Nostalgic Rumblings
The Ramblings of an Old Man

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February 2005
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What a bunch of morons…

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 8:01 pm

From The Associated Press via MSNBC: Production of roadkill-shaped candy screeched to a halt Friday, as Kraft Foods Inc. announced it would stop manufacturing the treats amid protests by animal rights activists.
MSNBC - Firm hits brakes on %u2018road kill’ candy

Yes, kids, the humorless strike again, determined to save our children from…anything even a little bit funny. I suggest to Kraft they begin a new line of candy, featuring animal rights activists beaten to death with cluesticks. Not that I think it would help, but I know munching on them would make me feel a whole lot better…

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Good News/Bad News: Court Agrees FCC Oversteps Bounds

Filed under: Television, News — Charlie Summers @ 8:30 am

From A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday said that regulators had overstepped their authority by imposing a rule designed to limit the copying of digital television programs.
FCC Overstepped Authority on Digital TV

The bad news is, the court may rule that the opponents to the “broadcast flag” rule have no standing to raise the issue in the first place. So the FCC can do something illegal, and still get away with it.

Gotta love America…

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Pet Peeve: Because it’s easy, not because it makes sense

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 6:56 pm

One of my pet peeves lately is people asking silly or unrelated questions to the wrong place, not because it makes sense, but because it’s easy and the questioner is lazy.

Let me give you a specific example; a self-proclamed “freelance writer” (using a Hotmail account and a GeoCities website, no less) sent in a posting to the Internet OTR Digest (a confirmed opt-IN mailing list devoted to discussing Old-Time Radio) asking how one could find a specific date given a month and week. Yes, of course, we call that a “perpetual calendar,” and ignoring the ancient plastic one in my desk drawer that can be “dialed” to any year and month, there are a bazillion of them sitting around on the Internet waiting to be used.

So, we have someone who you would assume (mistakenly, apparently) had some rudimentary research skills asking a non-sequeter question to thousands of people on an Internet discussion list. Why?

That’s simple; because out of the thousands, someone would know and tell him, and it would save him the trouble of having to actually expend the energy of looking it up himself. Ignore the plain truth that I am certain it took me less time to do a Google search than it took him literally to type in the question, he was still too lazy to bother doing it himself. (It also immediately calls into legitimate question anything he writes…if he is this painfully unskilled in research, how accurate can any of it be?)

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Dangerous Terms: A User’s Guide to EULAs

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 6:31 pm

From The Electronics Freedom Foundation: They’re called End User License Agreements, or EULAs. Sometimes referred to as “shrinkwrap” or “click-through” agreements, they are efforts to bind consumers legally to a number of strict terms and yet you never sign your name. Frequently, you aren’t even able to see a EULA until after you’ve purchased the item it covers. Yet you are bound by its terms.
EFF: Dangerous Terms: A User’s Guide to EULAs

Reading these things is enough to give a person a headache.

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Public letters…

Filed under: Radio Today — Charlie Summers @ 3:11 pm

Gentle readers;

Over the next few days, I’m going to be sending out some letters to various public radio programs and stations. Some of these letters I plan on making public here, so you may comment on them as you wish. The organizations who receive the letters will be told there is a publically-accessable version available, but clearly I cannot guarantee they will choose to comment here. I will not be posting any responces I receive via private email, since that’s not fair and a gross breech of “netiquette.”

A few of the letters I send will not be posted here…hey, I have the ability to send private comments not meant for public consumption, too, you know.

Another quick side comment: You do not need to agree with me to post comments; the only reason comments are moderated is to dump the blog comment spam. (If you want the whole scoop, read this posting.) Truthfully, the comments that disagree with me are as much if not more fun to read than those who do. The only thing I ask is that you keep the language PG-13 or lower, since I like to think this blog is rated F for Family…

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Bob Edwards on Wall Street Week

Filed under: Television, News, Radio Today — Charlie Summers @ 4:09 pm

Sorry…I should have had this information days ago. Seems that our guy Bob Edwards was a guest on this week’s Wall Street Week w/Fortune discussing satellite radio along with Sean Butson - of course, the reason I didn’t know about it earlier is that I haven’t watched this show since the idiots at Maryland Public Television decided to unceremoniously and for no good bloody reason I can see replace the erudite Louis Rukeyser with a male/female pair of happy-talk anchors. Hum…can you see a pattern of loyalty I have for public media figures who have served me well-and-proper for years when they are removed by moronic pin-stripes in search of a younger demographic by sticking in male/female happy-talk anchor teams? (For a look at Rukeyser’s 32-year history with PBS, his later CNBC program, and his eventual retirement due to cancer, see this Washington Post Story. Be sure to note that WSW is, in his words, a “cash cow” for MPT…remember that when next is your time to renew your membership…oh, and if you want just a little gloat-time, see this article from Media Life - Sans Rukeyser, MPT is sucking wind.)

Anyway, check around…many PBS stations re-run this program late weekends/early week. (And yeah, it would have been a hoot to see Lou interview Bob.)

