While we can try to reason with humans and publicize our underground cable, there is nothing we can do about our next biggest pain in the rear, and that’s squirrels! Of all the animals in the whole world, almost all of our animal damage comes from this furry little nut eater. Squirrel chews account for a whopping 17% of our damages so far this year! But let me add that it is down from 28% just last year and it continues to decrease since we added cable guards to our plant. Honestly, I don’t understand what the big attraction is or why they feel compelled to gnaw through cables. Our guys in the field have given this some thought and jokingly suspect the cable manufacturers of using peanut oil in the sheathing. If you have any new ideas on how we can combat these wayward rodents, I’d love to hear from you. We are always looking for ways to improve.
That was #2 on the list of causes of a cable outage. Number 1 being our old friend Mr. Backhoe. Funny how those backhoes rumble through the countryside chewing thru cables.
The info comes from Level3 a primary level carrier in the central states region.
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo says he and some of his officers have been harassed, lied about and had their identities falsely used in online blogs and in reader comment sections on local media Internet sites.
They’ve had enough.
In a meeting this month with department brass, Acevedo and the group discussed how they think such posts erode public trust in the department and how they have been wrongly maligned.
They have since researched their legal options and decided that from now on, they might launch formal investigations into such posts, Acevedo said. He said investigators might seek search warrants or subpoenas from judges to learn the identities of the authors — he thinks some could be department employees — and possibly sue them for libel or file charges if investigators think a crime was committed.
“A lot of my people feel it is time to take these people on,” Acevedo said. “They understand the damage to the organization, and quite frankly, when people are willfully misleading and lying, they are pretty much cowards anyway because they are doing so under the cloak of anonymity.”
So lets take the obvious on shall we? Brick Brac’s online usually indicate a more invective problem inside the organization. In a sense HR 101. You have some employees that think they have been treated unfairly and have no formal means to complain, whether true or not. Maybe they have a supervisor whose a tough nut. Does not matter, the aggrieved party will seek alternate means of venting. Today that is often the Internet. So the postings on the Internet are the symptom not the disease. So the chief might want to get out from behind the desk and do some management by walking around. He might pick up on the vibes from the rank and file. It is the only way to bypass the middle management filter.
As to going after posters. Well go for it, but it is probably not going to be as productive as you expect. ISP’s don’t have to give you ID’s unless you can show they are part of a criminal action. You have to show cause which is tough on the ‘Net. Then even when you have that, once you get to court you would have to show malice and fore thought on the part of the poster. Harder yet to prove. Then even after you go through all that effort, if it is an employee, think of the morale downer that will be once the grapevine spreads it around.
My last question to the Chief is do you apply the same standards to the Press if they use anonymity? Its one of their stock in trade techniques. Would you consider it appropriate to take equal action against say the Statesman? If you would not, then what is your differentiator? The Press has no more privileges that a private citizen has.
You guys have a tough job just like any other PD. People telling lies makes the job harder for sure. But people have been doing that long before the Internet came along. You will only win however if in your search for the source(s), having found them, dig deeper for the cause. Especially if it turns out to be an employee.
In fairness, Chief if you want rebuttal, we will make it available.
The Boss &
A minor buzz about GPS ‘failure’. First lets eliminate a myth. The GPS system is not going to go blink, and be gone. It at a minimum is a series of satellites orbiting the globe. At worse there maybe patches from time to time where there are insufficient transmitters to get a 3D functional fix. But the real reason not to worry after the jump –
After a government watchdog agency warned that the U.S. Global Positioning System might fail, potential customers may wonder whether buying a GPS device is still a good idea. In a word: Yes.
Any GPS outage is likely to develop over a period of years and the U.S Air Force, which manages the satellite navigation system, is under pressure to speed modernization efforts.
Further, the cost of consumer GPS devices has dropped below $100 for units with turn-by-turn spoken navigation. At that price, the GPS unit can quickly pay for itself. Consumers also don’t require as precise a GPS fix as military users, who are more likely to notice GPS “brownouts.”
