Hawk's Nest

Monday, January 31, 2005

Yahoo! News - Incomes Jump Record 3.7 Percent in Dec.

Read the story to see why...it's a "little" company called Microsoft.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Waldenbooks - Preferred Reader Program: The Passing of An Era

I had a sad day today. I used my Waldenbooks Preferred Reader card for the last time. They've discontinued the program even though I've been a faithful customer for over twenty years. The SciFi club, which they still recognize, is called Hailing Frequencies and I received a discount for buying Scifi just because I was a member. When the Preferred Reader Program started, you had to pay up front to get a discount for a year. It was always worth it and loved going to the stores to get my Star Trek book(s) for the month. I've been reading those since 1981.

I even got a chance to work at Waldenbooks over a decade ago and loved it to death. Being in charge of the Science Fiction section, I had the opportunity to make it the cornerstone of sales at one of the local malls. But alas, those days are gone as well. We live on Internet time and that's changed a lot of things. But I digress.

As I handed my discount card to my favorite bookseller (Go Rob!), I told him to cut it up. It seemed only fitting that a Waldenbooks employee do it for me. He did.

So now I don't have a card...I won't save any on the books I regularly buy (hardbacks are discounted 15%-30% and I do get e-mail coupons). I could move to buying from Waldenbooks on the web, but, oh wait, that's Amazon/Waldenbooks. How does that work??!! Anyway, I've decided I can't do that. Not as long as I know the booksellers at my local store. Stephanie, Rob and the gang take care of me by putting aside my monthly ST books when they arrive and giving me a call. That's service. That's friendship. So I'll help keep their store on the map, doing my small part...which makes me feel good.

Why? It's my tradition and loyalty...to the place and the people.


If you've been in a theater recently, you've probably seen ads before the actual movie starts. The problem is so bad, some legislation has been introduced in Connecticut to mandate that the times published for the movie starting are the actual time it starts, not the time the ads start. Church of the Customer is running a campaign to stop this. If you feel like they do, send in your e-mail to the CEO's.

Blog Overkill - The danger of hyping a good thing into the ground. By Jack Shafer

The editor at large of Slate has some sobering thoughts about the blog hype. I do think we need to be careful about overpromising. I don't think traditional media forms will die. His arguments sound similar to discussions about e-books replacing real books. And that hasn't happend. But things will change and the idea that media organizations will be positioned to best tell us about our world will continue to be marginalized.

Microsoft: Legit Windows or no updates | CNET News.com

Is Microsoft making a mistake? It's very possible. I first got wind of this story from a developer friend who has a number of test systems loaded with MSDN software which is "not legit" in Microsoft's automated update scans. So he's out of luck unless he uses a manual download process (which I don't know if they'll keep and it's a pain to track which updates you need). But I think the issue is deeper than this. What about all the illegal Windows copies causing network threats and Internet meltdowns because some worm gets on these unpatched systems. The bandwidth infections can use and disruptions to legitmate systems are problematic. The Internet makes us interconnected in many different ways. To have systems, no matter how unlicensed, unpatched is a problem which effect the whole virtual ecosystem, not just the individual user. I know MS wants to eliminate piracy but doing it at the expense of the big picture of security isn't the way to go.

What alternatives do they have? Comments?

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Security Pipeline | WebEx Debuts Free Basic PC Remote Access

Need to acces your PC securely for free? WebEx makes it easy to access 5 PC's for free. Very useful when you're away from home.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Squashed Philosophers

No time to read philosophers' complete writings? Try the squashed versions.

Google gears up for a free-phone challenge to BT

Google, the phone company? Wait and see...

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Picasa 2 blog

If you're not using Picasa 2, you need to. Organize, edit and manage your pictures with incredible ease. Get more tips by watching Google's Picasa blog.

AP Review Of Microsoft AntiSpyware--InsideMicrosoft

I read this story first on Yahoo News and thought, this guy doesn't have a clue about dealing with a system that far gone. I subsequently read Inside Microsoft and had to agree 100%. As a technologist who deals with security, spyware and OS issues for a living, I think I am qualified to say this reporter is out to lunch. A system not running antivirus or getting Windows Updates deserves to be infected, in my opinion. Giving a computer to such a person is like giving a power saw to a little baby. They're not old enough to understand and appreciate the dangers so you don't let them have it. For the reporter to turn around and trash Microsoft and its anti-spyware offering as a result is like blaming the doctor for not being able to save a terminally ill patient whose condition was treatable 3 years earlier.

