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It annoys me no end to find corrupt politicians being honored for using the people’s money to grab permanent glory by being honored on public property (buildings and monuments) or by being honored as if they actually invented something of societal significance.

Something stinks …

To honor Al Gore as one of the “global connectors of the Internet” and to leave the name of Marc Andreessen off the list is outrageous.

Al Gore helped pass legislation related to the funding of Internet infrastructure. He did not sign the legislation into law. He did not invent the Internet’s  technical protocols, hardware or software. He was a single vote – among many –others. But like his faux-global warming scam, he was vocal.

In my opinion, Marc Andreessen, the un-listed co-creator Mosaic, the first major web browser did more to promote the Internet and open it up to the average non-technical citizen than the listed Craig Newmark who capitalized on the Internet infrastructure to build Craigslist – an online classified ad listing service.

The honors accorded to Vint Cerf, the late Jon Postel, Tim Berners-Lee, Linus Torvalds and many of the others are honestly and richly deserved.

Here is the press release announcing the honors …

Internet Hall of Fame Inductees Honored at Historic First Annual Awards Ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland

Internet Society celebrates inductees' landmark achievements at Global INET 2012

Launches new website to highlight Internet Hall of Fame,

WASHINGTON & GENEVA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The names of the inaugural Internet Hall of Fame inductees were announced today at the Internet Society's Global INET 2012 conference in Geneva, Switzerland. Internet pioneers and luminaries from around the world gathered at the conference to mark the Internet Society's 20th anniversary, and attend an Awards Gala to honor the following 2012 inductees:

Pioneers Circle

Recognizing individuals who were instrumental in the early design and development of the Internet: Paul Baran, Vint Cerf, Danny Cohen, Steve Crocker, Donald Davies, Elizabeth Feinler, Charles Herzfeld, Robert Kahn, Peter Kirstein, Leonard Kleinrock, John Klensin, Jon Postel, Louis Pouzin, and Lawrence Roberts.


Recognizing individuals who made outstanding technological, commercial, or policy advances and helped to expand the Internet's reach: Mitchell Baker, Tim Berners-Lee, Robert Cailliau, Van Jacobson, Lawrence Landweber, Paul Mockapetris, Craig Newmark, Raymond Tomlinson, Linus Torvalds, and Philip Zimmermann.

Global Connectors

Recognizing individuals from around the world who have made significant contributions to the global growth and use of the Internet: Randy Bush, Kilnam Chon, Al Gore, Nancy Hafkin, Geoff Huston, Brewster Kahle, Daniel Karrenberg, Toru Takahashi, and Tan Tin Wee.

Commenting on the 2012 Internet Hall of Fame inductees, Internet Society President and CEO Lynn St.Amour stated, "This historic assembly of Internet visionaries, innovators, and leaders represents an extraordinary breadth of vision and work. While the inductees have extremely diverse backgrounds and represent many different countries, each individual has an incredible passion for their work. We all benefit from their outstanding contributions to a global Internet, making it one of the greatest catalysts of economic and societal development of all time."

Raúl Echeberría, Chairman of the Internet Society's Board of Trustees, noted, "The Internet, which connects more than two billion people around the world today, is the result of many important contributions from creative and visionary individuals over the past several decades. The 2012 Internet Hall of Fame celebrates the advancements of 33 talented people who have made significant contributions to the design, development, and expansion of the Internet."

In conjunction with the announcement, the Internet Society has launched a website at that will showcase the inductees and their contributions on an ongoing basis. The website, which includes inductee photographs and biographies, will feature an exclusive interview series authored by Wired. Highlighting multiple inductees each month in Q&A interviews, the first interview will feature Internet Hall of Fame Pioneer Vint Cerf.

