September 29, 2000

Check out this item at Lifestyle Fascination. A Casio Wristwatch Camera. It's a black and white digital camera WITH DISPLAY that fits on your wrist, with time, calendar, alarms, stopwatch, databank, and storage for 100 pics! It connects to your PC for up and downloads and it's $199!
Man, if I had the money right now, I'd....probably buy something else...but if I had LOTS of money, I'd buy this. I LOVES gadgets.

September 27, 2000

Northern Dogs Forum has a message train that talks about a bad situation in Alaska where salmon have not returned to spawn. This is causing a problem for locals who depend upon the fish as a food source for their husky population. They are shooting their own dogs rather than let them starve to death due to the shortage. The most chilling entry is this message thread is the last line of this message, "....we have messed up big-time, and the fish are gone..."
Think about that. Close your eyes, and imagine the anguish of knowing that something we have done to the environment has caused this catastrophe. Rather than waxing poetic about it, I'll just let you stew on how deep a meaning that could have, and how it could happen to any of us.

September 24, 2000

Wow, you know, the weirdest things in the world happen by coincidence, and it always seems so amazing. As I may have already mentioned, I signed my son up for Cub Scouts. Now, when you sign up for Cub Scouts, you get to be recruited into the organization as well, because they need volunteers to run things. As some of you may know, I've already fallen for this and did some Little League coaching in the past. Well, I fell for it again, and when they asked for volunteers for den leaders, my hand went up. So did someone else's hand in our pack. His name is Gautier too, just like mine. And he has a son...the aforementioned in this column, the one with whom my son's school lunch record has been scrambled with. The one whose middle name is the same as my son's first, and whose first initial matches my sons middle initial. So, is this a small world or what? Mr. Gautier and I will be leading our son's cub scout pack this year, and I think we'll have plenty of fun doing it, but I just can't wait for all the administrative head-scratching it's going to cause. You just KNOW that some well-meaning administrator somewhere will decide that the paperwork must be wrong, and try to straighten it out by deleting one of the records in a computer, or ignoring half of the paperwork...especially mixed up when I submit a change of address at the same time. Whoo-boy....will keep you posted!

September 23, 2000

The cable is out. This happens just too often. The one problem I think I'm going to have with going to a cable modem is going to be when there are outages like this. With the phone system, I have never had it go out on me (although Sprynet has had problems in the past.). Using a dialup as a backup is going to suck big time once I get used to the speed of a cable modem.
My kid has a cold (and now a fever). Kids can be so miserable when they are sick. The poor guy wants to go outside and play but now that he has a fever, he's been put on restriction. With half of the cable channels gone, I'm really in a pinch, because he's still an extremely active kid and that means I have to be too. Gotta run.
It looks like the problems between BLOGGER and TRIPOD have cleared up. I'm glad for that. It was starting to stress me out having to do manual updates to my website. I picked up a new book: The Code Book. Nope, I still haven't finished those other books I'm reading, but this book caught my eye because it explained many different encryption schemes, and the history of them. Some of the European history in the book was very interesting, such as the story about Mary Queen of Scots, and how bad encryption was her downfall. I'm about halfway through the book now, and it still has my attention. The reviews at Amazon give it 5/5 stars, and I tend to agree with that rating. If you are interested in either history or cryptography, it's a good read.
My son began playing in the Pokemon League today. I sat with him and tried to help him play. Sometimes he took my advice, and sometimes he didn't. Kids are like that. They tend to think that they know everything and ignore their parents when they want to. I tried to just bite my tongue and let him make his own mistakes, and praised him when he made good choices by himself. Being a parent can be tough. As for the Pokemon League, it looked like fun. I might join myself :-)

September 21, 2000

One reason that I still pay for Internet access has been my web space. Recently, I've established this space here on Tripod and I've been slowly weaning off my ISP's email address and using a reflector adresss instead (found here). I'm going to be giving up my account at Sprynet when I move, since I'll be getting a cable modem.
The one difference between my Sprynet webspace and Tripod is support. We have had a problem blogging to Tripod recently, and there's no one I can call for support. I've left several emails for the support team without response. So, with cheap [or free] services, you get a lack of support services. This is important to remember as you utilize services in the new economy. It's not so new a concept, you know, getting what you pay for.
For those of you who want to help others, here's a web site that will make it easier. Helping.Org will help you find just the right volunteer opportunity to meet your (and their) needs. By checking for volunteer requirements in a ZIP code near you, you'll be able to find a way to volunteer for anywhere from an hour of your time up to full time. What's really nice about this is that even those of us with a full schedule can still find a way to help others, easily! What a great use of the Internet!

