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April 1st, 2013

ARMY Inc.

April 1st Washington DC.

In ongoing efforts to monetize everything, the Obama Administration has implemented longstanding plans to incorporate the US Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines into a single publicly traded corporation under the title Armed Industries Inc. The initial IPO for the stock (ticker ARMY) is set for later today, and is expected to shatter records for all previous IPOs combined. President Obama announced the IPO in the Rose Garden late last Friday in a joint press conference with industry leaders and key senators on the finance committee. No press were permitted at the event.

A spokesperson for the corporation said that some layoffs are expected during the reorganization, and that in order to increase revenue streams the new financial giant is scheduled to open an online retail outlet for foreign armies and dictators to purchase the excess equipment and spare parts that have been stockpiled, but are currently unusable by the US military because of vast over-ordering of unneeded equipment and replacement parts for discontinued vehicles. All sales final, local taxes apply.

To mark the occasion the Obama Administration has declared April 1st as Drone Appreciation Day.

                                         Dr. John


April 1st, 2012

Supreme Court to Hear Arguments on the Constitutionality of the US Constitution

April 1st Washington DC. The Commerce Clause of the US Constitution reared its ugly head again today as the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of Scalia v Ginsberg on the constitutionality of the US Constitution. The case was brought before the court by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia who charged Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg with abusing the US Constitution to determine the constitutionality of cases brought before the Court. At question is whether the US Constitution violates the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.

In preliminary hearings Justice Scalia, a vigorous defender of the right of citizens to not eat broccoli and a self-avowed broccoli hater, likened the Constitution’s intrusions into interstate commerce to being forced to eat broccoli every day. Scalia argued that because broccoli was transported across state lines that it came under federal jurisdiction, and that because broccoli was malodorous and mephitic, the constitution was unconstitutional in allowing such a gustatory abomination on the nation.

Justice Ginsberg countered that broccoli was a sublime vegetable, robust in flavor and endowed with a bounty of essential nutrients and fiber. Her words appeared to fall of deaf palates on the court.

When asked if he would recuse himself from deliberations on the case in light of his being the plaintiff Justice Scalia was quoted as saying “I’d rather eat broccoli!”

                                         Dr. John


April 1st, 2011

GE to Acquire US Government

Following on the announcements of Comcast’s acquisition of NBC/Universal, and Microsoft’s acquisition of Apple, financial analysts reported today that GE was in talks to acquire the Federal government. Jeffrey Immelt, the CEO of GE and the White House Business Czar was said to be in talks with US CEO Barak Obama on the details of the acquisition.

A GE spokesperson who asked not to be named due to the sensitive nature of the talks said that the US government could be purchased for pennies on the dollar now, and that the merger would be good for the economy.

The spokesperson was quoted as saying, “When it comes to corporations, fewer is better, and bigger is better. The acquisition of the federal government will allow GE to expand its business into new areas, including declaring war and monetizing high unemployment through taxation of the unemployed. It’s a win-lose situation for us and workers, which is something we find attractive”.

No word yet on US CEO Barak Obama’s proposed salary and stock options in the new GE.gov enterprise.

                                         Dr. John


April 1st, 2010

Merge Baby Merge
 

On the day when Google and Topeka Kansas announced their merger to form Googeeka Inc., and as Comcast and NBC prepare to merge by dramatically raising their pricing, there is another merger on the horizon that makes these other mergers seem like chump change.

Today Bill Gates announced that Microsoft and Apple are merging to form Micropple. Mr. Gates was quoted as saying “This merger will provide our customers with fewer confusing choices, and consolidated billing.”

President Obama took questions from reporters earlier today. “This is a win-win situation for Microsoft and Apple” the President remarked. “It will also make it easier for consumers to make a decision on what type of computer to buy.”

Steve Jobs was unavailable for comment, but an Apple spokesperson who requested anonymity responded to questions about the merger by saying “Apple computers have been the same as PCs for years, ever since we switched to Intel processors, so I don’t see what all the hubbub is about.”

                                         Dr. John


April 2nd, 2009

April 1st Interview with Bill Gates
 

Doc: Mr. Gates…

Bill: Please, call me Mr. Bill.

Doc: Certainly. Mr. Bill, what can you tell our readers about the upcoming release of Windows version 7? What improvements will the operating system have over previous versions of Windows?

Bill: Is that a trick question?

Doc: Not at all, I'm sure everybody is anxious to hear about all the improvements you have made to the new operating system.

Bill: This still sounds like a trick question. Who booked this interview?

Doc: Okay, let me ask the question another way; what would to like to tell our readers about Windows 7?

Bill: Oh, well that’s a different question, Windows 7 will be Microsoft’s best operating system ever. And because it’s so good, it will be expensive.

Doc: You say that Windows 7 will be Microsoft’s best operating system to date, can you elaborate a little on that?

Bill: Of course. The best part about Windows 7 is that most of the really cool features will be locked and inaccessible when you buy the affordable version. Then you'll have to pony up over and over again to unlock all those juicy bits. From our standpoint, this is a big improvement over Windows Vista.

Doc: You mentioned improvements over Windows Vista, can you tell us more about other improvements in the new operating system?

Bill: I’d love to.

Doc: OK, how about software and hardware compatibility? That was somewhat of a sticking point with Windows Vista. Will Windows 7 be more compatible with existing hardware and software?

Bill: You are referring to legacy equipment and code. We don't discuss legacy issues.

Doc: Well, as you know, Windows XP was renowned for its ability to run existing software, and had stupendous driver support for existing hardware. Have you're engineers been working hard to develop similar support in Windows version 7?

Bill: Windows XP is a legacy operating system, and we don't discuss legacy issues.

Doc: So you have no plans to bring back a single hardware abstraction layer to replace the broken DRM hardware driver layers that have made Windows Vista so incompatible with “legacy” hardware?

Bill: Excuse me? Who booked this interview? I think my cell phone is vibrating, I have to go now.

Doc: Well thanks very much Mr. Bill, that was all very enlightening.

                                          Dr. John


Dec 1st, 2008

Is Vista Destroying the PC?

Mac sales are up, PC sales are down. Even worse for Microsoft, Windows XP sales are up! How could this be?

Because Windows Vista is an even worse operating system than Windows Me. In fact, Microsoft Vista is undoubtedly the worst operating system, and the most expensive one to develop, that Microsoft has ever attempted to foist on the public.

The problems with Windows Vista are almost too numerous to list, including draconian DRM (copy protection), incompatibilities with existing hardware and software, and extremely poor performance, to name but a few.

Vista was Bill Gate’s dream of an operating system which would force all Window’ users to replace all of their hardware and most of there software in order to have a computer that actually functioned. But it backfired. The government as well as businesses cannot afford to replace all of their printers and scanners and fax machines and all of their expensive Windows software just so they can have the latest version of Windows running on their computers. Most home users feel the same way.

Bill Gates has his programmers scrambling to churn out Windows version 7 which is supposed to replace Vista as soon as possible. However, word is that version 7 is simply a face lift of Windows Vista, and will retain the same broken hardware interface, and unworkable DRM that plagues Vista. If so, Windows 7 will be just as much of a pariah as its predecessor.

If Bill Gates wants to remain the predominant purveyor of operating systems he is going to have to sacrifice his neurotic control tendencies and make a solid, top-notch operating system without built-in DRM, and with full support for legacy hardware. Chances of this happening are far below slim-to-none. Expect Mac sales to continue to climb as Bill Gates fiddles.

                                          Dr. John


April 1st, 2008

Bill Gates to End Global Warming

Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, and one of the world’s richest people, vowed today to end global warming all by himself. According to sources in Redmond, Mr. Gates was quoted as saying “we have a big problem with hot air here in America, and because nobody is willing to do anything but complain about the weather, I have decided to do something about it.”

Microsoft corporation reports that all employees have been told to turn their computers off, and instead, slide rules and manual typewriters will be issued to everyone. Further, all buildings will be retrofitted with ceiling fans, and central air conditioning systems will be decommissioned.

But perhaps the greatest, and most difficult part of the plan to end global warming is Mr. Gates pledge to end computer gaming once and for all. He was quoted as saying “Computer gaming consumes more gigawatts of electricity than all other human activities combined. Several years ago we set out to reduce the use of computer games, first by encouraging kids to just get outside, and ride a bike. That didn’t catch on, so we went to plan B.

Unfortunately, Vista hasn’t been as successful at curbing computer gaming as we had hoped either. So we announce today the end of the Xbox, and the discontinuation of Direct X for Windows. It’s about time kids stopped sitting on their butts and clicking their mice all day long, like their parents do.”

                                           Dr. John


December 16th, 2007

Must Read on Upgrading from Vista to XP

As I predicted, the push for universal adoption of Windows XP is growing. Vista is officially obsolete. So what are you waiting for? Upgrade to XP today!

                                           Dr. John


September 30th, 2007

Humor Presages Reality

My April Fools Joke this year was that Microsoft was extending the life of Windows XP, and would be retiring Windows Vista early.

Headlines at The Inquirer today make a mockery of my mockery:

"Windows XP gets reprieve" about Microsoft extending the lifespan of XP... and

"Microsoft told to abandon Vista" about people calling for MS to start over and make a decent OS.

Crap... I'm going to have to be much more outlandish next year.

                                            Dr. John


August 20th, 2007

Boycott In-Game-Advertising

IGA stands for "In Game Advertising". It is a blatant attempt by an advertising firm to put advertisements in every computer game released, if possible.

IGA worldwide offers both static and dynamic in-game ads, and insists that ads plastered all over a game make the game more realistic. Oh sure, ads for Intel's Core2 Duo in a futuristic sci-fi game!

When advertising firms try to tell you how to think, you should think again. You pay between $40 and $50 a game, and then they want to shove ads down your throat on top of that. It's outrageous. But unless gamers fight back, you will see in-game advertising in the virtually every future video game.

I could possibly handle a few static ads in some games, but I am vehemently opposed to dynamic advertising which takes up any CPU time or Internet bandwidth. I do not want my computer being controlled by an ad server in Bulgaria while I'm trying to play a game online.

How can you fight back? First off, before you buy any computer games in the future check to see if they contain in game advertising. Recently I found that Quake Wars is saddled with in game advertising and I immediately canceled my pre-order. Another good game bites the dust. All you need to do before you buy a game is type in the game's name and IGA into Google and see what comes up. If the game has in game advertising you will probably find out quickly using this method. Refuse to buy games that have in game advertising.

