YouTube FAIL, Google Next?

Today (on Thursday, December 18th of 2008), at 2pm PST, YouTube pulled the plug on their #1 Channel--FAIL Blog. FAIL Blog put out a call for assistance in the matter, which had not been communicated in full to them, and they were brought back online. The original story is here:

What does this mean for the rest of us? I am far from alone in how often I use YouTube for posting media content and sharing video. If YouTube's #1 Channel can be brought down, and without warning or explanation for why it is being done, then this can happen to anyone and everyone. Also, for the majority of us who are not major channels, the likeliness that our account would be re-instated is not very probable.

Sadly, a trust has been broken. I'll still use YouTube, but always now with another eye on what other service may be a better option. Worse, this is one of many Google-owned companies. Blogger is another. This reflects on each of those in no good way. It is such a big "error"--if indeed it was--that I'm concerned that a policy change, a change towards "backing off from any risk at all", may be implemented. Most major companies do it. Google, up until now, has been an exception to this approach. I'm not even sure now what could change that trust.

I love Google. I hope this event was simple an Epic FAIL on the part of YouTube, and one that will never be repeated. I don't believe that... but I want to believe it. It is a sad day nonetheless. Yet, nonetheless, I think I'll post a YouTube video after this post to help remind myself how much I really like the service.

Piracy, 4 Fun 'n Profit

US Vice Admiral William Gortney, commander of the US Navy's Fifth Fleet, said: "There is no reason not to be a pirate."

That's right. Now's the time to turn pirate! Seriously. Most targeted ships don't carry weapons. Also, even if caught, there is almost no way to bring a pirate to court due to international treatises. Corporations cannot even fire on a vessel or its people until the pirates have physically boarded their ship, or have connected the two ships in an attempt to board. If they do, they can be taken to court... and will lose. Ah, the lovely world of legalized (tamed) justice. That's right pirates.. . the law's on your side.

It's also fairly cheap, at least when compared to the investments it may take to get into other criminal careers. The ratio of potential gains to start-up costs is possibly the highest return-rate in all the black market. Don't forget the fact that you get to wear a sword. Gotta love international waters.

If you think I'm joking, think again. Here's a good place to start:
The business case for high-seas piracy

If you're thinking about turning pirate, here's where to find other like-minded parties:
Live Piracy Map

I'm free for some high-seas piracy in March of 2013. Anyone pirates who read this and have had any success, please contact me around that time. I have no morals and I'm a quick learner. I have many references, a few of which are still alive. Have your peeps write my peeps. Nos vemos.


Socrates, quotes

SocratesI know nothing except the fact of my ignorance.

There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.

I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.

False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.

The unexamined life is not worth living for a human being.

You will know that the divine is so great and of such a nature that it sees and hears everything at once, is present everywhere, and is concerned with everything.

Having the fewest wants, I am nearest to the gods.

Bad men live that they may eat and drink, whereas good men eat and drink that they may live.

Note: It is unknown whether Socrates was real, or simply an imaginary tool used in transmitting early philosophies. If real, then it is unknown just how real the image we have of Socrates is, or how far distorted from the source it has become. The image taken is from a bust of Socrates in the Louvre, edited by myself. The quotes are verified translations from surviving works attributed to the name Socrates.


Title: Avarice
Artist: Peter Walkley
Museum: MONA (Museum of Nebraska Art)

In July of 2000, I found myself hitching thru Kearney, Nebraska. Most of the Midwest doesn't take too kindly to hikers. In Kearney, I found the opposite. I had a place to stay and a ride to the next town when I needed it. Despite the welcome, Kearney just didn't have much attraction to stay. They have an arch--that huge brown thing they've got drooped over I-80. Most truckers and travelers have driven under it and likely wondered what the heck it was. It's an arch. That's all it is. You can go inside it. Nice thing is, it's free... or was when I was there in 2k.

There's one other attraction--MONA. The Museum of Nebraska Art was free as well. They had me keep my backpack at the front, which was a relief and a fifty-pound weight off of my back. The collection of art was worth spending a lot of time taking in. My absolute favorite piece is shown above. The cat, perched on the very edge of the mantle piece, looks up at the bird cage that hangs from the ceiling... just out of reach. The angle helps accentuate the drop to the floor, which is what really stands in between the cat and the cage.

