Thursday, March 30, 2006

He Takes Dumps Like a Truck Truck Truck

Yeah, I'm afraid so.

It's a thong for dogs. A thong that neutralizes dog fart odor.

And makes your poor, stinky pooch a laughing stock at the dog run.

On the other hand, at home, when no one's looking, if it lets you watch TV without gagging...

(via Gizmodo)

The Sony Skype Mouse

I love a why-didn't-I-think-of-that idea. This is one of those.

The Sony Skype Mouse is a mouse that opens into a phone when you want to make or take a VOIP call. Brilliant.

You can get it at the always-cool Japanese import site

"What Have You Done?"

That's what Ryan asked before he read the results on Idol last night, and that's what I said after seeing the bottom two. Just one more reminder to never, ever assume your favorite is safe.

As for Shakira, first let me say she has no bigger admirador than me. But for such an incredible singer, she appeared to be wayyy over-relying on that annoying pitch-correcting software last night. And unless there's a way to do it on the fly -- I have no idea -- that means she was lip-synching. Which is a shame, particularly on Idol.

Wyclef was clearly synching. Which is baffling.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

How To Fold a Fitted Sheet

I love Target.

I love going to Target, I love the red carts, I love watching my credit card disappear into the credit-card thingie... It's like a shopping theme park.

I also love that they have this nifty site showing you how to fold a fitted sheet.

How Do They Sleep?

Whatever you think of Donald Trump, is there anything cheesier than making your living making knock-off novelties, like these I saw at a drugstore? I mean, come on.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Idol Threat

Such a night. Seems so simple. Sing a song from the last six years. They're all young. They must have favorite songs, right? Oh, well...

It was awful. Terrible. Dreadful. So sharp throughout I held a shark steak up to the TV for slicing. And when will people learn that what sounds great in that room sounds AWFUL on TV?

Simon right again. WTF with that song? I thought the same thing: Of all the songs of the last six years, that's the one she picks? It sounded like something rejected by the Country Bear Jamboree.

Ace & Taylor
Couldn't hear either one with my head in the oven. Both were so boring there were times during these performances I was afraid I'd never feel pleasure again. (Also, for you Seinfeld fans: Ace's hair looked like Jerry's and Kramer's when they got low-flow showerheads.)

This is the song that should be played during a Starsky & Hutch car chase. Hardly a 21st Century choice. But then again, last year "Vehicle Man" wasn't a disco song.

Creed? Creed, Chris? Oh, God, no.

Something's in the air when even Katharine's pitch is nutty at the beginning. She gets it back, though, and is effortlessly great... albeit on the blandest song imaginable. Extra points for looking hot in that harlequin suit.

Are you telling me we actually fought a war to keep people like this in the Union? Oy... Anyway, my head was back in the oven. Put chicken wire around him and this could have been open mic night at Bob's Country Bunker.

Simon's right: On stage, she was a little girl dressed up as Beyonce. (In her interview, she was a little girl dressed up as Ya Kid K.)

Kicked ass, despite the imaginary record he was scratching.

"To Assume I Wanted War is Flat Wrong, Helen...My Attitude About This Country Changed on 9/11"

ZAIN VERJEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: For analysis now on the top stories of CNN, joining us now from Washington is a man with some insights into the questions raised by Bob Woodward's book, "Plan of Attack," former U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen. Good to see you, Mr. Cohen.


VERJEE: You met with Vice President Dick Cheney before President Bush's inauguration in January [2001], and the discussion, much of it, centering on Iraq. What exactly was discussed with you then?

COHEN: Well, I received a call from the vice president's office, and he indicated he wanted a briefing to be given to the president. When the president came to -- president-elect, he has not been sworn in, but when he came to the Pentagon, along with his full team, Secretary Powell, Condoleezza Rice, vice president and Secretary Rumsfeld, all were at the Pentagon, and my office initially, and then into the so-called tank, where the chairman of the joint chiefs and the other joint chiefs were present.

It was indicated to me that Mr. Cheney wanted me to focus on the briefing, primarily about Iraq, and what our policy was toward Iraq, what our military analysis was, security analysis was, of Saddam Hussein at that time, and not to give a so-called around the world briefing, which is standard operating procedure for incoming presidents.

VERJEE: You had a war plan for Iraq too, though, when you were secretary of defense. What was your plan and why did Rumsfeld have to update it?

