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The Internet of things 1999

Back in 1999 I penned a piece called
Web TV and Set Top Boxes Back then we had programs not apps, email was king, and you didn’t need an antenna box to watch television

Let’s take a moment and expand on the internet appliance paradigm.

7:30 AM

You wake up in the morning feeling like you have been devoured by Godzilla and crapped off a cliff. You crawl to the bathroom and grab the Medic Alert Internet Appliance…… You insert it into the proper orifice(the sharp sensation you feel is the bloodwork probe), it dials up your doctor, and sends it’s information to his Doctor 2000 program which, compares your symptoms against the database for you.

It thinks you have the flu. You need drugs. It writes a prescription, emails it to the pharmacy, which fills the prescription, and sends Harry, the delivery boy to your house, with the life saving chemicals. Since you belong to a (MCO)managed care organization, they receive an email to their database, notifying them that you are sick again, and will adjust your premium accordingly.

7:35 AM

Also in the bloodwork was a high blood alcohol content reading, (We know it was a retirement party), but the Doctor 2000 program flags your file, and an email is sent to the nearest AA chapter, which dials your house with a prerecorded message urging you to attend the next meeting which is starting in 15 min.

7:50 AM

The knocking on your door is Harry from the drugstore with your prescription. Since the drugstore is delivering, it has already wired the bill to your MCO, which has sucked the deductible out of your bank account, as well as the next premium increase. Your MCO file is flagged and you receive an email asking if you have dealt with your alcohol problem.


Your television turns on and adjusts the volume up as you are still puking your guts out. Your set top box screams you’ve got mail! It is a commercial from the drugstore thanking you for shopping, and offering you more products to help you get back on track. Another window opens up in your tv, from the Medic Alert Internet Appliance Company offering to send you the Upgraded Medic Alert 2001 appliance. Since you have not responded in 30 seconds to this offer, it is shipped instantly(just like the book clubs) and your bank account is debited for the first of 300 EZ payments. Your Medic Alert has determined that you are still barfing, so it tells the House to open the door and directs Harry to your location.

Harry administers the life giving products and helps you back to your bed.


The medic Alert has determined that there is virus particles on the floor,(yes, you are a bad shot), and emails the Daisy House Keepers, to come and clean your bathroom. Your pantry is queried and you are found to be woefully lacking in the proper disinfectants to ensure your recovery. An emergency email is sent to your grocery store for the products needed to abate this Now a Biological Hazard Cleanup. These products are dispatched at once! Again your bank account is debited for this.


There is a knock on the door. It is Daisy to Clean. Your house permits her to enter. Her pager goes off. It is a alert that this is not a mop and glow situation, but HazMat. The house directs here to the kitchen, to wait for the delivery from the grocery store. The coffee pot starts and the house offers her a cup of coffee while she waits. Meanwhile, since the situation has changed from her original dispatch, her time and material program starts the meter running.

Since she has met Harry, he is brought into the loop regarding your Hazmat Cleanup, he grabs his palmtop and emails the drugstore for gloves, gowns, shoe covers, and Biohazard ”DO NOT CROSS” tape. This flags the drugstore program, which by law must report this group of products as a Bio Hazard, emailing the Health Department.


There is another knock at the door. It is the grocery store with cleaning supplies and a loaf of bread. (you were running low)


There is another knock at the door. It is the Health dept. Biohazard Response Team. They are all wearing Level 4 Racal BioHazard suits, as the email the received said that your flu virus had not been classified at the time of dispatch.


Your TV goes off again with new messages from Daisy, the grocery store, (Your printer starts printing money saving coupons), Notification from the Health Dept. regarding your Biohazard, and notifying you that your neighbors on both sides have been emailed regarding the developing situation in your house.

The Biohazard Team sets up an Isolation unit in your kitchen to test Daisy and Harry for Possible Infection.

The team leader enters your bedroom to interview you to determine the possible cause and source of your illness.

But you are in the bathroom again.


Your TV goes off again with new messages from the drugstore (More money saving coupons) and your doctor. You have an appointment at the Clinic at 9:30AM


The drugstore has delivered your cleaning supplies, and the cleanup begins.


Your tv goes off again with a message from your doctor rescheduling your appointment in 2 weeks. Another message arrives from your MCO cancelling your coverage due to the fact you did not make your doctor appointment, nor did you request the appointment in writing 5 business days prior. Your personal Lawyer 2000 program files suit in court to overturn this decision.

