Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Car Video

Check out this car video
This thing is fast, watch it take off towards the end...

Thursday, December 22, 2005

New York Times - Times Select


I went to NYTimes.com today to get some news on the transit strike happening right now, and they want me to sign-up for "Times Select" to read the article? I get a 14 day free trial, and then I have to pay? NYTimes.com has been charging for access to most of their site for a while now, and it is an extremely poor business decision in my opinion. They should figure out how to monetize web traffic using advertising, email, etc... - not by charging to access the site. Now that they are charging, I'm sure they are gettin far fewer visitors/page-views and the net $ they are bringing in must be much less then it was and could be. My guess is they will eventually wake-up and make the accessing the site free again. Until they do, I'll be reading the countless other *free* news sites. Times Select, what a joke!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The U.K. gets even more communist

Now they will track the movement of every car?

 

So much for any kind of privacy on the roads. Might as well install a chip in every baby and monitor their every movement…wait, I’m giving them ideas.

Patriot Act in action

oh shit!

 

Agents' visit chills UMass Dartmouth senior
By AARON NICODEMUS, Standard-Times staff writer

NEW BEDFORD -- A senior at UMass Dartmouth was visited by federal agents two months ago, after he requested a copy of Mao Tse-Tung's tome on Communism called "The Little Red Book."
Two history professors at UMass Dartmouth, Brian Glyn Williams and Robert Pontbriand, said the student told them he requested the book through the UMass Dartmouth library's interlibrary loan program.
The student, who was completing a research paper on Communism for Professor Pontbriand's class on fascism and totalitarianism, filled out a form for the request, leaving his name, address, phone number and Social Security number. He was later visited at his parents' home in New Bedford by two agents of the Department of Homeland Security, the professors said.
The professors said the student was told by the agents that the book is on a "watch list," and that his background, which included significant time abroad, triggered them to investigate the student further.
"I tell my students to go to the direct source, and so he asked for the official Peking version of the book," Professor Pontbriand said. "Apparently, the Department of Homeland Security is monitoring inter-library loans, because that's what triggered the visit, as I understand it."
Although The Standard-Times knows the name of the student, he is not coming forward because he fears repercussions should his name become public. He has not spoken to The Standard-Times.
The professors had been asked to comment on a report that President Bush had authorized the National Security Agency to spy on as many as 500 people at any given time since 2002 in this country.
The eavesdropping was apparently done without warrants.
The Little Red Book, is a collection of quotations and speech excerpts from Chinese leader Mao Tse-Tung.
In the 1950s and '60s, during the Cultural Revolution in China, it was required reading. Although there are abridged versions available, the student asked for a version translated directly from the original book.
The student told Professor Pontbriand and Dr. Williams that the Homeland Security agents told him the book was on a "watch list." They brought the book with them, but did not leave it with the student, the professors said.
Dr. Williams said in his research, he regularly contacts people in Afghanistan, Chechnya and other Muslim hot spots, and suspects that some of his calls are monitored.
"My instinct is that there is a lot more monitoring than we think," he said.
Dr. Williams said he had been planning to offer a course on terrorism next semester, but is reconsidering, because it might put his students at risk.
"I shudder to think of all the students I've had monitoring al-Qaeda Web sites, what the government must think of that," he said. "Mao Tse-Tung is completely harmless."

Contact Aaron Nicodemus at anicodemus@s-t.com

This story appeared on Page A9 of The Standard-Times on December 17, 2005.

Slippers USB

ever feel like you needed some slippers you could just plug right into your computer???

Albertson's

Have you been in an Albertson's grocery store lately? they suck! Dirty stores, bad prices, long lines, etc... Wonder how their CEO is getting paid? What happened to paying for performance?
I saw this on MSN (yes, not sure why I was on MSN but I was)
--
Shares of supermarket chain Albertson's (ABS, news, msgs) fell 39% over the past four years. Despite this dismal record, Albertson’s CEO and Chairman Larry Johnston collected a total of $76.2 million in that time.

Google 2005 Zeitgeist

The Google 2005 Zeitgeist is out - what the hell? A whole year of search data and this is the best they can do? I mean, there's a couple of cool things in there, but it look me less than 5 minutes to click through the whole deal. I prefer checking out the Yahoo Buzz Index

If you like these, here's a few more...

