Monday, January 5, 2009

Firefox up, Internet Exploder down

Internet Explorer's market share fell to 68%, down from 74% in May. Firefox is up to 21%. Down with the evil empire.

Gaza, the ground offensive

What ever happened to the do or die Hamas fanatics who were going to defend every inch of Gaza? The news I read has the Israeli army driving right across Gaza to the Mediterranean with only one combat death. Sounds more like Hamas has thrown away their rifles and run.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Flaming telephone pole, Part II

The day after the pole put on its great light show, the telephone company shows up, with a brand new pole on a little dolly hitched behind the truck. The truck[s] have all been repainted to show "Fairpoint" on the doors, rather than the older "Verizon". The telephone guys started out looking like they were planning a pole change, which would put our lights out for another day. What fun. Fortunately, they thought better of it, and decided to do what the electric guys did, namely live with a short pole and just move all their stuff down a little lower. A couple of hours swinging in the air from the cherry picker, on a very cold day, and off they went.

Gaza exit strategy

There are only two exit strategies for a war, victory or defeat. Maybe the best long run strategy for Gaza is to allow the war to continue until there is a victory for one side and defeat for the other? Imposed ceasefires don't solve anything, they just postpone it to another day.

Only blockbusters need apply

The publishing industry is pursuing the big block buster book deals, offering authors six figure advances, and doing massive publicity campaigns to sell the expensively advanced book. Result?
Fewer books published. As a book buyer this is an unpleasant trend, reducing the number of new books in the stores, and limiting them to "mainstream" fiction. Many readers don't like mainstream fiction, they perfer genre fiction or history or biography. It also chokes off the supply of new writers. Few agents or publishers will talk to a first time author attempting to publish his/her first book. That trend goes way back. Best selling author Tom Clancy finally got his "Hunt for Red October" into print via the Naval Institute Press, after the ordinary publishers turned him down repeatedly. If the publishers won't publish first time authors, eventually their stable of published authors retire or die, and then what's to print?
Could this concentration on block busters be responsible for the overall slow down of book sales? Something like this happened to the CD business. The suits running the music business have failed to find new singers, and CD sales have been falling for years now.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Hamas calls down the airstrikes

The Israeli Air Force is running out of targets in Gaza. Not surprising, there is little worth the cost of a bomb in Gaza. According to Fox, the Israeli Army is about to cross into Gaza and kick some ass and take some casualties. And Hamas is still launches rockets into Israel.
The Israeli's would gladly call the whole thing off, if only Hamas would stop launch rockets into Israel. Hamas apparently doesn't care, they are still launching. If they are that stupid, let the Israeli's bomb them back to the stone age.

Ninja Mortgage

Today's Wall St Journal has a front page story "Would you pay $103,000 for this Arizona fixer-upper?" The photo shows a worthless shack, hardly big enough to house a German Shepherd. The story goes one to explain how a sleazy mortgage lender did a $103,000 mortgage with a divorced woman with drug and alcohol problems and no job, and then sold that mortgage to bigger suckers on Wall St. For for list price.