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Even more House…

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 6:18 pm

From Reuters: Fox has ordered an additional four episodes of its fledgling medical drama “House,” bringing the total number of episodes ordered to 22, a full season’s worth.
Fox Prescribes More ‘House’

I cannot imagine a show more deserving. If you haven’t seen this show yet, you owe it to yourself to take a look. Seriously…last week’s episode with guest star Leslie Hope (formerly of 24) was an excellent piece of theatre; even if it ended a tad too abruptly, it ended unexpectedly. And the good guys don’t always win here…sometimes, it’s hard to figure out who the good guys are.

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Dvorkin interview with Dick Gordon

Filed under: Radio Today — Charlie Summers @ 11:55 am

NPR’s Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin was interviewed this morning by Dick Gordon on The Connection. One theme kept running through his comments…he keeps talking about the role of “public radio” being to serve its listeners. What drives me crazy about this is his myopic confusion - NPR is not identical to “public radio,” which is a far larger thing than his organization. It’s the hubris inside NPR where they think they are “public radio” that allows them to ignore the wishes of their listeners.

It’s also clear to me that while public radio’s mission is to serve its listeners, NPR’s clear mission is to serve itself, dumping “older” listeners in its insane quest for younger ones. So stop pretending NPR is public radio…it isn’t.There’s a whole lot of better public radio programming being produced outside of NPR than there is inside it. (Don’t believe me? Contrast and compare the excellent newsmagazine “Here and Now” (produced by WBUR Boston) to NPR’s lame short-attention-span-theatre production, “Day to Day.” We won’t even mention the new Morning Zoo…)

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You need to read this: Teens’ cookie deliveries crumble into $900 lawsuit

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 7:48 pm

In the No-Good-Deed-Goes-Unpunished Department: Teens’ cookie deliveries crumble into $900 lawsuit

This moron Wanita Renea Young says, “I just hope the girls learned a lesson.” I hope they did, too…if this idiot ever suffers a real heart attack, I hope the T & L Club walks the other direction and lets her suffer. This soulless jerk deserves it. I’ve had neighbors like this before…people so bitter about their own lives their goal in life is to hurt other people, making them feel important in the process. The world would be a better place without this kind.

But what kind of a judge awards damages to someone this deranged?

Update 2/6/05: There’s a photograph of these two young women at the Houston Chronicle website. Clearly these kids would send fear into the heart of anyone…anyone who’s afraid of Winnie the Pooh, anyway.

According to the WTN website, “If you want to send a donation (check or money order) to the girls to help pay off the judgement, or a letter of support, you can send it to Taylor Ostergaard, 415 County Road 307, Durango, Colorado 81303. Notes to Lindsey Jo Zeletti can be sent to the same address.”

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Yet more on poker spammers…

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 8:36 am

The blog comment spammers returned again this morning, again using trackbacks instead of comments, advertising a non-existant website. That seems silly, but it’s important; by advertising a website that doesn’t exist, there’s basically no one to complain to.

But the advertised websites from the last spammer attack are now live (and hosted in China, which is no great shock; China appears to be the bulletproof host-of-choice). The idea appears to be to flood Google and other search spiders with the URLs, then later making them live. They appear to have a virtual army of zombies, clearly carefully coordinated, making the attack on the blog.

What I cannot help but wonder about is if there are really that many people searching Google looking for a scammer to steal their money in a fixed game of poker?

Be a little careful in posting comments to this thread…I’m adding many of the key phrases to a reject database, and I’m…er…not being terribly polite with my rejection notice. Including one of the URLs these scum promote will result in an ugly error…

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Stick a fork in it - UPN Cancels ‘Star Trek: Enterprise’

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 6:01 pm

From TrekToday: UPN Cancels ‘Star Trek: Enterprise’

After rewriting the entire future history of the Next Generation, which rewrote the entire future history of the real Star Trek, Paramount finally gets smart and cancels this painful entry in the “anything for a buck” franchise..

Now if they’re smart, someone will fire Rick “We need ratings, lets do some stunt casting!” Berman and Brannon “Hey I have a novel idea for an episode, let’s blow up the Enterprise!” Braga and find someone who actually understands what Star Trek, I mean the real Star Trek, is about. As for me, I’m putting in a laserdisc tonight.

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I Still Hate Blog Comment Spammers…

Filed under: General, News — Charlie Summers @ 2:01 am

The morons who promote on-line casinos, porn sites, and bogus on-line pharmacies have now decided to stop posting comments, and start posting trackbacks to the blog entries. This unfortunately required me to mildly alter the programming I added to WordPress to keep me from having to manually delete the comments (trackbacks are treated as comments, although the version of WP this blog runs under handles trackbacks rather badly).

(*sigh*) It works, and properly dumps the POST without entering it into the database (as I type this the blog is still being pummled by POSTs for this scam gambling establishment), but it’s yet another pain in the arse caused by morons who want to steal my resources and waste your time.

Gotta hate ‘em…

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