On Tuesday, March 10 at 1:00 pm, I shared a post in this mrontemp blog entitled Of spans and series, or why I haven't written in mrontemp that much.
On Saturday, March 14 at 11:25 pm, I shared a post in my Empoprise-BI blog entitled Empoprise-BI temporarily focuses on self-referentialism. Toward the end of the post, I wrote:
...a lot of it boils down to the fact that my primary interface with the online world is under the "Ontario Emperor" name.
Well, until Saturday afternoon. I made one of those snap decisions and decided to change the precedence of the two personas, and formally make Empoprises (and thus John Bredehoft) my primary persona.
I'm not quite sure what this means yet. It probably means that some of the stuff that "Ontario Emperor" would do will now be done by Empoprises. It could mean a sharp decrease in "Ontario Emperor" activity. And it may also mean that I will spend less time looking at things like technology (unless there is a business focus), politics, and religion.
I've already done some shifting, moving many of my Google Reader subscriptions to my Empoprises Google Reader account, making "John Bredehoft" an administrator on the FriendFeed lastfmfeeds room, and making some other changes that will become more apparent in the coming days.
In essence, while I suspect that things will still pop up here and in my related "Ontario Emperor" properties from time to time, my interests have focused elsewhere.
If you want to follow what I'm doing, check out http://friendfeed.com/empoprises and http://twitter.com/empoprises.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Not the last mrontemp post, but you may want to check out the Empoprises FriendFeed and Twitter accounts
On Tuesday, March 10 at 1:00 pm, I shared a post in this mrontemp blog entitled Of spans and series, or why I haven't written in mrontemp that much.
Monday, March 16, 2009
A little over a week ago, a trial date was set for Rozita Swinton in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The charge against Swinton is only part of the story:
During a hearing in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Friday, a judge scheduled a May 19 jury trial for Rozita Swinton on a misdemeanor charge of making a false report. She is accused of calling authorities in February 2008, pretending to be a 13-year-old girl drugged, chained in a basement and being sexually abused.
But that's not the case that interests everyone. Here's what happened a couple of months later in 2008:
March 22: A caller to a Washington battered women's shelter gives her name as "Sarah Jessop" and describes physical and sexual abuse at the hands of her husband, Dale Barlow, who she says lives in an Everett, Wash., apartment complex. She calls 27 more times in the next three weeks.
March 29-30: A caller to the NewBridge Family Shelter crisis hot line in San Angelo [Texas] also giving her name as "Sarah Jessop" describes abuse and underage marriage at the YFZ Ranch in Schleicher County and says she is married to Barlow, who she says lived at the ranch.
This then launched the raids at the YFZ Ranch, but "Sarah Jessop" could not be found. However, the calls continued:
April 10: "Sarah" calls again to the Washington shelter, this time detailing her allegations on a three-way call with a Schleicher County deputy sheriff. She also says her "sister wives" are instructing her to lie about her identity to caseworkers interviewing the women and children removed from the ranch. Each time the deputy asks how he can identify her, she hangs up.
April 12: Texas Rangers meet with [Dale] Barlow in [Colorado City,] Arizona but do not act on the arrest warrant filed against him.
April 13: A request to the FBI for phone records of the number used on the three-way call is returned, showing the number registered to someone in the household of Rozita Swinton, who has been accused of making numerous false reports to police and women's shelters. The records show she called NewBridge 16 times between March 22 and April 12. A second number also traced to Swinton called NewBridge seven more times.
April 16: Swinton is arrested at her Colorado Springs home on a charge of making a false report to authorities in an unrelated case. Texas Rangers accompany authorities on the arrest and seize evidence from her home, calling her a "person of interest." She has not been charged with any crime related to the FLDS raid.
So who is she? Someone who suffers from a multiple personality disorder? Someone with a grudge? Digital Journal mused on this:
The psychotics and sociopaths among us rarely stand out as unusual characters. Most are actually quite socially affable and hide their mental illnesses well. For the most part. Until you hear the sensational news stories and the interviews of shell-shocked friends, co-workers, relatives and neighbors saying in disbelief, "he/she was the nicest, quietest, most sane person you'd ever want to meet.'...
