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Peijs sleutelt aan 80-kilometerlimiet Den Haag

Posted on April 4th, 2006 at 16:44 by John Sinteur in category: Nederland is Gek!

[Quote:]

Minister Peijs (Verkeer) is bereid te sleutelen aan de 80-kilometerzone over de A12 tussen Voorburg en Den Haag. Voor het uitgaande verkeer is ze bereid in de spits een hogere snelheid toe te staan om de doorstroming te verbeteren, gaf ze dinsdag in de Tweede Kamer aan.

Tjonge. Laten we’s kijken hoe het uitgaande verkeer er tijdens de spits uitziet. Het gaat om het stuk waar de groene pijl naar wijst.

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Iets zegt met dat het verhogen van de limiet van 80 naar 100 niet veel zal helpen. Het was ook voor het invoeren van de 80 km limiet al zo dat je tijdens de spits blij mocht zijn als je een keer tot aan de 40 km/u kon optrekken. Kennelijk moet de minister toch ‘s haar neus uit de stukken halen als haar chauffeur dit stukje tijdens de spits passeert.


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Downloadable Movies

Posted on April 4th, 2006 at 16:22 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property

[Quote:]

Major studios today will make mainstream movies available for downloading the same day they are released on DVD — a significant step in Hollywood’s tentative migration to the Internet.

But movie fans will pay for the convenience: Downloadable flicks such as “Brokeback Mountain,” “King Kong” and “Pride and Prejudice” may cost as much as twice what the DVD versions do and play only on a personal computer.

Twice the price, encumbered with DRM, and windows only, and then only on your computer monitor, not on your TV card… And to show you the amazing disconnect between the MPAA members and real life:

“We think this is a great consumer offering that complements the DVD release,” said Rick Finkelstein, Universal Pictures’ president and chief operating officer.


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Clock

Posted on April 4th, 2006 at 16:13 by John Sinteur in category: News

This Wednesday, at two minutes and three seconds after 1:00 in the morning, the time and date will be 01:02:03 04/05/06.

Well, american notation. Here in the Netherlands we’ll have to wait for the 4th of May.

-John


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Baghdad by Night

Posted on April 4th, 2006 at 16:12 by John Sinteur in category: Mess O'Potamia

NPR Baghdad producer JJ Sutherland:

[Quote:]

I get a call the other night. They’ve found four more bodies in western Baghdad. They’re bound, hands and feet. They’re blindfolded. They’ve been shot in the head. Their bodies bear wounds from beatings and electrical burns, and someone has used a drill on their flesh. That’s just one phone call. I get a few more. Every night it seems, dozens of bodies turn up, both Shiite and Sunni, often killed in the same fashion.

We spoke with a journalist recently who works for an Iraqi television station. For the last nine days, he’s been sleeping at the office. He’s been threatened with death because of his work and he doesn’t want to bring the danger home to his parents and six sisters. He told the Ministry of the Interior about the threat. They told him to get a gun.

“Death is the simplest thing now in Iraq. A bullet in the head is nothing, especially against journalists. So crying and sadness are the norm,” he said to us. Later he added, “I have been in love for the last four years but my conditions don’t allow me to marry… not because of money, but because of how things are going on. There is no stability and you never know when a civil war will break out.”

A friend of mine tells me today that he’s bought weapons for his family and is teaching his wife, who hates to even hold a knife, to fire a gun. The day before yesterday, Sunni insurgents burst into one family’s home. The husband was killed, and then they set his body on fire. They didn’t bother killing the wife and four children first. They burned them alive.

My friend tells me this story and says, “I can understand someone who gets killed. I can understand beheadings. I can’t understand burning someone alive.” I’m stunned … both by his story and by the fact that killings and beheadings are understandable. Burning people alive apparently violates some behavioral norm that says chopping people’s heads off is okay.

It is becoming very clear to me that war can shatter a society and what it becomes as it puts itself back together can become a warped malefic grotesquerie — a social organism that eagerly eats itself alive.

At a press conference the other day, an American general said he thinks that Iraqis feel more secure. I think most of the Iraqis I’ve spoken with since I’ve been here might have a slightly different perspective.


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Comments:

  1. Oh My God – a journalist for Nampy-Pampy Radio puts forth a negative view of the situation in Iraq. Stop the presses and be still my beating heart…

The Search For A Domain Name

Posted on April 4th, 2006 at 16:07 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

You’ve thought up a brilliant idea for a new Web 2.0, AJAX-enabled web app, or you’re about to release a thus-far-unnamed killer software app. Now you just need to find the perfect domain name for it to live at (and, in true new-economy fashion, you’ll base your corporate name upon whatever available domain name you find… PILLAGEANDPLUNDR Corporation).

