Saturday, 29 October 2005

Let's just put it out on the table, get it over with and relieve ourselves of the emotional pain associated with holding in such a terrible secret for so long. It's time to let it out of the bag and to get honest with the rest of the world. We focus so much attention on expensive geek gadgets, software and hardware. There's a reason, too.

The truth is this:

The best thing about WiFi, laptops, long-lasting batteries, IM, email, Skype and BlogJet is that you can sit on the toilet and do everything there that you can do from the office, the couch or the desk. Email. IM your friends. Record a podcast (toilet noise on podcasts is considered funny). Write software that will be used by everyone under the sun. And yes, even surf the pr0n if that's your thing. Move from the couch to the toilet to the counter (you do wash your hands, right?) back to - you guessed it - the couch.

Even better, no one knows. Until now, that is.

You know it's true. Stop pretending.

There. It's out. Don't you feel better now?

Oh and dude, by the way - your keyboard is freakin' gross.

(and since you're already asking - no, I did not post this from the toilet...)

Saturday, 29 October 2005 21:46:34 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)
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It's cloudy here in Oregon (shocked, aren't you?), but if you can see the night sky tonight, you should look to the east-northeast for Mars. It's been in the sky for a while now, bright and reddish, but tonight is it's closest approach to earth in this cycle. If you have a telescope its a good time to get that thing out, dust it off and take a gander.


Tonight, Mars is closer to Earth than it will be again for another 13 years.  You can see it rising in the east after sunset.  It looks like an intense pumpkin-colored star.  By 9 o'clock, it's pretty high in the sky; and at midnight it shines down from almost overhead.

If you miss Mars tonight, don't worry.  It will remain close to Earth for a few weeks.  You have plenty more chances to see it.  Halloween might be a good time to try.  If you're out Trick or Treating on Monday, why not look up at Mars?

And by the way - if you're interested in getting email and/or phone call updates about things like space"weather," sightings of space bodies, satellites and the space station, and a variety of other space-related event news, check out Spaceweather PHONE, which provides that service for a small fee.

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Saturday, 29 October 2005 20:28:49 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)
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For the record, I started blogging just to blog. Not to make it worth money. But some simple and usually relevant AdSense ads have been much more successful (wildly so, to be honest) than I ever thought, and now Technorati says my blog is worth nearly $90K as of today.

Hmmmm... I wonder what it could be worth if I actually put some concentrated effort into it?

My blog is worth $95,407.26.
How much is your blog worth?

So -- How much is your blog worth?

Saturday, 29 October 2005 17:20:51 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)
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Apparently it's my weekend for pointing to Omar. He just wrote that he's created what he calls "Thread Killer for Outlook" with the new Visual Studio 2005 Tools for Microsoft Office - an Outlook add-in that lets you flag an email thread and dispose of it, if you don't want to monitor it anymore.

Finally, a solution to the reply-to-all problem that doesn't rely on appropriate behavior of the whole world. What a concept! Man, I need that.

Read his post here. No, it's not released yet, but hopefully he'll be able to soon. 

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Office 2003 | Tech
Saturday, 29 October 2005 14:42:30 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)
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The future of identity is in flux, and now is the time for those of us working in the field - and for those of you who have an identity (yeah, all of you) - to wake up, stand up and get informed. Seriously. If you wait, you'll be to late. Now is the time to know what the problem is and now is the time to do something about it. I will be writing about the topic more and more here, because it matters to me. A lot. It's a problem. It needs to be fixed, grown up, evolved... the right way. Time to get involved. Time to do it right - meaning "right" by the people.

So - click the link in the below message. Seriously. Do it. As a bonus, not only will you learn about identity and how and why it works (and doesn't), you'll also get to see an excellent presentation by an excellent presenter (Dick Hardt of Sxip » pronounced ( skip ) as in "skip").

Here is the email I sent to my team at work yesterday, after Scott (another uber-presenter) sent me the link:

From: Greg Hughes
Sent: Friday, October 28, 2005 10:48 AM
To: [edited] Security
Subject: Security Stuff - Watch this presentation

Watch this sometime today (or the day you get this email). Seriously. Consider it an assignment. J

As you watch, think about his topic (which is critical) and think about his presentation style.

There will be a pop-quiz.


