Saturday, December 31, 2005

Brooke and Mr. Potato Head

Japan to attempt take down of Yahoo!, Google

As seen on the Hidden Nook, Japan is planning to compete against Yahoo! and Google in the search engine category. According to Pocket-lint.co.uk, "According to a government official, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will kick off a study group consisting of about 20 Japanese electronics companies and universities on internet search engines ... More than 20 companies, including Hitachi, Panasonic, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Fujitsu, NEC and Tokyo University have joined the research group, which is expected to receive an initial government budget of about 12 billion yen (£60 million). The project is expected to take between 3 to 5 years. The report said that Japan wants to come up with its own version of search engine to catch up with the American companies that receive high profits from online ad revenues."

Friday, December 30, 2005

Old news, but for those who don't know ...

"Sony's settlement would offer consumers who purchased the infected CDs with a cash payment of US$7.50 and one album download from a list of more than 200 titles, or three digital albums in lieu of the cash. Sony would also provide software to uninstall the DRM technology and stop making CDs containing the offensive software."
You'd think that everyone would have heard about Sony's rootkit spyware, but that's not the case. I've had a few people ask me about an installation window that popped up the first time they put in a new CD from the company.

In a nutshell, it's Sony's way albeit just as opprobrious of combating those who choose to obtain music through illegal channels. It's an ironic twist of events.

If you're one of the few who hasn't heard about the rootkit issue, then read on.
  • Sony BMG Music Rootkit Site: "SONY BMG Music Entertainment today announced the commencement of a mail-in program through which consumers can exchange compact discs (CDs) containing XCP content protection software for a replacement version of the same CD without the XCP software, in addition to receiving MP3 files of that CD."
  • Wired News - Real Story of the Rogue Rootkit: "On Oct. 31, Mark Russinovich broke the story in his blog: Sony BMG Music Entertainment distributed a copy-protection scheme with music CDs that secretly installed a rootkit on computers. This software tool is run without your knowledge or consent -- if it's loaded on your computer with a CD, a hacker can gain and maintain access to your system and you wouldn't know it."
  • Sony rootkit: The untold story: "Just when I thought that one of worst public relations nightmares in technology history was finally coming to a conclusion, I woke up this morning to learn that the never ending tale has taken another salacious twist."

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Be happy when American soldiers die?

It's amazing the level of stupidty a person can find on the Internet. Whether it's this blog or the web site of Citizens Against the Troops, all sorts of sordid intelligence abound on the Internet. It's hard to tell if the organizers of the site are for real or are just trying to spark a response from visitors. For instance, they have a quote at the top of the page purporting to be from GreenSoft Solutions Inc.; however, a quick visit yields this:
"GreenSoft Solutions, Inc. (GSI) has recently been sited by a fraudulent web site portraying one of our employees as a supporter of the site, and the content therein. GSI is NOT a supporter of this site, or any related site, and has no relationship, affiliation or control over this site. The authors of this site are not a customer, past or present, of GSI or any GSI affiliated organization.

