Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Untitled

Wow. Feeling a little sicky--I just might go to bed at a reasonable hour tonight...

Posted via web from thepete's posterous

Monday, September 28, 2009

Untitled

Short video of a bizarre little Segway competitor that I'd actually want to own... (http://ping.fm/xEHhx)

Posted via web from thepete's posterous

Untitled

Last nite I reposted "The 5 Minute Show Episode 1" produced back in 2003! Go watch it now on Blip.tv! (sry 4 the ad!) (http://thepete.blip.tv/)

Posted via web from thepete's posterous

Weeee! DN reports: Nearly 200 Arrested as Police Unleash Tear Gas, Sound Cannons at G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh (http://ping.fm/JdmEA)
G-20 say business as usual can continue, oblivious to sad irony. Read more @ DemocracyNow.org (http://ping.fm/FzNax)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

RT @jeffpulver: RT @davidscohe...

RT @jeffpulver: RT @davidscohen If they need you and don't know it then make more noise. If they don't need you then make more value.

Orignal From: RT @jeffpulver: RT @davidscohe...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

More Amazing Rice Field Art In...

More Amazing Rice Field Art In Japan (includes progress shots) (http://ping.fm/E2WBn)

Orignal From: More Amazing Rice Field Art In...

Friday, September 25, 2009

American Dream or American Myth?


Kid Rock has nothing to do with
this post. His knowledge of how
to treat the American flag is
mythical, however. :\
I'm a big believer in the power of myth. My only gripe is when people don't admit that what they believe in is a myth in the first place. See, I don't think aa story has to be true in order to learn valuable life lessons from it. So, I can be an Atheist and learn from Jesus, or not believe in the Federal Reserve and still earn and spend money. The thing is, I understand and admit that both are myths--fictions that don't represent anything provable.

Now, the only reason I bring this up is because the other day, an Internet acquaintance of mine and I were talking about political party differences between my country and his (he's in Germany) and naturally taxation came up (check the comments to see the convo). He referenced that little chestnut of historical Americana, "Taxation Without Representation" via the Boston Tea Party, and suggested it was our "founding myth."

I did take issue with this, but only the part where he suggested that it was our "founding myth."

Oh, I agree it's a myth in that the "Boston Tea Partiers" were likely Freemasons who probably worked it out with the British East India Company (run by Freemasons) to let them throw British East India tea into the harbor, thus making it a kind of "false-flag operation," and thus, a myth--but the idea that our country was founded on this myth? Nah, that's not accurate to me at all. So, here's how I replied (emphasis added for effect):

So. Jealous. :) RT @grantimaha...

So. Jealous. :) RT @grantimahara http://twitpic.com/j38xq Best. Experiment. Day. Ever. Just add ponies and ice cream. #fromset #Mythbusters

Orignal From: So. Jealous. :) RT @grantimaha...

INDEED! RT @SteveIsaacs: Hey U...

INDEED! RT @SteveIsaacs: Hey Universe- please stop making "Saw" movies. Thanks, Steve.

Orignal From: INDEED! RT @SteveIsaacs: Hey U...

thepete.com: Hi no tori 2772: ...

thepete.com: Hi no tori 2772: Ai no kosumozon (1980): http://ping.fm/4WB9W

Orignal From: thepete.com: Hi no tori 2772: ...

Hi no tori 2772: Ai no kosumozon (1980)

FYI: This movie's Japanese title is shown above. It was released on VHS in the US back in the 1990s with the title Phoenix 2772.


Try to find this movie.
Positive Experience/Entertaining? Yeesh... I haaate to say this about an Osamu Tezuka film but, for me, it was not a positive experience. I LOVE Tezuka's stuff, normally.


Technically any good? The animation is definitely stunning by 1980-standards. Obviously, it's looks dated by today's standards. But that's not even what bothers me about this movie. The plot is incredibly thin and the goals are achieved with amazing ease. What's worse is that there are big, long sequences of "humor" where "cartoon" characters dance around and act silly doing nothing to move the plot forward. These scenes seemed inserted to please international audiences since, at the time, most folks outside of Japan would have trouble wrapping their heads around an adult storyline told in animation, so we see what I can only describe as a Jar-Jar Binks prototype and some of his friends who are equally annoying.


How did it leave me feeling? Disappointed and longing for Tetsuwan Atomu (aka Astroboy) or Black Jack, two of Tezuka's other creations.

Read a longer review of Hi no tori 2772: ai no kosumozon that I wrote for Otaku-Complex.com here.

Sadly, for fans of this movie, it's hard to find anywhere and hasn't been released on DVD in the US. If you find a US distributor, please let me know. It's Tezuka, so I want people to have access to it.

Orignal From: Hi no tori 2772: Ai no kosumozon (1980)

:) RT @MSampo: Spam subject li...

:) RT @MSampo: Spam subject line of the day: "Dumbass, look here." Oh, well, sure I could...HEY!

Orignal From: :) RT @MSampo: Spam subject li...

RT @NewYorkology: Considering ...

RT @NewYorkology: Considering uptick in terror alerty-ness, pls keep in mind Twitter can amplify false rumors fast. Good to clarify [...]

Orignal From: RT @NewYorkology: Considering ...

Obama Asks Us to Take Responsibility: This isn't Bizarro World, It's Parody Earth (pt 5) My Solution Edition!

OK, now after bitching about Obama calling for Americans to take responsibility for their health care by paying for insurance, I'd like to suggest my solution:

Learn from history.

You remember history, right? It's that thing that happened before now.

It's got all sorts of lessons for us to learn about what to do and what not to do--especially when you look at other countries!

See, in every other "civilized" nation in the world, health care is a right, not something you pay for. After all, what would "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" be without "life"?

So, I say you keep private insurers where they are for the folks that don't trust government-run health care, but start up a UK-style NHS for those of us who don't trust private health care or the insurance companies.

Who will pay for it? Well, ideally, us--in that we'll still be alive thanks to it--but also our kids who will also benefit from it. If we're REALLY smart, we'll even take the money we normally spend on our military bases around the world and spend it on health care.

After all, if we keep going with the current system, tens of thousands will continue to die every year, not thanks to terrorist bombings (terrorists aren't that good at killing), but thanks to a lack of affordable health care.

So, yes, I'm suggesting not only that we learn from history (GASP!) but also that we learn from OTHER COUNTRIES. (HEAVENS!)

Oh and we should also check the stupid labels at the door, too.

All this crap about "socialism" isn't going to help anyone on either side of the political wall. Hitler wasn't a bad guy because he wanted his citizens to have universal health care (did he?) he was a bad guy because he slaughter loads of people after he invaded a bunch of countries without a good reason.

Not that we would EVER do that!

COUGHnativeamericansCOUGH
COUGHiraqandafghanistanCOUGH

But I digress.

The point is, ditch the labels, learn from history and other countries who have done this successfully before.

Nothing will be perfect so grow the hell up.

All I know is that I'd like to go to the dentist for the first time in ten years. The two times I've been to the doctors in the same amount of time was when I went to the LA Free Clinic.

Everyone knows that I'm not some lazy bastard either, it's obvious I'm not freeloading on the system or whatever. I work my ass off all the time, I just don't make a lot (or any) money for it. I like to think that my good health and, in fact, my life is worth a bit of your money, just as much as I already feel the same about your health and life.

But until you start clicking that Paypal donate link (and not even for a while after that), or hire me, I can't afford Mr. President's plan.

So, what the hell are people like me supposed to do?

