I'm just recuperating today...

...from all that iPhone frenzy. Not that I went out and stood in line to buy one or anything, just thinking about it wore me out. And reading about it - all those stories about Apple cultists queueing up at Apple stores. Funny, I don't remember any references to Microsoft cultists when people stood in line for Windows. Or the Zune. (OK that Zune part was a joke.) (Actually, come to think of it, the Microsoft cultists part was a joke too.)

The good news is that Apple, universally know as “the failing Apple” only ten or twelve years ago is now an awesome cult-inspiring glitterbunny and even has a product people stand in line for. Although standing in line for store openings has become sort of a custom, I don't remember lines for an Apple product before. When the iPod first came out it wasn't really the iPod yet, so who knew? And then there was the Newton, of course. A lot of good that did.

Still, the weirdest thing is that I haven't run across any stories about people standing in line at AT&T stores. Which is, after all, maybe the biggest story of all: some shift - maybe small, maybe not so - of power in the wireless industry away from the carriers and toward the manufacturers.

Some think that may be a good thing.


Eyes left

Eyes left, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Crazed! iPhone! fans!

The anticipation for Apple's latest greatest gadget seems to be driving some people crazy.
Link: The Raw Story | Crazed iPhone fan spews profanity, snatches Fox reporter's microphone

The line's the thing

Donning a white baseball hat and warmup suit -- complete with an iPod strapped to his arm -- a casual Philadelphia Mayor John Street patiently sat on a lawn chair on a South Philadelphia sidewalk, hoping to get his hands on the new Apple iPhone Friday morning.

Street said he was No. 3 in a line of about six people, but said he was sure things would pick up later in the day.

“I'm out here with the rest of the gang, and we're all waiting for the iPhone,” said Street, a self-proclaimed technology advocate. “This is the latest and I’m going to have it.”
Link: Story - WCAU | Philadelphia

It's all about the meanwhile, Bunky

Meanwhile, U.S. regulators ordered Foreign Tire Sales Inc., of Union, N.J., to recall as many as 450,000 tires after the company said an unknown number of light truck radials imported from Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. could suffer tread separation....
Link: China's product safety woes continue - Yahoo! News

Setting a standard for the world

A TOP-RANKING US judge has stunned a conference of Australian judges and barristers in Chicago by advocating secret trials for terrorists, more surveillance of Muslim populations across North America and an end to counter-terrorism efforts being “hog-tied” by the US constitution.

Judge Richard Posner, a supposedly liberal-leaning jurist regarded by many as a future US Supreme Court candidate, said traditional concepts of criminal justice were inadequate to deal with the terrorist threat and the US had “over-invested” in them.

His proposed “big brother” solutions flabbergasted delegates at the Australian Bar Association's biennial conference...
Link: Secret trials for terrorists, says US judge | The Nation | The Australian

An R finally has a good idea

A group of Democrats made their case Thursday afternoon to cut all funding for the executive branch office of Vice President Dick Cheney on the floor of the House of Representatives. The move prompted a Republican Congressman to ask whether Cheney would get a 'Katrina trailer' in place of his official residence.
Sounds perfect, doesn't it? He could haul his trailer around during the day and no one would ever know what secure undisclosed Wal-Mart parking lot he's spending the night in.

Link: The Raw Story | As Democrats work to defund Vice President's office, Republican asks 'Will Cheney get a Katrina trailer?'


Duckies to invade England! OMG!

Duckzilla, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

A fleet of 29,000 rubber ducks is set to wash up on Britain's shores after a 15-year, 17,000-mile epic journey.
Link: Ananova - Rubber duck invasion of UK

What is it that those people in Ohio don't understand?

“Where do we stop if we decide to use the power of the purse to pass judgment on the policies of people who serve in government?” the Ohio Republican asked.
Who said anything about stopping, dude?

Link: The Raw Story | As Democrats work to defund Vice President's office, Republican asks 'Will Cheney get a Katrina trailer?'

It was really time to ditch that “Scooter” thing anyway

Scooter Libby has a new name: inmate number 28301-016. That's according to the Bureau of Prisons, which is ready and waiting for Libby's arrival.
Link: TPMmuckraker June 28, 2007 12:49 PM


Piper, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Ain't easy, cross-dressing in India

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - An Indian pop star and Bollywood music composer created a furor after he visited a Muslim shrine disguised in a black burqa...
Link: Male singer sparks anger by dressing in burqa - Yahoo! News

When they get crazy in Wisconsin they really get crazy, don't they?

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. - A man accused of stomping a pet tropical fish...
Link: Wis. man accused of stomping pet fish - Yahoo! News

Try breathing into a paper bag

“Jobs is a showman who creates an aura about his products that defies marketing. You can't buy the kind of marketing he gets,” Sealey said. “He brings the best of Hollywood to a superb array of consumer electronics and he does it with elan and skill. He's the best in the world at doing that, bar none.”

