Saturday, October 31, 2009


Windows 7 Demo on Japanese TV Show Doesn’t Go That Well

About that Sony touchscreen...I think I am going to wait for the second generation.



Scozzafava quits

Give her credit for not wanting to play the spoiler.

Now it is urgent for the Republican party to back Hoffman.

Friday, October 30, 2009


Affordable OLED in 2016

Which means I will be buying it by 2014 when it is cool.* (Of course, if I have the money.)

Funny thing but I was surprisingly close to the dates of availability and affordability. The only question is can I wait that long.

*Being an early adopter is expensive but satisfying. Except for operating systems and cars. Only masochists change operating systems when the new ones come out or buy the first model year of a car.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009


As with inflation, deflation has its winners and losers

Here are some of the people who misjudged the housing market, their job prospects, the chance of a serious financial problem, or some combination of these three reasons or a myriad of other problems which could cause them difficulty in keeping up with their mortgages. I am not one to automatically feel sorry for people who find themselves in financial difficulty, I want to know what happened. But what we should realize is that the Fed's easy money policy distorted prices and caused a lot of good people to misjudged their financial situation. These are the wages of a monetary policy run amok.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I used to respect Roland Burris

Roland Burris had a good reputation in Illinois before he chose to accept the open Senate seat. Burris was never a extremely successful politician but in a state with probably the most corrupt gov't in the nation Burris seemed to be above it all. Now he is a laughingstock.

I’ve just gotten my hands on the transcript of last Thursday’s Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing on czars. There’s a lot in there, but the first thing I want to highlight is the dramatically incoherent testimony of Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.). I don’t know where to start with it. But Burris, in his short time on the Hill, has been plagued as much by the scandal surrounding his appointment as the rumors that he isn’t up to the job. This hearing didn’t help. Studded with phrases like “this is the meat that caused us political scientists to even exist” and “I’m certainly going read each and every one of you all’s testimony,” Burris’s questioning is almost impossible to understand.

By appointing Burris to inject racial politics into the battle to save his job, former Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D-Ill.) saddled Senate Democrats with one of the most dizzingly incoherent politicians in America, and threw the incredibly safe Illinois Senate seat open for a possible Republican takeover. Burris’s service in the Senate may one day be summed up by this accidental poem:

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, this is — this is — I mean this is. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I’m done.

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10-foot Great White Shark bitten nearly in half by 20-foot 'monster shark' near Australia

Damn. I can't wait to see this on Animal Planet.

Monday, October 26, 2009


And I wanted to like Windows 7, I Really Really Did...

Here is my experience trying to update my PC from Vista to Windows 7

Install #1 - Windows tells me that I have an invalid key: My hard drive was reformatted as
part of the custom install process, and then it told me I couldn't use this version
on a new system, only on a system that already has Windows on it . Well, it
After two calls to tech support in India, I decide to just give up and start over.
So it's time to...
Install #2 - Re-install Vista so my "upgrade" disks have something on the hard drive to upgrade.
Install #3 - Install Windows 7. Hurray! now it works. Sort of. It's only 32-bit, and I wanted 64.
The documentation implied that it would ask which version I wanted. But it didn't.
The Internet tells me that if I start with 32-bit Vista, I can only upgrade to 32-bit
Win7, even if I wipe my hard drive clean. I got 32-bit Vista loooong before
the 64-bit version was released, so I'm penalized for being an early adopter?!?
But if I had never upgraded and stuck with XP, then I'd be able to choose the 64-bit version.
So I guess now it's time to ...
Install #4 - Install WindowsXP. It gives me a blue screen of death - my hard drives are not supported in XP.
Install #5 - Vista. Again.
Install #6 - Windows 7, 32-bit. Again.
Install #7 - Just for fun I put the 64-bit disk in (which refused to boot before) and finally!
Windows7, 64-bit. And well, hmm, it's not really any different from Vista.

At least now I know why they call it "7"...

Diego adds: Thanks for sharing! I bought a Gateway notebook a couple of weeks ago with vista installed and so far so good. I ordered the free Windows 7 upgrade which I'm told will be coming in the mail soon. I'm not going to install it right away though, I'll wait to hear more feedback before making that decision.

