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Commentary

Opinions on various subjects, dressed up in a fancy sunday suit.
I didn't know what the difference between 'Commentary' and 'Opinion' was, so I've just moved everything from both categories here.
20040501(Commentary):Evidence? We don't need no stinkin' evidence!
Happy Anniversary, Mr. President.

One year ago, on May 1 2003, you stood on the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln and announced the end of major combat operations. There were a gratuitous number of photographs circulated showing you standing before a banner proclaiming "Mission Accomplished".

Mr. President, one question: where are the weapons of mass destruction?

You remember the weapons of mass destruction, sir? You know, those things you claimed were in Mr. Hussein's possession. That elements in the British intelligence community allegedly claimed were on 'fifteen minute warning'.

You have controlled Iraq for one year, far longer than you gave the United Nation's weapons inspection teams. You have removed a government and bureaucracy which you claim was actively hindering the United Nation's inspection teams. In short, you have had more time and less opposition, and what have you come up with?

Let me present an executive summery of your findings sir: you have found nothing.

You have not even gone to the trouble of faking some evidence, which I think would have been less insulting to the world in general than your current strategy of changing the objectives after the fact. Even if such evidence had been faked, there would always be those who would have given you the benefit of the doubt.

But instead, you talk about how Hussein was an evil man and how the world is better off without him.

Mr. President, how about Mr. Quadaffi? Mr. Aristide? Mr. Arafat? Any one of a dozen central African 'leaders'? Why is it that you felt the need to invade Iraq, when there are other leaders who have been worse to their people?

No sir, the world can only conclude that you had another agenda.

And without coming clean, being honest with the world, we cannot trust the American administration and what they say. The Canadians didn't buy into this story from the beginning. Even your closest allies, the British and the Spanish, have abandoned your premise and have or are in the process of destroying their governing parties. Mr. Blair's credibility has burned with the lack of forthcoming evidence, and the English are not as gullible as the American public.

The world turns against you, sir. America begins to stand alone, but she does not see it.

Happy Anniversary.

20040306(Commentary):Don't like it? Then don't click on it
Remember Morbus? Well, here's another loser who doesn't get it: bones doesn't get it, either.

Bones, in the unlikely event that you are reading: I sentence you to look at this page.

20040223(Commentary):Save Your Money
So it floors me that in this country we have an entire industry which thrives on giving your own money back to you, and charging you for the priveledge. That's right, income tax preparers.

Fortunately the industry has matured to the point where they don't compete on who will prepare the more profitable tax return -- although I'm sure that if a return is unexpectedly optimistic, none of the preparation specialists will defend you in court -- but they do make a big deal out of how fast you can get your refund in your hands.

For a small fee, of course. Isn't capitalism grand!

This results in some people doing silly things just to maximize their refund -- to the point of spending more money than they would get refunded.

Let's be clear: the ideal return is one which has a total refunded or total payable of $0. No money owed, no money refunded. It means that you have more money for day-to-day operation, and you have not floated the government an interest-free loan.

20040222(Commentary):More SUV Spin
Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything even remotely true.
    - Homer Simpson

More information of the statistical kind, which illustrates what can be done with numbers can be found in this article by Malcolm Gladwell. In it, he talks about some of the numbers surrounding Sport Utility Vehicles, and the perception that American (and to a certain extent, Canadian) buyers have that bigger somehow equals safer.

(What interested me was the fact that his chart of relative dangerousness included both of the cars I own: a Subaru Legacy, and a Mazda 626, giving an opportunity to see how relatively dangerous our cars really are.)

He also briefly discusses the injury statistics gathered in crash testing showed that minivans were orders of magnitude safer to their occupants than sport utility vehicles. This was news to me -- my wife had convinced me that minivans were rolling death traps, and this (generally) just isn't the case.

