What is this?

Just some random musings .

Friday, September 28, 2007

Your Computer Minute - Tech Talk

I will try and do a techie post at least once a month (maybe once a week). Seeing as how my day job has me dealing with software and hardware all day why on earth would I want to spend my free time doing this? Well, maybe I can get syndicated and slide in a few shots at Mr. Turbitt in print in the Tribune. And, hell, I more than likely will be doing this post on the clock anyhow.

Today’s Topic: Feed Readers (aka Feed Aggregators) - An Avid Bloggers Wet Dream Come True

What is a Feed Reader?

"In computing, a feed aggregator, also known as a feed reader or simply as an aggregator, is client software or a Web application which aggregates syndicated web content such as news headlines, blogs, podcasts, and vlogs in a single location for easy viewing."
~ Wikipedia

If you are like me, you spend quite a long time hopping from one blog to the next in order to find out if there are any new posts. An older shortcut would have been saving the blogs you frequent in your favorites or adding a bookmark of some sort within your browser of choice. While this makes it a bit easier to jump from blog to blog, you must still scroll through to see if there are any updates to each and every blog you visit. Comments within these blogs is a whole ‘nother story. To find out if there were any new comments posted since your last visit you have to remember how many comments were left the last time you stopped in and scroll through the blog looking for any of the "comments #" that has increased. This gets impossible if you have been away from a blog for any long period of time. Also, you may never see comments added to much older posts that do not show up on the main page of the blog site. I hope I have not lost you yet and that most bloggies can relate to this.

Well there is a very simple solution to this cumbersome procedure. Feed Readers have the ability to allow a user to consolidate all the blogs they would normally frequent into one easy access page (know as subscribing). That is right you can view all your favorite blog posts in one magazine-like online page.

"Blogger Nirvana" you say? Hold tight it gets better.

I know anyone that keeps tabs on more than 4 blogs will be thinking, "That would be Blog Post Overload". They may fear that they would be presented with a page full of contless old and new posts from the blogs that they decide to subscribe to. Fear not. Once you read a post you can mark it as read and it will no longer show on the page. Each time a new blog is posted on any of the blogs you subscribe to your Feed Reader page will automatically be updated (by the fairy blogger).

What this means is that you can now go to your Feed Reader online and it will present you with all updated blog posts (or ones you have not read) from all the sites you fancy.

"What about all the comments? You said it allows me to see all the updated comments within the blog?" you wail. This is true. Most blogs give the Feed Readers the ability to subscribe to the comments section as well. This allows you to see not only all update blog (or unread) posts on that one page but all updated comments as well.

No that I have sold you on the benefits and I have you drooling over this Feed Reader phenomenon, I know what little voice in your head is saying. "How much does it cost for this amazing service?" All this would normally run you around $39/month at your local Bloggers Buy retail store.... But if you act now and send me cash or check in the amount of just $38.99 This can all be yours. And for a limited time only the first 50 bloggers to purchase will also get a set of Ginsu blades....

Just kidding. The service is completely FREE.

There are many online Feed Reader services that allow you to sign up and start subscribing to your favorite blogs for Free. The one I use is Google's Feed Reader. Damn is there anything they don't do online? One of the neat features is that if you already have a Google Gmail account or Google Blogger account or Google Analyzer account, or Google Gbank account.... whoops, that’s right the Gbank service launches in Jan '08... then you can use your login name and password and log on immediately and start configuring your own personal Feed Reader.

Configuring it is as simple as browsing the internet.

  1. Go to www.google.com/reader
  2. Log in with your Gmail account
  3. Hit the “add subscription” button
  4. Type in pragmaticplato.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default
  5. Click “add”
  6. And viola… the recent blog posts appear on the right side.

For comments do all the steps above but replace the URL in step 4 with the following: pragmaticplato.blogspot.com/feeds/comments/default . The most recent comments from that blog will now also appear on the right hand side.

Continue this process until you have added all the blogs you care to follow, replacing “pragmaticplato” with the blog name of your choice.

