Stay Classy Internet (#RipTweetDeck)

Today, Twitter announced that they were going to kill off a bunch of non-supported, like 3 year old versions of TweetDeck. Now, they are not killing off TweetDeck. But OH MY GOD, if you believed the internet today, you’d think that it was the end of the world, and that they’d killed ALL versions of TweetDeck.

I saw the #RipTweetDeck hashtag start popping up in my feed and naturally, as a TweetDeck user, was like “OMG! NO!” But… Rather than jump into the fray, cooler heads prevailed and I did the 3 seconds of internet research that these people probably didn’t take the time to do. After seeing nothing in Google Reader (I’m subscribed to a number of tech press) I fired up AllThingsD’s site. I saw that they had a post talking about it. A quick scan, and link click to the Twitter blog, I confirmed what I figured. The web, Chrome, and PC/Mac clients are staying. Everything else is going. And yes, they’re getting rid of Facebook integration, but honestly, it was the only client that still had it. (and there are other ways of posting to Facebook from Twitter.)

Now, this is where things got interesting. Apparently, people on Twitter, don’t like when you point out their fallacies in their hashtag. Oh did people have a fit when I pointed it out. Apparently, all these people who are kvetching are pre-Twitter ownership TweetDeck users.

So. Let me get this straight. You all are using a 3 year old version of TweetDeck and are getting mad at me for pointing out that they’re not killing off TweetDeck but merely making you upgrade to the current versions? Seriously? I think some of these people need to climb out from their rocks and join 2013.

You know, I wonder if these people are hanging onto Internet Explorer 6 too.

Ask questions. Blame not.

I’ve intentionally stayed away from the national news, Sunday morning talk shows, and quite a bit of social media today.  However, while I was away, it’s come out that the shooter’s mother was a gun collector, and she is now being made out to be a bad person for collecting the guns.

The way I look at it is this:  The mother being a gun collector, and the kids knowing how to use them are not an issues in itself.  Hell, I’ve shot a gun at a target.  The likely issue is this kid probably had mental health issues and wasn’t getting help for them because, well, our healthcare system sucks. It’s easier to buy a gun than it is to see a Psychologist in the US.  Look at the stats.  The majority of similar incidents were done by persons with untreated mental health issues. 

The vilifying of the mother is the wrong thing to be doing. We should instead be asking: if this kid had problems, why was he not able to see the specialists needed, AND HOW DO WE FIX THAT? A lot of people will frame this as just a debate on gun control.  While that is an important discussion to have, I think part of that needs to focus on the two questions I just asked.

Already, there is one mother who is working on opening this part of the discussion.  She penned a very heartbreaking and thought provoking piece called “I am Adam Lanza’s Mother” in which she talks about the issues that she has with her own 13-year-old son, and how she was basically told that the only way to get him help is to have him charged with a crime so that he is sent to jail.

I highly suggest you take a few minutes and read what she wrote.

Why is Palatine not on your map Mother Jones?

The is an expansion of a post that I made on Facebook this morning after reading this article over at Mother Jones.  This is meant in no way to overshadow the tragedy in Newton, CT.  This is merely my response to Mother Jones, and making a case for why I think the worst thing to happen in my hometown ought to be included on their map of mass shootings.

It doesn’t fit Mother Jones’ criteria to be included on their map, as it was a robbery, but here’s another example of gun violence: the January 8, 1993 Brown’s Chicken Massacre in my hometown of Palatine, IL.

Seven people were killed, execution style, in the cooler of the restaurant, including the uncle of one of my friends at the time. I think that Mother Jones might want to include some of these kinds of incidents on their map. Palatine fits every one of their criteria, except the fact it was connected to a robbery.

And I’m not gonna lie… I can pretty much still picture the scene. We drove past it on the way to go sledding as it was a January morning, and well, it was all over TV, as well as the horrendously botched investigation that went along with it.

This map, below, is context to illustrate how close the Brown’s Chicken was to my mother’s house.

