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Saturday, May 28, 2005
It seems banning guns wasn't enough.

Doctors in Britain now want to ban pointed kitchen knives. Because apparently pointed knives are used in most stabbings.

You're never going to be able to eliminate murder. So long as somebody has the inclination to commit it they're going to be able to find a way. People were killing each other well before pointed kitchen knives came along and people'll keep on killing each other if they get rid of them.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:47 PM in Politics/Government
Dave Chappelle resurfaces

It seems Dave Chappelle is back home in Yellow Springs.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 1:06 PM in Dayton

Tuesday, May 24, 2005
A new type of computer attack

It seems hackers have started locking up files on people's computers and leaving ransom notes saying that the user won't get the key unless they pony up $200.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:49 PM in Technology/Internet
The real convergence of TV and politics

What do you get when you try to blog while watching both 24 and political news updates?

UPDATE: Senator John McCain (R - Arizona) has terrorist mastermind Habib Marwan in a headlock. Wait, this is getting confusing.

UPDATE: Foxy terrorist chick was bluffing. She intends to push through a vote on parliamentary procedure after all. Harry Reid (D - Nevada) just flipped open his cell phone.
UPDATE: Edgar and Chloe were able to triangulate the constitutional position of judicial nominee Janice Rogers Brown, and she was shot down over Los Angeles at the last second.


Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:43 PM in Politics/Government , TV
The future of Television

Conan O'Brien takes a look into the future (the future Conan?) in Newsweek to see how television will evolve.

We will also see a stunning increase in the number of televisions per household, as small TV displays are added to clocks, coffee makers and smoke detectors.... Televisions will even be placed inside books and, before long, books will evolve into no more than hundreds of small flat-screens stapled together. Reading the opening chapter of "Moby Dick" will include watching 10 hours of "Gunsmoke."
But all of these changes will pale in comparison to the revolutionary explosion of late-night talk shows. As recently as 20 years ago, Johnny Carson was the only game in town, but as cable channels continue to pursue niche viewers, new hosts will continue to spring up at alarming rates. At first, the economy will surge as families build desks, fake windows and bandstands in their basements, but before long violence will erupt as the nation's supply of available talk-show guests begins to dwindle. Dr. Joyce Brothers, Fabio and Randy from "American Idol" will be airlifted to guest-starved areas to quell violence, but anecdote theft and consecutive Al Roker appearances will turn the Midwest into a battlefield. Order will be restored when the Supreme Court (led remarkably well by Chief Justice Judy) upholds the One Host, One Guest law in Philbin v. Ripa.
And there you have it: the future of television. In fact, I am so sure I'm right about every detail that I encourage anyone with doubts to place this magazine in a vault and, 50 years from now, compare my vision to the world around you. If I've made even one mistake I'm certain the good people at NEWSWEEK, who never make mistakes, will refund you the price of this issue.


Posted by Rob Bernard at 3:32 PM in TV
So Graves is gone...

...good riddance. Bad performance is one thing, but to get indignant when people call you on it is quite another.

He forgot that you don't burn the bridge while your car's smack dab in the middle, hanging off the edge at 45 degrees.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:26 AM in Baseball

Thursday, May 19, 2005
Somebody has some splainin' to do

So... sports winners wear red.

How the hell do you explain this year's Reds then?

Posted by Rob Bernard at 11:43 AM in Baseball

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Sony announced the PS3 today and it looks incredibly cool.

Sony also confirmed the PlayStation 3 will use Blu-ray discs as its media format. The discs can hold up to six times as much data as current-generation DVDs. It will also support CR-ROM, CD-RW, DVD, DVD-ROM, DVD-R, DVD+R formats. Sony also confirmed the machine would be backward compatible all the way to the original PlayStation. It will also have slots for Memory Stick Duo, an SD slot, and a compact flash memory slot. It will also sport a slot for a detachable 2.5-inch HDD, somewhat similar the Xbox 360's. Sony did not mention if the drive would be standard.

Sony also laid out the technical specs of the device. The PlayStation 3 will feature the much-vaunted Cell processor, which will run at 3.2GHz, giving the whole system 2 teraflops of overall performance. It will sport 256MB XDR main RAM at 3.2GHz, and it will have 256MB of GDDR VRAM at 700MHz.

