Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Some top laser printers called office polluters

Link to article at SFGate.com
The worst printers released amounts of ultra-fine particles rivaling plumes of secondhand smoke. When inhaled, the particles -- tiny flecks between 100 and 1,000 times smaller than the thickness of a human hair -- can work their way deep into the lung, leading to heart and lung disease, scientists say. Laser printers in the study were manufactured by Hewlett-Packard, Toshiba, Ricoh and Canon. All use toner, a powder used instead of ink.
Frightening news for those of us that always thought Microsoft products were the most life threatening.
Probably need to keep an eye on this issue.

- Frank

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Monday, July 30, 2007


Former 49er head coach Bill Walsh dies

Link to a wonderfully thorough biography at SFGate.com
William Ernest Walsh was born Nov. 30, 1931, the son of a day laborer who worked at various times at an auto factory, a railroad yard and a brickyard. When Walsh was 15, his father got him a job in a garage near the Los Angeles Coliseum. The family moved around California frequently.
I'm not a sports fan, but Bill Walsh has long been a glowing example of what a QUALITY human being could be.
We should all hope that some day all of our businesses and governments will have leaders like him.
- Frank



After the Next 9/11

Link to original post by Marty Kaplan: The Huffington Post
Is there any doubt that the Bush administration, and its dead-ender allies in the Republican Party and the media, will use an act of domestic terrorism as a fresh opportunity to further demonize their political opponents and further compromise the Constitution? Will they truly be able to resist the temptations of martial law, emergency powers, and the phony prerogatives of the unitary executive in wartime? In Britain, in Israel, in Spain, in Ireland, we have seen political leaders decline the invitation to demagoguery that domestic terrorism has offered, and instead to put violence in perspective, to refuse to compromise reason and democracy, to summon their citizens to remain themselves rather than become their enemies. When the unthinkable happens to us again, will the politicians who pissed away the unity following 9/11 in the sands of Iraq have the moral wherewithal to remind us that no matter how grief-stricken we may be, the sky has not fallen and the republic has not failed?


Friday, July 27, 2007


New details on Tillman's death

Link to article at USATODAY.com
Army medical examiners were suspicious about the close proximity of the three bullet holes in Pat Tillman's forehead and tried without success to get authorities to investigate whether the former NFL player's death amounted to a crime, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

"The medical evidence did not match up with the, with the scenario as described," a doctor who examined Tillman's body after he was killed on the battlefield in Afghanistan in 2004 told investigators.
Afghanistan, Iraq, New Orleans, the World Trade Center, and elsewhere. Hmmm? How many other suspicious deaths will eventually be identified as just part of routine business as conducted by the current corrupt administration?
- Frank

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Monday, July 23, 2007


One Soda a Day May Boost Risk for Heart Disease

Link to original article at FOXNews.com
Drinking just one soft drink a day — whether diet or regular — may boost your risk of getting heart disease, a new study shows.

That is because a soda habit increases the risk of developing a condition called metabolic syndrome, according to the new research, and that in turn boosts the chance of getting both heart disease and diabetes.
Hmmm? This article starts out including both diet and regular soft drinks. It soon offers contradictory opinions and seems to almost cancel itself out. Strange!

- Frank



Fake fake buns maybe not fake after all?

Link to blog posting at Shanghaiist
Despite some pretty damning arguments regarding the plausibility of blending cardboard and caustic soda into baozi, steamed pork buns, the internets are chattering again: Government conspiracy and cover-up! The fake buns being fake is itself fake!

It's a bit like unpicking the speech of an 8-year-old who has just discovered double-negatives-- It's not not Opposite Day, not!-- but we'll do our best.
If it isn't polluted fish and rodent overpopulation, then it's a long list of food safety issues almost daily from China. It is all very frightening and seemingly out of control.
- Frank



Say hello to Frank, the latest cosmic discovery

Link to article at Spacedaily.com
There's mighty Jupiter, dubbed after the paramount god of Roman mythology. Pluto, whose name was inspired by the god of the underworld. Mercury, its title bestowed in honor of the winged messenger.

Then there's Frank.

