Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Question I Can Answer

Open Source and Cloud Computing
Why did the WWW end up with hundreds of millions of independent information providers while centralized sites like AOL and MSN faltered?

It had little to do with Open Source, pal.

There were hundreds, if not thousands, of Bulletin-Board Systems (BBSs) well before there was an Internet the general public could hop on.

These BBSs were scorned by the Suits who ran mainframe national systems such as The Source and CompuServe. They were scorned by Knight-Ridder and IBM-CBS-Sears and Times-Mirror, who were spending upwards of half a billion dollars on stupid Command and Control One-to-Many videotex systems.

This was their sentiment back then, from by Kara Swisher:
[. . .] Indications pointed to little chance of developing a mass consumer interest in the medium. Times Mirror Company pulled the plug on its efforts in the spring of 1986. The media giant's videotex services president, James Holly, declared that online consumers were odd. "They're different, they're weird," said Holly. "There's no reasonable profit in the future." Knight-Ridder executives agreed and junked their costly Viewtron effort soon after.
-- pg. 47

Emphasis added by me.

(It's still their sentiment today, as they clutch their pearls in horror at the thought of blogs!)

All those people who were basically running free electronic fanzines centered around their passion and expertise, were held back because of the price of hardware, telephone-line access, and the cost of long-distance toll calls for users (though services such as PC Pursuit tried to ameliorate as well as capitalize on that). Not all BBS software was free, either. TBBS cost money and was the first pro-level BBS software. FidoNet was the first free software to tie together distant sites and resemble an early form of the Internet in limited aspects.

There was already an established "underground" of electronic publishing that was already better than the "professional" efforts. Once the Internet was open to the public and investors hopped on board to provide affordable website hosting, the floodgates were open to what had already been waiting there. I'm certain most of that hosting software was not Open Source. Not even the original Mosaic browser was Open Source.

So, it's a nice little self-serving delusion to think that Open Source = Internet, but that's not the history I lived through, O'Reilly. FAIL! And by the way, Sticker Daddy, when did you come to this party?

Germany Smoking Ban Banned

German court overturns smoking ban
The ruling came after a case brought by the owner of two small bars, who claim that their business has been unfairly hit by the smoking ban.

Introduced in patchwork fashion across the country's 16 federal states earlier this year, Germany's smoking ban has been poorly received by often tobacco-friendly Germans, about a third of whom smoke.

The laws have often been ignored or barely enforced, with the owners of small bars and restaurants claiming that their businesses were threatened by the legislation.

Among them were the owners of two separate one-room pubs in Berlin and the south-western state Baden-Wuerttemberg.

They claimed that their bars small size prevented them cordoning off a smokers' area, as other bars have been allowed to, putting them at a competitive disadvantage. The constitutional court agreed.

Previously here:

Sweden’s Smoking Ban
Chantix Warning
Quitting Smoking Can Make You Die

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #181

Greenspan Says Housing Prices Not Yet Near Bottom (Update1)
July 31 (Bloomberg) -- Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said falling U.S. home prices are "nowhere near the bottom" and the resulting market turmoil isn't showing signs of abating.

While the odds of a recession are 50-50, achieving stable markets will "take a while," Greenspan said today in a CNBC interview.

Emphasis added by me.
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the largest sources of money for U.S. home loans, are a "major accident waiting to happen," Greenspan said. "The solution" is the "nationalization" of the companies, he said.

Emphasis added by me.

And would that "nationalization" mean what it should: letting the investors drop dead as the good risk-takers they pretend to be?

Greenspan is now out of the government (don't quibble about the Fed being private). So why won't he speak freely? He did so once, behind closed doors:
“There’s been too much gaming of the system until it is broke. Capitalism is not working! There has been a corrupting of the system of capitalism.”

If he really did say there's a fifty-fifty chance of a recession, then he's being as mealy-mouthed as when he chaired the Fed. We don't need more of that. We need the truth, goddammit!

Previously here:

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #166
The Coming Big Bank Grab: Get Your Money NOW!

An Idea Running For President This Year

Reference: MSI Wind Upgrades Video

Upgrades to an MSI Wind
This is an MSI Wind subnotebook which is running leopard 10.5.4 from a single custom installation disk.

An interesting video that shows how to upgrade all three components: RAM, hard drive, and WiFi card. Replacing the WiFi card apparently seems to be necessary to enable WiFi under OS X.

All Writers Must Read This!

Read Giles Coren's letter to Times subs

Oh my God.

It just about gives me an orgasm!!!

-- via Daring Fireball


Why there has been no discussion of OS X on any Asus EeePC at the usually must-go-to EeeUser forum: It's not allowed.

No, really.

Stop that laughing.

They're serious.

Yes, really.

Can you believe it?

Like what fucking planet do they live on, right?

Like allll the people shoving Vista onto an EeePC flounced out to buy a copy instead of violating the single-machine EULA and using the disk they already had.

Hello, McFly!

Yeah, I'm deleting that place from my Bookmarks. And the other site run by the Eeejit.

Anyone who acts like a Suit deserves this little bit of banishment.

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #180

Exxon Mobil 2Q profit sets US record, shares fall
Exxon Mobil Corp. reported second-quarter earnings of $11.68 billion Thursday, the biggest quarterly profit ever by any U.S. corporation, but the results were well short of Wall Street expectations and its shares fell.

The world's largest publicly traded oil company said net income for the April-June period came to $2.22 a share, up from $10.26 billion, or $1.83 a share, a year ago.

Revenue rose 40 percent to $138.1 billion from $98.4 billion in the year-earlier quarter.

Excluding an after-tax charge of $290 million related to an Exxon Valdez court settlement, earnings amounted to $11.97 billion, or $2.27 per share.

Analysts on average expected Exxon Mobil to earn $2.52 a share on revenue of $144 billion, according to a survey by Thomson Financial. The estimates typically exclude one-time items.

The record-setting results were largely expected, given that crude prices in the second quarter were nearly double what they were a year ago. Natural gas prices were significantly higher too.

But investors expected even bigger profits Thursday, especially after Europe's Royal Dutch Shell reported a 33 percent jump in second-quarter earnings to $11.6 billion, which fell just shy of Exxon's own record earnings from 2007.

Exxon Mobil shares fell $2.24, or 2.6 percent, to $82,14 in morning trading.

Setting U.S. profit records has become commonplace for Irving-based Exxon Mobil. The $11.68 billion topped its own U.S. record of $11.66 billion, posted in the fourth quarter of last year. Right behind that was the $10.9 billion it reported to start 2008.

Emphasis added by me.

Keep feeding the hunger for Revolution, you greed-infested sociopathic bastards.

Writer Max Barry Gives A Laugh

House of Cuteness & Horror
The other way parenting is like a horror show is how you periodically stumble past dolls arranged as crime scenes.

