Friday, April 29, 2005

Darth Vader's Blog

Even Darth has a blog these days.

Monday, April 18, 2005

A More Sane Commute

A fellow Calizonian makes the commute from Phoenix to LA twice a week, which is what my schedule will be if I stay on track for finishing law school via the California route.

Adobe to Acquire Macromedia

I was hoping it was a joke, but it's not. It's true. God help us all. First came the prospect of Condi Rice being made President in 2008, but this is really the last straw. The world really is going to hell...

Adobe Systems Incorporated has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Macromedia
in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately US$3.4 billion. The companies plan to meet a wider set of customer needs and have a significantly greater opportunity to grow into new markets, particularly in the mobile and enterprise segments.

Lawyer Joke

Did you hear about the lawyer who was so mean that when he swam in the ocean, sharks would sing, ''We are family'? -- Manish Patwari, Montreal

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Scraps of Moscow

A new addition on my blog list - Scraps of Moscow. Very, very interesting and enlightening blog.

Interview with Opera Browser CEO

Opera is a fantastic web browser and sadly it doesn’t have quite the recognition of Mozilla FireFox. Here’s an in depth interview with the CEO of Opera – and in MP3 format. Opera does have a fully functional free version. If you’ve never heard of Opera, download it and see compare it with Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Me - After Law School (only 2 terms!) Posted by Hello

Before Law School Posted by Hello

A President Who Can Actually Speak

[Before] his nomination in 1860, Lincoln [made] several public appearances. [In] February of that year, he gave a speech in New York City that cleared an important obstacle to the presidency. His performance at Cooper Union on Feb. 27 convinced New York Republicans that Lincoln, a Westerner with no formal education, could speak as well as anyone in the East, and was a better candidate for the presidency than New York's own Sen. William Henry Seward.

Voice from the Past on Lincoln Anniversary

Civil War veteran Julius Howell of Bristol, Va. was 101 years old when he was recorded at the Library of Congress in June, 1947. He spoke of how he learned of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, 140 years ago this morning.


I concluded after my first term that Cooley is big on memorization (closed book, closed notes exams - prefer students to reference memory over actual legal instruments), I set upon memorizing certain cases for among other things - Civ Pro. The prof in this class seems to like case citiations. So one of the games I came up with is/was ISHWALMHELL.

I - International Shoe "... traditional notions of fair play and justice..."
S - Shaffer v. Heitner - "Contacts, ties and relations - 3 way test - unilateral ties are not enough..."
H - Hanson v. Denkla - "...purposefully availed itself to the rights, privileges and obligations of the forum state..."
W - World Wide Volkswagon - some fairness stuff, I used it when dealing with Long Arm
A - Asahi Metal - An OEM in China, good to cite for barfing " of commerce" issues.
L - Long Arm Jurisdiction - turns lights on in my head about various Long Arm stuff.
M - Mullane - dealt with publication for service of process, and other SOP issues, etc.
Hell - Helcopteros - oil company in Texas screwed people that died in a copter crash in Columbia (long story). I was able to remember this case because it arose in Texas i.e. Hell and the result seemed evil (i.e. think Texas, Bush, etc) but had some rules/test worth citing.

I've got a bunch of these acroynms in my head now, hence unlike last term my essays cite cases and also at times rules verbatim. My analysis might still suck (I am, after all, a C student), but being a businessman my natural fallback position is to dazzle with bullshit (case citations, memorized rules).

I'll know sometime in June if it had any impact.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Exams (so far) During Term II

After my most recent exam battery I suspect I remain a C student. It’s not that I am setting the bar low deliberately, rather my memory skills still leave a lot to be desired. Last term when I found myself wrestling to remember a needed rule, I ended up skipping some important issues entirely. Not good.

