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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Woz on net neutrality and Apple watch apes 1977 Hewlett-Packard marketing strategy

Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak Feb. 26, 2015 net neutrality Bloomberg TV

PHOTO: Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who in the 1970's was a technician at Hewlett-Packard' personal computer division in Cupertino before he designed the first Apple computer for Steve Jobs, is shown telling Bloomberg TV reporter his favorable reaction the net neutrality decision by the FCC on Feb. 26, 2015, which is popularly explained as forbidding internet service provider from intentionally running "slow lanes" for some services and not others in an equal manner for profit. More technically, critics object to the FCC adopting well litigated and established 1930's regulations, originally intended for utilities such as telephone companies and radio broadcasts, which gives the FCC broader power. In my view, the FCC has not done anything wrong, so far, because the real issue with network connections to homes is no different than similar issues with providing public streets, roads and highways to a home because there is a limited amount of public space and deciding how to allocate this space should be a democratic public process instead of a private decision made by capitalists focused only on maximizing shareholder profit. Specifically, it doesn't matter if you get your internet connection from a cable TV wire, a telephone DSL wire, or a yet-to-be-invented wireless service, because in all of these cases there is a limited amount of public right-of-way space, which in practice has limited the number of competitors in most cases to be less than two companies and switching services is very difficult to do. Today's network connections have the same problem that telephones and radio broadcasts presented in the 1930's when multiple companies tried to string telephone wires or broadcast radio in a limited amount of public-right-of-way space. Yes, as the old analog TV channels are shut down and are replaced by digital channels, the FCC will be reallocating the electromagnetic spectrum for new services that may include better 5g phone systems and wireless internet connections, but this public space will always be limited and should be regulated by a public process.

Apple watch ad in Vogue Magazine Mar. 2015

PHOTO: The Apple watch was introduced on the "Spring ahead" clock time change day Mar. 9, 2015 with an ad in the Vogue Magazine, Mar. 2015 issue.

HP-01 calculator wristwatch advertisement from 1977

PHOTO: Hewlett-Packard model HP-01 calculator wristwatch advertisement from 1977. See previous posts HP calculator wristwatch 1977 vs. Timex 1994 (11/9/10). Google Android Sony SmartWatch apes HP-01 LED watch from 1977 (7/1/12) and Apple watch apes 1970's HP watch (9/26/14).

When HP introduced a watch in the 1970's they had a reputation for expensive and high-end electronic devices and market research in the 1970's convinced HP to market the HP-01 through jewelers who specialized in watches at the time. Needless to say, this proved to be a losing strategy and HP abandoned the project to develop a less expensive version for the masses. It appears Apple is facing the same situation where they feel like they must first sell their watch as an expensive fashion accessory until they can lower the price down to where the masses will buy it.

Another thing mentioned on Bloomberg about all Apple devices, including the Apple iPad and iPhone, are the low vision accessibility instant access features built-in that are being used by those with impaired vision and low vision blindness.

I am very familiar with the accessibility features provided by Microsoft that were inspired by their collaboration with Stephen Hawking, but I am less familiar with features built-in Apple devices because I have only used Apple products to do competitive analysis during my three decades spent as a competitor to Apple at the Hewlett-Packard Company. Here are some links to Apple and other companies that provide accessibility products:

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Oregon House passes ban on ex-gay conversion therapy

A newspaper story by Ian K. Kullgren, The Oregonian, "Oregon House passes bill to ban 'conversion therapy' for LGBT youth," posted Mar. 17, 2015 said, "Several people testified in support of a bill banning conversion therapy. The Oregon House approved a bill Tuesday aimed at banning "conversion therapy" for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth. The bill would ban mental health care providers from using so-called conversion therapy -- a practice that tries to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity -- on people younger than 18."

This news seems to be flying below the radar because I heard only one brief mention of it by KEZI-TV news, a Eugene, Oregon TV station, and also my Google search did not yield any links to the story without me trying several different search phrases, which is a problem that hasn't happened to me with Google searches in years!

UPDATE Mar. 20, 2015: Trudy Rink, "Ex-gay Therapy: Anti-Conversion Therapy Bills Advance in Three States Oregon, Iowa, and Colorado have all seen one legislative chamber approve such a bill; the chance of further progress appears best in Oregon," posted Mar. 20, 2015 END OF UPDATE Mar. 20, 2015.

