obscure pursuits

two purchases I wish I had waited on but couldn’t

Apple Unveils Mac mini with Intel Core Duo:

The new Mac mini with the Intel Core Duo processor delivers performance up to four times faster than its predecessor in the same innovative and incredibly compact design.

Dammit. This wasn’t expected til June. And it has an audio line-in (that mine doesn’t) in addition to being 4x faster.


This just illustrates the rule that the best time to buy a computer is always Right Now. It may be cheaper next week, but what will be available the week after that for which you will wish you had waited?

Seriously, the iMac we just got is fine. Faster is always better, but I suspect the price of the new one would mean we didn’t get anything. But the mini . . . as underpowered as it seems sometimes (at a blazing 1.42GHz, though much of the sluggishness is due to not having enough RAM), I would welcome a two-fold increase, let alone four-fold, especially at the same price.

C’est la vie. Dammit.


Wish I’d said that

Stupid is as stupid does…:

It had never occurred to me before how hard it must be to be stupid in a world that values information, and the ability to interpret it, above all else. It’s no wonder these people are pissed off; especially when, as Sullivan says, “It cannot be blamed away.” That these philistines, in a desperate search for validation, have retreated into theologies that celebrate ignorance, and voted ignorant people into office should come as no surprise. They have no place in the modern world, they know it, and so they’re fighting desperately to change it.

I think he hits the nail so firmly on the head as to obliterate it. The Apotheosis of the Yahoo continues.

family fun

blackmailing, the new way

The party of integrity, wah?

Think Progress » The Minnesota GOP’s Stealth Attack On Privacy:

This week the Minnesota Republican Party is distributing a new CD about a proposed state marriage amendment. Along with flashy graphics, the CD asks people their views on controversial issues such as abortion, gun control, illegal immigration, and so on.

The problem – the CD sends your answers back to headquarters, filed by name, address, and political views. No mention of that in the terms of use. No privacy policy at all. The story concludes: “So if you run the CD in your personal computer, by the end of it, the Minnesota GOP will not only know what you think on particular issues, but also who you are.”

These practices fall way below the standard for today’s polling firms and web sites. The norm for polling firms is to anonymize the data and report only statistical totals. The norm for commercial web sites is to have a privacy policy, with Federal Trade Commission enforcement if the web site breaks its privacy promise.

Without a privacy policy, the state party can tell your views to anyone at all. If you give the “wrong” answers on abortion or other issues, they can tell your boss, members of your church, or anyone else. In fact, these answers could get distributed to campaigns in your town during get-out-the-vote efforts – precisely the place where “wrong” answers can be most damaging.

Sure, that will be a great thing, to have some slimy operative calling your neighbors to tell them how you answered some of their questions . . . .

Of course, where this would have been national news during the Clinton years, it will barely rate a mention except on “far-left” websites.


the Bush/bin Laden ticket – Bush: Bin Laden helped me, book says – Feb 28, 2006:

“Anything that drops in at the end of a campaign that is not already decided creates all kinds of anxieties, because you’re not sure of the effect.”I thought it was going to help,” Bush said. “I thought it would help remind people that if bin Laden doesn’t want Bush to be the president, something must be right with Bush.”

3000 Americans died on his watch, 2200 uniformed service people have been killed, with 15,000 wounded or disabled, 10s of thousands of Iraqis have been killed: Osama bin Forgotten is still a free man, and is considered a political asset to this president, by this president.

Worst. President. Ever.