Tuesday, September 28, 2004

What Apple Needs to Do to Keep Me as a Customer

I can't take it anymore!

(Italics mean it's been satirized for your protection)

What Apple needs to do is to find a way to put a G5 processor into a PowerBook. I don't know if they realize this, but a lot of people want it. Phil Schiller, are you reading this? If you are, I want you to print it out and bring it over to Jonathan Ive and make sure he knows about it, too! G5 in a PowerBook: Just do it! I don't need to be paid for this advice, maybe just be mentioned at the keynote address when it's unveiled. Being brought up onstage and thanked personally by Steve Jobs for saving his company would be nice. I'm willing to fly business class, if necessary (paid for by Apple, of course).

Oh, but while the G5 needs to go into the PowerBook, it needs to be cool. I have a 12-inch PowerBook with a 1.33GHz G4 processor, and it gets hot. So the G5 not only has to go into the PowerBook, but it needs to run significantly cooler than the G4 does now. In fact, it should run so cold that when the fan comes on, it's to supply me with a gentle and refreshing breeze on a hot summer day. With a hint of lemon scent. Except for the winter, when it should be cinnammon. Oh, and on Christmas, when it should be like a candy cane. And Halloween should be candy, like carmel corn. Easter, too, except it should be Peeps. There's a clock and a calendar running all the time, and Apple should take advantage of it. Perhaps tie things into iCal. Special occasions can be set to emit special scents. Like on your birthday, your 9" G5 PowerBook with a 23" display can smell like birthday cake! And you can be sitting there, typing away, and people next to you can ask, "Do you smell cake?" And you can say, "Why, yes! It's my computer! It's doing it for my birthday!" And maybe that person will be so impressed that they'll offer to take you to lunch for your birthday and the chance to ask you to tell them more about your computer. Think of the opportunities to get people to switch!

Which is why this 9" G5 PowerBook with a 23" display and scent emitters (iSmell? Just throwing it out there, Phil. Feel free to call it whatever you boys in marketing think will work!) should sell for under $300. That's right, $300! At that price, Apple will sell millions of them! Oh, I almost forgot! In addition to running cooler with no diminishment in speed or performance, the battery life needs to be much better than it is now. 10 hours, at least. And it shouldn't be hard to make it run longer when using the DVD player. When I drive, the wheels on my car spin and help to recharge the battery -- why can't the DVD spinning do they same thing? (I know what you're going to say, but it's NOT a perpetual motion machine -- it would stop EVENTUALLY.)


There. I feel better now.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Mission (Kinda Sorta) Accomplished

Once in a while, it's nice to know that I'm not the only one who thinks things like this:
And anyway, doesn't it seem a bit, well...girlie-manish...for our swaggering Crusdader Codpiece to be tremulously waving his hands and shushing his opponents because it might make the nasty terrorists even bolder than they already are? Surely, superheroes such as he are much too strong and manly to care whether the bad guys are emboldened by talk of any kind. Real men say "bring it on," right?

Clearly, people who are willing to blow themselves up aren't suffering from a lack of physical courage. That is not the problem. Indeed, until we create a corps of suicide bombers they have the advantage in willing human cannon fodder material. Our military superiority isn't supposed to be our "courage" and "boldness" it is our international leadership, advanced technology and smart strategy, none of which Junior has employed worth a busted fuck.

This has been part of the fallacy driving Junior's misbegotten strategy from day one. While it's obvious that a fair amount of his ridiculous Hopalong Cassidy bullshit was calculated to thrill the rubes here at home, there is ample evidence that many of the starry-eyed neocons truly believed that a thrilling show of Big American Power would snap some of those Ay-rabs out of their little dreamworld and bring them around right quick to the knowledge that they can never win against us, the Ubermenschen.

Clap harder, everybody! Clap harder!

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Lots o' Links

Fafblog: Supply-Side Christmas
"Don't be afraid little Fafnir! It's not ordinary Santa - it's me, Supply-Side Santa, come to fill your home with Christmas cheer!"

"Oh wow!" says me. "But Supply-Side Santa it is not Christmas yet, it is only September."

"Oh ho ho, but Fafnir, every day is Christmas for Supply-Side Santa!" says Supply-Side Santa. "Now, have you been a rich little boy this year?"

