Saturday, June 30, 2007

Family Trip to Spread Mom's Ashes

Impeach Gonzales, Part 2: The Crimes

Friday, June 29, 2007



"We're on the verge of being able to create life in the laboratory."
" There is no wide chasm between chemistry and life, and crossing that threshold shouldn't (and won't, I expect, unless the politicking is particularly effective) be a Nobel-winning accomplishment, nor is it going to surprise anyone. In the next generation, it's going to be taken for granted as just part of biochemistry, just like no organic chemists are shaken up by the routine synthesis of urea anymore."

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Analysis: DRM may be why Microsoft flip-flopped on Vista virtualization

Analysis: DRM may be why Microsoft flip-flopped on Vista virtualizationBut DRM's main purpose seems to be to help the Warner Bros. and Sony Musics of the world keep consumers from sharing movies and music.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Restoring competitive balance to the upcoming spectrum auction

Google's Public Policy Blog has one of the clearest explanations of the issues involved with the FCC's 700MHz auction.

In recent days, and especially following Eric Schmidt's July 20 letter to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, many people have asked us a straightforward question: why don't you just attempt to win the spectrum bidding outright, and then implement an open wholesaling business model yourself? Or, as AT&T has put it, "put up or shut up."...

..."monopoly rents"...

...Third, and perhaps most important, the incumbents have every incentive to preserve and protect their existing business model. Given their investment in all the necessary business inputs, and the relatively high prices and low bandwidth characteristics of their existing service offerings, the incumbents must prevent the entry of potential competitors to the market. In a spectrum auction, this means paying whatever it takes to block new entry. Not surprisingly, economists call this a "blocking premium." ...

...Recent studies have confirmed that this is a pervasive aspect of the FCC auction environment. ...

Un-skewing the spectrum auction
When looking at the combined impact of the incumbent blocking premium and the incumbent dilution discount, it's easy to see how FCC auction results become skewed.
Ironically enough, it is Google that has been accused
of attempting to skew the auction structure, by our recommendation that the licenses be conditioned on certain "open platforms" requirements.
Of course, as we have explained it is the current auction system that skews the results away from potential new entrants and in favor of existing incumbents. ...

...While Google embraces the kinds of openness and innovation that are the hallmark of the Internet, the incumbents apparently prefer their existing business models. That of course is their prerogative. However, open platforms -- specifically, open applications, open devices, open wholesale services, and open network access
-- together make the spectrum more valuable to Google, or any other potential bidder seeking to create innovative, higher-speed, lower-priced offerings. ...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Info on Western Digital My Book World Edition II


Seems to be available in 1.5 TB and 1 TB capacity.

Use the WD Anywhere mio software to find the username and password of the linux OS in the My Book World. In Software, click on the button that says backup Info and use the username and password provided there, make sure password is typed with CAPsLock on. Browse the SMB shares to find the right drive. It will be under the name IDXXXXXX.

Can't backup files larger than 2G.

J&R Music and Computer World $359.99
Circuit City $499.99 $365.00 $427.79

This is the best review so far.,1697,2106424,00.asp

The drive gets terrible user reviews here:,239029473,339275060,00.htm
Product features and Specs. at WD Site.

Due to poor user reviews I am not getting this drive, dispite it being offered at Costco at a good price.

Forum Posts:
Some highlights on the previous comments, on which I couldn' agree more with ....

The throughput you described is terrible and that is what would keep my from buying it.

If they pack the wrong power adapters with their non working external hard drives, most people would agree they have pretty shoddy Quality Control. Most things go right with a review like Loyd's because the WD PR department is going to make damn sure they don't supply the same garbage that they supply to the average customer. However for the average customer, this is not the case. So customer - beware!

It wouldn't allow the backup file to get larger than 2G, and I couldn't find any workaround for this. Since it couldn't meet both my needs, and it was noisy, I chose to return it.

Throughput is HORRIBLE!It averages 42 Mbps and never exceeds 45 Mbps.
Using MioNet, backups abort after ~20-30 minutes or maybe ~5-20GB.
It does NOT happen when mapped directly to the MyBook.
My fan isn't too loud. I read in another forum that an earlier firmware update had a fix for the 'jet engine' fan noise.

The web interface (MioNetWeb) also has problems. Strangely, it shows my drives as being "OFFLINE", even after I've successfully logged into the java applet on the site. (MioNetWeb) So the only contact I can have with the drive is if i search for it on the local network in explorer, or map it to a drive letter (it then appears in windows).

