Julyin' to yourself

August is already upon us

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60 Responses to Julyin' to yourself

  1. Fred Stiening says:

    How can this not be a violation of copyright law?


    • Fred Stiening says:

      So I think the article might have misrepresented what was done. MIT generated transcripts of all of the shows, but I think the intent was to do statistical analysis, and the underlying transcripts are not being made available to the public.

      That being said, I feel confident someone at the DNC did a search to see how many times Rush Limbaugh used the word “monkey” on his show during the time period (.)! covered.

  2. Fred Stiening says:

    “The Inconvenient Truth”

    The beginning of the manifesto of the El Paso Walmart shooter. You may recognize a similarity to Al Gore’s “an inconvenient Truth”. A significant portion of his screed is about how greedy corporations are destroying the environment. He points out that both Republicans and Democrats are supporting the massive immigration into the country. He sees our country where a college degree is necessary, but totally useless.

    I’m looking forward to reporters from politico asking Al Gore Jr. what he thinks of this man being motivated by his lies about the environment. I’m not holding my breath.

  3. Fred Stiening says:

    So while I was out taking care of family matters, some dweeb using a Microsoft IP address was busy doing an SQL injection attack on the system. I think they were moderately successful so I restored the system back to prior to the attack, shall I have time to consider what they might have accomplished. I don’t think there’s any issues for you all but this is what makes running your own web server really frustrating.

    • Parrott says:

      so annoying. Crazy punks are always trying to get behind the firewalls.
      Can’t have anything. Its like these fools that drive half-ass


      • Fred Stiening says:

        As near as I can figure, they didn’t actually get very far. It is just their script flooded me with a whole bunch of SQL error messages.

        It was that all licenses thing I just wrote about where the vulnerability was. It should be fixed, but you have to be constantly alert to the possibility.

  4. TheChairman says:

    This reminds me of an ‘on-air’ incident we heard last summer while doing errands in Alpena. AM radio is dead (except for 1 station) in northern lower peninsula, so I was searching for something tolerable on FM and tuned into a station which is “All music, all the time.” Except, on that particular day it was an announcer’s voice repeating the call letters and that motto, over and over in a loop! So I’m sitting there laughing quite hard, as my wife returned to the car and asked what was so funny. I let her listen and informed her the station was probably automated and a former employee or someone had likely hacked the station’s system. The loop played for hours and hours (or days for all I know).

    • Fred Stiening says:

      Is it possible it was an FM translator of an AM station? If it lost the feed (probably over the Internet), it might do that hoping for the AM station to reconnect.

      It is obvious that many stations are doing nothing more than the minimum to avoid forfeiting the license – however the new FM translators are breathing new life into AM radio even if the AM transmitter is turned off.

    • TheChairman says:

      No, it was definitely an FM station, typical of the 'classic hits' genre found all over Michigan and elsewhere. I had my radio on 'seek'… after it went around the dial once, and I heard the same thing, I had to stop on the station and listen to what was going on. I'm sure the regular listeners were annoyed and calling the (unmanned) station phone #, but I found it extremely amusing.

      I'm convinced it (the station ID/slogan loop) was the work of a soon-to-be or recently displaced employee.

      • Fred Stiening says:

        So, you are confirming what I anticipated was going to happen. It’s not rocket science. On every car radio that I have owned, there is a button that switches you between AM and FM – Or in my 2001 car, between AM and two sets of FM presets. I am the odd case who leaves his radio on a.m. 99% of the time. I don’t even bother setting in the FM presets, which angers the guys at the car repair shop who want to listen to music while they’re working on my car.

        As each a.m. station goes away, or starts airing something you are not interested in like Spanish language accordion music or sports talk, even the most diehard a.m. listener is eventually going to switch to the FM translators. Once you’re listening on FM, whatever remaining stations exist in the a.m. dial are going to die. This is what I meant by in order to save a.m. Radio, we have to kill it.

