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What's been going on this week in tech news? Nothing good:
Shopping on the internet predicted to become more expensive.
For a long time it has been the law that once a manufacturer sells a product to a retailer, the retailer may sell that product for whatever price they wish. This allowed, for example, Best Buy to sell a newly released DVD for less than they paid as a "loss leader" in order to get customers in the door spending money, and even allowed them to sell a product for a lower price on their website in order to get eyeballs on their website and then exposed to other suggestive marketing. Possibly harder hit, though, is the ability for online retailers to undercut competitors, considering the ease of comparative shopping, online. This is bad for consumers in general, though I cannot yet predict what will happen to manufacturers which set prices. I suppose instead of overstock that didn't sell at the regular price getting reduced to get it out of the warehouse, that merchandise will just have to be incinerated, or something.
Many 'Net Radio stations are being forced offline on July 15.
Read about it straight from the horses mouth. Well, it's sort of the horse.
My prediction is that if the law isn't amended, smaller "hobbyist" stations will go out of business completely (or move over some national border?), and the larger, more popular net radio stations will be playing more commercials in order to pay the bills. Net loss for the consumer with fewer choices and less quality, neither good nor bad for the big radio stations who will gain enough new listeners displaced from the niche stations to offset lost listeners disgusted by increased commercials, and a win for.... nobody? The RIAA is going to be driving away enough listeners who wont be purchasing their product which will offset their increased licensing rates. And I suppose some congressman got paid well by RIAA lobbyists.
FTC rejects net neutrality.
"Net neutrality" is one of the most confusing issues about the internet today, because it is so bad that it's meaning is purposely obfuscated by those with the most money to gain by controlling what is reaching your eyeballs. What has always been free (certain aspects) is now going to have a price. We've all... readers and web page producers alike... always paid for our bandwidth; now we'll be paying for bandwidth and access fees across networks.
In a nutshell, if Time Warner decides they want the owners of DTMan.com to pay a special fee to get access to their Roadrunner users, then they'll just block us until we pay up. Big deal? Well, apply that to sites people might actually visit, like their favorite political opinion website. That is something I could actually see happening, when sites like Little Green Footballs, which do nothing more than link to other news sites and add a sentence or three of commentary, are often blocked by web filters as pornography, spam, or hate speech. My point being that it will soon be legal to extort money from websites that the People In Charge (otherwise known as THE MAN) may not like.
What do I predict happening? If net neutrality is allowed to exist as-is, then we'll keep on doing what we've been doing: paying our $40 a month for broadband, and allowing personal taste to dictate what web pages we bookmark, and occasionally write our own little rants and allow them to find an audience. If net neutrality is officially terminated... what part of this can be good for the end user, you and me? Are the middlemen... the ISP's and telecoms... going to make a shitload more money from everyone ponying up not only for the bandwidth they have always paid for, and now the "toll stops" on the internet highway, and buy so much new equipment that it'll be like we just got a massive upgrade in our internet experience? For some reason I doubt it.
Not a good week for the end users. I hope someone with more authority than me takes notice.
Went to the grocery store today. I was a little surprised to see the final payment, but I guess things are just more expensive with a kid around. $40 for a week of groceries. Not bad, but certainly more than the $25 per week I was used to paying for the two of us. Even that was up $5 from last year. I know they have to make money, but do they just have to keep nickeling and diming us?
I guess we don't have it too bad. A good friend of mine lost his job and had to pay over $300 for groceries for his family last week. $300! The craziest part is that I saw my receipts from last week. Sure, the original charge was around $300 as well, but that's not what the grocers make. It's hard to make sense of those statements, even with my finance MBA, but as far as I could tell the reimbursement they received was about $160. So, with my $40, that means they only get around $200 for the same food my friend pays $300 for.
I guess it's just going to continue though. On the way home I saw that wheat prices were at an all time record, and meat prices just keep going up too. Won't be too long before they pass that all down to us helpless consumers. Probably be $45 a week before too long.
Barack Obama unvieled his health care plan recently, promising to "Creat[e] a Healthcare system that works."