The painter, Peter Walkley, works for the Omaha World Herald in marketing. He inserts trace elements of surrealism into his paintings, adding a subtlety that particularly catches my own eye.

It is in thanks to Lexie, a photographer out of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, that I have access to this painting again. Her mad Google skills, along with my description, was enough for her to locate the painting online.

Commercials: High Fructose Corn Syrup

Commentary: If the industry has turned to advertising, that means they have felt some serious hits to their wallets. Multiple studies link HFCS to obesity, insulin resistance and, most recently, liver damage. An oft quoted source being the studies made by Sharon Elliott, Nancy Keim, Judith Stern, Karen Teff and Peter J Havel. The fact that they use a genetically modified enzyme during processing, let alone the amount of processing itself, removes the "no artificial ingredients" part of their claim.

The fact is that HFCS is cheap. It's Cheaper due to government subsidies for the corn industry, as well as economic tariffs on cane sugar. This has made the industry the booming mega-sector in the market that it is... hopefully, we'll see the day when they are a niche market.

The ads are reminiscent to the "Got Milk" campaign from the early '90s forward. These commercials lack the "stickiness" of that campaign, however. Also, they've launched the campaign too late, when Americans are already switching to organic markets. Americans are already too keen on the effects of HFCS. However, with milk, they launched the campaign before the information age could reach people. Most people remain unaware of the bone erosion and brittleness caused by the animal protein acids in milk, let alone the increased vulnerability to Parkinson's Disease and Prostate Cancer.

Cutting cheese out of my diet may never happen... but going back to high fructose corn syrup will never happen.

Urth Caffe

Honey Vanilla Latte from Urth Caffe. This cup of coffee says quite a bit about the place. The presentation is spectacular. You love just looking at what you're about to eat and/or drink. Also, the restaurant itself is beautiful to look at. After taking a sip, the bold latte is a true delight. The only possible complaint is at how sharply sweet it is.

This cup comes at a cost, however. The coffee and food are quite expensive, although the quality has never once let me down. You're not being robbed at gun point. There are other negatives beyond the price, however. In fact, they post most of these rules on each table. The other rules they seem to make up as they go along. The rules make it starkly apparent that the owners see customers primarily as a cash flow, and that the table you may be taking up is costing them money.

I've included a full list of the negatives (as well as rules) in my review on Yelp here. When in the Santa Monica area, don't pass up the chance to stop in to Urth Caffe. Just remember the heavy costs and don't let them make up any rules that aren't on the table or on the wall. They'll run out of writing space eventually.

Capitalist Pigs and Commie Bastards

Capitalist Pigs and Commie Bastards
by Lamat Kan

Capitalist Pigs and Commie Bastards. The insults carry with them negative connotations from their respective corners of the ring. The greed found in most Capitalists marks them as pigs, growing only more and more fat as they eat well beyond their needs. Commies like to cut as much of the fat off the pigs as possible, and turn around and give it to the poor. It would sound all fine and dandy, were not a great portion of it going to the black market, a section of society that doesn't report its earnings, and grows wealthy from such systems.

Capitalists are murderers. Communists are thieves. Capitalists take peoples' lives. Communists take peoples' property. In America, Capitalism's current flagship, the murder rate is rampant. In China, Communism's timeworn fortress, you don't take anything there with you that you wanna bring back.

Capitalism starts wars, taking their property... by right of conquest, of course. Kill, then steal. There's a little bit o' the Commie in every Capitalist. The Communists take property, then kill any dissenters. Steal, then kill. Ah, the better to fatten our Commie with. Smells like bacon.

Capitalist Pigs love us-versus-them-ism. "We're right and they're wrong. Let's kill 'em 'n take their land." However, when a bigger pig comes along, you'll find these piggies begging for their lives, or find them trying to prove their righteousness so that the bigger pig doesn't eat them for their wrongness. They end by posing the question: "If wrong, how can we ever know better if never given the chance?" To which the answer: "Are they who show no mercy worthy of it?"

Communism loves equality. It loves it so much, that the mountains must all be chiseled down so as not to rise above the treeline of the forest. "None should have more than any other. The thought of possession itself must be exercised from society as the demon it is." Bastards shout and applaud when the government steps in to tell businesses how they must be run, yet they are the first to protest when the government steps in to tell the Bastards what they can and cannot do in their own households... in their own lives.

