Month: August 2001

Scripting News: Two views of the scripting world of 2005. “In one view, we’re all inside Microsoft’s box… In the other view,… our communities stay independent.”
10:34:40 PM  

Paul Larson on The Motley Fool: Four Hurdles for Microsoft:

  1. The European Union is borrowing a page from the Justice Department’s book and taking a tough look at the company’s competitive practices.
  2. The fact that Microsoft was deemed a monopoly and violated the Sherman Antitrust Act has not changed, and there is still an open-ended legal question concerning what exactly will happen to Microsoft.
  3. The economy has made computer users much more resistant to software “churn,” and it remains to be seen if Windows XP is enough of a step forward to get people to open their wallets.
  4. How can you watch Ballmer on stage and not want to short the stock?

10:32:24 PM  

CNET: Marimba wins software technology patent. “The patent, titled ‘System and Method for the Distribution of Code and Data,’ relates in part to the automatic distribution and updating of software applications and data over a network”
10:26:37 PM  

CNET: Apple cuts sales jobs.
10:22:28 PM  

Salon: The failure of zero tolerance. “How did we get to the point where such innocent mistakes and minor misdeeds have become grounds for expelling and arresting students? Where did the infiltration of a criminal justice mentality in schools become so blatant as to subject students to “three strikes” laws? And why do these practices continue to be justified in the name of fairness and school safety?”
10:21:58 PM  

CNET: Web banks come up short on privacy. CDT Associate Director Ari Schwartz: “Some banks are leading the field in offering customers the choice they are demanding regarding privacy. Others are making it difficult for customers to opt for privacy, while many are taking coverage under exceptions in the law that allow them to share customer data without offering any opt out.”
10:18:46 PM  

Netizen News: Mexican immigrant returns $203,000 lost by armored truck
10:17:58 PM  

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Russian indicted in copyright case. “U.S. officials indicted a Russian software programmer and his Moscow-based employer on Tuesday on charges of violating a controversial new U.S. copyright law, signaling the collapse of plea-bargain talks in a case that has sparked international protests.”
11:30:32 PM  

Salon: Stuffing MTV’s ballot box. It’s unrefreshingly reassuring to see that the Music Industry seems to stoop as low as the American political intustry.
11:28:48 PM  

Paul Boutin is Burning the Juice at Burning Man. Apparently he’s having no trouble with his 802.11b connection to center camp. Cool!

Reading between the lines in his comments on friday though, he seems to be under the misconception that you have to be a hippie to go to Burning Man.

I’ve been twice, both times with a group of geeky-type folks, which included a rocket-scientest from the JPL, who is most definitely not a hippie. As for myself, if you count someone with long hair, liberal politics, and a moderate socialist bent a hippie, then I guess I qualify, though I think the term geek (or even -gasp- nerd) seems to me to be a more appropriate label.

BTW, I don’t smoke pot, don’t really like the Grateful Dead, have mixed feelings about public nudity, and never owned a Volks Wagen. :-p

OTOH, I think polyamory is OK as long as those involved all agree, I believe in the power of love in all forms, and I marched on Washington during the Vietnam war (on my mom’s shoulders as a babe)…. Oh, and I’m a Reedie. 😉

Label me if you must.
11:13:53 PM  

Dictionary.com Word of the Day: profuse.
2:58:29 AM  

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CNN (AP): Astrology school in Arizona gets accredited. Whatever.
5:29:11 PM  

Wired: The Over-Testing of America?. “‘They want to go back to the good old days when I despised school and hated my teacher,” Stager said. “Kids were quiet; you filled them with stuff and they regurgitated it on tests. Education was something done to you.'” (Stager is an adjunct professor of education at Pepperdine University.)
1:56:28 PM  

BBC: Happy birthday Linux.
1:50:09 PM  

Joshua Allen: “Few people outside [Microsoft] realize how much key software is written (and tested) by interns. The interns often are given projects that are more ‘experimental’, and while these carry lower risk of putting Microsoft out of business, they often turn into some of the cooler features that get shipped.”
1:48:07 PM  

spacetoday.net: Deep Space 1 recovers from attitude control problem.
1:45:30 PM  

Cruel Site of the Day: Putting the X in Text.
1:44:30 PM  

trained monkey “i’ll admit to have a soft-spot for any language that allows question-marks in identifiers.”
1:37:05 PM  