This term I am at least putting down the issue and doing a common-sense analysis of it during those moments where the rule seems elusive. For example, let’s take something simple like one of the excuse doctrines in Contracts such as Duress. During exams I blanked briefly on this simple basic doctrine, so I started with my own analogy akin to someone being caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. That in turn jogged my memory and up came the needed rule.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Researchers develop microscopic microscopes

Submitted by Sword of Righteous Indignation:

Researchers have managed to produce a microscope the size of a single human cell, which could lead to faster development of new drugs and quicker medical tests.

The biochips also raise the possibility of a micro-laboratory, the size of a credit card, which would be able to perform medical diagnostics, improve patient treatment by reducing the number of hospital visits needed for tests.

At Last! Treatment for Speedy Gonzolas Syndrom

Looks like this will be in pill form soon. Not sure how it integrates with Viagra, but I suspect a slew of spam a year from now will have all the details.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

What's The Deal With Florida?

If it's not Florida, it'll be a story out of Texas. Never fails. Are these states still connected to the US?

Obligatory "Exam-Time" Repost. Posted by Hello

Capitol Records, Inc. v Naxos of America Inc. - by Brendan Scott

A frightening case and worth reading if you are "into" law.

Most lawyers, if they are any good, will try to keep you from ever having to step foot in a courtroom. You'll understand why, when you read about Capitol Records, Inc. v. Naxos. It's a jaw-dropping decision that is so weird, when a journalist first sent it to me, I thought it was a joke. Weird things can happen in courtrooms, which is why you should try to stay out of them, and that seems especially true when Beatles music is soon to enter the public domain in the UK.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

What I Learned At Cooley Law School

During my 1L I learned far more about myself than I ever learned about law, and I am as surprised as I am pleased by this result. It turned out to be the tonic I needed for my troubled soul, and brought me to a point of exceptionally satisfying clarity.

The delta between what I was expecting to accomplish vs. what I actually accomplished is akin to staring into a chasm between Heaven and Hell; the two points of my expectations are as opposite as opposite can get. Law school is Hell’s embassy in Heaven, or perhaps it’s Heaven’s embassy in Hell – I guess it’s all just a matter of perspective and how one relates to it.

It’s been written in books and blogs ad nauseam that law school is a unique experience that is unlike any other graduate or undergraduate level of education. Your friends, enemies and family members simply won’t understand what you are going through – to them it’s just “college” even though they’ve heard it’s a little harder, or different than undergrad. It seems one almost has to grasp Taoism given that law school is more akin to “the thing that can’t be named, and the name that can’t be known” before fully appreciating what this place, or experience, does to ones mind.

Grass is now greener than green, food tastes better even when it’s supposed to be bland, simple breathing is downright enjoyable, dogs are more intelligent than I ever realized, and I have a renewed interest in life while at the same time have managed to garner an even deeper cynicism about the legal profession in general. I suspect this is as it should be.

I hated law school. And I loved law school. And I hold both of these notions within me and I know they will never, ever, take leave of me. This experience, if you choose to go through it and come off the same rebel-block of clay that yours truly was cut from, you will never regret going while all along wishing you had done something else.

It's Exam Time - And I've Got Issues. Posted by Hello

Monday, April 11, 2005

Fur flies over rabbit death threat...

Two college students threaten to eat a cute rabbit named Toby unless they get $50,000 by June 30th. So far, they've collected $20,000. Unfortunately, I have a bad feeling this is the start of something that will quickly devolve into something even more horrific...

Protesting: It's Un-American Posted by Hello

Do Your Part. Posted by Hello

The Steps to Take When Migrating From Windows to Linux

IBM e-business architect Chris Walden is your guide through a nine-part developerWorks series on moving your operational skills from a Windows to a Linux environment. He covers everything from logging to networking, and from the command-line to help systems -- even compiling packages from available source code.

On the geek scale of 1 to 10 the above article at least an 8.

Everyone Gets a Pay Cut Under Bush! Wahoo!

For the first time in 14 years, the American workforce has in effect gotten an across-the-board pay cut!

