Not a Political Blog, But...

05/19/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: Blogging, Community

In spite of all the COPE postings, I really don't consider WITB a "political" blog. However, I have participated in Meet The Bloggers interviews quite a few times and believe in what they stand for.

So WITB has joined the MTB Ad Network as you can see with the ad under my Creative Commons license in the sidebar. (That is if you are looking at WITB via IE. I can't seem to get anything via Firefox. Something to do with how B2Evolution, Firefox, and Javascript don't play well together.)

So click, enjoy, and support MTB.

Microcosm of COPE

05/15/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi, Blogging, Political, Economic Development

So you still don't think that the lack of strong net neutrality enforcement is important, huh? Well, via BFD, I found this little ditty on Tim Ferris' blog.

Until we recover the domain GLORIAFERRIS.NET from having been hijacked by a disgruntled former administrator of ours while registered through Network Solutions, Madame Gloria will be posting here, at Save Our Land, and also at George Nemeth's Brewed Fresh Daily.

G-man actually got a response from Rob the meglomaniac ex-administrator:

“Blogging is a little more than the internet’s version of Cable Public Access, and it is a wart on the skin of the internet.”

Appalled? And this from some geek with his panties in a bunch and a little power. Can you imagine what can happen if whole chunks of the Internet is controlled by AT&T CEO Ed Whitacre who is quoted as saying:

"The Internet can't be free....anybody to expect to use these pipes [for] free is nuts!"

(from Business Week interview. link: http://www.businessweek.com/@@n34h*IUQu7KtOwgA/magazine/content/05_45/b3958092.htm for full account.)

Net neutrality IS a big issue. It starts with wussy little petty craps like Rob and builds to the mega-million industry tyrants like Whitacre. We need to fight this now.

Update: Bloggers! Yeah you. Join the Save The Internet coalition. There is a special section just for us. Link to the principles is http://www.savetheinternet.com/=principles Our voices can be heard!

Paladins of Northeast Ohio

05/13/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: Poetry, Blogging, Community, personal, humor, rant

Last night at art walk in Tremont, I came across Chris Franke, one of the readers from the Kick In The Nuts Poetry Nite at the Lit. (He actual came in second at the Hessler competition to our feature Eris Dyson.) Chris is in the middle along with last month's feature and thursday nut kicking poet, Jack McGuane in the winners pic (ripped from the hessler site, snapped by Lee Batdorff) below:

Anyway Chris gave me this card so I can contact him for future readings. Does anybody remember the old TV show that evoked this desire for imitation?

Have Gun Will Travel was on air for 6 years (1957-63), a pretty long time back then. I saw it in reruns about the time that Richard Boone was part of the ABC Saturday night at the movies series (Hec Ramsey, also part of the series was Columbo with Peter Falk and McCloud with Dennis Weaver). Mom used to watch it. I was around ten years old when it started.

Jeff Hess might explain since his blog plays with the title.

What is it in Richard Boone's character that garnered this desire to imitate?
[Sorry that B2evolution isn't letting me link to IMDB!]

Legitimacy? TWifi?

05/11/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi, Cleveland, Community

Yesterday, I attended the annual meeting for Cleveland Digital Vision for a couple of reasons. First, Twifi thru Tremont West Deve. Corp is a member and members SHOULD attend annual meetings. Second, Angela Stuber, Exec Dir of Ohio Community Computing Network (OCCN), was coming up to speak. I got to know Angela while out to the 2nd National Community Wireless Network Summit.

As it would happen, the annual meeting is also where the board members for the next year are elected. So that's the news. Tremont Wifi Neighborhood is a board member of Cleveland Digital Vision.

The cool thing is that TWifi is very unique from the other board members in that we emphasis building out access to the neighborhood primarily and educate secondarily. They others are educational first, build out second. Both are very important. Do you see the synergies here?

Congrats are also in order to the Spanish American Committee for also being elected. Look to see some joint efforts with them and TWifi.

Padpen-Penpad Poetry at the Lit Tomorrow

05/09/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: Poetry

It's amazing what a little convincing talk can do while the clients are sucking down beer, scotch, and whatever is in that pipe out back. Anyway, somehow Nick Traenkner saw what a great idea it was to have another Poetry Nite at the Lit and Andy agreed. I should be this good with coffee.

Anyway, inspired by the great reaction to last month's introduction, we are making permanent (at least as permanent as can be in this samsaric world), the Padpen-Penpad Spontaneous Poetry gimmick.