September 20, 2000

Here is a VERY cool article about: Coating Isolates Nuclear Waste. This article talks about a new coating called EKOR that will possibly enable us to stop nuclear radiation from contaminating the environment. For those of you who may not have learned in high school, radiation emissions from radioactive materials only diminishes with time. There is no known way to neutralize their radioactivity. Storing and transporting highly radioactive items is dangerous because the radioactive material breaks up as it diminishes. Flakes and dust that break off from the items are hazardous just as the original material is. These flakes and dust particles enter the surrounding environment (such as the water table) and pose severe bio-hazards. Shielding of radioactive materials is very difficult because the materials used to shield it are affected by the radiation itself and either become radioactive or break down completely. This new coating has stood up to a several month test where it is showing no such effects from its application to the most poisonous place on the planet - the Chernobyl nuclear reactor #4!
This has VAST importance! If this stuff works, it could allow us to possibly encapsulate nuclear waste, and maybe even eventually make it fairly safe to be handled, transported and stored with little or no effect on the surrounding biology.

September 19, 2000

Wow, you know what I just read? An Oklahoma State University student had his computer seized by the police for distributing illegal copies of music. Apparently, the student was ftping the files and lots of them from what the article said. The source is quoted as the 'Chronicle of Higher Education Online, September 18 2000'. I'm reading from an abstract service called Edupage by Educause.
The interesting thing about this is that it's touted as being 'news' that someone can be held liable for an illegal act. "Hello?!" This shouldn't be news. If you do something illegal, like copying music or programs, and you don't have at least an inkling that you COULD indeed be prosecuted for it, then your parents didn't do their job.
Ugh! I am so upset that this is such a big deal for everyone.

September 18, 2000

Does your organization run Microsoft Exchange? If so, do you have virus scanning that interfaces with it? If not, take a moment out of your busy day and visit HouseCall for Microsoft Exchange Server. They offer a free virus scan of your Exchange Server, to see if any viruses are still sitting in someone's mail box. They also offer a free house call scan of your local machine at this page if you're silly enough to run around without virus protection on your own machine.

September 17, 2000

Why do we weblog? It's a very strange thing we do, logging parts of our lives or our thoughts for the prosperity of it, for review by anyone who might happen across it. A weblog can never truly be a diary or journal, because it must be edited by human nature. There are pieces of my life I do not wish to share, and certainly pieces that you would never want to read about. There was a man who kept a journal of his life. I listened to an account of his life on the Don and Mike Show one day driving home from work. His case was very interesting, as he would log every detail of his life, from when he went to the john, what and when he ate, and minute by minute accounts of his day. It must certainly have taken him a good few hours each day to write this chronicle, and he filled up a room with his journal.
I don't think we who weblog do it for the same reasons that struck him, although some might. Myself, I began this only as an exercise of the mind. Not only the weblog but the creation of the surrounding web page is what excited me and interested me for the first few months (of which I am approaching rapidly). Maybe even some of my readership is no longer there. I can certainly see by my hitcount that I am not a universally subscribed to web log. And my repeat visitors is few and far between. So, this diary amounts to talking to myself. I wonder, does this equate me with the man walking down the street in animated conversation. Am I one of the first crazy men of cyberspace?
Isn't it interesting how when we begin to wax philosophically we end up just throwing out supposition and question, and never really get anywhere? Our train of thought is quickly lost in a rambling line of ideas that just streams nonsencially from our mind. As I was saying, I began this web log as an exercise for my mind. I wished to extend my abilities back into the realm of written ideas to better prepare me for exercises in the real world where I would need these skills. I don't know whether or not I've grown as a writer from my first weblogs, but I've learned a great deal about HTML in the meantime, and have enjoyed discussing my life with, well, myself.
If you happen to be a reader of my web log, please know that I appreciate your taking the time out to share a little part of my life with me. As I can only offer you a virtual cup of tea, I would like to do so. One lump, or two?

