Month: June 2006

Modifying a Trimline Phone to use with Skype …

Modifying a Trimline Phone to use with Skype

Watch the video

The plans can be found here on Instructables site.

Parts were obtained from Radio Shack (The 9V battery and the 1/8″ plugs.)

The majority of components were purchased from a Wm. Dandreta Company. This is a find for those of us in Providence. If you didn’t know about it before, you know now. A word of advice, peruse their web site and get part numbers. Then call or email it in and pick it up later.

It is a place that I’d love to have say a thousand dollar shopping spree. It’s that good. Those of us who’ve dealt with RS and Jabbour know that we needed a good electronic parts distributor. The above is the real thing.

Toyota ad plays a bit to the dark side

Almost War of the Roses in flavor. (Great movie, even if it is a little bit twisted!)

But this Toyota ad had me laughing.

They just seem to be playing to the dark side of humanity lately. Do they really think that’ll sell more cars? I mean, they are the #2 car maker in the U.S. so I do suppose there is room for growth. But as GM learned, once you’re at the top, it’s awfully hard to stay there.

This one is interesting too:

Justice Denied

The Washington Post is fast becoming a favorite newspaper of mine.

While my hometown rag is doing a profile on Nathaniel Greene, a series I’ve enjoyed, this series titled “Being a Black Man” that is currently running in the Post. The first story I’ve read titled “The Wrong Man” is about Elias Fishburne, a man who was chewed up and spit out by the justice system. Except he wasn’t the right man. My anger is seething.

This resonates with me for a few reasons. First is that I have experience in the law enforcement field, in the prosecutorial side to be specific. Second is that the love of my life is a black man and I would be using my knowledge of the criminal system with a vengeance were something similar to happen to him. Oh I’d use every connection, every trick. But here’s the thing, in RI there are what’s called Live Scan machines in the courts, police departments, etc. The first thing that happens when you’re arrested is your prints are run through that system.

The prints go through the Interstate Identification Index and if prior contact with law enforcement has been had by the subject, an email containing identity and other info is returned to the originating agency. I know this system well, I set it up.

But RI also has this little problem with black men being several times more likely to be stopped and searched, even though more contraband is found in the vehicles of white drives than those of black or Latino drivers. It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Anyhow, getting back to the story. I find police malfeasance and negligence to be the height of what I consider disgusting. Are cops so dumb that if their NCIC terminal is down, they can’t call another PD and ask them to run it? I’m almost of the mind to setup a fund for him to file suit against all six law enforcement entities that Fishburne had contact with, because they all deserve to be ripped a new one over their assumptions.

A Speed Limit Experiment

This video is amazing. The behavior of motorists is brazen. Who passed on the shoulder, who clipped a car, etc. And it’s all on video.

My only hope is that they turned the video over to law enforcement. After all, they were perfectly within the law driving 55MPH which was the designated speed limit. The video did show one thing though, at 55MPH everyone could merge in or out of traffic with relative ease.

Not that I support 55MPH as a default speed. For example, in RI the only places where it’s 65MPH is I-95 in the southern half of the state. Not that you could do much more then 55MPH through the metro area, but still. I-295 is 65MPH too so I guess I can’t bitch too much. But I remember when the speed limit on I-95 through RI was 70MPH. THe only reason we went to the double nickle was to supposedly save gas. But with these boats on the road that we call SUV’s getting a whopping 10 miles to the gallon, does it really make a damned difference?

Kerry to give Energy Challenge Speech

Apparently Truthout was given an advance copy of the speech that Senator John Kerry is to deliver at Faneuil Hall in Boston, MA.

I do hope the Senator is serious about this. Because we need to break the cycle of energy dependence.

More interestingly this is a common theme lately. I just finished reading Friedman’s “The World is Flat”. I know lots of people disagree with him but there are a few points he makes that seem valid:

1) Globalization is going to happen, it’s mostly an unstoppable process short of absolute warfare.

2) Countries the are part of a particular supply chain generally don’t fight wars against each other. Which is why the China/Taiwan thing hasn’t exploded into all out warfare. Each has companies that are large parts of Dell’s supply chain. To disrupt that via warfare would damage credibility and move that supply chain, and the money that flows with it, elsewhere. This dovetails nicely with Kerry’s speech about how achieving energy independence would go a long way towards decreasing terrorism. The book seems to agree.

3) He talks about the rising middle class in China and India, and the associated demand for luxury goods like cars, etc. And the increased fuel consumption and emissions. But this is where it gets interesting. He says that if the United States wants China to reduce it’s dependency on foreign oil, we must be the leader in new technologies that reduce our overall dependence on oil and emission of pollutants.

I almost wonder if the speech writer read the Friedman book. Because it seems to echo many of the points in the book.

A worthwhile read by the way, even if you don’t like the man writing it.