The oddball name has been temporarily given to Saturn's 60th moon, the European Space Agency (ESA) said here on Friday.
What the heck?

Why do they consider Frank an "oddball name", when neighboring moons are Methone and Pallene?

- Frank :-)



IPhone Flaw Lets Hackers Take Over, Security Firm Says

Link to complete article at the New York Times
A team of computer security consultants say they have found a flaw in Apple’s wildly popular iPhone that allows them to take control of the device.
Probably just the tip of the iceberg as Apple products grow enough in market share to have appeal to the hacker community,
- Frank

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Saturday, July 21, 2007


Internet domain names the 21st century real estate

Link to article at USATODAY.com
These are boom times in an estimated $2 billion industry that involves the buying and selling of domain names. When people type the generic names into their Web browser's address field, sites that generate pay-per-click advertising revenue appear. Such "direct navigation" bypasses search engines.
No need for a license to buy or sell domain names, but a wallet full of cash is imperative!
- Frank

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Friday, July 20, 2007


A trip into the depths of Las Vegas

Link to article at News.com
"So, here it is 2007, and there are currently 450 miles of these flood channels in town, including 300 miles underground. O'Brien says that the Las Vegas master plan created in the 1990s calls for around 1,000 miles of them within 20 or 25 years."
An exploratory trip into the underbelly of Fabulous Las Vegas.
- Frank



House protects public broadcasting

Link to article at CNN.com
The House on Wednesday evening overwhelmingly rejected President Bush's plan to eliminate the $420 million federal subsidy for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The 357-72 vote demonstrated the enduring political strength of public broadcasting. The outcome was never in doubt, unlike a fight two years ago when Republicans tried but failed to slash public broadcasting subsidies.
Another small victory over the poster child for illiteracy.
- Frank

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Old-line Republican warns 'something's in the works' to trigger a police state

Link to article at The Raw Story
"The administration figures themselves and prominent Republican propagandists ... are preparing us for another 9/11 event or series of events," Roberts continued. "Chertoff has predicted them. ... The National Intelligence Estimate is saying that al Qaeda has regrouped. ... You have to count on the fact that if al Qaeda's not going to do it, it's going to be orchestrated. ... The Republicans are praying for another 9/11."

Hartmann asked what we as the people can do if impeachment isn't about to happen. "If enough people were suspicious and alert, it would be harder for the administration to get away with it," Roberts replied. However, he added, "I don't think these wake-up calls are likely to be effective," pointing out the dominance of the mainstream media.

"Americans think their danger is terrorists," said Roberts. "They don't understand the terrorists cannot take away habeas corpus, the Bill of Rights, the Constitution. ... The terrorists are not anything like the threat that we face to the Bill of Rights and the Constitution from our own government in the name of fighting terrorism. Americans just aren't able to perceive that."
Some frightening food for thought, if you haven't already considered this yourself. Also, a reminder of who the real terrorists are.
- Frank


Thursday, July 19, 2007


Illegal Codecs Put Me Off Linux

Link to complete article at Datamation
"Linux has a number of really strong points that go beyond the price (reliability, ease of use and low hardware requirements to name but a few), but the operating system falls short when it comes to legally supporting file formats such as MP3, WMA/WMV and DVDs. It’s not that you don’t have support for these formats available, it’s that adding support means entering into some really shady legal territory."
- Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
A short, but very accurate article. I just set up a laptop myself, using Ubuntu (7.04), and was blown away by ease of installation, speed, useful user interface, and tremendous breadth of applications. But my first email received, included a movie clip in WMV format and I spent the next day downloading crap to get it to play. :-(

It is a shame to be thwarted by legal and business (greed) issues, because compared to Windows or Mac OS X, Linux is clearly the technical leader. These audio/video issues have soured me on the whole Linux idea.

Maybe Sun's Solaris will be my next trial.
- Frank


Tuesday, July 17, 2007


The book that rocked SmugMug

Link to posting at smugblog: Chris MacAskill
"The last people you’d expect to read a book about diet would be thin, Coke-drinking, bacon and burger-loving young geeks.