Further, you can write to game makers and even to IGA to tell them that you do not want any dynamic ads in any games ever. You can e-mail IGA at this address: Inquiries@igaww.com.

PC gaming is slowly dying, and many developers are shifting to console games. I see in game advertising as one more nail in PC gaming's coffin. The time to make yourself heard is now. Don't wait until every game is filled with flashing billboards before you act.

                                            Dr. John


August 13th, 2007

Is Vista Killing PC Gaming?

Microsoft’s latest operating system, Vista, is proving my age-old criticism that Bill Gates is Window's worst enemy. Vista is a nightmare for both users, and developers. Among the software developers most irked by Vista are the game coders. Vista's Direct X 10 is turning out to be a major pain, and the looming update to Direct X 10.1 isn't making things any better.

Direct X 10 under Vista is not working out well for anyone, and is hindering new game development for the PC. Game developers are putting their efforts into console games, rather than PC games, and the end result is fewer new games for the PC. Add to this the low adoption rate for Vista among gamers, and you have a recipe for the end of PC gaming.

I'm not sure there is a way out of this dilemma short of Bill Gates recalling Vista. In other words, there is no way out of this dilemma.

Thanks Bill.

                                            Dr. John


April 1st, 2007

Microsoft Windows Products Lifecycle Update

Microsoft’s product life-cycle policies provide advanced notification of planned changes in product availability and support. This information helps customers and partners with product planning and information technology decisions.

Today, Microsoft announced amendments to its Windows lifecycle policies which are as follows.

End of OS version availability:

Windows 95: December 31, 2001

Windows NT Workstation 4.xx: June 30, 2003

Windows 98: November 30, 2003

Windows 2000 Professional: March 31, 2005

Windows Vista: April 1, 2008

Windows XP Professional availability has been extended to January 29, 2012.


Microsoft's operating systems have variable useful life cycles based upon business and consumer installed base and popularity. Some versions of Windows have relatively longer shelf life than others, and Microsoft has determined that Windows XP has a larger installed consumer and business base, and greater popularity than other versions of the operating system.

As such, Microsoft will be withdrawing all support for Windows Vista in the first quarter of 2008.

Microsoft would like to take this opportunity to announce that in the second quarter of 2008 it will make available “Windows Linux” «, the operating system of the 21st century.

Sincerely,

Bill Gates

                                             Dr. John


March 22nd, 2007

US Transportation Dept. Bans Vista

The chief information officer for the US Transportation Dept. has issued an indefinite ban on installing Microsoft's disaster of an OS upgrade, Vista. Hardware and software compatibility issues were a major reason for the CIO to declare that there was no compelling technical or business reason to upgrade.

I concur, and wonder if this is the end for Windows. If the next "upgrade" 5 years down the road is as bad as this one, then I expect that Windows will die a slow and painful death.

PLEASE! Google, fix up a nice version of Linux with Windows and Direct X support, and save us from Bill Gates' insatiable appetite for our money.

                                             Dr. John


February 28th, 2007

Open Letter on XM-Sirius Merger

Dear Congressman Conyers,

First I want to thank you for your work in the Congress for all these years. I have always appreciated the fact that you fight for progressive causes.

As an owner of two XM satellite radios and an IT professional, I urge you to reject the XM - Sirius satellite radio merger for a number of important reasons.

1) the agreement signed by the two companies must be more than just a piece of paper that can be thrown in the garbage. Both companies agreed that they would not merge in order to to maintain competition in this small but growing market.

2) nothing has changed since that agreement was signed. Public airwave radio, MP3 players, Internet audio streaming, etc. were all in place long before XM and Sirius satellite radio signed the non-merger agreement. No new technologies that compete with satellite radio have come out since that time.

3) the argument that the merger will benefit consumers is ludicrous. What will prevent the merged company from raising rates, or forcing customers to buy new equipment in order to access both networks? There will be no competition whatsoever.

4) the idea that Internet audio streaming can replace satellite radio is absurd on its face. The whole point of satellite radio was that it was going to give us much better audio quality than streaming audio on the Internet. When there is only one company to go to, consumers will be forced to pay for the services of a single satellite monopoly without any other option.

5) currently many new automobiles come with either a Sirius or XM satellite radio preinstalled. As soon as the companies merge this will basically force all new automobile owners to ante up to a single company in order to activate their car radio. The idea that AM/FM radio competes with satellite radio is also ridiculous. Why did they even start new satellite radio companies if AM/FM radio provided the same services?

Finally, I do not see how this proposed merger will fix the problems at the two satellite radio companies. Both companies paid way too much money to a few celebrities in the hopes that it would bring on many more listeners. That did not happen to the extent that they expected and they probably should renegotiate those contracts in order to get costs down. Consumers should not be saddled with that bill because executives made the wrong choices. I do not listen to Howard Stern or Oprah Winfrey and could care less about their shows.

Please do not let these duplicitous corporate officials confuse the issue and make it seem as though everything has changed since that agreement had been signed. There is absolutely no benefit for the consumer, only the probability that new equipment will need to be purchased and increasing fees will have to be paid.

Best wishes,

Dr. John R. Moffett
Gaithersburg MD

Email Congressman Conyers: John.Conyers@mail.house.gov


February 15th, 2007

Vista Insecurity

It looks like Microsoft designed Vista to give all install routines administrative rights to do just about anything, based on this analysis by a security expert. The User Account Control system  assumes that all install routines are run with administrator privileges, thus providing a means for system compromise. Even Windows XP did not make this assumption when installing a program, utility or game.

It took 5 years for Microsoft to come up with this?

                                           Dr. John


February 14th, 2007

Vista Pain is Relentless

If you were actually one of those brave (dumb?) souls who went out and purchased Vista when it was released, and installed it on your computer in order to have direct X10 support for games, you are almost certainly living in the house of pain right now. Message boards are flooded with reports of games either not running, not running properly, or even crashing to the BSOD when trying to play games on Vista. Apparently first person shooters are particularly affected.

Further, many device drivers are not ready yet for Vista, including everything from printers to sound cards. Creative Labs sound cards appear to be causing more than their share of problems with Vista, and it looks like Creative has no intention of writing Vista drivers for their older sound cards.

Considering that the major new feature offered by Microsoft Vista is a pretty 3-D user interface, it is extremely difficult to understand why anyone would want to upgrade their old fully functional Windows XP computer to the new operating system. Is it really worth dozens or hundreds of hours of pain and suffering trying to get things to work just to have a nicer 3-D facelift on your operating system? I don't think so.

The only reason to run the Vista operating system on your computer right now is if you just happened to go out and buy a brand-new computer with Vista installed. Otherwise, installing Vista on an older system should be highly discouraged.

Windows XP is a perfectly good operating system and it should remain the operating system on your current computer until your computer's life expectancy comes to a bitter end. You will not only save lots of money that you can put towards your next computer system, but you will save endless hours of frustration and irritation.

                                           Dr. John


January 26th, 2007

Experts Agree: Don't Buy Vista!

Compuerworld has listed some of the many reasons for not upgrading to Windows Vista next week. The main issue is that hardware drivers are not ready yet, but other issues also loom large. Some applications will not work on Vista, you will need to upgrade your hardware unless your system is new and high-end, and you will need to upgrade to new Vista compatible utilities like anti-virus and system utilities.

But for most people who use Windows, one of the bigger issues is gaming. Because video and audio drivers for Vista are in poor shape, and because Direct X 10 games don't exist yet, buying Vista is not particularly tempting. Add to that the price of the OS itself, basically $400 for the retail top-end version, and you have all sorts of reasons to stick with your fully functional, and already paid for Windows XP. Even if you go for the XP upgrade version, you'll still pay $260.

Bill certainly knows how to make money... if only he were that good at making operating systems.

Dr. John


January 9th, 2007

Vista for Gamers?

The grumbling about Windows Vista is growing, and it will be very interesting to see how the rollout this month pans out. Amusingly, the improved security features are so clumsy and intrusive, that it is very likely that online games won't work without substantial intervention. I absolutely agree that security is job 1, but how it is implemented is critical.

Windows Vista puts many "security" features above functionality, so the user response will be critical in determining how well Vista fares, and to what extent it is adopted. Gamers may want Direct X 10 support, but at what cost?

Time will tell.

Dr. John


December 27th, 2006

Windows XP is Last Version of Windows for the Masses

What if Microsoft made a new operating system, but nobody came?

Microsoft's new operating system isn't just full of security holes, it's also so overwhelmed with anti-piracy and digital rights management burdens that it doesn't even work right. Further, it may turn out to be such a headache to write code for, that it may not catch on at all.

An article by Peter Gutmann (presumably no relation to "The Fat Man" in The Maltese Falcon), a New Zealand physician, details the onerous nature of Vista's internal mish-mosh of unworkable protection features, and states that he will not be able to use the OS for his work as it stands now.

For example, he discusses some of the effects of the Hardware Functionality Scan (HFS) built into Vista:

"The HFS process has another cost involved with it. Most hardware vendors have (thankfully) moved to unified driver models instead of the plethora of individual drivers that abounded some years ago. Since HFS requires unique identification and handling of not just each device type (for example each graphics chip) but each variant of each device type (for example each stepping of each graphics chip) to handle the situation where a problem is found with one variation of a device, it's no longer possible to create one-size-fits-all drivers for an entire range of devices like the current Catalyst/Detonator/ForceWare drivers. Every little variation of every device type out there must now be individually accommodated in custom code in order for the HFS process to be fully effective."

With regard to the effects on hardware costs and design, Dr. Gutmann notes:

"Vista includes various requirements for "robustness" in which the content industry, through "hardware robustness rules", dictates design requirements to hardware manufacturers. For example, only certain layouts of a board are allowed in order to make it harder for outsiders to access parts of the board. Possibly for the first time ever, computer design is being dictated not by electronic design rules, physical layout requirements, and thermal issues, but by the wishes of the content industry. Apart from the massive headache that this poses to device manufacturers, it also imposes additional increased costs beyond the ones incurred simply by having to lay out board designs in a suboptimal manner."

