Disney: Our Terrorist Mouse Is Better Than Their Terrorist Mouse Anyway

May 21, 2007

Disney Explains Reaction to Hamas Show

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – The Walt Disney Co. didn’t speak out when Hamas militants used a Mickey Mouse look-alike to preach Islamic domination because the company felt it would be ineffective, Disney’s chief executive said Monday.

Disney CEO Robert Iger said he and other executives considered ways to react to the recent Hamas show for children that featured someone dressed in what appeared to be a Mickey Mouse costume, railing against Israel and the United States in a high-pitched cartoonish voice.

“We didn’t mobilize our forces and seek to either have the clip taken down or to make any broad public statement about it,” Iger told a gathering of the Society of Business Editors and Writers at the Disneyland Hotel.

“We were appalled by the use of our character to disseminate that kind of message,” he said “I think anytime any group seeks to exploit children in that manner, it’s despicable.”

Yeah, but it’s just peachy-keen for you to exploit children to fund your subversion of the Copyright law and the destruction of the traditional public domain!

I hope they also rip off Minnie — and make her wear a burka!

Previously in this blog:
Mickey Mouse: A Real Terrorist!


Yippee! A Numbers Post!

May 21, 2007

A mighty number falls
Mathematicians and number buffs have their records. And today, an international team has broken a long-standing one in an impressive feat of calculation.

On March 6, computer clusters from three institutions – the EPFL, the University of Bonn and NTT in Japan — reached the end of eleven months of strenuous calculation, churning out the prime factors of a well-known, hard-to-factor number that is a whopping 307 digits long.

“This is the largest ‘special’ hard-to-factor number factored to date,” explains EPFL cryptology professor Arjen Lenstra. (The number is ‘special’ because it has a special mathematical form — it is close to a power of two.) The news of this feat will grab the attention of information security experts and may eventually lead to changes in encryption techniques.

–linkswipe via reddit

Ah! A Numbers Post!
Math Math Math Math Math Math Math Math Math!
Number Luvvvvv!!!
Number Luv: Pi Again
Number Luv: Pi
David Bamford Does The Math On The Number 23 Movie
Numbers. We All Love Numbers.
More Nvmb3r Stvff
Ooh, Myst3ry M4th!
Some Numb3r Luv


When Your Child Dies, Remember To Thank Your Republican-Voting God For The Free Market!

May 21, 2007

Chinese Poison Train Declared Unstoppable: Next Stop, You!

Poison toothpaste, killer cough-syrup, and tainted pet food are the tip of the disgusting iceberg of yuck heading our way from China. Over the past four months, the FDA has rejected 298 shipments from China that included “filthy” fruits, cancer-causing shrimp, and “poisonous” swordfish.

Rejected items often reappear at U.S. ports several times; importers gamble that the FDA, which only inspects 1% of regulated imports, won’t catch them in the act. Their slip-ups are detailed in stomach-wrenching refusal reports filed by the FDA.

Our puny food safety laws are no match for the wiles of Chinese importers. Federal law only allows the import of meat from foreign factories that have been certified to match domestic safety standards. Since no Chinese factories are currently certified, crafty Chinese meat smugglers simply send us their meat labeled as something else.

And:

Last year the USDA began to legalize the import of Chinese meat. Chickens can now be grown in the U.S., slaughtered in the U.S., shipped to China for “processing,” and then shipped back to the U.S. for human consumption. The rule was approved last April, coincidentally, the day before Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived on a state visit to Washington.

How long before some kids die from bad Chicken McNuggets?

–linkswipe via reddit

Previously in this blog:
The China Syndrome
The Algorithm Is Ask.com!
Today’s Quote
Is It Happening In America?
The Answer Is Yes
Healthy, Immortal Chinese To Conquer Sick, Dying World
Kenneth Eng Interest Still High
Yeah, I Know. But It’s Just So Damned FUNNY!
China Sets Blog Record Here!
Hello To China
Another Fake
Fake iPod Nano Fondle


Even After Reading This, I Still Wonder. They Are All Over Manhattan!

