Working hard for your dollar

According to this report on USA Today, members of the House of Representitives worked for a total of 47 hours in Janurary and February of this year. As of March 17, the House was in session for just 19 days. At this rate and with plenty of more vacations planned, they’ll only have worked 97 days this year- far fewer then the 141 worked last year.

Lawmakers will make $165,200 this year. Leaders earn more.

Would your boss put up with that?


Patently Mad

Michael Crichton wrote a great opt-ed piece for the New York Times called, This Essay Breaks the Law. It’s a great two pager on how the patent system in the US has gone to hell and how it will effect not just large corporations, but you and your family.

Btw, don’t read this next sentance, because just merely thinking it is illegal:

Elevated homocysteine is linked to B-12 deficiency, so doctors should test homocysteine levels to see whether the patient needs vitamins.


Dad! Tom Cruise won’t come out of the closet!

So let me get this straight… it’s ok for South Park (one of my favorite shows on TV) to make fun of Christians, Jews, Muslims and Mormons, but when they make fun of Scientology (which is more cult then religion) all of a sudden Comedy Central pulls re-airing the episode because of religious insensitivity and the voice of Chef, Issac Hayes, (who is a Scientologist) quits (oddly though, not in protest of the original airing months ago, but in the re-airing).

I thought Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s response was well thought out and to the point:

“So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for earth has just begun! Temporarily anozinizing our episode will NOT stop us from keeping Thetans forever trapped in your pitiful man-bodies. Curses and drat! You have obstructed us for now, but your feeble bid to save humanity will fail! Hail Xenu!!! [Signed,] Trey Parker and Matt Stone, servants of the dark lord Xenu.”

To find out more about Scientology you should read this interview and check out Operation Clambake.

Or grab the torrent and download the South Park episode and watch it anyways.


RIAA puts profits over lives

I dunno, I should be shocked (shocked I say!), but I’m not…

Every so often, the US Copyright Office takes comments regarding the DMCA (the law which makes it a crime to use products you paid for in ways other then the creator intended). Most recently, Sony-BMG (a member of the RIAA) added DRM technology to music CD’s (actually, technically, they’re not a real music CD because of the DRM, hence they don’t carry the CD logo) which ended up creating a security hole on people’s computers. This security hole was then abused by other people (criminals to be precise) to break into those computers.

In response, people like Ed Felton requested the the USCO grant an exception to the DMCA which would allow users to remove DRM software which caused harm for the end users. Others asked for an excemption which covered DRM which, “employ access control measures which threaten critical infrastructure and potentially endanger lives.”

Sounds pretty reasonable right? Apparently though the RIAA doesn’t think so.