Thursday, October 28, 2004

Badnarik Got My Vote

I took advantage of the early voting booths set up at my workplace today and went to the polls. I followed my Official Voting Policy and voted a straight Libertarian ticket, including voting for Michael Badnarik for President. Most would disagree with this choice but it was the only choice I could make and still sleep soundly at night.

John Kerry and George W. Bush are both first class pieces of shit, in my not even remotely humble opinion. While I certainly think that one stinks slightly worse than the other, I couldn't bring myself to vote for the "lesser of two evils."

I voted for the only man on the ticket who really loves America and its constitution. I voted for real freedom, not the police state Bush and Kerry want. I did the right thing and I have no doubts or guilt about it because doing the right thing always feels good.

Go read Harry Browne's article A Forgotten Day & A Forgotten Country if you still think I'm wrong.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Apple Updates iPod

In the Apple Rumor Universe you never know which rumors will come true. Amazingly, every recent rumor about the iPod has come true. Today, Apple released the iPod Photo and the Special Edition U2 iPod. The U2 iPod is just a 20Gb iPod with a black and red color scheme and special laser engraving. The iPod Photo, on the other hand, is something else.

iPod Photo lets you carry around all your photo albums and view them anywhere. It comes with an RCA cable to jack it into a TV for giving friends and family slideshows with the soundtrack provided by your iPod's music selection. Given the number of digital cameras currently in consumers' hands, this is actually a useful feature and it completely avoids the copyright issues of Microsoft's video delusions.

The iPod Family now contains:
iPod Mini - 4Gb for $249 with a choice of five colors
iPod - 20Gb for $299 and 40Gb for $399
iPod Photo - 40Gb for $499 and 60Gb for $599
iPod Special Edition: U2 - 20Gb for $349

Overall, I think Apple is heading in the right direction with the iPod line. Apple clearly wants to totally dominate this market and keep it that way. To do that, they have to diversify the iPod by offering a wide range specs and features, which is what they are doing.

Someday they will have to aggressively attack the lower end of the digital player market but there is no way to do that today without releasing a neutered product unworthy of the iPod name. However, as prices continue to drop it should become possible over the next few years.

Friday, October 22, 2004

James T. Kirk Going Into Space

William Shatner is among the 7,000+ who have already declared their willingness to pay for a ride on Virgin Galactic's spaceship.

Although there are many other notable personalities already on the list, there's a certain poetic justice to seeing Shatner actually do what he has been pretending to do all these years. Particularly when you consider that this may never have happened if he hadn't inspired so many to reach for the stars with his work on Star Trek.

Bush Supporters Disconnected From Reality

Evidently, Bush's supporters are out of touch with the reality of their president and the world. It sounds about right to me.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

iBooks bumped

Apple bumped the iBook line. The biggest improvement is that Airport Extreme (802.11g WiFi) is no longer optional, but standard accross all iBook models. Also, the low-end 12" iBook is back down to $999, it had been at $1099 for a while now. A great deal, in my view.

Also, they added a new low-end system to the Power Mac line: a single 1.8 GHz G5 for $1499.

Monday, October 18, 2004


Well, it looks like CherryOS is bullshit. I can't say I'm really all that surprised. (For those just joining us, CherryOS was supposed to allow you to run MacOSX on Windows at 80% of full speed.)

Friday, October 15, 2004

Should Lazy Idiots Vote?

This article asks "Why should we want lazy idiots to vote?" Among libertarians, there is the idea that most of the non-voting public is simply unwilling to participate in a system which only gives them variations of one choice: to make government bigger. Perhaps the truth is that non-voters are just lazy and stupid. I hope not, because if that's so there really is no hope for freedom.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Mars Gets Closer

Two articles from

  1. The next Mars orbiter will look for landing sites for future surface missions as well as take higher resolution pictures and test a number of new technologies which will aid future missions.
  2. NASA's Institute for Advanced Concepts is exploring a new interplanetary propulsion concept called magnetized-beam plasma propulsion which could someday open Mars and the rest of the solar system to humanity. They're talking Mars missions with "there and back" times of 90 days!

