Thursday, 19 August 2004

Last night Robert Scoble posted a commentary about a commentary on Windows XP SP2 and whether or not people should be told to upgrade to it right away. I pretty much agree with Robert that now is better than later, with an added mention that different users probably need to take different paths to deploy this service pack. Our company, for example, will complete our deployment when it will not interrupt an ongoing project. It's not the service pack that we're hesitating on, it's the time the computer will be unavailable - or performance potentially reduced - by the background installation that we'll be doing over the network.

But more interesting then the original commentary, or Robert's commentary-on-the-commentary, is the commentary-on-the-commentary-on-the-commentary: Robert's also opened up the exact can of worms in the comments on his blog that you'd expect from the "community" on this subject. But hey, I guess that's what community is all about, after all. It takes all kinds.

[yes, I know that's two Scoble posts in a row, I'll stop now :)]



Add/Read: Comments [1]
IT Security | Random Stuff | Tech
Thursday, 19 August 2004 13:44:13 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  Trackback

Robert Scoble recently opened up a little contest that has people sending him new CSS files for his blog to alter the layout into something different. He says he's going to try to change it every couple of days and try out some designs til he sees what looks good.

Before:

After:

 

Nice. :-)



Add/Read: Comments [0]
Blogging | Random Stuff
Thursday, 19 August 2004 00:40:45 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  Trackback
 Tuesday, 17 August 2004

MailFrontier, a company that makes a great anti-spam gateway package, has put together “The MailFrontier Phishing IQ Test.” The have assembled 10 real-world suspected-fraud emails as captured by their systems. You review them and decide, is each one legitimate or fraudulent?

Take the test now. What's your score?


A little phishing lesson:

Phishing is a term used to describe various methods used by scam artists to persuade you to send them your personal information, so they can fraudulently use it for their own benefit. Almost always, phishers use what appear to be legitimate business emails and web-sites to get you to submit your personal information to them. But in fact, the emails and web sites are not legitimate, even though they may appear to be.

The information collected in phishing scams runs the gamut, and includes credit card information, social security numbers, bank account information, and any other items crooks can use to clean out banking accounts or benefit from assuming some portion of your identity.

Never submit personal information via an email form or on a web site in response to an email or other communication you receive asking you to update that kind of data. If you ever suspect you are being phished, call the bank or other company that sent you the email at their standard customer service number (don't trust a number in the email, look it up in the book or on your statement) and ask them if it's a legitimate request. You'll find that at no time do banks or other reputable businesses call or email you asking you to provide personal information.




Add/Read: Comments [0]
IT Security | Tech
Tuesday, 17 August 2004 11:37:56 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  Trackback
 Monday, 16 August 2004

Otis, Oregon is back up for sale. For $3 million you can own your own town, complete with a gas station and its accompanying mini-mart, the Pronto Pup hot dog stand, two houses, an empty 25-stall horse barn, a helicopter storage shed, a garage, an old grange hall and 190 acres of farmland, part of which is used for raising cattle and part of which is in timber conservation. The Otis post office, Otis Cafe and an auto-repair garage property and buildings are also included.

What you may not know is this: The Otis Cafe is one of the best darn places you can go in the whole state of Oregon on a lazy hazy morning. It has 28 seats and there's more often than not a line of people waiting to get in. What's so great about it? The food is very good, but their bread (especially the dark molasses bread they are famous for) is great.

3 million? I don't know about the property, but work in the rights to the bread recipe and you would easily make up for the difference in price. ;-)



Add/Read: Comments [1]
Random Stuff
Monday, 16 August 2004 20:32:12 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  Trackback

Does blogging consume a measurable portion of your life? Well, then - what are you doing on November 6th?

"BloggerCon is an unusual conference. We don't have speakers, slide shows or panels. Repeat that please. No panels, no PowerPoints, no speakers. We do have discussions and sessions, and each session has a discussion leader."

