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Cringely on the resurrection of Code Red and a teaser for his worse-than-the-disease cure later this week.
The Moose on programmers as artists. Maybe it's not just programming; I work better without distraction, and when it's on my own schedule, and if I feel free to go windsurfing when the wind is blowing. (His answer to the question "What really happens if you ship an incomplete project?" slips into familiar logical fallacy though.)
Lawrence Lessig: The D.M.C.A. "makes criminal what copyright law would forgive." "This is bad law and bad policy." How do we convince Mr. Sklyarov -- a Russian citizen -- that ours is a "free society"? (Hint: it might be easier if he were let out of jail.)
Maybe the Bush administration isn't going to let Microsoft off the hook after all. (The Washington Post) Just think about how many tax dollars we're spending to have a whole new team of lawyers read through the case.
Registered my copy of Opera. Gains me a little screen space, and stops that annoying flashing up there. The only nagging problem is clicking on links in email and having OE launch IE. I'll learn.
Weblogging has given way to windsurfing for the moment, but not completely; illustrated reports from the Gorge continue, with the third of three 3-day weekends. Woo-hoo!
Facts I didn't pick up when first reading about Sklyarov's jailing for violation of the DMCA: he's a Russian citizen. The codebreaking work he did was while he was in Russia. He comes over here, and we arrest him.
Just imagine our reaction if a US citizen got arrested over in Russia for doing something here, that's legal under US law, but that was against a Russian law.
Speaking of lawbreakers... our dialup connection to the internet went pear-shaped this morning. Yesterday it worked as usual, this morning, we get connected, but then nothing. No web, no email, no telnet, no ftp. A hundred bytes or two come down every 15 or 20 seconds, but nothing useful happens.
On the 3rd call to Earthlink, I get the suggestion to "repair Internet Explorer." It doesn't look like you can uninstall IE, but under the Add/Remove Programs dialog out of the control panel, one of the choices offered is to repair "Internet Explorer and internet tools." Is it upset because I've installed Opera v5.11 and made that the default browser? Who knows, but after the "repair" and a reboot, we're up and running again.
It didn't fix the repeatable blue screen fatal exception 06 at 0000:00000236 that I can get every time I boot up and start WS_FTP LE the first time, though. (If I forget and don't do that, my session typically degrades and blows up in more creative ways; if I remember, there's just that blue screen, and after it's dismissed, no problem.)
It's not just anti-competitive, it's really crappy work, too.
It's a low water year.
Anderson Ranch, Arrowrock and Lake Lowell are all at or below 25% full, and in a day or two, they'll start draining Lucky Peak. Did I hear the rate correctly, 2-1/2 feet per day? The flow rate just below the dam, 3000 cfs, is about 75% of average. As usual (I suppose), 90% of that is diverted or evaporates before the Boise river runs into the Snake.
Indian Creek reservoir, out east of town, has been unsailably low for months. We drove by Mountain Home reservoir on our way to and from Ketchum this weekend, and found it D R Y, save for a little puddle way out in the middle.
Adobe does the right thing, if a little late, declining to support the prosecution of Dmitri Sklyarov under the DMCA. Will the government back off and drop the case?
It took 8 hours of meeting with the Electronic Frontier Foundation to get this far, although Adobe says they "still strongly support the D.M.C.A." That sucks.
Nuclear waste is getting ready to roll. "The administration wants more nuclear plants, so it's eager to show that it's perfectly safe to ship the used fuel. But nobody wants radioactive cargo chugging by their town."
There's a lot of things "nobody wants" by their town. Big power plants, corrosive liquids and toxic gases in tank cars, and so on. Is it legitimate to just say no to all shipments of radioactive cargo? "Leave everything where it is" doesn't seem likely to be the optimum waste disposal method. The starting point for the train, "the Western New York Nuclear Service Center, is a dilapidated monument to the failure of U.S. nuclear policy and an environmental mess." Sounds like a good place to get the waste out of.
Simple answers seem... too simple.
Pop-under site hits #4 in the charts, while we debate "whether this format is simply too obnoxious to be an effective way to sell things."
In a word, yes. I've seen that X10 site/camera ad a dozen times or more, and the only reason I'd go to their site would be to waste some of their bandwidth. If I needed such a camera, I'd look for someone else to buy it from.
