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Episode 38 – download nowsubscribe now

Special guest co-host Bill Grady of You are the Guest joins me today.

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Back in my BlipMedia days, we did a quote for the Pentagon that was in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Needless to say, they’re not taking our bid, opting into the good ol’ boy’s network @ 18 mil, instead:

Pentagon phone system to go VoIP

A major renovation to the Pentagon has taken a VoIP twist. The Department of Defense has awarded General Dynamics an $18.4 million contract to design and deploy a VoIP phone system as part of what’s called the Wedge 2-5 stage of the Pentagon’s modernization program. The 4 million square-foot project is intended to modernize building systems, increase security and upgrade technology in the world’s largest office building. The VoIP contract is meant to provide a building-wide multimedia phone system integrating voice, video and data communications-in both secure and non-secure channels. VoIP not secure? One hopes there will be an unclassified White Paper someday about how the Pentagon made IP telephony more secure than some thought possible.

For more about the Pentagon’s coming VoIP phone system:
– read this FCW.com article

In other VoIP news, it’s a Vonage article that doesn’t talk about Verizon. Of course, that doesn’t mean we won’t talk about it on the show… 🙂

Has Comcast passed Vonage?

Has Comcast replaced Vonage as the Number 1 VoIP carrier? Some back-of-the-envelope figuring by Network World thinks it might have happened. Comcast ended the first quarter of this year with 2.4 million VoIP customers–nearly 1.9 million more than it had a year ago and roughly 10 percent of the number of cable customers it serves. Vonage, in the fourth quarter of 2006, reported 2.2 million customers. And given its legal problems, financial drain and marketing distractions, it seems unlikely that Vonage’s growth would keep pace with Comcast’s explosive gains. We should know Vonage’s numbers pretty soon, but bragging rights may well have passed to Comcast.

For more about Comcast’s market penetration:

– read this Network World article

In one of the more interesting news from inside the beltway, recently – it’s politics AND sex!

DC Escort Services Becomes Latest Scandal
Randall Tobias, Director of US Foreign Assistance and US Agency for International Development Administrator, became the first political casualty this week in a slow cooking scandal over a Washington DC escort service. Tobias abruptly resigned after ABC News contacted him about employing the services. Tobias maintains that he only recieved massages, but that doesn’t really matter at this point. His political career is over, and if thousands of pages of phone records provided by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the services’ proprietor, pan out, more will follow. In the meantime, news organisactions posessing the list are undecided as to what their next step will be — now that they have outed the lists’s only republican.

Palfrey was indicted on federal racketeering charges in February for allegedly running a $300-an-hour call-girl ring that dates back 13 years. “20/20” will be airing a segment on the scandal this week, allowing Palfrey, who has a checkered legal past, to say the least, another opportunity to mug before the cameras. Following a pattern that fits almost every sex scandal that unfolds in the Swamp, Palfrey is portraying herself to be the victim, putting the spotlight instead of the political class who took advantage of the services she provided.

Of course, there are no innocents in this tawdry saga. Even if no laws were broken, the lack of moral rectitude in our nation’s capital should trouble all of us. Founder John Adams may have said it best: “WE have no government aremd with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitutional as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

Nice try, I’ll pass on that one, though:

Verizon Says It Has A First Amendment Right To Illegally Give Your Call Records To The Government
The nation’s biggest telcos are working hard to make the lawsuits against them for passing customer call records and other info to the government as part of its program of warrantless wi

retaps disappear. AT&T’s argument that it was just following government orders didn’t wash with a judge, and now Verizon is claiming that its passing of information to the government is protected by the First Amendment. Yes, you read that correctly: it says the Electronic Communications Privacy Act is unconstitutional, and the information it passed to the government — in apparent violation of it, and to comply with the sort of warrantless surveillance the ECPA was designed to prevent — is constitutionally protected free speech. This seems tenuous at best, but it fits with Verizon’s MO. The company always tries to whitewash its customer data leaks by filing lawsuits and trying to shift the blame onto pretexters and information brokers, and making the problem appear to be solely these people’s activities, rather than its own inability to protect customer data. Likewise in this case, it contends that it’s done nothing wrong, and that the ECPA makes the mistake of trying to prevent free speech, rather than putting restrictions on the government’s ability to ask for the information. Of course, those restrictions exist (in the form of having to get a warrant), but didn’t really work so well here. Verizon’s complicity seems pretty obvious and its free-speech claims look like little more than a hail-mary attempt to shirk liability for disclosing the customer information. That may not be necessary, though, if the Bush administration’s attempts to get Congress to pass a law giving the telcos immunity from these sorts of lawsuits are successful.

Lay off the movies, bozos:

Canadian Coins Not Nano-Tech Espionage Devices
Necrotica writes “An odd-looking Canadian coin with a bright red flower was the culprit behind the U.S. Defence Department’s false espionage warning earlier this year. The odd-looking — but harmless — “poppy coin” was so unfamiliar to suspicious U.S. Army contractors traveling in Canada that they filed confidential espionage accounts about them. The worried contractors described the coins as “anomalous” and “filled with something man-made that looked like nano-technology,” according to once-classified U.S. government reports and e-mails obtained by the AP.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

For some reason, we’ve been following (and rooting for) Sarkozy’s quest for French Presidency. Bill weighs in heavy on this issue:

Sarkozy Takes French Presidency
‘Conservative candidate Nicolas Sarkozy has won the hotly-contested French presidential election

‘The final count gave Mr Sarkozy 53.06%, compared with 46.94% for socialist Segolene Royal, with turnout at 85%.

‘Mr Sarkozy, 52, the son of a Hungarian immigrant, takes over from the 74-year-old Jacques Chirac.

‘Riot police have fired tear gas at a small group of demonstrators who were protesting in central Paris against Mr Sarkozy’s victory.’

From CATO on the same topic:

It spoke volumes that Sarkozy was the only French presidential candidate to visit the United States. On a highly publicized trip to Washington, he was photographed with President Bush. He also gave a strongly pro-American speech. Sarkozy told his audience that, “Friendship is respect, understanding, affection but not submission … I ask our American friends to let us be free, free to be their friends.”

In response, former Socialist Prime Minister Laurent Fabius proclaimed that Sarkozy was seeking to replace British Prime Minister Tony Blair as Bush’s “poodle.” A Royal aide labeled Sarkozy “an American neoconservative with a French passport,” a criticism that stuck to him for the campaign’s duration.

First, the Bush administration has belatedly concluded that a very public transatlantic dispute has damaged American interests. The White House is now committed to playing nicely with Chirac’s successor.

Second, there will be a new American president within 21 months. Circumstance will force the next president, Republican or Democrat, to present a more pragmatic American face to the world.

The White House’s next inhabitant will occupy an office diminished in stature by his or her predecessor’s diplomatic failures. President Sarkozy will quietly offer to help his ally pick up the pieces.

Any excuse to say the words ‘Nappy Headed Hos’:

Don Imus to sue CBS for full contract
More than three weeks after CBS Radio and MSNBC unceremoniously dropped his highly-rated morning talk show, “Imus in the Morning”, Don Imus is preparing for a legal battle with his former employers.

This from my blog post earlier, brought up some good end of show discussion with Bill and I:

MSNBC’s Republican Debate
I watched the debate, and I must say I was impressed with the aptitude that the Republicans handled themselves. I suppose that after years and years of being exposed to Republican ineptitude, its refreshing to be exposed to the flip-side of it.

Here’s the most interesting thing to come out of this debate; given the huge field of the early Republican lineup of candidates that prevented Paul from elaborating much more on what makes him so very different from the rest of the pack, and the scant 90 minutes afforded the public to know who they are, Paul did as well as he possibly could going from near last to FIRST place.

This shake-up is very interesting.

BEFORE the Republican “debates”:
  1. Giuliani 41%
  2. McCain 31%
  3. Romney 28%
  4. Huckabee 14%
  5. Thompson 11%
  6. Tancredo 10%
  7. Brownback 10%
  8. Paul 9%
  9. Hunter 7%
  10. Gilmore 4%
AFTER the Republican “debate”
at 9:28am the next morning:
  1. Paul 35%
  2. Romney 30%
  3. Giuliani 25%
  4. McCain 20%
  5. Huckabee 16%
  6. Tancredo 10%
  7. Brownback 9%
  8. Thompson 9%
  9. Hunter 8%
  10. Gilmore 7%

Here’s where you can watch and judge for yourself:
Part 01 of 10 of MSNBC’s first Republican Presiden…
Part 02 of 10 of MSNBC’s first Republican Presiden…
Part 03 of 10 of MSNBC’s first Republican Presiden…
Part 04 of 10 of MSNBC’s first Republican Presiden…
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Part 07 of 10 of MSNBC’s first Republican Presiden…
Part 08 of 10 of MSNBC’s first Republican Presiden…
Part 09 of 10 of MSNBC’s first Republican Presiden…
Part 10 of 10 of MSNBC’s first Republican Presiden…