I've written before about the politics of Christian Republicans using ex-gay therapy as a way to "prove" that being gay is an evil choice and therefore undeserving of equal rights, which is ironic because these same theocrats choose their religion and insist that the law protect them equally. The bigger problem is that many youth are subjected to ex-gay therapy, which has caused them harm before they discover that God has made them gay for a divine reason.

See previous posts John Becker ex-gay expose on Corvallis PBS TV tonight (9/5/12), "Wayne Besen ex-gay speech for OSU Pride History Month," (10/6/11) and my post for Jack Baker's "Gay Today" site: Thomas Kraemer, "Why Do Ex-Gays Matter?" posted December 08, 2003 plus Wayne Besen's book "Anything but straight", which is also available in the OSU library.

DocuGard printing technology prevents copying of prescription for pain medicine

Close-up of DocuGard prescription for a controlled medicine that prevents copying

PHOTO: (click on photo to enlarge) close-up enlargement scanned color image at 600 dpi of a prescription for a controlled substance pain medication that under Oregon law is not allowed to be sent electronically to the pharmacy and must be submitted in writing, printed on a special paper to prevent copying with the DocuGard 04541 Security Features technology. On most of the photo copy machines I tried, the words VOID showed up on the copy because of the micro-printed blue background seen on the prescription paper above is finer than the copy resolution of a typical copier. However, the prescription was successfully copied using a 600 dpi scanner copier and then printed with an actual (not just a selected setting) 1200 dpi print resolution, which is not available on amy home printers.

DocuGard security features listed on back of prescription to prevent copying

PHOTO: The back side of my prescription listed the DocuGard 04541 Security Features, such as it Prints VOID on front when duplicated; Blue background highlights erasure alterations; Watermark can be seen on back; Coin-reactive ink on watermark changes color when scratched; and Microtext border contains the DocuGard name and is difficult to copy. Under Oregon Law, doctors must print subscriptions on this paper and then sign it before submitting it to the pharmacy in writing inorder to prevent unauthorized use of a controlled substance. Oregon pharmacy regulators also allow the doctor to directly fax the prescription to the pharmacy, presumably because the fax phone call is traceable to a known source -- I say "presumably" because caller ID spoofing has become very common given today's deregulated phone IP phone systems.

Until this last month, I have been fortunate never to have had pain so bad to require a prescription-strength controlled substance pain medication.

I had heard before from doctors and cops about the problems with controlled substance drugs being addictive and often abused by people who become so addicted to the drugs that they are willing to do anything, such as illegally copy a prescription, in order to obtain more of the drug. Also, criminals can profit from copies of these prescriptions by selling them on the black market to drug addicts.

Therefore, I wasn't totally surprised, but I was still shocked when I tried to go to a medical facility that I have been going to for nearly 40 years, and they refused to help me with my stroke-related pain, despite it having been documented by these facilities years ago. Even after making me wait a week to see another doctor, I still was refused any pain medication for no logical reason.

It took a month to see a doctor that I have been seeing for over 20 years, and only then, after a month of trying other things he prescribed, would any doctor prescribe me a controlled substance pain medication!

I have never taken illegal drugs and I have never been a drug addict, so I was shocked by how hard it was to get some relief for my acute pain that was directly related to a documented stroke, which all of the doctors I saw knew about and did not question because it was documented in my hospital records.

I had heard before from other patients about how hard it was to get pain medication, but I had never experienced the difficulty firsthand -- I now realize how drug laws are so tough today that they make it hard for patients with legitimate needs to get these drugs because they are routinely denied help from nervous medical providers who worry about violating the law and harming patients.

Ironically, by the time I was able to fill this pain medication, the area of my brain's vision area that died. which then caused swelling and acute muscle pain due to subsequent contractures, had healed itself enough to a point where I no longer had an acute need for pain medication, but I went ahead and filled the prescription so that I could access it in the future for an emergency -- I hated to fill it because I now have to worry about a thief breaking in my house's locked safe box and also the drug might go bad before I use it, but I took these risks because I can't expect to go to the immediate care center and get any immediate help for this in the future!

