Wednesday, December 01, 2010

YouTube Subscribers put Zennie62 over 19 Million Views

Thanks to the over 5,000 YouTube subscribers, Zennie62 on YouTube is over 19 million views as of this writing on December 2, 2010. The specific number is 19,207,877 video views for 1,130 videos going as far back as 2006.

...Oh, and if you're not a / Zennie62 subscriber, join the party here by pressing "Subcribe":

The style of Zennie62 has always been and will continue to be that of a vlog. The idea is to let you in on the World as I see it and as it happens. It's also to share my views on politics, news, sports, tech, and entertainment.

Over the years, some of my most loyal fans, like AlanMolsted of South Dakoda, have served to not only keep me in check and make sure I'm talking about the topics of the time, but also have worked to keep the comments on the videos within "sane" territory. Thanks to Alan and the rest of you.

It's hard to definitively say what video every one of my viewers likes, but the one I hear about the most has to be the Fillmore Street Fair Fight Video. This one:

But the video that has gained the most views and still seems to strike a chord with viewers is my Susan Boyle video. This was created after Boyle gave her unforgettable presentation song on the show Britain's Got Talent, and wowed the normally unwowable Simon Cowell. Here's that video:

The comments on that video are still positive, well over a year later. Here's an example from a month ago:

1 month ago
you're right! we shouldn't give her only a "chance" but a " challenge" to excel in the music world. she's at her best! it's innate in her. thanks to BGT. more SUSAN is a woman of virtue that young talents must adore. mwaah

1 month ago
love it

1 month ago
@markbob120 I can't say it better or add to your thoughts. What a positive video. I deeply appreciate the experience of listening and watching it. I hope for more commentary by this person. Thank you.

Lately, I've tried to do more interviews of celebrities. The end result is, I think, still a work in progress. When I get interviews, they're a total blast. Like this one with the cast of The Expendables:

In closing, as 2011 approaches, I will work to do more commentary as well as interviews. In that case, if anyone wants to help as an interview booking partner, the door's open for talking about how that might work.

Lastly, none of this could have been possible without the assistance of the good folks at the Google YouTube project and the YouTube Partner Team. Thanks!

Stay tuned.

Erica Blasberg Death: Thomas Hess guilty of obstruction of justice

Dr. Thomas Hess, the so-called friend of LPGA Golfer Erica Blasberg, and the last person to see her alive before she died May 9th 2010, plead guilty to misdemeanor obstruction of justice and at Henderson, Nev., Municipal Court.

There, Hess was sentenced to one year of probation and 40 hours of community service.  

Hess took a note and drugs of some kind away from what was the crime scene around Erica's death: her home in Nevada.

From accounts, it looked like Dr. Hess was dating Erica Blasberg at the time.

The official report is that Erica Blasberg committed suicide, but her father Mel Blasberg, at the time, didn't believe she did that, saying this:

At first glance it looks like she might have taken her own life, but at second glance, something is very, very strange about it. We're waiting for the police to make an investigation, it's a pending investigation
And Erica's fans still can't believe she took her life.  This Twitter tweet sums up what many have said:

MJaeger16 Michael Jaeger
The loss Erica Blasberg was horrible and the more I read about it the more it upsets me.
1 hour ago

The question remains, why did Erica take her life and what role did Thomas Hess play in the LPGA star's existence?

James Bond Aston Martin replica with working weapons

According to the YouTube video description, the car is a replica of an Aston Martin Vanquish and based on a Ford Mustang body. Not sure of the weapons actually fire, but they to retract.

The car was made by Exclusive Motor Cars out of Canada.

And while it may be a replica of James Bond's Aston Martin, reports that it's price is a very real $100,000. It was first seen in 2008.

Is Google Evil: Mozilla Calls Out Google

Asa Dotzler during a speech at Universidad de ...Image via Wikipedia

Asa Dotzler of Mozilla has accused Google of being evil because it installs plug-ins without asking for permission first.  Not only did he call out Google but his rant also targeted Apple and Microsoft for using this same practice.  To quote his blog "Why do Microsoft, Google, Apple, and others think that it is an OK practice to add plug-ins to Firefox when I’m installing their software packages."  My response? "Somebody call the waaaaaaaaahmbulance"

The "evangelist" for Mozilla compares the plug-ins to Trojan viruses.  "These additional pieces of software installed without my consent may not be malicious but the means by which they were installed was sneaky, underhanded, and wrong.”  If you're going to accuse Google of being evil why do it over something so petty.  Asa Dotzler admits that the aren't malicious, so what's the problem?  Maybe they're slowing down his computer?  Get a faster one then, or just don't download any of Google's stuff at all.  

