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ID10T Netcast for July 5th, 2008: Midget Jello Wrestling

Happy Saturday, Everyone! In this Netcast I cover YouTube/Viacom, Midget Jello Wrestling, Digsby, Ping.FM, and other Social Networking thingies.

Tired of Microsoft’s Limitations? VirtualBox is for you!

This entry is about VirtualBox! This is open source virtual systems on a single computer!  If you have no idea what I am talking about then you don’t need this software!  Instead I suggest SandBoxie, which is not Open Source, and costs $30 for a lifetime personal license.  For the rest of my audience that understands why we want virtualization, and has a dual core, or even a quad core computer, then we have a new toy!

The list of capabilities of VirtualBox is totally awesome!

  1. Cross Platform : Runs on Windows XP, Vista x86, AMD , Linux, Max OS X, and Open Solaris.

  2. Guest OS: Windows NT, 2K, XP, Vista, DOS/Windows3.1 , Linux 2.4 and 2.6, and Open BSD.
  3. Support for SATA which goes well beyond Microsoft VPC 2007 Unfortunately the USB support has been moved to the Editions version which requires payments, so they have taken a step backward there!
  4. VirtualBox can load existing VMWare machines, as well save its own virtual machines using the Manager which is somewhat non-intuitve.  But hey it’s free; it’s Open Source!
  5. VirtualBox will even load Acronis True Image and R-Drive Image bootdiscs as virtual machines!

So say thank you to innotek, who released this software as an Open Source edition, and when you start using this software to provide a server with virtual machines, so you can test, host, and or use multiple operating systems on a single computer. Have fun!

Will Comcast Ban Me For Streaming?

Considering the fact that this is merely a test, myself opting to do a test Ustream.tv broadcast over the my Comcast connection leaves me wondering where Comcast will decide to draw the line. See, I used to create a number of creative how-to YouTube videos designed to help Linux newbies overcome the hurdles that some might face starting out.

It took one minor tweak, but I had the audio working easily. The webcam video was a no-brainer as it worked out of the box. But now I have to make a choice – do I keep streaming hoping that Comcast does not ban me for too much bandwidth use? I have been up and down their TOS and sure enough, it could not be more vague. So I am running the video streaming test today and may begin considering live shows for Linux how-tos, along with re-sharing the video via YouTube later. Tonight’s videos stream is made possible as my wife is out of town visiting relatives. After all, there is no way I would be doing this if she was home, she would never hear of it. And my dog and cat are going nuts over the fireworks, so I am sitting here typing this with my dog’s calming DVD on repeat – looks like it will be a long evening.

So what do you think? Will Comcast and other cable ISPs begin the self-broadcaster crackdown here in the near future? Considering I am using more upload than download, will they even care? Only time will tell, I will be using FiOS here very soon after we move back up north so I am tempted to try my limits, just because I am curious. Will I begin doing this on a regular basis? Nothing extreme, likely on a set schedule and with the idea of broadcasting and then recording tutorials. We’ll have to wait and see how it all pans out.

Meet Chandler

This entry is about a program (Chandler) that I am currently moving all my notes, contacts, and some net collaboration all in one!  This app works on Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux.  The developers are working on French, German, Finnish, and other languages.  This software is currently in a release 1.0, but is still technically listed by freshmeat.net as beta.  The Chandler Web site is very extensive, and provides a complete FAQ, and a product tour where they describe the calendaring ability like Google Calendar, Apple Mac Webcal, the limited e-mail client built into the system, and how you can share collections and calendars with a list of people.

Syncing across platforms requires signing up to Chandler Hub, but since they have a policy that your data is your data, I have no problems with this requirement.  The other options that is provided is to download the Chandler Server and setup and run your own Chandler server, and sync with that server.  How open can these people get?

Once you have a Chandler hub, you can share from this hub across the Web using SSL, publish your shares, and subscribe to other published shares.  This is the collaborative component of Chandler. If you maintain an iGoogle page then you can add a Chandler Widget to this page as well, for quick access to Chandler.

Remember all this Web stuff costs server time, and network bandwidth, so if you use these components then you need to drop these developers a few units of money just to keep them going! Me, I will use the notebook and calendering aspects and contacts to keep personal data all in one place; I am just tired of using Thunderbird, GSNotes, and Sunbird when I can use this one application.

ZZ Top Signs to American Recordings

ZZ Top has signed with Rick Rubin’s American Recordings. Their hope is to get back to their roots (La Grange) instead of their ’80s period (Legs).

I haven’t heard happier news in years. Starting with the MTV Revolution, the Top went to hell. They lost their boogie, their soul, their blues. First with the synth nonsense and videos, then more recently to the detuned grunge and Funny Hat Period.

All the while I kept playing their First Album and learning the early tunes that continue to rock my world. They’re the consummate live act, having honed their chops all over the southwest. I have a bunch (a passel?) of concert video that never fails to please, even during the bad periods.

Make no mistake, ZZ live is something to behold, eight to eighty. The intricacies of the guitar work and tones on the CDs tend to go out the window live, at which point it’s Full Boogie, set the custom axes to Stun, and check out the moving sidewalk effects (Billy Gibbons’ early band was the Moving Sidewalks). As any reader of this blog knows, I’m not big on prettiness and visuals but ZZ Top puts on a show.

The Top also released a live DVD earlier this year (I tend to miss these things) which should prove interesting, as there’s no official live video available.

If you only know the band from Legs and Tush, get your backside to the CD store. It’s almost criminal to miss out on the lowdown blues of ‘Fool for Your Stockings’ (although it’s even better live), the bizarre syncopation of ‘Heard it on the X’ or ‘Manic Mechanic,’ the instrumental ‘Apologies to Pearly,’ and the gospel-tinged ‘Have You Heard?’

