I UnHeart LA

I just got back.

For those of you who read this blog and think, "Hey! I live in LA and Alon didn't reach out to me!" - We landed Wed. evening, I had a wedding reception Wed., an evening with my childhood best friend Thurs., I worked Wed/Thurs/Fri during the day, and spent Saturday in Bakersfield with the in-laws. There was not a free moment - so, yes, I still miss you.

To those I saw: My god it has been too long.

As for LA - the amazing thing is how little it has changed in the decade I was gone. That is not a good thing, especially for your respiratory health. If you wonder weather it seems God is intermittently trying to destroy LA, remember that he is doing it out of love.

How Bad Is Vista?

I just updated XP with Service Pack 3. That's a service pack released about a year after MS stated that it would stop supporting XP.

That's an indirect knock against Vista. Here is a direct knock: A colleague installed Service Pack 1 for Vista. During the next startup, Vista complained that it had corrupt system files. We tried a system restore, which required us to run check disk, which wouldn't run because the disk was in use, so we restarted and it it couldn't check the disk, because the system files were corrupt. And this happens automatically on Vista.

No wonder I and thousands like me were willing to pay MORE to AVOID upgrading to Vista on our new machines.


Free Advice and Worth the Price

People who are telling you not to get out of the market if you are in your 20s and 30s are not crazy. You are getting very depressed prices now, so keep dollar-cost averaging (putting in the same amount each month) and hold on. 20 and 30 somethings who did that through the 1987 crash have seen the Dow more than triple even to this "low point" and they aren't even at retirement yet, so don't fret.

Bogus Marketing

Gibson Dunn - a well-respected firm - has launched a Financial Markets Crisis Group to help the firm's clients, many of which are in the financial sector. Thing is, the lawyers are the same lawyers, with the same expertise, serving the same clients.

This is like Ford finding out that its trucks were already being used to haul sandbags and announcing that those trucks were to be known as the Ford Flood Crisis Prevention Edition. It is a truck, hauling is what its good at. The fact that it is already being put to good use is good, but it is not news, and it is certainly not a new brand.


Yes, But Do You Have One That I Can Mount To My Dog?

"Not Intended For Households With Children." I agree, so long as we recall that we are all somebody's children.



Oh, You Made It Harder? Well Thank God For That

Best Concept Site

http://www.56leonardtribeca.com/ The site uses the intro text to echo the structure of this planned tower in NYC.
As for the tower, while the interior space may impress, I think the exterior leaves something to be desired. It appears to anti-alias itself against the backdrop of the city. If your $3.5M+ is making a statement, that statement might be "mrgfmlffmmmrrslmffm (covered mouth)".

Gotta Have of Not a Have?

I think it would be awesome, but only if you saw in a designer's office. Opinions?

HT: Gizmodo



Parents have three knocks against them when it comes to gadgets:

1. They will do and pay anything for that little bundle of love/drool.
2. They have no time so convenience is at a premium.
3. They are really tired and, as such, are predisposed to shiny objects.

Hands over wallets parentoids:


Too Good To Be True

The "I'm a PC" ads that have actually made MS seem kinda cool...yeah, they were created using a Mac.

Pat Pat

They are down 3 scores right now. Let's get this straight before this
game ends. If we lose today, it will be because Cassel got no
protection, like none, at all. He is fine, the receivers are fine,
and the defense - while weak on the run - is mostly fine. But it
there is no pocket, you can forget having your young qb perform.

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This Tie

We are taking a witness in for testimony today. I looked down and
realized that I was wearing this tie when I got this job. It isn't
'lucky', but it does remind me of good times. It is a strange road.

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Lingua Franva


Losing an hour of work to a Word crash.
Download times on Blackberry browsers.
Waiting for people who pay cash right in front of you at the checkout line.
Doesn't that sum it up nicely?


Les MisBarack.

We may not be able to spread lies effectively, but we sure can spoof an effeminate musical!


