Thursday, May 31, 2007

So right now I'm dealing with a situation in china where there is a fairly ambiguous law... and a legal system there that is not terribly consistent in its application of law... and i'm advocating, strongly, that my company weigh in in the extremely safe zone and not come near anything that might be considered in violation so as to protect the people we work with from being taken away... (yes... they do that)...

I've found myself using the argument that 'see, i'm from the united states of america... i know all about a system of justice that doesnt abide the rule of law - and that imprisons people without good reason and with tremendous subjectivity.' I cant imagine that I would have been put in a position to make an argument like this... or to use the American government as a favorable comparison to that of the fairly totalitarian chinese state.

Then again... why do I need to make the argument... the Atty Gen does it for me...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007





PLZ TRY OPEN FILE "bukket.txt"?



Friday, May 25, 2007

Boys will be boys...


Ok. That's a hate crime. But I have a solution that only Solomon could love.

The assailant should be fed a diet of pork and be forced to watch gay porn all day every day. That or his prison jumpsuit should be made to be that of a pirate... and he should only eat pasta.

I wonder... if an arab boy did this to an xtian boy... would the story be bigger? Or do xtians have a thing against men with long hair...

Monday, May 21, 2007


So about a week ago - several congresspeople decided to try to live on $21 a week - the amount of govt aid one is given if - and i mean IF - one qualifies for foodstamps. So before we get started - lets all have a little think about that one for a moment. America - richest nation on earth - lobs $21 a week at its poorest as a 'dole' - and that's IF you qualify, the term you can be on said assistance is limited, and its fairly restrictive because, you know, there are all sorts of people apparently abusing the system.

Because, you know, at $21 a week - there's a lot of room for graft as the poor find ways to trade out all that excess foodstamp money for crack.


So - the congresspersons decided to blog about it. And reading through their tales of trying to make the money stretch was amusing - at the same time making a point... that making it on $21 a week is pretty damned impossible. Not being able the drink coffee made me laugh - and tremble in dread...

But the other day...
Congressman Ryan was a victim of the airline ban on liquids. Imagine the look on his face as some weaselly TSA employee takes his Jelly away from him... and that shocked 'what am i going to eat' stunned disbelief thing is going on. Terribly funny...

Now imagine a single mother... with a baby screaming and a second child zooming through the kitchen chasing the pseudo-adopted stray cat... and she's on the phone and trying to make the monster lunch and she hears a noise and turns and knocks the jelly off the counter... Suddenly the cute anecdote is a lot less amusing.

Not to go grab a John Edwards campaign theme or anything - but there really are 2 americas... and we can do better than this.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


i cant do this much more

4 hours of sleep
2 the night before
6 the night before
3 the night before

i was exhausted already...

Friday, May 11, 2007

Am I the only one who sees a problem here?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

This one is fun - and it'll give you some idea of the complexities of this particular world. Ok - short background. Several years ago the US started going after sportsbook operators in Antigua for violation of the Wire fraud act. The sportsbooks, with Antigua's backing, faced off against the US at the WTO. Long story short, they won.

Now here's where it gets interesting. What's happened - is that the US has declared 'oh, that was an oversight when we signed the agreement - we're going to revise that'

From another story: "Antigua's U.S.-based lead counsel, Mark Mendel, "There is simply no basis for such a statement. When the schedules were drawn up over ten years ago, there was extensive debate, proposal and counterproposal from all WTO members in determining what commitments would be made. More than a dozen countries were able to expressly exclude gambling from their commitments, and many dozens more excluded the commitment in other ways. For the United States to say this was a mistake is just not true."

Ok - big shock. The US is saying 'oh, the WTO is only something we want to abide by when it suits us'... very 'world court mining the harbors in nicaragua 1984 of them' -- not surprising from this administration really... is it? So other than the obvious 'this makes us look like sore losers and bad trading partners' and the precedent it sets for countries like China who'll get to pull the same stunt on us later (and man will they abuse us with our precedent) - here's how this approach could be very very bad for the US in purely short term financial terms - and i really don't think these jackasses realize how bad that could be. The US has just said to the world, 'we're taking gambling off the table... we know that means the rest of you might have lost a market opportunity... so line up and make your claim and we'll have to cut you a deal.'
Yes... that's right... the UK has lost billions of pounds of value in the AIM, and billions of dollars of potential revenue... they should make a claim. All of the Caribbean should make a claim - costa rica has lost tens of thousands of job since the UIGEA port security measure passed... but leading the pack will certainly be Antigua. The US is saying 'ok - go ahead - we'll pay the relief - how bad can it be' .

What is Antigua going to seek? Increased tariffs would only be a hardship on Antiguan citizens - and in those cases the international trade bodies have gone for solutions that address evening that playing field rather than imposing additional hardships on the suffering nation. The general consensus - Antigua is going to get to ignore US copyright and patent protection. I want you to think about that for a moment... is the current Anallubian administration really this stupid? The only thing we have is Movies, Music, Microcode, and High Speed Pizza Delivery.... they're not leaving us with much. Now imagine how bad that gets when other nations all get to line up at the trough too. They're basically saying 'fine - here's the checkbook... what is this going to cost me' - and in 2 years when this idiot legislation is overturned - we'll have already paid many many billions in IP that we wont be able to retrieve.

