Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission webcasts hearing regarding Duke Energy

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) met yesterday to discuss the construction of a new mega power plant in Edwardsport, IN. Duke Energy took the stand to discuss the its role in the construction and defend its inability to stay under the initial budget forecast of 1.6 billion dollars in a construction effort that is now forecast to necessitate more than 2.8 billion dollars to finish. The reason why this topic is important in the technology realm is the meeting being webcast to interested parties across the state of Indiana and the nation.

Using a company by the name of IHETS, a technology firm based in Indianapolis that specializes in technology hosting and consulting, the IURC was able to reach more individuals than their 60 seat committee room could handle. Two cameras and a Windows Media Encoder later, IHETS distributed the live feed through their Windows Media Distribution Network to an estimated 200 internet viewers, pushing a fair quality 400 kilobit per second (kbps) stream at 320x240 video size. When asked about the reasoning behind these particular video specifications, the technician on-site stated that with a single bit rate stream, IHETS attempts to cater to the gamut of consumers, especially when dealing with state matters. When broadband connections like a 768k DSL connection are being used by a fair number of viewers, anything above 500kbps could overtax the user’s allotted bandwidth to the point of stream failure, which is not acceptable when the information is this important.”

IHETS uses a computer with specialty inputs called a Tricaster by NewTek to connect their users to the content. The Tricaster is able to stream in windows media or flash video, both of which IHETS can distribute from their data center in downtown Indianapolis. The Tricaster can also save compressed and uncompressed versions of the video from post-production editing and archival presentations. The archive from yesterday’s commission hearings is available now via the IURC website for further viewing.

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The Challenges of 2020

TL;DR: Follow this link.

One of the craziest things about Christianity during the protests of the last few weeks is the fact that there are churches out there not discussing the issues honestly, not taking the time to have the hard conversations, not devoting their Sunday services to betterment of the world and people around them. If you’re church isn’t talking about racism right now, if they don’t mention that black lives matter, instead focusing on platitudes that equate to the all lives matter” sentiment, it is time to start looking for a new church.

My wife and I meet with my home” church virtually via Zoom since the pandemic is still a thing. Kimball Avenue United Church of Christ & La Iglesia Episcopal de Nuestra Señora de las Américas (KANSA, together) combined in a collaborative way to create a single denomination focused on the needs of their community. They follow Christ together toward the vision of love, reconciliation, peace and justice. The justice looks like the demolition and rehabilitation of an old church building and its grounds into a community garden and labyrinth open to all who seek peace through contemplation.

I give this elevator speech to mention that COVID has not been kind to faith communities in general. Budgets have been slashed, funding and grants have been cut, and congregations in need are also working to serve those in need, who are less likely to be able to financially support their church in these times. KANSA in one of the good ones. They speak truth, they have the difficult conversations, they preach in a loud voice every Sunday that black lives matter, that racism has no place in the church, that the LGBTQ community deserves respect and support, and that Jesus was a social justice warrior, who fought for the least of these no matter who they were, where they were from, what they looked like.

In fact, Jesus was most harsh to those who had the means to help and decided not to answer the call.

These systems of oppression we are protesting have been around a long time; they have screwed up a lot of lives, they have been the reason for revolution and the downfall of entire civilizations, they don’t work. We need to find a better way to live by supporting each other. And support has to come in systemic, social, financial, and political ways, both national and local.

I am not local to KANSA anymore, but I support their mission, the way that mission manifests in the world, and the simple fact that they follow Jesus no matter how ostracizing that position can be at times. Which brings me to the point:

Thanks to a $10,000 matching gift’ from an anonymous donor, the challenge has become an opportunity. Over the next two months, we plan to raise at least $10,000 to meet the challenge. Through August 31, 2020, every donation we receive toward our 2020 Challenge” no matter how small or how large will be doubled by the matching gift.

KANSA is hurting financially and needs support, they do good work and are unabashedly progressive in their approach to our world. Donate now and see your contribution matched to keep one of the good ones fighting the good fight.

Thank you for your consideration.