PA Budget Impasse 2010: Hi

Well.

Here we are again.

It’s 2010.  For the eighth year in a row, the Pennsylvania state budget is in trouble.  After last year’s major nightmare, you’d think we’d be done with this nonsense.

You’d think that after the public outpouring of outrage, our elected officials would go out of their way to pass a budget on time this year.

You’d think that after the legal decision affirming the illegality of refusing to pay your employees (to say nothing of the untold mountains of taxpayer dollars wasted on the matter), our elected officials would stop with their partisan political grandstanding and finger-pointing.

You’d think that even if every shred of decency, common sense, and respect for their taxpayers was found conspicuously absent, our legislature wouldn’t dare yank Pennsylvanians around — again — in an election year.

But we’re not, they didn’t, they never will, and they are.

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4G Comes to Harrisburg

As someone who has consistently had mobile Internet since the late 90s, I’m what you would call an early adopter.  About the only technology I missed out on is CDPD.  But ever since the earliest days of circuit-switched 9600-baud data with PCS One, I’ve done it all.  GPRS, EDGE, 1xRTT, EVDO, UMTS — been there, done that.  I’ve even dabbled on closed platforms like OpenSky.  Having worked in the wireless industry for eight years, I don’t need to be sold on how great wireless Internet really is.

If you’ve never tried it, wireless Internet is 27 different kinds of awesome.  Imagine having WiFi readily available everywhere you go (unless you have AT&T).  Doesn’t matter if you’re on the train to New York, sitting in your office on the west shore, or floating down the Susquehanna on a pontoon boat — you can have unfettered, unrestricted, high-speed access to everything, everywhere, all the time.

And late last month, it got even faster.

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How to Alienate Your Customers In 140 Characters or Less

Last week I attended a launch event for Clear at the Abbey Bar in Harrisburg.  Despite the open bar, free food, and promises of free devices with free service, I initially had no interest in going — and I’m not the type of person to turn down an open bar (or, for that matter, free food).  Amusingly, my lack of interest was due entirely to the marketing firm Clear hired to “promote” their event.

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Abandoned Turnpike Tour: 2010

Ever since I discovered the abandoned turnpike three years ago (has it been that long?  Really?), I’ve received a steady stream of inquiries about going there.  If enough people are interested, I’d like to organize a group trip within the next few weeks.  This will be a fairly simple day hike on what is more or less paved road.  You don’t need any hiking or backwoods experience, but a pair of good, comfortable sneakers will be a lifesaver (PROTIP from personal experience:  do not wear hiking boots).

Just what is the abandoned turnpike, you ask?  I’ve blogged about it many, many, many times before, but here’s the TL/DR:

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March’s Tweetup

This past week’s tweetup was HUGE!  Just check the hash and you’ll see the tip of the iceberg.  There were lots of new faces, most of the regulars, and enough discussion of Linda Thompson’s taco tweetup (I don’t remember how that got started) to last at least a month.  Normally the winter tweetups are much smaller than the summer ones, so once the weather breaks we may actually consume the entire deck!

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