Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Burned Rice

"A point-by-point analysis of how one of America's top national security officials has a severe problem with the truth." Burn.


Friday, March 26, 2004

Comcast Buys TechTV

Wired New reports that Comcast has bought the channel TechTV and plans to merge it with a channel called G4. There are a lot of open questions as to what TechTV programming will be nixed, whether the staff will be moved to L.A. or just laid off, etc.

One TechTV employee said:
"I overheard people saying it felt like we were all about to be laid off," the TechTV employee says, adding that some workers broke out champagne and scotch -– "whatever booze they had" -– and began drinking after the announcement. "It was like a party atmosphere," he says, "but in a bad way."
Fear of lay offs, drinking, depression -- sounds like a typical day for me.

The merger is really sad news for me. TechTV has some good tech-related programming that appeals to viewers of all ages (geek viewers, that is). I don't receive G4 (not on DirecTV), but I went to their website and it looks like it is geared towards the younger audience. G4 describes themselves as:
a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week television network dedicated to creating a lifestyle brand that is the source of entertainment, news and information about the interactive entertainment industry, including video, computer, online and wireless games, for young adults (18-34) and teens (12-17).
Looking at their list of programming, it looks like it is a 24-hour video game channel. Ugh. I'm not against video games, I just wish there was more variety.

Since TechTV is shown on a lot more cable/satellite systems than G4, I'm guessing Comcast's goal is for G4 to have a wider distribution.

This just in! G4 has now posted information about the merger on its website. Fortunately, it looks like they will be keeping Screen Savers and Fresh Gear. Unfortunately, it doesn't mention continuing Nerd Nation and Body Hits, two of the most original programs I've seen lately.

Do any of you lovely reader get G4? Have you watched it? What are your impressions?

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Yet Another Blog

Yes, we have three. This one is a photo blog (or "moblog" if you have one of those fancy mobile phones that takes pictures). We always see potentially funny or cool things while we are out and about, all the while wishing we had brought the digital camera with us. Never fear! We will carry it always! Mullet man sunbathing on Pioneer Square? *click!* Dog humping a fire hydrant? *click!* Check back often for great snapshots... and hey, why not start one of your own!

The Atlansky Photo Blog

For a limited time only, check out Buzznet's artwork community forum to see my recent painting, "Swiss Countryside". Currently available at the Spiral Gallery in Estacada!!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Here's some breaking beer news for your St. Patrick's Day: Beer bubbles do fall, scientists confirm

Oh, and don't drink the green beer.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Peace, Activism and Parenting

This article recently came to my attention... written by a mom of a 2 year old.

Here is a snippet: "But somewhere in my heart I hoped that the swords would all be plowshares before Glen got old enough to wave a sign and yell “Beece!” It wasn't that I didn't want Glen to be an activist; I didn't want him to need to be an activist. Sharing activism with Glen means admitting that I am passing on to him a world that is still thoroughly, miserably unsaved."

Thursday, March 11, 2004

They Are Not Evil

I recently found out about a great new record label called MagnaTune. They support the Creative Commons "some rights reserved" system, which allows derivative works, sampling and no-cost non-commercial use. On their website, you can listen entire albums in MP3 format; if you like one, you can download the entire album in CD quality WAV format (which you can then burn to CD). Artists get 50% of the purchase price and keep the rights to their music (unlike most record labels where they screw you).

You choose what you want to pay for an album (as little as $5). In addition, they have an automated licensing system where you can license songs for commercial and non-commercial use just by visiting their website.

They have some really great music there. Check out Drop Trio ("groove-oriented organ-based funk jazz trio") for an example.

For a good laugh, check out this conversation that one of the MagnaTune folks had with a "major record company executive" at a music conference recently.

Talk Radio For The Rest Of Us

March 31 marks the launch of a liberal talk radio station called Air America Radio. The conservatives have long tried to brainwash America into thinking that we have a "liberal media." Well, they will finally have a valid example.

