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  • And our next President will be...
    I don t know Some conservatives think he s a contender and I wanted to leave a far right conservative in the mix Round 2A The Democratic Primary I believe that Johnny Reid Edwards is still a viable name in politics Over his career he has been a lawyer and relatively briefly a senator After his failed 2004 run Edwards has become the director of the Center on Poverty at his former Law School UNC Chapel Hill As far as I m concerned he s a good guy but I don t think he has anything other than name recognition that he didn t have in 2004 And this time around he has some more formidable opponents than John Kerry I don t think Edwards has a chance at the nomination Barack Obama is a younger similarly idealistic lawyer turned senator He was the first African American to be elected president of the Harvard Law Review He went on to teach Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago Law School until his election to the Senate in 2004 While he is relatively inexperienced as a Senator being a Washington outsider may be an advantage this time around By all accounts the man is brilliant On a side note I would probably vote for him over any of the candidates in the field Think how nice it would be to have somebody who cared about Constitutional Law as President However it takes more than brilliance charisma eloquence and a relatively spotless record to be elected President Hillary Rodham Clinton the final Lawyer turned senator is a veritable political juggernaut She is immensely popular in many areas and enjoys more name recognition than almost any other candidate She is older and has a longer Senate record than any of the others On the other hand she doesn t have quite the spotless record the others have Clinton has a number of blemishes in her history While none of these are likely to come back and haunt her Hillary Clinton sometimes says things perhaps without thinking For example saying that young people today think work is a four letter word or that Mahatma Gandhi ran a gas station down in Saint Louis at the height of a campaign could cause a major implosion Just ask Howard Dean There are a number of factors that might influence the Democratic primary However I think it comes down to one major factor Who will Bill Clinton campaign for After eight years of Bush Democrats are nostalgic for the Clinton days Want more Clinton days Vote Clinton Unless Hillary Clinton inadvertently deflates her own campaign there is little that can keep her from the nomination Round 2B The Republican Primary I ve left Jim Gilmore in the running as the token conservative Republican but I might have chosen the wrong one It could be Newt Gingrich Like the Democrats Gilmore is also a former attorney though he has some military service and became Governor of Virginia and

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/227 (2016-04-30)
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  • The iPhone: I'll care later
    Make and receive calls Connect to the internet with my laptop using my phone as a modem wirelessly with Bluetooth Cingular s network reception and speech clarity are great but only if you re on the observation deck of the Empire State Building on a clear day It s useless in the middle of nowhere like the Pennsylvania Turnpike upstate New York and Vermont While Cingular does allow their phones to be used as laptop modems for a lot of additional money per month Verizon lets me do it with no additional charges on my 40 month voice plan And Verizon s network is 3 20 times faster than Cingular s in real world use depending on whether I m in or near a big city The iPhone won t even support Cingular s high speed data network Nobody in New York ever claims to live upstate Ask any New York resident from Manhattan to Albany and they ll say that upstate begins just north of them and they re offended at the suggestion that they live upstate The Cingular requirement alone is a deal killer for many And it looks like the iPhone is a Cingular exclusive for at least 2 years Price The low capacity 4 GB model is 500 With a 2 year Cingular contract One button A phone without buttons Sounds cool except we use buttons a lot while interacting with phones such as when dialing a number An on screen keyboard has two significant problems There s no tactile feedback which dramatically slows typists You have to look at the buttons to press them which makes driving use extremely unsafe which you may interpret as a good thing prevents in pocket or against ear adjustments and slows regular use They don t necessarily need a

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/226 (2016-04-30)
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  • Getting over the IT addiction
    any opportunity to fix everything get the right products and set things up properly It usually hasn t gone well taking up too much of my time and causing too much aggravation But the next time an opportunity would come I d still jump at it Not anymore It s very difficult to walk away from an IT situation in which I know I could help but I m done with that world Now I just sit back and listen to people spout off wrong information unnecessarily waste truckloads of money and live with inferior setups I pretend that I have neither opinion nor expertise hiding my frustration because I know it s better for me Why Good question In 2004 I switched to using a Mac full time I underwent a corresponding transition away from activities that I felt were wasteful of my time This could have been caused by the Mac awakening or it could just be a part of growing up and living after college Building computers was fun But there s not much work in building computers nobody wants a computer without someone to support it and I sure don t want that job I still love to build computers for myself but I only need so many computers I also can t build Macs Although I would love to Fixing computers however was not fun Here s how it usually went Decode the symptoms from the user s terrible use of computer terms I pity anyone who performs this step over the phone Fight with hordes of spyware apps viruses and shortcomings in Windows to restore the computer to a clean usable state Talk to the angry user 3 months later when the system is back to an unusable state and convince them that this is not my fault and I am not obligated to come fix it for free Or if I m lucky the customer will be nice and I ll just have to feel guilty accepting their money again to fix the same problem Go to step 1 Occasionally I d get a different problem Very occasionally 99 of computer repairs are the same problem The different problems are usually on servers Figure out why the server s RAID array occasionally goes offline Comb through pages of awful Google search results to find awful mailing list posts describing minor incompatibilities under specific circumstances using a slightly different kernel version than mine Call awful vendor support departments and convince them that my RAID card deserves a replacement and I shouldn t have to pay for its shipping and trust me I already went through all of these stupid troubleshooting steps that you re making me repeat Eventually discover that this particular RAID card is slightly incompatible with this particular version of this particular distribution of this particular operating system under my specific circumstances even though the vendor claimed it was compatible Buy a new card with overnight shipping because it s more important

