Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Democrats Are Concerned Over Stimulus Plan Delays -

"WASHINGTON -- Democratic leaders are increasingly concerned that they won't be able to offer an economic stimulus package for congressional debate until late January because they haven't received a plan from President-elect Barack Obama's transition team.

Democrats initially had hoped to unveil details of the economic recovery package this week and to pass it by Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, so it would be ready for Mr. Obama's signature soon after his swearing-in. Estimates are that the plan will call for spending as much as $850 billion over two years."

Honeymoon is over and the wedding ceremony hasn't even concluded.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Washington Times - EXCLUSIVE: RNC draft rips Bush's bailouts

"We can't be a party of small government, free markets and low taxes while supporting bailouts and nationalizing industries, which lead to big government socialism and high taxes at the expense of individual liberty and freedoms," said Solomon Yue, an Oregon member and co-sponsor of a resolution that criticizes the U.S. government bailouts of the financial and auto industries. Republican National Committee Vice Chairman James Bopp Jr. wrote the resolution and asked the rest of the 168 voting members to sign it.

Monday, December 29, 2008

2008 was the year man-made global warming was disproved - Telegraph

"Easily one of the most important stories of 2008 has been all the evidence suggesting that this may be looked back on as the year when there was a turning point in the great worldwide panic over man-made global warming. Just when politicians in Europe and America have been adopting the most costly and damaging measures politicians have ever proposed, to combat this supposed menace, the tide has turned in three significant respects."

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Lesson in French Capitalism |

"The thing that bothers me most about socialism is not the lack of reward for achievement, but the lack of punishment for incompetence. In an American store she'd have been fired on the spot. Not here. She'll probably get a raise for pissing off another American. Unfortunately I don't think America is too far behind anymore. After electing a socialist President who wants nothing more than to 'level the playing field', can capitalism truly survive? Accountability is dead."

Good News: Nov. Real Consumer Spending Increase Sets 3-Year Record; Biz Press Stays Downbeat |

"The one positive report that I saw was written by the New York Times's Jack Healy; the headline is actually 'Consumers gain more purchasing power.' The only place I could find it was in Google cache; the Kansas City Star, which originally published it, no longer has it. It appears that Healy's employer, the Times, never ran it.

It's hard not to think, especially based on the preceding paragraph, that optimism is forbidden -- until, oh, maybe a week or so after after Barack Obama's stimulus package passes."

U.N. Push to Stem Misconduct Flounders -

'The U.N. isn't serious about cleaning up its act,' says James Wasserstrom, a former U.N. official in Kosovo who, after becoming a whistle-blower himself last year, was placed under investigation by the U.N. A 25-year veteran of the U.N., Mr. Wasserstrom, an American, was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing and recently filed a retaliation complaint with a U.N. appeals panel.

The U.N., says Mr. Wasserstrom, 'uses the whistle-blowing program to get its most ethical staff to stick their heads above ground in order to chop them off.'

Thursday, December 25, 2008

WSJ's Annual Christmas Editorial -

"Along the road to Damascus the light shone brightly. But afterward Paul of Tarsus, too, was sore afraid. He feared that other Caesars, other prophets, might one day persuade men that man was nothing save a servant unto them, that men might yield up their birthright from God for pottage and walk no more in freedom."

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

On the Death of Deep Throat - HUMAN EVENTS

"In the early '60s, Robert Kennedy authorized Hoover to bug and tap Dr. Martin Luther King. When the FBI turned up film of King with loose women, LBJ's White House moved the photos to the Washington press.

Felt knew of this. The Post knew of this. The Washington press corps knew of this. Why didn't Felt and the Post blow the whistle on this squalid deed? Was it not so egregious as sending pizzas to Muskie's rally?"

