Computers: March 2006 Archives


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Chax is a very very cool free iChat plugin thingy. It gives me several much-needed enhancements to iChat, including being able to double-click an image in the chat and open it in Preview, Growl notifications, auto-accepting of text chat invites, and several "bugfixes" for iChat, including problems with how iChat handles Jabber groupchats.

The latest version includes perhaps the best enhancement of all: tabbed chats. W00t.

Only One Question

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I had Lego-shaped Eggo waffles for breakfast. Lego Eggos.

What took them so long?

When I Am Feeling Low

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When I am feeling low, I just look at the feedback other people have left for me.

top notch ebayer thumbs up!
Excellent buyer, fast payment, perfect communication, thanks!!!!
One of a kind customer, thank you and welcome back anytime.
I try not to think about little things, like the fact that the last feedback there was for a $2 vinyl wallet insert, because then I'll start to feel guilty over the unjustified praise.

Re: Could have written a book

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OK, I sometimes use this space to criticize something TorgoX writes, since he won't allow comments, and I wish to reply. But this time, I pretty much agree with what he wrote.

Stossel is an egomaniacal blowhard (or at least he plays one on TV, and in print). I agree with much of his political views, but not his style.

However, I guess I should point out that there is a legitimate case to be made, I think, for Stossel taking the money. It reminds me of something William F. Buckley says, when criticized for being on PBS all those years, being funded by tax dollars, while saying tax dollars should not pay for his show or shows like it: as much as he disagrees with it, the people have chosen to have it done this way, and there's a lot more hubris in materially denying the will of the people than in simply arguing against it.

Can you find me liberals who think we should increase taxes on people like themselves, who voluntarily pay more taxes, or who don't take deductions? They are surely few, and far between, and I don't have a problem with it: you abide by the law as it stands.

Although, Stossel's action seems worse than those two examples somehow. But I can't put my finger on why that is.

Now Playing: Dave Matthews Band - Two Step

Re: Bitch Bitch Bitch

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TorgoX writes:

The 19th century European term "bourgeois" and the modern US term "conservative" (and its euphemistic adjectives "religious" and "family") are both attempts to denote the same thing: herd behavior, where the imperative is "do not offend Those Who We Must Not Offend". It's not even groupthink, because there's not even a pretense of think in it.

TorgoX is seriously lacking in our word of the day: perspective.

Historical perspective: the modern U.S. term "conservative" is primarily a reference to libertarian ideals of small government, and adherents are actually quite willing to offend and be offended, and there's nothing "herd" about the behavior at all.

Ideological perspective: one wonders how this description is remotely different from the liberal "herd behavior" we see on college campuses, in Hollywood, around tech circles in the Internet, and so on. Like the local guy at a college campus in WA who was asked to leave the teaching program because he believes in the right to bear arms. Have much myopia, TorgoX?

Cultural perspective: he obviously knows -- or at least, understands -- very few "red-staters." There's nothing euphemistic about "family" to them. They see the culture changing in a way that they do not like, just like TorgoX sees it changing in ways he doesn't like, and, like his quote of Michael Chabon, they fear the effect it will have on their children.

But somehow it is OK for liberals to lament about the evils they believe are caused by conservatives, but not vice versa. Because that would require, you know, perspective.

Why won't people like TorgoX simply say "I disagree with you" instead of trying to wrap up their analysis of those they disagree with in pseudointellectual bullshit?

Re: This is required.

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TorgoX posts a quote from article article saying, in essence, of course we should impeach Bush, based on the Conyers Report.

The problem is that the report is almost entirely crap. And I am being nice when I say that.

I don't really want to bother getting into it, but I'll give one great example. Right in TorgoX's chosen quote, the author mentions the administration's "misconduct," including "violation of the Geneva Conventions."

However, the overwhelming majority of those claims have to do with Protocol I, which the U.S. never ratified, and thus it has no legal standing in regard to the U.S. Conyers even explicitly accuses Bush of violating Protocol III, as further justification of impeachment. After the allegations are presented, Conyers adds as a quick aside, "Because we have not signed Protocol III, the United States is theoretically not legally bound by the protocol's provisions."

Theoretically? Someone's not read their Constitution recently. The United States is not bound by any law that the U.S. government has not agreed to. It did not agree to Protocol III, therefore the U.S. is not bound by it. Period, end of story.

And most of the Conyers report follows the same nonsensical pattern, cherry-picking evidence against Bush, ignoring counterevidence, and assuming that the collective weight of all the unsubstantiated claims will add up to "impeachment." It's like the SNL's classic Change Bank sketch: "How do we make a profit? Volume."

OK, I'll give one more example. Conyers tells of the "16 words" that Bush used in his State of the Union address in 2003: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

There's a strong case to be made that the information should not have been included in the State of the Union: our own intelligence agencies could not verify the information. British intelligence stood behind it, and so we generally accepted it, but we could not independently verify it, so it probably should not have been in the State of the Union.

But Conyers, while referencing that argument, disguises it with a weaker one, because it is more inflammatory: he states that the 16 words were based on the forged memos that showed Iraq bought uranium from Niger.

In fact, the 16 words had nothing to do with those memos. This is, by now, well-known. The UK's Butler Report called Bush's 16 words "well-founded," and added that the British intelligence Bush referenced not only had nothing to do with the forged memos, but actually predated them.

But who cares if the law Bush supposedly broke has any legal standing in the U.S.? He still broke it! And who cares if Bush's evidence was accurate? This other evidence was false, so we can blame him for it, even though he didn't actually use it! These things are unimportant: what matters is that I, John Conyers, am an angry man! See me report!

Maybe Bush is an evil man who should be impeached. But you won't convince me of it by being grossly dishonest.

Too Much Information

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Watching SNL tonight, there's a spoof fake children's show from 1992 called "Token Power," in which various token black characters (like Franklin from Peanuts). At the end, the narrator says, "the Tokens would always be saved by Bryant Gumbel, who would carry them away in the CBS Eye."

Except Gumbel did not leave NBC for CBS until 1997.

Silly SNL.
<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Computers category from March 2006.

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