Hello world! Back sorta…

Well had to recover all of my old blog posts.  That was fun and is still going on.  Someone should write a app to move blog posts off of archieve.org and into WordPress… 🙂  Anyway, we be back.

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YouTube suit called threat to online communication

So what happens when a big media company decides to buy into the Internet?  They start suing everyone they can in order to stop them from growing their business.  It’s interesting to note that if YouTube was owned by Viacom that there would be no lawsuit and that Viacom would be quite happy letting their users put up “copyrighted” material.

Anyway, this was interesting and wanted to share it.  More later if I get motivated to rant a bit.  So this is just a rantling.

Check out:

YouTube and An Inconvenient Truth

YouTube suit called threat to online communication

YouTube law fight ‘threatens net’

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Music Play Count Inflaters….

Ok I just read an article on wired that has me concerned and pissed off.  The big labels are cracking down on websites that use, allow users to hear, play or otherwise stream their music.  So if this article is correct then they are basically fudging the numbers and then charging the sites accordingly.  I think that’s fraud and illegal, so they have resorted to illegal means to up their revenue.  I guess they must feel justified given their ongoing campaign against illegal use of their music…

Shame on them.

Listening Post Blog at Wired.com

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FCC gets hoodwinked by Comcast

So I love it when the truth comes out.  Unfortunately it hasn’t come out to the press yet.  But who knows someday they will wake up and smell the coffee.  So here’s a link to a blog that you should watch if you haven’t already been watching.  Plus I love the subject.

Comcast Hoodwinks FCC. GreatFirewall of China in the US of A.

Enjoy! and wakeup and smell the coffee folks…

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United Baggage Schedules Cancellations…

Here’s the thing.   I just got back from a trip out west and I can’t believe the lousy service I got from United.  Then I read this…

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aYeRrGwo.r4k&refer=us

United Air to Charge Some Fliers for 2nd Checked Bag – Bloomberg

This wouldn’t be so bad, if I hadn’t just experienced one flight cancellation, lost luggage, a scheduled change and short connect times just on the way out.  On the way back the canceled two flights, changed the flight time, and got in late.  I have to say, to expect someone to pay extra for this kind of service is WAY too much.  Now do I agree that they need to be able to charge for an increase in fuel costs.  Yes, but charge me for it directly.  Up the ticket price, add a surcharge for that cost, anything other than charge me for additional services that already suck.  This is just unbelievable.

I don’t know what the rest of you think abut things like this but it’s outrageous.

Also it brings up for me the question of “should I continue to fly United?”.  I have flown them most of my business career and have been very loyal to them.  But they are starting to fly more like ValuJet than the old United I knew.  Thus I have to state here that I am not going to fly United if there is another choice.  When I fly I want good value and United just has hit the bottom of the list for friendliness, cleanliness, price, ontime service, and ability to get my luggage to me at all.  So I say good bye to United, and hello to Virgin or any other airline that will get me there with reliability, on schedule, and not lose my luggage.  It would be good if along the way they could be pleasant to me as well.

Let me here what you guys think about this….

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Travel Documents and other infringments of freedom.

Ok in another move to make us look more like the USSR of the 70’s the US Federal Government has decreed that the States need to have all of their drivers come into DMV’s IN-PERSON to get a new ID.  You would have to bring in proof of citizenship, or legal residency in order to get a drivers license.  This was passed because all of the hijackers of the 9/11 planes had valid drivers licenses, but were in the country illegally.  This in essence is creating a National ID, which last I understood the government already had in the form of Social Security Numbers.  But I guess if you are trying to track all of your citizens movements you can’t have too many ID to follow.

