Wednesday, April 30, 2008

My Ranking of AM Radio Talk Shows

TOP:

Roe Conn Show
- My favorite. Irreverent, hilarious, and very entertaining - this is what I think talk radio should be. Its not simply stuck single-mindedly on the topic of politics, but rather has a good dose of celebrity gossip, plenty of interviews with local and national personalities, voice impersonations, and spot on humor throughout. But I have to say: bring back Christina Filiaggi!!

Neil Boortz Show - Neil Boortz doesn't toe the standard conservative line. Thank God! I get so bored flipping from one radio talk show to another, all saying the same damn thing. Moreovor, he knows his job is primarily that of being an entertainer, and he expects his listeners to make up their own damn minds. Even on his website he writes:
Don't believe anything you read on this web page, or, for that matter, anything you hear on The Neal Boortz Show, unless it is consistent with what you already know to be true, or unless you have taken the time to research the matter to prove its accuracy to your satisfaction. This is known as "doing your homework."
That is a breath of fresh air in the world of AM talk radio. Very entertaining, often insightful, and never stuck in a rut. I don't often agree with him, but he is fun to listen to.

Clark Howard
- He is all about defending the consumers. His shows are always packed with insightful tips and informative comments, and I generally feel like I've learned something when I tune in. My general sense is that he is well intentioned and not trying to make controversy where there is none (unlike most talk show hosts). There are also hints he may run for the mayor of Atlanta, GA in 2009. I'd like to see it!

MEDIUM:

Rush Limbaugh - There is no doubt about it: Rush is good at what he does. I've got to respect that. But there are a bunch of things that annoy me about him and his show. First, I get the feeling he's nearly forgotten that he is primarily an entertainer and that he makes a living brewing up controversy. He seems to want his listeners to trust him and believe his views rather than think for themselves. Its funny, his listeners actually refer to themselves as didoheads - such an appropriate name! Finally, his Us-v-Them mentality drives me crazy. He's part of the reason this country is so polarized nowadays (and he'd love to claim credit for it to boot).

Mark Levin - I'm not actually sure why he makes it into my middle category. His voice is very shrill and his show doesn't really seem to add much new to what's already out there. Its always: dems are socialists, if you don't agree with me then you're a dope, etc. Nonetheless, I'd much prefer to listen to this show then any in the category below. Maybe its just his passion - his single (and simple) minded passion about what he believes.


BOTTOM:

Sean Hannity - Always stuck in a rut. F*in' A': How repetitive can one get? Its like he has a list of 10 things to talk about, and that's all he's going to hammer every day. Illegial immegration, Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, supporting the troops, attacking dems, lowering taxes, etc. (the list doesn't really go on much longer). There is almost nothing insightful that you haven't heard him say a thousand times before. How in the hell did he get to be so famous? And its all blantantly and mindnumbingly slanted. Who actually buy's into his shite?

Michael Savage - When did talk show hosts forget they were entertainers and start buying into their own sensationalist crap? And buy into it whole-heartedly he does. He's like the Farrakhan of the right. Its not even that I disagree with most of what he says, its just not entertaining - its only angry. Borrring! I'd rather watch Battlefield Earth than listen to his invective dribble.

Handle on the Law
- Quintessential lawyerism. Handle is also a braggit and bully. I don't really have anything else to say.

Btw, most of these can be listened to, at one time or another, on the internet. Go here and find what you want.

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KDE apps I can't do without

I use Ubuntu. Not Kubuntu. The reason is simple: I hate the naming scheme used by the various application developers on the KDE side of things. It might be a small reason, but seriously, it gets on my nerves.
Nonetheless, there are definitely some KDE applications I prefer over its Gnome counterpart. Here is my list:

AmaroK - Oh, so much better than Rhythmbox. And one of my favorite features is the fact that it can hook up to a MySQL database. This is really important because I have about 50,000 mp3s. This destroys most players. Rhythmbox is functional, but it does freeze a bunch when I first open it. Also, AmaroK has a LOT more features. I love the smart-playlists, it helps me connect with the music I have but have forgotten.

k9copy - The DVD Shrink app for linux. I did try the other ones out there, but they didn't come close.

Quanta Plus - Much better than NVU. The best web development environment for linux.

