Happy Thanksgiving to all.
Wednesday, November 27, 2002
Monday, November 25, 2002
Where I work we have a very simple solution to marking out of date/obsolete technical documents, we use a large "OBSOLETE" ink stamp that has a spot to fill in your name, date, and reason why the stamped document is now obsolete.
Perhaps librarians could take a clue from our ISO 9001 approved practice, creating a stamp to be applied to discredited works. I propose something like this:
And in practice it could be used like this.
Sunday, November 24, 2002
Saturday, November 23, 2002
Friday, November 22, 2002
I just liked this juxtaposition
I'm reminded of a sci-fi book I read years ago (the title of which I forget right now) in which people spent their days at home acting in large radio soap operas, playing roles with other participants who were staying in their homes.
(What do you expect, real jokes on a site called "The Comedian"? I live in Connecticut for God's sake, insurance comedy is big up here.)
I am now listening to a man who lied to me. I happened to home the day of the "riot" in Florida, watching it all on the various cable news outlets, and it was no such thing. It was a lot of angry, loud, yet extremely well behaved Republicans protesting illegal behavior.
A big topic of the panel discussion was trust and track record, and Kaus has lost my trust.
Mickey Kaus of The Kaus Files delivering
"A lot of half-baked ideas that he
expects us to finish, just like a blog."
Also, he notes that there is "No such thing as 'half an idea' to a blogger," and no one wonders “If anybody had this idea before.”
Question One: Will blogging displace traditional media?
A. -- No.
Blawgs as marketing legal services. Use a well written Blawg to showcase talent, build trust, and make information accessible to potential clients. It can be scary for practicing attorneys to allow people to "look under the hood" of the legal process, but in the end you can hope to bring in paying business by building a presence on the web.
Keeping a site updated often helps improve Google ranking, which can lead to more exposure.
Librarians act as “connectors” (a term from “The Tipping Point”), that is, they put people with information.
Name of her blog is "The Shifted Librarian" because now information finds her, not the other way around.
By syndicated sites using RSS, she is now able to keep up with 170 websites on a daily basis.
Information can now follow people 24/7 on wireless PDA links using aggregators. What will the impact of this be?
Professor Reynolds answers some questions
about Blogs vs. Big Media
Also, the contingent character means initial reports are taken lightly.
Repeat readership of most blogs improves value of retractions.
If an entry is on a blog for a long time, uncorrected, it is likely true, as it would have been corrected if wrong.
Because it is cheap to blog, you don’t have to make money to do it.
Big media is imitating blogosphere now, but it seems more like those old state sponsored Soviet rock bands than the real thing.
Newspaper is a lecture, blogs are a conversation.
(MS Word doesn’t know blog as a word…)
Blogs are cheap, “Thin Media”. So is the revenue. Unlimited bandwidth for $36 a month.
"How did Salon get $75Million in debt?"
Prof. Reynolds takes the podium
Thursday, November 21, 2002
"If entertainment becomes so much a part of politics," he said, "and if that entertainment drives an emotional movement in this country among some people who don't know the difference between entertainment and politics and who are then so energized to go out and hurt somebody, that troubles me about where politics in America is going."Hmmm, blurring the line between politics and entertainment, eh? Do you think he means things like
- Inviting Julia Roberts to testify before Congress about a disease that strikes young girls?
- Having Michael J. Fox & Muhammed Ali testify about Parkinson's disease?
- Drooling over Christie Brinkley as she spews forth about nuclear energy while draped before the Environment committee?
- Propping Backstreet Boy Kevin Richardson up before the U.S. Senate subcommittee on environment and public works to talk about coal-mining?
- Anthony Edwards testimony on Autism?
- Having Senator Joe Lieberman attempt to get an assistant director credit on everything Hollywood produces, trying to make sure it meets with his content approval?
- Elton John's appearace, while dressed in a Versace suit, grubbing for more money for his pet cause?
Wednesday, November 20, 2002
"I think it's a serious business," he told journalists. "I think that humour is not in very good taste when one thinks of the men and women of the Canadian Forces who fly in those helicopters, and their families."Apparently it is OK to send servicemen and women out to do their jobs in dangerously antiquated equipment, but for God's sake don't joke about it. The song was made by people who actually do have to fly in these heaps, so the Minister's comments seem entirely self-serving.
BTW, here's the lyrics of the genuinely funny song.
Sea Kings in the SunUPDATE:The CBC has a good summary of the history of Canada's Sea Kings.
(Sung to the tune of Seasons in the Sun)
Goodbye papa please pray for me
My helicopter's crashing in the sea
I honestly don't mean to pout,
but my future is in doubt,
My co-pilot just fell out.
Goodbye papa it's hard to fly,
When my airframe is cracking in the sky,
For every hour in the air,
it takes them 30 to repair,
We fly these things on a dare.
