Nostalgic Rumblings
The Ramblings of an Old Man




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4/26/2011


Sony: PlayStation Breach Involves 70 Million Subscribers

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 5:36 pm

From CNBC (because the New York Times is now charging for stories and blasting advertising at the same time): Sony: PlayStation Breach Involves 70 Million Subscribers

From the article: “Six days after a security breach of its PlayStation Network, Sony said Tuesday that the incursion was much worse than expected and hackers had obtained personal information on 70 million subscribers.”

Awesome. And you wonder why I don’t allow our game systems to connect to the network?

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4/24/2011


The Final FOTR Convention

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 1:28 am

For many years now, there have been two “factions” pulling at the Friends of Old-Time Radio convention committee…those who steadfastly cling to the stubborn belief that the convention should be about radio only, seeking out radio stars as exclusively as possible and believing radio drama to be for all intents and purposes dead in this country; and those who believe radio drama is a “living” thing which needs to be nurtured so it can grow, and that the convention needs to evolve and change to more of a nostalgia convention, inviting folks from early television and film.

I have to admit, I was one of the most vocal in the former camp. I believe radio drama is dead as a doornail in the United States. We should celebrate the history of the medium without becoming maudlin and pretending there is some future for it here. Yes, yes, I know, some groups are producing “new” radio drama (which, by the by, is almost never actually broadcast on radio, and even when it is we’re talking no more than an hour or two per year), but it’s a niche activity with countless more time spent on audiobooks and the like. This hasn’t made me exactly a favorite among those in the other camp; while some of them actively debate with me and “my kind,” passionately arguing our sides and then moving on to a cold beverage together, others have become quite angry with me to the point of not being able to be comfortably in the same room with me. (*shrug*) Not a lot I can do about that, frankly, so I haven’t worried much about it.

Still, I’ve been pretty passionate about this whole issue, to the point of making it clear among friends and foes alike that, should the convention change to the point of no longer focusing on radio, I would need to reconsider my personal involvement in it. (This has nothing to do with its promotion on The Internet OTR Digest, of course, only my own personal involvement.) I have argued for years that in my opinion, there would come a time when there were few enough guests from radio we could call upon to join us that we should consider “folding our tent” and closing down the convention.

But between you and me, I never really believed it would happen.

I mean, c’mon, I have to have the worst record at prediction in the history of humanity. Any television show I like gets canceled…any restaurant I enjoy goes out of business…some people blame me for the loss of multiple coffee shops - I buy, they die.

But for reasons mostly unrelated to the arguments I’ve been making over the years, the 2011 Friends of Old-Time Radio convention will be the final convention. Final. Just like old-time radio itself, the Friends of Old-Time Radio will cease to be, and a huge part of my life will vanish into the mists of faded memory. And I find I don’t like it one little bit, even as I accept the inevitability of its finality, and honestly inside accept that it really is time for it to end.

From the first convention I attended for one evening many many years ago, where I first met Arnold Moss who’s voice hadn’t changed a bit, and tremblingly shook the hand of Carlton E. Morse whose I Love a Mystery was the “holy grail” for me and most of the rest of the hobby, to last year’s convention where my daughter performed with Will Huchins and made this old curmudgeon weep with pride, the FOTR Convention has given me priceless memories of people and events that are absolutely irreplaceable. I’ve had dinner with many folks OTR listeners hear frequently on their shows, have spent hours talking to folks like Lon Clark who became friends, Arthur Anderson who is still a great friend, and I even got to perform with Hal Stone, with whom I argued, laughed, teased, drank, and still miss.

I got to meet the entire cast of Tom Corbett, Space Cadet and share many a cigarette with Frankie Thomas. I met Norman Corwin and Burgess Meredith on the same evening. I shook the hand of Les Paul hoping a lick or two would rub off, and I met Ken Roberts. Gale Storm forced me to pose for a photo with her (yes, Beauty and the Beast springs to mind), and I caused Jeanette Nolan to cry softly when I asked her to sign a photo of herself with the late John McIntire. I became incensed with Ezra Stone’s antics one year, but forgave him a few years’ later when he accepted an award humbly and kindly…he died a few months’ afterward. I…I…

I think I’ll stop now before I become maudlin.

Anyway, writing the word final on the web page for the convention was surprisingly hard considering I’ve been shooting my mouth off for years that the convention should end gracefully. And it’s right it should end. I just wish it wasn’t so…final, that’s all.

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4/21/2011


Report: iPhones secretly track their users’ locations

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 8:40 am

From CNN: Report: iPhones secretly track their users’ locations

From the article: “Apple devices appear to be tracking their owners’ locations and storing data about people’s whereabouts without their knowledge, according to a report posted Wednesday on a site called iPhone Tracker.”

Awesome. And I thought Google was the only one who tracked its phone users’ whereabouts.

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4/20/2011


Cincinnati Convention Schedule Set!

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 5:05 pm

Bob Burchett, head honcho of the Cincinnati Old-Time Radio and Nostalgia Convention, dropped the schedule of events for this year’s convention into my email box this afternoon, so I fogured the least I could do was share it with you!

icon for podpress  Cincinnati Convention Schedule: Download

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4/12/2011


Has Google turned evil?

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 8:54 am

From Salon: “The Googlization of Everything”: Has Google turned evil?

From the review: “The question is: Is the googlization of everything a uniformly good thing, or should we worry? The answer, according to media expert and professor Siva Vaidhyanathan in his ‘The Googlization of Everything and Why We Should Worry’: Yes, we should worry.”

I’ve been worried for quite a while…nice to see someone else is catching on…

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4/3/2011


More on Spam from Real Subscriber Accounts

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 2:47 pm

This is primarily targeted to subscribers of the Internet OTR Digest, but the truth is, everyone should be able to take something away from this post, so even if you’re not a subscriber, hang in so it doesn’t happen to you.

The hacked-account spam issue is becoming epidemic; it seems like every week I’m removing 10-15 email addresses from the Digest to prevent the onslaught of spam, and there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight. Just today, Sunday, I’ve removed two addresses, and yesterday the account of a well-known and respected poster was hijacked. Some spam asks for money for the account holder who’s stuck in Europe after a theft…some points to bogus pharmacological websites…others to sites with nekked people. All of them are creating a pretty severe problem.

Understand, I’m not directly blaming the account holders for the spam…I realize if your password is hacked, you can’t do much to prevent the scammers from using your account other than change the password and sheepishly apologize to everyone who received the spam. But it’s important to understand how to keep your account from being hacked in the first place, so your friends, family, and other folks don’t have to deal with the deluge of spam coming from…well…you.

While this can affect anyone, the vast majority of accounts attacked currently are from the free email providers; AOL, Yahoo, MSN/Hotmail, et al. There are lots of accounts there, usually operated by those not involved in computers or technology as a profession, making them easy pickings for the scum that want to use the account to sell bogus Vicodan or access to porn. This doesn’t mean, however, that if you use an account from your provider that you are “safe,” it just means you aren’t being targeted at this time. At any moment, the bad guys could turn their attention to Earthlink, Verizon, or any other email provider.

Some might think, “Ah, it’s just email…I don’t need to fix it. If my email gets compromised, I’ll just get another free account.” And that’s fine, if you don’t mind annoying your friends, family, and possibly the thousands on the OTR Digest. Having your account spew this junk is bound to make you look bad, get annoyed telephone calls, and generally embarrass you. So it’s probably a good idea to do whatever you can to keep it from happening.
(more…)

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