Friday, December 31, 2004

Happy New Year 2005!

I've just come back from scouting what the various Hermosa Beach restaurants and clubs are doing tonight. And the lucky winner we'll grace with our presence tonight is ...

... Cafe Boogaloo from whom I've just secured their last spot for second-seating dinner! We get to keep our table all night if we so choose.

A Big Band has already set-up by the Hermosa Beach Pier. They'll be playing into the New Year! We'll likely check them out before the countdown.

Right now we're headed over to Daryll and Linda's, to wish Linda a Happy Birthday!

Speaking of birthdays, Brandy turned 30 Wednesday, I took her to the Little Door for a succulent dinner. We had a great time!

Are We Stingy? Nope. America Delivers.

It was only a matter of time before pundits would seize yet another juicy opportunity to lash out at the current American administration. Their latest stunt? Calling America stingy, at the very same time our government was opening its wallet for an initial pledge even before the extent of the Tsunami damages was fully understood by the world community.

Faced with the reality of donations pouring into various international aid organizations from American private corporations and citizens, these accusations are now being slightly revised and directed at the American Government being stingy, while it's now being reluctantly admitted that American People are indeed being generous.

The sensationalistic-headline-hungry author of this op'ed New York Times article appears to have completely lost track of the fact that unlike certain countries with a heavy extreme liberal heritage (socialism), our tax system doesn't gouge out its citizens and corporations. Donating to charities and non-profit organizations is an American way of life, especially in the Midwest and the "Bible Belt". Private citizens and corporations can in turn write those donations off on their taxes, which is money that would otherwise go to the Government.

This is where the gloves come off.

Why are pundits suddenly so eager to depend on the government to deal with global disaster relief? If you don't believe the American government is donating enough money, then pull out your own wallet. And get everyone you know to follow suit. It's that fscking simple. What ... is it so hard to remember those tax cuts that may have saved us a few hundred bucks here and there, pull out the ol' credit card, head-over to and make a fscking donation? Or do we need Uncle Sam to be holding our collective hands?

NAH. let's just sit around and moan. Let's blame the government. Let's write stupid editorials that sell page views. Let's milk that political angle for all it's fscking worth.

The cold, hard, undeniable fact is, America is delivering.

When 9/11 had hit, had raised $6.8 Million through roughly 170,000 donations during the entirety of the fund-raising campaign. That was for a scarring event that happened in OUR OWN BACKYARD.

Just days after the Amazon Tsunami Relief campaign started, as of this writing, is about to blow past the $9 Million mark, with no signs of slowing-down. Yesterday morning, around 9am, it was at around $4.5 Million.

Even before the whole Amazon fundraising campaign gathered steam, the American Red Cross had reported it had already received $18 Million from American citizens, just 3 days after the disaster hit.

None of these figures are including corporate donations, which are also eager to hop on the bandwagon. You can hardly beat that kind of PR.

As far as the Red Cross should be concerned, money from the private sector is just as green as money from governments.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Tsunami Videos Torrents

update: (second batch) Austin's Blog has gathered more dramatic videos. Keep visiting his site for potential updates. You can download them all from this convenient torrent, courtesy of prodigem. If you link to the torrent, be sure to credit and link to his blog.

(first batch) Here's the link to the torrent file. (Get BitTorrent here).

I got those videos from Contemporary Unsanity before it got slashdotted (Mirror), so i figured I'd seed them as Torrents. Be sure to visit them, credit them, not me.

Be sure to donate what you can to the Red Cross. Here's a handy page i put-up to place an Amazon Tsunami Relief donation badge on your site, home page, or blog.

Gadgets: Delorme Bluelogger: Bluetooth GPS for $149?

This looks really cool. Any hopes of Mac OS X compatibility?

via Jeremy Zawodny's Linkblog

More Tsunami Relief Resources

Oakley Boren put together relief resources for tsunami victims, with emphasis on Thai resources.

I've added an Amazon plug box at the top right, per Brian Sullivan's suggestion. I've built upon his version a wee bit, feel free to get my version for your own site, here.

I threw-in two fitty. I'm broke now. :P

Geekstuff: Google Autocomplete on CPAN

CPAN got googled.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Sweet Vacation - Light Blogging

I'm taking a cab to the airport in about 5 hours so i figured i'd throw-in a quickie :) I haven't been blogging but I've been regularly uploading pictures.

My vacation has been awesome. Alex and I have been taking turns invading Mamie in the 3 weeks I've been here.

