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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Angry Steve

Chris Ritke of 49Media

Bre Pettis interviews Chris Ritke of 49Media.

I enjoyed watching this video.

Chris also talks about his recording equipment at the end of the interview:

iriver ifp899
Sony Ecm-ds70p

The Standard Report

Got an interview request from The Standard Report about my video blog.

Here are their questions and my answers:

Name of video blog:

Steve Garfield's Video Blog

Where are you located?

Boston

What made you start vlogging?

I've been blogging since 1997 and on January 1, 2004 I decided to make a New Years resolution to figure out how to easlily combine video and blogging.

People had been posting video to the web for a long time, but including it in a blog post hadn't really been done.

Do you have a job outside of this video venture?

No.

How do you post/edit/ create your vlog?

I record video using either a Canon S400 or GL/2. I edit my videos using Final Cut Pro.

What blogs do you visit/what inspires you?

I use a program called FireAnt which aggregates and automatically delivers new videos to me each day. I subscribe to 201 video bloggers. They all inspire me. Some by sharing personal stories in a creative way and others by artistically presenting something visually which in turn evokes an emotional response.

How does your personality tie in to your vlog?

My vlog is me and I am my vlog. The two can not be separated.

What are the top three things that a person should think of before starting a vlog?

The top three things to consider, after deciding to make a commitment to regularly posting are.

1. How to record video
- You can record video using the video features of a lot of digital still cameras, or use a digital video camera.

2. How to edit
- There are many ways to edit video, if you even want to edit. Some people just record video clips on a cell phone and post them directly to the web. If editing, Windows PC's come with Windows Media Maker and Macs come with iMovie. QuickTime Pro also allows rudimantary editing.

3. Where to host
- You can choose to host your video on a free or paid service. My site FeeVlog, http://feevlog.com , lays out a lot of the options.

Do you have any pictures that I could use for the article?

Yes. You can use any pictures from http://stevegarfield.blogs.com

Or this:
http://homepage.mac.com/stevegarfield/.Pictures/steve_points.jpg

Watch My Yahoo!


This is interesting. If you subscribe to this site with My Yahoo!, it embeds a little TV with a link to the video from my earlier post.

Steve Garfield - My Autobiography

Wikipedia doesn't want people writing their own entries about themselves. They call it vanity. Why can't those that make history write it?

Who better to get the facts straight?

Maybe back in the old days you needed 'writers' to interview people in order to publish their stories on paper.

Not any more.

In case the Wikipedians decide to delete my entry, I've posted it here.

Steve Garfield - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"Steve Garfield is a United States-born non-celebrity, best known for his stint from 1997 to 1999 as a producer and wacky sidekick on the Karlson and McKenzie radio show. Since the mid 1990s, he has been active on the Internet. Garfield hand-coded his own blog from November 18, 1997 to April 1, 1999 as a daily update for Karlson and McKenzie radio show listeners. Garfield was the first paid BloggerPro account user and has been updating his weblog, Off On A Tangent, daily since November 9, 2000.

Garfield was born in Lynn, MA, but lived in Peabody from 1988 to 2000. There he got his first break in video broadcasting as the host and producer of the live weekly pop-music/video/call-in public access television program Steve's Show. He also hosted radio programs for colleges in the area including Amherst College, Salem State College, Smith College and Boston College, where he still fills in regularly.

In 1984 Garfield was one of the founding members of The Boston Computer Society's Macintosh User Group. He was its meeting coordinator, recruiting and scheduling guest presenters for its monthly meetings. Steve's work with BCS*Mac, along with other volunteers, led to the group eventually becoming the largest Macintosh user group in the world.

In 1995, Garfield became a presenter for WGBH's annual televised auction. While volunteering for WGBH, he produced and wrote scripts for over 100 video segments for the 2001 auction.

In April of 2002, Garfield began experimenting with putting moving images on the net consisting of still images set to music. In July of 2002, Garfield purchased a Canon GL/2 and the road to producing videos was opened. On July 24, 2002, Garfield put his first video up on the web, the now-forgotten 'Inside a trashcan.'

In January of 2003, Garfield discovered Sonrenson Squeeze at MacWorld San Francisco and wrote up a How To on his blog, for video editors using Final Cut Pro, who wanted to get their video on the web. He was also a key figure at BloggerCon 2002/3, held at Harvard Law School.

On January 1, 2004, Garfield made a New Year resolution to make putting video on the web easier, and documented it with a new video blog, and his video post, '2004: The Year of the Videoblog.'

On July 25, 2004, Garfield made his first video blog report from the Democratic Convention in Boston with the post, 'Here's my first DNC Video Report'

On November 14, 2004, Garfield created his first blog post with video as an enclosure in an RSS 2.0 feed.

On January 22, 2005, the first vloggercon was held in NYC. Garfield helped co-ordinate this free conference, which was the first face-to-face meeting of videobloggers.

On February 3, 2005, Garfield posted what we believe to be the first video blog post from a United States elected politician, Boston City Councillor John Tobin.

On May 27, 2005, Steve Garfield's Video Blog and The Carol and Steve Show joined Akimbo’s Growing Library of Programming.

On July 8th, 2005, Garfield co-ordinates and hosts the first Meet the Vloggers gathering at the Apple SoHo Store in NYC."
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

It works that way now

While walking the quaint streets of Nantucket I was approached by a reporter from The Inquirer and Mirror.

