Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Bill Gates Attack Money

A very interesting article is running on LXer about Bill Gates and his connections with Tom Delay, the House Ethics scandal, and the rather odd reporting / changes made to certain stories reported by The Washington Post (Melinda Gates sits on the Board of The Washington Post).

This is the kind of reporting the entertainment-news media quit doing decades ago.

I Hate Microsoft - Typical Microsoft Behavior... updated to filter mouse click events such that right-clicking functionality is only provided by IE. Firefox user's attempt to open links in another tab find themselves SOL as a right click attempt simply behaves as a left click thereby proceeding to the Msn site in the current window. This is completely uncalled for. Just because open source is stealing IE's market share they had to go below the belt and pull an immature stunt like this. As far as I am concerned there is no legit security reason for a move like this so I am curious to hear their response when confronted. Spread the word!

Firefox users can read about a work-around here.

Monday, June 27, 2005

The Empire's New Clothes

At the end of the day, there’s probably only one thing that can unite this country behind the Iraq war again, and that would be a return to fear: a new, massive attack on the United States.

Monday, June 20, 2005

What I Am Doing On Summer Break

What am I doing on my summer break from law school? Aside from working, THIS is something I used to do back when I was young and single (uhm... no, I haven't told the wife yet about my travel plans...) – and fortunately for me I found my jump logs during my brief move to Michigan. I’ll have to take a refresher course and back I go…

I can’t wait to relax with my knees in the breeze. After a year of law school, this stuff looks perfectly sane to me.

Prediction: Theodore Olsen will replace Rehnquist when he retires. Clarence Thomas will be made Chief Justice.


I love making predictions. So here goes...

Former Solicitor General Theodore Olsen is a bit of a long shot, but I'm placing my bet on him getting the nod to join The Supremes - as he is very loyal to the reactionary right-wing currently running the country. Clarance Thomas is, in my book, a given to become Chief Justice - although I think Scalia still has a shot at the title.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Abe Lincoln On Becoming A Lawyer

“If you are resolutely determined to make a lawyer of yourself, the thing is more than half done already. It is but a small matter whether you read with anybody or not. I did not read with anyone. Get the books and read and study them until you understand them and their principle features; and that is the main thing. It is of no consequence to be in a large town while you are reading. I read in Salem, which never had three hundred people living in it. The books and your capacity for understanding them are just the same in all places. Always bear in mind that your resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing.”

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Sharkfish Blog (law school at a distance - no debt. no pomp. no circumstance.)

I have found Sharkfish to be very informative when it comes to law school in general and especially to anyone exploring the non-ABA online law school path.

In addition, the following post appeared on Sharkfish that I believe provides insight to all future law students, Cooley or otherwise, about the need to NETWORK and play the game accordingly to succeed in the real world.

I posted to this board way back in 1999 when I was a 45 y.o. 1L and
this group first started up. Just finished chatting with a woman
who'll be starting lawschool this fall at age 38 and, after advising
her to join this group, it occured to me that I ought to log in
again. Since I'm now well into my third-year of practice, I thought
you all might find my hind-sight helpful.

First off, let me say that I loved law school but my first couple of
years of practice were TOUGH. I have now settled into a GREAT firm,
am getting to do really interesting legal work, and am (finally)
earning the kind of money I expected to make as an attorney. Yes, I
would do it all over again!

A few pointers:

1) Don't hang your hopes on landing a big-firm job.
As you are no doubt aware, for new attorneys (and for students
looking for summer work), the big money is at the big firms. But
your chances of landing a cushy summer clerkship or a $120K/year job
fresh out of school are practically nil if you're over a certain
age. For women, the cut-off age seems to be about 32-35; for men, 37-
40. Basically, the older you are, the fewer large firms will give
you serious consideration UNLESS you have some highly relevant pre-
law experience. (i.e., if you were CEO of a fortune 500 firm before
you went to law school or were a state legislator for 20 years, your
age probably won't be a hindrance.)

