Moment of Heroism After a Blast in IraqI mention this to some friends, and we all groan - and when I reload the web page, guess what! It's gone.
By SAM DAGHER
The rescue of a baby from the wreckage of a bombing that killed eight seemed to be proof that Iraqis were still capable of extraordinary acts of humanity.
Update: The article (not the front page lede, which is gone) contains the following phrase: "Their actions seemed to be proof that despite six years of numbing violence, Iraqis were still capable of extraordinary acts of humanity." This isn't nearly as bad. I can't tell if this is live damage control editing, or just a mistake.
In tough times, some land on their feet (others on the Hudson). Thank you to the pilots, crew, and N.Y.ers for all that you did, and all that you do.
I hate Microsoft as much as most IT people, I'd guess. More than many. But even I think that this (specifically the final paragraph) just makes you look like a febrile eleven-year-old rather than an organization whose software I'd like to trust my business' processes to.
Which makes this whoops all the more poignant.
Her selection was "political bullshit"? Ouch.
Unscientific check: "AT&T sucks" on Google produces "around 16,700 results." "AT&T rules" produces "around 467 results." However, a surf through three pages of the latter results shows that with the exception of two, they are all of the form 'Playing by AT&T rules...' or similar construction.
Fuckers. Get off my iPhone.
And people start losing their shit.
Not all of them. But the complaints seem to boil down to two types: One, they're gouging me! and two, they've embedded my username and email address in this file!
No sympathy. In the first case, simple; don't buy it. You don't have to. You aren't even dealing with a monopoly; recent announcements of other DRM-free music stores have grabbed e-headlines. In the second case...
In the second case, leaving aside breathless wonderings about what nefarious things Apple might be encoding into the 'several hundred K of AAC metadata in these tracks other than the name and email' - um, I dunno, the album art? The lyrics maybe? TAG DATA? Dunno, somehow.
Also, try this one on for size. A couple of friends of mine and I (Hi petert! Hi luis!) were thinking about this, and I said "You know, I bet they've always encoded that data in the damn tracks. This outrage really strikes me as the blustering of a kid with his hand caught in a mousetrap left in the cookie jar."
Peter, bless his suspicious soul, immediately messaged me back:
11:07pm petert: jbz: oh btw 11:08pm petert: $ grep <username>01\ Working\ for\ Vacation.m4p 11:08pm petert: Binary file 01 Working for Vacation.m4p matches 11:08pm petert: the first itunes album i bought 11:08pm jbz: hahahaha 11:08pm jbz: and you haven't upgraded it? 11:08pm jbz: oh wait 11:08pm petert: nope 11:08pm jbz: is that because it has a path in it? 11:08pm petert: $ grep <username@provider> 01\ Working\ for\ Vacation.m4p 11:08pm petert: Binary file 01 Working for Vacation.m4p matches 11:08pm jbz: hahahahaha 11:09pm jbz: yeah 11:09pm petert: so much for outrage :)
Yeah. I mean, they have to populate that 'purchased by' field in Get Info somehow, right?
Scene: Coffee bar in the West Village, NYC. Me: Standing in line for coffee.
Well-coiffed man at booth (WCM): Dude, you have faggro.
Artfully Less-Well-Coiffed Man (LWCM): Ooh! Where?
WCM: It's the boy from marketing. Leather jacket boy. He's by the bar.
LWCM: Oh, man, he's cute. I gotta clean this coffee spill first, tank for me.
WCM: He's not my type.
LWCM: That's why you can tank. I'll be back in a minute. There'll be a seat for him.
WCM: (audibly tolerant) Fi-i-ine. But you have one minute. Then I pop shield wall whether you're back or not.
This may be true.
It should be noted, however, that the list reflects Apple's shipment of laptops through its retail points of presence. According to the Apple guidance conference call for Q4 '06, 54% of Apple's sales were direct and not through the retail channel.
This is also a meaningless number; we don't know whether that is in units, dollars, what sort, whether it was biased towards the December holiday, etc. On the other hand, it certainly means that the number of Apple laptops sold and counted in that Bloomberg study is less than the total number of Apple laptops sold and shipped in January '07, which also might have some impact on where Apple fits on the list.
