Archive for 2009

Fresh on the naughty list…

Look who's on the naughty list this year.

"Don't it feel good to be a gangsta?"

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The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is back on-line. Yay?

Everyone knows I fully support science but this ought to warrant some concern.  The same people who claim the Large Hadron Collider is a safe venture made this comment to NPR recently regarding what it may produce…

“Or maybe dark matter, which makes up much of the universe but hasn’t ever been directly detected. Some people even think that the LHC will discover extra dimensions of space. The truth is that nobody knows.”

Nobody knows what the thing is going to do but it’s perfectly safe? I know I feel better.

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50+ New NC Laws

Everyone knows that as of today you can’t text while driving in NC.   Duh.  As if it were OK before the law went into effect.  You also can’t let your python loose to kill your neighbor or a kid.  Apparently that was also excusable before today.  Here’s some more:

  • fine motorists as much as $100 if they drive a car with a license plate frame that covers the state name or plate date. Drivers who are cited will receive only a warning through next November.

Translation: Don’t cover your license plate so the cops can’t see it.  Go ahead and give the ones that say “Blessed and Deserving” the fine now.

  • ban the sale, possession and manufacture of Salvia divinorum, a hallucinogenic herb that’s become popular among young people.

Translation: Don’t get wasted on hallucinogenic herbs kids.  Especially the ones you can’t pronounce.

  • permit people who lose their licenses because of repeat drunken-driving convictions to ask that their driving privileges be restored after a spotless record for 10 years.

Translation: Don’t drive drunk in the first place and you won’t have to wait 10 years to do it again.

  • expand the law making it a felony to solicit a child by computer to commit unlawful sex acts to include cell phones.

Translation: Don’t molest children with your cell phone (or any other way).

We wouldn’t need so many laws if some people just had more common sense.

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Police: Man fell to death from Beltline after crash :: WRAL.com

It is the second such fatality at that location. In October 2005, Todd Fletcher, 26, fell to his death not realizing that the bridges between the Outer and Inner beltlines were separated by open space.

via Police: Man fell to death from Beltline after crash :: WRAL.com.

The NCDOT Design Engineers deserve another moment of recognition.  Are they the worst state run organization in the US?  I certainly think they will take their sweet time in fixing this problem.  Might be a three death minimum required before making any repair or design changes.  And they might never admit fault.

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Is an iPhone, $44K and a laptop worth dying for?

Right now Verizon is starting to chew rapidly into iPhone marketspace with the new Droid.  The reason is obvious to the majority of AT&T customers, AT&T has a horribly bad network.  Coverage is sporadic at best despite AT&T’s postcard ads on TV where they claim coverage in 300,000 metropolitan areas.  Yep, very poor coverage.

The only reason AT&T has lasted this long following their Cingular aquisition was the iPhone contract they have to be the exclusive distributor for Apple.  But Apple is coming out with a new iPhone that may not be covered under this exclusive contract.  The iPhone 4G.

Foxconn is a company that manufactures the iPhone for Apple.  My CDW rep recently told me a story from his brother, who works for Foxconn, about another Foxconn employees mysterious suicide after he “lost” an iPhone 4G prototype. The 25 year old “jumped” from his apartment window.

Apparently the same employee, Sun Danyong,  had “misplaced” other iPhone prototypes before.  And for some strange reason he always came back to work beaten up around the same time he found the misplaced units.

“Foxconn has confirmed that Sun Danyong’s family was paid roughly $44,000 and given an Apple laptop as compensation for his death.” – Laura Dune -engadget

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WRAL’s GOLO “moderation” is censorship.

The comment section on WRAL articles is the most heavily censored forum I’ve ever seen on the Internet.  They actually hire censors, they call “moderators”, to read comments in real time and decide which are worthy of posting and which are not.  The guidelines for their decision making are vague at best and often seem biased.

No public opinion forum should be “moderated”.  It’s almost a violation of free speech.  It could be argued that it is undeniably a first amendment violation except for the fact that users agree to be “moderated”, or censored, at the WRAL staff’s discretion when signing up for a GOLO account.  That’s right, people sign up to have their freedom of speech suppressed.