September 15, 2000

I can't believe that Napster is still in the news. Now they are making a claim that the Napster application itself should be considered the same as a VCR, because it allows users to 'time-shift' recordings. That means they are claiming that the Napster application is just another recording mechanism for content that allows the user to listen in a different way.
What I hope the judge can see is that Napster is NOT an MP3 ripper application. It is a file sharing application. An application that made no beefs about being able to share copyrighted music, an application that was developed without contacting the RIAA or anyone else to develop any form of copy protection (such as VCRs have built into them), and that the recordings they are 'time-shifting' is not live content at all. Isn't a CD already adequately time-shifted?
Sorry, just have to say it again. Napster was a short-sighted enterprise. It got the technology out there to promote a use of the Internet that will eventually re-invent the Internet. But trying to make a company out of it, and trying to convince the US Judicial system that they are in the right....that's just plain wrong.

September 14, 2000

I was just thinking how much I've uglied up the out-of-band section. For example, too many banner ads. I need to trim it down a bit. Also, the Java applet for the Missing Kids, while a nice idea, takes alot of memory to load up. I think I'll redo the index page yet again to try to make something a little more classy. Sometimes I get a click of a good idea...I wonder how to foster one at will?
I haven't rambled on for a bit on here. Thought I'd write what's going on.
We've started packing up the house. Boy is that going to be a chore. But our other choice is to let the movers pack it for about $1200. No way. We've got a few weeks, so a box or two a day, or even 5-10 each weekend should get us done. Just have to remember everything else going on in our life. We signed up our kid for the Cub Scouts. I remember Cub Scouts, and the friends I made, the sense of achievement when I earned badges and stuff. I figure it will be good for him, and hopefully keep him with the right types of friends. Who knows, if I foster it well, he may aspire to become an Eagle Scout some day.
Speaking of Eagle Scouts, I've been looking for an old friend named Eric Klein. I went to High School with him in South Brunswick, NJ (class of 1984) and I haven't been able to find him online at all. It seems strange to me how few people are online these days, considering how many people ARE online. Ooops, wrong track.. Anyways. If you know a 34 year old guy named Eric Klein, contact me at once, PLEASE.
I've seen some neat JavaScript posted on the Blogger home page. I may incorporate it into my site later on. There's just too many toys to play with on a web site, and I can't make up my mind what kind of style I want to exude. If I'm going for something that reflects myself, I think I've got it in this chaotic throw-together I have here.
By the way, I've started receiving the subscription to Wired Magazine that gave me for free. You see, if you signed up at WonderClick.Com, you got a free one-year magazine subscription. It's started coming, and my favorite tree-killer too, Wired. This magazine is ON TOP of things in a way noone else is. If you don't already read Wired, then you're just not a news hound at all.
Well, ta ta for to some other distraction. I'll be back with you all later, I guess.
Are you old enough to remember S&H Green Stamps? Even if you're not, you'll be interested to know that they've joined the 21st Century with a new name and a computer system! You can earn points for signing up for offers, or for buying things at their vendors. And points are just like the old stamp-books. Get enough stamps and score free stuff. Check it out at S&H! This award program has been around for 104 years, and it looks like they're set up to stay for yet another century.
While examining a local problem with our school district at Hayfield Pyramid Solutions Group, I got to thinking about how American life can never live up to the expectations that appear in TV and other media. The example that hit me was the one where the parents cheerfully yell upstairs to their children to hurry up and get ready for school. It's almost always bright and cheery outside whenever this happens in movies or TV shows, but at MY house, it's not like that. It's still dark. The sun hasn't woken up, and neither have we. Why do kids have to get up at 5:30 AM to get ready for school? What kind of sleep patterns are we teaching them? I put my child to bed at a reasonable 8:30, and thankfully he doesn't have to get up that early yet, but in a few years, he will, especially if they don't build a closer middle school. I think it's a crime to send a sleep deprived child off to school. What do you think?

