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February 28, 2010

Immature Red-tailed Hawk

Above: Immature Red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) near Morrison, Colorado. Note the distinct narrow bands on the tail feathers which are much less pronounced at maturity.


Posted by Rob Kiser on February 28, 2010 at 6:30 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Depth of Field on Canon EOS 50D

The camera of 2010 is far removed from the camera of the late 1800's. A camera today is a pretty much a computer with an LCD display that happens to have a lens on the front.

The growing pains from this unholy alliance are numerous and painful. The people that built cameras didn't really understand what a computer could do for a camera. And the people that built computers didn't really understand how a camera worked to begin with.

Basically, they used the computer on the camera to automatically focus the camera, and to automatically set the aperture, shutter speed, and film speed enough to record a digital photo with a acceptable exposure. And that was it.

What they missed altogether was the Depth of Field calculation. The Depth of Field is based on a few things, including the camera sensor size, focal length of the lens, the aperture, and distance to subject.

You sensor size isn't something that's going to be changing. So, your DOF calculation is usually going to be based on three variables. Focal length of the lens, aperture setting (f-stop), and the distance to the subject. Now, these calculations are not something you can do in your head very easily. People do all sorts of tricks...they print out tables and laminate them or they make little spinning charts and attach them to their lens caps. Then they go into the field with their little crib notes and try to figure out what their depth of field will be.

They squint and push the DOF Prefiew button and pretend like that can judge the DOF when really this is fairly close to useless. All of this so that they can get some idea of the DOF when they're holding a very powerful computer in their hands.

The camera knows all of the information it needs to calculate the DOF to within a gnat's @ss. It knows the focal length of the lens and the lens aperture (f-stop) setting and even the distance to the subject. The 50D has two different LCD displays where it could display the distance to subject and the Depth of Field. But it doesn't display either. Nor does it save them. The distance is not stored in the EXIF data. It's thrown away.

And this is what I mean - the computer people and the camera people are two different groups and they talk to each other without communicating. Maddening. Just maddening.

Continue reading "Depth of Field on Canon EOS 50D"

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 28, 2010 at 11:51 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

February 27, 2010

Depth of Field Calculations

I wanted to do some Depth of Field (DOF) calculations for my Canon EOS 50D with the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens with the 1.4X Extender. The extender/teleconverter costs about 1 f/stop of light. And I'm trying to understand exactly what the depth of field is for my photos. For instance, if I'm shooting an owl that's 50 feet away with the aperture set at f/8, then what, exactly, is my Depth of Field? Is it enough to make the entire owl appear sharp? This is really the goal, of course. That the owl appear in sharp focus, but that the tree limbs in front and behind him appear soft and out of focus. This is the ultimate goal. But the calculations are horribly complicated and vary with the distance to the subject, as well as the aperture of the lens.

So, I was going to use this online DOF calculator, but I wasn't sure whether I should use the 35mm equivalent focal length of the lens, or the actual focal length of the lens. For instance, if I have my 100-400mm lens zoomed in all the way to 400mm, the 35mm equivalent lens would be 640mm. So, I wasn't really sure what values to plug in. So, tonight I was browsing through the FAQ and found this little gem: "Always use the ACTUAL focal length when calculating depth of field."

OK. Fair enough. So, I'll use 400mm * 1.4X = 560mm. So, this is my best guess...that the true lens focal lenght is 560mm.

Camera: 50D
Focal Length: 600mm (there's not one for 560mm)
Selected f-stop: f/5.6
Subject distance: 50 ft

This gives me a DOF of .44 ft, or 5 1/4", or 2 3/4" before and behind my focus point.

I like their DOF Table even better. It allows me to put in 560mm, instead of having to select from a list. This table shows my DOF to be 3" at 50 ft with f-stop of f/5.6 for the 50D with a 560mm lens.

Honestly, though, I still don't trust these calculations. How can it possibly know that I'm using a lens that's not designed for my camera sensor size? I feel like that has to be taken into account in these calculations, and I'm reasonably sure that it's not taken into account.


Posted by Rob Kiser on February 27, 2010 at 11:15 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Obama Karloff

Well, the Republicans didn't just roll over and turn kommie, so Obama sat there and pouted like a big baby. He's so thin skinned and petulant that he's an embarrassment to the nation. Like a brat pouting through Sunday school. No wonder Rush compared him to Boris Karloff.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 27, 2010 at 5:44 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Canon EOS 50D with Extender EF 1.4X II with EF 100-400mm IS USM f/4.5-5.6L

OK. So, I went out and shot some photos yesterday of a couple of raptors. And, I did OK with it, but I was sort of bummed that my autofocus didn't work when I added the 1.4X extender. I'd read some places that it might not work, so I wasn't totally surprised, but I wasn't exactly thrilled, either.

So, today, I thought I'd surf the web and see if this was a know issue, etc. And, sure enough, if you use the Canon EOS 50D (or similar Canon 1.6 crop factor frames) and you use the EF 100-400mm IS USM f/4.5-5.6L lens and you use the EF 1.4X extender, then then autofocus sure enough won't work. But, there is a trick you can do to make it work.

Now, this all goes back to last year when I was working out in San Diego. I was standing on the longest pier on the West coast, if you can believe it, which happens to be at Ocean Beach ("OB" in the local dialect). And there's this kid there with some Canon frame and lens on a Wimberly mount shooting surfers off of the pier. He was a typical OB punk with his ipod and ear buds and I kept asking him questions about his setup, which he clearly didn't want to answer. But he kept taking out his earbuds and answering my questions and one of the things I recall him saying was that he was using this crazy lens (I think it was a Canon 600mm lens) but with the smaller sensor (1.6x crop factor) and because of this, he could only get one autofocus point to work and he had to tape over some of the contacts on the lens to make the autofocus work at all.

So, this was the first i'd heard of the trick, but I searched today and found this post which describes the procedure to trick the camera into autofocusing correctly.

I used black electrical tape trimmed with an exacto knife. The first time I did it, I taped over the wrong 3 pins, because there are three pins off by themselves, raised up, and I thought "aha...that's them" and taped over them. But then, when I read it more closely, I figured out that the 3 pins you want to tape over run right into the rest of the pins. They're not separated or raised or anything. So, I taped over these three pins and re-attached the lens and voila. Not only does this make the autofocus work - it works with all 9 autofocus points!

This is sort of crazy, of course. What it means is that the Canon lens/camera/extender is designed not work properly, but you can break it with a piece of electrical tape, and make it work perfectly. Lunacy.

Basically, there are three contacts that you want to tape over on the 100-400mm lens. See the photos below to determine which three pins. If you can't figure it out from the photos, I can't help you.

I used electrical, but other tape may work. I have no idea if this will destroy your camera or not. It seems to work for me so far, but if it ruins your camera or voids your warranty, you're on your own. Proceed at your own risk.

(Higher resolution images in extended entry)

Continue reading "Canon EOS 50D with Extender EF 1.4X II with EF 100-400mm IS USM f/4.5-5.6L"

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 27, 2010 at 1:42 PM : Comments (2) | Permalink

Chile Rocked by 8.8 quake - Hilo, Hawaii Under Tsunami Alert

Above: Downtown Hilo - Aug 06.

Chile got rocked by a massive quake last night, and reports of the damage are just starting to trickle in. The more interesting result, IMHO is that a Tsunami may be heading for Hawaii. The first time I ever went to Hilo, back in '93 I think, I recall an old clock tower in downtown Hilo that didn't tell time. Like, it was this fairly large free-standing structure with a clock face that didn't function properly. The reason it didn't work, according to an accompanying plaque, was that an earthquake in Chile had triggered a Tsunami that pretty much took out downtown Hilo. And they'd left the broken clock up in memory of the event. So, hopefully that's not what's going to happen this time, because that was 50 years ago, and there's a lot more hippy dropouts in Hilo, these days.