About the Internet Hall of Fame

The Internet Hall of Fame is an annual awards program that has been established by the Internet Society to publicly recognize a distinguished and select group of leaders and luminaries who have made significant contributions to the development and advancement of the global Internet. More information on the program can be found at

About the Internet Society

The Internet Society is the trusted independent source for Internet information and thought leadership from around the world. With its principled vision and substantial technological foundation, the Internet Society promotes open dialogue on Internet policy, technology, and future development among users, companies, governments, and other organizations. Working with its members and Chapters around the world, the Internet Society enables the continued evolution and growth of the Internet for everyone. For more information, see:


Bottom line …

Giving corrupt politicians, like Ed Royal or Charles Rangel honors by naming significant structures, ships or military bases after them is obscene. They spent the public’s money to buy votes, media attention and public recognition. To honor their political corruption is both unwarranted and unnecessary.

Politicians should be excluded from all signage – especially that signage which is changed – at great public expense – with every change of administration. It is a waste of money and serves no public purpose.

-- steve


“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell


It is almost beyond comprehension that both House and Senate politicians – both democrats and republicans – would pass a bill to limit a citizen’s right to free speech (except in specific government-designated areas) with little debate or public notice. And not so incomprehensible that a communist-oriented president would sign such a bill in secret.

But here it is: House Resolution H.R. 347 which

“…  Amends the federal criminal code to revise the prohibition against entering restricted federal buildings or grounds to impose criminal penalties on anyone who knowingly enters any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority. Defines "restricted buildings or grounds" as a posted, cordoned off, or otherwise restricted area of:

(1) the White House or its grounds or the Vice President's official residence or its grounds,

(2) a building or grounds where the President or other person protected by the Secret Service is or will be temporarily visiting, or

(3) a building or grounds so restricted due to a special event of national significance.” <Source: Congressional Research Service>

Is this really a BIG DEAL?

Listen to what conservative commentator Andrew Napolitano has to say on the issue …

This is what the ACLU had to say about the issue …

“ …while H.R. 347, on its own, is only of incremental importance, it could be misused as part of a larger move by the Secret Service and others to suppress lawful protest by relegating it to particular locations at a public event. These ‘free speech zones’ are frequently used to target certain viewpoints or to keep protesters away from the cameras. Although H.R. 347 doesn't directly address free speech zones, it is part of the set of laws that make this conduct possible, and should be seen in this context.” <Source>

Remember that this is the left-wing ACLU which supports most socialist, Marxist and communist viewpoints of their membership.

Bottom line …

If this bill were simply about protecting the President of the United States and other federal officials, I would not have much concern. However, due to the recent power grab by the Executive Branch of the Government and the morally reprehensible actions of the most corrupt ideological President in modern history, I am worried.

Here is a president who has a vested interest in making sure that the public does not visibly see the large number of people and organizations which are protesting his ideological policies and his actions which are rapidly turning America into a Greece-like socialistic bankruptcy. He says one thing like blaming George Bush for crony capitalism and then does the very same thing as crony socialism.

The real bottom line is that our leaders are so out-of-touch with the American people and the ideals of America that they need to protect themselves against the public which appears to be morally outraged against the decline of America at the hands of these incompetent and corrupt ideologues.

It appears that the timing of this bill is to limit the television coverage of the two major party conventions where protest is a time-honored practice.

There are enough laws on the books to keep the President and other federal officials safe. More laws are not needed. Especially those that cut deeper into the United States Constitution than are necessary.

In the House, this bill was passed with 176 democrat and 223 republican votes. Both corrupt parties are complicit in this outrageous extension and abuse of the constitution and public law.

It is now time to abandon the corrupt political parties and vote for the individual candidate who best serves AMERICA – not the “entitlement” America produced by the democrats and serviced by the republicans, but the real America that was built by individuals and not committees, coalitions and collectives.

Re-register as an independent. Donate time and money only to individual candidates who represent your views. And vote as if your life depends on it … because in 2012 is really does.

-- steve

Reference Links …

 Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act of 2011 (Enrolled Bill [Final as Passed Both House and Senate

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell


I cannot help but wonder about the motives of those who have managed to plunder the pockets of the American consumer by legislatively changing the laws which subvert the intent of those who drafted the Constitution.

