Monday, October 31, 2005

Iran Confiscates Mannequins?

The Iranians are some funny people I kid you not. They are confiscating lewd mannequins just in case some upstanding Muslim man may want to have sex with a plastic dummy.

A spokesman for the city's judiciary, who asked not be named, explained the drive would tackle problems of "public chastity." He said 65 mannequins have been impounded so far.

Actually they were Zionist mannequins that want to corrupt the Iranian people and make them turn away from Allah. Their plastic forms make men want to do unchaste things I tell you!

Stewart Wanted to get rid of Trump?

Now this could turn into a real Biggie vs Tupac thing before too long. Check out the first signs of disrespect by the Ex-con:

"I thought I was replacing The Donald," Stewart says in the Nov. 14 issue of Fortune magazine, on newsstands Nov. 7. "It was even discussed that I would be firing The Donald on the first show."

When did Trump learn that she intended to bump him off his own show? "I don't think he ever knew," Stewart tells the magazine.

Then Trump fires back:

I think there was confusion between Martha's `Apprentice' and mine, and mine continues to do well and ... the other has struggled very severely," Trump said recently on a radio program.

"I think it probably hurt mine and I sort of predicted that it would."

Trump better watch himself. Martha could pull a shank on him at any time with some of those prison skills she developed. And after the big house she has nothing to lose:

"I have learned that I really cannot be destroyed."

It'll be 187 on Trump's ass.

Bush Nominates Judge Alito

Finally, Bush has the common sense to nominate an actual judge to the Supreme Court. He has been a judge on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals since 1990. So he seems pretty qualified. He seems to be against abortion though:

In the early 1990s, Alito was the lone dissenter in Planned v. Casey, a case in which the 3rd Circuit struck down a Pennsylvania law that included a provision requiring women seeking abortions to notify their spouses.

It should be the kind of fight that the Republicans are looking for. A rumble over a conservative Court pick. Whatever this pick's fortunes are I think that even though abortion is made illegal in the US people will end up going to Canada to get them. Demand will always go to where the supply is. Here is a pic of Alito and Bush:

$450 Billion for Exxon?

I know that this is a hoax by this Chinese concern called King Win Laurel Ltd. It would really be something if this much financing could be rounded up. I have a feeling that only the Chinese government could round up this much money. So the conspiracy theorist in my has the Chinese Government pumping money into this secret buyout firm. It sure would be interesting to see Exxon bought out in this way.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Oil Companies Record Profits while US consumer gets clipped

Now this is the kind of thing that makes me mad. I really think someone should do something about oil companies getting record profits while the economy and consumer spending are hit by high energy prices. This I agree with:

"These companies are turning in record profits -- they have a responsibility to expand refining capacity," U.S. Energy Secretary Sam Bodman told a Senate Energy Committee hearing on hurricane damage to the industry.

This idea is totally stupid and muddle headed:

Democrats have also introduced bills that would impose a windfall profits tax on crude oil. Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York wants to assess companies up to $20 billion annually to help consumers and develop new energy technologies.

Yeah, lets just steal their profits without getting much of anything back from it. It becomes a disincentive for them to increase capacity, pump more oil, or even deliver more gas. So the prices of oil, gas, and distillates would go up because the demand is still there but the supply is constrained.

I would bet that the oil companies would go out of their way to get under the profit tax including shuttering refineries, stopping the exploration of new sources, or even hiding profits or spinning off parts of their business. It's either that or their money gets stolen by the US government.

Whatever the case Exxon and the other oil companies had better increase dividends, create a special one time dividend, or increase their stock buyback program. They need to return some of these record profits to shareholders.

Bye Bye Libby!

Well, it looks like the leaker is none other then I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby Jr the vice president's chief of staff. And he just resigned his post. These allegations are pretty serious I think they include obstruction of justice, perjury and making false statements .

I'm glad they got rid of these kind of people who pull these Clinton/Nixon era dirty tricks. Even though I'm a moderate I still believe in the integrity of the White House. Not just for the President but for all the staff working there as well. I mean there was no reason to bring this Wilson's wife into the thing at all. Even if she may have gotten him the job these White House types know that a CIA agent with a blown cover could get a lot of people killed.

I hope the Bushies can get this behind themselves and get back to the domestic issues at hand. I mean where is the push to make the tax cuts permanent. What can they do to curb the oil companies who just made record profits. That sort of stuff.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

White Sox Win the World Series!

Well it is about damn time. 1917 is a long time to wait. Did you know that the last time the White Sox won this thing the US was just getting into WWI after the Lusitania was struck by a torpedo? There was still an Ottoman Empire as well as an Austria-Hungarian one during that time. Also during that year the Russian Revolution happened.

Almost every single thing that I see around me has been invented since that time. Everything from this computer I'm typing this on, to the chair I'm sitting, on to the network, that you are reading this on has been invented since 1917. The entire world including almost all of the maps, the cultures, the social boundaries, the morays, and the behaviors have been reinvented since the last time the White Sox hoisted the trophy. Now only the Cubs are left.