Now on the surface this sounds like a good idea, I mean why should an illegal immigrant get a drivers license.  Hmm, good idea, but there are lots of ramifications.  The first of which is further intrusion of the Federal Government into our daily lives, where if I recall we have a constitution and bill of rights are supposed to be in place to keep them out of our private daily lives, and they are supposed to stay out of the states lives and let them do what they feel is best for their citizens.  But all of that aside, this only serves to drive illegal immigrants who are here working, and producing income etc. underground.   Currently in order to get a Drivers License most if not all states require you to have insurance.  With this move, all of the illegal immigrants out there will no longer have to have insurance, or a valid drivers license.  Just like laws and police to keep immigrants out of the country in the first place don’t stop them from coming in, this won’t stop them from driving, all it really does in put further burden on those who are citizens.  It doesn’t stop anyone from driving.  I mean we have government officials driving without licenses or suspended licenses driving what is to stop an illegal immigrant from driving.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/16/AR2007121601754.html?nav=rss_metro

Washington Post Article

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Copyright infringment issues

I will put more here later.  But for now it amazes me how stupid some people are.  Ok I know using a label on folks tends to just get them excited instead of listening but I just can’t help myself here.  Some folks (NOT all) are really idiots when it comes to copyright law.

To me it is clear that if I copy something and use it in something that I create I am walking a fine line and one that I had better know the ins and outs of.  Unfortunately MOST people don’t take the time to understand what those are.

I am working on a bit of info that should hopefully explain the concept better and will post those in the next few days.  But for now there is a golden rule that works on and off the internet.  Do unto others as you would have them do to you.  If it’s not alright for someone to mess with how you make a living then don’t mess with others.  If you would like to have credit put into a mashup, then give credit when creating yours.  If you don’t like the republican party using your photo to show what a good job they are doing in Iraq, then don’t use someone else’s to show what a great job they are doing of messing up in Iraq.  It’s really very simple logic.  You wouldn’t go into someone’s house and take their painting off the wall and add it to you art.  The argument that the door is open and that anyone leaving the door open is giving permission to come in and steal isn’t valid.  No way no how.

So when you go to use someone else’s work, regardless of HOW you use it first rule is to give credit and quote it.  If using someone’s photo without prior permission give them credit, and then send an email ASKING if you can.  If they tell you, you can’t, take whatever it is you created DOWN and do it again with a different graphic, hopefully one who the creator has given you permission to use.

Parody is CHANGING something to say something else.  Again a fine line, and you had better know what you are doing.  It isn’t hard to find out, but the laws around it are pretty clear that you can be sued for using something that you don’t have permission to use.

So wake up smell the coffee…  “Get it?” copyright 2007 Firebrand

Check this out: Wired Blog Story about Infringment

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Hospitals and tell me again why we are better than third world countries?

Ok so I haven’t posted in a longish period of time.  For this I appologize though I am sure the single reader of this won’t mind.  Then again this is part of what I want to talk about.

I visited my sister and new baby early in April.  What better time to go to Tucson land of frying pan hot roads, and catus as far as the eye can see.  What I expected was a pleasent visit with family and then home again.  What happened was anything but pleasent.

We arrived just fine and baby was very cute and adorable.  The family was great, and we were meeting the new addtions all the way around.  In fact a party was planned for the weekend.  Unfortunately Wednesday night one of our dogs died of complications from the cancer treatments he was undergoing.  A very sad night.  Then Thursday morning rolls around, and when I woke up I had a bad cramp in my stomach, that I passed off as a muscle strain from lifting our dog a few days early, he was unable to walk near the end and I was using towels to lift him off the ground so he could struggle to go out and pee.  During that I stumbled and pulled a muscle in my butt, hey it hurt.  Anyway, I ascribed the pain I was feeling in my stomach to a muscle strain that was related to that.  So I went to lunch to meet  the new in-laws of my sister after having taken a few Advil.  Lunch went fine at the funky little dinner we went to, great food as well.  During this, I had to excue myself as I had a pain that broke me out in a sweat with hot and cold flashes.  After standing a bit I was amused that I passed a bit of gas during this, what the hell it must be gas I told myself.