I’ve decided that I don’t like using a forum where someone is paid to decide if my opinion, or how I chose to express it, is worthy of being posted in their pretentious little forum.  “Moderation” = censorship.    There’s no way to argue that it is not and there are very few arguments available to justify it.  It would serve WRAL and GOLO well to save money on the staff, put in an automated profanity filter, and let people state their opinion in their own words without some low paid Net Nanny deciding which comments meet their unspecified criteria.

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Click n’ Clack in their Element

Click and Clack, the Tappet brothers, love the Honda Element.  I’m not sure you understand.  It’s a bad fascination and obsession with the Honda Element.  I’ve never heard a caller dial into their show, Car Talk, asking for a vehicle recommendation that these guys didn’t recommend the Element, a vehicle in contention for being the ugliest on the road.

Need a car to haul a dog?  They recommend the “Hawnda Element”.

Need a car to commute around town that’s good on gas?  “Hawnda Element”.

Heed a car to teach your kid to drive? “Hawnda Element”.

Need a new cab? I bet I know what they’re going to say: “Hawnda Element”.

What about a car to jump across the Grand Canyon?  “Hawnda Element”.

Yes, the Hawnda Element, the Swiss Army knife of vehicles to suit any purpose.  Well, at least as long as Honda keeps sending the checks.

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Fed Rules Would Restrict Overdraft Fees on Debit Cards – NYTimes.com

It is done.  And not one mention of Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney who has championed this change for many years.  Overdraft fees on debit cards are DEAD as of August 15th.

“The rules will take effect for new cards on July 1. For existing accounts, issuers will not be able to charge overdraft fees without the permission of the cardholder after Aug. 15.”

via Fed Rules Would Restrict Overdraft Fees on Debit Cards – NYTimes.com.

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The other Todd Singleton’s

For a long time now this site’s been the top results of a Google search of my own name.  I would be proud of that except that there is one other Todd Singleton that deserves to be first.  That honor should belong to Sgt. Todd Andrew Singleton who was killed in Iraq in 2007.

“When he was no more than 13 years old, [Todd Andrew] Singleton rescued a friend who had fallen through the ice from drowning.”

I can’t top that. None of us can.

Other notable Todd Singleton’s include former Duke basketball player and Stanford graduate Todd Singleton who lead the search rankings until about 2007. He works for IBM and contacted me through this site a while back when he was working on their recently canceled Aperi Storage Management product (note to IBM: control API’s will always be platform proprietary from now on.  Ya, NetApp rocks the market and lucky for EMC they have VMWare).

Then there’s Philadelphia chef and restaurant owner Todd E. Singleton who’s even doing interviews on CBS lately. I recall we communicated about a common interest in mountain biking a few years ago. I follow his “FoodieDaddy” entries on Twitter and he is the owner of toddsingleton.com. I actually never even tried to register the .com from the beginning because I’m not a very commercial entity. I’ve always felt more like a .net and I’m still geekin’ out over it.

There’s also the entirely commercial Todd W. Singleton, the owner of The Singleton Company which specializes in guess what… promotional products. Well there you have it Singleton Company, a link from the number one Todd Singleton result on Google. Can I get a free back pack with my name on it? I did it because I really dig your website. Good stuff.

In the end the reason I wrote this entry is because of the strange, almost unbelievable, search result for Todd Singleton that produced the human being who is my polar opposite. I could not have found this person if I had searched the planet with help form a team of scientists from MIT. And all I had to do a few months ago was search my name. I present David Todd Singleton. Seriously? Really? I can’t explain it in words but I’ll try:

Think Vanilla Ice turned gay hyper-christian.  Put him in a tanning bed, bleach his hair, add really fruity sunglasses, a cheap pastel suit and gold chain then make him sing like a bad Vegas lounge act. That’s about as close as I can come. The level of makeup and narcissism is quite disturbing. The guy wrote a book he’s selling through his website called “You Are God”. Oh yes he did. And his “Complete Collection” of songs is titled “Thundersounds”.  It’s music to help pets scared of thunder.  No, really. It doesn’t stop. And his website is subtitled “All Things David”. I thank everything more powerful than myself we don’t share the same first name.

