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Thursday, April 26, 2007

If only they had not blown their money

I have been listening to the ongoing debate about increasing the fuel efficiency standards and have come to the conclusion that the that if the Big Three Detroit automakers had used their money wisely, they would not be in the situation that they are now.
It is because they wasted the money that would have been better spent on research and development into ways to increase the fuel efficiency of their fleets that they are losing ground now to the Japanese automakers. Instead of using their money wisely, the money was wasted on lobbying Congress to keep the CAFE standards lower than they could have been.
If the Big Three had spent a fraction of the money that was spent on the lobbyists on research and development, they would not have the money problems that they are having now. Honda and Toyota did spend their money wisely. I hear that Toyota has surpassed General Motors in sales. They are considering West Michigan for an area for building engines.
One of the criticisms I have heard about increasing CAFE standards is that doing that would cost this area jobs. I believe that quite the opposite would be true. I think increasing fuel efficiency standards would be a great way to create the kind of jobs that Michigan really needs.
Of course, the Big Oil might have something to say about better gas mileage. That would put a real dent in their profits. Everyone knows that Big Oil will do everything they can to keep their profits where they have been. Big Oil controls everything. Even the President comes from Big Oil.
Increasing fuel efficiency would also put a big hole in the pockets of all the terrorists that seek to hurt Americans. Most of the vast oil reserves of the world happen to lie under countries that have historically not been friendly to the United States. But they sell us the oil any way. They take the money that we give them and use it to sponsor terrorism against their best costumers. That can't be very good for business!
I would give this some very serious thought the next time someone argues against increasing fuel efficiency standards.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Revelations of a drug overloaded society

It seems that we, as a society, have become to depend of a wide array of pharmaceuticals to solve all our problems. Pharmaceutical, apparently, have become the largest drug pushers of all time. We have come to rely on their products as a quick fix to all of society's ailments.
The most common misprescribed and regularly abused field of grossly misunderstood drugs just happens to fall under the rather broad range of drugs called antidepressants. What seems to be misunderstood about this range of pharmaceuticals in particular is their side effects. These are the kind of side effects that can be even worse then the problems that these drugs are created to treat!
What the pharmaceutical companies don't want people to know about it is the side effects of these drugs that is the real cause behind the recent rise of the number and violence of school shootings. Case in point is the recent and unnecessary killing of 33 students at Virginia Tech. Of course, the anti-gun lobby will do their best to place all the blame on the ready availability of guns and blindly say that without any guns, crime would be greatly reduced. Nevermind that the only people who wouldn't have guns would be the honest people, while gansters who could get their hands on a gun and arm themselves to the teeth, can get their weapons anywhere and any time they want.
I say the real culprits in these type of crimes are the drug companies themselves. They push their products on us claiming that they can solve our problems when they know that the side effects can be worse then the conditions that they were initially created to treat. Some antidepressants have been shown to cause manic episodes in patients. Some drugs used to treat diabetes have been shown to cause obesity, which happens to be a leading factor in developing type 2 diabetes.
We have become a society that has long been enslaved to the idea that taking the right cocktail of drugs can solve all our problems. All the drug companies care about is their bottom line. In being that way, I would have to guess that they are all like therest of corporate America. ALL HAIL THE ALL MIGHTY DOLLAR!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The family at Easter

This Easter, it was really nice to get together with the rest of my family. It was great to have the time to play with my nephew, who will be three years old the end of May. In addition, my aunt and uncle took time from their busy lives to come here to Michigan and spend a few days with us. It was kind of nice that they could take time out of their busy lives to come to Michigan and have Easter dinner with their Michigan family. It seems that in that future, this will happen less and less.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The bot wars are on!

Have you ever wondered how all these spammers and phishers never seem to get caught? The answer to that question may be sitting right on your desk or your laptop. I found an alarming article about this subject at MSNBC.com.
The hackers or, more appropriately, crackers have progressed from the simple jokes they have played in the past to commanding entire electronic armies of zombie computers. And with the general public's lack of computer expertise especially in detecting the viruses and Trojan horses that these bot herders use to invade home computers, they have had a really easy making huge profits. The days of hackers hacking into computers just for knowledge has long since past.
I have heard people say that the real problem with all these computers is that 90% of all the computers in the world run the Windows operating system. It has been said that if more computers ran the Mac or Linux OS, that there simply wouldn't be such a problem with hackers. I don't necessarily believe that to be true.
First off, Windows has been the most targetted os in the past simply because it happens to be the dominant operating system in the entire world. It would be exactly the same with any operating system that happened to be used, whether that happened Mac or Linux. These criminals are just like any other in that they always go fro the easiest target to break into. And right now, that happens to be Windows.
Hackers gain control of these zombie computers and then lease their networks to others for huge profits totalling in the thousands every day. These bot networks are then used for spam adn denial-of-service attacks. With as many as 100,000 zombie computers on one network, it would be easy for these individuals to get past spam filters by sending as little as one message a day from each computer on that network.That could be well into the billions of messages a day.
It used to be that you could detect these viruses and Trojan when your system was running slow and with some old computers, this is still true. Newer computers, on the other hand, have so much power that most users would not notice a difference in how their computer is performing.
Their ways of attracting business are still the old fashioned way, by waging wars over the internet to gain control of a rival's network to show that they are number one. The amount they are payed pales in comparison to how much money the people they are spamming for can possibly make. I guess that even in the electronic world, the almighty dollar rules all. This should be obvious since most spam emails are sent from the U.S.