rogers. you’ve been slapped again. this time by the CRTC. will you ever learn?

This was amusing to see scroll across my desk upon waking up this morning.

The CRTC has issued a warning to Rogers in the ongoing dispute over its alleged throttling of World of Warcraft. The Commission says it is not persuaded the issue has been completely resolved and gives the company until July 25th to address ongoing concerns. It says failure to do so may result in a public process.

In other words
fix your shit on your own, or the CRTC will fix it for you.
The warning was in PDF, so here it is, in an accessible format.

13 July 2011 Our Reference: 522253 and 517209
Mr. Ken Thompson
Director and Counsel, Copyright and Broadband Law
Rogers Communications Incorporated
333 Bloor St. East
Toronto, Ontario M4W 1G9
Dear Mr. Thompson:
Re: Complaint regarding Rogers Communications Incorporated’s Internet traffic
management practices
In a letter dated 10 May 2011, Commission staff requested that Rogers Communications
Incorporated (Rogers) update the Commission regarding its progress in resolving an
outstanding issue with the game World of Warcraft. Commission staff requested that
Rogers copy Ms. Teresa Murphy and Mr. Sicco Naets on its letter to the Commission.
In a reply letter dated 31 May 2011, Rogers indicated that it had rolled out a solution it
believed was effective and that it would continue to monitor the situation closely.
In a letter to the Commission dated 9 June 2011, Ms. Murphy submitted that the solution
Rogers referred to in its 31 May letter had not fixed the problems she encountered while
gaming with peer-to-peer active, and in fact had made the issue worse.
In a reply letter dated 23 June 2011, Rogers disagreed with Ms. Murphy’s view that the
company’s software modification to fix the problem had made it worse. Rogers noted that it
had no record of calls in May or to date in June concerning problems with World of Warcraft
caused by its ITMP. The company also noted that it continued to monitor the situation, but
stated that it believed that the modification it had implemented was an effective solution to
the problems with World of Warcraft. Rogers suggested that there were other causes,
unrelated to its ITMP, that could be the cause of the problems Ms. Murphy might still be
experiencing. The company stated that it had not implemented, nor did it intend to
implement, an ITMP for gaming traffic.
Commission staff is not persuaded that this issue has been completely resolved. based on
Ms. Murphy’s correspondence of 9 June 2011 and Rogers’ correspondence of 23 June
2011, there appear to be matters still in dispute.
Commission staff notes that under paragraph 28.(1)(a) of the Canadian Radio-television and
Telecommunications Rules of Practice and Procedure, the Commission may require a party
to provide information, particulars or documents that it considers necessary to enable the
Commission to reach a full and satisfactory understanding of the subject matter of the
As a result, Commission staff requests that Rogers provide, in confidence to the
Commission, the results of the software tests it completed to determine that the problem
previously experienced with World of Warcraft was fixed. Further, Rogers is to include the
test methodology that enabled it to determine, prior to its software modification in May, that
there was a problem with its traffic management equipment that could interfere with World of
Rogers is to reply by 25 July 2011. If the company fails to provide the above-noted
information by that date, the Commission may initiate a public process to examine the
matter in more detail.
Please direct your correspondence to Joanne Baldassi of my staff
Should you have any questions about this request, you may
call Joanne Baldassi at (819) 997-4576.
Yours sincerely,
Lynne Fancy
Director General
Competition, Costing & Tariffs
cc: Teresa Murphy,
Sicco Naets,
Joanne Baldassi
CRTC, (819) 997

It’ll be interesting to see the results as july 25, 2011 comes closer.

I just got my ass handed to me, and Fitchburg State University’s tech lead is pissed, at MCB.

I just got the final word. FSU’s tech lead, Sherry, told me this. We’ll let an XP system on the network. But we don’t officially support it anymore. they won’t work on, or provide support for, a system that is not 1. up to date. 2. under warranty. 3. does not have a LEGAL COPY of an up-to-date operating system on it.
I was officially told this afternoon, do not bring a used machine on the network. here it is. “So, for the security of yourself, the school’s network, and to prevent legal trouble, no used system, and nothing older than vista, or 7. If necessary, you can purchase an upgrade disc from the bookstore for $7.”
So I was correct about not accepting a used system, as who knows if I’d be getting a legal copy of XP? there’s also the questionable integrity of anything on Craigslist. Get a Windows machine off Craigslist, you’re just inheriting someone else’s problem. Also, if I have issues with the machine, I can’t take it down to i.t., because they simply will not help, if it’s an XP machine. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s dead, let’s throw it a party…I mean, funeral. I absolutely must get a new machine. I cannot bring a used one onto the campus, it will be allowed on the network, but not supported. So if it, too, goes the way of this frankenputer, I’m, for all intents and purposes, fucked, and not pleasurably either.

Also, Sherry would like to give a nice, sticky, and unpleasant piece of her mind to the idiot at MCB who put XP on a vista system. She figures the original configuration of this system was probably illegal to start with. She’s not too thrilled. I suspect she’s already called there and rammed her foot up somebody’s ass.

Mirrored from shane and krista's rantings and musings..

my review of a program for the iphone makes the blog blow up!

So the following in yesterday’s
top tech tidbits
newsletter made the blog go balistic.

1) For a review of the Ariadne GPS program for the iPhone, read the blog post at
How’d I find out?
I saw this, in my statistics for yesterday.

Jul 7: 131 visitors, 164 actions.

and wondered what was up.
digging around? I found the culprit.
The things that make this blog blow up.
Keep coming back, readers.