MSN Insider

Ask Jeeves

Lycos 50

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Stalin and Saddam would have been drinking buddies

Stalin's army of man-apes

Recently-uncovered documents in Moscow apparently reveal that Josef Stalin hoped to crossbreed humans and apes to create superwarriors. In 1926, animal breeding scientist Illya Ivanov was sent to Africa with $200,000 to begin the project while a laboratory was established in Georgia. After the project didn't pan out, Ivanov was exiled to Kazakhstan. From The Scotsman:

According to Moscow newspapers, Stalin told the scientist: "I want a new invincible human being, insensitive to pain, resistant and indifferent about the quality of food they eat..."

Mr Ivanov's experiments, unsurprisingly from what we now know, were a total failure. He returned to the Soviet Union, only to see experiments in Georgia to use monkey sperm in human volunteers similarly fail.

A final attempt to persuade a Cuban heiress to lend some of her monkeys for further experiments reached American ears, with the New York Times reporting on the story, and she dropped the idea amid the uproar.

Link

Buying your kid a webcam for Christmas?

Check out this article – you might want to check-in on how they use it now and then.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Ebay Notice

Another King Kong Review

This is one of the funniest movie reviews I have ever read! I don’t know why, but I was dying when I read it. (probably because I already saw King Kong)

 

I’ll paste it here for those of you too lazy to click a link

 

If you’re lactose intolerant, make sure you stay away from the King Kong remake, because that thing is the among the cheesiest shit in movies that I have ever seen.

I don’t mean cheesy like a monkey climbing to the top of the Empire State Building either, I mean cheesy like the following:

King Kong ice skates in central park with girl.

I shit you not.  When King Kong is reunited with Blondie What’s Her Name, he takes her on an escapade on ice in central park.  Gay.

20 minutes of looking deep into monkey’s eyes.

Remember in every movie Chris Farley ever did how there would be like five extra minutes of looking at his face while he was making some dumpy kind of frumy face?  Whoever directed King Kong, probably some newbie hack, decided that that worked for Chris Farley, so he just added four times as much of it.  Seriously.  If you see King Kong’s eyes come into frame, just go to the bathroom.  You’ll be looking at those things for like another ten minutes.

I mean just go to the bathroom in your seat.  Fuck it.

The brontosaurus stampede/gun-fight with shitty looking CGI raptors.

I wish I didn’t know what to say about this scene, except I do.  Raptors only have one place in movies:  Jurrassic Park.  Anywhere else and we all know you’re just ripping them off from Jurrassic Park — because no one knew what a fucking raptor was before that.  Dinosaurs weren’t smart and couldn’t open doors and shit before Jurrassic Park.  In a dinosaur attack, you were safe as long as you didn’t do like cartwheels or glowstick rave dances.

In order to make his raptors look different than Jurrassic Park — and maybe trick us into not remembering who thought of what, Peter Jackson decided to make his CGI raptors look extra shitty; not just shitty — extra shitty.  They look and behave more like the CGI Scooby Doo than anything I would call "realistic".

Also, The Lion King pulled off the stampede scene — straight out of the box.  What we have here is a bunch of people running around like dicks in front of a green screen while the CGI nerds jizz all over each other seeing how many near misses they can compute with their mighty computing machines.

You CGI nerds fucking suck.  Tone it the fuck down already.

And now we get to Jack Black — and I’m being totally serious here — stellar performance.  But then everyone already knew that.

 

 

Toys For Tats

Heard on the radio yesterday a tattoo shop in Van Nuys, CA was giving free $50 tattoos if you brought in a $20+ value toy for the toys-for-tots toy drive. Pretty cool.

 

Bubble?

According to this table – LA is going to take its first major real estate hit in 2007. Vegas will take its next year. I don’t think any bubbles are popping, but it looks like the air is already being let out of the balloon in the US. But who knows, the real estate market has defied so many predictions over the past few years that the party could last a little longer…

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Palos Verdes















went for a motorcycle ride today in palos verdes... in all the craziness of LA it's nice to have places like this nearby to escape to. i think a lot of people give LA a bad rap, and don't even realize there is stuff like this here.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Pump and Dump

Reminds me of that stock spam I get…

--

Motley Fool
Pump and Dump, Explained
Friday December 16, 10:03 am ET
By Motley Fool Staff

Pumping and dumping is the illegal act where someone buys shares in a company, hypes it to pump up the share price so that she profits, and then dumps her shares quickly, before they fall in value. Since this practice is usually done with small and volatile stocks, the pump-and-dumper's selling will likely contribute to the stock's rapid downfall.

