Verizon workers’ union wants investigation of forced fiber upgrades

Put the union vs Verizon dispute in the article aside – this confrontation points out a major shortfall in modern telecommunications. As VOIP, SKYPE, and internet connectivity displaces traditional telephone service it should have to meet some of the same standards of reliability, redundancy, and availability that the old PTSN network does. All cable modems should come with battery backup, all internet plant should become as reliable as our old copper PTSN telephone plant. The FCC and local cable franchising authorities are falling down in not mandating better service from cable tv and internet providers.

The complaint stems from Verizon’s “Fiber is the Only Fix” program, in which Verizon automatically sets up copper-to-fiber upgrades when customers with copper-based landline phones call for repairs twice in 18 months. Though many customers welcome the shift to fiber because it brings more reliable and faster Internet access, some prefer to keep copper-based landline phones because they can remain in service during long power outages. FURTHER READING VERIZON WON’T FIX COPPER LINES WHEN CUSTOMERS REFUSE SWITCH TO FIBER “Do not fix trouble” with copper lines, Verizon document says. FURTHER READING VERIZON WORKERS STRIKE OVER LOST JOBS AND REFUSAL TO EXPAND FIBER Non-union employees will take over customer service and network repairs. The union, the Communications Workers of America (CWA), claims Verizon is violating a ban on deceiving consumers and a requirement that customers be given 90 days’ notice before retiring copper networks. Verizon denies the union’s accusations and called the complaint a “publicity stunt” timed to coincide with a strike that began three weeks ago and involves 36,000 Verizon workers. Verizon argues that the FCC’s 90-day rule applies only to the retirement of entire central offices, not service to individual homes.

Source: Verizon workers’ union wants investigation of forced fiber upgrades | Ars Technica

Sliver Moon

This morning on our walk the moon was a mere sliver, a celestial fingernail clipping hanging in the sky.

The Fountain at Jörmungandr Pond

The pond is really named “Rose’s Pond”after the people who donated the land, but I call it Jörmungandr Pond after the sculpture of the Midgard Serpent in the middle. Lenexa lights up the fountain at night, so I decided to get a picture of it while walking Kasey early yesterday morning. It’s a bit fuzzy, I wasn’t able to grab a sharp focus with my aging eyes at night. Next time I will take the android pad so I can see the image larger and sharper than on the camera back. IMG_1906

President’s Day Apple Rant

Today is President’s day and I’m off work, so I got my walk in early and now I’m listening to James Supercave and wondering what to do the rest of this fine day. I think a visit to the hardware store is in order – there’s a lot of non-GFI outlets next to sinks in this house. I’m reading some David Brin (Uplift again…)and Richard Kadrey(Sandman Slim) in the interstices between events and plans, and all seems to be going well.

So here comes my Apple rant — keep the above in mind so you don’t consider the following representative of how I am or where I’m going, but yeah – I am angry at Apple. Years ago I got an IPOD as a gift, and promptly converted my music library to Itunes, and later lossless with Apple’s version of FLAC, ALAC. All was well, I listened to just the tunes I like in an endless rotation – no crap, no pap.

Much much later that original IPOD started dying in the cold after about 15 minutes so Santa brought me an IPOD 5 or 6 (I care about the version: nyet.) I use this thing for one purpose Apple nabobs and fanboys: I use it to play just the music I like — nothing less, nothing more.

So I toggle off the Apple snoopcode and data prying bits and pieces where I see ’em and I try to keep it slimmed down to the minimum set of code bits needed to play music. I have it syncing to the ITUNES cloud but otherwise I don’t want FUCKING APPLE in my shit, and I don’t want APPLE and their cheap ass stream service that rapes all music creators.

I pay for my songs, and I want to play just my songs. I’m sick and tired of having to go through five minutes of poking around a nearly bricked IPOD clicking off adds for streaming service and and crap from FUCKING APPLE anytime I want to just play my music. When this IPOD dies, it won’t be Apple gear replacing it, so suck it Apple nabobs and fanboys, I’m through with you.

Sometimes We Forget

Sometimes we forget that our sun is but single star among many, but all it takes to remind us is a bit of lens flare off some ripples.

The computer that mastered Go

This is an amazing breakthrough in Artificial intelligence.

Gary Clark Jr “When my Train Pulls In”

This song puts me in an early ’70s state of mind.

New Music

This week I’m listening to Grizfolk, and Vök.

Itunes link for Grizfolk’s new opus

El Nino Still Growing

Be on the watch for more unusual weather:


The current strong El Niño brewing in the Pacific Ocean shows no signs of waning, as seen in the latest satellite image from the U.S./European Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM)/Jason-2 mission.

El Niño 2015 has already created weather chaos around the world. Over the next few months, forecasters expect the United States to feel its impacts as well.

The latest Jason-2 image bears a striking resemblance to one from December 1997, by Jason-2’s predecessor, the NASA/Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) Topex/Poseidon mission, during the last large El Niño event. Both reflect the classic pattern of a fully developed El Niño. The images can be viewed at:

The images show nearly identical, unusually high sea surface heights along the equator in the central and eastern Pacific: the signature of a big and powerful El Niño. Higher-than-normal sea surface heights are an indication that a thick layer of warm water is present.

more at JPL

Nat King Cole – “The Christmas Song” (1961)