But The China Study rocked the house, getting half of SmugMug’s 25 people and 3-dozen of our dearest friends to completely change what we eat. I didn’t dare blog about it for a year because who knew how many people would grow tired of our new diets and quit? Or gain back lost weight…"
My first reaction to this was a strong bit of skepticism. But I've been dealing with the MacAskill family for years as a customer (books via FatBrain, SmugMug.com, and almost for Internet access years ago), and integrity has always been their strong point.

Based on this history, I will pursue this and suggest you do the same.-- Frank

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Monday, July 16, 2007


The blood, it won't come off!

Link to article at the sawpit:
Bush wants us to believe that Iraq is better off without Saddam Hussein. The question is: who would rather live in a state of chaos, where one could be killed or kidnapped at any time? Not many. As bad as Saddam's Iraq was, it had a secure and functional infrastructure -- one that took decades to build. It's quite amazing that it only took a few months for the United States military to undo all that history. Make no mistake, this is President Bush's war, and no matter how hard he may try, he cannot wash all that blood from his hands.
A thoughtful opinion piece about this horrid situation and the buffoon responsible for it.
- Frank



Chinese trucking live rats to southern restaurants

Link to article at smh.com.au
Live rats are being trucked from central China, suffering a plague of a reported two billion rodents displaced by a flooded lake, to the south of the of country to end up in restaurant dishes, Chinese media reported.
I'd sure feel queasy at a KFC right now. -- Frank



Wireless USB gadgets trickle into marketplace

Link to article at CNET News.com
Wireless USB, a cable-free version of the ubiquitous device connection technology, is finally becoming a product and not just a promise.
Better late than never! This could really help eliminate the wire clutter in most computer user's work space.
- Frank


Sunday, July 15, 2007


Woman lives contently in tiny, tiny dream house

Link to article at KATU - Portland, Oregon
"It's 84 square feet, so roughly the size of a parking spot. Actually, smaller than a parking spot," says Dee Williams, who decided it was time to move. She was living in a 1,500-square foot home in Portland, but decided the house wasn't small enough - yes, small enough!
Certainly cuts down on housecleaning time. -- Frank


Saturday, July 14, 2007


'Green' Lawns Spur Neighborhood Wars

Link to RealEstateJournal.com
The pesticides used in lawn-care products found on shelves nationwide are considered legal by government standards. But broader research on health risks from such chemicals has prompted general warnings. The Environmental Protection Agency, which regulates pesticide use, notes on its own Web site that kids are at greater peril from pesticides because their internal organs and immune systems are developing.

In addition to the scientific debate, lawn care is also highlighting questions about personal-property rights. Some critics say the organic push is a nanny-state attempt to tell people what they can do on their own land.
Hmm - Why not switch to artificial turf and be done with it? 
- Frank



Inside Revived Lap Of Luxury Known As The Plaza

Link to article and video at wcbstv.com
Two of the 182 apartments come already furnished by none other than Versace. The luxury condos and all the amenities that come with them, including concierge service, don�t come cheap. The price tag for a one-bedroom starts at $1.6 million, but skyrockets from there.

"We have one-bedroom apartments, the prices begin at about $2.6 million with a garden view," said Elizabeth Lorenzo of The Plaza Residences. "On the Central Park view, the one bedrooms begin at about $5 million. It's the height of luxury."

There are also two- and three-bedroom units, as well as four-bedroom duplex and five-bedroom triplex penthouses ranging from $2.5 million to $40 million.

And you thought there was a housing slump! -- Frank


Friday, July 13, 2007


All hail the prophetic gut! Explaining Michael Chertoff’s counterterrorism stomach

Link to article - Countdown with Keith Olbermann - MSNBC.com
It’s impossible to prove a negative, to guarantee that you and your predecessors deliberately scared the American public just for the political hell of it — even though your predecessor, Mr. Ridge, admitted he had his suspicions about exactly that.

Suffice to say, Mr. Chertoff: If it ever can be proved, there will be a lot of people from Homeland Security and other outposts of this remarkably corrupt administration who will be going to prison.

Thanks again, Keith Olbermann, for speaking up regarding these disgraceful monsters.
- Frank



When Do You Stop The Presses?