Above: Hilo - Aug 06.

Above: Hilo - Aug 06.

Above: Hilo - Aug 06.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 27, 2010 at 9:31 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

February 26, 2010

Canon Extender EF 1.4X II (Teleconverter)

My new toy came today via UPS. Woohoo! I'm going to try to get some shots of owlie when I go to pick up Jennifer today. Hopefully, I'll get better shots of owlie. We'll see.

I'm trying to get some rough depth-of-field calculations, this is always tricky with smaller-than-full-frame sensors. My sensor has a 1.6X "crop factor". But the lens is a 100mm - 400mm L-series lens designed for a full frame sensor. You can tell this silly DOF calculator that you're shooting a Canon EOS 50D, so it knows to accomodate for the 1.6X "crop factor", but then there are two different types of lenses you can use for this frame, the EF, and the EFS. The EFS lenses are designed for the smaller sensor, the EF lenses are not. So, this is sort of a crap shoot.

Update: So, the autofocus doesn't work at all with the extender. I had thought that this might be a possibility. Not very convenient, but I figured I should be able to manually focus my camera, although I readily admit it's not something I have a lot of practice with.

Update: I tricked the camera and now the autofocus works. :)

Above: Great-horned Owl (Bubo virginianus).

Above: The American Kestrel (Falco sparverius).

Categories: Photos, Birds, Owls, Falcons

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 26, 2010 at 2:21 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

February 25, 2010

The Daily Raptors

Today, I got some shots of Owlie and also of a female American Kestrel. Then, I went to get my emissions tested so I can hand over more money to Jefferson County for my vehicle registration. I failed the test, which they don't tell you until after you pay the. So, I hand them my $25.00 and they smile and say "You failed."

So, apparently I failed because my gas cap had a leak in it, so I went to Autozone and bought a new gas cap and went back and passed the test, but by then, it was too late to shoot any more raptors or get my license plate registration renewed. So I drove home and the idiot in his weenie mobile got stuck in the road, if you can believe it. It was so icy, he couldn't go. He just slide off the road sideways while I watched him. Then, I slid off the road sideways, which is really a strange feeling because you're anti-lock brakes aren't worth a plugged nickel when you're sliding sideways off the road. Trust me.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 25, 2010 at 11:32 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

The Raw Hypocrisy Of Reconciliation


"Republicans are being warned they must help pass the Democrats' health reform or face the "nuclear option" preventing filibusters. But when in the minority, Democrats called such threats undemocratic."

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 25, 2010 at 11:28 PM : Comments (2) | Permalink

Solar Doesn't Make Sense - Even if the Solar Panels are Free


"Writing at greentechmedia.com Craig Hunter outlines an argument for why even if solar cells become almost free the current PV panel approach has so many other costs that competitive PV electric power remains a distant prospect."

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 25, 2010 at 10:48 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

February 24, 2010

Missippi's Literacy Program Shows Improvement

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 24, 2010 at 11:37 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink


Posted by Rob Kiser on February 24, 2010 at 11:03 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Had 'O-nough'?


"One year after electing him to office, voters have grown tired of President Barack Obama, or more precisely, his agenda to "transform" the US. So much so, in fact, that the 1946 slogan is again finding traction. With a nod to the ubiquitous Obama campaign logo, the simple question that frustrated Republicans, Democrats and Independents are asking is: "Had 'O-nough'?"

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 24, 2010 at 8:42 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Squirrel Fishing


Posted by Rob Kiser on February 24, 2010 at 8:36 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Dims on Reconciliation - We were Against it before we were For it

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 24, 2010 at 8:19 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink


"Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits." - Thomas A. Edison

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 24, 2010 at 3:27 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Save Spork: The City of Lafayette's Reply

Today, I received this email from the City of Lafayette, Colorado:

The City of Lafayette is in receipt of your inquiry regarding a dachshund named Spork. Please permit me to share some observations.

Several years back in rewriting the City code, the City decided to not go the way of breed specific regulations as it related to vicious animals. Rather the City put in place conditions for the code enforcement and the courts to manage vicious animals. This non-breed specific effort was applauded by other cities and animal advocate groups. In no way does it require "euthanization" other than in extreme circumstances as determined by the Judge.

The Spork incident happened in August of 2009. The veterinary technician then made a decision to file a report with the Police Department. The bite was serious requiring medical attention and care by a plastic surgeon.

The case goes before our Municipal Judge in April. We are confident that he will review all the facts of the case based upon the evidence presented in court, decide whether a violation occurred, and take appropriate action only if there was a violation.

It is significant to note that the ordinance governing vicious animals does allow immediate impoundment in the most serious cases. In this case, Spork was not immediately impounded. The public should understand that once charges are filed with the court, any interference with the judicial process by City Council or Staff could jeopardize the due process rights of all interested parties. Thanks for reading this.

Gary Klaphake
City Administrator
City of Lafayette

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 24, 2010 at 12:37 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink

February 23, 2010

Pixel Pitch Comparison Between Canon EOS 50D and 5D Mark II

So I was down shooting some photos of my favorite owl today, and I saw another guy there shooting some photos also. He had a Canon EOS 40D with a Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Super Telephoto Lens. He's got a box of live mice, which I'm sure the owl wouldn't go near when he/she is incubating a clutch of eggs. They take turns sitting on the nest, I'm led to believe. So presumably, they hunt for food when they're not on the nest. That's my theory, anyway. Genetically speaking, it doesn't make sense to leave the nest in 20 degree weather to get a mouse and risk losing your family. It's not worth it. But I digress.

So, this guy has his 40D and his 400mm fixed focal length lens and he's crowing about how he used to have the 100-400mm lens and couldn't get sharp images out of it. And, I'm like, fair enough. I've got more glass. In theory, a fixed 400mm lens is better, but I like the zoom too much to get away from it. I carry too much equipment as it is. So, no, I'm not buying another 400mm lens just because it's sharper. Plus, I'm not the one shooting a 40D. So there's that.

Then, he starts talking about a "full-frame sensor" like the EOS 5D Mark II and I was like...whoa, whoa, whoa. Just hold it right there. Now, it's true that the Canon EOS 10D, 20D, 30D, 40D, 50D, and 7D all sport a 1.6X "cropping factor". So, it's true that my sensor is smaller than 36mm x 24mm. However, since I'm cropping down to get to my image, I'm not clear how much that actually matters.

Then, he starts into that old saw about pixel pitch and sensitivity and every story everyone with a full frame sensor tells you to brow beat you into believing that the $$$ you put into your camera gear was basically a glorious waste of money on sub-standard, housewife-quality, photography equipment.

And I'm like...hold on there Sparky. If I'm cropping down to get to the image of the bird, I'm not clear that it matters if I have a full-frame sensor or not. And as for the pixel pitch, I'd argue that mine is pretty much equal to the pixel pitch on a Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

So, now that I'm home and calmed down somewhat (but not much), I decided to do some comparisons.

Camera sensor comparisons:

So, OK. He's right that the pixel pitch is greater on the 5D Mark II. The pixel pitch on the 5D Mark II is about 36% greater than on the 50D. Fair enough. But that still means that I get more pixels on the owl than the full-frame sensor, because when we're photographing something very small like a bird, we're throwing away a lot of the data from the full frame sensor. You may say "oh, the full-frame sensor is more sensitive". OK. Great. And what I'm going to tell you is that the first thing we're going to do is throw away everything outside of my sensor area anyway, because it's meaningless. Do you want to see the limbs around the owl? I didn't think so. You want to see the owl. So, if you look at the photo above, we're going to toss the "gray" area immediately. Straight into the trash can. Now how does the full frame sensor look? Well, when we go from 36x24mm down to 22.3 x 14.9 mm, we end up with a cropped view of the full frame sensor with a remaining resolution of 3,510 x 2,340 = 8.2 Megapixels.

