In light of the MS - Yahoo! News

Me: i'm gonna have to ditch my yahoo im account
Me: you have to get me on AIM or google talk
Jared (on AIM): hello
Me: for some reason i thought you only had a yahoo account
Jared: nope, i have gmail, yahoo, aim
Me: i have no one else on my friend's list in yahoo :P
Jared: hahaha
Jared: you're my only yahoo account too!!
Me: good, i can get rid of that account
Me: hahaahah
Me: man, we shoulda just said something years ago

Amber Alert

Tonight, my brother Scott and I were watching Transformers on Demand and there was an Amber Alert on the Emergency Broadcast System. Haven't seen anything on any websites and we went right back to watching the movie since we can't help. It happened at 7pm, I got to Scott's house at around quarter of, and we were watching the Sixers and playing with Danny and Megan. The alert didn't come on until 9pm. Plus it happened about 7 or 8 miles from us. Two kids, a 3 year old girl and a 6 year old boy, in a car when it was stolen. I don't want to be prying and definitely not scrutinizing, but I hope that the criminals stole the car for just the car, and do the right thing, and not anything stupid. We discussed it for a few minutes, hoping for the best, after the alert stopped. What else can we do?

I hate politics

I found it hilarious when I read this:

As news of the hostage-taking spread, candidates from across the political spectrum put aside rivalries. Democrat Barack Obama, who has been trading sharp barbs with the New York senator, called Clinton to offer support.

Republican Mitt Romney, who has also been taking shots at Clinton, asked his staff to lock all his field offices and be on alert for suspicious individuals. "Our thoughts and prayers are with those involved in the situation in New Hampshire," Romney said in a statement early in the day.

First, it's like every other candidate wishes something like this would happen to another candidate so they can get good publicity out of showing their support, while the candidate it happened to appears weak. I can imagine Obama getting off the phone with the PR rep or an advisor, saying "call Hillary and offer your support". Then he gets off the phone with Hillary and immediately calls all of the local media. Or his PR advisor.

And the next thing that made me laugh was Mitt Romney locking his offices and looking out for suspicious people. When I first read that, I was like "Who the f@#$ is Mitt Romney?!"

I told Kate that I alternate the party I vote for every four years, so this year I'm going Republican.

Weird Dreams and Propaganda

I had this weird dream after I fell asleep watching the replay of the Phillies game last night. It was around 12 midnight when I finally zonked out. If you've never watched a Phillies game, you still might have heard of Harry Kalas. He's the Phillies' TV and radio voice. Well, he's getting old, and his vision is fading, as well as his memory. Sometimes he'll botch calls like if a ball is caught at the wall or if it goes out and the guy there tries to catch it but it's obviously way out of reach of him, he'll report the opposite of what happened. This dream was along those lines. Basically, it was a ground ball up the third base line with nobody on base, and Harry Kalas reported it as a two run homer. I was like "WTF?".

I turned on CNN after waking up this morning, and caught a majority of "In The footsteps of Bin Laden", which is an interesting, two-sided show. It ended with me feeling rather informed about where bin Laden might be, why he "hates America", why al Qaeda was formed, and all this other stuff that will cause the FBI and CIA to beeline to this website and flag it as "terroristic". Anyway, it was over, and Anderson Cooper is on the screen, informing me of the next time the show will be on. Of course, the bad part of it was, he was basically calling bin Laden a slew of names that I wouldn't say around my neices or nephews. So, I realized I didn't like news shows telling me what to think of these people. If they realized that intelligent people watch their shows, then they should assume that most people can come to their own conclusions, and they just need all the facts in order to do this, and that's why we watch the news. Telling us that Osama bin Laden is evil is not a fact, that's an opinion. It might be a widespread opinion, but it's an opinion, and one that most people would find to be "right", which doesn't necessarily make it fact.

I bought "Munich" with my limited funds, and I've watched it three times. It's a good flick. Anyway, there's this part where the dude who plays the Incredible Hulk is in Germany trying to find answers, and he comes across this German frauline, and she's a Philosopher. She comments from a work entitled "The Philosophy of Right" I think, by some philosoph. I immediately became intrigued. I haven't researched it, but I'm sure it's a real work. Now I have to read it. Because what's right to someone is completely wrong to someone else, and therefore couldn't possibly be recorded in history books as "fact". Of course, we record it as fact, and therefore it's propaganda.

