Thursday, March 31, 2005
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
I ended up getting the Hi-Val dual-layer, external model. I won't bore you with a series of numbers, x's, and letters with plus and minus signs. I'll just say that it bills itself as fast as anything else that was on the shelf, and compatible with any media that you can find. The dual-layer format means that you can burn 8.5GB per side (if you have dual-layer media), just like commercial movie DVD's. Technically you could rip a commercial DVD to this format without recompressing the movie along the way, but who's gonna do that, right?
It's interesting to find that the product inside the box looked nothing like the picture on the outside. In fact, the drive itself is actually labeled "I/O Magic" and is apparently this device. I couldn't find a link anywhere to the Hi-Val product. After a little digging it seems that the product names are interchangeable.
Although the link shows the product selling for $129.99, I picked mine up for $119.99. Seemed like quite a deal to me, especially considering that there were name brand internal drives doing the same thing priced in the mid 100's to 200.
So here are a couple pics...
The side, revealing a dreamy, glowy, blue light that resembles the dashboard lighting in my GTI.
The front, with more glowy blue lighting. No, it doesn't come with that O'Reilly book.
At present all I have is DVD-R media rated at 2x, so I can't provide any test results. Besides, dual-layer media ranges anywhere between 5 and 7 bucks a piece depending on brand and quantity. 20 pieces of media or so and I've outspent the drive itself.
Installation was a snap - completely plug & play on my WinXP system. I didn't have to insert any CD with drivers or anything like that. It comes with Nero version 6. I have version 5 dot something installed on my machine, so I'll end up upgrading.
I can tell you that it rips audio CD's briskly and is fairly quiet. Assuming it handles it's DVD burning chores as advertised, I'd say it's a good use of $120.
The UN mostly consists of dictatorships and autocracies, which have little use for the free speech and open information that the Internet provides people all over the world. A free Internet threatens their power and their oppressive regimes. Nothing would please them more than to get their hands on the engines of the Internet in order to suppress the information that would inspire their subjects to throw off their shackles and claim freedom for themselves.
Let me put it to all in this light. Will we trust the same organization that put Libya and Cuba in charge of human rights and Syria in charge of counterterrorism to manage the Internet and safeguard free speech?
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Another study found that the earth is really, really, really not flat.
Monday, March 28, 2005
I normally use Bloglines on my laptop & desktop computers to read, and was pleasantly suprised to find that Bloglines detects that I'm using a PDA and reformats the page accordingly. Either that or the built-in browser on the Treo does a really nice job interpreting the page for the tiny screen.
In any event, I'd say about 75% of the blogs I read include the entire text of the article in it's feed, so I don't have to jump off the Bloglines site to read the article. A few, however, include a snippet of the article, and fewer still only include the title of the article (quit holding out on us Hugh!).
Power Line is one of those blogs that includes only a snippet of the article. Generally it wouldn't be a big deal to click over to the permalink for the article -- permalinks for most sites contain just the article in question plus the rest of the site decoration -- but PowerLine's permalinks are archived by month. Meaning, every article for the month of March is archived onto one page, and it jumps to the article in question using an in-page anchor. Some other sites do this, but I don't see it too often.
Let's see how the Treo likes this, it being near the end of March and all:
Whoa, still receiving after over a megabyte.
Right after this error message the Treo caught fire.
How big can the page possibly be? Doing a "Save As" of the web page reveals:
Holy Moses, Batman. I have a few suggestions:
- Don't be stingy. Give us the whole article in your feed.
- Make your permalinks link to just the article.
- Have a toned-down version of your site available, like Andrew Sullivan's.
UPDATE: Power Line did a slight redesign on the site and "unexcerpted" their feed at the same time this past week. See? I get things done.
My favorite is how he dealt with poor service at a restaurant:
I'm going to have to try that one out soon.
Sunday, March 27, 2005
(Sam) Kimery now contends Fox News' top-level management dictates a conservative journalistic bias, that inaccuracies never are retracted, and what airs is more opinion than news. "I might as well be reading tabloids out of the grocery store," he said. "Anything to get a rise out of the viewer and to reinforce certain retrograde notions."Well, it seems to me that you could have stuck just about any other news agency name in place of Fox News and stuck in the word anti in front of conservative and have been fairly accurate.
To date Kimery has sold about 100 of the devices. Fox News has about 1.6 million viewers.
Saturday, March 26, 2005
My pastor asked a handful of us to comment on the seven last phrases of
Christ before his death. I picked out Luke 23:43, Jesus' words to one of
the robbers on the cross. Despite the robber's grisly outcome, I'd always
wished I was him -- the only person on record who received a personal
guarantee from the Christ.
You have been tried, found guilty of robbery, and handed a sentence of
death. Along with two others you are led outside the gates of the city to
have your punishment handed out - death by crucifixion.
