First Right to Protest

We, The Americans, have always held dear the foundational concept of protesting in the public square to express dissatisfaction with the status quo — and to also call others to action to join us against the latest repression at a hand coming down from above us without a velvet glove.

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End of the Copper Line

I am concerned about the abolishment of reliable, mechanical, communication when it comes to “plain old telephone service” — POTS — and the future of voice and data communication.

Hurricane Sandy has shoved forward the end of the copper telephone line.  Big communication companies have decided it is in their best interest to push people onto cellular networks instead of rebuilding what was lost:  Traditional “communication by wireline” that has been a staple of everyday communication in the USA for almost a hundred years.

The changing landscape has Verizon, AT&T and other phone companies itching to rid themselves of the cost of maintaining their vast copper-wire networks and instead offer wireless and fiber-optic lines like FiOS and U-verse, even though the new services often fail during a blackout.

“The vision I have is we are going into the copper plant areas and every place we have FiOS, we are going to kill the copper,” Lowell C. McAdam, Verizon’s chairman and chief executive, said last year. Robert W. Quinn Jr., AT&T’s senior vice president for federal regulatory issues, said the death of the old network was inevitable. “We’re scavenging for replacement parts to be able to fix the stuff when it breaks,” he said at an industry conference in Maryland last week. “That’s why it’s going to happen.”

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Should I Choose Verizon FiOS Over Comcast?

I’m not a big fan of Comcast or Verizon — but I am a fan of saving 50% on my phone/internet/cable bill each month.  We have been Comcast customers since 2001, so our history with them has been both rough and pleasing.  Verizon FiOS is getting installed en masse in our neighborhood, and we were told by the landlord that Verizon would need access to our apartment to “run a FiOS installation line from the basement to our closet and then to all the closets above us in the building.”  We can choose to sign up for FiOS, or not, but the construction for installing a FiOS pipe will be done no matter what.

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DR Strings Pure Blues 11-50 Review

I live and love The Blues from the great State of New Jersey, and I confess that in the past, I have not been so kind to DR Strings — made right here in the Garden State in Emerson!  I previously recanted my sad ways, and today, I am delighted to tell you I have finally found The Perfect Blues Guitar string for my ’57 Les Paul:  The “Pure Nickle, Round Wound, DR Pure Blues 11-50.”  I like these strings so much that I plan to use them on all my guitars.

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Facilitated iPhone Conversation with Proloquo2Go

Would you spend $200.00 USD on an iPhone App to give back your ability to communicate via voice?  That might sound like a lot of money for a little bit of software, but for the disabled who can regain their lost communicationProloquo2Go is just the right facilitator to help restore self-worth and speech.

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Want a Hit Rap Song? Hire Rihanna to Sing the Melody!

22-year-old Barbadian wonder Rihanna has one of the most beautiful voices making music today.  Her sound is unique, immediately recognizable, and she is a one-woman hit machine.  Last year, Jay-Z used her on — “Run This Town” — to break up the monotony of the rap with an interlude that was actually melodic and musical.  Rihanna saved that song and gifted Jay-Z a massive hit.

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Amplification Made the Live Theatre the Radio

There was a time in the live theatre when actors did not wear microphones.  Actors were required to develop a strong ability to project their voice in song and dialogue.  It was magnificent to hear a live voice singing with a live orchestra.  Today, the actors wear microphones and, for many Broadway shows, the entire orchestra is artificially amplified because the stringed instruments are playing live from a different floor in the theatre and they watch the conductor via closed-circuit television.

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