She wanted to know of I'd be willing to answer a question about the Red Sox. Sure. Not a problem.

Then I took out my camera to shoot some video of her.

I asked her to read me back the quote that I had just given her.

She says: "No, It doesn't work that way."

Sorry. Now it does. We are the media, not just you.

So she read back the quote, but it turns out that she didn't have it all. She was missing the end of what I had said.

Hmm. What would have happend if I hadn't turned the camera on her and asked her to repeat my quote. What would have been printed in the paper? Half a quote?

For the record, here's my cliche ridden quote:

"If the Red Sox dig deep and pull together like baseball teams that are destined for greatness, they're gonna win the series this weekend, and go on to the World Series."

I'll be getting a copy of the paper later today to see what got printed. ;-)

View this video clip on Vimeo.

UPDATE:
My answer to the question: The Red Sox will win this weekend's series against the Yankees if...

I'm a journalist
I'm a journalist. ;-)

Try the scallops and the BioAstin

We had a wonderful time last night at The Pearl restaurant in Nantucket.

The bartender, a former hockey player, was very entertaining. He could explain the all the items on the menu in such a way that you'd want to order everything off the menu.

We ended up splitting the Sautéed Day Boat Jumbo Sea Scallops,
Japanese Buckwheat Risotto with Edamame, Soy-Mirin Broth
Braised Baby Bok Choy & Mushroom Tempura, and got a side order of Shelled Soybeans with Indonesian Soy Butter.

In addition, we got a lot of stories, which made the dinner quite entertaining. At one point the bartender handed off a bottle of BioAstin (astaxanthin) to another patron. We overheard them talking about how BioAstin is a natural product that relieves joint pain. The bartender has personal experience with this product having taken it for four years to relieve his knee pain. It's produced in Hawaii by Cyanotech. He is so excited about BioAstin that when he was in Hawaii, he visited the factory, and a friend who has experienced the effects first hand has invested in the company.

This is one of those stock tips from a bartender that deserves more research.

Have you hear about BioAstin or used it? I'd like to try it and I'm sure that my mom would too.

You can buy BioAstin through Amazon.com:

Upload yor video dot com

Download.com Video is now accepting your videos. They'll check them out to make sure they adhere to their guidelines and if they're not popular they'll be deleted.
"...we may remove material that is rarely or never viewed. Successful videos may be hosted indefinitely, though this is always at the discretion of our editors."
Free has it's price.

"I'll do it, but only if you'll help me do it"

PledgeBank.com offers ways for people to volunteer, give money, or contribute with other people. Tom Steinberg, the Director of MySociety, explains:
"The way it works is simple. You create a pledge which has the basic format 'I'll do something, but only if other people will pledge to do the same thing'. For example, if you'd always want to organise a street party you could organise a pledge which said 'I'll hold a street party, but only if three people who live in my street will help me to run it.' If you are a parent you could say that 'I will help run an after hours sports club but only if 5 other parents will commit one evening a week to doing it '. If you are in a band you could say 'I'll hold a gig but only if 40 people will come along'."

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Watching the Red Sox (on Vimeo)


Watching the Red Sox (on Vimeo) by stevegarfield, uploaded from flickr.

View this video clip on Vimeo

Running around

COME TO THE RUMSPRINGA:
"The idea is simple: assemble, in real life, some of the people who use the textfiles.com site or its related sites (bbsdocumentary.com and all the *.textfiles.com sub-sites). Have it in a really nice place, in a function room set aside for the occasion. Let the chips fall where they may, conversation-wise, but have on the agenda a couple of short (30 minutes or less) speeches about interesting subjects for people to enjoy while having a drink or eating. Treat people with respect, and get treated with respect. Meet, learn, gain some insight, have some fun."
Sounds interesting.

Picture Perfect Nantucket


Picture Perfect Nantucket by stevegarfield, uploaded from flickr.

Stevie Nicks - Free Music

Stevie Nicks was just on the Today Show explaining how she dropped off iPods loaded with music to hospitalized Iraq war veterans.

She loaded the iPods with her own music and tons of music from her daughter's niece's computer.

Hmm.

I'm note sure record companies would be happy about this.

Katie, Matt and Al just stood there smiling.

If I was there I'd have asked her about the legalities of giving away all that music for free.

I believe in social science

Societies worse off 'when they have God on their side':
"... belief in and worship of God are not only unnecessary for a healthy society but may actually contribute to social problems."
Amen to that!

Online museums

boingboing has a post about online museums.


It reminded me that I have an online pinback button museum.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Hello, it's me, Ed Flynn

Phone rings.

Me: Hello.

Ed Flynn: Hi, this is Ed Flynn, candidate for Boston City Council ...

Me: Click

Hello Again

Phone rings.

Me: Hello.

Sam Yoon: Hi, this is Sam Yoon, and ...

Me: Click

Hello

Phone rings.

Me: Hello.

Patricia White: Hi, this is Patricia White, and ...

Me: Click

13th Annual Lupus Walk

I am writing to ask you to sponsor my participation in the 13th Annual Lupus Walk on the Charles to benefit the Lupus Foundation of New England. Making an online contribution is easy! Just click on this link

Your donation will help fund the important work of the Lupus Foundation of New England: supporting those living with lupus and their caregivers; educational and awareness programs, and funding of progressive medical research. Thank you, in advance, for supporting this cause. Your involvement does make a difference.