10:00 AM

Your Lawyer 2000 program informs you that your suit was denied.

The new Medic Alert 2001 arrives. The Biohazard team leader plugs it in. It retests you and alerts the doctor 2000 program that new information has arrived. The new information states that you have a hangover from the party last night, (elevated alcohol levels) and not the flu as previously thought.

Since you no longer have medical coverage, your bank account is debited 300.00 for the consultation, 600.00 for lab work and 300.00 for paperwork. Your Finance 2000 program notifies you that your checking account is overdrawn. Your bank account has kicked in the overdraft protection feature of your account and sucked your savings dry.

You are Still short. Your Finance 2000 Program applies for a loan to cover the shortfall and to cover the returned check charges. The Banker 2000 program in reviewing your recent banking activities, grants you the loan by placing a lein on your house, car and computer.

10:05 AM

Your house 2000 program informs you that the medic alert 2000 had a software bug that caused bogus results. It informs the Lawyer 2000 program which starts suing everone in sight. But your lawyer 2000 program requires office expenses up front.

It examines your finances and determines you need money. It arranges with the bank to put your house car and computer up for Auction.


Your tv opens up new windows and informs you that your house, car and computer have sold! You are still short, as the proceeds did not cover your outstanding debts.


Your lawyer 2000 programs files bankruptcy protection on your behalf. Too late. another software bug.


The Police arrive. Daisy is arrested for unpaid parking tickets. Harry is given a clean bill of health and goes back to work.


The new owners attempt to enter, but cannot because the health dept. has not recalled the Biohazard alert. It’s there, but due to the increased message traffic across the net, the message is stuck waiting to send. Their Lawyer 2000 program sues for breach of contract.


Your headache is gone, your house is clean and gone, your car and computer are gone. Your last emails are from the Employment service, the bank, the lawyer 2000 program informing you that all of your suits have been denied, and Welcome messages from the 20 new creditors you have acquired in the course of this mornings events.

Waiting outside are your new AA friends, and the neighbors carrying torches and yard inplements screaming ” that’s the guy with the Internet House”!
Behind them are Process Servers to collect money on behalf of your 20 new creditors.
The Police have returned with a number of warrants for your arrest on charges ranging from disturbing the peace to wire fraud.

But, you have many dollars in money saving coupons.

28 Years Clean and Sober

Just a reminder that drug and alcohol addiction does not have be the center of one’s universe. Besides the idea of the new BBC Reality show I Survived A Zombie Apocalypse would not be nearly as funny.

I Survived A Zombie Apocalypse follows the 8 contestants as they begin an apocalyptic adventure trapped together in a shopping mall, surrounded by the walking dead. The contestants must live by their wits, make difficult decisions, and use urban survival tactics. Their ultimate goal is to avoid the lethal bite of a zombie and stay alive. The series requires teamwork but how many of the contestants will have what it takes to survive a zombie apocalypse?

If you really are concerned with the Zombie Apocalypse, National Geographic who is not known for flights of fancy or science fiction offers this look at the reality of such an event.

Meanwhile it remains, One day at a time.

Happy Mother’s Day

happy mothers day!
no flowers
no candy
just this post
and my best wishes

YAGTTYEOTR Yet Another Gadget To Take Your Eyes Off The Road Sweepstakes

Lets Recap.
‘Smart’ Phones do NOT Make YOU Smarter. Quite the Contrary if the volume of apps(which used to be called programs, and ran on a PC)that are offered to ‘enhance’ your mobile phone experience, which if you are old enough to have pubic hair, the original point of a mobile phone was to be able to make phone calls when you were not at home or work. Moving on…

YAGTTYEOTR Which stands for:
Yet Another Gadget To Take Your Eyes Off The Road.
Pronounced; yag tee oh ter

The latest app to catch my eye is Type n Walk. Yes indeed! This gem will help you type while you are walking. I stole this image from their site.



holy crap! 20 years ago folks saw you mumbling with your hand near your ear, the guys in the white coats would be bringing you a canvas coat with extra long sleeves and buckles in the back.

The good News is that it is only available for the IPhone. The bad news is that they are serious.
Distracted Walking a new Category for insurance companies.
“Really I was just walking when the street sign jumped out at me”

But they do understand that this may require some explanation. The First FAQ Question on their sites is:

Q: Why don’t I see anything in the ‘viewport’ but a black screen?

