Thursday, May 31, 2007

Memories of Kenora Canadian Sherry

I came accross a horriblle website called Bum Wines. Alos today in the Washington post is a lifestyle featuree called beer vs wine.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

A Norman McLarenish Car Ad

Norman Mclaren was an noted animator at the NFB who broke boundaries by doing new and differnt animation. There was a compendium of the Best of Norman McLaren released that has highlighted some of his work. Here is ad from Audi that begins him much to mind. Thias is one the first car ad I have seen that has left the car in the dark. Very cool.

Liberia 1990

Tortured Baked Beans

From Adfreak

God to Bush , "I didn't Vote for you"

Microsoft Hates iPod, Microserfs Like iPod

Photo courtesy of Fimoculous

A recent Wired article highlighted the antipathy that feels for Mac and all it works. It was about the Microsoft Zune division. Zune is trying to rallly its troops by givving a free Zune in exchange for a iPod. Much joyful schedenfreude ensued on slashdot, where this story appeared and on flickr where the photo above was posted

Space Cowboy on slashdot chimes in with this marketing insight.
...If MS can only get 0.1% of their *own* people to switch, they ain't gonna make it too big in the far more neutral marketplace...

blastcap on flickr has this comment on the success of Microsoft marketing to Microserfs.
If it is a morale-boosting exercise for the Zune folks, wouldn't you think that the bin would be filled to the top with iPods? I count seven iPods in there. Not a great morale-booster. It totally misses the mark and instead reinforces what most of us already know...that the iPod is king and the Zune is never going to seriously compete with it.

...unless it was filled with iPods initially and all the Zune people have been taking them home.

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Epitaph for Teachers

Nothing would ever deflect Professor Binns, for example, from plowing on through his notes on goblin rebellions - as Binns hadn’t let his own death stand in the way of continuing to teach, they supposed a small thing like Christmas wasn’t going to put him off.
Harry Potter on Professor Binns

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Famous Writers as Reporters

Yes I know that many famous writers have been reporters and have honed their craft in the daily grind of deadline writing. A Blogger Iowahawk has this entry of famous writers manning desks and filing copy, Raymond Chandler reporting on crime, Sylvie Plath on weather, Bill Shakespear on wedding announcements and Hunter S Thompson reporting on community sports. All the reports are very funny. Here is a snippet of Hunter S Thompson report on TBall.
When we finally got to Wayzata we made our way to the baseball complex, built in ’76 by the crewcut fascists of the local American Legion to dull the pain of the Vietnam horror. The parking lot was crammed with every manner of minivan – Caravans, Voyagers, Windstars, Siennas, the bloated metal three-row-seating carcasses of a filthy cul-de-sac world driven half insane by rot, hate, and juice box schedules.

Deport the Rich

Robert Reich former American Treasury Secretary has some interesting ideas. In a recent opinion piece on a Marketplace Money he suggests that the income that hedge fund managers get, the 8, 9 and sometimes 9 figure income be taxed as income at 35% rether than capital gains at 15%. Many in the business community are shocked, shocked to think that the wealthy should pay taxes at the same rates as everyone else. Some suggest that money would just move off shore. Reich says great you can leave with your money and only come back to visit, if you can get a visa.

Brakes are VERY Important

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Concorde Remembered

On Alternative History in a discussion about the Concorde one of the posters Ramp Rat gave us his memories of working and flying on the Concorde.

As probably the only member off this forum who has both flown in and worked on Concorde, hers my two bobs worth.

Concorde was to high speed commercial flight, what the Comet 1 was to jet powered commercial flight, a nice first try but not the answer.

She was far too small, at 6’3’’ when I sat in the window seat; I had my head cocked to one side at all times. There wasn’t much room between you and the seat in-front, which meant that you were having a tray services like in economy, but paying more then you do in first. So even though the food and drinks were stunning, they were only doing about 250 covers a day, the feeling of luxury just wasn’t there.

To work on she was a bitch, the forward hold was so small that the only way I could work in it was to lay on my side, not fun when you are stacking bags. Also she was very tip sensitive, there was a strict order off loading, or she would sit on her tail. I have seen it get close to doing this; we ended up with a large number of ground staff standing in the cockpit area to stop her going over. The nose wheel was just beginning to turn on its own, as she was on the point off tip.

