waterboard the crusader

We all know the sad story of what happened to Dr. Tiller at the hands of a zealot who views the world in his own perverted view. Now the assailant who I won’t name because he should be forgotten, is threatening more action from behind bars.

In a couple of calls to the AP he has basically stated that if abortion remains legal more violence will occur. Let me repeat that, a known domestic terrorist is threatening more violence, and only he knows the details about that violence.

So using the logic of our former VP doesn’t that mean we should water board him? Waterboarding is wrong but using the logic of the far right, if we only do it to one person its okay right? (No of course it’s not)

Your IT Department is killing us all

60% of companies use IE6 as their default browser

I just finished reading an excellent post over at the webware blog, by Larry Dignan entitled What Browser Wars? The Enterprise Still Loves IE6. In this article he details the corporate worlds long (and continuing) love affair with Internet Explorer 6.

In this article he doesn’t break any new ground but he does reveal some stats that are just amazing. I knew that corporations love IE6, out of the people I am closest with I am the only one without IE6 in my life. However, I did not expect to see that IE6 enjoyed a 60% market share in the corporate world, I expected something between 45 and 50 percent.

The article goes on to ask many questions about how IT departments are killing productivity with browser specific solutions (theres no excuse for those any more, period) and uses the usual anology of giving workers an antiquated piece of technology to deal with current problems.

Where I really enjoyed the article however was where he talked about reasons to switch. All too often these articles pile on about IE6’s myriad amount of problems without detailing why even IE7 or IE8 are better. This article is worth a read because it not only showcases why IE6 is bad but it also provides a great crib sheet you can use for winning over your IT department to your line of thinking regarding IE6.

If you need help killing IE6 there is a number of solutions out there in addition to the article talked about here, these include the website from .net magazine bringdownie6.com, and saveIE6.com, or you can simply do a search to find many more.

why the passing of proposition 8 was a good thing

no on prop 8If you know me, chances are you will look at the headline of this posting and wonder what happened to me to make me believe that the expression of h8te was a good thing. Well the answer is I have seen the last few days in my state. In the aftermath of something as wrong as proposition 8’s passage I have seen a mass of humanity mobilized in a mixture of fear, disgust and disappointment.

“without struggle there is no progress” ~ Frederick DouglassFriends who have never registered to vote, peers who have never spoken up on anything related to current events or politics, and those with political perspectives the opposite of my own have all spoken up in some manner against enshrining hate in our state’s constitution.

So that is why I believe the passing of this proposition was a good thing, sure I would give anything to have seen the proposition defeated and I honestly weeped at it’s passage, at least something positive has grown out of something so wrong.

We have seen marches in all corners of this state and marches in other states. Young, old, gay, straight, republican and democrat and independent alike have all marched in the days after this election to denounce this proposition’s passage.

In the aftermath of something so wrong, this movement for equality and yes change, has dusted itself off and only grown larger, you see I was complacent, possibly like you were. I looked at the polls and looked inwards at myself and believed the rejection of proposition 8 was only days away. I watched the exit polls showing an Obama victory on election night and assumed to have a huge victory at hand.

That was until just after Obama’s speech and I saw the results start to flow in and reality began to set in. While some exulted in the glow of the election of the first black president, others simply could not, while the nation took one gigantic step forward, my state also took a bigger step back.

Even with this step back though, my hope for the future only grows. I look at the exit polling, and I see hope. I compare the results of proposition 22 in 2000, a similarly themed proposition tossed out by the courts, and the results of proposition 8, and I see the tide slowly turning. Most of all however I look at the youth vote, a segment I still call my own and I see true change. Just over 60% of those under 29 voted against the marriage ban, a number we can only hope to see increase.

Change never comes easy in this country, but change is coming to this state and eventually in this country. In my grandmothers lifetime she has seen a world war, the end of segregation, and the fall of a superpower, and now the first black president, so don’t tell her we can’t change.

There is no legally or morally justifiable reason to not extend the right of marriage to all couples, hate and intolerance has a short life span in this country, it is only a matter of time.

customer service as a curse word.

