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    Here begins your journey into the mind of everybody's favorite asian, and I don't mean Jet Li.
What follows is the somewhat inane, mostly irrelevant, and self-important ramblings of a man on the brink of madness.
Welcome... to the Chu.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015
 "Huddled masses yearning to breathe free" is rubbish    [L]

for I can write a poem too:

There once was a democratic republic,
whose citizens were warned of to keep it;
but then the cuckolds controll'd,
and non-muslim heads started to roll,
for immigration ran unimpeded.


Friday, August 28, 2015
 Trumptics vs Trumptegy    [L]

The Trump phenomenon is astonishing and has shocked many political nerds to their core. Although he certainly appears to be a false prophet, only recently donning the trappings and raiment of republicanism (much less conservatism), there are many positive aspects to Trump's current status as the 2016 GOP frontrunner.

Love him or hate him, doesn't matter. The only one capable of stopping him right now is himself - barring that, then you'd best understand him and the situation.

What follows is not exactly an endorsement for Trump, but an analysis of how Trump shakes up the GOP primary and how smart conservatives can take advantage of it.

Now, it's true that he's the frontrunner. No doubt about it right now. He's the breath of fresh air that the networks love, and that also means he's sucking up all the oxygen too, diminishing the airtime that otherwise would have gone to more deserving and conservative candidates.

But that also serves another purpose: Trump is naturally also the biggest target. He's absorbing the brunt of the liberal and media attack. His no-nonsense, take-no-prisoners approach has allowed him to shrug off these attacks, and he's slick enough to be ambiguous as to his actual principles and policy ideas. That's all to his benefit of course, as that makes him a blank canvas onto which a viewer can project their ideology onto. Sound familiar, 2008?

Indulge me in throwing out a metaphor or 4.

If you're a gamer, particularly a MMORPG'er, you understand the concept of a tank - a character that can soak up a lot of damage, focus all the enemy attention and effort, while the rest of the team is relatively unmolested and completing the objective. That's Trump.

Trump is the juggernaut. He is the immovable force that bulldozes forward to wherever he wants to go. His skin, his attitude, (and his hair) are impenetrable and imperturbable.

Trump is the alpha male. In all things, he maintains his frame, and resists attempts to ensnare him or to force a gaffe. He'll talk about whatever he wants to talk about and deflects so masterfully you won't even realize what happened until you rewind the tape.

Trump is the lightning rod which focuses all the incoming energy and channels it harmlessly into the ground.

Trump is the siege tower, inexorably advancing on the enemy walls, as the slings and arrows bounce harmlessly off his defenses, while protecting the soldiers behind it.

The benefit of this aspect of Trump's campaign is that it provides all the other candidates with cover, with breathing room. Trump takes the heat, while the others are free to respond after the fact. And while all the opposition is attacking Trump, they also reveal their attack vectors and strategies - allowing the other candidates to triangulate and counter-punch. Trump can hold his own extemporaneously, and defuse the "gotcha" questions with ease. Meanwhile, the other candidates are taking notes and won't be surprised when the same line of attack is used on them.

So a smart GOP candidate should be essentially trailing along in Trump's wake - riding his draft - following up and responding to any of Trump's missteps. But not in the sense of attacking Trump himself - for while he may not be a dyed-in-the-wool conservative, he is at the very least the enemy of our enemy - but in the sense of addressing any weakness in the conservative argument. Let Trump take the heat from the media and the liberal opposition (but I repeat myself), for he is capable of defending himself through vicious counter-attack - but on the same token that also applies to "friendly-fire". You certainly don't want to also become a target of his.

The punditry seems to believe Trump has little or no chance of getting the nomination, despite strongly leading the field this early in the game. If Trump doesn't get the nomination, then a smart GOP candidate should aim to absorb as much of Trump's support as possible, and that means keeping criticism of Trump to a friendly disagreement as opposed to the kind of vitriol displayed between Rand and Christie. And if Trump does get the nomination as the anti-politician candidate, I'd imagine it's to his benefit to pick a VP that IS a politician, in order to bring a little political credibility to the ticket - and that also means a candidate which didn't burn any bridges with him. Therefore regardless of whether or not Trump does get the nomination, it's best to take him, his ideas, and his supporters, seriously, and treat them with respect. For while Trump may not be the king, it is completely within his power to be the kingmaker.

It may be sound tactics for a candidate to go hard after Trump right now, for the GOP opposition will certainly coalesce around an Anti-Trump. That may provide a short-term gain. But the ideal long-term strategy would be to play nice, be respectful, take notes, don't make mistakes, and be poised to step up should he falter.

Kind of like Ted Cruz seems to be doing. Smart guy.

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Wednesday, January 16, 2013
 No civilian needs an assault rifle    [L]

"No civilian needs an assault rifle" is a statement often heard - and there are 2 points that must be made when addressing it:

1) "assault rifle" is a nebulous term - ask 10 joe schmoes and you'll get 10 different answers. However, the common perception is that "assault rifle" means an automatic rifle used by the military that fires bullets as long as you hold the trigger down. The reality is, whenever you hear a politician say the words "assault rifle", they really mean, "scary-looking" gun.
To clear up some misconceptions:

First, no civilian can freely or easily own fully-automatic rifles used by the military. The majority of guns sold today, and normally available to civilians, are semi-automatic - which is a misleading way of saying that you pull the trigger once, and one bullet comes out. There is a legal process to be able to own full-auto weapons, but it is so onerous you'd probably rather go through a messy divorce. That's a real shame too, because there are few things more enjoyable than firing an Uzi on full rock'n'roll.

Secondly, I wasn't kidding when I said politicans mean "scary-looking" when they say "assault rifle". The Assault Weapon Ban (AWB) from the Clinton era from 1994-2004 came up with a definition of assault weapon: a combination of 2 or more minor cosmetic features. You read that right, COSMETIC. Nothing about those features significantly altered the function of the weapon: a folding/telescoping stock, a pistol grip, a bayonet mount, a flash hider. You could get any of those features individually, but as soon as you had 2 or more, watch out! ASSAULT WEAPON! OOOOH.

So keep in mind that politicians are stupid, and they think their constituents are too.

2) "Nobody NEEDS an assault rifle", or what they really mean, "a hunting rifle is good enough", or "people shouldn't own military guns".

This is where the 2nd amendment proves them wrong. It wasn't written to protect hunting weapons. It had several purposes:

A) To give the states a well-regulated (prepared) militia (all citizens of military age not in the military). In order to be prepared, people had to own (keep) and be proficient in (bear) firearms.

Tenche Cox, Pennsylvania delegate to the Continental Congress, twice explained the purpose of the Second Amendment to his fellow citizens, first writing in The Pennsylvania Gazette, on Feb. 20, 1788.

"The militia of these free commonwealths, entitled and accustomed to their arms, when compared with any possible army, must be tremendous and irresistible. Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American - the unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people."

Coxe was explicit: the Founders held that the militia were the people, and that Congress had no power to disarm the people. Further he defined that the citizens of this Republic should have military arms, as checks and balances against over-reach by both state and local powers.

So the statement "nobody NEEDS an assault (military) rifle" is not only missing the point, but is actually the ANTITHESIS of what was meant by the 2nd amendment - in fact, it indicates that the writers WANTED the citizenry to be able to carry the same rifles used by the military.

Let us also be aware of the fact that the military uses many types of guns - many types of guns ALSO used by civilians! So you can't even ban civilian ownership of arms used by the military, because that would consist of most types of civilian firearms.

B) It was designed as a bulwark against tyranny, a final check and balance against an overreaching government.

Almost a year and a half later, Coxe wrote again to more explicitly highlight why Americans should have military arms in their possession as protection against government.

