Sunday, December 29, 2002

Mercury News | 12/28/2002 | Japan's shut-in society

Mercury News | 12/28/2002 | Japan's shut-in society
TOKYO - Kenji has seldom left his bedroom in five years. On a good day, when he forces himself, he can almost get to the front door of his mother's small Tokyo apartment before fear overtakes him.


At least 1 million Japanese adults, mostly men, share Kenji's reclusive behavior, just one symptom of the nation's decline after a decade of recession and economic stagnation. Sleeping by day and pacing their rooms at night, these men epitomize a country that has become isolated, apprehensive and increasingly unable to interact with the outside world, according to a growing number of professional counselors and other experts.

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Writing for the Web

Writing for the Web

Yahoo! News - Segway Scooter Among Best Sellers on

Yahoo! News - Segway Scooter Among Best Sellers on
SEATTLE (Reuters) - Segway LLC's Human Transporter, the self-balancing electric scooter that has kept technophiles abuzz for the last two years, ranks among the best-selling items on Inc.'s Web site, the online retailer says.

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

paper cd case

paper cd case
Use this website to create a PDF file which can be printed and folded to create a paper CD case. For folding directions, see the about section. To add more tracks, a mailing address, or graphics to the case, use the advanced form. Mix CD cases created with the advanced form can be optionally added to our public mix CD database. To create a case for an existing CD, use our CD search engine to find the CD and it will fill in this form for you. Jewel case inserts can also be created.

Sunday, December 08, 2002

IT Careers - Is It Time to Move On?

Is It Time to Move On?
Research company Meta Group Inc. recently reported that 500,000 IT jobs disappeared last year alone.

Friday, December 06, 2002

Layfoffs at UC Berkeley Extension

Layoffs at UC Berkeley Extension -- another sign of how bad the economy is in the Bay area.

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

New Version of PocketKnife Peek

PocketKnife Peek
PocketKnife Peek is an Outlook add-in for screening your e-mail as plain text before opening it in Outlook. The add-in can be used to view all Outlook message formats, but is aimed particularly at averting the threats lurking in HTML mail.

If you use MS Outlook - you need this.

Dan's 20th. Century Abandonware -- just the best apps ... period!

Dan's 20th. Century Abandonware
Welcome to Dan's 20th. Century Abandonware -- a visual and text representation of my abandonware software collection which dates back from the early 1980's to 2000

Monday, December 02, 2002

My site actually has some content...

(via Freedom To Tinker) Results of running Adrain Holovaty's Get Content Size tool:


Total page size: 34571 bytes (not including images, attached scripts or style sheets)

Text content: 14480 bytes

Text content percentage: 41.88 %

There is one big idea underpinning this entire site, and it is a simple one. Internet news sites are not limited to following the breaking-news model that dominates newspapers, weekly newsmagazines, and television. That model works for media that must pull readers in daily or weekly, but it emphasizes new developments at the cost of deeper understanding and it fails to serve people who might be curious about an issue independent of that day's news cycle. The Internet can follow different models, and Newsaic is an attempt to embrace this opportunity by:
analyzing the issues and events that inspire television shows such as the West Wing, the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Saturday Night Live, and JAG, , turning the shows back into news in an audience-friendly format,
presenting comprehensive coverage on issues such as Social Security, affirmative action, and cloning,
tracking major legal cases such as those involving Microsoft and Slobodan Milosevic, and
providing resources such as annotated versions of major speeches and documents (i.e., the most recent State of the Union address and the Constitution).

Kansas City Star | 12/01/2002 | Expanding suburbs, expanding waistlines? Some researchers see a connection

Kansas City Star | 12/01/2002 | Expanding suburbs, expanding waistlines? Some researchers see a connection
Critics long have accused the suburbs of fostering social isolation, racial segregation and traffic jams. Now some scientists say the suburbs are making America fatter.

Sunday, December 01, 2002

Wired News: MS Takes Hard Line on Security

Wired News: MS Takes Hard Line on Security
[I]n response to the threat of terrorist cyberattacks, Microsoft would deploy security fixes to its installed base of hundreds of millions of computers worldwide in the coming year -- even if those fixes break applications in use by customers. "We're going to tell people that even if it means we're going to break some of your apps, we're going to make these things more secure. You're just going to have to go back and fix it,"

Monday, November 25, 2002

Identity Theft Case Called Largest Ever

Identity Theft Case Called Largest Ever
In what is being called the largest identity theft case in U.S. history, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney charged three men with running an identity theft ring that impacted more than 30,000 consumers whose credit information was stolen and abused.

Sunday, November 24, 2002

S.F. struck by love / Cupid's big bow gets rise out of passers-by

S.F. struck by love / Cupid's big bow gets rise out of passers-by
It looks like Cupid left the tools of his trade in San Francisco.

The partial bow and a 60-foot-tall piece of an arrow -- titled "Cupid's Span" -- rose Friday morning in a new park near the foot of the Bay Bridge.

I saw this being built for the last several months, but didn't realize until last week what it was.

Added to the Science Sidebar Section:

Science News Online

Science Blog

Friday, November 22, 2002


LA - Info About Nick
Why did you create LA To give people all over the world a chance to see Los Angeles. Since my job takes me to so many places in Los Angeles and surrounding areas, I decided to install a cam in my vehicle to share L.A. with everyone.

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

National CEO predicts date of tech upturn - Tech News -

National CEO predicts date of tech upturn - Tech News -
LAS VEGAS--The upturn in the technology industry will be in full swing seven months and two days from now, according to Brian Halla, chief executive officer at National Semiconductor.
Using complex mathematical models, neural networks, historical patterns and an eye toward current events, Halla--with a dose of Vegas showmanship--predicted in a keynote speech at Comdex Fall 2002 on Tuesday that the tech industry will be at the apex of a wild growth swing on June 21, 2003, primarily driven by embedding radio and semiconductors into a wide variety of items.

The Palm Platform is Dead

Dell has released two Pocket PC Handhelds at $200 and $300 respectively (after mail in rebate). These are full color units. Pocket PC's have better integration with MS Outlook, handle multimedia better, and have higher resolution screens then Palm handhelds. I don't think you can get a color Palm unit cheaper than this, so there really is no good reason to purchase a Palm unit anymore.

Sunday, November 17, 2002

The Register - Microsoft SEC filing shows hideous losses except for Windows

The Register
The mysterious shroud surrounding Microsoft's revenues was dispelled yesterday, when the company revealed that it is losing shedloads of money on everything bar client Windows, server and Office software. In these, naturally, it's making even bigger shedloads, but it's abundantly clear who's paying the rent, and financing the assaults into new areas.

Sunday, November 10, 2002

Friday, November 08, 2002

The Bitter End / Art of the Edo Period

The Bitter End / Art of the Edo Period
Katsushika Hokusai (1760 - 1849) was a Japanese painter and wood engraver, born in Edo (now Tokyo). He is considered one of the outstanding figures of the Ukiyo-e school of printmaking.

Some beautiful Japanese art here - makes great wallpaper.

