So, Sarah and I have two original Droid phones under an unlimited data plan with almost no minutes of usage. We pay $140 per month for both.
But, now we want to add a mobile hotspot to the plan since we have a new Nexus 7 tablet we want data on and the phones cannot do the infrastructure WI-fi the tablet needs to connect to.
But, we can’t do that. Because Verizon does not want us to have our unlimited data plans anymore.
If we went to a new data plan to add the hotspot at our current data usage amounts we would end up paying $240 per month for all 3 devices. (In short paying 4g rates for limited data on our old 3G phones, and there is no phone play as cheap as the one we have now which must also be changed) And of course Verizon wants us to renew our 2-year contract if we change plans (We are currently a year out of contract and like it that way, we’re waiting for something to replace the Droids).
By comparison a T-mobile hotspot is $35 per month for a limited amount of data, but with no overage fees (They just slow down overage services) and a free device.
So much for the benefits of being a customer for 3 years and paying $5000 for their service, they offered me zilch.
It’s no secret I’m totally against the flood of prescription drug commercials targeting the consumer, asking them to go to their doctor and say “I need this pill”.
But it’s gone overboard. Last night I noticed one of these commercials on TV:
Which clearly act like doing your doctor’s job is a bad idea, yet what exactly is it if you go to your doctor and say “I want Nexium”, IT’S DOING YOUR DOCTOR’S JOB!
I know, I know, consumers are idiots. But I can dream…
Recently I caught wind of the “classic” or “retro” shaving movement. For those unaware this is the concept that the evolution of the razor ended with the invention of the “safety razor” in 1880 (Yeah, 130 years ago…) and the invention of it’s replaceable blades in 1901.
Simply put it makes the case that from that point forward companies competed to “buzzword enhance” the razor rather than actually improve it’s practical functioning. (IE. modern fights between Shick and Gilette over who has rights to a 3/4/5 bladed disposable razor are just fluff, and that these devices do not do a better job of shaving than the razors our grandparents shaved with)
Since I despise shaving with an electric razor, and disposable modern razors don’t do much better I figured I would add a badger brush and a safety razor to my Christmas wishlist. Tonight I got around to trying them.
In a phrase? Holy crap.
First there was the old-fashioned thick lather and brush, then the heavy steel razor, the whole process just exuded a feeling of timelessness compared to a can of foam and a plastic razor. On top of that there is a certain comfort to knowing that you can get safety blades almost anywhere in the world and very cheap compared to modern plastic disposable cartridges. Along with that the razor itself will probably outlast me. Also gone was the clogged disposable razor issue that I had come to despise.
The process will take some getting used to, it’s much easier to razor-burn yourself than with a disposable (especially if one rushes), but the shave is much closer as well. I was probably a tad overly cautious, but repeating the process bordered on enjoyable.
In the end it was an excellent example of how the new ways are not always really an improvement over the old.
The Washington State government is whining that it won’t be able to find the money to back the proposed ballot initiative I-1163, which calls for better licensing and regulation of long-term care workers.
What is really funny is another version of this same ballot measure passed in 2008 (I-1029) with an overwhelming 72.53% of the vote and yet, they couldn’t find the money to pay for that one either.
They’ve been all about cuts and not nearly enough about increasing revenue (IE. raising taxes).
So, when is it time to say that democracy is more important than the local politicians that don’t dare to pass tax increases? The people have voted for this measure, the government should fund it, end of story.
So “New guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture would eliminate potatoes altogether from school breakfasts and drastically reduce the amount of potatoes served in lunches.”
And of course politicians from potato-heavy states like Idaho and Maine are up in arms about this.
Since of course everyone knows that politicians and farmers know what is truly healthy, not doctors and nutritionists.
Yeah, I know, “Who?”.
Take a minute and look at your computer, look at all the software you are running, look at all the websites you visit, look at all the portable devices you use. Chances are almost all of them owe a big thanks to Dennis Ritchie.
Dennis Ritchie is the writer of the “C” programming language. Between it and it’s derivatives they are responsible for almost all the software you run or use online. It is also the basis of most operating systems that run your computers as well
Yeah, he wasn’t rich, or powerful, or famous, but his idea and work was the very foundation of our modern computing system.
Perhaps you should know who he was.
So I ended up with a dozen Blue Jacket carbon arrows, and needed nocks for them.
Which turned out to be a bit of a problem. The arrows are 230s, which means they are .23″ in diameter. That’s not a size anyone makes parts for anymore since Blue Jackets have been out of production for many years now.