Mirrored from shane and krista's rantings and musings..

application review: ariadne gps for the iphone.

as a fairly knew user of the iphone from Apple, I found myself looking for apps to replace those I used to use on simbian/windows mobile.
It has been a struggle, but you wouldn’t think so by the number of apps I have amassed since april of this year.
I was concerned because their weren’t demos. You have to buy before you can actually try said apps.
I found ways around this particular hurtle, I subscribed to the viphone list, and used other resources to find information on applications for the iphone.
I was inparticular, looking for a GPS app that could do a lot of what Mobile Geo, on windows mobile, and combine a lot of the sighted GPS features sighted users were used to.
I had heard a lot about apps from sendero, and others.
I also heard about navigon.
That one, at least. I had the pleasure of playing with on a friends iphone.
I wasn’t to impressed with it, especially it’s accessibility and lacking of monitoring features, etc.
I then heard a lot of talk about
ariadne gps
and how great it was, beating out the compitition for blind users right out of the gate.
Costing $2.99 and availabhle in both the US and canadian app stores, among others, I watched the discussion on the viphone list I’m on and today, finally decided to give it a wirl.
I purchased the app, it installed, and right from jump it was accessible, and no need to really tweek anything, it switched from wifi to 3G efortlessly, no need to stop and restart the program to make the change.
The map was accessible, I could explore things, and really get to know my surroundings with no trouble.
As a first time user I was really impressed.
A couple of things I’d like to see improved/features I’d like to see added.

  • points of interest
  • a lot of the GPS apps for the blind, as well as GPS systems for sighted people contain a database full of points of interest from banks, to stores, to malls, etc.
    I’d like to see ariadne do this either locally, or get it’s data from the remote servers.
    If I remember correctly navigon has this type of information, via a local database, or remotely. hense the size being so huge.

  • monitoring while locked or in the background.
  • It would be useful if when the application was in the gbackground, or the phone was locked, the information presented while monitoring was on would still be spoken.
    This would allow, for example, the user to take a call and still keep moving on their route.
    This would also allow for the user to toss the program into the backgroun out of the way.

I’m not sure about route planning, destination usage, etc. but I’m sure if it exists I’ll find or use it.
I’m also sure that readers of this blog will be happy to comment on their own experiences with this particular application.
All told, this application is totally worhth the $2.99.
Until next time, take care.

See ya, SWCast.

throughout today, it came to light that
SW Cast
had been shut down by
Sound exchange
but their’s a lot of wining that this is not valid.
Firstly, have the
post that sparked this

> SWCast shut down >

Posted on April 19, 2011 by David Oxenford

SoundExchange Claims Credit for Shutting Down Webcaster Who Was Not Paying Royalties

SoundExchange claims on its website that webcaster was shut down when SoundExchange complained to its ISP that the service was not paying royalties for the use of the music played by the site. SWCast was an aggregator of webcast channels created by other individuals, who paid the company – allegedly for the streaming and for the royalties that were due for that streaming. According to the SoundExchange press release, the webcaster was shut down when SoundExchange “sent a letter requesting that the hosting ISP disable access to the SWCast site.” SoundExchange’s statement says that, despite repeated attempts to engage the webcaster, SWCast neither paid royalties nor filed reports of use for the songs streamed by the service, leading to SoundExchange’s action. As far as we know, this is the first time that SoundExchange has taken such an action.

How did this work? While we have not seen the letter that SoundExchange sent to the ISP, we can assume that it alleged that SWCast was infringing on copyrighted materials by not paying the required royalties. ISPs have a safe harbor under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, protecting them from liability for the infringement of users of their services, if the ISP does not encourage the infringement, registers an agent with the Copyright Office, and agrees to take down infringing content when properly notified by a copyright holder (see our post here). We can only assume that SoundExchange or the copyright holders themselves notified the ISP that the material streamed by this webcaster was infringing as no royalties were being paid and, to protect itself, the ISP blocked access to the site.

Does this action reflect a new aggressiveness on the part of SoundExchange? We have noted before that, from time to time, there seems to be a flurry of collection activity by SoundExchange. We have heard from several streaming companies that they have recently received notices from SoundExchange inquiring about various compliance issues. SoundExchange has been staffing up, and they have an attorney on staff whose principal job is enforcement. Perhaps, with a new President, and with the last webcasting royalty proceeding done but for the appeals, this is a time when SoundExchange feels comfortable enough to act to ensure compliance with its royalty requirements.

We’ve summarized the Internet radio royalty rates recently, and reminded webcasters not to forget their minimum fee payments and yearly election requirements. If you are streaming, this might be a good time to check your royalty compliance to make sure that you are doing all that is expected by SoundExchange. They may be watching!

so I headed over to the linked in portion of the sound exchange website, and found
here’s that article, as well.

Public notice of disabling of access to SWcast services
April 18th
In recent days, SoundExchange requested that access to Internet radio service be disabled by the hosting ISP in accordance with the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the ISP’s terms of service.

While regrettable, this step was necessary given SWCast’s repeated claims that it is a “provider of blanket music licensing and enhancement services” for online radio stations. SWCast collected monthly fees from webcasters using its service, in exchange for (it claimed) satisfying all of the reporting and royalty obligations of its webcaster clients. Among the obligations specifically listed on its site are those reporting obligations and royalties paid to rights-holders by webcasters through SoundExchange.

SWCast, however, does not provide the promised services. Specifically, and despite its claims, SWCast has failed to abide by its obligations under the statutory license, did not pay anything to SoundExchange for years, and, as of the date of this letter, has not even attempted to make any payment to SoundExchange for any period after 2005. SWCast has also never provided the reports of use that are clearly required by the statutory license.

SoundExchange repeatedly reached out to SWCast to seek its compliance, to no avail. Accordingly, SoundExchange sent a letter requesting that the hosting ISP disable access to the SWCast site. Individual webcasters who had been using SWCast’s services are free to rely on the statutory license going forward, either by submitting the necessary materials and payments to SoundExchange directly, or relying on a different third party service to submit such materials and payments on their behalf. Learn more about SoundExchange’s Licensing 101.

Thousands of webcasters have been able to thrive and to provide valuable services to their listeners while operating legally under the statutory license. It’s unfair for SWCast or anyone else to use artists’ work without compensating them, and it’s unfair to the webcasters who believed they were abiding by the law.

We’re sorry that SWCast chose not to comply with the law, and we hope SWCast fans will find another (legal) provider by which to enjoy the tracks we all love. Meanwhile, we’ll be holding down the fort here, making sure that artists and copyright holders see returns on their hard work, and have the means to continue creating new music.