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Voting for Bush is like...

According to Drudge, Tennessee Democrats are running this ad locally. I don't know how effective it'll be but I laughed my ass off! :-)

Stop HR10

We need to stop HR10 from becoming law! Check out what the Gun Owners of America have to say about it. Then click here to use to bitch-slap your representative!

Yes, I've mentioned this before, but the House passed this fascist law last week and now the House and Senate are trying to work out their differences. I'd rather they never work out their differences. If it makes it to shrub, it's as good as signed--He's never once vetoed anything.

BeOS Marches On

Be Inc. may be dead but their baby, BeOS, refuses to die. While the users of other failed platforms eventually have had to migrate to something else once the software and hardware became unmaintainable through total obsolescence, BeOS lovers are fighting back.

There are not one but five active efforts to revive BeOS in some form or another:

With the exception of Zeta, all are under some kind of open source license. When Be Inc. died they sold the BeOS code to Palm, who in turn came to some kind of deal to share that code with YellowTab, the people behind Zeta.

My preferred project is Haiku, formerly called OpenBeOS. These guys aim to recreate BeOS R5 from scratch, with some improvements, then they are going to extend it. Here's some recent news about Haiku and Zeta making progress in their efforts.

You can keep up with the community with

Badnarik's Blog

Michael Badnarik's Blog is available here. Of particular note is yesterday's follow-up post about the CPD lawsuit and another post entitled "crashing the depate party."

Tuesday, October 12, 2004


This USA Today article says that "polygamy laws expose our own hypocrisy." I'd have to agree. I've had a minor interest in this issue for a while now, mostly sustained by the fact that I still can't understand the opposition to the practice. More specifically, the intensity of that opposition.

All the arguments against polygamy I've encountered are understandable although logically flawed. Mostly they focus on a variety of immoral practices (which are already illegal) engaged in by some practitioners of polygamy. However, none of those practices seem to me to be enabled by polygamous marriage itself but instead by the religious beliefs of those involved.

As near as I can tell, the vitriolic opposition of polygamy originates from religious and racial intolerance and not a rational evaluation of polygamy itself. However, I still can't understand why polygamy is often considered equally as heinous as incest or bestiality.

CPD Lawsuit Fails

Well, I still haven't heard anything official yet, but Mr. X is saying that the AZ LP got nowhere in its suit against the CPD. All the AZ LP got was the right to pursue a suit for damages at a later date. Not particularly helpful in the near-term.

I've been watching the LP for long enough that I figured it would end like that but it's still disappointing every time something like this does. Saying that the deck is stacked against the Libertarian Party is a substantial understatement.

UPDATE: The Badnarik Campaign Confirms

Some Wired Hype

Once upon a time I subscribed to Wired magazine but stopped when I tired of the ever present hype in their articles. Nonetheless, I have two articles from that periodical to share today, if you can avoid getting sucked into the hype.

The first is about new research into the role all the bacteria and fungi we carry around with us play in our biology. While the morons at Wired get caught up hyping facts that are covered in any decent high school bio class, the important fact is that this could have substantial effects on future medicine.

The second discusses growing "victimless leather" garments and once again Wired goes for the hype instead of the substance. The substance is that the most "humane" ways of raising meat/leather-producing animals are terribly inefficient. Ideally, we would do away with raising the entire animal and just grow the parts we want. This could be seen as a step towards that goal.

Altered Carbon

I generally don't read a lot of fiction, sci-fi or otherwise. Most of my reading is focused on computers and philosophy, with general science topics coming in third. However, sometimes I take a break and read some fiction for fun.

Over the past week I've been reading Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan and I am enjoying it greatly. I will definitely pick up his second novel, Broken Angels.