"I have saved an saved," says me, "an I have three dollars sixty-two cents an a rice krispie treat! Do I get a present?"

"Actually, Fafnir, I'm here to take your old presents!" says Supply-Side Santa. "Supply-Side Santa gave all his presents away to super-rich children, and that didn't come cheap! Now Supply-Side Santa has to take your model airplane and your teddy bear to finance future Christmases."

"Awwwww," says me. "Supply-Side Christmas is ruined."

"Why, that's not true at all!" says Supply-Side Santa. "Because eventually those super-rich children will pass down their presents to less-rich children, who will pass them down to you, thus growing the Christmas spirit!"

"Wow! Everybody wins!" says me. "It's a Christmas miracle!"

"Almost as much of a miracle as Social Security privatization!" says Supply-Side Santa.


Jesse Taylor at Pandagon: "Your Terror Doesn't Count. Sorry!"
I want Bush to go say this at a train station in Madrid, or a schoolhouse in Russia. Go stand in front of them and tell them that you've stopped terrorist attacks in their countries by invading and occupying Iraq.

Bush keeps knocking Kerry for saying that coalition where one country bears 90% of the cost and 29 countries bear 10% of it isn't a real coalition, that it's "insulting to our allies". How insulting is it to our allies to hear that the sole point of the war is to prevent attacks on American soil, and, you know, maybe other countries, but if anything happens there, better Madrid than Manhattan, Beslan than Birmingham. When it's terrorism on your soil, it's progress. When it's here, it's a tragedy.


In a similar vein, Juan Cole wonders What if America was like Iraq? (Via Steve Gilliard.)
What would America look like if it were in Iraq's current situation? The population of the US is over 11 times that of Iraq, so a lot of statistics would have to be multiplied by that number.

Thus, violence killed 300 Iraqis last week, the equivalent proportionately of 3,300 Americans. What if 3,300 Americans had died in car bombings, grenade and rocket attacks, machine gun spray, and aerial bombardment in the last week? That is a number greater than the deaths on September 11, and if America were Iraq, it would be an ongoing, weekly or monthly toll.

And what if those deaths occurred all over the country, including in the capital of Washington, DC, but mainly above the Mason Dixon line, in Boston, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, and San Francisco?

What if the grounds of the White House and the government buildings near the Mall were constantly taking mortar fire? What if almost nobody in the State Department at Foggy Bottom, the White House, or the Pentagon dared venture out of their buildings, and considered it dangerous to go over to Crystal City or Alexandria?

What if all the reporters for all the major television and print media were trapped in five-star hotels in Washington, DC and New York, unable to move more than a few blocks safely, and dependent on stringers to know what was happening in Oklahoma City and St. Louis? What if the only time they ventured into the Midwest was if they could be embedded in Army or National Guard units?


Three really good posts at Slacktivist:
Reality Matters, Part 1
Reality Matters, Part 2
Prayin' in vain for a savior to rise from these streets

Josh Marshall finds a reporter actually doing some research. Imagine such a thing. If this behavior should begin spreading, who knows where we'll end up!? (It's okay, if it starts to spread, the bean counters will put an end to it. God bless 'em.)

Oh, and Marshall also seems to think that Bush might not understand what the National Intelligence Estimate is trying to tell him.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Well, Do They?

From James Wolcott:

Now at this point a certain type of liberal will quote Joseph Welch's famous question to Joe McCarthy at the Army-McCarthy hearings of 1954, "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"

Liberals of a certain age love quoting that stirring heroic retort. When Anthony Lewis was a Times columnist, he used to quote it every other week it seemed, and I saw Richard Cohen pull a Joseph Welch a few columns ago.

But I won't. The question is no longer worth raising, even rhetorically. Because we know the answer.

They have no decency. Not a sliver, not a shred. Look at how Max Cleland has been treated, look at how George Soros has been smeared as some sort of Jewish intriguer who oozed his way out of Nazi Germany by Tony Blankley and a drug kingpin by Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, look at--oh, we know what the examples are.

Yup.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Fun With Dick

Desperately Seeking Dick Cheney
Rebecca Dixen, a St. Paul reference librarian and a Kerry supporter, said she had come to the fair hoping to get into the vice president's town hall event and ask him a question, unaware that it was by invitation only and there are never, ever any rude or discomfiting questions. "You can't even get in unless you already support him," she said. "I don't know what kind of democracy that is. To tell you the truth, it's a little bit disappointing."

