Archive for November 13, 2008

Sony Reader PRS-700 Gets Reviewed

November 13, 2008

Lisa Gade of MobileTechReview: Sony Reader PRS-700

The issue of less screen contrast is raised.

I wonder if this is the first formal review?

— via TeleRead

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #408: Celente

November 13, 2008

First, you need to read this:

Note that this is no fringer veering into conspiracist phantasm: Celente consults for hundreds of large and small corporations, addresses government bodies worldwide. Norway flew him to Europe in 2006 to address a conference on innovation, while the International Council of Shopping Centers hosted him as the key-note speaker at its 2007 convention – the mall builders hoped to glean from Celente “what people want from malls.” It’s notable, in the wake of the prognoses of his 2008 reports, that he is no longer invited onto the TV and cable networks – “the first year in decades,” he says, “that they did not have me on and that USA Today did not cover the Trends Report.” When Celente sent out an e-mail alert to his mailing list in mid-January, Jack Marks, the publisher and CEO of The Wall Street Reporter, one of the oldest investment organs in New York, wrote him back to say “You are a fucking retard motherfucker” and “Remove me from this list, you fucking moron.”

Interesting, isn’t it, that email from the esteemed Wall Street Reporter?

What would elicit such a fierce reaction?

This:

Celente Predicts Revolution, Food Riots, Tax Rebellions By 2012

The man who predicted the 1987 stock market crash and the fall of the Soviet Union is now forecasting revolution in America, food riots and tax rebellions – all within four years, while cautioning that putting food on the table will be a more pressing concern than buying Christmas gifts by 2012.

Gerald Celente, the CEO of Trends Research Institute, is renowned for his accuracy in predicting future world and economic events, which will send a chill down your spine considering what he told Fox News this week.

Celente says that by 2012 America will become an undeveloped nation, that there will be a revolution marked by food riots, squatter rebellions, tax revolts and job marches, and that holidays will be more about obtaining food, not gifts.

Emphasis added by me.

Hmmm … who has been saying something similar?

Celente is no crackpot (even though this article link is to one of the conspiracy favorites, Prison Planet). He’s written books. He’s been on TV and radio programs. He’s been quoted in mainstream articles.

See this video:

How many people have to tell you what’s ahead?

Talk Radio: How It Dupes The Stupid

November 13, 2008

Secrets of Talk Radio
The former news director of WTMJ reveals how talk show hosts like Charlie Sykes and Jeff Wagner work to get us angry.

I’m not quoting any of it. Go read the entire thing.

Oil: The Other Blood #2

November 13, 2008

Endless Oil?

Everybody knows that oil and gas drilled out of the earth comes from the remains of plants and animals trapped underground millions of years ago. This received wisdom so dominates our thinking that it is enshrined in the very language we use–fossil fuels. They took eons to form, and we are using them up far faster than they can be replenished.

What if the whole theory is wrong?

That’s the premise of a small but passionate band of Russian and Ukrainian contrarians. They argue that oil and gas don’t come from fossils; they’re synthesized deep within the earth’s mantle by heat, pressure and other purely chemical means, before gradually rising to the surface. Under the so-called abiotic theory of oil, finding all the energy we need is just a matter of looking beyond the traditional basins where fossils might have accumulated.

The idea that oil comes from fossils “is a myth. … We need to change this myth,” says petroleum engineer Vladimir Kutcherov, at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden. “All kinds of rocks could have oil and gas deposits.”

Alexander Kitchka of the Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences brashly estimates that 60% of the content of all oil is abiotic in origin, and not from fossil fuels. He says companies should drill deeper to find it.

This article appears in Forbes.

This is a hypothesis already embraced by the conspiracy theorists.

I mentioned this once before, way back in February: Oil: The Other Blood

What if it turned out to be true?

There’d be no reason to be fuel-efficient. Air pollution would be prevalent globally. The greenhouse effect would amp up.

Always a catch.

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #407: $2K/oz.

November 13, 2008

Gold May Spike to $2000 in Medium Term

Gold can easily go up to $1500-$2000 in the medium-term, says Johann Santer, MD at Superfund Financial Hong Kong. As such, he tells CNBC’s Martin Soong that gold at $710 is a good entry point.

Emphasis added by me.

Inflation from all the trillions of dollars created out of nowhere.

It’s a video at that link. Here are screensnaps to confirm:

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Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #406: Reich

November 13, 2008

The Real Difference Between Bankruptcy and Bailout

When a big company that gets into trouble is more valuable living than dead, there used to be a well-established legal process for reorganizing it – called chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code. Under it, creditors took some losses, shareholders even bigger ones, some managers’ heads rolled. Companies cleaned up their books and got a fresh start. And taxpayers didn’t pay a penny.

