Thursday, June 23, 2005

Robbing the Poor to Feed the Rich

Kelo v. New London CT upheld; the government is now free to seize private property so that would-be real estate developers don't have to go through the trouble of like, buying property on the open market, which is, you know, a total pain in the ass. Real estate developers simply can't be expected to go through all that trouble, not when the government could just take what they want and give it to them for free.

As Justice O'Connor put it, "The government now has license to transfer property from those with fewer resources to those with more. The Founders cannot have intended this perverse result."

Background, from

Monday, June 20, 2005

Best Classical Music Magazine

Just can't believe nobody has told us about this before now. Worthless "friends."

Well, maybe not the absolute best. Gramophone still rules. But only about 1/3 of it is online and it is run by a bunch of Brits, which means their CD reviews almost all become over-priced Imports from our point of view.


Katie Holmes vs. Kirsten Dunst

Batman ROCKS!!! There was considerable fear that it wouldn't stack up to the Tim Burton/Michael Keaton masterpiece, but even with the bar set that high, Batman: Restarted is fkn impressive.

!Plot spoilers below!

The biggest problem we have with the movie is the so-called love interest. Katie Holmes plays a bitch. There is no other way to say it. Early in the story, she dumps Bruce Wayne because he won't do anything to fix the injustice in the world. When she should be warming up to Batman--especially in the scene where she learns his identity--she seems so cold that this franchise will never need an Iceman. And finally she rejects Bruce Wayne again while he is digging through the ashes of his parent's home, saying that maybe if he weren't so hung up on driving the criminals out of Gotham, she could love him. The next time a villain ties her to the proverbial train tracks, Batman should leave her to be run over.

!Okay, done spoiling the plot!

Compare this cold bitch of a love interest to Kirsten Dunst's Mary Jane. Mary Jane has every right to kick Peter Parker square in the 'nads for his repeated insistence that he must chose fighting injustice over love and romance (because as we all know, the two are mutually exclusive), but she remains supportive and puts forth considerable energy to get into his head. Spider-Man and Mary Jane share several kisses that look much tastier than anything Katie Holmes's Rachel puts out. And Mary Jane never recites pablum from her high school civics classes.

So next time, we want to see some one smart, sexy, and warm-blooded opposite Christian Bale's Batman. How about Lauren Graham, who rocked in Bad Santa?

Sunday, June 12, 2005

The Coolest Thing Since HotOrNot:

A Flickr color picker. "Wha?," you say? Colr Pickr is an interactive color wheel that shows you a sampling of Flickr pics matching any color you pick. You really have to go try it to see how entrancing it is--so what are you still doing here?

Thanks to Coding Horror for the link.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Summer Reading

Okay, folks, we are going to list the we've been meaning to read at right. (By "been meaning to read," we mean these things have been piling up around the place.) That way, we will be reminded to read them, especially if you ask, "How is that random Ethan Coen paperback, anyway?"

Of course, there are piles of medical books begging to be read, too, but who wants to hear about that?

The Trendiest Banana Republic in the World

Around town the Department of Homeland Security has been doing some redecorating, a la Martha Stewart: The ubiquitous Jersey Barriers that obstruct the views of and access to the world's most recognizable monuments to freedom are being painted green. This makes us all safer because, as everyone knows, Jersey Barriers work better when painted green.

For anyone who doubts this last statement, let me point out some statistics: Number of jet planes flown into buildings back in the days of plain gray Jersey barriers: 2. Number of jet planes flown into buildings since park service guys started going around and spray painting all the Jersey barriers in DC: 0. Success!

Future campaigns in the war on terror will include upgrading all the X-ray screeners at the airports from beige plastic to iMac-like translucent white, and, in FY2006, changing those red blinking lights on the tops of buildings and antenna towers to bright blue LEDs.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Apple + Intel = Huh?

So -whose website says that a pair of PPC G5s “blows away” a P4--has decided that a P4 running an emulator running OS X is “fast (enough).”

Disappointing, isn’t it? All weekend there was lots of speculation, including a great page at Wired about how Intel chips, with their talked-up DRM, would make a perfect iMac Mini-TiVo hybrid perfectly suited for a set-top box that would download DVD-quality [H.264] movies from iMovie Video Store with Hollywood’s blessings, but I kinda suspected that Jobs was irritated with IBM’s failure to get the G5 over 3 GHz and that he might take his OS X and walk away. And so he didn’t really promise anything big, other than the chip inside of Macs in 2007 will be from Intel, not IBM: This isn’t going to translate into any real performance gains, but it will require rewrites of some software, and it doesn’t add any features and may remove features, since Intel only makes 64-bit processors in its most expensive Xeons and has said it will not support x86-64bit across its line.

But my biggest question is, how long will it take someone to hack the x86 version of X to run on my DIY AMD box? Apple will never open the hardware platform—and besides, if X were to run on any Intel box, not just Intel boxes from Apple, M$ will stop making Office for MacOS X so fast Steve Jobs won’t be able to say iWork. We’ll see who manages to hack this so I can have a 64-bit, 2+ Ghz AMD "" to OS X and maybe Windows when I have to do some chores.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

New Coldplay: Soundtrack of Life

Life needs a soundtrack. We listen to so much music it is not funny--not only do we almost always have some music playing, we mean that we listen to lots of kinds of . Johnny Cash, especially in his mid-90s renaissance fueled by Rick Rubin, is so good that his guitar and smoke-cured voice should be part of everyone's soundtrack. Garden State managed to have such a great soundtrack that some days, we can just queue it up and use it as our own. Coldplay, which opens the Garden State soundtrack, has been getting close to essential soundtrack status. Clocks, for example, was awesome at first, but after a few spins, looses its luster.

Enter their new X and Y. Speed of Sound picks up right where Clocks left off. The rest of the album is at least as good. Okay, okay so it isn't legal to have heard the album before June 7th in the USA, but come on. Anyone who keeps an eye out for Coldplay tracks has already heard Talk--someone leaked it to BitTorrent a few months ago, and of course Speed of Sound was at Coldplay's website earlier in the spring. So you've had a preview. And X and Y lives up to all expectations.