Archives for the Month of November 2007 on Through the Magnifying Glass

CNN airs Ron Paul-supporter video

Patent Troll: Z4 Technologies

It would seem that Z4 Technologies has filed a patent covering the concept of using a two-level password process in order to activate newly installed software.

If you look up Z4 Technologies, they do not offer ANY actual services or products that utilize their patents. Therefore, we need to classify this company as a patent trolling company whose sole purpose is to file lawsuit against companies that later use their ideas.

Thus, this so-called company filed a lawsuit against Microsoft and Autodesk for using their "password" patent and a federal jury awarded them $158 million plus attorney fees. Of course, please note that patent trolling companies usually file their lawsuits in Marshall, Texas, where the courts are quite "friendly" to these companies. Unfortunately, Microsoft and Autodesk's appeals were denied by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

So essentially, for any other software company that wants to implement some sort of two password process to registering or activating the product, you have to pay royalty fees to Z4 Technologies.

Thus, should something like a two password process of DRM be patentable?

Aren't patents supposed to encourage and promote technological advancement, not curtail them?

Are companies like Z4 Technologies only interested in financial gain at the expense of other companies doing all the work for them?

This is another sign of why the patent and intellectual property system must be completely reformed.

If Z4 Technologies tries to sue you, just go and implement a three-password process...oh wait Z5 Technologies just patent that one.

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Fined $347,000 for trimming trees without a permit

Consumerist.com has the story

Yes, let's protect the trees, but wait, they're too close to the house, but wait you need a permit first to cut the trees, then approval by the city's forester, and so on and so forth.

But $347,000???

Look at the family and home? Do you really think they were some sort of big shot rich people? Was this an effort to tell everyone else in the neighborhood not to touch the trees in their yard or else?

The Collard home is in a relatively high danger zone for wildfire and that's why the Fire Department told them they needed to trim back flammable plants

It seems that the publicity was focused the idiocy of charging such a HUGE fine.

Another fine example of a bureaucratic nightmare by your local government.

LA Times has the story too.

I find it quite amusing for the arborist to state the value of the trees to be worth as much as $100,000. Hell, I would like to cut that tree and sell it on eBay.

This almost beats the Miss American contestant on that map question

I thought Europe was a country. Sorry, it's a continent.

I thought France was a country. Fortunately, it is.

Sigh.

No more fuzzy math

What are the folks in the University of Chicago smoking?

Kyle Hagner needs to do more research

Kyle Hagner of The Purdue Exponent writes up an unsavory opinion of Ron Paul in the 11/27 issue.

Should we go over the obvious differences?

First of all, Ron Paul is not an isolationist. You may think he is, but he is advocating a non-intervention policy. This means establishing friendly relations with other nations, free trade, and open travel, maximizing the exchanges of goods and services and ideas.

We want to stop meddling in the internal affairs of other nations. Of course we want to defend our country from outside attack, but does that mean putting troops and bases in almost every country in the world? This is a sign of an empire, not a democracy.

Eliminating the IRS would be quite a task to achieve, but losing 100,000 jobs because of it would be greatly offset by the amount of money we can save without hiring a tax analyst or the amount of bloody taxes to the federal government. I would have thought paying much less in taxes is a good thing for the American taxpayer.

As for saying that every racist, anti-Semite, neo-Nazi, and Holocaust denier are supporting Ron Paul seems far-fetched. Who knows if I can try to find a financial contributer to Mitt Romney, Giuliani, Obama, or Clinton, and they somehow have ties to some far-radical group. It is just so happens that the author on American Thinker went to great lengths to find certain individuals with radical and racist links that have donated to the Ron Paul campaign.

At one recent campaign stop, Ron Paul did say he did not believe that 9/11 was an inside job.

Saying that Ron Paul is hiding behind the internet is a cheapshot.

Some of Ron Paul's ideas are definitely not radical. He wants a more limited federal government, something that the 1990's Republicans were strongly in favor of, but were led astray when they took over Congress and became mad with power and money. He even wants certain federal departments and agencies to be eliminated because of bureaucratic red tape. There are times where we do not need to abide by federal standards when there are sufficient state standards that are in place.

Civil liberties must be protested. The Constitution must be protected. These are not radical ideas either.

I feel it is quite peculiar to see bloggers and opinionists use the radical racists and conspiracy theorists to denounce Ron Paul, instead of actually looking over his campaign ideas and goals and analyzing them in more detail.

