Friday, July 25, 2008

Yanks are playing like they think they can beat the Red Sox

Middle of the sixth: Yanks just ran off the field like a team with it's head in the game, ARod especially. They didn't look like this the last time they played and I'm now beginning to wonder if the Yankees feel confident they can compete with or outplay the Red Sox.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Jay Bybee's Torture Doubletalk

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Bush administration told the CIA in 2002 that its interrogators working abroad would not violate U.S. prohibitions against torture unless they "have the specific intent to inflict severe pain or suffering," according to a previously secret Justice Department memo released Thursday.

"Because specific intent is an element of the offense, the absence of specific intent negates the charge of torture," Jay Bybee, then the assistant attorney general, wrote in the memo.Previously secret torture memo released -

So what does this mean? No matter how much 'severe pain or suffering' is going on it's not torture as long as it's not intended to be. ?? You're not torturing as long as you don't specifically intend to?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Radovan Karadzic

Radovan Karadzic
Originally uploaded by Candlemaker
Hiding in plain sight for all these years. Reminds me of The Purloined Letter.

Western Digital My Book Fails Right On Schedule

Silly me, and here I was actually relying on my Western Digital My Book external hard drive. From what I've just read these failures are not uncommon but the failures seem to occur across brands so it's not like switching to another company will necessarily do any good. How to proceed? Buy another one, just did, and replace it on a regular basis, I guess. Piss poor solution, maybe some research will uncover a better one. I know there are online backup solutions. In the meantime here's a link to a great customer review from a gent on Amazon. It says, in part;

"As with the earlier model, no internal fan is apparent and heat dissipation is absolutely critical to the longevity of any hard drive. Some manufacturers have skimped on this, such as Seagate with their FreeAgent series which has had a high failure rate, but v1.0 Western Digital My Book drives have also historically not fared well either. Consumers want these devices to be nearly silent, and the tradeoff is product design that omits what is often the single most important component to guarantee a longer drive life - a cooling fan.

Although both series of drives seemed to get equally warm to the touch (but not uncomfortably hot), the single most important concern I have about Western Digital's entire My Book product line is drive longevity and data integrity. The last version of this product had scores of complaints about drive failures, almost always resulting in partial or total loss of your data. Most seemed to either fail during the first week of use or right around the first anniversary of purchase." Phillip M. Dampier's review of Western Digital 500 GB My Book Essential 2...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

24/7 Wall St.: Citigroup (C) Chairman Sees Two-Year Housing Recession

24/7 Wall St.: Citigroup (C) Chairman Sees Two-Year Housing Recession

"If Citigroup (C) chairman Win Bischoff is right, then his bank and the US economy are going to be cornered by a deepening recession for the next two years. According to Reuters, the Citi chair "has warned that house prices in Britain and the United States are likely to keep falling for another two years."

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Oil Speculators Kicked My Dog And Stole My Lunch

The Blame Game -

Point well made in this WSJ piece. Oil speculators are being blamed for everything. Anybody ever hear of China, India and Russia? That's three or four billion people creating a demand for oil that didn't exist as much as ten or fifteen years ago.

"I now know that it was conniving commodity traders who have been losing my bags for the past two decades. Hey, you know what? It was probably some stressed-out oil jockey who in the late 1990s "relieved" my bag of that fifth of bourbon my parents gave me. Thieving, drunken futures traders, the lot of them!"

Beijing Spruces Up For The Olympics

The Olympics are coming to town and the local burghers have a great marketing opportunity.

Wouldn't want a collection of jobless layabouts and whiners messing up the scenery.

Epoch Times - Mass Arrests as Beijing Prepares for Harmonious Olympics:

"At least two petitioners are thought to have died as Beijing authorities intensify their campaign to “clean up” the capital for the Olympics, with busloads of people taken away each evening. Petitioners contacted by telephone told The Epoch Times that on the evening of July 13, five busloads of people were seized and taken away, with another busload taken the following evening."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Apple fails BlackBerry test

Paul Taylor of gives pretty good marks to the iPhone but prefers his Blackberry for business. / Business education - Apple fails BlackBerry test: "
"Despite these drawbacks, the 3G iPhone will undoubtedly be a success for Apple and its network operator partners including AT&T. Personally, I am still not ready to ditch my BlackBerry Curve and am looking forward to reviewing the 3G BlackBerry Bold. But the gap is closing.""

Monday, July 14, 2008

Covalent Solar to Commercialize Low-Cost Organic Solar Concentrators - Jetson Green

Covalent Solar to Commercialize Low-Cost Organic Solar Concentrators - Jetson Green

Chinese Rocket Whiz Carries Olympic Torch

The gentleman is Wang Jiaqi.

"The 68-year-old Wang is well known in Chinese space flight industry. Even before sending the first Chinese astronaut into space with Shenzhou V in October 2003, Wang and his team had already started working on Shenzhou VI."

The original title is Olympic Flame Illuminates China's "Motown" Changchun so I expected a musical tie in to Detroit. Turns out it has more to do with industry and, strangley enough, latitude.

"Changchun, which has the same latitude with Detroit, is known as China's Motown. The first truck and the first car of the people's republic had been made in this city. During the torch relay, so many citizens came to the street to watch and hail the torchbearers."

Olympic flame illuminates China's "Motown" Changchun_English_Xinhua

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Cover Art: Sons of the Purple Sage - Western Favorites

Cover Art: Sons of the Purple Sage - Western Favorites

Every Man A King On The Internet?

Not if Comcast, Verizon and others have their way. They have an older concept in mind. Every CEO a Princeling. You live on their land and pay for the privilege. The amount you pay is based on your use of the land and the amount of income you generate. Trouble is, it's not their land. They're just caretakers. They manage the place for the real owners, the public.