I don't know what kind of democracy that is, either. Makes me wonder what we think we're imposing on Iraq.

It'd be nice if this piece were an indication that the press was starting to turn, to seriously question what it is that the Bush/Cheney administration is all about. It's not. It's a New York Times reporter bemoaning his lack of a seat on Air Force Two while engaging in some self-agrandizement for his nominally heroic attempts to still cover the campaign. If he ever does get a seat, he'll know not to bite the hand that fed it to him. No, he's not teaching them a lesson about how the press will persevere, no matter what. The administration is teaching other reporters a lesson about what fate awaits them if the Vice-President is displeased with their coverage.

Flying cross-country on a commercial aircraft.

In coach.

Oh God, the horror!

Although I'll give him this much credit, he does seem to know just how minimal his heroics are: "While we stood on the hot patio watching the Cheneys dispose of a cup of custard, a reporter from the Air Force Two pool sidled up to me and said, 'I really admire what you're doing,' as though I was marching from Selma."

I Need A Few Minutes Here

I have felt compelled for the last few days to assiduously avoid political blogs. They've been having an unpleasant effect on my mood and my general disposition. I need to stop, step back, gain some perspective, and then carefully wade back in. It's not that the blogs aren't important or useful, it's just that as we head into these last six weeks before the election, I expect a lot of things to get very, very nasty. Because of that, I'm getting defensive, and not always for a good reason, or even any reason at all. I still have friends and family and co-workers that, while I may or may not agree with them politically, are relationships decidedly based on things that are not political.

I keep deriding the Republican party for turning everything into a Manichean black-or-white issue -- you're for us or you're against us, all or nothing -- and yet I'm finding myself tensing up whenever someone brings up a vaguely political issue because I start projecting all sorts of ugly stereotypes onto the people around me. So I'm going to try and chill out, at least through the weekend, and see what happens next week.

Friday, September 17, 2004

The More Things Change...The More F-ed Up They Become

I kind of took Fred Clark at Slacktivist to task yesterday (although not really him per se) but he's got a really good post up today outlining the various pessimistic predicitions concerning Iraq.

What struck me the other day, when President Bush yet again said that things in Iraq were "getting better," is that I don't recall him ever admitting that they were bad in the first place. How can things be getting better when they, supposedly, were never that bad to begin with? Does that mean, oh, I don't know, that you've been lying to us all this time? Or just to yourself?

Thursday, September 16, 2004

World Wide Web of Strangeness

Okay, this is really freakin' weird.

While looking at this blog (which has a whole Flickr story behind it) I came to this, which links to the weirdness. Somebody put a story on his blog about going to see the Maury Povich show. A very short story with no real moral behind it, just a little blooper moment when Maury mistook a man in the audience for a woman. Big whoop. Ha ha.

But then, somehow, his comments were overwhelmed with people asking for Maury's e-mail address because only he could help them, posting heart-breaking stories about their horrible lives and their sick kids, even though the poor guy kept telling them that he had nothing to do with Maury Povich or his show and that he couldn't get in touch with them if he wanted to.

Good Mac Site

Found this:3650 and a 12-inch

Interestingly enough, through A9.

Wishful Thinking

From Slacktivist:

"When John Kerry takes office in January he will inherit a series of extremely difficult tasks. Undoing the damage George W. Bush has done to America will demand exceptional skill, wisdom and good fortune. The man is going to have to work miracles just to keep the downward spirals Bush has set in motion from getting even worse."

Except that we'll have to endure a lot of fucknozzles insisting that any recovery -- in either economic terms or in world standing -- is due to the steadfastness of George W. Bush. His "More Money For The Rich" scheme finally kicked in and he was never properly credited for it! People love America again because George W. Bush had been stubborn -- I'm sorry, steadfast and resolute -- and respect and honor our Purity of Essence.

Kind of the same way that some people (you know, those Fox News "some people") say that Bill Clinton wasn't responsible for the economic boom of the 1990s, but that it was a carry-over from the presidency of George H. W. Bush. Of course, to truly believe in the carry-over effect, you'd have to assume that the economic downturn in the late '80s and early '90s was due to the failed policies of...Ronald Reagan! Blaspheme!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Yay!