I've heard some rather naive folks argue that "law firms wouldn't
discriminate because it is against the law." Baloney. Of the 16
over-forty students in my class of 350 (at a top-twenty law school),
at least ten or eleven graduated in the upper 50%. Seven, I know,
graduated with honors. Two were on law review. Several others won
some of the most prestigious awards given by the school. But NONE
managed to land a big firm job.

Continued here



Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The Power of Attorney's

The Stupid Lawsuit Collection - fun to read.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Concord Law School - The 5th Minnesota Law School?

A very old essay on Concord circa 2000, but interesting none the less given Concord graduates pass the California state bar at a rate well above those of Cooley graduates - not to mention dozens of ABA and California Bar 20th century style schools.

With the University of St. Thomas opening its doors in the fall of 2001, Minnesota will have three private law schools and a state law school located within a few minutes of each other. Collectively, these four schools will eventually graduate more than 900 lawyers a year. With annual full-time tuition at the private schools hovering around $20,000, and student loan obligations for many graduates exceeding $90,000, is there room for a fifth law school designed to accommodate well-qualified persons who simply can’t afford this kind of debt? A school that is open to persons looking for a change in their jobs or seeking to enhance their present careers? One that recognizes that some persons must continue to work at their present jobs to keep bread on the family table and who can’t afford the traditional part-time tuition? A law school that could deliver a solid four-year legal education with annual tuition of about $5,000?

While some may argue that such a law school is not feasible, they probably have not taken a careful look at the Concord University Law School, which opened in October 1998. Concord’s tuition is only $4,800 a year and a juris doctor degree can be attained after four years of study. Its stated mission is to provide a legal education to qualified students who without it could not obtain a law degree.

RealBASIC 2005 Released

I am probably the only one who cares about this, but I'll post it anyway.

RealBasic 2005 has just been released.

Alleged Pentagon hacker out on bail

This says a great deal about what I have found to be the typical Microsoft-based system administrators in government and business...

"U.S. prosecutors said McKinnon hacked into military computers nationwide running Microsoft Windows software that were left vulnerable to a design flaw for which Microsoft had issued repairs three years earlier."

Monday, June 13, 2005

The People Own Ideas

From Slashdot: "Lawrence Lessig has a great article up on Technology Review about the World Social Forum held this past January in Brazil. In addition to telling an engaging story, it covers topics ranging from GNU and DRM to Brazil's interesting stance on the rights of foreign copyright holders, and is a good introduction to the permission culture/remix culture debate. It also makes me want to live in Brazil."

Friday, June 10, 2005

Public Broadcasting Targeted By House Republicans

Panel Seeks to End CPB's Funding Within 2 Years

By Paul Farhi
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 10, 2005; Page A01

A House subcommittee voted yesterday to sharply reduce the federal government's financial support for public broadcasting, including eliminating taxpayer funds that help underwrite such popular children's educational programs as "Sesame Street," "Reading Rainbow," "Arthur" and "Postcards From Buster."

In addition, the subcommittee acted to eliminate within two years all federal money for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting -- which passes federal funds to public broadcasters -- starting with a 25 percent reduction in CPB's budget for next year, from $400 million to $300 million.

..."Americans overwhelmingly see public broadcasting as an unbiased information source," Rep. David Obey (Wis.), the ranking Democrat on the subcommittee, said in a statement. "Perhaps that's what the GOP finds so offensive about it. Republican leaders are trying to bring every facet of the federal government under their control. . . . Now they are trying to put their ideological stamp on public broadcasting."

Interview with Google's Chris DiBona on Summer of Code

As soon as Google's Summer of Code project was announced, Groklaw member Marko Djukic suggested to me that we do an interview with Chris DiBona, who is now Open Source Programs Manager, at Google Inc., about the project, and Chris was gracious enough to say yes. Djukic is Core Developer for the Horde Project, a Summer of Code mentor

I threw in a couple of questions myself, because I really wanted to know the answers. Google intrigues me. I think it's the SCO effect. After two full years of immersing myself daily in SCOthink (Groklaw turned 3 on May 16), I can't help but be attracted to a company that affirmatively decides it doesn't want to be evil, and believes that it isn't necessary to be evil to be successful.