“To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”   --  U.S. Constitution - Article 1 Section 8 

Thus it was the intention of the Founding Fathers to allow creators of content and inventions to produce and profit from their efforts for a limited amount of time in order to encourage placing such works in the public domain after a suitable period of time. The key being the word "limited" which should be construed to be reasonable in light of the public bargain being struck. 

The “Disney Effect” …

Those that held copyrights on commercially lucrative recordings, videos and films decided to spend a portion of their revenue stream influencing mostly corrupt and self-serving politicians to extend the time period for exclusivity farther and farther into the future. In addition, the actual creators, the individual artists, were forced via economic considerations or the denial of market access to cede their property rights to the gatekeepers who controlled the marketplace.

All seemingly to prevent materials featuring a certain mouse-like cartoon character from falling into the public domain.

The loss of freedom …

And it has been these distribution gatekeepers who have imposed some of the most draconian anti-freedom, anti-commerce laws upon the citizens of the United States in order to preserve their constitutionally-guaranteed monopoly.

Even to the point of stealth taxes on blank recording media that could be re-distributed to the major content distributors as pseudo-compensation for revenues lost to illegal copying.

Even to the point of demanding that makers of electronic devices embed secret codes – known as GUIDs (Globally Unique IDentifiers) --  in each device and to embed those codes into any files produced by these electronic devices; even if the content produced was created by the original author.

And even to the point of having your devices report all activity involving “licensed” material to computers maintained by anonymous third-parties.

Everyone wants a piece of that Hollywood monopoly action …

Not to be outdone by the Hollywood content distributors, certain businessmen have sought a similar monopoly over their products and services. Once again by lobbying corrupt politicians to create a new class of patents – business process patents – which did little more than represent the automation of existing paper procedures. Extending patent coverage to products and services which were formerly unpatentable because they were not new and novel on the basis of “prior art” or the anticipation of the invention by a practitioner skilled in the subject matter art and practices.

Which brings me to today’s rant …

While there is little or no doubt in my mind that the government should protect patents on destructive weaponry which can confer an advantage on our enemies … we now see that certain businesses are once again lobbying the most corrupt and liberal politicians to allow them to hide their patents on the basis of being “economically significant.” Allowing the Patent office to deny patent protection to others based on some secret and “unchallengeable” patent that does not disclose its details and claims in a public forum.

According to the Federal Register …

The creation of more state secrets: this time for commercial purposes. 

Secrecy Orders for Economically Significant Patents

Notice of Request for Comments on the Feasibility of Placing Economically Significant Patents Under a Secrecy Order and the Need to Review Criteria Used in Determining Secrecy Orders Related to National Security

Pursuant to a request from Congress, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is seeking comments as to whether the United States should identify and bar from publication and issuance certain patent applications as detrimental to the nation’s economic security. The USPTO is also seeking comments on the desirability of changes to the existing procedures for reviewing applications that might be detrimental to national security.

The devil is in the details …

Like most legislation written by industry lobbyists, the details are vague and often left up to the rulemaking authority of an unelected official whose term of office makes it doubtful that they will make waves within the current administration – especially if the buck those special interests who supply campaign funding, voter support or media attention.

The crux of the matter …

While we can all agree that patent details on atomic weaponry and devices of mass destruction should be withheld from our enemies, most technology has a dual purpose and thus can be considered as affecting "national defense” or the "economy" of our nation.

I can easily envision circuitry that allows the government to track individuals in a stealthy manner to be such a “national security” item – even though it will be used to track individuals for commercial reasons; ostensibly to serve up advertising or provide a better “experience.”

But even worse, almost any new development from the major computer manufacturers or the software makers such as Apple, Google, Amazon could easily be classified as being “economically significant” to our nation.

But it is a smokescreen …

Our enemies, notably China and Russia have been engaged in military and industrial espionage for years – as have some of our most trusted allies. If the Chinese could obtain nuclear secrets and guidance technology that was never public or patented – what is the actual purpose of this, in my opinion, bogus legislation.

 Bottom line …

This is another issue which must be studied closely by freedom-loving patriots who have witnessed the significant corruption of our current government, both parties included.  by those who want to kill capitalism and redistribute the wealth – both financial and intellectual – to our enemies.

