Goliath vs Goliath

Google and eBay in furious dust-up | | Guardian Unlimited Business

Google Checkout vs Ebay’s Paypal. Round 1. Two internet monstrosities duke it out, and all that happens is “well, I’m not gonna advertise on your search engine anymore. Nya, nya, nya.” Geeks have such pitiful ways of fighting.

Electronic Voting: Truthiness in Democracy

State: E-voting open to hacking – The Californian / North County Times

There is no shortage of evidence that electronic voting is totally unreliable. Nevertheless, two UC Santa Barbara computer scientists demonstrated yet again that electronic voting systems are easy to hack and to manipulate. In this instance, the Riverside County, California, electronic voting system was compromised by the researchers in many ways. This paragraph sums it all up:

A team of computer scientists hacked into the Edge II touch-screen systems used in Riverside and a dozen other counties, according to a report released Friday. The report laid out eight ways the system could be infected by rogue software capable of changing votes, including seven ways the team said it had successfully tested this summer on the actual Edge II systems manufactured by Sequoia Voting Systems.

Conservative dogma and conservative ideology seek to counteract change, by definition, because not all change is good. It is baffling, then, why people who seek to change from paper voting to electronic voting despite the oceans of evidence that this is a horrible, unproductive and disastrous change insist on calling themselves “conservative”.

Change is part of nature, indeed, part of life. However, not all change is good. The greatest virtue of conservatism is in its opposition to changes that deteriorate the status quo, changes that erode moral values, that compromise human dignity and that reduce individual autonomy. The notions that pass for “conservatism” in the United States at the moment advocate the erosion of moral values, the destruction of human dignity and the elimination of individual autonomy. In as much as “conservative” support for faulty electronic voting schemes reflects the conservative moment in the United States, American “conservatism” is precisely the “liberal nightmare” that the movement is constantly lambasting and claiming to avoid.

Irony, it seems, is a word and emotion that still eludes the American lexicon and psyche.

Aerial Coverage of High Speed Chases: Stupidity Manifested over Phoenix

Google News’ Summary of the Coverage of the Crash of Two Helicopters Covering a High Speed Chase in Phoenix

The stupidity of the endeavor–aerial television coverage of high speed police chases–manifested itself most violently today over the skies of Phoenix. Whether the practice will ever stop remains to be seen.

Listening to: iTunes: KCRW Simulcast
via FoxyTunes

Bluehost ‘CPU Exceeded’ Errors

I was surprised to experience “CPU Exceeded” errors with bluehost.com, the hosting company to which I switched recently with much enthusiasm. The development was surprising because Bluehost seems to offer a lot of resources to clients, and here I was getting these strange errors while I was editing this blog.

Fortunately, many have experienced this problem, and Bob Morris has come up with a solution that works for now. If the solution were not to last, I would be pleased.

Listening to: iTunes: KCRW Simulcast
via FoxyTunes

Put Down the Butt, Pick Up the Bottle

ScienceDaily: Outdoor Alcohol Ads Boost Kids’ Urge To Drink

From the children’s perspective, is this trading up or trading down?

Listening to: iTunes: KXLU 88.9 FM Los Angeles 56kbps
via FoxyTunes

To Nuke or not to Nuke?

Renewable energy could ‘rape’ nature – earth – 25 July 2007 – New Scientist Environment

The quest for a viable solution to the coming energy crisis takes countless unpredictable turns. Enter environmentalists for nuclear energy.

Yes, that most favorite of our energy sources received support, again, from purported environmentalists. The argument is entirely logical, too. It is the primary argument against the use of bio-ethanol as a source of fuel. Corn prices are already soaring as a result of the demand for ethanol made through corn fermentation, and there is already ample warning that the earth’s arable land area may not be sufficient to feed cars economically.

So, do we cover the entire land mass of the earth with solar cells and fuel crops, or do we use less space for nuclear power plants and risk periodic radioactive contamination? This is quite a dilemma.

For certain, we must abandon the fuel reprocessing plan that is currently being advocated by the US Department of Energy under the acronym GNEP, Global Nuclear Energy Partnership. It is not much of a partnership, and the only aspect of the program that is global in scope is its potential for global disaster.

Makeup. A Dishonest Business?

Cruzs fluttering eyelashes land LOréal in trouble | Lifeandhealth | Life and Health

Is it surprising that a company that is in the business of selling and advocating products that encourage people to discriminate based on color, L’Oreal, itself discriminates based on color? Is it more surprising that it employs false advertising to convince people of the effects of its ridiculous products?

Either way, it is difficult to feel sympathy for a company that sells sham products in service of a color-neutral world. It is even more difficult to feel sympathy for a company that hires Penelope Cruz. Does anyone besides insane directors (Pedro Almodovar who is insane, but great) and reputed closeted homosexual scientologist moguls (Tom Cruise) find her appealing?

Finding Convenience in Religion

MP3 juror appears in court on contempt charge | The Guardian

Necessity is the mother of invention, but indolence is a very evil step mother. It seems as though humans, impelled by indolence, know no limits in inventing new ways, using new religions and finding new gadgets in order to shirk duty.

The American “Ability” to Solve Problems

The Wasington Post | July 15, 2007 | by Steven Mufson | Climate Change Debate Hinges On Economics

The American government’s choice of large projects to fund is most baffling. The missile defense system, which is the recipient of countless billions of dollars annually, has been shown to be a technologically nearly impossible project to achieve and one with zero economic benefit based on principles alone. (Read all Google results.) Yet, as the article linked above demonstrates, environmental projects that are technologically feasible and that have huge economic benefits, are not funded.

There was a time when America was known as a pragmatic, practical country that created innovative solutions for large problems. The above reality paints a picture of a country that expends incalculable resources in order to come up with innovative means of creating large problems.

Check in, Czech Your Balls Out

BBC NEWS | Europe | Czech castration raises worries

The Czech Republic is a very sexually liberated and liberal country, as anyone who has visited Prague knows all too well. However, you are now forewarned that failure to control your testicles may result in the forfeiture of the same organs to the authorities in the Czech Republic. So, go easy on the Slipovic (or however one spells it) next time in Prague.