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E-mail error ends up on road sign

Posted on October 31st, 2008 at 21:50 by John Sinteur in category: Funny!


The English is clear enough to lorry drivers – but the Welsh reads “I am not in the office at the moment. Please send any work to be translated.”

I think I know what my next email vacation-message is going to be…

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  1. That is what you get for going with the fastest translator. I mean, you do get your translations blindingly fast.


Posted on October 31st, 2008 at 19:30 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon

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Joe the Plumber – A No Show!

Posted on October 31st, 2008 at 12:45 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2008


McCain aides called it a “miscommunication,” but once I got on the bus I called Wurzelbacher myself and asked him what really happened.

He told me that he had hoped to come to the morning rally, but that no one from McCain’s campaign ever called him back to confirm,

Bigger ooops.

He said he had heard McCain yelled for him and he wasn’t there, and Joe was “not happy about it.”

It turns out, as soon as camp McCain realized the error, they sent a car for Wurzelbacher and raced him to hook up with McCain’s bus caravan, which was making its way across Ohio.

Shortly after 2pm in a sunny, picturesque town square in Sandusky, Ohio, McCain was speaking to a crowd under a Gazebo and called Joe’s name.

This time, he answered.

He jumped on the stage, and the crowd went wild.

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A Question for A.I.G. – Where Did the Cash Go?

Posted on October 31st, 2008 at 12:19 by John Sinteur in category: Robber Barons


The American International Group is rapidly running through $123 billion in emergency lending provided by the Federal Reserve, raising questions about how a company claiming to be solvent in September could have developed such a big hole by October. Some analysts say at least part of the shortfall must have been there all along, hidden by irregular accounting.

“You don’t just suddenly lose $120 billion overnight,” said Donn Vickrey of Gradient Analytics, an independent securities research firm in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Mr. Vickrey says he believes A.I.G. must have already accumulated tens of billions of dollars worth of losses by mid-September, when it came close to collapse and received an $85 billion emergency line of credit by the Fed. That loan was later supplemented by a $38 billion lending facility.


The internal auditor resigned and is now in seclusion, according to a former colleague. His account, from a prepared text, was read by Representative Henry A. Waxman, Democrat of California and chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, in a hearing this month.

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Infomercial for Obama Is Big Success in Ratings

Posted on October 31st, 2008 at 11:59 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2008


Mr. Obama’s 30-minute commercial, which played on seven networks, broadcast and cable, was seen by 33.55 million viewers, according to figures released by Nielsen Media Research. On the three broadcast networks that carried the special, the audience totaled more than 25 million, easily surpassing the number for the last World Series game on Fox, which averaged 19.8 million viewers. The special was also available on Univision, and three cable networks, MSNBC, BET and TV One.

“I was shocked by the number Obama was able to draw,” said Leslie Moonves, the chairman of CBS. “It’s just a stunning number.”

And in it, he didn’t even mention McCain once… he didn’t need to.

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Posted on October 31st, 2008 at 11:33 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon

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Games firms ‘catching’ non-gamers

Posted on October 31st, 2008 at 10:26 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property


Atari has appointed law firm Davenport Lyons to prosecute illegal file-sharers.

It has been acting on behalf of several games firms and partner David Gore thinks there are likely to be many more.


In the case of the Murdochs, a letter was sent giving them the chance to pay £500 compensation or face a court case.

Gill Murdoch and her husband, aged 54 and 66 respectively, told Which: “We do not have, and have never had, any computer game or sharing software. We did not even know what ‘peer to peer’ was until we received the letter.”

The case has now been dropped by Atari, although the firm is yet to comment on the reasons why.

According to Michael Coyle, an intellectual property solicitor with law firm Lawdit, more and more people are being wrongly identified as file-sharers.

He is pursuing 70 cases of people who claim to be wrongly accused of piracy and has spoken to “hundreds” of others, he told the BBC.

“Some of them are senior citizens who don’t know what a game is, let alone the software that allows them to be shared,” he said.

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“Invest in Victory”

Posted on October 31st, 2008 at 7:53 by John Sinteur in category: If you're in marketing, kill yourself, Indecision 2008

It’s rare that I miss anything because of AdBlock, but this time I have. Here’s some reader mail I just received (thanks, Albert!)

