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So I says to Mable, I says...

Andy Kessler: Why AT&T Killed Google Voice -
Topic: Business 12:32 am EDT, Aug 24, 2009

What this episode really uncovers is that AT&T is dying. AT&T is dragging down the rest of us by overcharging us for voice calls and stifling innovation in a mobile data market critical to the U.S. economy.

Hello McFly! The telecom industry has been dying for 10+ years. Arguably back in the early 90's when John Malone made the cover of Wired magazine by not following through with his promises of 500 channels and every movie ever PPV. In the process, it's taken $200B+ of our money and stuffed it into it's own coffers. Not shareholder's wallets, but in the compensation of its executives. All the while, the US economy slowly fades into oblivion as it cannot unseize its innovation engines and ingenuity with ubiquitous broadband and countless services for education, health, security, energy, and transportation. And yet Andy Kessler writes this statement as if he's uncovered some unspeakable secret. Thank's Scoop McGee!

Andy Kessler: Why AT&T Killed Google Voice -

Slashdot Technology Story | The Decline of the Landline
Topic: Miscellaneous 1:42 am EDT, Aug 20, 2009

The phone network is thus not just a technical infrastructure, but a socioeconomic one. The more Americans abandon it to go mobile-only or make phone calls over the internet, the more fragile it becomes: its high fixed costs have to be spread over ever fewer subscribers. If the telephone network in New York State were a stand-alone business, it would already be in bankruptcy. In recent years it has lost 40% of its landlines and revenues have dropped by more than 30%

All the more reason to put the infrastructure into a public trust, while service providers lease it from the public. This ensures its viability while also allowing for innovation and economic diversity in services provided.

Slashdot Technology Story | The Decline of the Landline

Health Care Reform: What do People Really Want?
Topic: Society 2:59 pm EDT, Aug 19, 2009

While policy makers have to address the details of the proposed policies, most people do not. They know what they want, or don’t want, but have only a very limited understanding of which policies will actually achieve their aims. They are often strongly influenced by political rhetoric that varies from the accurate to the simplistic to the completely false. Many different words and phrases are used to describe different policies. It is unreasonable to expect the public to understand the details of the proposed reforms or how they work in practice.

Health Care Reform: What do People Really Want?

Why The FCC Wants To Smash Open The iPhone -
Topic: Miscellaneous 9:50 pm EDT, Aug  1, 2009

Good questions. Hopefully, the FCC will share Apple's answers with the rest of the us. It is all a bit absurd, though. Why does it take a formal request from a government agency to get Apple (and AT&T) to explain what the rules are to get on the wireless Internet? More importantly, why are these companies allowed to be the gatekeepers to the wireless Internet? The iPhone needs to be smashed open, and the FCC is swinging the hammer.

These are good questions and it's very interesting to note that both companies have been active in stopping jailbreaking. I realize that there's a lot of really important issues at hand, but a few years ago, this was one of my biggest railing points (telecom reform) and I think it's caused billions (trillions?) of dollars of opportunity cost for economic development.

Why The FCC Wants To Smash Open The iPhone -

'There will be blood' - The Globe and Mail
Topic: Business 1:57 pm EDT, Jul 21, 2009

Abu Dhabi buying Nova Chemicals at bargain-basement prices on Monday is a sign of things to come, with financial power quickly being transferred over to the world's creditors – namely sovereign wealth funds – and away from the world's debtors.

Guess who the American Taxpayer became over the last 9 months?

'There will be blood' - The Globe and Mail

Obama’s Computerized Hospital Vision May Have Blind Spot | Wired Science |
Topic: Health and Wellness 11:48 am EDT, Jul 21, 2009

Trotter promotes software called VistA (no relationship to the Microsoft OS) that was originally designed by Veterans Administration coders to improve care in hospitals once infamous for mistakes and mix-ups. They’ve since become some of the best in the country, in part because of VistA, which was designed collaboratively by the hospitals’ own coders rather than outside companies, said Trotter.

Commercial EHRs are “designed to get paid,” he said. “If you free yourself from that, which happens with the Kaiser and VA model, then you can do more things with EHRs.”

If you think about it, this is why the Internet flourished on open standards and open source. It wasn't IIS or even Netscape Server that exploded the internet. It was Apache. It wasn't PowerBuilder and Oracle. It was PERL and MySQL. Throwing GE or Allscripts as the "leaders" in this space is hazardous and ultimately a misappropriation of taxpayer money (like that hasn't already happened).

Obama’s Computerized Hospital Vision May Have Blind Spot | Wired Science |

What Jimmy Carter had right
Topic: Society 11:04 am EDT, Jul 15, 2009

Carter told America that “all the legislation in the world can’t fix what’s wrong with America.” He characterized the “fundamental threat” to American democracy as “a crisis of confidence.” Carter said that “too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption.” Explaining his energy proposals, Carter asked Americans “to take no unnecessary trips, to use carpools or public transportation whenever you can, to park your car one extra day per week, to obey the speed limit, and to set your thermostats to save fuel. Every act of energy conservation like this is more than just common sense – I tell you it is an act of patriotism.”

