Archive: March 17, 2008

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Monday,  03/17/08  07:38 PM

Do not adjust your set, yes, today we are going green, in honor of St. Patrick's Day.  I must tell you I think it is so cool that the Irish have their own day with their own color.  We Dutch have Queen's Day, on April 30, and everyone wears orange (the Dutch royals are the House of Orange).  But I don't see people drinking orange beer and so on, and surely nobody gets pinched if they don't wear orange.  So we have to work on our PR.  I will definitely try to "go orange" on Queen's Day, however.

In the meantime, let's make a pass through the world, shall we...

John McCain is now working with Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman.  Interesting.  I wonder if Meg Whitman would be up for Vice President?  Now that would be interesting!  (Carly Fiorina, not so much...) 

What are the odds of this happening?  I'm speechless.  Comedians everywhere are licking their chops. 

This is just a great story from Wired Magazine: High Tech Cowboys of the Deep Seas: The Race to Save the Cougar Ace.  I can't properly excerpt from it, you just have to read it all...  fascinating and wonderfully written too. 

Finger-sized creatures.  Warning, potentially hazardous levels of cuteness.  Hey, I wonder if the orange fuzzballs at right could be Dutch :) 

Today Tesla began "regular production" of the Tesla Roadster.  "With this milestone, the Tesla Roadster is the only zero emission electric vehicle in production today – this is in stark contrast to the others who only talk about their future plans. Tesla’s remarkable achievement validates the vision, ingenuity, hard work and commitment of Tesla’s employees."  Excellent.  I can't wait to see them on the road. 

So here we have Vista SP1 toilet paper.  I am not making this up.  One can only hope it is cleaner than the operating system (there are so many possible jokes here, it isn't fair; I guess I'll just have to settle for a crappy pun.) 

Meanwhile, Vista SP1 availability remains a murky issue.  Actually, who cares?  Everyone I know, and I mean everyone, has either upgraded back to XP or never downgraded to Vista.  Pass the whisky, Laddie, it's over.

there once was an OS called Vista
the worst since they made the transistor
it sucked more than XP
how could such a thing be
now it's dead and we hardly missed ya


the $34T problem

Monday,  03/17/08  10:53 PM

Want something to worry about?  How about this: The $34 Trillion Problem.  Hint: it's Medicare.

This is the elephant in the room; amid all the petty talk of race and who said this and who said that, none of the candidates are talking about this problem, and it is the most important one we face.  "An analysis of their speeches shows that last year Senators Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and Barack Obama would occasionally mention the Medicare mess. But recently, with the economy slowing and voters feeling insecure, all three candidates have turned more populist: Their economic talking points are about feel-good reassurances, not about facing hard realities."  This is going to be the most important problem the next President will face, more important than Iraq, more important than immigration, and certainly more important than the petty crap which dominates today's headlines.  Tough decisions must be made, we cannot continue as we have.

This is closely related to the problems with any kind of universal healthcare, by the way; in fact, Medicare is a sort of universal healthcare, except it isn't universal.  However it does have the same flavor, of everyone paying for everyone else, instead of each person paying for themselves.  Such programs are always subject to a tragedy of the commons, and having them run by government ensures inefficiency.  But we can't just abolish Medicare altogether (or can we?), we have to replace it with something else, something that costs less and provides solid insurance for retirees.  This should be a subject of active debate, instead, it is taboo.

The only thing worse than talking about a $34 trillion problem is not talking about it.


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