iWood Nano

So I don’t like apple products, and in particular their deceiving advertisements. However, I have to hand it to them, they do know style. Now iPods don’t have the best audio quality for output, I know from experience, but one cool thing I found for them is a fully wooden case. The case is carved from solid wood blocks of various hard woods with interesting grains including maple, mahogany, pear, weng, and walnut. Personally I like the maple, pear, and walnut cases the best but it’s cool what this person is doing. The cases include a single hole for your earbuds to connect in while the case is closed, and with the case open you can also connect the data link cable into it as well.

I came across this and though it was cool and I am some what inspired, possibly an oak or maple case or stand for my Zen micro, who knows? I’m already planning to make a Plexiglas stand/cradle for it in my truck, this wood one would look cool on my desk, and possibly other wood mods, *cough* speakers *cough*.

-John Havlik

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Worst Essay Ever Written

A common observation about the Democratic and Republican parties is that they try to be all things to all people and are thus indistinguishable from each other. When viewing the parties in a macro (generalized) fashion one could conclude that indeed both political parties are indistinguishable. This is realized when looking in to the overall function of each political party, which is to promote its ideologies and nominate candidates for elections. The truth is that one cannot say the Democratic and Republican parties are indistinguishable from each other because they are truly distinguishable when viewed in a ‘micro’ manner. The ideologies that each party represents are what distinguish one from the other. Democrats typically follow and promote the liberal ideology while Republicans typically follow and promote the conservative ideology.

The Democratic Party has in the past and continues to promote equality heavily over freedom and freedom over order, falling into the liberal ideological category, while the exact opposite can be said about the Republican Party. This does in a ‘micro’ manner distinguish the parties from each other since their respective ideologies will influence whom the party nominates and how their members will tend function. A common generalization is that Democrats tend to favor a larger government in terms of social programs while Republicans tend to favor a smaller government and a stronger military along with reduced taxes. In the real world we see that the two parties normally have issues when trying to operate in a bipartisan fashion. How can one say that they two parties are essentially the same if they parties clearly have different views on how the government should conduct itself.

The term bipartisan politics infers that the two political parties are working together and agree on a certain policy or set of policies. If the two parties were the same as the observation about political parties concludes then bipartisan politics would be a thing experienced all the time with both parties spear heading the same issues with the same or very similar approaches. Political parties could be classified as a type of interest group that also nominates and endorses candidates to represent their ideologies in the government. This in turn could be seen as conforming to the pluralist model which does represent a portion of how the United States’ government works. If the two parties were the same then the pluralist model would have less of an impact on the way that the US government operates (since they would operate in a bipartisan fashion) and then in turn diminishes the legitimacy of the United States’ democracy. Since there is often congressional gridlock, we can rest assured that the political parties aren’t one in the same (For the time being at least.) and as a result adhering to pluralist model essentially protecting the people.

If all political parties were the same as the common observation suggests then why doesn’t each party nominate the same candidate? The obvious answer is that they are not the same because of the fact that they don’t nominate and endorse the same candidate for elections. These facts bash the notion that the two political parties are indistinguishable. The one ‘exception’, George Washington, was never actually part of a political party therefore nullifying his significance in this statement.

The inability to operate in a bipartisan mode, differing political ideologies, and other general differences lead one to conclude that indeed the Democratic and Republican political parties are distinguishable and therefore non-homogeneous. Observing with macro precision leads one to conclude things that just are not true and are provably true when observing them with ‘micro’ precision.

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The third paragraph in the body should be deleted and the conclusion should be re-written, in my mind at least, I still received a 4 out of 4 on it though.

-John Havlik

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The Empire Strikes Again: Declares War on Teens

The Empire, err Trade Federation (RIAA), is at it again. This time they are sending their troops of layers to get the 14 year old Brittany Chan. After a judge ruling that Brittany’s mother was not to be held accountable the Empire is now attempting to force the state to assign Brittany a legal guardian to represent her in court. The Empire claims that Brittany used the family computer to download and distribute some 829 MP3s on unnamed peer-2-peer network(s).

The legitimacy of the Empire is diminishing and the true qualities of its monopoly are becoming evident. A good question for the Empire is whether or not a trade federation is allowed to act on behalf of its members and sue its potential customers? When a company becomes out of touch with its customers usually the company goes bankrupt, but when the ‘individual’ companies band together to form an Empire they become the sole provider of content to their market and therefore enjoy a monopoly over their content’s market. Once the Empire is the sole provider of content it goes around and rapes its customers and gets away with it. What ever happened to the customer is all ways right? The customer no longer has a choice is what happened. Competition is good for the customer; monopolies are bad, especially informal monopolies.

-John Havlik

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The Time Has Come: AoE3 Coming Soon!

Finally, a sequel to the Age of Empires series from Ensemble Studios. The eye candy spin-off, Age of Mythology, was cool, but it was not Age of Empires—it did look oh-so-cool graphics wise and was fun to play, but AoM has a limit to the number of towers and ‘castle’ structures that you can build and you can’t build a town center just anywhere on the map as in AoE.

The biggest problem with AoE II is that its graphics are dated to say the least. Plus some features didn’t make the final cut due to system requirements, this time they seem to have done it right. Supposedly, you’ll need a 1.4 GHz processor with 256MB ram and 64mb vram, plus hard drive space and etc. The demo is available right now at ageofempires3.com

-John Havlik

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The Beginning of the End is Nigh!

Tomorrow will be the first day of the last school year, for High School that is. I don’t know if I really dread the fact that it is starting or the fact that it is my last year of High School. All I can say so far is that things will be really different, a new house (wing like block of classrooms) and being the oldest in the building once again, a la 8th grade.

I got a new ‘thumb drive’ yesterday, it’s a 512MB Cruzer mini. I’ve wanted to replace my 128MB Lexar Jump Drive Secure for some time now, because of its massive (physical) size. I originally had a Jump Drive Sport but that went bad and was RMA replaced with a Jump Drive Secure. The Cruzer gets back to the size of the Sport, which I loved, except for that fact that it stopped working. Now I can get larger files into the ‘secure environment’ at school.

-John Havlik

[end of transmission, stay tuned]