The liberals that control the Hollywood content and distribution machines are slowly giving way to the liberals who control the Internet infrastructure and may be using the significant clout of their companies to lobby for both commercial advantage and to promote their toxic ideology. An ideology, I might add, that they are immune from because of their position, power and existing wealth.

We have seen more freedom lost to the government in the guise of protecting national security than we can ever know or even imagine. We must be vigilant to insure that the government is not being handed the keys to our homes, cars, computers and very soul by those corrupt bastards who have purchased our politicians and who are using the
“power of the people” to promote their own agenda.

I urge you to read the document referenced below and make your feelings know to your legislators, to your groups and to your friends. Stand up and fight those who would secure their fortunes on your back in the guise of protecting information from our enemies. Enemies which have purchased American lobbyists, politicians and corporations to carry our their nefarious actions.

-- steve

Reference Links …

Secrecy Orders for Economically Significant Patents Federal Register Notice [FR Doc. 2012-9503 Filed 04/19/2012 at 8:45 am; Publication Date: 04/20/2012]

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell


Once again I am astonished to see credentialed scientists claiming to have found a significant paradigm-shifting signal among the noise of a chaotic and complex system. In this case, using the very issue of a pattern of complexity to draw a conclusion that a NASA experiment detected some form of extraterrestrial life on Mars.

As a bit of a background, let us consider the random and chaotic nature of clouds …


At one time or another, everyone has looked skyward to see a recognizable pattern in the clouds. But, the problem is that this recognition is an artifact produced by your brain attempting to resolve what you are seeing into some form of recognizable pattern so that you can further process the information. Does this mean that there is an elephant in the clouds or that there is any significant meaning to your sighting? Of course not.

Another example of this phenomenon can be gleaned from computer modeling experiments by Stephen Wolfram, the computational genius behind Mathematica. Wolfram found that simple computer instructions could, over time, create complex shapes which bore a remarkable resemblance to physical objects such as shells, leaves and other objects. Is this a computational artifact? Or is this the way nature actually works? Although the patterns are recognizable, do they somehow indicate that this is the basis for physical phenomena – especially when the information contained in the pattern reveals nothing about the underlying structure of the object or its essence.

Does this cellular automata example represent a virus, a galaxy or what?


Example of false conclusions from pattern recognition ...

Capture4-16-2012-1.50.32 PM

NASA Photo Captures Elephant on Mars

NASA has photographed an elephant on Mars.

Not really, but there's a striking resemblance.

The photo, taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter , features terrain that looks like an elephant's eye and trunk.

"This is a good example of the phenomena 'pareidolia,' where we see things that aren't really there," University of Arizona planetary geologist Alfred McEwan wrote on the university's HiRISE website.

He wrote that the image shows a dried lava flow in Elysium Planitia, the youngest flood-lava province on Mars. (More)

 So is there life on MARS?

“Abstract: The only extraterrestrial life detection experiments ever conducted were the three which were components of the 1976 Viking Mission to Mars.”

“Of these, only the Labeled Release experiment obtained a clearly positive response. In this experiment 14C radiolabeled nutrient was added to the Mars soil samples. Active soils exhibited rapid, substantial gas release. The gas was probably CO2 and, possibly, other radiocarbon-containing gases.”

Overlooking the ethical questions of contaminating another planet with our spoor, what you have here is a chemical reaction between an external substance and its environment. Nothing more nor less.

Extrapolating to the clouds …

“We have applied complexity analysis to the Viking LR data.”

“Measures of mathematical complexity permit deep analysis of data structure along continua including signal vs. noise, entropy vs. negentropy, periodicity vs. aperiodicity, order vs. disorder etc.”

“We have employed seven complexity variables, all derived from LR data, to show that Viking LR active responses can be distinguished from controls via cluster analysis and other multivariate techniques.”

“ Furthermore, Martian LR active response data cluster with known biological time series while the control data cluster with purely physical measures.”

