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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Coming Soon

February 20th, 2012 - 12:32 pm

Steak ‘n Shake is coming to your neighborhood, and I can think of five guys who ought to be nervous.

I Screen, You Screen…

February 20th, 2012 - 12:10 pm

Samsung is the world leader in LCD screen production. Problem is, not even they can make any damn money at it, which is why they’re spinning off their LCD division into a new company. Here’s the story:

Citing a “structural change” underway in the display business, which the company believes is transitioning to OLED screens, Samsung’s board of directors approved the spin-off of its LCD business, allowing it to potentially merge with Samsung Mobile Display. The new company will be known by the tentative name Samsung Display Co., Ltd.

Samsung’s board of directors believes the spin-off will allow the LCD business to be more competitive going forward. Some companies, like Apple, have been reluctant to buy components like screens from Samsung, as the company also makes smartphones and tablets to compete with its own products in addition to manufacturing components.

That’s a big bet on OLED screens, which always seem to be tomorrow’s Next Big Thing.

Who’s the Obstructionists Now?

February 20th, 2012 - 10:08 am

Jeremy Kolassa found the telling detail from Tim Geithner’s recent congressional testimony:

Timothy Geithner, appearing before Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) and the House Budget Committee, had an absolutely fantastic line that we should keep for the ages:

Allow me to focus on that last part by copying the blockquote from Guy Benson’s piece from Townhall:

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, speaking on behalf of the Obama White House, to Rep. Paul Ryan: “You are right to say we’re not coming before you today to say ‘we have a definitive solution to that long term problem.’ What we do know is, we don’t like yours.”

You hear that? They have no plan, but they don’t like “yours” (being the GOP’s.)

Where are the adults in the room right now? We have the Democrats who have failed to pass a budget in the Senate for over three years and an Administration that is not even pretending to take care of the problems the country faces and only says “We don’t like your plan.”

Now who is being the “obstructionist party?”

Don’t confuse them with facts, Jeremy.

Stupid, Stupid, Stupid

February 20th, 2012 - 9:03 am

I just spent 90 minutes this morning writing a column — yes, an entire column — about Steak ‘n’ Shake. That’s not inherently stupid, but it’s extremely stupid to do it on a day when I have no chance at all of driving up to Denver to grab a triple steakburger for lunch.

Anyway, I’m waiting to hear from Ed Driscoll if he wants it for the PJ Lifestyle blog. If not, I’ll post it here shortly.

Anyone willing to run down here from Centennial with a Takehomeasack of triple steakburger with cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle, and mustard, with large fries, a cup of chili, and a chocolate shake?

Another Priceless Web Tool

February 19th, 2012 - 12:42 pm

It’s a blunt-force tool, and I love it — JavaScript Blacklist. This one is an extension for Safari, and it easily lets you blacklist entire web domains from running JavaScripts. Anything from Tynt* — which I loathe more than overcooked beef or watered-down cocktails — is one of the defaults.

Free download, no need to relaunch your browser, works as promised.

*Pronounced “taint,” I do believe.

It’s (No Longer) Hip to be Square

February 19th, 2012 - 8:07 am

Via Tyler Durden… well, I’ll just let the chart speak for itself.

The safety net is becoming a barcalounger. Who’s got the remote?

Your Saturday Afternoon Dose of Doom & Gloom

February 18th, 2012 - 1:12 pm

The payroll tax cuts — just extended yesterday — are a bad idea for a number of reasons. In no particular order:

• They’ve provided zero measurable benefit to employment or economic growth.

• They add to our staggering deficit.

• They further compromise our already-bust entitlements system.

But there’s another reason. Turns out, the cuts are even more expensive than we thought. Here’s Kevin Williamson to explain:

The new deal on the payroll-tax extension (which will do little or nothing to benefit the economy) was held up by a largely unrelated matter: requiring federal workers to contribute more toward the costs of their own pensions. (More, Congress? How does 100 percent strike you?) The original proposal would have required all federal workers to bear more of the costs of their own retirements, but Democrats representing Maryland, that tony little suburb of Leviathan, shrieked. The compromise instead will cover only new hires.