May 21, 2007

ON THE JOB
The mystery of the daytime idle: Why aren’t you working?

A funny thing about these swarms of daytime layabouts: They are quietly self-reflective swarms. Almost all of them admitted to me that they often wonder about their fellow malingerers. The funny thing is, everyone has an answer for themselves but is baffled by everyone else. Possibly this is like life itself.

Personally, I think they’re all bloody rich in Manhattan, these people who are out and about during workdays. The woman are all good-looking and well-dressed. And the men — well, why the hell would I look at them?


Junkiness: Today’s Bellylaugh

May 21, 2007

Yeah, I said belly.


Uh-Oh. Yet One More Imus Post.

May 21, 2007

Imus shouldn’t give hip-hop a bad rap

Now that disgraced radio talk-show host Don Imus has been booted, can we finally get down to some “real talk” about the multiple issues embedded in this racial theater? There is a lot to sort through here, but after a week of debate centered around “nappy-headed hos,” half-assed apologies, cries of censorship, and a curmudgeonly shock jock’s lame attempt at being funny, many pundits have moved beyond the core issue and now are talking about the perceived double standard they feel exists between what Imus said and what often comes from the mouths of rappers.

Previously in this blog:
Another Radio Firing…
The Bloodletting On Radio Continues…
Nope. I’m Still Not Done With The Imus Thing Yet.
No. I’m Not Done With This Imus Matter Yet.
No, It’s Not Over Yet. At Least Not In This Blog.
OK, Now What About The Happy-Headed Nos?
Dear God, When Will It End? And Whose Blood Is Next?
First Apologize For Being A Gutless Eejit, Then…
Oh For Christ’s Sake! Shut Up Already!
Civility, Decency, And Democracy? You Don’t Know The Meaning Of Those Words!
Maybe When We Surrendered To Crybabies About Speech?
Goddammit! Knock It The Fuck Off Already!
When You Let Loose The Dogs Of War, Don’t Fucking Cry When They Turn On You And Bite Your Smug-Ass Face Off


My Gripes About Tech And The Internet

May 21, 2007

Last week I made a decision to purge the few tech sites I had in my blogroll.

I’ve given this a great deal of thought this weekend. And I’m not going to change my mind about this.

Even though I did it in anger and the sites I had in my blogroll were the ones I could minimally trust (that’s why they were there to begin with), I’m not restoring them.

I also said I’m no longer going to link to tech reviews. I’m not changing that decision, either.

From now on the only tech items that will appear in this blog are:

1) Links to opinions about tech.

2) Links for Reference (e.g., “Ten Most Useful [insert OS] Utilities,” “How To [whatever],” etc.)

3) Firsthand tech accounts by me.

I will not link to tech news, either. There are plenty of sites that cover tech news and you should go to them for that.

What reinforces my decision in this item from, of all places, The Register, which is known for generally being fearless in covering tech. OK, go read that item. Then come back for the rest.

What was the bloody point of that Reg piece? Some people have called it a “hands-on account.” Say what? The best that can be said about that non-account is that its real title should be, Look At Me! I Got A Picture Of That New Fujitsu In My Goddammed Paw!

What information did that account give that wasn’t already known elsewhere?

None!

So what was the bloody point of it? To me, just the stupid picture.

Why didn’t the guy open the Control Panel and report on how long it took icons to populate? Why didn’t he see if the resolution could be changed? Why didn’t he try handwritten inking (he mentions the damned stylus, after all!)?

It’s as I said: a non-account. It’s not even a fondle. It’s bullshit!

And that’s why I’m not rescinding my earlier decisions. I’m sick of bullshit. And tech is full of bullshit.

This blog will be a Tech Bullshit-Free Zone.

I’m not looking to get invites from companies to their coming-out shindigs for their latest gizmo. They can invite me if they think they really have a kick-ass product, but only if they aren’t afraid of what I might write about it. And I’ll show up only if I have nothing better to do in my life.