Orignal From: Obama Asks Us to Take Responsibility: This isn't Bizarro World, It's Parody Earth (pt 5) My Solution Edition!

thepete.com: TheDailyLego: Leg...

thepete.com: TheDailyLego: LegoRecognizer! (from Tron @tomzer1's request!): http://ping.fm/3wDif

Orignal From: thepete.com: TheDailyLego: Leg...

TheDailyLego: LegoRecognizer! (from Tron @tomzer1's request!)



Orignal From: TheDailyLego: LegoRecognizer! (from Tron @tomzer1's request!)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Blackwater Ties with CIA: Is Anything Going to Come of This?

Last month it came out that Blackwater (or whatever the heck they're calling themselves these days), has massive ties with the CIA.

Seems like when the CIA wanted folks killed, they just outsourced it to the private sector.

This is how it starts folks--private contractors come in and do your empire building for you and the next thing you know, some dude with an Indian accent is asking what foreign leader you want to axed next.

OK, so it probably won't happen exactly like that, but the Blackwater story will continue to flow downstream just like it has been for years now. Independent journalist Jeremy Scahill has been going after them for many trips around the sun and even wrote a book about them. And here comes the Christian Science Monitor and CNN (see: the screencaps in this post, sources: here and here), both mainstream news sources that reported on not just Blackwater but Blackwater getting hired to kill folks for the CIA. This isn't the first time the guys from DarkH2O have been in the MSM, either. They've gotten press for "possible" massacres, random killings and maybe you remember those "contractors" who got pulled from their SUV outside Fallujah, killed, set on fire and hung from a bridge? Yeah, those dudes were Blackwaterians.

Gee, what would have made Fallujans mad enough be that horrible to a couple of guys in an SUV?

Regardless, nothing they've done stops Blackwater from existing and I believe they're still doing things for the USG, too. If memory serves there were even Blackwater guys on the ground in New Orleans after Katrina.

How can any of this be legal? It's like the Federal Reserve only with guns. How do you expect your senators and/or House reps to control what this armed corporation does in our names? It's not like you or I can just vote Eric Prince, CEO of Blackwater, out of office anymore than we can vote out Ben Bernanke as the guy running the Fed.

More and more keeps coming up about Blackwater (really scary stuff, too) and yet no one seems to do anything about it.

Neat.

Want to learn more about Blackwater? Read Scahill's book or at the very least visit his website: RebelReports.com. He's also on Twitter.

OH and in case you're curious, Blackwater changed it's name to Xe Services...

...and then changed it again to US Training Center. At least, you end up at the US Training Center website when you aim your browser at: BlackwaterUSA.com.

Yeah, they're having some issues with their image lately. Can't imagine why...

Orignal From: Blackwater Ties with CIA: Is Anything Going to Come of This?

A Crude Awakening - The Oil Crash (2007)


Buy it from Amazon!
Positive Experience/Entertaining? Definitely entertaining and, more importantly, educational. I do take issue with a few things this documentary fails to present, however.


Technically any good? It does a great job of telling the story of oil. This was all stuff I'd never heard before and the way the film presents this history (and it's eventual irony) is incredibly powerful and dramatic.

However, the film concludes that there is little hope for us. It takes on a very pessimistic attitude and quotes no one who points out that there actually is hope. I don't need touchy-feely "get involved! call your congressman!" kind of stuff, but showing one guy saying "ethanol's a dead-end" and not presenting anyone who might disagree doesn't make for an accurate documentary of the problem facing us.

I actually agree that ethanol is not going to "replace" oil (no single alternative will), but I know for a fact that there are people who are big proponents of the stuff that did not make an appearance in this film.


How did it leave me feeling? Disappointed since it does such a great job of looking back and such a rotten job of looking forward. We'll find a way out of this messy black stuff (we have to) but, based on this film, you'd think humanity hasn't solved big problems before.


Final Rating? GSN - Go See Now. Despite the downer message of A Crude Awakening, I think it's got some amazing facts in it that make it a must see.

Orignal From: A Crude Awakening - The Oil Crash (2007)

Obama Asks Us to Take Responsibility: This isn't Bizarro World, It's Parody Earth (pt 4)

Yep! Still going!

So, in part 1 the issue was Obama actually explaining to ABC News that car and health insurance are comparable.

In part 2, I focused on the lack of responsibility taken by the USG to keep practical poisons away from us.

Last time, in part 3, it was all about spending buckets on alleged military threats instead of providing universal health care for free.

This time I'd like to delve into the nitty-gritty of how Obama's plan would even function. OK, so the understanding I have is that "most" Americans would be forced to have health insurance. Those that couldn't afford it would get a tax credit.

Not very useful for people who are out of work and therefore aren't paying any taxes.

See, ya can't get a tax credit if you're not making enough money to pay taxes.

AND, if you're not making enough money to pay taxes, odds are, you're not going to be able to afford health insurance either, so guess what!

If you can afford it the least, you get no help.

New boss same as the old boss.

"No Child Left Behind" ended up with a lot of child's behinds left.

Now Obama-brand "change" seems to be promising to be about as effective, with Obamacare equating to "Obamacares about corporations more than it does people."


Orignal From: Obama Asks Us to Take Responsibility: This isn't Bizarro World, It's Parody Earth (pt 4)

Rt now in NYC at midnight, w/l...

Rt now in NYC at midnight, w/less than a week to go in Sept, it's 75 degrees. I've only been here for 17 mo, but I don't think that's normal

Orignal From: Rt now in NYC at midnight, w/l...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Attention Anyone Who Flies: Homeland Security Can Search Your Electronics

Back on September 15, I got the latest edition of the privacy newsletter from EPIC.org in my inbox. In it, they talked about a BUNCH of things, including a new-ish policy on searching personal electronics. You can probably see the screencap of the news update from their website in this post, but just in case, here it is in text form:
Homeland Security Privacy Office Okays Suspicionless Seizure of Personal Information Stored on Digital Devices of US Citizens: The Department of Homeland Security released a Privacy Impact Assessment for searching electronic devices possessed by travelers, including US citizens, at US borders. The agency determined that laptops and cell phones are equivalent to briefcases and backpacks and granted itself broad authority to seize these devices from travelers and to copy stored data whether or not wrongdoing is suspected. The DHS policy fails to comply with the intent of the federal Privacy Act and leaves US citizens returning to the United States subject to surveillance by government and an enhanced risk of identity theft.
This is just LOVELY.

It's one thing to assume we might have something that could actually harm the specific flight we're about to board without any reason for suspicion and have our bags searched, but to assume we might have illegal data that would somehow be used to harm the plane or other passengers?

This is big brother big time.

Damn, and I'm flying to my dad's in California for Christmas this year. Great. Gotta remember to delete all my child porn.

JOKE.

IT'S A JOKE.

Ironically, this whole move will just encourage sales of netbooks and the use of TheCloud for file storage. Why carry your data around on you and risk having some DHS guy come across it and steal your business idea or otherwise peak into your private life?

I know we literally don't have a "right to privacy" in the Constitution, or anything, but I do believe there's an amendment that promises something about not being subject to "unlawful search and seizure."

Then again, I guess this is technically legal, huh?

Orignal From: Attention Anyone Who Flies: Homeland Security Can Search Your Electronics

Jay ThePal in "YOU LIE!" Jay TheShort #01

This here is a short compilation of clips from September 10, 2009--the day after that dude in the White House talked to like everybody in Congress, man. It was crazy because somebody interrupted him and stuff. Not cool, well, not polite, anyway. So, the next day I shot all these in my 12stream on http://12seconds.tv. YEAH.

It's a minute-and-a-half long and you can watch "YOU LIE!" as a 20MB mp4 or check out the YouTube player below, man! The mp4 is hosted by Lisa of OnLisaReinsRadar.com fame! YEAH! THANKS, LISA!!



