Saturday, May 07, 2005

Torpedos on the starboard bow!

Entrepreneurs Pitch "Code Boat" For Near-Shore IT Outsourcing :
Two California entrepreneurs are developing an IT services business plan that reads like a CIO's paradise: sharply lower IT prices coupled with easy access to software and engineering outsourcing developers just a short boat ride away.

It's the "Code Boat," a plan by David Cook and Roger Green, the founders of SeaCode. Their venture calls for staffing a cruise ship three miles off the Southern California coast with customer IT specialists and then making the ship available to IT headquarters staffers through a short water taxi ride.
Their idea has drawn some criticism from critics who are labeling it a "slave ship" and a "sweatshop," prompting some to doubt SeaCode will ever get launched.

Not so, say Cook and Green, who say they plan to pay engineers and software developers well. The believe they can skirt H-1B visa regulations by categorizing their specialists as "seamen" and who would therefore be able to visit the U.S. mainland on shore passes.
Time for some privateers.

But wait, there's more good news - Bill would protect illegal immigrant drivers' cars from impound lot:
SACRAMENTO -- Stymied in his efforts to allow illegal immigrants to get driver's licenses, Sen. Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, has found a backdoor way around the ban with a proposal that would exempt undocumented motorists from vehicle-impound laws.

Under current law, for 30 days police can impound the vehicle of a motorist caught driving without a valid license. Cedillo's bill would exempt those who don't have a license simply because they are not legal U.S. residents.
What's wrong with this picture?
"If you're a citizen and you break one law, your car will be impounded for 30 days. If you're already breaking another law and you break this law, you get away with it free. It's a 'Get-your-car-out-of-impound-free card' for illegal aliens, and it's wrong."
Yeah, that's it.

Take that, you young whippersnappers!

A race to the wire as old hand at Morse code beats txt msgrs:
The race to transmit a simple message, staged by an Australian museum, was won — at a dash — by a 93-year-old telegraph operator who tapped it out using the simple system which was devised by Samuel Morse in 1832 and was the mainstay of maritime communication up until 1997.

Gordon Hill, who learnt to use the technique in 1927 when he joined the Australian Post Office, easily defeated his 13-year-old rival, Brittany Devlin, who was armed with a mobile phone and a rich vocabulary of text message shorthand. Mr Hill, whose messages were transcribed by another telegraph veteran, Jack Gibson, 82, then repeated the feat against three other children and teenagers with mobile phones.
And lest you think that the test was some tedious snippet from the Great Books:
In the competition, at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Mr Hill and his rivals were asked to transmit a line selected at random from an advertisement in a teenage magazine.

It read: “Hey, girlfriend, you can text all your best pals to tell them where you are going and what you are wearing.” While the telegraphist tapped out the line in full, to be deciphered by Mr Gibson, Miss Devlin employed text slang to save time. She keyed: “hey gf u can txt ur best pals 2 tel them wot u r doing, where ur going and wot u r wearing.”
For us geezers there's always the lingo2word translator.

Someone needs more fiber in their diet

Astrologer to sue NASA:
Moscow - A Russian court ruled that an astrologer could proceed with a lawsuit against the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration for plans to bombard a comet whose destruction would "disrupt the natural balance of the universe", said Itar-Tass on Friday.
Do tell!
Star-reader Marina Bai's case was thrown out of a lower court because Russia had no jurisdiction over Nasa.

But, the ruling was overturned when her lawyer, Alexandra Molokhova, was able to show that the agency's office in the US embassy in Moscow did fall under Russian jurisdiction.
Call me old fashioned, but I thought an embassy was technically the territory of the country whose embassy it is. If not, I suggest we round up about a hundred SWAT teams and pay some folks in NY and Washington a visit.
Bai seeks a ruling that would restrict Nasa in its plans to annihilate a section of the Tempel 1 comet in a project that has been dubbed "Deep Impact", as well as punitive damages of 8.7 billion roubles...