September 12, 2000

Don't pay for what you can get for free. Seen those ads for Don't pay them $29.50 a year when you can get the same thing from Web Site for Alumni of US High Schools. Granted, Classmates.Com has a lot more advertising money, but this is coming from the people who pay to register there. Ad-supported HighSchoolAlumni.Com offers the same services...try it out!
Urban Legends hang their ugly heads again with this letter regarding Harry Potter and Satanism. Read David Emery's article entitled Harry Potter and the Chain of Fools at About.Com. 'nuff said...

September 08, 2000

I'm testing a new format. Please let me know how this page looks to you...
Remember when sliced bread came out? How happy you were? Maybe you're not old enough to remember that, but here's something that's just as great! -- always watching... is the title of a web site that will KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF! This web site watches the closed caption programming of a variety of television programming, from Financial and Sports to Kids programming and Entertainment. All you do is type in the keywords that interest you, and they will email you a short surrounding transcript anytime that keyword is mentioned! Set up a password, and you can edit your preferences a little more.
By default, when you enter in a keyword, it will notify you the next 3 times that keyword appears in any media they are tracking. When you set up a password, you can up that notification count to 10, and you can continue to up the count as you get closer to 0 in order to keep it active. Additionally, you can then select which types of programming to ignore. If you're looking for the word "Dallas" and you mean the TV show, you can turn off Sports programming, or vice-versa.
Try this out, really cool!

