A2 Cloud Camp

I attended Ann Arbor’s Cloud Camp yesterday at Google (in… Ann Arbor). Was a great “un-conference” about cloud computing and such. Took a few pictures and enjoyed the afternoon.

Miscellaneous Rant

Ann Arbor Blocks My Parking App

Ann Arbor DDA, you massively fail. If you were a ship, you’d be the titanic…

Can you believe in today’s world that a government agency would conspire and discuss the control of public information? What if that information was a top secret as… parking space availability?

I’ve posted an article on VoIP Tech Chat detailing the Ann Arbor DDA doing just that. My response to them is at the end… Please enjoy.

Read the article on VoIP Tech Chat


The week that was 1/9/2009

Yeni and Fred in Dundee
Yeni and Fred in Dundee

Welcome to Fred’s weekly review for the first “real” week of 2009. What did Fred do this week? Will Fred stop talking in third person? This and many more questions await you in this fantastic update.

Ok — so for the purposes of “whatever” I’m starting a week I guess on Saturday – Friday (if you’re keeping track, the answer to the 3rd person question is ‘Yes’). This week, I:

And that’s pretty much the week that was.


Geeky Item of the Day – Free CNAM

Ok, if you use Asterisk (or a Do It Yourself type VoIP service), you sometimes do not receive the CNAM (think Caller ID with Name data) from your carrier. Well, since geeks like information and anything “free,” there’s a simple way to use the internet to do a reverse number lookup query. So, if you’re a technical type, keep reading… otherwise, non-geek posts will return very soon.

esposa VoIP

Geeky Item of the Day

Yeni Weather Script
Yeni Weather Script

I have a new phone on my desk (or as Yeni calls it, the mesk). Why mesk? Combines messy and desk… but I digress (as usual).

As I was saying, I recently purchased a Polycom Soundpoint IP 450 phone. The phone is great — small foot print, clean, great speakerphone, and enables HD Voice. HD Voice is going to change the way we think of how phone calls sound. I admit, I was reluctant at first, but then I got to know Michael Graves; and after listening to him praise the benefits of HD Voice for many, many months, I decided it was time to embrace the technology.

Let me say this — HD Voice is amazing. I won’t say too much more, because I’m planning to write about it big time on VoIP Tech Chat and Team Forrest; but bottom line: HD Voice = amazing.

So the other nice thing about the phone? It has a little micro-mini browser. Which means what you ask? It means that know whenever Yeni asks me the weather… I can answer. A nice little Perl script checks the local Ann Arbor weather and gives me the temp (in F and C), current condition, and quick day’s forecast. The phone reads the website every 5 minutes and constantly displays the results. It’s nice. 🙂


Movies of 2008

Fred saw Iron Man in 2008
Fred saw Iron Man in 2008

I’ve said it before — I love movies. I simply love movies. Sure, not all movies receive my love; horror films and I never got along (except I did like Scream). And sadly, my sister and I have our movie senses switched as I like a good chick flick and she likes the scary ones. But as usual, I digress…

Back in 2002, when I was first posting rants online, I posted a little mini-rant about seeing movies in the theater (the site’s been through so many changes since then that I reposted back in 2007). When I was a kid, and even through high school, seeing movies in the theater brought great joy — even the bad ones. The bad ones? Yes Virginia, even seeing a bad movie in the theater was once a fun thing to do (I remember very well a loud, applauding standing ovation given to the movie Warlock when it ended; wow that was a bad movie). Anyway, I don’t know if it’s getting older, or adding commercials, or even changes in culture, but at this point, I’d much rather wait a few months, pop the film into the DVD, and watch it at home.

Maybe it’s because since 2002 I’ve had big wide-screen TV’s… or maybe it’s because in 2003 I bought that Bose system I always wanted… but nonetheless, if I could choose between watching a film at the house on my couch or going to see one in the theaters, 9 times out of 10 I’ll choose the house. Now I have made exceptions… I absolutely wanted to see the Star Wars films on the big, big screen… and Spider-man… and well most comic book films.

Which brings us back (thank God) to the point of this post… the movies I’ve seen in 2008.

Out of all the films that came out in 2008 (here’s the highest grossing 400 of them), I only saw a whopping four (4) of them. How sad is that? I’ve only seen 4 of the movies that came out in 2008. And out of those four, I saw only one of them in the theater (Iron Man). 