After you have added all your subscriptions and browsed through all the posts and comments on the right side, click the “mark all as read” button at the top. Then click the “all items” button and every time you visit your Feed Reader site only the new comments and posts from all of your subscriptions will show up.

If I have succeeded in completely confusing you there is a very easy to understand tutorial movie on the homepage of the Google Feed Reader site that will clear it all up for you.

That’s all for today folks. Feel free to post any comments or questions. Till next week …. Happy Blogging!


Seeing as how this comment is getting lost in the flow at Saipanmiddleroad.blogspot.com I have decided to repost it here. I am very interested in what people may have to say on this issue. This is in regards to the heated controversy of having the Iranian President speak at Columbia. Many people have criticized this and said that he should not have been given him the stage.

I think that no one should be censored from speech. People liken him to Hitler. I say let him talk. People can listen and then come to their own decision on how they feel about him. I can come to my opinion without someone stopping me from listening for fear that I may not be able to handle what he has to say. Thank you for trying to protect us, but it truly is not necessary.

Who among us is so great that they have the right to decide these matters? Who is so perfect that they can cast such a large stone as one large enough to suppress the freedom of speech? Some have said that freedom of speech is limited to Americans. I can not believe that they feel that way. But that is their opinion and so be it. My opinion is that it is not limited. Speak. Question. Listen. Decide not to listen. Make up your own mind and stop worrying about filtering things for the masses.

If he is not welcome and people all believe what the press is reporting, if I am alone in believe that he should be allowed to say whatever he wants to, if all Americans believe he should not be given an audience then all they had to do was not show up. Quick easy simple solution. Obviously people showed up. Obviously the news covered it. Obviously they don't embrace the thought that he should not have been given an audience. How hypocritical is that that you say he should not be allowed to speak then go and watch him?

Here is my comment from Middle Road:

Pragmatic Plato said...
The homosexuality comment made up about 20 seconds of his entire forum. I personally feel it was slightly misinterpreted. I watched the entire forum last night (an unedited version). I have read interviews and backstories on him and seen him in two other interviews. He appears to be a very intelligent man. Many people's preconceived notions of who he is and what he believes in stem from misreported facts, spin, items taken out of context, etc.

I laughed at each and everyone of the questions that were asked of him after his speech. Each question was phrased with an attack and laced with information that may have not been accurate. I love the fact that he took a deep breath and entertained the questions none the less.

He was cordial, eloquent and poised. I often wonder how we as a country can so easily and blindly accept what mainstream media pumps out as truth. I also wonder why it is so hard for people to remove themselves from their own comfort zone and try and see things from another person's point of view.

Remember the US a few years back had slaves, committed hateful crimes against them, did not condone homosexuality, had massive amounts of crimes including death against homosexuals, aided iraq in administering the use of chemical weapons on iran, back isreal with support in a fight against the palistinian people, the only country to ever use a nuclear weapon in combat (not once but twice), continues to develop nuclear arms and test them, still has the death penalty and utilizes it, there are places in the U.S. in which homosexual acts are illegal and can be punished by imprisonment and fines, the list goes on and on.

Regarding the Homosexuality question, here is how our US Military sees homosexuality:

"US Military
Statute: US Code Title 10, Section 47, Subchaper X, Sec. 925. Art. 125. Sodomy.
Penalty: Court Martial
Classification: Felony
Restrictions: None
Enforcement: 106 members of the armed services were discharged during the 2000 fiscal year that ended September 30, 2000, for homosexual acts according to the Pentagon.


Section 47 - Uniform Code of Military Justice, Subchapter X, Punative Articles
Sec. 925. Art. 125. Sodomy

(a) Any person subject to this chapter who engages in unnatural carnal copulation with
another person of the same or opposite sex or with an animal is guilty of sodomy.
Penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete the offense.

