Tuesday, December 30, 2008

148 apps

To all iPhone and iPod Touch aficionados who don't know this site yet, go and have fun with 148 Apps. You got all the app news your heart would ever desire. And, if you happen to have bought your iPhone in order to play video games rather than place or receive calls, this is your Shangri-La!

Don't forget to check out their one single page that shows all apps available on the App Store. Real cute! If you're pretty bored one day and you got no clue what to do next, surf to that page, cover your eyes with one hand and left-click at random on the page with the thousands thumbnails with the other. You'll pick one out of 13,5 thousand apps +, as of today. The click links you to iTunes where, if you like what you see, you just click further to buy/download the darn thing! Anyways... a taste of contemporary habits, that is.

The news, that they put up on top today at 148apps, was about a group of app designer companies who are about to launch a New Year sale initiative on a number of their apps (20 right now). Check this out here. Why is this important? To most rational beings out there, this is not such a big deal, innit? To me though, a chronic Mac addict who looks stunned every time His Jobness launches a new market, this oligarchic 'sale' get-together is a signal about future great things to happen on the cybermarket space. First, we had a 'simple' model of the App store: It only takes a few (not too sophisticated) app designers who'd only need a cool idea and turn it into an iPhone app; then, let Apple do the rest, that is, marketing, delivery and collection. Now, some wizkiddo's got together to create 'sale cartels'. Why not? Next thing we see is volume discounts... who knows what else? Creativity is the best virtue of the human kind. We are where we are as the dominant species of earthy nature, after millions of years of Darwinian evolution (sorry, Miss Palin!), only because of one half of our brains... the creative half!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Almighty Macintosh

I've been a switcher for almost ten years (from the last versions of MacOS 8 and 9 something) and I discover something new every day. Mostly, something useful that if I had known earlier it would have saved me a pile of work. More often than I'd like to admit, the new 'discovery' has been sitting there, staring at me all that time, but I was far too sophisticated to 'see' it. Problem is, I'm still suffering from chronic BluScreen-itis, even ten years later... the syndrome that gives you the shivers every time you got to try something new in Microsoft Windows.

How about this as an experience I had this afternoon while trying an iPhone/iPodTouch app that goes under the name of NumberKey. Very simple app that is... it just simulates an external numeric pad, especially useful if you are using a laptop Mac. As you all know, Macbooks have their numerals on the top row and this is not exceptionally convenient if you're used to keyboards with dedicated numeric pads on the right of the alpha section.

How this little marvel achieves that is to use the available Wifi to connect to your Macbook and transform itself into a genuine numeric pad as shown in the picture here. So far so good. What happens though if there's no Wifi available? Suppose you're in the middle of the Kalahari desert! What would you do then?

Well, it appears that Apple thought of that too. With literally two clicks (sic) you turn your plain Macbook into a base station of a new WLAN to which any other wireless devices can connect! Just like that! Well, try that with a Windows box! It actually took twice as much time to connect a freakin' Windows netbook to the Macbook network than it took me to create the slick network in the first place. Anyways, the iPhone/iPod-Touch with the NumberKey swiftly connected to the fresh Macbook WLAN like it'd do with any other WLAN.

That's good to know. Suppose you router gives up the spirits one sunny day. And it's Sunday afternoon! And you got no base station replacement. And you got a bunch of kids screaming about how they crashed their IM chatting with their pals and a spouse who wants to check her mail and surf the 'Gardener's World' of all things. What'd you do then? If you got Windows boxes (I'm sure they can do the same too) you swear yourself to death thru all sorts of manuals and the latest driver updates that you just happen to miss and by the time you fix the mess, if at all, your kids' chatting mates gone away and the spouse hijacked the master TV with the weekly episode of 'Royalty' (true story).

With a MacBook WLAN being able to get set in a microsec though, Bob's your uncle! Everybody's up and running within moments from realizing something was even wrong with the junkyard router you picked up at a discount store the day before.

Morale of the story: Mac rules!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Phantastic World of the Great Depression 2.0

Every news story I see on the online and printed Press nowadays is about the economy. For the last four months, at least, every story has come up with superlatives about how bad the economy is. We are not even talking about tabloid Press. Serious papers and magazines like the New York Times, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and even the online liberal Huffington Post are full of negativity on the economy and how everything is depressed. Records of all things measurable are daily being broken and negative statistics became the modern day Armageddon that implodes readers' hopes for improvement into a massive black hole.