He did so in "Remarks On The First Part Of The Amendments To The Federal Constitution," in the Philadelphia Federal Gazette, June 18, 1789.

"As civil rulers, not having their duty to the people duly before them, may attempt to tyrannize, and as the military forces which must be occasionally raised to defend our country, might pervert their power to the injury of their fellow-citizens, the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear their private arms."

Even a cursory glance of 20th century history would show that federal confiscation and ban of privately owned firearms is a precursor to that government engaging the mass slaughter of its citizens.

C) and finally, but perhaps most importantly, it was meant to allow an individual to protect themselves, in order that no one may infringe upon their rights:

A decade later in 1799, Coxe wrote again in the Philadelphia Aurora as tensions arose between Federalists and Republicans:

"Do you wish to preserve your rights? Arm yourselves. Do you desire to secure your dwellings? Arm yourselves. Do you wish your wives and daughters protected? Arm yourselves. Do you wish to be defended against assassins or the Bully Rocks of faction? Arm yourselves. Do you desire to assemble in security to consult for your own good or the good of your country? Arm yourselves. To arms, to arms, and you may then sit down contented, each man under his own vine and his own fig-tree and have no one to make him afraid... If you are desirous to counteract a design pregnant with misery and ruin, then arm yourselves; for in a firm, imposing and dignified attitude, will consist your own security and that of your families. To arms, then to arms."

America's founders also foresaw the most common and erroneous arguments that would be levied against the 2nd:

Thomas Jefferson’s Commonplace Book, written between 1774-1776, quoted from criminologist Cesare Beccaria’s 1764 On Crimes and Punishment about an armed citizenry:

"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.

Which comes as no surprise to those who are connected with reality. There's a reason why cliches such as "when guns are outlawed..." exist - and that is because it is true! It's only a cliche because people have to repeat it so often, because there are so many that are dangerously and willfully ignorant of human nature.

Now, I talk a lot about guns here - because it's an area I know a good amount about, and I know how much our politicians do not know. Not only do our leaders know little about guns, they know the wrong things - their knowledge is less than nothing, is useless at best, and dangerous at worst.

But this brings me to a broader point: our government knows less than nothing about something and yet wants to rule over it - be it firearms, healthcare, the internet, business, etc. Not only do they want to rule over that which they do not comprehend; but they also are largely shielded from the consequences of their actions. They shouldn't be trusted with a neighborhood lemonade stand, let alone healthcare!

much thanks to Bob Owen's excellent article


Thursday, December 06, 2012
 Bob Cost-hole    [L]

A weekend of football is usually a light-hearted escape from reality - but every now and then reality intrudes and reminds us that these gods of the gridiron also coexist in this fallen world with us. On Saturday, Jovan Belcher brutally murdered his girlfriend, drove to Arrowhead stadium, thanked the coach and the GM, then blew his brains out rather than face justice.

At the post-game press conference (following KC's hard-fought but ultimately meaningless victory), Brady Quinn shared his insight:

Dr. Quinn

He may not be a great QB, but he does offer some surprisingly great advice.

Which brings us to...
Bob Cost-hole

During halftime of Monday night's NYG-WAS game, Bob Costas chose to get on his soapbox and use this tragedy to tsk-tsk America: specifically, the 2nd amendment gun-culture, for allowing this tragedy to happen. Quoting an article by the ever-vapid Jason Whitlock, Costas said:
“Our current gun culture,” Whitlock wrote, “ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy, and that more convenience store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead. Handguns do not enhance our safety. They exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments, and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it. In the coming days, Jovan Belcher’s actions and their possible connection to football will be analyzed. Who knows? But here, wrote Jason Whitlock, is what I believe: “If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.”

Oh really, Bob, you sanctimonious gasbag?

John Hayward has a great response:
Instead of listening to Bob Costas fulminate about Constitutional rights he doesn’t think we should have, shouldn’t he be talking about banning professional football, as a growing number of liberals are doing? Belcher’s gun was the instrument of his violence, not the cause. And if we ban football, shouldn’t we seize the vast fortune Bob Costas and others have made from it, and put that money toward deficit reduction?

