Sunday, July 5, 2009

There's something the matter with that Heath girl (and other observations)

Sarah Palin is resigning her job as governor of Alaska, and picked the sketchiest possible day of the year -- the day before the Fourth of July -- to do it. Why? No one knows. The smart money is on a scandal about to hit, but in absence of that, it just looks like sheer spineless brittleness -- her inept public persona, her mafious political tactics, and her intolerance of dissent have combined to make her a laughing stock of her among all but the 25 percenters. The rightbloggers are trying to spin it as a strategic move to get into conservative activism or to save her energy for a run at the White House in 2012; everyone else sees it as symptomatic of being a quitter. I certainly don't think I can take her seriously as a political force anymore; while it's obvious she's never really been able to make a niche for herself on the national stage, I guess this shouldn't be that surprising.

Comcast for several weeks has been doing commercials knocking off Verizon's FiOS commercials. While I don't have a terribly high opinion of either company, I have to tell Comcast this: go get your own ad campaign. Are you trying to out-smarm Microsoft's pathetic "I'm a PC" campaign? You do realize ads like that make you look like a second-stringer, right? (Also, note to Verizon: when you do get FiOS to Cape Cod, can you please make sure there's some copper to carry current? The whole point of hanging onto a land line is to make sure you can still call out during an extended power outage; an 8-hour battery will not do the trick, especially in an area with a dodgy grid like ours.)

I need a new camcorder, and I'm a little ticked that MiniDV gear is getting increasingly hard to find. Maybe that makes me a deadender, but I still like the DV codec. Hell, I'd even be willing to do without tape if someone could make a DV camcorder that could record onto a high-capacity flash drive or SDHC card.

On a final note, I got a chance to try out the Dr. Dre Beats headphones today. Allowing for the fact that the demo station was unbelievably loud, the sound quality was pretty much everything promised. However, the price... well, I have a pretty firm policy of avoiding any Monster Cable product unless it's absolutely my only option, and I feel safe in saying that the $300 tab is probably about twice what the phones are actually worth; poking around on B&H's website, where finding a pair of studio headphones over $200 is something of a chore unless you're looking for some in-ear dealie only Paul Oakenfold can afford, would seem to back me up on this. And, hell, I checked out some reviews, only to remind myself that audiophiles would give rave reviews to a party hat scraping on vinyl siding if it cost $500 and had "reference" scrawled on the hat in crayon. So yeah.