"My client believes the Nasa project infringes on her spiritual and life values as well as the natural life of the cosmos and would disrupt the natural balance of forces in the universe," Molokhova was quoted as saying.

The lawyer said Tempel 1 had sentimental value to Bai because her grandparents met when her grandfather pointed the comet out to his future wife.
Bummer! On the other hand, gramps gets points for coming up with a new line: "Hey baby! Want to see my comet?"
In a $279m project, Nasa in January launched the Deep Impact spacecraft which will travel to the comet and release an "impactor" - a 370kg self-guided mass - on US Independence Day (July 4) which is expected to create a crater that could be as large as a football stadium.

Scientists believe the exposed material from the resulting crater will yield clues to the formation of the solar system and provide important information on altering the course of comets or asteroids on a collision course with Earth.

Effects of the collision will be visible from Earth with an amateur telescope, according to the mission's website.
Cool! Fireworks! Ole Marina's really going to be pissed if we have to nuke one some day to prevent an impact.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Gosh, that'll do it!

Japan threatens N Korea with UN:
Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura has again warned North Korea to return to nuclear talks or face being taken to the UN Security Council.
I bet that fat, fuzzy-headed wingnut that runs North Korea is shaking in his slippers.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Today's Hoot!

Not the one that played Knute Rockne:
O'Brien says that is not him - it's the booze talking, but he admits it is his voice on the recordings. Clearly the booze has a way with words.

Must resist...

It's our reputation, monsieur!

Huge gales of laughter - Chirac: French reputation at stake in EU treaty vote:
The French president, Jacques Chirac, warned last night that France would no longer be taken seriously on the international stage if it rejected the European constitution on May 29.
He's kidding, right? But you know how it is with Jacques - it's all about the Frenchies:
In an attempt to sway voters in the debate about French sovereignty and cultural identity, Mr Chirac said the constitution was the "daughter" of the 1789 French revolution and enshrined the country's values of human rights and democracy.
And pusillanimous sticky fingered bureaucracy.
"It is essentially French-inspired," Mr Chirac said.
They ought to put that on a warning label.
"One cannot say, 'I am European and I vote no to the constitution'. It is not honest."
I guess it makes sense to ole Jacques who's the soul of honesty. But here's the really delusional stuff:
"If France were to say no to the treaty, what do you think the very next day would be the power of the French voice in the council of ministers, in the G8 meetings?

"How do you think France would be treated by the United Nations in September?"
And the problem is what, exactly? The other kids are going to kick sand in their face because the citizenry rejected a bloated international bureacracy? On second thought, that'll make the kleptocrats at the United Nations real nervous indeed.

I want one!

Walk the streets in your 4m robot-suit:
AS the world gears up for the latest Star Wars movie, fans of the films can have their own Pod walker.

Japan's Sakakibara Machinery Works has unveiled its version of a sit-in walking robot, dubbed Land Walker 2. The 3.4m, one-tonne robot walks at 1.5km/h.
A tad slow, but no worries finding a good spot in the infield at your next NASCAR race!
Air guns on each side of robot shoot a rubber ball 20-30m. The company sells it for 36 million yen ($43,500).
Reasonable too! Of course, it'll cost a little to upgrade the armament.
However owners are advised that these land walkers are vulnerable to hostile Ewoks and Wookies.
Pesky lawyers always spoil the fun with disclaimers.

More here including video. (Hat tip: Gizmodo)

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

There had to be a downside

Crackdown on lobbyists hits felons, too:
Lobbyists were in an uproar Monday over a proposal to ban felons from lobbying the Florida Legislature.

It was a last-minute amendment to Senate President Tom Lee's proposal to bring greater scrutiny to the lawmaking process.

Lee said he was unaware that any lobbyists had felony records until telephone calls and notes started pouring into the Senate chamber.
Ruh Oh!
The bill, which would require lobbyists to report the dollars they spend wining and dining lawmakers, passed the Senate 37-1.
The only senator to vote against the bill was Larcenia Bullard, D-Miami, who said it was "a slap in the face to think I'd sell my vote" to a lobbyist. She said the law will prohibit camaraderie among lobbyists and members.
So that's what they call it! Larcenia seems aptly named.