Does Thurrott think this is relevant? Or did he think of it?
To paraphrase the awesome Peter Teichman, Exhibit 1.
Never mind the wonderful Fox-ish quote "Suspicious Device Diffused at Sullivan Square Not a Bomb" which is hilarious in its own right. No, let's move on to... Exhibit 2.
As Bob Green points out, too: Exhibit 3. Note that this pic, at least, has apparently been there over two weeks. Unknown if that device has been there for two weeks of nights also.
It just doesn't get much better than this.
I can't wait to see what the charges are, because of course there have to be some. You can't make official entities look this silly without getting charged.
zOMG! It's GOT LEDS! THE TERRORISTS ARE COMING!
Update: Oh, wait, it's not that we're morons, it's that these packages were a HOAX. Oh, yes, certainly. Well, I admit, I've only seen pictures of one of 'em, but was that one (referenced above) a 'hoax'? A hoax of what precisely? A 'fake viral ad for a silly movie'? Erm. Jesus.
No, Governor Deval Patrick, it's not a 'hoax.' These things have been in place for TWO WEEKS. It's an idiotic mistake, is what it is, and loudly declaiming that they were a deliberate attempt to fool people into thinking they were bombs (which is what calling them a 'hoax' is, sir) is not only stupid but makes you and yours look, well, even worse. Learn to laugh at yourselves, maybe. What the hell is it about politicians and officials that somehow, screwing up our responses to future situations like this is irrelevant compared to making sure NOBODY'S LAUGHING AT THEM?
Update update: Oh, it gets better. Here, we're told that Officials said it contained an electronic circuit board with some components that were "consistent with an improvised explosive device," but they said it had no explosives. Erm, let me guess. A battery? Maybe a light sensor so it would know when it was night time and it should switch on? GASP! A *switch*?
The problem with the phrase 'consistent with an improvised explosive device' is that by its very nature, an IED will use things that are used everywhere for all manner of other purposes.. So tagging things as suspicious because they use components that might show up in an IED is just...silly.
Again, I'm not trying to second-guess the bomb squad, here. They got called. They found something with electronics. At that point, yes, they do what they're trained to do - they detonate it in place, or (as apparently happened with the one on the police car) they decide it's not a threat and remove it. I am trying to second-guess whoever told the press 'it had components similar to an IED' - or, if they did so with the context of 'and because we couldn't move it safely, that's why procedure dictated we detonate it, which is why we can't show it to you' then FINE. But they apparently knew enough to know there weren't explosives in the things. That's the critical piece of information. It wasn't a bomb. At that point, you tell the press "Well, we know it wasn't a bomb. What was it? We'll let you know when we're sure." You don't go yammering about how similar it was to an IED, especially if you're the press!
Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia, brothers.
Let's count the ways this thing wouldn't be wonderful if it existed, shall we? Think of it as an exercise in bullshitometry.
So Mcallister McWetpants or whatever his name is has found a way to crack water into H2 and O2 using, as far as I can understand the claim, less power than you can derive from combusting the two of them. Um. Okay. The problem with this is that the chemical residue of that combustion, as he admits, is...yep, water. So if you have enough energy to drive your mechanism and still get water out of it, you're getting energy for nothing. Thermodynamics, pshaw, who needs it? So why is this bad?
Leaving aside the actual SCIENCE for the moment, imagine it. Now we have a world where you can build a WMD out of tap water and something the size of a sparkplug. All you have to do is hide a closed-cycle MagicDevice long enough, and it'll happily sit there storing up energy as it runs a cup or so of water through this magic cycle, right? All you have to do is find a way to store that energy. Capacitor, fusor, who the hell cares - eventually, pow. Hell, start with hydrogen and fuse it up to plutonium if you want.
Global warming! You think it's bad now? When the problem is simply that we're releasing energy that's already stored down here? Wait until we're pulling it out of thin air for free!
Jesus. I just wish I knew what the game was with these morons. I wonder if the original cut of this movie asked you to send A Needed Donation Now.
Then I read about some of the old stuff again, and in this one...wait, you're telling me I'm to carry around a 30GB storage device that's heavier and larger than an iPod but I can't use it as a hard drive?
Whisky. Tango. Foxtrot.
Nope. Can't figure that one.
