Sunday, December 07, 2008

'Respectable' Liberals Hate Bill Ayers

I'd be very afraid if I agreed with these people. They'll do absolutely anything to avoid confrontation - even be apologists for the mass murder that was Vietnam.

I guess it's tough work, sitting at the computer all day, typing words on a page.

...more of those crazy terrorists doing their terroring thing. Watch out - liberal bloggers will be very very upset that property is being destroyed. The police killing of the boy should not be mentioned - it would not be proper. And the Vietnam War would have ended earlier if it weren't for those pesky kids.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Indian Raid Brings Death To Hostages

If the Indian commandos and their superiors had a reasonable expectation that the hostages would be murdered when they raided - that raises the question - should the commandos and their superiors be charged with murder? Perhaps a lesser crime?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Obama fucking everything up already

He's about to put this warmongering bitch, Hillary, in SecState position. I'm tired of the "I'm a woman, watch me kill some Iraqis" game. Can't we have someone normal?

I guess all the men are cowards, too. Oh, well.

Friday, October 24, 2008

When Will Mainstream Democrats Take Voter Roll Scrubbing Seriously?

Maybe after Obama loses in a couple of weeks, despite national and state polls showing him up several percentage points:

During elections in New Mexico earlier this year, one in nine voters found that their names had disappeared from the electoral rolls. Whole streets of voters in poor neighbourhoods vanished. In Colorado, the disenfranchisement is even greater, with 20 per cent of voters excluded from the rolls.
I promise to say, "I told you so," right after I get back from my first round of direct action.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Riot!

That's what needs to happen after Obama loses the election, but Bush is prepared. He didn't bring those troops home for nothing.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Polls Don't Take Into Account Voter Roll Cleansing

The people who have had their voting registration record wiped from the system won't know until they show up at the polls that they're unable to vote. Then, if they're extremely persistent, they'll only be able to cast a provisional ballot - which will probably be thrown away.

So, in the case of Michigan Republicans admitting to engaging in vast voter crimes, liberal bloggers don't seem to care that the polls don't accurately reflect who will actually be able to vote on November 4 - the polls will inaccurately put Obama ahead comfortably.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

MBAR Sounds Like Prince, Too

The kid's got chops. Bob Dylan. Prince. Call it what you want. I call it awesome.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Acorn Registers Mickey Mouse?

No. Drudge lied again - the state rejected the registration attempt. It's just another way for Drudge, the Republican political operative, to try to deceive voters. So what's new?


Headlines you won't find on Drudge? Republicans in Michigan illegally de-registered 1,438 voters.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Monday, October 06, 2008

How to be an asshole during a downturn

Just write a bunch of self-important shit about why everyone should listen to you because you kept your shitty wage slavery job.

Message to all superior-sounding jobbed folks as they feel the need to dole out advice to the unjobbed over the next couple of years:  FUCK. YOU.

p.s. I happen to be jobbed at the moment, so no worries, here, but self-important assholes will come along with this same shit every downtown. It's like clockwork - downtown upon us, look out for the poop stew.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

What's wrong with Linda Lingle?

The name sounds a bit funny because....well, I've just never heard it before. But here's the weird part - you've seen her on TV before.

Linda Lingle is the current governnor of Hawaii. She's the most prominent female Republican - or was, until Palin took over.

And you know what? Like Palin, Lingle had, at least in one point in time, astoundingly high approval ratings. I'd guess she probably still did until she started using child protective services as a political weapon to crush dissent. Can you imagine anything more disgusting? I mean, there might be outright rape and murder, but this is the next best thing. If you kill the credibility of child protective services, you kill, rape, torture, and make suffer thousands of children in your state - it's that simple. And Linda Lingle pushed for that to happen. Beautiful person.

But Republicans, while still human, can act very anti-human - so this should not have been any sort of dealbreaker for them. Most abused children are poor, right - so what's the big deal with discrediting the agency that protects them, really? Children can't vote, and they sure as heck can't pay bribes to politicians, so what good are they?

But why didn't McCain choose Lingle for VP? She was married and divorced twice, and has no children. Is all of that enough reason not to pick someone for VP? She was chairperson of the 2004 RNC in New York City, where she helped the NYPD go around and arrest thousands of civilians - no small effort. She's been on TV. She's articulate. She trumpets the party line. She's the perfect fit, right?

Well, there's this one other thing. Linda Lingle looks.....gay. Was that enough to crush her chances of running for VP for the Republican party?

I hope it wasn't Triumph that ruined everything for her and Hawaii. Poor poor Hawaii.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Jets Try to Murder Anquan Boldin...Literally.

If this hit by Eric Smith and the other Jet is not attempted murder, then I don't know what is.

And it's not a done deal yet, because Anquan is still in the hospital. We don't even know if he'll ever walk again, though thankfully, things are looking promising.

I'm not sure how the NFL could let Eric Smith ever play again. I'm not sure how the State of New Jersey cannot levy attempted murder charges against Eric Smith and the other Jet. At a minimum, it would have to be some sort of felony assault charge. I won't say it, but if things were bad, you could bet that charges would be filed. And they should be.

Things took a turn for the worse when the League did not do anything in response to the dirty play that put Tom Brady out for the year. The guy tried to end Brady's career. We'll see if he was successful or not.

This crime was just the logical next step.

Both Eric Smith and the other Jet that hit Boldin helmet-to-helmet deserve to go to jail for the rest of their lives.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Can Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson escape the curse of TVOTR and Grizzly Bear endorsements?

I really don't fuckin know. It seems every blogger, and newsperson, who writes about Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson (MBAR) feels the need to attribute any appearance of MBAR's talent to the alleged talents of TV on the Radio and Grizzly Bear - his producers, co-workers, friends, etc. Of course, that might be the case, but I don't buy it. You can produce the fuck out of something, but it's usually pretty easy to hear. And now that I've heard MBAR live, it's obvious - I was right - the dude is at least as good, at least as talented, as we suspected. And it has nothing at all to do with his producers or endorsements.

Even a recent Boston Globe article can't help but mention that it's OK to write about MBAR because, he's been endorsed, dontchaknow?

He's the 25-year-old kid endorsed by TV on the Radio and Grizzly Bear - two of the biggest bands in the overheated indie troposphere.
Maybe I'm not awestruck by these endorsements because, until MBAR came along, I had never heard of TVOTR nor Grizzly Bear.

At least the Globe tries to recover a bit, and allows one of his endorsers to suggest that maybe, just maybe, this kid from Portland might actually not be a brain-dead hack -- that he might, in fact, have some talent of his very own:
"People like to feel that suffering is the only truth, and that's the only place where real beauty can come from," says Kyp Malone, the frontman of TV on the Radio. "That comes from rock 'n' roll and all the archetypes - the geniuses dead at 27, all strung out. Miles has a lot of that in him. He's also really, really smart. I feel like whatever he wants, he can have it. Or he can blow it. Either way, he's added something to my life already. My life has been enriched."
It's kind of odd to say it - I think it's probably just the nature of hack bloggers who can't think for themselves - but I wonder if racism has anything to do with this. I mean, is it possible that a black (mixed race?) kid could have talent? And could, like, write stuff down on paper that was, like, smart? I know white people tend to scoff at the idea that racism is deeply rooted in the American psyche - it's not something that is pleasant to talk about - but when someone with such magnificent talent rolls around, and every blogger everywhere is falling all over themselves to explain how something like this could possibly happen - and they all come to the same conclusion - it's not the black kid, it's someone else - how could it be anything but plain old racism? It's his producers. It's the weather. Who knows what the fuck. It's anything but the obvious. Why is this so difficult to come to terms with?

Note to all syncophantic MBAR bloggers everywhere -- stop being such whiny little incontinent spewers of your own subservience - it's boring. Grow some, and write something with confidence. If you love the dude, say it. If you hate the dude, say it. Go on the record. Don't hide behind this "well, so and so produced him" bullshit.

