The Redirection: Seymour Hersh

The New Yorker : fact : content:
"To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda."

This is a long and complex article, but the up-shot of it is that the Bush administration is funding groups sympathetic to Al-Qaeda - illegally - with Saudi Arabian money. (Anyone old enough to remember Iran-Contra?)

A more accessible version of this is the Fresh Air interview with Seymour Hersh. You'll want to be sitting down when you listen to this. Seymour Hersh has an amazing track record. He was the primary person who broke the Abu Ghraib story in 2004. He won a Pulitzer Prize for his 1969 coverage of the My Lai massacre.

Apparently the Bush administration is surprised that the Shiites in Iraq are aligning themselves with the Shiites in Iran. The Bush administration continues to view the Middle East as a conflict between moderates and radicals, rather than a sectarian war between the Shiites and the Sunnis, which has been going on for over a thousand years.

One mildly hinted-at implication of the missing billions of dollars from rebuilding Iraq is that those moneys have been redirected to funding militias - either explicitly by our government or indirectly because the lack of accountability for the distribution of funds which allowed corrupt officials in Iraq to redirect the funds. Ouch.

But worse is the use of Saudi Arabian money to fund Sunni radical groups.

And even worse than that is more vague and probably fabricated intelligence that Iran is actually attacking American soldiers in Iraq. Once again, the Bush administration chooses who they want to listen to and ignores everyone else. Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia is a 'friend' of the administration and has been supplying money and highly suspect intelligence about Iran - self-serving intelligence that will get the US to attack Shiite-controlled Iran to the great benefit of Sunni-controlled Saudi Arabia.

(C) 2007 Stephen Clarke-Willson

One bomb a day keeps the good press away

Laura Bush:
"Of course, many parts of Iraq are stable, but what we see is that one bombing a day that discourages everyone..."

It boggles the mind.

© 2007 Stephen Clarke-Willson - All Rights Reserved.

DailyTech - Blu-ray Total Sales Surpass HD DVD

DailyTech - Blu-ray Total Sales Surpass HD DVD:
The launch of the PlayStation 3 helps explain Blu-ray’s increased pace, though Ken Graffeo, head of HD DVD affairs at Universal Studios Home Entertainment—an HD DVD-only supporter—isn’t convinced in Sony’s console sway. “Given that the life-to-date title sales ratios are close to 1:1, and given that Blu-ray has a 5:1 ratio right now on the hardware side due to the PS3, why aren’t Blu-ray software sales outpacing HD DVD by a similar ratio?” he asked. “In fact, HD DVD players continue to have an attach rate (life-to-date) that is more than five times that of Blu-ray players.”

I repeat: Blu-Ray is doomed. BTW - guess how much an HD-DVD drive costs to manufacture? $79.00.


Ellen's Pic

Ellen Degeneres' picture with Clint Eastwood that she had Steven Spielberg take at the Oscars.

She said on the show she would paste it to MySpace and she did. (Or one of her people did!)

© 2007 Stephen Clarke-Willson - All Rights Reserved.


Barefoot College

Rocketboom - Barefoot College

I love it when one guy is a thousand times more effective than all of the government- and non-government organizations combined.


Just can't wait until 2008

Political Humor - Just Can't Wait until 2008

Dr. Mann and his Hockey Stick

Al Gore - not very accurate
The AP also chose to ignore Gore’s reliance on the now-discredited “hockey stick” by Dr. Michael Mann, which claims that temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere remained relatively stable over 900 years, then spiked upward in the 20th century, and that the 1990’s were the warmest decade in at least 1000 years. Last week’s National Academy of Sciences report dispelled Mann’s often cited claims by reaffirming the existence of both the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age. See Senator Inhofe’s statement on the broken “Hockey Stick.”

Hockey Stick - NOT
“Today’s NAS report reaffirms what I have been saying all along, that Mann's ‘hockey stick’ is broken,” Senator Inhofe said. “Today’s report refutes Mann's prior assertions that there was no Medieval Warm Period or Little Ice Age.”

.: U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works :: Majority Page :.:
Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, announced today that former Vice President Al Gore, one of the world’s leading voices on global warming, has agreed to appear before the Committee next month. Vice President Gore is expected to appear before the full committee on March 21, 2007 (details to follow).

So this Hockey Stick graph that shows a sudden spike in the average temperature of the Earth in the last one hundred years is completely bogus. The math is wrong, the data is wrong, and it's not any kind of secret that it's wrong. And yet Al Gore was just on the Oprah Show with this famous graph.

I hope Mr. Gore is asked by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works to justify his continuing use of the graph. Because it is a scary looking graph. And it's complete shit.

