Scripting News for 4/18/2007

Vlogging comes to mass murder 

The Virginia Tech shooter sent a package of video and pictures to NBC.

In other words, vlogging comes to mass murder, in ways no one anticipated (or no one I know).

It makes perfect sense, in a perfectly senseless way.

He sent the package in the 2 hours between the first and final killings.

Note: I took this post down for a few hours this afternoon because it wasn’t clear what was in the package, and if it would be released. We’re watching it on MSNBC now. It’s amazing stuff. The videos are Quicktime files.

NBC should release all of the videos in Quicktime form as downloads. It’s wrong to withhold them.

They’re sifting through them and deciding what to release and what not to release.

It’s 2007, and it’s a decentralized world. We should all get a chance to see what’s on those videos.

GIven enough time the focus will go on their process, much better to just let it all out now, with no editorial judgement.

If you have contacts in the blogging world or MSM that could influence NBC’s decision, please pass this on.

Micah Sifry: “There’s no obligation to put it all out there…”

NY Times: Package Forced NBC to Make Tough Decisions.

Xeni Jardin at Boing Boing is chronicling the release (or lack) of the Cho “multimedia manifesto.”

Via email, Doc Searls nails a bunch of angles on this:

“Cho sent those recordings to a major broadcast network. Not to the police, not to other individuals. (Far as we know.) Clearly he wanted his recordings broadcast — after the deeds were done, and he was dead as well.

“We don’t know if he thought about uploading them to YouTube. But, since he planned to fill the rest of his morning with murder, it’s likely that he didn’t want to post his plans on the Live Web — where somebody might see it and get authorities to stop him. So he opted instead for snail mail and a big bang later on the small screen. YouTube would come, inevitably, later.

“From what I gather, the police have seen and cleared the recordings for disclosure. So, presumably, there is no reason to protect anybody (for example, individuals Cho may have targeted for murder) other than broadcast viewers. (This is required by law, fwiw.)

“So I think Dave is right. If there is nothing to hide here, other than obscenities that cannot be broadcast on TV or radio, there is no reason why NBC should withhold the recordings other than the belief that they own them, and hold them as property. That’s their right; but it does not help the rest of us get clues that might help prevent another tragedy like this one.

“And this tragedy isn’t just about Cho and NBC. It’s about the rest of us.

“So I agree with Dave. More eyes will make the this bug shallower. It may save lives. Even if we see a zillion mashups of the original video, which we’ll see eventually anyway.”

Best online bank? 

A couple of years ago when I started using my bank’s online system to pay bills, I was in awe. How much easier and faster it was than paying bills by hand. What used to be a chore that I put off and as a result paid late fees, and my credit rating suffered, had become a pleasure. My queue of unpaid bills was never very deep or very old.

Now the thrill is wearing off, I’m a homeowner with a mortgage, and a business owner, which means I have two checking accounts and all of a sudden my bank’s online system isn’t working so well. Things that would be easy if the software were designed by Google or Yahoo isn’t so easy. For example, I have to use two browsers, one set up to pay bills from my personal account and the other to pay from my business account. I haven’t been able to figure out how to choose an account any other way. I’ve tried repeatedly to convince the bank that I don’t live in Massachusetts, but there are all these replicated copies of my address in their system, and they keep presenting the wrong address as the default.

So I decided to check out Consumer Reports on this subject (you must be a member for that link to work) and they don’t yet rate banks based on their websites. I suspect this will change soon.

Anyway, I thought I’d ask you to share your experiences. You don’t have to name the bank if you’d rather not for security purposes (as I am) or you can use a fake name so you can name the bank without risk. I’m just interested in getting an idea if my experience is bad or typical or good, for 2007.

Today’s links 

Fantastic rendition of My Generation.

New coffee maker. Key feature: hot coffee.

A YouTube group for OPML users.

Dvorak on the Web 2.0 Expo.

Andy Carvin: “Virginia Tech’s students are about as wired as any other school, with laptops everywhere and cell phones close to ubiquitous.”

CNN: “Insurgent bombers launched a series of attacks across Baghdad on Wednesday and killed at least 171 people and wounded scores — a particularly violent day in a bloody capital city enduring sectarian warfare and an aggressive government crackdown against insurgents.”

NPR segment on a blogger’s code of conduct.