It seems Lance Armstrong is wearing out his welcome over there. Jean-Marie Leblanc, the tour director is bad-mouthing the soon to be 3 time winner. "Armstrong is a rider who is respected but not liked. He doesn't speak French, he's not warm, two gorillas accompany him at the start and finish." Sounds like some serious envy about having a 'merican winning his race every year. Jean-Marie, tell your boys to train harder!
Checking my server logs, which I do on no particular schedule, just to see if I've been "discovered," showed 20 errors last week, produced by requests for /default.ida?NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN... (ending with a sequence of non-N characters). That's the Code Red worm, seeing if my web server code is insufficiently patched Microsoft IIS. It isn't, sorry.
And here's a "tricky" new email virus, "Sircam." Why is it tricky? Ah, it changes subject lines and attachment names instead of telling the whole world "I love you," for example. Ooo, that is tricky.
Are people really depending on filters to keep them from actually launching a virus attached to an email?
What, have you been asleep for 23 months?
Powers-that-be are saying pithy things like "Itís difficult for them to understand whatís a good message and whatís not. In this case, the only way to be protected is by updating their anti-virus software."
Or, not executing (opening) attachments from email unless you know what kind of file it is, who sent it to you, and why.
I've been in bad meetings before, although maybe not as bad as this one. I've taken sarcastic notes during them (but more often just sketched doodly things), but what I haven't done (yet) is to post my sarcastic notes on a public web server.
Someday, maybe. When I'm getting ready to change jobs, say. (D'you s'pose Flangy is getting ready to split?) In the meantime, I'm more than happy to read someone else's. :-)
Finally got around to writing an index page for my top 100 market capitalization tracking.
Christmas in July
A little pruning this morning: Ponderosa, Fir, Juniper, and the smell of pitch to start the day. Nice.
The music industry has pretty much slayed Napster, but like the Hydra, new heads are springing up.
HP's mpulse newsletter, on "boom, interrupted":
First there's the matter of the economy. Growth in the total number of mobile handsets sold annually worldwide is in decline: 67% in 1999, 47% in 2000, and an estimated 30% this year, according to IDC. Those are enviable growth rates in most industries, but could be problematic for Nokia.
"We're seeing some maturing in the cellular market and an economic downturn in the US," says Seamus McAteer, Sr. Analyst for Jupiter Media Metrix. "Sales can't continue at the same pace."
Growth is in decline, eh? In 1998, the industry was so big, call it 100. In 1999, it grew to 167. Then 245 in 2000, and estimated to grow to 319 this year. "Sales can't continue at the same pace"? Unless growth stops, sales are going to continue at an increased pace. That's what growth means. Seeing a downturn while growth is continuing is a sure symptom of growthmania.
The Missoulian on Bearanoia in Idaho:
Men are made of lesser stuff in today's land of Famous Potatoes.... Keith and Hemingway sprang quickly to mind when the governor bleated about "flesh-eating carnivores," but those two are mere icons of a braver, more confident and woods-wise Idaho we once knew. There would not even be an Idaho, at least one settled and developed as it is today, if previous generations had been as cowed as Kempthorne by bears.
Code Red sounds really, really bad, but I haven't seen any trouble, myself. No "meltdown" in my ability to use the internet.
Idaho Public TV covered the aftermath of the Rainbow Family of Light gathering last night on their Dialogue program. They had Walt Rogers, the Forest Service ranger for the Lowman District, Tom Woodbury, a local environmental activist and Buddhist, and "Just Tom," a water carrier and distributor for the RFoL.
Just Tom noted one the "features" of this gathering was the Incident Command Team, Forest Service law enforcement, from Washington, issuing tickets "frivolously." The media seem to have forgotten about the last gathering in Idaho (near Council in 1982), which didn't come with the same load of controversy, apparently, or at least no one can remember it. A couple people acted as "local interface" to the town, and while the locals were wary, they weren't running quite as scared, and things turned out alright. "I think if we sent someone like that (this time), they would have been singled out as leaders and arrested," Just Tom said.
The sheriff of Idaho County called in, and he said that the problems were "mostly sanitation and shoplifting." Hardly sounds like it warranted the "24 hour watch for the safety of our town" that they put on, but "urinating in public," and "heavy drugs," "very major at times" were also cited as problems. Was there anything positive that came out of the gathering? Only that they learned they would have to do more for their protection in the future, and have communities work together. Upgrading the permit requirements from a gathering of 1000 to a gathering of 100 was one action he thinks they need. Curious, when the RFoL gathering had 15 or 20 times their current legal limit, what difference would that have made?
