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Articles: 2009 June

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Are We Done Yet?
Tuesday, 2009 June 30 - 1:37 pm
The Minnesota Supreme Court has ordered that Al Franken be certified as the winner of last November's Senate election. Should the Senate proceed with seating Franken next week, that will give the Democrats a filibuster-proof 60-seat majority in the Senate.

Coleman may still pursue challenges in federal court, but dude... just give up already. The race is over; you lost.

Let the Republican agonizing and wailing begin. (Or perhaps I should say, continue.)
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Posted by Ken in: politics

Back in Blog
Tuesday, 2009 June 30 - 12:38 pm
So, I'm back from a ten-day trip to Japan, hence the long hiatus. I wrote some stuff about Japan earlier and my observations about it haven't changed much... so excuse the re-blog-cycling, but you can just go back and read that older post.

Amy's already posted some photos on Facebook. I'll put some photos here soon, perhaps this weekend.

Oh, in other news? Mom and Dad are now reading my blog. I'll, uh, try not to let that affect my writing.
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Posted by Ken in: life

Sarah Palin says Letterman owes women an apology
Friday, 2009 June 12 - 12:17 pm
In case you hadn't heard the furor about David Letterman and Sarah Palin, the gist of it is that Letterman made a joke about stripper-chasing baseball player Alex Rodriguez having sex with Palin's daughter. The reference was clearly about Bristol, Palin's teenage daughter who was infamously pregnant during last year's elections. But Palin took the reference to be about her fourteen-year-old daughter Willow, who was traveling with her at the time.

So, Sarah Palin was outraged. OUTRAGED! And now she's demanding that Letterman apologize to all women.

Ms. Palin: David Letterman is a comedian who makes cheap jokes at the expense of public figures. You are a public figure, and you seemed to have no qualms about prominently featuring your visibly-pregnant daughter Bristol during your campaign. So Letterman has every right to ridicule you both. Was the joke in poor taste? Perhaps, as are many jokes that are made in late night TV. Does Letterman need to apologize to all women for this? No.

The person who needs to apologize to all women, Ms. Palin, is you. You've spent your life advancing yourself on your looks and your folksy charm instead of intelligence and actual qualifications, and that's precisely the opposite of what feminism is about. You are not the standard bearer for women's rights. The only women you seem to defend are yourself and those in your own family. Did you defend Hillary Clinton when she felt attacked by the media? No. Did you defend rape victims in Wasilla when you required them to purchase their own rape kits? No.

No, you're just using any opportunity you can to stay in the media spotlight during the long run-up to the 2012 elections. If you don't think that's utterly transparent to everyone in the country, then you're even dumber than you look.
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Posted by Ken in: politicstelevision

Apple WWDC Announcements
Monday, 2009 June 8 - 8:35 pm
A few Apple goings-on today from the World Wide Developer Conference, for those who haven't been following:

iPhone 3GS. Apple announced slightly improved iPhone, with a faster processor, faster 3G networking, more storage, longer battery life, an improved 3 megapixel camera with autofocus, video recording, and a compass. It comes at the same price points as the previous iPhone, $199 and $299 (for 16GB and 32GB) with a two-year AT&T contract. Apple is also selling the previous-generation iPhone 3G for $99, which might bring in a lot of entry-level buyers.

Macbook Pro. Two announcements here: an upgraded 15" MBP with an improved screen, twice the RAM (4GB standard), and a faster CPU. The battery is now integrated and non-replaceable, but it's a lithium-polymer long-lasting battery like in the 17" model. An SD card slot replaces the ExpressCard slot; Apple says that very few users made use of the ExpressCard slot except to add a media card reader. There's also now an entry-level model at $1699, with only the Nvidia GeForce 9400M instead of the dual-GPU option in the higher-end models.

The 13" Aluminum Macbook is now a 13" MacBook Pro; it gets the Firewire port back (now FW800) and gains an SD card slot also. Now only the white Macbook is called a "Macbook". It was recently speed-bumped also.

Macbook Air. The main news is that it's now cheaper; it starts at $1499.

The rest of the WWDC keynote speech was devoted to descriptions about iPhone OS 3.0 and the upcoming Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard" update. One tidbit: the Snow Leopard update will be just $29; Apple (rightly) figures that customers won't shell out a full $129 for a bunch of largely-invisible under-the-hood improvements. (Cough Windows 7 cough).

iPhone OS 3.0 will support MMS and tethering (finally), but AT&T won't support either until later this summer. There's no word on pricing plans for tethering, but judging from AT&T's tethering plans for other phones, it'll be pricey.
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Posted by Ken in: techwatch

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