Monday, December 31, 2007

The End of an Era

Remember a web browser called "Netscape Navigator"? It was the browser to use back in the "good old days" of the Internet. In the mid-90s it was THE browser. Internet Explorer didn't exist when Netscape came out and Netscape ruled the roost.

The big anti-trust brouhaha of the late-90s against Microsoft was largely based on Microsoft's attempts to gain market share from Netscape for its Internet Explorer.

Well, all that is ancient history now. The MS Mammals have won over the Netscape Dinosaur and Netscape is no more. Netscape Navigator was officially made extinct (or perhaps put out of its misery) last Friday. (AOL Finally Kills Netscape Browser)

So let's have a moment of silence to show our respects and then ... well, er, umm, I don't know. Get on with something more important I guess.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Government Spending - getting it in perspective

A friend of mine recently pointed out something you can use to get a concept of what the US Government spends. Here is what he said:

"After the recent wildfires, in which a half million people have been evacuated, and 1,500 or more homes have been destroyed, making this the worst disaster of any kind in California history including earthquakes, according to at least one news story, a headline blared that the cost to insurers may be as much as 1.6 billion.

There are other costs, of course, because the insurers don’t pay for the firefighting effort. But if it takes all this fire damage to waste 1.6 billion dollars of insurance money, what does it take to burn up 35 billion on health care, or 196 billion on a foreign war? It’s staggering."

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Convicted Felon Was Running Wikipedia

I've blogged before about the promise and perils of Wikipedia (see links below). Now it comes out that Wikimedia (the foundation that owns and runs Wikipedia) employed a convicted felon as their Chief Operating Officer for 6-months: Felon Became a Top Wikipedia Exec

If they can't vouch for the credentials of their COO how can they vouch for the credentials of the people who write their articles? Any Tom, Dick or Carolyn can go write an article at Wikipedia and who knows a) who they are, b) who they work for, c) who pays them, d) what their personal biases and intolerances are or e) what their conflicts of interest are.

If Wikipedia wants to be treated as some sort of authoritative and trustworthy source of information then we need a full disclosure of who the authors of every article are because in order to accurately evaluate an article, you not only need to understand the article itself, but also who wrote it. An example that I hope demonstrates the point: If you read an article about how a particular drug was the solution to depression, you might be convinced to take it. But if you discovered that the article was written by a doctor who received a million dollars last year from the drug company who manufactures the drug, then you may have second thoughts.

My earlier articles:
Wikipedia - The Flaw
More on Wikipedia
How trustworthy is Wikipedia?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ron Paul Breaks His Own Online Fund Raising Record

In November Ron Paul created a new record for online fund raising when he raised $4.3 million in a 24 hour period. Well, he just did it again!

Ron Paul Raises $6 Million in a 24-Hour Period
Ron Paul backers stage Boston Tea Party, raise millions

And this article (The Real Ron Paul Revolution) really says it: "And he will be the 2008 candidate who is remembered for doing something that can matter more than winning a party nomination or a November election, and that is changing the politics of a country that needs every new approach to altering a corrupt and dysfunctional status quo."

The great thing is that these funds were raised from tens of thousands of people making small donations. This shows the breadth of support that Paul has.

Wouldn't it be great to have a President who actually followed the Constitution?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Creation and Control of Money

Here is a highly educational and eye-opening video about money: how it is created, how it is controlled, who creates it, who controls it and why you don't have more:

Money As Debt

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Do you support the US Constitution? Perhaps you are a dangerous terrorist ...

Here is a pretty scary video. Did you know that an FBI handbook labels people who refer to the US Constitution as potential murderers and terrorists? Hard to believe, but the actual handbook is shown in this video:

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Artificial Intelligence and the Human Mind

Here is a fascinating article on AI and the Human Mind. It explains the viewpoints and ideas of people working in this field and the mistakes they are making. The point the writer makes about the lack of a model for human thought or consciousness I think hits the nail right on the head: Artificial Intelligence and the Human Mind