Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Anyway, other things I hate about this hotel:
There are no refigerators in the rooms -- this means that I'm continually making runs to the ice machine to keep my 2-liters of Dr. Pepper cold. What kind of a cheap, dive am I staying in here.? Caffeine addicts of the world, Unite!
The pool and the jacuzzi are closed. What's the point of having a pool if its permanently closed? Its in the 90's outside, but I can't take a dip because the hotel is too cheap to maintain a freakin' pool? unbelievable.
My room telephone doesn't function: there's no sound coming out of the speaker when people call, and the speaker-phone set-up doesn't work.
The hotel is out beyond freaking egypt, its almost a mile from the metro station. Lousy, lousy location -- the marriott is so much better situated. Should've stayed there, they probably offer high-speed internet in their rooms and have a real pool.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
Heritage Policy Blog: "McCain Says Ditch Prescription Drug Benefit. Sen. John McCain said today that with the cost of recovery from Hurricane Katrina estimated to be in the neighborhood of $200 billion, the Medicare prescription drug benefit should be canceled. "Do we really need more wealth transfer to the elderly?
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Does anyone else think this is insane?
Video piracy, in the standard scenario presented by big-time COWs, is the profoundest threat to mankind — or at least mankind’s potential profit margin on re-releases of 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' — since the Black Death, the H-Bomb or killer hurricances.
The latest weapon promoted by the world's COWs against the threat of video piracy — which rips off Hollywood at something like .0175 percent of its (admitted) annual revenue — is something called the 'broadcast flag.' The Federal Communications Commission was planning to insinuate this copy-protection software into all new broadcast content until a federal court this year said they lacked jurisdiction. This ruling has only redoubled COW efforts to enlist regulatory agencies in its sacred mission of squeezing every quarter 'til the eagle grins."
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
"Which brings us to the movie industry’s announcement, yesterday, that they will set up “MovieLabs”, a $30 million research effort to develop effective anti-copying technologies. The only sensible explanation for this move is that Hollywood really believes that there are easily-discovered anti-copying technologies that the technology industry has failed to find.
So Hollywood is still in denial about digital copying.
The pressure will be on MovieLabs to find strong anti-copying technologies, because a failure by MovieLabs can’t be blamed on the tech industry. Failure will show, instead, that stopping digital copying is much harder than Hollywood thought. And MovieLabs will fail.
When MovieLabs fails, expect the spinners to emerge again, telling us that MovieLabs has a great technology that it can’t tell us about, or that there’s a great technology that isn’t quite finished, or that the goal all along was not to stop P2P copying but only to reduce some narrow, insignificant form of copying. Expect, most of all, that MovieLabs will go to almost any length to avoid independent evaluation of its technologies.
This is a chance for Hollywood to learn what the rest of us already know — that cheap and easy copying is an unavoidable side-effect of the digital age"
Monday, September 19, 2005
Friday, September 16, 2005
The White House communications team scrambled this morning to explain how President George Bush accidentally delivered a rejected draft speech in New Orleans last night on national TV.Technorati tags: welfare-state
White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett said he still does not know how the text of an address he had personally rejected as "too DNC" wound up in the president's hands last night.
Many Republicans reacted in shock as all of America heard Mr. Bush promising a series of federal interventions and taxpayer-cash infusions
To any republicans who saw Bush's travesty of a speech -- this is the kind of welfare-state mentality we would have gotten if Kerry had won. I'm becoming sorry I voted for this big-government wolf in sheep's clothing.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said yesterday that Republicans have done so well in cutting spending that he declared an 'ongoing victory,' and said there is simply no fat left to cut in the federal budget."
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
"Just because a person loses his house in a flood that destroys hundreds of thousands of other houses, rather than in a fire that destroys just his house, is no reason for the taxpayer to reimburse him for the loss. The fact that most people do not buy flood insurance, just like the fact that most Californians don't buy earthquake insurance, is no reason for me to insure them."Read the whole thing.
I'm down with his whole argument. I'm looking at the 60+ billion that our lovely congress is pissing away, and I'm thinking -- where is all that money going?
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Allegations of widespread fraud in unmonitored polling places threatened to mar the credibility of Egypt's sham presidential election today which pitted four-term President Hosni Mubarak against nine opponents whose actual names will be revealed to the public after the polls close.
As the Muslim nation's first contested presidential election charade wound to a close, opposition parties claimed that widespread voter intimidation tarnished the otherwise pre-engineered outcome.