Coffee Addicts Less at Risk From Diabetes

-- Discovery Health Channel -- coffee, diabetes
People who drink lots of coffee run a far lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, the disorder that has reached epidemic proportions in the industrialised world, a study says

Thursday, November 07, 2002

Yahoo! News - Squirrel Terrorizes Town

Yahoo! News - Squirrel Terrorizes Town
Children have been attacked, grown men chased and residents of Knutsford, central England, are fearful of letting their kids out to play, the Times newspaper said.

Saturday, November 02, 2002

Top 'Cats: Ariz. boasts talent, depth No. 1 team has plenty in reserve

Top 'Cats: Ariz. boasts talent, depth No. 1 team has plenty in reserve
The Wildcats, a perennial power since Olson left behind Iowa ... in 1983, go into the coach's 20th season here with the No. 1-ranked team in college basketball -- including a group of reserves that maybe would rate as the 25th-best team in the nation, too.
That's how deep and talented Olson's latest juggernaut is.

I am an Alumni and a huge fan!

Add free portals and search engines.

My Way
" Web surfers all the conveniences of the free Web -- e-mail, financial and weather data, and Google searches. But it strips the site of intrusive advertisements, such as rich media banners and pop-up and pop-under ads." - CNET
See also altavista which has dropped advertisements from its home page.

Thursday, October 31, 2002

Welcome to Roadside Peek

Welcome to Roadside Peek
Roadside Peek will take you on a roadside journey in time. As you travel, visit old motels, bowling alleys, drive-in theatres, neon signs, petrol pumps, googie sites, tiki villages, and much more.

Introduction to Googie

Introduction to Googie
Today, the familiar boomerang arches, tapered columns, cantilevers, parabolas and curved domes are being bulldozed at an alarming rate. These buildings stand at an unfortunate juncture: Not new enough to look modern, yet not old enough to be considered historically significant. As the best examples of the genre disappear, we are loosing not only part of our history, but also the last reminders of our shared dream of a shining future in a better world.

Sunday, October 27, 2002

NADRA - National Database & Registration Authority, Pakistan

NADRA - National Database & Registration Authority, Pakistan - learned about this website while listiening to Moira Gunn's TechNation - Five Minutes. She says:
It seems NADRA has the charter to "register within its purview all persons and things, wherever and whatever they may be, to the extent and in the manner laid down in NADRA Ordinance 2000."
And they go on to explain "things". "'thing' or 'things' means and include all animate or inanimate things, plants, animals, substances, items, concepts, ideas, laws, customs, qualities, signs, symbols, circumstances, affairs, events, acts, deeds, works, transactions, documents, pieces of movable or immovable property, tangible or intangible property, rights, privileges, duties, entities, living or non-living beings other than a human being and any thing that can be processed, or owned, or explained, whether known or unknown."

Saturday, October 05, 2002

HBS: The Eleven Commandments For Controlling Your E-mail

via Plastic: HBS Working Knowledge: Knowledge & the Information Economy: The Eleven Commandments For Controlling Your E-mail
Do you use e-mail effectively? What is the proper etiquette? Three years ago, the Harvard Management Communication Letter issued the ten commandments of e-mail. This article revisits the topic—and adds a new rule.

The Onion | Bush Seeks U.N. Support For 'U.S. Does Whatever It Wants' Plan

Satire: The Onion | Bush Seeks U.N. Support For 'U.S. Does Whatever It Wants' Plan
UNITED NATIONS—In an address before the U.N. General Assembly Monday, President Bush called upon the international community to support his "U.S. Does Whatever It Wants" plan, which would permit the U.S. to take any action it wishes anywhere in the world at any time.

Tuesday, October 01, 2002

Sunday, September 29, 2002

Whitney ARTPORT: The Whitney Museum Portal to Net Art

Whitney ARTPORT: The Whitney Museum Portal to Net Art

BBC NEWS | Health | Blondes 'to die out in 200 years'

BBC NEWS | Health | Blondes 'to die out in 200 years'
The last natural blondes will die out within 200 years, scientists believe.

Irish Travelers in the USA

Madelyne Toogood, the woman who was caught on video tape hitting a child, is a member of the American Irish Travelers (Travellers) community. Normally, I am not interested in a news story simply because it was caught on video tape, which is the only reason this particular incident was newsworthy. (Sadly, three incidents of child abuse are reported every ten seconds, according to the statistics page of Child Help USA - yet rarely do child abuse incidents make the news. ) However, the Irish Travellers angle is interesting, as I was not aware of their existence either in Ireland, or the United States.

Saturday, September 28, 2002

Making Sense of Marcel Duchamp

via Lockergnome: An excellent web site explaining Marcel Duchamp's work - Making Sense of Marcel Duchamp. Marcel Duchamp was the most important of the Dadaist artists, and one of the most import overall artists of the twentieth century.

Friday, September 27, 2002

He Cheated at Bingo, Killed Self

He Cheated at Bingo, Killed Self
Bingo? Indeed, the hottest scandal in Vegas at the moment is the unraveling tale of a Reno software engineer who allegedly rigged electronic bingo machines in Las Vegas to allow himself to play many more cards than he had paid for. The programmer, Brett Keeton, 38, apparently killed himself Friday by leaping off San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge after he realized he was the focus of a fraud investigation, gaming investigators say.

Tuesday, September 24, 2002

Resident Reported That Roommate Was the Devil. Roommate Was Found to not be the Devil...

From the Burlingame Police Blotter:

Thursday, 6:50p.m.: Resident reported that roommate was the devil. Roommate was found to not be the devil and was advised of the situation.
As reported in the Burlingame Daily News - September 23rd, 2002.

Friday, September 20, 2002

Nu Shortcuts in School R 2 Much 4 Teachers

from slashdot: Nu Shortcuts in School R 2 Much 4 Teachers
As more and more teenagers socialize online, middle school and high school teachers like Ms. Harding are increasingly seeing a breezy form of Internet English jump from e-mail into schoolwork. To their dismay, teachers say that papers are being written with shortened words, improper capitalization and punctuation, and characters like &, $ and @.

Good discussion here.

Yahoo! News - Love Means Sharing the Same Diseases

Yahoo! News - Love Means Sharing the Same Diseases
If a spouse suffers from asthma, depression, peptic ulcers, high blood pressure or raised cholesterol levels, the chances are their partner will be afflicted with the same illness.

2 arrested in thefts of patio furniture / Found with wrought-iron haul in minivan

2 arrested in thefts of patio furniture / Found with wrought-iron haul in minivan
Two people suspected of stealing the upscale furniture in recent weeks from dozens of suburban homes in the East Bay and on the Peninsula were caught this week after committing their latest robbery, police said Thursday.

Tuesday, September 17, 2002



to "Useful":

to "Useless": words


from "elsewhere" to "cool": memepool

from "tech" to "elsewhere": Kuro5hin Technology | Trent Reznor's pretty hate machines Technology | Trent Reznor's pretty hate machines
"Once I start sounding like Willie Nelson," he says, "then I'm like, OK, I have to get back to the computer."

