Friday, April 29, 2005

Eliot Spitzer takes on Spyware

NY Attorney General Eliot Spitzer is at it again. (I really admire this guy.) This time he's suing a company called Intermix that runs websites that download spyware & adware onto your computer. While I was on vacation, I read a Vanity Fair biographical article about Spitzer. I looked to see if the article was available on the web to quote from it, but alas, it's not. It was in the January or February 2005 issue. If you can find it in the library, it's worth reading. Geek News - NY Attorney General sues Internet marketing company - A selfhelp site for addressing debt collection abuse problems.

Danica Patrick Just misses Pole at Montegi

23 year-old rookie race driver Danica Patrick just missed getting the pole position for the Indy Racing League race in Montegi Japan. Sam Hornish beat her by a nose. This is a good omen for Ms. Patrick who has to hold up the honor of the whole female gender in open-wheeled racing now that Sarah Fisher has made a "lateral" move to the Nascar minor leagues.

Good luck Danica. The racing world can be cruel to nontraditional drivers. One driver was nicknamed "Toonces" after the cat who could drive a car "but not very well." Still, Hiro Matsushita would have loved to have the nickname "Toonces". In the 1990's, he was known as the "moving chicane". a nickname that Emerson Fittipaldi gave him when Emmo had a hard time getting around Hiro in a race in Phoenix.

Hornish, Patrick on front row in Japan

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Social Security (privatization) Calculator

Enter your salary information & age to see how Pres. Bush's Social Security privatization plan would affect your expected benefits. From the values that I put in, I'd lose $2740 per year. Your mileage may vary. (FYI this calculator appears to be sponsored by US Senate Democrats. Is it accurate? Who knows?

Social Security Calculator
The Cost of the War in Iraq $166 Billion & counting

Below is a counter for the cost of the war in Iraq. There are options to figure how much is attributable to each state, and more importantly, the opportunity costs in various social welfare alternatives. For example, the same money could have paid for health insurance for 99 million school children. All of the world hunger project could have been funded for six years.

I wonder what $166 Billion could have done in terms of funding a project to develop new technologies for energy independence -- fuel cells, hydrogen generation, better solar cells, energy efficient appliances & lighting. We could have developed new industries. Next lifetime I guess.

Cost of War - Great Gathering Place for Home Electronics Reviews

If you are looking to buy a piece of home electronic equipmeent, checkout This site gathers reviews from all over the web and has a fairly comprehensive message board discussion section. - Editorial Review Index
Michael Jackson - Guilty OR Innocent? - The Mickey Dolenz Report

I've been reading press reports of the Michael Jackson trial. As a lawyer, I am sceptical if the prosecution will be able to get a proper conviction of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Sure, Michael is flakey beyond a reasonable doubt. Sure, Michael has a reputation as a child molester, but I just don't see evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that Michael molested THIS child, and that's the proper question.

So much of what I think, what do ex-monkee Mickey Dolenz's listeners at WCBS think? Well, according to the website - 87% think MJ is guilty.

WCBSFM101.1 - The Greatest Hits of All Time
Bad Penny Stock Company of the Day:
Secured Data Inc. (SCRE)

I've received at least five spam e-mails in the last 2 days hyping this penny stock. I'd love to get my hands on the company that they're paying to send me this crap. For anybody who might possibly be thinking about investing in this "stock", check out the Yahoo link below. It looks to me like a typical pump & dump penny stock. Don't do it.

SCRE.OB: Summary for SECURED DATA INC - Yahoo! Finance

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Carpe Carpum -Seize the Carp.

As much carp stuff as you'd ever want at Perhaps carp screensaver or wallpaper is on your shopping list?