September 07, 2000

Just saw this article entitled Invisible Web Bugs Track Your Surfing. The first line reads Big Server is Spying On You. This was even given its own paragraph. UGH! There is a lot of thought that should go into how seriously you take this article. Please, go and read it, and then come back here...
I saw an article where Bill Gates was speaking about privacy on the net, and he made a wonderful point. How many places in the world can you walk out of a store and tell the store-owner, "Forget I was here, and what aisles I browsed. Don't look at which direction I came from. Don't discuss what I did in here with anyone. Don't remember what I bought or how many times I bought it. Don't remember how much I spent or if I used any coupons. All of this is private information and you have no right to it."
I read that [NOT word-for-word....I believe it was in this months Business 2.0 somewhere] and I thought, "He's SO right. He's hit the nail on the head". If I own a business (a web site) and I decide to hire a marketing company to help me expand my business, I'm going to share all kinds of information with the marketing company. I'll tell them all about my customers habits. The only thing I would consider private information is the name and address information I have for them [example, a pharmacy]. I'll tell them everything I can about my customer base, provided that the data doesn't include identity information.
And if the FBI comes by and asks me if Mr. Pipe-Bomb-Builder came in and bought 15 gallons of Clorox, I'm going to tell them that information, probably without even a warrant, because I want to cooperate with them. I would consider that type of information "shared information".
The information in a web-bug is no different from the information I get when the user requests a web page from me. In fact, you can get so much more information about the user than is mentioned in this article. The identifying information is only identifying in specific instances of dedicated IP addresses, which are usually businesses, not private dial-ins. And many businesses do their best to hide even that identification from the outside world through proxies and NAT.
Let me give you an example. You see the web-counter on this page? It garners all of that information in that article. I happen to know that some of the users who hit this page came from AOL. I also happen to know that they found me with search words containing pornographic references. I don't know WHO they are. Without a search warrant I doubt I could find out. But I do know now how certain search engines see my site. This is important information to me, and it doesn't 'belong' to those users. It belongs to the search engine that sent them to me AND that user. That search engine decided to pass on those parameters in the URL. That means they pass it on to me. I pass it on to my marketing company.
Bruno drives up to my store from the South-bound exit off I-44. I see him come in this way, and I log it. 10 more people come in the same exit. You think I shouldn't be allowed to know where they're coming from? How am I supposed to know where to put my billboard? If the FBI comes in and asks me did I see some guy in a pinstripe suit drive in off the southbound exit, can't I tell them? Now how about if Vinny calls me and tells me he's sending Bruno over to get some black powder. Bruno comes over and I don't deal in nblack powder. Now the FBI comes in again...wants to know why Bruno was here. Who's the slimeball now? Me or Vinny? If Vinny was smart he wouldn't go telling me why he's sending Bruno my way. He'd let me work that out with Bruno himself. Now howabout that? Bruno comes in from the South Exit, walks in and ASKS me for black powder straight out. This is different. Should I go sharing that information with my marketing guy? Sure! Maybe he'll tell me that in the past year, I've got 15 guys asking for it. Maybe I should consider selling it. Or maybe I should contact the FBI and have them tap into my store cameras so they can catch these dirtballs named Bruno.
I think there's a degree of privacy that you do give up when you get online. But I think you have the same problem with real life in general. As a webmaster, it's my responsibility to use what info I have to market my publication. If AOL wants to share that info with me, I'll use it. If you as a user don't like it, complain to the people that pass it on. Complain to AOL, Yahoo, Google, Hotbot, etc. Ask them to hide your search strings when they return your search results. But you can't expect people to throw away information you give them, that is unless you want Benjamin Franklin to stay behind to make sure I forget why you was in my store....
Just to plug them again, but mostly to thank them for this article on Moving Hints, I'd like to express my gratitude to for the advice on getting 3 quotes and an NTE quote on my move. This is due to be the best move I've ever made! Three companies, two different prices and one no-show(!). And I got an NTE [+10%] from them when I asked for it!
In this USA Today article, Harry Potter faces biggest foe yet in book censors, you will find that book banning is still in season. Being an avid reader myself, I have never been a fan of people who wish to ban books from library shelves. I can certainly understand a parents concerns, having a grade-school child myself, but I can't understand the idiocy that some people wish to perpetrate. The notion that this particular children's book will cause an otherwise normal healthy child to engage in occult activities is absurd. By the time the child is able to even comprehensively read these books, they should already be well aware of the difference between fantasy and reality.
I gave 'book banning' a whole new thought last night as I ruminated on both sides of the discussions. On one hand, a library is a place where a child can gain unfettered access to knowledge. On the other hand, there is certain types of knowledge that we attempt to protect our children from. I firmly believe that it is a parent's responsibility to act in the raising of a child and let them know what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. The child will help you with making sense of this, with their question of "Why?" when you tell them something is unacceptable. Banning a book from a public library does not absolve the parent from their responsibility. This particular book is probably so pervasive that your child could obtain it from any number of friends if you haven't made it clear that they are not to be reading it.
You know, there are certainly publications that the public library does not maintain, and that is a fine line that a librarian must consider. A lot of good books have been banned over the years, for countless reasons. But I don't think that any of the reasons are worthy of pushing your morals or judgements on others.
Perhaps these people are shocked to know what concepts their children are ready to understand. Perhaps people are shocked at what tender age their children can comprehend things such as sexuality, religion, paranormal concepts and superstition. The problem is not with society at large. The problem is with the denial that they may be feeling. If a child can understand the concepts they are exposed to, then perhaps it is time for that 'talk you've been meaning to have'. Perhaps instead of focusing your time and effort on banning books, you should be using that time to sit down and have an important discussion with the child as to what is appropriate and why you feel that way. No one said it was going to be easy to teach your children, but you should not and can not expect to be able to control what other people do for your own ease.
You know, this is exactly the type of thing that gets me rambling because there is so much to say on the subject. I'm not saying we should be carrying 'Playboy' magazine in the local library. There are laws that control certain publications from distribution to minors. And unless a library can put into place the necessary controls to control the distribution of such publications, it has no legal right to carry them IMHO [in my honest opinion]. However, should those controls be in place, and should the library see it within their charter to carry it, and their funding agents agree with their decisions, I don't see why there should be any beef. Of course, I've just introduced a new twist. Do the taxpayers have the right to control what their tax money supports. Can book banning from a library be considered an act of a funding agent who is unhappy with how their funds are spent? Do we not have elections and elected representatives to drive this? Does our form of government NOT work here?
Historically, what do we see? A vocal minority complains to the school board [elected officials?] that they are unhappy with decisions made in the local school library. Book is banned. An incensed and even more vocal majority complain and get the decision reversed. You would think someone would learn from history. As the official, you should have the capability to come to a consensus agreement on the matter without resorting to the extreme of banning a book outright. Politicians are paid to be mediators and agreement makers, are they not?
I don't claim to have the solution to fit all the sides I have mentioned. I only claim to have an opinion. And you know what, now that I've given you at least most of it, I realize also that you're entitled to your own opinion too.

