Monthly Archives: September 2011

Another Fine MessNBC You’ve Gotten Into

Last fall, MSNBC set a $2 million Lean Forward ad campaign that sought to cast MSNBC as the place for politics. Well, a year later and the ratings book is out. MSNBC scores quite low. Perhaps a TV test pattern or a Yuletide log would garner higher ratings.

The real TV geniuses working at 30 Rock fired firebrand (but popular) Keith Olbermann, and gave the Rev. Al Sharpton an evening show.

Considering its abysmal Arbitron numbers, inquiring minds want to know why Comcast wants to “Lean Forward” on the ratings road to no-where. But this presupposes ratings are the only factor. In years past, when G.E. owned NBC, the network that was proud of its peacock flacked for green concerns. This environmental interest ingratiated itself among liberal circles as well as being good for G.E.’s other business interests. But Comcast is a media business so consistently low ratings should be an anathema.

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Lost In Translation with the Roman Missal?

On November 27th English speaking Roman Catholics around the world will all convert to using the 3rd translation of the Roman Missal. Some may be tempted to blame “the German Shepherd” Pope Benedict XVI for instituting this change back to the future. But in all actuality it was Pope Blessed John Paul II who issued this encyclical which required that the liturgy must faithfully render the translation into the vernacular to closely reflect the original Latin texts.
The English translation of the Roman Missal is key. When following the precepts of Vatican II in the late 1960s and early 1970s, many Catholic conferences in Africa and Asia relied upon the English translation of the Roman Missal to further translate into their regional venacular. The dynamic translation methodology which was used in the 1973 edition is thought to have lost something in translation and that had a cascade effect on the faithful in countries where Catholicism is a minority faith.

There are going to be many changes of wording, mostly on the part of the celebrant priest, but Church officials insist that it is not a new Mass but a deeper experience that nurtures the faithful to celebrate.

These are going to be major changes to the way most Catholics worship, but I have not seen concerted education efforts from the different parishes that I have recently visited. All of the sung music during the liturgy (e.g. the gloria, the sanctus, the fraction rite) will have to change since there are too many notes for the current scoring. The Creed will use unfamiliar words which may have more meaning but do not roll off the faithfuls’ tongues. Some priests have privately admitted that they are slow to bring up these changes because they anticipate that their parishioners will bristle at the change but that they will just have to live with it because that is what the Vatican acting through the USCCB demands.

I believe that observant Catholics could learn a lot from learning and appreciating the new translation of the Roman Missal, even with the initially awkward phraseology, if we get enough instruction which educates (draws forth) instead of inculcation (pounding in) by ostrich- like ordained.

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The Penumbra of the Kindle Fire

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos certainly created a buzz with his Kindle announcements yesterday. Word of the new Kindle Fire tablet and the significant price cuts on the e-readers spread like wildfire, even to friends and loved ones who would sneer at wearing a pocket protector. Even though Amazon’s tablet will not hit the market until November 15th, the penumbras from the Kindle Fire may have blazed new paths in the technology industry.

Rivals tablet manufacturers are dropping prices, content providers are securing deals to be on Amazon’s tablet, and lawyers in Redmond are gearing up for lawfare in response to the Kindle Fire.

In only one day after its announcement, the Kindle Fire has sparked so much business intrigue. It will be curious to see what moves Apple makes if Amazon’s tablet burns its way to challenging the I-Pad for mobile market dominance.

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Amazon Announces Kindle Fire Tablet

The technorati had been twittering for weeks about today’s Amazon announcement in anticipation of an Amazon Tablet. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos did meet those expectations by introducing a 7″ one touch color touchscreen Amazon Fire tablet with a dual core processor and WiFi internet connectivity.

The Amazon Fire can afford to have minimal hands-on storage by integrating Cloud computing for tablet consumers. Amazon promises to store all the content you purchase from Amazon on your data cloud for retrieval on an Amazon tablet.

It boasts a new Silk web browser that uses cloud technology for a better internet experience.

And it only costs $199. That’s less than half the price of an I-Pad and undercuts the Nook Color by 20%.

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It is a relief to an early adopter who loves reading that Amazon is not abandoning its e-ink readers as I will also continue to enthusiastically use my current e-book reader.  The K2 is a great design for reading in all environments.  I prefer to not have a backlit screen for gadgets primarily used for reading.  And I certainly do not want to constantly wipe fingerprints from a capacitive touch screen on my reader.  I like having a physical keyboard for making notes or doing social sharing of a key passage on Facebook.

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With Amazon’s aggressive pricing, its extensive media selections and the superb customer service, expect customers to embrace the K-tab in a Ring of Fire

GOP Primary Chaos

Florida is poised to move its presidential primary to January 28th, 2012. The Sunshine State scheduling their contest so early will have a cascade effect on the entire GOP primary schedule. In fact, Iowa may hold its caucuses as early as January 2nd.

While news junkies and politicos may enjoy playing Primary Chaos as a parlor game, we know who would win in the end and that is not a pretty result. We don’t need to play that game again.