Republican rhetoric 

The BS you hear from Republicans on radio, TV and in print would never play if it were repeated in an offline political discussion between citizens. With a majority favoring withdrawal from Iraq, even though the President is against it (which indicates a fairly strong conviction, imho), you can’t get away with the kind of idiocy that Vice-President Cheney said in his Face The Nation interview last Sunday with Bob Schieffer, who patiently put up with it because it’s his job to.

The Republicans repeatedly say the consequences of withdrawal is failure in Iraq. Which is easily pushed aside. We’ve already failed, and you’re right, the consequences suck. What now?

Last night on Countdown, Olbermann asked the same questions I asked here yesterday, although much more politely. Why are the lives of the Virginia Tech students any more precious than the lives of our soldiers in Iraq, and please explain to me why they’re more precious than the lives of Iraqi children, some much younger and more helpless than the Virginia students. They aren’t. A life is a life, all are equal. And as Olbermann pointed out, the deaths in Iraq are more preventable than those from a random act of violence.

I had a radical idea watching a debate on TV about the war, between a Republican and a Democrat. Maybe now it’s time to have some discussions of the future without the Republicans. They drop the level of discourse to the lowest level I’ve ever seen, and these days it’s all about covering their ass for the disastrous things they’ve done to this country, and the rest of the world. Maybe it’s time to stop giving them equal time so we can get on with fixing the mess they created and stop debating why they’re not to blame.

No, you don’t get it! 

A while back I was being lectured, in a blog post, by a woman, about how sexist I am.

She explained that one way to tell you’re being sexist is to reverse the genders in a story you tell, and sometimes the sexism reveals itself. Your prejudices about one gender are influencing you, and by switching them, you switch the bias around, and what was invisible before now is visible.

I knew about this, and agreed, it is an excellent way to see sexism or any kind of ism for that matter — racism, ageism. For example in a TV commercial, a woman hits a man in the face, as a joke. Or turns the sprinkler on him. Or says he’s so predictable, in a dumb way, because he likes black cars. Or doesn’t remember something like an anniversary. We’re supposed to laugh. But if we were getting physical that way with a woman, or being so condescending, it would evoke a completely different reaction.

The irony, is that if the person lecturing me were to flip genders in her own story, she’d probably see her own sexism. Would she lecture a woman the same way she was lecturing a man? Might she consider the possibility that the woman is smart, and might be offended by the assumption that she’s not? Especially if the woman she’s talking to is 20 years her senior? Basically it’s always a mistake to assume you understand something that the other guy doesn’t.

Another thing like that is the zealot’s proclamation that You Don’t Get It. Michael Gartenberg indulges in that today. As with my sexism teacher, the danger in saying that about someone else is that it likely applies to you as well. Michael has no idea what I get or don’t get. In fact he’s basing his conclusion on old data. I’ve refined my position. Even so, I haven’t used it once so maybe I have to refine it again.

67 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jeremy on April 18, 2007 at 9:51 am

    I agree that reversing the genders in the TV commercial examples you give would evoke a different reaction, but I disagree with your implication that they are necessarily sexist. Gender reversal is can be a useful heuristic for illuminating sexism, but it is not sufficient, because it doesn’t take into account history. Take the example of a woman hitting a man in the face for comedic effect. Switching the genders produces a very different scenario, because the fictional man and woman do not exist independently from the history of male violence against women. That is to say, it is very difficult to watch a man hitting a woman, even in a slapstick fashion, without making associations with domestic abuse and maybe other forms of oppression.

    I hope this doesn’t come across as a lecture. I think we probably understand this issue differently, but I, too, am willing to refine my position.


  2. Jeremy, but we all have different histories, and maybe we should just stop hitting people, period, regardless of gender.

    I don’t think very many people like getting hit, even in fun.

    About lecturing, no you’re not lecturing me, or anyone else. A lecture is when the speaker presumes they’re superior to the people they’re talking to. I think you’ve qualified it enough to make it clear that you’re expressing an opinion, not a truth you feel is universal.


  3. Post a link to the weblog where you were being lectured. Let us judge for ourselves.


  4. Come on Shelley — you made your mind up on me a long time ago! 🙂

    Seriously, I don’t want to make it personal, my point wasn’t to make another person look dumb or sexist, I was trying to expose an interesting thought. If I pointed to the person it would take on a whole different meaning, and I don’t want to go there.