[Update:] Found some text that almost qualifies as genuine praise. It's still got the obligatory refs to producers, but we're getting closer:

9:10, Roseland
Portlanders, you need to know Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson. The Portland native defected to New York after high school (he’s a Wilson HS grad) and became chummy with the bands Grizzly Bear and TV on the Radio—who have since helped him scale the ranks of New York’s music scene. He broke a guitar string on the first song, and his voice was shot, but Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson was fuckin’ incredible. (WH)
Developing...

...still got the obligatory TVOTR ref, but some refs have dropped out. This is promising.

It's starting to look possible....Obama in the White House

Not that I expect anything of signficance to actually change, but even if this article on how McCain damned to die those POWs left behind doesn't gain much traction, it's looking like Obama could win this thing.

But, as we all know, it's not who casts the votes, it's who counts the votes. Ohio. Florida. I'm looking at you guys.

I wouldn't be surprised if people get a rude awakening at about 7am on Wednesday morning, November 5th, when the news stations start congratulating our new president and vice-president, John 'I-fucked-the-POWs' McCain and Sarah 'Even-my-own-party-hated-me' Palin.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It was Clinton's fault, too

The same as Clinton shares a great amount of blame for the Iraq Invasion, he shares blame for the current economic meltdown, too.

If you have my worldview, facts like this are not that surprising at all -- in fact, they're the only things that can make the world make any sense at all. The facts may not be morally right, but they're not confusing to me.

I don't run around saying things like, "Why don't the Democrats ever do anything??!!," like so many of my breathless brothers and sisters -- on both sides of the aisle. The answer is simple - they don't care, and even if a few actually did care, they're not in a position to do anything about it - they're just doing what they're told. Sure, they could throw themselves out of office if they wanted to, but expecting egomaniacs to stop being egomaniacs is not what I would consider a sane strategy.

Clinton's economic legacy goes far beyond the economic disasters that are NAFTA and Iraq:

The meltdown is a bipartisan affair. Presidential contenders John McCain and Barack Obama each have received millions of dollars from these very companies that are collapsing and are receiving the corporate welfare. President Clinton and his treasury secretary, Robert Rubin (now an Obama economic adviser), presided over the repeal in 1999 of the Glass-Steagall Act, passed after the 1929 start of the Great Depression to curb speculation that caused that calamity. The repeal was pushed through by former Republican Sen. Phil Gramm, one of McCain’s former top advisers. Politicians are too dependent on Wall Street to do anything. The people who vote for them, and whose taxes are being handed over to these failed financiers, need to show their outrage and demand that their leaders truly put “country first” and bring about “change.”
Glass-Steagall Act.

Man, the dude is still wrecking shit 8 years after he's been out of office! Damn.

Are you willing to fight for it?

Voter suppression is going to be key this election, as with the previous two elections. Tens to hundreds of thousands of black votes will be rejected one way or another - probably, again, mostly through illegal cleansing of the voter rolls. The question is, how will disenfranchised voters react? And how will white Obama supporters react?

Will people organize massive civil disobedience campaigns across the nation, bringing the Battle in Seattle to all corners of the States?

Or will people just accept injustice again?

Should be an interesting 4th of November. Maybe we'll get lucky, and the party will stretch into the 5th of November.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Republicans: The Party that Wrecked America

I think it's good branding. Too bad the Dems suck.

Cop killer gets justice; Becomes hero

On July 1 of this year, just before the Olympics in China, a man went on a revenge rampage and killed six police officers and wounded four others - with a knife.

In the US, African Americans are the folks most likely to be harassed, arrested, detained, humiliated, beat, tortured, and murdered by police - so they're the ones who are usually not crying when a cop gets murdered. But in China, most people are victims of the police, so they're on the side of the cop-killer, Yang Jia.

I can't seem to find an explanation as to how a lone guy with a knife managed to murder six armed policemen and injure four others.

Police should be subject to the rule of law, and even moreso to the rule of justice, because laws are arbitrary, and stacked against regular citizens. If Chinese police continue to be above the law and reproach, then we can expect more mass murder revenge killings.

What did they do to him while he was in custody?

...i wasn't kidding.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

MBAR

In case you haven't been following the Twitter feed, please think about giving some attention to 'the best artist that will probably play in your town this year'.

...um, yeah, great show. Way too short, though. MBAR opened for a couple of other bands. Kinda crazy. Some video goodness:

Monday, September 15, 2008

AIG part of the House of Cards

Man, read this WSJ article to get a feel for what a house of cards the entire U.S. financial system is. The shit that the state and federal governments are doing to keep this pyramid scheme afloat is hilarious.

Tellin ya - best get your money out, now. Buy gold. Stock up. Panic. Learn to do something useful. Be prepared to be good neighbors. Start a garden. Buy a bike. Sell your car while you still can. Your boss is about to come down on you for the best reason in the world - because in a down economy, workers become the assholes, and managers become true Gods. Don't like working 60 hours a week, Mr. Family Man with two kids, two car payments, and dog? Well 'Fuck you', Mr. Family, man - it's my way or the highway.

Happy end times in America.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Still not into that bridge barrier, huh?

Maybe something like this might help you think again:

Newsom doesn't 'get it'

My daughter, Casey, was a big fan of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's. He even gave the commencement speech this year at Redwood High where she would have graduated had she not ended her life by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge.

Unfortunately, the mayor copped-out on the bridge suicide barrier issue.

I find it hard to believe that he "wrestled" with this issue. What is it about "impulse suicide" and "means restriction" that he doesn't understand? How can he not be utterly ashamed of himself that this bridge is in a class by itself as the overwhelming world leader in deaths.

The second deadliest bridge in the U.S. hosts one-tenth the suicides as his "iconic" bridge does, and it is getting a barrier!

Every other world-class city that has "wrestled" with this issue put saving lives first.

Why does everyone else get it but San Francisco's mayor?

John Brooks, Tiburon


I didn't know this until recently, but a bridge 'barrier' doesn't have to obstruct views of the bay - it can be set down below the railing, so that anyone who jumps gets caught by a big net-like thing.

I'm for the barrier/net.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Sports fans should not boo players

That's been my contention for years. It's just not right. And it doesn't matter whether a player is playing for the other team or not. The practice just seems anti-human to me. I could understand good-natured ribbing of opponents, but boo's? Definitely not feeling that.

Who knows if Vince Young getting boo'ed by his own crowd had anything to do with him going on a potential suicide run last night, but I'm guessing it could not have helped.

...back in April, Delgado reiterated that nobody likes getting boo'ed.

...first is boo's, then comes the racist taunts. And we know that boo's are not handed out equally.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Brady injured in dirty play

The Chief's Pollard saw the opportunity to injure Brady, and he took it. As a quarterback is about to release the ball, he's in his most vulnerable position - his front foot will be forward/extended, and very close to locked. If you get hit on the side of the knee at that point, it's a perfect injury. At a minimum, you'll sprain your medial collateral ligament (one of my old injuries). If the person who intends to injure you is lucky, you'll tear that ligament - which controls the left-right swing of your lower leg - hint: you're lower leg is not supposed to swing left or right from your knee.

Every pass rusher knows that they can shoot for a quaterback's knees to take him out of the game, or out of the season, and that's what Pollard did. He was on the ground, had no chance of tackling Brady, so Pollard lunged at Brady's knee and took him out. It was pretty straightforward. So far, there's no talk of a dirty play, but I have to call it like I see it. I hate the Patriots, but I don't want to see guys getting shredded by dirty players.

It was a dirty play. Pollard should be suspended for the rest of the season.