Map

Here’s a link to it on WikiPedia if you want more information:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown%27s_Chicken_massacre

Dissenting Eagle: This is one of those odd situations

 

So I was browsing through the feeds this afternoon and stumbled upon a blog post from Jezebel. If you haven’t read the article, the main takeaways are that: 

1) Bristol Palin was riding a mechanical bull 

2) She was verbally assaulted by a drunk person over the views of her mother 

3) She used a rather homophobic insult as a retort to the verbal abuse

Now, I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m in no way a fan of Sarah Palin.  In fact, I can’t stand her at all.  Nor, really, am I that big of a fan of Bristol, especially since she seems to just be in the spotlight because of being her mother’s daughter and not for any meaningful contribution on her own.  But that doesn’t really mean, either, that I think the drunk guy was right for what he did.

This would be easier for me to write if Bristol hadn’t of called the guy a homosexual, since I honestly don’t think this guy was in the right at all.  Just because she’s Sarah’s daughter does not make it right for him to go off on her.  She, from what I’ve read, is not her mother, nor should she be expected to be.  Similarly, just because of who her mother is, does not make it right to verbally assault her.  (Even if the subject of the abuse was Sarah herself.)

Of course, I think Bristol could have handled the situation a lot better.  There was no need to insult the guy.  She could have just walked away and ignored it.  Of course, cameras for her reality show were rolling, so for all we know, this could have been a plant.  And well, the reaction could have all been for the cameras too.  Still, though, I know it makes for lousy TV, but she could have and should have walked away.

Oh…and the other thing that got me writing this is… After seeing her on the bull, I want to see her take a stab at the mechanical pepper at La Perla in Milwaukee.  Seriously, I can’t be the only one whose thinking that!  And that’d make for some entertaining television anyway.

If you want to view the video, it’s at the Jezebel site.

 

 

Commentary: ..and Cue the Google Plus is dead pundits

I love how everyone is prematurely putting the wooden stake in the heart of Google+. It’s amusing actually.

First it was Robin Wauters over at TechCrunch claiming the site was going down because they’d had a 41% drop-off in public posting. [1] (Though he stopped short of putting it into the DeadPool.) And now, today, in a post yesterday on Network World, I see that we have Paul McNamara freaking out because Larry Page hasn’t posted anything in public since the 15th of August. [2]

It’s not what you see, it’s what you don’t

Both of them have acknowledged that the possibility exists that while _public_ posting is down, _private_ posting may be going strong. That is what I’m seeing a lot more of.

I’ve had several friends post “polls” asking people what topics they were interested in, and in turn, have seen a lot more people limiting posts to only one or two of their circles. Basically, what we’re seeing, is that people are starting to treat sharing on Google+ as they would treat sharing over on Facebook. They’re limiting content to people who _they_ want to see it, and not, by default, posting everything to their public feed, as you would with Twitter status updates.

If everything was to be public, they wouldn’t have given us control

And that’s key. Google+ was designed from the start to allow you to pick and choose who you wanted to share with. Therefore, unless you have access to Google’s numbers (which I don’t) these writers, and everyone else, has no idea how well Google+ is doing.

Just remember: No matter what you think, Google+ is not dead until the fat lady sings.

References:

[1] Robin Wauters – TechCrunch: “Raise Your Hand If You’re Still Using Google+”
http://techcrunch.com/2011/09/15/raise-your-hand-if-youre-still-using-google/

[2] Paul McNamara – NetworkWorld/BuzzBlog: “Has Google’s CEO stopped using Google+?”
http://www.networkworld.com/community/blog/has-googles-ceo-stopped-using-google

Marquette is disappointing me right now

There’s a big controversy brewing on campus right now, and no it doesn’t involve the basketball team… It involves the hiring of a dean for the College of Arts & Sciences. A from what I can tell highly qualified and respected candidate, Jodi O’Brien, who was applying from another Jesuit institution, stood out as the top candidate in the search, and was offered the position according to a few sources that I’ve seen. (NY Times, HuffPo, Seattle PI, JSOnline)  But when the university did “further research” on her, they quickly withdrew the offer.  Why?  From all indications, it’s because she’s a lesbian….of course, Marquette won’t tell you that.

From the Seattle PI:

Nancy E. Snow, a philosophy professor who helped O’Brien hunt for houses in the area last month, said O’Brien’s work is not the real issue. “I think it’s all about her sexual orientation,” she told the newspaper.

The University’s official statement (video statement included), and what they’ve been sending out to all alumni who are complaining, is the following:

While this person has an excellent background, a record of achievement and a strong academic track record, it was decided after further analysis that this individual was not the person who could best fill this very important position.

…and from the NY Times:

Marquette, a Roman Catholic university run by Jesuits in Milwaukee, said the professor lacked “the ability to represent the Marquette mission and identity.”

It makes sense that they will point out that it’s her writings that were the reason for the withdrawal, and not her sexual orientation, because in Wisconsin, discriminating on sexual orientation is not legal.  It hasn’t been that way since 1982.  In fact according to WikiPedia, Wisconsin was the first state in the country to ban it.

I think this is a bullshit.  I, and quite a few alumni, are not buying Marquette’s statement on this.  I don’t think that her academic writings had anything to do with Marquette rescinding the offer.  I think that EVERYTHING had to do with the fact that she’s an out-and-proud lesbian.   And that saddens me greatly.  Marquette should know better.  Just because an applicant is a lesbian does not mean that she’s not able to lead a department.  And if her sexual orientation, or academic work, were really that big of a deal to the Catholic identity, why then is she currently employed by another Jesuit university?   She was obviously qualified enough to be offered the position in the first place, so why not put your money where your mouth is Father Wild and hire her.  You say the University doesn’t discriminate on sexual orientation in your recorded statement, and that there are other LGB (maybe T?) faculty on staff at the University….  So show us alumni that you know how to do the right thing.  Hire Jodi O’Brien.  Or don’t, and don’t come begging for money anytime soon from me.

One Two more things:

I’m glad to see that Marquette students are voicing their displeasure in this too, and standing behind her. (And here’s the Facebook group.)

As a MUTV alum, as much as I feel dirty linking to them….here’s the Marquette Tribune’s take on this.

Interesting QotD

How do you feel about the existing tax structure where you live? Do you believe individual income tax is the best way to raise funds or are there better alternatives?

I think it’s wholly unfair. Those who make gobs and gobs of money such as most of Wall Street (didn’t they just bankrupt the country??), upper management in companies, etc. and the mega corporations that are “headquartered” in this country though tax loopholes and use of off-shore tax shelters, etc. pay little-to-no income tax on their money, while the rest of us are left to foot the bill. (Ex: ExxonMobil has their HQ in like Bermuda or something and doesn’t pay the US Government a penny in taxes)

I think we need a serious revision in tax law in this country. One that more fairly shifts the tax burden onto those who can afford it, the people making larger sums of money and corporations, so that the middle and lower class individuals, families, and small businesses are not being unfairly taxed out of existence.

Individual income tax is fine. What we need is what I said above, a shift of the major chunk of the tax burden from the lower and middle class families and individuals, and small businesses, to the upper class families, individuals, and corporations who are paying less than their fair share of taxes, or no taxes, at the moment.

Predicting 2010

My predictions for 2010:

In technology:

  • Android will gain enough market share to pose a serious threat to Apple.  Blackberry, while still relevant in the enterprise, will quickly lose on the consumer side of the market.
  • Because of Android, and to a lesser extent Blackberry, Apple will be forced to make changes to the iPhone…
  1. They will end AT&T exclusivity.  Unfortunately the only other carrier that will offer the iPhone will be T-Mobile because they will not produce a CDMA version.  T-Mo’s 3G network, will also disappoint iPhone users.  Verizon, Sprint, US Cell, et. al. won’t offer it for a few more years when their LTE networks, and the 4G iPhone become available.
  2. They will be forced to abandon the App approval process, thereby opening up the iPhone platform to more developers in response to the sharp increase in available Android apps & Cydia apps for Jailbroken iPhones.
  3. They will abandon the notification system in the iPhone OS in favor of true background apps.  In typical Apple fashion, though, this will only be available to people who own 3GS and the new 3GS+ iPhones, leaving 2G and 3G users behind.
  • The iSlate will be a disappointment.  It will feature a “new” OS that won’t run any iPhone OS or Mac OS apps.
  • A revised Apple TV, Roku and Boxee boxes will gain market share and start to eat away at the cable companies, especially after the FCC releases new guidelines for set-top boxes.  The pending merger of NBC & Comcast will become meaningless by the end of the year.

In politics:

  • The FCC will pass net neutrality.  It will be completely not what AT&T et al want and will actually provide reasonable consumer protections.
  • After passing NN, the FCC will turn to abolishing consumption based billing for internet access as they reclassify ISPs as “common carriers.”
  • To spur rural broadband build-outs, the FCC will begin the process to force the separation of ISP from the lines coming into the house.  This will allow third parties to build the rural networks without telco intervention.   Congress will pass legislation to provide these companies subsidies, and money from the USF, to build the networks.
  • …however, the FCC will fuck up the last two royally.
  • We will see countless delays in the ENDA, and repeals of DoMA and DADT.  Because the Republicans will gain a few seats in the Senate we’ll see them crammed through and passed in the legislative session between the elections in November and when the new members take over.
  • Health Reform will pass both chambers of congress after going through conference committee.  Unfortunately, the bill will look a lot like the Senate’s version of the bill, will contain Stupak, and no public option.
  • However, in exchange for the public option in the bill, House Democrats will demand, and get, the following:
  1. A mid 2010 start date for the mandates that drop pre-existing conditions, demand equal coverage, etc.
  2. An immediate start to the “exchanges” by utilizing the existing exchange that is set up for Federal employees
  3. A version of Medicare-for-all in the exchange, that is basically the public option they dropped from the bill
  • On the plus side of all of this, there will be a swift rift that forms in the Republican party in this election cycle dividing the Beck/Palin supporters with the rest of the Party, Dems will make substantial gains in the House of Representatives, and the Republican party will be severely wounded as they go into the primary season for the 2012 Presidential elections.

Entertainment:

  • We will see at least one television network go bust by the end of 2010.
  • Or it will decide to drop it’s affiliates and go direct-to-cable
  • Leno-in-primetime will not be renewed.  NBC will trade out the 10pm hour to affiliates for a 5th hour of Today.
  • Most NBC stations will move their 11pm news up to 10pm. Some will expand it to 1:35, as NBC will keep the start time of Conan at 11:35.

Personally:

  • I will either change jobs or finally get my own production house off the ground.

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2009

So… Today is the Transgender Day of Remembrance. You might be asking “why am I blogging about this?” Well it’s simple… I’m blogging in support of friends. Friends who I worry about every day. Friends who I care for. Friends who I fear could end up being a victim of a senseless hate crime just for being themselves.

“just another dead fag
to you that’s all
just another light missing
on a long taxi ride”

– Tori Amos, “Taxi Ride”

Too many trans-persons are becoming victims of senseless hate crimes. In the past year, more than 160 lives were stripped from this earth. These are women and men who have families, friends, partners. And they all died just because they were being their true selves. For that matter, there is one name on this years list, who was killed not because he was transgendered himself, but because he dared to love and accept a transgendered woman. It’s sad really that this hate exists. The hate that would allow someone to take a fellow human’s life just because of who they are or who they love. It’s not right.

Edit @ 11am 11/20: Quick Note — This morning I’ve now seen 3 different numbers on the number of trans-persons killed. There is the 160 that I saw last night on Questioning Transphobia and reported here. This morning, however, Jenn Dolari is reporting 132 on her Twitter feed, and Pink News & The Bilerico Project are reporting 117. I’m not sure what the actual number is at this point, however, any more than 0 is too many.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger.
Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

– Master Yoda

He may have been just a movie character, but his wisdom is spot on in this struggle. The fear of differences is what cost these 160+ people their lives. Because the fear, brought hate, and the hate turned to anger and rage, and that then lead to the suffering. Not of the attacker…but of the victim, their families, friends, and the world at large.

We shouldn’t ever be hating or fearing the differences that people have. It’s the differences that we each bring to the table which make each one of us as a whole, the whole human race, better. We should take the time to learn. To talk. To listen. For then and only the will you see that each person is not that much different than you or I.

“I am beautiful no matter what they say
Words can’t bring me down
I am beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can’t bring me down
So don’t you bring me down today”

-Christina Aguilera, “Beautiful”

These 160+ souls should never have had their lives cut short. They were people with the potential to go on and do great things. Who knows what they could have been or become. The only thing that’s known is that they did not choose to be who they were, or to die at the hands of hate. I encourage everyone to please stop the hate in this world.

The names of the deceased for 2009 can be accessed here.

You can find more information on the Transgender Day of Remembrance here.

And I also encourage everyone to read this article that has a lot of sobering statistics about transgender related crimes, or at least to watch the attached video.

If you would like to know why I chose the lyrics I did, click here.