Thursday, July 31, 2008

NASA Confirms Water on Mars

Its official, NASA has confirmed through testing on the Phoenix Mars Lander. The idea of water outside of earth is nothing spectacular with comets as well as various moons and planets with water. This is the first time that a sample of water was actually tested on Mars. There are no sensors on board the Phoenix Mars Lander that can directly test for life, so the answer to that question has to wait for a future mission.


"Laboratory tests aboard NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander have identified water in a soil sample. The lander's robotic arm delivered the sample Wednesday to an instrument that identifies vapors produced by the heating of samples.

"We have water," said William Boynton of the University of Arizona, lead scientist for the Thermal and Evolved-Gas Analyzer, or TEGA. "We've seen evidence for this water ice before in observations by the Mars Odyssey orbiter and in disappearing chunks observed by Phoenix last month, but this is the first time Martian water has been touched and tasted."

For more info on the Phoenix Mars Lander, visit:

Hidden Van Gough Portrait Discovered

Vincent Van Gogh is thought to have regularly painted over his paintings. Using a new technique using "synchrotron radiation induced X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy", which is an improvement on X-ray radiography, a new portrait has been revealed. X-ray radiography has been used in the past to show painted over layers in famous paintings. The new technique was used to reveal the portrait of a yet unidentified female in Van Gogh's "Patch of Grass".

Pictures along with more detail are available at Fox News.,2933,395042,00.html

"A previously unknown portrait of a woman by Vincent van Gogh has been revealed in a high-tech look beneath another of his paintings, it was announced today.
Behind the painting, done mostly in greens and blues, is a portrait of a woman rendered in browns and reds.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

RNC Launches

The Republican National Committee ("RNC") just launched the interesting new website, Barack Book. Barack Book is a fairly blatant ripoff of Face Book. It is the twentieth century version of guilt by association. You have to give some credit to the Republicans for coming up with an interesting web attack, an area that they seem to be lacking in.


"The Republican National Committee (RNC) today launched a new Web site,

The social networking site highlights some of Barack Obama’s notable associations throughout stages of his career ... BarackBook allows voters to explore Obama’s connections with these individuals as well as their connections to one another using video and news articles.

BarackBook will be updated routinely between now and Election Day with additional, new Obama “friends.”

Frustrated With Late Payment Notices . . . Set Yourself on Fire!?!

A man from Newark set himself on fire today in the middle of a rental store reportedly over being frustrated with some late payment notices he had received. It is not really clear what the man was hoping to accomplish, but something tells me that their were better, less painful ways, to archive his goals.

""He basically pulled out a bottle of lighter fluid, poured it all over his body, pulled out a cigarette lighter and lit himself on fire," Bloomfield Police Capt. Chris Goul said.
Saladriagas arrived at the store and asked to speak with a manager about a series of form letters he'd received about late payments on his furniture rentals, Goul said. When he was told a manager wasn't available he became upset and pulled out the lighter fluid.

Google Lets Users Make Gmail More Secure

Last week, Google announced a new option in the Gmail settings which makes security easier. If you use Gmail you should change this setting the next time you log on. The slight slowdown, if any, is worth the massive increase in security.

Gmail Blog

"We care about your security today just as much as we did when we launched, which is why we're constantly working on improvements like the recently launched last account activity and remote sign out. Today, we're making it even easier for you to use https to protect your mail every time you access it. We've added an option to Settings to always use https. If you don't regularly log in via unencrypted wireless connections at coffee shops or airports or college dorms, then you might not need this additional layer of security. But if you want to always use https, then this setting makes it super easy. Whenever you forget to type, we'll add the https for you. If you already have the https URL bookmarked, using this setting will ensure you access your account via https even when you don't use your bookmark. Any http link to Gmail (for example, the one at the top of will be automatically redirected to https."

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Google indexes One Trillion URLs

Last Friday, Google announced that they had hit an indexing milestone; 1,000,000,000,000 (one trillion). That is some impressive number, but given the growth rate of the internet it will not take long for that milestone be surpassed by an even more mind boggling milestone.

Official Google Blog

"We've known it for a long time: the web is big. The first Google index in 1998 already had 26 million pages, and by 2000 the Google index reached the one billion mark. Over the last eight years, we've seen a lot of big numbers about how much content is really out there. Recently, even our search engineers stopped in awe about just how big the web is these days -- when our systems that process links on the web to find new content hit a milestone: 1 trillion (as in 1,000,000,000,000) unique URLs on the web at once!"

New Mass Diet Coke and Mentos Fountain Record

Turiba, a Latvian Business University decided to break a world record on its 15th anniversary. on June 19 (2008) a full 1,911 bottles were set off at the same time. It is an official Guinness World Record.