It might be a little easier to swallow these little rants from pampered millionaire leftists if they had some “skin in the game.” But they don’t, in any sense of the word. Bob Costas enjoys professional security protection at home and work, including armed security. He doesn’t have the same self-defense needs that average people do, particularly those who live in high-crime areas. ”Handguns do not enhance our safety” is the kind of nonsense only someone who doesn’t need a handgun to enhance his safety would spew. Of course, plenty of the liberals who chant this mantra actually do own handguns, legally or otherwise; they just keep it quiet, to avoid charges of hypocrisy.

Now, aside from the timing and improper venue, I don't have a problem with him sharing an opinion; I have a problem with him sharing an opinion that is so quantifiably and verifiably WRONG. Rest assured had Costas espoused a pro-gun opinion that was equally vapid, I would have taken him to task for it as well.

America's 2nd amendment gun culture is not only more prevalent now than in times past, but it also coincides with historically low crime rates. More guns, less crime. There are more people owning more guns than ever - something on the order of 250m+ guns in ~70% of households. Yet, violent crime (outside of Chicago) has diminished.

We have DECADES worth of data showing that stricter gun control leads to more crime - one need only point to the UK, or Canada, or Australia; or even closer to home, gun-banning meccas such as NYC, DC, or Chicago; or even historically, with pre-WW2 Germany.

In this day and age, using these farcical arguments for gun control is the equivalent of claiming the earth is flat.

So not only were Costas/Whitlock using the same tired old cliches that are the hallmark of lazy thinkers - but they also painted with a wide brush and castigated a lot of law-abiding gun-owners in the same stroke.

They are right that this is an issue of culture: but instead of blaming, say, thug culture, celebrity culture, a culture of crime, cultures of domestic violence - no, they specifically blamed "gun culture" and America's 2nd amendment. Gee, way to go NBC, hopefully this won't affect you because there's not much overlap between those who love football AND guns ... oh wait.

It's like saying all musicians are horrible because Rebecca Black sang "Friday".

For those of you who've been paying attention, Costas' inanity is nothing new. He is merely a common footsoldier in the long tradition of elite liberal media types who believe they know what is best for the world, despite living completely disconnected from it. He is free to espouse to his inane opinions - just as we are free to call for his sanction. Let's let him know there is a cost to stupidity - and if we're lucky, soon he'll be as irrelevant as Olbermann.

Fire Bob Costas


Friday, August 03, 2012
 To Christians who now hate Chick-fil-a    [L]

I would like to address the hand-wringing and bedwetting by Christians who are concerned about what the world may think about the Chick-fil-a support rally.

(Yes, I provocatively worded that intro to get you to read on…)

Firstly, to assume that the show of support is wholly driven, or even mostly driven, by anti-gay sentiment, is a gross mischaracterization. It's understandable that some may think this way, if perhaps they only go by what the news chooses to report. But that illusion would quickly be shattered if they just talked to the people who support Chick-fil-a and asked why.

It was never all about being anti-gay. It's not even all about being anti-gay-marriage! To be sure, there is likely a strong pro-traditional-marriage sentiment among Chick-fil-a supporters, considering that there have been referendums reinforcing traditional marriage in 32 states, and that they have ALL passed with strong majorities. But it's not just about being anti-gay-marriage or pro-traditional-marriage. It's also about people standing up for a private company that they feel is being unfairly maligned.

(As an aside, I am a straight, conservative Christian, and even I agree with some of the goals of pro-gay-marriage supporters – that is, equal treatment under the law. However, I approach this from the POV that government shouldn’t be involved with marriage in the first place. Marriage should be a religious, personal, and civil matter. The government should only be involved to the minimum extent that it needs in order to enforce legal matters. Let me warn gay-marriage proponents though, that the slippery slope is real, and having the government recognize gay marriage would eventually require it to recognize polygamy, polyandry, polyamory, etc. But this is all beside my point.)