Those numbers aside, the real significant factor in how many people get killed in terms of accidents collisions turns out to be -- you guessed it -- the driver. A driver who has three small children strapped into the back of his car is going to avoid situations which another driver, safe and secure inside her rolling tank, might avoid. This helps explain to a large extent why the numbers gathered from looking at collisions shows such a large difference.

We also know from a previous look I took at this subject that 80% of SUV fatalities were not wearing their seat belts. While I don't know how that compares to the seat belt habits of minivan fatalities, I doubt it is favorable. It also does nothing for explaining the larger number of people killed outside of the vehicle.

What this all means is that these cars are more dangerous, not just by design (or lack thereof) -- but because of the operating habits of those who choose to drive them. We've all been teenagers, and we all know that teenagers will drive a Honda Civic recklessly. Putting teenagers into minivans won't necessarily change anything, just as forcing SUV drivers out of their trucks and into ostensibly "safer" vehicles will do anything to change their habits.

Still, I'd like to see these vehicles change -- I'd love to see the numbers from a 'SUV' which was engineered from the ground up such as the Subaru Forester or Volvo XC90, both those collected by the staged collisions and those collected from the curbside, to see if they are on par or better than the 'regular' vehicles.

20040217(Commentary):Internet Locale
Charitable causes are a dime a dozen today. It seems like every time you pick up the phone it is someone asking you to help fight cancer, help cure heart disease, or go to some circus to help donate money to Firefighters For The Poor Little Burned Children.

(When that last one called, they got my wife. After she hung up and told me what it was about, I said she should have asked for clarification about who the charity was really supporting. I mean, are we sending money to help ease the pain and suffering of these Poor Little Burned Children, or are we sending money to the Firefighters so that in the future there will be fewer Poor Little Burned Children? I mean, after the fund-raising organization takes their 85% cut for "operating expenses", of course.)

But I digress.

A new vector for charitable causes is the internet, where some celebrity somewhere gets it into their head that the best way to prove they are not a bunch of child-eating monsters is to answer the call of one of their local organizations, showering them with the charitable good will of their internet fan base. There have been a couple which I have been exposed to: Wil Wheaton (you knew and loved him as Westley Crusher) and his wife have a cause, and over the holidays we were treated to the Penny Arcade guys running... well, I can't immediately find the link, but they were grubbing for toys for a local children's hospital.

In the case of Mr. Wheaton's cause, he's garnered something like $8K in donations in only a few days. Which is great for his cause. But have things degenerated to the point where charitable organizations are stealing donations from other regions?

Take the Penny Arcade charity. It is great that the hospital in their area got showered with gifts. But most of those donations probably came from outside of the area served by this hospital, in effect depriving other hospitals of a little help each.

You can see the same thing on TV sometimes -- the Toronto Humane Society, a fine organization if there ever was one, is running pleas for donations (practically infomercials) on a network which is seen all over south- and eastern Ontario (and maybe elsewhere in the province too, I don't know). What they don't tell you is that donations to the Toronto Humane Society go to work in Toronto -- it isn't an umbrella group which funds humane societies around the province. There have been incidents where people donate to the THS thinking that it would help their local humane society. I'm not accusing the THS of being misleading, just of not clarifying to their audience exactly where the donations will go. And the fact that people don't do the research before donating doesn't help, either.

Similarly, I'm not going to give Mr. or Mrs. Wheaton static for their cause. I just wonder if the donors from "out-of-market" (so to speak) have even considered the fact that there are probably just as worthy people who need help much closer to home.

Think globally, act locally. I guess there's no compulsion to make sure that you act locally in your own locale.

20030828(Commentary):Hydro Caps
A letter to the Ottawa Citizen.
Mr. Bolton's logical disconnect is staggering -- the hydro price cap had nothing to do with the handling of Ontario's recent power issues (Letters, 28 August 2003).

One could make a stronger case that without price caps, consumers would have been forced to pay the true costs of their electricity, and would have already adjusted their consumption requirements down over the last year. Had this happened, it might have removed the need for stringent conservation measures as power generators were brought back on line.

