Archive for June, 2009

Washington Post can’t afford editors!

Posted in Business, Life with tags , , on June 29, 2009 by rightdownandridiculous

Recently, I read a heart wrenching story on Washington Post about a parent’s dire situation in Gaza strip with his American born kids. The kids passports are expiring or expired, hence they can’t travel out of the area and can’t get help from American consulate. The heart wrenching part of the story is the horrible grammatical errors and not so great journalism that made it to the pages of Washington Post online.

I have been told that the errors were probably fixed on the print edition, which is when I realized that there are still print edition newspapers out there in 21st century!!!!!

Here is the link to the article and a few of the horrid errors.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/29/AR2009062900386.html

“However, the blockade has been widely criticize. ”

“Gazans with European passports seem to bee better off. ”

Did Washington Post outsource editing to India and somebody forgot to tell me?

Advertisements

A few comments on F-22 and F-35 politics and business

Posted in Business, Life on June 29, 2009 by rightdownandridiculous

As you may have read about it on the recent news, Defense Secretary and the President would like to stop funding the expensive F-22 project to shift funds needed elsewhere. There is much noise about the ability of the new cheaper F-35 to pick up the roles F-22 never filled. Of course much of this is politics, since those politicians who are still trying to fund the F-22 are worried about jobs in their respective districts. Reading about all this reminded me a recent conversation with someone who works on the F-35 project. It turns out that the new jet’s engine is SO LOUD that many communities will be looking to ban fly over of this new savior multi-role aircraft. Now, it isn’t the first time a jet has been deemed too noisy to fly over populated areas. This was part of the reason, now defunct, Concorde supersonic jet never was a viable airliner and was unable to fly over most populated land.

Coincidentally, there is a move to acquire spare engines for the F-35, I imagine partly because of the noise concern. It is curious though I didn’t read anything about this extra loud but powerful engine in MSM.

Democrat Senator hasn’t heard of due process!

Posted in Liberties, Life on June 22, 2009 by rightdownandridiculous

According to a recent CNN article (http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/06/22/terror.guns/index.html), Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-New Jersey is introducing legislation to give U.S. attorney general “authority to stop the sale of guns or explosives to terrorists.”, and by terrorists he means people on the terrorist watch list.

So, let’s see, some joker in FBI or Homeland Security can put you on this list and the attorney general can remove your 2nd amendment rights with no trial or other procedure that shows that you have ever done anything wrong. And there is hardly anything you can ever do to get yourself of this list or have your rights restored. I have met at least one individual with a very common Anglo-Saxon name who is in this list solely because of his common name. The linked article mentions the inaccuracy of this list and the inability of those on the list unable to have their names removed even when they are proven to not be terrorist.

I think our senator missed a few things in his civic class, like due process, checks and balances, innocent until proven guilty. Perhaps he was too busy looking up girls skirts. If such a law goes through, who is to say that someday all non-American born or non-Christians will not be placed on such a list on the whim of that administration? Who is going to protect the constitutional rights of those minorities then?

In reality, ACLU should be fighting this law and not NRA, but we all know that ACLU does NOT consider 2nd Amendment one of our liberties, contrary to Supreme Court ruling last year.

What kind of recession is this?

Posted in Business, Life on June 22, 2009 by rightdownandridiculous

Just a short comment today on the US economy being in recession.

I am trying to figure out what kind of recession are we in that 1 million new iPhones sell in a weekend at prices from $199 to $499 and the ammunition factories are working around the clock to only sell every cartridge they make to insatiable US demand.

This reminds me of another supposed recession I witnessed as a kid. Everyone was crying about lack of jobs, cuts in salaries, etc but all the fancy restaurants in town had waiting lists.

I am not trying to take away from the pain of those who have lost their jobs in the last year or so, but I believe part of this recession is the fact that the housing bubble is gone and people are actually watching their unnecessary spending. This is not a 1929 style crash. I believe this is a direct result of the US economy being artificially propped by the spending of US consumer, from cars to gadgets to houses to Coach bags to ammunition.

Verizon Wireless hates customers who leave!

Posted in Business, Life on June 19, 2009 by rightdownandridiculous

Last December, my contract with Verizon Wireless was up, so I ditched them for one of their competitors. Being a long time Blackberry user, I did give a last try with the new Storm touchscreen Blackberry but ended up returning it in disgust during the trial period. Honestly, I was sick of Verizon’s overall incompetence.Their Blackberry support was a laughing matter. While a Verizon Wireless customer can download ring tones and use many other fancy features, if the customer has a BB, he/she couldn’t do most of these things other providers able to provide seamlessly. If the user has problems with his/her BB, Verizon Blackberry support will ask the user to reboot the BB, take the batteries out and if all those advanced troubleshooting tips don’t work, charge $50 to send out a refurbished BB handset. This is a joke in itself since typically a problem like this is a software issue and a software wipe or a hard reset will fix the problem.