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On Raising Cain–the Pizza Man Delivers!

In the wake of Herman Cain’s decisive victory of the Presidency 5 straw poll in Florida, some Sunshine State conservatives have enthused “Cain/Romney ‘12″. Bill Kristol dismissed “the Hermanator’s” victory at 37% support as actually a vote for None-of-the-Above. Straw polls are both entertaining and interesting but not necessary indicative of the eventual nominee.

Cain had worked CPAC in Washington and put considerable efforts on the Florida straw poll. But Cain did not just score an “A” for effort. Cain has based his Presidential run on his “9-9-9″ plan and the Chilean model.

Based on his strong showing in the Florida Straw Polls, pundits and humorists will have to do better than to portray the Herman Cain in  one dimensional caricatures and not so subtle insinuations of Tea Party racism.

While Herman Cain himself may not be the ultimate messenger nor are the specifics of the message written in stone but by raising Cain Republicans find their way to victory in November 2012.

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Between Solyndra and Al Gore, It’s Not Easy Believing Green

Considering the blind faith and fanaticism of believers of anthropogenic Climate Change theory, it could be considered a religion. But based on the scandals, corruption as shown with Solyndra and need to hold revivals, it seems proto-Manmade Climate Change are Losing Their Religion, so to speak.

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Clarice Feldman of the American Spectator  likens the Obama Administration’s obsession to channel an alluvia of Federal funds to his friends in the green energy industry to be akin to the dowress Empress Chi’s blunder in 1755 of diverting the part of the treasury intended to fund the Imperial Navy for a marble pleasure boat.

As for 24 hour Gorethon about climate change, it received surprisingly negative reviews from greenies.  Even the audience was miniscule.  As Mark Steyn observed:

[I] think the speed at which Al Gore’s ratings dropped during his 24 hour webcast global telethon is probably the precise scientific opposite of this new particle.

The Climate Reality Project, the home of “Al Gore’s 24 Hours of Reality” Gore-a-thon, claimed  8.7 million viewers.  But the website “Watts Up With That” suggests that there were only 17,000 dedicated viewers.

I guess that the Al Gore’s revolution was not to be televised.

2012 Psephology

Apologies for the obscure expression in the title, but it is an erudite way for me  to justify being a political junkie.  It is almost inevitable that those infected with Potomac Fever starts thinking about the next election the minute the polls close. I will avoid pre-mature Presidential prognostication, but sufficed to say that 2012 is a Presidential election year so there will be intense attention and presumably more participation than a midterm election.

The allocation of delegates is also an issue.  The Republican Party has used a winner-takes-all methodology, which mirrors the proper application of the Electoral College, so there are rarely nomination fights that extend into the Party Convention.  Democrats use proportional allocations, which meant that neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton had officially clinched the 2008 nomination going into the convention due to the unpledged delegates and Super Delegates.

Since Republican rules usually result in a wave where the winner of the early primaries becomes an inevitability, making later primaries essentially meaningless.  In 2008, this system  had the result that a maverick candidate who peaked in late January and early February became the nominee about whom the party base was less than enthusiastic.  Republicans changed the allocation in 2012 which will award delegates for March primaries proportionally.  This may alleviate this anomaly.

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The National Journal believes that the proportional awarding of delegates would favor Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA)

“From my vantage point, it looks like it’s going to be a protracted battle, and both the Perry and Romney camps are showing that they are planning for something long term,” said Josh Putnam, a visiting assistant professor at Davidson College whose FrontloadingHQ blog is a leading authority on the primary calendar.

The Prospects for Soap Streams

Today, ABC closes the book on the soap opera “All My Children” after 41 years on the air. Will this final broadcast be the end of stories stemming from Pine Valley, PA? Much like the last episode, this question ends with a cliffhanger.

In April, ABC announced the end of two thirds of its daytime soap schedule, cancelling “All My Children” in September in favor of “The Chew” (a show celebrating life through food) and axing “One Life to Live” for “The Revolution” (a daily show about health and lifestyle transformations) in January 2012.

ABC licensed the online distribution rights of “One Life to Live” and “All My Children” to Prospect Park Productions. Starting in January 2012, these soaps are expected to be produced and delivered to consumers online and also through emerging formats.

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Hands On Review: HP Touchpad–Turning into a Torpedo

Some technorati will claim that bargain hunters bought a brick in the H.P. Touchpad, since H.P. is leaving the tablet market along with the fact that the WebOS App Marketplace is limited vis-a-vis the Apple App Store. But WebOS may not disappear, as the HP division is being shopped to various corporate buyers. And number of web apps do not indicate quality–how many flatulent apps or cylon detectors does a serious tablet user need?
I liken purchasing an H.P. Touchpad to a savvy submarine captain who turns into a torpedo, a tactic which seems like it is flirting with disaster but in the end is winning. A tablet that multi-tasks, has Flash and allows for productivity as well as entertainment may be the right choice for me, even if the hardware is not the popular choice and the tablet itself is the end of the line.

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