Cold shower

Cold shower, originally uploaded by tedcompton.

Some Vermont

Some Vermont, originally uploaded by tedcompton.


Better than jilted, I guess

Utah cop sued after motorist jolted

(From the AP via Raw Story)

What he was, though, was more like volted, it turns out.

Vista's "Command Prompt" terminal

Notice it doesn't actually say DOS, it says Windows, but it sure looks like DOS to me.

When you're too lazy to even pick a good cliché

Coal is no longer on front burner



It's all in the attitude.

Getting a little testy in the parking lot

It's flashback time

It's all coming back. Like, whenever I work in Windows I have the feeling I'm working in Windows - and then whatever I want to do sort of as an afterthought. Vista is slipperyslick but it's still Windows, and feels like it.

And look! It's got a terminal window! And it's running...OMG...DOS! Backwards slashes and all. How quaint is that? I haven't seen DOS in a decade - not in all its glory, that is - but Dude, there it is.

What wonders await?

Today's Geek Special

That's an instance of Firefox running in Vista (l) beside Firefox running in Mac OS X (r), just because it's there.

And yeah, I am. Funny thing is I'm finding Vista a lot easier to work with than I'd expected. In fact it seems to behave pretty much the way it should. Of course it's a whole lot easier to start with a clean install, no pre-existing software to upgrade, no files to lose. And I haven't really kicked it around much yet either, so I think I won't be giving it any gold stars quite yet. But there it is.

How many Congresscritters does it take to screw up screwing in a light bulb?

Everybody gets new light bulbs in 2012 - OK, the ones you have will probably be burned out by then anyway but the new ones will have to be that new, curly kind called CFLs. They're supposed to save a lot of energy, is why, although they may not be all that landfill friendly, it turns out. And, well, a few other things. Says Brian Clark Howard in The Daily Green...
When the New York Times
conducted a panel recently to evaluate different popular CFLs, the
reception from those with a designer's eye was harsh. Testers said they
hated many of the offerings; thought they cast sickly glows; rendered
complexions like those of the embalmed; lacked the warm, firelike
quality of incandescents; and were unsuitable for attractive interiors.

But they'll do better, Howard says. We'll see. Or not.

And, says Treehugger, there are, um, "quality lapses."
This week a comparison by Sweden's SP Technical Research Institute of CFLs gives credence to the idea that CFL quality is even more fickle than consumers' preferences.

SP tested eight different CFL bulbs from manufacturers such as
Philips, Osram, and IKEA, and found that none of them - not one! -
lived up to manufacturers claims for strength of the light (lumens).
Temperatures of -10C and below caused some bulbs to flicker, others to
not even light. Bulbs took from two to seven minutes to come to full

That puts a new light on things.


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Republican yungen

Debbie Schlussel is now best known for her attacks on Islam and Islamic culture, but twenty years ago, when she was an "Outstanding Teen Age Republican," she served as an aide to Siljander.

(Raw Story)

Now she'd a commentator for Faux News, so being an Outstanding Teen Age Republican leads to bigger things. Where does that leave the Outstanding Teen Age Democrats, I wonder.


It's that pesky Constitution, is what it is

Inside the US, (US Director of National Intelligence) McConnell continued, (Mohamed) Atta would be "invisible to your intelligence community. As long he doesn't break the law, law enforcement can't conduct surveillance, [because] they don't have probable cause."

Terror network al-Qaeda understood that, McConnell then said, "and that's why 9/11 happened, in my view."

(Raw Story)

I don't know, Bunky, but I don't think they're using "USSR" any more; maybe we could get a deal.


What, you didn't know Yet Another Media Empire had a fashion desk?

Here's what women are wearing this season in the great Pacific Northwest, reports our Seattle Bureau.

Success isn't always exactly what you're after, Dude

A church made completely from ice in Romania has proved so popular it's had to ban candles to stop it from melting.


If we can't indict them for being crooks, how about for being just plain mopes

The White House has acknowledged recycling its backup computer tapes of e-mail before October 2003, raising the possibility that many electronic messages — including those pertaining to the CIA leak case — have been taped over and are gone forever.

(AP via Raw Story)

John who?

Oh yeah. There's a third contender in the Democratic race, not that you'd think if you listen to the blabbermonkeys. In fact, in a poll posted January 14 the Reno Gazette-Journal has John Edwards in a very nearly three-way tie with the leading brands:
Barack Obama: 32 percent
Hillary Clinton: 30 percent
John Edwards: 27 percent

(Sadly I have to concede Kucinich is not really a contender, something I will probably be still bitching about for a while.)

Polls are, of course, as polls do, but it seems reports of Edwards' demise may be premature.

Clinton wins Michigan 55 - 40 over Nobody

And no, the numbers don't add up. But if you look really, really hard (and not on CNN) you can figure out why. Kucinich got 4%, Dodd 1%. Gravel also ran. The three of them have been largely vanished by the media - Edwards not quite yet, but they're working on it.

Too Zen?

Can a guy who doesn't watch TV to begin with boycott MSNBC?


Twenty years or so ago a guy named Harry Muheim published a humorous political novel called "Vote for Quimby - and Quick" in which - skipping the story and most of the fun - a slightly clueless regular guy named Quick is recruited to run for Lieutenant Governor solely because his name would give the ticket such a catchy slogan. In the end - you've already got it figured out, right? - Quimby keels over on the Capitol steps moments after being sworn in, leaving Quick in charge of the state.

Fiction, sure, but things just as strange have happened in the world called real. Nobody thought at machine pol from Kansas City would get into much trouble as Vice President when they picked Harry Truman for the job. And I've noted before how mischevious crossover voters helped get Lester Maddox into the statehouse in GA. There are plenty of other examples, I'm sure. You can fill in the blank.

