Sunday, December 26, 2010

How To Deal With Zombies During the Holidays

Merry Christmas, Ye Denizens O' the Internet

Merry Christmas, all!

I'm sitting, watching the Kansas City/Tennessee game on television with my brother, his wife, and my father at the moment. My brother has his computer on his lap...well, actually...passed it on to his wife. And last night I must admit that I played a lot of Civilization IV on the computer as well...listening to nephews argue about the Wii...and later my sister and father argue about the Wii Party games. That sound like modern American Christmas to anyone else? Really, I was probably just ducking out of the 'crazy' more than being obsessed with a game.

But obviously we do live more and more of life online...via a video vicariously through sports shows, movies, video game adventures, etc.

Here is an interesting blog photo from earlier this year. I think they meant the title to be "Until the Internet do us part: how to socialize, be funny, and make friends?"

Until the Internet do us part

Reminds me of local coffee shops. :-/

Bonus thought: How do they superimpose the graphic on the football field on the television?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Last Night's Lunar Eclipse

I watched this in the sky while I was doing system upgrades for clients last night. It was pretty amazing to see! If you missed it, there was someone from Gainsville, FL kind enough to post a time-lapse video of the event. Enjoy!

Winter Solstice Lunar Eclipse from William Castleman on Vimeo.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Colossal Kno Tablet

This new tablet concept is being aimed at students to replace essentially everything that a student would normally carry. No more books, no more binders of paper, no more laptop, and no more backpack. It is a bold idea, and from the demos that I can find on YouTube about this device, I think that they have the right idea.

Kno Movie from Kno, Inc. on Vimeo.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Misinformation Abounds Concerning National Policy

...especially (but not limited to) from Fox News.

According to a recent study managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, misinformation and misperceptions about public policy are disconcerting in the general public on both sides of the fence...both from people who identify with Republicans and Democrats.

For example, this is from a study in 2003 concerning misperceptions about the Iraq war:

Misperceptions about the Iraq war by network television

I've talked to a number of people in my area that believe that NPR is filled with liberal propaganda, but in their reporting, which is generally authentically investigative in nature, seems to inform the segment of the population with the least number of misperceptions. This seems to hold true for this newest study. In contrast to NPR or PBS, Fox News has the most misperceptions, but the most opinion/editorial content too. Perhaps that is also telling.

The new study, which again also finds viewers of Fox to have the most misperceptions about national affairs and public policy, does find that people who voted for Democrats also have their misinformation too. For example, these where found about Democratic voters:

  • 57% believe that the US Chamber of Commerce spent large amounts of money raised from foreign sources to support Republicans. This was never substantiated with any proof.

  • 56% believe that Democrats did NOT favor giving TARP funds. In reality there was a lot of bipartisan support for TARP, a plan devised under the Bush Administration.

  • 51% believe that President Obama did NOT increase troop levels in Afghanistan. Actually he did.

So...everyone knows that my editorials here are more progressive in nature, so just being forthright about misperceptions that exist on what would be perceived as being my leaning. But honestly, the numbers from persons who primarily watch Fox News are startling:

  • 91% believe the stimulus legislation lost jobs (it actually prevented substantial job loss, and also created some jobs)

  • 72% believe the health reform law will increase the deficit (it is actually deficit neutral, and in the future will provide a reduction)

  • 72% believe the economy is getting worse (it is actually slightly improved)

  • 60% believe climate change is not occurring (overwhelming majority of scientists who study climate believe it is changing)

  • 49% believe income taxes have gone up (in reality 97% of households received addition tax cuts)

  • 63% believe the stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts (it actually did with earned income tax credits)

  • 56% believe Obama initiated the GM/Chrysler bailout (it was initiated by the Bush Administration)

  • 38% believe that most Republicans opposed TARP (it was mostly favored by Republicans in the Senate, and slightly opposed by Republicans in the House, but overall it was favored by Republicans)

  • 63% believe Obama was not born in the U.S.,or that it is unclear (his birth was announced in a local paper in Honolulu, HI, his live birth recorded in state birth records, and received the only kind of reprint of a birth certificate that Hawaii Dept. of Health offers)

The study does make it clear that these misperceptions cannot be merely based on what source you get your national news from though, as exemplified by this mention of the lowest levels of misinformation by news source:

  • most economists who have studied it estimate that the stimulus legislation saved or created only a few jobs or caused job losses: MSNBC, 65% misinformed

  • among economists who have estimated the effect of the health reform law, more think it will increase the deficit: Public broadcasting (NPR or PBS), 38%

