Sunday, 04 September 2005

Microsoft promised to back-port some of the technology that's going into IE7, and their anti-phishing filter is now available (see software requirements below).

Microsoft® Phishing Filter Add-in for MSN® Search Toolbar (Beta)

Increase your protection against identity theft and financial scams. The Microsoft Phishing Filter Add-in Beta warns you of Web sites containing suspicious content and protects you from accidentally sharing personal information on reported phishing sites with a dynamically updated online service.*

Requires MSN Search Toolbar with Windows Desktop Search and Microsoft Windows XP SP2, Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 or later

More Information

Tools like these are great, and people should use them, but being realistically cautious and aware is still the most important and final layer of defense.

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IT Security | Tech
Sunday, 04 September 2005 13:00:40 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)
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VIDEO: A handful of heros rescues ten people - The rescue takes two hours, and they only moved about a quarter of a mile. It illustrates how difficult the effort really is.

Makes me wonder, too - if NBC reporter Carl Quintanilla hadn't been there, would these have been saved? Reporters in the region are certainly pushing for people to do the right thing. There are times when it just makes sense for reporters to get involved in the story, despite any J-school training and industry dogma that might dictate otherwise.

I have to assume (from the name and the face) that the Carl Quintanilla on the screen is the same kid I grew up with in Los Alamos, New Mexico. We were friends for a while when we lived near each other, and I seem to remember him telling me with certainty that he was going to be on TV, he was going to report the news to people. Sure enough, there he is, and he's doing a great job. It was quite a surprise to wake up the other morning, having fallen asleep with the TV on, to look at the screen and see someone that looked and sounded remotely familiar, and then to see the name under the face.

But not completely surprising. Carl's one of those people you grew up with who, when you think back, stood out - even as a kid - as someone you could just tell was going to do something important.

And now he is, more so than ever.

Sunday, 04 September 2005 12:42:46 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)
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 Saturday, 03 September 2005

We all know it was predicted before, in terms of the potential impact of a large hurricane on the City of New Orleans, but what I did not realize is how accurately professionals in the area had come in their estimations.

There are excerpts from an article in The Natural Hazards Observer called "What if Hurricane Ivan Had Not Missed New Orleans?" that was written by Shirley Laska of the Center for Hazards Assessment, Response and Technology at the University of New Orleans in November 2004, after Hurricane Ivan:

"Approximately 120,000 residents (51,000 housing units x 2.4 persons/unit) do not have cars. A proposal made after the evacuation for Hurricane Georges to use public transit buses to assist in their evacuation out of the city was not implemented for Ivan. If Ivan had struck New Orleans directly it is estimated that 40-60,000 residents of the area would have perished...

"Regional and national rescue resources would have to respond as rapidly as possible and would require augmentation by local private vessels (assuming some survived). And, even with this help, federal and state governments have estimated that it would take 10 days to rescue all those stranded within the city. No shelters within the city would be free of risk from rising water. Because of this threat, the American Red Cross will not open shelters in New Orleans during hurricanes greater than category 2; staffing them would put employees and volunteers at risk. For Ivan, only the Superdome was made available as a refuge of last resort for the medically challenged and the homeless...

"In this hypothetical storm scenario, it is estimated that it would take nine weeks to pump the water out of the city, and only then could assessments begin to determine what buildings were habitable or salvageable. Sewer, water, and the extensive forced drainage pumping systems would be damaged. National authorities would be scrambling to build tent cities to house the hundreds of thousands of refugees unable to return to their homes and without other relocation options. In the aftermath of such a disaster, New Orleans would be dramatically different, and likely extremely diminished, from what it is today...

"Should this disaster become a reality, it would undoubtedly be one of the greatest disasters, if not the greatest, to hit the United States, with estimated costs exceeding 100 billion dollars. According to the American Red Cross, such an event could be even more devastating than a major earthquake in California. Survivors would have to endure conditions never before experienced in a North American disaster..."

Saturday, 03 September 2005 21:57:14 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)
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MissingKatrina.comTextAmerica and NBC Universal have teamed up and created - which is a photo blog that lets people submit the names, pictures and numbers to call for people missing in the Hurricane Katrina disaster area.

Missing People From Hurricane Katrina - 1-800-774-0512

This site is here to help you find missing persons from hurricane Katrina.
If you have their picture of the missing person you can post it to this site in one of two ways:

1. Upload their image directly from your PC using the upload form below. Once you have uploaded an image your will be prompted to enter other information like their name, your phone number and your email address.

