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It is with great sadness that we report on the sudden passing of our good friend, Mark Rocky Rogstad. He died suddenly in his residence in Margate, Florida on March 23, 2009. He was only 52 years old. We pay our deep respect to his family and friends at his passing.
He was our site's tech guru who loved all things technology, computer or gadgetry. He was the one who prodded us into starting a web site, to digitize our paper publication. His pokes led not to one web sites, but three. And he continued to try to drag us into the latest tech phase: blogging, flicker photos, twittering and social networking sites.
He was a technology educator, having teached at the high school and university levels. He was already ready to help people with their computer or electronic issues, no matter how big or small.
He was a man of good humor, strong opinions and hard-and-fast principles. We kidded him and he kidded back just as hard. He will be greatly missed by all that knew him.
One of his favorite features on this site was The Whether Report. When each issue would be published, he would email us back with his answers to the questions posed. It is fitting tribute to post his most recent answers to give unfamiliar readers a small glimpse into his character and opinions:
March 2, 2009
Question: Whether tele-education, Internet classes, virtual colleges and streaming lectures will be the standard for American higher education in the next generation?
Online (Virtual) education makes a major change in the structure of the higher-education market. It globalizes it. Even if you are sitting on a camel in Egypt with your wireless laptop parked on hump #2, you can interact with the world. Already, online universities like Kaplan, Phoenix, and Capella are creating gigantic student populations with comparatively little infrastructure. Kaplan University, where Robin works, has over 25,000 students and fits all the personnel needed to take care of them in 3 small buildings in Ft. Lauderdale the total is which is smaller than the size of Thomas Hall at EIU. Brick-and-mortar Univs are scrambling to compete with these private schools. Numerous students are taking some classes live and some classes online, even though they are residing at the University. Look for more online content at every level, even the middle- and elementary-school level. Them 3rd graders are smarter than you think. Question: Whether Internet gambling will be legalized to generate more federal tax revenues? * Beyond a Reasonable Doubt The current economic downturn has governments scrambling for funding. Every wacky idea known to the human race is flowing through governmental bodies at every level. California is even beginning to discuss the possibility of legalizing dope to bring an extra billion or two into the state coffers. Gambling ranks right up there with liquor and smokes as "sin" taxes. If there is tax money to be had, the government will consider taxing it. After all government funding is sacred and cannot ever reduce in amount, right?
Question: Whether major league baseball's weak attempt at controlling Internet game broadcasting will strike out as a policy for its new MLB Network?
* Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
MLB is no different than any other sport. They are much like the government and Wal-Mart when it comes to money. They are whores for it. If they can suck a couple of million down from their own network, then more power to them. With more people staying home or at least, local, the market for baseball viewed either live, on CATV, or online viewing is ripe for new revenue. For business in this climate, it's all about the revenue. But even if they don't succeed, there is always a government bailout for America's Pastime. February 1, 2009 Question: Whether American people will ever get a full accounting of all of Obama's Internet campaign donors? * Vapor Dream A politician's balance sheet is more sacred than the priest's confessional. It doesn't matter what era we are in, there will never be a full accounting of ANY politician's finances.
Question: Whether the iPhone iApp Store will generate more revenue than the iTunes store?
The iTunes base of users is MUCH larger than is the base for the iPhone. Having said that, an iPhone app usually costs more than a downloadable song. So it's difficult to say whether or not there will be a crossover. However, Apple's margins on the songs is razor thin, while it's much more in the App Store. So it's a good bet to say that, even though the gross revenue is less, the profit from the App Store will be more at some point. Question: Whether blogging will fade away like the podcast mania from a few years ago? * Vapor Dream Blogging is more than just typing stories onto a blogging client. There are photo blogs, video blogs and audio blogs. So what has happened to blogging in the past 2 years has been a shift from old media to new media. In the future audio and video will become more prevalent, but the regular style word processed blogs will be with us forever.
December 29, 2008
Question: Whether in the next four years Google will have antitrust suits against it like Microsoft has had to face in the last decade?
The big question here is whether or not Google will be sued for antitrust SUCCESSFULLY. That answer is simple. No. The internet is so wide open that its distribution cannot be controlled like other retail and wholesale channels can be. If Google were indeed sued for antitrust now, they could bring on example after example of competitors who have come and gone by the wayside. The only way that Google could be a monopoly is in users' narrow little minds.
Question: Whether the computer mouse will be replaced with full touch screens?
* Vapor Dream
The QWERTY Keyboard survived manual typewriters, electric typewriters and now computers. The only reason mice aren't on cell phones is because they would be larger than the cell phone itself. It took a few years for the mouse to be adopted by users (remember those dark pre-windoze days?). To use a touch screen, one must raise one's hand all the way up to the screen. To use a mouse, one must only move one's hand laterally to one side of the keyboard or other. So no, the mouse will not be replaced anytime soon, especially not by a touch screen.
Question: Whether Rocky, our Tech Guru, will ever submit for publication his assignment on current technology trends in education?
* Vapor Dream
There are no technology trends in education. It's a stagnant game right now, especially in these economic times.
November 30, 2008
Question: Whether the Obama administration will lessen Internet freedoms?
In the name of cyberstalking, child abuse, and kiddie porn, the Internet will get locked down much like the Aussies are experiencing. Dumbocrats believe that everything must be regulated and the Internet is no exception. The Fairness Doctrine will work its way to political websites, especially those that champion conservative values. Instapundit will be labeled “kiddie porn”. Just watch.
Question: Whether Congress in the next four years will pass a new National Sales Tax on all Internet transactions?
With Americans being energy savvy and using less gas, the gas tax will be going up too. Liberals are constantly looking for ways to tax and the Internet is now established well enough to tax. And besides, only rich people have high-speed Internet access, right? So we need to tax the shit out of the Internet so those poor welfare families with 2 cars, 2 cellphones and 3 TV sets will be able to surf on their government provided laptops.
Question: Whether the next North American terrorist attack will involve the disruption of telecommunication systems?
Who knows what these peckerhead terrorists will come up with? I honestly don’t believe they are smart enough to do anything but the crudest most basic things. Running planes into buildings is quite simple when you look at it. But disrupting the Internet takes a lot more skill. Unless they bomb the 13 regional Internet hubs, there won’t be a huge effect on communications. These vermin would much like to duplicate 911 and probably could, considering the sad state of airport security.
And finally, an email from him on November 8, 2008:
Jeezus, I look like Mr. Garrison!!
Rest in peace.
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