Cellborg Created!

Now this is pretty weird stuff that University of Nebraska scientists just figured out. Here is what they did:

Scientists first coated a silicon chip with a layer of live Bacillus cereus bacteria. Some of the long, rod-shaped microbes lodged between two etched electrodes on the chip’s surface, forming a bridge. The chip was then washed in a solution containing tiny gold particles, each one about 30 nanometers across.

This what the weird-assed gold cellborg can do:

The cellborg sensor is extremely sensitive: a drop from 20 percent to zero humidity results in a 40-fold decrease in current flow. In humidity sensors that are solely electronic, the decrease is only 10-fold.

If they could get it to reproduce itself then we will have some science fiction style stuff going on.

Barry Cowsill missing?

Hmm, now here is an interesting case for the team at Without a Trace. It looks like the former child star just vanished after Katrina hit New Orleans.

He left a message on his sister Susan's cell phone that was retrieved a few days later. He said he was holed up in his apartment. He said he'd seen looting. He asked for help.

That was the last his siblings heard from Barry Cowsill.

I wonder if he parished in the storm or he just moved to a shelter somewhere and isn't reading the newspapers and such. This line could move this into the Urban Legend catagory:

There have been some leads, some reputed sightings, including one that had Barry Cowsill showing up on CNN, but nothing that as of yet has reunited the siblings.

Harriet Miers out of the Running

Finally, Miers came to her senses and bowed out of the nomination. She got Bush off to hook for nominating her in the first place. I think this is exactly why I didn't think she was right for the job:

Republicans and Democrats alike questioned her qualifications — Miers had never served as a judge — and Bush faced charges of cronyism for tapping his former personal lawyer for the highest court in the land.

She was never a judge and wanted her first job on the bench to be the most powerful one in the nation? I think there should be some sort of list of qualifications that the person must meet to be considered for the job. Like years of experience as a appeals court judge or something.

And that cronyism charge is part of the reason why Bush's number are down. He keeps putting his friends and confidants in at posts even if they are unqualified. He's acting like a Tammany Hall Boss here. This is worryingng statement though:

Conservative jurists who received serious consideration last time or somebody outside what Bush calls the "judicial monastery," perhaps a current or former senator who would be welcomed by the GOP-controlled Senate.

The judicial monastery? Well these are judges considered for a job for a judge right? It's like getting professional tennis stars to play football. Sure they are athletic but they don't have the right skills to excel at the position. And a senator is right out unless he was a former judge. That guy will really get the unqualified tag pretty fast. Maybe he should tap a constitutional law scholar of some kind. Kind of like his FED chief is a former economics professor.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Iran wants Israel off the Maps

Looks like Iran wants to put some nukes on Israel if we aren't careful. This is what this nutjob said:

Referring to Palestinian suicide bomb attacks in Israel, Ahmadinejad said: "there is no doubt that the new wave in Palestine will soon wipe off this disgraceful blot from the face of the Islamic world."

Her goes one step further by going Muslim nations who normalize relations with Israel as well.

Ahmadinejad also condemned Iran's neighbors which seek to break new ground in their relations with Israel. "Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury," state-run television quoted him as saying.

Yup so there might be a nuke going to Bahrain and Qatar as well. And we are supposed to reason with these madmen? Good luck with all that.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

McDonalds to put Nutrition on Packaging

This seems like a step in the right direction for MCD. Finally, consumers can see just how much fat they are eating when they belly up to the counter at McDonalds. I guess they are trying to make themselves seem more health conscious.

McDonald's has been a magnet for complaints that fast food is unhealthy. It was targeted by the 2003 documentary "Supersize Me," which focused on the health risks of an all fast-food diet, and hit with a lawsuit blaming the company for the obesity of teenage customers, although that suit was dismissed.

It should be good for the bottom line as long as the Senate backs that anti-suing the fastfood companies Bill that went through Congress. It seems like a good bill because there is nothing addictive about McDonalds or any other fast food. The only problem I have is that it is cheaper to eat unhealthy then healthy in America. Oh well, I guess that is just an economies of scale thing.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Excerpt from Bernanke's Economic Meetings

Here is an excerpt from Bernanke's economic briefing with Bush. Patrick the Starfish usually gives a rundown on foreign markets. While Sandy Cheeks gives Bush the briefing on the US dollar.

Here is Bernanke with Bush

Here is a pic of the new FED chief at the welcoming ceremony with Bush. One more thing at Bernanke and transparency at the FED. He must to be good at explaining the economy because he has to explain it to this guy in the gray suit every day. I think Bernanke uses either a puppet show or a well produced cartoon starring Spongebob Squarepants to do it. I thought I would beat Jay Leno to the punch.

