Archive for April, 2004

 

Fuck Nightline and ABC News

Friday, April 30th, 2004

Before this shit airs tonight, I have just a few things to say about it.

This airing is nothing more than a lame attempt getting the American public to think that the effort in Iraq has not been worth it, and that we should cut and run, or better yet, elect John Kerry. What’s my proof? Well, let’s turn to John McCain’s letter to ABC affiliate Sinclair Broadcasting, who’s refusing to air tonight’s broadcast:

I supported the President’s decision to go to war in Iraq, and remain a strong supporter of that decision. But every American has a responsibility to understand fully the terrible costs of war and the extraordinary sacrifices it requires of those brave men and women who volunteer to defend the rest of us

See, there it is. McCain is right in the sense that we all ought to be aware of the costs. But what are the costs of not going to war? What are the costs of not choosing the time and place where we will engage the enemy, letting the enemy make that decision instead?

The costs are 9/11.

And in the aftermath of 9/11, ABC News was the first to ban their newscasters from wearing American flag pins on their lapels. And they were among the first to say “That’s enough” to 9/11 footage, saying they didn’t want to rouse passions.

But that’s exactly what they’re trying to do tonight.

Funny how that works, isn’t it?

Perhaps they should take an entire day out and show each and every victim of 9/11 instead, rather than gloating over the deaths of soldiers who died in Iraq, died trying to ensure that 9/11 didn’t happen again, not on our soil, not to our fellow citizens.

Read McCain here.

 
 

Lord Of Your Sorry ASS Quiz

Friday, April 30th, 2004

Oh my, the Lord of Your Sorry ASS has designed a quiz especially for yours truly. Here’s my results:

Just as I thought: You have a Sorry Ass that likes
to be insulted. What did you expect me to do?
Recite poetry?

Title of Quiz
brought to you by Quizilla

Take it yourself and see what it says.

 
 

Meow Meow

Friday, April 30th, 2004

Thing is, this is from a real news story:

A microchip helped a lost cat find its way home Wednesday — after it was missing for seven years.

Do you really need to know any more?

If you do, you can read the rest here.

 
 

Just Desserts

Friday, April 30th, 2004

I hate to sneer over anyone’s loss from 9-11, but I have to do it here:

It’s time for Plan B at Ground Zero.

Larry Silverstein, the real-estate developer who holds the lease on the World Trade Center, lost a major chunk of his legal bid to double the $3.55 billion face value of the insurance coverage for the twin towers. That has thrown the rebuilding process into confusion and signals the possible end of Mr. Silverstein’s role as lead developer of the highly symbolic site.

In U.S. District Court in Manhattan yesterday, the jury delivered an incomplete and split decision, but one that heavily favored the insurers. The panel found that eight of the 12 insurance companies — constituting more than $1 billion of coverage — were governed by an insurance form that defines the attacks on the World Trade Center as a single event, or “occurrence.” And that means a single payout.

Silverstein is an ass. After the towers fell, he wanted to build low rises, having no sense of the importance of restoring the NYC skyline, either to New Yorkers or to the rest of the country. He’s a sniveling coward, who tried buying his insurance on the cheap and now got what he deserved.

Good riddance.

Read the rest here.

 
 

Spyware

Friday, April 30th, 2004

Make spyware illegal? But how?

Many popular programs such as Kazaa and Morpheus that allow users to copy music and movies from each other’s hard drives come bundled with applications that serve up pop-up ads or other marketing tools as a way to subsidize costs.

An EarthLink scan of 1.1 million computers released two weeks ago turned up more than 300,000 malevolent programs.

But the proposed legislation got a cool reception from regulators at the Federal Trade Commission, who said they already have the laws they need to combat the spread of spyware.

Beales said some spyware is actually used to help computer users. He and FTC commissioner Mozelle Thompson said it would be difficult to craft a law that would distinguish between spyware and legitimate software.

I tend to agree with Beales. The ability to make such a distinction would be very difficult to do, and may result in the micromanaging of the software development process by bureaucrats. I tend to think we’re better off with caveat emptor.

Read more here.

 
 

Kerry Medalgate

Friday, April 30th, 2004

Jeff Jacoby writes a pretty good column on this Kerry Medal debacle:

Not one voter in 100 would vote against Kerry for trashing his Vietnam War medals at a Capitol Hill demonstration when he was 27 years old. What he did with his combat decorations in 1971 has no bearing on whether he is fit to be president today. That long-ago episode is an issue today only because Kerry’s versions of it have changed so many times, and because it so perfectly typifies his lifelong habit of saying one thing today and something else tomorrow — and then denying having done so.

