Month: July 2001

Brent on restaurants: “Dessert isn’t the difference between casual and fine dining.”
1:24:47 PM  

Press release: Sony Corporation of America and Yahoo! Announce Multi-Faceted Relationship. “Yahoo! Inc. and Sony Corporation of America today announced a multi-faceted agreement that leverages a wide range of assets from each company. The multi-year agreement represents a significant relationship between Sony and Yahoo!…”
1:22:36 PM  

BBC: Universe at their fingertips. “The £1.4m supercomputer is made up of 128 UltrasparcIII processors and an allied 24-processor Sunfire machine. It has 112 gigabytes of Ram and a seven terabyte storage system to hold and manipulate the vast amounts of data collected while observing the Universe.”
1:19:45 PM  

Got crack?
1:16:41 PM  

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CNET: FBI case highlights high-tech spying. “It’s the idea of secret government surveillance technology being installed with very little oversight or accountability,” David Sobel of the Washington-based Electronic Privacy Information Center said. “It gets about as close to the common perception of Big Brother as anything I could really imagine.”
11:40:31 PM  

UniSci: First Evidence of Life Coming From Space Reported. “We have argued for more than two decades that terrestrial life was brought down to Earth by comets and that cometary material containing microorganisms must still be reaching us in large quantities.”
11:38:52 PM  

Just in case you had any doubt that the real battle for control of the Internet is between Microsoft and AOL, check out this internal AOL memo (mirrored here, just in case): “By integrating and embedding traditional AOL functionality… into the OS and .Net initiative, Microsoft is essentially absorbing much of the AOL client based functionality into the OS. The boundaries that separate the OS and the Internet will disappear. The risk exists that the consumer will not see the value of using the AOL client for online activity and will simply use the default Microsoft solutions.” [via Adam Curry]

For what it’s worth, I have no interest in being stuck with “default” solutions from either Microsoft or AOL. I’ve got an entirely usable link layer, and powerful applications that I use to take advantage of it. One of the things I’ve always loathed about AOL is that their software puts their users in a little box. They then project images on the inside surfaces of that box, which are intended to give the user the impression that they can see the entire world. In reality, the AOL experience is like being a brain-in-a-vat, and the experience is the one that AOL wants you to have: an experience that is controlled by AOL, and its advertisers and subsidiaries.

That’s what Microsoft wants. They want us to be a bunch of brains-in-a-vat, so they can tell us what’s cool (what to buy), where to go (to Microsoft), and what the News is (at least according to Microsoft’s marketing department). They’re going to do everything they can, in order to get us to “choose” Microsoft over AOL, because their profit-margin, and their stock valuation depends on it.

AOL will do the same.

Welcome to Monday! 🙂
1:38:15 AM  

BBC: US investigates space bomber. “Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has asked the Pentagon to investigate a sub-orbital military space plane, which could be used for ‘rapid global strikes’, according to the Los Angeles Times.” Doesn’t this violate international arms control agreements, which disallow space-based weapons deployment? Um… Hello?!?
1:31:22 AM  

Dictionary.com Word of the Day: remonstrate.
12:56:06 AM  

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CNN (AP): Fox says all Mexicans in the U.S. should be legalized. “President Vicente Fox said Saturday that all Mexicans working in the United States should be legalized in recognition of their contribution to the U.S. economy… ‘It isn’t fair to consider them illegal when they are employed, when they are working productively, when they are generating so much for the American economy,’ Fox said. ‘They shouldn’t have to walk around like criminals or stay hidden.'”