Go read. It's soooo funny!

Previously here:

Free Short Story From Max Barry

OS X: MSI Wind Vs. Asus 1000H

The mystery has driven me to a desperate measure. I've registered at the EeeUser forum to post this set of questions.

Update: I've deleted the link because I've asked the mod there to delete my account. See why here.

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #179

Ah, the bullshit is let loose to prance amongst us.

Economy gains traction in spring; shrank year end
Economic growth picked up in the second quarter as tax rebates energized consumers. The rebound followed a treacherous patch where the economy jolted into reverse at the end of 2007.

The Commerce Department reported Thursday that gross domestic product, or GDP, increased at an annual rate of 1.9 percent in the April-to-June period. That marked an improvement over the feeble 0.9 percent growth logged in the first quarter of this year and an outright contraction in the economy during the final quarter of last year.

Still, the second-quarter rebound wasn't as robust as economists had hoped; they were forecasting growth to clock in at a 2.4 percent pace. The rebound, while welcome, isn't likely to be seen as a signal that the fragile economy is out of the woods. There are fears that as the bracing tonic of the tax rebates fades, the economy could be in for another rough patch later this year.

Emphasis added by me.

That 1.9 percent is bullshit. These things always get revised months later. Watch it plummet!

GDP actually contracted by 0.2 percent, on an annualized basis, in the last three months of 2007, according to annual revisions released by the government.

Emphasis added by me.

See how the game is played? BushCo brayed we hadn't had any contraction in the economy. The truth comes out in a revision months later!

Here's the original figure they touted:
The fourth-quarter's dip marked the worst showing since the third quarter of 2001, when the economy was last in a recession. The government's previous estimate for the final quarter of last year was in positive territory — but not by much — at an anemic 0.6 percent growth rate.

Emphasis added by me.

Now the inflation bullshit:
An inflation gauge tied to the GDP report showed all prices galloping ahead at a rate of 4.2 percent in the second quarter, the fastest pace since the end of last year.

However, when energy and food costs are stripped out, all other — or "core" — prices rose at a pace of 2.1 percent, down from a 2.3 percent rise in the first quarter. Still, the second-quarter's core inflation reading is outside the Fed's comfort zone.

What the hell else needs to be counted, really? Energy comprises our gas, electricity, heating, cooling. Food is what we all absolutely must have. And their figures are bullshit! 4.2 percent a year? What the hell are they averaging that drags it down from the double-digits all of us have been seeing daily for months?

A trio of crises — housing, credit and financial — have badly bruised the economy. In response, employers have cut jobs for six months in a row, bringing total losses this year close to a staggering half-million — 438,000.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that the number of applications for jobless benefits soared to 448,000, an increase of 44,000 from the previous week. That was far worse than the decline of 8,000 that economists had been expecting.

Emphasis added by me.

Wait. These anonymous economists expected 8,000 and it was over five times greater? What does that tell you about the people who are supposed to be in charge of things? Does that inspire confidence in their abilities to properly assess a situation and devise realistic solutions?


We're doomed.

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #178

Store closures wipe out profit at Starbucks
Starbucks slid to its first quarterly loss as a public company on Wednesday as charges related to its decision to close more than 650 caf├ęs wiped out profits at the biggest US coffee shop chain.

The report came a day after Starbucks reshuffled its top management team and announced that it would increase to 13,000 the number of jobs to be cut by the company as part of a shake-up launched in January by Howard Schultz, chief executive.

Emphasis added by me.

That's basically a small town being thrown off the cliff.

Unemployment Insurance will help, but will all of their bills be covered in the course of a month? That very rarely happens.

And with states being constrained in their spending, the last thing they need is for the UI fund to be drained dry.

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #177

Fat Cat Turns Out To Be Boy, Foreclosure Victim
BLACKWOOD, N.J. -- Turns out, the economy is the reason a 44-pound cat found lumbering the streets of New Jersey became homeless.

The Camden County Animal Shelter said the cat's owner came forward to say she had to abandon the tubby tabby because her home was foreclosed.

Shelter director Jennifer Anderch said the older woman recently lost her home and could not keep the 10-year-old cat, whom she called "Powder."

The shelter has been caring for the cat -- who became a local media sensation this week and was dubbed "Princess Chunk" -- since it was found on Saturday wandering the southern New Jersey suburb of Voorhees.

It also turns out that the princess is a prince. A veterinarian who checked the cat Thursday on "Live with Regis and Kelly" determined it's a "he."

Oh, you greedy Suited Bastards will regret the day you were born.

The strikeback is going to be fearsome and unprecedented!

No place on earth you can hide.

Gasoline On July 31, 2008

Photos taken today, Friday, July 31, 2008 on Satan Staten Island with the Philips crapcam.

A six-cents price drop. That's ten cents in less than a week!

Diesel dropped sixteen cents!

I won't feel as if justice has been done until that price is under $4.00/gallon. Well under!

Will we now see a retreat in food prices? Keep waiting for the Moon to shit free cheese!

Educate yourself!

Previously here:

Gasoline On July 27, 2008
Gasoline On July 9, 2008
Gasoline On July 3, 2008
Gasoline On June 28, 2008
Gasoline On June 21, 2008
Gasoline On June 12, 2008
Gasoline On June 8, 2008
Gasoline On May 31, 2008
Gasoline On May 26, 2008
Gasoline On May 21, 2008
Gasoline On May 18, 2008
Gasoline On May 18, 2008
Gasoline On March 15, 2008
Oh. My. God.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

No Fun Today, Less Fun Tomorrow

It's all tech again in the Top Ten!

I must redeem this blog by running a photo of Gulley Jimson!!!

Ah, Gulley! You put me to shame!

Tomorrow I must work on the monthly Contents.

Kill me now.

Sony Reader Gets Some Love

Living in the future with the book of books
Last week I gave a talk about social media to some marketing and promotions people for two Canadian publishers. As a speaker's gift, I was given a Sony Reader Digital Book.

It's a thin slab of aluminum, the size of a paperback and the thickness of an iPod. It's wrapped in a soft leather cover and, when closed, looks for all the world like a Moleskine notebook. Open that cover, and it's a whole different story.

David Rothman at Teleread can smile at this:
Sony's idea is that you will buy a Book (about $300) and then spend even more money at the Sony eBook Store online, where it sells e-books burdened with Digital Rights Management (DRM) locks. Scott McClellan's insider peek at the Bush Administration, What Happened, is available for $16.77, for example. But, once I buy that ebook, I can't share it, resell it or make copies of it.

So, I have absolutely no intention of buying it, or anything else from Sony's online bookstore.

Why? Because I want to have the same rights with my electronic content as I have with my books in the real world. DRM takes those rights away.