Inconclusive at best, a plea for additional funding at worst … 

“We conclude that the complexity pattern seen in active experiments strongly suggests biology while the different pattern in the control responses is more likely to be non-biological. Control responses that exhibit relatively low initial order rapidly devolve into near-random noise, while the active experiments exhibit higher initial order which decays only slowly. This suggests a robust biological response.”

Looking at the cellular automata output that looks like a shell, a leaf, a virus, a volcano may be suggestive, but it is hardly conclusive and the degree of the unknown is so overwhelming as to make the supposition meaningless.

And the big finish: life on MARS …

“These analyses support the interpretation that the Viking LR experiment did detect extant microbial life on Mars.”

Supporting an interpretation is far from the results from recognizing and analyzing any known biological markers. To claim there is life on Mars using complexity analysis is tantamount to saying that the analysis of cloud data supports the interpretation that some life might be living a parallel existence in the clouds.

Bottom line …

This is one of those media-hyped findings based on computational artifacts that produces nothing tangible other than money to support institutions, personnel and projects.

Life on MARS remains an open question until some space vehicle can return with pristine and uncontaminated samples for analysis. Or a better laboratory vehicle can be dispatched.

I am not disparaging the individual scientists or their attempt to ascertain the truth; but I do fault the media types who breathlessly report that we may have found life on Mars. From a pure scientific inquiry it would be nice to know the answer about extraterrestrial life, but I suggest that the money spent on this type of space exploration would be better spent improving clean water systems and sanitation here on Earth. Dealing with microbes and disease rather than looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack.

I am further reminded that Nobel Laureate Dick Feynman used to say that if your experimental results were not Earth-shattering, map the data to the complex plane and look for computational anomalies.

-- steve

Reference Links:

Complexity Analysis of the Viking Labeled Release Experiments

Universality and complexity in cellular automata - Wolfram

Cellular Automata as a Model for Dynamic Leaf Structure

“The physical system of leaf expansion can be effectively simulated using the cellular automata method. The model developed in this study was able to accurately simulate the growth of leaves, by assigning numerical values to leaf properties. By appropriately selecting the precision of the step increment values, the calculated output can further be improved to reflect the natural leaf growth patterns.”

No leaves were hurt or produced in this experiment. – steve

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell


A friend recently asked whether or not he should provide his medical information to a third-party Internet-based company …

My answer was a resounding NO! Not at this time.

First, there was little or no likelihood that an emergency room physician would be able to securely access and use this information or that non-emergent doctors would accept this information as a true and correct record for incorporation into your permanent medical files.

Second, the company’s unilateral terms of service explicitly claimed that the service was being offered to individuals on an “as is” basis with no warrantees or guarantees. That the company is not responsible for any consequences should the data be unavailable, incomplete, erroneous or unusable. In an area-wide disaster, it is likely that communications would be impaired or that the service might become overloaded.

Third, the company’s revenue model was advertising-based so that your personal information would be scanned by computers to trigger advertising for additional medical goods and services.

Fourth, there were no real restrictions on how the information may be used and the right to offer your information in an aggregated form without personal identifiers to companies was reserved without an “opt out” provision.

Fifth, other than an encrypted link between you and the computer, there were no indications of how strong and thorough the company’s security efforts were and if all of the data was stored in encrypted files. Considering the recent security breaches of major credit card processors, one wonders if the company’s security even meets industrial and/or military standards. And there are any number of stories about medical information being mishandled, lost or stolen by internal employees or external vendors.

Sixth, the company’s terms of service indicated that they would be willing to turn over your medical records to any duly authorized requester and made no provision to notify you or allow you legally challenge or restrict the information request.

You do not want any third-party being able to access the totality of your medical records in response to a discovery order in a relatively minor matter.

Once electronic computer files are in the hands of an unknown third party, it is likely they may be shared with a “medical information bureau” or insurance exchange much in the same manner as your credit card information is stored and accessible by third parties.

Seventh, there is the possibility of even aggregated medical information being augmented by other information sources and data-mined in ways that you are no longer anonymous.

