UCLA Taser Video

This thing is so scary and hard to believe only 2 miles from where i live. It’s another state. The hope is in the way the students went toward the violence to witness it and obviously with some belief they could do something about it. In too many parts of the world, the intelligent the gut reaction of the citizenry (and the likely trained one) would have been to run when faced with violence in official uniforms. In most places it’s unquesitonable. I predict these security guys are in for it.
Warning: this is long and disturbing.
4736 comments on YouTube later…

We’re back. Working in a bipartisan fashion, with a caveat.

In case anyone noticed, we were down for 5 days from an attack by an outsider or one of the many sites co-hosted on my server at the host.

It might have been my unpublished post about how i look forward to working in a bipartisan manner with Republicans just as soon as we impeach this Republican and get some other ones in there.

Didn’t anyone else feel like perhaps it would have been better to just step back a second and let W squirm, rather than rush to the White House and any available mic to say how eager Democrats were to work with the president, going from “worse than Nixon” to “work with the president” literally overnight. And the image of Pelosi at the White House just reminded me of the no-idea Dems pushing for war in Iraq and left me with that sinking new-boss-same-as-the-old boss feeling.

But as in my prediction that the dems could never take both houses, I would be delighted to be wrong.

John McCain’s (Kerry-esque) gay marriage doubletalk a chance to change debate.

“I think gay marriage should be allowed if there’s a ceremony kind of thing if you want to call it that. I don’t have any problem with that…I think private ceremonies are fine. I do not think gay marriage should be legal.” –John McCain (via: Towleroad)

This double speak from McCain is what could lose him the election.

It had the power to bring down Kerry in the last election. Hillary’s lack of authenticity as pointed out regularly by Arianna Huffington(a May Huffington Post piece which also notes that McCain’s authenticity was “getting paler by the minute” even then.) and her coyness on gay issues is a big negative, not only in terms of not standing with us, but in terms of her ability to win if she’s given the chance to run and hasn’t gotten less coy by then.**

That said, McCain’s comments provide an opening for us to change this political discussion. I’ve been meaning to finish a post i started on this sometime back. Watch for it soon. Perhaps today. This might be just the news peg for me. We give the oppostion the edge by agreeing to discuss “gay marriage”. Gay marriage is allowed. We can get married with the blessing of many religions, communities, and most importantly by our own free will.

**ASIDE: And i remain wary of Ms. Clinton’s well-known and long-held position that democrats must not openly and unequivocably support gay and lesbian issues if they want to win, going so far as to blame her shortsighted, unpolitic attempt to change healthcare on her husband’s gays in the military issue and staying away from support ever since.)

Photos by Buck82 and Hot Rod (both Flickr cc)

Craigslist: Capitalist Tool. Cr(t)aigslist: Biz travel hack.

It’s not Forbes magazine. It’s neo -hippy -do -good -won’t -ipo -customer-focused -san-francisco -kook -free-speech -of-a-business that’s changing offline small business as much as any online entity. Thanks to Craigslist, I just rented my little backhouse in a single day for the third time in five years, at my asking price with plenty of back-up interest. Cost: $0

After the guy who re-did the shower and another who hauled away the junk, Craigslist served up the recent-immigrant entrepreneur whose team cleaned and shampooed the rugs. He doesn’t know where that list came from or who this Craig is, but "I don’t waste my money on the other places anymore. I stopped every one." Not a single ad in newspapers, yellow pages, penny savers, or Yahoo Local like he used to. He gets more calls, almost all from the better-off with more computers. And that’s fine by him. As is the cost. He doesn’t think much of the prospects for newspapers going forward. Does a good job too.

And finally, a business-travel lifehack that’s made my life better…Since about a year ago, if I am in a city for more than a few days with work to do, first thing I buy a used CRT monitor off Craigslist. I send off 3-5 emails when i hit town and usually get a quick response. The longest took 5-6 hours. They’re about 1/10th the cost asked by retail rental services, and these monitors are conveniently all over town rather than in a single store. Here’s the rss feed for monitors under $100 in NY.

I acquired one after a late flight, when it was hard to get a cab but a seller responded in minutes. I was back at my hotel, set up, and revising notes for a morning meeting within 20 minutes. There’s always a choice of 17" and 19" models, ranging from "come and get them" to "$35". And I’ve been lucky to find always find them blocks or a quick cab from my where i’m staying. Most laptops support extended desktop mode, so even a 15" doubles your work area. Twice, I got a full size keyboard thrown in when i asked if they had one for sale. (You can also get them new for under $10 in discount stores.). And when i leave….
Then I just abandon them. I just check out. I leave them in the room. **
It feels wrong. I’ve offered a last gasp of life to those beasts that will never be allowed on my desk at home again. Hotels won’t hold them for others because they really are big and ugly. The maids don’t want them, nor could they get a 1000 pound monitor out without some management rule kicking in. I’ve offered them back to sellers saying I’d leave the monitor for pick up at the front desk. But even with assurances that i’m not looking for a refund, they admit they don’t ever want to see the things again.