And, because the Reader Digital Book can also display plain text files, Word documents, PDFs and hundreds of thousands of public domain books like The Prince or Sense and Sensibility. Those books are available in a format the Book can read at sites like Feedbooks and ManyBooks . And, of course, the motherlode of all public domain e-books is Project Gutenberg, which is home to about 250,000 free titles.

Emphasis added by me.

For the past couple of days I've read Little Brother on the device, read research for some writing I have to do, read a long wikipedia entry on World War One and have started to re-read The Great Gatsby. I've had lots of comments on the subway and Go Train. One woman, looking over my shoulder at the magically changing pages looked at me and said, "Is this what we've all been waiting for?"

And, I have to say, holding a little silver book that contains a shelf full of fiction and research, it does feel like I'm living in the future. The fact that that future is 100 per cent DRM-free makes it taste pretty sweet.

Emphasis added by me.

Wow. I would have liked to have spoken to that woman about the implications of her statement!

-- via Wet Asphalt

Previously here:

Sony To Kindle: Up Yours!
Sony’s Strange Strategy
A Gadget Too Far
Sony, The New Titanic?
eInk eBook Readers: They’re All Dead, Jim!
Amazon: Already Toast
More Bad For Sony Reader: Kindles Coming
Borders Catches Cold, Sony Reader Gets Pneumonia?
Sony Reader Can Be Bought In Spain!
Oprah, Get A Sony Reader!
Sony’s In Worse Shape Than I Thought
Sony Has Big eBook News Today
Oh, NOW He Believes Me!
Macbook Air Vs Everex Cloudbook Vs Sony Reader
Does Borders Know The Sony Reader Exists?
Sony: I’m Not Alone
What’s Going On With Sony And Its Reader?
Sony’s Got Something Big For Their Reader
Has Sony Just Lost Its eBook Battle?

WaiWai: The First One I Ever Read

The Stormtroopers haven't yet eradicated all traces of WaiWai from The Net.

This is the first one I ever read and immediately sent a link to via email.

Yeah, that'll tilt your world.

Another head-twister from WaiWai.

Forum with possibly more WaiWai stashed away.

More about the WaiWai controversy.

Previously here:

Cretinous Corporate Cowardice

Cretinous Corporate Cowardice

WaiWai, an absolutely outrageously strange, bizarre, and delightful column that appeared in the Mainichi Daily News English-language website, has been pulled (apparently a month ago; that's how far behind I've gotten visiting there!).

Oh, the wailing and gnashing of teeth:
Apology to readers for WaiWai column

Some of the articles in the "WaiWai" column carried in the Mainichi Daily News, the English Web site of the Mainichi Newspapers Co., Ltd., were inappropriate and made many people uncomfortable. We regret having failed to sufficiently check the articles and apologize for our inadequacies.

WaiWai was meant to introduce aspects of Japanese society and social behavior by quoting magazines and other print media published in Japan. In late May, we received criticism saying the content was vulgar. The Mainichi Daily News Editorial Department deemed that some of the articles had inappropriate content and deleted those articles. We also blocked access to other articles in the archives, and asked operators of outside search engines not to display any of those stories.

We subsequently decided to subject the WaiWai column to a fundamental review, and shut it down on June 21. We posted an explanation about the development of the problem and an apology on the Mainichi Daily News Web site and on the Mainichi's Japanese Web site.

We are continuing an in-house investigation, and intend to take strict punitive measures against staff members involved and those who were responsible for their supervision.

The Mainichi Newspapers Co., Ltd. takes their readers' opinions seriously, and is determined to put greater effort into editing and producing the Web site so that it can be trusted by readers.

There's much more.

Click here to go to Mainichi Daily News and you'll be greeted by two big announcements with fifteen links to the progression of hand-wringing.

This really is a disgrace. Not the column -- their action in killing it!

Violent Acres Is Today's Must-Read

Self Imposed Insomnia

No hints. Go read.

You won't forget it.

Reference: Ancient Computer

Workings of Ancient ‘Computer’ Deciphered
After a closer examination of the Antikythera Mechanism, a surviving marvel of ancient Greek technology, scientists have found that the device not only predicted solar eclipses but also organized the calendar in the four-year cycles of the Olympiad, forerunner of the modern Olympic Games.

The new findings, reported Wednesday in the journal Nature, also suggested that the mechanism’s concept originated in the colonies of Corinth, possibly Syracuse, in Sicily. The scientists said this implied a likely connection with the great Archimedes.

It still has mysteries to it.

This frustrates me:
Among the larger questions, scientists and historians said the place of the Antikythera Mechanism in the development of Greek technology remained poorly understood. Several references to similar instruments appear in classical literature, including Cicero’s description of one made by Archimedes. But this one, hauled out of the sea in 1901, is the sole surviving example.

“We believe that this mechanism cannot have been the first such device since it is so sophisticated and complex,” Dr. Freeth said. “And we don’t understand why this extraordinary technology apparently disappeared for several hundred years, later to emerge in the great astronomical clocks of the 14th century onwards.”

Emphasis added by me.

The helots are always ready to pounce and take down civilization, the swill.

Previously here:

BC Wasn’t So BC (Before Computers)

Suit Bastard Print Publishers NAILED!

18/07/08: Faber Finds & the new business of POD
POD does offer a huge opportunity for publishers, but these current offerings from Faber and PFD appear to have more to do with hanging on to the rights to these works than any genuine desire to see them prosper. The rights to books that are out of print for a particular length of time revert to the author, and while the new technologies have muddied this issue somewhat, the lack of care and attention given to these reprints smacks of opportunism rather than any genuine benefit to readers or the authors’ estates.

Damn right.

I saw this shit coming.

They will use any goddammed trick they can devise to keep their fangs in a writer's neck until not only have they sucked out all the blood, they've also sucked out the appendix!

I am telling every single writer right now: Hammer the shit out of your publisher on your contract. Sic your agent on them to release unused rights. If that doesn't work, sic a Harlan Ellison special delivery corpse of a gopher at them!

Anyone who is out there contemplating signing a contract that gives any portion of your e rights to a publisher, take that contract and shred it if they won't get their paws off those rights. They have no right to them. Those rights are what will allow you to stay "in print" -- in e -- while they give your p book a shitty print run, no publicity, and then bitch about the bookstore returns.

Print publishing is nothing but a scam today to grab as many rights as they can so they can profit from e in the future.

They don't give a fuck about you or your future.

And they know the jig is up and the day is coming when you won't need them.

Quote: Jim

In a Comment at Booksquare:
However, it struck me: the old media dudes have no reason why people become bloggers. It’s a mystery to them. I mean, if you can write well, why aren’t you writing for them?

I don’t think that they get that not every single well-versed, passionate writer about a particular subject ends up writing about it for a huge corporation.

