Friday, October 31, 2008
I've got something for you. The snowball blaster will allow a fusillade of frozen orbs to be launched in your general direction.
Do I expect you to laugh? No, Mr. Bond - I expect you to die.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Steve Allen and foxy spouse Jayne Meadows (purrrrrrrr) put together this little training in VHS tape format in 1984 - Betamax was soooo 1982.
More than just a cheesy computer how-to offering from two stars who were probably already past their prime when it came out, this tape is like a trip in the way-back machine as you navigate the numerous silly 80s references that some of you only know from watching a certain VH1 show.
That's why everyone needs Moe, the robotic lawn mowing sheep.
And what a sheep. Built in GPS navigation. Sensors for obstacle avoidance. Scary-ass lawn mowing teeth. Like all great things, it was developed at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Moe the lawn mowing sheep.
Cohen points to this passage specifically: Of the countless words Barack Obama has uttered since he opened his campaign for president on an icy Illinois morning in February 2007, a handful have kept reverberating in my mind:
“For as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on earth is my story even possible.”It's a very good read, especially if you can see the connection between Obama and the America a lot of us remember and wish to recreate.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Having observed the McCain campaign for almost two years, I’m inclined to believe Palin’s less-scripted moments are, in fact, less a result of active disobedience than in the governor’s own somewhat McCain-like unwillingness to stick to a script. Here, in Toledo, where she just gave a speech on energy independence, Palin’s own independence took a literal turn: If there is any one place she has gone rogue, it is against her teleprompter.
"In '48 when Truman, though facing a sweeping defeat, decreed a robust civil rights plank for the Dem platform and Humphrey intoned that we must, in Lincoln's words, "do the right, as God has given us to know the right," the racists bitterly decamped. A body formerly known as the Party of Lincoln invited them in, gave them succor, and crafted a cynical "southern strategy." Bad move.
Though for a time they prospered, in the end the infection must prove fatal. This unholy union is now reduced to a mash-up of Dixiecrat legatees and fellow travelers: prairie gunslingers, anti-tax fetishists, end times Rapturists, militiamen and Millenarians, jingoists and misanthropes, survivalists and skinheads, and the odd secessionist witch doctor. The infestation has taken over the organism."
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
The social conservatives and moderates who together boosted the Republican Party to dominance have begun a tense battle over the future of the GOP, with social conservatives already moving to seize control of the party's machinery and some vowing to limit John McCain's influence, even if he wins the presidency.
In skirmishes around the country in recent months, evangelicals and others who believe Republicans have been too timid in fighting abortion, gay marriage and illegal immigration have won election to the party's national committee, in preparation for a fight over the direction and leadership of the party.
My view is that the majority of voters in this country tend to occupy the middle ground, while the extremes of both parties make a lot of noise. The 2006 election was a warning shot to extremists on both sides that they don't represent the salient interests of the population as a whole, and that we're looking for a more centrist approach to governing that's more inclusive of the different viewpoints that exist.
A warning for the GOP - if you proceed down the path noted above, you'll find yourselves out of power for a generation. Soak in the messages that result from the 2008 election results that will appear one week from today. And know that there's a progressive train that's building up speed, and it will run you over without so much as a second thought.
If you use only the front brake, you will fly over the steering wheel and be killed. If you try to use the back one, you will use the wrong foot and change into third gear instead of stopping. So you’ll hit the obstacle you were trying to avoid, and you’ll be killed.
Then there is the steering. The steering wheel comes in the shape of what can only be described as handlebars, but if you turn them — even slightly — while riding along, you will fall off and be killed. What you have to do is lean into the corner, fix your gaze on the course you wish to follow, and then you will fall off and be killed.
As far as the minor controls are concerned, well . . . you get a horn and lights and indicators, all of which are operated by various switches and buttons on the steering wheel, but if you look down to see which one does what, a truck will hit you and you will be killed. Oh, and for some extraordinary reason, the indicators do not self-cancel, which means you will drive with one of them on permanently, which will lead following traffic to think you are turning right. It will then undertake just as you turn left, and you will be killed.
What I’m trying to say here is that, yes, bikes and cars are both forms of transport, but they have nothing in common. Imagining that you can ride a bike because you can drive a car is like imagining you can swallow-dive off a 90ft cliff because you can play table tennis.