That Svengali showmanship powers an Apple hype machine so well oiled that it runs as quietly in the background as a Toyota Prius.
Link: Behind all the iPhone hype

Larry King once again scoops the universe

''I've been through a lot,'' Hilton said...

Hilton said the “time-out in life” gave her time “just to get to know myself.''
Doesn't sound like a lot to me but then, hey, Larry King's not asking me, so relax.

In any event the interview was rather a long one, I believe, but those, at least in the view of AP and the Sun-Times, seem to have been the high points.

Link: Paris calls jail time 'pretty traumatic' :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: People

Columns we never got around to reading

Gore’s for whom polls toll in N.H.
Link: Gore’s for whom polls toll in N.H. - Herald Columnists - BostonHerald.com

Turning up

In fact, the toothpaste has been distributed much more widely. Roughly 900,000 tubes containing a poison used in some antifreeze products have turned up in hospitals for the mentally ill, prisons, juvenile detention centers and even some hospitals serving the general population.
Like nobody knew the toothpaste was there until they were cleaning out the refrigerator over the weekend and hey!, there it was, behind an old jar of mayo.

And then - oh, this is good...

The Food and Drug Administration has advised consumers to discard all Chinese-made toothpaste, regardless of the brand.
Who freakin' knows? Where their toothpaste comes from. Or where where it came from got it. The FDA apparently didn't. But then, what with explaining the pet food and testing some peanut butter in Nebraska, the FDA has been pretty busy lately. You don't expect them to keep an eye on everything, do you, Bunky?

Oh, you do?

Link: Wider Sale Is Seen for Toothpaste Tainted in China - New York Times


Good plan - we've had about all the asserting we can take

“The White House has no plans to reassert the argument there is any vice presidential distinction from the executive branch,” according to Bush administration officials who spoke with reporter Mike Allen. “Two senior Republican officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the rationale had been the view of the vice president’s lawyers, not Cheney himself.”
Link: The Raw Story | Report: Cheney backs off on claim that he is 'fourth branch of government'


Fence, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Food fight!

One restaurant owner calls another a Caesar salad thief.

She has never eaten it, but she and her lawyers claim it is made from her own Caesar salad recipe, which calls for a coddled egg and English muffin croutons.
No comment yet from Caesar.

Link: Chef Sues Over Intellectual Property (the Menu) - New York Times

Yeah, whoa, this makes me feel safe

Next May Boeing's scheduled to deliver the first 787, a new jet they're frantically trying to build right now, to All Nippon Airlines.
Yeah, Uh huh.

...among the other innovations, the company is making the wings out of carbon-fiber composite instead of metal. No one's ever really tried that before...
Right, right.

...the wing is so strong and flexible that there's been talk that maybe it could be bend far enough for the wingtips to touch above the fuselage—or come quite close.
OK, maybe not so much.

Link: Wired Science - Wired Blogs

A sunny day

A sunny day, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Crazy, yup

On Tuesday, Rodriguez became the fourth person to line up outside Apple Inc.'s Fifth Avenue store in New York. The 24-year-old college student wants to get a belated birthday gift for her sister as soon as the iPhone starts selling Friday evening....

The three people ahead of her all joined the queue Monday, braving temperatures that reached 90 degrees. Their spirits weren't dampened by forecasts for thunderstorms later in the week and remarks such as “Crazy, people are just absolutely crazy” by one passer-by.
The iPhone will be big (but David Pogue cites a couple of substantial drawbacks in this morning's NYTimes), especially for folks who live in or around big cities (because of what appears to be excellent map access) and it certainly is beautiful (yea, hot) but it won't be for me, at least not for a year or so because I don't really need it. How it pains to say that.

AT&T's rate plan does solve one of my problems by making - as I understand it now - the minutes you pay for work with both telephone and data networks, but it's still a lot of money - a locked-in $60/mo. - to do something I don't do now and get on fine without. And the device does access Wi-Fi hotspots, although presumably only for data, not for voice, use. But this could be a problem because in my experience Wi-Fi networks that require navigating a EULA page tend not to support Apple's web browser, Safari. Using Safari once you're logged in is no problem, but logging in requires Firefox or some other browser, none of which, apparently, can be installed on the iPhone. So the fantasy that the iPhone could be used as a cheap and dirty laptop while traveling pretty much crashes there.

Cheap and dirty, I say, of course, only figuratively, since the thing is by no means inexpensive and it's certainly clean. It's spotlessly beautiful, in fact, and yeah, sure, it'll be the next big thing.

Link: Customers line up for Apple's iPhone days before Friday's launch

Once again bringing you the very latest in work avoidance technology...

...we add to our blogroll (that long list in the column on the right) the Shakespearean Insulter.