Off Message. Of course not.

McCain, the supply-sider, says the fundamentals of the economy are
strong. What are the fundamentals he cites? The american worker and
small businesses. That's the opposite of supply side economics Mr.

Ms. Palin, the corruption fighter, has refused to fully cooperate with
the ethics investigation that predates her vp run. The claim is that
dems have hijacked the investigation. The panel that voted to issue
subpoenas is 3 rep, 2 dems. The republican that voted against her -
he's from Wasilla.

When the facts support you, argue the facts.

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Pat Pat Pat

The Pats showed a ground game and the same level of defense as last
year to step over the Jets and on to next week's "it would be a trap
game but they are SO bad" againt MIA. This is football backwards. The
Jets get a star QB and still suck. The Pats lose a star QB and the
rest of the team helps carry the competent replacement on their

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I like my women like I like my coffee, covered in bees.

Eddie Izzard is funny. Admittedly, a truck-flip that unleashes enough bees to crowd this photo and sting three people to death is not. The truck flipped near Jilin Province in China, unleashing its now-angry cargo. Another three people died swerving to avoid the angry swarm. [ More phots in the link]


Our Karl Rove


If KR was a Dem, these would be his talking points. This blog is crisp, well thought out, and relentlessly on message. Read it Dems - tell your friends - tell your friends friends - and have them tell their friends in the campaign.



A lot of people have waxed eloquent today about a tragedy that still gives most of us pause when we think about it. There has been a lot of ink spilled about the transcendant nature of the tragedy and our need to step beyond politics for one day and mourn. I mourned. And when I was done, I was angry.

People say that this is not a political issue and the deaths of thousands of American civilians, many of them trying to help their fellow countrymen is not inherently political. But my anger is political.

People say that we should direct our anger at the terrorists who plot today from caves and camps thousands of miles away - not against our leaders. I was angry at them for years. But now I am angry at us and our administration.

We have spent the past seven years fighting a war that had little to do with the terrorists. We have spent billions on it and diminished the ability of one of the greatest fighting forces in the world to protect us if and when a real need arises. And along all of that, we have toppled from our place at the helm of global politics. The terrorists didn't do that to us and they didn't force us to do it to ourselves. No, after seven long years, I am not angry at them anymore. I am angry at, and - worse - disappointed in, us.

It has been a busy day...

...so how about a piece that turns the office into art.

EepyBird's Sticky Note experiment from Eepybird on Vimeo.

(These are the same guys that did the synchro mentos fountains)


Modern Geek Suicide

TO: World, Cruel
FROM: User
Re: Unsubscribe.

Classic Geek Suicide

10 PRINT "Goodbye, Cruel World."
20 VAR x = 1
30 PRINT x
40 GOTO 20

"Y" is the new "I"

iPhone, iMation, etc. have given way to Skype and, as you can see below, Swype - a writing technology that allows you to type on a touchscreen without lifting a finger...off the screen that is. Coming to Android and iPhone, excuse me - yPhone.

We Can Both Live Under My System

TheGameIAm cites a Meagan McArdle article as proof positive to his point that we coastal liberal don't even realize that we look down on central state conservatives.

First, this is really an urban/rural argument. Major cities in the middle of America tend to vote and look and act more liberal, just like their coastal counterparts. Doesn't that mean that elites come from Rice and OSU as much as they do from Dartmouth and Yale?

Second, I think liberals know very well that they look down on rural conservatives. They see Obama losing primaries because people have "had enough of Husseins" and are worried about "secret Muslims" and the like and they think, "My god. Don't you people bother to look critically at anything?" The proliferation of glib assessments of serious and complex issues that popped up all over the Republican convention, "Drill! Baby, Drill!" and "Surge to Victory" don't help. So liberals know what they are doing.