Read the story and see some pictures on at
Advertisers Using Smell to Attract Attention in Japan

With people being bombarded with advertisements every day and from all direction, many are just tuning out. Advertisers need a way to break through these barriers and attract peoples attention. The pleasant scents correspond to the videos. The goal is to attract onlookers and for them to grab a coupon book located near by. This trial is set to close shortly, but it probably is not the last we have seen of this "smellvertising."

For the complete story, go to at

Microsoft Shows Off New Multi Touch Spherical Display

Microsoft understands that flat screens are not ideal for every situation. With that in mind, they have created a spherical screen. What makes this screen notable is that it can accept multiple touch screen inputs, and everything is contained within the sphere itself.

Their are no current plans to make this available to the public as a product. It is being used as a research product. The potential uses are easy to see, and I would not be surprised in the least if this or something every similar found its way into the consumer products market eventually.

For more information, head on over to at

Monday, July 28, 2008

China Now Has The Most People Online

The BBC is reporting that China has the largest population on the net. This makes sense, and is almost inevitable. With China having almost 1.5 billion people, a 25 percent net penetration would outnumber 100 percent net penetration in the United States. The article breaks own the current penetration levels and concludes with some economic figures. Despite falling behind in total population numbers, the United States sill has a larger net economy.

"More than 253 million people in the country are now online, according to statistics from the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC).

The figure is higher than the 223 million that the US mustered in June, according to Nielsen Online.

Net penetration in the US stands at 71% compared to 19% in China suggesting it will eventually vastly outstrip the US.


Despite having a greater number of people online, China's net economy still has a long way to go to match or exceed that of the US or even that of South Korea.

Figures from Analysys International said China's net firms reported total revenues of $5.9bn (£2.96bn) in 2007. By contrast net advertising revenue alone for US firms in 2007 stood at $21.2bn (£10.6bn).

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Do you think you know a lot about geography? Can you point to a random city on a country colored but unlabeled map? Geosense puts you to the test. You can play alone or in a competition against another. You are given a country and city name and have to click on the map where you think it is. The site keeps track of how long it took for you to click and how far off you were while it moves on to a new location. At the end it gives you your scores.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Can Individual Terrorists be Stopped?

Stopping an individual from committing a violent act against another is extremely hard to prevent. Such is the case with stopping individual terrorist. This is for a few reasons.

First, almost anything can be used as a weapon. To illustrate this point, look around you right now. Make a mental list of everything you see that if you life depended on it you could use to defend yourself and/or attack another, and everything you could not use. Chances are good that the first list is longer. If not, you may not be as creative as these terrorists unfortunately are. Now think of what you could go out and legal buy that could be used to attack someone whom your would be surprise attacking. The enormity of your potential choices should be chilling when you think that about the fact that their are some people who spend their time thinking of little else, and you and your family are their targets. It is simply not possible to prevent potential weapons, conventional or otherwise, from getting into the hands of terrorists

Second, everyone is a target. Terrorists do not try to avoid women and children; they are the preferred targets because they are generally less able to protect themselves. It is infeasible to offer a level of protection to every man, woman, and child, to keep them completely safe from terrorist.

The bottom line is that if someone wants to sow death and destruction, it is almost impossible to stop them. Therein lie the key to curtailing terrorism; destroy the want.

Side note; other methods such as cutting off sources of funding and destroying terrorist networks (or their infer structures) are some of the most effective methods of curtailing organized terrorism. This post is focused mainly on the terrorist individual.

Destroying the want can be achieved in more ways than one, but should never include appeasement. History has taught use that appeasement does not work. What will could depend highly on the individual terrorist in question. The goal is to block his potential additional hidden goals; the goals beyond terrorism.

For example, some of the terrorists committed their heinous acts in part because of the pay off their family was getting. That is, their families received money if they were able to successfully carry out their attack. The hidden goal here is to help out his family. To block this hidden goal, you have to be willing to punish the terrorist family. If the terrorist knew for certain that if they were successful in their attack that his families house would be bulldozed and they would be deported (and hence be much worse off then before), the potential terrorist may be persuaded not carry out the attack.

Other hidden goals require other methods to block. In order to be effective, these methods must be aggregated and actually used. This tends to be the sticking point. People may be uncomfortable punishing those whom themselves had nothing to do with the attack. It is also true that if their are no hidden goals, and the terrorist either does not care (or at least believe the benefits of their attack out way the hardship that will be inflicted) on the people they care about, does not have anyone they care about, or does not believe that anything will be done to the people they care about, this method carried out flawlessly would still not be able to put a stop terrorism. Though as mentioned originally, it would curtail it to only the type of people listed above.

So, the answer to the question of if individual terrorists can be stopped is a very unsatisfying maybe. Some likely can, others likely can not; though the goal should not stop at prevention. As a necessary fall back to prevention, limiting the damage of any given attack is critical for the attacks that occur.

Friday, July 25, 2008

I Can Has Cheezburger is one of the biggest sites for the so called LOLcats. LOLcats are pictures of cats with a funny caption, often with intentional typos.

