Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New Amp

Sounds pretty fucking nice with my Les Paul. I think I'll move my Peavy to the drum kit and the Marshall to my keyboard. My neighbors probably want to murder me now.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Solaris + Ubuntu


Monday, November 17, 2008

It's nice to be a Mac user

I got a new (used) laptop today from a friend of a friend. I did a quick OSX install to start fresh. So I started installing stuff. In about 30 minutes I was done. I just didn't have to do much to get it to a functional state.

1) All the hardware worked. Didn't have to go hunt down drivers on HP or Dell's website.
2) Didn't come with any adware or spyware pre-installed.
3) Didn't need to install an SSH client (my primary work tool)
4) Didn't have to install disk burning software (it burns ISOs & data disks, that's all that matters to me)
5) Didn't have to install unzipping utilities. It supports just about everything out of the box.
6) Didn't have to install a VNC or SSH server. Just had to click a checkmark.
7) Logged into MobileMe, all my bookmarks & keychains and Mail settings synced up automatically.
8) Didn't have to put in a CD key or activate

So basically all I need to do on a new Mac is:

-Install Adium
-Install Perian
-Login to MobileME and wait a few minutes
-Run Software Update a few times
-Drag the contents of my Applications folder from another Mac


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ubuntu simplified firewall

I'm liking the simplicity of ufw so far. I have done some pretty hardcore ipfw & ip filter in the past but anytime I go more than 6 months without using it I completely forget all the syntax and have to start over from square one. ufw is incredibly simple to use:

$ ufw enable

$ ufw default deny

$ ufw allow 22/tcp

$ ufw allow proto udp port 67 to port 67

See your ruleset with:

$ ufw status

That's about it. Quick and easy way to harden an install with about 45 seconds of work. You can use gufw for GUI management.


Expanding on what I was writing about last night... it looks like ANDROID has also been ported to run as a general purpose OS on ARM. It wouldn't surprise me to see some netbooks shipping with ANDROID by the end of next year. The calling features could be presented as VOIP or they could simply embed 3G and/or EVDO chips. There's a development board called the BeagleBoard that looks interesting. I might pick one up.

dovecot + getmail

I finally got around to setting up my personal IMAP server. I followed a couple different HOWTOs -- unfortunately like most things related to Linux each one was just a little inaccurate or out of date so I had to pool them all together to figure it out. For some strange reason Mail didn't want to see the folder structure correctly until I turned off the private namespace feature -- which another conflicting HOWTO told me to turn on. Whatever, it works now at least.

Next step is to get this VM on the work ESX server, give it an IP and I should be all set.

Microsoft's netbook problem

The whole situation with Microsoft & Intel over the 915 video chipset and Vista is really a lot more than just another class action lawsuit. It illustrates the major problem Microsoft is facing with the race to the bottom of PC OEMs.

Technology may evolve but people's buying habits don't. A lot of people go out and buy low end machines because they're cheap. These days that means people are buying up netbooks that are slower than most desktops/laptops being sold 4 or 5 years ago. Maybe they'll splurge and go for the $600 laptop which is probably short on RAM, has slow disk IO, and uses integrated graphics.

Microsoft needs to be able to figure out how to make Windows scalable enough that it can run on a $300 netbook or a $3000 high end workstation. If they can't, they're in trouble. As it stands now these OEMs are definitely not happy giving Microsoft 20-30% of the sticker price for a Windows license. They're not going to give up their narrow profit margin to meet higher specs. They will use Linux instead and offer Windows only for the higher end models. (as HP and others are doing now)

As I see it they have 5 major netbook related problems:

1) Intel's ATOM is faster than the Via C3 but it's more expensive. Not by much but when you're selling a $300-$400 machine every penny counts. Via will remain competitive in netbooks simply because they are willing to undercut Intel on pricing. If a cheaper option exists, some OEM will use it and get a competitive advantage.

2) GPU. None of these netbooks, even ATOM ones, are really adequate in terms of GPU. This isn't going to change anytime soon. NVIDIA doesn't have an x86 CPU yet (they will, but that's another story) and AMD/ATI are uninterested in the market. (because they're apparently just as stupid as Apple re: netbooks) So that leaves you with Via & Intel. If you were going to pick two companies to NOT design a decent GPU they would probably be #1 & #2 respectively. Intel's next-gen GPU design, the one brought to you by the environmentally friendly team that designed the P4) is a power hog. It won't get anywhere near a netbook. The newer GMA designs are OK but they're not finding their way into netbooks yet probably due primarily to price.