Orignal From: Jay ThePal in "YOU LIE!" Jay TheShort #01

MAGIC (1978)


Buy it!
Positive Experience/Entertaining? Written by William Goldman and based on his book? You bet it was a positive experience!


Technically any good? While the story is a little basic, it doesn't overextend itself by complicating the plot too much. As a result it manages to do what it sets out to do really well. And of course the acting is perfect, but what do you expect from this cast? Anthony Hopkins, Burgess Meredith and Ann flippin' Margret!!

OH yeah and it's directed by Richard Attenborough.

Yep. THAT Richard Attenborough.

I have to admit being a little disappointed at not being completely blown away by this film, what with the cast, director and writer being known for their relative brilliance. However, this is film embodies the way movies should be made. It's a good solid work that doesn't rely on gimmicks or CG or even a lot of violence to creep you the hell out.


How did it leave me feeling? Definitely entertained. Hey, Ann Margret even gives us guys (and any lesbians out there) a little peak! I thought she'd never done nudity. ANYway, it left me very entertained and interested in reading the book it was based on.


Final Rating? SIYL - See If You Like--it's a psychological thriller so if that's not your cuppa, skip this. But if you are a person who likes solidly made films and don't mind a little intense suspense and a bit of blood, Magic is your movie.

Orignal From: MAGIC (1978)

Obama Asks Us to Take Responsibility: This isn't Bizarro World, It's Parody Earth (pt 3)

Gah! Yes, I still have more to say about Obama forcing "most" of us to "take responsibility" and pay some greedy-ass insurance company for health insurance. I'm even still harping on Barry's use of the word "responsibility."

In part 1 of my "Parody Earth" series, I talked about how unfair it was that the corporations were getting this gift of all these new citizens being forced to cough up cash for healthcare.

In part 2 I talked about how the government isn't taking responsibility for itself as protector of its citizens. To me there's an even deeper hypocrisy to it than simply allowing the FAA to permit corporations to all but poison us and the FCC to allow ads for said corporations' practical poison to get pounded down our throats.

This is part 3 and in it I say that my government should STFU about me taking responsibility for my health when it would rather rob American soldiers, Iraqis and Afghanis of their health by putting them in harms way.

Even worse: our tax dollars help do it!

So, rather than provide health care to millions of Americans for free, they're going to pay over a trillion dollars to fight a non-existent threat in two foreign countries (and what has it gotten us, Obama has said, Al Qaeda is still out to get us).

That's always been the big gripe from universal health care naysayers:

"How are you going to pay for it?"

How are we going to pay for Iraq and Afghanistan?

"Well, we don't have a choice for those!"

????

So, tens of thousands die every year due to a lack of health care, yet, somehow we HAVE to stop a tiny group of extremists by invading two countries??

Just who kills more people? Terrorists or health issues like obesity or cancer?

Seriously: Can you answer the question why we spend so much on fighting wars and so little on curing disease and keeping people healthy?

I bet you can't.


Orignal From: Obama Asks Us to Take Responsibility: This isn't Bizarro World, It's Parody Earth (pt 3)

TheDailyLego: Um, not sure what this is...



I think I was thinking about some sort of Aztec shrine kind of thing. I'm not entirely sure, though.



Different angles:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hang on--UN wants ISRAEL to Allow Nuke Inspections??

Huh. Seems the UN is always pissing and moaning about SOMEbody's nukes! Here's a cutting from a September 18, 2009 article called "U.N. body urges Israel to allow nuclear inspections" that explains:
Arab states in the U.N. nuclear assembly on Friday won narrow approval of a resolution urging Israel to put all its atomic sites under U.N. inspection and join the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

The Jewish state deplored the measure for singling it out while many of its Islamic neighbors remained hostile to its existence, and said it would not cooperate with it.
Sheesh--how dare the UN take issue with Israel's nukes!! How else can Israel threaten retribution against other countries??

"You wanna invade? You wanna invade? Oh, I'll give you an invasion!... with RADIATION!!"

Wait. Was that just an Italian stereotype or a Jewish one?

Like there's really a difference--the point I'm trying to sarcastically make here is that clearly, Israel needs it's nukes to protect them against...

...against...

uh...

Who again?

Those Palestinian folks who blow themselves up in pizzerias?

Or the loud-mouthed Arabs who whine endlessly about how the Holocaust never happened?

Why the hell does anyone need nukes, by the way?

I have no problem with Israel existing--I just don't understand why they get so much preferential treatment (and nukes). I'm not saying the US shouldn't help them out should they get in trouble, but this whole thing with them and their nukes--it makes no sense to me.

First, they haven't really admitted to having nukes.

Second, no one else in the area has nukes. (Let's grow up kids, Iran doesn't have nukes and keeps insisting they only want nuke power not nuke weapons--it's not fair to assume they are lying without some sort of ACTUAL proof.)

Third, if ANYone does ANYthing to Israel, America will pounce immediately. None of that waiting months to invade Afghanistan or years to invade Iraq after 911. When Israel gets attacked, we'll jump so fast.

And that's fine with me. If we find ACTUAL evidence that Iran or any of the Arab nations on Israel's block have nuke weapons, then I don't mind moving sooner.

But until then, I think all countries should be as transparent as possible with their nukes--especially if we (and Israel) expect other countries to give into inspections.

Orignal From: Hang on--UN wants ISRAEL to Allow Nuke Inspections??

All right, screw this--I'm goi...

All right, screw this--I'm going for a walk in the park. That ought to be easy enough. Like a walk in the... oh you know...

Orignal From: All right, screw this--I'm goi...

Really psyched to try out the ...

Really psyched to try out the new 12mail app from @12seconds. But I don't think it'll log me in for another hour...

Orignal From: Really psyched to try out the ...

STICKY FINGERS OF TIME (1997)


Click above to buy it
Positive Experience/Entertaining? Mixed experience for sure. This movie comes from a great place, premise and intent, but the execution of it just goes south.


Technically any good? Like I said, the premise was really interesting. However, the execution felt sadly student-filmish. The acting through the first third of the film was awkward (and wasn't so much better through the rest of it) and the editing didn't help it. Though to be fair to the actors, almost all of them are good in places, so I tend to shrug more at the director than them.

The film felt slow and that didn't help that the story was really thin. There were plot elements that might have been interesting in a better movie, but this movie has a bad case of trying to run before it could walk.


How did it leave me feeling? frustrated. I don't know how this movie got in my Netflix queue, but I wish it hadn't. However, if the filmmaker ever considers remaking this movie, I'd love to help. I truly do think it has some great ideas (and even, on occasion, some great dialog).


Final Rating? DNS - Do Not See.

Orignal From: STICKY FINGERS OF TIME (1997)

http://democracynow.org I list...

http://democracynow.org I listen every day RT @TimKarr: Talking #NetNeutrality on Democracy Now this morning. Watch it if you can.

Orignal From: http://democracynow.org I list...

Proof your day isn't so bad RT...

Proof your day isn't so bad RT @RodrigoBNO: Photo describing the situation at the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa http://twitpic.com/ip3jj

Orignal From: Proof your day isn't so bad RT...

Obama Asks Us to Take Responsibility: This isn't Bizarro World, It's Parody Earth (pt 2)

Let's review:

On Sunday September 20, 2009, President Barack Obama gave interviews to a number of Sunday morning talk shows to talk about, among other things, his plan for health care reform in America. A September 20, 2009 article on Bloomberg.com explains:
"For us to say that you've got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase," Obama said in an interview on ABC's "This Week" program. "Right now everybody in America, just about, has to get auto insurance. Nobody considers that a tax increase."
This is what is really starting to make me sick about politicians. Ridiculous generalizations. However, while some folks are mad that he's comparing human health to the damage a car makes when it crashes, we miss what makes me even more sick to my stomach when it comes to politicians.

