24 fan phone

The teevee show 24 had a little scene a while back where a dead girl’s cell phone rang and the camera showed it was a call from “Mom”. The production crew couldn’t figure out how to display “Mom” without a real phone number below it, so they placed a call from the show’s production manager’s phone, at 310-597-3781, and that went out on the air, just for a split second. But it was long enough for fans with Tivos to snag it and start calling. The number was posted to some fan sites, and they got something like 50,000 calls straight away. The show decided they had a phenomenon on their hands, so they pass the phone around to different cast and crew members to answer fan calls and chat away.

So if you’re a 24 fan and want to talk to an insider, there you go, dial away.

UWB Merger

Here are some handy links on the Wi-Media/MBOA merger we mentioned yesterday:

MBOA, WiMedia tie UWB knot (by Patrick Mannion)

EE Times

Comms Design

Alliance Simplifies Ultrawideband Debate (by Mark Hachman)


Extreme Tech

“Ultrawideband Groups Merge” (by Eric Griffith)

Internet News.com

Wi-Fi Planet

DevX News

Ultrawideband partners merge (by Rupert Goodwins)


ZDNet UK via Yahoo UK & Ireland News

“Ultra-Wideband Trade Groups Merge”


“WiMedia Alliance and MBOA-SIG Merge”

Yahoo Finance

Wireless IQ

Wireless Design Online

RF Globalnet

“Alereon Voices Support for WiMedia and MBOA Merger” (Alereon)

Yahoo Finance

Internet Telephony Magazine

Wireless IQ

Ultra-Wideband Wireless Products Move a Step Closer to Market Availability with Completion of Key Specifications (Intel)

Yahoo Finance

IT Pronto

Ultra-Wideband Wireless Closer (Intel) by Chris Roper


“Intel Drives UWB Spec” (Intel)


Google Ad Sense

I’m trying out Google Ad Sense to see if can generate a little more revenue from this blog, and my first impression is that it’s pretty weird. For openers, the e-mail that Google sent me saying I was approved for the program was classified by Gmail as spam. This is what they mean by “the left hand not knowing whose nose the right hand is picking.”

And for another, Google selects a completely different set of ads for this blog depending on whether it’s accessed from mossback.org or from bennett.com/blog; same blog, different URLs; one thinks I’m a liberal and the other a conservative. They’re both half right.

Apparently we’re seeing some of the fruits of machine “intelligence” at work.

A question and an answer

Dan Gillmor asks a question about the case of the Brooklyn Bridge bomber:

Why are journalists not screaming bloody murder about this case? Sloth no longer suffices to explain our negligence?

My answer: The man (Mohammed Rauf) copped a plea. Criminals do that every day, and it’s not a story.

Next problem?

Via A-list blogger (heh heh) Jeff Jarvis.

Silicon Valley and the war

Does Silicon Valley have a split personality in the war? The Frisco Chronicle thinks we do, because we produce high-tech weaponry but harbor a boatload of anti-war sentiment. Wind River’s president Jerry Fiddler’s not confused:

“This war is a catalyst that is shining light on a military that is always strong and present and here for one reason — to keep us safe,” he said in an e-mail. “The world today is a safer place because of American military capabilities. We’ve seen those capabilities used to end conflict recently in Kosovo, Bosnia, Rwanda and elsewhere. We owe a debt to our soldiers.”

And neither was former deputy secretary of defense David Packard.

But others are: Bob Taylor, ex- of Xerox PARC, Lee Felsenstein, once a personal computer pioneer of sorts, and a number of the elf bloggers, like Marc Canter, David Weinberger, Howard Rheingold, Lisa Rein, Meg Hourihan, Steve Kirsch, Joi Ito, et. al. Generally, the techies who oppose the war — and implicitly support a status quo that leaves Saddam Hussein in power — are not engineers, but “social implications of technology” people, self-appointed visionaries, dot-commers, and marketeers. The reality-based thinking that engineers practice doesn’t leave room for coddling dictators and sanctioning torture, so we want regime change. Besides, many of us have worked for managers who remind us of the Butcher of Baghdad, so we naturally sympathize with the oppressed.

Hollywood’s a different story, of course, because it’s full of the fuzzy-minded, who tend to have the same tunnel-vision we find in the Valley’s paratechnicals.

High-tech weaponry

This column by Walter Williams reminded me why the Soviet Union folded:

There were some highly classified equipment, operations and questions one of our hosts, Dr. Ace Summey, couldn’t show or discuss with us, but that which we saw convinced me that Saddam Hussein can only expect a zero to no chance of a successful battle engagement with our military. I was also convinced that CSS had given additional meaning to General George S. Patton’s admonition, “The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.”

He discusses multi-spectral radar, Landing Craft Air Cushion and unmanned underwater vehicles, all nice arrows in the quiver in the war against terrorism.