We’ve gotten to the point where government can’t agree to give us back even just a little something-something, without first bribing itself. Pretty sure that means we’re deep into a positive-feedback loop, from which we’re unlikely to recover without first suffering a fiscal armageddon.

Hell, Yeah, I Do

February 18th, 2012 - 8:18 am

Homeland Security saves the country from attack hair dryers, romance advice from Al Sharpton, Nancy Pelosi does a $400,000 one-eighty, and Stacy McCain exposes Tina Korbe’s thighs — all on another exciting episode of… The Week in Blogs!

BONUS: Occupy — The Motion Picture!

Friday Night Videos

February 17th, 2012 - 9:44 pm
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She was crazier than stuffing your undies full of habaneros, but her debut album was stunning and fearless.

The Trillion Dollar Roach Motel

February 17th, 2012 - 2:02 pm

Round and round she goes, where she stops — everybody knows:

For some Washington reporters and media execs, cheering their team from the sidelines just isn’t good enough: Tugging on a red, white and blue Team Obama jersey is the answer.

That’s the case for a whopping 19 journalists and media executives, including five from the Washington Post and three each from ABC and CNN, who’ve gone into the administration or center-left groups supporting the president.

It’s becoming more and more obvious that the “revolving door” doesn’t actually exist. There isn’t an inside/outside of the government/national media. There’s just one big greedy, grasping glob of malevolence.

Steve Jobs was famous for treating the mainstream media like a… I was going to say “doormat,” but that’s not quite right. “Cheap hooker” might be more to the point. Occasionally briefly useful, but otherwise nobody you want to associate with. And Jobs was ruthlessly vindictive when it came to bad press. Well:

With yesterday’s announcements from Apple regarding its forthcoming OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion operating system, a number of media outlets had been provided with advance briefings and early copies of the software for the purposes of having reviews prepared and ready to go. When Apple published its press release and went live with OS X Mountain Lion information at 8:30 AM Eastern yesterday, the embargo was lifted and all of the pre-briefed publications immediately posted their stories on the topic.

But one publication with a long track record of receiving favored access from Apple was missing from that group: The New York Times. An article from the Times’ David Pogue was published about five hours after Apple’s announcement, and it did not appear to include any specific details suggesting that he had received advance notice of the release.

Jobs is gone, but Apple remains Apple.

Oh, this is the big one. You hear that Elizabeth? I’m coming to join you honey.

We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Plan

February 17th, 2012 - 9:35 am

While the GOP strangles itself debating the morality of contraceptives, the White House continues to strangle the nation with debt. Here’s Philip Klein:

On Monday, Obama unveiled a budget that added to the debt while using a series of budget gimmicks to claim deficit reduction. And today, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner conceded that the administration didn’t even attempt to do anything about the nation’s long-term debt problem.

Earlier today, he told the Senate Budget Committee that long-term spending would be “unsustainable” even if Obama’s budget was fully adopted. Later, in a separate hearing, he explained to House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., that the only intention of the Obama budget was to address deficits in the next decade, not to put the nation on a sustainable fiscal path. He also trashed Ryan’s budget, which does actually solve the problem, for putting too much of a burden on seniors to pay for health care.

“We’re not coming before you to say we have a definitive solution to that long-term problem,” Geithner told Ryan. “What we do know is we don’t like yours.”

Later, when DC inflates its debts away and impoverishes the nation, the Democrats will blame the devastation on “greedy bankers” and “the rich.”

An Excellent Question

February 16th, 2012 - 2:40 pm

Doug Mataconis asks, “Are Republican voters suicidal?” That’s in response to some strange numbers from inside that recent Michigan GOP poll:

As I noted in my earlier post, the latest poll from the Detroit News shows Rick Santorum leading Mitt Romney by four points among likely Michigan primary voters, this depite the fact that Romney clearly beats Santorum in the areas that one would think actually matter to voters:

Romney was four points behind with Santorum even though far more voters believe he’s a better leader than Santorum (38 percent to 15.8 percent) and more likely to beat President Barack Obama (42.2 percent to 18.4 percent).

It seems even Santorum voters don’t think much of Santorum. If correct, it strengthens the argument that Santorum isn’t much more than the most recent Not-Romney.