Second, where is the moral equivalence? The rural conservatives have heaped the same negative stereotypes on liberals for years (see the swift boat campaign and the fact that they have turned liberal into a curse word). If you pick on liberals for this and not conservatives, you are buying in to precisely the stereotype you are fighting: "Hey liberals. Stop looking down your noses at these people or you will sink to their level." We think we are better than them, and they us. The blame lies equally.

Third, and this is why I am a Democrat: under Democratic values, the rural conservatives can continue to be conservative. They can believe what they want about life, guns, gays, and god without interruption and can practice their values at home and in their communities while liberal practice their values in theirs. Under the conservative ideology, the same rights are not extended to liberals. There is no gay marriage, there is no reproductive choice, and so on. Conservatives want to clamp down on these things as a matter of policy.

Now I understand that TheGameIam is a libertarian, so I am not calling him out on this issue. But his point is that liberals dislike rural-conservatives. I am just offering a reason why: it's because they perceive that those conservatives (and their "values" agenda) seek to impose on- and perhaps limit liberals' own values and way of life.


Change That is Actually Change

Two Things:
1. Barack - where is the enthusiasm you show so well on stage? I haven't seen the energy on recent television appearances. Your vigor is part of your message. Let's see it!

2. Can someone just start funding replays from the Daily Show as ads? Nobody has done a better job of juxtaposing the statements of candidate McCain and Senator McCain, or, in this case, overlaying McBush 2008 on Cain 2000: (FF to 4:10 if you don't have the patience for humor)



This isn't a political tidbit. I'll just chalk it up to amazement and leave the value judgments to the rest of you. Vanity Fair tallied up the cost of one of Cindy McCain's outfits at the Convention: $300,000..

$280,000 of that are two 3 carat diamond earrings. Even without that, when was the last time "someone just like you" spent on an ensemble what I spent on my entire wedding? (and my wedding wasn't cheap according to most Americans).

Three Things of Beauty

This is great. The Jaguars won the game in the last second. Thing of Beauty No. 1. UPS, in their infinite wisdom named Rosario Dawson a player of the game instead of Dante Rosario. The mistake is No. 2. Rosario is No. 3.

HT: Extra Mustard from SI

Pat Pat

Brady is hurt. I know I will get questions about it. Bottom line, there is nothing anyone can do about it. I want him to heal. I don't know or expect that it will happen this season. I think the Pat's depth will be called upon to salvage this season. Let's get a veteran to back up Cassel for a few weeks as the vet learns the system and take it from there.

And how about them Jaguars? And Bears?!

And I still think Favre should have stayed retired.

Google Chrome

I just downloaded it to give it a shot. First, I am not using it for Blogger or Google Docs until they fix the overly-broad EULA. I don't really feel like granting a license to Google for all of my prose. Aside from that, Chrome rocks.

1. Faster opening time. Call it 1/2 of Firefox and an eon before IE (and IE is INTEGRATED into Windows).
2. Faster page load times. Someone over at Google wrote some lightning parsing software. Amazing.
3. Simpler interface. I like it, along with some of the bells and whistles, such as prime address highlighting, most visited sites on the home page, etc.

Here is my only reservation. I don't see this taking IE out of the market thanks to its corporate appeal. The danger is to Firefox. That said, Firefox is a volunteer project, so there no danger of losing capital, so perhaps it is not a big deal. My wish would be that Google works on making this appeal to enterprises so it becomes an IE killer.


Rule 11 Watch

Rule 11 is the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure that allows the lawyers for one party to call shenanigans on the lawyers for the other. There are similar rules in virtually all states. Most lawyers never see a Rule 11 motion or anything like it. To see one, you need a case that isn't merely weak. Rather, it must fail the "smile test" - If a reasonable person couldn't get up in court and deliver the argument with a straight face, the argument enters the red zone. With that intro:

Man sues NY Bar because he was thrown off its mechanical bull. He claims they let him ride while drunk, that the bull was "a danger", and that they left him on too long. The resulting claim: assault and battery.