The engines drank fuel like there was no tomorrow, and if she had to cross a sub-sonic speed it was very hard for her not to need refueling to make it to London, she lacked legs as we say.

Had there been a follow up, same speed, twice or more the capacity, and double the range, cut fuel consumption by 30%, and the engine noise by about the same, all do able. Then you would have had a real going concern, as it was 9/11 was the nail in the coffin off the old girl, that day killed off the top 100 passengers for the lady, and with that she died.

Do I miss her you bet, she was beautiful to look at, better in the air than on the ground. Her undercarriage always made her look slightly ungainly on the deck. But just knowing we had her and the yanks didn’t, well I made you feel proud. When we were still in Terminal 3, and surrounded by other airlines, unlike in 4. You would see large number of foreign pilots just hanging around her to have a look, their faces green with envy, especially the Pan-Am and TWA boys. I know showing my age there, but they were the American airlines in those days. And none off this dam security, you could pop over the arrivals bar and get a tray of beers and bring them back out to the ramp, nice on a hot summer evening. Are the good old days, when most off the pilots could tell tales off night time trips to Berlin, drop off ten tons off load and back for breakfast.

Regards RR.

March of Penguin Dressed Bunnies

Lastest episode from Bunny Theatre retells March of the Penguins in 30 Seconds.
Link from Cold Hard Flash.

The Poetry of Nighttime Driving

Ah, Smoke

Like most adult pleasures cigarettes are a mixed blessing. We spend our lives, particularly our teenage lives, learning to deal to adult pleasures.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Change and Who Benefits

In a thread on slashdot discusing the oracular abilities of the mob boss Bill Gates some posters refined the distinction beween the first to discover, the first to use and the first to turn a profit.

Goombah99 gives us the relationship between the pionner and settler.
"Pioneers get the Arrows, settlers get the land". Gates has always been a settler. They take proven technologies and ideas, copy cat them, and then try to inflate them to one way standards (embrace and extend). Settlers are useful. Microsoft created the low end PC vendor market by taming all sorts of diverse bios, video cards, disks and peripherals.

Gates would not look like such a stogy inept prognosticator if it were not for a few brighter lights and pioneers like Jobs and the Google boys. Even Michael Dell gets some credit for being a sort of henry ford at one time but that was sort of a one time flash.

Sure you can say Jobs did not invent Postscript or the WIMP interface or word processing in full-time graphic or music players or any number of things. But he was such an early and wholehearted adopter of nascent technologies that he is a pioneer. Pioneers did not invent the conastoga wagon or canoes they set forth in but they used them to blaze trails and set up the future.

Whereas Daniel Dvorkin points out the sad fate of the first people to discover anything.
Sure you can say Jobs did not invent Postscript or the WIMP interface or word processing in full-time graphic or music players or any number of things. But he was such an early and wholehearted adopter of nascent technologies that he is a pioneer. Pioneers did not invent the conastoga wagon or canoes they set forth in but they used them to blaze trails and set up the future.

You know, I really like that analogy, and I'll extend it one step further: the people who actually invented those things were explorers, and some explorers come back rich and covered in glory, but most die miserable deaths a long way from home. The pioneers are a bridge between exploration and real settlement.

Self Effacing

I believe you have an exaggerated sense of my importance.

Taliban Ambush

The Globe and Mail's corespondent Graeme Smith in Afghanistan was caught in some bang bang. Read his account of Taliban ambush and look at his pictures.

Aspirational TV

There is a new series at BBC4, Charlie Brooker's ScreenWipe that takes very jandiced eye towards TV. In this segment he very angry about programs, not advertising, that makes us all feel very bad for not being movie stars.

Banking Woes

Better to have loaned and lost than never to have loaned at all.

Leon Fraser, US banker at the time of the Crash of 1929.
From an Economist article about finance.