When we toss out the unwanted data from the full frame sensor, the EOS 50D has more pixels on the owl than the full frame sensor has. Granted, you say the full frame sensor is still better. OK. Fair enough. But I got more pixels on the owl, and you can't argue that. At this level of zoom, the 5D Mark II has 8.2 Megapixles to play with and the 50D still has 15.2 Megapixels.

I know, I know. You say the 5D Mark II is still better. And I'm not in a position to say you're wrong. But at least I'm not the guy standing out there with a box of field mice and a 40D. So there. Humpfff.

Update: Previous post on Lunar Photography pixel calculations that I did for that jack@ss that couldn't even lower himself to say "thank you".

Comparison of 50D vs. 7D vs. 5D Mark II: http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Canon_EOS_7D/outdoor_results.shtml

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 23, 2010 at 9:00 PM : Comments (2) | Permalink

Is Obama a Lame Duck after barely one year in office?

Some have observed that Obama is, essentially, a 'lame duck' after barely one year in office: That certainly goes along with my thinking. This one-term president is already planning his exit strategy 3 years down the road.

Not long ago, Rolling Stone was crowing that Bush 43 was "The Worst President Ever". I'm thinking that they'd have a hard time pushing that same headline today. My guess is that the Obamunist will indisputably own that title long before this despotic potentate strips the White House bare and retreats from D.C. to Chicago in a scorched earth policy that would make Sherman blush.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 23, 2010 at 7:42 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

The Nissan 'Leaf': A Solution to a Problem that Doesn't Exist


* It doesn't have the range of a gasoline-powered car
* It doesn't have the top speed of a gasoline-powered car
* It costs more than a gasoline-powered car
* It takes "forever" to refuel

They didn't mention that it's a suicidal deathtrap. You'll be driving in a field of EMF stronger than the field that creates the Van Allen radiation belts. And, heaven forbid you get run over by a real vehicle, like a Ford Excursion.

Also, the nickel for all of these batteries comes from a nickel mine in Canada that can be seen from outer space. The polluted area is so similar to the moon's surface that NASA currently uses the dead zone to test lunar rovers.

Of course, the electricity to run the car has to come from somewhere, it's just NIMBY. And for the eco-terrorist Dimocrats, that's good enough apparently.

So, it's not like this is some magic bullet.

Tree-huggers are just so painfully stupid that it boggles the imagination.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 23, 2010 at 12:32 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink

Save Spork!


"What I learned is that you never take away the thing that somebody else loves." - The Big Empty

So get this...some vet vet tech up in Lafayette, Colorado is doing attempting to perform dental surgery on a miniature Daschund named "Spork". And the dog bites him her on the chin. Now the vet is fighting to have the poor dog put down as a "vicious dog". Join the Facebook group to "Save Spork": http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=info&ref=search&gid=316314284010

Update: This incident apparently happened in August of 2009. And the daschund weighs 17 pounds, but it's still a daschund. And the dog was so scared it was shaking. And the silly vet got in the dog's face unexpectedly and got bitten. Surely the correct thing to do here is not to euthanize the dog. I say find a new vet.

The owners have spent more than $6,000 dollars already defending their 10-year-old pet.

Update 2: Leave feedback for the Jasper Animal Hospital in Lafayette, Colorado and let them know how you feel about their attempt to euthanize someone's pet because they don't know how to handle a scared animal.

Update 3: The City of Lafayette ignores a state law which says vets can't sue to have dogs get put down if they get bitten. The assumption being that people working with dogs are more likely to get bitten, and should, in theory, know that certain hazards come with the territory. Email the City Council of Lafayette at council@cityoflafayette.com and let them know your thoughts.

Update 4: Sign the online petition to Save Spork!

Update 5: Fox news has picked up the story. Apparently, Spork, a male dog, bit the the vet tech (a female) on the chin.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 23, 2010 at 11:23 AM : Comments (1) | Permalink

Looking for an Exit on Obamakare


"The formerly sycophantic press has turned grumpy. The AP reports: 'Starting over on health care, President Barack Obama knows his chances aren't looking much more promising. A year after he called for a far-reaching overhaul, Obama unveiled his most detailed plan yet on Monday. Realistically, he's just hoping to win a big enough slice to silence the talk of a failing presidency.' "

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 23, 2010 at 9:28 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

February 22, 2010

Obamunist Rolls Out The Price Controls


Honestly...what bleeding idiots voted this commie into office. Lord God how did we go from capitalism to communism so fast? WTF, people?

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 22, 2010 at 2:37 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

February 21, 2010

Snowboarding Down the Driveway

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 21, 2010 at 9:09 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

February 20, 2010

Dark-eyed Junco

Above: Male Oregon form of the Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis) near Morrison, Colorado.


Posted by Rob Kiser on February 20, 2010 at 8:23 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Raptors in a snowstorm

Above: Mature Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) perched in a tree near Morrison, Colorado.

I wanted to see what the hawks did in a snow storm. Not much different than their normal activity, so far as I can tell. They puff up more. Tend to stay closer to the tree trucks, possibly. But the weather really doesn't seem to bother them.

Above: Mature Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) perched in a tree near Morrison, Colorado.

Above: Mature Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) perched in a tree near Morrison, Colorado.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 20, 2010 at 8:18 PM : Comments (2) | Permalink

White House begins groundwork to avoid blame for tax increases


"President Obama on Thursday indicated that tax increases on people who make less than $250,000 a year will be on the table when a deficit commission makes its recommendations later this year on how to resolve the nation's fiscal imbalances."

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 20, 2010 at 5:20 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

UCSD Students Celebrate Black History Month with 'Compton Cookout'

Wow. This story is pretty wild. Apparently, some UCSD students planned a party to celebrate Black History Month. Their party was called the 'Compton Cookout', and they set up an invitation via facebook. This got the Thought Police foaming at the mouth, of course. On Thursday, state lawmakers were calling for expulsions. They believe in Freedom to Speech to a point - that point being as soon as someone gets offended apparently, which can't be allowed.

Then, on Friday, some guys at the UCSD Student Run Television station (SR-TV) called the blacks at UCSD a bunch of "ungrateful n1ggers." Wow. So, that got the the SR-TV shut down.

Meanwhile, some are claiming that the 'Compton Cookout' party was nothing more than a publicity stunt to promote a DVD release - essentially it was a DVD release party (NSFW).

Update: After reading some more posts on this, the UCSD better tread very lightly, as in shut their freaking mouths. If they try to go after these students for something that happened off campus, they'll be sued until these students own UCSD. The school has no jurisdiction over these students when they're off campus. They may not approve of or condone their behaviour, but that's neither here nor there. If they go after these students, the students won't have to worry about getting an education and a career. They'll be able to sue the UCSD and retire without even graduating.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 20, 2010 at 4:16 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Canon EF 1.4x II Extender

I ordered a Canon EF 1.4x II Extender today from B&H. I lose 1 F-stop of light on the extender, and I'm not clear if my autofocus will work on all (or any) of my autofocus points.

I'm trying to improve my shots of the hawks and owls and this seems like something worth investigating. It may or may not improve my images, but I felt like checking it out, anyway.

