Bear Droppings
Saturday, June 29, 2002
 
Weblog panel
Yesterday The Idler presented their panel at the National Press Club "Inside the Blogsphere: The Weblog Phenomenon". While it was disappointing that there were alot of last minute cancellations, which had a definite impact on the discussion, the Bloggers in the audience seemed to balance out the experience and make for a thoughtful event.

The speakers were:
Dennis Loy Johnson, Mobylives.com
Doug McLennan, Artsjournal.com
James Taranto, "Best of the Web," OpinionJournal.com
John Hiler, Microcontent News
Johsua Micah Marshall, TalkingPointsMemo.com
Alice Goldfarb Marquis, The-Idler.com

The panel did discuss a lot of points in the previous discussion at AFF, but I think the Idler event was not adorned by this notion that blogs are only to be used by journalists and pundits. The panelists and audience made it clear that this was a personal experience and that personal passion drove this medium.

There were certain words that seemed to resonant throughout the panel. Words like conversation and passion came up over and over again instilling that there is dissatisfaction with the mainstream media. For it's very passionless view of the world, that while American press works toward an idealized "veil of objectivity" that leaves them sounding very bland in form. Also that modern media has a very broadcast only tone and that blogs open writers (of all kinds) to more of a conversation element in their work.

Some of the more traditional media in the audience seemed to be bothered by the fact that there is no "permission to speak" required to post to weblogs. I found the point of view amusing because of their own dependence on the first amendment to protect their own right to speak without permission. The traditional media also had concerns over people publishing hate material and the like, and what is to prevent people from taking such material as the truth. Bloggers countered with the idea that the market place of ideas would win out. Bad sources of information would be ignored or chastised for their errors. That techniques such as googlebombs potentially help protect the ignorant. But ultimately, from the bloggers perspective it's up to the reader to have a critical perspective. As James Taranto noted just because a book is in print doesn't make it true either giving the example of the book released in France claiming September 11th was a government plot.

If there was a major disappointment on the program besides the no shows, it would be that there were no true 'old school' bloggers as Mike noted to me. For while John Hiler has gained a lot of exposure in his blogging, he would be the first to admit he has only been doing this for a few months. Likewise while James Taranto has had a long history with computers and technology, he came to the panel with more of a traditional media perspective. Perhaps having someone who has been doing this for a number of years before the tools were mainstream would have added another dimension to the panel.

The program had it's flaws, but like a weblog they were plainly evident, perhaps that is why it made the frank discussion during the question and answer session was more valuable than the presentations themselves, akin to the comments section on a blog.

Other thoughts on the panel
Mike's view
TLeeve's view
Corante Bottomline's view
Combustible Boy's view w/pictures

PS - Did anyone ever discover why Josh Marshall didn't make the panel? Did he just skip out of the event or was there a problem? I can understand plane trouble from the other participants, but not attending as a speaker without explanation is bad form, especially from someone local.

PPS - The reason I mention very little of John Hiler's prepared remarks is I arrived late.

A minor correction: Mr. Hiler, heh (sorry panel joke) makes a correction or two, while he has only been blogging for a few months for Microcontent, he was blogging before that.
Friday, June 28, 2002
 
Clear Channel Communications Inc.the nation's leading radio broadcaster, defended its business practices Thursday, saying it had no accounting issues or irregularities.
You know I think I agree with this report, because payola, music play lists, and monoploy tendencies, excuse me market share leader...are just a normal day at the office for them.
 
Damn, maybe I should just stay at work Lileks and the Professor will both miss today's panel.
 
Expect the normal insanity of postings here at Bear Droppings until Noonish when I am off to the Blogging event at the Press Club.
 
This site has some great background material on the fires in the Southwest. Although they list the fire at 409,000 acres, I have heard that is yesterday's numbers and the current number is closer to 417,000, but I don't have outside confirmation. The Daily Sun has some good coverage and even better photos the most telling perhaps the picture of the prescribed burn area and how that helped control the fire. The Desert Pundit is asked a question on why the Arizona Republic has not mentioned how much of tribal forest land was burn and the resulting economic impact, while the Repulsive is ducking this story the Daily Sun has noticed it.
Finally the fire quote of the day is from a friend who reports the following
One of our firefighters just came back last night (after being switched out with another one of ours)"Try to imagine flames 200 ft high coming straight at you, embers falling on you, and propane tanks landing like hail around you"
And this guy spent the last week working 18-20 hours a day, so be sure to give these guys thanks if you get the chance.
Thursday, June 27, 2002
 
All I can say from last night is Hookahpundit see BeingJenRaj later for more details...too much work this morning check back this afternoon.
Wednesday, June 26, 2002
 
How hot is the fire in Arizona?

Hot enough to melt a road? Yes

Hot enough to melt a car? Yes

How about a group of cars? Yes

They are starting to contain it, but it's a long ways from over. (Thanks to Tastes Like Chicken for the car picture)


 
My newest favorite blog, why the PoohPundit of course, he is "The New York Times of the bearbloggers".
 
You know I think I like Crookdimwit's Cliff Notes posting style more than his regular posts. (Just kidding Matt)
 
Poetry Wednesday
For Poetry Wednesday I wanted a poem to remind people of the firefighters working so hard out in Arizona, this isn't quite right, but considering what the weather is like in DC today, I suppose it will due.

Fire and Ice
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favour fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice. - Robert Frost





Tuesday, June 25, 2002
 
Lunchtime Thoughts
I am downstairs grabbing lunch and noticing there is no place to sit. I think for a minute and decide to sit outside if it's not too bad. So while it is hot, humid, and you are basically breath pure smog, once I sat in the shade it wasn't really all that terrible. Especially with a bit of Jazz from the deli and the breeze occasionally sneaking around the corner. So I am feeling very good about myself as I eat my salad (at least until I decide it needs some company like a bunch of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups later on).

Pondering lifes ponderables, okay so another year ring in the tree is just about due, another round of mortality, and the age old question of humanity facing me, no not the question about the dryer and the missing sock. The other question so what the hell am I doing? In a funny way I am starting to find the answer, as I started thinking about tech and politics and how they interrelate, I do understand it alot more than I did three years ago when I got started. I even have gotten my blog going and while I am not the Professor, I have been pleased with where it has gone so far. But the more I follow the more I figure out I need to learn, I officially am part of the Small Pieces blog, but it's like a graduate degree course on philosophy, not that I am complaining, I enjoy it, but it makes have material to post all the more challenging, because I can't really post drivel like this there.

Thinking too much I suppose, old bad habit. But I am trying to set my next steps, which entail furthering my education, a decent paycheck, and global domination a little happiness. What order is the next question....we shall see, all of this was formed thinking about a friend's simple question in a recent email. I haven't seen them in a while and we have been out of touch. He asked how I am doing.

I think I'll just say I am fine, not great, but learning along the way. And perhaps a more detailed answer is on file with the building supervisor's office here at Bear Droppings.
 
Government Efficiency
As many of you know, I used to work for the government. When I left I told the new system admin give my account 2-3 months then pull the account and I set all my email to automatically forward to my Yahoo email address. In August, I have been working my new job for nearly 2 years and yet I still get email occasional from that account, for the first year it was event and coalition emails, now a days most folks have cleaned their lists, so it's sale announcements and the odd business group.