Brandy came for a week and, once again, won-over everybody with her smarts and sweetness. I had an awesome time while she was here.

I've spent time with Mom and Dad teaching them how to do even more stuff on their respective Macs. They'll soon be getting iSights.

Dad showed me the genealogy research he's done on our family with the help of his brother, my Uncle John. Turns out I'm a direct descendant of this guy, through Dad's great-grandfather Leonard Holland ... --> Frank Leonard Holland --> Francis Marion Holland (3rd son) --> Dad --> lil' ol' me.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Off to the Country

we're about to go pick-up Alex at the airport before heading off to the country. I'll be offline until saturday night. *gasp*

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Router Wars

On the heels of Juniper Networks' recent release of its TX Matrix Platform, Om Malik is giving an interesting overview of current and upcoming battles between protagonists of the Route Game, armed with their Terabit toys.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Broadband Bliss?

A very interesting article by Karl Bode over at TheBroadbandDaily.

Google Suggest

update: UberGoogleGeek Kevin Gibbs blogs about it. Aaaah. that precious 20% time. Chris Wetherell also mentions a google thread.

Those google guys. so hot right now.

Google is testing a suggestion interface. It's neat. Apple Safari users, hit command-option-a while interacting with the page :) It looks like it uses various remote scripting tricks.

While a neat feature, i can see it be a nightmare to scale for such a large user base. You're looking at an HTTP request on each keystroke. GAH! On the other hand ... this might be a more realistic feature for someone much smaller to look into.

I've been meaning to add support for remote data sets to this guy. Here's to additional motivation.

iPod Killer, Revisited

Resistance is Futile.

Yes, this is a reworked dupe of this older post. But i figured nobody read that anyway.

Nope, i still don't own any Apple stock.


Man Proposes with iPod

TheAppleBlog is telling the tale of a man who proposed with an iPod.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Let the SIP Revolution Begin

SIP addresses enable Internet users to get in touch with other Internet users in real-time. SIP stands for Session Initiation Protocol and provides a framework for real-time text messaging, voice and video conferencing, even file sharing. SIP addresses are to Internet real-time communications what E-mail addresses are to Internet mail.

While SIP powers many VoIP infrastructures, few companies out there seem to care about surfacing SIP addresses to their end-users. The article i just wrote for "The Broadband Daily" attempts to raise awareness of those important issues.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

it's 8am and i'm eating cheese

can you hear me go "mmmMMm MMMMMMMM YUUUUHUUUMMM"

Bonjour ... from Paris! :)

What's the best thing that can happen to you on an 10-hour flight from LAX to CDG? Scoring the exit row. Something to be said for arriving early at the airport. There are a few practical things to know about an exit row:
  1. Arriving early still does not guarantee you the seat you want as someone may have already snagged it when boarding a remote destination and using your originating airport as a connection.
  2. Even if you ask for it, and the person who assigns the seat to you says they got it for you, you may still find yourself one or two rows behind.
  3. Mentioning a disability, physical condition (I've had knee surgery, I have a bad back), will almost guarantee you will not get the exit row seat, in which case, the person will smile to you, nod, and ... see #2 above. Why? because:
  4. In case of emergency you've got to be physically fit to help the crew throw people off the plane, into a shark-infested ocean.
  5. The plane fare you pay for guarantees you a seat, not the seat you want. If you do happen to score the exit row, be insanely grateful. If you don't, consider being graceful about it, as, rumors claim, complainers are typically the first fed to the poor, starving sharks.
With tears of gratitude streaming down my eyes I gleefully sat down. A few minutes later, 3 Italian men in their 40s arrived and threw a big fuss at the attendant, for they were told they'd gotten exit-row seats. A few minutes later, 2 American women in their mid 50s threw the same fit while repeatedly reminding the attendant they'd told the clerk they both had knee surgery in the past. One of them stormed off the plane saying she was going back to the gate agent to complain to them. I was hoping we'd leave her behind ... but weren't so lucky.

Mom, Dad and Annabel were all there to pick me up at the airport, which was an awesome surprise. Annabel is frickin' tall now. I couldn't believe it. After a delectable dinner at "Le Café Marly", by the Louvre Pyramid, Annabel and I left the parents behind and had a very nice walk along the "Quais de Seine" over to the "Caveau de la Huchette". Lots of swing dancers were there, we had crazy fun to the wild boogie tunes of Jean-Paul Amouroux.

