greg hughes - dot - net http://www.greghughes.net/rant/ The contents of this site represent my own thoughts and opinions, not those of anyone else - like my employer - or even my dog for that matter. Besides, the dog would post things that make sense. I don't. http://www.greghughes.net/images/gregheadshot1.png greg hughes - dot - net http://www.greghughes.net/rant/ en-us Greg Hughes Thu, 07 Dec 2006 08:20:24 GMT newtelligence dasBlog 1.9.6315.0 greg@greghughes.net greg@greghughes.net http://www.greghughes.net/rant/Trackback.aspx?guid=63cbd34a-ea51-40a6-ad42-b754eb122c70 http://www.greghughes.net/rant/pingback.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,63cbd34a-ea51-40a6-ad42-b754eb122c70.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,63cbd34a-ea51-40a6-ad42-b754eb122c70.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/SyndicationService.asmx/GetEntryCommentsRss?guid=63cbd34a-ea51-40a6-ad42-b754eb122c70 2

I almost didn't write this one. But then I changed my mind because it occurred to me that there's a lot of people who are in the same boat. Let me be very clear here that this entry is written from the perspective of a business power user, someone who stretches things to their usable limits, and then some.

As many readers here already know, I am a Blackberry guy. Have been for years. Occasionally, I go through the trial phases with other devices, sort of a change-up process that - at least to date - has always ended up being a sort of Blackberry Vacation phase for me.

Anyhow, yesterday I set aside my trusty and scratched Blackberry 8700, with it's extended battery and general useful goodness, to try the latest in Windows Mobile technology for a while - the Samsung Blackjack, procured from Cingular. Giving up my Blackberry, which has survived multiple submersions (don't ask, don't worry) and significant drops on many a hard surface, is not something I take lightly.

The Blackjack looked interesting. I had an opportunity to switch out with no risk and to see what it's all about. The TV commercials had caught my eye, truth be told, and it looked like about as good of a Windows Mobile device as any, probably even better. So, I thought, what the heck... And yesterday it arrived and we swapped out the SIM cards. I went about my business sans-Blackberry and with a sleek new phone. This blog entry is my (rather pointed)comparison of the two devices and software. It's important to note that a comparison point of view is my primary perspective when I review mobile devices. In order to make a switch from what I already have it has to work for me in a business sense, well enough to make me want to move, so a comparison with a power-business-user slant is both fair and meaningful.

Anyhow, It's been an interesting 24+ hours.

First off, the 30,000-foot Gestalt view: To be honest, my hopes have been fairly dashed. No matter how you skin it, from a strict usability standpoint the Windows Mobile 5 experience still just doesn't match that of the Blackberry. It's much closer than it used to be, but the remaining gap is real and there's much work remaining to be done to move into the same category. And I am not referring to the Blackjack hardware here (more on that in a minute). I am referring to the OS as a whole and the UI navigation specifically. I have to scroll and click through so many things just to do the simplest tasks. The conglomeration of operating system and applications (some controlled by MS, some by the device manufacturer, others by the carrier, I am sure) is just a little too klutzy to work well. It's right on the edge of being too difficult to be practical. Keep in mind, I come from Blackberry land, where things work quite well, where Blackberry controls the hardware and the software in a much more complete manner. And that's the set of users that Windows Mobile needs to win over. Without that, the potential market is considerably more scarce. Also keep in mind, I really want the Windows Mobile experience to rival or even best the Blackberry - there's no fan-boy stuff going on here. The simple fact is that in practical power-user life the Blackberry wins by a significant margin. And by practical use I mean email, calendar, tasks, text messaging, and the like. Not MP3 files and video. Those are nice, but the basics have to work really well first.

What exactly am I referring to? On the Blackberry, I look at one screen and touch one wheel to do everything but type. Everything I need is right there, in full view. My email is one thumb click away and so is the calendar. On the Blackberry clicking the wheel brings up a context sensitive menu of options - all of the options right there on the screen without having to go to three or four more buttons on the face of the phone. Sounds picky, I know, but deal with several hundred emails a day and see how much of an impact it has. For that matter, spend ten minutes reading email flowing in on a Blackberry and then see how long it takes you to do the same thing on the Blackjack or any other Windows Mobile device. It's a different world.

Now, granted - Blackberry doesn't have some of the terrific things the Blackjack and Windows Mobile sport, and it's some pretty darned cool stuff that you get on the Blackjack/Windows Mobile device, to be sure. For example, the 3G UTMS/HSPDA network is amazingly fast (the Blackberry 8700 is an EDGE device, which is okay but doesn't really even compare speed-wise), and of course the Blackjack has a camera, which is something you can't get (yet) on a Blackberry (but the 8800 model with a camera is rumored to be coming in the spring). The 1.3 megapixel camera does a pretty nice job, by the way. Much better than other phones I've used before. Windows Media Player 10 (with some nifty streaming audio and video on the fast network provided by Cingular) and the ability to use MicroSD cards is cool. You don't get that on the Blackberry. And a solid MSN/Live Messenger application that I don't have to go find and pay for was a welcome item, as well. It also does AOL and Yahoo! messengers, by the way.

Did I mention it's a phone? Bluetooth 2, speakerphone capability and a very good phone call and sound quality are all pretty impressive.

There have been three lock-ups that I had to pull the battery to resolve. One was a network data failure to communicate at all this morning first thing, and the others were random application glitches it seemed. I have had to pull the battery on my 8700 a few times, but it's very, very rare.

Ultimately, even with the cool bells and whistles, if I cannot reliably and effectively do email, calendar and messaging in a very quick, painless and efficient manner like I can with the Blackberry phone, it's all for not. At best the experience on Windows Mobile takes some getting used to for a Blackberry user, and yet in reality even after some adjustment time it still lacks. You just have to navigate too much and too far with too many pointers and controls to get much of anything done, and the beautiful, bright screen is used for "bling" more than for practical real estate application. I will look for screen themes that better use the space, but I'm not holding my breath.

As far as the hardware goes, it is a nice feeling device. It's very solid and feels substantial in your hand. I like that. I think the proprietary cable that hooks to the USB port and/or charger cable was a terribly bad decision. Why not mini-USB so I can use my existing cables and chargers? Oh, wait - that's right. How would they sell more accessories if they all match? Ugh.

And don't get me started on battery life. Get this - between 8am and 3pm, I completely went through a charged battery, and that with only one phone call all day, and that call only lasted five minutes tops. I have the Exchange push-sync thing going and Bluetooth is turned on (by the way, the Bluetooth on the 8700 is flaky and the Blackjack has it beat in terms of reliability). I imagine that uses a bit more battery, but is it unreasonable to expect that the battery would last at least a day? The Blackberry lasts forever on a charge. I have a hard time killing it on a dawn-to-past-dusk day of emergencies and lots of phone calls. Good thing there's two batteries with my Blackjack - I needed them both just today. That's not good. A Microsoftie friend tells me there is some way to  turn off the HSPDA capability and that doing so might help with battery drain, and also that the push configuration with Exchange is a power-killer as well. But to me it seems like the features should be supported by the battery system. Either that or else the features need to be made a lot more efficient. Again, I am speaking from a practical standpoint. It has to work in the real world, regardless of what it is. And I can't change batteries mid-day in many cases. Hopefully after a few charges the life will get a little better but I can't imagine it getting so much better as to alleviate the concern.

Probably my biggest and most noticed disappointment about he hardware is the keyboard. I was surprised at how hard it is to type on this thing. Visually the keyboard is pretty cool and is somewhat similar to the Blackberry. But once you touch it you realize the keys are long and tall in shape, close together, and it's too easy to screw up finger placement. They're also slippery and stick up a long way, making accurate finger action even more difficult. The spacebar key is too narrow, and there's actually room there on the device to make it wider - which makes its lack of size even more unfortunate. And worst of all, as I type email or anything at normal typing speed the device randomly misses keystrokes. They just don't register. And at other times the OS seems to lag in showing what I type. I have had to go back and fill in missing letters and characters all day long on the thing, which is doubly frustrating. Again, from a practical standpoint that's not good.

I hate even writing this, because I very much wanted to like the Blackjack. And while I don't quite hate it (and I will stick with it for at least a few more days to see if somehow my experience and opinion changes), the usability issues have just about killed it for me out of the gate. The enthusiasm is gone and it's been fairly disappointing.

I have to believe that on the platform side Microsoft is truly interested in going after the serious enterprise business market, which is why I mention these details about the OS. And I will happily share my thoughts and experiences with anyone on the Mobile OS team that wants to take them. I'm picky, heh. And the war's not over yet: Today no less than ten people noticed the cool form factor of the Blackjack and instantly asked me if that was a new Blackberry I had. "No," I told them, "it's a Blackjack Windows Mobile phone." Hmmm! said the looks on their faces. "Do you like it?" they asked with anticipation. "No," I said. "It's driving me nuts. It should be cool but so far it's just too much work to use it." And that's the truth.

As I said, I almost didn't write this. There are many people out there that will get the Blackjack and love it, I am completely sure of that. It's a great phone. But as a hard-core power user on the business side, I need more - and this is my way of asking.

First impressions count for a lot, and the experience I've had with the Blackjack - colored by my experience with other devices that work very, very well - was simply less than I had hoped for. I think I have reasonable expectations. I am hopeful - and somewhat confident - that it will get better in the future. At least I sure hope so. The Windows Mobile OS has a lot of potential to kick butt. It just needs to get across that magical proverbial line, and probably Microsoft needs to do even more to ensure that the device makers do their part, as well. I know that seems like a legal stretch, but hey there's plenty of proof showing why it's needed. Blackberry has perfected their form factor and their software, which while relatively simple is elegant and works very well. Microsoft doesn't need to copy them to come up with a great solution, and they don't need to stifle the channel partners, software authors and hardware manufacturers, but they do need to set high standards, and they need to push hard and fast.

If and when that happens, maybe then I'll switch. Maybe it'll be a no-brainer. I am open to it, and hope that someday it will happen. Until then, I think this is just another vacation from my Blackberry career, but I am willing to let time tell. Heck, it's probably a good idea to stick with something else for a short period anyhow as far as repetitive stress injury avoidance goes, at least. Right?



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. 24 Hours with the Samsung Blackjack - First Impressions http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,63cbd34a-ea51-40a6-ad42-b754eb122c70.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/24HoursWithTheSamsungBlackjackFirstImpressions.aspx Thu, 07 Dec 2006 08:20:24 GMT <p> I almost didn't write this one. But then I changed my mind because it occurred to me that there's a lot of people who are in the same boat. Let me be very clear here that this entry is written from the perspective of a business power user, someone who stretches things to their usable limits, and then some. </p> <p> As many readers here already know, I am a <a href="http://www.blackberry.com" target="_blank">Blackberry</a> guy. Have been for years. Occasionally, I <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PhonePDAEmailDevicesOnceYouveHadBlackberry.aspx">go through the trial phases with other devices</a>, sort of a change-up process&nbsp;that - at least to date -&nbsp;has always ended up being&nbsp;a sort of Blackberry Vacation phase for me. </p> <p> <img style="margin: 0px 0px 5px 15px" height="240" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/SamsungBlackjackFirstImpressions_1197F/blackjack1.jpg" width="131" align="right"> Anyhow, yesterday I set aside my trusty and scratched Blackberry 8700, with it's extended battery and general useful goodness, to try the latest in Windows Mobile technology for a while - the <a href="http://www.samsungblackjack.com/">Samsung Blackjack</a>, procured from Cingular. Giving up my Blackberry, which has survived multiple submersions (don't ask, don't worry) and significant drops on many a hard surface, is not something I take lightly. </p> <p> The Blackjack looked interesting. I had an opportunity&nbsp;to switch out with no risk and to see what it's all about. The TV commercials had caught my eye, truth be told, and it looked like about as good of a Windows Mobile device as any, probably even better. So, I thought, what the heck... And yesterday it arrived and we swapped out the&nbsp;SIM cards. I went about my business sans-Blackberry and with a sleek new phone. This blog entry is my (rather pointed)comparison of the two devices and software. It's important&nbsp;to note that a comparison point of view&nbsp;is my primary perspective when I review mobile devices. In order to make a switch from what I already have&nbsp;it has to work for me in a business sense, well enough to make me want to move,&nbsp;so a comparison with a power-business-user slant is both fair and meaningful. </p> <p> Anyhow, It's been an interesting 24+ hours. </p> <p> First off, the 30,000-foot Gestalt&nbsp;view: To be honest, my hopes have been fairly dashed. No matter how you skin it, from a strict usability standpoint the Windows Mobile 5 experience still just doesn't match that of the Blackberry. It's much closer than it used to be, but the remaining gap is real and there's much work remaining to be done to move into the same category. And I am not referring to the&nbsp;Blackjack hardware here&nbsp;(more on that in a minute). I am referring to the OS as a whole and the UI navigation specifically. I have to scroll and click through so many things just to do the simplest tasks. The conglomeration of operating system and applications (some controlled by MS, some by the device manufacturer, others by the carrier, I am sure) is just a little too klutzy to work well.&nbsp;It's right&nbsp;on the edge of being too difficult&nbsp;to be practical. Keep in mind, I come from Blackberry land, where things work quite well, where Blackberry controls the hardware and the software in a much more complete manner. And that's the set of users that Windows Mobile needs to win over. Without that, the potential market is considerably more scarce. Also keep in mind, I really <em>want</em> the Windows Mobile experience to rival or even best the Blackberry - there's no fan-boy stuff going on here. The simple fact is that in practical power-user life the Blackberry wins by a significant margin. And by practical use I mean email, calendar, tasks, text messaging, and the like. Not MP3 files and video. Those are nice, but the basics have to work <em>really</em> well first. </p> <p> What exactly am I referring to? On the Blackberry, I look at one screen and touch one wheel to do everything but type. Everything I need is right there, in full view.&nbsp;My email is one thumb click away and so is the calendar. On the Blackberry clicking the wheel brings up a context sensitive menu of options - all of the options right there on the screen without having to go to three or four more buttons on the face of the phone. Sounds picky, I know, but deal with several hundred emails a day and see how much of an impact it has. For that matter, spend ten minutes reading email flowing in on a Blackberry and then see how long it takes you to do the same thing on&nbsp;the Blackjack or any other Windows Mobile device. It's a different world. </p> <p> Now, granted - Blackberry doesn't have some of the terrific things the Blackjack and Windows Mobile sport, and it's some pretty darned cool stuff&nbsp;that you get&nbsp;on the Blackjack/Windows Mobile device, to be sure. For example, the 3G UTMS/HSPDA network is amazingly fast (the Blackberry 8700 is an EDGE device, which is okay but doesn't really even compare speed-wise), and of course the Blackjack has a&nbsp;camera, which&nbsp;is something you can't get (yet) on a Blackberry (but the 8800 model with a camera is rumored to be coming in the spring). The 1.3 megapixel camera does a pretty nice job, by the way. Much better than other phones I've used before. Windows Media Player 10 (with some nifty streaming audio and&nbsp;video on the fast network provided by Cingular)&nbsp;and the ability to use MicroSD cards is cool. You don't get that on&nbsp;the Blackberry. And a solid MSN/Live Messenger application that I don't have to go find and pay for was a welcome item, as well. It also does AOL and Yahoo! messengers, by the way. </p> <p> Did I mention it's a phone? Bluetooth 2, speakerphone capability&nbsp;and a very good phone call and sound quality are all pretty impressive. </p> <p> There have been three lock-ups that I had to pull the battery to resolve. One was a network data failure to communicate at all this morning first thing, and the others were random application glitches it seemed. I have had to pull the battery on my 8700 a few times, but it's very, very rare. </p> <p> Ultimately, even with the cool bells and whistles,&nbsp;if I cannot reliably and effectively do email, calendar and messaging in a very quick, painless and efficient&nbsp;manner like I can with the Blackberry phone, it's all for not. At best the experience on Windows Mobile takes some getting used to for a Blackberry user, and yet in reality even after some adjustment time it still lacks. You just have to navigate too much and too far with too many pointers and controls to get much of anything done, and the beautiful, bright screen is used for "bling" more than for practical real estate application. I will look for screen themes that better use the space, but I'm not holding my breath. </p> <p> As far as the hardware goes, it is a nice feeling device. It's very solid and feels substantial in your hand. I like that. I think the proprietary cable that hooks to the USB port and/or charger cable was a terribly bad decision. Why not mini-USB so I can use my existing cables and chargers? Oh, wait - that's right. How would they sell more accessories if they all match? Ugh. </p> <p> And don't get me started on battery life. Get this - between 8am and 3pm, I completely went through a charged battery, and that with only one phone call all day, and that call only lasted five minutes tops. I have the Exchange push-sync thing going and Bluetooth is turned on (by the way, the Bluetooth on the 8700 is flaky and the Blackjack has it beat in terms of reliability). I imagine that uses a bit more battery, but is it unreasonable to expect that the battery would last at least a day? The Blackberry lasts forever on a charge. I have a hard time killing it on a dawn-to-past-dusk day of emergencies and lots of phone calls. Good thing there's two batteries with my Blackjack&nbsp;- I needed them both just today. That's not good. A Microsoftie friend tells me there is some way to&nbsp; turn off the HSPDA capability and that doing so might help with battery drain, and also that the push configuration with Exchange is a power-killer as well. But to me it seems like the features should be supported by the battery system. Either that or else the features need to be made a lot more efficient. Again, I am speaking from a practical standpoint. It has to work in the real world, regardless of what it is. And I can't change batteries mid-day in many cases. Hopefully after a few charges the life will get a little better but I can't imagine it getting so much better as to alleviate the concern. </p> <p> Probably my biggest and most noticed disappointment about he hardware is the keyboard. I was surprised at how hard it is to type on this thing. Visually the keyboard is pretty cool and is somewhat similar to the Blackberry. But once you touch it you realize&nbsp;the keys are long and tall in shape, close together, and it's too easy to screw up finger placement. They're also slippery and stick up a long way, making accurate finger action even more difficult. The spacebar key is too narrow, and there's actually room there on the device to make it wider -&nbsp;which makes its lack of size even more unfortunate. And worst of all, as I type email or anything at normal typing speed the device randomly misses keystrokes. They just don't register. And at other times the OS seems to lag in showing what I type. I have had to go back and fill in missing letters and characters all day long on the thing, which is doubly frustrating. Again, from a practical standpoint that's not good. </p> <p> I hate even writing this, because I very much <em>wanted</em> to like the Blackjack. And while I don't quite <em>hate</em> it (and I <em>will</em> stick with it for at least a few more days to see if somehow my experience and opinion&nbsp;changes), the usability issues have just about&nbsp;killed it for me out of the&nbsp;gate.&nbsp;The enthusiasm is gone and it's been fairly disappointing. </p> <p> I have to believe that on the platform side&nbsp;Microsoft is truly interested in going after the serious enterprise business market, which is why I mention these details about the OS. And I will happily share my thoughts and experiences with anyone on the Mobile OS team that wants to take them. I'm picky, heh. And the war's not over yet:&nbsp;Today no less than ten people noticed the cool form factor of the Blackjack and instantly asked me if that was a new Blackberry I had. "No," I told them, "it's a Blackjack Windows Mobile phone." Hmmm! said the looks on their faces.&nbsp;"Do you like it?" they asked with anticipation. "No," I said. "It's driving me nuts. It should be cool but so far it's just too much work to use it." And that's the truth. </p> <p> As I said, I almost didn't write this. There are many people out there that will get the Blackjack and love it, I am completely sure of that. It's a great phone. But as a hard-core power user on the business side, I need more - and this is my way of asking. </p> <p> First impressions count for a lot, and the experience I've had with the Blackjack&nbsp;-&nbsp;colored by&nbsp;my experience with other devices that work very, very well - was simply&nbsp;less than I had hoped for. I think I have reasonable expectations. I am hopeful - and somewhat confident -&nbsp;that it will get better in the future. At least I sure hope so. The Windows Mobile OS has a lot of potential to kick butt. It just needs to&nbsp;get across that magical proverbial line, and probably Microsoft needs to&nbsp;do even more to ensure that the device makers do their part, as well. I know that seems like a legal stretch, but hey there's plenty of proof showing why it's needed. Blackberry has perfected their form factor and their software, which while relatively&nbsp;simple is elegant and works very well. Microsoft doesn't need to copy them to come up with a great solution, and they don't need to stifle the channel partners, software authors and hardware manufacturers, but they do need to set high standards, and they need to push hard and fast. </p> <p> If and when that happens, maybe then I'll switch. Maybe it'll be&nbsp;a no-brainer. I am open to it, and hope that someday it will&nbsp;happen.&nbsp;Until then, I think this is just another vacation from my Blackberry career,&nbsp;but I am willing to let time tell. Heck, it's probably a good idea to stick with something else for a short period anyhow as far as repetitive stress injury avoidance goes, at least. Right? </p> <img width="0" height="0" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/aggbug.ashx?id=63cbd34a-ea51-40a6-ad42-b754eb122c70" /> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,63cbd34a-ea51-40a6-ad42-b754eb122c70.aspx Mobile;Tech
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My friend and coworker, Matt, experienced something last week that no one should ever have to go through, and which we all hope never happens to anyone - whether it be us, or someone we know, or any other person. His parents' house, the one where Matt spent most of his growing-up years, burned down one week ago.