That's Not Right: Boston Water and Sewer

I just went to set up automatic payments over at the Boston Water and Sewer website.

Can't be done. D'oh.

Isn't it 2005?

One of the things I hate most is having to pay monthly bills by hand. It's invasive. I prefer to have everything done automatically.

The Boston Water and Sewer Commission allows you to pay your bills with CheckFree. CheckFree? Who uses that?

PayPal I could understand, but CheckFree? Please.

They want you to set up a new account with CheckFree in order to log on EACH MONTH to pay your water and sewer bill.

Hello?

My electric and gas bills are deducted automatically. Can you guys get on the bandwagon here?

In the meantime I went over to my Bank of America online account to pay this current bill online.

So to do that you've got to add a payee.

Search for Boston Water and Sewer... nothing comes up.

Brilliant.

I searched one more time and figured out that it's stored on the Bank of America site as Boston Water & Sewer. Lame.

Kelly Clarkson

I just added 'word verification' to comments on this blog because of spam comments like this:
I really liked the info on your site about Kelly Clarkson - nice work. I've just started my own Kelly Clarkson Secrets blog and would really appreciate you stopping by
Spam, Spam, Spam...

I hate blog comment spam.

Thank you for your help is stamping out blog comment spam.

A Boston Wine

In today's Boston Globe the editorial writers make sense by asking the Consumer protection Committee to protect consumers over special interests.

Wine online - The Boston Globe:
"The message to the Legislature ought to be simple and direct: If consumers can buy books, clothing, fruit, and all manner of things over the Internet and by mail, they ought to be able to buy wine. "
Let's get this going.

Bill #3386
Bill #3399
Bill #3407
Bill #3414

STATE SENATOR MICHAEL W. MORRISSEY
State House
Room 413-D
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: (617) 722-1494
Fax: (617) 722-1055


Here's my fax:
To:
STATE SENATOR MICHAEL W. MORRISSEY
State House
Room 413-D
Boston, MA 02133
Telephone: (617) 722-1494
Fax: (617) 722-1055

From:
Steve Garfield


Dear Senator Morrissey,
I read last week's Globe article about trying to restrict wine delivery to Massachusetts, and now they wrote an editorial about it saying that you are looking out for the wine industry over consumers.

They can take care of themselves.

The Supreme Court ruled on this already with protections for sales to minors.

PLEASE do not restrict wine sales over the internet to Massachusetts.

I visited a lovely winery in CA and they just delivered a wine to me via World Ship Net. It costs me something like $20 extra in shipping AND it takes a month longer to get here. So they can already send wine to Mass through intermediaries BUT it costs me a heck of a lot more and takes a month longer to ship.

Just let them ship directly to me. PLEASE.

Thanks,
--Steve Garfield
Please comment on this post with actions that you have taken on this issue. Thanks.

Shanah Tovah


Shofar Idol.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Evolution Schmevolution


onegoodmove: Daily Show, Evolution Day I.

Get out now

Why we Have to get the Troops Out of Iraq:
Basically, if all the US military in Iraq is capable of is operations like Fallujah and Tal Afar, then they really need to get out of the country quick before they drive the whole country, and the region, into chaos.

Even as they are chasing after shadows in dusty border towns, the US military is allowing much of Baghdad to fall into the hands of the guerrillas.

Not your mother's Sunday morning TV

Cole on the Middle East | evolvetv.tv.
Juan Cole and Markos Moulitsas Discuss the Middle East.
MR. MARKOS MOULITSAS: So now we look at the shifting alliances and, and conflicts in Iraq, and it’s – you almost need a who’s-who book to figure out who is with who and who is against who and it probably changes weekly and monthly. Can you give us an overlay if that’s possible, a fairly brief overlay of what the main players are and where they stand?

DR. JUAN COLE
: Well we now have a situation in Iraq where I think political parties are fairly important. And of course the personalities that lead them are as well. And so there are a finite number of the political personalities that one could speak about, to know the lay of the land. And the parties also have some class and regional bases, so one can differentiate amongst them.

If you start with the, the Shiites in the south. You have the movement headed by Muqtada al-Sadr, which is a ghetto movement. It’s a movement of poor young people mainly in desperate poverty in urban areas. I once compared Muqtada Sadr to Tupac Shakur, with his sermons being a kind of rap. And the gangs element also being rather important. And that’s what, when we talk about the Mahdi Army or the Shiite militia, Muqtada Sadr, you’re just talking about urban youth gangs with guns. That’s all it is. It’s nothing different from Crypts and Bloods.

MR. MARKOS MOULITSAS: Is it really generational? I mean it’s very young?

DR. JUAN COLE
: It’s very young.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Piano Factory

inmanstories.com:
"Chelsea, New York
Your opportunity to own a rare piece of New York architectural history awaits you. This historic landmark building was home to The Sohmer Piano Company for over 100 years, and has recently undergone a sumptuous renovation."
Sweet.

OneWebDay

Susan Crawford blog :: OneWebDay:
"Just as we have an Earth Day to celebrate and focus on the health of the Earth, we need a day to celebrate the health and diversity of the internet and our interactions online. OneWebDay, planned for Sept. 22 of every year, will provide a chance to do that."
via [ Berkman News ]

Hot Cover


Check out the cover of the new Rolling Stone:
"Little Girl Lost: Evangeline Lilly is the ultimate desert-island fantasy"
After speaking with the Media Literacy class at UMass/Boston and meeting with Holland from Cultural Farming, I've been forming a more critical eye, when it comes to consuming images that are being thrust at me daily.