This site makes it easy to both create your own and share it. Thanks in part to this, the site is updated pretty often, so there are usually new pictures to see when you go back. The site appears to have an archive of most if not all of the picture ever posted to the site if you have some time on your hands or just find you really like these kinds of pictures.

They also have links to other LOL sites.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Former NASA Astronaut and Moonwalker Dr Edgar Mitchell Says Aliens Exist

Dr Edgar Mitchell, along with Apollo 14 commander Alan Shepard share the record for the longest moon walk. Today he made headlines by saying that we have been visited by aliens. He described them as having big heads and eyes with a small thin bodies.

Dr Edgar Mitchell describes them as having very advanced technology. A technological level far enough superior to ours that if they had been hostile we would all be dead by now.

To read the story, head on over to,,24069817-5001021,00.html

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

KNOL - by Google

Today, Knol was launched to the public. Google's new product is their version of the popular website Wikipedia. It is not a copy however. Among the most notable differences is that the creator of the specific Knol page has control over it. No one can change your Knol pages without your permission. Google has also designed it so that the creators could benefit financially from their creations.

Despite what Google says, it does come of feeling blog-like; a highly technical/academic, non personal, collective blog, but a blog none the less. This may help some people get their ideas out there who are hesitant to make a blog (for fear of the time and constant content commitment) but still want credit, possible financial gain, and no fear of people altering their work. Over all, this has the potential to be a good resources on a lot of different topics.

Below is a link to Knol, and below that is an excerpt from Google's official blog.

Google Blog

"The key principle behind Knol is authorship. Every knol will have an author (or group of authors) who put their name behind their content. It's their knol, their voice, their opinion. We expect that there will be multiple knols on the same subject, and we think that is good.

With Knol, we are introducing a new method for authors to work together that we call "moderated collaboration." With this feature, any reader can make suggested edits to a knol which the author may then choose to accept, reject, or modify before these contributions become visible to the public. This allows authors to accept suggestions from everyone in the world while remaining in control of their content. After all, their name is associated with it!

Knols include strong community tools which allow for many modes of interaction between readers and authors. People can submit comments, rate, or write a review of a knol. At the discretion of the author, a knol may include ads from our AdSense program. If an author chooses to include ads, Google will provide the author with a revenue share from the proceeds of those ad placements.

Microsoft Will let Independent Developers Sell Their Games for the XBox 360

Microsoft is trying to "democratize game development." After paying $99 for a year long (renewable) membership in the XNA Creators Club, they can submit their games. The games would then be peer reviewed. Those that pass inspection can be sold at the XBox Live Marketplace.

The price will be set in "Microsoft Points." The prices, set by the creator, can range from 200 to 800 of these "Microsoft Points." In dollar terms, 800 points is roughly $10.

The developers will make money from their creations in the form of a percentage of each sale. That percentage can be as high as 70%, the rest going to Microsoft.

Microsoft plans to make this operational by/around this holiday season.

More information is available at (MSNBC)

No More "Daisy Cutters" (BLU-82)

The Air Force dropped the last of its operations BLU-82 bombs, which was more commonly known as the "Commando Vault" during the Vietnam War and/or the "Daisy Cutter." The passing of this 15,000 pound ordinance does not signal the end for massive explosives. The MOAB ("Massive Ordnance Air Burst") and the MOP ("Massive Ordnance Penetrator") weigh in at 21,000 pounds and 30,000 pounds respectively.

"7/21/2008 - DUKE FIELD, Fla. (AFPN) -- Duke Field Airmen from the 711th Special Operations Squadron dropped the last operational Bomb Live Unit-82 from an MC-130E Combat Talon I July 15 at the Utah Test and Training Range.
When originally designed, the BLU-82 was the largest conventional bomb in existence. It could instantly clear jungles for helicopter landing zones in Vietnam.
"As far as aircraft loads go, the delivery of the BLU-82 was nothing unusual," said Lt. Col. Mike Theriot, the aircraft commander and pilot on the mission. "Our aircraft routinely drop loads much larger and heavier."

Wing officials said they believe there are no plans, at this time, to produce BLU-82s in the future. The only remaining inactive bombs are used for loadmaster training and for static displays in museums.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Barack Obama Removes the American Flag From his Campaign Jet

Half a million dollars went to refurbishing Barack Obama's campaign jet. Some where along the way, the huge American flag on the tail of the plane was removed and replaced with his own logo. gone to is the flag that used to be over the door from which he exits and enters the plane.

I can not say for sure that Barack Obama gave the order to remove both flags, but it is inconceivable to me that he did not at the very least approve it. This comes just as he is about to to Europe and the Middle East for high level talks and speeches.

Despite what some are claiming, this does not prove he is unpatriotic. Patriotism can be something internal and very personal. This is however, some blunder. Especially when you consider the heat he has taken for things in the past; notably his on again off again relationship with the flag pin.

