Gulf Oil Spill – Perspective

May 30, 2010

Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Ixtoc 1

UPDATE: More oil spills here… and it DOESN’T mention the Deepwater rig or Valdez.

This is a very good overview, with BALANCE (in others words NOT bleeding with environmental tears) of the Gulf oil spill. Surprisingly when I checked to see who wrote it I was a little amazed that it’s a guy running for Congress in Massachusetts.

Good quote:

Ixtoc 1 is the second largest oil spill in history, eclipsed only by the intentional oil spill by Saddam Hussein’s army as it retreated from Kuwait in 1991. Estimate of Ixtoc 1 volume is 150M gallons of oil. Iraqi deliberate oil spill: 400M gallons. Current, and obviously rough, estimates of Deepwater Horizon oil spill: 20M gallons of oil. Exxon Valdez: 10M gallons.

It would be very interesting to look into the public perception of how big the Exxon Valdez spill was compared to the Gulf. Environmental issues are SO blown out of proportion by the media that I’m guess more people think the Valdez was the mother of all oil spills.


Switching to Android

May 28, 2010

Sayonara, iPhone: Why I’m Switching to Android – Newsweek

Interesting article… after reading it I found myself wondering why I don’t like Apple. Not just because I’ve used a PC all my life, but the fact that their products are sold as sort of an altruistic technology – which in itself sounds pretty ridiculous.

I encountered an Apple faithful once who swore their old Apple computer never broke down and I asked, “Then why is there a store near where I work that has a sign saying ‘Will Fix Broken Macs’? It’s been there for years and they seem to be doing good business.”

She didn’t know what to say… apparently the idea that technology never breaks down has been sold well by Apple. In my opinion, it’s been sold too well.

News came out today that Apple is a bigger company than Microsoft… even a co-worker of mine commented about the headline. What he was missing is that 99% of computers in the business world, where the real work occurs, are PCs.

And here’s a telling portion of the article above related to that:

I was a little shocked recently when an Apple spokesbot responded to the news of Android’s outselling iPhone OS by reciting the old chestnut about Apple’s having more phones out there.

I was shocked because it’s a familiar line, one that I’ve heard countless times in my 20-plus years covering technology. But I’ve only ever heard it from companies that are doomed and in total denial about it.

We’ve seen this movie before. In the 1980s, Apple jumped out to an early lead in personal computers, but then got selfish. Steve Jobs, a notorious control freak, just could not play well with others.

Along came Microsoft, with Windows, which was a knockoff of Apple’s operating system. Microsoft partnered with everyone and today has 90 percent market share, while Apple’s share lingers in the single digits.

Today the battlefield is mobile devices, and just as before, Apple jumped out to an early lead. And just as before, Jobs got selfish. He won’t support Flash, or any cross-platform tools—because he wants developers locked into his platform, and his App Store, where he collects a 30 percent commission.

He’s created his own advertising platform, and stacked the deck in his favor by refusing to share user data with other platforms. On that one he’ll take a 40 percent slice, thank you very much.

He’s even censoring content, ruling out material that he deems to be offensive. Not just porn, but anything that’s racy or suggestive, or that “ridicules public figures.”

What makes this even more insulting is that Jobs tries to dress up his selfishness as a kind of altruism. He says it’s all about creating a beautiful experience, that while he may be selling you an intentionally crippled device, he’s doing it for your own good.

Well, bull. The truth is, this is about Apple wringing every last dime out of its ecosystem and leaving nothing on the table for anyone else.

Euro Is Dead

May 21, 2010

Whatever Germany does, the euro as we know it is dead – Telegraph

Been watching this one for a while now… first I thought claims of euro demise were preliminary desires of those hopeful of a European collapse. But this article is much more emphatic that former speculations are becoming an unavoidable certainty.

Good quotes:

The game is up for a monetary union that was meant to bolt together work-and-save citizens in northern Europe with the party animals of Club Med. No amount of pit props from Berlin can save the euro Mk I from collapsing under the weight of its structural dysfunctionality. You cannot run indefinitely a single currency with one interest rate for 16 economies, when there are such huge fiscal disparities.

And another… this is the stuff of which World Wars are created:

Protecting the euro has become a project via which profligate states dip their fingers in Berlin’s till. Germany is taking on nasty obligations without gaining ownership of the assets. Germany’s version of The Sun, Bild Zeitung, feeds its readers a regular diet of stories about the way ordinary Germans are being taken for mugs. Trust has turned to suspicion. Next stop is divorce.

Florida Tar Balls Not From Gulf – MSM Disappointed

May 19, 2010 – Florida Tar Balls Not Linked to Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

Yes, the Gulf spill is big. Yes, it will cripple tourism and fishing industries along with other coastal interests.

But it is NOT the end of the world and a real question remains unanswered: WHERE’S THE OIL?

Well There You Have It

May 18, 2010

Today was very productive… unusual.

Okay, here’s a bit of honesty. I struggle with motivation at work and sometimes will “mail it in” if I’m feeling tired or bored.

I hate that.

Seriously, I’m paid good money and feel a responsibility to turn in a good 8 hours work. Except I don’t, and that’s always bothered me.

So lately I’ve been starting my day out with a little prayer asking God’s blessing. And I know others will look at this and say it has nothing to do with God but just me buckling down, but I have been motivated to not only work at work but to work at home as well.

I have a laptop and can log into the network from home, so other than a slower residential network I can pretty much do everything at home that I would be able to do at work. And things have been kind of busy at work, with a lot of interruptions to the point that I started looking at things I could do at home. And tonight it sort of exploded into a BUNCH of things…

Resolved a problem with a license server, fixed a backup program that stopped working, and wrote up a detailed explanation of all the servers that I had promised my admin team.

In addition to that I used my frequent flyer miles to book airfare to Oklahoma to see my daughter next month, and sent in a form the lawyer needed for finishing my son’s conservatorship case.

Crap… I might be too wound up to go to sleep tonight!

Seriously – it feels good to be productive. I know others won’t buy into it but I honestly believe it’s God honoring my prayers. He’s just that good to me.

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Random Writings

May 16, 2010

Sunday morning and waiting before heading off to church.

I started attending a church in Milpitas that had a sign out front saying, “Come as you are”. That sounded about right… not that I was looking for something totally non-judgmental but there’s a failure to life that has to be accommodated by churches.

So today she asked if it would be okay if she went also… interesting. She’s Buddhist and I’m pretty sure has never been to an evangelical church before. And since we’re in an argument right now I don’t expect this will turn out very good… not the way I imagined it would introduce her to Christianity.

So what do I do? Attempt to resolve the argument before leaving in 10 minutes?

Not sure… will try to report what happens later on.

Bush’s Fault

May 16, 2010
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This says it all… coming, by the way, from a noted liberal Democrat.