Friday, April 22, 2011

I've Figured It Out

Between installing spyware ,taking the service that makes their hardware work on repeated cruises, and generally having a deaf ear when it comes to product development I have to wonder what the heck Sony is smoking, but I got it:

They don't think that they have any customers.

A bunch of people at Sony show up for work every day, and sometimes enough checks come in to cover the wages of the people showing up, but as far as their management is concerned, any possible correlation must be a coincidence.

Rockets

I truly am sad to see the space shuttle go. It started out with so much promise, watching those fancy shuttles launch in grade school! It turned into a bit of a travesty though with around 130 launches and two complete failures; it never went beyond an experimental space craft.

Going back to the Saturn rocket would be pretty cool. I'd heard a rumor though that Congress, in order to press upon the space agency to use the Shuttle exclusively, mandated that the tooling used to create the Saturn series of rockets be destroyed. The truth looks to be more boring since it looks like NASA didn't readily need the tooling for anything, it misplaced, scrapped, or otherwise lost the capacity to build the giant rockets.

In anticipation of the demise of the shuttle though, smarter minds developed the Delta IV rocket. The Delta IV Heavy is a beast of a machine that (at least on Wikipedia paper) is more than a match for the orbiting capacity of the Shuttle. Although the Delta IV scales down nicely for more affordable launches, the 'Heavy' is the current limit and a poor match for the Saturn-like rockets and would be unable to get a man even half of the way to the moon.

So the next time someone needs a justification for their pie-in-the-sky idea and they say "if we can put a man on the moon", politely point out that in fact, we cannot.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Gas and Such

With all the moves to restrict the oil supply domestically, and while fanatically printing dollars it's no surprise that the price of gas is getting ridiculous. This veritable tax on the economy is going to cause a further contraction and there's nothing to be done. The Federal government can try to paper over the contraction (some more) by issuing more debt, that's covered by money printing at the Federal Reserve, which causes gas and other prices to go up more, which causes a further contraction, and so on. Truly the 'coffin corner' that has been predicted as the other option is to dramatically decrease debt issuance and related government goodies which will cause gas prices to fall due to a lack of money printing and the inevitable economic contraction that would follow. This is going to break one way or the other, and every indication is that our elites are pretty clueless about this fact.

At least we can relish the fact that some governments, through their own idiocy, have made it even harder on themselves. It’s interesting in that the Arab governments are in a ‘coffin corner’ as well. They’re wholly dependent on food imports, and when the price of oil goes up, those additional profits go right back out the door in order to cover imports, especially food (and with lethargy in any system, the profits don’t quite cover the hikes). As well, every time the Saudi’s “cut back”, the rumor mill starts up again that their production is falling, that they’ve mined out the easy oil. That kleptocracy holds their cards close to the vest, but there’s certainly ancillary evidence to suggest that’s the case. What happens when all the oil money in the world isn't enough to keep their people fed? Probably something worse that what is already going on.

It may be an interesting year. Go long in gardening supplies...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cleveland Police Report For Duty

From here:
None of the four Cleveland police officers charged with assaulting a man during a New Year's Day arrest submitted paperwork required when non-deadly force is used, records obtained by The Plain Dealer show ... Henderson, who has a history of mental illness, was arrested after a chase and later accused officers of handcuffing him and holding him down while kicking him and kneeing him in the head. He suffered a broken eye socket, a broken nose and a detached retina.
One can see in the comments that there are several commentators that, at the very least, don't give a flying fig about the police putting the smack down on this criminal. The Sandmich has always taken a dim view of those that support street justice by cop or worse, prison justice by prisoners. If society wants those sorts of punishments doled out to criminals, something I'm perfectly willing to consider, then it should be done through the normal chain of justice. Is the normal chain of justice too weak? It certainly is, so the first step would be to elect politicians who would correct it, not continually elect softies whose walled communities will always be protected from the chaos that they create and then rely on idiots to fill in the gaps. Backing up that point is another CPD story of railroaded justice:
Eight officers arrived just after 12:30 a.m. and told Geiger he matched the description of the driver who struck [off duty] Sgt. Arthur Gorsek outside the garage and fled the scene. They said that at about 10:20 p.m., Gorsek directed a man in a black SUV to turn right onto Chester Avenue. The driver complied but then made an illegal U-turn. When Gorsek tried to stop him, the vehicle took off, knocking Gorsek to the street. ... [Geiger's] daughter said the officers asked for her earlier whereabouts, and she tried to offer up a receipt as proof of the meal and the time. But the officer waved off the evidence, she said. And the police report from that night does not take note of Christine Geiger's explanation or even her presence at the house. The officers seemed disinterested in investigating their claims, the family said. They only bullied Geiger and repeatedly told him how much trouble he faced for such a serious offense. ... After spending a sleepless night in jail, she was crushed to learn she would be held for up to 72 hours for investigation. The case was out of their control. The Geigers could only hope that Charles' brother, Gordon, was working hard to have them released and that police were busily investigating the couple's story. ... Later in the week, Patricia Geiger was told she could retrieve her SUV from a Cleveland police impound lot downtown. But when she found the car in the crowded lot, she discovered the driver side window had been left open, and the front seat was blanketed in a snow drift a foot deep. Police also had left the key in the ignition, and the battery was drained. ... [Their lawyer] Doyle supplied police with the Melt receipt that officers previously had rejected, the video of Charles Geiger in the restaurant and affidavits signed by the restaurant's staff, Geiger employees, customers and the women who were with Patricia Geiger at the theater that night. Police quietly dropped the case on March 18.
Nice job jackasses. No wonder the city is trying to replace y'all with traffic cameras.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Worker's Comp Mistakes

From here:
William J. Wahoff, a lawyer who represents employees in issues involving [Ohio] workers’ compensation and safety, will speak about ways businesses can avoid mistakes that could adversely affect their businesses.
The first mistake that can be easily corrected is to relocate out of Ohio to get out from under an odious worker's comp regime that requires you to attend legal self defense classes. Of course, leaches like Mr. Wahoff, who treat the Ohio worker's compensation system as a cow to be milked, don't help the situation.