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Date: Monday, 18 Dec 2006 17:20
Since Time has named me (and You) the person of the year for all the great videos we have uploaded, I thought I'd better do my part, so here is a video of Andy's Halloween party:

http://one.revver.com/watch/123185


Yes, that is a trebuchet - we built it the weekend before the party. It is designed to have as much as a 1000 lb counterweight, able to hurl small pumpkins 700 feet! We never achieved the optimal configuration (couldn't get enough weight) but still were hurling pumpkins between 500 and 600 feet...
Author: "Ted"
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Date: Saturday, 04 Nov 2006 19:38
And I mean YOU Mr. Candidate! I am SO TIRED of having my phone ring with a recorded message from one candidate or another. DON PERATA YOU JUST LOST MY VOTE. And I am keeping track. Anyone who dares to use an automated message dialing machine to harass me LOSES MY VOTE. Join with me in this campaign. Let's send a message to these idiots that spamming us with phone calls doesn't pay!
Author: "Ted"
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Date: Tuesday, 24 Oct 2006 06:29
Everyone on the Internet fears the day that Google will enter their market. Today the fear was tangible for Rollyo and Swicki. The Financial Times reported that Google will launch tomorrow (Tuesday) "...a customisable search engine that users can carry on their own blogs and other websites..." and compares the new service to Rollyo.

Matthew Ingram carries the photo of a shark on his post about this development. Ingram points out that when Google entered the calendar market, competitor Kiko gave up and sold themselves. He asks whether or not this was the right decision -- pointing to Paul Graham's post at the time "Google Does Not Render Resistance Futile."

I find myself agreeing with Paul and Rex Hammock puts his finger on it when he writes:
There’s a social networking aspect of Rollyo that probably won’t be a part of the Google product, however the Google product will likely offer publishers, including bloggers, an instant way to monetize narrow search in the Adsense program they’re already participating in.
For all of the things that Google has done right in technology, they have done very little well in the category of social. It isn't too late for them to learn but if history is any guide, they will miss the importance of the social network in search as well.

And frankly having a strong competitor forces you to do the two things which you most need to do in any case when you are a small business -- innovate constantly and be 500% better than your larger competition. Then Google can educate the market about why the market needs your product and then you can deliver on the market's expectations. That is what YouTube did.
Author: "Ted"
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Date: Friday, 13 Oct 2006 23:26
Stop what you are doing.

Click on this link to the Personal Bee home page:

http://www.personalbee.com


Then email or comment on this message with your thoughts about what we are doing right and wrong. Tell me, from looking at the home page, what business you think we are in. Tell me how you would use this and how you would get others to use it...

thanks!

Ted
Author: "Ted"
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Date: Sunday, 24 Sep 2006 14:58
In a follow up to his story on the 2004 election, "Was the 2004 Election Stolen," Robert Kennedy brings us, in the latest issue of Rolling Stone, specific details on how Diebold has rigged voting in Georgia, with the confessions of a Diebold employee, Chris Hood. "Will The Next Election Be Hacked," is a frightening article that shows exactly how far some corrupt politicians are willing to go to insure that they keep control of our government out of the hands of the people. Folks, our democracy is in danger.
Author: "Ted"
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Date: Wednesday, 20 Sep 2006 14:50
This is the kind of thing I think the Bee will evolve to do very very well...

Thailand Special Report
Author: "Ted"
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Date: Wednesday, 13 Sep 2006 21:01
We spent the second quarter of 2006 testing the original "beta" concept site for the Personal Bee. We spent the summer implementing everything we had learned. Now we are ready and have released the Bee to the world.

http://www.personalbee.com


You Can Be A Media Mogul

The idea is simple. Anyone one the world can create their own news site. You choose the topic. You choose the content sources. You brand your site. You decide which stories are important and which to remove... You are the master of your topic domain and can build a base of subscribers into a media empire.

Enjoy the Bee. Send your comments and suggestions!

Ted Shelton, CEO
The Personal Bee, Inc.
tshelton @ personalbee.com
Author: "Ted"
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Date: Thursday, 07 Sep 2006 05:51
Posted without comment for your consternation:
On Labor Day, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) issued a press release whose title summarizes its contents all too neatly: Bush Declares Eco-Whistleblower Law Void for EPA Employees. Here's some of it:

Washington, DC - The Bush administration has declared itself immune from whistleblower protections for federal workers under the Clean Water Act, according to legal documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). As a result of an opinion issued by a unit within the Office of the Attorney General, federal workers will have little protection from official retaliation for reporting water pollution enforcement breakdowns, manipulations of science or cleanup failures.


The rest of the post on the terrific blog Effect Measure
Author: "Ted"
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Date: Thursday, 24 Aug 2006 05:06
For the past few weeks I have been testing a new service, GotVoice, from a company based in Kirkland Washington with an interesting idea -- how can you profit from the stupidity of the phone company? Now perhaps that isn't the way that company executives in Kirkland would describe their strategic plan, but its hard not to look at them and think, "this is yet more evidence of how stupid US telecommunications companies are."

