Jason's Blog

Archive for February, 2006

Link of the Day Feb 28, 2006

by on Feb.28, 2006, under General

Saw this interesting website on a way for people to publish their own material. Figured there were enough dreamers, writers, musicians, and other creative types reading this blog to perhaps take an interest smile
And, for all those teachers out there, here’s something I saw today. There’s an operating system that’s free to download and use – Linux – that I’ve espoused repeatedly. However, there’s a version of Linux designed for educational use, including several programs for kindergarten, on up. Edubuntu includes several math applications, drawing applications, games, etc. that look like they’d be great for children. Granted, I’m NOT a child, don’t have any children, and thus have no clue, but to me, this looks like a great system. For teachers, it also includes calendaring and collaberation software, which I think would be useful in a school environment. SO, teachers, check it out and let me know what ya think – is something like this useful?

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Link of the Day Feb 27, 2006

by on Feb.27, 2006, under General

Well, didn’t do my links for the weekend, but had to post this link I pulled of of Robert Scoble’s blog:

This is a parody of what the iPod packaging would be like if done by Microsoft.

To clarify, the post was originally from a forum on a Microsoft developer site. which has some interesting commentary on the video smile

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Links of the Day

by on Feb.24, 2006, under General

Ok, saw this one and HAD to post it:Someone accessed 40 Palm Beach County voting machines Nov 2004. Does it strike anyone else as more than a little alarming that votes could be altered so easily? Particularly in a MAJOR election decision. This is the kinda stuff that scares me about unscrupulous business practices.
Now, with my alarm stated, let me also say I do think electronic voting SHOULD be enabled, but done differently. I think voting needs open standards to work. Here’s how I think it should work. I think the electronic voting machines should issue a “receipt” that generates a “vote” number and the results. I think every single vote number should be allowed to display online, so a person could go and check and make sure their vote WAS counted, and WAS accurate. I also think these summaries should be publicly accessible, upon request. That is, you should be allowed to download a csv file of the results. This allows for various calculations to be done on the results, and open verification. Because you’re doing these results based upon a generic number, not a person, you ensure confidentiality.

OK, with that massive political issue out of the way, figured I’d send a cool link to a scientific discovery of mammals who lived during prehistoric times. Looks like dinosaurs weren’t the only things roaming the earth (I know there were more – but mammals weren’t supposed to be around until much later!).

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LoD (links of the day) – Feb 23, 2006

by on Feb.23, 2006, under General

Here’s a few “fun” links, as well as a “politics” link. This politics link though isn’t about republican/democrats, but more about our rights as consumers. First and foremost, let me start off with a firm delcaration of support for this post – namely the movie companies and recording industry, as well as numerous other companies trying to keep us consumers from using things we buy in a way we wish. I’m not even talking stealing – I’m talking simple uses of a VCR to record a television show. They want this to be illegal. They also think making duplicates of your CD’s is illegal.

This kinda stuff NEEDS TO STOP. Why do people willing lay down and let people tramp all over their rights? Is the citizenry of the United States so apathetic that we don’t care what the government does to us??? WAKE UP AMERICA.

Ok, now for a fun link: Rumors of a new iPod and “picture” which almost looks like a hoax to me smile

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LoD (links of the day) – Feb 22, 2006

by on Feb.22, 2006, under General

  • “National Geographic Photo of the Day” – I can’t explain how much I love seeing some of these photos – it’s a constant reminder of places I want to go and explore and visit someday. There is sooo much beauty in this world, that sometimes it seems unbearable. Look at the picture for today, Feb 22 – the Adirondack’s. Such a place is rare indeed anymore, worth preserving, and worth admiring.
  • “Fit to Command” – an interesting concept in an opinion article from salon.com. I say interesting, in that it’s interesting and something I wish would happen, but wouldn’t ever happen. There are several reasons for this. First, is the “hippy tree hugger” types. I’m an environmentalist to my core, but there are sooo many anti-military people out there, who think guns, defense, the military, etc. is such a bad idea that this would never happen. Personally, I think ANYONE who dismisses the military as a waste is an idiot. I could go into a whole big post on that issue. Anyways, to finish, the article is interesting, because the argument is that a president MUST have military experience to be a president. I’d argue some more – they should have gone from Enlisted to Officer to become president – so they can see what it feels like to be at the lowest level, to work to get to the higher levels based upon merit – not how much money their family has, or how much butt they kiss.
  • I wanted to add another note real quick on this link – this article reminds me VERY much of a Robert Heinlein book – “Starship Troopers” – one of my favorite books of all time. I say now, and will always argue, that some of the concepts in that book are concepts that people really need to apply in every day life, and in society. WITH THAT SAID, there are some definite bad points to Starship Troopers – I just think it needs to be read and considedered. So, here are a few links with regards to Heinlein, his history, and some other general information.
  • Had to update this post with this link a friend posted on her blog. A most impressive detail list of the accomplishments of President Bush!
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Links of the day