3) x86 CPUs are just not as power efficient as newer ARM designs that offer power saving features Intel currently only offers at the highest end. This matters because NVIDIA has decided to use ARM for their netbook processor. (for now at least) If you're using ARM then you're using Linux. Another problem for Microsoft.

4) Probably the single most concerning thing for Microsoft... the nettops are coming. The explosion of the netbook market is about to hit the desktop too. Without as many space limitations it's entirely possible we're going to see $100-$200 nettops at retail in the next year. At that price point it's simply impossible to use Windows.

5) Linux just makes a lot more sense on these devices. It's slimmer, more customizable, more portable, cheaper (free) and is completely capable of doing the tasks people want from netbooks. I'm not sure there's anyway Microsoft can compete unless they want to bite the bullet and just make Windows for netbooks free. I don't think the management at Microsoft is forward thinking enough to understand they have to take that radical step to compete.

If I had to offer Microsoft a solution I would tell them to focus on Windows Mobile. It's just inconceivable that they'll ever be able to make Vista/W7 run well on extremely low end hardware or ARM. WM though can do both. Unfortunately, it's quite a terrible operating system so that's another problem to deal with. It's probably more salvageable than NT though.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Nice SATA enclosure

I've been looking for a good multi-bay enclosure for a while. Most of them are just way too expensive. I've used a few Rosewill ATX cases in the past... their build quality is acceptable for the price you're paying.

If you combined this with 8x500GB ($52 each right now on geeks.com) you could be a nice 4TB (in RAID5) file serve for well under $1k



Thursday, November 13, 2008



It's not quite SecureCRT but it's definitely better than the old PuTTY GUI. Too bad it's .NET based.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Two way sync

So I've been wanting to figure out a way to sync two folders, both ways, so basically files can be added on either machine and end up in both places. There's an app called ChronoSync that does exactly what I'm looking for. I was going to tinker around with rsync but this seems like a much easier solution.

Basically the problem I am running into is I have two desktop Macs and a file server and I tend to have files floating around on each machine. For iTunes I am also using Syncopation to sync the iTunes libraries. The added advantage of this is I will also have 3 independent backups of my music. So if I need to take down my file server for whatever reason there should be no interruptions. iTunes is flakey with libraries on network shares anyway. If you happen to not have the share connected it will sometimes flag your entire library with a ! which, as far as I know, is basically fatal. When that happens I have to re-create my entire library.

Once I'm sure this actually works I'll probably write-up some details. I think I'm not the only person running into this problem. It takes 2 or 3 different apps to get everything glued together but it's pretty easy to setup.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Automatic Encoder design idea

I'm not sure the front ends really should talk directly to the individual components but I could see some cases where the automatic encoder fails for some reason and it might be necessary to have manual tools available that don't have to go through the flow of the daemon process.

I wish I knew some good programmers. The coding part of these things is what I am least interested in doing myself.

How did RIM fall so far behind?

First of all, their web browser is terrible. It really doesn't even classify as a modern web browser. Probably 80 to 90% of the sites I frequent are basically unusable on it. Opera isn't much better. Too slow & buggy. I haven't used any of their newest models but it doesn't sound like they've made any massive improvements. Even if they do there is a considerable perception problem to deal with. There are ALOT of BBs out there and probably 99% of them have awful web browsers. Even if they were to release something now that was very good it would be an uphill battle. Mobile web is now the real killer app for smart phones. RIM is years behind.

Second, they've really fallen behind on e-mail. Setting up a BES server for Exchange support is weak. It needs to be built into the phone's mail client. Attachment viewing is clunky at best. Needs to support more file types and do a much better job supporting existing file types.

Third, no wifi? That would have been understandable in 1998 maybe. In the year 2008 not having wifi as a standard feature is basically suicidal.

Fourth, they seem to be fragmenting their market. 100% touch vs. touch + keyboard, no touch, flip phones(??) QWERTY vs. non-QWERTY. Different screen sizes/resolutions. Not a good idea.