I tried to verify some of these stories via my local US source, my pal John in Atlanta, Georgia. Sad to say, he sounds even more depressed than the rest of them US reporters and bloggers. Apparently the evil is already happening in the US, big time! The stories sound... true. Scores of companies go out of business, banks use the bail out money for God knows what and continue to deny credit to normal businesses and the common man on Main Street. The remains of the Bush Administration are far from being capable to even keep an eye on how US taxpayer bailout money is being used. Talking about a monumental clusterf#ck! In less than three months the economy in the US imploded. How can that be?!

I have tried for months to experience the same symptoms inside the world I am living in... godforgotten Flanders, one of nine provinces in wee-tiny Belgium, a 'country' with one of the highest population densities on the planet. Is this a place of welfare and excellence? Is it a place where wise government cabinets manage the market conditions so well that we don't yet see or feel the recession, let alone depression? God no! We got the most incompetent cabinet and PM in living memory. It took the sob almost a year to form something that looked like a cabinet, and before his second year in power was over, he f@cked up so big that he had to resign with his entire team. Reason: he abused his position to sell out Fortis to the French. Even Bush wouldn't dare challenge the checks and balances in the US, despite Cheney and his other hawks! Well, our genius PM, Yves Leterme is his name, did just that. And when it came to light, he went cowardly to get his Justice Minister fired first, like Nixon did to Spiro Agnew, before he eventually had to resign himself, under the political pressure.

So, this government lot of ours is way incompetent to even spell the term 'economy' properly, let alone manage it. Nevertheless, despite this monumental lack of skilled steering of the economy, we are still looking for signs of a Depression Made-in-Belgium.

Let me give some examples. Fnac and Media Markt. Both of them being super retailers for all stuff electronics, music, and the like. Something like Best-Buy in the US. The last days before Xmas and the day after (yesterday) I happened to pay a visit to both shops in Ghent, East Flanders. I gave up even entering Fnac as the crowd was so big that people could walk on the heads of buyers to get to their department of choice. The queues in Media Markt were triple the size I am used from the past. Last Tuesday, I tried to enter the parking of the Shopping Center Basilique, West of Brussels. After half an hour of wasting time and queuing in the car, trying to find a parking spot, I made a U-Turn and got my ass out of there as fast as I could.

The entire highway, both ways, between Antwerp and Breda (Holland) was packed in a traffic jam yesterday and the Dutch were to blame. You see, Boxing day is a bank holiday there (not in Belgium though) and scores of them Dutch drove down to Antwerp for shopping. The day before Xmas there have been 10 million electronic payment transactions in the Netherlands alone (2 out of 3 Dutchmen used his/her bankcard to buy stuff), a record of all times. Belgium was not far behind that. All our highways are continuously jammed, on weekdays and weekends, by millions of cars driven by work goers, consumers and vacationers. The Benelux is booming! If you call that Depression, well, gimme more of it. I'll buy that any given day!

So, what's wrong? Many different reasons for that... that's my empirical (as opposed to scientific) cut on it.

1. Folks in the Benelux are real 'slow'. They don't get what happens to the rest of the planet and continue to live in prosperity without bothering. Crisis? What's that? Never heard of it!

2. Folks in the Benelux are great money savers. The liquidity available here is per capita probably one of the highest on the planet if not the highest. So, why have a crisis? Wanna buy something? Get out and buy it! Credit Cards? Who needs 'em! Pay like a Mafioso... cash!

3. There's a real recession, alright, which the known businesses feel more and more, especially in the US where it all started, and then, there is a (Depression) Myth that is continuously driven by the Economy gurus, and the Media Moguls, and their slave reporters, serving a purpose that I don't quite understand. Sounds like the low inflation Euro myth. Since we introduced the Euro as the common currency here, most day-to-day consumer articles tripled in price... bread, coffee, milk, beer; however, the officially stated inflation figures during all this time were less than 3 %. Explain to me that, please!

Based on these experiences, and fed up by the depressing articles of the specialized and the general press, I have a simple proposal to make: Let all News Agencies and News Media run their next edition with a front page looking like: "Folks, it's true, the economy is seriously f@cked up and there's nothing to do about it. Get on with life." And then, they'll have to make sure that they won't publish any single story anymore about nothing and nobody living in Depression, especially Joe the plumber having difficulties to cope with the freakin' crisis! I betsa (I missed her for sure, that Sarah Palin broad...) we'll get over the current recession easier than we ever thought!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Photosynth games

To play around with the 'recent' Microsoft initiatives go to their LiveLabs.