The U.S. Government Accountability Office has warned Congress that mismanagement of a $2 billion upgrade program threatens GPS service, which the government offers free to users. Older satellites start dying next year and replacements are being launched much more slowly than is necessary to maintain service, the report to Congress said.
Look we civies are riding on back of a military service provided by the DoD. Do you really think that the US DoD would at this juncture just let the whole system collapse when much of the arsenal now in use is GPS dependent? Won’t happen. The other item many don’t reckon is that the Russians have their own system as well and it too is open to the public if you have the right receiver.
No, this is a piece of Tech Press trying to gin up eyeballs. I would rather worry about the Swine Flu than this issue.
[Follow up] AirForce Space Command somewhat twittery response to the GAO report here.
Yeah, me too. But here it is, Ex-eBay CEO Whitman is going to attempt to parley her dynamic expertise (cough, cough) to the Mansion in Sacremento. –
Former eBay Inc. chief executive Meg Whitman plans to run for governor of California, a person with knowledge of her political aspirations said Monday.
The 52-year-old Republican plans to run in 2010 for the seat Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is leaving but is not ready to make a formal announcement, said the person, who was not authorized to talk publicly and spoke Monday on condition of anonymity.
Whitman made the decision while spending time with family over the holidays and will make the announcement official in four to six weeks, he said.
Henry Gomez, a spokesman for Whitman, said she stepped down from the boards of eBay, Procter & Gamble Co. and DreamWorks Animation SKG last week due to “personal reasons and time commitments.” He would not elaborate.
So lets see. She came on board to eBay when it was a rising star in the net income department then immediately began to transform eBay into what it is today — a parasitic money grubbing storefront. At the sametime driving off the little guy just trying to have a online garage sale due to the fee increases and general mess. But we are supposed to take the lump of coal she represents and expect greatness? With a State already running a multimillion dollar defict I would not be surprised that if she got in you could expect every road to be a toll road paid for via PayPal! Can we say perish the thought??
From Boardroom to Boredroom lets hope it does not happen.
A social phenomenon maybe in the making due in part to the deployment of intelligent cellular devices. The death of the wrist watch. Connect the dots. This going on for the last 3 weeks on Amazon vs this observation over at Instapundit –
YESTERDAY’S POST on the ongoing phenomenon of watch markdowns led some readers to wonder if it’s driven by a change in behavior. Reader Chris Arfaa writes:
I suspect the frequency of watch sales is a result of a decline in watch wearing. I rarely use a watch, relying on the clock on my mobile phone. While I seem to be an exception in my age group (45), younger generations â€“ those who grew up with mobile phones â€“ seem not to wear watches. Wrist watches qua wrist watches may go the way of day planners and non-wireless PDAs (other items of personal technology whose functions are now built into the mobile phone).
And another reader emails: “I asked my son about a possible watch as a gift for his girlfriend. Both are late teens while I’m from the age of dinosaurs. He said no one wears them anymore because they just rely on their cellphones. Perhaps that might be one reason for the big watch sale?”
Yeah, my daughter is in the same boat. I try not to carry my cellphone with me all the time — not because I’m worried about infertility (at this point, I’m not sure if that’s a bug, or a feature), but because I don’t like the interruptions that come with carrying a cellphone that’s turned on. But when you’re texting your friends 24/7, the attitude’s different. Of course, once cellphones are small enough to go on your wrist, we may come full circle . . . .
Both my son (26) and step-daughter (20) are sans wristwatch. I know for a fact that my daughter does not even care for a watch as she admits to using the cellphone clock exclusively. Back in the late 70′s, then 80′s as technology changed the nature of timekeeping intially the swiss were taken back and had to retool. But that was a metaphor of improved time keeping. This time it is a case of outright replacement of one form subsumed as a sub-function in a larger context of wireless communications. I have to admit not having to change your clock settings as you march across times zones is a nice little benefit.
The watchmakers revenge? How about a cellular on a key fob with Bulova stamped on it? Use is via a Bluetooth earpiece and it announces the hour thru a text to speech dsp on the ‘watch’.