Quick, somebody page Kofi!

Peru outraged by Chile airline ad:
A Chilean airline promotional video allegedly depicting Lima as a pigsty has sparked a row between Peru and its Latin American neighbour.

Peru's government says it is suing a unit of the Chilean airliner [sic] LAN over the material which it says misrepresents the capital Lima.
It is angry at an in-flight video about Peru which included old images of a man urinating in the street and gutters filled with litter.

Members of congress complained that the video, which was intended to promote adventure tourism, showed Peru as a pigsty.
I thought "adventure tourism" was jungles and deserts and stuff, not slums. Hmm, this may be a clever idea!
This latest spat appears to have revived old grievances.

Peru will also protest to Santiago over alleged armed [sic] sales to Ecuador in the 1990s when the two nations were at war.
Must have missed that one.
The main newspapers in Peru on Saturday expressed their outrage with headlines such as "Protest" and "Chile Must Explain Itself".

The South American neighbours have had erratic relations since Chile claimed part of Peru during a war over a century ago.
Sheesh! It sounds about right for Kofi though. He can tap the US taxpayers in order to send in some UN peacekeepers and arrange for a flock of bureaucrats to pad their expense accounts studying the problem in five star hotels for about a decade or so. Of course, the kid in the picture better hide when the peacekeepers show up.

It's a start

It's mistitled since the only immigration involved is illegal, but House, Senate Accept Immigration Proposal:
Motor vehicle bureaus would require four types of identification from Americans seeking driver's licenses under a proposed law designed to prod states into verifying the citizenship of applicants.

Uniform requirements for driver's license applications were among proposals accepted by House and Senate negotiators trying to resolve differences in their versions of a bill to pay for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan
A copy of the legislation, obtained by The Associated Press, indicated an applicant for a driver's license would be asked to show a birth certificate, a photo ID, proof of Social Security number, and a document with full name and home address. How it would affect the renewal of licenses for U.S. citizens was unclear.
The assumption that current licensees are US citizens is unwarranted, but I get the idea.
Motor vehicle departments would be required to verify the documents and Social Security number.
Easier said than done, of course.
States still could give licenses to illegal immigrants, but they would have different designs or colors to alert security officers that they are unacceptable as IDs for boarding planes or entering federal buildings.
Er, why do they get licenses? I at least hope they're required to point them away from the "motor voter" registration.
The driver's license requirements were part of a House plan that Senate representative accepted on Monday. Congressional aides, speaking on condition of anonymity, said negotiators were still apart on whether to devote $4 million each to a Fire Science Academy in Elko, Nev., and environment cleanup of a former Energy Department site in New Mexico.
The wheels of Congress are lubricated with pork fat.
Also in dispute was about $600 million in the Senate version of the bill to hire 1,000 border patrol officers and other immigration agents and provide 2,000 new beds for detainees.
Gosh, if you cut back on a Fire Academy here and there, you could afford to protect the border!
Negotiators also accepted a House proposal to allow the Homeland Security secretary to bypass U.S. laws to build border barriers, including the remainder of a fence on the California-Mexico border.
Translation: the ecoweenies can't block it with endless lawsuits.
Governors and state motor vehicle departments had opposed the driver's license provisions as too costly. They also complained state motor vehicle officials will be forced to take on the role of immigration officers.
Er, actually it sounds like they're being asked to do their part to fight identity fraud by dispensing correct legal documents.
Civil liberties and gun rights supporters opposed the measure on privacy grounds, saying they fear driver's licenses will evolve into a national identification card.
How does this expose one's privacy any more than today's driver's license? I'm also puzzled how gun rights come into this, but I never doubt the AP. But here's a flash: driver's licenses (and the associated nondriver ID cards in most states) are already de facto national ID cards. All this does is establish uniform standards and prevent identity fraud. Or it might, if the usual pandering politicians, hungry for illegal alien votes, don't manage to sabotage it.