By this reasoning, the price caps impaired the province's ability to recover.

David Mackintosh
Kanata

20030828(Commentary):The 10 Commandments
A letter to the Ottawa Citizen.
Mr. Metrick's statements regarding the secular nature of the Ten Commandments were most enlightening (Ten Commandments are not the exclusive property of religion, August 28 2003).

However, I read the first commandment as: "I am the Lord, thy God."

The secular iterpretation and application of this statement escapes me, especially when it is prominently displayed in a civic building; and without such, it has no place being exhibited there.

David Mackintosh
Kanata

20030822(Commentary):Email is alive and well thank you
It is amusing, in a way, to see many of the pundits declaring this week to be the day that email died. The SoBig.F virus has been cavorting practically unchecked through the internet, leading many to enjoy multiple copies of the same virus.

Even those of us not cursed with a Microsoft mail client were not spared, since our email addresses were either targeted, or forged as the sender, meaning we got flooded with bounces, spam-cleaning notifications, or nastygrams from end users or administrators.

Some of us have been here before. In the course of admining large networks, I have been on the receiving end of email storms so furious as to make SoBig.F look like a mild drizzle. And email hasn't died for me, I have just merely learned to use my tools better to manage it, storm or no storm. And if my tools can't deal with the volume, those tools are discarded in favor of tools which can.

SoBig.F demonstrates again that the weekest link in the antivirus struggle is the end user, who doesn't see the harm in clicking on an unsolicited attachment in an email entitled 'Wicked Screensaver'.

Perhaps it is time to revisit other ideas.

20030728(Commentary):More Telemarketing
A letter to the Ottawa Citizen:

There is little worry that marketing will be dropping leaflets from the sky as that would violate littering by-laws; similarly, resorting to trucks with loudspeakers would be in violation of our local noise by-laws. Ottawa, it seems, is well-prepared for Mr. Gordon's advertising apocalypse.

Mr. Gordon would do well to consider that while theft, prostitution, and drug trafficing all "support" many more than 487000 jobs, society has decided that the peripheral effects are not worth the gain in economic activity.

Besides, I'm sure that Mr. Hampton would cheerfully raise taxes in order to support unemployed telemarketers.

The editorialist, Mr. Gordon, was commenting that the do-not-call concept as implemented in the states (and proposed by Mr. Hampton, leader of the Ontario New Democrat Party) would have undesirable negative employment effects.

20030716(Commentary):The Contradiction
Most Americans support the action in Iraq on the premise that the Iraqi government was actively attempting to procure or build weapons of mass destruction and would either make those weapons available to terrorists or use them directly themselves. Therefore, goes the American logic, we are justified in pre-emptively destroying the Iraqi regime on the grounds that such a destruction prevents a future, arguably larger, event on American soil or against American interests.

Therefore, they are in favor of pre-emptive action to prevent future incidents.

Why, then, are they so opposed to gun control?

20030626(Commentary):Son Of Iraq Conspiracy Theory
It is possible that the international intelligence community was being deliberately fed 'evidence' of weapons of mass destruction by parties unknown from within Iraq. The motives for such actions are plentiful:

  • By creating the impressions of posessing weapons of mass destruction, Iraq creates a certain stature in the region, which could have resulted in the country's position being taken more seriously when discussing regional issues with the other nations in the area.

  • It is possible that the goal was tricking the US into removing the existing power structure -- the end result of which is what actually happened. Whether or not those attempting to fill the current power vacuum had anything to do with instigating the war is up in the air.

  • Perhaps the internal weapons of mass destruction projects had failed, and no one had the courage to tell Mr. Hussein up front that this had happened -- so in continuing the illusion of a program which was making steady progress, the artificial intelligence was leaked to the international community.

I find it incredibly amusing that the US and British forces are now being forced to admit that perhaps the reason why no such weapons were used, and why they are not being found -- is because they never existed.