This is an issue that strikes deeper than a personal opinion on gay marriage. This is deeper than even being gay! You think every single person who went to Chick-fil-a on Aug 1 was a straight conservative Christian? No, standing in line for hours, in the heat, shoulder-to-shoulder, were Christians, non-Christians, atheists, conservatives, liberals, pro-gay-marriagers, traditional marriagers, heterosexuals, and homosexuals alike! Even a cursory google search would show you that.

No, a strong motivator of this show of support was to stand up to the tyrants in this world that unjustly wield their political and cultural influence. People were rightfully and justifiably outraged that Chick-fil-a, a private company, was targeted by public officials and the media, for holding views contrary to those in power. They also know that right now it's gay-marriage, but tomorrow it's abortion, and the day after it's religion. And if there’s one thing that red-blooded Americans love, it’s to tell the government and the elites to stick it where the sun don’t shine. Well, that, and apparently also fried chicken sandwiches and waffle fries.

So ultimately, I believe that most of the concerns raised by Christians about the Chick-fil-a day of support are wrong by category error.

Now, I don’t question the intentions of those who worried about public perception. After all, we do not want to alienate people from the redemptive gospel of Jesus Christ, people who would otherwise be receptive to it. And again, this rally was grossly mischaracterized as an anti-gay hate march. So I understand where their trepidation is coming from.

But we can’t bend over in order to make the world happy with us; and in fact, I would argue that those who are implacably offended would never be happy with Christians unless we changed our biblical beliefs! Shall we then reject God to satisfy man? No, we must stand for what we perceive and determine is true.

There are those who will never accept us, for they will always reject biblical truth. We cannot worry about how we look in their eyes, for they will never be satisfied until we have exchanged truth for a lie.

 However, for those who truly have an open mind, then this event is a perfect reason to start talking with them, and clear up the misconceptions and share the reason for the hope and joy that we have.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011
 Dell Venue Pro memory self-upgrade    [L]

So nothing had really changed since my last article on the Dell Venue Pro - it still crashed and froze multiple times a day. I had hoped that the latest Windows Phone 7 OS update (NoDo) would perhaps make it more stable, but it actually made my phone even more crash-prone.

Dell (via @LionelAtDell) has been promising a firmware update "soon" that would address some issues, but I have long since lost all faith in their ability to deliver fixes in a timely manner. They've been promising fixes of some sort since after LAUNCH (Dec 2010) and they haven't delivered a single thing.

So it came time to take matters into my own hands.

It quickly became apparent that the micro sd card included with the 16gb model was the source of (or at least the major contributor of) the Venue Pro crashes. I knew it wasn't the OS, since I had previous had an HTC HD7 which operated flawlessly. I quickly noticed the issue on the Dell Venue Pro after transferring a couple GB of music, and thereafter while anything disk I/O related was happening.

It was also telling that those who had bought the 8GB model reported far less incidences of crashing and instability. So it looks like everybody who spent the extra $50 for the upgrade got nothing but troubles for their money.

I had even gone so far as to swap out my first phone for a replacement created a couple months later, and the same issues persisted. My last hope for an easy resolution was for the NoDo update, which Dell originally claimed would contain the necessary fixes, but those fixes failed to materialize.

I had had enough of waiting on Dell and their horrible customer service department, their inanities and impotent promises. What they should have done was A) verify their supplied 16gb cards were bad (easy) and B) offer to send a working replacement to affected users (again, easy). Instead they have offered no analysis, no mea culpa, no details, and no results.

I ran across an article by Matthew Miller of zdnet who had replaced his stock 16gb card with a 32gb card to good effect. I had also seen several forum posts where other users had similar success, so I figured it was time to try it myself.

