Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fruits of my Labor

Alright, I must confess. The reason I have been lazy with this blog has been because I have been cranking out a paper on Copyright law for my undergrad requirements.
I feel terrible that I skimped you, the readers (if any), of reading my thoughts on whatever I feel like writing about. It would only be fair that I at least show you guys what I have been working on for the past three months of my life. I'm going to go ahead and release the essay here on my blog. And as a bonus treat I've put it under a Creative Commons license so you can all cite me and play with my work all you want (as long as you follow the conditions of course :D).

You can find a link to the essay here: here
Creative Commons License
The Case For File-Sharers and Girl Talk by Javier Alonso is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at finalblink@gmail.com.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Just A Quick Note

Hello all readers (if any). A few of my friends have started a blog of their own, and they would greatly appreciate if you took just a bit of time to check it out.
If you love creative writing and reading the works of young writers this is definitely the blog for you. You can check them out over at http://youngthings1.blogspot.com
They have some pretty great stuff on there, and it may just be worth your time.

Hope you all enjoy!

P.S. I will hopefully begin updating this blog a little bit more frequently.
I have not missed or forgotten the midterms, the stellar finale to the Formula 1 season, or the end of the WRC season.
I hope to be back here by the end of the month, so please just bear with me as I try to get this first semester done.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Quick Update!

Wow guys, really sorry that I haven't maintained the blog. School has absolutely been killing me. But need to fear I have not fallen out of the loop with what has been happening F1 wise and election wise. Both are slowly coming to a close, and they're both going to have surprising and fun conclusions (I hope). In any case, big apologies but I hope you all understand school is the priority.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Korean GP Gets The Green Light! Great News For Red Bull!

 (Photo Credit: planetf1.com)
  After months of rumors and speculation as to the fate of the Korean Grand Prix, the FIA has finally given the Yeongam circuit final approval. With this news comes confirmation that the track's inaugural event, the Korean GP, will indeed take place. This fulfills the nineteen race calendar set by the FIA and provides the teams with one more race to contend with before the season is done. While this season has had its ups and downs, it hasn't had nearly as many as the Yeongam circuit and the Korean GP. This news certainly brings a welcome sigh of relief for anyone involved, and certainly for F1 fans who were anxiously awaiting the results of the inspections.
  With the final approval, the Red Bulls are certainly looking at yet another promising race weekend. The Yeongam track is filled with tight turns that suit the RB6 chassis' perfectly. As to which Red Bull performs better, that will have to wait. I'm hoping for a strong showing by Mark Webber. But given Sebastian Vettel's hot streak, I wouldn't be entirely surprised if he gets another pole-to-finish. The Red Bulls are going to need to give the Korean GP everything they have before Brazil, where the track has fewer turns than any of the previous two races. Here's to yet another great weekend Red Bulls!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Red Bulls Have Done it Again!

(Image credit: bradenton.com)
  I am absolutely delighted with the results of this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka. Qualifying was unbelievably tense for the top five drivers in the points standing, and the race held none of the tension back. The beginning of the race saw Renault's Vitaly Petrov, Williams' Nico Hulkenberg, Ferrari's Felipe Massa and Force India's Vitantonio Liuzzi all drop out due to collisions and within lap one Robert Kubica also dropped out due to his right-rear wheel coming clean off. Unfortunate for the Renault F1 team, but the rest of the race was not disappointing in any way shape or form. The biggest driver of the day by far was Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi, who pulled off quite a spectacle for his home crowd, jumping up 7 spots before finishing in 7th place. But moving further up the list of drivers, it was the Red Bull duo of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber that stole the show in P1 and P2 respectively. From the start of the race to the last lap, the 23 year old German absolutely dominated the race going back and forth with team mate Webber and Ferrari's Alonso to see who could get the fastest lap time.
  All in all it was an absolutely amazing race that constantly kept me, and I'm sure many other fans, eagerly on the look out for the next major development in the race. With RBR Renault taking two podiums, the driver standings are looking much, much more exciting for Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso. Mark Webber securely retains his lead in the standings with a 14 point lead over Fernando Alonso, and fellow team mate Sebastian Vettel. On that note, Sebastial Vettel has made an unbelievable resurgence into the top 3 of the driver standings. Hard to believe that 3 races ago he was barely hanging on in 5th place, and not he is tied for second with 2 time World Champion Fernando Alonso. If there is one driver to look out for in the coming years, it is him.
If you watched the Japanese GP, I hope you enjoyed. If not, I hope you enjoyed the post. Cheers!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Cost of Suing: Gene Simmons Edition

