FCC Investigates Comcast 
Wednesday, January 16, 2008, 01:42 PM
As detailed by Slashdot, the Federal Communications Commission is investigating Comcast for its filtering of BitTorrent internet traffic. Essentially Comcast forges an RST packet from your computer, telling the computer you're connected to that you're no longer interested in exchanging data; Comcast also forges a packet from the computer you're connected to and sends it to you. Comcast has been known to blatantly lie in denying this Internet filtering, but the phenomenon has been sufficiently well documented that the FCC has finally taken notice.

The FCC case is currently open for comment; if you are a Comcast subscriber or if you're simply upset by the idea of a major ISP falsifying data so they can pretend you sent it I recommend you comment (click on submit a filing in the right hand links). The proceeding number is 07-52, and the form is extremely easy to use - it will take less than five minutes of your time. My own comment can be found here.
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Summing Up the Past Few Years 
Thursday, January 10, 2008, 04:51 PM
A great quote from a spectacular piece on this season's American primary politics, out of the British magazine The Economist (sometimes I think they're better at our politics than we are):
Sure, they are desperate for "change": with the economy reeling, politics gridlocked, young people dying in Iraq and the Bush administration a global byword for callous incompetence, huge numbers of Americans have long believed their country is on the wrong track. But what sort of change? And who can deliver it?

What caught my eye at first was the phrase "...the Bush administration a global byword for callous incompetence..." That perfectly sums up my biggest complaint against the Bush administration: incompetence, and their spread of it from political appointees into the ranks of the civil service through politically motivated, nepotistic appointments in jobs that didn't used to be politicized.

I was also caught by the query regarding change. Yes, there's a general consensus among many that change is desperately needed, but would wager a fair amount of money that among all the change-supporters there is a wide disparity in opinions on what that change consists of.

Executing "change" -- whatever that means -- is the second question, which brings me back to Bush administration incompetence. Certainly part of that incompetence was borne out of arrogance, but I believe a significant portion of it is the result of inexperience on the part of the chief executive. The man squandered the first 40 years of his life, and other than one and a half terms as governor had little accomplishments of note. Now we have the freshman senator Obama who, although with starkly different policies, talks about restoring faith in government, hope, and speaks against "being disagreeable" -- words and themes that seem strangely familiar (remember 2000's candidate of compassion, dignity, bipartisanship, and no nation building). To back this up is a sparse record, one made even more threadbare by his habit of missing or abstaining from politically controversial votes during his time both as an Illinois and United States senator.
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Buttons 
Wednesday, January 2, 2008, 10:13 PM
The pajama bottoms on my new Target pajama-bottoms-and-robe set have a button fly. So now, to avoid peeing on myself, I have to unbutton my pajama bottoms and then my boxers. Sweet.
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Death 
Friday, December 28, 2007, 10:18 AM
Currently on my way to southern California to attend a memorial service for the mother of a very good friend of mine, the mother of a man who I've known my entire life. What do you say in a situation like that? I've known her and her son for years and yet despite so many pleasant memories I can manage only the feeblest of words.
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Dreams and Such 
Thursday, December 27, 2007, 11:14 PM
Babe
Oh, dream about me
Lie... on the phone to me
Tell me no truth
If it is bad
There's enough in my life
To make me so sad.

Just dream about
Color fills our lives
Just dream about
Someone else tonight.

Babe
Oh, dream about me
On the phone
Talking quietly;
I wanna be yours
Oh, won't you be mine
Against red skies
For all time.

So dream about... us
When we're old
Just dream about
How I will let go.


From Moby's song Dream About Me.
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Baby 
Thursday, December 27, 2007, 07:51 PM
I just watched an ad that talked about an exchange of "poker night" for "boys night in" with pictures of a father playing with his children. The soft focus ad ended with the line "having a baby changes everything."

Scary, like they're trying to frighten people into not having children.
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Blog Update 
Saturday, November 3, 2007, 06:49 PM
Blog update to address security vulnerability.

Also, read in the New York Times that Mike Huckabee, a Republican presidential contender I was warming up to, opposes the Law of the Sea Convention. I did some more research and the mind-blowing ignorance, half-truths, and downright lies being told by opponents got me quite worked up. As a Coast Guard officer and someone who deals with Law of the Sea issues on a daily basis it's frustrating that people are getting so worked up based on half-truths regarding a treaty the United States really needs to enter into. Let's put it this way: the Coast Guard, the Navy, Chevron, and Greenpeace all support the treaty. I'll write about the actual issues in more depth when I get a chance, but I wanted to put something short down while I remember.

Mr. Huckabee's opposition may win him some points among those who are easily excited by buzzwords but have little use for actual facts, but it's a deal breaker for me.
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Listen to British People Talk 
Thursday, November 1, 2007, 08:51 PM
Strangely entertaining.
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They're Tearing the Labor Camps Down 
Monday, October 29, 2007, 05:56 PM
As I was listening to an old Merle Haggard song, They're Tearing the Labor Camps Down, where he states in his introduction: "I couldn't help but wonder what's going to happen to the farm workers, to the fruit pickers who move from town to town, the man with the big family who can't afford the ol' high standard of living..." I realized that as I concern myself with petty details, millions of people around the world are preoccupied with the very struggle for existence. As I worry about whether I'll get home in time to watch my favorite TV show, they wonder whether they'll even get their next meal. These people don't just exist overseas in the ads we see on TV, they're the immigrants in our backyard who we're trying to drive back across the border. I've always rationalized my support for supporting a more liberal immigration policy because these people's presence in this country means that things I want cost less -- with little to no negative impact on my life. This was the first time that I seriously considered the humanitarian side of this. So many are so eager to talk about the need to help others overseas, but when it comes to people here -- NIMBY.

Oh they're tearing the labor camps down
And I feel a little sentimental shame.
Where's a hungry man going to live at in this town?
Oh they're tearing the labor camps down.


I think I'm a far cry from a "bleeding heart liberal" but I think even liberals in this debate have forgotten (or chosen to ignore) the humanitarian side of this debate. After all, sympathy is well in good, until the object of your sympathy moves into your town and becomes an eyesore.
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Watch the Office at Your Office 
Sunday, October 28, 2007, 04:52 PM
Episodes of The Office from this season are now available online (along with several other shows) -- for your convenient viewing at work when you boss is gone just in case you missed them the night before. Nice try guys, but it would be a lot better if it didn't constantly crash my browser when going into full-screen mode.
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