A: Make sure your fingers (or protective case) aren’t blocking the front camera.

Lets Recap.
‘Smart’ Phones do NOT Make YOU Smarter.

Bonus Link Mobile Phone Accidents

quote of the day

found on twitter

“I like that you expressed an opinion again. But you were supposed to change your mind this time.”

E Pluribus Smart Assimus

National Sarcasm Society Like We Need Your Support

Like We Need Your Support

Internet Geometry

If you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much room.

When you are on the edge there are no sides.

The Amazon Washington Post

The news that Jeff Bezos whose Amazon.com has changed the face of retail marketing with books, music,DVD’s and now just about everything else including kitchen sinks,has bought the Washington Post has the Internet in an uproar.

My friend George Snell over at Hightalk.net made these observations:

Here are some facts about the news business that ALL of us are going to have to come to grips with:

Consumers, especially those under the age of 30, will no longer pay for news. Not in print, not even online. For them, news has always been free – a simple search and click on Google or a link embedded in their Twitter and Facebook feeds.

Consumers no longer care where their news comes from. They use search engines and social media channels to find and discover information. Fewer people are going directly to news destinations. This is why news sites that specialize in SEO – The Huffington Post and Buzzfeed – are soaring to the top while newspapers (which continue to put content behind firewalls) continue to lose.

Fewer consumers understand (or even care) about the difference between “reporting” and “journalism.” Or, in fact, between propaganda and news.

Brand marketing is how news is now delivered as the rise of talk radio, FOX News, MSNBC and blogging attest. Many consumers see little to no difference between getting “news” from Rush Limbaugh or getting it from the New York Times.

Nobody – not Google, not Amazon.com, not anybody – has figured out a successful and profitable business model for selling news and journalism in the age of the Internet. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, but right now there isn’t one (unless you count subsidized journalism like PBS and NPR).
Source: Hightalk.net

While George’s points are all valid, (considering I haven’t bought a newspaper in over 10 years,and unless it is online or in the real world, and the closest I get to newsprint for news are grocery circulars addressed to resident, which find themselves in the recycle bin, and I am light years past 30) I think that JB is looking at a different game.

One of the other things so many of the internuts and webheads either never learned, forgot, or ignore is the physicality and permanence of the printed word. Every word that you are reading is because someone put a book in your face and trained you to make connections between the characters to the thoughts you have. The next time you pick up that book it is the same. It hasn’t been edited, overwritten or deleted. Even today with the changing consumption of news, the printed document regardless of format, is still gold. Check your desk and tell me there is no paper.

The theories abound. All of the lunatic ravings that Bezos is gonna have a bully pulpit for some crypto liberal disgorgement of views opposed to reality is so much bullshit. That JB will drive the final stake into the heart of print journalism, which has with the help of the internet put newspapers on the endangered media list.

Newspapers have done it to themselves. Journalism especially in print has shot itself in the foot maintaining their ex catherdra pronouncements and writings with “we have seen the source, trust us”. We all know that we can fact check their ass six ways from Sunday. Guys like Jason Blair don’t help either.
As for journalists they are a glut on the market. content is not a problem. As for having journalists running the paper, having the inmates running the asylum comes to mind.

Bezos is a businessman. He wants to be in every home.
He started with tangible products, books, cd’s, dvd’s. yeah it killed the big bookstores, but outlet and remainder stores are moving right along. Hell you can even buy a kitchen sink at amazon.
He has already reduced the cost of delivery for amazon products to almost zip.

Will he kill the physical paper? Depends. Newspapers have just begun linking and presenting source materials to validate their stories. they ripped that off from us old linker’s and hippies:) The Post could become an Kindle Exclusive. Probably the worst outcome.

Newspapers have had an intimate relationship with the areas they have served.
The most valuable thing is the subscription data. Present and especially the past.
Names and addresses of everyone who ever ordered the paper.

The second most valuable thing is the physical distribution data. From press to doorstep. Like every other newspaper, the classifieds cash cow all went to craigslist. What does it really cost to print. What does it cost to get from the end of the press into your hand. vehicles, distributors, paperboys.

One of the things that newspapers have is their archives. stories, pieces that printed, spiked stories, notes, photos, and work products that did not make it to the front page. This is worth the purchase price alone.

No what I think he is gonna do is look at getting subscription numbers up and offering discounts at amazon for subscribers and expanding the delivery role to include your purchases with your news.
He doesn’t have square miles of fulfillment centers to house products.