We've had joy, we've had fun,
We've had Sea Kings in the sun,
But the engines are on fire,
and the Sea Kings must retire,
Goodbye Chrétien my stingy one,
You could have bought the EH-101,
Instead you blew 500 mil,
Just to cancel out the bill,
Now I need an airsick pill.
We've had joy, we've had fun,
We've had Sea Kings in the sun
We'll be lucky if we reach,
a crash landing on the beach.
While even recently canceled "Ally McBeal" sweats and fantasizes in her own disturbing Skeletor way, wedding porn takes all the dirtiness out of romance. Each scenario is meant to get our hearts (but not our parts) fluttering. This isn't about sex, it's about shopping. For men. Maybe, just maybe, there's some passing reference to a nice butt, but the comment is made from a great distance, like the appreciative but almost clinical observations of a mother in her mid-60s who considers herself out of the game. Instead, we're supposed to get hot over the fact that Prince Charming has his own posh bachelor pad, that he buys fresh flowers and nice dinners, that he's earnest and doe-eyed. "Sweetness" is the Holy Grail, the ultimate turn-on. Can this man fuck his way out of a paper bag? Maybe not, but he recycles!
Monday, November 18, 2002
Since Nevada has a large number of high-end vehicles, she says, ''this is a big-time money loser, and it's not being done by people who can't afford it.''And then there's the useful-idiots, folks who would tell the master about their fellow slaves misdeeds.
Meanwhile, Christopher Lively prowls his Washington, D.C., neighborhood of Glover Park several nights a week with a laptop computer. His target: cars with out-of-state plates hogging valuable parking spaces. ''It's not just parking, it's revenue for the city,'' he says. ''It's people hoping to pay lower, out-of-state insurance premiums and end up raising my bills. It's people who don't want to get their cars inspected. It's people avoiding jury duty. And sometimes, it's people trying to avoid paying D.C. income taxes.''
Lively, 39, is a property manager and elected neighborhood commissioner who has pressed for city action to stop the license plate scofflaws. He even became a reserve police officer to help.
Lively and three neighbors have accompanied police officers three nights a week since 1999. Police spot the suspected vehicles, and the volunteers run the plate numbers through the computer. The officer must issue the citation. The district launched a citywide enforcement program this summer.
Some people disapprove of Lively's efforts.
''They ask me, 'Why aren't you out fighting crooks,' '' he says. But most residents ''smile, applaud me and say thanks for doing a good job.''
Saturday, November 16, 2002
You should be able to click on the "bookmarks" within the image to get brought to the proper link.
If anyone wants the .ico files I used to make this they can be downloaded here, here, and here, respectively. Simply right mouseclick the appropriate "here" and choose "Save Target As". (Non IE users are on your own.)
Friday, November 15, 2002
With the world in the current shape that it is, I doubt very much that Godwin's law itself will be repealed any time soon.
Thursday, November 14, 2002
I note in passing that his Holiness Pope John Paul II turned 82 on May 18.
Wednesday, November 13, 2002
Tuesday, November 12, 2002
Due to varied marketing strategies and regulatory structures the two countries often have quite disparate pricing structures for equivalent goods and services. Canadians on average earn less, and get to keep less of what they earn after taxes, than Americans. Still, Canada represents a sizable, wealthy market that businesses do not want to give up on by pricing themselves out of reach of its consumers so they price accordingly.
Since my trip to the Maritimes this summer I've suspected that there might exist an exploitable US-Canada pricing differential on DVD movies. My wife and I stopped into a Canadian discount store and I observed that prices on pre-recorded movies seemed to be, Canadian Dollar to American Dollar, not enough higher to cover the difference in the value of the currency. I filed this away, though at the time I did not see much utility in it because I did not see any movies that interested me.
A few years back I helped fund one of my hobbies by arbitraging a product from France to eager domestic buyers. Due to a scarcity of the product in the U.S. market I was able to cover shipping from Europe, ebay fees and domestic shipping and still turn a profit. Such ‘amateur’ arbitrage efforts can be seen on ebay every day of the week, evening out market disparities across the world. Did I miss an opportunity not loading up on DVD's north of the border?
The idea to exploit this market inefficiency came up again after it was brought to my attention that some items in the Amazon Canada store are quite a bit cheaper than in the regular U.S. Amazon.com, when the effects of currency exchange are included. Though I'm not sure I'm not sure it is enough of a price differential to create a viable arbitrage opportunity, but it bears watching.
For example, Canada's Amazon offers the 4 DVD set of 24 - Season One, $53.94 CDN ($US 34.35) versus its $44.98 U.S. price. Granted, shipping internationally will set you back a tick under $7.00 Canadian versus the "free" Amazon shipping so long as you stay in your own country. (Minimum order for free shipping of $25 US, $39 CAN, some exceptions apply.)