Wahoo! Is this GREAT or what?! Bush so ROCKS!

Wait. Did the article say... pay CUT?

In Theocracy They Trust

Having won control of two branches of the federal government, the activists of the religious right have come to see the courts as the intolerable obstacle thwarting their dream of a reborn Christian nation. They believe in a revisionist history, taught in Christian schools and spread through Christian media, which claims biblical law as the source of the Constitution. Thus any ruling that contradicts their theology seems to them to be de facto unconstitutional, and its enforcement tyrannical.

Some believe that the problem can be rectified by replacing liberal judges with conservative ones. Others, noting that even judges appointed by Republicans often rule against them, have become convinced that they must destroy the federal judiciary itself. Thus, ideas offered at the conference ranged from ending the filibuster and impeaching all but the most right-wing judges to abolishing all federal courts below the Supreme Court altogether. At least one panelist dropped coy hints about murder.

. . . Christian Reconstructionism calls for a system that is both radically decentralized, with most government functions devolved to the county level, and socially totalitarian. It calls for the death penalty for homosexuals, abortion doctors and women guilty of "unchastity before marriage," among other moral crimes. To be fair, Phillips told me that "just because a crime is capital doesn't mean you must impose the death penalty. It means it's an option." Public humiliation, he said, could sometimes be used instead.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Politician's gay marriage quest tied to Rev. Moon

The Messiah's Republican Senator
"Reverend Moon is the most remarkable person I've ever met"

On Valentine's Day, Republican state Sen. Mark Boitano, who represents part of Albuquerque's Northeast Heights, joined opponents of gay marriage in a press conference to promote "pro-family" legislation. The Albuquerque Journal photo showed a tense Boitano surrounded by gay rights activists. What the story did not mention is that for 30 years Boitano has been a follower of Rev. Sun Myung Moon, who calls gays "dung eating dogs" to be "eliminated" or "burned."

Boitano is so loyal, he helped crown Moon the Messiah in Washington, D.C., last year.

In the Dirksen Senate Office Building, a white-gloved Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) placed jeweled crowns upon the heads of Moon and his wife. Robes of nobility draped their shoulders. Moon was named the king of "the second and third Israels," whatever that means. Rev. and Mrs. Moon were announced as the "True Father and Mother." Supplicants offered jewels on pillows. Moon declared himself to be "none other than humanity's Savior, Messiah and Returning Lord."

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Real Life vs. The Internet

You'll need Quicktime to watch the above video link. It's another classic.

Salad Fingers - A Classic

Worst Halftime Show - Ever.

Extreme Bugs Bunny

Not sure if any of you have seen the new "extreme" Bugs Bunny, but this is a spoof of it.

David Duchovny's Blog Is a Surreal Experience

My head hurts, but in a good way. Check out David Duchovny's blog, especially the audio blog postings. Although better known for his time on the X-Files, David is actually a person of extraordinary talent and, oh hell, what the hell do I know. Click on his audio entries for a slightly-disturbed laugh - and mind you Duchovny's sense of humor can be as dry as it is funny... definitely an acquired taste.

Get Perpendicular

Geeky but cute.

Testing Pesticides on Babies, EPA Forced to Stop

Stephen L. Johnson, the acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, said on Friday that he was canceling a study of the effects of pesticides on infants and babies, a day after two Democratic senators said they would block his confirmation if the research continued....

...A recruiting flier for the program, called the Children's Environmental Exposure Research Study, or Cheers, offered $970, a free camcorder, a bib and a T-shirt to parents whose infants or babies were exposed to pesticides if the parents completed the two-year study. The requirements for participation were living in Duval County, Fla., having a baby under 3 months old or 9 to 12 months old, and "spraying pesticides inside your home routinely."