Today I woke-up around ... err ... 2pm ?. Hung out with my grandma for a good chunk of the afternoon. Despite Annabel's incessant begging, I'm staying-in tonight, catching-up on e-mail, blogging ... and a good sleeping schedule.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Exit row baby, hooh hah hah!

Exit row baby, hooh hah hah!

Blogging from LAX

lax_boingo_hotspotLos Angeles Airport offers boingo wireless WiFi service ...

earthlink_dialup... But I don't travel often and don't really need boingo service. I do however have 20 hours of free dial-up per month with the EarthLink DSL account, which I'm putting to good use on the powerbook by dialing-up over bluetooth through the sony ericsson t610 mobile phone.

Drawback? Imagine download speeds circa 1995. Still, it does the trick quite well :)

Seeds of Change: Nicholas Reville on Blog Torrent

On the heels of the recent launch of the preview release of Downhill Battle's Blog Torrent, Nicholas Reville further articulates his vision of a "TiVo for the Internet" in an interview by James Enck for The Broadband Daily. Nicholas touches on the P2P promise, various players, revenue models, and the healthy challenges coming Big Media's way.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Crazy Weekend

Friday evening Brandy and I attended Joe's wedding, it was a lot of fun. The following morning, Saturday, I met Will and Scott at Robert's place in Pasadena at 10am before meeting Scott's brother in Vegas. We all checked-in at 3pm at the Luxor, before engaging the jolly fun, details of which will stay in Vegas. I went back to the room around 2am this Sunday morning so I could get a couple of hours of sleep before dragging my arse outta bed at 7am, getting in my car, driving back to L.A. and beating traffic.

I finalized packing, took an afternoon nap. Brandy and I just came back from seeing Alexander.

I'll be headed to the airport at noon tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Om Malik: Introducing TheBroadbandDaily

Om Malik has charitably invited me to join his team of contributors to his new blog, TheBroadbandDaily. You can subscribe to The Broadband Daily News Feed here.

He's incredibly insightful and contagiously passionate about the industry he covers, and it's an honor for me to be in such great company.

Despite being a fairly early DSL adopter, helping numerous friends setting-up home networks since the first LinkSys broadband gateway came out, running a couple of linux (redhat, then debian) servers in my own home for a while, I'm definitely a Broadband Industry Newbie. Om Malik and his friends' blogs have helped me learn a lot about this industry and shed light on why Mom and Dad, back in France, have broadband connectivity that far surpasses mine for a measly 30-40 euros/month.

I'm hoping to occasionally contribute pieces on various practical aspects of broadband connectivity usage.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Introducing TheAppleBlog

A few friends and I have just started a new blog:

Beyond offering News about Apple, it seeks to adopt a pragmatic approach to informing users from all walks of computing life, by periodically focusing on very specific compelling aspects of  the Mac platform.

My first post on this new blog seeks to draw interest from mobile business users by comparing the state of managing contact and calendaring information across disparate applications, mobile devices and networked systems on both Windows and OS X.

update: as pointed out by many bloggers, TheAppleBlog is in no way affiliated with Apple. Josh Pigford's baby is simply harnessing the energy of a few enthusiasts.

Turkey-Day Round-Up

I had a fantastic time with my Sister visiting us a week before Thanksgiving. She's finally relaxing. Her little project is still looking strong. She's working on formalizing experiments and drafting articles for later publication in Science and/or Nature. I've gotten her excited about starting a blog about alternative energies and various environmental issues. We need to follow-up now. heh. Brandy and I had a most productive Thanksgiving week-end, I bought a vacuum-cleaner. It rocks. And it's caught on tape. More on that later. I'm flying to France next Monday which will kick-off a 3-weeks vacation visiting the Fam' in Paris and enjoying home-cooked food. I'm expecting to resume regular blogging.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Developers: Report Browser Bugs

Peter-Paul Koch has generously set-up a forum to review and report issues various browsers have with their CSS and JavaScript implementations. He's even got a very handy RSS feed. Be sure to subscribe to that.

via JavaScript Weblog [RSS] and CSS Weblog [RSS].

In light of this, I've just set-up my rusty old to 302 redirect to Peter-Paul's site. Be sure to bookmark his URL though.

I'm pretty sure I've got some issues to contribute to this database.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Dave Massy Shares DHTML Resources

Dave Massy, from the Internet Explorer team, shares some of his favourite DHTML resources. Many readers (including this one) have, and continue to chime-in.