Saturday, 29 October 2005 14:21:33 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)
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We all know the rumors that are out there - Google's gonna kill Craig's List, gonna kill Microsoft, gonna kill Yahoo!, gonna kill your sister, gonna kill yo mama. This post is not about how scary Google could become and how quickly it could happen (maybe later). Rather this one is about the geeky fact that Google Base, that killer platform enabler, looks to be getting closer to being something we can actually use.

Go to and it's not a 403 permission denied error that's displayed anymore. At least not this morning when I try. I logged on with my GMail account info (see pic below). Nothing happened (not like my account has anything special going), but something must be coming...

Ah... and a quick Google Blog Search turns up (of course) some good info at Google Blogoscoped. Go read. Cool.


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Saturday, 29 October 2005 11:57:09 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)
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 Friday, 28 October 2005

Omar knows what it means to work really, really hard. He also knows when to laugh, and this video made me laugh, too. Heh. Funny stuff.

And as a result, I'm discovering the wonder that has become of Google Video. If you like the Backstreet Boys, you should watch these. If you don't like the Backstreet Boys (I'm with ya), you should watch these.


Update: And if you like that, there's more here. And here. And here and here(?) and here. You can find even more if you look, if you want.


Of course, don't forget this one... And this cult behavior video followup. Weird, weird, weird world this Internet thing has made of us all, eh? (Thanks, Tim for the reminder)

And hey, Omar - I'll be down there and hanging out around Mountain View, Los Altos, etc. for a couple days starting on November 4th. Anyone wanna meet up? Let me know. Comment here or email at right.

Saturday, 29 October 2005 01:41:37 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)
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Take these industry needs:

  • Standardize hardware
  • Make computers secure
  • Do more with less
  • Interoperate

Decide they're important to you. Then set up over 400 servers of all types, and install lots of Unix and lots of Linux. And do all this at a Large Software Company in Redmond.

Then get the guy who runs the place to speak to a crowd about his views on the whole deal, and record it, and post it to the web.

And then I can link to it, because it's interesting and because the speaker is really quite good. You should check it out if you're interested in the Windows vs. Linux or open source vs. whatever debates.

Bill Hilf is a Director in Microsoft's Platform Strategy organization leading the Linux and Open Source Software technology group.

This session offers a look at Linux and Open Source Software from the Microsoft Linux/Open Source Technology Analysis Center. Bill Hilf walks through the Open Source stack, including the Linux kernel, and discusses trends in the market place and provides perspective on how Microsoft views Linux and Open Source software.

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Geek Out | Tech
Friday, 28 October 2005 23:52:44 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)
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 Thursday, 27 October 2005

I've been using my X41 for a few months now, and overall I like it a lot. It's one of the better portable computers I've used.

Charles Jade over at Ars Technica has put together an "unreview" of the X41 and it's a fun read, not to mention an interesting evaluation of this specific Tablet PC computer, as well as a commentary on the Tablet PC edition of Windows, which he frequently refers to (in his somewhat sarcastic but also accurate fashion) as "WXPTPCE2005."

He finds both good and not so good things to write about. I liked the review. Read it here.

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Humor | Tablet PC | Tech
Friday, 28 October 2005 01:17:44 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)
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 Wednesday, 26 October 2005

Pumpkin-carving-patterns-tazCan you tell it's almost Halloween? I can. And I can also tell how much traffic one little blog article can drive. My stats for the past few days are awash with Google and other searches landing people on this site for pumpkin carving patterns, since I wrote about a great deal I found and how to get them them the other day. Here's a small, partial listing of a small portion of the search referrers for pumpkin carving, taken from today's web traffic stats on this site:

pumpkin carving patterns ( 34
free pumpkin patterns ( 29
pumpkin patterns ( 29
free pumpkin stencils ( 21
free pumpkin carving patterns ( 13
pumpkin patterns ( 11
pumpkin patterns ( 11
free pumpkin patterns ( 11
pumpkin designs ( 10
free pumpkin carving stencils ( 10
pumpkin stencil ( 10
free pumpkin stencils ( 9
free pumpkin patterns ( 9
pumpkin carving pattern ( 9

And it just keeps going from there, too. Hundreds of similar search combinations and terms in addition to those. Definitely noticing the increase in the number of visits (still a small drop in the bucket, but interesting to see).

Wednesday, 26 October 2005 21:32:14 (Pacific Daylight Time, UTC-07:00)
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