The unscheduled callers were the stars of the show. "Elizabeth" was concerned with protection of the salmon habitat (as was Tom Woodbury, who worked at mitigation during his 11 days at the gathering), but was pleased to see less impact that "regular" campgrounds. She noted that the complaints came from some of the same people who supported the Jarbidge Shovel Brigade, and they just seemed to support the laws that they believed in. Some "scofflaws are sent to jail, and some are sent to Congress."
My favorite line from her, though, was that she "want(ed) to acknowledge the miracle of this gathering, turning Larry Craig into an environmentalist."
She was followed by Rob from Idaho Falls, who wanted to know if the counties considered "possibly buying a bunch of fencing, and when those folks move into town, and if they're unruly or not following the law, if they'd just herd them in there and hold them there," "lock them up en masse."
Maybe Rob is used to managing a bunch of them unruly cattle, I don't know.
Everyone on camera managed to keep a pretty straight face, and Mr. Rogers used it to point out that some folks have to play by the rules, and some don't seem to have to. Meaning the RFoL, of course. Tom Woodbury pointed out that to be consistent, the Forest Service would have to play by their own rules, and comply with the Forest Plan. And it was up to Woodbury to point out the irony of supposedly Libertarian Idaho, calling in to suggest locking up the Rainbows while we let the cattle run free.
Grazing was touched on lightly. Anyone visiting Bear Valley could see the effects of it, but Ranger Rogers noted that they're required to have an "improving trend" in range and riparian habitat, or else revisit the allotments and regulations, and by official measures, they're meeting that.
The photograph of the Forest Service "Level 1" team guy on horseback in the middle of a stream wasn't exactly a P.R. coup for the home team. That was "not causing any damage, the damage was insignificant." One might suppose that the very few Family members who stepped into the stream and were castigated by others, or by the law enforcement folks caused similarly insignificant damage, but can you imagine how they felt to see this yahoo walk his horse through the stream?
They ended with the Ranger's assessment of how the cleanup and rehabilitation was going. He didn't have anything significantly negative to say about it, so we can assume things are going pretty darn well. Trail eradication OK, latrines mostly OK, although not all were adequately covered. (They're going to monitor water quality. Don't forget to check for cow piss, Ranger.) Trash was mostly bagged and due to be moved out yesterday. The re-seeding is agreed to, has to be done in the fall, and Cache Creek may have a closure for rehabilitation.
One of my older brothers turned 50 yesterday, and I sent him a birthday note, with a snippet of a recent dream and my thoughts around it. He replied with a wonderful story from the Kathopanishad. It didn't give away the secret that it hinted at, but he ended with what he thought was "the secret of what happens after death." I probably shouldn't just put it out so plainly, but the simplicity and beauty of it are moving:
The explanation I have given to myself, unenlightened by discipline, is that this life is embedded within eternity, and is itself a part of it, and is not to be despised in favor of some reward or heaven to follow. That being so, it behooves us to make the most of life here and now, not in pursuit of the temptations and charms, but in pursuit of the knowledge, and the calming of emotions that allow us to share and enjoy life with one another through all the challenges. That I am working on.
On a more mundane level, I'm liking this Opera browser more every moment. 'g' toggles graphics on and off. Found the scaling switch, it's '+' and '-' (on the numeric keypad only). Super. (These dropped out of a few of the "tips" on startup.) "Scaling" isn't quite all it could be, though - or maybe too much? It's not just scaling fonts, it's scaling fonts and images, and not doing that great a job on the images.
It has News and email clients built in, too. That would save me from having URLs in Outlook Express fork MSIE instead of my new default browser. The monopolist program cabal doesn't let go easily!
The best part of the Webby Awards is the acceptance "speeches": five words (or less).
Now there's a power surplus in California - what a difference a year makes! Sure seems like the good old days when all that electricity trading didn't matter, and the lights just stayed on.
Microsoft's investments did even worse than mine in the last quarter. They lost $2.6 billion. leaving $.01 per share profit. Man, that's a lotta scratch!
The Michael Lewis weighs in on the internet revolution (from part 1 of 6, free subscription to the NYT required):
The instant message has fast become a staple of European corporate communication. The technique spread from Finnish children to businessmen because the kids taught their parents. Nokia employed anthropologists to tell them this. Finland has become the first nation on earth to acknowledge formally the childcentric model of economic development: if you wanted a fast-growing economy, you needed to promote rapid technical change, and if you intended to promote rapid technical change, you needed to cede to children a strange measure of authority.
