Friday Random Rants

State of the Union Speech – Didn’t see it, but I did read the transcript. In that format the ideas come across extremely shallow and the pandering to special interests especially obvious. However, I did catch the highlights, accompanied by the best analysis around, on the Daily Show.

The Apprentice: Martha Stewart – Isn’t this show already playing on basic cable in hell?

Dean Wormer is Gone – Now who’ll impose double secret probation? Seriously, though, every great over-the-top comedy must have a great over-the-top villain and John Vernon was superb. I’ll have to watch the DVD again this weekend in memory.

Crash Landing – Star Trek is finally dead. UPN canceled Enterprise this week and, for the first time in 18 years, there will be no original Trek (which is something of an oxymoron) on TV. Actually Deep Space Nine was pretty good. At least they had interesting characters who didn’t always follow the rules.

A Few Good Questions – A columnist for the on line version of the San Francisco Chronicle asks Why Does Windows Still Suck? Actually, that’s an easy one to answer but it may take a while to cover everything. The better question comes next: "Why do PC users put up with so many viruses and worms?" (not to mention crashes, spyware, and a near constant stream of security updates). I have no idea.

Friday Random Rants

Choices. You’ve got choices! – Some guy in California is suing Apple because the music sold in the iTunes Music Store won’t play on any other music player. Another dim bulb is suing NBC because the program Fear Factor made him sick. I didn’t realize that both companies are now kidnapping people and forcing them to use their products.

Bye, Bye, Crossfire – Since Tucker Carlson is moving to another talking heads channel, CNN has decided to put the yell-fest Crosssfire to sleep. Lot’s of people seem to be crediting Jon Stewart’s scolding of the hosts a couple of months ago for killing the program but, be realistic, he just read the eulogy. No one was watching anyway. At least it looks like CNN may actually go back to reporting the news.

Get Out Of Jail Free (Almost) – Ten former directors of WorldCom who soaked their stockholders and employees for billions have settled with the government for $54 million. That’s about 20% of their combined net worth! Why aren’t these guys, the rest of WorldCom management, and that bunch of crooks from Enron all doing hard time on some island somewhere.

But It Worked In Rehearsal! – During his keynote presentation at the Consumer Electronics Show, Bill Gates’ computer froze a couple of times and eventually crashed into the Blue Screen of Death. I’ve been there before (not with my Mac, however) but it is sooooo satisfying to see the head of the company having trouble with his own crap. MacWorld is next week. I wonder if Steve Jobs will have the same problem. Probably not – he won’t be using Windows.

Friday Random Rants

The DeLay Rules – Even if it’s a very bad pun, Adam Felber is right: "Justice, after all, is never subverted. It’s just DeLayed."

Holiday Reruns – I’ve basically stopped watching the crap that passes for local TV but I can still describe the lead news story today on every station. It features a reporter standing in a shopping mall (probably Tyson’s Corner) talking about how crowded it is and how hopeful the merchants are. He/She will interview some nut case who was standing in line at 7am and is completely frazzled. Why don’t they just use the same tape from last year? or the year before? With a slight change in the script they could run it again on December 26th.

The Next Step – David Pogue reports that next month JVC will release a camcorder model that records to a hard drive. I won’t be buying one since it’s not Mac compatible, the removable hard drive (MicroDrive) costs $200, and storage is relatively small (for video) at 4gb. Plus the camera itself, being the first of it’s kind, is likely to be over-priced. But this is a step in digital photography that’s way overdue and likely to spread rapidly. Think iPod that takes movies!

Friday Random Rants

Daylight Savings Time – Once again, winner of the annual award for the most useless piece of legislation ever passed by Congress. Turn your clocks back. Or is it forward? Let’s split the difference and leave the clock right where it is!

World Series – Congratulations to the Red Sox. But honestly, I really don’t care. If this were the same group of guys trying to win the championship decade after decade, that would be worth watching.

Lower Education – Now we have a university course on the cultural significance of American Idol. It’s no wonder college professors are used as political punch lines.

Flashback – The morning paper has a full page ad for the DC stop of yet another Cher "farewell tour". And this time her opening act is The Village People. Never mind sitting in a basketball arena watching this recycled crap from the 70’s – just reading the ad was painful.

Settling Matters – Bill O’Reilly and the woman who accused him of sexual harassment decided to drop their lawsuits and go their separate ways – in her case, probably with several million of his dollars. O’Reilly must have thought she was ruining his reputation. Or maybe confirming it.

Friday Random Rants

WMD – Adam Felber has some advice for W on how to spin the report this week finding an almost total lack of evidence of WMD in Iraq: "Weapons of mass destruction-related program activity intentions!"

