Saturday, January 11, 2014

The future of showing TV over the Internet to be decided by Supreme Court

Good Day World:

 Big news for tech and media:

The U.S. Supreme Court says it will take on the Aereo vs. the TV industry case. A decision could come this summer, and could have a significant impact on both the TV industry as well as a crop of Web companies that use the Web to deliver media.

Both Aereo, which delivers broadcast TV shows over the Web but doesn’t pay a license for the programming, and the TV industry have asked the court for a ruling. Here’s a statement from Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia:

“We said from the beginning that it was our hope that this case would be decided on the merits and not through a wasteful war of attrition. We look forward to presenting our case to the Supreme Court and we have every confidence that the Court will validate and preserve a consumer’s right to access local over-the-air television with an individual antenna, make a personal recording with a DVR, and watch that recording on a device of their choice.

“This case is critically important not only to Aereo, but to the entire cloud computing and cloud storage industry. The landmark Second Circuit decision in Cablevision provided much needed clarity for the cloud industry and as a result, helped foster massive investment, growth and innovation in the sector.

The challenges outlined in the broadcasters’ filing make clear that they are using Aereo as a proxy to attack Cablevision itself and thus, undermine a critical foundation of the cloud computing and storage industry.

“We believe that consumers have a right to use an antenna to access over-the-air television and to make personal recordings of those broadcasts. The broadcasters are asking the Court to deny consumers the ability to use the cloud to access a more modern-day television antenna and DVR. If the broadcasters succeed, the consequences to consumers and the cloud industry are chilling.

“We remain unwavering in our confidence that Aereo’s technology falls squarely within the law and our team will continue to work hard to provide our consumers with best-in-class technology that delights and adds meaningful value to their lives.”

The broadcasters released a statement as well:

“We are pleased the Court has agreed to hear this important case. We are confident the Court will recognize that this has never been about stifling new video distribution technologies, but has always been about stopping a copyright violator who redistributes television programming without permission or compensation.”

Here’s the crux of their argument, made last spring via a friend-of-the-court brief:

“Every time a consumer uses the an Internet cloud-based backup system or online storage locker, both the consumer and the company providing that system rely on Cablevision’s clear holding that (1) it is the user – not the provider of that system – who copies the underlying work; and (2) the transmission of that work to that same user in a manner not capable of being received by others is a private performance that infringes no exclusive right of the rights holder in the underlying work.”

(news source)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Friday, January 10, 2014

Jumping out of planes can be life affirming and scary as hell!

Gabrielle Giffords marks the three-year anniversary of an attack that left her severely wounded and forced her to resign from Congress by skydiving.

 Good Day World!

 I never could see a good reason for jumping out of a perfectly good plane.

If I was in a plane that was going down and I didn’t have a choice, I’d strap a parachute on and become one with the sky. Not because I wanted to prove I’m alive. But to stay alive. There’s a difference

But we all march to a different tune. That’s why I take my hat off to Gabrielle Giffords. On the third anniversary of the mass shooting that left a bullet in her head and six people dead, she jumped out of a plane to prove she’s alive. Mission accomplished.


Things don’t always go so well.

Take the story of the 80-year old woman who decided she needed to jump out of a plane to cross an activity off her “bucket list.” A video of her skydiving adventure gone horribly wrong went viral in 2012.

The video was created by The Parachute Center, a skydiving company in Acampo, Calif., as a memento for jumpers to take home after their airborne adventures. She didn’t die, but I doubt if she’ll ever do that again. Mission – sort of – accomplished.


Thrillseeker: Nonagenarian Mr Hake leapt out of a plane 10,000 feet up

My favorite parachute story has to be about Jack Hake who completed a 10,000ft charity skydive at the age 93 - with his late wife’s ashes strapped to his chest.

The plucky pensioner tucked a bag containing the remains of his wife Veronica under his jumpsuit because the couple, who were married for 70 years, ‘did everything together’.

Second World War veteran Jack, from Wimborne, Dorset, told Veronica on her deathbed that he wanted her to be with him when he did the jump.

Mission accomplished Jack!

Time for me to walk on down the road…


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Christie caught up in bridge scandal – says he was misled by staff member…yeah right!