  5. Dave, why are you bringing up this issue again?

    Just curious.

    Email me personally, if you wish.



  6. Grace, I’m not “bringing up an issue.”

    I’m a writer, and the only thing I was doing was writing about something that was on my mind.

    Is this an issue for you? 🙂


  7. Posted by Fake on April 18, 2007 at 11:42 am

    for online banks, check out DCU.. I have been using them for years.. awesome service all around and a good web offering.


  8. Posted by Kevin on April 18, 2007 at 11:53 am

    Re: “Republican rhetoric”

    It’s not just Republicans who say we can’t pull out of Iraq. Did you hear what Ted Koppel had to say about this subject on Meet The Press last month?

    “Everyone is concerned about the United States being in the middle of a civil war inside Iraq. But they forget about the fact that if U.S. troops were to pull out of Iraq, that civil war could become a regional war between Sunnis and Shia. And the region, just in case anyone has forgotten, is the Persian Gulf, where we get most of our oil, and, I’ve talked about this before, natural gas. So, the idea of pulling out of there and letting the region, letting the national civil war expand into a regional civil war, something the United States cannot allow to happen.”



  9. Posted by Russell L. Carter on April 18, 2007 at 11:54 am

    Dave, about the online bank offerings, I’m just as interested as you are. I have two accounts with BoA, that I want to access from several computers, and the online accounts are literally broken (I get error messages like “Error 805” and a blank page, except from one particular computer. I will switch in an instant if someone gives evidence that an online bank can support multiple accounts with multiple computers gracefully.


  10. My wife and I both use Quicken Home & Business for our personal accounting needs. Bank of America syncs up with this software quite nicely. BofA also provides check images (front & back) through their online interface. We’re not using bill pay because we’ve set up everything to auto-debit (EFT) from our home checking account. Monthly savings has even been converted to an auto-transfer. It’s working well so far…

    It’s going to be interesting transition moving to QuickBooks, QuickBooks Online, or IntAcct for the business side. We’re still evaluating that side of it.


  11. Posted by A Landscaper on April 18, 2007 at 11:58 am

    Many of my clients pay online and the most popular bank is Bank of America.


  12. Over to online banking: I don’t do much online banking, and I’ve even become less a fan of the Bay Area’s Mechanic’s Bank over the years, but they have managed to keep several accounts straight for me. Including keeping joint account access privileges straight.


  13. Dave, because of stroke-related impaired fine motor skills in my left hand I can no longer write legibly. I also have two accounts with two different addresses.My bank is Wells Fargo an i swear by them. On the rare occassions when I have to write a check–like at the DMV– I ask a nearby kindly looking grandmother to use her fine hand, then I scribble my name. It works!

    Spastically yours,

    Jim Forbes


  14. I have no issues with you writing what’s on your mind, if that’s what you’re asking.

    I’m just wondering if you had an encounter with the writer of the post referenced as the “lecturer”.

    By the way, over on my blog I called myself out as a racist.

    Always with the peace,


  15. Kevin, I heard Koppel talk about it, and when he did, it gave pause for thought. He speaks respectfully, and doesn’t try to fake you out with all kinds of moral stuff, like we need to finish the job, or it’s a tough assignment, or we don’t want to be losers — as Cheney and the Republicans do. So in the future, Koppel can speak, but Cheney must be silenced! 🙂


  16. Posted by YS on April 18, 2007 at 12:13 pm

    I have been very happy with Bank of america’s online banking which offers an options to have your business and personal accounts listed under the same online login.


  17. Posted by Michael Jamison on April 18, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    I have been using Washington Mutual for several years. Great service. My vendors typically get checks in 2 or 3 days locally. The UI is a no-brainer. I only have to enter the amount for repeat vendors. I can pay 20 bills in less than five minutes. The price is a Web 2.0 one: FREE! (Really free – no minimum balance, no annual fee, no transaction fee, no postage, etc.) However, the payments are deducted from my checking account immediately, not when the checks clear.


  18. I think Bank Of America’s site is utterly horrible.

    Why is it that banks and mobile phone companies can’t make decent sites?