I have tried contacting WD 11 days ago in 8 different emails, but had no answers back at all. I've tried contacting them by both direct email AND through their knowledgebase forum section on their support website. Failing that (so far after 11days), I sent similar queries directly to MioNet (although I'm pretty sure they'll shun my emails and fob me off telling me it's WD's responsibility to provide support).

it seems a bit poor that a company whose speciality is hard drives would put out such inefficient hardware. I also feel a bit gutted to be reeled in by the 'gigabit' branding and '10/100/1000 high performance', also uPnP functionality, nowhere to be seen.

The only software that came with the drive is this crappy AnywhereAccess software (which as stated in the review is this customised version of secure networking software by a company called MioNet (

It's such crap, it dosen't even run! I mailed them about it, and the suggestion I got back was..: "yes we've also recognised this behaviour (app not loading) in windows computer with more than 1 user account on them".

What kind of company makes a program that shits when its on a machine with multiple user accounts? Furthermore, what kind of fools at WD put their faith in a company like MioNet to come up with software for their drive? Quality control.. est not.
WD have not replied to my 8 emails over 12 days now, clowns.

jharris posts at WD Site:
post one--
This is my second try at the MBWII device.

I saw it, noted the 1-T size, and decided that this would be a welcome addition to my collection of devices on my network.

I already have a Tritton NAS with a 400 gig drive in it, and an HP Mediavault (300G) with a 750G in the expansion bay.

I run my own domain controller, DHCP, DNS, WINS, etc. on a private IP space of 172.31.100.x set up as class-B (

Reading through the manuals - online, on the CD, etc. I come to the following conclusions regarding the drive's operation:

1. It is set, by default, to auto-configure (DHCP)
2. The default machine name should be "mybookworld"
3. I can configure it using the supplied client software, or via a web portal.
4. It can, and does, support SMB based file transfer and sharing.

My issue is this:

1. I connect the MBWII to my network, using a known good cable into a known good port.
2. I apply power, and wait a good loooooong time for this beastie to wake up & smell the coffee.
3. I examine my DHCP manager's "active leases" window, even refreshing it, and I NEVER see an additional lease requested by anything, let alone "mybookworld".
4. I try rebooting
5. I try the "10-second salute" reset
6. I have burned brown rice, and am collecting small rodents to sacrifice to it.

Nothing I have done has encouraged either of the two units I had to even THINK about acquiring a DHCP lease.
Nothing shows up in WINS or DNS. (I have DHCP, DNS, and WINS all set to exchange information.)

Installing the supplied software does not help as it responds that it cannot detect any devices.

I am now 0 for 2 on these things.

I am interested to know what I have to do to get this beastie running.

How do I get this #$*&ing thing to even participate in my network?

Thanks in advance!


post two--
OK boys and girls - I have found a solution...

One of my assumptions, based on what I saw in the manual, is that the device supported DHCP right out of the box.

Apparently this is not true.

I - literally out of shear desperation - tried the "attach it to the back of your computer" trick - which (IMHO) is shear foolishness, because my own computer also uses DHCP - etc...

(Maybe the MyBookWorld will respond as a DHCP server?)

OK, I tried it, and I did an "ipconfig /release" and "ipconfig /renew" cycle - and as expected, the "renew" times out because the DHCP server is nowhere to be found.

Interestingly enough - Microsoft provides a "default" IP address when DHCP renew fails (I've seen it a million times, and never paid it any mind at all)

However, it appears that the MyBookWorldII - at initial startup - defaults to a hard-coded IP address in this same address space, and it can resolve it's own name.


======== begin inserted text ========

C:\Documents and Settings\Jim Harris>ipconfig /renew

Windows IP Configuration

An error occurred while renewing interface Local Area Connection : unable to con
tact your DHCP server. Request has timed out.

C:\Documents and Settings\Jim Harris>ipconfig /all

Windows IP Configuration

Host Name . . . . . . . . . . . . : athlonxp
Primary Dns Suffix . . . . . . . :
Node Type . . . . . . . . . . . . : Hybrid
IP Routing Enabled. . . . . . . . : No
WINS Proxy Enabled. . . . . . . . : No

Ethernet adapter Local Area Connection:

Connection-specific DNS Suffix . :
Description . . . . . . . . . . . : Realtek RTL8139 Family PCI Fast Ethernet NIC
Physical Address. . . . . . . . . : 00-40-05-34-76-D8
Dhcp Enabled. . . . . . . . . . . : Yes
Autoconfiguration Enabled . . . . : Yes
Autoconfiguration IP Address. . . :
Subnet Mask . . . . . . . . . . . :
Default Gateway . . . . . . . . . :

C:\Documents and Settings\Jim Harris>ping mybookworld

Pinging mybookworld [] with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64
Reply from bytes=32 time<1ms TTL=64

Ping statistics for
Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 0ms, Maximum = 0ms, Average = 0ms

======== end inserted text ========


I was then able to get into the web configuration tools and set up the device the way I wanted it to be set, and give it an IP address that falls within my own network's IP space.