We hand out pens and pads and have the audience write from the inspiration listening to the features (and the others that may want to do some prepared stuff). Then by the end of the evening with the energy jazzed up, people abit buzzed, and inhibitions abit lowered, people read what they wrote. It is nutty good and electric. Lots of brand spanking new good verse to and by an appreciative crowd is expected.

So tomorrow, Thurday, May 11 at 9:00pm, our feature poets are Eris Dyson (I typo'd her name and now it is all over the net wrong. Sorry Eris), a young and talented performance poet, a City Year alum, and selected to read at this year’s Hessler Competitive Reading at Mac's Backs Bookstore tonight. Since she is full of remorse for missing us last month, perhaps we can get her to do a reprise of her qualifying poem.

eris dyson ray mcniece

Also featured is the ever effervescent Ray McNiece, fresh from his return from Asia and probably filled with new material and fervor.

With line up like this, who wouldn't want to put their thoughts to paper in the padpen-penpad spontaneous poesy fun. Come and listen, come and read, come and write, just come. (Take that anyway you want.) The Literary Cafe is at 1031 Literary Rd. in Cleveland's historic Tremont district.

The Simple Explanation of COPE

05/06/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi, Blogging, Political, Economic Development

I must admitt that I'm still a little steamed about Sherrod and Ted on how they behaved on the COPE bill in committee. It didn't help to see incompetence, poor engineering, and mystification of technology futzing up Cuyahoga county primaries, then there is Senator Stevens community wireless bill that had so much promise when I first heard about it, turn into lobbyist sludge.

Anyway, there is a ton on the blogs explaining the bill, analyzing the bill, and forcasting the bill; all done by smarter people than me. (I'll probably just do a "link post" and list all the good stuff I found from locals like George, Bill, and Angela to national and internation opinion.) I'm not a policy guy, I'm an implementor and so I look at it from that perspective. Unfortunately, I have not been able to express it well enough in terms that the non-geek would pick up.

But like I said, there are much smarter people around and at least as long the internet is free flowing, I can connect to them, learn, and share it with my readers. So, from Summit buddy Dana Speigel of NYCwireless, this short video explaining the not so improbable scenarios that passage of the COPE bill will spawn.

(Sorry, B2evolution doesn't seem to like embedded objects.)

Anti COPE efforts

I got a couple of emails that are showing that the fight is not over. Thanks to Amy, Des, and some guy named Fred.

Spread the word.
Send this link (http://www.storiesonvideo.com/cope.html) on to others. Spread the word among people you know -- via email, over the web, in person, you name it. This has been the most vital and most powerful tool involved in activist successes in recent years.
Encourage your resident media outlets -- be it independent, alternative, or even corporate -- to cover the issue and how it matters.
Join in the campaigns already underway to support the future of the internet. For example:
http://www.savetheinternet.com
http://www.netfreedomnow.org
http://www.commoncause.org/NetNeutrailty
Learn more about the issues from these links:
Salon.com, Global Justice, Chicago Media Action, Free Press, Common Cause, Indymedia, Media Matters, Video on Net Neutrality

Tell your representatives.
Contact your members of Congress -- both in the House and in the Senate -- and encourage them to oppose the COPE Act (Communications Opportunity Promotion and Enhancement Act of 2006 - also called "The Barton Bill") . This only takes a minute and really has an effect. It has been a key factor in many victories in the past. Don't be apathetic on this one. They hear from the corporate lobbys all the time. Let them hear from us.
NOTE: If they ask you for the bill number, tell them that it has no number yet. Apparantly, the lobbies are trying to ram this bill through so quickly that it hasn't even been given a number yet. Since this bill is spearheaded by House Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton (R-TX), it is also referred to as the Barton Bill.
Doing this by phone can be very effective. If you've never done this before and feel a little intimidated by it - don't worry - it's easy. Just tell who ever answers where you're from and that you want to ask your representative to oppose a bill that is currently in congress. They may take what you tell them as a message to pass along, or they may transfer you to a more appropriate
To find out how to contact your representative, go to: http://www.house.gov. It will ask you for your zip+4 and you will be given their name and a link to their website which will have complete contact information. If you need help finding your zip+4, go to: http://zip4.usps.com/zip4/welcome.jsp
To get contact info for your senators are, go to: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
Send your message via email, phone or even fax. Email is the easiest to do, but faxes and phone calls probably get more attention. Letters are good, but their delivery can get delayed because of security issues.
Tell them whatever it is you feel is important. If you're not sure, here are some suggestions of what to say: you can elaborate about how you use the internet, how you use personally benefit from it, and that you'd like to keep those benefits, and that the COPE Act would very likely restrict those benefits. Tell them that Network Neutrality is important to maintain with the internet. You can also talk about how the COPE Act would limit free speech and diversity of opinion and have a negative effect on democracy in general.
This bill really can be stopped if enough people respond.