  Just because I'm bored out of my skull of doing probability homework, I thought I would do the math of Gene Simmon's recent proposal that the RIAA should sue every Peer-To-Peer user. Using this Ars Technica article for numbers and process, lets begin.
  1.   How many Peer-To-Peer users are out there? Well, that really isn't all too clear. Ars Technica (who first wrote about the comments of Mr. Simmons), estimates the number of peer-to-peer users to be around 60 million from 2005. We're in late 2010. That 60 million has most likely ballooned into something MUCH, MUCH larger. Just keep that in mind as we keep doing these calculations. So for the sake of working with numbers, there are 60 million estimated peer-to-peer users globally. 
  2.   So now that we have our total number of P2P users, lets look at the number of filings the RIAA does per year. Once again, Ars Technica points out that its between 18,000 to 20,000. Average it out, and it's about 19,000. So 19,000 filings a year to P2P users. Ars Technica goes on to multiply that number by the total number of P2P users to compute the cost of suing everyone. But that doesn't give us anything. We need to find the cost of each individual legal filing and multiply it by the total number of P2P users. Well here's the thing, the cost of P2P legal filings is really unknown. But just so you get an idea of the hoops the RIAA jumps through to get these filings out, not taking into account the time and money spent on finding the infringer's in the first place, lets look at it step by step.
    1.   They contact their legal team, or a legal team to send a notice to a suspected infringer. There are all the legal fee's and overhead associated with that all. They eventually send a letter out, which needs to be paid, and they wait to hear back from the accused.
    2.   They hear back from the suspected infringer. If the infringer decides to take it to court, they begin the long process of a trial, which brings with it its own set of legal fees and overhead. Then once a verdict is reached, someone may or may not appeal. Should one party decide to appeal then there are all of those legal fees and overhead to pay, and a possible retrial, which again brings in more legal fees and costs that need to be paid.
      1.   BUT, if the accused decides on an out of court settlement, then there are still many legal fees that need to be paid before the process is over and done with. 
  I really hope the cost of just one case is starting to sink in, because if not, I have failed.
  So that was just a picture of what one lawsuit would look like. But for the sake of using numbers lets use Ars Technicas way of computing the total cost of suing every P2P user. So we have the average 19,000 filings a year and 60 million users. Multiply the two and we get 1,140,000,000,000. Throw a dollar sign on that and we get $1,140,000,000,000. HOLY S**T! One trillion, 140 billion dollars. or just 1.14 trillion dollars. That isn't the most accurate number (number of users has grown, actual cost of one legal filing is unknown, and number of legal filings a year is a useless number), and its already astonishing.
  Knowing this, would Gene Simmons still support suing every P2P user out there? Of course. So long as he didn't have to front the bill. I know the dude is worth and has some serious amount of money, but even though he says the entertainment industry should do everything it can to stop piracy, I'm sure he and the entertainment industry can find a better way to spend 1.14 trillion dollars, even if they had it. Oh, I know, start a foundation or work with the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation to promote the arts and creativity in the developing world. 
  *GASP!* GENIUS! I should patent and trademark that!

Some Statistics

After having my blog open for about a month now, I thought I would share some stats that Google/Blogger has graciously provided me.
A Firefox and Mac majority. I'll let you guys parse through the rest of that info.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Lets Have Some ACTA Fun!

(Photo credit: xkcd.com)

  ACTA, that fun and wonderful little anti-counterfeiting trade agreement (Hence the name ACTA), that has eluded the constituents of its member nations for years, may finally get an official and complete release! Ars Technica is reporting that ACTA negotiations are "finished", and that the text of the agreement is 'consolidated and largely finalized' YES! 1 point for the worlds copyright/trademark/patent law whistle blowers! Disregarding the fact that the text of the ACTA agreement has been leaked, oh I dont know, FIVE TIMES, the news of a complete and official release is more of a "you finally got your act together!" moment, than it is a moment of relief for the whistle blowers. That isn't to say that ACTA isn't important. Far from it! Probably the biggest reason behind the formation of this agreement is to tackle copyright, patent, trademark, and Intellectual Property infringement in the 21st Century on a global scale (Well, by global I mean 'only pertaining to the participating parties'). This undoubtedly affects the Internet and nearly everything having to do with it. If that isn't important now int he 21st Century, I don't know what is.
  I'm not going to start dissecting and analyzing ACTA here on my blog. Ars Technica has done a pretty good job doing that with the official draft release from April of 2010. Along with analyzing the major provisions, they do a pretty damn good job giving background and what effects passing ACTA will have on global Copyright and IP enforcement.
  Is ACTA good or bad? For now I'm sticking to bad. US Copyright, patent, and IP law are a bit crazy and antiquated. I think that before the US began ACTA talks, they should have gone back and revised it's own copyright, patent and IP laws. Simply taking a look at the ridiculous length of copyright protection, along with the sheer abuses committed by companies such as Monsanto, it really becomes clear that something is wrong. Before you go spreading that around the world, you gotta make it work, albeit better, at home. But those are my two cents on the issue of Copyrights and the such.