Sunday, December 21, 2008

New York Times Blames Housing and Financial Crisis on Bush |

"And what was this heinous catastrophic philosophy that caused all our nation s problems 'Americans do best when they own their own home.' Oh the humanity. Sadly much as the Times and its liberal colleagues conveniently forgot and or ignored all American history prior to March 2003 in order to blame the nation s problems on Bush and the invasion of Iraq the authors of this disgrace omitted and or skirted over virtually all the relevant pieces of legislation and issues that led to our current financial crisis -- as well as articles on the subject published by their very paper"


"Pardon us for looking such generous gift horses in the mouth, but it is hard to imagine so many governments, monarchs and businessmen in the Middle East giving money unless it was with some hope of a political return. Will that return now come with the appointment of Sen. Clinton as secretary of state?

How can Hillary Rodham Clinton mediate and negotiate conflicts in the Middle East impartially when her husband’s library and foundation - over which he has total control - have been bankrolled by the very nations with whom she must negotiate?"

Saturday, December 20, 2008

No it isn't!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Another Clinton Retread Joins Obama Administration

Browner also has an ethical cloud hanging over her head from her previous job in the Clinton Administration. On her last day in office, she oversaw the destruction of agency computer files in violation of a federal judge’s order to preserve its records. The Landmark Legal Foundation had been pressing Browner to disclose any special interest groups that may have influenced her last-minute regulatory actions at the EPA. Her solution to the problem was to delete files.

After two years, the federal judge held the EPA in contempt of court, but Browner avoided any punishment.

In her first term in the EPA, Browner was caught using taxpayer funds to send out illegal lobbying material to more than 100 grassroots groups.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich Says He's Innocent, Won't Step Down -

Translation: My job prospects are nil, my credit cards maxed out, and if you don't leave me alone I'm taking some of you down with me.

Online Jihadists Plan for 'Invading Facebook' | Danger Room from

"The al-Faloja poster suggests seven 'brigades' work together within Facebook. One will distribute videos and writing of so-called 'martyrs.' Another will spread military training material. Most of them will work in Arabic presumably. But one of the units will focus just on spread English-language propaganda through Facebook."

It couldn't happen to a nicer company.

Field Guide: Paul Pelosi, Jr., the fresh green prince of San Francisco

Read about the new American Aristocracy at Valleywag:

"# InfoUSA is best known for peddling lists of seniors with gambling addictions and serious diseases like Alzheimer's or cancer to opportunistic telemarketers. Gupta resigned as InfoUSA's CEO in July 2008. Pelosi is not listed on the company's investor-relations website as an officer of the company.

# Which raises the question: What was a former investment banker doing working as a mortgage loan officer, anyway?

# Pelosi is currently working as an advisor to NASA on environmental issues, and he's joined the board of Blue Earth Solutions, a recycling outfit. So basically, he dabbles in a lot of green work, but isn't holding down anything resembling a full-time job at the moment, as far as we can tell."

With economy in shambles, Congress gets a raise

"A crumbling economy, more than 2 million constituents who have lost their jobs this year, and congressional demands of CEOs to work for free did not convince lawmakers to freeze their own pay. [SURPRISE! Must be all those evil Republicans eh?]

Instead, they will get a $4,700 pay increase, amounting to an additional $2.5 million that taxpayers will spend on congressional salaries, and watchdog groups are not happy about it."

Emanuel talked directly to gov: source :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Gov. Blagojevich

"President-elect Barack Obama's incoming chief of staff Rahm Emanuel had a deeper involvement in pressing for a U.S. Senate seat appointment than previously reported,[SURPRISE!] the Sun-Times has learned. Emanuel had direct discussions about the seat with Gov. Blagojevich, who is is accused of trying to auction it to the highest bidder."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Journal of smitty_one_each (243267)

Sometimes I back-and-forth on Slashdot's Journals. Maybe because the articles themselves are so poorly chosen. This one (click the title) is about government deficits or something, and someone implied "oh just raise taxes!". (My remarks here have been extended and revised)...

