Friday, May 18, 2007

Hmm: Sanctuary, billed as "The First Broadcast Caliber Online Sci-Fi Series." It doesn't have to be perfect to be interesting. I'm all for Internet media broadcasting, as long as it's of decent quality.

As opposed to Youtube, of course.
An interesting piece on global warming at Capitalist Magazine. Seems the skeptics are becoming more vocal, which is a very good thing.
More about Putin's continued crackdown on dissent. It's a good thing that Kasparov is a Putin critic, or we'd less of a face to put on the opposition--and, perhaps, less coverage.
For Windows Vista users, a decent tips and tricks site.
As usual, Scott Adams posts a particularly contentious piece on his Dilbert blog. He does this to stir up controversy, or so he's told me.
Is the only problem with Russia that they're rude? I doubt it.
I haven't thought that much about immigration, although I've been thinking about it more since I moved to Southern California. So, I don't know if the recently passed immigration bill is a good thing or a bad thing.

I'm guessing the latter, though, since it was the result of "compromise" between the Democrats and Republicans in the Senate.

Note: This link might require registration. It's been awhile since I first visited, and I might have a cookie.
Here's a bit more about Ron Paul (or, perhaps, about his supporters), from Little Green Footballs. As usual, LGF is ahead of me on things like this, but I'm new.
In an earlier post, I mentioned that Americans tend to have a very distorted view of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and of geopolitical history. Here's a quick account of one small aspect about which it would be helpful if Americans understood: the Six-Day War.

One can only imagine what the Middle East would be like were Israel to have lost this war. I imagine that 9/11 might have happened even earlier.
Ouch. I wonder if I picked a bad time to try to make it as a freelancer.
This is frightening, and everyone should be talking about it. Maybe I'll Digg it, and see if it rises to the top.

Somehow, I doubt that it will.

Update, this was already Dugg, and so far stands at 39 Diggs. Pretty poor showing so far.
Allowing oneself to be utilized by the enemy is tantamount to treason. I think the mainstream media is flirting with it. Thanks to Instapundit for bringing this up.
On the one hand, I believe very strongly in self-defense, and teach my kids that should anyone try anything, it's okay to do whatever in stopping them. I this, I agree with Michelle Malkin.

On the other hand, I don't belive that our children should live their lives afraid, constantly expecting and preparing for the worst. Life is meant to be a pursuit of happiness, not fear. It's a fine line to walk, I think, and unfortunate that we need to walk it.
Thanks to, here's a quick piece on the new Samsung Q1 Ultra. I would a UMPC: there are times when I'm out and about and need to make a note (or write a quick blog post, or defeat an evil overlord) when something like this would be mighty handy. My Treo's keyboard is just to small for anything other than a few words, I hate paper (having spent over six years consulting on how to get rid of it), and my Tablet PC's just too big to lug around everywhere I go.

Unfortunately, my eyes are getting old and that tiny little screen would be the death of me. And, I don't have $799 to blow. In fact, I don't have $799, period.

Update: The fine folks at also touched on the OQO Model 2, which in addition to causing me to go blind even before I started using it, would also find me divorced due to its $1800+ pricetag.
Scientology is both funny and frightening, at the same time. They're obviously wackos, and yet they're wackos in very large numbers, and with money. You don't imagine them holed up in some gritty compound in Idaho or Utah, but rather imagine them at swank parties in glittering black buildings with walls of chrome.

From this Rolling Stone story, perhaps the defining quote (for me): "'Scientologists see themselves as possessors of doctrines and skills that can save the world, if not the galaxy,' says Stephen Kent, a professor of sociology at the University of Alberta, in Canada, who has extensively studied the group."

Thetans, unite!
My son is going to love this. Hell, I'm going to love this. I didn't grow up on the Transformers, but there's nevertheless something inherently cool about them.

Take a look.