It's not like I have this huge patriotism towards Google, I just think the complaint is a little petty.  If you're going to have concerns about Google, at least choose something to complain about that could be considered a legitimate concern.  Be concerned about the fact that search engines and browsers like Google know exactly what it is you are looking for on the internet.  Personally, I'm not a big fan of conspiracy theories and I could really care less if Google knows what kind of Porn I watch or how often I update my facebook, but if you're going to make accusations of "evil" business practices, I think they should be a little more serious then.  "Hey, you didn't ask my permission to put this little piece of code on my computer that I admittedly recognize is not malicious."

John Bobst aka The Force of Nature

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The Loving Story

A racially-charged criminal trial and a heart-rending love story converge in the history of Richard and Mildred Loving. Their struggle for respect and dignity is set against a backdrop of historic anti-miscegenation sentiments in the United States. With the help of two young, ambitious lawyers driven to pave the way for social justice and equal rights through a historic Supreme Court case, "Loving v. Virginia" overturned lingering bans on interracial marriage in sixteen states.

Told through never-before-seen cinema verit̩ footage of the Lovings and their lawyers, with other authentic footage of the times. Together with oral accounts and interviews with their family and friends, the film captures their saga Рfrom their courtship, to their arrest and exile, to their preparation for the 1967 Supreme Court case.

THE LOVING STORY is a journey into a poignant love story set against the turbulent backdrop of race relations in America. It was the turning point for marriage equality in the United States; the premiere will be in early 2011, and interested supporters can be a part of the final production phase.

Thomas Hayes is an entrepreneur, journalist, political strategist, and photographer who recently worked as the Campaign Manager on the Madore For Congress campaign in Minnesota's 2nd District. He contributes regularly to a host of other web sites on topics ranging from economics and politics to culture and community.

CNN Covers WikiLeaks Founder

On CNN right at this moment WikiLeaks and its founder are being discussed. Those interested or uninformed should watch.

GOP Blackmail, Conflict of Interest? You Decide

Is the GOP guilty of Blackmail and Conflict of Interest? You Decide. This is a guest post from my friend and fellow 99er Cindy Paoletti.

As most of you have probably read, the GOP has written a letter, signed by 42 Republicans and delivered it to Harry Reid which states they will object to every motion brought to the Senate floor until the Bush tax cuts and funding the government have been voted on and passed. After watching two days of discussion in the Senate, it is also obvious they are not willing to compromise on eliminating the tax cuts for the millionaires and billionaires.

Giving the Democrats this type of ultimatum is in my opinion, a form of blackmail. Knowing that millions of people are suffering and unemployment benefits have expired, they continue to preach that the Bush tax cuts are what the "American People" consider the most important legislation at this time. Exactly which American people are these Republicans talking to? After reading numerous news articles and watching the news on television, I have yet to see where the American people have said the tax cuts are the first priority Congress should tackle. The "American People" are screaming that the economy, jobs and unemployment are the number one priority for this country! The Republican party has stepped over their bounds holding hostage the crucial legislation that needs to be addressed NOW. There are still 3 weeks before the tax cuts expire, are they rushing this bill so that they can then vote to adjourn for the Christmas holiday and leave millions of unemployed suffering through Christmas and ignore the 99ers again? Isn't blackmail against the law?

This brings me to my second issue which is a conflict of interest. 53% of Congress are millionaires. A good majority of them are Republicans. Is the big picture coming in clear now? These lawmakers want the tax cuts for the top 2% because if they aren't extended, they all have to pay higher taxes. This is a CONFLICT OF INTEREST! These Senators and Reps that are millionaires should not be allowed to vote on something that benefits their own interest. This makes the voting process totally unfair. If this vote was put to the citizens of this country, the outcome would be NO tax cuts for the millionaires and billionaires. The citizens do not have a voice in the matter, yet the lawmakers in Congress are allowed to vote on something that fattens their wallets and adds billions to the deficit that they continually complain about reducing.

There's something drastically wrong with this picture. It's even worse that President Obama is allowing it to happen. He should have been in the GOP's faces as soon as he found out about this letter. I have never in my life seen such deception, greed and insubordination from our government. If any employee ever tried to pull something like this on their employer they would have been fired on the spot. I think it's about time the "American People" that hired these lawmakers to work for US, have the ability to file motions to FIRE them. Any legislation they pass into law, should also be followed and obeyed by Congress, including health care, retirement, sick time and working more than 10 days a month! The majority of people in Congress are the worst examples of employees I have ever seen.

