Teaching Trending Tech Topics since 1996!

Chris Pirillo is here to help his Gnomies learn with a daily podcast! To get full access to The LockerGnome Daily Report, you can quickly become one of the Super Gnomies! If you have a question, contact us!

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

Technorati Tags:

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

Technology’s Impact on Global Warming

When it comes to technology, the rule of thumb seems to be the smaller the better.  As people begin to completely phase out large, box-like televisions and replace them with the flat screen version we are starting to see some problems arise.  It seems that these new flat screen televisions are made with a gas that has an effect on global warming that is worse than carbon dioxide.

A greenhouse gas called nitrogen trifluoride, used to make the TVs, is 17,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide, said Michael Prather, director of the environment institute at the University of California, Irvine.

Prather’s research shows production of the gas, which remains in the atmosphere for 550 years, is “exploding”.

It is expected to double by next year, from the current 4,000 tons produced annually.

Link: Flat-Screen TV Gas

It seems that we are damned if we pick technology and we are damned if we do not.  We try to make smaller devices, but end up destroying the Earth even more than we are now.  I do not see a solution to fixing global warming, because no one is going to want to change how they live their lives.  There are some small things that everyone can do to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide they are putting into the air, however if you buy a flat screen tv; all the hard work at carbon dioxide reduction is wasted.

I just bought a flat screen tv too….

What do you think, can we stop global warming?

Comments welcome,


Celebrating Revolution

232 years ago, the Declaration of Independence was signed and the world’s never been the same since. Revolution was declared in England’s then-North American colonies, which inspired other oppressed nations into action (not always successfully) and laid the foundation for the current United States of America. July 4th is celebrated annually in the United States as Independence Day — often by blowing stuff up, drinking copious amounts of aluminum-canned beverages, and grilling various types of livestock under a sweltering summer sun.

Enjoy it — safely!

Using Powershell With VMWare

At Tech Ed IT Pro 2008 in Orlando Florida, Richard and I talk to Hal Rottenberg and Carter Shanklin about VMWare’s support for Powershell. VMWare has added an extensive Powershell accessible interface to VMWare to simplify the automation of virtual machine related tasks.

Hal Rottenberg is a Senior Systems Administrator with IBM’s prestigious Internet Security Systems X-Force division in Atlanta, Georgia and has been with them since 2007. Prior to that, he worked for nine years in server support and a variety of other roles for Hewlett-Packard. He is also working on a book titled Managing VMware Infrastructure with PowerShell: TFM. Carter is a product manager at VMware, Inc. who focuses on APIs and SDKs, most notably VMware’s PowerShell interface, also known as The VI Toolkit (for Windows). Prior to VMware, Carter was a developer for almost 15 years for both UNIX and Windows platforms. Before joining VMware, Carter was a developer at systems management company Opsware, where he spent almost 2 years using the (sometimes maddeningly complex) VMware APIs. Try as he might, Carter can’t seem to find a way to escape the life of writing code for fun and profit, and now spends quite a lot of his time developing demos and helping end-users become more successful in using PowerShell to manage VMware.

Google Changes Its Home Page

Google is well known for its minimalist, plain home page. Now there is a change. There is a link to the Google privacy policy. There has been pressure on Google to adhere to the convention of making a privacy policy link available on its main page. Up to this point, Google had resisted. Marissa Mayer explains the change, in detail:

link: Marissa Mayer

The timing seems ironic. Just when a New York court ruling has Google violating the privacy of its YouTube site visitors, it places a privacy policy on its home page. Coincidence?

Catherine Forsythe