My suggestion to RIM is to just give up and adopt Android. History has shown (in the case of Palm, Windows Mobile) that once you fall behind it's very hard to ever catch-up. Even if you do catch-up technically you're fighting perception vs. reality. You can have the best current-gen product out there but people will always judge your products by whatever model they have used in the past. It's not really fair but that's just how it goes. A big move to a new platform at least draws a clear line in the sand to differentiate your new product line.

Since Android's SDK is all Java based porting apps would be pretty easy. Although there's really no single BBOS app I can think of that I would actually want to see ported. Even the most basic apps are in need of a major GUI overhaul anyway. They'd probably be better off just adopting the standard Android apps.

I don't think RIM has to worry about becoming "just another Android phone maker" because they do make some of the best phone hardware out there. They're going to have a big advantage over the competition. They have more brand recognition too -- it may be a little tarnished but it's not too late to save it. The key is not holding onto the past until the hole is too deep.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Hey Apple...

How about Keychain syncing for the iPhone? If it's already there, how about making it work right?

Also, it's definitely worth looking into copying RIM's unified Messages app. Basically it collects together all incoming SMS, e-mail, IM, etc. Make it accessible to third party apps also.

I think I've mentioned this before but it's worth repeating; let me use the iPhone as a remote speaker.

Thank you in advance,

Thursday, November 6, 2008


So I've been at this course on Cisco CMTSs this week so I was thinking about how the typical DOCSIS setup might look in 5 or 10 years.

Everything will be DOCSIS. It seems to me the industry is really wasting a lot of money on SDV & VOD. It would make a lot more sense to just do everything via DOCSIS with IP video to the set top. So your typical cable system in the future might be something like 85 DOCSIS channels as one huge pipe to each node -- able to dynamically be used for a combination of voice, data & video. Building a tuner that can handle 85 channels at once might be a little too expensive even in 10 years so perhaps you'd do them in groups of 8 or 10 channels per service type. Video = 400mbit, Data & voice = 400mbit. Narrowcast video = 400mbit. That's only 30 channels.

Another advantage to this is building an IP aware network makes your delivery medium far less important. RFoG or FFTH, where needed, would work just as well as coax. It would make a smooth transition in the future.

Reflecting on the Bush administration

I've wanted to take the time to write about Bush's legacy but it is a very difficult subject to approach for many reasons. For one thing, in the last 8 years everything that could be said about Bush, good or bad, has been well represented online and offline. Everyone seems to have a strong opinion about him, mostly bad, so escaping a partisan slant is mostly impossible. Most importantly there was no hope. It was a depressing subject to talk about. I think only now we can start to look objectively at Bush's legacy.

For context I should say I did not particularly care who won the 2000 election. I used it as an opportunity to cast a protest vote for Ralph Nader. Let there be no mistake -- I would never want to see Ralph Nader be President but I want to see strong third parties in this country. At the time I felt like voting for Nader was the best option. I've gained a lot of respect for Al Gore in the years since the 2000 election but at the time I was deeply disappointed in the way he ran his campaign and I was skeptical of his liberal credentials. As an extension to this I felt like Gore's campaign completely dropped the ball in FL when contesting the election.

So going in to Bush's Presidency I think I was not strongly opposed to him. I was certainly wiling to give him a chance. It may seem odd a liberal such as myself would be coming from that perspective but I believe in healthy power sharing. After 8 years of Clinton I was not completely opposed to someone who was supposedly a moderate Republican able to cross party lines.

Going back to 2000 it's important to remember Bush did run as a moderate. He talked a lot about fair immigration policies, improving the education system, and non-interventionist foreign policy. He talked about making the military more efficient and embracing our technical advantages. Most importantly he sold himself as being bi-partisan and willing to compromise.

All this is important to remember if you want to judge Bush's legacy. The platform he ran on in 2000 is very important in understanding the incredible disappointment at his administration. There is simply no easy way to reconcile Bush the candidate vs. Bush the President without coming to the conclusion that Bush and his handlers lied to the American people and misrepresented their candidate's true agenda. We know now that even before 2001 they were actively planning an attack on Iraq, actively pursing weapons systems that broke treaties with Russia, and planning massive tax cuts and dangerous deregulation. The war simply made Bush's true agenda easier to implement but it did not change the fact that his entire Presidency was built on a massive fraud. A carefully planned narrative of a fictitious person with no relationship to the man President Bush actually is or was.