How now, wool-sack, what mutter you?
(And thanks to skippy.)

Link: Shakespearean Insulter


And have you ever seen a road blush?

Pennsylvania police are investigating reports of strippers at a private event on a Pocono golf course cavorting in full view of a publicly accessible road, the Pocono Record reported Tuesday.
Oh it's ugly, Dude, it really is.

Link: FOXNews.com - Pennsylvania Police Investigate Strippers on Links at Pocono Golf Course - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News

What I'm saying is...

Mayor Thomas M. Menino today declared war on illegal guns...
...let's have a war on calling everything a freakin' war, OK?

Link: Angry Menino declares ‘war’ on illegal guns - Local & Regional - BostonHerald.com

Noon light

Noon light, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Vive la Différence

Industrial confectioners have petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to be able to replace cocoa butter with cheaper fats and still call the resulting product “chocolate.” The reason: the substitution would allow them to use fewer beans and to sell off the butter for cosmetics and such....

When European companies tried to cut cocoa butter, the debate dragged on for a decade. In 2003, the European Union ruled that substitution had to be limited to 5 percent and only by a few specific oils that chemically resemble cocoa butter. This faux chocolate is clearly labeled “contains vegetable fats in addition to cocoa butter” — and is shunned by purists. The French like to call it “cocholat,” an epithet derived from their word for pig, cochon.
Link: Chocolate Fake - New York Times

Unless it involves Jesus and a bong

“Where the First Amendment is implicated,” the chief justice said, “the tie goes to the speaker, not the censor.”
On a day when the Sopranos Supremes (sorry, almost got the wrong family there) ruled a sign reading “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” incited to imminent lawlessness they also called tie in a case involving McCain-Feingold limits on soft-money campaign advertising, opining a TV commercial does not violate the M-F prohibition unless it explicitly urges a vote, in which case it was right (by 5-4) and anybody who didn't see that coming a long, long way off is simply not paying attention here. To prohibit any commercial that merely touches, or even blatantly touches, on a subject that may have political implications is equivalent to saying we'll all have to stop watching TV for 60 days before a general election, which might be a very excellent idea but not a constitutional one. Alas. McCain-Feingold always was a dopey idea and why it engendered all the swooning it did I do not know.

Nonetheless it seems clear the geezers on the court believe soft-money political advertising is not as big an affront to the Constitution as a bunch of goofy teens.

Link: Justices Loosen Ad Restrictions in Campaign Law - New York Times


So if you're missing a finger, Bunky, stay home

The United States is beefing up security for foreign visitors who will have to give 10 digital fingerprints when they arrive, an official from the US Department for Homeland Security said Monday.
Link: The Raw Story | US to introduce 10 fingerprints system for visitors

Like, when is Paris Hilton getting out of jail?

ROCHESTER — Appearing before at least 60 voters at the Governor's Inn on Sunday, presidential candidate Chris Dodd said he “understands the appetite” of people wanting to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney, but he doesn't think the long process would help the country.

“There are too many other issues out there the American public were hoping Democrats would decide to address and focus on. That's the choice you make. Others may make a different focus. My choice would be to focus on other agenda items,” he said.
Link: Untitled Document

Time out for a tune

Time out for a tune, originally uploaded by tedcompton.


Kirk, an Illinois Republican
...you can stop right there.

This guy, also a US congressman (what else?) thinks the way to slow immigration from Mexico is to pass out free condoms south of the border (no, Bunky, that's the US-Mexican border), something about lowering the Mexican birth rate, blah blah: Introduced a bill and the House approved it.

Oh no, Kiddo, don't blame me. I told you to stop but you didn't, did you.

Link: Congressman urges condoms for border control - Yahoo! News

Yeah, probably just as well: I haven't heard a knock-knock that good for quite a while

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) - A Texas man scheduled to be executed on Tuesday wants to die laughing.

Patrick Knight, 39, has been soliciting jokes on the Internet and plans to tell one of them before receiving a lethal injection, Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokeswoman Michelle Lyons said on Monday....

While she says Knight will be allowed to tell his joke, none of his executioners in the state death chamber at the Walls prison unit in Huntsville, Texas will be laughing, Lyons said.

“Everybody who is there takes it very seriously and will not be participating in the joke,” she said. “So knock-knock jokes are out.”
Link: Texan set for execution wants to die laughing - Yahoo! News

Gotta hand it to that FBI

Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) had his son, former state Senate President Ben Stevens, head a board that distributed $12 million in federal grants to promote seafood companies that, at the same time, paid the younger Stevens upward of $775,000 in “consulting fees.”

This arrangement has caught the FBI's attention.
Nothing slips past them.

Me? Well. Maybe me. I think I'm suffering some sort of late-season spring fever flashback. It was a fine day, almost perfect weather, good class - what's to complain about? Nada thing.