So while it may be fun for crossover Ds to have helped Romney in Michigan (if in any number they did) and it may be oh so tempting to hope Huckabee wins the primary and fractures the Republican party, it's dumb. It may seem smart to vote for the candidate thought most electable over the candidate you think is best but that's what sent the Ds to destruction in '04. Or one of the things, at least. It is not wise to put the wrong guy any closer to the levers of power than need be. It's not smart to vote for the second best.

It seems, quaintly, to me the point of an election is for everybody to vote for the candidate they think best for the job.

So that's why I'm saying - and yes, this is Yet Another Media Empire's first '08 endorsement - if you really feel you have to vote R (what are you anyway, some kind of loon?) vote McCain. He's the least evil wingnut in the race.


For all you geeksters...

...that's Apple's Safari web browser running in OS X floating above an Ubutu 64-bit Linux desktop running Firefox. Ututu is running full-screen on an iMac.

I've looked at three Linux distros over the past few days, running them in virtual machines - Susse, Debian, and Ubutu - and Ubutu's the one I'll keep (and run it in VMware Fusion), but all three are impressively polished, far more pleasant to work with than Linux was the last time I seriously ran it six or eight years ago. All three are ready to run with Windows and, because they share technical similarities with OS X, with Macs too - at the OS level, at least. (OK, I'm in a generous mood.) So that's good to know.

Now the question is, is it worth the aggravation and - more - the money to run Windows on my Mac. It would be an easy call if I had work-related Windows software to consider but the version of Office we run in the lab is so ancient it wouldn't be worth installing and probably can't be purchased anywhere anyway. On the other hand it would be interesting to see what Vista is all about. I don't have any real interest in running Office for personal work and if I did I'd buy the Mac version and be done with it.

Meanwhile, I'm not watching the debate and if I had a TV, which I don't, I'd quit watching MSNBC forever too, which I probably wouldn't anyway. The way I see it, if MSNBC wants to exclude Kucinich from their little show that's their business but if the public decides there are better uses for the bandwidth than to let MSNBC use it that's the public's business, and if I were the public I'd take the bandwith back from MSNBC and lease it to somebody else. Alas, of course, I'm not. More's the pity.

(PS: OK, Ubuntu. Ubuntu. So sue me. Or, no, wait....)


I was in working Orange, MA today (it's not orange, it's pretty much white right now) and saw two bald eagles in flight, just circling around in a clear winter sky. They're pretty cool looking birds when seen that way. They were about 12 miles away from a known eagle nest near here. I don't know if they were the birds from that nest or not, of course, but I suppose it's possible.

Big iPhone update today and now I know where I am, sorta. The phone performs a pseudo-GPS by triangulating from nearby cell phone towers and Wi-Fi nodes. There aren't many towers where I live and the circle it draws by phone towers alone is maybe five miles wide - although, sure enough, I was in it (the position is placed on a Google map). When I turn the phone's Wi-Fi on the circle shrinks to maybe a mile across, maybe a little more. I'm sitting almost right on top of a Wi-Fi base station but if I don't know where I am, how an it?

It's been sort of a lost week so far - busily lost, because I'm working every day this week but lost, nonetheless, because I'm deep into geekery at the moment. That ought to be worked out soon though.

And that new skinny laptop looks awesome, doesn't it?


How happy do clams get, exactly?

Whatever, never mind, I'm happier. I just installed a copy of Debian 4.0 in Parallels Desktop and it runs full screen, smooth as silk. And since OS X has "Spaces"...well, Bunky, we're talking virtual machines on virtual desktops here. How cool is that?

OK, just take my word. Or maybe I'll post a picture after dinner.

Me too!

That septum thing! Or something!
Intel Chief Mike McConnell claims that waterboarding would be torture for him personally because he has a deviated septum....


Why we need to spy on you too, Bunky

Says Faux News:
According to a source at MI5 — the British equivalent of the CIA — 1,500 white Britons are believed to have converted to Islam with the purpose of funding, planning, and carrying out surprise terror attacks, the newspaper reported.

Security experts say the growing number of white terrorists poses a serious threat because they are less likely to be detected than members of the Asian community.

Hey. Asian, Arab, what's the difference. They don't look like us. Unless they do. In which case, baby, they could be you.

And meanwhile, just in case you're wondering, Raw Story reports...
National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell is drawing up plans for cyberspace spying that would make the current debate on warrantless wiretaps look like a "walk in the park," according to an interview published in the New Yorker's print edition today.

Making crazy ideas pay off big

In a piece advancing a plethora of prognostications regarding this week's MacWorld conference Business Week opines...
Armed with a hoard of cash - $15.4 billion at last count - and a trove of cultural currency, Apple can afford to take chances more than ever. And so crazy ideas can't be easily dismissed.

...and ends observing:
In 2002, when Apple first announced it was launching a retail arm, the idea was widely dismissed as too costly and unlikely to appeal to enough people to be profitable. Last year, Apple's retail operation generated more than $4 billion in sales.

At $4,500 per square foot of retail space, Apple's sales are more robust than those of any other electronics store and even luxury retailers such as Tiffany & Co. (TIF) and Neiman Marcus, says Toni Sacconaghi of Bernstein Research. Some crazy idea.


Très chic

Mr. January appears in Safari running on OS X (left) and in Gwenview running on OpenSUSE Linux (right). The Linux runs in a Parallels Desktop virtual machine.

You have fallen off the edge of the earth: Reboot

It was just a matter of time

This portable water-resistant speaker system for your iPod is a must have.... Hanging loop and shower hook makes it easy to mount in any shower....

iHome's Hidro-fi