Happy reading, readers!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Goodbye Fareed, and Thank You

That was a sad bit to read as I finished another wonderful article by Fareed Zakaria. I've been a long time fan of Zakaria and subscriber to Newsweek, and his departure from the magazine is truly saddening. His breadth of editorial and knowledge is unparalleled in journalism today. He still has his weekly show on CNN, but nothing will compare to his writing and the way it opened up my perspective on issues. To say I loved and will miss his work at Newsweek would be an understatement. I am currently reading his book "The Post-American World" and it is an amazing piece of work, I hope he continues to influence the dialogue on Globalization.
Whatever comes next for Fareed, I wish him the best of luck. 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Whats Kept Me Away

(Photo Credit: ouramazingplanet.com)
Between that giant of a rain storm and my obligations this week, this blog has unfortunately taken a back seat since last week. But no need to worry, I have a few posts lined up for the weekend and I'll have them up as soon as I can type them up.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Taking a Break

For the weekend. Got some car and computer maintenance to take car of, along with some studying and of course, the Singapore GP!
I'll be back here on Monday. Until then, au revoir!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

From The Party of 'NO!', To The Party of "Repeat and Recycle"

(Photo Credit: nydailynews.com)

  As far as I'm concerned the Pledge to America is the same rhetoric we've been hearing from the GOP when they're not criticizing everything that moves. While their messiah, dear old Regan, has said that the "Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: if it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.” Their stance as of lately hasn't been any better: "If it moves, criticize it, if it keeps moving, call it something ridiculous and sensational, and if it stops moving, say the same thing we've been saying for decades." While I commend the party on releasing something other than criticism, you really do not bring anything new, or anything different to the table. It has been the same platform that has seen you voted in and ultimately out of office.

Stubborn little party you are.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Inevitable Pledge to America

(Photo Credit: toothpastefordinner.com)

  Well, I did say a couple of days ago, that the GOP was still floundering around with no real agenda, and needed something voters could hold them to come election time. Today, two days after that post, we have the GOP's 'Pledge To America'. I'm personally thrilled by the fact that the GOP is finally doing something to be competitive. Will this be the necessary tool Republican candidates needed for the election? Maybe, maybe not. I'm still pretty undecided (I'll have a definitive answer in the morning), and the effect this will have can really go in any direction. But let me just point out some things the GOP dropped the ball on.
  • First: The language on the economy seems fairly acceptable (this is coming from a Friedman and Keynes fan), except that the Bailouts weren't as big a failure as they make it seem. Sure, the oversight into Executive Bonuses was a flop (something I think was completely unacceptable on part of Congress), but as Fareed Zarkaria of Newsweek points out, the Bailouts worked. As painful as it was to see billions of dollars head to companies that ran themselves into the ground, it was absolutely necessary to avoid a situation that would have been 10x as worse as what we experienced a year and a half ago. Just because the Bailouts didn't spell out a booming recovery, doesn't mean you can consider it a failure.
  • Also, Pre-Stimulus and Pre-Bailout spending levels wont be enough to drastically "Cut Government Spending." While you go on to list ways to further cut spending, I suggest you look towards the out of control and ballooning Intelligence Community and the equally ballooning Pentagon. Both of which are becoming increasingly inefficient in regards to the amount of money being thrown at them. Defense if vital, but not when it runs wild like this.