Who ever decided that it was a good idea to remove the symbol of this country and replace it with a symbol of Barack Obama before flying to foreign countries should probably be fired.

Before and after pictures available at the site below.

The Patriot Room

"Barack Obama recently finished a $500,000 total overhaul of his 757. And as part of the new design, he decided to remove the American flag from the tail. What American running for President of the United States would remove the symbol of his country? And worse, he replaced the flag with it with a symbol of himself.

This is not the same as “forgetting” to put your hand over your heart during the national anthem. It is not even the same as wearing or not wearing an American flag lapel pin. It is a conscious, expensive decision to emphasize the importance of self over country. It is the very essence of arrogance, hubris, and, yes, megalomania.

Terrorists use Construction Vehicle in Jerusalem Attack, Again

A Palestinian man when on a rampage using a construction vehicle as his weapon. Thankfully, it appears that no one has or will die as a result of this attack. The Israelis were not so fortunate in regard to the first construction vehicle attack (Jerusalem Post). Unfortunately, with no obvious way to effectively prevent such attack from occurring, the Israelis will likely be force to stop other construction vehicle attack in not so distant future.

Reporting on this second attack: Jerusalem Post

"Sixteen people were wounded, one of them moderately, as a bulldozer driver went on a rampage in central Jerusalem Tuesday afternoon in an apparent attempt to recreate the terror attack in the capital earlier this month.

The vehicle reportedly left a construction site near the Yemin Moshe neighborhood and set off towards Liberty Bell Park (Gan Hapa'amon), near the corner of Keren Hayesod and King David streets. It drove a distance of approximately 160 meters, attempting to overturn a bus and crashing into four other vehicles - one of which it flipped over. The man was then shot dead by a civilian and a border policeman.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The New York Times Rejects an opinion piece by John McCain

The New York Times rejects an opinion piece submitted to them by John McCain shortly after publishing an opinion piece submitted by Barack Obama.


"The piece was in response to an op-ed from Sen. Barack Obama that was published in the paper last week.

In an e-mail to the McCain campaign, Opinion Page Editor David Shipley said he could not accept the piece as written, but would be "pleased, though, to look at another draft."

"Let me suggest an approach," he wrote Friday. "The Obama piece worked for me because it offered new information (it appeared before his speech); while Senator Obama discussed Senator McCain, he also went into detail about his own plans. It would be terrific to have an article from Senator McCain that mirrors Senator Obama's piece."

I have no problem with those in the media expressing an opinion. That opinion should be clearly listed or explained as such. Trying to pass of opinion as fact is unacceptable. So is trying to silence the other side. The point of the media is to inform. That doesn't mean locking one side out of a very credible debate. If it is as it apears, namely that the New York Times refused to print John McCain's opinion piece until he conforms his opinion to the "Democratic model," the New York Times has done itself and those who use the paper to inform themselves a huge disservice.

Obama's opinion piece can be read at the New York Times web site at:

McCain's opinion piece can be read at the CNN web site at:

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Few More Thoughts on Googles Speech-to-Text Technology

A few days ago the Berman Post had the article "Berman Post: Google Makes Politicians Speeches Searchable" about, well, Google's Speech-to-Text technology. I have a few more thoughts to discus on the mater of Speech-to-Text technology.

In order to pool the worlds knowledge effectively, you need to make everything searchable on the micro scale. Think about this; what if you could only search blogs by title? What if the only way to figure out what the blog contained was to read it in its entirety? Worse yet, imagine that the words appeared at a predetermined speed and disappeared just as quickly. You would not be able to jump ahead, or review what you just read without restarting the process over from scratch, or jumping around trying to find the right spot through random guessing. Such is, or used to be, the case with knowledge recorded verbally. Searching for knowledge recorded on an audio format used to mean searching through the titles and then listening to which ever seemed the most promising.

The result, most information recorded in an audio format goes unused and ignored unless someone painstakingly goes through and transcribes it. Even then, there is the persistent problem of inaccuracy. A single word addition or miss could change the entire meaning. In order to figure out if their is an error you would have to try to find the place in the recording that the words were transcribed from and listen yourself. Finding that specific point is usually time consuming, and this process combined with the possible errors means that a lot of transcribed work goes unused as well (or is used with no regard for the possible errors it contains).

Google's (and some others who are working on the same thing) new technology fix this problem. Google as automated the transcription process taking away the painstaking work that used to have to be done by humans. To combat the problem of transcription errors, the text points to the exact moment in the video where it was said. That way, if you want to make extra certain the transcription is correct, you can jump right to the point where it was said instead of trying guess your way to the right spot.