If I get the energy in the future, I want learn more about the micro-printing methods used by the DocuGard technology and how it relates to the advanced printer research at Hewlett-Packard and other companies. I believe that instead of using this technology or faxing of controlled substances prescriptions, a better and more secure digital internet cloud technology needs to be invented to solve the problem of drug control. Venture capitalists would love to fund such a company.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Closeted lesbian in 1961 TV show rejected for being too butch by CBS TV executive

Dobie Gillis, Maynard, Sheila James, in 1961 TV show Dobbie Gillis

PHOTO: (left to right) High school TV character Dobie Gillis in a 1961 TV show of the same name ("The Many Lives of Dobbie Gillis: I was a High School Scrooge," (1961) Season 2, Episode 18) is standing next to his friend Maynard, looking at their Central High School yearbook's photo from 1910 of the legendary football player, "Show no Mercy Appleby" while they are being asked to write an inspirational article about this alum for the high school's year book by the boyish Sports Editor Zelda Gilroy, played by Sheila James who later came out of the closet as gay and became an influential politician in California for gay rights. She learned that a CBS TV executive was not pleased by her masculine appearance, which back then homophobes equated with somebody being lesbian or gay, even though the number of so-called feminine looking "lip-stick lesbians" were probably equal in number. Some interesting and now obsolete technology can be seen in the background, including a platen press used for letterpress printing and a California job case that was used to hold the cast metal type used to hand typeset words to be printed. Zelda is shown wearing a visor next to an oak roll-top desk were both associated with famous newspaper editors of the era (Disclosure: I still own an oak rolltop desk I bought from Woodcastle in 1980 here in Corvallis -- I just knew it was so gay!).

Decades ago Vito Russo's book, "The Celluloid Closet," and other research documented how gay characters were depicted by Hollywood in the era when being homosexual was illegal and a matter that nobody would talk about openly for fear of being condemned. I recall hearing both Russo and various gay movie and TV actors of the pre-Stonewall era talking about how many gay writers, actors and producers were in the theatre and TV industry and how they would sneak gay characters into productions, as a subversive act, in a manner such that clueless heterosexuals would only see the character as being a little queer or odd, whereas gay audience members would be able to read the character as "one of their family" of gay people.

It is hard to see many examples of these old productions today and this is why I was so pleasantly surprised to see the above Dobbie Gillis show when I turned on my TV the other day to a free over-the-air TV channel in my area that shows old 1950's and 1960's shows on their secondary digital channel (KEZI-TV Channel 9.2 Eugene, Oregon, rebroadcast on Comcast cable TV channel 309 in Corvallis, Oregon). Their target audience must be people more than 64 years old because all of the ads seem to be for erectile dysfunction drugs, such as Viagra, and "reverse mortgages" used to convert your house equity into a life insurance annuity so you can receive a monthly payment for the rest of your life. (Note: this is a very bad deal with interest rates being so low, but it is a money maker for the Wall Street hedge fund managers who are paying for these lavish TV ads.)

I hadn't seen this Dobbie Gillis show in over 50 years ("The Many Lives of Dobbie Gillis: I was a High School Scrooge," (1961) Season 2, Episode 18), which judging from the episode number and title was likely shown as a Christmas show, but without any religious references because the Jewish and Catholic TV executives were fearful about offending people of different faiths. (I was taught to be respectful in this manner by my school teachers who pointed out I had Jewish, Catholic and Protestant friend in my classroom.) Sadly today, it seems that Republican theocrats and Fox News are misusing religion as a proxy for patriotism and a test for being a true American.

This episode of "Dobbie Gillis" also contained some other interesting cultural references that today have changed in the way they are expressed, but still reflect human nature, which hasn't changed over the last Century.

For example, the 1910 alum was described as being such a fierce football player that he had put everyone in the hospital, which led to his nickname "no-mercy," a nickname he was still proudly using years later when he was shown as a company plutocrat taking over companies and firing people without remorse in order to eliminate "waste" and make himself more money. Today, this is the same evil caricature used to represent Wall Street traders and the heads of American businesses.

The show's plot has Dobbie and Maynard (actor Bob Denver) accidently finding the alum Walter "show no mercy" Appleby in an act of dumpster diving behind a smokestack industry plant, and when Dobbie asks him why is doing it, Appleby replies "because this is the way I make my living."

Dobbie has no idea that Appleby is actually a rich man, who owns this plant and that he is merely looking for evidence of wasteful practices by his company's managers, and so Dolby takes pity and has Zelda and the local newspaper print a story asking people to take pity on this old alum and donate to a charity fund for him.