The LIVE conference ended 10:00 PST - My apologies to those who got here after it was over. However, here’s a video link to the entire conference from start to finish.
 Good Day World!
In a post last November, I shared the stunning news that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was a Koch lover – as in the Koch Brothers, who proudly declared him “our kind of guy.”
This revelation almost made me sad, as I was starting to like the guy when he stood tall during the Hurricane Sandy disaster. Hearing he was beloved by the dark side, aka Koch Brothers, I categorized his relationship as “another power-mad moron who is willing to suck the Koch’s sagging teats!”   
Now, it seems Christie’s bid for a 2016 presidency took a direct hit when his administration was caught bullying a local political rival recently, not to mention the havoc they caused by closing off two bridge lanes for a so-called “traffic study.”

'Embarrassed and humiliated' Christie axes aide, apologizes for bridge scandal

The George Washington Bridge – the busiest in the world according to Port Authority officials – became Christie’s instrument of revenge in the midst of a re-election campaign. The action prompted massive traffic gridlock in the city on its first day of school. 
When the cat got out of the bag in December, Christie said he was previously unaware of apparent actions taken by his deputy chief of staff to orchestrate the controversial closure of local access lanes to the congested George Washington Bridge.
Video - Christie ex-aide ‘deserves an ass-kicking’
But revealing emails by Bridget Anne Kelly to Port Authority aide David Wildstein were made public by news organizations on Wednesday, and they contradict previous assurances by Christie that his administration was not involved in the lane closures, and that they were not politically-motivated.

Democrats have charged the closures were an attempt at political retribution for Mayor Mark Sokolich, a Democrat who declined to endorse Christie's re-election effort last year and whose city sits in the shadow of the bridge.
What happened was a scary example of the use of power gone astray. If Christie and his gang thought they could get away with it, what else were they capable of?
Christie’s animated denials of any knowledge of what happened is par for the course. He’s a politician, and most of them are wonderfully adept liars.
What’ll happen is Christie will fire everyone involved to show what a good, honest guy he is. His phony indignation at hearing the news of the smoking e-mails was as big as his famous gut.
Let’s just say he protests too much, and with his rapidly declining political swoon hard times call for tough decisions. Like closing bridges for political reasons.
Who wants to bet if there is a federal investigation into this mess Christie will be left standing…wobbling, but still standing?
Christie in 2016? I don’t think so, but the Koch Brothers might however.
Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Big Thanks to Vet Tix: ‘Giving Something to Those who Gave’

Good Day World!

My friend, Carl, shared this information with me and I’m passing it on to you today. I believe in supporting our veterans and their families and this is a great program. I want to personally thank this organization for what they do for my fellow veterans and their families:

Veteran Tickets Foundation AKA Vet Tix (CFC# 44909) is a nationally recognized 501c3 Veterans Support Organization whose mission is to "give something to those who gave."

Vet Tix teams up with major sports teams, leagues, promoters, organizations, companies, venues and everyday event ticket holders to provide free (and discounted) tickets to the more than 26 million active Military, Veterans and their families.

WHAT THEY DO – They support our Active Duty Military, Veterans and their Families with entertainment, lasting memories and reintegration opportunities by providing FREE event tickets to sporting events, concerts and family activities.

Vet Tix is proud to have already given out 785,438 event tickets across all 50 States, plus Washington, DC, to all currently serving Military, Veterans and their families.

WHY THEY DO THIS – When our Active Military and Veterans go to an event for FREE we want them to feel a collective “Thank You” from all of us to all of them. See our “Saying Thanks” page to read what these tickets mean to our Troops past & present.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE AND HOW TO GET VERIFIED - Vet Tix believes that every person who honorably served our great country should be thanked for their service. Visit the sign up link below for full details

Currently Serving Military, Honorably Discharged Veterans, PNOC of KIA
Use this link to sign up
Am I only allowed to request 1 (one) ticket?
NO, unless we only have 1 ticket… It’s the goal of Veteran Tickets Foundation for you to enjoy the event with your family and friends.
Do I have to pay for the tickets?
Answer: NO, tickets will always be FREE…All you pay for is the cost of delivery for your tickets.
Do I have to wear a uniform?
Answer: NO, 99.9% of the time. Only when some organizations are having a “Military recognition” event, we will inform you of this in advance in our event description.  We strive to have NO uniforms required.
Can my spouse use the service while I’m deployed?
Answer: Yes, just give your spouse your account information and you are set.  When setting up your account, you can also add other email addresses for event notification.
Is your organization listed on the Department of Defense (DoD)
Answer: Yes -

(This information brought to you by Joe Pasternack - QuiNhon Vietnam -Sept 65 - August 66)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

You want Silly? Enter the ‘Selfie Olympics’ and show you have Game

Good Day World!