After lunch I had a conference call that I had to be on at 1pm, so dutifully I got on the phone and listen to some heated discussion about financing of a company, that went on for 2 hours, I even managed to comment on stuff during this as well.  During the whole discussion, however, I was in pain, and it wasn’t getting any better.  After the call ended I got up and told everyone I wasn’t feeling well.  My Mom suggested that we go to the hospital because she was worried, and since she’s an RN I listen to her on medical things.

Thus begain the trip from hell.  Now I have had trips in the past that I called triips from hell, but this one was THE “Trip From Hell” tm.  From the moment we decided to go, I couldn’t get there fast enough.  I got in the car and leaned over onto the door, while Mom drove, and my wife sat in the back seat.  The whole drive is a blur to me, as I just lay there and moaned the whole time.  Now I wish this was due to the fact that I am a overly dramatiic person, but I can’t say that in this case.  There was simply no way I wasn’t going to be moaning because the pain had escalated in intensity.  During that drive I only remember three, no four things.  One, we almost ran into a car getting onto a highway, my Mom yelling at my sister on the phone for directions, doing a Uturn where we ran over a curb (the bounced caused me to scream, hell with moaning when that happened), and oh yeah, the pain.  Of course it never crossed any of our minds to just call a ambulance.

We finally arrived at the hospital of which I barely remember getting out of the car and into a wheelchair.  Then I remember only a few things of the next 8 hours of pure torture.  I recall sitting there listening to my Mother and Wife trying to get them to understand that I wasn’t faking the pain and that they needed to get me in right away.  This wouldn’t have been funny, except for two things than happened.  One someone got up and jumped in front of us to yell at them that he had been waiting for 3 hours and why the hell wasn’t he inside already (this was in response to our asking them when we were going to get in since we had been there 90 minutes already), now you might say “hey the other guy was there first”.  What went through my head was this though, “If I could get up and get in this assholes face, I would say…If you can stand there being upset then you aren’t all that sick, I can’t even fucking stand up asshole so go sitdown and take a chill pill.”  All I could do though was to have that thought and chuckle.  Little did I know how right this asshole was about them taking a long time.  The only other thing I can recall other than going in and out of awareness, was that my Mom finally called the hospital and got in touch with the Duty Nurse and told her that they were running a piss poor orgainzation since she, and RN, was still waiting hours after showing up to see a doctor with her son who she was sure had a problem with his appendix.  This might have actualy worked because shortly thereafter we were ushered into the emergency room.

Now one would think that the tale ends here with a good outcome.  Nah that would be too easy for this place.  I ended up being examined by a “new” doctor, actually he wasn’t even a doctor yet (note no caps).  He was an intern and his boss was there to help him out.  Now the intern says to me, you have a gall stone.  My Mom says to him, look sonny I have 45 years of medical experience if this isn’t his appendix I will eat it.  Intern smiles and says well if we go get a CAT scan we will know for sure.  Mom states, you know just looking at his blood workup will tell you if he has an elevated white count that will telll you this is no Gall Stone.  Intern walks out (nice guy, but still wet around the ears), and brings in the big gun his boss the Attending.  Who listens to what’s going on, pokes my stomach, I guess I didn’t react enough or something because he said ok, let’s wait for the CAT scan.  I am reminded of the “Machine That Goes Ping” here.  Anyway, during all of this I began to feel better while waiting for the Machine that Goes Ping, this as anyone who has medical background can tell you is NOT good.

Finally the surgeon comes in.  She examines me, goes out gets the chief surgeon (cause you have to have more credentials to over ride one doctors assessment, it’s a game they play, sorta like my dick is bigger than yours), she comes in and examines me then they both leave after saying don’t worry we can take care of this.  They go out get oh so young doc and Attending and state that they are taking me up to remove my appendix.  Yeah they understand young doc thinks it’s not, but they think it is.  And to cover for young doc they tell me “now we don’t know for sure, but it seems to us that its your appendix and we are going to go in and get it out, if it’s not we take it out anyway.  I tell them, you know I think I agree with you, but what do I know.

