News today that the government possessed an intelligence estimate stating Iran suspended nuclear weapon research back in 2003. Despite this, for the past several months the Bush administration has been drum beating about the dangers of Iran and tossing around terms like “World War III”. Today, President Bush had to face the music regarding the NIE and told reporters he “wasn’t briefed” about the information. For all intents and purposes, the leader of the free world said “My dog ate my homework.”

I don’t particularly like Joe Biden. He’s too much of an attention hound for my taste, but his perspective on this matter is none-the-less dead on:

“Are you telling me a president that’s briefed every single morning, who’s fixated on Iran, is not told back in August that the tentative conclusion of 16 intelligence agencies in the U.S. government said they had abandoned their effort for a nuclear weapon in ’03?” Biden asked in a conference call with reporters.”

If George W. Bush “wasn’t briefed” about the current state of Iran’s efforts or lack thereof to obtain nuclear weapons, who was? Isn’t it the President’s job to know which countries are really a threat and which are just paying lip service? Isn’t he the Decider in Chief?

Bush is lying. Again. Anyone who says differently is selling something.

UPDATE: Joe Scarborough agrees with me. The conclusion is really inescapable.

UPDATE II: Well what do you know? CNN now reports that Bush was informed in August that Iran had indeed suspended their nuclear program. So according to the White House’s own press release, Bush was lying. At the very least, he wasn’t being truthful when he said he “wasn’t briefed”. I am speechless.

Is Thurrott Laughing Yet?

December 3, 2007

A full six months after the hugely successful launch of Nintendo’s innovative Wii game console, PC and Windows “analysts” Paul Thurrott published a predictable piece about how Microsoft’s XBOX 360 was the console to beat. Despite Thurrott’s own “concerns about the 360’s reliability” he still felt that consumers would choose the XBOX over both the PS3 and especially the Nintendo Wii. He remarkably advised that except for parents with very young children, all others should “skip out on this console”, and called the Nintendo Wii “a joke”.

It’s now seven months later and the Wii buying season is upon us for the second time. The funny thing is, people are still lining up to get their hands on a Nintendo Wii. This weekend, I went to Best Buy here in Greensboro to finish up my Christmas shopping and arrived a bit before they opened at 10am. What I found was a line of about 50 people waiting outside the store. What were they waiting for? Had they braved the chilly morning air since 7am to snap up an XBOX 360 and a copy of Halo 3? Not in the least. The majority of these people were waiting to earn a chance to take home one of 18 Wii’s the store manager later told me had come in for the week. As I walked past the line I was reminded of Thurrott’s column and knew I couldn’t resist the urge to say “I told you so.”

In the span of less than a year, Wii sales have far outpaced those of the XBOX 360. I challenge you to walk into any electronics or toy store today and walk out with a Wii. People still can’t easily get a hold of the console, even though Nintendo ramped up production to 1.8 million units a month. If the Wii is a joke, then it’s one Nintendo’s laughing all the way to the bank. Depsite Microsoft’s success with Halo 3, Nintendo is making money hand over fist with each Wii sold. Not so for Microsoft, or especially SONY’s PS3, where margins are miniscule.

The Wii has once again secured Nintendo’s place in the halls of gaming history and proven that flashy graphics and all the cash in the world don’t make up for innovation, solid game play and word of mouth. Best of all though, it has shown that like many things he writes about, Paul Thurrott doesn’t have the first clue. I’m looking forward to playing Super Mario Galaxy over my holiday break and I hope all those people waiting in front of Best Buy this morning eventually get to play too. If you’re still on a quest for a Wii, remember to keep an eye out for one for Thurrott. After he takes his fifth or sixth XBOX back for repairs, maybe he’ll start to give Nintendo the respect they so rightfully deserve.

PS – I’m already bookmarking this gem that says Super Mario Galaxy sales figures won’t live up to expectations. With this kind of crack analysis from TheStreet.com, you know it’s got to be reliable.

Confess Your Crushes

December 1, 2007

Did David Cassidy get you twitter-pated? Was Phoebe Cates your first boyhood love? Did you write Mrs. Corey Haim over and over in your spiral bound notebook? If so, here’s your guilt-free chance to tell it to the world! That’s right, it’s Childhood Crush Confession 101 where Internet bloggers of all generations can give a shout out to all those people you thought you were in love with as a kid. The rules are simple. Select at least five of your favorite celebrities that you went ga-ga over when you were growing up, and post them this coming Thursday, December 6th on your blog. Tell us why they lit that special fire deep inside your soul and provide pictures to the crushes in question if you can. Send me a permalink to your post (or your blog in the interim) and I’ll provide a running list here of all the bloggers that are participating. Feel free to cross-link to your fellow confessors if the mood should strike you. Thanks to Twitter, we already have David Miller and Dave Caolo joining in, so don’t just stand there! Dig out those notes you passed around in class, and dust off those old VHS tapes of Family Ties and get writing people!

