Category Archives: Core Dumps

Cutting The Cable, Pt 1

A few weeks ago I mentioned to some friends that my wife and I were considering cutting off our cable TV services and simply going with their RoadRunner service for Internet, getting a Roku 3 (about $95) and an HD antenna (about $20 for a basic model from Amazon.com). Weʻre figuring that if we cut the cable TV weʻll be saving $80 or so a month.

The HD antenna has not been all that we had hoped. We get the following Hawai‘i broadcast services from our place just above the new Pu‘u Kukui School and below Wailuku Heights:

4.1 – KITV HD (ABC)
4.2 – MeTv
9.1 – K5
10.1 – PBS Hawai‘i
10.2 – KIKU (I think – Japanese programming)
13.1 KHNL (NBC)
13.2 KHNL (Antenna TV)

imageNo KHON2/Fox at all, no matter where the antenna is hung. KITV is usually OK, but shows some pixelation periodically. Perhaps a better quality antenna would help, but from what I’ve been reading in Hawaiʻi discussion forums, a better antenna probably will not help – if the broadcast signal sucks a great antenna won’t help, and reports are that many truly do suck. Iʻve moved the one we got around and mounted it to various flat surfaces that the cable can reach, and the position to the right seems to get the best reception.

The Roku is getting mixed reviews for now. Maybe it’s option anxiety. Tons of movies, TV shows and other content in there, but hard to wade through it all. The acid test will be when the new television season starts in September, and how quickly those shows are available on HuluPlus. The Roku came with two free months of HuluPlus. Based on whatʻs in there now, I don’t think we’ll subscribe, but see what happens in October when the trial is finished.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that PBS has its own channel in there, and not only features national programs but some local programming, like Leslie Wilcox’s “Long Story Short”. We subscribe to Amazon Plus, so plenty of free movies and TV shows, but new releases take a long time for find their way into Prime, and some never do.

I’m trying to stick to the broadcast channels and Roku to see if that combination will be enough to cut the cable soon. It will take some getting used to.

Nā Hōkū Hanohano 101, Part 2: Eligibility

hokuDisclaimer: I am not a member of the Board of Governors of HARA. What I write here is based on my prior experience as a board member, continuting interaction with them and other members, and continuing service on the selection committee. Hopefully it will help, inform and entertain you, but take it with a grain of salt, and a dash of sarcasm.

The first hurdle to understanding the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards entry process is knowing what determines a release’s eligibility for the awards, and there are several factors that play into this: Continue reading

Nā Hōkū Hanohano 101, Part 1: Educate Yourself

hoku

Disclaimer: I am not a member of the Board of Governors of HARA. What I write here is based on my prior experience as a board member, continuting interaction with them and other members, and continuing service on the selection committee. Hopefully it will help, inform and entertain you, but take it with a grain of salt, and a dash of sarcasm.

Since last December or so, I’ve gotten a lot of messages, texts, and emails from folks asking for help or advice about their entries for the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards (there is a different season for Grammy requests). Sometimes I feel like I need to add “Music Awards Program Consultant” to my résumé. While it may seem more convoluted than necessary, it’s really not. It is a challenge for the Board and office staff because of the number of categories and variety of criteria that guide them in placing releases in various categories. The changing landscape of the recording industry also requires that they adjust as necessary. Continue reading

Facebook Vacation

facebook

I decided to take a vacation from Facebook for a while. It’s been a week and while I miss my friends there I don’t miss the amount of time I tend to spend on it. Dealing with the Institute of Hawaiian Music, my music classes at UH-MC, trying to put together my contract renewal document (due Nov. 1), and my new travel hacking hobby, I have plenty to keep me busy.

Just as a quick update on the travel hacking – I’ve padded my United Miles account by about 5,000 miles with modest effort in less than a month, have another 3,000 or so pending, and using a couple of other mileage accumulation sites, should have another 5,000 or so within the next we weeks. It’s mostly fun work, sometimes tedious, but I’m looking at is as thought I’m creating a travel savings account, using my time rather than money (mostly).

If you are a Facebook friend of mine, feel free to leave a comment if you like. But life is good, and I’ll probably stay off of FB for another few weeks, at least until my contract renewal document is completed and submitted.

Cloud Storage: The Latest Threat To Our Online Privacy And Data Security?


It’s really difficult what to make all of this and to what level we really need to be concerned. If the NSA has reportedly cracked all of the encryption technologies that are used in personal and commercial data communications in the U.S., there is no reason to believe others have not done the same or will do so soon – be they foreign governments or criminals. To the “security experts” who won’t use e-banking or e-commerce technology, me thinks the odds of your being ripped off by the minimum wage barista at Starbucks are infinitely higher than they are of someone cracking your e-banking connection, stealing your login information and your money.

I had to buy a new wireless router this week when our TimeCapsule died. Not an Apple, but something that require a bit more setup, and because of Flash issues (I believe), I ended up with a tech support guy named Roger that sounded like his name should have been Rahib. Nearly two hours later it was fixed, but our home automation controller couldn’t connect to it. A few days of fiddling with it made me realize that I hadn’t added its MAC address to the router’s “allowed” list. All this to make sure that no one within a 100′ radius or so of our house couldn’t get into our network, use our connectivity, turn on our water heater in the middle of the night and run up our electric bill, or get into our personal files, if they even were capable of doing so (though the guy downstairs is a former Silicon Valley programmer. Hmmm…).

