Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Friday, July 21, 2006

Internet News Isn't What It's All Wrapped Up To Be

An interesting view that says we are less served by internet news than newspaper. The author has been writing on the Internet since 1997 so he has a bit of cred.

PBS | I, Cringely . July 20, 2006 - They Wrap Fish, Don't They?

Friday, July 07, 2006

No silver bullet for energy

Armed Liberal has some thoughts on the many small steps that can be taken regarding energy policy and argues that there is no big answer and it is not useful to look for one. I agree with that point. Lots of little steps every day. Look to yourself for what can be done and share ideas.

Winds of Change.NET: The 3% Solution
From my point of view, there are three reasons energy is worth some serious investment:

1. Slow the rate of carbon emissions, in the off chance that they will have an impact on global warming.

2. Slow the rate of investment in jihad by the oil-rich Arab states, who have been the principal financiers of the spread of the core religious ideology that - when combined with alienation and anomie - leads to recruits who blow themselves and others up.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Picasa Beta: Web Albums

I hear you. Posted by Picasa This was posted from the latest Picase beta. The new feature is publishing to web albums.

The UI is a little cleaner. It has been updating my thumbnails for way too long. Several times when I have just left it to run, it eventually got hung up and I had to kill the app. I am now trying to exit Picasa every once and a while to see if that helps. I have not yet tried the web albums.

Updated: Labels are now called Albums. They don't seem to have changed much except for two "built-in" albums: ScreenSaver and Starred Photos. Under the Create pulldown menu, there is an Add To Screensaver option. As soon as you put a file in there, there is a new screen saver available.

Intro to SOA

ABCs of SOA - ABCs - CIO
This is a pretty good article introducing the concept of Service-Oriented Architecture. As with all buzzword related to IT, the following caveats are true:
  • It is a new way of looking at things.
  • It is not a new way, just a evolution of current thinking.


The Truth About SOA - CIO is a good opinion piece by Christopher Koch about SOA. Koch is a writer for CIO with a good mix of optimism and scepticism regarding new technology.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

government overreach #2

Connecticut will suspend any high school football coach that runs up the score by more than 50 pts. This is a real problem, but a very bad solution. I like the suggestion below. There is a 10-run rule in baseball, why can't there be a 50 point rule in football?

The Volokh Conspiracy - -
The problem, it seems to me, is quite real: It is indeed dispiriting and embarrassing to be so badly beaten. One possible solution (which the story describes, but which wasn't adopted) is to stop the game when the score gap gets too large. Another is to split the league into divisions in each of which the teams would be more closely matched, though that might not work well for a small league. There are other reasonable alternatives as well.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Fertile Ground for businesses

There is a strong sense of "start your own business" here in America. I can't speak to other countries, but it does seem strong here. This Slashdot Article (Slashdot | Why Startups Condense in America) discusses a few interesting points. I usually find the Slashdot discussion more interesting that the original article. I'm not sure there is much value in comparing countries unless you are trying to understand how to create an environment more friendly to small businesses (which should be a primary goal of government at all levels).

Sunday, June 11, 2006

My Space and your future

From the New York Times (registration may be required). Companies are using My Space and FaceBook to learn more about job candidates. What's in your FaceBook?

For Some, Online Persona Undermines a Résumé - New York Times
Many companies that recruit on college campuses have been using search engines like Google and Yahoo to conduct background checks on seniors looking for their first job. But now, college career counselors and other experts say, some recruiters are looking up applicants on social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, Xanga and Friendster, where college students often post risqué or teasing photographs and provocative comments about drinking, recreational drug use and sexual exploits in what some mistakenly believe is relative privacy.

Friday, June 09, 2006

By his hands alone

If you just look at the people whose death he was directly involved with, he is a murderer first class. Just for that, the world is a better place for him being dead. The folks at Powerline in the article below match my sentiments: glad he is dead for what he has done and a step in the healing of Iraq from Saddam and the terrorists. The fact that it isn't a huge step should not detract from the fact that it is very good news.