Bernanke In as Fed chief

It looks like Bush has picked a successor to Greenspan. He also happens to be Bush's economic adviser and a former member of the Board of Governors. He also seems pretty qualified for the job unlike Harriet Myers. This is from the White House site:

Before becoming a member of the Board, Dr. Bernanke was the Howard Harrison and Gabrielle Snyder Beck Professor of Economics and Public Affairs and Chair of the Economics Department at Princeton University (1996-2002). Dr. Bernanke had served as a Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton since 1985.

He seems to have a really good economics background and know what he is talking about. He also wrote three textbooks. This is good news:

Bernanke, 51, is a top monetary economist who has long advocated setting formal targets for inflation to help guide monetary policy, a position Greenspan has long opposed.

Maybe the FED will have a lot more transparency when it comes to monetary policy. No more "what inning is it in the rate tightening cycle?" arguments. Let's hope Bernanke will give us a decent gauge on how much they will be raising the rates so the market won't freak out. It's tough to gauge things when economists have such wide opinions when it comes to what level they are willing on raising rates to. I hope he takes some of the uncertainty out of FED moves.

California Milk Processor Board should not Pull Ad

Now this is a very humorous ad and the stiff necked people at baseball are just getting stupid.

The latest "Got Milk?" commercial hit a little too close to home for Major League Baseball. Poking fun at the leagues steroid scandal, the television ad for the California Milk Processor Board talks about a player getting pulled from a game "after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance."

In the next scene, a coach pulls a carton of milk from the slugger's locker.

Baseball is saying this crap about this ad:

"There is nothing humorous about steroid abuse," said Tim Brosnan, executive vice president for business for the league. "I would think that the California Milk Processor Board and their advertising agency would know better regarding an issue that threatens America's youth."

If it threatens Americas youth so much then why hasn't baseball come down harder on the people that abused steroids and still continue to do so. Rafael Palmeiro only got a 10 game suspension for his steroid use. His team had to cut him for bad press for him to feel the sting at all. Now they are getting all righteous about this ad making fun of this kind of thing.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Bill could make TV Shows and Films into Porn

Now this is an interesting provision stuck into the new Children's Safety Act. It says that:

Currently, any filmed sexual activity requires an affidavit that lists the names and ages of the actors who engage in the act. The film is required to have a video label that claims compliance with the law and lists where the custodian of the records can be found. The record-keeping requirement is known as Section 2257, for its citation in federal law. Violators could spend five years in jail.

So the filmmaker will have to file this 2257 record or spend 5 years in jail. Now this article goes on to say this:

Industry executives worry that the provision, which is retroactive to 1995, will have a chilling effect on filmmakers. Faced with the choice of filing a 2257 certificate or editing out a scene, a filmmaker might decide it's not worth getting entangled with the federal government and let the scene fall to the cutting-room floor, the executives said.

Um, if the scene is crucial to the filmmaker vision then just file the 2257 certificate. Why is it chilling to have to file the same form as porn movies do? It seems pretty routine because the porn industry has had to do it for years and it isn't cutting into their business any. They still make billions a year. I guess Hollyweird is just chilled to have to be lumped in with those hideous porn purveyors. Hey come to think of it if they file the form they can be as graphic as they would like. They could conceivably have this Bush White House Porn Bill create more pornography in mainstream movies instead of less. Ah, unintended consequences.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Buffett Gets a Free Ride?

This is a pretty interesting article that confirms lots of my speculations.

"Professional speculators and arbitrageurs use our regulatory filings in a manner that yields them quick profits, at the direct expense of fund investors. In particular, information provided on Form 13F -- a formerly routine regulatory filing -- is being used in a way that was never intended and is harming fund shareholders," former ICI president Matthew Fink wrote in a 2002 report to members.

Other people, a select group of sophisticated investors, including Warren Buffett, are given "confidential treatment" from even having to file 13F disclosures with the government. That means they can keep secret for as long as a year trading information that would otherwise be made public.

I agree with Thomas Kostigen when he says that everyone should have to file these kind of disclosures. Or they should all be put in the dark by making it so no one has to file 13Fs at all. Whichever the case Buffett and his ilk should not get any kind of preferential treatment at all. Especially if it is harming fund investors.

Google Squashes Estimates

Now these are some impressive numbers from Google.

If not for charges related to a recent acquisition and employee stock options issued before the company went public 14 months ago, Google said it would have earned $1.51 per share.

That figure easily exceeded the consensus estimate of $1.36 per share among 31 analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial. Even the most bullish analysts hadn't expected Google to fare as well as it did; the highest earnings estimate had been $1.46 per share.