Rodney Dangerfield – He was rude, crude and ugly. But Rodney was also very funny and definitely a one-of-a-kind talent. From what I could see, he got plenty of respect.

The VP Debates – I watched parts of it but it didn’t exactly grab my attention. However, I can’t decide which I like better this view of the opponents… or this one.

Flip Flop, Flip Flop – Paul Bremer, who used to mouth the party line for W in Iraq, recently said we never had enough troops to get the job done. Of course, he took it back a few days later. Donald Rumsfeld, the usually offensive Secretary of Defense, said that he has not "seen any strong, hard evidence" linking Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden. A few hours later, he said that his comments were "misunderstood" and there was "solid evidence" of the connection. Flip flop.

Howard Stern on Satellite – Jeff Jarvis over at the Buzz Machine thinks this move puts the final nail in the coffin of broadcast radio as an important medium. Maybe a few years down the line, but not until pay radio is as convenient as pay television. That is, not until people can seamlessly punch a button on almost any radio and listen.

Friday Random Rants

Paul Newman – In this world of instant celebrities with absolutely no reason for being, the man is the very definition of class. Even in a red nose and spaghetti on his hat.

The New iMac – It’s another terrific design from Apple – and a whole lot of power for the money. I’m not so sure about the slot-loading optical drive. It’s not for me, though. I’m STILL waiting for my G5 Powerbook.

Hurricanes – Charley, then Frances, and now Ivan. This season, Florida and the Caribbean don’t look quite like the paradise from a Jimmy Buffett song.

Sick of "I Love The 70’s" – Not just the VH1 series, the Presidential campaign!

Post-Labor Day Traffic – Schools are open, everyone is back at work, and traffic is back to it’s normal, non-summer mess. When you toss in all the major road construction projects we have in the DC area, I feel sorry for anyone not local whose trying to make their way through this nightmare.

2 Comments Friday Random Rants

  1. Jeff

    Vito- I gotta disagree about the iMac. The new one is stunning. And, as hard as it is to say, it’s almost a ‘good value’, at least in the Apple world. It looks far nicer than a G4 iMac (and this coming from someone who’s lucky enough to have one on his school desk).

    Tom Toles was onto something with his Florida cartoon yesterday.

    Tim- Does wordpress allow a ‘preview’ for comments?

Comments are closed.

Friday Random Rants

Arrest That Man – The Tanzanian police should have locked Colin’s ass in jail! For acting like a very ugly American if nothing else. If you have no idea what I’m talking about then you are missing a great guilty pleasure.

Run, Adam, Run – Adam Felber is finally starting his campaign for President. It’s about time he got out there and did something about fixing the country’s problems!

WinXP SP2 – The Big Monopoly unleashed the hotly anticipated update for Windows less than a month ago and someone has already found a security "crater" in the software. In the meantime, large users of the BM’s software (including my overly large school system) are refusing to install SP2 until they can get patches for all the programs, including some from the BM itself, that are "having issues" with it. I tried to install SP2 on my computer – but my Mac just laughed!

Storm Troopers 2004 – Does this remind anyone else of a bad sci-fi movie?

Friday Random Rants

Hole-y Browser, Batman! – Our ever vigilant Department of Homeland Security has come to the conclusion that Internet Explorer has so many security bugs that people should stop using it all together. Most people I know moved on to Mozilla, Firefox, Safari, Netscape or Opera a long time ago. I wonder how long it will take before someone declares Windows to be a security risk as well. [thanks to Slashdot for the link]

Lost Another One – If anyone out there is looking for a job, the DC Public Schools still needs a superintendent. This week, their third (or maybe fourth) choice to run the system decided he had better things to do with his life than get pecked to death. The problem is that these guys actually expect to be able to run the District schools rather than sharing control with the Mayor, the city council, Congress, the district court, half a dozen unions, a variety of parent groups, and the school board.

Rings of Saturn – NASA has scored another hit with their Cassini probe to Saturn. Like the Mars Rover pictures from a few months back, the images coming from this satellite are stunning. And this is just the start as the tour will continue with flybys of some of Saturn’s moons. The pictures should serve to remind us that there is a lot of mystery and wonder out there – if we can ever stop fighting long enough to look.

The FCC – Since they showed Janet Jackson’s "wardrobe malfunction" at the Super Bowl in February, the FCC wants to fine each of the CBS-owned local stations $27,500 each. This is equivalent to the police stopping a bus and giving a speeding ticket to each of the passengers. But the FCC has no power to fine the network or MTV (who produced the program) or any of the performers or the NFL. And, of course, if they don’t fine someone, the moral structure of the country will come apart at the seams. We must be protected!