***Paladinette Opines: Hypocrisy is a staple for the GOPigs: "It is the view of 100 percent of Senate Republicans, and a number of Senate Democrats as well ... that we ought to treat all taxpayers the same," McConnell told reporters. They went on to say "No tiers for the tax payers and to treat them all the same" Yet we (the 99ers) have been forced into tiers and have been discriminated against for over a year now.

The answer to the question is YES - the GOP IS guilty of Blackmail, Conflict of Interest and a host of immoral and reprehensible behavior. The real question is: How long are the American People going to take this lying down or bending over....

[The donation button below is for me, Paladinette. If you like what I write please donate so I can keep on fighting for the 99ers! Thank You!]

WikiLeaks Ousted By Amazon

Computer World reports that Amazon will no longer be hosting WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks was moved to the Amazon servers after Denial of Service attacks.

Using a tweet as a credible source is always questionable, but it is becoming more acceptable. On WikiLeaks Twitter account a tweet was made:

"WikiLeaks servers at Amazon ousted. Free speech the land of the free--fine our $ are now spent to employ people in Europe."

Computer World did a reverse IP trace and found out that now WikiLeaks is being hosted by a Swedish firm known as Bahnhof Internet AB. The headquarters of the firm is in Uppsala, Sweden.

Amazon's reasons for removing the site is not known for fact, but within the site's terms of service it states:

"[Amazon Web Services] reserves the right to refuse service, terminate accounts, remove or edit content in its sole discretion," the terms state.

"You represent and warrant that you own or otherwise control all of the rights to the content," the terms continue "[And] that ... the content you supply ... will not cause injury to any person or entity."

The Wall Street Journal tried to get in touch with Amazon and WikiLeaks but were unable to get any response. However, WSJ posts an excerpt from a press release from Senator Joe Lieberman's office which states:

"I wish that Amazon had taken this action earlier based on Wikileaks' previous publication of classified material. The company's decision to cut off Wikileaks now is the right decision and should set the standard for other companies."

This is a real big deal, and these documents must have some really juicy information that governments are purposely hiding from its citizens - do these documents compromise national security, could the average person even understand them? Well, it'd be good to find out what the government has been lying about. It's not just about the secrets, because obviously no one would commit what could be considered treason if there was not a good reason behind it (in regards to leaking these documents).

#Gawker Head Nick Denton says @TMZ king of scoops

In what may be a high water mark for a change in blogs and blogging, Gawker's (#Gawker) Nick Denton says that blogs as commenters may be OK, but news-breaking blogging beats it every time. Denton also gives credit to, known as @TMZ on Twitter, for beating it in breaking news stories. Here's a taste of what Nick wrote:

One law of media competition applies as strongly to web properties as it did to their predecessors: scoops drive audience growth. Gawker Media experienced that rule, painfully, as Harvey Levin's TMZ eclipsed our overly bloggy Hollywood site, Defamer. TMZ's growth was built upon three gigantic stories: Mel Gibson's meltdown; Michael Richards' racist outburst; and Michael Jackson's death...We learned our lesson: aggressive news-mongering trumps satirical blogging.

Denton also explains that much of Gawker's most popular stories are spread by Facebook and Twitter, something that has been experienced at Indeed, it's because of Facebook and Twitter that has been able to sustain being off Google News, suffering about a 10 percent traffic drop, whereas other sites were impacted as much as 90 percent.

Associated Press Is Not Only News Originator

Something else important to add. Denton did not state this, but The Associated Press isn't the only originator of news.   Even as The Associated Press seems to have convinced Google News otherwise.  The fact is The AP's four-year old work to diminish blogs and bloggers via accusations of content theft, have chased many away from the AP.  Meanwhile, AP fails to do what it asks blogs and bloggers to do, link to them.

For example, one experience this blogger has had as a CityBrights blogger at, is that TMZ would run a scoop on a celebrity, and rather than use TMZ, SFGate would wait for The Associated Press version of the same story.

When The Associated Press version was released, it would not mention, let alone contain a link to the blog site.  

With that, Google News working with The Associated Press should be considered an effort against blogs and blogging.  All of that as Gawker moves more toward the issuance of original news.   See a coming content war?  

Stay tuned.  Visit Gawker here for the whole Denton post.

Happy Hanukkah 2010: Celebrating Hanukkah in Oakland and Atlanta

Last year, this blogger was in Oakland for Hanukkah, and Mom was in Georgia. This year, finds the Mac Book (now Mac Book Pro) blogging from Atlanta, and it's Hanukkah eve. So, again for those not in the know, what is Hanukkah?

As written before (why reinvent the wheel?)...