And they actually are successful. That is the beauty part.

Here's my favorite sentence in the interview with DiBona:

"Google uses a lot of open source. For instance, we run our web/server clusters on Linux, so whenever you visit Google, you're visiting a Linux machine."

Do you realize what that means? Yoo hoo. World. You are using Linux, most of you every single day, even if you didn't know it. How do you like it? Do you find it works out well for you? Do you think maybe Google knows something your business needs to know too?

Here are some companies that have taken the plunge to Linux who are happy they did, including E*Trade Financial and Citigroup. Here's an article on how to build a Linux virtual server. You know. Clusters. I believe Google knows the value of clusters. Here's the opening paragraph:

With the explosive growth of the Internet, the workload on servers providing Web, email, and media services has increased greatly. More and more sites are being challenged to keep up with the growing demands and are employing several techniques to avoid overloading their servers. Building a scalable server on a cluster of computers is one of the solutions that is being effectively put to use. With such a cluster, the increasing requests can be easily managed by simply adding one or more new servers to the existing cluster as required. In this article we will look at setting up one such scalable, network load-balancing server cluster using a virtual server via the Linux Virtual Server Project.

I couldn't resist. I have just spent several hours reading a smorgasbord of articles and apparently coordinated comments all over the Internet about Linux being killed off by Apple, blah blah, and other reasons why it is now doomed one way or another, and coincidentally, I'm sure, how great Microsoft is.

Let me be the first to tell you. There is no competition between Apple and GNU/Linux. I use both, and I enjoy both, but I could no more be satisfied with just my PowerBook than I could fly. I know that now for sure, because when I am travelling with just the PowerBook, I miss GNU/Linux so much. I'll tell you exactly what I miss. I miss the freedom and transparency, the feeling that you are flying your own plane, with no hidden stowaways calling home behind your back. I can never have that feeling in any other operating system, and that is the simple truth. Why? Because proprietary operating systems are deliberately opaque, like they have put up a big "Keep Out" sign to keep you from the inner workings.


Thursday, June 09, 2005

Something Fishy Going On In The Linux Community

Those Against the Community Spending Time In the Community

...Linux did not get to where it is today because it was promoted extensively, strategically deployed, well marketed, etc. It got to where it is today because there is an unquenchable thirst in the world (I'm talking about all of humanity) for creativity and collaboration....

... [It] seems that perhaps Microsoft maybe using an approach that targets each segment. It's my opinion that perhaps to their core users they have provided some rather strong messaging regarding Linux. The symptoms to which we see wrongly manifested in aggressive behaviors such as threatening authors of pro-Linux articles with emails filled to the brim with every conceivable cuss word imaginable (some are really quite imaginative). I was approached by one individual who believed that Linux was putting thousands of people out of work including himself and he demanded I stop helping promote "that damn free thing," while another gentlemen simply regards Linux as "a socialist tool to undermine democracy."

The second audience is the mass market of people. These are the mainstream, the middle of the road. They are often those who've never heard of Linux except from the headline news or announcements like when they learn that ILM maker of Star Wars graphics uses Linux servers to generate those fancy movie effects.

These people are getting more and more intrigued and asking "just what is Linux?" to which I'm finding a fascinating amount of non-Linux people responding to the question.

I'm noticing a great load of new articles regarding "what is Linux" and then using the forum to expose its apparent "weaknesses, infancy, or lack of support." And at the same time, I'm seeing more articles on the virtues of Windows now than ever before in my life, and I've been computing for a good long while.

Undoubtedly, this is because the Linux community, where most people who want to learn something about Linux come to, is now being inundated by information that is not from the community itself.

Intel Set To Buy Apple Computer & Dethrone Microsoft?

Robert Cringely knows his stuff and he makes a very solid case as to why this might be more fact than fiction...

The crowd this week in San Francisco at Apple's World Wide Developers Conference seemed mildly excited by the prospect of its favorite computer company turning to Intel processors. The CEO of Adobe asked why it had taken Apple so long to make the switch? Analysts on Wall Street were generally positive, with a couple exceptions. WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON HERE!? Are these people drunk on Flav-r-Ade? Yes. It is the legendary Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field at work. And this time, what's behind the announcement is so baffling and staggering that it isn't surprising that nobody has yet figured it out until now.

