Featured Photos

Baseball Hall of Fame - 8/23/11

Featured Video

Avery's QuEST Project - It's Healthy!

House Construction

The Completed Home Renovation

Home Renovation - Complete!

Our House Construction Photoblog

RSS Feed

Archive for October, 2005

« Previous Entries                    

Mac users need not apply…

Sunday, October 30th, 2005

It seems if you’re a Mac user, you’re going to need to jump through some hoops to work at American Express, Target or Sears:

At American Express, for example, job seekers are greeted with this warning: “At this time, the system does not support Mac environments. If you don’t have access to a PC at home or work, please check out a local public library for Internet access, local Internet cafes, or the nearest government Work Force Center.” . . . job seekers at Target and Sears may just get an error message or have their browser crash when using Apple’s Safari browser.

They’re all using the same third party vendor who’s software doesn’t support Safari. They claim they’ll have a Firefox compatible version out by December, but they’re in no rush to support Safari because “customers aren’t clamoring for it.”

So here’s my question: Forgetting about American Express for a second, don’t Target and Sears at least sell Mac accessories (if not Macs themselves?) Can anyone say PR problem?

Categories: Tech Talk | No Comments »

The World Series – When’s That On?

Friday, October 28th, 2005

The TV ratings are out on the 2005 World Series, and they’re the worst they’ve ever been. Before you write off the Fall Classic, though, think about this:

Despite rating so low in comparison to other World Series, the four games of this series were each the highest rated prime-time network programs on their respective nights.

So the World Series was the most popular show on television last week, but also the least watched World Series in history. I think what we have here is a commentary on the number of choices on television, not the popularity of the Series itself. Don’t forget – the last time the White Sox were in the World Series (1959), most TV’s had fewer than ten channels to choose from. The other two times they were involved (1917 & 1919), TV’s didn’t exist (but that’s another story).

The other variable here is the fact that each World Series is not created equal. When the teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, or Braves are involved, there’s a much wider “hometown” audience to draw from, which has got to boost the ratings. Heck – if the Cubs were in the series instead of the White Sox, I bet the number of viewers in Chicago would have gone up tremendously. So comparing TV ratings between World Series is like comparing homeruns in Yankee Stadium to homeruns in Fenway Park – apples to oranges…

Categories: Primetime TV, Sports Talk | No Comments »

Hitting the iPod nail on the head…

Friday, October 28th, 2005

This article wonders if the incompatability of most of the common iPod accessories will put existing iPod owners off from buy a new iPod. Here’s my answer, anyway: Yes.

My iPod is well used, and I’ve purchased two accessories – the iTrip for playing music in the car with the kids, and the Nyko button relocator for listening by myself on a crowded commuter train. When the Nano came out, I figured the next thing would be a 20GB (or more) flash version, at which point I’d probably buy a second one so my wife would have one for driving around town with the kids while I’m at work.

Now, I have to deal with the following realities:

Seems the tempation to flex that monopoly muscle lives outside of Remond, WA after all…

Categories: Tech Talk | No Comments »

The Shame of the Plame Game

Thursday, October 27th, 2005

They’re saying the special prosecutor is going to announce indictments in the Valerie Plame matter tomorrow, so before it all starts, allow me to go on record: Shame on us all. To wit:

Shame on the American people for not seeing what is coming a mile away, and rising up as one to say, “Enough already!” This has got Lewinsky-gate written all over it: an investigation about one thing, yielding charges about something else, all in an effort to punish people for a third thing (which isn’t illegal, but has really ticked people off). The last time we allowed this to happen, we got so distracted as a nation that the mainstream media was actually debating whether or not bombing Osama bin Laden might have been a diversionary tactic to take the focus off the President’s legal troubles. What will we let slide this time?

Shame on Republicans like Kay Bailey Hutchison, who are refuting all charges before they’re even made, suggesting that there’s no reason to, you know – actually examine the charges before declaring them bogus. I’m sure some spin doctor out there has indicated the need for positive voices to counter all the negative voices out there, but IMHO, doing this only weakens the case later if the charges are bogus. Also, how in the name of all that is holy can she say something like this:

I certainly hope that if there is going to be an indictment that says something happened, that it is an indictment on a crime and not some perjury technicality where they couldn’t indict on the crime and so they go to something just to show that their two years of investigation was not a waste of time and taxpayer dollars.

Tim Russert took the words right out of my mouth:

But the fact is perjury or obstruction of justice is a very serious crime and Republicans certainly thought so when charges were placed against Bill Clinton before the United States Senate.

Check out the whole conversation if you like – perhaps Clinton was charged with more than just perjury, but perjury was the main charge (certainly the one most people remember), and to suggest now that perjury doesn’t warrant the indictment of a government official is so hypocritical that it’s almost impressively so.

Shame on the media (and not just the mainstream this time – bloggers too!) who talk about the crime as theoretical, but discuss the rationale behind it as fact. I’ve yet to read that Rove & Libby are accused of “disclosing the name of a CIA agent.” Instead, I read that they are accused of “disclosing the name of a CIA agent in order to get revenge on her husband for publicly criticizing the President’s main justification for going to war in Iraq.” Not that I put revenge past these guys, but I can easily see a scenario where the crime was committed but the rationale was different. Consider: Wilson writes his Op-Ed piece in the New York Times. High ranking government officials get deluged with questions about his trip to Africa – Why was he there? Who did he talk to? What did he find out? At some point, one of them tells a reporter that the CIA sent him there (as opposed to the White House or anyone else), and mentions that his wife works for the CIA and maybe that had something to do with why he was selected. The crime (disclosing her name) is still present, but let’s face it – this could have been background data run amok just as easily as it could have been revenge.

And finally, shame on the Democrats who’ve been planning this since the day Clinton was impeached. Obviously, I can’t prove this, but I’ve always had the feeling that there were folks out there vowing to impeach the next Republican President for something, either for pure revenge or to lessen the historical importance of Clinton’s impeachment. The war in Iraq felt like the right venue for such a stunt (and yes, it’s a stunt), but the war has yet to produce an actual crime among the executive branch – just a lot of decisions that royally pissed off those who disagreed with them.

The constant repetition of the rationale (to get revenge on her husband for publicly criticizing the President) strikes me as the tell-tale sign of game at hand. The “linking” game also seems to point that way. For example, Tuesday’s NYTimes reported on the front page that Libby had learned about Plame from Dick Cheney, rather than from a reporter. This strikes me as an excuse to mention Cheney’s name in conjunction with the whole affair, even though speaking to his own Chief of Staff hardly sounds like a crime of any kind.

Bottom line: if crimes were committed, the guilty should be punished in accordance with the severity of their crimes. But we’ve been through the process of turning the executive branch into a hot, new reality show. We know the downsides. And if we do it again, then shame on us all.

Categories: Political Rantings | No Comments »

Miers cleans up the mess

Thursday, October 27th, 2005

Harriet Miers has withdrawn her name from consideration.

As I wrote earlier, this sounds like exactly what the senate was trying to do – give her a way out that didn’t embarrass herself or the President (much), without having to vote her down.

Right result; wrong reasons.

Categories: Political Rantings | No Comments »

A bad influence…

Friday, October 21st, 2005

Now, this is funny…

WYRM – I’m sorry to hear you think I’m a bad influence on my children. You may be interested to know that that kid is five years old now, and when I told him that the World Series starts in Chicago tomorrow night, he said, “That’s because the White Sox won home field advantage, right Daddy?” With this kind of head start, I’m guessing that when he gets to be your age, he’ll know what the squiggle is above the ‘n’ in Spanish words…

Oh, and by the way, he has a brother who I’m similarly corrupting

Categories: Family Matters, Sports Talk | 1 Comment »

Getting out of the Miers Mess

Friday, October 21st, 2005

I haven’t written anything here about the Miers (or Roberts) nomination because, quite frankly, I don’t know much about Supreme Court Justices or how they should be chosen. I will say this, though:

It shocked me that there is no law (or at least an unbreakable tradition) that states that Supreme Court Justice nominees must be judges by profession. I’m told other non-judges have been appointed in the past, but on the face of it, it seems to suggest that there isn’t a single judge working in the U.S. today that is more qualified to be on the Supreme Court than this non-judge.

I’ve also been amazed at the reaction to Ms. Miers from those who call themselves conservatives. The concern seems to be primarily around her lack of qualifications as a conservative and her lack of stated conviction that Roe v. Wade must be overturned. Those who do mention her lack of experience as a judge tend to do so glancingly, either as an intro to the above two points, or as an afterthought. It makes me think that Bush could nominate a trained monkey for the court, and some people out there would complain that the monkey isn’t sufficiently pro-life.

Then there’s this (hat tip: InstaPundit). By asking Bush & Miers to violate attorney/client priviledge as part of the confirmation process, it seems as though Miers has to decide her first case before even broaching the confirmation hearings. The irony, of course, is that if she exhibits a strict belief in the right to privacy (which many advocate in a Supreme Court justice), then she’s forced to withdraw her nomination. If she’s willing to violate that right, then it could be used against her during the confirmation process as evidence of her willingness to legislate from the (hearing room) bench. All in all, a pretty slick political move for Graham & Brownback.

Finally, a question: if everyone (and it really does seem like everyone) thinks she’s a bad choice, shouldn’t the senate, who is hired to represent us, reject her nomination in a vote that resembles 100-0? Doesn’t the fact that, despite all the dissatisfaction, she still stands a pretty good chance of being confirmed bother anyone? To me, it calls into question the purpose of the confirmation process in the first place.

Categories: Political Rantings | 2 Comments »

Philosophical Questions for the 21st Century

Thursday, October 20th, 2005

If the person you’re talking to sneezes with his phone on mute, do you need to say “God Bless You?”

And if you say “God Bless You” while you’re on mute, and the person doesn’t hear it, is he really blessed?


Categories: Random Acts of Blogging | 2 Comments »

Perhaps a giant India-shaped blanket?

Wednesday, October 19th, 2005

It seems the President of India is worried that terrorists will use Google Earth to attack his country:

High-resolution pictures are freely available on the Internet and are provided by many sites in addition to Google Earth, Kalam said. He cautioned officers during his speech to be aware of emerging “open-source intelligence.” He also showed the audience aerial pictures of some of the sensitive locations in India.

“When you look deeper into it, you would realize that the specific laws in some countries, regarding spatial observations over their territory and UN recommendations about the display of spatial observations, are inadequate,” he noted.

I thought we were past the days of “the Internet is only good for porn” and “How did kids survive before electric typewriters?” Look – all good technologies have the potential to be used for evil. The problem, in every one of these cases, is the evil. Not the technology.

Categories: Political Rantings, Tech Talk | No Comments »

Finally, someone said it!

Saturday, October 15th, 2005

The truth about spam!

Categories: The World Wide Weird | No Comments »

« Previous Entries