  • Second, and continuing on with Defense spending, you focus quite A LOT on Iran in regards to National Security.  Sanctions, like some other high profile ones, do not work. Let me repeat, they do NOT, and have NOT worked. Iran has sufficiently found away around the sanctions, and has even positioned itself to benefit from them. Continuing on with them is useless. There is much more power and effectiveness in stripping Iran's pseudo-legitimacy in the region through efforts such as the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks. (That is a whole other discussion that I'll save for later) 
  • Thirdly, is retaining 'traditional marriage' a part of your platform seriously something that is even remotely palatable? While social issues will take a backseat to the economy, your misguided and bigoted perspective is something that will not appeal to the country. As the court system in this country continues to disband laws that limit the freedoms of gays, don't you think it might be time to reevaluate that stance? This country has been at the forefront of personal liberty and pursuit, limiting those freedoms to a portion of society flies in complete contrast to everything you say about adhering to the Constitution's fundamentals on liberty and freedom. BS? I see and smell a whole lot!
  GOP, you're coalescing... Somewhat. But you still have some very misconstrued views about what should be done these days. Should you regain the majority, I want you to put your money where your mouth is and implement those economic policies on Day One. I'm holding you to it.  

    Six Years Ago Today

      The world changed, and a show that I will never forget began its 6 year long journey. LOST you will be forever missed. Even though your ending was pretty unfulfilling, life goes on, and I thank you for the 6 seasons of mystery, suspense, and general WTF. You made the downtime I had over the summer much more exciting and entertaining. For that I say thank you

    -Sincerely, Javs

    P.S. In case anyone is interested, there's a pretty cool project over at Lost365.com 

    Tom Ashbruck, Thank You!

    I'm just going to let you readers, if there are any out there, listen to this round table Tom Ashbruck had on Islam in America a few days ago.
    I am very happy someone set the record straight on Islam in this country.
    So to you Tom, I say Thank You

    Okay Christine O'Donnell, You Can Hate the Media

    (Photo credit: topayingideas.com)
      Last night on FOX News' "The Sean Hannity Show", Delaware's GOP Senate Candidate Christine O'Donnell renounced the national media saying "I'm not going to do any more national media because this is my focus: Delaware's my focus, and the local media's my focus..." Funny how she made this announcement on one of the largest national media outlets.
      Christine O'Donnell, as a public figure, is really starting to crack me up. First with those old PSA's on Sex-Ed and now with the allegations she practiced witch craft, I am really starting to get a kick out of her. Even though those events are pointless and add nothing to her role as a candidate, its just funny to see how more and more ridiculous these Tea-Party endorsed candidates get. I thought this hilarity would end after Palin, but Christine O'Donnell is sufficiently filling the void.

    Video and Transcript from her appearance on the Heannity Show.

    Monday, September 20, 2010

    The Scary Side of This Election

      It seems to me these days that Republicans, voters and politicians alike, are really eating the sensationalist crap up. It is like they love it or something. But the reality is, is that as soon as those politicians get a congressional majority and they no longer have sensationalist crap to eat up they're gonna be caught with their pants down. Along with their pants being on the ground, they're also going to be caught with NO AGENDA! That is the part that worries me the most about this rise in the Conservative camp. Yeah, go ahead and criticize Obama, that is fine. Liberals criticized Bush like there was no tomorrow, but at least they had a plan in place so when the time was right, they could get the measures and bills they wanted passed, passed.
      I don't align myself with Republicans, at least not as of lately, but the one thing I will always commend Republicans for was the 1994 Contract With America. It was genius, unheard of, and held those politicians to their word. Republicans: Start another contract with America that clearly outlines your economic policies, not just the short-comings of President Obama's. Also, try not to alienate voters. Make this theoretical Contract as non bigoted as you can. Just because our nation is making strides to further assimilate groups of people that have been ignored for years, doesn't mean you have to be so vehemently against it. We're a Nation that holds a complex culture with a wide range of people with varying values, lifestyles, ethnicity, and beliefs. Embrace it and stop fighting it.

      Bring any of this to the table and then you can say you have a legitimate reason to be running for office other than the specter of a government run amok. Last I checked, letting a government go out of control WASN'T a partisan issue.