Seadragon and Photosynth are interesting technologies. I screen captured my wondering around with ScreenFlow and then exported it to iMovie for some retouching and there you are, uploaded to YT. Enjoy. Based on a demo of the Photosynth technology about Times Scquare, Manhattan...

Seadragon experience

Just a few of my deep zoom test photographs... You need to install Microsoft Silverlight though... I know, it's tough to use Borg technologies for fear of blue screens but this one appears to work unusually well... focus on particular picture and start zooming in... you discover details you never thought existed...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Human stupidity knows no limits.

It's a well known Bertie (Einstein) quote that goes like: The universe and human stupidity are infinite... eh... though, I am not so sure about the former...

That came to mind as I was reading this story. A dude, called Rob, had his iPhone stolen from him as he was at his dry laundry shop (literally going to the cleaner's, that is...).

"He immediately chalked it up as gone forever, and proceeded to purchase a brand new one that same evening. It was the next day when unfamiliar contacts began to appear on the new phone. The (not-too-bright) thief was unwittingly supplying him with names and phone numbers of his or her closest friends, via the magic of MobileMe synchronization from the stolen phone to the cloud and eventually to his new phone. "It didn't take long for me to realize that MobileMe was leading me right to the thief!" wrote Rob."

Now tell me... is it that you got to be stupid to be a 'criminal' or is it that often some stupid people get so desperate and then eventually turn into 'criminals'? Don't know which way it goes... one thing is for sure... human stupidity knows no limits. Einstein's law of human nature proven right, again.

The deeper meaning of this story though is that MobileMe is just flyin'! Works like a charm. Makes possible moving important records from any desktop (PC, or Mac) to the cloud, back to a laptop or iPod Touch or even the iPhone! And back to the cloud! Happens almost instantaneously, most of the times. If you manage to set up the sync preferences properly in all your environments, MobileMe becomes an ideal strategy for syncing your mails, contacts and calendars, to name a few goodies... the best backup on the planet for your most critical stuff. No worries about stolen laptops, iPhones, or whatever, or Blue Screens on Windows garbage gear. It all comes together with a push from the cloud. I am convinced, this 'service' is even more valuable to Windows users than to us ol'time loyal Mac-lovers. All you got to do is buy an iPhone or iPod Touch and an annual subscription of less than 100 bucks onto MobileMe. The rest is sef-explanatory. Lose your phone like Rob did? Buy a new one and restore in seconds. No messages lost or contacts or agenda events. Got a new PC for X-mas (one of these unbelievable netbooks...)? No problem. Install the Control Panel MobileMe app and up you are. Configure Outlook for the MobileMe account and all your cloud folders find their way into your new gear within minutes. All are level set... there's a law in hydrodynamics that does the same with free fluid surfaces in a series of tubes... what's called again? Jeez, I used to PhD in these things and I even forgot the alphabet... oh, aging pains, oh, Alzheimer's...

The Apple Ecosystem approach to succesful marketing. Offer complete solutions and you'll master the world! This is the Steve Jobs first law of Marketing. Brings to mind a good deed I did yesterday. I was on Skype messaging with a dear friend and, knowing her recent buy of an iPod Touch, I am like: "Do you use 'Air Sharing'?"; she goes, "What's that?". I'm like, "C'm on, this is the best app ever since iPint"..."So, what does it do?", she sez... I'm like, "How do you transfer files from your Mac to your iPod Touch, like PDFs, PPTs, 'n stuff?"... Here it comes: "I... email them to myself", she sez, "too much trouble, I know, and hard for large docs"... "I know", I sez, "Trust me, try Air Sharing and pass the word"... "I'll have to do that" she goes... "Many thx, I gotta go now"...

See, it's not always useless subjects people chat about on IM sessions... IM is a serious platform for viral marketing, passing the word kinda-thing... not?

In conclusion, another lesson learnt today: If you happen to 'find' or 'steal' an iPhone or iPod Touch and don't intend to return it to their lawful owner, then, install iTunes on y'r pathetic Windows PC (Mac users don't steal things) and do a factory reset... but, I guess, that's too complicated for double digit IQ morons who'd do that sort of thing...

Top-gun hairdresser.

