Thursday, April 27, 2006

Can you say "Desperate to be Re-Elected?" Sure you can!

Senate Republicans are floating a proposal to solve America's energy woes: Cut every American taxpayer a $100 rebate check to help with gas prices.

There are so many things wrong with this idea I don't even know where to start. But at least the chicanery is transparently obvious: Rather than deal with the structural problems attendant to the end of cheap oil, they're hoping to buy some goodwill (and thus votes). Republican policies (brazen giveaways to oil companies, wars, completely dropping the ball on mileage standards) have led us into this mess. Now they're hoping to cheer up the voters so they won't have to pay the price at the polls.

My only hope is that Americans, by and large, aren't that dumb. A lot of 'em sure are, but maybe not a majority.

The sponsors for the bill read like a Toxic Who's Who of the Right: Charles Grassley of Iowa, Ted Stevens of Alaska, Pete Domenici of New Mexico and Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.

From CNN
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Every American taxpayer would get a $100 rebate check to offset the pain of higher pump prices for gasoline, under an amendment Senate Republicans hope to bring to a vote Thursday.

However, the GOP energy package may face tough sledding because it also includes a controversial proposal to open part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil exploration, which most Democrats and some moderate Republicans oppose.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Little-Known House Rule Opens the Way to Impeachment

Apparently there is a little-known House rule that state legislatures may bring Presidential impeachment proceedings. Pursuant to that, there's a bill in the Illinois lege to do precisely that. Of course, the House won't convict, but the House rules do mandate that the proceedings be treated before other business, so they'll have to go on record with their partisan acquiescence to this President's transgressions. Unlike, say, Feingold (see Leonard Pitts' column "History Will Scold Those Who Stayed Silent").

I think the phrase "Republican-controlled Congress" is a little revealing about the authors' motivation, but the facts of the matter are not really in dispute.

Yes, a Democratic prosecutor indicted Delay. Does that mean Delay shouldn't answer to the charges? Sure doesn't look like it to me. In Wisconsin, Republicans convicted in the Caucus Scandal are likewise crying partisanship, conveniently glossing over the fact that Democrats have actually been charged with more crimes by the Democratic prosecutor.

As folks have been saying for a couple of years now, if you can impeach a President for lying about his sex life, you sure as hell can impeach one for illegally surveilling American citizens, torturing prisoners, and violating the Geneva Convention.

You go, Illinois!

Full text of HJR0125

Digital Cameras can be individually fingerprinted from their photos -- eep!

Found this via Bruce Schneier's blog:

Child pornographers will soon have a harder time escaping prosecution thanks to a stunning new technology in development at Binghamton University, State University of New York, that can reliably link digital images to the camera with which they were taken, in much the same way that tell-tale scratches are used by forensic examiners to link bullets to the gun that fired them.
"The defense in these kind of cases would often be that the images were not taken by this person's camera or that the images are not of real children," said Jessica Fridrich, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. "Sometimes child pornographers will even cut and paste an image of an adult's head on the image of a child to try to avoid prosecution.

"But if it can be shown that the original images were taken by the person's cell phone or camera, it becomes a much stronger case than if you just have a bunch of digital images that we all know are notoriously easy to manipulate."

New Borland IDE general manager wants to recapture glory days

From The Register:

Brown vowed Borland's spun-out IDE business would recapture its lead. "Four to five years ago, what we put in Delphi one year, Microsoft copied one or two years later. Our goal is to get back to that scenario where we are leading. Also JBuilder - that drove Java to the limits. Our goal is to get back to that," he said.

He blamed Borland's surrender on a legacy of under-investment in tools thanks to corporate priorities that came to emphasise the bigger ALM picture, with more R pro-rata going into Borland's Caliber, StarTeam and Together software. "Over the last few years [tools] haven't been part of Borland's key investments... that has been ALM product. Our immediate goal is to get that [investment] to, or above, what [other] software companies put into their leading products."

This begs the question: where will Borland get the cash to sustain the R and sales and marketing? budgets. The company is asssessing suitors to help fund and develop the IDE business, which also features the company's database and application server.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Simile Of The Day

From The Register (re Apple XServe): "Louder than a kookaburra in a vise."