Link to article at BusinessWeek.com
Killing print requires acknowledging not just that the old mode is dead but also that the future means less revenue and shrunken staffs. This is why it makes sense soonest at a money-losing newspaper already grappling with those realities, and one in a major city that generates enough local ad dollars to support a sizable online business.

The San Francisco Chronicle (http://SFGate.com) is one news site of only a handful worldwide, that I'd actually consider subscribing to.
- Frank



The outrageous White House report on Iraq

Link to article at Slate Magazine
...a close look at the 25-page report reveals a far more dismal picture and a deliberately distorted assessment. The eight instances of "satisfactory" progress are not at all satisfactory by any reasonable measure—or, in some cases, they indicate a purely procedural advance. The eight "unsatisfactory" categories concern the central issues of Iraqi politics—the disputes that must be resolved if Iraq is to be a viable state and if the U.S. mission is to have the slightest chance of success.

Many think this person is simply an incompetent fool, others think him a morally corrupt criminal.
But if we study all of his actions in recent years - it becomes clear that he is both.
- Frank


Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Officials uncover Nixon papers, tapes

Link to article at USATODAY.com
President Nixon and his 1972 re-election campaign tried to tie Democrats to the mob, gay liberation and even slavery, according to newly released papers and tapes betraying bare-knuckle tactics from the dawn of the Watergate scandal.

Still, even as Nixon's lieutenants explored every avenue for defeating Democrat George McGovern and nullifying critics of all stripes — "hit them" was a favorite phrase — the president brooded over his reputation as a hard man whose gentle side was not being seen by the public.

A sleazebag through and through!
- Frank



Budget Deficit Narrows to $205 Billion

Link to article at Forbes.com
...the new figures show an increase in the deficit next year to $258 billion and red ink for future years greater than earlier predicted. Bush promises a $33 billion surplus in 2012, but that figure doesn't reflect tens of billions in likely spending for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

...the deficit picture remains worse than it was when Bush took office six years ago. Then, both White House and congressional forecasters projected cumulative surpluses of $5.6 trillion over the subsequent decade.

Where is the "Mission Accomplished" banner?
Trying to put a positive spin on these numbers is a strong indication that our pseudo president has math skills about equal to his language skills.
- Frank



Bush Pardons Entire GOP / Prez "pre-emptively" saves all Repubs from becoming "prison bitches."

Link to article - Mark Morford column at SFGate.com
Curiously, the bizarre announcement came as no surprise to White House insiders. An anonymous source close to the president suggested that Bush secretly hoped that, if he made another big, vaguely unconstutional, degrading announcement that stabbed at the very heart of the republic, Dick Cheney might come up from behind again and give him another approving pat on the butt, much like a master gives a puppy. Cheney was unavailable for comment, as he was off shooting hundreds of flightless pheasants in the face with a shotgun from 2 feet away, and chuckling sinisterly.

While this might seem no stranger than the Bush headlines in most newspapers, Mark gets to the REAL issue in the last few paragraphs of his column.
- Frank

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Residents of Oregon town say shape of traffic posts is offensive

Link to article at KOMO-TV - Seattle, Washington
KEIZER, Ore. - The City of Keizer is taking heat for installing a group of cement posts designed to protect pedestrians from cars, but which some say is a phallic symbol.

Bollard fans should check this out - Frank :-)



Eco-Tip: Make Your Lithium Batteries Last

Link to other tips at TreeHugger.com
Contrary to what you may have heard, lithium-ion batteries do not need to be completely drained and recharged before using. They will still come to a full charge later if you start using them right out of the box. In fact, leaving your lithium-ion battery empty for too long (or too often) can actually drain battery life.

This issue seems to always be mired in conflicting opinions. - Frank



Ex-surgeon general says he was muzzled by Bush

Link to article at Chron.com - Houston Chronicle
"Much of the discussion was being driven by theology, ideology, (and) preconceived beliefs that were scientifically incorrect," said Carmona, one of three former surgeons general who testified at Tuesday's hearing. "I thought, this is a perfect example of the surgeon general being able to step forward, educate the American public ... I was blocked at every turn. I was told the decision had already been made — 'stand down, don't talk about it.' That information was removed from my speeches."

