Tales of the Sausage Factory

Less Than One Week Until Freedom2Connect! Last Chance to Get Discount Price.

One of my favorite conferences is Dave Isenberg’s Freedom 2 Connect. On a purely selfish level, F2C is within walking distance of my house at the extremely cool AFI Silver Theater. But more importantly, F2C brings many, many cool and knowledgeable people to discuss real important stuff of interest to pretty much anyone who reads this blog.

This year, I will actually be on the program to discuss the broadband stimulus and what it means from a policy perspective. If that were not enough (and, let’s face it, it isn’t), there will also be a keynote by NYT Columnist Tom Friedman, lots of cool panels by interesting people (I leave it to you to follow the link lest I offend someone by missing them) and lots of very cool and informative hallway conversation.

Sadly, because the conference is held one week early, we will miss Sea Chanty night at the nearby Royal Mile Pub.

Register before Friday and get $200 off the door price.

Stay tuned . . .

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My Thoughts Exactly

Newsom/Christie: Images to Sounds: Hear to There

Over on his other, “real” blog, neutrino/hadron-class Wetmachiner David Newsom tells this charming story about how his book of photographs, SKIP, inspired somebody he’d never met to write a song cycle:


So, a little while back, I got an inquiry from a woman named Holly Christie about one of my pieces, “Blue Truck”. Turns out she’d been looking over Perceval Press’ web site, and she’d come across my book SKIP.

Anyway, she liked it, bought it, and we struck up a dialogue. As fate would have it, Ms. Christie is a singer/songwriter. One year later, thanks to the seemingly infinite generosity of the folks at Perceval Press, Ms. Christie has released a small collection of beautifully produced songs, inspired by SKIP, titled, “To Hear From There”.

It’s kind of amazing. Most times, we put these things out there and they’re met with silence, sometimes a nod. But, man, when they inspire others to take the painstaking journey that, say, producing an EP requires, well, you’ve gotta feel good.

Definitely worth a look. And follow the links to Christie’s site to hear the songs. Definitely worth a listen.

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My Thoughts Exactly

Somewhere, Philip K. Dick is smiling

A pill to erase bad memories.

Tip o’ the cap to L.M., who pointed to this story in a private blog.

Posted in I Fear These Things, My Thoughts Exactly | Tagged | Comments closed

Tales of the Sausage Factory

Quick Note Re: Century/Embarq

For those who get notice of my blog but not Greg Rose’s Econoklastic, and who are interested in the Century/Embarq merger (a significant merger for rural folks), I want to direct your attention to this post about the accelerated schedule in Oregon.

Stay tuned. . . .

Posted in General, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged | Comments closed

My Thoughts Exactly

What's wrong with this fracking blog

One of the many things wrong with this fracking blog is that I don’t ever write anything interesting on it.

I do, however, have a plan to change that. I’m going to write something interesting real soon now, perhaps this weekend, if I get done putting away the Christmas stuff all over the living room (whatever Christmas stuff the dog has not yet destroyed, that is).

Also, there are many technology upgrades to the site that could be done to jazz it up all web 2.0 style, which upgrades Gary and Harold and I earnestly discussed in a hip coffee shop in Davis Square, Somerville, MA, on January 1 or 2 this year, when it was cold and slushy/icy outside and crowded inside with tattooed people. Although nothing has yet come of that earnest discussion, I did enjoy it very much, and it was fun to be the facilitator of the first in-the-meatspace encounter between longtime wetmachiners Gary and Harold. Perhaps something will come of that someday.

But on the the good news side of the ledger, my earnest entreaties have gotten Gary posting again about random shit (notice how I take credit for Gary’s contributions?), thereby helping to restore the proper Wetmachine balance between earnest stuff from Greg and Harold and random bullshit from other parties (with Stearns’s stuff being both earnest and random bullshit, a remarkable achievement).

But as for you, reader, you don’t help this fracking blog any by never leaving any comments & getting a discussion going. What the frack is up with that?

OK, I go now. But as a wise man said, stay tuned.

Posted in My Thoughts Exactly, Wetmachine site news | Also tagged | 3 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

We Are Finalists for the 2008 Weblog Best Technology Blog! Go us!

My shameless begging last November paid off!

The 2008 Weblog Awards

Yes, we here at Tales of the Sausage Factory and Wetmachine generally are delighted, astounded, humbled and whatever else one says at this juncture to make the final cut for nominees as Weblog’s “Best Technology Blog of 2008.” Given that (a) Engadget has apparently won in this category every year since they started doing this in 2003, (b) Both TechCrunch and Ars Technica also do policy and have real journalists and stuff, and (c) a quick scan of all the other titles reveals that we are probably the only nominated site maintained by amateurs doing this in addition to our full time jobs, I totally expect for us to get utterly creamed.