Google's revenue for the quarter totaled $1.58 billion, nearly doubling from $805.9 million last year. After subtracting the commissions that Google paid to other Web sites in its advertising network, the revenue stood at $1.05 billion, exceeding the Wall Street estimate of $944 million

Now that really is blowing past the numbers. I especially like how their revenues grew so much. That means more people are going to Google then before and ads there are hot properties. I wonder if they will really be buying out AOL here. That would certainly make Google a force to reckoned with. AOLs portal with Googles search engine, e-mail, blogging and instant messaging. I would probably make it my new homepage. Sorry Yahoo.

Pfizer Stock Blasted

PFE got its ass handed to it today. It looks like Lipitor and Viagra aren't selling as well as they did before. I wonder if this is a function of high gas prices on now high heating oil prices?

Part of the problem is Lipitor, the anti-cholesterol drug whose U.S. revenue rose just 1% in the quarter due to "an unexpectedly rapid slowdown in the U.S. lipid-lowering market as a whole and marginal Lipitor prescription share erosion during the quarter of one percentage point," the company said.

Maybe people are filling up the tank instead of filling their Lipitor prescriptions. I mean getting to work is much more important then possibly getting heart disease some time in the future. Hmm, this could be bad for Americans who are already overweight because they won't be taking their cholesterol meds. They also may be eating more fast food because everyone knows that eating healthy costs far more then eating junkfood. Also if you can't stay warm/get to work you certainly don't need erectile-disfunction drugs:

Sales of the impotence drug Viagra skidded 4% worldwide to $386 million, with U.S. sales losing 7% and foreign sales gaining 14%.

Perhaps this is why Americans are getting ruder. They have high cholesterol from not taking Lipitor. All their money goes to gas or heating oil. And they can't get laid anymore because their Viagra is too expensive.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Some God with you Latte?

It looks like Starbucks is going to put quotes from Rev. Rick Warren, author of The Purpose-Driven Life on its coffee cups. It seems like an interesting way to get people to discuss things while downing their $3.50 coffee. Here is what they have been doing:

In 2005, Starbucks is printing 63 quotes from writers, scientists, musicians, athletes, politicians and cultural critics on cups for company-run and licensed locations to carry on the coffeehouse tradition of conversation and debate.

I wonder if the ACLU will jump on them for doing this. I mean it is infringing on the rights of non-believers to drink their coffee without having to think of God. Separation of Church and coffee they will say. They need to organize a million atheist march that culminates in pouring Lattes into the street.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Hurricanes make egg prices go up?

Ah this is the reason why egg prices went up 49.3%. The article says:

The hurricanes may also be responsible for a record 49.3 percent jump in the price of eggs. This surge contributed to a 1.4 percent increase in the wholesale price of food last month. Katrina and Rita tore through areas of the Gulf that are major poultry producers. Higher egg costs are likely to be passed on to consumers, at least to some extent, at the grocery store.

Hmm, I guess lots of chickens bought it when those hurricanes blasted through those areas. Time to cut back on my Egg Mcmuffin consumption.

Highest Inflation since 1974

Looks like energy prices are making inflation go way up.

Price increases were led by a 7.1% rise in wholesale energy prices, the biggest jump in 15 years. Food prices also soared, rising 1.4% on a record 49% increase in egg prices.

Core prices, which exclude food and energy, increased 0.3% as prices for capital goods increased 0.3%. Car prices increased 0.9% and heavy truck prices climbed 1%.

At least the Core prices are still gaining very modestly. That means that the high energy prices haven't trickled into the prices of regular goods yet. When that core number goes up it is time to start worrying about the economy. Well, worrying more that is. Also I wonder why egg prices went up so much? Could it be that bird flu? That is kind of a weird statistic.

Last Aussie WWI Vet Dies at 106

This guy enlisted when he was just 14 years old. He was a seaman on the HMS Encounter. It looks like WWI is now about to vanish into the mists of history like the Civil War. We need a 8 part Ken Burns special so the War to End all War can be better remembered.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Microsoft Playing Nice

With all the focus on who their real competitors are (Google and Apple) they are now working with their long time enemies. They are working with RealNetworks in their effort to fight against apple and iTunes:

RealNetworks, the Seattle-based digital media company, on Tuesday announced a broad partnership with longtime nemesis Microsoft that also settles all the company's antitrust complaints. A series of agreements to share technology and promote each other's products could better position both companies to fight against Apple's market-leading iPod player and iTunes music service.

And they are working with Yahoo against Google:

Microsoft and Yahoo were announcing that they had finally agreed to make their instant messengers work together.

That deal is designed in part to take on America Online Inc.'s more popular instant messenger. But analysts say the companies also probably have one eye on Google, which launched its own messenger last month.

This fight is looking better and better as we go along. The reformed most-evil company in the world versus the company who vows never to do evil. It should be exciting to watch the cut and thrust of this new battle.

BitTorrent the Reason Behind slumping DVDs?

This seems like a very valid reason why DVD sales are getting softer and softer. Here is a very good article about the creator of the program and some info about it. Here is the part that got me thinking about DVD sales:

Today there are roughly 1.7 million copies of Hollywood movies—typically the most popular ones—being downloaded at any one time using BitTorrent, a 12% jump from last year, according to online media measurement firm BigChampagne.