        Of course, newer cars come with SiriusXM, HD Radio, Bluetooth, “apps”… This is why looking at market share is becoming so worthless for advertisers. Saying that 93% of people listen to “Radio” at least once during a month says nothing about who is going to hear your advertisement. Increasingly, people are listening to NPR and K love. The final nail in the AM coffin will be when Rush Limbaugh retires.

      • Fred Stiening says:

        There is an implicit assumption there is an employee. Back in the good old days, stations were required to have a full-time engineer. Then we started having clustered stations where one engineer could handle five or six stations. Now the requirement is just that there be an engineer on call, and they can connect to the transmitter over the Internet, so they might be 1000 miles away.

        Increasingly, the transmitter towers are not even owned by the radio station. They have been sold off to tower management companies, so the old thing about needing to replace burned-out lightbulbs isn’t even the radio station responsibility anymore .

        • TheChairman says:

          With regard to your first comment above, there is one AM talk-radio station in far northeast Michigan (L.P.) which has an FM translator over in Petoskey. I can't tune the FM station until after the AM fades out while driving east… the 'hand-off' occurs somewhere west of Indian River. As far as I can tell, no talk-radio or AM stations are available in Alpena, during the day at least.

          As for automation, I knew someone who purchased a station back in the early 1990's in northern Arizona. From what I understand, the ownership released most of the staff, changed the format, and automated it; each night a syndicated play-list for the following day was downloaded by satellite. At that time, I believe they were required to have one employee within a certain distance or travel time from the station (e.g. 15 mins).

          • Fred Stiening says:

            The current generation of transmitters don't even need a remote relay to them. What you described happens in software in the transmitter. As long as it's connected to the internet, no human supervision is necessary. All of the downloading, voice tracking, ones, and commercials is done right within the transmitter. If it loses the internet connection, it has a thumb drive loaded with music it will play until the engineer can show up and determine why the internet is down. Usually an ability to cycle the equipment can be done remotely without needing a visit the actual transmitter. I'm not sure who logs the EAS tests. I assume the transmitter does that automatically.

        • briand75 says:

          And the engineer used to monitor the flow of cooling water to the final transmitter tube(s). I don't remember if they were triodes or pentodes?

          • Fred Stiening says:

            The closest relevant memory I have was visiting in the radio station WHKY-AM in Hickory North Carolina. My dad was buddies with the station engineer, and I got to spend an hour or two out of the transmitter.

            It was very much an old school building. It had a set of turntables just in case something happens so that the engineer could keep the station going, or maybe if there was a problem with the main studio. They were very large tubes that were Very visible, like they were there for a when the school children came for a tour. I have no memory of them being water cooled however. It was a pretty large place, it was not hard to imagine live music being performed there. They got their license in 1940.

            • Fred Stiening says:

              Looking in Google earth, what I see does not match my memory. However that visit was almost 50 years ago, so it's probable that building was torn down.

              Looking in the newspapers.com, the station has a somewhat peculiar origin. The mayor, the local newspaper publisher, and the Chamber of Commerce got together and decided to create a corporation to apply for the license. The result was a significant number of different people sitting on the boards of direction. They also ended up getting a license for a quirky TV station that we could just barely receive in Statesville.

              In 1981, They broke into national consciousness in a wire story that explains this TV station was primarily a religious stations, but also had a witch who talked about UFOs and stuff, and just before going off the air at night would air soft porn movies from Europe. I know it's hard to believe the TV stations used to turn off their transmitters around midnight or one in the morning .

  5. Fred Stiening says:

    Nirvana has arrived!

    Krispy Kreme has just announced that they’re going to deliver fresh donuts directly to your front door.


    Countess and I have been to the Krispy Kreme on Sharon Amity Road in Charlotte which is where the delivery will be coming from. We are fortunate to live in a big city and in North Carolina, so we get the early opportunity.

