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Showing posts from June, 2005

I love Ubuntu!

What on earth is "Ubuntu"? It's a Linux distribution... but you really ought to read a PCWorld.com article to learn why that's of any interest at all. I'm running it on a friend's old eMachines -- one that wouldn't even run Linspire 5.0. It's a 366 MHz Celeron; the only decent thing about it is its 256MB of RAM. Yet it's clipping right along with Ubuntu. Need a spare place to surf the web? Grab an old machine, throw Ubuntu on it... and, yes, I know that "throw Linux on it" is a common phrase, but Ubuntu actually makes it possible!

You'll be hearing more about this!

Chickadees rock!

I always thought chickadees were cool (and cute!), but now we learn that they're bright, too, because Study: Chickadee Song Warns of Danger - Yahoo! News

"Recent Posts" Sidebar Code for Blogger Basic -- close, but not quite

I've been trying to find a way to list something newer than "previous posts" when y'all click on the link to one of my old posts. I had hope in a snippet of code described as "Recent Posts" Sidebar Code for Blogger Basic, but when you click one of the posts, the title lists the "archive title" rather than the real title of the post.

Why does that matter? Because Google displays ads based on the title. So the title ends up being fairly important!

I found a fix, which works on the main page, but on individual post pages the only thing it lists is the current post.

Point being, we're not there yet!

More to Las Vegas than golf

I've been thinking about reviving my plans for a trip down to the desert southwest (at some point... probably not during the summer, considering that it's 96 degrees all the way up here!). And as I was pondering that I came across this site: Scenic Airlines - Grand Canyon Tours and Vacations - Grand Canyon & Monument Valley. So we could fly into Las Vegas cheap, and then do this tour, which is pretty pricey but might be a nice way to get everything squeezed into a single day. Hmmm.

Eleanor Mondale begins battle with brain cancer

A reminder that you're only one heartbeat, one accident... and one diagnosis away from confronting eternity. Never saw this one coming (who does, I guess?) but now Eleanor Mondale begins battle with brain cancer.

Google conquering the world...

I wonder what life on the Internet will look like once Google goes head-to-head with PayPal? (Google To Offer E-Payment Service - Yahoo! News)

When a kid's crush becomes real...

Okay, I gotta admit, "creepy" is the only word that came to mind when I ran into this quote while reading the news that
Tom Cruise proposes to Katie Holmes at Eiffel Tower
: "The former star of television's 'Dawson's Creek'' grew up with a poster of Cruise on her bedroom wall and has said she grew up wanting to marry him."

Sure, I grew up wanting to marry Brooke Shields (which, remember, was back in the days of "Want to know what gets between me and my Calvins? Nothing.")... but this Tom/Katie thing is still creepy.

Between Two Worlds: Liberals, Class, and the Tragedy of American Compassion

As someone who has pretty consistently argued that the "liberal" or "Democratic" position on many social issues is (on balance, in general, painting with a broad brush, etc.) more "Christ-like" than the "conservative" or "Republican" position, I was really intrigued by the post at Between Two Worlds: Liberals, Class, and the Tragedy of American Compassion

Something I'll have to read up on, in my non-existent spare time...

Google is Weird!

As evidenced by this page (put up on April 1, 2002... I wonder if that might have something do to with it?) at Google Technology: "By collecting flocks of pigeons in dense clusters, Google is able to process search queries at speeds superior to traditional search engines, which typically rely on birds of prey, brooding hens or slow-moving waterfowl to do their relevance rankings."

What punishment does Karla Homolka deserve?

According to a Canadian newspaper, "Three in four Canadians believe convicted sex killer Karla Homolka continues to pose a potential threat to the general public, just weeks before she is due to be released after having served 12 years in jail." This is just another example of the kinds of sex-crime-related laws we're seeing pop up in the U.S. And while, personally, I don't think there are punishments long and painful enough for rapists, murderers and child molesters... do we think there's a constitutional problem (different from, but not unlike, double-jeopardy) when we extend sentences beyond what judges intended? Especially in cases where that sentence was the result of a plea-bargain?

Spyware gets smarter?

It remains to be seen if this is going to be a real security problem "in the wild" but, in theory, it's a really big issue! Poisoned Updates May be the Next Bad Apple in the Spyware Basket : ArriveNet Press Releases : Technology: "States Tom Pimienta, Director of Technology at LogiGuard: 'I always feared such re-direction might be possible...next thing you know you're downloading "

Branding a "Tip Jar"

One of the things a lot of bloggers and podcasters do is put a "tip jar" on their site, where folks can contribute money through PayPal or the Amazon Honor system. This is the first example of one being "branded" with the donation pegged to a particular monetary scale -- in this case, Chais: Buy Dave A Cup of Chai? Wow! Dave says: "Thanks!"