We apologize for their misrepresentation of our views, or the views of any of our employees. We have refused to comply with any of the coercive tactics and requests of the authors when we demanded that all GSI references be removed from their site."
Below are random bits of information quoted from Citizens Against the Troops:
  • "One of the many goals of this site is to protest, and suggest reform for, the military pay, benefit, and pension structure. As it stands currently, the compensation, benefit, and retirement packages that our active duty and retired military personnel get is outrageous, obscene, unearned, and above all: undeserved."
  • "The purpose of Citizens Against The Troops is to protest, and perhaps suggest ways to improve, the military pay and benefits structure. Many soldiers who sign up today do it to leech off the system, paid for by our tax dollars. Granted, there are plenty who join out of geniune patriotic intent, but that does not change the fact that the excessive pay needs to stop. Therefore, their true motivation is called into question, thereby creating the need to oppose them, while not wishing them physical harm (but not being saddened when it happens)."
  • "To the left, you see a soldier crying like a bitch. Maybe that's because he realizes his life is a joke. Each soldier should bear the responsibility to support themselves financially, while in the military. Do not force the innocent taxpayer to foot the bill. Oh, let the military supply their precious housing, but don't pay their rent and their salary. That is where the notion of excessive pay comes into play. There is presently no soldier in service who was drafted. Every single person chose to sign on the dotted line. Therefore, we as the taxpayers are being forced to foot the bill for someone else's choice. Along those same lines, if a soldier dies, the country shouldn't pay anything. Death is a known risk of joining the military, so the soldier should be prepared accordingly. Elimination of death benefits would be a step in the right direction, and would save quite a bit of tax money."
  • "The count of dead scumbags rises often. When the body count does rise, we celebrate American stupidity. Remember: A soldier who dies for his country still dies and another dude gets his bitch. We are citizens against the U.S. troops. Donald Rumsfeld is pledging that the number of troops in Iraq will be reduced, but does this mean that those scumbags will be kicked out of the military? Nope. They will continue to live the cushy life at the expense of the taxpayer. Over the holiday weekend, at least three scumbags died. Semper Cry!"
  • "A soldier is dead in Iraq. The story goes that he died for his country, but the moral of the story is that he's dead and now another man gets his woman. Worse than that, however, is the fact that the taxpayers must now dole out $400,000 due to his poor life decisions, and essentially support his miserable scumbag family."
  • "A U.S. scumbag is left to rot in a pool of his own blood, and that is just as it should be."
  • "The taxpayers should not have to pay for burial. If civilian life insurance won’t cover it (i.e. act of war) then the family should pay for it, just as it is in the real world. How is it the taxpayers' fault they chose to join, and the risk of death was greatly increased? Eliminating these benefits, among others, will save the taxpayers billions of dollars, and it will ensure these scumbags do not get funds they do not deserve, in life or in death."
The web site also includes support for the Westboro Baptist Church. If you've never heard of Fred Phelps and the 'church' then you may want to check it out. Note that this organization is worse than Citizens Against the Troops. (I've blogged about Fred Phelps before.)

Thanks to Right Wing News for the update.

Flushoff a success!

The Great Cajundome Flushoff was a tremendous success. According to KLFY, "So many volunteers showed up, some had to be turned away."

The problem at hand was that the Cajundome had been left in a state of disrepair after housing refugees of Hurricane Katrina for several months. To help clean up, volunteers were asked to "flush all of the 200 toilets and urinals at almost the same time to make sure they're working right."

To pull off such a massive undertaking, Cajundome administration instituted 15-minute rounds of flushing "which sounded like an orchestra of whooshing toilets, gushing faucets and flushing urinals."

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

More fallout from Hurricane Katrina

FOXNews is reporting that 49 people have been indicted for their involvement in a scam that bilked some $200,000 in Red Cross funds meant for Hurricane Katrina victims.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Barrett Report being squashed by Bill, Hillary Clinton?

"Hillary Clinton said today that she wants legislation to allow all ex-felons to vote. See, this way all the Clinton'’s former business partners can vote for her in 2008." —— Jay Leno
The scandals surrounding the Clinton administration go far beyond any skeletons in a closet. From Ken Starr's investigation and the Monica Lewinsky saga to Waco and the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, it was (and continues to be) The Clintongate Administration.

In a December 20 blog entry I highlighted how a report by Independent Counsel David Barrett may cause Hillary Clinton to forgo her presidential aspirations when if it is released.

The Neo Con Blogger reports that "... David Barrett, the last remaining U.S. independent counsel ... has spent $21 million on the investigation of former Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros, who lied to FBI investigators about hush money paid to an ex-mistress. The reason the report and the investigation have taken so long is that allies to Cisneros and the legal team of former President Bill Clinton at the powerhouse Washington law firm of Williams and Connolly have fought its progress in court at every step."

(Williams and Connolly is "the same firm that Bill Clinton used to help him through Whitewater, Monica Lewinski, and his famous redefinition of the word 'is'.")