Of course, I'd like to get the Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM Super Telephoto Lens, but I don't have the cash right now. So we'll see how this works, anyway. If it sucks, I'll sell it.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 20, 2010 at 2:44 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Reid Tests the Waters with Reconciliation Proposal

Well, it looks like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-imocrat) wants to cram the wildly unpopular Obamakare through the legislative process using the "nuclear option" of reconciliation and have our Fuhrer Obama sign it into law. Big surprise there.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 20, 2010 at 12:29 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

The Jimmy Wales 'Theory of Failure'


"The Tampa Tribune reports that Jimmy Wales recently spoke at the TEDx conference in Tampa about the three big failures he had before he started Wikipedia, and what he learned from them. In 1996 Wales started an Internet service to connect downtown lunchers with area restaurants. 'The result was failure,' says Wales. 'In 1996, restaurant owners looked at me like I was from Mars.' Next Wales started a search engine company called 3Apes. In three months, it was taken over by Chinese hackers and the project failed. Third was an online encyclopedia called Nupedia, a free encyclopedia created by paid experts. Wales spent $250,000 for writers to make 12 articles, and it failed. Finally, Wales had a 'really dumb idea,' a free encyclopedia written by anyone who wanted to contribute. That became Wikipedia, which is now one of the top 10 most-popular Web sites in the world. This leads to Wales' theories of failure: fail faster -- if a project is doomed, shut it down quickly; don't tie your ego to any one project -- if it stumbles, you'll be unable to move forward; real entrepreneurs fail; fail a lot but enjoy yourself along the way; if you handle these things well, 'you will succeed.'"

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 20, 2010 at 10:19 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

February 19, 2010

Don't Mess With 67 Year Old Men

67 Year Old Man Puts Grade-A Smackdown on Punk on an AC Transit Bus in East San Francisco Bay Area.

Update: This is what the idiots out in the bay area think of the video. They blame the old man for the attack. Classic. Wake me when it's over. Or possibly, let the tree-hugging white-guilt liberal Angela Woodall know what you think of her take on the story.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 19, 2010 at 10:26 AM : Comments (2) | Permalink

February 18, 2010

Owlie in the snow

Above: Here, we see the Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) patiently incubating a clutch of eggs in a Red-Tailed Hawk's nest in the snow. If you look closely, you'll see that the back of the owl's neck is covered with a bit of snow. These birds are obviously well insulated.

I drove around for a bit this afternoon as I wanted to see what the raptors did in a snowstorm. Surprisingly, they didn't seem to behave any differently than they do on any other day. I saw some hawks flying around, presumably scouting for a meal. Saw a few hawks perching on trees in the snow. Saw the owl in the nest incubating the eggs. Basically, the raptors that I observed acted exactly the same as if it were clear and sunny, so far as I could tell.

Categories: Photos, Birds, Owls

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 18, 2010 at 10:15 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Frustrated Owner Bulldozes Home Ahead Of Foreclosure

Looks like someone else got p1ssed off enough that they decided to take matters to the extreme.

Hoskins said he's been in a struggle with RiverHills Bank over his Clermont County home for nearly a decade, a struggle that was coming to an end as the bank began foreclosure proceedings on his $350,000 home.

Hoskins said he'd gotten a $170,000 offer from someone to pay off the house, but the bank refused, saying they could get more from selling it in foreclosure.

Hoskins told the bank "I'll tear it down before I let you take it."

And that's exactly what he did. He used a bulldozer two weeks ago to level the home he'd built.

He said his actions were intended to send a message - "...to ... make banks think twice before they try to take someone's home, and if they are going to take it wrongly, the end result will be them tearing their house down like I did mine."

Update: Fark had a shot of Killdozer, which I have to admit came to mind when I read this. Rest in Peace, Marvin Heemeyer - true American patriot.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 18, 2010 at 9:17 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

My Buddy Gibbs

This guy Gibbs....he's a piece of work. He's the Whitehouse spokesman, and has not a clue about what's going on. He spends his time writing notes in the palm of his hand lampooning Palin. And then Iran comes out and says "we're building a nuclear weapon...we're enriching uranium to nearly 20%."

What does Gibbs say?

He says "They're full of sh1t. They're bluffing."

Only now, the IAEA says they're telling the truth. Will someone please show this jack@ss Gibbs the door?

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 18, 2010 at 6:11 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Pilot Crashes into IRS building in Austin, Texas

Wow. What a coincidence. I was down meeting with my CPA today to try to get my taxes straightened out. And I come home to find this. Apparently, the guy that crashed a small single engine plane into an office building in Austin today did it on purpose. I'm just starting to digest his manifesto.

The Manifesto Of Austin Texas Crash Pilot Joseph Andrew Stack

Excerpts from the manifesto:

"I know I'm hardly the first one to decide I have had all I can stand. It has always been a myth that people have stopped dying for their freedom in this country, and it isn't limited to the blacks, and poor immigrants. I know there have been countless before me and there are sure to be as many after. But I also know that by not adding my body to the count, I insure nothing will change. I choose to not keep looking over my shoulder at "big brother" while he strips my carcass, I choose not to ignore what is going on all around me, I choose not to pretend that business as usual won't continue; I have just had enough."

"...violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer. "

"I saw it written once that the definition of insanity is repeating the same process over and over and expecting the outcome to suddenly be different. I am finally ready to stop this insanity. Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let's try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well."

Joe Stack (1956-2010)


Posted by Rob Kiser on February 18, 2010 at 5:09 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

New 'Please Rob Me' Website for Twitterers

There's a new website called Please Rob Me. And basically, it tracks tweets from people that use Twitter when they shout out their location, so you can figure out if you have enough time to clean them our before they get home. Technically, it's not "Robbery" if no one's home, however. It's "burglary". If someone is home, then you have to "rob" them, which makes you a "robber" and possibly a "victim" as well. Plus, if you're planning on "robbing" someone, why worry about following them on Twitter? Just get your biggest gun and head on over. But, if you're coming to my place, don't bring a knife to a gun fight. You've been warned.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 18, 2010 at 10:24 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

February 17, 2010

Big Businesses Flee 'Cap And Trade' Consortium


"Big business support began to crumble on Tuesday -- and in a big way. In separate announcements, BP America, Conoco Phillips, and Caterpillar dropped out of the main lobbying group for cap and trade, the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP). BP sent a letter to its fellow coalition members, Conoco Phillips sent out a press release, and Caterpillar had its name taken off the USCAP website and then confirmed that it was dropping out when media inquiries were made."

Haw! Haw! Haw! Climategate is the gift that keeps on giving. I can't remember when I've had so much fun watching the news. Honestly, I think the last time I found the news this enthralling was when the wall came down in '89 - over 20 years ago.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 17, 2010 at 9:00 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

February 16, 2010

Joe Biden's Victory in Iraq


1990: Biden votes against the first Gulf War and Bush I's efforts to get Saddam out of Kuwait.

1998: Biden supports Bill Clinton's call for regime change and "to dethrone Saddam Hussein over the long haul."

2002: Biden asserts that Saddam has biological and chemical weapons and is seeking a nuclear arsenal, proclaiming, "We have no choice but to eliminate the threat." He then votes in October for 23 writs authorizing President Bush to remove the dictator by force if need be.

2005: Joe Biden reassures the country that we must stay in Iraq: "We can call it quits and withdraw from Iraq. I think that would be a gigantic mistake. Or we can set a deadline for pulling out, which I fear will only encourage our enemies to wait us out - equally a mistake."

2006: Biden declares that a sovereign Iraq is not sustainable, calls for trisecting Iraq into three separate entities and demands that President Bush "must direct the military to design a plan for withdrawing and redeploying our troops from Iraq by 2008."

He adds that "Mr. Bush has spent three years in a futile effort to establish a strong central government in Baghdad, leaving us without a real political settlement, with a deteriorating security situation -- and with nothing but the most difficult policy choices."

