July 30, 2004

Beauty Contest Is Just About Beauty, Then?

CNN.com - Miss America pageant cans talent spots - Jul 29, 2004

Not much to say about this -- but it's interesting to note. Most pagents used this to point out that it's not about beauty, it's about being a rounded woman. Now...

Posted by Ted Stevko at 03:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Nokia 6600, T-Mobile, Bluetooth, and Internet Connection

A little note about T-Mobile, t-zones, T-Mobile Internet, Nokia 6600, and connecting your Mac OS X system to the net via Bluetooth: it's possible, but it's a little different.

Let me point out the original articles on this subject: Rael Dornfest's, and this other one. The point is, you can hook your Mac OS X 10.2+ machine to a GSM phone which has GPRS capabilities and Bluetooth capabilities, and thereby have a portable data source.

Most of the articles that followed up on this talked about T-Mobile. The reason? T-Mobile has unlimited access for $5-$20/month. That's it, it's cheap.

A huge confusion that I had to figure out was the terminology: half of the articles talk about t-zones, half talk about T-Mobile Internet. And T-Mobile's site is not too hot on details. But Google, once again, has provided an actual answer, in the form of this page: dcDan's "Not a Blog"-in-French blog explains all. To sum up: t-zones is meant for WAP access only, so it only has port 80 open for the $5/month one, port 80, port 443, the S/IMAP ports, the POP3 port and the SMTP port for t-zones pro, and everthing open for T-Mobile Internet.

Another source of consternation was that both sets of instructions above have a couple of problems with them for the Nokia 6600 -- just differences in the technology. Rael's article is on the Nokia 3650, the other is a more general, but geared towards the Sony Ericsson T610, so it's not a surprize that the Nokia 6600 varies a little.

Setting up the phone is a critical step. From dcDan's web site, I'm copying the instructions he posted:

  • Go to the "Connect" folder and open "Bluetooth" set the following menu items.
    • Bluetooth: On

    • My phone's visibilty: Shown to all

    • My phone's name: What you would like to name it, for this example my is named Granola

  • Leave the connect folder and go to the "Tools" folder and open "Settings"

  • Move to "Connection" and choose "GPRS" and set the following

    • GPRS connection: When available

    • Access point: internet2.voicestream.com (if you have t-zones this will be wap.voicestream.com)

That last one isn't listed most places, and it's crucial. I couldn't connect until I found that posting.

Another problem, I'm finding that the GPRS CID string (see step 7 in Rael's posting above) is wrong. I found two things to work: either the name of the access point (for t-zones, "wap.voicestream.com"; for T-Mobile Internet, "internet2.voicestream.com". Note that voicestream.com is T-Mobile's general internet access point; "internet.voicestream.com" is their access point for PCMCIA cards without VPN access, "internet3.voicestream.com" is their acceess point for phones and PCMCIA cards with VPN access). If you use the web names, use one of Ross Barkman's Nokia scripts.

The other thing that works is dcDan's explanation, which uses "*99#" for the CID string. If you use *99#, use the Nokia Infrared found in Mac OS 10.3.4 (it may be in earlier versions, but I couldn't say for certain.) I found, though, that using the *99# version was slower than the web name, by about 1/2 to 1/3. It could well have been my connection, but I was getting up to 30kbps using the web name, and only 10kbps using the *99# setting.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 03:12 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 24, 2004

An Awards Show I Could Happily Watch

The Tonys are passe, the Grammys barely register, and the Academy Awards usually make me fall asleep. But, tonight, I've found an awards show I can get behind: The World Stupidity Awards, found by way of This Modern World.

It used to be a dream of mine, and now, I find it's a reality. What a great world it is.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 11:30 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 14, 2004

Atlanta Sherriff Candidate Jailed For Influence Peddling

Forsyth sheriff candidate charged with influence peddling (NOTE: login required, see BugMeNot for login information.

As if we're not already swamped with enough problems with our city jail and the sherriffs, now one of the candidates for Forsyth county's sherriff's department is in jail for "influence peddling".