So after multiple failed attempts to check at archery stores I rustled up nocks that normally go on kites at Goodwinds. As it turns out they fit perfectly.
Goodwinds also deserves a nod for their reduction of their shipping costs since they’re only an hour away from me by car, and their good attitude with my over the phone while I ask about archery uses for kite parts.
On to fletching.
The Motorola Droid has now been listed as â€œend of lifeâ€ in the Verizon inventory system. Yes, your beloved Motorola Droid is finally going to be phased out. In the upcoming few weeks, the Droid will be completely phased out
Motorola and Verizon will be replacing the Droid with the Droid 2.
Droid users should not be disheartened since the Motorola Droid is a very popular phone among the modding community. The Motorola Droid sold like hot cakes when it was launched. It was and still is one of the most popular android phone out there. The successor to the Droid â€“ the Droid 2 will feature a 1 GHz OMAP processor, and 512MB of RAM. The sad news is that the Droid 2 will feature a locked bootloader, which will severely limit its modding capability.
The Droid 2 is expected to be released in August, and will be announced my Verizon within the next few weeks.
It will be nice when we can buy unlocked hardware and add it to the network of our choice.
At least I got my Droid when I could.
Custom ROMs and Motorola’s Android Handsets
by Lori Fraleigh (lorifraleigh) on 02-12-2010 04:41 PM – last edited on 02-12-2010 06:01 PM
My name is Lori Fraleigh and I manage the technical team behind the MOTODEV program at Motorola. We provide tools, like MOTODEV Studio, and a variety of technical services including application testing services, developer education materials traditional technical support and serve as experts on our discussion boards. Today I’m stepping a bit outside of my day-to-day job to try to answer some questions we have seen not only on MOTODEV, but on various other sites. I’ve worked with a number of other Motorolans to bring you the information in this post.
For the Android application developer, MOTODEV provides a wealth of resources to help you create and bring your applications to market. We provide a comprehensive Eclipse-based development environment, MOTODEV Studio, as well as SDK add-ons which provide emulator images that represent the software on our handsets. To aid developers who may not have access to physical handsets, or who may wish to test on a carrier network unavailable in their physical location, we provide access to handsets via the Motorola Virtual Device Lab at DeviceAnywhere. All Motorola application developer resources can be found at http://developer.motorola.com.
We understand there is a community of developers interested in going beyond Android application development and experimenting with Android system development and re-flashing phones. For these developers, we highly recommend obtaining either a Google ADP1 developer phone or a Nexus One, both of which are intended for these purposes. At this time, Motorola Android-based handsets are intended for use by consumers and Android application developers, and we have currently chosen not to go into the business of providing fully unlocked developer phones.
The use of open source software, such as the Linux kernel or the Android platform, in a consumer device does not require the handset running such software to be open for re-flashing. We comply with the licenses, including GPLv2, for each of the open source packages in our handsets. We post appropriate notices as part of the legal information on the handset and post source code, where required, at http://opensource.motorola.com. Securing the software on our handsets, thereby preventing a non-Motorola ROM image from being loaded, has been our common practice for many years. This practice is driven by a number of different business factors. When we do deviate from our normal practice, such as we did with the DROID, there is a specific business reason for doing so. We understand this can result in some confusion, and apologize for any frustration.
We do hear your feedback and read your posts – whether on our MOTODEV discussion boards, our Owners’ Forums, our Facebook pages, Twitter, or a variety of other sites on the web. We take the time to understand the issue and then pass the information on to the appropriate product (or other) teams within Motorola. We then try to respond with explanations or updates as we get the answers. Thank you for your continued feedback.
If you have further questions, comments, and feedback, you can comment on this post as well as use the following sites:
Use of open-source software at Motorola: http://opensource.motorola.com
MOTODEV and Android application development on Motorola handsets: http://community.developer.motorola.com
End-user support for handset owners: https://supportforums.motorola.com/community/google-android
I guess they failed to recognize the depth of people’s outrage with this because comments were closed after 54 postings and 25,000 views.
I’m an end-user, not a developer, and I want control of my phone. Is that wrong? According to Verizon, Sprint, AT&T or T-Mobile it sure is. Which means it’s more than likely they leveraged weight upon Motorola to lock down their devices.
Another win for the big corporations and another loss for the end user.
So what’s come to the top of the pot in the US recently?
We’re found that both BP and the Government were grossly wrong about the flow rate of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (No shock there really, what company isn’t going to make it’s figures as low as possible when it’s impact on the environment is concerned).
