"Before signing up, people are required to submit personal details including their debit or credit card information to pay a $US1.90 sign-up fee.
But the entire venture is a scam with no ties to Google, and is designed to trick Facebook's 175 million users into handing over their banking details.
People on the RipOffReport.com website said they were charged hundreds of dollars and attempts to obtain a refund were fruitless."
Friday, February 27, 2009
"Good on them! If the newspapers had ever been even a tenth as cynical, opportunistic, and clever about exploiting their product and finding new advertisers as Google has, they wouldn't be in this mess. Instead of condemning Google of 'stealing' their content, newspapers should be grateful that someone's making a pie — of which they can now ask for their fair share.
For example: A search for Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz on Google contains an ad for a DVD of Bartz's speeches. Can you imagine a newspaper salesforce thinking to solicit that ad, let alone running it in a timely fashion? There's a host of potential advertisers like that whom the newspaper industry has never tapped."
Posted by macbeach at 2:52 PM
Thursday, February 26, 2009
"As President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons" Holder told reporters.
(1) Make private ownership of guns illegal,
(2) There is no number 2.
(should I avoid any Hitler references?)
Posted by macbeach at 7:04 PM
"This week, the company released the Kindle 2, a new version that is much thinner, a tad lighter and a bit taller. It has much more built-in memory, better navigation controls and a slightly improved screen. I've been testing the Kindle 2 for a few weeks and consider it a vast improvement over the first Kindle, released in late 2007, which was clumsy and annoying to use. Overall, I found the Kindle 2 to be a well-designed, satisfying piece of hardware."
Posted by macbeach at 1:57 PM
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Just the facts mam.
Posted by macbeach at 12:53 PM
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
"Last month the European Commission confirmed that it had sent a statement of objections to Microsoft about the tying of Internet Explorer to the Windows operating system, which it said 'harms competition between web browsers, undermines product innovation and ultimately reduces consumer choice.' Then in a blog post earlier this month, Mozilla's Mitchell Baker weighed in, saying that 'Microsoft's business practices have fundamentally diminished (in fact, came very close to eliminating) competition, choice and innovation in how people access the Internet.'
We are applying to become a third party in the European Commission's proceeding. Here's why:"
"Although Lawrence Summers, head of the National Economic Council, fell asleep on the podium, most attendees, including Republicans, appear to have appreciated the exercise. There was even some light-heartedness."
A good nap was had by all.
Born in New Haven, Connecticut, on November 30, 1954, Summers is the son of two economists, Robert Summers and Anita Summers, who are both professors at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as the nephew of two Nobel laureates in economics: Paul Samuelson (sibling of Robert Summers, who, following an older brother's example, changed the family name from Samuelson to Summers) and Kenneth Arrow (Anita Summers's brother). He spent most of his childhood in Penn Valley, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia, where he attended Harriton High School.
Maybe proclivity for economics (as well as narcolepsy) should be treated as an inheritable disease.
Summers resigned as Harvard's president in the wake of controversy over a talk in which he speculated that women may have lesser aptitude for work in the highest levels of math and science. Summers has been criticized by some liberals for the centrist economic policies he advocated as Treasury Secretary and in later writings.
Only if you know the right people can all sins be forgiven. For people with "R" after their name this (and shuffling your feet in the bathroom) are career ending.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
“The only thing worse than being talked about,” said Oscar Wilde, “is not being talked about.” That has until recently applied in spades to Steve Jobs of Apple, a guy who, when I’ve interviewed him, has always asked what other people have said about him, “especially the bad stuff.”
This is a spooky read.
This is a spooky read.
Friday, February 20, 2009
"This is, without a doubt, the best correction of the week. Okay, the month. Aw, hell, I'll say it: Best. Correction. Ever. From the Huffington Post:"
"America's relative decline since 2000 of some 30 percent represents a far greater loss of relative power in a shorter time than any power shift among European great powers roughly from the end of the Napoleonic Wars to World War II. It is one of the largest relative declines in modern history. Indeed, in size, it is clearly surpassed by only one other great-power decline, the unprecedented internal collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991."
Thursday, February 19, 2009
"It's an exciting time, and the takeaway here isn't to abandon the relational database, which is a very mature technology that works great in its domain, but instead to be willing to look outside the RDBMS box when looking for storage solutions."