I probably didn't need the 64 bit but got it anyway. My old printer works in 64 bit but my Canon scanner is not supported. I can probably use it on my Asus eee PC if I can figure out how to install the drivers on the Linux system. That has proven to be more difficult than one would think. I haven't even found a driver for the scanner yet.

John O adds: Diego, I don't know what version of Vista you have, but you may want to try virtualization if you have a copy of XP (or a Linux distribution for that matter). Sun's VirtualBox runs fine on my Vista machine and its freeware. Also, Windows 7 allows for something called XP mode (something I didn't know when I tried it) that is supposed to take care of any driver compatibility issues, at least in theroy.

John O further adds: I do have one issue using VirtualBox to run XP virtually on Vista: I cannot get the game MapleStory to work; I get an 'error code -2147467259 (Unspecified error)' returned. I've researched various forums for solutions. But no luck yet. Anyone reading this who may have any suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments.

Diego adds: If anyone wants to play Speed-Monopoly let me know. No calculator necessary!


Time to pay attention to all markets II

The stock market is poised to break out on the downside so I thought I would give you the levels at which the current uptrend, dating from last March, was broken. Trading below Dow < 9,500 and S&P 500 < 1,020 means that the uptrend is over until it can take out the highs put in earlier this month.

We aren't there yet so the trend is still up.

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Saturday, October 24, 2009


Time to pay attention to all markets

Last time anything interesting happened to the stock market was the end of a major bear market which took the Dow down approximately 53%. But was that really the end? I don't know and I still don't. I think it is a coin flip whether we go below the 6,500 level. So far I have no reason to believe that the current uptrend is ending but there are a couple of things going on in other markets which make it a good time to pay attention.

The dollar has gotten beaten up in the press recently but the truth is that the dollar index is higher than it was in April 2008 and it looks like the decent is slowing. When bad news is not causing a market to fall it can be taken as a sign that everyone who wants to sell the dollar already has.

Next is the ten year U.S. treasuries. The rate is up to 3.5%. Rising rates will be good for the dollar, bad for the economy. Hence the dollar and interest rates are poised to move in a direction that will be bad for the economy and the stock market.

We have had a pretty amazing rally since March so I wouldn't be surprised to see a pause. The trend is still intact and if the Dow gets above 11,200 the chances that 6,500 was the low improve dramatically. This trend has been good to us so far and there is no reason to jump off the train before it shows signs of weakness. So just enjoy the uptrend but watch out for a break of the trend line which runs under the lows. Then we will have to see how much this market really holds up.


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Friday, October 23, 2009


Hacking the Constitution

Via Hot Air, Michael Ledeen considers Obama's college thesis. Comment #3 from Delia: "I firmly believe that Barry studied the Constitution not to UPHOLD it but to DISMANTLE it much in the way a hacker reverse engineers software by hacking the code."

That sounds right to me.

Update Bill C: Apparently the thesis was a hoax.

Diego Updates: Fake but accurate is not a good excuse. Rush Limbaugh picked up on it as well.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


University of Illinois Admissions Scandal

One person's preferences are another's discrimination.

I haven't read up on all the details but here is a good point: "Has any intrepid investigative reporter compared the qualifications of those admitted under the scandalous political preference program with the qualifications of those admitted under the unscandalous racial preference program? Has anyone in Illinois demanded (now this would be a scandal!) that all applicants to the University be treated, you know, equally, and judged by the same standards?"

Same rules for everyone? Sounds fair to me.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Government Playoff

I don't like to see congress get involved in sports but there might be a legitimate reason to challenge the NCAA and BCS system in college football. There are non profit entities and a monopoly issue involved in the current racket. A lot of money is involved but not all of the teams are involved. That should change.


White House and Fox News

Bush's Press Secretary Scott McClellan was asked this: "With respect, who made you the editor of Newsweek? Do you think it's appropriate for you, at that podium, speaking with the authority of the President of the United States, to tell an American magazine what they should print?"

