Tag: stupidity

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Let the Bears Eat Bear Stearns

I agree with Gretchen Morgenson, writing for the New York Times. The Fed shouldn’t bail out Bear Stearns. The fed crossed a line by keeping afloat a major architect of the housing debacle.

I wrote my first blog post about the housing bubble in August 2005, a year after deciding not to buy a home in the Washington, DC suburb of Bowie. It was already clear to me in summer 2004 that something akin to a repeat of the dot-com bubble was taking place in the housing market.

Had we bought in 2004, we would likely hold a mortgage that exceeds the house’s reduced value. We could never have moved to San Diego. 

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Scoble Scrapes Friends’ Trust

Robert Scoble has been the talk of the Web today, for getting booted from Facebook. Robert is back on Facebook now, but he shouldn’t be. Facebook suspended the former Microsoft evangelist blogger for a terms-of-service violation. He used a testing Plaxo tool to mine, or “scrape,” information from about 5,000 of his contacts. [Editor’s note, April 4, 2017: Three Scobelizer posts gone; links removed.] 

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LOL, The 20-Hour Work Week

When reading that Gartner predicted the end of the 40-hour work, I assumed more hours. Not the case. The analyst firm proclaims the 20-year work week will come by 2015. Say that again?

“As the need to employ skilled staff from demographics unable or unwilling to work 40 hours a week increases, Gartner believes the ’20-hour-per-week job description’ will emerge—a role that can be successfully accomplished in half the normal time…Rather than a draconian measure to halve the working hours of all employees, the 20-hour job description, as suggested by Gartner, is an approach to help increase an organisation’s ability to attract and retain skilled and highly qualified workers”. 

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License, Stupidity, or Politics?

It is nitpicking time for the bone pickers. Last night, the DVR recorded the pilot episode of “Bones,” which was telecast for no reason I can guess; it’s an old episode. I hadn’t seen the first, which shocked from the opening sequence. Anyone from Washington should know that the airport above couldn’t possibly be Dulles. The identified airport isn’t in Washington but Virginia—in, duh, Dulles—and absolutely nowhere close to the U.S. Capitol. About 30 miles distance separates runways and the domed government building.

The view above would fit for Reagan National Airport. No doubt it is that airport. So, why does “Bones” kick off with such a glaring mistake? I make a big deal out of this for two reasons: The show is all about brainiac forensic anthropologists who live and breathe minute details; the setting is Washington, D.C. For either or both reasons, “Bones” should get the airport right. 

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Hybrid Cars are a Bad Idea

I philosophically oppose the concept of hybrid cars. The hybrid is a feel-good response to concerns about the environment that doesn’t go near as far as needed. For other folks, hybrid auto is a no-conscience purchase; it’s about saving money on gasoline. Mother Nature deserves better than these gas guzzlers and air polluters.

How about those natural gas vehicles, like the Metro buses moving around Washington, or ethanol-powered alternatives? They’re no better choices than hybrids. All these vehicles are bad for the environment and in their wickedness preserve an oil-based infrastructure and economy that long ago surpassed any meaningful usefulness. 

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Painful Changes

My blog relocation has turned out to be quite an exhilarating experience. On Saturday, I managed to delete all the content and my Movable Type export file. Everything was lost! Oh, it’s a harrowing tale.

Some background: I made the move on Wednesday to pmachinehosting, which a few days later changed its name to EngineHosting. I also moved from Movable Type to ExpressionEngine. I lacked two things: A new design and fix to a troublesome problem, that ExpressionEngine inserted index.php/comments in the path of posts (e.g., http://www.joewicox.com/index.php/comments/painful_changes. 

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Pump Up Your Common Sense

I really worry about some people, and that is sincerely meant.

This morning, over at the local gas station, the mechanics changed a headlight on our car. Say, how many mechanics does it take to change a lightbulb? Three took about 20 minutes figuring out how to get the old bulb out and the new one in.

While they struggled to see the light, a finely dressed woman drove a polished SUV into the station for fuel. Problem: The gas station had no gas. “Out of Order” signs covered every pump. Undaunted, this woman circled around, eyeing them, before parking before one. 

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What Would Wendy Say?

This morning, as I stood in line at Wendy’s, something troubling occurred. The male manager—maybe store, maybe shift—slid his palm around one of the female cashier’s midriffs as he stepped around the counter and out into the restaurant. He slid his hand around her waist across her tummy. It was an affectionate touch, the kind a man might give a woman he loves. But she didn’t react as a lover might. Rather, she slightly stiffened, as did the casher next to her.

Of course, I observed a fleeting action, with very little context. But the touch troubled me. I left greatly concerned for both women and maybe others. For all I know, the boss is touchy with everyone, just a helluva friendly guy. But the cynic inside says there was more going on. 

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Cancel Me, Cancel You

Ah, the power of the single voice, amplified by the reach of the World Wide Web. Today’s New York Times story, “AOL Said, ‘If You Leave Me I’ll Do Something Crazy’“, once again highlights the power of the Web, particularly Weblogs or content-sharing sites like YouTube. Randall Stross’ story is also a tell-tale account of how difficult can be account cancellation.

The story starts with a Bronx man’s 21-minute phone call seeking to cancel his AOL account: “Vincent Ferrari, 30, of the Bronx…recorded the five minutes of interaction with the AOL customer service representative and, a week later, posted the audio file on his blog, Insignificant Thoughts. Shortly thereafter, those five minutes became the online equivalent of a top-of-the-charts single”. 

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Oh, Joe of Little Faith

This evening, I stopped into Penn Camera to pick up that spare Nikon D200 battery ordered about a week earlier. I waited behind a guy spending big on a digital camera, although it was uncertain if he understood what he was buying.

Thomas Hawk might appreciate this: A Canon EOS 5D, Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens, Canon Speedlite 430EX flash, memory card, and some other stuff I couldn’t quite make out. The buyer seemed somewhat perplexed by the $5,500 total. I thought, “It’s what you pay for a full-frame sensor”. Turns out, Canon rebates would put more than 500 bucks back in his pocket—$300 off the 5D. The camera is practically a steal at $2,699 after rebate.