Atlantic Beach, at dusk.
Atlantic Beach, at dusk.
Since it is friday night
and sister mary catherine is off the terminals and has been counting sheep-angels for hours now;
why shant we enjoy a brief interlude,
“Wha wa Wha wha – What is buh bu buh Beauty?” you stutter.
on this very, well kept secret:
That old cliche you’ve heard a million times…
it is true –
“Beauty is in the eye of the beerholder.”
I just ‘hung up’ with my wife and daughter who are over in Europe at the moment. I have been video calling them at least once a day for the past couple of weeks using Skype. Skype (if you live in a cave and don’t know) is a software application that allows you to make calls over the internet. It is free to call another computer and they charge a small fee to call to cell or landlines. If you and that person you are calling both have webcams and mic/speakers, which almost all new laptops have built in these days, you can video chat.
I love this service as i get to visually interact with my girls when talking to them and it makes the distance much more bearbale (again for free). Seeing my wife’s ever-expanding belly is so much better than just hearing about it as she tends to exaggerate ocassionally.
By no means is Skype unique. There seems to be a new, free video chat service popping up daily. Some others that i know about are: gmail video chat, msn messenger, ooVoo and ichat. Grandparents & grandkids, parents and their college age children, old friends once separated by great distances are all re-connecting on the cheap in real time with these services. I recently read that facebook will be adding a video chat function in the near future.
Now these sites are all set up for person-to-person or small group calling; i’m not talking about sexual deviant sites like myballsonyourchin.com or some such ‘chatrooms’, where sexual deviants with a webcam go to show off their bait-n-tackle in group circle-jerks. Though as technology progresses, so too will those types of forums. Everyone needs a hobby, right?
As i’m sure you know, Skype is owned by Ebay and they have been talking about spinning it off as it’s own seperate entity and taking it public in 2010. It has also been in the news recently due to a software licensing dispute with it’s original developers (fargin Estonians ; ) which may complicate the IPO offering next year. I think j commented on that on Fly’s blog last week.
I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on this upcoming IPO and any other comments related to voice over internet services, pros & cons of said services or any other thoughts that come to mind. Any ideas on stock plays where i can bank some coin?
I agree with The Fly’s 4G/smartphone thesis and am guessing that video calling to the other side of the planet via one of these free internet services will be a lot more mainstream in the near future. You pay ‘x’ amount for the data package of your provider but no other costs would be associated. Long gone are the days of MaBell charging you an arm & a leg to make an overseas call.
Of course, There have been a few times during my 30-40 minute calls where one of our cams freeze up or there is a slight delay in the sound but we simply hang up and call again. I can’t really complain as i think i mentioned, it’s free.
Here’s a very good (imo) opinion piece by John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods in today’s Wall Street Journal.
Rather than destroying the best best health care system in the world by handing it over to the muppets who have been so successful running Social Security, Medicare, the USPS, Amtrak, etc., Mackey suggests going the other way and having LESS government involvement.
What a novel idea!
Here are his eight reforms that would lower overall costs – for everyone:
• Remove the legal obstacles that slow the creation of high-deductible health insurance plans and health savings accounts (HSAs).
• Equalize the tax laws so that that employer-provided health insurance and individually owned health insurance have the same tax benefits.
• Repeal all state laws which prevent insurance companies from competing across state lines. [iow a true, free market]
• Repeal government mandates regarding what insurance companies must cover. [i’m really digging this ‘less government theme’, ovah heah]
• Enact tort reform to end the ruinous lawsuits that force doctors to pay insurance costs of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year
[for some reason, the dems never want to discu$$ this one…]
• Make costs transparent so that consumers understand what health-care treatments cost.
• Enact Medicare reform.[hopefully, before that ship sinks]
• Finally, revise tax forms to make it easier for individuals to make a voluntary, tax-deductible donation to help the millions of people who have no insurance and aren’t covered by Medicare, Medicaid or the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. [we know who donates more to charities voluntarily and who throws nickels around like manhole covers when it comes to ‘voluntary giving’ but are very generous with other people’s money]
“A careful reading of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution will not reveal any intrinsic right to health care, food or shelter. That’s because there isn’t any. This “right” has never existed in America.” [True dat!]
Yeah, yeah, yeah… I know all about food stamps, section 8 housing, etc. I think that entire system is more ridlled with scammers than the Nigerian Lottery letter writing union. For starters, start drug testing all those who are receiving gov’t handouts. There are too many lazy sacks o’ shite ‘gaming’ the system. I have no problems with helping out the truly less fortunate but do not believe it is the government’s job or responsibility. I spend enough on my own ‘vices’ and don’t need to be supporting Jerry Springer’s fan base’s habits. The entitlement programs in this country are a serious crutch – and in my opinion, stifle any ambition one would have to get off the dole.
No one is saying the U S health care system is perfect, but most now agree handing it over to the gummint would be ‘fucktarded‘ to say the least. Improve on the one we have and do NOT give any more control to the ‘gummint’.
A German word [ Schaden: damage + Freude: joy ] which means to take pleasure or joy in the misfortunes of others.
Probably not my most admirable quality, but i think we are all capable of this ’emotion’. I must admit, i love watching the president’s poll numbers go down quicker than Cap on his own cock. You can check out some recent Rasmussen polling data here.
Of course, a lot of this has to do with his push to pass the healtchare reform bill or whatever the fark it’s called. The more people learn about this POS, the crazier these town hall meetings are getting. “Quick! We need this now! Don’t read the fucker, just pass it!” …fool me once, etc.
I hope he keeps it up as i believe it will ultimately lead to his downfall and a turn of the tide in 2010.
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBMYxoveUNY 450 300]
Honestly, i’m not sure where I stand on the legalization of marijuana. Depends on the day really. I do however, think Bob from the vid above should definitely start smoking if he doesn’t (and quit if he does).
I’m sure most of you can give me plenty of reasons why we SHOULD legalize it but i’d like to hear opinions/comments on why legalization of the wacky weed is a bad idea.
As i’m sure you are aware, medicinal marijuana is legal in the state of California (among others) but still illegal under federal law. Under the Bush administration (and a few months into Obama’s), the DEA occasionally raided these medical mary-jane clubs but those harassment raids will be few and far between under the new president.
– From the Washington Times a few months back: “Dogged by marijuana advocates throughout the campaign, Mr. Obama repeatedly said he was opposed to using the federal government to raid medical marijuana shops, particularly because it was an infringement on states’ decisions.”
Well good for him. If a state wants to legalize gambling, prostitution, drugs, necrophelia or whatever, they should be allowed to do so without the federal gummint sticking their nose in it. Can you say state sovereignty, beeyotch?
It’s not like anyone who wants to smoke ‘the purp’ can’t get their hands on it now if they really wanted to. I agree with Bob that the whole ‘it’s bad for you’ argument is garbage. Alcohol and ciggies are at least as bad, if not worse for you, than marijuana, imo.
Of course, i don’t want my kid to be smoking dope until he/she is mature enough to ‘handle it’, but ultimately, like all the other shit that’s out there, that’s up to me as a parent, nicht va? One thing that this administration is not too keen on is PERSONAL RESPOSNSIBILITY.
So, dear reader, i would like to hear – What say YOU?
And now, for your listening pleasure:
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGsEt-qtOqs 450 300]