A Capitalist Pig is as much a hypocrite as the Commie Bastards. However, these are the most corrupt forms of systems that both have positive functions for society.

Capitalism excels at rapid innovation, but fails when faced with long-term staying power. This is most apparent in American architecture, which is more quickly torn down than it is erected. Capitalism plays into the greed of the pig, promoting companies who patent batteries that could last decades so that no one else can sell this very battery. After all, they couldn't sell very many of these once everyone had a set. And what happens if a marketed innovation is released in haste, and is later to be found out to be more detrimental than beneficial? Leaded gasoline, asbestos, fast food... happens all the time.

Communism is a master of retention, yet plodding and awkward when trying to change course. "If something works, then keep using it. In fact, put systems in place to ensure its usage becomes far-spread and long-lasting." And when a better system comes along? With so much invested in the previous system, the inertia already set in place causes the system to reject the improvement. "If it works right now, it'll work in ten-years. Nevermind that the leg has healed, I'm sticking to the crutch."

Capitalism has the speed to outrace Communism, but it hasn't the endurance. Communism has a ship the waves can't sink, and a constant wind at its back, but it hasn't any sails or rudder. Both have strengths and failings, and both are a part of our nature. To deny the importance of either is to betray a sense of ignorance, if not a psychological disorder within the mind that holds to this opinion.

The end result of Capitalism is Anarchy. The end result of Communism is Der Stat--Statism. The only true Justice between these (as within the Universe) is that of a well-oiled scale, and with neither side weighted. Any law that allows a person to infringe on the life or property of another is already weighted towards Anarchy. Any law that takes away any freedoms for an individual to govern themselves or their property is already towards Statism. Any law that follows either path no longer serves Justice, but works against it.

If you're not sure what side of the scales you spend most of your time sitting on, then you can take a measure of just which half of these writings offended you most, or which side you found yourself defending, or which arguments you considered subpar. These are all triggered by resistance. If you think I've burnt the bacon, or put the bastard out to die, then you're either more of a pig or more of a bastard. It's okay to be offended. It tells you where you're in denial.

Bluemars Spaceways

Internet Radio Stations:
Voices from Within

Somewhere along the way, Earth technology became just powerful enough to begin picking up the signals from Bluemars. The three non-Terran listening stations make for some of the best Internet Radio within earshot of the Solar Rim.

Simply open one in iTunes and begin listening. If you don't want that station to be included when shuffling your library, just uncheck the box to the left of it. Enjoy!

with thanks to Kiltboy for my introduction

Web 2.0, in Under 5minutes

The Machine is Us/ing Us
by Michael Wesche

The Final Cut for this video was originally to be titled "Eternal Beta". For hi-def cuts, visit the YouTube page. There are more videos and extended information on the main site as well.


[ This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. ]

David Ho

The Artistry of David Ho


Images and content within this entry are copyright David Ho
[click an image to open viewer]


Candice Learns Zen

Candice Hides Inside Herself

Candice Holding a Tree Branch

Candice in a Kimono

The Lovers

Contemplation 6

For the Glory of Something

God's Project

World Order

One Step Closer

Something to Believe In


Pig 5

Re-presented with permission. For professional images, and a much greater selection, visit the artist's main site.

with thanks to Dendro and Lata for my introduction

Male Contraception Ready?

Ron Swerdloff and Christina Wang are the two researchers who've published a paper on male hormonal contraception. It's safe, effective and reversible. That's right! Guys will soon be able to pre-abort the little suckers with a pill. It's exciting news that comes just in time for my health insurance to kick in so that I can get a vasectomy instead... but well worth sharing for the other boys who aren't as committed to being non-committed.

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism published the paper on this study. You mix testosterone and progestin together, shake (not stir), and you end up with two nuts-worth of drunken sperm that are too dosed up on hormones to get off their asses and go egg-hunting. It could be the Last Easter before the Second Coming and they'd be the ones sending IOUs.

Testing and trials on a large scale have yet to begin, so keep searching Google for where you can volunteer. Who can tell if the test is a success unless actual sex is involved? Think about it.

Once testing pushes out a finalized pill to market, the question everyone's asking is: "Are men ready to take on the responsibility of their own birth control?"

My response: "Of course not, but it's about frakking time!"

LINK: Male contraception almost ready. Are men?