As you are raised on the cross, your ears are filled with the heckling of
the man on the cross next to you. The crowds, the soldiers, and even some
religious looking men are mocking him - if you are the King of the Jews,
well, just come down off that cross then. Come now, come down and save
You look across and the other man who is being executed is also joining in
on the act. Full of bitterness and the realization of your fate, you can't
help yourself and you join in. You throw your scorn onto the man on the
cross next to you.
Something isn't sitting right with you, though. The man next to you isn't
returning the mocking in kind. He's talking to God, asking God to forgive
the people mocking him. He's actually asking God to forgive you? In a
moment your eyes are opened to the shocking revelation that this, indeed,
is the Christ that you've heard about. This is Jesus.
The other man next to Jesus jabs again. "Aren't you the Christ? Save
yourself and us!" Your conviction burns in you now as you rebuke the man.
Jesus has done nothing wrong! We're getting what we deserve! A last glimmer
of hope is in you as you turn to the man next to you. "Jesus, remember me
when you come into your kingdom." The man turns towards you, looks you in
the eye, and says "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in
paradise." In one moment you have been given a personal guarantee from the
Are we really any different than this robber? Perhaps we've lied to
somebody close. Maybe we've stolen something from work. Maybe we've clung
on to our possessions a little too tightly, or jealously eyed the
possessions of our neighbor. Maybe we've even cursed God himself. Our sin
nature guarantees that we've committed sin against God, and God's holiness
demands that we pay the penalty for those sins. We are all found guilty,
and our sentence is death. Not just death of this body, but a spiritual
death - separation forever from God and the influence of his mercy and
love. Like that robber we hang on to life by a thread, waiting for our
sentence to be carried out.
But a miraculous thing happened at that place of execution two thousand
years ago. Jesus, the man crucified between two robbers, paid the price of
our sin, a price that is forever out of our own grasp. He answered the
mockery of those telling him to save himself by saving us. Christ died for
our sins and offers us forgiveness today.
Our story began in tragedy. Living in a paradise, we scorned God and broke
his law. In judgment God told us that we will surely die, and we were
removed from that paradise. But our story does not have to end in tragedy.
God showed his mercy to us and sent his son, Jesus, to pay the price of our
sin. Through his work on the cross, Jesus offers us forgiveness today and
salvation from our terrible death sentence. We have a guarantee that,
today, if we believe in Jesus, we will join him in paradise.
Friday, March 25, 2005
Researchers at an Austrian university used human corpses to study how to develop better crash-test dummies, and authorities are now investigating whether the scientists should be charged with violating the dignity of the dead, a prosecutor said Tuesday."Dignity of the dead?" I don't advocate using cadavers for crash testing, but it seems that an individual's claim on dignity are gone once their breathing permit expires.
Thursday, March 24, 2005
"This individual apparently did take a spoonful, did have a finger in their mouth and then, you know, spit it out and recognized it," said Ben Gale, director of the department of environmental health for Santa Clara County. "Then they had some kind of emotional reaction and vomited."Hope I caught you reading this during the lunch hour.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Still using The Force after all these years.
Tuesday, March 22, 2005
SimpleTech announces today that they are releasing a solid state hard disk with an SATA interface. Solid State Disk (SSD) technology should provide much better performance and be easier on the ears. I just wonder what type of heat they will generate.
The sun is bright. Don’t look at the sun or you will damage yourApparently this device can heat up objects to in excess of 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.
eyes. Anything that focuses the sun will only make it more
dangerous. The Solar Death Ray is dangerous. Don’t build one.
I’m surprised I haven’t burnt or blinded myself yet. The fumes
from molten plastic can’t be good either. Don't play with fire.
Monday, March 21, 2005
I guess one thing you can say for Satan is that he has the smarts to not show up on a grilled cheese sandwich.
Friday, March 18, 2005
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Step one in becoming a boorish company is to go after your first amendment rights. Second step is to regulate and tax you to death. Apple now wants a piece of the pie of the iPod accessory market if that accessory uses the "Made For iPod" logo.
There ya go, Apple... a two-fer.
One of these is definitely in order. Just don't repeat that within earshot of my Mazda. The poor girl is temperamental and is likely to leave me on the side of the road if she feels threatened.
Autoweek is scooping the new line of VW vehicles coming out over the next few years. The truck is sweet, and the VW
How about step two in the process - provide taxpayer-funded prostitution. I mean, we really need to make sure that we keep those creepy diseases off the street.
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Monday, March 14, 2005
Saturday, March 12, 2005
I'm generally wary of any attempted reflection or wisdom imparted by members of the entertainment industry. This one is written by Toby Mac and Michael Tait, members of the popular Christian market rock band DC Talk. Despite my wariness, I found this an enjoyable read.