    Thursday, September 16, 2010

    Well, Well, Well GOP

      Now I know I've been talking about the Mid-Term elections with quite some frequency lately. Every time I pop open my RSS reader, there is at least one or two articles pertaining to the Mid-Term election. Besides, what fun is a blog from a political junkie if he won't go over the looming elections.
      In any case, the Washington Post has reported today that the Republican Party is beginning the process of reining in fringe Tea Party members to avoid a massive fracture in the party's voter base come November. I've discussed the risk of a party fracture before, and really it almost comes as no surprise that mainstream Republicans are trying hard to bridge the gap that has formed.
      Is this too little too late? Possibly, but I am willing to bet that this outreach from mainstream Republicans is going to have some noticeable effect on how current Tea Party affiliates associate them selves in terms of political parties. But by the same token, I wouldn't be entirely surprised if this outreach effort fails. What will really interest me will be how and why the outreach succeeded or failed. Tea Party affiliates, for the most part, aren't dumb. Many of them will realize that this is just the GOP trying to collect their voter base to make gains in November. I seriously doubt the GOP has any interest outside of amassing voters, to seriously make the Tea Party movement a part of the party.

    Washington Post report: WPost

    Is The Iceman Making a Comback?

    (Photo Credit: Topspeed.com)

    Lets hope so!
      Motorsport.com and Yahoo Motorsport UK are reporting that Kimi "Iceman" Raikkonen is in talks with Renault for a possible seat in the 2011 Formula 1 season.Raikkonen's manager has confirmed that they are in talks with Renault over a possible F1 start next season, and that they "want to explore all the possible options for next year."Renault has only confirmed Robert Kubica for next season, which puts Vitaly Petrov's seat in jeopardy of a possible Raikkonen fill. While it would be a shame, and I would hate to see Petrov go so early, the possible return of The Iceman is very, VERY exciting for Formula 1.
      Kimi Raikkonen left his seat with Scuderia Ferrari last year, and took the dive into the FIA World Rally Championship for the 2010 racing season. While his season has been marred by lackluster success (especially after his disappointing exit from Really Japan last week.), he has still been a competitive racer in WRC.
      Whatever comes of the Raikkonen-Renault talks, lets hope Kimi has a better 2011 season in whichever event he ends up on.

    Edit: first photo I had up was not of Raikonnen. Apologies for the mix up.

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    Does Palin Spell Success? 'You Betcha!'

    (Photo Credit:NewsHour)
      I called it last week, when I said that Palin and the Tea Party's endorsement of Christine O'Donnell would mark success for the Delaware GOP candidate. CNN now reports that Christine O'Donnell has indeed WON her Senate Primary against Republican incumbent Michael Castle. This is big news, not only for Mid-Term election, but for Palin and for the Tea Party movement. If this sort of endorsement record continues, and the Tea Party movement garners enough support behind these Republican candidates, then Democrats definitely face some very scary results in November. Now of course nothing is set in stone, and we could see something completely different come November, but this sort of thing is so much fun to watch and analyze that, regardless of the shift control, it almost never gets old.

    Political junkies, start your engines!

    Thoughts on The New Twitter

      Twitter has gone and done it again: The folks at Twitter Inc. have unveiled their redesign of Twitter.com, and just for the record, I freaking LOVE it! Unlike the last site revision, it didn't change up the look of the login page, leaving the rest of the site the same, or add a few quick action widgets for users profiles. They have completely revamped how users see and interact with the website. Rather than having to surf multiple pages to get to the content you want, now the info you want comes out discretely to the right of your Twitter feed all without having to reload any web page (Ajax use to its max).

    Page link here: YouTube

      This reminds me a lot of how Twitter for iPad works. You have standard info on the right of the screen, with new data and info being loaded on the left of the screen. Seems as though Twitter's acquisition of atebits and Loren Brichter, is rubbing off on more than just their iOS apps. To be honest, I couldn't be more excited for Twitter. It's a really powerful platform that gets stronger everyday, and this redesign is really giving users a nice way to interact with social media. If the redesign pans out well, I wouldn't be surprised if the popularity this, and its final implementation, will garner a new era of growth for Twitter. While the site has been plagued by people signing up for accounts and never actually doing anything with it after, I have a slight suspicion that this redesign may get users to stay around longer.

    Cheers to you Twitter!

    Monday, September 13, 2010

    Boehner Might Be On To Something...