I really don't know why AP editors let this personal diatribe fly out as journalism. If it discourages users from loading Microsoft Anti-Spyware Beta, then the article has caused more damage. The Microsoft product is a great one. Everyone should be running it and wait to see the cost. It's worth every penny. Legitimate comparisons and tests with long standing anti-spyware software in the market has demonstrated the viability and sometimes superiority of the Microsoft product.

Don't be misled by ignorance in the news. The product isn't perfect but none of the software in this category is. However, I believe it's the best one available.

Saturday, January 22, 2005


It's really hard to clean your screen on the backside, inside the computer. Here's some help...

Technoskeptic Techie - Utne

I think it is always good to reflect on how digital forms of media are effecting our lives and thinking. I found myself resonating with some of Mr. Hart's article. Some days I don't blog because I need a break from it all. I think the jury is still out on how this will impact future generations but mark my words, it is changing our society.

This Old Toy's Fisher-Price Toys fisher price castle

A recent discussion with my children about toys made me remember those great toys I had as a kid. And yes, you can find them on the web. Here's one such site.

My favorite was always the Fisher Price Castle.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Calculate CPI from 1665-2012

Ever want to know how much a dollar in the past is worth today? Try out this calculator.

A Vision of 2014

I get a kind of "Orwellian" feel from this but as all good fictional timelines, it gives food for thought. Have you contemplated Googlezon? What about blogs, personal information and where this may lead? I like imagining the future and this is a fascinating flash movies to watch.

Thanks to Alan Meckler's post on this.

HOW-TO: Use your CDMA cellphone as a USB modem - Engadget

This is one of the cool things I learned to do on my Hitachi G1000 thanks to a "heads up" from the Computerate Chatterer. It works quite nicely, thank you very much, and can provide connectivity when options are slim (dial-up really isn't an option, is it??!!)

Monday, January 17, 2005

Company offers 10GB of Net storage, for free | CNET News.com

Need online space for storage or backup? Check out this vendor...

An evening with Google's Marissa Mayer (alan.blog-city.com)

There are some great Did you know Google ... information here. Nice inside interview.

Friday, January 14, 2005

The Bovine Bugle: Sights around the farm on a dazzling winter day

One of my brothers or sisters in wingdom left their mark....HawkTracksInSnow0105F.JPG

PS...please send the snow down South!

The New York Times > F.B.I. May Scrap Vital Overhaul of Its Outdated Computer System

People wonder why you should keep up-to-date on technology. Here is the perfect example. The F.B.I. can't make the transition to a more seamless, integrated system. When you fall behind the technological curve, you lose. It's much harder to make a transition and takes more time and money in the long run. If you can do it at all.

I wondered about details concerning the system and found a fewhere and here. It tells me they've lacked leadership. It wasn't until 2001 that the Bureau got Internet access for agents and gave up their 386's.

Do I need to say any more?

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Wall Street: 'Blogs insignificant' | Between the Lines | ZDNet.com

This is a nice little response to the notion that blogs and RSS are insignificant. I believe like the authors that this is the killer app right now for the web. Primary sources are reporting events instead of professional media outlets. With RSS, we have become our "editors", choosing the stories we want to receive. The phenomenon is exploding and there is no escaping (see this Fortune article).

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Paul Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows: The Road to Windows Longhorn 2005

Paul has been updating us for a while. Here's the latest schedule for Microsoft's next operating system.


This is a great Firefox tip I found in my research because I really want to search my Internet history. I read so many articles and gather so much information, I'd like it to be indexed and available for desktop searching. With all the new search options out there, I've been sticking with Google Desktop search. But it doesn't index Firefox's (now my exclusive browser) Internet history. Enter Slogger. Here is a great extension that will allow you to save every page you visit and read in a folder. Google can then index it and you have a permanent, searchable record of sites visited.

Monday, January 10, 2005

AppleInsider | Sources: Apple never planned live stream from Macworld

Apple and Steve Jobs proves it doesn't have a clue. As a Windows guru, I pay attention to Mac because there are very few central voices who resist the Microsoft viewpoint as Apple. This will be a great loss for people like me, blogging initial reactions. But I guess they can't handle the scrutiny. Poor decision, Apple.