Apple and Intel are merging.

Nerds Make Better Lovers

My wife would probably disagree, since she *hates* computers and all things tech-related...

"The New York Daily News, fine bastion of reporting that it is, released an article today discussing the rise of nerd popularity among women in general, and famous women in particular. Detail is given into the dating exploits of Christina Aguilera and Elin Nordegren (nerdy Tiger Woods' supermodel squeeze), among a bunch of regular Janes. Apparently being a nerd is now in?"

Looking For Liberty? Try Sealand

Sealand was founded as a sovereign Principality in 1967 in international waters, six miles off the eastern shores of Britain. The island fortress is conveniently situated from 65 to 100 miles from the coasts of France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. The official language of Sealand is English and the Sealand Dollar has a fixed exchange rate of one U.S. dollar. Passports and stamps have been in circulation since 1969, however, contrary to many misleading websites and news articles, Sealand passports are not for sale, and anyone offering such are selling forgeries. Within a radius of 500 miles of Sealand live more than 200 million people who enjoy some of the highest standards of living in the world. This area also encompasses the financial, industrial and cultural heart of Europe.

The history of Sealand is a story of a struggle for liberty. Sealand was founded on the principle that any group of people dissatisfied with the oppressive laws and restrictions of existing nation states may declare independence in any place not claimed to be under the jurisdiction of another sovereign entity. The location chosen was Roughs Tower, an island fortress created in World War II by Britain and subsequently abandoned to the jurisdiction of the High Seas. The independence of Sealand was upheld in a 1968 British court decision where the judge held that Roughs Tower stood in international waters and did not fall under the legal jurisdiction of the United Kingdom. This gave birth to Sealand's national motto of E Mare Libertas, or "From the Sea, Freedom".

Patriot Act Expanded and Other Freedom Killing News...

A couple of Slashdot posts I am reposting...

"It seems that the patriot act is being expanded rather than scaled back after a vote late Tuesday by the Senate Intelligence committee. The FBI has gained new powers to demand documents from companies without a judge's approval, as well as the ability to designate subpoenas as secret and punish disclosure of their existence with up to one year in prison.


"A leading Canadian television network is reporting that the Canadian government will introduce copyright legislation next week that will bring DMCA-like provisions north of the border. Amazingly, the Canadian recording industry, which previously praised the reforms, now says they aren't good enough. Canadian law prof Michael Geist cuts through the spin in the pair of blog postings titled Fact and Fiction and CRIA's New Take on Copyright Reform."

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Chinese gamer sentenced to life

A Shanghai online gamer has been given a suspended death sentence for killing a fellow gamer.

Qui Chengwei stabbed Zhu Caoyuan in the chest when he found out he had sold his virtual sword for 7,200 Yuan (£473).

The sword, which Mr Qui had lent to Mr Zhu, was won in the popular online game Legend of Mir 3.

Attempts to take the dispute to the police failed because there is currently no law in China to protect virtual property

Pot as Medicine: An Odd Decision

Can the cultivation and use of marijuana for noncommercial purposes solely within one state be construed as "interstate commerce?" Six members of the U.S. Supreme Court say yes. The other three say -- in effect -- that's nuts.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

US leads in mental illness

WASHINGTON, June 7 (Xinhuanet) -- The United States leads in mental illness globally with 46 percent of Americans suffering mental disorders ranging from anxiety, depression to substance abuse in their lifetime, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

Recruiting headaches at Microsoft

A recent blog item from a Microsoft recruiter makes clear not all is peachy in the way the Redmond giant looks for and hires new talent.

The post is a self-described tirade about the trials of working with Microsoft managers who ultimately make employment offers. A chief problem is the way these managers are self-absorbed, suggests Gretchen Ledgard, a senior technical recruiter at Microsoft. "(T)hey can't seem to get it through their heads that 1) Microsoft isn't the only place hiring, 2) Working at a big company isn't everyone's dream, and 3) Redmond is not the first place people say they want to move when they wake up in the morning."