We’re learned that Transocean who owns the rig has received 411 million dollars from it’s insurance company, but is trying to use a law written in 1851 to limit it’s liability to 21 million total.
To top it off the last flight of the shuttle Atlantis is scheduled for this afternoon, and the final flight for all the shuttles is a November launch of Discovery. The replacement launch vehicle “Orion” has a scheduled launch date of 2015, anyone that seriously thinks that is going to be on target is fooling themselves.
The US has ignored the job of the Federal Government to push the envelope for the good of the nation and instead now has handed off such trivial things to private corporations. Those corporations are now almost completely running the show, able to do almost anything and ignore the consequences of their actions.
In the end tho isn’t it the people that need to do something about this? Given the great divide in US politics I don’t see that happening for more than 20 years.
So all we can really do now is keep fooling ourselves into thinking that we matter while of course remembering to bow to our corporate masters who demand our money and ruin our environment. Yeah, I am no more thrilled about this idea than you are.
Thanks to the Supreme Court corporate money can now flow into political campaigns with reckless abandon.
If money is now considered speech then those with more money have more right to speech.
So much for the average voter actually having a meaningful voice anymore.
I noticed this on Zdnet, it’s well worth reading.
Why Raid 5 stops working in 2009
By Robin Harris, July 18th, 2007
The storage version of Y2k? No, itâ€™s a function of capacity growth and RAID 5â€™s limitations. If you are thinking about SATA RAID for home or business use, or using RAID today, you need to know why.
RAID 5 protects against a single disk failure. You can recover all your data if a single disk breaks. The problem: once a disk breaks, there is another increasingly common failure lurking. And in 2009 it is highly certain it will find you.
While disks are incredibly reliable devices, they do fail. Our best data – from CMU and Google – finds that over 3% of drives fail each year in the first three years of drive life, and then failure rates start rising fast.
With 7 brand new disks, you have ~20% chance of seeing a disk failure each year. Factor in the rising failure rate with age and over 4 years you are almost certain to see a disk failure during the life of those disks.
But youâ€™re protected by RAID 5, right? Not in 2009.
SATA drives are commonly specified with an unrecoverable read error rate (URE) of 10^14. Which means that once every 100,000,000,000,000 bits, the disk will very politely tell you that, so sorry, but I really, truly canâ€™t read that sector back to you.
One hundred trillion bits is about 12 terabytes. Sound like a lot? Not in 2009.
Disk capacities double
Disk drive capacities double every 18-24 months. We have 1 TB drives now, and in 2009 weâ€™ll have 2 TB drives.
With a 7 drive RAID 5 disk failure, youâ€™ll have 6 remaining 2 TB drives. As the RAID controller is busily reading through those 6 disks to reconstruct the data from the failed drive, it is almost certain it will see an URE.
So the read fails. And when that happens, you are one unhappy camper. The message â€œwe canâ€™t read this RAID volumeâ€ travels up the chain of command until an error message is presented on the screen. 12 TB of your carefully protected – you thought! – data is gone. Oh, you didnâ€™t back it up to tape? Bummer!
So now what?
The obvious answer, and the one that storage marketers have begun trumpeting, is RAID 6, which protects your data against 2 failures. Which is all well and good, until you consider this: as drives increase in size, any drive failure will always be accompanied by a read error. So RAID 6 will give you no more protection than RAID 5 does now, but youâ€™ll pay more anyway for extra disk capacity and slower write performance.
Gee, paying more for less! I can hardly wait!
The Storage Bits take
Users of enterprise storage arrays have less to worry about: your tiny costly disks have less capacity and thus a smaller chance of encountering an URE. And your specâ€™d URE rate of 10^15 also helps.
There are some other fixes out there as well, some fairly obvious and some, Iâ€™m certain, waiting for someone much brighter than me to invent. But even today a 7 drive RAID 5 with 1 TB disks has a 50% chance of a rebuild failure. RAID 5 is reaching the end of its useful life.
So I stopped by their little shop the other day, and they have a nice selection.
The people however seem to be a little full of themselves. For instance if you are going to argue about technology with your customer it helps to know what you’re talking about. Telling me a USB port could not be put on a detector because it wouldn’t be waterproof when the detector itself is not, and waterproof USB ports do in fact exist does not show much wisdom.
Also one could say it’s not wise to try and argue religion when your customer, especially when they obviously do not see the issue the same way you do.
These are both good reasons why I myself am not in business.
Would this stop me from shopping there? Not likely, but it does make me not want to go ask them for help.