HHS Seeks Science Advice to Match Bush Views (

HHS Seeks Science Advice to Match Bush Views (
The Bush administration has begun a broad restructuring of the scientific advisory committees that guide federal policy in areas such as patients' rights and public health, eliminating some committees that were coming to conclusions at odds with the president's views and in other cases replacing members with handpicked choices.


The overhaul is rattling some HHS employees, some of whom said they have not seen such a political makeover of the department since Ronald Reagan took office in 1981.

Monday, September 16, 2002

Windows Task List Programs

Task List Programs
Through our support service we often come across problems caused primarily by programs running in the background, programs which in most cases start at the same time as Windows. Sometimes these programs are useful and need to be there; quite often, however, they are not needed, and in too many cases they cause severe problems.

The pages below are from our in-house database and provide guidance on the usefulness or not of these programs, and removal procedures when recommended.

Route of Problem: Bad Online Maps

Route of Problem: Bad Online Maps
Increasingly, drivers are leaving Thomas Bros. guides and AAA maps in the glove box in favor of custom directions from online map services. When they lose their way, they inevitably blame their tardiness not on human fallibility but on the mapping service: "MapQuest lied to me."

Sunday, September 15, 2002

A Website About Urabn Sprawl

Sprawl City
A website about Consumption Growth [,]...Population Growth and their roles in the urban sprawl that destroys natural habitat and farmland around U.S. cities

Plummeting plankton linked to warmer oceans - Plummeting plankton linked to warmer oceans - August 14, 2002
Concentrations of microscopic plants that comprise the foundation of the ocean's food supply have fallen during the past 20 years as much as 30 percent in northern oceans, according to a satellite checkup of planetary health.

Friday, September 13, 2002

Atmospheric Optics

Some beautiful pictures here: Atmospheric Optics
Light playing on water drops, dust or ice crystals in the atmosphere produces a host of visual
spectacles - rainbows, halos, glories, coronas and many more. Some can be seen
almost every day or so, some are once in a lifetime sights. Find out where to
see them and how they form. Then seek and enjoy them outdoors.

time porn

The Word Spy:
Television shows and other media that portray characters as having excessive amounts of spare time.

Thursday, September 12, 2002

BayRail Alliance Home Page

BayRail Alliance Home Page
BayRail Alliance (formerly Peninsula Rail 2000) is an all volunteer transit consumer group working to realize a regional rail system that will ring the San Francisco Bay Area.

Key to this vision is an upgraded and expanded Caltrain system serving the Peninsula and San Jose-East Bay corridors. We also support the proposed California high speed 'bullet train' system, and integration of rail and other transit modes into a seamless system.

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

U.S. Not Claiming Iraqi Link To Terror (

via metafilter: U.S. Not Claiming Iraqi Link To Terror (
As it makes its case against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, the Bush administration has for now dropped what had been one of the central arguments presented by supporters of a military campaign against Baghdad: Iraq's links to al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations.

Monday, September 09, 2002


via camworld: The New Yorker: The Talk of the Town
As long as the government is as big and as active as it is in the United States, the incentive for interest groups—like big oil and big steel—to seek succor from it will exist. And the Bush Administration seems especially amenable to such blandishments (at least, when they come from business, rather than, say, labor).

IT is not Geeky, Says Industry Group

from Plastic: The Register
The IT industry is trying to shed its "geeky" image among schoolchildren in a bid to attract more youngsters into the sector.

Sunday, September 08, 2002

It's Time to Turn Off Those Bells and Whistles

via metafilter: It's Time to Turn Off Those Bells and Whistles
And so, on Wednesday, consider observing a moment, if not a day, of data silence. Pull the D.S.L. connection out of that forearm vein. Listen. Slow down. Understand that whatever it is you think you need, you don't absolutely, positively need it overnight: Great Work Gallery

via Marylaine Block's Net New Stuff Great Work Gallery
There's no better way to learn [CyberJournalsim] than by examining great work. Here's some of the best that's been done.

Anthropology in the News

via Marylaine Block's Net New Stuff newsletter: Anthropology in the News

Maryland Poisons Pond to Kill Predator Snakefish

via mynakada: Yahoo! News - Maryland Poisons Pond to Kill Predator Snakefish
Maryland state game officials sprayed enough poison to kill every fish in a murky pond on Wednesday to get rid of a foreign predator that infiltrated suburban Washington: the voracious, land-crawling snakehead fish.

Saturday, September 07, 2002

BBC NEWS | Technology | Hack attacks on the rise

via techblog: BBC NEWS | Technology | Hack attacks on the rise
August has been a record breaking month for malicious hackers with 2002 set to become the worst year for digital attacks on record, according to security firm mi2g.

Friday, September 06, 2002

Microsoft Admits Their Products Aren't Engineered for Security

Via Brian Valentine, the senior vice president in charge of Microsoft's Windows development team, said recently at a developer conference:
"We really haven't done everything we could to protect our customers ... Our products just aren't engineered for security."

Thursday, September 05, 2002

Deconstructing Bob Newhart's Birthday

Happy Birthday Bob Newhart! As a kid, I used to watch the original Bob Newhart show (were he is a psychologist, not an innkeeper) with my parents. It was one of the few TV shows they watched. He was a kind of childhood hero of mine.

Some years later, I heard a radio interview with Stanley Fish, a well known literature professor, were Mr. Fish used one of Bob Newhart's early comedy routines, a phone call from Sir Walter Raleigh (Real Audio), to illustrate deconstructionism. It gave me a whole new appreciation for Mr. Newhart.

Yahoo! News - After two years pitching PCs, Dell's dude has become almost too popular

Yahoo! News - After two years pitching PCs, Dell's dude has become almost too popular

The blog days of Summer

The blog days of Summer

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

Great Sounding Koss Headphones now on sale at RadioShack for less than $20

RadioShack has a great sounding (for the price) pair of Koss headphones on sale - originally $40, now $20. If you have a Walkman or a MP3 player that came with built-in headphones - replace them. Electronics manufacturers include the cheapest pair of headphones they can since they need to keep the prices as low as possible. You will be surprised how much better your music sounds when you upgrade your headphones.

Disclaimer: Although I have worked for RadioShack in the past, I do not currently work for them.

Email Hoax - The 12 Billion Dollar NASA Pen

From the LangaList edition 2002-09-05, an excellent discusion of a popluar email hoax going around - the "12 Billion Dollar NASA Space Pen".

IBM Hooks Dorm Washers, Dryers to Web

My wife brought this story to my attention: Reuters - Web washing puts students in a spin
[A new system called] eSuds and developed by IBM and USA Technologies, lets students swipe a credit card or punch a code into their mobile phones to pay for washing or drying their clothes instead of scrounging in backpacks and desk drawers for change.

The souped-up washers and dryers also let students check a website for empty machines. From the comfort of their desktop or laptop, students can add soap and fabric softener that is dispensed by the washing machine. Finally when the wash is done, they can be sent an e-mail telling them to come and get it.