No wonder your average citizen doesn't believe in science or the scientific method anymore. Too many scientists don't practice it. The great thing, though, is that anyone can practice the scientific method - just search for results that are reproducible and useful for making verifiable predictions. That means ignoring most email you get! If someone sends you an email telling you anything at all - check it out before you send it on.

Can you tell the difference between a Female and a Shemale?

Can you tell the difference between a Female and a Shemale?

I got 9/16. It told me "to be careful out there."

Planet Dan - Feat. Falling George


Falling George is particularly amusing. It looks like it's done entire in HTML. Pretty good rag doll physics for HTML.


Google class debuts at the UW

Google class debuts at the UW:
At 26 and at the top of his game as one of Google's vaunted software engineers, Christophe Bisciglia found himself bored and restless. Writing computer code at the world's most successful Internet company had become a mind-numbing chore. Even the outside diversions his hefty Google salary afforded him -- weekly pedicures, Costa Rica getaways and wind farm investments -- didn't get his juices flowing.

Wow. Google needs to work harder at challenging their vaunted software engineers.

Paul Pressler's Fall From The Gap

Paul Pressler's Fall From The Gap
The immediate post-mortem analysis: He was a numbers guy who didn't appreciate the nuances of the fashion business. That's true, but it's only part of the story. Pressler's problems involved more than just a few bad bets on colors and styles. According to 12 former employees interviewed by BusinessWeek, he also bungled some of the very things that were supposed to be his strengths, including cost-cutting campaigns, human resources initiatives, and supply chain streamlining efforts. One ex-employee characterizes Pressler's tenure as "total system failure."

It's funny, because over at MiceAge.com Mr. Pressler's lack of ability as a CEO/President/Leader dude are well documented. I guess the people at the GAP - who are supposed to be hip - never heard of doing any internet search on their candidate for CEO. Of course, you should believe everything you read on the internet - in fact, very little of it - but it can be a starting point for further investigation sometimes.

It was Gap's longstanding corporate culture that caught Pressler's attention early on. At the time, the no-nonsense corporate mantra was "Own it, do it, get it done." But Pressler thought this ethos didn't sufficiently promote collaboration. He set out to promote a new environment built around the slogan "Purpose, Values, and Behaviors." Among the catchphrases were bromides such as: "Explore, Create, and Exceed Together." Pamphlets promoting communication and teamwork landed on employees' desks. Posters and banners trumpeting the bland new slogans went up around headquarters.

Dogbert would have been proud.

GameDaily BIZ: Profits Left Behind

GameDaily BIZ: Profits Left Behind:
Today, Left Behind Games announced the results for the fiscal quarter ending December 31, 2006. The company recorded its first gross revenue of $2.2 million (estimated $1 million net revenue) from the game Left Behind: Eternal Forces. However, the company also posted a loss of $4.1 million, more than $3 million greater than the lost posted same time last year. The controversy in Left Behind: Eternal Forces' content may have hampered sales.

I know Troy Lyndon from his days running Park Place Productions. PPP became famous for making the early John Madden games on the Genesis. If I recall, they made a Magic Johnson basketball game for us at Virgin. I don't think Left Behind Games has a chance in H-E-double toothpicks, so to speak, but it will be fun to watch and see if Troy and team pull things out of the fire, so to speak.


User Comments for Azurik: Rise of Perathia (Xbox)

User Comments for Azurik: Rise of Perathia (Xbox)
Azurik: Rise of Perathia
by Xbox

Vote Now!The average user rating for this Game is 8.4 out of 10 (based on 12 Votes).

Tony J. gave it a 3:
As commented in the reviews, formulaic and predictable. Possibly the least dynamic or exciting collect-em-up ever created. Whoever it was that compared it with Zelda must've had their eyeballs in back to front. This game just makes me want to fall asleep to avoid the monotony of hammering the A button to defeat poorly animated foes, assuming I can even see them in some of the pitch black and disorientating tunnels. A truely lackluster title with laughable voice acting and a cringe inducingly contrived plot (if you can call it that). The mission in the game is to retrieve some discs. Personally I shall be doing my utmost to lose this particular one.

Jimmi A. gave it an 8:
I dont understand the critics about this game. Have they play it for a while, if they have, what do they missed ? OK ! The graphic is not 100%, but frome that time it´s still great. The controll worked very good indeed, and you can handle the cameras like Halo ! If you like different Adventuregame like Zelda in 3D, give it a shance. Not only a couple of hour, littele longer and you are stuck in the game.

Sam C. gave it a 10:
Fantastic!!! My fav. Adventure game in the world. Its got fab. environments, graphics and story line.

Orson gave it a 9:
Es un juego estupendo. No entiendo las puntuaciones de los críticos. Empezando con la musica que es acojonante y terminando por el entorno grafico, que es ENORME y detallado. Solo peta un poco en el agua. La historia es totalmente alineal, no se de que se quejan los criticos, si es lineal te dicen que podia ser mas profunda y si no que hay veces que no sabes que hacer. En este juego tu decides que hacer, donde ir y cuando (hay tanta libertad que hay veces que no sabes bien donde ir). Un juego fantastico.