To summarize, his plan will:
He will "increas[e] insurance industry competition" and by "making health insurance universal, [we] will reduce spending on uncompensated healthcare." Barack's plan will guarantee eligibility while including "coverage of all essential medical services."
Premiums will be "fair."
The plan will create a national beauracracy to oversee all insurance plans. To ensure they are cheap.
Employers that don't offer "meaningful coverage" will be required to contribute a percentage of payroll towards the cost of the national plan.
Did I mention the pony?
I read the whole damned detailed plan, but damn if I can see how he's gonna do it. Maybe there's a magic wand he forgot to mention in there.
Oh wait, no, he's just going to raise taxes. He'll let Bush's "tax-cuts on the wealthy" expire, and raise taxes on all businesses to finance this $50-60 billion plan.
If he's increasing efficiency so much, why doesn't the plan just pay for itself?
Last year we moved from quiet neighborhood in a small city, interstate, to the tiny town in which I grew up. And god damn it, I think it was quieter in the city.
Here's a list of things that I may or may not have been dealing with in the last few months. I'm a strong believer in the "10 to 10 Rule," meaning neighborhood noise, even if annoying, is expected between 10 am and 10 pm. Mow your lawn. Cut down that tree. Play the loud music while washing the car. Just not at 3am, asshole.
Anyway, here's the list. It is things that seem obvious, but hey.... maybe it just never occurred to the perpetrators. I wouldn't just assign malice where ignorance could be in play. Spread this list far and wide wherever you happen to hang out, real world or cyber. Don't even assign credit to here. My intention is to spread the word, not get glory for compiling it.
And finally, something to which I bet we can all relate:
I can't even believe the crap I was expected to tolerate when I was an apartment dweller for 10 years. "Never again," I said.
So spread the word. Discourtesy is a disease, and with enough firepower we can all help in the search for a cure.
How's that for the title of a post?
I was just involved in a discussion on "another forum" in a thread called, "McCain jams foot deeper into mouth; sings 'Bomb Iran.'"
It was a thread with 90% of the participants claiming that "you just don't mock those people, it's bad for all of us," and "this isn't the kind of behavior I want from an elected representative/obviously he is a stupid faggot and u should vote democrat because all repulicans are stupid loosers." That kind of thing.
The only thing I had to add to the discussion was:
To which some uptight, overly political fucktard named "SombreroAgnew" responded:
This stupid, liberal, idiotic hippy compared a joke (and song by Vince Vance and the Valiants) about America's ideological opposite and new cold war enemy to a former presidential candidate claiming that American servicemen only enlisted because they lacked education.
And there hasn't been a response to it.
And do I have a point? No, not really. Sometimes I just wish to point out the sheer, utter stupidity and assholishness of the liberal mind.
This is a post for those of you who think we're ALL GOING TO DIE from the build-up of CO2 (a greenhouse gas) in the atmosphere. I won't even use the phrase "global warming" in this post, except for right there. If you are at all concerned about humans putting CO2 into the atmosphere from where it had been locked away deep underground, then this post is for you no matter what your politics:
Houses are, for the most part, made up of trees.
A house will stand, typically, at least 30-100 years.
Trees are mainly made up of CO2 that the tree pulled out of the atmosphere while it was respiring.
As long as the components of the tree exist in some form, like in the lumber of a house, that CO2 remains out of the atmosphere, and not expanding the wavelengths of incoming photons which keeps them from being bounced back into space (which is what has the potential to heat up the planet, you stupid, uneducated hippy).
Most lumber for houses comes from tree farms owned by lumber companies. Those trees are planted and harvested on a cycle of many years.
For every tree that is cut down for a house, another tree is planted to replace it... thus pulling more CO2 from the atmosphere and locking it up in wood that will typically last 30-100 years in a house, for example.
Therefore, in order to do your part to reduce the amount of CO2 from Earth's atmosphere, buy a tree from a tree farm and preserve it in some way, perhaps as a shelf upon which to place your elevated self esteem so it can be enjoyed and envied by company.
Kill a tree, save the planet.