The idea is simple (too simple, you'd think). How can I have access to my home and cell voice mail from the web and through email? If we had telephone companies that knew how to build services that customers wanted, this wouldn't even be a question. But there is NO innovation going on at the phone company (fill in your favorite one, or AT&T; if you are reading this after they have bought everyone else). Thus companies like GotVoice can come along and fill in the niche.

Here's how it works -- You sign up for an account with GotVoice (basic service is free, but added features are available at $4.95 and $9.95 a month) and give them your phone company, phone number, and voicemail "PIN" -- they will then place a call on a regular basis to your voice mail box, record your messages, and send you an email letting you know you have a message (or email you the message as an MP3 with a premium plan).

But this is absurd! Why can't the phone company simply email me the message? Why do I need a third party to glue voice mail and email together? Perhaps someone in the finance department of AT&T; found a study conducted in the early 1990s which said that none of their customers wanted voice mails in their email... or maybe they have a trial of voicemail to email right now but they are only rolling it out in 3 small test markets over the next two years... or maybe they don't actually care at all about their customers and never think about introducing new products that we actually want!

In the meantime, Got Voice?
Author: "Ted"
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Date: Thursday, 17 Aug 2006 18:57
Hope that you never meet Crusher. Watch this video to see what I mean. This is a robot. Entirely autonomous, programmed to get itself from point A to point B, and capable of "aggressive" behavior -- especially if it has weapons (which this one doesn't). Even without weapons, I wouldn't want to be chased by one of these... Of course sophisticated robotics will have military applications before they have civil ones.
Author: "Ted"
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Date: Tuesday, 15 Aug 2006 18:52
Salon has published an interesting review of the six states where Republicans have schemed to "suppress" votes by traditional Democratic voters. Here is the article -- "Salon's Shameful Six" -- Here is an excerpt:
Opinion polls show that a majority of the public wants a Democratic Congress, but whether potential voters -- black and Latino voters in particular -- will be able to make their voices heard on Election Day is not assured. Across the country, they will have to contend with Republican-sponsored schemes to limit voting. In a series of laws passed since the 2004 elections, Republican legislators and officials have come up with measures to suppress the turnout of traditional Democratic voting blocs. This fall the favored GOP techniques are new photo I.D. laws, the criminalizing of voter registration drives, and database purges that have disqualified up to 40 percent of newly registered voters from voting in such jurisdictions as Los Angeles County.
Here are the six states that Salon calls on the carpet: Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, and Ohio. What are people doing about it?

DNC Announces Expanded National Voter Protection Effort

Brennan Center Election Reform Resources

Common Cause Election Reform Agenda
Author: "Ted"
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Date: Tuesday, 01 Aug 2006 17:55
At the risk of becoming the target of government investigations myself, let me now go on the record as saying that, if these reports are true, our government is engaged in the worst kind of anti-democratic behaviour, activities I thought reserved for dictators (or the Nixon Whitehouse). Yes, I am talking about the latest ACLU report "The State of Surveillance: Government Monitoring of Political Activity in Northern and Central California." The Berkeley Daily Planet has a story here which details a local incident on the UC Berkeley campus:
The local incident featured in the report was an April 2005 demonstration at UC Berkeley, sponsored by Berkeley Stop the War Coalition, aimed at military recruitment on campus.

The incident was described in an April 21, 2005, Department of Defense Threat and Local Observation Notice (TALON) report released to the ACLU by the Department of Defense following a freedom of information request and subsequent lawsuit.

The information released describes the demonstration—the “incident type”—as “specific threats,” and describes the subject as “direct action planned against recruiters at University of California at Berkeley.”

The source, whose name has been redacted from the released report, is described as “a special agent of the Federal Protective Service, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.”
The full ACLU report can be found here: http://aclunc.org/surveillance_report/

I hope you will join me in supporting Jerry Brown as the next Attorney General for the state of California. Given the folks that currently control our national government, a strong liberal California AG may turn out to be suprisingly important for the future of Democracy in this country.
Author: "Ted"
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Date: Thursday, 27 Jul 2006 19:21
The last couple of times I was listening to NPR on the radio I got angry. Why? Because I had a question, or a comment, or information about the discussion underway and there was no effective way to join the conversation. I thought about this and realized that since having converted my reading habits almost entirely to blogs I have been retraining my consumption habits from passive to participatory. I now expect to be able to leave a comment at the end of an article, or email the author to ask a question. I expect media consumption to be participatory! What a strange expectation...
Author: "Ted"
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Date: Thursday, 06 Jul 2006 21:02
David Isenberg has done a tremendous job of adding value to a recent (great) article in the New York Times about global warming -- he has gone through the article and created links to all of the sources to which the article refers. All in all it is a compelling and worrisome picture of an earth in turmoil. Worth reading in its entirety. Here is the link: The Evidence for Global Warming.
Author: "Ted"
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