  19. Posted by Robin Alexander on April 18, 2007 at 12:59 pm

    This man has examined the Virginia Tech Logo/Sign and come up with some weird and scarily insigtful findings…


  20. Posted by Colin on April 18, 2007 at 12:59 pm

    My Credit Union has done an OK job but doesn’t do well with multiple accounts either. For years they couldn’t fathom my wifes name change.

    I have also tried exporting bank data and such to use in other desktop apps but there is always something that fails to make any sense when I do the import. Besides who wants to do all the manual syncing anyways. (import/export) Blahh!

    Anyways it sound like your experience is pretty typical, at least from my POV.


  21. If you find one that doesn’t suck, let me know. The ones i have seen so far base their security on ridiculous things like maiden names. I prefer banks that have their anti phishing / security act together and use securId or similar. I currently use a swiss one, but would be curious to hear about any online bank that:

    Has their security together
    Does not waste my money on offline customers (no marble halls, branches etc)
    Knows what IBAN is and makes it easy to use
    Does not sell my address to credit card companies
    Is part of the 21th century (direct deposits, wire transfers) instead of the 19th (checks)


  22. Posted by Ted Wise on April 18, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    I’ve been using NetBank since they were just about the only online bank. They have far fewer charges and give out far higher interest then other banks. They won’t work for you if you receive a lot of checks or handle a lot of cash. If you get paid by direct deposit, bank on the internet, see a paper check only once or twice a year and rarely pull out more then a few hundred dollars a day, then they’re an awesome bank.


  23. Posted by jim mason on April 18, 2007 at 1:43 pm

    The Gomez Survey is the consumer reports of online banking. I could not find any more info, I remember it from


  24. Posted by Fake Name on April 18, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    Summit Credit Union in Madison, Wisconsin offers a great online banking service. A person’s relationship as a member/customer drives the access, so if you have both a personal account and a business account, they can be accessed from the same log-in, in the same session. Drawback right now is that while you can move money around in sub accounts, say from checking to savings, you can’t move money easily between accounts, say a draw from the business to the personal checking. Also, your Summit Credit Union Visa card is accessible for statement info and payment activity from that same session. Automatic bill paying is available, from a different screen at the same domain. I think you would qualify as a member. I think they’re pretty fine. Of course, I set up that system like eleven years ago.


  25. Posted by anthropocentric on April 18, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    Countrywidebank is great for a savings account – tey offer the absolute best rates on a money market savings (better than emigrantdirect and others you may have heard about).

    Their UI is generally OK (for a bank). Free transfers to and from your checking account.

    Highly recommended.


  26. Posted by Chris on April 18, 2007 at 2:53 pm

    re: online banking–we have been using ING for savings (great rate!) and now checking as well–very easy to use–set up bill pay, automatic transfers. Works great.


  27. You know, this thread so demonstrates weblogging:

    You’ve written on an older generation song sung by oldsters, the Web 2.0 conference, a difference of opinion on gender and sexism, the war in Iraq, pointed to a thing on the Code that will not die, Republicans, and online banking…

    …and most of the comments are about the online banking site.


  28. Posted by rupture on April 18, 2007 at 3:09 pm

    We’ve had great luck with First Internet Bank for many years, although we don’t have the exact situation you’re talking about. However they do seem fairly sophisticated. For example, my wife and I have different user ids but can share some underlying accounts… i.e. we share checking and savings but an old credit card is only under my id. Similarly, my 1-year old daughter has a checking account which is visible directly under my login (or via her own user id).


  29. Dave,

    I’ve used Bank of America’s bill paying system for the last 2 years and had no problems with it. I’ve been able to manage 4 accounts.

    Good luck!



  30. I have a question related to online banking. My bank tells me that I cannot transfer online between checking and savings account more than 6 times in a month. They make it sound like its a federal regulation as a result of some Homeland Security act. Have other people experienced this?


  31. Posted by Frank Paynter on April 18, 2007 at 3:37 pm

    Sean, take a look at “Reg E.” That’s probably what governs the restriction. It precedes Homeland Security Act, but may — I suppose — have been amended.


  32. As far as the online banking question. Ing Electric Orange hands down. I’m earning 4% and can send free paper checks (not even the cost of the stamp). It also seems to handle multiple accounts well. You do have to have an account at another bank though so I wouldn’t close your regular account.