This book is a brutal portrayal of the future so be warned: if this were a movie it would be rated NC-17. Graphic sex and violence make up a good portion of the reading. However, I don't have a problem with any of that as I am a big fan of graphic sex and violence.

My only problem with the book is that Mr. Morgan evidently is not aware of the correct definition of the word "ironic." I'm a little over half-way through the book and he has used the word incorrectly twice so far. People, dictionaries do more than state the correct spelling and pronunciation of words, they also tell you the correct definition. Please try using one and stop mangling the language.

Martha Stewart One Last Time

Harry Browne has made some final comments on the Martha Stewart case on his blog for Oct. 11. It outrages me... this whole case was a travesty of justice.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Badnarik & Cobb Free

They let Michael and David out pretty quick and only gave them a couple of tickets for “trespass” and “refusing a reasonable order from a policeman." Bigger news is that the CPD was served with papers regarding the AZ LP's lawsuit, so there is a chance that the third presidental debate may either be called-off or Badnarik will be permitted to debate. More news on that front should be available Tuesday evening.

Free Badnarik!

Michael Badnarik made good on his promise and tried to make his way to the debates. He's now sitting in a St. Louis jail. Free Badnarik!

Update: (9:36 MDT) another article which tangently mentions the Badnarik & Cobb arrests.

Update: (12:00 AM MDT) Here's detailed info from the Badnarik campaign's website.

Update: (12:30 AM) My wife wrote a nice litte rant on the subject.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Balls The Size Of Texas

I just found out about this and I can barely believe it. In the past I've said that I didn't think Michael Badnarik was quite the candidate that Harry Browne was... Well, I was wrong.

Badnarik may be one of the best candidates the Libertarian Party has ever had. And now he's proving that of all the candidates running this year, he's got the biggest balls. I'd say they're about the size of Texas.

Having been refused access to the presidential debates despite being on the ballot in 48 states and the District of Columbia, Badnarik isn't going to let this issue drop. He says "I will debate or be arrested" in St. Luis. That's right, with a group of protesters he is going to attempt to gain access to the presidential debates.

Naturally, he won't succeed, but that's not the point. He'll get arrested and it will be news. He'll get news coverage and be able to speak to the people, however briefly. That's the point.

Bush Gone Milli Vanilli?

Here's a troubling article from about the possibility that President Bush is so inept at public speaking that he needs a covert earpiece to get verbal prompting from his handlers and possibly used such a device during the debates. Additional information is available from and Cannonfire.

Now, I'll admit that I don't like GWB and feel that he is a complete moron but I really hope this is not true. If the American people really elected someone this retarded to the office of President we are in bigger trouble than even I had ever imagined.

Fun SpaceShipOne Facts

Here's an article from National Geographic full of fun facts about SpaceShipOne.

New Web Search Feature

If you look, you'll notice that there's a new web search feature over on the right of this page. That is Cyborg Search Lite 1.0, a scaled down version of my Cyborg Search prototype suitable for inlcusion on pages like this one. It allows you to search, Google,, and Wikipedia all from one simple interface.

If you'd like to include Cyborg Search Lite on your web page, you can download the package. Copy this link if you'd like to embed it in your Windows Active Desktop.

Spirit Is Rolling Again

The last section of this article mentions that the Spirit rover is roving again, with its steering problem mysteriously resolved without help from NASA. They're still trying to figure out what the cause of the problem was.

The main body of the article discusses how both Opportunity and Spirit continue to find evidence of water in Mars' past.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Hydrogen Vehicle Makes Own Fuel

Check it out: some high school students modified a Chevy pickup to run on hydrogen and then build a solar-powered hydrogen production device into the truck's bed! Of course, it only makes enough hydrogen to go a few miles a day, but it does work. As the kids behind the project say: How far did the first airplane fly?

Pretty Cool.

Spirit In Trouble

The Spirit rover is having problems steering but the problem may be semi-correctable. Check out for more. Considering how far beyond the original 90-day mission the two rovers have continued to work, I can't say this kind of issue is a big surprise.