But that's just an aside on the way into a fascinating tale of "faking it." (This piece was in the July 15 NY Times Magazine, and is excerpted from Lewis' forthcoming book, Next: The Future Just Happened. Especially recommended for any lawyers or friends of lawyers in the audience.
One stop shopping to opt out online. If you don't know why you should care, you might start with my old Ad Attack piece.
Speaking of attacks, the Code Red worm is attacking Microsoft IIS-driven websites, and threatening a denial of service attack to at least whitehouse.gov, but probably the larger internet. Stormy weather.
More information about the IRS' 501c(3) regs, and my take on the battle between the Frontiers of Freedom and RAN. It's not just any old "advocacy" that puts your non-profit status at risk, but specifically advocacy aimed at influencing legislation. (Partisan activities in political campaigns are right out, also.) Advocacy toward boycotting or lobbying CEOs of corporations that log old growth timber, for example, is A-OK. FoF may not get so far against the Action League after all.
Took the plunge, I'm browsing with Opera 5.11 (free, with advertising, so far). Not at all painful, although it would be nice to have the different windows accessible via alt-tab like I'm used to. Although I'm shift-clicking to open new windows, I guess I can click down on its menubar.
Some nice features that MSIE doesn't have, and lots of things to look into. Someday. As usual, I'm more focused on content... One that jumps out at me is that "page down" actually goes down a whole page, and I don't have to find my place in the top 3 or 4 lines of text at the top of the (new) page. It seems so amazingly obvious, so why is Internet Explorer's scroll function broken?
It'll be interesting to see how long I put up with a portion of the screen being given over to advertising in exchange for not paying $39. So far, it seems easy enough.
New requirement for teaching: maintaining a website.
"Summer is the time you spend prepping for the next year," said Kathlyn Van Hoeck, another Cold Spring Harbor participant, who teaches at York High School in Elmhurst, Ill. "You rewrite the labs and work on your Web site. During the school year, there is no time."
- from the New York Times.
Dan Gillmor following Microsoft: stalling the courts, and yanking Java from WinXP. The beat goes on.
The DMCA plot thickens. Is the Russian in jail what we need to get this dastardly law thrown out?
Joel on Software: Good software takes 10 years. (He cranks out good columns a lot more frequently.)
Started at the site for his old rant, but liked this page about bicycle commuting better. Think I'll ride to work tomorrow.
The ultimate protection against monopoly: shop elsewhere.
It's been way too long since I had a picture in here, since the first of the month! (Of course, there are all the pictures of windsurfing in the Gorge, but maybe you don't like that?) How about something... with a little forced perspective in steel, concrete and granite? Call it "U.P. mainline at Weatherby."
How much is the California power bill going to be? $100 billion is the working estimate under discussion. Will a "California power colossus" follow the "colossal failure?" The Wall Street Journal looks at shifting power in the Golden State. Here's a sample of what sounds like government out of control:
The state has since hastily assembled a group of about 20 energy traders, headed by a 30-year-old manager with one year of experience in the energy business. The manager, Susan Lee, has held four jobs in the past four years and is getting paid up to $480,000 over two years for her services. Ms. Lee declines to comment.
It seems to all be working, at the moment, but the bills will come due...
John Robb's blog offers up "no news, just new ideas." For the 15th, it's another possibility (or two) for the Singularity. Individual augmentation (IA) may foil Artificial Intelligence (AI) before the "I" can actually emerge. (Interesting pun there.) Or perhaps "a fundamental change in our perception of conscious time" could be the precipitating event.
Do the first movers go off on a comet ride and leave the rest of us behind, for real this time?
The second topic of yesterday's entry is an interesting counterpoint. Dad as reluctant sysadmin. (Weren't the kids supposed to take that over?)
The New York Times commented on the Smartertimes.com, a personal site of a careful reader. Interesting take on two versions of the effect of price controls on the California energy crisis, for example.
Home from 3 more days sailing in the Gorge, not so many pictures this time, more time on the water. Email waiting, from someone who apparently read one of the oldest works on the site, my review of the book Genesis and the Big Bang, and identifies himself as a believer in Scriptural inerrancy. Not asking about that, though, but the fundamental questions: just what is energy? And what is life? Here's what I wrote in reply:
I've heard (and given) definitions that are simplistic and provisional, like "energy is the ability to do work." Except of course its ability to do work depends on its "entropy," or randomness: heat energy has high entropy, and you can't get much work out of it, unless it's very high temperature. Exploding gasoline powers your car, but the warm exhaust goes to waste.