Blatant hypocrisy.

Sure, we're all hypocritical at some point in our lives. But come on, man--how ANYone in government thinks it's fair to point to the American people and tell US to be responsible is beyond me.

Seriously. The President of the United States wants me to be responsible about my health care.

How about you kiss my ass?

Since 2003, I've been eating 90% whole/real foods, avoiding anything processed when it's possible. No easy feat no thanks to the FDA and the FCC.

Seriously, folks, ya gotta ask yourself why sweeteners are added to FRUIT JUICE?

Why is there high fructose corn syrup in BREAD??

It's because the FDA says it's OK.

Why does practically EVERY commercial I see on TV during cartoons or other kids programming try to sell me sugared cereal or cookies or candy or soda or something else bad for me?

Why is it that the FCC allows advertisements for things that, if consumed to excess, WILL KILL YOU?

Cigarette ads on TV aren't legal, yet one cigarette a month won't kill anybody.

However, eat a pint of ice cream a day and you'll die of a coronary (and tax the health care system along the way).

Come on, Barry--it's your job as part of the government to PROTECT your citizens. THAT'S THE DEAL. But all you're doing is protecting the right of corporations to sell us shit that MAKES US SICK.

And you tell US to be responsible and pay for health insurance?

Orignal From: Obama Asks Us to Take Responsibility: This isn't Bizarro World, It's Parody Earth (pt 2)

TheDailyLego: Flat-Packed Lego--it all fits in a box!



Ikea-style Lego!



Wow--I figured if I used "Ikea" and "Lego" in the same sentence a wormhole would open and suck the universe into it.



WHEW!



Oh here are a couple other angles:



Orignal From: TheDailyLego: Flat-Packed Lego--it all fits in a box!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Hang on, Apple Inc. Lied About Rejecting Google Voice?

In an article that originally appeared on CNET.com back on September 18, 2009, Tom Krazit reported that:
Google told the Federal Communications Commission in a redacted letter to the agency a few weeks ago that Apple did in fact reject its Google Voice application from the App Store.

Google dropped its request for confidentiality in the manner concerning the rejection of Google Voice from the App Store in July, and directly contradicted Apple's version of events Friday. In the letter, Google said Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller informed Google that the app had, in fact, been rejected, when Apple's public statements to the FCC in that month claimed it was merely still under review.


So, what the hell is Apple even thinking?

As a die-hard fan of a few of Apple's products I don't understand why it does a lot of what it does. I mean, the iPhone is incredible--it's capable of doing some amazing things that Apple doesn't want to let you do. You can hack your iPhone to make it do some of those things anyway (I have), but why not breed loyal customers instead of loyal business partners?

You're Apple, you don't need to bother getting along with everyone else.

So, you lie (apparently) and make us want to avoid trusting you even more than we did when we learned you put a kill-switch on every iPhone that lets you guys shut down apps on our phones if you feel like it (dont' worry, there's a hack for that, too).

That kill-switch wasn't exactly advertised on the outside of the box, ya know.

So, why try to control even more how we use the iPhones we paid for? Why not just let us use a Google Voice app? What difference does it make to you or to AT&T whether calls are initiated on the iPhone or just received?

Also, why are there no legal consequences for corporations that lie?

Orignal From: Hang on, Apple Inc. Lied About Rejecting Google Voice?

Paranormal Activity (2007) (preemptive strike)


Watch the trailer for
yourself!
Positive Experience/Entertaining? Geh, not really. The movie might be really good, but the trailer just wanted to convince me that some folks were really, really scared by it.


Technically any good? The trailer intercuts clips of the movie with shots of the audience in a crowded theater watching the movie. Showing me how other people react to the movie didn't make me wonder how I'd react. It made me think: "Well, I tend not to react the way most folks do, so I don't know if I'll like this."

As far as the movie goes, it looks like Blair Witch Project set in an average suburban house. If that sounds appealing to you, then maybe you should see it. However, because of the nature of the cinematography (looking like home video) I'd imagine it would be much scarier watching it at home than in the theater since it would feel like a more natural environment.

The only thing I really got from the trailer was that the FX are pretty realistic. Probably CG, but minimally--WHICH IS GOOD.


How did it leave me feeling? This trailer didn't give me enough to go on, so I can't tell if I will go out of my way to see this or not. Probably not since most of what I remember from the trailer (which I just watched moments ago) was just the gimmick of seeing the audience in night-vision video.


Final Rating? NFI - NetFlix It: Really, how can they expect any of us in today's economy to spend $10+ to see a movie shot like a home video?

This movie originally premiered at Screamfest back in 2007 but then was screened at Slamdance in 2008 and is slated for limited release in the US on September 25, 2009.

Orignal From: Paranormal Activity (2007) (preemptive strike)

YAY! RT @freepress FCC Chair p...

YAY! RT @freepress FCC Chair proposes new rules that would protect the open Internet on all wired *&* wireless networks! http://bit.ly/DpsGP

Orignal From: YAY! RT @freepress FCC Chair p...

Obama Asks Us to Take Responsibility: This isn't Bizarro World, It's Parody Earth (pt 1)

Seriously.

President Obama said the following in an ABC News interview today: "For us to say that you've got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase,"

Uh-huh. Let's think about this for thirty seconds.

He's right. It's not a tax--it's a government hand out to corporations. By passing a law that says we MUST pay a health insurance provider for services, we're not paying a tax, we're paying a tithe--like the kind you give in a church--a tribute to God, basically.

I'm an atheist, so I don't give to churches. Likewise, I don't believe in the insurance system (health or otherwise). I think it's a terrible system that allows people to get rich off of the suffering of others.

I don't care if they'll be forced to cover me, I don't want to support them.

But if Obama has his way, I will have to.

Obama also said the following in that ABC interview: "Right now everybody in America, just about, has to get auto insurance. Nobody considers that a tax increase."

NO, THEY DON'T HAVE TO GET CAR INSURANCE.

Man, do I HATE politicians who pull this shit!

Just because YOU drive a car doesn't mean EVERYONE DOES.

As it happens, I live in NEW YORK CITY.

But guess what: I sold my car in 2004--four years before I moved to NYC, when I still lived in Los Angeles.

So guess what, Obama and America: one-size does NOT fit all and I don't appreciate the suggestion that I HAVE to pay into a system that I morally object to.

I sold my car in order to avoid spending hundreds of dollars a year on:

Maintenance
Fuel
Registration
Parking
Insurance

So, Barry, don't tell me about how health insurance is equivalent to car insurance because it's not.

I stopped driving a car half-a-decade ago. I can't stop driving my body.

What you're suggesting is nothing but a juicy present for the insurance companies.

Funny how banks and corporations get what amounts to health care from the government while we living, breathing humans have give up our freedom to opt out of systems we don't believe in.

Part 2 coming tomorrow.

Orignal From: Obama Asks Us to Take Responsibility: This isn't Bizarro World, It's Parody Earth (pt 1)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Former Heads of CIA Ask Obama to Stop (the Department of) Justice

Check out a cutting from the September 19, 2009 article capped to the right on NYTimes.com:
Seven former directors of the Central Intelligence Agency asked President Obama on Friday to shut down the new Justice Department inquiry into past abuses during interrogations of terrorism suspects, arguing that it "will seriously damage" the nation's ability to protect itself.