Paul Allen, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft and owner of the Portland Trailblazers basketball team, might save hundreds of millions in taxes over the next few years thanks to a provision in the economic stimulus legislation signed by President Obama Tuesday.
The provision is aimed at helping companies who are trying to restructure their debt, by delaying taxes that would otherwise be due when debt-holders agree to forgive a portion of the debt.
"The president, a bright and skilled politician, has plenty of time to recover. The danger is that what we have seen is not an aberration, but the early indications of his governing style. Barack Obama won the job he craved, now he must demonstrate that he and his team are up to its requirements. The signs are worrisome. The world is a dangerous place. The days of winging it need to end."
"Never," Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) said when voting against the stimulus, "have so few spent so much so quickly to do so little." Three of his contentions are correct. The $787 billion price tag is probably at least two-thirds too low: Add the cost of borrowing to finance it, and allow for the certainty that many "temporary" programs will become permanent, and the price soars far above $2 trillion.
But Cole's last contention is wrong. The stimulus, which the Congressional Budget Office says will, over the next 10 years, reduce GDP by crowding out private investment, already is doing a lot by fostering cynicism in the service of opportunism.
"1) What was it that made Google such a serious net platform player, with enough power and flexibility to serve the world's Internet needs?
2) What was it that made netbooks possible in the first place?
3) What gives netbook manufacturers enough leverage to screw Microsoft down on OEM licence costs?
4) What is it that makes products like Amazon's Kindle and hundreds of other e-book, portable media and mobile Internet gadgets possible, all by eschewing Microsoft's embedded OSes?"
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Among other useful things, Mr. Obama's surge may help to educate his friends on the political left about Islamist terror. The National Security Network, an outfit that never missed an opportunity to bash President Bush, has quickly come into line behind the new President. The group says Mr. Obama's strategy must be focused "first and foremost on preventing the Afghanistan-Pakistan region from becoming a staging ground for terrorist attacks against the U.S. and other nations or a source for instability that could throw Pakistan into chaos."
Sounds good to us -- and sounds a lot like the Bush strategy. America's goal isn't to turn a backward Central Asian country into the next Switzerland, but to keep al Qaeda and its Taliban allies from using it as a safe haven. Toward that end, the U.S. and its allies can help build Afghanistan's institutions and army and help a weak Pakistan government flush out the terrorists in its wild west.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
"Did you think twice the last time you reached for a jar of peanut butter? You’re not alone. The ongoing salmonella outbreak in peanut products has sparked one of the largest product recalls in history. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proactively keeping the public up to date on recalled products, and they’re doing it with the help of the Google Search Appliance."
Posted by macbeach at 8:57 PM
"We are dealing with a catastrophe of unbelievable proportions," said state Sen. Alan Lowenthal, a Democrat from Long Beach and chairman of the Senate transportation committee.
Unbelievable only in that they didn't address the shortfall sooner!
The first three parts of the Bush-Obama Spending Frenzy were on President Bush’s watch.
The $180 billion stimulus program in the spring of 2008 failed.
The $345 billion housing bailout from the summer of 2008 failed.
And the $700 billion Wall Street bailout from the fall of 2008 failed.
All told, just last year, Washington wagered $1.2 trillion in spending and lost. And like a problem gambler, Washington isn’t walking away from the casino, it’s doubling down.
Posted by macbeach at 4:02 PM
Monday, February 16, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
I don’t have a preconceived notion of our country’s destiny, but I’m getting a bad feeling about the track we are on. The last thing in the world I want to see is my three boys being forced into a war caused by a bunch of clueless 60 year old political hack morons in Washington DC fulfilling their destiny to cause the once in a century national crisis. Based on the foolish actions of most politicians in Washington over the last thirty years, I fear for the future of our country. I don’t think the politicians in Washington comprehend the state of affairs. I sense the mood of the country turning. Fear, anger and disillusionment are the prevalent themes. Change is coming, but it is not the change that Barack Obama campaigned for. It will be forced upon us by circumstances beyond any one person’s control. While we are hurtling towards our summit with destiny, Congress continues its path of pork barrel spending, short term solutions, party politics, and condemning our children and grandchildren to a lower standard of living. The “leaders” of this country are using the tried and true method of using fear to ram through their $900 billion tax on future generations. President Bush used the same fear tactics to launch his invasion of Iraq. I see a similar success story with the coming stimulus package. Maybe the coming crisis will ultimately lead to Great Leaders rising to the occasion.