Oh yeah.

Reminds me of my first full-time job when I mentioned I once published some fanzines. The conversation went like this:

Suit: Did you make money at it?

Me: No.

Suit: Then why did you do it?

Me: Because I liked doing it.

Suit: [That Look that = You're a Nutbag and a Threat]*

*By the way, he was right. We're all on the thing he feared and never believed would come to pass: the Net!

Reference: MSI Wind Vs. Asus 1000H

An interesting forum thread from someone who own both units and provides his impressions as well as side-by-side pictures.

Wow, that 1000H looks big!

Yeah, the 1000H might be better than the Wind. I have yet to be able to fondle-ize either, however.

Your assignment, Reader: If you come across anyone who's put OS X on the 1000H, let me know!

Will Apple Use A Pixel Qi Screen?

This is a rumor I've heard. I have nothing more than that.

Who is Pixel Qi? The company founded by Mary Lou Jepsen, who created the revolutionary screen for the OLPC notebook:
It features a 7.5 inch, 1200×900 pixel, TFT screen and self-refreshing display with higher resolution (200 DPI) than 95 percent of the laptops on the market today. Two display modes are available: a transmissive, full-color mode, and a reflective, high-resolution black and white mode that is sunlight readable. Both consume very little power: the transmissive mode consumes one watt—about one seventh of the average LCD power consumption in a laptop; the reflective mode consumes a miserly 0.2 watts.

I quoted her earlier in this blog:
In essence, the future of computing is all about the screens.

This is Pixel Qi's approach to screens:
We are focused on the production of next-generation computing platform -- we have both a long term vision and the first step products towards that vision -- with an ASIC like approach. Pixel Qi is a fabless ASIC company that specializes in screens. The screen is just a big ASIC chip -- we work closely with the large LCD factories. The trick -- we use their standard processes and materials and can produce new screens with radical new performance in about a year. We are not a demo in a year, but rather we can get all the way to high volume mass production in a year. Compare this to other display technologies which take on average 20 years to first production, and perhaps never achieve high volume mass production. We are working on a variety of projects some of which our customers would like us to keep confidential. Below is some of the work we can discuss now.

Their stated products: a sunlight-readable screen, a touchscreen, and an ePaper-like screen.

I contacted Pixel Qi for confirmation or denial of this rumor and got this email from Casey Hsu:
we can't say if it's true or not
sorry - wish we could help more.
- Casey

This sorta kinda almost in a way reminds me of Steve Jobs's off the record revelation about his health. "I'm not sick, but ..."

This rumor caught my attention because it seems exactly like what Apple has done in the past. While everyone else was using 5.25" floppy disks, Apple went with 3.5". While everyone else was doing bland beige boxes, Apple gave us the colorful iMac. And so on. It would be exactly like Apple to be the first to use a new screen technology.

I leave it up to others to do more digging.

eBooks On iPhone: Teleread Updates

Teleread has a nice little post about updated ebook apps for the iPhone: iPhone app updates: Stanza, BookShelf, Bookz, N.Y. Times reader, NetNewsWire and Tuner Internet Radio



Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #176

Welcome to the future. We will all have lives of crap.

British Gas bills to rise by up to 35pc
Millions of British Gas customers will have their energy bills hiked by 35pc this winter as the company grapples with the rising cost of energy in the UK.

Centrica, the owner of British Gas, plans to pass on rising wholesale gas and electricity prices to its 16m customers, after revealing that profits have plunged by 68pc in the six months to the end of June.

Those 10m customers who just take gas from the company will see their bills rocket 35pc, while the 6m paying for electricity will be hit with a 9pc increase. Of its total 16m customers, the 5m who take dual fuel will see bills rise by 25pc.

Emphasis added by me.

Look at this:
British Gas said that wholesale gas prices have jumped 89pc over the last year, from 48p per therm this time last year, to 90.8p this year.

Wholesale electricity prices have risen by 72pc, up from £49.62 per mega watt hour to £85.58p mwh over the same period.

Emphasis added by me.

How much more money can be bled out of people already being bled at the supermarket and gas pump?

How long before the Riots of Resentment begin?

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #175

England gets some ghastly news as everything slides into oblivion ...

Mortgage finance report suggests funding gap higher than thought
British banks are facing double the "repayment shock" on their securitised mortgages than previously thought, leaving lenders with a major funding gap that could intensify the credit crisis, a Government report has warned.

Sir James Crosby, the former chief executive of HBOS, noted in his interim report into mortgage finance for the Treasury that "the amount of [wholesale funding] maturing each year from 2008 to 2010 is estimated at around £40bn". A number of economists had estimated the obligation to be £20bn.

Emphasis added by me.

Sir James's report warned that mortgage markets would not recover for at least two years, and set out a menu of possible options the Government has for trying to revive them. However, Sir James ruled out a quick fix.

Investors were shocked by details from the report that showed that on top of being unable to seek any funding from the securitisation markets, lenders will have to pay back £40bn this year and £44.2bn next year to the investors of these packages from previous years.

Prof Spencer said: "They need to pay back this money before they can lend a penny in net mortgages. I think lending will collapse this year. The outlook for mortgage funding is dire if the Government doesn't do anything. The consequences for the housing market would be catastrophic."

Emphasis added by me.

And so the noose tightens and tightens and tightens.

Where is your money today

Educate yourself!

iPod Air: Rotating Dock And Inductive Recharging?

Patent #7,352,567 issued April 1, 2008 -- Methods and apparatuses for docking a portable electronic device that has a planar like configuration and that operates in multiple orientations -- is worth revisiting in light of recent rumors of a larger-screen iPod Touch (which I have been calling an iPod Air).

This patent summary:
A docking system is disclosed. The docking system includes a portable electronic device capable of operating in multiple orientations including vertical and horizontal. The docking system also includes a docking station configured to mechanically accept and operatively interface with the portable electronic device in any of its multiple orientations including vertical and horizontal.

This is one illustration, displaying a proposed dock with specific cut-outs for two orientations, portrait and landscape:

This illustration is much more intriguing, however, as it allows free rotation of the handheld:

That seems more like the kind of innovative feature Apple is best known for.

Notice that neither of these docks seem to be particularly portable. The second one, in fact, seems more along the lines of a fashion statement. (How cool would that be to have at bedside?)

Another intriguing feature of the patent is the possibility of refilling the battery via inductive charging:
Recently, inductive charging units have been implemented in electronic devices, the most famous of which is the Sonic Care toothbrush manufactured by Philips of the Netherlands. The toothbrush and the charging dock form the two part transformer with the primary induction coil contained in the dock and the secondary induction coil contained in the toothbrush. When the end of toothbrush is placed in a cavity of the dock, the complete transform is created and the induced current in the secondary coil charges the battery.

