CF2 TechNotes Blog

A Podcast Patent

July 30, 2009 9:15 am

In a piece on NewTeeVee, they announce that VoloMedia has been awarded a patent on podcasting. I’m not a lawyer, and I haven’t read the patent, but the information in the NewTeeVee piece they list key points, and it looks like most podcasts are covered. It’s not at all obvious what this will do to the world of podcasting, though VoloMedia says they won’t be going after individual podcasters. Just who will they be going after, then? I suppose we’ll all have to wait until a newer episode to find out…

AP’s Boneheaded Move

July 25, 2009 11:57 am

It’s not often that you get to watch a company miss the point so completely, but AP has decided that the web doesn’t matter. Their president is quoted in a New York Times article as saying that a basic link is “unpaid use” that they’ll crack down on. I first found out about this from Glenn Reynolds’ Instapundit, and it seems almost too stupid to be true. Next up, I’m sure, is a legal attack on any television or radio talking head who mentions that the AP is covering a story without shipping them a check, as well. (In truth, I suspect that almost anyone with access to a broadcast mic or camera is working for an organization with an agreement in place to use AP stories, but the point remains.)

I agree that repackaging stories wholesale is bad, and should be punished. It’s also already against the law. The idea that someone driving traffic your way should pay for the privilege is so wrong-headed as to be mind-boggling. I know that publishers are rather desperately casting about for new revenue streams, but we’ve seen that rampant stupidity didn’t serve them well through the 90s and early years of this decade — it seems unlikely that idiocy will turn out to be a winning strategy now.

For the record, if you’d like to quote from any of my posts in order to link back to this site, feel free. Let me know if I can make it easier. At least I understand how the web works — unlike some of the highly-paid executives in my industry.

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iPhone Apps? I Got ‘Em

July 24, 2009 6:16 pm

The great thing (and the terrible thing) about the iPhone is that it gives me the chance to play with a bunch of new applications. I’ve got to admit that most of the ones I’ve been using are for putting information up on the web — iBlogger (from the same people who wrote Ecto, the tool I use to blog from my desktop), Pixelpipe (for sending photos from my iPhone to Flickr), Facebook (yeah), and TweetDeck (the same platform I use for Tweeting from my desktop). With these, I can do much of my daily work from the phone if I can’t put my hands on my laptop to make things happen.

I’ve also grabbed a couple of things that help me keep information moving between the iPhone and the Macbook Pro. Evernote is a wonderful cloud application for keeping notes and information available regardless of where you are, and Bento is a super little database that I use for information that’s a bit more structured — my health info and notes on tutoring sessions, for example.

All in all, I’m really pleased with the iPhone — it’s one of the few tech purchases of the last few years that hasn’t carried some regret with it. Now, if I can start keeping up with my Microsoft Office docs on the phone, I’ll be set…

More on That Balance Business

July 23, 2009 9:13 pm

A month — wow. How the time does fly. I’ve been busy, but it’s time to get back to regular posting here.

Last week, I had the opportunity to see my town with fresh eyes. We participated in the Scott Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk 2009 here in Gainesville, Florida. Carol and I each took a bunch of photos, and have been working with them in order to get the pool down to the two we’ll submit for possible prizes. The rest of mine are available on Flickr, as are Carol’s It was really great meeting new people and getting together after the walk for pizza — it’s amazing how few people we really know here after a dozen years of residence.

What kind of photos did I take? Here are two or three of my favorites…

Art Sign

I love the “art” aspect of the sign in the window. Simple, but fun.

Bin Lids

I “popped” the color a bit on this, but really enjoyed the depth of the greens in the shot. Finally…

Deep Ivy

This shot just worked for me…nice color, and good light-to-dark contrast.

Hundreds of photographers took thousands of photos around the world — check out some of the groups at the web site, or on Flickr!