If you have any questions, please review or feel free to contact our licensing and enforcement department at 202.559.0555 or L&

so as a member of staff on both
Mojo Radio
and a concerned listener, I contacted the phone number listed, and spoke with Mandi Nash of the licensing and enforcement department.
I determined, during that conversation that what I was reading was true and accurate, and as further proof, she sent me what all stations were receiving upon request.


From: Mandi Nash [mailto:anash@SOUNDEXCHANGE.COM]
Sent: Monday, April 25, 2011 3:43 PM
Subject: Notice of Violation of Terms of Statutory License by SWCast

Re: Notice of Violation of Terms of Statutory License by SWCast

Dear Sir or Madam:

This is a courtesy notice provided to you by SoundExchange regarding the current compliance status of your webcasting station. As you may know, SoundExchange, Inc. is the non-profit entity designated by the Copyright Royalty Board to collect royalties owed under the statutory license for the public performance of sound recordings via certain noninteractive digital audio transmissions (e.g., “webcasting”) and the making of certain ephemeral phonorecords. See 17 U.S.C. §§ 112(e), 114; 37 C.F.R. Parts 370, 380 (the “Statutory License”). SoundExchange, in turn, distributes the royalties it collects to the performing artists and copyright owners of such sound recordings.

We write to you regarding your webcasting service that has been made available through (“SWCast”). SWCast purports to be an Internet radio service for small webcasters and a “provider of blanket music licensing and enhancement services” for online radio stations. As part of its services, SWCast offers a so-called “Joint Performance Licensing Program” (“JPL Program”). Through the JPL program, SWCast offers, for a fee, to satisfy all of the reporting and royalty obligations of its webcaster clients whose streaming it hosts and manages (the “Webcaster Clients”). Among the obligations specifically listed are those reporting obligations and royalties paid to rights-holders by webcasters through SoundExchange. SWCast promises to provide “small U.S. Webcasters with the licensing coverage, expertise, and peace of mind they need,” in exchange for monthly payments from its Webcaster Clients.

SWCast, however, does not provide the promised services. Specifically, and despite its claims, SWCast has completely failed to abide by its obligations under the statutory license, did not pay anything to SoundExchange for years, and, as of the date of this letter, has not even attempted to make any payment to SoundExchange for any period after 2005. SWCast has also never provided the reports of use that are clearly required by the statutory license.

SoundExchange has tried for months to rectify this unacceptable situation with SWCast, to no avail. Accordingly, on March 28, 2011, SoundExchange sent a letter to the Internet service provider for informing the ISP that had failed to comply with the terms of the statutory license, was engaging and/or assisting in infringing activity and had violated the ISP’s terms of service. The letter requested that the ISP disable access to the site, in accordance with the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the ISP’s terms of service.

We are writing to you to inform you of SWCast’s failure to comply with the terms of the statutory license. If you wish to rely on the statutory license for your webcasting service going forward, you may decide to submit royalty payments, statements of account and reports of use directly to SoundExchange, or you may decide to rely on a different third party to submit such materials and payments to SoundExchange on your behalf. Please let us know by May 6, 2011 how you intend to proceed. If you wish to submit materials and payments directly to SoundExchange, you may use the rates, forms and other information provided on SoundExchange’s web site at . Please note that SoundExchange does not endorse any particular third-party service and that – should a third-party service fail to meet its obligations on your behalf going forward – you remain ultimately responsible for your own service’s compliance with the terms of the statutory license.

If you have any questions, please review our web site at or feel free to contact our licensing and enforcement department at 202.559.0555 or L&

* * *

This letter does not constitute a waiver of our members’ right to recover damages incurred by virtue of any unlicensed transmissions or reproductions of copyrighted sound recordings, and such rights as well as claims for other relief are expressly retained. Also, please be advised that SoundExchange does not make any determination as to whether a service is in fact eligible to use the Statutory License. Instead, the applicable authorization for such services to publicly perform sound recordings derives from federal law, and eligibility for such activity is thus a matter of law. Accordingly, SoundExchange’s acceptance of notices of use, payments, statements of account, or reports of use does not express or imply any acknowledgment that a service is in fact eligible for or otherwise in compliance with the requirements of the Statutory License. If you have questions about whether your service is eligible for the Statutory License, you should consult your own legal counsel for advice.


Brad Prendergast
SoundExchange, Inc.
1121 Fourteenth St. NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20005
Tel: 202-559-0550
Fax: 202-640-5883

In other words, SW cast is dead. and you’ll need to find an alternate licensing source before may 6, 2011.
Feel free to comment as either a station owner, a listener, or what have you. It’ll be interesting to see your views.

Mirrored from shane and krista's rantings and musings..

attempting to ram religion down blind peoples throats isn’t how you sell a product.

so as a long time tech geek, I have this bad habbit of keeping up with firmware upgrades for the various blind products,
braillenote family of products
and the
braille sense family of products
once distributed by
now sold and distributed by their manufacturer
hims INC.
It’s come to my attention that the braille sense plus has a knew firmware upgrade coming out or that’s already out, ok, that’s special, great, spantacular. Except for one major off pissing issue.
This firmware, will have burnt into the rom, five, yes five, different versions of the bible.
I see a few issues with this
List time, you know how this rolls.

  • not everyone’s freakin’ religious, stop trying to ram it down our throats.
  • noting the item above, if I wanna freakin’ remove it, give me the ability to for christ sakes.
  • Actually, here’s a better idea, during the upgrade, give us the option, we want it, grate, let us pick a version, or all five if the person wants it. Don’t want it? Don’t install it for peet sakes!

People have religion, believe in god, are cathlic, whatever. I’m not knocking that, what I’m freakin’ knocking is this freakin companies ramming religion by burning 5 different bibles into your note takers rom, without your consent, and their being no way to remove it or know way to tell the updater, thanks, but no thanks, I *don’t* want this.
Ok, if you *must* install it, stick it in flash, as files, so they can be deleted!
So me getting a braille sense plus?
Not after I read that.
Comment away.
Let’s see what this sparks. This should be interesting.

Mirrored from shane and krista's rantings and musings..

welcome to durable, much?

so I’ve been eyeballing these iPhone tthings since voice over now comes built into the phone.
I got to play with a 3gs thanks to a friend I got to meet while in fitchburg.
Who ever knew a phone could
a 1000 foot drop from a moving airplane.
Shows you apple’s durability, maybe?