Fallout of marijuana verdict

ASHLAND, ORE. – The US Supreme Court's decision this week asserting federal control over marijuana used for medical purposes would seem to bring that controversial practice to a halt. Uncle Sam - not the states - has the last word here, the court ruled.

But the 6-to-3 ruling may have raised more questions than it answered - and not just in the 10 states where medical marijuana has been legally used to treat the pain and nausea of certain illnesses.

So much for "States Rights" as it's all just one big imperial ballgame now.

Body parts fall from plane approaching JFK

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Pieces of a man's body fell from the wheel well of a South African Airways passenger plane bound for John F. Kennedy International Airport on Tuesday and landed in the yard of a suburban home, police said.

The Free Software Foundation

The Free Software Foundation (FSF), established in 1985, is dedicated to promoting computer users' rights to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free software, particularly the GNU operating system, used widely in its GNU/Linux variant. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues surrounding freedom in the use of software.

Playboy spreads open source software

Instead of visiting some dry, boring Web site to download your favorite open source software, why not put some spice in your life and get it from Playboy?

That spice is in name only, because you won't find any interesting pictures or stories at -- just a few unadorned directories linking to mirrors of the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN) and the latest releases of FreeBSD, Apache, Fedora, and mod_ssl. is even an official mirror site for Firefox and Thunderbird, says Playboy Unix administrator Tim Yocum. He wanted to give something back to the community from which his company has drawn so deeply.

US Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Lexmark Case

" The US Supreme Court has rejected Lexmark's petition for certiorari in its long and bitter battle against North Carolina-based Static Control Components (SCC). For those out of the loop on this one, Lexmark tried to lock in consumers and lock out competition by adding code to their printers and toner cartridges so that only Lexmark toners would work. SSC defeated their monopolist technology and began selling the off-brand chips to aftermarket toner cartridge makers. As discussed here earlier, in mid-February Lexmark was dealt a defeat by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, who denied Lexmark's request for a rehearing. Other related threads here, here, here, here, and here." The story is on the AP Newswire as well.

Monday, June 06, 2005

About Those Google Ads

As you have probably noticed, I am experimenting with Adwords/Adsense by Google.

It's been fun to watch Google try and fit the right ads to my blog. Initially, my feeds had everything from Gummy Bears to Scientology (perhaps the Google crawler picked up my posts about Rev. Moon and Republicans/Bush being one and the same), but it looks like (as of today anyway) the feeds are law and technology based.

It's kinda cool to get crawled by Google and watch their algorithms try and guess the best ads to feed. I got the idea from my cousin who makes upwards of $150 a quarter feeding Adwords, and while he's not getting rich Adsense does help him pay his hosting bills.

A Return To The Dark Side

I guess I'm going to be a bit full-of-myself on this post, but then again my supersized ego comes as little surprise to those who actually know me.

I have been sticking my toe back into the business world, a world as it turns out I am far more comfortable in than law, and lo and behold I am weighing the merits of working with my father on a substantial “deal” that involves millions of dollars in what is essentially a private placement / investment deal with a dozen people. I am wary to become involved, yet at the same time drawn to it like a moth to a flame. Although I might be the closest thing the family has to a lawyer, I know my limits and there are certain places even angels fear to tread. This just might be one of them, but alas I’m reading up on “Secured Transactions” and related goodies anyway. It’s also nice to get some additional experience on the topic as I’m bound to confront the subject at Law School X later this year.

If there was ever a time I wished I had Secured Transactions at Cooley under my belt – this is it. Unfortunately, Secured Transactions wasn’t going to hit me until my 4th term and likewise I would have been a dirt poor Cooley student shelling out insane amounts of money for a Cooley education – and hence not involved in the business world except in an abstract, law school way. That is perhaps what I hated most about law school – the lack of real-world application to the concepts taught in class. I am not fond of being taught by professors who spent the last 25 years teaching instead of doing, although I understand (barely) the rational of the ABA’s disdain for practicing lawyers teaching law (an ABA requirement is that the bulk of faculty have to be full-time, non-practicing lawyers). I’d rather have people working the craft in the current marketplace passing along what they know over a professor who has spent most of his or her life teaching out of a book.

