Friday, March 27, 2009

DCT + Newsboys = New Talk?

In the list of could you repeat that please came an email from Newsboys. Michael Tait, one of the founders of DC Talk, is their new front man. The combination actually makes some sense. DCT and Newsboys have collaborated both on songs, and in concerts. They do largely attract the same rock audience. For many fans, it's like a formation of a SuperGroup.

Others, like me, start to wonder if it's actually possible now to see other hookups, say like Steven Curtis Chapman sitting down and bashing out an album with Toby Mac, or Ken Tamplin getting together with John Schlitt and Louie Weaver.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Why does the "media" love Obama?


TV Ratings and newspaper subscriptions have been falling for years. It seems like every other day we hear about a newspaper that's shutting down, or a TV station that can't sell advertising. A good case in point is NBC, whose advertising was down 52%.

Those in the media industry naturally try to cater to the interests of those who pay for the content creation. So, as newspapers and broadcast media embarked on an ever left-ward leaning political point of view, the people willing to pay for that leftward leaning point of view were, and are, leftists.

The result was, and is, a catch-22 situation. The former leaders of print and broadcast media needs money. The only people willing to pay for them to create content are leftists. In order to continue getting money from the leftists then, print and broadcast media continue to create content that caters to the leftist view. So people like Obama are not only off-limits, they have to be held up as Paragons of Society in order to appease the paying base.

This is why there is such a drastic difference between FoxNews and any other news channel, or even all of the other news services combined. Since FoxNews tries to be balanced in the political spectrum, more people are willing to pay for content creation on Fox.

However, because Fox tries to be balanced when everybody else in the medium is unbalanced, there is the situation where Fox seems to have a right-leaning perspective.

The sad part of the situation is that the accountants behind the former leaders seem incapable of realizing what is going on. They honestly do not understand why FoxNews is a success, and MSNBC is a failure.

Many in the print media blame falling newspaper subscriptions on the rise of Internet Blogging. This is technically true. However, Internet Blogging is just a continuation of Ham Radio and Shortwave radio of the past. Anybody can get news out. It's the people who can take the news, gather it together, and then make it presentable and understanable, who stand to make a living in the market. The internet, as a news medium, is just a quicker version of the wire services newspapers have been using for years. However, instead of relying on another reporter to go and get the story, the average person is in a position to get the story straight from the source itself.

People flocked to Internet Blogs because of the source-based reporting. There wasn't some double spin put on the story, as is common on the Associated Press wire, where one person puts the story on the wire as they saw it, then another person rewrites the story as they read it.

The radio media is in a similiar position. Rush Limbaugh is a giant in radio media, and ad time on his show can run into thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars in certain markets. Sean Hannity, Neal Boortz, and Michael Reagan also have prime time radio slots that can draw expensive advertisements. These guys are all right-wring conservatives.

Yet, the Left-sided radio program / station, Air America, has to PAY radio stations to carry their programming. Raunchy shock jocks like Howard Stern found themselves limited to Satellite Radio, and while Sirius/XM isn't exactly doing that well as is, their numbers on shock jocks are not that shockingly low.

No private investor has any interest in finacing these shows.

So the print and broadcast leaders of yester-year find themselves in the same shoes as the US car industry. People don't buy American cars because they suck. BMW and Mercedes get far more horsepower and torque out of an engine than Ford, GM, or Crysler. A japanese pickup truck can survive a 20 story drop from a building that's being imploded, specifically a Toyota HiLux Diesel. A japanese car gets many more miles to the gallon than a US car on gasoline. A European diesel, specifically the VW Golf, can average 73 miles to the gallon.

Even when you did get a comparable car, say like GM's Saturn division, you'd be looking at $20,000 for options that would come standard on a $15,000 Honda.

To try and keep on point here, the only people interested in preserving the US Auto-Industry as it is, are the Unions. Unions are by-and-large, left-leaning organizations, with socialistic tendencies. Because Unions are such a large-voting block, it's in the interest of left-wing politicians to keep the unions operational.

Rather than make the smart economical choice, and follow the trend in the privatized market (where Unions are next to non-existant), left-wing politicians will do anything to keep their voting blocks alive. So again, catch-22. The Unions don't want to join the free-market. They want to keep inflated wages, and benefits for everybody in the union that surpass the companies ability to pay, and will only elect people to power who will make sure the unions stay together. People who want political power will then make sure the Unions stay together to ensure they GET or KEEP that political power.

Notice the similarities? Lets inject "print and broadcast media"

Rather than follow the trend in privatized market (where Unions are next to non-existant), left-wing print and broadcast media will do anything to keep their subscriptions and advertisers. The news and print media doesn't want to take chances on advertising or investors, and only write stories that keep current advertisers and investors handing money over. Advertisers and investors, rather than seeking a wider audience, continue to fund the print and broadcast media in order to make sure they GET or KEEP their exposure.


taken from an email.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

31 states could be looking at redo's of November Elections

I think this falls under the excrement has hit the spinning device on the ceiling category. Diebold, now known as Premier Election Solutions, has admitted a serious flaw found in their voting machine software which allows election officials to delete votes with absolutely no record.

2 US States, Georgia and Maryland, use Diebold equipment exclusively, and 29 other states also utilize Diebold equipment in voting precincts. The design flaws, and other issues surrounding the voting equipment, has called into question the validity of results obtained from Diebold voting machines. Several states have already promised inquiries, and there's no telling what the final result will be.

