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July 29, 2003

Erghhhh

My connection to the net at home as been spotty and it's bad because I've been spoiled with very good connectivity for the past 2-3 years. I was thinking about getting Vonage Voice over IP service but I can't do that with this kind of net connection.

Slashdot has an article a post about hardly anyone caring about the problems with electronic voting. Recently there has been news about researchers being able to stuff ballots on some of the new electronic voting machines.

I don't think many people care because of a couple of reasons. One, the mainstream media hasn't picked up the coverage. Saddam's dead sons, Bob Hope, and a bunch of other news stories have clobbered it. Two, people are really reduced to the lowest common denominator in general. *Why* should people care about corporate corruption, electronic voting fraud, the RIAA, or idiotic legislation? The reason why is because people don't feel like they have any power and quite frankly I think that most people are more content to bitch about something and say "Gee, that sucks" rather than talk about issues that require THEIR action.

Ok I'll step off the podium because I admit, I'm guilty of not doing enough on my end either.

Posted by beamz at 10:25 PM | Comments (2)

July 28, 2003

Enjoying that money from our tax cut?

Salon.com Technology | Don't sweat the small stuff

From the article:

"Do you remember that $127 billion surplus we were all wondering how to use? Yeah, only two years ago. And how OMB had estimated the surplus would be $334 billion by now?

Well, it's the darnedest thing. We just released new figures showing a deficit. Yeah, that's right, a deficit. Oh, about $455 billion."

Posted by beamz at 11:15 AM | Comments (0)

July 27, 2003

Going My Way

I'm not too sure if the title represents how things are going right now. It's too much of a toss up.

Anyway Kris's boss let us borrow Going My Way with Bing Crosby. It was a good movie and it would be fit to sit up on my shelf alongside Casablanca, Maltese Falcon, Citizen Kane, Double Indemnity, and others. It was one of those "feel good" films which are nice to watch every once and awhile.

Now a little bit of light on the "I'm numb" post. I'm passionate about my career and one of the most important things to me is doing a good job. Lately things have been a roller coaster but hopefully over the next month or two, things should settle down a bit. After all of the ups and downs, I try to distance myself but it's difficult.

Posted by beamz at 9:42 PM | Comments (0)

July 22, 2003

Misc. Events

1) Ordered Dual 2GHz Apple G5. (Won't get here for 2 months)
2) Little brother will be visiting week of August 8th.
3) Busy @ work.
4) Launched new galleries (old photos, new software).

I heard someone reciting George Carlin humor today at work while we were waiting around for our Internet connection to be fixed. He said something to the affect of, "Everyone driving faster than you is a maniac and everyone driving slower than you is a complete idiot."

Posted by beamz at 10:07 PM | Comments (0)

July 21, 2003

I've become so numb...

Taking a line from Linkin Park's song "Numb", I've become so numb...

I think it's quite the opposite but I feel like I'm bouncing between liveliness and numbness. I watched "The Hours" yesterday with Kris and for some reason I still struggle with things happening lately. It seems like a roller coaster this summer. The movie was great, I found a way to appreciate the pursuit of meaning in life. Almost drawing you in and forcing you to consider what you're here for. It's also about enjoying "the moment" and not getting stuck in the endless pursuit of "the moment" or "chasing the dragon" as some drug users have said.

Posted by beamz at 10:21 PM | Comments (2)

July 20, 2003

Death and Suffering

My stepmother's mom passed away today. My dad usually makes his weekly phone call to me from Thailand and we talk about the usual. "How's work, how's school, how's Kris, how's the economy," in no certain order. My grandmother has been sick for awhile and my dad even brought it up. She had been on a breathing machine for awhile and after I asked about it, I was reminded how my grandfather was hooked up to life support systems until his heart just gave up. We're talking 2-3 years at least.

See the double-edged sword my family deals with is that in Thailand, we have easy access to health care. My father is a director at a hospital, my uncle is the CEO of another and most of my family is made up of physicians. All I could muster up on the phone call was a subtle comment of, "Faced with tough decisions huh?" People shouldn't suffer but as they progressively get worse, it's harder and harder to draw the line.