Luckily his folks made it out okay. Sadly, their dog did not and the damage to the house was extensive. They've been piecing things back together (as much as you can do that after a major house fire) for the past week, but I can only imagine what it must be like for them. As a police officer, I experienced many traumatic situations, but when it's a friend it just feels different.

Matt wrote eloquently about what happened, and I am pointing to his blog entry here because I think it's important to be thankful for what we have and the family in our lives, and also because it's important to know that it can happen not just to others, but also to ourselves.

Matt said it best:

"It's very true what they say. A tragedy is just an event until it happens to you. I recall seeing at least one report of a house or apartment fire every holiday over the past few years and thinking how terrible it must be for the affected people, but then I change the station and life goes on. Never did I think that could one day be my house on the news and my family standing in the cold. And while we now have to deal with the task of rebuilding and piecing back together some sense of normality, I've very thankful to have my parents around to help with that."

Amen to that. Read his story here.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. You never think it will happen to you http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,650ca027-4239-4aa9-9a8a-5df0cca11f33.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/YouNeverThinkItWillHappenToYou.aspx Mon, 04 Dec 2006 22:01:58 GMT <p> My friend and coworker, Matt, <a href="http://www.bit-shift.net/PermaLink,guid,928f9815-d556-4da2-9da7-d6a1df6ccb1a.aspx">experienced something last week</a> that no one should ever have to go through, and which we all hope never happens to anyone -&nbsp;whether it be us, or someone we know, or any other person. His parents' house, the one where Matt spent most of his growing-up years, burned down one week ago. </p> <p> Luckily his folks made it out okay. Sadly, their dog did not and the damage to the house was extensive. They've been piecing things back together (as much as you can do that after a major house fire) for the past week, but I can only imagine what it must be like for them. As a police officer, I experienced many traumatic situations, but when it's a friend it just feels different. </p> <p> Matt wrote eloquently about what happened, and I am pointing to <a href="http://www.bit-shift.net/PermaLink,guid,928f9815-d556-4da2-9da7-d6a1df6ccb1a.aspx">his blog entry here</a>&nbsp;because I think it's important to be thankful for what we have and the family in our lives, and also because it's important to know that it can happen not just to others, but also to ourselves. </p> <p> Matt said it best: </p> <blockquote> <p> <em>"It's very true what they say. A tragedy is just an event until it happens to you. I recall seeing at least one report of a house or apartment fire every holiday over the past few years and thinking how terrible it must be for the affected people, but then I change the station and life goes on. Never did I think that could one day be my house on the news and my family standing in the cold. And while we now have to deal with the task of rebuilding and piecing back together some sense of normality, I've very thankful to have my parents around to help with that."</em> </p> </blockquote> <p> Amen to that. <a href="http://www.bit-shift.net/PermaLink,guid,928f9815-d556-4da2-9da7-d6a1df6ccb1a.aspx">Read his story here</a>. </p> <img width="0" height="0" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/aggbug.ashx?id=650ca027-4239-4aa9-9a8a-5df0cca11f33" /> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,650ca027-4239-4aa9-9a8a-5df0cca11f33.aspx Personal Stories;Random Stuff
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Okay, okay so you can stop emailing and IMing me to ask if I am alive, heh. The blog post shall resume. I am in fact alive and I am back home, and yeah Europe was a blast (both the work and the vacation parts). Pictures are coming, and there's a zillion of them but I need to get them uploaded to Flickr first, and I've seriously been busy with lots of other stuff since returning home.

Here's a quick list of where we ended up going during a whirlwind week of see-as-many-places-as-possible travel. European trains, by the way, are awesome.

  • Vienna > Venice
  • Venice > Rome
  • Rome > Bern
  • Bern > Zurich
  • Zurich > Fussen
  • Fussen > Munich
  • Munich > back to Vienna

More Europe trip short stories and stuff soon, after I get pics and whatnot uploaded.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Where the heck have I been, anyhow??? http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,3942e4c6-dc6c-41c5-8d64-c39fac33f7cf.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/WhereTheHeckHaveIBeenAnyhow.aspx Sun, 26 Nov 2006 19:03:28 GMT <p> Okay, okay so you can stop emailing and IMing&nbsp;me to ask if I am alive, heh. The blog post shall resume. I <em>am</em> in fact alive and I <em>am</em> back home, and yeah Europe was a blast (both the work and the vacation parts). Pictures are coming, and there's a zillion of them but I need to get them uploaded to Flickr first, and I've seriously been busy with lots of other stuff since returning home. </p> <p> Here's a quick list of where we ended up going during a whirlwind week of see-as-many-places-as-possible travel. European trains, by the way, are awesome. </p> <ul> <li> Vienna &gt; Venice</li> <li> Venice &gt; Rome</li> <li> Rome &gt; Bern</li> <li> Bern &gt; Zurich</li> <li> Zurich &gt; Fussen</li> <li> Fussen &gt; Munich</li> <li> Munich &gt; back to Vienna</li> </ul> <p> More Europe trip short stories and stuff soon, after I get pics and whatnot uploaded. </p> <img width="0" height="0" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/aggbug.ashx?id=3942e4c6-dc6c-41c5-8d64-c39fac33f7cf" /> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,3942e4c6-dc6c-41c5-8d64-c39fac33f7cf.aspx Personal Stories;Random Stuff
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I am not sure if it has snowed this early in the season since I have lived here - I believe this is the earliest. Woke up this morning to a variety of flashing clocks and electronics (nothing like a power outage to make you realize how electronicified you are) and was surprised to see this...

 

I am sure it will all be gone before long today, but it sure was cool to wake up to.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. First snow of the season http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,d97e8fa6-ea70-4a2b-8e93-2cebf3dac674.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/FirstSnowOfTheSeason.aspx Sun, 26 Nov 2006 17:26:33 GMT <p> I am not sure if it has snowed this early in the season since I have lived <a title="Google Map of Greg's place" href="http://www.google.com/maps?f=q&amp;hl=en&amp;q=65915+Meissner+Rd+97054&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;z=9&amp;ll=45.809658,-122.24762&amp;spn=0.932341,3.4552&amp;om=1" target="_blank">here</a> - I believe this is the earliest. Woke up this morning to a variety of flashing clocks and electronics (nothing like a power outage to make you realize how electronicified you are) and was surprised to see this... </p> <p> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/Firstsnowoftheseason_84EF/SnowNov26a3.jpg" atomicselection="true"><img style="margin: 0px 0px 5px 15px" height="160" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/Firstsnowoftheseason_84EF/SnowNov26a_thumb2.jpg" width="240"></a>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/Firstsnowoftheseason_84EF/SnowNov26b3.jpg" atomicselection="true"><img style="margin: 0px 0px 5px 15px" height="160" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/Firstsnowoftheseason_84EF/SnowNov26b_thumb1.jpg" width="240"></a> </p> <p> I am sure it will all be gone before long today, but it sure was cool to wake up to. </p> <img width="0" height="0" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/aggbug.ashx?id=d97e8fa6-ea70-4a2b-8e93-2cebf3dac674" /> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,d97e8fa6-ea70-4a2b-8e93-2cebf3dac674.aspx Random Stuff
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Tomorrow is Black Friday - the "busiest shopping day of the year" they say (although some may argue otherwise). Certainly there are many early-bird deals to be had and the people can get out of control.

So - where to shop for Black Friday? How to find the deals? Well, certainly your Sunday newspaper is an important place to start, but for those who are Internet-oriented, check out Black Friday @ GottaDeal.com, where you can get some more great deals both online (many of which are already available early) and in person.

If you're planning to shop for the specials, this is a great place to use:

http://blackfriday.gottadeal.com/

For current online deals, check this address:

http://blackfriday.gottadeal.com/online.php

Also - Do you have last minute questions about Black Friday? Give GottaDeal.com a call anytime at 415-287-3325 (415-287-DEAL) and they'll be happy to help you out. Note that long distance charges may apply.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Black Friday - Find shopping deals http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,8ddeea16-db1b-4bff-a6e4-c2ebd747bfe2.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/BlackFridayFindShoppingDeals.aspx Thu, 23 Nov 2006 22:24:37 GMT <p> Tomorrow is Black Friday - the "busiest shopping day of the year" they say (although some may argue otherwise). Certainly there are many early-bird deals to be had and the people can get out of control. </p> <p> So - where to shop for Black Friday? How to find the deals? Well, certainly your Sunday newspaper is an important place to start, but for those who are Internet-oriented, check out Black Friday @ GottaDeal.com, where you can get some more great deals both online (many of which are already available early)&nbsp;and in person. </p> <p> If you're planning to shop for the specials, this is a great place to use: </p> <blockquote> <p> <a title="http://blackfriday.gottadeal.com/" href="http://blackfriday.gottadeal.com/"><strong>http://blackfriday.gottadeal.com/</strong></a> </p> </blockquote> <p> For current online deals, check this address: </p> <blockquote> <p> <a title="http://blackfriday.gottadeal.com/online.php" href="http://blackfriday.gottadeal.com/online.php"><strong>http://blackfriday.gottadeal.com/online.php</strong></a> </p> </blockquote> <p> Also - Do you have last minute questions about Black Friday? Give GottaDeal.com a call anytime at 415-287-3325 (415-287-DEAL) and they'll be happy to help you out. Note that long distance charges may apply. </p> <img width="0" height="0" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/aggbug.ashx?id=8ddeea16-db1b-4bff-a6e4-c2ebd747bfe2" /> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,8ddeea16-db1b-4bff-a6e4-c2ebd747bfe2.aspx Random Stuff
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Not too terribly long ago some friends of mine impressed upon me the importance of taking on an "attitude of gratitude" in life. What they meant - at least in part - was that the place where you focus your mind is pretty much where you'll end up, and for the most part I think they're right. This time of year I tend to think about a lot of things, some difficult and some pleasant. But every year I try to take some Thanksgiving time to remember that even though life is crazy and time is often too short, there are so many thing in life for which I am grateful and give thanks. Even the stuff I've screwed up.

Life's not perfect, and from the depths of those situations and experience that substantially change us - often things that we would never wish to have happen again - we are destined to learn and grow. I know I have experienced that over the years, and my life is quite different as a result.

Sometimes we learn and grow quickly, other times a little too slowly. I still make mistakes. Lots of them. Especially this year, as I have just recently begun realizing. Fear is a great motivator, one that can be leveraged for good or bad. Best to try for good.

But this is supposed to be about what I am thankful for. Gratitude.

I am thankful for my friends, my family, my good job, my home, my cat and dog, and the many years I had to spend with my dog Buddy, who died earlier in the year. I am grateful for surgeons and the people in my life who cared enough to stop their lives and take care of me when I was truly in need. I sometimes wish I was better to those who were so good to me. But I do appreciate them, and am thankful they are a part of my life.

I'm especially thankful that my friend Matthew, who had brain surgery on Monday this week, is already home and doing well. And I am thankful for the great food we'll be eating at their house in a couple hours, heh.

There are many people in this world better than me, and a few of those good people I know personally. I am thankful for them, even if I don't or can't show it when it counts. I only hope in the future I can be more much more worthy of their time and attention.

Finally, I am grateful for my life, the people in it, the goods and the bads, and for the possibilities of the future, whatever they may be. As they say, "with all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world."

Yes, it is.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. To be thankful for... http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,1144c657-935b-471b-9300-f637463ea5a9.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/ToBeThankfulFor.aspx Thu, 23 Nov 2006 22:19:04 GMT <p> Not too terribly long ago some friends of mine impressed upon me the importance of taking on an "attitude of gratitude" in life.&nbsp;What they meant - at least in part -&nbsp;was that the place where you focus your mind is pretty much where you'll end up, and for the most part I think they're right. This time of year I tend to think about a lot of things, some difficult and some pleasant. But every year I try to take some Thanksgiving time to remember that even though life is crazy and time is often too short, there are so many thing in life for which I am grateful and give thanks. Even the stuff I've screwed up. </p> <p> Life's not perfect, and from the depths of those situations and experience that substantially change us - often things that we would never wish to have&nbsp;happen again - we are destined to learn and grow. I know I have experienced that over the years, and my life is quite different as a result. </p> <p> Sometimes we learn and grow quickly, other times a little too slowly. I still make mistakes. Lots of them. Especially this year, as I have just recently begun&nbsp;realizing. Fear is a great motivator, one that can be leveraged for good or bad. Best to try for good. </p> <p> But this is supposed to be about what I am thankful for. Gratitude. </p> <p> I am thankful for my friends, my family, my good job, my home, my cat and dog, and&nbsp;the many years I had to spend with my dog Buddy, who died earlier in the year. I am grateful for&nbsp;surgeons and the people in my life who cared enough to stop their lives and take care of me when I was truly in need. I sometimes wish I was better to those who were so good to me. But I do appreciate them, and am thankful they are a part of&nbsp;my life. </p> <p> I'm especially thankful that my friend Matthew, who had brain surgery on Monday this week, is already home and doing well. And I am thankful for the great food we'll be eating at their house in a couple hours, heh. </p> <p> There are many people in this world better than me, and a few of those good people I know personally. I am thankful for them, even if I don't or can't show it when it counts. I only hope in the future I can be more much more worthy of their time and attention. </p> <p> Finally, I am grateful for my life, the people in it, the goods and the bads, and for the possibilities of the future, whatever they may be.&nbsp;As they say, "with all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world." </p> <p> Yes, it is. </p> <img width="0" height="0" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/aggbug.ashx?id=1144c657-935b-471b-9300-f637463ea5a9" /> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,1144c657-935b-471b-9300-f637463ea5a9.aspx Personal Stories;Random Stuff
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My friend Scott loaned me his XM Satellite Radio for my recent road trip to Minnesota and back (2,000+ miles each direction). Wow. Way Cool.

Nothing makes a long, long drive half way across the country and back bearable like non-stop stand up comedy and 70's era music that just plays all the way across the country. Throw in some CNN, BBC and a little FOX News for balance and let's just say it's a great way to travel.