Rasmussen is out with their predictions for Tuesday, which include the
projection that Obama will win the electoral battle, 364 to 174. Nice to
hear, of course.

But on the page right now, just an inch or so above the prediction of his
gloom, is a McCain/Palin ad, the text of which reads:

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Campaign Sign Of The Day

Posted on October 30th, 2008 at 18:23 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2008

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In Defense of That Daily Visitor, Unsolicited Mail

Posted on October 30th, 2008 at 18:17 by John Sinteur in category: If you're in marketing, kill yourself


But Michael J. Critelli, 59, executive chairman of the mailing company Pitney Bowes, says unsolicited mail is not nearly as damaging to the environment as these opponents are arguing. Among its other products, Pitney Bowes provides goods and technology like postage meters to company mailrooms. Even though the company’s research indicates that 75 percent of Americans say they believe unsolicited mail is a major environmental problem, Mr. Critelli says the alternatives — like expanded use of e-mail solicitations — have environmental consequences as well.

In that case, let me offer a better alternative:


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Barack Obama on The Daily Show

Posted on October 30th, 2008 at 18:08 by John Sinteur in category: News

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Battle for Florida: Blacks turn out in droves, but few young people have voted

Posted on October 30th, 2008 at 18:02 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2008


Less than a week from a potentially landmark presidential election, black voters in Florida are turning out in huge numbers to vote early, according to an Orlando Sentinel analysis.

So are people 55 and older. And Democrats.

But voters younger than 35 — especially the college-age group that has drawn so much attention from Democrat Barack Obama’s campaign — are doing what they have largely done in elections past: staying home.

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Debt to the Penny

Posted on October 30th, 2008 at 17:58 by John Sinteur in category: News

Remember all the ruckus when the national debt clock was one digit short, because the debt passed 10 trillion? That was just less than one month ago.

The debt right now?10.5 trillion.

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Banks to Continue Paying Dividends

Posted on October 30th, 2008 at 17:47 by John Sinteur in category: Robber Barons


U.S. banks getting more than $163 billion from the Treasury Department for new lending are on pace to pay more than half of that sum to their shareholders, with government permission, over the next three years.

The government said it was giving banks more money so they could make more loans. Dollars paid to shareholders don’t serve that purpose, but Treasury officials say that suspending quarterly dividend payments would have deterred banks from participating in the voluntary program.

Just like stopping them from paying $70b in bonus money would have done, right? But if half of the $163b is going to shareholders, and $70b is going to bonus payouts, that leaves just $11.5b for making new loans. No wonder people think they’re not making new loans, they lack the money to do so!

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An open letter to Electronic Arts – because voting with my wallet isn’t enough.

Posted on October 30th, 2008 at 17:41 by John Sinteur in category: Intellectual Property


You’ve lost another consumer thanks to your combined use of DRM for all of your games and EULAs that strangle a users rights. I’m here to tell you publicly that I will no longer support the EA software distribution model and sadly no longer purchase any of the great titles EA will publish until your company changes how they treat a money paying, law abiding consumer. I am not only making my statement with my wallet but doing so vocally in the hopes of encouraging others to do the same.

I respect the fact that developers spend a lot of money and put a lot of time into creating great games. I am completely willing to put up my $50 for a new title. I am not willing to be treated to third party software installs on my computer, EULAs that effectively eliminate any rights I may have to use that software or dictate how I may do so after I’ve paid my money or in short, be treated like a criminal while the individuals who do pirate your software enjoy a better user experience.

I will not be pirating your software, so please leave me out of whatever statistics you plan to put forth showing how pirates are working on your bottom line. I simply will not purchase any more EA titles, no matter how good they look.

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The Wisdom of the American People

Posted on October 30th, 2008 at 15:38 by John Sinteur in category: ¿ʞɔnɟ ǝɥʇ ʇɐɥʍ, Indecision 2008


From that LAT poll of Florida of Ohio (here is the PDF with all the numbers):

Already Voted:

Florida: McCain 49%, Obama 45%, Don’t Know 6%

Ohio: Obama 57%, McCain 35%, Don’t Know 3%

That’s right: Almost 5% of Florida and Ohio voters that have already voted don’t know who they voted for.

(Maybe these folks were just unwilling to answer the question, but that isn’t how the poll reads).