There were many more I’d like to have seen (and still would) such as Hancock, Indiana Jones, Dark Knight, WALL-E, Quantum of Solace, etc. But as of this post, these are the four I’ve seen, along with my patent pending 10 word or less review:

  • 27 Dresses
    Chick Flick complete with typical bar song singalong. Ok.
    Yeni says: “It was good. I liked it. Girly movie.” 
  • 21
    A little slow and long, but good nonetheless.
    Yeni says: “I slept through that movie.” 
  • Iron Man
    Excellent film. Must stay until after the credits.
    Yeni says: “Good. Fred loves it. I just like it.” 
  • The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
    What? Really? How? Well, I saw it in Spanish.
    Yeni says: “Overacted. Like they don’t know how to act.” 

No Bag of Crap for Me

Ah, woot you are a tease
Ah, woot you are a tease

Ah… woot, your bag of crap eludes me yet again. is an online store and community that focuses on selling cool stuff cheap. They sell one item per day until it is sold out or until 11:59pm central time when it is replaced. The site will occasionally deviate from the one-product-per-day model for a “Woot-Off”, where a succession of products are available for a period of unannounced length, usually 24–72 hours. This mode is indicated by rotating lights and a bar displaying the percentage of product’s stock remaining. During April Fool’s Day 2008, Woot staged a Woot-Off offering the same product repeatedly, except for a few brief periods when Woot sold Random Crap instead.

In lieu of typical product sales, Woot occasionally offers a $1.00 (+$5.00 shipping) fukubukuro-like blind grab bag officially called “Random Crap”. Its accompanying picture has lent it the name “Bag of Crap” (Bag of Crap). The Bag of Crap includes dollar store items and may also include significantly more expensive items such as large flat-screen televisions.[6] The Bag of Crap typically triggers the flooding and subsequent overload of Woot’s servers with thousands and thousands of order requests. The available Bag of Craps typically sell out within seconds. Processing a customer’s order for a Bag of Crap, assuming he or she is first lucky enough to get one before everyone else, may sometimes take over an hour.

I was not lucky. I did not get the Bag of Crap.

One day… it will be mine.

esposa Family Gators Harley-Davidson SEC

It's Monday. Ummm. Monday.

Fred with family at Thanksgiving
Fred with family at Thanksgiving

Good morning world and welcome to the snowed in Monday morning edition of Fred Posner dot com. Let’s discuss the weekend…

Not much happened. Let’s see, in random order:

And how’s your day? Feel free to comment 🙂

esposa Miscellaneous

Thou Shalt Get a Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Recently, Yeni and I completed an amazing 3200 mile round-trip “Expedition” from Ann Arbor to Fort Lauderdale. We drove through such landmarks as the Florida Everglades, the Appalachian Mountains, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, and more. We experienced a range of weather and traffic — exactly what you would expect when traveling around Thanksgiving — but the scariest part, was waking up to the carbon monoxide alarm after returning home.

Like most “budget conscious” couples, Yeni and I try to save money when possible. When leaving for our extended trip, we lowered the thermostat to a brisk 65 degrees. After a very snow filled journey home, we raised the temperature up to 74, relaxed for an hour or so, and went to bed early.

Around 4am or so, I heard what I thought was the fire alarm; and not used to using natural gas in the home, I quickly got out of bed to investigate. You see, I like to avoid gas fueled explosions when possible, and assumed that the alarm would be followed by some sort of Bruce Willis / Jerry Bruckheimer fireball explosion. Well, no fire, but this alarm was so, so very loud.

When my eyes gained focus, I looked up high and noticed this wasn’t the smoke detector, but rather the Carbon Monoxide alarm. Well, we shut off the heater, got some warm clothes, tried to call 911 from the VoIP phone (and then had to use the mobile), and got out of the house. The fire department showed up and Yeni and I enjoyed the reflections of the emergency lights on the snow (I told Yeni they were her Christmas lights). We stood outside and let the fresh air remove our nausea and headaches. After 45 minutes (or so) of talking with the Fire Department, the levels had lowered enough for us to return inside.

In the morning, a furnace repairman could not find any levels of carbon monoxide. Our neighbor told us he had recently closed a vent when spraying for wasps and thinks that this action may have been the cause. Although we would have liked to have found a definite source of the carbon monoxide, it’s good to know that the alarm is loud enough to wake me from a deep sleep.


Headed to Arizona

I’m flying from Detroit to Phoenix to attend Astrocon– a conference of Asterisk users. It’s the first time I’ve gotten to attend a conference on a product I both like and am interested in; so I’m pretty excited.

We woke up real early this morning and picked up Yeni’s mother who will be visiting us for a few weeks. I was hoping to sleep on the plane but my neighbor is a seat hog who moves in a violent jerking motion; it’s lovely.

Have I mentioned how much I love flying?