It's probably not too surprising a liberal such as myself would be upset but what if you approach the Bush legacy as a Republican?

Do we have smaller government? Absolutely not. The government today is larger and more invasive than ever.

Did Bush do anything to stop abortion? Not at all. It's actually arguable that Bush's SC appointees are slaves to the system. I'm not sure they'll be so quick to vote against an over turning of Roe v. Wade when the courts have upheld it consistently for the last 30 years. It would certainly be a hypocritical act by those who represent themselves as having respect for the courts that came before them.

Immigration? Nothing has changed. Bush's own stance on immigration has been hugely inconsistent over the last 10 years.

Terrorism? We would have been better off fighting terrorism covertly where we could operate outside the law without a global spotlight on us. Bush overacted to 9/11 and gave the radical extremists exactly what they wanted. The whole point of terrorism is to make people fearful, paranoid, and willing to engage you. A covert war on terrorism would have been better for us all. Let me make it clear, I'm sure it would have included assassinations, torture, murdering civilians, spying, etc, etc. I just think we would have been wiser to do that stuff in dark alleys where maybe we could have made the terrorists look marginalized instead of empowering them through attention and recognition.

Economy: I don't know enough about it to comment at length but I think it's pretty clear Bush deserves the blame. Even if it were true that Democratic regulation of the mortgage industry may have created the problem it would have been Bush, and the Republican congress, who were tasked to fix the problem. His massive expansion of government spending certainly isn't something any Republican should be proud of.

Taxes: Besides cutting taxes Bush did nothing to really reform the tax code as he promised in 2000. All of his changes were temporary. 8 years later the Republican party has walked away with almost nothing of value being done on taxes in the Bush administration.

Guns: Again... what did he do for the Republican party on gun rights? I don't recall seeing any of Clinton's gun laws getting repealed under Bush.

Education: What happened to school vouchers? He ran hard on it and just never did it. I'm not a big believer in it myself but, if I were a Republican, I'd be wondering why nothing was ever done. No Child Left Behind has certainly not been much of a success either.

We probably won't understand the true scope of the damage Bush has done to this country for decades to come. Ultimately all we can hope for is this amazingly unique moment in history might set the stage for Obama to be one of the truly great Presidents. Sometimes you just have to hit rock bottom before anything will change. As the decades go on I would be willing to accept Bush's legacy of failure as a horrible, but ultimately beneficial, thing to this country. Maybe we had to be pushed to the brink before we could actually stop and re-evaluate where we are heading as a country. It took Hitler's extremism to bring Germany back from their history of militarism and aggression in Europe. Maybe we'll look back on the Bush Presidency as a similar moment where we all had to suffer so that we could wash our hands of the past and move in a new direction.

GoogleTechTalk: Adium

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Getting back to technology

I saw someone on a random internet forum suggesting Apple should buy Yahoo. No...

What does Yahoo really have?

Search? They've pretty much given up on that haven't they?

Flickr? Nice site but it's impossible to make money off it.

Delicious? The single most overrated site on the Internet.

Buzz? Just buy Digg if that's what you're looking for.

Mail? Probably their only big asset but if Apple wanted to they could open me.com mail to free users. You'd be assured almost every iPhone & Mac user would sign-up. Not quite to the level of Yahoo mail's user base but not a bad start either.

Yahoo Personals? Yeah... nevermind

Yahoo Messenger? Meh

If they wanted to take advantage of the slumping economy they should look at Sun:

-Good developers, good technology, lots of IP.
-Extremely solid UNIX based platform. It could easily power OSX down the road when mach has finally died of equal parts old age & neglect.
-They know how to build top notch computers.
-OSX Server is a great product. Apple could sell a lot of servers if they really got serious about it.

Ultimately they'd be buying Sun for personal, not product. Apple has zero use for UltraSPARC 4i but those engineers could end up working with the PA Semi guys on whatever Apple is cooking up. They might have some use for their Grid & cluster stuff as an infrastructure for hardcore highly scalable FinalCut setups (Final Cut Server) Logic Nodes, etc.

