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Monday, February 26, 2007

New music and more of why I hate Windoze:

I know music and Windoze Vista, the latest release of crapware out of Redmond, are disparate topics, but if you don't like it, then oh well. :)

The first band I would like to mention is Die Mannequin. I've just listened to their song "Autumn Cannibalist", and they're definitely good. They're a very promising sleaze rock, and their punk influences are very noticeable. Definitely worth a listen.

The second band is an electropop band by the name of Dangerous Muse. As cheap a bastard as I am, I'm seriously considering buying their album. Maybe it's the age speaking, (bah, I'm probably younger than those most likely to view this blog. lol) but I can hear some of the various influences that led to the evolution of their sound, though they're very much their own band. If you like dance music but have been yearning for, I don't know, LYRICS, this is definitely who you've been looking for. Good shit.

Last, but certainly not least, there's Throw The Fight, a pleasantly aggressive melodic alternative rock band. I'm out of adjectives, so instead, at the end of this post, I have embedded the video to their song "Endless Struggle".

In the meantime, I've been trolling the ZDNet blogs of one Ed Bott. It seems that the old "Windows Genuine Advantage" snafu has spawned yet another bastard child, this time for the Windows Vista version of their alleged operating system. Now, you can even trigger the kill switch by installing the wrong program on your legal copy. Thank you, Redmond. No wonder I feel better in a Tux.

Now, with that little bit of unpleasantness out of the way, enjoy the show:

Friday, February 23, 2007

I felt this music video earlier:

No, I wasn't depressed, but I was in a bit of a pensive mood. The link is here:

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Tell me if this idea is stupid:

I have an idea for an electric car, and someone who understands cars, please tell me if I'm being an idiot. So that I'm not accused of plagiarism of ideas, I admit that it was inspired by ideas shown on the show Futurecars on the Discovery Channel and affiliated networks. What I have is a wish list. A light, durable chassis is considered a given, so the rest of my proposal is as follows:

*To select a speed at which the car travels, I would like to have the option of a keypad entry and the traditional foot pedal accelerator. I know, it's geeky, but deal. lol

*Brake pedal operated normally, but as for the braking itself, I would like to see regenerative braking to extend the range on one charge, but this would mainly be effective in city driving.

*Triacs or SCRs instead of a traditional transmission to increase or decrease the power. This would have the dual benefits of a dramatic weight reduction while allowing for much finer control than in current vehicles. Plus, they can take a hell of a lot of abuse.

*Compressed air used instead of air conditioning, with an on-board air compressor that is disabled unless the car is plugged in. This would allow for the comfort of the passengers while adding far less to the weight of the vehicle than a standard air conditioner and the batteries required to operate it, not to mention the space that would be saved and could be better used for more batteries. I know this method is inefficient, but a slow dispersal of cooled air could eliminate one of the many barriers to the widespread adoption of purely electric vehicles. This could be based on the Ranque-Hilsch vortex tube effect.

*To avoid noise pollution problems during the compression of air for cooling, find a way to muffle the hell out of it without adversely affecting performance.

*An efficient on-board electronic control system, with a focus on reducing power consumption by the electronics without adversely affecting performance. Perhaps, this may be best achieved via FOSS software, but I'm certainly not wed to the idea of FOSS in this application.

As for the actual electric motor aspect of it, these ideas could be applied to a variety of platforms. At any rate, it's a thought. Let me know what you think.

Monday, February 19, 2007

The King is BACK!!! (part 2)

Now that I've had my fun ranting, I think I'll use my forum to assess the 2008 Presidential landscape. On the Democratic Party side, I'm really excited by Governor Richardson of New Mexico entering the race. He's a former Ambassador, a former Senator, and a sitting Governor. Also, by virtue of his location, he has become an expert on immigration and border security. In short, he's probably the single most experienced candidate for this nation's highest office, Democrat or Republican, in the last 50 years. Also, Senator Barack Obama bears a lot of watching. His candidacy speech was almost universally regarded as the most moving, eloquent speech since then-Senator John F. Kennedy announced his bid for the presidency. While I am still concerned with his lack of experience, I will be giving him a long, hard look before I announce my support, as insignificant as it is, for a candidate. With my computer being out, I haven't been able to do the research I have wanted to do on the candidates, their stances on the issues, and their record in actually following through on those principles. Based on my past record, I know this goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway: There is absolutely no circumstance in which I would vote for Senator Clinton. I would rather vote for a presidential ticket of Bill O'Reilly and Roy Moore, two people I well and truly detest, than vote for any ticket that included the junior Senator from New York.