8:43:46 PM  

Minotaur is “an extension which can be used from Tcl, Python, or Perl to run scripts in any of the other languages… Minotaur works by embedding one language in the other (at run time), i.e. the context ends up as a single process.” [via Paul Snively]
2:30:18 PM  

BBC: Huge fraud at the Pentagon. “Last year alone, according to investigators, Pentagon employees went on a $9bn dollar shopping spree, some of it blatantly fraudulent.”
2:24:01 PM  

Brent: “I wonder what happened to the wysiwyg HTML editor that came with OS X public beta?”
2:19:29 PM  

Jeff: “Whew! I finally got my PowerBook restored…”
2:17:43 PM  

Moose: Brand This! “Decide whether or not you love the software industry. Do you? Really?… Look at Quokka… Why were they investing more in furniture than they were investing in their people? Why do I know the name of the brand on their chairs… but I don’t know the name of a single Web designer or editor or writer that worked there?”
2:42:31 AM  

AP: Economic Growth Weakest in 8 Years. “The U.S. economy slowed to a barely discernible 0.7 percent growth rate in the spring, the weakest performance in eight years, as businesses cut back on their investment spending by the largest amount in nearly two decades.”
2:39:25 AM  

CNN: Skynryd bassist dies.
2:38:32 AM  

Dictionary.com Word of the Day: skulduggery.
2:37:34 AM  

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Salon: Auction of the damned. “The only moment of humanity all afternoon was when two young men fiercely competed to bid a modest IBM IntelliStation server up to $5,300 — more than twice its cost when new — and the room became silently electric. ‘What do we not know?’ queried the baffled auctioneer, as the rumor sped through the room that the two bidders were former Quokka employees trying to acquire something stored on the machine.”
9:33:48 PM  

KCBS: SF Judge Rules Partner of Woman Mauled by Dogs Can Proceed with Wrongful Death Suit: “Judge A. James Robertson II agreed with the arguments of Sharon Smith’s attorney that California state law has created a barrier for her by not allowing same-sex couples to marry, thus precluding them from seeking benefits available to married couples. However, the Equal Protection provision of the state Constitution prevents such exclusions, the judge ruled.”
9:30:59 PM  

CNN: Police mum on Condit’s 4th interview. “This could change to a criminal investigation, and if that’s the case then we have to be very careful about some of the information that we have that gets into the public domain,” Metropolitan Police Chief Charles Ramsey told reporters… “We don’t have a suspect because we don’t have a crime.”
9:28:59 PM  

How’s this for clueless: “The Internet is an important cultural phenomenon, but that doesn’t excuse its failure to comply with basic economic laws,” said Thomas Nolle, a New Jersey telecommunications consultant. “The problem is that it was devised by a bunch of hippie anarchists who didn’t have a strong profit motive. But this is a business, not a government-sponsored network.” Whatever.
3:46:10 PM  

CNET: Palm to separate OS business. “Handheld giant Palm announced on Friday its plans to create a separate subsidiary for the part of its business that develops and licenses the Palm operating system… The move is less dramatic than actually spinning off the unit, as 3Com did with Palm last year. But it could still be a precursor to a spinoff.”
3:15:08 PM  

Living Code: “Judge Gates determined that the only long- term solution to the power of the US Federal and State governments would be to break the United States into smaller autonomous regions, much as was done to AT&T when they were found to be a monopoly.”
3:13:55 PM  

Huh?
3:10:30 PM  

CNN: Moscow denies missile shield U-turn. “Russia has denied it has been persuaded to re-examine its position on the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty — despite U.S. hints to the contrary.”
2:54:21 PM  

Not only is today Microsoft-Free Friday, but it’s also international system administrators day.
2:52:01 PM  

Salon: Consolidation politics. “There is fear in newsrooms when it comes to challenging the interests of the media moguls who can, with nothing more than an offhand remark to a subordinate, stall or end an editor’s or reporter’s career at an enterprise. The alternative is to leave and pursue the truth at other news organizations, but that becomes more difficult when they are concentrated in fewer hands.”
1:07:43 AM  

Wired: New Evidence of Water on Mars. “The mounds are near Mars’ equator, far from the polar ice caps. The location suggests that the frozen ground may have been created during a Martian ‘ice age’ about 100,000 years ago.”
1:00:24 AM  

Dictionary.com Word of the Day: Cockaigne.
1:00:02 AM  

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Ted Gup: “Never in my three years of law school had I been introduced to the term ‘borderline pornographic.’ It seems the law of the land with regard to pornography is indeed ‘knowing it when you see it.'”
5:01:40 PM  

CNET: RealNetworks cuts staff. “The way the economy is going generally and the tightness in our own market segment, we had to take steps to keep our costs in balance and make sure we manage wisely during the slowdown so that we can grow smartly when we come out of the slowdown,” said Eric Liu, vice president at RealNetworks.
4:53:21 PM  

God 2.0
4:16:18 PM  

Ananova: Rat cuts communications cable to 25,000 people.
3:47:20 PM  

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CNN: U.S. rejects germ warfare accord.