Power Line: Iraqis Celebrate Zarqawi's Death
PAUL adds: There's something seriously wrong with any non-terrorist anywhere in the world who isn't celebrating Zarqawi's death. The world has become a better place, and Americans are a bit safer too -- as we would have been safer if the Clinton administration had taken advantage of one of its opportunities to kill or nab a certain other master terrorist during the late 1990s.

On the other hand, I don't think Zarqawi's demise is going to change things in Iraq. It's unlikely to have any effect on the strife between Sunni and Shiite, and in all likelihood al Qaeda has other leaders in Iraq who can replace Zarqawi. A power struggle may break out among them, but a power struggle may already have broken out (and possibility contributed to Zarqawi's end).

There may have been a time when Zarqawi played something like an indispensable role in Iraq, but if so that time probably has passed. Progress in Iraq is going to be gradual, and I think it's overly optimistic to be talking about this being a "tipping point."

we can only hope



Winds of Change.NET: "And then one day, God showed up . . . "
The slackening of the appeal of radicalized, violent Islam will almost certainly be accelerated by Zarqawi's death.

You learn a lot by how people react to news...

Love the last line...

OpinionJournal - Best of the Web Today
Iraqis Whoop It Up, Palestinians Don't "Iraqi citizens took to the streets celebrating Abu Musaab Zarqawi's death on Thursday," reports the Kuwait News Agency: Joy filled Baghdad's hot streets, as gun shots sounded through the air, and cars packed with overjoyed Iraqi's roamed the streets. Iraqis were sharing sweets with people outside their homes. Civil organizations paraded as they condemned violence chanting "death to Zarqawi and Saddamites." Thursday's celebrations could be compared to the jubilation in Baghdad's streets the day Saddam Hussein was captured. Some Palestinians reacted similarly to the attacks of Sept. 11, but their reaction to today's was more subdued, reports the Jerusalem Post: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's death was only a minor loss to the anti-US resistance movement in Iraq, the Palestinian foreign minister said Thursday. Mahmoud Zahar, a member of the new Hamas-led government who has been meeting Pakistani officials in the capital of Islamabad, said the Palestinians are "blessing every effort to eliminate the existence of occupation." "We are dead sure that assassination of any of the people (like al-Zarqawi) who are resisting will not . . . end the resistance," Zahar said at a press conference. Remember this the next time someone says America should have let the Iraqis rot under Saddam Hussein and concerned ourselves with the Palestinians instead.

OpinionJournal - Best of the Web Today
Iraqis Whoop It Up, Palestinians Don't
"Iraqi citizens took to the streets celebrating Abu Musaab Zarqawi's death on Thursday," reports the Kuwait News Agency:

Joy filled Baghdad's hot streets, as gun shots sounded through the air, and cars packed with overjoyed Iraqi's roamed the streets. Iraqis were sharing sweets with people outside their homes.

Civil organizations paraded as they condemned violence chanting "death to Zarqawi and Saddamites." Thursday's celebrations could be compared to the jubilation in Baghdad's streets the day Saddam Hussein was captured.

Some Palestinians reacted similarly to the attacks of Sept. 11, but their reaction to today's was more subdued, reports the Jerusalem Post:

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's death was only a minor loss to the anti-US resistance movement in Iraq, the Palestinian foreign minister said Thursday.

Mahmoud Zahar, a member of the new Hamas-led government who has been meeting Pakistani officials in the capital of Islamabad, said the Palestinians are "blessing every effort to eliminate the existence of occupation."

"We are dead sure that assassination of any of the people (like al-Zarqawi) who are resisting will not . . . end the resistance," Zahar said at a press conference.

Remember this the next time someone says America should have let the Iraqis rot under Saddam Hussein and concerned ourselves with the Palestinians instead.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Vista prep tool

This is a handy thing. It didn't recognize my processor speed but I really like the concept. The more of this that is out there, the better IT departments can prepare.