It will probably take decades to uncover and attempt to make right, the myriad of ills inflicted on the world by this corrupt and greedy administration.
- Frank


Tuesday, July 10, 2007


FCC Draft Auction Rules A Win For Google, Hi-Tech Industry

Link to article at CNN
According to the FCC official, who would only speak on the condition of anonymity because the rules haven't been released to the other four commissioners for their consideration, Google and the other hi-tech companies may have their way, as a large chunk of spectrum is to be auctioned off with so- called open access requirements attached.

Open access means that the licensee of the spectrum would have less say over the type of handsets providers of broadband service could sell to their customers and what types of broadband service could be offered by those providers.

I'll believe it when I see it! It sure would be nice to see an alternative to the many monopolistic maneuvers, such as the AT&T/Apple iPhone deal. - Frank

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Monday, July 09, 2007



Time to pick up a rental car...
- Frank


Former pharmacist sees future in liquor

Link to article at The Denver Post
"It used to be that you wanted to take care of people," said Skaff. "You wanted to talk to them. You wanted to help advise them. But now insurance companies have you so strapped you can't do anything and you can't get paid for it."

A sad sign of the times. - Frank


Sunday, July 08, 2007


French official suggested Bush was behind September 11

Link to full story at Reuters
According to a Scripps Howard/Ohio University poll carried out last July, more than one-third of Americans suspect U.S. officials helped in the September 11 attacks or took no action to stop them so the United States could later go to war.

A thought to keep in mind, when listening to Cheney THREATENING us with future attacks.
- Frank


Saturday, July 07, 2007


Judges OK warrantless monitoring of Web use / Privacy rules don't apply...

Link to article at SFGate.com

In Friday's ruling, the court said computer users should know that they lose privacy protections with e-mail and Web site addresses when they are communicated to the company whose equipment carries the messages.

AT&T and the U.S. Government – A partnership born in HELL!  – Frank 

Friday, July 06, 2007


White House Policy Illegally Silences Americans Critical of Bush

Link to original article
WASHINGTON - The American Civil Liberties Union today filed a federal lawsuit against a former high-level White House staffer for enacting a policy that unlawfully excluded individuals perceived to be critical of the administration from public events where President Bush was present. The policy is laid out in an October 2002 "Presidential Advance Manual" obtained by the ACLU.

Just imagine how much of this sort of action it took to create a positive media facade for the incompetent and unethical buffoon currently tainting the White House.
- Frank


Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Sax Player Boots Randolph Dead at 80

Link to article at OrlandoSentinel.com
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Boots Randolph, a saxophone player best known for the 1963 hit "Yakety Sax," died Tuesday. He was 80.
"Yakety Sax" was used on the TV program "The Benny Hill Show" more than two decades after the tune was on the charts.

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Olbermann: Bush, Cheney should resign

Link to original article at MSNBC.com
It is nearly July 4th, Mr. Bush, the commemoration of the moment we Americans decided that rather than live under a King who made up the laws, or erased them, or ignored them—or commuted the sentences of those rightly convicted under them—we would force our independence, and regain our sacred freedoms.

We of this time—and our leaders in Congress, of both parties—must now live up to those standards which echo through our history: Pressure, negotiate, impeach—get you, Mr. Bush, and Mr. Cheney, two men who are now perilous to our Democracy, away from its helm.


- Frank


Monday, July 02, 2007


The Story of Sam the Bellhop - as told by Bill Malone

Quite clever - I can't imagine remembering the words, much less handling the cards.
- Frank

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Anguished tales of property taken by state [California]

Link to article at SFGate.com
The law requires that banks and other financial institutions notify the state controller's office if property has been left unattended for more than three years. The law also requires the state to take the asset into trust to be held until the rightful owners claim it.

But most of the time, no one claims the property, and when the assets have been converted to cash the state gets the benefit from the unclaimed property to pay for services such as health care and highway repairs.

Critics say the so-called lost assets have emerged as an important revenue source for the cash-strapped state, providing as much as $400 million annually for general spending -- enough to cover the salaries of more than 7,500 teachers.

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