Starbucks Drinks Simplified (kinda)

Here's some help next time you go to Starbuck's. Thanks to The Screensavers.

20 Year Archive on Google Groups

Before Groogle Groups, there was Usenet. Google has the archives and has a nice timeline of highlights during this period. My personal favorites are:
First mention of the Commodore 64
First mention of Microsoft Windows
Announcement of Webcrawler's launch (my first favorite search engine when I started in IT)

Saturday, January 08, 2005


If you didn't know when you could request your free annual US credit report, brought to you by new law, this site will tell you. South Carolina is June 1st, 2005.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Lord of the Rings Myers/Briggs

I'm a dwarf...here's an excerpt...

The world exists to be explained and analyzed. You prefer to work quietly without interruption. Time alone is important and solitary activities refresh you. You have a tendency to introspection. In your desire for clarity in life, you may have the tendency of being remote or even "heartless". You like keeping your options open. Closure is probably not one of your strong suits.

Posted by Hello

WeatherBug Miffed at Microsoft's Spyware Classification

Is it or isn't it? I said I would try the application to see if I get infected. 6 months later, no spyware. That's great, or is it? I would submit the advertisers for some of Weatherbug's ads do load spyware or could potentially. This is why it's dangerouse to use this on a novice's PC and why we remove it in our enterprise. I like the concept and program of Weatherbug but not the risk.

The iHome? - EngadgetiHome 3

Gotta be faked. Read the comments...

CNN.com - Coming to a theater near you, 2005 - Jan 5, 2005

If these are the highlights for the coming year, WOW!! I look forward to most of these. See you at the movies...

PCWorld.com - CES 2005: Show Stopping Photos

I love seeing pictures of products from these trade shows. Here are a few at PC World and for the week you may want to check out one of my favorite blogs for the flurry of products they found.

Secunia - Internet Explorer Command Execution Vulnerability Test

As of today, this Internet Explorer vulnerability is unpatched. The link above allows a test of the vulnerability. Will this be fixed on patch Tuesday? I doubt it but we'll see. In all fairness, as a Firefox user, I'm not out of the woods...the report of vulnerabilities means all of need to be diligent on the Internet. No browser is perfect. It will interesting to see how quickly these two get patched.

Interstate Trivia

We all spend time on the road. But how do they number those interstates and routes? Thanks to pointers from Coolgov, we get to see a little on how those decisions are made.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Download details: Windows AntiSpyware (Beta)

Microsoft got into the anti-spyware business by making an acquisition. Here is the first fruits of that purchase. I've loaded and will be running it for a couple of weeks. It's worth giving it a try.

Also, here are some first impressions regarding the product.

Bill Gates at the 2005 International Consumer Electronics Show: Video

Keep up with it all by watching what Bill said last night.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

CES 2005: Gates Promotes "Digital Entertainment Anywhere" Successes and New Initiatives
...dramatic improvement to Microsoft's already impressive digital media ecosystem.

So you hear from the reporters about Bill Gates' speech tonight. If you don't think Windows Media Center 2005 is hot, read the link.

Gates taking a seat in your den | Newsmakers | CNET News.com

Bill speaks before his keynote. Love him or hate him, his comments are important to listen. And we learn if he's going to do a blog, well sorta!

ABC News: Turning Flat TVs Into Digital Art Galleries

I'm looking forward to the Hi-Def wall/window vistas. It's only a matter of when.

Google News RSS Generator

If you use Google News alerts and read RSS feeds, don't duplicate your work. Here is a way to make RSS feeds from your news alerts and keep your inbox cleaner.

Monday, January 03, 2005

The New York Times: Reinventing the Wheel (and the Tire, Too)

I've heard a about improved tires for a while. I've always thought that economics made it an impossibility for tire manufacturers to give up there revenue stream by creating something which wouldn't wear out nearly as quickly. Maybe the "tweel" might be the chance for them to still make money while improving our "tired" experiences.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Kiddie Records Weekly
 Archive Week 04

Classics posted weekly from the 40's/50's. Relive your childhood.

Thanks Boing Boing.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

CNN.com - Report: Sea gypsies' knowledge saves village - Jan 1, 2005

History and the wisdom of your elders can even save your life. Think about it.

Webmink's Sumatra Damage Animation

Webmink has put together an animation of the damage in Sumatra. This gives some perspective.