There are a lot of them.

Sometimes it just takes words to craft an image.
I meet Lilly in the parking lot of an airfield on Oahu's north shore; she wants to go for a glider ride. Lilly is wearing a white shirt and white shorts. She'd be the perfect tennis-player pinup, except for the smudges on her arms: "dirt" makeup from the show that doesn't wash off easily.

"Want to go for a swim?" she says, and spontaneously strips off her clothes, revealing a green bikini and an extremely well-toned body that looks even better in person than on TV.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Experience the X appeal


KSSX | Power to the Playlist.

Understanding the images streaming into our brains

Media nipple - rethinking visual exploitation in a mediated world.

Fiji Responds

Fiji Water responds to the recent Globe article comparing bottled waters:
Dear Mr. Garfield,

Thank you for being a loyal FIJI Water drinker and for bringing your concerns about the recent story in the Boston Globe to us. Rest assured that we were not in direct contact with the reporter and believe that important information and perspective is not reflected in this story.
The story focused on comparing ozone-infused tap water to bottled water. In doing so, the Globe conducted lab tests including a comparison of levels of heterotrophic plate count (HPC). What is not clear in the story is that HPC is naturally occurring and that natural water, like FIJI Water, will typically have a higher level because it is not chemically treated. There has never been an association of any particular HPC concentration with a health risk. The suggestion that elevated levels would be due to an issue at the bottling plant is unfounded. The higher levels are normal because of the water’s natural origins and are not harmful.

FIJI Water is naturally pure and refreshing water. [We agree with you that FIJI Water is the best water in the world.]

FIJI Water is bottled at its source on the Fijian island of Viti Levu, through a hermetically sealed delivery system free of human contact at our state-of-the-art bottling facility where our filling equipment is thoroughly cleaned on a regular schedule several times each week.. No contaminant, pathogen or material harmful to public health has ever been detected in FIJI Water.

FIJI Water goes through rigorous internal and external testing to ensure the water you are drinking retains its natural purity and, of course, is safe to drink. FIJI Water complies with all regulatory requirements in the jurisdictions in which it is sold. Our primary consultant for water testing is MWH laboratories, a world leader in water quality testing.

FIJI Water is committed to stringent safe water practices. The water and all processes used to bottle and distribute it are carefully designed to protect its natural purity so that we may bring the very best water to our customers.

We hope this addresses any questions produced by this story. FIJI Water drinkers want the very best and with FIJI Water, this is what you are getting.

Sincerely,

FIJI Water Customer Service

FEMA and the buses of New Orleans

Daily Kos: FEMA subcontracting and the buses of New Orleans.

Did you get the memeorandum?

Dave Winer passes this along from Scoble: tech.memeorandum.

Looks interesting.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

evolvetv.tv: The Issue - Show 1 Preview

I want to share with you something I've been working on. It's a new internet talk show called The Issue and debuts at EvolveTV.tv on Sunday, September 25, 2005.

Markos Moulitsas of "Daily Kos" will interview Professor Juan Cole of "Informed Comment."

I was there during the taping and can tell you that it was very
informative. Markos did a great job interviewing Juan Cole, who
explained the situation in Iraq with such clarity that I came away from
the film shoot with a new understanding of the situation in Iraq.

Here's a short behind the scenes video from a documentary I'm doing on
the making-of...

Welcome to Amyville


I just had lunch with Amy from Amyville.

She was telling me that she gets vistors from all over the world. So I checked her stats.

Wow! They even visit from Roslindale. ;-)

First-person accounts

Katrina: A Defining Moment for Blogs:
The medium is no longer the message. The message, in fact, is now the message.
That's a quote I can understand.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

International Center Of Photography


The International Center Of Photography (ICP) has launched a brand new website designed to be a critical resource for anyone interested in photography.

I'll have to stop by their physical location when I'm back in NYC.

International Center Of Photography
1133 Ave of the Americas
New York, NY 10036

She's a steamroller baby

       
Watch Video 1   Watch Video 2   Watch Video 3
Big trucks were eating the street in front of my house today, then other trucks came and put fresh tar down, and then a steamroller rolled all over it.

It's going to be like a pretty patchwork quilt out there.

A Sweet Video Magazine

Stories.

Video equipment product demos

DV eStore Theatre.
Check out the Fig Rig.

Vlogging Literacy

Here are my notes for a presentation I'm making today, at UMass/Boston, to Nettrice Gaskin's Media Literacy 101 class.

We are the media - the revolution will be televised - Gabe McIntyre's intro to RSS and Vlogging.


We Are the Media - a blog on vlogging.

Why is vlogging different than just video on the web?
It's the powerful combination of blogging with video creation and distribution.

Syndication - RSS 2.0 with enclosures changes everything.
How to add an RSS 2.0 Feed to your Blogger blog.

Get Fireant
Video Aggregators - iTunes, FireAnt

Comments and conversations change media from being a passive experience.

Community - Videoblogging.info

Where to go to find vlogs
How to find vlogs.
Another list of places to find vlogs.


Vlog Map
Vlog Soup - A video tour through the vlogosphere.

Types of Vlogs
Blogs are for friends, families and the world.