Dictionary.com Word of the Day: bacchanalia.
1:33:35 PM  

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Simon Fell: “For grins, go and work out how much it costs to license SQL 2000 Enterprise on a quad proc server thats running an internet connected website.”
4:07:57 AM  

AthenaDoc: “I believe that demeaning, degrading and abusive behavior toward anyone will result in a continuing cycle of violence. Only when the more powerful aggressor sees a reason to stop can this cycle be interrupted.”
4:06:49 AM  

Wired: Remembering a Hacker’s Hacker. “The friends and admirers who memorialized legendary German hacker Wau Holland on Friday did their best not to turn the man into a saint… That would be too boring.”
4:04:53 AM  

trained monkey: “golly, i’ve been invited to join the republican presidential roundtable, for a mere five grand a year. i feel so honored.”
4:02:44 AM  

Dictionary.com Word of the Day: intrepid.
4:01:46 AM  

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CNET: AOL, MSN at bottom of Web survey. “The world’s two largest Internet service providers, AOL Time Warner’s America Online and Microsoft’s MSN, came out on the bottom of a [Consumer Reports] customer satisfaction survey.”
1:22:30 AM  

Industry Standard: Salon Secures Funding But Will Slash Staff. “San Francisco-based Salon Media Group, publisher of online magazine Salon.com, said Thursday that it has received $2.5 million in new financing – but will have to lay off 14 employees to satisfy conditions of the funding.”
1:18:16 AM  

BBC: Bush backs stem cell research. “In the first nationally-televised speech of his presidency, he said he had come down in favour of funding because of the potential for new cures for chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s – from which many millions of Americans suffer.”
1:14:47 AM  

New Scientist: US spy satellites in ‘false’ orbits. “America’s spy satellites are not in the orbits the Pentagon says they are, according to a respected space analyst… The errors will add to concerns over George W. Bush’s plans to place weapons in space. If today’s satellite orbits cannot be trusted, opponents reason, how will we verify the numbers of future space-based anti-missile lasers and anti-satellite weapons?”
1:10:42 AM  

BBC: FBI ordered to reveal bugging trick. “A judge in the United States has ordered the FBI to reveal how it bugged the keyboard of the son of a mafia boss. But [the FBI] refused to reveal how the bugging was done, arguing that this would endanger national security and FBI investigators.”
1:06:05 AM  

Aah, the Irony: CNET is reporting that Microsoft has confirmed that some Hotmail servers were infected with the Code Red worm. I’m getting 20-30 hits an hour from Code Red. Good thing I’m not running IIS.
12:02:08 AM  

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Scientific American, of which I’m a fan, posted the American Soceity of Mechanical Engineers’ list of the ten Mechanical Wonders of the Modern World… Well, they’re not all “mechanical”, but they certainly are wonders…
11:56:57 PM  

Speaking of mechanical wonders, Wired did an interview with Mark Pauline of Survival Research Laboratories. If you ever have a chance to check out one of their “performances”, I recommend it. Bring earplugs.
11:46:52 PM  

Dictionary.com Word of the Day: agon.
11:38:26 PM  

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James Spahr: NewsFeedsPalm. “This is a very simple tool for Radio Userland. It publishes your Userland On the Desktop content to a website that is ideal for Avantgo Channels. It basically puts Userland On the Desktop on your Palm.” [via Aaron]
10:40:13 PM  

Brad Hodges did an interview with John McCrea and Vincent di Fiore, the lead singer and trumpet player for Cake. When Hodges asked what they would do differently if they were starting today instead of in ’91, McCrea said, “We would probably just broadcast all of our shows over the Internet.” Make of it what you will. 😉
10:35:58 PM  

It comes as no surprise to me that Microsoft is appealing to the Supreme Court. Here’s coverage: AP, CNET
10:26:47 PM  

Cosmiverse.com: Dead Sea to Disappear by 2050.
10:20:30 PM  

CNET: Corel to buy XML company for $36 million. “Corel on Tuesday said that it has agreed to purchase SoftQuad Software in a move to boost the Internet resources in its desktop-publishing applications.”
10:16:41 PM  

David Rogers is looking for a job…
10:15:15 PM  

New York Times: Astronomers See Evidence of First Light in Universe. “Like two distant streetlights, one inside a fog bank and one outside, the quasars appear different when observed with powerful telescopes, apparently confirming that the universe went through a major change when it was about 900 million years old.”
10:13:27 PM  