So they skip waiting for the CAT scan which we had already waited two hours for, and wheel me into surgery prep.  Where the doc there tells me what he’s going to do, and then states “you know, next time don’t wait so long to come in when you have a pain this bad.”   I laughed (ok it was an Ironic Grunt) at him and said well the pain started in earnest at 2pm and I had been in the waiting room since 3 or 4.  So I feel I made the right decision but did they…  He was amazed and stated “that shouldn’t have happened”.  Then he turned out my lights.

I woke up a few hours later (thought waking up isn’t really what it was like) and saw Wife and Mom there who told me that I was going to be ok.  That it had burst and they took care of everything while they were in there.  But that I had a 4 inch scar instead of the two small incisions they had told me about, basically because everything was so bad they had to pull my guts out and wash my abdominal cavity out 6 times to clean it of the crap that came out of my exploding appendix.  I was told I was on 4 different antibiotics, and pain medication.  The only cool thing for me was that they handed me a button that I could push to give myself some Morphine when I needed it.  That was kind of fun, wake up push button pass back out.  My wife told me that I was pushing the button in my sleep at times when she was watching me.

A normal patient gets out of bed the next day and is home later that afternoon.  By the next afternoon I was barely waking up enough to push my pain button.  They came  in at one point and put me on some different medication that I could feel as a coldness that literally seeped through the viens in my head as it flowed into my body, very strange sensation.  All they allowed me to eat were ice chips, those were so good when I got some, that it was about as tasty to me at that time as a good California Cab would be at others.

I also remember that first full night afterwards the nurse coming in every once in a while and telling me to breath, I would wake up to the sound of her asking me that, and of alarms going off in the room.  Surreal experience.  I always wondered what it would be like to die, but during all of this, I really didn’t care, and when I think back I wouldn’t have known if I had gone to sleep and just not woken up.  Not that this is an answr to the question, but it did put perspective on things for me.

By day 2 I was waking up more, and they wanted me to walk.  That’s just what I didn’t want to do, but I had to at least get up to pee, so I actually did get up and walk once.  Then the night nurse came in and she was bound and determined to get me up to walk.   So she did get me up to walk, and I immediately puked on her shoes.  Ok it wasn’t on purpose but I guess it got the message across.  She tried again later that night after everyone I knew had left, though this time she was gentler about it, I still puked.  God must have not liked me cause puking is about the most painful thing you can do when you have had your gut cut open.

Day 3 was much better and I was actually able to eat some soup, no solids, and started to have gas again.  I didn’t know it was so important or so hard to get your bowels working again after surgery.  But that was the start of my getting better and feeling better.

Day 4 I was up early saying hello to everyone and feeling antsy to be out of the hospital, I was off the pain meds, and off the antibiotics for which I was glad, one made me itch like crazy and the other made my mouth taste like I-95 after an oil spill.  The surgeon came in looked at me and told me to go home.  She also said it was the worst case she had ever seen herself.  Wowza, ok I like being the best, but not the worst.

That was roughly 5 weeks ago now, and just the last day or so have I been feeling well.  My hats off to the surgical team, a big thumbs down to the emergency room staff and policy.  I am happy and glad to be alive and in good health, really made me think about how fragile we all are.  My best to all of you out there and may you all be healthy always.

My experience wasn’t an fluke.

That’s a wrap.

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Digg.com Crackdown and ensuing revolt

Check out the following link.  You have to love the fact that once Pandora is out, she is out of the box for good, no matter how hard those opposed try to stomp.

http://www.wired.com/entertainment/hollywood/multimedia/2007/05/crackkdown_protest

Wired Story about DIGG

I love the creative use of Photoshop.

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First Entry

The first entry is always the stupidest, have ya noticed that?  I mean what the hell, you have to start someplace, it’s the first step of many.  If you end up following along we will all have some fun, and get things off our chest, and who knows maybe even have an impact in some of what pisses us all off.

In anycase, welcome to my blog about what pisses me off the most about technology, among our guests will be eBay, PayPal, and many many others.  I am sure you also will have a few pet peeves to point out to me, I am open to all.

Thanks and welcome

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