The sole candidate opposing the incumbent Forsyth County sheriff has been arrested by FBI agents on charges that he promised contracts and political favors in exchange for money if elected. The federal criminal complaint against Gary Allen Beebe, 43, states that between September 2003 to on or about July 8, he promised business contracts for the towing services for Forsyth County, the bonding companies for the Forsyth County Jail, the operation of the DUI school and "permission to rob known drug dealers in Forsyth County that have eluded law enforcement without threat of prosecution."

During one conversation with an FBI witness, the witness asked Beebe what would happen if he "put a cap" on a person the witness felt had wronged him and "Beebe commented that it would be an unsolved murder," according to the complaint.
Officials with the U.S. Attorney's office said they caught conversations on videotape.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 05:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 13, 2004

Two Different Gay Marriage Amendments

Salon.com News | Senate Republicans prepare two versions of marriage amendment

OK, to sum up: there's two amendments being proposed now. One's the "simple" one, which denies any union except between a man and a woman. The "complex" one leaves room for civil unions.

I heard today Rick Santorum proclaim that he was against gay marriage because "it will erode the sancity of marriage".


Frankly, marriage as an institution has eroded already prior to this. 50% of all current marriages end in divorce. Marriage is not a permanent institutuion. In fact, if anything, allowing gays to marry will bring back some of the sanctity of marriage; people who have had to fight to gain the right will treat it with more respect.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 08:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Life Hacks

The Farm: The Tucows Developers' Hangout :: [TGIF] Life Hacks

Interesting post by Accordion Guy on Danny O'Brian's Life Hacks web site. Life Hacks was a presentation I wish I'd seen, given at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference. Fortunately, Cory Doctorow took notes, which gives some interesting thoughts on how highly efficent hackers do their work. It's definitely worth a read.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 07:49 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Taking Responsibility

Lay rejects blame for criminal conduct he wasn't aware of - Jul. 12, 2004

A dilly of a news item; Ken Lay says he's responsible, but that he's not to blame.

Former Enron Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Kenneth Lay said Monday in a television interview that he takes full responsibility for events at Enron -- both the positive and negative -- but denies he is to blame for criminal conduct that caused the collapse of the Houston energy giant.

Let's talk for a second about "responsibility". It's not a catch-phrase. It's not something you can just throw around and say. It's a way of identifying who is the person who will be the one to get the congradulations or the blame on a given project. It's a way of identifying who leads, who will be the head, and who will make the decisions. It's a way of making sure that if things go wrong, it won't happen again.

In other words, you can't say you're "responsible", and then say that it's not your fault. If you're responsible, it's your fault. He is to blame for hiring such incompetent people that they're now in jail. That's what being responsible is.

Now, as to criminal blame; maybe *there*, I could see that Ken Lay believes he's not to blame, if he didn't know. But this massive, massive amount of conniving, double-dealing and three-card-monty of companies is so extra-ordinarily wide-spread in the company, that Ken Lay either had to know, or was patently ignoring his job. If he knew and was ignoring what was happening, then he's criminally complicent. If he's ignoring his job, then he's criminally negligent. Either way, Ken Lay's guilt is pretty easy to see.

Saying your responsible, despite what Richard Clarke did, isn't a universal salve on a bad situation. Saying it in the same breath you claim innocence is just childish.

Posted by Ted Stevko at 07:45 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 06, 2004

Virtual Notes To A Real Workd

Proboscis | SoMa | projects | urban tapestries

Now *this* is neat; basically, people create virtual sticky notes for a set of GPS coordinates, and then leave them there for anyone else with the same system to find.

Imagine walking around a city with an entire city's worth of memories about a particular spot. You walk to a spot with no particular memories, and find loves won, loves lost, joy, heartbreak, and anger all in one spot that you never knew about.

Or walking about to find some treasure map... and the only clue is knowing where the right location to stand is.

"Bob stood on a spot accidentally, at just the right time of day, and suddenly his sticky pad rang. He turned it on, and read the following message: 'It's been 10 years. Follow my directions exactly.'"

Posted by Ted Stevko at 09:37 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack