Thursday, April 02, 2009

CIA: Torture Gave No Leads, Foils No Plots, Led Goose Chases

The Feds are finally releasing more & more information that was hidden under the Republican administration that reveals that torture was not just totally unreliable, but is a waste of valuable resources, sending the CIA on global wild goose chases over & over with little to zero results. In fact other techniques have proven much more reliable.

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Fox accuses White House of trying to impose Sharia law in US

No, this isn’t an April Fool’s joke. Fox is seriously accusing the Obama administration of seeking to impose Sharia law in the United States. Needless to say, the accusation totally false and just another example of the hate-filled paranoia and insanity of Foxaganda.

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How One Man Travelled to New Zealand Relying on Twitterers

A brave traveller has made it all the way to New Zealand without buying a single ticket along the way. Paul Smith - dubbed the Twitchhiker - made the 11,000-mile trip using only donations from people who use the social networking site Twitter.

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Report: Google to invest $100 million in VC fund

Google on Tuesday is expected to announce more details of its venture capital fund, including a $100 million investment in the first year, according to a report Monday on The Wall Street Journal's Web site that cited people familiar with the matter.

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Twitter To Kill Off The Auto-Follow

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone sent out an Email earlier this afternoon to a number of users who had previously enabled ‘autofollowing’, stating that the company is planning to shut the feature down. ‘Autofollowing’ allows users to automatically reciprocate whenever another Twitter user follows them.

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Twittering & Watching YouTube Makes Workers More Productive

Have you been caught Twittering or on Facebook at work? Well now you can tell your manager it actually makes you a harder worker. An Australian study found surfing the internet for fun during office hours actually increased employees productivity by nine per cent.

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Stop Time Warner Cable's unfair bandwidth tier system

Time Warner Cable is planning on introducing a tier based bandwidth allocation system in Austin TX, San Antonio TX and Rochester, N.Y.

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Google Redesigns YouTube, Copies Hulu

Google is redesigning YouTube to make the site more attractive to the content creators who make the kind of stuff Google could actually sell ads against -- like Disney, for example.

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Joe the Plumber Gets Booed Out of Pennsylvania

Somebody in the Republican Party thought it would be a great idea to send Joe the Plumber to Pennsylvania to rally against the Employee Free Choice Act. The pretend plumber faced audiences so hostile in Pittsburgh and Harrisburg that he skipped a rally in Philadelphia. This perfectly sums of the state of Joe the Plumber’s 15 minutes of fame.

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MPAA chairman Dan Glickman to be Thrown Out

MPAA chairman Dan Glickman is currently searching for another job. The Clinton-era cabinet minister has been head of the MPAA for the last four and a half years, but will be replaced in 18 months time because of his lacking performance. By contrast, Glickman’s predecessor, Jack Valenti held the office for 38 years.

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Oakland A's Ownership Rumored To Consider Firing Lew Wolff - Oakland Focus

The above headline will catch you by surprise, but the wind is blowing in that way.  The point is that several people behind the scenes, in touch with the ownership group, and around the Bay Area are talking about how Oakland Athletics Managing Partner Lew Wolff has, as one person put it "blown $20 million" on the effort to find a new home for the Oakland Athletics. Another contact told me one would be "fired" if they lost even $8 million on such a development project so early into the process. 

But the concensus for now is to let Wolff continue to do his work, but he's on a short leach.  The main problem is Wolff fell in love with the "baseball village" concept, where the ownership has to buy a lot of land not just for a baseball stadium but for residential development in the hope that the improved land sells for more than the group bought it for.  That works in a credit-health, prosperous economy, but in today's recessionary and deflationary world its a terrible strategy.  

And there's where a lot of the money was lost; in land acquisition.  As has been reported, Wolff was not-so-quietly buying land in Fremont with the idea of implementing the village strategy.  But now, with the credit crunch that blew up in his face.  I explained to the other member of the A's  ownership team Don Fisher not too long ago (at a party) that such a move was risky because of the economic bet, but hey, no one listens to me except Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley.

Maybe that will change.  

Perhaps in calling Mayor Dellums for a meeting, Wolff has seen the light of a possible new approach involving redevelopment funds and whatever stimulus money can be gotten from the federal government.  It's a better gambit now than it was even a year ago, when the word "stimulus" wasn't in the American lexicon.

When I use the term "rumor" in this case, it's not to be taken as something I "overheard"; this possible letting go of Wolff was told to me by two different sources, which I will not reveal, but frankly do want the news out there.  So am I saying "the knifes are out"?  Yes.  They are.  And they're sharp ones.

People in the A's organization will wonder who the person's are, but the unfortunate fact is I talk to a lot of people, even folks there.  Zeroing in on who it is?  Impossible.

Wolff's on notice.  Perform and stop losing money.  Or else.  Of course, now that Major League Baseball's committee on the need for a new A's stadium is in place, it could be said that Wolff's college buddy Commissioner Bud Selig saved him from almost certain doom.


Promise Technology Inc Announces New ServicePlus On-Site Parts Replacement Program for US and Canada

First I take a stance on how backing up data is a personal responsibility and how Carbonite - a data protection company -- should take the rap for losing its customer's data, then I get comments on the San Francisco Blog about it, and from some high level folks, and now a press release?  Interesting.  It means our blogs matter in the tech world after all.  Here's the release I got on Promise Technology's news about an onsight parts replacement program:

Promise Announces New ServicePlus On-Site Parts Replacement Program for US and Canada
Industry leading support program expands to include on-site component swap offering

MILPITAS, Calif., April 1, 2009 – Promise Technology Inc., a leading supplier of sophisticated RAID storage solutions for enterprise and SMB customers, today announced general availability of the Promise ServicePlus parts replacement plan for their VTrak enterprise class RAID storage subsystems. The ServicePlus program is an available upgrade to Promise’s leading 3-Year limited advanced parts replacement warranty. The ServicePlus plan offers onsite parts replacement 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the existing VTrak warranty period.

The Promise ServicePlus Plan provides for the rapid response and installation of components that have been identified as being in a fault state. This program provides storage administrators with the peace of mind that their storage is protected 24x7 against component failure. Combined with Promise’s existing 24x7 technical phone support this program is able to significantly minimize downtime. Average response time for component replacement can be as little as four hours in most major metropolitan areas.

“The ServicePlus program builds upon our already best in class support program”, said Vijay Char, Vice President of QA and Support, Promise Technology.  “Continuing to add to our support offering is part of our commitment to providing our customers with the best available uptime and service.”

The Promise ServicePlus plan is available for VTrak E-Class RAID, J-Class expansion chassis and M-Class iSCSI models in the 3U/16-bay form factor. The program is valid for the entire 3 year VTrak standard warranty period.

Pricing and Availability
The Promise ServicePlus plan is immediately available in the U.S. and Canada. Please contact the Promise sales department for further information.

About Promise Technology, Inc.
With a long history of innovation, Promise Technology develops and manufactures sophisticated RAID solutions – offering a complete line of RAID controller cards and SAS/SATA RAID subsystems catering to enterprise, mid-range and entry-level data protection needs worldwide. Known as the originator of SATA/ATA RAID products, Promise’s comprehensive product base includes high available (HA) standalone RAID subsystems with standards-based management interfaces, SAS host-based (internal) RAID controllers for servers and NAS appliances for SOHO. Headquartered in Milpitas, Calif., Promise is ISO-9001:2000 and ISO-14001:2004 certified, and has offices and operations throughout Asia and Europe to support local business partners and customers. For more information, visit Promise Technology's website at