2008: Joe Biden forecasts, "The surge isn't going to work either tactically or strategically. ... Tactically it isn't going to work because ... our guys go in and secure a neighborhood, but because we don't have enough troops, we have to turn it over to the Iraqis, and they can't hold it or won't hold it."

Joe Biden votes for legislation to oppose the surge, declaring that, "It's an attempt to save the president from making a significant mistake with regard to our policy in Iraq." He reiterates that the surge will not only fail, but make things worse: "I believe it will have the opposite -- I repeat -- opposite effect the president intends."

Biden later elaborates on that: "The purpose of the surge was to bring violence in Iraq down so that its leaders could come together politically. Violence has come down, but the Iraqis have not come together. ...There is little evidence the Iraqis will settle their differences peacefully any time soon. I believe the president has no strategy for success in Iraq."

Biden then tells Gen. Petraeus that he is "dead, flat wrong." He later concludes there is "no end in sight" in Iraq and staying is "killing us."

2009: A Vice President Biden accepts the Bush-Petraeus plan of continuing a U.S. combat presence in Iraq, and accepts the status of forces agreement and timetable of withdrawal as negotiated with the Iraqis by the Bush administration to remove U.S. combat troops as envisioned by the end of 2011.

2010: Biden claims credit for winning Iraq: "I am very optimistic about -- about Iraq. I mean, this could be one of the great achievements of this administration. You're going to see 90,000 American troops come marching home by the end of the summer. You're going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government."

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 16, 2010 at 8:52 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

About That Old First Amendment Thing...


A student who set up a Facebook page to complain about her teacher - and was later suspended - had every right to do so under the First Amendment, a federal magistrate has ruled.

The ruling not only allows Katherine "Katie" Evans' suit against the principal to move forward, it could set a precedent in cases involving speech and social networking on the Internet, experts say.

Hahaha. Suck it bureaucrats. I should have sued Mr. and Mrs. Collins for the grief they gave me over writing an essay on "Why I Hate School".

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 16, 2010 at 7:44 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

The Daily Raptors

Above: Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) incubating a clutch of eggs near Morrison, Colorado.

Above: Mature Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) near Morrison, Colorado.

Above: Mature Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) near Morrison, Colorado.

Categories: Photos, Birds, Owls

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 16, 2010 at 5:38 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Discontinuation of AT&T Worldnet® Service - Replaced by AT&T Dial Internet

Can someone please explain to me, in layman's terms, what AT&T is doing here? I can see that they're discontinuing AT&T Worldnet Service and replacing it with AT&T Dial Internet service. But can someone please explain to me (in plain English) what AT&T is accomplishing with this little switch-a-roo?

Update: I dunno what the deal is for sure, but it appears that the company data is being transferred from AT&T to some unholy alliance of AT&T/Yahoo. So, probably it's a privacy issue, is the best I can tell. Apparently, your email address will be the same. Your internet access will be the same. You just have to follow this link http://help.att.net/migration.html for instructions on how to move your account over. (There may be something sinister/nefarious to this whole migration, like a change in the service agreement, bandwith and/or data limitation changes, etc, but I've not been about to figure out what, exactly is changing other than the company name/service name at this point.

Update 2: Looks like this has been a total nightmare, judging by the people I've talked to and the posted comments.

(Full email text in extended entry.)

Continue reading "Discontinuation of AT&T Worldnet® Service - Replaced by AT&T Dial Internet"

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 16, 2010 at 1:09 PM : Comments (23) | Permalink

February 15, 2010

Barack 'Millstone' Obama


"The news that Democratic Senator Evan Bayh is retiring is another stunning blow for a Democratic party that is already reeling. This development -- because of who Bayh is (perceived as a moderate/centrist); because of the state he represents (a traditionally Red one but won by Barack Obama in 2008); and because of his political situation (it was assumed he was in a comfortable position to win re-election) -- will have significant ramifications. It will accelerate almost every bad trend for Democrats (more retirements, fewer entries into national races, more intra-party acrimony, and more panic)."

Barack "Millstone" Obama. Wow. That's a shot. I guess that the deal is now that senator Evan Bayh is retiring, he can pretty much vote however he wants to. There's no possible way the Millstone President can twist his arm. He's on the way out.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 15, 2010 at 7:22 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Hawk Watch on the Hogback

Above: Mature Red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) transitions from perching to flying near Morrison, Colorado.

I was reading Mary Taylor Gray's Guide to Colorado Birds and saw this birding tip about some "Hawk Watch" up on the Dakota Ridge Hogback. So Wendy drove me up there and, I have to say, we saw scads of Red-tailed Hawks. They seemed to be everywhere. Now, granted, we never technically found the Official Hawk Watch headquarters (Update: I think it's here). And we spent most of the time in the truck driving around and shooting from the shoulder, and we didn't take too many photos before we retired to the Morrison Inn for margs.

"Why is no one here?" Wendy asked.

"I dunno. It's a Monday. It's 4:00 p.m. People have jobs, I guess?"

"Hmmm. I guess."

But we saw lots of hawks. No doubt about that.

Continue reading "Hawk Watch on the Hogback"

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 15, 2010 at 7:01 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Great Horned Owl Incubating Eggs

Above: Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) incubates a clutch of eggs. My guestimation is that they will hatch on or around March 11th.

Categories: Photos, Birds, Owls

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 15, 2010 at 6:48 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Free Carbon Credits

Hahaha. Classic. Free Carbon Credits. Don't pay more than they're worth. The Carbon Credit scams are imploding all over the place. Who couldn't see that coming?

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 15, 2010 at 1:34 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

February 14, 2010

No Statistically Significant "Global Warming" for 15 Years


"...the temperature record of the CRU is little better than a fabrication -- much like the four assessment reports of the IPCC. Taxpayers should clamor for the abolition of the CRU and of the IPCC. Their findings are not just lies -- they are expensive lies."

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 14, 2010 at 7:23 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Allie and Jen in a Winter Wonderland

I took Allie and Jen for a few loops around the property today. They fell off a few times, but fortunately, about a foot of "global warming" always softened the blow.

Continue reading "Allie and Jen in a Winter Wonderland"

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 14, 2010 at 2:39 PM : Comments (2) | Permalink

1515 S. Flagler Condo Building Implosion

The high-rise condominium structure at 1515 S. Flagler in West Palm Beach, FL was damaged beyond repair by hurricanes. It had been an eyesore for years and today, the Kelly family fixed the problem, once and for all.

The Idaho-based Kelly family travels from state-to-state imploding buildings. The 30-story structure they implode here is, by far, the tallest building they've attempted so far. Apparently, there's a new reality show called "The Imploders" that's in the works.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 14, 2010 at 1:24 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Bing Maps at TED

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 14, 2010 at 11:17 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Constellation: Death of an Illusion


"The demise of Constellation is not the death of a dream. It's just the end of an illusion."

The brilliant plan behind Constellation was that we'd go to Mars, but that we'd go to the moon first, logically. We'd establish a permanent lunar base there...and then go on to mars...yeah...that's the ticket.

It never made one bit of sense to me. If we want to go to Mars, then go to Mars. The moon was nothing but a diversion. And a very expensive one at that. What most people don't know is that the original Apollo program had planned many more trips to the moon, and they were scrapped because they were too expensive, returned too little information, and were generally perceived as a distraction by the people of Earth. As in "It's just a dead rock...why do we keep going there?" and that was the end of Apollo.

Fast forward 40 years, and the song remains the same.