This practice has flourished on the Internet, where unscrupulous folks have found it easy to pump up the stock prices of penny stocks. The SEC and others have gone after many pump-and-dumpers, so don't think of this as a new career possibility for yourself. (One famous case involved a 15-year-old.)

Our advice: Steer clear of penny stocks (those trading under $5 per share) and be wary of any hype that you might run across about small obscure companies you've never heard of.

 

 

King Kong

I had very high expectations when I saw King Kong last night… which is always a bad thing going into a movie. All the critics have been going wild about it, so I guess I bought the hype. This was a good movie (I’d give it a B+, maybe an A-) but anytime I have any kind of expectation the movie doesn’t deliver like I thought it would. So here’s my advice: this movie is worth seeing, but go into it thinking it will be a pretty mediocre movie like “Troy” – then you’ll be impressed when it’s not! (wait, oops, too late, I already hyped it for you)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

"you've got aids!"

This has been making a splash all over the news today. Why am I not surprised LA/SF like this idea?

 

 

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Software Advertising

Imagine Microsoft giving away free versions of Microsoft Office and making more $ on ad rev than license rev? I don't think Google is that far away from releasing software that competes with Microsoft's bread-and-butter products like Office – and might be fully ad-supported, and free to use. (or even have no ads while in beta) Imagine if Google's software is superior to Microsoft's, and free! What about a free Google operating system?

Free Milkshakes

Wow, this guy is going through a lot of trouble for some free shakes and tacos

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

brass nuckle implants

brass nuckle implants anyone? what??

saw this on boingboing

You'd have to pay me to use MSN Search

Marketing Execs Lukewarm On Plan To Pay Searchers by Shankar Gupta, Tuesday, Dec 13, 2005 6:00 AM EST

 

MARKETING EXECUTIVES SAID THEY ARE wary of Microsoft's tentative plan to reimburse online users for using MSN Search to conduct searches, fearing that it will dilute the value of being associated with MSN and attract a lower-value audience. The plan was put forward by Bill Gates at a conference in India last week. Speaking to an audience of Microsoft partners, Gates reportedly said that the company intends to reward users of its search engines with money, free content, or software.

But some search marketers told OnlineMediaDaily they were skeptical of the plan. "From the marketer's perspective, it raises a bit of a red flag any time you have to incentivize users to use your service," said Bryan Weiner, CEO of search engine marketing firm 360i. "We would have to get a real understanding of whether people were using the service because it was delivering the best value."

Weiner said that although higher traffic would help Microsoft's search ad product from a direct response standpoint, it would dilute the value that companies see from having their products associated with a good brand name. "On a direct response level, as long as they were not incentivizing the click, it would be good news," he said. "But I think paying users to use your service would stunt the growth of their branding argument--if you're a marketer, you want to be with the big brands because they're a good association with your brand."

Peter Hershberg, a managing partner at search engine marketing firm Reprise Media, added that attracting users with incentive programs is of little use, since few users would change their preferred search engines because of the program, and many of those who would are not the kind of consumers that advertisers seek. "There's some percentage of users that would, but I don't think that those are the users that MSN is going to build a profitable business off of, and I don't think those are the users that MSN is looking to attract," he said.

Hershberg also noted that other search engines have, in the past, offered to pay users to search with them, and have met with limited success. "We should also be cognizant of the fact that this isn't the first time we've seen this before--I don't think advertisers were dying to get in front of I-Won," he said. "AllAdvantage's model was a bit of a failure." I-Won and AllAdvantage are both search engines that have offered their users rewards--cash or gifts--to use the service.

Hershberg said that MSN is probably considering the model to close the gap between their service and that of current market leader, Google--but ultimately, only a better product will win that battle. "As far as Microsoft is concerned, everything is on the table in terms of cutting into Google's market share," he said.