I was thinking that DVD sales have been dropping more because movies have been pretty junk recently. Actually, people could just be using BitTorrent to download the movie complete with all the extras instead of buying the DVD. This should also concern TV execs:

In the same period the number of TV shows downloaded grew by 150%—about 70% of them snagged using BitTorrent.

I think the Networks should provide an alternative distribution channel where they sell a download of the nights TV shows for like $1 or something. Or maybe charge some kind of monthly fee to download a certain amount of TV content. That way if you didn't TiVo the show (or don't have a DVR) you can have your own copy for a nominal fee. If they don't do this they will end up losing out to companies like BitTorrent.

I mean Napstdevastatedted the music industry until ITunes found the price point that people will pay to get the content without going through the hassle of getting the item for free. Now getting the TV and movie content for free means just downloading the software and going torrentspy and seeing what is available. TV and Movie companies now need to make it even easier to get the content. If they don't they will keep wondering why their revenue figures are getting softer and softer.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Everyone wants a piece of AOL

Now Yahoo has thrown their hats in the ring. It looks like they just want to head Google off at the pass before their get their claws into the thing. Here is what AOL did to get so wanted so fast:

The interest in AOL comes as the company transforms itself from a declining business focused on providing dial-up access to a free content provider able to tap the recent boom in online advertising.

This was a very smart move and it looks like it may pay some big dividends for Time Warner:

The Web portal side of AOL's business is worth about $11.3 billion, based largely on AOL's advertising potential, media analyst Michael Nathanson at Sanford C. Bernstein estimated in a research note.

This would be the most interesting fit I think:

Google would have most to gain from a stake in AOL.

It would give the Internet search leader a way to build a portal -- and grow its advertising potential -- while preserving an existing relationship with AOL responsible for more than 10 percent of Google's revenues.

That would make Google the top dog when it comes to the internet. They already generate lots of cash with their search technology and other offerings. This would give them a whole bunch of revenue streams to keep peoples eyes glued to Google. I only use Google's search technology right now buy use Yahoo for their e-mail, news, finance, and fantasy sports.

If Google could buy AOL then it would be a great incentive to stay on Google all the time instead of Yahoo. Hmm it looks like it will be a 3 way bidding war between the three internet titans for AOL. Now that would be a real catalyst for Time Warner Stock (TWX) in the near term I should think.

Refco circles the Toilet

More corporate malfeasance out there. This looks like it will bankrupt the company as well. Here is what just happened:

In the latest development in the deepening crisis, Refco Securities LLC, a broker-dealer that accounts for more than half of Refco's gross revenues, said on Friday it was unwinding clients' and its own positions. The move signals the unit is essentially going out of business, making it the second Refco unit to stop operating this week.

On Thursday Refco Capital Markets, a prime broker that served the hedge fund community, halted activities and froze all its accounts, saying it did not have enough cash to go on.

Now this is some serious stuff I should think. This is all because CEO and chairman, Phillip Bennett used $430 million in bad debts to inflate the company's financial standing as it went public. He is probably going to go to jail as well. Too bad the stock has been halted because it would be interesting to see what the price would do. Someone sees some value in the company:

Man Group's brokerage unit, Man Financial, has expressed interest in buying Refco's futures business, according to a source familiar with the matter, who added private equity firms were also eyeing the embattled company.

I think they may want to get in there and grab all the traders in one fell swoop before the company seriously goes down the tubes. Well it looks like Refco is going to fall into the same garbage bin that has Enron and Global Crossing in it.

Very funny site to Check out

Here is a site about bathroom etiquette that my friend found that is absolutely hilarious. Much good advice especially about urinal selection etiquette. Great stuff.

Troops in Scripted Event?

This actually didn't seem as bad as I was told it was. It seems that the troops were given a rundown of what they were to expect so they wouldn't be surprised.

"I'm going to ask somebody to grab those two water bottles against the wall and move them out of the camera shot for me," Barber said.

A brief rehearsal ensued.

"OK, so let's just walk through this," Barber said. "Captain Kennedy, you answer the first question and you hand the mike to whom?"

"Captain Smith," Kennedy said.

"Captain. Smith? You take the mike and you hand it to whom?" she asked.

"Captain Kennedy," the soldier replied.

And so it went.

"If the question comes up about partnering — how often do we train with the Iraqi military — who does he go to?" Barber asked.

"That's going to go to Captain Pratt," one of the soldiers said.

"And then if we're going to talk a little bit about the folks in Tikrit — the hometown — and how they're handling the political process, who are we going to give that to?" she asked.

This seems like pretty standard stuff so they are ready to answer the questions. It is like a TV pre-interview where they let the person know what they are going to ask so you can think about your answers a bit. I was thinking that they were heavily coached or given a script or something. And here is the AP being the AP undermining troop confidence etc:

The president told them twice that the American people were behind them.

