Monthly Archives: May 2005

French say “Non” to Le Constitution De L’EU

Something is rotten in the state of Europe.

This is deliciously ironic, considering that Churchill referred to the EEC (the EU's precursor) as "That French Racket"

The Ten Commandments of cell phone etiquette

An interesting piece. While I agree with the sentiment, I disagree with the execution.

Most of the problems with cellphones, whether on the road, in the theater or out and about are behavioral. To put it bluntly,, it has more to do with self-centeredness – a simple disregard for others- than anything else. In other words, it is not a cellphone problem so much as an attitude problem. Here are m contributions.

  • If thou hast a vibrate mode, thou shouldst use it when thy ringtone may be a distraction unto others.
  • Eschew the use of silly ringtones – few things are more embarrassing or distracting than somebody's handbag or pocket doing the Rhumba in the middle of Sunday morning Prayers. If you have to have your phone switched on, at least have it sound like a phone.
  • Hark! Thou dost not need to know every silly little piece of news within seconds of it happening. Life went on without cellphones for many scores of years without cellphones; you CAN switch yours off for half an hour without the world coming to an end!
  • Use not thy phone unless thou hath something to say. Sadly, women are the worst offenders, which is perhaps why phones are marketed mostly at them.
  • Teenagers – if thou desirest a phone thou shouldst gettest a job, for verily, money growth not on trees.

I don't agree with #4. Geeks don't care much for fashion, and I am not sure why he is so bothered about how many things we have on our belts. I suspect that he has his geeks and poseurs mixed up. If such things bother you, go and bug a Policeman, whose belts are festooned with all manner of useful goodies, and see how far it gets you.

#9 and #10 are really the same thing – variations on the theme of "look at me, I've got a cellphone!"

Don't bother e-mailing the author, though – the address provided is a dead one.

Dump Microsoft, save money

That's what British schools are being told. And they have a point. Most school computers are nowhere near cutting-edge, and Microsoft no longer sell the older operating systems that are best matched to these systems.

In addition,  their silly license agreements often mean that when you donate a machine to a school you have to wipe the OS – even if it is OEM and is tied to that hardware and no other.

Social Insecurity?

Social Security is a scam.There. I’ve said it.

The theory of SS is simple: You put money into a special Government-administered fund, where it used to provide for your old age.

A wonderful idea if only it worked that way. What actually happens is quite different; your “Contributions” are collected and treated as tax payments, and are used for many unrelated purposes, including paying off the current batch of Social Security retirees.

Let me think… taking money from new investors to pay off older ones. Where have I seen that before? Aha! I have it!

It’s called a Ponzi scheme.

Also known as a Pyramid Scheme.

Which is illegal in all fifty states.

Why? Because in the end, it always collapses under its own weight, leaving the last investors – the largest group – penniless.

No, I am not a Republican shill out to lambaste the Democrats. Personally I see little difference between the two parties, besides who their friends are and from whom they collect their taxes.

I find it fascinating and somewhat amusing to watch some people defending SS and insisting that nothing is wrong with it. To them, the Emperor is beautifully dressed, and there is no Crisis. They seem to have a poor grasp of elementary mathematics.

They have also forgotten that when SS came into existence only one in fourteen people survived to 65 – pretty slim odds for the retirees.

In other words, it was a scam on day one.

Did I miss anything?

Revenge of the… Sixth?

May the Fourth be with you!

Revenge of the… Sith?

A good story, well told… but I had a few reservations.

  • Padme spent way too much of the movie simpering and crying while showing off her lingerie collection to be taken seriously. For an ex-queen and galactic Senator, I had expected a gutsier performance.
  • Anakin was a little less than believable in places, but was better than I had expected. He also went from being a loyal Jedi Knight to a loyal Sith Lord a little too quickly for my liking.
  • Kenobi rocked.
  • Yoda… again, stole the show, he did! Yesss! Mmmmmm!

That said, the story was well told, and did a good job of wrapping up a lot of loose ends.

Distribute a pre-release movie, do three years of jail time?

A new law was signed today, that made it illegal to do something that is already illegal – distributing a movie before its release.

Is this a crime? Undoubtedly, but… three years of prison time? Some killers spend less time in jail. Oh, and a fine of up $250,000.

The heavy-handed approach of this law means that the punishment bears absolutely no resemblance to the crime.

Yet another case of a greedy and increasingly paranoid entertainment industry who have operated for so long under the assumption that they have a license to print money that they now expect the justice system to do their dirty work for them.