One of the possibilities is that all precients that that utilized Diebold equipment could have to revote on every issue in which a Diebold machine was used to count the resultes. Given that most people are viewing Obama's first number of days in office as a complete disaster, with groups already gathering for Tax protests, there is little doubt as to what the results of a revote will be.

More than likely liberal news agencies like Reuters, Associated Press, ABC, NBC, MicroSoft-NBC, CBS, and CNN will try to bury the problems with Diebolds equipment, as any revote would likely remove the current political party from power, if not reverse the office of president as well.

Diebold and their business partners have a lot to answer for, as the flaws demonstrated in Diebold's system make the hanging chads from Florida seem like a minor problem.

Friday, March 20, 2009

CanSecWest: No Linux laptops... wonder why

The news from CanSecWest that FireFox, Internet Explorer, and Safari all fell to penetrations on the first day put a feather in Google's cap as Chrome remained standing. However, there was one startling difference from this years contest compared to last years's Pwn 2 Own. During the 2008 conference the laptop running Ubuntu Linux went unclaimed :

This year, Linux wasn't invited back, with the only appearance consisting of Google's Android Mobile Phone stack:

If I in were the shoes of Microsoft or Apple, I would probably be sweating. Especially considering that one of the panel's consists of hardening Linux: The obvious read between the lines, and one that Dell would be smart to pick up as a promotion, is that Linux is so secure, the best Hackers in the world didn't think they could take a Linux system down in 3 days.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Big Truck + SUV + Small Car + blind turnlane = I'm in pain... again.

I'd almost apologize for the over-exposure... but I think I did good to snap any pictures at all.


edit: for those who asked elsewhere, the two ladies in the fore-ground stopped to try and help with the accident.

No, I didn't hit the guardrail either. since my SUV was still able to move under it's own power, I got it off the road as quickly as I could to try and keep traffic clear. As can be seen in the bottom picture, we still caused quite a traffic back-up.

And yes, those fuzzy dice are from Mario Kart GCN's special promotion.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

DRM peddler throws rocks out of glass house.

Most people haven't heard of Aladdin software, and for good reason. The company sells Digital Rights Management software which the vast majority of consumers hate with a passion. Case in point would be the EA's Spore which drove a consumer backlash so large ZDNet ran the opinion it could destroy PC gaming, broke records for being the most pirated game ever, and caused EA to retool the entire system.

One would think then that DRM providers would be very careful about what they say in the public place. Not so for John Gunn of Aladdin software. In a blog post he referred to Gabe Newell of Valve software as being a noob. This was my comment on the HardOCP forums, and what I copied to John's blog, although it appears to have been deleted by Mr. Gunn:
on one hand we have a guy who has built a successful Digital Distribution Platform... is already eying (and programming) that Digital Distribution Platform for other Operating Systems and platforms... who controls development teams that have a successful history of catching and DOING something about the type of people who hack around games...

versus a guy who was VP Channel Sales at 3dfx, a company long deceased due to massive mis-steps in the retail market; director of marketing at STB, a company that I've honestly never heard of, and the top search for STB Systems results in a driver download for video adapters; and worked for VisionTek, a company I have heard of, but during 2001 to 2004 when HardOCP had less than polite things to say, including a near, if not actual, bankruptcy in 2002.

Right off hand, when it comes to selling to the retail market and figuring out what the market wants the most, I think Gabe and company at Valve have a much better handle on things than John Gunn.

Thing is, a quick look at Mr. Gunn's employment record on Linked In should send most prospective employeers running for the hills, if not to the nearest courthouse to get a restraining order. His time at 3DFX as a Vice-President of marketing coincided with the 2000 bankruptcy proceedings, and began with the merger of STB, a former employeer of his, in 1999. Given his official positions in 3DFX and STB, and the massive market mis-steps that saw the demise of 3DFX, John Gunn can easily be pinpointed as one of the disasters that befell both companies. Then there was his tenure at VisionTek. As noted in the HardOCP comment, VisionTek went bankrupt, again, when John Gunn was in a position of authority in the company.

To any outside observer, John Gunn is obviously a financial disaster on par with Timothy M. Roberts.

When it comes to judging what the retail market wants, and what the retail market gets, Mr. Gunn has a dedicated history of getting everything wrong.

Mr. Newell on the other hand. Well, his record hasn't been stellar either, and I've gone after Valve a couple times. However, Valve has been getting better, and the company seems to get it.

To an outside observer though, Steam is a rousing success. Independent game developers that could never get a game on the shelf of Wal-Mart or Gamestop can get their game in front of buyers through Steam. Major publishers can publish their back-catalogs through Steam and rack in profits for compilations that would never fit on a retail shelf. Steam Cloud allows players to store things like key settings on their Steam Account, which is useful for people who may play on a home computer, and a laptop at Taco Bell. Steam wraps digital rights management with update and game matching services that take advantage of having a single consistant log-in.

Okay, there are still improvements that could be made to Steam, my personal desire being the opportunity for a LAN pass, but as a retail product, Steam has proven that DRM can work. Gabe Newell has proven that when it comes to digital rights management, he does know how to make it work FOR buyers, not against them, or that he knows to hire the right people to make it work.

So between the two, I'll listen to what Mr. Newell says on DRM a lot sooner than I'll listen to somebody shilling a product that I already know won't work.