  33. A link to the story:

    The amazing thing is, I *still* can’t get online with Washington Mutual. To restore service I have to call into a CRM system that flat-out doesn’t work. It’s completely broken.

    Anyway, “WaMu” is a bank to avoid.


  34. Posted by Chris on April 18, 2007 at 5:58 pm

    I use Bank of America online system for personal (and have since their modem/BBS style system of the early 1980s), Wells Fargo for business, and WaMu for my mortgage. They are all excellent. The only one I use for multiple accounts is Wells Fargo.

    I’ve never had any issues at all with Bank of America, but I’ve had to call both Wells Fargo and WaMu on the phone (not really for problems, but just for questions or to do less common things not available online like foreign exchange, setting up automatic billing, etc.), and the phone service has been excellent. Hint: Use Skype Out, so you can work while waiting for the call to go through.

    I’m surprised at the comments about BoA. Their software gets better and better, and is updated every half a year or so. It’s quite good now. Wells Fargo was the first bank to take internet business seriously, and they were very good to me, even introducing me to the resident agent who set up my corporation. And WaMu went completely out of their way to get me a mortgage that no other bank would touch. Thank god for them: there are only two big portfolio lenders left these days; other banks package and sell off their loans to government related agencies that require inflexible, nonnegotiable lending terms.


  35. Dave, I haven’t seen the videos you are referring to, but without having knowledge of the content, I can’t agree that it’s “wrong” for them not to release them at this instant. There are many people in mourning right now. While I agree with you in spirit about distributing the content, I think the rights of the “curious” do not outweigh the rights of those personally affected by such a tragedy.


  36. Re: NBC and Cho

    i hate to say it, but I fear that these pictures of the VT killer Cho everywhere will inspire/trigger other disturbed kids out there to do the same. There are out there. This is not a movie or a game. This is real.

    Sure, NBC had no choice but to show them, but THAT PICTURE with the guns held out makes him look defiant and in control. probably what he wanted.

    Morbid curiosity will force so many people to watch the videos too.

    I dunno – the whole thing make me feel very uneasy.

    On the day the shootings happened over there, I was sitting at home working in London and heard what I though sounded like gunfire outside on the road. As usual I passed it off as firecrackers from the kids in the block over the way and got on with my work.

    Later I discovered that it was gunfire, and someone had been shot a few hundred yards away. Police cordons everywhere.

    Kids are stabbing and shooting eachother more than ever these days – here and in the USA. Why? Is it because the generation above, raising them, are screwups too? Or are ‘we all’ (as a whole) more responsible in some way for letting the world get like this?


  37. Posted by Jim on April 18, 2007 at 7:56 pm

    Re: Banking. If your business is a proprietorship under your SSN (rather than a separate tax ID), Wells Fargo’s online small business banking will let you manage both business and personal accounts under a common UI, including transfers between the two. You can also select a business-only or personal-only view as well as the joint view. Been using it with no complaints for well over 10 years.


  38. Posted by Bill Riski on April 18, 2007 at 7:59 pm


    Dave – two recommendations. First, for an on-line bank I’ve used USAA (based in Texas) for over 30 years. Highly recommended, but I think still has requirement to be associated with military member. Second, I have used PayTrust as a bill paying service for about 7 years now. Again, highly recommended. Advantages are all my bills are sent to them (so moving or just vacations don’t matter) and I can set up payment from multiple sources – not tied to one bank – with payment triggered multiple ways – if less than x pay, pay when I tell you to, pay y amount every month, etc..

    Later – Bill


  39. Dave,

    I’m very glad to see you’re asking about who provides the best online banking experience for geeks, as this is a topic I’m also very interested in. I’d really like to find a bank/credit card company that will offer a secure RSS feed of my spending. Talk about important Attention Stream. It’s easier for me to know about every new “cat video” on YouTube than to find out where my money is going. Does anyone know a geek friendly bank?


  40. For online banking, I have heard that HSBC has the best online service and popular with my IT friends. We have thought about moving to it but we are comfortable where we are at.

    For those multiple account issues you might want to download an additional version of FirefoxPortable. Made to run from a USB drive but I use it as my second browser from the C drive, and copy it to use on multiple machines and save my settings.