Mirrored from shane and krista's rantings and musings..

hey, united states? canada’s kickin’ your ass, again!

Once again, we here in canada proove we have a better handle on this digital thing than the united states.
We took the year by storm with
18% growth
over the united states impressive 1%.
Oh, wait, it gets better.
In 2009, our digital growth was 38%, and the united states was… what’s that? only 8%? sorry you suck, again.
It’s impressive to see that our digital and non digital markets rank the same, number 7 in the world.
Again, united states? RIAA/MPAA, head out of your asses, right the hell now.

Mirrored from shane and krista's rantings and musings..

hey, CRTC. welcome to either do it, or being overruled. you choose.

I won’t reidderate my view on bandwidth caps.
this person over here, known as my roommate, does it quite well
for me.
while covering the crtc’s ruling and simarily blasting the hell outta of it, for what that’s worth.
Now, the federal government has simarily told the CRTC, either you recynd your ruling or we’ll
do it for you

it’s their choice.
Here’s that article, minus all the sighted advertisement shit.

CRTC will rescind ‘unlimited use’ Internet decision – or Ottawa will overturn it
OTTAWA— From Thursday’s Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Feb. 02, 2011 10:17PM EST
Last updated Wednesday, Feb. 02, 2011 10:59PM EST
The Harper government will overturn the CRTC’s decision that effectively ends “unlimited use” Internet plans if the regulator doesn’t rescind the decision itself.
Industry Minister Tony Clement made the surprise announcement late Wednesday night via his closely-followed Twitter account.
He confirmed reports by The Globe and Mail and other media that the Tories were prepared to take this step.
“True. CRTC must go back to drawing board,” he tweeted after being asked if it was true the government would act “if the CRTC does not back down.”

Given this ultimatum from the Tories, the options facing the independent regulator are to reconsider the ruling of its own volition or see the cabinet use its power to reverse it.

The Harper government has taken a keen interest in the CRTC ruling that’s sparked a massive consumer backlash and caught the attention of all political parties in Ottawa.

Mr. Harper has personally intervened on the file to signal his displeasure this week.

If the Harper government is forced to act, it would mean that independent Internet service providers would not be forced to switch to per-byte billing from “unlimited access” accounts.

It would also not prevent the big Internet providers from continuing to use metered billing as they have for years.

But the fact that smaller providers could offer unlimited accounts has likely acted as a competitive check on the market and helped keep prices from rising.

Earlier Wednesday night, Mr. Clement turned up the heat on CRTC chair Konrad von Finckenstein on the eve of the regulator’s Commons committee grilling over the decision.

The minister used his closely followed Twitter account to broadcast his unease about the ruling, raising the stakes for Mr. von Finckenstein’s appearance Thursday.

The regulatory chief has been called on the carpet before MPs to explain the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission ruling.

Mr. Clement, who only this week announced his government is probing whether to overturn the decision, late Wednesday served notice that he will be closely scrutinizing the comments of Mr. von Finckenstein, the very regulator whose decision he’s now second-guessing. The CRTC is independent but cabinet has the power to amend or rescind its rulings.

Using his Twitter instant messaging account – followed by more than 8,300 people, including journalists and many in political circles – Mr. Clement hammered home how skeptical he is of the CRTC decision concerning what Internet providers call “usage-based billing.”

“I’m looking forward to the CRTC chairman’s appearance before the House Industry Committee … to explain his support for the UBB decision,” the Industry Minister said via Twitter.

To drive home his point, Mr. Clement quickly added: “I remain very concerned by the UBB decision of the CRTC and look forward to my review being completed ASAP.”

Mr. Clement is the most avid Twitter user in the federal cabinet, having posted more than 2,500 messages. He’s shown a knack for careful tweeting that avoids missteps. While he discusses music and his personal life, his political-themed messages are normally worded to make a point rather than repeat blandishments.

Mr. Clement and the Harper cabinet have overturned the CRTC before, of course, by striking down the regulator’s ruling that Globalive, which now operates Wind Mobile, couldn’t launch service in the regulated sector because of foreign financial backing.

A CRTC official said this week the agency has received thousands of complaints about its decision, which allows large Internet providers such as BCE Inc.’s Bell Canada to charge smaller providers who lease space on their networks on a per-byte, or usage, basis.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper himself took the unusual step of intervening in the controversy, putting more heft behind Mr. Clement’s move to review the CRTC ruling – a strong sign of the Conservatives’ displeasure with the regulator’s decision.

It’s an unwelcome development for major Internet providers, which have fought for years for the CRTC ruling that effectively ends “unlimited” Internet download plans.

The Conservatives said the probe of the ruling will be finished by or before March 1.

While the Conservatives insist they have not yet decided what to do, the government is sounding very sympathetic to CRTC critics who say the verdict will hurt Internet commerce and consumers.

“We want to ensure that the Internet is available for consumers, small businesses, innovators and creators. That is what we are all about,” Mr. Clement told the Commons Wednesday.

needless to say, the CRTC’s been told, your choice, but either way, this will get reversed, either voluntarily or forcefully.
This is one thing I don’t mind eyeballing, and have been eyeballing since my last
bill showed up wherein this was mentioned.
working off that, while I was putting the above together, we have

The CRTC’s Usage-based billing rules will be reviewed by the CRTC, or overturned by the government.

We’re not at the finish line yet, but this is a massive win for all 330,000 of us who signed the Stop The Meter petition.

What we do not know:
1. Will the CRTC review all of it’s UBB decisions pertaining to Indie ISPs or just those pertaining to the specific billing rules?
2. Will UBB be suspended until the CRTC finishes it’s review?
3. Will the CRTC actually do a complete reversal in the end, or will they try to save face by doing a half-measured response (giving the Indie ISPs a better deal on UBB, but not removing it’s imposition)

What we do know:
1. From what the Globe reports, major telecom companies (Bell, Shaw, Rogers, Videotron), will still be allowed to impose UBB on their retail customers
2. They will now face more competition from indie ISPs who will, to some degree, be able to decide on their own pricing.