For some reason or another, I know my grandmother didn't suffer much.

Posted by beamz at 11:23 PM | Comments (0)

July 18, 2003

Bloomington Indiana library refuses to load porn filters

Bloomington library rejects porn filters

According to the AP, the Bloomington, Indiana library voted 7-0 to not install content filtering software. Due to a Supreme Court ruling, they stand to lose $5,217 in federal funding.

I'm glad they made this move. It has always been the responsibility of parents and citizens in general to teach others about being responsible. This rejects the idea that a company can do it for us better. The library said it wasn't opposed to filtering in general but said it should be limited to a couple of computers if it is installed. They also educate patrons about responsible internet usage.

Some tasty tidbits:

"I don't like being bribed," said Kent Owen, vice president of the library's board of trustees, which Thursday voted 7-0 against filtering Internet access.

"We can no longer act as a chaperone or guarantee that children will not be exposed to what is vile ... or evil," he said.

Posted by beamz at 11:38 AM | Comments (0)

July 16, 2003

More About Me

I was discussing how I love Thailand so much and I consider it more of a "home" than the states even though I've grown up here in the U.S. Anyway, I spent 1/3rd of my life in Thailand and I love Thai culture and the value system.

sniffles asked me what I liked about Thai values and all I could say was this, "Well, respect for elders, emphasis on doing things on your own and that nobody owes you anything." It's a generalization but it's a feeling I personally get when I'm there. A lot of it may have to do with the huge gap between the have's and the have-nots.

I'll try to post more about me. I'm an open book pretty much.

Posted by beamz at 10:43 PM | Comments (0)

House committee votes to block FCC media ruling

Panel Votes to Block Media Ownership Rules (TechNews.com)

In an interesting turn of events, the house voted 40-25 against the FCC's rule regarding media ownership rules. This is good news as more media consolidation is bad and I'm curious to know if the Moveon.org and other online campaigns made a huge difference or not.

Posted by beamz at 1:50 PM | Comments (0)

July 14, 2003

Siemens phone cam fun

phonecam1.jpg

I've been playing with my new Siemens S56 and the IQP-500 snap-on camera I bought the other day from gsmphonesource.com who by the way is a great resource for getting the latest cell phones and accessories.

The cam takes 640x480 and 160x120. It's not nearly as nice as Joi's 1 megapixel Sony cell phone but that kind of cool stuff isn't here in the states.

Posted by beamz at 10:17 PM | Comments (0)

July 13, 2003

Our Grand Ole' Economy

All throughout Arianna's book Pigs at the Trough she talks about the huge breaks corporations get for moving their headquarters offshore to Bermuda and it's as simple as opening up a P.O. box. The Agonist caught some news from Bob Graham and his views on the economy.

A post from The Agonist:

Graham pushed for a balanced budget. When pressured on how he would acheive this, he stated that he feels that since the past few generations have not balanced the budget, they have been passing deficit on to their children and grandchildren. Graham feels this is unacceptable and as such says it is time for sacrifice, just as we have sacrificed in the past, for example, to finance World Wars I and II. These sacrifices will come in the elimination of most of the Bush tax cuts and possibly the elimination of off-shore tax breaks.

Posted by beamz at 1:52 PM | Comments (0)

July 11, 2003

Jazz Kitchen

I'm still holding off on putting a piece together regarding digital trust, id's, and administration.

Tonight we went out with a couple to the Jazz Kitchen which is a great place to hear live jazz acts and eat some great food. Unfortunately we did this after we had worked out and so I got tired around 10pm. I did realize what a nice environment it is to blog/write in so I'm going to try that sometime.

Posted by beamz at 11:06 PM | Comments (0)

July 9, 2003

iDentities

This is more of a teaser than anything but I will get into some detail regarding the whole concept of trust, decentralized digital iD's, and networking tomorrow sometime. The goal is to throw some alternate ideas on the table maybe a bit different from what some of the folks have been discussing the past couple of days at Supernova.