Personal
- Steve Garfield's Video Blog
- Josh Leo's Vlog

News, Citizen Journalism, Personal Media Sites

- Rocketboom
- Minnesota Stories
- Evolvetv.tv - Solutions emerge from our judicious study of discernible reality.

News, Citizen Journalism, Personal Media Examples
- Song for Cindy Sheehan.
- Army's Birthday.
- Nightline visits berkman Blogger Meeting.
- How I would have edited the Nightline segment.
- 150 Feet.

Politicians
- John Tobin, John Edwards.

How to make a vlog

FeeVlog.

How to Promote Your Vlog.

Distribution - The democratization of media
- Akimbo - BBC, CNN, Steve Garfield
- DTV - Your own TV station on the internet
- OMN.org

Update 3:30 PM:

Here's that video I shot this morning.


View this clip over at Vimeo.com

How I got the video from my camera to the web:

1. I copied the video from my Canon S400 onto my Mac.
2. I had three videos, so I combined them using QuickTime Pro.
3. Then I exported then as QuickTime using the 3ivx codec.
4. Went to vimeo.com and uploaded
5. Grabbed a screen shot of the video
6. Uploaded that to my .Mac account
7. Edited this post to include the image with a link to the video

Note: Steps 5 and 6 are optional since vimeo generates code that allows you to embed a video directly in a web page, but that code makes the video load right away and I don't like to do that, prefering to only load the video when you click on it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Video: York's Wild Kingdom


Steve Garfield's Video Blog: The Carol and Steve Show - Episode 39: York's Wild Kingdom:
"Carol and Steve go on vacation to Maine and visit York's Wild Kingdom. Carol used to go there when she was little.

The park was closed, but that didn't stop Carol and Steve from exploring."
links for 2005-09-20

ROBOT BASTARD! - Watch The Movie


ROBOT BASTARD! - Watch The Movie.

The final song Priest 85 [ mp3 ] is by one of my favorite groups Irritating Rainbow.

I'm usually online

Online Status Indicator for AIM, ICQ, IRC, Jabber, MSN and Yahoo:
"Online Status Indicator is a service that lets you put a small image on a web page to show if you are online on AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, IRC, Jabber, MSN Messenger, and Yahoo Messenger. Use the default icons or create your own status icons."
via [ Jason Wallis ] a really great photographer.

Boston Sports Clubs and $46

9/16
Someone calls my 88 year old mother in law saying that I must call 877-560-9708 x4652 and speak with J Henry

9/16
I call the number and they won't tell me what company it is until I give them my phone number.

So I give in, and tell them my phone #. Then I find out that it's Boston Sports Clubs (BSC) collection agency, NARS, looking for $46 from May 2004

I explain that the account was closed and settled but they just want me to pay $46.

They say I should have gotten a letter last month.

I tell them that I got no letter.

I ask them to mail it out again. They refuse. I ask them to email it to me and they agree.

So I tell them that I'll call the club and get it resolved.

9/20
I have not gotten an email, so I call BSC and they direct me to client services. 1-800-666-0808.

When I call there the message says that if I'm calling about a call from NARS, to call them instead.

So I hang up and armed with my notes from when I canceled my club membership, I call NARS.

We discuss why I did not get a letter. Turns out they had the city wrong, it was sent to Sommerville.

They inform me that I last used the club on May 6, 2004 and canceled at month end and am being billed for the full month anyway.

What happened was, I was injured and could not use the club, so I canceled with Katlin. She forgave that last months fee.

Makes sense.

Now, I talk to BSC in NYC and they say, "there is no way that they can credit it."

They are adamant.

I ask, "Is there anyone else I can talk to?"

Sure.

They transfer me back to Boston.

I talk to Jessica she listens, and remembers Kristen, then transfers me to Gabe...

Now I'm on the phone with Gabe, He's looking it up...

Clock is ticking...

Time passes...

"So you say you cancelled..."

"I'm new here..."

"All the managers are unavailable..."

"Can I have one of them call you..?"

I say, "Sure. I've been dealing with you on this for over an hour and at my billing rates I'm loosing money over your $46 charge. I'm going have to start billing you for my time, then you'll be loosing more money."

Waiting for a phone call..

Time passes...

While waiting, I called the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Office.

Bottom line, if it's not in writing, I have to pay. Oh oh. Now I'm going to have to look for a receipt from last year.

Back later...

Visiting Three Old Friends

The J-Walk Blog

The Presurfer

everlasting blort

Monday, September 19, 2005

links for 2005-09-19

Tourism Ireland, music on


I like the music on the Tourism Ireland website.

Internet TV on your Mac

CocoaJT : L'info en images sur votre Mac !
CocoaJT plays TV and radio shows from around the world on your OS X screen.

Voters’ guide to the Boston City Council

I went online to find a list of the City Council At-Large Candidates for the September 27th primary election.

Finding something like this should be easy. It's not.

The Boston Election Department has a list, but it's in PDF format! That is lame.

I converted it to text for you.

