Wednesday, September 29, 2004

USGS officials are holding a news conference right now, and have just announced an explosive event on Mt St Helens is possible, and the alert level has just been raised by the USGS for the mountain. The lava dome in the crater has apparently moved a measurable amount, and seismic activity has taken a noticible upturn.

They are now seeing quakes at the rate of 4 a minute. They are larger quakes, 2 to 2.5 in magnitude. Describing the seismic activity, they say it is definitely ramping up and plateauing in phases, not falling back down. Explosion and ash are the risks. This behavior is similar to what was observed on the mountain in 1986: Big increases in seismic energy over past 8 hours.

I'm at the airport flying out to Reno at 12:45, mobile posting from my handheld device. I hope it keeps its top on.

Update: USGS Advisories and information about the mountain activity available here.



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Mt. St. Helens | Random Stuff
Wednesday, September 29, 2004 10:23:42 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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SpaceShipOne rockets into space.
Dexter-Southfield Schools via NB

SpaceShipOne, piloted by Michael Melvill, just completed the first of a series of two flights into space with an equivalent load of three people. One more flight within the next two weeks (sounds like they will try for Monday next week) would net them the coveted X-Prize.

The goal behind the contest is to build a private, reusable space transport technology that can be licensed and used in business. The design for SpaceShipOne is pretty darn cool - it's wings fold back about 45 degrees to act as brakes for re-entry. Already people are signing up and buying tickets to fly into space, and one Las Vegas businessman is looking for someone who can build an orbital "hotel destination" for four.

More and more amazing, every day. Wow.



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Random Stuff
Wednesday, September 29, 2004 7:55:35 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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The other day I mentioned about how I heard a rather popular blogger from Seattle on the radio, and essentially had a "wow what a 'big small world' this is" moment. The Internet has done that - effectively shrunk the world as we know it, while maintaining its true non-virtual size and mass.

Yesterday a co-worker, Steve, saw me in the elevator along with another co-worker, Scott. He said that he had just been communicating with someone he knows who lives in Alaska, and was talking about something interesting, when the friend asked him if the Corillian he works at is the same Corillian that employs the guy who tore apart his MP3 player for the hard drive inside. Steve was surprised and had a good story to tell. I bet that kind of thing almost never happened 40 years ago. Again, it's "big small world" we live in.

Today I'm leaving on a trip that will help turn the tables again and make my world just a little smaller again. Let's call it the "small big world" trip (it's subtle, take you time, heh). I'll be meeting people I've never had a chance to speak to face to face, and I am looking forward to it. There are people for whom I have great respect but have never met in person. I see this as a great opportunity.

If you think about how much technology (specifically electronics and the Internet and everything you can do with them) has changed the world in the past 10 years, it's pretty darn incredible. It makes me wonder what the next really big thing will be. I guess we'll just have to hang on and see.



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Personal Stories | Random Stuff
Wednesday, September 29, 2004 7:06:31 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Tuesday, September 28, 2004

I've neglected myself three times over the past few years by not attending Gnomedex - which was both my mistake and my loss. This year I am going, and it's looking to me like this may be one of the best conferences I've ever attended from the total-geek-fest standpoint. I'm flying to Reno tomorrow and making the quick drive over to Lake Tahoe, where the conference is being held at Harrah's.

Probably the thing that I am most looking forward to is meeting people that I have conversed with on the Internet (mostly through the blogosphere, as they say) face-to-face. There are a number of people for whom I have great professional respect that will be in attendance, and that alone will make this more than worth the while.

Chris Pirillo's Lockergnome is the power being this conference. I am sure it will be fun, interesting and memorable.

Below is some info ripped from the Gnomedex FAQ, and yes, I will blog from the conference when something stands out to me.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go do some laundry so I can pack clean clothes.


Q: Will there be Internet access?

A: Is the sun a mass of incandescent gas?


Q: Who's Gnomedex 4: Geeks Gone Wild! for?

A: Technology enthusiasts, professionals, and folks who just love hanging out with geeks. In past years, we've had fantastic presentations, vendors, and sponsors - and expect this year to be no different in that respect.


Q: Is this conference family-friendly?

A: It's recommended that anybody below the age of 18 go to Disneyland instead.


Q: Can I bring a friend?

A: Only if s/he likes to have fun, too.


Q: Why is yours better than other conventions?

A: Because it is.


Q: Do people really read FAQs?

A: No.


Q: How many people do you expect to be there this year?

A: Including you? A lot. Close to 1,000, according to our estimates.


Q: Where's Gnomedex 4: Geeks Gone Wild! being held?

A: Harrah's.


Q: Is this a place for me to make business contacts?

A: Yes, and to make them life-long friends as well.


Q: Can I blog this event?

A: If you don't, the gods will be angered and virgins will (most likely) be sacrificed.


Q: What is a blog?

A: Nobody really seems to know.



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Random Stuff | Tech
Tuesday, September 28, 2004 7:11:14 PM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Great software announcements today... Nick Bradbury has announced that FeedDemon 1.5 Beta 1 is available.

Why is this a big deal? There's a great new addition to the mix:

“Starting with version 1.5, FeedDemon users can create a Bloglines Channel Group from their Bloglines subscriptions. When viewing a Bloglines Channel Group, items you read in Bloglines won't show up in FeedDemon, and items you download in FeedDemon won't show up as unread in Bloglines. It's very easy to synchronize with your Bloglines subscriptions so that FeedDemon reflects feeds you add or remove from Bloglines.”

Looks like I may need to go back and try BlogLines again. This is what was missing for me - synchronized integration with my feed reader.



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RSS Stuff | Tech
Tuesday, September 28, 2004 8:29:52 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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And just in time - Blackberry has announced (but not released) BES 4.0, which will (finally) get some much-needed changes in place!

For example (my filtered feature list of what really stood out):

  • COMPLETE WIRELESS SYNCHRONIZATION - Yes!!!
  • View pictures on the device
  • Better graphical browser with Javascript and some CSS support
  • More wireless calendar features (accept tentative, add comments, notification of conflicts)
  • Global search (email, contacts, calendar, tasks, across the whole thing)
  • Wireless management of Out of Office message, email filters, signatures, etc.
  • Lots of back-end wireless security and management improvements

More detailed info is on the Blackberry web site - click the links below.

The latest release of the BlackBerry Enterprise Solution will feature:

Nice, nice nice! Time to go renew that TSupport subscription that's about to come due...

Blackberry customers running a BES can sign up for possible inclusion in a BES 4.0 preview if interested. Done.



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Mobile | Tech
Tuesday, September 28, 2004 6:10:03 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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