“‘We regret that the U.S. has decided to reject this protocol. The concern is that germ weapons talks could just sink into the doldrums,’ said one European diplomat. Scientists and non-governmental organisations in Geneva for the talks urged other states to ignore Washington’s withdrawal and press ahead with negotiations on the draft…”

Yes, Please do! Put pressure on the U.S. to support real arms control agreements. Make us the odd-man-out, and then kick our butts until we figure out that it’s not worth it for us to continue to thumb our noses at the U.N. Supply some economic motivation.

We currently have an administration that thinks they can get away with anything. There are gobs of money to be made by Corporate America, by throwing all sheets to the wind, restarting the nuclear arms race with Russia, rekindling the proven-to-be-flawed Strategic Defense Initiative, and ignoring global warming, poverty and disease in the third world. Come on

What the fuck is going on in Washington? I mean really, have we fallen asleep at the wheel? How many times do we have to go through this loop? Let’s stop this insane selfishness already.

To the rest of the world: Call us on our shit. It’s time.

BTW, I’m not the only one who’s thinking this way.
10:55:01 PM  

CNET: File-trading pressure mounts on ISPs. “Driven by a combination of high-profile summer movie releases and a growth in the business of independent piracy hunters, these requests are putting service providers in an awkward position. Even as they avoid facing media-industry lawyers, these ISPs risk losing their customers to competing Internet access companies that may be less aggressive about curtailing the use of file-trading software.”
10:47:30 PM  

AP: Today in History.
10:43:36 PM  

CNN: Astronomers search for alien lasers. “We are looking for very brief but powerful pulses of laser light from other planetary systems, rather than the steady whine of a radio transmitter,” said Frank Drake, principal investigator in the project.
10:36:42 PM  

Dictionary.com Word of the Day: exhort.
10:29:51 PM  

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CNET: Senator urges changes to Windows XP. “During a Tuesday press conference, Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat and member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, asked federal and state trustbusters to consider taking action that would delay Windows XP’s release. He also called on Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., to hold hearings on the matter.”
7:19:56 PM  

Boston.com: SJC upholds conviction of man who secretly taped police. “The state’s highest court on Friday upheld the conviction of a man who secretly recorded police after they pulled him over… But in a strongly worded dissent, two justices said the wiretapping statute was not meant to prevent citizens from recording an encounter with police.”
7:15:39 PM  

Josh Lucas: “Have you ever asked yourself whether you should tip a hooker or not?…”
7:12:50 PM  

Morons Dot Org: Challenge to Children’s Internet Protection Act may Proceed. “Becker asked, ‘This case is unquestionably destined for the United States Supreme Court, is it not?… Wouldn’t this court and the Supreme Court be much better equipped to deal with this after discovery and after trial?'”
7:10:33 PM  

Ananova: 150 Santas stage summit in Denmark. Uuh…yeah, whatever.
7:06:40 PM  

Dictionary.com Word of the Day: ne plus ultra.
6:57:31 PM  

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NASA’s Earth Observatory: Earth Likely to Warm 4-7 Degrees by 2100. “There’s a nine out of ten chance that global average temperatures will rise 3-9 degrees Fahrenheit over the coming century, with a 4-7 degree increase most likely, according to a new probability analysis by scientists in the United States and England. The most likely projected increase is five times the one-degree temperature rise observed over the past century.”
11:58:04 PM  

CNET: Senator calls for hearings on Windows XP. “Sen. Charles Schumer, of New York, issued a statement saying he will hold a press conference on Tuesday to call for committee hearings to investigate Microsoft and ‘demand that Windows XP allow users to choose their media player, messenger service and other applications instead of being forced to use Microsoft applications.'”
5:58:13 PM  

