Thursday, August 03, 2006

Old Bloggers Never Die... they just fade away...

What a strange trip it's been.
Law school.
Cross country commutes to experience the full glory of Cooley.
Leave of absence (that turned into a withdrawal) from law school.
Self reflection.
Real estate deals / work.
Return to law school.

I am downright unhappy about the big cuts in the student loan program though. I consolidated for the last time a month or so ago (in the nick of time), but will have to deal with yet another round of fresh loans at a higher rate of interest when this gig is finished. Somehow, I don't think there will ever be any relief in sight in terms of student-loans - even if some miracle happens and the Democrats return to power (this strikes me as very, very unlikely, and even if they return the media is going to obliterate them into a fine grained powder).

Friday, May 26, 2006

Still Alive

I'm posting this to keep the blog alive (more like life-support).

It's amazing to me just how disruptive law school turned out to be to my life and family in particular. A never ending cycle of planes, trains and highway trips turned out to be a real drag. So... I took a break. The break became longer, I got a real estate license, my wife went to go work for my previous employer, and I decided to finish my MBA and start a business before restarting law school.


Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Something Strange

A typing accident brought me to this site. Strange - yet post worthy.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

My Toshiba CDROM Burner Stopped Working - What I Did To Fix It

I am one of those people that got bit by the Sony Rootkit virus. Needless to say, I will never, ever buy anything Sony again. Period.

Around the same time I got hit with the Sony rootkit (serves me right I guess for venturing into Windows), my wife installed the latest iTunes. I also did a big batch of service pack updates from Microsoft. I was unaware that I had the Sony rootkit virus installed (my fault for playing fast and loose on Windows), and all of these installations took place on the same day.

After doing the above on the same day, something strange happened. I could no longer burn CD's. I also couldn't burn DVD's on my external TDK DVD burner either. Assuming it was just a Windows bug, viri, etc, I booted into Linux - but had the same exact problem on both burners.

This struck me as very strange. I wondered if I picked up a viri that embedded itself into my MBR, or perhaps some new super strange BIOS viri. But here's the really strange part...

When I moved my external TDK burner to another machine - it too wouldn't burn even on that second machine. VERY strange.

The solution: I downloaded a new TDK firmware update for the external TDK burner. After burning in the new firmware - it works and burns again.

The internal burner (a Toshiba SD-R2212) on my Toshiba laptop was a different story. Re-burning the factory firmware didn't help. Re-burning the last BIOS revision from Toshiba also didn't help as the problem remained. ultimately, I stumbled on a firmware site that has an assortment of hacked firmware for just about every drive on the planet.

I took a chance and burned one of the hacks. Now, my internal Toshiba burner works again.

If you are having a problem like mine, especially after doing a round of patches from Microsoft (I used Autopatcher XP)... check out this site:

If you have an SD-R2212 like I did, the patch that worked for me was this one:

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Mantel Leaves Novell / Suse

I suspect that when Novell purchased Ximian and later SuSE, the higher-ups at both firms probably had visions of eventually running Novell. I believe it was inevitable to see a shakeout or coup take place within Novell given the polar opposites that SuSE and Ximian team are -or- were. On all kinds of levels I bet these two teams had a certain disdain for one another, or at minimum a disgust with each's vision of the future for Novell.

Yes, Novell is going to have the KDE libraries included on their future releases, but as a practical matter I think SuSE's KDE support is going to go largely (at best) the way of RH's and Fedora's. Sure, a community project will probably appear, perhaps through OpenSuse, that keeps KDE going - but it's obvious to me that Novell is casting its lot with the Ximian/Mono team and all things Gnome. This was probably a business decision driven not so much by technical merits, but by internal lobbying and PowerPoint presentations. ;-)

If there is any good that stands to come from all of this (and such a thing is certainly questionable), it's that future editions of SuSE are definitely going to become focused on a core set of tools (Gnome, Mono, etc). That may ultimately make SuSE the winner with Gnome that it was with KDE, albeit at the latters expense. Novell probably looked over and saw all of the other big commercial outfits using Gnome - namely RH and Sun - and figured it might as well join the gang. Although I think Novell would have been much smarter to dump Gnome and focus solely on KDE with respect to the desktop, they probably couldn't justify it given all of the investments they made in Mono and the Ximian guys. Besides, I don't think Novell bought Suse because of its strong KDE focus, rather it was interested in the SuSE brand, market position, and a fast way to become the #2 player in the Linux ballgame.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Yup. Still here.

So much to do, so little time to write.

To make a long story short: law school took so many twists and turns for me that I put the whole thing on ice until next Fall. My wife was looking at taking a VERY GOOD paying job in Madison, and here I was about to restart my law gig at a California school, or at least that was the plan a few months ago. Faced with doing a reverse-commute from the midwest to the southwest (like my situation at Cooley, only this time in reverse) was just too much. So, I decided to hit the brakes and know with substantial certainty where my family was going to ultimately plant roots.