Sony also unveiled the PS3's graphics chip, the RSX "Reality Synthesizer," which is based on Nvidia technology. The GPU will be capable of 128bit pixel precision, 1080p resolution, some of the highest HD resolution around. The RSX also has 512MB of graphics render memory and is capable of 100 billion shader operations and 51 billion dot products per second. It also has more than 300 million transistors, larger than any processor commercially available today. It will be manufactured using the 90nm process, with eight layers of metal. The RSX is more powerful than two GeForce 6800 Ultra video cards, which would cost roughly $1,000 total if purchased today.
Out of the box, the PS3 will have the capability to support seven Bluetooth controllers, which can be used for nearly 24 hours before they require charging. Later, pictures of the controllers themselves were released, showing their almost boomerang-like shape. It will also have six USB slots for peripherals: four up front and two in the back. As rumored, it will also have Wi-Fi connectivity to the PSP, which can be used as a remote screen and/or controller.


Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:03 AM in Technology/Internet

Monday, May 16, 2005
Survivor (spoilers)

One of the best Survivor seasons ever. The right person absolutely won, one team just dominated the other and the people left standing in the last episode actually were worthy of being there.

Of Ian and Tom, Tom was definitely the stronger player. Ian was a strong player but he just kept flubbing it. He would have been a lot better off he would have just picked a story and gone with it. Too often he'd be confronted and instead of either telling the truth or telling them what they wanted to hear it just ended up being "uhhhhhhhh". That being said, you have to give Ian major credit for how he went out. That's something you'd never expect to see on Survivor and it really showed who he was.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:07 AM in TV

Sunday, May 15, 2005
An explanation of the lack of bloggage

As you may have noticed, this is my first post since Monday. There's a reason for this. On Tuesday I had a job interview. They said they'd get together Wednesday afternoon and decide. Turns out they decided much faster and called the consulting company I've been working with 10 minutes after I left and asked if I could start the next day. So I spent the remainder of Tuesday filling out paperwork and showed up to work on Wednesday. For the time being I'll be circumspect and just say it's a large IT company in Dayton and I'm doing Web Development for them. Don't have my own space yet, or my own computer, or working e-mail there and I'm of course working on trying to learn their specialized way of doing things so I'm feeling a little bit like the new guy in the past week's run of Dilbert strips. All-in-all though I'm excited about the opportunity.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:47 PM in Miscellaneous

Monday, May 9, 2005
So long Cinergy

Looks like Cinergy is being sold to Duke Energy in a $9 billion deal. Yet another company at which I've worked gets swallowed and it looks like IT and the Energy Merchant unit which I was a part of will take some of the heaviest hits.

Can we agree to call Riverfront Stadium by its pre-naming rights name again?

Posted by Rob Bernard at 5:22 PM in Cincinnati

Friday, May 6, 2005
This post won't make Danny Graves happy

BOOOOOO!!!!! You want respect? Try to achieve the level of a goddamn rookie level pitching staff!!

Posted by Rob Bernard at 10:37 PM in Baseball
A victory in the Fair Use war

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has ruled that the FCC can't require hardware manufacturers to include copy protection (the Broadcast Flag) limiting how broadcast media could be redistributed. This is quite a blow to the MPAA in their fight to limit our fair use rights.

In a stunning victory for hardware makers and television buffs, a federal appeals court has tossed out government rules that would have outlawed many digital TV receivers and tuner cards starting July 1.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled Friday that the Federal Communications Commission did not have the authority to prohibit the manufacture of computer and video hardware that doesn't have copy protection technology known as the "broadcast flag." The regulations, which the FCC created in November 2003, had been intended to limit unauthorized Internet redistribution of TV broadcasts.

"The broadcast flag regulations exceed the agency's delegated authority under the statute," a three-judge panel unanimously concluded. "The FCC has no authority to regulate consumer electronic devices that can be used for receipt of wire or radio communication when those devices are not engaged in the process of radio or wire transmission."

Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:38 PM in Technology/Internet

Thursday, May 5, 2005
Are scientific journals censoring dissenting opinions on global warming?

A report in the Telegraph says yes.

Two of the world's leading scientific journals have come under fire from researchers for refusing to publish papers which challenge fashionable wisdom over global warming.

A British authority on natural catastrophes who disputed whether climatologists really agree that the Earth is getting warmer because of human activity, says his work was rejected by the American publication, Science, on the flimsiest of grounds.
Radcliffe on Sour power station with Dr Benny Peiser (inset)
Radcliffe on Sour power station with Dr Benny Peiser (inset). He disagrees with the pro-global warming line

A separate team of climate scientists, which was regularly used by Science and the journal Nature to review papers on the progress of global warming, said it was dropped after attempting to publish its own research which raised doubts over the issue.

The controversy follows the publication by Science in December of a paper which claimed to have demonstrated complete agreement among climate experts, not only that global warming is a genuine phenomenon, but also that mankind is to blame.

The author of the research, Dr Naomi Oreskes, of the University of California, analysed almost 1,000 papers on the subject published since the early 1990s, and concluded that 75 per cent of them either explicitly or implicitly backed the consensus view, while none directly dissented from it.

Dr Oreskes's study is now routinely cited by those demanding action on climate change, including the Royal Society and Prof Sir David King, the Government's chief scientific adviser.

However, her unequivocal conclusions immediately raised suspicions among other academics, who knew of many papers that dissented from the pro-global warming line.

They included Dr Benny Peiser, a senior lecturer in the science faculty at Liverpool John Moores University, who decided to conduct his own analysis of the same set of 1,000 documents - and concluded that only one third backed the consensus view, while only one per cent did so explicitly.


Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:50 PM in Miscellaneous
From the stupid criminal department...
Gregory Alston called police Tuesday morning to say his white Nissan Maxima had been stolen from in front of his apartment building.



Trouble is, the car wasn't his. Police say he had stolen it at gunpoint two weeks earlier. The only reason he couldn't find it was because the victim had spotted it and called police, who towed it away.

Not only did Alston not get the car back, police arrested him and jailed him on charges of armed robbery, possession of a stolen car and a handgun violation.

Why did Alston call police?

He had left his wallet in the car and wanted it back.

Even hardened Baltimore police officers were astonished. Detective Gregory Jenkins signed off his report with, "Again, this really happened."

--Baltimore Sun

Posted by Rob Bernard at 9:56 AM in Miscellaneous

Wednesday, May 4, 2005
And now from the schadenfreude department...

It seems Barry Bonds has had a third operation on his right knee.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 12:44 PM in Baseball

Monday, May 2, 2005
What the bleeping bleep?!

This is un-bleeping-acceptable! When you have a 6 run lead going in to the 9th inning you don't give up 7 bleeping runs!

Posted by Rob Bernard at 10:47 PM in Cincinnati

Sunday, May 1, 2005
New baseball steroid policy proposed
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig asked players to agree to a 50-game suspension for first-time steroid offenders and a lifetime ban for a third violation under what he called a "three strikes and you are out approach" to doping.

In a letter sent this week to union head Donald Fehr, Selig proposed a 100-game ban for a second offense. He also asked the union to ban amphetamines, to have more frequent random tests and to appoint an independent person to administer the major-league drug-testing program.

"Third offenders should be banned permanently. I recognize the need for progressive discipline, but a third-time offender has no place in the game," Selig wrote to Fehr. "Steroid users cheat the game. After three offenses, they have no place in it."

Under the rules that began this season, a first offense gets a 10-day suspension, with the penalty increasing to 30 days for a second positive test, 60 days for a third and one year for a fourth. For a fifth positive, the penalty is at the commissioner's discretion.
Selig said he will make alterations for 2006 to the drug-testing program for players with minor-league contracts, who are not covered by the collective bargaining agreement. Currently, the minor-league penalty starts at 15 games for a first offense and then escalates to 30 games, 60 games and one year, with a fifth offense bringing a lifetime ban.

"These changes will include tougher discipline, including a permanent ban for a third offense, stricter regulation of amphetamines and greater reliance on independent experts," Selig said.


To say that I have no great love of Bud Selig falls into the category of mindblowing understatement but this is something I can wholeheartedly support and I have to give him credit for it. There's no reason that somebody should be able to be caught taking steroids 5 times and still be in the game. Let's hope the union steps up and protects the majority of its members who obey the rules.

Posted by Rob Bernard at 4:01 PM in Baseball


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