Plus, they could just sell high end boxes. There's a small, but loyal, following of X-Serve/XSan especially in content production, education & science. Apple knows how to produce good hardware, OSX Server is fantastic. Plus they can just sell Windows Server boxes or virtualization platforms.

I've been advocating Apple buy Sun for like 4 years. Now would definitely be the time for it. Good long term investment to sure up the fundamentals of the company.

Funny RedState.com post


Let me summarize:

1) Americans are dumb and therefore accept socialism: I would argue that as the world gets smaller thanks to advances in communication technology and more accessibility to travel what we're actually seeing is most of the industrialized countries returning to a type of social responsibility that small towns and villages have had for thousands of years. It's harder to ignore people's suffering when it's so accessible to you. It's hard not to empathize. Most importantly when the economy is bad it's hard not to believe you could be in that situation yourself someday. I think most people are willing to make a small sacrifice to help others.

2) Bi-partisanship is a waste of time: Erm yeah... just keep thinking that guys. The thing about bi-partisanship isn't that you're going to actually get any significant number of votes from the other party but you will get votes from the independents who find bi-partisanship extremely important. One of the reasons McCain lost this election was how obvious it was that, if he had won, nothing would have got done because of the ugly, offensive, and insulting way he treated President Elect Obama and the sizable population in this country who considers themselves democrats by extension. Obama's bi-partisanship wasn't even really based on policy. It was having a positive attitude and respectful way of addressing the issues.

3) Image matters: You guys did attend High School right? Of course it matters. I don't really think Sen. McCain is an angry, racist, disrespectful, absent minded, erratic Bush clone but it sure did look it at times. It's hard to win elections when you're running on a negative message all the time. It makes you look ghoulish.

4) You have to fight everyday: Factual disagreements aside I think the Republican party suffers from the "boy who cried wolf" syndrome. I think the Democrats have a problem with that too -- especially from 2000 to 2005. If you want to fight everyday you have to pick your fights wisely and make them matter. That means you can't say in 2004 that Bin Laden wants Kerry to win (suggesting Kerry is a terrorist sympathizer) then come out in 2008 an say Obama pals around with terrorists. Oh and, of course, in 2001 we had to hear Clinton & Gore let Bin Laden get away. You can't just keep running on the same tired and disgusting political tactics again and again and expect anyone to take you seriously. Especially not these days where YouTube and casual voter interest is a huge factor.

5) Social conservatism is a losing issue: I absolutely 100% agree. Keep it in the churches where it belongs. I understand things like abortion and gay marriage are very important issues to 25-30% of the voters in this country but you guys have to accept it's a personal choice. Your tools are the churches, not the government. You can't legislate this stuff. All you can do is try to change people's minds at the most grass root level. This country is too diverse to keep pushing extreme born again Christian religious law on people. It's perfectly fine if people choose to live their own life that way but it's not the job of the government to make laws for you.

6) Wah wah mainstream media is so liberal: You've got a huge advantage on talk radio. You have access to the same Internet we do. You've got Fox News. We all have NPR, PBS, BBC who are extremely objective. Just about every news stand carries a wide variety of papers from both political ideologies. Blaming the media is just a joke at this point. Look at 2004... the media hated Bush and he still won. People might be influenced by the media but they know how to spot bias reporting.

7) Fighting fair is for losers: Yep. We learned it from watching you.

8) 2nd amendment: I pretty much agree on this too but it goes back to the "boy who cried wolf" thing. Republicans have been saying for years the Democrats want to take away all your guns and it just hasn't happened and never will. We don't want to take away all your guns. We want to have some reasonable restrictions. Criminals shouldn't be able to buy guns. Background checks and waiting periods work. Some types of guns are just too dangerous if they fall into the wrong hands. So overall I don't think it's that people don't understand the issue or care about the issue but rather another example of how the Republican party has just lost their credibility on the issue.

As for his solutions... the only one I care to comment on is "winning their hearts and minds" Well, here's an idea... stop insulting us. Stop telling me I'm a bad person because I am not an extreme radical christian. Stop telling me I hate the troops because I don't support the war. Stop telling me there's a "real America" that I am apparently not a part of. Stop suggesting anyone going through some hard times who needs help is a welfare leech. Stop telling me if I want to protect the environment I'm a "crazy moonbat" (whatever that means) If you ever want to get back to having some mass political appeal you guys have to really cool it on the hate. I don't know what it is making you guys so angry but you just can't insult people and expect them to vote for you. Pandering to your own extremist base is a bad thing.

