No, I didn’t vanish

I know that I wrote back in September that my posting on this blog would increase.  And I later wrote that I’d be blogging my experiences from India during the month of October.  Well, that was the intent, but life got in the way.  Actually, a bad hard drive, terrible connection issues in India, and other major challenges got in the way.

Luckily, most of my intended posts from India survive the hard drive crash.  Those will be posted shortly.  And, for the time being, much of that other stuff has been either pushed aside or dealt with.  So, I’m back (again).  At least, I will be back to a normal schedule of writing here by this weekend.

The lunacy of DRM at 37,000 feet

I do a lot of air travel, and much of it is cross-country. Flights in excess of three hours can really be a drain on energy and productivity if not managed correctly. My usual routine is to break up a lengthy flight into time chunks with some time devoted to work, some for reading, and some for entertainment. My plan today, cruising across the country from Orange County, CA to the Atlanta airport, was to filter through some light reading, spend some productive time on work related things, and mix in some music that I download onto my laptop via the Yahoo!Jukebox service. Today, however, the music part was not meant to be. Instead of firing up a random playlist, I got the following message:

Well, I’m unable to connect to the internet while in the air, so I can’t access music that I’m paying for? I know that the Digital Rights Management (DRM) regime was designed to protect the creative rights (and profits) of artists, but what use is music that I’ve subscribed to, but cannot listen without logging in? Yes, I know that the subscription model requires a routine ‘check in’ with servers to make sure that I’m not ‘stealing’ music. I do, regularly, log Yahoo!Jukebox onto the Yahoo!Music website to check in. I also know that Jukebox was logged in last night. Despite being logged in, this security upgrade was overlooked! This is not the end of the world, but it is pretty frustrating. Now that “His Steveness’ has weighed in on the subject, there may be hope that the music industry will agree to some sort of protective scheme that doesn’t break when you’re cruising at 37,000 feet!

Sad to see Performancing sold off to PayPerPost

Michael Arrington broke the news yesterday, Performancing – makers of the excellent blog posting add-in for FireFox – has been acquired by PayPerPost. PPP has been very controversial in the blogging world, as it operates a service whereby bloggers get paid by product companies to blog about their respective products. Hired guns, essentially. Many have argued that this amounts to blog spam…others are less kind. As for me, I’m sad that Performancing sold itself to PPP; I can’t imagine they were the only offer around for this toolset. I’ve been using Performancing to post for a while now, having switched from BlogJet (which is excellent too, but not as ‘in-line’ as Performancing is), but I may consider leaving it as my blogging tool of choice given these turn of events.

Techcrunch » Blog Archive » PayPerPost In The News Again

They will be announcing the acquisition of blogging tools and services company Performancing

UPDATE:  It looks like I, and others, may have come to the wrong conclusion on the PPP acquisition of Performancing.  As Matt states, PPP is buying some of the assets of Performancing.  This deal does not involve the Firefox add-in.  That’s great news.  I guess all’s well on the blogosphere this evening.

USAirways to confiscate your frequent flyer miles

Now, this one defies logic.  USAirways plans on revoking frequent flyer mileage that you’ve earned on their carrier if you do not fly on USAirways for an 18 month consecutive period.  Wow.  From inFlightHQ:

Frequent Flier Miles – Use Them or Lose Them
US Airways announced today that it will be voiding frequent flier miles for members of its Dividend Miles frequent-flier program if they do not fly on US Airways for eighteen months.

Ever since we lost the Hub designation for Pittsburgh International, USAirways’ service out of Pittsburgh has been on a steady decline.  Of course we don’t have all the direct flights that we used to.  Beyond that, we are having to contend with some of the oldest aircraft in the company’s fleet.  I can no longer count on power ports at every seat – what used to be one of the great advantages of flying USAirways.  We’re being exposed to the increasingly obtrusive advertising techniques that America West (USAirways’ merger partner and surviving management team) pioneered – like ads on seat trays.

But, what can we do? 

Internet Explorer CSS implementation horrors

Well, the migration to WordPress 2.0 and Squible went fine, with on exception.  The manner by which Internet Explorer handles Cascading Style Sheets is driving me crazy.  If you take a look at my site in Firefox, everything is presented as I want it to.  The menus are aligned perfectly to the right of my name, there is no huge gap between the menu bar and the 1st post, and the footer displays without issues.  Now take a look at the site with I.E.  All kinds of issues here.  I’ve spent the good part of an evening tinkering with the IE CSS, and still can’t get it to display correctly.  For the time being I can live with the gap between the menu bar and 1st post, but not being able to display a footer on the home page is not acceptable.  Anyway, I’m going to keep tinkering with this format until I get it right, since the overall look and feel of Squible is very professional.

Good Grief, Charlie Brown!

Charlie Brown

Image via Wikipedia

I know, I know, everything about Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts has been commercialized already. In fact, Charles Schultz built an empire on the proceeds of Peanuts licensing. So, it should come as no real surprise that Ford bought rights to use the Peanuts theme song (known as Linus and Lucy) for the company’s latest television ad campaign, right? I mean, MetLife, the huge monolithic insurance company, has been using Snoopy literally as a part of the company logo for years now. What can be worse than an insurance company personifying itself with the use of America’s most beloved cartoon dog? Continue reading “Good Grief, Charlie Brown!”