Thursday, December 29, 2005

Beacon Journal | 12/29/2005 | Judge orders Demjanjuk deported

Beacon Journal | 12/29/2005 | Judge orders Demjanjuk deported

This has gotten ridiculous. The man is 85 years old, why not just let him die here in America? I guess if you were a scientist you can stay, but if you are just a factory worker we need to make an example out of you.

Identity Theft (GnomeREPORT)

Identity Theft (GnomeREPORT)

Ok, I figure this true, or at least true enough. I could see someone doing this, particularly a kid. Could this be an argument against evolution?

UserFriendly 12/29/05

UserFriendly Strip Comments

As a Star Trek fan I found this funny. User Friendly is usually funny anyways, as long as you are something of a geek or involved with the computer industry.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Spending the day in upgrade hell

The last two days have been spent in upgrade hell at work. I needed to upgrade to Windows XP Pro so I could work from home when needed.

Yesterday was mostly waiting for the IT guys to come and pick up my machine. Instead of just upgrading the OS they have an image of the OS and just copy that over. Some of my stuff got copied over, some did not. The biggest thing that did not get copied over are all the development tools. Over the years we have streamlined the process, but it is still a process.

So after the development environments, servers, obscure Windows bits, various programmer tools, mulitple versions of our own software, 8,000 service pack updates and about 1,000 reboots I am now almost back to where I was. I still have a couple of utilities to get installed, plus I lost some of my drive mappings that I still need to be setup.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Character Actor Vincent Schiavelli Dies - Yahoo! News

Character Actor Vincent Schiavelli Dies - Yahoo! News

Schiavelli was a the guy I could never remember his name and I took to refering to him as "the 'This is my train' guy from Ghost'. Everyone has probably seen him in something. He protrayed some interesting characters over the years and has provided me with a lot of entertainment.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Happy Holidays!

Just to do my bit to annoy a few people out there ;). The last few days I have been involved in holiday festivities.

Christmas Eve was spent wrapping up my holiday shopping. Saturday is my usual grocery shopping day, so I made the final food buy for our Christmas dinner. Brian got a ham from work, I brought sides and we had a the fixings for a good meal. If it was not for the ham we probably would have just had left overs on Christmas day from Christmas Eve. I also had to get 2 last minute gifts and some food for Christmas Eve. I did my wrapping while watching an disc from Farscape Season 3.

Christmas Eve is when my sister-in-law's family gets together. It is only her and 2 sisters and their kids, which is 2 teenage boys. I get invited since I am alone and my meal would be Taco Bell or McDonalds otherwise. The boys usually go off and play video games, the girls wander between watching videos and listening to the adults, and the adults get to catch up and have some conversation with other adults.

I was having some fun with my one niece - I told her that the plan was I was going to come over about 3, cook dinner, we would eat and THEN we would open gifts. I did not think I human's jaw could hang open that far. I think I even saw a tear in the corner of her eye before I told her I was kidding.

Christmas is spent over at my brother's house. We do the gifts in the morning, let the kids go off and play while the adults sleep in front of the TV. Usually one or more of us get a DVD so we watch it to make sure it is good, especially since we sometimes get used from the local Blockbuster. I picked one up for my brother off of eBay so we really wanted to check it out. We even watched a little football, mostly because it was on. My brother is usually getting ready for work, I'm usually watching DVDs and my sister-in-law was busy with stuff so none of us knew what was on.

So what did I get? An electric griddle & waffle iron. Yea, I know it sounds exciting, but it is something I needed. None of us were exactly flush with cash this year, and I would rather my brother spend his money on the kids than me however I know the kids like to make sure I have something to open on Christmas day. I try to have a list of cheap DVDs or other things that they can get me for either my birthday or Christmas. At least this way I get something I can use and not something I will probably end up getting rid of a year or two down the road.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Beacon Journal | 12/23/2005 | Magical ride puts icing on career

Beacon Journal | 12/23/2005 | Magical ride puts icing on career

What is it about the Zamboni? People cheer for it a hockey games, and as Dyer points out many men want to drive one. An interesting read.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Technology Helps People Weather NYC Strike - Yahoo! News

Technology Helps People Weather NYC Strike - Yahoo! News

Every year telecommuting gets easier. I would imagine most modern office phone systems would let you setup to automatically forward calls to any number automatically. Blocking your home number while calling a client makes that easy.

College Launches Cell Phone Film Contest - Yahoo! News

College Launches Cell Phone Film Contest - Yahoo! News

A cool idea, and possibly even more important with the video iPod coming out.

Double-Mouthed Fish Pulled From Neb. Lake - Yahoo! News

Double-Mouthed Fish Pulled From Neb. Lake - Yahoo! News

Why am I reminded of Blinky, the 3-eyed fish from The Simpsons?

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Interesting tidbits from the paper

Mickey Porter in the Akron Beacon Journal gathers random bits of info from many sources for his daily column. Today there were two bits of info that hit me as interesting.

Today Peter Criss of Kiss turned 60. 60. Man. This was just about as bad when I found out a guy from church that was 4 or 5 years older than myself became a grandfather.

However, in a semi-related story, Julio Iglesias Sr. is going to become a father again, at 90! Julio Sr., father of Julio Jr. & grandfather of Enrique, and his wife Ronna Kneit (age 43 BTW) are expecting their second child. For those who may want to keep score, that means Enrique is getting an uncle who is 31 years younger than he is and Julio Jr. is getting a brother who is 63 years younger. I wonder if they are going to share pudding?

FDA Warns Maker of Blood-Sugar Monitors - Yahoo! News

FDA Warns Maker of Blood-Sugar Monitors - Yahoo! News

As a programmer I have read extensively on what companies go through to make sure that all the hardware/software is perfect and error free when life is on the line. I find it odd that any company that works in this industry, especially Johnson & Johnson, would not investigate any reports fully because of the potential of law suits.

Judge Resigns Over Secret Surveillance - Yahoo! News

Judge Resigns Over Secret Surveillance - Yahoo! News

Wow, someone who is really sticking up for what he believes. It is unfortunate that the judge has not come out and just said that is exactly why he quit. Maybe he will clarify this in the coming days.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Happy Birthday!

Happy birthday to me!

Now a lot of people always feel bad for me because I have a birthday so close to Christmas. Now I have to admit it does, to a point, suck. By now people are either partied out OR so swamped they have no real time for one more thing. On the plus side though not everyone gets the whole house decorated for their birthday, plus at least my family tried to make my birthday special so it did not get lost in the rest of the holiday season.

I have to say things were not looking good at the beginning of the day - bad traffic jam, things exploding at work, more bad traffic on the way home.

However in the end, it all worked out. I got my gift from the Secret Santa (and Jill Hoff, if you are reading this, thank you). Since it was my birthday I opened it and got No Plot? No Problem! I think everyone, at some point or another, feels the urge to write a book. Aside from the time, my biggest problem has been coming up with a good idea that would go for the 50,000-60,000 words they recommend for a novel. This will give me an idea on how to get one of my ideas some legs.

Although I got a few cards, this card really stood out. I don't know how JR finds these cards, but they are works of art. Even the card is great.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Where has the time gone?

It just seems like yesterday it was summer, now Christmas is next week. I have yet to put up anything that even remotely resembles a decoration. I did get my annual fruit cake bar, which so far has been my one nod to the holiday season it seems. Seems I am well on my way to becoming a Grinch & a Scrooge.

I am going to try a tree this year. I have a small artificial one from my mom. In the past I have not set one up because of my one cat, who seemed to think the tree made a good target for her to practice her jumping. After setting the tree up everyday, sometimes twice a day, I quit setting one up. However the last few years I have not even put lights around the inside of the windows.

However she has mellowed a bit in the last year or two, so maybe I can get by with a tree. We will see. After this I am going to throw a load of laundry in and then go drag down the tree and some ornaments. I have no idea what is left up there from mom. Most of my ornaments have been broken over the years (damn cat), but I had a few soft ones. I do know I have about 1 billion icicles from mom that I know I cannot use. I have yet to see a cat not eat any icicle it can get its mouth on. Not good for the cat, and not good for your sanity to see an icicle hanging out of your cat's butt.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Beacon Journal | 12/15/2005 | Goodyear Band gets new life

Beacon Journal | 12/15/2005 | Goodyear Band gets new life

It is cool the band got some new sponsorship, in fact there were 23 offers!

This is the type of thing I would go out to listen to if I knew where they were playing. As a former band geek member I like to listen to marches and "old" music sometimes.

The problem, all too often, is finding out about this. Tracking down when certain events are in the Beacon Journal can be tough - should it be with the community events that are done throughout the week? Health events are listed on Tuesday in the Health section. Music is usually in Thursday, but that is mostly clubs and trying to pick through multiple pages of classified-ad sized postings of upcoming events it tough. I found an RSS feed of events, maybe that will help me out some.

