Off for laser eye surgery.  I doubt I’ll be online again today, but hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to make some site updates again.

Also – I’m damn close to my bandwidth limit.  Seems one of my pictures of Christina Ricci made the front page of the Google image search for her, so I’m getting flooded with hits checking out how frikkin’ hot she is in leather.  The downside of this is I may hit my bandwidth cap and be cut off for a day or two here at the end of the month.  I’ve recompressed to image to cut the size by nearly 85%, which helps, but I’m still getting about 10 times normal bandwidth consumption, and I only over-bought bandwidth by about 8 times what I was getting over the summer.  So things will be tight, and I may get shut down for a day or two.

The ultimate in LCD durability

I can’t help you with the spoken portion of this video, but I assure you that visually all your questions about the durabilty of Asus’ new sapphire-crystal protected LCD are well covered in the crossbow testing portion of the video.

I don’t know what it costs, but given how pricey watches are with sapphire crystal protection, I’m betting a big screen covered with the same is really expensive.  On the other hand, that’s a damn fine looking bit of protection. Probably because sapphire crystal is pretty frikkin’ hard. Sadly, the monitor is not widescreen, the only really noticeable flaw for the display. (via /.)

Mad song skills – video palindrome?

This is a beautiful combination of singing and acting, built up to make a video that runs forward and then in again fully in reverse – yes, a palindromic video I suppose.  I figured out the song about 50-55 seconds in, but needed to wait another 30 seconds to get verification, as I wasn’t quite as certain as I wanted to be.

Kudos to this fellow for taking the time to learn that song backwards and putting all the action together with it to make it come out like that.

Will Smith and Hitler

If you web surf as much as I do, you’ve probably already seen this – various web sites are saying that Will Smith said Hitler was a good man. And naturally, many people are upset that anyone would claim Hitler was a good man. I guess people are really s000per upset that (*gasp*) a shhhh black man would say this about Hitler.

Here, I’ll help clue you in now that you’ve had a moment to feign indignation: Will Smith didn’t say Hitler was a good man. Let’s look inside and see

Remarkably, Will believes everyone is basically good.

“Even Hitler didn’t wake up going, ‘let me do the most evil thing I can do today’,” said Will. “I think he woke up in the morning and using a twisted, backwards logic, he set out to do what he thought was ‘good’. Stuff like that just needs reprogramming.

Oh shit!  Will Smith just said Hitler used fucked-up logic to convince himself what he was doing was “good” in some way!  Expect the world to get in an uproar about something Smith didn’t actually say!!!

So next time, please try to get people to actually read what was said.  Sensationalism doesn’t do anything except cause stupidity (yes, even the times I use sensationalistic headlines, it’s really just a seed for stupidity).  Thus endeth our lesson in reading comprehension.

In ur postal-slot

All I can figure from this story is this couple has a standard mail-delivery slot in their door, and little Georgi waited there day after day to get a little cat-scratch-postman action going on.

When Sarah and Ben Goddard’s mail delivery dried up to a trickle, the couple smelt a rat.

But Goddards would have been better pointing the finger of suspicion at their pet cat Georgi, after it emerged a succession of attacks by the vicious moggy left the postman too scared to deliver the mail.

. . .

“When I asked if he [the post-man] had anything for us he said he wasn’t delivering to us any more because he had been scratched.

Mystery solved. Except the post-man was worried about being attacked by a dog. Here’s the kicker to me, though. The problem started months ago. After questioning the carrier about their lack of mail just recently:

The next day, the letter from local delivery office manager Steve Brown arrived with backdated mail.

It warned Mrs Goddard and her 27-year-old husband, a land surveyor: “Animal attacks are a major cause of injury to Royal Mail staff.

“I am writing to you to inform you that if your cat is not kept under control then we will be suspending the delivery of mail to your address.”

Nothing like prompt notification of a problem, is there? Although I suppose the above quote could mean that their notification letter was dated sometime in the past, meaning the couple never received it because it was to be delivered via the post-man who wasn’t delivering mail to them. Hmmmmm.  Those wacky Brits!

Oh, yeah – one other thing: I’d hit it. (via Fark)

How it’s made – Jawbreakers

I love chomping on jawbreakers.  Pretty much any sugary treat is fine by me, but the durability/long-lasting nature of jawbreakers make them really good treats.  So when I saw the How It’s Made segment on jawbreakers, I thought it would be worth sharing.  Pay attention to how they form the compressed powder centers, particularly.  They use 5,000 pounds of pressure to compact those so they can start forming the harder shells around that.