The Dallas Observer blog 'Unfair Park' raised the following question on April 18th:
'How does a mentally disturbed Colorado woman become aware of a secretive polygamist sect hundreds of miles away in Texas? More importantly, how does she get the phone number of Flora Jessop?'
You could also ask, how did she obtain very hard-to-get stacks of FLDS materials, names and phone numbers, which Flora Jessop stated the Texas Rangers found during their search?
That blogger, Jesse Hyde, obviously never had to deal with an obsessed person. Every woman who's ever had to deal with a persistent stalker, or psychotic ex-husband or boyfriend, knows exactly how resourceful an obsessed psychotic can be....
Somehow she got the information, but Rozita Swinton's obsessions went far beyond the hoax 'Sarah' calls to the YFZ ranch, which continued long after the April 3 raid. Flora Jessop stated that 'Sarah' had called her AFTER she posted bail for last week's arrest, and finally admitted that her name was 'Rose.'
Saturday, March 14, 2009
I've been remiss in my Merril Jessop reporting. This story comes from January:
Citing federal conspiracy and Mann Act investigations, YFZ Ranch leader Merril Jessop invoked his constitutional right against self-incrimination more than 250 times....
So why did he refuse to answer the questions?
The deposition was conducted principally by Denton family law attorney Natalie Malonis, who has said she sought information about the sect's finances in the hopes of providing financial means for her 17-year-old client, a daughter of Jeffs who sect documents say was married at age 15 to Raymond Jessop, Merril Jessop's then 36-year-old son.
Jessop refused to answer all questions relating to the sect's finances - including those apparently based on sect documents referring to efforts to create a trust in Texas with funds taken from the Utah-based United Effort Plan trust.
When all else fails, go for the money. Remember that Al Capone was eventually brought down on tax evasion charges.
Oh, and I do stand corrected - Jessop's first name only has one L. Or at least Wikipedia says so, for what it's worth.
And by the way, the FLDS case has diminished significantly, according to this March 13 article:
The state's Child Protective Services agency has dropped a 17-year-old mother from its investigation of alleged abuse at the YFZ Ranch, leaving just one child of the 439 initially removed from the polygamous Schleicher County compound....
The only child remaining in the case is a 14-year-old girl that sect documents and pictures show having been married to sect leader Warren Jeffs at age 12.
CPS on Thursday filed a request that the girl, who has struggled to adapt to outside life with two foster families since 51st District Judge Barbara Walther gave the agency custody of the girl last summer, be placed with a distant relative, Bandera resident Naomi Carlisle.
Carlisle, 52, is an FLDS member but has never been a resident of the YFZ Ranch, and five of her 11 surviving children have left the sect upon adulthood, according to investigation documents filed Thursday with the agency's request.
Friday, March 13, 2009
When I hear the phrase "youth group," I end up thinking of things such as church youth groups. I was a member of one when I was a youth, and later as a young adult I was a counselor for another such group. The worst situation that I ever had to deal with as a counselor was when one of the junior high kids drank some Jolt cola before coming to youth group. Afterwards, we decided that this particular youth should be banned from drinking Jolt cola before meetings.
Well, youth groups can do a whole bunch of things, as HS Daily Wire noted in its story 2007 cyber attack on Estonia launched by Kremlin-backed youth group.
Now that's heavy.
A country being outwitted, overwhelmed, and paralyzed by a group of teenagers? Apparently, yes. Members of a Kremlin-backed youth movement have claimed responsibility for May 2007 cyber attacks that crippled Estonia's Internet in the midst of a diplomatic argument with Russia....
Russia has consistently denied any involvement. Yesterday, however, Konstantin Goloskokov, a "commissar" in the youth group NASHE, which works for the Kremlin, told the Financial Times that he and some associates had launched the attack, which appears to be the first time anyone has claimed responsibility. "I wouldn't have called it a cyber attack; it was cyber defense," he said. We taught the Estonian regime the lesson that if they act illegally, we will respond in an adequate way."
For the record, the Russians were defending themselves from Estonia's belligerent act of...um...removing a Second World War Soviet memorial from Tallinn. Considering the way in which Estonia joined the Soviet Union in the Second World War, Estonia's cool feelings about the memorial are understandable.
HS Daily Wire also discussed the technology used in the cyber attack - I mean cyber defense.
