Archive for March 11, 2008

Eliot Spitzer: Closet Crybaby?

March 11, 2008

Dr. Laura Blames Spitzer’s Wife

VIEIRA: Do you think women play any role in this, Dr. Laura?

SCHLESSINGER: It’s interesting. what you said about what men need — men do need validation. When they come into the world they’re born of a woman. Getting the validation from mommy is the beginning of needing it from a woman. When the wife does not focus in on the needs and the feelings sexually, personally, to make him feel like a man, to make him feel like a success, to make him feel like our hero, he’s very susceptible to the charm of some other woman making him feel what he needs. These days, women don’t spend a lot of time thinking about how they can give their men what they need.

W-h-aaaaa-t?

I don’t need anyone to validate me. What the hell is she talking about?

If a woman started telling me I was her “hero” and nonsense like that, I’d plant hidden cameras around to see what the hell she was stealing from me when I wasn’t looking!

When you live with a woman, she’s going to hear that fart you cut, she’s going to hear that burp you let out, she’s going to hear your stomach grumble. These are biological functions that you don’t ever see “heroes” do. She’s going to see more sides of you than that stranger you’re talking to on the subway. She’ll watch you as you call someone’s child cute in public but turn around and comment privately how goddam glad you are that you had that vasectomy and didn’t wind up with a brat like that!

Don’t dump this on Spitzer’s wife. She’s his wife, for god’s sake, not his second Mommy, not a worshiper at the Church of Eliot, not a frikkin fan. She’s his wife.

If Spitzer thought something was lacking in his marriage, he should have started looking within himself first. The kind of childish neediness “Dr.” Laura describes is simply pathological and I reject her assertion that men are simply large crybabies.

Previously here:

Spitzer — or Swallower?
New York State Governor Resigning

The Coming Death Of The Reading Web

March 11, 2008

I’m reading this Slashdot discussion thread — iPhone SDK Rules Block Skype, Firefox, Java … — and …

No, let me amend that: I’m trying to read it. No, was trying.

Because I had an epiphany and ran over to do this post about it.

I realized that so much of the comment-battle going on over there would be best presented visually. In other words, by video.

I don’t intend to single anyone out except as examples to make the above point.

Look at this example:

Your comment is a great example of the disconnect between some Slashdotters and real users about the iPhone. Your example must-have feature is an obscure technology that a small minority of people would ever use. You toss the iPhone a “very pretty UI” line, but how many of your “phones designed by checklist” have a 320×480 screen and a big enough battery to power it for hours? The N95, while much-praised by irrational Apple-haters*, is only 240×320. Doesn’t everything we know about computing tell us that large, quality displays are critical for real-world end-user productivity? And you’d toss all that away with “very pretty but doesn’t have XMPP/MMS/PEBKAC protocols that I, for one, use daily”? Why was Nokia wasting time on MMS so people could send each other pictures of themselves when they should have been figuring out how to put a decent screen on a device and have it still fit in your pocket?

Well here we go. To present this argument, show the iPhone versus an N95. Show the haXXor-level stuff the general public doesn’t primarily use (and in many cases, doesn’t even know about!). Show how the iPhone does something versus the N95.

Here’s one I’d really like to see as video:

Bah, you’re so far off it’s not even funny. I’m running a native terminal on my iPhone. It’s got Ruby, Python, and (horrors) Java running on it – each with Objective C bridges (except Ruby). I have root on my phone, for the first time ever. So, yeah – the iPhone does not officially support the hacker/tinkerer ethic – so fucking what? Unofficially supporting it is good enough for me – it is by far the best *nix based phone on the market (oh wait, it’s the *only* *nix based phone on the market – that actually works).

The 2.0 software may break the current jailbreak methods, but again, so what, I’ve already got 3rd party apps on my phone.

I’m no coder. Nor are most people. So I really have no idea how to visualize what he’s talking about because it’s just so outside my personal frame of reference (hello! in the early 1980s, I was surprised to find out that Commodore’s programmers didn’t use the C=64 to create programs for the C=64; they had actual development machines).

Another one:

Which phones are you referring to?

With the exception of Verizon, who does a similar lockdown deal with BREW, most phones have a J2ME VM on them and are quite capable of running just about anything.

I’ve got Gmail/Gmaps/Opera mini among others running on my plain old (non-smart) phone. They were all free and the only way my carrier impeded my installing them right over the air was with a single warning screen about installing 3rd party apps.

OK, but what’s the size of that phone’s screen? And what’s the user experience versus the iPhone?

Even something as obscure as this would be better presented as video:

I find that the Azureus client for BitTorrent, while slow to launch, does a fine job of helping me pirate video, audio and software. A victory for Java!

Especially since I don’t know if he’s talking about a desktop or cellphone program! And what does “slow” exactly mean? (A jillion years ago when I was doing DTP, I was showing a client how PageMaker flowed text through a template; it was on a poky Mac SE30 — by that time there were far faster Macs — and told him it was a bit “slow.” But he was impressed as all hell by its speed! So, some terms have relative meanings!).

At some point in the future, when bandwidth is far faster and far cheaper than right now, people aren’t going to bother to present their arguments with words on a screen. For some things, that’s simply inadequate. But I don’t think YouTube is precisely the future. It’s not really good at presenting a hierarchy of debate.

Maybe this is a chance for the Slashdot crowd themselves to start designing that future?

Quote: W-h-a-t?

March 11, 2008

Lower Than Blacks

He [Jesus Christ] hung around tax collectors, they were lower than blacks.

. . .