Eighth, you cannot trust any company. We have seen some of the most secure personnel records leaked for political reasons and/or misused for personal gain. Unless there is air-tight security legislation with significant mandatory penalties (and no plea bargaining), and sure punishment – even secure systems will remain porous.

The “emergency” use justification does not not stand up under scrutiny …

Con: In most emergency medical situations, the focus is on your present condition and not a snapshot of what has happened in the past. Therefore, emergency medicine doctors will always do their own tests and will regard patient-supplied information as suspect, supplemental information -- to be read as time permits.

Con: Adversely short-cut the diagnostic process by feeding the physician a plausible explanation of what appears to be happening. However, the human system is complex and many symptoms are shared among a multiplicity of conditions.

Pro: It might save time and money by allowing a physician to shortcut the diagnostic procedure and implement treatment in a more expeditious manner.

Pro: Having an historical record of medical information for comparison might indicate whether a condition is improving or worsening; or if a worsening condition is presenting additional symptoms.

There are significant technical and procedural issues to be overcome …

Con: Physicians are highly concerned with the integrity and fidelity of medical records. Copies of records gathered from multiple sources may be either incomplete or illegible. There is no index or audit trail to indicate the information has been inappropriately modified or deleted. Diagnosis codes and descriptions maybe in error or may have been altered for insurance purposes – either to provide the patient with coverage or to maximize the hospital or professional fees.

Con: There is little chance that any secure hospital or medical system would allow file downloads from untrusted Internet sources or insert third-party media (CD, DVD, USB-drive) into their systems.

Con: It is highly unlikely that past medical records can be successfully input into a system without a high degree of error. The scanning of old record sometimes produces illegible or incomplete records; sometimes with artifacts that are introduced by a dirty scanner. Even high quality image/text recognition software may produce questionable results when converting between paper and electronic text.

Con: Without some additional human input, documents may be incorrectly indexed and stored. Since mass document conversion efforts often involve off-shore data conversion companies, the results may be compromised by non-English speaking employees or lack of medically-trained personnel.

Bottom line …

If you want to prove to me that you are able to provide a third-party medical service, FIRST prove to me that you can provide a “new patient” form that is accepted at a large number of doctor’s offices.

At this point in time, there is only one company that I would provide my emergency medical information to on an unconditional basis.

“MedicAlert Foundation, a non-profit company founded in 1956 and headquartered in Turlock, California, maintains a database of members' medical information that is made available to medical authorities in the event of an emergency. Members supply critical medical data to the organization and receive a distinctive metal bracelet or necklace tag which is worn at all times. It can be used by law enforcement or emergency medical personnel to access their medical history and special medical needs.” <Source>

They have an outstanding record of providing medical information to first responders. Be sure to review their terms of service before signing up for their services.

I hope this answers my friend’s question and is of some use in your own planning.

-- steve

For the record: I am not affiliated with or compensated by MedicAlert.

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell


UPDATE (4/02/12 10:26 AM PDT) Good Guy John calls from Ontario, Canada. It appears that while the actual HP Corporate Offices are located in California, the corporate resolution calls are actually handled by a UTAH call center and John’s group is actually located in Canada.

The message is disheartening. The part in the bag, even though it has a different part number, is apparently the correct part. Unfortunately, it is, according to John, “the upper pen cartridge door” aka “the cleanout door” and is not the front hinged ink cartridge door; which is, alas, not replaceable by the user. John also mentions that the part number on the bag and the different part number on the part itself are correlated in the computer.

One would think that the front hinged ink cover door, being the most commonly accessed panel when routinely changing ink cartridges would be a “user replaceable part.”

And, one would think that the parts department – knowing the printer model and serial number – would know from the description that it is the front-hinged door and not the top “cleanout” door and that the part is not user replaceable.

A little test … I call the parts center and specifically ask for the part number BY DESCRIPTION for the front hinged door on my specific printer. Same story. And had I ordered the part – the same result.

Resolution … Call an unauthorized third-party parts vendor because they seem to know that the actual part needed is a C8187-40005 which is described as “Ink Distribution System (IDS) door” which is frequently confused with a C8187-67304 “Pen cartridge door - Access door for changing the printer ink cartridges.