As money is spent, it creates beneficial ripples through the entire economy. The evidence is that most of the money from the recent tax rebate was saved rather than spent, thus blunting its stimulative benefit.1 By comparison, other options—such as infrastructure spending, aid to states, food stamps, and unemployment insurance (UI) benefits—are much more cost-effective because they target the needs most likely to channel money back into the economy. Mark Zandi from Moody’s Economy.com estimates that each dollar of refundable tax rebates only boosts GDP by about $1.26, while each dollar of infrastructure spending could provide a $1.59 boost. Not only are many of these stimulus options more effective, but they also have the added benefit of assisting those hardest hit by the downturn and tackling long-standing infrastructure needs that would lower transportation costs, decrease traffic, and increase business productivity.
Zandi’s analysis also shows what doesn’t work as stimulus: a variety of tax breaks for corporations and wealthy individuals, which cost over twice as much as they return to the economy.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Sweet Candy Corn is a blog that's dedicated to - Halloween candy. That's right. From regular candy corn to those orange fake peanuts to vegan candy corn, this blog is all sweet, all the time.
If you haven't heard this, check out Lewis Black on Halloween and candy corn.
"Do I like Obama, personally? I do. Do I think he's got good policies? Look, I'm like everyone else, I hope so. They sound good. They sound like something I believe in, so I think based on his performance and the way that he has run his campaign, I feel that it is reasonable to feel confident that he is going to take the same discipline and smarts and lack of drama and apply them to the very serious issues today and I think that makes him a good choice for President. Do I think that his candidacy is historic? Sure, that's exciting too, but what I think it's really amazing that he exists in the same world that I also inhabit and no other political candidate lives in that world right now. They live in a made-up world that is not reality. I think that that's why you see Obama surging right now. It's that the people like the fact that Obama lives in the world that they live in."
Friday, October 24, 2008
How about advertise and sell spare keys to open the machines? That's right...I can buy keys and open the cases to compromise the systems any way I want. I don't even need to rely on my fancy hacking mad skillz.
In fact, you don't even need to order the keys. You can look at the pictures and see what they look like, trace a blank and make your own. What the heck is wrong with these people?
Instead, the highest paid person in McCain's camp is Sarah Palin's makeup artist. Seriously.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
There are already exploits in the wild for this, and it's capable of turning into a rapidly propagating Internet worm. If that happens, mitigating controls like blocking ports 139 and 445 on firewalls won't help much.
This vulnerability does NOT require authentication for execution, and it will then allow the running of malicious code without intervention by the user.
Get out there today and run Windows Update or Microsoft Update and patch this thing, or you'll regret it.
During the primaries, the political prediction business -- all those glib quasi-certainties spouted by TV talking heads and embedded in the opening paragraphs of newspaper and magazine articles -- gave us such fantasies as Rudy Giuliani masquerading as a serious presidential candidate and mistakenly consigned John McCain to the GOP dust heap. Remember when Hillary Clinton was prematurely anointed as the nominee or the dire warnings that a protracted Clinton-Obama primary fight would, in a typical burst of Democratic self-destructiveness, cost the party the White House?
It's essentially a narrative of concepts and ideas that, in hindsight, look pretty foolish, but this election cycle has been transformative in many ways, and I don't necessarily fault the pundits and talking heads for missing the mark. Risk taking and breaking new ground in the various media outlets has not been a keystone of their offering for the last 10 years or so - it's all been about talking points and on regurgitating inane phrases, all the while abdicating their responsibility to probe and question the power structure and provide common citizens with facts and truth that we can use to push accountability.
Wow - nice little ranting paragraph there, Kev.
Kip Hawley, head of the TSA, has responded to the story in true government fashion - in vague generalities, according to Schneier.
Unfortunately, there's not really anything to his response. It's obvious he doesn't want to admit that they've been checking ID's all this time to no purpose whatsoever, so he just emits vague generalities like a frightened squid filling the water with ink. Yes, some of the stunts in article are silly (who cares if people fly with Hezbollah T-shirts?) so that gives him an opportunity to minimize the real issues.
It's a good read, both the original article and Schneier's commentary on the TSA ignoring the real issues.
The Pentagon has put out a request to contractors to build a "Multi-Person Pursuit System" to "search for and detect a non-cooperative human." Umm....FREAK OUT!
I tend to be non-cooperative at times. Ask anyone. And soon there are going to be these creepy killer robots running around.
So straighten up. Fly right. Or they'll be paying you a visit, too.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I look at these people and can't quite believe that they exist. Are they professional actors? I wonder. Or are they simply laymen who want a lot of attention?