In short, this is an amazing and unprecedented victory for innovators, entrepreneurs and Canadians of all stripes…. But we are NOT at the finish line. There is nothing that big telecom would like more than to change the channel on this debate. Lets take a minute to pat ourselves on the back, but not this victory act as veil on the work that still needs to be done. Bi

The next round will likely be with the CRTC. We have momentum behind us, we have the government and major opposition parties behind us, we have over 330,000 of us who have taken a firm stand in favour of an accessible open Internet. If we keep the momentum going we can stop the meter, and fix the structural problems in our communications system.

Big telecom lobbyists are waiting to back to business as usual; the backroom meetings, the captured regulator, the uninformed citizenry. Lets not go back there – this has been too fun.

We’re just about there – please keep raising awareness amongst your friends, family and networks – let continue to grow our community of supporters:

To further the point, please submit the following form.
If the below form doesn’t work, go over
and fill it out.

Thanks for your continued support and let’s here your comments.

Mirrored from shane's rants.

a note to wining dream host customers, get you a clue, or 12.

so this blog, among other things, including e-mail, is now hosted on
dream host
and a couple nights ago, their entire network infristructure went down for scheduled maintenance, and this was posted on their

DreamHost Status: Network Maintenance: Friday, January 28th – 22:00 through Saturday, January 29th 02:00 PST at 2:49:38 PM on 1/28/2011

so being the individual I am, I immediately visit the post, in the event I’m effected, and in
visiting that post
we see it’s tagged for 9:30PM.
Those of you with half an inkling of a clue about the power of
will know you can future date a post, and it’ll show up as being posted at that date and time.
This is what dreamhost had done in this case.
The influx of fuckin’ winers after this post went up, supposedly 30 minutes before the network maintenance window, was outstandingly dumb!
These people supposedly have technical nowhow?
These people supposedly run websites and businesses?
You wouldn’t know it, reading the comments after that particular post even today over 48 hours after things went to hell and the maintenance went longer than expected.
People, a few things in list format, because I don’t feel like expanding my ideas right now and I’m undercafeinated and food deprived.

  • dream host
    can’t control if things go straight to hell and the network maintenance window needs to be expanded
  • secondly, dream host has better things to do than to bend to your every beck and call and issue you status e-mails when shit’s gonna fall over. this is why their
    status blog
    exist, and ohmygod, the status blog has an rss feed!
  • further to that, you are supposedly technical, and you have time to post comments and wine, follow the rss feed of that status blog, or create a rss feed of their twitter, ok? use that technical knowledge for something else then pissing off dream host. they might shut you down, except not, but the thought was their and needed to be said.

the long and short of this post is this.
You run a website, your supposedly technical, dreamhost has many a way for you to know about this stuff, and their twitters updated hella frequently, so for the love of cheese and bacon, use the resources available to you and quit wining!
I’m done, now.
food calls.
I do like comments, use them.

Mirrored from shane's rants.

and their goes amazon’s pripriatory drm protection, out the window. I’m not sad though.

When I purchase something, I expect to be able to do whatever I want with it, whenever I want, on whatever freakin device I so choose, right?
Up to now, kindle users couldn’t do this.
It’s a long standing given that I hate DRM, especially when on the rare off chance I purchase something, that DRM protection is on.
This means I can’t do whatever I want with said purchase, weather it’s an MP3, or an ebook.
Until now.
life hacker
we have the
to your kindle drm protected wo’s.
somehow I’m not saddened by this.
The reason?
I bought the book, let me do whatever I want with it. So thanks to the above linked source for giving me an actual way to use what I buy wherever I want.

Mirrored from shane and krista's rantings and musings..

the things you can use your cell phones for.

I thought I’d seen it all until

WASHINGTON – US coffee chain Starbucks on Wednesday began allowing customers in its US stores to keep their cash and credit cards in their wallets and pay for their drinks with mobile phones.

Starbucks said the mobile payment system, which has been tested in selected cities since last year, was being expanded to the nearly 6,800 Starbucks around the country and the more than 1,000 Starbucks located in Target stores.

While Japanese shoppers have been able to pay by mobile phone for years for certain purchases, the practice is still in its infancy in the United States.

The Seattle, Washington-based Starbucks said its mobile payment program will be the largest in the country.

Starbucks said owners of a Blackberry smartphone, an iPhone or an iPod Touch who have downloaded the free Starbucks Card mobile application can buy drinks by waving their mobile phone at a scanner at the cash register.

The scanner reads an on-screen barcode and debits the purchase from the Starbucks Card, which can be reloaded with funds using a credit card or with PayPal.

“Starbucks anticipates mobile payment will be a draw for customers looking to experience the speed, ease and convenience of paying with their mobile phone,” the company said in a statement.

Google last month unveiled a new mobile phone, the “Nexus S,” powered by its Android software, that allows for another form of mobile payment.

The Nexus S is equipped with a near field communication (NFC) chip that turns the device into a virtual wallet, allowing users to “tap and pay” for financial transactions.

NFC chips store personal data that can be transmitted to readers, say at a shop checkout stand, by tapping a handset on a pad.

Reading that makes me wonder how accessible that app would be ont he iphone with voiceover.
related: aughta check that out while I’m down their. methinks.

Mirrored from shane's rants.

wherein the kitchen table has now become my desk.

so over the past month my computer had decided that being made of fail, was grand, but it’s
windows, so you’d expect things to generally suck, right?
yeah, except not on the magnitude of this.
My wireless adapter was sorta being a pain in the ass, since my last trip to the states.
I just thought it was the fitchburg state network, because we know that university networks generally suck, on principle.
Well, over the past couple of days, I’ve been losing total network connectivity, etc.
Without boring my readers with the details, it was determined that my network adapter, is simarily, hozed, shot, whatever you call it.
The resolution?
Wire into the router, and use the kitchen table, as my desk, until a better solution can be found.

Mirrored from shane and krista's rantings and musings..

a note to the stupid, research before you wine.

So yesterday everyone and their mother was wining about
facebook shutting down
but sadly, it’s
so please do be shutting your mouth and do your research before you wine.
More proof that the claim was
can be found right
over here
so in short, please get your facts straight before believing things like
thanks for coming out to play, though.