It’s the Unportable Portable

February 16th, 2012 - 11:06 am

Shorter Samsung Galaxy Note review: My God, it’s full of stars!

No, really:

Alternate take: That’s no moon — that’s a space station.

Cult of Personality

February 16th, 2012 - 9:51 am

Trifecta: The Dear Leader is alive and well — and in the White House.

Somebody’s (Not) Watching Me

February 16th, 2012 - 8:41 am

Just a quick update to Monday’s item about Do Not Track Plus.

In 48 hours, this thing has killed off more than 5,200 attempts to track my browsing. I look at websites as a big part of my job, so a big number didn’t come as a surprise. But that big? I had no idea.

But that’s nothing compared to how much easier life is for my CPU. I keep Apple’s Activity Monitor up and running all the time, just because I’m a bit of a geek like that. Under a typical browser workload — which for me is a lot of open windows and tabs — my browser web content could be eating up anywhere from an eighth to a quarter of my CPU cycles. That’s been cut down by about 80%.

In other words, web trackers might be quadrupling the processor load of your web browser, slowing down your whole system.

As I said the other day, just go and download it right now.

The Problem with Rick Santorum

February 16th, 2012 - 7:37 am

Rick Santorum is the See ‘n’ Say candidate for President. Point the arrow, pull the lever, and you’ll get two minutes/five minutes/twenty minutes of heartfelt bromide, on whatever topic the arrow points to.

Maybe “bromide” is too strong a word, but it’s the one that comes to mind whenever Santorum is speaking. Because no matter what the topic is, he always sounds sincere, earnest, very well rehearsed, and without any consideration of importance. Santorum might be talking about anything — the deficit, war with Iran, sodomy, birth control, various forms of igneous rock, the history and proper use of the dreidel — it just doesn’t matter. The arrow inside his head lands on a subject, somebody pulls his lever, and off he goes.

A candidate has got to pick a message and stay on-message, or the media will tear him apart with distractions. That’s part malice, part boredom, I suspect — but mostly just reporters looking for good copy. What what’s better copy than a candidate who can be made to spout off on anything at any time? (“Hey, Jake — I bet you ten dollars I can get him to talk for two minutes about proper tire inflation.”)

This isn’t just a matter of a personal dislike for Santorum’s persona, either — although I do have plenty of that. America’s mind is made up on birth control, and we’re for it. America’s mind is made up on sodomy, and we’d like to keep it in the bedroom and away from the podium. That Santorum can get tangled up in losing crusades is a very strong signal that he lacks the focus to win a general election. It signals that he lacks, in a very fundamental way, the ability to prioritize and pick his battles. I wouldn’t let Rick Santorum near the levers of real power, any sooner than I’d give a set of steak knives to a coked-up spider monkey. In short order, we’d wind up with a bloody mess.

You want the general election to become a national referendum on birth control and blow jobs? Then vote for Rick in your primary. I know the Democrats and the Mainstream Media (but I repeat myself) would just love that. But if you insist, I’ve saved up enough “pull the lever” jokes to get us through November.

It’s Not a Crazy Conspiracy Theory

February 15th, 2012 - 7:36 am

Trifecta: Here’s a trifecta for you — George Soros, Barack Obama, and George Stephanopoulos. How the One Percent, Washington, and the MSM have rigged the game against you.

No Macs Were Harmed in the Making of This Video

February 14th, 2012 - 2:28 pm

Trifecta: It’s the same old story: Girl gets mad at Dad, posts on Facebook. Dad reads Facebook, gets mad at girl. Dad shoots girl’s laptop with .45. YouTube gets video of Dad.

Happy Valentine’s Day

February 14th, 2012 - 12:19 pm

Stacy McCain is making sure I don’t get murdered, because he’s cool like that.

Excuses, Excuses

February 14th, 2012 - 10:27 am

I took a long weekend to Jackson, WY — and totally forgot to link you up with the all-new, All Star Edition of The Week in Blogs.

Honestly, we have everybody doing everything this week. You won’t want to miss it.

