Friday, February 29, 2008

What's wrong with 'Barack Hussein Obama'?

Is the name too 'Muslim' for some GOP folks? I don't see why they're getting so worked up over a name. I mean Barrack is
  1. married to a brilliant independent woman with whom he has children,
  2. a member of the United Church of Christ,
  3. a U.S. Senator,
  4. a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School
If you're going on merits alone, then this pedigree isn't one at which to turn your nose.

On the other hand, we've already had lots of wonderfully *closet-repressed* high-ranking GOP officials with splendid 'normal' White Anglo-Saxon Protestant names: Mark Foley and Larry Craig immediately come to mind.

Let's not forget that Foley had served as chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, but then had issues with inappropriate IMs to Congressional pages:
Maf54: do you really do it face down
Teen: ya
Maf54: kneeling
Teen: well i don't use my hand...i use the bed itself
Maf54: where do you unload it
Teen: towel
Maf54: really
Maf54: completely naked?
Teen: well ya
Maf54: very nice
Teen: lol
Maf54: cute butt bouncing in the air

full IM transcripts here! yay!
Larry Craig...well...let's just say he's got a wide stance on how to punch a deuce in a public bathroom.

So, in summary, I think we're going to find that campaigns or pundits that try to capitalize on American's heightened sense of xenophobia (good work War on Terror!) may work on those who line up for opening night of a Larry the Cable Guy movie, but on the whole sending the message that he's too foreign or strange or perverted based on the fact that his last name isn't Smith or Johnson or McCain doesn't hold much weight...especially when comparing him to some of the aforementioned examples of GOP moral compasstry (that's my Dubya word for the's like saying 'I dun lead my life uzing a shinee morul cumpis)...Rush Limbaugh and vicodin anyone?

Also, just to point out the obvious, these remarks designed to provoke fear in a populace are doing so in a manner that is racist. Come on cracka-ass-crackas...if this is the best you can do to deter a vote for Barack, keep it up. We're going to breed you haters out of existence.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Compelled to clear Jackson from Hobbit

Whether or not you're a Lord of the Rings fan, you'll no doubt respect the fact that Peter Jackson did what other filmmakers couldn't: make 'fantasy' films mainstream. Earning a ridiculous number of Academy Awards and raking in box office dollars didn't hurt either.

That's why we have major studios cranking out crappy wannabes like Spiderwick Chronicles, Narnia Chronicles, and anything else with that might support 7 iterations of lame sequels.

Regardless of the imitations, there's been a lot of buzz around the movie production of Tolkien's 'The Hobbit'. I chatted about it back in 2006.

How much has changed since then. Now Jackson isn't doing the film, although he's rumored to be producing, and they're trying to secure a director, namely Guillermo del Toro. He's the powerhouse behind 'Hellboy', its sequel, and 'Pan's Labyrinth'. Then the film gets held up by a lawsuit filed by Tolkien's estate.


I just felt compelled to make an update given that I could see folks checking out that article from 2006, and I just felt extremely irresponsible for letting myself lag on some sort of update.

Nail in the coffin: nextgen DVD player format decided

Retailers (i.e. like Best Buy and Netflix) left and right are dropping support for HD-DVD, and are staking claim on Blu-Ray.

A Wal-Mart buyer's blog states that by June, the store will only be carrying BluRay discs and related paraphernalia.

If you've been waiting for a decisive moment to make a decision, this is it.

News about it abounds, and already the internets is returning more results for an image query on 'hd-dvd dead'.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Mass Effect for PC

Sweet. This game won numerous awards for its console iteration, and now it's being released to the PC with some minor tweaks and upgrades. The game contains voice talent from a variety of actors, including Keith David, whom is known by Halo 2 and 3 fans as the Arbiter.

From the demo footage at E3, it already looks beautiful, and BioWare (developer of Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire, and Baldur's Gate) is known for its quality action RPG titles.

This is good because I am getting a little burned out by the Call of Duty 4 maps on multiplayer, although I suppose I could try some of the mods. The ion cannon one looks cool.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Layoffs at Yahoo!

Here's this guy's Twitter about his countdown to layoff at Yahoo!

