Hey all,

I’ve been browsing my LJ friends after a long while of not stopping by, and it occured to me that it might be nice if I posted every once in a while.
I’ve spent some time trying to catch up with some of the blinks I haven’t talked to in a long while, mainly looking up people who’s email address or messenger contacts I no longer have.
So far, I haven’t found any of the people I’m looking for.
I think I’m going to list a second email address on my LJ account so I can post from there as well as my normal one.
Maybe that will convince me to actually post in something slightly less than three-month intervals.
I’m in the process of interviewing for a new job with Freedom Scientific.
I’m hoping for a contract position.
That way, I can avoid the time and expense of moving.
It’ll be nice to not work for Convergys anymore.
I can’t believe how laid-back they seem to be around there, Freedom Scientific I mean, not Convergys.
I’ll try to remember to post some of the entries from Customerservant.com over here, at least the personal ones.
I’ll end for now, but I promise, posting will be more frequent.

This afternoon’s meeting with Phil was quite interesting.
Rumple Stiltskin came back to my desk, and told me that someone from
Division of Services for the Blind was here to see me, and that we were
going to work on the software issues.
He also told me that this was “Phase Two” of our little adventure.
Phase two?
You mean Phase One has lasted since December of 2005, and we’re just now
beginning Phase Two?
And how many phases are there going to be?
So Phil and I sit together, and I demonstrate to Phil all the issues with
the software, and he tells management and HR the same thing I’ve been
telling them all this time.
So my case has been reopened with DSB, and I’m now considered post
employment.
Nice how everyone has some nice buzzword for everything.
I’m hoping the process for this new job continues to go as smoothly as it
has.
I got in touch with my friend Damon
this afternoon, and proceeded to drill him on the kinds of questions he got
asked during his interview process.
That probably wasn’t very fair of me, considering he started working for
Freedom Scientific three or four years ago, but I was still in my neurotic
frame of mind.
Fortunately, he took it in stride, (he probably just considered me to be
just like a psycho caller, and wrote it off), and told me that they were
probably asking the questions they did to find out what cue to put me in if
I’m hired.
It’s nice to know that there are always rational people around when you need
them.
I have to be to work tomorrow at 07:30 again.
Well, at least it’s the same time all week.
It was actually suggested to me by my friend Marques at work this morning
that I look into Christianity.
I wasn’t really sure how to answer that, because I don’t want to hurt
Marques’ feelings, and I know he said that because he cares and he wants the
best for me.
I thought about telling him that he could take Jesus if he wanted to, but
that I would take God, but figured that would be mean.
At least he wasn’t pushy or anything.
It’s getting late according to my schedule, so I’m headed to bed.

Originally published at Customerservant.com. You can comment here or there.

I was reading through my LJ Friends page, and came across a post by a new ex-Christian.
She says she used to work for the 700 Club’s prayer hotline, which got me thinking about all kinds of humorous things.
Like, what would happen if I called and told them that I’m blind, gay and Jewish, and I’m so ashamed of myself I want to commit suicide, and I need someone to pray for me?
And then, wait a month or two, and write a letter telling my story, and now, thanks to J, everything’s peechy.
Yeah, don’t mind me, I’m sick.

  

Current Mood: none

Originally published at Customerservant.com. You can comment here or there.

I heard the alarm go off this morning, and had resolved to get up at about 06:00.
The next thing I knew, my phone was ringing, and it was 06:20.
My mom was on the other line from Ohio.
I got up, and managed to be ready for work on time, but I’m still tired, and I really wish I didn’t have to be here today.
The application process is going right along, but I can’t discuss it further.
I’ll be glad when today is over.
I don’t have anything that isn’t normally on the schedule to do this weekend, and I get to sleep in.

  

Current Mood: none

Originally published at Customerservant.com. You can comment here or there.

While reading through one of the blogs listed in my blogroll, I came across an article entitled Israel’s Right to be Racist, by Joseph Massad.
The author uses an overabundance of sarcasm to take stabs at Israel, chastising it for laws such as the Law of Return, and its attempts to maintain its Jewish character.
I’ll start off by saying that, although I strongly disagree with the author’s sentiments, I won’t be labelling this piece anti-semitic.
That would be too simplistic, and it would be a failing on my part to address the actual criticism being delivered.
I imagine the purpose of this article was to cause supporters of the State of Israel to question its policies.
Well, this article raises some questions all right.
Just not the ones Massad hoped.
For one thing, why is it all right for Muslim states to be racist, but not the Jewish one?
I don’t see anyone calling for Saudi Arabia to start allowing Christians and Jews to live in its realm as equal citizens.
Nor is this being asked of Iran, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, or any of the other Arab states.
Or what about what happens when a Palestinian state is established, as I believe it eventually will be?
Are the Palestinians going to make sure to treat any Jews who might want to take up residence in its territories fairly and with out racism?
I think before anyone starts criticising the state of Israel for, gasp, maintaining a Jewish character, they need to determine whether the Palestinians and other Arabs apply these same principles.
(Via ProggieMuslima)