Peculiar something happened to me this Saturday morning. Stepped lazily to the dining room to have my daily ritual microwaved cereals with milk and read my long forgotten HuffPo blogs (Weber and Arianna Huff, are my favorites), at the soft music sounds on Radio 3, when the doorbell rang. Oh yes, I had forgotten all about it. The burden of every Saturday morning... A young woman entered with a large carry-on bag on wheels... my spouse's hairdresser, good looking, a typical provincial character, with loud voice, trained to throw more decibels into the air and overcome the torturing pain of the dryer's enervating noise. My spouse's weekly brushing was just about to happen.

A few long minutes into the brushing noise and loud chattering, as I got increasingly desperate and was about to wear my Bose noise canceling headphones, the dryer suddenly stopped, and -unwillingly, not?- I overheard my spouse's gossip with the simple lady, a local variant of an Essex girl. Always exciting to overhear women do 'girly' talk! You see, as it turned out, the poor thing was married to a Belgian Army pilot, flying an F16, who serves the country in Afghanistan, of all places, amid campaigns against the Taliban. I was flabbergasted. The gal was talking about him being away from home for quite a long time like being the most natural thing in the country. She got recently pregnant during one of his long vacation-returns back home and she's been explaining that he wanted to be with her at the gynecologist's every time she had to check-up. To which Rita, the spouse, very wisely responded: 'if he can fly an F16 he can sure watch the delivery of his own baby...' (wify laughs) Gimmee a break!

Is it the Belgians that are so thick, or naif, I don't know. I mean, this is bloody Afghanistan for crying out loud. Where the superpowers get defeated, one by one, in turn, for many years now. First the Russians, now us from the west, who knows who's next... the Chinese? Indians? The guy was away on flying campaigns with the Yanks and the Britts and all those other morons fighting the Bush war against terrorism and the savages of the Taliban. It's not the kinda vacationing flying to the Bahamas, innit? Apparently, to our girl, that was a husband's job like any other. Of course she's been proud of him... not so much about defending the flag (which one?) but about being a top-gun (she's probably seen the movie). I mean, it'd take a 'hard' character of a spouse to easily cope with a husband going off to work every morning to chase some Taliban, innit? Wow! The thought made me feel like a pathetic chickenshit, I swear!

And the courageous broad was chatting loud about his next coming back and that's a great job to have as he'd take another six week or somethin' paid vacation and bla... bla... bla... I seriously doubted whether to look at her with contempt or admiration. I reckon the latter, as if I were a parent of a kid serving 'there', or a spouse of someone in combat, expecting soon of all things, I'd be very worried... very very worried... But then, that's me!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

'Fake Steve Jobs' is definitely dead...

Daniel Lyons, a.k.a. Fake Steve Jobs, is for ever gone. This is the saddest thing that happened in the last thirty days, far worse than yesterday's announcement by Apple Inc that the real Steve Jobs was ditching the MacWorld Expo keynote next month, and sending stand-up comedian Schiller instead. What happened?

Lyons had a phenomenal talent to blog as the Fake Steve Jobs. He's been an inspiration to many 'cranky' bloggers out there, and I have to admit, to me personally as well. His way of saying things was just incredible. His FSJ blog is still up out there and you can go read some of his archives if you feel sad one day and need something to laugh about... He's done this for some time, drawing millions of hits to his page, and even making it to the list of the most influential dudes in America. However, one bright day in the summer of 2007 another moron reporter blew Lyons' cover. Good ol' Daniel decided two things then. Continuing the old gig was waste of time now that everybody knew who he was (the man behind FSJ). And, with all the attention around him, it'd be quite interesting to think about monetizing his fame (to feed his hungry 3 year old twins, he sez).

So, we got a new blogging spot from Mr. Lyons, going by the title: The Real Daniel Lyons. In the meantime, Lyons left Forbes where he was active as an editor, to join Newsweek Magazine, within the Washington Post family.

All's fine except for two more things: First, his new blog was nowhere close to what we got used to. I kept going back looking for some familiar postings and they weren't there. And second, the final coup was given by a recent (end of November 2008) posting in which he presumably insulted Yahoo's chairman Roy Bostock who then complained to Newsweek's management, who, in turn, reprimanded the 'wrongdoer'. And Lyons decided to ditch his second blogging initiative for good as he needs the day job real bad.

So, this is the end. Between you and I, it really felt like this from the moment his cover was blown. It's a sad story for all of us, as Lyons 'uncovered' writing style has proven sofar, from his other books and articles, to be far below to what we've been used with Fake Steve.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

R U sh#ttin' me?