Carp fishing magazine with articles, carp forum, carp bait and fishing tackle shop
Apple has a Tiger in its tank

Apple Computer is set to release OS X Tiger, it's latest operating system on April 29. Yesterday it announced updated Powermac computers, and the rest of its computers are expected to be speedbumped for good performance with Tiger by April 29 or shortly thereafter. If you are planning on buying a mac, make sure you are getting the speedbumped version. The lower end systems are expected to double their shipped RAM to 512 MB. Most will have graphics processors upgraded to ATI 9600 and 64 MB. This amounts to about a doubling of graphics performance.

The Tiger operating system itself is the single biggest operating system upgrade for Apple since the original OS-X. Tiger upgrades the internal workings to 64 bit computing for most processes, makes the graphics processor take over most of the work for the "eye candy" of the system. There is a "Spotlight" search technology that lets you search everything in your computer seamlessly. Finally, there are "widgets" a lot of small little helpful programs that you didn't know you couldn't live without.

Some would argue that "Tiger" is the next generation operating system that Microsoft hopes to deliver with "Longhorn" in late 2006 or 2007.

Interestingly, separately, Microsoft announced that it was planning on shipping a 64 bit version of Windows very soon. This is not Longhorn, this is a version of the current Windows XP but with some 64 bit processing implemented. This system has been circulating experimentally for two years, but has been criticized as being not very useful due to a lack of drivers and support for external devices. People who have been using 64 bit AMD 64 microprocessors have been using regular Windows or 64 bit Linux.

Macworld: News: Mac OS X Tiger to ship April 29
My Spam of the Day - HOT COLLAGE GIRL

I have received the same spam several times - amazingly from several different senders. It tells me about this hot collage girl. I know I've always liked girls who make pictures from a lot of small pictures.
Jeopardy Ultimate Tournanment of Champions

Jeopardy is in the middle of a 5-Round "Ultimate" tournament of Champions - with the top two finishers lined up to face 74 game winner Ken Jennings in the battle for the ultimate Championship. Right now they are finishing up the round of 54 to get to the round of 18. Since you had to be a 5 game winner (or the equivalent) just to get in to the tournament, at this stage, you have three undefeated champions competing against each other every night. The level of play is astonishing. Ken Jennings was a great player, but I don't think his odds of success are much better than the one out of 3 that he would receive through random chance. He just did not face this level of competition in his regular matches.


For up to date news on the Jeopardy Tournament, inteviews and expert commentary and handicapping, check out

(FYI - I'm going to be cheering like it's 1985 for my contemporary, Chuck Forrest, who was the "Ken Jennings" of his day.)

Monday, April 25, 2005

Where's all the Profit in the Automobile Business? - NISSAN

Nissan just reported record Profits. US Sales are up 18% year over year. Operating margin is 10% (better than Toyota & Honda). Nissan has retired all of the debt of its automotive operations.

To think that it wasn't so many years ago that Ford almost bought Nissan for a song, but pulled back over concerns about Nissan's unfunded pension liability. Oops. Top Worldwide
GM Tests Hybrid Buses at Yosemite

"GM says the hybrid system that will power the Yosemite shuttle buses reduces certain emissions by up to 90 percent, offers 50 percent better acceleration than a conventional diesel bus engine and improves fuel economy by as much as 55 percent in diesel-hybrid commuter buses now operating in Seattle."

Bravo GM.

GM tests hybrid buses - 04/25/05
And the E-OSCAR Goes to . . .

If you are a consumer lawyer doing credit report cases - or if you are a consumer who wants his or her report accurate, you need to get familiar with the E-OSCAR system. E-OSCAR is the industry standard system for automated dispute verification. With the implementation of the FACT Act (Fair Accurate Credit Transactions), the same law that gives you the right to free annual credit reports, the credit reporting agencies are requiring information providers (creditors) to send the information to them electronically. This freezes out small creditors. More problematic, the standardized electronic system for sending disputes does not allow for the transmission of supporting information.

In other words, When you send 5 signatures to the credit reporting agency to show that the creditor is reporting a forged account, those signatures aren't being forwarded to the creditor. One can argue that failing to do so is a failure to to insure "maximum possible accuracy" in the credit file, but it isn't being done none-the-less.