Beacon Journal | 12/15/2005 | E-Check stays, but it will be free

Beacon Journal | 12/15/2005 | E-Check stays, but it will be free

No one has liked E Check for various reasons. My biggest problem has been the cost - I would think similar tests could be run that are cheaper. I find it unfortunate that they are using money from the tobacco settlement for this.

Interestingly I was just at E-Check today. I totally brain farted though since I am not due to have a check until NEXT year. Yet again thinking got me in trouble.

An answer to your question SBC

Dear Yahoo SBC,

I heard an ad today that asked "Why would anyone spend over $150 more for Time-Warner Internet?" Well - because you will not provide me with DSL. (I could mention that Time-Warner is faster as well, but that is not my concern here.)

I have been listening for months it seems about how much cheaper you are. And you are - your $16.99/month price is well over half that of what I pay to Earthlink/Time-Warner. I would LOVE to switch. Even switching to the advertised professional price on your website would save me about $240/year.

Even better - I would love to take advantage of your package deal of local (which you already service), long distance (that I do not use), satelitte TV & DSL for $85/month. Right now I pay more to Time Warner for my cable & internet alone. I would not even be too concerned over the mix of channels and the bad reception when there is heavy snow (don't lie to me - I have talked with people who have satelitte and they all say the same thing). I might even consider abandoning Verizon and trying Cinglar to see how much more I could save. Give me the Kool-Aid - I'm ready to drink!

My brother living a block away can get DSL. One block. One stinking block. There is even a school that is a block away that I believe also gets DSL. Wny not me? I would even be willing to pay you to come in and re-wire all the phone lines in my house. Come on, please?

At the very least could you stop teasing me with your ads?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Beacon Journal | 12/13/2005 | Speeding fines cut

Beacon Journal | 12/13/2005 | Speeding fines cut

Frankly even $35 will be enough to get people to slow down. Given the problems with the program to date it would be best to just get out of it ASAP. Does it really matter if someone is giong 11 MPH over the speed limit at 3 AM around a school? If they want to continue this program they need to seriously examine the program and work more with the company. Not knowing what they are going to do over Christmas break is bad - especially if they do not adjust their speeds and people are getting tickets for doing the speed limit instead of 20.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Beacon Journal | 12/12/2005 | It's Jolly to lead tuba show

Beacon Journal | 12/12/2005 | It's Jolly to lead tuba show

I missed it again this year. As a former baritone player (which is part of the tuba family) I have always wanted to play in it, however I have not picked up a horn in 20+ years since graduating high school. Maybe next year.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Beacon Journal | 12/11/2005 | Tags would mark offenders

Beacon Journal | 12/11/2005 | Tags would mark offenders:

"The intent isn't to create a scarlet letter, but to warn residents when they come in contact with dangerous offenders with a high recidivism rate, Coughlin said. "

Bullshit. As was pointed out later in the article, there is no such thing as security. Period. Given they are talking about loopholes for company cars and, as was pointed out, the car could be registered in someone elses name, the idea of warning citizens is bull. Why don't they do a similar thing for people who have multiple assault convictions? Released murderer has more rights than a one time rapist in Ohio.

I ask again - why do people want to move away?

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Beacon Journal | 12/10/2005 | Summit orders 148 sex offenders to move

Beacon Journal | 12/10/2005 | Summit orders 148 sex offenders to move

This is one of the problems I have with these kinds of laws. Here is a man who was not even convicted of a crime against a child. Why can't he live within 1000 feet of a school?

Friday, December 09, 2005

Watching a blimp get built

Here is a video of them positioning the cockpit on the newest Goodyear blimp. May require a registration to view, but interesting. It does not look like the process has changed that much since the hey day of blimp building.

Having grown up with smelling distance of Goodyear Plant 1 (now the world headquarters) and two grandfathers who worked for Goodyear (at different plants) the Blimp has always been a constant in my life. Even today they use the Wingfoot Lake in Akron to park the Blimps at whenever they are in the area.

Watch It! Shaq Now Carries a Badge - Yahoo! News

Watch It! Shaq Now Carries a Badge - Yahoo! News

This is an interesting way to give back to the community you live in. I never knew Shaq was a reserve officer before, and he seems to want to help without getting any photo ops. I wonder if the only reason he agreed to the article was to help drum up interest in the reserve officer corp.

I wonder if he will donate his $1/year salary back? It seems odd to pay him that given how much he makes. Reminds me of when Michael Jordan was playing minor league baseball and the coach would give him his per diem for meals. It was something like $20 or $30 dollars.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Beacon Journal | 12/08/2005 | Sheriff's snow alerts in plain words now

Beacon Journal | 12/08/2005 | Sheriff's snow alerts in plain words now

It has been awhile since we had any serious driving advisories, but the only one that was important was 3, which is when the cops would arrest you unless you were going to the hospital. I do not remember a 1 or 2 advisory ever being set, or at least announced to the public.

By and large people know what to do when it snows here anyways.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Bertinelli Divorcing Rocker Eddie Van Halen - Yahoo! News

Bertinelli Divorcing Rocker Eddie Van Halen - Yahoo! News

It is odd after 20 years (when they separated) to see a marriage break up. It is even weirder given all the crap that Valerie Bertinelli has put up with over the years. Just one more example of why I quit trying to figure out why people do things.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

NBC joining on-demand iPod playlist - Yahoo! News

NBC joining on-demand iPod playlist - Yahoo! News

This would be interesting, particularly the cable station angle. Right now I am looking at dropping my "extended basic" cable because of lack of interest. I would go from 70 channels of crap to 20 channels of crap. My only complaint is loosing SG-1, Monk & Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Those are the only things I typically watch and I pay over $40/month for that. At $2/episode I could still save money.

Update: This link shows that Monk will be included in the shows on iTunes. No mention of SG-1, and Bravo shows are yet to come which is where Queer Eye is shown.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Beacon Journal | 12/05/2005 | U.S. cities aim to launch ferries to Canada

Beacon Journal | 12/05/2005 | U.S. cities aim to launch ferries to Canada

I am not sure what is at either of the ports that Cleveland or Painesville would go. I wonder how much time would be trimmed if you wanted to go to Toronto.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Beacon Journal | 12/04/2005 | Zips put bite in new Roo ads

Beacon Journal | 12/04/2005 | Zips put bite in new Roo ads

While going to the University of Akron it was always tough to explain what a kangaroo had to do with Zips. Even harder, and possibly more embarassing, was explaining where they came up with Zips in the first place. (The story was always it was a name of a boot that someone submitted. Sad part was it was the best of the lot.) And of course calling your kangaroo Zippy makes it all the more, well, cuddly for some reason.

About the time I was leaving UA was looking to start updating its look. They had just gotten Buchtel Avenue closed (re-routed officially) - actually making it more like a campus. I still tend to look though when crossing what used to be Buchtel Ave. Old habits die hard. They were introducing the Moving A during my tenure there.

I drive by campus a few times a year, and try to take a walk around once a year or so and the changes are unbelievable. Many of the old buildings have gotten a face lift. Some of the old parking lots are now parking decks. My hope is that the insides have been changed along with the outsides of these buildings. We may have a world class campus here eventually.

Saturday, December 03, 2005 | 12/03/2005 | Audio interview with Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic, in China on a trade mission (MP3 format) | 12/03/2005 | Audio interview with Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic, in China on a trade mission (MP3 format)

Newspapers podcasting? I downloaded the file to listen to later. Very interesting to see this on a newspaper site...

Workbench: Nude Teens and the National Review

Workbench: Nude Teens and the National Review

Aside from the obvious problems of kiddie porn brought up by this article, I have to agree with Dave that women don't really get interesting until after 20.

It seems in a time with rampant cosmetic surgery that a woman (or man) with a few wrinkles or who may sag a little here and there would be not only interesting, but possibly sexy.

I started to loose my hair at 16, before Rogaine and the like hit the market. Since this was rampant in my family my mom told me if I was going to get a rug, get a good one. I decided the hell with it and just let nature take it course. Even after I could have started Rogaine. The way I figure it I will stand out as one of the few bald guys.

Not everyone wants a Barbie or Ken doll.

Friday, December 02, 2005

U.S. to Release New $10 Bills on March 2 - Yahoo! News

U.S. to Release New $10 Bills on March 2 - Yahoo! News

Not having a $20 on me I can't compare the colors. Once complaint I have heard from foriegners is our money all looks the same. If you look at the money from other countries each bill has a different color making it easy to identify them quickly.

I like the mention of the $2 bill, which you rarely see. My brother got one once and ended up taking it to the bank to get two 1s. No one thought it was real money. In my view we should get rid of the $1 & $2 and replace them with coins. No matter what people think, the $1, $2 just like the penny will never be eliminated.