Closest I can get? Either "It's more secure in corporate environments!" - Bullshit, USB keys are smaller, much cheaper, disposable and easily hidden. Or maybe "If people can't mount the device, they can't hack the filesystem and hence hack the device like some of the iPod hacks." Er, but *your* software has to talk to it, so *other* software will be able to eventually. Count on it. So why yank perfectly useful functionality that already exists by nature of its physical factor?
Nope. No clue.
Independent Counsel found insufficient evidence to warrant charging Robert Gates with a crime for his role in the Iran/contra affair. Like those of many other Iran/contra figures, the statements of Gates often seemed scripted and less than candid. Nevertheless, given the complex nature of the activities and Gates's apparent lack of direct participation, a jury could find the evidence left a reasonable doubt that Gates either obstructed official inquiries or that his two demonstrably incorrect statements were deliberate lies.
As Borat would say, Niiiiice!
hat tip Wonkette
I am not sure what this says about me, but I'm fairly sure it can be spun to be 'not good.'
On the other hand, when holding said whisky, I don't give a fuck.
The whisky in question is this one.
"Ah, for the Cold War - those days of Moral Certitude and Chicken-powered Nuclear Bombs."
God love the British.
Now, I'd love to know why in fact they were stopped. Was the car disabled by the pursuers, or did their "ramming the pursuing cars" do the damage?
On another note, I was tickled to look at the 'content' of the resume of this 'network administrator' that everyone's been talking about. I was so impressed that he can 'learn new technology in hours rather than weeks like other technical people!' Still, it left me wondering - if he's a modern network administrator who can learn new tech in hours, how is it he never seems to have heard of Linux, Unix, the Macintosh, or any of the software or standards that run networks? Oh, wait - 'Ethernet, routers, T-1 lines.' Okay. Somewhere beneath 'IDE, SCSI, DAT drives.'
Ah, silly me, I missed the header. "Graphic artist + network administrator." Well, that should tell me what his priorities are.
Although come to think if it, I know several graphic artists who appear to know a hell of a lot more about networks than he does. I do hope his graphic design skills are better than his network administration skill set, at least judging from its apparent scope.
What was that the Cato institute said? And, my God, why the hell am I referencing them? (stretches hand out window, waits for airborne pig poop)
"There will come a moment when you have a chance to do the right thing."
"I love those moments. I like to wave at them as they pass by."
-Elizabeth Swann and Captain Jack Sparrow
Dead Man's Chest
I saw the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie with some trepidation. A movie based not even on a videogame, but on an amusement park ride? Oh dear God. And starring two leading men who seemed to make their mark posing as prettyboys rather than actually doing much of anything? Ye Gods and little fishes.
I walked out laughing, reciting lines, making hideous sword-like swipes with my arms at friends, and yelling " ARR!" at the top of my voice with clumps of others who were leaving the theater. This was a summer movie; one that knew what it was, and played that to the hilt. So it was with these high-in-a-strange direction expectations that I went to see the sequel.
I was only slightly disappointed. I have to say that Dead Man's Chest is a worthy, worthy sequel to the first movie. Depp is his (gack) lovable self from the first, and Bloom has actually improved. Partially this is due to his character improving, and partly (I think) due to his gaining experience. He's got a bit more subtlety. He's no longer just a straight man.
The movie has everything we'd expect, in spades. It has pirates (duh), tall ships, curses, fencing, fighting, chases, escapes, true love...wait, no, wrong movie. Sea monsters, buried treasure, drunken brawls, unscrupulous bureaucrats, quests, debts, cheating, lying, stealing, wenching, and lots of what is known in the trade as 'disturbing the peace.' The stunts have gotten wilder without...quite getting too silly. The humor is in context, so it doesn't fall flat for standing out too tall in the midst of otherwise taking-themselves-too-seriously action sequences. There are pratfalls, cartoon physics, old chestnut jokes and bittersweet lines.
"Why is the rum always gone?"
(gets up; staggers sideways drunkenly)
"Ah, yes, that's why."
-Captain Jack Sparrow
So what's wrong with it?