In a letter to Mr. Obama, the former C.I.A. chiefs said the cases under study had already been examined by career prosecutors who found that no criminal charges were warranted. To reopen cases based on a change in which political party controls the government, they wrote, will make it harder for intelligence officers to take risks without worrying that some future attorney general might investigate them.

"Those men and women who undertake difficult intelligence assignments in the aftermath of an attack such as September 11 must believe there is permanence in the legal rules that govern their actions," the men said in their letter.


Yes and if they did nothing wrong, then none of us have anything to fear. Proving we don't do bad things will discourage terrorists from hating us.

Of course, if we did do something wrong, then don't we set a good example by prosecuting them?

Sure, it compromises some of our intelligence operations no matter what, but this is the cost of being a moral nation.

Isn't it better to clean up after ourselves and risk the consequences than to not remove all doubt that we're a moral country?

Sometimes we have to take some lumps for our principles--we can't just whine about it and make excuses.

Do what's right, Obama. Make sure those investigations happen or those things you should be investigating will happen again--maybe not under your watch, but sometime down the road. After all, what example are you setting?

"Let's look to the future."

Uh-huh. When I look to the future I see leaders abusing their power because we let them get away with it before.

Just my ¥2, of course, but I learned a long time ago that you lead by example. Set a good one and good people will follow you.

Set a bad example and bad people will follow you.

Orignal From: Former Heads of CIA Ask Obama to Stop (the Department of) Justice

@JayThePal in Jay TheVlog for September 19, 2009 featuring dancing, mourning, bloopers and MORE!

YEAH!!

In this week's Jay TheVlog, ThePete and I have put together all of my clips from 12seconds.tv PLUS some other stuff--like promos for my longer specials that you can find on YouTube and BLOOPERS, too. Yeah, it's true, man, I like totally make mistakes. And in this week's Jay TheVlog you can see some of 'em! Yeah! And also we got some commentary on ACORN and Kanye and an RIP for poor Patrick Swayze. He was the Swaziest and he'll totally be missed, man!

Anyway, so watch the video!! YEAH! It's a 75MB mp4 hosted by Lisa of OnLisaReinsRadar.com!

OH yeah and call (347) 994-YEAH and leave me a message for the next Jay TheCallinShow, man! Thanks!!

OR watch the YouTube version below:



Orignal From: @JayThePal in Jay TheVlog for September 19, 2009 featuring dancing, mourning, bloopers and MORE!

TheDailyLego: Patlabor Kinda (this one's for @tomzer1!)



This is my take on a labor robot from the anime, Patlabor. As per my

standard daily Lego rules, I used only parts from my $4 Free Style

Lego set. I think I did all right, actually. :)



Orignal From: TheDailyLego: Patlabor Kinda (this one's for @tomzer1!)

Friday, September 18, 2009

I hate #iTunes. Just sayin'.

I hate #iTunes. Just sayin'.

Orignal From: I hate #iTunes. Just sayin'.

Turns out Almost Everyone Will be Mandated to Have Health Insurance Under the Baucus Plan

So, if you check out the screen cap from the web page for today's edition Democracy Now story on Democrat Max Baucus's bill for health care "reform" you'll see the part I highlighted.

Yeah, we'll all be forced to support the health insurance industry--you know the health insurance industry! They're the fine folks that think it's OK that the thousands of uninsured people die every year. Yeah, we will be forced to support these greedy-ass people if this bill passes. The good news is that this won't pass--I've read a number of news sources that quote politicians on both sides of the party wall who say they won't support it.

What's disturbing here is two fold.

First, that the fact that statistically so many people are set to die this year due to a lack of affordable health care is not causing an nation-wide uproar. (Though later in an interview with one of the people behind the study that came up with the 45,000 number seemed to revise it down to 25,000 and just the other day I posted about the number being down around 18,000. The point is, tens of thousands of people are dying because the system has let them slip through the cracks.)

Secondly, this bill is a big fat gift to the insurance industry. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see how this benefits them:

Mandate (force) most Americans to get health insurance and that means HUGE dollars for insurance companies.

There's also a third aspect I already mentioned of not giving us an option to opt out of supporting the greedy-as-hell insurance industry. Thanks Baucus, you corrupt bastard.

Who cares about Tax-N-Spend Democrats? I'm more worried about Take-"Bribes"-N-Pass-Laws Democrats (and Republicans)!

Orignal From: Turns out Almost Everyone Will be Mandated to Have Health Insurance Under the Baucus Plan

TheDailyLego: some kinda sled thing again






Orignal From: TheDailyLego: some kinda sled thing again

TheDailyLego: some kinda sled thing again






Orignal From: TheDailyLego: some kinda sled thing again

TheDailyLego: some kinda sled thing again






Orignal From: TheDailyLego: some kinda sled thing again

Health Care Workers Underresourced for the Pandemic Flu Season



Orignal From: Health Care Workers Underresourced for the Pandemic Flu Season

EXCEL SAGA (1999) (anime)


Buy it!
Positive Experience/Entertaining? DEFINITELY. This anime is SO much fun it's insane. No, really it is actually insane.


Technically any good? Hm, well, the animation is perfectly fine and the voice acting is awesome. However, the story is more than a bit perplexing. In short, nothing matters and you shouldn't care what the story is, you should just sit back and let the insanity wash over you. You'll enjoy yourself, but only if you keep your mind wide open.

It also helps the enjoyment factor if you're a big anime fan to start with. I am a reasonable-sized fan of anime and there were still jokes I didn't quite get. However, the ones I did get I busted out laughing at.


How did it leave me feeling? Sad that there were no more episodes! A show like this has so much potential since absolutely anything can happen (and usually anything does happen), that it's a shame (though understandable) that they couldn't keep the series going.


Final Rating? SIYL - See If You Like. This is a crazy-frenetic show that I almost gave up on after athe first episode. I almost gave up on it after the second episode, too. However, by the third, I began to find myself giggling at it. Before long I was hooked in for the long haul. Now, I want to be just like Nabeshin! ^_^

(Minus the 'fro, maybe.)

Orignal From: EXCEL SAGA (1999) (anime)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

THE UP SERIES (7 Up, 7 Plus Seven, 21 Up, 28 Up, 35 Up, 42 Up 49 Up)


Buy it!

Positive Experience/Entertaining? This is easily the most entertaining, enlightening and educational documentary I've ever seen. It's truly incredible!


Technically any good? Throughout the seven-movie series, there are some technical issues that make each "episode" seem less than perfect on a strictly technical level. However, what the films manage to achieve over the span of 40+ years is so amazing as to make almost any technical mistake eternally forgivable.

This series manages to give us a thumbnail sketch of the lives of 14 Brits--from the age of 7 to 49 (and I hope onward). It's just impossible to describe what this series delivers beyond that because it undoubtedly will deliver something different to each person who watches it.

All I can say with reasonable certainty is that it will, at the very least, change how you look at your own life, regardless of class, ethnicity or nationality. For me, it did so much more. It helped me understand class, chaos, and my own choices better than I ever had.


How did it leave me feeling? Smarter. Seriously--for me watching this series was like living other people's lifetimes. I was able to see their lives through their own eyes, learn from their mistakes, and really better understand my own life and the lives of those of my friends and family.

What the people in The UP Series have done in being in these movies is provide an amazing tool for learning that will help people all around the world and well into the future learn and understand more about humanity. Many of the participants complain about the "wound" that is opened every seven years of their lives, but for anyone watching it's an astounding gift that that we open whenever we sit down to watch.

I am SO very thankful that this series was made and I hope very much that it continues.

Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you to Michael Apted, the other producers and crew that have helped over the years, and most of all, a HUGE THANK YOU to John, Charles, Andrew, Suzy, Jackie, Lynn, Sue, Tony, Paul, Symon, Nick, Peter, Neil, and Bruce for being involved in one of the few documentaries that will always contribute to betterment of humanity.


Final Rating? GSN - Go See Now. Netflix it, rent it, buy it, just SEE IT. It's truly amazing and each person involved should be knighted by Queen Elizabeth. I'm not even kidding. As far as smart things go, this is up there with the wheel and the telescope.

Orignal From: THE UP SERIES (7 Up, 7 Plus Seven, 21 Up, 28 Up, 35 Up, 42 Up 49 Up)

RT @TimKarr FCC Chair: "I do n...

RT @TimKarr FCC Chair: "I do not support reinstatement of Fairness Doctrine neither through front door nor back door" http://twurl.nl/of2he1

Orignal From: RT @TimKarr FCC Chair: "I do n...

thepete.com: Obama Admin Wants...

thepete.com: Obama Admin Wants to Hike the USG's Debt Ceiling: http://ping.fm/yMGSt

Orignal From: thepete.com: Obama Admin Wants...

Obama Admin Wants to Hike the USG's Debt Ceiling

One of the things I used to bag on George W Bush a lot for was hiking the debt ceiling. Back in 2004 he talked Congress into bumping it up to $8 trillion (FYI: the National Debt is now approaching $12 trillion) and look how much that helped us! We got to wage more war. YAY!

So, here comes 2009 and Obama needs more cash.

SIGH.

The Wall Street Journal seems to think Congress may not want to let him up the limit the USG can borrow from the Fed. Seems there's been a lot of hubub in DC about overspending.

SIGH.

Where were these idiots when Bush was overspending on imaginary threats?

Regardless, the USG is going to keep borrowing whether Congress wants to or not. How do I know this? Because they always do. If we stop WHO KNOWS WHAT COULD HAPPEN?!?!

Look, I'm sure the USG can stop borrowing WHEN EVER IT WANTS.

Hey, it quit in the Clinton years. Why couldn't it quit again?

"Quit again!"

You don't quit "again" and if we ever hope to slow down, stop, or somehow achieve the impossible and actually lower the National Debt, we need to get this government a fricken intervention, because CLEARLY it is NEVER going to stop borrowing on its own.

That's it, I'm calling the UK.

"Britain? Yeah, hey man, it's ThePete. You invite France and Germany over to Canada's apartment. I'll tell America that we're just going to hang out and play Playstation. It's time for some serious tough love."

SIGH.

If only it were that easy...

Orignal From: Obama Admin Wants to Hike the USG's Debt Ceiling

TheDailyLego: Ghost in the Shell Tachikoma Kinda

That little blue guy back there is the inspiration.



Orignal From: TheDailyLego: Ghost in the Shell Tachikoma Kinda

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

DemocracyNow.org: NYT Investig...

DemocracyNow.org: NYT Investigation Exposes Corporations Violated Clean Water Act >500k Times in Last 5 Yrs (http://ping.fm/8cJZL)

Orignal From: DemocracyNow.org: NYT Investig...

UP (2009)


Maybe you liked it? Click above to buy it!

Positive Experience/Entertaining? Entertaining? Sure. Good? No. I know a lot of folks disagree with me, but I just kept shaking my head almost from the very beginning.


Technically any good? The CG was incredible, as you'd expect from a Pixar movie. The acting was great, too. The basic premise was solid, as well.

Sadly, those are the only good things I can say about this movie.

Everything else, and I mean EVERYthing else, was contrived and stupid. From the talking dogs to the insane ease at which the lead characters achieve their goals to the weak reasons for conflict that stop the movie from being about 20 minutes long.

I don't have a problem with a house being carried off by balloons. I can accept anything in a movie if the universe is constructed in a way that makes me believe these things are possible. All Up does is make me believe that anything to save the characters and further the plot is possible, including rock-stupid choices made by uninteresting, predictable characters and acts of god so common, the Deus Ex Machina Corporation would be made a Fortune 500 company from the royalties it would collect from this movie.


How did it leave me feeling? Angry because this movie had the ingredients to live up to or even surpass the Pixar level of greatness set by films like Toy Story or Wall-E. However, this movie fails on every level Pixar films usually succeed on. It's not clever, it doesn't resonate, and all it does manage to do is make you glad you're not staring at a blank wall.


Final Rating? NFI - NetFlix It if you've got really little kids and want to show them something stupid.

Put simply: there's no reason a kids movie needs to be this dumb.

Orignal From: UP (2009)

Think 18,000 Lives are Worth Saving? Then Let's have a National Health Care System.

OK, this is the kind of shit that makes me really mad when it comes to our health care system and our supposed "news media" whose very job it is is to keep us informed of the world around us.

First, why doesn't the media keep us informed of numbers like this? They're just a JOKE at this point. Second, when the media finally DOES do its job, why does no one seem to care very much?

Nicholas D. Kristof wrote an op-ed piece at NYTimes.com that quotes a staggering figure--one that made me slide off the runway of my day when I first read it. I was dumbfounded. Now, hopefully, you are, too.

Here's a cutting from Kristof's op-ed:
In 2006, Nikki White died at age 32. "Nikki didn't die from lupus," her doctor, Amylyn Crawford, told Mr. Reid. "Nikki died from complications of the failing American health care system."

"She fell through the cracks," Nikki's mother, Gail Deal, told me grimly. "When you bury a child, it's the worst thing in the world. You never recover."

We now have a chance to reform this cruel and capricious system. If we let that chance slip away, there will be another Nikki dying every half-hour.

That's how often someone dies in America because of a lack of insurance, according to a study by a branch of the National Academy of Sciences. Over a year, that amounts to 18,000 American deaths.


What.

The.

Fuck.

When I first read that, I immediately made the same connection Kristof does in the very next paragraph in his piece.

Every year SIX TIMES the number of people who died on 911 die because they can't afford proper health care.

Yet, to avenge the deaths of 3000 we've spent over a trillion dollars.

Which would you rather do?

1) Spend a trillion and cause the deaths of thousands of American soldiers, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghanis (and fail to capture bin Laden or bring stability to the countries you invade)

or

2) Save 18,000 lives a year and improve the lives of those 18,000 and many more while spending nowhere near a trillion dollars in the process

It's a simple choice, in my mind. We're not any more safer for taking option #1. In fact, it's possible the deep-ass hole our economy is in might not be so deep if it weren't for us invading two countries.

Just think about it:

Spend a few hundred billion and save the lives of tens of thousands of Americans or spend over a trillion to stop more 911s from happening. You'd need three more 911s to see as many dead as you would not paying for poor people's health care. It would take 107 more Oklahoma City bombings or 7.5 Pearl Harbor attacks to see as many Americans dead as we do the number of dead caused by a lack of affordable health care.

Sure, sure, health care companies need to make a living. That's why they exist. Apparently.

That whole "saving lives" thing? Yeah, that's um... hey, what IS that about, anyway?

Orignal From: Think 18,000 Lives are Worth Saving? Then Let's have a National Health Care System.

TheDailyLego: Overproduced Ticket Booth



Orignal From: TheDailyLego: Overproduced Ticket Booth

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Jay ThePal's Jay TheVlog for September 12, 2009 featuring Obama's Mind Control Device, Interruptions and MORE

IT'S MY NEW JAY THEVLOG!

YEAH!

This week was a little light but like we still had some fun. Thanks to @TravestyAlpha for his 12second cameo, man! He saved my life! It was crazy!! Then that guy who kept interrupting me and calling me a liar. Now I know how Obama feels. Jeez, man. The nerve of like some people. Yeah!