Beacon Journal | 12/02/2005 | Facebook new way to connect at school

Beacon Journal | 12/02/2005 | Facebook new way to connect at school

Yet another blog community. Once you graduate you will, no doubt, loose all your stuff. To me these people would be better off using MySpace, Yahoo 360 or Blogger. They are free and at least Blogger (which I am using) allows for a lot of customization.

Beacon Journal | 12/02/2005 | Zips earn applause and respect

Beacon Journal | 12/02/2005 | Zips earn applause and respect

Woo hoo! I am not a huge football fan, but I usually follow my alma mater. This is a long way from when we called the team "Gerry's Kids" in the dark days when I went there.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

pesky'apostrophe: always better than an unexpected period.

pesky'apostrophe: always better than an unexpected period.

Mac definately has a way about her. I particularly like her ending: know how it is with the new conservative—personal responsibility and individual responsibility is only good when we’re talking about getting rid of the welfare system and Social Security and gun ownership. Other than that, all decisions, laws, and private matters should be mandated by the nutty Christian set. All your stuff are belong to us.

Back in the dark days before the V chip, when our "remote control" involved one of us kids running over to the TV to switch the channel, my parents decided what was OK for us to watch. Granted times were simpler and we did not have cable. But there were still shows my parents simply would not watch with us around. We got our nudity the old fashion way - stealing dad's/older brother's/etc Playboy.

This is a problem that will eventually solve itself. As the computer illiterate parents leave parenthood behind the newer, tech-savy parents will be able to setup the V chip, Internet smut guards, etc. in such a way that the kids will not be able to break into them easily.

Granted nothing can stop a kid who is really determined to see "indecent" material. It seems to be the more forbidden the fruit, the more humans want it.

Beacon Journal | 11/28/2005 | Charter schools will go on trial

Beacon Journal | 11/28/2005 | Charter schools will go on trial

I am all for getting kids the best education possible. If public schools are failing then I do feel that Charter schools should be given a chance.

HOWEVER, they have not proven themselves yet. One of my complaints was that early schools could refuse anyone admittance - which of course means that they could skip mainstreaming mentally disabled kids, kids with behavior problems, and generally anyone they felt would bring down their test scores (or drive up their costs). If you want to compare public school performance to Charter school performance then both must take any child or the comparison is moot.

Beacon Journal | 11/29/2005 | New Eagle Scout to take wing

Beacon Journal | 11/29/2005 | New Eagle Scout to take wing: "Andrew Ault "

Congratulations to Andrew Ault! As a former Eagle Scout myself I know what it takes to make it all the way. I may not agree with some of what the Boy Scouts of America is doing right now, but I still respect anyone who makes it all the way through to Eagle.

FCC seen backing new cable pricing: WSJ - Yahoo! News

FCC seen backing new cable pricing: WSJ - Yahoo! News

Hmmm.....interesting turn of events. Depending upon the costs I would consider this given I watch a handful of 50 odd stations I get above "lifeline basic" cable.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Beacon Journal | 11/27/2005 | Restaurant sale on eBay is new world

Beacon Journal | 11/27/2005 | Restaurant sale on eBay is new world

The article quotes some interesting numbers - like $3.3 billion in business category sales alone for a year, 157 million users worldwide. I like this quote:

``It's become a marketplace where everything's negotiable,'' said Mike Schiller, a management consultant who teaches e-business at the University of Akron. ``We have no idea where this is going. Young people are growing up with it; (the technology) is making things much more available than they ever used to be.''

eBay is only 10 years old and 1 category is already handling 3.3 billion in transactions in a year? Think what will happen when in another 10 years.

However it is always interesting to see how people are using technology, and how people forget how things were in the "dark ages." Mur Lafferty was commenting on one of her podcasts about how TiVo is shaping her daughters viewing habits and she is only 2-ish. How do you explain to a 2 year old that at one point not only did you have to sit down at a specific time to watch TV but that you could not stop it and pick up where you were?

The year I graduated high school we got the first real computer lab in the Akron Public Schools in 1983. I remember when the thought of a home computer was laughable. Now I hear people talk about not being able to live without the Internet. In the 20-odd years since high school home computers have gone from a luxary to a necessity. What will the next 20 years hold?

Sunday, November 27, 2005 - Oscar-nominated actor Morita dies at 73 - Oscar-nominated actor Morita dies at 73

I always loved the characters Pat Morita played. I always liked when he would pop up in M*A*S*H, usually at a poker game. I always said that the only way I would study martial arts is if I could get a teacher like Mr. Miyagi. Granted he worked with the script as it was given, but I also know that every actor brings a bit of their personality to the table in any role.

Domo Arigato.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Guardian Unlimited | Arts special reports | Music industry seeks access to private data to fight piracy

Guardian Unlimited | Arts special reports | Music industry seeks access to private data to fight piracy

Let's see, on one hand we have people blowing up buildings. ON the other we have people downloading the latest Britany Spears album. Similiar offense? Something seems a little off when people want the same access to info in both cases.

People don't get it, particularly the music industry. The more they propose stupid things like this, the more people are going to go to independent artists.

Friday, November 25, 2005

DRM, copyright and the end of the music industry

This has been brewing in my mind most of November, so it will probably ramble a bit.

Back on Nov 2nd Adam Curry had reported on someone, and I could not find the link, that had predicted the end of the music industry as we know it within 12-18 months. PW Fenton in a recent podcast declared that he is going "podsafe" - as he said "if I can't buy it from the artist, I ain't buying it." Of course that came as fallout from Adam Curry getting the semi-nice (at least that is my guess) "stop playing licensed music or else" letter, no doubt delivered by Guido of the 1 eyebrow.

Not long after that we get the whole fall out from the Sony rootkit DRM stuff, which I have blogged about this month. As time as passed it looks like Sony is going to get hung up by its dangly bits, legally speaking, over this. For those who's head has been in the sand for the last month - the rootkit is a hidden program that you cannot find on your system that reports back to the mothership home office about what you do with select Sony-BMG CDs on your computer. The techology though provides for a way for various malware to hide on your system, and the original patch left an even bigger hole and potentially caused hardware problems.

Of course the RIAA and the labels will claim they are protecting the income of artists. This article, or one similar, has been around to show that the amount of money that worms its way down to the artist overall is usually rather small. Granted beer money is better than no money, but it becomes obvious that they are not protecting the financial interest of the artist as much as their own financial interests. One other interesting point I recall from the music industry is they loose money on most artists, and again they need strong sales on a few acts to support all the acts they loose money on. More on that in a bit.

Now I think that the 18 month time frame for the death of the music industry as we know it a little premature. If for no other reason they control the rights for people to cover some great music. Composers need to get their cut, and as Coverville has shown covering a song is a popular thing in the music industry.

So what are we to do? DRM is not really a good answer. Even the limited DRM, like I saw on The Reverse Engineers' Mercury In Retrograde can cause problems. They have a limited use DRM that allowed for 3 plays before you had to pay a dollar. Not a bad idea, however when I first played in it on my home computer I had to retrieve an update to my player. I have not tested this yet, but my guess is that it will run into the same problem as any other DRM when you need to move the mustic to another machine, or you get a new MP3 player. Even Dave Winer recently had a very bad experience with Apple's DRM with a new video iPod. Nothing like loosing your entire music collection that you paid for because your portable player died and you had to plug in a new one. (Granted, this was not Dave's case, but you can see where that would happen.)

So what are we to do?

First off the music industry needs to realize that times have changed. Instead of signing a 100 acts with the hope of 5 being hits, maybe the music industry needs to cut back to 50. The big labels have some advantages - they have the contacts to setup tours, promote, etc. Just because someone is a good musician does not mean they are good at PR. Podcasting can get your music heard by others, may result in some CD sales, but writing press releases, picking good photos, designing album art, and a hundred of other details may escape the musician. Maybe Adam Curry's idea of the unlabel can help with that, freeing the musician to make music.

As listeners of course the most important thing for us to do is to support musicians we like. It would be great if we could find DRM-free downloads. We need to either buy the songs we like, or maybe pickup the whole album. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising for groups, so letting people know about groups you find interesting is a must. More stores like CD Baby that caters to independent musicians need to come up.

Musicians need to release a song or two free of DRM. These songs need to be representative of their sound. Too often I have heard 30 second cuts of songs, or a whole song, that is far from representative of the song or sound of the group. If you want me to buy an album, give me something that will give me an idea of how it will all sound. If you listened to only the song Beth from Kiss you would not have an idea of their overall sound.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving movie fest

Since my brother and I hate football, we typically watch movies all day on Thanksgiving. Granted I do help out some with the cooking, but my big contribution is the turkey which does not take a lot of time to keep up with. Never fear - most of the cooking is usually done so my sister-in-law ends up doing more reheating than anything else. So today we watched:

Robots. A great cast and a rather entertaining movie. Classic underdogs pull together to over throw the "cool" kids, but it was very well done. A great one for my nieces & nephew and still entertaining to adults. Then again the "adults" still fnd fart humor funny so your milage may vary.