There you have it, The MPAA dictating how hardware is to be built... making it less functional, less reliable, and slower... nice.

My guess is that Microsoft will try to discourage people from continuing to buy Windows XP, but that eventually they will have to redo Vista, or they will suffer from declining sales and influence. They will also have to deal with millions of angry customers who can't get Vista to work right.

This leaves the door wide open for Apple to make OSXi, a Windows-like version of OSX, available for PC owners, or someone else to make a juiced-up and user friendly version of Linux to start to eat significantly at the Windows user base. People will flock from Windows Vista in droves if the right OS replacement, without crippling DRM, is made available.

Vista is not an improvement on XP, it is a serious downgrade in almost every respect.

Good job Bill! Your kitchen-sink approach to OS development continues to pay off wonderfully. DRM will be the death of your new OS.

Vista... RIP.

                                           Dr. John


November 1st, 2006

Corporations Are Shills for Republicans

It's official... Corporations, including some that supposedly feed you daily information, are boycotting Air America Radio.

It turns out that 90 large corporations, including Hewlett Packard, ABC, Wal-Mart, GE, Exxon, Mobil, Microsoft, Bank of America, Fed-Ex, Visa, Allstate, McDonald's, Sony, Johnson & Johnson, the U.S. Postal Service and the U.S. Navy have all blacklisted the liberal radio network from all advertising.

Why? My guess is that they are patriots in name only, and don't want to pay their fair share of taxes. They want you to pay all the taxes instead. Air America advocates a return to sanity, which means that corporations need to pay their fair share of the tax burden. Corporations will have none of it, and say FU to the American Taxpayer.

I will be writing each of these corporations to let them know where my dollars are going, and not going.

American censorship has got to end.

                                           Dr. John


October 18th, 2006

Stop In-Game Advertising!

Electronic Arts new title Battlefield 2142 is the first major game to contain in-game advertising (IGA). Publishers insist that $50 per game doesn't generate enough profit, so they need to force spam into the games themselves.

Bullcrap.

BF2142 is simply a mod of BF2, and the major change to the game is the addition of billboards all over the maps which can be filled with "targeted advertising". The spamware opens your computer to spam servers all over the world. I'm encouraged that folks are getting mad.

I will never buy and install a game that has IGA built-in. I pre-ordered BF2142, and will try to return it, even though it is nearly impossible to return opened games. I strongly urge everyone to sign the petition that was just started to tell EA to keep ads out of retail games.

Petition:

 http://www.petitiononline.com/eabf2142/

If we don't end this now, it will show up in every future game. EA has been making huge profits, but that is not enough for them. Because there is no mention of the IGA on the packaging for BF2142, I am going to look into starting a class action lawsuit against EA for deception.

October 17th, 2006

Battlefield 2142 Forces Spamware and Spyware on You

It's time to boycott EA, and refuse to buy their new game, Battlefield 2142. When you open your BF2142 up you will find a very large notice about IGA Worldwide spam software being installed automatically by the game. If you install the game, you install the spamware/spyware called "in-game advertising" (IGA), even though you already paid EA big bucks for the game. I just received my pre-order copy, and sure enough, the notice is in there, and it is like nothing I've ever seen in a game before.

It states:

1) The software delivers in game advertising

2) The software monitors your internet usage

3) The software will upload "in-game objects" to your computer

4) The software may do this monitoring and spamming from "overseas servers"

The offensive User Agreement is here

Considering that you have to pay full retail price for the game, folks are getting a tad angry about the issue, as you can see here.

You can see how dummy ads look in the BF2142 demo here.

Obviously, the nefarious software monitors your internet surfing habits and targets you with popup ads in the game, hoping to get you to buy stuff you don't want or need. It will certainly slow down game loading and game performance as various overloaded advertising servers around the world try to place spam on billboards throughout the game.

How does EA say you can avoid having the software spy on you and spam you?

They state: "Do not install or play the software on any platform that is used to connect to the internet."

How helpful when talking about an online multiplayer game.

If gamers ignore this issue, and install the game and accompanying spyware/spamware in droves, it will drive EA to force in-game advertising on us in every upcoming title. The only way to stop them is to contact EA, and tell them you will never buy a game with "in-game advertising" built in, unless they give the games out for free. They can offer two versions of games if they want to do this crap: the paid-for ad-free version, or the free spam-filled version. Then everyone will be happy.

                                            Dr. John


October 12th, 2006

Google Buys YouSued?

YouTube is fun, but as a startup without any money, they were not a target for the Sue-everyone-for-a-living crowd. Now that deep-pocketed Google has purchase YouTube, I wonder if it is going to quickly become YouSued. Indeed, before the ink dried on the contract, a Finnish media company, YLE, is contemplating how much money it can squeeze from Google to get the legal action to end.

Sounds like a process that will be repeated as often as necessary to drain Google's coffers. I know that Google wants to dominate online video, but now they may just have set themselves up to dominate online litigation.

                                            Dr. John


October 7th, 2006

Vista to Run Games Slower than XP

As you might expect, Windows Vista will play existing games 10 to 15% slower than Windows XP. This is at least in part due to the fact that the new 3-D user interface will always be running in the background and taking up resources. Also, because Vista will host DirectX version 10, there is always the possibility that DirectX 9 games will be handled differently by the operating system.

As this information percolates through the Internet, in combination with the fact that DirectX 10 video cards are not yet available, and that DirectX games are not scheduled for release until next year, my guess is that gamers will be very slow to migrate to Windows Vista. Everyone who has migrated to newer versions of Windows in the past knows that this process is far from painless. There will certainly be driver issues, hardware issues, and software issues that will cause untold problems for users in the first few months after the release of Vista.

My guess is that it will be almost a year from now before all the hardware, software, games, patches, and drivers will be mature enough to make the switchover to the new operating system a viable option.

                                            Dr. John


September 26th, 2006

Vista Ready to Go?

Apparently not. The Inquirer is reporting that the latest build (5728) is broken, and would not install and run properly. I just downloaded a copy from Microsoft yesterday, but haven't had time to test it yet.

According to the Inq., the system would crash repeatedly, and offered the message: "The upgrade was not successful, your previous version of Windows is being restored". Well thank goodness they at least made sure it backed up Windows XP before installing the faulty OS.

It is difficult to see how Microsoft is going to be able to make a rock solid OS out of this thing in just a few months. It's probably going to be a good idea to hold off on buying and updating to Vista for at least a couple months after it comes out, in order to give them more time to figure out what they messed up.

                                            Dr. John


September 13th, 2006

DirectX 10 Conundrums

DirectX 10 will ship with Windows Vista, and is supposed to have optimized DLLs which should speed up gaming performance. However, it will make this game API incompatible with older versions of Direct X! That means that if you buy a Vista machine in January, you will have to use the built-in legacy DX emulator, which will mean reduced performance in older games.

Keep your current system for playing your current games! I don't expect many DX10 games to be out right away, so that means you should be fine with your existing system until Spring. After that, who knows what the situation will be like. If games like Battlefield2 run slower on Vista machines because they use emulation mode, I expect some very frustrated consumers.

                                            Dr. John


September 9th, 2006

Vista Boycott Looming?

Business 2.0 has an editorial suggesting that "Windows Vista" is over-hyped, overdue, and has few redeeming features that will make it a must buy for consumers. They suggest that it might behoove computer users to skip the mandatory computer upgrade when Vista comes out to send a message to Bill that it is too little, too late, and for too much money.

I wrote back in 2005 how MS had failed to produce a functional, new OS, code-named "Longhorn", and had to scrap that project after years of development. They then opted to put a facelift on Windows Server 2003, and call it Vista. But it is truly a facelift, not a new version of Windows.

To me this suggests that Windows XP/Server 2003 is the end of the road for Microsoft. They will only modify and tweak it, and add more dumb features, but they have reached their limit in terms of OS technology.

I should mention that because Direct X 10 will probably not work with Windows XP (of course), gamers will be forced to upgrade to Vista when new DX10 games start to hit the shelves in early 2007.

                                            Dr. John


August 8th, 2006

The Day ATI Died

Will ATI video cards actually become branded as AMD video cards? Will their trademark red circuit boards switch to green? That's the scuttlebutt on the net. Yes, the purchase of ATI by AMD was a company buyout, not a merger, but nonetheless even AMD executives must realize that ATI is an incredibly popular brand-name. In marketing terms, AMD must understand that if people show up at a computer store to buy a video card, and they don't see any ATI cards available, there will be confusion. Those same customers might spot AMD video cards on the shelf and have absolutely no idea what that is. Unless they have heard about buyout, they will not equate AMD video cards with ATI video cards.

The word is that the disbanding of the ATI tradename will begin immediately. It will be very interesting to see how that works out as ATI cards remaining in stock are sold off and replaced with AMD branded cards. I expect that if AMD does some kind of advertising campaign that they will be able to win over many ATI fans, but this is not guaranteed.

If AMD is smart, they will retain the ATI trademark. It took well over a decade for ATI to build their brand name recognition to the point they have now. I really doubt that AMD wants to start that decade-long process over again.

                                             Dr. John



 

July 31st, 2006

AMD and ATI

Everybody is wondering what will happen with PCs now that AMD has purchased graphics chip maker ATI. At this point it's extremely difficult to foresee what will happen as this plays out, but it seems quite possible that the PC market will become split into two distinct hardware platforms.

What is most perplexing is the fact that NVIDIA makes some of the best AMD motherboard chipsets, whereas ATI makes some of the best Intel chipsets, such as the upcoming RD600 chipset for Intel's Core 2 Duo. There is much concern about what is going to happen with the RD600 now that AMD owns ATI. Some suggest that everyone should just get along, and keep things the way they are where you can mix and match different graphics cards with different motherboard chipsets and processors. This flexibility has helped foster the extreme popularity of PCs.

While there is some reason for hoping that AMD/ATI will continue to make both AMD and Intel chipsets, and that AMD motherboards will work just fine with NVIDIA video cards, there are also reasons for doubting that the status quo will endure.

AMD/ATI will have a much easier go of things at greatly reduced cost if they can focus on their platform only. Having a second design team which makes sure that ATI video cards still work on Intel motherboards, and that NVIDIA video cards will work on ATI chipset motherboards more than doubles the workload for the company. The easiest way to cut costs would be to focus on the AMD/ATI PC platform. And at the very least, if AMD needs a little breathing room as Core 2 Duo comes out from Intel, they could make sure that ATI delays the release of the RD600 chipset.

