Hawk's Nest

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Satellite Images of New Orleans

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Business 2.0 - Free Wi-Fi? Get Ready for GoogleNet.

"What if" can create an intriguing world of possibilities. Om Malik has his thought about Google's purchase of "dark fiber". Read on and see why what Google has in store makes sense that they build up their high-speed network.

Katrina: Blogging the Storm

Unless your head is in the sand, you know about Katrina. Several blogs are continuously feeding information.

WXnation is great and has compiled live feeds from all the New Orleans TV stations.

Miles O'Brien from CNN (not the Star Trek one) is blogging through the storm.

StormDigest is covering it as well.

UPDATE: 8-28-05, 10:24pm
The Truth Laid Bear aggregator is pulling together content on the storm in a special report.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Dell unearths faulty capacitors on motherboards

This sounds like a very obscure post for this blog...trust me, it isn't. Recently, we've experienced a consistent problem with our Dell desktop PC's in our enterprise. Our Dell GX280's have been dying and in need of replacement motherboards. Some common symptoms include:
1-Fan runs high on GX280

2-No Video on GX280

3-Cannot power off with power button but have to remove power cable

The above article identifies SX270's and GX270's as PC's with the problem. I can confirm for you that the GX280 is having this problem as well. See the article above for details. The Dell forums are buzzing with other enterprises affected and Dell appears to have known since February 2005. Motherboards are backordered and Dell is missing their Gold Support "Next Business Day" obligation.

It's not pretty, folks. But it's the truth.

UPDATE: 8-23-05,10:53pm
Another personal note that makes this story even more compelling for me. Capacitors are something I grew up with. My Dad is an electrical engineer by education and has spent his life working with capacitors. He's recently been involved with quality assurance for St. Jude Medical, manufacturing capacitors which are used in implantable heart defibrillators. If something goes wrong with one of those, it's more serious than the Dell problem. So I grew up doing science projects with capacitors and the like. I know I never appreciated back then how important they would be to me in the future.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Google Releases Desktop 2--InsideGoogle

I'm trying out the new Google Desktop Search myself. I actually like having this information at a glance in the sidebar. With a 21' LCD panel, screen real estate is no problem. I've added one of the plug-ins which Google has published API's for. So far, it's pretty cool. I need to add a few of my main RSS feeds but the resultant effect is very nifty.

One interesting observation with Microsoft Outlook: I have another user's mailbox open automatically for easy access to his calendar. The desktop search is seeing his new e-mail and my new e-mail arrive (only one e-mail in the five listed in this picture are mine). There is no apparent way to control this except to close his account from my Outlook. (PS. I have rights to his whole account so there isn't a security issue here)

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Trip to Saluda

A week ago or so, I visited Saluda, NC, with my wife. Her family has had a place there for nearly 100 years so it's definitely like stepping back in time.

Our trip up saw two items of interest. First, the back road we used to get there from Easley, SC, had a lot of traffic coming down the mountain...bike traffic, that is.

Second, we saw a typewriter repair van! I knew I was in the country then. No broadband needed! I never expected to see anything like that. (Sorry I wasn't quick enough with the camera)

While there, we ate a tasty lunch at the Whistle Stop (see menu, though my chicken quesadilla's aren't on it) and admired the GIANT ice cream cones coming out of Fudge Mountain in the barn next door but didn't get any.

35% blame Microsoft for latest worm outbreak, reveals Sophos polls

Actually, what this poll reveals is that 35% of business users are clueless about computer security. With the media's constant berating of Microsoft, one-third of users have bought the lie, hook, line and sinker. While the virus that took down Windows 2000 system did exploit a vulnerability in the operating system, it didn't if you had upgraded from this six-year-old OS. It wasn't even a blip on the radar screen in my enterprise. Meantime, the almighty Mac OS X had 44 patches released last week...44! And just how much press did this get? Not even close to what Microsoft suffered.

