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"Murphy was an optimist!"

From the mouths of babes September 26, 2015 10:46 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Communications, Daily Life, Gadgets, Technology
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Me: “Alexa, play Dr John Radio.”
Alexa: “Playing Latin jazz on Tunein.”
Aunt Mary’s ghost: “Enunciate boy!”

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More cord cutting September 14, 2015 12:45 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Communications, Daily Life, Technology
, 2comments

I did it. I committed to being a Comcast customer for the next 2 years. $109.95 per month set in stone. 50Mbps down/ 10Mpbs up. Unlimited. $200 installation fee; $150 rebate. And yes, if I terminate in less than 24 months, I’m on the hook for 75% of the remainder. So if 6 months remain when I cancel, I’d owe $495.

Negatives? No television whatsoever. Positives? No more data cap.

My overage charges alone in July were $110.

Now, saying, “I’m going to pay $2638.80 for two years of Internet connectivity” sounds ludicrous. Add in Netflix roughly $20 a month. $3118.80 and Hulu ($7.99/mth) $3310.56. And now add cellphone service: $12,358,56. So, if my family wanted to cut out all entertainment and phone services, in two years, I could take them on one of the cheaper Disney vacations. Or, we could skip Disney and stay current with The Walking Dead.


Comcast and other big broadband companies seek to destroy the Internet May 7, 2014 1:35 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Communications, Of Interest, Technology
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Bit battles becoming bad between bumbling broadband billionaires begging before bureaucrats budding bigger billionaires by breaking beneficial businesses before bludgeoning bourgeois’ bandwidth.

Level 3, a tier 1 Internet service provider based in Colorado, has called out Comcast, Charter, Time Warner Cable and other top U.S. ISPs…

“They are deliberately harming the service they deliver to their paying customers,” Taylor wrote. "They are not allowing us to fulfil the requests their customers make for content."

[Source, BGR, Level 3 calls out Comcast, TWC and others for ‘deliberately harming’ their own broadband service]

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Ghost.io April 11, 2014 8:01 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Communications, Software, Technology
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Is anyone using Ghost? It looks like they’ve taken WordPress’ business model and combined it with posthaven’s business model. So, if I have this correct, you can download and self-host ghost (ala wordpress.org) at no cost…or, you can use ghost’s hosted services (ala wordpress.com) and pay $5 per month (ala posthaven). That sound right?

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What’s the big deal with Netflix and Comcast? February 24, 2014 9:37 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Communications, Technology
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Let’s use the Interstates as an analogy. Those Interstates are the backbones of our country. Metropolitan areas (say Memphis, Dallas, Atlanta, Knoxville, DC) are datacenters. The states are the ISPs since they provide the connections (the on ramps) to the backbones (the Interstates). We’ve all had relatively free access to those roads. Yes, there are so toll roads but let’s talk about those later to help facilitate the analogy (because the toll road fits the current Internet analog…the tolls are NOT the Netflix deal). The vehicles on the road are packets of information.

So, monitoring traffic, we noticed that UPS has increased its traffic from Dallas routing along I-40 in Tennessee to make deliveries to Atlanta. Now, we know that UPS has other alternatives. There are highways and more minor roads through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama that will lead to Atlanta but UPS likes the speed of using our larger Interstate. So, should Tennessee start charging UPS a surcharge to use our Interstate? If UPS pays enough, can they monopolize that Interstate with so many trucks that there is no room for my car? And if so, will the state tell me that I don’t have access to the Interstate anymore because I can use Hwy 70 and Hwy 11 unless I want to pay the same price that UPS is paying?

That’s the problem. The small guy, the innovator, is going to lose access to the Interstate.

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R.I.P. Qik February 15, 2014 8:04 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Communications, Technology, Video
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Qik is being shuttered on April 30, 2014. Qik was undoubtedly one of my favorite video sharing sites. None of its competitors made is as easy to take a video and upload it from your phone. Qik encouraged vidcasting. Bamuser and ustream have never had the same feel for me.

Crunchbase shows Qik’s competitors as Kyte, Flixwagon, Livecast, Next2Friends, Bambuser, Ustream, Justin.TV, and Streamup.

So, what happened to Qik? Skype bought them in 2011. We saw Qik Premium and Qik Desktop with great promise. There was growth. And then silence. The last Twitter post was January 2012. In May of 2011, Microsoft bought Skype. Qik had ben borg’d.

From the Qik service retiring FAQ:

Why are you retiring Qik?
We are retiring Qik as the Qik video messaging technology has now been incorporated into Skype. Users can now enjoy a great experience on Skype with features such as audio and video calling, instant messaging and video messaging with contacts in their Skype and Microsoft networks.