Painful highlights:
Waiting for the call from HR so I can go pick up my paperwork....C'mon, c'mon! I'm busy here! Let's get this over with. about 7 hours ago from web

This is a serious downer. Trying to drown it in free lattes. Which I will miss. about 7 hours ago from web

Walking around saying good bye to some great people and good friends. about 8 hours ago from txt

Ironic that I just got my PC repaired yesterday. Won't be needing that anymore. about 9 hours ago from txt

On the plus side, my commute just got a lot shorter. about 9 hours ago from txt

Y! layoffs today, I'm "impacted". I'm heading into work to pack my desk, get my severance paperwork and hand in my badge...more to come. about 10 hours ago from web

More at searchengineland.

Friday, February 8, 2008

When did bi-partisan become a naughty word?

You know what I like about the 2008 election campaigns on the Democratic side? They've been relatively devoid of acrimony and slash and burn tactics. Sure there've been a few barbs here and there, but for the most part Clinton and Obama have been composing themselves.

What's with the 'conservative' lashing at McCain for his past bi-partisan efforts? It's like some members of the GOP are pissed because he didn't sequester himself in a room with other GOPs and only worked on initiatives with GOPs. Does democracy exist, or rather, is it sustainable in a vacuum? I don't think it is.

When Ann Coulter says she'll vote for Clinton if McCain wins the nomination I think, 1) she's full of ess, 2) I wish the mothership would pick her up and simply note that the experiment was a failure, and 3) what's so great about Huckabee and his carefully nuanced claims to bring Church and State closer together?

And what's wrong with building consensus? We're a nation of many different viewpoints. Shouldn't a consensus builder be considered an asset and not a liability, especially since we're going to be cleaning up the mess left from the Bush dynasty?

It's like neo-cons are so polarized that they might need to come out from the shadows and actually touch a member not of the GOP.

You know what...Jenna and Barbara Bush date Independents...oh the scandal. Their babies will be Independans...or Republidents. Either way, they'll party a lot and have progressive views. Yeah...that's what's going to happen...we're going to breed out all the religious fundamentalists and clinically repressed people everywhere.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Something just doesn't seem very right here

In light of recent loss of American jobs, a crumbling mortgage market, and increasing costs passed onto consumers, i.e. United's $25 luggage fee there's just something unsettling about a company that posts record annual and quarterly profits for a product that's tied to global warming and our war on terror.

Exxon made $40.6 billion in profit by providing petroleum products in 2007. Annual revenue was at $404.5 billion. This isn't the company's first record-breaking honor, either. They posted $10.49 billion in the third quarter of 2006, the second largest quarterly profit ever posted by a publicly traded American company.

I know we need to continue to suckle from the gas teat a bit more, but when we're facing economic concerns and a country-wide identity crisis, having Exxon stand out as the most profitable entity ever just doesn't seem right. It seems...evil. Our spending on maintaining offense, or rather, defense, is egregiously high, and our penal system is a cash cow.

Why aren't we spending less on prisons and 'defense', and allocating more on beefing up our horribly arcane education systems that consistently fails to produce enough graduates needed for 21st Century jobs...that is unless you're the fortunate handful who come from money (or score a scholarship) and get to enroll at Andover and fast-track your ass to Harvard.

I don't buy the notion that folks who sell dimebags are going to ruin the country. Folks like Skilling and Lay will, though.

I get the laissez-faire capitalist mantra that the market will provide, but there needs to be a measure of equality introduced because the market players aren't concerned about making just enough's about maximizing profits, an approach that places value on products and services that see a faster turnaround. This explains why educators and social workers make pennies compared to a code monkey: efforts spent on people don't always equate to a dollar value unless studied under under a longitudinal lens, while software elicits a *relatively* immediate return of investment.

Why anyone these days gets their Masters or Ph.D in education or social work should be canonized, because it's HIGHLY unlikely they're ever going to make it back. I digress into bitterness...excuse me. least Romney's out of the race. Sorry, but his spooky Mormon ass spooked me. Any politician from a religion that's an 'American' brand of Christianity (i.e. Joseph Smith finding lost Golden Plates containing ancient script only decipherable by him and that can't be viewed by anyone) is spooky.