This is remarkably dumb - even for this administration.

Saturday, May 05, 2007


Washington Post headline today... "Troops at Odds With Ethics Standards"...

From the article...

More than one-third of U.S. soldiers in Iraq surveyed by the Army said they believe torture should be allowed if it helps gather important information about insurgents, the Pentagon disclosed yesterday. Four in 10 said they approve of such illegal abuse if it would save the life of a fellow soldier.

In addition, about two-thirds of Marines and half the Army troops surveyed said they would not report a team member for mistreating a civilian or for destroying civilian property unnecessarily. "Less than half of Soldiers and Marines believed that non-combatants should be treated with dignity and respect," the Army report stated.

About 10 percent of the 1,767 troops in the official survey -- conducted in Iraq last fall -- reported that they had mistreated civilians in Iraq, such as kicking them or needlessly damaging their possessions.


I am close to changing my stance on the Iraq war altogether...
Maybe we shouldnt leave before we finish the job... stay as long as we need... as long as possible...

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Dumb question...

People agree to most of the facts surrounding Wolfowitz's involvement in obtaining a job/transfer/raise for his 'companion' (though his defense - "They are trying to cover their tracks, but the fact is that nobody advised Mr. Wolfowitz that he could not do what he did. That was a dereliction on their part. They owed him clear guidance, and they never gave it." is almost laughable)

But my question is - why does the press insist on using such neutral terms when describing her?

"when he arranged a pay raise and promotion for his companion"
"Mr. Wolfowitz arranged in 2005 for Shaha Ali Riza, his companion and a bank employee"

I mean... why not say 'Paul Wolfowitz was married to his college sweetheart in 1968 - with whom he separated in 2001 after she discovered he'd started banging a slutty coworker - for whom he later engineered an absurdly high-paying job in clear violation of the rules of the world bank if not an obvious example of gross ethical misconduct.' I mean - let's talk about family values here... "Mr President, when Paul Wolfowitz started banging his secretary over at Defense - and his wife of 40 years separated from him and claimed there might be national security implications yet you backed him regardless - how does that fit in with the traditional republican 'family values' voter?" or "Ms Ali Riza, who's job description apparently included 'swallowing' had no comment."

I miss gonzo... he'd have loved this story.

Chalk up another one to stupid...

So this highschool kid makes a quake mod map...
and uses his school...

and the school district throws him into 'special ed'
and the police come in, search his room, and take a hammer they find there as some sort of 'weapon'

Ok - once - i thought maybe, just maybe, we could rely on people's common sense to get us through some of this idiotic FUD crap being thrown at us. I thought 'well, people are smart enough... there are enough people in the equation that they wont do stupid things... someone will intervene and stop the stupid before it gets out of control' I think the best evidence that i should have known better was the mooninite invasion of boston - and the reaction by the mayor and police chief after the fact. They werent even willing to stand up and say 'we're being idiots'. See - that's the danger... the FUD creates a blanket out, a giant excuse for behaviors that would otherwise result in repercussions.

This kid didnt do anything wrong - and he's being punished. Would he be punished if he wasn't chinese? Or if he were the mayor's son? Some day we need to wake up from this self-inflicted nightmare.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Ok... time for another rant.

Yesterday was a very cool day for the internet. There are 2 sites that are remarkably popular news aggregator sites - Digg and BoingBoing - both sites i tend to frequent because, honestly, they're better at news that matters than CNN and Fox (big shock - i can generally pass on the Dannylyn stories tyvm).

So lets set the stage. A while back this programmer got upset that he'd bought DVDs with certain 'region' restrictions - and couldn't play his DVDs on his equipment. Now - why do DVDs have region restrictions? Because movies dont release at the same time all over the world - making 70mm celluloid prints is expensive - and recouping the cost by recycling old ones into the third world is standard practice. So this guy had a couple DVDs that wouldnt play on his machine. Now there are machines that will play all region content - so for the most part the argument that this is an effective control - is spurious... but it's what the entertainment industry has.

So this guy, through a reasonably simple method, extracted a decryption key that pretty much defeats all the DRM for DVDs. Game over. Billions of dollars of R&D to get to one annoyed guy, burning a couple hours in his basement, to turn it all into so much garbage. Welcome to the information age bozos.

So... a couple days back there was an interesting post about the AACS sending legal threats to those distributing the key in blog posts about the hack, including a blog run by a USC prof. At that point in time - there were about a hundred sites with the number, and details of how to perform the hack. Well - they weren't the only ones that got the cease and desist...

It got to DIGG. The owners of DIGG decided 'well, lets get in front of this before we get into trouble' and started deleting anything that had the code in it. Now DIGG is all about users determining what is news... it's community-driven news content... and the users got, well, unhappy. They upvoted garbage news stories by the dozens just to put the damned link up as many times as they could - there are now 36000 pages cached in google with the code - and rising. Finally - the founder of DIGG relented - realizing that it might well cost him his site - but that this was obviously the way it was going to go down, so he might as well fight the good fight.

Genies do not go back into bottles.

(ps... i saw spiderman 3 for sale in beijing 2 weeks before it premiered for 10 rmb... good luck jackasses)