Category Archives: internet

CISPA is heading to Congress

I wrote a new post at the Orange Juice Blog about CISPA feel free to visit them to read it.

Even Joe Baca, who represents me sponsored this piece of crap. UPDATE: Out of fairness Joe Baca voted against it. Thank You Congressman Baca. 

It seems that, despite the controversy over NDAA and SOPA last year, politicians still aren’t getting it.  From the people who brought you indefinite detention, 30,000 drones flying over America by 2015 and a potential crippling of the Internet by the content creators, now comes CISPA.

CISPA stands for “Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act”  – H.R 3523, written by Congressman Michael Rogers of Michigan. It is currently sponsored by over 110 congress members including several OC members – Ken Calvert, Darrel Issa and Gary Miller. The bill is designed to make sure that all of the data we send on the Internet from our instant messages and rants on Facebook gets sucked into a giant database for the benefit of the government, as a voluntary arrangement by participating companies.

CISPA was going to have a section on Intellectual Property, but due to the uproar over SOPA, the bill was re-written to address many of the opponents’ concerns.  Still, privacy advocates feel these changes are cosmetic and not substantial enough to end their opposition to the bill.

(more) at the Orange Juice blog

 

 

Disappointed by Microsoft

I was tempted to get into some more consumer debt and do something I would obviously need to do if I get accepted to the Western Governors University secondary teaching credential program. I would need to buy a laptop so I could use it at field sites during my 1.5 year program.

The Windows Experience Blog states in their story, “When students buy a Windows 7 PC over $699, they will receive a FREE Xbox 360*” and the Asterisk mark does not state that retailers can put extra conditions on the deal.

Basically Dell, one of the leading participants in this deal wants to add extra conditions and Microsoft should of talked to their OEM’s and made sure they were on the same page. Which led to some angry comments on the blog.

I’ve been thinking about buying the XPS 15 for a bit now, as I need a new laptop and my Macbook Pro is finally giving out on me.  This deal was the extra push I needed to go PC this time instead of Mac.

Then I find out that you can only buy specifically configured Dell PCs, and the only XPS 15 configuration I can choose from doesn’t have the specs I want at all.  Not only that, but it’s marked UP, which means I wouldn’t be saving any money at all!  What a scam, Microsoft.  Very disappointing.  

I wanted to give Dell $1700 for a new PC, and they won’t LET me?  Maybe Apple will get my business again after all.

Continue reading Disappointed by Microsoft

The State of the Utopia

The blog gets renewed for another season and we moved to a new web hosting provider after almost two years with Fatcow. Arvixe is the new webhost and I hope we both can work well with each other. I hope to be modestly popular so I do not end up having to upgrade to the next tier of service. Right now aside from blogging I am trying to get an education so I could end up going back to school to get the degree you need to make full use of a BA degree. My personal BA degree does not work well alone unless you have the connections such as being a field director to a city council member, county supervisor, congress member or state legislator. So I am trying to get the five classes I need passed before I can enter Western Governor’s University.

Update: Arvixe is a bad idea to be a part of, they got absorbed to the same collective that owns Fatcow.

Right now I am taking course one out of five, an introduction to Sociology class, it may be a three hour lecture class, but it can be informative and rather fun. Sad thing is the state budget crisis might make it harder for anyone who wants an education who does not have money or connections to advance up on the ladder of life. We might not even have summer classes in most of our public higher education facilities no matter if it is Chaffey College or UC Riverside. And I should of used my knowledge of Political Science to realize I should of just signed up for a Cal Poly Pomona Summer extension course at $400 because the doors of Chaffey College and Riverside College might close down until the Fall. Republicans do not want the kiss of death from Grover Norquist or John and Ken if they allowed the voters to decide that tax increases should be decided on the voters.

My new web host has fair pricing, and I hope I have a good experience with the company. And I do thank my sister for her partial sponsorship of my website.

Censorship at the county library

Are you annoyed when a politician who is afraid of what bloggers may happen to say about them ends up censoring various websites that may be critical about their policies or agenda?

There is one likely way you can get back at them and still see the content. Use Google Reader. What will the county supervisors do next, ban Google? If Brad or Gary ban Google off county computers, then that would be a big embarrassment.

