GIVE THEM THE WORLD

Here is the astonishing BBC Planet Earth series on DVD or HD DVD or (Geez – couldn’t someone impose a little discipline here?) Blu-ray DVD.

You could spend $15,000 going to the Arctic, waiting silently in one spot for weeks hoping to see a polar bear emerge from hibernation and slide down the hill, followed by her cubs. But that would mean taking time off work, depleting your retirement fund, and possibly losing an appendage to frostbite.

Or you could spend $50 or so and watch this 4-disc DVD set rapt in wonder in the comfort of your media room. (I hope someday to have a media room.) First the technorapture of Kurzweil’s video, and now this.

THE 2000 YEAR OLD MAN

Paul deLespinasse: ‘Thanks for running my comment [yesterday], and for the other interesting Kurzweil comments. Are you familiar with Time Enough For Love, by Robert A. Heinlein? Lazarus Long, its central character, has lived for over 2000 years. The novel suggests some of the benefits and downsides to living very long lives. It may be Heinlein’s best work – I like it better every time I read it, whereas his other leading candidate for ‘best’ (Stranger in a Strange Land) goes down every time.’

GREENER PLUGS

This sounds promising. A universal converter smart enough to use only the power it needs. Something to look forward to next Christmas.

SYMANTEC FALLS

Mozy is working fine for my on-line storage. I’m trying to find a week or two to work on canceling my Symantec charges. One of you wrote in to note that Symantec’s stock has been downgraded. And yet it still sells at 47 times earnings. It’s going to need an entirely new culture to deserve anywhere close to that multiple.

CANCELING QUICKEN ON-LINE BACKUP

Joe Cherner: ‘You haven’t lived until you try to cancel Quicken Backup ($9.95/mo). Took me three hours, but I think I did it.’

THE HOUSING CHICKENS COMING HOME TO ROOST

This (thanks James) is pretty stark. From the Modesto Bee, in California:

Another foreclosure record was set in November as 1,336 properties were offered to the highest bidder on the courthouse steps in Modesto, Merced and Stockton.

Now here’s the real surprise: Only 17 of them sold, despite lenders offering deeply discounted prices. . . .

It seems that even a lender willing to accept $301,500 on a $537,000 mortgage couldn’t attract a buyer.

MORE HOUSING CHICKENS COMING HOME TO ROOST

Steven Willey passes along Herb Greenberg’s column. (Executive summary: the worst is yet to come.)

 

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