Big Ink

Last night as we were taping The Delivery with Jimmie Bise on UStream, it hit us.

The Republicans “Pledge to America” did little more than support “big ink” because most of the document is a complete waste of time and of course, ink.

I’ll be writing about this in depth in the next few days but wanted to warn you first.

Wire Tap The Internet?


You bet.

In a New York Times piece* this morning, Charlie Savage has this to say…

WASHINGTON — Federal law enforcement and national security officials are preparing to seek sweeping new regulations for the Internet, arguing that their ability to wiretap criminal and terrorism suspects is “going dark” as people increasingly communicate online instead of by telephone.

Essentially, officials want Congress to require all services that enable communications — including encrypted e-mail transmitters like BlackBerry, social networking Web sites like Facebook and software that allows direct “peer to peer” messaging like Skype — to be technically capable of complying if served with a wiretap order. The mandate would include being able to intercept and unscramble encrypted messages.

Wire tapping someone online is vastly different then wire tapping a telephone or cell phone. I believe that this type of thing will open the door to more far reaching internet regulation which will be bad for everyone in the long run.

Of course, hackers will probably answer the call and write routines that will scramble our Skype chats among other things.

The argument will be made that if you are not doing anything wrong, you’ll have nothing to worry about.

The problem is not whether YOU are doing anything wrong but rather whether or not the GOVERNMENT is doing something wrong.

Politically speaking, even bringing this subject up before the November elections is a death sentence for the party in power.

Rather than standing on the train tracks waving my arms trying to stop this run away train from hitting the big fat 18 wheeler sitting on the tracks ahead, I’m going to simply stand aside and let these “brilliant” folk hit the truck.

Popcorn anyone?

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Do YOU Like Sex With Goats?


The latest Twitter glitch allows you to post that you like to have sex with goats.

via TechCrunch

Either a lot of Techies are into really kinky things, or there is a Twitter worm going around. It looks like a ton of people just started sending out Tweets saying “I Like Anal Sex With Goats.” This Tweet is followed by another one that says “WTF” and includes a link. Do NOT click on this link; it appears that it will cause you to send out the same series of Tweets from your account. It looks like this is happening across third-party clients and on

Guaranteed that we’ll see this later on TWiT! They are LIVE all day today and will be doing the official TWiT (this week in tech) show at 6:00 pm EST.


Update: No. TWiT never mentioned this. They instead discussed the ever boring Michael Arrington and had a guest on who started off the show dropping a bullshit reference. Bad internet connection, crappy camera, and a complete disregard for the fact that you don’t play with your microphone and headset while taping made her one of the most obnoxious guests that have ever been on TWiT. On a positive note, Veronica Belmont and her boyfriend Ryan Block made the crappy guest more palatable.

A Milestone

After about 3 years or so I have finally decided to turn on my cell phone’s voicemail feature.


Anyone trying to call that particular phone for the last few years will be able to attest to the fact that you have not been able to leave me a message because I didn’t set the mailbox up.

Well, now you can.

So, please don’t.

This bi-polar moment brought to you by the Are To Are Not Foundation.

Hobbit Troubles


For those of you waiting for the Hobbit movies to come out will just have to wait longer.

Now, according to the BBC we have union troubles.

Those contracts “provide no minimum guarantees of wages or working conditions”, no payment for future broadcasts and no cancellation payments, they said.

“The International Federation of Actors… resolved that the time had come for performers around the world to support their colleagues in New Zealand and seek a union contract for all performers on The Hobbit,” a statement said.

The FIA said producers have argued that entering into an agreement with the union would break New Zealand competition laws. points out the top three reasons why this movie can’t seem to get started.

– Guillermo del Toro leaving as director (granted, Peter Jackson stepped in, but a director leaving is a director leaving)
– MGM’s financial woes
– The film still not being greenlit by New-Line and MGM

In any event, those of you waiting to see The Hobbit will just have to wait longer.

Happy Birthday Big E!


via Wired

1960: USS Enterprise, the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, is launched in Newport News, Virginia. CVN-65, nicknamed Big E, was the first carrier of its kind, powered solely by its eight nuclear reactors.

With nuclear power to propel it, the Enterprise does not need to carry its own fuel oil and has more room for aircraft and weapons. It routinely carries 70 to 90 planes. The ship measures in at 1,120 feet (about 100 feet longer than the USS Saratoga), with a 250-foot-wide flight deck and 93,970 tons displacement. It relies on a crew of 5,700.

All this came with a price: around $451.3 million (equivalent to $3.3 billion in today’s money), according to Jane’s American Fighting Ships of the 20th Century. The Enterprise came in well over budget and ended up being the only ship in its class. Five other planned ships were not constructed.

According to Wikipedia, the Enterprise is scheduled for decommissioning in 2013.

Yes, it is still on active duty.

Verizon and Class Warfare

So much for unlimited bandwidth on your cell phone.

via Reuters

It’s the beginning of the end for unlimited data plans on smart phones. Verizon Wireless, the largest U.S. mobile carrier, plans to stop selling unlimited data plans to new customers and instead introduce two service plans with monthly data caps.

They had to see this coming.

If you read the entire article, the author never raises the question of whether or not the carrier needs to drastically upgrade their equipment to handle the extra phones, instead they decide to limit users access to the system.