20030604(Commentary):Viruses In Calgary: What's the fuss?
I'm getting sick of the juvenile hair pulling which passes for morning radio here in Ottawa these days, so this morning I was flipping around during the drive to a client site. I landed on one of the CBC stations, and they were talking about this uproar caused by the Calgary university teaching a course which included a module on how to write viruses.

The controversy is that many of the anti-virus organizations say that they will not cooperate with the university if they are writing viruses. That it is irresponsible to give people the knowledge they can use to release even more viruses out into the wild.

Read More

20030602(Commentary):Supercomputing Types
Saw an articlea linked from Slashdot, talking about some highly regarded researchers suggesting that the US government move away from funding supercomputer research in favor of massive storage research -- the argument being that since supercomputer class layouts can be made from off the shelf components (ie -- the Beowulf clusters), the supercomputing problem is no longer an issue. I think the implied argument here is that if one requires more processing power, one can either wait for more powerful off-the-shelf systems, or merely add more to an existing cluster.

It is an interesting argument, but I don't really buy it. To my mind, there are several classes of large-scale computing problems:

  • Discrete jobs: large number of relatively small, self-contained program runs. Picture thousands and thousands of simulation runs. These jobs can be handled on 'farm' type systems -- where the farm controller hands out jobs to individual farm nodes depending on their availability. This is perfect for off the shelf systems -- no fancy cluster software required (Platform's LSF and/or the freeware Grid system do this -- heck, I've hacked together a really ugly frame dispatch system for my home network which does the basics, this is not a terribly hard problem).

  • Large, paralleled jobs: a job which can be chopped up into discrete components which can be processed without excessive interaction between the components. A lot of bio-tech sims, encryption, and movie encoding can be done in this manner in the Beowulf (and friends) tradition. I would have included image rendering, but mostly you'd find that you have many frames to render, and it is faster to have individual computers render individual frames in parallel rather than trying to parallelize the individual frame renders.

  • Large, non-paralleled jobs: large jobs which have huge amounts of interaction between individual components. Think database correlation on a massive scale, or physical simulations (for example, nuclear explosion simulations). These systems need large numbers of processors with huge I/O requirements sharing large amounts of memory to do the work required.

With all that in mind, there is still a definite need to continue research into supercomputing. Also, you could consider supercomputing the equivalent of F1 racing -- technology research, which one day could influence what ends up in off-the-shelf technology.

20030523(Commentary):Where's the beef? (or, Pardon My Pretext For War)
Apparently there was an article in the New York Times on Thursday (I saw one of the talking heads on CNN refer to it while I was in Toronto) saying that the CIA has started an internal investigation to understand the intelligence failure which lead up to the war in Iraq. Yep, the Americans are starting to publicly wonder why their Heroic Defenders Of The American Way Of Life have failed to find any evidence of Weapons of Mass Destruction. (Oddly enough, though, they have found lots of oil in Iraq. Fancy that.)

Personally, I find the lack of evidence in Iraq somewhat disturbing. You'd think that if the US administration knew that their premise for war was flimsy, they would at least go to the effort of fabricating some evidence which could be conveniently 'found' as justification. And what do we have? One truck, in Northern Iraq, which might have been used for chemical purposes. But nothing else.

This absence of evidence points to a couple of explanations: first, that the US Administration sincerely believed that there would be evidence (meaning that they were either manipulated by an unknown party; or that they were willfully blind to the lack of evidence -- I've spoken about Mr. Powel's oddly deficient presentation to the UN in the past). The second explanation is only slightly less bizarre, that the US Administration believed that no one would notice after the war that there was no evidence supporting the invasion. The fact that we hear politicians now saying that they got "a stronger response from citizens about human rights violations in Iraq than the Weapons of Mass Destruction" indicates that some elements of power are trying to rewrite history, to change the premise behind the war.