    So I went through the motions of ordering one dozen original Krispy Kreme doughnuts. The complete cost including tax and 18% gratuity comes to $15.48. I remember in the 1960s having Boy Scouts knock on our front door and asking if we would like to buy Krispy Kreme doughnuts for $1.00 a dozen!

    Now admittedly, the Boy Scouts did not deliver on demand. They just showed up randomly, usually during the summer. However this shows us a measure of just how far technology has advanced our society.

  6. Parrott says:

    speaking of ‘Local’ , the local flavor of WEBY Milton FL. is going away. I listen to WEBY for Tom Gresham ‘Gun Talk’ , which he has been real good lately describing the craziness that has been going on in the NRA corruption chaos.
    WEBY use to stream Mark Walthers from 8pm to 11pm on Sunday evenings live. Now they stream some podcast on buy/sell real estate ‘Bravo-Sierra’ ‘advice’ show. They are heavy on the Bravo Sierra as far as I can tell. The format change ad said ‘Local’ like 6 times !

    WEBY is going ESPN sports talk, and they are moving the news talk to some 1690 am and some FM translator. But WEBY is going sports’ American Loves sports’, I hear.
    This is most likely the end of Gun Talk there also. I would listen to Dennis Pregar, Dr. Gorka & clark howard sometimes during week, when I get tired of politico, just to mix it up.
    Sux. Date of format change is august 19.
    I guess they are just giving up. Brian Kilmead is not going to save them.
    best regards

    • Fred Stiening says:

      This doesn’t apply to this station, but clear channel…oops… iHeartRadio is going to drastically change their weekends. They intend to start airing podcasts with many of their stations on weekends. Iheart CEO Robert Pittman personally invented the podcast according to company sources.


      Of course, this fundamentally misunderstands what a podcast is and why people listen to them. A podcast is an on-demand entertainment product. You listen to it when you want, where are you want, and have the ability to skip part of the entertainment, or end it and go onto the next podcast. This is exactly what is killing Radio, but putting podcasts on the radio is no solution. The only solution is live programming with interesting people who interact with their audience in real time. That is the exact opposite of what Iheart is going to try. The skeptical part of me assumes these podcasts are just renamed infomercials for bogus investment schemes and herbal cures.

      • CC1s121LrBGT says:

        "Of course, this fundamentally misunderstands what a podcast is and why people listen to them."

        I think what they are doing is smart – they are using the radio to promote their low-cost podcast product with the goal of transitioning people so they can shed the radio stations with their real estate and transmitters. Circa 2030 we will all be singing "Podcasts killed the radio star" lol

        • Fred Stiening says:

          I basically agree with that. It appears that they want to migrate their listeners away from Radio. Bob Pittman has said from the beginning that they are in the content business, and radio is only one way to distribute content.

          Of course the fly in this ointment is the tracking for podcasts is imprecise. Yes, you can count the number of times a podcast was downloaded, but I will guarantee you only a small fraction of the downloads are listened to, and almost nobody listens to the entire podcast. Sponsorships need to be based on consumer actions, like calling your phone number, not merely on account of the number of downloads.

          And if 5 million people in India download your podcast, is it going to increase sales at AutoZone?

          • CC1s121LrBGT says:

            It may increase sales at McDonalds. Expect more globalization and more large corporations to have another advantage over small mom and pop businesses.

            Most podcasts have gotten smart that listeners zap the commercial break, so they have gone back to the 1950s TV practice where the on-air talent talks about the product as part of the show. That may help Autozone, but it would not help Parrott's NoVa Auto Repair. 😉

          • CC1s121LrBGT says:

            Actually, that depends on what our definition of "podcast is" is. 😉

            I haven't looked recently but had posted here several times over the years that iHeart's podcasts are not really podcasts – you can not download them and play them with a podcast player. They are really "on demand" streaming where iHeart can tell what you stream, what you skip and when you hit pause to take a break. The streaming listener is iHeart's product for advertizers, the "podcast" is their foot in your door.

            • Fred Stiening says:

              Someone once said that if you control the language, you control the culture.

              I'm glad that you picked up on my snarky remark about Bob Pittman (Mister AOL) attempting to take credit for something he had nothing to do with, and is not even what the generally accepted definition of podcast is. At least in the beginning, a podcast was something you downloaded into your iPod so that you could listen to it without being on the internet while you ran. The downloading could be done automatically while you're not interacting with the device. With much faster download speeds these days, that aspect has somewhat gone away. Not a lot of people are using dial-up access anymore, other than those who bought a house in the middle of nowhere to "get away from it all", and then want the FCC to give money to run a gigabit fiber optic cable to their house.

    • Fred Stiening says:

      This is an interesting case at least for me. The FCC did something really foolish it seemed like a good idea at the time. They expanded the a.m. band from 1620 to 1700 kHz to free up space in the a.m. band to save it. Because car radios at the time did not have the ability to receive those stations, they allowed existing a.m. stations to add a second signal. The agreement was at the end of five? years the station would have to give up either their original frequency or their new expanded a.m. band frequency if it didn’t catch on.

      So the allotted time expired, but then the radio stations reneged on their agreement and demanded to be allowed to keep those signals. Clear Channel actually succeeded in selling one of their paired signals to a third-party making it impossible for the FCC to pull it back. Lawsuits commenced and the FCC mostly backed down.

      According to my nuclear physics cousin, once you get beyond 1480 kHz, it gets harder and harder for the signal to avoid being absorbed by the atmosphere. Undoubtedly this was known in 1941, when the great reassignment of frequencies happened in the a.m. band, and it was extended from 1500 kHz to 1620 kHz, and those minority stations were all pushed up in the part of the a.m. band that does not work well . It is no coincidence that stations on the right side of the a.m. is where you find the foreign-language and black targeted stations that can only be heard for a few miles. Of course, now Spanish language stations are taking over the entire a.m. band.

      So in this case, the a.m. station in the expanded band is being paired with an FM translator which means it might actually get a local audience.

  7. Fred Stiening says:

    Since I have been somewhat inattentive, I didn’t notice that first light has a new host. It used to be hosted by dirk van, then some other guy, And now NBC news a.k.a. Cumulus media has hired Michael Tuscano. From his online bio, he is obviously one of these people who lives and breathes politics, wanting to hang out with the power people.

    This is not what people want at 5 AM when they just have woken up. They might want to know the sport scores, the weather report and whether soybean prices are going up or down. They don’t want to hear about Donald Trump and the Democrats and the elections. So this would appear to be a ploy to attract political advertising, irregardless of what the listeners want.

    (Evan Haning left the anchor seat in August 2018)

  8. Fred Stiening says:

    This is gay pride week in Charlotte. Gay sounds not inclusive enough okay, so let’s just call it pride week, but not proud boys.

    I was watching a somewhat depressing documentary last night on YouTube produced by the German DW television network concerning how China’s silk Road is subjugating people and destroying non-Chinese culture everywhere along the path.

    While I’m not accusing the Chinese Communists of being behind the gay pride movement, they are certainly laughing all the way toward world domination.

  9. TheChairman says:

    Oddly, the snippets still appear in the 'Recent Comments' column, but when I click on anything from our sub-topic (Alpena FM radio station), it's a no go…

    • Fred Stiening says:

      I can still see them in the control panel, and they are pointing to the new post ID, but for some reason they didn't show up. I guess I should not trust plug-ins with less than 1 million downloads

  10. Fred Stiening says:

    So mucking around in the database will just make it worse. I will attempt to copy paste

    • Fred Stiening says:

      There is an implicit assumption there is an employee. Back in the good old days, stations were required to have a full-time engineer. Then we started having clustered stations where one engineer could handle five or six stations. Now the requirement is just that there be an engineer on call, and they can connect to the transmitter over the Internet, so they might be 1000 miles away.

      Increasingly, the transmitter towers are not even owned by the radio station. They have been sold off to tower management companies, so the old thing about needing to replace burned-out lightbulbs isn't even the radio station responsibility anymore .

    • Fred Stiening says:

      OK, I now understand the problem. I attempted to move a portion of the comments back to this main thread, since it was getting way too far away from talking about music. The problem was each comment has a parent, which identifies how it indents things.

      That meant the move of the comment to this post had a parent still back in the original post, which meant that it that seriously confused. I guess people don't test their software work anymore before releasing it to the public. Then again it's free

  11. Parrott says:

    well, sorry I posted this here, unfortunately our cat is dying. The long goodbye, more /less, is on. Yeah I know 21years one month is a long time for a cat, but she's a good cat and we'd like a little more time. You know 21 years is a long time and not really. Went by in a flash if you look back at the pics and remember neat little things along the way. Hey we planned for her to survive with us when the balloon goes up. so were donating that food and litter to the local humane society.

    Yeah, I see what Mark Levin almost destroyed his show. They are members of the family. She is actually smarter than my boss. yes, she will get in the house out of the rain. My boss is a ignoramus, dufus.
    Before Honeywell closed our office down and sent those of use left to the wind ( home offices) the rest was moved to Bangalore, we always said that my cat could run our division, 'Put her in charge', LOL, yeah, good times. Took her to work sometimes, It was a blast ! Everyone liked her when she made an appearance.
    Our other cat was the traveler though that went camping in the AS, this one is the house body. Going to miss her.

    The kidneys are starting to fade, creatins are elevating and she has lost her appetite. She is nauseous,gets a nausea shot every three or four days and fluids, but we're on the good bye. she's down to 6.5 pounds.
    I love her more than many members of my immediate family. well actually she is better than all of them. Mrs Parrott is sad too. Yeah, we are more than glad we had all these years of rip-roaring fun through the house !
    Yeah guys, I like you all better than my immediate family. I felt I could tell you. Delete if not.

    well what can you do, death is a part of life. I pray I make the right choices. I sure don't want her to suffer. we're going to miss her. Best regards

  12. Fred Stiening says:

    There is an old saying that if you don't test your backups, you have no backups. I can vouch for that first-hand.

    Hopefully I have successfully fixed the data. My alternative would have been to restore the entire server as of this morning.

    What I was doing that backfired was changing the database to now include FCC licenses that only have a construction permit (CP). An active license will overrule the construction permit. Why did I do this? What I am finding is that a large number of FM translators are actively in use and being advertised on websites, but the FCC has not been told that the construction is complete. There are also still a significant number FM translators that are assigned to a different primary station then what the FCC has been told.

    This is not really a slam on the FCC. They have issued something like 6,000 licenses and are almost exclusively dependent on the radio station's honesty.

  13. Fred Stiening says:

    "They" say you start dying when you stop learning. It looks like I fended off the ultimate today.

    I wanted to do something for a long time that you would think is simple to do. The list of blog posts up on the main directory is essentially going behind WordPress's back to find the information. I wanted to show the sticky post in the same order in which it appears in the blog. Now the simple way you might do that if you were designing WordPress would be to just have a flag on the post record that says sticky or not..

    How WordPress actually does it is they create an option variable in the option table with the name sticky_posts, and the option_value is an array of all the posts that are sticky. But it is not just a list of numbers separated by commas, it is stored in what PHP calls "serialized form".

    Serializing objects to an external representation is an extremely powerful concept, however it's also extremely dangerous if you don't trust the source of this serialized data.

  14. Fred Stiening says:

    Apparently, I missed the fact that Univision was successful in finding a buyer for The Gawker Network, back in April at an undisclosed price. Gawker declare bankruptcy after they lost the lawsuit involving Hulk Hogan. Univision paid $135 million and it is a good guess that they lost almost all of that investment.


    I think we may have a few more publications to add to the trash heap in short order


    What does gaslit mean?

  15. CC1s121LrBGT says:

    "The 29-year-old songwriter said she began feeling conflicted about what the US stood for when “all the dirtiest tricks in the book were used and it worked”. The Pennsylvania-born musician described the atmosphere in her home country as “gaslighting the American public into being like, ‘If you hate the president, you hate America.’”"

    Taylor Swift from article yesterday: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/aug/23/taylor-swift-trump-thinks-his-presidency-autocracy

  16. Fred Stiening says:

    If Republicans cared about defeating Democrats, they would look for wedge issues like this:

    Mexico offering a reward for killing Apache Indians would be hard for Mexican Hispanics to defend. This was in 1870 – the Gadsden Purchase (In order for the Southern Pacific Railroad to avoid the Rocky Mountains) was completed in 1854

    • CC1s121LrBGT says:

      Doesn't sound like a referral program from SuperCuts to get new customers.

      On a serious note, where is the anonymous tip line where people can call in to report illegal aliens and collect a percentage of their illegally gotten gains? We have had that against citizens for years, why not against illegal aliens?

  17. Fred Stiening says:

    Matt Drudge is becoming what I dislike about many newspapers.

    Right now, his front page has an image of an angry hurricane Dorian with a well formed eye just hours from devestating Florida. The problem is the possible hurricane is still way out in the Caribbean and won't arrive until Sunday. It may arrive anywhere between Cuba and South Carolina. Puerto Rico was hit with nothing more than a rain storm.

    Creating unwarranted panic can kill people. Just evacuating fragile people can kill them. People leaving their homes can end up chasing people into the path of the storm. Accurate information is important. Showing predictions as actual is grossly irresponsible.

    For the past couple weeks, Matt Drudge is also clearly trying to create panic about the future direction of the economy. My sense is the story of Matt Drudge does not have a happy ending.

    • CC1s121LrBGT says:

      I still like Matt Drudge, but there are many copy cats with different editorial tastes. Consider these, for example:






      Matt Drudge is still my "go-to" site, but if I am waiting a long time in a doctor's office or a car repair store, I visit the others too. Your mileage may vary.

    • TheChairman says:

      It's worse. Many people have been desensitized by all the blatant sensationalism and have become apathetic. This is why elderly people were left sitting in wheel chairs at a nursing home (with storm surge water up to their chests) in 2017. i.e. After several 'fizzled' predictions, people stop taking all the warnings seriously.

      Weather has become 'tabloid', with every little storm being given a 'name'. NWS now names winter storms, as if each snowstorm is now a major weather event.

  18. Fred Stiening says:

    Looks like Dorian may completely miss Florida.

    The deranged cable TV commentor who wanted the hurricane to destroy President Trump's private club in Palm Beach apparently doesn't realize most of Palm Beach residents are rich Democrats.

    • CC1s121LrBGT says:

      That was the ex-Prime Minister of Canada… from the Liberal Pary, I believe.

      • She was actually the leader of the now-defunct Progressive Conservative Party. Kim Campbell took over for Reagan's buddy Brian Mulroney and served six months in office before leading the former party to the worst Canadian federal election defeat in history. Campbell lost her own seat and the PCs won only two seats overall in Parliament, where Mulroney had earlier led them to a majority.

        • CC1s121LrBGT says:

          Either way, its "hate speech" and I thought "hate speech" was a "hate crime" (previously called a "thought crime").

          • True CC, but in Canada and most of the U.S. media, "hate speech" can only come from one direction.

            • CC1s121LrBGT says:

              Agreed. I go back to the days when everyone had not only a right to their own thoughts but a right to express them (short of making threats or fraud). As I kid, we freely talked about things we loved and hated often in the cafeteria and not just limited to the menu, but also including classmates we liked and disliked.

              In short, if Kim Campbell dislikes Donald Trump, she is free to say it. She is also free to say that he hopes people in the United States get hit by a category 5 hurricane as she did. As a result, I don't respect her and I don't like her…. but it didn't bother me enough to waste my time and energy to hate her. Let's see what she says next. 😉

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