  41. Posted by Matt on April 18, 2007 at 10:07 pm



    Like kosso, I too have fears that releasing the tapes of Cho would inspire copycats. I think it’s a good thing for our media outlets to debate the pros and cons of publishing something like that, rather than just putting it out there simply because “it’s a decentralised world”.

    I’m not saying they should necessarily withhold them, but I think it’s a debate worth having.

    Would you equally say that because it’s a decentralised world, Steve Irwin’s family should have released the footage they had of the stingray incident that killed him? Or did they have a right to withhold that footage because it was very private and they were mourning his death.

    I think Cho wanted to come across looking like some kind of hero on TV, and to some people out there that MSNBC frontpage showing him holding up two guns all dressed in black will make him look exactly like that — a hero.

    By the way, on this whole topic of mass murderers, I would definitely recommend everyone who hasn’t read it go read the book “We Need To Talk About Kevin”.

    Seriously, no matter what you think about this NBC issue, and what you think about these shootings, you should read it. Very thought provoking.


  42. >”So I agree with Dave. More eyes will make the this bug shallower. It may >save lives. Even if we see a zillion mashups of the original video, which >we’ll see eventually anyway.”

    Or, it may spawn copy cats who also aspire for a week of post mortem claim to fame.


  43. Posted by TF on April 19, 2007 at 1:37 am

    I would say murder came to vlogging, not vlogging came to murder. He was probably recording QT movies before he committed murder.

    I don’t know why it’ shocking or couldn’t be seen that people who make videos could kill someone.


  44. Regarding the online banking. I do not think that banks want to link personal account and business accounts. Business accounts are meant to be accessed by a designated individual in the business who may not be the same as the business owner (as in your case). Certainly we do not want to be comingling personal and business finances even if by accident.


  45. Hi Dave,

    I can’t understand why you’ve tied murder to vlogging.

    I wish my email to you earlier could have changed your mind about using the term vlogging.

    “Sending a package to NBC isn’t vlogging.”

    Has the definition of vlogging become so diluted to now just mean capturing video?

    I don’t think so. Video still has to be posted online somewhere with a permalink.

    Don’t you think?



  46. With respect sir, using a certain software, in this case QuickTime, does not make you a vlogger. To our current knowledge these videos were not posted in a blog or on a video web hosting site.

    Yes this person used a camcorder, digital camera and software to record himself. But his distribution choice was a commercial broadcasting company. NBC News had total control over using the documentation that was delivered.

    I wished they would have shown better sense than to give him a final forum for his pain but that is another issue. I and the thousands of other people that participate in vlogging cannot and should not be associated with this tragic event.


  47. I agree with Steve Garfield. And the Doc Searls justification is pretty tenuous. Just because you record something and hope someone else will put it on the internet doesn’t it vlogging. I mean, there are a lot of different interpretations of what vlogging is, but COME ON. If he’d written a personal statement and sent it to NBC, would you have called it Blogging? I doubt you’d have thought you could get away with that.

    It seemed to me that you’re finding a tech angle – wrongly – to justify writing about something you’re interested for other reasons.

    And as for you saying that it’s *wrong* to withold the videos, that got me so cross that I’m glad I’ve calmed down before writing here.

    You said: “We’re watching it on MSNBC now. It’s amazing stuff. The
    videos are Quicktime files. NBC should release all of the videos in
    Quicktime form as downloads. It’s wrong to withhold them.”

    Why? Can you substantiate that intellectually at all? Because it was this guy’s last wish, and we should honor that? In what way does anybody benefit *at all* from
    seeing it – and how do the families of the dead feel about it? And, as Kosso says, what if it inspires copycats (they’re likely anyway, why make them more attractive to other psychos by making him yet more famous and giving him a voice)
    Or, um, is it ‘wrong’ because you’re getting a rush from listening to a real life
    psycho and you want to hear more?

    Finally, you said “vlogging comes to mass murder, in ways no one anticipated (or no one I know). It makes perfect sense, in a perfectly senseless way.”
    Leaving aside the definition of vlogging for a moment, I don’t understand the perfect sense of how it *comes to* mass murder? Video is just the way he chose to send his message, to make himself more famous, to give himself a voice. It doesn’t *come to* anything.