Stop The National ID Law!

The fucking bastards in Congress are at it again!

Please click here to use to tell them where they can stick their national IDs!

"HR 10 legislates the creation of a national ID database that will contain the name and personal information of every person in America. It also standardizes state drivers licenses to pave the way for a national ID card. Worse yet, it authorizes the Attorney General to force businesses to submit information about job applicants to the government for approval, and even to give the government fingerprints and other biometric information."

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

The Libertarian Spoiler

According to the New York Sun the election spoiler may turn out to be a Libertarian. It's sad that Badnarik's role in this election is limited to spoiler. He's on the ballot in 48 states and the two states he's missing (OK & NH) only have 11 Electoral votes between them out of 527 nation wide. Although Badnarik won't win, he can win. The only thing that stands in his way is too many people voting for the "lesser of two evils" rather than voting for American principles.

I hope that someday a life-long libertarian with a couple hundred million dollars of his own money to spend will run for president on the LP ticket and we will finally be able to make significant progress in one quick leap. Until then, I and many others will continue our steady march on the long road to freedom.

More On Space Tourism

Here's an article from with a little more info on current space tourism plans. What excites me the most is that all of the major players consider sub-orbital flights to be only the first step and have their long term sights set on orbital vacations. Although those orbital excursions are a long way off, it's great that profiteers are finally looking seriously at how we are going to get to that point and working to make it happen. Very Awesome.

Downsize DC and need the support of real Americans. Go participate in's e-mail campaigns and if you can, give them some money. DownsizeDC has the most potential of any libertarian group I know to substantially change America for the better but to realize that potential they need to grow. Add your voice.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Space Tourism At Last

The ships Virgin Galactic and possibly others will be using for tourist trips to space won't be based on SpaceShipOne's design but instead upon a new design Burt Rutan is going to develop over the next three years called SpaceShipTwo, which will basically be SpaceShipOne scaled up to carry an extra two passengers for a total of five (one pilot and four tourists.) If everyone's plans work out, within 4 years a trip to space will cost between $90,000 and $200,000 USD.

If even those ridiculously low prices (compared to the $20,000,000 USD which has been paid in the past) are out of your budget, don't worry: 7-UP will be giving away at least one free ride.

Yes folks, after fifty years of "someday" promises, semi-affordable space tourism will be a reality before the close of the decade.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Are HERF Guns Useless?

I've been doing a little searching around the internet for information on HERF (High Energy Radio Frequency) Guns and have been kind of surprised by what I've found. Over the years I read some magazine articles which referenced HERF technology and made it out to be really awesome with claims of stalling running cars and possibly damaging their electronics or destroying computers from well outside the building they are in.

The reality is slightly less impressive from what I can tell. With the HERF Guns a hobbyist could make, you can stall an idling car or crash (not permanently damage) a computer from maybe 3 meters away. Forget about stalling out a moving car on the freeway. Now, you could substantially increase the power but you would need far more expensive equipment and you better keep your testicles in a Faraday cage if you plan to be nearby while using it.

I'm hesitant to declare HERF Guns useless as I could come up with possible uses for them but unless I'm wrong you can forget any badass dreams of ditching the cops with one. It would be interesting to experiment with one to see if my judgments are correct but the personal health risks involved probably mean I never will... Input from anyone with first hand experience is definitely welcome.

SpaceShipOne Wins X Prize!

Well, it's official: SpaceShipOne has won the Ansari X Prize. Additional details can be had from this CNN article.

Although SpaceShipOne is a suborbital spacecraft, this is a major achievement and it is an important step towards making the old "space age" predictions finally come true. The most important thing, in my view, is that this will foster private space development which is the result the X Prize founders were hoping for. Richard Branson (the chairman of Virgin Atlantic) is going to start Virgin Galactic using the SpaceShipOne design to provide tourism flights starting in 2007 which should cost somewhere around $200,000 per seat.