Lightning outside my window just now, and distant thunder - more energy!
Einstein theorized that matter and energy were equivalent. We demonstrated the truth of that theory with atomic energy. Yet most of the time, matter stays matter, and energy flows around it in all the myriad forms we've come to know - kinetic energy of moving objects, wind, rain, thermal energy of sunshine, lava, fire, electricity.
As for what is life... the way most people go about trying to answer this is looking at the boundaries, trying to sort things out in to living and non-living, and then describe the differences. Rocks - non-living. Algae, lichen, fungi - living. Viruses - living, but on the edge. And so on.
How is human life different from, say, dog life? We think it's different, certainly, but why, exactly? The most prominent feature is that we THINK ABOUT life, we have this odd capability of introspection, and thinking about past, present and (especially) future, beyond simple cause/effect, action/reaction.
One answer is that there's a Supreme Being who designed all this, and set us apart. This only pushes the questions beyond us and into a supernatural realm, and they become no more answerable. We can appeal to some document of Absolute Truth, and say "that's it, it's right there." That would finish it.
But science has no way to deal with such a thing. It must go about stumbling and groping in the dark, putting the puzzle together as best it can, while only relying on things that can be determined as fact by observers who would be just as happy to prove it wrong as right. Can it tell us what happened 100 years ago, or 1,000, or 10,000? Not with certainty. But the power of scientific inference is remarkable. Just look around you at what we've wrought with it.
Great cover story in this week's Boise Weekly about the Rainbow gathering and its problems with law enforcement. The Man wants to be able to finger leaders to enforce its regulations; anybody who steps up to interact with the Forest Service thereby becomes a "leader" and gets hassled.
Sharon Sweeney, the "incident team's media spokesperson" gives voice to the perplexity of the powers-that-be:
They obviously do (have leaders) because this doesn't just fall out of the sky and happen because of the Webmaster. And the Webmaster pretty much has to be a leader..."
Bought a memory upgrade for my PeeCee at home last night, prompted by an ad for Crucial in PC World. $30 for 128MB (one DIMM), tax and ("free") shipping included, after a simple series of forms identifying my system (and a look inside, just to make sure at least one of my 3 slots was open).
Last time I bought memory, it was something like $500 for 16MB. 133X price:performance improvement. (Of course, back then, you could actually do something with 16MB. :-)
Douglass Rushkoff explains how the internet is for amateurs; those who love what they do. That's what fortboise.org is all about, of course. He's putting a new book online, Exit Strategy, to make his point.
In the creep-you-out department, there's the Wall Street Journal's weblog. They're still fighting the Elian Gonzales battle, believe it or not, calling Juan his "father."
Windows XP product activation software reverse engineered, and found to be benign. How nice. In actual use, of course, you just have to trust that to be the case. You have no idea what programs are doing over the 'net, eh?
A better use for such work would be to allow legitimate users to break the copy-protection scheme so that the company's financial interests do not waste their time and money. Just like the good old days, the first time copy-protection fell by the wayside.
Microsoft embraces and extends the "just reboot it" reliability model to the world of e-commerce. Hailstorm, indeed. That's the code name for a Chinese water torture, I think. Oh, it was "a series of extremely rare hardware failures." Yeah, that's it.
Robert Bork and Kenneth Starr weigh in on the Microsoft appeal decision, and the company's spin on it being in its favor: "Microsoft appears impervious to law. It seems an unrepentant recidivist. That is a major reason to consider a breakup seriously."
Of course, the footnote says they're "counsel to ProComp, an industry association that includes Microsoft competitors and supported the government case against Microsoft," so not completely unbiased themselves.
The collection of Ghost sites just grows and grows. It's getting unwieldy, even.
Driving while phoning gives about the same accident statistics as driving while drunk. The Tappet brothers call bullshit on the AAA for using a lame study to suggest otherwise, and then not noting the limitations of their study in the press release.
Morning wind is back, more or less, and I got some of it today. Last night I set up a cronjob to fetch the weather observations twice a day, so the local sailors can see what they missed if they slept in.
Printing books on demand seems like a great idea. And this sounds like a cool machine to do it. Seems like only a matter of time before this happens, whether or not this particular effort strikes it rich. Or will we figure out how to make e-books really work first?
