Archive for January 18, 2008

Why Apple’s Design Is Excellent

January 18, 2008

This is the Toshiba Portege R500, which many people have been comparing to the new MacBook Air.


Even closed, it looks pretty slick:


But turn it over and it’s a horror show:


This is what the bottom of the Macbook Air looks like by contrast:

Photo by Ken Christ

And that’s why Apple’s designs are excellent and why they gets oohs and ahhs from everyone. Art first, engineering second.

J.K. Rowling: A Year In The Life

January 18, 2008


Thanks to a correspondent in England and the magic of AllPeers, I got a copy of a recent broadcast TV documentary about the creator of Harry Potter, writer J.K. Rowling.

I got this a few days after it aired but was only able to carve out the hour needed to watch it today.

I haven’t read any of her work. If I ever intend to read her Potter series, I’ll have to set aside a huge chunk of time in case I want to read all of them. I couldn’t go into it trying the first without being prepared to be able to continue. (I could wind up hating it and stopping after a few paragraphs, but I would still have to prepare that chunk of time.)

But I don’t have to be interested in a writer’s work to be interested in the writer.

Someone uploaded the documentary to YouTube, but it was DMCA-excised. They missed two parts of it someone else stashed away, however, which you can view here:

The second part, below, shows the best moment in the documentary: the completion of the final Potter book.

What’s missing is the worldwide countdown for the midnight sale of the final book and other interesting things. So I’ve taken screensnaps.


So How Did Meltdown Friday Do?

January 18, 2008


Earlier today:


It’s clear there’s only one thing to do Monday morning: Sell!

More About Trent Reznor And Saul Williams

January 18, 2008

Don’t miss lessons Radiohead, Trent Reznor offer

Musicians aren’t merchants.

We certainly learned that through Radiohead and Trent Reznor’s separate experiments with choose-your-price album promotions.

Key quote:

“Trent thinks that (150,000 downloads) is bad?” [Chris] Castle [music business professional] asked. “I’ll tell you bad. Bad is zero. Bad is when you spend $100,000 on marketing and tour support and you got nothing. Do you know how hard it is to go from a cold start and just get 1,000 people to listen to an album? Welcome to the music business, Trent.”


Don’t forget here: Trent Reznor Meets Real Life And Weeps and The New School: Saul Williams Vs. Trent Reznor.

Alan Greenspan Knew The Truth…

January 18, 2008


From page 226 of The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill by Ron Suskind:

Greenspan listened to the give-and-take with impatience. Yes, yes, we know all that. “I get back to corporate financial policy:dividends, stock options, incentives.”

He wanted the causal logic he and O’Neill embraced to be so compelling it could not be denied. “Before 1980, share buybacks were discouraged,” Greenspan said. “Returns were driven by dividends. Earnings are a very dubious measure…” And he began to pull apart the gold standard — earnings per share — that drove markets, expectations, hope and fear. There are so many tools a CEO can use to “craft” an earnings statement, so many ways to mislead. “All asset values, after all, are just based on a forecast…” The group was following his every word, but the chairman did not see in their gazes an outrage to match his own. He clapped his hand on the table and raised his voice. “There’s been too much gaming of the system until it is broke. Capitalism is not working! There has been a corrupting of the system of capitalism.”

… it’s just too damned bad he never said this in public to the rest of us!

Reference: Herbert W. Armstrong’s Prophecies

January 18, 2008

Herbert W. Armstrong’s 209 False Prophecies

The Most Comprehensive Listing of Herbert Armstrong’s 52 year record of False Prophesies ever made.


Herbert W. Armstrong’s Worldwide Church of God: A Non-Prophet Organization

Such as:

108) March 1950 PT [Plain Truth magazine]: “One third of our people will die from starvation … – and in the next FEW YEARS!” Is 48 years just “a FEW YEARS!”?

Soon 58 years… hmmmm, how many time cycles is that?

Reference: NNDB

January 18, 2008

What is NNDB?

NNDB is an intelligence aggregator that tracks the activities of people we have determined to be noteworthy, both living and dead. Superficially, it seems much like a “Who’s Who” where a noted person’s curriculum vitae is available (the usual information such as date of birth, a biography, and other essential facts.)

But it mostly exists to document the connections between people, many of which are not always obvious. A person’s otherwise inexplicable behavior is often understood by examining the crowd that person has been associating with.

Eventually, we will have synopses and analyses of creative works by the people in the database, including their books, films, and recordings.

One guy will be pleased to see he’s listed.

01/18/08 Reading

January 18, 2008

Just read:


Rigged: The True Story of an Ivy League Kid Who Changed the World of Oil, From Wall Street to Dubai by Ben Mezrich

Now reading:


Ugly Americans: The True Story of the Ivy League Cowboys Who Raided the Asian Markets for Millions by Ben Mezrich

Two in a row for Mezrich. He does great work.

I’d like to see him tackle a bust, though. He’s done all wins so far.

How about this guy?

No Sympathy 101

January 18, 2008


HOWTO solve the sub-prime mortgage mess

I know not everybody starts life on the same starting line. And I feel for the people who did nothing but lose their job at the wrong time and got caught up in this whirlwind. The people I don’t have a lick of sympathy for are those idiots who make as much as I do, who are — on paper, at least — as educated as I am, who have no savings and no equity because they felt they just had to live in a McMansion and load up their credit cards with 60-inch home theater systems with 7.1 surround sound. No sir, not a lick of sympathy.

So, I’m not the only one who feels like that.

Hello. Welcome To Stock Meltdown Friday.

January 18, 2008


Just grabbed this from Drudge a little after 11:20AM EST.

Doesn’t look like a rebound to me.

It’s Friday. Stocks like to crash on Friday.

Friday’s not done yet.