If there are any.
Friday, February 13, 2009
"My promised restructuring of Microsoft will conclude tomorrow but today I want to cover a news announcement from Google that I think is very important, yet that importance seems to have been missed by the mainstream and technical press alike. My subject is the Google PowerMeter, which is far more strategic than Google is letting-on."
Thompson, during the interview, touched on topics ranging from immigration legislation to terrorism. He called a “cheap shot” former Vice President Dick Cheney’s assertion in an interview Feb. 3 that Obama’s policies make a terrorist attack more likely.
“There’s nothing that I’ve been briefed on in a classified setting that gives me any concern that what the vice president said is true,” he said. “It’s easy to say something is going to happen, so if it happens two years from now, you say, ‘I told you so.’”
Funny thing is the current Vice President only gave it six months.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
"White House Counsel Greg Craig, often seen whispering in the president's ear during question periods, admitted later to Ms. Burlingame that the chief executive was getting the facts of the law wrong during the discussion with the families. Craig asked her if CIPA covers a case in which terrorists defend themselves, noting that 'this is something we hadn't contemplated.' If nothing else, this admission of ignorance is more evidence that the decision to rush ahead with closing Guantanamo and shutting down the military tribunals was ill-conceived, poorly planned, and may ultimately be injurious to our national security. The president may talk a good game about 'swift, certain justice,' but it is becoming clear that justice will not be swift, is highly uncertain, and in the end may not even be just."
"World stock markets fell Thursday amid pessimism about the Obama administration's plans to fix the U.S. banking system and restore the overall health of the world's largest economy. European stocks were also undermined by a raft of disappointing earnings."
"The bad news from Pioneer follows a similar series of announcements from other Japanese electronics companies: there have been earnings warnings from Sharp, Panasonic, NEC, Hitachi and Sony. The six companies together together have now announced just under 70,000 layoffs."
Posted by macbeach at 1:01 PM
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
"The Russian craft was being monitored by Pentagon organizations that keep track of space debris in order to prevent in-orbit collisions from damaging or destroying both commercial and government satellites. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Pentagon track more than 10,000 separate pieces of high-speed debris, some barely a few inches in size.
Pentagon officials will face a barrage of questions about how they missed such an impending collision with an intact satellite, according to Tim Farrar, a satellite consultant familiar with Iridium. Commercial satellites are 'routinely repositioned to avoid potential collision with smaller pieces of debris,' said Mr. Farrar."
Posted by macbeach at 10:24 PM
"Devices based on Intel's design — they probably won't carry the Intel brand, except in the 'Intel Inside' sense — will run Google's Android operating system. The design displayed at the summit also featured a 'shitload' of variable resistance sensors, our source told us — a simple technology found in dials, touchscreens, and other input sensors. Apple uses a more complex touchscreen technology in its iPhone, suggesting Intel's approach might lead to cheaper touch-sensitive phones, or even devices that respond to the way they're held."
Posted by macbeach at 10:10 PM
"The all-volunteer committee meets three or four times a year, usually by phone. Annual expenses are $1,000. The members choose a waterfowl painting to be featured on Washington state duck stamps. Then they negotiate deals with art galleries and publishing companies for the sale of larger, limited-edition prints.
Last year the waterfowl-art sales brought in $23,000. One year the committee enlisted the famed nature artist Robert Bateman and raised $350,000. None of this money is from the purchase of duck-hunting licenses; it's purely from duck art lovers and stamp collectors.
The profit goes to preserving wetlands and wildlife habitat.
So why kill an all-volunteer program that helps make the state money?"
Posted by macbeach at 8:35 PM
I have no mercy.
-- The Invisible Hand
-- The Invisible Hand
Posted by macbeach at 5:49 PM
"Cellphone Amplifies Sound for Hearing Impaired and Has an Emergency Button"
Looking forward to the day when every electronic device has an Emergency Button. (Especially the ones running Windows)
Posted by macbeach at 3:31 PM
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Hiding health legislation in a stimulus bill is intentional. Daschle supported the Clinton administration’s health-care overhaul in 1994, and attributed its failure to debate and delay. A year ago, Daschle wrote that the next president should act quickly before critics mount an opposition. “If that means attaching a health-care plan to the federal budget, so be it,” he said. “The issue is too important to be stalled by Senate protocol.”
