Archive for February, 2010

Paul Ryan Videos/Why Don’t we Have Beards in DC?

Posted in Economy, Health Insurance, Humor, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2010 by raingeg

I am by no means turning into a Ryan zealot, but I think I’d like to see Paul Ryan run against the president in 2012. What do you think?

Video from Weekly Standard.

I’ve posted on Ryan before and I think he would make a pretty good competitor.

Also, I’d like to address the lack of beards, or any sort of facial hair in Washington, it bugs me. Do you think we could have a bipartisan summit on the topic of government and facial hair? Those of us who do sport facial hair feel very underrepresented. Please bring facial hair back to Washington!

As I pointed out in November, there were plenty of beards and mustaches in the White House and in Washington in the past. Can you think of one beard in Washington today? Just one? If you can please let me know so this person can be celebrated, I will make this a nonpartisan event.

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Tech Update 3

Posted in Politics, Technology with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2010 by raingeg

Tech updates are back!

Apple gets tough on explicit material:

For a few days now I’ve been reading a lot about Apples decision to get tough on some of the more indecent apps in the Apple App store. They’ve removed some 5,000 apps from the store that they deem explicit or pornographic. Many are angry over what they see as blatant hypocricy, as Apple has let the Sports Illustrated swimsuit app, the Playboy app and the Hooters App stay in the store. Apple is saying that they are letting some of the more established companies stick around. Maybe they don’t want the image of an indie porn dealer or some back alley porn shop.

I knew someone was going to say this and they did, this is an email from an app developer that came into Mobile Industry Review:

I’m not usually to swayed by what companies do, but Apple’s censorship has really ticked me off. OK the apps they binned were probably crap (on that basis alone, they should kill another 100,000 or so), but Apple has no right to tell me what I might be offended by.

Actually, unknown developer, they have every right to censor what ever they want. They are a private company and private companies can censor what they want to censor, for what ever reason they want to. I’ve seen it happen, working for a radio station you are bound to see programs come and go, and the ones that go are sometimes nixed because they are offensive to some people. I don’t like throwing the word “right” around like it doesn’t mean anything.

One of the many apps that got a notice of deletion was the Simply Beach app that allows women (or men if they really wanted too) to shop for swimwear on the iPhone.

From Cult of Mac:

As previously reported, Apple pulled the app by Simply Beach, an online beachwear retailer, as part of its great sexy apps purge over the weekend. Among other things, the Simply Beach app sold bikinis. On Friday, Simply Beach received an email from Apple about the decision to remove any overtly sexual content from the store and that included the Simply Beach application. “The email also made mention to numerous complaints they had received from customers regarding ‘this type of content’ and implied it was these complaints which had led to the changes,” says the app’s developer, Andrew Long. He added that Simply Beach thought this was a hoax. A few hours ago, the Simply Beach app was again available on the App Store. Neither Long nor Simply Beach received any communication whatsoever from Apple, Long said in an email. The same thing seems to have happened with Daisy Mae’s Alien Buffet, a 12+  rated game that was pulled presumably because it features a female lead character in short shorts. Like Simply Beach, the game is quietly back on the App Store. Again, there has been no communication from Apple. It’s pretty clear that Apple’s doing damage limitation here, reinstating the high-profile apps, although iWobble is still banned.

There are issues like this that will inevitably come up and Apple seems be dealing with them. Its funny to see a company that has a fairly zealous young liberal backing be anything but young and liberal. This is a move that I commend, good on you Apple for taking a stand in a world where stands seldom are taken.

Read more at the New York Times and Tech Flash.

Wal-Mart enters the online video business:

Wal-mart has purchased a small company out of Silicon Valley called Vudu. Vudu’s business model centers around getting entertainment, movies and television shows to people with HDTV’s and Blu-Ray players. It seems as though they are looking to compete with some of the more established companies like NetFlix, which have similar services and offer those services on a lot of different hardware platforms.