Posted by beamz at 11:54 PM | Comments (0)

July 7, 2003

Rich get richer, we pay their taxes

[ via Doc Searls ]
John Edwards has something to say about who will be paying the taxes if things continue their already unstable course. It's the story about tax cuts for the rich but the post seems to present itself as a complete package. It summarizes the effect of what Arianna Huffington writes about in Pigs at the Trough. If I would have read John Edwards' piece, I would've read Arianna's book sooner.

To set some things straight, I don't think Republicans are completely to blame for the fattening of the pigs. It's greed and corporate interests wrapped in an American flag. Everyone certainly should have the opportunity to get filthy rich but not at the expense of me or other hard workers. In fact, this article on cnn.com talks about a project at the MIT Media labs that aims to form a massive information repository on people in our government. For now feast your eyes on opensecrets.org if you're curious about who donated money to your elected official's campaign.

Posted by beamz at 2:38 PM | Comments (0)

July 6, 2003

The Real Me

I must confess.... I've hated my name since day one so I tried to pick something that sounded cool like "Ed" or "beamz" but now I will come clean. What made me come clean is fixing a toilet for the first time and replacing a broken deadbolt. Fixing crap can make you one proud husband.

My real name is Francis Umberto Clayton Kincaid III. What's your real name and what nickname are you hiding behind?

Posted by beamz at 8:10 PM | Comments (3)

July 5, 2003

Giving: Extra Money or a Kidney

Ok, so the internet is great right? Computers and technology provide all of these neat distractions.

Let's switch gears here. I've been a very fortunate person and the stuff I've had to deal with lately is small fries compared to living life in Afghanistan, parts of Africa, and other places.

A friend recommended The Ends of the Earth: From Togo to Turkmenistan, from Iran to Cambodia, a Journey to the Frontiers of Anarchy. I'm just starting to dive into it but it's supposedly about a journey to undeveloped countries. Countries plagued with corruption and other things that prevent people from getting the basic necessities to live like food and clean water.

Doc's blog had a reference to this post by David Winer. Dave Jacobs needs a kidney transplant and so if you're blood type O, there are links to info about becoming a donar. "The success rate for kidney transplants with living donors at UCSF is at 95% and the vast majority of donors suffer no long-term health problems."

Update:
Dave Jacobs had a kidney transplant December 3rd and is doing well. He promised to post some updates soon. Most of the comments have been from people in developing nations wanting to give up a kidney for money which is quite unfortunate. Thankfully Dave was able to receive a kidney from a living donor and is recovering. I'm closing comments now to avoid the "Will give kidney for $20,000USD" replies.

Posted by beamz at 10:53 AM

July 3, 2003

Dumped

I'm going to wear my feelings on my shoulder for a second here. It's difficult to talk about this but it's part of what has kept me away from my blog and talking in general lately.

I pushed myself to apply for a position where I work. Initially I was skeptical and didn't put a lot of ambition behind it. Well I made the first cut which left me and a peer in the running. To try to make a long story short, this peer is a fantastic person and the group evaluating us said it was extremely difficult.

I wouldn't have felt as bad if they said I missed it by a long shot but the problem is that I missed it based on a 1hr presentation. I chose a different approach and I still think that if there were different people in that seat evaluating me, I would've gotten it. Kris worked extremely hard to support me and that tears me apart too. Now I'm going ot be working for an individual who I apparently ran neck-and-neck with. I don't know how I'm going to deal with it yet.

This post isn't meant to be whiney or sound like my employment situation is bad. Quite the contrary, I'm very fortunate to be where I am today and I put 110% behind it because I'm so passionate about my work. It obviously wasn't meant to be and I'm considering the direction I want to go next.

I owed people who came here semi-regularly an explanation about why I've been so silent for a month but that's about it. I just feel like I've been dumped by someone who I became madly in love with.

Posted by beamz at 10:41 PM | Comments (0)