To Hewlett-Packard … It appears that the descriptions used in your parts department are MISLEADING in that they are not fully descriptive of the part that is being requested. Therefore, I strongly suggest that you re-word the descriptions and pay closer attention to the part descriptions in the future.

(1) How much easier it would have been to describe the C8187-40005 as the front hinged drop-down door cover opened when replacing ink cartridges or simply as the “Ink Cartridge Cover” which is the descriptive term used on the display panel.

(2) Place a computer prompt on all C8187-67304 part descriptions to remind order takers that this part is most frequently mistaken for a C818-40005 and provide my suggested description as an alternative.

  • C8187-40005: Ink Cartridge Cover - front hinged drop-down door cover opened when replacing ink cartridges (frequently confused with C8187-67304)
  • C8187-67304: Pen cartridge door - Top access door for changing the printer ink cartridges (frequently confused with C8187-40005)

(3) As for the mismatch between the part noted on the poly-bag label and the part contained in the bag, it is irrelevant how HP internally identifies their parts as long as the right part is sent to the customer.

Final Solution: Thus ends my trials and tribulations with Hewlett-Packard and my resolution to simply use re-tape the door shut after replacing ink cartridges.

UPDATE (3/30/12 03:31 PM PDT) No contact from HP as promised. Still waiting patiently.

UPDATE (3/27/12 03:31 PM PDT) Good Guy John from HP notifies me that all of the parts in the parts center were wrong. He will follow-up with the service center liaison and report back around 3:00 PM PDT Friday, March 30, 2012.

Original Blog Post ...

Normally, I would not complain about a trivial issue and an adverse encounter with a Fortune 500 company, but I belong to the James Bond school of problem-solving where: Once is happenstance; twice is coincidence and three times it is clearly enemy action.

My sister accidently broke the door that covers the ink cartridges in her HP Officejet Pro 7780. Unfortunately this door is interlocked and the printer will not function with the door open.

So it seemed a relatively simple task to call up Hewlett Packard to order a genuine part replacement. The order was taken by an operator in a foreign country who spoke passable English, understood what I wanted and placed the order correctly.

Everything appeared to be on-track as I waited for the FedEx box to arrive with the permanent solution to the temporary fix which consisted of a single piece of Scotch Tape to hold the ink cover door shut.

Now comes the interesting sequence of events …

The part arrives, loose in a large FedEx box; but unfortunately it is the wrong part. Okay – no biggie – these things happen when you stock a gazillion parts.

So, it was a little added effort to call the parts people – again a foreign operator who spoke passable English, understood the situation and profusely apologized for the unfortunate mistake. They replaced the order and all appeared to be well.

The part arrives, loose in a large FedEx box; but this time it is packaged in a polybag with the right part number and barcode on the label. But, alas, it is the same wrong part that was shipped previously.

So, with a little added effort and frustration, I call the parts people again. The foreign customer service representative with passible English apologizes once more and offers to replace the order. Realizing this may be a systemic mistake and likely to be repeated over-and-over, I ask for a supervisor. The supervisor is well-spoken, polite and apologetic but claims they can’t do anything but re-place the same order.

To recap: the order process works well, the paperwork is correct, the pick/pack and ship process works well and I get my order promptly – only it is the wrong part in the polybag from the right bin.

So, being persistent, I call Hewlett-Packard corporate headquarters and am shuttled off to “Executive blah, blah, blah). Once again I explain the problem to a nice person who is well-trained in letting me vent. But they can do nothing but replace the order. Now I am getting angry. I ask for the call to be escalated.

My call is returned by a polite, well-spoken “case manager” who assures me that he understands the issue and will replace the order, write special instructions and follow-up. I ask him if he can communicate with the parts depot and have someone physically check the part. He says that he cannot do this – but reassures me that the order will contain special handling instructions. He seems like a great guy and the end to my problems. He also informs me that he is reversing the charge for the part. Again all appears to be right in the data processing world.