By the way Land's End has a big summer sale evidently...(yes the account is still running...I'd tell them to fix it, but I just am amazed and wonder how long it will continue)
 
But sometimes that's just the way the Jell-O judicates. Don't expect me explain, go see Jim Treacher.
 
Please be sure to rewind your DVD...
Nothing like some monumental cluelessness to start off the day, enjoy. (From MiFi)
 
Update from Arizona
330,000 acres by 11 p.m. Monday. That's 517 square miles -- an area bigger than Los Angeles. At least 375 homes destroyed, but none destroyed Monday.
That's right folks, bigger than L.A. and while they have had some success protecting Show Low so far they still have no containment. The Daily Sun also has an interesting Editorial on stopping the finger pointing and fixing the forests.
Monday, June 24, 2002
 
So I told you I am participating in the Blogathon, but something has come up, a buddy of mine is having a party in New York that same day, so I got to thinking, I know he has a wireless access and a cable modem at his place. He emailed me saying I could use his machine, so guess what I am pondering...Live from New York it's Bear Droppings
There are plenty of internet cafes in New York and wireless access ports. And the city never sleeps...I am seriously pondering this, what do you think?
 
John Ellis has a great column over at Fast Company on why Yahoo has seriously screwed up. Well worth the read.

He also mentions the following on his blog, which is very relevent to my friends and readers who use hotmail.
If you are someone who has a Microsoft "Hotmail" e-mail account, you may not be aware that Microsoft is "sharing" your personal profile data. If you would like Microsoft not to share your personal profile data, take the following steps:

1. Go to your Hotmail Account.
2. Click on "Options," which is on the menu bar above your incoming email messages.
3. Click on "Personal Profile."
4. Scroll to the bottom and you will see that MSN has added two new boxes, pre-checked, that allow your personal info to be shared.
5. Uncheck them and click on update at the bottom.


 
I have been meaning to point this out, but never got around to it, Rapmaster and JenRaj take my write up of the AFF panel and the issue of blogging and it's meaning to a whole 'nother level, so check it out.
 
Monday Mission 2.25
1. Do you wear glasses/contact lenses? If so would you consider going through Lasik surgery? I don't currently wear glasses, never have needed them, but I have noticed my eyes getting worse, partly due to age and partly due to working at a computer all day so it will probably only be a matter of time. In regards of Lasik, I don't know if I ever would, a buddy of mine had it done and loved the results, though his wife got sick of him always bragging about his vision afterwards. After thought, I read Cunning Prose and she reminded me of my only real concern about Lasik is we don't really know the long-term effects as of yet, do we?
2. Did you ever have to wear braces? How are your teeth? I never had a need for braces and only a few minor fillings over the years, now a days my teeth are stained due to smoking and coffee.

3. What (if any) recent movies have moved you emotionally? Which one and how so? I was going to say no, but after some thought I realized I was wrong, I saw Say Anything the other day scenes reminded me of different moments in my life.

4. I visited my dear Mema in the managed care facility Sunday and while she is doing well, I was sad for her. Living out your final days/years someplace like that seems so lonely to me. Would you rather live the remainder of your golden years in a rest home, or pass away before it came to that? Die before it comes to that and with my family history that is likely what will transpire, heart attack quick and simple, in my sleep I hope.

5. Sometimes, but not nearly often enough, I will just stop and marvel at the amazing planet on which we live. The eco-system, life and death, nature, the perfect balance that keeps us alive, the universe, it can all be mind-boggling if you let your mind get carried away. What natural creation or phenomenon just flat-out leaves you with a sense of wonder? So many things, here's a few...
Love, that instant click.
The fact that we have enough information to destroy all life, but do we have wisdom to save ourselves?
Suicide bombers, what drives people to think that act will benefit a political agenda.
The Internet, the power of publishing it puts into peoples hands.
The Constitution, for all it's flaws, it's a rather unique document.

6. Have you ever been in a fist fight or a situation where you had to get physically violent with someone else? How did that come about? Any consequences? Only on a few rare occasions the last one was probably high school, someone had been trying to push my buttons and did it one last time when I was walking out of class one day, I had enough of it, I turned, grabbed him by his shirt slammed him against the door and said stop. He did.

7. Many times I look back in hindsight and think of how I should have handled a situation. Are there any recent happenings that you wish you would have handled differently? What happened and what do you wish you'd done? I don't know, not much of a point to such thoughts, I tend to be a hate my mistakes, but I try to learn from them, no point to dwelling on them.

BONUS: How far away can you go, and still be dancing with me? As long as we see that same moon rising in the night sky, there will always be enough room in the world to dance together. Even continents away carrying the music along in our hearts, in our souls...


 
One interesting story in the Wall Street Journal this morning is on the black market for Kinder chocolate. (I'd give a link to the story, but it's a pay per view site and I don't have account with them, so you will have to find a copy on your own) Basically there is a thriving market for these chocolates via the internet and people are asking them to be shipped into the states. Why would a chocolate be illegal? Well these eggs have a chocolate outer core and then inside the egg a little toy, the toys are too small and children could choke on them so the government wants to protect you from being an idiot so they won't let these eggs be sold in America. It's sad too because the chocolate is pretty tasty, I get them once or twice a year when friends bring them over from Europe. The toys are very cool, not unlike Cracker Jack toys. In fact, I think it's time to email a friend who is over in Germany right now and order contraband....anyone want some chocolate?
 
Rodeo Fire
The national press is starting to give coverage to the Rodeo fire out in Arizona, but I got to wondering, how it compared to the Hyman fire in Colorado. The current Forest Service estimate is the Hyman fire is 137,000 acres, while the Rodeo fire has burned 300,000 acres so more than double the size. The Forest Service has some pictures of the fire here. I was in contact with a friend works for a Arizona fire department that had sent people to the fire and he had heard the following from a professional fire fighter who has been doing this for 10 years or so
"It's incredible, I've never seen anything like this."
He had another quote from someone who has
been fighting forest fires for 20 plus years.
"The fire kicked our butts today"
His own personal opinion on the matter was "They are screwed". So the basic facts are the fire isn't contained and it may not be anytime soon. The Arizona Republic has a lot of coverage available on the their website.

POSTSCRIPT: Desert Pundit discusses the fire as well and some of it's economic impact.

Friday, June 21, 2002
 
120,000 acres on fire in Arizona, take care people and stay out of the way, two-three weeks until monsoon hits and it's going to be a long summer. On one level it breaks my heart, on another I know it is the natural process in the forest and will promote future growth, like the fire in the 20's promoted growth around Flagstaff. Just be careful out there...I want a state to return to..
 
Do Bloggers Merge?
If you have read Less than Zero, an 80's cult hit movie, the book early in the first or second chapter quotes a central theme "People don't merge in L.A." which for all the layers implied basically meant people and especially in L.A. were to self-absorbed from the rest of the world. What does this really have to do with the topic of the post, very little, or perhaps more than I think.

Do bloggers merge? Well in DC the truth is we know it is happening, as Scully and Nisa prove. I have been waiting until they posted before I published, so they could have first honors at making a public declaration. But it leaves me pondering deep, deep questions and wonder how they will deal with this new relationship together. Nisa Rant and Terrapin Gardens, when they merge will it be Terrapin Rant or Nisa Gardens? Or even perhaps Nisa Rants@Gardens? These questions will have to be answered, but in the interim while they work these details out, I say congratulations to you both and wish you all the happiness in the world.
 