Ned Flanders on Internet Pressure Campaigns

I am imploring people I've never met to pressure government with better things to do than to punish a man who meant no harm for something nobody even saw.
- Ned Flanders

Friday, May 18, 2007

Black Doctors and Asian Doctors

I watch television, not a lot just the average. When the series Grey's Anatomy debuted I noticed something new. Grey's Anatomy was one the first hospital dramas with an major Asian doctor character. This show has 3 black doctors to 1 Asian. In reality there are 3 times as many Asian doctor as black doctors in the US, see study.

Maybe TV doctor demographics are more a reflection of actor demographics than a reflection the US doctor population.

HItler the Tout

A racing tipster who only reached Hitler's level of accuracy would not do well for his clients.
AJP Taylor

Win Nick's Life

Steinlager Beer is a New Zealand Beer. In their latest promotion there are offering Nick's life, Nick is some office drone at Steinlager in sector 7G. The winner gets every part of Nick's life his life his apartment, his girlfriend, his job, his personal history, and his parents. Nick friends, fellow employees and family are all keen at getting a replacement for Nick. His parents are all keen to get a son who is good at sports. Nick's father even is willing to give the winner of the contest an old sports car that he has never let Nick touch.

Actually according to the rules at Win Nick's Life, you either get an apartment for a month and $5000 or a camper van for a month and a tour of the brewery. Also at the official site are some video entries. Check them out as well.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Big Business Loan Sharks

Business Week like other business magazines are not usually known from championing the interests of anybody but business. In a recent issue Business Week, The Poverty Business, turns the spotlight on companies that market to poor americans. It is companies make much more money from this area than they have ever done before. Recently because a downturn in housing prices the Sub Prime Mortage market is in the news. These are mortages with a low initial interest that then balloons to 25%+. Listen here to a radio program also exploring the same subject with the reporters of the article.

Consumer Advertising Breakup

This is risky ad from a Microsoft division about the pointlessness opf advertising.

Drunken Politics

Congress spends money like a drunken sailor, but that I have never seen a sailor, drunk or sober, with the imagination of Congress.
- John McCain

The Mufti Muzzle

Noted criminal Taj Al Din Al Hilali, the leader of Australia's muslims has said alot of violent hateful things. Last summer he condoned rape of non muslim women when he compared women not in burkas as "uncovered meat". The "man" is scum.

Now a Aussie comedy group has asked Al Halali to wear gag. For this the comic is threatened and accused of being a racist.
Precepts drawn from the life of Murdering Mo'. NSFW

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


What kind of man are you that would steal from your shipmates bellies. Have you no shame.
Capt. Pellew
from hornblower

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

What Women Want

Like most women whose lives have been ruined by men, Jessica just wants security.

Better Than You Quote

You think being rich makes you better than us.
- DL Hawkins
Social Darwinism did its play a part.
- Linderman

Ariston - Aqualtis

It is really awesome. It reminds me of an undersea world. - Connor

Creepy Mother's Day Gift

Incidentally this is from an advertising agency called Mother's.
from AdFreak

Groo is Coming, Groo is Coming

Groo has been in cut out limbo for a decade or so. Now on Groo Scribe Mark Evanier's Blog Groo is returning with a 25th anniversy, and a new collection of reprints.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Charlie Stross on Futurology

Here is talk that the sci fi author Charlie Stross gave recently on future trends.

Cats and War Toys

A guy came accross an infromation booth at a fair in Washington where he was able acquire a foam grenade. He took it home to use as a cat toy and to restage a Diane Arbus photo. Through the idea of handing out toy grenades to tourist does suggest to him that there could be problems. He "...wondered briefly what the TSA chaps at the airport would do when tourists started turning up at the airport with grenades in their luggage and carry-ons".

Sunday, May 13, 2007


No one's a traitor until they are.
-Titus Pullo

Silly Name for Dead Thug

I have not been closely following the Afghan Taliban War closely enough. Recently one of the Taliban top thugs, a religious leader, was wacked. His name was Mullah Dadullah easily trips off the tongue as Mullah the Dullard. HA HA.

Is Apple Good for Design

The Design Observer has an interesting view on Apple and its Cult of Design. The Mac/PC ads are also part of this. Mac is always presented as cooler than PC. Interestingly there was a Linux ad recently that showed Mac as unchangable and stodgy as PC.