  

Current Mood: none

Originally published at Customerservant.com. You can comment here or there.senior housing new york city

By
Eric Auchard

SAN MATEO, California (Reuters) – A U.S. judge has thrown out a lawsuit
challenging the fairness of how Web search leader Google Inc. calculates
the popularity of Web sites in determining search results, court papers
show.

In a ruling issued on Friday that came to light on Tuesday, Judge Jeremy
Fogel of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
dismissed a lawsuit against Google by parenting information site
KinderStart.

The judge also imposed yet-to-be-determined sanctions on KinderStart
legal counsel Gregory Yu for making unsupported allegations against Google.

KinderStart sued Google in March 2006 alleging the Mountain View,
California-based Internet company had defamed the site by cutting it
from its Web search ranking system.

The Norwalk, Connecticut-based company, which features links to
information about raising children, accused Google of violations of
antitrust, free speech, unfair competition and defamation and libel laws.

In its suit, the company argued its site’s sudden demotion in March 2005
to a “zero” ranking in Google’s search system had severely harmed its
business.

KinderStart had sought class action status on behalf of what is said
were many other sites that suffered the same fate as Google fine-tunes
Web site rankings in search results.

“KinderStart had failed to explain how Google caused injury to it by a
provably false statement … as distinguished from an unfavorable
opinion about KinderStart.com’s importance,” the judge’s ruling states.

In addition, the judge said the plaintiff’s counsel should have removed
allegations that Google discriminated against or manipulated its Web
search rankings after the judge ordered the lawyer to do so in an
interim ruling.

“While Yu has brought a novel challenge to a major corporation, it is
apparent that to some extent he has overreached in doing so,” Fogel
said. “Yu had a professional responsibility to refrain from filing such
allegations if he did not have appropriate supporting evidence.”

The judge granted Google the right to seek attorneys fees for the costs
of defending against these specific charges. Both sides have 14 days to
file motions before the judge determines monetary damages against Yu.

Yu is with the firm Global Law Group of San Mateo.

“All options are being explored. That’s all that we are going to say at
this point,” he told Reuters, but declined to describe his plans further.

A Google attorney said the company felt vindicated.

“We always felt these claims were unjustified, because courts have
consistently rejected complaints over search engine rankings, so we’re
pleased that Judge Fogel promptly dismissed this case,” Google
litigation counsel Hilary Ware said in a company statement.

_______________________________________

  

Originally published at Customerservant.com. You can comment here or there.George Lindemann Jr

Regulatory board’s decision to increase fees has some worried about the
future of Web-based radio, but this week broadcasters begin to battle back.

By Jeff Cox
CNNMoney.com contributing writer

CNNMoney.com) — Roger LaMay sees his radio station as a sunny
alternative island standing out amid a gray ocean of mainstream pop music.

As general manager of WXPN-FM at the University of Pennsylvania, LaMay’s
station offers an eclectic array of folk, jazz, blues and alt-rock via its
Web-based radio broadcasts to consumers around the globe that they might
not get otherwise.

But LaMay’s little island got hit last week by what some see as a
regulatory tidal wave.

After nearly two years of legal wrangling, the Copyright Royalty Board
(CRB), an oversight body created by Congress to settle royalty disputes in
the music business, issued a new, higher fee structure for Web music
broadcasts on March 5that Web radio executives see as crippling.

By LaMay’s estimates, WXPN could be paying about $1 million a year in
royalties under the CRB’s ruling. For small publicly funded stations and
Web radio startups alike, that could mean the end of streaming, he said.

“We’re a nonprofit so we’re willing to lose a little money or break even.
We’re also firm believers in the thinking that musicians should get paid
for what they do,” LaMay said. “But this decision is telling people, ‘Don’t
do this. Don’t go into this business. Don’t give these artists airplay’.”

This week, Web radio will begin fighting back against the new royalty fees.
On Friday, National Public Radio officials will file a petition for
reconsideration with the CRB. If that fails, NPR has vowed to bring
whatever legal challenges necessary to overturn the decision.