So, are we seeing the beginning of a split in PC hardware into the AMD/ATI and Intel/NVIDIA platforms? Will these platforms simply be tuned for their specific graphics chips, or will they be made to work exclusively with their respective graphics chips? The PC market has flourished in no small part because parts from many different manufacturers were interchangeable. If AMD's acquisition of ATI leads to Intel's acquisition of NVIDIA, and the PC market becomes split into two camps, users will no doubt suffer. At least for now, that does not seem imminent, but we are certainly moving in that direction.

                                             Dr. John



April 12th

It Was All a Pack of Lies

Bit by bit, every single piece of information given to the United States public about the reasons for going to war in Iraq have been proven false. Worse yet, the evidence clearly indicates that the Bush administration knew the claims were false before they even uttered the falsehoods in public.

Now we learn that the government knew that the so-called mobile bio-weapons factories had nothing to do with biological weapons, and several inspectors dubbed them “giant sand toilets”. (They actually turned out to be hydrogen generators for weather balloons). But Bush and Cheney turned sand toilets into imminent threats. They lied and lied and lied.

There are still lying to the public on a daily basis, and for some reason they think they will get away with it despite all the evidence showing that they are lying. Now they are stirring up trouble with Iran for one simple reason; they don't want people talking about how they lied us into the war in Iraq, and how they exposed a covert CIA agent to squelch criticism of their malfeasance.

They have so thoroughly trampled on our military - over extended them, under-equipped them, pushed them to the limit, lied to them about the reasons for being there, and botched the diplomacy that could have quelled the insurgency - that they couldn't attack Iran now even if they wanted to. But expect a lot more Bush bluster about Iran, and a lot more lies about how Iraq was a substantial and growing threat to the United States.

The Bush administration will go down in history as the most disingenuous and disastrous administration to ever come to power in America. What worries me most is how much more trouble they can get us into over the next 2 1/2 years in an attempt to distract attention from their criminal actions.

The argument will go something like this: “Iran –threat… Iran -big threat… Iran -nuclear threat… you're all going to die!” (George isn't big on complete sentences).

A quick note to those who don't think George Bush should be impeached along with Dick Cheney: exactly how many lies and false wars will they have to foist on you before you get angry? How much debt will they need to saddle your children with in order for you to get angry? How much will they have to abuse our military personnel, wasting and destroying many of their lives, before you get angry? Which is more important; the United States of America, or the Republican Party?

Think about it.

                                             Dr. John



April 9th

America First

In a column published yesterday Todd Huffman writes “If you don't mind, why don't you mind?” That's a question I've been asking for some time now. The truth of the matter is that about two thirds of the country really does mind, and is either frustrated or outraged. It's just that other one third which doesn't seem to mind what the Bush administration is doing in our name.

It is now official that President Bush authorized leaking the name of a CIA agent, only to come out later and publicly say he wanted to know “who did the leaking”. If that level of official disingenuousness is not enough to infuriate you, then probably nothing will.

According to recently released information concerning the dubious nature of President Bush's claims about Iraq obtaining nuclear material from Niger Africa, Bush knew long before his State of the Union speech that the claims were false. From the Washington Post story today:

“The [National Intelligence] council's reply, drafted in a January 2003 memo by the national intelligence officer for Africa, was unequivocal: The Niger story was baseless and should be laid to rest. Four U.S. officials with firsthand knowledge said in interviews that the memo, which has not been reported before, arrived at the White House as Bush and his highest-ranking advisers made the uranium story a centerpiece of their case for the rapidly approaching war against Iraq.”

There is no doubt now, (nor was there much doubt in many peoples minds in March of 2003), that the president lied about the reasons for going to war, and then lied again about the evidence that he had concerning the reasons for going to war. We were also told there was much additional information that was classified that showed Saddam was a serious threat, and now it turns out that was a lie as well.

It is time for conservatives and liberals alike to realize that they have been set at each other's throats by incompetent liars who are trying to divide the nation into two warring camps so that they can stay in power. It is time for conservatives and liberals to stop looking at each other as the enemy, and see the Bush administration as the true enemy of us all. The latest headlines at the Washington Post talk about plans for bombing Iran. Americans need to come together and write their congress people and tell them that there is absolutely no way America is going into another ill-advised war based on Karl Rove’s political strategies. Rove is a one trick pony who thinks that everyone will rally behind a war president.

Liberals and conservatives alike should work together to impeach both Bush and Cheney so that America can move on. This is one time when Americans need to come together regardless of party in order to save their country from ruin. The moment we start dropping bombs on Iran is when Iran begins full-scale support for the insurgency in Iraq. Only a madman would want to put our troops in even more danger than they already are.

If there was ever a time when liberals and conservatives needed to work together to prevent further disaster, the time is now. If you are not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.

    America first.

                                             Dr. John



April 7th

Another Missing Link Found

Scientists have announced the find of several fossils from Devonian rocks in Canada that clearly show a transitional form between fish and early land animals. The fish fossils have many additional bones in their forelimbs that appear to be the forerunners of modern arm/wing bones from land animals. The new species of fossil has been named Tiktaalik roseae.

For scientists this is just another in a long series of discoveries that show how animals have evolved over the previous 600 million years, but for proponents of intelligent design, this is another fossil record gap filler that makes their argument of huge gaps in the fossil record sound more and more shrill. One of their favorite gaps was the fossil record gap between fish and land animals. Fossil fish with short stubby fat front fins have been found, and amphibian fossils with very primitive limbs have been found, but this is the first transitional fossil form which shows intermediate limb development.

Scientists have noted for some time now that creationists have claimed that evolution cannot explain the gaps in the fossil record, and they call the creationists point of view “the God-of-the-gaps”. As the gaps become filled in, the God-of-the-gaps is squeezed more and more out of the picture. Expect to hear plenty from evangelicals; everything from accusations that the fossils are fake, to declarations that the forelimb bones of the fossils do not look like modern arm bones, and are completely unrelated.

The really bad news for intelligent design proponents is that there are billions of cubic acres of fossil bearing rocks still to be examined, and many new fossils yet to be found. The fossil record will never be perfect, but as it stands now it has already given us huge volumes of information about how life changed on earth over the last several hundred million years.

                                             Dr. John



April 2nd

War Profiteers are Picking Your Pocket and Making You Less Safe.

It was reported in the New York Times today that as much as $26 billion worth of defense contracting money may have been spent on an unworkable antimissile defense system. The contractor and war profiteer, Boeing, apparently falsified data on the accuracy and kill rate for missile interceptors they were contracted to provide the government. The project is slated to cost a total of $250 billion.

A heated dispute has sprung up between the General Accounting Office (GAO) and one of their employees who disclosed the falsified documents and the subsequent cover-up to the public.

As an example, a single failed missile attempt cost American taxpayers $100 million, and Boeing falsified data concerning the test. Perhaps the most disturbing part of this story of war profiteering, falsifying data, and cover up is the fact that there is no nuclear missile threat anymore to protect the United States from.

George Bush came to office determined to build an antimissile defense system despite the fact that there was no longer any threat from enemy nuclear missiles. Add to this the facts that the interceptors rarely find their target, even when it is a lone warhead, and it is impossible for the interceptor to determine which is the real warhead when decoys are used.

In other words, the system cannot possibly work as advertised, and it is designed for a threat that no longer exists. Does that sound like something you want 250 billion taxpayer dollars spent on? Isn't it possible that spending that money on securing our ports and borders might make Americans safer than protecting us against non-existent nuclear missiles?

I expect most Americans will just roll their eyes and say “oh well”. And of course that is the crux of the problem in America today. Americans should be outraged at this squandering of their tax dollars to boost a failing corporation, Boeing. The sad fact of the matter is, eventually Boeing lost the interceptor contract to another company, Raytheon, but Boeing still retains control over the entire missile defense project. I suppose it's just another example of promoting those who fail.

When Will Americans finally rise up against in this kind of government/corporate abuse? Probably never, they're too busy watching American Idol.

                                             Dr. John



April 1st 2006

Illegal Aliens Taking White House Jobs That Americans Don't Want.

In a shocking move that has the White House staff in a frenzy, President George Bush has announced a White House staff shakeup. After the resignations of Scooter Libby and Andrew Card, the president has been having trouble filling top positions in his administration. According to Scott McClellan, the president's press secretary, Americans just don't want those kinds of jobs. “Americans are basically an ethical lot”, McClellan was quoted as saying. “It's hard to get an honest, taxpaying citizen to fill these sleazy positions”.

When questioned about specifics, McClellan noted that the White House chief of staff position would soon be open and that Mr. Bush was interviewing potential candidates for the job. One high-level staffer at the White House said that a number of applicants had been interviewed, but that no Americans were willing to stoop that low. It was noted however, that Jes˙s Jimenez (pronounced Hesus Himenez), an illegal immigrant and day laborer in Northern Virginia, had expressed some interest in the job opening.

Other top-level positions rumored for rapid turnover included Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, and Vice President. McClellan ruminated; “These are important positions, and just because they aren't glamorous, and they have been sullied by their current occupants, doesn’t mean that they are bad jobs”. When asked about progress on filling the vice president's position, McClellan was quoted as saying “I can't comment on ongoing job applications”.

                                           Dr. John



March 30th

Is GoogleNet in Your Future?

Google is issuing a gazillion new shares to raise money, which has everyone wondering about big plans. I've heard rumors of something big in China, which would be interesting, but it strikes me that they may be thinking about something much bigger. What if Google buys up enough fiber optic network to make a secure internet within the un-secure internet? Think a paid-for-service called "GoogleNet". It sounds like something that would propel Google into the sphere of "world dominator" in the way the Microsoft has done with operating systems.

Combine this with their new attempts to hook up various cities with free Wi-Fi access (coincidentally called GoogleNet), and it starts to sound interesting.

Hell, I'd pay $20-$30 extra a month for access to a secure, pop-up-less, virus-free, spam-free safe haven on the Internet. You could always go through the swinging saloon doors out into the Wild Wild West, but "GoogleNet" would always be there for secure surfing and emailing.

Sounds like a plan to me. But it's just a guess.