As a practical matter, the expansion of the automated dispute process makes it even more important to send your disputes directly to the creditor and the credit reporting agency. My preferred practice is to send it to the creditor first, followed by a letter to the credit reporting agency a couple weeks later. I send both certified mail, or sometimes fax -- any method where I can prove the they received the message.

GuardMyCreditFile: FACT, E-OSCAR and Inaccurate Credit Reports

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Daimler Chrysler to Export Cars from China to US?

Auto workers in China make a whopping $2.00 per hour. I'm sure they'll buy lots of our exports in return.

The New York Times > Business > Daimler Weighs Plant in China to Export Cars to U.S.
UPDATE to the Yahoo/ Turbotax Privacy Problem - Evan Hendricks Saves the Day

Saturday, April 16th, I posted a warning about a
n important privacy breach. Up to 1000 individual tax returns were publicly available on the web. I found out about the problem through a routine search. The problem had to do with the way Turbotax alerts users of rejeccted returns, Yahoo indexing practices, and where individuals stored their files.

I alerted Yahoo and Turbotax directly. Then I alerted national Privacy expert, Evan Hendricks, the editor of The Privacy Times newsletter. Evan cut through the bureaucracy like a hot knife through butter, and got Yahoo to solve the problem within 24 hours.

(By the way, if you ever need an expert witness on a Fair Credit Reporting Act case, you should seriously consider using Evan. He is on the speed dial of most of the NACA FCRA lawyers.)

Great Job Evan!

Untitled Document

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Senator Evan Bayh on the Bankruptcy Bill

By the time you read this, President Bush will have signed into law the Citibank Profit Preservation Act (aka the bankruptcy bill). I wrote my Senators on this. I'm not posting Senator Lugar's response because he's a Republican, so he was expected to vote for the bill. I'm posting the letter that I received from our Democratic senator, Evan Bayh. Senator Bayh voted for the bankruptcy bill. Here is his explanation. I hope it makes more sense to you than it does to me. What I read between the lines is that he signed it because Citibank, MBNA, etc. wanted him to sign it.

Dear Mr. Hofer:

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and concerns with me regarding S.256, the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005.
I am grateful for your thoughts and always welcome the advice of those I am honored to represent.

The overwhelming majority of Americans work hard and spend responsibly. There are some people, however, who do not and then try to get out of their financial obligations. Those unpaid debts are passed to the rest of us through higher interest rates and increased fees. That is why I support the idea that if a person has the means to pay back their debts, they should. The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act would accomplish that by requiring people who earn more than the median state income, $65,000 for a family of four in Indiana, to go through a means test to determine whether they can afford to pay back some of the debts that they owe.

During the debate, some suggested that irresponsibility is the only route to bankruptcy. That is not the case. These are very tough times for American
families many are on extended deployment or an unexpected medical
emergency away from financial disaster. Amendments were offered to address these situations, including one that I co-authored to help families who find themselves on hard times because of active duty in the military. A version of that amendment was included in the final bill.

At the end of this process, I voted in support of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act. As you may know, the bill passed the Senate on March 10, 2005, by a vote of 74 to 25. I believe, however, that the final vote on this bill is not the final word. Congress still needs to address the underlying issues that have caused Americans to turn to bankruptcy. This includes lowering the cost of health care, creating high quality jobs, protecting American companies from unfair trade, and ending the patriot penalty for active duty armed service members. Please be assured I will continue to work towards these ends.

Again, thank you for contacting me. I hope that the information I have provided is helpful. My website,, can provide additional details about legislation and state projects, and you can also sign up to receive my monthly e-newsletter, The Bayh Bulletin, by clicking on the link at the top of my homepage. I value your input and hope you will continue to keep me informed of the issues important to you.