I love this film, it’s totally cheesy but it makes me laugh.
(Direct Download link: Here)
I just love the way they did this commercial. Took me forever to find a copy of it, it’s around 10 years old.
(Direct Download link: Here)
An epic failure indeed.
Frankly I don’t think I ever bought anything there.
If I recall right they had terribly high prices and poor sales staff, they had a habit of firing old higher-paid folks and bringing in cheap staff with zero experience. Let’s all put them in the category of how NOT to run a business.
My co-worker recently sent out an email with the following in it:
“Something I have said for many years, if your job seems easy, you aren’t trying hard enough.”
I dispute this. As this comment stands it implies that no matter how hard you work you will never finish your tasks at hand. Furthermore it suggests that there is something wrong with being good at your work so that it is easy to accomplish a days work and that if that work is easy you simply should have been able to accomplish more.
I tend to go by the saying below:
“Work smarter, not harder”
This implies that the goal is to accomplish the work at hand in the most efficient and easiest method possible. Making sure that the attainment of the goal is the first priority, not the increase of the sweat on one’s brow in accomplishing that goal.
Alot has been made lately of the possibly “protectionist” agenda of the Obama administration.
Supposedly if we do not allow completely free trade with countries like China then it will be bad for the USA.
But how exactly? The only people I see losing out are the ones making millions in CEO positions because they choose to ship manufacturing off to where there are no worker rights and where wages are paid in cents not dollars.
I hardly see the current trade situation as “free”, in previous times we called it “exploitation”.
The need to bring jobs back to the USA to make things for US use and export to other nations is a basis of a stable economy.
Now i’m not a big fan of everything the NRA stands for, but I am a believer in the principle behind the Second Amendment.
What I cannot fathom is the NRA “Special Offer” email I got today from their “Wine Club”.
I have to say it isn’t the most brilliant idea to pair a group of gun owners with alcohol (not to mention the fact that i’m sure 99% of them are beer drinkers with no interest in wine).
I stumbled onto this the other day, much of it was completely new information to me.
Johann Hari: You are being lied to about pirates
Some are clearly just gangsters. But others are trying to stop illegal dumping and trawling
Who imagined that in 2009, the world’s governments would be declaring a new War on Pirates? As you read this, the British Royal Navy â€“ backed by the ships of more than two dozen nations, from the US to China â€“ is sailing into Somalian waters to take on men we still picture as parrot-on-the-shoulder pantomime villains. They will soon be fighting Somalian ships and even chasing the pirates onto land, into one of the most broken countries on earth. But behind the arrr-me-hearties oddness of this tale, there is an untold scandal. The people our governments are labelling as “one of the great menaces of our times” have an extraordinary story to tell â€“ and some justice on their side.
Pirates have never been quite who we think they are. In the “golden age of piracy” â€“ from 1650 to 1730 â€“ the idea of the pirate as the senseless, savage Bluebeard that lingers today was created by the British government in a great propaganda heave. Many ordinary people believed it was false: pirates were often saved from the gallows by supportive crowds. Why? What did they see that we can’t? In his book Villains Of All Nations, the historian Marcus Rediker pores through the evidence.
If you became a merchant or navy sailor then â€“ plucked from the docks of London’s East End, young and hungry â€“ you ended up in a floating wooden Hell. You worked all hours on a cramped, half-starved ship, and if you slacked off, the all-powerful captain would whip you with the Cat O’ Nine Tails. If you slacked often, you could be thrown overboard. And at the end of months or years of this, you were often cheated of your wages.
Pirates were the first people to rebel against this world. They mutinied â€“ and created a different way of working on the seas. Once they had a ship, the pirates elected their captains, and made all their decisions collectively, without torture. They shared their bounty out in what Rediker calls “one of the most egalitarian plans for the disposition of resources to be found anywhere in the eighteenth century”.
They even took in escaped African slaves and lived with them as equals. The pirates showed “quite clearly â€“ and subversively â€“ that ships did not have to be run in the brutal and oppressive ways of the merchant service and the Royal Navy.” This is why they were romantic heroes, despite being unproductive thieves.
The words of one pirate from that lost age, a young British man called William Scott, should echo into this new age of piracy. Just before he was hanged in Charleston, South Carolina, he said: “What I did was to keep me from perishing. I was forced to go a-pirateing to live.” In 1991, the government of Somalia collapsed. Its nine million people have been teetering on starvation ever since â€“ and the ugliest forces in the Western world have seen this as a great opportunity to steal the country’s food supply and dump our nuclear waste in their seas.
