Showing posts from October, 2005

Microsoft's laughable TOS

While upgrading my MSN Messenger, I actually read the Terms of Service (TOS), conveniently available online at .NET Messenger Terms of Use, Licenses, and Notices . My personal favorite? Point #3 in this disclaiming paragraph: "We consider your use of the Service, including the content of your communications, to be private. We do not routinely monitor your communications or disclose information about your communications to anyone. However, we may monitor your communications and disclose information about you, including the content of your communications, if we consider it necessary to: (1) comply with the law or to respond to legal process; (2) ensure your compliance with this contract; or (3) protect the rights, property, or interests of Microsoft, its employees, its customers, or the public." Put another way, "We promise we won't monitor you, unless it serves our interests in some way." Slick!

Who was Harriet Miers?

Now, we might never know... but here's a good summary quote to explain the feelings coming from pro-life people such as myself. In Women's group calls for Miers withdrawal-Nation/Politics-The Washington Times, America's Newspaper : "Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat: 'She spoke favorably of the importance of 'self-determination' in cases involving moral issues such as abortion and prayer, yet four years earlier, when running for Dallas City Council, she filled out a questionnaire from a pro-life group stating her support for a constitutional amendment banning abortion. And even more confusing, one year before that, she gave $1,000 to the Democratic National Committee,' Mr. Schumer said."

A MAIO Mystery Painting!

Some of you might remember a few months back I blogged about a painting that turned up in a photo of my uncle's living room from the 1960s: My loving parents were nice enough to buy me a MAIO print -- one that I'd remembered seeing years and years ago at an antique store, and I couldn't believe it was still there. It looks even better than my uncle's, because the green and yellow tones go with the den (it's hanging over my desk as I type this!) but it's a different one than Larry's. I always wondered if the one that my uncle had was a MAIO or just one of a similar style. On a whim I looked on eBay, and found this one: That's definitely a MAIO -- they have a photo of the signature in the eBay listing. And the buildings are absolutely identical to the painting my uncle had... if you start counting them from the right. But this painting on eBay right now is wider than my uncle's! The buildings in his just stop as you move from right to left, and t

Massive Psychic Therapy

In the pile of comments on a rambling blog post about search engine "optimizing" software, I came across this quote: "--- is a sick man. He need a massive psychic therapy" What exactly is "massive psychic therapy"? I could see calling for "extensive psychiatric therapy," sure. That would make sense -- may or may not be appropriate for the guy, but at least we know what you're talking about. But I'd really like to sit in on a session of "massive psychic therapy". Know any massive psychics I could talk to?

DNS Woes

My Palm Tungsten works like a champ right now on the EduCAUSE network, but my laptop no longer does valid address lookup. And I don't remember the IP addresses of our DNS servers. So I can get to the one server whose IP address I do remember, but that doesn't help much! Note to self: when bringing a laptop somewhere, jot down the IPs of the DNS servers and other vital servers I might need to use. :)

MIT's cool stuff!

Just got out of an incredible MIT presentation. Their iCampus complements their Open Courseware initiative and is very impressive. They have a DVD logging tool that has potential - keeps the DVD local so there are no copyright issues. Remote instrumentation would really help our science depts - or a HS science dept, too!

Lizards in...

Lizards in kings' palaces is an interesting metaphor, but for the reality that my hotel isn't fit for a king. But that's what greeted me this morning (or a gecko or salamander or such) - cute little guy! General session was from Ohio State. Cool stuff they're doing, but I wonder how they handle ongoing support. Too much "support" leaves no time to invent, but no support kills your inventions. Hmmmm...

Missing Vendors

If I ran the world, would be here demoing their iSkia projector product, and one of the many 3D LCD vendors (Sharp, DTI, etc.) would be showing off an autostereoscopic lenticular display. They're not. :( Their loss, right?

Serious Magic and ovation

SM has a new presentation product in beta called Ovation. Looks slick! No Flash export yet, but when it comes, Breeze will never be the same. - Typed and e-mailed live from EduCAUSE 2005; please forgive any typos or mistakes!

