Wednesday, April 28, 2010

IOC strips 2000 Games bronze medal from China

IOC strips 2000 Games bronze medal from China
By Stephen Wilson, Ap Sports Writer – 28 mins ago

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – "China was stripped of a bronze medal from the 2000 Sydney Olympics on Wednesday for fielding an underage gymnast, with that women's team medal now going to the United States.

The International Olympic Committee acted after investigations by the sport's governing body determined that Dong Fangxiao was only 14 at the 2000 Games. Gymnasts must turn 16 during the Olympic year to be eligible.
"

There's another shocker. How surprised are you that China used underage girls? The only thing I can think of would be the sun raising in the morning. That's not to say China is the only country or athletes that cheat. Everyone tries to get away with as much as they can. But this kind of thing is doubly ridiculous in the context of the Olympics.

The Olympic games are supposed to be a celebration of athletes and competition. As soon as we started counting medals and making a Gold medal the only worthy prize the real enjoyment of the games has been lost. I can't remember the details but in one of the games, about 20 or 30 years ago, this guy finished something like 8th place. When he finished and the times were shown he was running around the track celebrating and cheering. Many people here in the States couldn't figure out why. I told them it was because he had just set the national record for the event. They still couldn't understand his being happy.
"So what if he set a record. He didn't win the gold so that means he lost."
That is an idiotic point-of-view. It is as bad as when Eddie "the Eagle" Edwards was kept from competing in the Winter Games after Calgary in '88. Yes, he wasn't even close to being a contender. But if he was going to put in the effort and compete in the event, that is the spirit of the Olympic games.
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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Torpedo blast likely sank warship: S. Korea minister

Torpedo blast likely sank warship: S. Korea minister
By Hyung-jin Kim, Associated Press Writer – Sun Apr 25, 1:09 pm ET

SEOUL, South Korea – "An explosion caused by a torpedo likely tore apart and sank a South Korean warship near the North Korean border, Seoul's defense minister said Sunday, while declining to assign blame for the blast as suspicion increasingly falls on Pyongyang."

I told you it was likely. Nobody ever listens to me.
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Saturday, April 24, 2010

NATO's cyber-brains gaze at the future of war

NATO's cyber-brains gaze at the future of war
by Jonathan Fowler – Sat Apr 24, 11:58 am ET

TALLINN (AFP) – "Behind the walls of a high-security lab, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation's top cyber-minds are trying to predict the evolution of conflict in an Internet-dependent world.

While they play down disaster-movie scenarios of total meltdown, experts warn cyber-attacks will be part and parcel of future fighting.
"

There is allot I could say on this subject. While I am no super security guru or military cyberwarrior, I do have some understanding of the digital world and the military. One of the most important tactical things one can do in battle is disrupt or alter the flow of information. If "we" know what "they" are going to do while "they" don't know what "we" are doing the advantage is with "us." Just ask the expert. But this isn't something that is coming. It is already here.

<rant>
Do you know what the single biggest threat to online security is? Odds are you're using it right now to read this post.
</rant>
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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sarkozy to submit bill banning Islamic face veils

Sarkozy to submit bill banning Islamic face veils
By Sylvie Corbet, Associated Press Writer – Wed Apr 21, 3:21 pm ET

PARIS – "French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday ordered legislation that would ban women from wearing Islamic veils that hide the face in the street and other public places.

In seeking to forbid the garment from public view, Sarkozy defied the advice of experts sought by the government who warned that such a broad ban risked contravening France's constitution.
"

I am not sure what good could come from this kind of thinking. There is already tension between Islamic and European cultures so let's make it worse. Sometimes I think the world population wants to see another world war.
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Teens Prefer Text To Talk

Teens Prefer Text To Talk
By Antone Gonsalves | InformationWeek | April 21, 2010 09:30 AM

"Teenagers would rather uses SMS text messaging to relay the latest gossip among friends, but when it comes to their parents, they prefer to make voice calls, a study shows."

Now there's a shocker. Last billing cycle my teen son had nearly 20,5001 text messages in his phone. And my sister has two teen girls.  Thank $DEITY for unlimited texting plans.