The book is a collection of vignettes about various people who helped shape the America we know today - George Washington Carver, Ruby Bridges, Harriet Tubman, on and on and on. There are 60 of these stories. Not to fear, for they average about 6 pages each, which really helps out with my short attention span.
In each of these stories the authors make a tie between the actions of the person and the person's faith in God. Through each story they make a case for the founding of America on strong Christian beliefs.
I am woefully ignorant of our country's history, so there was nothing that could jump out at me as patently false. If nothing else it whet my appetite for learning more about the historic characters of our country.
Friday, March 11, 2005
People used to buy TCP/IP stacks. People used to buy basic backup software. People used to buy fonts. At least nominally, people paid for browsers...When you come into the world of software you know that if you are up at a higher level and you have something superimportant, it's going to move down, down, down and eventually be part of every copy of the operating system if it is something superimportant.My first job in the software industry was with a company from which people used to buy fonts. That company pretty much died when Windows 3.1 arrived, which included TrueType technology.
Our crosstown buddies, Stac Electronics, also made software that Microsoft plagiarized (remember DoubleSpace?). Stac ended up suing Microsoft, getting an injuction on the sale of DOS until a settlement was reached.
Thursday, March 10, 2005
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
Tuesday, March 08, 2005
Besides costing $200 and posting a $50,000 bond, the license requires a one-year apprenticeship to a licensed auctioneer, acting as a bid-caller in 12 auctions, attending an approved auction school, passing a written and oral exam. Failure to get a license could result in the seller being fined up to $1,000 and jailed for a maximum of 90 days.Oooh boy, sign me up.
 Read: screwed.
The Ford GT sports car Woods won for his victory is worth $140,000, but you won't see him driving it. Because Woods has an endorsement deal with Buick, he made a point all week to be careful about saying anything about Ford products. He did acknowledge afterward, however, that his caddie, Steve Williams , would be getting the keys to the car.
Monday, March 07, 2005
Hospital staff treating a retired school teacher for a headache found a five inch knife blade wedged in his head.
The discovery was made after doctors X-rayed Leonard Woronowicz to see if he had cracked his skull in a fall while climbing over a stool in his kitchen four days earlier.
Sunday, March 06, 2005
It would not suprise me if we come to find out the whole abduction was staged. The abductors in Iraq generally had a way of freeing hostages only after removing their head. The Jawa Report has more on the possibility that this is a hoax.
Saturday, March 05, 2005
Friday, March 04, 2005
Thursday, March 03, 2005
Smith and the other two Republican commissioners wanted to appeal the Internet-related sections. But because they couldn't get the three Democrats to go along with them, what Smith describes as a "bizarre" regulatory process now is under way.Guh. They are going to evaluate the value of hyperlinks from somebody's personal homepage? How much would a hyplink such as, oh, "These guys are complete boneheads" be valued as? Or how about "Click here to view some arrogant jerks" ?
Q: What rules will apply to the Internet that did not before?
A: The commission has generally been hands-off on the Internet. We've said, "If you advertise on the Internet, that's an expenditure of money--much like if you were advertising on television or the newspaper."
The real question is: Would a link to a candidate's page be a problem? If someone sets up a home page and links to their favorite politician, is that a contribution? This is a big deal, if someone has already contributed the legal maximum, or if they're at the disclosure threshold and additional expenditures have to be disclosed under federal law.
Certainly a lot of bloggers are very much out front. Do we give bloggers the press exemption? If we don't give bloggers the press exemption, we have the question of, do we extend this to online-only journals like CNET?[...]
"How about a hyperlink? Is it worth a penny, or a dollar, to a campaign?
I don't know. But I'll tell you this. One thing the commission has argued over, debated, wrestled with, is how to value assistance to a campaign."
Then this is a partisan issue?
Yes, it is at this time. But I always point out that partisan splits tend to reflect ideology rather than party. I don't think the Democratic commissioners are sitting around saying that the Internet is working to the advantage of the Republicans.
One of the reasons it's a good time to (fix this) now is you don't know who's benefiting. Both the Democrats and Republicans used the Internet very effectively in the last campaign.
I guess I also don't understand why this should be a partisan issue. I mean, I understand that the response (according to the article) went down party lines, but it seems there is enough blogging on the left and right side of the aisles that neither side would say that the other is receiving an unfair advantage. I'm a bit ignorant here, so maybe that isn't the point.
What this really seems like to me is an incursion of free speech. Everybody has some sort of sphere of influence, whether that is through a blog or through family and friends. Is the FEC going to extend the Campaign Reform Act to familial diatribes at the dinner table?
More comments via Instapundit and Michelle Malkin, if you're interested.
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
I don't quite understand the workings of that - you're a plane taking off from LAX, you're in American airspace, the American air traffic controllers are telling you to get it
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
Well, maybe not, but some scientists have discovered that significant ozone depletion may be due to solar storms.
Here comes the sun...
 But only in play, of course.