Inductive charging pads have also been developed. The pad works similar to the toothbrush, however, the pad typically includes multiple transformers so that the electronic device can be placed in any orientation on the pad. When the electronic device is placed on the pad, one of the transformers of the pad induces current in the transformer of the electronic device, and this current charges the battery of the electronic device. Unfortunately, the efficiency of the transform is not very good since the transformer located on the electronic device typically does not align with the transformers of the pad, i.e., does not create closed magnetic loop and therefore there is no direct inductive coupling.

I'm not an EE, so I can't speak to any possible ramifications that might have. However, since the patent illustrations primarily show a connector that is circular in shape, it makes me wonder if an iPod Air will require a new set of cables for portable syncing as well as offer new opportunities for third party manufacturers to develop larger audio accessories.

Apple doesn't always immediately use every patent it files. But this one I think offers a glimpse into the future of a possible iPod Air.

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #174

Fed extends emergency loan program for Wall Street
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Federal Reserve said Wednesday it is extending its emergency borrowing program to Wall Street firms and is taking other steps to ease a severe credit crunch that has hobbled the national economy.

The Fed said the program, where investment houses can tap the central bank for a quick source of cash, will now be available through Jan 30. Originally the program, started on March 17, was supposed to last until mid-September.

Another program, where investment firms can temporarily swap more risky investments for super-safe Treasury securities also will continue through Jan. 30, the Fed said. And, it also will let commercial banks, in a separate program, bid on cash loans that last longer -- for 84 days, besides the 28-day loans now available.

Emphasis added by me.

Hey, all you pinstriped assholes who wag your dicks as Masters of the Universe? Look at you pack of impotent bastards turning to the public to off-load your greed! It's true: You have no shame. No conscience. You're all sociopaths who only care about yourselves. Your end is coming.

Keep trying to plug up the dikes, Fed. It's not going to work. The dikes are going to FAIL.

The system is rotting. It's eaten itself. It is going to die.

Where is your money today?

Educate yourself!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Proposed ALP Phone Gets Dead

Samsung/Orange puts a pillow over the head of the baby ALP phone they had in their incubator.

Smothered the little thing.

Earlier this year I had to put up with a string of crazy Comments from an ACCESS employee who refused to face the fact his platform was retarded.

I hope he is enjoying his unemployment.

Like ALP, he has no future too.

Let's have another peek at this wretched thing via video:

Access Mobile Linux

Ew. Brrrr! Good riddance!

Update: Comment link fixed. Sorry!

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #173

Australia faces worse crisis than America
The world's financial storm has swept through Australia and New Zealand this week amid mounting signs of contagion across the Pacific region.

Financial shares were pummelled in Sydney on Tuesday after investor flight forced National Australia Bank (NAB) to slash a £400m bond sale by two thirds.

The retreat comes days after the Melbourne lender shocked the markets by announcing a 90pc write-down on its £550m holdings of US mortgage debt, an admission that it AAA-rated securities are virtually worthless.

Emphasis added by me.

OK, that made even my jaw drop.

And this is simply staggering:
The decision by National Australia Bank to make drastic provisions on its US mortgage debt could have ramifications in the US itself. It opted for a 100pc write-off on a clutch of "senior strips" of collateralized debt obligations (CDO) worth £450m - even though they were all rated AAA. No US bank has admitted to such fearsome loss rates.

Emphasis added by me.

Poof! Money into toilet paper!

We tend to forget that all those fraudulent mortgages were laundered over and over again and finally packaged as financial obligations having little resemblance to their original forms. Much of this fraud was off-loaded to investors in other countries. That's how massive the fraud was, that our own country couldn't absorb it alone. And as our real estate rocketed, so did property in all of those other countries. Now with the crash in values, those countries have to deal with their own crisis as well as the one they imported from us.

Is the scope of this becoming clear yet?

Where is your money today?

Educate yourself!

Palm's Colligan: Centro Easier Than iPhone!

Hey, I don't make up the quotes. I just transcribe them!

Palm Almost Ready for High Fives?
I think people are buying Centros for different reasons [than the iPhone]. They're [Centros] easier to use, they're a little less pretentious, they are smaller form factor. They've got a full keyboard for doing data entry.

Screensnap, not video

This is the same guy who once infamously brayed:
"We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone. PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in."

Just less than two months before the iPhone was unveiled.

He also says that Palm will be offering a "breakthrough level of innovation" -- probably after the mythical code-named Nova new Linux-based Palm OS is set on a street corner to woo prospects.

But what happens when those two-million Centro users expect that "breakthrough level of innovation" on another phone priced at just US$99 (or even less)?

And, um, Ed? Apple can still do further price drops on the iPhone. In fact, I'd count on that!

New York State Armageddon, Part Two

Paterson Warns of Economic Crisis
Mr. Paterson predicted that the budget shortfall for the next fiscal year, starting April 1, would be $6.4 billion — much higher than the $5 billion projected when he took office unexpectedly in March, replacing Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who resigned.

“When I travel across the state, I see communities suffering,” Mr. Paterson said in his address, from the Red Room of the State Capitol in Albany. “Everywhere I go, I meet people who are losing their jobs and their homes. I meet families who are forced to pay more for gasoline and for food while their paychecks stay the same. Next winter, some of these families will have to choose between heating their homes and feeding their children. The rising cost of health care means that they cannot afford to get sick.”

“Revenues are dropping dramatically,” the governor added. At the start of May, the state budget office projected a cumulative deficit of $21.5 billion over the next three years. Now, just two months later, that estimate has risen to $26.2 billion — “a staggering 22 percent increase in less than 90 days.”

Mr. Paterson offered another example of the rapid deterioration in the state’s finances. In June 2007, he said, the 16 banks that pay the most on their business profits remitted $173 million to the state treasury. “This June, just a month ago, they sent us $5 million — a 97 percent decrease,” he said.

Emphasis added by me.

The kill shot:
“Our economic woes are so severe that I wanted to talk to you personally this evening about where we stand,” he said. “The fact is we confront harsh times. Let me be honest, this situation will get worse before it gets better but the time to act is now.”

Emphasis added by me.

Oh it's going to get gloriously painfully riotously worse before it gets better.

I know this isn't the only state going through this, but it happens to be the state I live in.

Soon, we'll all be living in one big state. Called Despair.

New York State Armageddon

The Governor is on the TV live right now.

Oh shit.

This is very, very bad.

Details from reports/transcripts later.

Previously here:

Red Headlines For July 28, 2008

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #172

Bennigan's Restaurants Shut Down Nationwide
CHICAGO (CBS) ― Customers showing up for lunch at Bennigan's restaurants in Chicago and across the country found quite a surprise Tuesday morning, when all the corporate-owned locations had signs on display reading "closed for business."

