide what's UP@

electoral college change without ammendments
six ways to reb00t the system

what to watch for on election night. heyyyy--that's now, baybee!@#

I know we're in election mode and all, but this was just TOO hawt:
O'Toole Slams 'Troy'

Legendary actor Peter O'Toole has launched a blistering attack at his last movie Troy and its director Wolfgang Petersen. O'Toole starred as Priam alongside a star-studded ensemble cast including Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom, and Diane Kruger in the mythical epic. But the 72-year-old Irish actor hated working with German film-maker Peterson and was disappointed with the finished product. He says, "Ugh, what a disaster. The director, that Kraut, what a clown he was. When it was all over, I watched 15 minutes of the finished movie and then walked out. At least I had one good scene.""

Monday, November 01, 2004

Update: Chief Justice Rehnquist enters chemotherapy - I wonder if this'll play a role in the election?@#

Light chimes in: I've been saying this from before the Democrats had fielded their candidates and made them do battle like gladiators of old, but I think Bush will win the electoral college. I'm not gonna go into when/after what means/how the schnapps will go DOWN, but that much I can DIVINE. FOUR MORE YEARS, baybee!

v-twin SEZ: listen up, cuz i'm only gonna say this once! my wussy-ass day-before-the-election first-and-only prediction: kerry will win the electoral college tomorrow. and by "tomorrow", i mean that all signs will point to him having the electoral college at the end of the day, but i cannot and will not factor a protracted legal battle into my puny mortal prediction.

something tells me my TOVARISCH may disagree, but he can weigh in on that himself if he so chooses@#$

well, kids, this is it. if i were the pithy sort, i'd say something about the ENDTIMES. i used to be full of pith and vinegar; now i'm just full of vinegar.

nevertheless, i look forward to providing some unHINGEd commentary in the next 24(+...) hours. i'll KICK it off with some DICKinson:
MUCH madness is divinest sense
To a discerning eye;
Much sense the starkest madness.
’T is the majority
In this, as all, prevails.
Assent, and you are sane;
Demur,—you ’re straightway dangerous,
And handled with a chain.