End of November the number of download-able apps on Apple's App store surpassed 10,000! Downloads to this day are over 300 million. In less than just six months after the launch of this market, astronomical sizes became the norm. Now, if you look carefully, there are many apps that often do the same, like calculators, clocks, cooking, shopping lists, note takers, and games. Nevertheless, it's remarkable to see the (absence of) limits in the human imagination when relatively 'easy' earnings is the reward, like in a sort-of present day El-Dorado's. A couple of months ago, the story hit the press about a few kids who got together and created Air Sharing, an app for exchanging files between PCs/Macs and iPhones/iPods Touch, that sold millions of copies overnight and turned its creators into instant millionaires. If that is not so cool, I don't know what is.

Goes without saying, it is Apple that deserves most of the credit. Their idea to port OSX to the iPhone/Touch which thus became their mobile OS solution, together with a marvelous and robust SDK, make phenomena like Air Sharing quite possible. All you need is a great idea that promises to cover some useful consumer needs and the rest is simply history.

Now, talking about 'useful' consumer needs... I couldn't say that would be the case for this app, that goes by the name Poo Price and costs .99 cents. What the darn app does is to kick-off a time teller when you enter the toilet to do your business and keeps track of all the time you spent there during a day. Based on your monthly income it calculates the total money you made 'doing your business'. How useful is that... I'm pretty sure there will be enough morons around who wouldn't mind wasting a few cents to show-off their stupidity to friends and relatives. 'See dude, I made 30 bucks today, sh#ttin' and p#ssin! Ain't that cool?!'

Reminds me of the CEO of a semiconductor company, here in our little town of Oudenaarde, (East Flanders, Belgium), just over twenty years ago. He went to the bathroom one day and overheard one of his employees in the neighboring toilet making a familiar noise like reading a newspaper. Next thing the moron CEO does is to call maintenance and order them to change all lamps in all toilet spaces with much lower power lamps. This trick wouldn't work today though, definitely not with me, as I'm reading most of my news on my iPod Touch! And this can happen in absolute darkness, if needed. Like, under the sheets on an early winter morning here in the north, before the spouse wakes up...


It took decades for Greeks to get their act together and clean the city for the Olympics four years ago. Look at the state of what remains of Athens today, the city of the Golden Age twenty five hundred years ago, the eternal symbol of our western civilization. Look what the savages have done to it. The so called Modern Greek youth, college students or high school pupils!

Many compare what happens in Greece today to the French suburbs uprise a few years ago. You wish. Those incidents were primarily led by residents of the French capital but not necessarily natives with roots in that country for centuries... most of them were unemployed immigrants who revolted in their slums as the result of their misery and hopelessness. Trying to idealize, politicize and rationalize the incidents in Athens is loss of time and energy. The wrongdoers are savages who deserve to live the rest of their miserable life behind bars. Spoiled children from upper middle class are many among them. Bored with wasting their parents' drachmas they came to the streets to burn down Athens, like modern time Nero's. To oust a democratically elected (albeit waste of space) PM Karamanlis, they destroy, burn, wipe the city away from the face of the planet. They are the scum of the earth. Open up Websters' on this entry and you'll find shots of Greek anarchists fighting with Police forces, like the one hereunder.

What's in a man's mind...

Chinese artists The Gao Brothers perform during the award ceremony of the Kandinsky Prize in Moscow December 10, 2008. An enormous red star against a swath of real gold by Alexey Belyaev-Gintovt took Russia's top modern art award late on Wednesday, but the painter was met with jeers and labelled a 'fascist' by some viewers.

REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

Good to know... the Obama Inner Circle.

Click on image for sharper view...

Tell'em Colin! If they only listened to you...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Μάνα μου Ελλάς

A 15 year old teenager, probably bored from attending classes, if any at all, decided to throw some stones to a patrolling police car in a suburb of Athens, Greece, known for its affiliation with anarchists. Εξάρχεια is the name. Ironically, this is phonetically not too different from Αναρχία, Greek for Anarchy.

A 'cowboy' policeman steps out of the targeted car, pulls his loaded service gun and shoots the young brainless kid in the chest... in so doing he thus managed to send him to his ancestors in eternity and beyond. Similar incidents happened before in the US, in Africa and Asia and South America, did actually happen in Belgium as well as in many other Eurozone countries. It could still happen everywhere!