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

College IT Program Enrollments Fall With the Times

Enrollments Fall With the Times
A year ago, the Department of Computer and Information Systems at Georgia State University's J. Mack Robinson College of Business was on top of the world. .... The department's enrollment last fall was 2,750, making it one of the largest IT programs in the country....

What a difference a year makes. With the economy stalled and IT hiring by many companies at a standstill, enrollment at Robinson's CIS department has plummeted, according to Academic Program Director David McDonald. Last spring, enrollment fell by 11 percent. And now, just prior to the opening of the fall semester, enrollment is off another 43 percent.

Don't Even Think of trying to Get an IT Job Without... least several of the following skills. (I knew all along that reading and working on your blog site were important IT employment skills.)

The Bleak Job Market for New IT Grads

Lining Up for Jobs
The upside of Mike Reeves' job is that he's working in IT. The downside is that this newly minted graduate with a master's in IS management from Brigham Young University is working for his dad. He's developing a Visual Basic application that will churn out proposals for insurance clients. It's not a bad job, but working for a small, family-owned business is certainly not what he had in mind when he decided to get his master's degree. Why not something more in line with his training? Because since graduating in June, Reeves hasn't been able to find such a job.

Monday, September 02, 2002

Removed from Popular Culture Section

Removed from Popular Culture Section:


Movie Database

The Naked Face - Microcontent News, a Microblog

The Naked Face - Microcontent News, a Microblog
If you subscribe to the New Yorker, you're probably familiar with Malcolm's work (if not, you may know him from his bestseller The Tipping Point). If you can't tell already, I am a huge fan. It's past the point of rationality - after all, I don't always agree with his articles, and I have some problems with the core ideas in the Tipping Point. But all is forgiven, because Malcolm can write like nobody's business.

This posting links to Mr. Gladwell's archive, were you can read his past New Yorker articles online.

Friday, August 30, 2002

SKEETERBITES.COM -- Nationwide Mosquito Alert Forecast Information provided by Cutter(R)

SKEETERBITES.COM -- Nationwide Mosquito Alert Forecast Information provided by Cutter(R)
We've teamed up with environmental scientists to develop the SkeeterMeter(TM), a mosquito forecast modeling system. By using local air temperature, precipitation, relative humidity, and drought/soil conditions, we can forecast mosquito activity throughout the U.S. This valuable information will help you limit your exposure to these nasty flying pests. The convenient 3-week forecast is updated weekly and predicts your probability of being bitten.

YIL | 50 Most Incredibly Useful Sites

YIL | Feature
This is it: our annual list of sites that fulfill the Web's true promise. They may not make you rich overnight, but they will make your day that much more livable. They may be large or small, well-known or brand-new, but every one of these sites and services will actually get something done for you.

EPN World Reporter: Top Blogs

EPN World Reporter: Top Blogs - Searchable databases and specialized search engines - Searchable databases and specialized search engines from the side bar on :: wood zilla lot :: .

A List Apart: 10 Tips on Writing the Living Web

A List Apart: 10 Tips on Writing the Living Web
Writing for the Living Web is a tremendous challenge. Here are ten tips that can help.

Monday, August 26, 2002

The New Republic Online: First Serve

Just becuase you haven't served in the military, doens't mean you can't be part of debate over a war with Iraq. From the New Republic Online: First Serve via (Free registration required.)
In fact, over and over during the '90s, the generals with firsthand battlefield experience guessed wrong--and the civilians without it guessed it right--about what would happen when the United States went to war. Before the Gulf war, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell--who had spent his life in uniform--said war with Iraq would prove too costly. He was overridden by Defense Secretary Dick Cheney, who once infamously told a reporter that he "had other priorities in the '60s than military service." In 1992 Powell wrote a New York Times op-ed warning against U.S. military intervention in Bosnia--intervention that (in tandem with a Croat ground assault) eventually forced the Serbs into a peace deal. And in 1999 the Joint Chiefs of Staff leaked to the press their opposition to U.S. war in Kosovo--a war that drove Slobodan Milosevic from Kosovo without a single American combat casualty.

ERP Effort Sinks Agilent Revenue - Computerworld

ERP Effort Sinks Agilent Revenue - Computerworld
According to one analyst, ERP disasters are often caused by the user company itself. Joshua Greenbaum, an analyst at Enterprise Applications Consulting in Daly City, Calif., said 99% of such rollout fiascoes are caused by "management's inability to spec out their own requirements and the implementor's inability to implement those specs."

Thursday, August 22, 2002

Random Thought:

Zydeco music is the exact opposite of Goth music.

$662 million, 10-year plan to make bay a ferry capital

From SFGate: $662 million, 10-year plan to make bay a ferry capital / Proposal would add 7 routes and use less-polluting vessels
If state lawmakers approve the $662 million, 10-year plan -- and Bay Area voters and elected officials agree to fund it through a combination of increased bridge toll revenues, sales taxes and local contributions -- 44 ferries could be plying the bay by 2015. That would make it the world's largest ferry fleet, outpacing Sydney, which operates 32 boats.

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Monday, August 19, 2002

More Home Page Updates

Moved the "email me" link to the top. Changed email address. Hid email address from spambots.

Also added "random blog" link (thanks to and did some general cleanup.


From rebecca's pocket:

In this heady age of rapid technological change, we all struggle to maintain our bearings. The developments that unfold each day in communications and computing can be thrilling and disorienting. One understandable reaction is to wonder: Are these changes good or bad? Should we welcome or fear them?

Sustainable Cities and Campus Communities: Envision and Planning Sustainable Communities

From rebecca's pocket:

Sustainable Cities and Campus Communities: Envision and Planning Sustainable Communities
Impetus for change in suburban growth patterns is growing. A grassroots interest in change has been slowly building as more people become dissatisfied with existence in the typical modern city. Patterns in home-buying, trends in real estate values, and public surveys show that a growing number of people are interested in alternatives to "traditional" suburban housing tracts (ESI Corp 1995, Guillory 1998, Lerner and Poole 1999). The literature in architecture and planning now discusses how to create built environments that enhance people's lives while protecting the natural environment. And solid research has uncovered economic drawbacks to sprawl and even to growth in general – as well as positive economic benefits for open space.

Sunday, August 18, 2002

Military computers' data exposed - Tech News -

Military computers' data exposed - Tech News -
Tens of thousands of U.S. military and government computers containing sensitive information are easily accessible over the Internet, a computer security firm that cracked the networks said on Friday.

Do not put two spaces after a period when writing on a computer!

This is the first in an occasional series on writing and language.

University of Minnesota Style Manual
Another holdover from typewriter text that should be avoided is using two spaces after a period. Most typefaces on computers today use variable fonts, in which each letter and mark take up just the space they need in contrast to the equal spacing of letters on a typewriter. Although typewriter users customarily inserted two spaces after a period, professional typesetters insert only one space after a period, because the variable font makes two spaces unnecessary and creates too large a gap.