Dilligent dental care, while being its own reward, also deserves some perks.

I'm basically bribing myself to go to the dentist.

Which makes my Mac buying history:

Performa 6290CD

iMac (Early 2001)*

iPod

and soon

12-inch PowerBook

* - Technically, the iMac was from this revision, but the link above gives a better idea of the specs of the one I bought, not to mention that the picture is more accurate.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Oh, Please.

Conservatives Cry Foul in Publishing Scrum
Sean Hannity, Michael Savage and Dick Morris, conservatives all, have produced some of this year's most popular books. Big publishing houses are practically falling over themselves to bring new conservative titles to market. President Bush is moving up in the polls, and the Republicans have at least an even chance of holding on to control of the House and the Senate come November.

So why are conservative authors feeling so beleaguered?

At a forum in Manhattan this week sponsored by American Compass, a direct-mail book club specializing in conservative viewpoints, authors and commentators deplored the lack of attention being paid to their point of view. Alleging a sort of liberal conspiracy to keep conservative authors from getting their books to the reading public, conservative authors said they had been forced to turn to scrappy, little-known alternative publishers.

"I find it disturbing personally as well as professionally that there is a need for a conservative alternative," said Cal Thomas, the syndicated columnist and talk-show host.

And yet, when something like Air America comes along, they scoff because the marketplace has proven that there's no market for a liberal point-of-view on the airwaves, otherwise there would be a million liberal imitators of Rush Limbaugh saturating the dial. But when the free market is applied to them...
The notion that conservative authors cannot gain access to publishers, bookstores or the best-seller lists seems to crumble under close scrutiny, however. Although the best-seller lists have been dominated this year by more left-leaning books, like "Against All Enemies," by Richard A. Clarke, the former counterterrorism chief for Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, a look further back reveals a different picture.

Since the beginning of the Bush administration, 18 of the 30 best-selling political hardcover books - among them "The O'Reilly Factor" by Bill O'Reilly, "Treason" by Ann Coulter and "Let Freedom Ring" by Mr. Hannity - have promoted conservative themes.

Ten of those 18 books were brought to market by divisions of big publishing houses, including Broadway Books and Crown, imprints of Random House; Warner Books, part of Time Warner; and ReganBooks, a division of HarperCollins, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation and which has published, among other conservative authors, Mr. Thomas.

"It's a little bit facile of our author friends to suggest that they've been ignored or dissuaded,'' Stuart Applebaum, a spokesman for Random House, said in an interview. Among Random House's authors is Ms. Coulter, whose forthcoming book is "How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must).'' "I don't think there's any great conspiracy'' against conservatives, he said.

Going further back only adds to a picture of strength among conservative authors. On Election Day 1996, the top-selling political book was "Slouching Toward Gomorrah" by Robert H. Bork (ReganBooks).

So there's not a conspiracy? Maybe they're just bad writers? Nah...
"There has been a bias," said L. Brent Bozell III, a commentator and syndicated columnist, whose new book, "Weapons of Mass Distortion: The Coming Meltdown of the Liberal Media," was published in July by Crown Forum, a new imprint of Random House geared toward conservative readers. [Doesn't the fact that he's being published by one of the "big boy" houses disprove his theory? Why do I hear an echo of Bill O'Reilly yelling "Shut up!" somewhere in the back of my head? -ed.]

"For years and years and years it was really just one publisher of conservative books, Regnery," he said of the publishing house, which began in 1947. "Others had gotten into it on a smaller scale, but the big boys didn't find it, for whatever reason, acceptable or didn't find it noteworthy or just didn't see the commercial value in conservative books."

Oh. I get it. That's what this is all about.

Translation: Regnery pays shit. We want more money.

When a conservative tells you about an inherent "bias," in something, he wants more money. It doesn't matter whether he deserves it or not. If he did, he'd probably get it.

I love it, though. People say that there should be an increase in the minimum wage and they're called socialists, communists, anti-capitalists, and destroyers of the American way of life. Overpaid hack writers want more money than their publisher wants to pay and suddenly they're seeing conspiracies everywhere.

When the facts are stacked against you, make up shit.

Fuck 'em.