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to be Nationalized

Nationalism is what socialist countries do. Errrr. [Can't believe that op-ed actually used the word 'nationalization'. Someone's gonna be in deep shit. There are some things that should just not be said, donchaknow.]

This, of course, this is not the first time that the U.S. government has nationalized major corporations so that rich folks could be rescued from losing some money.

When the U.S. does it == good.

When some country that is not the U.S. does it == bad.

Got it?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Rush Limbaugh *Hearts* PETA

There's this band called The Pretenders who sing some of the songs you know and love, even if you didn't know it was The Pretenders who sang those songs.

One song they sing, that you may not know all of, but probably recognize the riff/baseline of, is 'My City Was Gone' (video) (lyrics).

Thanks to Wikipedia and Rolling Stone magazine, we know that Rush Limbaugh is a huge animal rights supporter - as much as any Republican can be, I guess:

The standoff between CHRISSIE HYNDE and radio right-winger RUSH LIMBAUGH is finally over. Since 1984, Limbaugh had been using the "My City Was Gone," the Pretenders lament about the mall-ification of America, without Hynde's consent.| According to Hynde's manager, Limbaugh had not licensed the song for his nationally syndicated radio show, nor had he even asked for permission to use it -- something that didn't seem to bother Hynde all that much until Limbaugh told a pair of reporters in 1997 that "it was icing on the cake that it was [written by] an environmentalist, animal rights wacko and was an anti-conservative song. It is anti-development, anti-capitalist, and here I am going to take a liberal song and make fun of [liberals] at the same time." Last month, Hynde finally got Limbaugh to pull the song but then did an about face on Aug. 18, telling him that he could use the song if he donated all the royalties to the animal right's organization PETA, after PETA campaign manager Dan Mathews told her Limbaugh had a soft-spot for animals. She fired off the following missive to PETA to let them know of the recent developments. "In light of Rush Limbaugh's vocal support of PETA's campaign against the Environmental Protection Agency's foolish plan to test some 3,000 chemicals on animals, I have decided to allow him to keep my song, 'My City Was Gone,' as his signature tune and to donate all proceeds from the deal to further PETA's efforts in that regard" .

Rush, we hardly knew ye. Asshole.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

They should all go to jail

Those board supervisors.

When I first got out to cali I rode from SF to SD, and rolling thru LA I noticed these big shit-turds out in the water. I just thought, WTF??

It's a crime against humanity. They deserve to be in jail, as well as anyone and everyone who had anything to do with approving offshore drilling.

Monday, August 11, 2008

WhereTheHellIsMatt.com, Part 2

His website is getting crushed at the moment, but luckily the google has it posted:



I like this older one.

These videos just make me happy. Damn.   :)

Sunday, August 03, 2008

War is the systematic murder of civilians

We did it in Korea:

“We should not ignore or conceal the deaths of unarmed civilians that resulted not from the mistakes of a few soldiers but from systematic aerial bombing and strafing,” said Kim Dong-choon, a senior commission official. “History teaches us that we need an alliance, but that alliance should be based on humanitarian principles.”
Many of us now know that we did it in Vietnam and just about every other war.

And we're doing it in Afghanistan and Iraq and everywhere else.

If you support war, you support the systematic murder of civilians -- men, women, and children.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Rush Limbaugh kills again

Rush Limbaugh kills again:

Assailant Attacked Tennessee Church for Liberal Views

In Tennessee, the assailant in Sunday’s deadly church shooting in Knoxville has told police he targeted the congregation because it was known for socially liberal and gay-friendly views. Two people were killed and eight others were wounded when Jim Adkisson walked into the church and opened fire with a shotgun. Knoxville police chief Sterling Owen said the attack is being treated as a hate crime.
Sterling Owen: "It appears that what brought him to this horrible event was his lack of being able to obtain a job, his frustration over that, and his stated hatred for the liberal movement. We have recovered a four-page letter in which he describes his feelings and the reason that he claims that he committed these offenses.”
If we let these hate mongers continue to play their trade (on our public airwaves), this is bound to continue to happen.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Sir Ken Robinson on Creativity and Education

Even if you know the story of 'education as soul-killing indoctrination', this talk will still be an eye-opener:

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Making online hotel reservations can be impossible

Airline ticket searches can suck, too, but let's stick to hotels for a second.

I'm trying to find my bro a hotel in or around Boston tonight. Can't do it.

Expedia and Orbitz and others give several hundred listings in return to my search, but they all say "click this to find out more", at which point they say "nothing availalbe", or they all say some combination of "nothing available" or "you must book this room for at least 'x' number of nights", etc.

WTF is the point of returning invalid results?

It's pretty unbelievable. All the interfaces are perfectly confusing - Expedia, etc. They're all basically terrible. Which is why any small improvement in travel/leisure-related search bets bought by one of the big players - to stifle innovation.

To me, it's pretty clear that the travel and leisure industry, as much as internet warriors would like to believe otherwise, are still severely locked down by old monied interests.

The reservations systems (or, 'Global Distribution Systems', GDSs) are largely controlled by Sabre (44%) and Worldspan (25%), and a couple of other smaller players. That's our deadlock right there -- a simple oligopoly of very large and powerful corporations who see no reason to compete with one another. Why bother?

So, how do we pry power out of their hands?

I'm sure this has been something that Google has been working on for some time. I wouldn't doubt, that within five years, Google gets big enough and strong enough to get one of the little guys to bite, and that sets off a chain reaction where Google and others start actually making travel reservation information more freely available - providing either an open repository for such information, like Google Base, or just indexing the reservation information directly themselves. They already provide a simple onebox for some flight information, like if you search for 'austin to boston'. I don't know if that was done with the cooperation of the crooks at the GDSs or not.

I'm thinking there have to be some ongoing efforts right now, at startups around the U.S. and possibly elsewhere, to go around the entire existing GDS infrastructure. Fuck it. Start will small carriers and work your way up the food chain.

Possible? I dunno, but it seems worth a try, given the current state of affairs.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

All Euro games at the same time

Who's idea was that?

If two games are held at the same time, it can be difficult to watch both games.

Just sayin.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I'm not used to this weather

Every time I ride my bike, I end up feeling nauseous, and usually having to take a break -- even when I take it slow. It's kinda weird, but I'm hoping it's just the heat.

That's 86 degrees at 10:24 PM. Not completely unheard of, but when you walk outside, you still feel it. It feels every bit of 86.

[weather from google weather]

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Michale Bradley is not a national team-caliber player

He's on the team because his dad is the coach. He looks totally lost out there, as usual, and we know it's only a matter of time before he take a flying karate leap with cleats up at an opponent a bit later in the game - probably right after he gets stripped again.

Landon Donovan should be permanantely benched, too - his time has long since passed. Dude cries too much, anyway.

Argentina 2 : USA 0

You heard it here, first.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Vimeo still down

I tried Vimeo for the first time today - they've been down almost all day. Seriously. My video was processing after it was uploaded, and then the site died. That was about 10 hours ago. Fuck Vimeo.

Google's site for their special video uploader client was down earlier today, too.

And YouTube's multi-file uploader was fucked.

Just sayin - how bout a little fuckin professionalism, losers? The whole video internet decides to fail on the same day? WTF?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

iPhone theme for Windows desktop

I'd like an iPhone theme for my Windows desktop.

So, I basically want rid of my traditional 'desktop' and I want to replace it with an iPhone interface.

How difficult would that be?

The iPhone IDE must have an iPhone simulator - can it do file access and all that fun stuff?

There are a bunch of reasons I want this, but one reason is to inspire Android developers to develop a new 'desktop', which will make them think they can realistically replace Windows on the desktop - at which point, hopefully, they will.

Microsoft has to die. Soon. Karmic justice requires this.

...previously.

...google is trying to make me look smart.

Why we love Arcade Fire

Cause they rock out, and they help out.

