Saturday, September 02, 2006

Up Is Down.

Posted by codemorse

From the Washington Post:

President Bush and his surrogates are launching a new campaign intended to rebuild support for the war in Iraq by accusing the opposition of aiming to appease terrorists and cut off funding for troops on the battlefield...

Are you kidding me?

The Democrats want to cut funding for the troops? The dangerously inadequate funding that's resulted in inferior body armor and vehicle armor? The funding that's been slashed by this administration so as to eliminate Veterans benefits?

Apparently so.

Yes, having supplied our troops with the very least in support, this administration is now attempting to paint Dems in a bad light by accusing them of cutting funding for the troops.

To buy into this Doublethink bullshit is to have the ability to consciously turn off your brain and manually remove it before handing it to your Evil Overlords for further tampering.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Website of the Week - FrinkTank

posted by Scott Roche

I like science. I like God. The twain can meet to a certain degree in my opinion, but I like to hear from opposing viewpoints from time to time. That's especially true when that opposition is written in a funny and or thought provoking way.

To that end, when I want some science news served up with a heaping helping of attitude and unsullied by any religious overtones I go here. Be warned, the language there is not for the faint of heart.

Political Ju-Jitsu

Posted by codemorse

Here's something you don't see a lot of - the Hitler/Churchill comparison used ju-jitsu style:

Dissent and disagreement with government is the life’s blood of human freedom; and not merely because it is the first roadblock against the kind of tyranny the men Mr. Rumsfeld likes to think of as “his” troops still fight, this very evening, in Iraq.

It is also essential. Because just every once in awhile it is right and the power to which it speaks, is wrong.

In a small irony, however, Mr. Rumsfeld’s speechwriter was adroit in invoking the memory of the appeasement of the Nazis. For in their time, there was another government faced with true peril—with a growing evil—powerful and remorseless.

That government, like Mr. Rumsfeld’s, had a monopoly on all the facts. It, too, had the “secret information.” It alone had the true picture of the threat. It too dismissed and insulted its critics in terms like Mr. Rumsfeld’s — questioning their intellect and their morality.

That government was England’s, in the 1930’s.

It knew Hitler posed no true threat to Europe, let alone England.

It knew Germany was not re-arming, in violation of all treaties and accords.

It knew that the hard evidence it received, which contradicted its own policies, its own conclusions — its own omniscience — needed to be dismissed.

The English government of Neville Chamberlain already knew the truth.

Most relevant of all — it “knew” that its staunchest critics needed to be marginalized and isolated. In fact, it portrayed the foremost of them as a blood-thirsty war-monger who was, if not truly senile, at best morally or intellectually confused.

That critic’s name was Winston Churchill.

Sadly, we have no Winston Churchills evident among us this evening. We have only Donald Rumsfelds, demonizing disagreement, the way Neville Chamberlain demonized Winston Churchill.

History — and 163 million pounds of Luftwaffe bombs over England —have taught us that all Mr. Chamberlain had was his certainty — and his own confusion. A confusion that suggested that the office can not only make the man, but that the office can also make the facts.

Thus, did Mr. Rumsfeld make an apt historical analogy.

Excepting the fact, that he has the battery plugged in backwards.

His government, absolute — and exclusive — in its knowledge, is not the modern version of the one which stood up to the Nazis.

It is the modern version of the government of Neville Chamberlain.

Nice, Olberman.

Very nice.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

World's Biggest Tabletop Computer

posted by Scott Roche

This is tech/world news and very, very cool so I figured I'd put it out there.

Table of Free Voices

“In terms of computing power, the Table delivers a peak performance of around 230 GFLOPS, which means that it can calculate 230,000,000,000 floating point operations per second.

“Packed with technology, the table features 112 Mini-DV Cameras, 112 Mac Minis with 224 Intel Core CPU cores running at 1.66 GHz, more than 36 terabytes of storage space spread over 224 individual hard drives and miles of cabling…

“While in recording mode, the table records 112 DV audio-video streams with a total bandwidth of over 3.8 Gigabits per second and performs a real-time h.264 compression on all 112 video streams.

