Saturday, August 13, 2011

Is our patent system broken?

Is our patent system broken? Yes, I think it is. Lots of patent wars in progress at the moment. And extortion.

Did you know that Microsoft makes more money from Google's Android phone platform than from their own Windows phone platform? From Gizmodo:
"Did You Know Microsoft Makes Five Times More Money From Android than From Windows Phone?"

Did you know that Samsung has been blocked from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Europe, due to an injunction that Apple obtained? Without any prior notice to, or input from, Samsung? From Bnet:
"Apple Legal Victory: Court Blocks Samsung Tablet in Europe" by Erik Sherman

Lots of ridiculous lawsuits, stifling innovation. But what should we do about it? Here are some common sense, if provocative, suggestions from Blog Maverick (Mark Cuban):
"My Suggestion on Patent Law"

I happen to like Cuban's ideas. They are (boiled down from the post):

"1. End all software patents. Don’t make them shorter, eliminate them.
2. End all process patents. They serve absolutely no purpose. None."

Simple, right?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Straight talk, from the right place

Finally some common sense for the black community ... from the black community. Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter delivered some great advice to black youths recently.

From YouTube:
"Nutter Takes to Church Podium to Lash Out at Teens" posted by NBC10Philadelphia

One of the comments after the video:
"this is the type of leader blacks need, not sharpton, not jackson, this dude. good guy up there."
Amen. Why do people even listen to arrogant, race-baiting hacks like Sharpton and Jackson?

Here's a story about his speech, from BET:
"Philadelphia Mayor Scolds Philadelphia Youth Mobs" by Danielle Wright

Some notable quotes from Nutter:

"You have damaged your race." Wow, you can't get more direct than that.

"If you walk into somebody’s office with your hair uncombed and a pick in the back, and your shoes untied, and your pants half down, tattoos up and down your arms and on your neck, and you wonder why somebody won’t hire you? They don’t hire you 'cause you look like you’re crazy.'"

Note, in that previous paragraph nobody seems to want to quote what he said immediately prior to that. Which was:
"And if you go to look for a job, don't go blame it on the white folks or anybody else."
Funny how our politically-correct media saw fit to take that line out.

"Take those God darn hoodies down, especially in the summer. Pull your pants up and buy a belt ’cause no one wants to see your underwear or the crack of your butt. Nobody."

"The Immaculate Conception of our Lord Jesus Christ took place a long time ago, and it didn’t happen here in Philadelphia. So every one of these kids has two parents who were around and participating at the time. They need to be around now."

"If you’re [fathers] not providing the guidance,and you’re not sending any money, you’re just a sperm donor."

Note this line from the newspaper article:
"The head of Philadelphia’s chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, J. Whyatt Modesire, tells the Washington Times that it 'took courage' for the mayor to deliver the message and that it was one in which Black youth needed to be called out."

And there, my friends, is the real story here. Nothing Nutter said is wrong. And yet if a white person said the very same words he would be, at best, ignored. More likely excoriated for being insensitive.

Heck, Bill Cosby said similar stuff and was criticized. Here is one link I quickly found, from
"Why America's Dad, Bill Cosby, has let down the black community" by Harold M. Clemens

The tagline for the above article says, "RIGHT IDEA, WRONG APPROACH." Basically trying to sugar coat an article that tries to criticize Bill Cosby for telling the truth. Completely avoiding the real story because, gasp, white people might repeat what Cosby said. Where I come from, the truth is an absolute defense.

Final note, pointed out to me by a friend. Did you know that the recent London riots were caused by the police shooting an African-American? I had no idea that an American started the whole thing! Do they really use the term "African-American" in other countries, too? Does that make ANY sense to you?

I checked it out on Yahoo! Answers:

Here is one article that uses this strange terminology, from The Nonprofit Quarterly:
"London Is Burning: What Happened to the U.K.'s 'Big Society'?" by Rick Cohen

This is what happens when you pervert the language.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Good News from Wisconsin!

Following up on my previous post, looks like the Republicans in Wisconsin survived the recall attempts in elections held yesterday. They did lose two seats (out of 6) but didn't lose control of the state senate.

