Category Archives: Everything Else

Universal Service Fund

My brother was recently quoted in several newspaper articles, including one in the Austin American-Statesman, discussing the controversial Texas Universal Service Fund. The fund pays large telecom companies hundreds of millions of dollars per year to provide local phone service to rural customers. The justification for the fund is that the cost to provide phone… Read More »

Fragile. Handle with Care.

Fortunately, the contents of this box weren’t fragile. It was just some biking and soccer clothes I had ordered. USPS says, “Received in bad condition”, i.e., “Not my bad.”

Spare Eyeglasses

When you buy new eyeglasses, it’s a good idea to keep around the old pair, especially if you are lucky enough such that the prescription does not change much between the old lenses and the new. It’s always possible that you will take your newest pair in to be adjusted because they no longer sit… Read More »

Fast Experience at the DMV

I never thought I would write “fast” and “DMV” in the same sentence (other than, perhaps, “I conducted an involuntary fast while waiting all day at the DMV”), but I was actually in and out of there in 10 minutes today while renewing my Driver’s License. In fact, the whole DMV experience was pretty damn… Read More »

Microsoft and VoiceXML

Microsoft recently announced that Speech Server 2007 will provide support for speech applications written in VoiceXML. In order to penetrate the enterprise market for speech applications, Microsoft really had no choice. SALT-based applications remain as rare as hen’s teeth in the enterprise. Ok, maybe not that rare, but certainly the number pales in comparison to… Read More »

Google Map Bike Route Calculator

My brother sent me a link a few weeks ago to yet another cool Google Map mash-up. This one allows you to measure the distance between two points on a map via connected line segments. This is particularly useful to me in estimating the length of a bike ride on a route I haven’t yet… Read More »

Real Estate Google Map Mash-Ups

Real estate info is obviously extremely suitable for being paired up with Google maps. Two sites my brother recently told me about are Home Price Records and Trulia. These sites serve complementary purposes – Home Price Records lists properties that have been sold and Trulia lists properties that are for sale. Home Price Records prompts… Read More »

White Noise from the White House

I suspect that you, just like me, wonder just what the friggin heck George Bush is trying to communicate when he gamely attempts to speak English, or in the case of one response during a debate with John Kerry, not speak at all. This video makes it all clear. It turns out that Bush has… Read More »

Soccerphone Update

It’s been ages since I’ve written about Soccerphone, or even about anything at all. The last few weeks have just been too hectic. But, I did find time this weekend to make a few updates to Soccerphone, which is an automated speech application I built a few years ago so I could receive live Major… Read More »


The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) has proven to be an effective standard for Voice over IP (VoIP) systems, as it’s use in open source and closed source products is now relatively quickly displacing the H.323-based systems that preceded it. H.323 and its accompanying protocols weren’t necessarily bad, but they come out of the videoconferencing space… Read More »