Archive for April 24th, 2007

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Wal-Mart Chooses HD-DVD

April 24, 2007

Gotta love Digg.   

There is one retailer that has the power to call the winner of the protracted Blu-Ray vs. HD DVD fight and that vendor is Wal-Mart.

read more | digg story

I have to admit that initially I thought that the Blu-ray format was going to win this one, solely based on the fact the the PS3 is also a Blu-ray player.  Sony has had a bit of a shaky launch of its new gaming console, however, and the regular stand-alone players are still more expensive than their HD-DVD counterparts.

Honestly, I haven’t been terribly impressed with either format.  Most of the players available have plenty of glitches (1st gen. machines tend to have that), and the quality of the content is currently only a benefit to those who a) have an HDTV, and b) are unsatisfied enough with regular DVD to make the plunge into a newer, more expensive format.  That isn’t a big market right now.

Also, the jump from regular DVD to HD/Blu-ray isn’t as significant as the previous jump from VHS to DVD.  Think about it.  When DVD was introduced roughly 10 years ago, the benefits over VHS included much better picture and sound quality, as well as convenience features like no rewinding, chapter selection, multiple audio tracks and subtitles, repeat functions, etc.. When you go from standard DVD to these HD formats, you’re really only gaining some picture quality (the sound is also higher resolution, but most people would be challenged to notice).  Simply stated, these formats aren’t nearly as groundbreaking as the last one, and I think it’s quite possible that they could both flop.  That, or they may wind up being used more for computer and professional applications than movies, since an optical disc that can hold up to 50 gigs could have a lot of uses besides the ability to see T2 in a little higher picture quality.  Add to the equation the rise in on-demand and downloadable content, and you might just see your average consumer paying $5.99 to watch a new release one time off their HD cable box instead of using one of these new players.

Anyway, it’ll be interesting to watch this play out. 

Another related Chamber post: Adult Movie Makers Are Embracing HD

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Rudy Giuliani And The Politics Of Fear

April 24, 2007

Someone posted this link on LGF and I couldn’t believe it when I read it.  It’s like deja vu:  Giuliani warns of ‘new 9/11’ if Dems win

“If any Republican is elected president – – and I think obviously I would be the best at this – – we will remain on offense and will anticipate what (the terrorists) will do and try to stop them before they do it,” Giuliani said.

OK.  Never mind the fact that 9/11 occurred while a Republican president (the current one) was in office.  Rudy seems to be implicitly guaranteeing that we won’t have another attack in the 1 1/2 years that Bush has left, in addition to the 4 years that this hypothetical Republican president would serve.  All because we’re on the ‘offensive’.  We’re on the ‘offensive’ all right.  We’re stuck in that ‘offensive’ that has been a cause célèbre for inspiring you jihadis the world over. Maybe Rudy’s right, as I would certainly describe that kind of recklessness in response to a terrorist attack as ‘offensive’.  This is fearmongering, pure and simple.

So, can we get that in writing, Rudy? 

Forget it.  I thought that we’d be done watching the fear card being played in our elections, but here we have Rudy grabbing the torch from Cheney:

. “It’s absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on November 2nd, we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we’ll get hit again,” the vice president said, “that we’ll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States, and that we’ll fall back into the pre-9/11 mind-set, if you will, that in fact these terrorist attacks are just criminal acts and that we are not really at war.”

I suppose they think they need to keep doing this, but the Republicans watched their polling lead on the issue of ‘terrorism’ erode to the point where the Dems actually had the advantage last November.  Giuliani apparently thinks that people will still buy it.  If it worked in ’04 maybe it will work in ’08.  Or so they hope.

BTW- Ever wonder why the Dems don’t run with the “we may get hit again”?  I don’t understand why they couldn’t.  They could bring up Katrina while they’re at it, and really scare the heck out of people about what might happen if we do have another major attack (knock, knock) while a Republican is in office.  I’d hope they’d be above it (exploiting a national tragedy), and just let the current Republican president’s record speak for itself.

Update:  I should note here that Giuliani never said the words ‘new 9/11’ even though the headline of the Politico story would lead one to believe that he did.  So, I’m going to go ahead and recant my statements above comparing Giuliani’s statements to Cheney’s.  (what’s going on at The Politico?)  I still stand by my assertion that what he’s engaging in here is fearmongering, however.

