Monthly Archives

April 2009

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CNN.com: Clinton mocks Cheney demand

From CNN.com: Clinton mocks Cheney demand

Cheney told FOX News on Monday that the Obama administration should release classified documents revealing the results of aggressive interrogation techniques, so a more “honest debate” can take place about the efficacy of the practices.

“I know specifically of reports that I read, that I saw, that lay out what we learned through the interrogation process and what the consequences were for the country,” Cheney told FOX. “I’ve now formally asked the CIA to take steps to declassify those memos so we can lay them out there, and the American people have a chance to see what we obtained and what we learned and how good the intelligence was.

It’s funny that Dick Cheney, now that he’s no longer Vice President, wants an “honest debate”.  There was no desire for “honest debate” when he was actually Vice President and overseeing one of the most egregious intelligence debacles of all time, the the so called Al Queda/Iraq connection that was used to justify a war that has cost the United States thousands of lives. 

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NYTimes.com: An Effort to Save Flint, Mich., by Shrinking It

From NYTimes.com: An Effort to Save Flint, Mich., by Shrinking It

Dozens of proposals have been floated over the years to slow this city’s endless decline. Now another idea is gaining support: speed it up.

Instead of waiting for houses to become abandoned and then pulling them down, local leaders are talking about demolishing entire blocks and even whole neighborhoods.

I find this to be an interesting solution to Flint’s problems.  Downsizing is something that businesses do all the time, but it’s unusual to see a city contemplating doing so.  It does make sense, though.  If the population of your city has shrunk dramatically and you have a limited amount of resources, concentrating the resources in a smaller area means better services and decreased costs.

Technology

U.S. Military purchasing iPhones and iPods

From Newsweek.com: Apple’s New Weapon via Daringfireball.net

The U.S. military in the past would give a soldier an electronic handheld device, made at great expense specially for the battlefield, with the latest software. But translation is only one of many software applications soldiers now need. The future of “networked warfare” requires each soldier to be linked electronically to other troops as well as to weapons systems and intelligence sources. Making sense of the reams of data from satellites, drones and ground sensors cries out for a handheld device that is both versatile and easy to use. With their intuitive interfaces, Apple devices–the iPod Touch and, to a lesser extent, the iPhone–are becoming the handhelds of choice.

What people who don’t own iPods or iPhones aren’t realizing is that these devices are very capable, portable, and easy to use computers.  The Blackberry is a good communication device, but the iPhone and iPod are much more.  The 3.0 version of the iPhone OS will expand on this with their ability to interact with devices through the dock connector.  I expect to see all sorts of specialty peripherals developed and applications that use the iPhone and iPod to control other devices.

Blogging

Upgraded to Movable Type 4.25

Just upgraded my blog to MovableType 4.25.  I’ve always wondered if I made the correct choice choosing Movable Type over WordPress when switching my blog over from Blogger.  I have an installation of WordPress that I started playing with, but I’ve gotten so used to Movable Type, that I’m not sure if I want to bother with changing.  But, I might as well check out to see what I might be missing!

Cincinnati

Delta won’t route calls to India

From Business Courier of Cincinnati: Delta won’t route calls to India

Delta Air Lines Inc. has stopped routing reservation calls to India, citing complaints from customers.

Outsourcing Customer Service call centers to India is something that never made sense to me.  Customer Service is one of the few opportunities that most companies have to interact with their customers.  How you deal with a customer’s problem goes a long way towards determining whether or not they remain a customer of your company.

In my experiences with Indian call centers, I often felt that they didn’t truly empathize with me and the problem I was calling about.  Sometimes when there is a problem, there really isn’t an acceptable solution for the customer.  In this case, at the very least you want some genuine sympathy or understanding.

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Cherish the Journey

cherish.png
Not quite “the Journey is the Reward”, but a similar sentiment.  Maybe I need to make some “the Journey is the Reward” T-shirts.