Haul U-Haul Haul

Check out this recent news story from local ABC affiliate Channel 13:


U-Haul chase ends in Brays Bayou

Anyone familiar with my band, The Flying Fish Sailors, has likely heard the song Greg wrote called Haul U-Haul Haul which is a spoof of a sailor’s hauling shanty and is about moving domiciles using a dilapidated U-Haul truck.

The similarities between the song and the news story are eerie…

So an officer came in a great big cruiser
The aquarium tipped and we started to lose her
Then I saw me a sight that made me shiver
As the truck dove nose first into the river
When I got to shore I was damn near drowned
As I watched that truck floating right out of town
So I sat in jail “˜til the very next day Sir
With the mileage fee just a’tickin’ away Sir
But from all this pain one thing I’ve learned Sir
Well the next time I move I’ll just buy new furniture

For those unfamiliar with the song I have added it to this post for your listening enjoyment.

File Sharing

Lori Jones here in Houston got a letter from lawyers representing the RIAA indicating she is being sued for copyright infringement to the tune of over half a million dollars. Apparently her daughter had downloaded and installed Limewire to share music.

According to the lawsuit the half-million dollar price tag works out to $750 per infringement. That’s $750 per song. Pretty steep considering you can purchase the songs at the iTunes store for 99 cents a pop. On the plus side, they are willing to settle for a one time fee of $4,000.

You can see the whole story here.

Jeff Ehling from the local ABC affiliate station here in Houston, TX called me to setup an interview. Since I had taken the day off we did it in the comfort of my living room.

Strangely, this time I was only referred to as:

Jay Lee who hosts a radio program that specializes in computer issues

The Geek Speaks

Once again the mighty news media empire calls out for a tech expert and Houston’s Best Tech Geek responds to the call!

Jeff Ehling wanted to come by and interview me for a a story on ABC 13 (KTRK) about about the new music service Qtrax that claims to be offering free and legal music downloads via P2P…

It’s available here for your web viewing pleasure:
Free online music downloads?

Jeff was telling me they’ve been getting mixed feedback on the new web site. I gotta say, I like it! It’s slick and easy to navigate. and I’m not just saying that because it was easy to find the piece featuring my interview so easily after the broadcast on the 6 o’clock news!

TV Time

Got a call from Jeff Ehling over at the local ABC affiliate (Channel 13). He was putting together a story to tie in to the recent FBI press release regarding botnet cyber crime and needed a geek talking head.

Lord knows there’s no talking head geekier than yours truly and despite my fear of being in front of the camera, I agreed to do it. I try not to pass up any opportunity to promote the radio show. Plus I think I must secretly enjoy being scared out of my wits.

Much like the previous times, it went smoothly enough and I was not horrified with the results. Jeff did a great job on the story and used sound bites from me in the piece that worked well and I was very pleased to hear him use talking points that came from our more candid off camera conversation.

You can see the news story video here.

Good Morning Houston

So the interview on ABC 13 went well, I think. 2 minutes and 27 seconds was the total time. You can view it on Jeff Ehling’s blog by clicking here.

I enjoyed the experience. The staff that makes up the Sunday morning crew made me feel welcome and at ease. Elissa Rivas conducted the actual interview and she made it very pleasant.

When the interview was over Mark Garay (who, by the way, was wearing tennis shoes behind the anchor desk) asked me to stop by and speak with Carmin the producer on my way out. I figured they must want me to sign something or I don’t know what, but I stopped by. No paperwork, oh no. Carmin was having a computer problem and they wanted my assistance.

Turns out that Carmin’s workstation was having a problem with the time change. This was the computer she was using to manage the current on air program with all the various time blocks, story segments, commercial breaks and so forth and every couple of minutes it was reverting back to pre-DST time after she would manually set it to the correct time.

My guess expert opionon was that it must be synching to an NTP server and also not have the current software update to allow it to sort out the time change.

How ironic. Here we are making light of the Y2K7 problem and how it’s no big deal and the very show hosting the interview is in danger of collapsing in a Microsoft-induced DST wormhole.

There’s no way to patch the machine what with it being used to mange a live program. It would have to wait till after the show and wait for one of the ABC IT staff as I was on my way out the door.

It was a great fun and I hope to do more work with ABC in the future.

Reminded once again that I have a face for radio

I got an e-mail from my friend over at ABC13.COM. He wanted to know if I was available to be interviewed by Jeff Ehling who’s the consumer reporter for the local ABC affiliate here in Houston. They were doing a piece on the proper way to delete data and dispose of old computers.

Unlike certain “experts”, I don’t make a lot of television appearances. I love doing radio, but when it comes to putting my face in the spotlight I get a very nervous. Still, I am always looking to promote what I do in my capacity as producer and host of Technology Bytes so I agreed.

Jeff did a great job of putting me at ease and asked some very good questions which I was able to answer without much hesitation.

Judging by the smiles I must have been cracking some jokes to ease my tension. I’m like a deer in the headlights when there’s a video camera aimed at me.

Watching a TV reporter has always been fascinating to me. Live interactive radio is what I am good at. Producing canned pieces for later airplay is not one of my strengths. Here you see Jeff doing a teaser piece to promote the story. It’s that thing they play before the commercial break to keep you from changing the channel.

Jay Lee in HD. Looks like I made a good choice wearing the blue shirt and my new glasses look great.

The beard could sure use a trim, though.

Fair and Balanced

Got an e-mail last night from Ned Hibbard over at the local Fox affiliate. They were doing a piece on the discovery of the Quicktime vulnerability that’s getting a little “buzz” as we kick of the Month of Apple Bugs.

He wanted to know if he could send a camera guy over to the radio station during my show. The idea was to record us on air in hopes of getting a sound bite to use in a story they were putting together for the evening news about the vulnerability.

Not being one who turns down a chance for free publicity, I agreed.

They did end up using several seconds of video they shot. It wasn’t an Emmy award winning performance by any means. Still, it’s good promo for the show. Especially since they got the name of the show right, unlike the previous story I did for the NBC affiliate last August.

It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times

When I got the call from Phil Archer and Channel 2 I was reluctant to be interviewed on such short notice. I was not feeling my prettiest yesterday and, believe it or not, I suffer from HUGE stage fright. I hide it well but you can see it in the beads of sweat that form on my head. I tried to duck out but he was very persistent. I was explaining to him that I didn’t feel camera ready and he asked me “Do you have any open wounds?” to which I replied “Well, no, not right now.” He said “Then we’re good to go!”

I gave him directions to the office and he and his cameraman were there in 15 minutes.

These guys are pros and they do put a person at ease when they are doing the interview so I relaxed very quickly.

As it turns out, I was able to get home in time for the broadcast so I could cringe in horror as appropriate. Turns out I looked fine and the sound bite was perfect. It could not have been a better on screen appearance….well, except for one tiny detail.

The name of the radio show is Technology Bytes, not Reality Bytes.

Yes, Technology Bytes and Reality Bites both strive to be funny.
We both were created in Houston, TX.

But from there the differences become more and more glaring.

Reality Bites was created in 1994
Technology Bytes was created in 1995

Reality Bites is a comedy about love in the ’90s
Technology Bytes is a comedy about computing with equipment from the 90’s

Reality Bites features a mediocre cast of washed up near nobodies
Technology Bytes features a … wait … this is not a difference.

For sure they have more women in the movie than we do on our show, but I bet Jennifer the Intern was never arrested for shoplifting.

Ah well, you know what they say about publicity.