A reader has also educated me on the fact that the Gecko browsers also do support client-side XSLT processing. Dave Hyatt had made mention of XSLT in his blog a while ago, and appears to be making good progress. Here's to XSLT in Safari :) He's looking for test cases and it would appear people have hooked-him up quite nicely in comments. Dave, if you're still looking for more test cases, gmail me at frenchy.

Oh the possibilities of cross-platform, cross-browser, rich, accessible, web application development. Can you see me drool? <:D~~~

Banks: Protect Privacy: Disable Autocomplete with Valid HTML

Here's a little tip that might help out banks who wish to disable that pesky privacy-compromising "autocomplete" feature many browsers have on text input boxes, and may reveal people's sensitive informations on publicly used machines.

First-off, i'll point out that a public place should be the last place on earth anybody should ever do their online banking. But apparently, people do.

Kenn Christ rounds-up the controversy around using the autcomplete="off" attribute on <input ... /> elements: this attribute is not part of the HTML specification. Inserting this attribute in your HTML code makes your document an invalid HTML document.

I'm offering a fairly obvious unobtrusive JavaScript way of setting this attribute:
  1. to disable autocomplete on one or several text input boxes add the following CSS class attribute value to each one: class="disableAutoComplete" so such input tag might look like: <input type="text" class="disableAutoComplete" name="mySocialSecurityNumber" value="111-11-1111"/>
  2. add the following script block at the bottom of your document, say, right before the </body> tag, inline, or in a separate .js file:
    <script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript">
    if (document.getElementsByTagName) {
    var inputElements = document.getElementsByTagName("input");
    for (i=0; inputElements[i]; i++) {
    if (inputElements[i].className && (inputElements[i].className.indexOf("disableAutoComplete") != -1)) {
    }//if current input element has the disableAutoComplete class set.
    }//loop thru input elements
    }//basic DOM-happiness-check
  3. ...
  4. let me know if it works ;]
This should ensure your HTML remains valid while still enabling the feature. Now ... if users have JavaScript disabled ... well, they shouldn't be using online banking anyway. Good online banking sites (such as Bank of America's) also use JavaScript to automatically log-out a user after a set period of inactivity on any given page.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Philly Kisses Muni WiFi Goodbye, Subsidizes Telcos

Philly citizens are about to unwittingly foot the bill for higher-priced broadband while jeopardizing their Municipal WiFi project, courtesy of telco-lobby-sponsored Pennsylvania House Bill 30. Om Malik is rounding-up analysis from Esme Vos and Harold Feld.

update: The WSJ also offers a similar perspective.

update update: Slashdot also picked-up this story from Macworld.

Google New Feature: The Froogle Wishlist

Jason Shellen from Google is blogging about Froogle's new feature: The Froogle Wishlist:
We release a lot of stuff here at Google, but this one I'm particularly excited about. Every year near the holidays my Mom starts asking me to tell her what I would like for Christmas. I'm usually bad at getting her a list, and more than once I've received argyle socks, but now I'll be happy to point her to my Froogle Wish List.

EarthLink Members: Updating Outgoing Mail Settings

It would appear EarthLink is instructing us members to update our outgoing mail settings to the more secure and flexible Authenticated Mail Server which uses MD5 Challenge-Response.

This nice feature has actually been around for years and I'm glad to see it advocated: it should ensure you're able to send e-mail regardless of what network you're in, which will come-in especially handy to mobile users.

They have wizards available at the above URL for Windows, Mac OS X and Mac Classic.

Impressive DHTML Text Editor by Frederico Knabben

Frederico Caldeira Knabben, you rock :)

Only just gave him $10 for now. I'll do better after Xmas blows over.

via IEBlog.

Best. T-Shirt. Ever. Xmas Gift for Scoble :)

Kill Bill

(via Jeremy Zawodny's link Blog)

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

My Sister Rocks

Before I get lynched i'll start by proclaiming I have 3 sisters, they all rock. ;]

Alex just called me to share an exciting news. I'm not supposed to get into details right now. Fine. But there's no way in hell i'm just guna shut up.

Starting in her early teenage years, Alex has been a staunch, passionate protector of the environment. Back when we both lived in France, much of her teenage angst was spent with activists protesting the dangerous rise of nuclear waste. I could see her boil with anger and rage at each report of an oil spill disaster off of our Atlantic Coast. She was on a mission.