I went to Minnesota last week to help a friend move, among other things. It's been that and weddings (lots of weddings) recently. The satellite radio - combined with a pair of GMRS handie talkies - made for an enjoyable journey back to Oregon. If you ever drive across the country and your travel companion is in another car, take a pair of 10-mile radios with you and get off Channel 1. You'll be glad you did.

Anyhow - back to the XM radio. This was (believe it or not) my first experience using a satellite radio unit. I've looked at them before, but honestly I have never really liked the form factor of the receivers. On this trip I used the built in FM transmitter to get the audio out of the receiver and over my audio system, since I don't have a cassette player in my car. I wish they could make the transmitters a bit more powerful since I had to change the FM channel on my car radio periodically whenever the frequency selected was in use by a local radio station (too bad there's not a frequency set aside and used for low power in-car type transmitters). But that's really just nit-picking. I guess if I was constantly listening to XM or a similar service in Portland all the time, I'd get frustrated with the FM transmitter since the stations are so many and since they bleed out of band so badly in some cases. But for a cross-country trip it was pretty cool.

I like the ability to take the radio from one car to another, so although built-in receivers would obviate the need for a low power transmitter, that's not really what I'd want.

I noticed that some channels have considerably better fidelity - a compression-related effect, I am sure - than did others. I have been told that XM started compressing a lot of programming pretty heavily early this year, and that Sirius has better audio quality. Anyone done some detailed listening comparisons? I've not yet listened to the Sirius broadcasts, so I cannot compare myself. I know there are differences in programming, as well as a significant overlap in the core channels. Too bad Sirius doesn't have the "decades" channels. I liked those a lot.

Do you use XM or Sirius satellite radio? What do you think and how well does it work for you?



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. XM Satellite Radio made my 4,500 mile road trip bearable http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,8d5e4ef5-6ebf-43ef-b01a-37d24a0c07a2.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/XMSatelliteRadioMadeMy4500MileRoadTripBearable.aspx Wed, 25 Oct 2006 21:30:41 GMT <p> My friend <a href="http://www.hanselman.com/blog" target="_blank">Scott</a> loaned me his <a href="http://www.xmradio.com/" target="_blank">XM Satellite Radio</a> for my recent road trip to Minnesota and back (2,000+ miles each direction). Wow. Way Cool. </p> <p> Nothing makes a long, long drive half way across the country and back bearable like non-stop stand up comedy and 70's era music that just plays all the way across the country. Throw in some CNN, BBC and a little FOX News for balance and let's just say it's a great way to travel. </p> <p> I went to Minnesota last week to help a friend move, among other things. It's been that and weddings (lots of weddings) recently. The satellite radio - combined with a pair of GMRS handie talkies - made for an enjoyable journey back to Oregon. If you ever drive across the country and your travel companion is in another car, take a pair of 10-mile radios with you and get off Channel 1. You'll be glad you did. </p> <p> Anyhow - back to the XM radio. This was (believe it or not) my first experience using a satellite radio unit. I've looked at them before, but honestly I have never really liked the form factor of the receivers. On this trip I used the built in FM transmitter to get the audio out of the receiver and over my audio system, since I don't have a cassette player in my car. I wish they could make the transmitters a bit more powerful since I had to change the FM channel on my car radio periodically whenever the frequency selected was in use by a local radio station (too bad there's not a frequency set aside and used for low power in-car type transmitters). But that's really just nit-picking. I guess if I was constantly listening to XM or a similar service in Portland all the time, I'd get frustrated with the FM transmitter since the stations are so many and since they bleed out of band so badly in some cases. But for a cross-country trip it was pretty cool. </p> <p> I like the ability to take the radio from one car to another, so although built-in receivers would obviate the need for a low power transmitter, that's not really what I'd want. </p> <p> I noticed that some channels have considerably better fidelity - a compression-related effect, I am sure - than did others. I have been told that XM started compressing a lot of programming pretty heavily early this year, and that <a href="http://www.sirius.com/" target="_blank">Sirius</a> has better audio quality. Anyone done some detailed listening comparisons? I've not yet listened to the Sirius broadcasts, so I cannot compare myself. I know there are differences in programming, as well as a significant overlap in the core channels. Too bad Sirius doesn't have the "decades" channels. I liked those a lot. </p> <p> Do you use XM or Sirius satellite radio? What do you think and how well does it work for you? </p> <img width="0" height="0" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/aggbug.ashx?id=8d5e4ef5-6ebf-43ef-b01a-37d24a0c07a2" /> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,8d5e4ef5-6ebf-43ef-b01a-37d24a0c07a2.aspx Mobile;Tech
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I just finished reading For One More Day, the latest book by Mitch Albom, on flight from Providence. I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it to anyone. Everyone, in fact.

Albom has a way of writing things that hit life's most important nails right on the head, whether fact or fiction. His Tuesdays with Morrie had some great life lessons, and the Five People You Meet in Heaven was also a terrific story that will make a person think.

For One More Day takes the premise that many - probably most - of us have lost loved ones and had things left unsaid, unasked and unanswered. Unfulfilled and unresolved at times. The book asks the question, "What if you had one more day with that person?"

And from there builds the story. An important and emotional one that the majority of us can almost certainly relate to, each in our own unique ways.

There are people who have gone before me, one or two in particular who - if I am being completely honest - I would have questions for, things to say to them, and answers to provide. I know that can never happen, but Albom's journey in this story lets us process some of those conflicted feelings - including guilt, loss, despair, happiness and others - that can tear at our souls from time to time.

Read For One More Day. Take the lessons and apply them in your life today. I can say that after losing someone so close to me a few years ago, I have tried to do some of that, and this story simply reaffirms the importance of doing so all the more.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. For One More Day - Mitch Albom does it again http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,ced84ad6-c687-48e7-bb38-73ef1c0e2376.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/ForOneMoreDayMitchAlbomDoesItAgain.aspx Tue, 24 Oct 2006 17:55:19 GMT <p> I just finished reading <a href="http://www.amazon.com/One-More-Day-Mitch-Albom/dp/1401303277/sr=8-1/qid=1161712567/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-8602705-2568147?ie=UTF8&amp;s=books" target="_blank">For One More Day</a>, the latest book by Mitch Albom, on&nbsp;flight from Providence. I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it to anyone. Everyone, in fact. </p> <p> Albom has a way of writing things that hit life's most important nails right on the head, whether fact or fiction. His Tuesdays with Morrie had some great life lessons, and the Five People You Meet in Heaven was also a terrific story that will make a person think. </p> <p> For One More Day takes the premise that many - probably most - of us have lost loved ones and had things left unsaid, unasked and unanswered. Unfulfilled and unresolved at times. The book asks the question, "What if you had one more day with that person?" </p> <p> And from there builds the story. An important and emotional one that the majority of us can almost certainly relate to, each in our own unique ways. </p> <p> There are people who have gone before me, one or two in particular who - if I am being completely honest - I would have questions for, things to say to them, and answers to provide. I know that can never happen, but Albom's journey in this story lets us process some of those conflicted feelings -&nbsp;including guilt, loss, despair, happiness and others - that can tear at our souls from time to time. </p> <p> Read For One More Day. Take the lessons and apply them in your life today. I can say that after losing someone so close to me a few years ago, I have tried to do some of that, and this story simply reaffirms the importance of doing so all the more. </p> <img width="0" height="0" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/aggbug.ashx?id=ced84ad6-c687-48e7-bb38-73ef1c0e2376" /> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,ced84ad6-c687-48e7-bb38-73ef1c0e2376.aspx Random Stuff
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If you happen to be looking for me over the next month or so and can't find me, don't panic or anything. It's probably because I'm not around. Seems to have been that way for the past several months now. Not much is changing in that regard. Anyhow, I'll be all over the place for next next while...

I've was gone on a (great) trip to Minnesotaandback for more than a week until this past Friday, and then was back home for two nights, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Then I was back on the road again, at the Marriott in Newport, Rhode Island (nice hotel) where I was speaking Monday at a conference on the topic of multifactor authentication and security. Then I flew whirlwind-style back home Monday night. Next I'm off to New Mexico on Wednesday for a work meeting, and back home late Thursday night and off again to Europe on Saturday very early in the morning. Hopefully on Friday I can work from home a little and then get ready for the Europe trip.

The European jaunt is a couple weeks long and will include Vienna, Austria as well as visits to a variety of places in southern Germany, Austria, Switzerland and northern Italy for a week plus a couple days of vacation time, before I have to be back in Austria for a few days of work stuff.

When I get back from there, it'll be just two or three days back at home, then I'm off to Las Vegas for a few days (again for work). And - if all goes as planned - after that I can stay home for a while. I sure hope so, anyhow.

So, there ya go. If you work with me you'll probably hardly see me until mid-November (sorry). I guess that's why we have cell phones, though.

For those that are wondering where all the tech posts went, I've been wondering the same thing. I'll try to get back to them again. I guess I have been a bit burned out lately on technology stuff, but it's not gone from my mind.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Where in the world is Greg? http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,85e76e01-5323-4dda-94ad-6855f605ec69.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/WhereInTheWorldIsGreg.aspx Tue, 24 Oct 2006 17:52:28 GMT <p> <img style="border-top-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 5px 15px; border-right-width: 0px" height="240" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/WhereintheworldisGreg_110A4/earth5.jpg" width="240" align="right" border="0"> If you happen to be looking for me over the next month or so&nbsp;and can't find me, don't panic or anything. It's probably because I'm not around. Seems to have been that way for the past several months now. Not much is changing in that regard.&nbsp;Anyhow, I'll be all over the place for next next while... </p> <p> I've was gone on a (great) trip <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/HalfwayThere.aspx">to Minnesota</a> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/RoadTripMountRushmore.aspx">and</a> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/GrandTetonNationalPark.aspx">back</a> for more than a week until this past Friday, and then was back home for two nights, which I thoroughly enjoyed.&nbsp;Then&nbsp;I&nbsp;was back on the road again, at&nbsp;the Marriott in Newport, Rhode Island (nice hotel) where I was speaking Monday at a conference on the topic of multifactor authentication and security. Then I flew whirlwind-style back home Monday night. Next I'm off to New Mexico on Wednesday for a work meeting, and back home late Thursday night and off again&nbsp;to&nbsp;Europe on Saturday very early in the morning. Hopefully on Friday I can work from home a little and then get ready for the Europe trip. </p> <p> The European jaunt is a couple weeks long and&nbsp;will include Vienna, Austria as well as visits to a variety of places in southern Germany, Austria, Switzerland and northern Italy for a week plus a couple days of vacation time,&nbsp;before I have to be back in Austria for a few days of&nbsp;work stuff. </p> <p> When I get back from there, it'll be just&nbsp;two or three days back at home, then I'm&nbsp;off to Las Vegas for a few days (again for work). And -&nbsp;if all goes as planned -&nbsp;after that I can stay home for a while. I sure hope so, anyhow. </p> <p> So, there ya go. If you work with me you'll probably hardly see me until&nbsp;mid-November&nbsp;(sorry). I guess that's why we have cell phones, though. </p> <p> For those that are wondering where all the tech posts went, I've been wondering the same thing. I'll try to get back to them again. I guess I have been a bit burned out lately on technology stuff, but it's not gone from my mind. </p> <img width="0" height="0" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/aggbug.ashx?id=85e76e01-5323-4dda-94ad-6855f605ec69" /> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,85e76e01-5323-4dda-94ad-6855f605ec69.aspx Personal Stories;Random Stuff
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Today was not my coffee day.

First of all, I got one halfway decent cup of coffee all day, and that was the one at the filling station on Industrial Ave in Longview Washington at about 6:30 a.m. on the way to the airport. I drank less than a quarter of that and left it in the truck when my friend dropped me off for my flight.

My next cup was on the plane, the first one that is. As the flight attendant handed me the filled-to-the-rim styro cup, we hit a bump and the hot coffee splashed all over me  in 14B and the nice, attractive woman sitting in 14A (note: reference edited because I realized I found it slightly distasteful myself upon re-reading...). Just my luck. It provided an opportunity for me to apologize several times, but that's not exactly the optimal way to get to know someone. Plus it was strong coffee, so I am sure that coffee-soaked clothing smell was just wonderful for her. Ugh. When offered coffee later on the flight I turned it down. I couldn't bear the idea of a second assault on my seat neighbor.

I got to Chicago and had an hour-and-a-half to wait for the next flight to Providence, so I went to the Red Carpet Club to get online, check a few emails, grab some snakes, and put down a safe cup of coffee sans-turbulence.

Someone had procured the little floor table near the chair I sat in, so I set the coffee on the arm rest and stated watching the Pittsburgh/Atlanta football game. It was fourth quarter and tied up - deja vu kind of situation. Anyhow, I ate my snacks, reached to pick up the garbage, and knocked my coffee straight into the leather chair I was sitting in. The cup dumped its contents right between me and the arm rest. Wonderful, I thought. Then I realized I was sitting in hot coffee and jumped. The lady across from me cringed. Well, at least she didn't laugh.

After that, I gave up on coffee for the rest of the day. OJ only for me. Until tomorrow, that is.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Coffee Hell http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,968dfe4a-bbb2-4159-a1d0-cb10f29fd70a.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CoffeeHell.aspx Mon, 23 Oct 2006 02:07:30 GMT <p> Today was not my coffee day. </p> <p> First of all, I got one halfway decent cup of coffee all day, and that was the one at the filling station on Industrial Ave in Longview Washington at about 6:30 a.m. on the way to the airport. I drank less than a quarter of that and left it in the truck when my friend dropped me off for my flight. </p> <p> My next cup was on the plane, the first one that is. As the flight attendant handed me the filled-to-the-rim styro cup, we hit a bump and the hot coffee splashed all over me&nbsp; in 14B and the nice, attractive woman sitting in 14A <em>(note: reference edited because I realized I found it slightly distasteful myself upon re-reading</em>...). Just my luck. It provided an opportunity for me to apologize several times, but that's not exactly the optimal way to get to know someone. Plus it was strong coffee, so I am sure that coffee-soaked clothing smell was just wonderful for her. Ugh. When offered coffee later on the flight I turned it down. I couldn't bear the idea of a second assault on my seat neighbor. </p> <p> I got to Chicago and had an hour-and-a-half to wait for the next flight to Providence, so I went to the Red Carpet Club to get online, check a few emails, grab some snakes, and put down a safe cup of coffee sans-turbulence. </p> <p> Someone had procured the little floor table near the chair I sat in, so I set the coffee on the arm rest and stated watching the Pittsburgh/Atlanta football game. It was fourth quarter and tied up - deja vu kind of situation. Anyhow, I ate my snacks, reached to pick up the garbage, and knocked my coffee straight into the leather chair I was sitting in. The cup dumped its contents right between me and the arm rest. Wonderful, I thought. Then I realized I was sitting in hot coffee and jumped. The lady across from me cringed. Well, at least she didn't laugh. </p> <p> After that, I gave up on coffee for the rest of the day. OJ only for me. Until tomorrow, that is. </p> <img width="0" height="0" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/aggbug.ashx?id=968dfe4a-bbb2-4159-a1d0-cb10f29fd70a" /> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,968dfe4a-bbb2-4159-a1d0-cb10f29fd70a.aspx Personal Stories;Random Stuff
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Some things just bug me. Sometimes I write them down. :)

For example - What is it that makes the concept of putting stuff into the overhead bins on airplanes so freakin' complicated? People just don't seem to get it, despite the repeated intercom begging performed by the flight attendants to put rollaways in wheels first, wheels first, WHEELS FREAKIN' FIRST.

Even worse, there's a subset of people who, when asked to move their bag to the optimal position in order to accommodate others, can get downright indignant. What is it with these people? Move your bag, sit down and shuddup already. They didn't build that bin - or this whole airplane - just for you. Jeez.

I dunno why this bugs me so much. I guess it's because the underlying message from such people is that they don't really care how their behavior, stuff or actions affect others. We have enough of that kind of problem already in this day and age. We really don't need it when a couple hundred people are jammed into a metal tube with wings and a couple engines hanging off a few bolts hurtling said flying torpedo through the air at a few hundred miles an hour.

Okay, I feel a little better now. Heh.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Angry People and the Overhead Bins http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,0095ea5d-4e06-40cc-bd58-6f4c548eb446.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/AngryPeopleAndTheOverheadBins.aspx Mon, 23 Oct 2006 01:51:35 GMT <p> </p> <p> Some things just bug me. Sometimes I write them down. :) <p> For example - What is it that makes the concept of putting stuff into the overhead bins on airplanes so freakin' complicated? People just don't seem to get it, despite the repeated intercom begging performed by the flight attendants to put rollaways in wheels first, <em>wheels first</em>, <em>WHEELS FREAKIN' FIRST</em>. <p> Even worse, there's a subset of people who, when asked to move their bag to the optimal position in order to accommodate others, can get downright indignant. What is it with these people? Move your bag, sit down and shuddup already. They didn't build that bin - or this whole airplane -&nbsp;just for you. Jeez. <p> I dunno why this bugs me so much. I guess it's because the underlying message from such people is that they don't really care how their behavior, stuff or actions affect others. We have enough of that kind of problem already in this day and age. We really don't need it&nbsp;when a couple hundred people are jammed into a metal tube with wings and a couple engines hanging off a few bolts&nbsp;hurtling&nbsp;said flying&nbsp;torpedo through the air at a few hundred miles an hour. <p> Okay, I feel a little&nbsp;better now. Heh. </p> <img width="0" height="0" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/aggbug.ashx?id=0095ea5d-4e06-40cc-bd58-6f4c548eb446" /> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,0095ea5d-4e06-40cc-bd58-6f4c548eb446.aspx Random Stuff;Things that Suck
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Today we made it to the Grand Teton National Park, which is just south of Yellowstone (which is where we were yesterday, but the pics will have to be out of order since I don't have those copied yet).