                                            Dr. John



March 25th

Dubya's Plan for Winning in Iraq

When asked at a recent news conference how long US troops would be in Iraq, our brilliant leader said “that will be for future presidents and future Iraqi governments to decide”.

There you have it, the brilliant tactical plan of George W. Bush for winning the war in Iraq: leave the huge mess for the next president. For those of you who need a Bush translator, what he is really saying is “I f’ed up, now someone else's gunna have ta fix it.”

Perhaps this explains why the Republican Party is in meltdown mode, they can't wait to lose the next several rounds of elections and dump this mess on the Democrats. It will be impossible to leave Iraq any other way but in disgrace, and George would rather have that disgrace fall on the Democrats as much as possible.

We are currently constructing permanent military bases in Iraq, and my guess is the Republicans have no intentions of leaving that country. And how do you think Muslims around the world will feel about more US military bases in and around the holy lands? It should not be lost on the American people that many large corporations, some of them connected to Bush and Cheney, are making billions of dollars on war profiteering. This way the “long war” becomes the “huge profit” for Halliburton, GE, Northrop Grumman and others.

But don't talk about impeachment, or you’re a terrorist sympathizer.

It is sad how low we have sunk.


                                            Dr. John



March 24th

Cheney's Rose Colored Glasses

Apparently, Dick Cheney insists that television sets be tuned to Fox News before he gets to his motel rooms. This is, I suppose, to ensure that the Cheney Reality Bubble moves preemptively ahead of the Vice President wherever he goes. You might think Mr. Cheney would like to get a range of news and opinions before making important decisions, like maybe, going to war preemptively, but that would appear not to be the case.

The vast array of terrible mistakes made by this administration are perhaps more understandable in light of the fact that Dick Cheney likes to have his own misinformation fed back to him, rather than hearing the unvarnished, painful truth. I suppose he gets the additional benefit of being able to watch his propaganda machine in action so that he can prepare the next day's talking points for the actors to read over the airwaves at Fox news.

                                            Dr. John

Bill is At It Again

Word has leaked out from Microsoft that Bill Gate’s “kitchen sink” obsession is causing massive problems with their new operating system, Vista. According to the leak, His Billness has recently demanded that 60% of the Vista code be rewritten before the January 2007 launch.

Keep in mind that this operating system has been in development since 2001. The entire project was scrapped in 2005 and the base code was replaced with the kernel of Windows server 2003. So while Bill will not have an entirely new operating system as he had hoped, at least that should fix the major problems, correct?

Not even close. Apparently Bill has demanded that Windows Media Center must be an integral part of the operating system just the way he insisted that Internet Explorer must be part of the operating system, not an add-on. But it turns out that ramming Windows Media Center down Window’s throat isn't going well. Indeed, Bill has even yanked his Xbox team and has chained them to their desks in the Media Center gulag.

To add insult to injury Bill is trying to jam Intel Viiv support directly into the operating system for some completely unknown reason. I'm sure it has something to do with lots of money though. This is also proving to be a bit of a sticky wicket.

As I have said for many years, it is a shame that Bill did not use this opportunity to create a rock solid secure core operating system with high speed connectors to peripheral modules such as browsers, entertainment suites, and media players. Unfortunately for all of us, Bill Gates is still living in a kitchen sink world where everything must be an integral part of the operating system.

If you ask me, the time is right for a company like Google to gobble up a solid version of Linux and make it into a consumer level operating system that will also run Windows programs. Oh sure, just like George Bush and Dick Cheney will all of a sudden become wise leaders. I'm dreaming.

                                            Dr. John



March 23rd

Dell Buys Alienware

No, it's not April 1st yet, so it can't be a joke. I suppose that once Apple switched to Intel processors after all those years telling us that RISC processors were better, you'd expect one of the worst PC makers in the country to buy one of the best.

Dell swears that they will not mess around with Alienware's business, but then you have to ask yourself what's the purpose of the acquisition? Obviously some things are going to have to change and the question on Alienware's customer's minds is, "what things"?

Theoretically, prices could decline on Alieneware machines because they are able to get better pricing on parts. But the other possibility is that Dell will insist on cutting corners to improve the bottom line. Only time will tell. Maybe it's time to reopen KickAss Gear!

                                            Dr. John



March 19th

Are They Na´ve, Ignorant, or Dumb?

Bush administration officials seem more and more confused and frustrated about their failing attempt to force democracy on the Islamic Middle Eastern nation of Iraq. As you may recall, Bush and Co. insisted that the war would take a few weeks at most, would cost no more than $1 billion, that we would be greeted as liberators and showered with flowers and chocolates, and that we would be able to install a democratic government in an Islamic nation in no time flat.

I ask again; are they na´ve, ignorant, or just plain dumb? It is now three years later, over 2300 lives later, $250 billion later, and the members of the puppet Iraqi government we have installed can't even meet in the same room for more than a few minutes because they hate each other.

As Maxwell Smart might have said… “missed it by that much”.

Traitorous liberals such as myself suggested 3 1/2 years ago (before anyone died, or any money was wasted) that all that talk from the Bush administration was pie in the sky stuff; that you could not possibly expect an Islamic nation to all of a sudden become a perfectly functioning democracy just because Mr. Bush said so. Ask yourself now, were liberals like me “terrorist sympathizers” as Dick Cheney would suggest, or were we correct about the massive insurgent quagmire that Iraq could become if we invaded it? Hmm, let me think about that for a minute.

Now Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld say it is “time for resolve, rather than retreat”. They say that the Iraqi government is making great progress, and that the new Iraqi army is performing magnificently. Does that ring true to your ears based on what you are seeing and reading from Iraq? Can these guys be trusted to give you unfiltered truth of the matter? Hmm, let me think about that for a minute.

No tale of our woes in Iraq would be complete without mentioning the great enablers; the war-drum-pounding, macho-chest-beating US media. You know, the ones that the Republicans love to call “the liberal media”. Without their unflagging and continuous support, Bush and Co. couldn’t have pulled off such a horrendous series of deadly mistakes. The media, such as they are, continue to give the Bush administration a pass on all of their erroneous claims and the ensuing debacles. Hell, the cheerleaders can’t all of a sudden start rooting for the other team in the middle of the game, now can they?

To top it all off, the Democrats are acting like a bunch of wet noodles. So without a functioning, questioning media, and with cowering Democrats everywhere you look, it is no wonder that we are digging ourselves into a deeper and deeper hole in the Middle East.

So hang in there for the “long war” as they are calling it now. And hold on to your wallets while you're at it; Bush just raised the national debt ceiling to over $9,000,000,000,000, or about $30,000 per man woman and child in the US. Don't worry about roads and schools and infrastructure and port security in the US, we are going to practice all that stuff over in Iraq first before we try it here.

                                            Dr. John



March 15th

Google Goes Extraterrestrial

Google has a few beta services that have been up for a little while that you may not have seen. One is a mapping system for mars, the other is for the moon. So if you need to get directions from Elysium Mons to Albor Tholus, Google's got you covered. I'm not sure what average folks would want to use these for, but they are pretty cool nonetheless.

Just for fun, check out the highest zoom level on the moon map! :)

                                             Dr. John



March 10th

Winners and Losers

When someone is elected to an office in the United States, whether it be president, Senator, or Mayor of a city, what do we call him in America? He is “the winner”. And the other candidate who lost the election, what do we call him? “The loser”.

Take a minute to think about this in relation to governing our country. What do we really mean when we say winner and loser? We mean that there was a contest, a game of sorts, where someone comes out victorious, and the other person is defeated. If you think about this a little bit deeper, it is somewhat unsettling to note that we are treating something as critical to our democracy as electing a president as though it were a sporting event.

So what's wrong with that? For one thing, it turns one of the most important civic duties that each citizen should perform into a trivialized and shallow endeavor, and artificially polarizes the electorate. I say artificially because many Republicans and Democrats are simply voting for their team, regardless of the previous performance record of their team.

For the good of our country, wouldn't it be much better for Democrats and Republicans to work together to accomplish at least those things that they can agree on? The Maryland legislature yesterday voted unanimously, 137 to zero, all Republicans and all Democrats, to scrap the Diebold AccuVote electronic voting machines that had been slated to be used in the upcoming 2006 elections. They have agreed to the simple idea that a paper trail back-up is essential in the case of close elections if a recount is required. This proves that we can all work together when the objective is clear and important. Let's hope more states make the same move.

When we let a sports mentality - a desire for our team to win at all costs - insinuate itself into the deepest aspects of our political elections, we all lose. But the entire concept of civic duty is lost in modern America, and I am not certain that we can get it back anytime soon. Rather, most Americans sit on the political sidelines and cheer for our team (and vehemently harass the other team) without any real concept of what either team stands for. Just as good sportsmanship has become so elusive in America, honest political discourse also seems beyond our grasp. But Americans are not a particularly introspective lot, so I'm not sure what it would take to reignite the concepts of honest political discourse and civic duty into our national psyche. We seem to be inexorably infatuated with the spectacle of winners and losers.

                                             Dr. John



March 8th

Insanely Stupid Intel Admissions of Our Time

I am really beginning to wonder about Intel and their decision-making capabilities. I was left awestruck after reading a small piece over at CNet as to why Intel does not include a memory controller on their current processor chips. As you may know, AMD has had a fairly efficient DDR1 memory controller in their Athlon and Opteron processors for some time now, and this has had a positive effect on the bottom line of performance. Intel, on the other hand, still places the memory controller on the motherboard, which significantly reduces performance.

So let's get back to Intel's reason for not having an on-chip memory controller. According to Intel's CEO Paul Ortellini, the memory controller would take up too much on-die space, reducing the number of processors that can be produced in a single run. That's correct, it has nothing to do with functionality or performance, only Intel's bottom line.

Herein lies Intel's woes - bean counters. I began complaining about this problem at Intel back in 1999. The bean counter-trumps-engineer scenario has been all too evident at Intel for some time.

Mr. Ortellini also mentioned that an on-chip memory controller was limited to DDR1memory modules, which is true. However, the next generation of AMD chips will have an updated memory controller that can interface to newer types of DDR memory, so that is really not an issue. The main reason is that Intel needs to pump out huge numbers of chips to make up for the fact that, very often, they give companies like Dell huge discounts on volume purchases of Intel chips. So they need to make up in volume what they lose in per-chip profits.