Hannele O. gave it a 9:
I really love the game, specially because it´so hard to figure out where to go next, when there is just not enough information... Now I´m in a point that I have to let it rest for a while, because I really can`t find the next world... Maybe one day...!!??

Andrew B. gave it an 8:
I really liked it at first, though I got tired of it. After awhile, when I couldn't figure out how to do something, I put it off to the side. I'll probably pick it up again later when I have nothing else to do. It really isn't as bad as the ratings say, however. Though there are some problems.

Chuck F. gave it a 9:
Really cool game, buy the book you'll love it. Don't buy the book you'll wish you could jump off a cliff.

Don W. gave it a 10:
Because of this game.. I will never believe reviews again! A truly incredible experience, mindbending puzzles, astronomically huge environments..with the most clever environmental design I have ever seen..This BEAT zelda for me. If you liked Soul Reaver, Zelda, Shadowman, Mario 64..in short. any title where exploration, puzzles..and building up your character's abilities is the focus..you Have to play this game! I'm betting most of these reviewers only played the demo. there are easily 40 hours of game play here and I could not put it down. Be warned..if you don't like hard games.. this is NOT for you.

Ivy G. gave it a 10:
I wasn't an avid game player. Now I play the game with most of my spare time. And I like how you need to think and work things out.

Garrett O. gave it a 10:
Despite what everyone else thinks, no one was ready for a game that was long and difficult. Most of the people who had anything to say about this game probably didn't even play the game all the way through. I think everyone jumped on the bandwagon, and said "it sucks" when it was one of the best games for the XBOX.

Liz L. gave it a 10:

Jaly A. gave it a 5:
Very very boring.

Look at those awesome user comments. (Well, the first and last guy weren't too hot on the game...) I didn't write a single one of them! (In fact, I never wrote a phony user comment. How tacky would that be? Although I'm sure developers do it all the time.)

Man... if only our marketing guy at Microsoft had worked in the game business before and knew how to talk the talk. Instead, we got some guy that used to sell Haynes Sportswear. I kid you not. What a pisser. (Yes, I am still annoyed after all this time. I, and the team, worked hard on that game.)


XYZ RGB Inc. Full Colour Holograms

XYZ RGB Inc. Full Colour Holograms

Click the link to see a full colour (I mean color) hologram using natural light that animates as you walk around it. Amazing stuff.


80 Core Processor that uses less power than a light bulb

Intel Announces 80 Core Processor Prototype
WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 (Xinhua) -- Intel Corp. announced that it has designed a computer chip prototype which contains as much as 80 cores, performing more than a trillion calculations per second, U.S. media reported on Monday.

The world's biggest chipmaker said the unprecedented programmable computer processor, not larger than a fingernail, can conduct about a trillion calculations per second, a "teraflop." However, it accomplishes this unbelievable performance with just 62 watts of power when the chip is running at a frequency of 3.16 gigahertz.

Now that's a significant improvement. I'd heard a rumor of this 80 core beast about a year ago. I always wondered ... why 80 cores?

GameDaily BIZ: Virgin Offers "A World of My Own"

GameDaily BIZ: Virgin Offers "A World of My Own"
Hoping to be the iTunes of PC titles

Today, Virgin Games and Game Domain International (GDI) announced a new "3D PC games platform." Called "A World of My Own" (AWOMO), this download service will apparently have a 3D interface along with fast downloads and good security. Koch Media was mentioned as a publisher supporting AWOMO.

"This is a really exciting development for us, as it gives us the opportunity to do for PC Games what iTunes has done for music," said Richard Branson, Chairman of Virgin. "The GDI technology will revolutionize how the mass market will play games, and will give them more choice for less money."

"The highly alluring combination of being able to download a game in minutes instead of the existing standard few hours and the promoted mega cash prize gaming tournaments will create a Mecca of opportunities for sponsors and promoters to target the vast gaming community," says Chris Gorman OBE, director of GDI.

AWOMO will launch sometime in 2007, with plenty of games promised "in order to meet the huge international demand expected."

Sounds like Virgin is getting more aggressive about returning to the games business. My impression is that this is focused on the casual games business. Certainly other companies (WildTangent comes to mind) have tried this before. And at the high end, of course, there is Steam, from Valve. And "AWOMO" is a bad name. Very strange. Good luck with this.


D.I.C.E. 07: Guild Wars Nightfall MMO of the Year

D.I.C.E. 07:
Massively Multiplayer Game of the Year

Winner: Guild Wars: Nightfall (ArenaNet/NCsoft)

Eve Online: Revelations (CCP Games/CCP Games)
Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach (Turbine/Atari/Wizards of the Coast)
Auto Assault (Net Devil/NCsoft)




The new Disney.com launched. It's full of streaming video.