1 And, no, that is not a type-o.
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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Monks, govt workers seek life after China quakes

Monks, govt workers seek life after China quakes
By Anita Chang, Associated Press Writer – Thu Apr 16, 5:17 pm ET

JIEGU, China – "Tibetan monks in crimson robes dug through earthquake rubble alongside government rescue workers Friday, a startling image for a Chinese region long strained by suspicion and unrest."
[...]
"As the death toll climbed to 1,144, there was tension and some distrust over the government relief effort, with survivors scuffling over limited aid."

How much relief effort will be sent to help these people? The ones hit by this disaster are as poor as anyone in Haiti. My guess is that if any help is sent it will be minimal. Why? Two reasons;

* It is to far away from the public consciousness for people to give a damn.
* The Chinese government is going to try and keep anything "western" out of their country.

Nothing like the spirit of humanity to make the world a better place.
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Friday, April 16, 2010

March video game retail sales climb 6 percent

March video game retail sales climb 6 percent
By Barbara Ortutay, Ap Technology Writer – Thu Apr 15, 7:49 pm ET

NEW YORK – "After a rocky 2009 followed by two months of double-digit declines, U.S. retail sales of video game software, hardware and accessories finally saw an uptick in March.

Market researcher NPD Group said Thursday total video game sales climbed 6 percent from the same month a year earlier, to $1.52 billion. Strong sales of Nintendo's gaming systems, new "Pokemon" games and Sony Corp.'s "God of War III" helped boost results.
"

Some good news for the gaming industry and the economy in general. With luck we've turned the corner and are on our way back to some kind of stability.

We could definitely use some of that.
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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hate speech corrodes online games

Hate speech corrodes online games
By NICHOLAS K. GERANIOS, Associated Press Writer – Thu Apr 15, 1:42 pm ET

SPOKANE, Wash. – "It's not just cyberbullets that are exchanged during firefights on the XBox Live version of "Call of Duty."

Many gamers also exchange hate speech over their headsets as they stalk each other across the virtual battlefields. Players trade racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic insults so frequently that game makers are taking steps to tone down the rhetoric.
"

This is happening on all the online MMO games & networks. It doesn't make any sense to me, but then most of what goes on these days baffles the hell out of me. Maybe I'm just getting old but sometimes the complete lack of brains that exists in the world is astounding.
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Huckabee likens gay marriage to incest, polygamy

Huckabee likens gay marriage to incest, polygamy
By NATASHA METZLER, Associated Press Writer – Tue Apr 13, 9:33 pm ET

WASHINGTON – "Mike Huckabee, a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2012, says the effort to allow gays and lesbians to marry is comparable to legalizing incest, polygamy and drug use.

Huckabee also told college journalists last week that gay couples should not be permitted to adopt. 'Children are not puppies,' he said.
"

This is so insulting and infuriating. When I first saw it I couldn't even think straight. But after a few minutes it struck me that this is just the reaction that these people want. Angry protests and flaming attacks are the whole reason this kind of rhetoric is used. Rational, calm reason is the best way to counter outrageous, blatantly false statements like these.

As for children being puppies, I do believe that this mother is not in a gay marriage.
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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Government Says Data Estimating Piracy Losses is Unsubstantiated

Government Says Data Estimating Piracy Losses is Unsubstantiated
Sarah Jacobsson Sarah Jacobsson – Wed Apr 14, 4:50 am ET

"We've all heard the MPAA and the RIAA whine, whine, whine about how Internet piracy has basically destroyed the movie/TV/software/music/video game industry--citing famous studies that estimate as much as $200 billion and 750,000 jobs lost in a year. But now the government is stepping in and admitting what many kind of suspected--those studies are often misleading.

A yearlong study on the effects of piracy and counterfeiting on the U.S. economy has led the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to this conclusion: it's difficult, if not impossible, to quantify the economy-wide impact.
"

This is about as surprising as chocolate bunnies on Easter. For anyone who has followed this whole entertainment piracy brouhaha for the last decade or so knows that, while the entertainment industry has been all hyper about the money they're losing, they've been raking in record profits. Now we have some proof that all the noise they have been making is just blowing smoke up our dresses.