Watch it now or take it with you via this 67MB mp4 version of Jay ThePal's Jay TheVlog for September 12, 2009 featuring Obama's Mind Control Device, Interruptions and MORE!

Or just like watch it in the YouTube player below, man. Yeah!



Orignal From: Jay ThePal's Jay TheVlog for September 12, 2009 featuring Obama's Mind Control Device, Interruptions and MORE

Republicans Accuse Dems of Hypocrisy over Joe The Heckler--oh the ironic PAIN




I'm glad I wasn't drinking anything when I read the below paragraph
excerpted from an article today at Boston.com:

"In another
stunning example of hypocrisy, congressional Democrats are wasting
taxpayers' time and resources on a legislative measure to censure
Congressman Joe Wilson so they don't have to talk about their
exceedingly unpopular health care plan," Republican National Committee
chairman Michael Steele said in a statement.


I am almost speechless.

THREE WORDS FOR YA STEELE:

Osama bin Laden

You remeber him! He's the guy YOUR PARTY was supposed to see captured
"dead or alive."

Yes, it's the "Party of Life" that fights two wars, killings hundreds
of thousands, torturing, sacrificing our values, sacrificing both
domestic and international law in the War Against Terror which has yet
to yield the guy who you people said attacked us eight years ago--and
you have the balls to accuse ANYONE of hypocrisy?

Fuck you, Michael Steele and the Republican Party.



Orignal From: Republicans Accuse Dems of Hypocrisy over Joe The Heckler--oh the ironic PAIN

Apparently, we don't have to t...

Apparently, we don't have to take our clothes of to have a good time. Say, what the hell IS Cherry Wine, anyway?

Orignal From: Apparently, we don't have to t...

NEWSROOM Season 1 (1996)


Click above to buy it now!

Positive Experience/Entertaining? Definitely a positive experience. However, I think I liked it better in 1996 when I watched it the first time. When I re-watched it this time, it felt a little tired, but only because of shows like The Office and Curb Your Enthusiasm have pounded the faux-documentary thing into the ground. Also, in this post-911 world it feels very cynical, but frighteningly, it also seems more accurate.


Technically any good? This show is spot-on in so many ways it's really amazing we, in America, don't know this show as well as we know The Office. It's sharp, cutting and witty writing really does amuse, even when it doesn't make you laugh. In fact, I rarely found myself laughing but more often enjoying it nonetheless. Think of it like reading a Doonesbury comic strip. It's like that. You see the humor, recognize the irony, but you're not laughing your ass off or anything.

Also, having worked in the entertainment industry, I can tell you that the lead character is 100% real. I worked for him back in the mid-1990s.


How did it leave me feeling? Entertained for sure, but alas, I don't really care for this kind of story any more. It was cutting-edge in the 1990s, but seems much too depressing these days for my personal tastes. It's also been copied to death since then.


Final Rating? NFI - NetFlix It if you're looking to see some serious digs against the mainstream news media. This show delivers them with bells on.


Side Note (possible SPOILER): What was really frightening to me is that there's a moment where the rock-stupid anchor man suggests an idea for a really dumb segment using an insipid call-phrase that inspires everyone he pitches the idea to to smile weakly, suggest it's a great idea, but then make an excuse as to why they need to walk away from him quickly. Recently, the The Daily Show with Jon Stewart profiled a new segment on CNN called "Just Sayin'."

Yeah, pretty scary.

Orignal From: NEWSROOM Season 1 (1996)

Proposed Bill Would Allow President to Seize the Internet



Huh, this reminds me a little of a novel I wrote once.

Seems that there's a bill that was introduced last spring in the US Senate that would allow the USG, specifically the POTUS, to disconnect private computers and/or networks from the 'net. The bill's been revised, but it still doesn't sound so hot. Here's how an August 28, 2009 article at Cnet.com explained it's current form:
The new version would allow the president to "declare a cybersecurity emergency" relating to "non-governmental" computer networks and do what's necessary to respond to the threat. Other sections of the proposal include a federal certification program for "cybersecurity professionals," and a requirement that certain computer systems and networks in the private sector be managed by people who have been awarded that license.


So, now the government wants to license network IT guys. In other words, you'd need permission from the USG to run a computer network that extended beyond your house (by the sound of it, anyway). Juuust great--it's vaguely possible that such a measure might cut down on spam or hacking-related crime, but it'll make a lot of IT people's lives harder. That'd be one less thing I would be able to do for a living since I'm broke and couldn't afford a license.

But it's the "do what's necessary to respond to the threat" part that I love the most. What the hell does that mean?

Anything.

That's what's so scary. The original bill made it sound like they could come into your house, unplug your wifi router and walk off with it. I use Skype, talk about an abridgment of free speech!

But in the new version of the bill it sounds like literally anything could be done to your computer. I LOVE power grabs like this because people don't think the worst of government until it's too late (or if it's about something irrational like death panels).

Back in the late Clinton years, the USG passed a law called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). In short, it banned the discussion of hacking digital copyright methods online. Think of it like someone telling you that you're not allowed to talk about safe cracking.

Yeah, people didn't think it would be a big deal back in the day because it seemed like the Internet might still be a fad. Well, it wasn't.

Likewise, this S.773 bill scares me because it was developed behind closed doors and we don't really know why it would even be necessary unless Senator Jay Rockefeller, the author of S.773, knows something we don't.

I just love it when politicians think they deserve to know things that we don't. It was a politician who once expressed that the Internet was "a series of tubes," or "a truck" or something. I really don't like trusting these besuited morons with our tax dollars, our country AND our Internet.

Orignal From: Proposed Bill Would Allow President to Seize the Internet

TheDailyLego: The Moderately Fun Wall of ThePete (like the Great Wall of China only not).



Orignal From: TheDailyLego: The Moderately Fun Wall of ThePete (like the Great Wall of China only not).

Monday, September 14, 2009

Damn your eyes, man! Trop50 is NOT ORANGE JUICE!

Remember: http://thepete.com/a/Trop50isnotOJ

Since Trop50 isn't orange juice, how can it be on sale for $2.99???
Answer: IT CAN'T BE!!

Trop50 tasks me!! It tasks me and I will--oh, no that's Khan...



Orignal From: Damn your eyes, man! Trop50 is NOT ORANGE JUICE!

Came across my earliest digita...

Came across my earliest digital cam footage--2003 the dawn of mobile vlogging! What to do with >6GB of 320x240 video clips? Ideas?

Orignal From: Came across my earliest digita...

Wow. That's terrible. RT @iamk...

Wow. That's terrible. RT @iamkhayyam: RT @webaddict: 18,000 Die a Year for Lack of Insurance. Here's One http://bit.ly/3z3Mnd #health #NYT

Orignal From: Wow. That's terrible. RT @iamk...

One Last Thing About 9/11/9 and One Last Pic, this one of my bro & I at the WTC long before 911

Attached to this post is a photo my parents took of me and my little
brother (I'm the cuter one on the left) sitting in front of The WTC
Sphere sculpture as it originally stood, in between the Twin Towers.
I'm guessing it had to be taken in the mid-to-early 1980s since my
little brother is still shorter than me in this image (he's really my
step-brother and today towers over me by several inches).

A few decades later, while my wife and I walked past the site where
that picture was taken, now a big hole in the ground surrounded by
blue fencing, I looked for the memorial spotlights the City of New
York had been using to commemorate the victims. In years past, I had
heard that they were placed in the hole. However, they weren't there
on this September 11th. They were on, but several blocks south.

My wife suggested that perhaps they were moved to avoid getting in the
way of construction of the permanent memorial. I replied:

"What construction?"