I'm not sure if Obama is focusing on controlling Fox News or instructing his more friendly media to ignore their lead. While I don't think either will work I think they can succeed in shaping the Narrative to portray Fox as irrelevant among those who don't follow the news closely and especially with young voters.

If Obama succeeds, the Narrative can be an even more useful tool come election time. It still only goes so far though.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


OLED = UNLIMITED screen size

The screen life is still problematic but perhaps the price will reflect that. (OLED at 20k hours vs. LCD at 75k hours.) That is why I am looking forward to having a screen measured in feet.


Friday, October 16, 2009


NFL Rush

It could be only the first quarter? More thoughts on the second post below and the NFL officials words regarding Rush Limbaugh and the Rams:

Just as the health care debate is about much more than the proposed legislation (the legislative process is appalling and in need of exposure), this is about much more than just one man's interest in investing in an NFL franchise. I hope the msm, ESPN and the NFL are called out for their bias. Especially ESPN and the NFL as they try move on and pretend they have nothing to do with politics.

The Instapundit comments about the fake quotes attributed to Rush: "I don’t want to hear CNN slurring bloggers for insufficient fact-checking ever again." While I'm sure many agree with that I don't know how much an impact an even an obvious 'mistake' by CNN will have on the narrative which is what I really think is in dispute here.

In the Duke fake rape story the best defense the lynch mob had was that they got the narrative right but the facts wrong. I hope the Rush/NFL/ESPN/CNN story develops and sheds light on what is really going on. Another blow in the msm's death by a thousand cuts is nice but the narrative needs to be addressed. Right now the narrative trumps the facts and that cannot be allowed to continue.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Dow 10,000

Some how the celebration this time is more muted.

Amid both skepticism and optimism - depending on the camp - the Dow industrials surpassed the marquee 10,000 mark on Wednesday for the 26th time.

And while Dow 10,000 carries little technical significance, each benchmark nonetheless confirmed its uptrend with Wednesday's rally.

  • S&P support spanning from 1,071 to 1,080, bracketing the September closing and intraday peaks.

  • Nasdaq support spanning from 2,140 to 2,157, bracketing its former range top and the top of Wednesday's gap.

  • Dow support spanning from 9,840 to 9,918, roughly matching the September closing and intraday peaks.

  • The S&P's 50% retracement of the crash holds at 1,121, roughly matching the Sept. 29, 2008 close of 1,106. [Emphasis added]

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Limbaugh to be dropped from NFL bid for Rams

Boycott the NFL!!!

Not since Bill Frist snuck in the UIGEA has an organization so misunderstood its supporters/fan base. I love football. The fact that I have a two year old plus a wife who hates the game means that I don't watch as much as I would like. (I am currently trying to turn him into a sports fan under my wife's nose.)

Rush Limbaugh is a huge football fan and I think he would make a tremendous owner. A lot better than the stupid McCaskeys. But the NFL is full of owners who don't give a crap about the game so I can understand why they might cling to a smear campaign against a man who is outspoken as an excuse to keep him out of the club.

Fine, if the spoiled brat players and the stupid owners want to alienate the overwhelming white, male watchers of NFL football it isn't like we don't have other choices. Screw them.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Sony's Vaio L Series Touchscreen Computer, Updated and Bumped

I think my dream of having a computer that allows me to trade without a mouse is here. I am very excited about this because the mouse can be such a hindrance to fast execution. Let's say that you are diligently watching the screen and a good trade pops up. Now you have to scroll your mouse over to the button and press it. Typically there are different buttons for buying and selling, canceling orders, a field to change the quantity, a button to cancel orders and go flat, and various other buttons you might use sparingly; i.e., placing stops. That is a lot of real estate to cover on a screen with a pointer versus using your fingers to hit the button or activate the field you want with the fingers of one hand. (The other hand is on a key paid.)

Another problem I have is the 15" screen which makes it difficult to enlarge certain windows. I would like a larger screen however that means more area to cover with the mouse. A large multi-touch screen solves the cramped screen problem and the need to hit many buttons some times simultaneously.

All this is very exciting so I am going to call Bill O so he can shoot holes in critique my plan.