Upon completing her Bachelor's Degree in Chemical Engineering from Berkeley, she reluctantly turned-down a full scholarship from MIT to accept one from the University of Washington in Seattle: She was looking to work closely with a prominent professor on some bacteria they shared an interested in.

I hear about that damned bacteria every time I see her! It's like a cliff-hanging soap opera. She's been working very hard on her research, stressed-out, painstakingly overcoming roadblocks, obsessing. I almost had to coerce her into flying down to see me this weekend so she could unwind and relax. That's just the way she is.

Tonight, she tells me she feels every choice she's made, her entire existence have been validated.

We'll see how things do pan-out. I'll post updates when she's had a chance to finally sleep over it and things are more certain. Regardless of the outcome, I'm very excited for her, and always will be proud of her.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Firefox Advocator

I've already blogged about this and made feeble attempts at plugging it elsewhere, but over the weekend, I just thought of a cool name for it: behold, the Firefox Advocator. SPREAD THE WORD! If you do use it, let me know at my gmail account, the username is frenchy, I'll try and add your URL to the list of sites that use it!

Censorship by the Tyranny of the Few - by Jeff Jarvis

Jeff Jarvis investigates one of the latest FCC fines:
And on the basis of that, the FCC decided to bring down the heavy hammer of government censorship and fine Fox an incredible $1.2 million for suggesting -- not depicting but merely suggesting -- sex on a show that had already been canceled because the marketplace didn't like it anyway.
I'm sensing a lucrative angle in there ... somewhere ... can't quite pinpoint it yet:
  1. Watch TV
  2. Write Bogus Letters
  3. ...?
  4. Profit!
It'd be nice if certain people spent more time having sex than complain about what little there isn't on TV to the FCC.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

What's a Good PC Laptop?

update 12/16/2007: A few months after this post was originally written, Brandy's parents ended-up getting an iMac at home, and getting her Dad a PowerBook to take on his assignment to Canada.
Brandy and I are trying to help her Dad find a good laptop. His budget is $1500-ish. He'll very likely use the Microsoft Office Suite, especially Excel. There are also good chances he's looking to get into digital photography and digital video, for family stuff. He's also very much a PC guy, and chances are he might require some PC-specific enterprise applications for his work, at some point, but I need to get more details.

We'll be trying to obtain a more refined set of requirements:
- 12" screen / 14" screen ?
- Bluetooth ?
- Microsoft Office ?
- DVD Burning ?

I really could use suggestions/advice on good PC laptops, let's start with two main parameters:

- $1500-ish
- durable

And let's see what features/software/horsepower remain available.

Om Malik had covered one of the Averatec laptops on his blog: The $999 3250.

Virtual Bartender

  • beer
  • lay down
  • jump
  • push-ups
  • dance
  • macarena
  • strip
  • man
  • and more ...

Thursday, November 11, 2004


Thank You.

Best ... Resume ... Evaaahhrh

Alexandre "Al" Guéniot is looking for an internship leading to a full-time position starting in 2005. He just started a blog.

I you drop a quarter, he'll sing you his life :)

He's also made some cool movies and games.

Zyva Alex!

Good Things from Microsoft

With my usual Mac OS X, Firefox advocacy and numerous criticisms of security in Windows (see blog archives), one would think I'd be mostly blind to any Good Microsoft may have brought to this world.

As Robert Scoble is visiting the beleaguered mavericks from the Microsoft Mac Business Unit, I feel compelled to remind myself of the cool stuff Microsoft's produced.

Microsoft Office for Mac OS X made my switch from Windows 2000 to Mac OS X possible in 2001. Entourage remains a very strong mail application. Back on an old 400Mhz Titanium Powerbook, it chugged through gigabytes of e-mail I had imported from various other sources, browsing, viewing, sorting e-mail was, and remains, fast. One of the many things I liked about it was its ability to put "tags" on e-mails. Instead of solely relying on folders to organize mail, I could create "virtual folders" based on search rules and tag combinations. A concept more recently advocated on GMail. But Entourage had that back in 2001. Entourage's speed and responsiveness were, I believe, partly due to its saving everything in one big database stored as a binary file. Regardless of how many mail boxes and accounts you had, it all was stored in this big database. This bit me hard one day after a sector got corrupted on my hard drive, which caused the operating system to delete my Entourage database upon a routine reboot file system health check, following a system upgrade. I had an older back-up but lost months of mail. Nowadays, Panther has a "journaled file system" so these types of corruption should no-longer be occurring and I still highly recommend Entourage to e-mail power users. I have however since then switched to due to its nice integration with iCal, iChat, and Address Book.

