I ran across some blog posts on the Skweezer service and had the knee jerk reaction of asking them to pull my content from their site. In retrospect and after talking to the folks who run it, I changed my mind. Skweezer is a service that converts standard HTML web pages (not RSS feeds, btw) into a format that is more easily read by PDAs, cell phones, etc. The big issues that the business bloggers had were: a) it strips Javascript, so things like Adsense ads disappear, b) Skweezer’s free version has a tiny ad at the very bottom of the page content, c) it fouls up statistics, d) duplicate content hurts search engine results e) they were using the content without permission.

Okay, here’s my thought on those: a) doesn’t matter a lot to me because I’m not making moolah here anyway, but the solution is to use ads that aren’t Javascript based. b) To even get to their ad, you have to scroll past every current post, all my links, etc. c) so do Anonymizer, MoreNet and any other proxy. Those are all really, in my view, minor technical issues. d) They didn’t realize was an issue and they sent a letter to Google requesting all their duplicate content be removed and it has.

“e” is the biggy. They shouldn’t have done it without asking first. If they had asked first, a lot of people who are now removing their pages would have wanted their pages included, the same as with Feedburner, Newsgator and a bunch of other services, to make their content available to the widest possible audience. The Skweezer folks are at this point more than aware where they screwed up and their working to fix all the technical issues. As far as the use of content, they will remove your content if you ask. It takes a couple of days.

You can read a post about the service on the new Skweezer blog at Greenlight Wireless.

Bottom line, though, is that I rethought my knee jerk reaction and this site’s content is available to wireless users through the Skweezer site. The WAP plugin I had tried would only return headlines, so if you want to visit this site while you’re out and about..if you just have to read my words on your Sprint PCS phone while on vacation…you can.

Ubuntu: Even less shabby

After I commented on my Linspire experience the other day, Kevin gave Ubuntu Linux a try and recommended it. It’s definitely the equal of Linspire, though I don’t care for the default color scheme as much, and has a couple of extra points in its favor. First, it’s completely free. Not an evaluation version, not a CD-only version – the whole thing is free. Second, the bootable CD download includes Windows versions of several apps including Open Office. Sure, I had already downloaded Open Office, but now I have a CD that I can demonstrate Ubuntu Linus, Open Office and several other things. Linspire has the advantage of coming preinstalled on those $498 laptops, so if it’s time to buy a new laptop for less than a refurbished or off-lease Windows laptop, the Linspire systems make sense. I suppose you could build a (more powerful) “whitebox” notebook at a cost of $1200+ and install Ubuntu, but spending an extra $700 to avoid paying for the operating system seems kind of silly.

GOP voters have a Nuclear Option

The News

Let me first point out that there is no Woman Party which runs candidates in elections. There is no Black Party. There is no Latino Party. There is no Fundamentalist Party. There is no Labor Party. None of those constituencies have their own political operation running their own candidates who have the ability to siphon off votes from one or both of the two major parties.

But voters who want the government to get the hell out of their wallets, their bedrooms, their businesses and their hair; voters who just want to be left alone; voters who still embrace the Founders’ notion of limited-government and good, old-fashioned freedom to pursue life, liberty and happiness…they DO have their own party.

This is a great article analyzing the issue of Republican candidates and leaders ignoring Libertarian voters. Here is a big potentially Republican constituency with another option that is routinely ignored, or worse criticized, in favor of pandering to groups that historically vote overwhelmingly Democrat. And Libertarians do vote regularly – when they don’t it’s not apathy, it’s outrage.

But beyond wooing the Libertarian Parties voters and sympathizers, those candidates and leaders need to think also about the conservative ‘base’ of the GOP. The Libertarian Party serves the useful purpose of giving those of us who believe that ‘extremism in the pursuit of liberty is no vice” a viable choice when the GOP chokes. Even GOP leaders bolt to the LP when it makes sense. For example, Ron Paul, then former and now current Republican Congressman from Texas, went so far as to be the LP nominee for President in 1988 when the GOP went the easy route and nominated the man who coined the term “voodoo economics”. And reportedly former Congressman Bob Barr at least onsidered voting for the Libertarian Presidential candidate this year. I can think of several other examples, from local to national of GOP leaders publically or privately expressing their decision to use the GOP voters own nuclear option – voting Libertarian. So, the articles point that the GOP needs to woo LP voters is well taken. Hopefully in the process the GOP might think hard about wooing its own voters, too.

Note: I ran across this article in the Furl archive of Rob Booth who blogs at Slightly Rough. Furl is, in Booth’s excellent words, a “link-making thingamadoochie” that was pointed out to both of us by our mutual friend Kevin aka PubliusTx. Furl is a great tool for keeping track of interesting things you’ve read online. I’d also recommend it to anyone who isn’t interested in running a full scale blog but would like to share clips and brief comments with their friends. My own rather limited Furl feed is posted to the right in the menu or by subscription here.

Tsk, tsk…that's not PC

Apparently the Times of India has great expectations of US aid, but doesn’t bother to follow US news or live up to US liberalism’s standards of political correctness:

“However, Washington’s niggardly response to the monstrous tragedy surprised even TV journalists inured to such events.”

4th Grade teacher reprimanded for saying “niggardly”.

DC Mayoral staffer was fired for saying “niggardly.”

If liberal journalists from other countries are going to demand US money, their insults should at least live up to liberal US standards of political correctness, shouldn’t they?