Nostalgic Rumblings
The Ramblings of an Old Man




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1/31/2006


Cingular applies to patent smileys :@

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 9:01 pm

From The Register (UK): Cingular applies to patent smileys :@

Yep, Cingular, the United States’ largest mobile phone network this week applied to patent emoticons, better known as smileys. Which only goes to show how completely screwed up the patent system really is.

Much thanks to our friend Chris Holm for pointing us to this silliness. And note The Register has a follow-up article including letters from patent attorneys and others.

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Sequels, Remakes Dominate Razzie Nods - Yahoo! News

Filed under: Television, News — Charlie Summers @ 1:13 am

From the AP via Yahoo: Sequels, Remakes Dominate Razzie Nods

I love the Razzies…

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1/30/2006


Why do we throw everything away?

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 9:12 am

I finished a project, and I’ve been thinking about how we as a society tend to throw everything into the trash can, or the more politically-correct recycle bin. But I’m getting ahead of my story…

For Christmas this year, one of the silly gifts I gave to my wife (Christmas is for the useless gift, not for the necessary or practical, IMHO) was a “Personal Audio System” for her XM Satellite Radio receiver, the Roady2. (Ok, ok, for my Roady2…see, I bought a Tao XM2Go and she got my original radio, the Roady2, for her car. Been feeling a little guilty about the portability issue ever since.) The “PAS” is that thing on the left…it’s a “container” for the Roady2, including a battery, that turns the normally-fixed satellite radio into a “wearable” (you know, like a walkman only with “live” satellite radio?) - the antenna is in the headphones (although the antenna jack is, unlike the XM2Go line, a standard-sized one, so you could easily use a spare car antenna with a washer under your jacket) which allows you to head out the door and listen to C-Span, the BBC World Service, or XMPR (remind me to tell you about my recently listening a lot to Watercolors of all things) on your walks.

Anyway, a few days after she had been enjoying it, I was taking it into my office to do some tests on the thing with home and car antennas and…I dropped it. When it hit the floor, a whole passel of fine plastic parts broke; one of the side clips went flying, the other fixed clip broke into two pieces outside the device, and I was heartsick. I gathered up parts, including the tiny plastic pieces, a spring, and even the jack cover (which only popped off, and didn’t break), and deposited them into a plastic bag.
(more…)

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1/29/2006


Soyo and TigerDirect

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 6:24 pm

File this under the heading of a consumer warning. These slimeballs companies don’t pay the rebates owed to their customers:

http://www.fatwallet.com/t/54/389641/

http://www.bensbargains.net/ktalk/1123600951,99948,.shtml

The BBB report on SOYO (The company’s rating is F.)

The BBB report on TigerDirect (Company has an unsatisfactory rating.)

Seriously, folks, these companies need to be avoided at all costs. I know I’ll never buy another thing from these…er…less-than-reputable businesses.

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MPAA admits to unauthorized movie copying

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 2:00 am

From Ars Technica: MPAA admits to unauthorized movie copying

Oops…caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

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1/28/2006


Matthew Perry, ‘West Wing’ Creator Team Up

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 12:36 pm

From AP via Yahoo: Matthew Perry, ‘West Wing’ Creator Team Up

As mentioned before, Aarin Sorkin’s show is on pilot track. I’m really looking forward to it.

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1/27/2006


2005’s 101 Dumbest Moments in Business

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 7:07 am

From CNN/Money: 2005’s 101 Dumbest Moments in Business

Some of this is so drop-dead funny I had to hold my sides. Other entries are so pitiful even a lousy businessman like me can’t figure out why they’d do it. And some, like #17 for example, made me so darned angry I could spit.

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1/26/2006


Two Discussions of Bad Law…

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 10:02 am

From Freedom to Tinker: Analog Hole Bill Would Impose a Secret Law

A frightening discussion on how this terrible legislation would not only take away your fair-use rights, but would do it in a manner that cannot be monitored nor even discussed by the legislators who will vote on the legislation!

From ArsTechnica: Broadcast Flag praised, panned in Senate hearing

A long piece by Ken Fisher on the recent Senate hearings, with commentary. Read this, then be very afraid.

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1/25/2006


Let’s Review Recent News About Television…

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 1:01 am

Ok, folks, we’re going to talk some television here. That means you poor folks who think entertainment stopped in 1962, and who believe television is a four-letter-word are going to be excluded for a few minutes. Sorry ’bout that. (Besides, if you ain’t watching 24, you don’t know how darned exciting television can really be.) Those who are left will visit one-air cancellations, netlet comglomerations, an election by the entire viewing public, and even a look back at an old friend no longer with us, at least recognizably.