Link: TPMmuckraker June 22, 2007 6:00 PM

It's not movies anymore...

Mobile phone makers are scurrying to offer new products to compete with the iPhone’s touch screen. Wireless carriers also seem more willing to listen to their partners’ advice. And in Hollywood, where Mr. Jobs’s convention-defying tactics are all too familiar, media executives are eagerly preparing for a new era as they hope to position more content where consumers want it: in their hands.
...it's content. The pipes must be kept full.

And as far as the iPhone goes, it looks pretty cool. (There's an extensive demo on Apple's web site. See for yourself.) I'm not big on convergence devices normally, but this one hits the sweet spot, IMO. The hitch, of course, is AT&T's rate plan which, unless they've got some kind of major revision in mind, kills the deal for me. I'd be much more likely to use a device like this for Internet access than making phone calls (imagine the blogging joy) - some kind of universal-minute plan is what I need.

Fat chance, would be my guess.

Link: Hollywood Seeks Ways to Fit Its Content Into the Realm of the iPhone - New York Times


Picky, picky

NATO spokesmodel Nick Lunt responds to Afghan PuppetPrez Karzai’s criticisms of all those NATO bombings that have killed civilians in large numbers recently, sounding like one of those infuriating oh-so-calm customer-relations phone reps. Karzai, he says, “has a right to be disappointed and angry,” and NATO will try to “do better.” He added, “But unlike the Taleban, we do not set out to cause civilian casualties, and that is a critical difference.” Not to the civilian casualties, it isn’t.
Link: Whatever It Is, I’m Against It: We will not acknowledge this reporter’s attempt to stain the engagement with the misnomer “killings.”

Come on, Dude, don't pretend you don't know it's there

Government of the people, by the temps

A monumental shift has quietly and quickly been taking place in the way the public's business is done - and We the People have not even been informed about it, much less been asked to discuss and okay it. Corporations are taking over our government. No longer is it just a matter of big business's lobbyists and campaign donations perverting public policy. Now, politically connected corporations are also seizing day-to-day governmental operations for their own profit.
Link: Jim Hightower | Bushites Outsourced Our Government to Their Pals

Irish dancer

Irish dancer, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

And a bunch more of the weekend's pictures at Look, MA.

And, like, some evil enemies might sneak up and delete all Karl Rove's emails

ANYONE who follows technology or military affairs has heard the predictions for more than a decade. Cyberwar is coming.
Really! They might! You thought I was making that up?

Link: Computers and the Internet - Hackers - Homeland Security - Cybersecurity - Russia - United States - New York Times

SOAP, damnit, SOAP

I don't want no freakin' bath care, I want soap. OK, maybe you think I need bath care, that's tough. I want soap. But I can't find the soap at CVS. I know it's in there somewhere, but I can't find it. So I had to go to the big grocery store on the edge of town.

Which may be just as well, because while I was there I bought a really good sandwich roll for lunch, or not as well because now I'll have to go back and get another one some day. Nothing ever just comes out even, does it? Would that be too much to ask, just once in a while?

Anyway, while I was there, I discovered the big grocery store on the edge of town has one of those self-scan checkout lines now. It was empty. I got in one of the other lines instead. Which is weird, when you think of it (not that I'm suggesting you do, understand) because I'm usually the first guy in line for the latest toy and also because I read a story on queue management this morning, in the NYTimes, I think (and yes I am too lazy to go look it up) so that kind of thing was on my mind. But I figure there has to be a line drawn somewhere, and maybe this is it. (Or not it, as the case may be.)

And it's cheap. Because the store where I usually buy groceries isn't likely to get a self-scan checkout line anytime this century. And it's educational, because standing in the checkup line is how I keep up to date on what's going on with Brad.

And other things, like hearing a nice New England woman tell the cashier she's enjoying the cool weather today but she knows she's going to get punished for it later, when the heat arrives. Nothing good ever happens in New England unless followed by punishment, you can count on it.


Chocolate, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

File under Ho Hum

Yesterday, the Center for American Progress and Free Press released a detailed statistical analysis confirming that talk radio is dominated almost exclusively by conservatives.
Link: AlterNet: Blogs: PEEK: The Right Wing's Fairness Doctrine Fear-Mongering

4get it, Kiwi's say

A New Zealand couple have been blocked by authorities in their bid to name their baby son '4real'.
Link: Ananova - Couple try to name son '4real'

It's funny: Don't laugh

The White House keeps saying it's only a “small matter” that Dark Lord Cheney thinks his office isn't a part of the executive branch. So Rahm Emmanuel intends taking them at their word and offering smaller funding - actually, none - for Cheney in the executive's budget.
Link: The Newshoggers: Rahm Wants To Cut Cheney's Funding