Saturday, June 30, 2007

Tokyo Rose

Strategy Page has an interesting observation today. Our own media is fulfilling the role that Tokyo Rose did in the Pacific theater in WWII. If it weren't for the blogosphere, nobody would call them out on it either. Shameful. (via Instapundit)
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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Product Review: Garmin c340 Portable GPS

I bought this unit, now known as Karen, just before a trip from Phoenix to San Diego and she performed very well. While I didn't get this option, you can also buy an antenna that plugs into the USB port and pay for a subscription to a real-time traffic alert service that will get you around traffic jams.

The c340 provides turn by turn instructions and has enhanced voice commands, i.e., it tells you not only when to turn, but the name of the street as well. You can select from several female or male TTS (text to speech) voices. I've chosen Australian English Karen, hence the choice of name. The c340 also has a database of points of interest, restaurants, gas stations, ATMs, etc and a few strokes on the touch sensitive screen will have you on your way to what you need in a few seconds. The interface is completely intuitive and everything is ready to go right out of the box.

The only drawback I've found with the unit is that the map database is probably several years out of date, at least for the area where I live, in a fast growing area east of Phoenix proper. The unit knows nothing of a new surface arterial near my house that has been open for at least 3 years, since I moved here, and a new freeway that has now been open for one year. The result is that if I want the unit to guide me from home to my destination using those roads, it will be busy announcing constant recalculations of route until it gets back into the known world. I suspect this will be an issue with all Garmin GPS units as they share the same map database. Other than that localized glitch, I'd highly recommend this unit. Garmin apparently has a new version of the map software coming out later this year.

UPDATE 11/25/2007: Above I complained about the map database being out of date and was fearing that I would have to pay for an expensive map update. I just learned that I could get updated map software, the 2008 version of City Navigator for free ( because I registered with Garmin). It took me 30 seconds to order online and it will be shipped to me. The vast tracts of Terra Incognita that started less than a mile from my house are now cognita, er, or something like that.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Mark Steyn Nails It. Again.

Mark Steyn has once again hit the nail on the head with a column on illegal immigration and the "comprehensive" immigration reform bill lately resurrected in the Senate. Maybe it's time we all gathered our pitchforks, a barrel or two of tar and some feathers and ran the bastards out of Washington. They certainly don't seem to be interested in representing us any more (i.e. doing their jobs) but rather trying to outdo each other in excercising "leadership," whatever that means. What do these people not get about what we are telling them:
  1. Close the damned border
  2. Crack down on the employers that are hiring all the illegals.
  3. Fix the legal immigration system so it can cope with people who are willing to follow the rules in a timely fashion.
It isn't that hard to understand.
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Saturday, June 09, 2007

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Carbon Credits Scam

It didn't take nearly as long as I thought it might for the nascent cottage industry of carbon offset trading to be exposed as yet another scam. The Guardian (yes, they do occasionally produce some good journalism) has an article today headlined: "Truth about Kyoto: huge profits, little carbon saved". For a program run under the auspices of the UN and the European Commission it's really to be expected that the thing should turn out to be incompetently administered (at best), massively corrupt and not just ineffective but totaly counterproductive in trying to achive its purported goals. Read the whole article (h/t: Instapundit).

I have a degree in Geography which included some course work in Climatology. When I was in college, the environmental Chicken Littles were running around yelling about an imminent ice age. Now it's global warming or climate change. They act as if climate change is something new. Well, it's not. If I took anything away from that course it's that climate change is constant. It always has been. It always will be. Even if global average temperatures are rising, and there's plenty of evidence they aren't, it is not necessarily true that the causes are anthropogenic and before we embark on economically ruinous regimes such as Kyoto to try and reverse it we need to understand our ability, if any to influence it.

One of the things often cited as evidence of global warming is the retreat of the Greenland ice caps yet from 1940 until today they grew enough to cover a Lockheed P-38 in ice to a depth of 260 feet to cite just one example.

There is a lot of misinformation out there about climate change and one of the best sources to cut through the clutter is probably The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming (and Environmentalism) by Christopher Horner. I read it a couple of months back and highly recommend it as a reference sourcebook on the subject. For all the assertions the environmentalists make, Horner has the counter evidence. Don't let anybody try to tell you "the debate is over". Read this, then decide for yourself which side to believe.

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