March 2007

More pet food recalls

Nestlé Purina PetCare Company announced Friday it is recalling some of it's ALPO Prime Cuts wet dog food. The food is contaminated with melanine, a plastic substance, that contaminated many recalled foods made by Menu Foods in Canada. Hills Pet Nutrition also recalled m/d Feline dry food on Friday over concerns of contaminated wheat gluten. The Hills recall marks the first recall of dry pet food. Hills did previously recall canned cat food.

Before switching to human food for pets, pet owners would be well advised to see the list of recalled foods.

Spanning Sync Uninstall

After a recent post about problems with Spanning Sync there seemed to be hope. Alas it was not to be. Following my post there was a comment indicating that Spanning Sync desired to try to make their software work. I spent another several hours getting the data they needed and emailed it away as instructed.

At the end of the day it is yet more time wasted on this product. There are people who test it and never have a problem. So it seems it does work for some, but if it doesn't work you're stuck. Now the trial has ended, the product has been uninstalled (itself a 45-minute process that hangs at every turn) and I'm only haunted by the ghosts of Spanning Sync. Although it's not installed it is still causing sync errors. Fantabilous!

Oh and now sync seems to be completely broken.

Changing email from lines

I need a solution for re-writing the from fields of inbound emails. There are a few correspondents in the various areas of life who insist on not putting their full names in their email clients. In the cases where I've talked to people this is often in the mistaken belief that it will help keep them from getting spam. In reality it makes spam filters much more suspicious of the email and ultimately only makes it harder on the ultimate recipients.

Apple Mail does a decent job when you're looking at the individual message. As long as the user's real name is in the address book it shows their real name even if they've supplied something else. But in the list views there's a bigger problem. It is not much fun to try and figure out which of the 3 Mikes sent an email in a list where it would have been much easier if they'd had the courtesy to include their full name. Along the way perhaps there will be more education about not looking like spam. And then again maybe I'll get mail more than the once-weekly trip to the spam filters.

Apple's Complete My Album is good but not enough

Apple, Inc. today introduced Complete My Album which allows users of iTunes Music Store to be credited the purchase price of the single tracks they've bought from an album when purchasing the album. “Music fans can now round out their music collections by upgrading their singles into complete albums with just one click, and get full credit for those songs they have previously purchased from iTunes,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of iTunes.

He goes on with the expected statements about how great this is. It is, however, pretty good and not great. What would be great is if the music companies would pull their heads out of the sandbank they're building and realize that they should make it easy for people to buy songs and provide incentives for people to buy songs when they have one or two songs from an album that they didn't buy from iTunes. In this way the industry could start to turn the whole of music sharing into a marketing tool. Instead of getting their heads in the game the music industry seems to be set on repeating the failure of print media. Perhaps some day the industry will wake up and realize it's 2001 already.

Oxymoron

It never ceases to amaze that there are people who are vegetarian because they feel or at least in part because they feel animals are treated poorly in our modern food chain. The closer one looks the more frequently it is uncovered that these people are cat owners. Not cat owners on the big ranch who let the critters loose on the natural fauna of the farm, but cat lovers in suburbia or the urban core who are responsible and keep their pets indoors and take great care of them.

Here's the rub. Cats are obligate carnivores. This means they must eat meat protein. Dogs can get away with more grain or carbohydrates in their diets but Cats don't get anything from them. And the ultimate irony that whether one feeds human grade food or pet food the animal protein comes from the very same supply chain, the very same slaughter houses, the very same farms.

Rational pet food diets

Recent deaths caused by contaminated pet food at from Menu Foods have pet owners wondering what to do to best care for their pets. There are some who would suggest throwing out the whole pet food industry and going with human quality food or the B.A.R.F. diet. Fortunately Newsweek has an article on it's website discussing the sitution with Dr. Tony Buffington a professor of veterinary medicine at Ohio State University. He concludes it would make as much sense to stop using pet food as to condem the entire human food chain because of the E. Coli problem.

We should call upon the FDA to step up their work on both the human and the pet food supply chains, but we also must resist the temptation to run to the rumor mongers at the expense of our pet's health.

Ten years of Scripting News

One week from today is the tenth anniversary of Dave Winer's blog, Scripting News. A post today says he has nothing special planned but to post ideas. Scripting News is one of the early blogs on the net. It pre-dates the term blog and its longer ancestor weblog. The groundbreaking way paved by Winer's Frontier software led to many things that today would be called blogs. One early project I started was RamLine which by today's standards would likely be considered a multi-author blog (and would be organized differently than it was).

RegisterFly ICANN accredidation terminated

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced Friday that it is terminating RegisterFly's accreditation as a domain name registrar.  I've written previously about problemswithRegisterFly.According to ICANN's site "between now and 31 March RegisterFly is required to unlock and provide all necessary Authinfo codes to allow domain name transfers to occur. Any and all registrants wishing to transfer away from
RegisterFly during this period should be allowed to do so efficiently and expeditiously. "

A recent lawsuit between the two shareholders of RegisterFly brought many questions to the fore about the company's financial situation. One is left with the impression that the IRS will have a lot of work to do sorting this thing out. That being said a judge recently awarded control of the company to Kevin Medina who was recently ousted as an employee by the board. In ICANN's March 8th update on the RegisterFly situation the company said "ICANN has demanded that RegisterFly immediately act to provide authorization codes and has also demanded a meeting with RegisterFly (and other relevant parties that are assisting ICANN) to resolve RegisterFly's reported failures."

I'm a little leery of recommending domain name registrars these days but will say I've had great success for the last couple of years with GoDaddy. Bob Parsons, Go Daddy's CEO, offers that they will help the RegisterFly refugees. To take advantage of the offier RegisterFly customers should visit https://www.godaddy.com/gdshop/transfers/registerfly.asp.

ICANN says that at a meeting next week it will be discussing "the reform of the Accreditation policy and process." The proverbial cow has left the barn and ICANN is looking to close the door. While the move will be too little too late for those caught in the RegisterFly trap. One hopes that most of the RegisterFly victims will be made whole and that ICANN will make a provision for more closely examining companies' applications for accreditation. In RegisterFly's case the problems were evident long before the company earned ICANN accreditation.

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