September 06, 2000

Have you ever noticed how great inventions are almost always invoke the feeling of "Oh, of COURSE! I should have thought of that, it's so obvious."? In the house I'm in right now, I can't even hear the doorbell upstairs in the master bedroom. It's 3 flights up from the chime. But if someone opens the front door, the change in air pressure is immediately obvious to the point where you can hear it. Someone used this effect to create a house alarm. AirBlock instantly detects the change of air pressure from the forcing of all windows and doors in areas as large as 4,000 ft.� (370m�). I think this is a great idea. You don't have to wire all your doors and windows, and the detection system is almost unbeatable. To bypass it, you'd have to slowly feed in air into the home to equalize the pressure before opening the door or window. Unless you're Aldritch Ames or someone else keeping Top Secret documents in your house, I doubt any crook will take the time to do this. Add yet another neat toy to the collection!
I just stumbled across This site bills itself as Everything for the IT Professional. They have tech news, job data, cramsession and training info, ratings on tech products, a file watcher for keeping an eye on patches and more. I found the site, because I was looking for a Question of the Day subscription. This is where they email you a technical question designed to prepare you for a particular test. They email you one new question every day. It's good for keeping yourself in the right frame of mind and helps you study for the exams.

September 05, 2000

I went to blog this site, and I think it explains itself very well in its title. You'll notice a new java applet in the out-of-band. For those of you with Java disabled, it's an applet that displays 12 of these kids, hoping that you've seen one of them. If you have, please help them.
"The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's Home Page - an online resource for information on: Missing Children and Child Sexual Exploitation. This resource includes: disappear, runaway, kidnap, kidnapping kidnaping throwaway, abduct, abduction, abducting, lost, find, recover, child custody, missing child, homeless child, posters, stranger abduction, luring, stolen baby, school abduction, child protection, neglect, child, charity, charities, charitable, hague treaty, hague convention, hage treaty, hage convention, awareness, family welfare, vulnerable parenting publication, child resource, child stats, child statistics, donate, donation, child advocate, child advocacy, treatment, community notification, megan's law, victim's rights, victim, protect, sex offender, molest, child safety, online, child abuse, online, safety tips, internet, internet safety, stranger, exploit, internet, web, www, computer, kid, enticement, luring, cybercrime, safesurf, pedophile, pedophilia, paedophile, paedophilia, recividism, abuse, sex offender, child-sex tourism, sex tourism, lolita, tipline, tipsline, child exploitation, sexual exploitation, sexual abuse, child abuse, Internet safety, child crimes disappear, runaway, kidnap, kidnapping kidnaping throwaway, abduct, abduction, abducting"
Over in the out-of-band, you'll notice a new graphic link to 'Scratch4Cash'. Now, everytime you check in at my website, you'll get three chances at winning up to $100,000 in an instant win format! So to those of you who like to play the lottery, here's a free one for you.
This weekend I received two different DVDs from Netflix I should share with you. The first and foremost was Little Rascals, Vol. 1 & 2Little Rascals Volumes 1 & 2! Two volumes on a single DVD is still something that doesn't make a whole lot of sense, unless you consider that they may have already been published to two different VHS tapes. But that aside, I must say that this was the most enjoyable rental I have had in a while! Watching Spanky, Stimey, Buckwheat, Porky and Alfalfa in some of their best bits took me back to a simpler time in my life, and I was glad for it. I got to share a bit of myself with my wife and son who have never seen The Little Rascals, and they both enjoyed the pleasure. If you have a chance to rent (or buy if you're into that) this DVD, I highly recommend you do so.
The second tape I rented this weekend was Boiler Room. I've been wanting to see this movie since it was in the theater. I put the DVD on and I watched the whole thing. Hrmmm. eh... Well, at least I can claim I've seen it. I was very unimpressed with this film, just about every aspect of it. I mean, it did what it said it would do in the ads, scaring me away from ever buying investments over the phone. But it did even this poorly. I can't say stay away from this film, though. Even though the delivery was bad, and even though the movie leaves an unfinished taste in your mouth, the movie is worth seeing for the lessons and exposure that it offers. The exposure to a life you will likely never see first hand. Don't buy this movie and don't pay too much to rent it. Heck, maybe wait for the TV version. But if you have a chance to see it once, you should.