Politics and miscellaneous city-BS has kept anything else from being
built on the spot over the last eight years. This is absolutely fine
with me, since I've always felt that the spotlights were the perfect
homage to the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the WTC.
Poetic, haunting, somber, and practically impossible to exploit for a
quick buck. They're actually suggesting that shopping areas be
included in the memorial in some capacity.

I say we pave over the whole thing and leave the spotlights in place,
year-round. Have a gift shop and a non-profit org to pay for the
electricity that the spotlights use. Hell, we could even take
donations to set up solar panels to gather energy in the day to power
the spotlights at night.

I used to think that Ground Zero should just have another pair of
towers built on it and let a bunch of businesses set up shop inside.
My idea was that we'd be showing the terrorists that they haven't won.

The problem is, they did win.

Ground Zero, to me, is a tomb stone, not just for the 2752 people who
were killed thanks to the attacks, but for the countless number of
people who have died because of how America reacted to the
attacks--American soldiers, Iraqis and Afghanis who have died because
of the wars we were so convinced were necessary after we were attacked
by a handful of rag-tag loser-extremists who got very lucky that day.

Let the lights stay.

Let them serve as an eternal flashlight on ourselves and our decisions
in the days, weeks, months and years following that horrible day in
September.

We need anything but "business as usual."



Orignal From: One Last Thing About 9/11/9 and One Last Pic, this one of my bro & I at the WTC long before 911

Pentagon Grants (Returns) "New" (Old) Rights to Afghan Prisoners



Yes, this is actually GOOD news. BBC news reported today that the Pentagon has

decided to "grant" Afghan prisoners at Baghram the right to challlenge

their detention
. Here is a short cutting from the BBC News

article:US defence department spokesman Bryan Whitman

said inmates would be allowed to go before a panel "periodically" to

contest their detention, reports AFP.
Huh, that sounds

like the right of Habeus Corpus--the right for any detained person to

see the body (corpus) of evidence brought before them. It's one of the

oldest "unalienable" rights guaranteed man, existing long before the

US Constituion which, I believe, also guarantees it (which says to me

the Pentagon is likely in violation of international law by not

guaranteeing it).



So while this BBC News article and the Pentagon call this a "new"

right that's been "granted" to these prisoners, you should note that

this is one of the oldest rights in the book and that the right isn't

being "granted," but "returned." You should also note that in order

for the Pentagon to "return" something they must first "take it away."



Here's the fun little ironic cherry on top, though--check out another

cutting from the Beeb News article: Mr Whitman added

that it was a process the US had used in Iraq.



It helped US officials there "manage the detainee population and

ultimately reduce the detainee population by ensuring that we are only

holding those that are the most dangerous threats," he said.
So, basically, if the Pentagon had been doing this all

along it would have helped them run their prison better.



Don't these people THINK before they do anything?



Orignal From: Pentagon Grants (Returns) "New" (Old) Rights to Afghan Prisoners

thepete.com: SURROGATES (2009)...

thepete.com: SURROGATES (2009) (preemptive strike): http://ping.fm/0AoUn

Orignal From: thepete.com: SURROGATES (2009)...

SURROGATES (2009) (preemptive strike)


Watch the trailer

Positive Experience/Entertaining? Wow, this could be a sequel to the unfortunately bad iRobot. So, it looks like it'll be a big fun romp, but ultimately shrugworthy.


Technically any good? FX sure look nice (if not a little simplistic), but the idea of Bruce Willis' idealized robot body looking like Bruce Willis with a bad wig doesn't seem like science fiction to me, but complete and utter fantasy. Writing-wise, this story seems to happen in an interesting enough universe, but the premise seems pretty weak to me. That doesn't mean the movie won't be good, but it doesn't mean it will be good, either. In fact, I'm pretty sure it won't be any good because of the director and the star.

I like Bruce Willis, but he made that last Die Hard movie. The last movie I saw from Jonathan Mostow, the director of Surrogates, was U-571 which was about as contrived as a movie can get. No wait--my mistake, Terminator 3 was the last movie he made and I saw that, too. It was terrible, too.

Amusingly, the trailer bold proclaims: "BASED ON THE GRAPHIC NOVEL."

Funny, I've never heard of the graphic novel. I'm a comic fan, but that doesn't mean I'm going to assume the movie will be good because it was based on the comic. In fact, odds are it'll likely be crap since Hollywood fails most of the time when it comes to adapting great comic stories.


How did it leave me feeling? there was a time when I'd be happy to rush out and see a big dumb actioner like this one. But in today's economy, I don't really want to spend $10-$15 (depending on where I see it) on a movie that looks as dumb as this looks. I'd be more likely to Netflix AI, Minority Report, i, Robot, or even 6th Day than spend money on Surrogates.

OK, maybe I wouldn't Netflix 6th Day.


Final Rating? NFI - NetFlix It: that's what I am likely to do, assuming I remember this movie even exists when it finally reaches Netflix.

Surrogates hits US theaters on September 25, 2009.

Orignal From: SURROGATES (2009) (preemptive strike)

Just a Friendly Reminder that We Tortured


So, while Obama still would like to keep looking forward and not backward (at all the bad stuff we did during the War Against Terror) I, just a regular American citizen, will look back for my President and quote what Glenn Greenwald said in a post on Salon.com back in August. In turn, Greenwald quotes, in his post, a 2004 CIA's Inspector General Report released due to a FOIA request made, not by the New York Times, or Time Magazine, or Newsweek, or any other mainstream news source. Greenwald reminds us that it was the ACLU who is uncovering the evidence required to go after torturers in our own country and not the news media. But that's a side note.

So, here's what Greenwald found was done in our name, to keep us "safe," and to preserve our wonderful freedom:
Threats of execution (img)
Threats to kill detainee and his children (img)
Threats to rape detainee's female relatives in front of him (img)
"Buttstroking" with rifles and knee kicks (img)
Blowing smoke in detainee's face for five minutes (img)
More "convincing and poignant" waterboarding of the type we prosecuted Japanese war criminals for using (img)


You can click each of those to see scans of the pages of the report that match up with the type of torture to read some of the details. Unfortunately, too many of the details have been redacted by the USG, but hey, at least we know for sure that this definitely happened. The government admitted it did these things and they all sound illegal to me.

Don't think they're that bad? Well, Greenwald adds:
The IG Report also documents numerous other abuses that have been documented by prior OLC memos, including having waterboarded detainees 82 and 183 times; hanging them by their arms until interrogators thought their shoulders might be dislocated; stepping on their ankle shackles to cause severe bruising and pain; putting them in a diapers and leaving them doused with water on cold concrete floors in cold temperatures to induce hypothermia, etc. Some of the numerous deaths of detainees during interrogations were also discussed (for details on detainee deaths, see here and here). After documenting all of that, the IG Report notes:


(img)


Yeah, so this stuff is all wrong. There has been no declaration of war against the country of Al Qeada, so we can't treat them as POWs and even if we could, we'd be forced to treat them better than this. These people are just that--people. They deserve a fair trial and every other right promised every human on the planet in the US Constitution. Just because we don't like them doesn't mean they stop being human. But if we do this stuff, it's we who stop being human.

Orignal From: Just a Friendly Reminder that We Tortured

Sunday, September 13, 2009

thepete.com: The(Hopefully)Dai...

thepete.com: The(Hopefully)DailyLego 20090913: Sled Ship Thing: http://ping.fm/Vc2OI

Orignal From: thepete.com: The(Hopefully)Dai...

The(Hopefully)DailyLego 20090913: Sled Ship Thing



Orignal From: The(Hopefully)DailyLego 20090913: Sled Ship Thing