To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. "Can I interest you in the chicken?" she asks. "Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?"
To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.
If you're like me, you may have a rudimentary idea of how the whole financial system works, but this article did a good job of illuminating some oft-overlooked points.
Basically, many of the banks have liquidity (cash), but are so afraid that the others they lend to are insolvent (unable to pay back loans) that they won't loan. That's why you may have heard more and more people talking about the (until recently) obscure "TED spread," which basically represents the difference between the interest rate at which banks are lending to each other (the LIBOR -- or London InterBank Offered Rate) and the interest rate on US treasuries. It's a quick measure to determine how secure banks feel about lending to each other vs. putting money in the proverbial mattress. In normal times, this is pretty small, because lending short term money out to other banks is considered pretty damn safe -- almost as safe as lending to the US government. So, it's usually well below 1%. Over the past few weeks, it's been sitting above 4%, on many days -- which basically means that banks are simply sitting on their cash because they don't trust other banks at all. This week, it finally started dropping, representing at least some easing of concern (though it's still pretty high).
While there are plenty of individual results for Matt Drudge to get excited about (or for that matter the Huffington Post), the fact is that the overall trend in this election is roughly flat, and has been for about a week or so. That is bad news for the candidate trailing in the race, which in this case is John McCain.
Anyway, word is out that the Republican National Committee has spent more than $150,000 on wardrobe, makeup, hair, and accessories for Sarah Palin and members of her family since she was named to the McCain ticket.
Angry donors don't seem to have been placated by the RNC's promise to donate the clothing at the conclusion of the campaign. With the economy still in the tank and the jobless rate soaring, you'd think conservatives would want America to have the absolutely best dressed unemployment line.
I'm out of work and nearly homeless, but I feel mah-va-lous!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Our oligarchic class is incompetent at governing, managing the economy, coping with natural disasters, educating our young, handling foreign affairs, providing basic services like health care and safeguarding individual rights. That it is still in power, and will remain in power after this election, is a testament to our inability to separate illusion from reality. We still believe in “the experts.” They still believe in themselves. They are clustered like flies swarming around John McCain and Barack Obama. It is only when these elites are exposed as incompetent parasites and dethroned that we will have any hope of restoring social, economic and political order.
There are some interesting concepts floated, but I'm not sure I agree with most of them. It makes for a novel bit of thinking, though.
Now there's a blog that's devoted to the subject. Because you can never have too many upside down dogs, dig?
This blog will either make you chuckle, or judging from this pic, haunt your dreams. Let me know which way it turns out for you by leaving a comment.
The crime scene scarf will keep you warm while you wait for the ambulance, police, or coroner.
Because you know it's only a matter of time before something tragic happens to you. You just know it.
The world's largest limo is more than 100 feet long, has 26 tires, a hot tub, sun deck, swimming pool, and some beds. It's like a Hampton Inn that's mobile.
If the jocks try to crash your party, you can always escape using the built-in helipad.
In case you're keeping score here, that's Republican Voter Registration Fraud 1, Democrat Voter Registration Fraud 0.
Seems that the owner of a firm hired by the GOP to register tens of thousands of voters as Republicans fraudulently registered himself to vote at a childhood California address where he no longer lives so he would appear to meet the legal requirement that signature gatherers be eligible to vote in California.
This is completely separate from other allegations that have been lodged against his firm, including scores of people who have accused the firm of switching their registration from Independent or Democrat to Republican by tricking them by saying they were signing a petition to toughen penalties against child molesters. The firm was paid $7 to $12 for every Californian it registered as a member of the GOP.
Where's the Republican outrage at this?
Enter the Gentle Light. It slowly closes when you turn it off at night to lull you into a comfortable sleep, and then begins a slow, tulip-like opening to welcome you to morning.
I don't see the 18th Airborne investing in a gross of these, but the rest of us can enjoy.
This sucker will set you back $17,000, and I'm not convinced that little bicycle helmet will do anything to prevent the inevitable brain injury, but it's nice to dream.
I'm guessing that the people who would drive this thing aren't particularly concerned about hurting their melon.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
The enormous meat slab was 15 pounds, but with bun and toppings, it weighed in slightly over the 20 pound mark.
From the report: The burger included a bun, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onions, mild banana peppers and a cup each of mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard and relish, pub owner Dennis Liegey said.