Not much, actually. The real problem is that it feels like a middle movie. You know the type - you suddenly realize that you've been in your seat enjoying yourself for just on two hours, and there's no way they're going to resolve everything to your satisfaction. Sure, there's going to be an ending, but...hang on a minute. That can't be it, can it? And what about those four or five threads they dropped back there and didn't pick up...? This, in turn, shows in the character interaction. It just can't be sustained. We're kept on tenterhooks about some of the characters for the entire film - in a manner which just can't be resolved by the end. Nope. Even if they give you an end, they sure don't give you closure.
Now there's an obvious reason for this. Of course. Pirates of the Caribbean: Movie III. It's quite obviously coming (Update: I'm a 'tard. It's already in production, and is named Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End and is due in 2007). Depp has admitted he's happy to do these for as long as they make money and they're willing to pay him. And why not? He's obviously being paid a great deal of cash to get up on screen and have what looks to be a hell of a lot of fun. Likewise the other players. This is a big, boomy, not-too-uptight, let's-film-in- Jamaica-eh-what sort of movie, just the thing you want to be involved with for a regular paycheck every three years or so. Bring it on, I say. RKO serial pictures are here again, but the delay is just a bit longer.
-Captain Jack Sparrow
It's okay. This movie is one of those that knows precisely what it is. It's not trying to be anything it isn't. It knows the limits of its genre, and it is busily trying to crowd those lines with the alacrity of a professional basketballer guarding an opponent who stole his supermodel girlfriend. Watch it revel in its sauciness, and slather it over your face like Jack's makeup as you grin hugely. See it on a big screen, because I strongly suspect that its ability to overcome its sheer silliness will decrease at a much larger proportion than the screen size, and it will lose a great deal in the pixelated translation.
Tell yourself this during the middle of the movie. It'll help, as you wonder why the actors (some of them) look like they're a bit confused about what they're supposed to be doing with their characters, as opposed to their swords. It's not their fault. The scriptwriters haven't figured it out yet either. In the meantime, I do know this. While it may just be due to a momentary overdose of movie fun factor, if I ever turn around and see an enormous mythological creature straight from Hell itself has crept across the threshold slavering while I wasn't paying attention, I can only hope my reaction meets the example set by that of Captain Jack.
Does this make it a bad movie? YES. Yes it does. It's the beginning of a deliberately drawn-out series of 'Pirates' movies. It's got a serious case of climaxus interruptus - all this time, and our lovely couple still haven't managed to jump bones...er, unless you count those skeletons in the first...never mind. This is what I mean by 'unresolved issues.' They keep piling up, because if they resolve them faster than they create them, you won't come see a sequel. So this movie, unlike the first movie, is for the ride, not the finish. I just want to be clear that if it's the ride you're there for, you'll be fine. But remember, the movie was based on a ride. And it's the ride you go for, not the moment you pull back into the starting corral and get out of the tram.
Fifteen men on a dead man's chest
Yo ho ho! and a bottle o' rum...
True or not, this is funny. I feel like working to boost Amir's Google ranking at this URL.
"Thank you for your offer to send your purchase records to me," she wrote, "however our Software Asset Management (SAM) program is the only unbiased way to create an accurate baseline and resolve this matter.""Unbiased." Yes. What a...oh, never mind, insert pejorative here.
More popcorn, please.
Someone is going to have to draw us a cool chart with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one is so we can keep track of the players of poker, poke her and Tax Dollar Bingo here.
Update: Other shoes, other shoes...
Sure. And pigs have antigrav trotters.
Let's have a small thought experiment. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that the Head of the CIA appointed by, say, a Democratic president, who was wildly unpopular with the long-time professional cadre of employees there, brought with him a long-time associate from essentially out of nowhere. Let us also say that this DCI had a highly publicized, stormy tenure in which allegations of political housecleaning during a much harped upon 'war' were bandied about.
Now let's imagine that this DCI, who to date has had no personal allegations of impropriety involving a sex or bribery scandal, abruptly resigns. Then two days later, his personal appointee, who it turns out is involved to the point of being the target of an FBI investigation and possible indictment, resigns.
CNN says 'gee, he only resigned because his boss left.'
Now crank in multiple hints, rounded up by Laura Rozen at War and Piece, that this no. 3 has been considering resigning since before the Big Cheese's suprise Friday funhouse announcement.