Cloud providers? Makes you wonder that even if you don’t keep valuable data on them if the government has forced them to provide backdoors that allows anyone with their software (DotMac, DropBox, Google Drive, Copy, Amazon, etc) to get into areas of your computer that aren’t sync’d. Paranoid or justifiably concerned? I dunno.

No answers here, but just a lot of thought about how much time and effort we put into protecting our money, knowledge and data, and how successful we can really be in doing so. But revelations like this might do it. If people stop using these kinds of services and it starts affecting the bottom line of big US companies, would changes be not far behind?

Test Post From Fargo

No, I’m not in Fargo, ND. Fargo is an outlining application I’m testing out.

This is the text.

This is Hawaiian text ÄÄ“Ä«ÅÅ« ĀĒĪŌŪ Ê»

OK, Hawaiian Unicode doesn’t work when rendered in WordPress, but looks good in Fargo. Hoping Dave and crew will get it figured out soon.

6/10/2013. Crap, still doesn’t work.

7/8/2013. Crap, still doesn’t work.

Teisco Checkmate 15

TeiscoAmpThe male parental unit found this relic while conducting an archaeological dig in his garage. I have no recollection of this at all. I remember my brother Robb and I having Teisco Del Ray guitars when we were in elementary school, but not the amp. Model is a Checkmate 15, 70W tube amp. The custom 6-plug outlet in the back makes me suspect Robb, but maybe it was Millie Moore Danno’s? I want to plug it in and try it out but afraid it may blow up. Maybe take it to a tech first…

Update: Mystery solved. It belongs to brother Robb.

Institute of Hawaiian Music Seeking New Students!

Interested in learning the craft of Hawaiian Music from industry professionals? For the first time since the program’s launch, the Institute of Hawaiian Music is accepting new students starting in Fall 2013. An information session is scheduled Friday, March 8th at the UH-Maui Campus, room 105BCD in the Ka‘a‘ike Building. Attendees will learn more about the history of the program, entry and graduation requirements, and availability of financial aid. The first auditions are scheduled for Saturday, April 27, 2013 from 8AM to 4PM. Priority for the auditions will be given to those who attend the information session. For more information email ihm@hawaii.edu or call Dr. Keola Donaghy at (808) 984-3570. You can also download the informational flyer. Mahalo!

Paul Williams: Still Alive

Paul Williams: Still AliveI caught a fascinating, fan’s-eye view documentary on Paul Williams on Palladia yesterday called “Still Alive”. Paul is a Grammy and Academy Award-winning composer, performer and actor who was seemingly everywhere in the 1970s. Even if you weren’t around back then, I bet you’ve heard his music. He’s also the current president of the American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP). Aspiring songwriters would do well to become familiar with his work, and anyone struggling with alcohol or drug addiction would hopefully gain some inspiration from his story.

Aaron Swartz: 1986-2013

250px-Aaron_Swartz_profile

Twenty six year old Aaron Swartz took his own life on January 11, 2013. He did so after facing the possibility of spending 35 years in jail for what could be characterized as the digital equivalent of borrowing too many library books at one time(1). I never met Aaron, read of his exploits, and first learned of his prodigious talents and voracious curiosity via Dave Winer during a period where I followed Dave’s work closely and used several of his programming and web content tools.

I believe it is time that we in academia rethink our role in a system so perveted that it turned into a vendetta that led an intelligent and thoughtful young man to believe he had no choice but to end his own life. In our pursuit of tenure, promotion, and a path to climb the ladder we are privileging ourselves and our ambitions over the knowledge we create, and contributing to this outdated system.

Since I’ve entered the field of ethnomusicology, I’ve often thought that getting an article published in Ethnomusicology or Yearbook of Traditional Music would be a huge accomplishment and contribute to my career goals. I’m rethinking this, as long as they are part of this system. The demonization of Aaron Swartz all started with JSTOR, and while it seems they tried to extract themselves from the witchhunt, it is still complicit.

We also bear the cost of our own choices. My current institution, University of Hawai’i Maui College, does not have access to JSTOR because they say “we can’t afford it.” I’m sure other institutions are in similar circumstances. This prevents me from teaching the material I would like to present to my students. Why would I want to create knowledge and put it in a repository that my own students lack access to? I realize that publishers need to make money to print dead tree-based publications, but there are other options available today. If these formats are not recognized by our instutions as credible vehicles for validating our value and worth, it is because we allow them to do so.

I’m hoping that the leaders of our organizations will also rethink their participation in the status quo and create a system that rewards open creativity and eliminates punitive and vindictive actions like these. I call on the members and leaders of the Society of Ethnomusicology and the International Council of Traditional Music to explore options that will extract us from this archaic system and create one that both rewards our work and creativity but prevents our work from being the justification for this kind of abuse.

More thoughtful writing on this subject from Bernie Goldbach. Aaron’s family and partner have started a memorial blog for him on Tumblr.

1) you have to imagine a library where you could borrow every book, but the library still had an infinite number copies of every book still available to others.