UPDATE: A few hours after contacting Verizon I did notice a service improvement and soon thereafter the problem was eliminated.

verizon fiosWhen I first heard about FiOS coming to town, I got excited, when my friend across town got FiOS I got jealous. So it was with an aggressive and sometimes zealous passion that I followed Verizon’s installation online. Eventually a couple months ago the introduction of the technology began, and just recently was completed.

I even was so aggressive we became the first to get FiOS in this area and immediately I was wowed, the color on HD channels appeared more vivid and lifelike than on our previous providers system, and the connection speed was out of this world. Sure we had snags, like missing certain channels and an annoying habit of Verizon capturing our malformed url’s and sending us to a search page to serve us advertising, but it was things we could overlook.

I expected future problems, anything you use everyday will break down at some point, and today it did rather spectacularly and rather than help, Verizon’s tech support only exasperated the problem. The problems, a new channel listing, lack of easy ordering of new channels, seem minor yet annoying but the worst problem out of all three has to be the problems we are now encountering when attempting to connect to any Yahoo property.

Now you might catch yourself saying, so what they intro’d a new channel listing, go print the new one and you’re fine. I attempted to, only to find the listing offered was the old one, hours later the current listing became available but not in an easily printed version. Seeing as they fixed this in a couple hours it was a failure you could live with. The problems with ordering current tv, however are a seperate level of annoyance altogether.

First off if you don’t watch current, I recommend it highly, with that said let me reveal some details. FiOS just added current with the new channel line up, and since we had been missing the channel we immediately wanted to view it. This turned out to not be possible since it turned out we had to order it from Verizon, however they offered two ways to do just this, on the phone or by the web. I chose the web path (naturally), and to spare you some boring details, the online path ended at the same phone number I had first encountered. This was when I started to become angry.

The following day was when I started to question if getting FiOS was a good thing, say what you will about cable internet at least it isn’t blocking access to extremely popular websites like flickr, delicious, and yahoo itself, in fact the entire Yahoo network is inaccessible as of this writing. I checked every connection and computer available to me, I checked with friends and no one had the error, that is until I checked with others who had FiOS, and it turns out all of them had the error.

I didn’t want to brave the torment of a long phone wait time so I trudged into the online FiOS support, and once again to spare you boring details, let’s just say I ended up at the same phone number once again. Apparently at FiOS, customer service is a four letter word.

I figure this problem will be gone shortly however it has opened my eyes, I know very few companies fully support customer service and even fewer take it seriously but Verizon has a lot to learn from companies who have either taken innovative or positive actions in the field. In the past, companies like pownce and apple have left me very pleased with their level of support, so far Verizon has not.

Don’t let my experience turn you off of FiOS, it is in fact a phenomenal service, just right now it’s phenomenally underwhelming.

gitmo on the platte

Doesn’t this offend you?

Well it shouldn’t, we already do this at Guantanamo Bay.

I get it some people need to be locked up for their crimes, but not like this, not in subhuman conditions like this.

Some protesters will undoubtedly commit criminal acts and should be arrested but the overwhelming majority just want to speak their peace and there is nothing wrong or illegal about that.

What is wrong are these so called “free speech zones” they’re setting up at the convention sites but that’s a rant for another time…

mobile me should not be

I love apple, I absolutely adore my macbook and I think OS X is an extremely superior operating system to any version of windows or linux that I have used, however apple is extremely wrong. They continue to be wrong however. When upgrading iTunes they have forced safari onto windows users and while it is a better browser in my opinion it is still wrong, and even when they remedied that, they didn’t because safari was still auto checked in the update. I remembered these instances when I was on my vista machine today and noticed a new icon that I had never seen before.

mobileme shouldnt be

The icon for mobileme (or is it mobile me?), apples anticipated update to .mac, it sounds like a wonderful service in many ways just definitely not for me so I knew I didn’t download this. So who did? I know I have updated iTunes on the machine recently, and I think Safari may have been updated as well, either way I am certain it was apple who initiated the download and install without asking me at all (or giving me a way to remove it).

So what does it do? For those with mobile me, it’s an entry into the service and for those that NEVER WANTED IT IN THE FIRST PLACE well it’s an ad, so much so that the learn more button simply links you to apple.com/mobileme. It’s a bad move by apple, but hey maybe they will get a few more customers for mobile me, but it won’t be me.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have to get back to the products I received from apple today and monitoring the shipping of a new macbook.

I am such a hypocrite….

Do not want!

So I’m killing time at work before the top of the hour and we have to deliver some things to another building on campus and so I figured I would browse slashdot and digg just to see what was going on in the nerd world, and I saw a story about republicans voting for Hillary to derail the Obama campaign.

Once the page loads I happily roll my mouse down from the tabs towards the article link when suddenly I am attacked by…. well the image below will show you.

digg flash ad

Yes, that is a ginormous effin breakfast burrito. Problems like this at digg have happened before only I haven’t been exposed to them as I have happily used adblock at work to stop annoying flash based ads and media players, but that doesn’t work when I am at work.

I am an ardent user of digg, it’s one of the sites I visit every day and probably multiple times a day, but lately it’s been seeming less and less like the hang out for whats going on in the world and in tech and more and more like a money driven myspace clone.

I want to stick with digg, and I don’t expect them to stop serving up ads with their links, but stop with the obtrusive ads, because if you don’t the crowd will leave and then who will you serve the ads to?

Time Warner stop sniffing my packets

roadrunner url redirect

Anyone who has used firefox has probably noticed that when entering a url without it’s TLD you are redirected to where you want to go. For example if I enter twitter into the address bar and hit enter I get twitter.com not a page of search results or a page not found error.

Firefox achieves this by sending the request to google’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” button which simply sends you to the number 1 result on your queries search page. For myself this all changed today.

Apparently between the time I left for work and the time I got home Time Warner’s Road Runner internet access instituted a change where upon they do some packet sniffing and instead of allowing my request to go to google they take it their page where they can serve up search results and advertisements. This is an easy feature to turn off (click on why am I here and then on preferences then when you see the question above click disable) but my problem is really what else Time Warner might be doing via this packet sniffing.

Don’t get me wrong I expect some form of internet history to be maintained by my ISP (for a very limited amount of time for various reasons) but to sniff into it without cause or court order is wrong period. Which brings me to my fear that this could be a beginning of Time Warner abandoning the idea of net neutrality.

For those who do not know, net neutrality is the basic ideal that all internet traffic should be treated the same whether I am searching for at&t internet or Direct TV service the speed of my connection should be the same as if I am searching for the same service at Time Warner.

If I call someone on at&t from a Verizon phone there is no discernible difference than if both were lines on the same network, and that is how the internet should be. All traffic should be treated the same without my ISP forcing me to opt out of their stupifying plans.

I have been prepared to switch away from Time Warner to FIOS once it moves into my area, now I might instead move prematurely.

Hands off my Internet Time Warner, please.

For more on neutrality please click here, it’s a very important issue.

things i have learned from morning news

So today due to the wind I was up much earlier than I am used to and I watched something that I normally don’t peer into at all, the hell that is morning news, and what I found out was striking.

  • Breaking News has no meaning, it could be a broken down big rig on the freeway or a tactical nuclear strike, everything gets its own panicked on the scene anchor speaking about the horrifying news at hand.
  • All media members are paparazzi, the mainstream media just deems those that chase after celebrities as arbitrarily beneath them.
  • Britney Spears uber alles, it used to be “if it bleeds it leads”, today theres no catchy slogan but if its celebrity news it is the top story, no questons asked.
  • Politics isn’t about ideals, positions or high minded proposals for the future, it is about a beauty contest and a horse race, plain and simple.
  • When it comes to climate change, the media will give equal time to men of science and the batshit fringe who still deny it above all.
  • If the weather does anything that is predictable but a slight change from the previous days weather it is automatically evil and everybody must panic.
  • If someone has gone missing, and they happen to be an attractive white woman, we all have to freak out and panic, if they’re missing and not white and/or attractive well something extraordinary must have happened, like a kid is involved or something.
  • Cute animals and human interest stories are the perfect finisher for a shitty newscast
  • Issues of local or national importance that lack some form of human interest angle will not be covered, it’s not that infrastructure isn’t important or newsworthy, its just not sexy.
  • Lastly, the biggest thing I have learned? EVERYBODY PANIC!

I know I am missing something but still this is what I have learned.