The World is Huge and Rude

Rude place names of the world.

ha ha.

Leaping Shampoo

The Kaye Effect, a “strange property of complex fluids,” and its explanation:

Swinging in Tokyo

You can also download this ad for better resolution.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Queen visits a Chickenhawk

A great cartoon by John Cole. He describes the situation better:
Queen Elizabeth II arrives in the United States as one of her grandsons prepares for combat duty in Iraq.

A similar sense of sacrifice and noblesse oblige cannot be credited to certain of our leaders on this side of the pond.

Blow Up Real Good

NASA has discovered the loudest SuperNova ever. A commentator at NPR couldn't help but say that something that large and important makes our lives, our world feell very, very small. Nearly exactly like the Total Perspective Vortex.

Vulture Feeding Time

SAN MARCOS — Texas State University's plan to build the nation's largest "body farm" of cadavers is on hold after scrapping its proposed site amid concerns that buzzards could endanger nearby planes.

The university will now scout a new location for what will be only the third body farm in the nation. The school had hoped to begin burying bodies later this year.

By burying cadavers and studying human decomposition, researchers aim to help police better solve questions like time and manner of death at crime scenes.

Texas State's proposed 17-acre site was on Texas Highway 21 near the San Marcos Municipal Airport. But after meeting with the airport's commission Tuesday, the university quashed the plan out of concerns that buzzards would pose a risk to pilots.

"While the increased risk might be very small, it cannot be completely eliminated, and we cannot go forward with the Highway 21 site," Texas State provost Perry Moore said.

Plans for the site included a razor-wire fence around the property, vulture-proof cages to protect exposed bodies and a 70-foot grass buffer around the site to absorb rain runoff.

Residents near the proposed site complained about coyotes and diminished property values, but Texas State officials had been unmoved by those concerns.

The nation's two existing body farms are operated by the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Digital Rights Madness

On a slashdot there in a thread about HBO Exec Proposes DRM Name Change there are lots of insightful and amusing comments about the ham handed ways that media companies treat their customers.

Imidan has this comment on No-CD patches:
Yeah, what is the deal with that? Why do I have to have the CD in to play? Given the right software, which anyone can get, the CD is trivially easy to copy to my hard drive. Or I can download a no-CD crack off the Internet. Why do they make this little hoop for me to jump through? Look, I bought the game. I have the sales receipt and everything!

My theory is that the people who make DRM technologies are kind of like telephone sanitizers. We've just been paying them for so long that if we suddenly give up on this utterly wasteful technology, then we'll be stuck with a lot of out-of-work DRM people, and they'll be meddling in the kitchen cupboards, rearranging them so we can never find anything anymore.

Anonymous Coward hgives this comment on No-CD patches:

And I know this because I've often downloaded the "no-cd" patches for my legitimately-purchased and DRM-encumbered games in order to:
A) not have to dig out the CD every time I want to play,
B) not have to wait for the CD to spin up,
C) not have to worry about the DRM system becoming incompatible and breaking the game (e.g., for older games, the DRM is often incompatible with new OS versions before the game is, so stripping the DRM increases compatibility),
D) not have to worry about the CD getting scratched or otherwise damaged,
E) sometimes it improves the performance to remove certain (poorly-implemented) DRM
schemes, and
F) because I paid for the game and I'll play it any way I please, thank you very much.

Suv4x4 chimes in with the inability of new names to change old preceptions:

Those people will never get it. The name doesn't matter. What's so sinister about "Digital Rights Management"? It sounds pretty nice to me. The bad connotations aren't coming from the name, it's the essence of what DRM is.

People keep thinking that the order and choice of letters is all it takes to turn something bad into something great.

This has been happening also in the way people have called people with mental handicaps throughout the years, and the constant "reinvention" of the terms, to keep the names less insulting:


Socially responsible guy: We shouldn't call them "idiots" anymore. That's insulting. We'll call it people with mental retardation: retards.
General public: Yea, that is a nice neutral name, no bad connotations.

One year later:

General public: My brother is a damn retard, I hate him.
Socially responsible guy: That's insulting. We shouldn't call them retards anymore. We'll call them people with "slow mental development". Slow people.
General public: Yea, that's neutral and nice. Cool.