Best wishes,

Evan Bayh
United States Senator
Alice Cooper gets a regular job

After 40 years of rock & roll, Alice Cooper is getting a real job. He's going to host a syndicated radio show from 10:00 PM to 1:00 AM, Monday through Friday.

WCSX will air Alice Cooper's radio show - 04/20/05

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Home Appraisal Fraud - A White Paper

On the site, they've posted a white paper study on the effects of home appraisal fraud. In a nutshell, unscrupulous brokers hire unscrupulous appraisers to inflate the appraised value of the home. This let's the commissioned broker get credit for a higher loan. Unfortunately, it robs homeowners of their equity and locks them into a house that they can't afford.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Poor Service from Turbotax - Thanks but No thanks

I filed my income tax return on the evening of April 14. At 11:38 PDT on April 15, Turbotax notified me that the IRS rejected my return April 14 because an employer ID number was copied wrong. By the way, I am on EST, so 11:38 on April 15 is actually April 16th my time. Thanks a f-ing lot Turbotax. I believe that it is really poor service that it takes them 24 hours to get back to you when the IRS notified them that the return was rejected within minutes. Now I may have to pay a penalty when I could have easily filed the return by mail and paid none. Moral: next time I'm either going to try a Turbotax competitor or just forget about electronic filing altogether.

New Privacy Breach - is Turbotax to blame?

While trying to discover if I was going to have to pay a penalty because Turbotax notified me too late that my income tax return was rejected, I discovered wat appears to be a massive privacy breach that might (or might not) be Turbotax related. While searching for information regarding penalties for rejected returns, I found that hundreds of complete rejected tax returns, including names, addresses, social security numbers, the whole 9 yards, are completely accessable on the web. From what I could see the dates ranged from 2004 to 2000. I can't say for sure that Turbotax is at fault, but what I can say is that when you take Turbotax out of the search picture the results aren't as compelling. I am in the process of notifying folks that can help address the problem. I suspect that hundreds of other innocent web searchers are stumbling upon these tax returns as I write this. It looks like about 1000 returns are affected, so it's only about 1% the size of the choicepoint breach, but the accessibility of the returns is striking and shocking.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Newest Tuner Trick - A Mac Mini as an auto accessory

An enterprising tuner built his mac mini into his glovebox.

Why? Why not?

TunerTricks ? Blog Archive ? GTi - MacMini


Late yesterday, it was announced that the UAW has refused to reopen the collective bargaining agreement to give GM relief on healthcare expense. No doubt central to union president Ron Gettelfinger's decision was the fact that the rank & file are still royally pissed that General Motors handed Fiat $2 Billion just a couple months ago and basically got nothing in return. GM stock went down again

So here is where GM sits right now. Their 2005 new products were met with a collective yawn by buyers. We're sitting in an environment of generally rising interest rates, and GM's credit rating is sinking to junk status. General Motor's stock has plunged 41% in the past year.

The financial bigwigs see no way out for GM, and this is true even though General Motors doesn't have a long string of consecutive losses. In most recent periods GM has made a little money, but not much.

In the Bloomberg article cited below, it is rumored that some leveraged buyout people have been talking with Daimler-Chrysler execs about buying General Motors, cutting it up, and selling the parts.

As it stands today, General Motors has a Market Cap of $14.9 Billion. The market cap is the total value of all the shares outstanding. In other words, it's what you could theoretically buy the entire company for.

General Motor's revenue for the last reported 12 months was $193 Billion. When you put these last two statistics together, you find that in theory, you could buy the whole company for about the cost of one month's revenue.

The book value of a corporation = assets - liabilities. The book value per share according to the most recently available information from Reuters was about $49 per share - just about twice the share price. In theory, GM is worth more split up than it is worth whole.

Although the company is cash poor for its size. At $36 billion, it's cash hoard is twice the market cap.