Buying the Washington post is a brilliant move, on a number of fronts. He now has access to the highest level of political power in this country as well as their spouses, and every federal dept, staff and aides, pages, and friends.
He can also expand the Arts and Entertainment Sections with robot puke QR squares for books music videos and so on from the print editions. Hell the WaPo can become an Amazon Affiliate and make some money for itself.

If he can do this in Washington, when these folks go back home they will remember and probably scream for it in their home towns.

I can see the Amazon Post Trucks(like the ice cream trucks do now) cruising neighborhoods selling papers and delivering products. In the afternoon for evening delivery.
If you want to see if this will work, watch for bezos ordering a 1000 vehicles for delivery. Manufacturers will be screaming for the business. An example is uhaul and ryder rental vehicles. They look like their civilian counterparts but are built differently. something i picked up in my wrecking yard days.

When amazon buys fedex, ups or privatizes the us postal service, remember you heard it here first.

Privacy and the Internet The Independence Day Edition

Privacy and the Internet is an oxymoron. Every one and zero that travels across the web is subject to interception, collation, storage, and analysis. Email to movies, any file of any type that is stored on any computer with a connection to the internet is fair game. Your Internet Browser is the first offender in the Privacy wars. By default the browsers allows websites to track you, place files on your harddrive, determine your operating system, what browser you are using, where you have been, how many times you have visited, where you are located, and who you are.

Just to be clear, being here has set three cookies on your machine. WordPress stats is one which also is setting a DoubleClick cookie(DoubleClick is owned by Google) and the Google AdSense cookie for the text ads you see in the side bars.(this is my vain attempt to at least get this website to pay for itself, as well as see how well Googles contextual advertising algorithms work)

Next up are websites whose coding creates and sets ‘cookies’ which are the text files placed on your harddrive, that are used for any number of uses the least of which is to enhance your user experience.

The claims of websites that ‘cookies’ are necessary is bullshit. Cookies are tracking mechanisms. They do not enhance your visit. They do invade your privacy, collect an alarming amount if information, and this data is sold to anybody with a checkbook or in the case of governments is turned over under the rubric of National Security.

Most Websites that display advertisements do so using one of the worst tags available in the HTML library, the i frame tag.

This tag allows a website to display information from a third party website. These third party sites can now and do set their own series of cookies, creating more data on your browsing, not so much to figure out whether or not you are a bad actor, but how to sell you shit you can probably do without.
The reality that websites run on advertisements to pay the bills is as old as the first advertisement in print. That websites enable third party actors to display ads is where you become a victim and the website is a willing co-conspirator in violating your trust and invading your privacy. I have written about this before.
TV LIne Your Privacy 0 Cookies 20 and Trackers 4
Facebook’s latest Privacy Violations, History Sniffing and Web Journalism.
Tracking Cookies
I have also included a few things that you can do to regain a modicum of privacy.
I call it Advertising Rights Management

Advertising Rights Management ARM where I share what I consider the best available addon, plugins and or extensions depending on the browser you are using.
Advertising Rights Management ARM 2 is where you can configure your browser for a little more privacy.

So much for advertisers….

The Government and You

The news that the NSA has been doing this for years should come as no surprise to anybody whose brain is larger than a gerbil’s. That cell phone call information is being scooped up should not surprise folks either. The proclamation that this activity is a fight against Terrorism while true in a limited sense, is a violation of the 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized

That spying is taking place electronically is not surprising, but the depth and breadth of it is at best disconcerting and at worst a complete and total breakdown of the consent of the governed which in this case is every citizen in the US.

Terrorism is not a bomb problem, a gun problem, a poison problem, it is a hearts and minds problem. Terrorism is not an institutionalized way of life regardless of the loud and repeated proclamations of various government and law enforcement agencies.
Terrorism is a hearts and minds problem.

Terror is Intense dread, fright, or fear. According to the entry at Wikipedia Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, often violent, especially as a means of coercion.

When you put coercion, like National Security Letters, Terrorism and the NSA in the same sentence, what comes out is far from Security.

Happy Independence Day.

clean and sober 27 years

Or looking at it another way …
A much larger number but significantly more important as this is a battle that happens one day at a time.

Many years ago during an involuntary confinement aka Commitment,(oh yeah, i was that crazy a dope fiend and alky monster) a guy named Jerry passed on this tidbit;

“Out of all the things in the world to do, these are the only two things that you can’t.

Good advice.