Oh, there is also the issues with billing and ordering. Shortly after I became a Verizon Wireless customer, I received a call from overseas. As it typically happens with all important cell phone calls, this one was dropped in the middle. When I tried to call back, I got a Verizon message saying that my phone was not provisioned for international long distance. So, I called customer support to add international long distance to my plan only to have them tell me that I haven’t been a customer with them long enough to be trusted with such a monumental responsibility. Now, they have done a credit check on me when I signed up, and my account balanced was paid in full at the time. But, when I asked them if they really didn’t want my money, they said maybe in another 3-6 months. Again, when it comes to the comparing Verizon to their competitors, I have added international long distance to my plan shortly after inception with both AT&T and T-Mobile.

Then comes the grand finale;

Since ditching them in December, I have received no communication from Verizon. Today, I got a letter from a collection agency stating that Verizon turned over my account with a balance of whopping $7.27 to them for collections. The letter from the collections agency contains a phone number and a website address. The recording at the number states the same exact things as the letter and asks that I should go to the website to make a payment or mail in my dispute to their PO Box. The website in question gives me a “Bad Request (Invalid Hostname)” error. The collections agency number gives no means of talking to a live person. I called Verizon and they said there is nothing they can do and I need to talk to the collections agency. Verizon had my mailing address, e-mail and phone numbers to call, but they just sat on the supposed balance and forwarded to collections without a peep.

The irony of all this is that one of my many specializations is building IT systems for telecoms. I have had a big hand in implementing a complicated billing and ordering system at Ma’ Bell. I have designed and helped build large operational and data warehouse systems at other telecoms. Heck, I even teach about how to build these systems! But, when it comes to incompetence and hatred of Verizon for their customers, I guess I am as powerless as the average Joe.

iPhones are dangerous!

Posted in Life, Uncategorized on June 16, 2009 by rightdownandridiculous

All cell phones are dangerous. Especially, if you have been drinking and there is a certain someone you have been thinking about telling off. Liquid encouragement and the convenience of having that call just a few clicks away is a wild and scary combination. iPhones are even more dangerous! Since they have an app for everything, including ones that record your drunken friend yelling interesting sound bites in the middle of a bar.

So, I may or may not contain a recording of said friend yelling “I want you to f… me!” Or at least that’s what the sound bite says after it is edited out a second or two. Do you think this friend will remember her obscenities? LOL

Now, how do I get this recording on to my computer?

Hey! Look at me! I am superhero!

Posted in Crime, Liberties on June 4, 2009 by rightdownandridiculous

CNN’s definition of superhero is a guy who wears a cape and a mask and files a police report. Reminds me of the movie Mystery Man, with misfit superhero wannabes. I am not sure if it is out of line to say that these people are the product of Attention Whore Generation.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/06/04/real.life.superheroes/index.html

Wow, thank god that there are states in America where law abiding citizens are allowed to stop criminals instead of reporting them to overworked and understaffed Law Enforcement officers. States, like GA, have Castle doctrine to stop a forcible felony using force if needed.

This is great news for the poor resident’s of City of Atlanta whose Police Chief is not so sympathetic to an occasional crime wave. I suppose the maybe because Chief Pennington is from New Orleans and has a much more relaxed view of crime. Oh, and the fact that there is no room in the badly run, under court mandate, Fulton County jail to put criminals in may have something to do with his attitude. Some East Atlanta residents who have reported break ins were told by Atlanta Police Department (APD) officers to get a gun and shoot the intruder if they are home during the next break in. Apparently, APD officers are smarter than their chief, lol.

Speaking of APD officers, a recent AJC article notes that about 30% of APD officers have criminal backgrounds. This is quite shocking news but considering AJCs budget cuts and the non-living wage they pay to the poor saps who work there, it must be taken with a grain of salt. I am sure APD has some great officers, but it makes you wonder what kind of a person goes to stand in the middle of SW Atlanta wearing a badge for $37Ks a year. I am sure APD had to take in whomever they can get.

By the way, many of those officers would not be eligible to carry a gun if they were not exempt from Georgia’s Firearms License law. So, next time you are in downtown Atlanta and you are stopped by an APD officer, keep that in mind. Especially if you are legally carrying a gun and they question you about it.