Viele Verbindungen

Guten Abend, meine Damen und Herren. Welcome to “Doug’s Brauhaus von Linkenarbeitsgemeinschaftigenluftenwarnungsteinen”. Tonight we are featuring a sumptuous feast of the finest in hand-picked links, personally selected by the owner. Please won’t you consider the menu?
First off, we have two exquisite examples of technological cluelessness, the first of which, “Shut Up I Hack You“, features self-inflicted “haxx0ring” spiced nicely with some inappropriate l33t language and mild cursing. Next, we have the finely-aged Attack of the Repo Men, resplendent with paranoia, legal threats and a near-obsession with Russian hackers. I would suggest a nice hearty red wine to go with either link.
For those of you whose tastes instead run towards a more refined videogames-centric list, we have a wonderful preview of the Wii-specific controller developed for Guitar Hero III, freshly-picked news of a forthcoming “Beirut”/”Beer Pong” game headed for the Wii, a piquant “Jane Goodall among the Geeks of Penny Arcade”-esque article from WIRED and, of course, the trailer for Penny Arcade’s upcoming computer adventure game, “On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness”:Also of interest on today’s menu is a photo gallery of Goth Day At Disneyland 2007, a freshly-caught copyright infringer infringing on infringers who infringed upon him and word of the tarring and feathering of a known drug dealer in Northern Ireland.
Should you find the need to use our extensive, ahem, facilities, I might ask you to brush up on Male Restroom Etiquette:

For dessert, we have a lovely selection of Geeky Wedding Cakes. (I particularly like the Homestar Runner one, personally. Seriously.)
If I may be of any further assistance to you this evening, please don’t hesitate to call me back over to your table. Enjoy!

This Town Needs An Enema

This town…Those that know me best know that I am no fan of Philadelphia Mayor John Street’s persona, politics or ethics, but I must object to the current “mini-scandal”
brewing as just plain stupid.
Here’s the situation:
John Street (D, Philadelphia) is a bit of a gadget hound. He wanted an iPhone and so decided to wait outside of an AT&T store, starting at 3 am Friday morning. When people started arriving later in the day, they noticed Street and began heckling him, claiming he should be off conducting the business of the city, etc., to which Street responded by raising his Blackberry and noting that he had handled tens of emails and phone calls flawlessly from the line. Other meetings and the heckling eventually forced Street to abandon his place in line and have a subordinate continue waiting for the iPhone. Street eventually got his iPhone, thanks to the diligence of his aide.
The local media and blogs are in a tizzy, claiming the city is in a “crisis” and that Street exhibited near malfeasance by waiting in line for a few hours. This is balderdash. John Street does not roam the streets of Philadelphia single-handedly wrestling gun criminals to the pavement, busting up drug cartels and handing out parking tickets. He’s the mayor, and, as such, he delegates the day-to-day affairs to others more capable (well, in theory, that is) and thus makes command decisions when necessary.
To fault the man for a few hours in line is simply scandal-mongering and is truly unfair. How else was Street to get ahold of the device? If he had forced an aide to wait from the beginning, his critics would accuse him of misusing city staff for his own personal ends. If he had called the AT&T store and asked for an iPhone to be set aside, he would have been accused of strong-arming a retailer and seeking special privileges. Instead, he sought to personally acquire the device.
His critics should be ashamed of themselves. Give the guy a break and let him enjoy a few moments of peace and leisure — Heaven knows those are in short supply in the Philly city government.

Get Bused, Get Omnibused

It’s that time again — time for some bigtime link aggregation. So strap in and enjoy the ride, y’all.
PA liquor laws are stupid, unpopular. Sky blue, Pope Catholic, Queen English.
I pride myself on being a bit of a geek, but getting the real Boba Fett to show up and object to your Star Wars/Labyrinth-themed wedding is just off the charts.
USA Today writers: tragically unhip, they pine for earlier days and shake their fists impotently at those “darn kids”.
Rope-less jumprope? Stupidest. Idea. EVER.
Christopher Hitchens has a brother and, wouldn’t you know it, they’re polar opposites. What a weird world we live in.
A former police chief and retired USMC captain restrain an unruly airline passenger to applause, excepting the chief’s wife who

barely looked up from “The Richest Man in Babylon,” the book she was reading.
“The woman sitting in front of us was very upset and asked me how I could just sit there reading,” Katie Hayden said. “Bob’s been shot at. He’s been stabbed. He’s taken knives away. He knows how to handle those situations. I figured he would go up there and step on somebody’s neck, and that would be the end of it. I knew how that situation would end. I didn’t know how the book would end.”