Yeah, we need to free up more doctors that would be exclusively available to all the bureaucrats that feed exclusively at the public trough (when they are not cheating on their taxes).
"Yet hoping for the best is what one sees in the stimulus programme and – so far as I can judge from Tuesday’s sketchy announcement by Tim Geithner, Treasury secretary – also in the new plans for fixing the banking system. I commented on the former last week. I would merely add that it is extraordinary that a popular new president, confronting a once-in-80-years’ economic crisis, has let Congress shape the outcome."
Posted by macbeach at 10:33 PM
"These government systems should be the best in the world and apparently they are able to be compromised," said Waters, an FAA contracts attorney. "Our information technology systems people need to take a long hard look at themselves and their capabilities. This is malpractice in their world."
Posted by macbeach at 1:19 PM
Monday, February 09, 2009
"A group of 25 are huddled at midnight on a bare New Zealand hilltop, their faces numbed by an icy wind as they gaze up at the Milky Way.
'It's awesome, I mean it's like beyond words,' says Simon Venvoort, 46, a management consultant from Amsterdam. 'You see so much you aren't aware of.'
'You know that two generations now are growing up not being aware that all this is out there because ... half of the world is light-polluted.'"
Sunday, February 08, 2009
"In 2004, the media did a bad job of covering the campaign impartially. But by 2008, it had abandoned that goal. By 2008, we had become a British system with some media dedicated to the Republicans and others to the Democrats. Each newspaper and television station and radio program had a partisan affiliation. There were no longer any neutrals. MSNBC courted the liberal vote as surely as Fox News did the conservatives. Media that pretended to play it down the middle were shown up for what they were: closet fans of one side or the other (usually of the left) who disguise themselves as impartial."
Friday, February 06, 2009
"President Obama's economic recovery package will actually hurt the economy more in the long run than if he were to do nothing, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday."
The stimulus legislation is a strange response to the president's inaugural call for "a new era of responsibility." State and local governments, which in the five flush years 2003–07 irresponsibly increased spending five times faster than population growth, will get hundreds of billions. Forty-nine states have governors better than California's, but as that state sinks into insolvency (its budget deficit is 40 percent of the sum of all the states' deficits) Arnold Schwarzenegger is merrily saving the planet.
Last week the president gave California permission to impose, for vehicles sold there, one of Schwarzenegger's many dubious achievements—fuel-efficiency standards even more burdensome than the federal standards. California's market is so large, its standards will force upon Detroit's insolvent manufacturers (actually, upon taxpayers) the additional costs of hastening production of cars people do not want to buy (which is why government coercion is "necessary").
"If lawmakers approve the bill, Sweden will join a growing list of countries rethinking their opposition to nuclear energy, as unease about global warming and oil prices outweighs fears about the safety of nuclear installations. Unlike fossil fuels, nuclear plants don't emit much of the greenhouse gases responsible for climate change."
"And yet more damaging to Obama's image than all the hypocrisies in the appointment process is his signature bill: the stimulus package. He inexplicably delegated the writing to Nancy Pelosi and the barons of the House. The product, which inevitably carries Obama's name, was not just bad, not just flawed, but a legislative abomination.
It's not just pages and pages of special-interest tax breaks, giveaways and protections, one of which would set off a ruinous Smoot-Hawley trade war. It's not just the waste, such as the $88.6 million for new construction for Milwaukee Public Schools, which, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, have shrinking enrollment, 15 vacant schools and, quite logically, no plans for new construction."
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
"I get loads of quasi-hate mail about questioning Obama’s candidacy and governance. But I am worried, not about Obama, or the politics of governance, but about the nation itself. The media has forsaken us. But after only two weeks we are in a crisis stage of confidence, and the story is spiraling by the hour out of control. I write here not to score points, but to warn readers that this is all very serious. Obama is our President, and we must hope he does something fast to save his administration from general ridicule that will incur real dangers for all of us abroad."
"TED, the annual gathering of the most pretentious people from the fields of technology, entertainment, and design, just got punk'd. Microsoft chairman Bill Gates released a swarm of mosquitos into the crowd."
From the same company known for facilitating the spread of viruses.
"'President Obama has promised the American public that his administration will honor the principles of open government, the Constitution and the Rule of Law,' said William Gheen of ALIPAC. 'Obama must either deport his aunt or destroy his own credibility by showing her favoritism.'