Read the whole thing here.

 
 

Gerald Amirault Day

Friday, April 30th, 2004

Gerald Amirault gets freed today. That’s very good news.

If you don’t know who he is, or why he’s in jail, this Wall Street Journal editorial summs it up nicely.

 
 

Google IPO

Friday, April 30th, 2004

Congratulations are in order to Google on their upcoming IPO. If ever there was an Internet company that deserved to be traded publicly, it’s this one. A few points are worth noting about the way they’re doing things, that other companies should emulate:

  • Not speaking to their shareholders solely in legalese accompanied by marketing gibberish, but instead giving out an owners manual which explains, in normal English, what the company is all about and how it plans to proceed.

  • Dutch auction IPO. Every company should do this. The old system was corrupt, and was essentially a conspiracy to rip off the average shareholders and founders in favor of institutional investors, who would flip their stock, received at below market prices, on the day of the IPO. Google will show that it is possible to make it work in their IPO, and I expect that in the future, more companies will follow suit.
  • Their decision not to smooth quarterly earnings or give estimates to Wall Street of what earnings will look like in advance of each quarterly close. Companies can become slaves to Wall Street by focusing too closely on the quarterly earnings, and often miss growth opportunities because the initial hit to the P&L that would be seen in one quarter as investments are initially made in new products and technology can be too distressing for many in management. Better for Google, a company with a bright if uncertain future, to simply state that they are going to produce products as they ordinarily would, without regard to quarterly earnings. That means that we’ll continue to see the creative thinking come out of Google in the future, that we have in the past.

The only bad side to the equation is that they’re coming out with two classes of stock that effectively prevent average shareholders from taking control of the company. It’s their choice, but I would assume that this would affect the valuation of the stock in auction.

Now for some required reading. First, read about the way in which Google’s architecture works, and then read my thoughts about what personal computers should look like in the next decade. See any commonalities?

Word on the tech street is that there are a whole host of new companies out there whose sole exit strategy is to be bought by Google after their IPO. It would be a mistake for Google to spend their IPO cash in the manner that Netscape did, buying all sorts of new companies, disrupting their internal culture, and losing product focus. Besides which, engineers at Google already are required to spend a portion of their time on new, independent projects. It would seem as if they have enough creativity internally to require few outside purchases.

Rather, what Google should be doing is redefining the computing paradigm. Google had already built one of the world’s largest distributed architecture systems in the world. Now it’s time to extend it to the desktop, to enable file sharing and backup among home users and corporate users, to enable P2P streaming across the Internet, using Google’s infrastructure as a means to launch such a service in the early days when there will be few Google PCs out there. Basically, build a wholly P2P Linux operating system from the ground up, one that works with Google’s existing infrastructure to give it backbone and get it launched. I think that people, businesses and home users, would buy such a PC, particularly if it was branded by Google. Just check out this article on Google’s impact on the wider culture at large.

I may just be fantasizing with this, but the more I think about what Google has built, it looks to me like an architecture play, and search was just the first product for it. I really hope that’s the case, because the computing world could really use that kind of a shake up right about now.

 
 

A Few Tidbits

Thursday, April 29th, 2004

43,220 road deaths in 2003 cited by Drudge, approx 1,000 soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. If disengaging from the war on terror makes sense, doesn’t it make 40 times as much sense to disengage from our cars? Why not just ban them?

Yahoo has this stupid ad out there featuring Al Franken and Ben Stein talking about what Republicans do on Yahoo. Ben Stein is talking in his usual monotone about all the good deeds that Republicans do, and Al Franken keeps insisting in a harsh tone of voice that it’s where Republicans go to buy their yachts. Being a supporter of the Democrats, and John Kerry in particular, shouldn’t he be a little more astute than to make fun of yacht owners? To be clear for those who don’t pick up on subtlety well, John Kerry has a yacht (scroll down to the bottom) that is one of the most expensive one can buy. And it’s not as if he bought it with his own money exactly either…

 
 

eBay Wedding

Thursday, April 29th, 2004

So this divorced guy sells his wife’s wedding dress on eBay. Moderately amusing, but no big deal, right?

Well, it was no surprise to see the story picked up by J-Walk, or by Andrew Sullivan even, but the Wall Street Journal?

Man, the world is getting wierd.