We stayed at the snow lodge at Old Faithful in Yellowstone and woke up to snow on the ground. So, we threw the truck (with new all-terrain and snow tires) into four wheel drive and headed south for the Tetons. Honestly, I was worried the low clouds would prevent us from seeing much of anything. I was wrong, thank goodness.

Here are a few pics from our drive through the Tetons. As you can see, the clouds lifted. In the couple days we spent on our way through the Yellowstone and Grand Tetons parks, we saw lot of wildlife, including a grizzly bear, elk, reindeer, moose and more.

The flickr photoset from the trip is here. I'll add some more later, probably after I get home Friday night.

Grand Tetons National Park

Grand Tetons National Park

Elk in Grand Tetons National Park



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Grand Teton National Park http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,24913bb5-9397-4ec0-bf3d-9fd75a7f5953.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/GrandTetonNationalPark.aspx Fri, 20 Oct 2006 05:52:35 GMT <p> </p> <p> Today we made it to the Grand Teton National Park, which is just south of Yellowstone (which is where we were yesterday, but the pics will have to be out of order since I don't have those copied yet). <p> We stayed at the snow lodge at Old Faithful in Yellowstone and woke up to snow on the ground. So, we threw the truck (with new all-terrain and snow tires) into four wheel drive and headed south for the Tetons. Honestly, I was worried the low clouds would prevent us from seeing much of anything. I was wrong, thank goodness. <p> Here are a few pics from our drive through the Tetons. As you can see, the clouds lifted. In the couple days we spent on our way through the Yellowstone and Grand Tetons parks, we saw lot of wildlife, including a grizzly bear, elk, reindeer, moose and more. </p> <p> The flickr <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/greghughespdx/sets/72157594334190565/">photoset from the trip is here</a>. I'll add some more later, probably after I get home Friday night. </p> <p align="center"> <img alt="Grand Tetons National Park" hspace="0" src="http://static.flickr.com/103/274401521_7c94f2351e.jpg" border="0"> </p> <p align="center"> <img alt="Grand Tetons National Park" hspace="0" src="http://static.flickr.com/87/274401167_efb658205f.jpg" border="0"> </p> <p align="center"> <img alt="Elk in Grand Tetons National Park" hspace="0" src="http://static.flickr.com/116/274400904_60b605e574.jpg" border="0"> </p> <img width="0" height="0" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/aggbug.ashx?id=24913bb5-9397-4ec0-bf3d-9fd75a7f5953" /> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,24913bb5-9397-4ec0-bf3d-9fd75a7f5953.aspx Random Stuff
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I'm helping a friend move from the upper-Midwest out to Oregon, and that means a long road trip. We decided to take a scenic route back, and yesterday we stopped at Mt. Rushmore in Wyoming. That was after driving in 40-50mph headwinds on an interstate at about 75mph. My truck does well on the road, but a combined 120 mile per hour head/crosswind is a bit of a pain, not only in terms of driving between the painted lines, but also on fuel.

Good thing fuel's cheap in South Dakota. In South Dakota they also have hotels with these water parks inside. You know, water slides and pools and stuff. We stayed at one the other night and had a blast. Felt like I was 10 again (which is especially weird when I look in the mirror).

At any rate, the real point is that we went to Mt. Rushmore yesterday afternoon. I'd never been there before. My friend Cory had been there (he says) like 25 times, because he has family down the highway and he lived nearby for a while. So I had a tour guide of sorts. We grabbed cameras and took some shots and walked the trail loop.

Mount Rushmore is an amazing work of art, demolition and commemoration all rolled up into one.

The flickr set including these pics (and some more) is here. The last one on the page was shot by Cory (who has quite an eye for pictures).

Rushmore1

Rushmore3

Rushmore2

Washington and Lincoln



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Road Trip - Mount Rushmore http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,0ef77445-8adb-4fd8-80bb-129771d51675.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/RoadTripMountRushmore.aspx Wed, 18 Oct 2006 14:01:02 GMT <p> I'm helping a friend move from the upper-Midwest out to Oregon, and that means a long road trip. We decided to take a scenic route back, and yesterday we stopped at Mt. Rushmore in Wyoming. That was after driving in 40-50mph headwinds on an interstate at about 75mph. My truck does well on the road, but a combined 120 mile per hour head/crosswind is a bit of a pain, not only in terms of driving between the painted&nbsp;lines,&nbsp;but also on fuel. </p> <p> Good thing fuel's cheap in South Dakota. In South Dakota they also have hotels with these water parks inside. You know, water slides and pools and stuff. We stayed at one the other night and had a blast. Felt like I was 10 again (which is especially weird when I look in the mirror). </p> <p> At any rate, the real point is that we went to Mt. Rushmore yesterday afternoon. I'd never been there before. My friend Cory had been there (he says) like 25 times, because he has family down the highway and he lived nearby for a while. So I had a tour guide of sorts. We grabbed cameras and took some shots and walked the trail loop. </p> <p> Mount Rushmore is an amazing work of art, demolition and commemoration all rolled up into one. </p> <p> The flickr set including these pics (and some more) <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/greghughespdx/sets/72157594334190565/">is here</a>. The last one on the page was shot by Cory (who has quite an eye for pictures). </p> <p align="center"> <a title="Rushmore1" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos//273075997/"><img alt="Rushmore1" hspace="0" src="http://static.flickr.com/122/273075997_76536e5571.jpg" border="0"></a> </p> <p align="center"> <a title="Rushmore3" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos//273077282/"><img alt="Rushmore3" hspace="0" src="http://static.flickr.com/108/273077282_e61169cc2e.jpg" border="0"></a> </p> <p align="center"> <a title="Rushmore2" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos//273076711/"><img alt="Rushmore2" hspace="0" src="http://static.flickr.com/84/273076711_64413106c4.jpg" border="0"></a> </p> <p align="center"> <a title="Washington and Lincoln" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos//273075268/"><img alt="Washington and Lincoln" hspace="0" src="http://static.flickr.com/118/273075268_d0bf678ae0.jpg" border="0"></a> </p> <img width="0" height="0" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/aggbug.ashx?id=0ef77445-8adb-4fd8-80bb-129771d51675" /> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,0ef77445-8adb-4fd8-80bb-129771d51675.aspx Personal Stories;Random Stuff
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Trees Changing in MontanaToday I drove half way to my destination in Minnesota. I saw a lot of amazing stuff and places, but since I am on a bit on a mission to get to my destination (and plan to take the leisurely route back), I didn't stop much.

The leaves are just now changing along the mountains of the Continental Divide in Montana and Idaho, so on the return trip the view should be pretty darn spectacular in that stretch.

We're likely to spend some time at Yellowstone. Never been there, always wanted to. And there are a bunch of other interesting places to go in these parts. Should be a fun week. No real plan, no set schedule, no real rules...

Especially the no set schedule part. Heh.

Nice. :)



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Halfway there http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,e28464b9-ec22-40a9-afdf-f5db989a90cd.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/HalfwayThere.aspx Sat, 14 Oct 2006 03:22:49 GMT <p> <img style="border-right: 0px; border-top: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 5px 15px; border-left: 0px; border-bottom: 0px" height="480" alt="Trees Changing in Montana" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/Halfwaythere_11C7C/LeavesChangeMontana2%5B6%5D.jpg" width="321" align="right" border="0">Today I drove half way to <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/OffToMinnesota.aspx">my destination</a> in Minnesota. I saw a lot of amazing stuff and places, but since I am on a bit on a mission to get to my destination (and plan to take the leisurely route back), I didn't stop much. </p> <p> The leaves are just now changing along the mountains of the Continental Divide in Montana and Idaho, so on the return trip the view should be pretty darn spectacular in that stretch. </p> <p> We're likely to spend some time at Yellowstone. Never been there, always wanted to. And there are a bunch of other interesting places to go in these parts. Should be a fun week. No real plan, no set schedule, no real rules... </p> <p> Especially the no set schedule part. Heh. </p> <p> Nice. :) </p> <img width="0" height="0" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/aggbug.ashx?id=e28464b9-ec22-40a9-afdf-f5db989a90cd" /> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,e28464b9-ec22-40a9-afdf-f5db989a90cd.aspx Personal Stories;Random Stuff
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Well, I have about 2,000 miles ahead of me (and I'm later getting started than I'd hoped due to a few unplanned items that came up in the past 24 hours), followed by a couple days hanging out in once place and then 2,000 miles back home.

This will be the first time I've had the opportunity to drive across the northern states out west, like Montana and North Dakota, so I am looking forward to it - and it's the perfect time of the year. I'll be doing the quick drive out and the scenic drive back.

So, blogging here will be light for the next week or so. Unless i get some great pics along the way, of course.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Off to Minnesota http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,990c963d-4c73-4f7a-b5ce-fb9cf6a0bf88.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/OffToMinnesota.aspx Thu, 12 Oct 2006 20:35:22 GMT <p> Well, I have <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&amp;hl=en&amp;saddr=65915+Meissner+Rd,+Deer+Island+OR&amp;daddr=Ely,+MN&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;z=4&amp;ll=46.679594,-107.402344&amp;spn=27.444048,59.238281&amp;om=1" target="_blank">about 2,000 miles ahead of me</a> (and I'm later getting started than I'd hoped due to a few unplanned items that came up in the past 24 hours), followed by a couple days hanging out in once place and then 2,000 miles back home. </p> <p> This will be the first time I've had the opportunity to drive across the northern states out west, like Montana and North Dakota, so I am looking forward to it - and it's the perfect time of the year. I'll be doing the quick drive out and the scenic drive back. </p> <p> So, blogging here will be light for the next week or so. Unless i get some great pics along the way, of course. </p> <img width="0" height="0" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/aggbug.ashx?id=990c963d-4c73-4f7a-b5ce-fb9cf6a0bf88" /> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,990c963d-4c73-4f7a-b5ce-fb9cf6a0bf88.aspx Personal Stories;Random Stuff
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Everyone and their brother's goingnuts over the announcement this afternoon that Google is buying YouTube. I think we all knew it was coming, and yeah it's a big deal. What was really interesting to me was that I was about to do a between-flights phone interview (on an unrelated tech topic) with a national newspaper reporter (who shall remain nameless), when the interview was suddenly (and rightfully, heh) postponed due the the Google announcement (which had not been publicly made at that time, but I just happened to hear about it third-person before it was actually announced in public).

Anyhow, it's an interesting consolidation acquisition, especially since Google already has their Google Video (which I like), but adding YouTube (which is pretty awesome) does round things out very nicely, especially with the deals YouTube has recently made with some major media labels. How much did that jack up the value in the past couple days?

It's time for Microsoft to find a way to make some sort of serious, serious push on it's Soapbox offering. I have not uploaded any videos yet to my Soapbox profile, but I will soon in order to do some comparing. First thing for MS to do? Probably best to drop the blue color theme and get back to web UI basics. Also probably best to rethink the name. Seriously. I'm not kidding. Google Video makes it blatantly clear what you're using and it's easy to remember. YouTube is a household name and I know what I am doing based on the name, as well. And to be honest, each time I wanted to write something about Soapbox on MSN, I had to go back to my email and search to figure out what the service was called. That's not exactly memorable, or usable.

Actually, truth be told I'm on the fence on the color thing. But the standard, proven blue-text-on-white-background model is safe, expected and generally accepted - and that might just be a good thing right about now.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Tube of Goo - gle. Video on the web just got consolidateder http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,b34fdaf5-0ddb-458d-89fb-3e615c7fc692.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/TubeOfGooGleVideoOnTheWebJustGotConsolidateder.aspx Tue, 10 Oct 2006 02:31:32 GMT <p> Everyone and their brother's <a href="http://www.techmeme.com/061009/h2205" target="_blank">going</a> <a href="http://www.techcrunch.com/2006/10/09/is-fox-a-factor-in-the-googleyoutube-deal/" target="_blank">nuts</a> over <a href="http://www.google.com/intl/en/press/pressrel/google_youtube.html" target="_blank">the announcement</a> this afternoon that Google is buying YouTube. I think we all knew it was coming, and yeah it's a big deal. What was really interesting to me was that I was about to do a between-flights phone&nbsp;interview (on an unrelated tech topic) with a national newspaper reporter (who shall remain nameless), when the interview was suddenly (and rightfully, heh) postponed due the the Google announcement (which had not been publicly made at that time, but I just happened to hear about&nbsp;it third-person&nbsp;before it was actually announced in public). </p> <p> Anyhow, it's an interesting consolidation acquisition, especially since Google already has their&nbsp;Google Video (which I like), but adding YouTube (which is pretty awesome) does round things out very nicely, especially with the deals YouTube has recently made with some major media labels. How much did <em>that</em> jack up the value in the past couple days? </p> <p> It's time for Microsoft to find a way to make some sort of serious, serious push on it's <a href="http://soapbox.msn.com/" target="_blank">Soapbox offering</a>. I have not uploaded any videos yet <a href="http://soapbox.msn.com/?user=-1624400829908272611" target="_blank">to my Soapbox&nbsp;profile</a>, but I will soon&nbsp;in order to do some comparing. First thing for MS to do? Probably best to&nbsp;drop the blue color theme and get back to web UI&nbsp;basics. Also probably best to rethink the name. Seriously. I'm not kidding. Google Video makes it blatantly clear what you're using and it's easy to remember. YouTube is a household name and I know what I am doing based on the name, as well. And to be honest, each time I wanted to write something about Soapbox on MSN, I had to go back to my email and search to figure out what the service was called. That's not exactly memorable, or usable. </p> <p> Actually, truth be told I'm on the fence on the color thing. But the standard, proven blue-text-on-white-background model&nbsp;is safe, expected and generally accepted - and that might just be a good thing right about now. </p> <img width="0" height="0" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/aggbug.ashx?id=b34fdaf5-0ddb-458d-89fb-3e615c7fc692" /> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,b34fdaf5-0ddb-458d-89fb-3e615c7fc692.aspx Tech
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So, clearification.com is now active online. Looks like a Windows Vista viral marketing piece for... well... I dunno what the heck this actually is. It's random, for sure. Not exactly, well, clear.

But hey, it made me watch and I'm typing this, so yeah - it's viral, all right.

Heh, it's funny. I'm really not sure what demographic this is supposed to play to. Maybe kids or young adults. Or people who step in dog poop. Trust me on that one.

An RSS feed is available, and there are "webisodes" being posted periodically. The first one is already up. It's funny. Again, I have no idea what this has to do with Vista, but hey - it's funny. Or at least weird. And stuff.

Here it is:

YouTube? Huh?? Hmm. Heh.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Clearification.com - I have no idea... http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,357ea89b-2fc4-4151-bf6c-d71b9d319459.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/ClearificationcomIHaveNoIdea.aspx Sun, 08 Oct 2006 15:54:17 GMT <p> So,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.clearification.com" target="_blank">clearification.com</a>&nbsp;is now active online. Looks like a Windows Vista viral marketing piece for... well... I dunno <em>what</em> the heck this actually is. It's random, for sure. Not exactly, well, <em>clear</em>. </p> <p> But hey, it made me watch and I'm typing this, so yeah -&nbsp;it's viral, all right. </p> <p> Heh, it's funny. I'm really not sure what demographic this is supposed to play to. Maybe kids or young adults. Or people who step in dog poop. Trust me on that one. </p> <p> An RSS feed is available, and there are "webisodes" being posted periodically. The first one is already up. It's funny. Again, I have no idea what this has to do with Vista, but hey - it's funny. Or at least weird.&nbsp;And stuff. </p> <p> Here it is: </p> <p> <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/h4b2QNnVrY0" width="425" height="350" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent"> </p> <p> YouTube? <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/MicrosoftIsTakingOnYouTube.aspx">Huh??</a> Hmm. Heh. </p> ><img width="0" height="0" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/aggbug.ashx?id=357ea89b-2fc4-4151-bf6c-d71b9d319459" /> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,357ea89b-2fc4-4151-bf6c-d71b9d319459.aspx Geek Out;Random Stuff
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Vista_logoWell, honestly, it's about time.

Bloggers are all over the story, and are espousing a variety of opinions, but I have wondered for years when Microsoft would finally crack down on software thieves and simply not allow their software to run unless it was legitimately licensed. I'm responsible for cutting a big check each year to Microsoft to pay for the software we use at the company I work at. It costs me more, in effect, because others are taking without paying.

So, Windows Vista will detect piracy and take action. In Microsoft's words:

"Collectively termed the Microsoft Software Protection Platform, the new technologies will introduce improvements in how Microsoft software activates, is validated online and behaves when tampering or hacking is detected."

Thinking about this from a security guy's perspective, one thing bothers me: Turning off the anti-malware capabilities on unlicensed copies? Are you kidding me? That means the rest of the world falls victim to everyone out there that's running pirated Windows? Please, please, please change this one - Microsoft might be a victim, but no need to invite the rest of the world into that club. And it looks like Richi Jennings agrees with me on that one. That's just poor prioritization. Hopefully someone will rethink the approach in that specific area...

Elsewhere, Ed Bott at ZDNet has written a very good piece describing the changes and his thoughts on the matter. He has some important point, ones that Microsoft should make sure they have thought completely through and have a plan for - especially where it comes to Volume License customers. Those are the people you don't want to aggravate, for sure.