Yes: nuclear waste. As soon as the government was gone, mysterious European ships started appearing off the coast of Somalia, dumping vast barrels into the ocean. The coastal population began to sicken. At first they suffered strange rashes, nausea and malformed babies. Then, after the 2005 tsunami, hundreds of the dumped and leaking barrels washed up on shore. People began to suffer from radiation sickness, and more than 300 died.
Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy to Somalia, tells me: “Somebody is dumping nuclear material here. There is also lead, and heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury â€“ you name it.” Much of it can be traced back to European hospitals and factories, who seem to be passing it on to the Italian mafia to “dispose” of cheaply. When I asked Mr Ould-Abdallah what European governments were doing about it, he said with a sigh: “Nothing. There has been no clean-up, no compensation, and no prevention.”
At the same time, other European ships have been looting Somalia’s seas of their greatest resource: seafood. We have destroyed our own fish stocks by overexploitation â€“ and now we have moved on to theirs. More than $300m-worth of tuna, shrimp, and lobster are being stolen every year by illegal trawlers. The local fishermen are now starving. Mohammed Hussein, a fisherman in the town of Marka 100km south of Mogadishu, told Reuters: “If nothing is done, there soon won’t be much fish left in our coastal waters.”
This is the context in which the “pirates” have emerged. Somalian fishermen took speedboats to try to dissuade the dumpers and trawlers, or at least levy a “tax” on them. They call themselves the Volunteer Coastguard of Somalia â€“ and ordinary Somalis agree. The independent Somalian news site WardheerNews found 70 per cent “strongly supported the piracy as a form of national defence”.
No, this doesn’t make hostage-taking justifiable, and yes, some are clearly just gangsters â€“ especially those who have held up World Food Programme supplies. But in a telephone interview, one of the pirate leaders, Sugule Ali: “We don’t consider ourselves sea bandits. We consider sea bandits [to be] those who illegally fish and dump in our seas.” William Scott would understand.
Did we expect starving Somalians to stand passively on their beaches, paddling in our toxic waste, and watch us snatch their fish to eat in restaurants in London and Paris and Rome? We won’t act on those crimes â€“ the only sane solution to this problem â€“ but when some of the fishermen responded by disrupting the transit-corridor for 20 per cent of the world’s oil supply, we swiftly send in the gunboats.
The story of the 2009 war on piracy was best summarised by another pirate, who lived and died in the fourth century BC. He was captured and brought to Alexander the Great, who demanded to know “what he meant by keeping possession of the sea.” The pirate smiled, and responded: “What you mean by seizing the whole earth; but because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, while you, who do it with a great fleet, are called emperor.” Once again, our great imperial fleets sail â€“ but who is the robber?
So Jennifer (still in Phoenix, AZ) and I were talking.
She said her boyfriend tried to buy some handgun ammo the other day, but couldn’t. Wal-mart, Big-5, Sports Authority were all completely sold out.
It’s obvious why, but what is interesting is it has not been mentioned in any news source anywhere.
Seems that the giant “software as service” system Salesforce.com was completely down for around 45 minutes today.
What do you when you’re entire business had moved into the cloud, and then the cloud crashes?
Well, I finally got tethering to work between my Moto Q9m phone and my Ubuntu 8.10 Aspire One.
(For you non-techs that means I can get to the internet from my notebook computer using my wireless phone’s internet connection)
Speed isn’t awesome, but it’s not dialup:
Do enjoy the holiday, brought to you by capitalism and the hyped need for massive materialism.
Don’t forget, spend, spend, spend if you want to be a good little American.
So today I got a letter in the mail from one of the banks I have a credit card with.
This letter is in reference to your credit card issued by Barclay’s Bank Delaware.
In a recent review of your account, we noticed that you have not used your Mastercard account for a long time. To help you better manage your credit accounts, we have closed your account.
Please destroy any credit card(s) associated with this account as well as any convenience checks you may have in your possession, as they are no longer valid.
Now I have *perfect* credit. I had not used the card in about 6 months, which does not seem like an overly long time to me.
They are owned by the Barclay Group out of London, so they were not part of the TARP program at all, but cutting off lines of credit to people that are extremely low risk does not seem like what any market needs right now.
So, who else is tired of having to deal with crappy tech support on the phone, in chat or via email?
You know, where they make you go over stupid things that you’ve already tried. “Please power-cycle the machine again sir, even tho we know you already did”.
Now i’m all in favor of going down the list of things to try since nobody is perfect, but it would be nice if support asked “So what have you already tried sir?” once in while.
