June 2008 Archives

links for 2008-06-30

Interesting account on distributed video and the application therein. I wonder if Vint ever considered the benefits of BitTorrent protocol? The idea of having a model that supports one-to-many will not scale well unless you have an infinite pipe. I believe BitTorrent solves this problem. If you're going to advocate Internet access for everyone, clearly the value of mesh networks must be discussed in greater detail. Luckily the crowded address space concern has been mitigated by IPv6, I'm just not sure when the U.S will begin to take full advantage of the protocol. China and Japan seem to have already rolled this out. Methinks much of the bandwidth constraints is propagated by greedy wireless vendors arguing about who owns the pipe. IPTV and other applications are largely niche geek pleasures, due to the posturing and constant bickering of vendors. I suppose State and Federal legislatures are at fault too.

ODEO migrating data to new servers (revisited)

It appears that my channel has been restored. In fact, there are show duplicates on my ODEO channel, so I'll need to clean that up. I would imagine that this has also affected the RSS feed too. I did notice that the number of feed subscribers have increased again, so if you grabbed the feed and noticed duplicates please be patient. I will get that cleaned up soon.

The show notes have not yet been recovered, but I anticipate this problem will be resolved in short order. I always mirror the shownotes on my blog, so you should be able to get the proper synopsis for each show. Just review the podcast category..

As always, if you have questions or would like to send an audio comment about the AG Speaks Netcast, send them here.

Of course, I'll play them on the next show :)

Update:
I would be remiss if I did not thank Odeo's Greg Gershman and Eric Rupert. Both were very responsive and showed good hustle in resolving the channel outages.

links for 2008-06-25

ODEO migrating data to new servers

If anyone of you are subscribed to my netcast feeds via ODEO, please do not panic. It appears that ODEO migrated the majority of their user accounts over the weekend. Unfortunately, they seemed to have munged my account, hence my shows are missing. I do expect the situation to be rectified by close of business (end of the work day). If the problem does not go away, I will inquire. Luckily I have back ups of all my content, so while it would be annoying it would not be a impossible to reproduce.

Thx for your patience :)

Update:
Per the instructions on the ODEO blog, I sent ODEO COO, Eric Rupert an email and he responded that there was a server outage. Perhaps this explains why my profile and all the subsequent channel data seems to have been ethered. Unfortunately, he offered no estimated time of repair.

links for 2008-06-23

Krusell Chronicles - Final Chapter ?

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More Krusell Chronicles


Originally uploaded by AG_



It has been awhile since I shared status of my Krusell case. You may recall that I included a discussion of this case as part of my "Intelligent Design" segment. The Krusell has been used to protect my beloved Treo650.

Unfortunately, the case has failed yet again. As discussed previously, the multi-adapt molding has sharp edges, which create stress risers. Consequently, these corners induce cracks and failure is inevitable.

Additionally, the swivel kit is also prone to similar failures due to its sharp edges. As the image shows, the swivel will shear in half. I will post better photos of the failure modes. I'm not sure that I will take the time to circle the stress risers _again_.

Supposedly, the Krusell case I received in January 08 was an upgrade to the previous generation cases. The only difference that I could detect was snap feature changed to a magnetic style snap/closing feature. Actually, I do like the utility of these cases. They protect my smartphone from accidental drops or lense scratches.

The problem I have with Krusell is that their multi-adapt and swivel kit plastic design schemes are very poor. It really does not appear that the Krusell product design team is interested in making their multi-adapt supplier provide a more robust part. Either rid yourself of the sharp edges or use a more robust material. Perhaps rubber or stainless steel. Of course that would drive down their profit margins. Polypropylene is so much cheaper to manufacture than most materials.

Yes, there is a lifetime warranty on the case. Nonetheless, I'm debating if I should send the case back and allow Krusell to send me yet another case with a built in obsolescence of 3-months. They have refused to let me communicate with their manufacturing director or anyone on their product development team. I do know that their main manufacturing facility is located in Thailand, so I would imagine organized labor does not add cost to their product. One can only assume that this quality problem does not interest anyone in their organization. Perhaps I will contact Ulf Sandberg directly. I wonder if he is aware of this quality concern?

