Hawk's Nest

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Morpheus: 'We're Back'
Now that the U.S. Courts have ruled that Morpheus is both legal and legitimate, parent company StreamCast Wednesday said it will launch the newest version of its popular peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing software on May 1.
Morpheus was one of the easiest to use and sleekest of the peer-to-peer file sharing software packages. After Napster, everyone flocked to Morpheus. With a court ruling under its belt, it seems its set to return.

The Mac Observer: The Devil's Advocate - Apple Music Store: The New 8-Track Tape
The lack of discounts, lack of higher quality encoding, re-encoding requirements for device/content mobility, cumbersome DRM quirks, and monopoly reliance put a damper on an otherwise pleasant music purchasing experience.
A sober look at the new DRM music store offered by Apple. Their scheme seems pretty fruity.

Monday, April 28, 2003

Mailstrom Alert!
Subject: A Perl script for a catalog cataclysm
E-week's Spencer F. Katt is always into it. This time, though, he's found something truly scary. Read how just a few keystrokes can become a real Denial-of-Service.

Sunday, April 27, 2003

Spam, Spam, Spam, Lovely Spam -- American Scientist

Nice history of spam

Friday, April 25, 2003

PCWorld.com - Tech Books to Enter Public Domain
Computer book publisher O'Reilly & Associates is taking a dramatic stand against automatic extensions of U.S. copyrights by voluntarily limiting its own copyright protection on hundreds of technical titles--and promising they'll enter the public domain after that.
Some people walk the walk. Kudos to O-Reilly.

PCWorld.com - Don't Call, Send E-Mail Instead
According to a new survey of some 387 worldwide corporate executives and IT leaders, 80 percent said they see e-mail as a more valuable communications method than the telephone, and 74 percent said they would have more difficulty if they lost e-mail access for five days than if they lost phone access.

Thursday, April 24, 2003

Mercury News | 04/23/2003 | Forest Service wants to ignore mass e-mails
In a move that could dismantle an increasingly popular type of citizen activism, a federal agency is proposing to ignore form letters sent by the public via e-mail that provide feedback on pending rules and regulations.
Is this a quelching of public input or a way to get people to think about their positions and expressions of those positions instead of blindly hitting a Submit button?

Interviewing at Microsoft
As a measure of the kinds of questions I got on day #2, at one point, I was asked to develop a marketing plan for packaged ice to native Alaskans. "Did you just ask me to sell ice cubes to Eskimos?" I asked. "Uh, yeah," he agreed.
Very interesting site where someone interviewed at Microsoft and shares his experience.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

ZDNet's David Coursey looks at new software by Microsoft Research that gives people the ability to record and archive their entire life using audio, video and still images in the software program.
You may have read about MyLifeBits. If not, see David Coursey talk to one of the researchers working for MS on this project. Very interesting.

An Analysis of Netflix's DVD Allocation System
Netflix uses the number of movies you rented in your previous billing period or periods to determine your priority in getting movies. The more movies you rented during your last billing cycle or cycles, the less chance you have of receiving a movie versus an individual who has rented fewer movies.
I have friends that use Netflix or a least have in the past. This explains some of their varied rental patterns.

Explanation of RSS, How You Can Use it, and Finding RSS Feeds

Simple primer on RSS

The return of Lucent and Nortel? - Apr. 22, 2003
Survival is, of course, an admirable goal. But for Lucent and Nortel to head higher, they have to do more than simply remain on life support.
You need more than share value increases to stay afloat.

Fast Company | You can do anything - but not everything.
Much of the stress that people feel doesn't come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they've started.
One word: Simplify. Also, check out the Mr. Allen's Friday afternoon tips to deal with the influx of stuff.

A 12-Step Program for Aspiring CIOs - Career Counsel - CIO Magazine Apr 15,2003
Every person in your company, whether it's the janitor or the CEO, is your customer.
Not every person in technology has the title CIO but there are some great points here about how to conduct your technology business. And maybe one day you will be that CIO.

Monday, April 21, 2003

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Open-source bill left hanging in Oregon
The software industry has blocked legislation that would allow Oregon government agencies to use open-source software
Open source insanity can be stopped.

Newsweek: The Connected Company
Building connective tissue within a company means that everybody can instantly know where resources are and speed them to where they’re needed most.
How do we build "connective tissue"? What role do people, not technology, have in making the tissue "stick"? Can we take an organization to a new level with technology alone or must it be in conjunction with something else? Food for thought.