Neo Con Blogger adds that "Clinton-sympathetic judges have sealed everything concerned with the case, including Barrett's report." What's being squashed are "shocking allegations of high-level corruption in the Internal Revenue Service and Justice Department under Clinton, which Barrett found as Clinton aides monitored his investigation and sought to derail it in order to cover up the Cisneros matter."

Among ways the Democrats have tried to stymie the report, according to the Neo Con Blogger, include an IRS official transferring the investigation to Washington for prompt burial by the Justice Department and "a recently passed appropriations bill, intended to permit release of this report, was altered by Democrats behind closed doors to ensure that its politically combustible elements never see the light of day."

It should be pointed out that FOXNews' coverage the report is virtually nonexistent. Primary coverage of it comes from The Tony Snow Show. On more than one instance Tony accuses senators Byron Dorgan, John Kerry and Richard Durbin of trying "to bury forever documents alleging that senior government officials tried to transform portions of the IRS and the Justice Department into a goon squad for attacking political enemies and aiding political friends." He explains how Dorgan tried to attach an amendment to the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill, which is intended to continue funding military operations in Iraq.

In additional reporting Tony describes how "... the 400-page Barrett report is a bombshell, capable possibly of wiping out Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential prospects. At the very least, it would bring to public attention a scandal that would make the Valerie Plame affair vanish into comical insignificance."

Robert Novak seconds the sentiments with his December 15, 2005, column in which he claims that the reports' "political significance [is the] shocking allegations of high-level corruption in the Internal Revenue Service and Justice Department [and they] are likely to be concealed from the public and from Congress." Despite the Democrats attempts to send the Barrett report to an early demise, Novak believes that "Sen. Chuck Grassley will still try to force its release. As chairman of the Senate Finance Committee with oversight of the IRS, he wants the first real investigation of the tax agency."

Human Events Online believes the Barrett report has drawn the ire of "three of the toughest Democrats in Congress: Sen. Carl Levin, Sen. Byron Dorgan and Rep. Henry Waxman. At the same time, the powerhouse Washington law firm of Williams & Connolly representing not only Cisneros but also the Clintons — was filing multiple suits with federal appellate judges supervising the independent counsel. The sympathetic judges sealed everything concerned with the case, including the report. Barrett was instructed to remain deathly silent on pain of criminal prosecution."

Despite attempts at revisionist history (see also, Hillary Becomes A Revisionist ... Again), the Billary presidency was corrupt and it continues today. It will be interesting to see the tricks and tactics the Clintons will use to continue their "political legacy." They're almost smoother than a Bill Clinton apology.

See also:

Goodbye, Monday Night Football

Last night was the final broadcast of ABC's Monday Night Football. The NFL will move the broadcast to ESPN.

MNF started the year I was born. Sure, it's the end of a 36 year run; however, despite being a die-hard football fan, I can't say I'm disappointed. In fact, I can't decide how I feel. For me, MNF won't be missed as much as the days in the 1970s and 1980s when NFL dominated the Sunday airwaves. I enjoyed Sundays watching the games with my Father and brother. Being much younger than my brother (and of course my Father), I enjoyed listening to them and learning the game through their comments and such.

Additionally, perhaps it's the fact that in recent years MNF hasn't held the mystique it once had when Howard Cosell and Frank Gifford were in the booth. It wasn't the same with Dennis Miller and his ilk. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed Dennis during his one-year stint on the show and felt he added an angle to the broadcasts that possibly many viewers couldn't appreciate or comprehend. I believe the vituperative attitude towards him was similar towards Cosell in his later years.

Other than Joe Theisman's broken leg, I don't have memories of the individual Monday Night Football games. It's more of the charactors who were a part of the show from days long gone who I miss. Perhaps that's why I have no sadness now for the transition to ESPN.

See also:

Sunday, December 25, 2005

I love Cindy Sheehan

Thanks to It's All George Bush's Fault!!! for the image.

Merry Christmas, bin Laden

Dear Usama bin Laden,

As part of the holiday cheer, I give to you a Christmas ham.

Regards,
Saint Christopher

P.S. Merry Christmas and I hope you rot in hell.