by on Feb.21, 2006, under General

  • “U.S. Reclassifies Many Documents in Secret Review” – NYTimes.com As always, I have to post some “political” links and articles on things I find distressing in the government. This specific article is on a topic I’m of two minds about – infomation disclosure. I do agree with the article that documents should be open that have no security basis (and definitely shouldn’t be reclassified). I’m a HUGE fan of information disclosure – I can’t help but think for a democracy, full disclosure of information is the only way we can ever really know and keep a good check on our government. I do think some information should be classified, but right now, the problem is we’re classifying too much.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day – Space Suit goes free – The APOD is a great site for pictures, and this is one I picked out that I really like (Space people, SPACE!). I’d highly recommend going through for some interesting photography pictures, as well as just cool pictures overall.
  • Newegg.com – one of the best sites for purchasing computer/electronic hardware. I’ve bought sooo many items from them, the service has been great, delivery reliable, prices great, etc.

SO, a short list of links for today – but a pretty nice selection. Hopefully more will come tomorrow smile

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Links of the day

by on Feb.20, 2006, under General

I’m tempted to start writing “links of the day” posts – things I see that I think people should look at or check out. Wanted to include a few big ones from today:

As you can tell, several of these are not very supportive of Bush and his administration – but that’s what you get when you start reading real news that’s not coming from “Fox News” or “CNN” :

Of course, some links are just things of interest – for example, the ones on the “great american vowel hunt” – I find it interesting how language changes from one place in the country to another. Anyone who’s heard of the “Jerwsy” accent (I’m purposely misspelling to get the point across) knows what I’m talking about.

With all of that said, hopefully I can do more regular updates of things I see that I find interesting. We’ll see how that goes, however.

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My RSS Feeds

by on Feb.20, 2006, under General

I wanted to upload my OPML file of RSS feeds – essentially a file of all the news sites I check out on a really regular basis, as well as friends blogs and other locations. I’m doing this for a number of reasons, including letting others see what I read, keeping a backup of my news listing, etc.

Feel free to download this file, as well as let me know what you think of it. If you’ve got recommended sites for me to include, leave a comment or email me!

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An entertaining sight :)

by on Feb.17, 2006, under General

Was making some tea this morning to try and wake up. While doing so, I glanced in our training room which is near by. Let’s say I got a few laughs after seeing this:

Can anyone spot the glaring problem here? smile

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Why phone companies are evil

by on Feb.13, 2006, under General

Just saw this article in the New York Times and thought I’d repost it for people to take a look at. I’ve not now, or ever been a big fan of the phone companies. Nor cable companies for that matter. Actually, I’m not generally a big fan of ANY large company (minus maybe Apple or Google). However, sometimes things really just get under my skin, and the way a lot of large companies, particularly cable/telco companies do business bothers me a great deal.

As this article so eloquently states it, “The phone companies made this promise as Congress was getting ready to pass the 1996 Telecommunications Reform Act, he points out. In return, they received benefits including tax breaks and changes in state laws lifting limits on their profits amounting to more than $200 billion, Mr. Kushnick writes. But instead of building the infrastructure, they spent money on more immediately profitable services like plain old copper-wire D.S.L. and hoary long-distance networks, ” (as a note, this is a reference to a book the article references itself).

What happened to keeping commitments? Sometimes I think the goal of profitability is a goal that companies pay too close of attention to, instead of keeping promises to customers, and looking to the future. So many companies seem to pay so much attention to their rankings in the stock market, which seem to be based entirely on a year ahead viewpoints. What happened to long term planning? What happened to helping the customer out, and making a profit through doing good work, not “cut as many corners to make a profit” type attitudes? Sometimes, it seems capitalism doesn’t work, or at least not the way it’s currently setup in this market. *sigh* Someday hopefully things will change…

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