Protected: Learning From History

May 31, 2007 at 9:56 pm | Posted in Politics | Leave a comment

Looks like our Decider-in-Chief is looking at the American presence in South Korea as a model for Iraq in the decades ahead. Let’s look at some differences between the two countries:

  • Demographics – South Korea is a homogeneous society, unlike Iraq’s feuding ethnic and religious groups.
  • Enemies – After the Korean War, South Koreans united against the North. Iraq is in the midst of a civil war between multiple groups.
  • Logistics – Unlike North Korea’s dependence on other countries, there is plenty of evidence that Iraqi insurgents are self-sufficient, not really needing outside support.
  • Geography – South Korea was effectively isolated from their enemies by water and a well-defined DMZ. Without porous land borders, South Korea developed in peace. Iraq, on the other hand, has been a trading crossroads for over 2000 years.
  • Resources – South Korea does not have any natural resources and had to build its economy the hard way. Iraq is both blessed and cursed by oil wealth – whether used to fund insurgent activity or being influenced by western oil interests.
  • Recent History – South Korea had 30+ years of military dictatorship after civil war. Economic development trumped democracy. Iraq had 30+ years of military dictatorship before civil war. The raison-de-etre for Al Qaeda is the presence of American forces in Arab lands.

George W. Bush reads a lot of history books, but it’s apparent he doesn’t really learn from them. The vision may be the same, but the steps to get from our current quagmire to the South Korean model is unknown and difficult. It’s very irresponsible to be handing off this problem to the next President.

Windows Security

May 16, 2007 at 10:39 pm | Posted in Humor (G- and R- rated) | 2 Comments

Windows Security

One Day Closer to Singularity

May 13, 2007 at 11:27 pm | Posted in Technology | Leave a comment

An article from Slate talks about our desire…

…to break old habits, see through clutter, and force the wide-open bloodbaths…

You’d think he was talking about Iraq, but it’s something else.

ABC News – Ethically Challenged

May 8, 2007 at 8:00 pm | Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

Comments and forums are usually intended to promote discussion of relevant topics. If a corporation is going to have a discussion board, they should be prepared to accept the fact that people will disagree and will sometimes go off-topic, just like in real life. ABC News’ handling of the Ron Paul effect has only one casualty – ABCs integrity and ethics.

Whether Ron Paul has the overwhelming support of Americans is not the issue anymore; I certainly don’t think he has 90% support to John McCain’s 5% which some online polls are showing.

The issue now is whether a news organization can arbitrarily remove posts, ban users, and piss off their customers and viewers while at the same time promoting their website as the place for serious political discussion.

ABC News forum lie
ABC News falsely claims their forum gives you a chance to be heard. Many users have had their posts removed or their accounts suspended.

ABC has clearly shown that, under pressure, they lack integrity and ethics. What they are doing now is shameful to the memories and achievements of Peter Jennings and Ted Koppel.

[Update: Here is a screenshot showing posts that will probably be deleted by ABC in a few hours]

Li-Ion Battery Conditioning

May 5, 2007 at 3:44 pm | Posted in Macintosh | Leave a comment

A friend recently suffered from dead battery syndrome after keeping his Powerbook fully charged for years in a closet. A blog post by David Weiss repeats Apples advice on how to condition batteries, but the most important advice is in the comments – Lithium-ion batteries should never be stored at full charge. The optimal charge level for storage is 40%; the laptop should be shut down to minimize battery depletion during storage.

Online communities

May 2, 2007 at 10:37 pm | Posted in Fun Indoors | Leave a comment

The latest xkcd comic is as much funny as it is true. I looked at my RSS subscriptions, browsing history, and bookmarks and put myself on the map, using this blog as my home and showing the communities I belong to:

xkcd online communities

The First Hit Is Always Free

May 1, 2007 at 7:04 pm | Posted in Macintosh, Technology | Leave a comment

Microsoft, in an apparent move to market their technologies as cross-platform, used Macs to showcase their Silverlight technology to compete with Adobe Flash. Shame on MS for diluting the term “cross-platform” when their technology doesn’t have these attributes:

  • No Linux support
  • Authoring only on Windows

Microsoft has never been serious about their software being cross-platform. They have developed, then abandoned, software written for other operating systems: Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player, MS Foundation Classes (MFC), Visual Basic Applications (VBA). I still remember the time I had to install and test Internet Explorer on HP-UX in order to justify keeping our Unix workstations. The only answer I got from MS Technical Support about installing IE for Unix was “Why?”

In Microsoft’s world view, “cross-platform” means supporting XP and Vista, and maybe the Mac as a secondary platform. Adobe has a better approach. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than Microsoft. Silverlight should be shunned.

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