08.31.06

The Timing is Political

7:46 am - Jason G. - Politics, Rant

I know this happened over three weeks ago, but here is some great commentary on the recent arrests in Britain of suspected airline terrorists.

We also have the extraordinary question of Bush and Blair discussing arrests the weekend before they were made. Why? Both in domestic trouble, they longed for a chance to change the story.

The timing is political

I would probably argue that the timing is political…  why else would Bush and Blair be discussing it.  Do you think they get on the phone every time the FBI is going to take action?  Shouldn’t the law enforcement officials be in charge of deciding when to actually nab suspects and not leave it up to the politicians?
I would respectfully disagree with the author on a few points though…  our police are drastically under-prepared to deal with the threat from terrorist militants.  They have to stop suspects when they find out about them — it is very likely that they wouldn’t be able to maintain surveilance successfully for very long.  Al-Qaeda’s primary successful tactic in the past has been its ability to keep itself out of the view of the Western Intelligence and Police forces.  Until this arrest, they were soundly winning on operational security and westerners need to understand this.  Striking at half-formed plots is often the only course of action.

I emphatically agree with the author on several other points, specifically on the infringements of personal liberties.  We do have to recognize though that there is a tradeoff — if we choose to uphold personal liberties, we do run a higher risk of attack.  I am willing to take that risk, but I know most poeple are not.

08.30.06

When You’re Poor…

7:58 am - Jason G. - Commentary

The four-page booklet, “Preparing for a Financial Setback” contained suggestions such as shopping in thrift stores, taking “a date for a walk along the beach or in the woods” and not being “shy about pulling something you like out of the trash.”

Northwest advised workers to see treasure in trash | Reuters.com

I appreciate that they’re trying to help people prepare for being unemployed, but pulling something you like out of the trash?  Do they expect Lord of the Flies to break out as soon as their employees don’t have a regular paycheck?

08.29.06

Southwest Airlines Interactive Route Map

7:29 am - Jason G. - Technology

Southwest has a nice little Interactive Route Map that can be amusing.  Check on the “only show non-stop flights” so that you really see how popular those various travel destinations are…

08.28.06

Ask a Ninja – Wikipedia

7:25 am - Jason G. - Humor

I’ve commented before about the interenet sensation Ask a Ninja… but now you should check out the Ask a Ninja Wikipedia Entry. They link to each individual episode as well as provide some background on how it was created.

There’s also potentially a DVD in the works!

08.27.06

The News Cycle

7:21 am - Jason G. - Quotes

“A newspaper consists of just the same number of words, whether there be any news in it or not.”

-Henry Fielding

The same could be said about 24 hour news channels…

08.26.06

Recondition That Battery!

7:39 am - Jason G. - Technology

A word on battery reconditioning…  it’s a good thing.  I love my ThinkPad (a little too much sometimes) and am very pleased with the battery performance.  I can easily get 3+ hours on a single charge if I turn down the screen brightness just a bit.  Very useful for watching a movie on a plane or sitting having coffee…

But one thing does tend to happen over time, the % readout in the taskbar starts to read incorrectly.  For example, a couple of days ago I started up the laptop and ran off battery for 2:40 minutes (the screen was set the brightest it woudl go, and I disabled all shut-off timers).  Now 2:40 is no slouch, but I believe it read less than 10% for the last 40 minutes of time!  And in fact, as I was rapidly saving every 5 seconds, the battery lasted for 10 minutes between the 1% warning sound and when it actually shut off.

This happens over time as a battery ages.  The % left is calculated based on the voltage coming from the battery.  With age, the voltage tends to decrease, making it appear to the software as if the battery is running out of juice, when in reality it is simply getting older.

How do you deal with this?  You can either buy a new battery every year or two (not a bad idea anyway) or recondition your battery at least once a month.  Reconditioning consists of running the battery to absolute ZERO — not just waiting for it to go into standby or sleep when the juice gets low.  You should create a power profile that is “disable all shut-off timers” (and disable the standby and shut down triggers) and then just let the computer sit there until it  powers off.  Make sure you don’t have significant programs (Outlook, Excel, etc.) running when it gets down to 1%, but you’ll probably still have several minutes of computing before it shuts off.

That’s today’s laptop tip…  use it wisely.

08.25.06

The Habit of Excellence

7:25 am - Jason G. - Quotes

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

– Aristotle

08.24.06

On Certainty

7:25 am - Jason G. - Quotes

The biggest cause of trouble in the world today is that the stupid people are so sure about things and the intelligent folks are so full of doubts.

– Bertrand Russell

08.23.06

WhoCalled.Us

7:22 am - Jason G. - Commentary

Brilliant! Whocalled.us is a new website where you can report those pesky telemarketers who don’t respond to the do-not-call list, and who hang up when you challenge them on who they are.

Hopefully someone can use this to fight back in appropriate ways…

08.22.06

Googlebombing

2:07 pm - Jason G. - Humor, Politics

Yes, many people believe he is a failure.

Just happy to contribute to the cause

Google says it won’t manually manipulate its search results, even when pranksters push unwarranted links to the top of the results list with so-called “googlebombing” tactics.

– TechWeb

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