As a Reservoir Engineer, my Girlfriend is quite an expert at Excel. She'd work on documents on her work PC during the day, and often spend extra hours tweaking numbers and charts on the iBook back home. While mainly a PC user, she felt right at home in Mac OS X Excel. She recently made a flier in Word on Windows for the office holiday party and wanted to "put it on the web". Since I'm lazy, I had her e-mail me the Word document, which I opened in Word on Mac OS X. I went "File --> Print ... " clicked the "Save as PDF" button ( in OS X, if you can print it, you can PDF it ). The end-result mirrored exactly like what she had on the PC. I uploaded the PDF file to one of her 8 EarthLink web accounts.

Microsoft Office for OS X enables us Mac users to remain productive in a Microsoft-dominated business world.

Internet Explorer has also carried us Mac users for a long time. While some web developers (including this one) at times decry odd compatibility issues on today's more advanced features, it stacked up quite nicely against all other browsers back in 2001, regardless of platform.

Do the MBU guys have blogs?

On the Windows front, I've gotta say Internet Explorer 5.0, released back in 1999, was an amazing web browser. Heck, if you dug deeper into its support for XML, XmlHttpRequest, XSLT, DOM, CSS and JavaScript, you had a fairly comprehensive networked software platform at your fingertips. Since 1999, XSLT, DOM, and CSS have matured as standards that are now supported by most major browser code bases. Actually XSLT is, i believe, still only supported in Windows IE, as far as browsers go. Safari and Mozilla variants, are now all able to request an XML document over HTTP and store it in memory for further processing. A couple of years ago, when the Mozilla dudes were starting to implement this feature, they'd often link directly to documentation on the Microsoft Site. Back at XTech 2000, a conference "about XML", I remember attending an XSLT tutorial session where we all used IE5.0 to test our code. All this still lives in IE 6.0 ... I'm pretty sure. We're now living in pretty exciting times where it's realistic to build fairly advanced cross-platform applications powered by web standards.

Microsoft's got good dudes working for them. Regardless, one day I will get Scoble to switch (back to?) to Mac and blog about it.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Developers: Apple Spotlight In-Depth

As covered (interesting thread) on Slashdot, Apple is strongly encouraging developers to build plug-ins for Spotlight. This great in-depth developer article is yet another nudge.

I still fail to put into words how insanely great this Tiger feature will be, and to some lucky developers, already is. Here's yet another feeble attempt.

Apple's Spotlight technology will revolutionize the way we interact with data on our computers. No-longer will be required to scour our hard drives for some obscure file deeply nested in a clumsy folder hierarchy, or perform lengthy "file search" operations in a brute-force approach. No-longer will be forced to constantly reevaluate our folder hierarchies to "keep things organized" and "easy to find".

Apple will be allowing users to type what they're looking for in a box and watch results appear instantly, at each keystroke. In other words, you are now offered the ability to access information on your computer, based on what little you already know about it:
Search All Your Stuff

Conveniently appearing in Tiger’s menu bar, a powerful new search field called Spotlight gives lightning-fast search results encompassing not only files, folders and documents but also messages in Mail, contacts in Address Book and iCal calendars. It’s as easy as searching for songs in iTunes, but Spotlight searches your entire personal computer
Upon initial installation, Spotlight will index the data on the entire hard drive. Once this initial lengthy process has been performed, any new piece of information that gets subsequently stored on the computer is automatically indexed in real-time, and instantly available via Spotlight. No-longer are we "searching". We're accessing. Right-away.

Apple will be shipping Spotlight with support for many existing file types (bottom of the page). Apple seeded Tiger to developers this summer at WWDC, exhorting them to write their own Spotlight plug-ins for their applications to dramatically improve user experience. By the time Tiger ships to the public in "the first half of 2005", I would expect many application developers to release their own Spotlight plug-ins at roughly the same time.

Does your Application offer a Spotlight plug-in? Rumor has it that Quicksilver, one of a few pioneers in this "instant" access field, will require Tiger in its final version. Tiger and Spotlight should allow these products to no-longer perform their own background indexing and focus on presenting and correlating information in compelling user-interfaces. They're also a boon to those of us who don't yet run Tiger.