The difference becomes even more shocking when you start to look at higher priced items, such as the six DVD set of Band of Brothers. It goes for just $89.67 CDN versus its comparatively astronomical price of $77.99 US. Converted to US dollars the Canadian price represents $57.11 US, an over $20 savings off of the US price. It might just be that the story of some US soldiers in WWII isn't valued as highly in Canada as it in the US.
This affect does not appear across the board on all items.
On many items, it appears that pricing is simply set by scaling the US price by an inflated exchange rate. Witness for example Watchmen, a character from which this blog is named. Dot-Com has it for $13.97 American while Dot-See-Eh has it for $23.07. The two prices suggest an exchange rate of 1.65:1, not a good deal (today) for someone buying from the dot-see-Eh. I suspect this might be a function of what they bother to stock in Canada versus items that have to be shipped in from the US to then sell in Canada, but my supposition is 100% pure speculation (accept no substitute).
Granted some of this has to do with the particularly weak position of the Candian dollar, but there has to me more to it than that. I believe that companies are willing to make less per unit in order to price articles for sale to Canadians.
[Hint: If you want to try this out for yourself you can save an extra $10.00 Canadian (off of a $25.00 purchase) using coupon code "CANADATELUSM" (Don't include the quotes)]
(At the time of writing this post $1.00 US is worth $1.57 CDN.)
Two people are accused in the Washington area sniper case — John Muhammad, who is 41, and Lee Malvo, 17. One is an adult, the other a juvenile. Yet the government has consistently ignored the fact that Mr. Malvo deserves consideration appropriate for someone his age.Now don't get me wrong: If the police really did inappropriately deny Mr. Malvo effective assistance of counsel by disallowing his court-appointed guardian from tending to Mr. Malvo's interests, then certainly a wrong has been committed.
The Times has lost it, however, because it still refuses to acknowledge that evil exists and that some people are simply no damn good.
I wonder if they would offer-up the same editorial slant should a 17-year old U.S. Marine get accused of a human rights violation?
Sunday, November 10, 2002
Despicable. It's not like these fools have ever had to do any real heavy lifting at any time in their lives. Now that Republicans have taken back the Senate they are going to allow the likes of Chairman Leaky to hold power for a few more months out of sheer laziness?
If true this is despicable.
Thursday, November 07, 2002
Wednesday, November 06, 2002
Tuesday, November 05, 2002
I moved into a new home, in a new town, back in late September. Like a good little subject I changed my address with all the relevant state agencies, including the DMV, using its online address change page. Silly me, I thought that by properly not checking the box marked "If change of address is NOT for voter registration purposes, check here" I would be updating my voter registration.
Turns out I was half right. The DMV studiously cancelled my old voter registration, but neglected to forward the information to my new town before the deadline to vote today. I called the registrar of voters a day too late to check on the paperwork and I was told there was no way to put this right.
Sure enough, I received a cancellation in the mail from my old town, and I've been promised that my registration will be automatic in the new town, just not anytime soon.
I guess these idiots never heard of committment control. Had they held off on cancelling the old reservation until they were sure the new one was in place I would have been fine. I guess it was just my bad luck to move at the wrong time of year.
Monday, November 04, 2002
UPDATE: Anil Dash had been tracking Mr. Brody further and longer than I.
Sunday, November 03, 2002
UPDATE: An alert reader notes that this firm has bragged about placing Heineken on The Sopranos, and it also reps for Philips.
Friday, November 01, 2002
According to Frazer, however, there are specific advantages to having Gannett (Cornell's infirmary) sell vibrators. As with anything else they sell, the dispensary will give out educational materials explaining how to properly clean a vibrator that two women are going to share and what exactly vibrators can be used for. She said that in a recent meeting she had with women from all across the campus, many were concerned that Gannett should have educational brochures along with the vibrators for this purpose.So, do you think that in the interest of fairness and inclusiveness straight men could convince Gannett to carry love dolls, just so long as it includes educational material with the doll? Can you imagine some of the tips on love doll usage?
- Your love doll is made of high quality, medical grade latex. Take care of it and it will provide you with a lifetime of pleasure.
- Though it may be fun, and even your kink, never use your love doll in the stacks. Love doll use should be restricted to study areas, such as the fishbowl, or the main reading room.
- Always clean your love doll after every use, whether or not you plan to share it. You never know who might be using it next.
- Though you may treat it as a life partner, your love doll does not give you the right to drive in HOV-2 lanes.
- Opressors on campus may not be accepting of your chosen lifestyle. Please report any hatecrimes or incidents to Campus Police at 5-1111.
- Never mix old and new batteries in your love doll.
- In case of burning or itching, discontinue use.