The first thing that struck me was that it was like Heifer.org saying they were sending chickens to Afgahnistan, and then having to explain to dumb people that they weren't really cramming a bunch of baby chicks in cargo containers and shipping them across the ocean... they were sending money. (Details online; enjoy!)

The other thing I thought of as I looked at Dave's site again: I wonder if he partnered up with Starbucks to get a kick-back for the free advertising?

The "Emerging Church" is the next big thing!

You can tell something is getting popular when Amazon gives it its very own "store". I assume this was presented fairly prominently to me because of the books I've bought (and those I've expressed an interest in), but who knows... maybe everyone is seeking a promotion for Amazon.com: Emergent Faith Store

Hypocricy at Apple?

A comment from today's MacInTouch, which sounds surprisingly familiar: "[Michael Overton] When smaller news/websites broke the story of the Mac Mini, Apple's lawyers attacked. So now we have New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and such breaking the news of the Intel switch. Where are the lawsuits? Is Apple only attacking the newsies that are small enough to be less able to fight back?"

Since it's on the MacInTouch homepage now, we're sure to see some discussion about this really good question...

Progress means destruction, from the air!

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The aerial view of my former office building. The CAT is sitting on what was once the Child Development Center; my office is in the remaining section in the distance (which was obliterated this morning except for one wall).

Progress means destruction, from the ground!

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If you're wondering what happened last Thursday to the building I officed in for a couple years (at the time I wrote my Fall "poem")... which happened to be the same building where Ruth and I had our first (and, if memory serves, only) class together... well, here it is.

FlashMeeting - The One Click Videoconference

Here's another example of collaborative learning/communication. FlashMeeting seems a bit awkward, but the concepts sure are coming together nicely!

(What I'm thinking is, wouldn't it be possible to do video switching automatically, based on who's talking? You'd still need some sort of "raise your hand" option to clarify in cases where people are talking over each other... but, actually, you wouldn't, becuase the software could just put that into a split-screen view. Hmmm... Probably would happen on a Mac first, since that's where the rendering engines and such already exist to do this kind of thing.)

Who will Apple sue now?

So, here's my unique spin on this story: Will Apple sue CNET the same way it sued AppleInsider.com? I bet you they won't! Why is that? A scoop is a scoop, right? Or are CNET's pockets just a bit too deep? (Or does Apple not want to weaken its case against one-man-shop web sites by going after a big corporation for doing the exact same thing? After all, how can you say that AppleInsider isn't "journalism" if you sue CNET's journalists?)

Anyway, the story is at Apple to ditch IBM, switch to Intel chips | CNET News.com: "update Apple Computer plans to announce Monday that it's scrapping its partnership with IBM and switching its computers to Intel's microprocessors, CNET News.com has learned. "

Is Big Brother watching (through Andrew Jackson's right eye?)

Okay, everyone. What do you make of this? Hoax? Dumb microwavers? Breaking news on a dramatic fact? This web site claims that RFID Tags in New US Notes Explode When You Try to Microwave Them

"Google Secret Lab"

Google uses real, live people?!? Apparently so! Wow! (Okay, there's a bit of hyperbole there). Anyway, here's an interesting story about a private Google site: Google Secret Lab, Prelude - Henk van Ess's Search Bistro
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This is a scan of something printed on a direct-mail envelope from RADirect, based out of Mahwah, NJ. It was printed beneath the flap, so it's covered when the envelop is sealed... and if I had opened the envelope by slitting the top, rather than by tearing the flap up, I'd never have noticed it. (Glue and paper stuck to all but the extreme left side, hence the poor scan quality.) Anyone out there read... Hebrew, maybe? Probably not, but it looks like it might read right-to-left. Thoughts?

"Bless Me, Blog, for I've Sinned" from the New York Times

I've talked about PostSecret before (or at least I hope I have; it's in my del.icio.us bookmarks, after all!) but here's an interesting take on it from the New York Times.

A sad, scary world...

Having just skimmed over the story Cult-Like Lure of 'Ana' Attracts Anorexics - Yahoo! News... wow, this is scary! "Dr. Mae Sokol often treats young patients in her Omaha, Neb., practice who personify their eating disorder beyond just Ana. To them, bulimia is 'Mia.' And an eating disorder often becomes 'Ed.'"

How do you raise a daughter in a world where this is getting more and more common?