Yummy. Just watching that makes me think I need to buy some more jawbreakers.  There’s nothing quite like sucking on some sweet hard balls for a long time, is there?

Mad bombers each get sentenced to 40,000 years in prison

Think back to 2004.  There was a nasty set of explosions in Madrid, Spain which resulted in nearly 200 dead and 2,000 injured.  The explosions occurred just days before an election, and are attributed with the very high turnout and electoral win of socialists in that election.  After much court time and much mulling over the facts by the judge, penalties have been handed out for some of the agents responsible for the attacks.

A Spanish court has convicted three of the eight men accused of playing a central role in the 2004 Madrid train bombings and sentenced each of them to almost 40,000 years in prison.

But then there’s the downside.  Sure, a 40,000 year sentence sounds appropriate, but Spanish law puts a teeny little dent in that:

Despite the sentences, under Spanish law nobody can stay in prison for more than 40 years.

So in the end, these thugs/low-life scum will only serve 40 years and then get 39,960 years probation.  On the other hand, hopefully other Spanish inmates will treat them with the same respect and TLC as our own American inmates would if they were imprisoned here.

Congress-critters sucking on the wangs of the recording industry execs again

In a move that is claimed to be for performers’ benefits, our Congress-critters have brought to the floors of each of the houses of Congress bills aimed at requiring radio stations to pay music performers who appear live on the stations. Rather than looking at live time on the air as a benefit for the performers, these new bills present such time as a performance for which the artists should be paid. While I agree that this is a performance of sorts, what has happened in the past was artists could get free advertising and promotion by appearing on the air of radio broadcasts. If this bill goes through, radio stations will be penalized for giving artists a chance to get free air time.

Yesterday, Rep. Berman and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D. – Vt.) offered to the floors of their respective houses legislation that would effectively codify the rectification of what Berman has literally characterized as evil: a very slight addition to US law that would enable the Copyright Royalties Board to determine royalties to be paid to a performers’ rights organization, by stations earning more than $1.25 million in annual gross revenue per year.

Stations earning less than that amount would pay a $5,000 annual fee. Public radio stations would pay $1,000 per year, apparently even if they don’t have a contemporary music format. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R – Utah) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R – Calif.) are co-sponsors.

Ahhhh, Orrin Hatch. Here is a critter who apparently never saw a right that couldn’t be wronged with proper legislation. And the clear indication that this bill isn’t truly for the benefit of artists and performers but rather an attempt to shore up the ever-more flaccid recording industry is the note that even stations not playing contemporary music formats will have to pay this. If you are on the air and earn above the cut-off floor of $1.25 million annually, you pay a set fee. Never have a live artist in the station to perform on the air? Pay $5,000 please. Have someone new every morning? Pay $5,000 please.

So, as has happened so many times in the past, some music industry lobbyists walked in House and Senate offices, pulled out their shrinking schlongs, and offered some critters money to suck them off. Happy for funds, the critters did so, and fully satiated they now are working on laws to make sure money keeps flowing to industry execs who will keep paying critters to suck them.

I’m not the only one to see this as a full-on negative move for radio, by the way. A spokesperson for the Free Radio Alliance noted:

“This bill, which was so long in the making, is drafted around exemptions and discounts, and the result is bad public policy,” Rought wrote. “Any fee — regardless of whether it’s discounted, tiered or reduced — will only serve as a foot in the door for the record labels to establish precedent for higher fees down the road. With copyright fees, history is pretty clear: Rates will only continue to go up. If passed, this could threaten the survival of local radio stations, would reduce the quality of their programming and would almost certainly reduce diversity in radio. This flies directly in the face of the goals that Congress and the FCC have set for our airwaves.”

Much like states implementing sales tax, low initial rates are in to make this look palatable and not so dangerous. Once the rates are in and people get used to them, expect them to get jacked up. These bills are set to punish radio stations for providing artists an on-air venue, and are put out at a low enough introduction level to not cause to many complaints. We will have fewer on-air opportunities for artists if these become law, and the prices will go up significantly once the recording industry execs and Congress-critters get the ball rolling.

On the floor of the House yesterday, Rep. Berman responded to that criticism by remarking the legislation would only apply to terrestrial radio. “The bill repeals the current broadcaster exemption,” he said, “but it does not apply to bars, restaurants and other venues, or expand copyright protection in any other way.”

What a load of crap. It’s got to start somewhere, and making big companies like Clear Channel pay first is just a way to get things going. Expect more and more music outlets to get bent over and dry-raped if this goes through.