On the Republican side, I can only think of one candidate who would get my vote: Rudolph Giuliani. As the poll numbers for President Bush continue to plummet toward sub-Nixon numbers, I think he will also look increasingly attractive to Republicans who are interested in fielding a candidate who can win, and as it so happens, he also has a lot of crossover appeal. If the sum of his accomplishments were his reaction and spirit in the face of adversity during and immediately after the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks on his city, the Pentagon, and Flight 93, that would be enough to earn my respect and garner him a serious look. However, his record leading up to that fateful day was at least as impressive. He inherited a city that was truly in crisis: Record deficits, rampant crime, high unemployment, and gross inefficiency and bloating in the city government. He fought many nasty battles with the Democrats in the New York city government at that time and was routinely crucified in the press... until they saw his ideas worked. Oh, they still fought, but the truth and results won out. He's certainly no Rockefeller Republican. Of all the candidates, he's actually the closest I've seen to a Goldwater Republican in the best sense of the term: limited government and a support of personal freedoms. Ideologically, he's the person whose views I find most acceptable, and he's also tough enough to stand by what he believes is right. Furthermore, he has the proven judgment and reasoning skills to typically make good choices while listening to differing viewpoints and acting on them when appropriate. If, in November 2008, Richardson ends up facing Giuliani for the presidency... it would be very interesting. Upon further review, I may also include Obama, but again, as of February 18, I don't know enough about him to say one way or the other.

The remainder of the Republican field is unacceptable for differing reasons: Senator McCain has become little more than a mouthpiece for the current President, and just a thousand times NO. Senator Brownback is way too far to the right, as is the stance being taken by former Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts. Romney is an interesting situation. When he was a governor, he was one in a line of moderate Republican governors elected by the people of Massachusetts, and he inherited a stable government. He made some good changes, and then went on his way. I'm sure he's an excellent father, friend, and husband, and he was a good governor. However, his expressed politics have shifted to the right, especially on the issues of abortion and stem cell research, and these are definitely non-starters. If he were running as a candidate based on his record and positions as a Massachusetts governor, it would be a difficult choice between him and Giuliani for the Republican Party nomination, though in that situation, I would still go with Giuliani simply because he has been tested by fire and proven that he simply will not crack under the pressure. Romney's religion is utterly irrelevant, though I must admit that I find it refreshing that he's not the one who first broached that subject. In virtually every other case I've seen, whenever a candidate has expressed his or her religious views or done a photo op at a church, it's either been in an attempt to get a quick bump in the polls or as a cynical attempt to hide his or her deep personal flaws. For the latter, who was the president between the Bushes?

On a deeper note, I feel the United States needs another Barry Goldwater, and the saddest part is that, in this time of need, there's no Barry Goldwater waiting in the wings. He said something that was oddly prophetic. I forget the exact wording, but he once said that in the future, conservatives of his ilk will one day be called “liberals”. He was right, and we need a man like him to bring the nation closer to the political center and correct the trend towards the political right that's been happening for about the last two or three decades. Both the modern conservatives and, to a much lesser extent, the modern libertarians claim Barry Goldwater as one of their ideological fathers, but from where I'm sitting, it is the modern libertarians who hold, by far, the greater and more valid claim. In closing, it's good to be back, and I'll see you soon.

The King IS BACK!!! (part 1)

As I start writing this, I am listening to the old Mortal Kombat soundtrack, track # 13 which is some pretty hard thrash metal. I chose it for inspiration, because, since I am finally back after a long absence from the Internet, I'm ready to kick some ass. I've been well, but my computer has not. Specifically, the motherboard died, so I chose instead to get a new tower, with a faster processor, a bigger hard drive, more memory, and a new operating system. It's the last one that's been a bit of a rub, since it turns out that dial-up ISP's don't like Linux all that much. Who knew? Well, to that question, the answer is pretty much everybody, but I'm a bit of a pigheaded asshole about some things. Since I had to get a new tower, I decided to make a clean break from Windows, and since I'm not a member of the Church of Steve Jobs, I chose Linux, specifically the Ubuntu “Edgy Eft” distribution. I've been playing on this machine for about a week now, and I can honestly say that the only things I'm missing from Windows is a bunch of crapware and some files that were on my old hard drive, but I'm in no rush to get that corrected... yet. Once I am, though, I have a geek friend who will help me out. I think I'm just going to install the old hard drive and have it for the few instances where I need some program that's compatible with the bloatware that Redmond, WA, passes off as an operating system. But since I'm already planning on a few upgrades to this computer, I think it can wait until then. Nevertheless, I'm probably going to be judiciously raiding the Debian and Ubuntu repositories for a few things I want, so I may not be visiting your blogs all that much for a while. The important thing is that I'll be online with my nice, shiny box, my beautiful OS, and my nice high-speed Internet connection. Since it may be a while before I blog again, I just want to say FUCK OFF, BILL GATES!!! And, in the immortal words of Howard Dean, “YEAAAAH!” I would be making that same gesture that Chuck Liddell makes after winning a bout, but for one, it would be a bit difficult to do that and type, and for another, I'm way too flabby and not flexible enough for that to even come close to looking as cool as he does. lol