You pull up GoDaddy and start punching in clever names, along with their many variations, only to find that they’re all seemingly taken.

“This can’t be!” you cry. “Has every possibility already been registered?”

[..]

If you want one of the 676 possible two-letter sequences, for instance for an acronym or abbreviation, you’re out of luck: They’re all taken. Even allowing for digits, giving 1296 combinations, again every single variation is taken.

Of course, that’s ignoring the fact that .COM registrars now mandate a 3-character minimum length, so it wouldn’t be an option anyways.

Of the 17,576 possible three-letter sequences, again every single one is already taken.

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(more interesting statistics at the link…)


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Cartoons

Posted on April 4th, 2006 at 15:54 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon

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Hedonics and Imputations

Posted on April 4th, 2006 at 15:22 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Sometimes I wonder if GDP stands for Gross Domestic Product or Grossly Distorted Procedures.

A great read…


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Son of Senate president offered plea deal in assault case

Posted on April 4th, 2006 at 15:01 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Two young men charged with sodomizing 18 boys at a youth camp last year have been offered a plea agreement that may net them little jail time and no record of sexual assault.

Clifton Bennett, 18, the son of Arizona Senate President Ken Bennett, and his co-defendant, Kyle Wheeler, 19, were charged in January with 18 counts of aggravated assault and 18 counts of kidnapping for the incidents, which happened at a youth camp last June.

[..]

Bennett apologized for his role in court last week, saying he was “trying every way he can to rectify the situation.”

Rectify? How’s that for bad choice of words? Only a gaping asshole would use the word “rectify” in such a situation. Rectum? Damn near killed ‘em!


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Comments:

  1. Finally, a good use for Al Qaeda – turn over these two miscreants to Ayman Al-Zawahiri’s bunch for ‘beheading’ of the offending organs.

Housing bubble

Posted on April 4th, 2006 at 13:43 by John Sinteur in category: News

If you want to know what the collapse of the real estate bubble will be like, read this report about a localized collapse of the bubble.


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Hello? It’s working, I see text!

Posted on April 4th, 2006 at 8:46 by John Sinteur in category: Funny!, What were they thinking?

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Station indicator sign at San Bruno during the total shutdown last week of the SF Bay Area’s BART train system. The only thing still working was the sign, so what text do they put up? Exactly.


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PirateBay.org policitcal party

Posted on April 4th, 2006 at 8:36 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property

[Quote:]

On Jan 1, 2006, Rick Falkvinge founded the Pirate Party in Sweden, beginning a new era in the fight for legitimacy of P2P. Rick was tired of the MPA/IFPI lobbyers and politicians who would not listen to reason, so he resorted to taking to the streets in a battle for voters in this fall’s general elections.

LinuxP2P: How did you guys come up with the idea of creating a whole new political party for file-sharing and privacy?

Falkvinge: Basically, because the politicians didn’t listen to their voters, but to yesterday’s industry interests instead, which led them to criminalize 20% of their voters (1.2 million file sharers, 5.2 million voters). There have been many good writers on the issues, which the politicians have chosen to ignore. So we figured the only way to get their attention was to go head-on in a battle for voters.

LinuxP2P: What are your main goals?

Falkvinge: To stir a debate about the hidden costs of copyright and patents, and to stop the big-brother society trend. This needs to be done on a European level; we view Sweden as a beachhead in this aspect. You gotta start somewhere.

[…]

LinuxP2P: What is your position on DRM?

Falkvinge: That it should be prohibited outright. DRM is effectively media companies writing their own copyright laws, harming society and consumers. We have a parliament to write such laws, thank you very much.

The equivalent would be if someone sold you a product that shut down on purpose in daylight, or outside of a particular city, or under whatever condition the manufacturer hadn’t approved. We call it fraud in the cases where we can relate, so I can’t believe the media industry is getting away with this.


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Comments:

  1. “Zweden is gek!”?

Sony’s Universal Media Disc facing last rites

Posted on April 4th, 2006 at 8:04 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Exactly a year after it was launched in the United States, the Sony PlayStation Portable’s days as a hand-held movie-viewing device might be numbered.

Disappointing sales have slowed the flow of movies on the proprietary Universal Media Disc to a mere trickle. At least two major studios have completely stopped releasing movies on UMD, while others are either toying with the idea or drastically cutting back.

[..]

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has completely stopped producing UMD movies, according to executives who asked not to be identified by name. Said one high-ranking exec: “It’s awful. Sales are near zilch. It’s another Sony bomb — like Blu-ray.”


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