I ordered a 32gb sandisk. Reviewers had reported getting both class 2 and class 4 cards, but it doesn't really matter in this case. To the contrary, WP7 devices have been known to have compatibility issues with the higher-class cards (above C6), due to the fact that higher-class cards may have higher throughput but often have lower random r/w speeds, which are more important.

At this point, I figured forget the warranty. Dell hasn't shown any capability to get me a working device so why do I need the warranty? So I followed the directions to replace the card, and sure enough it worked.

Immediately following the first bootup, over the next 3 hours, I
A) configured the phone and OS settings
B) set up all my accounts (2 Live, 1 exchange, 1 gmail, 1 facebook)
C) installed over 60 apps & games via WiFi
D) synced with my PC, copying 11 GB worth of pictures, videos, and music

And I had absolutely zero crashes and hangups. With the old card I never would have been able to do all that and not crash in 3 days, much less 3 hours. So the upgrade was pretty much an unmitigated success. I'm definitely pleased with the results, but moreso that I have a stable phone rather than increased storage.

Also, benchmark apps now report a healthy storage I/O speed of 3+ MB/s, whereas most people with the stock 16gb card reported a speed of less than 0.3 MB/s. My theory is the stock 16gb cards have a bunch of bad sectors, leading to corrupted data and slow r/w speeds.

So, the moral of this story is: Forget Dell (in the vein of Cee-Lo)

Their customer support is useless, their promises empty. I will never buy another product from them where I expect I may need their support. Thankfully, where they failed miserably the user community has stepped up admirably. I hope this post has been informative and helps out everybody else who's in the same situation.

Same here, man. In fact..that was my plan from day one after reading the zdnet article. I ordered an 8gb model and the sandisk card the same day. When the phone arrived a day or so before the card i just played around on it some and it was having lockup issues (4-5 per night on home wifi). Put the card in and haven't had an issue since. It's been an amazing device post-swap.

By Anonymous @greghillensbeck, at 5/31/2011 06:57:00 AM      

nice. just ordered a dell venue pro has really it was between that and the hd7 w/ t-mobile. if they haven't replaced those bad memory cards in the one i am getting, i will be doing the same.

By Blogger dizzy, at 7/18/2011 02:28:00 PM      

^^^ speak up ^^^

Saturday, December 25, 2010
 Dell Venue Pro vs HTC HD7    [L]

After having the DVP for 48 hrs, I have some quick observations to make. I've also had an HTC HD7 for 4 weeks, so i'll mostly be comparing the DVP against it. I won't comment too much on the Windows Phone 7 OS other that I think it's pretty great, and Microsoft has done what they can to ensure a consistent experience across all WP7 devices.

The DVP wins hands down, the overall fit and finish is great, and feels more substantial. The quality and craftsmanship of the device is phenomenal. It looks and feels great in the hand.

The physical keyboard works well, but the onscreen keyboard is more difficult to use than on the HD7, due to the smaller screen size.

The overall dimensions are pretty much the same as the HD7, but a tad thicker and heavier.

Also of concern is that the DVP seems to have 256mb of RAM, despite all pre-release information indicating it would have 512mb like all the other WP7 launch devices.

The DVP AMOLED screen looks better and really pops, but the HD7 LCD is more color accurate.

The HD7 screen touch sensitivity is more responsive and accurate, while the DVP seems to have detection issues near the edges. The DVP also has gorilla glass, making the screen less susceptible to scratches.

The DVP has a 4.1" screen and the HD7 a 4.3", but you can't really tell the difference unless they're side by side, and even then it's barely noticeable.

Here is the achilles heel of the DVP - it crashes ALL THE TIME, sometimes while locked. The HD7 was much more stable. My DVP has crashed on me more in the past 24 hours than the HD7 did over 4 weeks. This is not a WP7 issue, as the HD7 is very stable, so it's got to be due to Dell's software and drivers.

On the DVP, the capacitive buttons often have a delayed reaction, if they react at all. They also don't light up as much as on the HD7, nor have haptic feedback. It makes the DVP feel a lot less responsive than the HD7.

