Well, are we really surprised that Microsoft is scurrilous enough to produce something that forces people to upgrade to the next level? No, not really. It is a sad commentary on the company which has been trying to polish up its image through the Gates Foundation and other worthy causes Ol' Bill has been doing. It makes me wonder if his charity is a magic trick, where we watch that rather than the slip of the hand price gouging. I mean, note that this article comes to us not from NYT or other widely read by the mainstream public medias, but from CNet.
In other economic news, the housing slump is affecting the U.S. Economy. Are we really surprised? No. It does worry me for a number of reasons. Leaving the personal issues aside, housing market slumps are traditionally a sign of great decline. If house prices actually go from slump to fall, then what happens is that people are holding onto mortgages that well exceed the value of their houses... when this coincides with an increase in unemployment (which it often does), then people can't pay those mortgages, and can't sell to get out of them. That's a very precarious situation, I hope we don't fall that far into the slump. This probably will affect the outcome of the next elections though, people usually vote with their pocketbook, even if they are falsely believing in who is better for it.
I'm just pointing to this article about the fires in California, because I like the pictures in it.
Amnesty International is asking people to show support for freedom of expression in online blogs and bring awareness to those who have been jailed for what they have written in their blogs. There, I did my part.
Port Authority Transit is looking to cut more service. Yah, preliminary look at the situation, my ass. They're going to cut service to try to cut the $31Million debt they're facing now. My question is, why do they keep cutting service over and over and yet still face a debt? Yah, I know that it's just not enough what with the low usage of the system, but it still saddens me. I like the bus, but some of the routes I primarily use would rank low on that list, and I know it.
However, the good news out of that article is this:
The board is to add $268,570 to a consulting contract for an environmental impact statement for a proposed high-speed maglev demonstration train to serve Pittsburgh International Airport. It will bring the total contract to a maximum $6.8 million, funded by the Federal Railroad Administration. The Port Authority is the so-called middleman for Maglev Inc. and has none of its own money invested in the project.
Y'all probably know how much of a fan of MagLev I am and have been. This isn't the country-wide system I've been hoping for, but it is a step in the right direction for it. Of course, they gave an ominous last note of, "But what if we're not chosen?" Well, I hope that doesn't happen. We're prime for the testing, what with minimal and inadequate transportation out to the airport as it stands.
I've been saying that swimming staves off my illnesses, but now there's research to prove those effects. Given that I've been sick this week, clearly I need to be swimming more.
This is an interesting article on the effect of modern civilization on the Inuit of Northern Canada. Factors affecting the changes vary from technology to global warming. The Inuit interviewed in the article discusses the change from a leisurely and solid way of life into a more modern faster way of life.
And to sign out, to address the comments from both rapier1 and popejeremy in my previous post on the NJ Court Decision on Gay Marriage, this article agrees with them. Apparently conservative groups are jumping up and down for joy at the timing of this decree. Although, given the earlier housing slump I cited... well, what happens these upcoming elections will be interesting.
In any case, I'm sick of the "but MY party is better than YOUR party" BS. I'd really prefer to just see people elected because of, you know, issues and stuff. Leave the "winning team" mentality at the football game, please. But I know that's all just wishful thinking.