NPR spokeswoman Andi Sporkin called the ruling a “stunning, damaging
decision for public radio” that would cost stations 20 to 30 times what
they are paying now in royalties.
Web-based broadcasters dig in their heels

Tim Westergren founder of Pandora, one of the leading Internet radio
outfits, said he too will challenge the CRB decision in the courts and
Congress. His site allows listeners to create their own “stations” by
entering what type of music or artists they want to hear. The CRB ruling
could jeopardize Pandora’s existence, Westergren said.

“We’re definitely going to be a part of this (challenge) collectively,” he
said. “For us this is the difference between existing and not existing, so
we’re going to do everything we can possibly can.”

Smallwebcaster.org, an online community of Internet broadcasters, also has
mobilized a lobbying effort to get Congress to overturn the CRB fee
structure.

Web broadcasters want the Web radio royalty fees returned to their original
structure which was established in 2002. At that time, the Copyright
Arbitration Royalty Panel set fees at 0.07 cents per performance for AM or
FM signals that simultaneously aired online, and 0.14 cents per performance
for Internet-only broadcasts. Those fees were made retroactive to 1998.

Under the new guidelines, rates for commercial stations will be set
retroactively for 2006 at 0.08 cents per performance, climbing to 0.19
cents by 2010. For public broadcasters the CRB set fees at a flat $500 a
month, but only for a set level of listening hours per month, which LaMay
said his station exceeds by nearly four times. Part of the 2002 ruling
allowed small stations to pay 10 to 12 percent of their revenue, rather
than a per-song fee.

Once a public station surpasses its allocation of listening hours, it must
pay commercial royalty fees. LaMay says that would cost about $1 million in
royalty fees by the time the CRB rates hit their peak.

The fees are charged per performance, or each time a song is streamed to an
individual, a measure that opponents say fails to accurately gauge Internet
listenership.

The CRB ruling came following testimony that began in May 2005 from record
company executives, major music-streaming outlets like AOL, which (like
CNNMoney.com) is a division of Time Warner (Charts), Yahoo (Charts)! and
MSN, as well as mom-and-pop operators.

Among those who testified before the CRB on behalf of streamers was Adam
Jaffe, dean of arts and sciences at Brandeis University. Jaffe faulted the
underlying logic behind the decision, which likened listening to a song on
an Internet radio stream more closely to buying a CD than to hearing a song
on the radio, where stations pay royalty fees only to composers and
publishers, but not to artists and record labels.

“The question is what is the appropriate standard for what should be paid,”
Jaffe said. “The RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and the
record companies basically want to make the argument that this Web-based
streaming is like selling CDs or downloads of MP3 files and they should be
compensated at the same rate. I think that’s the wrong way to look at it.”

For the music industry, though, the clamor from streamers is much like what
happened when webcasting rates first took effect in 2002.
The same old song?

“The webcasters then were saying that they were going out of business, and
I think instead what you’ve seen over the last five years has been an
explosion of webcasters who have come online. You’ve seen a tremendous jump
in both listenership and also in revenue,” said Willem Dicke, spokesman for
SoundExchange, a performance rights organizations that collects royalty
payments for entertainers and provided testimony during the CRB hearings.

“So no, I don’t think that this is any kind of a death knell for the
webcasting industry at all.”

Dicke said Web radio revenues has increased 10-fold over the past four
years.

With the new CRB ruling, SoundExchange would profit substantially. An
analysis by BetaNews, a site that follows Internet media trends, showed
that SoundExchange would collect $2.3 billion annually in royalties in
2008. Another analysis, from the Radio and Internet Newsletter (RAIN),
suggests that the new rates could cost stations 100 percent or more of the
revenue that Internet stations generate from streaming.

Large Internet-only providers like AOL and Pandora would each pay
SoundExchange upwards of $20 million a year in royalty fees, RAIN estimated.

LaMay said the financial crunch the fees would place on small stations
would have a chilling effect on music not normally heard on mainstream
radio.

“We play artists (on the Internet) that we’re not even playing a lot on our
own air,” he said. “These are artists that are getting exposure they
wouldn’t otherwise get.”

  

Originally published at Customerservant.com. You can comment here or there.

I would love to make my coworkers walk around the office blindfolded.
I think it would be enlightening.

Originally published at Customerservant.com. You can comment here or there.Miami rhinoplasty surgery

I would love to make my coworkers walk around the office blindfolded.
I think it would be enlightening.