The rest of the story about Bush's new EPA appointment is in the NY Times.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Slashdot Post: Best Buy Has Man Arrested for Using $2 Bills

"Mike Bolesta of Baltimore thought he would protest Best Buy's not-so-great customer service and pay his bill with 57 $2 bills. For his trouble he got to spend some time in the county lock-up." From the article: "..Bolesta was contacted by the store, and was threated with police action if he did not pay the [installation] fee he was told before did not exist. As a sign of protest, Bolesta decided to pay using only $2 bills, which he has an abundance of because he asks his bank for them specifically. Unfortunately for him, the cashier did not seem to understand that the $2 bill is indeed legal US tender, since the bill itself is not often used. After rudely refusing to take the money, the cashier accepted the bills, only to mark them as though they were conterfeit."

Hopefully, this guy will SUE Best Buy.

A New Twist In The Wendy's "Finger" Food Incident

The woman who claims she bit into a human finger while eating chili at a Wendy’s restaurant has a history of filing lawsuits — including a claim against another fast-food restaurant.

A Nice Day In Lansing

It's just under 70 today and shy of perfect outside.

I suspect the law school has something to do with this situation. Perhaps to torment sun lovers like yours truly, shake us out, cause us to fail and leave Michigan in shame.

Fine by me. I'm going to go play. Studying for exams will have to wait...

I Hate SBC - SBC Anti-Wireless Bill Slithers Through Texas Legislature

"Details of this bill have been previously covered on Slashdot. SBC has since put up TV ads and a website saying that our telecom laws need to be changed. From their propaganda, "The Texas legislature has the opportunity to modernize telecom regulation and promote innovation to finally reach our goals for new technologies and enhanced consumer benefits." They hardy even mention the bill itself, basically only that it is "Good for Texas -- Good for Texans." This bill has already passed through the House and is now in the Texas state Senate."

This is another slashdot repost.

I hate SBC and I've known a handful of people who actually worked for SBC - it's a living, breathing Dilbert cartoon inside that organization.

Indian Call Center Employees Hack US Bank Accounts

"Call center employees working for an Indian software company, MSource, supposedly used confidential client information to transfer client funds to themselves. The alleged perpetrators used the personal information of four NY-based clients to transfer ~$350,000 (Rs. 1.5 crores) in their names, a large sum in Indian currency. They were caught after the victims alerted the bank officials in the US, who then traced the crime to the Indian city of Pune. While the name of the bank has not been revealed, the article indicates that the bank in question is Citibank."

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Wow! Someone Thinks I'm Normal. How Strange.

You Are 65% Normal

(Really Normal)

Otherwise known as the normal amount of normal

You're like most people most of the time

But you've got those quirks that make you endearing

You're unique, yes... but not frighteningly so!

How Normal Are You?

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Genius High School Robot Team Can't Afford College

I picked up this story first on OSNews. The title almost speaks for itself, along with the following from the post:

This month's Wired magazine has a terriffic story about a team of students from a high school in an economically depressed part of Phoenix, who took part in an underwater-robot building competition against students from the top universities in the country -- and won. All of the students are undocumented Mexican immigrants who don't qualify for most financial aid or even in-state tuition, and therefore can't afford to attend college, in the US, Mexico, or anywhere. When I read the article I determined to try to do something to help give these kids their chance, and I was delighted to discover that their faculty advisor has set up a scholarship fund for them, and I'm about to donate some money to help. I'd like to encourage OSNews readers to read the story, and if they feel the same way, to donate.

Canada's Potential For a Boom Economy and Everything You Wanted To Know About Currency Markets But Were Afraid To Ask

RefcoFX and their currency trading program turned out to be a serious addiction issue for me last term. It was fun pretending to get rich, until I got so good at it that the fake-trades I was executing during the demo period that I began to wonder if maybe I was on the wrong career path.

Refco provides great insight to world events from a cold, money-oriented vantage point of currency and commodities. You can pick up on tid bits of info that most people are probably unaware of, such as how Canada has "invade me" written all over it...

