Sunday, January 18, 2009

The mouse? It'll never catch on!

Famed computer industry analyst and commenter John C Dvorak on the new Apple Macintosh computer, 25 years ago, in 1984:
The nature of the personal computer is simply not fully understood by companies like Apple (or anyone else for that matter). Apple makes the arrogant assumption of thinking that it knows what you want and need. It, unfortunately, leaves the “why” out of the equation — as in “why would I want this?” The Macintosh uses an experimental pointing device called a ‘mouse’. There is no evidence that people want to use these things. I dont want one of these new fangled devices.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Surreal hero worship

Has the press gone nuts?

In the wake of the Hudson River plane crash, in which no one was killed, the press is falling over itself to anoint the pilot of the plane, Chesley Sullenberger, for sainthood.

At one point, an interview with his wife, standing in the driveway of her home with her daughters by her side, was the featured video front & center as the main story on the MSNBC website. What was revealed in the interview? That he wife was shocked by the crash and is waiting her husband’s return home.

Sometime around midmorning, New York’s Mayor Bloomberg dubbed Sullenberger a “hero” (before even preliminary results of the crash investigation have been revealed) and the press jumped on board headfirst.

Getting stranger, Sullenberger’s grade school in Texas improperly released his school records to the public in the rush of interest today. In a staggering display of hypocrisy, Fox News reported on this story, reported some of the grades, displayed a picture of his transcript, and then chided, in a caption next to the image: “his school district gets an "F" for making his academic records public.”

I’m not denying that this pilot’s quick thinking may have saved lives. But this bizarre wholesale coronation of the ultimate hero, with no pause to find out anything of substance about what happened, is surreal to say the least. Is it any wonder most Americans don’t trust the press?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sex trafficking in Israel

This morning, I was reading Nicholas D Kristof's article on sexual slavery of teenagers in Cambodia. To his credit, Krostof has made this issue, one that we'd all like to pretend doesn't exist, his personal crusade. It's hard to read the article. It's even harder to view the accompanying video, but it's important to be aware of such cruelty in the world.

The problem is, we often mentally and emotionally relegate such horrible things to far-off places like Cambodia & Thailand, where it seems strange and foreign to most Americans anyway. But the truth is, sexual slavery goes on the world over, even in western democracies.

And shockingly Israel is one of the worst among those democracies. I don't even need to provide a link. Just google "sexual slavery Israel" to see article after article outlining the disgusting and shameful truth, with women being brought into Israel under false pretenses, and are tortured and forced to "work" under terrible conditions. Most Israelis don't notice, or choose not to notice, this going on right under their noses. And for those who actually frequent these "businesses", a special place in hell is reserved for you. The best I can say is that perhaps these men are not aware that these are not voluntary prostitutes but rather slaves, with their entire lives in the hands of their pimps.

Thankfully, Israel has improved in this regard. According to this article:

Israel was among 23 nations placed on a US 'Watch List' regarding trafficking in human persons in 2005, the second lowest category on an annual State Department report. This year, in an assessment of the issue in 2006, Israel was one of 10 nations to succeed in rising to a higher category.

But the problem still remains huge.

Some will question my bringing this up now, when Israel is in danger and fighting a war against Hamas. But it is precisely at times like this that we cannot allow this repulsive underside of Israeli society to be forgotten and lost in the shuffle.

If Israel & the Jewish people are "Or LaGoyim" (A light unto the nations), this is hardly the way to show it.