No, Todd is not my first name. I’ve gone by my middle name since birth and my first name is only disclosed on my resume which coincidentally, is a major factor in the top search engine rankings.

Update: Here is the funniest thread ever on Harmony Central dedicated to David Todd Singleton.

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A Responsible Dilemma

I have a real conundrum and  I’m not sure what to do.  I genuinely and honestly have no idea if I am responsible for the wreck I was in this weekend.   The details are below.  I’m prepared to admit up front that I was on my phone.  But that’s not a crime in NC, sorry haters.  And it doesn’t automatically mean I was at fault in this wreck.  In fact my passenger has repeatedly insisted I was not at fault.

I was coming down South Salisbury Street talking to Amy.  I caught the red light one block away from the intersection of W. Edenton and S. Salisbury where the wreck occurred.  I left the light when the signal turned green and was traveling towards Edenton.  From my point of view, perspective, whatever, I began crossing Edenton and the next thing I know I was popped real hard in my door by a blue mini-van.  Amy heard the whole thing on the phone.  The truck got spun around in the intersection, hitting another parked car during the slide.  I was stunned and then said to Amy, “I was just in a really bad wreck”.

As I was trying to free my leg from being wedged between the steering wheel and door I look out my window and a woman is screaming “Your still on the phone!  I have my kids in the car and your still on the phone!”  So I naturally assumed, oh damn, I just ran a red light because I was on the phone.  I appologized to the hystarical women several times as I finally got out of my twisted truck.  My ribs were hurting real bad but I didn’t pay attention to them at the time.

At some point I know I said “I must have run the red light” and the driver of the mini-van said “well, at least you’re willing to admit it”.  My passenger was still telling me I didn’t run the red light.  So there we were, me and the mini-van family waiting for the police.  The husband went on about how people get tickets for talking on cell phones while driving in England.  What I wanted to know is: did I run the red light?  I really did not know, still don’t.

I was about to tell the police I might not have run the red light but an unidentified witness on the street said I did.  That was actually very reassuring at the time because I wasn’t certain.  But then I thought about it.  There is absolutely no way that witness would have been able to see the color of the lights on Edenton and Salisbury from where she was standing on S. Salisbury St.  No way at all.  They are both one way streets and no lights face in the direction of where she was standing on Salisbury.  The woman was simply drawn to sympathizing with the mini-van family.  That’s all.  You can’t tell me with the spectacular wreck that was unfolding in front of her she ran up the road far enough to make a conscious effort to identify the color of the lights, before they had time to change.

My guilt of being on the phone at the time of the wreck and the fact that I was hit by a family with kids in tow blinded my judgement as to whether or not I actually ran the light.  Or did the mini-van driver?  One thing that concerned me is the statement the other driver gave to the officer when asked how fast he was going.  He stated “20 maybe 30 miles an hour, we don’t know because we were trying to find our turn”.  So he was trying to navigate his way through downtown.  Did he know what color his light was?

The officers immediate response to his comment was “So help me get my head around this.  You were going 20-30 mph and managed to spin a Dodge Dakota 180 degrees in the intersection at impact?”  Clearly the officer couldn’t add up the physics based on the other drivers statement.

So based upon my reassurance of an eye witness, who could not have seen the lights, I accepted responsibility for running a red light I may not have run.  My passenger insists that I didn’t and his statement to the police was that the mini-van “hit us like a missile”.  I know that part is true.  Although cited, I have not plead guilty to running the red light and I’m not personally certain I did.  At this point I’m taking the word of a unreliable witness, who’s not listed on any police report, and the “victims”.  So now I’m not sure what to do.  Do I plead guilty without knowing if I am?  Or do I plead not guilty and force someone to prove it to me and the court?

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