Custom apps included with the HD7 are of better utility and quality than those on the DVP.

I haven't compared picture quality yet, but the DVP takes 5-10 seconds between each shot. The DVP also takes awhile to take the shot after the button has been pressed, resulting in blurry and badly timed photos. The HD7 camera operation is much more polished, stable, and usable.

There is a lot to like about the DVP - but until Dell fixes the software / drivers, the DVP is unreliable for daily use. Hopefully all that requires is a software update, which could possibly be done over-the-air and not a device replacement.

Of more concern is the 256mb RAM - are the system stability issues due to having half the RAM? Will the lack of RAM become a limitation when WP7 moves to multithreading in 2011?

Can we consider the lack of RAM a defect, since everybody thought it was going to be 512mb? Will Dell fix it and replace the defective units?

So many questions, and throughout the entire launch fiasco, Dell has been very tight-lipped and not very communicative, other than infrequent and uninformative tweets from their online crew. From watching #dellvenuepro, one gets the feeling that the various Dell representatives @LionelAtDell and @AmyAtDell are doing the best they can, but are not being allowed to tell or are not being told any information.

The bottom line is, unless you like being an early adopter and can stick out the stability issues, stay away from the DVP. Although a beautiful piece of hardware, it's too unstable, and Dell's behavior to date casts serious doubt that they'll address any of these issues in a timely or satisfactory manner.

If I had to sum it up, it's like having a beautiful Lamborghini with a busted engine. It looks great, and has great components, but it runs like crap, is in need of a serious overhaul, and the local dealer hates its customers.

Additional notes
I have the 16gb, and have been mostly at home using the wifi connection. Some have said they've noticed freezing issues only when wifi is enabled - i'll take notice of the wifi during future freezing episodes to see if there's a correlation.

Also, in my stability comparison between the DVP and the HD7, it wasn't completely similar conditions, as I still had all the live tiles that came preinstalled on the DVP - so I've removed them and made the DVP start page the exact same as the HD7 - this will help narrow down the possible causes of the DVP freezing.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010
 All you need to know about our government    [L]

Take 30 seconds and really understand what this chart is displaying.

Once you see it, YWSB, as they say:

You can see from 1967 through 2000 that the ratio of federal spending to private prosperity has been increasing consistently. That's kind of what you'd expect - that as the economy grows, so would federal spending. The spending ratio is pretty darn consistent. That's not to say it's right, but it's expected.

I'm guessing the small bump in the early 90s is probably due to the Clinton administration, with the downtick associated with the GOP congress of the mid-late 90s.

The jump in the early 2000's is obviously due to 9/11 and related spending, but it's still shocking. GWB's detractors were absolutely right about his increasing the size and scope of the federal government. Of course, it was mere child's play for what was to come in 2007 after the Democrat takeover of Congress, then the presidency.

The trend is now going VERTICAL. Worse, it's also going BACKWARDS. Meaning that federal spending is INCREASING even though private prosperity is DECREASING.

In mathematical terms, that's the sort of thing you see when you divide any number by zero. Applied to the chart above, that means that the relationship between the change in total government spending and the typical income earned by an American household from year-to-year is now "undefined."

In practical terms, that means government spending has become completely disconnected from the ability of the typical American household to support it.

Both parties, Republican and Democrat, are at fault - however I think you can draw the conclusion that one party in particular is excessively more so.

Is it any surprise that the Tea Party movement exists, when we see more and more evidence of an out-of-control and disconnected government? With behavior like this, it's easy to see why the popular sentiment today is both A) anti-Democrat as well as B) anti-incumbent (even Republican).

Interesting graph, Chu. Took me a minute to notice that the X-axis was not Years.

If the X-axis was years, one could safely assume there are no significant disturbances in the annual increment. But the x-axis is not years.

All of your analysis in the post seems to me based on the assumption that the growth of Median Household Income is as regular as time.