Eve has her take on the AFF Blogging event I mentioned earlier...(She has a great plug for Dave's site!)
 
Friday Five (.org)
1. Do you live in a house, an apartment or a condo?
I live in a small house.

2. Do you rent or own? I rent, but the owner lives in the house as well, which really works out well because that way if the plumbing has an issue or there is some other household trouble, he solves it quickly since it effects him as much as me.

3. Does anyone else live with you? The owner of the house and one other roommate, I have remained there for alittle while, but the other roommate tends to cycle, I have seen 6 in my 3-4 years here.

4. How many times have you moved in your life? 12-13 times but that is only counting most of my time in Flagstaff as one move, if I count all the little moves while living there I would probably go over 20.

5. What are your plans for this weekend? Atomic tonight, a conference tomorrow followed by a party, and maybe alittle golf on Sunday.
Thursday, June 20, 2002
 
More on NPR's link policy from Cory Doctorow, he's alittle harsh, but I like it.
 
Happy Birthday Beatriz
Wednesday, June 19, 2002
 
AFF Blogger Event
They presented a great event, filled with strong views, knowledgeable speakers, and a fun attitude. How fun? I have never been to a speakers panel before where in the middle of the event a six packs of beer wear passed through the crowd, it made for a very laid back and congenial attitude, definitely a hit.

Attendees were a mixed crowd from around town. Among the bloggers I did see Heather Hosford, Jen Rajkowski, and Alex Singleton. (Plus I am sure I missed a couple more)

The speakers did a great job. Stan Evans was the Admiral Stockdale of the meeting, but was surprisingly open about not dismissing blogging out of hand and seemed to be open to it's potential, especially considering he didn't really know much about it. Joshua Micah Marshal was interesting to see and hear live, I have been a critic of his blog in the past so it was a little weird to see him on a panel and agree with most everything he said. Eve Tushnet gave a common blogger on the street perspective and did a great job conveying it. She tried to make the audience understand, that blogging wasn't just about political reporting, but about talking about your life as well. Noah Shachtman who recently wrote a piece on blogging for Wired News, so he had an understanding of mainstream journalism and blogging that made for interesting perspective. Gene Healy moderated the panel and had his hands full between the panel and the audience.

My impression was that the audience didn't understand the difference between political activism, journalism, and blogging, while they can be interrelated, they are not necessarily dependant on each other. Some of panel and many of the audience, including some bloggers, for all their education and experience did not understand blogs and what they truly are. No offense intended, in case any attendees read this, but they saw this only as a tool of communication between political elites and the masses. It is far more fundamental, it truly is the first amendment realized, when I say the first amendment I mean freedom of the press and speech. When I was in school I was taught freedom of the press only applied if you were wealthy enough to afford a press, now everyone can be their own press.

There was almost this attitude in the audience of "why would one bother to publish, if one wasn't discussing politics" and while I can appreciate that point of view, I have been online long enough to understand the web isn't just about politics. While it's important and have their place, it's not most folks number one interest. But if that were the case, 90% of the topics on the web would have been left unexplored. People get online to discuss their passions be it their cats, finding or losing their loves, or having their floors refinished. I think that was a critical point that most folks missed. We get online and can follow our love, what amazes us.

The event really didn't give enough recognition of bloggers as reporters of real life stories, for example Tal G in Jerusalem or Instapundit having a live report from a blackberry pager near the Colorado fire. As this blogging movement hits the mainstream events like bloggers in NYC telling their events on September 11th will more often become the norm rather than the exception. It remained true at this panel for while there were a decent number of bloggers in the crowd, they still remained the minority. (Postscript: Gene Healy mentions Eve covering this point in her talk, but I still didn't think it was given enough credit.)

Also these people seemed to come from a very broadcast media perspective and they didn't understand the network effect. That while an average person discussing their cat may only get 30-40 hits a day, if a major event occurs around them and they report it perhaps five of their regular readers who like cats may tell their readers and so on until they hit a major internet celebrity who may distribute the story to 20 to 30 thousand readers.

One last thing, to the regard what about the personal side stuff like Andrew Sullivan discussing his dogs. That was dismissed by some, but that is real, that is life. It actually makes the reading more interesting, for example a friend and I chat all the time about what drugs a certain blogger must be on to be so happy every freaking day. That is the way people talk, not like a magazine article or a tv commercial, it's our voice and we are using it. Get used to it. And if you don't like reading it as Josh Marshall suggested, no one is making you read it, go else where.
 
I'm off to America's Future Foundation Blogging event. Have a good evening.
 
NPR is living in the pre Web world, they want permission to link to them
Linking to or framing of any material on this site without the prior written consent of NPR is prohibited.

Please use this form to request permission to link to npr.org and its related sites.
Oh I am linking, oh I am linking without permission, what are you going to do to me, take away my totebag? (That last comment stolen from Boing Boing) Come on guys wake up to the web. This is just silly.
 
24 Hour Blogathon
I heard about the blogathon concept last year and thought it was a wonderful idea. Unfortunately, I didn't really have a blog at the time. But this year I do, so I just signed up. What is a blogathon you might ask? On July 27th starting at noon I am going to blog for 24 hours straight, every 30 minutes. Sound crazy, sound insane? Well yes it probably is, but it is for a good cause, because you drum up sponsors and then if you survive they give the cash to a charity. My charity is Vital Ground. They do great work supporting bear habitat, I'll talk more about them in the upcoming days.

Oh, one last thing, go to the blogathon and sign up as a sponsor for me!

POSTSCRIPT: Thanks for sponsoring me brother
 
The Professor has a first hand account of the fire in Colorado sent to him via Blackberry.
 
Poetry Wednesday
Ev, the big chief over at Pyra that makes this wonderful software blogger (yeah it has issues, but remember how much i have paid so far, that's right Nada!), pointed over to a new print publication called the San Francisco Reader. I liked the poems and alot of the writing there so I selected one for today.

I Write Poetry to See If I'm You
I write poetry because we're always absurd, no matter what.
I write poetry rather than carry antlers through the street,

I have no gun and no knife anyway.
I write poetry to keep the labyrinthian sound of my own echo
in the roads of my head
from swallowing me.
I write poetry because the old oratorical rhythms of words in the
howling wind
make me feel more powerful.
I write poetry because shakti-birds fly from my fingers
when I point at the moon, a lifter of fingers to cloud-heavens.
A wise wilderness taoist
once taught me to fly himself;
He was my own "I"
and so I write poetry
to imitate his language.

—Walker Brents



Tuesday, June 18, 2002
 
Ken Layne discusses why the CIA isn't like Bond, James Bond.
 
David points us to this site of geek irc quotes. It's very funny stuff where else would you read things like
The problem with America is stupidity. I'm not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?

 
Light posting today off to a meeting/workshop/conference thing for a good chunk of the day.
 
Willkommen Deutsche leute von Martin Roell's weblog und bitte enschulding mein deutsch.
Monday, June 17, 2002
 
Josh Marshall has said alot of stuff that has sounded like BS from time to time, but you know, his theory on Deep Throat makes sense, more sense than I would like to admit. If you have ever wondered about who it could be go read it and give it some thought. He may just be right.
 