"You've got tremendous support here at home," Bush said.

Less than 40 percent in an AP-Ipsos poll taken in October said they approved of the way Bush was handling Iraq. Just over half of the public now say the Iraq war was a mistake.

The first statistic says that Americans think that Bush is screwing up the war and the second says that actually going to war was a mistake. Neither of the statistics show that the troops are not supported by people at home though. In fact most people want us to stay the course according to this article.

Overall attitudes about the war while negative haven't changed dramatically through the summer and a solid majority, 60 percent, want U.S. troops to stick it out until Iraq is stable.

I have a feeling that a poll saying "do you support the troops fighting in Iraq" would get an even larger majority of people behind them. I guess the AP would think that is just pro-Bush propaganda or something.

Katie Pregnant for a While?

Hmm now this article contains all kinds of weird stuff on their pregnancy. Now this is the strangest rumor I think:

In terms of just how Holmes got to be in the family way, her aunt has denied rumors that the actress conceived via in vitro fertilization.

"I can assure you they did it the old fashioned way," Carol Zydorczyk said in a recent magazine interview. (We're not even going to ask how she knows for sure.)

Hmm, this could very well be true. It was rumored that Tommy Boy was shooting blanks when he was married to Nicole Kidman. I think this aunt was watching them going at it just like those slaves in Rome do. This is a strange and painful sounding bit too:

In other reports, when it comes time for the actress to give birth in several months, it has been suggested that Holmes will attempt a silent labor in keeping with Scientology tradition.

The practice encourages mothers to be to forgo painkillers and to refrain from screaming or even talking as they bring their children into the world. Scientologists believe that the silence reduces trauma during birth and prevents irrational fears later in life.

Yup, nothing like making the woman suffer in intense agony while they can't even cry out or deaden the pain a little. I wonder if they have a silent C-section cooked up for her if there is complications in the pregnancy. In whatever the case it sounds like something they would do in Maoist China. Some Zen mixed with a little torture.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The 'Lost' Guy Robbed

Seems like Hawaii Kai isn't as safe as it used to be. It seems that someone broke into
Josh Holloway's house and robbed him and his wife at gunpoint. Now that must have been pretty scary for anyone to go through. I have to disagree with this part though:

There was no indication that the robber recognized the 36-year-old actor,

I have a feeling that he was hit because they knew who he was and where he was living. I would investigate some of the relatives of the people that work on the Lost set. I would bet that someone's cousin or something overheard where this actor lived and planned to rob him. It is strange that they didn't just burglarize his house though. Here is a pic of the poor bastard that got robbed:

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

New Video Ipod

It seems APPL has finally brought out their video Ipod. The prices seem pretty high but it still may fly off the shelves pretty well.

The video iPod -- a long-rumored product that could further spark sales of the popular brand -- has a 2.5-inch screen and comes with 30 or 60 gigabytes of memory. It will sell for $299 and $399, respectively, and holds up to 150 hours of video.

It certainly looks pretty nice to me:

The only problem I have with it is this:

The company also plans to offer music videos for $1.99 each at its iTunes online music store. It will also offer short films from Pixar Animation Studios Inc. which is also led by Jobs.

I'm not sure if this will be worth it because you can already watch these videos for free on on Yahoo Launch. It would seem to me that selling these things may not be a very decent revenue stream for them. There is also word that they will be allowing people to download TV shows as well. This may be an interesting way to spend $1.99 but I still think people won't want to watch an entire 1 hour show on a tiny little screen like that. I wonder if APPL will offer a cradle that connects to your TV. Now that would be an interesting I should think.

Let's Hope for a Mild Winter

Now this price increase will really cut into some peoples spending habits.

A typical household heating with natural gas is projected to spend an additional $350 this winter compared with last year, according to the report published by the Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Energy Department.

Now that is quite a chunk out of peoples already stretched savings. This money will probably come out of buying Christmas presents this season. It may be one of those record low holiday seasons when compared to previous years. This could put a serious hurting on consumer goods and retailers. $350 is around the same price of an X-box 360, a new DVD recorder, 3 pairs of high end jeans, or the Video Ipod.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Smurfs Wiped Out by UNICEF

It looks like UNICEF did what Gargamel has only dreamed of. Their new ad campaign wipes out the Smurfs leaving only Baby Smurf alive to tell the tale. This seems to be their aims:

UNICEF's Belgian office is using the Smurfs as the centerpiece of a new fundraising initiative to shock viewers into donating money to help children in war-torn regions. The agency also hopes to rehabilitate former child soldiers in Burundi.

That seems like a good cause but I don't see how eradicating a cartoon race would do that though. It seems to show that even the Smurfs aren't safe from being bombed out of existance. It would seem like it would scare kids more then it would get people to donate money.