One year later:

General public: My neighbour is "slow" or something. Huhuhu.
Socially responsible guy: We shouldn't call them "slow", that's insulting. Well call them "people with special education needs". Special people.

One year later:

General public: My new coworker is "special". Huhuu, get it? "Special". Hehehe.


Basically you can change a name any times you want. Bad fame will come to haunt you never mind how hard you try.

Superman & Spiderman as Mac & PC

There have been many parodies of the Mac & PC ads. Novell has put out its own version with Mac, PC & Linux. There was one that parody that had PC & Mac and Unix & BSD. In that ad Unix and BSD were dressed exactly alikeand kept insisting they were completely different. Here is a version that has Superman and Spiderman talking about DC and Marvell. You can find more videos at ItsJustSomeRandomGuy YouTube directory.

At Adfreak where I got this link they also reminded that Superman is a dick.

Official Tinfoil Hat Alert

American defense contractors thought this coin was implanted with nanotechnology as part cunning scheme of Canadian World Domination. Full story and comments at slashdot.

Update 05/11/2007
In Alternate History Alcuin brings notice of this book dedicated to Canadian World Domination.

Never written? Well not in this timeline.
Protocols of the Elders of Canada - being the secret plan for world domination proposed by the Cajuns after they were forcibly moved to Louisiana.

Christopher Hitchens on our Enemies

In a recent article for Vanity Fair Christopher Hitchens returns to his old neighbourhood and finds it filled with jihadists.

Army Group Ferret

In a thread on Alternate History about naming military units after geographic features somebody brings up The Army of the Don.

Wozza replies with:
How many Dons are there?

I see there is one in Yorkshire. Obviously when we come to crush you people and your ferret-down-the-trouser barbarisms we will need an Army Group Don to maintain control.

I imagine hypern is the ideal man for internal order operations.

Windjammer and East Indiaman Shipping Lanes

A Dutch group has gone through the logs of dozens of 18th and 19th century ships. From this data set can determined historical climate conditions, temperature and wind speeds and direction. The image above is the
"Positions of the available observations in the CLIWOC database for the period 1750-1854. The markers in the image show the corrected (mainly for the correct zero-meridian) positions."
CLIWOC also has individual plots of dozens of ships like the Ajax, Captain Cook's Endeavour and Enterprise. Looking at the above you see the shipping lanes.

Afghan Army Exercises

Somebody in Afghanistan, probably Canadian has put edited together a video of Afghan soldiers doing the worst excuse of a work out since elementary school.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Alarmforce Spokesman Pauly Walnuts

Whenever I see the TV ad for Alarmforce and its spokesman I cannot not be reminded of Pauly Walnuts. I am not convinced of Alarmforce's honesty after seeing their ads.

Cat Sitting Ad

John Hodgman: The Truth About Jonathan Coulton

All We Want to do is Eat Your Brains

Another great song from Jonathan Coulton on the merits of Zombie cuisine. Here is the same song set to anime rather than WoW. Here is A Hard Days' Night of the Living Dead.

Ah, Zombie humour.

Unemployment and Immigration

The problem that economists have in measuring inflation and costs is that that these vary based on where you are in the economy. If you are employer your costs are lower if there are many people who are unemployed or underemployed, see reserve army of the unemployed and other Marxist theory. This has meant that labour costs in argriculture and construction and meatpacking in the United States has declined with the availablity of easily exploited undocumented workers. That is one side of inflation for construction workers on the other hand inflation has increased for displaced construction workers as their wages decline.

Inflation is a value judgement.

Clash of the Car Titans

We all should have seen this coming. General Motors were successful for a long time because of the way that Alfred Sloan organized the disparate auto and auto part companies that made up GM. Because of the example of Sloan management ability and bureacratic skills was more important than engineering. In de Lorean's book, On a Clear Day you can See General Motors, he describes how he was an unusual GM executive because he was a car nut. In recent years GM has made more money out its loan division than by making or selling cars. American car companies need to focus on cars and automotive engineering.

