Wednesday, 23 June 2004

Comdex has been canceled this year. It may come back in 2005.

"MediaLive [the company that organizes the show each year] is forming a corporate advisory board for Comdex that will include representatives from Microsoft, Oracle, Dell and other tech giants. Executives from those companies, who have already been approached by MediaLive and expressed an interest in participating on such a board, will help reshape Comdex to make it more relevant to IT decision-makers..."

Too bad, but here's your alternative: Gnomedex 2004.

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Random Stuff | Tech
Wednesday, 23 June 2004 10:39:06 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Microsoft has received a new patent, issued June 22nd, for personal areas networks and "the methods and apparatus for distributing power and data to devices coupled to the human body."

So, Microsoft owns me? It's an interesting patent (for real), but the sarcastic side of me begs to ask the question: "If the devil now owns my body, is the soul next?" But I digress...

Personal area networks are not a new concept. I remember discussion around the term dating several years back. What Microsoft has done here is protected the use of the human body as the apparatus used to communicate the information.

Excerpt: "The human body is used as a conductive medium, e.g., a bus, over which power and/or data is distributed. Power is distributed by coupling a power source to the human body via a first set of electrodes. One or more devise to be powered, e.g., peripheral devices, are also coupled to the human body via additional sets of electrodes. The devices may be, e.g., a speaker, display, watch, keyboard, etc. A pulsed DC signal or AC signal may be used as the power source. By using multiple power supply signals of differing frequencies, different devices can be selectively powered. Digital data and/or other information signals, e.g., audio signals, can be modulated on the power signal using frequency and/or amplitude modulation techniques."

via Compendium/Adam Gaffin

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Wednesday, 23 June 2004 08:51:28 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Tuesday, 22 June 2004

[PC World Editor's Pick]"FeedDemon won PC World's editor's pick in their recent roundup of RSS readers, beating out NewsGator, Bloglines, Radio Userland and 15 other RSS readers."

Nick Bradbury's software (all of it) is great ... Each one of his creations represents a great example of a software designer building products that work, fit and behave in a way people can appreciate without having to work at it. He knows his audiences and has a true ability to design for the target crowd.

I use FeedDemon exclusively as my RSS aggregator. If you've ever used HomeSite (now a Macromedia product) or TopStyle, you've experienced Nick's quality software before.

If you are in need of a top-notch RSS/Atom feed reader with all the bells and whistles, but which is still easy and comfortable to use, download a copy of FeedDemon and give it a try. Once you've used it, I think you'll be hooked.

Congrats, Nick.

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RSS Stuff | Tech
Tuesday, 22 June 2004 20:27:38 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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If you work with Windows XP Professional on a Windows 2000/2003 domain and you use Group Policy, this is for you.

Microsoft has released an updated version of their spreadsheet that lists the full set of Group Policy settings described in Administrative Template (.adm) files shipped with Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2 Release Candidate 2. This includes all policy settings supported on Windows 2000, Windows XP Professional and Windows Server 2003. The spreadsheet includes separate worksheets for each of the .adm files shipped, as well as a consolidated worksheet for easy searching. Using column filters, the spreadsheet allows simple filtering by operating system, component and machine/user configuration, as well as regular text search of keywords through Excel.

Essential for network admins planning a move to SP2 when it's released later this year - so go get it.

NOTE FOR DOMAIN ADMINS AND GPO GEEKS: The .ADM template files associated with Win XP SP2 can be found on your XP computer after you apply the service pack. Search for *.ADM or browse to:


Or, extract them from the service pack CAB files if you're feeling adventuresome.

In other words, this works just like any other set of ADM files. Once you've applied the template files to your group policy objects on a domain controller, you'll see new options for lots of things like the Windows firewall and other nifty new GPO features.

IMPORTANT: Note that applying the ADM templates to your DC does not modify the group policy data in existence - it just opens up the new policy fields. However, you should carefully test the new settings, probably in a test OU with the proper ADM templates applied. In reality, you should not test these on a production domain until you are familiar and comfortable from testing on a lab or test domain system. Also remember that as long as SP2 is in beta, nothing is guaranteed, so it's all at your own risk.

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IT Security | Tech
Tuesday, 22 June 2004 09:02:08 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Monday, 21 June 2004

Paul Allen and partners came significantly closer to winning the $10 million Ansari X Prize, which will be awarded to the first team to send a spaceship carrying a pilot and the weight of two passengers to an altitude of 100 kilometers twice within two weeks.

SpaceShipOne successfully launched just barely into outer space today after taking off under the belly of a larger aircraft. Rocket engines pushed it and its single pilot just outside the Earth's atmosphere, and then it fell back to earth, gliding the last part much like the space shuttle does.

It's fun to see private enterprise making this kind of thing happen. Certainly having someone like Paul Allen to bank-roll the project helps a lot, but ultimately it's great to see a non-government project get off the ground - literally.

The private space race has a number of teams actively competing for the $10 million prize.

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Random Stuff
Monday, 21 June 2004 20:32:21 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Sunday, 20 June 2004
Nick Bradbury, author of TopStyle, FeedDemon, and HomeSite, wrote the other day about stupid software thieves. It never fails to amaze how stupid people can be. 

He received an email this morning and comments on it:

"Fix your piece of s--- program! I upgraded to FeedDemon 1.10 and it crashes with 'Win32 device error.' Did you even test this s---?"

I've actually received a number of emails (and one forum post) about this bug, but I have no plans to fix it. Why? Because the error message only appears if you upgrade a cracked version of FeedDemon 1.0. This is a deliberate error message that FeedDemon 1.10 displays when it detects that you upgraded from a specific cracked version of FeedDemon 1.0.

That's right, people who use a pirated version of FeedDemon are emailing me for support.

Once again we see the sizable overlap between stupid and dishonest. In my years as a police officer - a previous career path - I saw this over and over. Not only are thieves and cheaters not very smart, they'll often make it all-too-easy to catch them.

Read Nick's blog entry - it's worth the time and the resulting laugh. And good for Nick, taking action to protect his intellectual property. I buy his software, not only because it's great, but also simply because I use it. Not to mention because it's the honest, good and right thing to do. This is an important conversation to have.

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Sunday, 20 June 2004 20:12:20 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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