Interesting way to describe the Modern Democratic Party

http://s215.photobucket.com/albums/cc40/an-artist/?action=view¤t=dnc_posterized2.jpg

Tell Massachusetts not to get involved with your family

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Lawmakers on Beacon Hill are set to consider a proposed ban on spanking children in the commonwealth. State Rep. Jay Kaufman filed the spanking ban petition at the request of an Arlington, Mass., nurse who wants Massachusetts to become the first state in the country to stop corporal punishment.

If it becomes law, any parents caught hitting their children who are under the age of 18 could be charged with abuse or neglect.

* * * * * *

While the intention is good, the government should not control the way you should raise your family. If a child deserves to be punished, some tolerable form of physical punishment is needed. Sending a child to his or her room, or being grounded are not absolute solutions. If your child was misbehaving in the store or mall, a simple no would not suffice.

The nanny police would probably have to arrest every parent in the mall who are trying to control their kids during this holiday season.

A waste of taxpayers' expense.

The Most Effective Speed Bump

Terror on the Tarmac

A harrowing tale of Jerry Wynn, of Jacksonville, Florida, when folks suspected that he was a terrorist on American Eagle Flight 4518 on September 21, 2007.

Read the story

For those that do support the War on Terror, would you like to see your individual citizen's rights trampled? What would you do if you were berated and harassed for hours, then let go without any explanation?

The moment you are labelled a possible suspect, it is like a nightmare that won't end.

Do we just take it with a grain of salt, and believe that it was all for the greater good?

Or does it show that your constitutional rights does not matter either way? Should this be of concern to anyone?

Ron Paul: Tea Party Time

Get ready for Dec. 16, the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, the day to bring another fundraising record for presidential candidate Ron Paul.

Larry Lepard, a venture capitalist and Ron Paul supporter from Massachusetts, has shelled out about $85,000 of his own money to throw what he told U.S. News is a "small hard rock at a good target": a full-page ad supporting Paul that will run in tomorrow's edition of USA Today—the nation's largest circulation daily newspaper—on the busiest travel day of the year.

Also, GQ Magazine has named Ron Paul the "dark horse of the year" for 2007.

Washington Times - Unlikely allies unite for Paul's quixotic bid (11.19.07)

Las Vegas Review Journal - Las Vegas Crowd roars for Ron Paul (11.20.07)

We're up to $8.767 million raised.

Yuck! Omarosa comes back to Apprentice

Why is she coming back? It would seem this wannabe 15-minutes in the spotlight woman will never disappear. I don't know why Donald Trump chose to bring her on the "Celebrity Apprentice" this season.

Does he really think she can be saved? Or is he bringing her on just to cause friction and enmity with the rest of the other apprentices? She doesn't even garner the criteria of being a celebrity. A network reality star is not a celebrity. You got your 15 minutes.

Also, according to Celebrity Magazine, she is coming out with a suit line for women. I can see it now. Enmity by Omarosa, guaranteed to cause hatred and attitude problems in the workplace.

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A Brief Kucinich Moment

You cannot ignore Ron Paul

The fundraising campaign has surpassed $8.1 million.

Two national polls released last week by CNN and Rassmussen Reports reveal Congressman Paul to be polling at or above 5% nationwide.

The Boston Globe and University of New Hampshire Survey Center released a CBS/NYT poll showing Paul polling around 8 percent, surpassing former GOP front-runner Fred Thomson, and is now tied with John McCain in Iowa.

Case Football - Perfect 10-0

Update 11/18:
The Spartans have advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III Football Championship by narrowly defeating the Pride from
Widener University 21-20 at Case Field.

The Spartans were down 20-15 with 1:27 remaining in the game, when sophomore quarterback Dan Whalen led the Spartans on a 14-play, 73-yard drive, capping it off by hitting senior wide receiver Jeff Mayer (Vermillion, OH) in the end zone with two seconds left on the clock for the game-winning touchdown.

With the win, the Spartans improve to 11-0 on the year and will host Wabash College next weekend at Case Field at 12:00 p.m. in the second round of the playoffs. Wabash defeated the College of Mount St. Joseph 31-21 in its first round game in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

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Update 11/11:
The Division 3 Selection Committee have announced the field of 32 teams today for the 2007 NCAA Division III Football Championship.

Case (10-0) has been selected to play Widener (8-2) in the first round on Nov. 17 at home.

Link

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Congrats to the Spartans for defeating Ohio Wesleyan University 20-17 at Case Field today. This completes the team's football season with a perfect 10-0 record.

Now, it is with hope that the NCAA Division III Football Committee will pick Case as part of the 32-team field for the 2007 Championship playoffs. The selections will be announced tomorrow (Sunday) at 11:30AM and will air on ESPNU.