For example: "The trend is now going VERTICAL." This effect is seen, not in 2007, but in 2008 and after. It might easily be the result of a severe recession driving Median Household Income down and (at the same time) driving countercyclical government spending up.

The length of your vertical line would then indicate the severity of the recession.

I don't mean to be critical of your work; I'm sure you spent much more time with this graph than I have. But I do like tossing these ideas around.


By Blogger The Arthurian, at 1/23/2011 07:05:00 PM      

^^^ speak up ^^^

Thursday, August 12, 2010
 Problem citizens    [L]

Rand Simberg addresses the problem of citizenship by birth through the lens of Heinlein. I've been brewing a post for the past couple of years on a similar vein, now i'm motivated to revisit it and get it posted.


Monday, November 16, 2009
 Hines Ward is my Kryptonite    [L]

This is going to be about fantasy football, so if you're not interested feel free to skip this article. Seriously, it's not even about fantasy football in general, but one of my teams in one of my leagues, so the chances of you being interested are fairly remote. Talking about your fantasy football team is like talking about your dreams: Very few people care.

Then again, if you enjoy a good fantasy football yarn then go right on ahead.

I felt the need to rant, and to share a miraculous discovery with the fantasy football world:

Hines Ward is my bitch.

Let me explain.

In one of my 3 leagues (the most serious and competitive one) I drafted Hines Ward in the 8th round. Being a Bengals fan, I wasn't particularly happy with it, but he was the best WR on the board at the time, and my fandom doesn't run deep enough to where I would cripple my fantasy team (or so I thought).

So, much like when I voted for McCain, I held my nose and drafted Ward.

Week 1 went by without incident, I started Hines Ward vs TEN for 14.4 pts, and that was the right call, as none of my other WRs did better.

But as the weeks went by, I started noticing a disturbing trend:

Week 2
Sat Hines Ward @ CHI for 9.8 pts
Started Brandon Marshall vs CLE for 6.9 pts
Would've lost anyway

Week 3
Sat Hines Ward @ CIN for 11.2 pts
Started Mario Manningham @ TB for 8.2 pts
Would've won anyway

Week 4
Started Hines Ward vs SD for 18.4 pts
Should have started Brandon Marshall vs DAL for 20.2 pts
Would've won anyway

Week 5
Started Hines Ward vs DET for 19.6 pts
Should have started Brandon Marshall vs NE for 24.4 pts
Would've lost anyway

Week 6
Sat Hines Ward vs CLE for 30.4 pts
Started Brandon Marshall @ SD for 8 pts
Would have won the matchup if not for Ward

Week 7
Started Hines Ward vs MIN for 0.8 pts
Should have started DeSean Jackson @ WAS for 33.6 pts
Would have won the matchup if not for Ward (and another choice)

Week 8
Sat Hines Ward on BYE
Made the right call (but duh)

Week 9
Sat Hines Ward @ DEN for 21.6 pts
Started Brandon Marshall vs PIT for 20.8 pts
Would have won the matchup if not for Ward

You got that right:
in only 1 of 8 weeks Hines Ward was playing did I make the right call.

Every time I started him, I sat his superior. Every time I sat him, he wasted away more points on my bench. My decision to start/sit Ward has cost me 3 games, which I desperately needed with my record at 3-5-1.

Which brings us to Week 10.

It was a crucial week for me in fantasy, as I needed a W in order to have a shot at getting into the playoffs - but also in reality, as my beloved Bengals visited the Steelers for control and potential championship of the AFC north.

I knew going into it that whatever decision I made with Ward, it would be the wrong one. Counting on the history we shared, I started him knowing that he would stink it up, but also knowing that I was potentially sacrificing my fantasy season by putting a dud in my lineup.

Hines Ward vs CIN got me 5.2 pts.
Brandon Marshall @ WAS and his 33 pts sat on my bench, wasted.
I lost by 14 pts.

It was worth it.