Ahh, the Rapture. At last!

Thanks to Pat Robertson, I have been told to prepare for the Second Coming. The fact that this Catholic knows about the rapture is an unfortunate byproduct of a paying too much attention at evangelical summer camps and an taking too much Latin to avoid my high school language requirement.

I suppose if I wasn’t blessed with an analytical mind, I’d find it comforting to find out that the frequency and devastation wrought by hurricanes has nothing to do with global warming. Tell me, Pat, should I be sacrificing my children now?

Continue reading Ahh, the Rapture. At last!

The music subscription model

I had almost forgotten that Microsoft was supposed to launch their iTunes Music Store killer this year, perhaps even their own player (but more likely to be co-launched with some hungry electronics conglomerate). What ever happened to that?

Now we know.

Reuters reports that Microsoft has stopped licensing talks with the big 4 music labels.

The most informative note in the article was this one:

According to several people briefed on the matter, the labels separately were seeking royalty payments of $6 to $8 per user, per month. People close to the labels say that is in line with what existing subscription-music services pay, the Journal reported.

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Fox Snooze

book cover: Amusing Ourselves to Death
Amusing Ourselves to Death from Penguin Books

Former Fox news correspondent, David Shuster explains how Fox distorted the news to right editorially. While this is normally so obvious that it doesn’t deserve mention, there was an interesting quote from him:

“Editorially, I had issues with story selection,” Shuster went on. “But the bigger issue was that there wasn’t a tradition or track record of honoring journalistic integrity. I found some reporters at Fox would cut corners or steal information from other sources or in some cases, just make things up. Management would either look the other way or just wouldn’t care to take a closer look. I had serious issues with that.”

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DxO Optics Pro 3.5 announced

book cover: Bridge to Terabithia
DxO Optics Pro 3.5 from DxO (email)

In November, DxO just announced they will be releasing DxO Optics Pro 3.5.

Maybe a bit of history is in order.

DxO started with DxO Analyzer package used by magazines and websites in order to evaluate the quality of lenses and cameras. Taking some shots of specialized targets at specific distances and camera settings, reviewers to analyze quantitatively things camera design compromises such as image sharpness, ISO noise, vignetting, chromatic abberation, and spherical distortion.
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Preaching against a non-existent Left

In Kenneth Woodward’s Op-Ed in the New York Times, he talks about Intelligent Design, which is an attempt to get creationism taught in public schools by stating evolution is “just a theory.” The premise of his argument is that science and religion need not conflict.

Well, duh!

He undercuts counter argument by engaging in a reverse ad hominem: mounting his high horse as “a religious believer who recognizes evolution and does not think intelligent design theory belongs in any school’s science curriculum.”

Hmm, I’m all that and a scientist to boot.

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My reading list…

book cover: Bridge to Terabithia
Bridge to Terabithia from HarperTrophy

In light of it being Banned Books Week, I went back to the ALA’s list of most challenged books in the last decade and I was surprised to see Bridge to Terabithia made the top 10. This book was first published in 1977 and was one of my favorite books growing up. A quick net search told me it was challenged (and banned) because of offensive language and satanism.

What a laugh!

The only thing satanic about this book is the number of reviews on Amazon. Since the “satanic worship” done in the book is a bunch of children play acting Narnia, one of the most pro-Christian fantasy pieces of all time, the irony is stunning.Continue reading My reading list…

The cost of two iPods…

This article merges two favorites of mine—politics and gratuitous references to Apple:

The public’s reluctance to contribute much more than the cost of two iPods [$600] to the administration’s attempt to offer citizens “a further stake in building a free and prosperous Iraq” has been seized on by critics as evidence of growing ambivalence over that country.

The English are funny.