      Everyday, Representative John Boehner is further solidifying his role as GOP party leader on Capitol Hill. He hasn't always been the man for compromise on key pieces of legislation (ie, Healthcare and Financial Reform), but he is now slowing but surely becoming the man Democrats will need to go to in order to forge any meaningful deal before November. With both the expiration of the Bush-Era Tax Cuts and the Mid-Term Election looming large, incumbents in both parties are in a mad frenzy to appeal to their constituents in any way, shape, or form. While it is most definitely possible that Boehner's recent comments and subsequent shift on the Bush Tax Cuts may seem as a ploy to neutralize President Obama's blitz campaign on Congressional Republicans, it is most definitely Boehner's way of forging and solidifying himself as a compromise man on the economy and as a true Republican leader. Congressional Republicans are still readying themselves to fight the expiration tooth and nail, but John Boehner is taking a different, more calculated, approach to the matter. Rather than fighting fire with fire, Boehner is instead bringing a pale of water, rather than another torch.
      If his plan of allowing tax cuts for the wealthy (earners of $250,000 or more in annual income) to expire and keeping in place the tax cuts for the middle class, he could very well be looking at some middle class appeal come November. Much like Florida Governor Charlie Crist's tactical maneuvering and vetoing of the controversial SB6, this could garner, in one fail swoop, broad appeal to a rather large chunk of the American voting base regardless of their party affiliation.
      Strategic political planning? If Boehner and his aides have their heads on straight, you most definitely bet it is.

    Sunday, September 12, 2010

    And The Ferrari's Are Back!

    (Photo courtesy of resources1.news.com.au)

      With the disaster of Spa behind him, Ferrari's golden child Fernando Alonso took the gold today at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza, Italy and wasted no time to celebrate saying "It compares to the feeling I had when I won the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona in 2006 - both are very special moments." He later added that the team needs "to find consistency in the last five races." With both Ferrari drivers taking podium at Monza the spirit of a Ferrari Championship is still alive, and if they hope to take the Championship they are going to need to keep their competitiveness up. But with defending World Champions McLaren Mercedes still actively seeking the title, and the rise of RBR Renault in the Driver Standings, Team Ferrari is going to have a very difficult battle on their hands. Especially given the massive margin between Alonso and second place holder Lewis Hamilton, the battle only gets harder.
      As is always the case in F1, nothing ever stays the same for too long. The real excitement coming up in Singapore is going to be whether McLaren Mercedes can get both drivers past the finish line, whether RBR Renault can maintain their standing at number one with Mark Webber, and whether Ferrari's Alonso can dethrone Hamilton and Webber from their respective places in the standings.

    What comes of the Singapore GP, we shall see in two weeks!

    (Very nice explanation of the Monza track by the infamous Sebastian Vettel of RBR Renault: YouTube

    Thursday, September 9, 2010

    Does Palin Have the Midas Touch?

      Given how Sarah Palin's endorsement of Joe Miller in the Alaskan GOP Senate Primary played out, is it a stretch to say the same will happen now in Delaware? As the LA Times is reporting, former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin is endorsing Republican candidate Christine O'Donnell over incumbent Rep. Michael Castle. The anti-incumbent sentiment is running high, and it seems as though efforts on part of Sarah Palin and the Tea-Party Express is only going to amplify the anti-incumbent sentiment. But will Sarah Palin's formal endorsement really make a difference? Delaware is very different from Alaska, but given Sarah Palin's national status amongst Conservatives, it's not hard to see why her endorsement would be a game changing factor. But the story of the Alaskan Primary might have owed more to the Palin-Murkowski Feud than it did anti-incumbent sentiment.
      Family Politics aside, if Palin's endorsement in Delaware spells success for O'Donnell, will it cause a mad frenzy among Conservatives to vie for her support?
    Disregarding the fact that Sarah Palin isn't even a candidate, this election season can be majorly successful for her if she continues a flawless endorsement streak.
    Whatever the result in Delaware it is sure to be an exciting time leading up to November.

    Openess? Just Give Me the Froyo!

    (Photo Credit: TrendsUpdates.com)
    MG Siegler of Tech Crunch released a blistering commentary on the effectiveness of Google Android's "Openness". He excellently points out that the level of liberty Google is giving carriers is ultimately slowing down Android's success in the market place. Because carriers are delaying the release of newer versions of Android OS to devices, so they can throw in their own tweaks and apps, the widespread progress of Android OS is being hindered. While I agree that the carrier hurdle is something Android must overcome, the bigger threat to Android is its fragmentation across devices. While the carrier hurdle plays into the fragmentation of the OS, fragmentation due to device specification irregularity is still Android OS's biggest threat.
    Unless Google can forge some agreement with carriers and device makers, Android may very well be deeply fragmented for the remainder of its life span.

    MG Siegler's Original Blog Post: techcrunch.com

    Wednesday, September 8, 2010

    Monza on My Mind

    With just a few more days until the Italian GP, (Practice Sessions One and Two begin tomorrow at 10 am GMT/UTC + 01) the remainder of the FIA Formula One season is really heating up nice. With McLaren Mercedes and RBR Renault both in the top four of the driver standings, the last six races will be truly decisive for both teams.

    In related Formula 1 news, the FIA has not only revealed the 2011 race calendar, but has also formally declared that there will be no new teams for the 2011 and the 2012 season. The much hyped 13th team will not be included, thus leaving the F1 at 12 teams for the next two years. Sad news for Jacques Villeneuve who was hoping to make a return to Formula 1 in the 2011 season unless an already registered team decides to sign him. Best of luck to him.

    Here's to Monza on Sunday! *cheers*

    Tuesday, September 7, 2010

    "Misinformation and Outright Bigotry"

    I'm pretty darn thankful everyday that the views expressed by The Dove Outreach Center in Gainsville, Florida are those of a comparatively minute fringe. While these attention getters are only around to push some misinformed point of view, at least the religious moderates are distancing the beautiful religions they represent from these intolerant zealots.

    September 11th will come to define more than this Nation's strength and perseverance. It will come to define how we, as a Nation, accept and incorporate Islam into our own intricate culture. It has been a long process thus far and the reality is we still have a ways to go, but this nation is no stranger to the process of assimilation. We're a strong and resilient country that is fundamentally composed of different and varying cultures, perspectives, ideas and people. Islam, nor any other religion or culture should be an exception.

    Update: The Vatican has formally released a statement on the planned Quran burning event saying it is an "outrageous and grave gesture."
    As always, I am very thankful those burning the Quran are a very VERY small fringe.

    Sunday, September 5, 2010

    Ceasefire or Not, It's Still a Long Road for Spain

    (Image Courtesy of the BBC) Full article here: BBC

    Another separatist group, another ceasefire, another day for Spain.

    Regardless of the outcome of this ceasefire, Spain is still looking at a long process of dealing with ETA and similar groups. Supposed reasons for ETA's sudden declaration of a ceasefire are varied, but the most likely reasons are a lack of funds or a drop in support amongst the Basque people.
    However, the possibility of an independent Basque territory are still very slim.
    As the Spanish Courts have ruled with Catalonia's pledge for independence, there's no constitutionality in recognizing a separate state from Spain.

    Lets just hope the bloodshed stops, and all independence seeking bodies find some resolve with Madrid.

    Further reading: Spaniards React to ETA's Ceasefire

    Update: The Spanish government has officially responded to the announced ceasefire, clamming it is "insufficient" and that ETA is "weaker than ever." While the Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba didn't go into detail about the groups weakness, it may be because ETA's political wing, Batasuna, is no longer a legal political party. This may indeed be a last ditch effort to keep ETA's presence alive politically, while continuing to push for Basque independence.

    Few Options on Both Sides

    As this recent New York Times article points out, Democrats are feeling the heat from Republicans in the lead up to November, and they're trying anything they can to keep the majority they have in both houses.
    But the real question beckons, are Republicans in good enough shape to not only regain a majority but govern effectively? Policy differences aside, the real threat to a Republican majority wont come from Democratic opposition, but from within their own party. If there is one thing the primaries in Florida and Alaska have shown us is that the GOP is bitterly divided and ultimately fractured.
    While Democrats face a serious crisis in November if the economy doesn't let up, the Republicans will find themselves in the same seat if they cannot unify and begin to have a solid agenda that isn't just criticism.

    Something tells me a Contract with America isn't going to be seen for sometime.

    Thursday, September 2, 2010

    Some Good News, and My Return!

    It has been a while since I've posted on this blog. I've done the readers (if any at all) the favor of deleting the old, and painful, posts. I hope you enjoy the new look, and I certainly hope you will enjoy this blogs return.

    To celebrate the return of this blog I've decided to cover the re-commencement of peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders. As a political junkie this is very, very good news. I am tremendously happy Netanyahu and Abbas are back at the table discussing the future of their respective nations, and lets just hope these talks don't fall apart like so many before them. With the amount of work the US Mid East Envoy, (lead by George Mitchell, the man who brokered the Good Friday Agreement) has done, it would be a real shame to see both sides of the conflict not come to some sort of agreement.
    To read more on this visit the BBC.

    I will add some more personal editorial/opinion on this tomorrow. I was just really excited to get this site back up and running.
    Hope you all enjoy!
    Regards, Javi.

    To read more on this visit the BBC.