As CBS 2's Joanie Lum reports, Bennigan's Grill and Tavern closed all of its corporate-owned locations nationwide after filing for bankruptcy. Independent franchises remain open for business as usual.

Emphasis added by me.

The corporate-owned locations comprise about half the entire chain.

Managers said the mass-shutdown went into effect at midnight Monday night, and there was no warning.

Emphasis added by me.

How's that for employer loyalty? Eh?
CBS 2 Legal Analyst Irv Miller explains that Chapter 7 bankruptcy means the company is being liquidated, as opposed to Chapter 11 bankruptcy, in which a company tries to reorganize and remain in business.

Miller said a Chapter 7 filing usually means a company has "major league debt," and it is unlikely that employees would get their last paycheck.

Emphasis added by me.

Hey, these bastards ought to be thrown in prison for that. How come if an employee is caught stealing, they get prosecution? But these corporate bastards can enslave their employees and get off the hook? No pay = enslavement, Jack! How about a Federal prosecutor getting them for violating the Constitutional Amendment against involuntary servitude? And it damn well was involuntary -- the employees were never asked!

How many other corporate bastards are out there planning this shit now? They shouldn't be allowed to get away with it!

MSI Wind: Strange News From J&R

I signed up to be notified of when the MSI Wind is in stock at J&R and I got this in email yesterday:
Dear Valued Customer,

Recently, you submitted a stock alert requesting to be notified when we have the item(s) below back in stock. We are sorry to inform you that due to circumstances beyond our control, we are unable provide you with this information. At the current time, we are unable to obtain sufficient information from the manufacturer as to when or if we will be receiving another shipment.

MSR U100039LA

Product Description:
MSI Microstar U100039LA Wind U100 10” Notebook – Romantic Pink

I immediately jumped to several conspiratorial notions.

But today I decided to check out J&R's website and got some enlightenment.

Apparently they sent me that notice because they won't be stocking Romantic Pink. But they will be getting it in Empire Black (damn, the Darth Vader subnote!). Price: US$579.00.

But look at this:
MSI Microstar U100053LA Wind U100 10” Notebook – Empire Black

Intel Atom 1.6 GHz / 1GB RAM / 80GB Hard Drive / 1.3 Webcam / 802.11AGN / Bluetooth / 4-in-1 Card Reader / 6-Cell Battery / Vista Home Premium SP1

Emphasis added by me.

Please. Tell me that's a mistake!

At any rate, if/when I get one, I'll rip the OS off and throw OS X on it.

I'm through with XP!

Update: That Vista spec is a mistake. Scrolling down, I see a more complete spec and it clearly states XP. Hey, will it be the Video Skips On You All The Fucking Time So You Go Fucking Insane version? (Yes, XP is doing that relentlessly now. I could hardly manage to watch that MagicPad demo video!)

I'm Now On Twitter. Oh STFU!

It was the earthquake that did it.

I went on to the Global Frequency -- um, twittervision -- and decided It Was Time.

Shockingly, no one had already taken the name "mikecane"!

Smart people!

Los Angeles Earthquake

5.8 on Richter, centered in Chino Hills area -- USGS link, might be slow.

What if it had been The Big One? Factor X.

Titanic 2.0 Meets Iceberg 2.0

The iPhone Goes Both Ways
The likely availability of distributed, low cost, intelligent, OCR-scanning will put print publishers in pretty much the same boat as the music industry. Digital copying of text will be as easy and as useful as digital copying of recorded music (until recently digital copying meant copying the dumb image, not capturing the textual information in the typography. Google Book Search changed that).

I point this out not out of a desire to "put the frighteners on" print publishers, but to suggest that there is still time enough for print to get out of the hole the music business has dug itself. Get licensing those digital editions! Provide legitimate low cost access to everything for which you have a PDF file and valid title! There is no point in hanging back, publishers must build those digital markets before your customers start mode-shifting your content -- its a business imperative. The iPhone creates great potential for publishers, but if they dont seize it, they will find they have lost much more than a new opportunity.

Ah, such hope! That a jillion voices all saying the same damned thing will finally penetrate the thick skulls of an ollllld entrenched industry.

I see such tactics worked very well with all the Oil Companies. I mean, can't we all go out and buy Exxon-Mobil solar panels?! Aren't we all using BP quantum heaters? And Citgo zero point energy slabs in our cellphones?

Yeah, right.

If Teh Suits had any idea of how their industry was being taken away from them by The Darknet, they'd have the same liquid shits the greedy bankers have been experiencing.

I don't want Comments from Suits within their constipated conglomerates telling me "We're really trying." In plain talk: Fuck that shit. Must I pull that stupid Yoda quote out of my ass to wave at you? (And if you don't know that Yoda quote, please take that as a sign of your obsolescence and retire!)

While you lot diddle one another -- I read a wonderful term for you today: pearl-clutchers! -- your readership is taking the matter into their own hands with The Darknet.

Spray as much DRM as you like on things. The DarkNets will built a better Removal Tool.

That's when you even bother to release something in e. For all that stuff still trapped in p? Too much for your continued well-being already exists in e. Just ask Harry Potter fans!

Get it done.

Oh, and if you want to see just how feeble and pathetic your efforts to date have been, see The eBook Test blog. That's how sad you lot really are!

Previously here:

Reading Books Plummets In Japan Too
Apple iTunes (Store) Trademark Evolution
You're All Wrong: It's The iPod Air!
The Reasons Why eBooks Are Next For Apple
It's NOT Lower Prices, You Eejits! It's iPod Air!
And So The iPod Air Is Coming After All!
eBook On An iPhone: One Example
iPhone Wireless Printing?
Reference: iPhone/iPod Touch Screen Size
More Of That Non-Existent iPhone Effect
When An Expert Uses An iPhone
iPhone eBook Reader Stanza Available
Memo To Steve Jobs: iPhone Owners READ!
iDay 2008 + 1 = LONG Lines!!!
eReader On iPhone: What It Looks Like
Southern NYC iDay 2007 In 56 Photos!
Flashback: iPhone 2007
MSI Wind = Ten-Inch Screen MacBook?
Video: eBooks On iPhone/iPod Touch
What Apple Better Not Miss About eBooks
For God’s Sake, Get eBooks Going, Steve Jobs!
iPod Air: See You In September?
A Gadget Too Far
No iPod Air Next Week
American Tech Companies: Wake Up!
It’s Now All Down To Apple Vs. Google
Apple: You’ll Get It When You Can Sync It?
What eChanges Will High Oil Prices Bring?
Reference: iPhone/iPod Touch Backup/Sync
An Example Of iPhone/iPod Touch Keyboard Lag
The iPod Air Will Be Better …
I Said Apple Sync Was Important: Here’s Proof
eInk eBook Readers: They’re All Dead, Jim!
What’s This? iPod Air Next Month?
iPhone Continues To Swallow The Internet
Apple’s Sync Strategy Finally Arriving?
Now We Know Why Apple Bought A Chipmaker
Amazon: Already Toast
Future iPods: Piper Jaffray’s Blind Spot
Writers Don’t Fear The Future: Publishers Do!
The Lesson Of Apple Isn’t New, But It Works
The Three Companies Apple Should Acquire
Apple Has Magic The Others Don’t
Apple And eBooks: Why The Delay
For The Record: Apple and eBooks
Memo To Steve Jobs: People DO Still Read!
The Three Big As: Apple, Amazon, Adobe
Peak iPod: Has Apple Reached Its End?
One More Time: Apple And Ebooks
Is Apple’s Tablet The iPod Air?
Why Apple’s Design Is Excellent
Steve Jobs Is Up To Something. Probably Big.
Does Apple Want To Be King Of Ebooks?

