Vacation Time!

It's time for the year end holiday for me and it's time for a long vacation for this blog - possibly forever!

I need to reallocate the few minutes a day I spend on the blog to my MediaWiki powered web page at Above the Garage.  It's in dire need of help ... and I'd like to get more proficient at MediaWiki, which is one awesome piece of open source software.

So, thanks to everyone who has visited and TTFN!

(Note: during the week of 2011 November 26th we had our 100,000th visitor!)


Most popular videos of 2010:

Hits Link
3,143 Deer Chaser (really!?)
1,345 Fantasmic Part 3


Most popular music of 2010:

Hits Link
863 Spawn the Dragon (Matthew Moore)
470 Jingle Bell Rag (Stephen Clarke-Willson)


Most popular photos of 2010:

Hits Link
28263 Cinderella Castle Tokyo
23240 Disneyland Paris with Tinkerbell via Google Earth
6543 Krogroth Gameboy
6277 Sleeping Beauty Castle Paris
3032 Sleeping Beauty Castle Disneyland
2818 Cinderella Castle Walt Disney World
2781 Japan at Night
2477 Supreme Commander (NOT)
2171 Frozen Water 6
1766 Sleeping Beauty Castle Paris (Model-like)

 


Most popular photos of 2009:

Hits Link
13880 Tokyo Disneyland Cinderella Castle
5789 Japan (Tokyo) at Night
4626 Kogroth Game Boy
4294 Disneyland Paris Sleeping Beauty Castle with Tinkerbell as seen through Google Earth
4068 Walt Disney World Cinderella Castle
3835 Disneyland Paris Sleeping Beauty Castle
1920 Disneyland Paris Sleeping Beauty Castle - looks like a model
1914 Frozen Water #6
1569 Cind-E hair flip
1524 Cind-E with short hair
1247 Disneyland California Sleeping Beauty Castle with Walt and Mickey in front
1161 Manhattan Beach at Twilight


(Oh ... and don't forget to buy Nano-Plasm in paperback or for Kindle.)

 

Nano-Plasm: A Novel
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© 2005-2010 Stephen Clarke-Willson, Ph.D. - All Rights Reserved.

Dance with a Polygon

I have a Google alert set on myself (who doesn't?) and I discovered this site that somehow has collected a few random bits of music by yours truly - and they have an embedded player! Too bad it doesn't work on Blogger.

This was composed in the early 1990s on cheap analog equipment and recorded to a four track cassette tape machine. It's generally inspired by this album:

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© 2005-2009 Stephen Clarke-Willson, Ph.D. - All Rights Reserved.

Obama Lincoln


Obama's Big Sellout : Rolling Stone: "What's taken place in the year since Obama won the presidency has turned out to be one of the most dramatic political about-faces in our history. Elected in the midst of a crushing economic crisis brought on by a decade of orgiastic deregulation and unchecked greed, Obama had a clear mandate to rein in Wall Street and remake the entire structure of the American economy. What he did instead was ship even his most marginally progressive campaign advisers off to various bureaucratic Siberias, while packing the key economic positions in his White House with the very people who caused the crisis in the first place. This new team of bubble-fattened ex-bankers and laissez-faire intellectuals then proceeded to sell us all out, instituting a massive, trickle-up bailout and systematically gutting regulatory reform from the inside."
*Sigh*.

Obama says he admires Abraham Lincoln and that Team of Rivals was a huge influence.

I guess he paid particular attention to the part where Lincoln and his Secretary of the Treasury discovered a clever way to pay for the Civil War: print money.

I guess The Peace President needs to print a lot of money because we have a number of wars going: The War on Drugs; The War on Poverty; The War in Iraq; The War In Afghanistan; The War against THE CLIMATE; and I'm sure there are more.

Taken together, the rash of appointments with ties to Bob Rubin may well represent the most sweeping influence by a single Wall Street insider in the history of government. "Rather than having a team of rivals, they've got a team of Rubins," says Steven Clemons, director of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation. "You see that in policy choices that have resuscitated — but not reformed — Wall Street."

In fact, Obama is doing what Lincoln did - appointing insiders.  The so-called "Team of Rivals" was Lincoln's cabinet.  It's "ex post facto" storytelling by Doris Kearns Goodwin that Lincoln hired his team because he wanted alternative views.  In fact he wanted insiders to balance his own outsider status ... and if they had conflicts with each other then he resolved them - but Ms. Goodwin gets the cart before the horse.

It's the same for Obama.  He's the outsider but 100% of the people around him are Washington insiders.

Our presidential elections are a no-win situation.  The president is a figure head.  Washington is run by the insiders who have formed a bureaucratic cesspool of toxic insider deals.  I guess as figure-heads go Obama is doing a fine job - he just got the Nobel Peace Prize for not being George Bush.

Today, the great enabler, of course, is the Federal Reserve, working jointly with the banks and the politicians to ensure both groups have plenty of scratch.  Lincoln was on top of the situation in that regard as well, as he created a central bank that printed money to fund the war.  Luckily that bank eventually failed just as the Federal Reserve will.  All paper money eventually fails just as all Ponzi schemes eventually fail.  Figuring out the timing is pretty tricky but one day the people in Bernie Madoff's fund were millionaires and then five minutes later they were completely broke.  When it happens, it happens fast.  Anyone with something called a dollar is a participant in the Federal Reserve Ponzi scheme and when it collapses it will happen very quickly.

It's best to be prepared.  If you can figure out how, that is.  I leave that as an exercise for the reader.
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Tivoli One

I've always wanted to listen to a Tivoli One and last weekend I got to do it in a decent, quiet listening environment. (That really is one, isn't it? Don't tell me it's a knock-off ... I couldn't stand the truth! I can't find that exact model online.)

.. and indeed ... it sounded wonderful.

(And that's not my book: the spouse was reading it.)

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Dubai [World]

Abu Dhabi’s Silence Raises the Heat on Dubai - NYTimes.com: "Many here had assumed that Abu Dha bi would bail out Dubai’s flagship company, Dubai World, which set off a swoon in global markets last week when it said it was seeking to delay payments on $59 billion in debt. But so far there has been no announcement, and insiders suggest that Abu Dhabi — which already bailed out Dubai to the tune of $10 billion earlier this year — is seeking greater economic or even political control over Dubai as the price for any further assistance.

To make matters worse, the Dubai government distanced itself from Dubai World on Monday. Abdulrahman al-Saleh, the general director of Dubai’s Department of Finance, told Dubai TV that Dubai World was “not guaranteed by the government,” and that creditors needed to take some responsibility. “They think Dubai World is part of the government, which is not correct.”"

So I'm not the only person that's confused about what's what. In my earlier posts I said that Dubai was defaulting. It's actually Dubai World, a separate company. But everyone (including me) assumed Dubai World was basically part of Dubai.

In our country, there was a bank called The Bank of The United States that failed, but everyone thought it was the government that failed. This caused a huge bank run.

Having said all that, it's still the case that there are tightly interwoven relationsips in Dubai since nearly all relationships are blood relationships.

In the US, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Administration (FHA) have implicit government guarantees, but as Market Skeptics points out, these are not real guarantees. So it'll be interesting to see who is left holding the bag when those agencies finally and completely implode.

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© 2005-2009 Stephen Clarke-Willson, Ph.D. - All Rights Reserved.

Dubai - Incredible

Dubai* is in the news because it's defaulting ("postponing") payment on $60 billion in loans.

So I though I'd fly over the place in Google Earth.

I recommend you do the same. Just fly to "Dubai" and zoom out and you'll quickly find the man-made Palm Islands. Hunt around for the monorail track, the aquatic park, the giant hotel, and the range of homes/apartments, and ... lots of still empty sand.

It's unfrickin' believable.

* Edit:  Turns out it is Dubai World, a private company.

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Upgrading your PS3 hard drive - what they don't tell you

The online tutorials I found for upgrading my PS3 hard drive were a huge help but most of them left out one crucial fact.

All tutorials mention the fact was that you need a FAT32 file system based external disk for doing the system backup but they don't tell you that you can't make one bigger than 32 gigabytes under XP. And XP will check the drive for about an hour before telling you it can't do it.

So you need a third party app to do the job. I ended up using (with some trepidation) Fat32Formatter and as far as I can tell it didn't add a key logger to my system.

But here's the thing ... why doesn't the PS3 have an option to format an external hard drive as FAT32? Then I wouldn't need a PC.

(The PS3 will format your new internal drive for you so don't worry about that.)

But eventually it all worked out and for a mere $65.00 I went from 40 gigabytes to 320 gigabytes. w00t.

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Sysinternals proposal

I posted the following feedback at the SysInternals.com site:

Hi,

As the number of cores increases, we need Process Explorer and similar tools to display the CPU usage in a more readable format.  I would propose that the first core go half way up the graph and all remaining cores be scaled such that if all cores are 100% busy then the graph looks to be full.  Ideally this would exponential so if two cores are busy, the graph is 3/4 full, and three cores is 7/8ths full, then 15/16ths, and on until the final core fills the last little bit left (depending on the number of cores this might be just 1/32nd or such).

This will solve the problem where you have 16 cores and a process is pegged at 100% of one core but the graph is so small you won't be able to even see it.

Thanks,

-- Stephen Clarke-Willson

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Power


I had all but the first 10 editions of Nintendo Power. I gave them away to a young man from Spokane. His mom drove across the Cascades to pick them up. For several years Nintendo put a little slice of a picture on the spine of each edition and if you put them together you could see the picture. (The red one in the middle was a special Spider Man cover.)

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