Gray Flannel Dwarf


Open note to the DNC

Dear Dr. Howard Dean, et al
During these last miserable six+ years, I have changed quite a bit. After years of staunch, “independence”, expressing dissatisfaction with both parties, I was fed up with the current POTUS. I supported Wes Clark early on, and after the primaries were over, I winced slightly and voted for Kerry in 2004, the first time I voted for a major party in a Presidential election, and one of only a very small handful of votes I’d ever made in state or federal elections where I did such.

The results in 2004 were less than admirable, but I continued to support the Democrats. In September of 2005, I officially registered as a Democrat. I also began contributing monthly via the Democracy Bonds programme in order to help the Democrats make gains.

This bond is kind of what’s on my mind right now.

You see, I like to invest, on the side, and like most investors, I will invest in companies which I feel will bring good results. Likewise, when I question a business strategy, I will be more hesitant, and may very well sell.

Certainly, the Democrats made great strides in 2006, and I feel the accomplishments were numerous and great. I’m hoping we continue to see great things happen in the name of progress… So let it be known that if Hillary Clinton ends up getting the nod from Democratic delegates around this country for a 2008 run, please be well-advised that you’ll see my support dry up. Just as I don’t invest in floundering companies, nor will I invest in a political organisation which nominates unelectable candidates. The Democrats have been out of the White House for eight years by the time the next inauguration rolls around, and I certainly don’t want to see another four.

This is not an issue of “fair weather fan” syndrome.  Rather, it’s more like stark reality. That you’re hearing this from me, a registered Democrat, is probably all the more indicative of what the many unaffiliated, independents who are still out there, whose votes will probably be of greater importance this year than any election in recent history, are thinking. Ms. Clinton may be popular amongst a large plurality of the party, but any attempt to convince those beyond party lines is little more than a fool’s errand.

Yes, the primary season is democratic, too. Emboldened Democrats will vote for the candidate they feel should represent the party — and country — in 2008, and I guess, in the end, you haven’t any control over that. Democracy is terrific in that sense.

Nonetheless, keep in mind that I’m not the only one out here thinking thoughts such as these. It might behoove the Democratic party to take that into consideration as things ramp up heading towards 2008. This is not a matter of petty special interests groups or necessarily personal bias. Rather, it’s about common sense. It’s been a drought the past two elections… and Hillary Rodham Clinton is not the hard rain that these parched crops are looking for. Any nomination of Hillary Clinton would be construed by me, and many others, as more irrational idealism that, quite frankly, neither this party nor this country can ill afford.


Clearwire looks kinda cloudy.

Well, I’d been hearing the ads and even gotten something in the mail for Clearwire, I thought I’d look into them.

Off the bat, I found it odd that, although 1) I got a flyer in the mail and 2) they show my town in the coverage area, entering my ZIP on their site says service isn’t available. Having dealt enough with services not being available in the past, a red flag went up… and I began to investigate some more.

Didn’t take long to find this website and forum which shows a few people aren’t happy. What’s more interesting about that site is not the number of complaints, however… it’s the number of vehement shadow puppets who argue that people get what they deserve for not reading their contracts, etc.

While I don’t deny that people should read their contracts, it seems a lot of the complaints revolve around port filtering, traffic throttling/shaping and general service issues around anything not going through port 80. Interestingly enough, however, there is nothing on the Clearwire website about this, other than a section labeled “Excessive Use of Network Resources”… under which it is Clearwire’s “sole discretion” what such usage is.

I’ve read a lot about them throttling P2P, despite its advantages for, say, downloading linux torrents. Not cool… and it appears that people can’t use their third-party VOIP providers over the service either… and conveniently enough, Clearwire does offer their own VOIP service. A novel entry into the world of “net neutrality”… and certainly, searching their website, you won’t find much which specifically mentions “P2P”, “bit torrent”, etc. Shady.

I noticed they have a Business plan, which is about 15 bucks more a month and appears to offer little more than a static IP and a few email addresses/megs of diskspace (what business uses provider-hosted webspace these days?)… but based on what I’ve read, why do I get the feeling that much of my work — where I use SSH, and generally do plenty of stuff on ports other than 80, would trigger throttling? I have quite a bit of leeway allowing me to work from home, but it sure appears that this would be wholly inadequate for my VPN needs. I’d venture to say it barely qualifies to be considered “broadband”.

I could go on talking about some of the other stuff that looks lame, like the fact they offer a mere seven-day trial. That’s hardly enough to know whether something will work for you, and just long enough for you to find out that it won’t — a few days in. But anyway, I’m smart enough to both read their terms of service, do my own research… and eventually decide on my own that this service looks like a real piece of crap.

Tags: , , , , , — cswiii @ 2:55 pm


Late last night, I submitted my first patch ever for an open source project. It was a language string fix for yumex.

It was a very minor change, and in fact probably would’ve been easier just to say, “this bug exists in files A, B, C, D, E and F”, and would have taken less net time for discovery and ensuing fix by the developer than for me to find it, learn how to create patch files, assure that those patches work…. and then scratch the itch which made me figure out how to concatenate them (easy) and test the process all over again. However, I look at the latter part thereof as a learning experience. Now that i know how to do this, I won’t necessarily be so intimidated at submitting patches in the future.

I don’t know that he’ll use my patch — this being my first time, I still don’t really even know if it will work outside my home box, although I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t. In any case, even such a minor bit of participation like this, it feels good.

Tags: , , , — cswiii @ 9:55 am