Welcome to our world, Bill

Isn’t it nice to know that even as the rest of us have to deal with his bloated pig of an operating system (o hai Vista!) and blue screens of death, Bill Gates has to deal with them too?

From: Bill Gates
Sent: Wednesday, January 15, 2003 10:05 AM
To: Jim Allchin
Cc: Chris Jones (WINDOWS); Bharat Shah (NT); Joe Peterson; Will Poole; Brian Valentine; Anoop Gupta (RESEARCH)
Subject: Windows Usability Systematic degradation flame

I am quite disappointed at how Windows Usability has been going backwards and the program management groups don’t drive usability issues.

Let me give you my experience from yesterday.

I decided to download (Moviemaker) and buy the Digital Plus pack … so I went to Microsoft.com. They have a download place so I went there.

The first 5 times I used the site it timed out while trying to bring up the download page. Then after an 8 second delay I got it to come up.

This site is so slow it is unusable.

Read the entire thing.  Even though it’s outdated (from 2003), it’s pretty epic, and probably very similar to what a lot of us have said while dealing with Microsquish’s various apps and websites.

Hat tip:  Free Republic.

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Pat Buchanan has jumped the shark

From Townhall.com via Free Republic:

That Hitler was a rabid anti-Semite is undeniable. “Mein Kampf” is saturated in anti-Semitism. The Nuremberg Laws confirm it. But for the six years before Britain declared war, there was no Holocaust, and for two years after the war began, there was no Holocaust.

Not until midwinter 1942 was the Wannsee Conference held, where the Final Solution was on the table.

That conference was not convened until Hitler had been halted in Russia, was at war with America and sensed doom was inevitable. Then the trains began to roll.

The central thesis of Buchanan’s article, and his latest book Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, is basically that World War II wasn’t necessary.  Buchanan’s theory is that Hitler wasn’t really such a bad guy after all–oh sure, there was that whole anti-Semitic thing, and the Anschluss, and Krystallnacht, and the destruction of Bohemia and Moravia…but he would’ve stopped if Chamberlain and Churchill had just let him swallow Poland!

It’s one of the most unreal pieces of historical revisionism I’ve ever seen.  Buchanan takes some facts–that Hitler really didn’t want a war with Great Britain–and ignores others–that Hitler was willing to take the risk of a war with Great Britain in order to conquer the Slavic lands to the east and gain his Greater German Reich the Lebensraum he thought it needed.  He places more blame for starting both World Wars on Great Britain than on Germany.  Never mind that Germany struck first in both cases (invading Belgium in 1914 which brought Britain into the war by treaty, and invading Poland in 1939 after Britain concluded a mutual-assistance pact).  In Pat’s World, it’s all Churchill’s fault.  I guess he thinks that Winston and Adolf should’ve become BFFs and both marched eastward to drop the hammer on Uncle Joe Stalin.  Darn nice concept, imagining Joe Stalin doing a Benito Mussolini from a lamppost while the Wehrmacht and the Coldstream Guards dance to “Lili Marlene,” but it ignores the simple fact that Adolf Hitler was a megalomaniacial dictator who ended up breaking every treaty he ever signed (except the Axis itself).

What really pisses me off isn’t so much that Buchanan went there.  Anybody who’s followed Pat for a while knows that he’s a borderline anti-Semite, and has a somewhat, uh, odd view of history.  It’s the fact that the mainstream media continues to give this guy a platform as a “conservative spokesman.”  He’s NOT.  Pat Buchanan, right now, is about as far outside the conservative mainstream as Barack Obama.  And you can’t convince me that at least some media outlets bring Pat on as a “conservative spokesman” knowing damned good and well that he’s a kook, and use that fact to discredit the right in general.

If you want to see Buchanan’s latest literary cat turd get sliced, diced, folded, spindled, mutilated, scattered, smothered, and covered, check out the gibbing that historian Victor Davis Hanson gives it.  Or just sit back like I am and enjoy the well-deserved bitchslapping that the conservative blogosphere is giving Pat.

EDIT:  Y’know, I just thought of something.  Pat Buchanan’s reminding me of Chamberlain.  No, not Neville Chamberlain.  Another Chamberlain.

OK, so if this one’s not a terrorist…

…then you know alcohol has got to be involved.

A drunk passenger who tried to set the curtains of a Boeing 767 on fire during a trans-Atlantic flight is in custody in Vienna, Austria, the Transportation Security Administration said Thursday.

There was no apparent connection to terrorism, officials said.

Zoltan Lensky, 25, a Slovakian citizen, was on Delta Flight 40 from Atlanta, Georgia, to Vienna Wednesday night when flight attendants refused his request for more liquor.

According to TSA spokesman Christopher White, Lensky slapped a flight attendant on the hand, moved forward in the cabin, pulled out a lighter and tried to ignite the curtains around the flight attendants’ rest area.

A federal air marshal on the flight arrested Lensky and put him in handcuffs, White said. Lensky was handed over to authorities in Vienna when the flight landed.

Three things of note here:

1.  CNN’s photo editor doesn’t know anything about aviation…because that picture is of an MD-88, not a 767.  About a four-thousand-mile difference on the range there, Chuck Yeager.

2.  Some Slovakians are, apparently, really mean drunks.

3.  Doesn’t it make you feel so much better that the TSA is making ninety-year-old grandmothers take off their bloomers for cavity searches while this guy gets a lighter through the checkpoints at Hartsfield-Jackson?

UPDATE 10:00 6/20/08:  Holy crap, CNN linked back to little ol’ me.  Does this mean I’m famous?

Posted in news. 3 Comments »

Proof positive…

Posted in news. 4 Comments »

Associated Press hits bottom, digs

From Boing Boing via Free Republic:

In the name of “defin[ing] clear standards as to how much of its articles and broadcasts bloggers and Web sites can excerpt” the Associated Press is now selling “quotation licenses” that allow bloggers, journallers, and people who forward quotations from articles to co-workers to quote their articles. The licenses start at $12.50 for quotations of 5-25 words. The licensing system exhorts you to snitch on people who publish without paying the blood-money, offering up to $1 million in reward money (they also think that “fair use” — the right to copy without permission — means “Contact the owner of the work to be sure you are covered under fair use.”).

It gets better! If you pay to quote the AP, but you offend the AP in so doing, the AP “reserves the right to terminate this Agreement at any time if Publisher or its agents finds Your use of the licensed Content to be offensive and/or damaging to Publisher’s reputation.”

Suggestion to the AP: Take one of those lawyers that you’re cocking and locking to launch at bedroom bloggers like me, and have him go look up something called fair use. You might be surprised.

The Associated Press reminds me of a dinosaur, peacefully munching ferns in the jungle, and when it sees the giant meteor hurtling through the sky that spells its doom, it rears up and hisses at it. As one of the comments at Free Republic put it: “At first I thought market evolution was killing off the lamestream media. These days, I’m convinced the MSM is determined to commit suicide as quickly as possible.”

How awesome is my wife?

As a Father’s Day present, she got us tickets to see Robert Plant and Alison Krauss at the RBC Center on Friday, July 11.

So.  Incredibly.  Awesome.

Where’s my pipe and fedora?

Yeah, when it comes to being a 1930’s husband, I busted the curve, biatches…

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