The Movable Type 4 beta has been released and MT4 will be licensed under an open source license. I’m downloading as we speak and will eval it ASAP.
The Camino browser hit 1.5 today. Excellent browser, much more Mac-ish than Firefox. Still no Firebug, though…
Those jihadi sons of motherless goats have introduced a new weapon in the Iraqi theater. Oh, the hubeer-manity!
I love liberal columnists. A philandering, faithless Chief Executives that lied under oath to a Federal grand jury, hey, no problem! An ex-VP and Presidential candidate takes to the Convention stage and lays a huge, creepy, tongue-filled kiss on his wife? More’s the better! But let a GOP Significant Other or two show off their natural assets and you’d think the whole country were headed straight into the toilet.
Screencast-o-Matic: nifty idea, “meh” implementation.
A Q & A with lots of A’s with two of the writer/producers of NBC’s Heroes. Well worth the time investment to read.
Plotr: quite a handy JavaScript-based graphing tool. Very cool.
Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, serially uncool:

A history of video games:

I give it an “A” for concept, a “C” for actually including decent/ground-breaking games.
Fallout 3 is coming. Hooo boy!
New MacBook Pros are out, and man!, are they spiffy.

Innovative Business Model: Buy My Product Or I’ll Sue You!

Take off every Zig - for great digital justice!
Now this is a doozy. A company called “MRT” has decided to sue Microsoft, Apple, Adobe and Real Networks because

MRT claims that Vista, Adobe Flash Player, Real Player, iTunes and the iPod have been produced “without regard for the DMCA or the rights of American Intellectual Property owners.” The DMCA, signed into law in 1998, makes it illegal to manufacture products that are designed to circumvent copy protection. Accordingly, MRT has filed Cease and Desist letters against Apple, Microsoft, Adobe and Real to stop production or sale of products that infringe on the DMCA.
MRT’s X1 SeCure Recording Control has proven effective against stream ripping, the company said in a statement, and these companies have been “actively avoiding the use of MRT’s technologies.”

(Emphasis mine.)
Oh that’s rich. That’s real rich. As if there weren’t enough examples that the DMCA is a terrible law, here we have a company essentially claiming that any media company not using their product is, in effect, not doing enough and therefore in violation of the law. It couldn’t be that perhaps those companies took a look at MRT’s offering, found it to be crap and decided to press on with their own copy protection schemes — that would be too simple! Conspiracy! Skulduggery! RICO!
Now, it seems plain to me that MRT is misreading the law and thus should have their suit laughed out of court at the first available opportunity. In order to pass the DMCA’s “anti-circumvention” sniff test, a product must be “designed to circumvent copy protection” (as referenced above). I find it a ludicrous proposition that any reasonably intelligent judge could possibly believe that Real Player, Windows Media, iTunes, Flash and the iPod were in any way, shape, or form “designed” to circumvent copy protection.
But perhaps I speak too soon. Perhaps I could counsel a few traffic light camera vendors to begin suing all cities that “refuse” to place their cameras at all stoplights. I mean, that obviously means that they are not only not interested in enforcing traffic laws but are in fact inviting and enabling drivers to break the law. They’re complicit in the lawbreaking, right? Same argument, as far as I can see.
The only solution I can see to the problem is to round up all lawyers, fire them into space and then lose the whole lot somewhere in the New Mexican desert ala Scotty.
Ars Technica has more on the subject.

As If I Needed Any Further Reasons To Avoid Jersey Whenever Possible

Were it not for the fact that I work in New Jersey and have many friends there, I would stay as far away as possible, particularly in light of the recent revelations that

  1. NJ State Police are a bunch of whiny, self-satisfied punks with their tails in a twist over criticism they’ve taken after crashing Gov. Corzine into a Jersey barrier at 91 mph and are not above resorting to extortion and harassment of their critics in order to make themselves feel better
  2. NJ beaches are full of unexploded ordnance
  3. NJ played host to the home-grown Terrorist Cell That Couldn’t Shoot Straight, given the fact that they went to a commercial video dubbing establishment to convert their jihadi terror videos into DVDs

I would advise that those that can avoid Jersey do.