Currently, Google only has this technology available for political videos on YouTube. With the rise of "vlogs" (video blogs) this technology could not come to soon. Combine the vlogs with the 24/7 news casts and pot casting, and you can see how this technology will allow for a significant chunk of human knowledge/experience to finally become searchable on the micro scale.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Web Browsers

Updated at: Berman Post: Web Browsers Updated

Web Browsers are what you use to to surf the internet. While many have similar features, each has a number of features that are more or less exclusive to them.

Top Picks



Massive List

America On Line

Avant Browser



Hot Java Browser

Internet Explorer




Slim Browser



Friday, July 18, 2008

Black Only Words?!?

After the story broke that Jesse Jackson used the "N" word in his now infamous flap in which he also threatened to forcefully remove Barack Obama's "nuts" it renewed a debate that I have been hearing for years. Specifically, that while white people are not allowed to use the "N" word, it is ok for black people to use it. This is not one of Jesse Jackson's positions as he as called for everyone to stop using the word.

Moving beyond the, "this is America, and in America people have the freedom to say whatever they want" which is only mostly true anyways, are there race specific allowed words?

I for one sincerely hope not. What is it that the civil rights leaders fought, and in some cases died for? White only bathrooms, and "colored" bathrooms outraged them. They fought for equality. They did not fight to make the whites share their bathroom while maintaining the black only bathroom. The same goes for the water fountains, and everything else that was separated by race.

Yet now, as those leaders grow old, there is now a movement to bring back some of that separation. This time it is not about use of facilities, it is about a division of the English language. What happened to equality?

It seems like a simple enough concept; if a word is to inflammatory to be used by a white person, it should be to inflammatory to be used by a black person. Equality means equality, no person or race should be "more equal."

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Israel Trades Live Terrorists for Two IDF Bodies

The Israeli government has released five Hezbollah terrorists for return of the two missing IDF soldiers bodies that have been held for about two years. Most notably among the terrorist returned is Samir Kantar, who after killing a man in front of his four year old daughter, caved the daughters skull in with the but of his rifle. He was treated like a hero and greeted with much fan fair, including high government officials, upon his return; disgusting.

While getting the two bodies back is certainly something positive to come out of this, there were almost certainly be negative repercussions. The released terrorists have already pledged to continue fighting against Israel, and the group is left thinking/knowing that kidnapping will work. It also takes the incentive out of keeping captives alive.

It is good that two families finally have a body to close a sad chapter in their lives, but it may reduce the chances of getting the third missing soldier back alive. It also increases the likelihood of more kidnapping attempts.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

United States Official to Join Talks With Iran

A top United States diplomat will reportedly join the talks with Iran. This is in the continuing effort to find a peaceful solution to prevent Iran from producing nuclear weapons. Iran continues to deny that their nuclear program is for anything other than peaceful purposes, but most are skeptical of that claim. Below is an excerpt from the Washington Post.

Washington Post

"The Bush administration will send a senior envoy this weekend to international talks with Iran about its nuclear program in what U.S. officials described as a "one-time deal" designed to demonstrate a serious desire to negotiate a solution to the impasse over Tehran's ambitions.

In a significant departure from long-standing policy, Undersecretary of State William J. Burns will join a scheduled meeting in Geneva between European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana and top Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, according to a senior State Department official.

Burns, State's third-ranking official, will not negotiate with the Iranians nor hold separate meetings, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the decision had not yet been announced. Instead, Burns will advance the White House's position that serious negotiations can begin only after Iran suspends uranium enrichment.

This situation in Iran is one of the most potentially disastrous world wide. Iran is a major supporter of terrorism, and neither the United States nor Israel would consider a nuclear armed Iran acceptable. It is believed that Iran could be as little as six months away from having nuclear weapons if they are not convinced to halt their program.

If Iran can not be convinced to end its nuclear weapons program a conflict seems inevitable. Since a ground invasion seems unlikely, an air and missile attack is the probable alternative. Such an attack, executed correctly, would likely be successful in setting back Iran for a number of years. Even if the attack goes off with out a hitch, and the attacker (likely either the United States or Israel) takes minimal to no casualties, and Iran takes minimal collateral damage, the effects would still reverberate through out the world.

Iran's response would likely be at the very least to stop exporting oil, and they are in the perfect position to disrupt the exports from that region. The effects of that, well, you can probably imagine.

So, hopefully this new diplomatic tactic will work. I am not holding my breath, but nothing else has seemed to work. If this fails, the world may have to decide between military confrontation and a nuclear armed Iran.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Google Makes Politicians Speeches Searchable

Google unveiled a new tool that makes it possible to search politicians speeches. You can then jump to the point in the video where the politician said the words you were searching for. This will make it much easier for the average political observer to keep politicians honest. It will also make it almost impossible for the politicians to get away with anything. This technology will likely spread to all videos at some point, but for now it is only available on the political channel of

"Today, the Google speech team (part of Google Research) is launching the Google Elections Video Search gadget, our modest contribution to the electoral process. With the help of our speech recognition technologies, videos from YouTube's Politicians channels are automatically transcribed from speech to text and indexed. Using the gadget you can search not only the titles and descriptions of the videos, but also their spoken content. Additionally, since speech recognition tells us exactly when words are spoken in the video, you can jump right to the most relevant parts of the videos you find."