Boston City Council At-Large Candidates

CITY OF BOSTON / CIUDAD DE BOSTON
CANDIDATES FOR CITY COUNCILLOR AT LARGE
CANDIDATOS PARA CONCEJAL MUNICIPAL GENERAL
for the/para las
SEPTEMBER 27, 2005 PRELIMINARY MUNICIPAL ELECTION
ELECCION PRELIMINAR MUNICIPAL SEPTIEMBRE 27, 2005

John R. Connolly 12 Shaw Street District/Distrito 6
Roy Owens 6 Woodville Street District/Distrito 7
Kevin R McCrea 218 West Springfield Street District/Distrito 7
Althea Garrison 644 Dudley Street District/Distrito 7 Former State Representative Representante estatal anterior
Stephen J. Murphy 933 Metropolitan Avenue District/Distrito 5 Present City Councillor at Large Concejal municipal general actual
Edward M. Flynn 254 Gold Street District/Distrito 2 Veteran Veterano
Sam Yoon 39 Waldeck Street District/Distrito 4
Gregory Joseph O’Connell 39 Arborough Road District/Distrito 5
Martin J. Hogan 12 Linden Street District/Distrito 2
Patricia H. White 1052 South Street District/Distrito 6
Matt O’Malley 1385 Centre Street District/Distrito 6
Joseph Ready 27 Saint Stephen Street District/Distrito 8
Laura Garza 86 Orient Avenue District/Distrito 1
Michael F. Flaherty 1726 Columbia Road District/Distrito 2 Present City Councillor at Large Concejal municipal general actual
Felix D. Arroyo 5 Wharton Court District/Distrito 5 Present City Councillor at Large Concejal municipal generalactual

Bullet Voting
In the 2003 election Felix Arroyo spoke with the Boston Phoenix about bullet voting:
"Last time, Consalvo had a lot of bullet votes," Arroyo explains. In the at-large election, a voter can select up to four candidates because there are four spaces to fill; a bullet voter marks just one, thus guaranteeing a vote solely to that candidate and denying votes to any others. Arroyo’s suggestion is that, without the bullet tactic, Consalvo’s voters would also have voted for him in the previous election and will support him this time. (Consalvo denies asking for bullet votes in 2001.)

Those bullet votes are the stink bombs of the at-large race, and no candidate wants to be caught encouraging their use. But Arroyo is allowing his political ally Chuck Turner to call publicly for an Arroyo bullet vote, and doesn’t denounce it. "People have to do what they feel they ought to do. I do not encourage it or discourage it," he says.
I find this interesting.

I was never taught how to vote. Political junkies understand all the ins and out of voting, but I'd never really taken the time to think about bullet voting.

I would guess that many people, when presented with a ballot that says, "select up to four", would do just that, meaning that if they've got four votes they figure that they probably should use them.

Some voters go in and vote for only those candidates that they know something about, making an intelligent choice based on their knowlwdge of the candidates.

Other voters use the bullet voting technique and use just one of their four votes, giving their vote more weight since it's not diluted by three other votes. The mathmeticians out there will be able to explain this much better then I can.

Off On A Tangent Endorsement
Off On A Tangent endorses Matt O'Malley for City Council At-Large.

Give him all your votes. ;-)

Absentee Ballot
And don't get me started on finding out how to cast an absentee ballot. Again, the information is in PDF format over here. The web page says:
If you would like to vote by absentee ballot, you should download the Absentee Ballot Application, complete it and mail it in by the deadline.
Deadline. What deadline? It's unclear.

I read the PDF. It says:
This application must be received by noon on the day before the election.

The ballot will be mailed to you. You can then mail the ballot back to the city or town clerk or you (or a family member) may deliver the ballot in person to the city or town clerk.
.
Hmm. Interesting.

The City of Boston's web page should have been included in that voting rights lawsuit.

It's a disgrace. If English speakers can't figure it out how do they expect Chinese and Vietnamese speakers to?

On an ease of use scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being best, the City of Boston's web site rates a 1.

I'm being generous.

One Billion Dollars Are Gone

Independent: What has happened to Iraq's missing $1bn?:
"One billion dollars has been plundered from Iraq's defence ministry in one of the largest thefts in history, The Independent can reveal, leaving the country's army to fight a savage insurgency with museum-piece weapons."
via [ Atrios ]

Juan Cole has this today too.
Americans should be outraged at this news, which has now been reported twice by fine journalists in Iraq, but which has not become an issue in American politics. The embezzlement at the ministry of defense left the Iraqi military poorly equipped, and greatly delayed the moment at which it could take over from the US in providing security to the country. The embezzlement is directly tied to the Iraqi government losing control over its own capital, as reported here yesterday. The scale of it matches Saddam's kickbacks in the oil for food scandal, but the US journalists who were so outraged at the former don't seem to have the time of day for the embezzlement story.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

It is very bad.

Security Situation in Baghdad Sinking like the Titanic.

TV is evolving

On Friday I was in NYC filming a behind the scenes documentary on evolvetv.tv. [ The site goes live tomorrow ]


  Photo by Jason Wallis

Derek Wallis writes about it on the evolvetv.tv blog:
On Sunday September 25th, Markos Moulitsas will interview Professor Juan Cole to discuss Shia Islam and the catastrophe in Iraq.

On Sunday October 2nd, Duncan Black will interview Professor Paul Myers on the pernicious attempt to inject religious dogma into our children's science classes.

Now, both interviews have already been shot and the material is nothing less than amazing. Nothing like this has been produced for the mass market before. We approached Markos and Duncan with the idea for a few different reasons:

1) they're honest
2) they're intellectually curious
3) they have a demonstrative ability to attract viewers

Dr Cole and Dr Myers are genuine experts in their field, not pundits. The subject matter is riveting.
The first show goes live next Sunday. Stay tuned.

