TechnoMagician's Weblog
(aka Tim Aiello)
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic - Arthur C. Clarke.

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Friday, May 31, 2002

As per usual, Tom Clancy has covered this scenario in one of his novels. Namely The Bear and The Dragon. In it, elements of Rainbox Six and other special troops are inserted on the ground to take out the silo's.
NYT.  US urges 60,000 Americans to leave India.  This is probably based on new satellite data and data gleaned from military networks in both countries.  Sombre stuff.  We provided satellite data to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait days before the Gulf War on the uncoiling of armoured columns in Iraq.  We suggested a preventative deployement of US troops to deter an attack.  They told us to take a hike.  Brent's idea is that Rumsfeld is going to tell the participants that we will take out their nukes.  Unfortunately, we don't have a good way to do this.  It would be great if we had those new scramjet bombers the DoD is working on.  That way we could launch a couple planes from the US, be over the target in 3-4 hours, drop super accurate silo/bunker busting smart bombs, and recover to Europe an hour and a half later. [John Robb's Radio Weblog]
5:26:46 PM    

Pretty slick:
Robert Hall highlights some of the cool text -> speech -> Flash stuff that he has worked on.
9:21:29 AM    

Wednesday, May 29, 2002
I've been using Trillian now for as long as I can remember. The reason being I was getting tired of running ICQ and Yahoo and because I have one colleague who likes to use MSN. With Trillian I have been working perfectly fine with all my contacts on ICQ, Yahoo and MSN. Plus it isn't nearly as much as a memory pig as ICQ or Yahoo on their own. Of course I still keep Yahoo around for the occasional voice chat etc.
Trillian's IM program that lets people connect with all the major IM services (for the time being) is growing very rapidly, despite the companies small size and lack of marketing power. However, by simply doing what the big players refuse to do (interoperating), and thereby giving usrs exactly what they want, people are flocking to Trillian. It's amazing what giving your users what they want will do. The study also points out that Trillian users tend to spend more time on IM than any of the other major players. However, that could just be because the types of folks who have heard about Trillian are those of us who seem to spend a ridiculous amount of time online (not that there's anything wrong with that...).


3:35:25 PM    

I've been using Userland Radio as a news aggregator for quite some time now. However, as of late it just wasn't doing it for me and I began to develop my own web based news aggregator. I haven't gotten too far with it yet.

I've also tried just about every one of these that Jon mentions in his article except for Newz Crawler. So far it is looking really slick and just about everything I was looking for. Its not web based but does give other features that one would probably not be able to do with a web based one anyway. I'm going to run it for the next week or so and then either continue with my own development or just use this.

Personal RSS aggregators, and a personal note about BYTE. Here's my final column for, on personal RSS aggregators. Pardon me while I wax sentimental for a moment. It has been a long and meaningful relationship. ... [Jon's Radio]
3:13:52 PM    

Groove to RCS publishing
Very interesting. I've sent an email to Tim Knip to see what other options he's working on to publish data from Groove. I have no need to run a Radio Community Server (RCS) but I'd love to publish my Groove content in OPML or XML or some such thing.
Tim Knip:  Now I can publish the contents of several Groove tools using the RU-community server + XML-RPC. Check out this OPML created from an Outliner Tool in Groove, and then sent to the RU-server using xmlStorageSystem.SaveMultipleFiles. This concept can be used for almost every Tool in Groove. [Jeroen Bekkers' Groove Weblog]
2:48:30 PM    

Monday, May 27, 2002

IBM list of User Engineering deliverables. IBM lists the deliverables of their 'User Engineering' process on their Ease of Use site. Deliverables listed by phase and by role... [ia/ - news for information architects]
8:05:21 PM    

Thursday, May 23, 2002
Myst Online
Rand and Robyn Miller from Cyan are geniuses when it comes to adventure gaming with their Myst, Riven, Exile series of adventure games. It will be interesting to see what they are doing with Myst Online.
5:20:46 PM    

Tuesday, May 21, 2002
Quake to the Groove
Its no surprise to me that Ray's inspiration for Groove came from watching his kid play Quake and coordinate using text chat and RogerWilco (voice over IP specifically for gaming). Gaming technology will always be light years ahead of any business technology so if you like to be on the bleeding edge of technology then gaming is where its at.

