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March 30, 2010

Google Fiber, the next step.

Last month Google got a lot of press for their request for interest from any and all comers from all around the United States to have the first beta Google network in their town.  Over 1100 Cities around the country responded to this call.  Well, they closed their inbox on this subject on March 26th and many towns and cities across the US are anxiously waiting for the final verdict later this year.  I put in a request for the town I live in, but in my mind it is not what Google is looking for.  Where I live is a fairly modern bedroom community that has large scale infrastructure for broadband provided through Comcast (or Xfinity or whatever) and AT&T, and is one city over from an AT&T U-verse test market.  We are also just a little over 30 miles from the main Google campus, which in my mind is too close for a real test.

What Google really needs is small (less than 25k residents) community that is medium density and that has a mix of commercial and residential interests, as well as a very flexible city/county planning department.  But, Sergey and Larry, if you decide on the town where I live, you are totally invited to have Margaritas by the pool.
 
Google RFI Fiber map of the USA

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March 12, 2010

When you want to disappear 2.0

With the proliferation of Web 2.0 social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Myspace, sometimes people find it difficult to pull the plug when the decide that they do not want to participate any longer.   If you are a budding luddite and decide that you want to remove your presence from the web, you'll find that putting content online is very easy, but removing it can be very difficult.  The folks at WORM decided to create program that automates the content removal and account deletion process, but has the unfortunate name "Web 2.0 Suicide Machine"Facebook served them with a cease and desist notice for their service, but they have countered by planning to release a LiveCD that has the same functionality as their website.  From their description, this is not a specialized set of software, but a collection of python scripts that automates standard web browser sessions that reduces the time to remove your content (video, pictures, posts, etc.).

Pull the Plug! 

(Courtesy of cyberdees on Flickr)

Getting rid of all your content can be difficult, as sites such a Spock (now Intellius), Google Buzz and Plaxo mirror your Web 2.0 profiles if you make the connections. 

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March 10, 2010

Garbage In, Garbage Out

With the economy being in the toilet these days, I have several friends and acquaintances who are looking for work due to one reason or another.  In the past I had suggested indeed.com to several folks due to the large group of job sites that it aggregates data from.  For that function, it seems to work quite well.  The thing that I found more interesting is the Free Salary Search that indeed.com promotes.  I'll sum up my results with a few images.  I put in some nonsense data to see what comes back and was quite amused. 

Indeed Silly Search #1
Indeed Silly Search #1 

And for the Grand Finale..  

 With the data and graphs it is clearly evident: Pimps earn 93% more than Playas.Indeed.com Silly Search #2

 

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March 08, 2010

Welcome home Franklin!

Yesterday we brought home a wonderful addition to our family.  Franklin is a 3 2 year old Dalmatian who has had a somewhat rough start to his life.  Found homeless on the streets of Fresno, Franklin was suffering from terrible bladder stones.  The animal shelter was going to put him down due to all his issues until Save a Spot rescue of Turlock swooped in and took him home.  They invested so much time and energy into this wonderful young boy.  After being neutered, having bowel surgery and bladder surgery, he has come to live with us.  He is so incredibly sweet and gentle. 

Why the name Franklin?  When we were trying to come up with a good name for him, we found that Benjamin Franklin was lover of Dalmatians, and the name stuck!     

More pictures here:

March 06, 2010

The wonders of Japanese engineering

Before we get started, this post has nothing to do with Toyota braking issue recalls.  My last three personal vehicles have been Toyota.  I don't think any one company or country has a monopoly on automobiles that are deathtraps, especially now in the age of outsourcing and globalization.  It isn't that long ago that people were burning to death with exploding gas tanks in Ford Pintos, rolling over in Suzuki Samurais, or having their Ford vehicles with Firestone tires blow out and causing massive accidents.  Anyways...

(Photo Courtesy of Giovanni Spina on Flickr)

Last weekend we made the trip to Costco to purchase some groceries and pick up a new cordless phone for the house.  The last unit we had was purchased sometime in the 2003/2004 time frame after then-puppy Hazel had brutally destroyed one of the handsets from our VTech cordless and Duke had chewed most of the plastic off another handset.  The last phone was another Costco purchase and was chosen because it was inexpensive and the model that they had in the store that week.  That Panasonic phone set endured countless handling atrocities such as having the handsets dropped hundreds of times on concrete, tile and laminate flooring.  While the handsets avoided the dog chew toy treatment that the last phone endured, they had been carried or munched on to some extent.  The final nail in the coffin for this fine example of Panasonic engineering happened to come from our cat Oprah.  As a cat with diabetes, she sometimes communicates her displeasure through the fine art of urination.  So we ended up buying a similar Panasonic model at Costco for $60 USD.  Note to Panasonic test engineers: Make sure your phone circuitry passes the cat urine test.  (Yahoo! Babel Fish tells me that it is this in Japanese: あなたの電話回路部品のパスを猫の尿検査確かめなさい ).  We are more than happy to provide Oprah as a "consultant" for a small fee.