Nevertheless, as whining pathetically worked to get us nominated, I am going to continue this fine tradition and see if it gets us a win. So I want to urge everyone who reads this to please, please, puh-leaze go vote for us! Polls close at 5 p.m. EST on Tuesday, January 13. Any questions, please read the Weblog Award FAQ.

Thanks all, and stay tuned . . . . .

Posted in General, My Thoughts Exactly, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)

Inventing the Future

Long Strange Trip

The UK’s Tech Radar has a preview of a nice piece that will appear in PC Plus. It overviews Intel’s Miramar work on 3D and collaboration.

Meanwhile, there’s a nice discussion of much more of the history of Miramar on this blog.

I think the two make a nice example of the difference between blogging and first sources on the one hand, and journalism on the other.

Posted in history: external milestones and context, Inventing the Future | Also tagged , , , | Comments closed

My Thoughts Exactly

I support the Bernie Sanders Plan

I’ve been doing a fair amount of handwringing over the meltdown on this-ahere blog lately, but now let me offer something positive. I support, 100 %, the plan put forth by Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent of Vermont. Sanders is asking for citizen co-signers. I signed, you should too.

As for the crappy plans before Congress now, I hate all of them, including Dodd’s. If they go through, I’m not sure I’ll ever file taxes again. If Bush thinks it’s so all-fired important to make Paulson a monarch, then why has he not gone on television to explain why democracy must end now? It’s all baloney. I’m with Bernie on this one.

Posted in "A Republic, if you can keep it", My Thoughts Exactly | Also tagged , , , | Comments closed

Tales of the Sausage Factory

Why Verizon Should Give Away FIOS Connections and Get People Addicted to Speed.

I just got a postcard from Verizon telling me FIOS will soon be available in my neighborhood. While I’m probably one of the last residential CLEC subscribers in the United States, I’m a firm believer in the idea that fiber is better and have been waiting for FIOS to become available so I can look at switching.

Then I saw the prices. Yuck. Verizon prices its FIOS as “competitive” with cable and other providers in my region — for a premium service. But it takes more than competitive to get me to go through the hassle of switching, especially when I am reasonably comfortable with my service right now. Switching doesn’t just mean spending several days going through hook up Hell and having Verizon install some super duper power pack on my premises. It also means changing a whole bunch of things tied to my (or my wife’s) current email address. That’s no small deal.

Meanwhile, as everyone knows, the cable operators did better at gaining new broadband customers in Q2, although uptake for broadband was generally anemic. Not surprisingly, Verizon defends its performance on its policy blog. Besides the usual (when you do poorly) inveighing against looking at a single quarter. Verizon points to a number of indicators that its FIOS system is the top dog system in the U.S., with possible top speeds of up to 50 MBPS and usually providing its advertised speed (I love that as a selling point!). Still, analysts argue that Verizon is pricing itself out of the market, and should go back to DSL.

I have a different take. I think VZ needs to get people addicted to speed.

More below . . . .

Read More »

Posted in Series of Tubes, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments (Comments closed)

My Thoughts Exactly

Atrios dogbark blogging

In March, I went to a gathering of people who read Eschaton, a blog by “Atrios”. This guy Atrios has a pithy blogging style that I like a lot. Basically he puts out short observations about this and that (or thus and such)–much as my late dog Rosa used to just bark at random times. People then leave hundreds of comments on Eschaton in response to the Atrios dog-barks.

Among other things, Atrios likes to bark at his readers. From time to time he barks at readers who want him to give them or their blogs publicity. He barks that it is not his job to give people publicity. When he blogs on this topic he gets riled up like a proper chihuahua.

One time Atrios put up on his blog a photo taken inside his apartment. I saw on his bookshelf books by Douglas Hofstadter. So I sent him a note asking if he would like a copy of my Hofstadterian book, “Cheap Complex Devices”. Atrios did not write back.

At Eschacon, I spoke with him for a little bit. He was drinking red wine & think he was a little tipsy. I gave him a copy of my book, which he graciously accepted, and I saw him carrying it around hours later, so I know that, at the least, he did not immediately throw it in the garbage.

However, he still has not replied to my email or given me free publicity on his blog. Also, hardly anybody ever leaves comments here on Wetmachine. Finally, although Doug Hofstadter and I are now friends, he had not read my homage a Hofstadter yet either. And none of you people leave comments!

Also, this entry is much too long for an Atrios-style blog entry. Maybe that’s why I’m a minor blogger and he’s a superstar. It’s harder than it looks.

Posted in My Thoughts Exactly, Writing | Also tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments (Comments closed)
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