Sunday, September 30, 2007

Want

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

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

Thursday, September 27, 2007

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

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

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

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

Monday, September 24, 2007

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Burmese military threatens monks

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | Burmese military threatens monks

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

Sunday, September 23, 2007

VW Gets Gross

Uh, let me just say that this ad is rather nasty...but funny. It does make you worry about all those VW fans out there.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Thought for the day

I seek to avoid the abyss of impotent cynicism and misanthropy. Instead, I long for elegance and quality.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Thought of the day

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

Monday, September 17, 2007

Quote of the Day

"The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them." -- George Orwell

 

It’s frightening, at times, how relevant Orwell is currently. The man was amazingly prescient. It still amazes me how little his concerns have been heeded. Some find great comfort in the idea of a huge, omnipresent government. One irony is that this is true for many on either ideological extreme. Of course, for these folks, a large, deeply monitoring government is exactly what we need to ensure adherence to their brand of morality. If this government were to adopt the philosophies of their opposition, then it’s intrusive.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

My Childhood

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

JP Patches

Friday, September 14, 2007

zunePhone ad

Oh, what Microsoft might try to compete with the Zune!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

OS Ideas

Idea number 1: make a stripped down Linux build. This would be to extend the life of older systems, as well as craft something that would simply scream on current systems.

2: take an OS and gut all the visual compentry, then craft a system that is maximized for blind users. Seems wasteful of system resorces to utilize an tweaked version of Windows or Mac, with all the visual stuff going on and not adding value.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

An English Teacher in Porto: In Search of Joanne Rowling

An English Teacher in Porto: In Search of Joanne Rowling

You JK Rowling fans should enjoy this. Christopher Rollason explores Porto, Portugal following in the footsteps of Rowling, who lived their in her lesser days.

Advertising Age - Garfield The Blog - Comcast Must Die

Advertising Age - Garfield The Blog - Comcast Must Die

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

Monday, September 10, 2007

Online predators keep the police busy

Online predators keep the police busy
Seattle police detectives in the Task Force on Internet Crimes Against Children haven't seen a significant drop in their caseload and say online predators aren't deterred -- even though most end up convicted.

 

What I find the most fascinating is that this tactic still works, and works well for the police. You’d think that the predator community would have “wised up” when you consider the increasing numbers of arrests and captures, along with the high profile nature of so many of these busts (many on live tv). Perhaps this speaks to a hidden desire to be caught, as Freud would’ve said. Or that this disorder causes a shutdown of certain logic centers. Or, perhaps, the compulsive need is so great as to blind them to the likelihood of capture and arrest. Hard to say, I’m afraid.

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

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

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

Palm needs to do something quite spectacular in the next few months in order to be relevant. Perhaps something as dramatic as retooling the entire line. I'd like them to get a Treo 680-esque device that breaks the $100 price point (not with rebates, but the unlocked device straight from Palm), as well as a whiz-bang upper end device. The smartphone's most underserved area is the low-end bracket, and if they could secure this, along with offering something to capture the imagination, they might just pull themselves back together.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Weird Thought

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

Leech invasion makes residents see red

Leeches really suck.

(Forwarded to me – I’ll track down a link soon)

Leech invasion makes residents see red

 

TOKYO (Reuters) - Long confined to the mountains, Japanese leeches are invading residential areas, causing swelling, itching and general discomfort with their blood-thirsty ways.

 

Yamabiru, or land leeches, have become a problem in 29 of Japan's 47 prefectures, according to the Institute for Environmental Culture, a private research facility in Chiba prefecture, east of Tokyo.

 

The little suckers are riding into towns and villages, hitching lifts on deer and boar whose numbers have grown due to re-forestation and dwindling rural populations.

 

Once there, the leeches, which measure in at about 1.5 cms before a meal, take to feasting on warm human flesh.

 

"Yamabiru will climb into people's socks and stay for about an hour, growing five to 10 times in size. Unlike with water leeches, people don't immediately realize they've been bitten. Only later when they see their blood-soaked feet, do they realize what has happened," said Shigekazu Tani, the institute's director.

 

"The real problem is that the bleeding won't stop and the affected area swells up and really itches," he added.

 

The best way to deal with the tiny vampires?

 

"We can cut down trees and mow long grass to dissuade wild animals from coming too close, and create sunny habitats that are inhospitable to leeches. We can also spread pesticides that kill the leeches," Tani said.

 

"Or we can just tough it out."

 

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

New bishop brings wit to the job

New bishop brings wit to the job

 

Well, this article certainly gives me hope that the Diocese of Olympia will be in better hands. I wish the soon-to-be-Rt. Rev. Rickel the best. Somehow, I doubt that Rt. Rev. Warner will remain in the area like his predecessor, Bishop Cochrane. We’ll see, I guess.

Bush porn pic sparks US anger | Metro.co.uk

Bush porn pic sparks US anger | Metro.co.uk

Well, no anger here; I think this is quite hysterical.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Short Celtic Christianity Rant « haligweorc

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

Continuing the spiritual theme, I just finished reading Francis S. Collins "The Language Of God". Dr. Collins presents a compelling argument for the coexistence of faith and science. I found the book interesting and well written, and well beyond the scope of my scientific knowledge. Here's one review of a dissenter, Sam Harris. However, Harris' derision of everything spiritual and contemptuously arrogant tone detract from his argument. In the end, whatever merits Harris might have are offset by his rhetoric. A much better written, one is Gert Korthof. Mr. Korthof offers and much more detailed and rationale critique of the work. (I cite Mr. Harris since it's the first critique listed when the book is Googled).

Both thoughts point out to me core intellectual weaknesses of mine. I lack depth in both science as well as theology. Limited by time and energy, I will need to limit my studies and accept a level of ignorance on other subjects. This I do with sadness.