"As of January 2004, Canada's total proven crude oil reserves stood at 178.9 billion barrels trailing only Saudi Arabia, which holds the most proven crude oil reserves in the world. However, the vast majority of Canadian oil inventory is trapped in the sands of the Alberta province. Some analysts estimate that the region could contain as much as 300 Billion barrels – enough crude to supply US needs for over 40 years."

A fun Q&A Follows...

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Free "upgrade" to RealBasic for Visual Basic 6 Owners

RealSoftware is offering free upgrades to RealBasic 5.5 for current licensed owners of Visual Basic 6. Microsoft terminated support of Visual Basic 6.0 a couple of days ago, and not everyone wants to move to .NET or C#. I happen to like .NET (and mono for that matter), but the price is certainly hard to beat for RealSoftware's "uprade" or side-grade offer.

If you want to take RealSoftware up on their freebee, you'll need to give them your email address and they'll send you a license key to unlock the software package. You also need to promise that you own a license for Visual Basic 6.0, although the installer doesn't actually check or ask for the licence code itself.

Very clever and likewise effective marketing. The offer expires April 15th, 2005.

U.S. to Require Passport To Re-Enter Country

Repost from Slashdot:

"The CBC is reporting that starting in 2007, most Canadians will require a passport to cross into the United States and by 2008 Americans who crossed freely into Canada will be unable to return to the United States without a passport. The tougher new rules still allow Canadians to cross without being fingerprinted, but every person from any other country will be required to submit to fingerprinting." From the article: "Currently, Canadians and Americans are able to enter the United States with little more identification than a driver's licence or a birth certificate, though a passport has sometimes made it simpler to satisfy immigration officers at the border."

Monday, April 04, 2005

John Bolton: In His Own Words (QuickTime Video)

John Bolten, appointed to replace former Sen. Danforth to the US seat on the United Nations doesn't mince words. His choice of hair style is a bit disconcerting, but I'll give him an "A" for passionate.

The above link probably won't last very long, plus it requires QuickTime.

Why is John Danforth an Anti-Religious Bigot?

Why does John Danforth hate all religious people? I guess John Danforth just isn't a 'true' conservative or a 'good' Republican. Like it or not, we have become the party of big government, exploding deficits, unsustainable fiscal policies, government intervention, religious dogma, torture, and a whole lot of other nasty shit that should embarass us into a serious change in course.

San Francisco Attempts to Regulate Blogging

Repost from Slashdot:

"Forget about theocratic Iran or Communist China; today's report of a political entity trying to regulate blogging comes not from The People's Republic of China, but rather The People's Republic of San Francisco. 'The San Francisco Board of Supervisors [announced] yesterday that it will soon vote on a city ordinance that would require local bloggers to register with the city Ethics Commission and report all blog-related costs that exceed $1,000 in the aggregate." Worse, this is not an April Fools joke. It seems that 'campaign finance reform' is turning out to be the biggest Trojan Horse in the campaign to regulate free speech. "Are you now or have you ever been a blogger?"" Chris Nolan -- the "not a joke" link above -- is more reserved about the true scope of the proposed law (which would deal with election-related journaling specifically, not most diary-style Web journals), but has little good to say about it.

President Bush giving the thumbs up. What's not to like? Posted by Hello

Sunday, April 03, 2005

The Scene

I never thought that a TV show created with a webcam and a script could actually be... good. The plot is decent, the acting so-so, but the overall creative effort held my attention. "The Scene" is about people who traffic in pirated video, movies, etc.

The first movie / episode is HERE.

The rest can be found HERE.

Having BitTorrent will help - at least until our Republican Overlords outlaw it.

NOTE: If you go to the links here for downloading all the episodes, choose "Web Link" if you don't have mymonkey,e-donkey, torrent, etc. Weblink will probably be the most practical for noobs.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

My Broken Blog

Blogger rarely works now for me. Too many anti-Bush posts I guess.

The Last Refuge of Disillusioned Law Students

Looks like this might be my next stop in... The Twilight Zone.