Update: HP is coming out with a line of touchscreen computers. After some thought what I really could use is a touchscreen tablet because I will be holding the screen in my lap or keeping it flat on a desk in front of me. Holding my arm up to touch a screen for hours is the sure way to the chiropractor.


Monday, October 12, 2009


MLB Waits For Snow

I'm rooting for the Rockies this year but if they don't win I have other things to hope for as the MLB playoffs unfold. The Championship and World series schedules are no longer flexible based upon when the teams finish their previous series. This allows for down time between series which I think is bad for baseball. I doubt the players want more than two days off without a game and it only pushes the season closer to the colder weather.

So aside from the Rockies, I can root for:

The Dodgers to win so that Jim Thome can get a World Series ring.

The Angels to send the Yankees home.

A nine and eight day layoff for the NL and AL champs. An NLCS or ALCS sweep would conclude on October 19th and 20th with the World Series beginning on October 28th.

Such a layoff could be enhanced if the Yankees and or Rockies are involved. A week of sun in NY or CO could easily be followed by cold and snow this time of year and what better way to highlight MLB's ridiculous scheduling policy than to involve the Yankee fan base in the Series folly.

It snows in Colorado in November? It is too cold for baseball in NY on November 5th? Would that surprise anyone? Is it wise to plan on playing baseball as late as November 5th while having the two teams involved sitting idle for over a week beforehand?


How to be the perfect boyfriend/girlfriend

Not at all stupid and insulting. In fact, I think both sexes have a lot to learn about each other. I know that a clean kitchen island makes for a very happy wife.

Dating Humor:
How To Be The Perfect Girlfriend

Dating Humor:
How To Be The Perfect Boyfriend

Diego: Perfection is not realistic and that should be acknowledged. Most couples take on roles and divide the responsibilities of running the business of living their life together. I think many problems could be solved, or at least realistically assessed, if they would try reversing roles for a while. If that is not practical they could at least imagine wearing the others shoes for a while.

In the family where the man works and the woman cares for the kids it would be beneficial for the man to spend a few days with the kids and see what it is really like having that responsibility. It would also help if the woman would seriously consider how and where they would live if she were to secure a home and support the family.

Bill C: I look at it as goals. Expecting perfection is what children and women do. And then they are disappointed. If I can just convince one woman to stop nagging it will be worth it.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


That's Enertainment

Bookworm comments on the video below: "I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything so horribly staged, yet done with such self-assured panache."

I find the above funny but the only difference between this and today's choreographed music/entertainment is that they used to smile more. Now there is more serious posing involved but it is still a matter of people jumping around and singing.

Friday, October 09, 2009


Iran doing its best to make Obama look like a fool... supplying the Taliban and daring us to expose them.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Via Hot Air.


Edgar Winter-Frankenstein

Yeah, I know.


Thursday, October 08, 2009


In depth interview w/ Dr. Who

Diego: I was very happy to see the show revived back in 2005 and waited for the first episode while hoping it would not be as bad as the Fox Doctor Who special made in the late 90's. It was not perfect but I enjoyed watching. I have to admit that there was a certain thrill from just seeing that it was not crap. Something pointed out in the interview above concerning the secrecy surrounding the details of the upcoming episodes is worth noting, after viewing every available story from the archives of 1963-1989, it is nice to watch without knowing what will happen.

David Tennant is a good Doctor but the show still needs another actor that does not fear being typecast. Tom Baker (#4) and William Hartnel (#1) were the best for that reason. Perhaps the new Doctor, Matt Smith, will make the character his own. I hope so. You can tell when an actor loves the role and the show is better for it when they do.

The immediate future for Doctor who looks very good. Steven Moffat takes over for Russel Davies (in interview above). Moffat wrote a few stories in the last four seasons and his were far and away the best. They were worthy of the cinema in my opinion and although he does not appear to be a lifetime fan like Davies, his creativity is more likely to make the upcoming season(s) more memorable than the Davies' era. I'm hoping for more Douglas Adams than John Nathan Turner.