Or perhaps when companies pay for support contracts they can have “levels” to them. “Oh, Hello Mr. Smith, I see your company paid for our “Guru-level” support contract, please let me know what you need. I see, you need a replacement power supply, we’ll send one out to you immediately.” rather than “Would you please try this, and this, and that”.
Admittedly sometimes the knowledgeable user is wrong about what is broken, but the extra cost of the contract could easily offset those costs.
The reason this comes to mind is because today we’re being told we have to wait 2 days to have someone in the data center call support for a product we know via remote monitor is dead and we cannot test because there is nobody at the data center where it failed. Not the best of situations.
I know this is a tad old, but I wanted to to make mention of it nonetheless. So much for a free market spurring competition.
Congress questions high cost of texting
By Stephanie Condon
September 9, 2008 4:25 PM PDT
The price of text messaging has doubled industry-wide in the last three years, and Congress wants to know why.
Sen Herb Kohl, chair of the Antitrust Subcommittee in the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent a letter Tuesday to the four major wireless carriers–AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, and T-Mobile–asking them to explain the dramatic price increases for text messaging services.
“Some industry experts contend that these increased rates do not appear to be justified by any increases in the costs associated with text messaging services, but may instead be a reflection of a decrease in competition, and an increase in market power, among your four companies,” Kohl said in the letter.
The cost of text messaging since 2005 has increased 100 percent from 10 cents to 20 cents for all four providers. Mobile operators have reaped huge profits from the increased prices, CNET reported in July.
Also, the number of major carriers in the United States has shrunk from six to four in recent years, while the remaining carriers continue to acquire their regionally based competitors, Kohl said in the letter. He noted that the four carriers combined currently serve more than 90 percent of wireless subscribers in the U.S.
“I am concerned with whether this market consolidation, and increased market power by the major carriers, has contributed to this doubling of text messaging rates over the last three years,” Kohl said.
The senator from Wisconsin asked the companies to provide evidence of how their respective text messaging pricing structures differs from those of their competitors, along with evidence of what factors led to price increases. He also asked the wireless carriers to provide data on the utilization of text messaging from 2005 to 2008 and a price comparison of text messaging services to other services such as Internet access over wireless devices. Kohl asked for a response by October 6.
The similar price increases, coming at similar times, Kohl said, “is hardly consistent with the vigorous price competition we hope to see in a competitive marketplace.”
Some of you will know what i’m talking about.
(The Ribbon as it appears in MS Word 2007)
In the newest versions of MS Office there is the new “Ribbon”, rather than the normal toolbars.
For those of us familiar with the old style of such things we’re screwed:
“There is no way to delete or replace the Ribbon with the toolbars and menus from the earlier versions of Microsoft Office.”
And of course there is no way to complain to MS about it either. Figures eh?
I just love it when we get force-fed a new standard.
As I have said before, only socialism for the rich.
The government only steps in and takes control of things when it benefits rich people.
If you have not read this essay by Neal Stephenson regarding Operating Systems, or have only read the 1999 original version, I suggest you read this 2004 version, annotated by Garrett Birkel.
It brings the original more up to date.
What is up with the price of gas?
By C. Marcus Parr
Who’s responsible for rising gas prices?
Asking this question makes sense when we’re paying so much to fill the tank. Seven years ago, the price for a barrel of crude oil was $30. It recently reached a high of $137. Oil not merely doubled or tripled in price during President Bush’s administration, but more than quintupled.
In all fairness, the staggering cost of gasoline cannot be laid solely at the feet of George W. Bush. Several factors are at play the falling value of the U.S. dollar, a diminishing supply (or scarcity) of oil versus rising demand, and speculators in the futures market.
The dollar has lost about 60 percent of its value against the euro over the last seven years. It has lost even more value against gold and petroleum. When the dollar drops in value against foreign currency, Americans pay more for a barrel of oil on the international market.
Alternatively, when speculators set oil futures at $130 a barrel, we pay more at the pump and the United States trade deficit increases. Our annual oil import bill has risen from $106 billion in 2006 to approximately $500 billion today.
Are speculators at the root of this problem? According to T. Boone Pickens, legendary Texas oilman, the futures market is not a ‘bubble’ about to burst. Oil futures are rising because of scarcity and high demand, not speculation. George Soros, the hedge fund billionaire, counters Pickens’ argument by saying the global oil price explosion is caused by commodity futures speculation. He believes that speculation is exaggerating the true price of oil.