Saturday, August 17, 2002 - Hiring for tech jobs fails to pick up, slowing recovery - Hiring for tech jobs fails to pick up, slowing recovery
SAN FRANCISCO — Technology employment, expected to be growing by now, is failing to do so — further hampering the already soft economic recovery.
More than 243,000 jobs have been cut this year in telecom, computers and e-commerce, says outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas.

More Changes to 100 Pixels Sidebar


Bubble Chamber - Science News

ROTTEN TOMATOES - Movie News and Reviews

TV Barn - Television News and Reviews

1stHeadlines - Headline Portal


"entertainment" section renamed to "popular culture"

"" section split from "news" section


List of Lists - Updated URL


"Radio Streams" section moved to my "links" page.


Drudge Report

Ain't It Cool News

DVD Talk

Best Net Info

CDC West Nile Virus Home Page - Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases (DVBID)

From Science Blog:

CDC West Nile Virus Home Page - Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases (DVBID)

New Scientist - "E-bomb" may see first combat use in Iraq

From Science Blog:

New Scientist
Weapons designed to attack electronic systems and not people could see their first combat use in any military attack on Iraq.

Friday, August 16, 2002

The Secret Behind a Burger Cult

From metafilter:

The Secret Behind a Burger Cult

The In-N-Out menu offers four items: hamburger, cheeseburger, Double-Double burger and fries. (That Double Double, at 670 calories and 41 grams of fat, is basically a coronary thrombosis on a gently toasted bun.)

Thursday, August 15, 2002

Best History Websites

Best History Websites
Best of History Web Sites is an award-winning portal created for students, history educators, and general history enthusiasts. Here you'll find sites, rated for usefulness and accuracy, that will help you study or teach a wide variety of topics and periods in History.

PocketKnife Peek

From Chris Pirillo - C:\PIRILLO.EXE:

PocketKnife Peek
PocketKnife Peek is an Outlook add-in for screening your e-mail as plain text before opening it in Outlook. The add-in can be used to view all Outlook message formats, but is aimed particularly at averting the threats lurking in HTML mail.

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Updates and Fixes

Updated the blogrolling code. The new code is much cleaner, and has more features. Hold your mouse over a blog to see one of them.

Fixed the Seti@Home Link.

Saturday, August 10, 2002

Additions and Subtractions:

The following links have been added to the "100 Pixels" sidebar:

Daily Rotation

Pop Culture Junk

Internet Archive

The following links have been removed: HealthScience HealthScience
Taking advantage of a unique research opportunity brought about by the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on America, when all commercial air traffic in the country stood still for three days, scientists have uncovered the first clear evidence of the effects of jet contrails on climate.

Thursday, August 08, 2002

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Crows prove they are no birdbrains

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Crows prove they are no birdbrains
British zoologists were astonished when a captive crow - Betty - fashioned a hook out of wire to reach food.
It is the first time any animal has been found to make a new tool for a specific task, say Oxford University researchers.
They believe the bird shows some understanding of cause and effect. - Tracking Terrorists the Las Vegas Way - Tracking Terrorists the Las Vegas Way
LAS VEGAS--It might not seem that gambling sharks and Al Qaeda terrorists have much in common. But a firm here that helps casinos catch cheaters is now using its software to help the government track people suspected of being terrorists.

At the Coffee Shop, It's Always a Tall Order (

At the Coffee Shop, It's Always a Tall Order (

Sunday, August 04, 2002

Searching for the Perfect Boba

Searching for the Perfect Boba
Tired of Starbucks? I am. ... In case you haven't noticed, there's a big drink craze going on right now, and it's sweeping across Southern California from West Los Angeles to the Asian communities of San Gabriel and Alhambra down to Orange County. Fueling this craze are tapioca ball drinks, a.k.a. "boba."

American Memory from the Library of Congress

Home Page: American Memory from the Library of Congress
American Memory is a gateway to rich primary source materials relating to the history and culture of the United States. The site offers more than 7 million digital items from more than 100 historical collections.

Is this your CD collection?

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Stuart Jeffries: Is this your CD collection?
You like to think that you are cool. And, hey, let's not be snobbish - maybe you are. You wouldn't have any rubbish like Sting or Dire Straits in your CD collection. Enya? Clannad? ... And you know that you are culturally aware. After all, you got Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections for Christmas. You haven't read it yet, but still. You're pretty sure you got Mulholland Drive the second time around, and Monsoon Wedding was just lovely, wasn't it?

One Hundred Albums You Should Remove from Your Collection Immediately Features
One Hundred Albums You Should Remove from Your Collection Immediately

Saturday, August 03, 2002

Theban Mapping Project

Theban Mapping Project
Years of work developing our comprehensive archeological and image databases has resulted in this website that sets a new standard for archeological publishing-one that is informative, innovative, and interactive.

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

APOD: 2002 July 23 - The View from Everest

APOD: 2002 July 23 - The View from Everest
What would it be like to stand atop the tallest mountain on Earth? To see a full panoramic vista from there, scroll right. Visible are snow peaked mountains near and far, tremendous cliffs, distant plateaus, the tops of clouds, and a dark blue sky.

Sunday, July 21, 2002 - Best of Today's Web: Greatest Hits and Hidden Gems - Best of Today's Web: Greatest Hits and Hidden Gems
We do the digging so you don't have to: 50-plus Web winners, from new and little-known sites to powerful features buried in your everyday bookmarks.

Saturday, July 20, 2002


Wikipedia Wikipedia is the name of an open content, WikiWiki encyclopedia found at, as well as of its supporting, very active encyclopedia-building project.

Friday, July 12, 2002

Are Mac users smarter?

Are Mac users smarter?
Those who surf the Web using a Mac tend to be better educated and make more money than their PC-using counterparts, according to a report from Nielsen/NetRatings.

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

"Windows 2000 Has Been Given Nine Months To Live"

According to this article in the Register, "Windows 2000 has been given nine months to live, as far as OEMs are concerned".

Monday, July 01, 2002

Good, Tiny Camera for $40 - StyleCam Blink

In today's San Francisco Chronicle the SiPix StyleCam Blink got a very good review in the tiny, inexpensive camera category. The review said that "the Blink takes surprisingly good pictures" and "using the Blink is just plain fun, and at $40 it's hard to argue with the price".

According to the review, the drawbacks were that it was hard to get and it doesn't work with Mac's. I would add the funny name as well.

Saturday, June 29, 2002

Break the Chain: Stop Junk E-Mail and Misinformation

Read "Break the Chain: Stop Junk E-Mail and Misinformation" before you forward on that email that demands that you it "forward it on to everyone you know". Note: Pop-Up ad.

My rule is - if an email says forward this on, I don't.

Thursday, June 13, 2002

Left My Consulting Gig for a Job in the City

I am now working as a project manager for a software company in San Francisco. Woo-Hoo!

Saturday, June 01, 2002

Word of the Day Feature Working Again

The word of the day feature in the upper right is now working again. I switched to Wordsmith.Org's "A.Word.A.Day" since is still not working.

