Genetic Hemochromatosis or Haemochromatosis? Neither one is good news

I did not know, until someone commented yesterday on an earlier post about genetic hemochromatosis, that the English spell it haemochromatosis. So I thought I would create this post to let other people know, and to link the hemo posts together (if you click on that link it will take you to a menu of the blog posts here that are about Genetic Hemochromatosis or Haemochromatosis).

In case you are new to this blog, genetic hemochromatosis or haemochromatosis is a condition in which the victim's body does not handle excess iron very well, resulting in long term and potentially fatal organ damage (liver, heart, kidneys, adrenal glands, pituitary, thyroid, etc.). Sometimes called iron overload disease, it is technically a condition and not a disease, but it can be pretty bloody miserable if you have it, whatever you call it.

A stunning percentage of doctors know less about this disease than you can read on this blog, and a surprising number of doctors and victims don't know about the Celtic genetic connection of the condition, which you can read about in the other posts and the links I have put there.

Finally, this blog is not devoted to iron overload, it is my personal blog about anything that interests or concerns me. Because my life partner of nearly 25 years has this condition, iron overload concerns me. I would like to help other people know more about it (if my partner's condition had been diagnosed sooner, she would not have been so badly disabled by it).

Most Worst Recession: Most worst copy editing?

ap-logoYesterday, I was stunned to read an Associated Press story that cited "more evidence that the most worst recession since the 1930s was losing its grip on the global economy." Here's one example of the story.

I was stunned, not by the idea that the recession might be ending, but by the lack of copy editing. Since when did the AP give up on correcting egregious errors like "most worst" anything? I have a lot of respect for the AP and I sure as heck don't want to annoy them by pointing out their flaws. If you've done any work in PR you know that AP stories frequently get repeated in hundreds of newspapers and on thousands of sites all over the Internet. Getting your product or company mentioned in an AP story is a PR milestone.

But it's this mass replication that worries me when it comes to declining standards in copy editing. Right now a Google search for "most worst recession" returns over 51,000 hits and I'm betting most of those hits are that AP article. How long before students routinely refer to the current recession as the most worst?

Way to Aim Low: US Telcos Embrace Mediocrity and Low Standards

Read it and weep for the glory that was once America...

"US telcos have hit on a clever idea to provide universal broadband to every US citizen - they're calling on the government to define broadband as anything over 768 Kbps downstream and 200 Kbps upstream." TG Daily - US Telcos call for lower broadband speeds

Just to be clear on how utterly absurd and abysmal this is, American phone and cable companies are openly embracing a broadband standard of well under one Mbps, repeat, less than 1 Mbps. Compare this to:

Japan : 92.8 Mbps
Korea: 80.8 Mbps
France: 51 Mbps

That's right, Korea's idea of broadband is something 80 times better than what America's telcos have in mind for us. Way to go AT&T, Verizon, Comcast. Way to show our kids that aiming high is no longer the American way. Once the envy of the world, American telcos have officially embraced a "whatever" attitude to excellence.

First it was the American car makers giving up to the likes of Japan, Korea, and France. Now it's the telcos. They are so reluctant to do their duty and provide proper broadband to rural homes and businesses they are prepared to throw in the towel and admit they can't match the performance of their foreign counterparts.

Before anyone comments that "duty" has nothing to do with free enterprise, ask yourself whose roads and rivers and airspace it is that these companies use to conduct their business? Their business model relies on the use of resources owned by Americans as a whole, their duty is to serve Americans as a whole, and they know it.

For those with strong stomachs and citizens who promise they have taken their blood pressure meds, there are more absurdist remarks and patronizing quotes from the telcos in this Reuters article.

p.s. Before anyone comments that France is not a powerhouse in automobiles I should point out that the French car company Renault owns 44% of Nissan (making Nissan/Renault bigger than Ford, i.e. makes more vehicles than Ford) so it is the world's 4th largest, while the French PSA Peugeot Citroën automaker is 7th.

Coffee, French Toast, and Stagecoach WiFi

This is not really a technology post. It is more like a techie-related signpost, pointing first to great coffee and French toast at Stagecoach Coffee in Cooperstown (which has free WiFi). Check out the iPhone snapshot for mouth-watering details.