From Newsmax:
"John Fund: Unions Spent $35 Million to Defeat Wisconsin Gov. Walker — and Lost" by Jiim Meyers and Ashley Martella

This is what unions are doing with their members' money. Not just in Wisconsin, mind you. Money came pouring into the state from all over the country to fight the common sense reforms Walker has enacted. Fighting for the right to keep confiscating their members' money.

According to John Fund, interviewed in the article:
"It was astonishing to see labor unions spend $35 million of their members’ dues money to beat back Scott Walker’s labor reforms. But the astonishing thing is that for all the money they spent, mostly unsuccessfully, their ads against the Republican incumbents they were trying to recall never talked about the labor law reforms."

"They talked about ending Medicare, which is a federal issue, not a state issue. They talked about Paul Ryan. They talked about cutting budgets for education. They talked about everything except the issue of whether or not labor unions should have the right to withhold dues from their members if they didn’t want them to go to politics."

"That was the core of the issue that brought 75,000 people to the Madison state capital in February and March. And that was the one issue the labor unions didn’t want to bring up because I suspect that would have opened up a whole can of worms about union privileges and how much better public employee unions were paid, and how much better their benefits were than people in the private sector."

"Republicans retained control of the state Senate. His reforms are working. You’re seeing school districts all over the state being able to avoid layoffs. In fact they’re adding teachers and reducing class size. They’re saving lots of money because the health insurance monopoly that used to be controlled by the teachers’ union has been broken."

"All over the state, you’re seeing the reforms starting to work. I think when parents send their kids back to school in September they’re going to see the schools are still there and in some cases are probably performing better because of the flexibility now that schools boards have in negotiating labor contracts."

It will be interesting to see if Democrats follow-through on their threat to launch a recall effort against Walker, himself. Stay tuned, this isn't over yet.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Political Leadership

This is a tale of two politicians. Both inherited budget deficits, from predecessors who spent recklessly and foolishly. One fixed the problems and turned his state around. The other continues to whine about it to this day (while golfing, taking extravagant vacations, and celebrating with fundraisers disguised as birthday parties).

Let's start with the leader. Scott Walker is a leader. He has a spine. And it is paying off. Consider this article from The Weekly Standard:
"Walker’s Vindication" by John McCormack
"The controversial Wisconsin budget reform saves teachers’ jobs."

Walker's actions saved teaching jobs and kept classes sizes smaller--in those districts that didn't cave to the unions prior to Walker's budget repair bill becoming law, anyway. Regardless of the teachers' wailing, these jobs are still very much sought after, judging by applications received.

"Just three weeks after Walker’s budget went into effect, its sweeping success is already apparent."

"As for the teachers, 'some of them will feel better in a year or two.' Koczela says the union told them that 'this is all a sham. There isn’t really a budget shortfall. If we just all stop giving tax breaks to wealthy corporations you’ll all be fine.'"

"'They didn’t know who was lying to them.' But soon enough they will."

Meanwhile, Obama continues to read what's on the teleprompter, in between rounds of golf. He is not a leader. He is a follower. Even in "his" disastrous health care bill, he let Nancy Pelosi do all the work. Obama couldn't even tell people what was in the bill when asked. Here's Obama trying to explain his position on health care:
"obama...stumbling about healthcare" posted by grannyrecipe

And here is a story discussing Obama's lack of knowledge of "his" own bill:
"Morning Bell: Obama Admits He’s 'Not Familiar' With House Bill" by Conn Carroll

Click on the links in that story for first hand information, including the audio recording of when Obama admits he doesn't know what is in his own bill.

Here is another link to the specific audio, from Real Clear Politics:
"Obama 'Not Familiar' With Key Provision In Health Care Bill"

Hardly surprising for someone who doesn't even know how many states there are in the country he supposedly leads.
"Obama Claims He's Visited 57 States" posted by ObamaGaffe

By the way, you know how we have been told that we have been in a recover? How the stimulus was going to help the economy? Well we all know how that is working for the unemployment rate (it isn't). But did you hear about how many Americans are now on food stamps? From CNN:
"Food stamp use rises to record 45.8 million" by Blake Ellis

"Nearly 15% of the U.S. population relied on food stamps in May, according to the United States Department of Agriculture."