Jose Nazario of Arbor Networks, an Internet security company, is an expert on the Estonian attacks and said they measured about 100 MB per second of traffic, compared with the largest recorded attacks of 40 GB per second. He said that generating such an attack was quite simple, requiring "just a lot of people getting together and running the same tools on their home computers".
Sounds like a fun way to spend an evening. Back to Konstantin Goloskokov of NASHE:
"We did not do anything illegal. We just visited the various Internet sites, over and over, and they stopped working. We didn't block them: they were blocked by themselves because of their own technical limitations in handling the traffic they encountered."
Well, I guess that's one way to look at a distributed denial of service attack - I mean defense.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
It is now March 10, 2009, and this is only the seventh post that I've written at mrontemp this month.
Compare this with January 2009, during which I wrote 59 posts in this blog, or almost two posts per day.
Or how about January 2008, when I wrote 202 posts?
One could reach the conclusion that I've quit writing in the long form and have instead reverted to just shooting the breeze on FriendFeed.
But actually, that's only part of the equation. I've been blogging up a storm - just not here.
I've talked about my Empoprises project before on this blog. For those who aren't aware, I author a series of four blogs under the "Empoprises" banner. Unlike the "all-encompassing" blog mrontemp, the Empoprises blogs are each devoted to a specific topic.
Far from restricting me creatively, the existence of four separate blogs has actually given me more freedom.
For example, I will often make a game of taking the same event and spanning it across as many Empoprises blogs as possible. Take my weekend visit to the Wal Mart in Chino, California - a business in the Inland Empire that sells music. Yeah, I milked that one.
But I'm having just as much fun writing various series of posts in the blogs. My longest-running series, Empoprise-NTN High Noon, takes a look at various restaurants and bars that offer NTN Buzztime trivia. And I'm getting close to wrapping up a series entitled When Madonna Was Hot. And I just wrapped up A Piece of the P.I.E. (Professionals of the Inland Empire).
But sometimes, rather than planning a series, I just fall into one. For example, on Monday I wrote a post entitled Payola, pay per post, or the 1984 commercial? An inconsistency of moral outrage re product placement business practices. Today, I followed it up with Or perhaps I am outrageous - an opposing view on disclosure and pay per post. Although this doesn't have a cutesy title, I hope to pursue the topic in the future.
If I hold up.
You see, I've been able to keep these blogs running by writing scheduled posts at odd hours (for example, unless I change the schedule, I've already written a Thursday post for Empoprise-BI, "Words aren't only cool, they make you money"). But time is finite, as Steven Hodson noted in a post entitled "Think long and hard before starting that second or third blog." An excerpt:
The problem is that time and energy are never kind to us – especially if our work on our main blog is our primary concern. This isn’t an uncommon occurrence as the web is littered with blogs that have been long forgotten for one reason or another. We only have so much time and/or energy and no matter our first rush of getting that new blog up and running at some point we run out of steam.
So perhaps this may falter along the way, and Empoprises may give me nightmares in the future. But at the moment I'm having fun.
P.S. Steven Hodson wrote his cautionary post on March 2. I've wanted to write a formal response to it, but it's taken me eight days to do it. Although this post is a non-scheduled post, one problem with writing scheduled posts is that they often aren't all that timely. But what does that matter to me? I am not trendy.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
I'm working in my hotel room, typing up notes from two days of meetings.
And I actually turned my last.fm off, and turned the TV on.
And there was Jim Vance.
You have to understand that when I was growing up in the Washington area in the 1970s, Jim Vance was the newscaster back then. Of course, his Afro was big, and his hair wasn't white, but he was still around on NBC.
Along with a weathercaster who got a bit of national fame later, in the 1980s - a man named Willard Scott.
So where is Willard today?
He'll be celebrating his 75th birthday on March 7, 2009 (or so Wikipedia tells me). And MSNBC still promotes Scott's centenarian birthday greetings.
Scott's wife died in 2002, resulting in an emotional interview with Larry King in 2003. But, according to PARADE, as of August 2008 he was seeing someone else.
Q Has the Today show’s Willard Scott remarried since the death of his wife? —Melody Perry, Newport Beach, Calif.
A Not yet. “But I have a lady that I squire around a lot,” says Scott, 74, whose wife of 43 years, Mary, died in 2002 from breast cancer. “I like my new lady so much that I bought a house in Connecticut to be closer to her.”