It's good to have large corporations fess up occasionally, I just wonder if they do it intentionally.

                                             Dr. John



March 3rd

So You Say You Want Blu-Ray?

So you've got a great new high definition TV and either satellite or cable with a dozen or more a high-definition channels. You're having a great time with your expensive new home movie theater and you just can't wait for those new high-definition DVD players and recorders. Right? Maybe not.

There are many controversial issues surrounding the debut of high-definition disks and players ranging from incompatible formats to draconian copy protection schemes.

You have probably heard that the two new high definition player/disk formats, HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, are not compatible. They will play older DVD disks, but not each others disks. HD-DVD will hold 15GB of data (30GB for dual layer), and Blu-Ray will hold 25GB (50GB for dual layer). Dual layer burners may not be out for some time after the debut of the first generation of players/burners.

So what’s the deal with the incompatible formats? There is a lot of back story here. First, most companies decided early on to adopt the HD-DVD format, as opposed to Sony’s Blu-Ray for one simple reason: existing DVD player and disk factories can be retooled inexpensively and quickly to produce HD-DVD burners and blank disks. On the other hand, Blu-Ray burners and disks require entirely new factory production lines and manufacturing methods. Based on their specifications, Blu-Ray will almost certainly be the higher quality high definition format, but due to the higher cost of retooling manufacturing plants, most manufacturers have abandoned Sony and instead are backing HD-DVD.

Observers are beginning to note that this is very much like the Betamax/VHS standard wars from the 1980s. Sony backed the higher-quality Betamax standard, but due to increased manufacturing costs, prices on the units, and lack of customer interest, the Betamax standard slowly faded into obscurity. It seems now that the same scenario is playing out with new high-definition DVD formats. Sony has lost most of their support from the industry to the point where the major use of Blu-Ray could just end up being in the new PlayStation 3, made of course by Sony.

Prices on HD-DVD players/burners will probably start in the $400 range whereas prices on the initial Blu-Ray units will probably exceed $1000. That fact alone is likely to be enough to doom Sony's standard to the scrap heap of consumer electronics history.

I haven’t even touched on the copy protection schemes that will come with the new players, which will almost certainly present consumers with many headaches and irritations. In the long run, many folks may opt for continuing to get their high definition content from their cable or satellite providers, rather than paying for expensive players and disks that are saddled with strong copy protection. In a sense, the Motion Picture Association of America’s insistence on overbearing copy protection may have killed their new cash cow before they were ever able to get it to market.

 
                                            Dr. John



February 28th

What Will it Take?

The Bush administration promulgates one disaster after another in both foreign and domestic policy, and yet their poll numbers rarely drop below 40% popularity. This indicates that the Republican base in America is solidly behind George Bush & Co., regardless of Bush's failure rate, or the number of serious political scandals his administration is involved in.

Let's take a look at some of the disasters, scandals, and deceptions foisted on the US public by the Bush administration, and then decide how much of a scandal the same offense would have been perceived by Republicans if a Democrat were involved.

We can start with the relatively trivial hunting accident PR debacle where Dick Cheney shot a friend and fellow hunter in the face and neck and chest rather than shooting the quail he was aiming at. Now imagine if this had happened to John Kerry during the last election. The media frenzy would have been far worse, and the accusations coming from the Republicans would have been vicious. They would've talked about how Kerry knew nothing about hunting or proper hunting safety techniques, how he was incompetent, couldn't shoot straight, and if he didn't reveal it to the press for 24 hours there would be constant talk of an attempted cover-up. How do you think Republicans who forgive five-deferment Dick Cheney would have felt about John Kerry if he had accidentally shot a hunting buddy?

Then there is the warrant-less spying on Americans by the Bush administration, which is a clear violation of existing law by bypassing the FISA court system set up for just such surveillance oversight. Considering how berserk Republicans went over the FBI files that were reviewed by the Clinton administration, mostly files of White House personnel such as groundskeepers, doesn't it seem a little bit surprising that Republicans are all for spying on Americans as long as Republicans are in charge?

How about lying America into an unnecessary war? Remember how the Republicans responded when Bill Clinton wanted to intervene in Bosnia or go after Osama bin Laden? The Republicans said “no war for Monica”. Republican senators said that it wasn't worth losing a single life to stop the bloodshed in the ex-Yugoslavia, and in the end, not a single US soldier was lost due to enemy fire in that conflict. Compare that with the death toll and injury toll in Iraq. And yet many Republicans still feel that we are fighting the good fight in Iraq.

What if the Republicans had caught the Clinton administration torturing prisoners, and setting up secret detention centers around the world? Can you imagine the level of outrage? And how about if Bill Clinton or Hillary Clinton were accused of purposefully outing a covert CIA agent for political purposes? What a media frenzy that would have been. And what if Clinton had told the American people that the war in Bosnia would cost $1 billion, but then it ended up costing $300 billion? Think about how big a scandal it would have been if Bill Clinton had dismantled FEMA and allowed over a thousand people to die in New Orleans after the hurricane.

So my question is, what would it take for Republicans to finally come around to the idea that the Bush administration is not defending the Constitution, but is rather shredding it day by day? What would it take for Republicans to realize that it is ludicrous to fight for freedom in Iraq while simultaneously eroding our freedoms at home?

I think it will take a complete change of mindset because currently many Republicans seem to treat politics as a contact sport rather than the means by which we govern our country. To them it is win or lose, and where sports are involved, winning is everything. I believe that much of this mindset has to do with the split in our news media where we now have hard-core right wing news, wishy-washy mainstream news, and a smattering of hard-core left wing news. The population is split into two sides that get their information from different sources. This fuels a sports mentality view of politics. Until the vast majority of the US population recognizes the fact that politics are not sports, and that the outcome of elections really matter, there will not be sufficient public pressure to change the status quo. I have to wonder after all that has happened, what will it take to run the bums out of town, and reunite America?

                                             Dr. John



February 26th

WTF Happened To You?
Letters to the Editor

From MoonBlister to Dr. John:

What's with all the political commentary anymore, John. WTF happened to you ? You used to interesting. Now you have turned into another boring left wing whiner, that is filled with some sense of self importance that we actually might give a shit about your world views when people thought this was a site about computer hardware.

Glenn

 

Hi Glenn,

Thanks for the kind words. Maybe it's just that hardware and software don't seem as important as lying the US into war, holding prisoners without trial or lawyers, torturing prisoners, wasting 2000+ soldiers lives, squandering $250 billion of your taxpayer dollars, dismantling FEMA, and total political corruption from Cheney's office down to Duke Cunningham's bribery shop. The large corporations are in bed with Cheney and Bush, and everyone else in the country loses.

I know I just sound like a left wing nut, but so did Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin, whom, by the way, said "those who would sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither".

Maybe you didn't notice, my last post was about High def DRM.

To be honest, you are the first person to complain. If I get more complaints that everyone wants to hear more about software and hardware, I'll switch back. But right now I feel like I'm doing my little patriotic part to help get the criminals out of office. What are you doing? Just complaining about "boring left wing whiners”? That should fix the mess we're in.

doc



February 24th

High Def Disk Boycott?

  Will any boycott of high-definition movies ever take hold? That is what Mike Evangelist, former Apple software engineer in charge of projects such as Final Cut Pro, is hoping will happen. On his blog, Mike has written how he will not buy into the MPAA’s new digital rights management system that will come on all new high-definition movie discs. Mike's main concern is that the new copy protection system known as AAAS will allow restrictions and permissions to be applied after the fact. In other words, The Motion Picture Association of America can decide to further restrict the ability to view the high-definition version, and disable the ability to view that content.

More likely, what we're really talking about is the fact that you will not be able to play high-definition movies on your existing television that even if it is a brand new high def TV. It is not because the TV will not be able to process the picture, but because it does not have the correct copy protection circuitry built in.

I have been talking about this for months, especially the fact that you will have to refit your entire home entertainment system in order to play the new discs. Considering that you can now select and play high-definition movies on demand from your cable system for a very low price, I am wondering how many people will rush out to buy a new high-definition TV and player just so they can play new high-definition disks.

The fact that everyone will need to buy new television sets simply so that the MPAA can block content seems not only illogical, but downright crazy. I can imagine that some people will rush out to buy a new TV set without realizing that they are getting rid of their old, perfectly good high-definition TV (which does not contain all the extra digital rights management circuitry), and replacing it with something that gives the movie industry full control over what their television set will play.

I personally am not going to buy a high-definition disc player for my home entertainment system. Rather, I will buy a high-definition burner for my computer, primarily for backup purposes. Having 30 to 50 GB of space on a burnable disk is going to be very nice. So for me, the idea of a high-definition movie boycott is somewhat irrelevant simply because I don't see myself spending money on copy protected high-definition movie discs. Perhaps if sales are slow and consumer polls show wariness among the public concerning the digital rights management system on high-definition disks, the industry will be forced to back off. But somehow, I doubt it. Sales will probably be brisk because most people don't know how restrictive the new systems will be.

                                             Dr. John



February 15th

The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight

Getting shot in the face neck and chest with a shotgun blast is no laughing matter. If you're in doubt about that, try it sometime. It is somewhat astounding to me that everyone seems to be making light of the fact that the vice president shot someone in his hunting party. The victim, Mr. Whittington, is 78 years old and I don't care how good shape he's in, he is going to have a long hard road to recovery, that is if he does fully recover.

The levity that has been associated with this hunting accident is misplaced, and the trademark secrecy that has surrounded the incident is emblematic of the Cheney White House’s disdain for disclosing information that should be public. Both the levity and secrecy emanate from Cheney's office itself.

Perhaps the most disturbing part of the entire incident is the fact that like all other disastrous mistakes he has made, Dick Cheney blames the victim. This is a quintessential Dick Cheney trait: it's always someone else's fault. Dick Cheney is flawless, of course. So when Dick Cheney ignores the basic rules of hunting, including making absolutely certain you have identified your target before shooting, he still has the gall to claim that the accident was the victim's fault. Apparently, when the vice president is hunting, the rules change and everybody better just get out of the way.

My guess is that Mr. Whittington will get worse before he gets better, that is if he does actually get better. Reports are that he has between 100 and 200 lead pellets embedded in his body, and that they are shifting position. One has lodged in his heart muscle causing a minor heart attack (fibrillation), and we can only assume that his condition will worsen over the next few days as more pellets migrate.