"The number of Americans using the government's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) -- more commonly referred to as food stamps -- shot to an all-time high of 45.8 million in May, the USDA reported. That's up 12% from a year ago, and 34% higher than two years ago."

"To qualify for food stamps, an individual's income can't exceed $1,174 a month or $14,088 a year -- an amount that is 130% of the national poverty level."

So the so-called "recovery" has reduced employment and driven more people into poverty. Great. Obama and his cadre of tax cheats have no idea how to help the economy. Let me guess what he'll say, "I inherited this from Bush. It's not my fault that things keep getting worse long after Bush has been out of office. I'm going golfing."

By contrast, listen to Scott Walker. He understands what is needed. He explains it very directly and pursues the policies very quickly. He solved the problem he inherited.
"Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker on Unions and Budget Cuts" posted by the Heritage Foundation

Notice what he says about union dues. Pay attention around 3:50 of the video. Despite all the rhetoric, despite what they say, the main concern of the unions is that they can no longer force workers to pay their dues. They want the money. It's not about protecting the workers. It will be fascinating to see how many workers continue to fund organizations that care nothing about them. The unions have also lost the right to bleed money from local school districts via a union-controlled health care provider that charges rates well above the market. Amazing that they tried to defend that with a straight face.

If you want to be entertained, read the comments to the video. The Left cannot string together a coherent argument. They are left with nothing but empty curses and rage.

Consider the larger context here. We, citizens of these United States, implored our representatives to be responsible adults and manage our money responsibly. Yet when the Governor of Wisconsin does exactly this he is excoriated for it. It's very sad.

Final point: There has been a lot of talk about Obama getting rolled by the right on the debt limit deal. Far from it, far from it. Spending has not been cut one red cent. We're still spending far more money than we have. We are borrowing to cover it, as well as devaluing our currency. But one thing that people didn't consider is this: Obama got exactly what he wanted out of the debt limit deal. According to Bloomberg, "Because any spending cuts would be delayed until 2013, timed to coincide with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, Republicans would have an added incentive to agree to overhaul taxes, which Democrats want to use for raising revenue."

Yes, you heard that right: Further fights on this issue will occur just after the 2012 elections. That's probably just a coincidence, right? RIGHT???

Of course not. Obama only cares about re-election. HIS re-election. Don't fool yourself. He got exactly what he wanted out of the negotiations. Ask yourself: Is that what a leader would do?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Songs of the Day: Lady Gaga - Bad Romance; Lissie - Bad Romance

I've posted before about how some songs are great songs regardless of who sings them (within reason, of course). Here is one more such song, two great versions of it. From YouTube:

"Lady Gaga - Bad Romance" posted by LadyGagaVEVO

"Lady Gaga - Bad Romance - live cover - Lissie" posted by lissiemusic

I love the attitude expressed in this song. Both Lady Gaga and Lissie capture the essence of the song.

Previous posts about song that sound great when performed by multiple performers:

Songs of the Day: Eva Cassidy - Time After Time; Allison Crowe - Time After Time

Songs of the Day: Laura Jansen - Use Somebody; Bat For Lashes - Use Somebody

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Song of the Day: Lady Gaga - The Edge Of Glory

(Note: I've never had so many images to choose from for a blog post!)

I love this song. From YouTube:
"Lady Gaga - The Edge Of Glory"

And here is a live version Lady Gaga did on the Howard Stern Show:
"HOWARD STERN: Lady Gaga's solo piano performance of "The Edge Of Glory" on Howard Stern Show"

Lady Gaga reminds me of Eminem. No logical reason I should like either as much as I do. But I really like listening to both of them.

Oh, and don't forget the Google Chrome video featuring Lady Gaga!
"Google Chrome: Lady Gaga" by googlechrome

In fact, you should check out all the Chrome advertisements. Remember: "The web is what you make of it." :)