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Tue Oct 09, 2012 at 08:30 AM PDT

Who should control your iPhone?

by LostBuckeye

The latest salvo in the war on information.

Apple is working to patent the ability for a phone to respond to a location and allow a 3rd party to take control of a phone.

It will be marketed as a feature and convenience, but will further chip away at what I should decide for myself, not left to an unregulated corporation or government entity.

Video after the squiggle.

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I'm a fairly new Kossak, but I've seen a few Pleas for help that pop up from time to time.

My heart currently exceeds my means, but I want to do something to help.  

Is there a way we can make the beginning of the school year easier for those in the community?  I'll gladly donate the idea, some time and I'm in for a backpack of supplies, but I'm stumped on how to organize something like this.

I know that lots of communities have give-aways for school supplies, but if it is anything like it is locally then it requires preregistration and isn't something that everyone knows about until after it has happened.  

I've got three in school, so I know how difficult it can get. We're doing ok, and while I alone can't make much of a difference, I know collectively it can add up.

If I'm out of line, someone just drop me a message, and I'll pull the diary.


One thing that quietly hit the local news today. TX Public Utility Commissioners are raising the electric power price cap by 50%. From $3000 per Megawatt-hour (MWh) to $4500 MWh. There is talk that this price increase is in preparation for increases later in the year to potentially $7000 or $9000 MWh.

The commissioners have said the idea behind the rate increase it to spur investment by electric companies in new electric plants by allowing rate increases for wholesale power to make sure there is enough supply in the future.

The idea is flawed: The cap normally comes into play when the markets are nearing or are at peak demand, otherwise power is at a MUCH lower cost. Typically around $350 a MWh from some cursory nosing around the web, with some periods demand as low as around $100 a MWh.

The higher prices hit when the market is tight. The higher cap will benefit energy producers in a tighter market. I am not optimistic, and expect this to lead to energy manipulation ala Enron and California all over again. The one question that I do have: Will electric manipulation will start right away as the new rates are rolled out, or if it will wait until even higher rates are approved later in the year.  I really do hope I am wrong.

A final aside: The story was never well covered. It sounds like boring committee reporting, but I've found little information online and in the local news prior to the meeting, and it received less than 30 seconds on the local news tonight when the decision was announced.

EDIT: Forgot linkage to story. Reuters Story


Will increasing the wholesale market price of electricity in Texas...

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Everyone knows about the election in Wisconsin, and the results. Other people will be diving into the results and trying to figure out what exactly happened.

But I want to think about what is next. Not for Wisconsin, not for TX, but for me.

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Fri May 25, 2012 at 11:29 AM PDT

Voting in the TX primaries

by LostBuckeye

I did my civic duty today.

I voted.  And it nearly made me sick.  I voted in the Republican Primary.

Why?  You're bound to ask it, the answers below the squiggle.


Should I be punished for voting in the Republican Primary?

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Another sometimes chronicle in my quest to recover gainful employment.

I would like to compare my job search to an emotional marathon, but the metaphor doesn't quite work. There is no runner's high. I don't know where the finish line is placed, and no amount of training has ever prepared me for this.

My job search has not been a point A to point B endeavor. There are times when multiple job postings seem to magically appear when I type in the magical keywords, and yet other times there is an apparent dearth of jobs that match any skill I have.

I'm searching for three completely different types of job to try and expand my chances:
1) A job that matches my skills and interest.
2) A job that matches something, anything, in my background.
3) A job that is local, and open.

I've said repeatedly that I'm one of the lucky ones. We don't need my paycheck to survive, but it would make life at home much, much easier. I want to resume resurrect my career; my not so brief interlude is way past its expiration date.

I want back that illusion of control, and sanity to my life.

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Thu May 17, 2012 at 02:26 PM PDT

The assault on the Green Military

by LostBuckeye

Reading over at TPM this article.

Basically the GOP is killing alternative fuel strategy for our military.  Not normally an issue I am vehement about, but something just makes me go 'eeeaaaarrrggghhhh!' about the party of the ‎"double-standard: say something, do something different" to steal a line from -George Carlin

I struggle to understand this from the party of the 'Strong Military' and 'Drill Baby, Drill!'

Shouldn't we be encouraging our military, and the rest of the US to be working on an alternative fuels program.

The development of green energy for our military, to make them less susceptible to fluctuations on the world market should be seen as a good thing, right?  