From the New York Times:

At the International Consumer Electronics Show in January, Vudu announced deals to put its service into devices made by Samsung, Sanyo, Sharp and Toshiba and said it was expanding its older relationships with LG Electronics, Vizio and Mitsubishi. Panasonic and Sony are the only major manufacturers that have not yet added the Vudu service to their devices. With Wal-Mart, one of their biggest retailers, taking it over, manufacturers will now have another reason to include Vudu. Vudu competitors like Netflix, of course, are cutting similar deals with manufacturers, who are happy to build multiple services into their devices and make them more versatile. Vudu has sought to distinguish itself from its rivals by bragging about its large catalog of high-definition movies, its simple user interface and its integration of other Internet services like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Pandora.

To tie this story into the previous story, aparently Vudu has a pretty big pornography collection, something that Wal-Mart is not going to stand for.

Vudu also has a plentiful selection of pornographic movies available to its customers. A person briefed on the Wal-Mart deal said the retailer would close down that category “immediately.”

For those of you who have Playstation3 and XBOX360 I don’t know that there is too much that you can be happy with here, 360 and PS3 both have NetFlix capabilities, PS3 has the Sony Store, which I think is a bit pricey and you can also use programs like TVersity and PlayOn to stream sites like YouTube and Hulu.

FCC released a profile of Americans least likely to use broadband, as they try to bring the internet to all Americans:

It seems the government wants some of the action that the internet has to offer. As the recession rages on and people are without work the government is focusing some of its efforts on making sure that all Americans can have the internet.  The FCC has released a report on who is least likely to use the internet.

From the Wall Street Journal:

About 35% of Americans aren’t using high-speed Internet at home, the FCC says. Older Americans, the less-educated, lower-income Americans and some minority groups – including non-English speaking Hispanics – as less likely than average to subscribe to broadband. The agency is releasing the report Tuesday morning at an event in Washington. Only four percent of American households don’t have access to any high-speed broadband at home, the survey says, which means 31% of households aren’t subscribing for other reasons.

To paraphrase the WSJ, this is how the demographics brake down:

Digitally Distant: 10% of American population. Mostly elderly and retired.

Digital Hopefuls: 8% of the America population  these people can’t pay for internet. 26% Hispanic and 20% African American. Some are digitally illiterate.

Digitally Uncomfortable: They make up 7% of Americas population. They have the money but don’t buy internet because of a lack of skills or they don’t feel too comfortable with the internet.

Near Converts: 10% of the American population. They have internet, but Its generally dial up. They don’t like paying and they have high-speed internet at work.

This kind of stuff always scares me, because once the government start providing internet for everyone, then it makes it a lot easier for them to regulate the web, something that does not need to happen at all.

From Broadband.gov:

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) was signed into law on February 17, 2009. The Broadband Initiatives funded in the Act are intended to accelerate broadband deployment across the United States. The Recovery Act authorizes the FCC to create a National Broadband Plan, that “shall seek to ensure that all people of the United States have access to broadband capability and shall establish benchmarks for meeting that goal.”

Attack of the Killer Hot Dogs

Posted in Humanity, Humor, Life with tags , , , , on February 23, 2010 by raingeg

Let me warn you right off the bat, if you have a weak stomach this story might not be for you. I was surfing the web looking for something to write about and came across this story, people are upset with hot dogs and similar foods because they might be considered a choking hazard.

AP via Fox News:

Some food makers including Oscar Mayer have warning labels about choking, but not nearly enough, says Joan Stavros Adler, Eric’s mom. The American Academy of Pediatrics agrees. The nation’s largest pediatricians group is calling for sweeping changes in the way food is designed and labeled to minimize children’s chances for choking. Choking kills more than 100 U.S. children 14 years or younger each year and thousands more — 15,000 in 2001 — are treated in emergency rooms. Food, including candy and gum, is among the leading culprits, along with items like coins and balloons. Of the 141 choking deaths in kids in 2006, 61 were food-related.

Grocery Manufacturers Association spokesman Scott Openshaw declined to say whether food makers would consider warning labels or new designs, but said making parents aware of choking dangers is key to keeping kids safe. Openshaw said the industry would continue working with the FDA and USDA “to ensure that our products are as safe as possible.” At the FDA, spokeswoman Rita Chappelle said the agency will review the academy’s analysis and recommendations. She said the FDA also would continue consulting with the Consumer Product Safety Commission on assessing choking hazards associated with food and take action on a case-by-case basis.