...Haiti.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

MLS Racism Galore

Some things just shouldn't be. One of them is racism. The other thing is professional soccer in the U.S.

Some racist Columbus Crew fans got off after their team got smoked.

Some people actually dig all the gang-like, violent atmosphere being created in the MLS these days - they'd suggest it's now more like international soccer.

Memo to dumbfucks - some things aren't worth duplicating.

It was easy to see this coming by the way -- just take a look at any clips during Columbus crew and other games where the fans in the corners are leaning over into the field, talking shit, throwing things - it's really unbelievable to me that the MLS has let it go as far as it has. They just let the players get abused like that, and fan clubs like Sams Army actually get off on that stuff. Like watching crowds actually boo players on the basketball court, or football field, or whereever.

To me, even booing an athlete is beyond reprehensible. I mean - you can give a guy some ribbing if he's being a total ahole, but we gotta keep things in persective.

Actually booing an athlete, or dropping N-bombs on him? WTF?

Thanks, but no thanks - I don't want any part of that racist, nationalist, unthinking mob-style shit.

Despicable.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Gruen Transfer

Every informed citizen needs to be intimately familiar with advertising and public relations techniques. One of the most important is The Gruen Transfer.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation, our PBS, is putting on a show called The Gruen Transfer that will talk about popular ad manipulation techniques.

Here are some theories. And here are those same theories in any easier-to-digest format.

PBS did a somewhat similar show called The Merchants of Cool.

...check out one of the commercials for the new show:



Can't imagine ad-related folks, including advertisers, are too happy about this down under. More vids here.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Centre for Social Innovation

This place is like a lot of other co-working spaces, but it's run specifically for social ends, and it's nice as shit.

Flippin Toronto - is there anything they don't have going on up there?

I know San Francisco has something like this for non-profits (I think), but I think it's in some run-down building - not sure.

San Francisco is also working on the Global Citizen Center - which has a similar concept:

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Professional Gamer League in Korea

From Al Jazeera - the title of the video on YouTube is incorrect, but this is the right video:



Not sure how I feel about all this gaming stuff. But I know I want one of those fly professional gamer jerseys!

The game they play is StarCraft - check out the wiki on the league/series.

Oh - and Al Jazeera burns O'Lielly. Ouch.

:D

p.s. All this gaming talk made me realize that I actually attended an E3 event (wiki) back in the day, in Atlanta. Man, even back then - 10 years ago?? - it was pretty darn big. Scantily-clad women, massive displays of computer power - think, SGI, during it's heyday - this year, it's probably gonna be even more crazy, even with some producers having pulled out.

Friday, May 23, 2008

When will Google index the legal world?

I've been looking for the text of this case for about an hour - I finally found it...at Westlaw:

Theodora Holding Corp. v. Henderson, Del.Ch., 257 A.2d 398 (1969)
Westlaw costs money - unless you're in law school or something, or maybe if you can physically get to a law library or something??

I can't imagine why that should be the case, unless the powers that be were intentionally trying to keep power out of the hands of poor and working class people and.....oh.

So, Google - what's up?

I'm guessing all this legal information is freely, publicly available, right? So, then all we need is to start having courts publish all public court documents to the web in electronic format, right?

Someone's gotta be working on this already...

...the two major players are Lexis/Nexis and Westlaw. The Lexis wiki page has this:

As part of its current publishing deal with the California court system, Lexis has a stripped-down free site, available from the California Courts Web site, for the public to search California opinions. It also has a stripped-down free site, called LexisOne, that has case law available for all American jurisdictions for the last five years.
So, we're getting somewhere. I don't know what an 'opinion' is vs. a 'case law', but if the California information is being digitized, then Google should have access to it, too.

I can imagine that judges and the entirety of the public judicial system would not want our prying eyes all over their work, but what they do is so illegal, we need to be watchdogs. Hopefully we can get access to all that stuff.

...Delaware, where Google and most other corporations are incorporated, has opinions online from the year 2000 up until the current time. I sent an email (web form) asking if they planned on adding earlier years. The particular court that handles corporate-type decisions there is called the Chancery - here are those opinions.

...there is a Free Access to Law Movement. Suh-weet. World Legal Information Website - doesn't seem to work too well for the U.S., but I like the idea.

...more movement on the opening-up of legal research (I added some links):

A mix of for-profit and not-for-profit firms have missions similar to Fastcase's, including PreCydent, Public.Resource.org and Collexis Holdings' Casemaker division. They are assembling a digital version of the collections that fill miles of shelves at law libraries across the country.

What people will do with it is anybody's guess. Public.Resource.Org is the brainchild of Carl Malamud, a data-access advocate who in the mid-1990s started putting filings from the Securities & Exchange Commission online for free. The SEC later took up his idea and created the Edgar online service for accessing filings. Malamud prodded the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office to do the same with patents in 1998.

With the help of influential backers like Ebay founder Pierre Omidyar's foundation, Malamud's Public.Resource.Org is filling up a 24-terabyte Sun Microsystems (nasdaq: JAVA - news - people ) server with case law going back to 1754. (That's a lot of bytes, enough to type out 12 million novels.) Malamud bought some data from Fastcase while building his service, which is available for free on the Web. "If we do it and do it right, there are 100 other people who will copy our data and use it in interesting ways," Malamud says.


It is not online yet, but Chris Anderson has a good article called 'The End of Theory' in the July 08 issue of Wired Magazine. Google has been known to be fond of the technique of 'throwing more CPU at a problem' to conquer it as opposed to trying to figure out some kind of perfect algorithm (like PageRank, etc.).
The End of Theory

Scientists have always relied on hypothesis and experimentation. Now, in the era of massive data, there's a better way.

It seems like Forbes used the Wired article as background, but who knows -- and in any case, this Forbes article really fills out the scene for the legal industry. Anderson's Wired article talks about several problemsindustries, including legal, agriculture, physics, news/journalism, infectious disease outbreak control, search (Google), astronomy, health/skeleton, air fares, voting, terrorism, and 'big data' analysis. Good stuff.

...it's important to note that Fastcases's CEO and other seem to be Republicans, they built their platform on Microsoft technology, and they're partnering with ChoicePoint - the criminals that helped George Bush prevent tens of thousands of black folks from voting in Florida in the 2000 election, and they've likely been similarly successful and criminal in many other districts and states and countries, and continue their criminal ways to this day, and have probably already successfully stolen the 2008 election for the Republicans.

Google Maps as gaming platform II?

Been thinking about Google Maps and the ability to possibly play video games in/on Google Maps - games, maybe, like GTA.

There would be quite a few limitations to the technology, but the upside could be very big/unique, as well - for instance, being able to play a first-person shooter game in your own neighborhood, virtually. I guess some gaming companies and universities are already being funded by the Pentagon to be able to recreate real-world environments on the fly and plan out battle scenarios, but maybe Google Maps can offer some fun for the consumer world, and without the massive injection of taxpayer money, and without contributing to the suffering of innocents by increasing the Pentagon's ability to terrorize.

Street View has been around for a while, but now it's available via a Flash API, too. Flash offers much better performance than regular Javascript/JSON/etc.

Check out this example Street View of NYC (you might have to click it once to give it focus) and move around using your arrow keys - it'll give you a better idea of the responsiveness of Google Maps to game controller-like input. You can zoom and pan, turn and view in a 360-degree circle, and now you can look almost all the way straight up (and you've always been able to look down a good bit). If you hold down your arrow buttons, you'll continue advancing/rotating/etc.

One major drawback is that you are stuck to the 'rails' of the Street View - that is, you're stuck to the exact paths that the Google Street View camera cars drove - usually down the center of some street lane -- so you can't really walk/run/drive/ride/be on the sidewalks, peek around corners, etc.

Even that limitation could be overcome if you were to use your own custom tile layers - with your own imagery license from whoever.