But Noooooo … FedEx drops a box off and I eagerly open it, seeking an end to this craziness. Again, the order process works, the paperwork is correct and the polybag carries the correct number and barcode – but the part is WRONG!

Exactly what I suspected has happened. There is no way for “office staff” to contact anyone who can actually solve the problem at the ground level.

What else can they screw up?

So here I am awaiting a call back from the “great guy” and pondering what else can Hewlett-Packard screw up. The first thing that comes to mind is their new soon-to-be-announced (if you believe the computer trade press) cloud services offering. I must ask myself the following questions:

  1. Do I want to trust my valuable data to a company whose infrastructure is so dense that an executive office team cannot reach out to the right person to solve a “systemic issue?”
  2. Do I want to rely on their unilateral agreement that limits their responsibility for a catastrophic failure that results in a denial of access to my cloud-stored data or the partial or complete loss of my valuable data?
  3. Do I want to place my faith and trust in an organization that can’t resolve an issue with a single phone call or e-mail?

Don’t get me wrong …

I am an HP fanboy: from their calculators, their test equipment, scanners and their printers, I have extensive professional experience with many of their products and have never encountered this type of problem. Full disclosure: I liked Compaq’s server line before they were acquired by HP – but now prefer other computer brands to HP’s current offerings. And while I have used Epson printers personally and in a commercial environment, I prefer the HP industrial-strength printer line.

What needs to be done is simple and easy to understand …

Some human being needs to walk over to the parts bin and check that the correct part is in the correct bag. It is as simple as that. So to help them along, I will write out the instructions as if I were dealing with my own staff.

  1. Physically walk over to the pick bin location specified by your pick sheet and look at the part number on the bag and the part number embossed into the reverse side of the part and check that they match.
  2. If the incorrect parts are in the right bag, the bags must be re-labeled with the correct part number and barcode and replaced in the correct bin. The computer inventory should be adjusted for the number of parts removed from the wrong bin and added to the correct bin.
  3. If some of the parts in the bin are correct, leave those parts in the bin and adjust the computer inventory to reflect the remaining correct parts in the bin. Remove the incorrect parts from the bin – and then proceed as per item 2 to re-label the parts and adjust the computer inventory.
  4. If more than one parts depot handles these parts – send instructions to each parts depot manager and be sure to request a follow-up.
  5. Be sure to follow-up with the issuer of these instructions so they will be able to close the problem ticket.

Bottom line …

Both commercial and individual requesters of this particular part (C8187-67304) who do not want the inconvenience and hassle of receiving a (C8187-40033) may want to use Scotch Tape to solve their broken door problem until HP gets its act in order.

Since the cost of handling this brouhaha is costing HP a significant amount of money in personnel time and effort – not to mention the part cost and shipping – there should be another attempt to rectify the problem. But this time, any employee who fails to perform their job gets demoted, disciplined or actually fired. Tough love – corporate style.

I guess we will wait to see how this matter will turn out and how costly this will become for a company that appears to be undergoing management turmoil and some degree of reorganization.

Meanwhile, you might want to see what is going on at HP …

Courtesy of AllThingsD, a well-respected source of technical news …

Here is an internal memo from Group honcho Todd Bradley that details exactly who is running the Printing and Personal Systems Group of Hewlett-Packard following CEO Meg Whitman’s reorganization efforts.

SUBJECT/ Organization announcement

TO/ All Printing and Personal Systems employees

March 23, 2012

HP Restricted – For Internal Use Only

As Meg said this week, this realignment is designed to make it easier for you to service customers, sell HP and make it easier for you to get work done.

In Printing and Personal Systems, this mission will be our passion and our focus, and we will lead from a position of strength. We are the global leader in printing and personal systems, and we have touched hundreds of millions of lives along the way. Now, as one team, we can accelerate our path to profitable growth while we deliver the best experience to more people.

To read the rest of the memo, it can be found here at AllThingsD.

Perhaps I should bring this “trivial” matter to Todd Bradley’s attention. Nah! He has enough stress in his life at the present time.

-- steve

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