Coldplay Concert

Last night Kim and I went and saw Coldplay down in Connecticutt. They were quite good, although went pretty overboard with a political message about free trade. Chris had “Make Trade Fair” written on the side of his piano, and also on his left hand, so you could read it when they showed a camera shot of him playing. It was ridiculous. They even put up a sign projected on the back wall of the auditorium. Now I’m all in favor of free trade, and I know some aspects of it are advocated on the fair trade website (dropping agrigculture subsidies, for example) but honestly, I don’t want my entertainers preaching to me. Thanks to the war issue, I’ll probably never see another George Clooney movie again (well, the war issue plus Solaris). Hey Hollywood, please do me a favor and shut up.

About Iraq

I’ve gotten into a lot of discussions with people about the Iraq situation, so I figured I’d put all of my thoughts online for anyone who is interested (for some reason). It’s pretty simple, and not surprisingly consistent with the Libertarian philosophy.
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How DARE you waste my money?

There is an interesting article here on the inneffectiveness of the DARE program. Can’t say the results are too surprising. In the grand scheme of things it doesn’t look like DARE costs that much money, but it doesn’t seem like it’s worth a dime… and these days every million bucks counts.

Feature-packed MP3 player

Although I’ve never seen the Neuros, it does seem to have most all of the features I would want in an MP3 player. It has an FM tuner, which is nothing special except surprisingly rare in portable MP3 players. The crazy fun features start here though: MyFi which lets you broadcast your music over FM radio, allows you to easily use this device in your car, or even at home if you want to easily play MP3s over a stereo system. HiSi is even cooler, as it lets you record a snippet off the radio if you like a song but don’t know it’s name, and when you sync with your PC will go online and find out. The 128 MB version can be upgraded to a 20GB version with an optional backpack that fits over the device – very cool, although bulky.

The device still doesn’t seem to match the form factor of the iPod, but does have some very nice features that the iPod doesn’t. Also, a recent Slashdot article indicates that they are going to start supporting the Ogg Vorbis format and the Linux platform. I’m looking forward to seeing one.

Palm OS-based showcase

As reported on Slashdot, this site has a nice overview of the latest Palm-OS powered devices. As usual, the devices from Palm itself are the least impressive. Some of the others are pretty neat -looking, although it’s difficult to justify a $700 device when you can get a laptop for the same price these days.

Also worth a look are the new Linux handhelds (I have the Linux-based Sharp Zaurus as well as the short-lived Agenda, aside from my older PalmOS-based Clie). I’m still wating for a solid phone/PDA combination with an attractive form factor, but so far I haven’t found one. The upcoming Motorola A760 looks promising though.

Fire at nightclub

The recent tragedy at the nightclub in Rhode Island is sure to have people up in arms, and demand more stringent safety requirements in buildings. This bothers me.

It already appears that the club was violating established requirements when they ignited fireworks. It doesn’t matter if you have 50 laws or 500 laws… if they’re all going to be ignored, then you can chalk up the additional 450 laws as a waste of time.

The silver lining to this tragedy, as with most tragedys, is that people learn from it. Patrons are going to take a better look around when they go into a club – make sure they know how to get out. If they find it getting crowded, people may decide to start leaving voluntarily. On the flip side, keep an eye on what happens to these club owners. When they get sued for all they’re worth, or charged criminally, watch the lesson learned by other club owners. Want to go to jail like those guys?

As awful as it is for something like this to happen, it will serve to educate, and if society learns their lesson it will not happen again. Additional laws do not make this problem go away.