Monthly Archives: February 2004

Gotta Have Priorities

Amazon.com has (finally) added a priority option to wish lists. This is something they’ve needed to do for a while. Instead of just seeing all of the items listed by date or price, you can sort the wishlist by how bad the person wants each item.

If you want to see an example of how this works, check out my wish list. This is really helpful since some of the things I really want are on the second page of my wishlist and no one ever notices them.

Stargate Atlantis

Here’s some great news for anyone who’s into Stargate (like we are). In July there’s going to be a new spin-off series called Stargate Atlantis.

The SG-1 team finally finds the Lost City of the Ancients that they’ve been looking for this season. It turns out that the lost city is not through the Stargate at all, it’s Atlantis. Using the knowledge they gain in the Lost City, a new team sets off to explore another galaxy and fight a new enemy called the Wraith.

So far it sounds like it’s going to be pretty good. You can check out Scifi.com’s Press Release and the official Stargate Atlantis website for more info.

One more thing

I’m not sure the tone of my voice came through in that last entry. It was supposed to be more like this:

WooHoo! I’ve got super-fast Internet! Hurray!

I finally gave in

I couldn’t stand it any longer. Today I cancelled my dial-up account and switched back to a cable modem.

I’m paying twice as much, but my connection speed went from around 30 Kbps to about 1000 Kbps.

The Secret's Out

The Internet was abuzz this weekend with talk about the leaked (stolen?) source code to Microsoft Windows. There are two different files circulating on the file-sharing networks. One contains code for Windows NT 4.0 and the other contains Windows 2000.

covering the investigation into how the code got out. In the article they also mention the fact that the source code is “riddled with hidden notes and profanity”

I have not looked at the source code, and I don’t want to see it. I’m sure all developers of open source software feel the same way. Examaining this code would legally “taint” any programmer so that Microsoft could then sue them for copyright violation if any of the ideas from the code were reimplemented in another program.

Of course this hasn’t stopped the crackers. According to SecurityTracker.com an exploint based on the leaked source code has already been released. Proof once again that “security throught obscurity” (i.e. hiding your source code from the public), is a terrible way to run a software company.

Finally, just in case anyone feels safe because they’re running Windows XP, keep in mind that Windows XP is just the latest evolution of this same family of code. Windows 2000 is actually version 5.0 and Windows XP is version 5.1. Exploits discovered in this code will most likely affect Windows XP as well.

Happy Valentine’s Day

We had a great Valentine’s Day today. First of all, it snowed. Paige and I had a snowball fight, and we made a snowman:

Me and the snowman

And, we joined Aerofit. Ben and Paula have been bugging us to do it for a while now. We worked out for about 45 minutes this morning. There’s nothing like lifting weights and then walking out into the freezing cold.

Also, we got Valentine’s cards from Geoff. The interesting thing about them is they’re vintage super hero cards from when we were kids. Very cool.

I’ll post a few more snow pictures once I get them sorted out and resized.

I’m so proud

One of our star students, Zach Clifford, has set up his own web server. Why am I proud? Because he’s running Debian Linux, of course. I would love to take some of the credit for this site, but Zach did it all on his own. Actually, I just started visiting about a week ago.

It’s a great site. He as an active message board, games, picture galleries, etc. There’s only one thing wrong with his site – Google has never heard of it. A Google search for Zach Clifford doesn’t even list his site on the first page. Looking at the stats for his site, I realized that Google’s bot wasn’t even indexing his page.

Since Google is rather found of our little site, I though I would help him out by posting a few links to his site. So if there’s anything you want to know about Zach Clifford, be sure to check out his website at http://www.zachclifford.com.

We’ll see what this does for his page rank…

Happy Birthday To Me

I just thought I’d mention that today is my birthday. I’m 29 today. If you forgot all about it and you’re feeling guilty for not getting my anything, there’s a link to my Amazon wishlist in the bar on the right side of this page. Actually, even if you’re a complete stranger and don’t care whether it’s my birthday or not, the link is still there…

Cory Doctrow’s New Book

Cory Doctrow, who also runs the Boing Boing weblog, has just released his second book – Eastern Standard Tribe. I haven’t finished reading his first book (Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom) yet, but I will say that I like what I’ve read so far.

Not only are Cory’s books available to buy in stores, he has also released them for free download from his website. Although this seems like it would be economic suicide for an author, he has in fact been selling books “hand over fist”.

Cory has also written a page called What’s this site?, where he explains his reasons for releasing his books for free. This page and the discussion that follows provide a great insight into the mind of an author who really “gets it” when it comes to modern distribution of artistic work.

As always, here’s a nice quote to convince you that you really should go read this now:

There are 70 million Americans engaged in file-sharing today, violating a copyright law that hasn’t kept pace with technology… No author is going to turn those downloaders into customers by calling them thieves. By contrast, the author who figures out how to capitalize on that activity will find himself sitting pretty

It will be interesting to see how that quote holds up 5-10 years from now…