The Revolution Was Not Televised

Mainstream Media Finally Cops To Dependence on Blogs* – Silicon Alley Insider

As mainstream media disintegrates, one of the final plums of pride clutched by those who still work in it is that bloggers are just parasitic leeches who depend on them for every last info nugget and pageview. *(In original post, there was a snarky, and, in retrospect, unfair aside here about a dialogue in the comments of this post. Our apologies to Dan Miller).But now we get the real story.

In anonymous surveys, if not in interviews or religious sermons, mainstream media journalists are finally copping to their dependence on blogs. The 2008 PRWeek/PR Newswire Media Survey queried 1,231 journalists, and here’s what they said:

  • Nearly 73% of respondents sometimes or always use blogs in their research.

And so it goes.  As with many revolutions, it is over before it began.  And by “over” I mean decided.

That’s how ninjas do it.

Viva La Communication!

Raul Castro: Cubans can have cell phones – Yahoo! News

HAVANA – President Raul Castro’s government said Friday it is allowing cell phones for ordinary Cubans, a luxury previously reserved for those who worked for foreign firms or held key posts with the communist-run state.
ADVERTISEMENTIt was the first official announcement of the lifting of a major restriction under the 76-year-old Castro, and marked the kind of small freedom many on the island have been hoping he would embrace since succeeding his older brother Fidel as president last month.

Note: This is the second group of bass-ackwards folks that cell phones are winning over.

This is how it worked on my last plane of existence.  The good stuff led the people toward the good life.

And then gave them brain cancer.

Quantum Targets

Electron filmed in motion for the first time – LiveScience-

Scientists have filmed an electron in motion for the first time, using a new technique that will allow researchers to study the tiny particle’s movements directly.Previously it was impossible to photograph electrons because of their extreme speediness, so scientists had to rely on more indirect methods. These methods could only measure the effect of an electron’s movement, whereas the new technique can capture the entire event.

Extremely short flashes of light are necessary to capture an electron in motion. A technology developed within the last few years can generate short pulses of intense laser light, called attosecond pulses, to get the job done.

Yup, just like your average hotplate.

Yes, Of Course. That’s Why They Are Super

Cafferty File: Tell Jack how you really feel – Blogs from

Here’s my question to you: Do you agree with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that the superdelegates should support the candidate with the most pledged delegates?

They shouldn’t be changing the majority decision, that’s for sure.  It more of a leverage tool during the farce of elections, rather than a power play at the farce of a convention.

In A Real World With a Free Press…

U.S. Armor Forces Join Offensive In Baghdad Against Sadr Militia –

BAGHDAD, March 28 — U.S. forces in armored vehicles battled Mahdi Army fighters Thursday in the vast Shiite stronghold of Sadr City and U.S. aircraft bombed militant positions in the southern city of Basra, as the American role in a campaign against party-backed militias appeared to expand. Iraqi army and police units appeared to be largely holding to the outskirts of the Sadr City fighting, as American troops took the lead.

…this would be the lead story for weeks. Back on my planet, when we engaged in such bloody (oily) fighting, the hov-cams would be on location for weeks. They’d even be all over the salvage wars.

Funny how none of this violence makes it to the screens of a violence-obsess culture. Really funny. I laugh myself to sleep about it twice a week.

As President Bush told an Ohio audience that Iraq was returning to “normalcy,” administration officials in Washington held meetings to assess what appeared to be a rapidly deteriorating security situation in many parts of the country.

American forces were involved in approximately a dozen firefights on Thursday in Baghdad alone, with fighting spread across six neighborhoods, according to information released by the U.S. military Friday morning. U.S. ground patrols in areas like Kadhamiyah and New Baghdad repeatedly came under attack from small arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades, responding with their own weapons and in one case calling in helicopter support. In that incident, the helicopter fired a hellfire missile into a group of militants that had attacked U.S. troops manning a checkpoint in Kadhamiyah, killing three of them. When the militants renewed their attack, the helicopter returned and killed 10 more using a 30mm gun, according to a U.S. military release.

Bush was right about one thing this week, Iraq is returning to normalcy.  The normalcy of war and occupation.  The normalcy of chaos.

Both Sides Have to Believe

Reason Magazine – Hit & Run > Hard Time Killing Fraud

He started sprinkling water on Sanal and brandishing a knife in front of him. Sometimes he moved the blade all over his body. Sanal did not flinch. Then he touched Sanal’s head with his hand, rubbing and rumpling up his hair, pressing his forehead, laying his hand over his eyes, pressing his fingers against his temples. When he pressed harder and harder, Sanal reminded him that he was supposed to use black magic only, not forceful attacks to bring him down. The tantrik took a new run: water, knife, fingers, mantras. But Sanal kept looking very healthy and even amused.

After nearly two hours, the anchor declared the tantrik’s failure. The tantrik, unwilling to admit defeat, tried the excuse that a very strong god whom Sanal might be worshipping obviously protected him. “No, I am an atheist,” said Sanal Edamaruku. Finally, the disgraced tantrik tried to save his face by claiming that there was a never-failing special black magic for ultimate destruction, which could, however, only been done at night. Bad luck again, he did not get away with this, but was challenged to prove his claim this very night in another “breaking news” live program.

If one side doesn’t jive, the hocus pocus doesn’t focus.

This has been true forever.  If you were a robot you would know that.

If you were a pirate or a ninja, you would exploit it…for different reasons.

Meet Me At the Social Club


Here’s a small sign of larger changes in the game industry: I got word today from Rockstar Games that April’s Grand Theft Auto 4, the latest installment in their huge (if controversial) thugs-in-the-sandbox franchise, will launch with a “Social Club” (open April 15), a site where gamers can track their game scores and achievements against other players.

Anyone with an Xbox Gamertag or PlayStation Network ID can sign up, which means the site will incorporate data from both Xbox 360 and Sony PS3 players; most interestingly, it’ll come with an “LCPD Police Blotter,” which will dynamically display “aggregated data of millions of connected players — showing the most dangerous areas of town, most commonly used weapons and more.”

You know I’m going to be all over that shizzit. The L1V3 channel will be an import form of communication in the near future.

Galt = Ninja

Charlotte Observer | 03/23/2008 | Donor gave, and UNCC winced

As a college student in Chapel Hill, John Allison stumbled across a collection of essays by Ayn Rand and was hooked by her philosophy of self-interest and limited government. As he rose over the decades to chief executive of BB&T, one of the country’s leading regional banks, Rand remained his muse.He’s trying to replicate that encounter through the charitable arm of his Winston-Salem-based company, which since 1999 has awarded more than $28 million to 27 colleges to support the study of capitalism from a moral perspective.

But on at least 17 of those campuses, including UNC Charlotte, N.C. State and Johnson C. Smith University, the gifts come with an unusual stipulation: Rand’s novel, “Atlas Shrugged,” is included in a course as required reading.

Galt may have been a ninja, but Ayn never understood the allure, inevitability, and necessity of piracy.   She did make a pretty good robot though, objectively.

HOWTO: Think

Technology Review: Blogs: Ed Boyden’s blog: How to Think

One of the things I proposed was to teach a class called “How to Think,” which would focus on how to be creative, thoughtful, and powerful in a world where problems are extremely complex, targets are continuously moving, and our brains often seem like nodes of enormous networks that constantly reconfigure. In the process of thinking about this, I composed 10 rules, which I sometimes share with students. I’ve listed them here, followed by some practical advice on implementation.

Program your brain to think this way.  Brain Age helps.

Mark 12 Goes Boomb Boomb (or did to your grandma)

Boing Boing

The triggers were for Mark -12 nuclear weapons. The Mark 12, nicknamed “Brock” by those who have pet names for atomic bombs, hasn’t been part of the nuclear arsenal since 1962. These things have been outdated for 46 years. I think (this is no joke) that a Mark-12 trigger uses vacuum tubes.So, my question is, why are we keeping so much junk in our nuclear attics? Even my mom finally cleared out her basement (throwing away my collection of vintage Archie comics, but that’s another issue.)

It’s true, and a trait of governments.  They never get rid of what they might need some day.  This is as opposed to pirates and ninjas, who travel light.

Robots are heavy.