Update 05/08/2007
Edwin Black who noted the IBM technology behind the Holocaust has come some new research that links GM and Panzers. He has documented some ways that GM helped the Nazi war effort. However whatever help GM was able to give to the Nazi war effort was insufficant in overcoming a persistent lack of petroleum resources. Although there were armoured divisions, Panzers, most German even SS divsions were not fully mechanized or even motorized. Trucks had not completely replaced horses and horse drawn artillery were used until the end of WWII.

Still, I like a good muck raking as much as the next schadenfreuden addict.

Hitler's Carmaker: The Inside Story of How General Motors Helped Mobilize the Third Reich (Part 1)

Hitler's Carmaker: As the Nazis Amassed Power, What Did GM Know and When? (Part 2)

Hitler's Carmaker: From War Profiteering to Undermining Mass Transit (Part 3)


WikiSky is a combo GoogleEarth for the sky and a Wiki for the sky. It even has a section of many interesting and amusing images from faces in the sky to quasars to globular clusters. Doesn't that sound like a great snack food, mmmm globular clusters with peanuts, fudge and popcorn

Above is the big dipper.

From a link at Andart.

Monday, May 07, 2007

French Election News

I have been following the blog ¡No Pasar├ín! for French election news. At this point the coverage is focused on riots and car burnings. Riots and car burnings were threatened if didn't turn left. Sarkovy was castigated for famously called his political opponents who were expressing themselves by rioting and car burning last summer as "scum". It was considered a racial remark because of the identity of the rioters and carburners.

The website Little Green Footballs actually had a poll on how many cars would be burned and answered it the next day with 367.

Thought Process of Conspiracy Theorist

  1. Something horrible happens
  2. It never happened
  3. The Jews, CIA, Swiss Bankers, Masons, insert most hated group here, did it.

Real History in Song and Cartoons

In the past the the major cost of fighting a war was paying the war bonds. After the mass participation wars in the western world the major cost of a war was paid decades later in the form of pensions and health care. In earlier less financially stable times armies were laid off and the maimed were sent out to beg their own livings. While on active service armies were permenment host for a host of diseases like thyphoid, plague, cholera, and syphilis. Soldiers died from diseases more than bullets. If we look to Africa now we can see our own past. African armies have horrendus AIDS infection rates of 40-60%. There has been scholarship to suggest that the song St James Infirmary is about a soldier dying of VD in a poorhouse. Without a wealthy society that actually cares about its people that is the fate of ex-soldiers and many others to die in the gutter of some horrible disease while begging for crumbs.

These 2 editorial cartoons highlight the fate of soldiers to end up as diseased beggers.

Least Effective Forms of Political Activism

Ha Ha.
Blog Comment Warfare is what I recognize, coutesy of Slowpoke.

Action Hero Cats

Courtesy of Cool LOking ads.

Everything I know I Learned in History Class

On Morning Edition there is a story of about some basic training to recruits in the "intelligence community". What the apprentice spooks are taught are basic historiography pracrtices. On Wiki there is this description of historiography before it getsmired in ideological and religious motivations.
Some of the common questions of historiography are:
  1. Reliability of the sources used, in terms of authorship, credibility of the author, and the authenticity or corruption of the text.

The weighing of sources and the provenance of sources and the intergration of all sources into coherent narrative is what history, reporting and intelligence analysis is. Provenance of sources is the sources of sources be it raw information, primary source in history, interpreted information, secondary source in history, or information interpreted from others' interpretations, tertiary sources. What it boils down to is the need to have many sources that are as primary and verifiable as possible for a history paper or intelligece briefing.

What surprises me is that they need to teach aspiring spooks such basic practices. The tyro spies and their instructors are not identified but probably have at least a liberal education. Just because a job is important dosen't mean it gets the best recruits. In the book Inside The Soviet Army thereis a description of the ease of doing secret research. For if did "secret research" in the old Soviet Union you may have less access to overseas trips but will be easier to get your thesis approved, easier to get hired and tenure and you have to produce less scientific papers than pursuing pure science. Additionally there are problems with intelligence agents or agencies in that rarely can loyalty and knowledge be combined. In the early Cold War the Brittish had very smart but treasous spies and the Americans had the opposite very loyal but stupid spies.