Update: More Thoughts at -

Monday, July 14, 2008

Bush Lifts Executive Ban on Offshore Drilling

President Bush has announces a lift on the executive ban to drill for oil offshore. He has called for congress to follow suit. In my opinion, its about time. I am all for alternative energy sources, and I believe in conserving as well. Both conserving and alternative energy sources won't solve the problem. While there may be some speculation at play, the biggest problem is a crunch in supply with souring demand. With countries like India and China in an economic boom, they are requiring more and more oil. Add to this that most oil exports emanate from the unstable Middle East, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Congress should quickly follow suit with President Bush and allow for offshore oil drilling. The increase in supply will bring the prices down, or at least help prevent them from going up. Some say that it could take between 7-10 years for any oil to be produced once the new sources are officially available. With prices where they are, others predict it is more likely that it would be between 3-5 years. Start Now!

If we had started when we were first warned nearly 40 years ago the oil would be flowing. We have been warned about the coming oil pinch for so many times it is almost sad. Should we do nothing for the next 5 year, the same people are going to be saying that drilling will not help because it would be 10 years from then that we would see and new oil.

People who think we are feeling a pinch now are going to be in for a very rude awakening in the coming years if nothing is done. That assumes a relatively stable world. Now think of what would happen if any of those unstable countries for one reason or another stop exporting oil. Worse yet, there instability spills into other countries and prevents their oil from being exported as well. This scenario is becoming increasingly more likely as Israel, the United States, and Iran are travailing full speed toward a military showdown.

We needed new oil sources 40 years ago. We need new oil sources today. We will need new oil sources for the relatively near term foreseeable future. Start drilling now and help stem the tide of what could truly be one of the worst economic disasters the world has ever seen.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Newseum is a museum with a nice online presence. Perhaps the best feature on the website is their glimpse of front pages from newspapers around the world. They are posted daily, and have an archive for some of big important events of history.

The daily updated front pages can be viewed at

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Tony Snow, Dead at the Age of 53

Tony Snow died at 2:00 AM today. He had a long an diversified career in media and in politics. Our condolences go out to his wife and children.

You can read a more in depth report at,2933,381250,00.html

Friday, July 11, 2008

Black Hole = Racist ... What?

According to conventional physics, a “Black Hole” refers to a phenomenon where matter gets so densely packed that gravity becomes strong enough to prevent light from escaping. With not light emanating from the black hole nor reflecting off of it, it appears dark; hence the name “Black Hole.” You could theoretically see objects swirling into the black hole and light bending around it. Once anything passes the event horizon, it is doomed to swirl into the center of the black hole never to escape. There are a few theories that suggest it is possible to matter to escape after passing the event horizon, but that is not the point of this post.

To (hopefully) most people, a black hole is just that. Any connotation drawn from the phrase out of the astrological context is interpreted to mean essentially a chasm from which nothing leaves. Not so to Commissioner John Wiley Price. He took offense to the term “Black Hole” considering it racist.

A special meeting about Dallas County traffic tickets turned tense and bizarre this afternoon.
County commissioners were discussing problems with the central collections office that is used to process traffic ticket payments and handle other paperwork normally done by the JP Courts.

Commissioner Kenneth Mayfield, who is white, said it seemed that central collections "has become a black hole" because paperwork reportedly has become lost in the office.

Commissioner John Wiley Price, who is black, interrupted him with a loud "Excuse me!" He then corrected his colleague, saying the office has become a "white hole."

That prompted Judge Thomas Jones, who is black, to demand an apology from Mayfield for his racially insensitive analogy.

Mayfield shot back that it was a figure of speech and a science term.

Not to get deeper into science, but there is such a thing as a “White Hole.” In theoretical physics, a white hole is the exact opposite of a black hole. In simple terms, while a black hole traps matter, a white hole is constantly emitting it. The practical effect would be that the white hole would be light, hence the “white.”

This is so ridiculous. Using the word black in a sentence does not make you a racist. If something is dark or lacking in sufficient light, it should be ok to refer to it as black. Racism is still a problem in some areas, but story like this only serve to detract from the cause of putting a stop to racism.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Base Ball Boss is a website where you can take baseball players from different years and put them together on the same team. You then play other potentially temporal mixed teams.

If you are an avid baseball fan you should go check it out.

Feel free to come back here and comment with your team name, and to challenge others who do the same.

Interesting Website

Every so often while perusing around the internet I find an interesting site. We have all been their. Someone makes a website that makes us think, "Why was that not done before?"

Since I am now blogging, I will post some of the more interesting ones I find under the label "Interesting Website." They will be short posts with the website address and a brief description.