USATODAY.com - IBM founder's Depression gamble pays off
"Some of our people have had to give a lot of thought to their finances, which has distracted their attention from the main issue. That main issue, of course, you all know with us, is building the IBM and making it a bigger and better business."
Can we get distracted in hard times? Yes, but it doesn't have to ruin us. Someone once said the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. Our circumstances can ebb and flow but our purposeful commitment can weather any storm. Like IBM, we can make it through a Great Depression.

Friday, April 18, 2003

The Rest of the Story: David Bloom's Last E-mail

I noted the death of David Bloom from NBC news in an earlier blog posting. Now we see he was ready to go.

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Washingtonpost.com: Many Americans Still Aren't Going Online, Survey Finds
Forty-two percent of Americans still don't use the Internet and the majority of them do not believe they ever will, according to a study released yesterday.
I'd love to talk to one of these people and find out what they do in their daily lives. I submit you can find the one "killer app" that will plug anyone into the Net. Patient understanding and spending time bringing someone up to speed is all you need. I'd also like to know how many use the Internet by proxy...they may not surf but they have someone else do it for them and thereby benefit from it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Buggy Computers -- ABCNEWS.com
To you, that big, wired box on your desk may look like an ordinary computer case. To a bug, it can be a five-star hotel.
Don't let these bugs get you!

The hidden costs of cost cutting - Tech Update - ZDNet
"It's the rusty bridge syndrome," Claunch said. "Cities delayed maintenance on roads and bridges, and it became more and more expensive to fix as the life of the equipment is stretched out." In some cases, it's better to focus on relatively modest projects with throw away technologies for issues that need more immediate attention but would require major investments to solve in a more systemic fashion, Claunch added.
Many good thoughts in this article. The mantra: "Align business with the technology". You may have to invest up front to see any return.

Federal Computer Week: Outsourcing's savings debated
Governments can outsource certain skill sets or projects at certain times, but there's not enough evidence to indicate that it helps government rein in technology budgets, said Dianah Neff, Philadelphia's chief information officer.
Outsourcing is a fad and even FCW recognizes it. It's a response to tight times but in the bigger picture will cost organizations service and enabling technology to drive core business strategies.

Study: Techies could use some PR | CNET News.com
When it comes to self-promotion, information technology managers are much too bashful, according to a study released Tuesday.
We do the best work...or so I believe when I evaluate my staff on an ongoing basis. We're not perfect by any stretch but the working synergy of a group like the one I'm a part of can't be beat. But is that word getting out? Does our service attitude explain why techies need more PR?

Self -promotion is appropriate at the right times but I think the word of a satisfied customer in the right ear can eventually win all that a PR campaign could buy you and more. In time, all good things will come. And if not, we know we're doing our best and that will be our reward.

Monday, April 14, 2003

LEDs vs. the Lightbulb
With their longer lifetimes and higher efficiencies, light-emitting diodes will transform the illumination industry—and save billions in energy costs.
More about light than you've probably read in a long time. But the ideas about effeciencies bring great promise.

The Webby Awards: 2003 Nominees

Check out the list and see if you discover some previously unknown websites you might make a regular visit to. Also, vote in the people's voice awards.

Microdoc News: Google: How the Competition Stacks Up
Through online research Dr Livingston has identified five information seeking behaviors people display when working online and has named them as Discoverers, Readers, Writers, Viewers and Technodoers.
I think I'm a writer/reader. Where do fit?

Everyone looks spiffy with a Tux

Just makes me want to switch...

Top 11 Ways the world would be different if OS/2 had won the operating systems race
11. PCs would be beige
I started my career on OS/2 so it's always fun to read some OS/2 humor. Read all 11 and if you want even more "what if's", try here

Sunday, April 13, 2003

It's Palm Sunday (but not Jason's version)foxtrot

A Historical Palm Sunday Description

Saturday, April 12, 2003

A Brief History of the Multiverse (NY Times registration required)
Scientists have long puzzled over this rather contrived state of affairs. Why is nature so ingeniously, one might even say suspiciously, friendly to life? What do the laws of physics care about life and consciousness that they should conspire to make a hospitable universe? It's almost as if a Grand Designer had it all figured out.
Paul Davies has always seemed to tempt the question of intelligent design and universe. The significance of his statements here is his acknowledgement of the necessity of faith on the part of the scientist to proceed with his scientific inquiry. Most people don't contemplate how much they really take by faith. So many things in life are taken a priori without the possibility of some rationalistic proof demonstrating it to be so. Neo in The Matrix lives a portion of his life believing something to be true which isn't...his entire environment. What a radical experience to have your world turned upside down once you've been shown the truth. Mr. Davies' discussion is just as radical. Either we live in a small component in a chanced multiverse or we were designed by a Creator with a purpose, only which He can reveal.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

How the MacIntel Will Change the Market

Or how Dvorak is out to lunch! Come on John, you've got to be crazy!! Getting the OS X to run on Intel is one thing; getting all the drivers for all the possible hardware it would run on and making OS X plug n' play is years away. You can't expect an open source community to pitch in and port drivers for a proprietary, non-Linux system just because they are Microsoft haters.

It's not that I doubt it could happen...if all the stars line up, the earth shifts off its axis, etc. Apple could break open the OS market. But I submit Apple's cozy claims all these years are similar to Sun's...their system are "stable" and "superior" because they sell you the hardware AND the software. Microsoft has done what they can't...tackle an incredible variety of hardware and be compatible no matter the PC system. Kudos to Microsoft, not the OS wannabes.

And Dvorak, plant your feet on planet Earth for goodness sake.

Monday, April 07, 2003

make a starship enterprise out of a floppy

Now we know what to do with all those floppies we don't need any more.

Why Wi-Fi Will Clobber 3G: Lousy And Cheap Beats Good And Expensive
"The future always comes too fast and in the wrong order." -- Alvin Toffler
Toffler's quote summarizes the gist of the article which is very astute in its observations. I think WiFi will win the day just like the author does. It will continue to get easier to use and cheaper to implement.

Porn spam--legal minefield for employers | CNET News.com
Graphic images appearing unbidden on PCs by way of e-mail in-boxes could qualify as evidence of a "hostile work environment," something that's prohibited by federal employment law.
IT, take note. Avoid potential minefields down the road and filter spam! The legal headaches just won't be worth it.

Sunday, April 06, 2003

NBC’s David Bloom, 39, dies in Iraqboom
David Bloom, an NBC News correspondent embedded with the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division outside Baghdad, died Sunday, NBC announced. Bloom, a 39-year-old husband and father of three, died of an apparent pulmonary embolism, the company said.
If you ever watched David Bloom, you knew he was dedicated to his story. I just watched him the other night describe the adverse conditions in Iraq. He was passionate about whatever he was covering and I will miss his news coverage.

Friday, April 04, 2003

Web pioneer Nando Times to close

Sadness as competition kills one of the best. I exclusively subscribed to news alerts with Nando after they consistently scooped the major networks' online news services. The web will be a little dimmer.

Thursday, April 03, 2003

D.C. Dispatch | 2003.04.01 | The Fog of Journalism
On television, there's just too much news to absorb. That's why newspapers are still important
I agree the written word is mightier. But newspapers? How about more in depth magazines or journals? Now your talkin' (or readin')

Rare colossal squid captured
WELLINGTON, New Zealand, April 3 — Fishermen working in Antarctic waters have made an extremely rare catch — a colossal squid with eyes as big as dinner plates and razor-sharp hooks on its tentacles, a marine researcher said Thursday.
Now you know how 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea came to be. Also, now we know what kind of thing tried to grab Frodo in Fellowship of the Ring.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Blogging the War: A Guide (TechNews.com)

Different perspectives to keep up with what's happening in Iraq. Go blogs!

IE War Error

Army CIO pushes for 'network-centric force'
The U.S. Army, in the midst of a process to change to a "network-centric, knowledge-based force,"
It's great to see the Army take this position. Let's see how it all plays out in the war.

USATODAY.com - 'Yo, can u plz help me write English?'
Carl Sharp knew there was a problem when he spotted his 15-year-old son's summer job application: "i want 2 b a counselor because i love 2 work with kids."
do u think IRL this is a problem? I don't have a problem with shorthand or IM-speak but it must be used with the right medium and students must use standard English writing and spelling rules in educational and work contexts. Since most students don't have these skills, I think they're resorting to the next best thing they know, IM.

Top 100 April Fool's Day Hoaxes of All Time

Appropriate for today

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Film | Rings director plans new King Kong
Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson will begin a remake of the classic film King Kong in New Zealand later this year.
CGI King Kong; no monkey business!