Yes, the show "In the Footsteps of Bin Laden" is also propaganda. But there are a lot of facts in it, but we see just the facts about al Qaeda attacking US interests, and the US retaliating and weakening al Qaeda interests like their safe harbor in Afghanistan, the Taliban. Facts that try to sculpt a conclusion, in this case that al Qaeda is doing what they do just because they felt like it... with no motivation. The show brushes aside the fact that the US has held military posts in Saudi Arabia, Islam's holy land, for many years. This would be like going and taking a dump on an altar in a church. Because of oil, of course. They may be right. All they want is for the US to leave their land, which may be impossible without an alternative source of fuel. It just so happens that the biggest source of oil also happens to be a desert filled with people of another religion, and that religion's holy land. They'd drill for oil under Rome or Jerusalem if they knew there was a well there.

Oh well. Time for coffee. I'm not on bin Laden's side here, just saying that propaganda sucks, we are smart people, most of the time, and we don't need opinions of news reporters to shape our own opinions. It's weird how the two topics of this post intermingle. I like to watch a sporting event where the announcer is rooting for the same team I am, but I can't watch a news show where they are rooting for or against anyone. I don't know... does that seem weird?

The News sucks

It only takes me about 5 minutes of watching CNN to hate it and pretty much every news show. First, there's the incidents in Lebonon which I'm OK with watching. But then, they talk about Mel Gibson's anti-Semitist remarks, which he apologized for, leave it alone, and his DUI. Then they say his blood alcohol level was .12, and in California, the legal limit is .08. From my "alcohol" class in college (I did actually take an alcohol class... hoo boy, there's a good story to do with that too), they said that .08 is like drinking two beers and hitting the road. So .12, from math, is only 1 more beer. It's the law, and he rightfully got a DUI because of that, and that's not my issue. I know I get buzzed if it's been a while and I drink three beers in an hour or so, but comon... people are still pretty much capable of anything, and in some cases more capable of other things, after three beers. I speak of course of Beirut (AKA beer pong). CNN brought it up like it was a huge deal, and that Mel Gibson is now a lesser person, like "We can all now laugh at Mel Gibson when on coffee break." I'm not particularly fond of Mel, I'm more attacking peoples' attitudes towards someone who makes a mistake then I am defending Mr. Gibson. Give it up, Perfecty O'Perfect.

Sometimes I love TV though. Yesterday on Comcast SportsNet, on the show Daily News Live, was Charles Barkley. He's a great interview. Comcast should release that interview on DVD, and any other interview with him. He was my favorite player growing up. In fact, in third grade, I guess for my 9th birthday, I invited him to my party. I was the talk of the whole school, since I told one person that Charles Barkley might show up. I had hookups, since my Dad went to school with John Nash, then GM of the Sixers. Sir Charles couldn't make it, I'm afraid to say, but in the side door of the house, my brother noticed the door had been held open by something. We never use it but it's on the street, so easily accessible to delivery trucks and whatnot. To help you further imagine, the house is on a corner, but the front door is not on the street that the address is listed as, that door is the side door. Anyway, he checked it and it was a box addressed to me!! Charles Barkley, via John Nash, had sent me an personal autographed Sixers basketball ("To Jason Charles Barkely"), a note from Charles, and a bunch of assorted Sixers stickers. I don't know what happened to the rest, but the basketball is currently on top of our Philadelphia sports dedicated entertainment center, along with a Chase Utley bobblehead, a Donovan McNabb bobblehead, an Allen Iverson bobblehead, and I think Peter Forsberg represents the Flyers. I'd have to go check, but I'm too comfy. Anyway, I wish I'd kept the note. Oh well. Some of the stickers made their way onto various spots around the house, like the insides of closet doors (because who ever paints there!?). Definitely an exciting time, and now Charles Barkley will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame! That thing just shot up in value, but you don't ever, ever sell it because it's Charles Barkley for Pete's sake!! Oh, and it's to me... another "Jason" just wouldn't get the same satisfaction out of it.