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/222 (2016-04-30)
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  • Bush's Renewable Energy Platform
    kinds of power There are lots of options for renewable energy Bush added For instance we could make detainees run on giant hamster wheels Or we could turn a water mill with the tears of people who hate America According to conservative jurists the Constitution is not a bio fuel or fossil fuel because it is not and never has been alive According to Attorney General Gonzales the Constitution is

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/202 (2016-04-30)
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  • Location-aware social applications
    good They remember to notify the service of their location This is a big one 1 in 5 assuming some very dedicated fans They are your desired gender Given the nature of this service the majority of your members are probably straight males so I ll give you 1 in 3 here They are single now Many people might forget to deactivate their membership after they ve entered a relationship 1 in 2 They are within an appropriate age range for you Such high tech services are likely to be used mostly by people of ages 25 40 so I ll give you the benefit of the doubt with 1 in 2 You find them attractive enough Assuming that members of this service are at least moderately attractive another big fatal assumption you can probably expect at best 1 in 4 You find them interesting and engaging in conversation All I can say for this one good luck 1 in 5 and that s being extremely generous The probability of all of these criteria being simultaneously met for any given person are 1 in 1 200 000 And remember I was being generous on most of the probabilities Therefore on a given night you have a 0 5 chance that one person out of the 6 000 will be a good match You d have to try this approximately 200 times in the best circumstances before finding someone even moderately acceptable And that s if the service is highly successful That s pretty damning But that s not all The matchup service is likely to send you out to find other people who don t match your qualifications because they can t measure all of them especially whether the person is attractive or interesting The best they could do is

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/221 (2016-04-30)
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  • User-generated content
    lapse in judgment that makes far too many incorrect assumptions Most people are talented at creating their type of content How often do you see intelligent and interesting writing in blog comments What about Digg MySpace Many other people are interested in other people s content Have you ever wondered why there aren t any social podcasting sites Because most podcasts suck What about poetry More people write poetry than read poetry Dan 2004 How many people actually read all of the posts in a 30 page forum thread before replying with the same funny comment that 65 people already said Everyone is willing to give their content to you for free This is sometimes true but usually only if their contributions aren t worth much on their own Sure you can get people who are willing to contribute their work to your wallet for nothing but there s a pretty good chance it will suck With so many flaws why does any user generated content site succeed Because quality doesn t matter Consider MySpace YouTube LiveJournal GameFAQs Fark eBaum s World Even Craigslist I could go on Very little content on these sites is worth anything Even the a

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/220 (2016-04-30)
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  • Omnescio
    giving advice to others People really like reading but not necessarily following advice from others Reading through inspiring and funny advice was entertaining insightful and inspiring Thus Omnescio was born The name is an intentionally bad combination of Latin words that might mean I know everything or I don t know everything omni all scio I know and nescio I don t know I was a very bad Latin student I got a few hundred visits over the next week then traffic started to level off Then I submitted it to StumbleUpon I had recently installed their browser toolbar on a friend s recommendation Users give thumbs up ratings or text tags to sites they re browsing and if they re bored they can click the Stumble button and it goes to a random site that they might like It works pretty well for me although many of the sites have been stupid Flash games Be careful what you indicate when their registration asks you to select a bunch of interests Nothing happened for a few days Then for a reason I haven t yet discovered it suddenly started to get a lot of StumbleUpon traffic this week See for

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/219 (2016-04-30)
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  • The Ethics of Music Sharing
    authorize 15 million dollars to prosecute them This bill is currently hanging out in the Senate and as far as I can tell isn t going anywhere So you know the congressmen who sponsored this great use of federal money is Representative Lamar Smith TX 21 And his cosponsors are Rep Berman Howard L CA 28 Rep Bono Mary CA 45 Rep Coble Howard NC 6 Rep Conyers John Jr MI 14 Rep Hoyer Steny H MD 5 Rep Meehan Martin T MA 5 Rep Otter C L Butch ID 1 If you forget this list you can find most of their names here Of course even if downloading MP3s is probably not criminal it certainly has some civil problems There are a number of arguments to say that it should not be an infringement but none of them are particularly great and none of them are particularly likely to succeed in a court So while downloading MP3s isn t likely to get you put in jail it might still be expensive The copyright statute has extremely heavy statutory penalties for willful infringement We cannot say that copyright infringement is wrong because it is a crime because it probably isn t We will look at whether it is illegal later Downloading MP3s drives up the cost of music for everybody else This claim essentially says that if you re getting music for free somebody else will have to pay for it This makes a lot of sense for things like food or furniture where additional consumption correlates with additional costs However because an additional copy of a song adds no costs to the copyright owner the economics of infringement work differently If you download an MP3 rather than buying a CD the profit of the recording industry decreases by some fraction of the cost of that CD In response to its loss the recording industry might raise prices on other CDs Of course if the recording industry thought it could maintain sales after raising prices it would not wait for you to pirate its music The recording industry is not trying to maintain some minimal amount of profit necessary to bring music to the masses They want to extract as much profit as they possibly can On the other hand if you download an MP3 of a song that you would not pay the price of a CD for the recording industry loses nothing except a potential sale If the recording industry lowers its prices it could capture some of these sales lost to piracy Record companies had phased out singles because a full album had a higher profit margin However increased P2P file sharing demonstrated a consumer unwillingness to buy a 20 CD for one song Consequently the record industry had to agree to a single song download service like iTunes Thus if people simply want to buy one good song from a mediocre album they can now save 19 thanks to music piracy If everybody downloaded MP3s there

    Original URL path: http://articles.marco.org/218 (2016-04-30)
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