“By the evening of September 9th, the Table will have recorded, compressed and stored almost 700 hours of video footage, as both high-quality material and in compressed, ready for streaming formats.”

What will it record you ask?

On September 9, 2006, 112 of the world's most compelling thinkers, artists, writers, scientists, social entrepreneurs, philosophers and humanitarians from around the world will come together in Berlin, Germany, as guests of dropping knowledge. Seated around the worlds largest table in historic Bebelplatz square, these inspiring individuals, renowned for their lasting creative or social contribution, will engage with 100 questions out of the thousands donated to dropping knowledge by the international public.

That is nothing short of WICKED AWESOME!

Software Wednesday - Google Apps

posted by Scott Roche

There's been much talk on the tech blogs this week about Google's launch of a "business solution", Google Apps for Your Domain. At present it consists of Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk (Instant Messaging and Voice Over IP), and Google Page Creator. Two of these solutions, Gmail and Calendar, are actually quite good and would probably be a wise decision for a small company with little or no IT budget. You do have to register your own domain and your email address and website will reflect that, so it will look "professional". The Page Creator is a pretty simple web design tool and Talk would seem to be a less than vital aspect to the whole thing.

Right now the service is free and in Beta. When the final version is released there will be some sort of charge for a non-advertising packed version. They will probably also include web based text editing and spreadsheets. No telling when all of the a will come to pass.

The reason I chose to include this in today's post is because the whole idea of hosted software services like this is really interesting to me. You don't have to worry about installing anything. Licensing isn't as big an issue. Massive hard drives or buckets of RAM aren't necessary to run it. Thin clients, mini computers which let servers do all the grunt work, should be cheaper to maintain and easier on the budget than full blown PCs.

It would seem that this is a perfect solution for a small company. Naturally, there are quite a few bugs that will need to be worked out and this idea will live or die based on the amount of uptime and customer service that they provide. I think it's important though that Google, who has shown that they can innovate and have a passal of smart folks working for them, is behind this. Should be interesting to watch Redmond's reaction.

Rush Limbaugh Is A Big Fat Idiot

Posted by codemorse

From Rush Limbaugh, via This Modern World :

And so now we find out that there’s obesity and all this amongst the poor, more than amongst those who are not poor. It’s sort of a textbook case of what happens when we let liberals have their way. I mean, for decades all over the world we’ve been beat about the head that there are hungry people out there , that there are starving kids.

UNICEF? How many of you have trick-or-treated for UNICEF? Did you trick-or-treat for UNICEF, Brian? Did you? We all trick-or-treated. It’s one of the biggest scams on the face of the earth. The scam was to get everybody loving the United Nations. The scam was to get everybody thinking the United Nations is feeding poor people. Remember all these stories “A dime a day will feed 20 kids” in some outward place around the world, or 25 cents a day? Audrey Hepburn, Sally Strothers, all these people did it.

....Here are these liberals right next to all these starving people doing television shows telling people thousands of miles away that they don’t care. “Can’t you help? Won’t you help?” You know, the underlying thought was: You slothful, lazy, cold-hearted bum!

Won’t you get off the couch and at least make a phone call? Well, it’s what happens when you let the left run things. We’ve been beat on the head. There are hungry people everywhere; UNICEF got it all started....

We’ve been guilted into pouring resources on the problem, and now the latest crisis is that there is obesity among those who are impoverished because we are sympathetic; we are compassionate people; we’ve responded by letting our government literally feed these people to the point of obesity, at least here in America. We didn’t teach them how to fish. We gave them the fish. We didn’t teach them how to slaughter the cow to get the butter. We gave them the butter. The real bloat here as we know is in government.

Damn our ill-calculated once-a-year efforts at charity! Isn't it clear that such liberalism is to blame for starvation in Africa?

My "favorite" part of this witless diatribe? "We are compassionate people"

....Could've fooled me.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


posted by Scott Roche

The E-Ink Corporation has come up with a flexible display that is pretty darn readable under most conditions and is extremely battery friendly. Up until now I've only seen still pictures, but thanks to Gizmodo I've seen a working prototype and now you will too.