Are we running out of oil? Some say we’ve already passed Peak Oil. Finding and extracting crude has become difficult for oil companies. Today, worldwide demand for oil is outpacing production.
No matter which view is right or who is at fault, the world economy runs on gasoline and we’re burning it faster than we can pump it out of the ground.
We need to reduce our energy consumption through conservation. This is a good policy for our pocketbooks and the environment. Commute with others. Use mass transit. We have a marvelous bus system in Sandy: Fareless SAM. It’s clean, it’s safe and it’s free!
Save energy by making your home more energy-efficient: insulate, put in new windows or passive solar systems and buy energy-friendly appliances. We need to buy local produce and goods rather than imported goods. Many of us already have vegetable gardens or shop at local farmers’ markets. Yes, it’s true that conservation will take a major change in the way we live, but these habits will pump money into our local economy, help conserve energy and help build a sustainable community.
So I’ve been noticing more and more the rift widening.
And I’ve really been wondering, why?
I’m going to list it as I see it.
#1 Conservatives believe they have a god-given right to anything and everything.
Think about it, they want to anything no matter how bad it is, they want to drive huge cars that get bad gas mileage, they don’t care about the environment, they want to keep every cent of every dollar they ever make for themselves.
In short, they don’t like anyone telling them they have to do ANYTHING.
Why? The USA has become the land of absolute individualism, “Do what you want as long as it directly doesn’t hurt anyone else”, but what about indirectly hurting others? When did that stop mattering? We just think “Gee, that’s not my concern” and go on with our wasteful consumer culture figuring it’ll all work itself out, and we don;t have to be part of the solution.
#2 Liberals see a moral reason to be concerned about indirect hurts.
My car hurts the environment, my choice of hiring illegals or not hurts them and the economy, my bad business tactics are morally hurtful.
Many people seem to think this is somehow weakness, “They just feel guilty for everything”, but in reality it’s an enlightened view that we cannot just care about ourselves.
The USA teaches you that money is hard to get, it’s rare, and you’ll have to work your ass off for it. Along with that you have to pay a ton of money to go to school, so once you have paid for your school you have no desire to make less than possible.
Is this the only way? In Denmark for example school is free.
Yep, it costs nothing to go to school.
If I went to school to learn how to do what I really wanted to do, would there be a learned behavior to somehow feel I needed to earn a ton of money? Highly doubtful.
Conservatives do not believe in “Externalities”. They like to believe that all the people that are poor, homeless, on welfare, etc. want to be there. “If they don’t want to be poor they would just work harder”. In truth why should they have to? So long as they are contributing members of society in some way why shouldn’t we help them to have at least a basic level of comfort?
It’s an evil word, I know. The forced redistribution of wealth.
But how is it that we still love Robin Hood?
He stole from the rich and gave to the poor, that’s exactly what taxes do, why? Because the rich don’t want to give up their money to help anyone else. Is it wrong for the state to force them to?
Liberals say morally it is our obligation to help others.
Conservatives see it as wage slavery, that they shouldn’t have to give anyone anything or have morals forced on them.
When are we going to start accepting that there is more to life than trying to get ahead for just ourselves and start living in the “United” States of America rather than the divided states of individualism?
Sooner than later I hope.
Yet another ritual stolen from the Pagans by the Christians.
Go out and do your duty to spend money and give gifts to add to the projected 16.9 Billion dollar spending spree during the “holiday”.
My replacement versamount came in today.
The whole unit too, not just a few odd parts to fix the old one.
I’m quite happy. Definitely more than I expected to get when I broke the thing in the first place.
So I called Trek-Tech (The folks that made my tripod) and explained I had a broken Versamount.
They asked me “Where should we send a replacement?”. No confirmation of purchase, no having me send back the broken part.
I’m cautiously optimistic, I won’t be shocked if they send me some small parts to try and fix it (Which I can’t do since the screw is broken inside) but at least they were nice and I won’t mind calling them back again if they send the wrong thing.
I’ve been very happy with the trekpod in general, it’s been so much nicer than lugging around a full size tripod.
So I notced online today the following news.
"According to papers filed by the RIAA at the Copyright Royalty Board, the labels want the board to reduce the rate to 8% of wholesale revenue. The current rate is about 9 cents per song, but it often is lowered in negotiations with the record companies. That money usually is split 50-50 between the publisher and the songwriter. The RIAA contends in its documents that the rate is out of whack with the rest of the world and historical context"
Let’s think about this for a second, that means if I wrote a song and recorded it, and gave it to a record label to publish online, I would get 4.5 cents per download.
