Wednesday, January 11, 2006

MacWorld, Intel, Hitler, and Colbert

I spent a big chunk of today at MacWorld Expo in San Francisco, trying to get an up-close look at the new Intel-based Apple Macintoshes. I'm also still trying to reconcile Apple's old PowerPC rhetoric with their new Intel rhetoric: is the PowerPC RISC architecture drastically more efficient than the Intel CISC architecture, or not? Still, the specs on the new machines are quite impressive, and running PC programs on a Mac will no longer require clunky, painfully slow software emulation, but just a patch for the system calls. It will be interesting to watch the new generation of Macs unfold.

After MacWorld Expo, I went to see The Producers, the new movie version of the Broadway play version of the 38-year-old movie about Broadway plays. "It's springtime for Hitler and Germany; It's winter for Poland and France...." It's a brilliant show, and as timely a story as ever.

Then I watched The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report, leaving tonight's Nightline plus the Alito hearings plus some other stuff for later viewing. I'll leave you for now with Colbert's closing segment.
You know, a couple of Ivy League economists recently reached some disturbing conclusions about the Iraq war. Normally, I don't trust the Ivy League, but one of these guys won a Nobel Prize, and in my book that's dynamite. (I got that joke from Sam Alito. Confirm him, Senate!) Anyway, these economists estimate that the war will wind up costing the U.S. over $1 trillion, which is why tonight I place upon my bookshelf this piggy bank, and place into its bowels this crisp $1 bill. There you go; delicious. Now, everyone knows that if you start with $1 in the bank and double it every year, you'll get to $1 trillion at some distant time. We might be engulfed by the Sun at that point. So to the next generation I pass this buck symbolically — and literally. You see, there's one thing the Bush administration was very clear on: it's that we would not need to sacrifice at home for this war. So, kids, it's up to you. Around 2050, smash this thing open, see how many dollars are in there, and then trade them for Sino-American Super-Yuans, 'cause I think that's all the Chinese are gonna take. And for those of you over 40: don't sweat it — this one is on the young-uns. So turn up the thermostat, leave the water running, and snuggle into bed.
Actually, if you double Stephen's dollar every year, you'll reach one trillion in the year 2046, with almost a hundred billion to spare, but that leaves us with a little extra for coke and hookers to share with our favorite politico.

With that, I leave you to another night of peaceful slumber, for tomorrow is another shopping spree in the magical land of computer toys.