Oddly enough, even though I've been watching a lot of news in the last couple of weeks, I really haven't seen a clear and concise explanation of the Writers' Guild's side of the strike. I mean, sure, I've heard that they want more money, but there really hasn't been a good explanation of what they want and why they feel entitled to it. Well, I should say "oddly enough" in that most television news is broadcast in places where the content producers own the airwaves... surprisingly, the motivations of those with whom they're at odds aren't being well-portrayed.
But, in any event, this article published in Newsweek does an excellent job of explaining what the writers want. In simple terms, they want a percentage of the profits that studios make from online video distribution, from which they currently enjoy no revenue at all. Also, they'd kind of like to make more than $.04 per DVD sale. Yes, that's right... FOUR CENTS. Seriously? What kind of chutzpah does it take to tell someone that they don't deserve money off of online distribution and that they're lucky they get four cents for every DVD they sell? Personally, it makes me want to boycott going and seeing movies period until the strike is over, except that I'm pretty sure that the writers are getting a cut (albeit a very small one) from the sales, and right now they need every penny they can get.
That's right, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is resigning. And it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
Look, I was never a fan of Ashcroft, but I really felt like he was an honest guy who just had some opinions that were diametrically opposed to mine. Yes, I would have had a hard time voting for him, but I really never felt like he was a crooked Machiavellian sort who wanted to further his own agenda at the expense of the nation. Maybe that's just my gut feeling... but with Ashcroft, it always seemed like there were bigger fish to fry. Like Alberto Gonzales.
Even back in 2002 when he was the White House Counsel, Gonzales was the one advocating the use of torture and attempting to plumb the legal gray area that would make it work. His track record has only gotten worse since he was appointed to the Office of the Attorney General. His interviews before Congress make a mockery of the Justice Department and it becomes plainly apparent in the manner that he comports himself that he feels that the Executive Department's agenda should be subject to no oversight and certainly no accountability.
To say that I am pleased that he's leaving office is a gross understatement. While some were concerned by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, I find Attorney General Alberto R Gonzales to be a far more dangerous and insidious character and look forward to the hearing regarding his replacement (a largely meaningless proceeding to be sure, but sure to be fun, nonetheless) with bated breath.
Joe writes that he's managed to get on a computer in Iowa and is preparing for his strike against Ma Hoyt. I wish him all of the success in the world and am doing due diligence to protect my rodent allies by performing some reconaissance of my own. Keep an eye here and an eye on Joe's Blog for future updates.
Vive la resistance!
Yesterday, news was released that brought joy to my life. Dr. Alvin O. Austin, LeTourneau's very own President and father of the QEP, has tendered his 1 year notice of intent to retire. The clouds rolled back, the heavens were opened, and the angels started singing.
There remains a good deal of curiousity and speculation as to who will replace Fearless Leader. Will they hire from within (guh... I hope not), will they bring in a firm believer of the QEP (*shudder*), or will they finally bring in someone with an academic background? We can only hope LeTourneau might finally go back in the direction of academics.
Well, it's official, Dell is buying Alienware. The guys at Alienware insist that this won't impact quality.... I have my doubts.
Chief Justice Rehnquist died, presumably due to thyroid cancer, on Saturday night. His professionalism, dignity, dedication to the Court and wry sense of humor will be missed by liberals and conservatives alike. Personally, I will miss his unique attire as Chief Justice with the yellow stripes on each sleeve that he is said to have made to imitate a costume from a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta.
My theory here is that SCO figures that these companies will just roll over and die and pay out the $700/machine fees and thus fuel their corporate lawsuits. On the other hand if as all good Linux fans hope, these companies decide to fight SCO in court and countersue, SCO could be in a very big predicament where their legal fees grow to astronomical proportions. We can only hope...
Long story short, a new and different MS might be on the horizon.
If anyone thinks small-town politics are screwed up, check this out.
I may have told some of you about good old Arnold Engel, but for those who I haven't, let me put it this way: if there was ever someone who created grief and aggravation for people who wanted to give kids a legitimate education, it would be this man. If there were ever someone who valued dollars and cents over education and would destroy the futures of hundreds of children to save a buck, it would be Arnie. If there is no individual man more hated by any educator who knows him, it would be Arnie.
The school district is asking for about $3 million to support growth and expansion in this next year. Arnold claims that this money is too much because the teachers are paid too much. So yeah... we should pay our teachers less, because that will give our kids a better education. Not to mention what a pittance teachers get in the first place. I will be posting more articles on this moron as I find them.
During the course of the week, I've accumulated the following newsworthy items. They range from the amusing to the absurd to the just plain screwed-up.
Sad News to Report: A man in Germany was jailed for 9 months for driving agressively on the Autobahn and causing a woman to drive recklessly and crash, resulting in her death.
In other news, this professor stepped down from his job in the aftermath of his making a flippant statement to prove a point and having a student call his bluff. Granted, he did offer an "A" to any student brazen enough to strip in class... and granted this was a conservative school, but I still think the action is a bit much.
And finally, PETA is trying convince the town of Slaughterville to change their name to Veggieville by bribing them with $20,000 of veggie burgers. In light of that offer, I would change my town's name to "Animal Execution"-ville.
Typically, news of a new lawsuit annoys me and turns my stomach. However, this countersuit has me running around in circles screaming, "YES!"
For those of you who don't speak tech, the simple explanation is that some programmers figured out a way to make Internet Explorer 5 run programs using specially designed images on web pages. What does this mean to you? If you happen to still be running IE5, UPGRADE!
If your eyes are glassing over at the sight of another technical post, let me spell out what this means to you. Bear in mind that there are already a LOT of known Windows insecurities which allow crafty hackers and programmers to write programs which bork Windows. Also bearing in mind that WinXP is about 95% just Win2k repackaged, this is kind of like releasing a large segment of the map to Fort Knox. Before, people just had to walk around the outside of the wall looking for cracks. Now, people can pore over the map and find them a whole lot easier and faster. This should be fun...
Update: Microsoft has issued a press release admitting that there is, in fact a leak. The BBC has an article, essentially noting that MS and the major players in Windows security are saying "wait until we see what's up." That said, this article off of Reuters is noting that there is 200+ megs each of Win2k and WinNT source. While that is under 5% of the code, that's still a lot of information.
Long story short, there are a couple of code segments out there. We're just not sure what all they entail. Give me another 24 hours and
we'll they'll have more information on this