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

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Lego Princess Ceinwyn
Hit the link for a gallery of images of the Princess Ceinwyn created by Luke Hutchinson out of Lego. Very pretty with cloth sails and a nice Lego ocean base to complete the look. (via Brothers Brick)

Warren Buffet - Stop Coddling the Rich
In an article in the NY Times, super rich Warren Buffett makes the rather obvious argument that it is time to tax the rich. The 10 year experiment of constantly cutting taxes on the "job creators" that the GOP has been advocating has simply not worked. Two recessions and negative economic growth for the poor and middle classes have proven this. The only people that have seen growth in these last years from the GOP policies? The super rich of course. Thanks to the multitude of tax loopholes that the GOP refuse to close, the rich actually pay less a percentage of taxes than any other group. Buffett points out he paid 17.4% while other people in his office averaged 36%. I am lower middle class and my burden came out to about 27%. I think the national average is something like 24%. Net result is all this crap about "being fair" that the GOP advocates fails to point out that the rich actually are paying less than everyone else. The article is worth reading and it sums succulently as tax cuts for the rich ("job creators") does not equal job creation as the rich do not allow tax policy to interfere with their efforts to invest and make more money.

Meet Comex, iOS Hacker Supreme
Forbes has posted a great article that covers hacking genius of 19 year old Nicholas Allegra who has 3 times now hacked the Apple's iOS used in iPhone and iPad to create incredibly easy jailbreaks for those devices. A jailbreak allows you to use your paid for device in whatever way you see fit on whatever carrier you choose without big brother (Apple) having to approve it first. Hats off to Comex for his outstanding efforts, may he continue to be successful in thwarting Apple's iron fist of control.

US Patent System is Killing Innovation
An interesting op-ed piece on Gizmodo that points out how the new era of "Civil War" between tech companies will likely stifle innovation. What is currently happening is in the billion dollar markets of smart phones and tablets various companies is trying to use patents to squash the competition and become the only real provider of a certain type of product. The main culprit is Apple who is attempting to use courts to block the sale of any tablet device that isn't an iPad. This leads to other companies going over their lists of patents and using Apple in return saying their iPad violates patents and shouldn't be sold either. This goes back and forth until an agreement is reach. The problem though is this kind of fierce legal fighting (besides being the opposite of capitalism), means that some bright guy in his garage will likely be sued into oblivion or just bought up before some new product that might be better than the iPad could ever reach the public much less the market. When that happens, innovation ceases to occur.

Top 100 Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books
NPR compiled a list of the top 100 books of all time based on the votes of their readers (apparently a paltry 60k). The list isn't definitive nor is the number order that important but as a list of fantastic books to read it works as a great resource.

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