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Old Blog Posts April 6, 2006

Subject Net Neutrality and Global Warming
Posted Date: April 6, 2006 – Thursday – 9:52 AM
Well, the Pubs appear to be going out of there way to piss me off today. :) I realize that both political parties have big issues they need to take care of. But today, it’s those dam’ neo-conservatives who are cheesing me off.

First, Denying that the climate is changing. Now, the causes of global warming are absolutely under dispute right now. Is it nature; industrialization, agriculture, or what? This is not known, and needs to be studied further. But, climate change is a scientific fact, with centuries of data to back it up. The world is getting warmer, and we can prove it. That needs to be widely known. To subvert this information is wrong, period. We need to figure out what’s going on, what our part in it is, and what we can do to change it. Or, more likely, what can we do to live with it and not make it worse?

Second, they’ve gone against what is called Net Neutrality. Basically, net neutrality means that the internet backbones will carry everybodies data equally. If you set up a website, you get the same backbone speed as Google does. There are other constraints, but the backbone traffic goes at the same speed as everyone elses. The fact is, the Internet (bandwidth) is a commodity, like water and power. It’s required for day to day business to occur. It should be treated like a Public Service, like sewage, roads, water and power. This means that a certain amount of regulation is required, over and above laissez-faire capitalism.

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Subject Your Digital Inheritance
Posted Date: April 5, 2006 – Wednesday – 6:20 AM
Interesting thought in a slashdot article (Slashdot is this geek blog I frequent; there are always interesting articles and lost of crazy and smart comments)

The question was:
“I wrote a journal entry musing on the idea of passing on accounts and digitally stored information from generation to generation. Has anyone done this or inherited anything? Does anyone else plan to do this? Is there a slip of paper in your deposit box at the bank with websites, account names and passwords?”

Hmmm; good question. I mean; there is obviously digital entities that are worth money, like software, music, data, etc. Can you pass these on to your kids or a non-profit agency? Due to EULA’s and other shrinkwrap agreements there are limits, I’m sure; but at least some of this could be passed on.

But how about digital stuff with sentimental value? Like, for instance, your msypace account? Can you pass that on to posterity? If I died tomorrow, or myspace goes out of business, what happens to my account? What rights do we have over the information we post on blogs, wiki’s etc?

With “web 2.0” and the rise of social networks and user generated content, these questions are going to become even more important in the next few years.

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Subject Predicting the future.
Posted Date: March 31, 2006 – Friday – 5:28 AM
How good are we at predicting the future?

Here are some excerpts:

There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.»
Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC), maker of big business mainframe computers, arguing against the PC in 1977.

The wireless music box (radio) has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to no one in particular?»

The multitude of books is a great evil. There is no limit to this fever for writing; every one must be an author; some out of vanity, to acquire celebrity and raise up a name, others for the sake of mere gain.
Martin Luther, German Reformation leader, Table Talk, 1530s(?).

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Subject Moving
Posted Date: March 24, 2006 – Friday – 11:06 AM
I’m moving to Eastlake this Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Why four days? I still have tons of packing to do, then I’m moving everything over to the new place. Plus I have to make a dump run and clean up the old place. And then I’ve got to get things set up at my new pad. Geez…it’s going to be busy.

One of the things I’m getting set up is internet access, so I won’t be on the net until Tuesday or Wednesday. So don’t think I’m being rude if I don’t answer.

To those interested in where I’m moving, here’s a map of my new place.

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Subject Online Word Processor
Posted Date: March 24, 2006 – Friday – 7:07 AM
Is this cool or what!. These guys have set up a word processor that works over the internet. I was able to open existing word documentes, modify them, then save them back to my hard drive. I was also able to create new documents and do the same.

Granted, it’s still pretty raw, but it’s brand new. And you have to use the Firefox browser, but you should be using that anyway. It’s compatible with Windows, Macintosh, and Linux; has tabbed browsing; is more secure, and is open source!. Unlike IE, which only works on Windows, doesn’t have tabs, has lots of people trying to crack security, and is proprietary closed source

Here’s a great article by the CEO, outlining what he is trying to do here. It’s great to see these online applications taking off like this. The awesome thing about the web is it offers these things that traditional software don’t do well, including:

Automatic Distribution/Upgrades

Plus many more things that I haven’t thought of. Plus many more things NOBODY’S thought of.

For those looking for an office suite that does more than this, but doesn’t cost hundreds of dollars, I suggest Open Office, which is free (as in beer) and free (as in open source).


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