A Bit of Balance in Life

June 17, 2009 12:30 pm

I’ve done a podcast on learning about food after the whole heart incident — virtually nothing I learned was good. While I’ve learned to eat much healthier fare than I did before (and lovely Carol has learned to fix dishes that are both wonderfully healthy and delightfully tasty), there’s always a battle between eating the things you’ve learned to love and eating the things you’ve learned are good for you.

Judith Woodburn has written a wistful look at the dilemma, A Time in Life for Pie and Beer, in the New York Times. She talks about the issue from the caregiver’s point of view, but there’s a lot in the piece that I recognize. I’m not in the shape her father was, and I can afford much more balance in life, but recognizing that our food culture puts us in a bit of a fix — and that food is far more than simple fuel in our society — is a critical part of learning to keep the things you put in your mouth from killing you.

Thanks to Instapundit for the pointer — Glenn is always good for thought-provoking links.

blogging with an iPhone

June 12, 2009 5:22 pm

A new toy and a new blogging tool…I’m writing this entry on my new iPhone. To be honest, the $99 price got to me, along with the demise of my old Blackjack. Now, to see about jailbreaking the new phone and working on that tethering app for the MacBook.

Until then, though, this is just about as cool as I can stand for a Friday afternoon…

Rehab — Until the Podcast

May 29, 2009 9:05 pm

My next podcast is going to be about cardiac rehab. To be honest, I’ve just been so busy with work and life that I haven’t had the time to put the episode together. To tide us over until then, I decided to post some of the photos Carol took of me during one of my early rehab sessions.

In general, I go to rehab three times a week, spending about an hour and a half there each time. While there, I’ll spend about fifty minutes doing aerobic exercise (stationary bike, NuStep, treadmill, and arm machine) and twenty minutes or so lifting weights. During the whole time, I’ll have a heart monitor attached so the nurses can keep tabs on my heart activity. So far, I seem to be handling everything well — at least, that’s what the nurses tell me.

Speaking of nurses, Angela is great at offering encouragement and keeping the atmosphere upbeat — I haven’t had experience with rehab nurses who do it any other way, but the team at North Florida is great. Here is Angela getting me set up on my least-favorite machine, the arm cycle.


That machine takes some work, and I seem to spend a lot of time concentrating and looking quite serious while I’m turning the hand cranks.


Of course, I have to work my legs, too, and the stationary bike is good for that. At the half-way mark on my time, I let the nurses know and they check my blood pressure. So far everything is looking good — my BP goes up (indicating my heart is working) but not too much, and when they check it one last time before I leave it tends to be slightly lower than when I came in. Today’s check out BP? 100 over 58. Not too bad.


The part that I’ve really been looking forward to is weight-training. I didn’t realize, though, just how weakened I’d become. The photos below show me working with 7-pound dumbs, and by the end of a dozen reps I was ready to put them down. I’m working my way up in both weight and reps, but it’s going to be a while before I’m pushing any sort of serious iron.

I do several exercises including front arm extensions…


and good ‘ol arm curls.


By the time I finish with the routine, I’m ready to sit for a little while, but at least I’m up and moving, getting some exercise and feeling better. I’m to the point of truly looking forward to September, when I get some numbers back on my heart function. I feel like they’ll be good numbers, but the confirmation will be nice.

Podcast to come, but work for revenue comes first, so look for the episode sometime next week.

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Back in the Freelance Saddle…

8:39 pm

The first articles of my renewed freelance career are up at InfoWorld. In fairness, the bulk of the work for these was done while I was on staff, but it’s nice to see them published, especially since my friend and collaborator Brian Chee spent such an incredible amount of time working on the testing procedures and programming. We’re proud of the results, and look forward to continuing the testing regimen with new products in the near future.

The project was a review of universal threat managers (UTMs) appropriate for branch-office deployment. UTMs are like firewalls on steroids, responding to and protecting against a much wider variety of threats than can be handled by the classic firewall.

The review is in multiple parts. First we introduce the cast of UTMs, then describe the testing regimen we developed for UTMs. Next, we move on to a look at the test equipment from Ixia and Mu Dynamics that we used to run the tests. Finally we come to the UTMs themselves, with separate write-ups on the products from Astaro, SonicWall, WatchGuard, and ZyXel. Who won? Well, you’ll just have to go read the review to find out, now. Enjoy!

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Looking for me this week?

May 18, 2009 5:54 pm

If you want to follow my activity this week, head on over to the Inside Interop Blog. I’m on-site in Las Vegas, live-blogging conference sessions, covering the show, and generally putting up as much high-quality content as I can.

Don’t give up on the new podcast about my cardiac adventures, either…I’ve got photos (courtesy of Carol) and a new episode that will cover my first foray into cardiac rehab. When will it go live? As soon as I have time to finish the recording! When it happens, I promise that you’ll be the first (or maybe the second) to know.

Busy Times — But They Feel Good

May 4, 2009 10:34 pm

I haven’t been posting here, much, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been working on the Internet. For my latest work, head over to the Inside Interop Blog and check out half a dozen posts from the last week — though you should really spend some time looking at what Brian Chee has been posting, too. Between his words and his video, he’s putting some killer content up, these days.

I’ve also been spending a fair amount of time on the Interop FaceBook and LinkedIn pages, as well as on other sites that will become much more public in the near future.

I also started going to cardiac rehab last week: that will be the subject of the next Learning About My Heart podcast, which should be posted tomorrow. The post should be fun, with plenty of photos courtesy of Carol.

Come back, take a look (and listen)…I’ll try to keep up a little better over here.

Today’s Third (and Final) Podcast Episode

April 28, 2009 11:32 am

The final podcast episode for this morning — the third of three. In this episode, I talk about the wild and wooly process of learning what I could eat, and why anything that I might actually want to eat would kill me in short order. This was the part that, had I not already been scared out of my wits, would have terrified me. It’s become much easier to deal with as the panic has subsided, but this is still one of the areas that many folks trip over. It’s a biggie.

If you want to subscribe to the podcast, you can do so on iTunes or directly from Feedburner, or feel free to listen using the embedded player below.

Music in this episode is by High Places / CC BY-NC-SA 3.0


Today’s Second Podcast Episode…

11:28 am

The second podcast episode for this morning — the second of three. In this episode, I talk about the process of learning about cardiac rehab. I knew that I enjoyed walking, but I never dreamed how important it would become in getting me through this process. I also talk a bit about the mental and emotional sides of rehab — they’re far more important than many people think.

If you want to subscribe to the podcast, you can do so on iTunes or directly from Feedburner, or feel free to listen using the embedded player below.

Music in this episode is by High Places / CC BY-NC-SA 3.0


Podcast Update 1

11:24 am

A new podcast for this morning — the first of three. In this episode, I talk about the process of learning about my medications, and the importance of doing my own research.

If you want to subscribe to the podcast, you can do so on iTunes or directly from Feedburner, or feel free to listen using the embedded player below.

Music in this episode is by High Places / CC BY-NC-SA 3.0


Rapid-fire Podcast Episodes

11:17 am

This morning you’re going to see three quick posts with brand new podcast episodes. Why three in one morning? Deadlines, friends, deadlines. I’ll have more from the world of Interop later this week, plus other news and (I hope) a dose of bloggy goodness.

If you want to subscribe to the podcast, you can do so on iTunes or directly from Feedburner.

More in a few minutes…

Blogs and Social Networks…

April 25, 2009 7:11 am

I’ve been spending a fair amount of time ramping up blogging activities. Not here, obviously, but over at the Inside Interop blog. This week, I’ve had posts on cloud computing, data center air-conditioning, print servers, as well as the popular weekend wrap-up post. In addition, I’ve been working on the Interop LinkedIn group, the Interop FaceBook page, and the interop_events Twitter feed. There’s also a major new social networking development that I’ll be able to talk about next week.

So what’s next? More of the same, plus at least three more episodes of the new podcast, a new video (or three, or four…), plus some feature writing (and, oh yeah, I’ve got to finish up my course work for the Spring term). Aside from that, it’s just sitting around watching races on TV for me…

More later…