It looks like there will be some great hosts, including Al Franken (hosting a show called "The O'Franken Factor"), Janeane Garafalo, Lizz Winstead (co-creator of the Daily Show), and Sue Ellicott. Check out schedule so far here: http://airamericaradio.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=26&Itemid=38

In addition to being broadcast in the "top U.S. markets", live streaming of Air America Radio shows, along with show archives, will be available on airamericaradio.com.

p.s. I just finished listening to the audiobook of Al Franken's Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right and it is terrific. He analyzes things that conservative talk show hosts and politicians say and easily points out their lies by actually doing research. Novel concept. Bonus: he's hilarious.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Sound Familiar?

The Anti-Miscegenation Amendment

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Nader Hates Liberals?

A friend of mine sent me a "interesting" article about Ralph Nader today from The New Republic. The article infuriated me! Hard to beleive, eh? ;)

The article in question can be found here: Make You Ralph

The article, written by Jonathan Chait, argues that Nader is a conspiracy nut; this seems to apply more to the author than to Nader. He spins events of Nader's career in an effort to prove that Nader is evil and is out to hurt the democrats.

In my review of this article, I am intentionally leaving out how I feel about Nader's positions, whether I voted for him in the past, and whether I will vote for him in the future; I don't want this to be an argument about whether Nader spoils elections. Regardless of my personal feelings about about Nader, I think the article has some serious problems.

First, he acts like Nader had no justification to think that GM was covering up what it knew about the Corvair. I found the following on the net (http://www.philpatton.com/corvair.htm):

"Still, the cover-up of the Corvair's problems and the paranoia that its revelation elicited from the top echelons of Detroit, the whole sordid story of the private detectives and the mysterious temptresses GM sent after Nader in an effort to discredit him, damaged the reputation of all Detroit.

GM president James Roche was forced to issue a humiliating apology to Nader in front of a Senate sub-committee, and the huge monetary settlement of Nader's civil suit against the auto giant funded his subsequent crusading."

Gee, I wonder why Nader was suspicious. Wouldn't you feel like a company is hiding something if they admittedly are trying to discredit you in less-than-wholesome ways? Plus, he talks about how Nader had a "grandious paranoia", then soon says, "Of course, it turned out that in that instance Nader was being followed."

Next, he talks about how Nader sabotages "the very causes he claims to believe in." He cites an example about how Nader attacked Ed Muskie over the Air Quality Act of 1967. The author doesn't give the whole story, though. A publication called The Rising Hegemony of Mass Opinion by Paul J. Quirck and Joseph Hinchliffe (http://www.igpa.uiuc.edu/publications/PolicyForum/hegemonyMS.pdf) talks about this. It states that in 1970, the public wanted tougher action against polluters than were required by the 1967 Act. Nader agreed with public opinion on this and his study that Chait notes was released to support stronger air quality reforms to the House Commerce Committee. In fact, the Quick publication states,

"With avid support from Senator Edmund Muskie, D-Maine, and his Public Works Subcommittee on Air and Water Pollution, the demands for stronger measures won out in the Senate. Muskie's response is widely attributed to a sharp attack on his environmental record in a report by a Ralph Nader study group. Muskie, considered a leading contender for the 1972 Democratic presidential nomination, responded by reporting a bill with air-pollution standards that were a quantum leap beyond those that had been advocated by the administration or adopted by the House."

So, Nader was just supporting the same thing as Muskie. His biting report caused Muskie to create a stronger Clean Air Act in 1970.

I don't have time to research everything the Chait article says, but from what I've seen, he seems to be omitting some important information in order to plead his ridiculous case.

His conclusions are just as insane. He states, "Nader is not a heroic figure tragically overcome by his own flaws; he is a selfish, destructive maniac who, for a brief historical period, happened upon a useful role" and "Liberals assume Nader tried to maximize his vote total without regard to how it affected Bush and Gore. The truth is that he actively sought to help Bush, even at the expense of his own vote total." What? Where in the article does he support his assertion that Nader sought to help Bush? Because Nader went to battleground states? Did this author realize Nader was RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT?? Presidential candidates like to win battleground states!

It looks to me like Nader insists on standing up for what he believes, regardless of who he crosses. I realize that this is strange in a political world where it is all too common to recklessly support your friends and campaign contributors.

(BTW, Jonathan Chait also hated Howard Dean enough to maintain a blog called Diary of a Dean-o-Phobe)

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