It's Just this Little Chromium Switch Here

Weblogging and commentary by Chip Rosenthal

HB 1282: No News is ... No News

The Senate Committee on Business and Commerce recessed this morning without calling up HB 1282, the Bad Texas Spam Bill. The next meeting hasn't been scheduled yet. I'm concerned they will waive the five-day posting rule from the Senate floor and we may not catch it in time. It's all part of the lobbying game.

Today's meeting was quick and non-contentious. The mood was giddy.

Chairman: Are their any objections? ...

Senator presenting bill (only other senator in the room): I'd like to note empty chairs usually don't object.

Chairman: Yeah, but they have been known to vote.

The committee never made quorum. At one point, the chair wondered whether all the missing senators might be hiding out in Oklahoma.

Epicurean Corner: Texas State Capitol Cafeteria

IJTLCSH proudly presents its first review of fine dining establishments around our town. Today we visit the Texas State Capitol Cafeteria.

The Capitol Cafeteria offers a unique dining experience. Where else can you enjoy a meal, listening to some loudmouthed yahoo in a cowboy hat and string tie shouting into a cell phone about some lobbying interest.

Also in its favor, although the cuisine does not rise to the level of Luby's, it doesn't suck anywhere close to what your college cafeteria was like. Plus, the food is damn cheap. A full entree and sides, plus a large iced tea is $6.50. Deli sandwiches made to order are just a couple of bucks.

Today, I dined on the ravioli, one of the featured entrees. It was delicately prepared, preserving a careful balance between the taste of pasta stuff and that of meat-n-sauce stuff. My only complaint would be that the green beans on the side were not prepared in the authentic Texas tradition (boiled down to mush).

The food is totally edible and one of the best bargains in the city. We recommend the Capitol Cafeteria.

I Love it When You Slashdot Me, Baby

They've been slashdotting the hell out of us this week. Two of the three major EFF-Austin legislative initiatives recently have appeared on the Slashdot front page.

Last Monday, they posted an article on SB 1116, the Texas Super-DMCA. Then on Saturday, they wrote about SB 1579, the Texas Open Source Bill.

I'm hoping they go for the trifecta and post an article about our efforts on the Texas Spam Bill. Of course, that will happen only if somebody (hint hint) will submit the story to them.

SB 1579: Is Texas Ready for Open Source?

Open Source for TexasFor nearly two months I have been working in support of SB 1579, a bill that would expand the use of open source software by Texas state agencies. This is the first article I've blogged about it. Is that wack or what?

I have been writing a lot on this effort, just not here. We've got a mailing list and wiki page with all sorts of good information. I've neglected to tie that back to here.

Unlike the other EFF-Austin legislative efforts, this is one we are working to support. We like open source software, and we want to see the state use more of it.

Yesterday, we got a hearing for this bill in front of the Senate Committee for State Affairs. The hearing went quite well. We've got a long row to hoe, but at least we've got a small victory to celebrate this weekend.

Bad Texas Spam Bill: Ball is in Their Court

Over the past few days, more people have discovered the bad Texas spam bill that's been sailing through the legislature. We've made our opening bid, and now we are waiting for a response from the bill's sponsor. My argument has been that this bill has a number of flaws that end up making it spammer-friendly. We'll know Monday, maybe Tuesday, whether they are willing to address those problems.

Bad Texas Spam Bill: Score One for the Good Guys

The bad Texas spam bill I recently discussed was on a bullet train for passage. Tonight, that train got derailed.

Bad Bill or No Bill: The Texas Spam Dilemma

A new anti-spam bill is sailing through the Texas legislature. There's just one problem: it's a really bad bill. Is it better than nothing? I fear not. I think it can be fixed, but I'm not sure the legislature is willing to do so. In its current state I think we're better without.

God Bless America


I've taken a stab at learning classical guitar. I bought a crappy guitar on Ebay and started working through a book of Fernando Sor pieces. I've found two significant barriers along my way to becoming an accomplished musician. One is my total lack of talent. The other is I've never seen a classical guitar performance. For all I know, I could be holding the damn thing upside down.

Blogswap: Fear and Loathing for the Good Old Days

Link: Fear and Loathing ...

My entry for Austin Blogswap Day has been posted to Jeremy Kraybill's weblog. The idea was that on Monday, a bunch of Austin Bloggers would pen guest entries for each other's blogs. It was all great fun--except for a certain somebody who didn't get his homework done on time...

Blogswap: Wi-Fi Co-Op Util.


It's the Day After Austin Blogswap Day! We celebrate by posting the guest blog entry that should have appeared yesterday--but we never got around to because we were too busy... uhhhh...reading all the penis enlargement spam in our mailbox. Yeah ... that's the ticket! So, without further ado (or delay), please welcome Josh Babetski, our guest blogger.

So here's my completely unquantified thoughts on making wireless Internet access more widely available. First, let me preface that I am clearly not as well versed on the technological, legal, and logistical hurdles of providing wi-fi access. What I AM good with is collaborating with a bunch of non-experts who have a knack for coming up with the foundations of some good ideas and solutions. With luck, more knowledgeable people can then build on them, or at the very least cannibalize any nuggets in the mud.