July 28, 2000

Lots of new things this week. Let's see.
First off ... Swish ... A VERY cool beginner's Flash creation tool. Create Flash animations quickly and easily. This tool is made for text effects, and has some very cool effects built into the program. With it, you can quickly make professional-quality animations for use on your website. Check it out at www.swishzone.com. I chalked up the $30 and made some neat stuff. Like, take a gander at this: members.tripod.com/rgautier/wma.html Pretty neat stuff, eh?
Let's see, what else was there?
Oh yeah, Napster is closed down by judge's order...and the point is? Don't flaunt your obvious felonies in public?
Found some really neat fonts at larabiefonts.com.
I had some other stuff to say, but my impression with Swish is just so overwhelming that I forgot what else to say!

July 17, 2000

Went to the National Gallery of Art this weekend on Saturday with my son. He's 6 years old and isn't all THAT interested yet, but he has fun being with me and I think it's important to get culture into that thick head of his. He needs SOMETHING besides Pokemon his whole life. We went to the modern gallery, as I enjoy modern art more than religious and scenery paintings and such. I took some pictures with my digital camera [MagicImage 500-I/O Magic]. They came out good enough for background images. Another fun museum is the Hirshorn [sp?], although some people don't agree with my taste. I think they have plenty of thought-provoking displays and while I may not agree with all the messages, I find the artist's thoughts interesting. On Sunday, we played Monopoly and other games, such as Go-Fish and stuff, staying inside for most of the day.
I finished Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. It was a good book, and got more and more exciting the deeper you got into it. Now I just can't wait for books 5, 6 and 7! A friend of mine has introduced their daughter to the series, and she's nuts about it. I think it's great to get kids interested in reading. My son gets interested, but he's not a voracious reader. I wonder if that's good or bad because I see a lot more socialite in him than I saw in myself as a child. Still, he reads well, and understands when he wants to put forth the effort; I've just got to get him to slow down long enough to do so.
I've found something I like now...beef jerky. Not that I'm turning into a survivalist or some kind of macho hunter. It's a great snack. You have to put so much energy into actually eating it that the calories are practically gone before you've swallowed it, and it's certainly much better than a box of Pringles(tm) to be chewing on. Teriyaki beef jerky is the flavor I've hooked myself on. The only problem with this new habit is the price....$5.99 for 4 oz. of snack, while it lasts a while, seems excessive. I think I've found me some better deals on eBay, but we'll see if they live up to the promise.
Out for now...Rich

July 13, 2000

I've updated the page a little - Use the URL at http://members.tripod.com/rgautier to see the changes. Basically, the blog file is an include file in the main site format. I'll be editing the main site format without having to manually edit the blog file. That will allow me to easily change either the blog or the out of band comments without affecting the other.
You know all this Napster nonsense in the news? It's kind of obvious that the news people aren't clued in. No matter how much the RIAA or Napster think this case is important, it isn't. There are already 10s of tools for sharing music on the Internet, and none of them have the centralized control that Napster had. For example, there are now Napster clone servers that will do what the Napster servers did. I haven't heard of any of them being sued by RIAA yet. And with applications like Gnutella, which doesn't work off a centralized server, you have a complete network of music pirates without any central way of shutting down their network. Even if the company named Napster is forced to shut its doors, the mere idea of it was enough to spark an overrun of pirated music over the Internet.

There are important issues, though, such as whether or not Internet radio stations are paying for the music they are broadcasting. I don't know if the judge or anyone else in the case will bring this point out, though. Another point: Napster may be found guilty of aiding and abbetting a felon, but I don't see how they can be held responsible for piracy. They didn't take the position of editor on their servers, and were merely a conduit for pirates. The aiding and abbetting though is more of a proof of intent. I think that should be fairly easy for the prosecution if he decides to go for that clause.

The really interesting thing to come of this of course IS Gnutella's network, since this tools allows so much to be done on the Internet that wasn't done very well before. Gnutella is a complete sharing tool that uses a distributed network over the Internet. Practically invulnerable to shutdown, this little network tool is what the Internet was originally meant to be, IMHO.

First off, I'm halfway through Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Fun book, fun series. I like light reading because it allows parts of my mind to rest while exercising my language and reading centers. This book is just as good as the other three so far, if not even a little more exciting.

I went to the SPOCK meeting on Tuesday. That's Security Proof of Concept Keystone, a consortium designed to help the government analyze security products off the shelf for their own needs. At it, there was virtual sandbox application that sandboxes anything you download through web, email, ICQ, etc and watching what those documents do to ensure they behave. It was catching viruses right and left without any virus scanner software, and successfully blocked a buffer overflow I sent to their sales team via email. Used in conjunction with a virus scanner, I'd have to say this is the next step in detecting 'bad' code for the end-user to protect himself.

July 11, 2000

Tired this morning. On my way to a meeting in MD where the government looks at COTS products to solve security solutions within the governmental realm. Alot of security talk and a lot of new product information there. I hope I don't fall asleep driving there. It's funny that I just wrote that, cuz I'm thinking now that the police will find this post after they find my body. That would be weird, wouldn't it..

July 10, 2000

Like sketches, writing is an art form. With some rules, each artist utilizes his medium to produce thought in the viewer. Memtic might be an associated term. Convinced that the thought he wishes to convey is important, he may persuade you to think his own way. Valid thought? Yes. Entirely true? Based on provable fact? What of opinion? What is its importance? Where did it originate? and with what motive?
Can an artist create without motivation? a writer? I ask too many questions, answering none. Perhaps that is why I am frozen? at a standstill of ideas. Is the new media creating another zombie computer? Am I just a disk drive? Having storage, yet no realization? Am I moved to act?
Gotta check out some other blogs and see what kind of a format I could put on this page.
If you're reading this, check out Desktop Dollars. It's a place that pays you just for being connected to the Internet and having their ad-bar on the screen.
This is a new thing I thought I would try, BLOGGING. It should allow me to make changes to my website without much work. For someone like me with lots of thoughts and no time, it may be a way to share myself with my friends easily.