2. Email or MMS your picture to Please make sure to put the missing person's name and YOUR contact phone number in the title or body of the email/MMS.

If you don’t have an image of the missing person or you can’t figure out how to upload or email in your information, then please call us at 1-800-774-0512 anytime between 9am and 9PM PST (7days). Our thoughts and prayers to everyone involved in this disaster. May you and your loved ones be safe.

And it is working. From one posted photo comes this followup:

Duoc and seven other Vietnamese were rescued late last night. They were transported to the New Orleans airport and are on their was to Houston airport where they can be flown home. I want to thank the owner of this site for the support they have given us.

September 3, 2005 - 7:04 am
And more success from another posted missing person:
E.J. is alive and well, he was bused to Fort Worth, TX and is at the red cross shelter For more info Email...
September 3, 2005 - 7:12 am
There are other resources on the web, as well, for people looking for loved ones:
Saturday, 03 September 2005 20:47:14 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)
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BootsfilmsnipThere's really nothing quite like first-hand experience when it comes to seeing what's happening in distant places. Let's face it - the mainstream media cuts things into little chunks that remove the full context of the place and situation, trying (usually without much success) to replace it with an explanation, usually written by one or two people.

In your mind, choose one or two people you know at random. Now imagine sending those two random people into a war zone with a camera and a microphone and telling them to accurately and completely convey what's happening, without personal bias. Would you tend to trust what they have to say? Yeah, me either.

That's what interests me most about Boots In Baghdad Films, a vlog that contains video posts (using's videoblogging capabilities) shot by soldiers on the ground in Iraq. It's first-hand video of real situations. It's not that soldiers are without any bias - but the soldiers and their experiences are part of what's happening, which makes this video much more real than anything on TV, and the few videos posted on this site have an unedited honesty that I appreciate. Note that there's some colorful language in some of the video shots - that's to be expected, I think.

Hopefully the content will continue to grow, but of course not for one day longer than the people filming it need to be there.

(via Eric Rice)

Saturday, 03 September 2005 19:50:27 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)
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Do unto others: People are in need, and the Red Cross is spending money on hurricane disaster relief faster than it's coming in. Click below and give what you can. If you want to volunteer, contact your local chapter.

This is not just something nice to do - this is something we have to do.


Saturday, 03 September 2005 11:08:28 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)
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 Thursday, 01 September 2005

From an IM session about 30 seconds ago:

Mary Beth says:
could u imagine at school if u had that in your room.. u would be the coolest chic in the dorm..

Ummm, yeah... I hope not.

Friday, 02 September 2005 00:29:07 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)
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Use Skype? Want to use it? Well, a new and improved beta version is available now - v1.4.0.47

From the Skype web site:

  • Our call quality is the best ever for talking, laughing and sharing stories.
  • It’s now faster to get set up, and easier to add your contacts, so you can get more friends talking for free.
  • You can forward calls on to mobiles, landlines and other Skype Names.
  • Make calls instantly from Outlook email or Internet Explorer with our new toolbars.
  • Personalise your Skype — play around with sounds, ringtones and pictures to show the world who you are.

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Friday, 02 September 2005 00:22:22 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)
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For those who are running the Vista Beta 1 on a Tablet PC but have not had the TIP (Tablet Input Panel) because you're not on the formal beta test program, your wait is over.

Microsoft's released the TIP to the MSDN Subscriber Downloads, so go get it and ink away.

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Tablet PC | Tech
Thursday, 01 September 2005 23:31:08 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)
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 Wednesday, 31 August 2005

In a previous career, I did news and sports photography for a "living." I've been bitten by the bug again recently, hence this post.

Lens Wanted: If you happen to read this and you also happen to have a Nikon 300mm f/2.8 autofocus lens lying around that you don't use, and if you;d be interested in selling it for pennies (okay maybe a few dimes) on the dollar, chat me up or email me (that would be greg(at), yo).

I figure, let's try the reverse "blog as a classified ads tool" thing. This is the "wanted to buy" version.

For that matter, if you have a 20mm lens (Nikon lenses only - not third party) let me know about that, too.

I'll check eBay myself - looking for private sellers here.

Thursday, 01 September 2005 02:36:41 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)
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