"An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." - Arthur Miller

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Links of the Day

New iPod Shuffle - Apple has quietly released a new, smaller shuffle with more memory. It’s about half the size of the 2G shuffle with twice the memory (4gigs). It is sleek looking with a few caveats. One is price ($80, considering cost of memory should be $50 or less), and another is control is done via Apple's rob me white headphones which means a special (i.e., expensive just cause it’s Apple) dongle is required to use non-Apple headphones. I am going to take a pass. Click here for a video demo.

Obama To Reduce Earmarks - Whatever the party is, it remains the same - pork. Lots of it. While condemning it, they enjoy piling it on as the recent budget bill passed by congress proves (leftover bill from last year). Only 5 didn't, including John McCain, showing that at least some are capable of backing their words with action. Obama is going to sign the bill, but to mean a new call need to be made. One that Clinton and Bush asked for and one that Obama might actually be able to push through and that is the line-item veto. Let Congress pile on the pork...and then he can proceed to remove it.

Strange tax brackets - Now not sure reading the info at the link right but it appears that our progressive tax system tops out for anyone making $357,700 a year or more. So whether that person makes 400k or 400 million, the percent of tax owned doesn't change. That seems unfair to me and indicates that either two solutions are needed. One is create more tax brackets or my preferred method is come up with one percentage number that is applied to everyone's total income (wages, tips, stock, whatever) equally. The tax form shouldn't even be a page long. It should be a total of income, the tax percent number, the tax owed as a result and tax already paid. That's it. It should be so simple stupid that a 7 year old could do their parents taxes for a grade.

Another School Attack - At least 15 are dead after a 17 year decided to handle disliking his lot in life by killing as many children and teachers as possible before killing himself. Why these people simply don't quietly just end themselves without the hoopla I don't understand. It’s horrible and it makes you powerless. The drive for infamy that seems to drive many of these attacks should not be handed out and those that engage in it should have their name removed from the public record and forgotten as if they never existed. Give them a nickname but screw helping add to their "fame."

Bailout LexCorp! - For some humor, below is a video from Funny or Die with Jon Hamm as Lex Luther asking for federal bailout money as LexCorp is hurting from the various failed plans to buy/create land and kill Superman.

Office Depot Lies About Laptop Stock - As a consequence of spreadsheet management were idiots who only know how to read graphs define policy, managers and associates at Office Depot have resorted to lying to customers about stock to meet required metrics to keep their jobs. Basically the stores are measured on the amount of unneeded extended warrantees and tech support plans that they sell with their electronic equipment, especially laptops. Don't meet the metrics and jobs could be lost, something no one wants right now. The net result is a dance. If you are required to have every 3 out of 10 laptops to have a warrantee purchased, it’s in your best interest to stop selling laptops at a certain point until you meet or exceed that number. Based on corporate's own metrics, it’s actually to the advantage of a store to refuse to sell laptops that don't have additional crap purposed. After all, why sell 10 laptops without warrantees and possibly lose your job if you can simply wait and sell 10 with warrantees and get a commission and back pat for a job well done? Spreadsheets managers are doing America with their stupidity.

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