Tuesday, October 27, 2009

And Now for Some Ranting....

If the title doesn't make much sense, read the previous post.

So, I've mentioned before about feeling a vague guilt over having four processor cores that mostly sit idle. I've managed to sleep better by donating three of those cores to World Community Grid while "getting by" on a single core. Now I see that one company plans to have a 100-core CPU in a few months. Not that we're likely to ever see the thing in a Dell running Windows 7, but Intel is promising 80-core consumer CPU's in five years. So I guess I'll be donating 79 of those...

People wonder why our financial industry is such a mess. In an article about banks considering charging annual fees to people who don't use their credit cards enough and/or pay off their balance every month, we find this precious gem:
"There is a big segment of their population [banking customers] that they [the banks] will have never made money on, which is people who pay their bills on time every month," said Ben Woolsey, Director of Consumer Research at CreditCards.com.

So there it is, folks; in black and white. Banks have structured themselves so that the only way they make money is from loaning money to deadbeats. So the rest of us non-deadbeats are now going to either be charged an annual fee, or, if we cancel the credit card to protest the fee, we get our credit score shot to hell:
"They can either pay that fee or they can close the account, and if they have had the account for a while and they close it, they are potentially going to hurt their credit card score," said Woolsey.

Can someone explain to me why in frackin' hell closing a credit card account, regardless of how long you have had it open, has anything other than a positive effect on your credit score? Talk about a system guaranteed to auger in. Holy crap.

In case anyone missed the memo, print news seems to be in a bit of trouble. This is a list of the top 25 newspapers in the nation and the percentage that their circulation has declined since last year. The only paper not showing a decline didn't have a circulation number from last year to calculate a decline from. More people watch news on the TV as of right now, but that may change if the network news shows keep screwing up in the race to be the first to break a story. I know my news feeds are highly biased towards my personal world view and my personal interests, but I would still argue that is better than the crap on any cable news channel or the local broadcast stations' half-hour infomercials with brief interruptions for incorrect weather forecasts and high school football highlights.

Here's a good question: Where are the Hurricanes, Mr. Gore? The predictions for this hurricane season was 7, with 3 being "major" storms (or 8 with 2 "major" storms, depending on who did the predicting). With the hurricane season about to wrap up, we have had exactly zero.



And the polar bears are thriving. And the rising ocean levels have yet to devour our coastal cities because they're not (rising, that is). I believe the rules say three strikes and your out, Mr. Gore.

And speaking of lowering CO2 emissions, the only practical way of doing that without reverting to the stone age is to use nuclear reactors to generate electricity. The US has managed to regulate the entire industry out of existence, but luckily for humanity, that hasn't stopped other nations from picking up the slack:
Japan's major nuclear reactor manufacturers have begun developing small nuclear power systems for both developed and emerging countries, a report said on Saturday.

As I understand it, these are basically plug-in replacements for conventional coal- and natural gas-fired boilers. In goes the nuke, away goes the CO2. No need to starve half the population of the earth. Of course getting rid of half the people is the real goal, which is why Al Gore and the Screaming Greenies (which would be an awesome name for a rock band) will never go for it. As I said, luckily for humanity, there are places other than the US.

And we've had another Friday, so of course, more banks have been forced to close, bringing the total for 2009 to 106. We seem to be making a good run at the all-time record of 181, set back in 1992. We've already set a record for the dollar amounts involved in those 106 failures.

And that's probably enough ranting for one day.

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