Carriers have long insisted that their top bandwidth users are at the upper 5% of the spectrum. Sound familiar? The top 5% of wage earners should pay most of the taxes type of thing. Well, in this new scenario the top 5% of the bandwidth users will be paying for the bandwidth.

That is all well and good but it doesn’t address the root problem of poor infrastructure. In a way, the carrier will argue that setting limits will alleviate infrastructure issues and in the short term they will be correct. Unfortunately, people are not going to stop buying smart phones and in fact, they will most likely buy even more.

Without the infrastructure upgrades, this problem will happen again.

Treating the symptoms and not treating the disease; that is all this is.

I wonder if these two stories a could be related?


Stealing Stale Bread

images.jpegThis story comes from Reuters.

A woman who worked at a super market in Germany took bread home that was supposed to be discarded. Is she guilty of a crime?

The 44-year-old cashier had been asked to dispose of the bread in a bio-waste container in March this year, but it was later found in her bag when she was searched by supermarket security personnel on leaving work later that day.

The woman, who was not named, argued that she had intended to put the bread in the bio-waste container, but her employer believed she meant to take it home and eat it.

The Leipzig labor court ruled on Monday that even if the employee did intend to eat the bread, it did not constitute grounds for dismissal, especially given her 27-year employment record with the company and the fact that the bread no longer had any monetary worth for the employer.

The answer is yes. She is guilty of a crime. She took something that did not belong to her. Whether or not it is worth $0.00 or $2,000.00 the fact remains that the property did not belong to her and she took it.

The law really is or rather, should be that simple.

Stealing is a very simple concept. I own a CD. I bought it at Wal-Mart. I have a receipt for it and the CD clearly belongs to me. You come along and take it from me. That is stealing. You don’t own it. It didn’t belong to you.

The bread was the sole property of her employer and she willfully took it.

For reasons unknown to me, German courts seem to think that they can just add a condition to the definition of theft. Well, it wasn’t really very expensive so it’s ok if the woman took it.

And that my friends, is why the world is going to hell in a hand basket.

Cyberduck is Dead to Me


This small rant is about a program I used to love and recommend.


Cyberduck had to be one of the easiest FTP clients for Mac that I’ve ever found. Very little set up involved for any site and it just worked.

Until now.

Late changes in its development have made this program a complete and total pain in the ass. Asking me if I want to change the way I communicate with the site I’m trying to access and arbitrarily making changes to my settings that worked up until now. For software developers out there let me say something that needs said. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Believe me, I understand “why” you thought these changes were needed and perhaps they are but my gripe is how you’ve implemented these changes and how you continue forcing me to do something I may not want to do.

For example, a dialog box popped up asking me if I’d like to change from FTP to sFTP (secure FTP) and the choices are continue, cancel, and don’t show me this again.

I chose “don’t show me this again” because…I don’t want to see that dialog EVER again. What does the program do? It changes my settings anyway!

My website is not set up to use sFTP at the moment even though Cyberduck seems to think it is and the way I have my sites configured, it is not necessary. Security should never be forced on a webmaster by software. We are well aware of security threats and will deal with them accordingly; thank you very much!

The next to last point I feel I need to make is whether or not I can continue to recommend Cyberduck to my friends and family.

The answer is a resounding NO.

If I have trouble initially understanding what Cyberduck is trying to force me to do, I’m quite sure my mother will have troubles. My father will get angry and possibly throw the computer and my kids will call me every five minutes until their Cyberduck gets fixed.

I hate having to change this recommendation, my personal recommendation on Mac OS X FTP programs is to use FileZilla. Don’t get me wrong, FileZilla is awesome but up until now it has been a bit too complicated to recommend to my family (but not by much). Weighing Cyberduck‘s changes and now forced me to conclude that FileZilla is easier to use on a Mac. Of course, FileZilla is available on ALL platforms.

Finally, I’d like to address the issue of the “Donate” dialog. This dialog pops up every time you upgrade Cyberduck. If you have donated in the past as I have (twice) then you’ll appreciate what I’m about to say.


(Caption: This issue was considered so annoying that a help desk request was submitted to the developer. Go here to read the whole thing.)

In the past, a dialog box popped up asking if you’d like to donate to the Cyberduck project. Let’s face it, developers appreciate a little “scratch” now and again for their work and rightfully so. After you donate, you simply check that you’ve donated and move on with your life.

Until, the next Cyberduck update. The dialog re-appears and asks you if you’ve donated. You say “Yes” and the dialog goes away until…

…you get the idea.

From a coding standpoint, it is not very difficult to write a routine that “knows” that you’ve donated from change to change thus keeping the annoying dialog box from rearing it’s ugly head every time you upgrade. Common practice is that you would ask for a donation again only after a major upgrade (e.g. version 3 to version 4). This program asks for a donation after each and every “incremental” change (e.g. version 3.1.1 to version 3.1.2). The numbers may not be accurate and I’m just throwing them out as examples but you get the idea.

The latest implementation shows a “Get a Donation Key!” button at the top of the window. The problems I am speaking about occurred prior to this change and no; I will not be donating a third time just so that I can now get a freaking donation key.

I can easily dismiss the annoying donation issue but when it’s combined with the sFTP changes, it becomes too much for even me to bear.

Cyberduck is neither easy nor fun to use anymore.

That makes me sad.

Note: This article is based on my own experiences and my own opinions. If you aren’t bothered by these things then “good on ya.”