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Monday, December 9th, 2002

Subject:Equifax letter 2
Time:9:40 pm.
(Equifax CEO Tom Chapman had his "Office of Consumer Affairs" reply
to my letter pointing out that my credit record is chronologically
impossible...with a form reply asking me to photocopy my driver's
license and Social Security card for them. Yeah, right. I really
shouldn't bother with these people any more, but here's my reply.)

December 2, 2002

Office of Customer Affairs
Equifax Inc.
PO Box 105139
Atlanta, GA 30348

Your letter makes it sound like I'm asking for your assistance with
something. I don't want your assistance. I offered you assistance.

Personally, I don't care if you want to charge people money to
tell them that I started working two years before I was born.
It's kind of funny, actually, since it makes your company look
like you don't know about the flow of time, events depending on
each other, and such. It gives everyone a chance to laugh at the
big dumb credit bureau, and that's a good thing.

As far as your request for photocopies goes, the last thing I'm going
to do is send you more personal information. Show that you can take
care of the information you have, first. If you don't care that
the information you sell is worthless, I can't care about it for you.

It astonishes me that so many people spend so much time worrying
about their credit ratings, when your company is so careless with
its product. Fix it or not, I don't care.


Donald B. Marti Jr.
Comments: Read 4 orAdd Your Own.

Subject:Equifax letter 1
Time:9:39 pm.
Mr. Thomas F. Chapman
Equifax Inc.
1550 Peachtree Street
Atlanta, GA 30309

Dear Mr. Chapman:

As you can see from my credit report, I am 34 years old in 2002,
and I began working in 1966, at the illegal age, both mathetically
and child labor-wise, of minus two.

You might want to hire someone who understands basic arithmetic
and the fact that time flows forward, not backward, to check
your company's records. If you'd like to send me a copy of your
company's job ad for this position, I will pass it along to some
qualified computer programmers I know.

I can make sure to find one who has seen that Stephen Hawking
movie, since you seem to have trouble with the time thing.

In the meantime, please remove the inaccurate information about me
me from your company's system.


Donald B. Marti Jr.
Comments: Read 2 orAdd Your Own.

Monday, November 25th, 2002

Time:8:44 pm.
VA Linux was a thrilling boost of cash and a temporary host to countless free
software projects, but essentially a clueless drunk version of VA
Research being urged to chug by its buddies.
Comments: Read 1 orAdd Your Own.

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2002

Subject:"music industry" mutilates music
Time:5:24 pm.
Rip Rowan writes, "Unfortunately, I know all too well that the record label is almost certainly the culprit in this crime, and the band and its fans the victims."

What's the crime? Mutilating the sound of Rush's "Vapor Trails" CD just so it will be LOUD.

When the record companies are making the professional engineers abuse their skills so CDs will sound good in a car, regular people who get decent equipment and practice can make better recordings than the record companies can.

Most people probably know bands that play better than bands whose CDs cost $15 at the record store.

Equipment and skills are available to record them so that it sounds better than that CD. You can do 24/96 on your hard drive but not on a CD player, and the Consumer Electronics industry is too chicken to give us 24/96 without nasty DRM.
Comments: Read 2 orAdd Your Own.

Friday, August 30th, 2002

Subject:Linksys WAP11
Time:1:27 pm.
I used the ap-atmel utility from http://ap-utils.polesye.net/
to change a few things on the Linksys WAP11, and it works fine.
I get 11MB/s on channel 11 everywhere now, and was only getting 5.5
in the living room on the default channel, so IMHO it's a good idea
to try a few different channels.

I did manage to hang the AP entirely when changing its IP address.

The Linksys manual was correct regarding the default IP address and
password. You should change the latter.
Comments: Add Your Own.

Sunday, August 25th, 2002

Subject:Linux Outlet
Time:7:49 pm.
This is what happens when the Repo Man comes for your Penguin Computing box, I guess. Wonder if they still have any pr0n or personal info on them.
Comments: Add Your Own.