At a minimum, I could see smaller, less-sophisticated, unique 'video games' popping up on Google Maps in the next couple of years.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

CarrotMob to go formal, for-profit

Not sure what it all means, but it does seem like someone's read their Chomsky.

BCorporation.net (wiki).

...this article, linked from the wiki, gives us the straight scoop on B&J's:

It's a problem that has long dogged socially responsible businesses. Public companies are legally obligated to maximize returns to shareholders, according to a widespread interpretation of corporate law. For private firms, it's more a matter of withstanding pressure from investors. Hannigan and Marx, for example, fear their social mission could be threatened if an investor changed his mind about Give Something Back's penchant for charity. They want to avoid the fate of ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's, which received a buyout offer from the Dutch conglomerate Unilever (NYSE:UL) in 2000. Founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield didn't want to sell, so Cohen assembled a group of investors to make a counteroffer. When they couldn't offer as much as Unilever, shareholders sued, and the company, then publicly traded, was forced to relent. In April 2000, Ben & Jerry's was acquired by Unilever for $326 million.
Damn - that's no joke. So, should we still buy Ben & Jerry's? I was never into it, but that's still surprising news about Unilever buying them out.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Every commercial, a song

So, commercials are not completely useless.

Every commercial you hear on tv that has a decent, not-completely-annoying song accompanying it - it's probably an independently-released song. I guess it's been a trend forever now, but these days it seems true about 100% of the time.

Latest example:

Oren Lavie - Her Morning Elegance

Now, don't get it twisted - I'm not saying I really dig this song or whatever (it's not bad), but there are some good songs cropping up on primetime, national tv - like this one (Saul Williams).

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Horry maims again; NBA cheers; Spurs win again

Horry put Nash out of the game last year - at least temporarily - with a flagrant foul that helped clear the benches. Horry's team, the honorless Spurs - led by the honorless Gregg Popovich - the guys who employ hack-a-Shaq off the ball - went on to win the championship.

Tonight, Horry put David West out of the game.

The announcers for the NBA/ESPN said 'good clean foul' and cheered on Horry's dirty tactics. You can see Horry lower his shoulder. It was a dirty play, intended to injure. It worked.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The definition of 'pandering'

Pandering:

when a politician tells potential voters that s/he will take immediate steps to help alleviate some of the pain of their worst problems in the short term, but does not provide a direct, practicable, provable path to world peace.
Not pandering:
when a politician tells potential voters that s/he will not take immediate steps to help alleviate some of the pain of their worst problems in the short term, but does not provide a direct, practicable, provable path to world peace.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

I don't like My Morning Jacket

I like 'Golden', but even that - only the recorded/produced version. That's a legit song. A good song. Maybe even a great song. But what of this madness? MMJ were the thing to see at SX.

It seems like everyone loves this band, and their legendariness only grows every day. It definitely seems like they have musical talent, but it's just not something I can get into. They sound a touch like Band of Horses, only a lot less compelling.

Can someone explain?

Do you have to be a Willie Nelson or Dollie Parton fan to dig MMJ?

They remind me of another very hyped band that I saw at SX, briefly - Lucero. Lucero reminded me of the Grateful Dead. Nothing wrong with it - just not my style.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Liberal pedophile this time

No, not yet another Bush Republican official caught raping children - this time it's a...former priest - suprise.

And this priest is/was a liberal San Francisco talk radio host, apparently. Brilliant.

The take-away?

Shut down the Catholic Church, of course.

They don't deserve to exist anymore. They never did. They've raped and brutalized for centuries and they should be gone already. How many children are being abused right now by Catholic Priests?

Obviously, it's not just Catholic Priests that are raping kids - it's plenty of Republicans and other folks, too - but the Catholic Church is a criminal enterprise, not unlike the mafia. It needs to be dismantled immediately and completely so they can't abuse any more children.

It's not all that complicated, one would think, but money talks. Lots of people still believe in superstition, apparently, and their weekly donations go to protecting pedophiles.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Google onebox for flight information

Check it:

Pretty cool. Airlines sites are total disasters, and totally anti-competitive. Google can't fix those problems, but it can help alleviate them a bit.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Google Sports Schedule Onebox

That's what you call it when Google gives you a direct answer to your question at the top of search results - a 'onebox'. So you don't have to go diving into some crappy website for looking up a gametime, for instance. Here's what I got when I did a search for 'Manchester United':


I was checking out ManU because another website - SplashMedia or something - launched another ManU blog. I'm not sure how they can do that copyright-wise, etc., but whatever.

Oneboxes rock. And finding game times for international soccer is still almost impossible. You have to dive into ESPN sports and convert GMT to your local time, and account for DST, and coordinate that with look up if FSC is carrying the game, and if not then you have to find out if your local pub is carrying the game, because some of them cost money and some only show on Setanta. Disaster.

It'd be nice if we could get this same info for basketball playoffs right now, but Googling 'Lakers' doesn't pull up anything.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Google Maps as gaming platform?

Just an idea. The new embedded panoramic street views are very 'gamey'.

Gaming has been on my mind a bit because it is growing as an industry, and it has this funky crossover with film/cinema, and both are important and big and growing in Austin.

NBA: Nobody dead yet

David Stern thought it was OK for Jason Kidd to try and kill Jannero Pargo, so we shouldn't be surprised when other players do more of the same.

New York Bans Anal Electrocution

Went over to Peta to look for a statement on the death of Eight Belles after the Kentucky Derby.

I didn't find a statement on that death, but this headline was there.

the end of horse racing

we've known it's been coming for a long time.

nobody likes to go to the track anymore, in part because of the good work done by peta -- they've sensitized us to the idea that animals are thinking, feeling beings. and what decent human being likes to think of their dog or cat being tortured and/or killed?

and then they killed another horse today. it' enough to make anyone sick.

the last of the horse tracks are closing up show, now. nobody cares about the big three races except for if and when a horse might be able to capture the triple crown.

I'm down with philosophizing over whether or not animals deserve the same amount or rights (or more) than humans, but we need to stop the obvious torture and killing. That goes for cows and chickens - no matter how much I'll miss Chik-Fil-A - but also horses, too.

Horseracing is over.

...espn reports fans crying in the stands at churchill downs. peta is in - links horse racing to dog fighting - take action.

...compound fracture(s) - i.e. bone through the skin.

Then, he heard it was his horse, took off running for the ambulance and rode to Eight Belles. The bones were protruding through the skin, a catastrophic injury that left no alternative.

"When I saw it, it had to be done," he said.

...pic.



...p.s. i'm a guilty as anyone else - i actually had a bet on the race! someone called me up and said 'kentucky derby' and 'pick two numbers' - so i did. still, i should have known better. so i sent the peta letter, and i'll rejoin peta as soon as i can afford to.

...there seems to be a media blackout - as there is when any event of importance happens, until the owners of this country can craft the message as much as possible. Will NBC release the video of Eight Belles writhing in pain on the track? Where are all the pictures of fans in the stands, crying their eyes out?

...horse-jumping kills, too - and not just the horses.

Friday, May 02, 2008

utu - saving the internet (with hate)

Fun project.

I'm not exactly sure what it's about, but I suspect it'll have something to do with using crowdsourcing to figure out who certain people on the internet are - people who engage in death threats, or spam, or even just generally rude behavior.

Found via an epic rant.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Cindy for Congress

Good luck to her.

RSSDay.org: self-centered losers

I don't hide my disdain for much of the tech crowd. They are often vain, care only about themselves, care only about enriching themselves. Many of them are like miniature versions of eBay - do whatever it takes to make a profit.

The RSSDay.org folks have called May 1st 'RSS Awareness Day'.

They could care less that May 1st is an international-known, respected, and practiced holiday for workers - otherwise known as 'May Day'.

