Tag Archives: news

Newspapers

For reasons I haven’t yet determined, I started getting the newspaper 2 weeks ago, and it has been arriving every morning on my front door step. From there, it has been moved to the woodpile. So far, I haven’t even taken any of them out of the plastic wrappers.

The Herald (mis-)Leader is not exactly the pinnacle of journalism, but I suppose it’s not any worse than most small city newspapers. They don’t make any pretence of being politically balanced, so at least their leanings aren’t decieving. Their coverage of world events tends to fall in the “What?! There are other countries?!” arena, and their coverage of local events seems often to be from a perspective of power and privilege. Which, I suppose, it probably is.

I suppose I should read a few of the newspapers they have sent me. Perhaps my opinion of them is from another time, before the purchase, before the new editorial staff, before the dawn of clue. I don’t know. I do know that Joel Pett still does editorial cartoons for them, and manages to offend nearly everyone as often as possible, without being at all enlightening in the process.

So, for now, the newspapers go from doorstep to woodpile, and, perhaps when I have time I’ll look at one a little more carefully.

Meanwhile, I really hope that I’m not costing any delivery guy his job because I’m getting someone else’s paper. That would be tragic.

Voting

I voted this morning. The line was about the same length as other years, but took probably 4 times as long. The voting machines were *significantly* harder to use than those we’ve had in previous years. Still fairly easy for folks used to computer UI widgets, but a lot harder than pressing squares on a ballot. And, what with the longer ballot, and the folks not deciding how they were going to vote until sat down in front of the ballot, it took folks FOREVER to get through voting.

The “new” voting machines had an RS232 port on the back labeled “Modem”. This doesn’t bode well.

NPR and Open Source

Wow. The editor of Radio Open Source responded to my post about his show. That’s very cool.

And his explanation of the name actually makes a lot of sense to me. I’ve often asked the question “what would the Open Source model look like when applied to X”, where X is politics, education, community, architecture, and so on.

That puts a whole new spin on your show, Mr. Greeley, and I’ll listen to it in that light. Thanks for the clarification. And, yeah, I am interested in helping out.

That’s not what he said

I’ve heard some rather inflamatory stuff about the pope lately, but, in the spirit of Slashdot, it’s important to actually read the article. That’s not what he said. For those who don’t want to read the article, here’s my impression of what happened over the last week.

Pope: A long-dead dude said that Islam is evil and inhuman. I find his attitude abhorrent, and want greater dialogue between faiths. The important point is that violence is imcompatible with the nature of God.

Irresponsible reporters: *Gasp* The pope said that Islam is evil and inhuman!!

Millions of people who didn’t read or hear the speech: Grrr!! You must apologize!!

Pope: I’m very sorry you misunderstood what I said

Angry people: That’s not good enough! Grrr!!

Yes, obviously, I’m oversimplifying, but this is not a story of an intolerant catholic church. It’s a story of irresponsible journalism, boiling down a 7-page speech to the one phrase that would sell the most papers, but which didn’t actually tell the story truthfully.

Come on, folks, read the WHOLE SPEECH, and make your own conclusion, rather than merely believing AP, whose sole purpose is to sell stories.

lilo

As many of you may have already heard, Rob Levin (lilo), the head admin of the Freenode IRC network, was killed by a hit-and-run driver while he was riding his bike today.

Although I had spoken with him a number of times on the phone, as well as dozens of times online, I had never met him personally.

Rob is survived by his wife Debbie, and son Benjamin. You can read a more complete announcement here, if you wish.

I don’t know what I wanted to write. One never has any words for the passing of someone one knew, however briefly. Debbie, and Benjamin, our prayers and thoughts are with you. May the peace of God be with you. Rob will be remembered as someone who made community and communication possible.

Homer Combs

Homer Combs was a good and kind man, who cared deeply about his family, and those of his employees. He always asked me how my little girl was doing, and often reminded me that she was far more important than any work deadlines. He’d get a little glint in his eyes when I skipped out a little early to go pick her up, and say “going to see your girl?” Homer was one of the truly bright spots of working at that job.

Homer and his wife Diane were on that plane that went down on Sunday. They had lived full lives, and were on the way to celebrate their 31st anniversary. But it’s always too soon, isn’t it?

incommunicado no comment to make

Starting Tuesday evening, I will be incommunicado for a week, or as long as I can stand to be offline. I’ll be going way out into the woods, with no electricity, no internet, and probably out of cell phone range for much of the time, although I imagine I’ll find somewhere with cell coverage at least once a day.

I expect that when I come back, I’ll have roughly 15,000 email messages, of which perhaps as many as 20 will be something I actually want to read. Ok, I’ll be generous. 25.

I’ve been getting more and more spam lately, and nothing that I do to filter it seems to make any difference at all. I’m currently running SpamAssassin, a plethora of Postfix rules, and client-side Thunderbird filtering. Yet still, more than 90% of everything that winds up in my inbox is spam. I’m finally coming around to believing that email is worthless as a means of communication, but I don’t know what can replace it. I keep hoping that spammers will collectively realize that they are killing their golden goose, but clearly they aren’t that bright.

Also, I’ve noticed that the spammers who have succeeded in obfuscating their email so that it can get past my filters have finally reached the point where their messages are completely illegible. I have absolutely no idea what most of them are selling, or how to go about buying it if I did understand. And, I’m told, this makes up more than half of all the traffic on teh intarweb. While it’s reasonably clear to me that this is criminal, I can’t imagine any way that this could ever be prosecuted. šŸ™