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Showing posts from March, 2008

Bob Lutz: Leading the American Race for Capitalist Gluttony

Have you ever wondered exactly how America gets its reputation for driving oversized vehicles without any regard for the environment or fuel costs? Because people like Bob Lutz are behind the wheel of the largest American motor company: GM. We all know that GM is company that's as "American as apple pie." Here's a timeline of events for you. 2004: Bob Lutz thinks that Hybrid cars make no sense. Quote: "Hybrids are an interesting curiosity and we will do some," he said. "But do they make sense at $1.50 a gallon? No, they do not." Understanding interaction between national and global economy: FAIL Effectiveness at developing strategies that look more than 1-2 years out : FAIL 2005-2007: GM continues to bring products to market that it thinks will be good for America. This includes pukemobiles such as: The Chevy Suburban 2WD Z71 GMC Envoy Denali/Envoy XL Denali. The Chevy TrailBlazer EXT *and don't forget* The Hummer H3 They are shoved in the

Why iTunes Sucks: Reason #22

Alternative posting title - iTunes and Sucking in Harmony This is in reference to of a (very dated) Mac Observer posting 21 Reasons Why iTunes Sucks . iTunes is continuing a long standing tradition of sucking! As I mentioned in a previous posting, I have had dealings with . I gave my wife a gift certificate for, proud of myself for my having a gift that pleased to her affinity for books on CD. However, what I didn't realize was that I was really giving her a gift of PAIN. We figured (naively) that this day and age, it would be a fairly common, and therefore simple(!) process - choose an audio book on, and burn it to CD, so she could enjoy the book in her car. Seems like a reasonable request, based on the following assumptions: Most people use audio books during their commute. Most cars, last I checked, come "standardly" equipped with CD players, unless you get some kind of "option" I haven't checked on

Golf Diesel Hybrid for Everyone Except Us

As usual, some new, cool car technology is being developed which the U.S. will likely be (at best) the last to take advantage of. This time it's a diesel hybrid by VW. The diesel hybrid is not a new concept, but this will be one of the first production cars to incorporate it. The fact is, diesel cars are awesome in so many ways. They are powerful, efficient, clean, and can be run on 100% renewable fuel with ZERO modification. Many other countries have embraced diesel vehicles. So why do they have such a hard time in the U.S.? They are perceived by most to be "loud and smelly," to quote the Wired article. I will add that from my observations, people think they are dirty and underpowered. Now let's do some myth busting, shall we? Myth: Diesels cars are Loud Fact: Diesel trucks are loud. Old diesel anythings were often loud. My diesel is loud (since I riced out my exhaust system). But "Diesels" are not loud, at least not significantly louder than

Want to cancel your membership? You'll have to call them

It all started when I got my wife a gift certificate to for Christmas. So I'm not really sure how it happened, but at some point in the last few months, I ended up with a premium audible listener membership, billed at a rate of $23 a month. I suppose it's possible that I did an impulse purchase, but that's neither here nor there in this discussion. I finally got logged in to the point where I could edit my account details (long story, but basically I had to clear my cookies due to the fact that it kept dumping me right back to the step of "confirming a purchase" I had apparently started - months later). In the account details control panel: There didn't appear to be any way to cancel my membership. There didn't appear to be any way to remove my credit card information from my account. After I pretty much resolved and mentally prepared for the fact this was going to involve a phone call (which to me instantly involves long hold times with bad

Fix for X-Lite -> Asterisk DTMF issue

If you use X-Lite with an Asterisk system, as I do, you may notice DTMF codes sometimes don't work after the call has been placed. This results in difficulty when entering pin codes, dialing an extension on another system, etc. Here's the quick fix inside X-Lite: Go to menu -> Advanced System Settings -> DTMF Settings -Change to DTMF Force Send In Band: Yes -Change to DTMF Tone Length in Samples: 4960 Reconnect the call and try it.

Welcome From FreshUbuntu Podcast

Just wanted to post a shout out to anyone visiting from the FreshUbuntu podcast! As Harlem mentioned, I have been working on putting together some theme music. The first track I sent over was actually a draft of the title track that will be on my upcoming demo album, called "6 Inches From the Curb". Most of the music on that album will be original jazz and funk, and will feature "solo bass" work (to be clear, solo in the sense that the tracks are predominantly drums and bass guitar, with little or no other instruments). My goal for this demo is to practice my new skills with multitrack production, and to demonstrate my musical concepts to musicians I will collaborate with on future projects (stay tuned!) The tune was a little rough - I have decided to put together something more reflective of my skills, and more specific to podcast use. Tune into the next FreshUbuntu to hear it!