To me, this incident is telling of the way the Cheney White House operates in general. “The hell with the rules, the hell with public opinion, the hell with the evidence - we are going to do what we want to do and damn the consequences.” Cheney couldn't shoot straight on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Cheney couldn't shoot straight when it came to disclosing the identity of a covert CIA agent for political purposes, and Cheney couldn't shoot straight in the response to the worst natural disaster in recent US history. In short, Cheney can't shoot straight and everybody else is that much worse for the wear.

But of course, the gang that couldn't shoot straight is going to keep us all so very safe from terrorists and natural disasters - so you can all put on your orange hunting jackets and relax.

                                       Dr. John



February 11th

Who You Gonna Call?

George Bush & Co. want you to be very afraid that the bogeyman is going to get you. This is a Dick Cheney-modified version of the Cold War, and it is meant to trample civil rights, civil liberties, freedoms, and dissent against the administration and its policies. Bush and Cheney will chant their mantra of “we are a nation at war” over and over until they feel confident that you are paralyzed with fear, and they can get away with anything.

As we head in to another election year they will use this trick over and over to try and fool the American people into thinking they are all about to die, and that only Republicans can save them. Childish? Yes, but in America it seems to work very well.

You are going to hear a whole lot from the Republicans about how the Democrats are soft on terrorists, and soft on protecting America from threats. They will tell you that the Republicans are really mean and a really tough, and they will get the job done.

This of course assumes that you haven't paid any attention over the last five years at how poorly Bush and Cheney have protected the American people and our troops from harm. Pulling our troops out of Afghanistan and sending them to Iraq did not make America safer, it squandered over 2000 lives and hundreds of billions of dollars with the result of an inflamed and enraged Middle East rather than a pacified one.

When it came time to protect Americans during one of the worst natural disasters in American history, the Bush administration set around playing guitars and talking about how wonderful it was that New Orleans “dodged the bullet”. Tough talk from incompetent and irresponsible draft dodgers.

A month before September 11, 2001 George Bush was on a month-long vacation. He received a daily brief that said Osama bin Laden was going to attack the United States sometime soon. George Bush, the guy who wants you to think he will protect you, pretty much remained on vacation until after the terrorist attacks had occurred. Does that sound like someone who is going to protect you?

In every single case, George Bush and Dick Cheney, with the incompetent help of Donald Rumsfeld have made our military and our civilian populace much less safe rather than more safe. So when the next election comes, and the incompetent fools in the White House ask you “who you gonna call?” to protect you from terrorists, the answer is clear. If you're smart, you're NOT going to call the king of cronies who has failed to protect America time and time again against enemies or natural disasters for over five years.

We have found the real enemy, and he is, unfortunately for all of us, in the White House.

                                       Dr. John



February 10th

The Ostrich Effect

Every time I watch the news I am amazed at the level of denial amongst Republicans. No matter how many egregious Bush administration crimes are reported, Republicans stick their heads in a hole and pretend nothing happened. There was no CIA leak. There were weapons of mass destruction. There were connections between Iraq and Al Qaeda. They couldn't have anticipated the levees would break. They didn't know the levees broke until the next day. There was no other choice but to go to war in Iraq.

All these contentions are completely false, but you hear them repeated by Republicans day in and day out all over the news. Now clearly many of these pundits know that they are spewing falsehoods publicly, and they are doing it on purpose to confuse the issue. However, when I here Republican citizens calling in to talk shows and repeating the same erroneous talking points I have to think that many of them believe what they are saying is true.

In order to facilitate this self-deception, it requires that most Republican Americans forego reading what I consider to be conservative newspapers such as the New York Times or the Washington Post. These papers have supported the Bush administration in the run-up to the war and in many other circumstances, and yet they still continue to run stories that punch tractor-trailer sized holes in the Republican talking points on an almost daily basis.

For example, in the Washington Post today a top-tier official from the CIA says that the Bush administration kept pushing for the information they wanted, and ignored all the information that contradicted their plans for attacking Iraq. The CIA intelligence reports clearly indicated that Saddam Hussein was “in a box”, and that the best way to keep him contained was to maintain the status quo and increase the inspection schedules. Instead Bush and Cheney ordered the inspectors out, and took us to war under the false assumption that we would be greeted as liberators.

So as dozens of scandals play out ranging from the indictment of a top White House official to the Abramoff lobbying scandal to the warrant-less spying on American citizens, Republicans must shove their heads deeper and deeper into the hole while chanting the Battle hymn of the Republic to drown out the disturbing news. But they will never turn against the Republican politicians that have lied to them because that is their team, and you always have to root for your team in America. My team right or wrong, my party right or wrong. The hell with the truth.

The ostrich effect is in full swing throughout the Red States of America.

                                        Dr. John



February 2nd

Everything Going Wrong? Blame the Democrats!

In case you hadn't noticed, the president and the Republicans are now employing a typical kindergarten tactic; when you mess up real bad, blame it on innocent little Billy who is sitting quietly next to you.

Just about everything that president Bush and the Republicans have done for the last five years has been a debacle, ranging from their unwarranted and ill-advised attack on Iraq, to their mis-handling of the massive Katrina disaster in New Orleans, to warrant-less spying on the American public.

But rather than take responsibility for their reckless policies and the enduring negative consequences they will create, they instead are trying to shift the blame to the party that has been out of power for years. The Democrats did it!

According to George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld, the only way we could possibly lose in Iraq is if Democrats continue to criticize the war effort. That will give aid and comfort to the enemy, and our mighty army will be defeated simply by a few critics in the United States.

Typical Republican hogwash. We already won the war in Iraq when Saddam Hussein was captured. If we had really intended to turn the country over to the Iraqi people we could have phased out our troops and then turned security issues over to the Iraqis themselves. But we pressed on with ineffective hit and run tactics, with troops that were spread too thin and improperly equipped.

Now our heavy-handed tactics have fueled a countrywide insurgency that may last for years, such that leaving now would certainly lead to civil war. So Bush and Co. have turned victory into defeat and want to blame it on the Democrats.

What sniveling cowards they truly are.

                                         Dr. John




January 30th

The Poor State of the Dis-Union

What has George Bush accomplished so far on behalf of the American people?

He expanded the size, power and scope of the Federal government to levels never before seen, and elevated the office of the Presidency above the other branches of government.

He escalated the federal debt and deficit to unprecedented levels.

He has lied the American people and Congress into a political war in Iraq, rather than a war of necessity, while at the same time failing to finish the job in Afghanistan, including the apprehension of Osama Bin Laden.

He has discarded our moral base and ethical superiority by instituting policies for our military to sink to the level of despots and tyrants, where we have used torture, kidnapping the relatives of supposed insurgents and even murder as accepted methods of “combat”.

He has eliminated the right to a trial in America for so-called “enemy combatants” under the guise of protecting Americans from danger. But he gets to say who is an “enemy combatant”.

He broke the law and began side-stepping the FISA courts by spying secretly on phone calls into and out of the country without restriction, oversight or accountability.

He has purposefully and enormously divided the nation along political lines, while at the same time using the bully pulpit to spread fear of terrorism in order to get 50.5% of the American people behind him during elections. The hell with the other 140 million Americans.

He has used American taxpayer dollars to create and disseminate pro-government propaganda in true Stalinist style. His is the most secretive administration in our history.

He has done more to blur, and even tear down the lines of separation between church and state, for political purposes, than any previous administration.

He botched the planning and execution of the Iraq war to the point where it is now on the verge of civil war, and our troops are strained to the breaking point. The war in Afghanistan was never finished, and now we are stuck in an insurgent war for who knows how long in both countries.

He has squandered thousands of lives and hundreds up billions of tax payer dollars on a war that has no purpose, and no end in sight.

He is made the Middle East far more unstable, and more prone to terrorism. He has infuriated the Muslim world and increased the recruitment of terrorists in virtually every corner of the planet.

He disclosed the identity of a covert CIA agent as political payback for criticism of the war in Iraq.

He dismantled critical federal agencies such as FEMA, and filled their ranks with political cronies, leading to one of the worst failures to respond to a major disaster in US history.

The Poor State of the Dis-Union -

Tomorrow night President Bush will tell you to be very afraid of terrorists. He will use the specter of “9/11” again and again to try to make you mad and to try to get you to trust him to "do the right thing to fight those who hate our freedoms". But of course it is George Bush who seems to most hate our freedoms, because as Benjamin Franklin said “Those who would sacrifice liberty for security, deserve neither”. George Bush is asking all of us to go even further - to sacrifice liberty for a false sense of security.

What a great deal.

What a pitiful excuse for a president.
 

                                          Dr. John



January 24th

A War They Can Cherish

In 1795 James Madison lamented; "Of all the enemies of true liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. In war, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds are added to those of subduing the force of the people."

This often quoted admonition about Presidential wartime powers is a clear exposition of original intent by one of the founding fathers. Presidents must be restrained in times of war, especially in times of politically-driven wars.

Karl Rove and George Bush have made it clear in the last few days that they are going to use war rhetoric to trample our liberties, and hopefully for them, keep control of the Congress in the next election. But to do so, they need our cooperation. They need a fearful, paranoid populace that can be manipulated with their fear tactics.

So expect to hear an awful lot more about “terrorism” and “terrorists”, and “they hate our (dwindling) freedom” from Bush and Co. Expect them to try as hard as possible to yank your fear chain, and then yank it again. The Bush Administration has become a one-trick pony under the deranged tutelage of Rove and Cheney - “talk up the war”, Karl chants over and over.

So you can go along with their plan to fear-i-tize you, or you can snap out of it and realize that you have far more chance of dying in a car crash than from a terrorist attack. In fact, now you probably have a better chance of being picked up as a terrorist and put in jail forever without trial, than you have of being blown up by evildoers.

So get used to all that domestic surveillance, and prepare for much more war rhetoric, because it will only get worse with the “hate our freedom” president in charge.

                                          Dr. John



January 23rd 2006

New Server is Running!

We are up and running on a new Opteron-based server! We hope to have our new Battlefield 2 server up and running on the box soon.



January 18th

Guinea Pigs

The Bush administration has millions of guinea pigs.

They test all of their new political theories on their vast herd of subjects.

First, they float the idea that pre-emptive wars against vague enemies will protect us from evildoers.

That met with great satisfaction among their test subjects.

Then they proffered the idea that torture and mistreatment of prisoners was good for national security.

That was received with uproarious applause from the subjects.

Then they said that they need to spy on all Americans, to protect Americans from non-Americans.

The test subjects erupted with unabashed accolades.

Who are the guinea pigs? They are not the Democrats, or Independents... they are the Republican base in this country that accepts anything that the Bush administration does without question. They are the Americans that say the Constitution does not matter in this "time of war". Democrats and Independents don't buy any of Bush's war rhetoric, so he and his minions are only talking to Republicans now.

To my mind, Republicans are not acting as patriots, they are acting as partisans that care more about the Republican party than they care about the constitution, or our nation.

                                           Dr. John



January 16th

Free Them With Bombs

The intelligence was unmistakable. Abdul the Pakistani goat herder, whose goat had been killed by neighbors the day before, told the CIA that all of the al Qaeda leaders were having tea in his neighbor’s house. “They are terrorists… they are goat killers” Abdul was quoted as saying.

The CIA hurriedly confirmed the report by speaking with Achmed, Abdul’s brother. With such actionable intelligence in hand, the CIA knew it had to act quickly - tea time only lasts so long you know. So in went the Predator drones, in went the laser guided missiles, and out came the 13 body bags, including 3 children and 5 women. No al Qaeda terrorists, just Pakistani villagers.

Pakistan erupted into nation-wide protests as US Senators went on the Sunday talk shows. "We apologize, but I can't tell you that we wouldn't do the same thing again," said Senator John McCain of Arizona. Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana said, "It's a regrettable situation, but what else are we supposed to do?"

Hmm. Good question. Let me think. Maybe, not bomb and kill the innocent people we are proclaiming to liberate? That’s a novel idea.

I made the part about Abdul and his brother up, but to make a point. Since when has CIA or DIA or NSA intelligence overseas, or even in the US, been accurate enough to trust innocent people’s lives to? If the intelligence had said that a top al Qaeda leader was in a Pakistani hotel filled with US tourists, would the missiles have been fired anyway? No. But our government doesn’t consider Pakistani lives to be as important as American lives. That’s why it’s OK to free them with bombs and missiles slamming into their homes. Remember, “It’s a regrettable situation, but what else are we supposed to do?”

I suggest we stop treating other people around the world like acceptable collateral damage in our misguided, ill-conceived, and irreparably mismanaged “war on terror”.

So hang in there all you oppressed people throughout the world. The defense department is preparing brand new bombs with your freedom in mind, and clever slogans scribbled on the side like, “For Abdul, and his goats”.

                                            Dr. John



January 13th

Mr. Bush, How Can We Impeach Thee? Let Us Count the Ways.

Elizabeth Holtzman, one of the members of Congress who sat on the Senate Judiciary Committee during the Watergate Investigations of Richard Nixon, outlines the many high crimes and misdemeanors of George W. Bush in her recent article.

She finds at least four classes of impeachable offenses committed by Mr. Bush.

1) Illegal wiretapping of US citizens, bypassing the required FISA courts.

2) Leading the nation to war on false claims (Nixon and Johnson got away with this, and Bush probably will too).

3) Going to war before the troops and military were properly equipped, including the lack of up-armored vehicles and body armor with side plates.

4) Violation of his oath of office to uphold the laws of the land, including bans on the torture of prisoners, ignoring the Geneva Conventions, and ignoring the statutes of international treaties signed by the US.

To be honest, I would add the gutting of US agencies tasked with protecting Americans, such as FEMA, and curtailing their ability to respond to natural disasters, as another offense against the American people.

I would also add the explicit use of federal monies to produce propaganda advertisements and newspaper columns favorable to the administration's policies.

Finally, I would add the explicit funding of religious organizations with federal monies as another clear violation of Mr. Bush’s oath of office. If he wants to do things legally, he needs to pass legislation through his Republican Congress.

If Nixon deserved to be impeached, Bush’s high crimes and misdemeanors certainly meet those same criteria. Compared with the so-called crimes that President Clinton was impeached for, Mr. Bush has greatly exceeded that very low bar, set by Republicans in recent years.

I dare conservatives and Republican die-hards to read Ms. Holtzman’s detailed analysis, and come away still thinking that Bush is a hero, as opposed to a criminal.

                                             Dr. John



January 11th

Why Bush Secretly Wiretapped US

President Bush said that he needed to bypass the FISA courts and secretly wiretap US citizens in order to fight terrorism. But I suggest that the NSA and other spy agencies turned attention to US groups such as Greenpeace, the ACLU and the Quakers for the same reason that Richard Nixon had criminals like G. Gordon Libby break into the Watergate hotel to steal documents on what the Democrats were doing. They were doing it to help counter anything that Democrats were planning.

We have more than enough information to come to this conclusion. First, the Bush administration went through the FISA courts for thousands of warrants. So why would they have to bypass the mandatory court for other warrants? Obviously it was because the FISA court would absolutely refuse to let the NSA spy on Quakers simply because they were planning an anti-war rally.

Second, we now hear from a whistleblower that the NSA actually spied on millions of Americans illegally. Russell Tice is a longtime employee at the NSA, and he said on ABC yesterday that he believes that the NSA has done far more illegal spying on Americans than has been admitted to by the Bush administration. Obviously, there aren't millions of al Qaeda members in the US, so the spying must have had another purpose.

Finally, we know that Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld were in the Nixon White House in the early 1970s, and were frantically trying to do damage control on the Watergate scandal. It is not hard to imagine that these old dogs are using the same old tricks as Tricky Dick did to keep tabs on the political opposition (at taxpayers expense).

Bush spied on us because he doesn't trust the very people he is supposed to be serving.

                                             Dr. John



January 10th

Alito to Protect Citizens Rights Until Birth

If you are a fetus, you have nothing to fear if Judge Samuel Alito is confirmed to the US Supreme Court. But if you are unfortunate enough to have actually been born already, you might not be as happy with the future rulings of this imperial-president-loving judge.

Judge Alito has ruled in favor of the government and corporations, and against average US citizens without exception throughout his tenure on the courts. He has often written dissenting opinions that have flabbergasted many of his conservative colleagues by virtue of their extreme nature and tortured logic.

Judge Alito has worked much of his life to overturn Roe vs. Wade, and to make all abortions illegal. But he also has worked tirelessly to give more power to the Executive branch, and to take power from both Congress, and the Judiciary.

Specific examples of Alito's opinions include vigorous defense of the strip searching of a 10 year old girl by police, support for warrantless searches (sound familiar?), and support for people owning machine guns (think Jack Abramoff in his trench coat).

The general consensus is that Alito will be confirmed, but I am not entirely certain of that outcome. I will be watching CSPAN today starting at 9:30 am, and I hope to see Alito grilled like a weenie at NY hot dog stand. Expect Scarry Sammy to decline to answer most Democrats questions.

                                              Dr. John



January 6th

Republican's New Love of Being Lied To

The Republicans in this country have a funny relationship with official lying. They despise it when a Democratic president, like Clinton, lies about sex, but they seem to embrace official lying as long as it comes from a Republican administration.

Bush: “Mission accomplished” – That was over 2 years ago, and more than 2,000 US soldiers have since been killed, and nearly 20,000 seriously wounded.

Cheney: “The insurgency is in its last throes” - Over 120 Iraqis and eleven US soldiers killed in one day yesterday.

Bush: “To do a wiretap, you need a warrant, nothing has changed” – That quote came 2 years after Bush started illegal wiretaps of American citizens, including those in Greenpeace and the ACLU.

Cheney: “Saddam has certainly reconstituted his nuclear program” – The Bush administration knew long before Cheney lied that this was not true.

Bush: “Anyone involved in releasing the name of a CIA agent will no longer be in my administration” – That was a year ago, and Karl Rove is still in the White House.

Watch any White House press conference with Scott McClellan and you will hear either waffling, avoidance or lying. How about the one where McClellan said - “Mr. Bush has never met Jack Abramoff personally”. Oh sure. You’ll never get a straight answer on anything from these crooks. I can’t wait until Bush is forced, like tricky Dick, to say to the cameras – “I am not a crook”. But that would be just another official lie.

It would take an entire book to detail all the lies and distortions that the Bush Administration has foisted on the public, but what is most astounding to me is that Republicans actually enjoy the lies. As long as it comes from a Republican, conservatives seem to appreciate being told that everything is OK, even when everything is obviously falling apart. Iraq war? OK! Spying on US citizens? OK! No weapons of mass destruction? OK! Huge deficit? OK!

I have a strange feeling that the Republicans love of official lies will wane quickly when a Democrat is back in the White House.
 

                                               Dr. John



January 3rd 2006

George Bush's Ownership Society

As with all things the Bush Administration does that would be unpopular if properly named, Mr. Bush wants you to think of privatized Social Security and privatized everything else as an "ownership society" where everyone owns lots of great stuff. But a casual glance at what the average American would actually own under Mr. Bush's ownership society reveals that the primary possession would be endless debt.

Think about it. You don't really own your house, the bank does. You just own the mortgage. You don't own your car as long as you are paying off the debt you incurred on purchasing it (just ask the repo-man when you can't make the payments). You may technically own the stuff you buy on your credit cards, but more than anything, you own that mounting debt, and the interest that you must pay to maintain that debt.

With privatized Social Security, you would be given a pittance to put in an account that you almost certainly would have to raid to pay off your mounting debt from your house, your home equity loan, your car loan and your credit card debt. You end up with nothing. Hell, I'd rather take my chances with Social Security.

Most American's salaries haven't even kept up with modest inflation, and many people have lost lucrative jobs only to have to take lower paying jobs to pay the bills. My brother is a Northwest Airlines pilot, and he and his fellow pilots just had to accept a 33% pay cut. After automatic deductions for all of their debt (house, cars, a boat, etc), one of my brother's pilot friends at Northwest received a paycheck that totaled $1.74 (one dollar and seventy four cents).

If Mr. Bush called his plan the "dog eat dog, social Darwinism plan", do you think folks would go for it?

Maybe that's why they call it "the ownership society".

                                              Dr. John



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