Last year, Onyango was found living in Boston. Obama said that he didn't know that one of his relatives was living in the city illegally and believes the appropriate laws should be followed."
"Tom Daschle's problem wasn't that he didn't pay his taxes. It was that he -- along with those who vetted his nomination as health and human services secretary and many of his colleagues in the Senate -- found it perfectly ordinary and acceptable that he would be able to cash in on his time in the Senate by earning more than $5 million over two years as a law-firm rainmaker, equity fundraiser, corporate director and luncheon speaker, all the while being driven around town in a chauffeured town car. Not exactly Cincinnatus returning to the plow."
"Part of the reason these louts are so at home in the Democratic party is because the leading liberals are exactly like them. Consider kazillionaires like Kennedy, Kerry, Byrd, and Boxer, for instance. What do they have in common? I mean, aside from having the God-given ability to put millions of insomniacs to sleep by merely opening their yaps. What they share is the desire to convince us all that they are as one with the little guy, sharing his trials and tribulations, demanding that taxes go up while they, themselves, have high-powered CPAs whose sole purpose in life is to keep their own tax bite to a minimum. In the case of Tim Geithner and Tom Daschle, apparently even the minimum was too much to ask."
Posted by macbeach at 2:24 AM
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
"President Barack Obama, and his wife first, lady Michelle Obama, answer questions from second graders at Capital City Public Charter School in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2009."
Not that big of a departure really, from the Washington press corp.
Posted by macbeach at 8:06 PM
Posted by macbeach at 7:54 PM
"The answer lies in the hands of one man: the 44th president. If Reagan’s policies had failed, or if he hadn’t been politically successful, the conservative ascendancy would have been nipped in the bud. So with President Obama today. Liberalism’s fate rests to an astonishing degree on his shoulders. If he governs successfully, we’re in a new political era. If not, the country will be open to new conservative alternatives."
Posted by macbeach at 5:54 PM
"Instead of having to first apply the label and then archive, you can just use the 'Move to' button to label and archive in a single step -- just like you would with a folder. If you just want to add or remove a label, use the new 'Labels' button. Auto-complete works, so for those of you with a lot of labels, you can select the one you want just by typing the first couple characters."
I suggested this a billion years ago.
For us REAL programmers it made sense all along.
Posted by macbeach at 4:53 PM
Well, it DID have some big words in it causing him to have to read it three words at a time. And we thought he was good at memorization.
Posted by macbeach at 3:25 PM
Ice Cream & The ElectionFrom my e-mail:
Excellent analogy! From a teacher in the Nashville area.
Who worries about "the cow" when it is all about the "Ice Cream?
The most eye-opening civics lesson I ever had was while teaching third grade this year. The presidential election was heating up and some of the children showed an interest. I decided we would have an election for a class president. We would choose our nominees. They would make a campaign speech and the class would vote. To simplify the process, candidates were nominated by other class members. We discussed what kinds of characteristics these students should have. We got many nominations and from those, Jamie and Olivia were picked to run for the top spot. The class had done a great job in their selections.
Both candidates were good kids. I thought Jamie might have an advantage because he got lots of parental support. I had never seen Olivia's mother.
The day arrived when they were to make their speeches Jamie went first. He had specific ideas about how to make our class a better place. He ended by promising to do his very best.
Everyone applauded. He sat down and Olivia came to the podium. Her speech was concise. She said, "If you will vote for me, I will give you ice cream." She sat down.
The class went wild. "Yes! Yes! We want ice cream." She surely could say more. She did not have to.
A discussion followed. How did she plan to pay for the ice cream? She wasn't sure. Would her parents buy it or would the class pay for it? She didn't know. The class really didn't care. All they were thinking about was ice cream.
Jamie was forgotten.
Olivia won by a landslide.
Every time Barack Obama opened his mouth he offered ice cream and fifty-two percent of the people reacted like nine year-olds. They want ice cream.
The other forty-eight percent of us know we're going to have to feed the cow and clean up the mess.
Posted by macbeach at 1:19 PM
Monday, February 02, 2009
"As you read this, I am at the beautiful California Academy of Sciences, announcing the launch of the newest version of Google Earth. This launch is particularly special to me because it marks the moment when Google Earth becomes much more complete — it now has an ocean."
Posted by macbeach at 2:55 PM