Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Americablog is reporting that Microsoft has retained the services of religious zealot Ralph Reed, paying his consulting firm Century Strategies $20,000 a month for its services. This, coming just a week after the Stranger's story about how Microsoft has been meeting with Ken Hutcherson of Antioch Bible Church in Redmond, possibly regarding withdrawl of its support for House bill 1515, an anti-gay-discrimination bill currently under consideration by the Washington State legislature.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

James Bandler has a page one article in the Wall Street Journal detailing how several tech experts who appear on local and national television programs are actually getting paid to pitch the products they talk about on the air. James Oppenheim, who describes himself as "a contributor on NBC's Today Show", is cited as one person who was paid to promote products on local T.V. and then apparently promoted products from his clients later to a national audience. While some programs, such as NBC's Today, supposedly bar such promotion, it seems the experts often claim arrangements to promote a product on local TV are completely separate from appearances on national programs where they promote the same products, but aren't being paid to explicitly to do so.
It's being reported that Qatar will replace child camel jockeys with robots. The robots are built by the Swiss K-Team and it is hoped their use will cut down on the kidnapping and abuse that many children reportedly suffer.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

In a rather stunning interview, Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg called the notion of municipal WiFi "one of the dumbest ideas I've ever heard". Adam Werbach, a member of the Public Utilities Commission in San Francisco, which is considering offering very inexpensive or free WiFi access, is quoted as saying "It's like Bill Gates ridiculing Linux, or Sony saying that Apple doesn't know anything about the music business".

But the kicker is this quote from Seidenberg: "Why in the world would you think your (cell) phone would work in your house?". Well, maybe for the same reason I expect my television and radio to work there. A better question is why Mr. Seidenberg thinks they shouldn't.

One thing, Mr. Seidenberg is making it much easier for me to decide which phone service I won't be buying. Instead I'll look for a service which treats its customers with respect instead of derision.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Photographer Matt Siber has a wonderful collection of photoshopped images know collectively as The Logo Project. By simply (or not so simply) removing the supporting poles from the images of these signs, Mr. Siber's photos evoke something about the sacred capitalist culture which seems so popular today.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Clich├ęs aside, technology has long played an important part in human sexuality. The digital age opens up these possibilities in many unexpected ways, both mundane and profound. Our guest this week was Regina Lynn, who came down to our studios to talk on the air. She writes the Sex-Drive column for Wired News.

Friday, April 08, 2005

I had promised a new mailing this week. Instead, I got a full-on, sparks-flying, smoke-billowing system crash on Tuesday night. To make things worse, my backup machine went down about a week ago, and my backup backup machine was in the shop getting updated. I was left with my Linux game server, which is literally a box sitting in a corner, without a monitor, which runs 24/7. I hooked up a monitor, keyboard and mouse and was able to gain limited access to the 'net and new email.

Clearly this wasn't going to work, so yesterday I stuck a new power supply into the sick machine, hoping the motherboard hadn't been fried during the fireworks. I was certain that, even if the hardware was OK, the data on the hard drive would be corrupted. But I got lucky and so far things seem okay. I'm going to spend the rest of the tonight putting things back together and verifying the system's integrity.

Just to add to my frustration, Blogger has been having some famous problems and I was delayed in posting this message.

So this is all a long way of explaning why there will be no mailing this week. I'm fairly confident that I'll be able to get it out by next Wednesday. I hope you understand and promise hope it will be worth it. If you want to get the mailing but haven't signed up yet, you can do so at our home page. Just fill out the little form in the bottom right corner.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Our guest this week was Jim Griffith, the Offical Dean of Education at eBay. We talked to him about the popular online auction site and his new book, The Official eBay Bible.