Beatriz has been making a big effort to get into blogging this past week. So drop by, read, and then send her further encouragement. I even will be adding a permanent link on my blogroll if she can find a name for it. ;-) (purposely ignoring mentioning how cute she is...)
 
WOW! US beat Mexico in the World Cup and now faces Germany, US vs. Germany which should I cheer that is a tough one. I may have to actually watch that match.
 
Previews are back at NAU, that is very cool news. It brings back many fond memories, not because I attended previews the summer before I moved to Flagstaff, no we went up a year early and hung out with a buddy who was due to go that year. Another friend and myself slept on the floor of the door room. We got the chance to wander around town and even play some catch in the Skydome.
 
I had an odd dream last night a good friend got mentioned in Tapped and my response to the them, well it's not Instapundit, but that's cool. The thing is I don't read Tapped. Confused, so am I. I wish I remembered more of the dream to make sense of it all.
 
The Colorado fire evidently was started by a Forest Service employee, didn't they start the Los Alamos fire as well? Best quote I heard in regards of it...
You know, this kind of stuff wouldn't happen if we federalized the U.S. Forest Service.
(Thanks Professor)
Sunday, June 16, 2002
 
So it's 1am and I still haven't made my way to bed. Part of me is pondering staying up and watching the USA vs. Mexico world cup match with my roommate when he gets up to watch it. The part of me that has to work tomorrow morning is suggesting bed.

Bed will win good night all. Good Luck USA, I think you'll need it.
 
Busted...
Okay, party is over everyone out of the pool. My folks caught on to this blog, cat is out of the bag, nothing to see here anymore.

Still here?

Okay, good then you probably guess I was kidding, yes in fact they do know I am here (Waves to Mom and Dad in case you are reading :-)). The reality is I told them I was here, not directly, but if they followed a simple chain of links they would find it of their own accord and it was fine. Not that I have hide my blog in any regard, there has been a link from my static page since day one and they knew that url.

Truth of the matter is once you put something on the web it's public, that's the way it works and I realized it a while ago when some information I had removed had returned to the web. Never you mind the details, don't concern you. But even before then I knew the axium, never send anything in a email that you didn't want posted on a billboard on the Interstate. When you blog you put your life on display, worts and all so the news does not bother me at all actually.

The only potential changes this discovery means is it may make me finally invest in Blogger Pro so that I don't have to depend on Lex for spell checking. Otherwise I think my mother would go nuts spell and grammer checking my posts. Oh and one final thing, Welcome Mom and Dad to my blog.
Friday, June 14, 2002
 
From our crack Arizona reporting team we have this report:
From the 365 Bottles of Beer for the Year Calendar

"From man's sweat and God's love, beer came into the world." - Arnoldus


Happy Friday Folks (Thanks Charles)
 
radio free beowulf has some further illuminations on the PwC Consulting name change to Monday from a musical angle. In particular, I like the line
but whenever monday comes,
you can find me cryin' all of the time

Because you know I think that's what alot of people do when consultants are brought in.
Thursday, June 13, 2002
 
Preparing for a webcast, as I am oft to do at work. So I go to the speaker's website to print a bio for tomorrow and contact them on a few details. But I immediately decide in the process that tomorrow's webcast will be a waste of my time and I better have a book standing by during their presentation.

Why?
1- Excessive use of Flash for their corporate website. Granted that does not mean anything in and of itself, but it always gives me that Star Wars "I have got a bad feeling about this..." thought.
2- No email addresses easily accessable. I am doing a webcast next month with a big company, let's call them the Death Star. They have their email address accessable, tomorrow's company is hellova alot smaller and less important.
3- Bio, they have a wonderful scrolling feature in Flash that lets you scroll text, great except when you try to print it out and then you have a full page with only 20% of it the information you need, three prints later I have the whole bio.

I have a feeling this going to be a waste of time...
POSTSCRIPT: Trust your instincts on such matters...
 
The student that sued to retake an exam in Peoria still is getting alot of coverage in the Arizona Republic. Yesterday they printed the lawyers response and a response by the teacher side by side, while I am not a fan of Republic I give them credit for reaching out to the teacher to include her letter as well as the lawyers. Today the opinion section is filled with responses in the letters worth reading. (I'd have links to the two letters, but I didn't get around to posting them yesterday and can't find the links)

Later: Desert Pundit has all the links on this story.
 
More on Monday
I am not the only one who thinks this Monday idea is good parody fodder. (Thanks Doc)
Wednesday, June 12, 2002
 
I'm very pleased with the results, though I have been compared more to the Wookie than Han.

:: how jedi are you? ::

Thanks to The Bill (of Rants)
 
Poetry Wednesday

Knowing others is intelligence;
knowing the self is enlightenment.

Conquering others is power;
conquering the self is strength.

Know what is enough, and you'll be rich.
Persevere, and you'll develop a will.
Remain in the center, and you'll always be at home.
Die without dying, and you'll endure forever.

---Tao Te Ching
Tuesday, June 11, 2002
 
Earlier this month…
Scene - Office Meeting room over looking the East River in New York City
A group of people file into room. The group consists of 10 white men in dark suits and ties between the ages of 25 and 35, along with one older male in his 50s, and a woman.

Director: Okay so everyone knows why we are here...
All: Yes, sir
Director: Great, so let's have your name suggestions for PwC Consulting, after this Arthur Anderson mess the last thing we want is to be known by our accounting firm's name.
Earnest Young Man #1: What about Accenture?
Director: Naw, been done already...
Earnest Young Man #2: JulyFirst, we could launch it next month?
Director: That's been done before as well and it failed, who are you anyways, I don't recognize you.
Earnest Young Man #2: I just started with the firm, sir! But I have been consulting for 5 years.
Director: Who with?
Earnest Young Man #2: MarchFirst
Director: Figures, how many dot coms have you worked with?
Earnest Young Man #2: 7
Director: How many are still in business?
Earnest Young Man #2: Well, they are realigning their business models.
Director: You mean they are broke.
Earnest Young Man #2: Yes, sir.
Director: Thought so, well welcome to the real world. MarchFirstboy keep your yap shut from now on. Any other names?
Earnest Young Man #3: I have a suggestion, what about Monday?
Director: You need more time? I thought you were all prepared for this meeting, I am sure we can reschedule...
Earnest Young Man #3: No sir, I mean the name is Monday, it will give it a fresh start to the week. You know and that way it will stick in peoples minds.
Director: Hey, I kinda like that. Hmmmm, Monday, snappy, easy to remember Monday. That might just work.
Woman: Sir, I don't think it will work at all, first off, people HATE Mondays, they have to go back to work, furthermore the press will tear it apart and we will be the laughing stock...
Director: Oh great glad to see you, Baby can you go get me some coffee cream and two sugars, that would be great. Now Monday...I like it.
Woman: Sir, I am Vice President for Business Development, not your secretary. Send someone else to get the coffee. In regards of this Monday name, I really think it's a bad idea because [cutoff]
Director: Do you work for me?
Woman: Yes.
Director: Then if you want to stay employed you will go get me that coffee
Woman: But...
Director: No buts, just do it.
[Woman gets up seething with fury and leaves the room.]
Director: Now where were we, ah yes Monday, let's go with that...[meeting continues on]

I can only imagine that this had to be part of the process in order to come up with such a stupid name.