"We had hoped that this phony election would continue Egypt's progress toward genuine artificial democracy," said one unnamed Mubarak opponent who opted for anonymity rather than imprisonment, "This sets a horrible precedent for other Arab nations who have taken the first, tentative steps toward the pretense of freedom."
Just hype by the media trying to push an extremist environmental agenda. This chart from the Commons blog shows that total fatalities as well as death rates due to "weather-related extreme events" are on century-old down trend. Thanks to our technology and economic growth, we're better protected than ever from the vissitudes of Mother Nature.
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
OK, so I guess we're not allowed to enjoy music or laugh or get photographed enjoying ourselves during times of natural disaster. I'm wondering if maybe someone has a picture of Xeni laughing during the time immediately after hurricane Katerina -- then I could make photocollage showing what an awful person she is by superimposing her gaiety on scenes of human suffering.
This kind of cheap-shot journalism destroys Xeni's credibility as an honest voice in the coming digital age.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
What Hurricane Katrina exposed was the psychological consequences of the welfare state. What we consider "normal" behavior in an emergency is behavior that is normal for people who have values and take the responsibility to pursue and protect them. People with values respond to a disaster by fighting against it and doing whatever it takes to overcome the difficulties they face. They don't sit around and complain that the government hasn't taken care of them. And they don't use the chaos of a disaster as an opportunity to prey on their fellow men.
He considers the value and limits of crime-facilitating speech, and how the first amendment protection of speech should be weighed against the possibility that some speech might enable criminal activity.
Basically the fact that I can't post an mp3 of the song I'm listening to right now, to this blog, drives me crazy. If file-sharing is anything, its speech; the exhanging of data -- simple pure communication. But in America in 2005 its not free speech, its speech controlled by the record companies and the movie studios and Micro$oft.
Monday, September 05, 2005
Sunday, September 04, 2005
As the notion of drug legalization has fermented in my brain, the central question mutated into the following:
What gives the federal government the right to decide what I put in my body?
I can't seem to find a good answer. At first I thought to myself: "Well, taking mind-altering drugs can endanger other people; imagine your kids' bus driver hopped up on pot or crystal or cocaine..." Except then I realized that the crime there can be addressed directly via legislation exactly like we've done for drunk driving. It isn't necessary to outlaw alcohol to legislate against the abuse of alcohol that endangers others.
This was brought home to me especially poignantly by the illegalization of ephedrine -- an herb that I've frequently used as a body building aid in the past and which has been scientifically proven to be safe -- here, the feds butted into my personal life and dictated what I could (or rather, could not) put in my body. How dare they? Where in the constitution did we give congress the right to control the most basic element of our lives; our alimentation?
More to come.
Several days ago a group of European hackers broke Nagravision2, and many of my friends across the world are now viewing all of DishNetworks' programming (including PPV movies, premium sports channels, etc.) for free.
I believe DishNetwork underestimated the inherent security difficulties in giving millions of its customers the cryptographic key (or rather a method to get the key via their access cards) and simultaneously expecting that their enemies would be unable to reverse engineer said key.
Anyway, Nagra2 is wide open for anyone who is interested. Go to mauisun's bulletin board for more information on this fiasco.
Thursday, September 01, 2005
Unfortunately, they're still planning on having church on Sunday. This means that if I don't go do this bit of service then I get to see all the ladies at church and explain why I'm not in Mississippi doing Christian service with all the other men in the church.
The answer came to me just now: skip church and run the table so to speak. If I'm hell-bound this week end, why not go whole hog?
Seriously though, I'm going to cut a check to charity to cover the miniscule amount of help I would be able to render if I were to go there over the weekend. Honestly, I'm not into suffering for the sake of suffering. If my own discomfort were able to substantially and uniquely improve the lot of the folks in the wake of the storm, then I'd be happy to help. I spent a weekend doing service right after Ivan, and all I can say is ... if we'd each pitched in 40 bucks we could have hired professional to do what we did in a quarter of the time.
While Macrovision attempts to stop piracy ... they admit that it may be an impossible goal to achieve as P2P networks adapt and change. According to Dalke, Hawkeye works well against most of the major P2P networks including EDonkey and FastTrack. But full protection against Bittorrent has not been achieved yet.That's right, because if someone seeds a bogus file on bittorrent the peeps who download it will leave a comment indicating that its crap. Thus bittorrent self-regulates against this kind of attack.