    Sunday, May 06, 2007

    The Chinese Business Mirage

    China has never been a very good market for foreign goods. Historically China was self sufficent in food and manufactured items. Their had little need or desire for foreign goods. There were the only source for silk, tea and porcelin. There were willing to take silver and gold. After the 19th century there were willing buy curiosities like clocks and bicycles. At one Lancastershire textile mill owners thought their prosperity would be assured if everyone in China wore a sightly longer shirt. It was a mirage. The only time when the rest of the world was able to reverse the currency drain built in to the China was to sell dope.

    Over the last generation government and business leaders in the west have promoted trade with China. The net result of all this expansion of trade has been a permament Chinese trade surplus. China is willing to buy raw materials but not manufactured goods. The expansion of trade has been zero benefit to all but China. Instead we have business groups agitating for policies that promote a tyrannical communist regime. Here is the story of today of a fake Chinese Disneyland.

    At Cartoon Brew where I got this link somebody pointed out the website for this pseudo amusement park is

    Bill Gates, Bully in Chief

    Tom Evslin who briefly worked at Microsoft has reported on Bill Gates management style. Bill Gates managed with rudeness and bullying. The culture at Microsoft modeled itself on Gates' rudeness and bullying.
    At some point in your presentation billg will say “that’s the dumbest fucking idea I’ve heard since I’ve been at Microsoft.” He looks like he means it. However, since you knew he was going to say this, you can’t really let it faze you. Moreover, you can’t afford to look fazed; remember: he’s a bully.

    In the comments a NonMSFTer gives his reaction to the Sleazeballs in Seattle:
    Yes. I interviewed at Microsoft in about 1989, and it was VERY clear from the style of at least one interviewer that it was a confrontational, in-your-face kind of place, where rudeness seemed to be a kind of initial ante into being perceived there as being very bright and/or the kind of aggressiveness they were looking for. I called (quietly) bullshit and withdrew. But the author is right; it ripples down from the top. I won't forget the asshole I interviewed with (a 20-something Brit named Richard Tate), but the real blame goes with an environment that fosters that kind of hubris.
    At slashdot where there is a link to this story there has been many interesting comments.

    SheildWOlf has a parent take to dealing with bullies.
    It was a test. And you failed. All of us.

    Like I was telling my daughter yesterday, the appropriate thing to do when you meet such a person is to drill them in the nose with your knuckles as hard as you can, unless they outweigh you by a significant margin, in which case you should hit them with a chair until they crumple to the ground.

    This is how you deal with bullies.

    You certainly don't turn yourself one after another into his bitch and make him rich as reward for his antisocial behavior.

    I bet Bill wears an "Everything I needed to take over the world, I learned from the bully in kindergarten" T-shirt to bed as a nightie.
    Maestro4k has this reaction to MS Inhuman resources management and its costs.
    There's a distinct difference between expecting someone to champion their project and being a bully and abusing them verbally. Telling every person that their project idea is "the dumbest fucking idea I've heard since I've been at Microsoft." is just being downright mean. Especially when you just glare at them coldly after they defend themselves (as the article points out).

    And then you get people who'll imitate the behavior without the smarts to back it up, so it becomes nothing BUT abuse. (Middle management for example.) I think Bill's management technique explains a lot about Microsoft's behavior over the years and why they're so disliked in the technical community. In fact looking back at how MS acted during their two biggest trials (the US anti-trust and EU anti-trust) you can see this "bullying" all over the place. Acting like a bully when you're the defendant in court is not a good idea. It'll just piss the judge (and possibly the jury) off, and they're the ones passing judgment on you.

    Besides, it's not like this technique has worked incredibly well for MS, especially in areas like security. MS has also put out some really lousy stuff over the years, like MS Bob, that were apparently "championed" all the way to release, then bombed. Maybe if Bill had developed a culture less focused on bullying they could have avoided some of those things, and saved money. When you force every one of your employees to defend their projects in such a manner then how many are going to be willing to listen when people point out problems with them? You can't have any second doubts if you have to defend your projects constantly, so people will stop listening to any criticism, leading to lower quality all around.


    LIAR, n. A lawyer with a roving commission.
    -Ambrose Bierce in The Devil's Dictionary