And speaking of driver's licenses, there's this charming tale from New York:
The man charged with killing a New City mother and then taunting her family and friends with 51 calls from her cell phone was wanted on a 2002 warrant accusing him of beating up a Ramapo woman, police said yesterday.

Mary Nagle, 42, was strangled Friday after she was beaten, stabbed and sexually assaulted in her home, the county medical examiner's autopsy revealed yesterday.

A man identified by his California driver's license as Douglas Martin Herrera, 39, has been charged with first- and second-degree murder.
Clarkstown police said yesterday that they were investigating the Guatemalan-born man's identity, age and status in the United States through a nationwide criminal DNA database and the U.S. Citizens and Immigration Services.
The police investigation into Herrera's background found he had used different names and birth dates at various times.

When arrested Friday, he had a valid California driver's license that listed his name as Douglas Martin Herrera and his age as 39.

In July 2002, Ramapo police arrested him under the name Ronald Douglas, with a different birth date, on a misdemeanor charge of third-degree assault, according to a Ramapo police report obtained yesterday.
Delo said detectives suspected that Herrera's California driver's license contained phony information.
Ya think?

It had to happen

Jennifer Wilbanks Runaway Bride Found On My Toast!!!!

Knickers in a twist alert!

PBS fights effort to ensure objectivity:
AFTER BEING American television’s home for left-wing political and cultural programming for decades, PBS suddenly is horrified that politics has reared its ugly head at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. What a hoot.
Perhaps this little spat will illustrate to liberals the pitfalls of taking government money. As long as PBS takes money from taxpayers, who include large numbers of conservatives, it has no right to complain when conservatives ask for balance.
Better yet, kick them off the gravy train.

Monday, May 02, 2005

I laughed, I cried, I nearly filled my shorts

V-Day meets P-Day on campus. As Ace observes:
A must-read. It's got everything -- sex, double-standards, the anti-male agenda, the ludicrous PC posturing of college students and administrators... plus a walking phallus named "Testaclese," photographed reading Michael Barone's Hard America, Soft America.
Needless to say, Testaclese has a web site and they have a snap of the Provost receiving his award, not to mention the posters.

Morbidly obese, "mentally challenged" and obnoxious - yep, that's Rosie!

John Robertson:
I'm sending this to all my discerning friends.

There is a very special movie on television tonight. Please make time for it in your schedule.

Rosie O'Donnell costars with Andie McDowell in a CBS Hallmark presentation of "Riding the Bus With My Sister," the story of a fat-ass retard who is so effing obnoxious you want to shoot her in the back of the head, but political correctness demands that we air stories where we find value, and learn lessons from, people we wouldn't want carrying our morning paper in from the curb. Perhaps you have seen the promos on TV the last few days. Rosie, who apparently took the role because it would require her to gain weight, does a blank-eyed stare and speaks in a honking voice that seems to issue from both the top of her septum and the bottom of her throat at the same time. It sounds like a dying sea lion, but without the dignity. She also waddles down the street like a walrus, great gobs of flesh pounding the concrete sidewalk shores as she moves (and showing impressions where she passed?). Andie McDowell, the beautiful normal sister, in a closeup in the promo, tries to show concern for this literal albatross of a sister she can't get away from (I don't know the story, but I think it's about the Andie character trying to flee this piece of family crap, and the Rosie character hijacks buses and chases her down, so there's no escape; apparently she needs a bus because no other vehicle will hold her), but Andie's eyes betray her: They shout, What the hell am I doing in this turd, trying to look like I care?! Apparently O'Donnell took the role not only because it was "important," but because playing a fat-ass retard didn't require her to stretch at all. The lighting looks flat, the dialogue sounds stilted...the special moments are going to gag 90% percent of the audience (if they hang in there long enough to see them), and make the other 10% feel really,, really, really sensitive to the...uh, plight of these people with very special needs.