BTW, you can register with totally bogus information to view the Webcast. Its interesting enough to watch a few of the segments:

Hugh pointed to this Groove Webcast. You'll have to register to view but i must say it's really worth it. Go check it out!! I think i'm gonna show this 38 minute show to all our (potential) Groove customers. [Jeroen Bekkers' Groove Weblog]
1:16:08 PM    

Sunday, May 19, 2002

After talking with a bunch of people last week about the evolution of RSS, or the lack thereof, here are a few new ideas lurking out there. Let's see what happens.  [Scripting News]
3:38:25 PM    

Friday, May 10, 2002
Tightening up PHP
If you're using PHP you'll be interested in this. I always found it odd that submitted data was available as a global but couldn't really put a finger on it. This hits home. I usually use the long method in accessing so I think I'm fine in any of my old scripts.
Write Secure Scripts with PHP 4.2. WebmasterBase: “For the longest time, one of the biggest selling points of PHP as a server-side scripting language was that values submitted from a form were automatically created as global variables for you. As of PHP 4.1, the makers of PHP recommended an alternate means of accessing submitted data. In PHP 4.2, they switched off the old way of doing things! As I’ll explain in this article, these changes have been made in the name of security.” []
4:48:34 PM    

Thursday, May 09, 2002
Into the Future with RSS
Well, probably not more than a day has passed and it looks like if I really wanted to I could include [pubDate] in my RSS feed and anything else I felt like too.
Radio's RSS writer is now user-extensible. The RSS writer in Radio is now officially user-extensible. "Before generating the RSS, we check," Dave writes today. Excellent. This will open the floodgates for all sorts of useful metadata experimentation. We'll see Radio UserLand sites emitting RSS 1.0, and others extending RSS .9x. It's not the format that matters to me, it's the experimentation. ... [Jon's Radio]

Here are some notes from Dave on this.

9:53:03 PM    

No need for IRC
A perfect opportunity for BlogChat. Who would want to install and get an IRC client working when all one would have to do is visit a webpage and download and install absolutely nothing.
Live Chat from the Conference. The IRC folks are chatting from the audience live. So, you can particpate here with us. You'll need an IRC chat client. [Robert Scoble: Scobleizer Weblog]
9:37:20 PM    

Wednesday, May 08, 2002
Back to the Future with RSS
I like the fact that Jon Udell is playing around with his RSS feed. I was suprised recently at how simple yet lacking the RSS spec is.

I really wish RSS feeds would start using the [pubDate] tag (which was introduced in RSS 0.93 as far as I can tell) to date their postings. I'm thinking about programming my own aggregator and it only makes sense that entries (items) are defined with a date.

Radio for instance shows me a date for an item when it was scanned but it doesn't display when the item was posted (unless of course it does if a pubdate is defined). That is seriously lacking as far as I'm concerned. It really bothers me when I read an article (news or otherwise) on the net and there is no date attached to it. It is as good as garbage to me in that case.

3:35:28 PM    

Groove security test
This is good to know:
Although most of the technical terms are abacadabra to me, it seems that Groove's security is thoroughly tested.;-) [Jeroen Bekkers' Groove Weblog]
12:15:19 PM    

Monday, May 06, 2002
Google Zeitgeist
Interesting Google Search patterns. They have archives available as well.
10:50:56 AM    

Sunday, May 05, 2002
Scotty, beam me up
Scotty, beam me up:
Vocera's Comm Badge runs over 802.11 networks. Half of me really wants a gadget like this, the other half gagged when watching their promo video.[More Like This WebLog] [From: Adam Curry: Adam Curry's Weblog]
10:01:43 PM    

Thursday, May 02, 2002
Textbook publishers finally get a clue
Wow, a textbook publisher finally woke up. As you can see by this article (copied here in case the link dies), Brooks/Cole (part of The Thomson Corporation) finally realized that there is great synergy between school textbooks and live online tutoring.

We have been trying to hammer this home for more than 2 years with QuikkTUTOR but the textbook publishers just didn't have a clue till now. Checkout a rough copy of a demo we did nearly a year and a half ago. Its a PowerPoint presentation and only makes sense when you run it in presentation mode due to the audio and animation.

5:06:10 PM    

Wednesday, May 01, 2002

LAX has opened their ATC tracking system to online users. [Adam Curry: Adam Curry's Weblog]
9:53:29 AM    

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