The second pointer is to a YouTube video that is somewhat techie, and which I uploaded from the very same Stagecoach. The video is about problems with DNS and HughesNet Satellite Internet service.

Great But Could Be Greater: BRAMMO Enertia Powercycle

[Stop Press: Updated Price Closer to $7,000 after Federal tax credit! Way to go Brammo]

So, it now looks like you can now buy a real electric motorbike, for immediate delivery. This is the BRAMMO Enertia Powercycle. It is described by the maker, BRAMMO, as:
"the perfect commuter vehicle for the environmentally conscious visionary. Classic styling joined with the latest technology!"
I think it does look pretty cool, if you go for the industrial gray seen here, rather than the symbolic green. But I also think BRAMMO is doing several things wrong, starting with a six letter name that is all caps. I mean BMW and GMC yes, but it's Honda, not HONDA. Unfortunately, merely switching to lower-case cannot save the actual product name: Enertia. What is that? A lifeless lump? Something that has run out of gas? I know it's green so maybe they meant e-nurture, like nurturing the environment by going electric. Whatever, that name has got to go. If I was lucky enough to have one of these bikes (and in many ways I do want one of these bikes) I would be scratching the name be off there in a flash. Come to think of it, the Brammo Flash is way better than the BRAMMO Enertia.

But I won't be getting one of these bikes, not at $12,000!!! That's right, that's the cost of this device, apparently set that way to make sure film stars and rich people are the only "environmentally conscious visionaries" seen astride this product. To put this in perspective, you can buy two decent low-emission, gas-powered motorbikes for that. Heck, get a 2009 Honda CRF230M for $4,750 and you can brag about getting 90 miles to the gallon, maybe not as green as an e-bike, but a pretty small footprint nonetheless. Are green bragging rights really worth $7K! Shoot, you could buy the Honda and give the $7K to Greenpeace.

[Note: 70 days after I posted this, the price was cut to $7,995 which means the effective price, after Federal Tax Credit = $7,195, and the Brammo is now a serious contender for commuters and street bikers.]

Nope, this is not the way the world shifts to e-vehicles. I am seriously looking at getting a motorbike to use instead of a car when I make my daily run to the post office (which I make because the post office won't deliver to our house). But even if I won the lottery tomorrow it would be hard to justify paying 2X the going price for decent motorbike just to be seen on a BRAMMO Enertia.

My Day Job Explained: Marketing Online Marketing Technology

From time to time people ask me what I'm doing these days in terms of day job. Well first of all, I'm not really a "day job" kind of guy. If I work on something, I usually work on it 7x24, or at least 24 times X, where X is most days of the week.

That said, there's usually one job that has most of my time and attention during the day. Right now that job is marketing a new technology. One term for this technology is "post-click marketing." So in effect I am marketing a marketing product. And that means I am, in a very real sense, heavy into marketing. As to what this marketing technology does, I wrote a short article that hopefully explains it:

How Post-Click Marketing Can Make You Money Shared via AddThis

Cobbsblog on YouTube (via Stagecoach not Satellite)

This is a quick post to highlight the video I just uploaded to YouTube. Probably not my finest mixed media effort, it's a quick screencast to demonstrate the fact, oft-mentioned to friends and colleagues, that the $80-per-month HughesNet Satellite Internet service which I get at my house "blocks" access to my blog.

(10/2/2009: Video link updated. For the video, click here.)

In fact, even as I write this, I am being forced to eat a veggie pannini at Stagecoach Coffee in Cooperstown so I can use their free WiFi to get to my blog to post this on my lunch hour. As you can see in the video, accessing my blog via HughesNet  "normally" results in a DNS Lookup Error. However, there is nothing wrong with the blog, as can be demonstrated with DownForEveryone, which I demonstrate in the video.

I have reported this problem to HughesNet but they tell me it must be a problem with my web site or web hosting company. Obviously the problem is NOT with my web site or host. I am pretty sure the problem is HughesNet DNS. I even demonstrated this to HughesNet by running Anonymizer which, as shown in the video, intercepts the HughesNet DNS and makes my blog accessible over the very same HughesNet connection that said "DNS Error."

My speculation that this problem occurs because I am frequently critical of HughesNet, on this and other blogs, is indeed speculation. But you don't have to be ultra-paranoid to think it mighty strange that my HughesNet connection, which can reach but not, is fishy. It certainly stinks.