The only channel I watch regularly now is the History Channel. I love Modern Marvels, Mega Disasters, and their special on the American Revolution, among a ton of other shows. I will watch Mail Call... hell, I watch anything on that channel. I used to be a Discovery / Learning Channel guy, and the History Channel is from the same blood, but I just find that THC has more of the stuff I'm interested in... all the time. And their paid programming doesn't kick on until 4am, which is huge for me during my time off :)


I'm just about the sickest mofo in the world. I took off from work on Thursday and Friday of last week, but still, 4 days of rest and under the blankets, and 2 days with no smoking, I still feel like crap. Fever, congestion, dizziness, coughing, aches, pains, chills, and sneezing. This, I determined, was not sick enough to miss more work! Imagine what I felt on Thursday, then. It was the same symptoms, just magnified and multiplied. Excuse some crazy talk later in the post, I'm a bit hallucinogenic and think I'm writing this on a black notepad in black ink and storing it in a pouch I've sewn onto my back. Using Slim-Jim.

There's a bit of anger in the Muslim world because there's a drawing of "Muhammad" depicting him (sin) as a terrorist (more sin). Yes, it's bad to depict Muhammad in any way. I've seen multiple spellings so I have no idea how to spell it. Anyway, I plead ignorance if I ever drew him, or drew him in a way that is demeaning. But, Islam is a non-bull@#%t Religion. I've seen many depictions of Jesus, and some demeaning (the movie "Dogma" comes to mind), but Christians don't take to the streets and risk their own lives over it. Who cares? We don't mind what other people think. We can think that Kevin Smith is going to hell because of his "Buddy Christ", but other than that, what good does it do to complain about it? Nothing. You'll save other people from going to hell if you complain. I say, F#@%@ them, more room for me when I get to Heaven ;-)

The Steelers are good. That's all I have to say about that. (Other than they played every game away and won straight through, considering that at week 12 they were 7-5 and hardly considered to make the playoffs in the first place, and beat Indianapolis to get there). Mad props to Pittsburgh.

Kodie and I watched the game, and at half time, as I was getting my next load of laundry ready, I figured out how to stop smoking for good. Nyquil. First off, it's f!@#$ing disgusting. Ever taste that 5#%2? It's nasty because they want you to take it quick. Nyquil's better when you don't taste it, I learned. Just shoot it down like Grey Goose vodka (Freedom Vodka, as Kate's friends in Manayunk called it). I ended up waking up at 4am, then decided that I wasn't going to be in work by 6 (even though I could have left by now), and took another shot. I figure, when I'm quitting smoking, I won't be able to fall asleep because of withdrawal and "nic-fitting". So, why not take care of that problem? The hardest part about quitting smoking is doing things that you used to do while smoking. Since I always sleep when I'm smoking, this might take care of some of that. Or something. WTF? Wait. Oh, yeah, so it's hard to fall asleep when you're quitting smoking, so I just need something to help me in that department. The other stuff, like driving and smoking, or playing video games and smoking, or doing everything else I do and smoking... that sh@#%'s gotta stop. So, I figure, I'll just find something else to do. Like, drink coffee. But, that will just keep me awake, while the NyQuil is trying to put me to sleep. Obvious solution: coffee flavored NyQuil. That would be the bomb.

I may have more in a bit.

Friday Afternoon Paper Reading

Reading the paper today, I learned that the Flyers acquired Petr Nedved from the Coyotes! They traded Dennis Seidenberg (who needs Germans on the team, anyway?). They should have traded Chris Turnover... er... Therien. He's made one good play all year. Before any Germans go all anti-German on me, I'm 50% German, it was a joke :) It's my better half.

Then I came across this mountain of useless information. "Pa. milk production climbed 4.5 percent in 2005". Obviously someone thinks it's important. It's like, 4.5 percent. If that's important, then it would be just as important to note that my facial hair has grown 4.5 percent in the last 4 hours. Or that I've put a steady 4.5 percent of full, actual work in the time I've been here today. Plus it's MILK. I could see Oil production raising 4.5 percent being news. If that's news then so is "Hair gel production rose 4.5 percent in 2005."

It may show my complete lack of business knowledge, but that's not anything I'm trying to hide! I know how to buy stuff and pay bills, that's all I really need to know :)

In other news, nothing interesting happened today. It's Friday. If "slacking off at work on Friday" made news, then everyone would be in the paper, and we wouldn't have to deal with reading about the output ability of Pennsylvania's cows over the last year.

I thought I'd throw this in here... a few weeks ago I watched the news on local TV for the first time in literally 3 years. It went like this: "Death, Robbery, Death, Accident, Traffic, Death, Murder, WAY TOO HAPPY WEATHERMAN". I'm like "HOLY S@#$%#@ That guy is WAY too happy following all that bad news." The mood swing, if I had let it happen, would have been big enough to cause a heart attack.

Two Standards is Better, Says Microsoft

Standard means ONE, I say. This is based on the Government wanting an open standard document format so that if the software maker of the software that they are using for documents (word processor documents, spreadsheet docs, etc) goes out of business, they aren't screwed. They can just move to another software provider that will be able to read and save the same types of documents. There's an article on MacWorld detailing how Microsoft believes two standards is better.

I just read through most of how every website defines the word "Standard", and pretty much every definition uses it as a singular term. "A basis for comparison", "established or widely recognized as a model of authority or excellence", "a recommended practice", etc. This goes against logic.

It's ignorant. Microsoft wants to just say "Hey, we can't go implementing OpenDocument now. We're supposed to release the new office in like 2 years", while other office software providers already have solutions out there. OpenOffice being the one I use.

It's STUPID!! A standard is supposed to make things EASIER on people. In software, it makes it so you only need ONE program to be able to read any document your pal or coworker may send you. It's bad enough already. Someone can send you a PDF, or a Word document, or an image. You have to have the program to be able to read it. With one standard (I shouldn't even have to say "one" standard), you just have a program that provides an acceptable implementation of that standard, the one you like, and then you can create and send documents that you authored with the program to other people with their favorite program that reads that document type. It's idiotic.

Of course, Microsoft will be the only one providing an implementation of their OpenXML document format. And you'll have to pay a huge amount just to be able to use it. And, of course, they'll have proprietary plugins, like their VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) that provide scripting of that document, and to read that document in another program even implementing the OpenXML document type will be impossible, because it will still have proprietary technology in it. Sure, Microsoft will implement a standard, but it will be by their terms, and they will own it. Good. I'm not sure who owns the Metric System, but I'm sure that's where Microsoft got their idea from.

Oil Industry Execs Interrogated

From a article (registration required)

"My constituents, and actually most Americans, think that somebody rigs these prices. That in the process, somebody's getting ripped off, and they think it's them," said Energy Committee Chairman Pete Dominici (R., N.M.), setting the stage for the nearly four-hour grilling.

"The Senate Energy and Commerce committees called in five oil-industry captains to explain their combined third-quarter profit of $32.8 billion and what are expected to be industrywide annual profits approaching $100 billion. Those profits came from American consumers who paid more than $3 a gallon for gasoline this fall and face record home-heating costs this winter."

And their defense...

"Hoping to fend off a potential windfall-profits tax, leaders of the five major U.S. oil companies denied before two Senate committees yesterday that they gouged consumers while earning recent record profits."

"One by one, the executives recounted how hurricanes disrupted oil production and pipeline activity in the Gulf of Mexico and damaged oil refineries along the Gulf Coast. And they noted that even before Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, a tight global market for oil supplies, caused partly by China's surging demand, had driven up gasoline prices around the world."

Pretty much all you need to know. So, they raise the prices in tough times because they CAN raise the prices in tough times. If they raised the prices and didn't earn record profits, then you'd know it was costing them the same ratio to make gasoline as before the tough times and during the tough times. But since they raised the prices and earned record profits, you know it cost them the same to make gasoline before and during the tough times. Maybe not the same, but definitely not at the same ratio at which they charged. I hope the good guys win.

Gamer Gets Death Penalty

Read about it here. It's stupid that a game is considered responsible for that action. I played that game, and beat it. It's all about how you interpret the game that depends on your possible fate later down the road. Sure, I would go on rampages with a sniper rifle from the very top of a parking garage and take out passerbys and cops, but what was I thinking about when I was doing it? Using a controller to aim at what seemed to be heads on a digital person. Mostly, I would try to drive around as fast as I can without crashing, that was where I had the most fun. This guy probably imagined killing cops. So where is the problem? Not in the video game, I say. Afterall, it's just a video game. It doesn't make someone violent. Years of abuse does or an aggressive attitude does. I can't imagine someone playing Doom 3 and thinking it's real, but I also can't imagine someone playing GTA III and thinking it's real. The overall concensus is that it's not, which is why they're allowed to be released to the masses in the first place. It's the sinister few that might ruin it for everyone.

Quality Humor

Props out to NATO of NATO Computer Solutions up there in Canada for these two. Buy a computer from him, tell him I sent you. It's Canadian money which is practically glorified Monopoly money. You can get a good deal up there.

Three Texas surgeons were playing golf together and discussing surgeries they had performed. One of them said, "I'm the best surgeon in Texas. A concert pianist lost 7 fingers in an accident. I reattached them, and 8 months later he performed a private concert for the Queen of England."

One of the others said "That's nothing. A young man lost both arms and legs in an accident. I reattached them, and 2 years later he won a gold medal in field events in the Olympics."

The third surgeon said, "You guys are amateurs. Several years ago a cowboy who was high on cocaine and alcohol rode a horsehead-on into a train traveling 80 miles an hour. All I had left to work with was the horse's ass and a cowboy hat. Now he's president of the United States.

That's a riot.

Donald Rumsfeld is giving the President his daily briefing. He concludes by saying: "Yesterday, 3 Brazilian soldiers were killed."

"OH NO!" the President exclaims. "That's terrible!"

His staff sits stunned at this display of emotion, nervously watching as the President sits, head in hands.

Finally, President Bush looks up and asks, "How many is a brazillion?"


Quote of the Day

This quote comes from Sony BMG CEO Andrew Lack. It's in this article. The article talks about how the music industry wants to raise the prices for songs on iTunes, and Steve Jobs fires back about how that's greedy, and it will turn people back to piracy. The market isn't big enough to raise prices yet, one analyst conjectures. Anyway, here's the quote:

"I'm not making any money on this," he said. "I've got one revenue stream that a proctologist would have a hard time analyzing. It's not pretty."

That's classic.

A prediction

I predict a huge upsurge in satellite radio sales. I don't know what makes me so sure (registration required).

"[Howard] Stern is due to move next year to Sirius Satellite Radio, which is free of FCC policing."

I don't listen to the guy, but I know at least 3 of my brothers do. Even if I had the opportunity to listen to radio, I just listened to WMMR. I can't stand Stern, honestly. But I know he's loved by millions. Everyone will have satellite radio.

This reminds me of a joke by the late, great Mitch Hedburg, talking about doing an interview on satellite radio.

"... The host told me you can curse on satellite radio. I said 'Of course you can curse, cause no one is there to hear it! You can curse in the woods too.'"

This will no longer be the case, millions will hear, and will be free of FCC policing.

Google is not a mini-OS

I ran across an article that called Google's new "Desktop Search" for Windows a "Mini Operating System". I posted a reply. When I think "Mini-OS", I certainly don't think of a program written to run on an operating system. When I think "Mini-OS", I'll tell you what I think: Embedded Linux. That's "mini" and that's an "OS".

So what does an operating system do exactly? The first and foremost job of an OS is to interface with the hardware; let you save files on disk, use your monitor, your modem, your attached peripherals like printers, digital cameras, webcams, and anything else. This includes interfacing with your network card and implementing the TCP/IP stack so you can connect to the internet. Also, it includes a "platform" for writing software, an Application Programming Interface (API). Lately, operating systems have included all types of goodies, like integrated search (Mac OS X) and widgets (Mac OS X). This is simply "value added" stuff. Since an operating system might come with these things built into them, it does not change the definition of an operating system. Even if adding "Mini" to the front of it makes your observations less serious, you still have "OS" at the end, invalidating your generalization. How about call it a "program". That's what I call it. A program that happens to search your files and have plugins for stuff like weather. I don't even use it and I know that it's not an operating system.

One comment came from Google.

--- "We're really trying to make this into a platform"
---- Nikhil Bhatla, product manager for Google Desktop.

That can be confusing. I'll have you know that Eclipse is called a platform. I don't boot my computer into the "Eclipse" OS, though. It's a Java editor. A very great one. What this person means is that they will be developing programs on top of it. Which is why Eclipse is called a platform, you can write PLUG-INS. Technology is so misunderstood.

I'm a stickler for technological phrases used in the right way. I'm sure doctors, architects, lawyers, and every other profession will get just as upset if you butcher their terminology. Like, if a man finds a person murdered in the alley, and calls the police and says "We have a grand theft auto here." I'm not the only one :)

Here's another thing about it. That site, "", is apparently a pretty highly visited site, and one that is as qualified to interpret that Google quote as I am to interpret Shakespeare. They call Google Desktop a mini-OS. People who read that are going to just go ahead and agree, usually. Unless they study. And they'll make posts on their websites, and it's like that game we would play in 2nd grade. One person starts the chain by thinking of something to whisper, and it goes around til the last person, and the last person says what the message is. I don't care if it starts out as "An apple a day keeps the doctor away", it'll turn into something like "A quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog." Somehow. Let's just call into question every term that every past computer scientist has defined. I've run across at least 3 sites that refer to that post, and also call it a "Mini-OS".

This is another problem with the internet. If the facts are right, it's a beautiful filtering process, eventually making its way to everyone. But if it's wrong, it's like cancer.

Israel vs. Palestine: Part II

As you may have heard, the Israeli Gaza pullout happened over the weekend. The last of the Israelis left in an armored bus with bulletproof windows and Stars of David (the Israeli flag) hanging out the windows. This is a beautiful act, giving people some land after you had rightfully claimed it through victory in war. So, some Palestinian says this : "We will not close our eyes, we will not rest until they leave all our land." Believe me, I have no hard feelings against any party involved, but this statement brings me to enough discomfort to post this entry. It is only by good deed and respect for a land's previous occupiers that a land is given back to them.

Let's rewind back to 1967. Well, before that, 1938. The good Jewish people are systematically hunted down and brought to Nazi Concentration camps from mainly Germany, Austria and Poland. 1945, after the war, the survivors flee to countries along the Mediterranean as well as their homes. 1967, a large group of people just decides to F@#%@#$ing invade Palestine, since the Bible said that area of the world was the Promised Land, their land. I remember learning about it in school. There was practically no resistence. The group, probably numbering around ten thousand, just marched through, taking city after city, until Palestine was theirs. That's bad-ASS.

Again, I stress I am not one sided in this manner, but, man, those Jewish settlers are AWESOME. So, now these other people... what're they called again.. oh yeah, the Palestinians (which is an awkward name, that would imply that they are from a land called Palestine, yet, there is no Palestine, because of some kickass Jews like The Hebrew Hammer on Comedy Central). I don't like calling "Jewish People" Jews. Yell at me if you're offended. Until they took over Palestine, they were probably called that, but now, the ones that live in Israel are called Israelis, which is definitely a lot cooler, and I can say without feeling like I'm being a giant A@#@hole.

Anyway, back to the story. Now, Palestinians suicide bomb Israel and just expect that they'll leave. As explained in the first paragraph, they took it over, forcefully, they now own it. They govern it, they have their leaders in place, etc. They aren't going anywhere, and I don't blame them. Just face it, "Palestinians", you got your asses WHOOPED back in 1967. Either make due with what the extremely nice and peace-seeking Israelis gave you, or STFU and form an army and try to take it back using real war tactics, not this stupid suicide bomb tactics. Oh, right, you know you'll get ROMPED again if you try to fight a real fight.