Raiting the polls

I was only off by 1% on my popular vote prediction. Not too bad on EV but not that good either. OH is the state that really threw my numbers off.

Probably the biggest single surprise of this election is IN. Even though the polls showed a fairly tight race I figured we'd see basically the same thing that did happen in GA. I just didn't think Obama could be close enough in the rural counties for the urban/suburb vote to push him over the edge.

NC isn't too shocking since Dole was in trouble too. That was a clear sign the Republicans had bigger problems down there than just Obama. It also goes back to demographics with NC. It's another state that is shedding it's hill billy reputation.

OH was a true toss-up. I don't think anyone could have really predicted it as anything more than a complete guess.

I was very confident about FL. It just seemed like everything was breaking in our favor there.. The margin of victory was much larger than I expected though.

Overall I think the polls were very accurate this year. There were single days here and there where the numbers got skewed one way or another but doing an average shows very consistent results. I suspect they were trying to be conservative on voter turnout. It's extremely hard to predict that type of thing. You knew it'd be high but new voters have to prove they can actually show up and vote so it's probably safe to under estimate their impact.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Good exit poll data....

38% think Palin is qualified to be President.

50% think Obama is qualified to be President

57% say Obama is in touch with "people like them"

40% say McCain is in touch with "people like them"

51% think Obama's policies are "just right" (not too liberal or conservative)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Election Eve

Obama 318EV, popular McCain 45%, Obama 52%

The Senate won't be as much of a bloodbath as some people are speculating. 60+ was always a long shot. I think maybe the right was talking the potential up to scare some Republicans back towards McCain.
The House... if you've ever seen the end of Peter Jackson's movie "Dead Alive" I think that visually represents what will happen in the House.

Keep an eye on IN. Polls close early there.

If Obama loses PA just remember there are still many ways to win this election

No matter what happens Obama ran a fantastic campaign. You can't really look at any missed opportunities or major blunders. The thing with democracy is people sometimes just make really bad choices. No matter what the polls say everyone has to be prepared for that chance.


A little over 4 years ago I watched President Elect Obama give a speech to the Democratic convention. It was one of the only truly inspiring modern political speeches I've heard.

He was intelligent but not condescending.
He was hopeful but not naive.
He was optimistic without indulging in blind optimism.
He was someone who could captivate an audience with his message. Not with fear but with constructive, froward thinking, policies.
He was someone who could mix good old fashion political rhetoric with substance.

The bitter disappointment of the 2004 election was a stark reminder of how incompetent the democratic party can be. At the time I felt like the front runner for 08, Hilliary Clinton, was just as flawed of a candidate as John Kerry. Both of whom I admire as Senators but both of whom I believe had far too much political baggage and perhaps far too much confidence in their own self importance to do what it took to win an election.

What makes Obama interesting as a politician and a leader is his ability to shift gears from rhetoric to policy. He is someone from the first moment you hear him speak it is clear his mind is working away at a topic on multiple levels. Obama the politician is racing Obama the intellectual to meet a common goal. Obama the pragmatist follows behind taking his time to get there, double checking his facts, challenging himself on the details of policy. Ultimately they all meet somewhere to become the Obama we all know. A man who seems to effortlessly approach a problem from a dozen different angles. Carefully surveying every detail and calculating the best solutions always remembering to strike a balance between politics and policy.

I've heard people ask what has Obama done to prove he is ready for the Presidency? I can only point to his history of always exceeding expectations. Always being among the smartest guys in the room. And, of course, his brilliant campaign -- perhaps the best ever run. Beating not only the ugly political machine in Chicago but taking on the even bigger and more powerful political machine of Hilliary Clinton and ultimately taking great care to defeat an aging war hero who was just too many years past his prime. All this while organizing one of the best ground games in the history of politics. He understood Howard Dean's 50-state strategy. He understood his message was universally appealing if only voters could stop and see him as more than the candidate who was "Not George W Bush" or "Not the guy who hates George W. Bush" All this with a persistent backdrop of racism and dangerous radical right wing hatred. The simple fact that Obama has been able to consistently step up and get the job done is all the proof anyone should need to feel comfortable with him as President.

