My Take On It 

Can Google compete against PayPal?

I found this quote from this BusinessWeek article interesting:

"I don't see that Google could do better" than PayPal, says Devitt, who adds: "The online payment race has been won."

Didn't we think that Yahoo had the search engine race won in the late 90's? If Google can provide something cool and useful in online payment, it has a chance. It's not easy, but as they proved with search engines, it's never too late.

Another benefit of breastfeeding. Less nearsightedness?

WebMD Article

This WebMD article reports on a Singapore study that showed babies who were breastfed were less likely to become nearsighted.

Yet another problem that I can blame for the lack of being breast fed as a baby...

Logged into My Online Bank and Found My Balance at Zero

Yahoo article on recent hacker attacks

That's my worry: logging into my online bank and finding that all my money has been stolen by some cyber criminal. It hasn't happened yet. Hopefully, it will never happen.

This Yahoo article reports how the hackers are becoming more focused with a stronger link to organized crime.

Will the bank ensure that my money will be returned? Will I be able to get through to a human on the phone that will be able to really help? That's my worry.

Online banking is here to stay. I guess I'll have to just hope for the best...

Why the Iraqi Insurgents Don't Have a Chance

ABC interview of Condoleezza Rice

Even with reports of more suicide bombings today in Iraq, I don't see Iraq becoming a quagmire like Vietnam. In the case of Vietnam, the Vietcong had an long term strategy: weaken the South and help the North take over. The North was well established and had the backing of the Soviet Union along with many other nations.

What long term strategy does the Iraqi terrorists and insurgents have? What nations support them? Condoleezza Rice made this important point yesterday in an interview on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos:

These are not people who somehow have an alternative vision for Iraq. Their only way of making their presence felt is to cause murder and mayhem against innocent people. That's not, in the long term, a sustainable position.

12 former Guantanamo prisoners went back to war

Reuters article

The Reuters' article reports that US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales mentioned this after meetings in Brussels with EU officials:

"There are several people that we have released that we know have come back and fought against America because they have been recaptured or killed on the battlefield,"

First question one may ask is whether this can be believed? After being so wrong with the WMDs in Iraq, many might wonder.

Others have mentioned that it doesn't excuse the US for failing to hold fair trials for the detainees within a reasonable time period.

According to the Washington Times, more than 200 detainees have departed the prison camp. So if there were 12 who have returned to fight, it may not be too surprising. For any group of criminals there's always a sizable rate of recidivism.

Is Gitmo becoming just one more recruitment tool for the Iraqi and Afghan insurgents and terrorists? I have to admit there's no easy method of dealing with these insurgents who've been captured. If the insurgents and terrorists keep growing in Afghan, Iraq, and elsewhere, it's going to be a long war on terror.

Shocking bait car video in Vancouver

CBC Article

Vancouver police release a video from one of their car baits where an armed criminal high on meth steals the car and takes it on a high-speed crime spree.

As soon as the car is stolen, the police are suppose to be notified. The car is tracked by GPS so the police will be able to arrest the criminal. The car's engine can be remotely disabled, but it hasn't been the policy to disable it until the police are there. After this incident, they're deciding to change the policy and disable the car immediately to avoid any future dangerous high-speed crime spree.

There are two problems with this, however. First, the criminals will likely get away, and second, this won't be good for reality TV.....

Jackson cleared of all charges

Reuters News

In my opinion, Jackson was either guilty or is very naive with very bad judgement. But I didn't think he would be convicted. The prosecution didn't seem to have enough hard evidence. The witnesses were easily discredited.

Looks like the jury felt the same way. They finally reached their verdict and cleared him on all charges.

Firefox gaining market share slowly but surely

Firefox Still Chipping Away at IE

The switch from the IE browser to the Firefox browser is not going as fast as I had thought. However, there is steady migration.

The article mentions that Firefox's market share went from 7.38% to 8.00% in May while IE shrunk from 88.00% to 87.23%. It says Firefox has been gaining about 0.5% to 1% share per month. The migration to Firefox could speed up if it gains acceptance by IT teams at large companies.

The main reason I switched was due to security. It's not perfect, but it's much better than IE. Here's an example from an IT person posted at

We did a simple test on Firefox before using it on a network with 200 PC's. We tracked all internet sites used on a PC for 2 weeks, once with IE, once with Firefox. ... We ran Lavasoft Adaware to check how much spyware had been downloaded onto the PC. Result = 180 processes by using IE, "ZERO" by using Firefox ...

And here's what is said about ActiveX, IE, and internet security at Wikipedia:

The embedding of ActiveX into the Internet Explorer web browser created a combination of functions that has led to an explosion of computer virus, trojan and spyware infections. These malware attacks mostly depend on ActiveX for their activation and propagation to other computers

So that's the main reason I swtiched to Firefox.

Hopefully, by this time next year, Firefox market share will have reached 25%.

How High Will the Federal Debt Go?

Bush Aides Say Budget Deficit Will Rise Again

The Bush administration's new request for funds to fight war would make this year's federal budget deficit the largest in history.

This is the fourth straight year in which the budget deficit is expected to grow.

Future years won't get any better if Bush's social security reforms are enacted and the tax cuts are made permanent.

The only way I can figure that Bush can think we'll eventually turn things around is if the US businesses surge like never before. That would allow increased government revenue which would help balance the budget without raising taxes.

To me it seems like it's too much blind faith....

Already Waiting In Line For Star Wars

NBC Article According to this article this man has already started waiting in line for "Star Wars, Episode 3: The Revenge of the Sith".

The movie is due out on May 19. This guy has set up a couch outside the theater and hopes to set the record for the longest wait in line.

It seems a pretty pathetic stunt. But he is getting publicity. And he's not suffering too much. He's able to connect to the net with his laptop. He gets help from friends who bring him food, and he still takes breaks for the bathroom and showers.

Here's an idea about what would be a funny joke. Several hours before the first showing on May 19th, a large group of people should wait for him to take a bathroom break, and then all cut in front of him in line. Could you imagine how angry he would be...

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