In Europe, police usually shoots immigrants and colored people, as of habit. Don't know why, but they generally do that. Couple of years back they shot that Brazilian kid (a foreign student) in London, I remember. He seemed to them to be a terrorist suspect! They actually shot so many bullets into his body and skull that it looked like a Mafia payback. Very rarely are indigenous whites shot in incidents like these. Except... in Greece. In Greece they do shoot anything that moves.

A 15 year old kid died because of his own stupidity and that of a moron a-hole police officer and the whole country stopped functioning. What a better opportunity for opposition parties and unions to call for general strikes and paralyze the system even more, in times of worldwide recession? Greek temperamental natives wouldn't care less. Destroy shops and the life earnings of innocent and hard working citizens, burn and destroy people's houses, cars and any valuables, ready to start a bloody 'revolution'! Gimme a break brother! How can that be... in a country of the United States of Europe, a so called 'cradle of civilization' (dream on...) its youth acting like in a third world country at the lowest end of the spectrum (I mean, they're much worse than Somalia and Myanmar, aren't they?).

Our local Belgian National TV showed footage yesterday of a ravaging protester, another teenager, appearing on camera and shouting the loudest he could : 'Cops, murderers, they killed that kid, it's payback time...bla...bla...bla...'. The reporter's mic gave up on the kid's voice decibels and subsequent sound distortion made it extremely hard to understand where the obvious anger was coming from. As a matter of fact, Greeks usually shout in conversations to intimidate the opposite party and win an argument. The more they are wrong the louder they shout. This all stems from their emotions of 'φιλότιμο', their love of 'honor', so to say. Like Arabs stoning and throat-cutting their daughters and wives if the latter dare look some 'foreign' male in the eyes. The Greek youth, always spoiled and bad mannered as hell, is now about to take control of the country, to rage and revenge and payback the 'forces of Law and Order'. Yep... it sounds like Afghanistan Iraq insurgency and, that smells pretty much so.

Athens newspapers found again a new and terrific opportunity to sell more of their tabloid filth with front page news blown out of proportion, launching cries like 'the headless country is in civil war'. A-hole reporters doing their usual thing, throwing more oil to the fire to earn themselves another pathetic euro! Only care about yourself, bro. Screw all the rest! And convince yourself (lie to yourself) that you are right and all the rest are certainly wrong. And shout your lies loud and clear! Like Lenin once said: A lie, often repeated becomes the truth!

Take a look at the front-page of 'Ta Nea', shown above (click for better view). They effin' burnt down the Christmas tree, freaking retards, for crying out loud! The one standing at the infamous Syntagma Square, in front of the National Parliament! Useless morons! Makes you proud to be a Greek, eh? What else?

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Superlatives of kudos... well deserved...not?

Quite an interesting article by Ben Cohen. About the Ten Worst Republicans who need to go. He even got 100 thousand hits on his site for this. He also wrote a sequel, about the top ten list of Democrats that need to go as well. With Joe Lieberman figuring on the first and also last position of that list... twice in fact, as he's such a 'dick-head', he sez. He published his top 10 Worst Democrats list on the Huffington Post, by the way. Anyways, back to the neocons list, I like most Ben's account of Georgie Walker, at the tenth and most prestigious spot:

"10.George Bush

I've saved the best for last. The 'Decider' will go down as the worst President in the history of the United States, and as Chris Rock put it "Bush is not just the worst ever president of the USA, he’s the worst ever president, period. Of anything." It's hard to top the hyperbole commentators have used in describing just how bad Bush really was, because there aren't really words to do it justice. Bush has presided over monumental fuck up after monumental fuck up, groping his way through the president with the finesse of a 800lb gorilla. I tried to come up with a list of accomplishments he has achieved, and came up with the following: 1. He has increased financial support to Africa to alleviate AIDs and poverty. 2. ............ Uh, that's it. He has presided over two disastrous wars, an increase in poverty at home, an increase in wealth inequality, an increase in the number of people without health care, a crisis in public education, the break down of national infrastructure, the literal drowning of a city, the use of torture as official policy, the biggest financial crisis in 80 years, and the irreversible decline of America's prestige abroad. Here is something to think about. Every ex President (aside from Ronald Reagan who had alzheimers) has a role to play in public life after office. They give advice, do lecture tours, write books, sit on boards of huge companies and head non-profit organizations. How many people do you think will be itching to receive advice from W? How many companies would have him on their board? Who would buy his autobiography? Who would pay to hear him speak? No one. And that pretty much sums it up...."

No further comments.