Ken Lince - Partner Technology Specialist : Get Ready For Windows Vista - Check Out the Web Based Upgrade Advisor Tool
Get Ready For Windows Vista - Check Out the Web Based Upgrade Advisor Tool

The Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor is a small beta application that you can run on your current Windows XP-based computer to find out if it's ready for an upgrade to Windows Vista. When you run the Upgrade Advisor, it will scan your computer and generate an easy-to-understand report of any known system and device compatibility issues, along with recommendations on how you can get your PC ready for Windows Vista. Microsoft plans to add functionality to Upgrade Advisor, such as checking how your software applications will run with Windows Vista. Download the beta version today and check this site in a few months for a new version.

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/getready/upgradeadvisor/default.mspx

Very impressive R/C Plane demonstration

Small gym, in time the music. This pilot is really good.

essays & effluvia: Amazing R/C airplane demo

government overreach #1

Law's reach has Little Falls perplexed
So, in last month's closing days of the Legislature, a bill aimed at saving the mansions was pushed through with the help of state Rep. Greg Blaine, R-Little Falls, who disputes the idea that it would do more than stop a sale.
This is silly. Why should there be a state law passed just so that one side of a totally internal city debate wins? The state should not have been involved in this matter at all. It would serve them right if it impacted other things. And if they have to "fix it in the next session", that is more state tax dollars paying for this.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Heather has a chatty-kathy doll. For real!

dooce: Legacy
While on a walk through the neighborhood this morning Leta started talking and didn’t stop until we got back inside and I stuck a sippy cup in her mouth.

National Night Out

We ar considering doing this for our block. Our Fair City has an easy permit system to have a block party with the streets blocked off and everything. But I'm not sure that people would go for it since everyone parks on the streets.

What is National Night Out?

It's America's Night Out Against Crime!

The "23rd Annual National Night Out" (NNO), a unique crime/drug prevention event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW), has been scheduled for Tuesday, August 1, 2006. We cordially invite you and your community to be a part of our NIGHT OUT 2006 team.

.2.

.2. They showed up later. Scruffy. Nervous. Looking vaguely like they had done something wrong but they weren’t quite sure what it was. But they knew that everyone else did. “Hey man,” the leader muttered, “sorry, we’re late. We just…”

“Yeah, Yeah, Yeah,” he snapped. “Spare me. Are you ready?”

Several mumbled yups and yeahs came out.

“Get in the car.” He said, slamming his door shut to make his point.

.1.

“So?” he wondered aloud. He had been waiting for over an hour and was frustrated. He knew the excuse he was going to hear and he didn’t like it one bit. It was the same every time and it was getting old.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

High School Typing Class

Das Keyboard - The Blank Keyboard for Demanding Users.

They should have had this in my high school typing class. I had a lot of fun in that class. Actually, probably too much fun. I started out at 23 word/minute using a full page typed over a minute for testing. During the class, I made it up to 60 words/minute, using a sentence typed repeatedly over a minute. I memorized the sentence and stared at the keyboard. The final test was the full page test again.

20 words/minute.

But I did learn the important fact that one of those typing pencil-style erasers can be sent across the room if placed into a manual typewriter just so and the H key struck hard.

...

Divorced parents. High school graduation. Who has the party? Have to put a happy face on things for the young man.  Party is at her place.  Not looking forward to it.  

UPDATED: Turn out to be not so bad. My mom and sister (with her family) were there. Mrs. JAB was a real trouper. She felt weird being at my ex’s house, but she stayed with me the entire time. Her son and daughter stopped by also. The Young Man had a great time with lots of his friends showing up and staying a long time. Turns out it was the last party of the day and everyone just came and hung out.    

Friday, June 02, 2006

...

My oldest son is graduating from High School. College in the fall, fortunately here in town. He and I are going on a road trip this summer to catch a Cub's game and a pro soccer game in Columbus Ohio.

iDont

iDon't
For those that think the iPod craze has gone too far. I don't think it has. I bought mine two years ago and still use it heavily. I dream of the video iPod, but I can't justify it.

Friday, January 13, 2006

In the beginning...