EFF: Adobe, Electronic Frontier Foundation Call for Release of Russian Programmer. “We strongly support the DMCA and the enforcement of copyright protection of digital content,” said Colleen Pouliot, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Adobe. “However, the prosecution of this individual in this particular case is not conducive to the best interests of any of the parties involved or the industry.”
5:56:29 PM  

Wired: Net Reporting at Stake. “Free speech advocates worry that if Banamex succeeds in bringing this suit to New York state court, powerful corporations and individuals could be armed with an important precedent that would allow them to harass Internet journalists with libel suits anywhere in the world.”
5:54:32 PM  

Radio Australia: French police seize weapons quality uranium. Scary.
5:53:17 PM  

Motley Fool: Merrill Pays Investor $400K.
5:52:47 PM  

Hack the Planet: Zope 2.4 is out.
5:52:24 PM  

Cruel Site of the Day: Introducing the Microsoft Assport. “As you consider Microsoft’s kind offer to safeguard your personal information in a Passport, take a look at the Magic Link, a MSN Communities security hole that exposes random and often jaw-droppingly pornographic images stored by MSN users in photo albums.”
5:51:20 PM  

CNET: Microsoft hopes to create buzz for Stinger. “[Microsoft] will announce Monday that it invested an undisclosed sum in Sendo, a U.K.-based handset maker that is one of the four companies developing prototypes for a combination cell phone and personal digital assistant that will run on Microsoft software…”
1:10:05 AM  

Dictionary.com Word of the Day: avatar:

“In 1517, the year of their first contact, the Aztecs took the Spaniards to be avatars of Quetzalcoatl, the plumed serpent, god of learning and of wind.”

–Paul Theroux, Fresh Air Fiend
1:08:28 AM  

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The Giants just suffered another crushing defeat to the Diamondbacks. They lost 12 to 4, with three of the four Giants runs being solo homers (none by Bonds). Now they’re down 5 1/2 games, and headed for Denver.
4:02:23 PM  

With all the warnings over the last few days about viruses and worms, spreading across the Internet via Windows security holes, I can’t help but think that there’s something ironic about this.
3:57:48 PM  

Jeff: “HELP! I’m stranded in Kansas…”
2:43:35 PM  

CNN: Journey from ‘doormat wife’ to journalistic icon. “From ‘doormat wife’ to legendary Washington Post publisher, from Georgetown matron to first female head of a Fortune 500 business, from shy retiring woman to friend of presidents and celebrities, Katharine Graham covered a lot of ground during her 84 years.”
2:42:21 PM  

CNEWS: Lawmaker pees in trash?. “City Hall is in a furor after a female member of the Board of Aldermen apparently urinated in a waste basket rather than yield the floor during a filibuster.” You go, girl!
2:40:19 PM  

Derek Powazek has some webby photos.
2:32:53 PM  

CNN: Solar sail spacecraft crashes after launch. “The prototype of a spacecraft built to coast on solar winds crashed shortly after its launch…” Bummer.
2:30:45 PM  

Dictionary.com Word of the Day: cohort.
2:28:26 PM  

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An after-midnight quote about .NET, from Joel… Joel posted an atricle on July 22nd, 2000, Micorosft Goes Bonkers, and got a bunch of feedback from readers, so he added a couple of paragraphs of postscript. Here’s an excerpt:

“Since this article originally appeared a lot of people have written in to say that they have the .NET SDK! It’s not vapor! It’s ‘real!’

“Well, uh, yeah. What’s in it? There’s SOAP, a technology basically invented by Dave Winer based on XmlRpc, which I personally baked into the Juno signup process about two years ago. Microsoft is a little late to that ballgame. There’s a programming language, C#, which is just Microsoft’s way of saying that if they can’t take over Java, dammit, they’re going home and playing with their own toys… If Microsoft’s marketing wasn’t working in overdrive, we’d have all this stuff anyway, and nobody would be pretending that it’s some kind of computer Nirvana on the horizon.”

If you haven’t yet read Joel’s postscript or the email he posted from an anonymous Microsoft insider, check it out. Go here and scroll to the bottom. (Joel, where are your permalinks?) ;->
12:17:58 AM  

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