Friday, August 23rd, 2002

Subject:Prodigy's big win
Time:10:26 am.
BT Group Loses Bid to Sue Prodigy Over Internet Hyperlinking.

Finally a company actually fights a bogus patent to the death, instead of licensing it. This may be bad game playing in the short term on Prodigy's part, but it's refreshing to see a company actually follow a "we press charges against shoplifters" strategy on a large scale.

If someone shoplifts a $2 item, it's cheaper to let them go than to call the police, then go to court and testify. But store managers DO testify against shoplifters, because in the long run it's cheaper to deter them from stealing.

This basic business lesson is completely lost on Internet firms, who generally only look at the quarter-to-quarter costs of licensing a bogus patent or fighting it. Licensing the patent just encourages more patent holders to come after you. Maybe they'll think twice about messing with Prodigy now.

Mes compliments au CEO.

Comments: Add Your Own.

Thursday, August 22nd, 2002

Subject:Grain elevator wireless net
Time:10:46 am.
We charge a $250 setup fee and charge $25 a month for unlimited access. We reserve the right to limit bandwidth to 128k, but have given people unrestricted bandwidth. Average person sees a 350kbs connection which bursts to 900kbs. That is a genuine bargain.
Comments: Add Your Own.

Friday, August 2nd, 2002

Time:1:58 pm.
begin darren@8e6.net quotation of Fri, Aug 02, 2002 at 02:50:59PM -0400:

> Don
> I'm not sure if this email went out earlier.
> I'm the PR rep for 8e6 Technologies (the Internet filtering and reporting
+software) and we've had some genuinely newsworthy stuff happening lately.
> Are you familiar with Triangleboy, an anti-filtering technology that allows
+students and employees to get onto porn, gambling, and other 'filtered' web sites?
> We'll, 8e6 has recently cracked that code. Can we set up a time and day to talk a
+bit? Are you available on Monday or Tuesday of next week?
> Darren Shuster, M.A.
> PR Rep
> 8e6 Technologies
> Phone: (818) 262-2834
> E-Mail: darren@8e6.net

Yes, I've heard of Triangle Boy, most notably through the article, "VOA Goes High-Tech in Chinese Net Censorship Fight" --
http://sci.newsfactor.com/perl/story/13238.html and
"U.S. May Help Chinese Evade Net Censorship" http://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/30/technology/30VOIC.html?pagewanted=print

So yes, I would be interested in discussing your Communist software
for silencing the Voice of America. Although Linux Journal is
based in the United States of America and I am an American citizen,
we are interested in presenting all points of view, including your
Marxist/Leninist/Maoist one which has been underrepresented in
our pages.

Don Marti dmarti@linuxjournal.com
Linux Journal
Comments: Read 1 orAdd Your Own.

Wednesday, June 12th, 2002

Subject:Hey kids!
Time:6:16 pm.
It's only a game until somebody loses an eye. Then it's Science.
Comments: Read 1 orAdd Your Own.

Tuesday, June 11th, 2002

Subject:Power over Ethernet
Time:7:48 am.
PoE (Power Over Ethernet) Step By Step Hack Howto
Comments: Add Your Own.

Tuesday, May 28th, 2002

Subject:Bitter about Adobe
Time:3:01 pm.
"Now I'm bitter about Adobe and I have deliberately begun avoiding my lawfully owned products like Photoshop, Acrobat, and InDesign. This was building after I discovered that their secret surveillance software kept crashing my Mac.... In the past, I would stick with Adobe because of their quality. Now I shun them because I'm worried that I'll be abandoned and falsely accused in my hour of need.... The Content Czars seem to think that we're all just a bunch of pirating fiends out here who can't wait to make a copy of something, anything, right away. Hah. I'm just trying to get my job done." -- Peter Wayner
Comments: Add Your Own.

Subject:Hey kids!
Time:3:00 pm.
don't point this at your head
Comments: Add Your Own.

Subject:Michael Moore
Time:2:58 pm.
United Artists bought the film for the U.S. and is planning on releasing it this fall. But don't hold your breath. I hate to sound a note of pessimism or warning, but my experience this year in fighting to get my book released (from a publisher that was hell-bent on NOT releasing it) has made me justifiably wary of anyone who says they will distribute my work.