Going a bit back, if you go to The Joy Boys website you can see a YouTube video with excerpts from the last Joy Boys radio broadcast.
Ed Walker, by the way, is still on the radio at WAMU.
Here are some recent articles about Willad Scott from Guilford, Connecticut and Alexandria, Virginia.
But Scott has also participated in P.D.Q. Bach concerts (as part of "New Horizons in Music Appreciation"). See Daily Kos, and this piece.
Wait a minute?
A Copland parody?
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
One of my FriendFeed buddies, Chris White, has been busy this evening.
I was sharing some things in Google Reader a little earlier, and White has responded to a couple of them.
For example, I shared something that postulated that Facebook's just-announced changes are an attempt to counter Twitter. White commented via FriendFeed:
What is Facebook, what is Twitter?
A few minutes later, I shared Dana Franks' post "Why Twitter Matters to Me." White commented on the FriendFeed share for this item also:
What is Twitter?
I figured that White was executing a master plan - and frankly, I think that master plans are stupid things unless I'm the one executing them. And, with apologies to Jim Bakker, I was right:
I am going to respond to every Facebook and Twitter post with the question "What does it do?" I'm sure you will be annoyed, and then you will know how I feel.
I might use some variation, such as "What is it?"
Actually, White is asking a valid question, especially since Facebook and Twitter tend to get a lot of press. But you can ask yourself, do the applications do anything?
In an attempt to answer that question, I'd like to invite you to dinner with me. The dozen or so diners who gathered at the restaurant earlier this evening came from different backgrounds - some were scientists, others were forensic people, and others were salespeople or marketers. But all of us were interested in technology. Which meant that several of us brought out our phones at some point in the evening.
Now, as Louis Gray happens to know, my current phone is a 2 1/2 year old Motorola Q (or, as Gray lovingly calls it, an "8-bit rotary phone") with the equivalent of Internet Explorer 4. But Gray will be happy to know that I associate with people that have more modern phones, such as the Apple iPhone that Gray likes. Perhaps you've heard of this phone. And perhaps you've heard of some of the applications that you can get for the iPhone.
- You can get an application that allows the iPhone to act like an ocarina.
- You can get an application that makes irritating noises, like the sound of a dentist's drill.
- You can get an application that imitates a glass of beer - you hold the iPhone upright to pour the beer into the "cup," then you tilt the iPhone to "drink" the beer.
Now when you hear about these applications, you're forced to ask a probing question about the iPhone:
The answer, whether you're talking about the iPhone, Twitter, Facebook, or a hammer, is that the item in question does whatever you want it to do.
Let me share something more serious from that same dinner. My day job is as a product manager, and part of my responsibility is to set overall direction for my product. As part of my job, and because of my fifteen years in my particular industry, I sometimes pretend like I know what the product should do.
But I've learned something over the years. As soon as I use my imagined knowledge to make a statement such as "This product will never need feature X," I will receive a request from a customer asking for...you guessed it; feature X.
You see, I don't determine how my product will be used. Steve Jobs doesn't determine how the iPhone will be used. And the Facebook and Twitter people don't determine how their products will be used. (Although Jobs and Zuckerberg try to dictate uses.) In the end, it's the users that determine how these products will be used. I say it again, it's the users that determine how these products will be used.
Just like Google doesn't determine how Blogger will be used. This post was originally entitled "What does it don't?" But then I changed the title to "Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter - What does it don't?" knowing full well that the title of the post would eventually end up on FriendFeed...and that Chris White would see it...
Told you that my master plans were brilliant. Sphere: Related Content
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
As I've mentioned in some other forums, I had to take a business trip to Maryland today (Tuesday). Luckily I didn't have to fly on Monday, because it was still snowing in the area at the time. (I was monitoring the @insidecharmcity Twitter account very carefully on Monday.)
After a four-hour layover in Denver (I like to not be rushed), I landed at BWI early this evening East Coast time. The roads are clear, and I made it to my hotel.
See the next post for something I found at the hotel.
Monday, March 2, 2009
The President of the United States isn't the only government official trying to display some electronic communication savvy. Look at what's on the Department of State website.
Yes, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is waiting for your texts.
Wonder if Barack recommended that she use a Blackberry.