Update: Oops. I think I originally linked to a not-so-legal site. This link's better, I think.
I don't know why they're "hacks," but this Digg story does list some interesting productivity tips, many of which I'm already using and some that I know I should be using. Worth a quick read...
Nothing better than Mac fanatics going after Ubuntu fanatics. This Digg's link isn't working for you, so I hope you have better luck. But, I can only imagine the rhetoric to be found there.

I still don't get it: Linux supports only a small subset of the hardware out there, has numerous well-documented driver issues, and requires constantly dropping to the command line to get many parts of the OS working (including, for me, wireless networking, although I'm sure the Ubuntu fanboys would blame me for that). How is it again that it's better than Windows (of any recent flavor) or OS X?
One might be tempted to accuse me of hating Digg. Nothing could be further from the truth. Digg is great when it deals with technical and purely factual information. It's not so good when it comes to opinion, because although it's great when a story like this about digital photography rises to the top, it's not so great when a story like this bubbles over.
Digg Report: Today's #1 Digg, at 8788 Diggs, is cute. And that's about it.
Cox and Forkum, today's most rational cartoonists, honor the men and women of the US Armed Forces. As usual, they express things better than I could hope to do.

Let me just say: ditto!
This is nice, and reasonably priced. I'll take two.
As usual, the defender's of intellectual property rights do so using the argument of their opponents--that the real issue is "innovation," not the rights themselves. According to Ars Technica, the newly formed "Copyright Alliance" says it wants to "'balance those rights with the public good' and hopes to 'enrich our culture through incentives to create and disseminate new and innovative creative works'."

Both statements are codeword for a repudiation of individual rights, that says essentially the value of the individual is how he contributes to the betterment of society. Intellectual property won't be safe until the individual's right to control it is recognized, in principle, by its most vocal "defenders."

On a related note, I'm not surprised that Microsoft is a member of this group. The company has a long history of compromising on basic principles and sacrificing its own rights on an alter of collective guilt for its tremendous success. Bill Gates is legendary for spending billions on an effort to buy favor with those elements of society that consider him as evil for being wealthy.
If Digg and Technorati are any guides, Ron Paul is the darling of much of the activist IT world. This seems to fly in the face of my "IT is Leftist" argument, except that most of the agreement with his policies seems centered around his foreign policy views (particularly as they involved Iraq). Certainly, I can agree with his "Freedom Principles" as stated on his Web site, but his other views are typical libertarian--and I wonder why he doesn't simply join the Libertarian Party, outside of the fact that in doing so he'd be virtually assured of never winning another election.

If Wikipedia is to be believed, then Paul holds a mismash of views, in particular on social issues, and that (at this point) would be my biggest problem with him. I wonder if he has any consistent political philosophy, or just holds a laundry list of "values" as is the most important failure of today's libertarian (small "l") movement.
I'm not too sure of the veracity of this site, but if truthful, here's an interesting look into the attitudes of Vladimir Putin. I remain convinced that, second only to Islamic radicalism, Russia stands as America's most significant long-term threat.
I'm not sure where Michael Prescott remembers seeing Ayn Rand in bad light as an atheist. Her recorded public appearances are few and far apart, and I think I've seen most of them. She was a very cautious public presenter, and it was simply not in her nature to lose control of herself.

I challenge anyone to provide evidence of her representing atheism in any but the most rational light.
Celebrity Report: Dennis Miller has always struck me as a mixed bag. Sometimes I find him funny and on-point, at others, not so much. To see him describe himself as almost an Objectivist, though, is interesting and generally a positive (although I might debate him on how much of an Objectivist he really is). I didn't know he was even aware of Ayn Rand.

Good for him. Maybe with a little study, he can become truly consistent.
I'm usually not all that interested in electoral politics, because I find both major parties essentially bankrupt and differing only in details. Here, though, Robert Tracinski does a good job of defining what's deeply wrong with the Republican party--or at least of outlining the pernicious and profound influence of the religious Right.

One can only hope that the Republican party will truly reclaim its roots in the next election, or many people like myself will be faced with a choice between voting for a dictatorship of the loony Left, the continued deadly moralizing of the religious Right, or nobody at all.