When I got an email detailing the name yesterday, I thought it was a joke email. But then at dinner last night we started to discuss it with a bunch of MBAs (yes those MBAs) and then I realized it wasn't a joke it was real. They are actually going to name themselves Monday. The stupidity of the new name was clear to everyone in the room. I just have to wonder at the thought process to come up with such an idea, it honestly boggles the mind.

Just in case you think I am kidding, go read about the name change

POSTSCRIPT: I was having a conversation on this subject and someone had the comment "Yeah, I heard the Vatican issued a press release and the Catholic church will now be known by the name Sunday."

 
Instapundit is going to be in town....hmmm, I am going to have to check that out.

Postscript: And of course I am going to blog it...
 
Check out Eric Raymond and quickly understand why if you are not a blindly following a partisan view in DC, it can be a difficult life. I think he's right on 90% of these...
 
Fire prevention gets serious in Arizona
I have mentioned the fire danger in Arizona a few times this year, but now they are taking a really serious step. Oak Creek Canyon is one of the prettiest places in Arizona, but admittly it's a fire trap. There is only one road through the canyon state highway 89A and at this time of year it can take an hour or more to drive between Flagstaff and Sedona because of all the tourists going through the canyon and up the switchbacks. (As for contrast at other times of the year, I know some people who have made the Flag/Sedona run in as little as thirty minutes) If a fire breaks out in the canyon it can quickly sweep through it putting all the residents and tourists in jeopardy, perhaps even before the fire department has a chance to respond. They have equipment in the canyon, but with more than 12,000 cars passing through the traffic can make getting around difficult. So what do you do?

They have decided to close the road with the exception of home owners, business owners and employees and those visitors with reservations at one of the lodges or campgrounds. It won't stop all the traffic but it will greatly reduce it. I am really torn about the idea. I know the canyon, I love it in it's current condition and I would hate to see it ravaged by fire. At the same time, the government telling me where I can and can't go on the basis of what might happen troubles me, a lot.

I see both sides of this question, a friend has been involved in fighting a house fire in the canyon and they nearly lost control of it due to the wind that night. At the same time there is a question of basic freedoms as well. The whole issue leaves me troubled and I don't know what the answer is.

 
The Arizona Republic has an editorial worth reading, the topic is how far parents will go to abuse the education system. Evidently, a family threatened a lawsuit if a student didn't get to retake a test that she had failed. The worst part was the response of district officials that did not take a stand against this family. I would like to say this is an isolated incident, but far too often in Arizona this is the norm. The districts don't back their teachers with the confidence they should. I am not talking about matters of abuse, but in matters of everyday school procedure and grading. Teachers work very long hours for low pay and little real recognition. Then when cases like this come up the district rather than stand by these deadicated professionals, they put their head in the sand.

I say this is the norm in Arizona and I know it all too well. I know a teacher who put in probably 60 hours a week(at least), she left generally before 7am in the morning and was rarely home before 5 in the afternoon. She spent her evenings and weekends grading papers. She helped alot of kids helping some kids improve as much as two grade levels of reading ability in a single year. She worked inner city schools for a good part of the twenty years often with families who didn't speak English, her guiding idea if they wanted to learn she wanted to teach.

After 20 years of teaching she moved to a suburbs school district for a shorter commute and less stress. She found it amusing that her first day at the new school a child was in tears of forgetting their lunch was the biggest stress of the day rather than a student carrying a gun into the classroom. After a few months a new stress appeared, a student had done poorly on an exam. She was willing to help the student work to improve their grades in the future, but the grade stood as it was. But that wasn't enough for the parents, so they went to the school board and demand to have their child's grade raised. The school board caved, they ordered the teacher to change the grade.

The teacher left the profession after finishing the school year.

She had helped nearly 2000 students by my best guess learn and grow. But no more.

School districts never have enough money or time to accomplish all that they are charged to do. But they can back their teachers with the confidence that they have authority in the classroom. It's a simple thing, they hired this person, trust their judgement.

Oh and how do I know that teacher's story so well? I grew up with it unfolding before my eyes, because you see that teacher is my Mom.
Monday, June 10, 2002
 
Monday Mission 2.23
1. Do you have a side of the bed on which you prefer to sleep? Do you sleep on that side even when traveling or does it matter? If your head is at the top of the bed and you are lying down I prefer the right side, I don't really know why, I don't know I tend to sleep alot better on my back and when I do I snore.

2. What is your favorite "Theme Park?" How come and when was the last time you were there? I don't go to them all that often the concept of pay 20-40 bucks to get in and then pay alot for cheap food doesn't really interest me. I did like going to state fairs every once and a while. Nothing like winning a silly little gift for a gf, to brighten her day.

3. What is you most and least favorite thing about staying in hotels? The smell in middle level and cheap hotels there is a certain cleaning smell that drives me nuts, probably from my experience working at a hotel. I think the main problem is most hotels designed anymore don't allow open windows, because they are afraid of liability and you can't get any fresh, no machine processed air into the room. My favorite thing I think is something Douglas Copeland wrote about hotels and traveling in general, you have no past, no history, every time you enter a hotel room it's a fresh start, the past erased clean away. Interesting idea, no?

4. Did you ever take family vacations that required looooooong car rides? Were siblings involved ("Stop touching me! Don't cross this line!)Were they just unbearable or did you make up some "car ride games" to pass the time? Give me a book, turn some decent music on, let me watch the countryside passby and I am entertained. Although I am sure my Little Brother and I got in trouble from time to time, it's more fun to 'fight' my brother now and watch the dog get angry at us, that she doesn't like to see us horse around and gets all protective. It's hilarious to watch a 15 pound dog trying to break up two 200lb adults.

5. With all the drilled peep-holes and spy-cams we hear about on the news, have you ever felt self-conscious about taking off your clothes in a hotel bathroom? Has wondering if someone was on the other side of that mirror on the wall above the dresser made you think twice about "gettin' busy?" Nope, why do you have a story you are not telling us?

6. Describe the most romantic vacation you have ever taken or if that does not apply ;) (), tell me about the worst vacation you have ever taken. Prague in the Czech Republic, 10 years ago. You are lucky to get that much out of me.

7. (continued) After a full tummy and four days of sleep, I'd say I've never felt better. Since it is nearly noon, how about you come over and we'll hang out on the deck. I have a pool, hot tub and lotsa eats and drink. But feel free to bring whatever else you think we need! How should we spend this fine afternoon at the pool? Swinmming and a good BBQ, I could probably even dig up my grandfathers amazing BBQ sauce.

BONUS: Have you got it, do you get it, if so, how often? Nope. huh, wha?


 
The drought carries on in Arizona and it will for a while, they won't more than likely see any rain until after the first week of July when the monsoon season begins. The good thing of the monsoon season rain, though it can evaporate as quickly as it falls, the bad thing the lightening that often accompanies those rain storms. For those of you not from out West this is normally a dry time of year the difference is in Winter they normally get enough rain and snow to keep some ground water, this year it was very dry. So it's very dangerous. Take care Zonis.
 