But there was no exploit, you say. You're right. The virus writers are immature youngsters with script kiddies making multiple flavors of the latest exploit because they have no original ideas and want the bragging rights. So, they always choose the biggest target. Especially if the vulnerability is explicitly spelled out for them in the interest of "full disclosure".

I'm a firm proponent of limiting disclosure. Do we need all the details out in the wild for threats to be created? Or do we need to apply the patch when it's available and then hear about the problem?

The problem last week occured not only because administrators didn't patch in a timely fashion, but they left systems exposed without firewalls, didn't screen for vulnerabilities on the edge of their networks, didn't upgrade in a timely fashion, a la Windows 2000 to Window 2003 and didn't stop whining about how hard it is to maintain their environment. Sys admins, be proactive!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Apple Fails in Patenting IPod Technology

Wouldn't it be ironic if Apple had to pay Microsoft for its iPod success? Patents are a tricky field. I think things get patented which shouldn't be. There are some interesting ideas people have so they get patented. Just check out Patent of the Week.

Tipped Off - New York Times

Abolish tipping? It might seem like a radical concept but Mr. Shaw makes a good case. I usually hate having to figure out how much the meal actually cost. But I really hate those situations where you don't know if you should tip or not. Is it a sit-down or informal setting. Are the employees really getting paid only $1.25 at this or that establishment? It can get confusing.

I'll agree with Mr. Shaw, let's just create a service fee. We can still tip if we like the server.

PBS | I, Cringely . August 11, 2005 - The Gloves Come Off

Take the time to read Robert Cringley's article on deregulation. This most interesting information he provides is the "master plan" for the telephone companies in their competition with cable. Higher speeds, they be a comin'.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Neowin.net -[Exclusive] Windows Anti-Spyware development to be dropped?

Now if this is true, there will be a revolt. I'm a faithful Microsoft supporter and user of most Microsoft products. I consult for average users with spyware problems and was thrilled to hear six months ago that Microsoft had decided not to charge for the product. And it came from "the man" himself, Mr. Gates.

Since then, I have secured clients with the product. I've used other additional products but the simplicity and ease of Microsoft's is extremely helpful to have as a primary defense. With this prospect, I'm extremely upset. Hopefully, it isn't true.

All I have to say is, Microsoft, keep your word...listen to Bill.

**UPDATE** Other Microsoft insiders say this isn't true...read Steve Dodson

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

'Lost' leads way to sci-fi invasion - The Clarion-Ledger

Reality TV is tired and old. I've never liked it. In it's place, sci-fi is going mainstream. How long will it last? I'm sure the ratings will tell us.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Software Maker Plans to Share as Way to Fight Microsoft - New York Times

...and that software maker is VMware. Why do I care about this? Well, remember a couple of months ago I mentioned I'd explain a 3 week absence, VMware is the reason. I led a project which used this software to virtualize most of our server infrastructure. It was a lot of work and fun. We're working on the tweaking and tailoring to our environment, but I highly recommend it.

Also, I've virtualized my entire desktop. My main PC is now just one big file. It allows me to use a variety of operating systems in my normal day. Very cool.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Report: Cisco mulls buying Nokia - Aug. 7, 2005

Let's see how this develops. Could be quite an impact in tech corners. VoIP & cell phone maker, Nokia Checkpoint solutions, all subject to change. Keep an eye on this...

Holographic Memory

MIT's Technology Review takes a look into the future of holographic storage technology.

Escape From Yesterworld

It's about Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005 but entertaining for all.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Battle of the News Portal Pages

Google's Personalized News page featuring RSS hasn't been out of the gate long before Microsoft's shows up.... Start. Interestingly enough, Microsoft's can import your OPML file, giving you access to all the feeds you subscribe to without having to manually re-enter them all. They also allow more columns, providing a greater variety of "look and feel". This is fun stuff to play with to see what fits you the best.

Let the battles rage on.