List of Participating Blogs:

gedblog
Living In the now
• Kaylow
Cocoia Blog
nergalicious
Momisodes
Russian Mafia Babe

Cry Me A River

November 29, 2007

I gotta say, I just read the funniest thing on some Greensboro, right-wing blogs. Evidently CNN’s broadcast of the Republican debate was a total farce, some might even say a “setup”, and now CNN should be boycotted. It was so funny, I almost did a spit-take. You know the kind when you’re drinking something and you hear or see something so funny that you literally spit your drink out with that “ppppfffffttt!” sound? Yeah, that.

I never get tired of hearing cries from the right about how the MSM (that’s the main stream media for you less informed out there) is liberally biased. According to those in the know, every major media outlet is slanted left these days. This CNN/YouTube thing is just the latest in a long line of hippy drenched, pot-smoking, birkenstock wearing propaganda all designed to make even more of us hate George W. Bush than the 73% of us that do now.

So ignore the over 250 newspapers published daily by right-wing media mogul Rupert Murdoch, the highest rated news network on the planet, Fox News, the most listened to neo-cons on talk radio, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Neil Boortz and just remember that CNN can’t ask legitimate questions about Giuliani, an adulterer that spent tax payer’s money to have his love trysts paid for, all the while overlooking the hole in the ground that used to be the World Trade Center. Cause that would be biased.

P.S. – CNN does it to the left too. So as Taylor says “Deal with it!”

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video must be worth a googolplex, right? Yesterday Panic & The Iconfactory released CandyBar 3 for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and it has been greeted with open arms by Mac users and icon enthusiasts alike. There’s a great deal of new stuff packed into this release, not the least of which is the blending of CandyBar 2 and Pixadex 2 into a single, unified whole. I thought an easy way to show some of these cool new features was to make a quick guided tour. Video artifacts and nervous jabber aside, I think you’ll find it helpful.

To get the complete skinny and download a free trial version, point your favorite web browser to the CandyBar Home page over at Panic.com. Then surf on over to the Iconfactory and download tons of great, free icon sets and their accompanying Leopard dock styles. Have fun and thanks for watching!

UPDATE: The guys over at MacMost have put together their own screencast of CandyBar 3 and it’s pretty nice. They show how you can manually drop in dock images instead of using just iContainers, which is something I didn’t cover in my overview. Check it out.

Regular visitors to my blog know that I occasionally dabble in submarine sandwich reviews. I’ve not reviewed a new sub place in a while, so this should serve as a stopgap until the next write-up. In all of my reviews, I use a “Yummie Scale” to rate the overall taste, appearance and value of the sub. At the bottom of this scale is Subway which rates a 1. At the opposite end of the extreme is Dibella’s Old Fashion Subs based in New York and Ohio which rates a 9. I grew addicted to Dibella’s when I went to school at R.I.T. and have never found anything that comes even close to them anywhere else. My friend Talos recently went up north for Thanksgiving and was kind enough to bring back Dibella’s subs for all of us at the Iconfactory, which gave me a chance to do this detailed guide explaining just what makes Dibella’s so good.

With my Dibella’s Godfather sub in hand (thanks to Talos), I made the rounds to some of the sub shops I frequent around Greensboro. The three that I chose were Giacomo’s Italian Market on New Garden Road, Subway (does it matter where?) and Jimmy John’s at the Quaker Village Shopping Plaza. I ordered the same basic Italian sub at each location to try and level the playing field as much as possible. The first tell-tale sign of a good sub is the cross section. Click the thumbnail image here to get a detailed look at the four subs by cross section as well as how they stack up by price.

Everyone from students to working folk appreciate the value of a buck. How that buck stretches when it comes to subs varies from place to place. This photo shows the dramatic difference of just what six bucks will get you around the Triad and how that compares to Dibella’s. If anyone knows a place in Greensboro or Winston that has 14″ subs for $7.50, please write and let me know.

The key to any good submarine sandwich is the bread. In my opinion, as your humble sub reviewer, sub rolls should be crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Some places like Subway have what amounts to pathetic excuses for bread and it’s important that you know the difference. The sub places around the Triad seem to all use similar bread recipes and it’s starting to tick me off. If you own a deli, for the love of the sub, look here and study well. Our stomachs will thank you later.

So there you have it. The next time I get a chance to write up a Triad Sub Review, you can refer back to this handy comparison chart to get a better sense of all those things I’ll be talking about. Of course, you may not even enjoy submarine sandwiches, in which case you probably didn’t even read this far in the first place. What do I look like a mind reader?

Australians Wake Up

November 24, 2007

From Think Progress:

“Conservative Australian Prime Minister John Howard, who has been “one of President Bush’s staunchest allies,” suffered “a humiliating defeat” in national elections Saturday when the oppositional Labor Party wrested majority control of parliament away from Howard’s coalition by a 53% to 46.7% margin. Labor Party head Kevin Rudd, who is likely to replace Howard as prime minister, “has promised to immediately sign the Kyoto Protocol on global warming and withdraw Australia’s troops from Iraq.”

Looks like the nation Bush and company have been clinging to as an excuse for a number of failed policies is about to abandon him. It’s about frickin’ time. Well done Australia, well done.