The only people who come off looking good are the millions of truly impaired/special needs people, who have never once been portrayed accurately in either a feature or a television movie. Actors take these parts because they need to rehabilitate or get an award nomination, or both. Rosie WILL get awards nominations for her "courageous" portrayal of an incredibly fat woman with an annoying voice. Some of the noms will garner actual awards, and she will land on the cover of one or more of the weeklies, and the headline will run something along the lines of, "Rosie's Back!"

Thank you, CBS, for airing one version or another of the same movie for four decades.
The Defamer - Another One Rides The Bus:
This article got us lost in one of our favorite fantasies: the pitch meeting that spawned the project. “Okay, it’s like The Other Sister, but without any of the production values. Movie of the Week, baby. Throw it on CBS, their audience is so old they’ll think it’s Rosie’s old talk show doing a remote from a bus. Is Rosie actually retarded? No? F*ck yeah. It’s got Emmy scribbled all over its ass!”
Just dang! Ace live-blogged it!

And did you know that Rosie has a blog? (Hat tip: SondraK.) The drivel she posts ("peace out stranger friends") is bad enough, but they have turned on comments so her fans can gush over the movie. Too bad they're moderated.

Update: SondraK has some of the choicer comments. I like the one who started emulating Rosie's character.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Sunday Brunch

Little Oscar has left the building

Republicans Redefine 'Majority' to Fit Current Usage:
Republicans in the House and Senate today introduced bills which would redefine the word "majority" to mean "a group compelled to do the will of a smaller group."

The change in definition is designed to bring the word back in line with current usage and practice, according to an unnamed Senate source.

The new definition of majority should help Republicans "deflect criticism from staunch conservatives who believe the antiquated, intolerant concept that 'majority rule' requires the more numerous group to prevail," the source said.
More help for "the new neighbors":
Some buyers lack federal W-2 forms from their employers, but they qualify for mortgages because many of the country's biggest lenders have adopted creative credit practices.

Countrywide's Optimum Loan Program, launched in June, provides loans to qualified buyers with nontraditional credit, such as rent and utility bill receipts, and whose income is received in cash.
Sound like a risky loan? Not in Wisconsin!:
MILWAUKEE - In a pilot program described as the first of its kind, an agency created by the state government is making it easier for illegal immigrants in Wisconsin to obtain mortgage loans.
Some banks already issue mortgage loans to illegal immigrants, but WHEDA is believed to be the first and only quasi-government organization to buy such loans from the banks...
'Wine terrorists' make streets run with Rioja :
"I count myself lucky," says the driver, Francico Paque, 42, who was asleep in his cabin earlier when masked militants blew a hole in his diesel tank with a shotgun and set the leaking fuel on fire. "If I hadn't been woken by the explosion I could have burnt to death where I lay," he says.
Cheers erupt as 30,000 bottles worth of Spanish wine gush out of the hijacked tanker, pumping a blood-red river down the street of a village in the south of France.

In front of our eyes, the region's wine "terrorists" - blamed for a string of recent bomb and incendiary attacks - have struck again.
Castro and Chavez in business suits in Havana. There's no business like thug business!

Thumbs Up for '08 For the Kerry Clan. Be still, my heart!

UN peacekeepers sexually abused Liberia women, girls. No word on the local goats. And wouldn't it be easier just to list the countries where there was no abuse?

Annan talks of 'lynch mob' determined to destroy him. I guess he's getting desperate. The worst ole Kofi is going to get out of his and his cronies' rapacity and malfeasance is a luxury retirement package funded primarily by the American taxpayers.

Court clerk filmed up women’s skirts with hidden video camera:
A HIGH Court clerk from Amersham has spoken of his "deep regret" after being convicted of secretly filming up women's skirts.

Michael Hill, 59, blamed the death of his mother for taking pictures of victims with a video camera hidden inside a black holdall.
Now there's an excuse Kofi ought to try out!