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Tue May 08, 2012 at 06:30 AM PDT

Outsiders, Party, and Community.

by LostBuckeye

Outsider - n. -
1. One who is excluded from a party, association, or set.
2. One who is isolated or detached from the activities or concerns of his or her own community.

We hear about it often in politics.  Well maybe not this cycle, but next time around at least one of the cantdidates will proclaim themselves an outsider from the Washington beltway.  It'll happen in races for Governor, Senator, and all down the list of choices.    

And hoards will flock to several of these people.

They'll be lying.  They are not excluded from their parties or isolated from the concerns of their community.  They will be in the thick of it.

That is why it doesn't work that way in real life.

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Wed Apr 18, 2012 at 07:00 AM PDT

Privacy is for suckers

by LostBuckeye

Or so the MPAA, RIAA, Facebook, and the government would have you believe.  

The defeat of SOPA has not proved to be a deterrent, it has been seen as a bump in the road.  The foes of privacy are counting on the mobilization of people by SOPA was a one time thing, and that they will be able to slip future bills though much more easily.

The threat isn't from a single source, but the largest offenders are the following:

ACTA - Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.  The text and details have been kept secret from the public, but negotiated with industry trade groups.  The administration is moving forward with ACTA as a trade deal, and not a treaty.  If it was a treaty it would require a vote in the senate.

CIPSA  The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act.  The bill would allow a content provider and the government to collect private messages, and without a warrant.  "Even encrypting your emails—could be considered an indicator of a “threat” under the Senate bills."  And as a final insult to injury, the bar to sue for improper collection or usage of the information is set impossibly high.

The TPP Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.  Extending copyright beyond the 70+ years, erode rights for fair use (non-commercial use provisions), and criminal penalties would apply to non-for-profit infringement.

February 2011 draft U.S. TPP Intellectual Property Rights Chapter indicates that U.S. negotiators are pushing for the adoption of copyright measures far more restrictive than currently required by international treaties, including the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.- Electronic Freedom Foundation
 Far more detail here.

SOPA2  Chis Dodd is confident in a SOPA revival.  

The MPAA/RIAA and the pharmaceutical industries all have their claws in several of the above.  The claims of safety for the end user, that pirating is killing their business, and that piracy are killing jobs and baby kittens.

I welcome their chance to make these claims, and to advocate their positions. Publicly. In the common square and to push for legislation on the merits of that legislation.  I also want their opponents, in this case - me, a chance to have a voice tell them what is wrong with their ideas, and why.

What these trade agreements, laws, and anything else you want to call them are doing is changing the very basis of what we have had for not just the past several years, but for generations.  A sense of fairness, a sense of privacy.  All done in the name of corporate control and profits.


Mon Apr 09, 2012 at 06:30 AM PDT

An open letter to employers

by LostBuckeye

I started my visit to Daily Kos with a diary chronicling my unemployment.  I remain unemployed.

I will occasionally follow up and chronicle my journey, and this is the first of those writings.  My open letter to my potential employers follows after the squiggle.

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Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 07:30 AM PST

Our Eroding Right to Privacy

by LostBuckeye

A right to privacy is not enumarated in the Constitution but is found by extension of the 4th and 14th admendments.  It protects us from government overreach.

A convergence of technology, corporations, and expanding laws are all helping to circumvent this right.  I try not to wear a tinfoil hat, but this is one issue that has me reaching for it on a regular basis.  

With rapid increases in technology, and a congress seemingly working for corporate interests, where do our rights stand?  Stated a different way: how much work are you willing to do to maintain your privacy?  Do you care you will be living a fully public life?  Just don't be a teacher.  Arizona legislation to fire teachers for swearing

I don't think that the effort to fully coordinate this and run with it have been done yet, but I don't think that it would be too difficult either.

Most of the things I see as attacks are promoted as convience, safety, or savings.  Just marketed to sell them to the public.  If it is just for revenue, and lends itself to tracking, does it make it any less worrisome?  If it is done for just corporate reasons, should I be reassured?

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Tue Jan 24, 2012 at 07:16 AM PST

The 3rd Political Party

by LostBuckeye

We have three main parties in the country, and the one that consistently wins is the one that everyone has chosen to ignore.  The candidate for Apathy wins every time.

Other diarists have asked if the current crop of candidates is the best the Republicans can do, and as long as both Republicans and Democrats are the minority parties to Apathy, then yes, this is the best they can do.  It is also the best WE can do.

Can Apathy ever become a minority party?  Do we want it to?

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