  48. As the first commenter says, reversing the genders *can* be illuminating but doesn’t prove anything. Ultimately right and wrong are not “scale free”. They’re relative to size or mass or degree of power you have. It’s anti-competitive to give away a free browser integrated with the operating system when you’re Microsoft, but OK when you’re a small start-up. It’s OK to cut down a tree from the Amazon to build a hut but not to cut down a million of them to build a city.

    In the same way, there definitely are behaviours which are wrong for men to do to women but not for women to do to men because of the historical and social power imbalance. Although hitting in the face, I agree, isn’t one of them.


  49. On the subject of banks:

    I have become a kind of evangelist for ING Direct, who not only now offers a high interest savings account, but also a high interest checking as well. I cannot imagine why people keep their money in a place other than ING. Their web interface is really easy to use, they provide you with lots of updates on how much money you’re earning in interest on a daily basis, and all kids of other such things.

    Their online billpay is amazing.

    I mean, you’re PAYING for your bank to keep your money. At the end of the day, ING pays YOU to keep your money with them. It is completely disruptive and completely awesome.

    THe one drawback is, with ING’s checking account (called electric orange), you don’t get paper checks. I rarely need them (the only bill I pay with paper checks is my tax bill), but when I do, I still have another local bank account that I transfer money into in the event that I actually need to write a paper check. And that’s it.

    You cannot go wrong with ING. They’re smart, online friendly, and, well, you make money rather than lose money.

    If you want to open an account, let me know. I can send you a referral link. When you get a referral link, you get $25. (YOU, as in Dave, not You as in Me) If you don’t get a referral in, you get nothing.



  50. One little caution about Wells Fargo, particularly if you are prone to change accounts…

    I had a personal account with them for a couple years. Then added a business account and linked it. So far so good, right?

    Then I moved, and closed those accounts because I was somewhere they didn’t have any branches conveniently located nearby. No problems closing the accounts or getting my money.

    Then they got bought out by Norwest, and I had branches nearby again. So I opened a new checking and savings account. Accounts opened perfectly, but I can’t access them using Online Banking. Why? Because their systems tied the new accounts to the old accounts, and expects me to use the old login id and password which I kind of forgot over the years. They would email me a new one if I go through their security procedures… but only to the email account on record – which is an account I no longer have.

    I presume that as Online Banking matures, and these “edge” cases occur more often, that developers will get used to dealing with them. As for me… well based on the other comments here, I may need to look into BOA.


  51. I’m going to skip the part where I take issue with your utterly incorrect use of the word “vlogging” here (how does mailing a box of videos constitute vlogging?) and go straight to the important bit: you actually believe that NBC should release these videos onto the internet? That’s it’s “wrong” to withold them? Wrong? In bold print “wrong”? Forgive me: who are you, exactly? Are you special? Are you someone who’s feelings should be taken into greater consideration of these people’s families? Are you all bummed out that this “amazing” footage is being edited?

    For shame.

    This was a seriously mentally ill young man who took filmed these angry ramblings for the express purpose of fulfilling his martyr fantasy and now he’s gotten exactly what he wanted. He wanted to die, he wanted to take a whole mess of people with him and he wanted everyone to watch. And you’re crabby that you think the public is being given the short shrift by not seeing every detail on those tapes? To what end? Pure voyerism. Nothing else. Curiosity. Amazement. We need stuff to talk about at our watercoolers, and on our blogs.

    Those videos should have been held altogether as a matter of tact. No reasons other than NBC’s excitment re:exclusivity and ratings made them air those tapes at all. Jesus…a little time to heal would be nice, but no. I would love to have been a fly on the wall for THAT meeting.

    “Gee, Bob, do you think maybe we should wait a bit after we’ve gone over these with the authorities? Or should we just go for it?”
    “Go for it. You know Fox would have.”

    NBC served up Cho’s desires on a silver platter. All the anger, all the hatred, all the bile all over TV and the internet for other kids just like him to find, internalize, analyze, emulate and copy. And they will.

    I’m sorry you feel slighted.


  52. This has nothing to do with videoblogging. The fact that you can make idiot connections like that and your readers don’t even give a shit reminds me why I don’t read this in the first place.