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Jesus People Pray That False Idol Will Save God’s Economy

Posted on October 30th, 2008 at 9:32 by John Sinteur in category: Funny!, Pastafarian News


Did you know that some Christian dingbat has dubbed today the “Day of Prayer for the World’s Economies?” Well here they are, at the Wall Street bull statue thing, praying to Jesus for money. The dingbat has explained, “We are going to intercede at the site of the statue of the bull on Wall Street to ask God to begin a shift from the bull and bear markets to what we feel will be the ‘Lion’s Market,’ or God’s control over the economic systems.”


Just a clue: there’s this book called “the bible” that these people claim to follow, but I suspect they’ve never actually read it, or they might have seen Exodus 32.

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  1. Well, you know the Bible is just sort of a guideline, I mean, well, sure it’s the Word of God and we have to live by it, and follow it word by word, but it really is just a guideline, except of course when it is not.

    Is it that hard to understand?

Palin calls for break from Bush energy policy

Posted on October 30th, 2008 at 9:29 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2008


Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Wednesday called for a “clean break” from the Bush administration’s energy policies, which she says rely too much on importing foreign oil.

In a policy speech, the Alaska governor said the recent drop in gas and oil prices shouldn’t deter consumers and lawmakers from seeking alternative energy sources. She cast energy independence as a national security issue, saying dependence on oil from the Middle East made the U.S. more vulnerable to terrorist threats.

“We not only provide wealth to the sponsors of terror, we provide high-value targets to the terrorists themselves,” Palin said. “Across the world are pipelines, refineries, transit routes and terminals for the oil we rely on. And al-Qaida terrorists know where they are.”

Palin spoke after touring Xunlight Corp., one of a handful of solar technology startup companies in Toledo, a struggling industrial city in this swing state. The city’s leaders are hoping that the solar companies will create jobs to replace some of those lost by downsizing in the auto industry.

But Palin made only a passing reference to solar power in her speech and instead renewed her call for more drilling in U.S. coastal waters. She repeated her signature anthem, “drill, baby, drill,” which seemed to fall a bit flat on the audience at the plant even as it’s become a popular chant at her rallies.

Gee, I wonder why that seemed to fall a bit flat….

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  1. “Hey, you make solar panels, and that’s why you have money, but you know I have this brilliant idea, we should drill offshore, ’cause, well it won’t solve anything and all, but it’s still our big tradition, I mean I have friends in the oil industry, and wouldn’t it be a good thing! Yaay! Hey, wait, come back! I got more ideas! Hey!”

American Stories, American Solutions

Posted on October 30th, 2008 at 9:26 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2008

And it turns out McCain has already posted his response:

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It’s official – The Monk Seal is extinct

Posted on October 30th, 2008 at 9:18 by John Sinteur in category: News


The Caribbean Monk seal (or West Indian seal) has been announced extinct on Friday. This comes as a shock (at least for me – and many others), as this is the first seal species announced extinct due to human activities; now, it will only be seen in drawings.After five years of futile efforts in which not even a single sighting has been reported, the U.S. declared extinct, and also declared that no other seal species has been extinct because of us. This probably (and sadly) opens the way for more such species to become extinct – unless something changes.

The Caribbean Monk Seal was a relatively small seal (6-9 feet) with rolls of fat around its neck and brown pelage that faded to a yellow-white color on the stomach. The last recorded sighting occurred in 1952.

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Don’t Vote

Posted on October 30th, 2008 at 9:07 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2008

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Paint by Numbers Toilet Paper

Posted on October 29th, 2008 at 23:37 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture

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Pakistan on the brink of bankruptcy

Posted on October 29th, 2008 at 23:31 by John Sinteur in category: News


President Asif Ali Zardari’s government needs about £3 billion to avoid defaulting on outstanding debts. So far, a tour of friendly capitals by Shaukat Tareen, the country’s senior finance official, has failed to raise this sum.

Although Mr Tareen has visited both America and China – Pakistan’s two key allies – a bail-out on a sufficient scale has not yet been agreed. Moody’s, the international ratings agency, has downgraded Pakistan’s standing.

The country’s allies, including Britain, will be joining a “friends of Pakistan” meeting in Abu Dhabi next month when more aid might be agreed. In the meantime, Mr Tareen is believed to be seeking immediate help from the IMF.