Batman Begins. A story of how Batman, AKA Bruce Wayne, trained and became the Dark Knight, along with Sgt. Gordon (before becoming the commisioner). I am not sure how close they stayed to the original story. Given how long Batman has been running I am sure at some point they explored it "officially". Enjoyable action film, although it was a bit long and possibly could have had a few things cut without affecting the overall flow of the film. Michael Caine made an excellent Alfred.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High. As someone who went to high school & college in the 80's this was a cool flashback. Mindless drivel, but it has a good cast. Just today I found out that Forest Whitaker was in the film as Charles Jeffereson, the large football player. Man did he look young! He is probably best known as the private that works as Robin Williams' sidekick in "Good Morning Vietnam". He does a lot of directing as well.

And before heading over I watched House of D. I had trouble getting into the story itself. The movie itself was ok - good acting, moved along, etc. but the story itself just did not grab me. I hate when the elements come together but the story just is not interesting. Honestly the only reason I stuck through the whole film was the actors.

Happy Thanksgiving (or Thursday for those outside of the USA)

I am sitting here waiting on some laundry to finish so I can head out to my brother's house for Thanksgiving. My peanut butter pie is made for my nieces & nephew and I will grab my roasting pan for the turkey when I go and get my laundry. I get turkey detail - I am the only one willing to clean out the turkey so I get to do cook it as well.

Tomorrow is Buy Nothing Day. I usually try to observe it, with the exception of renewing my car registration. I may hold off until Saturday on that this year. The one exception might be if I go to the gym - my membership is expired so I will have to renew. Maybe instead I'll curl up under a blanket and watch videos all day.

Well sounds like my clothes are done. Everyone have a great day, and for all my fellow Americans out there remember the reason for the day and come up with at least 1 thing you are thankful for before consuming mass quantities and watching too much football.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Ohio Republican Backs Off Murtha Criticism - Yahoo! News

Ohio Republican Backs Off Murtha Criticism - Yahoo! News

Trying to rip apart a Vietnam vet is about as smart as playing catch with a live hand grenade. I doubt there is ANYTHING that they can say that he has not already gone through when he came back from Vietnam.

I do not agree with Rep. Murtha on an immediate, complete withdraw from Iraq. We created a mess there and we need to make sure that the shit will not hit the fan when we leave otherwise the soldiers would have died for nothing. However there seems to be absolutely no progress on trying to get our troops out and get Iraq to have a self-sufficient defense force.

Bogus E-Mails Contain New 'Sober' Worm - Yahoo! News

Bogus E-Mails Contain New 'Sober' Worm - Yahoo! News

An important thing - your's truely received emails from the CIA, FBI and several other government organizations yesterday. They looked legit enough until I saw the attachment, a ZIP file, and then I knew to delete them compleetely. Overall I don't open attachments from unknown people anyways.

Web Site Agrees to Help Curb Access to Movies - New York Times

Web Site Agrees to Help Curb Access to Movies - New York Times

I will agree that something has to be done, but the article misses the point of BitTorrent. It is not just movies that can be sent through BitTorrent, but ANY large file. Open Office distributes their binaries through BitTorrent, SXSW Festival released 700+ songs from participating musicians (legally), and many podcasters user BitTorrent to distribute their podcasts. Even legal movie downloads use BitTorrent. I have heard that BitTorrent is also popular in the Open Source community.

I would rather see illegal downloads get choked off (especially since I don't download them) than to see this wonderful distribution method die.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

pesky'apostrophe: always better than an unexpected period.

pesky'apostrophe: always better than an unexpected period.

You go Mac!

Many years ago on the TV show Thirty Something one of the characters used the line "Happy Pagan Ritual", which is what I tend to use around my friends who know I am weird. I tend to respond with whatever people wish me - either Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays, whatever. Given I know a number of Jews, Wiccans and Christians what does it matter. Besides I know a number of people who still do trees & Santa regardless of their religion.

Beacon Journal | 11/22/2005 | Study calls Canton 30th most dangerous

Beacon Journal | 11/22/2005 | Study calls Canton 30th most dangerous

I am a bit surprised by Akron's 91st spot. Overall I find Akron to be a safe place, although I have been told my personal idea of "safe" is skewed being a 6' tall guy. I'm wondering if, like Canton, there was some number that really skewed our results.

Beacon Journal | 11/22/2005 | Summit County bans smoking -- well, sort of

Beacon Journal | 11/22/2005 | Summit County bans smoking -- well, sort of

This "ban" is a joke. Why the hell bother with all the exceptions written into it? And if Akron is excluded it make NO sense what so ever. Another group of idiots that need voted out.

What are your Top 5 electronic toys you can't live without right now?

  • Compaq Presario Laptop. The hub of my digital life. Communication, music, movie playing, finances. I keep very little outside of my laptop.

  • Palm Tungsten T3. My backup brain. I am even getting more info on there all the time. I use this as a mobile adjuct to my laptop for times when lugging a laptop is not convenient.

  • SanDisk 512 meg MP3 player. I use it primarily for podcasts.

  • Toshiba DVD player. A little old school, but I had it and it allows me to work on my laptop and watch a movie at the same time.

  • iJoy Camera. Has about the resolution of a camera phone, great for quick shots on the run.

Overall I would have to say I am pretty well set. Like Gary said in his, maybe a portable video player a la the video iPod, although as part of the Microsoft collective I would look for something outside of iTunes ;). I actually picked up a cheapy Pocket PC recently to play around with the UI. With Windows Media Player built in it would work as a media player, although it does not handle mpeg 4 files natively. It would be cool if I could get them converted to play without downloading a new player to the Pocket PC.

One thing I like about either Palm or Pocket PC is that they are generic enough to function as a video or audio player. I do not use mine as such primarily because of space concerns, although with SD cards that is not a big deal.

The only thing I might get is a TiVo or other DVR. I have considered turning my old computer into a DVR since it has a rather roomy 80 Gig drive, but I always think I don't need another thing to get me to watch more TV.

From Top 5 Friday

Did someone say winter?

  1. Do you like the colder weather, or are you into the hotter weather?
    I prefer colder weather, although not super cold.

  2. What is your favorite thing about winter?
    The possibility of a random snow day, sitting at home watching some of my favorite movies.

  3. Do you have a favorite comfy, cozy lounging around outfit?
    Not really, although my sweat pants & a hoody is probalby as close as I get.

  4. Whats your favorite warm drink when it is just too cold out there?
    Hot cocoa, with little marshmellows. Even little packets of Swiss Miss are fine.

From Tuesday Tales

Monday, November 21, 2005


Yea, it has been awhile since I posted anything substantial, or even passingly bloggish.

Part of the problem has been fat fingers. I lost a post last week I had spent an hour on when I accidently hit a key combo that ended up in the equivilant of hitting the back button and loosing all my hard earned typing. That same day I also lost 3 emails to a similar problem when working in a web-based email page. Grrrr!! I am now using w.Blogger to help with the problem. I have used w.Blogger on and off, mostly off, for awhile. Given my recent run of luck at home I definately need something.

My weekend was equally "fun".

Friday I had made arrangements to go and see IMDB. Went through Fandango to get the ticket for the 10:35 showing. As a single guy going to see what is, nominally, a kid film I think it is easier for me to go to a late showing than an earlier one and getting weird stares by parents. Hey, I know I am harmless, and I understand in this day and age, but it does not make it any easier on me. I even left work early.

However on the way home my brakes went out. Let me tell you, Stairmaster has nothing on getting your heart rate up as having your brakes go out while doing 70 on the expressway. I was able to get off the side of the road and get a tow truck called. Turns out my brake lines rusted through. Not fun. No car, ticket paid for. Fortunately my brother let me borrow his truck for the weekend (and today) so I did not loose my money on the ticket.

Since the first place I took my car to wanted an arm, leg and a few other body parts I had become attached to for the repair, I had the car towed to my favorite brake place. They do great work at a good price, although I will admit I sometimes get the family discount. They could not get to it today - they have limited Saturday hours and do not do brake work on Saturday and are closed on Sunday. This means I was using my brother's truck all weekend. Now I am not complaining since without the truck I would have been stuck at home all weekend, and would have been out $9.25 for the movie ticket. However I still hate the size of truck compared to my car.

Anyways between being up until almost 2 AM and getting the car towed out to the brake place most of Saturday was chewed through. I did get my rear screen door fixed though so the day was not a complete loss.