Unfortunately - except for the "plug it into the back of your computer" message, they never, ever allude to this behavior (being hard coded to an IP address fresh out of the box) anywhere else.


It would be nice if they actually mentioned this stuff somewhere.

I actually sent one of these bastids back to them as "broken" because it wouldn't pick up a DHCP lease.

I would have saved myself a LOT of time yesterday - and actually gotten some sleep! - if they made this clearer.

I sure-as-hell hope this helps someone else.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Overclocking the HP m8020n

You can't. The motherboard bios has no overclocking options. Which kinda sucks, since it's running a 6x multipler when the cpu supports an 8x CPU multiplier.

Email to HP's Mark Hurd

Regarding my new HP m8020n.

How do I get the actual Microsoft media for my copy of Windows Vista Home Premium? Could you have it sent to me. I have made my one backup, but would prefer to have the real thing in my possession.

Also I have searched your website for upgrades to my HP m8020n but found little. I would like information on upgrading the video card and Cpu, (maybe it's Vista but the system does not seem anywhere as fast as I expected considering I am moving from a six year old mid range notebook with 256 meg of ram). Also would it be possible to upgrade the wifi connection?

An additional issue is with the Guide that purports to provide local cable listings, it is mostly not accurate, which makes using the recording capabilities of this media PC for the most part useless.


HP's first response.
Dear Valued Customer,

Your message is important to me. Although I cannot personally respond to your message due to the volume of messages I receive, I often pass along suggestions and observations to my colleagues throughout Hewlett-Packard. If action is required, I'll have someone follow up.

If you need help, other information, or wish to send an e-mail about particular HP products and services, please visit our Contact HP page.


Hewlett-Packard Company

Second Response

Thank you for taking the time to send HP your comments.
They have been forwarded to the appropriate people within
Hewlett-Packard for their information and review.
Should more clarification or information be needed, you may be contacted


CEO Customer Relation

It's been almost a week and I have yet to get more than an automated response from HP. (6/27/07)

It's now been a month with no response. (7/18/07)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Time Warner Broadband

I've already run into this problem. May have to quit Time Warner and find another service. I had gotten a call from Earthlink a month or so ago saying they wanted my account back. I'll wait awhile and see how bad Time Warner gets.

From Time Warner's Help Desk


June 6, 2007 -- Time Warner today implemented a network management tool to improve the operation of the network for all subscribers. As a result, a small minority of users may experience slower speeds during peak hours when using certain applications that consume lots of bandwidth. You can address this situation by reducing your use of bandwidth-intensive applications during peak hours. "Peak hours" are generally in the evenings.

"Packet shaping" technology has been implemented for newsgroup applications, regardless of the provider, and all peer-to-peer networks and certain other high bandwidth applications not necessarily limited to audio, video, and voice over IP telephony. Road Runner reserves the right to implement network management tools for other applications in the future.

Customers are reminded of the terms of our Acceptable Use Policy at »

* The Road Runner service may not be used to engage in any conduct that
interferes with Road Runner's ability to provide service to others,
including the use of excessive bandwidth.

* The Road Runner service may not be used to breach or attempt to breach
the security, the computer, the software or the data of any person or
entity, including Road Runner, to circumvent the user authentication
features or security of any host, network or account, to use or
distribute tools designed to compromise security, or to interfere with
another's use of the Road Runner service through the posting or
transmitting of a virus or other harmful item or to deliberately
overload or flood that entity's system.

Customers are further advised that efforts designed to circumvent our network management
tools may be in violation of our Acceptable Use Policy and may result in account suspension
without warning.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

requiem for having been

requiem for having been

© 2001 dan sandler

November 16, 2001; 4:25 pm. I shut down my computers:

  • A dual-PII-350 (once a mighty Athlon 800) running the latest experimental build of (what was once called) BeOS.
  • A PowerBook G3/400 ("Pismo") running MacOS X, on which I once did UI design.

4:40 pm. I turn in my key to the third floor of 800 El Camino Real.

4:45 pm. I pull out of the Be parking lot for the last time.

Monday, June 04, 2007

HP m8020n media center System Crash

Well my new system just crashed for the first time. Was it overloaded maybe. I was running Media Center, running Firefox with seven tabs open, running task manager and Google Earth. On reboot it seems to be working OK.

selective_use_climate_update.pdf (application/pdf Object)

selective_use_climate_update.pdf (application/pdf Object)

Edward A. Villarreal. Powered by Blogger.


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