I signed up to be notified when Amazon's Unbox Video Service is available for TiVo - the entire process will occur without a computer as an intermediary. And you can delete movies you've bought with Unbox and redownload them - something (last I checked) iTunes didn't allow. (With iTunes you can watch movies you've 'bought' on multiple computers, but you can only download them once (cheap bandwidth bastards), so you have to copy them around yourself.

Of course, Rocketboom is delivered daily to my TiVo, except most days, when it doesn't work.

CNet's Tips for Digital Living is reliably downloaded to my TiVo once a week and I find it very entertaining and just the right length of time (15 minutes).

I'm making an attempt at watching a complete TV series online - Heroes. NBC tends to screw it up a lot so it's been difficult. There is a link that says "Missed an episode? Watch them all online now" but you can't because not all of them are online. Even the link to the most recent episode was broken yesterday - I had to watch the version with "cast commentary" with the volume of the commentary turned way down.

The NBC streaming video is not as compelling as standard def television and even less compelling than high def television, but there are fewer commercials, and you can catch up on the story. NBC really should have all episodes available though - that would be the way to get people on-board who have heard the buzz but don't want to start in the middle of a series.

Broadband FTW!

© 2007 Stephen Clarke-Willson - All Rights Reserved.


Suicide attack kills 105 in Iraq - Conflict in Iraq - MSNBC.com

Suicide attack kills 105 in Iraq - Conflict in Iraq - MSNBC.com:
Nobody claimed responsibility for the attacks in the oil-rich region, but concerns have been raised that insurgents have fled north to avoid the impending crackdown in Baghdad.

And there you have it - the problem with George Bush's surge. The insurgents just run away.

Sometimes I wonder - maybe this whole business about sending troops to Baghdad is one of those clever feints and all of the troops are really going to go somewhere else.

Or maybe the plan is that the insurgents do run away, and the extra troops keep Baghdad secure, thus giving the appearance of success.

Either way, I think it should be clear by now that fighting a guerrilla war with traditionally trained troops isn't going to work.


Smile, though your heart is aching ...

Smile, though your heart is aching
Smile, even though its breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through for you

Just smile.

(Words by John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons and music by Charlie Chaplin)

Or you can Smile!, the Lily Allen way.

Firefox smart keywords explained: quick search from the address bar

Firefox smart keywords explained: quick search from the address bar:
Predefined smart keywords

The in Firefox predefined smart keywords are at moment of writing:

* google - Google Search
* dict - Dictionary look up
* quote - Google Search with stocks: operator
* wp - Wikipedia
* slang - Urban (slang) dictionary look up

and are stored as bookmarks in the Quick Searches sub folder."

It took me about a half an hour to find this page. I remembered when I installed Firefox that it told me I could search Wikipedia with "wp "search term" in the address bar ... but I couldn't find any documentation on it! I wanted to add an additional search term of my own for IMDB.

Searching the Firefox help and site failed to turn up this priceless information. But now, I can master my address bar.


Best Online / Multiplayer Game - Guild Wars Nightfall (1up)

The 2006 1UP Awards news from 1UP.com:
Guild Wars Nightfall (PC) NCSoft/ArenaNet

Fans of Guild Wars Nightfall love the multiplayer experience of the game and helped vote it the winner in the Online/Multiplayer category. Other games like Gears of War came close, but nothing topped it.

That's really awesome. Because the category is "Best Multiplayer" which covers a lot of territory! Congrats ArenaNet!

GameDaily BIZ: DVD Retailer Bashes 'Greedy' Video Game Industry

GameDaily BIZ: DVD Retailer Bashes 'Greedy' Video Game Industry:
We all know how fast games devalue in prices; this is due to the fact that 80% of the games created are crap. So take the fact that we only make $5, now if the price of a game drops $20, we are now losing $15 every sale.

Well, 80% of everything is crap.

GameDaily BIZ: Foundation 9: Over 30 Projects in 07

GameDaily BIZ: Foundation 9: Over 30 Projects in 07
Today, Foundation 9 Entertainment announced that its studios are working for more than 10 publishing partners on over 30 projects. Among the announced projects are Castlevania: Symphony of the Night for Xbox Live Arcade published by Konami, Prince of Persia: Rival Swords for PSP published by Ubisoft and Dirty Harry to be published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. The largest independent developer in the world currently has 10 studios across North America and employs nearly 750 people.

"2006 was a very busy year for us," says Jon Goldman, chairman and CEO. "The additions of Amaze and Shiny to our group, as well as our investment from Francisco Partners, have put us in a great position to deliver top-notch titles for years to come.

Top-notch. Can't wait.