Sunday I was awakened by a call to do some emergency babysitting for my brother. This took a large chunk of my day. I don't mind babysitting for my brother. Overall the kids are well behaved for me, but I had planned on raking my lawn. My last leave pickup for the year is Wednesday. At least this year a little over half the leaves on my trees is down. I have been doing the leaves in this yard all my life so I pretty much have it down and 1.5 hours later I was done.

There is something very rewarding about doing lawn work. When you are done you can see the results, something that as a programmer you do not always get to do. The raking itself is very meditative, almost zen. Granted my hands are killing me today, almost an RSI injury.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Vatican Official Refutes Intelligent Design - Yahoo! News

Vatican Official Refutes Intelligent Design - Yahoo! News

WOOO HOOO! A religious person who gets it. Of course the people wrapped up in the debate still don't get it...

Legislation Renewing Patriot Act Stalls - Yahoo! News

Legislation Renewing Patriot Act Stalls - Yahoo! News

I was never a friend of the Patriot Act, since it was passed when emotions were running high after 9/11. I find that many times such knee-jerk legislation does not really take a broader look and many times duplicates legislation that is already in place. At least some people are saying "whoa" to this stuff, and at least some kind of reporting mechanism is being put in place.

Yep, that is what I paid for gas

Yep, I paid $1.95 for gas last night. It was at BJ's Wholesale Club, but even BP and Sheetz around here are at $1.98/gallon.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Mom Makes Teen Stand on Street With Sign - Yahoo! News

Mom Makes Teen Stand on Street With Sign - Yahoo! News

An interesting idea. I hope the mother does not get in trouble for this. It seems any more just about anything that a parent can use to discipline a kid is deemed bad. This seems pretty minor and at least in the short time effective.

Beacon Journal | 11/17/2005 | School funds forfeited to Uncle Sam

Beacon Journal | 11/17/2005 | School funds forfeited to Uncle Sam

This is a major bone-headed move. At this point I am not willing to vote for any incumbant because they have all been making bone-headed moves and need to get kicked out.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Alaska May Not Get 'Bridge to Nowhere' - Yahoo! News

Alaska May Not Get 'Bridge to Nowhere' - Yahoo! News

With all the other crap going on, this funding should be pulled immediately. Pork has always pissed me off anyways, but we need to rebuild cities after the hurricanes this year and we still have to fund the troops in Iraq (regardless of how I feel about them being there). Why build a bridge to somewhere that has 50 people?

Harriet the tortoise turns 175 - Yahoo! News

Harriet the tortoise turns 175 - Yahoo! News

Tortoises & turtles have always been a favorite of mine. To see a 175 year old tortoise is amazing.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Catholic Bishops Turn to Lay Ministers - Yahoo! News

Catholic Bishops Turn to Lay Ministers - Yahoo! News

It is not going to be long before the Catholic church MUST reconsider its stance on celibacy, and hence the marriage of priests. Any Episcipalian priest who switches to the Cathalic church is allowed to be married if married before. You can only depend upon the Lay Ministry for so much before you stop being a church.

CURRY.COM: Adam Curry's Weblog

CURRY.COM: Adam Curry's Weblog:

"er, yes, as I've said before, we invest in podcasters, not conferences. Let the undition begin!"

I think that was Todd's point. He also is is trying to something similiar to Podshow with the Tech Podcaster's network. I'm sure if Podshow had anything significant, worth of a sponsership, to say they would have put their money there. From what I have gathered from his blog & podcast Todd would have done the same thing. When working with a startup you need to feel you are getting enough return on conference sponsership to do it.

Monday, November 14, 2005

More Testing fun

You are a

Social Liberal
(73% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(18% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid

Japan Loses Contact With Asteroid Lander - Yahoo! News

Japan Loses Contact With Asteroid Lander - Yahoo! News

This is unfortunate. Any loss of data on an operation like this is unfortunate. My hope though is that Hayabusa's landing and collection goes without a hitch and we can gather some further data.

Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible - World - Times Online

Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible - World - Times Online

This is a weird thing to read, although an old article. It took me a couple of times to really believe this. What this means for the future of religion is tough to say. I have never been much of a person to believe in the literal interprtation of the Bible. For the Catholic church to go down this path is big.

AOL, Warner to Bring Old TV Shows Online - Yahoo! News

AOL, Warner to Bring Old TV Shows Online - Yahoo! News

Sounds like TV Land may have some competition. It will be interesting to see what happens with this.

Beacon Journal | 11/14/2005 | Council will discuss ban exemptions

Beacon Journal | 11/14/2005 | Council will discuss ban exemptions

The older I get, the less I care about people whining about their businesses being affected by a smoking ban. For years we non-smokers have put up with you. There is good evidence that second hand smoke is a health problem. Allowing smoking in bars & restaurants after 10 PM is useless - when do most people go to bars? Not before 10. Besides most places do not have a good enough system to clear out the smoke (and resulting odor) in time.

If your business is that dependent upon people killing themselves and others, maybe you need to re-evaluate your business plan.

Beacon Journal | 11/14/2005 | Route 8 to be streamlined

Beacon Journal | 11/14/2005 | Route 8 to be streamlined

Driving this route for the last 10+ years I can only say this is a long time coming. This is different that what I have seen in the past, so it will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

Of course during the construction I will probably end up on an alternate route since the traffic here is alreayd pretty bad.

Friday, November 11, 2005

BOFH: Hi Honey I'm home | The Register

BOFH: Hi Honey I'm home | The Register

BOFH is sporadic, but it is usually pretty funny. For anyone who has worked in any aspect of the tech industry you can no doubt relate and have possibly comtemplated some of the things he does. Well worth the read.

Read/Write Web: Portals 2.0 flesh out their product lines

Read/Write Web: Portals 2.0 flesh out their product lines:

"My take is that of course the Big 3 (I think we can discount AOL from this level of competition) have a very similar product line - because they're all building 'portals'. It may not be currently fashionable to call them portals, but basically Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft are all trying to integrate products and services into one-stop shops for their millions of users."

I have to agree - they are all building portals in an effort to lure eyeballs. Google has the best advertising mechanisms in place (and great search), Yahoo has the best media tie ins. I have not played much with MSN, but with my knowledge of Microsoft they are probably pretty good at acting as glue between existing services.

If I had to pick one that is in the best position, I would say Yahoo. They are willing to partner with people (something Google is not), not viewed as an evil empire (like Microsoft, and slowly Google), and have been working on the whole portal thing for a long time. There is nothing saying the Yahoo will not go down the roads of either of these companies in the future, but right now that is my take.

Johnny Depp Defends Kate Moss - Yahoo! News

Johnny Depp Defends Kate Moss - Yahoo! News

I have to agree to a point with Depp - she is just human. Why do we feel the need to dig up every last piece of dirty on celebrities and then vilify them when they don't live up to our expectation? I do not condone the drug use, but she is a super model. If she was only doing cocaine I would be shocked.

Viruses Exploit Sony CD Copy-Protection - Yahoo! News

Viruses Exploit Sony CD Copy-Protection - Yahoo! News:

"'You can't uninstall it, you can't find it, and it's vastly more invasive in terms of privacy and personal property than any other (digital rights management) program to date,' he said."

Hmmmm...sounds like a trojan horse to me.

It has been suggested to start bocotting all of Sony's products until they admit they screwed up on this one. Given that this only targets Windows users is even more annoying.

The music industry as it stands today is becoming more and more irrelevant. Why annoy your dwindling number of customers? One more nail in the coffin.

Finding Said to Boost Proof of Goliath - Yahoo! News

Finding Said to Boost Proof of Goliath - Yahoo! News

It will be interesting to see what the religious conservatives will do with this bit of info. Truth is not clear proof that the story of Goliath is true, but it shows it MAY be true. Knowing how some of these people work, there will be a jump to "the whole Bible is true". Never mind the fact that these types of people poo-poo science when it goes against what they believe.

Woman Robs Banks While on Her Cell Phone - Yahoo! News

Woman Robs Banks While on Her Cell Phone - Yahoo! News

Way too bizarre for words.

Beacon Journal | 11/11/2005 | Intelligent design decried

Beacon Journal | 11/11/2005 | Intelligent design decried:

"This debate ``is not science vs. religion -- it's religion vs. religion,'' she said. ``Different religions take different views on science. The goal is to educate apart from those wars.''"

This is the most logical arguement I have heard about this. Keep in mind we are talking about science class. Unless they are going to teach all possible religious explainations, which I can guarantee they are not, no one can talk about it in school. Even if someone is willing to go to all the trouble of running through all the religious explainations it has no place in a science class.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Beacon Journal | 11/09/2005 | Akron schools suffer defeat

Beacon Journal | 11/09/2005 | Akron schools suffer defeat

Note to the Akron Public Schools - I voted against issue 78.

