Saturday, February 16, 2008

At the End of the Day

Guess who? That's right, until Apollo is back in fine fettle, you're left at my dyslexic mercies. Where is your dog now?!

  • This is not really political, but it is an example of some of the worst kind of corporate chicanery you can imagine. No lives lost (as far as I know) but millions upon millions of investor and consumer dollars (and yen, and euros, etc.) have been consumed by the HD DVD/Blu Ray format war.
HD DVD, the beloved format of Toshiba and three Hollywood studios, died Friday after a brief illness. The cause of death was determined to be the decision by Wal-Mart to stock only high-definition DVDs and players using the Blu-ray format.
I've not had the misfortune of investing in either format, so I'm not fanboy of either. But, like the years ago format war between Betamax and VHS, it would seem that once again, the better format lost out (ironically, this time, Sony was the purveyor of the inferior format). As one pundit noted, regarding the whole mishegas, HD DVD is a product, Blu Ray is a theory. But, $$$ talks.
Sony was between a rock and a hard place, if they lost the Blu-Ray fight the PS3 would have been collateral damage and the impact on Sony financially might have been terminal. This means that Sony, much like anyone fighting for their life, was willing to do almost anything to ensure they didn’t fail.
As in, Sony bribed the living hell out of every studio in Hollywood.

World oil prices advanced on Friday towards 100 dollars per barrel, briefly topping 96 dollars, as geopolitical jitters stemming from Nigeria and Venezuela stoked global supply concerns, traders said.

Those market fears overshadowed a gloomy warning from Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke, who predicted "a period of sluggish growth" ahead for the energy-hungry US economy.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in March, won 43 cents to 95.89 dollars a barrel, after rising as high as 96.05 dollars -- which was last seen on January 9.

Stand down, Al. We're doin' just fine.

Al Gore on the second ballot: A scenario that a few weeks ago seemed preposterous is beginning to look plausible to some nervous Democrats looking for a way out of the deadlock between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. It goes like this: We love them both, but neither is a sure bet when it comes to electability. It's not about gender and race, each has more mundane vulnerabilities. Hillary's negatives will drive white men to John McCain; Obama's inexperience will require a gut check on the part of voters. What if the super delegates decide not to decide, denying either candidate the requisite number of delegates to secure the party's nomination. Democrats want to win. The new rallying cry: Gore on the second ballot.
Oh, and Eleanor? Shut the hell up, already. We're all so very tired of ye creatures of the noise machine, no matter where on the political spectrum you may fall.
  • February's halfway over, and now I don't think I mind I missed my flu shot this year.
Nationwide, 4.6 percent of flu samples tested have shown signs of drug resistance this season, said officials with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In previous years, resistance to the drug hovered below 1 percent of all cases.

"We have seen this before, though not at this level," said Dr. Joe Bresee, chief of epidemiology and prevention in the CDC's influenza division.

The worry among some experts is that flu strains could develop resistance to more than one drug, leaving doctors with few options for treating severely ill patients. One way that could happen would be for patients to get infected with two flu strains at once, each with resistance to a different type of anti-viral medication.

Have a good weekend. Don't take any sub-prime nickels.