Texas Considers Putting RFID Tags in All Cars

Repost from Slashdot:

"In section 601.507 of Texas HB 2893, the Texas Legislature is considering replacing all vehicle inspection stickers with RFID tags. The legislation also makes provision for the government to use the devices for insurance enforcement. The bill contains limited privacy provisions, but does not seem to exclude other law enforcement usage."

Sith Apprentice

Got this from Neurosis. Thanks Neurosis!

DeLay wants panel to review role of courts

Threat to judges?
DeLay issued a statement asserting that "the time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior." He later said in front of television cameras that he wants to "look at an arrogant, out-of-control, unaccountable judiciary that thumbed their nose at Congress and the president."

Arrogant and out-of-control... I take it he also means the Supreme Court? Kinda funny. I thought the same thing back in 2000 with Bush v. Gore.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Improved Popup Blocker Available for Testing

If you are using Internet Exploder to browse the web, the above link won't be of much use, but if you are using a useful, secure browser like FireFox or Mozilla - be sure to check out the above link.

UPDATE: Here's an incentive if you haven't switched away from Internet Explorer.


A pair of newly discovered security flaws in Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Outlook programs could put millions of users at risk of code execution attacks, a private research outfit warned Thursday.

Pentagon Flash Presentation

An oldie but a goodie. Banned on some sites. Well crafted and certaintly thought provoking with respect to the events of 9/11.

Note: You can right-click and do a save-as to save the Flash animation for future reflection.

Living will is the best revenge

Got this from Grannylaw. Thanks Grannylaw!

Like many of you, I have been compelled by recent events to prepare a more detailed advance directive dealing with end-of-life issues. Here's what mine says:

* In the event I lapse into a persistent vegetative state, I want medical authorities to resort to extraordinary means to prolong my hellish semiexistence. Fifteen years wouldn't be long enough for me.

* I want my wife and my parents to compound their misery by engaging in a bitter and protracted feud that depletes their emotions and their bank accounts.

* I want my wife to ruin the rest of her life by maintaining an interminable vigil at my bedside. I'd be really jealous if she waited less than a decade to start dating again or otherwise rebuilding a semblance of a normal life.

"Not For Sale," Part I: Present at the creation

The Rev. Sun Myung Moon's recent speech on ending democracy in America is a good segue for examining David G. Racer's explosive 1989 tract Not For Sale: The Rev. Sun Myung Moon And One American's Freedom, popular in conservative circles at the time and endorsed by ex-Washington Times editor James Whelan.

Excerpt: Nothing would destroy the conservative movement faster than to be linked inextricably to the Rev. Moon. I believe that Moon has plans for these conservatives, plans that would not please them...

Racer was a self-described New Right activist, uneasy in liberal Minnesota. An evangelical Christian, failed candidate, anti-Communist and staunch opponent of gay rights, he was thrilled when a wealthy new group, the American Freedom Coalition, promised to galvanize conservatives and roll back "godless" policies.

Writes Racer: "Who knows, I thought, we might even be able to name someone like Robert Bork to the United States Supreme Court some day!"

A Big Picture View On Our Dark Age

The above link provides a big picture perspective on Dark Ages past and present.

I am doing my best to try and enjoy living on the cusp of the current Dark Age. It really is a wonderful time to ... try and stay alive... because incredible things happen in Dark Ages. Aside from the grim horror, expansion of ignorance and destruction of culture and intellectual thought, starvation, disease - it can also be a time of amazing creativity that eventually gives birth to a new cycle of Enlightenment. Odds are I won't get to see the latter, but the former stands to be great horrific fun!

Law School Exams - The Fun Begins In Just Over One Week

Last term I posted various antics about my exams, how I thought I did, what it was like and so forth. This term - this posting and picture is probably going to be about it. My feelings today about upcoming exams can be summed up in one word - "indifferent." It's like changing the oil in the car - it's necessary - but it's also kind of a drag.

Posted by Hello