Normally I am one to vote to help the schools. I do believe that the children are our future, and one way to help draw people to the city are to have good schools. I also have two nieces who are in the Akron Public Schools right now.

However, you guys lost a lot of cred with my after the problems with the school building plan. When the original plan was proposed, and the plan that we all signed on for when we voted for the tax, was that all the current schools would remain open. After the plan was presented to the state, all of sudden we have to close a bunch of the schools, including upwards of half the high schools.

I felt like you intentionally deceived us, or are blindingly incompetent. When I read that the state would only support rebuilding/renovating schools with a total enrollment of 350 or more I was not happy. Don't get me wrong - there have been talk about closing some of these schools since I was in the Akron schools 20+ years ago. There was talk of Akron U buying Central Hower when I was in college 15+ years ago. With some of the grade schools having less than 150 students in K-4 (or is it 5?) it is hard to justify keeping a building running.

But why couldn't you be upfront about it all? Even if my alma mater was on the chopping block (which, in the state plan, it was) I would have voted for the tax. Why? Some state money is better than no money.

I realize that operating & captial monies pay for different things, but how do I know you are not lying to me now about the short fall in money? Yes, I know you have kept your word and held the line on expenses and are making progress toward improving test scores. But keeping your word and lying are different things.

There is one other thing:

To the Ohio legislature -

Last I heard the method that the state uses to fund schools is still unconstitutional according to the Ohio Supreme Court. You are working at your 5, 6th or more time through this process. You seemed more concerned with making sure gay marriage is a no-no (and then wonder why we have trouble getting people to move to Ohio), yet you cannot find a good way to constitutionally fund our public schools.

It maybe time to draw a line in the sand - no new taxes until the state can get its collective act together and at least find something that is constitutional. And maybe we all need to start voting against renewals as well.

Microsoft, AP Team on Online Video Venture - Yahoo! News

Microsoft, AP Team on Online Video Venture - Yahoo! News

This is an interesting volley across Apple's bow. Microsoft is not much of a hardware company, but with the video iPod I could see this as a step toward teaming up with a company to offer some kind of iTunes/Disney thing.

As I said before, the video iPod makes video on demand (VOD) a new game. We not only need to shift time but location as well. Streaming is only 1 way in which we are going to want to get videos. In the future if you want to remain competitive you are going to have to offer some way to make things mobile, and on a variety of devices. Digital rights management (DRM) is going to have to get used to that as well.

Evolution Critics Score Win in Kansas - Yahoo! News

Evolution Critics Score Win in Kansas - Yahoo! News

Even the Catholic church admits that you must consider theories when backed by some evidence. The next step backwards is to go back to the idea of the universe revolving around the Earth.

Senators, oil execs to debate profits - Yahoo! News

Senators, oil execs to debate profits - Yahoo! News

Unfortunately it will turn into a dog & pony show with no real results. Senators will talk tough but in the end do nothing.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

NBC, CBS to offer shows on demand for 99 cents - Yahoo! News

NBC, CBS to offer shows on demand for 99 cents - Yahoo! News

Not sure how much sense this makes. I like the idea of $.99 episodes, but the limited nature of who can get these shows does not make sense to me.

I think the video iPod takes video on demand to a whole new level. We need to be able not only time shift, but device shift as well.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Some thoughts on aggregation

I have been a thinking about aggregation of late. In part because I have been working with Flickr and in part because I have been working with some people who are not overly tech savvy.

I am a big user of Bloglines. It is not necessarily that I find them any better than any other service, but they are web based and free. The web basis makes it easy for me to synch my reads between home & work. There are many feeds that I are techie enough that I may read them at work or at home.

Dave Winer has talked about the idea of a river of news. Instead of the email-ish UI where each feed shows if it has new items, all the new items are displayed in a way to show the stories directly. The Google Reader approximates this approach.

I find the Google reader pretty cool, and if they would use actual arrow keys for navigation it would be great. If you really want to rip through your unread entries in the order in which they were posted this is great.

However there are times I want to do both kinds of reading. At work I want to see my feeds and select individual feeds to read. At home I would prefer the river of news approach.

Feed Demon by Nick Bradbury can, or will be, able to handle both types of reading. I got Feed Demon 1.5 and it is an interesting piece of software. The problem is synching feeds between multiple computers. When version 1.6 comes out and it is integrated with NewsGator it will solve a big problem. I like that you can group your feeds, which would be nice so that I could group my techie feeds and, presumably, do the river of news with that group. It would even be better if the groups could at least note there is at least 1 new item to read. I may have some option setup wrong to get this though. Feed Demon is feature rich and if you are looking for a desktop reader and have some money to spend it is well worth it. Feed Demon works right now with NewsGator, but with 1.6 it will be one fee instead of 2.

The one thing I have not tried yet is off line reading in FeedDemon. This would be useful when I am on the road and need to snag my feeds where I am paying for connectivity by the hour.

Of course now that I have looked at it, NewsGator is free and offers some of the same features as BlogLines.

What else would I like to see? More scripting abilities to keep things open for future stuff. Many handle enclosures with no problem, some do not do auto downloads, some will not shot the enclosure to another program, etc.

Phil Collins Says Genesis Reunion Possible - Yahoo! News

Phil Collins Says Genesis Reunion Possible - Yahoo! News

This would be cool. I think I saw them during the "We Can't Dance" tour at Cleveland's old Municipal stadium. This is when both the Indians & Browns played at the same stadium. I never saw them with Peter Gabriel singing, but I have listened to some of their CDs from that time frame and like it.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

What does your birth date mean

Your Birthdate: December 20

You are a virtual roller coaster of emotions, and most people enjoy the ride.
Your mood tends to set the tone of the room, and when you're happy, this is a good thing.
When you get in a dark mood, watch out - it's very hard to get you out of it.
It's sometimes hard for you to cheer up, and your gloom can be contagious.

Your strength: Your warm heart

Your weakness: Trouble controlling your emotions

Your power color: Black

Your power symbol: Musical note

Your power month: February

A catchup meme

Since Katherine said she had no one to tag with this meme, I thought I would go ahead and do it.

Three names I go by:
Hey you (for some reason people have trouble with my name so I tend to resond to just about any name)

Three screen names I have had:
MysticOne (back in the old BBS days)

Three physical things I like about myself:
My eyes
My hands
My legs

Three physical things I don't like about myself:
The settling around the waist
My nose
My hair

Three parts of my heritage:

Three things that scare me:
Religous fanatics
Modern business practices
Never finding love

Three of my everyday essentials:
Tea or hot chocolate
The Internet
A walk

Three of my favorite musical artists:
Phil Collins

Three of my favorite songs:
Come Sail Away - Styx
Don't Stop Believing - Journey
Beautiful - Christina Aguilera

Three things I want in a relationship:

Three LIES:
I know what I want to be when I grow up
I have a kick-ass car
I love brussel sprouts

I was extremely extroverted, but then became introverted
I hate watching football on TV
I believe magic exists

Three physical things about the opposite sex that appeal to me:

Three of my favorite hobbies:

Three things I want to do really badly now:
Get my dinner started
Get my house completely cleaned up
Fix my back door

Three careers I've considered:
History Teacher

Three places I want to go on vacation:
Sedona, AZ

Three kid's names I like:

Three things I want to do before I die:
Travel extensively
Visit the pyramids in Egypt
Learn to play guitar

Three ways that I am stereotypically a boy:
My slobbish house cleaning
My clothes
My love of fart humor

Three ways that I am stereotypically a girl:
I am in touch with my feelings
I am a pretty good listener
I am a sucker for a good romantic comedy

Three celebrity crushes:
Nicole Kidman
Sandra Bullock
Mare Winningham

Beacon Journal | 11/06/2005 | New trail is way to get more places

Beacon Journal | 11/06/2005 | New trail is way to get more places

This is great news! Our area has some great parks, and some good trails but few of the trails hook together.

Now we need to get some more inter-city trails. We have a number of abandoned-looking rail beds that would make great bike trails. Even here in NE Ohio I don't think we can overlook the need to encourage people to use bikes for transportation. Problem us our roads are pretty crappy for bikers, and a few dedicated cut throughs might help draw in some people. If they can get some hook ups from neighborhoods to both the Bike & Hike trail or the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath then you have the best of both worlds.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Becky's T*blog: What Flickr clusters say about you

Becky's T*blog: What Flickr clusters say about you

An interesting little meme, and I learned something about Flikr.

So what does Howard "mean"?

"bush, blair, streetart"

"politics, john, dean"

"chicago, train, redline"

"soma, sanfrancisco"

"england, castle"

Apparently Howards are pretty politically involved, leaning either right or left, enjoys street art, and travels a lot, many times by train.

