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

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Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Very interesting stuff:

Wow.  The FT wrote a very positive article on anti-gravity research.  I hadn't heard about the "gravity impulse" beam before (it can pass through objects and hit targets miles away).  [John Robb's Radio Weblog]
10:19:02 AM    

Friday, July 26, 2002
Hollywood Hackers

If this absolute BS passes somehow, does that mean that we should be given the right to hack Hollywood and government computers to make sure that they do not illegally have a copy of our copyrighted stuff?

DaveNet: Hollywood wants the right to hack your computer [Scripting News]
3:03:38 PM    

AOL continues to slide

Ha ha ha ha ... if they weren't trying to sell advertising at such incredibly ridiculous rates that make no sense whatsoever they may not be in this position today.

NYT.  AOL continues to slide on worries about advertising sales.   It lost 15% yesterday.

Chart [John Robb's Radio Weblog]

12:15:20 PM    

Wednesday, July 24, 2002
Internation Space Station Viewing

International Space station viewing:

A picture named joecool-sm.gifNASA NEWS is reporting

Beginning this week the International Space Station (ISS) will make a series of eye-catching passes over North America. So instead of complaining your lacking an interesting summer, get out the lawn chairs a pair of field glasses and go camp out in the back yard. For more information, you can listen to the story via streaming audio, a downloadable file, or get help.

Everyone can see the ISS-- even if you don't own a telescope. NASA News reports that between now and mid-August the space station will make several passes over the United States and Canada. Spotting it is easy, all you need are your eyes, a clear sky and a flyby schedule for your hometown which can be located by visiting one of these three popular web sites: Chris Peat's Heavens Above, Science@NASA's J-Pass [excellent site] or NASA's SkyWatch. By typing in some simple information, like your city or zip code, the sites will respond with a list of suggested spotting times, accurate within a few minutes.

[Mary Wehmeier's Blog Du Jour]
11:02:55 AM    

Friday, July 19, 2002

Finally got around to checking out this search-bar thingy. All I can say is this thing is extremely slick. I can probably now get rid of many links and shortcuts I keep around for searching various stuff.

Dave's Google whatchamacallit keeps getting better and better. It's the command line for the world wide web. It shows the time and date when idling, so you can turn off your toolbar clock and save real estate. There are zillions of command line options now. I use it to find articles on Joel on Software ... type "joel schedules!" (the ! means "I'm feeling lucky") and the article pops up in a new window.[Joel on Software]
5:02:33 PM    

Wednesday, July 17, 2002
Sharing VMWare virtual disk base images
I usually don't read newsletters but one of the headlines in the latest VMWare newsletter caught my eye.  Apparently one could share the base virtual disk image across guest VM installs.  Now that would have simplified my VMWare setup of a number of machines that are all configured exactly the same.  Here is a link to the tip itself.
10:29:22 AM    

Wednesday, July 10, 2002
NT to Linux
Today I have finally got around to decommissioned the very first Kosmo NT server.  It claims to have an install date of Nov 23rd, 1998, 2:45:36 am.  That must be a re-install date or something as I've had the machine for longer than that.  As you can imagine it is outdated and was on its last legs.  A P90 with 64M RAM running WinNT 4.  I kid you not but up until about 6 months ago it ran Exchange Server 5.5, IIS 4.0, SQL Server 7.0, file/print amoung a bunch of other miscellaneous stuff for the office here.  Its now being converted to a low end Linux server for miscellaneous tasks.
9:12:54 PM    

A few days ago I said I wouldn't trust any financial statement these days.  I wonder if Yahoo would be silly enough cook the books during the heat here:

Yahoo earnings back in black. The Web portal posts its first profit in six quarters, reporting a net income of 3 cents a share for the second quarter. [CNET]
6:23:47 PM    

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

I've been using Ofoto to create online photo albums from digital pictures for a while now.  Actually I used Zing before they were bought and merged with Ofoto.  Up until a few weeks ago I was happy with Ofoto until they changed the way shared albums are accessed.  It seems they must be in a crunch to register users so they were forcing invited parties to register with Ofoto before viewing the album. That is rediculous.  I've emailed them for an explaination as to why they have implemented this annoying feature but haven't received a response in over a week (and probably never will).

So I'm on the hunt for alternatives and there seem to be enough to choose from:

Epson (

Unlimited storage capacity.  You can view the photos in their original resolution.  Ofoto and most others reduce the image size for viewing but keep the original for when one orders prints.  Some basic stats about how many visits to the album etc. 

Shutterfly (

Unlimited storage capacity.  Upload facility is similar to Ofoto (ie. drag image files to upload) and much better than Epson (where you have to select files one by one).  I think it also did concurrent file uploads which is a bit of a bonus especially when uploading a whole bunch of images.  Looks like they do something similar in reducing the image size for viewing.  The sharing of the album/photos not as nice as Epson and Ofoto.

Sony Imagestation (

Unlimited storage capacity.  Very similar to Shutterfly.  Same reduction of image size.  Sharing is a bit better than Shutterfly.  Very similar to Epson.

Apple - Built into Mac OSX as far as I can tell.  Cannot create an account from a PC but apparently can view from a PC.  I think all types of files can be shared, not just photos.  I'm not a MAC user so not useful to me.  Only 20M of storage though.

Haven't decided yet whether to go with Epson or ImageStation.  Epson edges out with the original image size and ImageStation edges out with drag and drop upload.  Other than that they are similar enough.  Even Shutterfly was very similar but I just seemed to like Epson and ImageStation a little better.

3:58:05 PM    

Sunday, July 07, 2002
War on Spam

An update on my post about SpamNet from Cloudmark.

So far, I'm very pleased with SpamNet.  It seems to be catching about 60-70% of spam greatly reducing my stress in dealing with email.  All that without setting up a single rule or whitelist.

However, don't trust the stats that it displays.  They don't seem to jive at all.

10:52:30 PM    

Saturday, July 06, 2002
All The Presidents Enrons

I agree except it isn't just the BigCo's.  I wouldn't trust any financial statement these days:

Great outrage from Frank Rich. All the President's Enrons is a great rant by Frank Rich in the New York Times, decrying the Bush administration's do-nothing policy toward the corporate cheats and scumbags that are beating the economy to death. I honestly don't see how anyone can trust a corporate financial statement these days, and we've known for as long as I can remember that the so-called "analysis" provided by investment banks has the veracity of an infomercial. I think that in the end, the big lie will turn out to be that all of these scandals are the product of a few bad apples. I really believe that the patterns of corruption and fraud that we're seeing from the likes of Enron, Worldcom, Reliant Energy, and others will turn out to have been pervasive. Why wouldn't every other big company that needed to hide a few billion in expenses or create some faux revenue not use these tactics? Everybody was getting away with it, and judging from the level of enforcement from the Bush administration, they still are. []
3:03:59 PM    

Has Radio Userland's aggregator changed recently?  I'm getting a lot of old items (which keep popping up each scan) and much shorter description text (ie. what looks like maybe title text) for some feeds.  This seems to be happening for more than 1 feed but not all so it would be a great coincidence that a whole bunch of people changed the way they are publishing their RSS.

If anyone is noticing the same behavior let me know by a comment here and I'll get a report off to Userland.

10:42:54 AM    

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