Do you have game?

If you want to show the world you can take cool photos of yourself I have just the game for you.

The "Selfie Olympics." I put together this board on selfies if you want to find out what they are and why people do them.

  • What you will need to play in the Selfie Olympics: A room with a mirror (preferably the bathroom), a smartphone, some props and your imagination. What you will need to give up: Your dignity.
  • The goal: Create the most outrageous, elaborate selfie mankind has ever known, giving future generations a glimpse of the apogee of human progress.
  • The stakes: A chance at Internet fame. So none, basically.

Tag your photo #SelfieOlympics and you're ready to be judged by strangers on Twitter.

The best are compiled by The Selfie Game - changed from "Selfie Olympics.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Monday, January 6, 2014

Craft Beer sales not threatened by new Pot Industry in Colorado

Colorado's legalization of marijuana may put it into competition with legal beer sales.

 Good Day World!

 It’s been six days now.

Colorado hasn’t degenerated into chaos after legalizing marijuana.

Opponents are impatiently waiting for any kind of negative incident that can be tied in with the groundbreaking weed legalization law.

You can almost see them lurking around street corners like ambulance-chasers, hoping for a pot-related disaster to strike.

On the internet, there’s already been a parody of people supposedly dying after smoking pot in Colorado by a prankster website. It took off into cyberspace with the help of the anti-legalization minions and was spun off as reality!

Facebook, and other social media sites, saw the story pop up like toxic mushrooms – “37 Pot smokers die the day weed is legal in Denver – and other equally moronic headlines. When cooler heads prevailed, the story was recognized as fake. A parody.

The question has risen – will pot sales threaten the craft beer industry in Colorado?

It’s hard to say if Bruce Banner #3 will ever become a legitimate threat to sales of Dale’s Pale Ale, or if Bubba Kush will one day smoke Yeti Espresso Stout at the cash register.

From everything I could gather, experts aren’t worried about pot sales hurting craft beer sales. Beer and liquor in general will always have the leg-up as long as public cannabis bars are forbidden. Pot may be legal, but it still doesn’t share the same level of social acceptance of beer.

You may have seen the governor and mayor stand up for photo opportunities with new breweries. It’s a pretty common sight. But alert watchers didn’t see either of those public luminaries go near a pot shop on the opening day of cannabis sales.

Marijuana and beer may someday be allowed in bars together for a true Rocky Mountain high. Can the era of Colorado pot connoisseurs and craft beers putting on festivals together be far off? Who knows? Let’s see how it goes.

Time for me o walk on down the road…

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Two inspiring stories about underdogs

PHOTO: A pooch dubbed Underdog was rescued today after it tumbled the equivalent of 50 stories into an open pit diamond mine in South Africa.

Good Day World!

 Today we’re going to take a look at a couple of underdogs.

 The first story is about a dog…

It was a daring rescue involving seven first responders and a rig suspended over the deepest hand-dug pit in the world, an open-pit diamond mine in Kimberley, South Africa.

At the bottom was their treasure: not precious gems, but a little brown Labrador the public has nicknamed "Underdog."

Underdog captured the heart of rescuers after he miraculously survived the monumental fall, tumbling the equivalent of 50 stories deep into the mine several days ago. It's unclear how the dog fell into the Big Hole, as it is known in South Africa's Northern Cape province, but tourists spotted the animal on Thursday.

Underdog has been taken to the local vet for a thorough check-up. The dog, which didn't have any signs of an owner, is now up for adoption, but he won't be homeless for long.

There is no shortage of people who watched Underdog's rescue who are willing to bring him into their home and several of the team members responsible for saving him have indicated their eagerness to give him a permanent home - and a permanent name!


The second story is about a man...