Scott McNealy Keynote perceptions

Got done watching Scott's keynote -- in which he joked about misspelling his econ prof's name, which made me realize that I misspelled Scott's name, which is a bad thing. Remember, "McNeely" is the name of the building at work; "McNealy" is the name of the Sun guy. :) Glad Blogger lets me edit things. :) Anyway, it was interesting -- he's way keen on thin-client everything, which is fine but I'm not sure it's the be-all/end-all of academic stuff in particular. And I really resonate with his goal to break down the digital divide... though I think Ubuntu running on old desktops might be a better solution in a lot of environments.

Scott McNealy LIVE

Sitting in row 5 of the Sun CEO keynote! Wow!

All the news that's fit to fake!

Here's a little clip from the blog Crooks and Liars . "Flooding! It's Bad! I need to Paddle a CANOE! oh, wait... PAY NO ATTENTION TO THOSE TWO MEN WHO JUST WALKED PAST ME!" Wow. I told Ruth she'd like this, but I didn't ever think she'd laugh as hard as she did.

Room in the garage?

Remember that helicopter I mentioned? I wasn't kidding. If I weren't afraid of crashing and dying a horribly painful death, I'd pick up an AirScooter II Ultralight Vehicle

Ewok Not Included

If you win the lottery, I'd like one of these , please. Just one is all I need -- I need to save room in the garage for the personal helicopter.

Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible - World - Times Online

Funny -- I was just talking about this on the podcast (Ericast #32 from -- go check it out.). Anyway, in the article Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible we read, "Similarly, they refute the apocalyptic prophecies of Revelation, the last book of the Christian Bible, in which the writer describes the work of the risen Jesus, the death of the Beast and the wedding feast of Christ the Lamb. "The bishops say: 'Such symbolic language must be respected for what it is, and is not to be interpreted literally. We should not expect to discover in this book details about the end of the world, about how many will be saved and about when the end will come.'" Ironically, all this Genesis and end-times stuff isn't dusty old mythology or the rantings of some dude named John exiled on an island; Jesus Himself talks about both things, a lot . He spends a surprising amount of time talking about mankind's sinfulness in the explicit context of

Hope for fair exceptions to the DMCA

Though you don't hear about it much, there is hope for those who've been digitally locked out of their content by the DMCA. As discussed in the inappropriately-titled article from Wired News: Any DVDs, Games You Want Cracked? : "If the copyright office finds instances where copy protection prevents fair use of the work, then those copy protections can be legally circumvented." Now, your chances of actually getting an exception declared for you are pretty slim, but at least they exist in theory...

On aborting 'babies'...

Sometimes, folks' rhetoric gets ahead of their ideology, and they accidentally speak the truth. Case-in-point: the attacks on Bill Bennett's absurd hypothetical in his recent radio program, which he used to try (in vain, given the response) to explain why arguing morality from a so-called pragmatic viewpoint easily results in evil conclusions. Jonah Goldberg observed something interesting: Notice how so many righteously offended liberals keep referring to fetuses as people. In the New York Times, Bob Herbert proclaims that Bennett considers "exterminating blacks would be a most effective crime-fighting tool." Schultz and McAuliffe say Bennett wants to exterminate "babies." Funny, I thought the bedrock faith of pro-abortion liberals is that fetuses aren't babies. Oops. Yeah, they forgot that part. Though, frankly, it probably doesn't matter to a lot of folks who hold a "pro-choice position". I actually had a coworker -- brilliant guy

Journalism 101 - How to Write Good

I came across the following quote in Outcry Prompts Bennett to Delay Talk - Yahoo! News : "He said later his point was that abortion should not be opposed for economic reasons because 'immoral policies are wrong because they are wrong, not because of an economic calculation.'" I'm willing to bet that what they meant was that "He later said his point was that aborshould should be opposed, not for economic reasons, but because 'immoral policies are wrong because they are wrong...'" But that's not what the author wrote!