Friday, May 31, 2002

Temporarily Disabled Word of the Day Feature

The site is down - so it was preventing the rest of my web page from loading. I think I have a work around - but until I can get time to implement it, I will disable the feature.

Wednesday, May 29, 2002

Test Your Email Forms Before You Spam

"I noticed that you are located in [City], [State] which is an area where we
would like to have a greater presence" - this is an actual quote from a spam I received offering me a career as a professional recruiter, in return for a "small investment". If you are going to use form fields in your spam, at least make sure they work, or are omitted if the fields are blank.

Tuesday, May 28, 2002

K l e z Computer Worm - It is not me!

Today I finally received my fist K l e z infected email. (I actually received three altogether.) Although this particular computer worm was discovered on April 17th, I didn't receive an infected email until today. Because I am using Norton Anti-Virus, I was not infected, and no harm was done.

However, the most disturbing thing was that I received an email notification that I had sent an infected email to someone else. This is the nasty new twist with this worm - it grabs email addresses at random, and them uses those addresses as fake sender email addresses. So, even though I actually never sent anyone an infected email (Norton Anti-Virus scans all of my outgoing email as an extra security precaution), it appears that an infected email came from me, simply because my email address was in someone else's address book.

The important thing to remember about the K l e z worm, is that the sender's address of an infected email you received is not the actual source of the infection. It is simply an email address randomly gathered from the address book of an infected computer by the worm.

Yahoo! - First In-Office Study Dishes The Dirt On Desks

The average desk harbors 400 times more bacteria than the average toilet seat, according this study by University of Arizona microbiologist Dr. Charles Gerba.

Friday, May 17, 2002

WinAmp Playlist now in Left Side Bar

My copy of WinAmp - a program for playing music files on a computer - now posts the current song it is playing, along with the last five played, to the left side bar of my home page. I used the DoSomething WinAmp plug-in and quite a bit of tweaking.

Monday, May 13, 2002

The Word Spy - fauxhemian

fauxhemian (FOH.hee.mee.un) adj. Relating to something that is bohemian in a fake or pretentious manner. —n. A middle class or wealthy person who affects a countercultural lifestyle. From WordSpy.

Manpower Survey Shows Steady Improvement in U.S. Employment Prospects For Third Quarter Of 2002

Manpower Survey Shows Steady Improvement in U.S. Employment Prospects For Third Quarter Of 2002

"U.S. employers will increase their hiring activity in the third quarter of 2002, continuing the steady upward trend toward recovery that began in second quarter, according to the Employment Outlook Survey, conducted by Manpower Inc."

Of the nearly 16,000 firms interviewed, 27% plan to add employees in the third quarter compared with only 21% in the second quarter of the year. Only 8% of employers expect to reduce their current workforce, compared with 10% in the previous period."

Saturday, May 11, 2002

Very Funny Article on How to Get Fired in 3 Hours or Less

"Most publications tell you how to get a job. Only we tell you how to lose one."

The author is trying to get fired by a fast food restaurant within three hours of starting work. This is one of the funniest articles I have read in a long time. SurfMetro: Get Fired in 3 Hours or Less

Friday, May 10, 2002

Mammas, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys -- Really!

Employment as a cowboy ranked a measly 248th out of the 250 jobs reviewed in the latest "Jobs Rated Almanac".

"Despite the idyllic image, cowboys are paid about $31,000 a year, have limited prospects for advancement and face some of the greatest physical demands..."

Even though my father, grandfather and great grandfather were all cowboys, and I have worked a few roundups myself, I appear to have made the correct choice by not pursuing "cowboying" as a career. ("Cowboying" is actual term cowboys use. They tend not to have degrees in English.)

Critical Thinking On The Web

[Broken link to Consultant Debunking Unit fixed - 5/29/02.]

Critical Thinking On The Web is an excellent site of quality links to websites about critical thinking, including the Skeptic's Dictionary and the Consultant Debunking Unit.

In the site authors' own words: "This site aims to gather in one place links to all the most useful critical thinking resources on the web. It certainly doesn't even try to link to every critical thinking-related page - just the ones that, in my opinion, are reasonable quality and worth a visit."

Link from Ex Libris.

Wednesday, May 08, 2002

Picture of Me as a Toddler

Some of you have asked what happened to the picture of me as a toddler that used to be on the front page of this site. It is now on my about page.

I found it when I was sorting through some old pictures. My mom reminded me it was from a set of portraits taken at the JCPenny Portraits studio.

Microsoft Interview Brain Teasers

This is a list of Brain Teaser questions Microsoft asks during interviews. These types of questions are becoming increasingly common in interviews. How many can you answer?

Monday, May 06, 2002

Major Study Finds IT Workforce Declines Five Percent in Past Year

In this Press Release from the ITAA, 500,00 IT jobs vanished last year. The good news is that this shrinking of the IT workforce was temporary, and there will be a growth in IT jobs this year.

Monday, April 29, 2002

At Fox News, the Colonel Who Wasn't

Fox News is duped for more than four months by phony Intelligence Colonel - Yahoo! News - At Fox News, the Colonel Who Wasn't

InformationWeek > Salary Survey > Big Bucks Dry Up

In this latest InformationWeek Salary Survey, IT Pay has gone done for the first time in a decade.

"After years of pay increases and multiple job offers, IT managers face an 8% decline in total compensation and IT staff a rollback of 11% from 2001, according to InformationWeek Research's 2002 National IT Salary Survey of more than 10,000 IT professionals."

Friday, April 26, 2002

"Due to the unusually high volume for the IT Virtual Job Fair, all servers are busy at this time"

Another indicator of the slow IT job market - The Federal government is running a IT Virtual Job Fair for several hundred IT positions. The government's servers are giving the following message:

Server Busy


HTTP Error 403 - Due to the unusually high volume for the IT Virtual Job Fair, all servers are busy at this time. Please try again later.


Thursday, April 25, 2002

High Speed Rail for California?

"Advocates of a California bullet train launched a campaign Tuesday to pass a $6 billion bond that would pay half the cost of the first phase of the high-speed rail" reported in this article.

The state of California has a website for the California High-Speed Rail Authority - the the state board responsible for implementing the state's high speed rail system. (Notice the mandatory link to Gray Davis' Web Page).

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

Consulting Services Page Added

I have been doing some consulting work lately. I have added a page to my website with a description of my consulting services.

Tuesday, April 23, 2002 Next Frontiers: Moving Into the Future

Interestng set of articles on the future of business and work - Next Frontiers: Moving Into the Future

Klogs: How Blogs Can be Used for Knowledge Management

K-logs, or klogs, are potentially a very useful knowledge management tool, according to this interview with John Robb of Userland. WriteTheWeb: What is a k-log?

New White Paper from CERT on Current Internet Attack Trends

This new white paper (pdf) from CERT gives a brief overview of recent trends that affect the ability of organizations (and individuals) to use the Internet safely. Some of the trends discussed:

• Automation of attack tools

• Increasing permeability of firewalls

• Increasing threat from infrastructure attacks

One of the most frightening quotes:

"Because of the advances in attack technology, a single attacker can relatively easily employ a large number of distributed systems to launch devastating attacks against a single victim. As the automation of deployment and the sophistication of attack tool management both increase, the asymmetric nature of the threat will continue to grow."