Unless otherwise noted, and it will almost certainly never need to be noted, I received no compensation for mentioning a specific website.

Feel free to comment with your own interesting website discoveries.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Your Replacement is Already Here

Today I witnessed a naturalization ceremony of some 180 plus people. Though I knew none of them personally, they were clearly of different races and creeds. They had on a decent variety of cloths, and appeared to be of a wide verity of different national origins. The pride on their faces was unmistakable, as was the pride on the face of the family and friends they brought along.

What a stark contrast to all the people who are already citizens saying, "If this politician get elected, or that policy passes I am moving to ____ [foreign country]."

Of all the countries in the world, our new citizens chose to come here. They chose to throw off their allegiance to their place of origin, and swear an oath to this country. As bad as some people think we are, these new citizens believe this country to be the best in the world.

In short; for all the people contemplating leaving, go head, your replacement is already here.

Massive Lists

Massive List is a new category of posts. In deciding what products or programs to use, I find myself compiling lists of most of the top products or programs for comparing and contrasting purposes. It is also fairly apparent that most of what is listed toward the top has sticking power. What that means is that the lists tend to be useful for extended periods of time.

The way to stay at the top is to contently change to keep pace with technology. As such, listing the positives and negatives along with the features is an exercise in futility. By the time you manage to compile all that information, it is no longer correct.

Given this, the Massive Lists will be just that; alphabetically sorted lists with no or minimal commentary. To give you a head start in your own research, or if you chose to just rely on my opinion, the ones I believe to be the best will be listed at the top under the heading of "Top Picks." The ones listed in "Top Picks" will also be present in the Massive List.

Please feel free to add through the comment section any product or program you think should be added to the Massive List, or comment with your own "Top Picks."

To find the list of Massive Lists, click on the "Massive List" label.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Mozilla Breaks World Record

In case you missed it, Mozilla officially broke the (previously non existent) world record for the most downloads in 24 hours. All told, just over eight million copies were downloaded from the official site.

According to Mozilla, found both at their blog ( and the official download page for the record (

"Thanks to the support of the always amazing Mozilla community, we now hold a Guinness World Record for the most software downloaded in 24 hours. From 18:16 UTC on June 17, 2008 to 18:16 UTC on June 18, 2008, 8,002,530 people downloaded Firefox 3 and are now enjoying a safer, smarter and better Web."

Congratulations to Mozilla on breaking/setting this new Guinness World Record.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Commenting and Linking is Encouraged

While it generally goes with out saying that blogs like people to comment on their posts, there are a number of blogs out their that have turned off their comment boards.

Here at the BermanPost,you are encouraged to comment or link. Provided that is, that you follow the Comment Guidelines.

We will try to respond to every comment which seems to need one either on the comment board where it first appeared, or in a new post.

If instead, or in addition, you care to have a link debate/discution, we will partisipate.

If you do not understand what this means, follow the steps below:
1) Someone reads one of our posts.
2) They feel the need to comment or respond to something we said.
3) They make their own blog post linking back to the one they read.
4) They Email us letting us know or we find out in anther way.
5) We make a new blog post responding to what they posted, linking to their post.
6) We contact them to let them know.
7) Repeat as long as necessary.

We hope to hear from you soon

Sunday, July 6, 2008

"You do not have to win to be victorious."

"You do not have to win to be victorious."
Quote by Andrew Berman

Think pyrrhic victory.

Please feel free to comment on your interpretation of this quote.

"Fight, even if you know you can not win."

"Fight, even if you know you can not win."
Quote by Andrew Berman

When confronted with adversity, the worst thing you can do is give up. What follows is a list of reasons.

1) You might be wrong - When push comes to shove, people find inner strength they didn't know they had. You may win the battle you once thought was hopeless.

2) Protect others - Chances are, you are not the first to be confronted with this injustice and if you do not fight back you will not be the last. By fighting back you may dissuade the perpetrator from doing the same injustice to the next person.

3) Reduce the reward - Generally, the reason the injustice is being perpetrated against you is because the perpetrator is reaping some sort of reward. By fighting back you are likely reducing that reward.

4) "You do not have to win to be victorious" - Follow the link to this quotes own post for an explanation.

Please feel free to comment on your interpretation of this quote.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Comment Guidelines

While this blog is still young, it seems important to set some guidelines for commenting.

1) Minimize profanity - it is possible to get your point across without resorting to cursing. Using that type of language rarely helps, and often takes away from your point. While it is sometimes useful depending on the context, overuse diminishes what ever value it may have had.

2) Avoid personal attacks - It is acceptable and even encouraged to have a passionate debate about the topic. It is not acceptable to attack people.

3) Keep with the topic - While debates are a good thing, make sure they are relevant to the post the comment is going with.