"Focusing on a lunar return could imperil plans to reach more interesting destinations. I worry that the current emphasis of returning to the moon will cause us to become ensnared in a technological briar patch, needlessly delaying for decades the exploration of Mars, a much more worthwhile destination." - Michael Collins - 20 July 2009

If it's my money...and last time I checked, it was...I say "stop blowing my cash to send people on limousine trips to outer space." If people want to go into outer space, they can pay private companies for their joy ride. If the scientists want to check it out, then they can have a freaking bake-sale and see how much cash they can drum up. But to have a bunch of government bureaucrats trying to design lunar capsules for left-handed female astronauts? Give me a freakin' break.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 14, 2010 at 9:41 AM : Comments (4) | Permalink

Phil Jones Admits "There Has Been No Global Warming Since 1995"

Big surprise here. Phil Jones, the head of the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University, has come out and admitted that "there has been no statistically significant global warming since 1995." Ahahahahah. Suck it, treehuggers.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 14, 2010 at 8:34 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

February 13, 2010

Nature and Science Museum

I took Allie and Jen to the Nature and Science Museum today. They played around until they ran us out. Mostly, they just played around, but in this one experiment, they actually had us extracting DNA from wheat germ in a test tube.

Continue reading "Nature and Science Museum"

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 13, 2010 at 7:01 PM : Comments (2) | Permalink

February 12, 2010

Mature Rough-legged Hawk

Above: Mature Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus) soaring above the Roaring Fork River south of Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

Above: Mature Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus) soaring above the Roaring Fork River south of Glenwood Springs, Colorado.


Posted by Rob Kiser on February 12, 2010 at 7:42 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Red-Tailed Hawk

Above: Mature Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) soaring above the Roaring Fork River south of Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

Above: Mature Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) soaring above the Roaring Fork River south of Glenwood Springs, Colorado.


Posted by Rob Kiser on February 12, 2010 at 7:34 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

World's Largest Hot Springs Pool

Jennifer and I are relaxing at the world's largest hot springs pool in Glenwood Springs. (These photos are recycled from when we were here last year.)

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 12, 2010 at 9:30 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

February 11, 2010

The People Have a "Trick" Up Their Sleeves as Well

By current Senate rules, reconciliation can only be used for budget bills. If the stupid dimocrats go forward with their proposed "trick" to cram through health care illegally, against the wishes of the people, by using the "nuclear option", the people are not without recourse.

As free citizens of the State of Colorado, we have a trick up our sleeves as well. Under Article 21 of the state constitution (Recall From Office - Article XXI), we're able to recall our elected officials from office. Read it and weep, benevolent overlords.

Mike Bennet (D-imocrat)

Mark Udall (D-imocrat)

And it isn't just Colorado. Eight other states have similar provisions allowing the recall of elected officials.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 11, 2010 at 11:00 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink



"I am very optimistic about -- about Iraq. I mean, this could be one of the great achievements of this administration. You're going to see 90,000 American troops come marching home by the end of the summer. You're going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government."

Biden did not elaborate on what all the administration's other "great achievements" were so far.

Many Americans recall the ex-Sen. Biden's Democratic primary plans to give in to Iraq's fractious factions and carve the country into three territories. And even more probably recall Biden's boss' plan to halt the Iraq war years ago. As long as it got started anyway without the permission of the then state senator.

Plus, of course, Obama's vehement opposition to the 2007 American troop surge of you-know-who from Texas that Obama knew for certain was only going to worsen sectarian strife there.

But now, the Biden-Obama team has the gall to claim that his administration should be credited for the success in Iraq. When Bush was in there for 8 years, taking all of the heat from the peaceniks out in San Francisco and the moronic tree-hugging dimocrats. When Obama was saying "Bring the troops back home - NOW!". To stand up and claim credit for the success in Iraq now...the gall of some people.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 11, 2010 at 8:28 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

February 10, 2010

Democrats to Use 'Nuclear Option' to Ram Obamakare Through

It looks like the dimocrats will use the "nuclear option" to ram through federal takeover of healthcare in the United. States. This is essentially a coup d'état, in my opinion. God help us all.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 10, 2010 at 10:28 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

A Stranger At The Cat Door

Timmy started growling like crazy at the cat door the other night. I have two cat doors...one from the family room into the garage, and another from the garage to outside the house. This way I don't have a bunch of freezing cold air coming in through the cat door.

To the best of my knowledge, I've never had anything come inside the house through the pet door that wasn't one of our pets. Timmy uses it all the time, as he goes outside to use the bathroom, which pleases me immensely. Slinky uses it when she's here as well.

But other than that, I've never had anything come through it, to my knowledge, aside from Slinky and Timmy.

Like, for instance, if a skunk came inside, well that would be disastrous, wouldn't it? But so far, nothing like this has happened.

But lately, I've been having my suspicions. When I go out into the garage at night, sometimes I hear the outside cat door swinging as I open the garage door. I tried to convince myself that it was the pressure change caused by me opening the garage door which caused the cat door to swing, but I was never able to replicate this effect.

So, I've harbored this sneaking suspicion for some time that something unknown was sneaking into the garage at night, presumably to keep warm.

And then, the other night, Timmy started growling ferociously. Now, granted, Timmy's a cat - not a mountain lion, but he got my attention. He was in the family room, staring at the cat door to that leads into the garage and making a howling noise that made my hair stand up on the back of my neck.

So, I threw open the garage door and heard the familiar swinging of the 2nd cat door to the outside and I raced over there and looked out into the snow and this time...I saw tracks.

Continue reading "A Stranger At The Cat Door"

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 10, 2010 at 8:05 PM : Comments (2) | Permalink

Mature Red-tailed Hawk

I saw this Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) this afternoon near Lakewood, Colorado. I see fading narrow tail bands and white mottling on the wings. Immature Red-tailed hawks have tail bands, which are absent at maturity. This appears to be an immature bird due to the mottling and fading tail bands.

Update: My understanding now is that this is possibly a mature bird, as the white wing mottling is normal for adults and the tail bands never completely go away.


Posted by Rob Kiser on February 10, 2010 at 6:56 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Owlie's Back :)

I thought I saw that the owl was back last week, and then Wendy told me on Sunday for sure that there was definitely an owl back in the nest. I'm not sure how long they have been nesting. My guess is that they have been there for about a week. Wendy says she saw them 3 weeks ago.

The incubation period for a Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) is reportedly 28-35 days, with 33 being the average. The owlets will then reportedly fledge at 35 days. Of course, I have no idea where we are in the process.

I'm led to believe that both male and female incubate the eggs. The Great Horned Owls do not exhibit sexual dimorphism in their plumage, but the females may be slightly larger than males.

Categories: Photos, Birds, Owls

Continue reading "Owlie's Back :)"

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 10, 2010 at 6:36 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Jennifer in the snow

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 10, 2010 at 6:22 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

'My Documents' Folder Missing from Windows Explorer

Well, I couldn't really figure out why this was going on, but I wasn't seeing "My Documents" in Windows Explorer. Underneath "My Computer", I'd see "Rob's Documents' and "Jen's Documents". But they were listed pretty far down and I realized that I wasn't really seeing "My Documents", which has bugged me for some time.

So today, I finally broke down and found this solution:

Start - Run - Regedit


If you don't see the key {450d8fba-ad25-11d0-98a8-0800361b1103} in the left pane, then in the left pane, right-click the NameSpace key and select New, Key. Type exactly {450d8fba-ad25-11d0-98a8-0800361b1103} and press Enter.

Then, in the right pane, right-click (Default) and select Modify. In the resulting
Edit String dialog box, on the Value data line, type: My Documents and click OK. Close the Registry Editor.

Click the desktop once, press F5 (for refresh).

