Late this morning, as I was eating my fried eggs and toast, I turned on CNN. The story being covered at the moment was General Ricardo Sanchez criticism yesterday of the Bush Administration's handling of the War on Iraq.
After reporting on what he said, a segment came titled "Who is Sanchez?"
"Ah, good," I thought, "it will be nice to get to know a little bit more about this guy."
This segment made three points. While Gen. Sanchez commanded forces in Iraq, from June 2004 to June 2004,
Is this what in-depth reporting has come to?
I'm a big fan of Mexican food. Unfortunately there aren't a wealth of Mexican restaurants around here. One I've been going to regularly for years is El Azteca, a very fine BYO place in Northeast Philadelphia. Another that's closer but a much smaller (and cheaper) operation is La Morena in nearby Hatboro, also BYO. I've also eaten at Coyote Crossing in Conshohocken and though the food is very good, it's a bit out of the way for me.
Recently Las Maracas opened up even nearer by in Southampton. Last night I ate there for the first time. The food was quite good (I ordered chicken enchiladas with a mole sauce). I was telling my waiter�who, it turned out, was the brother of the owner�about these other two good Mexican restaurants I knew about and learned that his sister the owner had sold La Morena in order to open up Las Maracas. I'll have to go back to La Morena and see if the quality remains good. When I spoke his sister later, she told me she hopes this is the beginning of a chain of Mexican restaurants.
BTW, they have a big banner across their window trumpeting "Complimentary Margaritas" and I was indeed offered one, but after leaving with a take-out version of the menu, noticed that it's a BYO kind of place too, so I'm not sure what kind of Margaritas those would be.
Michele Tafoya's secret assignment
In case you don't recognize the name, she is a sideline commentator for Monday Night Football. Did you know that before each game, she gets a challenge to include a specified word or phrase into her telecast? And if she succeeds, $100 goes to charity. So far in her career she's raised about $2,000 this way. Read all about it here. Pretty cool! Just don't let it get in the way of reporting on the game, Michele (actually, I understand she's determined to do just this, i.e. not let it get in the way). [I learned about this from a sidebar in a recent issue Sports Illustrated.]
There are many examples of this kind of advertising around, but the ones that are currently bugging me are from Temple University. You can find several examples of what I'm talking about on the special website they set up for this marketing campaign. I'd like to quote the one I've been hearing on the Temple radio station, WRTI, but I can't find it, so instead I've transcribed one for radio that I found on the website:
What a bunch of malarkey! If any college or university had come anywhere close to figuring out how to ensure that any set of positive characteristics�let alone these particular ones�could be used to describe their graduates, we'd all know about. Not that we'd all want to attend that school. Thinking about it now in this way reminds me of Hitler Youth, a Communist Youth League, the People's Temple, or the Moonies, where indeed the effort is to convince everybody to believe in a common set of values. Is this what a university education is all about? Ironically, I believe that Temple does a very good job of not providing the kind of education that this marketing campaign claims they do.
The coming fate newly available broadcast spectrum
Much of the debate that goes on over what the FCC should or should not be doing leaves me confused and ambivalent. I hate not having an opinion, preferably a strong one, and especially on such an important set of topics. So when I read something on one of these debates that I makes a strong case, I'm happy.
I was very happy indeed to read Scott Bradner's article, FCC ignores the lesson of Wi-Fi's history, in the 13 Aug 2007 issue of Network World1. Mr Bradner is Harvard University's technology security officer. That's good too; I tend to trust academics. He writes about the FCC's proposed rules for splitting up of broadcast spectrum that will become available after end of analog television on 17 Feb 20092:
Well I haven't paid a lot of attention, but I know that what he says about what's happened in unlicensed spectrum is true. And, wow! does his anti-government slant ever appeal to the libertarian in me! And boy! does the infinitesimal likelihood of anyone but the big spenders (i.e. communications companies) benefiting in any significant way ever appeal to the cynic and the pessimist in me!
Well, now I've got at least one strong opinion on this set of issues.
1Interestingly enough, you'll never learn who the author is by reading the article on Network World's web site.
2Oh yeah! Did you know your non-digital television will become obsolete in 16 months? This is the date when non-digital broadcasts will cease, by Act of Congress. I have a feeling a lot of people are in for a rude surprise. Even if, unlike me, you do have a digital set, you probably have at least one analog set you still use.
White hat phishing expeditions
Phishing for the Good Guys [found in the 13 Aug 2007 issue of Network World] is an interesting article about Markus Jakobsson, a cybersecurity researcher and professor at Indiana University in Bloomington, who
Among his conclusions are that many people:
Like others mentioned in the story, I have my doubts about the ethics of going about this the way Jakobsson is. But I also would probably be happy to volunteer to be one of his guinea pigs. But that would spoil the results, wouldn't it?