Brand Yu (Revisited)

Recently, I had the opportunity to listen to a discussion about branding self. If any of you have a marketing sense, you'll note that branding is normally attributed to inanimate objects. Products which can be purchased or sold. Apply this concept to the value of human capital, you then of something called Brand Yu. It does seem that this sort of conversation has gained huge momentum over the past 5-10 years. Why is that? I really don't have an answer to this question, but I would imagine it could possibly be related slumping economy, and the disproportionate numbers of people not taking advantage of life offerings.

One item that confuses me. What is the difference between a Brand Yu proponent and Life Coach? At the surface, it would seem that both would propose similar strategies of realizing the vast potential in self. Perhaps Hajj, could help me answer this question.

Regarding the talk, it was compelling. Many of the strategies that were recommended were common sense methodologies of helping to push your cream to the top. In other words, discovering the main adjectives which define your personal brand. Once you've identified your personal life statement, develop a strategy to help manifest that vision. You'll likely see an escape from that dead-end job. I'm not going to regurgitate all of the key points of this discussion; however, there was one interesting workshop.

Two volunteers were called to the front of the auditorium. Both were tasked with passionately describing some product. One person was given a Crackberry the other some Aquafina.
They had to convince the audience in 10min or less, the value of that product. Why must you have that addictive electronic device or that $1.50 bottle of water. Afterwards, they were tasked with providing the same passionate sales pitch about themselves. Why must you hire me? What is my value proposition? This was rather interesting. People typically fumble when tasked with this sort of question. Especially an impromptu challenge.

Lastly, I thought it odd that the speaker did not have a website. Methinks that your virtual brand is at least as important as your physical one. Secondly, the speaker did not wish to share their presentation. No hard copy or digital copy. Perhaps she was worried that her brand would be threatened? Odd indeed.. If your brand is strong it is also distinct and cannot be duplicated. Am I wrong?

Upgrade by Necessity

My venerable workstation has finally gasped its last gasp. Sigh* it must know that I rec'd my stimulus package. No better time than the present to replace the ASUS a7m266-D motherboard, as the system no longer will post. I've been running Slackware 11.0 on this box since 2003. First the NVIDIA graphics card TI-4200 failed about 2months ago, now the motherboard voltage regulator has failed. I'm glad that the BIOS is smart enough not to boot the system, and not damage the modded AMD Athlon XP.

Anyway, I now have a reason to upgrade the workstation to 64bit. I'll likely run slamd64, and experience the Slack 12.x goodness. Hopefully, I slamd64 has v.12.1 in its archive. Probably will put the older hardware on ebay..

Until, I get the workstation running again, I'll split time on both of my notebooks.

First Contact with FreeBSD 7.0

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As stated previously, I had been searching for some alternative hosting solutions for my netcasts. More specifically for the numerous OGG files that I have accumulated. Thought these audio files are a lossy format, they are of a higher quality than the mp3 files that I also provide with each show. A good friend has graciously permitted me to store these audio files on his community server. I am forever grateful. Actually, I spent a fair amount of time researching the various options as hosting solutions. These days I'm less interested in simply dumping my content in the cloud and allowing a 3rd party to simply manage my content. I looked at libsyn, but their service uses FTP, which IMHO is a very poor security model. Never liked the idea of passing my passwd in clear text over the internet. There is no such thing as a throw away passwd. If that is the case, why even create one? I digress.. Gotta have SSH tools at my fingertips. Eventually, I will begin serving up RSS feeds for my OGG content as well.
I'll likely use Listgarden to generate the appropriate XML tags, and then point them at Feedburner.

Though it may seem odd that I had never delved into FreeBSD prior to this excursion, I treat it as an opportunity to learn a bit more about some of the similarities to SunOS and Linux. Besides, I have been a Linux head for 12yrs, all Unix-like systems have some similarities.