While I attended SIGGRAPH, I saw at least one software vendor that offered a similar third-party solution for Windows, it created a custom Windows "drive" with a custom highly-optimized file system where things would get re-indexed in real time upon saving new files. I can't for the life of me remember their name, I need to look back through the fliers I got. Hopefully the Scobleizer, can point me in the right direction. There's There's the Desktop Google Search. While awesome solutions, just like Quicksilver, they still need to somewhat rely on periodic background indexing since they can't yet be integrated with the Windows file system at a low-level. From what little I can tell, results can never be as "fresh" or "instantaneous" as what Spotlight offers through its integration with Apple's file system.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Michael Moore Lost the Election

Jeff Jarvis, who voted for Kerry, believes Moore lost the election.

A couple of days earlier, Brett Rogers, a Republican and Bush voter open to many of the Democratic ideals, made the same point in his blog.

This post was brought to you by Spiderman.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Browser Market Share

A VC's post about Browser Market Share prompted me to take a snapshot of my current browser/operating system statistics from I'm unhappy with their browser breakdown, but, after all, it's free. This should be interpreted as "Internet Explorer" vs "Not Internet Explorer":
Chris Holland - site statistics - operating systems and browsers

Related Blog Posts:

Green Book - Kevin Sites

What's in your Green Book? - RSS.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Dennis Quaid - Good Times in Beverly Hills

Wednesday night, Brandy and I had a succulent dinner at Xian, in Beverly Hills. Very reasonably priced too.

We then headed over to Level One, on wilshire for a private concert from "Dennis Quaid and the Sharks". It was very, very fun. The guy really is a Wild One.

Good Times 8)

Thursday, November 04, 2004


20 Reasons Why ...

Episode 3.


Elections FrogBack

Kerry thanks.

BoingBoing and readers try to cope.

A blog-buddy tries to cope.

Hulk taunts.

CNN oops.

Evil Internets blogs influence stock market.

Jeff Jarvis elevates spirits with an open letter.

Layla Dances.


originally uploaded by chrisholland.
Aggravating Simon soothes me. Yet, believe it or not, he was purring.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Kevin Sites: Things They Carry

Kevin Sites reports from Iraq about the things our Soldiers "Carry for Comfort or Luck in the War Zone?".

NO on Prop 66 - A Perspective

Update: Mike points me to the official analysis (not opinionated) of this proposition.

My Friend Laura is a State Prosecutor and she and her fiancé are offering their perspective on this proposition: They're urging people to vote No on Prop 66:
All right- usually you do not see me sending messages like this, but there is an issue that Laura (being a state prosecutor) and I know a lot about, and have strong feelings for, on the ballot most of you will see Tuesday.  This is an issue that will affect us all here in CA much more than who becomes president.

There is a proposition (66) on the ballot that, if it passes, would effectively repeal California's "Three Strikes" law.  For those of you not familiar with this law, it has been in effect for about ten years and gives prosecutors and judges the discretion to seek extended jail sentences to repeat offenders who are career criminals.  One year after its passage the crime rate in California dropped substantially.  In L.A. we now have the lowest crime rate since the late 1960's.

Prop 66 was created, and funded, by an Orange County millionaire who wants to help his son get out of jail.  Several advertisements for this Proposition have given the public the misleading impression that the Three Strikes law has been responsible for sending a few minor offenders to jail for life.  In addition, proponents make the proposed changes to the law sound fair and harmless, when in reality they are drastic.  Read the document at this link to see what the changes really mean, and see profiles of some of the actual individuals who would be released.

If this Prop passes (as seems likely to happen looking at the current polls) an estimated 26000 repeat offenders will be immediately released from prison, with a much larger number receiving shortened sentences.  We are talking people convicted of crimes such as rape and murder here, not junkies, pizza theives, or shoplifters.  If any of you have doubts about the seriousness of this,  Laura has informed me that her office has already created an emergency group to handle all the cases (likely resulting in releases or reduced sentences) that will immediately arise should Prop 66 pass. 

The Three Strikes law has been very effective, and judges have the discretion to apply it only where it is warranted.  The idea is that it allows the justice system to look at a criminal's past history, not just the current crime, allowing the courts to keep career criminals off the streets rather than letting them cycle in and out of jail while continuing to victimize people.  This is why the current governor, former governors, the LAPD, sherriff's office, attorney general, and district attorney all oppose this Proposition.

Please do not be fooled into gutting this law as it will have a huge effect on crime here in Los Angeles.  Look at the issue carefully before voting on this one.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Leaving Montreal

Maciej Ceglowski is blogging about ending his summer in Montreal. A Hilarious and very informative read :)
I can only imagine the morning routine at Dorval.