  • the bank bailout legislation (TARP) was passed and signed into law under Pres. Obama:
    MSNBC, 38%

  • the US economy is getting worse: Public broadcasting (NPR or PBS), 34%

  • the stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts: MSNBC, 34%

  • the bailout of GM and Chrysler occurred under President Obama only: MSNBC, 32%

  • since January 2009 the respondent’s federal income taxes have actually gone up: MSNBC, 27%

  • it is unclear whether Obama was born in the US—or, Obama was not born in the US: Public broadcasting (NPR or PBS), 24%

  • when TARP came up for a vote, Democrats were opposed or divided: Fox News, 21%

  • when TARP came up for a vote, most Republicans opposed it: CNN, 28%

  • it was proven that the US Chamber of Commerce was spending foreign money to back
    Republicans: Fox News, 23%

  • most scientists think climate change is not occurring or views are divided evenly: MSNBC
    and public broadcasting (NPR or PBS), both 20%

They continue by pointing out that though new sources are a large part of where we get our information, political candidates, political advertisements, editorials, and elected politicians are a big part of the equation.

Full study available here.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Recap of Anti-Tax-Cut Arguments

Rachel Maddow has a good recap of Bernie Sanders' 8.5-hour presentation against the Obama/GOP tax-cut compromise, Jim Demint's arugments against, and Michelle Bachman's arguments. She also comments with Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) on the mathematical nonsense of the GOP and Tea-Party proposals.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Sen. Bernie Sanders Explains Why the Obama/GOP Tax Compromise Is Bad

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-CT), just in the first video, explains a number of things that most Americans probably don't realize about the national budget deficit, the national debt, tax breaks, average incomes, and the estate tax (the supposed death tax). This is a great couple of videos, and full of information that ALL Americans should know.

On the history of the deficit, tax-cuts, and "the death tax" (12 minutes) - Dec 10, 2010

On income inequality, the corporate bailouts, and executive incomes (13 minutes) - Dec 1, 2010

From Ezra Klein's blog, showing the tax-cut proposal's refunds per plan. You'll quickly see problem on with breaks for the top-earners.

Tax plans in one graph

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

The DREAM Act Vindicated in House Debate

Representative Howard Berman (D-California) puts the controversy about the DREAM Act in perspective. The Republicans are grossly misrepresenting this bill, and trying to punish a group of people who have done absolutely nothing wrong, aside from being born of parents that immigrated illegally to this country. It is wrong to punish these people, brought here as children, for their nationality of birth. This bill would give these people the opportunity to be citizens of the country they have grown up in, this United States of America...if they will educate themselves at a college or serve in the military. Either way our nation benefits.

From The Daily Kos and C-SPAN:

Chrome OS and the Chrome Notebook

Long video...but worth it if you are interested in the Chrome Notebook.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Google's Chrome OS Notebook

These are just a couple reasons why I'm pretty excited about what Google is doing:

What is Google Chrome OS?

Using a Chrome Notebook

Chrome Notebooks: Speed

Google Chrome OS UI Concept Video

Saturday, December 04, 2010

The Unlearned Lessons of Reaganomics

It is a dreadful thing for anyone to repeat mistakes in the hope that this time the mistake will actually work out. The old axiom applies here, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." Our nation has already been fooled twice by the dysfunctional economic theory of 'trickle-down' or 'suppy-side' economics. The first was in the form of Reagan's tax plans, or Reaganomics, which were called "Voodoo Economics" by his own Vice-President (George H. W. Bush). The second was in the economic policies of George W. Bush.

They didn't accomplish what they were promised to accomplish either time. But the Republicans in congress are touting it yet again as the solution to our country's woes. What trickle-down economics has been successful doing is making the wealthy wealthier, and on the backs of all of rest of this nation's people in deficits and debt. Make no mistake...none of that money trickles down.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Time for the Democrats to go on the offensive

President Obama and the Democrats have been singing the tunes of compromise with the Republicans over and over again....acknowledging this 'adult conversation' that the Republicans say they want to have about the budget and other issues. But over and over again the Republicans speak out of the other side of their mouth and say how there will be no compromise and how their mission is the takedown of the Obama Presidency. Things look a lot like this:

No compromise.

It is past time to go on the offense, as U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) suggests. Democrats need to learn the lesson of what the agenda of the Republican Party truly is. They aren't at all shy about it.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

How do you know when your church is too over the top?

When your advertisement for your Christmas services say "crazy music production", "face melting lasers", or "freestyle dancing"...that's when.

Christmas UNplugged Ad page 1

Christmas UNplugged Ad page 2

Did I mention the "face melting lasers"? Ummm...Merry Christmas?