What would keep somebody from sweeping up GM? Its size for one thing. The value of the company's assets is contingent on the company running as a going concern. Unless the company, or it's parts, can be run profitably, the asset value must go down. Some of the assets are questionable to begin with - witness the recent turmoil over accounting reciprocity with Delphi. If experienced professionals can't run General Motors profitably, how cn newcomers?

You put all these things together, and you have the makings of a volatile company. Who knows what's going to happen next. The one thing that I want to stress to my fellow Stay tuned. Top Worldwide

Thursday, April 14, 2005

GM Card Security Breach

Many newsources were carrying a story that up to 180,000 GM cards (issued by HSBC) were subject to a security breach. Initial reports indicated that it involved all GM cards issued by "an unnamed retailer". The USA Today story below discloses the retailer as Polo Ralph Lauren.

One wonders why it is only GM Cards used at Ralph Lauren? Why not all GM cards? Why not all cards used at Ralph Lauren? Something doesn't seem right here.

Also, you notice how the card company was initially more protective of Ralph Lauren's identity than the interests of the consumers to know if their cards were affected? - MasterCards used at Ralph Lauren should be replaced

Steve's Bad Companies of the Day

Stock Spammers - I was sent spam e-mails today from the companies listed below. I have put them all on a Bad Investment list. I don't see how anybody bites on these e-mails. Please don't. If you are thinking about investing in any of these companies, please reconsider.

These companies should be presumed to be bad investments based upon sending out spam e-mails touting their stock. If it’s a good company, they don’t have to spam your mailbox.

Symbol Company Comment

EOGI Emerson Oil & Gas No Independent info found

WYSK Wysak Petroleum No Independent info found

KEGS Key Energy Services, Inc. Apparently delisted

MFYS Medify Solutions No Independent info found

SQNC Sequoia Interests Corporation No independent info found
Ford's turn for Bad Financial News

The New York Times > Automobiles > Ford Shares Fall Steeply After Forecast

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Housecats are Fair Game in Wisconsin

Thufferin Thuckitash! Get that Pussy back in the house or she'll be an exploding fur ball. Voters in Wisconsin have voted to allow hunting of feral domestic housecats. I've decided to start a magazine geared to this particular pastime. I'm going to call it Garfield & Stream.

ABC News: Wisconsin Voters Back Plan to Hunt Cats
Animal of the Month: Cambodian River Stingray

Large freshwater fish all over the world are in steep decline. One of the largest freshwater fish, if not the largest, is the River Stingray of the Mekong River in Cambodia. This fish is said to grow over 1000 lbs. Heck, I'm afraid of the two pound stingrays of the coast of Florida. From the looks of this guy his spine could turn me into an hors d'oeuvre.

National Geographic News Photo Gallery: Mekong Giant Catfish

Monday, April 11, 2005

JVC-GR-DF550 Camcorder

Spring is big time to buy camcorders. There are weddings, graduations, and vacations on the way. I bought a new camcorder last year, a Canon ZR-85, and it is piece of junk. It takes worse video that the 9 year old RCA Hi-8 model that it replaced. I'm now looking to replace the Canon, and this JVC is the leading candidate. I'm writing this mostly to warn off potential buyers of Mini DV camcorders about design problems that are common to the vast majority of popular priced (under $500 street) camcorders out there. (This is more of a preview than a review because I don't have the JVC-GR-DF550. A friend asked me what kind of camcorder he should get, so I'm copying to the blog what I recommended to him.)

As they've shrunk camcorders, they've shrunk the image sensor. This results in less light hitting the image sensor and poor low-light performance. The Canon ZR-85 has a 1/6 inch image sensor, and it's low light (read: indoors) performance just stinks. The JVC linked below has a 1/4.5 sensor and digital noise reduction.

In the name of cost control, Canon did away with microphone inputs, so there's no way to record live sound through an external input. You have a gret and growing discrepancy between big zooms on the video and audio that's tied to the camera body. JVC is one of the few camcorders in this class that retains a microphone input.

