Bandwidth caps are a BAD idea

Comcast has been moving in this direction for awhile now, but they’re actually announcing that they are going to be putting into place bandwidth caps. As everything moves towards centralized, cloud, distributed, download on demand, whatever you want to call it, a move to cap people is the absolute wrong thing to do. When people have to think about how much they’re using, it doesn’t matter how high the limit is, they’re going to worry. Unless comcast is very careful here this could backfire big for them.

The one thing that will be to their advantage is that in many markets they essentially have a monopoly. Users won’t be able to switch no matter how poorly Comcast performs.

If it’s not a single on iTunes or Amazon then it doesn’t exist

There’s an article on Techdirt discussing the motivation of some musicians for not putting their albums up on iTunes. My personal experience is that if it’s not on Amazon or iTunes then it simply doesn’t exist. My family’s entire music infrastructure has been based on the ipod and apple tv. If I can’t purchase singles that will be easily playable on these devices, then I don’t want it.

Internal leakage from Blogger

I was just checking out the news on ReadPath where I have a subscription to the “Blogs of Note” subscription that is a part of Blogger, and I came across a rather weird post. Usually posts from this subscription are just a simple Blog title with a link to the blog, no other content.

Well, this post looked like a meeting agenda and it appears to be from the Blogger management. The link on Blogger is no longer available but I’ve pasted the message here and it’s still available in the ReadPath archive.

MGMT Updates

  • No BMG
  • No Managers meeting (offsite)
  • Blogger Strategy Onsite Offsite and Dinner
  • OKR update next meeting, check out your doc and update (linked to under Ray’s OKR in MoMA) – add any additional OKRs
  • PERFs working day
  • Start using Podcast (results are tracked at team level)
  • Meet up interest survey (Bay Area)
  • Custom Domain issue is still open
  • New super user since last week (rookie of the year)
Help Center/Metrics
  • Visits to HC and U2U up 11%
  • Getting Started Guide for Help Center
  • Email elimination project – Need to finish building out Blog Gone and Login tools
  • U2U Survey – Brett & Danish to finalize questions
  • Following Launched to 20%
  • Known Issues :
  • Disconnect between Reading List and Managed Blogs
  • Profile photo change – Picasa
  • Duplicate entries on Reading List
  • Gerard is very happy with the team 🙂
  • International contact forms rolling out in Spanish
  • Europe Sales Conference, Gerard OOO
  • Team Perf review for Gerard?
It appears to announce that the new Following feature which integrates Blogger blogs with Google Reader has been launched to 20% of users (This is a great feature, going to have figure out how to implement that with ReadPath when the time comes).
It also points out some know issues with people not being able to determine the difference between followed blogs and subscriptions and there being issues with duplicate entries.

Maybe some airlines just weren’t destined to make it

At what point do you sit back and say that the cost cutting in the airline business is affecting safety? I realize that the odds that any flight will actually need the life preservers is miniscule, but that’s the point of safety equipment. If you never need it, it’s done its job.

It seems that globally there have been a few more accidents lately. I believe there were 3 major crashes in the last two weeks. With all of the cost cutting going on, how do you make sure that the airline isn’t getting too close to the line on safety requirements?

— Update —

It seems that we’re getting notices of new fees about once a week now. Here’s the latest from NWA, $15 for your first checked bag. It just keeps getting better.

I enjoyed watching the democratic convention tonight

It was nice to see Bill Clinton speak, there’s just something about that guy. It was pretty funny when the crowd looked like it could keep cheering for hours when he got up on stage.

I also enjoyed seeing Joe Biden speak. There were some bits that were repeated out of his speech with Barack on Saturday but overall I thought he did alright.

The main thing that I really liked was when Biden laid out how the media narrative is that McCain has all of the experience with foriegn policy and that Barack doesn’t, but how with almost every single foreign policy issue that’s come up since the campaigning began Obama has been proven right and McCain was forced to take the correct position after being wrong. Biden and Clinton need to be out on every news cast from here to Nov repeating this until the media gives in and stops giving McCain credit for things he’s gotten wrong.