I also wonder what is happening in England, home of #1 Bush fan Tony Blair. I'm sure people have noticed the lack of evidence there, too.

20030415(Commentary):The Art Of The Impossible Demand
Here we go again.

Read More:Always More.

20030204(Commentary):Stop Hitting Me With That Bat
Seen on Slashdot:
It's much easier to mod me down than post an intelligent reply.

Signatures like that make me want to scream.

Read More:I scream like Ned Flanders

20030122(Commentary):Conspiracy Theory: Iraq
All the hyperbole (and other odors) wafting out of the US State Department regarding their urgent need for a regime change in Iraq misses one salient point: for all the huffing and puffing, howling and bluster, the US has been unable to prove a need for a war. This is a public relations exercise, and the State Department has completely failed to sell this war.

Read More:just idle speculation, you understand

20030111(Commentary):SUV Statistics Spin
Think those gigantic Sport Utility Vehicles are safer on the road than other cars? Quick, read this. Skip down past the juvenile name-calling, and you will learn many interesting things:
  • the death rate for occupants in SUVs is 6% higher than in cars
  • the death rate for occupants in large SUVs is 8% higher than in cars
  • 62% of SUV occupant deaths were related to rollovers, and 80% of those killed were not wearing their seat belts
  • for every one million "Chevy Tahoe" sized SUVs on the road, 122 people will die; for every one million Honda Accords, 21 people will die.
  • for every one life "saved" inside a SUV, five more will be lost in other collisions with SUVs (ie the occupants of the other vehicles)
  • 2001 marked the first time in ten years that the absolute number of people killed on US roads and highways rose over the year before
...and these figures will only get worse, as older, less advanced SUVs enter the used car market. Scary, scary stuff.

The main lesson from this is that if people are wearing their seat belts in these things, they would be much safer to the occupants -- but the fact that they slaughter occupants of smaller cars in collisions means that they really are too dangerous to keep on the road.

20021230(Commentary):More Unreality TV
So there's this guy who's inherited $50 million. And there are these twenty women who are competing, a-la The Bachelor, for his affections. And it's all on TV. But wait, you say, we've already seen this: both in Who Wants To Marry A Millionaire and the aforementioned The Bachelor. So what's the twist? The twist is that this guy hasn't really inherited $50 million. And the while audience knows this from day one, the contesting women don't.

Coming soon on Fox. Degrading human dignity for your entertainment.

Update, 31 December 2002: This show is going to be called Joe Millionaire. Look it up. I wonder which is worse -- the fact that the sickos at Fox figured that people would watch this, or the fact that they are probably right?...

20021227(Commentary):Get People Out Of Their Cars
What with all the fuss over the Kyoto Protocol, plus the impending ratification of the same by the Canadian Government, I have been thinking about ways that automobile pollution can be reduced.

Read More:Always More.

20021227(Commentary):Christmas Is Secular, Get Over It
OK, Christmas is done and I can stop holding my tongue.

Read More:Always More.

20021219(Commentary):Interesting Telemarketing Regularions
The other night I was having a discussion with my wife about something or other, and the phone rang. It turned out to be a telemarketer from Bell Canada, but that's not the point.

Read More:Always More.

20021020(Commentary):Signal to Noise
Is it just me, or has SlashDot taken a turn for the worse recently? For the past two or three years, I have kept my comment-reading threshold at three to cut down on most of of the noise, flames, and general stupidity. (Irony -- most of my own posts don't get past this filter level. Oh well.)

Read More:What's up with that?!

20021010(Commentary):Stupid Avertising Copy
I was watching TV, and it happened that this spokesperson for the cellphone companies came on urging us all to be careful when driving and talking. (Sane advice, even if his industry's motive is to avoid having legislation crammed down their collective throat.) He concludes this appeal with this pithy piece observation:

And remember, several provinces prohibit driving with undue care and attention.

It slid past me the first time, but upon reflection I seriously doubt this claim. I bet that the regulations prohibit driving without due care and attention. I doubt that Officer Clarke is going to pull me over and ticket me because I am concentrating too much on the road.

