Scripting News for 5/2/2008

Yes Virginia, there’s oil in Iraq 

And we wouldn’t have our military there if there wasn’t.

Everyone knows the war in Iraq is about oil, but if a Democrat were to say it the Republicans would challenge his or her patriotism. But what if a Republican said it? What if John McCain, the Republican candidate for President said it? In public, on camera, with mikes, clearly, unambiguously?

You might think it was major news, at least on the same order as whether Obama wears a flag pin or properly salutes the flag?

Would it be news that over 4000 Americans and at least $1 trillion has been piddled away on a really bad deal? That $1 trillion could have bought a lot of oil. Or it could have built some great mass transit. Or it could have paid for Republican tax cuts. Or whatever, who cares — it’s news dammit.

No the press isn’t likely to report this latest McCain truth-leak, that’s why it’s so important that we give generously to the DNC so they can run ads that do their work for them.

I gave them $100 today. For now, I think my donations to Obama aren’t going to change things very much, so I’m switching my donation-flow to the DNC. Their ads defining McCain are good, they’re accurate, and they work. They just have to be run in more states more times.

BTW, MSNBC is being way too soft on McCain when they say he “seemed to suggest” — the usual press BS re McCain. He said it, so report it, without the double-qualification. He didn’t “seem to” and he didn’t “suggest.” He said it, so say he said it. They’re going to soft-pedal it for sure. Arrrgh.

Update: Cross-posted at Huffington.

Local fiber 

Lots of information in the comments on yesterday’s post about city-owned fiber in Berkeley.

UPS truck came 

And it delivered two geekish presents.

I’m installing the Eye-Fi card right now. Wish me luck!

It’s going pretty well. Now they want me to connect my card to one of the photo utilities, like Facebook, Flickr, TypePad, Photobucket, Windows Live, Costco (!) and many many more. What they don’t tell you is if every picture you take will be uploaded. That could be pretty embarassing and since my pictures flow to Twitter through TwitterGram, that could be a problem too. A Help option here, explaining, would be useful — but I’m going to assume that only some of my pics get uploaded and wire it up to Flickr.

They also don’t tell you whether you can create a new account from this page.

Answer to the second question — you can create a new account.

Okay, I followed their instructions, took a few pictures of myself, while I was away the browser (Firefox) crashed. I’m trying to get back to where I was but keep hitting this error page.

Ooops, it seems to upload all pictures. That’s not good! I’m going to turn that one off.

Looking for the folder on my hard disk. Nope. Not there.

I’m still the best guy around for breaking software. 🙂

Okay slow down. You have to leave the camera on so it can upload the pics? I guess so.

Postscript: I don’t think the Eye-Fi is designed to work well if you take high resolution pictures, which I do with my Canon. I’m going to try using it with my Nikon, which I have set up to take low-rez pics.

Tom Hunt’s FlickrFan discovery 

The other day fellow Berkeleyite Tom Hunt, who uses FlickrFan, came up with a neat way to solve a common problem that I thought I should share.

Here’s the problem. You’re watching pics go by and you see a picture of President Bush speaking at a conference on Children and Faith-based schools and think, man, that’s an interesting picture, I want to show that to a friend.

So you open up the pics folder and see a lot of pics with names like pic091337.jpg, pic091338.jpg and pic091339.jpg. How do you find the one you’re looking for?

Well, there is a way, believe it or not…

Open the screensaverpics folder and type Faith-based schools in the Spotlight box in the upper right corner of the window. 13 pictures show up. Select-All, right-click, Open in Preview. Review them and voila, there’s the one I was looking for.

How did that work?

Well, AP and AFP put metadata on their pics, and the FlickrFan process preserves it, and Spotlight can search it. Here’s the Get Info box for the pic I was looking for. The red arrow points to the metadata.

Tom is a smart guy, and a generous one. Thanks for passing this tip along! 🙂

Government could help us use less oil and save money 

McCain and Clinton propose a moratorium on Federal gasoline tax for the summer to give the “average American” a break. It must test well with focus groups, but it’s meaningless, because the prices would immediately adjust. If you lower the price, people will take longer trips, drive instead of fly, increasing consumption, driving the price up. There might be a bit of a benefit to drivers for a very short period of time, but in the end it would be a wash. This is what economists say, and it makes sense.

President Bush wants more exploration, and to build more refineries, these are medium to long-term things that likely wouldn’t do anything for us right away.

But wouldn’t switching to smaller European style cars do more to ease the problem than increasing exploration or creating more refineries?

And the money we’d give up for Federal gasoline tax could be better spent on putting high capacity network lines under our streets to increase communication. Some of the car trips must be to exchange information that coud be replaced by moving packets around at gigabit speeds. It wouldn’t cost much to retrofit a few cities with really high speed lines, then we could get to work on developing the services that would make life more interesting, fun and efficient.

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