ScottK - accept no imitations!
Friday, October 21, 2005
The Long Wait is over - Part Deux
Well, it finally came - the long-anticipated Microsoft Permatemps Settlement Check - but WHAT A LET-DOWN!
It wasn't as much as I had hoped for, but enough to at least get our bills current. To be honest, it was a little bit of a let-down to get alot less than what we were hoping for, but we're thankful for what we did get and that it will keep us from having to file for bankruptcy while the doctors start to check me for Fibromyalgia and while we start the process for filing for SSI Disability for the 3rd time; however, since we don't know how long that is going to take, we're still frantically grasping at straws. What I believe is Fibromyalgia, along with the Radiculopathy of my left leg, is making it even more difficult for me to find work and have any hope of even being able to have a reliable-enough body to hold-down a job at this time. Imagine having the worst flu you've ever had, and then doubling it. My body feels like a steel rod that's been hit against steel - that continuous vibrating feeling, on top of the pain in every part of my body, the lack of energy and difficulty sleeping.
Consequently - and I hate to do this, but - I'm sending out the call for assistance and/or help again...I really hate to ask for help from anyone, especially total strangers, but we are in very dire & desparate straights right now, even after selling the house and moving.
So, if you have it in your heart to help a family in need, please go here. If you're an employer who is looking for a seasoned IT professional with over 25 years of experience in nearly all phases of IT, IS, MIS, DP & Networking, please feel free to download my Resume`
Saturday, October 08, 2005
Level3's new funding program: STRONG-ARM YOUR PEERS!
**man-synched from Alter-Blog**
In a scenario reminiscent of the movie "Wall Stret", Level3 shunted all Internet traffic coming from one of it's peering point peers, Cogent, claiming that the bandwidth that Cogent was using at that peering point was excessive, and that Level3 wanted to charge more for that increase in bandwidth.
Since Level3's stock performance has been sour and their quarterly losses nearly trippled in previous reports, it's no wonder that Level3 is trying any way it can to shore-up it's revenue and make their P & L statement look more appetizing to investors and appear to be good enough-off financially to hold on to it's current shareholders - but using strong-arm tactics to basically extort a peering point for nearly 17% of all Internet traffic in the US is absolutely eggregious.
Instead of working these issues out, Level3 just turns off the Internet spiggot. Cogent, on the other hand, is offering 1 free years worth of service to Level3 customers who switch to an equivalent service with Cogent.
Welcome Level3 as the Internet's new bully.
See MSNBC's article below:
Internet traffic disrupted as providers feud - Tech News & Reviews - MSNBC.com
See Cogent's explanation below:
Cogent Status Page
More hillarity to ensure!
UPDATE: Per Cogent's status page mentioned above, it appears that Level3 got smart and didn't want any more negative press to affect it's stock price and restored the BGP Peering sessions with Cogent. Three cheers for Cogent sticking in there!!
The Long wait is over!!!
**man-synched from Alter-Blog**
Well, the word came down a few days ago, but the long wait is finally over...
I'M GETTING MY MONEY FROM THE MICROSOFT CLASS-ACTION SUIT!!!
Microsoft Permatemps payout
In case you weren't aware, there was a class-action suit against Microsoft that was filed in 1993 in behalf of those of us who worked at Microsoft as contractors (aka "perma-temps") through temp agencies and as stand-alone contractors. Microsoft settled to the tune of US$97million in 2000, and those of us in that class-action suit have been waiting almost 5 years for our settlement...well, according to the above link, and the page at Bendich, Stobaugh & Strong (the attorneys who handled the case), the checks will be sent-out on October 17 of this year!
This couldn't have come at a better time for us, and I'm sure for the rest of the class as well. It won't be a huge check, but it will be enough to pay some bills off, and take care of some important necessities.
BTW - if you want to see what my son, Daniel is writing about in his blog, go over and check http://spaces.msn.com/members/dariuscole/ - and please don't laugh too much at the topic of his blog - he had done it in "leet-speak" (where letters are exchanged for numbers and punctuation that approximate the appearance of words). I'm trying to direct him into the correct way of doing things and to stay clear of the "black hat" mentality...we could use a few more "White Hats" in the world.
Current Events - Issue #1
**man-synched from Alter-Blog**
Well, this week there was a slight rumbling on the Internet - thousands of users unable to connect-up to the popular p2p network known as "WinMX" ( http://www.winmx.com - DEAD LINK). The RIAA fired off what is probably not the last in a salvo of "Cease-and-desist" letters to a number of p2p networks requesting that they shut-down their operations due to rampant trading of copyrighted material. eDonkey (http://www.edonkey.com) reportedly moved their offices from New York to New Jersey (as if that would help ), and WinMX is totally offline.
For me, I'm torn on this whole p2p issue - you see, I'm a musician and I have 15 songs that are actually registered with BMI & ASCAP...so, as an artist & songwriter I have somewhat of a vested interest in the protection of Artists Rights in regards to having unauthorized digital copies of their hard-wrought works shuffled about like so many trading cards. On the flip-side of that argument, there are some legitimate uses for p2p networks and the whole "filesharing" pheomenon; take, for example, the person trying to find a rare recording of a song that one would be hard-pressed to find in even the most well-stocked music store...or the even more rare bootleg recording that no one has ever paid a single thin dime for, and one where the artist or artists fully support the FREE distribution of such works?
The whole DRM issue is getting crazy - we have the RIAA suing a 13-year-old and her Mom for priated music (and losing the case in court), the RIAA (basically) blackmailing p2p networks to get them turned-off. The RIAA is, basically, nullifying the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992 (for more info and a very concise analysis of the DRM issues, see http://www.law.duke.edu/journals/dltr/articles/2002dltr0023.html )...this has got to end somewhere, so I'm offering my DRM-free suggestion to the RIAA, BMI, ASCAP and everyone else interested:
1) All new works are placed in the DRM "holding tank" for 7 years. After that time, the sales of such works would be so negligible that the artists or artists wouldn't be making anything off of the sales of such works
2) After the 7-year term, all DRM rights are relinquished or expired. Copyrights would not be reliquished, but DRM enforcement would be removed.
This is very similar to patents and patent expirations, but only with a much shorter timespan. It's a sensible and pragmatic trade-off - especially since royalties are already paid-out for every single MP3 recording device and soundcard AND every CD-R/RW and DVD-R/RW disc manufactured to the RIAA and other Artists Rights organizations and royalty collectors.
There *is* a way out of this conundrum - it won't be easy, but it may be worth it.
Plazes is HOT!
--man-synched from Alter-Blog--
Wow - yet another cool web app recommended by Mr. Scoble at this link
It's called Plazes - and it's yet another entry into a new facet of the Internet & The Web called "location awareness". Microsoft has their "Microsoft Locator", and that's kinda nice and has some possibilities.
Go check it out - I already have and will start experimenting with this shortly.
Well, I've been reminded by "davidz" on WebChat that my blogs are out-of-sync...so...
Please forgive me - and please ignore the man behind the curtain!
Updates from The Alter-Blog coming soon!