Nice article on Microsoft

This reporter notices some stuff that most don’t see.

I came across this article from ABC News, and I thought it was really interesting. I worked at Microsoft for a number of years and was increasingly frustrated by just how bad Microsoft treats its employees. I always thought that when employees (like myself) didn’t feel valued, they didn’t do good work and the company was bound to suffer. While I’ve seen lots of articles talking about Microsoft cutting back on employee benefits and while it has been dropping in the “Best Places To Work For” survey by fortune magazine, I haven’t seen anything that talks about a link between this and possible problems for Microsoft. I’m not ever going to write off that company, but I thought the article was especially insightful.

More illegal government propoganda?

The White House gave credentials for a news organization that had existed for less than a week

Jeff Gannon was a reporter for Talon News, a web site owned by a GOP activist. He was given White House press room credentials less than a week after the Talon News website was registered. He had no history of news reporting. He did not have a journalism degree. Once in the room, he asked questions that sounded more like GOP talking points than actually queries. Now he has been exposed by MSNBC. Here is the transcript.

Now, the question is, will the administration take responsibility for this obvious attempt at propaganda? Propaganda by our government against its own citizens is illegal. Will we see anyone prosecuted for this? I doubt it. It is once again time to write your congressman to demand hearings on the White House attempts to manipulate its own people.

Witold Rybczynski’s Celebration slideshow

One of my favorite architecture and city planning writers has a slideshow on Disney’s planned town

Like many city planning geeks, I’ve got a weird fascination with Celebration, Florida. It is a town designed, built and controlled by the Disney corporation. On Slate.com, Witold Rybczynski has an interesting little slideshow about the town which is now 10 years old.

Matt Richter kicked out of Consolidated Works

If you know the Seattle arts community at all, you’ll realize that this is pretty serious

When Matt Richter made Consolidated Works happen, the Seattle art scene was in decline. There were fewer and fewer exhibition spaces for up and coming visual artists. He created an ambitious and amazing and huge space for visual art, theater, film and music. Over time, with good curators, it became an anchor and important part of the modern art scene in the Northwest. When Paul Allen reclaimed the building that Consolidated Works lived in, Matt oversaw the move to a new, even larger, space and made that venue just as vital. On Tuesday, this week, the ConWorks board removed Richter for reasons that are currently unknown. I hope that this won’t mean the end of Consolidated Works or Matt or Northwest modern art.

New Tiny Mitsubishi DLP projector

Perfect for impromptu or guerilla theater

(via Chait Gear)

Using tri-LEDs for it’s new DLP project, Mitsubishi has been able to make a TINY, super-light device with instant on and 10,000 life-span (since there is no bulb for replacing). The press release talks about having the project close to the surface, 1-3 feet of throw products 20″-40″ diagonal projections. There will also be a battery pack available. So with this retail priced at $699, for way under a thousand dollars, you could have a portable DVD player and projector that would let you create your own movie theater anywhere! All we need now are tiny power speakers! One detail that is noticeably missing is the brightness and detail of the images. The projector is 800×600, but I’m wondering if it isn’t very bright given that it is using LEDs and they are talking about projection distances of under a yard.

Excellent Movie That I Must Recommend: Dinner Rush

Last night we saw “Dinner Rush” a film from 2000 starring Danny Aiello that I feel compelled to recommend

Ever since I read Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential, I’ve been really interested about what life is like inside a real working kitchen. I was recommended the film Dinner Rush, rented it and watched it last night. It was surprisingly good. Here is the plot summary for the entry in IMDB:

Is it just another evening at the hugely popular Italian restaurant of proprietor and bookmaker Louis Cropa (Danny Aiello) in New York? Anything but as tonight’s guests include; a local police detective and his wife specially invited by the owner; on the balcony rival bookmaker gangsters from Queens who want to become partners in the restaurant; in the corner renowned food critic ‘the food nymph’ is her usual demanding self; and at the bar, seemingly unnoticed, is Ken (‘John Corbett’ ). As the evening continues enter Duncan (Kirk Acevedo), inveterate gambler and sous-chef on-the-line in the frenetic kitchen downstairs, who acts as the catalyst that causes the evening to draw to its inevitable, explosive, deadly conclusion.

The film itself is wonderfully shot, the cinematography is excellent. Additionally, the film is worth watching for the kitchen scenes alone if you, like I, are interested in that kind of stuff. The acting itself is solid. If you liked films like Big Night, this is definitely worth a rent.

More on the President’s class war

The initiatives coming from the White House since the re-election show that the Administration’s attack on the poor is heating up, not cooling down

Previously I’ve talked about how the war on Iraq was in some ways an attack on the poor of this country who disproportionally make up the bulk of our nation’s military which simultaneously benefitting companies like Haliburton. Now with the new Social Security plan and the White House’s proposed 2006 budget cuts, it looks like the administration is waging war on our country’s poorest citizens.

First off, the social security plan. To get this plan in motion, the administration will need to borrow $1,000,000,000 (that is one trillion dollars) so that they can pay for the existing retirees. That is a debt that the rest of us will be paying off forever and will seriously cripple this country financially for decades if not forever. Simultaneously, a huge amount of money that is currently going into government bonds through Social Security will disappear completely as it gets moved into “private” accounts. These “private” accounts are actually controlled by the government so that is just a right-wing spin tactic. Now, the administration cites several other countries who have made this switch, but pretty much none of them has worked and people in those countries get significantly less money than if they had stayed with the old system. So now, we will have to borrow a huge amount of money while simultaneously devaluing government bonds and in the end we’ll be worse off than if we just left the system the way it is. The only one who will come out ahead in this scenario is the stockbrokers who will manage our accounts and the public companies who will get the investments. We’ll be screwed.

Now, the budget cuts. In order to pay for his tax cut for the wealthy and the war in Iraq while being able to claim some sort of fiscal responsibility, George Bush has proposed sweeping cuts in the 2006 budget. These cuts are across the board but will disproportionally affect the poor, the working poor, and veterans. The Washington Post has an excellent article with the details. What is also scary is that the Homeland Security Administration will also be cut. So now the poor will have less opportunity to advance, the rich will save money and we’ll all be less safer.

How the hell can anyone call this man a compassionate conservative? This is the least compassionate administration in the history of this country.