Now, I am not for stealing. And don't kid yourself. Downloading the latest Lady Gaga track from some torrent site is stealing. However, it seems that all the entertainment sharing has done nothing but bring more money to the big producers. The only ones getting hurt are the artists themselves.

Just another example of greed.
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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fashion Spotlight: Lady Gaga

Fashion Spotlight: Lady Gaga
Ok, ok. What can I say? I like her.
Anyone with the balls to go out in public like this is off-the-wall cool enough for me.
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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Thai protesters reject talks after deadly clashes

Thai protesters reject talks after deadly clashes
By Jocelyn Gecker, Associated Press Writer – Sun Apr 11, 2:02 pm ET

BANGKOK – "Both government and protesters mourned their dead Sunday after a night of savage street fighting that left 21 dead, but neither side appeared ready to compromise to end the political stalemate that has bedeviled Thailand for five years and threatens more violence."

More trouble in Thailand. We need to keep a better eye on Southeast Asia, I think. There could be some serious repercussions if things get to volatile there.
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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Did Obama Get Nuke Review Right?

Did Obama Get Nuke Review Right?
By Colin Clark Wednesday, April 7th, 2010 1:34 pm
Posted in Commentary, International, Policy

"The Obama administration’s Nuclear Posture Review strikes bold new policy ground, scrapping MIRVs, formally eschewing first strike in most circumstances and creating a unique category of possible nuclear targets — rogue states such as Iran and North Korea. So we asked some of Washington’s top nuclear and defense experts if the White House made the right choices."

For the most part, I am for the reduction of nuclear weapons. However, we don't want to give up the ability to use them as a "big stick."

What do you think about the review? Which side are you on?
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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

California Law Seeks to “Cure” Homosexuality

California Law Seeks to “Cure” Homosexuality
April 6, 2010 Posted: 07:31 AM ET

"California has a law that requires doctors to look into “the causes and cures of homosexuality.” The law was established in 1950, part of harsher laws to crack down on sex offenders. Today a California Public Assembly Committee will vote on whether to abolish it."

They need a law to cure stupidity. This has been on the books for 60 years. You'd think someone would have brought this up already.
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Monday, April 05, 2010

iPad Gets Resident Evil 4

iPad Gets Resident Evil 4
Posted April 5, 2010 by David Radd

"Not wanting to be left out of the tidal wave of excitement surrounding the release of the iPad, Capcom announced that they have released Resident Evil 4: iPad Edition. The game is similar to the version already available on the App Store for iPhone and iPad Touch, but features a higher resolution for the iPad's larger display."

Is it me or is this iPad craze going to far? Truthfully, I do want one of them. I'm holding out for the next version with 3G support, though. Well, that and waiting to find a good bank to rob so I can pay for it.
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Augmented reality puts the squeeze into virtual hugs

Augmented reality puts the squeeze into virtual hugs
by Marlowe Hood – Mon Apr 5, 8:20 am ET

MEGEVE, France (AFP) – "Now you really can reach out and touch someone through the Internet, with the help of a wearable robot designed by a husband-and-wife team of scientists based in Japan.

Five years in the making, the device aims to inject a little physicality into online chatter, boosting the emotional quotient of virtual exchanges between flesh-and-blood people.
"

Ok, be honest. What is the first thing you thought of when reading this article?

On the serious side, there could be some very valuable applications for this kind of technology. The down side, though, is that if it works well and becomes affordable there will be even less human-to-human interaction. Some of us already live via email, Facebook and SMS messages.
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Sunday, April 04, 2010

Air Force to launch robotic winged space plane

Air Force to launch robotic winged space plane
By John Antczak, Associated Press Writer – Sun Apr 4, 12:27 am ET

LOS ANGELES – "After a decade of development, the Air Force this month plans to launch a robotic spacecraft resembling a small space shuttle to conduct technology tests in orbit and then glide home to a California runway.