R.I.P.: Rocketeer Creator Dave Stevens

March 11, 2008

“THE ROCKETEER” CREATOR DAVE STEVENS DIES AT 53

A Dark Horse Comics representative has confirmed sad news CBR received earlier today — Dave Stevens, best known as the creator of The Rocketeer and his “good girl” art, died yesterday following a long and private battle with Leukemia. He was 53.

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— first seen via Warren Ellis

Spitzer — or Swallower?

March 11, 2008

At the Mayflower, Client 9’s Sinking Ship

The filing indicates she took the 5:39 p.m. regional Amtrak down from Penn Station on Feb. 13 for her rendezvous with Spitzer in Washington. But Kristen — described in the court papers as a “very pretty brunette, 5 feet 5 inches, and 105 pounds”

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— forgave the governor for this slight. Calling in to her, uh, dispatcher just after midnight on Valentine’s Day, she reported that Client 9 had given her $4,300 for the session and down payment toward the next. Spitzer had used just two of his four allotted hours; he had to testify the next morning before a House Financial Services subcommittee on the “State of the Bond Insurance Industry.”

Spitzer evidently had a reputation with the service for being “difficult” — a sentiment shared by many Wall Street executives he prosecuted — but Kristen was philosophical. “I’m here for a purpose. I know what my purpose is,” she said in a phone call recorded by the feds. “I am not a . . . moron, you know what I mean. So maybe that’s why girls maybe think they’re difficult.”

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And besides, Kristen went on, “I have a way of dealing with that. . . . I’d be, like, ‘Listen, dude, you really want the sex?’ “

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I still can’t believe Governor Spitzer would pay all that money just for sex. He could have bought a frikkin iPhone, MacBook, iMac, Apple TV, and then had all the frikkin pr0n he wanted via the Net — for free! (Not that, you know, I personally know where any of those categorized-by- kink free MPEGs are on the vast and directionless Internet!)

Yeah, OK, I’m some sort of geek freak. The most you can do is laugh at me. Spitzer now wishes that’s all people could do to him!

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Oh behave, baby!

Previously here:

New York State Governor Resigning

I Never See Weird Things

March 11, 2008

Well, aside from the clearly-identifiable human stuff. But never something exciting and interesting like this …

‘Creepy gnome’ terrorises town

There’s a video to see there. Warning: Turn down your speakers because there’s a terrified scream at the end!

Her Dinner With Phyllis Diller

March 11, 2008

MY DINNER WITH PHYLLIS DILLER!!

That’s right, you heard me. Saturday night, I had dinner with the ORIGINAL Queen of the Oddballs, Phyllis Diller!!

Who is this woman that she can do that?

She’s Hillary Carlip, author of Queen of the Oddballs

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and the upcoming A la Cart

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— and she’s done, as you will see, many, many other things (I suspect she might be one of those people who never sleeps … or has secret clones!).

The link to the Phyllis Diller dinner goes to her blog at MySpace. I don’t like doing that because all of you at work (or at an Apple Store — or in prison!) are probably prevented from accessing it. But I have no choice. That’s the only place it’s at.

And if you’re reading this on an iPhone, you’ll especially hate some of the links here — because they require Flash. Trust me, you’ll want to see the A la Cart Flash movie intro!

In Hillary’s account, I specifically looked to see if Phyllis Diller would mention something both she and Liberace had in common. It’s a book. And she did:

So, our friend Jack who went with us told the story about when he was a teenager living in North Carolina, he wrote Phyllis a fan letter and asked how he could break into the entertainment industry. She actually answered his letter PERSONALLY, and included a Xeroxed document called HOW TO GET INTO SHOW BIZ. One of her steps, and what she continually credits for her enormous success, is a book called The Magic of Believing by Claude Bristol.

The Magic of Believing by Claude Bristol is a classic. (Here’s a web page about Bristol that didn’t exist when I last searched for him.) Liberace swore by this book:

Liberace was not a reader. He left no evidence at all of devotion to the written word. In the numerous photographs of his homes, books appear nowhere. In his nearly seventy years, he mentioned only one book by name. This one, however, he considered a semi-sacred text, and Claude M. Bristol’s “The Magic of Believing” offers a nice guide to the entertainer’s values, not least in the distracted last five years of his life. It does more. It illuminates significant aspects of popular culture in the United States; just so, it offers additional insights into the sources of Liberace’s extraordinary appeal in the American heartland.

— from “Liberace: An American Boy,” by Darden Asbury Pyron

(Steve Salerno over at SHAMblog is probably cringing at all this!)

I like Bristol’s book and I find it very interesting that two of the most popular performers of the 1960s actually attribute their success to what they read therein. That linkage also gives me an opportunity to embed a YouTube clip showing them both together:

Now go to the top link and read the funny text and see all the amazing photos!

Today’s Second Laugh

March 11, 2008

Two laughs in one day?! What’s happening to this damned blog?

— sent via MySpace Bulletin by Pati Vitale

Today’s Laugh

March 11, 2008

From the Courtroom To You, Funny Quotes

Sample:

Lawyer: “What is your date of birth?”

Witness: “July 15th.”

Lawyer: “What year?”

Witness: “Every year.”

These will burst your abdomen with laughter. Some of them read as if they came out of classic movies like those of the Marx Brothers or the Thin Man series.

A $672 Electric Car

March 11, 2008

A $672 Electric Car

What do you get when you cross a Geo Metro with an electric forklift, a golf cart, and a bunch of used batteries? You get a ridiculously inexpensive, home-built, street-legal electric car.

– via Matthew St Amand