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Archive for February, 2006

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How Snow Can Make You Feel Warm Inside

Monday, February 13th, 2006

The northeast got hit with about two feet of snow this weekend, so I got to take my two boys out for a romp in it this afternoon. Before we went out, Avery drew the above picture (some work in oils, some in clay, Avery works in blue highlighter and pencil. You gotta start somewhere).

For those who don’t read the ancient language of 5-year old spelling, the inscription reads (roughly) as follows:

“Fun in the snow. Signed by Avery Greenberg and Daddy Greenberg.”

If there were any justice in the world, all the snow on our property should have melted right then & there…

Categories: Family Matters | 1 Comment »

And he Wasn’t Even a Suspected Terorrist…

Sunday, February 12th, 2006

Dick Cheney just shot a guy.

Seriously.

That’s got to be a violation of his civil rights, no?

Categories: Political Rantings, The World Wide Weird | 3 Comments »

Two Cool Search Tools

Sunday, February 12th, 2006

Geez, it feels like every third blog entry I make these days is about search engines. Maybe that says something?

Anyway, check out these two cool sites I found:

Twingine
Type in a search string, and it shows you Google & Yahoo’s results side-by-side. Very useful if you plan on searching on both sites anyway (e.g., extensive research projects)

Google vs. Yahoo
Same idea, but this one’s more graphical. Put in your search string, and you get two rows of dots, Google’s results on top, Yahoo’s on the bottom. Lines (literally) connect the dots for where the same pages are returned. Vertical lines near the left of the graph signify agreement between the search engines about what’s most important. Severe diagonal lines signify disagreement. White dots (with no lines) signify sites that were returned in one engine, but not the other.

Categories: Tech Talk | No Comments »

Video Navigation Systems

Sunday, February 12th, 2006

This from Google and Volkswagen of America look really interesting.

Basically, it’s the in-car navigation system we’ve all seen, but with photographs instead of those line drawings we’re used to. So rather than driving to that hotel or restaurant’s block & then looking around, you could see the building on the screen.

The proof is, of course, always in the usage, but given the existence of Google Earth, GPS, and high wireless bandwidth, it sounds promising…

Categories: The Future is Now | No Comments »

Shuffling off this mortal coil…

Saturday, February 11th, 2006

Looks like maybe smaller devices with less functionality aren’t the big hit Apple thought they might be. Suddenly, there’s a 1GB Nano for $149, as compared to the 1GB Shuffle for $99. So for fifty extra dollars, you get a screen that can show (very, very small) photos and, you know, let you choose what song you want to hear.

Check out the comparison chart, about halfway down the page (direct link not available).

Oh, and while I’m at it, this is only slightly less crazy: The 4GB Nano is $249. For fifty dollars more than that, you get a much larger screen and 7.5 times the memory.

Categories: Tech Talk | 2 Comments »

Y2-Rich Bug?

Saturday, February 11th, 2006

According to this, the IRS has a separate computer to track his taxes, because their normal computers can’t handle numbers that big. Says Gates, “My tax return in the United States has to be kept on a special computer because their normal computers can’t deal with the numbers.”

OK, two things: 1) I realize the guy has a ton of money ($47 billion, according to Forbes), but if the IRS can’t handle that, it’s a problem with the software, not the computer. And the fix they’d install wouldn’t disable the software for the rest of us, so why would they need a separate computer? And 2) Shouldn’t the head of Microsoft know this? And if they are using a separate computer for his taxes (for whatever reason), shouldn’t he be able to explain it better?

Categories: Money Talk | 1 Comment »

Good Thing Congress Doesn’t Count the Votes…

Wednesday, February 8th, 2006

Apparently, when the House of Representatives voted on the new house leadership, they cast more votes than there were members present. (Hat tip: Jeff Porten)

I’m reminded of something I was told during the whole “hanging chad” thing in 2000: on an average weekday, the New York Stock Exchange processes more than two billion stock trades. And they count each & every one of them correctly every day.

This just shouldn’t be this hard…

Categories: Political Rantings | No Comments »

Congressional Decorum

Wednesday, February 1st, 2006

Some quick thoughts on the State of the Union:

Content-wise, I think the President knows that Congress has degraded to a simple numbers game, so it doesn’t really matter what he proposes in his speech. He either has the numbers to get something through or he doesn’t. So, I’m glad to hear he thinks we’re addicted to oil, I’m glad to hear he wants to study the entitlement programs, I’m glad to hear he wants to keep my taxes lower, etc. Still, each of these things is either all-but-done right now, or it’s never going to happen.

Regarding the tone, I was glad to see him get a little ticked off at Congress a couple of times during the speech. First, when he scolded them for substituting angry, ad-hominem attacks where rational debate should be:

Even tough debates can be conducted in a civil tone, and our differences cannot be allowed to harden into anger. To confront the great issues before us, we must act in a spirit of good will and respect for one another, and I will do my part

And then later, while discussing social security, he said “Congress did not act last year on my proposal to save Social Security.” A bunch of Democrats lept to their feet in mocking applause. Hillary Clinton was caught on camera with a giant grin on her face, and others were talking to each other and laughing over their success in defeating the President’s agenda. All that was missing were high-fives and head butts. They looked like a bunch of high school kids disrespecting a substitute teacher.

Bush became visibly annoyed and continued on with “Yet the rising cost of entitlements is a problem that is not going away. And every year we fail to act, the situation gets worse.” Then, the Republicans lept to their feet in an equally classless display of counter-applause. I don’t think they even realized they were applauding the fact that our entitlements problems are getting worse. I mean, if you think about it, it doesn’t even make sense.

This morning, I also learned that members of Congress weren’t the only ones misbehaving last night. Cindy Sheehan got herself a ticket to the speech, and showed up wearing a T-Shirt that said “2,245 and how many more?” Capitol police asked her to leave (there’s a House rule against demonstrating in the Capitol Building) and when she refused, they handcuffed her and arrested her. This was obviously an attempt at making a political statement (getting arrested, that is, not the T-shirt), and it worked like a charm. So much for “spirit of good will and respect for one another.”

(Oh, and before anyone takes the bait and decries the Bushies for stomping on the civil rights of their enemies, note that the wife of a Republican representative was also ejected for wearing a pro-Bush t-shirt.)

To sum up, what was supposed to be a night of communication – proposals and counter-proposals on where the country is going – turned into nothing more than multiple opportunities to shout slogans and mock the opposition, both from the people and their elected representatives.

Nice job, folks. Nice job.

UPDATE: Instapundit reached the same conclusion, as did several others that he links to.

(Links courtesy of John Scalzi)

Categories: Political Rantings | 4 Comments »

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