Now I'm sure that this is what he meant, but it isn't what he said.

20020903(Commentary):Intel vs. Hamidi
A letter to the Ottawa Citizen regarding an editorial about Intel v. Hamidi. The Citizen's position is that an electronic trespass act would have follow-on effects in other areas of unsolicited communication.

Read More:Always More.

20020822(Commentary):1st Spam
One of the dubious advantages of having your own domain is that you can set up a 'catch-all' email alias where things sent to 'anything@yourdomain' go to a single mailbox. With this, you can set email addresses demanded by certain sites to be something that you will recognize later -- you can then look to see either who is selling your address, or who is getting sifted for addresses.

Apparently Techdirt gets sifted, because today I have received the very first shiny piece of spam in my new domain. I'm not blaming them, but I am disappointed.

Dr. Kola Adams, you are a blight upon the internet, and I sincerely hope that someone terminates your service quickly.

Read More:Isn't Spam Wonderful?

20020807(Commentary):Dangerous Tools
One of the comments made regarding this whole financing problem facing the Ottawa School Board is that deficit spending is merely a financial tool and that trustees should be permitted to use whatever tools they need to in order to get their jobs done.

Read More:Always More.

20020806(Commentary):Fast Breaking News Coverage
Tonight on CNN.

Our top story: Elvis is still dead! We can prove it, here's video tape of his funeral! Speaking of which, wasn't that a nice funeral we drove for him? We had to scrounge all over the country to find that many white limos! Yep! Definitely dead!

I'm so glad Larry King is on top of this story, I know America is watching it closely.

20020802(Commentary):The problem with literals
Article in the Ottawa Citizen about the pagans and their annual get-together called Kaleidoscope. It was an unusually balanced article considering the subject, and even managed to make the Christians quoted look like cranks.

Read More:Christians? Cranks? Never!

20020711(Commentary):The Caramilk Conspiracy Gets Weird
Today I have received this.

Read More:and a side order of bizarre, please

20020527(Commentary):An Alternative Caramilk Theory
More "intelligence" on the Caramilk front -- more speculation, and a modification to our existing theory.

Read More:I seriously need a life.

20020520(Commentary):The Secret Revealed
OK, I've had it with these stupid "Caramilk Secret" commercials that we are getting bombarded with on TV. This alleged secret is obvious if you sit down and think about it, something I did a few years ago when I was a smaller and sadder man.

(On the other hand, if you really enjoy the magic in the world that is the Caramilk Secret, I advise against reading any further.)

Read More:lets see how fast the lawyers get on this

20020217(Commentary):Save The Earth!
Cool cause of the day:
Anything that helps get rid of these obscene behemoths is good, in my opinion.

Me, I'm not against these things for environmental reasons -- I'm not entirely convinced that humans are having the catastrophic effect on the weather patterns that lots of people claim. Look at the evidence -- starting about fifteen thousand years ago, the global temperatures started to rise, and enough of the ice caps melted to raise the sea levels three hundred feet over the next five thousand years. Oh yes, we were in an ice age fifteen thousand years ago -- but I bet the locals at the time were a bit disturbed by the climate change. I can see them now: maybe this fire thing isn't all it's cracked up to be! Sure, there's no question we are influencing the climate, but it is a stretch to say we are the single driving cause of change.

No, I'm more worried about these SUV things for enlightened self interest safety reasons -- if Joe K SUV-driver has a brainfart and plows in to my car, I'm more likely to get injured or killed than if he's driving a Subaru like mine. And I can't see around or through these huge vehicles on the highway, which potentially makes life more dangerous to me and to pedestrians I can't see.

20011215(Commentary):Threading Is Good
An article referenced by Slashdot had a little snippet on the discussion of whether web community message boards should have threading or not.

"Threading" is a way of linking messages to replies to those messages, so that people can have conversations and the flow can be easily followed. A site like Slashdot has threading; sites like NetSlaves have single-threaded message boards, where posts are put up in the order that they were entered.

Read More:Diversity is good, yes?

20011206(Commentary):End The Gender War
Today is December 6th. Today in 1989, a man named Marc Lepine entered Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal and massacred 14 female studients. Since then, December 6 has become a symbol of the movement fighting against Violence against Women. Over the years there have been vigils, ribbon campaigns, and rallys all designed to focus attention on this issue.

As I do every year, I reject these activities.

Read More:Always More.

20011127(Commentary):The Price Of Law-Abiding Citizens
Although the local community has decided that speeding should be an issue for concern, they show a lack of follow-through when it comes to solutions. Various measures have been proposed, from more stop signs to traffic lights to even adjusting speed limits upwards. One favored solution is the so-called Community Zone signs, which automatically double the fines and penalties associated with convictions for speeding. There is one simple problem with this solution as it applies to today's environment: without an enforcement presence, you could increase the punishment to the Death Penalty -- but until a police officer writes out a ticket it won't do one iota of good.

We can't realy blame the police for failing to enforce. Current limits have meant that there are a grand total of three -- count 'em, three -- marked patrol cars in Kanata during each shift. With this limit on resources, we cannot afford to have even a single officer tied down to a speedtrap. Small wonder that it doesn't happen.

20010918(Commentary):The Legacy Of The Successful Immigrant
American foreign policy -- nobody likes it. Once side thinks that the Americans are too involved in a situation, while the other side thinks that the Americans are not involved enough in the same situation. Meanwhile, John Q. American is complaining that his tax money is being wasted even examining the situation.

The nature of the American foreign policy, a policy which satisfies nobody, is found in the societal makeup of the nation itself, a makeup that makes it unique. That nature is the legacy of the successful immigrant.

Read More

20010914(Commentary):I've had a brilliant idea
Hey there, mister police man. You say you have a problem. You say that the trafficking in stolen merchandise and drugs has reached an unprecedented level of criminal activity. You say that the area is flooded with the cash proceeds of such enterprises and that things are spiraling out of control.

Well, have I got a great idea for you: pass some blatantly fake $100 bills around.

Read More:yer gonna do WHAT?!

20010913(Commentary):Bloodied, but Unbowed
Normally I'm against such blatant flag waving, but I think this is an important moment to make an exception: when we returned to the air, we proved that they have not won.

(John Potts waves a U.S. flag as a Delta plane loaded with passengers takes off from Dallas-Fort Worth International airport in Grapevine, Texas, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2001. Air traffic had been grounded since Tuesday when terrorists hijacked four jetliners to use them as missiles against American landmarks. Two hit the World Trade Center. One hit the Pentagon and another crashed into the Pennsylvania countryside. (AP Photo/LM Otero))

20010913(Commentary):Bloodied, but Unbowed
Normally I'm against such blatant flag waving, but I think this is an important moment to make an exception: when we returned to the air, we proved that they have not won.

(John Potts waves a U.S. flag as a Delta plane loaded with passengers takes off from Dallas-Fort Worth International airport in Grapevine, Texas, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2001. Air traffic had been grounded since Tuesday when terrorists hijacked four jetliners to use them as missiles against American landmarks. Two hit the World Trade Center. One hit the Pentagon and another crashed into the Pennsylvania countryside. (AP Photo/LM Otero))

20010911(Commentary):A Moment Of Silence
Let me just say one thing: thousands of people have died today. People like you and me and the next guy, who were just trying to do a job to get on with their lives. In a different city or time or whatever, that would be you or me or the next guy in those towers today. That would be our families who were shattered. Think about that.

I want our American friends to know that we are here for you, that we will help you however we can.

But today is not the day for recriminations or retaliations. Today is not the day to count the costs or losses or the paper values of the tragedy.

Today is the day to help the survivors and mourn the dead.