Becky said it hit about 40%, for me even less. I will say I am sort of middle of the road politically, but I have not been to Chicago, San Francisco or England.

CommonMedia Launches DRM-Free Music and Video Stores -

CommonMedia Launches DRM-Free Music and Video Stores -

An intesting idea. BitTorrent is a great way to disribute large files, but only really works when there are lots of people downloading the same file. I grabbed a file from CommonFlix that was free just to see how it worked, but only 1 other person had downloaded the file so it was painfully slow. It will be interesting to see what people do with this with TV shows.

Via Geek News Central

Scripting News: 10/29/2005

Scripting News: 10/29/2005:

Hey we're having a Old Farts Genius Network breakfast at Denny's in Palo Alto, tomorow at 9:30AM. You don't have to be a club member to join the party. Permanent link to this item in the archive.

I find the name Old Farts Genius Network. Not sure about the genius part, but at work I am an old fart.

Tarot quiz results: The Moon

The Moon Card
You are the Moon card. Entering the Moon we enter
the intuitive and psychic realms. This is the
stuff dreams are made on. And like dreams the
imagery we find here may inspire us or torment
us. Understanding the moon requires looking
within. Our own bodily rhythms are echoed in
this luminary that circles the earth every
month and reflects the sun in its progress.
Listening to those rhythms may produce visions
and lead you towards insight. The Moon is a
force that has legends attached to it. It
carries with it both romance and insanity.
Moonlight reveals itself as an illusion and it
is only those willing to work with the force of
dreams that are able to withstand this
reflective light. Image from: Stevee Postman.

Which Tarot Card Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Friday, November 04, 2005

Been awhile

I have been AWOL for awhile here. Things usually get out of control around the For Purpose Conference, and it just completely throws off my schedule.

The conference itself was great. The speakers were great, even the one's whom I did not necessarily connect with what they were saying. One thing I have learned to appreciate is that a speaker can do a great job but you may not connect with their particular symbology. Sometimes it is important to look for themes and to see if you can translate the speaker's symbology to your own.

The real pleasure for me though was participating in the Saturday healing ceremony. This is an energetic healing with Reiki or similar techniques. I was a "catcher". Catchers have two basic jobs. The first is to escort people to a healers tables, kind of keeping the process moving. The second, and more important, is to help people after they are done on the table. People can get stiff from being on the table, plus sometimes they need some grounding. There are others who help with the grounding, but the extra hands (and muscle) is usually appreciated.

I drove to VA Beach, which I always like as a nice bugger between the regular world and the coccoon we put ourselves in while in VA Beach. It is about a 10 hour drive, but it is worth it to me.

Bloglines is showing I have over 70 saved posts for me to do something with. A fair chunk of that is a book that is being released through RSS that I am 20+ chapters beind in. I am going to go through those tomorrow so I will probably be doing a lot of posts tomorrow.

One other thing that came out of the Conference was I somehow got tagged as the eBay guy. I have an eBay credit card that I applied for while fulfilling some online offer. I have not been a huge user of eBay. Sure I have picked up a few items here and there, but checking eBay has never been my first inclination. I have been doing some searching on eBay and finding a variety of things. The biggest surprise was finding clothes in my size. I normally shop in a big & tall shop, which is never cheap. I actually found a pair of jeans that will fit. When I loose the weight I will probably keep going back. Unfortunately I am between inseam sizes and a 32 inseam (which is really too long) is not something most stores carry. Even if I get down to a "normal" size I will still be getting my pants in the big & tall shop. At least eBay might get me some cheaper clothes!

Vatican: Faithful Should Listen to Science - Yahoo! News

Vatican: Faithful Should Listen to Science - Yahoo! News

This is a big deal, at least in my view. It always seemed like the Catholic church puts on its blinders, sticks its fingers in its ears and screams "LALALALA" at lound as possible. I think they are realizing they are not the only game in town.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Geek News Central Revealing Links & Useful Technical Information

Hollywood Studios Fair Use Public Enemy Number One

The truth is no matter what the MPAA does, people will find a way around it. DVDs are, buy and large, cheap and probably not worth pirating.

I know that Hollywood has been complaining about the drop off of box office sales. There are two parts to that. By and large a lot of what is coming out lately flat out sucks. It is not worth even the $6 (roughly) matinee price. It MIGHT be worth a $3.50 rental. This year seemed to be the year of remakes: Longest Yard, Bewitched, Herbie, etc. Where are the original ideas??

The second problem is the movie going experience. My brother, nephew and I went to see Star Wars III. It was $8.25 for my ticket (my brother had passes), $19.75 for pop, popcorn and candy and THAT was with a special they were running that day. Without the passes, it would have been around $42 for 3 of us to see a film, sharing a tub of popcorn and two drinks between us. My brother's family of 6 could not afford a night at the movies at a first-run theater, and even has trouble getting everyone in at the local second-run theater. At least it is only $18 for everyone there.

Given that many people have big screen TVs, DVD players, surround sound watching a video at home is almost as good as being in the theater. You can buy the same snacks for a fraction of the cost at a store. Unless you enjoy sticky floors (and just about every theater I have been in has them) and people's cell phones going off, why not save a few bucks?

If Hollywood is really worried, maybe if they gave us a product worth our time we would spend the money. I still go to the theater for select films - some things just look good on the big screen. But there is so much out there that I am willing to wait for it to come out on DVD, if I want to spend the time at all.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Boing Boing: Principal says students can't keep blogs or MySpace profiles

Via Geek News Central

Boing Boing: Principal says students can't keep blogs or MySpace profiles

The given reason is to safegaurd the children from predators. Given the problems that the Catholic church has had of late it comes of as sounding like the schools want to save the children for themselves. Maybe I am just being pessamistic on that.

I do believe that parents should take some responsiblity teaching their kids how to behave on line, just like they tell children to not talk to strangers they likewise need to teach them to be leary of anyone on line. Cyber space is no different than meat space. In fact cyber space is worse since people can track people easier online and from anywhere. I would hope that parents would keep some tabs on what their kids do online, at least in the home.

My blog is not worth much

Thanks to John I found out how much my blog is worth. Good thing I do this for love and not money ;).

My blog is worth $2,822.70.
How much is your blog worth?

Beacon Journal | 11/01/2005 | Smoking debate lights up Summit

Beacon Journal | 11/01/2005 | Smoking debate lights up Summit

As a non-smoker I support this ban whole heartedly. Having just come from VA Beach where smoking is allowed everywhere I hate trying to enjoy a meal while people around you smoke. I might get out more and go to places to enjoy live music if I did not have to put up with smokers everywhere there is live music.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Global Rich List

I'm the 52,342,065 richest person on earth!

Discover how rich you are! >>

iPod Vending Machine - Gizmodo

iPod Vending Machine - Gizmodo

I have to agree that an iPod vending machine does not make much sense, unless the iPods are charged and have some music on them. It would be interesting if they did.

Top 5 places (Saturday, October 29, 2005)

From Top 5 Friday via Gary

In order:

Favorite Candy Bar (Saturday, October 22, 2005)

Another catchup meme:

From Top 5 Friday via

Snickers - Peanuts - good! Nougat - good! Carmel - GOOD!
M & Ms - Small, convenient, comes with lots of varieties and pretty colors.
Almond Joy - Coconut & almonds.......Forgive me while I wipe up the drull.
Sugar Babies - Can't find them often, and are often stale (ie - hard) when I do find them. Leave them in your pocket for awhile so as not to break teeth. They last better in heat than Milk Duds
Mike & Ikes - I love them at the movies.

Top 5, all time favorite movies? (Friday, October 14, 2005)

I am cleaning up some stuff from when I was on vacation, and I really liked this meme.

From Top 5 Friday Via Gary

My top 5 all time favorite movies:

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across The Eigth Dimension. A great cast and a quirky movie. If you watch it on DVD watch it with the original opening with Jamie Lee Curtis playing Buckaroo's mother.

Kissing Jessica Stein. I'm a sucker for a romatic comedy, and this is one I will go back to. Small, independent film.

Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi. The best of the series in my opinion.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Khan is probably my favorite villian from the original Star Trek, and he seemed to be the one villian to REALLY push Kirk.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. If it was not so long I would watch it regularly. All three were good, but this is my favorite.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Column from PC Magazine: Apple iPod's Amazing Video Feat

Column from PC Magazine: Apple iPod's Amazing Video Feat

Portable media players have been trying to take off for awhile now. With Apple packing this it has a better chance of hitting main stream.

The biggest problem I see is the cost per episode through iTunes. $2/episode pushes the cost of the episodes on DVD. Hopefully half-hour shows will will be less than the shows I have seen. Granted you get the shows commericial free without having to skip through them!

