Miscellany

I haven’t posted in a while, due to family obligations, some amazingly nasty stomach bug, a bourbon induced holiday torpor, and other reasons. So to make up for it, here’s some tasty linkage, to kill yet more of your time.
Anybody who knows me knows I’m all about power tools, especially big or dangerous ones. The Manlier, the better. Well, nothing is better than a comet-busting rocket powered satellite Smashomatic. Power tools – fuck yeah! And while you’re at it, check out this entry from December. It’s maybe the only thing I’ve ever written worth looking at twice.


One of NASA’s missions to Mars – one that was ridiculed as unable to compete with the slicker EU mission to Mars – has been operating for over a year. The little rovers have been tooling around the surface like a couple entrants in a low speed Baja 1000, outliving their planned lifespan by 400%, and still going strong. Meanwhile the supposedly superior EU/UK entry in the Mars Stakes, Beagle II, is… well, we can’t say. It’s AWOL. Evidently, overeating astronauts aside, the reports of the demise of the U.S. space program are greatly exaggerated.
In the most stunning display of moral blindness this side of liberals wearing Che Guevara T-shirts, Archbishop Desmond Tutu compares our detention of captured Al Qaida at Gitmo to Apartheid-era South Africa. Okay Des, I’ll bite… How exactly were the white rulers of Taliban Afghanistan oppressing Al Qaida based on theories of racial inferiority? Hello Des? You there?
Finally, Wired Magazine blows the top off video and music and software piracy, concluding that it is mostly the result of a handful of determined thieves with something less than respect for property rights. Basically, a handful of scumbags worldwide rip and burn most counterfeits, and then propagate the fakes through P2P networks, quite consciously engaging in a ripoff. The article nicely debunks the notion that P2P networks are just a bunch of innocent users, buying a CD and then sharing it with a couple friends. Once a video or CD is copied, the pirates leave millions of copies of the thing all over the web within a few hours on P2P networks. It’s pretty disgusting to read, but you should read it. I feel a bit vindicated – one of the reasons I quite reading Reason was their apparent championship of P2P networks as a good thing. I felt at the time this was an insanely anti-property rights viewpoint, and anathema for a libertarian publication to support. It’s nice to see my suspicions were correct; bad because so many libertarians chose to champion Napster and other instruments of concious mass thievery.

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