Thursday, 19 June 2008

Dear Diary...

Owwww-OOOO!


Full moon:

wee hours, this morning.

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Monday, 16 June 2008

In Passing

McCain meets with Clinton supporters, wobbles on judges


So what else is new?

After his public conference call with Clinton supporters... Saturday, John McCain met privately with some 75 of those supporters at his Virginia headquarters...

[One Democrat present] said he’d liked McCain’s answer on judges, in which he “pointed out that he supported Bill Clinton with both Ginsberg and Breyer.” - Ben Smith

Via:
Mickey (“You actually believed that stuff about Roberts, Alito and Scalia?”) Kaus

Posted by: Old Grouch in In Passing at 17:28:13 GMT | No Comments | Add Comment
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Rants

Democrat AG, ISPs, team up to block 99% of usenet

So Sprint, Time Warner, and Verizon made a deal with New York Attorney General (Democrat) Andrew Cuomo to “block websites and newsgroups containing child pornography” (and pay $1.125 million extortion) in exchange for Cuomo making his agency’s trumped-up charges[1] of “fraud and deceptive business practices” go away.

Aside from getting out from Cuomo’s harassment and the “it’s for the CHILL-DRUN” photo-op, what’s in it for the ISPs?  This:

Verizon Communications confirmed on Thursday that it will stop offering its customers access to tens of thousands of Usenet discussion areas, including the alt.* groups that have been a free-flowing area for discussions for over two decades.
...
What this means in practice is that, thanks to the New York state attorney general, Verizon customers will lose out on innocent discussions.  Verizon is retaining only eight newsgroup hierarchies, even though over 1,000 hierarchies exist. [link in original - o.g.]

Usenet (“net news”) is a service that most of the big ISPs have been eager to dump for a long time.  Despite being unknown to (and unused by) most customers, net news (unlike the “world wide web”) requires the individual ISP to maintain server capacity and some level of administration for it.  The Cuomo agreement gives the ISPs cover for getting rid of something they have long viewed as an expensive nuisance, all in the name of combatting child p0rn.

And because it involves nation-wide companies, the agreement has nation-wide implications:  Effectively, a combination of New York State politicians, QUANGOs[2], and the big providers will determine what part of the internet the rest of the country can access.

Oh, and how much child pr0n are they talking about?  About 11,000 images on 88 (out of 100,000+) groups.

And how many groups are getting censored?  Roughly 99% of them.

And Democrats are champions of freedom?

I’m so glad to see my liberties are in such responsible hands.



---------
[1] From the Times coverage:
...undercover agents from Mr. Cuomo’s office, posing as subscribers, complained to Internet providers that they were allowing child pornography to proliferate online, despite customer service agreements that discouraged such activity.
[2] In this case, the QUANGO is the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which will maintain a list that, under the agreement, the ISPs will be required to vet web sites against.
According to its annual report (available here), 71% of the NCMEP’s income comes from federal sources.  NCMEP runs the Amber Alert program, but, in a classic case of “mission creep,” it now spends more- 25% of its program expenses- on “Cyber-safety.”  Only 18% goes to “Hotline and photo distribution,”  which is also less than the 21% NCMEP spent on propaganda “Public Education and Awareness” (14%) and “Community Outreach” (7%).

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Linkage

Needed reminders


Two encouraging stories from Iowa:

Kathy Nelson:

Because they did the right thing, because they were responsible, they will be forgotten---and that just pisses me off.  It's yet another sign of what's wrong with this world: be an asshole, and you'll get as much media coverage as you can take, but be responsible and you'll be forgotten.

Russ from Winterset:
Next time you see some college athlete in a “revenue sport” acting like a horse’s ass, remember these kids and know that not all athletes are self-centered and spoiled.  I know that for every memory of a house or business befouled with floodwaters, there will be another warm memory of a stranger who showed up out of nowhere and asked “What can I do to help?”

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Friday, 13 June 2008

In Passing

The fish always stinks from the head downwards

Glenn Reynolds:

A few years ago Google lost its position as an outfit that people trusted because they thought it was run by friendly well-meaning geeks, and became just another big corporation out for the money.  I think that's hurt them, and I also think it's sad, if perhaps inevitable.
Unfortunately, “friendly and well-meaning geeks” have little patience with (or interest in) corporate game-playing.  Over time they get displaced by more political “management” types who are just “out for the money.”  Once the number of such “managers” reaches a critical point, only those with compatible priorities receive promotion, and the company’s culture changes from “do the right thing” to “do the profitable thing.”  Canonical examples: Hewlett-Packard[1], General Electric, Gannett, and Google.
--------
[1] Link added 080613 15:41, HT: Instapundit

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In Passing

Ace: “If they're lying about this, who knows what else they're lying about?”


Deliberate liars can't ‘teach lessons’ because they have no credibility.”


Naming names:

The “guidance counselor” who dreamed up this stunt:
Lori Tauber
email: ltauber@oside.k12.ca.us
phone: 760-757-8550 x2405


Via:  Perfunction via Ace

Elsewhere:

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Linkage

Sometimes, things DO work out


Posts that tell a story:

Wildrun, May 14:  We are losing our muse...
Wildrun, June 9:  Blackie comes home
and
Wildrun, June 9:  I took down the previous post

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Thursday, 12 June 2008

Radio

Another business model goes plop


Link your radio to a retailer to create a “buy what you’re hearing now” button for music.  Sound like a plan?  Didn’t succeed in the U.K.

Radio group Unique will close down its instant music purchasing initiative [“Cliq”], blaming the slow take up of DAB for the decision, the F[inancial] T[imes] reports today.

...Cliq [...has] been touted as the showpiece for the commercial potential of interactive radio. Cliq allowed DAB listeners to acquire a song as they heard it. It was launched two years ago, with the service embedded in standalone DAB[1] radios... and also ran as a Java applet on mobile phones. - The Register
It appears that Cliq was shuttered due to low levels of business; while the company reported an “operating profit” last year, those figures didn’t reflect debt expenses or recovery of startup costs.

This is bad news for both the music business (which loses a much-needed sales channel) and the radio business (which loses a differentiating feature that might have encouraged more purchases of DAB receivers).


-------
[1] DAB is the European version of digital radio. It has experienced uptake problems similar to those of American-version HD (but less severe, with an estimated 6.5 million sets presently in use in the U.K. alone).

Posted by: Old Grouch in Radio at 23:16:20 GMT | No Comments | Add Comment
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Linkage

Tam, stop it! You’ll only encourage them!


A crack team of cybernauts will form a rapid response internet “war room” to track and respond aggressively to online rumours that Barack Obama is unpatriotic and a Muslim. - The Times

Rumors like this,
or this,
or maybe this one?

(“Crack team of cybernauts”... snork!)

Posted by: Old Grouch in Linkage at 15:13:23 GMT | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Linkage

Bush’s “legacy” meltdown


Having pissed off the conservatives, Our President tries to preserve his “legacy” by swinging for the fences liberals...

Amnesty for illegals... check
Re-open Israel surrender Middle East “peace” negotiations... check
Apologize for not being European enough... check
Award Donna Shalala a Medal of Freedom... check

Standard Republican end-of-term stupidity.


Elsewhere:

Posted by: Old Grouch in Linkage at 23:58:45 GMT | No Comments | Add Comment
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