I know people that call themselves "conservative" because they believe in raising taxes however much it takes to eliminate deficit spending. Such people I gather don't know much about how the government's budget process works nor how the funds allocated get sub-allocated within departments.

Conservatives (real ones that is), here there and everywhere increase deficits because it simply isn't possible (politically) for them to go to every department (or even a single one in most cases) and say "Fire half the staff, and auction off their office contents." Oh sweet Jesus if such a thing were only possible! Cutting taxes without reducing spending explicitly is called "starve the beast", and it helps to slow down increases in government spending (which we absurdly consider "inevitable"). Ironically, cutting taxes often results in increased government revenue for at least a while. But that's a topic for another day.

During the Clinton administration the government was closed down for part of a month so that he could engage in a pissing contest with the Republican Congress. Go read up on all the disastrous consequences of that shutdown...

Back yet? The only thing that was a disaster was the the Republicans gave in. Government workers who I spoke with were at first enjoying their free time off. They lost no vacation time and eventually got paid for staying home. But some of them worried that things were going a bit TOO well without them, and indeed it was. "Critical services" were exempt from this political farce, but the building I worked in was near emptied nonetheless. The group I worked in were not on the "critical services" list, but we contractors didn't want to go without pay for the duration (got that?: government workers were paid for staying home, contractors were not, even though it was contractors that mostly did the work while government people stood around and watched) so one of our bosses found a loophole regarding how we were funded (not taxpayers money as it turned out) that allowed us to continue working. In fact we probably got more work done in those few weeks than ever before or since without all the babbling interruptions from our government taskmasters.

Obama claimed during his campaign that he would approach government waste with a scalpel rather than a hatchet. I'm not going to let anyone forget that.

Clinton claims to have balanced the budget not only be increasing taxes again, but by cutting government. What he means by that is that he didn't reverse course on a military base closings plan that was set into motion by his predecessor. God bless him for that. As far as I know that was the last foreign policy decision that Clinton made before launching some cruise missiles somewhere far far away from Monica Lewinski.

Obama will receive a windfall in the form of (once again) savings on our military budget as we withdraw troops from, well pretty much everywhere I hope, and not because I'm an isolationist, or anti-military. I think the world needs to grow up and stop waiting for us to come in and save the day all the time. Let Germany and France become yet again fearful of what Russia (or Iran for that matter) might do to them if they get into a bad mood. In the process we will learn that former military people don't necessarily make good social workers, there are no farm or factory jobs for them to go back to and our police forces are already well supplied with people who think they are occupying a foreign country (hey did you read about that?!).

I'm just dying to see that Obama scalpel at work. I think he'll wish he had promised to use a hatchet after all.

Thomas Sowell in his book "Basic Economics" starts out with this definition of the term:

"Economics is the study of the use of scarce resources which have alternative uses."

Every ten or fifteen years we apparently need a refresher course (or at least some people do).

I hear the school bell ringing now.

Apple CEO Jobs absent from Macworld lineup - Yahoo! News

"A senior vice president of marketing will deliver the opening keynote instead. And the computer and iPod maker says it won't attend the Macworld Expo after 2009.

Apple shares dropped nearly 4 percent in after-hours trading."

AIEEEE! | John Paczkowski | Digital Daily | AllThingsD

Big Government Breeds Big Corruption - HUMAN EVENTS

The idea that big government is inherently corrupting is as old as America itself. It was part of the Founders’ case for casting off the chains of the British monarchy.

More recently, the principle that big government breeds big corruption was perhaps expressed best by humorist P.J. O’Rourke, who said:

“When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.”

Monday, December 15, 2008

The 168-Hour Work Week | John Paczkowski | Digital Daily | AllThingsD

"If the line between your work and home life hasn’t yet been blurred by near-ubiquitous Internet connectivity, just you wait. Because by 2020 it’s likely to have been erased entirely."

The New Adventures of Mr Stephen Fry

This surely has to be the longest blog post ever, by anyone, on any subject.