Emily, We Hardly Knew Ye

First off, a fond “Hello, I must be going” to ABC’s Emily’s Reasons Why Not. If you watch ABC at all (and c’mon…with Lost, Desperate Housewives, and Grey’s Anatomy, there are some pretty good reasons to do so), you’ve seen the endless stream of promotions for the show. It aired once, and was clubbed to death faster than a baby seal. Now let’s be honest…the first episode was nothing to write home about, and I have to admit I don’t understand the fascination with Heather Graham; while she’s not as one-dimensional as Jennifer Love Hewitt, she’s not exactly full of range, either…and like Hewitt she’s getting way too long-in-the-tooth for these “cutesy” little-girl roles she’s taking on. But there were interesting things about the style of the show, and although the plot was…er…ok, pretty stupid, the execution was interesting enough to make me curious to see if they could actually find a writer somewhere on-staff.
(more…)

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1/24/2006


Digital Broadcast Flag Bill Revisited

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 11:16 am

From Slyck News: Digital Broadcast Flag Bill Revisited

Now the RIAA/MPAA want to tag both radio and television, removing even more of your rights under copyright law. Time to contact your representatives and tell them you’re tired of having the law skewed so far toward the big-money interests.

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1/23/2006


ABC Defends Cancellation of Graham Comedy

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 1:31 pm

From the AP via Yahoo: ABC Defends Cancellation of Graham Comedy

“Once we saw it was not launching, we felt like unfortunately it was not going to get better and we had to make a change.” Ouch.

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1/22/2006


Carriers push for tiers, Google isn’t buying

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 1:25 am

From ArsTechnica: Carriers push for tiers, Google isn’t buying

We’ve all read about Google’s fight with the Justice Department, but here’s another fight Google’s waging, and is, I think, on the right side of this issue, too. Google is not only making itself look good from a PR standpoint, but it’s also standing up for the startups of the future. Could the carriers be any greedier?

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1/21/2006


I’m getting there…no, really…

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 1:36 pm

I have to apologize for getting behind (again, yet, still). I have a whole bunch of things I want to get into in this space - I want to talk about the differences between the 1960’s and the 1970’s as evidenced by the changes in a televised 1950’s musical, I want to discuss why I routinely discourage polls determing the “best” or “greatest” when it comes to Old-Time Radio, and also get your input on whether or not I should be using this space to distribute the occasional radio program (no amaturish “Radio Mumble-Mumble Network” stuff, though, I promise). But somehow, there never seem to be enough hours in a day.

Now that the holidays are really, truly over and I’ve been convinced to re-order my priorities to spend less time on the non-essential and unappreciated, I’m hoping to get to this and more over the next few weeks. In the meantime, if you have a few spare hours, send ‘em my way.

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1/20/2006


Cincinnati Old-Time Radio and Nostalgic Convention Flyer…

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 9:03 am

Got an email last evening from Bob Burchett, one of the “Bobs” of Cincy Convention organizing fame. There’s a nice little info flyer for the con, including some comments from last year’s conventioneers, in Acrobat PDF format. This is not the “main” flyer, but does have hotel information and convention costs listed prominently, so if you’re thinking about attending this convention (and if you’re not, you should be!), grab this flyer!

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Mock endorsement of Finnish president is no joke

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 2:19 am

From NewsDay: Conan’s running gag helps political look-alike on Finnish line

Nice to know American politicians aren’t the only ones who take things way too seriously…the opposition thinks it’s terrible that an American commedian is meddling in Finnish politics. Ah, well, he didn’t help her get the required 50% to avoid the run-off election, anyway.

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1/19/2006


Feds take porn fight to Google

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 3:04 pm

From CNet: Federal prosecutors preparing to defend a controversial Internet pornography law in court have asked Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and AOL to hand over millions of search records–a request that Google is adamantly denying.
http://news.com.com/Feds+take+porn+fight+to+Google/2100-1030_3-6028701.html

From the article: “I think people generally don’t expect that their searches are subject to government surveillance, to government scrutiny and that these businesses would be so eager to turn their information over on what doesn’t look like a very good basis.”

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Mouthy parrot ‘reveals sex secret’

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 6:33 am

From CNN: A computer programmer found out his girlfriend was having an affair when his pet parrot kept repeating her lover’s name, British media reported Tuesday.
Mouthy parrot ‘reveals sex secret’

You know, sometimes there’s just nothing to add.

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1/18/2006


Agencies probing sales of cell phone data

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 1:45 am

From CNET: Agencies probing sales of cell phone data

It’s about time someone dealt with these sleezeballs…

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1/17/2006


New Nickel to Have Jefferson Face Forward

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 9:26 am

From the AP via Yahoo: New Nickel to Have Jefferson Face Forward

Ok, seriously, Congress…stop screwing with my money. It’s getting to the point I have to look three times to figure out what coin I have in my hand. If you’re going to do anything with my money, how about wasting less of it?

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1/16/2006


Jack’s Back…and this time, it’s personal…

Filed under: Television — Charlie Summers @ 11:58 am

One of my biggest quibbles with Old-Time Radio fans is the frequent aversion to television. Yes, much of television today is dreck, just as much of old-time radio was terrible. But let me tell you, if you think TV is worthless, you ain’t watching 24. Last night, the show got me sitting straight forward in my chair audibly gasping in shock twice…in the first fifteen minutes. I can’t remember a time when any dramatic presentation, in any medium, slapped me in the face so hard I had to cry out.

This is gonna be one long day…and I’m going to enjoy every second of it!

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