When the injury-riddled Los Angeles Lakers called up Kendall Marshall from the D-League it was his big chance. In his first game with the team he got a foul and was ejected within two minutes. Not an auspicious start.

But, Mike D'Antoni's ''Marshall plan'' worked to perfection on a night when the Lakers' coach didn't have any other choice but to play him. Marshall rewarded him by finishing with 20 points and 15 assists in 40 minutes. The Lakers won the game won - 110 to 99 – to put and end to a six-game losing streak.

I’m not sure who was the most shocked to discover Kendall has game. His team mates, or me! He may not be an underdog for long if he continues to play like this.


Time for me to walk on down the road…


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Group Campaigning to Translate Dog’s Thoughts into English

Good Day World!

If you’re a dog owner/lover like me, you already know what your dog wants and when. It’s a simple process unhindered by written rules and happens when you bond with your dog. The last thing I need is for my dog’s thoughts to be translated into English!

Can you imagine? I thought my pug Molly was a world class whiner when she wants to be, but if her whines are translated into words I can understand it’s going to be worse.

The dramatics will get ramped up from woof! woof!, to “Get my damn food you lazy bastard!”

I don’t wish this group of inventors from Sweden any luck in their quest for financing their little device – No More Woof.

At the very least, I hope they’re unable to translate dog’s thoughts into English, and have to settle for German or French. I don’t know either language and that would negate being chewed out by Molly because I wouldn’t understand her! 

Moving on: 

 “The Nordic Society for Invention and Discovery recently launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds that will help the group create No More Woof, a device that (might) translate a dog’s thoughts into English.

Currently in testing stages, No More Woof resembles a headset that fits on to a dog’s head. It is equipped with sensors that pick up canine brainwave patterns and then translate them into English through an attached speaker.

So far, the device is able to detect thought patterns associated with “Who are you?”, “I’m hungry” and “I’m tired.” (No word yet on if it will be able to translate "If you don't let me outside right now, I'm going to leave a mess on the carpet.") Story and video here

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Friday, January 3, 2014

Cal NORML Challenges Local Bans on Patient Cultivation of Medical Marijuana


In a lawsuit supported by California NORML, attorney Joe Elford is filed a petition today asking the State Supreme Court to review a recent Third District Appellate Court decision, James Maral v City of Live Oak, that upheld the right of local governments to ban medical marijuana cultivation entirely.  

The petition argues that local governments are pre-empted by state law from banning cultivation by qualified medical marijuana patients, insofar as California’s Compassionate Use Act (Prop 215) and the Medical Marijuana Program Act (MMP, aka SB 420) explicitly authorize such cultivation.

At issue is the right of seriously ill patients to grow for their own medical use in accordance with Prop. 215.  The plaintiff, James Maral, who suffers severe chronic medical problems, challenged an ordinance by the City of Live Oak declaring it illegal to grow any marijuana at all.

The city also bans dispensaries, leaving Maral with no legal access to medicine. Local dispensary bans are not being challenged in this case, as their legality was upheld in the Supreme Court’s Riverside decision. Unlike dispensaries, however, cultivation by individual patients and their primary caregivers is explicitly protected under state law.

“If you ban dispensaries and you ban cultivation, you’re ripping the heart out of California's medical marijuana laws,” said Elford. "The appellate court’s decision conflicts with the intent of the electorate and Legislature and should not be allowed to stand."

In particular, notes Elford, the MMP provides that individual patients may maintain six mature or twelve immature plants for their personal medical needs. In addition, the MMP expressly authorizes localities to enact guidelines that are higher – but not lower – than the state’s six plant limit. 

“Together, these provisions constitute a clear statement by the California Legislature that the State’s municipalities may expand upon the “safe-harbor” provisions afforded to medical marijuana patients regarding cultivation, but they may not subvert or obliterate them,” argues Elford.

The petition also argues that the Live Oak ordinance should be preempted for being inherently “inimical to” state law. In adopting the ordinance, the Live Oak City Council cited the position of the California Police Chiefs Association that “Marijuana is destructive to our society and should remain unlawful,” a position directly at odds with that of the voters and legislature.  Courts have taken different positions as to when ordinances are pre-empted as “inimical to” state law.