I even tried to ignite an entrepreneurial flame in one seller, promising i’d rent one every time if he’d deliver and pickup. And i assured him there were clearly others like me. He wasn’t having it. Maybe someone else out there can make that work. Othewise, I’ll keep doing this until they’re gone.
**ASIDE (Tip): I have learned to leave a note taped to the screen so you don’t get off the plane to messages on every number you have from the concierge, proudly assuring you that your precious equipment is safe and will be shipped off and billed to your credit card. I did head that off.

cc attribution license pics. By Flickr members: southernpixel, endlisnis, and akubba

Out mag’s redesign highlights new editor, reader relationship

Over at Towleroad.com they’re discussing Out magazine’s redesign. (Disclosures**)

After two warm up issues, the new editor, Aaron Hicklin, is breathing life into the old guy. Though it’s stayed the most read gay magazine for 13 years, it’s had a tough time staying “must read.”***

Hicklin started nicely and from a tough position. I’ll reserve real judgment until i see the whole issue. The Planet out gay industrial complex PR team pumped out something more than standard launch hyperbole promising the redesign will bring a new day for all gays. Also,

“Out is repositioning itself in the hierarchy of sophisticated fashion magazines.”

…which is as unparseable as the non-sequitorial, sartorial equating of “more fashion” Click here to continue reading →

RSS feeds. Grazr: Hope you have a few hours.

Check out the RSS reader at the bottom of the sidebar. Feeds chosen by Duncan Rawlinson of The Last Minute Blog Incredible. A zeitgeek bonanza…and giving me more ideas for compiling my own. Beware.

YouTube and Broadcast.com: Learning from Mark Cuban

The Quote:

Only a ‘moron’ would buy YouTube
–Mark Cuban (CNET reported)

The Lesson: Mark Cuban has started, supported and owned many wonderful things. There’s a lot to admire and emulate. (No, really. Click that link to Long Tail blog’s list from last year.) I do think particularly highly of his willingness to say things, know full well the obvious linking that will be done, and not care one bit.

The Obvious Wikipedia Link:

Broadcast.com was a web radio company founded as “AudioNet” in 1995 by Mark Cuban…

In April 1999, Broadcast.com was acquired by Yahoo! for $5.7 billion in stock and became Yahoo! Broadcast Solutions. Over the next few years Yahoo! split the services previously offered by Broadcast.com into separate services, Yahoo! Launchcast for music and Yahoo! Platinum for video entertainment. Yahoo! Platinum has since been discontinued, its functionality being offered as part of two pay services, AT&T Yahoo! High Speed Internet and Yahoo! Plus.

As of 2006, neither broadcast.com nor broadcast.yahoo.com are distinct web addresses; both simply redirect to yahoo.com.

You can try to find love for free! (Canceling) Match.com sucks no more!

match.com policy before


Ah, I remember my close call with Match.com and their 72-hour Memorial Day promotion as if it were yesterday. I almost signed up, but at the last minute noticed the small print saying the only way to get out of the “free” trial with the “free” intact would be to send a telegram or “mail or deliver a signed, dated notice” to some Plano, Texas before midnight of the third day (a holiday, of course). Unlikely, even if you could find a telegram.


The change came clearly in response to the broad reach and active readership of Gawker’s Consumerist which blogged my little SEO experiment of a post. Labor Day’s promo from Match.com was virtually identical, but for the changes in the small print allowing online cancellations and leaving off any mention of telegrams.

Net loss: A summer romance.
Oh, and a Fall one too. I didn’t sign up. And i should have done this update sooner. Sorry. Others on the way.

(Addendum: Although Google search listings indicate Western Union still sends telegrams, as does a still-posted Staff Report at Straight Dope from 2001, The Western Union site notes, “ffective January 31, 2006, Western Union discontinued all Telegram and Commercial Messaging services. We regret any inconvenience this may cause you, and we thank you for your loyal patronage.” Not surprisingly, one can send a telegram at ITelegram.com, SendATelegram.com, and SendTelegram.com.)

Part 1: Gay Marriage. 1963 vs. 2006 Tips for finding one

One MagazineThe cover of the June 1963 issue of One magazine “The Homosexual Viewpoint” reads LET’S PUSH HOMOPHILE MARRIAGE. The poncey illustration is worth a click to the permalink page, as are the tips for finding and keeping a man. (Are the tips totally dated? You decide.)

Though i’m pretty familiar with the homo timeline, current events put it in my head to expect insight into the early days of our current fight for civil recognition of our relationships. That turned out to be a bit of an anachronism. In 1963–six years before Stonewall, 43-years before now, ten years before i was born (uh, ok three years)–it was so impossible to contemplate the
Click here to continue reading →

LastFM, Pandora are nice. Musicovery is astonishing.

screen shot of Musicovery on goffspot.comUPDATE: Musicovery is down. Too big of a response. On the site, “We plan to rapidly provide the service again on a more sustainable basis.” Send mail to get an alert when they are back to: postmaster@liveplasma.com

* * * * * *

LastFM and Pandora have gotten much deserved attention. And, i’ve been pleased to enjoy them…all the while discounting the fact that LastFM seems like too much comittment and Pandora is more complicated than it needs to be for what you get. Playing with Musicovery once, it’s clearly something different. Check it out. You think you know what it does, and then it does something else.

Del.icio.us users are saying…(the French is pretty self explanatory).

  • The coolest radio ever

– tcboo

  • music discovery tool
  • Great music discovery concept. It’s in French though.
  • Music-choosing tool and player…choose songs by emotional association…same as you would buy grapes…
  • A flash based web radio. Very slick, very cool

– iamthepinkylifter