Harymarket Massacre? Fuck those people.

Of course, none of these dimwits have worked a day in their lives, and for the few that did - if clickin and clackin away on one's keyboard is to be considered 'work' - they would never lower themselves to the level of actual physical laborers. Asking for that kind of solidarity is just not possible - it might exclude one from the 'cool kids' club.

Losers.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Cleveland Crowd is Pathetic

You could hear a pin drop in that place. The arena is playing MC hammer and all sorts of other soundtracks just to make sure there is some kind of background noise.

Granted, most American sports have no culture or charisma or songs or much in the way of tradition, but still - Cleveland is horrible.

During the playoffs. Nothing. Zilch. Cleveland Cavaliers about to close out DC in the first round of the playoffs.

Terrible.

I'm Sorry

Bloggers need an "I'm Sorry" button or something that they can use after they scare off a reader.

Obviously, this only applies in cases where a blogger actually has or wants readers. My ego could potentially help me qualify in the 'wants' category a bit.

So, blogger posts something outrageous, and the reader freaks and unsubscribes from the feed. That's fine, but what if the blogger just made a mistake and wants to apologize? The blogger can apologize, and the former reader will never know. That doesn't seem to be a logical way of doing things.

Also, there can be misunderstandings, or typos, or whatever.

I unsubscribe from blogs all the time. For instance, one blog I had been reading for a while now just celebrated torture - pretty explicitly. So I unsubscribed. No biggie.

But what if it was a misunderstanding? Or what if a hacker got in and managed to push something out on the feed?

I'll never know.

So, how can we accomplish this functionality, technically?

We need a "I'm leaving you because of this post" button. Google Reader already has the 'unsubcribe' button - why not add a bit more functionality that allows for a comment?

Some mailing lists already have this functionality.

...should have mentioned, you can already achieve this functionality in a way - you can comment on the blog that you think the post sucks, and why, and then you can unsubscribe, but that can be a pita. We need something quick. There is, of course, lots of follow-on functionality.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Can all NBA players stop crying now?

Just stop talking to the refs. Stop crying. Stop the stares of disbelief. Just stop.

Play basketball.

I like Avery Johnson

Some dudes, you just like. They seem decent. Like decent people.

So, it kinda sucks that Johnson will get fired after his team loses tonight.


p.s. have they always described a player's height by referring to their 'length'? Like, "he's long" and "he used his length" and "he's so much longer than the guy who is covering him" and "once again, his length is just too much for so-and-so".

Sorry. Your search failed.

Welcome to Yahoo Mail.


I've gotten this message about 50% of the time I used the 'Search' function on Yahoo Mail for about the last year or so.

Thanks, Brad Garlinghouse, for doing such a good job on your product area - Yahoo Communications, which includes Yahoo Mail.

Good-sized cubes

That's apparently one of the pluses for some tech company I'm interviewing with here in Austin.

:)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Rogers Clemens - Sex Offender

Hey, I'm just sayin, if you want to get into the Hall of Fame, then you might not want to be having sex with 15-year old girls when you're 28.

And if you do decide that you want to cheat on your wife with a teenage girl who is just about half your age, then you might not want to legally accuse anyone of defamation, because details of your ten-year affair with an underage girl-turned-druggie might just become public.

There really is no more detestable person on the face of the earth than Roger Clemens - save maybe for Bush and Clinton and the usual suspects, and I felt that way even before finding out that Roger Clemens was a sex offender. He tried to use his fame and money and power to get his former trainer, and friend, to lie under oath, and did it in the absolute sleaziest ways. The words 'slimeball' and 'sleazebucket' and things like that are not really ever appropriate when referring to another human being, but if anyone comes close, it's Roger Clemens.

If Bush is out of office before Clemens gets convicted of perjury, Clemens could be locked up right next to Barry Bonds.

Old people's software

I need some old people's software to give to my mom.

She keeps crashing her computer. Or I blow it up when trying to get all the viruses off it (remotely).

Does any exist? I want something that essentially looks like something you'd give to a five year old - something even simpler than an iPhone interface. We'll give them a locked-down browser, too. If they want office apps, they can use Google Docs.

Maybe it's just a locked-down version of MacOS.

I think my mom is not alone. There are lots of old folks who will want to get on the net. We should make it easy and safe for them.

...M$ thinks like me. Scary.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Cruelty to animals

What do you do with a teenage boy who has been arrested twice for cruelty to animals?

Why, you set him loose on his unsuspecting neighbors, of course.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Josh Howard is evil

Etc. etc.

But someone's got good sense.

Alonzo Mourning and Charles Chuck Barkley were on tv saying, "My brother was a druggie" and "What about the kids?" - idiots. Ask them why some drugs are ok (beer, wine, liquor) and others are bad (pot), and you'll only get the same pinheaded response:

Drugs are bad, m'kay?

When will we get past this stuff? Seriously.

Gregg Poppovich, Spurs win without honor

They're employing the Hack-a-Shaq strategy. Pathetic.

Poppovich and the Spurs have created their legacy. Cheaters - if not by law, then by subverting the integrity of the game in any way possible to get the W - much the same as the Italian national soccer team.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Free software projects can die overnight

It happens all the time. It's practically the primary definition of 'free software' and any honest free software advocate will tell you that straight up. It's why most people are smart enough to avoid free software.

"Free software? You mean, the stuff that kind of exists today and is gone tomorrow?"

Exactly.

Take Lyceum, for instance. Their last blog post happened 5 months ago.

Why did it die? Who knows? Who cares? William Hurley sums up open source software nicely when talking about a project he's been involved with lately ('Ozomoto'?), when he says (2:25):

So, it's a ruby on rails project that is, uh, basically, hopefully going to be one of the ruby on blogs that sticks around more than...after it works after nobody maintains it anymore, as soon as a developer gets a job or a girlfriend, then the project is dead.
Here's the thing - he's not kidding. Whether these two particular reasons are the most popular reasons for the death of projects or not is besides the point - anything can make a project go kaput in the night. Every free software project has a bum ticker.

In response, the host, Thomas Tucker, says:
It's dead. Totally dead. That tends to be the case sometimes which is not so great.
I praise them both for their honesty.

Of course, 'Ozomoto' appears to be dead and gone, if it ever really was.

What's the lesson, here?

Well, don't use open source software, of course.

The problem is that open source software is so conflated with free software that the two are virtually the same. It doesn't have to be that way, but it is.

So, if you want to build a website for yourself or your customers, and you want to be taken seriously, don't use free open source software - it'll end in disaster. There is open source, 'free' software you can use - stuff like WordPress that is subsidized by a corporate sponsor, but projects without a corporate backer are almost always doomed to fail, and fail hard when you most need them.

One topic we'd like to revisit, here, in the near future is the centrality of elitism, arrogance, ignorance, and selfishness to the free software movement.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

New job site idea

So i'm looking for a job again, and most jobs suck, and most job sites still suck.

Everything I give out my email address I start getting spammed by more people - so why not provide job seekers with their very own 'job seeker' email address, so they can turn it on and off whenever they want? They can choose to keep their old address, or they can choose to get a new one whenever they want. All contact between the job seeker and potential employers is done through this email address, so the job seeker's personal email address is not compromised.

Companies like Emurse showed great promise, I thought, but then they seemed to just fade away. I wonder if I can convince them to make a go of it on their own, again - with my help, maybe. :)

Seriously -- that Monster and Dice and Taleo and these types of sites actually still exist is just an incredible failure of the market.

Most job sites are stuck in the stone age, and things are actually getting much worse for everyone involved. It's an incredibly inefficient process for myriad reasons, but I believe that technology can help make the process more enjoyable (read: less dehumanizing) for everyone.

Plant trees in Haiti

Everyone rips on Haiti for being deforested. They never mention how the U.S. government overthrew the democratic government of Haiti so that U.S. corporations could run roughshod over the country and its people. They don't mention the incredible history of exploitation of the Haitian people by the governments of the U.S., France, Canada, multinational corporations, etc. We're supposed to be a bunch of racists and just say, "Oh, those dumb Haitians - they're all black - they're all stupid - they knew they were deforesting the country and they didn't even care."

Don't be a racist.

We have enviros running around like crazy trying to plant trees all over the world, but none that I know of have ever suggested planting trees in the very country that the U.S. government destroyed. Sure, multinational corporations - some based in the U.S. - can be blamed for various forms of deforestation in Brazil and Africa and even Haiti, but the case in Haiti is clearcut - the U.S. government is responsible for overthrowing at least one democratic government that was showing real promise in the areas of social justice, including limiting deforestation. The U.S. government could not tolerate the 'threat of a bad example' - so Haiti is now in a bad way - not only deforested, but experience food riots.

If you want to do something that ends up planting trees in some foreign country - and you want to feel good about donating your time/money to such a cause - stop - think - and then start sending your money to projects that can help reforest Haiti. And if you are a citizen of the U.S. or France or Canada or any other country that fucked the Haitian people, then beg forgiveness while you hand over your money.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

$1 for Wikipedia?

If every one of us who use Wikipedia regularly donated $1 per year to its continued, non-advertising funded existence, is that enough? Could Wikipedia get by on that?

If we each donated $25 for a 'lifetime membership/supporter' designation, would that be enough? Maybe the money goes into a big interest-earning foundation/trust thingy - virtually gauranteeing it's continued existence forever?

I'll be back with some calcs.

Google to save OLPC?

That's what i'd like to see. OLPC is a disaster, due in no small part to the fact that Nicholas Negroponte is a criminal just like his brother.

So, what company could both save and directly benefit from the project - thus making it possible?

Google, of course.

The primary work Google could provide? An operating system.

We've already speculated on the possibility of Android replacing Windows on the desktop. And, if need be, Google.org could pay for the development.

Also, Google could make sure the project stays in the spotlight and open to scrutiny - starting with the replacement of Negroponte as the leader of the project.

p.s. I think providing computers to Africans and small villages and all that might be a dubious proposition. I'd like to see more on the supposed benefits of the program.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What is Mozilla?

Some people now know what Firefox is - some - but nobody knows what Mozilla is. Even if you asked me, my answer would be something like:

uhhh, it's some kind of foundation-type thing, it's kind of like the remnants/leftovers of what Netscape was, but now it's kind of different, they release all this software - like mail and whatever - and some of it is half decent. or, actually, Mozilla actually is Netscape, and vice-versa, but not really. Mozilla's best-known software is Firefox, the browser, which you may have heard of. and they release all of this other software, a lot of which is kind of a duplicate of each other, and none of it is very good. it's kind of a meandering, direction-less organization. they did force Microsoft to support tabs, which is good. but the foundation itself - mozilla or whatever - it's kind of a nothing. It exists mainly because the only other game in town is Internet Explorer, and everyone is forced to use IE, so people resent it, and try to use something else - anything else. That's where Firefox comes in. Nobody really knows what Mozilla is, or who controls it, or where it gets its money. They get some money from Google, so they're kinda like a subsidiary of Google, but not really. they're kind of like these hangers-on - way past their prime. They need to just hang it up. Every time they gain a touch of market share from IE - a horrendous browser - they congratulate themselves and convince themselves it has something to do with Firefox being a good browser, when in fact is it because it is the only other browser.

Branding matters.

Now, all the rage is RIA - rich internet apps. Flash-based desktop apps. Because people like to install and maintain buggy desktop software, apparently.

But we have to have someone to blame. And that someone is Firefox/Mozilla/whatever-it-or-they-are-called. If they bothered to actually provide a real API for Firefox, then Firefox addons would have taken off, people would have started using Firefox, Opera would have been left in the dust, RIA would have been dead in the water, and we would have a real chance at using some decent software for a change - software called 'Firefox'. Instead, we're left with a mish-mash of non-standard technologies that lead to the current situation - a plethora of non-standard addons that are not good enough because they take forever to develop and maintain. No amount of creativity and determination can overcome the incredible technological roadblocks that the Firefox team have put in place.

It's a very high profile example of how free software has failed us yet again.

Tentative recommendation for this blog, which is generally more intelligent than most other tech blogs in the web2.0 world.

And here's a good presentation on free software from the Ruby dude - also a good blog, in general, and one that may very well piss you off.

...unsurprisingly, Maxthon is still terrible. With so much bad software out there, it makes you wonder why there aren't more millionaire software engineers. Well, in any case, I have found some software recently that appears to be decent. It's not perfect, but it does a lot of things competently. Wild Apricot. I'm not actually using it commercially yet, but I woudln't doubt if that happens soon.

So, now there are exactly three entities in the world which produce software that does not completely suck:
  1. Google.com
  2. Highrise (37Signals)
  3. Wild Apricot

You're welcome. :)

p.s. The list above is correct. It is not a popularity contest between droves of developers who love to install and fix plugins in their spare time. The list above can be counted on. It is reliable. The choices - legitimate. They will help you, not hinder you. They will make you a more productive, healthier, happier, better person and lover.

Unstructured wikis not useful

Just gonna spit the obvious - a blank page where a bunch of people just come in and write a bunch of text on a page - almost completely useless.

Wikipedia, on the other hand, is highly structured - and with each incremental step of structure it's added, it's usefulness and popularity have skyrocketed.

Wikis also need a tremendous amount of process - much of which can be inferred from the wiki's design, if the design is done correctly.

So, for all the individuals/organizations/companies that continue to release wiki projects/pages/sites that do not include a lot of structure/contstraints/process - just stop. It's a waste of time.

Monday, April 21, 2008

OpenID is a Disaster; Seriously


It's actually much worse than you could possibly imagine. If you think we had security problems up until now, you ain't seen nothing yet.

OpenID was already the most confusing thing about surfing the web (help us Common Craft!), and now that I've actually successfully used it twice, I'm absolutely convinced that security experts the world over are going to shit a collective brick when they see what a disaster the actual implementation of this 'technology' looks like.

You start at some site - click a button - then you get sent to some other site - which doesn't look like any site you've ever been to, before - then you get asked some more questions - some of which seems to be semi-required to proceed - then you check a few more boxes and click a few more buttons, and 15 minutes later you end up back where you started - and the action that you performed 15 minutes ago is now magically completed. Or you get an error message like the one in the screenshot at top.

It's difficult to know who to blame in this catastrophe. Really, there is far too much blame to go around - no one corporation can possibly withstand the onslaught of criticism (and litigation) that we're about to see. This 'technology' is good enough to bring down entire economies.

OK, more realistically, this technology is such a strong contender for 'Worst Invention of the Century' that we don't have to worry about it getting any legs - not in the next decade, anyways.

Sometimes you just wish the grown-ups were in charge.

Lacrosse is a stupid sport

Yes - I like to make highly-intelligent, succinct pronouncements on this blog.

Lacrosse has always irked me. It's a lame attempt at being useless. It's boring. The 'twirling of the stick' routine, while obviously the most annoying aspect of the game, also appears to be the only potentially-enjoyable part of the game. Centripetal force? Wow. Pretty exciting. When you're five.

But, since it was invented by the victims of genocide, we'll let it stick around for a while longer.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Save the Children

I wonder if there is a Web2.0-style 'Save the Children' campaign?

So, we know all about those creepy tv commercials where some child-molesting church leader gets on tv and pleads for our money - then they zoom in on some bloated, dying African child who has flies all over their face - and then the child-molesting church leader says, "Please.....little Jonah needs your money now or else he'll suffer a brutal death than you can possibly imagine". We now know that these churches spend the money on their fancy cars and private jets and their private hookers and cocaine habits, so most of us don't pay attention to those ads anymore.