Something here is clearly bull. Forget the assumption of the risk on the client's part; let's focus on an attorney that spends too much time watching T.V. "Assault and Battery" is a T.V. cliche that has a distinct meaning in the law. Assault is the threat of imminent harm. Battery is the physical harm itself. When a lawyer resorts to these sound bites, it makes him look, at best, cavalier and, at worst, sanctionable.



"Should of" makes me want to hurt people. Look, it's like a-whole-nother. Somewhere mid-phrase, the typist should realize that it is completely nonsensical.

What could "You should of called," possibly mean? Is it a title, like Robin of Loxley, or perhaps a unit of measure, like "bowl of cherries"? This isn't an obscure contraction. I don't see what the problem is.

Micro, Soft, and Cuddly.

This is a Microsoft ad. It doesn't have any computers in it, or any software, or peripherals, browsers, web portals, or servers. The most Microsofty thing in it is a former employee. That, and the ad makes no sense. So, Why?

My best guess is that MS considers the Vista problem a problem of image more than substance. When the "Project Mojave" ads - secretly switching your detergent with a mystery operating system that didn't suck and turned out to be Vista - failed, they decided they need to trot out the one thing about MS people do seem to like - Bill Gates.


Political Tidbit - Shocker! No Palin.

Obama may not have years at the wheel of foreign policy, but he certainly seems at least as qualified as the current administration. On August 2, 2007 WaPo reported that Obama supported sending troops into Pakistan, unilaterally if necessary, to attack terrorist cells there because Pakistan knew of their existence and was doing nothing. September 3, 2008, the Bush administration did exactly that.

HT: Justin.


Whoa I

Google built a browser. It is called Chrome. It will inevitably take over your life, then the internet, then humanity.
I am honestly a little ashamed to say I had no idea it was coming. Then I think about it and say, "Duh!" Then I think about it some more and say, "But Firefox is great and open source. What is the upside in this for Google?" The answer to that is a little more troubling, particularly if the browser sends usage data back to Google, and I think it will.

Geek Whoa II

RFID is eminantly hackable. How hacakable? Enough that CC companies forced Mythbusters not to look into it. No surprise to me, but a well-told story nonetheless.

High Stakes Poke Her

I respect Obama's statement that the Palins' family troubles are not a matter for the campaigns, but this is certainly a public discussion. Cast in relief is the wisdom and effectiveness of abstinence-only education.

Abstinence-only is a high stakes game. If you can't stick to that tenet, and clearly many/most can't, there is no backstop to pregnancy. When I was taught sex ed, we were repeatedly told that the only way to have safe sex was not to have sex. Abstinence-only advocates think that message is diluted by the rest of the education, which dispells the very real misconceptions teens have about conception and coitus and explains what the risks are and how to avoid them.

I don't know if education about condoms or other contraceptives would have helped in this situation, but wouldn't you have wanted this young woman to have the benefit of that education? (Actually, for all I know, she did have the benefit of it. I don't know what curiculum her school teaches).

And as an aside, I see hypocrisy in the right wing's embrace of Palin through this episode. This is precisely the situation they point to as evidence that abstinence education is necessary. If it were Barack Obama's daughter, they would decry it as the result of a morally bankrupt educational system. And if she decided to keep it, they'd ignore the pro-life angle and talk about the burden teen mothers place on our economy every year. Sure, perhaps McCain wouldn't, but the swift-boaters certainly would. What makes this any different? Palin can't keep her own house in order, why should we give her the spare keys to the White House?


Family Values

Young Bristol Palin is preggers; says she won't get an abortion and will marry the father. (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/2008/09/bristol_palin_is_pregnant.html)

I am so glad that someone in this country is standing up for family values. Think about it. This young woman doesn't have anything - no high school degree, no job, and no husband. Despite all of those challenges, she's persevered and begun a family.

HT Dad.