Among Bott's comments:

Microsoft denies that this is a "kill switch" for Windows Vista, even giving it a separate question and answer in its mock interview announcing the program. Technically, they're right, I suppose. Switching a PC into a degraded functionality where all you can do is browse the Internet doesn't kill it; but it's arguably a near-death experience. The accompanying white paper describes the experience in more detail:

By choosing "Access your computer with reduced functionality," the default Web browser will be started and the user will be presented with an option to purchase a new product key. There is no start menu, no desktop icons, and the desktop background is changed to black. The Web browser will fully function and Internet connectivity will not be blocked. After one hour, the system will log the user out without warning. It will not shut down the machine, and the user can log back in. Note: This is different from the Windows XP RFM experience, which limits screen resolution, colors, sounds and other features. [emphasis added]

My head practically exploded when I read this sentence describing the new, improved punishment regimen: "Windows Vista will have a reduced functionality mode but one that is enhanced." Enhanced reduced functionality? Orwell would be proud.

Snarky as ever, Engadget reports:

Well, Microsoft has fired the first salvo in this war on pirates -- according to The Associated Press, the Redmond crew will be taking "much harsher steps to curtail piracy" than in years past. First, the company will "deny access" to some of the "most anticipated features," including Windows Aero, the new GUI. Then, Vista will start issuing ransom demands (we're not kidding about this part), demanding that a legitimate copy be bought within 30 days, or else. What would such consequences entail? How about limiting Web access to an hour at a time? Further, what about not being able to open documents from the desktop or "run other programs such as Outlook e-mail software" ? However, the article goes on to say: "Microsoft said it won't stop a computer running pirated Vista software from working completely, and it will continue to deliver critical security updates." So for those of you keeping score, Microsoft wants to make using your computer as miserable as possible, while keeping it as "safe" as possible, ok?

People out there will whine and complain and say it's not fair, that it's all a bunch of red tape and people will be inconvenienced (and they might be right about that one point), and a million other things that go along with the typical victim mentality (sorry guys, but possession of stolen goods is illegal, even if it's inconvenient, and possessing stolen stuff unknowingly doesn't make the goods any less stolen). And Microsoft needs to make sure that legitimate users are not impacted in a truly meaningful and workable way. But the fact of the matter is that Microsoft is right on this one. In fact, it seems to me that if I ran a company that created software for use by consumers and businesses, and if I wanted to make sure it was being legitimately used and paid for, I'd just keep it from working at all if it was obviously stolen.

But the politics of huge-mega-corporation-attacked-by-angry-mob is a multi-billion-dollar business, apparently.

Glad to see they're finally doing something about it, though.

Some Techmeme-tracked discussion on the topic:

Technorati tags: , , , ,


greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Vista anti-piracy features will cripple illegitimate copies - finally http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,efdabbdd-4987-4594-9a66-00e0131ad66d.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/VistaAntipiracyFeaturesWillCrippleIllegitimateCopiesFinally.aspx Thu, 05 Oct 2006 14:51:25 GMT <p> <img alt="Vista_logo" hspace="12" src="http://www.greghughes.net/images/Vista_logo.jpg" align="right" vspace="6" border="1">Well, honestly, <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2006/oct06/10-04SoftwareProtection.mspx" target="_blank">it's about time</a>. </p> <p> Bloggers are all over the story, and are espousing a variety of&nbsp;opinions,&nbsp;but I have <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/HeyMicrosoftGoAheadAndPatchPiratedSoftwareHeresHowToMakeItWork.aspx" target="_blank">wondered for years</a> when Microsoft would finally crack down on software thieves and simply not allow their software to run unless it was legitimately licensed. I'm responsible for cutting a big check each year to Microsoft to pay for the software we use at the company I work at. It costs me more, in effect, because others are taking without paying. </p> <p> So, Windows Vista will detect piracy and take action. In Microsoft's words: </p> <blockquote> <p> <em>"Collectively termed the Microsoft Software Protection Platform, the new technologies will introduce improvements in how Microsoft software activates, is validated online and behaves when tampering or hacking is detected."</em> </p> </blockquote> <p> Thinking about this from a security guy's perspective, one thing bothers me: Turning off the anti-malware capabilities on unlicensed copies? Are you kidding me? That means the rest of the world falls victim to everyone out there that's running pirated Windows? Please, please, please change this one - Microsoft might be a victim, but no need to invite the rest of the world into that club. And it looks like <a href="http://richi.co.uk/blog/2006/10/vista-software-protection-platform.html" target="_blank">Richi Jennings agrees with me on that one</a>. That's just poor prioritization. Hopefully someone will rethink the approach in that specific area... </p> <p> Elsewhere, <a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=148" target="_blank">Ed Bott at ZDNet has written a very good piece</a> describing the changes and his thoughts&nbsp;on the matter. He has some important point, ones that Microsoft should make sure they have thought completely through and have a plan for - especially where it comes to Volume License customers. Those are the people you don't want to aggravate, for sure. </p> <p> Among Bott's <a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=148" target="_blank">comments</a>: </p> <blockquote> <p> <em>Microsoft denies that this is a "kill switch" for Windows&nbsp;Vista, even&nbsp;giving it&nbsp;a separate question and answer in its mock interview announcing the program. Technically, they're right, I suppose. Switching a PC into a degraded functionality where all you can do is browse the Internet doesn't kill it; but it's arguably a near-death experience. The accompanying white paper describes </em><a></a><em>the experience in more detail: </em> <blockquote> <p> <em>By choosing "Access your computer with reduced functionality," the default Web browser will be started and the user will be presented with an option to purchase a new product key. <strong>There is no start menu, no desktop icons, and the desktop background is changed to black.</strong> The Web browser will fully function and Internet connectivity will not be blocked. <strong>After one hour, the system will log the user out without warning.</strong> It will not shut down the machine, and the user can log back in. Note: This is different from the Windows XP RFM experience, which limits screen resolution, colors, sounds and other features. [emphasis added]</em> </p> </blockquote> <p> <em>My head practically exploded when I read this sentence describing the new, improved punishment regimen:&nbsp;"Windows Vista will have a reduced functionality mode but one that is enhanced." Enhanced reduced functionality? Orwell would be proud.</em> </p> </blockquote> <p> Snarky as ever, <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2006/10/04/microsoft-will-cripple-pcs-running-pirated-copies-of-vista/" target="_blank">Engadget reports</a>: </p> <blockquote> <p> <em>Well, Microsoft has fired the first salvo in this war on pirates -- according to The Associated Press, the Redmond crew will be taking "much harsher steps to curtail piracy" than in years past. First, the company will "deny access" to some of the "most anticipated features," including Windows Aero, the new GUI. Then, Vista will start issuing ransom demands (we're not kidding about this part), demanding that a legitimate copy be bought within 30 days, or else. What would such consequences entail? How about limiting Web access to an hour at a time? Further, what about not being able to open documents from the desktop or "run other programs such as Outlook e-mail software" ? However, the article goes on to say: "Microsoft said it won't stop a computer running pirated Vista software from working completely, and it will continue to deliver critical security updates." So for those of you keeping score, Microsoft wants to make using your computer as miserable as possible, while keeping it as "safe" as possible, ok?</em> </p> </blockquote> <p> People out there will whine and complain and say it's not fair, that it's all a bunch of red tape and people will be inconvenienced (and they might be right about that one point), and a million other things that go along with the typical victim mentality (sorry guys, but&nbsp;possession of stolen goods is illegal, even if it's&nbsp;inconvenient, and&nbsp;possessing stolen stuff&nbsp;unknowingly doesn't make the goods any less stolen). And Microsoft needs to make sure that legitimate users are not impacted in a truly meaningful and workable way. But the fact of the matter is that Microsoft is right on this one. In fact, it seems to me that if I ran a company&nbsp;that created&nbsp;software for use by consumers and businesses, and if I wanted to make sure it was being legitimately used and paid for, I'd just keep it from working <em>at all</em> if it was obviously stolen. </p> <p> But the politics of huge-mega-corporation-attacked-by-angry-mob is a multi-billion-dollar business, apparently. </p> <p> Glad to see they're finally doing <em>something</em> about it, though. </p> <p> Some Techmeme-tracked&nbsp;discussion on the topic: </p> <ul> <li> <cite>Matt Hickey / <a href="http://crunchgear.com/">CrunchGear</a>:</cite> <a href="http://crunchgear.com/2006/10/05/microsoft-readies-vista-for-piracy-wars/">Microsoft Readies Vista for Piracy Wars</a> <li> <cite>Jordan Running / <a href="http://www.downloadsquad.com/">Download Squad</a>:</cite> <a href="http://www.downloadsquad.com/2006/10/04/microsoft-threatens-to-cripple-pirated-vista-pcs/">Microsoft threatens to cripple pirated Vista PCs</a> <li> <cite>Cisco Cheng / <a href="http://gearlog.com/blogs/gearlog/default.aspx">Gearlog</a>:</cite> <a href="http://gearlog.com/blogs/gearlog/archive/2006/10/04/ReducedFM.aspx">Windows Vista: Reduced Functionality Mode</a> <li> <cite>Chron.Com / <a href="http://blogs.chron.com/techblog/">TechBlog</a>:</cite> <a href="http://blogs.chron.com/techblog/archives/2006/10/may_i_see_your.html">May I see your Windows license and registration, ma'am?</a> <li> <cite>Jack Schofield / <a href="http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/technology/">Guardian Unlimited</a>:</cite> <a href="http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/technology/archives/2006/10/04/microsofts_software_protection_platform_wga_will_get_tougher.html">Microsoft's Software Protection Platform — WGA will get tougher</a> <li> <cite><a href="http://www.computerworld.com/blogs/blog">Computerworld Blogs blogs</a>:</cite> <a href="http://www.computerworld.com/blogs/node/3657">Vista's SPP: bastard child of WPA and WGA? (and geek wallets)</a> <li> <cite>Ed Bott / <a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott">Ed Bott's Microsoft Report</a>:</cite> <a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=148">For Vista, WGA gets tougher</a> </li> </ul> <p> <div class="wlWriterSmartContent" id="0767317B-992E-4b12-91E0-4F059A8CECA8:7060227d-b18c-4ed0-9822-53485d8daa0b" contenteditable="false" style="padding-right: 0px; display: inline; padding-left: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; margin: 0px; padding-top: 0px">Technorati tags: <a href="http://technorati.com/tags/Vista" rel="tag">Vista</a>, <a href="http://technorati.com/tags/Piracy" rel="tag">Piracy</a>, <a href="http://technorati.com/tags/WSPP" rel="tag">WSPP</a>, <a href="http://technorati.com/tags/Windows" rel="tag">Windows</a>, <a href="http://technorati.com/tags/Microsoft" rel="tag">Microsoft</a> </div> > <img width="0" height="0" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/aggbug.ashx?id=efdabbdd-4987-4594-9a66-00e0131ad66d" /> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,efdabbdd-4987-4594-9a66-00e0131ad66d.aspx IT Security;Safe Computing;Tech;Things that Suck
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Google Labs has deployed Google Code Search, which allows regular expressions to be used to search public source code on the Internet. You can also restrict searches by language, license or filename. Earlier this year, Krugle launched a source code search engine, too. I'll need to think about the potential IP, license and security implications of this (there are many software licenses being used in the world, so how do they respect those that don't allow republication, for example, or what if they don't detect a license in the crawl?), but I suppose if it's out there, it's out there. At any rate, it's interesting what you can do. I bet a lot of people will get a lot of mileage out of this:

Google crawls as much publicly accessible source code as their system can find, including archives (.tar.gz, .tar.bz2, .tar, and .zip), CVS repositories and Subversion repositories. And there's also a GData API available to allow mashup apps access to the functionality.

Syntax and Examples (more about regexp syntax)

regexp
Search for a regular expresion
go{2}glehello,\ world^int printk

"exact string"
Search for exact string
"compiler happy"

file:regexp
Search only in files or directories matching regexp
file:\.js$ XMLHttpRequestfile:include/ ioctl
file:/usr/sys/ken/slp.c "You are not expected to understand this."

package:regexp
Search packages with names matching regexp.
(A package's name is its URL or CVS server information.)
package:perl Frodopackage:linux-2.6 int\ printk

lang:regexp
Search only for programs written in languages matching regexp
lang:lisp xmllang:"c++" sprintf.*%s

license:regexp
Search only for files with licenses matching regexp.
license:bsd int\ printf-license:gpl quicksort

(via Google Blogoscoped )



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Google Labs launches Google Code Search http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,d395c210-6007-4f24-816c-e56baca8c7f1.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/GoogleLabsLaunchesGoogleCodeSearch.aspx Thu, 05 Oct 2006 14:00:53 GMT <p> <a href="http://www.google.com/codesearch" target=_new atomicselection="true"><img style="MARGIN: 0px 0px 5px 15px" height=110 src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/GoogleLabslaunchesGoogleCodeSearch_5C3B/codesearch_logo%5B2%5D.gif" width=276 align=right border=0></a> Google Labs has deployed Google Code Search, which allows <a href="http://www.google.com/help/faq_codesearch.html#regexp" target=_blank>regular expressions</a> to be used to search public source code on the Internet. You can also restrict searches by language, license or filename. Earlier this year, Krugle launched a source code search engine, too. I'll need to think about the potential IP, license and security implications of this (there are many software licenses being used in the world, so how do they respect those that don't allow republication, for example, or what if they don't detect a license in the crawl?), but I suppose if it's out there, it's out there. At any rate, it's interesting what you can do. I bet a lot of people will get a lot of mileage out of this: </p> <ul> <li> Google Code Search for: <a href="http://www.google.com/codesearch?q=hello+world" target=_blank>hello world</a> <li> Google Code Searches for: <a href="http://www.google.com/codesearch?hl=en&amp;lr=&amp;q=dasblog" target=_blank>dasblog</a>&nbsp;and <a href="http://www.google.com/codesearch?hl=en&amp;lr=&amp;q=dasBlog" target=_blank>dasBlog</a> <li> Google Code Search for: <a href="http://www.google.com/codesearch?hl=en&amp;lr=&amp;q=lifetheuniverseandeverything" target=_blank>lifetheuniverseandeverything</a> <li> Google Code Searches for: a couple not-safe-for-work <a href="http://www.google.com/codesearch?hl=en&amp;lr=&amp;q=+shit+&amp;btnG=Search" target=_blank>vulgar</a> <a href="http://www.google.com/codesearch?hl=en&amp;lr=&amp;q=fuck&amp;btnG=Search" target=_blank>words</a>&nbsp;(hmmm)</li> </ul> <p> Google crawls as much publicly accessible source code as their system can find, including archives (.tar.gz, .tar.bz2, .tar, and .zip), CVS repositories and Subversion repositories. And there's also a GData API available&nbsp;to allow mashup apps access to the functionality. </p> <blockquote> <p> <b>Syntax and Examples </b>(<a href="http://www.google.com/help/faq_codesearch.html#regexp">more about regexp syntax</a>) <p> <strong><i>regexp</i> <br> </strong>Search for a regular expresion<br> <a href="http://www.google.com/codesearch?q=go{2}gle&amp;ct=hp">go{2}gle</a> <a href="http://www.google.com/codesearch?q=hello,\+world&amp;ct=hp">hello,\ world</a> <a href="http://www.google.com/codesearch?q=^int\+printk&amp;ct=hp">^int printk</a> <p> <strong>"<i>exact string</i>"<br> </strong>Search for <i>exact string</i> <br> <a href='http://www.google.com/codesearch?q="compiler+happy"&amp;ct=hp' temp_href='http://www.google.com/codesearch?q="compiler+happy"&amp;ct=hp'>"compiler happy"</a> <p> <strong>file:<i>regexp</i> <br> </strong>Search only in files or directories matching <i>regexp</i> <br> <a href="http://www.google.com/codesearch?q=file:\.js$+XMLHttpRequest&amp;ct=hp">file:\.js$ XMLHttpRequest</a> <a href="http://www.google.com/codesearch?q=file:include/ ioctl&amp;ct=hp">file:include/ ioctl</a> <br> <a href='http://www.google.com/codesearch?q=file:/usr/sys/ken/slp.c+"You are not expected to understand this."&amp;ct=hp'>file:/usr/sys/ken/slp.c "You are not expected to understand this."</a> <p> <strong>package:<i>regexp</i> <br> </strong>Search packages with names matching <i>regexp</i>.<br> (A package's name is its URL or CVS server information.)<br> <a href="http://www.google.com/codesearch?q=package:perl+Frodo&amp;ct=hp">package:perl Frodo</a> <a href="http://www.google.com/codesearch?q=package:linux-2.6+int\+printk&amp;ct=hp">package:linux-2.6 int\ printk</a> <p> <strong>lang:<i>regexp</i> <br> </strong>Search only for programs written in languages matching <i>regexp</i> <br> <a href="http://www.google.com/codesearch?q=lang:lisp+xml&amp;ct=hp">lang:lisp xml</a> <a href='http://www.google.com/codesearch?q=lang:"c%2b%2b"+sprintf.*%s&amp;ct=hp' temp_href='http://www.google.com/codesearch?q=lang:"c%2b%2b"+sprintf.*%s&amp;ct=hp'>lang:"c++" sprintf.*%s</a> <p> <strong>license:<i>regexp</i> <br> </strong>Search only for files with licenses matching <i>regexp</i>.<br> <a href="http://www.google.com/codesearch?q=license:bsd+int\+printf&amp;ct=hp">license:bsd int\ printf</a> <a href="http://www.google.com/codesearch?q=-license:gpl+quicksort&amp;ct=hp">-license:gpl quicksort</a> </p> </blockquote> <p> <em>(via </em><a href="http://blog.outer-court.com/archive/2006-10-05-n44.html" target=_blank><em>Google Blogoscoped</em></a><em>)</em> </p> <img width="0" height="0" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/aggbug.ashx?id=d395c210-6007-4f24-816c-e56baca8c7f1" /> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,d395c210-6007-4f24-816c-e56baca8c7f1.aspx Tech
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I just submitted my name at the BerryWare site to get information about availability of the "bimmerberry" line of custom-finish housings for Blackberries.