I'm Beside Myself...

...and no amount of meditation, sutra reading, or relaxed talking is going to help. Even my light hearted post earlier was an attempt quell my ire.

Yes, I just read about the bonehead, special interest sucking, schmucks that supposed to be working for us (and I mean us Ohioans) on the Energy and Commerce Committee voting for and passing the COPE act.

As Callahan called it "The bill that will allow nationally franchised video/Internet providers to redline neighborhoods and create "tiers" of Internet service. The bill that undermines net neutrality and threatens to 'end the Internet as we know it.'" (Bill has links but I'm too pissed to add them here right now.)

I signed petitions, emailed telling Sherrod (I just proved I'm not too smart) Brown and Jim (FU all, I run the party) Strickland how I'm not a policy guy, but I am an implementer and user of the internet to fill in the gaps and inequities that the big boy ISPs miss. That I'm helping YOUR constituents and that I may understand the fallout at the street level what implementation of COPE will do.

No response, total ignorance, not a staffer, not an inquiry. I even admitted that I'm a member the R-party and am against this bill. Nothing and now this.

Quite honestly, I don't know what to do. This was the best way to keep this dangerous bill from getting off the ground. Now, the unholy R-party run congress will rubberstamp it and basically will f-up the best thing that has hit our society since Guttenburg and free public schools.

I think I am going to talk to my friends in Holland and see if there is room for another tech savvy buju there. I will love my 8Mb broadband there and the coffee is good too.

AARRGGGH!

Ah Ha! The Solution

04/27/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: Poetry, BioScience, Community, personal, humor, rant

Obviously I have not been posting much. Tons of work and meetings both on the coffee and Wifi fronts. I'm not complaining, but I'm getting worn out.

This post on the ClevelandPoetics listserv seems to have the ready made answer. Many thanks to Marcus at Designer Glass.

Found Poem: Work, Wine, and Beer

A dangerous virus is being spread
By email and face to face
Called WORK:

Worm-Overload-Recreational-Killer

If you receive WORK from any of your colleagues,
your boss, or anyone else
by any means
do not touch it -- this virus will wipe out
your private life completely.

If WORK-avoidance fails
and you are given WORK,
put your jacket on
and take two good friends to the nearest bar
that sells the antidote: WINE:

Work Isolated Neutralizing Extractor

Enough WINE will eliminate WORK from your system.

I´ve found that an alternative solution, BEER,

Best Equivalent Extractor Remedy.

will work as well as WINE,
but extensive testing has shown
that BEER usually requires
a more generous application.

Forward this warning to 5 friends.
If you do not have 5 friends
you have already been infected,
and WORK may be controlling your life.

Meet me at the bar.

I figure putting it on the blog will get to more than five friends, if I believe what the webstats tell me. And I will be taking the cure tonight at the Lit.

Clarification to Henry

04/24/06 | by steveg [mail] | Categories: WiFi, Blogging, Cleveland

Happy Henry Gomez of the Plain Dealer referred to my last post about an NY Post article on community wifi. (Thanks, Henry)
(http://www.cleveland.com/weblogs/techlink/index.ssf?/mtlogs/cleve_techlink/archives/2006_04.html#134043)


Steve Goldberg links to a New York Press story on community Wi-Fi projects. I'm not sure I see the revelance in his comment about one-newspaper towns, though.

Rereading my hacking attempt at written verbitude (no stinking journalism school for me, and it shows), Henry is absolutely right. The semi-snark one-newspaper-town comment seems very irrelevant. So I will clarify.

If you did drill down into the Post article (http://www.nypress.com/19/14/news&columns/feature.cfm)
or read the purple quotes, you see there is a reference to a NY Times feature called “Hey neighbor, stop piggy-backing on my wireless."(Don't have the link) So you see one newspaper did a somewhat negative spin on sharing broadband and another paper did a more balanced report.

See? More perspectives. More opinions. More information that points to a truth.
This is rough to do in a "ONE PAPER TOWN."

At least, we have Henry who trys to get the whole story.

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