Friday, April 19, 2002

Site Changes

Made some changes to my site:

• Changed background to a lighter shade of grey to make it more readable

• Moved link bar to right - gave it the title of "100 pixels"

• Added service to track blog section of links

Thursday, April 18, 2002

Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Tuesday, April 16, 2002

Friday, April 12, 2002

le piano graphique

Way cool French site for making your own techno music — le piano graphique — but warn your downstairs neighbors if you have a sub-woofer.

Best Site For TV Listings - TV Guide Online (of course!)

I just added this site to my yellow side link bar, under "Entertainment". This is the best site for getting TV listing I have found - especially if you have a lot of channels. You will need to customize the page for your area. TV Guide Online - [TV Listings]

Astronomy Picture of the Day

NASA has an interesting page on their website — Astronomy Picture of the Day. The featured daily photographs are not only interesting but frequently quite beautiful as well. One the most interesting is this night photograph of the earth with lights indicating the population centers. It is a large photograph; you can scroll around to see different parts world.

Certified Computer Document Imaging Architech!

I am now a certified Computer Document Imaging Architect. This means that have have demonstrated that I possess the critical knowledge to plan, design and specify a document imaging system.

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

If You Can't Sleep in Belmont - Call the Police

From the Belmont (a town south of Burlingame) Police Briefs for April 10th:

TUESDAY (April 9th)
1:30 a.m. 1200 block of Ralston Ave. Belmont Police Station. A man in his 40s called Belmont police to say he had insomnia.

According to a Belmont police report, he asked if he could stay the night at the station. He eventually came to the front lobby, but he was told to go home, which he apparently did.

- from the San Mateo Daily Journal

Wednesday, April 03, 2002

Fire in Burlingame burns the Icononc Little Man with a Hammer Sign

We just moved to Burlingame - so this news story of particular interest to me. A large fire in Burlingame destroyed a classic car shop, and burned the Little Man sign, which is familiar to anyone who has driven through Burlingame on 101.

Friday, March 22, 2002

Oxford Student: Fun Stuff

Websites English college students find amusing - Oxford Student: Fun Stuff.

From the site:

Regional accents - ever wondered how to say hello in Newcastle without getting laughed back across the Tyne? Or wanted to talk like Jamie Oliver auditioning for the latest Guy Ritchie film? Or fancied finding out the (quite important) difference between a bloke from Dudley with a bostin' wench (nice girl) and one from West Bromwich with a bustin' wrench (big spanner)? This collection of regional dictionaries contains accented and dialect words and phrases from the parts that received pronunciation did not reach... Brummie; Black Country; Cockney; Geordie; Glaswegian; Lancashire; Scouse - send us more!

Thursday, March 21, 2002

The Social Life Of Paper - Looking for Method In the Mess

An excellent New Yorker book review of Malcom Gladwell's "The Myth of the Paperless Office" on the role of paper in the modern office. It challenges the conventional assumptions that a messy desk is bad, and a well organized paper management system is good. I normally don't like to recycle mefi and Arts and Letters Daily posts, but with my background in document management as well as my propensity for a messy desk, I thought this article was particularly apt.

Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Jobless High-Tech Workers Sing for More Than Supper

After reading about two laid off high tech workers who play Irish folk music on University Avenue in Palo Alto, my wife and I decided to pay them a visit at lunch today. We had a nice chat with the one that was there when we came by. Another confirmation on how bleak the tech job market is. Jobless high-tech workers sing for more than supper

Tuesday, March 19, 2002

Yahoo! News - NetTrends: Bubble Bursts for San Francisco Eateries

Yahoo! News - NetTrends: Bubble Bursts for San Francisco Eateries

"Television Allows Thousands of People to Laugh at the Same Joke and Still Remain Alone"

"[Television] allows thousands of people to laugh at the same joke and still remain alone" - Bertrand Russel as quoted by John Perry Barlow in the "Pursuit of Emptiness", Forbes ASAP, Winter 2002. Picture is from Massurrealism, "a form of art that is rooted in the combination of mass media related art [such as pop art] and surrealist imagery."

Is Silicon Valley Comming Back from the Dead?

According to the cover story in this weeks Newsweek, Silicon Valley is on the way back. Silicon Valley Reboots

Monday, March 18, 2002

Kendall Cumming

Kendall Cumming died on March 10, 2002, at the Margaret T. Morris Center in Prescott. He was born on a cattle ranch in Santa Cruz County, Ariz., on Aug. 14, 1924. He was the third generation of ranchers in that area, a pioneer Arizona family.

Mr. Cumming served with the 101st Airborne as a paratrooper in WWII and was badly wounded at Bastogne. He received the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.

After the war, he enrolled at the University of Arizona and graduated with a master’s degree in range ecology in 1950. It was at the university that he met his wife of 54 years, Dorothy. They have two sons, Bruce and Earl, and three grandchildren.

In October of 1950, Mr. Cumming went to work for the Bureau of Indian Affairs at Chinle, Ariz., as a range ecologist. He continued in this role working in three Navajo agencies and one Hopi agency until 1962, when he was appointed superintendent of the Jicarilla Apache Reservation at Dulce, N.M. In 1965 he was appointed superintendent of the Gila Reservation at Sacaton, Ariz., where he remained for 15 years.

He was awarded a Citation of Meritorious Service by Robert Morton, secretary of the Interior upon retirement in 1980.

The Cummings moved to Prescott in 1980. Kendall taught courses in ranching at Yavapai College and was sheriff of the Westerners Corral in 1981.
He worked as a range consultant here in Prescott and for the Navajo-Hopi Relocation Commission in Flagstaff.

He will be fondly remembered by the many ranchers, cowboys and the Indian people who knew him throughout the Southwest, as well as his loving family.

Memorial contributions can be made to either the Margaret T. Morris Center, 878 Sunset Ave., Prescott, AZ 86305 or the Nature Conservancy, Kendall Cumming Memorial Account, 4245 No. Fairfax Dr., Suite 100, Arlington, VA. 22203.

Originally published in the Prescott Courier.

Sunday, March 17, 2002

Business 2.0 - Magazine Article - The 101 Dumbest Moments in Business

Business 2.0 - Magazine Article - The 101 Dumbest Moments in Business - including "Steve Ballmer dances at a Microsoft employee event".

Cool Phone Number to Words Web Site

Just got a new phone number and I was curious to see what word it would spell. This web site was the best by far of the ones I found - DialABC. It also has a cool links page.

Friday, March 15, 2002

Computer Friendly Food Comming to a Computer Near You

"Snacks that can be easily consumed while using the computer—they only require one hand and don't drip, spill or stick to the fingers—are likely to thrive in years to come" accoding to "What Cooking" in the March 2002 edition of American Demographics. (Note- link is to magizine website, you must must be a subscriber or pay to access the actual article.)

