Archive for March 21, 2008

“The Dreams Will Come To You”

March 21, 2008

Judie Lipsett over at Gear Diary emailed me with a link to a video to watch today.

As it turns out, I’d heard about this two or three weeks ago and never got around to watching it.

Oh there is so much cosmic irony in that last sentence.

This video is one of those things that make you catch your breath afterwards.

I don’t mean it in any political sense, but this really is a uniquely American document.

It ties in with some of what I mentioned here. Go there first, then come back. You’ll see.

OK, before proceeding to the rest of this post, watch this video.

No, I mean right now, dammit.

Update: The video clip I had was removed for DMCA reasons. However, the substitute video below is the entire speech. Note, though, that the transcript I provide below might not match it as the clip I had was from Oprah.

I transcribed a section from that:

Now I played Little League Football for a long time and I had a phenomenal coach, Coach Jim Graham.

And he was Old School.

And when I was at a practice, he rode me all practice. You know, “You’re doing it wrong. Go back. Do it again. You’re sloughing off. You owe me push-ups.” Just for two hours, it was relentless.

And then after practice one of the Assistant Coaches came up to me and he said,”Yeah, Coach Graham rode you pretty hard.”

I said, “Yeah.”

He said, “That’s a good thing. Because it means he cares. When you’re doing a bad job and no one points it out to you, that’s when they’ve given up on you.”

Yeah.

So don’t be a crybaby when it happens.

Blogging will resume on Monday.

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Good!

March 21, 2008

The Conversation Has Left the Blogosphere

The “A-list” circle-jerkers are now hand-jobbing each other with twittering and crap like that.

Who out there is going to complain that what’s basically narcissistic noise is now gone?

Update: Less snide observation of this phenomenon is here.

Red Headlines For March 21, 2008

March 21, 2008

Only The New York Times today. The others are busy with the usual trivia.

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Slump Moves From Wall St. to Main St.

In Seattle, sales at a long-established hardware store, Pacific Supply, are suddenly dipping. In Oklahoma City, couples planning their weddings are demonstrating uncustomary thrift, forgoing Dungeness crab and special linens. And in many cities, the registers at department stores like Nordstrom on the higher end and J. C. Penney in the middle are ringing less often.

With Wall Street caught in a credit crisis that has captured headlines, the forces assailing the economy are now spreading beyond areas hit hardest by the boom-turned-bust in real estate like California, Florida and Nevada. Now, the downturn is seeping into new parts of the country, to communities that seemed insulated only months ago.

The broadening of the slowdown, the plunge in home prices and near-paralysis in the financial system are fueling worries that what most economists now see as an inevitable recession could end up being especially painful.

Emphasis added by me.

Well, DUH! Yeah!

Back in the late 1980s, lending was concentrated in fewer hands. Once the government calculated the size of the problem in the saving and loan industry and assented to the bailout, confidence was restored and the wheels of finance turned anew.

This time, the size of the bad debts remains a mystery, with estimates reaching $400 billion. Markets fret that the next Bear Stearns could pop up anywhere.

Emphasis added by me.

And I open my mouth and start trouble by asking, Hey, what about CIT Group?

CIT Group Draws on Its Credit Line

CIT Group, the commercial finance company, said Thursday that it was drawing on $7.3 billion of bank lines to help conduct daily operations, a move that highlights the commercial finance company’s difficulty in raising cash to pay off debt.

The cost to insure CIT’s debt with credit default swaps is trading at distressed levels, costing 27 percent of the sum insured as an upfront payment, in addition to annual premiums of half a percentage point, according to broker Phoenix Partners Group. They had cost 24.5 percent upfront before the news Thursday.

This means it would cost $2.70 million in one lump sum to insure $10 million in debt for five years, in addition to annual premiums of $500,000 a year.

Shares of CIT plummeted 35 percent Thursday, extending losses that were high even before the midday announcement. CIT shares have fallen 88 percent since the beginning of June.

And:

Drawing on bank lines is often seen as an emergency action for companies unable to get financing elsewhere.

Emphasis added by me.

Uh-oh!

Steve Jobs Torments Me

March 21, 2008

I go to The New York Times site to grab today’s Red Headlines and find this animation off the side:

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iFiend!!!

(No, don’t click. It’s just a screensnap.)

Some Barry Gray To Boost Brain Cells

March 21, 2008

Turns UP your speakers!

(And I’ve made the links live for those iPhone and iPod Touch users to view them directly.)

Barry Gray – Fireball XL5 Zero G

My God! To have a time travel machine to go back and witness that session live! What a workout!!

Barry Gray – Thunderbirds Fast Music

Ditto! I think these tracks are available at the iTunes Store.

Free eBooks: iPod and Macintosh!

March 21, 2008

Publisher Posts Mac Books on The Pirate Bay

The success of the best selling author Paulo Coelho, who posted several of his books on BitTorrent, has inspired the publisher and Leander Kahney -the author of the two books- to do the same.

If you’ve never used torrents before, refer to this post to start your education.

If you already have a non-torrent P2P program such as eMule*, just Search for the two book titles. They’re available for download as .ZIP files.

(*eMule probably can do torrents, but I don’t use it for that.)

Apple: $100 Price Cut Or Free Music?

March 21, 2008

There have been two rumors floating around.

1) Apple will cut the price of the iPod Touch and iPhone by $100

2) Apple will offer iTunes music subscriptions

Actually, I think #2 will actually be free music. That’s what the Finns are offering.

I think these two rumors are connected.

If the record labels don’t jump on Apple’s offer, Apple will simply cut the price of the iPod Touch and iPhone.

If the record labels agree, the unit prices will remain as they are and that “price cut” will wind up in the pockets of the record labels.

Which would you rather have? Free music or lower hardware prices?