Gets more true by the day.

What Jimmy Carter had right

RE: Book Review: 'Bad Girls Go Everywhere : The Life of Helen Gurley Brown' by Jennifer Scanlon -
Topic: Society 1:08 pm EDT, May  5, 2009

ubernoir wrote:

Look at Michelle Obama: She has segued seamlessly from an active professional life as a highly paid hospital executive to her current incarnation as fashion plate, doting mom and demure sex object, posing for Vogue in a hot fuchsia frock that shows plenty of skin. What's most surprising about this metamorphosis? How few people are objecting to it.
And guess what? In the long battle between the two styles of feminism, Brown, for now, has won. Just look at the culture around us. Ms. Magazine, the earnest publication that defined feminism in the 1970s and '80s, has been replaced on college women's dorm room shelves by sexier, sassier updates such as Bitch and Bust. The four talented, smart -- and feminist -- women of "Sex and the City," who are intent on defining their own lives but are also willing to talk about Manolos and men, look more like Brown's type of heroine than "Sisterhood Is Powerful" readers. The stereotype of feminists as asexual, hirsute Amazons in Birkenstocks that has reigned on campus for the past two decades has been replaced by a breezy vision of hip, smart young women who will take a date to the right-on, woman-friendly sex shop Babeland.
Then third wave feminism came along, critiquing its staid mothers and reinvigorating -- while simultaneously giving some political heft to -- the kind of gestures Brown had set out in her 1962 manifesto. Third wave feminism is pluralistic, strives to be multiethnic, is pro-sex and tolerant of other women's choices. It has led to an embrace of what was once so politically suspect -- the notion that you can be a "lipstick lesbian" or a "riot grrrl" if you want to be, that you can choose your persona and your freedom for yourself.

But that very individualism, which has been great for feminism's rebranding, is also its weakness: It can be fun and frisky, but too often, it's ahistorical and apolitical. As many older feminists justly point out, the world isn't going to change because a lot of young women feel confident and personally empowered, if they don't have grass-roots groups or lobbies to advance woman-friendly policies, help women break through the glass ceiling, develop decent work-family support structures or solidify real political clout.

Feminism had to reinvent itself -- there was no way to sustain the uber-seriousness and sometimes judgmental tone of the second wave. But feminists are in danger if we don't know our history, and a saucy tattoo and a condom do not a revolution make.

The fact is, we know the answers to Western women's problems: The way is mapped out, the time for theory is pretty much over. We know the laws and the policies we need to achieve full equality. What we lack is a grass-roots movement that will drive the political will. "Lipstick" or lifestyle feminism won't produce that movement alone.

review by Naomi Wolf

This is common amongst any "movement" or "revolution". It's been co-opted by capitalism. "Hey there hipster, wanna join the trend in [insert counter-culture meme here]? Well, come by the shop and get outfitted." This is my complaint about the 60's Baby Boomers. If you ever strike up a conversation, apparently everyone back then was a hippie and went to Woodstock. Of course, the numbers tell differently. But ahh... romantic reminiscence. We were all cool in high school. We were all heavy and deep. It makes me sick.

RE: Book Review: 'Bad Girls Go Everywhere : The Life of Helen Gurley Brown' by Jennifer Scanlon -

RE: The torture row is not going to go away.
Topic: Miscellaneous 6:50 pm EDT, Apr 25, 2009

Decius wrote:

flynn23 wrote:

Decius wrote:

If this is true, the leadership of the Bush administration could go to prison. This could be very, very bad for the country.

How so? I mean, I can see it being very divisive, and certainly distracting, but given the long list of potential infractions, what do you think should happen?

Simply put, I don't believe this was spin.

During this long period of delay and potential litigation, ugly passions would again be aroused. And our people would again be polarized in their opinions. And the credibility of our free institutions of government would again be challenged at home and abroad.

In the end... the verdict of history would even be more inconclusive with respect to those charges arising out of the period of his Presidency...

My conscience tells me clearly and certainly that I cannot prolong the bad dreams that continue to reopen a chapter that is closed. My conscience tells me that only I, as President, have the constitutional power to firmly shut and seal this book. My conscience tells me it is my duty, not merely to proclaim domestic tranquility but to use every means that I have to insure it.

That's where I thought you were going. It's clear, particularly when you look at the wiretapping situation, that the White House is not going to give up the expansion of power it received during the Bush Administration so easily, regardless of its morality.

RE: The torture row is not going to go away.

Dark musings, 2009-03-24 | The Big Picture
Topic: Business 2:48 pm EDT, Mar 24, 2009

Of course the whole notion of repairing bank balance sheet is a lie and misdirection. The balance sheets we should want to see repaired are household balance sheets. Banks have failed us profoundly. We want them reorganized, not repaired. A world in which the banks are all fixed but households are still broken is worse than what we have right now. Too-big-to-fail banks restored to health are too-big-to-fail banks restored to power. The idea that fixing legacy banks is prerequisite to fixing the broad economy is a lie perpetrated by legacy bankers.

Dark musings, 2009-03-24 | The Big Picture

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