A good read too.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Yellowstone Test

Posting Youtube

Saturday, December 13, 2008

ICECAP: "Proof" We Are Causing Polar Warming Melts Away in the Cold Light of Reality

"The climate industry relies on alarmism to maintain a steady flow of research grants and financial contributions but none of its apocalyptic visions are coming to pass. Politicians should take note. See letter here. Note the ice extent in the arctic increase in October was the greatest in history."

Ex-Yahoos Weigh in on Their Choices for New Yahoo CEO | Kara Swisher | BoomTown | AllThingsD

"Perhaps therein lies the problem–it is still hard to define precisely what Yahoo is and is not, even for its ex-employees."

As I’ve often predicted, Yahoo and others (AOL, Facebook and Microsoft predominantly) are developing hernias trying to keep up with Google.

AOL is discontinuing XDrive (a free 5 Gig storage area) and as I had created an account there for testing I decided to now test the process for offloading your data. It doesn’t work. At all. Further investigation showed that there are forums filled with pleas for help from users of this “product” going back more than a year. OK, little known product anyway, who cares eh?

So, while I was at it, I decided to check on my 5 gig (now 25) area on Microsoft live. While they haven’t outright lost my data, the tools for unloading or even checking on it only work intermittently, time-outs, data errors, files said to have been downloaded (as JPEGs in my case) only to find the files are actually snippets of HTML (great security!). I was able to request that entire folders be downloaded as zip files, and this worked.

Finally, long ago I had “deposited” some photo laden e-mail messages to my Yahoo e-mail address just to try out the “unlimited” capacity of their latest effort. Not surprisingly (at this point) the oldest of these messages were “unreachable” leading me to wonder if Yahoo hasn’t broadcast them out into the interstellar depths for safekeeping.

All of these products are offered as free (with some restrictions) or as paid services with the restrictions at least partially lifted (I’ve read that Yahoo’s POP service doesn’t even work well if you pay for it; paying XDrive users were treated no better than the free accounts from what I could see).

So my point is that many of these new web services have turned out to be as much houses of cards as have some of Wall Street’s accounting practices.

As in that case, I’m against a bail-out. For providing services that bear little resemblance to the hype, companies should expect only one outcome, and Yahoo is the first of many to realize this outcome.

If they survive, I would definitely prescribe that they attempt no further heavy lifting.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Rahm ducks reporters' questions on Blago :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: 44: Barack Obama

The way they get when they're caught:
“You’re wasting your time,” Emanuel said. “I’m not going to say a word to you. I’m going to do this with my children. Dont do that. I’m a father. I have two kids. I’m not going to do it.”

Asked, “Can’t you do both?” Emanuel replied, “I’m not as capable as you. I’m going to be a father. I’m allowed to be a father,” and he pushed the reporter’s digital recorder away.

NBC's Lee Cowan: Blagojevich 'Fell Victim to History' |

"DICK SIMPSON, UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS, CHICAGO: Every other city just about in the United States has gotten rid of their political machines. We've only updated and modernized ours."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Questions Arise About the Obama/Blagojevich Relationship

"But there remain questions about how Blagojevich knew that Mr. Obama was not willing to give him anything in exchange for the Senate seat -- with whom was Blagojevich speaking? Did that person report the governor to the authorities?

And, it should be pointed out, Mr. Obama has a relationship with Mr. Blagojevich, having not only endorsed Blagojevich in 2002 and 2006, but having served as a top adviser to the Illinois governor in his first 2002 run for the state house."

Isn't there an old saying: "If you swim in the sewer you're going to get shit on you."

If not there should be.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Popek and Goldberg virtualization requirements - Wikipedia

I just found a reference (click title link) to this info in a Slashdot posting:

All sensitive instructions in the System/370 are privileged: it satisfies the virtualization requirements.