That’s not the story, but it sure did remind me of one. When I was in the 7th grade I had an encounter with the evil choking hot dogs. It was a spring day and I was quite hungry. For lunch I’d brought along some mini corn dogs, one of my favorite foods to this day. I heated up the dogs and began to devour them. Then it happened, some blame it on the lack of chewing and some might say it was my impatience, but no matter the cause, I now had a mini corn dog lodged in my esophagus.

Its quite an experience to have something stuck in your esophagus. I put in a concerted effort to get this mini corn dog out of my body, and all of my efforts failed. So I went down to the nurse, which at my school was just the school office, where they decided that the Heimlich maneuver was the best method to remove the dog. It didn’t work. After various awkward Heimlich sessions with the office lady we gave up and I waited for my Mom to arrive. Sitting in the office was not fun, the pain was really getting to me, along with the strange panic that comes along with getting food stuck in your throat. After a while my saliva started building up and I was foaming at the mouth like a rabid dog, continually spitting out the saliva that I could not swallow.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, my Mother arrived, signed me out of school and took me to her office, hoping that it would come out, but if not, she works for a Chiropractor that might have been able to help us. On the way to her office I blacked out, maybe from the lack of oxygen. When we arrived and I awoke it finally hit me. As I made my way out of the car there was no other option but to adhere to my natural reflexes.

After vomiting a couple of times, the mini corn dog that had caused me so much trouble was finally dislodged from my esophagus, and I could breathe and swallow saliva normally once again. Would more warnings on the box of mini corn dogs have helped me at all? I think not. Maybe a good lesson on chewing your food and being patient, but not another warning on the box. How did we get along before they had the warning on the box?

The West Aint Dead

Posted in Humor, Life with tags , , , on February 19, 2010 by raingeg

Its often said that the “Wild West” is dead, wrong. If you live in Tucson, Arizona, you know that the West is not dead, its alive and well, and it aint going nowhere.

I get paid to read the news, and after just a couple of days I’ve pulled out some stories that come close to something that you could have pulled from the papers of the 19th century.

Arizona Daily Star 2/18/2010:

FBI: ‘High Country Bandits’ target Marana bank, others throughout Southwest:

A two-man crew has been holding up rural banks throughout the Southwest over the past five months, including one in Marana, according to the FBI. The duo, dubbed the “High Country Bandits,” by the FBI are believed to be responsible for at least 12 heists in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico between September and earlier this month, according to an agency news release. The first stickup occurred Sept. 8 in the White Mountains community of Heber, while other Arizona locales allegedly hit include Flagstaff (twice), Gold Canyon, Payson, Phoenix, Pinetop and Prescott Valley, the release said. The men are described as white or Hispanic, in their 30s or 40s, with one between 5-foot-3 and 5-foot-6 and the other around 6 feet. They have been spotted making their getaways on a green or maroon all-terrain vehicle, according to the release.

Arizona Daily Star 2/19/2010:

FBI: Serial bank robber targeting Tucson area

The FBI has determined five recent bank robberies in the Tucson area are the work of the same man, who is being dubbed the Chameleon Bandit. The Chameleon Bandit – presumably given that moniker for his varied of clothing and facial hair assortments. The suspect is described as an Hispanic male in his mid-30s with a light to medium complexion. He is between 5-foot-1 and 5-foot-3 and weighs between 140 and 150 pounds with a shaved head, a dark mustache or goatee and deep facial acne scars. The suspect has worn glasses and a beanie cap as well as a gray hooded sweatshirt, jeans or khakis, according to the release. He has been seen fleeing in both a 2006 silver Dodge Durango and a late model gold or brown Nissan sedan with Sonora, Mexico plates, according to the release.

Arizona Daily Star 2/19/2010:

10,000 of Vail’s proudest people expected at fest

The Vail School District will host its annual Vail Pride Day Saturday at the Pima County Fairgrounds, 11300 S. Houghton Road. School district officials expect more than 10,000 people to attend the festival, which will include classroom displays, student artwork, jumping castles and a petting zoo, according to a district press release. The event will last from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m..There will be Academic Jeopardy, a math bowl and science fair competitions. Gov. Jan Brewer will speak and present awards at a ceremony during the festival.