Are you a left-wing wacko?
10:09:12 PM  

iWon: Scantily-Staffed Call Center Seeks Nudists.
10:08:32 PM  

Dictionary.com Word of the Day: permeate.
10:07:44 PM  

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Hey Paul, here’s that link you asked for. 😉
11:01:14 PM  

I missed it yesterday, but congratulations to Adam and Patricia Curry on 13 years of marriage!
10:40:33 PM  

SF Gate: S.F. drivers brace for leap in sidewalk parking fines. “Today, the Board of Supervisors will consider increasing the fine for sidewalk parking from $25 to $50. The board also may double — in some cases triple — fines for 19 other violations.” Um, guys… we need more parking spaces. How about some affordable garages downtown.
9:46:49 PM  

Wired: MS Sends Listbot to the Heap. “Other list servers have been flooded with hordes of frustrated ListBot members who are now being asked to pay for something that used to be free. FreeLists, a small site specializing in technology-related lists, posted the message ‘Welcome, former ListBot members!’ on its front door.”
9:03:17 PM  

I think this video clip of Steve Balmer is rather terrifying. Why does he look so angry?
8:40:46 PM  

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Overheard on MeFi: “I see some parts of the anatomy are aerodynamically designed, while others are not.” [link Rated R for Ridiculous]
4:55:54 PM  

David Rogers on the corrosiveness of fear: “So, now we have the situation where our fear of economic losses has persuaded us to surrender some of our legitimate rights as consumers, and, what’s worse, criminalize behavior which was formerly legal and of some benefit to society at large.”
4:49:02 PM  

Dann Sheridan: “My brother called me up the other day and said, ‘I’m going to write a blogger program.’ I said, ‘Great! Why don’t you take a look at Manila, Blogger, Zope, and Slash before you sit down and start coding. A lot of people have already done a lot of thinking about applications like this and you may be able to improve on some features, copy others, or use one of these applications and begin contributing to the community.'”
4:42:33 PM  

Speaking of web services, Craig Murphy has a Jive Translator SOAP service. I tried this:

“Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the Internet.”

…and it came back with:

“Now it da damn time fo’ all baaaad dudes t’ mosey on way down t’de aid uh de Internet.”

LOL. Unfortunately, the browser-based demo only works in IE 5 for Windows.
4:39:54 PM  

Dictionary.com Word of the Day: fallible.
4:29:02 PM  

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CNET: House panel passes Web-tax ban. “A U.S. House of Representatives panel voted Thursday to bar states from taxing Internet access and extend for five years a ban on other Internet-specific taxes, declining to approve legislation that would help states tax online commerce.”
11:24:55 PM  

Daddy Gravity: “…Good honest cynicism gives me a perverse kind of hope.”
11:19:37 PM  

What if other industries worked the way health insurance works?.
11:16:37 PM  

SOHU.com: Hawking to get British accent with new “voice”.
11:15:57 PM  

John Robb: “Die pop-up advertiser, die!!!!” [emphasis added]
11:14:01 PM  

Chicago Tribune: Files erased in Florida, damaging election review.

“As [Palm Beach County elections officials] prepared for the new election, they wiped out computer files showing how each ballot was punched in the presidential election… The data is especially important because Palm Beach was one of the key counties in the five-week recount process that ultimately sent President Bush to the White House… The punch card ballots themselves were not destroyed but cannot be accurately recounted because they have been extensively handled and possibly damaged since Election Day.”

Seems to me that there’s an awareness problem here. Most people are probably used to thinking of computer data as less tangible, and more temporary than data on hard-copy. Somehow this makes its preservation less important, but clearly in this case it’s more important, since the originals degrade with handling (a.k.a. data access). Museum curators have known for a long, long time that you don’t let your visitors handle delicate originals — you let them have a facsimile instead. Maybe the Palm Beach County elections folks understand a little better now, why you keep backup copies of important data.
1:19:59 AM  

SF Gate: Slap the PUC
It May Be the Last Chance to Protect Independent ISPs From Extinction
. “… PacBell has proven unable to keep up with DSL demand. It would be difficult to come up with a more effective way to further accelerate the current downward economic spiral than putting the state’s remaining independent ISPs out of business.”
1:13:21 AM  

The Register: Mac OS X 10.1 leaks confirm speed bump. [via Hack the Planet]
1:10:11 AM  

The Flangy News: “Whenever I see the term ‘work flow’ my eyes glaze over.”
1:09:16 AM  

Dictionary.com Word of the Day: machination.
1:07:50 AM  

My brother would probably be interested in these.
1:07:08 AM  

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