Mirrored from shane's rants.

people continue to ask why I won’t switch to apple? have another reason.

people always ask me, why won’t you buy a mac.
My simple answer, I’m happy with what I’ve got.
If I want to play in the mac environment I’ll crank it up in a VM.
Well, I’ve found another reason.
Reading RSS feeds, we see that an apple
service provider is
a customer for complaining online.

An Apple authorized Service Provider called System Graph is suing a customer who complained online about poor service from them. The customer Dimitrios Papadimitriadis took his iMac to them because he was seeing gray spots on his LED panel.

The Greek company System Graph recommended a full interior cleaning of the iMac and performed the service for Dimitrios. He then got his iMac back and noticed moisture behind the screen and that it still did not work properly and took it back to the repair center. System Graph then told him that they needed to keep his iMac to replace the LED screen and he would be without it for another week.

Dimitrios was now angry and demanded that his iMac be replaced pursuant to Article 540 of the Civil Code and section 5 of Act 2251. System Graph refused saying they were not the original retailer that he purchased the iMac from.

Dimitros has posted the entire story on a forum (Google Translated) and is now being sued by System Graph for 200,000 euros which is approximately $267,000 USD for slandering their good name. He has already gotten a large amount of support on both twitter and the forum.

What I don’t understand is what the company System Graph expects to get out of this suit. They will not be clearing their name by suing a customer, and what will Apple think if one of their Authorized Service Provider is suing an Apple customer. With the explosion of this news all over the web it will undoubtedly bring more attention to the company than they ever wanted.

if that’s the level of service we get from authorized apple dealers? Thanks, but no thanks apple, I’ll stick with windows, even though it does suck.
I’d rather avoid getting sued, when I file a valid complaint.
Apple, time to clean house, k? get rid of that service provider and i *might* consider switching, unlikely, but it had to be said.

Mirrored from shane's rants.

and we begin 2011′s technological fails, with outlook falling flat, on it’s face.

I’d like to state for the record that microsoft office outlook, is a pain in the ass.
I installed.
apps sync as we were going to use google apps to provide our mailing services, (on a professional level). Ever since then outlook’s decided, that in it’s infinant wisdom that running multiple IMap accounts under one profile is gonna throw it into a tailspin and nothing I do will correct it.
So now, I have to setup each account under it’s own profile.
in other words, microshaft’s technology falls on it’s face, yet again.
related: cleaning up after it fell flat on it’s face is no fun.
I’ve got roag profiles kicking around I can’t get rid of. bleh!

Mirrored from shane's rants.

a note to freedom scientific, primus, and windows mobile.

Since I’m lazy, have the following small notes to three companies, crammed into one post, and in list format.

  1. Freedom scientific
    it’s good practice not to break your access to windows mobile applications right after an upgrade.
  2. Windows mobile:
    When your told to send mail on an alternate port, actually doing it, without throwing 7 types of fits, would rule to.
  3. primus
    This blocking of port 25 is not cool, kindly quit it.

With no love, the other geek in this apartment.
Refer to
for james view on this same thing.

Mirrored from shane's rants.

delicious not shutting down, computerworld and the delicious blog reports.

I read
earlier today on
Then I ran across
story that in it’s summary stated

Yahoo will not shut down Delicious and instead is trying to sell it to another company. At least, that’s what Yahoo wrote on the Delicious blog Friday, a day after reports circulated that it planned to shut down the social bookmarking pioneer.

so I did some digging, and followed this link to a
blog post
and I give it to you in it’s entirety.

Many of you have read the news stories about Delicious that began appearing yesterday. We’re genuinely sorry to have these stories appear with so little context for our loyal users. While we can’t answer each of your questions individually, we wanted to address what we can at this stage and we promise to keep you posted as future plans get finalized.

Is Delicious being shut down? And should I be worried about my data?

- No, we are not shutting down Delicious. While we have determined that there is not a strategic fit at Yahoo!, we believe there is a ideal home for Delicious outside of the company where it can be resourced to the level where it can be competitive.

What is Yahoo! going to do with Delicious?

- We’re actively thinking about the future of Delicious and we believe there is a home outside the company that would make more sense for the service and our users. We’re in the process of exploring a variety of options and talking to companies right now. And we’ll share our plans with you as soon as we can.

What if I want to get my bookmarks out of Delicious right away?

- As noted above, there’s no reason to panic. We are maintaining Delicious and encourage you to keep using it. That said, we have export options if you so choose. Additionally, many services provide the ability to import Delicious links and tags.

We can only imagine how upsetting the news coverage over the past 24 hours has been to many of you. Speaking for our team, we were very disappointed by the way that this appeared in the press. We’ll let you know more as things develop.

it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out over the coming weeks and month’s.

Mirrored from shane's rants.

more on yesterday’s blog post

as posted
I threw a clue by 4 at the
Ottawa citizen
1310 news
regarding their
that the iphone was
specially designed
for the blind.
I wasn’t disputing the fact that the IPhone wasn’t a barrier remover and hasn’t enhanced the lives of blind users.
I’m saying that, their was no special software installed on victoria’s phone to allow this access, apples putting it in every phone, sighted or not, and that you don’t pay extra for it.
Both 1310 news and the ottawa citizen are making it out that it was specially put into the phone for victoria as a blind user.
This assumption is not correct.
That’s all I’m saying.
Comment here and voice your thoughts.

Mirrored from shane's rants.

wait, a company taking full responsibility for a fuck up?

So when I got home today, under a lot of stress, still going through mild bouts of mind implosions, still am, to this hour, I decide, I’ll take a shower, then crank up the computer and go through e-mail, twitter, etc. etc. etc.
Come to realize, I had no dsl sync, at all.
I swore mildly, and immediately dialed my
to get answers.
Tech support was baffled about why I had no service, when my move order, in fact stated service cancelation was dec 2nd.
I demanded a manager and was immediately granted an audience with elizibith, the sales manager of teksavvy.
We were able to determine that someone in data processing made a major error in processing the service cancelation order, and accidentally entered november 12, 2010 instead of dec 2, 2010.
The move order itself for knew installation was in good shape, someone just needs to learn how to.
1. read.
2. type properly.
Elizibith made it clear to me that it was totally 100% teksavvy’s fault, no bullshitting around, no funny business.
at this point I was given 2 options.

  • Reconnect the current service within 5 business days, with a disconnect properly scheduled for dec 2nd.
  • leave service deactivated at the old address and proceed with the reconnect at the knew address dec 2nd, 2010.

I went with option 2, with a few requirements.

  • a credit for the days of service not used from november 12, to december 2, 2010.
  • a credit of the move charge
    of $19.99

Both of the above requests were granted.
It’s reasons like this why
tek savvy
Honest customer service, and when they make a mistake, they own up to it and work to come up with a resolution that is satisfactory to all.

Mirrored from shane's rants.

I’ve met another pain in my ass, that of the FSU student network and it’s help desk

so a couple of days ago, the
fitchburg state university
student network started having massive issues that were made of utter failure.
Packet loss, dropping us on the floor, horrid DNS resolution, etc. etc. etc.
We chocked it up to students on this router being bandwidth hogs, and generally a detriment to the ability for anyone to get anything done, in a timely manner, so we powered everything down, and crashed.
Yesterday, things were going fine, and krista decides to make dropbox her bitch to move over 30Gigs of shit from one machine to the other, so we can have her on one machine instead of bouncing between a netbook and a laptop depending on the task she needs to perform.
The speeds are absolutely disgusting, and believe me when I say disgusting, I mean, We’re used to, at peak hours, things flying at 775KB/sec upstream, and off hours, welcome to 1500KB/sec bitches.
No, not yesterday.
We saw maybe 200KB/sec, if that, when it decides to move.
the downstream? hi, did we roll back to the dialup days?
Normally with the two of us being bandwidth bitches, we’d see speeds between the two of us topping 2MB/sec down. really? we saw maybe, if we were lucky. 600K down.
so I got it in my head, kill anything we weren’t using, skype, mail, etc.
No change.
we started being tossed on the floor again, packet loss, dns resolution issues, etc.
So I then pick up the phone, and ring the helpdesk and start applying drop kick to peoples heads.
I end up getting this half assed response, well, here’s what you can do, we’re not seing any issues, call us back if it persists.
5 minutes later, neither of us can get online, it’s all exploded. It’s like we’d never used the network before.
Someone over their had reset the permissions on krista’s account, when clearly, I’d told them to leave it alone until the morning when I would call them back for a follow up.
We get her machine, and my machine, back online, but the netbook refuses to do what it’s told, I can surf the regular net, but get e-mail or do other essential tasks from the netbook? not happenin!
I beat it around for a bit, reinstalling the driver, trying to fix it, no go.
so I simply shut it down, and go to bed.
This morning rolls around, and I decide, fuck automatic registration, I’ll do it manually.
In other words, from a working computer, pull up the
portal of the FSU student network, delete the netbook’s mac address from the system, reboot the netbook and reconnect to the network, forcing it to reregister with the systems.
That’s,. not how it rolled.
The webpage refused to load, either on my machine or krista’s.
So I pick up the phone again, and sit on hold for a million years, and finally get through to someone with a brain, and explain the entire situation, she reviews the ticket, then she herself, attempts to access
and it tells her to go to hell as well.
So that tells me that it’s not just me and I’m not losing my mind, (not that I had anything to lose to begin with.)
After some digging, she escalates the ticket and reminds me of the policy of only having 3 devices per ID on the network.
I ask her where that’s documented, she tells me well it should have been in the paperwork you signed.
I then inform her that the residence agreement available to students online via the student portal, or the TOS/AUP available during registration make no mention of this stipulation and that I think she’s lying to me.
She hims and haws telling me I must have missed it, I don’t know how to read, it went on and on.
I told her politely but firmly, that she has to choices, either quit bullshitting me around or put me through to her supervisor, because I was done dealing with her giving me the run around.
so She then says, well you can get a special request to lift that limit, I ask her to make it happen.
She adds that to the ticket.
Then informs me that I will be hearing from her or teer 2 support by the hour of noon, today with a resolution to the matter.
I tell her that’s fine, and that I’d be speaking to her at 12:00PM eastern time today.
Why isn’t krista dealing with this herself, you may ask?
Because the technicians won’t listen to her, and she’s afraid to employ drop kick liberally to peoples heads, and I’m not, so, you want it done, welcome to drop kick central.
If this is not resolved by the end of the day today, they are aware that I’ll have krista file a complaint with the dean of student services, and something will get done, and someone over their, may end up jobless, or at least, severlely reprimanded.
To top it off, without a firm resolution to the matter, by the end of the day, they’ll get an introduction to my best friend.
Wanna know what that is?
It’s called.
welcome to open communication,
fitchburg state university
hope you enjoy.
With that, I’ll see you next time.

Mirrored from shane's rants.

comment moderation.

Dear readers,
With the influx of people attempting to start drama between me and krista over the past few days, and attempting to post unneeded and unwarranted comments to this blog, as of now, any and all comments will have to be approved by me or another administrator.
I never thought I’d have to resort to this, as it retracts from the freeform way I like my comments to run, and the discussion unmoderated comments allow, especially when a topic really gets going here, as I’ve seen in the past, but it had to be done.
I do apologize to those of you who are legitimately posting valid discussions to the blog.
If you have questions, or other less… manual ways, I can keep the unneeded/unwanted comments off the blog without manual intervension, I’m open to ideas.
Please note that akismet is already installed.
I’ll post later, hopefully with something more happy.

Mirrored from shane's rants.

seriously? verizon, are you utterly nuts? wait, you are.

So I saw
this article
about Verizon’s Galaxy Tab priced at $600.
I saw it on
You may be defending your pricing, but not offering any discount at all on this device with a contract, or offering a contract at all, makes me wonder how good this’ll play with pr and popularity once it’s officially out.
Verizon, in my opinion, your making yet another mistake with this one.

Mirrored from shane's rants.

Is freedom scientific finally losing their touch?

Hello fellow blog readers
It’s been awhile since I posted something of major substance to the blind community here.
this blog
We have some very interesting posts to reference.
I’m going to post each of them below, exactly as posted, and I’ll follow each one of them up with my comments.
The first one is entitled

Critical security flaw in JAWS

and was posted on october 16, 2009.

Critical security flaw in JAWS
October 16, 2009 by Tyler Spivey
I have found a critical security flaw in the JAWS Screen reader that allows an attacker to gain full system-level access to

the machine. I have tested this on 32-bit Windows Vista
with JAWS 10.0.1154 and 32-bit Windows 7 with JAWS 11.0.611 Beta.


1. From the Windows logon screen with JAWS running, press insert+f2. Run JAWS Manager will appear.
2. Select Settings Packager, and press ok. Settings Packager will open.
3. From Settings Packager, go to File menu > Open, or press ctrl+o.
4. In the open dialog, type “%windir%\system32\*.exe” into the file name field (without the quotes) and press enter.
5. In the list of files, find cmd. Right click on it, or press the applications key and select Run as Administrator.
A system-level command prompt should open. To get out of it, type exit and press enter, then close the Settings Packager.

my comments on this one
Note that this was during the last public beta build of jaws 11, build 611. I was able to varrify this issue with this build of jaws on all machines I have access to. After build 729 the final release to the public on DVD version of jaws came out on october 19 2009, tyler reported in his next post, see below, had been fixed. but as this next will show, this problem still exists using a different set of varrifiable instructions.
The next post entitled

JAWS security flaw, round 2

has this to say.

JAWS security flaw, round 2
October 19, 2009 by Tyler Spivey
In my First Post, I described a security vulnerability that allowed local users to gain system-level access to a machine. A quick test with JAWS 11.0.729, the release build of JAWS 11, reveals that it is fixed. Here is a slightly different set of instructions that will do the same thing.
1. From the login screen, press insert+j, and navigate to utilities/configuration manager.
2. When configuration manager opens, press control+o.
3. press the Import button. The open dialog will appear.
4. On my Windows 7 test machine, I got an error box that can safely be dismissed. Once done, type %windir%\system32\*.exe into the open dialog.
5. find cmd in the list, and press the applications key on it. Select Run as administrator if it appears. If not, keep following these steps.
6. From cmd’s context menu, pick select. answer no to the question asking you to overwrite settings files, if it comes up.
7. press import, and pick cmd from the list again. Activate the context menu, and select Run as administrator.
If done correctly, you should have an administrative command prompt

I took that set of instructions and again tested them on as many systems as possible, and low and behold, I received an administrative command prompt.
But the ensanity doesn’t end there.
On the same day, this post

Gathering passwords with the JAWS builtin keylogger

hit his blog.
The text is below.

Gathering passwords with the JAWS builtin keylogger
October 19, 2009 by Tyler Spivey
JAWS so helpfully contains a built-in script that logs all keys pressed on the keyboard. This method has a better chance of working on XP than the others. You must have a user account on the machine to make this work.

1. Open Keyboard manager, and open the default file. Add a key to the “ToggleKeyboardLogging” script.

2. Once done, log out of the machine. Your profile will still be loaded. Press that key. The only thing JAWS will say is “enabled”. Log into the machine, then open keystrokes.log in your jaws program directory. all keys pressed will be there, from the last time the script was enabled

At the time of writing, do to my keyboard manager acting up, I have not been able to test this particular vulnerability relating to the keylogger.
At the time this went to press, Freedom scientific LLC,
was closed.
But the following e-mail was dispatched to both the support and info addresses.

subject: freedom scientific’s response to the security wholes found in jaws 11?

To whom this may concern,
I am writing this message in reference to three blog posts available at:

and who’s text and my comments were placed on my own blog at

To summarize these posts, it was discovered that not only can system level access to the computer be gained using your software, but your program includes a hidden keylogger that isn’t even documented that logs all keystrokes entered and can gain sensative information from a users computer?
These keys hense are logged to keystrokes.log.
I would like to ask, what is freedom scientifics stand on these issues, and is freedom scientific willing to comment publicly for airing on ACBRadio’s main menu and in other public venues regarding these security wholes?
I Thank you for your time.
Shane Davidson

We shall see what comes of this.
until then.
piece yall.

Mirrored from shane's rants!.

Trekker 3.0 Now Available:

the following comes from
Trekker 3.0 Now Available:
HumanWare expands the possibilities of GPS guidance for blind people.

Longueuil, October 18, 2006 — HumanWare is proud to announce the release of the new version of the GPS orientation system most used by blind people in
the world. Trekker 3.0 boasts an array of new features, including using multiple GPS maps, maps covering wider areas, turn by turn instructions guidance
while in a vehicle, capabilities to handle various sources of points of interest, and other innovations providing more information.

New generation of GPS maps

Moving from one region to another is now easier, with the new generation GPS maps used by Trekker 3.0. These cover larger territories and are divided into
regional maps for more convenience. Multiple maps can now be activated and stored in the memory.

More flexibility to manage points of interest

Trekker 3.0 also expands the sources of geographical information with the capability to integrate complementary points of interest coming from other users,
or databases downloadable from the web. Searching for points of interest is now easier because different search criteria can be used and combined (postal
code, categories, distance, etc.). Personal points of interest can be organized into categories, transferred to and backed up on a PC, and even shared
with other users.

More comprehensive routes

Whether you are travelling on foot or in a vehicle, Trekker 3.0 provides more information than ever before. When a route is activated, the initial direction
is now announced. Navigation information is provided step by step, giving the next instruction and the distance to it.

Superior information system

Trekker 3.0 offers the user an unsurpassed access to information. This includes shortcut keys for instant information about speed, direction, city name,
altitude, latitude, longitude and number of satellites in view.

“Since Trekker was introduced 4 years ago, the lives of sightless people have been literally transformed: they now have more freedom and can take full advantage
of their environment,” says product manager Lucia Gomez. “With Version 3.0, we have expanded the concept of “freedom to explore” even further, offering
a product that is both more comprehensive and more flexible”.

Trekker 3.0 is now available from HumanWare subsidiaries and distributors. A free upgrade is available for users of earlier versions at this:
A detailed list of the new features in Trekker 3.0 is also available at:
this location.

Mirrored from shane's rants!.