Terrorist Tweets

What more are we gonna read about? Please, read this article. Can you just believe that? I mean, not that Twitter or any of the social(ist) Web 2.0 sites are potential tools for terrorists, but more think about the morons whose insane mind makes them think and write reports like the hyperlinked above! Pays well though! Writing online reports like this... Sounds like real news and is fun to gossip about among friends : 'Heard the latest about Twitter? Lemme tell ya'...

Now tell me, what moron terrorist is going to use a Web 2.0 site to launch an attack? I mean, it's already more than enough that Secret Intelligence Services worldwide fool themselves with ideas like this and pay their staff real salaries to screen each and every message appearing in blogs worldwide to identify (remember Minority Report with Cruise?) traces of potential insurgency and go after the wrongdoers... mostly kids who are having cyber-fun and use Internet to impress their classmates and potentially get laid or somethin'... I mean, really, I never thought authentic terrorists (from Al Qaeda and their likes) would ever publish on a WSJ frontpage their intent to go after a specific target, would they? It would spoil their 'fun'. I know, most of them lack a serious chunk of IQ in their brains as they believe they serve a noble (my ass) cause by doing what they do, bloody cowards! But even so... go tell 3 billion people about it? C'm on! Even they'd know better.

OMG, in what a monumental clusterf#ck the Bush doctrine has turned us to. Rachel Maddow has been making some emotional points last Friday about Bush's hawky doctrine. I could hardly believe what I heard! I never realized ever before the deeper meaning of all that! Initially I thought she was just kidding the way she explained it. Have I been livin' under a rock the last eight years? I might as well have.

Go google the words 'Bush Doctrine' and link to the Wikipedia article. Sit down then and have your blood-pressure pills by your side before you start reading. Having done that myself, I turned eventually into being proud of... Sarah Palin, the hockey mom who couldn't explain the Bush doctrine to an interviewer (she's been supportive of it though - what else?). The woman, thus, has never been a real 'insider' element of the evil neocons after all... just a Stupid (capital S) cheerleader, she was...

Anyways, if you happen to be a Twit, or a Blogger, or anybody making a habit of calling upon 'funny' URLs from time to time, then beware... Big Brother Uncle Sam is watchin' you. They may already own gigabytes large data files with details about you that you've never imagined about yourself to this day. No kiddin'.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Thank you much, Dickie and George! God Bless!

Take the time and read this article in full if you got the time. Often I wonder whether we shall ever hear the complete story about the entire damage DBR (Dickie, Bushie and Rumi) and their 'security' advisers have incurred to the world with their Iraq 'liberation' games. For one thing, they were able to establish in charge of the 'liberated' country the third most corrupt administration on the planet, after Somalia and Myanmar. I doubt Iraq in Sadam's times was ever that high on the corruption scale... Anyways, Halliburton and Blackwater sure made some great deals down there for themselves not only by damaging innocent Iraqi's but more so the hundreds of thousands American soldiers. And all this at the US taxpayers' cost. What a mess!

A Georgia man has filed a lawsuit against contractor KBR and its former parent company, Halliburton, saying the companies exposed everyone at Joint Base Balad in Iraq to unsafe water, food and hazardous fumes from the burn pit there.

Joshua Eller, who worked as a civilian computer-aided drafting technician with the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing, said military personnel, contractors and third-country nationals may have been sickened by contamination at the largest U.S. installation in Iraq, home to more than 30,000 service members, Defense Department civilians and contractors.

“Defendants promised the United States government that they would supply safe water for hygienic and recreational uses, safe food supplies and properly operate base incinerators to dispose of medical waste safely,” according to the lawsuit, filed Nov. 26 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. “Defendants utterly failed to perform their promised duties.”

Eller and his attorneys are seeking to have the lawsuit declared a class action.

Diana Gabriel, a spokeswoman for Halliburton, said her company is “improperly named” in the lawsuit. “As such, we expect Halliburton to be dismissed from the action as Halliburton has no responsibility, legal or otherwise, for the actions alleged,” Gabriel said. “It would be inappropriate for Halliburton to comment on the merits of a matter affecting only the interest of KBR.”

Continue reading...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Goliath vs David... who's who?

I enjoy immensely articles like this! Nokia (Goliath) is gonna pick a fight against Apple (David). Oh me! Oh my! And we all know what happened in that fight, don't we? If we believe the Holy Book, that is...

