Mixed-Connection Apps Get a Boost

Google announced today (GigaOM story) an extension of Google Reader that allows you to read up to 2000 of your feeds offline or in a mixed connection environment. As a beta, the synch feature is manual, but open to development obviously. They also described this functionality as “[o]ne of the most frequently requested features for Google’s web applications”. Note that that request is for Google apps in general, not just Reader.

This is big news and a validation of the Apollo philosophy. While some have objected to the “airplane mode” of web applications, I personally believe there’s a huge market for people who work in spotty connectivity environments (like SE Michigan) and this is a very welcome effort from Google. It will be very interesting to see this space grow as more people wake up to the features and functionality that people are asking for.

Update: Even Dare Obasanjo thinks is cool. “Welcome to the future.”

The Founding Fathers on God

A comment on another post to the effect that this country was founded on religion tweaked me a little bit. So, here’s some reading to get the perspectives of some of our founding fathers.

The Founding Fathers Speak Out on God, Religion and the First Amendment

Seperation of Church and State

Notes on the Founding Fathers and the Separation of Church and State (from a theology school)

The Founding Fathers Were Not Christians (Free Inquiry article)

This was from a very basic Google search. As religious teachers are keen to say, ignorance of your sin is not an excuse for it. Falsely claiming a common viewpoint with people of immeasurable importance without doing your research is just as damning.

Sometimes, the story writes itself

2002, The Onion -RIAA Sues Radio Stations For Giving Away Free Music

RIAA attorney Russell Frackman said the lawsuit is intended to protect the artists.

“If this radio trend continues, it will severely damage a musician’s ability to earn a living off his music,” Frackman said. “[Metallica drummer] Lars Ulrich stopped in the other day wondering why his last royalty check was so small, and I didn’t know what to say. How do you tell a man who’s devoted his whole life to his music that someone is able to just give it away for free? That pirates are taking away his right to support himself with his craft?”

2007, LA Times – Artists and labels seek royalties from radio

Mary Wilson, who with Diana Ross and Florence Ballard formed the original Supremes, said the exemption was unfair and forced older musicians to continue touring to pay their bills.

“After so many years of not being compensated, it would be nice now at this late date to at least start,” the 63-year-old Las Vegas resident said in Milwaukee, where she was performing at the Potawatomi Bingo Casino. “They’ve gotten 50-some years of free play. Now maybe it’s time to pay up.”

I can’t wait for the radio stations to tell the RIAA to stick and then start playing, yah know, music.

Skimmed

As I was wrapping up my last few things at work today, my cell phone rings with a number I didn’t recognize. After a failed first attempt (@!&#! Verizon), the call came again. It was Discover calling about my credit card. Seems someone in San Francisco had rung up an abnormal amount of $58 charges to the tune of $500+ in the last 7 hours. (First thought: That’s it?)

Without any evidence yet, the investigator said it sounded like my card had been skimmed.  What’s really odd is that, while I actually carry that card, I rarely use it. As the investigator went over some of the charges, the only legitimate one that stood out was for my hosting service. Beyond that, I’ve been unable to come up with a time I’ve used that card. And, of course, I had shredded months worth of old statements just this past week, so I can’t go back and look. My online account is locked (thank goodness) as is the account so I can’t go transactions for a week or so.

I’m not mad, mostly because it’s that particular card which, as I said, rarely gets used. I am slightly paranoid now to use my debit card though as I have little faith that the reaction from my bank would be nearly as good as Discover’s has been (so far).

I’m sure there’s more to come, but to anyone reading, check those statements and watch who swipes your card.