Monthly Archives: March 2007

As I continue to consider what presidential hopeful I will support, the one thing I really like about Obama is he had a consistent anti-Iraq war position from the start.

For fun, I dug up my oldest blog post on Iraq. Here is the content of my blog post from 2/13/2002, over five years ago. A year before we invaded Iraq.


Iraq Next?
Alex Valentine
2/13/2002

http://slashdot.org/~asv108/journal/4976

According to this article, Secretary of State Colin Powell is going to lobby several nations for their support of a campaign in Iraq? The article says that President Bush has made up his mind that it’s the right thing to do. Not that I’m pro-Iraq or anything, I thought we should have finished them off back in 1991, but what terrorist act against US citizens did Iraq sponsor? I can’t think of one, and the main problem with this whole “War on Terrorism” is the fact that it’s going to lead to MORE TERRORISM.

The United States military presence in Saudi Arabia is what incited Osama Bin Laden in the first place. The Afghanistan campaign was just and necessary since it was a terrorist safe haven but any additional actions are going to lead to major backlash against the United States. Bush made a HUGE mistake by including Iran and North Korea in the “Axis of Evil.” Now, the political climate in Iran will be favorable for the extremists we saw in the 80’s and early 90’s. Now a country that was slowly moving towards openness and democracy is reverting back to its former political climate. Great Job G.W!

I never thought I would see the month where I agree with both Bill Gates, and Steve Ballmer, but that time has come. Ballmer characterized Google’s employee growth as “insane,” and commented about Google’s forays in just about every conceivable market.

“They’re going to double in a year. That’s insane, in my opinion,” Ballmer said Thursday during an address to students at Stanford University, near Palo Alto, Calif.

“I don’t really know that anybody’s proven that a random collection of people doing their own thing actually creates value.”

“They’re still really one business, and it’s a search and advertising business,” he said. Google’s other efforts have been “cute,” he said.

I totally agree with Ballmer about Google’s growth and their push in to other markets. It seems like Google is hiring anyone with a pulse these days, and trying to branch out in to every conceivable business activity. The growth of Google is simply unsustainable, and will lead to a dilution in the quality of their workforce and eventually the quality of their products.

A few jobs ago, I co-wrote a grant proposal for a P2P project that received a grant from the Mellon foundation. The Mellon foundation funds a variety of academic IT initiatives, including the Chandler project. There were quite a few instances were my project, called LionShare, was encouraged to collaborate with the Chandler project. A few conference calls, and the occasional sit in on each other’s conference presentations.

One of my former colleagues at Penn State alerted me about a book detailing the misguided development process of Chandler. The book, “Dreaming in Code,” was authored by Scott Rosenberg, the co-founder of Salon.com. I just started reading the book last night.

Today, I’m reviewing the list of blogs that are linking to items on my personal website, when I notice that the author of Dreaming in Code is linking to an image on my website, in a post about the how Pioneer HDTV’s run GPLed software.

It’s a small world..

steve nash

The Dallas Mavericks played the Phoenix Suns tonight, and the Suns won the game after a double overtime. Steve Nash won the game for Phoenix with his heads up play and leadership.

While Dallas is certainly the best team in the league, every time I see a Suns vs. Mavericks game, it reminds me of how stupid it was for Mark Cuban to let Steve Nash go for very little money.

Steve’s Nash’s contract with Phoenix is not very lucrative, given his multi-MVP status. Steve Nash is due to make $10,500,000 this year. Compare that to Jason Terry, who is not even close to being at the level of a Steve Nash. Jason Terry is due $8,100,000 this year.

In the past, Mark Cuban has made some lame excuses as to why he didn’t resign Nash, basically blaming everyone but himself. The fact of the matter is, Mark Cuban is completely at fault for letting Nash go for so little money. I doubt he will ever admit the mistake, Mark Cuban generally displays the behavior of an insecure egomaniac who lives vicariously through the ownership of his NBA team.

Cuban certainly deserves credit for revitalizing the Mavericks franchise, and famously selling the worthless Broadcast.com to Yahoo for mint.

While I agree with Cuban when it comes to Youtube, it also seems like he really has a vendetta against Youtube. Maybe its because Youtube delivered the Internet video revolution that Broadcast.com failed to bring?

Viacom is suing Youtube for one billion. While the damages sought are certainly inflated, the principle behind the suit is solid.

I think Youtube is a great site, but I never understood how such a blatant disregard for copyright could be tolerated by an operation that uses a centralized website for distribution.

Centralized P2P file sharing networks were pretty much dismantled a few years ago, so its hard to imagine how Youtube was tolerated, while actually storing the content on their servers.

Its funny, I get quite a few non-techie friends and family who joke about how the Youtube guys are now nearly billionaires, and why didn’t I think of that?

Putting user uploaded video on a website is a pretty straightforward idea. Its not rocket science, but nobody tried it on a large scale pre-Youtube because of copyright and adult content concerns. This lawsuit is validation of those potential copyright concerns.

I have to hand it to the Youtube founders. They were able to make a killing off an idea that is completely unoriginal, propelled by complete disregard for IP law. Its probably the most lucrative sale of an unoriginal web business since broadcast.com was sold by Mark Cuban.

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant is the dirtiest player in the NBA today on the court and off, but because of his “clean cut appearance” he gets off. Mention Allen Iverson, and people will say he is a scumbag, but what has AI ever done to deserve such a label? Its amazing how people will judge character solely on appearance.

Kobe Bryant skates clean because of his appearance, yet he is at worst a rapist, and at best adulterer.

Kobe’s “natural shooting motion” involves slapping people in the face. I was at the Sixers game last Friday against the Lakers, and now Kobe’s “natural dribbling motion” apparently involves elbowing people in the face. The elbow incident occurred during his first game back from serving a suspension for yet another face slap.