  53. Compass Bank is an awesome institution. We stopped using them when we moved and they had no local branches but the thought regularly crosses my mind to go back to it. They do great by individuals and especially have fantastic services for small business owners. Their online services were very good — it is the first bank in my life that has caused me to choose to use a bank over a credit union. I’ve had to before because the credit unions I was in didn’t handle business but this bank made me switch even when I had a choice.


  54. Steve Garfield is absolutely right.

    While I can kind of see what you mean about the content: Self-recorded diary / diatribe, this is no more ‘vlogging’ than placing a link to an mp3 on a website (after snail-mailing it) is ‘podcasting’


  55. Clay that’s great but what about withdrawing cash? Does ING have an ATM network? I haven’t seen any around the Bay Area …. Or do you use your secondary banking account? Anyway I would guess that’s exactly why more people don’t use ING — lack of ATMs. If all your monthly money is either spent, transfered to 401k or transfered to say a Vanguard money market or mutual fund, it doesn’t matter that you’re not getting interest on it.


  56. I just looked on the ING site. It claims they have 32,000 ATMs but there appears to be no way to find one near me, and it is not clear if these are actually operated by ING. I am disappointed this information is not made readily available. At BofA it’s linked right off the home page.


  57. If you want convenient ATM access, e*Trade reimburses any ATM fees you are charged by other banks (assuming you have some minimum amount in your account). So, you can use any ATM (in the US, at least) without a charge. This is very convenient! Their rates are not quite as good as ING, but the customer service has been OK, and you can get paper checks.


  58. Sorry to sound so negative on ING — it sounds great for certain purposes. I’ve been looking to switch away from my current bank is why I’m so interested.


  59. ING uses the Allpoint network of ATMs, so they show up in places like gas stations and CVS stores. Locate ATMs at They also don’t charge a fee for off-network ATMs (although the bank that owns the ATM probably will).


  60. One minor quibble with relying on the AllPoint ATM network of course is that they’re mostly located inside businesses with limited hours. Traditional bank ATMs like Bank of America’s are in vestibules that you can access 24 hours a day with your ATM card. Just a thought to consider…


  61. Thanks for the allpoint link. Ha! There is exactly 1 ATM in all of Berkeley, a city of more than 100,000 people. It’s at the Claremont resort, which means you’ll need to drive past a security gate every time you want to use it. Wonder how that will work out ;->


  62. I’m a client of ING Direct in Spain and though their products are great, their web interface is amateurish and has mayor usability issues. It doesn’t work in Safari, and has problems in Firefox.

    After logging in it blows up your window size to full screen, navigation is broken, faq pages are empty et-cetera.

    So I hope for you their US web was built by a different team.


  63. It has to be. It works fine in my browser. Is it designed by the likes of Dan Cederholm? No. Is it usable? Yes.

    In terms of ATMs, the All Point network is fine, but I’ll tell you, I really don’t mind paying fees– the fact is, I might make 4 ATM withdrawals a month. Let’s say each ATM withdrawal is $2. That’s $8 a month. I make far more than that in interest on the account.



  64. And Dave, find somebody who has ING already. If you have a friend, ask them for a referral link so you get that free money. If you need a friend, you can email me at cjoh at

    (You met me briefly in Burlington, VT during your visit to Dean campaign HQ btw)


  65. Dave, dude check this out:

    “The One United Bank Experiment”

    I think this says it all…


  66. Posted by Joe Latone on April 20, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    Two words: Wells Fargo.

    I consolidated accounts there as an experiment 2 years ago, and I’m more than impressed with how they linked personal checking, savings, brokerage, retirement, mortgage, cc, home equity, -and- business accounts…one page, all linked, auto payments, transfers, etc.

    One thing I’m quite unhappy with is the fact that WF owns America’s Servicing Company. A loan of mine was transferred to them and they’re awful (see for more). I may leave WF as a result.


  67. Posted by ray dinther on April 27, 2007 at 8:53 am

    I am disappointed with Wells Fargo at the moment. Our entire family have had premium bank accounts for 13 years with numerous accounts. My problem is that they are replacing all the older experienced, with customer skills people at my local branch with young, inexperienced, upwardy mobile kids.
    I no longer want to deal with them. If I am in a convential bank I want good old convential service. The interest rates are not good enough on their own to keep me.
    So now I am exploring online banks and their features.
    Who is best out there for ATM’s no fee deposits (wire transfers etc) interest rates, checks, etc.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: