Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Updated Bloc

I made some changes to the Bloc, most of them are aesthetic, but a key change to help promote ourselves in the blogosphere is the ability to "trackback". According to Improbulus of the A Consuming Experience blog:

What's trackback?: for those unfamiliar with it, my own definition of "trackback" is that it's a system which effectively lets you create a link from another blog post that you've written about, back to your own post on your own blog - so that people viewing that other blog post will see an extract from your post (or whatever else you want to say about your own post) on the other blog, plus a link from there to your post.

This is a form of "remote commenting" - you're commenting on another person's blog, but instead of doing that on their blog, you do it by making a post on your own blog, and using trackback to let them (and anyone else reading their blog) know that you've commented on it, so that they can check out what you said if they want to. Trackback seems especially useful if the other blog is more popular than yours!

Feel free to use the trackback option, it is right next to the 'Comments' link at the end of each post.

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Upfronts

So Studio 60 and the Black Donnellys get the axe, but we'll get to see an American version of one of my favorite shows: The IT Crowd.1

Feel free to help me build up more info on this over at wikipedia.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


If anybody wants an invite to Joost, drop a comment. (Maybe it's open beta now, and you don't need invites, I'm not sure.)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

I may have found my Republican candidate

I am not pandering, I promise.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...

(R) KS - Sam Brownback

Friday, May 11, 2007

News Sources

I have a set of sites I read to keep informed on my various topics. I'll list them here in a moment, but I'm curious where other people go for information. I'm looking around for a technology legal blog to read (Hint: Thomas) or something to widen my horizons on politics (I only have left leaning news sites right now).

Computer/technology sites:
Oldy, but solid stories -
Stories cycle fast, but good stuff -
Opinion and predictions on tech -
Computer hardware reviews -
Various tech stories -

World/nation news sites:
Generic news feed -
Weird off-the-wall stories -

Liberal crazy sites:
O'Reilly considers this part of the liberal media conspiracy -
Shopping info to fight corporations -

Handy site for cool ideas -

And of course movie trailers, where would I be without them.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Moral Dilemma?

So an interesting question, which I thought would be perfect for this board. This relates to personal responsibility in business dealings.

I sell virtual currency to a game on eBay. Through this auction system, I found a person willing to buy directly, skipping eBay as the intermediary. This person routinely spends $90 a week on currency. At one point they mentioned they would have to buy less currency for a few weeks, so they could buy food.

Now here's the interesting issue. In the game there is a gambling system, which the buyer uses the currency in.

So in my mind, effectively, I'm providing currency to a gambling addict. Now granted they seem to at least prioritize their spending for necessities over pleasure, but do I have a responsibility to stop selling to this person?

As an assumption I've made when analyzing the situation is that this person will buy from someone else, if I don't sell to them.


Saturday, May 05, 2007

Not hyperbole

I hate my MacBook so much that I am physically shaking.

Friday, May 04, 2007

The RNC Debates

I. Brownback Has Lost Me
Really, I am so embarassed. C'mon Brownback, you're Catholic, didn't you get JP's memo? We believe in evolution!

II. I'm Calling the Debates for Paul (Mainstream Media to spin it for Romney)
MSNBC has this completely unscientific interactive poll, where you could vote on your impressions about the candidates, positive or negative, before and after the debates. Most of the candidates pre- and post-debate had similar ratings, variations of one or two points. Ron Paul jumped up 32 points, from the bottom to the top, all in one night.

Ron Paul apparently pushed a very Goldwater conservativism, not at all Bush II (or so I hear, see III). It's an interesting solution for Republicans, who face a really tough 2008 election (as Bill Lacy recently confessed). How do you distance yourself from a reviled President? Conservativism! A movement that arguably elected this President, a movement which he has arguably abandoned.

UPDATE: More votes are in, and Ron Paul has kept his lead, but it's as if everyone across the board got a big dish of neutral votes. Paul's positives are down to the high 30s, Romney still second with high 20s, now with no change pre- and post-debate.

III. Your Democracy, Copyright MSNBC (et al.)
Third important fact about the debates: you can't watch them. You aren't allowed. MSNBC's copyrights are apparently more important than participatory Democracy. Barack Obama and John Edwards have signed on to a letter from famed copyleftist Larry Lessig advocating open access to the debates, they are joined by a number of politicos from both sides of the aisle.
UPDATE: CNN has freed the debates!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

0 for 3 (getting laid after prom)

I had the fortune of chaperoning a high school prom this past weekend. The high school shall remain nameless, most contributors probably know which one it is. I wanted to speak on Prom because it is a sociologically a large part of American teenage life. I have now experienced this piece of Americana as both a student and hired muscle, and the kids definitely have the better time.

The entire time (3 hours) at Prom as a chaperone is spent making sure students do not do something illegal/immoral in your designated area. Fortunately, having a walkie-talkie handy, I learned that everyone attempting to ensure the safety of these students were having just as bland a time as myself.

There were several parts of Prom(from a sociological perspective) that I wanted to speak about. First, the ease of which it is to pick all the different social groups out: The nerds, jocks, gangsters, gangstas, princesses, and 'women of loose morals', all select eveninig wear that reflect their grouping. I found this interesting because Prom is basically a more strictly regulated Halloween. Why wouldn't these students take the chance to break the mold of what defines them? Possibly they are happy and fully accept the roles that they may have helped defined themselves. The jocks are the least noticeable. They are more or less defined by their Creatine filled sleeves. The nerds typically are noted by their t-shirt tuxedos, ill-fitting clothes, or poor color choices. Gangsters wear the tuxedo, top-hat, and cane (all typically white), and gangstas are bogged down in chains, wearing sunglasses, and sometimes a baseball cap. Princesses are also loosely defined, but generally have a combination of accessories (handbag, giant necklace, tiara, etc). You can imagine what the 'women of loose morals' were wearing (generally very little).

An aspect of prom that I had never noticed before was the collection of special education students. It was touching to see the select few of these students who seemed to be having a very good time. It was severely depressing to see the rest. Maybe they were having a wonderful time and I should mind my own business, but the majority of these students looked to be wandering aimlessly hoping that someone outside their social group might speak with or even acknowledge them.

The sight of the prom king made me realize how cynical and jaded the youth of America have become. Is life really so terribly boring that you vote for your prom king because he is known for eating out of the trash cans at lunch? Really? That's what you want to talk to your high school friends about in 10, 20 years? I understand that these are basically glorified popularity contests, but isn't there a better criteria to measure Prom King abilities than lbs of garbage consumed/week?