Arizona Daily Star 2/19/10:

Striking Sonora miners ready for face-off with government, Grupo Mexico

A two-year-old labor conflict in Cananea, Sonora has reached a crisis point, and miners there are preparing for the possibility of violence. On Feb. 11, a labor court rejected an appeal by miners at Grupo Mexico’s Cananea mine, confirming an earlier decision that the longstanding strike is illegal. It was the final word on a strike that has kept the mine shut down since July 30, 2007. Now, miners expect that the Mexican government will send in troops or security forces to dislodge them from the entrances to the mine. It is common and legal for striking Mexican workers to occupy their workplace, effectively shutting it down, but the occupation becomes illegal if the strike is declared illegal. The Cananea miners “will defend their workplace and their collective bargaining agreement even with their lives,” said Javier Zuniga, a mining union official, by phone today from Cananea. The miners were in the first of two days today of demonstrations, and the sound of a large, chanting crowd nearly drowned out Zuniga’s voice. Manny Armenta, a United Steelworkers officials from Arizona, also was in Cananea, among a group of international observers who have shown up in the town. The Steelworkers, who represent more than 1,000 employees of Tucson-based Asarco LLC – also a Grupo Mexico-owned company – have long supported the Cananea miners. “We’re all fearful that there’s going to be bloodshed,” Armenta said. Cananea is about 110 miles southeast of Tucson.

Miners, bandits and 10,000 people expected to celebrate the town of Vail. It sounds like the West is alive and well.

I Have Writers Block

Posted in Life with tags on February 18, 2010 by raingeg

In this post I will attempt to break a case of bad writers block. I don’t know where this will go and I don’t know what I am going to write about. Generally I write about politics and religion or something along those lines, but now I intend on writing about what is keeping me from writing. Oh, hang on I have to go put my clothes in the dryer.

That must be it. Life is getting in the way. Putting clothes in the dryer, washing the dishes, cleaning the house, all of those things that get in the way of sitting down and writing about what is going on in the world. Not to mention the stress that goes along with everyday living.

There is this other issue that I’ve been dealing with, my health. I went to the doctor and she basically said that I really need to exercise so that I can stay on a regular sleep schedule. I wasn’t sleeping enough during the week (4-6 hours per night) and I was very tired during the day, so she put me on some vitamins and told me to exercise, and by golly it worked! I’ve been sleeping better and staying awake at work better ever since.

But that time period that I now spend sleeping is the time that I would have normally spent blogging. You know how it is, 2am and you just want to keep writing, not anymore. Now its 12am and I am tired as heck and ready to hit the sack. I’ve got to start adjusting to my new schedule and making things happen.

I hope this didn’t bore anyone, I probably have something to say about current events I just don’t know how to say it. I guess that’s why they call it writers block. I sure hope this worked.

Prager U: “The Bigger the Government…” (Video)

Posted in Politics with tags , , on February 16, 2010 by raingeg

Prager University video on government.

The Joel Gaines Show 2-14-10

Posted in Economy, Health Insurance, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on February 15, 2010 by raingeg

After a bit of a break from the blogging world, I am back and still suffering from writers block. As I work out my new sleep and exercise schedule, which to my blogging demise means I have to sleep more and be away from the computer more. That said, here’s yesterdays ep of The Joel Gaines Show the Valentines edition.

Click here to download the show.

What Joel is talking about this week:

Let’s take a look at the state of the American economy. I have some sobering news for you on this front.

As the health care takeover begins to crumble, congressional democrats are starting to point fingers – who do you think they are going to blame? We’ll discuss one of the scapegoats today.

Global Warming AKA Climate Change – another Obama initiative on the ropes – is in tatters world-wide as fewer drink the Kool-Aid.

I would like to take an opportunity to agree with George Will today – I’ve been at odds with him on a couple of topics, but let’s take a look at the DC School Choice initiative and compare their attitude towards that with their approach to health care reform. I think you will find this interesting. As we will expose the hypocritical nature of the American leftists.

Iran is claiming to be able to enrich uranium at 80% with an investment to make that higher in the near future