6/30/11

Bearded Men Singing from the Heart, Part 74



Easy beard

I hate Facebook

I really do. But I have to play there to appease all my Facebook lovin' friends. Here's hoping Google+ can actually take over. Two reasons why it might:

First, it's not Facebook, and I'm not the only Facebook hater. 






Second, it's a second chance at your online persona. Ezra Klein explains:

At this point, most of us have Facebook friends dating back to three or four distinct eras in the evolution of social networking. That’s made it very hard to know how to use your Facebook account. I, for one, have mostly stopped using mine. I don’t want to annoy my acquaintances with the content I want to send my closer friends, nor do I want to annoy my closer friends with the content suitable for my acquaintances. 
Facebook has tools for managing all this, but they’re hard and awkward to use. Will people notice that they suddenly can’t see your photographs anymore? If you defriend them, will they take it personally? Do I have time to defriend 400 people? What I need, and what I think a lot of other people need, is an opportunity to start over. But you can’t start over on Facebook. That’s awkward. And no other social network has sufficient density to make joining worthwhile. 
That’s where I could imagine Google+ coming in. It’s not that any of its features are so revolutionary. It’s not that it’s better at doing social networking than Facebook. It’s that it’s an opportunity to start over, to build your social network with years of Facebook experience in mind, rather than having to face the accretion of mistakes and miscalculations you made over almost a decade of trial-and-error with a new technology. It’s not Facebook’s fault that “what it means” to have a Facebook account has changed four or five times over the last few years, even as most of us have only had one profile over that period. But it is an opportunity for Google.
But mostly it's because I hate Facebook.

6/27/11

Bearded Men Singing from the Heart, Part 71



Prog-rock jumpsuit beard

What you need to know about Lulzsec

"Everyone at LulzSec is either an angsty teen or a manchild who kept too much interest in Anonymous without going into Scientology protests. Their 1337 hacking kit most likely involves Tor, LOIC and a green-on-black reskin for command line." … via this nsfw and offensive site.

6/23/11

Bearded Men Singing from the Heart, Part 69



The Beardsmith

Project Kleinrock: Harnessing the crazy

I've been thinking about Kleinrock Routers. The reasons are crazy: The President is not going to shut down the internet.

But the method to the madness is pretty awesome. We've flooded our urban centers with IP-routing radio boards, owned and operated by regular folks. So if we (the people) wanted to, we could just set up our own internet!

Ironically, in more forward thinking nations the wi-fi is free and controlled by the government. If everything goes to hell and we actually need a Kleinrock network, it will work a lot better in places where the free market was the only law. 

6/22/11

Bearded Men Singing from the Heart, Part 68



Foo beard

Just parking this to refer to at a later point

If we do nothing, on the other hand, the budget deficit shrinks a lot. As Annie Lowrey recently explained, “[D]oing nothing allows all kinds of fiscal changes that politicians generally abhor to take effect automatically.” David Leonhardt added, “As federal law currently stands, some significant tax increases are set to take effect in coming years.” 
This isn’t popular to say, but if policymakers simply leave the status quo in place, and let nature take its course, taxes will return to Clinton-era rates, the Affordable Care Act will save us a lot of money, and the deficit will shrink considerably. | Benen |

6/15/11

6/14/11

There was another Republican debate

Some thoughts:

Romneybot 9000 did a bang up job. My favorite bit was where he calmly explained that Sharia law was not going to take over any courtroom in America, because we have our own Constitution. This is a huge insult to the Tea Party crazies, but delivered in such a way that they are unlikely to understand it as an insult. Essentially, it was a signal to the rest of the Republican party that he could reign in the crazies.

Rick Santorum did a pretty good job. He is definitely trying to ride Paul Ryan's plan all the way to the moon.

Bachmann was way more polished than I thought she would be. She's a contender. Like Rick Perry, she's like a Sarah Palin who can tell you what magazines she reads.

Ron Paul and Newt were supposed to bring the fun, but they both seemed old and tired.

My boy H-Bomb didn't do so well. I was hoping he'd eke it out a bit longer, but it's plausible that this was his last debate.

Final thought: Republicans have lots of kids! Bachmann took first prize by having five kids and having fostered twenty-three. Ron Paul gets honorary mention for having delivered 4000 babies.

Added bits about Romney's true status as a robot:




Bearded Men Singing from the Heart, Part 62



Soul beard

War is not the answer

6/9/11

Bearded Men Singing from the Heart, Part 59



Cover beard

BMSFTH Special Note: First father and son to appear in the series. Shooter Jennings is the son of Bearded Man #29 Waylon Jennings.

BMSFTH Trivia: This is not the first cover song to appear in the series. Can you name the first?

6/7/11

Herman Cain explains it all. Sort of.

H-Bomb makes a quite sensible point:
Asked why more African Americans haven't joined him at tea party rallies and conservative conventions like the Faith And Family Conference in DC this weekend, the millionaire ex-CEO has a different explanation. African Americans, Cain told TPM, are too poor to tea party.
"They can't afford to," Cain said. "So I think the first reason is economics. If you just look at the sheer economics of it."
"If you look at the typical income of a black family of four it's going to be lower than a non-black or white family of four," he explained. "Generally speaking on average, white families are much more economically prosperous than black families. So, many black families don't have the economic flexibility to go to a CPAC conference."
Most tea partiers, Cain said, "own their own business, or they have the type of job where they have the flexibility where they can go to the rally."
"Or they're retired," he added.
That's just not the kind of job African Americans have, he said.
Very sensible. African Americans could never take the time off from work to gather for rallies like this. But the Tea Partiers can make a real party of it!

So there you have it, straight from Herman Cain: The Tea Party is a party of dilettantes! 

Bearded Men Singing from the Heart, Part 57



Southern beards

6/3/11

Bearded Men Singing from the Heart, Part 54



Bloc beard

There's not yet an app for that

My friend Suzie called me up yesterday and asked me if I wanted to try kerdazzler with her.

What's a kerdazzler, I asked.

"It's the latest synthetic from Germany," she told me. "It's a blend of smart drugs plus a new ecstasy variant. It's supposed to be really fun."

I'm a father now, and so I shouldn't be taking experimental brain frying chemicals, even if they are from Germany. But I didn't think Suzie had that kind of hook up these days, so I was curious where she'd gotten it.

"I got 10 of them from some guy on the Silk Road," she told me.

I may not have heard of kerdazzler, but I have indeed heard of the Silk Road. It's a deep-ish web anarcho-marketplace where you can get just about anything, using a "peer to peer" currency called BitCoin.

The Silk Road has a cool name, but it's pretty meh. Even when I was into that kind of thing, those sorts of forums are dead by the time I find out about them. Bitcoins, on the other hand, are pretty intriguing. It's a blue-sky attempt to create a currency that has no governmental controlling authority, which if it worked, would be a major step towards the techno-uptopia I keep hearing about.

This guy makes a pretty good case that Bitcoin won't last (he calls it a "scam," but really it's more of a collective gamble). And it's true that bitcoin doesn't have the advantages of currency that's backed by the full faith and credit of a sovereign nation. But that doesn't mean it couldn't be--at least--version dot.1 of a new way doing things.

I asked Suzie how much the kerdazzler had cost.

"About 30 bitcoin," she said. Wow, I said, that's about 300 bucks!

"Not for me, I mined those bitcoins myself. I've got an array of six Mac Pros, churning away at it day and night."

Uh, okay, I said. How much did those Macs cost?

"Lots and lots!"
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