Now, BloggerCon III really sounds interesting. And the site design is cool. I'll have to think seriously about attending this. It also sounds like a good excuse to visit the bay area and see my dad - he lives just a few minutes from Stanford, where it's being held. I'll have to give him a call and see what he's doing that weekend. It's also a good opportunity to use some of my vacation time that's accrued to the point of bursting at the seams. I've gotten to the point where I'm close to "topped out" on hours, so it's becoming clear that it's well past time to start using some of them up.

Other potential time-off plans for this fall and winter include:

  • A week off work while hosting a friend who will be visiting from Germany.
  • Another week off work on a Tiger Cruise, where I will be on-board a nuclear aircraft carrier underway from Hawaii to San Diego, with a friend who serves on the ship.
  • An unknown amount of time off (probably a few days) getting my back operated on in one form or another, not yet determined.
  • A day or two off to go jump out of an airplane with a friend.
  • A few days off here and there to do house stuff.
  • A week off over the holidays to travel to England for my cousin's wedding and a big extended family get-together.

So, it's going to be a busy rest of the year. But I'll have plenty to blog about!



Add/Read: Comments [1]
Personal Stories | Random Stuff
Monday, 16 August 2004 18:56:18 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  Trackback
 Sunday, 15 August 2004

I realized I've posted almost all tech stuff recently, so I figured its about time to write about something a little less technical: My garden.

With three and a half acres, I figured I should do something. Besides, with my job being what it is, getting unplugged (at least mentally if not literally) on a regular basis is a good thing. So I started a small garden this year, mostly above-ground beds in the back yard, and it's working out pretty well.

  • I have sunflowers that are 15 feet tall (not an exaggeration) and still growing
  • I have three tomato plants that have a combined total of well over a hundred green tomatoes growing on them right now.
  • I have more beets and radishes than I know what to do with
  • I had something like half a ton (well it seemed like it) of broccoli and cauliflower
  • The corn is growing pretty well (I think I have them too close together though)
  • Gonna be some huge freaking pumpkins pretty soon
  • Even the watermelons look like they're going to work out
  • Peas and carrots abound

And it wasn't really all that much work, once the beds were put together and ready (thanks in large part to help from my great neighbors). I just seeded, watered and kept on watering. I pulled a few weeds here and there, but surprisingly few. It's been pretty fun. I like being able to walk into the garden when I am a little hungry and eat right off the plant. I'm not an organic farmer or anything, but I have not needed to use pesticides or anything. I used Miracle Grow on the hose just once, right off the bat, and the rest was just plain water and a little composty stuff, but I think mostly it's the good soil and regular watering.

I grew up in the desert - making things grow there was a true art form. My dad was the artist - I can remember that garden in the back yard when I was a kid. He even got peaches to grow there. Here in Oregon you have to try to kill plants if you don't want them, and even that can be a chore. So I've got it easy.

What I am doing now is letting some of the early-season plants (like radishes and broccoli) go to seed, so I can see if maybe they'll work again from the seeds they produce. I know that some plants will and others won't, and that is I wanted to I could probably look them up, but I just want to see what happens - it will be an interesting test.

If only the grass was as easy to keep green as the garden is to grow. Although the other night the lawn, whether or not it's as green as I like, made a decent carpet to lie on while watching the meteor shower (which was amazing).

Oh, and if anyone needs any tomatoes in a few weeks, I think I'm going to a be a little overloaded. Just let me know. Oh, and if you happen to be in New Mexico and want to trade some frozen roasted chilis from there for some home grown tomatoes, just say the word. I'm told by friends that the best chilis in the world can be had over the phone, though, and I am going to call them soon:

Perea Farms (in New Mexico)
505-565-1897 - at the chili stand
505-261-5887 - their cell
505-450-2535 - the chili farm itself

They'll roast, peel, pack and ship them to you. If you're a green chili fan and you actually believe the stuff you buy in the stores here in the northwest is worth a damn, you're wrong. Give it up and call one of those numbers. You'll be glad you did.



Add/Read: Comments [3]
Personal Stories | Random Stuff
Sunday, 15 August 2004 12:44:50 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  Trackback