If I were to suggest just one episode out of the entire classic (1963-1989) catalog it would be City of Death (at Netflix) which was written by Adams (he used a pseudonym to avoid union issues, he could not be both a script editor and writer). And if I were to suggest just one from the new era it would be any of the Moffat stories, though my favorite is Blink.



Paranormal Activity

Do you remember the Blair Witch Project? Well this is supposed to be scarier. I enjoyed the BWP but the big scare did not come until the end and it really was not as frightening if you hadn't seen the Sci Fi channels special which gave a lot of background info. I felt that cheated the theater viewer who didn't know the whole story.

So, Mike O, this is only playing at the AMC Rivereast, 322 East Illinois Street. Are you interested? The wife and I would like to see it. Sundays are our only free days at this point.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


The Dome Advantage

The Twins won the AL Central Division last night. They had to score a run in the 10th inning to match the Tigers and did so with the help of a misplay by the Tigers' left fielder who appeared to lose sight of the ball (in the lights or roof?) and turned a single into a lead off triple.

I've seen this happen several times before when the White Sox have played in the Metrodome. This is the last year for the dome and the Twins will be playing outside next year in the new Target Field. Two thoughts on that: 1. Will the Twins have the same success outside? 2. If they make the World Series the games could be played in Minnesota as late as Nov 5th, this years scheduled game 7, if necessary.

An interesting stat: The Twins have played 12 World Series games in their history. They are 11-1 at home and 0-9 on the road. Four of those home games were played outdoors in 1965 so they are 8-0 in the dome.

Monday, October 05, 2009


AL Central Division Thoughts

For the second consecutive year the division comes down to an extra game. Last year the White Sox had to beat Freddy Garcia and the Tigers to force game #163 against the Twins. This year the Tigers had the chance to beat Freddy Garcia and the White Sox to stay ahead of the Twins but lost.

The Tigers had the chance to clinch the division by winning game #159 last Thursday. Five days later on Tuesday they will have the same chance to clinch first or this time second place. I would guess no team has had such an opportunity to clinch as early as the Tigers' and subsequently lost the division.

The Twins/Tigers game will be played in the Metrodome and despite the playoff implications will still be a regular season game. Considering that the Vikings and Bret Favre will be hosting the Packers in the same building tonight, I can't think of another venue hosting two bigger regular season games involving different sports on consecutive nights.

Saturday, October 03, 2009


Netbook or iPhone

Not that I am going to buy either of these in the near future but I was thinking about which would be a better platform to have considering I would like to have a phone with internet and many of the myriad features the iPhone app store offers; GPS, note taking, ebook reader. My biggest problem is the size of the screen, I would pick a netbook over an iPhone just because I do not want to strain my I eyes using the device. Apples most recent confab has got me thinking about another aspect of a portable device- gaming.

First, let's get a few things straight. In terms of casual gaming, you cannot beat what Apple has to offer. There are countless quick and easy games that fit well on the Apple platform. No one is booting up a PSP game for the 15 minutes you'd sit in a waiting room or the time standing in line at the deli counter. So while that section of the gaming market seems sealed up, the same cannot be said for the more hardcore action/adventure and shooter games.

CNET's complaint is the lack of buttoned controller, a problem that wouldn't necessarily bother me but could easily be remedied. Right now I am leaning towards the iPhone. Sure a smaller screen might be a problem but the ease of use, portability (fits in my pocket), and the fact that it is becoming the standard for hand held computing kinda tilts the playing field in their direction.

Diego: NEITHER! For me at least, new Gateway was delivered yesterday so I wont be using my netbook as my main computer.


Friday, October 02, 2009


Health Care, DMV Style

Via Ace. This response to Will Farrell is better than the previous one.


NOlympics, No Problem

I was not in favor of Chicago hosting the Olympics. The fact that Daley and Obama were involved in pitching a bid to the IOC makes me laugh. How much corruption can one room contain?

I don't know how much this really hurts Obama's standing with the world but it certainly does not help. There is plenty of time and political adjustments that The One can make but given the political trends, especially domestic, I'm beginning to believe that The One is becoming The One Term.

Just for fun, all smiles:

Thursday, October 01, 2009


Keep plucking that chicken-NSFW

You have been warned.


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