Friday, August 31, 2007

Can We Get FHA Help Too?

From Bloomberg - Bush will announce at 11:10 a.m. in Washington that the Federal Housing Administration, which insures mortgages for low- and middle-income borrowers, will guarantee loans for delinquent borrowers, allowing them to avoid foreclosure and refinance at more favorable rates.

Dear Mr. Bush,

My wife & I are able to understand basic Time/Value/Money calculations. We are also capable of realizing that even our combined incomes will not be able to make payments on a $1M home (although Countrywide tried their hardest to convince us otherwise). We used to think these were positive traits, however we now see that we were so wrong in securing a fixed-rate mortgage we could actually afford. Please can we have your permission to switch to a Subprime so we can qualify for some nice lower rates as I don't think we're currently eligible? Oh, we have some crazily responsible friends who'd like to get some of these rates & guarantees too.

Yes, of course I'm sympathetic to people who are losing their homes. If they were duped by unscrupulous financiers & brokers than surely that's a matter for the criminal courts not an FHA bail out? Perhaps the Feds should have refunded the Enron investor's money too? How about a nice Federal refund if the auto dealership talked you into a silly finance deal?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Old Is New

Coke's gone all retro on us. Here's the new, simplified can against the old, bubbly, drop shadow design. Maybe they should bring back the pull ring while they're at it?

Worse thing Coke ever did was sub in corn syrup for sugar. Luckily, here in Texas we can get the "Real Thing" from our cross border amigos although some at corporate would like to change that.

Bringing Sexy (hatch) Back

Could it be possible that Ford is finally leveraging some of it's other auto properties and proposing a small car that is actually way cool? From comes news of the new Verve concept which obviously takes huge styling cues from Ford's own Aston Martin, and some of the most gorgeous cars in the world. Ford, you need to build this car.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Whoa Nellie!

Oops, starting getting 503 Proxy errors today (not this cute one though). Maybe it's time to reign in those network settings and start looking a little less like a DOS attack!


Don't all rush at once but I've got a bunch of junk for sale on ebay.

TV Gaffes?

I find it ironic that Miss Teen South Carolina has taken so much flack for her pageant bumblings. TV presenters who have their monologues ghost written and spend their lives reading prompters & cue cards seem only too happy to weigh in on this girl. So she said some meaningless things. And that makes her different from 90% of the stuff on TV in exactly what way? It all looks pretty mean spirited to me.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Big Problems

From one of my favorite websites (horrible design, stunning content) comes this of the Pasha Bulker grounded on the beach at Newcastle, Australia. This is obviously shot with a telephoto lens somewhat shortening the foreground, however it still illustrates the vastness of modern merchant vessels. In the almost completely unregulated world maritime industry the increasing scare is who owns what and where? For further reading on this fascinating world within our World I recommend a copy of this.


China's net censorship was seemingly sporadic and haphazard. It was sometimes hard to know if you were being blocked or if the routing had just glitched. Not so in Dubai where they have it down to a science. Also blocked there are all the VOIP options such as Skype. Apparently someone in the royal entourage owns the phone company so I guess that figures.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Sight & Sound In Concert

Back in the 70's the Beeb (BBC) used to do a Saturday evening TV & Radio simulcast called Sight & Sound In Concert. The idea was pretty revolutionary at the time, turn down the goggle box, turn up the radio and enjoy some great music. Best part was, each show featured an established act and a newcomer without the art-school navel contemplation of the Old Grey Whistle Test either. I discovered so many great bands through the show & would hook up my Akai tape recorder every Saturday night to capture the concerts. My favorite by far and away was Ian Dury & The Blockheads (yet to release their first album) opening for Dr. Feelgood. I remembered it as a rock solid groove with these shambling vocals laid over the top. Alas my tapes are long gone but listening to this I guess my memory served me well (not entirely work safe).

Sex Drugs Rock Roll Ian Dury
Uploaded by benoitbelote

EDIT : Actually if my memory serves correctly this clip is from the Blockheads return to S&S when they headlined. I'm thinking the opening act may have been Lew Lewis but it's been awhile!

The Indians Send Signals...

I think I wore the grooves clean off this record.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Mac Must-Haves

Freeware/Donationware/Shareware no Mac-Head with a penchant for audio should be without -
  • Airfoil - stream audio from any application to your AirTunes network
  • AULab - from Apple, "test" Audio Units applications or use with Soundflower and hardware interfaces to create your own software based audio inserts
  • Carbon Copy Cloner - simply create bootable backups of your HD
  • Cyberduck - simple, fast FTP, includes a Widget
  • Flip4Mac - play WMV files in Quicktime
  • Handbrake - make, ah-hum, backups of your DVDs plus transcoding
  • iPlaylist Copier - export the contents of an iTunes playlist as audio files
  • Parallels - actually commercial software, allow the seamless use of Windows apps on your Mac without a reboot.
  • Soundflower - route audio from one application to another without leaving the computer
  • Switch - software from down under that converts from any audio file format to any other, including as a batch
  • Tubesock - download & decode virtually any Flash-embedded file, great for Daily Motion rips
Now get downloading!