So why, exactly, is the Treasury substituting government bailouts for chapter 11? Even if you assume Wall Street’s major banks and insurance giant AIG are so important to the national and global economy that they can’t be allowed to fail, that doesn’t mean they have to be bailed out. They could be reorganized under bankruptcy protection. True, their creditors, shareholders, and executives would take bigger hits than they’re taking now that taxpayers are bailing them out. But they’re the ones who took the risk. We didn’t.

The Treasury seems to have lost sight of its real client. It’s client is not the creditors, shareholders, or executives of any of these firms. Its sole client is the American people.

Emphasis added by me.

That last paragraph was what I’ve been trying to find all this time. Bingo!

Robert Reich was former Secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton. I’ve read several of his books. I have mixed feelings both about his books and his government service. But here he’s spot on.

Luigi Zingales has also called for bankruptcies and not bailouts.

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #405: Colombia

November 13, 2008

Riots erupt as Colombia pyramid schemes collapse

The schemes, some of which the government suspects were money laundering devices for drug traffickers, tumbled one after the other earlier this week as the organisers made off with the funds. The companies had offered interest rates of up to 150 per cent to those who drew in their friends and family to the schemes, building up a pyramid of investors seeking a swift profit on their deposits.

But after the schemes collapsed, the duped investors then looted offices and fought with riot police who had to fire tear gas to break up the angry mobs.

The worst of the violence was in the southwestern city of Popayan, where 5,000 people took to the streets and attacked an office where one of the pyramid schemes operated, carrying off computers, telephones, desks and chairs. A semblance of calm was only imposed after police in full riot gear, backed by armoured vehicles, arrived and fired tear gas canisters into the crowds.

Some of you reading this are probably laughing at their naive gullibility.

Hey, you smug fuck. Our entire economy has been rigged like that.

Twitter Outage

November 13, 2008

It lost my Twitterfox connection three times now.

The third one has lasted maybe an hour.

I can’t get Twitter’s home page, can’t log in when I briefly do get it, and can’t get into iTweet.

Suckage.

What’s going to happen to Twitter when the real fucking mass panic breaks out?

It’ll sink and be useless and we’ll all be isolated.

How Writers Write Writing

November 13, 2008

Warren Ellis tweeted a link to this at his Whitechapel Internet cathedral: Warren’s Pub Table: [Sticky] IGNITION CITY: Portents And Strange Rumbly Noises

We’re approaching the point where IGNITION CITY will be properly announced and publicly scheduled.

So, every few days, I’m going to leak out something on the book. As it were. Not quite a production diary, but… something. Yes.

In which there are links to blog posts he did back in — get this — 2006!

One of them contains this gem:

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in all these years of writing professionally, it’s that you need to go with the flow. I’d be a fool to ignore a story that was writing itself.

Emphasis added by me.

I’ve seen too many writers complain about not getting writing done. They start, get stymied, they stop. They give up.

Sometimes it’s right to give up.

Sometimes it’s just not the right time to do the story. The writer isn’t ready.

Sometimes it’s not a story worth telling. That happens too.

Sometimes the writer isn’t writing what he should.

This last one is deadly. Writers often begin from being inspired by writing they’ve read. The thought process can go like this: “That made me feel good. I want more. Maybe I can do that too.”

Wrong!

What made you feel good, underneath it all, was a writer doing what that writer can do.

It’s his story, it’s — at core — that writer.

When I spoke to Ken Bruen one time, I asked him if he had always wanted to write crime fiction. He did. He had read a lot of it.

But pick up a Ken Bruen book. It’s not Raymond Chandler, it’s not Cornell Woolrich, it’s not any of those other writers who inspired him. It’s all Ken Bruen.

I cannot use the phrase “those who teach writing” because I don’t believe in that. So let me say those who offer advice about writing always say the same thing: Find your voice.

But even that I don’t agree with. Because it summons up images of impresario Mel Blanc playing around with his vocal cords to perfect the voice of Bugs Bunny (who, if you’ve ever seen the first Bugs cartoons, sounded nothing like he eventually did).

Don’t “find your voice.” Find yourself.

Writing isn’t a thing “out there.” That’s reportage, that’s journalism. At worst, that’s gossip.

Writing begins inside.

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #404: Soros

November 13, 2008

Soros says deep recession inevitable, depression possible

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – George Soros, chairman of Soros Fund Management, testified at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Thursday. Highlights:

* Said “a deep recession is now inevitable and the possibility of a depression cannot be ruled out.”

Emphasis added by me.

I’d like to have a tracker on his movements.

If he ever declares a Depression is imminent and the next day he flies out of the country …