Sunday, 16 July 2006

BuddyMy lab, Buddy, died today. He was one of my oldest and best friends and lived more than 13 years, which they say is old for a lab.

He was a good dog, and a true friend. I'll miss him more than I can say.

People always commented about how well behaved he was. I trained him to do all sorts of things and he was very smart. One of his favorite things was to hold some sort of snack or food on his nose, balanced for as long as it took until you told him it was okay to toss it in the air off his nose and catch it mid-air. He practically always caught it, and would always wait for the okay, no matter how long it took. One time my son had him waiting, and got engrossed in a TV show and forgot buddy was standing there, patiently and neurotically waiting for someone to give him the okay. A huge puddle of drool soaked the carpet under his feet. He always aimed to please, even if he couldn't control his drool.

Buddy came into my life one afternoon when my first foster son and I went to the local animal shelter and there he was, a tiny little black furball exactly eight weeks old. I could hold him in one hand, he was so tiny.

At any rate, I think everyone that ever met him over the past 13 years truly liked him, and when all is said and done, that says a lot. He'd been getting and appearing older and quite tired and worn out, and it was becoming obvious that time was catching up with him. People who met him before know that's unusual. He'd been almost like a puppy until about a year ago, and in recent weeks his breathing had become quite labored and he had slowed down a lot.

Now he's gone. Tonight I'll take him down to be cremated. My friend Tyson, whom I've known as long as Buddy, is going to meet me. I'll miss him, I'm glad he was my friend.

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Personal Stories
Sunday, 16 July 2006 17:58:13 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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There's an interesting story over at the Times of London online that describes the need and future of IPv6, a new number addressing scheme for the Internet that will take the finite IP addressing scheme used today (which is quickly running out of addresses) and replaces it with something significantly huger. The story explains the new addressing scheme without getting all geeky, so it's good for non-technical types. It also does an effective job of explaining the massive difference between the old and new systems.

Only one problem - the math appears to be wrong in the article. IPv6 addresses are 128 bits long. IPv4 addresses are 32 bits long. So, I am not sure where the author's numbers came from...

"When the Internet was developed in the 1980s, programmers had no idea how big it would become. They gave each address a “16-bit” number, which meant that the total number of available addresses worked out at about four billion (2 to the power of 32).

"But as use grew, it became clear that the old protocol, IPv4, wasn’t big enough, so a new one was written based on '32-bit numbers.' That increased the number of available addresses to 340 undecillion, 282 decillion, 366 nonillion, 920 octillion, 938 septillion — enough for the foreseeable future, Mr Kessens said."

Well, the math is off but the article does get the point across that the change is significant. Too bad it's not more accurate, though. Read the story here.

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Sunday, 16 July 2006 07:53:23 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Friday, 14 July 2006

Yearinpictures2005I'm in the Toronto airport waiting for my flight home this afternoon, and so I decided to check out what's happening in the world. Wow.

In my cybertravels here, I ran across photo stories on depicting what's happening in the Middle East, and from there stumbled upon their Year in Pictures 2005. I used to work in photojournalism, for about 8 years. I have long since stopped doing professional photography, but I often long to be at it again - especially these days. Pictures can change a world. They can matter so much.

And the pictures in the Year in Pictures 2005 essay are powerful. Check them out.

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Friday, 14 July 2006 11:58:04 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Wednesday, 12 July 2006

Microsoft and Yahoo! have announced they are releasing a combined, interoperable network for beta testing, which will allow uses of each network to communicate with users of the other network. This is a great step in creating a IM infrastructure without (or at least with less) borders.

"Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger with Voice users in the U.S. and more than 15 international markets can register to participate in the IM interoperability beta by visiting Yahoo! at or Microsoft at"

See the press release here.

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Wednesday, 12 July 2006 19:34:52 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Tuesday, 11 July 2006

Google introduced zooming in their maps interface. I went to check it out and in the process discovered the area that includes my home now has hi-res images and that my house, which was built about three years ago, now appears on the map. That's cool. Not that big of deal in the grand scheme of things, but still cool. And I found it by double clicking to step through the maps and visually found my rural home, level by level.


The new zooming feature is a nice addition to the interface. To see how it works, just go to Google Maps and double click on the map and you'll zoom on in. I found I was also able to zoom in and out with my scroll-wheel-like function on my ThinkPad's little eraser pointer control thingie - point the mouse on the spot you want to zoom in on and zoom away. Cool. What's that red eraser thing called, anyhow?

The Google Maps API official blog has the zooming details.

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Tuesday, 11 July 2006 22:38:41 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Microsoft made this announcement today in their Security Newsletter for Home Users. Interesting the email headline they used, since the web site actually says Win XP SP1 support is supposed to stop on October 10th. Support for Win 98 and ME were set to end today. At any rate, if you're running Windows 98 or ME, it's well past time to pack it in:

Effective today, Microsoft no longer provides support for Windows 98, Windows Millennium Edition (Windows Me), and Windows XP Service Pack 1. Customers can access existing support documents through the Microsoft Support Product Solution Center, but telephone and e-mail support and security updates are not available.

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IT Security | Tech
Tuesday, 11 July 2006 20:52:05 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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