Google Reader is a web based application from Google where you can read various articles from your favorite blogs.

There is a local branch of the county library that I might be able to test my work-around against the censorship policies, but that would entail me getting a new library card.

Road Runner Price Increase

It was 44.95 in 2008, now it is 46.95. However in 2010 expect your internet service to rise another 2.04 with Time Warner Cable. I am seriously pondering leaving TWC and going to Verizon for my internet services. 39.95 plus 2-3.00 of federal taxes is way better than 50.00 for my internet services.

I hope Time Warner enjoys losing some customers due to this ill-timed price increase. I know companies do need to make a profit, but they need to be tactful in this economic climate.

Emusic.com, not really a value.

Emusic.com decided to enter in negotiations to attain the Sony catalogue of songs older than 2 years to their website. In order to pay for the new music they had to cut the number of downloads members can get with their monthly subscriptions. For the 9.99/11.99 subscribers you are not receiving 30 or 40 downloads you are receiving 24 or 30 now, and if you are having any of their expensive plans they got neutered big time which is making many of their big customers who pay for 90 downloads last month and now getting 50 downloads making them reconsider if they should follow thru with renewing their month to month plans.

If you have a yearly plan you will likely be grandfathered until your subscription runs out, then you will get the new pricing afterwards.

Hmmm… I am being downgraded from 40 to 30 downloads now. Will it be worth it?

I used emusic in the past to get into bands such as The Presets and Sparks which helped me get into following these bands by buying their latest releases or attending their shows. However since Emusic decided to increase their prices, it will be naturally up to the consumer to find other quality alternatives to stretch their entertainment dollar. People will not be eager to take risks in new and unheard music acts, which made emusic known for independent music if there is not an incentive for people to take a gamble on these new on the scene or unheard musicians.

I just ran out of downloads and I am looking towards alternatives, amiestreet has a interesting pricing system stuff thats new will be dirt cheap, then cap out to 9.99 or 11.99 based on how many people download the music, so if you buy it when it is just released you will save money in the long run.

Just consider your options, and maybe if emusic encoded their music at 256 instead of 192, maybe the grumbling would subsdie from the customer base.

One Click Shopping is Arse

For the second time in the last year, a slip of the mouse led to me purchasing an unwanted song. I wonder if Amazon makes good money from wayward clicks when you meant to click on something else. I think I am going to unlink my credit cards from Amazon so I do not get billed, how can they debit me if I have no bank accounts configured.

I wish the store had an option for people to confirm the purchase instead of instantly billing and downloading the music. I prefer using a shopping cart because it gives an extra layer of security so I do not end up buying a 169 dollar box set of Depeche Mode music because of the wrong click when you wanted to buy a remix of “I Feel Loved” and not the box set.

I tested out the feature and disabling your credit cards prevents you from clicking on the music on Amazon, so that is a good thing. I finally found the song I REALLY WANTED to buy and now I am prompted to list my credit card if I want to pay for it.

That’s Inflation Baby!

When I renewed my Siteground subscription in 2007 and 2008 it became 83.40, and now for 2009 its becoming 95.40. I understand the cost of doing business is going up, but they should give consideration to their long term customers who have been part of the service for awhile by offering them an opportunity to beat the cost increase by either getting a 2 year subscription at last year’s rate or paying a slight increase instead of the full 12.00 hike in their hosting fees.

The economy is becoming rough for all of us and we all do need to save money. However I do need to consider my options in who would become my hosting provider when my subscription ends. If my web site traffic is not as heavy, then maybe I could afford to get a reasonable hosting provider.

Time to think equal, maybe some inspiration to vote no on 8.

Maybe its time to think Equal! We get introduced to two characters from the Equality New Jersey advertising campaign about the pluses and minuses of Marriage and Civil Unions. This advertising campaign is similar to the Apple PC versus Macintosh campaign.

Next ad is about tax filing with our civil unionized woman versus our married woman.

Next one is about the differences in a social atmosphere, which is awkward when you try to explain the constructs of civil unions at a party.

Then lastly the fourth one is called counsel equal, where the two women visit a counselor to discuss their differences.