Sony To Kindle: Up Yours!

Reader Digital Book Cover with Light
Light up your Reader Digital Book while keeping it safe with this all-in-one cover and custom designed light.

Compatible with PRS-505SC or PRS-505LC Reader Digital Books only.

Not only can the Sony Reader now check-out DRMed ebooks from most public library systems, it now has a way to let you read in the dark!

Previously here:

Sony’s Strange Strategy
A Gadget Too Far
Sony, The New Titanic?
eInk eBook Readers: They’re All Dead, Jim!
Amazon: Already Toast
More Bad For Sony Reader: Kindles Coming
Borders Catches Cold, Sony Reader Gets Pneumonia?
Sony Reader Can Be Bought In Spain!
Oprah, Get A Sony Reader!
Sony’s In Worse Shape Than I Thought
Sony Has Big eBook News Today
Oh, NOW He Believes Me!
Macbook Air Vs Everex Cloudbook Vs Sony Reader
Does Borders Know The Sony Reader Exists?
Sony: I’m Not Alone
What’s Going On With Sony And Its Reader?
Sony’s Got Something Big For Their Reader
Has Sony Just Lost Its eBook Battle?

MagicPad For iPhone: Want!

MagicPad: iPhone Copy / Paste & More (Video)

This is wonderful. But I'm not seeing:

1) Landscape orientation

2) Save As... for specific file formats

3) Spellcheck

The Copy/Cut/Paste feature is great, but it'd be a real bitch for multiple paragraphs. So I also suggest a Zoom Out feature, where paragraphs can be selected by simply tapping on them.

Geez, see how simple software begins to get bigger?

I wonder what the price will be?

MagicPad website (right now just a splash page with no links)

Update: How ironic that a third-party has created this app. The more I think about this, the more I see it as MacWrite 1.0! And yet Apple's coders went to bat to produce a frikkin poker game?!!? Where the hell are their priorities?!!?

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #171

'Extreme Makeover' house faces foreclosure
LAKE CITY, Ga. (AP) - More than 1,800 people showed up to help ABC's "Extreme Makeover" team demolish a family's decrepit home and replace it with a sparkling, four-bedroom mini-mansion in 2005.

Three years later, the reality TV show's most ambitious project at the time has become the latest victim of the foreclosure crisis.

After the Harper family used the two-story home as collateral for a $450,000 loan, it's set to go to auction on the steps of the Clayton County Courthouse Aug. 5. The couple did not return phone calls Monday, but told WSB-TV they received the loan for a construction business that failed.

Emphasis added by me.

If I was motivated to search the Net, I'd probably find other horror stories created by that TV program. It all looks so Cinderella-ish on TV. Here's Your New Free Free Free Home!!! With no word as to whether the real estate taxes can be paid. How much higher a larger house increases utility bills (hello: more rooms = more lighting, more heating, more cooling, more water). I've glimpsed this program at times and my hair stood on end as I watched people who had to be one-step away from lifelong welfare walk into plush homes I could never afford. So how can they wind up paying the concomitant higher monthly expenses?!

Well, here's one family that did a roll of the dice and came up snake eyes.

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #170

Merrill sets $5.7 billion write-down, to sell stock
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Merrill Lynch & Co said on Monday it will take a $5.7 billion third-quarter writedown as it unloads huge amounts of risky debt, and raise $8.5 billion by selling new stock.

The Wall Street investment bank and brokerage announced its plans less than two weeks after posting a $4.9 billion second- quarter loss, hurt by more than $9 billion of write-downs.

Merrill said its stock sale includes $3.4 billion to Singapore's state-run Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd TEM.UL, one of its largest investors, and may grow to $9.8 billion to meet demand. Management also plans to buy 750,000 shares, it said.

Monday's write-down and plans to raise capital may raise further questions about Chief Executive John Thain's ability to turn around Merrill. The company has lost $19.2 billion in the last year and suffered more than $40 billion of write-downs from subprime mortgages and other risky debt.

Emphasis added by me.

This is just too rich not to quote:
"Are things that much worse than we were led to believe?" said James Ellman, president of Seacliff Capital in San Francisco. "If people were going to believe Thain when he said Merrill raised more capital than it needed to and had taken conservative marks on its securities book, I'm not sure they're going to believe him tomorrow morning."

Emphasis added by me.

Hello, McFly! Duuhhhhh, yes!

Lenders including Merrill, Citigroup Inc and UBS AG have announced more than $400 billion in write-downs and credit losses since the global credit crisis began a year ago.

Emphasis added by me.

The key word there is "announced." What metastisizing fatal financial tumors haven't they yet pulled out to wave in front of the world to beg foreign suckers international moneymen for sell-out bailouts? Regular readers will recall jaw-dropping trillion-dollar-plus totals here and here and here and here and here and here.

If we knew the amount of sweating and sleepless nights and irregular bowel movements taking place among these top-level sociopathic bastards as they try to hold together the center of the corrupt machine, we'd all be sweating, sleepless, and having liquid shits too.

Citizens, go back to sleep.

Where is your money today?

Educate yourself!

Previously here:

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #161

Roissy Is Today's Must-Read

Decivilizing: Human Nature Unleashed

No, not even a brief quote. It's long. It's mind-opening. Go read. Now!