What will really break this open is being able to transfer shows from your DVR (like TiVo) onto the players. It would be great if you could have it automatically load on a show that you did not get a chance to watch. With gas prices going up more and more people will be commuting and that time would be great to catch last night's show(s). The device would then also have to talk to your DVR to relay back what has been watched. That two way communication seems to be missing on some of the MP3 players.

I figure as people start replacing machines they are going to start getting Media Center systems, which eliminates the needs for TiVo. People are not looking to pirate films, just be able to play them back when they get a chance to watch them. TiVo has shown that time shifting shows is desired. PMPs take that to another level.

This is getting to to reevaluate my position on multi function units. Based on what I have seen on Apple's & Creative Lab's sites, a 30 gig unit will hold up to 15,000 songs, 120 hours of video or 25,000 pictures. If you divide that into thirds you could easily fit 5,000 songs, 40 hours of video. Let's throw in an eBook reader (the screens are getting bigger and easier to read) and some PDA capabilities and the system really begins to take on some serious shape. Let's say we set 3 gig aside for eBooks and PDA info. Given that many PDAs now are in the 128 meg range it seems more than generous. And keep in mind that some functions of the PDA would be taken by functions of the PMP. That would still leave plenty of room for music, videos & photos.

The problem is still one of cost. Most multi function units I have seen to date tend to cost almost as much as the combined cost of all the replacement units. Why? The bulk of the cost is in the memory. Given that most PDAs already do most (actually all) of what PMPs do, we should be able to combine these fairly easily and, more importantly, cheaply.

I still think that cell phones should remain separate. I hate to say it, but combining PDAs and cell phones result in too many compromises in form on one or the other. Cell phone MP3 or video players may make sense, but if you are going to try and combine PDA functionality you really need two units to have good form & functionality between the two.

'Star Trek' Actor George Takei Comes Out - Yahoo! News

'Star Trek' Actor George Takei Comes Out - Yahoo! News

It is cool that Takei can finally be himself. As he stated he had issues around being gay and Japanese, neither of which should be an issue. It will be interesting to see what he does now given his activist tendancies.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Review: iPod Nano, 2GB | 43 Folders

Review: iPod Nano, 2GB | 43 Folders

I like the idea, but to me I like to have entry capability. For those who want one small device and are not too concerned with data entry it would be great.

To me though, if we can get 2 gig into that small a piece of equipment, then I can see 2 gig in the Palm/Pocket PC environment. Granted I got 40 meg of 52 meg free on my current Palm, but if we can squeeze out some additional battery life maybe I consider moving to one device.

Google meme

From Katherine:

Type "[yourname] needs" into Google and see what comes out.

1) Howard needs Clark for Solomons venture -
Ok, I'll buy that. Whenever I enter into a venture I want as much help as I can get.

2) Workers Online : Letters to the Editor : 2005 - Issue 253 : Howard ...
Howard Needs To Know.

Maybe Clark has the answer??

3) CFMEU: Construction & General Division: Hard Hat: November 2001 ...
Private Howard needs you!

Is "you" Clark? Seriously though I always figured I would be an officer, not a private.

4) Howard Needs Homeland Security - The Hilltop - Perspectives Howard Needs Homeland Security
Does that mean I need to go out and get a gun & dog?

5) Barclay Howard needs treatment for leukaemia
Leukaemia? Pass!

6) Graham Young argues that John Howard needs to lead the Liberal ...
Sounds like a plan. Maybe I can get Clark to help out!

7) Ambit Gambit: John Howard needs to learn to say sorry.
"I'm Sorry." Now that was not hard.

8) Michael Howard speech: Your reaction Howard needs to attack, attack, attack and don't be nice.
But I just learned to say I was sorry...

9) The Muslim News - Howard needs to allay concerns of British Muslims
Not sure what I can do here. Maybe if I can lead the liberals we can allay the concerns of the British Muslims...

10) The Talent Show: Howard Needs A Joke
I have a joke: What is the difference between a catfish & a lawyer?
A: One is a mud-sucking bottom dweller and the other is a fish.
Ok, maybe I need a BETTER joke.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Beacon Journal | 10/25/2005 | State goes to all-electronic support payments

Beacon Journal | 10/25/2005 | State goes to all-electronic support payments

To me this is a good/bad thing. It is good that they are finally doing something that is electronic based. The USA, in general, is so far behind the times when it comes to banking. We are about the last country in the world to still make large use of checks. In fact I heard that Germany completely eliminated paper checks, although I would find that hard to believe. If nothing else companies that do business with Americans would need to have checks.

My concern would be with the Ohio e-QuickPay debit card. Aside from the problems of using debit cards at some places, how much access does the state have over where you spent that money? Granted they are taking into account people who don't have some kind of bank account (which typically is the poorest of society), but do the same rules apply to the debit card as to people getting the money direct deposited into an account? It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Disasters May Cut Into Sept. 11 Donations - Yahoo! News

Disasters May Cut Into Sept. 11 Donations - Yahoo! News

When I first read this I thought "good god someone is whining about not being able to raise money while severe real problems are going on". At least they did have enough care to suspend efforts during the fund raising for the various Hurricane efforts.

Which Magical Order Are You In?

You are a Spiritualist. Your magic flows from the
primal forces of the cosmos. You could be a
gentle Healer, a miraculous Prophet or a
spirit-summoning War-mage with the strong link
your soul provides to the realms beyond
reality. You have preternatural abilities,
intutively sensing the personality of people
you meet and discerning events yet to happen.
You enhance your aura with meditative pursuits.
You are a good judge of character but your
idealism or morality can confuse others.

Which Magical Order Are You In?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I'm off to see the wizard

I am in my final preparations to go to VA Beach for the For Purpose Conference. I leave in the wee hours of the morning, before the butt crack of dawn. Right now I am killing a little time before I go and meet Nancy to pick up some stuff to take down for her since she is flying, plus I need to run over to my brother's house to drop off some money and make sure they know what is going on. Plus some last minute mail to drop off, video rentals to return, gas to buy, and I just got a call to pick up a gallon of milk for my sister in law so she does not have to haul the kids out. Oy!

I am taking my laptop with me, but I will probably not be online until a week from Thursday when I can get to Panera to score some free WiFi. I have w.Blogger and I will try to do entries every day and post them all later.

Just about everything is charged and ready to go. Just waiting for some clothes to get through the washer & dryer to complete everything. Hopefully I will have everything loaded up so I only have to grab my MP3 player & laptop and away I go.

One last thing I needed to get was a foam pad for my hands free set for my cell phone. You would think I was looking for some gold, or plutonium, or maybe a gay Republican. I will grant you we are not talking a big sale here, but 3 stores lost out on my $7 today (I bought two sets) and could have lost future sales. Now I will admit OfficeMax was a long shot, but I would have thought Best Buy would have stocked these things. No, instead they would want me to spend another $20 or so dollars on a hands free set instead of $3 on a set of headphone pads. Where's my clue bat?!?

My .5 gig SanDisk MP3 player is fully loaded, and I have a few things I want to move to my Zen Xtra MP3 player. I think I will have enough crap quality programming on my SanDisk for the whole drive, but I had a couple of podcasts that would not fit. I want them handy. I also got all my podcast download history from work so that I can, hopefully, load up again for the trip home.

University students show off solar-powered homes - Yahoo! News

University students show off solar-powered homes - Yahoo! News

Cool idea. If you go to the pictures of the houses they all have a trailer-ish look, although the New York Institute of Technology's house looks the best in my opinion.

Microsoft, Yahoo Reach IM Partnership - Yahoo! News

Microsoft, Yahoo Reach IM Partnership - Yahoo! News

Great idea, but why can't we call get along?

Palm drops Zire, Tungsten names | CNET

Palm drops Zire, Tungsten names | CNET

This does not come as much of a shock, although as a Tungsten user I am a little miffed.

What worries me more is the reference to looking at switching to the Windows CE/Mobile/whatever-the-hell-Bill-is-calling-it-today. My favorite program on the Palm is Life Balance. It is a great way of keeping your Next Action (To Dos for non-GTDers) list, and works in an outline format, which is how I like to organize things. There has never been any indication that they will move the program to Windows CE/Mobile platform.

The next Palm OS also sounds like a big leap from the current OS (operating system). Switching to a Linux kernal will not be easy, although I would love to see it. However this does not sould like it is going to be an easy shift for the developers.

My hope is that the Palm OS finds a good home and does not completely cheese off all the current developers. I like the Palm OS - it seems to be less resource intensive. Windows CE's primarly selling point has been seamless (sort of) integration with desktop apps. That, of course, only works if you only use IE, Outlook (or Outlook Express), MS Office, etc. For those of us who use Firefox, Thunderbird, Sunbird (a calendar program), OpenOffice, etc. we are where we are right now.