F.C.C. Chief Backs Sanctions Against Comcast Over Blocking - "“The normative message is that it is wrong to block the Internet,” said Tim Wu, a professor at Columbia Law School who is the chairman of Free Press, an advocacy group that filed the complaint about Comcast for which Mr. Martin is proposing a resolution.

“The deeper message he’s sending here is that users are sovereign. If two people want to send a file between each other, the carriers are not to get in the way.”

Professor Wu said the issues at stake go back to the common-law concept of a common carrier, which defined certain businesses — from blacksmiths to ferries — as so essential to commerce that their owners could not discriminate against any paying customer."

Thursday, July 10, 2008

French Word-A-Day: lexique

The word of the day doesn't have much to do with plants but the post is worth some time.

French Word-A-Day: lexique: "A_day_in_a_french_life
Monsieur Farjon talks about plants as some talk about humans. They have their relations, c'est-la-dire,* they have families, 'ancestors'. They reproduce. They are 'born': some as bastards, others with silver spoons in their botanical bouches.* Speaking of mouths, they even have body parts, such as 'armpits' (aisselles), from which thirsty French birds drink a la 'cabaret des oiseaux'.*"

Monday, July 07, 2008

Boston to ban boaters from harbor dumping -The Green Blog - A Boston Globe blog on living Green in Boston

Based on everything I've heard in the last few years about Boston Harbor having been cleaned up I would have thought that this had been done already.

Boston to ban boaters from harbor dumping -The Green Blog - A Boston Globe blog on living Green in Boston: "Boston today will become the largest urban area in the country to prohibit boaters from dumping out their toilets in the harbor, city and federal officials said."

Tribes of Monkeys Jumping and Screeching at Each Other

Thump your chest a little harder lefties. Fox tactics lack honor!

The Media Equation - When Fox News Is the Story - "Part of me — the Irish, tribal part — admires Fox News’s ferocious defense of its guys. I work at a place where editors can make easy sport of teasing apart your flawed copy until it collapses in a steaming pile, but Lord help those outsiders who make an unwarranted or unfounded attack on me or my work. Our tactics may be different, but we, too, are strong for our posse.

Media reporting about other media’s approach to producing media is pretty confusing business to begin with. Feelings, which are always raw for people who make their mistakes in public, will be bruised. But that does not fully explain the scorched earth between Fox News and those who cover it.

Fox News found a huge runway and enormous success by setting aside the conventions of bloodless objectivity, but along the way, it altered the rules of engagement between reporters and the media organizations they cover. Under its chief executive, Roger Ailes, Fox News and its public relations apparatus have waged a permanent campaign on behalf of the channel that borrows its methodology from his days as a senior political adviser to Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush."

Good News for Obama and the Dems

Jim Webb has served in the military, he has a son who is serving now and he doesn't suffer fools, witness a well known exchange with President Bush. But he made clear today that even if asked he won't be a part of the Obama ticket. I respect him for all the things I mentioned above but he is a little too right/hawkish for me and I'm just as just as glad he's out. I still like the idea of Bill Richardson but I also want to hear more floats before I make up my mind. How would I decide among several VP candidates? I would prefer left leaning but the most important thing is to get Obama elected and if that requires a centrist or even slightly rightist VP candidate to appeal to a broader spectrum of voters, so be it.

Breaking news: Now, Jim Webb takes himself off Obama's VP list | Top of the Ticket | Los Angeles Times:

"Jim Webb, the Virginia senator and former Republican who packs his own heat most places, has withdrawn himself from consideration as Barack Obama's Democratic vice presidential running mate.

In a statement released moments ago, Webb said: 'Last week I communicated to Senator Obama and his presidential campaign my firm intention to remain in the United States Senate, where I believe I am best equipped to serve the people of Virginia and thVirginia Sen Jim Webb listens to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama at a June rally in Virginia. Webb takes himself out of VP consideration with Obama July 7, 2008is country."

Friday, July 04, 2008

More on Photogravure

The Art of the Photogravure | Blog: Alfred Stieglitz and the Photo-Secession: "'A lasting testament to Stieglitz and his ideas was his periodical Camera Work.� It offered a visual record of the achievements of the American and foreign photographers in whom he believed, a living history of the Photo-Secession, and a digest of the aesthetic theories and intentions of both the progressive photographers and the burgeoning avant-garde in painting, sculpture, and criticism.� As a reflection of what Stieglitz stood for, Camera Work remains a vital wellspring from which creative individuals may still draw nourishment and inspiration.' - William Innes Homer

Good stuff on New Hampshire Journal tonight

First is a piece on photogravure with a good look at the technique and some beautiful prints. It features Graveurphotographer Paul Taylor of Hinsdale and his apprentice Scott Mathus. Next up is a report from the Dublin Small Engine Show. Last is a piece on guns in New Hampshire now & then. It finishes up with some good words on why Americans are allowed to carry guns while the citizens of most other nations are prohibited from doing so.
It's showing again this Sunday morning at 9. Check it out. - Flat-Screen TV Gas 'a Climate Time Bomb' - Science News | Science & Technology | Technology News

This comes from the notoriously fact challenged Fox News so take it with a grain of salt. Read the first paragraph and you could be excused for thinking that they're just trying to make coal sound better. - Flat-Screen TV Gas 'a Climate Time Bomb' - Science News | Science & Technology | Technology News: "Booming demand for flat-screen televisions could have a greater impact on global warming than the world's largest coal-fired power stations, scientists warn.

A greenhouse gas called nitrogen trifluoride, used to make the TVs, is 17,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide, said Michael Prather, director of the environment institute at the University of California, Irvine."

"Air Products, (APD) which produces the gas for the electronics industry, told New Scientist that very little nitrogen trifluoride is released into the atmosphere.