My question is, do we have any legitimate organizations that can do this 'sponsor a child' stuff, now? New, non-church-based organizations that aren't led by criminals and child molesters?

There are lots of companies out there now doing 'social giving' stuff, and they're certainly more transparent than any of these criminal church organizations ever were. So maybe it's time we can look at this again?

I'm all for giving money to 'social entrepreneurs' to build water irrigation projects and all that, but sometimes it can be helpful to think of helping one child.

But, thinking about it a bit more, now - it may just be a bit too anti-human to give money to just one child. So, maybe that idea does deserve to go away.

The potential transparency of giving today, with feedback from the people who are actually using the money, is definitely a good thing.

One thing I'd like to see more of, is helping people right here in America - in particular, African Americans. So that's one part. The other part is picking the right kinds of projects, the right kind of help. If you watch some TED talks on aid to Africa, you'll see how destructive aid can be. We have to be smart about it.

Google Docs Still Sucks

I dunno - I guess I just find it interesting that Google can do all this crazy stuff - like their search engine, but then the produce 'products' like Blogger and Google Docs.

Docs doesn't even pretend to work.

Not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but interesting.

So, you have to wonder, if Docs is still so bad, even after having been released for months/years now - when will it ever get up to the level of, say, Wordpad, or something similarly functional?

My guess is that they should just scrap the word processor completely and go to a Flash-based app that actually works.

Cornel West on Al Jazeera



Al Jazeera is cranking out like 10 videos a day, but I'll be darned if I have any way to get notified of any of them. YouTube says I'm supposed to get one email a week. WTF? And YouTube offers no useful RSS feeds.

Every time I start watching Al Jazeera again, I feel like I've been living in a cave. Of course, they're only on YouTube because American 'free market' companies won't carry the channel.

Man - I love Brother Cornel. And I've seen him do a bunch of speeches and a few interviews, and I think he just kills this one - just totally crushes it - couldn't have been better.

Just posted this directly from YouTube. It kinda sorta seemed to work, almost. You lose all ability to format. Anyways, be sure to watch Part 2, also.

But seriously, though, how could Blogger exist for what, now, ten years or something? and still not be able to update a blog post with a simple <embed> object without getting an error that you have to fix manually? Seriously - blogger has been the biggest piece of shit for how long now - years? How is that possible? It's not like I want it to be reliable or anything, I just want it to work at the most basic level. Too much to ask? Google? I've been thinking of dropping this blog on WordPress. I just got one step closer.



...here is the Al Jazeera RSS feed!

Facebook is ugly

As are all the other successful social networks.

Facebook. Orkut. Friendster. MySpace. They're all ugly as sin.

Why?

Everything is completely boxy, and rigid. In short, it's just not pleasing to the eye. It's not easy to look at.

Well, it seems Bebo put at least a modicum of design into their site. Props, mates!

Does 'bad design' ==> 'relative social networking success'?

I'd been messing around in Facebook for a day or two, now - trying to figure out their wacky APIs - and it's pretty terrible to have to look at that thing for any extended amount of time. I don't think I can take much more.

Will anyone take up the challenge and design a social networking website with a Web2.0 visual appeal?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Only 40 hours? Yeah, right

I've been talking to potential employers. I'm looking for a bicycle advocacy gig, but I'm keeping my options open - looking at customer support engineer roles, too.

Talked to a couple of companies in the past couple of days on the engineer front. I'll spare you the details, but they both expect copious amounts of overtime. They actually act shocked when I ask them what the hours are like.

"Don't you know? This is modern-day America, son - there will always be people looking for work - looking to take your job. You want to ask me that question again, now?"


That's the sentiment.

I told the first crew to go stuff it, but I'm holding onto the second set as a backup. Felt kinda bad about the first one because the guy was real nice, the company is here in Austin, and the work seemed like it could be very interesting - but I knew that once I started working there - with full time+ hours, I wouldn't have the time or energy to do anything that was actually useful to society, so I had to bag it. My last company was very good - get your work done, and be out if you like. Or, if you wanted to be a superstar and spend your life shuffling papers at the office - you could do it. It was totally up to me. I chose to do the best I could in 40 hours a week, and I think it worked out very well for everyone.

In this day and age, companies expect someone to work more than 40 hours a week. I don't know what kind of crack you have to be smoking to ask me to do something like that. Don't these fools know I'm trying to do no more than 30 hours a week of industrial work?

I may get desperate enough to take a job and then have to quit it. We all need to eat. This 40+ hour work week stuff has to stop. People need to have time to do useful things like take care of their kids and plant some food at the local community garden and volunteer and create music and art. That stuff can't happen if we're all stuck on freeways and behind computer screens - killing what's left of the planet's ecosystem.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

MLS Quality Sucks

It's orders of magnitude worse than EPL. Scottish soccer sucks, too. Why would anyone pay to see this?

I don't expect to see something good. But I don't expect to see something amateurish and pathetic, either.

That is all.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Google.com does *not* suck

Google.com is ostensibly free - that is, there's essentially nothing out of pocket for me to use this search engine.

I just realized how good this software is - it almost always finds what I want, when I want, and faster - really - than I ever would have expected - faster than I ever imagined or thought possible.

I just did like 20 searches over the last five minutes. Type. Search. Found. Type. Search. Type. Search. Type. Search. Found. It's so fast.

Each 'Found' is 'Found exactly what I was looking for'. Google search results, as you know, are almost instantaneous. They're ridiculously fast.

Google.com is ridiculously good software. Ridiculously good free software. Ostensibly free.

Android to replace Windows on the desktop, too?

Android (wiki) is going to be using the 2.6 Linux kernel. The only reason Windows hasn't been replaced in desktop computers yet is that free software sucks - and part of what has sucked so bad about Linux for....forever...has been the Linux desktop - or, lack of Linux desktop. Don't even say 'Ubuntu'.

I don't know what all Android can do yet, but it does a lot - and basically seems to include everything you could ever want in a desktop operating system - well, minus some print drivers.

We could have been rid of Windows a decade ago if Apple had decided to license their OS to other hardware manufacturers, but Apple sucks.

So, can Google do what no free software has been able to do yet - provide a real alternative to Windows?

Technically, I guess Android is an 'open' platform that could be licensed to the likes of Dell, Gateway, Toshiba, etc.

I'm partially kidding about the 'free software sucks' stuff. Obviously it doesn't all suck. Really, I would just rather pay something for software that is less buggy, supported, etc., than go with free. I spend so much time writing, re-writing, configuring, and fixing free software, but I'd rather it just worked. Take Firefox, for instance. 'Awesome', right? No - 'not awesome'. It's difficult to say 'completely sucks' when it's free and it's better than the alternatives, but that seems to be where the market is at right now. I have to restart Firefox - and always have - every hour or so. Open 20 tabs and you're s.o.l. - restart city. Folks like Apple and 37Signals and SmugMug continue to pump out decent or better software - they can do this because they charge for their software - i.e. their developers can afford to eat.

Would anyone want to support Android on the desktop? Could someone commercialize Android? Will Android be a quality product when it is absolutely free to the end consumer? Or will it be absolutely free to the end consumer?

...Android on the desktop? Google says no. But with the rise of computers like the eee, you really have to wonder. Why run Android on an iPhone-like computer, but not an eee?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Get out of Yahoo now?

I'm actually very worried about Microsoft getting my email. I'm wondering if I can and/or should decommission my Yahoo email before Microsoft is able to scoop up Yahoo. I really don't want to do it if I don't have to, and really, I'm not sure I can - I just have too much tied up to my yahoo email account. Not just all of those contacts, but my email address is used to get into any number of online services, bank accounts, etc.

Not a good situation.