C'm on... just look at this line from that article:

'The N97 will feature a 3.5-inch touch screen with 50 percent greater resolution than the iPhone. It will also have a slide-out alphabetic keyboard, making it similar in overall design to the Xperia X1 recently launched by competitor Sony Ericsson.'

So, the iPhone is all about a large touch screen and about keyboards! Forgive me father for I have sinned!

OK! Here's my five cents!

Marketing geniuses of Nokia and the rest of you freaktards... The iPhone has not been successful because of its hardware, can you actually grasp this? (ok, there's the element of superior hardware design in it, but, so what?). It's the iTunes factor, stupid! It's the OSX, stupid! It's their SDK, stupid! It's the App store paradigm, stupid! It's the 200 Million apps downloads in less than six months after the App Store launch, STUPID! It's the fact that his Jobness has been able to select, motivate and surround himself with the most creative team on the planet and he has been able to change the rules of design and marketing of consumer products for ever, STUPID! (Once I thought Gates was that kind of genius... but Apple runs circles around Microsoft nowadays. Monkey boy can only jump up and down and look even more moronic than he actually is.)

The iPhone, a sequel to the iPod, is not just a piece of hardware, folks... it's an entire bloody system! An ecosystem altogether! I just don't get it for monstrous size companies like Nokia to still fall into the trap and believe in their wildest dreams that they can beat Apple on the iPhone! Sounds like IBM beating Microsoft out of MS-DOS 25 years ago! By the time Goliath raises one foot, little David has catapulted him to the kingdom of hell for good! By the time Nokia or anybody else like them launches iPhone challengers, Apple will have designed the next gen of appliances that will change our lives for ever again, at the workplace and in our living room! Beats me how all this is possible, but having worked for some of the big and dinosaur companies myself, I am not surprised. In the Nokia's or IBMs of this world top management is blindfolded by seer arrogance due to their company-size and of all the BS coming to them from their gray and plain average (sex-lagging) middle managers who are telling their bosses only what the latter wanna hear (emperor's new clothes sort-of-thing). And all (that same) top management cares about is not how to change established paradigms and become innovative, but how they'll just make another quarter, receive bigger than life bonuses, travel in corporate jets, play some golf, get pissed and get laid with up-market hookers in tittie bars, and find excuses to justify their fat pay to the shareholders while making a mess of the company's 'strategy' (whereas most of them can't even properly spell the word).

Dream on Nokia! If product design and marketing was only that simple we would all be billionaires by now!

Heaven and hell...

I've seen variants of this joke, like the demo version vs the real thing, but this one is not bad at all... Enjoy!


While walking down the street one day a US senator is tragically hit by a truck and dies. His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.
'Welcome to heaven,' says St. Peter. 'Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, you see, so we're not sure what to do with you.'
'No problem, just let me in,' says the senator.

'Well, I'd like to, but I have orders from higher up. What we'll do is have you spend one day in hell and one in heaven. Then you can choose where to spend eternity.'

'Really, I've made up my mind. I want to be in heaven,' says the senator.

'I'm sorry, but we have our rules.'

And with that, St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. The doors open and he finds himself in the middle of a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and other politicians who had worked with him.

Everyone is very happy and in evening dress. They run to greet him, shake his hand, and reminisce about the good times they had while getting rich at the expense of the people.

They play a friendly game of golf and then dine on lobster, caviar and champagne.

Also present is the devil, who really is a very friendly guy who has a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time that before he
realizes it, it is time to go.

Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves while the elevator rises ..

The elevator goes up, up, up and the door reopens on heaven where St. Peter is waiting for him.

'Now it's time to visit heaven.'

So, 24 hours pass with the senator joining a group of contented souls moving from cloud to cloud, playing the harp and singing. They have a good time and, before he realizes it, the 24 hours have gone by and St. Peter returns.

'Well, then, you've spent a day in hell and another in heaven. Now choose your eternity.'

The senator reflects for a minute, then answers: 'Well, I would never have said it before, I mean heaven has been delightful, but I think I would be better off in hell.'

So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell.

Now the doors of the elevator open and he's in the middle of a barren land covered with waste and garbage.

He sees all his friends, dressed in rags, picking up the trash and putting it in black bags as more trash falls from above...

The devil comes over to him and puts his arm around his shoulder. 'I don't understand,' stammers the senator. 'Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and clubhouse, and we ate lobster and caviar, drank champagne, and danced and had a great time. Now there's just a wasteland full of garbage and my friends look miserable. What happened?'

The devil looks at him, smiles and says.......
'Yesterday we were campaigning. Today you voted.