One of the most important things I took away from Cooley was the importance of money. When a business I started in 1990 lost millions and took a lot of people down with it – I lost my appetite for business and commerce. I wandered in a desert of low-income (sub $40,000 is low-income to me) jobs combined with a growing household of children and needs that began to outstrip my earning capacity. One thing led to another and I ended up at Cooley in my attempt to answer one of my passions plus get some bearing on what I wanted to actually do with my life. Thanks to law school and Cooley, my lust for business and capital returned in a way I hadn’t experienced in nearly 15 years. I’m not sure what those people did to my head, but I am thankful for their enlightenment in returning me to The Dark Side – where the metal meets the rail and ascetic living is for people who have already had their fill of money and success.

Left-Wing Blood Pressure Booster

Suffering from low blood pressure? Do you have a burning desire to get pissed-off before starting your day? Check out the eclectic assortment of Truthout Videos to begin your day in a dark and brooding mood.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Dress Steve Jobs

Vermont Country Store

The Vermont Country Store’s future is in your past. The mostly mail-order business specializes in selling things that have all but disappeared from store shelves but not from people’s memories: Dick and Jane books. Tangee lipstick. Ship’n Shore clothing. Charles Chips. Beeman’s chewing gum. Pants stretchers. Horlick’s malted milk tablets. Men’s opera slippers.

All the latest stuff — from the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

"Your Papers Please..."

Hiring Problems At The Judicial Branch

Judicial Branch at a Hiring Disadvantage
The judicial branch is rapidly losing its ability to attract and retain top-level staff because it cannot pay as much as the executive and legislative branches, according to a memo prepared for senior U.S. court officials.


With the exception of perhaps four or five people, everyone else I know LOVES George Bush. My wife did a survey at her work wherein one of the questions was to write down someone they admired - a huge number penned George Bush.

In law one is taught to stick close to the facts. The facts of this administration are astonishing even when the emotional or idealogical aspects are removed: record budget deficits, record spending, massive trade deficits and a falling Dollar, and mind you those deficits are now so huge that a decade from now it will become difficult if not impossible to simply make the minimum-payment on the national credit card let alone pay any of it off.

Here's Bush verbatim on the Amnesty International Report (how anyone takes this guy as a leader or even as a person with an IQ of 2 points above plant-level is beyond me)...

"In terms of, umm -- you know, the -- the detainees, we've had thousands of people detained. We've investigated every single complaint against the detainees. It seemed like to me they based some of their decisions on, on the word of, uhh -- and the allegations -- by people who were held in detention, people who hate America, people that had been trained in some instances to disassemble -- that means not tell the truth. And so it was an absurd report. It just is. And, uhh, you know -- yes, sir."

Object Desktop Coolness

I have Object Desktop and it's pretty cool, although it can run bit heavy on the resource usage scale.

Object Desktop 2005 is the yearly mile-stone snapshot of Stardock's premiere desktop enhancement suite. Installing Object Desktop is a lot like upgrading Microsoft Windows to the next level. It adds features and functionality to the base OS that allow you to do amazing things on your computer.

Over the past year, Stardock has worked hard to improve its award-winning product suite to make it easier, more powerful, and more useful to all users.

MainActor 5.5.7 Review for Linux

The above topic links to an indepth review of MainActor for Linux. I still do most of my video work on Windows (and hopefully a Macintosh down the road here... soon... very soon), but it's nice to see applications like MainActor take the Linux marketplace seriously.

Slashdot: Video Game Patents

"Gamasutra is running an article titled It's Just a Game, Right? Top Mythconceptions on Patent Protection of Video Games where two IP lawyers try to convince the videogame industry of patenting everything in sight: ideas, technical contributions, etc. They show as an example a Microsoft patent on Scoring based upon goals achieved and subjective elements. They also have created a weblog, The Patent Arcade, to promote their business. Will this be the real end of innovation in videogames?"