And still, CNN sucks wind for the White House spin cycle.
And none of you have the excuse that no-one will take what you say seriously.
Deal with it.
My question is the following. If in fact Claude Allen was not involved (i.e. it was Floyd, and Claude was a victim, which is the most likely way Floyd was involved) then why did Claude handle this by resigning abruptly and not explaining the situation to the White House staff? In that case, no matter what the fallout there might have been, it could not have been nearly as bad as what has hit the White House from being blindsided by the speculation and assumption that has occurred on front pages since the story broke. At the very least, the White House could have figured out how to handle the story better.
It is, of course, possible that Mr. Allen simply wished to shield his brother from the explosion of publicity. Prior instances of his assisting his less-fortunate twin, as well as being commendable, offer evidence that such a reaction would not be out of character. However, the manner in which he departed almost certainly guaranteed that national exposure to the story would occur, which would mean that if he (Claude) wasn't guilty, that fact as well would receive national attention when the actual details became available, as the fact that the White House didn't know what was going on would in itself be news.
I don't know. I don't agree with Mr. Allen, and I don't like his positions, but I have to say, it sounds like this was handled incredibly badly. I can't tell if that was because the situation forced it due to the pressure of events - but the whole 'he has a twin' speculation may or may not do him any favors, and if his twin really isn't involved, certainly does his twin - a man with his own problems, it appears - no favors at all. If Mr. Allen is the source of all his own troubles and resigned to cope with them without trying to bring anyone else into them - which would be a laudable impulse - then dragging his twin into them before any credible evidence linking him thus would be a disservice.
Quoth Peter Pouliot re: Hayes and the situation: "Suck my chocolate salty balls."
Me? I say bring it all on.
Yep, it's entirely possible that the filmmaker baited them into doing this.
Doesn't make a whit of difference to me if they were stupid enough to eat the bait.
And that's just the ads in the left-hand ad bar.
...ba-dum-bump. I'm here thru Tuesday. Try the fish.
It's getting interesting.
In any case, after I had passed that truck, who was moving rather sedately, you did, as was certainly your privilege, attempt to pass me. Again, however, I fail to see how the fact that you blew the shift that badly and ended up dropping four car lengths back after making the lane change can in any way be construed as my fault. I made no attempt to seize said lane, then or at any time afterwards. I will admit wincing in sympathy for your transmission at the sound it made.
I do understand that all BMW 5 Series E39 sedans look alike, and that black versions of said sedans are not in any way to be compared with the elegant contours, lines, or sheer panty-wetting performance specs of your chariot. I understand that BMW drivers are universally scorned as incompetent luxo-barge pilots, especially by those piloting manual-shift Porsches, and I cannot in good conscience blame that group for its opinions. I would point out, however, that the identifying '540i' is plainly visible on the right rear of my vehicle, and as such, the fact that when we reached 135 MPH you were six car lengths back cannot really be fairly laid at my feet as the result of any form of deceptive tactics, or (given the facts of the engagement as laid out above) any form of unfair maneuvering on my part. I did allow you the left lane, retaining for myself the greater chance of running up behind slower traffic.
The burst of tire smoke and car wobble you produced when you terminated our dance at that point, before vanishing into my rear view mirror, was indeed impressive. I assume you received a warning from a radar detector, and I must congratulate you on your perspicacity in realizing that given the choice between a black 540i in the center lane and a fire-engine-yellow 996 in the left lane, you were likely at greater risk from the po-po.
Given our location as approaching the underpass beneath the Shaw's market, however, and the fact that I coasted down to 75 unmolested, I thought I'd offer the suggestion that your alarm was likely the normal K-band or X-band interference from said Shaw's security/flourescent systems, rather than a speed radar.
Your evasive maneuvers were quite skillful, though.
Note: The author does not recommend this form of immature, unsafe and illegal vehicular dick-waving and is, in his few responsible moments, suitably abashed at having been goaded into the confrontation. All other times, however, he is chuffed at having defended the Marque successfully, with smooth shifts, having never lost the lead nor bobbled his track.
What amazes me is that it takes a redesign, soliciting feedback, and investigation to discover this.
Oh, and I would have emphasized the Federal Tax Burden imbalance more, myself.