From the BerryWare site:

“Available in 6 colours - Red, Pink, Green, Blue, Midnight Black, and Silver, these replacement houstings are not the clip-on cases you find everywhere, but an actual refinished housing for your Blackberry painted by a certified professional refinisher using high quality paint and clear coat.”

You have to admit, that's kinda cool. And with my Cingular 8700c and the not-so-cool finish Cingular chose, a metallic black or red finish sounds good to me.

Blackberry Cool says: "Pretty neat, but we’re really hoping the combination of this and the adoption of the BlackBerry in celeb-world doesn’t result in a 'Pimp My ‘Berry' scenario. That would not be pretty."

Ummm... Oops. :)

via Blackberry Cool - Disguise your BlackBerry



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Pimp your BlackBerry http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,94ecbabc-773c-4bf0-949b-bbe2715e79bb.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PimpYourBlackBerry.aspx Thu, 05 Oct 2006 05:46:14 GMT <p> <img style="margin: 0px 0px 10px 15px" alt="" src="http://www.blackberrycool.com/wp-content/cases_new.png" align="right"> </p> <p> I just submitted&nbsp;my name at the&nbsp;<a href="http://berryware.ca/blog/?p=4">BerryWare</a> site to get information about availability of the "bimmerberry" line of custom-finish housings for Blackberries. <p> From the BerryWare site: <blockquote> <p> “Available in 6 colours - Red, Pink, Green, Blue, Midnight Black, and Silver, these replacement houstings are not the clip-on cases you find everywhere, but an actual refinished housing for your Blackberry painted by a certified professional refinisher using high quality paint and clear coat.” </p> </blockquote> <p> You have to admit, that's kinda cool. And with my Cingular 8700c and the not-so-cool finish Cingular chose, a metallic black or red finish sounds good to me. <p> Blackberry Cool says: "Pretty neat, but we’re really hoping the combination of this and the adoption of the BlackBerry in celeb-world doesn’t result in a 'Pimp My ‘Berry' scenario. That would not be pretty." <p> Ummm... Oops.&nbsp;:) <p align="left"> <em><font size="1">via Blackberry Cool - </font></em><a href="http://www.blackberrycool.com/2006/10/04/002398/"><em><font size="1">Disguise your BlackBerry</font></em></a> </p> <img width="0" height="0" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/aggbug.ashx?id=94ecbabc-773c-4bf0-949b-bbe2715e79bb" /> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,94ecbabc-773c-4bf0-949b-bbe2715e79bb.aspx Geek Out;Mobile;Tech
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(the one where I ponder the personalness (or is it personality? (both?)) of blogs and notice how level the playing field really is...)

I was glancing at Techmeme.com this evening to see what I have been missing the past day or so, and I started browsing the names of the weblogs listed there. I noticed mine was listed, which was pretty cool, and a whole slew of others. For those that don't know, Techmeme lists current online news and blog entries about - you guessed it - technology. Where a topical post appears, the author is attributed and when others write about the same topic, those weblogs or news sites will sometimes also get listed under the main entry. You can click on each one and see what each author has to say about the topic at hand. It's really very slick, and it's all automated. You can blame Gabe Rivera for it's creation. It's really pretty much virtual ice cream for a geek's hungry mind.

Anyhow, as I was passing through Techmeme during my end-of-day, finally-got-home-from-work, just-have-to-see-what-the-rest-of-the-world-is-thinking time, I realized that not many people with tech blogs use their own names in the title. That got me to thinking that tech blogs are often "properties" by name, rather than direct representations of the people that author them, which is interesting to me since one of the things I like best about blogs is that they are uniquely personal.

Then it also occurred to me that except for certain specific blogs I already know (Engadget, TechCrunch, big names like that), I am naturally drawn to blogs that have someone's name in them. I had not thought about it before, but often I want to know what other people think about something. So, I guess when I see a person's name, I am drawn in. Interesting.

SO I went back and looked for examples at TechMeme. There are some people names scattered around. My name is right there, listed as "greg hughes." Robert's is listed as "Scobleizer," which is a play on his name. And Ed Bott's name is part of his weblog's title. But look at all these other names - most are some pithy or cool geeky blog name. Here's a partial representation of what's on there this evening:

Download Squad, Engadget, TechBlog, The PC Doctor, Ed Bott's Windows Expertise, Todd Bishop's Microsoft Blog, Guardian Unlimited, Silicon Valley Sleuth, Blackfriars' Marketing, Tech Digest, Ed Bott's Microsoft Report, Microsoft News Tracker,Gearlog, Slashdot, Under The Stairs, TechCrunch, Search Engine Journal, Office Evolution, Download Squad, Screenwerk, ContentBlogger, InsideGoogle, Black Voices, paidContent.org, 21talks, GigaOM, robhyndman.com, Between the Lines, Silicon Valley Watcher, Good Morning Silicon Valley, Valleywag, Googling Google, Search Engine Journal, Google Blogoscoped, Download Squad, Mashable!, Digital Inspiration, Google Operating System, digg, Scobleizer, Beet.TV, AdJab, IP Democracy, TechEffect, Search Engine Journal, ClickZ News Blog, Bloggers Blog, Digital Micro-Markets, Techdirt, rexblog, CNNMoney.com, E-consultancy, Web Worker Daily, StrayPackets, rexblog, greg hughes, Gadgetopia, Scripting News, digg...

Quite the mix of properties, blogs, new sites, names and sources there. Also quite a group to be associated with, to be honest. Often individuals who post on personal weblogs are listed right alongside pro bloggers from big organizations and companies. That's proof that the playing field is as level as you care to make it. Listed in the same context as CNN Money, Todd Bishop, Michael Arrington and Om Malik? That's a level field, alright. Heh.

And another thought... I find that even though I subscribe to Techmeme via RSS, I prefer reading and using it via the browser because of the way it positions and presents information on the page. You just don't get the same dimensional organization in RSS, and not everything works best in "river mode."

Do you read Techmeme? You should. Really.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Something occurred to me on my way through Techmeme... http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,9fa1a287-b53e-42b6-b6c9-456f5e951cae.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/SomethingOccurredToMeOnMyWayThroughTechmeme.aspx Thu, 05 Oct 2006 04:52:54 GMT <p> <em>(the one where I ponder the personalness (or is it personality? (both?)) of blogs and notice how level the playing field really is...)</em> </p> <p> I was glancing at <a href="http://www.techmeme.com/">Techmeme.com</a> this evening to see what I have been missing the past day or so, and I started browsing the names of the weblogs listed there. I noticed mine was listed, which was pretty cool, and a whole slew of others. For those that don't know, Techmeme lists current online news and blog entries about - you guessed it - technology. Where a topical post appears, the author is attributed and when others write about the same topic, those weblogs or news sites will sometimes also get listed under the main entry. You can click on each one and see what each author has to say about the topic at hand. It's really very slick, and it's all automated. You can blame <a href="http://blog.memeorandum.com/">Gabe Rivera</a> for it's creation. It's really pretty much virtual ice cream for a geek's hungry&nbsp;mind. </p> <p> Anyhow, as I was passing through Techmeme during my end-of-day, finally-got-home-from-work, just-have-to-see-what-the-rest-of-the-world-is-thinking time, I realized that&nbsp;not&nbsp;many people&nbsp;with tech blogs use their own names in the title. That got me to thinking that tech blogs are often "properties" by name, rather than direct representations of the people that author them, which is interesting to me since one of the things I like best about blogs is that they are uniquely personal. </p> <p> Then it also occurred to me that except for certain specific blogs I already know (Engadget, TechCrunch,&nbsp;big names like that), I am naturally drawn to blogs that have someone's name in them. I had not thought about it before, but often I want to know what other people think about something. So, I guess when I see a person's name, I am drawn in. Interesting. </p> <p> SO I went back and looked for examples at TechMeme. There are some people names scattered around. My name is right there, listed as "greg hughes." Robert's is listed as "<a href="http://scobleizer.wordpress.com">Scobleizer</a>," which is a play on his name. And <a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott">Ed Bott's</a> name is part of his weblog's title. But look at all these other names - most are some pithy or cool geeky blog name. Here's a partial representation of what's on there this evening: </p> <blockquote> <p> <a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/Ou/?p=339"><a href="http://www.downloadsquad.com/2006/10/04/microsoft-threatens-to-cripple-pirated-vista-pcs/">Download Squad</a>, <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2006/10/04/microsoft-will-cripple-pcs-running-pirated-copies-of-vista/">Engadget</a>, <a href="http://blogs.chron.com/techblog/archives/2006/10/may_i_see_your.html">TechBlog</a>, <a href="http://www.pcdoctor-guide.com/wordpress/?p=3514">The PC Doctor</a>, <a href="http://www.edbott.com/weblog/?p=1495">Ed Bott's Windows Expertise</a></a>, <a href="http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/microsoft/archives/107340.asp">Todd Bishop's Microsoft Blog</a>, <a href="http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/technology/archives/2006/10/04/microsofts_software_protection_platform_wga_will_get_tougher.html">Guardian Unlimited</a>, <a href="http://www.siliconvalleysleuth.com/2006/10/microsofts_lame.html">Silicon Valley Sleuth</a>, <a href="http://www.blackfriarsinc.com/blog/2006/10/microsofts-youve-got-to-be-kidding.html">Blackfriars' Marketing</a>, <a href="http://www.techdigest.tv/2006/10/vista_antipirac.html">Tech Digest</a>, <a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/Bott/?p=150">Ed Bott's Microsoft Report</a>, <a href="http://www.hunterstrat.com/news/2006/10/04/microsoft-details-windows-vista-and-longhorn-copy-protection/">Microsoft News Tracker,</a> <a href="http://gearlog.com/blogs/gearlog/archive/2006/10/04/ReducedFM.aspx">Gearlog</a>, <a href="http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/10/04/1959238">Slashdot</a>, <a href="http://tfl09.blogspot.com/2006/10/more-details-on-wga-in-vista.html">Under The Stairs</a>, <a href="http://www.techcrunch.com/2006/10/04/aols-snazzy-new-private-information-gatherer/">TechCrunch</a>, <a href="http://www.searchenginejournal.com/?p=3862">Search Engine Journal</a>, <a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/Orchant/?p=239">Office Evolution</a>, <a href="http://www.downloadsquad.com/2006/10/04/aol-openride-all-in-one-broadband-browser/">Download Squad</a>, <a href="http://gesterling.wordpress.com/2006/10/04/aol-takes-an-openride-with-new-client/">Screenwerk</a>, <a href="http://www.shore.com/commentary/weblogs/2006/10/aol-openride-vs-google-universal.html">ContentBlogger</a>, <a href="http://google.blognewschannel.com/index.php/archives/2006/10/04/aol-openride/">InsideGoogle</a>, <a href="http://free.aol.com/thenewaol/openride/">Black Voices</a>, <a href="http://www.paidcontent.org/aol-hopes-users-will-take-a-free-ride-aol-openride-that-is">paidContent.org</a>, <a href="http://21talks.net/voip/aol-openride">21talks</a>, <a href="http://gigaom.com/">GigaOM</a>, <a href="http://www.robhyndman.com/2006/10/04/the-hp-saga-lockyer-lowers-the-boom/">robhyndman.com</a>, <a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=3722">Between the Lines</a>, <a href="http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/mt/archives/2006/10/charged_califor.php">Silicon Valley Watcher</a>, <a href="http://blogs.siliconvalley.com/gmsv/2006/10/late_addition_t.html">Good Morning Silicon Valley</a>, <a href="http://www.valleywag.com/tech/hewlettpackard/california-to-indict-hp-exchair-and-investigators-205327.php">Valleywag</a>, <a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/Google/?p=348">Googling Google</a>, <a href="http://www.searchenginejournal.com/?p=3860">Search Engine Journal</a>, <a href="http://blog.outer-court.com/archive/2006-10-04-n43.html">Google Blogoscoped</a>, <a href="http://www.downloadsquad.com/2006/10/04/google-groups-launches-new-beta/">Download Squad</a>, <a href="http://mashable.com/2006/10/04/new-google-groups-arrives/">Mashable!</a>, <a href="http://labnol.blogspot.com/2006/10/google-groups-vs-yahoo-groups-google.html">Digital Inspiration</a>, <a href="http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2006/10/new-google-groups.html">Google Operating System</a>, <a href="http://digg.com/tech_news/The_new_Google_Groups_experience">digg</a>, <a href="http://scobleizer.wordpress.com/2006/10/04/video-advertising-pisses-off-audience-who-knew-heheh/">Scobleizer</a>, <a href="http://www.beet.tv/2006/10/247s_jeff_marcu.html">Beet.TV</a>, <a href="http://www.adjab.com/2006/10/04/pre-roll-ads-make-for-sticky-situation/">AdJab</a>, <a href="http://www.ipdemocracy.com/archives/2006/10/04/#002010">IP Democracy</a>, <a href="http://techeffect.thedealblogs.com/2006/10/clarifying_online_video_advert.php">TechEffect</a>, <a href="http://www.searchenginejournal.com/?p=3861">Search Engine Journal</a>, <a href="http://blog.clickz.com/061003-143338.html">ClickZ News Blog</a>, <a href="http://www.bloggersblog.com/cgi-bin/bloggersblog.pl?bblog=1004061">Bloggers Blog</a>, <a href="http://blogs.zdnet.com/micro-markets/?p=503">Digital Micro-Markets</a>, <a href="http://techdirt.com/articles/20061003/074614.shtml">Techdirt</a>, <a href="http://www.rexblog.com/2006/10/04#a11523">rexblog</a>, <a href="http://money.cnn.com/blogs/browser/2006/10/wal-mart-shutters-myspace-clone.html">CNNMoney.com</a>, <a href="http://www.e-consultancy.com/news-blog/361781/wal--mart-dumps-social-networking-site.html">E-consultancy</a>, <a href="http://webworkerdaily.com/2006/10/04/amazon-s3-as-data-backup-options/">Web Worker Daily</a>, <a href="http://www.straypackets.com/2006/10/04/are-we-in-a-personal-computer-rut/">StrayPackets</a>, <a href="http://www.rexblog.com/2006/10/04#a11522">rexblog</a>, <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/ReplacingAHomeBackupServerWithAmazonsS3.aspx">greg hughes</a>, <a href="http://www.gadgetopia.com/post/5562">Gadgetopia</a>, <a href="http://www.scripting.com/2006/10/04.html#onBackingUp">Scripting News</a>, <a href="http://digg.com/hardware/Home_backup_server_vs_Amazon_S3">digg</a>... </p> </blockquote> <p> Quite the mix of properties, blogs, new sites, names and sources there. Also quite a group to be associated with, to be honest. Often individuals who post on personal weblogs are listed right alongside pro bloggers from big organizations and companies. That's proof that the playing field is as level as you care to make it. Listed in the same context as CNN Money, Todd Bishop, Michael Arrington and Om Malik? That's a level field, alright. Heh. </p> <p> And another thought... I find that even though I subscribe to Techmeme via RSS, I prefer reading and using it via the browser because of the way it positions and presents information on the page. You just don't get the same dimensional organization in RSS, and not everything works best in "river mode." </p> <p> Do you read <a href="http://www.techmeme.com/">Techmeme</a>? You should. Really. </p> <img width="0" height="0" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/aggbug.ashx?id=9fa1a287-b53e-42b6-b6c9-456f5e951cae" /> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,9fa1a287-b53e-42b6-b6c9-456f5e951cae.aspx Blogging;Tech
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Rob Bushway over at gottabemobile.com has posted some pre-announcement specs about the forthcoming ThinkPad X60s Tablet PC, which is highly anticipated as the next big Tablet PC thing from Lenovo (the company that now makes those ThinkPad notebooks we all love).

Supposedly, from what people are saying, the actual announcement is not scheduled until next month, but here's what Rob says he hears we can expect (go to his site for the details). If it all holds true, this looks like a very interesting machine. I have to hope the graphics and DualTouch will support Vista. In fact, one has to wonder when Vista will be the default OS on these things. When you consider RTM is likely to happen early next month for the new OS, the stars do seem to align. Hmmm...