"If MSN is in fact considering going down this path, they might be putting the cart before the horse. They should be having this discussion when they build a product that's either in line with or better than Google's."

As of October, Google accounted for 39 percent of search traffic--while Yahoo! was responsible for 29 percent and MSN accounted for just 15 percent, according to comScore Networks.

 

Monday, December 12, 2005

Death Penalty


With all this Tookie stuff goin on....
For the record, I'm anti death penalty - for a number of reasons. I could write 10 pages on why I'm against it, but I'll sum it up with a few bullet points.
  • It's irreversable punishment. DNA evidence can get the wrongly convicted out of jail, but it can't bring them back to life. Killing someone "on accident" is inexcusable.
  • Violence causes violence. I don't think you teach society it is wrong to kill by killing. I wouldn't tell a child it is wrong to punch people, and then prove my point by punching them in the face. It makes no sense to me.
  • It's expensive. I don't have the numbers handy, but I know that the cost of each death penalty case costs several times more than a life in prison. Most of the cost lies in the countless appeals, sick politics, etc.. Texas has tried to cut through some of that nonsense and kill people quickly, but I don't think they are saving themselves any money over life imprisonment.
  • Sitting in misery in a 6 foot concrete cell is better punishment than death. Lock them up and throw away the key. Slide a tray of food under the door a couple of times and that's about it. No trips to the gym, no coffee, no visits by family, nothing. If they are a murderer, there is no chance of redemption in my opinion. I suppose they should be treated humanely enough to retain sanity in the event they were actually wrongly convicted. If you plan on driving an inmate to insanity you might as well just kill him.
Now with Tookie, I find it hilarious that so many people are questioning his innocence? I've read a lot of info about the case, and they had very solid cases on him in both trials. I agree he's guilty, and I don't care that he's written some poor quality books. He should stay in prison for life, and shouldn't be getting all this attention/praise. He is a murderer, and was a notorious thug in Los Angeles who contributed to forming the gang culture that plagues huge areas of Los Angeles today. Once you kill, you are always a killer.

Remember that thing called Friendster?

Neither do I. Myspace left them in the dust, and continues its charge. Murdoch got such a deal on this one. It’s amazing how fast a company like this can pop-up, become ridiculously popular, sell for nearly 600 million - and the founder is probably left feeling he sold it too cheap. It’s just crazy. (Google is way crazier)

Sunday, December 11, 2005

audiblogger from last night didn't work

had a funny call to this blog last night, but it didn't work/post? (sorry joanne)
hopefully i'll figure this thing out

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Calling My Blog

A couple posts back, I tested audioblogger - which lets me call a phone number, enter my password, and record a message - then seconds later it is posted to my blog. This is a really cool feature, and I could see myself using it on a long road trip or if I was away from a computer for a long time. I've seen some truck driver blogs that make use of audioblogger, which makes total sense because they get bored on the road and love to yap into a phone or radio or whatever. Now that I'm using audioblogger, I can actually drunk-dial my blog... this is scary. So, stay tuned for some 2am posts (I hope not)

Friday, December 09, 2005

Tookie

Ok, this Tookie news coverage is getting excessive!

 

 

Sent This From My Cell Phone - Crazy

this is an audio post - click to play

Bush on global warming

Check this clip of Will Ferrell doing W

116 Years

By Tim Castle

LONDON (Reuters) - A 116-year-old Ecuadorean woman was declared the oldest person in the world on Friday, lifting the title from a U.S. woman previously thought to be the oldest person alive, Guinness World Records said.

Maria Esther Capovilla was confirmed as the oldest living person after her family sent details of her birth and marriage certificates to Guinness World Records.

"We only told her yesterday she was the new Guinness world record holder," Kate White, brand manager at the records publisher told Reuters. "We hadn't heard of her before."

"She's in very good health, she's got good sight, is able to read the papers and watch television, and doesn't walk with a stick," White added.

Capovilla was born in Guayaqull in western Ecuador on September 14, 1889, and lives there today with her daughter-in-law and son.

She had five children, and has four grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

Her husband died in 1949.

White said Capovilla had been asked what she thought about the changes she had seen over her life.