This is the eighth day of the Festival of Light on the eve of what is called the commemoration of the miracle of the oil. Each day, one kindles the Hanukkah lights of a special candelabrum, the Menorah which has nine branches, and does this once each day for eight days (December 11th to December 19th), increasing the number of lights each evening. So for this time before sundown we kindle one light. (In the Jewish calendar the day begins at night, then starts the 1st day of Hanukkah.)

The ritual celebrates the victorious battle of the Jewish rebel army the Maccabees over the supposedly much superior Syrians in 165 B.C. and the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. (By the way, there are many variations of this history, so chime in with any variation, if you please.)

Again, if you're in Oakland, make your way to  the place I would visit if I were there.  It's is called Grand Bakery and its on 3264 Grand Ave just up the street from The Grand Lake Theater; the number is 510-465-1110.   Hurry!  Because last year they ran out the first day because they had such a rush.  

Also a great event is this Friday at Temple Sinai where their Hanukkah Dinner and Celebration starts at 5:30 PM at , 2808 Summit Street. And yes, you bring your own dinner and menorah; the Temple provides the sufganiyot.

What about Atlanta? A lot!

Now in Atlanta, where a large Jewish community thrives, there are a vast number of Hanukkah-related events.  Access Atlanta has a great website listing many of them.

Morgan Freeman World Cup Speech Makes Twitter Trend

The Legendary Actor Morgan Freeman is the voice for America's presentation to host the 2022 World Cup, and the news is causing "Morgan Freeman" to become a trending topic.

The USA presentation is underway as this is being written. You can see the live stream here.

The USA team was led by President Bill Clinton, US Attorney General Eric Holder, Big Committee head Sunil Gulati, Carlos Cordeiro, Don Garber and Morgan Freeman.

Later today, FIFA will announce which nation wins the right to host the 2020 World Cup.

Stay tuned.

Google News lets Associated Press take over, kick out blogs

Looking for more clues regarding reasons for Google News' recent Meta Tags Program, that has kicked out many good and liberal blogs? This new one fits right in with the issue of how Google's responding to cases brought forward challenging Internet publishers under the "Hot News Doctrine" that this blogger wrote about here.

In the case, Google wrote a "Friend of the Court" brief in support of the news aggregator; writing an opposing one, was, of all media companies, the Associated Press. That was in June 2010.

On Monday August 30th, Monday, August 30, 2010, Josh Cohen, Senior Business Product Manager for Google News, made this announcement on its blog:

We’ve extended our existing licensing agreement with the Associated Press that permits us to host its content on Google properties such as Google News. We look forward to future collaborations, including on ways Google and AP can work together to create a better user experience and new revenue opportunities.

Google has done a deal with a sworn enemy of blogs and bloggers, and that has contributed to the chain of events leading to the massacre of blogs from Google News. Google News has become to blogs, what Anakin Skywalker is to the Jedi.

This Google Meta Tags project started with Google hearing claims from the Associated Press in 2007 that they were not getting credit for news that started with them.  (Of course, this makes you think blogs don't originate news, right?)

Here, Google News was, back then, working to protect The Associated Press from it's own ineptitude regarding the Online World. The issue then was what Google, undoubtedly directed by the AP, called "duplicate content." Google's Josh Cohen, who's emerging as a major player in this issue, wrote:

By removing duplicate articles from our results, we’ll be able to surface even more stories and viewpoints from journalists and publishers from around the world. This change will provide more room on Google News for publishers' most highly valued content: original content. Previously, some of this content could be harder to find on Google News, and as a result of this change, you'll have easier access to more of this content, and publishers will likely receive more traffic to their original content.

Because the Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, UK Press Association and the Canadian Press don't have a consumer website where they publish their content, they have not been able to benefit from the traffic that Google News drives to other publishers. As a result, we’re hosting it on Google News.

In other words, Google helped the AP because the AP lacked its own website?  That's nuts, but that's what was written by Google's Mr. Cohen in 2007.   But the point is, at the same time The Associated Press was railing against bloggers and fair-use, it found an ear in the case of Google's Cohen.

The Associated Press and Agence France-Presse were two media companies working against Google Legal in the case. But that was not Google News, it was Google Legal. Google News actions seemed to be working against Google's overall legal strategy for some years, until 2010.

Now, Google News actions and relationship with the Associated Press, have been expressed in a new system to kick out bloggers.  What masks this, are blind and stupid claims that Google's cleaning out the spammy publishers.  Even Google's Matt Cutts said this; he's obviously not informed.    Because if Cutts were informed, he would admit that Google News is not being honest, because giant 380,000 person content farms like Associated Content, which do produce spammy posts, are still on Google News.