I mean kids are already scared that at any time they may be blown up by terrorists. Now UNICEF is there to wipe out their imaginary friends too. Kids can't even be safe in their own heads. Perhaps UNICEF will try to wipe out Blue's Clues, or maybe Dora the Explorer next. Send money or we drop a Daisy Cutter on Barney. Give me cash or we machine gun the Wiggles. It must be tough to be a kid in this day and age.

I think the FED should release minutes faster

This seems like a pretty good insight into the FEDs thinking and I wonder why they have to release it a week later. There shouldn't be any Top Secret stuff in there at all. It shouldn't take more then a day to transcribe the thing depending on who they get to do it. I think this is important stuff that should be put out there ASAP. Oh well, I guess there is some reason why they delay the thing.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Better Luck Next Year BoSox

Well at least they gave it their all. I really wanted to see a Yankee-Boston 7 game donnybrook for all the marbles but it isn't going to happen. Oh well there is always those baked beans.

Boston Red Sox Swept!

Wow, they didn't put up much of a fight to the supposedly reeling ChiSox. Add this to the spanking that the Patriots got from the Chargers and this becomes a real bad week for Boston. That Pats loss was one of the most humiliating performances from a supposed Super Bowl contender in a long time.

Now the BoSox are blasted right out of existence faster then you can turn your head. So much for the Co-AL East champions or whatever their owner called them. They should have worried more about the White Sox then they did about playing another game against the Yankees to see who actually won their division. Let's hope it isn't another 86 years until they win another World Series.

Some jobs lost but not too much

Looks like the post-Katrina job losses weren't as bad as people thought.

Payrolls fell by 35,000, with jobs in retailing, lodging, bars, restaurants and leisure pursuits such as gambling all taking a hit. The unemployment rate climbed to 5.1 percent, from a four-year low of 4.9 percent in August.

I heard some economists saying that up to 250,000 jobs could be lost. This number is pretty good seeing as how bad those hurricanes destroyed that city and disrupted things. I think that many these jobs came from those casinos destroyed in Biloxi. The unemployment rate rose to 5.1% but not as much as people feared.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

XBox 360 Game list released

Well more or less released. This isn't a definitive list but it does have some details on what the system will launch with. Here are the games mentioned:

Take-Two said its launch titles are basketball game "NBA 2K6," hockey game "NHL 2K6," tennis game "Top Spin 2," snowboarding game "Amped 3" and "The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion," a role-playing game.

Activision has four Xbox 360 launch titles on its list. They are World War II game "Call of Duty 2," action game "Quake 4," extreme sports title "Tony Hawk's American Wasteland" and "GUN."

EA the world's biggest video game publisher, on Monday said it will have five titles out in time for the launch. They are the racing game "Need for Speed Most Wanted," its "FIFA 06: Road to FIFA World Cup" soccer title, basketball game "NBA Live 06," golf game "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06" and "Madden NFL 06."

A THQ Inc. (THQI.O: Quote, Profile, Research) spokesman said the company has two launch window titles for the Xbox 360: urban action game "Saint's Row" and "The Outfit," a World War II-inspired game.

Microsoft this week confirmed that the action-adventure game "Kameo: Elements of Power" and "Perfect Dark Zero," both from game developer Rare, will be shipping at launch.

"Project Gotham Racing 3" from independent game studio Blizzard Creations also should be in stores, Microsoft said.

Seems like a pretty good list of games at launch. There will be plenty of sports stuff. Some roleplaying and action stuff to keep people interested as well. It would be nice to see more racing games though but I guess Project Gotham will have to do. I'm probably only going to buy FIFA World Cup and maybe The Outfit depending on the reviews. I haven't bought a Soccer Game for any console and it should get me pumped up for the World Cup.

FED has Inflation Fears

Well, at least they are watching how gas prices may start causing business to charge more for items and stoke inflation fears. This Richard Fisher character seems pretty level headed and speaks fairly plainly. You really don't have to go through and parse his words like you have to do with Greenspan. Perhaps Bush should make this guy the new Chairman of the FED.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Lindsay Lohan wrecks for the third time?

Wow looks like she should be hiring a driver here soon. She again wrecked her car fleeing from paparazzi. This time it looks like she was fine and then got injured in the antiques store or something.

Lohan and her passenger, whom Recano identified as the actress' assistant, initially appeared to be unharmed and ducked into a nearby antiques store, apparently to avoid paparazzi and TV cameras, Recano said. However, according to the sheriff's department, Lohan and her passenger were later taken by ambulance to an unnamed hospital for treatment of "minor injuries." The unidentified driver of the van, meanwhile, was rushed to the hospital with "moderate injuries."

I guess she tripped on some chintz or maybe a 19th century Swiss butter churn hit her in the head. Whatever the case this is one messed up Mercedes

Cruiser shoots and scores!