Saturday, March 09, 2002

Archiving of Old Posts Now Works

Now I can remove posts from my main page, and still get to them!.

Davis Demands All State Web Sites Display His Picture

Image of Gray Davis and link to his Home PageAccording to this San Francisco Chronicle article, Davis sent an email to all state agencies reminding them to use his photograph on their Web sites. Some of Davis' critics are claiming this is a campaign related move, but the head of Gray Davis' e-government initiative explains "the photograph provides an easy-to-identify link to the governor's page for site visitors who want to send their opinion to Davis". Not sure which side I agree with, but Davis is a very experienced politician.

Thursday, March 07, 2002

Pentagon May Limit Tech Jobs to U.S. Citizens

Pentagon may limit tech jobs to U.S. citizens / Plan restricts access to sensitive projects. "The planned policy...could also create new job opportunities for U.S. citizens who lost technology jobs in last year's industrywide layoffs.

60,000 Prudential Employee Identities Stolen

A database Manager at Prudential Insurance was charged with attempting to sell the name and personal information of 60,000 Prudential employees over the internet.

The scary thing here, is that the potential victim's identity was at risk not because they used the Internet, but because they were employees of a company with an unscrupulous I.T. worker.

Wednesday, March 06, 2002

AIIM Conference 2002 San Francisco - Disaster Recovery

I attended the AIIM 2002 convention today in San Francisco. AIIM was originally a document imaging association but now calls itself an "Enterprise Content Management" association. The highlight of the conference for me today was the keynote address on Disaster Recovery. It was a panel presentation that included managers from three companies, each of these companies lost significant operations on 9/11.

The most poignant advice was from Richard Dominelli—Vice President, Image Development, Guy Carpenter & Company: "Don't assume that your staff will be available to recover after a disaster - we lost 292 employees [in the attack on the World Trade Center]". You can download the PowerPoint presentation of this keynote here (3.34MB).

InformationWeek Study Says IT Workforce Shrunk Almost 10% Last Year

According to this article in the February 15, 2002 issue of InformationWeek, "[a]bout 270,000 workers—9.1% of the IT workforce—vanished in the last year, and no one is sure where they all went, or why".

Tuesday, March 05, 2002

Online NewsHour: Cable News Wars -- March 2002

The Newshour on PBS today had a segment on the cable new channels, CNN, FOX and MSNBC. The Newshour commissioned a study to analyze "the primetime content of the three 24-hour cable news channels".


"CNN was primarily a newsgathering network. It:
Relied on its corps of correspondents in the field
Concentrated more on the top stories of the day
Adhered to an objective and restrained interviewing style"

"FNC was primarily an opinion network. It:
Staged most interviews in a confrontational format
Asked questions in an opinionated and combative style
Selected interview guests with partisan, forensic and military backgrounds"

The study also concluded that Fox occupied a position to the right of CNN on the ideological spectrum.

Wal-Mart Trumps Moore's Law or "Everyday Low Prices" Don't Come Cheap

From the article Wal-Mart Trumps Moore's Law in

A recent McKinsey Global Institute report analyzing the spurt in U.S. productivity growth from 1995 to 2000 proffers provocative statistics that should give champions of “supply-side” innovation pause. “By far the most important factor in that is Wal-Mart,” reports Robert Solow, the MIT Nobel Prize-winning economics professor emeritus who chaired the report’s advisory committee. “That was not expected. The technology that went into what Wal-Mart did was not brand new and not especially at the technological frontiers, but when it was combined with the firm’s managerial and organizational innovations, the impact was huge.”

'O Brother' CD Puts Lost Highway Records on Map

Lost Highway Records (flash with music on homepage) has been getting a lot of press lately - since "O Brother" won the Grammy for best record of the year. They are more than an "old-time" country music label, they are also an alternative country label, with artists like Lucinda Williams (one of my favorite singer/songwriters) and Ryan Adams. This article "'O Brother' CD Puts Lost Highway Records on Map", in the L.A. Times explains how with little airplay, they have been successful.

This BusinessWeek article (only available if you have a BusinessWeek subscription), argues that Lost Highway Records could be a model for saving the recording industry from its current downturn, by eschewing bloated marketing budgets in favor of the music.

Quoting from the article:

... let's face it, many of the [recording] industry's ills are self-inflicted. Costs, from outsize superstar contracts to grandiose promotions, are seriously bloated and tend to reward mediocrity. Lost Highway, by contrast, expects to break even in its first year, with $109 million in sales. Its modest goals and surprising success send a message that bigger and pricier ain't necessarily better.


So let's hope Lost Highway walks away with some prizes [which they did], if only to drive home the message to those big-spending moguls that it's the music that counts, not the marketing.

"Commentary: A Little Niche Music", March 4th, 2002, Business Week

Monday, March 04, 2002

Career Trends 2002

Some interesting predictions in the article "Career Trends 2002" from CareerBuilder, about trends in the job market, such as:
"Thirtysomethings will finally get their shot at the brass ring" and "Older workers will also make a comeback".

Quote of the Day

Great quote from Dave Pell in today's NextDraft, an award winning daily email newsletter of current events.

Newsweek on Enron:
"Enron's Dirty Laundry: How a vicious, 10-year
rivalry between two top executives helped create
the sex-drenched, out-of-control corporate culture
that ultimately wrecked the company." {We recently
implemented a sex-drenched corporate culture here
at NextDraft but have been able to avoid some of
the pitfalls because there's only one of us...}

Friday, March 01, 2002

More Praise for Google

Mike's List: ISSUE 33 * MARCH 1, 2002, has added five additional things to Google's own list of 10 things (which I mentioned in an earlier post) that makes it a great company.

"Mike's List is a free e-mail newsletter that's based entirely on a single proposition: technology is funny", although he also has serious articles about technology, as well as popular culture. It is ad and spam free.

Thursday, February 28, 2002

Tom Wolfe on Jefferson and Labor Saving Devices

Tom Wolfe, while he was in Baltimore recently, was quoted as saying (from Tulips and Bears):

"One reason that Jefferson, or for that matter Zola or Balzac or any of these great figures of the 18th and 19th centuries got so much done, so much more done than people today, is that they didn't have any time-saving or labor-saving devices...If Jefferson were alive today....he'd never finish answering the email."

The Laundromat Comes Home - Never Buy Washing Machine Again

Just read in article in Smart Business about a washing machine from AristonDigital that you don't purchase, instead it bills you one Euro per wash over the Internet. I wonder if this concept will catch on in the U.S.?

Finding a Job in the Current Tech Market

Here are two interesting discussion threads about the current tech job market at MetaFilter and Slashdot. Also, an article in ComputerWorld, "Surveys: IT Jobs Found via Networking, not Internet".

Wednesday, February 27, 2002

10 Things Google Has Found To Be True

Google is one of the few successful dot com businesses. On their corporate information page they have posted 10 things Google has found to be true, valuable for advice for dot com's - such as "Democracy on the web works." Many of these things apply to other businesses as well - "It's best to do one thing really, really well" and "You can make money without doing evil".