In other words, a big company like Google does not always have people who work "as one" unit. To state, again, there seems to be deep internal conflicts within Google, but they need to rein in Google News before The Associated Press winds up owning it via squatter's rights.

And a note, for bloggers, use of social bookmarks and Twitter are a great alternative to Google News.  It's worked for

Drew Brees Is S.I. Sportsman Of The Year

Congratulations to New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees for winning Sports Illustrated's "Sportsman of The Year" prize.

It's really for all of the support Brees has given to the City of New Orleans, and how the team's Super Bowl win gave a much needed boost to a deserving city.

While the Saints aren't performing as well as Head Coach Sean Peyton would prefer at this point in the season, they're still in the playoff hunt.   But this space doubts the Saints can withstand the surging Atlanta Falcons.

WikiLeaks and Journalist Response

In the 1970s Daniel Ellsberg became known as "the most dangerous man in America." Ellsberg is known for publishing the Pentagon Papers. Some people believe that he is a revolutionist and are grateful for what he exposed, others believe that he is a traitor to America. For those who aren't aware of Ellsberg trial read up on it here.

Currently the most talked about topic (especially amongst New England School of Communications [NESCOM] students and professors) has been WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks has become the "leak resource."

During Ed Rice's Writing & Reporting at NESCom he discussed and compared how the WikiLeaks and Pentagon Papers are related. How should journalists respond to this? Should the journalists that are given these classified documents feel obligated to publish them? 

During Ellsberg's trial the two questions that were posed in order to decide whether or not what he did was illegal were: could the American people understand the documents as they were (meaning without having to look up terms or have the documents explained) and is this a threat to our national security? The answer to both of those questions was no.

Today, journalists are put on the spot as to whether or not it's okay to be posting these documents. Rice believes that if the two aforementioned questions are answered with a no, then the American people should be informed and these documents should be shared. 

Have there been documents posted that answer yes to either of those questions, and should Americans be worrying about documents that could potentially harm the security of other nations?

In Thursday, December 2, 2010's class with Rice students will be bringing in examples that they believe should not have been published (if there are any). This post is a prelude to the post that will be made on Thursday and more in-depth information will be shared. 

How will this impact the future of journalism? Wait and see.

Originally Published at The Future of Journalism.

Sarah Palin on Wikileaks and North Korea: not ready for POTUS

Once again, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who says she's considering running for President of The United States (POTUS) in 2012 and thinks she can beat President Barack Obama, is showing why she's not ready to run the United States. Her lack of understanding of foreign policy details and facts is matched only by her willingness to talk openly and publicly and show it.

First, on Glen Beck's Show last week, Sarah Palin said that North Korea, long an enemy of the United States, is our ally; Beck corrected her, to witch she said "We're bound by prudence to stand with our South Korean allies, yes." Stop for a moment to consider that error. If one's as politically aware and ready to be leader of the Free World, as Palin wants us to consider her to be, how can she think that a leader of the non-Free World would be America's ally.

Even more disturbing is that we, you and I, get a good part of our information from the World around us, including our peers. Palin's error says two things: first, that she wasn't paying attention to what was on the TV news, and second, that her peers weren't either. On top of all that, Palin's angry the media pointed to her error!

The reason people in the media, and in social networks, have done so is because anyone who dreams of being President, and has the reach to express it to millions, should expect that we're going to hang on her every word. Sarah Palin's pedestrian view of America in the World - in other words, she's only paying attention a quarter of the time - is not the stuff of a good presidential candidate, let alone a good congressional elected official. (Remember, Palin wanted to be a U.S. Senator.)

But that doesn't stop Palin from talking almost every day, or from her supporters pushing her. Palin now blames the Obama Administration for Wikileaks' latest cables, and says on her Facebook page that Obama should have "done more," or words to that effect, to prevent their release.

She writes: "We all applaud the successful thwarting of the Christmas-Tree Bomber and hope our government continues to do all it can to keep us safe. However, the latest round of publications of leaked classified U.S. documents through the shady organization called Wikileaks raises serious questions about the Obama administration’s incompetent handling of this whole fiasco."

That statement shows Palin has no clue of the limits of Presidential Power (appropriate to cap here) or understanding of the spread of information in a democracy. Moreover, that statement, combined with the North Korea view, which, while reported to be a "gaffe," I think was a sincere misunderstanding of foreign political geography, prove that the real incompetent is Sarah Palin.

But hubris fuels people to do stupid things, which is why Sarah Palin just may run for President, ready or not.

What's so dangerous about Palin is her lack of willingness to admit when she's wrong.  That's going to come back to bite her in the rear come 2011.