Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Satellite, In My... Ears?

Well it's official. Reports are coming in to me that my favorite radio station 92.3 FM KROCK in New York City is officially dead. Not Exactly. The truth is that they have decided to change formats to some weird ass mix of 70's, 80's and 90's rock. So far everyone is saying that it is terrible and that although they are playing more Classic Rock, there is already another Classic Rock station in NYC, 104.3 that is much better. I have also heard that they fired all the on air DJs and have bought into something called JACK-FM. This is somewhat like an IPod on shuffle with a commercial every once in a while, usually mocking Sirius. After speaking to some people online, I have realize that this JACK-FM crap is invading radio stations across the country. Some people are even saying that this is Infinity Broadcasting's way of getting back at Howard Stern, and that XM is funding this JACK-FM nonsense. One thing they did that is good however, is create Krock2, which is the streaming version of the station that plays only modern alternative rock.

Whatever happens though, its official, New York has lost its only Modern Alt Rock station. This couldn't have happened at a more opportune time, now that I have Sirius. I was wondering what was up with a bunch of the Krock DJs being on Sirius. I figured some took a second job with Sirius, since it was in Manhattan anyway. Well, looks like I found my answer. Regardless, Sirius kicks ass! Aside from it being completely commercial free, almost all the former Krock DJs are on it, and I'm happy about that. This includes Demos, who I used to call into late at night, when he did the overnight weekend shifts at Krock, Matt Pinfield who has an awesome show, and they even got Will Pendarvis, who used to be on Krock and moved to LA. It's awesome. The only downside is that XM has baseball, which is XM's one saving grace. I got around that though by getting an mlb.tv password. Viva Sirius!

Monday, April 11, 2005

Welcome to the Jungle

Well, all the IPv6 stuff is now in place. I managed to get everything up and running last week and tied all the pieces of the puzzle together. I think with a little more tweaking on the FreeBSD machine we should be able to allow others to set up tunnels for themselves. Need to work on a script for that. I won't have much time to play with anything until Thursday night, so it will have to wait till then.

In other news, I have spoken to two groups who plan on putting on Linux and in general, free software demos for a number of local schools and businesses in the Central New York area. One group is throwing a showcase together at the Syracuse Chamber of Commerce fair thing that is being held at the convention center in two weeks. A number of companies who already use or have successfully switched over to Linux are running the thing. The great thing about it is that all of them use either Fedora or Red Hat based distros. I suggested that I could perhaps play some sort of role and use this as a marketing event and they were delighted to hear that. There is one ISP that uses Debian though, and the guys there were pretty cool and wanted to help as well. They still think RPM is evil though.

The school group thing is pretty cool as well. They have already set up K12 LTSP at some schools in Albany and have gotten a flood of requests ever since to do the same at other schools, even as far away as Philadelphia. They already use Fedora as well and were also happy to here that I wanted to join their efforts. Another artists collaborative thing also uses Linux and wanted to put on something to show artists in the area the benefits of using FOSS. Definitely some good marketing opportunities.

I also need to figure out what, if any, sessions will be done at LinuxWorld in SF. The call for papers is already out and I think it would be a really good idea if we gave a session again. The last one was a spectacular success which drew the largest crowd out of any of the sessions given. If anyone wants to team up or has any ideas, please let me know as soon as possible. We have so many possibilities to talk about that we should at least start considering some as potential candidates versus other. Also thinking about another FUDCon in SF, maybe at Google HQ?

Monday, April 04, 2005

"Sick and Pissed Off" or "The Case Against Cable"

Well, I'm nearing the tail end of whatever it is I have. I need to go see the doctor again, but I felt better today after a weekend of medicating and headaches. Anyway, I am fed up with the fact that companies are fighting and hurting customers, and the government doesn't seem to care. Therefore, this letter has found its way to Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's inbox.

Dear Attorney General Spitzer,

I am writing to you with regard to a topic that has surfaced numerous times, and has once before been successfully quelled by your intervention. More specifically, this is about the business practices of Cablevision and their reluctance to cooperate with other entities in providing broadcast rights to selected programming. By now I am sure you are quite aware of the situation with Cablevision and Time Warner that has left millions of New Yorkers without coverage of the Mets and Knicks.

I would like to say that this is completely unacceptable. Both of these "hog fat" companies have lost sight of their customers' interests and this seems to be a dangerous and ever rising trend. I know that you have successfully dealt with this issue before and was hoping that you would be swayed to take some action on behalf of millions of New Yorkers. Frankly, all these exclusivity and broadcast right shenanigans have come to head. If no agreement can be reached by Cablevision and Time Warner, then at least for the time being, programming should be available a la carte, for those willing to pay. This, however, should be a temporary measure since setting a precedent for a la carte program pricing would allow cable companies to raise rates even higher in the future.

Furthermore, it seems rather foolish and somewhat insulting that the FCC which takes in millions of hard earned tax dollars to regulate free air spectrum cannot prevent these types of exclusivity agreements from being established. Any programming, especially those of local sports teams and other local interest, which is at any point broadcast over the air, should be available to all persons regardless of what service provider they choose. Anything less, is unappreciated, unacceptable and should be viewed as predatory and anti-competitive.

Finally, I would like to add that specifically over the previous decade, the United States Congress and in fact, almost all areas of the government have either turned a blind eye to or have willingly indulged in jurisprudence that is detrimental to technology and its development in the United States today. Regardless of what scope of technology, the citizens of this country are being robbed, day in and day out, of progress that could prove to be crucial and even necessary in future years to come. As a defender of the people and the public interest, and as a person of prestige, ultimately seeking higher office, I hope that you can help undo a century of the crippling of technology in America, primarily due to a lack of understanding it. I look forward to your potential candidacy as Governor or Senator of our great state. Progress begins with the most elementary of steps, and as your record shows, you have been a pioneering champion of the people. Best wishes in your continuation to do so.
Being in NY, I can watch the Cubs, Tigers, Royals, Indians, Brewers, Pirates, Phillies, Marlins, Diamondbacks, Nationals and even the Giants--just not the Mets. Even if you have the stupid MLB Extra Innings package, even the MLB's own MLB.TV service blacks out local teams. This is service? This is fuckin stupid. I just want my fucking baseball.