Sunday, 21 March 2010

WI-FI

From my hometown in Bama (which shall go nameless)...WI-FI has arrived. Free WI-FI...I should say.

It's a curious thing. Most everyone has 56k type speed and thats more than enough for email and some browsing. You can't run video. You can't download tons of p0rn. You can't download songs. You can't watch a ballgame. But there's lots of other stuff that you can do.

The WI-FI area is mostly around the general store and gas station....so you have to bring your laptop down and browse while there. My best guess....in a whole week...you might have twelve guys who show up...and half will be teenagers who simply want a private chance to do things not observed by mom or dad.

Is the local cop involved? Well...the answer is more than likely yes. I'm guessing that he hopes one single person each month downloads some p0rn and he can go after them with a search warrant.

When the feds sit around and talk about this WI-FI dream of bringing high speed access to all Americans....they likely mean folks in my old hometown. It'll be curious who runs this and who manages it...via a security standpoint. If the local cop has his way...he'll get a listing each week of folks in violation of something and can tackle them.

The last curious thing about this....is that you can still walk around and find hundreds of folks in the area who don't get into this computer business...even folks under the age of thirty. People are still living their lives in simplicity and don't require connectivity to someone or something.

Pause and Think

The vote will occur today in DC over the health bill with the House of Representatives. If I were a betting man, I'd bet it passes...just barely. But let's pause and look beyond the Senator battle that will come next and the states taking this to the Supreme Court. There is this little problem of November and what it might bring.

Let's say that people remember all of this, and the Senate shifts to 51 Republicans and the House has a majority of a dozen Republicans over the Democrats. There is this other little thing that will occur that most folks don't talk about...the local and state elections in November.

Let's say the shift goes down into the state houses of Texas and another twenty odd states. 2011 is a rather odd year. Census results are released and states then get their representative tally's shifted around. We know five states are likely to lose one or two representatives each. Texas may gain two...maybe even three new representatives. States like Michigan will lose a representative.

Various state houses are going to put themselves into a Republican-led situation...and the redrawing of the boundaries...are going to be settled in favor of the Republican party.

If you had to pick a time, and a place to run through a minefield....this was not it.

So when 2012 comes up and new representatives are chosen from the states involved in growth within census growth...they will end up being Republican. So the brief period between November 2010 and November 2012...will be just as charged up as it is today. Nothing changes.

So as the Republicans run through November and you'd like to think this is just a temporary thing...November of 2012 for the House and Senate look pretty much like Republican-win years as well. And as President Obama wins in 2012 (which I fully expect)...it'll be a long and hard period from then to 2016. We will all tire of politics from either party....and start to hate the networks that carry it twenty-four hours a day.

Weapons of Mass Suffering

I sat and read through a number of international stories this morning....and came to this one item from India. Apparently, Indian scientists have developed this new hand grenade, for crowd control.

They've take a Indian chili pepper...the bhut jolokia...and put the elements of it....into a grenade. Once it explodes....it gets into your nose and eyes....and you are serious trouble.

Being interested in this science stuff....I read up on this. I used to think that the Louisiana folks had the hottest pepper around. But I was wrong. Normally....the Mexican red savina is considered the hottest 'normal' pepper out there. Somehow, scientists have developed the ability to measure heat within a pepper. So the red savina is up at 577,000 on the Scoville heat unit scale. That is considered damn hot.

But this bhut jolokia? It's at 1,001,304 on the Scoville scale. That's twice as hot as the red savina.

Now, for you folks who have tasted a regular jalapeno...relax, you barely get above 10,000.

So this might make you want to think about this. Imagine a hand grenade like this and in the hands of some weird folks or some crazy protesters. What the Indians have developed is a weapon that needs to be brought under control. There ought to be a national conference of chili-lovers who seek to protect the world via chili disarmament.

My guess is that hundreds of folks are calling India presently and trying to pre-order their grenades. This will turn into serious business, eventually.