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 10, 2010 at 5:57 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Trojan Horses Fight for Control of the Internets

This is pretty wild. Apparently, two trojan horses programs are battling for control of the botnets - computers infected by viruses and trojan horses and controlled remotely by nefarious groups. The big trojan horse development toolkit that emerged last year was Zeus. Zeus infected an estimated 1.6 million computers in 2009. And now, in 2010, a new trojan horse development toolkit named "Spy Eye" has emerged with the ability to "Kill Zeus". The goal of Spy Eye is to kick out Zeus, and take over the infected computer for the new owner. Classic.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 10, 2010 at 9:48 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Obama's 'First Term'

I saw a phrase today I've never seen before: "Obama's First Term". For the record, Obama will be a "One Term President". There will be no "Second Term" for Obama, so it's meaningless to talk about his "First Term". Sort of like calling your wife your "First Wife" when you're still married. It's meaningless and nonsensical.

The odds of Obama getting elected to a 2nd term are not good. I'd say he's performing as well as Hoover and Carter, both gratefully remembered as "One Term Presidents".

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 10, 2010 at 7:58 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

February 9, 2010

DouglasWilder to Obama: It's time to clean house and start firing people


Finally, someone is making some sense. Obama needs to fire everyone around him...all of his advisors, and start surrounding himself with competent people. I hated Bill Clinton more than words can say, but I give the guy credit. He surrounded himself with reasonably intelligent people. He read the people and shifted to a centrist position during his presidency. He was a pragmatist. That's what I think people hoped Obama would be. Instead, he turned out to be (so far anyway) an insular idealogue, more liberal than any this country has seen before. So, he's up there tiliting at the windmills trying to turn this country commie as quickly as is humanly possible.

Sage, experienced advisors would suggest to him that it's neither wise nor particularly productive to fall on his own sword this early in the game. He's not going to get healthcare through. It's dead. The people are concerned about jobs, and the government can't create jobs. It can, however, stimulate the economy by cutting spending. Cutting taxes. Things like this.

Obama needs to clean house. Get rid of the tax cheat Geitner. Get rid of the stupid mouthpiece Robert Gibbs. Stop lambasting the Republicans at every turn. Stop threatening the people across the aisle. It's over. He lost. However, he can learn a lot from Clinton and still save face and come away from this as an effective president, if only he'll listen get rid of the morons around him and listen to the people like Clinton did.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 9, 2010 at 9:24 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Obama - Worst President Ever

I'm not a big student of history. I know some of the U.S. presidents, but I'd be interested in knowing if anyone before Obama has been quite as ineffective as a leader.

Carter is easily remembered as the worst president in my lifetime, but I have a feeling Obama is set to eclipse the sweater-wearing, peanut farmer from Georgia that's probably best remembered for giving away the Panama Canal, gas rationing, stag-flation, and getting attacked by a rabbit in a Georgia swamp, of all things.

But this new moron...Obama...this one is so mind numbingly stupid, that it staggers the imagination.

Consider this. Obama came out today and called out the Republicans, saying they needed to be more bipartisan. He did this only after ignoring them while the Democrats wrote the healthcare bill without any input from the other side of the aisle.

So, now that they don't have 60 votes in the senate, all of the sudden, he wants to kiss and make up. Now, mind you, on the same day, that j@ck@ss Robert Gibbs is going out of his way to make fun of Sarah Palin. Like...dude...you're supposed to be above name-calling and hair-pulling, but no. This is what we have for a White House spokesman. A five year old brat.

Instead of telling Robert Gibbs to shut his trap. Instead of telling the Republicans that he wants to work with them in a bipartisan manner, Obama has to come out and remind them of the stick. See, here's the carrot, and here's the stick. If that idiot Obama knew anything at all about negotiations, he'd know that you try the carrot first. Sure, the stick is there. We all know it's there. It's implied. What you need to do is try the carrot first, dimwit.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 9, 2010 at 8:14 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Gibbs Shocked At Beltway Politics

After making fun of Republican presidential front-runner Sarah Palin today, Robert Gibbs is shocked to learn that partisan politics exist in Washington, D.C.

"If you needed one example of what's wrong with this town, it might be that one senator can hold up 70 qualified individuals to make government better because he didn't get his earmarks."

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 9, 2010 at 6:18 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Hope and Change

Shortly after Obama's speech about the need for bipartisanship, this idiot Robert Gibbs takes the podium with "hope" and "change" scribbled on his palm, a clear shot at Sarah Palin.

Granted, when Palin wrote notes in her palm, it looks kinda unprofessional. Fair enough. The truth is that I don't care if she sits up there and doodles with crayons and thumps paper footballs across her desk. Because the difference is that, at the end of the day, she's on our side.

When Obama's saying that we're small minded folk clinging to guns and religion, Sarah Palin is sitting on her couch with a bear skin rug. So, you know who's side I'm on.

Of course, CBS - little more than an propaganda channel for the Obama White House, didn't see anything wrong with Obama calling for bipartisanship while Gibbs publicly slams the next president of the United States.

But with morally bankrupt Dimocrats dropping like flies, someone needs to make sure the Robert Gibbs gets the memo that the ole' "we're going to shove it down their throats" mantra went south when Chappaquiddick Ted kicked the bucket and Coakley got her @ss handed to her by some no-name republican clinging to guns, religion, and a GMC Canyon.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 9, 2010 at 1:37 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

The Green Police

This is about right.

Update: I had a problem with this post previously, so I deleted and re-added it. Hopefully it won't adversely impact the website

Update 2: I've moved the video to the extended entry, as it's acting funny for reasons that aren't entirely clear to me.

Continue reading "The Green Police"

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 9, 2010 at 12:42 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Obama's Business Blindspot

Scott sent me this graph today, which is beautiful. Shows that basically, we're being run by bureaucrats who have no idea what jobs are or how they're created, aside from taxing honest people. Here's the link to the original article, where they have apparently revised the original private sector estimates somewhat, but the point remains the same. His cabinet, when compared to historical cabinets, comes up short on private sector experience. Obama will make Carter look like a great president. You mark my words.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 9, 2010 at 10:08 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

February 8, 2010

Murtha Voted Against Balanced Budget Amendment

Democratic Representative John Murtha has gone to meet his maker. I see this as an opportunity to put a fiscal conservative in the house, regardless of party affiliation. Murtha voted against the balanced budget amendment in 1992 saying:

"If we're going to discipline ourselves, we have to do it now," Murtha said. "If we let it go another six years, I am convinced we'll have a national calamity."

Which, in hindsight, of course, makes no sense. Here we are in the year of our lord Obama, 2010, with the great one poised to spend 3.8 trillion dollars we don't have. We'd have had a balanced budget amendment 12 years ago if the dims hadn't killed it.

RIP John Murtha.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 8, 2010 at 2:35 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

February 6, 2010

Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 6, 2010 at 11:17 PM : Comments (2) | Permalink

The global warming movement as we have known it is dead

"The global warming movement as we have known it is dead," the brilliant analyst Walter Russell Mead says in his blog on The American Interest. It was done in by a combination of bad science and bad politics.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 6, 2010 at 10:15 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Obama Lives in a Fantasy Land

Obama is truly disconnected from reality. First, he says that the world would be better off without nukes. Now, he says we'd be better of without Fox New and "blogs".

How on earth did we let someone so disconnected from reality in the White House? Hope and Change? How about denial and delusions?

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 6, 2010 at 3:23 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Nuclear Energy - Not the best idea ever...

I'm not a big fan of nuclear energy. Never have been. The reason is that we don't have a place to store the radioactive waste safely. And, if you consider the costs of storing radioactive waste for 35,000 years, it starts to seem very expensive next to coal, natural gas, etc. Right now, tritium is leaking into the groundwater in Vermont. And, I got to be honest with you, that's not what I want in my drinking water. I'm just saying.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 6, 2010 at 2:33 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

February 5, 2010

Obama Blows $340 Millon on Census Advertising

Can you believe that commie blew $340 million...not on the census...but on advertising for the census. Somebody get a rope.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 5, 2010 at 2:23 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Criminal Charges for Climategate Scandal?