Motorola MC68000

The Motorola MC68000 has a single unprivileged sensitive instruction:

* MOVE from SR

This instruction is sensitive because it allows access to the entire status register, which includes not only the condition codes but also the user/supervisor bit, interrupt level, and trace control. In most later family members, starting with the MC68010, the MOVE from SR instruction was made privileged, and a new MOVE from CCR instruction was provided to allow access to the condition code register only.

IA-32 (x86)

(Main article:X86 virtualization)

The IA-32 instruction set contains 17 sensitive, unprivileged instructions[3]. They can be categorized in two groups:

* Sensitive register instructions: read or change sensitive registers and/or memory locations such as a clock register or interrupt registers:
* Protection system instructions: reference the storage protection system, memory or address relocation system:

The Slashdot article here, concerns a new Google initiative to allow direct execution of X86 code from within the browser (and most likely the end goal would be a faster web based desktop replacement (which is a good goal). My comment:

Thanks for your comment and the links. Every time I run across an article like this and sigh, wishing I had the technical cojones to explain why it is that we were doing things like this on mainframes in the 80s with complete safety... and continuing to wonder why Intel couldn't just COPY the damned concepts if they can't figure out how to implement them from scratch.

Our world continues to be saddled with a half assed operating system running on a third rate architecture and for no other reason that technology takes a back seat (or maybe it's more like back of the bus) to marketing, bribery and collusion (with an unhealthy dose of buyer ignorance thrown in for good measure).

I continue to hope that good technology will win out eventually, although I'm almost convinced at this point that it will have to come from some country that hasn't been bought out by the Borg.

I wonder though, and maybe you know, why isn't the Power-PC mentioned in the Wikepedia article. I would assume because of its origin that it is closer to the 370 than to the Intel architecture in being fully virtualizable, a concept apparently not on the "roadmap" that Steve Jobs kept referring to in his rationale for Apple's switch to Intel. The Power-PC represented our best hope of escaping the Intel monoculture and I'd like nothing better than to once again have a mainstream non-Intel (and non-Intel-like) choice when I pick my next laptop.

Of course if Intel had a deserved (I'm being generous) third of the market then what Google is doing with this initiative would be dead in the water (as it probably should be). / Columnists / Gideon Rachman - And now for a world government

"But this “problem” also hints at a more welcome reason why making progress on global governance will be slow sledding. Even in the EU – the heartland of law-based international government – the idea remains unpopular. The EU has suffered a series of humiliating defeats in referendums, when plans for “ever closer union” have been referred to the voters. In general, the Union has progressed fastest when far-reaching deals have been agreed by technocrats and politicians – and then pushed through without direct reference to the voters. International governance tends to be effective, only when it is anti-democratic."

Monday, December 08, 2008

Google Online Security Blog: Native Client: A Technology for Running Native Code on the Web

"Here at Google we believe you shouldn't have to choose between powerful applications and security. That's why we're working on Native Client, a technology that seeks to give Web developers the opportunity to make safer and more dynamic applications that can run on any OS and any browser."

Hit & Run > Me Am Part of Dumbest Generation! Is You Too? - Reason Magazine

Obama: Don't stock up on guns :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: 44: Barack Obama

"I believe in common-sense gun safety laws and I believe in the second amendment" Obama said at a news conference. "Lawful gun owners have nothing to fear. I said that throughout the campaign. I haven't indicated anything different during the transition. I think people can take me at my word."

But National Rifle Association spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said it's not Obama s words — but his legislative track record — that has gun-buyers flocking to the stores.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

C-SPAN Replay of Obama on Meet the Press

Emphasis has changed from health care etc. to job creation initiatives. Still no specifics, just platitudes. I'm still trying to figure out how exactly we do a major re-work of the Interstate highway system. Just build more big roads from new points A to B? I can just picture the bribes flowing now.

Brokaw asks about the notion of having an "Automobile Czar". No straight answer. Asking the question again, Brokaw at least got this out of him:

"We don't want government to run companies, government doesn't do that very well."