As for Sen. McCain... I would like to be as respectful and humble to him as President Elect Obama has been but I will never forgive him or his party for the terrorism thing. It's unacceptable. It's un-American. It's worse than anything Joe McCarthy ever did, worse than anything Richard Nixon ever did. The story of Sen. McCain is incredibly depressing. He should have known better. He should have found a way to control the radical extremists in his party. If anything happens to President Elect Obama, you have blood on your hands Sen. McCain. The only thing you could do to redeem yourself in my eyes is to resign from the Republican party and try to build a moderate conservative party in this country. If say 5-10 GOP senators renounced their membership to the Republican party I think it would create a tidal wave effect. We need some true choices in this country. 3, 4 maybe half a dozen major political parties. The dangerous right wing extremists should be a lunatic fringe group who gets no support from any legitimate political candidate in this country.

Congratulations to President Elect Obama... I didn't think I'd see this in my lifetime. It's a wonderful day to be an American.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Remarks of Senator Robert F. Kennedy to the Cleveland City Club, Cleveland, Ohio, April 5, 1968

This is a time of shame and sorrow. It is not a day for politics. I have saved this one opportunity to speak briefly to you about this mindless menace of violence in America which again stains our land and every one of our lives.

It is not the concern of any one race. The victims of the violence are black and white, rich and poor, young and old, famous and unknown. They are, most important of all, human beings whom other human beings loved and needed. No one – no matter where he lives or what he does – can be certain who will suffer from some senseless act of bloodshed. And yet it goes on and on.

Why? What has violence ever accomplished? What has it ever created? No martyr’s cause has ever been stilled by his assassin’s bullet.

No wrongs have ever been righted by riots and civil disorders. A sniper is only a coward, not a hero; and an uncontrolled, uncontrollable mob is only the voice of madness, not the voice of the people.

Whenever any American’s life is taken by another American unnecessarily – whether it is done in the name of the law or in the defiance of law, by one man or a gang, in cold blood or in passion, in an attack of violence or in response to violence – whenever we tear at the fabric of life which another man has painfully and clumsily woven for himself and his children, the whole nation is degraded.

"Among free men,” said Abraham Lincoln, “there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet; and those who take such appeal are sure to lose their cause and pay the costs.”

Yet we seemingly tolerate a rising level of violence that ignores our common humanity and our claims to civilization alike. We calmly accept newspaper reports of civilian slaughter in far off lands. We glorify killing on movie and television screens and call it entertainment. We make it easy for men of all shades of sanity to acquire weapons and ammunition they desire.

Too often we honor swagger and bluster and the wielders of force; too often we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others. Some Americans who preach nonviolence abroad fail to practice it here at home. Some who accuse others of inciting riots have by their own conduct invited them.

Some looks for scapegoats, others look for conspiracies, but this much is clear; violence breeds violence, repression brings retaliation, and only a cleaning of our whole society can remove this sickness from our soul.

For there is another kind of violence, slower but just as deadly, destructive as the shot or the bomb in the night. This is the violence of institutions; indifference and inaction and slow decay. This is the violence that afflicts the poor, that poisons relations between men because their skin has different colors. This is a slow destruction of a child by hunger, and schools without books and homes without heat in the winter.

This is the breaking of a man’s spirit by denying him the chance to stand as a father and as a man among other men. And this too afflicts us all. I have not come here to propose a set of specific remedies nor is there a single set. For a broad and adequate outline we known what must be done. “When you teach a man to hate and fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his color or his beliefs or the policies he pursues, when you teach that those who differ from you threaten your freedom or your job or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens but as enemies – to be met not with cooperation but with conquest, to be subjugated and mastered.

We learn, at the last, to look at our bothers as aliens, men with whom we share a city, but not a community, men bound to us in common dwelling, but not in common effort. We learn to share only a common fear – only a common desire to retreat from each other – only a common impulse to meet disagreement with force. For all this there are no final answers.