Paul Krugman, Outside the Box: "(B)ecause of the tax cut Mr. Bush will soon break his promise to protect the Social Security surplus."
Resource wars heating up at the California/Oregon border: who gets the water, farmers or endangered fish? The Bureau of Reclamation says the fish, and the farmers have turned into vandals while the local constabulary become scofflaws.
It got so damn hot here, I couldn't stand it and headed out of town. Well, I headed out of town to go windsurfing actually, and the heat finally broke with some thunderstorms from the Gulf of Mexico, but it was damn hot, well over 100°F for two days. The low was 73 the morning of the 4th, then 79 the next night. I'm used to natural air conditioning to cool the house down every night, had to actually run our unnatural air conditioner for an hour or two. We're back to lows in the mid-60s now, highs in the 90s. Comfy.
Speaking of "corporate activism," there's the Frontiers of Freedom founded 6 years ago by a former Wyoming senator (Malcolm Wallop) and buddy of our VP, Dick Cheney. It's funded by the Philip Morris Companies, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings, Inc., and the Exxon Mobil Corporation, and it's working to get the government to revoke the tax-exempt status of the Rainforest Action Network (RAN). With enemies like this, you know RAN is having an effect! Now the IRS has to decide if things like scaling buildings to raise banners against Boise Cascade's logging of old growth forests is "education," or "advocacy."
Something tells me that Philip Morris, RJR and Exxon Mobil get to write off their contributions to FF one way or the other. Oh sure, here it is in their press release: "...many non-profits, such as the conservative Frontiers of Freedom organization and environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club, set up separate educational and advocacy organizations to comply with tax laws...."
Read more from Rachel.
Watched Groundhog Day last night. Somehow I'd missed it for 8 years, and had a vague association with Caddy Shack, that other movie about groundhogs. (Er, I guess that was gophers in that one.) But this movie is a charming bit of magic realism from farther north than usual, a tale of self-realization and falling in love. I looked at a couple of reviews to link to, but I'm afraid they all give away too much of the story for my taste. I was amused by the people who had trouble with some bit of later magic in the story, after they'd accepted the first; I mean, you can't expect an explanation of how a day could repeat itself once, so you might as well suspend disbelief.
If you haven't seen the movie, check it out. Good date movie.
What Microsoft wants. Keep your eye on the ball.
The EE-Biz Ponzi scheme and its offspring:
"The more they examined Mr. Stroud, the more uncomfortable investigators became. The primary financial asset he listed was a half interest in a purported Peruvian debt, which he said was now an obligation of the American government for more than $1 trillion. The half interest was granted to him by the woman who said she was in contact with a space alien."
Hint: If someone shows you a bank balance in your favor but tells you that you have to send more money to get it out, you're in trouble.
Temperatures in triple digits out here, too, and the lights are blinking (a little more than usual) in southern Nevada. Demand edges up to 4 gigawatts, with a high of 112 on Sunday.
I admire someone who can hack together this much home electronics all for want of higher bandwidth. Me, I've got a telco knocking on my door willing to sell me DSL (sans ISP, of course) for $20/mo, but the answer is still no.
Global Positioning Systems can of course be used for Global Velocity Sensing. Casey Jones, you'd better watch your speed!
Almost Independence Day, and that's got Dan Gillmor thinking of not Red Coats, but Redmond. The chance that my next computer will be a Mac is higher than it's ever been. His mention of "free software" reminded me of my software list, which has been pretty stable since I started it last October. Add Zonealarm from Zonelabs. Scratch Manila.
And note that "free" and "open source" are far from synonymous. Internet Explorer and Outlook Express were "free." In either case, there's no free lunch - they all exact some of my time and attention.
It's been a couple years (!) since we got around to cleaning the windows. (That sounds really bad, but then we weren't hear for 12 of the last 16 months.) Yesterday and today, we got half of 'em done, including the one we look out when we look "off into space" while sitting at the computer. Oak bark, leaves, spruce trees, blue sky are looking way better today.
Paul Krugman's introduction to his op-ed piece on the Microsoft judgment is very clever, as he helps us sniff out a remedy for the problems of O/S Monopoly.
The New York Times editorializes that Bush should catch a clue and do an about face from policies that are at odds with the majority of the public, and a sizeable faction of the Republican party. "Obviously his views reflect those of the industry lobbyists he has placed in key positions throughout his administration."
Tom von Alten tva_∂t_fortboise_⋅_org