Somebody’s Watching Me

February 14th, 2012 - 8:48 am

Do Not Track Plus — just go and download it right now. It’s a free browser plugin for all the bigs. Not only does it block companies from tracking your web browsing, it really speeds up your page load times.

Popular Mechanics has nine different trackers on its site, which might explain why it tends to suck so much. Well, not for me, not anymore.

UPDATE: Slate and Daily Caller top the charts with an even dozen apiece. I suspected Drudge would have been one of the worst offenders, but Drudge Report is at a relatively benign four.

I’m (Not) Melting! I’m (Not) Melting!

February 11th, 2012 - 1:14 pm

Science:

The world’s greatest snow-capped peaks, which run in a chain from the Himalayas to Tian Shan on the border of China and Kyrgyzstan, have lost no ice over the last decade, new research shows.

The discovery has stunned scientists, who had believed that around 50bn tonnes of meltwater were being shed each year and not being replaced by new snowfall.

Now let me add my two cents. If scientists are stunned by simple data collection, they’re doing it wrong. Their job is to dispassionately collect and analyze the data, not get all worked up because it didn’t fit their pet theory.

So, um — might be time to drop the hissy fits and adjust the theory, yes?

Friday Night Videos

February 10th, 2012 - 9:31 pm
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Most of the synth-driven stuff from the early ’80s hasn’t aged very well. But that’s certainly not true about The Motel’s biggest hit, “Only The Lonely.” And the album, All Four One, remains a pretty solid listen, 30 years later.

Thirty years? Jeebus.

It Almost Writes Itself

February 10th, 2012 - 2:38 pm

Nate Nelson: The libertarian case against Rick Santorum.

He makes an excellent Tea Party case against the former Senator, too.

Turnaround Artist

February 10th, 2012 - 12:29 pm

Here’s Jim DeMint explaining to Reason why Republicans must become more libertarian.

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That’s a long way from 2009, when he claimed that “You can’t be a fiscal conservative and not be a social conservative.”

Welcome aboard, Senator.

Whole Lotta Hate

February 10th, 2012 - 8:20 am

Other than Fandroids, who hates the iPhone? iPhone carriers:

Wireless carriers trip over themselves to offer Apple’s iPhone, especially in the United States. Sprint wanted the handset so badly it was willing to guarantee Apple $15.5 billion over four years for the privilege of selling its sleek smartphone, and it certainly didn’t help matters much in the fourth quarter when Sprint posted a $1.3 billion loss. T-Mobile is still sour over failed negotiations with Apple, and the carrier has resorted to offering up free microSIM cards to iPhone users willing to come aboard and forgo 3G data speeds.

“A logical conclusion is that the iPhone is not good for wireless carriers,” Nomura Securities analyst Mike McCormack told CNNMoney. “When we look at the direct and indirect economics that Apple has managed to extract from the carriers, the carrier-level value destruction is quite evident.” The site notes that Verizon Wireless’s EBITDA service margin has dropped from an average of 46.4% per quarter to 42.2% since the carrier added the iPhone to its lineup one year ago.

But the iPhone is a necessary evil for carriers that some expect to pay off in the long run.

The real reason carriers hate the iPhone, is that the customer relationship goes through Apple and not the carrier. It doesn’t do AT&T or Verizon any good that the nearly-three-year-old iPhone 3GS can run still the latest version of iOS. That’s a big reason why Apple can still sell new 3GS’s by the millions, and why millions more are using old 3GS hand-me-downs instead of buying new phones.

Try getting Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich on an even six-month-old phone. Carriers would rather you just pony up for a new phone — and a new contract.

Well That’s Nice

February 10th, 2012 - 5:40 am

Occupy Wall Street is getting into bed with… The Weather Underground? See here:

Occupy Albany has announced an event in March called, The Weather Underground Meets Occupy Wall Street. The event will be held March 3rd, and is co-sponsored by The Sanctuary For Independent Media and the Albany Social Justice Center. It is described as, “A book event and multi-generational dialog to celebrate U.S. political prisoner David Gilbert’s new memoir, “Love and Struggle.”

Idiot children are going to get somebody blown up.

I Scream, You Scream…

February 9th, 2012 - 2:44 pm

Trifecta: See San Francisco’s war against small business and… ice cream?