"She said she disliked the fact that presently it's acceptable for women to pursue men. And she said that every day she thanks God that she's alive," White said.

As a girl at the turn of the century one of Capovilla's favorite pastimes was going to parties, where she never drank alcohol.

At the time it was the custom for women just to touch the rim of the glass with their lips without drinking, as a sign of accepting hospitality, her family told Guinness World Records.    Continued ...

© Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.

 

Kill Bill's Browser










If you still use IE, you might want to check out this site

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Office Space Quote

Peter Gibbons: What would you do if you had a million dollars?
Lawrence: I'll tell you what I'd do, man, two chicks at the same time, man.
Peter Gibbons: That's it? If you had a million dollars, you'd do two chicks at the same time?
Lawrence: Damn straight. I always wanted to do that, man. And I think if I had a million dollars I could hook that up, cause chicks dig a dude with money.
Peter Gibbons: Well, not all chicks.
Lawrence: Well the kind of chicks that'd double up on a dude like me do.
Peter Gibbons: Good point.
Lawrence: Well what about you now? what would you do?
Peter Gibbons: Besides two chicks at the same time?
Lawrence: Well yeah.
Peter Gibbons: Nothing.
Lawrence: Nothing, huh?
Peter Gibbons: I'd relax, I would sit on my ass all day, I would do nothing.
Lawrence: Well you don't need a million dollars to do nothing, man. Just take a look at my cousin, he's broke, don't do shit.

Working For The Man

OMAHA, NE—A report released Monday by the Omaha-based public-interest group Aurora indicates that increasing numbers of Americans are being defrauded by schemes that offer financial reward for a lifetime of hard work. "People don't realize that long-term savings and loyalty to one company don't pan out," said Sylvia Girouard, the study's author. Girouard added that steady employment which claims to offer long-term financial gain in the form of a pension plan is nothing more than an elaborate Ponzi scheme.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Call Companies - Talk to Humans

Here’s a cheat sheet to actually get a human on the phone (fast) when you call your bank, or whatever

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

GOONIES!!!

ninecommentaries.com

I came across this ninecommentaries.com site, apparently run by The Epoch Times

This reminds me how messed-up it is that Google News BANS The Epoch Times in China "don't be evil" - remember Google?

Matrix Ping Pong

Some random matrix ping pong video

CA Bar Too Hard?


Is the California Bar too hard? Naaa, too many lawyers anyway! ha ha

"Maxcy Dean Filer, who may hold the California bar endurance record, having passed in 1991 after 47 unsuccessful tries."

Wow, anyone who attempts to pass any test that many times almost deserves to pass, just on persistence!

Stripping For Rose Bowl Tickets

25yr old CSULB female student needs rose bowl tixs

Reply to: anon-116215393@craigslist.org
Date: 2005-12-06, 10:16AM

I'm a young 25 year old Long Beach student that needs two tickets to the big game (any seats).....I'm willing to offer some private serivces if we can work something out.......maybe a private strip show..or something...please contact me.....



Original URL: http://losangeles.craigslist.org/tix/116215393.html
------------------------------
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Monday, December 05, 2005

Pie Bill Gates

In case you missed this classic video, here's Bill Gates getting it in the face

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Pic From Mazatlan















Took this on on the beach near El Centro

Friday, December 02, 2005

Zip Code Boundary Map

This zip code boundary map is an interesting google maps mashup I saw today. Looks like something very useful to anyone looking at real estate, or trying to slice and dice maps for whatever reason.

Roomba

From iRobot: "Roomba is an intelligent and effective vacuuming robot. All Roomba Vacuuming Robots feature iRobot’s unique AWARE™ Robot Intelligence Systems. AWARE uses dozens of sensors to monitor Roomba’s environment, and adjusts Roomba’s behavior up to 67 times per second, ensuring that Roomba cleans effectively, intelligently and safely."

I hate cleaning... this is perfect.

Safe Obelisk


The Obelisk of Buenos Aires is covered with a giant condom to commemorate World AIDS Day December 1, 2005.

Mazatlan











I'm off to Mazatlan tomorrow. I don't even want to talk about all the bad things that happened the last time I was in Mexico. Lets hope I have better luck this time around.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Bad Credit

You know you have bad credit when you have one of these installed in your car.