[Source, Qik.com, Qik service retiring in April 2014 – IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ]

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A blogger blogs, always August 16, 2013 3:16 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Communications, Philosophy, Software, Technology, WordPress
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A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.
– Kurt Vonnegut

Sometimes I hear people say, "blogging is dead" or "I don’t get any visitors anymore" or "no one reads this anymore." I’ve said it myself. My wife has said it. My blogging friends have said it. My blogging friends who no longer blog have said it and committed blogicide.

Visitors, comments, stats…none of it matters. Write! Writing matters.

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A blogger blogs, always August 8, 2013 10:24 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Communications, Technology, WordPress
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No, I won’t use your CMS June 25, 2013 8:36 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : ColdFusion, Communications, Programming, Software, Technology
, 2comments

So I’m doing some ColdFusion research (the Adobe kind not the physics kind) and thought it might be time to bring CFNinja.com back to life (not that it ever had much of a life). I hesitate to turn CFNinja.com into a WordPress site since CFNinja originally started with the intent to be a central location for ColdFusion developers to collaborate and it seems silly to use a PHP driven application for a CF site. The recommendations for a CF CMS seems to be Content Box. I figured I would install it real quickly and compile some of my research using Contentbox on CFNinja. First, the online documentation goes to a 404 page:


Not good for a content management system to not be able to find its own documentation. Even the older docs 404. Ah! Just went to reproduce the problem and found another path to the docs. Hmm. Maybe I’ll do this afterall.

Any other alternatives for ColdFusion CMS systems?


This NSA thing is old news June 10, 2013 10:00 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Communications, Conspiracy, Technology, Touchy Subjects
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Can’t believe I forgot about this! I watched this story with great interest in the wayback. This started in 2003 and was publicly outed in 2006:

"the NSA built a special room to receive data streamed through an AT&T Internet room containing “peering links,” or major connections to other telecom providers. The largest of the links delivered 2.5 gigabits of data — the equivalent of one-quarter of the Encyclopedia Britannica’s text — per second,"

[Source, The Washington Post, A Story of Surveillance]

Google "Room 641A" for more information.

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Wired claims Google Reader killed because RSS delivers news old school June 6, 2013 9:35 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Communications, Technology
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Wired makes a good point in this article but they write from a newscentric view…it reads like someone in "the industry" writing about "the industry" and screams that Wired has lost touch with the non-industry Internet user who doesn’t view everything as news. I blog. Is that news? In essence yes but you don’t need one of my blog posts flashing across your breaking news app. I write stuff that, according to my stats, people read three months after I write it. My flickr rss feed? Not news. But it is news. Yes, we could lump all media into news but that’s not really what Wired is talking about. Wired is claiming that as content is produced (they call content news) that people want it immediately. Frankly, that’s the Facebook model. And the Facebook model irritates me to no end. I miss things. Granted, there are not enough minutes in the day for me to consume everything but with an RSS reader I can selectively choose what I skip. Wired’s approach would deem that because I was in meetings in the morning, content that was published in the morning is not relevant to me.

Back in 2007 I would tell my clients that people come to the Internet for three things:

  1. Information
  2. Utility
  3. Entertainment

[Source, RealityMe, Why do people web?

I contend people go to the Internet in that order but you can go back to 2007 for that explanation. Getting back to Wired’s article, my point is that even as a very connected person, most of my day is not spent consuming media. I spend my day doing my job. Once home, I want to catch up on things. I peruse the content I enjoy on the Internet which might be an audioboo by Christian Payne, or a podcast by Jason Jarrett, or an insight from Cathy McCaughan. I don’t need it shoved at me as it happens and if that is why Google killed Reader, they made a poor decision.

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Pseudonyms are silly May 9, 2013 8:40 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Communications, Technology
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Those of us in the bowels of the computer industry know the pursuit of anonymity is foolhardy. Then again, we are the ones who know how.

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Let the decluttering begin! January 27, 2013 10:38 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Communications, Daily Life, Gadgets, Hardware, History, Technology
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I am not a hoarder! I have grandiose dreams, great plans, a vivid imagination, and a vision of the future. Well, maybe I’ve held onto a little too much junk.

The boneyard

As horrible as that seems, there are a few treasures:

The US Robotics Sportster 1200 baud modem...demo #4

9:07pm last night I did say to Cathy, "I am willing to admit that I may have a problem."

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Gawker, Gizmodo and related sites break in Chrome and Firefox June 23, 2012 11:36 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Communications, Technology
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I have basically given up trying to read any Gawker Media sites. Most of the time, they look like the picture below in both Firefox and Chrome. How do you read a Gawker Media site like Gawker.com or Gizmodo.com? Use Internet Explorer and that’s just not acceptable.

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WordPress Hooks, Actions and Filters – Modifying the Publish function January 4, 2012 10:38 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Blog, Communications, PHP, Programming, Publishing, Software, Technology, WordPress
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I’m writing a child theme to twentyeleven and want to modify the administrative post "Publish" function to do some additional processing during the saving of a new post. Does anyone know if there is a hook, action or filter that will allow me to extend the Publish function?

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