Monthly Archive for January, 2007

Colbert: Bill O’Reilly is a complete tool.

So yesterday afternoon I jumped out of work for a bit to attend a live taping of the Colbert Report! I ain’t gonna lie, it was pretty freakin’ sweet. The tickets took me like six months to get – it was a total pain in the ass. And then we got to wait an hour and a half in the freezing cold. Thanks guys. AND I had to go back to work until midnight in order to make up for the lost time. But it was totally worth it.

He interviewed Donna Shalala, who was Clinton’s former HHS Secretary. Big Whoop. But the best part was before the taping, he did a Q&A session with the audience. Colbert is just his normal self (i.e. not in character) during the Q&A, but it was amazing to see how high energy he is. He was totally amped, doing sight gags, hopping around, totally unlike the character he plays. As you know, Bill O’Reilly (“Papa Bear”) and Colbert appeared on each other’s shows recently. It was a ratings hit.

So anyway, during the Q&A, someone asked Colbert what he really thought of O’Reilly:

Audience Member: “What is Bill O’Reilly like in real life?”
Colbert: “A complete tool.”

True story. Like I said, pretty freakin’ sweet.

Update: I was able to get independent confirmation from someone else who was at the show here, at Colbert’s fan website, ColbertNation.com. She added that “The way he said it was funny, too. He really put emphasis on the word “complete”.” 🙂

Jade Goody Living in Fear? Good.

UK Yahoo News Link. If you haven’t heard, Jade Goody was accused (rightly) of racist bullying towards Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty on Celebrity Big Brother, a version of the show out in the UK. Anyway, this week she claimed her windows were smashed as a direct result.

She has been staying in a hotel since she was booted off the Channel 4 reality show on Friday and has yet to be reunited with her two young sons, who are staying with relatives and were not at home during the alleged incident.

“Do I deserve to get my windows smashed? Do I deserve not to see my children?” she complained during an appearance on Five talk show The Wright Stuff.

Oh, is that who you were thinking of when you called Shilpa “the Indian” and told her to “fuck off home?” Yes, you deserve those things and probably worse. If you were so concerned with your kids’ safety, maybe you shouldn’t have been such a loudmouth racist asshat! You are getting everything you deserve, kuti. Looks like someone can’t fuck off home herself now!

Why Class Action Lawsuits Are Not As Bad As You Think.

Verizon Makes Canceling Over Their Txt Msg Hike Impossible.

The problem here is that Verizon can take advantage of economies of scale. Say you are some kind of crusader that writes the article and/or has the experience that the author did regarding the difficulty of canceling your contract over the material increase in text message fees. They know that maybe 1 or 2 out of a million will actually take them to court over it. So they pay what, 2 or 3 grand to settle those cases? Meanwhile, they have a 50 percent increase in revenue for every text message that its tens of millions of customers are sending. If I was some kind of Verizon executive, I would be creaming in my pants over this trade-off.

Meanwhile, over the past few years, there have been constant attacks by Big Tobacco, Big Medicine, and Big Insurance to reduce the recovery that class action litigants can get. They call this “tort reform,” and to date, these attacks have been largely successful, resulting on limitations (judicial or legislative) on the recoveries that class action litigants can get.

On the other end of the assrape of the American people, you have unscrupulous class action lawyers that only seek coupon settlements because they get 30% of the value of the coupon, in cash. So even if there was a class action lawsuit, it will never result in any real recovery to the class action pool, just to the lawyers who represent them.

So basically, you, Joe Public, are getting fucked from both ends. The class action system is broken, vendors like Verizon know it, and they sure as hell take advantage of it.

The Hegemony of the Amateur.

Blogs bring on decay. Each new blog is supposed to add to the fall of the media system that once dominated the twentieth century. This process is not one of a sudden explosion. The erosion of the mass media cannot easily be traced in figures of stagnant sales and the declining readership of newspapers. In many parts of the world, television is still on the rise. What’s declining is the Belief in the Message. That is the nihilist moment, and blogs facilitate this culture as no platform has ever done before. Sold by the positivists as citizen media commentary, blogs assist users in their crossing from Truth to Nothingness. The printed and broadcasted message has lost its aura. News is consumed as a commodity with entertainment value. Instead of lamenting the ideological color of the news, as previous generations have done, we blog as a sign of the regained power of the spirit. As a micro-heroic, Nietzschean act of the pajama people, blogging grows out of a nihilism of strength, not out of the weakness of pessimism. Instead of time and again presenting blog entries as self-promotion, we should interpret them as decadent artifacts that remotely dismantle the mighty and seductive power of the broadcast media.

Bloggers are nihilists because they are “good for nothing”. They post into Nirvana and have turned their futility into a productive force. They are the nothingists who celebrate the death of the centralized meaning structures and ignore the accusation that they would only produce noise. They are disillusionists whose conduct and opinions are regarded worthless.

But wait, there’s more. Needless to say, this has ruffled the collective panties of the ‘blog community.’ We will of course consume this dissertation like so many other tidbits and trivia that come across our desk.

If you aren’t using Google Reader yet, you should be.

Or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love RSS.

Do you want to stay current with the news that matters to you? Of course, we all do! But who has the time to check all those tedious websites? With everything that’s been going on at CES, and the fact that I have um, A JOB, it’s been nearly impossible to keep track of everything! Google, answer to so many of our society’s ills, has come up with a solution that you must have NOW. Without boring you with too much technical mumbo-jumbo, let me tell you what Google Reader is, and why you need it.

1. Google Reader puts all of the websites you visit in one place, and tells you when they have been updated. As they put so succinctly, “It’s like your inbox, for the web.” Before Google Reader, I would individually visit sites like Engadget, Gizmodo, Uncrate, the Times, and others. This was a huge time-waster, and what’s more, I would be visiting these sites multiple times a day for new stories. With Google Reader, all of the most recent articles from the news websites and blogs you visit are in one place. You can jump from one to the next, or read each article in succession. More importantly, Google Reader tells you when there are new stories on your favorite sites, so you don’t waste time checking them throughout the day.

2. Google Reader reduces clutter in several ways. First, I was able to remove many bookmarks on my bookmarks toolbar, which means a much cleaner Firefox interface. Second, it reduces email clutter, since you no longer need to subscribe for many mailing lists that also employ RSS. Third, it reduces life clutter, since I no longer have to keep track of multiple sites. Everything is aggregated for me on one page.

3. Google Reader has an excellent interface with multiple viewing options. Sometimes you feel like a nut. Sometimes you don’t. Google Reader’s multiple viewing options allow you to view many items at once or fewer items with more detail. The expanded view is useful if you want to view all the pretty pictures at once, while the list view allows you to scan many headlines and focus on the ones you want to learn more about. In both views, scrolling down automatically loads subsequent pages, so you never have to click “next page” or “previous page.” This is especially useful for very prolific sites that have many posts in a single day. Click the images below to see the different views and the auto-scroll mechanism.

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4. E-mailing, Sharing, Starring and Trends. Google Reader is feature-rich. With it, you can:

Email. Google Reader integrates seamlessly with Gmail (my preferred personal email account), allowing you to easily send news stories to your friends.

Share. When you share an item, it is collected with other shared items on an elegant Shared Page, which is publicly accessible. You can also email your shared items list to your friends with Gmail. Google Reader automatically creates an RSS feed of shared items which you can put on your site, and also provides code that you can use to put a clip of your shared items on your site if you don’t have RSS integration

Star. Much like Gmail, Google Reader allows you to star items, then puts those items in your starred folder for later retrieval.

Trends. Google Reader tells you how many stories you have viewed on each site, with percentages and other nifty stats.

5. Google Reader integrates seamlessly with Firefox. It is simple to add sites to Google Reader. If the site already has RSS built in, you will see a little icon in your address bar like so:

rss-firefox1.JPG

Click it, and it will prompt you to add to Google Reader (among others).

rss-firefox2.JPG

But wait, there’s more! You can set it to automatically select Google Reader as your news reader of choice.

6. You can access Google Reader from anywhere. Unlike standalone RSS programs, Google Reader is web based. That means you can access your subscriptions from anywhere, including from a mobile phone or blackberry. The ability to view on any computer or mobile phone is probably one of the best features of Google Reader.

So there you have it. Go and get it now!

Sunset in Montreal

The other day in New York, it was 75 degrees. In January. Anyway, today its frickin’ freezing. It sort of reminded me of this picture I took in Montreal. So here it is.

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