Obama says he’s been trying to run a clean campaign, but I think there’s a difference between going negative, which McCain has jumped into with both feet, and pointing out where you honestly believe the other side has made mistakes and used poor judgement. There are all sorts of issues that the Democrats need to bring up, Clinton and Biden just barely got started tonight. If Obama is going to win I really think someone needs to bring them up repeatedly. The American people just don’t seem to react well to leaders that they don’t believe are sticking up for themselves.

Great new author

Stumbled across a new author, John Scalzi,  when perusing recommendations on my Kindle. I made the mistake of reading his second book first, but it didn’t ruin anything to read it that way. Since I started reading his books I haven’t been able to stop. I’ve raced through 5 books and am just about to start his just released latest book Zoe’s Tale.

Scalzi has created a universe a bit into the future where humans have moved out into the Galaxy and found that it’s a very crowded place. All of the books have quite a bit of action, but also some plain good old sci-fi. My idea of good sci-fi is when it’s used to test out new ideas and the story is a dry run to see how they would work. The best sci-fi has a good story to go with the good ideas.

I also love his sense of humor, think Heinlein’s Starship Troopers with a touch of Monty Python satire. The book “The Android’s Dream” deals with the interplanetary fallout of a disgruntled diplomat killing a visiting alien ambassador with his flatulence. For the first bit of the book you’ll be wondering where this could possibly be going, but the second half is well worth your patience.

Eclipse tweaks

I’ve been doing a LOT of web development work lately. It’s strange how you can end up working harder for yourself when you’re self employed than you ever worked for anyone else. With all of the banging away at the keyboard I managed to pick up a bit of a repetitive stress injury in my right hand. One quick trip to Fry’s and a new ergonomic keyboard later and it seems to be going away though.

Along with the need to make sure my work area is physically set up properly I also had to take care of a few things with my development environment. The biggest issue that I had on my main linux dev box was that in Eclipse I was getting all sorts of weird errors with cut and paste. Sometimes it would work and sometimes it would pick up strange fragments of the desired text or I would have to do it 3-4 times to get it work. I did a bit of googling and got a good hint in the Eclipse bug reports that there may be an issue on linux with interactions between Eclipse and Klipper in KDE when doing cut and paste. Since I have no real idea what Klipper is supposed to be doing in the first place I simply disabled it and now everything works great.

The next major issue involves the fact that I can’t help myself upgrading to the latest version of software that I’m using. It doesn’t matter if the current version is working just fine. I’m just always tempted to follow the bleeding edge (Not the best candidate for sysadmin of critical systems). So when a new version of Eclipse came out, of course I had to upgrade. The new version has a built in web development toolkit that is supposed to be all that you need. Unfortunately the javascript editor in this latest build is just not up to snuff. Other than some basic code coloring and outline of methods it doesn’t appear that it’s able to do anything else.

Prior to the upgrade I had been using the JSEclipse plugin, which works great. So I decided to go back to it since so much of my work these days is with javascript and I couldn’t afford not to have it. The problem though was that the company that created the plugin was bought by Adobe. This wasn’t an issue at first as it was put on the Adobe Labs site and supported. However, just recently they’ve pulled it from the Labs site and the only obvious way to get it was through purchasing a copy of Flex. So I did a bit of digging around and found the update site for JSEclipse and was esctatic to realize that it still worked. One quick install later and I’m back in business tapping out javascript.


I just signed up for an Evernote account. Downloaded the mac application poked around a bit. In principle it’s something that I would definitely like to use. I’m looking for a way to save quick notes from when I’m working or out and about. Evernote seems like the closest thing to what I’m looking for, but I’m not 100% sold on it yet. The interface is still a bit clunky and there were some weird things happening with some of my notes on the desktop app (might be related to syncing as data disappeared and then later reappeared).

I’ll post again later after I’ve had some time to play with it more.