So I worked last night and it's amazing to see the differences in conferences. This one has a much larger budget than the last one I attended, had a damn fancy opening reception with a pasta bar, full apps, and open bar. At one point at the registration desk they needed an icon of my work for some name tags. I thought no big deal I don't remember exactly where it was on our website, but I was sure I could find it. So I walk over to the person's laptop and said, okay start off at our website, the reply was "Oh ummmm we don't have Internet access." The funny thing is it is for the Networked Economy, but evidently no one thought with all that money to get Wi-Fi access (or even give the access for free and get listed as a sponsor). So need less to say I don't carry icon graphics around on my person, do you? So the badges were made up with out.

It did really surprise me no net access, if we were in Cleveland, St. Louis, or even Flagstaff I wouldn't have such expectations. But this is a conference in Northern Virginia half the internet traffic in the world used to shoot through their pipes (not sure the percentage now). Considering all the tech firms that are in the area, are sponsors, and the folks at George Mason Tech Center who are hosting you would think something that simple would be a no brainer. Oh well, kinda makes me glad I am in the office today.
Sunday, June 09, 2002
 
I don't blog on the weekend
I don't blog on the weekend, nor generally get on the computer at all until Sunday evening at the earliest. I started this habit a few years ago just to unplug from reading email, listservs, and all that wonder information the net is oft to provide (like Tastes Like Chicken, granted the only reason I am linking is because of my sudden interest in BSD).

The reason for this unplug is generally being to get myself outside and a bit of fresh air, especially on a day like yesterday. Absolutely perfect day. I was able to enjoy a nice lunch out on a patio and then golfing in the afternoon. Today looks just as great so get out and enjoy. Will I be joining the lucky people outside? Not for very long, some idiot volunteered me to work registration for a conference this afternoon (yes I am that idiot)

And if you are absolutely convinced you are going to stay in and wander the web, go read Lex, he has some fun posts on girl-watching from yesterday. (Psssstt Lex, go outside and enjoy the weather already, this is DC you know it won't last)
Friday, June 07, 2002
 
The Web is our Woodstock*

Not the best of analogies, but to misquote the Beatles "All we are saying is give blogs a chance".

Arrogant, assuming, fun and all the other baggage we carry around with us, hell not only that we put it in public display. Not just on display, we walk down Pennsylvania Avenue naked, dancing, begging, and hoping you will watch us for just a few minutes. And if you know what I look like, you quickly realize how ugly that honestly is. (Just like the grammar in that last sentence.)

The nets a great love in, rock party and although people thought the bursting of the dot com bubble we would scatter us like roaches in a kitchen when you turn the light on. The truth is leave the lights on and join us, the party feels fine. Sure we all have to make a living, but if it ain't fun screw it, life is too short anyways.

People thought the net would disappear with the bubble burst like 60's hippies getting jobs and cashing in. Truth is a far more complex, yeah the champagne and caviar is gone, but in all due candor it was a little too rich for our tastes anyways. Pass the hat and let's make a run to the liquor store for a keg before last call. Guinness would be nice, but you know we have all had a few here at the party and we probably wouldn't complain too much even if it domestic swill. (My apologies to those who know my preference for imports.)

Web is done huh? Let's take a look around.

Content - You say content is no longer free, break out the Visa or Amex and pay up bub or else. But then we have folks like the ones at SXSW working to make content independent and free. Or worse yet fire up a blog and let your warts hang out, telling us of your latest break up, how your cat ate a roll of sewing thread, or even just going to the bar and hanging out with a few friends.

Broadband - Broadband rollout is stalled and telecoms in the toilets you say. Yet, all over people are breaking out Wi-Fi and rolling their own networks, like in San Francisco. Or dig out a pringles can out of the trash and make your own point to point wireless station.

Terrorism - Yes, it was ugly. Yes, it still is out there, there are a lot of idiots without a job who want to blow us up just because we have a decent standard of living or worse yet folks in our own country who are so committed to protecting us that they might accidentally (or on purpose you might think) take away the very freedoms that gave us the standard of living. But remember as Austin Powers said "It's Freedom Baby, YEAH!" or as Ben Franklin said "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Intellectual Property - Sure the record and media companies have their purpose but horse buggy whips and dinosaur corrals had their function at one time too. It's time to learn a new trick pony, Ride'em cowboy! Caus' fact of the matter is we never really liked your dogfood and you know just because you change the label doesn't make it filet mignon and we all know it.

Let's view this like ice cream. Vanilla is great, I honestly love it, but chocolate is good too or even better that stuff with the chocolate chip cookie dough in it. Hell I even heard the store has some in shop brand with caramel sauce and toffee for less than half the price of those little pint deals, it's suppose to be just as good too. All of it is good, but charging us for by the pint when we know there is better, cheaper by the gallon just ain't going to happen. Yes we want to do the right thing and support creators, we all like a pay check, but on a $18 CD and the artist gets less than a dollar we smell the hypocrisy, and it doesn't smell like the front end of the horse.

I covered a lot with a broad brush, playing fast and loose with the metaphor and analogy. It may not all jive, but that is human nature is it not? Struggling and bumbling since the days when "uuugggggh" meant fire. But we keep trying, moving on, learning and hopefully we will figure this out before someone out in the universe calls the cops on us and they find out how this party has gotten out of hand. The party continues on so take my hand for we only have today.

Let's Dance!

* Credit goes to Don for coming up with title and helping drive alittle madness to write it, many thanks!
 
I made it to the bloggers happy hour here in DC last night. I'd like to thank Gene for posting the links to people and Radley for organizing the shindig. I had pretty low expectations for a Thursday night, not sure who would show up, but it was a great crowd. Nice to meet everyone and for those first time dropping by welcome!

One other thing, after the happy hour Mike and I stopped by Julia's Empanadas. It wasn't fancy, but the food was great and the prices were just right. The perfect quick bite after a beer or two. It's always the hole in the wall places that contain the best food.
Thursday, June 06, 2002
 
Great article on the state of the music industry and what's next from New York magazine. This is the most intelligent examination since Courtney Love's rant in Salon.
 
Let's just say for a moment you went on trial for corruption charges as a public official.
Let's say you chose to defend yourself at the trial.
Let's just say you are convicted of these charges.
How many lawyers would you hire to get you out of this tough scrape?

4 according to Traficant. That's right he's back in the news again. While the sentencing hearing is not until June 27th, he is out fighting like a junkyard dog...but he's not alone. No he has friends for instance www.traficant.com and www.traficantlegaldefensefund.com, perhaps I let freejimmyt.com go too soon.
 
One of the more interesting bloggers out there has to be Moby, I mean while he calls it a journal it really does read like a blog.
Example from May 21
i've just been told that '18' is the # 1 selling album in the world.
whoo-boy, that's just nuts.
i'm a little bald guy from the lower east side of manhattan and i make records in my spare bedroom. how have i ended up with the #1 selling album in the world?
Very down to earth, no press filter, no BS, just honest thoughts...another example from May 12
no wonder i've been feeling a little bit homesick...
the last time i was in nyc for more than 1 or 2 days was in the beginning of march. it is very nice to be home.
home and doing stupid things. for example:
yesterday i went to brunch and walked around and went to battery park and sat in the sun and then went to dinner and then went to see spiderman and then went and sang karaoke (i ended up doing 'missing you' by puff daddy. a duet with a friend of mine. suffice it to say that my skills as an mc are as bad as i'd imagined).
I don't actually read his site all that often, I think this is the third time I have read it, but it has always been worth the effort.