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Kraft durch (Schaden)freude

Posted on October 29th, 2008 at 23:11 by John Sinteur in category: News


Short selling is basically the practice of selling borrowed shares, with the intention of purchasing them back later at a lower price. It amounts to a placing a bet on the share value dropping, is a favoured move of hedge funds, and has been recently blamed for much of the current economic mayhem.

However, when last Sunday Porsche tersely announced that, in addition to its 44% of Volkswagen‘s shares, it had secured 31% through cash-settled call options, the invisible hand of the market gave those short-sellers an atomic wedgie:

Since the German state of Lower Saxony holds just over 20% of VW, Porsche’s disclosure meant that, in fact, there were only 5% of VW’s shares left on the market, whereas traders were shorting for about 13% of those shares. This set off the “Mother of All Short Squeezes“.

Traders scrambled to buy those few shares to cover their short positions, sending the share price of VW upwards to ridiculous heights, and completely distorting the German blue-chip index DAX.

Today, Porsche eased the pressure on the short-sellers by releasing 5% of VW’s shares. Coincidentally, this also probably bagged them enough billions (never mind street cred) to finance their whole takeover operation. Suddenly, even hedge fund managers are clamouring for more disclosure and regulation in the markets. They aren’t meeting much sympathy.

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Sarah Palin impersonation gets national attention

Posted on October 29th, 2008 at 21:20 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2008


It wasn’t until after Sunday’s Sen. John McCain rally at the University of Northern Iowa that the 19-year-old Center Point-Urbana graduate found out how much fun she was having.

Andersen, a UNI sophomore, was “just being silly” when she put her hair up in a Gov. Sarah Palin-like “poof,” donned glasses similar to those the Republican vice presidential nominee wears and talked her way on to the stage where McCain delivered his speech.

She isn’t sure McCain even noticed her, but photographers and videographers did. Soon, images of Andersen peering over McCain’s shoulder were all over networks and the Internet. Before the rally was over, Andersen’s dad received a call from a friend who had seen her on MSNBC.

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  1. Awesome! I’m gonna go to a McCain rally dressed like this:

  2. Palin’s a good looking woman, but I think looks alone aren’t really enough to qualify you as the leader of the free world. An a non-american, I’m glad that the republicans got beat, I have no real issue with McCain, but god forbid something should happen to him and Palin ends up the most powerful person on the planet!

Congress Wants Details On Bailout Firms’ Bonus Plans

Posted on October 29th, 2008 at 20:07 by John Sinteur in category: Robber Barons


The hot-button issues of CEO pay and the Wall Street bailout may soon collide with the real world of Wall Street bonuses, taxpayer and shareholder anger over the financial crisis, and a Treasury secretary with deep roots on Wall Street. And that collision could be loud and ugly.

The first salvos were fired late Tuesday when Rep. Henry Waxman, who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, disclosed that he sent letters to the first nine major banks set to receive a capital injection from the government, seeking information on their compensation and bonus plans for 2008 and other years.


“The corporate community doesn’t seem to get it,” says a seething Nell Minow, founder of the Corporate Library, which focuses on corporate governance issues. “If the corporate leaders don’t come to the American people with some accountability, they are going to find themselves in a world of pain. Congress will set CEO pay.”


In a statement about his inquiry, Rep. Waxman’s cites reports about billions in bonuses and quotes an unnamed analyst as saying: “Had it not been for the government’s help in refinancing their debt, they [the companies] may not have had the cash to pay bonuses.”

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Don’t Let Up

Posted on October 29th, 2008 at 19:14 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2008

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  1. Here is a good one to conclude the race for the White House with:

“His Choice”

Posted on October 29th, 2008 at 19:06 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2008

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“Rosa sat so Martin could walk. Martin walked, so Obama could run. Obama is running so our children can fly.”

Posted on October 29th, 2008 at 18:57 by John Sinteur in category: Indecision 2008

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DEC Answers Leap Year Complaint

Posted on October 29th, 2008 at 15:13 by John Sinteur in category: Funny!, Software

In the good old days, a question to tech support got you a exhaustingly correct answer.

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  1. Hilarious!

  2. But notice that this was version 3.2 of VMS and the date of the SPR was 1983. By the time that that the year 2000 rolled around and this was an issue (and actually well before that) VMS (actually the name had changed to OpenVMS) had corrected the algorithm.

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