When did signing your copyright over to the Man get to be mandatory? Did I miss that part?
Comments: Add Your Own.

Subject:History according to Oracle
Time:2:53 pm.
Oracle was the first commercial database available on Linux.
Comments: Add Your Own.

Subject:How to pick a distribution?
Time:2:51 pm.
People ask me how to pick a (GNU) Linux distribution pretty often, so here is How to choose a distribution.

SVLUG thread with comments about this issue. Surprise! No distribution flame war! Hooray for SVLUG.

See all you NASA fans there next Wednesday.
Comments: Add Your Own.

Subject:Broken CDs are good for you
Time:2:07 pm.
The House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property will hold hearings on "DRM: The Consumer Benefits of Today's Digital Rights Management Solutions". Sounds like one of the cheesy vendor-driven panel sessions you skip at Comdex. Oh, wait, I skipped Comdex.
Comments: Add Your Own.

Subject:Why are software patents bad?
Time:1:23 pm.

Best to start from first principles, since people argue the same issue from different points of view and never get anywhere. First, look at the Constitution. Patents, like copyrights, are not a property right or a natural right.

Copyrights and patents appear in the Constitution in Article 1, Section 8, along with other miscellaneous economic powers of Congress. They're right next to "Post offices and post roads".

If patents are not a natural right or a property right, what are they? As you might guess by the post office and road connection, they're a government program to promote economic growth. Patents are intended to do two things: promote R&D investment by the private sector; and encourage the private sector to publish inventions. The Constitution makes this explicit in its stated reason for copyrights and patents: "to promote the progress of science and useful arts."

Patents reward these two economically desirable behaviors (doing research and publishing) with a temporary government-granted monopoly on a particular invention. Congress has full discretion on what kinds of content can get a patent and on how long a patent can last. (If patents were a "right" the Constitution would require them -- as it is, the Constitution only _allows_ them.)

So, how should Congress decide which kinds of content get a patent and which don't? Using economics. After all, you have to draw the line of what gets a patent and what doesn't _somewhere_. If you allow the patenting of rhyming words, sports plays, or musical notes, day-to-day life becomes an impossible mess of patent cross-licensing. And, as for these areas, there is no economic evidence that software patents help the economy or even encourage R&D. They may do the opposite:

Through a sequence of court decisions, patent protection for computer programs was significantly strengthened. We will show that, far from unleashing a flurry of new innovative activity, these stronger property rights ushered in a period of stagnant, if not declining, R&D among those industries and firms that patented most.

Software patents, by virtue of their high transaction costs, throw away the reason for software to exist at all -- software is a good thing because in software, a small investment can create and manage great complexity. There may be increased R&D investment in a few areas, such as video compression, due to the prospect of a lucrative patent, but this economic gain is swamped by the transaction costs to developers and users. (Look at the MPEG patent pool controversy.)

Software patent opponents argue simply that the "line of patentabilty" should be drawn to exclude algorithms, as it already excludes ordinary mathematical theorems and their proofs. The advocates of the "GPL patent pool" hope to cut the transaction costs where GPL software is concerned but cannot hope to ameliorate patents' harm to proprietary software developers.

GPL Patent-Pool-O-Meter: 20

Raph Levien's 19 graphics patents
The RTLinux patent
Comments: Add Your Own.

Subject:Google set of the day
Time:1:13 pm.
Keep those beer-swilling Linux Freaks away from my kids! (linux, internet, beer)
Comments: Add Your Own.

Friday, May 24th, 2002

Subject:Is this the easiest banner filtering tool in the world?
Time:9:55 am.
John LoVerso's no-ads.pac is a banner blocking method for Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla, and Netscape browsers. No proxy, no software to install, and recently updated. Hooray! Privacy for all!
Comments: Add Your Own.

LiveJournal for Don Marti.

View:User Info.
View:Website (My Website).
You're looking at the latest 20 entries. Missed some entries? Then simply jump back 20 entries.