DVDSVCDVCDCVDVOBDivXXviDH.264PSPMP4MOV

ffmpegX a DVD, SVCD, VCD, CVD, VOB, DivX, XviD, H.264, PSP, MP4, MOV encoder for Mac OSX:
"ffmpegX is a Mac OS X graphic user interface designed to easily operate more than 20 powerful Unix open-source video and audio processing tools including ffmpeg the 'hyper fast video and audio encoder', mpeg2enc the open-source mpeg-2 encoder and multiplexer and mencoder the mpeg-4 encoder with subtitles support."

Heterotrophic plate count tests high

Water wars - The Boston Globe:
"None of the five waters tested showed any trace of coliform bacteria, which can be an indicator of E. coli. But a heterotrophic plate count test, which indicates whether conditions are ripe for bacteria growth, showed Fiji water with an estimated 1,800 colony-forming units per milliliter. The recommended maximum is 500 colony-forming units.

Paul Tierney, director of the food protection program at the state Department of Public Health, said the higher level does not necessarily indicate a health risk, but possibly a sanitation problem at the bottling plant. He said tests by his agency have found levels as high as 2,500 in some bottled waters.

Heterotrophic plate count levels are sometimes higher in bottled waters that are not disinfected and exposed to higher temperatures before consumption.

Officials at Fiji water could not be reached for comment. The lab officials who conducted the tests for the Globe said they were confident of the results."
Why couldn't Fiji Water be reached for comment?

They seem to have enough contact information on their site:
1.877.H2O.FIJI
1.877.426.3454 (toll free within the U.S. and Canada)
0800.056.4137 (UK)
1.800.880.443 (Australia)

Address
FIJI Water, LLC
11444 West Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA, 90064
USA

Puritans Rule?


Pass the pinot: Buying wine from home may get harder - The Boston Globe:
"Unlike most other states, Massachusetts is considering making it harder to buy wine online or through the mail."
On Monday I am going to be making a lot of phone calls about this.

JOINT COMMITTEE ON CONSUMER PROTECTION & PROFESSIONAL LICENSURE
Room 540 State House
Boston, MA 02133.
Telephone: (617) 722-2090

New Orleans: Need and response proved out of sync

NOLA.com: Initial confidence rooted in ignorance.

This computer is not authorized


When I try to play Raymond's video G&B #3, I get a pop up message from Apple saying:
This computer is not authorized to play "gb3.mov".

If you purchased this song you can open iTunes and authorize this computer to play this song by entering you Apple ID and password.
Then it prompts me to open iTunes. Guess that I too need to purchase the song that Raymond used if I want to hear it. Is that right?

My first encounter with Apple's Digital Rights Management (DRM) ...

The Singularity is Near

New Media Musings: Review of Ray Kurzweil's 'The Singularity is Near':
"The Singularity itself will occur not in some distant Buck Rogers century but in the year 2045. That's right — during our lifetimes (if you're 50 or younger). By then, he writes, 'We will transcend biology — but not our humanity.' He estimates that the nonbiological intelligence created in that year will be one billion times more powerful than all human intelligence today."

I want my stimTV


stimTVnetwork™:
"The stimTV™ network is built on free content provided by media owners in exchange for the promotional and marketing benefits they receive for the exposure of their media or products on the network."
If you click the above link, a guy starts talking to you about stimTV, so you might want to put on headphones if you're in an office.
via [ Reinvent TV ]

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Where am I?

plazes.beta:
"Plazes is a grassroot approach to location-aware interaction, using the local network you are connected to as location reference. Plazes allows you to share your location with the people you know and to discover people and plazes around you. It's the navigation system for your social life and it's absolutely free."

Story Structure 106: Five Minute Pilots


Story Structure 106: Five Minute Pilots:
"This model of story structure must never, ever be defied. Just kidding. But it comes in really handy when you're stuck."
I just visited Channel 101 and saw that Dan Harmon has reviewed his story structure tutorial.

I enjoyed reading it the first time, so maybe you'll l ike this summary...

Impeach Bush


Heard the Word of Blog?

Read the blook

hackoff.com:
"New York, NY -- April 1, 2003 – (BUSINESS WIRE) hackoff.com (NASDAQ:HOFC) announced today that the company’s Chairman and CEO, Larry Lazard, was found dead in his corporate office of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. The Board of Directors has selected the company’s CFO, Donna Langhorne, as his successor. Controller Lew Marigold will serve as acting CFO replacing Ms. Langhorne."
Tom Evslin is releasing his new book online. You can read it with a browser or feed reader, subscribe to it, tag it, comment on it, and link to it.

Get Ya Podcast Heah


New England Podcasting:
"Be part of the revolution. Check out 'casts from all over New England. These New England Podcasting shows rock, talk and make you laugh. Dig it."

Waiting for the train

It's Saturday morning and I'm at Penn Station in NYC sitting in the Amtrak waiting area.

It's 11:00 AM and I just went to the bathroom for the first time at a train station, while traveling alone in this post 9/11 world.

I mention this because most of the time, when traveling by train or plane, it's with my wife Carol.

This time I'm traveling on my own, and I've got two bags and a tripod. I've got a sweet seat with a power adapter, so I didn't want to give it up, and I didn't want to lug everything for a short trip to the bathroom.

So I asked a fellow passenger to watch my bag while I stepped away. He said he would, BUT he was only staying until 11:30. I told him I'd be back in 5 minutes.

As I made my way to the bathroom, I noticed police officers all around and then realized that I had just left unattended baggage! Oh my.

What if the guy I asked to watch my bags had to answer questions about the unattended bags? I'm sure all he could say was that someone that he didn't know, asked him to watch the bags.

At that point I'm sure that they'd evacuate Penn Station because of my unattended bag, and then I'd emerge from the rest room with a phalanx of police aiming their AK 47's at my head.

"Down on the ground," they'd yell.

While on the ground I'd realize that shoving my Powerbook power adapter into my suitcase with the wires hanging out probably wasn't the greatest idea.

Ordering a large cranberry juice at breakfast wasn't the greatest idea either.

That, combined with two cups of decaf coffee, lead to the unattended baggage ordeal, which ended up with me face down on the dirty floor of Penn Station.

"Let's see some ID," they'd yell.

As I would slowly open my wallet, they'd glance at the contents and immediately want to know why there were TWO Massachusetts drivers licenses peaking over their holding areas.

Note: I've got two licenses because we always order a duplicate for my wife and I always carry it in my wallet so she doesn't have to carry a pocketbook on the weekends.

"We've got something fishy over here!" I'd overhear the officer yell into a shoulder mounted walkie-talkie.

The next thing that would happen is that I'd be taken away for questioning and the bomb squad would be called in to destroy my suitcase with it's contents of shirts, shorts and camera equipment.

Upon questioning that'd want to know why I was in NYC. I'd explain that I was here to film a behind the scenes documentary for an internet TV show, evolvetv.tv. What type of show they wanted to know.

I'd explain as best I could that it was a talk show that was out to provide an alternative to the typical Sunday Morning talk shows. This show would feature intelligent conversations between the most respected authorities on a subject and a knowledgeable interviewer.

"We've got a liberal, atheist, artist over here. Code red! Code red! Get the Saudi Arabian torture express gassed up and ready to roll."

Oh my. Unattended baggage is a poor life choice.

That guy who watched my bags earlier, just asked me to watch his.

"Sure, no problem," I replied.

Time for my train.

What went wrong


Salon.com Books | What went wrong:
"In Anthony Shadid's extraordinary new book about the Iraq war, the Iraqis themselves finally speak. Their stories provide the most eloquent indictment yet of America's disastrous Middle East adventure."
via [ Juan Cole ]

Audio: Sound Seeing New York City


MP3 File

In the spirit of Adam Curry's Sound Seeing tours of New York City, here's a brief audio post detailing the walk from my hotel, the Hotel Pennsylvannia, over to breakfast at the Stage Door Deli, one of my favorite places to eat in NYC.

Enjoy!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Fact Not Fiction

I'm in NYC filming a behind-the scenes documentary for evolvetv.tv.

Right now the site is just playing music and displaying a logo.

On Monday, I'll be able to share more and the site will have more content.

Stay tuned...

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Vlog Soup: Episode 3


Steve Garfield's Video Blog: Vlog Soup: Episode 3:
"Thanks for watching Vlog Soup Episode 3.

From the recent batch of video blogs I've watched this past week, here are some of the ones that stood out."
Take a trip with me around the vlogosphere and watch some vlogs.

Video: New Mural At Zesto's


Steve Garfield's Video Blog: New Mural At Zesto's:
"New Mural At Zesto's

Boston City Councillor John Tobin went over to Zesto's Pizza and Grille and filed this video report on the new mural that was painted by the Mayor's Mural Crew and the kids from the new WGBH TV show Fetch!"

Beer Tasting


Steve Garfield's Video Blog: The Carol and Steve Show - Episode 38: Beer Tasting:
"We're lucky to live in Boston, home to two breweries, Sam Adams and Harpoon.

Carol and I were invited to a tasting of a new Harpoon 100 Barrel Series release, Framboise."
Mmm... Beer.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

UPS UPS

Power Play, Pt. 2:
"My new Uninterruptible Power Supply arrived today [UPS delivered my UPS. Ha!]"
via [ Pattie ]

Fort Smith: Hyper-local To Be

Clint Sharp is bringing the new media world to Fort Smith:
Being a new media proponent and someone who is excited about how self-publishing is changing the world, I’m a strong proponent of the fact that it’s now possible to have interesting content published in a hyper-local verticals, and I want to bring that to area not known for its technology adoption. I want to drag Arkansasans kicking and screaming into the new media world of the 21st century and make it a place known for it’s adoption of new media publishing and subscription.
Sounds great Clint. Good luck.

Google Blog Search Finds Me


Google Blog Search is now live.

Try it out for video.



Works for me since my video blog is #3 in the Related Blogs area they have at the top of the search results page.

Even better, my video blog stands alone in a search for video blog:

Art Show Down


Art Show Down is an art-themed game show being produced and broadcast in Boston.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Lycos - Search Katrina Missing Persons Sites

Lycos - Search Katrina Missing Persons Sites:
"Hurricane Katrina has caused widespread destruction throughout the Gulf Coast, especially in New Orleans. As the flood waters begin to ebb, the region faces the challenges of rebuilding from this disaster and reuniting with loved ones.

Numerous sites are posting information about survivors and missing persons. In an attempt to help, Lycos will search these sites for information about victims of Hurricane Katrina."
Lycos is still around?