Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Hits nail on head...

When I graduated from college, the average corporate CEO made 20 times what the average worker did; today, it's nearly 400 times.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Friday, January 19, 2007

Thursday, January 18, 2007

More Americans Rely on Web for Political News

I think that this is true not just for political news but for all news. I have not watched a nightly news program, local or national, in months. I just can not stomach it any longer. TV news suffers from two very big and very real problems that they just are not willing to acknowledge or correct.

The first problem is the obvious left leaning bias that is just so prevalent in TV land as a whole and the news in particular. When was the last time the nightly news covered a story involving the use of a gun for self defense that did not try to vilify the citizen? When was the last time you watch any positive news from Iraq? How about positive economic news? If any of these are mentioned, the news is always careful to balance it out with the bad news. Housing prices are rising putting the squeeze on first time home owners. Next the story is Housing prices are falling, causing existing home owners to loose equity. Most stories have two sides unless it is event reporting and it would just be nice to hear both sides for a change. A prime example of this was the debate a few weeks ago concerning the minimum wage hike. You could tell that all of the networks were for it based on their coverage. They were sure to include in each story the required reference to a single mother with kids, struggling to survive on minimum wage. At no time were the consequences of a minimum wage increase covered. If you only watched the news, you would think that there were no negative consequences at all. If you raise the minimum wage by around $2 which is about a 25% increase there will be consequences. The extra money for salaries has to come from somewhere. Some businesses will raise prices, some will delay hiring more help and some will fire existing employees. None of that is ever discussed as part of the news coverage. Another thing not covered is that the number of minimum wage jobs held by head-of-households is very small. Most are students and part timers. After the wage hike there will be fewer of those entry level jobs to go around.

The second thing the news needs to fix it’s obsession with the “human interest” part of every single story. A store burns down and the reporters ask the employees how they feel. A home is raided for drugs and the neighbors are interviewed asking what they think and feel. I don’t care what these people think or feel. They are NOT the story. The story is the event and every once in a while it would be nice to get a complete fact filled story about the event and leave the bystanders out of it.

By using the Internet, I can search for relevant stories and if they don’t get to the point in the first few sentences, I can move on. I am not locked into the news program’s format and forced to listen to 45 seconds of incomplete facts followed by 3 minutes of touchy-feely before the next story starts. If I am reading a news blog and I think the story is incomplete or misleading, I have the option of leaving a comment or sending an email to get a clarification. I can also just leave and not come back. The Internet is not killing TV news, TV news it is committing suicide and the Internet is just filling the void.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Comments on "The most fun you can have without being Tasered"

Read the whole thing if you wish but here was the money line:

It was an image that all of the local TV news stations carried that night and I'm sure some people did get the message she was trying to send. This woman is someone's mother. It could be your mother. She is in cuffs because she opposes this war.

Only problem is, his premise is false. She did not get arrested because she opposes the war, she got arrested because her protest of the war, at that point, stopped being about opposition to the war and became about stopping other citizens from going on with their lives while she protested the war. As with most protesters, at some point it goes from wanting to show their opinion to wanting to get attention by way of forcibly imposing their protest on others. Too many people have forgotten that though this country gives you the right to free speech, it does not give you the right to force me to listen to it or to disrupt my life while you do it.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Free the Press

I saw just about the most ignorant bumper sticker of all time today. It simply said “Free the Press”. I don’t know what decade the owner of this sticker lives in but the press has never been freer than it is now. As a case in point, you have the New York Times report on not one but at least two top secret government programs designed to track and catch terrorists and the NYT gave them front page coverage.

No one at the Times has yet to be arrested as a result of these stories. These were secret programs designed to protect Americans by working to capture and track terrorists and the NYT with the help of government leakers broke both of these programs wide open with just token concern for all of the good that these programs were accomplishing. Both programs were proven to have been run with all proper oversight and controls in place. The government was vindicated, after the fact. After the secrecy and effectiveness of these programs was destroyed by the Times.

How much more freedom does the above noted bumper sticker owner think the press needs? The freedom to splash pornography on the front page, above the fold?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Toys for boys (and girls)

Here is something that is way cool that I might have to get, a remote controlled dragon fly! It is very new and I have not seen this before though it appears to be related to a PiccoZ. A PiccoZ is for those that don't know a remote controlled helicopter that is extremely light weight and inexpensive (we are talking $50 to $15). They are not true helicopters as they only have 2 channels. One controls left-right and the other up-down. Forward flight is achieved by moving the center of gravity forward.

I don't have a PiccoZ but I do have one of these, a Blade CP Pro which is a completely different class of remote control helicopter. It is a full function, 6 channel, mini-electric helicopter. It as a full collective which allows even inverted flight. There are a number of RC helis in this class including the Micron, Walkera and Mini-Zoom as well as others. Some like the Micron line (which are mostly fixed pitch) are smaller than the dragon fly shown above. All of these are a bit more difficult to control as they are "real helicopters" and must be controlled like actual helicopters and due to their small size are very susceptible to wind and turbulence.

I also have a few zip-zaps and they are a lot of fun around the house. It is exciting to see the miniaturization that is going on in the area of RC. I have even see (though I can’t remember where) a plane version of a PiccoZ. The video I saw showed a father and his daughter flying a pair in their living room. I will have to get my hands on one of those too.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Dark matter found?

If this is true, it is pretty wild. Would like to see the "map" they created.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Think about this for a moment.

Posted as received via email...

Denver Post:

This text is from a county emergency manager out in the central part of Colorado after last month's snowstorm.


Up here, in the Northern Plains, we just recovered from a Historic event--- may I even say a "Weather Event" of "Biblical Proportions" --- with a historic blizzard of up to 44" inches of snow and winds to 90 MPH that broke trees in half, knocked down utility poles, stranded hundreds of motorists in lethal snow banks, closed ALL roads, isolated scores of communities and cut power to 10's of thousands.


George Bush did not come.

FEMA did nothing.

No one howled for the government.

No one blamed the government.

No one even uttered an expletive on TV .

Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton did not visit.

Our Mayor did not blame Bush or anyone else.

Our Governor did not blame Bush or anyone else, either.

CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX or NBC did not visit - or report on this category 5 snowstorm. Nobody demanded $2,000 debit cards.

No one asked for a FEMA Trailer House.

No one looted.

Nobody - I mean Nobody demanded the government do something.

Nobody expected the government to do anything, either.

No Larry King, No Bill O'Rielly, No Oprah, No Chris Mathews and No Geraldo Rivera.

No Shaun Penn, No Barbara Striesand, No Hollywood types to be found.

Nope, we just melted the snow for water.

Sent out caravans of SUV's to pluck people out of snow engulfed cars.

The truck drivers pulled people out of snow banks and didn't ask for a penny.

Local restaurants made food and the police and fire departments delivered it to the snowbound families. Families took in the stranded people - total strangers.

We fired up wood stoves, broke out coal oil lanterns or Coleman lanterns.

We put on extra layers of clothes because up here it is "Work or Die".

We did not wait for some affirmative action government to get us out of a mess created by being immobilized by a welfare program that trades votes for 'sittin at home' checks.

Even though a Category "5" blizzard of this scale has never fallen this early, we know it can happen and how to deal with it ourselves.

"In my many travels, I have noticed that once one gets north of about 48 degrees North Latitude, 90% of the world's social problems evaporate." It does seem that way, at least to me.

I hope this gets passed on.

Maybe SOME people will get the message. The world does Not owe you a living.

Now this is cool...

Blue Origin space craft, first flight.