Next week: How to get better gas mileage by kicking a puppy.
This is horrible.
It's horrible that more of these adults weren't armed so they could defend themselves.
And scuttlebutt has it that several people were lined up and killed "execution style." What kind of mindset is it that makes you wait your turn to be shot? This isn't the Krystalnacht with an enemy around every corner and no hope to escape. Just one crazed wacko.
I hope I can keep the village from instilling this "roll over and die" mentality into my son.
But my thoughts today are with the victims, and their parents. It's my worst nightmare.
So this bad penny has turned up again, and was spent in North Carolina:
At least they stopped short of reparations.
But what's also interesting is this part of the article:
So even though conditions have improved so much that (possibly) the descendents of former slaves now sit alongside confirmed descendents of slave owners, black lawmakers want to completely destroy their hard-earned, legally protected equality by having the state now discriminate against everyone that isn't black.
How much we've learned.
But in the spirit of healing the past, which dtman.com may or may not have had a major part in, we offer the following as an official rebuilding of bridges between all of god's children.
And nothing says, "Sorry" like a kitten.
CNN sez, "Census: Immigrants stabilize big-city populations." But really, the Census Bureau released some raw data, a private firm analyzed the data and made some conclusions, and then CNN reported something and said it was from the "Census."
Well here's a thought: maybe if the cities weren't full of crime of every type, more Americans would want to live there and not leave. Right or wrong, maybe they see a 2 bedroom apartment with a family of 3 and 25 of their closest relatives as part of that problem, because there is a language barrier and nobody knows if they work 21 hours a day in their own business, or their oldest kid is running with a local gang. Or both?
I don't. But I'd put money against the idea that immigration is saving America from itself.
And probably a lot more dangerous.
Here's the face of "modern Democratic leadership," Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, when she recently defied the break in diplomatic relations with terrorist-sponsoring state Syria:
Yes, she's covering up her head, because to not do so might get her stoned in the street.... or maybe she just wanted to show how sensitive she was to the feelings of an oppressive patriarchy dragging the culture of the 14th century into the 21st. We definitely want to encourage and grant legitimacy to these cultures to continue oppressing their women. Now that's Progressive Multiculturalism! Sorry 'bout your basic human rights, ladies! We got to think of the big picture, here!
Maybe in her mind she's pretending to be Amish.
Anyway, there is a faction inside Syria struggling for reform. Here's what they thought about Pelosi's visit:
Howard Dean publicly claim to "hate Republicans and everything they stand for." At least he stopped short of saying that stupid bitches should just shut up and stay in the kitchen and do what the god damned MAN says to do.
(Hat tip: LGF)
Because they think they know the minds of their gods... or at least pretend they do? Same same.
Some woman put up a "honk if you love Jesus" sign, and her neighbor countered with a "honk twice for Satan" sign.
I am not an atheist... I don't have a belief system based on not believing, and I'm not looking to convert anyone to my church, nor do I want your money (well, I do, but not for that). But I don't believe, follow, or represent any deities. I don't typically volunteer this information since it makes me somewhat unique in my circles of travel, but I don't lie when asked. To me the idea of people talking to entities that aren't there is sort of scary.... what if somebody's disembodied voice tells them to kill me? I mean, the Voices could say anything, right? And if a person talks to people who aren't there..........
But hey, anything is possible. There might be a fuzzy God with his sunny Jesus. But if there is, there is no way in hell that he is "bothered" by a hand-made sign in a parking lot.
Claudette is scary, and I hope she doesn't decide that Jesus is so upset that He wants her to "take steps" to remedy the situation. That belief system has already killed millions of people.
I have many religious family members, and while I don't understand their faith, I know them all and I am not scared by them. Hell, I even like most of them.
But I don't know Claudette, nor do I know 99.9999999% of the rest of the religious members of the human race. We have already put an estimate on how many of those people that we are aware of that want me dead or converted... doesn't matter which.
Barack Hussein Obama wants your vote in 2008.
Things that got linked.
Cleaning the Stalls
Bringing Down a Nation
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