4) Feel free to link your comment to your blog or other website - As long as your comment is more than a thinly veiled attempt at advertising your own webpage, you can add your sites URL in your tag line along with your name.

5) No Spam - This needs no explanation, just be sure that your comment doesn't look like spam.

6) No Illegal Posting - this includes no solicitation or sales of illegal materials will be permitted to remain on this site, and be sure to quote and site properly if applicable.

Note: the opinions of commenter's are their own. Just because I do not take them down in no way means I agree with them.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day

While many of you are out grilling and/or enjoying a nice fireworks display, take some time to think about all who have come before you. Well over one million people have given up their lives in the preservation of this great country since that history altering declaration made more than two hundred years ago.

While people in this country do not always agree, the noble ideas of our Founding Fathers continue to act as a beacon for which we strive. Freedom, Justice, Equality; these are not just words, they are goals that we have pursued since our creation.

In our quest we have unquestionably changed the course of human history. Democracy’s are on the march. When we started our journey there was only a handful of other democratic countries. Now, democracies are a majority. Free market capitalism has brought wealth to much of the world. A tiny fraction of our countless technological pursuits have seen mankind fly like the birds, land on the moon, and connect people all over the world with the simple mouse click. Today people live longer, healthier, happier lives.

Besides bringing an end to World Ware One, World War Two, and the Cold War, we have almost completely stamped out slavery, fascism, communism, and other extremist or oppressive ideologies. For the last century, all we have asked in return for our blood and treasure spent protecting the world is just enough land to bury our dead. Here at home, while we are not perfect, we are closer than ever to truly ridding ourselves of sexism, racial intolerance, religious bigotry, and other forms of discrimination.

Enjoy your burgers, hotdogs, chicken, or choice of veggie substitute. Be dazzled by the sparkling lights in the sky. Today is certainly a day worthy of celebration. Just be sure to take a minute to think about those to who we all owe a debt of gratitude.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Introduction - Andrew Berman

The Berman Post is not my first venture into the media world. I have already participated in at least seven news or media organizations. The first was my brief participation in Blind Brook's (my high school) newspaper, the Focus though not always under my real name.

After starting at Manhattanville (college), I joined the Touchstone, which was my second. When I joined it was the only college publication that came out more than once a year. Working for the Touchstone I advanced from a journalist, to the Business Editor/Manager, to the Assistant Editor (the number two spot, just under the Editor-in-Chief).

The Summer after my junior year I became an intern for The Heritage Foundation. More specifically, I was a Communications and Marketing intern. While their I had two articles published in my name, including one on Fox News, as a well as helping with a number of other published without my name.

While at Manhattanville I founded and was the Editor-in-Chief of the Right World View. After some unfortunate events (their is of course a much longer story here, but this is not the time or place) I no longer worked for the Touchstone. With my time freed up and then reinvested, I was able to turn the Right World View into the dominant Manhattanville publication surpassing the Touchstone in every quantifiable category with the sole exception of longevity. For a partial list, you can look at the Records and Accomplishments page. The Right World View continues to be a dominant force at Manhattanville.

Also while at Manhattanville, I ran the first, and only, Student Government Newsletter. This was from my position of Chair of the Finance Board (VP of Student Government).

After graduating from college, I briefly worked for Home Town Media Group, a local news paper.

Lastly (so far), I helped found the Cardozo Jurist, and took the position of Associate Executive Editor as a 1L (first year student) at
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

All, or most of the articles that I have written for the various publications can be found in this blog. To find them you can look through the archives or click on the label
"Imported Work".

Please note that where possible, I will usually copy the articles from the source, and as such they may be slightly modified from my original work.

Update: I became the Business Manager of the Cardozo Jurist in the first issue of the second year.

(Note: Not all the my Past Works have been imported yet; it is a continuing process.)

Introducing the Berman Post

Welcome to the Berman Post. My name is Andrew Berman and I am the founder of this blog. While the Berman Post is not a niche blog, most of my posts will be focused on the news, advice, commentary, research, politics, technology, or random interesting musings. I may add some interesting quotes that I come up with as well. As other people join, if other people join, they will likely have their own focuses. These may overlap with others, or may not.

Please note that while this is the first Berman Post blog post, my older work is included with the correct dates. These older works will be clearly labeled "Imported Work" and have a time stamp of 12:01 AM; if their is more than one for the same day the time stamp will be 12:01 + 00:01 for each additional work. Articles or writings that I do outside the Berman Post will also be included where possible and appropriate using the same protocol.

If you would like to join the a Berman Post, email

If you would like to submit a guest post, email your post to Please be sure to include instructions with your email (sign real name, sign tag name, post email, post URL...). If no instructions are received with the email we will include both your name and email in the post. Also, if accepted, your guest post will be published as is; read unedited.

Disclaimer: The views of each writer reflect only the views of that writer, not on anyone one else affiliated with the Berman Post nor the site itself. This is also true for guest posts.
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