The plot provides the perfect vehicle for the very gay and "camp humor" of the show when Appleby is insulted by Dobbie's act of kindness and he sues Dobbie's father for libel because the newspaper article had diminished his reputation as a fierce, successful and self-sufficient businessman.

Of course, like the famous Christmas story of "Scrooge," the show wraps up with a happy ending when Appleby's heart is soften by words of kindness from Dobbie and all of the actors literally break into tears, which caused me to break into laughter, as well as tears!

This episode is an excellent allegory for today's anti-gay politics of plutocratic money men on Wall Street who cut people's wages while telling them it is their fault that they don't work hard enough to make up for all of the defunding of schools and other public services rich people take for granted.

I would highly recommend watching this show, if you can find it, because you will experience firsthand how American culture has not evolved over the last Century, despite the fact that I like to think America has evolved much further!

As an aside, Dave Packard, the co-founder of the company Hewlett-Packard can be seen in photograph posing as a football star at Stanford University, which looks identical to the pose of the merciless businessman in the Dobbie Gillis. I have a copy and I will post if I can in the future.

See previous posts and links:

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Happy PI day 3.141592654...

lower case Greek letter pi

PHOTO: In mathematics, the lower case Greek letter π equals the circumference of a circle divided by its diameter.

Anybody who has passed a mathematics course is familiar with the lower case Greek letter for π (pronounced pi) that is used to represent the number created by dividing the circumference of a circle by its diameter, which when written in a decimal form is a number with a never repeating sequence of digits.

Today is known as PI day because π equals 3.141592654 . . . and using the American style of calendar and time formats, the date for March 14, 2015 is commonly abbreviated 3/14/15 and 9:26:54 A.M. and P.M today then adds more digits to it.

See "Pi Day," From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia accessed Mar. 14, 2015 and"Circumference," From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia accessed Mar. 14, 2015. Note that Π is the upper case Greek letter for Pi that is often used by college fraternities and sororities.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Corvallis boy inserts gay butt joke in 'Marine Corps. Times' and the brass love him for it

Comic strip showing gay Marines butt joke Terminal Lance #54 2010

PHOTO: A Comic strip by Corvallis hometown Marine Lance Corporal Maximillian Uriarte runs in the military "Marine Corps. Times" and it depicted the bawdy and homoerotic anal butt poking humor Marines traditionally do with their presumably heterosexual comrades in the barracks and communal showers. "In a raw but hilarious strip titled "It's Already Gay," he pointedly contrasts the shower stall antics and crude male body humor of ordinary Marines with their macho opposition to homosexuality," said a Corvallis, Oregon newspaper story by Bennett Hall, "Tell it to the Marines," posted Mar. 9, 2015. (See "Terminal Lance #34: It's Already Gay," blog posted April 30, 2010 - JPEG)

Village People (a cowboy, an Indian, a cop, a sailor, a leather clad biker and a construction worker) shown on back jacket photo of the 'Go West' LP vinyl record album

PHOTO: several of the quintessential macho gay male porno icons were caricatured by the music group the "Village People," who dressed up on stage as a cowboy, Indian, cop, sailor, construction worker, and leather clad biker for their back jacket photo on their 'Go West' LP vinyl record album. Their famous Y.M.C.A. "song remains particularly popular due to its status as a disco classic and a gay anthem, even among listeners who are otherwise uninvolved in disco or gay culture," said the article, "Y.M.C.A. (song)," From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia accessed 3/12/114. (See previous post Jay Leno on gay marriage (6/12/06).)

History has documented similar expressions of military homoeroticism. For example, a quote that is often misattributed to the Winston Churchill says, "The only traditions of the Royal Navy are rum, sodomy and the lash." (See "Quotes Falsely Attributed -- make for good story-telling but popular myth has falsely attributed them to Churchill," The CHURCHILL CENTRE accessed 3/12/15 that notes Anthony Montague-Browne said that although Churchill had not uttered these words, he wished he had.. (See book by Angus Konstam, "Naval Miscellany," Osprey Publishing, 2013)

OSU has a long history of military students because it was required at one time for all land-grant universities like OSU. (See for example the student newspaper article by Chris Correll, "Army ROTC recognizes high achievers," Barometer, Mar. 9, 2015, p. 1 and the local Corvallis newspaper article by Anthony Rimel, "The ROTC life," Sunday Gazette-Times, Mar. 8, 2015, p. 1)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