I would say K3b, but Brasero - now included by default on Ubuntu - has finally caught up.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Bush Vs. Zombies

What I'd like to see in future versions of Hardy Ubuntu

The present version is really good. I'm very impressed. Here are some features I think would make the experience even better:
  • A GUI wrapper for ufw (uncomplicated firewall). ufw is really nice, but command line features are hard to remember if you don't use them often. Firestarter is on the right track, but its development seems to have stopped and it doesn't feel as integrated with the system as I would like.
  • Two-way synchronization between evolution and google calander. Right now there is only one-way synchronization.
  • Advanced Desktop settings already pre-installed.
  • Tracker Search Tool needs to have a phrase search

Upcoming Applications I'm really looking forward to:
  • OpenOffice.org 3.0 - Finally, we will have a decent way to make comments in documents (and hopefully they will revamp the GUI, but I doubt they will)
  • Amarok 2.0 - Already the best music player on Linux, and it looks like it is even going to get better. I can't wait.
  • Songbird 1.0 - Another promising media application!
  • Audacity - One that actually works with PulseAudio
  • Mupen64Plus - N64 emulator on linux - its already really good.

Monday, April 28, 2008

More...



Also, anyone who buys into this guilt by association (the name of a fallacy, btfw) needs to learn the principles of good reasoning. But those of you who do probably also think Obama's a Muslum because he whore a wore a turban.... So who are you: (1) people who stand firm on conservative principles or (2) soft-minded sheep who need Hannity to give you perspective?


National Press Club - Rev Wright Q & A (Part 2 of 3)

Apparently, Wright's Q&A is what got everybodies panties in a wod

I found it to be a good laugh, and absolutely appropriate. He's already answered these questions numerous times already in a calm measured way, and now he doesn't feel the need to do so again. Now he can hand it out with a little bit of sauce, knowing full well that his detractor's aren't going to consider the reality behind his statements anyway. I really like this guy the more that I listen to what he has to say.

I think Ubuntu Hardy is great, but ...

...it sure does not feel like it can quite live up to the name. I've already stacked up quite a bug list, most of which I find really annoying on a daily basis. Here's the highlights:

  • 129665 Unable to skip the current track on last.fm
  • 136702 nautilus 'replace file' dialog box could give more information
  • 32906 sudo shouldn’t ABSOLUTELY NEED to look up the host it’s running on
  • 192888 firefox crashes on flash contents when using libflashsupport
  • 149444 Tracker doesn't search for phrases in enclosed quotes
  • 207377 No Anti Aliased fonts in the Perl-tk package
Uff. The most annoying is how often Firefox crashes when browsing YouTube. I can only watch like 2 videos, and then... crash->Restore previous settings. I also find it really annoying how I cannot use Audacity without killing Pulseaudio. And the workaround of "padsp audacity" is unstable as hell, at least on my machine. Also I was really f*ing confused the first time I used the "sudo" command and it complained about my network configuration. Wtf? Also, I listen to lots of music through Last.fm, so why the f* can't I skip ahead a track when using Rhythmbox. Yes, lots of annoyances.

Don't get me wrong, I think Ubuntu Hardy is on the right track. Overall, it feels much more integrated than Gutsy, and quite a number of the bugs that annoyed me previously have disappeared. But it feels like it just could have stayed in the oven a little bit longer....

Looking forward to 8.04.1

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Arianna Huffington on Clinton

. . . Clinton's cynical distortion of Obama's remarks [about "bitter" voters] is in keeping with her campaign's modus operandi. On the foreign policy front, we've been fed a steady diet of her RNC [Republican National Committee]-patented attacks: No Democrat can be trusted with national security – except her. Obama hasn't crossed the threshold to be commander-in-chief. Etc.

Now she's turned to the domestic policy section of the RNC playbook, twisting Obama's words in a way that confirms every right-wing demagogic caricature of her own Party.


It amazes me how much political opportunists (Clinton et al) or political hacks (Hannity et al) latch on one artless comment made by Obama in the course of his numerous lengthy speeches and claim that it topples everything. The facade has now been removed, so they say. And what annoys the piss out of me is that it is pretty easy to read behind the words to see what Obama was getting at and see he is not that that far off the mark. People do take an us-vs-them mentality when times are difficult. But lets not pay any attention to the sociological sciences - what relevance do they have when we have a political hack-job to perform? Huffington sees Clinton's game, as should anyone who has eyes to see. I sure hope to hell I don't have to choose between Clinton and McCain in the next election.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Streaming WSB radio stream in Ubuntu

I like using Amarok, but it also works in VLC:

http://www.streamaudio.com/stations/asx/WSB_AM.asx

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Getting Perl-Tk installed on Hardy with Anti-Aliased Fonts

First, make sure you turn off compiz - when I had it turned on it lead to all sort of weird errors and freeze-ups.

Then I downloaded the package from: [WWW] http://search.cpan.org/dist/Tk/

Using Synaptic I installed: libperl-dev, libx11-dev, x-dev,and libxft-dev

Then, using the command line:

  • tar xvfz Tk-*

    cd Tk-*

    perl Makefile.PL XFT=1

    make

    make test

    sudo make install