COHEN: Well, there are always plans in place. Initial plan was made back in the mid-'90s. It was updated at least once while I was at the Pentagon, and it had as many as 13 I think different options to use military force, depending upon what the circumstances were.

I should say that during the Clinton administration, there was no plan to attack Saddam Hussein in the absence of a provocation by him. In other words, containment was the policy, with the hope that he could be overthrown from within, that there could be regime change but coming from within, through revolution or an internal revolt, as opposed to an external war plan by the United States.

Had he moved against the neighbors, Kuwait or others, had he been successful in attacking U.S. warplanes, then there were plans to move immediately, very aggressively, against Saddam Hussein.

What President Bush obviously wanted was something more aggressive, namely in the absence of anything taking place on the part of Saddam towards his neighbors or against us, he wanted the plan updated so there could be a rather significant military operation conducted against him to remove him, and that's where the change was made.

-- CNN's Your World Today, 4/20/04


At their [Jan, 2003] meeting, Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair candidly expressed their doubts that chemical, biological or nuclear weapons would be found in Iraq in the coming weeks, the memo said. The president spoke as if an invasion was unavoidable. The two leaders discussed a timetable for the war, details of the military campaign and plans for the aftermath of the war.

Without much elaboration, the memo also says the president raised three possible ways of provoking a confrontation. Since they were first reported last month, neither the White House nor the British government has discussed them.

The U.S. was thinking of flying U2 reconnaissance aircraft with fighter cover over Iraq, painted in U.N. colours," the memo says, attributing the idea to Mr. Bush. "If Saddam fired on them, he would be in breach."

It also described the president as saying, "The U.S. might be able to bring out a defector who could give a public presentation about Saddam's W.M.D," referring to weapons of mass destruction.

A brief clause in the memo refers to a third possibility, mentioned by Mr. Bush, a proposal to assassinate Saddam Hussein. The memo does not indicate how Mr. Blair responded to the idea.

-- New York Times, "Bush Was Set On Path To War, British Memo Says"

Monday, March 27, 2006

The Samsung/Bang & Olufsen "Serene"

Classic Lines.

Zen Design.

Sleek Elegance.

And the ugliest fugging phone I've ever seen.

Oddly enough, I think this piece of Kremlin-looking tech would look twenty times better if it were right side up, but it's actually supposed to be held this way. I guess this makes it more "serene."

Oh, and it's got a spring-loaded, dampened hinge so it opens sloooooowwwwwly. How annoying do you think that gets after about a day and a half?

(via Gizmodo)

The Tail Charges the Dog

Lately the telephone companies have been squawking about the "unfairness" of companies like Google and eBay and Yahoo making money off their wires, and suggesting a multi-tiered approach might be in the future. They've said it might be fairer if companies paid a premium for higher speeds.

So far the FCC, in a rare burst of spinefulness, has resisted. But who knows what will happen in the future?

Techdirt has a great column suggesting the opposite question: If anyone's going to pay anyone, shouldn't the telcos pay Google and Yahoo and other content providers for making the Internet so valuable that people want to order high-speed Internet service in the first place?

Of course, the answer goes back to the Reagan era, when the last great organized crime shakedown racket took place. I'm talking about when the big cable systems demanded part ownership and/or other extravagant incentives in exchange for carrying channels on their systems. The channels bent over, and the pattern was set. The telcos are just trying to repeat history.

The problem is that somewhere along the line, the paradigm of the businesses formed in the wrong way (IMHO). Cable and telcos see themselves as supermarket chains, and distributors must compete for their precious shelf space, and bribe them to feature their products.

There's a reason they call it the "Information Superhighway" and not the "Information Supergrocer." They are in the business of providing access.

Telcos are airlines. You choose the fastest provider at the best price to take you reliably to the most fun destinations.

Without destinations, there would be no need for travel.

They need to understand that. If an airline said it was going to start flying slower to Orlando unless Disney paid up, I know which of his four fingers Mickey would give him.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

How To Make a Direct Connection Without Making a Direct Connection, Example #473

"First, just if I might correct a misperception. I don't think we ever said -- at least I know I didn't say that there was a direct connection between September the 11th and Saddam Hussein."

-- George W. Bush, 3/20/06

"We're in Iraq because the United States of America faces a different kind of enemy in a different kind of war and we have to have a different kind of Middle East if we're ever going to resolve the problems of an ideology of hatred that was so great that people flew airplanes into buildings. Iraq, Saddam Hussein's Iraq, was a threat."

-- Condoleezza Rice, Meet the Press, 3/26/06