Anyhow - back to the geek-out specs:

  • Intel 945GM chipset

  • Intel Core Solo and Core Duo Processors Low Volt Processors

    • Core Duo ( L2400 (1.66ghz) and L2500 (1.83 ghz)

    • Core Solo (U1400 (1.2 ghz) to announce in January 2007

    • new 2.5" SATA high-speed, standard models with 5400rpm, up to 120gb capacity and optional 100gb 7200 rpm HD available

    • 128mb of Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950

    • Up to 4gb of PC2-5300 DDR2 memory (667 MHz) - 3.2gb available to the operating system

    • 2 memory slots - memory is no longer soldered to the mother board

  • connectivity

    • 802.11 a/b/g

    • Embedded Wireless WWAN

    • Bluetooth options

    • Integrated modem and Gigabit

  • 12.1" XGA Wide angle display ( 170 degrees) comes standard with

    • Anti-glare / anti reflective coating, now with dynamic screen orientation that adapts the screen to how you want to work ( we are assuming this is like the M200 and M400 accelerometer that auto rotates based on the angle you hold the screen)

    • Plus two other new screen options

      • Optional models available with SXGA ( max res of 1400 x 1050)

      • Optional models available with indoor / outdoor viewing capability with touch screen for enhanced ease of use and flexibility

        • MultiTouch screen allows either finger or pen touch to move cursor for ease of use and more natural interaction with tablet

        • MultiView display provides better screen technology for viewing indoors, outdoors, and from wide angles ( 170 degrees )

  • UPDATE: The pen has an eraser on the end of it



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Sneak peak at next Lenovo Tablet PC specs - the X60s http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,7c2d6bf1-d41a-4c82-9d66-643e011c38be.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/SneakPeakAtNextLenovoTabletPCSpecsTheX60s.aspx Wed, 04 Oct 2006 12:50:42 GMT <p> <a href="http://www.gottabemobile.com/WeveGotLenovoX60sTabletPCSpecs.aspx" target="_blank">Rob Bushway over at gottabemobile.com</a> has posted some pre-announcement specs about the forthcoming ThinkPad X60s Tablet PC, which is highly anticipated&nbsp;as the next big Tablet PC thing from Lenovo (the company that now makes those ThinkPad notebooks we all love). </p> <p> Supposedly, from what people are saying, the actual announcement is not scheduled until next month, but here's what Rob says he hears we can expect (<a href="http://www.gottabemobile.com/WeveGotLenovoX60sTabletPCSpecs.aspx" target="_blank">go to his site for the details</a>). If it all holds true, this looks like a very interesting machine. I have to hope the graphics and DualTouch will support Vista. In fact, one has to wonder when Vista will be the default OS on these things. When you consider RTM is likely to happen early next month for the new OS, the stars do seem to align. Hmmm... </p> <p> Anyhow - back to the geek-out specs: </p> <ul> <li> <p> <font size="2">Intel 945GM chipset</font> </p> <li> <p> <font size="2">Intel Core Solo and Core Duo Processors Low Volt Processors</font> <ul> <li> <p> <font size="2">Core Duo ( L2400 (1.66ghz) and L2500 (1.83 ghz)</font> </p> <li> <p> <font size="2">Core Solo (U1400 (1.2 ghz) to announce in January 2007</font> </p> <li> <p> <font size="2">new 2.5" SATA high-speed, standard models with 5400rpm, up to 120gb capacity and optional 100gb 7200 rpm HD available</font> </p> <li> <p> <font size="2">128mb of Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950</font> </p> <li> <p> <font size="2">Up to 4gb of PC2-5300 DDR2 memory (667 MHz) - 3.2gb available to the operating system</font> </p> <li> <p> <font size="2">2 memory slots - memory is no longer soldered to the mother board</font> </p> </li> </ul> <li> <p> <font size="2">connectivity</font> <ul> <li> <p> <font size="2">802.11 a/b/g</font> </p> <li> <p> <font size="2">Embedded Wireless WWAN</font> </p> <li> <p> <font size="2">Bluetooth options</font> </p> <li> <p> <font size="2">Integrated modem and Gigabit</font> </p> </li> </ul> <li> <p> <font size="2">12.1" XGA Wide angle display ( 170 degrees) comes standard with</font> <ul> <li> <p> <font size="2">Anti-glare / anti reflective coating, now with dynamic screen orientation that adapts the screen to how you want to work ( we are assuming this is like the M200 and M400 accelerometer that auto rotates based on the angle you hold the screen)</font> </p> <li> <p> <font size="2">Plus two other new screen options</font> <ul> <li> <p> <font size="2">Optional models available with SXGA ( max res of 1400 x 1050)</font> </p> <li> <p> <font size="2">Optional models available with indoor / outdoor viewing capability with touch screen for enhanced ease of use and flexibility</font> <ul> <li> <p> <font size="2">MultiTouch screen allows either finger or pen touch to move cursor for ease of use and more natural interaction with tablet</font> </p> <li> <p> <font size="2">MultiView display provides better screen technology for viewing indoors, outdoors, and from wide angles ( 170 degrees )</font> </p> </li> </ul> </li> </ul> </li> </ul> <li> <p> <font size="2"><strong>UPDATE</strong>: The pen has an eraser on the end of it</font> </p> </li> </ul> <img width="0" height="0" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/aggbug.ashx?id=7c2d6bf1-d41a-4c82-9d66-643e011c38be" /> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,7c2d6bf1-d41a-4c82-9d66-643e011c38be.aspx Tablet PC;Tech
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Jeremy Zawodny's been looking at options to replace his traditional home backup server with something a little more modern and potentially better from a cost and maintenance perspective. He's looking at Amazon S3 for that purpose.

Not too long ago, Amazon released their Simple Storage Service (or "S3" for short). It provides a hosted storage platform which developers can build all sorts of applications on top of. Smugmug , a popular photo sharing web site, is using it to store and host pictures .

I've been considering using S3 as the backend to an on-line backup, since I'd been beating that for a while (see: Swimming Pools and Hard Disks and Cheap On-Line Storage Coming Soon ).

In a few days I'll write about how to do this--I'm only partially through the process right now. But right now I want to lay out the motivation for doing this.

I'll be keeping my eye on this, since I was thinking about trying something similar. The idea of buying yet another piece of hardware, which could sit at home on a slower connection and potentially break on me over time, is less appealing than a sufficiently secure system that I could get to from literally anywhere. And as I work more and more with larger pieces of personal data, the need continues to grow.

Source: Replacing my home backup server with Amazon's S3
Originally published on Wed, 04 Oct 2006 04:51:36 GMT

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greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Replacing a home backup server with Amazon's S3 http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,130b2816-8995-45b3-8219-fd37f8047b2c.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/ReplacingAHomeBackupServerWithAmazonsS3.aspx Wed, 04 Oct 2006 11:04:59 GMT <p> <a href="http://jeremy.zawodny.com/blog/archives/007624.html" target="_blank">Jeremy Zawodny's been looking at options</a> to replace his traditional home backup server with something a little more modern and potentially better from a cost and maintenance perspective. He's looking at Amazon S3 for that purpose. </p> <blockquote> <p> <em>Not too long ago, Amazon released their </em><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/browse.html?node=16427261"><em>Simple Storage Service</em></a><em> (or "S3" for short). It provides a hosted storage platform which developers can build all sorts of applications on top of. </em><a href="http://smugmug.com/"><em>Smugmug</em></a><em>, a popular photo sharing web site, is </em><a href="http://blogs.smugmug.com/onethumb/2006/08/12/amazon-s3-the-holy-grail/"><em>using it to store and host pictures</em></a><em>.</em> <p> <em><strong>I've been considering using S3 as the backend to an on-line backup,</strong> since I'd been beating that for a while (see: </em><a href="http://jeremy.zawodny.com/blog/archives/005820.html"><em>Swimming Pools and Hard Disks</em></a><em> and </em><a href="http://jeremy.zawodny.com/blog/archives/005720.html"><em>Cheap On-Line Storage Coming Soon</em></a><em>).</em> <p> <em>In a few days I'll write about how to do this--I'm only partially through the process right now. But right now I want to lay out the motivation for doing this.</em> </p> </blockquote> <p> I'll be keeping my eye on this, since I was thinking about trying something similar. The idea of buying yet another piece of hardware, which could sit at home on a slower connection and potentially break on me over time, is less appealing than a sufficiently secure system that I could get to from literally anywhere. And as I work more and more with larger pieces of personal data, the need continues to grow. <p> <em><font size="1">Source: </font></em><a href="http://jeremy.zawodny.com/blog/archives/007624.html"><em><font size="1">Replacing my home backup server with Amazon's S3</font></em></a><em><font size="1"> <br> Originally published on Wed, 04 Oct 2006 04:51:36 GMT</font></em> </p> <div class="wlWriterSmartContent" id="0767317B-992E-4b12-91E0-4F059A8CECA8:0a1f3cba-6589-4d50-984d-d477494e7da4" contenteditable="false" style="padding-right: 0px; display: inline; padding-left: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; margin: 0px; padding-top: 0px">Technorati tags: <a href="http://technorati.com/tags/S3" rel="tag">S3</a>, <a href="http://technorati.com/tags/backup" rel="tag">backup</a>, <a href="http://technorati.com/tags/server" rel="tag">server</a>, <a href="http://technorati.com/tags/Zawodny" rel="tag">Zawodny</a> </div> <img width="0" height="0" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/aggbug.ashx?id=130b2816-8995-45b3-8219-fd37f8047b2c" /> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,130b2816-8995-45b3-8219-fd37f8047b2c.aspx Tech
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My job is all about catching bad guys, building great software to help do that, protecting information, and a variety of similar things. the company I work for builds software than somewhere around a third of the country uses in some manner to conduct financial transaction on the Internet, so the topic of security is important to me.

I'm regularly participating these days in interviews with members of the media, and recently one resulting story was published that I thought did a nice job of covering the bases regarding security in financial services and the human elements. What has to be recognized in order to succeed in this fight is that the user is not predictable, accountable or reliable. It's the truth, it's important to know, and it's a fact we have to plan for and design into our security models.

Read the story here: Finance on Windows - "For Your Eyes Only"



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Weakest link in the security chain? That's easy: The people. http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,523b5f06-7bb7-49a1-84b3-38994ca60ba5.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/WeakestLinkInTheSecurityChainThatsEasyThePeople.aspx Tue, 03 Oct 2006 21:05:14 GMT <p> My job is all about catching bad guys, building great software to help do that, protecting information, and a variety of similar things. the company I work for builds software than somewhere around a third of the country uses in some manner to conduct financial transaction on the Internet, so the topic of security is important to me. </p> <p> I'm regularly participating these days in interviews with members of the media, and recently one resulting <a href="http://www.onwindows.com/article.asp?id=684" target="_blank">story was published that I thought did a nice job of covering the bases</a> regarding security in financial services and the human elements. What has to be recognized in order to succeed in this fight is that the user is not predictable, accountable or reliable. It's the truth, it's important to know, and it's a fact we have to plan for&nbsp;and design into our security models. </p> <p> Read the story here: <a href="http://www.onwindows.com/article.asp?id=684" target="_blank">Finance on Windows - "For Your Eyes Only"</a> </p> <img width="0" height="0" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/aggbug.ashx?id=523b5f06-7bb7-49a1-84b3-38994ca60ba5" /> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,523b5f06-7bb7-49a1-84b3-38994ca60ba5.aspx IT Security;Safe Computing;Tech
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From the "Department of You've Got To Be Kidding Me" comes word that BlackBerry users are blaming others for their problems:

"CrackBerry addicts: Why the workers who can't switch off are suing their employers"

... now these discreet handheld gadgets, which provide workaholics with constant email updates, are being blamed for chronic insomnia, relationship break-up, premature burn-out, and even car crashes.

British employers are being warned they could face multi-million-pound legal actions from BlackBerry-addicted staff on a similar scale as class law-suits taken against tobacco companies. Research by the University of Northampton has revealed that one-third of BlackBerry users showed signs of addictive behaviour similar to an alcoholic being unable to pass a pub without a drink.

The report found that some BlackBerry users displayed textbook addictive symptoms - denial, withdrawal and antisocial behaviour - and that time with their families was being taken up with BlackBerry-checking, even at the dinner table.

That's awesome. So what this means, basically, is that I am set for life. I have a guaranteed lawsuit at this rate, I mean you should see me with this thing - I blame the world for my addiction! Who can I sue next?

What ever happened to plain-old, self-assigned-responsibility? Jeez.

And, for your related viewing pleasure (note the video contains some video-blurred nakedness):



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. CrackBerries: Why companies are getting sued by their addicted workers http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,4c246bcf-dba3-4d1e-993b-99cad59def10.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CrackBerriesWhyCompaniesAreGettingSuedByTheirAddictedWorkers.aspx Tue, 03 Oct 2006 18:26:07 GMT <p> <img style="margin: 0px 0px 5px 15px;" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/CrackBerriesWhycompaniesaregettingsuedby_9EF8/latest_devices_8700.jpg" align="right" height="240" width="203"> From the "Department of You've Got To Be Kidding Me" <a href="http://news.independent.co.uk/world/science_technology/article1777821.ece" target="_blank">comes word that BlackBerry users are blaming others for their problems</a>: </p> <blockquote> <p> <em>"CrackBerry addicts: Why the workers who can't switch off are suing their employers"</em> </p> <p> <em>... now these discreet handheld gadgets, which provide workaholics with constant email updates, are being blamed for chronic insomnia, relationship break-up, premature burn-out, and even car crashes. </em> </p> <p> <em>British employers are being warned they could face multi-million-pound legal actions from BlackBerry-addicted staff on a similar scale as class law-suits taken against tobacco companies. Research by the University of Northampton has revealed that one-third of BlackBerry users showed signs of addictive behaviour similar to an alcoholic being unable to pass a pub without a drink.</em> </p> <p> <em>The report found that some BlackBerry users displayed textbook addictive symptoms - denial, withdrawal and antisocial behaviour - and that time with their families was being taken up with BlackBerry-checking, even at the dinner table.</em> </p> </blockquote> <p> That's awesome. So what this means, basically,&nbsp;is that&nbsp;I am set for life. I have a guaranteed lawsuit at this rate, I mean you should <em>see</em> me with this thing -&nbsp;I blame the world for my addiction! Who can I sue next? </p> <p> What ever happened to plain-old, self-assigned-responsibility? Jeez. </p> <p> And, for your related viewing pleasure (note the video contains some video-blurred nakedness): </p> <p> </p> <embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/T2la_aGzpw8" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" height="350" width="425"> <p> </p> <img width="0" height="0" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/aggbug.ashx?id=4c246bcf-dba3-4d1e-993b-99cad59def10" /> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,4c246bcf-dba3-4d1e-993b-99cad59def10.aspx Mobile;Tech
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As I mentioned before. I recently acquired a Nikon D200 camera (new) and along with it a used but immaculate lens - the Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8 ED AF-S model. Both the body and the glass are exceptional pieces of equipment. I can't say enough about them. I also added the MB-D200 batter pack and extension to the body, which allows more battery time as well as vertical shooting trigger and wheels (mandatory in my book - I spent too many years with F3's and F4's not to have that capability).

I shot a few pictures out in the yard this afternoon to post here, since people have been asking me to do so. What I didn't realize until I uploaded them was that I had the ISO set to 800, which is ridiculously high for daylight, heh. So the image noise is a bit higher than it should be. But anyhow, they still look pretty good. The pictures below are clickable and will take you to my flickr feed, where you can see them in their full-size glory if you want to.

I highly recommend the D200 - I have not found a single thing I don't like about it yet (well okay it eats batteries for lunch, but hey - what can ya do?)

Japanese Maple leaf, backlit:

Red Maple Leaf

Diogi, my friendly (and spastic) chocolate lab:

Diogi, October 1 2006

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greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Nikon D200 test images - out in the yard http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,dc246992-0986-4491-905d-2932ef115460.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/NikonD200TestImagesOutInTheYard.aspx Sun, 01 Oct 2006 23:12:04 GMT <p> As I mentioned before. I recently acquired&nbsp;a Nikon D200 camera (new) and along with it a used but immaculate lens - the Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8&nbsp;ED AF-S model. Both the body and the glass are exceptional pieces of equipment. I can't say enough about them. I also added the MB-D200 batter pack and extension to the body, which allows more battery time as well as vertical shooting trigger and wheels (mandatory in my book - I spent too many years with F3's and F4's&nbsp;not to have that capability). </p> <p> I shot a few pictures out in the yard this afternoon&nbsp;to post here, since people have been asking me to do so. What I didn't realize until I uploaded them was that I had the ISO set to 800, which is ridiculously high for daylight, heh. So the image noise is a bit higher than it should be. But anyhow, they still look pretty good. The pictures below are clickable and will take you to my flickr feed, where you can see them in their full-size glory if you want to. </p> <p> I highly recommend the D200 - I have not found a single thing I don't like about it yet (well okay it eats batteries for lunch, but hey -&nbsp;what can ya do?) </p> <table align="center" cellspacing="10" border="0"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <p> <font size="1">Japanese Maple leaf, backlit:</font> </p> <p> <a title="Red Maple Leaf" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/89517617@N00/257894209/"><font color="#000000" size="1"><img height="240" alt="Red Maple Leaf" hspace="0" src="http://static.flickr.com/86/257894209_27f9b051fd.jpg" width="209" border="0"></font></a> </p> </td> <td> <p> <font size="1">Diogi, my friendly (and spastic) chocolate lab:</font> </p> <p> <a title="Diogi, October 1 2006" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/89517617@N00/257894065/"><font color="#000000" size="1"><img height="240" alt="Diogi, October 1 2006" hspace="0" src="http://static.flickr.com/119/257894065_fc73263528.jpg" width="196" border="0"></font></a> </p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <div class="wlWriterSmartContent" id="0767317B-992E-4b12-91E0-4F059A8CECA8:577f7bbc-49ef-4ccc-abec-7dade3cd1388" contenteditable="false" style="padding-right: 0px; display: inline; padding-left: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; margin: 0px; padding-top: 0px">Technorati tags: <a href="http://technorati.com/tags/D200" rel="tag">D200</a>, <a href="http://technorati.com/tags/Diogi" rel="tag">Diogi</a> </div> <img width="0" height="0" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/aggbug.ashx?id=dc246992-0986-4491-905d-2932ef115460" /> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,dc246992-0986-4491-905d-2932ef115460.aspx Random Stuff
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So, this is a pretty cool find. I recently acquired a Nikon D200 (which, by the way, is super-sweet and I still need to write about it and the lens and stuff I picked up), which has (or will soon have) a cable that can plus into a GPS device to record your position on the face of the earth in the image EXIF data. I may just make my own cable -we'll see.

Meanwhile, Jelbert has this nifty new thing called GeoTagger:

"The Jelbert GeoTagger connects to a Garmin Geko 301 GPS device and fits into a DSLR's flash shoe. Every time you take a photo the camera triggers the geotagger, which records the precise position and heading of a camera using the GPS device."