Yet we know what we must do. It is to achieve true justice among our fellow citizens. The question is now what programs we should seek to enact. The question is whether we can find in our own midst and in our own hearts that leadership of human purpose that will recognize the terrible truths of our existence.

We must admit the vanity of our false distinctions among men and learn to find our own advancement in the search for the advancement of all. We must admit in ourselves that our own children’s future cannot be built on the misfortunes of others. We must recognize that this short life can neither be ennobled or enriched by hatred or revenge.

Our lives on this planet are too short and the work to be done too great to let this spirit flourish any longer in our land. Of course we cannot vanish it with a program, nor with a resolution.

But we can perhaps remember – even if only for a time – that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short movement of life, that they seek – as we do – nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.

Surely this bond of common faith, this bond of common goal, can begin to teach us something. Surely we can learn, at least, to look at those around us as fellow men and surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our hearts brothers and countrymen once again.

Exit Polls and Early Voting

Apparently they do take early voting into consideration for exit polling on election day:


"The illusion of freedom [in America] will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater." -- Frank Zappa

"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." -- Sinclair Lewis"

"It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning." -- Henry Ford

Saturday, November 1, 2008

What to look for, election night 2008

7PM: VA & GA
Two solid red states. This will be a big test for Obama. The big question here is if we can trust the polling & turnout expectations that are causing traditionally red states to go blue. If McCain were to win either of these states by comfortable margins it might be the first sign of trouble for Obama. If Obama wins VA and GA is too close to call it's very good news for him.

7:30: OH, NC
First big traditional battleground state. The big thing to look for here is if the polls actually close at 7:30 or not. If they are held open later it would suggest huge voter turnout which would undoubtably help Obama. I expect McCain to win OH however, again, it should not be by a huge margin. If the margin is big enough for the networks to call OH before 9PM we might be looking at a very close election.

This is the big test for McCain. PA, FL, IN, MO are must-wins for him. If these states remain too close to call until 9:30PM or later it would be a sign McCain is in big trouble. It's very doubtful he could win all these battlegrounds by razor thin margins. If he is going to make a stand and win --he will probably do so with comfortable margins in at least FL, IN and MO. Perhaps the most important state here is MO. Even if McCain wins PA he still needs MO.

Important but probably not as much so as we thought 3 months ago. The election will be largely decided by the time these states are called one way or another. The 9PM mark is more important simply because we'll be getting states closing at 8PM getting called by the networks.

So as I've been saying for the last 2 weeks... PA is the state to watch. Obama can win without PA but it's certainly more difficult. McCain simply cannot win without PA.


Interesting stuff:

Future iPhone firmware / SDK wishlist

1) Framework for integration with iTunes for syncing content & data.

2) Ability for developers to submit their apps to a more strenuous review process to get true background app functionality.

3) Theme support (sounds, icons, etc) I'd have no problem with this being a paid first party Apple app.

4) Folder support for sorting applications. Maybe something like Smart Folders that looks at the AppStore category to automatically sort things.

5) A2DP, Bluetooth keyboard support, bluetooth file transfers

6) Native support for OSX Screen Sharing & integration with Back To My Mac

7) Ascending ringtone volume level option.

8) Text-to-Speech options. For example, on an incoming e-mail text-to-speech who it's from and the subject.

9) More dock space (scale the icons down as more items are added)

10) Ability to use the iPhone itself as a remote speaker.

Obama's aunt is a NEGRO

I guess it's time to introduce my dear friend; MAXX POWER. He has agreed to contribute some articles for my blog. Maxx is my dearest Republican friend. I don't want to be bias or anything so I thought it would be nice to represent what the extreme right thinks. Maxx sent me this late last night:

BREAKING NEWS: Obama has a BLACK(!!OMG!!!) Aunt living in the US illegally. It's also rumored that Obama in fact spend time with her in Keyna learning the ways of voodoo while listening to an awful lot of African (BLACK OMG!) tribal music. My sources tell me this is where he met, and fell in love, with Osama Bin Laden. If he wins Tuesday he will make gay marriage legal, divorce Michelle, and re-unite with his long lost lover. (who has been living with his Aunt illegally in the US)

--Maxx Power.


It looks like someone has already made a really solid iPod convertor script. I think I'll just work off this one instead of re-inventing the wheel. Now I can focus a bit more on the automation angle.