Politics and the Internet and Participatory Media

This is just too good to pass up.. On WNYC 820 AM right now, the Brian Lehrer show is doing a segment which is audience driven. A wiki is open for suggestions and discussion among the audience and essentially being used to drive the broadcast.

This is part of Lehrer’s 30 issues in 30 days comparing the presidential candidates stance on various issues. One thing that I have learned is that McCain is against Network Neutrality and Obama is for legislation that protects the spirit of the internet. (I had no idea that this was an issue between them.)

Go Obama..!

McCain says this:
“Unless there is a clear-cut, unequivocal restraint of competition, the government should stay out of it,” McCain said. “These things will sort themselves out.”

Kind of like the banking industry.. Let it sort itself out.. Great.. Ha!

Verizon Naked DSL Working!

In July, I complained that Verizon was constantly changing my IP address.

I theorized that it had to do with my impending transition to VoIP and that Verizon may have been punishing me… Well, turns out that I was wrong and that it was probably due to a lightning storm.

After contacting support several times I was finally sent a new DSL modem which is working great. I am still having some period disconnects but the reconnect is almost immediate and I am once again happy with my DSL. The speed is much closer to where it should be as well.

In other news, I was able to transition my phone number to Broadvoice and keep my DSL (without any problems). Now when I pickup the phone at home that is connected directly to the Verizon line I get a message saying that this is a dedicated data line and can not be used to make calls). Yippee!

ITJ Project Beta Released

Interactive Tele-Journalism
So.. I have finally released ITJ on SourceForge.net.

With support from Konscious and Manhattan Neighborhood Network we have packaged and uploaded the latest version and it can be downloaded at: http://sourceforge.net/projects/itv-ism/.

Verizon DSL constantly changing IP address

So, I haven’t called support and I know that is the first thing I should do when problems like this arise but it just seems too fishy.

To make a long story short, I recently decided to switch from regular home phone service from Verizon (who also supply my DSL) to VoIP service. I have had VoIP and regular phone service for quite some time and things were well. Recently though, we had a pretty nasty electrical storm and one of the things that got zapped was my Asterisk box which handled the integration between normal phone service and VoIP.

After a bit of research, I found the Verizon does in fact offer naked loop DSL (DSL without a phone number) for existing customers and that I could continue with my DSL and transfer my phone number over to my VoIP provider and basically save myself $50 a month.

Now here is the troubling bit. After filling out the paper work and sending it to my VoIP provider who subsequently contacted Verizon to get the process started my DSL has been tremendously flaky. So flaky that my IP address is repeatedly changing. Not once a day, not 10 times a day, somewhere in the vicinity of 100 times a day! I probably don’t need to mention how bad this is for services like VoIP. Essentially making it useless and unusable.

I could chalk it up to damage from the electrical storm (but I didn’t notice it until after sending in the paperwork) or:

Could this really be a Verizon tactic to prevent people from going with 3rd party VoIP?

Find your fortune!

Drop Spots
Nice.. Retrieve and leave gifts!

From the site:
Just near the Oriental Pavillion in Prospect Park (looks like a bandstand) , there’s a statue of Beethoven. Stand underneath Ludwig and look in the same direction he is. Look at the concrete border to the flowerbed in front of you. There’s a broken piece of concrete. Walk over to it, pull it out… that’s the spot!

Busker Du has launched!

Busker Du
One of the project from my class, a service for recording and distributing Busker performance has launched.. It is great, I love the podcast!

From the site:
Busker Du (dial-up) is a recording service for buskers through the telephone (preferably public payphones hidden in subway stations).
Audio recorded will be posted to this audio-blog and made available to all who cherish lo-fi original music. Try it out at your favorite subway station or street corner.