The Canon shoots the miniDV format which in theory has resolution up to ED quality (about 480 lines of resolution). Nevertheless, it doesn't have an S-video out jack, so you are limited to composite video resolution when you play back on your television. The JVC has S-Video out.

The JVC has an impressive still camera pixel resolution of 1.33 megapixels. While that is low compared to still cameras, remember, you can use the optical zoom on the camcorder which is better than almost all consumer grade digital still cameras. Once you are zoomed out 2-3x, you arent' going to be able to keep the camera still enough to maintain useful resolution of better than 1.33 megapixels without sophisticated optical image stabilization. Optical image stabilization is still the province of >$1000 cameras.

So for a street price of under $500, the JVC GR-DF550 looks like the model to get in the 2005 camcorder class.

JVC GR-DF550 Camcorder Review - MiniDV Camcorders - JVC Camcorders - Camcorder Reviews - Consumer Camcorders -

Friday, April 08, 2005

If General Motors thinks things are bad - Things are worse at Mitsubishi

From the article below:

Never mind that Mitsubishi sells only about half the vehicles it once did in the U.S. At its peak, it sold more than 300,000 vehicles a year; last year, it sold 161,609, and about 30 percent of those were to rental and company fleets, which don't generate as much income as retail sales and damage residual values and image.

Not only that, but its CEO is named, I kid you not, Gilligan. Is the Chairman of the Board going to hit Gilligan with his hat when he makes a bonehead move?

Inside Line: Mitsubishi: Can This Brand Be Saved? -
GM Pulls $10 Million in Advertising from L.A. Times over Product Criticism

General Motors has pulled all advertising from the Las Angeles Times newspaper for the forseeable future over what it claims are inaccuracies in the paper's editorial coverge. What seems to have stuck in the General's craw the most is the product review of the Pontiac G6 by Dan Niel that is linked below. Here's an excerpt:

GM is a morass of a business case, but one thing seems clear enough, and Lutz's mistake was to state the obvious and then recant: The company's multiplicity of divisions and models is turning into a circular firing squad. How can four nearly identical minivans — one each for Pontiac, Buick, Chevrolet and Saturn — be anything but a waste of resources? Ditto the Four Horsemen of Suburbia, the Buick Rainier, Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy and Saab 9-7X. How does the Pontiac Montana minivan square with Pontiac as the "Excitement" division? Why, exactly, is GMC on this Earth?

(I added the emphasis. Gee, Dan, tell me how you really feel.)

With this attitude towards criticism, onewonders if in a few months whether G.M. will have any forums in which to place their advertising.

An American idle

More Interesting News

I don't have much time, but there's lots of interesting stuff going on.

Another Walmart Scandal over Corruption & Union Busting.

I have a paper subscription to the Wll Street Journal, and the on-line version is a paid-only site. Here's the teaser from today's edition:

A Wal-Mart Legend's Trail of Deceit

Wal-Mart's ex-vice chairman had subordinates create fake invoices to get the firm to pay for personal expenses, papers suggest. The questionable activity appears to involve dozens of transactions, including hunting vacations and alligator boots.

The Vice President would allegedly routinely ask for cash distributions without receipts alleging that they were for "union activities". (The underlying assumption was that they would be used to fund a union-busting slush fund.) We'll hear more about this story later.

Also - A Federal judge Rejected Kirk Kevorkian's claims of Fraud against Daimler Chrysler over the false representations of the "merger of equals."

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Monsturd - Can 5219 websites be wrong?

I just became aware of a dvd called Monsturd. The title is not deceptive. This is a movie about a giant walking turd that kills people. I was apparently among the last to hear of this classic as a Google search showed 5219 hits. Reviews are surprisingly mixed.

Google Search: monsturd
2006 The Year of Direct Injection Engines?