Marxist Turbines: The New Jersey Toll Roads And You!

Lousy Marxist turbines…
I’m actually surprised nobrainer hasn’t commented on this story as of yet — seems like it’d be right up his alley.
Anyways, here goes: some moron idiot charlatan high school dropout enterprising inventor has proposed placing wind turbines along New Jersey highways in order to “harvest” the “wind energy” generated by traffic and funnel it into powering the public transportation grid. This sounds like a nice plan, if only it weren’t for that darn little thing known as “physics”.
As any halfwitted fan of NASCAR knows, there’s this little thing called “drag” that keeps cars from going their fastest. Good drivers know how to “draft” to reduce their drag and thus gain fuel economy (well, if the rate at which NASCArs use fuel can be considered “economical”, that is) and potentially a good bit of speed. [Note: I am not calling all NASCAR fans halfwits, I am merely stating the obvious fact that there are fans that happen to be halfwits. Please don’t send hatemail. -ed.] Anything causing turbulence (i.e., giant rotating turbine blades positioned next to or under the road surface) increases drag and thus decreases speed and fuel efficiency. Basically, the cars have to work harder to keep the same rate of speed.
Decreased fuel efficiency == increased fuel consumption and, since the current incarnation of the internal combustion engineis not terribly efficient at turning hydrocarbons into usable energy (it’s around 15% efficient or so), it means a lot of fuel is simply wasted every time you start your car. The rest of the fuel is emitted as particulate matter, unburned fuel, heat, sound and waste gasses. Even typical fossil fuel-powered electrical plants run at between 35% and 60% efficiency. So this moron, in an attempt to “save” the environment would instead increase the pollution emitted by cars and increase all Jersey drivers’ fuel bills.
He gives himself away, though, when he blathers on about being excited to harvest energy from privately-owned vehicles for use in the public transit system — he’s a freakin’ redistributionist trying to sell what would amount to a per-gallon energy tax hidden neatly beneath the asphalt of 295 and the NJTP.

CBS News: Velly Solly, But You Arr Rook Arike To Us!

We have this gem of a story by way of little green footballs:
I mean, you know, China, Japan, what’s the difference? It’s not like that mistake wouldn’t be highly offensive to both countries, right? There’s no past history of societal abuse between the two or anything…
UPDATE: Not only is the flag wrong, but the drop shadow is obviously pointing in the exact wrong direction and that’s not even a picture of our own moon – it’s Dione, one of Saturn’s satellites!

WaPo Editorial Board Piles On Yahoo!

We’ve been over the incredibly craven behavior of Yahoo! with regards to helping the ChiComms oppress their people, but the mainstream media seems to have largely ignored the issue. In a first big stride, however, the Washington Post’s editorial board has weighed in on the issue (anti-Yahoo!, pro-freedom, if you must know). Let’s hope theirs is the first among many mainstream voices to call out Yahoo!, Google, Microsoft and other US companies for their inexcusable behavior.

There Is No Cone But Allah And Muhammad Is His Fry-Flinger

Have you heard about the latest politically correct kerfuffle involving (and I’m not making this up) British Muslims, Burger King, and a “sacreligious” frosty dessert confection? No? Apparently, Allah is actually a thick chocolate swirly ice cream cone and BK is guilty of depicting him in all his lactose-intolerant glory. A British Muslim noted this obvious heresy, declared a personal jihad against BK and demanded that they change the “offending” packaging so as to not depict the name of his false moon god.
Jeff Goldstein calls BK’s knuckling-under a ceding of iconic linguistic control to the forces of evil while Robert Spencer offers photographic evidence that Allah may, in fact, be a chocolate swirly cone. Additionally, Slim999 offers up a new spin on BK’s perennial favorite among the breakfasting crowd, the Croissandwich“Crescent Roll of Embrace”.
(Ref. Michelle Malkin in re: the Flight 93 Memorial controversy on that last one.)