Daily Archives: August 16, 2005

Support Cindy Sheehan

I saw this today on sivacracy.net:

George Bush took a 2 hour bike ride on Saturday, and when he got back, he was asked how he could go for a two hour bike ride when he doesn’t have time to meet with me, and he said: “I have to go on with my life.” (Austin Statesman, August 14) WHAT!!!!!????? He has to get on with his life!!! I am so offended by that statement. Every person, war fan, or not, who has had a child killed in this mistake of an occupation should be highly offended by that remark. Who does he think he is? I wish I could EVER be able to get on with my life. Getting on with my life means a life without my dear, sweet boy. Getting on with my life means learning to live with a pain that is so intense that sometimes I feel like throwing up, or screaming until I pass out from sorrow. I wish a little bike ride could help me get on with my life. …

I just wish George had as much courage in his entire body as Casey had in his little pinky, then he would meet with me. Crawford, Tx. is beautiful prairie land, but I could think of dozens of other places I would rather be right now. However, if George or anybody else thinks I am leaving before my mission is “accomplished” they have another think coming. I will stay the course. I will finish the mission. I will take no prisoners.

How could this country have ended up with such an ARROGANT, IGNORANT IMBECILE for a president! He can’t even take 15 minutes out of his busy exercise and brush clearing schedule, to meet with Mrs Sheehan. Bush, Cheney, and their whole gang should be impeached for their incredibly collosal studipity if not for the all the lies they have told and continue to tell to get this country into a totally unnecessary war! American troops are dying daily (1857 so far) so that this bozo can see himself as a “great wartime president”. This needs to stop.

Music Cell Phones will fail miserably

I have been reading lots of items in recent months about how analysts and cell phone providers are convinced that mobile phones and the providers music download services will defeat the iPod. I believe that they are all completely wrong for a number or reasons. Number one is the greed of the music industry and the cell phone companies. Right now iTunes and other music download services charge $.99 a song. I personally think that this is already to high given that the product is already crippled by DRM and lower sound quality than a physical CD (I won’t even get into the fact that most of the stuff pushed by the major labels is complete crap, that is for another time). Considering that the distribution costs are vastly smaller for downloading than phycical distribution, the labels have absolutely no justification pushing for higher prices which apparently exactly what they are pushing apple to do. The phone companies are even worse, they apparently want to charge as much as $3 a song. I don’t even get why people would pay that much for a 30 second clip to use a ringtone, who in there right mind would pay that much for songs that you have to download over the slow cellular network (probably using up your minutes at the same time).

Now, how this all affects mobile is that there will be a huge tide of MP3 players from a number of different vendors coming into the market, in the form of music-enabled phones. So what’s going to happen when you’ve got all these different phones being billed by carriers as iPod killers or replacements and people come to find out their music won’t play on them, or they can only listen to music that’s been bought from one specific store or service? They’re going to get pissed off, that’s what’s going to happen. They won’t buy music that’s tied to a specific device or has onerous limitations on what they can do with it — which will probably rule out any carrier’s download store from being a success. Regardless of how the record labels see things, people want to own their music, and owning music means being able to do with it what you like, and play it on whatever device you want. This means that vendors that focus on syncing, rather than playing along with carriers’ dowload shop dreams, will be the winners. Few operators understand this, though, and their stranglehold on the retail channel means it’s going to be hard for manufacturers to succeed.

Worse still than this is the drm restrictions that want to put on the music. The phone companies don’t want us to listen to music that we already bought, they want us to buy it all over again. Apple and Motorola have been working on a mobile version of itunes to use on moto phones for over a year. Apparently it has been ready to go for quite some time. The problem is the phone companies wont sell it. The phone has apparently been configured so that users can take music they have already bought from itunes, and load it onto their phones just like they do on an ipod. This is unacceptable to the phone companies because they only want people to buy music from them. of course they don’t want you to transfer the songs so if you lose, break or upgrade your phone, you have to start all over again. So you get to pay a lot more for a lot less functionality. Of course their are other issues like the poor battery life of a fun that is playing music, the lousy user interface, etc. Well I don’t think people are that dumb. People want there phones to be good phones, and there music players to be good music players. Most importantly they don’t want to get ripped off by their phone company.

Record and phone companies have shown no signs yet of common sense when it comes to business pratices, so I am confident that the mobile music business will be a miserable failure.

The logic of last resorts

Siva had a great short post on sivacracy.net this morning about last resorts. Very well thought out.

You know how your keys are always in the LAST place you look?

That’s because you stop looking when you find them. Duh. They could also be in the FIRST place you look. But the first place would also be the last place.

Keep that in mind when W says he would attack a country without provocation even if it has broken no international laws or treaties only as a last resort.

See, he only attacked Iraq as a last resort. It was also a first resort. But whatever.

Morals and Religion 1

I was listening to a podcast of Radio Open Source (Christopher Lydon’s new public radio show) today where they were talking about intelligent design and evolution. While listening to this I remembered something that I have thought about on numerous occasions before. One of the arguments I keep hearing from religious “conservatives” about morals is that you can’t have morals without some higher being to tell you how you should live and behave. One of the guests on the show was Kenneth Miller and he discussed how the creationists (let’s forget the euphamisms and call them what they are) believe that something must have created us or why would we even exist.

My belief is that in order for societies to survive and prosper, some basic rules of behavior must be established. Whenever you put a group of people together they eventually have to define some rules or the group breaks down. This does not just apply to humans, every animal species that lives in groups has standards of behavior. There are typically leaders in any group, whether they are dogs, gorillas, bees or any other social animals. All the other members of the group follow certain behavioral standards. This is done for greater benefit of the group and the species. The same thing applies to human societies. They establish rules, based on common sense and experience to preserve the group. Rules like the ten commandments (whichever 10 you happpen to follow, which vary depending on which christian, muslim or jewish sect you follow) can ultimately be filtered down to 2 main ones. Don’t kill and don’t take what doesn’t belong to you. These are pretty easy to figure out for any group that wants to thrive.

Considering how many “god-fearing” people that claim to follow these rules don’t seem to have a problem with capital punishment or killing infidels or heritecs, I don’t put much stock in anyone saying you must have a god to have morals. I believe morals are something that comes from common sense and the need to survive. I am a good moral human and I don’t believe in god.

I will probably follow up on this idea later, but it is late right now and I need to get ready for bed.