Go Spartans!!!

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Case Football - Ranked #18

MAKING THEIR CASE: Case Western Reserve University won its first outright University Athletic Association championship in school history following a 35-27 win over Washington (Mo.) last weekend.

"I reminded the kids in my pre-game speech of what I told them this summer, that they could be the best Case Western Reserve team in years," said head coach Greg Debeljak. "I then explained to them that I set the bar too low. They have a chance to be the best Case Western Reserve team in history."

The Spartans tied a school record with nine victories as they remained unbeaten with a 9-0 record. Case Western Reserved climbed three spots to No. 18 in the latest AFCA Division III with the win.

Former high school teammates Dan Whalen and Shaun Nicely from Willoughby, Ohio, connected on three touchdowns. Nicely finished the game with a career-high 12 catches for 166 yards.

Next Match: Nov. 10 vs. Ohio Wesleyan

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US Dollar has lost 35% of its value since Feb 2002

Link

Nice chart of the US Dollar Trade-Weighted Exchange Rate Index from 1973 to today.

Already, the US Dollar has lost more than a third of its value (35%) against a basket of major currencies since Feb 2002.

Also, the decline seems to be accelerating. The USD lost 12.5% in the last year, 3.5% in the last month, and 1.5% in the last week alone.

National Debt hits $9 Trillion for the first time

The Treasury Department said Wednesday that the debt subject to limit was at $9 trillion on Tuesday. It was $8.996 trillion on Monday.

Last month, Congress passed and President Bush signed into law an increase in the government's borrowing ceiling to $9.815 trillion. It was the fifth debt limit increase since Bush took office in January 2001. Those increases have totaled $3.865 trillion.

The administration contends the rising debt reflects such factors as slow economic growth during the 2001 recession, the Sept. 11 attacks and the cost of fighting terrorism.

The total national debt is actually higher than $9 trillion because it includes borrowing by some agencies that are not covered by the congressional debt limit. That total was $9.086 trillion on Tuesday.

Did you know?

It took the country from George Washington until Ronald Reagan to reach the first $1 trillion in debt.

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Bush has spent $3.865 trillion of our debt since he took office in 2001.

Now with our economy slowing down, the mortgage sub-prime crisis, and a potential war with Iran, a lower federal deficit sounds like a joke. Who knows if $10 trillion level is going to be just right around the corner.

Link

The $54 Million Dollar Pants: Judge finally loses his job

Roy L. Pearson, Jr., the infamous law judge who filed a $54 million lawsuit against the Chungs on a pair of pants has finally lost his job.

The judicial committee from the Office of Administrative Hearings, hand-delivered a seven-page letter to Pearson directing him to leave his office at the end of the day.

Of course, the panel said that the lawsuit did not play a substantial role in their decision to not re-appoint him. Instead, the committee reviewed Pearson's judicial decisions and audiotapes of proceedings over which he had presided and found he did not demonstrate "appropriate judgment and judicial temperament," according to a source who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Pearson was also criticizied for displaying a "combative" nature with supervisors and colleagues and for failing to comply with policies in drafting opinions.

Anybody want to take a bet if Pearson sues the city for losing his job?

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Ron Paul campaign reports $4.2 million in one day

ronpaul.jpgThe Los Angeles Times says while Ron Paul has been pushed to the edge of the stage, literally and figuratively, when the candidates debate, he is getting his moment in the sun for his long-shot bid for the Republican presidential nomination after this week's formidable online fundraising. In one day, his campaign has raised $4.2 million, one of the best single-day fundraising totals in presidential campaign history.

Of course mainstream political commentators continued to regard Paul as a little blip, a nobody, a candidate who has no chance of winning the nomination.

But other bloggers and political critics believe that Paul was catching on with the people. Salon.com commentator Glenn Greenwald say people are "hungry for a political movement which operates outside of our rotted political establishment and which fearlessly rejects its pieties, even if they disagree with some or even many of its particulars."

Paul's call for a reduction of the federal government and a reliance on the principles of the Constitution meets a particularly receptive audience online, said Michael Cornfield, an associate research professor at George Washington University.

"This idea of 'Don't Tread on Us,' we can fix things, we do just great on our own, creating wealth and knowledge for the world is very much part of the Silicon Valley, Internet ethic," Cornfield said. "And Ron Paul's philosophy jibes with that better than any other candidates."

Well, Ron Paul is well on his way to raising $12 million for his campaign by the end of the year. As long as folks pass his word of truth to the people through the Internet and word of mouth, the other candidates must respond to his concerns and proposals to help make a great America.

