Scripting News for 2/15/2007

Holy guacamole 

Michael Gartenberg at Microsoft?


CNN carrying Bush water 

I watched yesterday’s Bush press conference. There’s absolutely no doubt that he’s selling war with Iran. And this morning, I saw CNN help him with the pitch.

According to CNN, our sometime enemy in Iraq, radical Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, may now be in Iran. He may not be there, but it’s possible that he’s there. Right now. That was the news, it was a headline, scoop-level story. We’re not sure he’s there, but he could be. That’s news? Eh.

They also said, but didn’t emphasize, that if he were in Iran this wouldn’t be anything new, he’s often in Iran.

He’s also part of the coalition that forms the government of Iraq, the one that we’re supporting, the one that we’re funding, and arming. But this time, today, they didn’t mention that he’s our friend in Iraq, because today he’s being portrayed as our enemy in Iraq. But given that he’s part of the government of Iraq, him being in Iran is like Ted Kennedy being in Mexico. It’s conceivable that al-Sadr has legitimate business in Iran. But it’s hard for us to conceive of that, supposedly, because the picture that’s being painted is that Iran is the country that’s killing our soldiers. And we’re supposed to conclude, of course, that al-Sadr, being in Iran (if he actually is) is more evidence of that. They don’t say it, but we’re left wondering why this is news. If he isn’t there plotting the deaths of more Americans, exactly why is he in Iran? (Assuming he is.) Clearly he’s up to no good.

In other words, they’re just moving around words to make it sound like something new and dangerous is happening, when in fact nothing new is happening, and if it is dangerous, it is something that in the past, the same people have asked us to overlook the danger in.

One more thing — in the Bush press conference, not only haven’t the reporters asked Bush to explain who the enemy is, they also talk about the enemy themselves, although if pressed, I doubt if any of them could explain exactly who the enemy is. Maybe they should do a Frontline special explaining the complicity of the professional journalists in U.S. propoganda.

Summary: One day al-Sadr is the enemy and another day he is our ally.

What could “winning” in Iraq possibly mean?

Problem: We have no clue who we’re fighting.

Great balls of fire 

Daring Fireball is a huge-flow site, when they point to me, lots of traffic, and not idle clickers either, they seem to read the pieces, their emails are thoughtful.

Today they point to a piece I wrote after CES, about how Microsoft used to be a great seducer, which fit well with their tail light chasing method of competing.

Today’s Microsoft: Not so much.

Ponzi and Chris 

Last Friday I spent the day with Chris and Ponzi Pirillo at their new house in the Seattle area.

A day with the Pirillos means lots of talk about gadgets, for sure. Their house is filled with cool electronic toys.

I was raving about Fractional Horsepower HTTP Servers, and that got Chris started, and he showed me a Panasonic webcam that I had to get, so I did.

Quick impulse decision that it was, I didn’t remember until later that the difference between my house and theirs is that theirs runs on Windows and mine runs on Macs. Of course I have the obligatory Windows machine (and Chris has a Mac Mini) so I was able to get the webcam configured and working (and it’s very very cool) but what I really want is to be able to use it from my desktop and laptop. And for that, I have to be able to use it with a Mac, which I have not managed to do yet, even though it appears to be compatible, based on this member review on the Amazon site. And there’s software that claims to work with it on the Mac, but I haven’t gotten it to work yet.

It’s a personal issue I’m sure, probably has something to do with the post-op haze that’s enveloping my mind. Expect me to rave about it once I get the booger working properly with my Macs.

6 responses to this post.

  1. These webserverInABox webcams are pretty good, but the trouble is usually that they all tend to use ActiveX for the live viewer. Also, some dont give you a direct url (plus a possible port number) to the live,latest jpeg image. Some do Java, which would support your mac browsing.

    Depending on which you have there might also be am email/ftp option which will send the latest/last image somewhere else (or via an activity trigger), so you can display it in other places or in a flash slideshow widget.

    That Panasonic cam is part of a range they make which connects the home cameras to other models they make which are embedded in TV-Sets, car stereo fascias and a mobile phone/app they do too.

    These were all at CES two years ago.


  2. Re: the news media, Bush, and who we’re really fighting: great point. During the Vietnam War, there there appeared to be a pretty clear delineation of who we were lined up against, even if we didn’t always understand our adversaries: On the battlefield, the Viet Cong and North Vietnam. Standing behind them, mainly the Soviet Union and China. In this war, just shy of its fourth anniversary, our opponents remain shadows described mostly by a series of epithets that, despite how well-deserved some of them might be, do nothing to clarify the nature of the conflict or our prospects for success. Even the al-Qaida references are unclear and misleading: Are our leaders talking about al-Qaida, directed by Osama bin Laden and lieutenants, or the offshoot directed by the late unlamented Zarqawi? It would really help our free, well-informed public to understand the war and judge its real merits, assuming some might be found, if we could get even a hint of who the insurgents and militias and free-lance operators are. It would be nice to have some insight into the murder spree they’re on, too: For every spectacular that makes it into the news, there are dozens of incidents in which people–just every day folks like you and me–are abducted and executed. What I wouldn’t give for one story examining the identities of the slain and the impact the killings have had on families, communities, and Iraq present and future. I suppose if I had any real guts I’d go over and report this myself.

    The other point on which our news organs,, here and abroad, have been profoundly unhelpful is just how is the insurgency being sustained. This thing has been going on since about five minutes after we got to watch Saddam’s statue being toppled. Clearly, the folks behind it are in it for the long haul. Who are the recruits? And–while we’re talking about foreign support for the insurgency–where are these people getting the money and other material support to wage their war? Why isn’t Bush calling these people and nations out (and no, I’m sorry, neither Iran nor Syria has the wherewithal to drive this thing)? The obvious surmise is that the list of supporters includes citizens or officials in countries we’ve been told are our allies (Saudi Arabia at the head of the list).

    At this point, I feel like I’m as likely to find the answer to these and other questions by poring over my kids’ old collection of Nancy Drew books as I am to find them in our news organs.


  3. Wow, I made you speechless… that’s even more fun than the time Tom Austin and I interviewed Steve Ballmer on stage when we were at Gartner and he yelled “uncle”!

    A erious thanks to you though, if not for your work and efforts, a job like mine could not exist. In fact, five years ago, a job like this simply didn’t exist but then again, anaylst didn’t blog either 🙂


  4. What is Moqtada al Sadr’s position within the government of Iraq? I did not think he was part of the government of Iraq.

    Not to say you are right or wrong on the broader issue, but that assertion struck me as inaccurate, based on what I have read.


  5. Dave – Security Spy is very cool. If it could do audio, it would really be something. there’s a java path through the panasonic (something like which is brutal on Mac. I prefer security spy… you can get great local access on the host mac or web based access on any device… I use it on a few macs and a nokia tablet.


  6. “What could “winning” in Iraq possibly mean?

    Problem: We have no clue who we’re fighting.”

    All the more reason to attack Iran!


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