The British Parliament has convened hearings to investigate East Anglia University and the Climate Research Unit to uncover unethical and illegal activities. Reap it, tree-huggers.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 5, 2010 at 9:44 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Shelby Blocks All Obama Nominations In The Senate

Obama's going to be furious over this. Politics in Washington D.C.? The gall of some people.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 5, 2010 at 8:33 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Obama says jobs have always been his highest priority


The sad thing is that he's so naive, he'll think that jobs are created by taxing people to pay others to do nothing. Pathetic. Why is business experience not a pre-requisite for a presidential bid?

"I know they don't want to just offer nothing to the millions of people in America" without health insurance, he said. "That's what we campaigned on."

Just for clarification, that's exactly what I want to offer the millions of people in American without health insurance. I want to offer them nothing. Nothing but the same opportunity everyone else has. The opportunity to pursue the American dream. To pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 5, 2010 at 8:06 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

February 4, 2010

Obama - Dumbest President Ever

Obama's latest tirade focused on "blaming the GOP for what he called politically motivated opposition on virtually every issue."

Politics? In Washington D.C.? Who knew? Maybe if someone had told him that a political career would involve politics - well, maybe he could have chosen a different career path. How could he have known?

This moron will go down in history as the most petulant, puerile, acerbic, confrontational president in U.S. history. I hate to think that he'll be in office for 3 more years. I get the feeling we haven't seen anything yet.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 4, 2010 at 11:20 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Jersey Shore Poll: Where Should Season Two Take Place?

I have no idea what Jersey Shore is. I'm guessing it's a reality show staring popped-collar guidos. Here's your chance to make sure they spend their next season in Detroit. Hahahahah.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 4, 2010 at 6:38 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Firefox Ignores Apache Mod_Rewrite Hotlink Redirects

I could not figure out why Firefox was ignoring my Apache redirects. I could not figure it out. I just couldn't get it. IE worked fine. It followed my Apache redirects to prevent image hotlinking. It didn't matter where I put the .htaccess file. I tried putting .htaccess in the root. Tried putting it in the image folder. It didn't matter.

I tried testing the hotlinking functionality so many different ways. I tried using this site and this site to hotlink to one of my images. I asked Uzi to hotlink one of my images from his site. I tried hotlinking to one of Uzi's images with my site (with his permission).

If I used IE, everything worked fine. Apache redirects worked flawlessly with IE. The IE requests were redirected to the "hotlink" image, which says, essentially, "stop stealing my bandwidth". But for Firefox, it would show the hotlinked image. It made me want to start killing strangers. Maddening. I could not figure it out. Nothing made any difference.

Continue reading "Firefox Ignores Apache Mod_Rewrite Hotlink Redirects"

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 4, 2010 at 2:33 PM : Comments (8) | Permalink

Obama Tzar Waves His Scepter


Soon the iPad will be upon us, and the US government is worried about the congestion it will cause.

Phil Bellaria is a staffer in the Obama administration. Specifically, he's the director of scenario planning for the federal government's Omnibus Broadband Initiative. He published a blog post earlier this week describing his initial concerns about the future demands on our networks.

"With the iPad pointing to even greater demand for mobile broadband on the horizon, we must ensure that network congestion doesn't choke off a service that consumers clearly find so appealing or frustrate mobile broadband's ability to keep us competitive in the global broadband economy. "

This slays me. A government beaucrat warning us of the perils of the free market. Haw Haw. The free market is what drove the internet's success. It's designed so that it can't be taken out even by a nuclear attack (that was DARPA's input). The network is redunant. If any nodes are taken out if the network, the system automatically re-routes the packets. Half the internet could drop off the earth and the internet wouldn't skip a beat.

So far as the cell phones are concerned - If the traffic on the cellular networks gets too congested, then the carriers will have to upgrade their cellular networks, or people will switch to other providers. What we don't need, obviously, is government intervention.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 4, 2010 at 9:29 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

February 2, 2010

Hotlink Protection

I was going through my Apache access logs today and I decided to make sure that my image hotlink protection was working properly, and I decided that it's not working anymore.

I'm not clear what happened to change it, but when I use this website, it seems the hotlink protection isn't functioning properly.

My best guess is that this is related to changes I made when I tried to upgrade my MovableType installation. I've looked at my .htaccess Apache redirects, and they appear to be correct. Hmmmm.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 2, 2010 at 4:49 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

February 1, 2010

Canadian Premier comes to U.S. for surgery

That whole socialized healthcare that Obama's trying to ram down our throats is so good that the Canadian Premier is coming to U.S. for surgery.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 1, 2010 at 10:21 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

The New and Improved Iron Curtain


"Frankly, I don't know what it is about California, but we seem to have a strange urge to elect really obnoxious women to high office. I'm not bragging, you understand, but no other state, including Maine, even comes close. When it comes to sending left-wing dingbats to Washington, we're number one. There's no getting around the fact that the last time anyone saw the likes of Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein and Nancy Pelosi, they were stirring a cauldron when the curtain went up on "Macbeth".

"The three of them are like jackasses who happen to possess the gift of speech. You don't know if you should condemn them for their stupidity or simply marvel at their ability to form words."

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 1, 2010 at 10:03 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Hope? Change? You got it.

President Obama's 2011 Budget Contains $1.9 Trillion in Tax Increases

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 1, 2010 at 8:07 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Dear Miami: Get ready for the Who Dat Nation coming for the Super Bowl


"Dear Miami,

The Saints are coming. And so are we, their loyal, long-suffering and slightly discombobulated Super Bowl-bound fans.

While there's still time to prepare -- although a few hard-core Who Dats will begin trickling in Monday, most of us won't arrive until Thursday or Friday -- we thought we'd give you a heads-up about what you should expect.

First things first: You need more beer.

Yeah, we know. You ordered extra. You think you have more than any group of humans could possibly consume in one week. Trust us. You don't."

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 1, 2010 at 1:51 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Haitians Know A Good Deal When They See One


"The American government should take care of us."

"What we really want is the United States to rebuild it, to modernize."

"...some asked when there would be something more than rice, while others wanted to know why they were left out."

"...Some had beans or root vegetables to add, and a few had meat. Those who could afford neither complained that rice alone would not be enough. "

"The United States should take over the country," said Andrelita Laguerre, shepherding four children and a grandchild at the camp. "Most of my friends expect the United States to take over."

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 1, 2010 at 9:53 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

IPCC: Three Strikes You're Out


I am particularly troubled by the fact that top IPCC officials do not seem to take these revelations seriously. Interviewed by the BBC, Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, vice-chairman of the IPCC, dismissed the matter as a "human mistake".

Ancient Chinese considered three a breaking point. They could forgive two errors, but not a third. Now that the IPCC has admitted three "human" errors, isn't it time scientists gave its work a serious review?

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 1, 2010 at 8:50 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Obama - The Spell Is Broken


A historical hallmark of "isms" and charismatic movements is to dig deeper when they falter--to insist that the "thing" itself, whether it be Peronism, or socialism, etc., had not been tried but that the leader had been undone by forces that hemmed him in.

It is true to this history that countless voices on the left now want Obama to be Obama. The economic stimulus, the true believers say, had not gone astray, it only needed to be larger; the popular revolt against ObamaCare would subside if and when a new system was put in place.

There had been that magical moment--the campaign of 2008--and the true believers want to return to it. But reality is merciless. The spell is broken.

Posted by Rob Kiser on February 1, 2010 at 8:26 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink