Welcome to my personal website. This is a collection of miscellaneous pages by a resident of Juneau, Alaska, without any topical focus, and generally organized only by original document creation date. I view it as the job of search engines to impose order and retrieve anything pertinent to a search while suppressing anything that isn't. While Google.com is the gold standard, my current favorite is ixQuick.com. Their results are usually just as good and they arguably provide far better protection of your searches. At least they don't keep a permanent record of them.
Oh dear. Early in November I discovered, quite by accident, that IE8 would not display my home page. And how was I to know? It and its siblings probably decline to show various subpages too. The entire IE series clearly comes from Slytherin House and was probably spearheaded by Professor Snape. So I'm cutting out bits and pieces of the home page in the faint hope of finding what bit of the web the Evil Empire has decided to devour this year. No idea if its working yet.
About the only thing new for a long time is I now use Pinboard to save bookmarks to things I want to read in more detail or think might come in handy someday. So if you are truly bored, you can visit https://pinboard.in/u:WaltMG and see some of what I've been reading lately.
November 8, 2013. I'm now making limited use of Google+ (Google Plus). Google uses it as a sort of ID card, to help verify authorship. It also lets you "share what's new," as Google puts it. Supposedly you can limit what you share to selected 'circles'. But I pretty well take the NSA's view: anything that touches the internet is public. All in all, I'm not fond of Google+, as explained in a note on that system. I'll probably just post a Google+ note when I have something new on my website. Which is seldom.
November 1, 2013. Is Medicaid Expansion the Ultimate Vote Loser? Medicaid expansion was supposed to be the 'insurance' for the asset rich but income challenged. But if you're over 55, by signing up for Medicaid, you almost certainly forfeit your entire estate -- family heirlooms, ancestral land, even your house -- to the government. It may not be a bad thing that Alaska has not blindly expanded its Medicaid coverage. Expanded subsidies would, perhaps, be more helpful.
October 31, 2013. The FCC has approved GCI cable TV's purchase of several Alaska broadcast stations. GCI is the only significant cable TV company in Alaska and has almost total control of the market in a state where much of the population can't receive broadcast TV at all. I filed comments opposing the transaction (On GCI purchase of KATH and Opposition to Pleading to DENY Public Comments of Walter gregg. The latter was in reply to a Denali Media pleading linked to in Re: Denali Media (GCI) Opposition to Informal Comments on KATH/KTVA TV). A number of Alaska broadcasters also filed oppositions to the transaction. But the approval is hardly a surprise. People living in Washington DC have no conception of the scale of Alaska or the reality of how one corporation really can dominate the entire market in this state. With the approval and no conditions, it's to be expected that the diversity in reporting and views will eventually be materially reduced. So I'm disappointed, but not in the least surprised. The sun will still rise. Eventually.
- Juneau issues related to the threatened closure of Foodland Alaskan and Proud. Juneau's only downtown supermarket was going to close. The city didn't seem to take an interest in avoiding this. I was concerned about the possiblity of the legislature convening in a town that might not even have a supermarket within miles of the Capitol. I send the linked letter to express those concerns.
- On Health Care reform: You're not a criminal if you don't have health insurance, and Congress can't make you one for that. So said the The U.S. Supreme Court. So can I finally drop my healthy individual Blue Cross policy and save $6,000 a year in premiums? I get basically nothing from it, given its $4,000 or $5,000 deductible. So go on, go bare, drop the policy. Spend the money you save on medical care. Food. Fuel oil. What could possibly go wrong? Even if I get sick now they have to insure me. Or do they? It seems that you aren't allowed to buy buy through the insurance exchanges if your income is below a certain threshold. And states are allowed to opt out of the Medicaid expansion. So it might be risky to go without after all. On the other hand, either Blue Cross will take your money or you will snatch it out of their greedy little hands. Don't take getting taken. Cancel the policy? Fortunately, no decision is so big or so complicated that it can't be run away from.
- G-Mail Notifier Options. Links to a couple of Firefox extensions and an older Google applet to get notification of new mail.
- An Experiment in Streaming Sound. This is intended to show that stereo streaming of reasonably high fidelity is possible at dialup compatible modem rates. The MP3 version is passable. The OGG Vorbis version is better.
- GCI Digital Phone service (VoIP). Intriguing technology, but severe issues for dial-up modems including fax machines.
- Privacy and anonymity on the web. Links to a couple of papers and resources.
- Published Juneau artists and authors. Links to pages kept by the bookshops.
- Voting machines. Obsolete. A link to blackboxvoting.org.
- Amateur Radio Rules
- FreeDOS FDShield manual. FDShield is a malware protector for DOS environments. It knows nothing about viruses, worms, trojans, and the like, but provides some generic protection by blocking some dangerous actions. The old FluShot and VSafe programs included similar capability.
- Dialup modems throughput test (also Alaska Administrative Code minimum standard)
- OS/2 "Invalid media type" error when browsing
- Web directories
- Web indexes
- Web news
- OS/2 "Extremely low memory" error in Win-OS/2