Now let’s compare this to when I saw “Altan” in concert. The second violin said “During the intermission feel free to throw money on stage”. At the time the “Gold Dollar” coin was brand new, so I tossed two up that he found later.
Now simple math shows that payment was equal to his profit from 44$ worth of downloaded songs.
I think i’m going to start sending 1$ to each musician I like, that should easily cover the profits lost by any of my “activities”.
As for the middle men, and how things aren’t following “historical context”, I think it’s time for a new set of rules.
So let’s start off with facts.
In the USA the current Copyright “Law of the Land” is the “The Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA) of 1998″
Under this act as a general rule, for works created after January 1, 1978, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. For an anonymous work, a pseudonymous work, or a work made for hire, the copyright endures for a term of 95 years from the year of its first publication or a term of 120 years from the year of its creation, whichever expires first.
Let’s think about this for a minute. The life of the author, plus 70 years.
Why, should it extend past the life of the author? I mean we’re protecting someone’s work, why should their heirs be able to rake in cash just because they got lucky about who their parents are?
Often we might hear statements like:
Current U.S. Copyright Law represents an attempt by Congress to balance the rights of creators and copyright proprietors with the rights of copyright users.”
But how can this be more of a lie? There is no “balance” here, the copyright holder has total rights over almost every single aspect of their work.
Now you might be saying “Well, do you think we should just screw anyone that creates anything?
And to that I ask, do you know how long copyright is in the constitution?
The copyright act of 1790 set a copyright on books maps and charts for a period of 14 years. Paintings, drawings and music were not even included until 1891.
Since Congress has steadily raised the term limit on copyright from the original 14 years to something around 150 years, copyright holders are being given what amounts to a property right on an installment plan. This is a straightforward plundering of the public domain in order to benefit a handful of large, copyright-rich corporations such as Disney and AOL Time Warner
Can you give me any logical reason to NOT go back to 14 years?
If you’re going to tell me “People would lose money”. Frankly, I don’t care, that’s like saying “Someone will not be as rich”, i’m not going to shed any tears because a creator’s children doesn’t get paid.
If people are only going to create things because they get paid endless streams of money to do so, maybe they should stop making things and leave that work up to the artists that do it because of an internal drive and desire to create their art.
I love how I heard a story on NPR this morning about the MPAA whining over lost profits from piracy.
It failed to mention how box office sand dvd sales were up in 2006.
It failed to mention how overseas sales are skyrocketing, but stories in the New York Times have shown that the MPAA refuses to release these sales figures.
It failed to mention that maybe better movies should be made using cheaper methods if the industry wants more profits.
I expect better from NPR.
I ran across this in some old documents.
This is the head of the queue in cardmember services. No waiting, no pushing buttons in menus, etc.
I forget where I got it, enjoy.
So, around a month ago I decided to sell my house.
The address so you can look it up was 7530 West Palmaire Ave, Glendale, AZ 85303.
My realtor recommended I put it in the market at $199.900, we got a flurry of interested parties, and a full-price offer the very next day. But, before we could take that offer a realtor came through and viewed it for her client who was not with her.
They offered $210,000. So we took that.
(If only I had known then what was going to happen)
Mr. John Quaid was the buyer. I made a critical mistake and did not look up his name on the Maricopa County Assessor’s site. He owns 3 other pieces of land near that house, and intends to put in luxury condos.
He also didn’t seem to realize that he would take $30,000 in penalties to break his $250k CD, which he did a day AFTER escrow was supposed to close.
Furthermore he didn’t know you have to wait 7-9 days after breaking a CD for the funds to become available.
Finally a week after the close date, after several threats from us he comes through with a cashiers check for the down payment he had to cover and it closed.
But I gotta say it was a very fucked-up trip indeed.
Calvin Coolidge once said:
?Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race?
But let’s think about this for a minute, name me anything at all in modern life where dogged determination alone will suffice. You must have some ability to adapt or learn, or you need to have the personality to get away with not having ability or persistence.
In the US at least we like to think “If you don’t have what you want, you’re not working hard enough”, but in reality hard work is almost never rewarded.
I’m becoming less and less impressed with the festival out here.
What have they added?
just my 2 cents.. *shrug*
So I heard the ads (As i’m sure most of you have too) about the new “Moviebeam” service. And I called for more information.
And I got the following info:
Personally I think it’s going to bankrupt out without having much impact on the market. They would be much better off taking a loss on the set-top boxes and charging more for the movies.
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