You could say that 2004 was the year of the hybrid. 2005 was the year of the variable displacement engine. It looks like 2006 will be the year of the direct injection engine. Diesel engines have long benefited from direct injection. Direct injection gasoline engines have been around awhile, but for various technical reasons have not been commonplace. One reason was the quality of the fuel didn't allow for reliable burning. In Japan, direct injection gasoline engines have been becoming more common over the last decade or so. It looks like there will be an explosion of new models with direct injection for model year 2006.

Mazdaspeed 6 - a special edition of the Mazda6
Toyota IS-330
Volkswagen Passat
Audi A4
Mercedes C320
Lexus GS300 and IS300

General Motors has a direct injection version of its ecotech engine available in Opel models in Europe, and GM's Japanese affillite, Izuzu has a direct injection v-6 that was briefly available in the Axiom model in 2004. We'll see more of these engines in the future.

Here's a link to an article that describes various technical innovations that are making their way into automobiles now and in future years.

auto-innovations : innovations, engine
What's this? UAW Membership up 30,000 in 2004?

True, but the growth isn't at the automakers.

UAW ranks swell by 30,000 - 04/05/05
Sound Magazine - Partridge Family Tribute Band

I've written before how I love tribute bands. Here's one with uncanny renditions of Partridge Family songs. From the website, they look like the Partridge Family would have looked about 10 years after the show ended. You have to check out their version of Kiss's "Shout it Out Loud". It's great

The Partridge Family tribute band - Sound Magazine

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Lights Camera - Al Gore in Action

Former VP Al Gore has teamed up with lawyer Joel Hyatt to start a cable news network called Current. I read the article linked below, and I still don't understand the concept well enough to explain it. Apparently, they have $70 million invested in it so far. If you have any more money that you never want to see again, feel free to contact one of the partners in this venture.

Gore's new media venture seeks to blend TV, Internet / Former VP says his Current network gives viewers a voice
Fake Shark Submarine - For the man who has everything

Fabien Cousteau has built a one-man submarine that looks and moves like a Great White Shark. He'll use it in an upcoming documentary.

Wired News: Cousteau Sub Mimics Great White

Tuesday, April 05, 2005 - A site to avoid compulsory website registration

There a lot of interesting websites out there that require compulsory (free) registration. If you would like to check out what they have to offer, but you don't want to go through a lengthy regsitration process, or if you don't want them to have your personal information, check out On the site, you enter the registration-required website url into the box provided, and the bugmenot site will provide a user name and password that has been registered to access the site.
The Bush Administration's war on Labor Unions

Blogger David Sirota chronicles Bush administration efforts to curtail labor unions.

Sirotablog: Bush Steps Up His War on Workers

Monday, April 04, 2005

Make Tom DeLay your Health Care Representative.

When I started my vacation, there was no talk radio or news that wasn't completely overwhelmed by the Terri Schaivo story. House Majority Leader, Tom DeLay led the fight for congressional action to remove the feeding tube, and in so doing, this conservative Republican threw out traditional values such as separation of powers and federalism.

Since Tom DeLay apparently thinks he is wiser than Michael Schaivo and all of the Florida courts when it comes to life and death decisions, Michael Moore apparently decided that you might want to name Tom DeLay as your health care representative. So the website has a form where you can do just that. (Note, this form merges two concepts which in Indiana are traditionally subject to two separate documents, a health care power of appointment and a living will. Since the link is provided as a joke, I'm sending the link.! : Latest News
Back from Vacation - Did you Miss Me?

Admit it, you did. Over the next couple weeks, I'll write about some things that came to mind after observing the world outside my office for a week.

For now, a touch of legal stuff

The Googleteer looks at Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act - BARF

The newly passed bankruptcy law has now has a common name that I'm sure the authors never intended "BARF". The Googleteer found 623 hits on Bankruptcy Reform and BARF. At first glance, the acronym either comes from BAnkruptcy ReForm or Bankruptcy Abuse Reform Fiasco. Either way, it looks like this is a nickname that will stick.

Google Search: barf bankruptcy reform