The ultimate purpose of the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle and details about the craft, which has been passed between several government agencies, however, remain a mystery as it is prepared for launch April 19 from Cape Canaveral, Fla.
"

Sometimes people make to big a deal about not knowing. What is the X-37 supposed to do? It is a military vehicle. What do you think it's supposed to do. But even if it turns out to be a weapons platform the advancements in research and technology gained by its development will end up benefiting everyone. People tend to forget that all great technological and industrial advancements happen because of war. Whether fighting it or trying to keep it from happening, it is the greatest motivation for advancement there is.
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It's Butler vs. Duke for national title

It's Butler vs. Duke for national title
By Nancy Armour, Ap National Writer – April 4, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS – "Little Butler has faced one big test after another in its magical run through the NCAA tournament.

And the biggest awaits in Monday night's title game: Duke, winner take all.
"

This is going to be fun.

Nothing brings in sports fans more than a David vs Goliath fight to the finish. And no where do so many Cinderella teams get their shot than the NCAA Division 1 basketball tournament. Usually it is great when they make it to the Final Four. But this year we have a chance for Cinderella to be the queen of the ball. Because of this, many sports fans, who would otherwise not be watching the game, will be tuned in to see if the little guy can do it.

But no matter the outcome, this is going to be fun.
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The Most Badass Alphabet Ever

Just ran across this. What a great way to learn the A B C's.
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Saturday, April 03, 2010

Photo Gallery: Large Hadron Collider Sets Record

Photo Gallery: Large Hadron Collider Sets Record
By Cora Nucci | InformationWeek | April 3, 2010 07:00 AM

"At a cost of $9 billion spent over 25 years punctuated by delays and repairs, the largest machine ever built is up and running, and smashing both particles and records."

Check out the photo gallery for some very cool pictures.
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You know you're a parent of a teen when...

From Parenting Teens on About.com:
You know you're a parent of a teen when...
  • When you've finally got some freedom - and then the kids take your car.
  • A day or two after grocery shopping and all the ready to eat foods/snacks are missing. Oh, and the gallon of milk gone in less than 24 hours because someone decided to eat a whole box of cereal!
  • You understand why some animals eat their young at birth.
Ah, the teen years. What fun.

But, you know, I still remember what it felt like1 to be a teen. The question is which is harder, to be a teen or the parent of a teen? Honestly, I think it is the former.

[1] I can't, however, remember being a teen. That was just SO long ago.
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Friday, April 02, 2010

Abortion doctor's killer uses sentencing as forum

Abortion doctor's killer uses sentencing as forum
By Roxana Hegeman, Associated Press Writer – Fri Apr 2, 10:30 am ET

WICHITA, Kan. – "A man who murdered one of the few U.S. doctors who performed late-term abortions used his sentencing hearing as a forum to espouse his views in an effort to justify his crime, arguing that he had chosen to obey "God's law" to save babies."

"God's law" my ass. These murderers have as much to do with "God" as Al-Qaeda does. Fanatics breaking "God's Law" in the name of God. Sick bastards, is what they are. I mean, how ambiguous are the words "Thou shall not kill?"
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Thursday, April 01, 2010

Atom-Smasher One Collision Closer to Understanding Matter

Atom-Smasher One Collision Closer to Understanding Matter
By crashing two proton beams together at more force than ever before,
the Large Hadron Collider begins its bid to learn details about the
fundamentals of space and matter.

Tue Mar 30, 2010 03:54 AM ET | content provided by Alexander G. Higgins, Associated Press
THE GIST:
  • The LHC smashed two proton beams together with more force than ever.
  • The collisions start a new era of science for understanding theoretical particles.
  • Further research could explain how matter is made up.
"The world's largest atom smasher has set a record for high-energy collisions by crashing two proton beams at three times more force than ever before."

This is such exciting work. Imagine the possibilities that could open up with the discovery of the "God Particle." You have no idea how much I love this kind of stuff.
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10 people, ages 8-21, shot dead in Mexico

10 people, ages 8-21, shot dead in Mexico
By the CNN Wire Staff
March 30, 2010 2:16 a.m. EDT

(CNN) -- "Ten children, youths and young adults between the ages of 8 and 21 were gunned down, presumably by drug traffickers, in the northern Mexican state of Durango, the state's attorney general said Monday."

I remember back when there was all that talk about the War On Drugs. Now we have a real war going on with the drug cartels but no one gives a crap. We're to busy trying to crush the Right/Left over health care legislation that isn't going to help anyone get healthy.

I am getting more and more disgruntled by the day.
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