Quote: Roissy

A Bike Messenger Lesson
The arid world of the theoretical is always lurking there in the shadows, stalking you, ready to pounce and devour you in a flash, leaving you wondering why your dopey new age beliefs or romantic visions of love or confidence that the mudbath of human nature doesn’t apply to normal people like yourself weren’t enough to spare you the claw and tooth attack of reality. You are all slave to your beast masters.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Reference: Smart Car Tips

Operation and Maintenance Valuable Threads

Previously here:

Your Weekend Smart Car Pr0n
NOW Do You Believe In My Persecution?!!?
Smart Car Stuff
Photo Album: Smart Car In Manhattan #3!
More Smart Car Videos
This Is Why It’s Called The Smart Car!
Fugly MINI Cooper Vs. Cutie Smart Fortwo
Smart Car: Coast-To-Coast Possible
The Smart Car Cult
Badass Batman Smart Car!
Video: Smart Car
Photo Album: Smart Car In Manhattan Again!
Photo Album: Smart Car In Manhattan
Cars Of The Future: Lose Weight Or You’ll Walk!

Cuil: See? I Said It Was FAIL!

Cuil: a new approach on Search Engines

Oh, I laughed soooo much!!

Previously here:

Cuil: FAIL!

Reference: iPhone Photo App

Picoli -- iTunes App Store link

For $4.99, several different filters (one-at-a-time) can be applied to photos to improve and/or other change them.

No cropping or size reduction included. No red-eye reduction, either.

I'm still waiting for an iPhone version of something as capable as Photo Toolkit on my PC. It would help the Mobile Blogging Cause.

-- via iPhone Therefore I Blog

The US$99 Fake Subnotebook

Click = big

I'm really scratching my head over this one.

It has Windows CE 5.0. No listing for WiFi, but one site did report it includes WiFi (I tend to believe it lacks WiFi; the site itself says WiFi is "optional"!). It's obviously using the shell of the Asus EeePC 700-series, which means the keyboard is wee. Internal memory is 64MB(?!!?) expandable to 8GB via USB(?!!?). Screen is 800x480.

But ... just ninety-nine bucks? According to reports, sold in Hong Kong only.

I still don't know what to make of it.

It's something that could possibly be used for writing, if the keyboard can be adapted to. Still, you'd have to get the files out of it and into a real PC for any real use.

And what software is there for Windows CE 5.0 that could be put on it?!

This is just a strange beast.

I intend to follow-up with posts linking to any reviews or non-Jointech pictures.

Jointech website
Jointech J-Pro brochure (basically a big JPEG)

Update: There is a manual for this beast in PDF format on this page.

Red Headlines For July 28, 2008


ALBANY - Gov. Paterson, convinced the state faces its worst fiscal crisis since the mid-1970s, will deliver the grim news in an unprecedented special address to New Yorkers as soon as tomorrow night, The Post has learned.

Emphasis added by me.

"The situation is worse than anyone realizes," said a source close to Paterson.

Emphasis added by me.

Paterson warned last week that Wall Street bonuses - a major source of state tax revenue - will likely drop by 20 percent or more this year.

A day later the state Financial Control Board said New York City's projected two-year deficit had grown by a whopping $4 billion because of Wall Street losses and the economy's overall decline.

Emphasis added by me.

It's just the beginning.

Cuil: FAIL!

Former Googleers unveil Cuil, a new search engine
A start-up led by former star Google engineers on Sunday unveiled a new Web search service that aims to outdo the Internet search leader in size, but faces an uphill battle changing Web surfing habits.

Cuil Inc (pronounced "cool") is offering a new search service at that the company claims can index, faster and more cheaply, a far larger portion of the Web than Google, which boasts the largest online index.

Wow. I mean HUGE FAIL here.

Of course the first search item anyone uses to test out a search engine is a vanity search. Because we all know our online presence best.

Well this sucker splashed so much crap on the screen in such a random fashion -- with many links actually pointing to nowhere -- that I sat there agog.

I didn't even bother trying another search time. Waste of time.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Reference: 100 Book/eBook Sites

100 Addictive Book sites
More than 100 (web 2.0) addictive book related sites where you can spend any minute of the rest of your life! Linking more than 1.000.000 free books and stories.

I think David Rothman over at Teleread just fainted.

– via MySpace Bulletin from Matthew St. Amand

The Difference Between A Fanboy And A Pro

From Walt Disney:
Whenever I go on a ride, I'm always thinking of what's wrong with the thing and how it can be improved.

So stop all that fawning shit over tech I see out there.

If you can't find something to improve about everything, what good are you to the entire human race?

A pig happy in mud will never have an incentive to build a house.

Speakers UP!: Nobarbies

Five amazing Argentinian women doing pure punk rock!


Amor Enfermo - NOBARBIES

Nobarbies MySpace -- where you can download for free three of their demo songs!

Previously here:

New MSI Wind Blog Has Theme Music?!!?
Nobarbies! En Vivo! Crank Those Speakers!
You Need To Hear Them


I didn't post it there.

But I'll damn well link to it!

Especially this.

Dear god, if you've never seen this, take off your shoes for you will be walking on holy ground.

When Paddy Chayefsky died, so did smart movies. And this is one of the smartest ever made.

If you get a "Not Available" message, hit Refresh and then try Play again.

1984: The Definitive Movie Version

I didn't put it there.

But I'll damn well link to it. Eff Dark Knight!

If you get a "Not Available" message, hit Refresh and then try Play again.

Writer Brandon Ford Has A Blog

Brandon's Lair

I loved this:

Happy anniversary to me...
On this day, five years ago, I cracked open a brand new notebook, fired up a pen, and began working on Crystal Bay. On my lunch break at my crappy day job (thank God I'm no longer suffering there), I sat down and began what would end up being my first novel. I had no idea if this was ever going to go anywhere. By that point, I had started so many different projects that only collected dust. But, I knew that being a novelist was what I wanted to do and I knew that the only way to get there was to complete a novel. So that's what I did. I scribbled away for seven months, worked on a couple of new drafts shortly thereafter, then started querying editors and agents. In late 2007, I stumbled upon Arctic Wolf Publishing and, as they say, the rest is history. What a charming story for the grandchildren.

Free Almost-eBook From Jason Pinter

Via MySpace Bulletin:
Through August 5th, you can read the entire, uncut text of the critically acclaimed, award nominated first Henry Parker novel, THE MARK, for FREE!

[...] [A]t, click on the "Browse this Book" link, and you'll have full access to the book that has been nominated for three awards and optioned to be a major motion picture.

Now is the perfect time to see what all the fuss is about, or to let your friends and family know about the series!

Plus, if you help spread the word, I will personally thank you in the acknowledgments page of a Henry Parker novel to be published in 2009!

Emphasis added by me.

I would have done it without the payola, but now I want my payola, dammit!

I say it's an "almost ebook" because it's one of those read- on- your- monitor things:

Click = big

But it actually can be read. The text is black, not faded gray. Clicking enlarges the page:

Click = big

On my pathetic PC, it takes seconds to turn a page. All of you with better machines can probably zip from page to page. If I could, I'd read it. The opening paragraph hooked me:

Yeah, that's killer.

Go to Read THE MARK--for free!! for the reading link.

Jason Pinter MySpace