Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Amazon reviews

Today has been a little intense at work, so I found myself in need of something to take my mind off it. Talking with a work colleague about incredibly expensive high-end audio equipment reminded me about Denon's $500 ethernet cable, something which usually costs about $1/m. While Googling for a good reference to it, I came across Amazon's review page of the cable, and laughed until I cried.

based on the superb reviews, I am buying this fabled equipment as a gift for my wife, in time for our 4th anniversary. I think it would make for a beautiful necklace.

I bought this cable but it refused to plug into my Samsung and Pioneer equipment. When I forced it to connect with them anyway, it killed itself in shame. So I ordered a replacement, but instead of plugging it into inferior devices I plugged it into my Apple Powerbook. There was a brief shudder in the room and a wormhole formed where my bedroom wall had been.

I'm kicking myself for not buying on Amazon. I picked up this bad boy in a retail store for what I thought was a bargain closeout price of $749.99, but logging on here, I realize that stupid Radio Shack has ripped me off yet again.

I bought this cable for my new HiFi system because I heard that this is the same one that industry professionals rely on every day for their most complex sound patterns.

As a stress test, I used my stereo with this new cable to watch an Eddie Izzard standup routine I'd recorded on VHS. Let me tell you, the difference in sound was PHENOMENAL. With this new cable, I can suddenly understand every word he says as if he were speaking in a Midwestern American accent. Also, now the tape shows him dressed in men's clothes. For this, I give Denon ten stars.

However, there are some drawbacks to this wonderful new technology. My CDs still skip occasionally, although I probably just need to throw out my audio rack and invest in building a new one from scratch--I doubt the cable is at fault. Also, whenever I try to give it a bath, it refuses to let me remove its nylon covering, or allow me to be in the room when it is bare. However, I suppose this should be expected from a higher quality product. When I buy my companionship, the more expensive ones are a little more particular about nudity protocol.

Overall, an excellent investment for anyone who needs a friend.

Suddenly life doesn't seem so bad, although I do have a bit of a stitch from laughing.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Time to polish those crystal balls

In the summer of 2006, The Guardian announced:

Scientists know a lot about how events will unfold...which means that whatever we do, our climate destiny is fixed for the next few decades... Rainfall will decline in the summer and the increased deluges in winter will struggle to replenish thirsty reservoirs because much of the water will run off the baked ground.

Roll forward two years, and The Daily Telegraph has this to say:

The second wet summer in succession has left water levels in many reservoirs at the highest levels seen in recent memory... "It is really exceptional, I've never known it so full at the end of August," he said... Usually you would expect it to be 50 per cent down at this time of year."
In south west England Wimbleball and Burrator reservoirs in Dartmoor are at 100 per cent of their capacity, creating a dramatic waterfall effect as excess water flows over a weir in a storage area.

Sometimes I get the feeling that a Magic 8 ball would be more useful than reading what the mainstream media has to say about the climate's future.

While you're at it, have a read of Christopher Booker's article on the politics behind the IPCC and the "consensus" that climate change is caused by man's activities, particularly related to CO2. Our governments are planning on spending $45 trillion on fighting climate change, but the supporting evidence is being shown to be increasing unreliable, if not purely fictitious.

As an example, the infamous "hockey stick" graph, showing centuries of level temperatures until recent decades when temperatures swing upwards, is a complete fabrication:

When, with great difficulty, they eventually persuaded Mann to hand over his data, it turned out he had built into his programme an algorithm which would produce a hockey stick shape whatever data were fed into it. Even numbers from the phonebook would come out looking like a hockey stick.


As it was put by Roger Cohen, a senior US physicist formerly involved with the IPCC process, who long accepted its orthodoxy: "I was appalled at how flimsy the case is. I was also appalled at the behaviour of many of those who helped produce the IPCC reports and by many of those who promote it.


"In particular I am referring to the arrogance, the activities aimed at shutting down debate; the outright fabrications; the mindless defense of bogus science; and the politicisation of the IPCC process and the science process itself."

So next time that you hear how much the government wants to put up taxes to pay for climate change programs, ask yourself what basis they have for doing it.