Wednesday, 13 April 2005

It's amazing how far we have all come.

I can sit here in the PDX (that's Portland, Oregon) airport, and in all of 10 minutes resolve a minor work crisis, post a new web page to a business web site and get it reviewed and approved, order flowers to be delivered for my mom's birthday today (Happy Birthday Mom!), sync all my email into Outlook from the office, IM with my web hosting provider (who is in the UK) about trapping email viruses, answer a few work emails, and post this blog entry.

All that thanks to free 802.11G WiFi at the airport, with a full signal and none of those get-your-email-etc registration hassles. So nice.

I have a full hour before my flight leaves (traffic was, thankfully, quite lite). Who knows what all I'll be able to get done between now and then.

It used to be that waiting at the airport meant you were completely out of touch unless you wanted to use an airport pay phone (never my favorite thing, either financially or from a hygiene standpoint). Anymore you can't help but be connected and active. I may be flying off to Reston Virginia, but my ability to communicate and stay productive is hardly affected.

It's true that there are some negative effects of always being connected. Stress from overconnectedness (ohhhhh new word, cool...) is a real thing for some people. But managed carefully and moderated successfully, it can also be a great thing.

It's a whole different world we live in today.

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Geek Out | Tech
Wednesday, 13 April 2005 13:24:42 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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I was wondering when this would happen. Microsoft can now alert you to new security bulletins via .NET instant messaging and mobile device alerts (as well as RSS). Great idea:

Microsoft Security Update instant message alerts notify you when time sensitive information about Microsoft products has been posted on the Security Web site. You can choose to receive these alerts through MSN Messenger or Windows Messenger, your e-mail, or a mobile device like your cell phone or PDA. Register at the Microsoft Security Alerts Web page.

Information on Microsoft Security Update Instant Message Alerts as well as RSS Feeds for Security Bulletins, the Microsoft Security Notification Service, and the Microsoft Security Notification Service Comprehensive Edition can be found at this location:

SIDEBAR: Oh, and it looks like they are using LiveMessage, which is what powers my .NET IM alerts for this weblog:

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IT Security | Tech
Wednesday, 13 April 2005 10:59:09 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Spyware_videoMicrosoft's posted a quick online quiz that checks everyday people's spyware knowledge:

"Do you know what spyware is, how to help protect yourself against it, and what you should do if it’s on your computer? Take this quiz to test your knowledge."

After you take the first quiz (which is, admittedly, pretty darn basic), you can move on to the "advanced" quiz. How did you do? I scored 100%, but this is what I do every day.

Other useful information and education about spyware from Microsoft:

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IT Security | Tech
Tuesday, 12 April 2005 23:06:24 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Tuesday, 12 April 2005

TechEdVideo4splashScott and Rory's pre-TechEd video series continues:

"In the fourth and final installment of our 'Those are some really weird TechEd Videos Collection (coming soon in DVD, not)' Rory and I learn the meaning of community as we sleep through the TechEd Keynote Address."


Ummmm.... Uhhh... Yeah... Not really sure what to make of this one, but Rory's right about baby carrots. Anyhow, view it here.

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Humor | Random Stuff
Tuesday, 12 April 2005 22:47:55 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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It's no real surprise that VOOM, a satellite service that provides boatload of HDTV programming to its customers, is about to shut down. Cablevision, the company that owns the subsidiary, is cutting its losses before it's too late.

But it's really too bad that a company that was making its name on hi-def television is going south. With HDTV being such a big thing, a service provider like VOOM, which already has a satellite in operation, seems like such a good thing.

It's unclear what will come of the channels and the satellite space currently used by VOOM when they shut down on April 30th. Hopefully something good will come of all this - HDTV is so late in coming.

Why did VOOM fail? Bad marketing? Before it's time? Cable-company ownership mark of death? Bad company name?

Sorry to see it go...


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Random Stuff | Things that Suck
Tuesday, 12 April 2005 22:35:10 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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If you're in the market for a home or a place to rent, you should check out this site, which uses craigslist and Google Maps to help you search for a home. This is what web services and open APIs are all about! Thanks to Paul Rademacher for this cool, useful tool:

To start your search, begin with your choice of city (craigslist cities are what's represented, of course) and then you choose whether you are looking to buy or rent:


Next you can choose homes to view on the map, with the key information available in a list to the right. Yellow pointer icons mean the listing has pictures included. You can select your price ranges and you can sort based on price, description, location or date of listing:

(click for full-sized image)

Once you have found a place you are interested in finding out more about, click the home's pointer or the link in the list, and you'll see details, along with a link to the original complete listing.

(click for full-sized image)

Nice stuff. We can expect to see more and more of this sort of thing as time goes on and as services make their APIs more and more open and available to the public.

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Geek Out | Random Stuff | Tech
Tuesday, 12 April 2005 08:04:40 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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