OSU student debt protest and gay Republican reflect changing times

OSU student debt protests, Barometer Mar. 3, 2015, p. 1

PHOTO: Oregon State University students protest the new situation of students going into debt to pay for college. The old model was in the 1970's when the State of Oregon would subsidize tuition just enough so that a typical student job was sufficient to pay for college without going into debt. Over the last few decades, Oregon legislators compromised with Republicans and defunded much of the taxpayers' subsidy in favor of a Republican sponsored plan to give students low-cost loans, which were a good bargain back when interest rates were high, but today these loans are merely an excuse for the State to pay less. (See student newspaper article by Abigail Erickson, "Student groups protest debt," Oregon State University Barometer, Mar. 3, 2015, p. 1 and the professional local newspaper article by Bennett Hall, "OSU students protest cost of higher ed," posted Mar. 3, 2015, which reported, "Bringing up the rear were three demonstrators supporting a large, puppet-like figure in the likeness of a top-hatted and monocled capitalist, dubbed Mr. 1 Percent."

UPDATE 3/5/15 - Editorial Board, "Students shouldn’t be punished with debt," OSU The Daily Barometer, Mar. 5, 2015, p. 7 posted Mar. 4, 2015 - The editorial notes that liberal arts majors are more impacted by the debt than engineering majors, who can make more money after graduation, and the fact that students can no longer earn their way with a job because college is too expensive. END OF UPDATE 3/5/15

I've written before on how Republicans have shifted the cost of college to students by compromising with Democrats in order to create so-called low-interest student loans. (See previous post Cost of OSU outpaced inflation letter to the editor (11/5/14) )

The recent student protests at OSU concerning the cost of college that is leaving students in debt at graduation, are eerily reminiscent of 1930's and 1960's student protests, which were violently repressed by the establishment. These most recent protests reflect a changing mood on the Corvallis, Oregon State University campus where the student population has traditionally been more conservative than the students at the rival University of Oregon 40 miles down the road in Eugene.

An example of this type of student conservativism at OSU is reflected in the column written by a gay-friendly OSU student who is advocating the Republicans become friendlier to gay people. The student says, "I believe that Republicans need to embrace LGBT Rights, especially concerning marriage equality. . . My recommendations are that the GOP needs to embrace groups like the Log Cabin Republicans and formerly GOProud as good conservatives and make them welcome at events. . . In an age when fewer young people are getting married, the LGBT community is making marriage cool again, and I could not be happier about it." (See Jacob Vandever, "Grand Old Party 2.0, Part one: GOP LGBT Relations," posted Feb. 18, 2015)

This young student may not realize the historical connection he has with the former Oregon State University Professor W. Door Legg, who founded the Log Cabin Republicans and was a famous pre-Stonewall homophile rights activist. (See previous post W. Dorr Legg OSU archives records 1935-1942 (7/31/10))

This student's suggestions for the GOP are not radical as they were just a few years ago, as evidenced by recent moves in the Republican Party. For example, read the blog post by Timothy Kincaid, "CA GOP recognizes Log Cabin," posted Mar. 2, 2015.

However, when looked at over a Century, the shift in opinion is amazing. An example of this shift can be seen in one of the scholarly publications edited by W. Dorr Legg, which included a reprint of the typical advice fathers were given to deal with their homosexual sons. (See blog post by Jim Burroway, "60 YEARS AGO: Minnesotans Respond To A Father's Letter: 1955," posted The Daily Agenda for Sunday, March 1)

A loosely related note is the new OSU student center building opening that provides an incredible example of student debt being used to be finance new campus buildings, which used to be paid for with tax-exempt state bonds bought by rich alumni who wanted to avoid state taxes. Instead, this new OSU building is being financed via a loan that is being paid off with a special student fee. (See Bennett Hall, "New student center filling up," posted Mar. 3, 0215, which says, "The grand opening is still more than a month away, but the new Student Experience Center at Oregon State University is filling up rapidly. . . The $46.5 million complex is being paid for entirely with student fees, as is a recently completed, $11 million renovation to the east wing of the neighboring Memorial Union, the other main venue on campus for student activities. A $48-per-term fee, approved by a student vote in 2010, will pay down the debt. The fee will drop after 20 years, when the MU renovations are paid off, then disappear entirely after 30 years.")

Finally, please note that the stroke I had about a month ago appears to have taken more of my vision and strength on my right side -- a result, I will probably be much slower in posting in the future, but I am just glad to still be alive.