Tomorrow, and the inevitable dying which must come because of this, will come soon enough.

20010911(Commentary):A Moment Of Silence
Let me just say one thing: thousands of people have died today. People like you and me and the next guy, who were just trying to do a job to get on with their lives. In a different city or time or whatever, that would be you or me or the next guy in those towers today. That would be our families who were shattered. Think about that.

I want our American friends to know that we are here for you, that we will help you however we can.

But today is not the day for recriminations or retaliations. Today is not the day to count the costs or losses or the paper values of the tragedy.

Today is the day to help the survivors and mourn the dead.

Tomorrow, and the inevitable dying which must come because of this, will come soon enough.

20010803(Commentary):What's With Windows XP?
So I'm reading a Slashdot article about how columnist Robert X. Cringely latest column says that Windows XP is the thin edge of a proprietary Microsoft networking protocol. That it may be, but in the discussion of XP in the column and in the resulting slashdot thread, people are saying something

Read More:there's gotta be something

20010614(Commentary):Last Words for Nerd Perfect
With the end of life as we know it charging down the calendar at us, Grapes has encouraged us to say some last words. "Be eloquent, be bitter, air out the dirty laundry" is what he said. (Well actually he didn't use those exact words. But I'm sure if it had occurred to him to do so, he would have.)

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20010419(Commentary):Poking NerdPerfect's Future
I'll be straight with you -- it's been a crappy couple of weeks, and I'm not just referring to the site. So perhaps I'm not in the most open-minded of moods right now, but I gotta ask.

Originally published to NerdPerfect

Read More:Alas, what might have been

20010126(Commentary):ZDNN sinks deeper into the mire
Usually, I don't have any issue with ZDNN's commentator Alice Hill or the commentaries that she posts. She usually manages that slightly overwhelmed and bewildered tone to her columns which covers the more inane things which she might say. To abuse a grossly unfair stereotype: she sounds to my ear like a housewife who's kids are finally in high school and she's now discovered "this internet thing".

However, her latest column is a half-baked theory surrounding the current slump in consumer electronics sales:

My theory on why people aren't buying as many electronics is simple: Today's electronics are sorely lacking in innovation.
Sure honey, whatever you say.

Originally published to NerdPerfect.

Read More:grab your hip boots, it's pretty deep out there

20010120(Commentary):Blogger Sucks! Apparrently
So disobey.com know-it-all Morbus has decided he doesn't like blogger. Goodie for him, but he takes a few turns down wrong roads with his rants.

Parents, better put the kiddies to bed, because I think I was drunk when I wrote this -- either that, or I was having a bad day at the office.

Originally published to NerdPerfect.

Read More:I'm a grownup, I can take it!.

20001024(Commentary):ZDNN's Paul Somerson Shoots His Mouth Off
One of the most beautiful things about the internet is that anyone can post their opinions on anything for the world to see. [joke]This means that you get everything from nuts like racists and republicans spouting their own brands of ill-informed (and frequently ill-spelled) nonsense to geniuses like me speaking the gospel truth.[/joke] But what gets me is that for all the amature content out there, the real howlers for sheer stupidity frequently comes from organizations which masquerade as legitimate media outlets. My favorite is ZDNN, who seem to provide a real winner in their opinion columns at least once a week. This week's genius is Paul Somerson, who's column Americans in the slow lane, left me slack-jawed in awe of his inability to rub two facts together -- and of ZDNN's inexplicable willingness to associate with such tripe.

Originally published to NerdPerfect

Read More:Opinions are like that thing you sit on.

20000602(Commentary):The Microsoft Decision
All right then, perhaps a bit of devil's advocacy.

On the straight basis of the evidence, Microsoft broke the law, and the deserve to be punished. The punishment must fit the crime, and the question is: does the proposed break up fit the crime as convicted?

Originally published to NerdPerfect.

Read More:Join the fight against the evil empire.

 
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