(b) Any person found guilty of sodomy shall be punished as a court-martial may direct. "

Major case of pot calling the kettle black? Chime in. Lets try and keep this related to the issue at hand and not turn it into another "you are anonymous so it doesn't matter" debate.

9/28/2007 10:39 AM

An Acceptable Form of Censorship - Self Censorship

I noticed today that the self-proclaimed "best blog in Saipan" has put up barricades on general public access. I think this is a great move on his part. If you don't like public comments then why post publicly? It wouldn't be right for me to walk into someones house and start commenting about issues that are discussed. It would be right for me to chime in if a person is standing on the stage at a public forum. I think Mr. Turbitt should follow suit and do the same thing.

If the heat on your blog gets too intense close up shop and head home.

What do you think?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Newspaper Quote of the Day - And I Thought Socrates was Bad

I don't even know where to begin with this one? For the first time in many many years I am at a loss for words.

...Japanese women in the deliciously slutty attire I’ve always appreciated...

- Mr. Turbitt

The quote appeared in today's installment from the educator's column. I must say the title of his blog has never seemed more appropriate than now. Hypocrisy at its finest. You make that statement in the same breath in which you fault MVA for its inability attracting tourist from Japan. I am not even in Japan, not even a woman... but Good Zeus Almighty, I am offended and I would think twice about ever visiting Saipan if I was.

It gets better, he goes on later in his column to state how Guam has erred in allowing Strip Clubs and Karaoke (EkGads.... not a singing joint) to set up shop in the tourist district. Please tell me I am not alone in being completely boggled by his train of thought and basic logical skills. Does he fear that the Strip clubs will compete against the "sluttily dressed Japanese Tourist" that he so adores?

Remember folks this is a publicly printed news column. Do chime in.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

2007 Candidates Take Center Stage ... Online (My Takes)

The following is a comment from Saipan Blogger's Site that I posted. I will post it here in case it gets censored... seeing as how me posting on his blog kind of begs to question the validity of the the "I am dead" line he flung at me.

The follwing is my take on the same 7 sites that Saipan Blogger visited and reviewed and my take on them.


I pulled up Joe Camacho’s site and it isn't bad. it gives background on him. i wish it had a bit more on what he stand for and what his takes on the issues are. It appears he may still be putting it together. He does have contact info and a couple phone numbers for voters to call him at. He does have a link to his brochure. Great info about the new redistricting. He also talks a bit about his house to house visits and some community info. He also has an online “Donation” that tells you who to send the checks to.

Cinta's website on the other hand, the one Angelo gives the accolades to, has not been updated in 2 years. Do you seriously think that is better than websites that contain up-to-date info? Heck, if I followed this website I would think she is #9 on the ballot. Come on Angelo, I know she is a pal of yours but call it like you see it. Her outdated website has her “We did it” home page. It has a briefly summarized platform. Her resume. Her stance on issues… at least what it was prior to her winning a couple years ago (this I believe has changed). A bunch of Events that happened in 2005 (Angelo you can not seriously think that this was the BEST of all the websites). A ton of endorsements … from prior to the 2005 election (this needs to be updated… do they still support her?… perhaps but we as voters need to know). News from the years 2000 -2004. And lastly a contact form.

Rose has a bunch of photos and the normal vote for me and all the other “running mates” (I am assuming the other candidates under the same political party although her website never states to my knowledge what party that is.). It also has info about a charitable fund and extensive information about her family heritage and who she is related to. I think the site is visually appealing but underneath the façade just perpetuates the political status quo when it comes to voting. She also has a photo gallery. not sure what firefox browser Angelo is using. I downloaded the latest (for geek use only) Firefox browser and the site load and looked fine. There is a snippet of code that displays in the footer but not anything that would prevent you from viewing or navigating the site.

I differ again from your take in regards to Fred’s site. You only point out your issues with his URL and say you don’t want to comment on blogs. Fred’s site it is one of the few that contains all the basic elements I would be looking for in a site for any of the candidates. It has his background and resume, his platform and stance on issues (whether I stand with him or not), a blog for citizen’s commentary (a bit more activity here would be good), an event calendar, voter information, important links and his contact info. It seems to have up to date info. As with Rose’s site he does have a section for the familial connections… but such is the CNMI and there are voters who need to know who is mother-in-law is… I guess?

Tina’s site as Fred’s has all the necessary elements I believe are needed for a website about a candidate. She lists her background and contrary to what you say her resume is linked. She has an event calendar (seems to need some work as it is hard to see). She has a link to voter info and a sample 2007 precinct 1 ballot. There are links and various methods for people to contact her. She also has a blog and what a content filled one it is (I could not read through everything yet). She posts about all the issues that citizens have brought up in her meetings with them and what they have shared with her and then she gives a personal stance and comment on each and every issue. She actually has another blog that she also links to; the CNMI Forums site that she has been running for some time it appears. This blog has some good commentary on all things politico in the CNMI. I have been an avid reader (and commenter) of this blog for months. Her site is also very aesthetically pleasing. As for the Firfox compatibility issues, there was a minor one pixel shif ton the right hand side on the background image. Not enough to deem it unreadable. It only occured on the home page the other pages showed up fine.

Clyde’s site also has the main info voters should be looking for. It has is platform and stances on various issues. It has his background and links to news and other sites. Because he was once up no the hill, he also lists his past record of what he did up there for voters to peruse and decide if this is what they want to see more of. Surprisingly there is no Contact info that I could find.

Luis’ site is the only one with a David Lettermanesque Top Ten Reasons to Vote for Me on the home page. His Platform is brief but his past legislation page is very very very long. Again I will have to read over what legislation it is and if he was responsible for each piece or if it is legislation from the senate as a whole. EDIT: I took a peek … tons of resolutions commemorating and recognizing everything and a few resolution and laws to rename streets as well as a few others. He does proudly top list (by number of course…but still) legislation to grant $10 million bucks to the now defunct MPLA (we all know where that money really went). His site also has endorsements from community member (Friends of Angando)… though with only three he may want to switch this to a page of his extended (very extended) family. He also has photos and contact info. He is also on of the few with a contact phone #.

All in all, it is great to see the candidates put up information on the internet for the masses. Some of the factors that stood out to me are:

  • What issues they tackled. Were they touching on the big ones??
  • The depths to which the candidates personally addressed the issues. I wanted to see where they stood. Whether I stood with them or not.
  • What type of contact info they gave (a phone number means they want to speak to you… personally. Only 3 had listed numbers. I did not call to see if they all really worked)
  • Whether the site was currently updated
  • Did they flaunt family connections and prominent community member endorsements
  • Were they selling themselves or what they stood for (I can’t make this sound right… but I hope you get what I mean)

We need to really look at the candidates themselves this year and every election year henceforth. We need to contact these candidates. We need to talk to them. We need to find out if they truly are people we want representing us.

I will get off the soapbox. That is my take on the candidate websites. If there are other candidates out there who have sites that I didn’t touch on please Email me at pragmaticplato at gmail dot com.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Best Headline of the Day

"Reyes: Wage adjustments for gov’t lawyers, executives not a pay hike"

It is a Wage Adjustment people not a Wage Hike...

...Just so happens that all the adjustments are in a positive direction.

Where can I hire a Spin Doctor?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Enlightenment - The Power of the Educator

I too am not without fault. I question in order to further my understanding. Sometimes through this understanding, my initial stance on a subject will waver. This is the case in regards to my initial stance on the whole anonymity issue.

Here is a snippet from a post by Mr. Turbitt that caused me to look deep within my soul and question my original position:

"And for anyone who still thinks it's ok to do the anonymous thing, this dickless turd is out there trashing my name while hiding in the bushes like a coward. That's why the whole anonymous thing is unfair. He gets to trash my name and hide in the weeds like the vermin he is. And memo to said turd, nothing stays secret long in a place this small."

Link to Post

Having said that, I have decided to scurry out of the bushes I was trembling behind and pull up the weeds I have been wading in and make known to the world me true identity.

Henceforth my blog will no longer shield my true identity from the public. I will request that all my published works no longer simply refer to me as "Plato".

I am Aristocles son of Ariston, of the deme Collytus.

I have cowered behind the Plato Pseudonym for much too long. I do hope that this noble step on my part is embraced by The Educator, Mr. Turbitt. He has not only been my muse, but he has opened up my eyes to my own short comings.

As for the "dickless" comment... I assure you that it was merely a statue of my likeness that was rendered dickless by the Council of Trent during the Counter Reformation period. I do still have a fully functioning penis.

It is only through discussion and debate that true enlightenment can occur. I have changed my position but I do not require that my readers follow suit. Look within yourself. Use this blog as a lesson. Research the Post contained within the Educator's Blog and arrive at your own conclusion.

I Am Dead?!

Comment posted on Mr. Turbitt's Blog:

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...
You are dead to me, boy.

I regret that i must respond here as my response on Mr. Turbitt's blog will not be posted.

Saipan Blogger,
Thank you for the warm welcome to the blogging community!

Pragmatic Plato

P.S.: Does this mean I am not invited to the next blogger meetup?

Question of the Day?

Is it acceptable to write a column in the news paper for the public to read and then not be able to handle moderate debate on the substance of said column?


Comment Posted on Mr Turbitt' Blog

Reference Post on Mr. Turbitt's Blog

My Comment:

may i get a link to my blog?

i will not post here anymore. i will simply copy your posts over to my blog and comment on your posts there. my blog will truly be an open forum.

i hate to tell you this but no one will defend you when you liken casino gambling to the war in iraq in an attempt to give it your stamp of approval. they will not defend the "should saipan expect anything better" comment either.

you really need to re-read what you have wrote and what i have wrote and step back and take a 3rd person view of it all.

you have some serious issues with debate and discussion.

and once again (since you deleted my comment that stated it), censorship is not relegated to being a tool used only by the government.

Please Feel Free to Chime In

I have opted to post a snippet of Mr. Turbitt's blog on my site. I fear that most people that comment on his site may be subject to the same censorship I encountered. Please feel free to comment on the quote below. I do not want it to seem as though I have taken it out of context so feel free to visit his site and read it in it's entirety. His site is linked on the right.

"The Iraq War exists as a way to enrich connected corporations much more than any war on terror. How else can you cut taxes, and run up billions of debt without end and still pretend to be acting in the interests of the country? Can we expect this little place to be any better than the U.S. government, which has much larger stakes and much more scrutiny."
~ By Jeff Turbitt

I believe we can expect Saipan to be better. What do you say?

Censorship: My Inspiration // Mr. Turbitt: My Muse

Thanks to Jeff Turbitt the Casino Proponents now have a new slogan:

"The Saipan Casino Act Initiative: As good for Saipan as the Iraq War is for the USA! Vote "Yes" this November."

Link to source here: http://turbittj.blogspot.com/2007/09/casinos-not-poker-rooms-mv-3.html

Hell, I guess if you really think about it people going over to Iraq and those heading into a casino are in the same boat...

... both taking one hell of a gamble.

I posted a comment on his blog but rather than a good debate on the topic he has opted for censorship. Many great leaders have taken that same path, so i can't come down to harshly on him. The likes of Hitler, Kim Jong Ill, Pontious Pilate and so on have also opted to censor rather than address the issues and exchange ideas.

I have politely requested for a copy of my posted comment from Mr. Turbitt. Once he sends it over I will publish it here for each of my fellow men to peruse and decide if it was worthy of such treatment?

"I suppose that writers should, in a way, feel flattered by the censorship laws. They show a primitive fear and dread at the fearful magic of print."

John Mortimer

And just a side note to Mr. Turbitt since he wants "nothing to do with me";

Definition of Censorship: The act of hiding, removing, altering or destroying copies of art or writing so that general public access to it is partially or completely limited.