Over $7.6 million has been raised so far (as of 11/8/07). If you wish to donate to the Ron Paul campaign, visit:

https://www.ronpaul2008.com/donate/

Cleveland: Sub-Prime Capital of the United States

Investors and markets are in fear that banks could have around $1 TRILLION in toxic debt or so-called sub-prime debt.

BBC News shows Cleveland, Ohio, as the sub-prime capital of the United States. One in ten homes in the city is now vacant, and whole neighborhoods have been blighted by foreclosed, vandalized, nd boarded-up homes.

Cleveland is thought to be facing a rising crime wave, and the cost of demolishing the vacant houses alone will cost the city $100 million of its tax base.

Jim Rokakis, the County Treasurer for Cleveland's Cuyahoga County:
"Wall Street strategies that made the cycle of no-money-down, no-questions-asked lending possible have sucked the life out of my city".

subprime_lenders_in_cleveland.gif

Sub-prime mortgages carry a much higher risk of default by the borrower than other kinds of mortgage lending.

That is because most of them are "balloon" mortgages (technically known as hybrid-adjustable rate mortgages, or ARMs), which offer the borrower a fixed-rate loan for two or three years, and then switch to a much higher adjustable rate after that.

Many of them are set to switch in the next two years, leaving borrowers unable to afford the higher payments.

Claudia Coulton, co-director of the Centre for Urban Poverty at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, over 10,000 families - one in eight of all owner occupiers in Cleveland - will face eviction this year - and the number is expected to rise.

She says the crisis is threatening to "overwhelm the government agencies and community organisations that address the problem".

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Ron Paul appears on Jay Leno

People argue he's not in the top tier, but the amount of fundraising he has done puts him in the top 3.

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Has to be Southwest Airlines...

I only flew Southwest once, and during takeoff, the FA kept on saying "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can..."

And on landing, the FA said "we're gonna make it!"

tsk tsk.

NJ voters: constitutional amendment on idiot/insane person

It is actually funny that this phrase is still in our state constitution for so many years.

It reads:

Shall the amendment of Article II, Section I, paragraph 6 of
the Constitution, agreed to by the Legislature, revising the
current constitutional language concerning denial of the right
to vote by deleting the phrase “idiot or insane person” and
providing instead that a “person who has been adjudicated
by a court of competent jurisdiction to lack the capacity to
understand the act of voting”
shall not enjoy the right of
suffrage, be adopted?

Just imagine...you can find a bigshot lawyer who can argue that half of the voting population could be considered idiots because they are just mindless zombies voting for their elected leaders because the political party told them to. =)

Jena 6 Rally on November 7th

On Wednesday, November 7th, four of the Six -- Theodore Shaw, Robert Bailey, Bryan Purvis, and Mychal Bell -- are expected in court for pre-trial hearings.

As usual, the Jena 6 movement and the ANSWER Coalition plan to stage rallies in front of local courthouses across the country with the demand to free the Jena Six, and drop all the charges. They hope to demonstrate in Los Angeles, Seattle, Washington, DC, New York City, Chicago, and other cities.

They still remain ignorant of the fact that these six individuals are indeed responsible for the severe assault of Justin Barker.

The mainstream media continues to ignore the real facts behind the Jena Six case and continued to advocate certain myths designed to show that racism is even worse than suggested in the town of Jena, LA.

Why can't they check the facts stated by the Christian Monitor where a local journalist living in Jena disputes these so-called "racist" arguments? Are they afraid of hearing the real truth? It's no surprise if they think that the local journalist is a liar.

Why do they continue to tell the rest of the country that race relations in Jena are horrible or are worse, but in reality, they are doing alright?

Isn't it possible that this Jena tragedy is a continuation of the Duke lacrosse and Katrina reporting debacles?

Sure, complain about the all-white jury. But the facts showed that black residents were indeed summoned for jury duty, but none of them wanted to serve. Perhaps they felt uncomfortable with sitting in judgment over another black person.

Complain about the whites-only tree where in fact, there was no such thing, but a joke asked during assembly.

Complain about the DA trying to threaten black students where in reality, he was trying to control some white students that were misbehaving. Lovely way for the media to take his words out of context.

It is pretty weird to see the media not even doing more research to seek out the real truth. Perhaps they are afraid of being labeled as traitors to the civil rights movement.

So read the article and the myths, and decide whether you should continue to believe the Jena 6, or you should do more research and find out what are the real facts and decide that the Jena 6 ought to be punished for they did.