So Obama gets a B+ in economic reality checking from me.

To get an A+ he should have added:

"Government doesn't do a very good job of running government. We need to set a level playing field and then get out of the way, letting the American economy work for us, instead of us trying to work against it."

The good news is that Obama is putting his "team" (he uses the word a lot) together now rather than waiting until mid-way through his first term as Clinton did. The bad news is that his "team" is mostly Clinton retreads. For anyone who thought that Clinton (and his team) were actually responsible for the good economy that Clinton was blessed with, you are about to get an education.

On Iraq, the obfuscation continues. Success in the war (after the "surge") is being falsely characterized as a move by Bush toward an Obama draw-down policy. Hilarious.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Elgan: Why you can't trust 'friends' on Facebook

"Facebook represents a perfect storm of fraud factors. The whole 'friend' system creates trust but the reality of social networks prevents verification that people are who they say they are. How to meet new people and rob them blind While some Facebook fraud involves strangers posing as existing 'friends ' other types involve making new 'friends.'"

Auto aid still uncertain, job losses feared - Yahoo! News

"Frank, the Massachusetts Democrat who chairs the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, said the economy would be devastated if an automaker were forced into bankruptcy or shut down."

Dat's Fwank to you buddy!

The photos of these congressmen holding their heads and grimacing as though they are actually capable of a coherent thought process is priceless. Oscars to all!

Microsoft Online Goes Extra Crispy"

"WSJ: Qi, what are your first priorities for helping Microsoft improve its competitive position on the Internet?

QI LU: I haven't started yet, but looking from outside, at the fundamental level, product quality, user experience is the key to being competitive in this space that we're in. Focusing on fundamental areas such as talent, core infrastructures, basic processes of doing things will be very important areas for me to focus. The way I do things I usually always prefer to have a very clear strategy and be very focused. At the same time to be very rock solid, and crisp in execution."

DispatchPolitics : Worker says 'Joe the Plumber' cover-up was forced upon her Columbus Dispatch Politics

The state worker who unwittingly ran an improper child-support check on the man known as Joe the Plumber told lawmakers yesterday that a deputy director later "dictated" how she was supposed to cover it up. Vanessa Niekamp an administrator for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Office of Child Support and a 15-year state employee said that when Deputy Director Doug Thompson came into her office "He appeared very upset his neck was bright red and he was shaking. He closed my door." Thompson told her she must write an e-mail to the agency s information-security officer and then 'dictated word for word' what she wrote Niekamp said. He also reminded her that she could be fired at any time she said.


"Both Doug and Carri can access the (child-support) system and could have accessed a file without my involvement," Niekamp said. "To this day, I do not understand why they asked me to look at this information when they could have easily done this themselves."

One More Question...

Incoming Obama administration director of speechwriting Jon Favreau (L) and a friend pose with a cardboard cutout of incoming Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at a party. (Obtained by The Washington Post)

Welcome to Idiocracy. As sponsored by, and now exposed by, your Washington Post.

Business is good.

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | China 'faces mass social unrest'

"'The redistribution of wealth through theft and robbery could dramatically increase and menaces to social stability will grow ' Zhou Tianyong a researcher at the Central Party School in Beijing wrote in the China Economic Times. 'This is extremely likely to create a reactive situation of mass-scale social turmoil ' he wrote."

Thursday, December 04, 2008

IBM Creates 'Microsoft-Free' Desktop -

"Deploying your technology this way is going to save you something more than 50% of your total costs," says Jeff Smith, IBM's vice president for open source and Linux. "As customers face an increasingly challenging economic situation, they're looking at everything they're spending money on."