September 04, 2000

Yeah! Been researching options on the new house, and I am so excited about being able to get get Cox Communications: Roadrunner service in the new house. Blazing Internet speeds, and it will end up costing me less. I'll just phase out this second phone line, and turn off my ISP (who I've been detesting since they were bought out.)

Another tidbit I forgot to mention earlier this week. I stopped at the newstand on the way home, and found myself with only $9.00 and wanting to pick up two different magazines (at $4.95 and $4.99). I finally settled on Business 2.0, due to the article about Microsoft's .NET. The magazine was great. I almost read it from cover to cover (although for me, that's usually cover to middle, and later back to middle). Of couse, Murphy's Law being what it is, it ends up my boss has a subscription, and I could have read the other magazine, Grok. Why no link on that one? Well, turns out Grok is a very well-liked word, and there are two or three publications by that name, and since I didn't pick up the magazine...I don't know which one I almost bought! For those of you who do not know who four-time Hugo award-winning Robert Anson Heinlein is, click on his name for the FAQ. The word 'grok' is an invention of his, and lives on through the magic of the Internet and computer science in general.
Well, I got a bit off track, there...but back to the Business 2.0...good rag...
We went to the mall today just to get out of the house, do a little shopping and stretch the legs. It's been raining on and off and ruingin any outdoor fun plans we had. So to get some exercise, off we went. While I was there, I went to the new Wizards of the Coast store in the mall. If you don't know who these people are, then you're probably not an avid or an amateur gamer. They sell all that is Pokemon, Magic:the Gathering, Dungeons and Dragons and every other strategy game under the sun. I just love to browse the shelves over and over to look at the games I no longer have the time to play.
While I was there, I bought Mille Bornes [,the french] Card Game, and another game called "The Scooby Doo Card Game". It's sometimes difficult to convince my son to just sit and read, and I figured it would be nice to get him involved in a strategy game where he has to read. I mean, besides Pokemon, (alright no laughing in the balcony!). Well, Mille Bornes is a classic, and I got the whole family to play, so that was a hit. But this Scooby Doo card game was a bust. The rules were too complex for him to quickly grasp at 7 years old, and the game aspects were difficult as well. Either they didn't playtest this game, or they have do-do's for marketing folks. By the time the game mechanics are interesting to him, he'll have outgrown Scooby Doo and moved on to other things. So, my recommendation on that is, skip it. It took too long to play, besides...even if he was interested, I don't see him sitting in one place for more than an hour even if he IS having fun.
What, surprised I didn't talk about computers?

September 01, 2000

Today in Wired News, I read aboutGAC. It's supposed to be a digital mind modeling project, and the author is attempting to build a huge yes/no fact database. Unfortunately, the press is causing a massive influx into his website, and I can't get the site to consistently respond to me. I've tried entering data and reading parts of the site, and I get partial responses, DNS failures and a variety of other wierd errors in between every other successful load. I hope he gets the site into a consistent state so I can check it out, as it sounds like a fun projects.