Yep. I'm rooting for the Creationist because, heck, I think the separation of Church and State is downright heretical. You disagree? You must be a minion of Lucifer...
Not really.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Super Bowl meet Super Tuesday

So for my money, the best Super Bowl ad (that I saw) was's, 'Follow Your Heart'.

Maybe it's because my recent employment had something to do with it. Being at a certain large non-profit healthcare provider, headquartered in Northern California maybe had something to do with it. If I had to compare my employment history to a chapter in the Star Wars saga, I'd liken my time at Kaiser to those of the rebels in 'Empire Strikes Back'.

Or it could've been that the primaries are tomorrow, and we're going to be rid of this wretched administration, unless Dubya continues with equating war and 'economic stimulus packages'.
The spending package for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 contained no big surprises, especially since its key elements had already been reported in detail in recent days. The Pentagon’s proposed budget, for instance, is $515.4 billion, an increase of 7.5 percent over this year, meaning that military spending would be the highest in inflation-adjusted terms since World War II. And the White House’s plans for trimming Medicare and Medicaid have also been previewed.
The NY Times article goes on to say,
At first glance, the outlines of the budget debate appeared to mirror the situation in 2000, when President Clinton was a lame duck, the country was focused on the presidential election and the proposed budget for the next fiscal year was labeled a non-starter before the telephone book-sized budget documents even arrived at the Capitol.

But things were really much different in 2000. There was talk then about what the country would do with all its surplus money, given the booming economy and the demise of the Soviet Union, which was supposed to reduce military spending in the long run.

Then the dot-com bubble burst, heralding a recession. The Sept. 11 attacks touched off new spending for a new kind of war, and the campaigns in Afghanistan and especially Iraq began consuming enormous amounts of money.

The recession that began in the spring of 2000 was relatively short-lived. The current economic slowdown is linked in large part to the housing slump, which many analysts say could have deeper and longer-lasting effects than the dot-com collapse, and could leave the government short of money for a longer time.
I guess if this administration is also akin to that of the Galactic Empire headed by the Emperor and Darth Vader, then I'm glad. This means that next term will be more positive and will garner real change, although I can do without the Ewoks.

At least we'll know that we'll have a President that speaks English and doesn't make a mockery of the office.

Be sure to vote tomorrow! Check your CA county's website to locate your polling station, if you don't know it already.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Sugar daddy for search

$44,000,000,000+ for an internet company? Ok, it's Yahoo! but, jeez. This Friday morning, Yahoo shares rose 45 percent to $27.71, up $8.53 after the offer hit the table. In summary,
...[t]he offer, for $31 a share in cash and stock, represents a 62% premium to Yahoo's closing price Thursday. It comes offer comes as Yahoo continues to struggle against Google in the race for online-advertising revenue and Internet- search market share despite efforts to upgrade its systems. Yahoo's shares have lost about 40% of their value over the past three months.
I'm betting that Yahoo! takes the offer. Its shareholders will probably want this, and it's been struggling for years. This isn't to say that Microsoft will revitalize it even after it dumps millions into the flailing company. What's going to happen to all the product overlap (email, instant messaging, search, blogs, news, finance, etc)? Chop chop...I think it's going to be more than just 1,000 jobs being lost.

True many people still use Yahoo! for search, but Google (and its myriad services and products) is wooing users away...I recently tired of the AT&T/Yahoo! webmail interface that always shoved ugly ads in my face, so I switched everything over to gmail.
Let's also not discount the issue of competing corporate cultures. Microsoft and Yahoo! will be like the 40 year old CEO and 20 year old dreamer trying to reach consensus on pizza toppings. It'll be like a bad 'reality' show, which is to say all of them. Remember the Time Warner/AOL drama in 2001?

I'm hoping that is able to further differentiate itself. If this merger goes through, the playing field will narrow to Google, Microsoft, AOL, and Ask. Fewer players...greater stakes.

Update: Cnet posted the 'we want to buy you' letter sent from Ballmer to Yahoo's Board of Directors, in which he professes his love for the company and his undying yearning to stuff its mantle under his manly loin waddle.