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greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Jelbert GeoTagger - records camera heading and position data via GPS http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,3a24dc6b-3624-4c65-b0af-645a65ac88d9.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/JelbertGeoTaggerRecordsCameraHeadingAndPositionDataViaGPS.aspx Sun, 01 Oct 2006 21:26:35 GMT <p> <img style="margin: 0px 0px 5px 15px" height="192" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/JelbertGeoTaggerrecordscameraheadingdata_CA99/JelbertGeoTagger15.jpg" width="240" align="right"> So, this is a pretty cool find. I recently acquired a Nikon D200 (which, by the way, is super-sweet and I still need to write about it and the lens and stuff I picked up), which has (or will soon have) a cable that can plus into a GPS device to record your position on the face of the earth in the image EXIF data. I may just <a href="http://www.core5.net/projects/d200GPS/index.html" target="_blank">make my own cable</a> -we'll see. </p> <p> Meanwhile, <a href="http://www.ogleearth.com/2006/09/jelbert_geotagg.html" target="_blank">Jelbert has this nifty new thing called GeoTagger</a>: </p> <p> "The <a href="http://www.geotagger.co.uk/" target="_blank">Jelbert GeoTagger</a> connects to a Garmin Geko 301 GPS device and fits into a DSLR's flash shoe. Every time you take a photo the camera triggers the geotagger, which records the precise position and heading of a camera using the GPS device." </p> <div class="wlWriterSmartContent" id="0767317B-992E-4b12-91E0-4F059A8CECA8:87d9e593-0aa9-432b-a46a-0cde4f67b2a7" contenteditable="false" style="padding-right: 0px; display: inline; padding-left: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; margin: 0px; padding-top: 0px">Technorati tags: <a href="http://technorati.com/tags/Jelbert" rel="tag">Jelbert</a>, <a href="http://technorati.com/tags/GeoTagger" rel="tag">GeoTagger</a>, <a href="http://technorati.com/tags/EXIF" rel="tag">EXIF</a>, <a href="http://technorati.com/tags/GPS" rel="tag">GPS</a>, <a href="http://technorati.com/tags/Camera" rel="tag">Camera</a> </div> <img width="0" height="0" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/aggbug.ashx?id=3a24dc6b-3624-4c65-b0af-645a65ac88d9" /> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,3a24dc6b-3624-4c65-b0af-645a65ac88d9.aspx Geek Out;Tech
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So let's say, not quite so hypothetically, that I was going to be in Vienna, Austria for a week in the late-October and early-November timeframe (for work-related stuff). Let's also say that I happened to have an extra week of vacation time available, so I went ahead and got the plane tickets on the cheap(er) and I am arriving in Austria a week before I have to start the work effort. Meaning I have an extra week to see an area of the world I have never visited.

Since that means eight days to do pretty much whatever I want (and to travel wherever seems best) before spending five or six days in Vienna proper, I wonder what people think would make for a good plan? I don't have to stay in Vienna for the extra week, mind you - and I think I'd prefer to get away for that week and see some other places in the region.

I was thinking that maybe a Eurail pass that lets you cross into a couple other countries might be good? So - Where to go and what to do? A friend of mine will also be with me, so we were thinking the "saver" pass for the train system is a good idea.

I've done a bunch of Internet searches to see what others have done, and I have found some interesting and helpful information. But I figured maybe someone who reads this has been there before and will have some ideas. Plus, the bulk of the Internet information I have found is commercial search-optimized generic content meant to drive click revenue, and I am looking for some real-world advice and experience here.

Anyone? :)

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greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Fall trip to Vienna - What's the best way to spend a week? http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,93f7c108-7897-442d-afd2-80797f430c16.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/FallTripToViennaWhatsTheBestWayToSpendAWeek.aspx Sun, 01 Oct 2006 19:24:54 GMT <p> So let's say, not quite so hypothetically, that I was going to be in Vienna, Austria&nbsp;for a week in the late-October and early-November timeframe (for work-related stuff). Let's also say&nbsp;that I happened to have an extra week of vacation time available, so I went ahead and got the plane tickets on the cheap(er) and I am arriving in Austria a week before I have to start the work effort. Meaning I have an extra week to see an area of the world I have never visited. </p> <p> Since that means eight days to do pretty much whatever I want (and to travel wherever seems best) before spending five or six days in Vienna proper, I wonder&nbsp;what people think would make for a good plan? I don't have to stay in Vienna for the extra week, mind you - and I think I'd prefer to get away for that week and see some other places in the region. </p> <p> I was thinking that maybe a Eurail pass that lets you cross into a couple other countries might be good? So - Where to go and what to do? A friend of mine will also be with me, so we were thinking the "saver" pass for the train system&nbsp;is a good idea. </p> <p> I've done a bunch of Internet searches to see what others have done, and I have found some interesting and helpful information. But I&nbsp;figured maybe someone who reads this has been there before and&nbsp;will have some ideas. Plus,&nbsp;the bulk&nbsp;of the Internet information I have found is commercial search-optimized generic content meant to drive click revenue, and I am looking for some real-world advice and experience here. </p> <p> Anyone? :)<br> </p> <div class="wlWriterSmartContent" id="0767317B-992E-4b12-91E0-4F059A8CECA8:968b109e-e23c-4192-b62e-ec0c9ea312d4" contenteditable="false" style="padding-right: 0px; display: inline; padding-left: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; margin: 0px; padding-top: 0px">Technorati tags: <a href="http://technorati.com/tags/Vienna" rel="tag">Vienna</a>, <a href="http://technorati.com/tags/Austria" rel="tag">Austria</a>, <a href="http://technorati.com/tags/Vacation" rel="tag">Vacation</a> </div> <img width="0" height="0" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/aggbug.ashx?id=93f7c108-7897-442d-afd2-80797f430c16" /> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,93f7c108-7897-442d-afd2-80797f430c16.aspx Random Stuff
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On10.net has a video demonstrating the forthcoming Zune media players (the guys there got a couple pre-release models to mess around with). The video demo shows sharing pics and music between devices wirelessly.

I think I'm-a-gonna get me one of those... Looks like it will be a even better option than my iPod for video on airplanes maybe.

Watch the video here.

the Zune is scheduled to be available November 14th for $249.99. It includes a whole host of cool features:

WMA, MP3, AAC, JPEG,WMV, MPEG-4, H.264 media playback
Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g) connectivity
30 GB Hard Drive
3 inch video LCD 320x240
White, Black, and Brown Colors
FM Radio
TV output connectivity 640x480
Dedicated song download site (Zune Marketplace)
DJ Mode
Podcast playback
Updateable Firmware
Estimated 12 hr battery life for audio, 3.5 hr video
3 day playback of Wi-Fi transfered songs from friends (hmmm...) 
XBOX streaming
XBOX (Microsoft) points compatability
Preloaded music videos
Over a dozen accessories at launch
5.6 ounces in weight, 4.4 x 2.4 x 0.58 inches size
Metric: 158 g, 112 x 61 x 14.7 mm size
Custom background images
WiFi transfer of photographs
Tag based storage system (Will not appear as drive)
PC Compatability (no Mac client at launch)
Zune tag enabled
Horizontal and vertical video orientation

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greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Zune Demo Video http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,c485ebc7-45c9-4b18-a460-5fffd03e9d07.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/ZuneDemoVideo.aspx Sun, 01 Oct 2006 17:53:32 GMT <p> <a href="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/ZuneDemoVideo_98E0/ZuneSharing_large_on1016.jpg" atomicselection="true"><img style="border-top-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; margin: 0px 0px 5px 15px; border-right-width: 0px" height="180" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/ZuneDemoVideo_98E0/ZuneSharing_large_on101_thumb6.jpg" width="240" align="right" border="0"></a> On10.net has a video <a href="http://www.on10.net/Blogs/duncan/sharing-songs-and-pictures-with-the-zune/#comments" target="_blank">demonstrating the forthcoming Zune</a> media players (the guys there got a couple pre-release models to mess around with). The video&nbsp;demo shows sharing pics and music between devices wirelessly. </p> <p> I think I'm-a-gonna get me one of those... Looks like it will be a even better option than my iPod for video on airplanes maybe. </p> <p> <a href="http://www.on10.net/Blogs/duncan/sharing-songs-and-pictures-with-the-zune/#comments" target="_blank">Watch the video here</a>. </p> <p> the Zune is scheduled to be available November 14th for $249.99. It includes a whole host of cool features: </p> <blockquote> <p> WMA, MP3, AAC, JPEG,WMV, MPEG-4, H.264 media playback<br> Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g) connectivity<br> 30 GB Hard Drive <br> 3 inch video LCD 320x240<br> White, Black, and Brown Colors <br> FM Radio <br> TV output connectivity 640x480<br> Dedicated song download site (<a href="http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/presskits/zune/images/image022_low.jpg">Zune Marketplace</a>) <br> DJ Mode<br> Podcast playback<br> Updateable Firmware <br> Estimated 12 hr battery life for audio, 3.5 hr video<br> <img style="margin: 0px 0px 5px 15px" height="195" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/content/binary/WindowsLiveWriter/ZuneDemoVideo_98E0/3zunes6.jpg" width="240" align="right"> 3 day playback of Wi-Fi transfered songs from friends (hmmm...)&nbsp;<br> XBOX streaming<br> XBOX (Microsoft) points compatability <br> Preloaded music videos<br> Over a dozen accessories at launch <br> 5.6 ounces in weight, 4.4 x 2.4 x 0.58 inches size<br> Metric: 158 g, 112 x 61 x 14.7 mm size<br> Custom background images<br> WiFi transfer of photographs <br> Tag based storage system (Will not appear as drive)<br> PC Compatability (no Mac client at launch)<br> Zune tag enabled <br> Horizontal and vertical video orientation </p> <div class="wlWriterSmartContent" id="0767317B-992E-4b12-91E0-4F059A8CECA8:0d2a7583-ffc0-43fc-8d23-9146189a90ae" contenteditable="false" style="padding-right: 0px; display: inline; padding-left: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; margin: 0px; padding-top: 0px">Technorati tags: <a href="http://technorati.com/tags/Zune" rel="tag">Zune</a> </div> </blockquote><img width="0" height="0" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/aggbug.ashx?id=c485ebc7-45c9-4b18-a460-5fffd03e9d07" /> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,c485ebc7-45c9-4b18-a460-5fffd03e9d07.aspx
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I've had some person experience in the past couple of years - mostly all good - what some call "agile" programming styles. One thing I don't like much, however, is the sometimes "religious" slant that can invade agile development teams. If you think about it, an agile methodology that doesn't allow itself to be flexible is just about as non-agile as possible. In other words, agile zealots can at times defeat the benefits of the methodology.

The one thing I have found is truly necessary for any agile-ish method to work is 100% participation and buy-in on the part of all involved, from the workers all the way up through every layer of lead and management. Without that, it will fail eventually.

Steve Yegge lives up there in Washington and has written an excellent (and beautifully opinionated) piece about what he calls Good Agile and Bad Agile. If you're a developer or a manager of developers you'll either agree or disagree with Steve, probably strongly in whichever direction you lean. Regardless of your position, it's worth your time to read what he has to say.

I mean hey, he's so colorful, even if you don't have a clue what agile development is you can enjoy the writing. Heh. Forgive the language quoted (like I need to say that). Here's an excerpt:

... Up until maybe a year ago, I had a pretty one-dimensional view of so-called "Agile" programming, namely that it's an idiotic fad-diet of a marketing scam making the rounds as yet another technological virus implanting itself in naive programmers who've never read "No Silver Bullet", the kinds of programmers who buy extended warranties and self-help books and believe their bosses genuinely care about them as people, the kinds of programmers who attend conferences to make friends and who don't know how to avoid eye contact with leaflet-waving fanatics in airports and who believe writing shit on index cards will suddenly make software development easier.
You know. Chumps. That's the word I'm looking for. My bad-cholesterol view was that Agile Methodologies are for chumps.

But I've had a lot of opportunity to observe various flavors of Agile-ism in action lately, and I now think I was only about 90% right. It turns out there's a good kind of Agile, although it's taken me a long time to be able to see it clearly amidst all the hype and kowtowing and moaning feverishly about scrums and whatnot. I have a pretty clear picture of it now.

And you can attend my seminar on it for the low, low price of $499.95! Hahaha, chump!
No, just kidding. You'll only find seminars about the Bad kind of Agile. And if in the future you ever find me touring around as an Agile Consultant, charging audiences to hear my deep wisdom and insight about Agile Development, you have my permission to cut my balls off. If I say I was just kidding, say I told you I'd say that. If I then say I'm Tyler Durden and I order you not to cut my balls off, say I definitely said I was going to say that, and then you cut 'em right off.

I'll just go right ahead and tell you about the Good Kind, free of charge.

It's kinda hard to talk about Good Agile and Bad Agile in isolation, so I might talk about them together. But I'll be sure to label the Good kind with a happy rat, and the Bad kind with a sad dead rat, so you'll always know the difference.

How can you not read what this guy has to say? That's just a start - read it all on Steve's blog.



greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a Creative Commons License. Agile programming - good or bad? http://www.greghughes.net/rant/PermaLink,guid,f40515d7-f844-4b34-88bc-ef39af94a451.aspx http://www.greghughes.net/rant/AgileProgrammingGoodOrBad.aspx Fri, 29 Sep 2006 18:14:30 GMT <p> I've had some person experience in the past couple of years&nbsp;- mostly all good - what some call "agile" programming styles. One thing I don't like much, however,&nbsp;is the sometimes "religious" slant that can invade agile development teams. If you think about it, an agile methodology that doesn't allow itself to be&nbsp;flexible is&nbsp;just about as&nbsp;non-agile as possible. In other words, agile zealots can at times defeat the benefits of the methodology. </p> <p> The one thing I have found is truly necessary for any agile-ish method to work is 100% participation and buy-in on the part of all involved, from the workers all the way up through every layer of lead and management. Without that, it <em>will</em> fail eventually. </p> <p> Steve Yegge lives up there&nbsp;in Washington and <a href="http://steve-yegge.blogspot.com/2006/09/good-agile-bad-agile_27.html" target=_blank>has written an excellent (and beautifully&nbsp;opinionated) piece about what he calls Good Agile and Bad Agile</a>. If you're a developer or a manager of developers you'll either agree or disagree with Steve, probably strongly in whichever direction you lean. Regardless of your position, it's worth your time to read what he has to say. </p> <p> I mean hey, he's so colorful, even if you don't have a clue what agile development is you can enjoy the writing. Heh. Forgive the language quoted (like I need to say that). Here's an excerpt: </p> <blockquote> <p> <em>... Up until maybe a year ago, I had a pretty one-dimensional view of so-called "Agile" programming, namely that it's an idiotic fad-diet of a marketing scam making the rounds as yet another technological virus implanting itself in naive programmers who've never read "No Silver Bullet", the kinds of programmers who buy extended warranties and self-help books and believe their bosses genuinely care about them as people, the kinds of programmers who attend conferences to make friends and who don't know how to avoid eye contact with leaflet-waving fanatics in airports and who believe writing shit on index cards will suddenly make software development easier.<br> You know. Chumps. That's the word I'm looking for. My bad-cholesterol view was that Agile Methodologies are for chumps.</em> </p> <p> <em>But I've had a lot of opportunity to observe various flavors of Agile-ism in action lately, and I now think I was only about 90% right. It turns out there's a good kind of Agile, although it's taken me a long time to be able to see it clearly amidst all the hype and kowtowing and moaning feverishly about scrums and whatnot. I have a pretty clear picture of it now.</em> </p> <p> <em>And you can attend my seminar on it for the low, low price of $499.95! Hahaha, chump!<br> No, just kidding. You'll only find seminars about the Bad kind of Agile. And if in the future you ever find me touring around as an Agile Consultant, charging audiences to hear my deep wisdom and insight about Agile Development, you have my permission to cut my balls off. If I say I was just kidding, say I told you I'd say that. If I then say I'm Tyler Durden and I order you not to cut my balls off, say I definitely said I was going to say that, and then you cut 'em right off.</em> </p> <p> <em>I'll just go right ahead and tell you about the Good Kind, free of charge.</em> </p> <p> <em>It's kinda hard to talk about Good Agile and Bad Agile in isolation, so I might talk about them together. But I'll be sure to label the Good kind with a happy rat, and the Bad kind with a sad dead rat, so you'll always know the difference.</em> </p> </blockquote> <p> How can you not read what this guy has to say? That's just a start - <a href="http://steve-yegge.blogspot.com/2006/09/good-agile-bad-agile_27.html" target=_blank>read it all on Steve's blog</a>. </p> <div class=wlWriterSmartContent id=0767317B-992E-4b12-91E0-4F059A8CECA8:f8a5de87-dd90-4198-a46f-a4167a8bb290 contenteditable=false style="PADDING-RIGHT: 0px; DISPLAY: inline; PADDING-LEFT: 0px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; MARGIN: 0px; PADDING-TOP: 0px">Technorati tags: <a href="http://technorati.com/tags/Agile" rel=tag>Agile</a>, <a href="http://technorati.com/tags/Scrum" rel=tag>Scrum</a>, <a href="http://technorati.com/tags/Programming" rel=tag>Programming</a>, <a href="http://technorati.com/tags/XP" rel=tag>XP</a>, <a href="http://technorati.com/tags/Extreme%20Programming" rel=tag>Extreme Programming</a> </div> <img width="0" height="0" src="http://www.greghughes.net/rant/aggbug.ashx?id=f40515d7-f844-4b34-88bc-ef39af94a451" /> <br /> <hr /> <font size="1">greghughes.net weblog - copyright 2006 - licensed under a <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">Creative Commons License</a>.</font> http://www.greghughes.net/rant/CommentView,guid,f40515d7-f844-4b34-88bc-ef39af94a451.aspx Tech