Friday, August 11, 2006

Disturbing Headline

I receive email alerts from various "news" services on a daily basis and most get little to no reaction on my part. It may be, "Who cares?", "Oh, how sad he died.", "Whatever?" or on rare occasions, "OMG!!! That is terrible!!!" But, most often that is it.

I got the one below yesterday:

U.S. and France agree the main points of a resolution to end fighting between Israel and Hezbollah

My first, very brief thought was, "Hey they agreed on something.", then I had a light go on... The U.S. & France? OK... Well most often an agreement to end fighting is between the fighting parties, so why are these two negotiating to end the hostility between Israel & Hezbollah?

I understand that the U.S. and Israel are allies & the fact that France may align with Hezbollah is not all that shocking, however do either of these "proxies" really speak for or control the actual combatants? I think not!!

If this works though it will be an interesting precedent. I then being an ally and supporter of Coca-Cola, could negotiate with some Pepsi drinker out there, and put an end to the "Cola-Wars" once and for all. Cat and dog owners could negotiate an end to the fueding between these animals. And perhaps most exiting of all morticians and doctors could negotiate to put and end to death!!! (I for one don't think I want to live forever, in a world this messed up.)

If Israel & Hezbollah agree to the main points of a resolution to end the hostilities, that would be news... This is just more political posturing by two countries who will scarcely affect the final outcome.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Why is "Full Disclosure" NO Disclosure?

When buying or trying to refinance a home, our governmental friends have decided that the consumer MUST have, "Full Disclosure" of everything that may, might or will happen.

On the surface this seems like a good thing, they have to tell you that there is a garbage dump a mile away that makes it stink or that there is an earthquake fault running through the back yard. They also have to tell you about all the fees, insurance options and interest adjustments.

Great They can hide nothing!!!! Woo Hoo we win!!! Or so some politician somewhere must be thinking. However, they are sadly mistaken in their thoughts.

The dishonest people will always find a way to sneak something past and now they can do it in plain sight. All they have really done is create a mountain of paperwork so large, that even the honest people struggle to find and point out all the really important items being disclosed.

It used to be that the needed one and two page forms that could be read, understood & completed by the buyer. Now we have enough forms, disclaimers & disclosure statements to make a speed reading lawyer's day go by. No "regular person" has the time or understanding needed to really digest it all, thus it is scanned at best and misunderstood or skipped too often.

So, we are back at least to where we were on the disclosure issue from the standpoint of the consumer being informed. The difference now is that the consumer has no recourse when they have a legitimate complaint as it would now go like this:

Consumer: "There is toxic waste bubbling up in my back yard."

Company: "Yes, that happens every few years."

Consumer: "Nobody informed me of that."

Company: "We most certainly did. It is in the 3rd sentence of the fourth paragraph on addendum A3 of page 357 in packet X, 'Disclosure of Unimportant Things We Encourage You to Sign Without Reading', I see here that you signed it."

Consumer: "But this seems an important thing that should have been highlighted."

"Perhaps, however, as you have already purchased the home, you may feel different when you sell it. Have a nice day & thank you for calling"

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

VMK no BS Forum

For those of you who have not yet heard, Disney's Virtual Magic Kingdom [VMK] is a free multiplayer online game. It is themed as their parks are, and is an obvious marketing program... But, it rocks!!!

Though it was aimed at the 8-13 age range, there are a large number of ancient Disney fans that play as well. I am one of them. There are several forums and discussion boards that are devoted to VMK, and most Disney forums have a section devoted to it. I have made many great friends in these places, however most of them have become over run with... (Gasp!!!) The originally targeted market for the game.

So I, and several of the other ancient VMK players decided that there was need for a forum where the childish BS would not reign, and about a month ago VMKnoBS was born.

If you have wandered here from one of the other forums, and are at least 18 and not prone to childish BS, come check it out & join if you wish.

Click Here to go:VMKnoBS Forum

Welcome Technorati

As you will likely soon discern, I have a brain that is going too many places at once, to truly produce the results I would like to see here. I eventually hope to post some of my poetry, links to things I find useful or interesting and my normal miscellaneous rants & vents. I hope you enjoy the ride, as I live it out.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Meebo & MeeboMe

Meebo is a nifty little web app that lets you IM in AIM, Yahoo, GoogleTalk, MSN, IRC & Jabber all in one webpage. You can even create an account to save your preferences if you like. It is not required however, and there are various ways to protect your privacy if you feel the need.

Today they added a feature called MeeboMe, that creates a widget for use on any webpage you may want to install it on. "What is a widget?" Some of you may wonder...

This will be my first place to test it, but the idea is that any of you, can IM me from here. Just type into that widget and you appear on my contacts list. I believe it should even let you change your nickname if you don't want to be anonymous.