Pass/Fail: The Clone of Twitter

Identi.ca, or the clone of Twitter is getting a lot of hype lately.  Personally, I have not used the service.  However, I have looked at the website and the resemblance to Twitter is astonishing.  Identi.ca allows users to post small updates about what they are doing.  This website seems to be an exact clone of twitter; it even has the same character limit per post as Twitter.  Identi.ca offers one thing that Twitter does not: a solution to Twitter’s downtime.

Identi.ca’s answer to Twitter’s scaling issues is by open-sourcing its code and encouraging others to host Identi.ca on their own servers, thus distributing the load. The service also supports other open standards, such as OpenID and a new one called OpenMicroblogging. Based on OAuth, the OpenMicroblogging standard is aimed at making it easy for people on other messaging services to subscribe to Identi.ca users and vice versa. 

Link: The Problem With Identi.ca Is That It Is Not Twitter

Twitter does go down quite a bit; but the downtime is usually limited.  For me, Identi.ca’s solution is not enough to get me to switch over from Twitter.  If Identi.ca wants to succeed, they need to come up with some sort of perk that makes it better than Twitter.  Having the exact same service and promising better uptime is not enough.

Does Identi.ca get a pass or fail?  I think they fail.

What do you think?  Have you used Ident.ca? If so, is it better than Twitter?  Will you switch?


Help Save a Stray Cat

My Thought Process

I was sitting here thinking about how much I like history and things having to do with history, as this is Independence Day.  Now that I see that name in “type” I’ll probably watch the movie later today.  

Anyway, I got to thinking about how much I like US History literature and how people used to write and talk back then.  I got to thinking about that when Nicholas Cage mentioned it in National Treasure, which is full of tons of little history facts and such.  And I got to thinking about how I had a conversation once about such things and started talking about what our forefathers were thinking when they sat down to write the Declaration of Independence.  Well, it all depends on how you read it I guess.  You could read it with a big smile on your face and you’d probably end up feeling like a psycho killer, cause it’s not a very happy letter.  Or you could read it with grit teeth, which is what I like to think was going on when it was being written.  Because if you think about it, these guys were some pissed off mother*******.  They were ready to KILL.  They’d put up with all they were going to put up with and… they were ready to KILL!  

Saying those words, “ready to kill!!” made me think of Alice’s Restaurant by Arlo Guthrie.  They play that every year on Thanksgiving down here.  This year,  I decided not to wait until November.  Man, I can’t even breathe when listening to this song.  Tears flow every time.


Wine – Better Health Connection Found

For years, the people of this country have been told of the beneficial effects of drinking red wine. Not becoming an over indulgent wino, but drinking moderate amounts of the stuff that Ernest and Julio Gallo are known to turn out.

The French have been studied, along with the Greeks, both as cultures whose incidence of heart attack, atherosclerosis, and other later life diseases is much lower than normal for the rest of the world. The Italians have also been studied, and to a degree, exhibit the same trends, but it seems to be higher in the French and the Greeks.

After the beneficial components were identified in the wine, the job was not over, as it has been shown in many studies that the beneficial compounds don’t linger in the body, so the effectiveness of the good components in wine was not understood in its fullness. Now it has been shown that the place where all this beneficial stuff happens is right at, and just after, meal time. The red meat we all eat releases compounds that cause big problems when fully integrated into the body. Consumption of red wine allows the antioxidants and toxins from the meat to join and become less problematic.

As someone who really doesn’t like wine, I guess I’m going to have to cultivate a taste for it – cause I do like red meat, and living.

full story

Quote of the day:

Anyone who can handle a needle convincingly can make us see a thread which is not there. – E. H. Gombrich

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Trying To Believe in Dara Torres

It may be misplaced optimism but I want to believe. It is 2008 and Dara Torres is forty one years old. She is swimming and trying to qualify for a spot on the U.S. national Olympic swim team that goes to Beijing.

Yes, I remember how Marion Jones swore that she never used drugs to enhance her performance.

Dara Torres has nine Olympic medals. She is a mother of a toddler. At forty one, she is not expected to compete at this level. There are swimmers half her age, and even younger, trying for a spot on the national team and a ticket to Beijing.

I remember how Marion Jones apologized for using drugs – how she lied and how she deceived those who wanted to believe.

Dara Torres is in the 100 freestyle finals. There she will race against Natalie Coughlin. Perhaps racing against Natalie Coughlin will pull out the very best performance that Dara Torres has. Perhaps Dara Torres is that unique athlete who can fast and drug free at forty one. – I want to believe this is one of those singular athletic achievements that make people rethink what can be achieved in one’s forties. It is just that I am having a difficult time forgetting Marion Jones.

Catherine Forsythe

U.S. Passport Information Easily Breached

It seems that the personal, confidential passport information of celebrities, politicians and other well known Americans are breached routinely. The electronic records do not have the purported safeguards to prevent people in the government from having a look at these data:

“…The report documented a widespread lack of controls on the personal data of the 127 million Americans who hold passports, finding numerous “weaknesses, including a general lack of policies, procedures, guidance and training.” The State Department had maintained that its system worked when the candidates’ passport breaches were discovered.

“This is unacceptable. The report makes it clear that the private information of over 100 million Americans is vulnerable to unauthorized access,” said Sen Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.).”

link: Celebrity Passport Records Popular

Not only does this expose this data base to the risk of identity theft, it is a matter of national security. For example, there are key officials in all branches of the government who zealously guard their private information. Exposure of this information not only puts them at risk. It endangers the facility or infrastructure of which they are a vital part. The easy access of this vital information, a data base for all Americans who have or have had a passport, is chilling.

Catherine Forsythe