The Phillips READUS E-Reader Scroll looks like it has a lot of potential. How well that gets realized depends on price, availability, and durability. According to the video we should see this early next year. Eventually there will be a color version. I could definitely see reading my morning news on something like this.

Beerfest = Greatness, Bottled

Posted by codemorse

Having seen Broken Lizard's new film, "Beerfest," I can confidently make the following recommendation for your upcoming weekend:

1) Call several friends. These friends must be somewhat goofy, and not of the too-cool-for-school variety.

2) Hit a bar and buy yourselves several rounds.

4) See "Beerfest."

5) Repeat Step Two

If you follow these instructions I guarantee that you will laugh your asses off.

"Beerfest" is the sort of R-rated comedy that movies like "Wedding Crashers" would like to be. It's gloriously infantile and stuffed with the sort of sweetly-anarchic humor that the Muppets might traffic in if they went on a year-long drinking binge and developed potty mouths.

The movie doesn't truly get going until the two "leads" begin gathering their Ultimate Drinking Team, but by then you've settled into the comfortable and uniquely mellow style of Broken Lizard. And when the laughs come, they come hard. It's immediately obvious that the movie, like their previous classic Super Troopers, will only get funnier with repeated viewings and as funny as it is initially, that's saying something. I'll be repeating "It's fwustwating! It's fwustwating...fwustwating..." until my girlfriend's ready to destroy me with her mind. Like Super Troopers, the film's endlessly quotable.

"Beerfest" won't change the world, win any Oscars, or solve the problems in the middle-east. It will, however, make you laugh like you're fourteen years old and watching Stripes for the first time on cable.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Told Ya So

Posted by codemorse

From The Corner:

Tim Minear, High Lord of the Whedonverse, writes:

While I'm certainly flattered that your friend credits me with any libertarian/conservative influence on "Firefly", or even the larger Whedonverse, I didn't create "Firefly." Joss did. Mal was always a libertarian leaning character and he was born utterly from Joss's giant brain. It's not like it was Collectivists In Space! before I came along.(emphasis mine)

Gadget of the Week - BFG

posted by Scott Roche

It's not particularly useful but sometimes it's more about the coolness factor. The BFG from DOOM is probably THE thing (outside of the orcish sword from LOTR which I think HR would frown on) that I would most like hangin' on the wall to my office. Maybe it wouldn't keep all of the riff-raff out, but then again maybe it would.

You could get it here, but it's sold out at the mo'. Keep checking back though.

Once You Have Met That Little Coquette, Katrina; You've Lost Your...Home

It's strange to think that Hurricane Katrina was just a year ago.

With so much happening, all the time, the tragedy and insanity of Louisiana has faded until it seems as though it might have happened two or three years ago, at least.

In this month's edition of The Atlantic, there's an interesting interview with Michael Chertoff that discusses the government's response to the disaster, and it's doubly interesting how we as a country have begun to excuse and legitimize the slow response of FEMA and other government entities.

Which is why it's important to have timelines like this one to remind us all of what actually occured a year ago, and of how important it is to keep political and social pressure on our government to aid us domestically in disaster.

Disaster happens. Whether its terrorism (a threat so old that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson corresponded on it) or Mother Nature, we will be caught by "surprise" again. And how we've learned from events like Katrina can help to reduce the suffering and insanity of future disasters. Let us all hope that Mr. Chertoff is sincere in his claim to have learned from Katrina.

Because it's going to happen again.

Do The Evolution

Posted by codemorse

From the Chronicle:

Like a gap in the fossil record, evolutionary biology is missing from a list of majors that the U.S. Department of Education has deemed eligible for a new federal grant program designed to reward students majoring in engineering, mathematics, science, or certain foreign languages.

That absence apparently indicates that students in the evolutionary sciences do not qualify for the grants, and some observers are wondering whether the omission was deliberate.

....The awards in question -- known as Smart Grants, for the National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent program -- were created by Congress this year, with strong support from the president. The grants are worth up to $4,000 and are awarded in addition to Pell grants.

Recipients must be college juniors or seniors enrolled in one of the technical fields of study that the Department of Education has deemed eligible for funds. Many different topics, as varied as astronomy and Arabic, qualify.

But evolutionary biology is absent.