I’m not looking to get on the list of Approved Reviewers so I can be granted a few days or even a bullshit week to drop everything else in my life and devote all that time to delving into a product in depth. I have better uses for my time than to prepare a report that will address technical minutiae I’d never encounter in my own personal everyday use.

I’m not looking for any corporation to think I’m going to hug them. I’m a potential customer, not a blind sycophantic fanboy. Corporations exist to serve us, not the other way around! Too many people who write about tech have inverted that relationship.

My time and my money both matter to me. And I’m stupid enough to think the same might apply to some of you too.

Tam Hanna dropped me an email and he put into words what had only been lurking as a feeling within me:

Today’s mobile devices are extremely complex and can’t be truly reviewed in just a few hours of lifetime… . Thus, reviewers should usually publish their reviews in a piece-by-piece basis.

However, sometimes publishers force their analysts to work fast (I never do so) and that leads to the consequences you outlined.

He’s right, but there’s also more to it than that. And it’s this:

The Internet Is Not A Printed Magazine, Dammit, And Tech Is Not Like Books Or Movies!

A magazine once printed remains as it is. It can’t be changed without recalling all of the copies (yeah, go try that!) and ripping out pages or pasting in new ones. That’s just not how the Internet operates! The Net is the greatest living thing ever invented. Yet too many people who write about tech treat it as if it’s just an electrified magazine. It’s not.

A book or movie once finished, like a magazine, generally remains as it is (let’s put aside “restored text” editions of books and the endless variations of movies once they hit DVD: “Director’s Cut,” “Unrated Version,” “Anniversary Edition with Outtakes,” et al). Tech isn’t like that at all. Tech can be revised through software updates. Bugs can be squashed (some of which a reviewer might not even encounter!), existing functions can be enhanced, and entirely new functions can be added.

But what are tech reviews generally like? Like a review for a book or a movie! Once written, never changed and never updated. As if they had been published in a printed magazine!

That is bullshit. In fact, even moreso than blind fanboy pre-release hype, that’s the biggest bullshit all. Because people will spend their time reading reviews and if they are convinced by what they have read, they will then go spend their money buying the product.

I think that when someone is in the position to convince people to spend their money, that person has a clear duty to their readers. And that’s to keep their review as fresh as possible with as many updates as needed to give their readers all the information possible to make a buying decision.

Don’t start a tech site and then dick around by claiming your writing only reflects your personal use — and then not bother to tell people a product you had touted was actually so bad that you stopped using it but never bothered to let your readers know that! Get the hell out of writing about tech if you’re going to pull that shit. Get out now! Stop misleading people. Be totally honest with your readers all the time or be prepared to look like a coward and a corporate shill and a liar when you’ve been caught contradicting yourself, contradicting your own past record.

When it comes to this blog, I try my best to update even the links. You can click on the YouTube category, for example, and see posts where I’ve had to strikethrough links that are dead because the videos were subjected to a DMCA takedown. Just last week I had to strikethrough a link for a blog because the blog had been deleted. And if you click on the 770 category, you can see that I’ve kept everyone informed about the torment I have experienced from that product. I can’t claim that these updates are done daily. There are nearly 1,400 entries in this blog now, and I can’t go through them all every day. But when it comes to material I have personally written, I will try to edit the original post to add a link to any other post that provides an update (see the original Samsung Q1U Fondle post) and, in extreme cases, strikethrough my own text and provide an update within the post itself. As it is, I try my best to cross-link everything, to provide a history (and to make it easier for search engine spiders). (At some point, I’m going to have to devote a few days to going through every post and cross-linking everything.) And all this is being done using the WordPress web interface tools which, to put it lightly, are not very flexible. Most other sites can’t claim to have to jump through such hoops to keep track of everything — many, many sites are actually dynamic databases and gathering past posts doesn’t require such strenuous effort.

I also really hate writing about tech. I keep forgetting that. You’d think I’d recall my own post at the dawn of this blog!

But those of who who love writing about tech: Get serious or get lost. Get honest or get lost. Treat the Internet as the medium that it is or get lost.

I won’t be linking to any of you any more, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be reading.

And I’ll wail when I see you pulling shit.