As it turned out my wife took an OK paying job at, oddly enough, my previous employer in Arizona. Oh the irony.

In the meantime I'm finishing my MBA. Big whoop, although after a stint at Cooley getting an MBA seems almost fun.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Burn in Hell Blog Spammers (Moving Blog Soon)

The work involved in dealing with blog spam has motivated me to move my blog. It's going to take a bit of time, but I think it will be worth it in the long run. I'll resume my law school blogging in the not too distant future once I can nail down my choice of blog tools (looking closely at something based on Plone).

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Halliburton Gets Hurricane Katrina Contract

WASHINGTON, Sept. 1 ( -- The US Navy asked Halliburton to repair naval facilities damaged by Hurricane Katrina, the Houston Chronicle reported today. The work was assigned to Halliburton's KBR subsidiary under the Navy's $500 million CONCAP contract awarded to KBR in 2001 and renewed in 2004. The repairs will take place in Louisiana and Mississippi.

The Logic Of The World Bank

The Memo

DATE: December 12, 1991
TO: Distribution
FR: Lawrence H. Summers
Subject: GEP

'Dirty' Industries: Just between you and me, shouldn't the World Bank be encouraging MORE migration of the dirty industries to the LDCs [Less Developed Countries]? I can think of three reasons:

1) The measurements of the costs of health impairing pollution depends on the foregone earnings from increased morbidity and mortality. From this point of view a given amount of health impairing pollution should be done in the country with the lowest cost, which will be the country with the lowest wages. I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that.

2) The costs of pollution are likely to be non-linear as the initial increments of pollution probably have very low cost. I've always though that under-populated countries in Africa are vastly UNDER-polluted, their air quality is probably vastly inefficiently low compared to Los Angeles or Mexico City. Only the lamentable facts that so much pollution is generated by non-tradable industries (transport, electrical generation) and that the unit transport costs of solid waste are so high prevent world welfare enhancing trade in air pollution and waste.

3) The demand for a clean environment for aesthetic and health reasons is likely to have very high income elasticity. The concern over an agent that causes a one in a million change in the odds of prostrate cancer is obviously going to be much higher in a country where people survive to get prostrate cancer than in a country where under 5 mortality is is 200 per thousand. Also, much of the concern over industrial atmosphere discharge is about visibility impairing particulates. These discharges may have very little direct health impact. Clearly trade in goods that embody aesthetic pollution concerns could be welfare enhancing. While production is mobile the consumption of pretty air is a non-tradable.

The problem with the arguments against all of these proposals for more pollution in LDCs (intrinsic rights to certain goods, moral reasons, social concerns, lack of adequate markets, etc.) could be turned around and used more or less effectively against every Bank proposal for liberalization.


After the memo became public in February 1992, Brazil's then-Secretary of the Environment Jose Lutzenburger wrote back to Summers: "Your reasoning is perfectly logical but totally insane... Your thoughts [provide] a concrete example of the unbelievable alienation, reductionist thinking, social ruthlessness and the arrogant ignorance of many conventional 'economists' concerning the nature of the world we live in... If the World Bank keeps you as vice president it will lose all credibility. To me it would confirm what I often said... the best thing that could happen would be for the Bank to disappear." Sadly, Mr. Lutzenburger was fired shortly after writing this letter.

Mr. Summers, on the other hand, was appointed the U.S. Treasury Secretary on July 2nd, 1999, and served through the remainder of the Clinton Admistration. Afterwards, he was named president of Harvard University.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Crooks and Liars

Northern Command isn't happy

Carpetbagger has a good post about Bush and Northern Command...

Because Northern Command oversees all active-duty military operations inside the United States, it's also responsible for organizing the relief operations on the Gulf Coast. There are early indications, however, that NorthCom officials aren't entirely pleased with the orders they've received of late from the president.

Rice Defends Bush: Jesus Is Coming...

Condoleezza Rice took a break today from her round of Broadway shows and a shoe-buying spree that would do Imelda Marcos proud. Why? To tell the hurricane victims dying hourly in their homes that their prolonged suffering is God's will, not the government's fault, and to lecture them...

A Strange Moment on Fox News

Watching this disconnect displayed by Sean Hannity vs the team on the ground is a moment on Fox News that probably won't be repeated too often.

Anderson-Cooper Actually Has A Spine

It was a strangely uplifting thing to see Anderson-Cooper display his spine while interviewing a seemingly spineless Democrat Sen Landrieu.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Mayor Nagin Speaks Forcefully...

I hope the above link lasts long enough so that everyone can hear Mayor Nagin speak...