One of the first differences is the default shell. I was presented with tcsh, which I had not used since undergrad. I have been so comfortable with the Bourne Again Shell (bash), that I never give much thought to the shell environment. I don't have root on the box, so I was resigned to customize tcsh. Taking a quick look at the package management directory ' /usr/ports/..'
there are plethora of packages available for the platform. Who said there was a dearth of software packages for FreeBSD? I was pleasantly surprised

I did add a bit of customization to my .tcshrc file. Since I am a CLI junkie, it is paramount that my shell prompt be useful. Though, I did have bash installed I figured that I would resist the urge to change the shell. I can go back to my SunOS 4.1 experiences on the Sparc 1 (pizza boxes) workstations of yesteryear :)

set prompt = " %B[%@]%b %m[%/] >"
# start bold[time] end bold hostname [current working directory] >

The BSD startup scripts are identical to Slackware convention. In fact, if you go back far enough into the history of BSDi, you'll find that Pat Volkerding and the rest of the Slackware crew shared code and probably an office too :)

As and aside, I was looking at the ssh daemon script on my fileserver which is running Slackware 8.0 (2.4.10) , and I noticed that Theo DeRaat de Raadt was the author. Interesting bit of trivia, but it also revealed that I was several security patches behind too. Obviously that is not good, and I resolved that immediately.

Obviously, there is still much to discover. I have only scratched the surface, and I have much to learn. As I come across interesting stuff, I'll likely share my experiences.

links for 2008-06-09

There are instances where politics actually intrigues me. In most cases I take umbrage to the corruption and generally have much disdain for the process. However, I was somehow drawn to the recent struggles to reseat Democratic delegates for both MI. and FL. I suppose this is likely due to the fact that the race for the Democratic Party was so close that clear decisions needed to made about the FL and MI primaries. Additionally, as I stated in an earlier entry, I was one of the reported 30K (roughly 5% of the total votes casted) voters who decided to write-in the name of their candidate. There was talk of nullifying the MI. Primary, as it was a "flawed" process. That is candidates names were not listed on the ballot. Not everyone received word that "undecided uncommitted" was the proper and legitimate description of their chosen candidate. Very strange indeed.

The irony is that Obama's recent victory and subsequent nominee appointment makes this issue moot. Nonetheless, it begs the question of what to do with the new effort to radically change the current primary hierarchy? For those who are unaware, the MI. delegation decided to hold its primary in January, well before the traditional primary cadence of IA and NH. As I understand it, this change was fueled by the unwarranted privilege which has historically been granted to IA and NH. One might ask what privilege do these states get? Before I provide the details, let us take a second to survey the ethnic make-up of IA and NH. A quick Wikipedia search reveals that the total non-white representation is roughly 3% of the population in IA and NH combined (based upon 2005 Census Report).

Why are demographics important? One could argue that the issues that matter most to the majority group are quite different than that of the minority. Besides,the common rhetoric is that everyone should have equal representation in the voting process. Does the current process provide this opportunity?
Moreover, these states do not have a larger industrial base than MI. IA is more agrarian and NH has a growing technology foundation. Arguably, NH technology foundation is aided in large part by MA. That is a topic for another discussion. So it would stand to reason that people would eventually question the "order" by which these primaries were slated. Why should these states go first year after year? If the answer is, "We've always done it that way, get over it." You are likely to annoy some people and that is what happened in the case of MI.

I'm not as familiar with the underpinnings of the FL. delegates situation, I'll leave those details as an exercise for the reader. Both Mark Brewer and David Bonoir gave compelling testimony to the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee. Brewer and Bonoir proposed a total recount; however, the Bylaws committee was unwilling to grant total recount as it would have been unfair to the other candidates. There were some interesting subplots, as some Clinton supporters who were seated on the Rules Committee suggested that Obama was trying to befriend IA delegates by not putting his name on the MI ballot.

When all was said and done, the agreement was to seat 50% of the delegates. As stated earlier, it turned out to be moot.. Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee. Now that he is the nominee.. Who will be his running mate? Harold Ford or Al Gore? Maybe someone else.

My bet is on Al Gore, I'll expound on possible VP in a later entry.

links for 2008-06-02

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