Afterthought: Okay he doesn't link all that often I have noticed, so maybe it is a journal. It's still a good read. Also Lex could always stand in for him in event of emergency, you know all those Strikingly Attractive shaved head people all look the same to me...


 
Brian and anyone else who has XP on their computer need to check this out, it's very funny.
 
Happy Birthday Jill!
 
Bravo
 
To those folks who were in NAU MUN with me look at this picture and repeat the words with me "But, But, they are imports!"
 
If you are interested in wireless news go check out 802.11b Networking News, Glenn Fleishman very kindly posted a webcast announcement for me this week so I want to say thanks and plug his site, so go check it out.
 
The Daily Babble discusses the whole stadium debacle in Phoenix. (Warning: His site has pop-ups ugh!) I have been vaguely following the whole thing and I think they majorly screwed up when they were offered free land for a stadium in the West Valley and did not take advantage of it. Since the completion of the 101 Freeway there would be sufficent road access to the location and honestly, the West Valley has needed it. It always has been the Red-Headed step child of culture within the neighborhoods. Yes, there is Desert Pavillion or whatever it's called these days is out there, but that never really helped out the area. The whole thing has gotten so tangled I suspect they will have a whole new team by the time they ever get it sorted out.

But then I never was a Cards fan, I grew up without football team in the state and things are still that way ;-) Okay really I just grew up a Browns fan*. Don't look at me like that, they did pretty well last season, even better next season watch and see.

*My whole family with exception of me was born in the Akron area, I even lived there for about 5 years so I have always been and will be a Browns fan, it's just in the blood.
 
I wonder if anyone else has noticed this, but in the past I generally got an email containing a virus every month or so, my virus protection warns me about the message and it's from someone I know or have a vague understanding of why they would have me in their list. Recently though in the last two weeks to a month I have noticed them arriving at a much faster pace like one or two a day and generally from an email address I have never had any contact with...so it's spam and it contains a virus the worst of both worlds no?

So it makes me question if A - our screen from spam and viruses was very good and it's been falling down on the job or B - there really has been an increasing number of spam viruses, or perhaps C - spammers haven't been keeping up on virus protection software. What do you think?
Wednesday, June 05, 2002
 
Poetry Wednesday
This weeks poetry Wednesday is from my buddy Reemul's Word Play page
"Study nothing except in the knowledge that you already knew it.
Worship nothing except in adoration of your true self.
Fear nothing except in the certainty that you are your enemies begetter
and his only hope of redemption."
--Imajica

If I ever go on a mad crime spree it's Reemul I'll call to raise hell with, but until that day comes that the law is chasing me down, I'll let him stick with his art. Dude knows a good cup of coffee too...and he's Robotic, I sware...human cyborg...
 
It's getting ugly out in California...
"Ken Glueck, Oracle's vice president of government affairs, was in the audience during Tuesday's committee meeting, part of a state investigation into the controversial $95 million contract with Oracle. Glueck got up and left after state Sen. Steve Peace said he wanted Glueck--who on Monday had criticized the hearing process--to testify before the committee."

The article really only gets better from there. Then as a follow up the San Jose Mercury News reports
"Oracle sales representatives hoped their unprecedented deal with the state would lock their competitors out of vying for California's database software business, according to internal company documents released Tuesday."
Bad for Oracle, bad for Davis. Zonitics also has some good coverage lately, with his chart-o-rama.


PS- In the "how much of an Arizonian am I" category, Edward mentions the Cornfield Commentary, when I read it my first thought was "damn, someone in Cornville has a blog, Wow!" DC folks you just won't get it.
 
For those who have known me for a while it is common knowledge that I believe reading the comics everyday is one key element in living a long and happy life, it's worked so far. So I was really pleased to find Toonopedia this morning Calvin and Hobbes, Bloom County, The Far Side, they are all there and much, much more! Go stop by for a visit when you get the chance (Thanks Radley, and I think you are dead on how they would have reacted to the September 11th.)
Tuesday, June 04, 2002
 
Silicon Valley vs. Hollywood
National Journal hosted a breakfast seminar this morning on "Silicon Valley vs. Hollywood" that examined both the issue of Broadcast Flags and Controlling Digital Copies. For those interested in the topic I'll share my impressions, excerpts from the speakers, and highlights.

Panelists:
Jeff Campbell, Cisco Systems
Michael Epstein, Phillips Consumer Electronics
Matt Gerson, Vevendi Universal
Fred Von Lohmann, EFF
Al Mottur, Senator Hollings
Preston Padden, Disney
Emery Simon, BSA
John Mitchell, Seyfarth, Shaw
Moderator: Drew Clark, Tech Daily

The tough part of this whole discussion was the overlap in the conversation over the two topics, while Drew deserves a lot of credit for working to maintain a coherent flow and dialogue.

Preston Padden spoke first and launched an enthusiastic defense of the Hollings bill and how industry didn't understand the bill, due to misreporting and it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. He even believed his own words, otherwise he is an excellent salesman or perhaps it was just a little of both. He cited over 8 separate examples of "features" of the bill in the committee version. Among the 'benefits' to consumers and the IT industry, 'Open standards and open rules on encryption (p.6 & 7), home recording allowed (p.10), time-shifting data (or "any lawful purpose"), encoding rules that recognize fair use (p.9), standards being set to the future, not damaging preexisting material sue to legacy effect(p.11).

Emery Simon fired back with the question of who would pay for all the development of new technology? (Mr. Padden never offered to pay for all this work during the discussions) What would the impact of Hollings regulation on technology efficiency? Mr. Simon went on to dispute the "presumption of a crisis on this issue" by Hollings and the Studio companies. He stated that there were generally available a protection mechanism on most areas of content or in development. Mr. Simon also had serious problems with the government dictating standards to technology and mentioned broadcast flags as an example. He mentioned that there have been both positive and negative effects by Hollings introduction of CBDTPA. The positive have been it has caused engineers to work harder on current standards to get them implemented as quickly as possible. On the negative the introduction has DEEPLY offended CEO and other top leadership of technology companies that are offended by being accused by Hollings as having a market based on piracy and it's promotion. While the grunt in tech companies may be working harder, Hollings choice has caused a far greater rift on the issue in the leadership of the companies.

Fred Von Lohmann spoke next and provided some historical context to the discussion by looking at how the government has handled other 'disruptive' technologies in the last 100 years. He cited a number of examples many of which are on EFF's one page critique of BPDG as part of their Consensus at Lawyerpoint blog, which is a great source for background material on the subject. Basically the lesson of the last hundred years has been three choices of government involvement in such technology disputes, no involvement, compulsory license, or government mandate of a standard. In the case examples when government has mandated the standard the technology has failed. (I'd love a good site on the DAT failure, anyone know of one?)

A few minutes later Mr. Simon said something that really got my attention he said in regards of fair use there is no absolute "consumer right" to it and he even went back to the comment and restated it, so he was clearly trying to ingrain that thought into people's minds.