Well looks like Tommy-boy and Katie are expecting a baby. You can probably count the days until the child is dangled from a balcony or literally thrown through the air on Oprah. You can bet on on one thing though, if Katie goes into postpartum depression she is as good as a goner.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Maybe Google and Sun are going to Merge?

It is just speculation on my part but it may very well be possible. Now that would really change the landscape in any fight with Microsoft. It would put Google in the server software business as well as Linux development. They could then offer OpenOffice (a much better one improved with Google knowhow) via a web service. They seem to be doing some interesting things for NASA right now:

The company announced last week that it plans to build a one-million-square-foot campus on NASA's Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley. The two entities plan to partner up in a host of purposely vague areas, including "large-scale data management, massively distributed computing, bio-info-nano convergence [whatever that is] and encouragement of the entrepreneurial space industry," according to Google's press release.

So maybe they are going to try some kind of distributed computing and data storage over the web type of thing. It sure would be cool to have some sort of Google search of all your documents stored in some offsite area that is backed up every day (or maybe hour or minute.)

Of course the security would have to be iron-clad or it will be another way for hackers to steal data. Google seems pretty good at protecting security (that desktop search screwup notwithstanding) when compated with MSFT. I'm sure companies will pay big money to put something like this in place. No more NAS and they will all have a ready made hotsite at least when it comes to their data.

Google could then create some sort of very secure web collaboration suite that would challenge MSFT. This could be done with an enterprise level chat client that could be developed in-house or possibly made by Yahoo. A combined company will mount a serious threat to MSFTs dominance in the market for sure.

It would change the nature of Google but I think it would be a very forward thinking move. It will lauch the time when software will become more web-based then PC based. We won't have to store data or even the applications on the PC or even on the business site anymore. All of that stuff will be taken care of on big server farms at Google headquarters or somewhere around the world. Sun was talking about this during the bubble era but now we have players like Google that could make it a reality. SUNW+GOOG>MSFT for sure.

Update: Google is pushing OpenOffice

Ah, looks like Sun is including Java Runtime engine with Google Toolbar and Google will be somehow pushing OpenOffice as well. I thought they were only going to do the Toolbar and Java Runtime addon. However this seems to be a strange thing for McNealy to say:

Financial terms were not disclosed. "There is going to be a lot of money flowing both ways if we do this thing right," McNealy said.

Isn't all of this stuff free? So they seem to be getting together to push a bunch of free software that I guess will generate traffic for Google's web page or something. I can see how Google will make more money if people are jumping on to view the ads while they download OpenOffice.

I'm not sure how Sun will be making any money though. I guess it increases the installed base of OpenOffice and Java Runtime Engine in regular users homes. I really don't think most companies will be wasting their time with OpenOffice anytime soon. I mean they could have switched over a long time ago but haven't. I don't think Google pushing OpenOffice on their webpage (or whatever they will try to do) will make these companies switch any faster.

Google and Sun go after Office? Say What?

Now this is really a stretch in this article. This is what Sun and Google are collaborating on:

Under the deal, the toolbar will be offered as part of the Java Runtime Engine.

Eventually, the Java component could be offered to users who download the free toolbar that offers quick access to Google search, spell checking and a popup blocker.

But since Sun makes an Office suite called OpenOffice people are jumping to the conclusion that Google is somehow pushing OpenOffice. No, that is not what the two companies are collaborating on. They are simply putting Java Runtime Engine which will probably do almost nothing at all for the average user on Google Toolbar. I have Java Runtime Engine (it came with StarOffice 7.0 that I was testing) on my PC and all it seems to do is periodically ask if you want to update the thing.

Also MSFT shouldn't be scared a bit since OpenOffice is a pale competitor to Office 2003. The thing doesn't work very well with newer macro's that are created in Excel2003. It doesn't have any collaboration suite like Office 2003 does. Also a lot of the functionality of Word is missing in the version of OpenOffice that I tested. The interface is also very clunky feeling to a person that uses MSFTs Office a lot.

It is true that I never went into heavy detail testing OpenOffice because an attachment that I tried to open in Outlook Web Access crashed with an RPI not found error. A user shouldn't have to research a weird assed error messages like that. I'm sure there is a fix to the problem but I don't want to have to search for it or patch the program and hope for the best. I would simply have my PC loaded with Office 2003 and the file opens with no muss or fuss. OpenOffice's is only real selling point IMO is that it is free. Google could offer to come to my house and install OpenOffice on my machine personally and I still wouldn't switch from Office 2003.

Monday, October 03, 2005

This is why Nick Cage is my favorite Actor

He just had a kid with his wife Alice Kim and named him Kal-el Coppola Cage. Yup, he named his son after Superman's Kryptonian name. Now that beats all those dorky celeb names by a mile. You can take all your Apples, your Tallulah Belle, and your Phinnaeus' and dump them. You can't beat Superman for a name. I guess he could have called the kid Clark Kent Cage but that sounds too much like a TV anchorman.