Update:  I think Keith Olbermann at MSNBC may have seen my post: Video: Olbermann commentary blasts ‘fearmongerer’ Giuliani

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Silliest ’08 Election Sidebar Widget Yet

April 24, 2007

I know there are a lot of conservative bloggers out there who want Fred Thompson to run for president in ‘O8.  The prevailing slogan circling around is “Draft Thompson!“, and it is beginning to appear (in various forms) in the sidebars of conservative blogs everywhere.  So, I borrowed one:

Comments about crappy photoshopping aside, if it looks like Thompson’s face seems a bit foreign pasted inside of a WWII helmet….it’s because it is.  Thompson has never actually served in the military, so I’m not quite sure what kind of message a sidebar image like this is trying to send.   I suppose the logic is based on some focus group findings that a potential candidate’s face superimposed on an old WWII poster gets high marks.  Or not.   It’s probably anyone’s guess what inspired this, actually.  Who cares!  Thompson looks tough, and we’ve got a WoT to win.  Hooah!

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Karl’s In Charge

April 24, 2007

Please forgive my semi-lame play on the title of an old ’80’s sitcom, but I’ll try my best to have it make sense.  I wanted today’s entry to be all about everyone’s favorite Bush administration figure, Karl Rove, as he seems to have a hard time staying out of the news lately:  Rove warns of threat of terrorism

In a question-and-answer period after his speech, Rove was asked whose idea it was to start a pre-emptive war.”

“I think it was Osama bin Laden’s,” Rove replied.

Someone on the Think Progress thread pretty much stated the response to this as I would have:

Actually Rove is right. Getting the US bogged down in a nasty guerrilla war in the heart of the Middle East is exactly what Bin Laden was after when he launched the 9/11 attack.

So the question becomes, why were Rove and the rest of the Bushies so eager to give Bin Laden what he wanted?

Comment by A Hermit — April 19, 2007 @ 3:15 pm

Now, it’s pretty easy to pick on Rove for silly comments like that, as it is just another example of the ridiculous spin that has come from this administration over the last 6 years.  If you’re really interested on why I agree with A. Hermit’s post, check out this thread in the fearbush forums. My real reason for this post has to do with Rove’s involvement with this A.G. Gonzales fiasco (called by some as a non-scandal scandal). First, a few pertinent links:

All this presents quite a few question marks, and an immediate impression that the administration may be covering something up here.  Although that might be true, I’m not convinced that it means that they are covering up anything improper or illegal, per se.  It has been noted by many that Bush is well within his right to fire attorneys at any time.  So…. why?

As you might expect, I have a theory…

What Rove’s conveniently missing emails and Gonzales’s abysmal memory are hiding has less to do with the firing of U.S. attorneys, and more to do with Rove’s power in general.   They’re covering up the uncomfortable revelation that Rove has been wielding more power and asserting more influence over our branches of government than his title of Deputy White House Chief of Staff would seem to imply.  In other words, it could very well be that when it comes to who’s really running things in the White House, Karl’s in charge. Unfortunately, considering the Bush administration’s terrible luck with finding documents (along with their secretive nature in general), we may never know for sure.

Update:  The L.A. Times is reporting that there will be investigations into Rove’s scheming: Low-key office launches high-profile inquiry (for the digg link, click here). 

The new investigation, which will examine the firing of at least one U.S. attorney, missing White House e-mails, and White House efforts to keep presidential appointees attuned to Republican political priorities, could create a substantial new problem for the Bush White House.

First, the inquiry comes from inside the administration, not from Democrats in Congress. Second, unlike the splintered inquiries being pressed on Capitol Hill, it is expected to be a unified investigation covering many facets of the political operation in which Rove played a leading part.

Hopefully they won’t run into too many missing documents or administration officials with preemptive alzheimer’s, but this is definitely something worth following up on. 

Others blogging the L.A. Times story:

The Blotter, Shakesville, TPMmuckraker, The Carpetbagger Report, Discourse.net, CANNONFIRE, NION, PoliBlog (TM), DownWithTyranny!, On Politics, CorrenteWire, Think Progress, Balloon Juice, AMERICAblog, TIME: Swampland, Tennessee Guerilla Women, The Heretik, The Agonist, Macsmind, Little Thom’s Blog, Prairie Weather, On Deadline and Liberal Values