Michael Epstein presented a really unique angle on the day because he was the only person on the panel who was not either a lawyer or government relations representative. He was an engineer so he provided more of an insight to how the process of working to these solutions. He had a good understand of how the interaction between studios and tech companies had been going on in the inter-industry meetings. For instance he said that companies are not inherently against a broadcast flag but, while the scope that when Hollywood says it wants to prevent internet distribution, they really want to prevent any unauthorized distribution (without their approval). He mentioned if they stuck to the original goal than the outcome would have a better solution.

Later someone said that the problem with the broadcast flag is that it is not an open technology, set on the standards Hollywood picks Table A approved technologies, while it is argued that this group is open and accepting it is based on Hollywood's approval, not the technical merits of a new technology.

This point lead to someone saying this technology was essentially a backroom deal.

This discussion led to the comment by Mr. Padden, "Join Hollis if you oppose backroom deals on selecting technology."
To which Fred Von Lohmann replied "Fine, prove your intentions by opposing the broadcast flag."
Mr. Padden did not have a reply.

The second half I did not keep as clear notes, but a few comments that came out..

Mr. Gerson, Vevendi - "It's our property." It made me wonder about the artists, actors, musicians who created the content isn't it really theirs? In the room you had a lot of studio voices, IT industry voices, even EFF, but no one reflecting the views of content creators themselves, it would make a nice addition for next year.

MPAA was offered a chance to speak and said that they were only interested analog to digital converter and controlling that piece of technology. Mr. Von Lohmann said he was not an engineer, but once you had control there you had access to setting the standards on everything. Mr. Epstein supported the point.

Mr. Padden viewed the Hollings bill as panacea (my words not his) and predicted that a year from now people will be sick of stalling and ask for the Hollings bill.

Jeff Campbell received little mention to he really did try to be a middle party giving control to copyright holders and promoting technology as much as possible. He even mentioned Agum (sp?) an encryption, no royalty standard that Cisco was offering as a solution.

Al Mottur presented Hollings as the honest broker who would prefer to see Silicon Valley and Hollywood get along on this issue but believes by forcing this issue to be settled it will help promote broadband rollout. He didn't really push hard for CBDTPA but with Mr. Padden mentioning it in nearly every comment he made, there was little need for him to promote the bill. He did say that reaching out to industry to bill he had received negative reactions, that they are generally just interested in defeating the bill rather than working to improve it.

I have not given due credit to John Mitchell for his efforts he really did liven up the panel, but I have no quotes or direct mentions. He was more on the IT side of the fight and against mandated standards.

It was a very informative program, but by and large it had a very DC feel to the discussion, except for Mr. Epstein who brought a fresh perspective to the conversation.

POSTSCRIPT: A few more followup articles on the topic in the news today 6/5/02
CNN - Digital TV comes into focus
NY Times - Hollywood Has a Setback in Controls for Digital TV
Slashdot has a story as well
Monday, June 03, 2002
 
Why do my parent's get along so well? I think this comic says it all.

Thanks to Onthefastrack and it's creator Bill Holrook.

 
Monday Mission 2.22
1. Who or where do you go to when you need help for web-related problems?
It depends on if it's account, network, or design issue, I have a good group of friends who each cover various niches among them.

2. There is a big mess of gossip going on in Blogland due to revelations about a very popular Blogger. I got very caught up in reading all the links to links about it until I stopped myself realizing it was none of my buisiness. Do you ever get caught up in gossip, either speading it or listening to it? How does it make you feel? Or have you ever been the subject of gossip? I think when I first was blogging I read alot of the pages to keep up, so I was reading it. But I don't really keep up with it as much now. As for spreading it, I don't find it worth my time.

3. In a relationship, when your other takes a dig at you (read: a fight), do you go for the jugular and get "in their face" or try to peacefully smooth things out and have a calm discussion? Smooth things out and discuss them, always better that way.

4. A friend once told me "You can tell when someone is bored with what you are saying to them when they reply with 'That's interesting.'" And I have found this to be pretty dang true. How do you know when someone has lost interest in what you are saying? That's interesting...The eyes tell you all, windows to the soul, watch and the world will reveal the answer to you.

5. Ever get jealous of the popularity other Blogs? Who me, no never, well maybe, but at the same time I think the popular ones by and large are either someone who has been doing this for a while i.e. Megnut or they are in a unique environment that draws people's attention i.e. B-May at the Olympics or Tal G in Jerusalem. I have only been blogging for 6 months so I figure I am just learning how to ride this bike so to speak.

6. What is your favorite dirty word? (those who don't curse can pick your favorite happy word) Verdamn noch mal! or else I have enjoyed clueless fucknozzles lately.

7. (the continuing story...) OK, we are definitely doing that again. But seeing as it is nearly 6am now, how about breakfast? Anywhere you'd like to go or should we fix our own? What do you like? Or is there something else we need to do first? It depends on the location, if I am in Flagstaff I'd go to La Bellavia for either Trout and Eggs or the Italian Sausage and Eggs both are a great way to start the day. Otherwise I would cook, although being 6am getting me awake to begin with would be a tough fight.

BONUS: What have I done to deserve this? Waking me up at 6am and you dare ask that! Wake me up around 8 or 9 and then we can discuss breakfast. And there better be some coffee made by the time I wake up.

 
All I ever needed to know I learned from MBA students...
This weekend I had a number of encounters with graduates of a local MBA program that is highly ranked, but the lessons they taught me made me question the value of such programs.

Commitment - We were set to golf this weekend. Thursday I called two friends, got voice mail in both cases and explained that there was one slot left on our foursome on Saturday, whoever called me back first got it. After the slot was taken the other guy and disappointed that he couldn't join us asked if he could set a time right next to ours and then golf 3 and 3, I said fine. He changed his mind the day of and backed out of the golf, leaving us with five people committed for golf. He did have an excuse that he couldn't get away, but mysteriously the excuse evaporated a few hours later after golf when he was available to join us for free food.

Precision - After golfing we went out to the Chesapeake to hang out on a MBAer's family pier. He provided directions in which distance was relative, several miles translated to less than one, objects on the right hand side of the road were on the left hand side, no compass directions (North, South, East, West) which was often confusing with only turn left and right, names for roads when all the roads out in the countryside were marked with route numbers and sometimes no names on the roads at all.

Communications skills - Once we parked at the pier we had a good time, but then another MBAer went to leave her car wound up stuck in a ditch. But rather than walk the 200-300ft back to the pier, she called on the cell phone so that we would all realize the importance of her problem.

Leadership - After a few of us trying to help push her out, it was quickly obvious that we needed to have a truck pull her out of the ditch that her car was stuck in. So another guy (not an MBA) and I helped tie off the line and then moved to the front of the car to help push, I called over to the MBA folks standing around and asked for help. They remained standing in place while the truck pulled her car out meanwhile the other guy and got covered in the mud up to our knees as the car came out. Lesson let other people do your dirty work.

With skills like these it's small wonder the internet bubble didn't burst a few years earlier. A little bitter sounding perhaps, but these are the lessons I learned from MBA holders this weekend.

POSTSCRIPT: This post may come across as a little whiny, I actually had alot of fun this weekend, it was just funny how every time I turned around there was a lesson from an MBA holder.

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