After I noticed this all over the place as news I also noticed that the original announcement was in August.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A Perfect Introduction to Congress (Cato @ Liberty)

"Take, for example, spending. What was proposed as a $71 million project in the early 1990s became a $265 million endeavor a decade later. By the time work got underway in 2002, the price tag was up to $368 million. Tomorrow, the ribbon will be cut on a $621 million project." (Orig: WaPo)

Reid: We won't smell the tourists anymore

"My staff tells me not to say this but I'm going to say it anyway" said Reid in his remarks. "In the summer because of the heat and high humidity you could literally smell the tourists coming into the Capitol. It may be descriptive but it's true."

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Web 2.0: The bubble that wasn't

"Web 2.0 was a bubble that never inflated — a shimmery illusion that popped well before we stopped talking about it. Precious few people got rich from the notions its proponents championed, such as user-generated content and social networks."

It's hard (for me anyway) to not spend a lot of time trying to rationalize what in the long run turns out to be irrational behavior in others.

Facebook, Myspace and others have to be given credit for providing a clustering point for users without actually providing much in the way of services. Twenty megs of photos are converted by Facebooks homegrown version of Flickr into a few hundred K of postage stamp images. Users can spam their friends inboxes with messages, but Facebook (Myspace, etc) provide no means to receive e-mail nor do they have to worry about where to store it.

YouTube on the other hand (and Flickr, Picasaweb, Google Docs, etc.) provide tons of value (in terms of bandwidth, disk space, complex programming) and in most cases no monetization mechanism.

I have to think that eventually value will prevail, if only after Flickr, Picasaweb, and other storage sites shut down or are severely limited and all the things that make money off of simply linking to such things must either provide their own facilities or become suddenly less useful.

Google's success has caused Microsoft to invest many millions in data centers that they haven't yet figured out how to use. Eventually the muscles (at Google, Amazon, and Microsoft to name the largest of the well known ones) that do the heavy lifting of the Internet will represent valuable assets, even if they have to change hands a bit to get actually paid for.

The irony of course is to look back on media of ten to fifteen years ago where "expensive" mainframes were being replaced by inexpensive commodity PCs. The realization of these predictions is almost unrecognizable in today's world.

Which Media Mogul Would You Rather Be Right Now: Arianna Huffington or Jim Cramer? | Peter Kafka | MediaMemo | AllThingsD

Internet properties that mainly point to content (and there is a very long list of these) melt down pretty quickly when they put the underlying providers of content out of business (or throttle them to the point of bankruptcy).

But you don't have to think too hard to find other inequities that don't involve the Internet... Like the thousands of PBS affiliates in the 70's that relied on government funding to pay for content mostly originating from the BBC (also government funded). Today we have "hundreds" of cable channels most of which are devoid of any original material, and most local papers consist largely of "wire stories" augmented by regurgitated police blotters and high school sports results.

It's easy to see where we need to be with a 100 percent on-demand system, but it's hard to see how we get there with so many hands out expecting to be paid for somebody else's work.

Will the tyranny of the middleman never end?

Douglas Adams had it right in his extended story line where all such people were convinced that they needed to be sent on the first space-ship to found a new planet... I won't give away the rest of it, but it accurately portrays the predicament we perpetually find ourselves in.

Colonizing Mars, or the Moon, for God's sake anywhere fairly out of reach would certainly at least provide us with some short term relief.

Bon voyage Arianna!

Microsoft is hugely profitable - just not where Google rules - Nov. 26, 2008

"A different Microsoft executive responded testily when approached at an industry event in San Francisco with the query that is the headline of this article. He argued that Microsoft is all that stands between Google and the destruction of ad-supported media as we know it. 'We re doing this for you ' he snapped jabbing his finger into the sternum of a startled Fortune writer."

Microsoft trying to save us from a monopoly? Oh puhlease! Pull the other one.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Banks Sued No Matter What They Do

"Banks get sued for discrimination no matter what they do. If they don’t make enough loans in low-income, predominantly minority neighborhoods, they get accused of “redlining,” and are subject to sanctions under politically-correct laws like the Community Reinvestment Act, which contributed to the financial crisis by pressuring lenders to make risky mortgage loans."