In the wake of the recent Riverside and Live Oak rulings, local governments have become increasingly bold in attacking patients’ right to cultivate medical marijuana. The Fresno County Board of Supervisors will be hearing an ordinance to ban cultivation on Tuesday, Jan. 7th

The ordinance proclaims its intent to prohibit medical marijuana cultivation “in order to preserve the public peace, health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of Fresno County.” 

“The Fresno County and Live Oak ordinances directly conflict with Prop. 215’s stated purpose of ensuring that 'seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes,'” says Prop. 215 co-author and Cal NORML director Dale Gieringer. “Mr. Maral is precisely the kind of seriously ill patient whom Prop. 215 was intended to benefit.”

Maral, 42, suffers from compartment syndrome, a painful life- and limb-threatening condition caused by insufficient blood supply to muscles and nerves. In addition, he has six damaged discs in his back, the result of his work as a heavy equipment driver. He and his family have lived in Live Oak for 15 years.

Maral is also a caregiver for his mother Donneda Maral, who has severe diverticulitis and Crohn's disease, for which she is frequently hospitalized.

"The only thing I'm fighting for is the patients who just want a couple of plants in their backyard," said Maral. "I'm not willing to let my mother die or live out the rest of her time in a hospital." The Marals live at least two hours away from any medical marijuana dispensary.

Link to petition for review by State Supreme Court:


      Joe Elford: (415) 573-7842
     Dale Gieringer (510) 540-1066

Established in 1972, California NORML is the state chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. We are a non-profit, membership organization dedicated to reforming California's marijuana laws. Our mission is to establish the right of adults to use cannabis legally.

It’s Cold Inside Here Baby! But it could be Worse!

Image: A man walks in the snow down a road along the shore in Scituate, Mass., Friday, Jan. 3, 2014. A winter storm slammed into the U.S. Northeast with howling winds and frigid cold, dumping nearly 2 feet (60 centimeters) of snow in some parts and whipping up blizzard-like conditions Friday. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Good Day World!

 I really feel like a whiny toddler complaining about not having our central air heating system work.

Shirley contacted the company that needs to come out and fix our heater, but they couldn’t get out to us today. It seems a lot of heaters in homes here in Medford have decided to rebel and just die on New Year’s Day!

So, we’re on a list. Waiting. My beautiful wife, who has patience, is making the best of the situation. I’m following her around from room-to-room moaning pathetically about the cost of using our portable electric heater.

That’s right.

We’re not really totally without heating. But have you ever ran one of those portable heaters that swivel from side-to-side and suck up electricity like a power plant? Now you know why I feel guilty about complaining. I have an option.

Unfortunately for many Americans, a massive winter storm dumped 20 inches of snow on parts of New England and crippled much of the Midwest and Northeast today as millions faced dangerously cold temperatures.

Sub-zero wind chills arrived with the storm, and the biting wind and blowing snow have shut down interstates and airports alike.

Anyone in the path of this monstrous winter system that loses their heating options are in for a terrible time. I hope if power is interrupted that no one freezes to death in their home! Meanwhile, I’ll try to “buck up” and not be mean to the heater repair guy whenever he finally shows up!

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A New Year’s Surprise… our home’s forced-air heating system stopped working!


Good Day World!

Yep…started 2014 with a challenge.

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…I’m trying real hard to see our heater dying as a good sign, rather than a foreboding glance into the year ahead!

It’s about 28 degrees outside and it feels like the same inside! So cold…

Perhaps it’s the worst thing that’ll happen this year - and only good times lie ahead. Thinking positive now as I sit here shuddering.

Have you ever had to repair/replace a home forced-air heating system? I’m not stupid enough to think I can fix the problem, so my wife and I (after considering numerous options) settled for contacting the company that put it in (guided by a sticker on the unit) today.

Brilliant huh?

I can’t wait to see if it’s something relatively easy and inexpensive to fix, or of we’ll have to spend our kids inheritance on it! Better that, than having to wear my Elmer Fudd hat inside the house the rest of the winter!

Time for me to walk on down the road…

GOP Is In The Process of Cannibalizing Itself

Did you know that cannibalism is common in the animal kingdom?   It's also common in politics today as the Republican party turns inwar...