- Eh, Giles, ca commence! Y'a des tas de gens!
- Merde! Qu'est-ce qin va faeire?
- Tsi bouing de la faroule, non?
This post goes out to all my french-speaking friends :) REPREHZENT!

Friday, October 29, 2004

bin laden: Further Faltering into Irrelevance

What cause is bin laden defending? That of Muslims? Nope. michael moore, conspiracy pundits, what everybody thinks of Bush and his motivations to go to Iraq are all irrelevant right now. What matters is that if you look at our actions on the ground, right now, our brave men and women are the ones defending Iraqis, fighting bin laden's outsourced lackeys alongside Iraqi Muslims. We're getting killed in combat, alongside Muslims, fighting a common perverted enemy that pretends to be of Muslim Faith, yet feeds on hatred, throwing its last ditch attempts at preserving and fostering this hatred. 170,000 Iraqi Men have enrolled to protect their country, and, despite tragic casualties, keep proudly signing-up at the recruiting offices. This might explain why bin laden isn't exactly dwelling on the casualties his lackeys are inflicting in Iraq ... he'd be drawing attention to the fact that he is, indeed, killing Muslims.

Let that sink-in for a second:

bin laden has even further lowered himself to cold-bloodedly killing Muslims.

His answer? "hey, let me get on TV and taunt Americans". Touché, indeed. He's still alive, prodding our fresh wound with his knife of hatred. ... What's with Sweden?

Yet, as I stare in the face of terror with anger and outrage, I look at an enemy slowly but infallibly approaching the event horizon of its ultimate downward spiral into the singularity of irrelevance.

One day, Afghanistan and Iraq will be proud, autonomous, independent, thriving Arab Muslim societies. They will be strong allies in protecting the Muslim Faith from terrorists.

Terrorism feeds on hatred. This hatred is the root of the terrorist ailment that has grafted itself onto the Muslim Faith. Attacking the root of this ailment, by painstakingly earning back Muslim credibility and building real Muslim alliances upon shared losses and beliefs, is, in my humble opinion, a highly underrated prong to a multi-pronged approach to fighting terrorism.

... One that I'm starting to believe Bush is judiciously pursuing.

Kerry is bringing the war on terror right back down to merely attacking the symptom of our ailment ... "al qaeda bad. al qaeda flew planes into towers. let's kill those terrorists". Should killing bin laden and his lackeys be the sole focus of a sound war on terror? What happens when we do kill those terrorists? What happens when we kill bin laden? What good will come out of granting him martyrdom while Muslim Children are born dead in a starving Iraq under the pressure of 12 years of continued U.N.-imposed economic sanctions? How long before someone else takes bin laden's place? Are we so blinded by our lust for retaliatory blood that we are unable to look ahead at the potential benefits of bringing a measure of peace and stability in the Middle-East to more effectively fight terrorism?

On November 2nd, I'll be questioning Kerry's strategy with my vote. And believe me, I really want to vote for Kerry. But right now, I can't bring myself to.

Bush in 2004I voted for Bush

16 gallon tank

16 gallon tank

Jane Galt: One Voter's Endorsement

Regardless of whom you've decided to vote for, Jane Galt's piece is thoroughly thought out. Probably the most well thought-out and objective piece I've read since Jeff Jarvis.

Jeff Jarvis also has an issues2004 category on his blog.

I share Jane's worries about Kerry's Health Plan. While I desperately want to bask in his delectable utopia, I fail to see how this won't end-up getting subsidized by increased burdens on job-generating businesses. Rolling back tax cuts can only carry you so far. France has an awesome state-sponsored health care. Yet 10% of their eligible citizens don't work. And their definition of "eligible citizens" shrinks every year as their government creates state-funded "school programs" to keep kids in their mid to late 20s who are too lazy to work in overcrowded amphitheaters while they stay away from unemployment statistics ... and live with Mom and Dad.

Boo! From Blogger

Boo! From Blogger
Boo! From Blogger,
originally uploaded by bizstone.
Bizstone sez Boo!

Thursday, October 28, 2004

10 facts about Broadband

not 8. not 9 ... but 10!!!

I have an i-name! do you?

The Social Software Weblog is covering this new thing called i-name.

I'm seeing lots of efforts sprouting up around creating "global something". The VoIP guys are all shooting for global numbers. I argue that numbers suck and we should aim to transition ourselves away from them.

I'm wondering if these guys are planning to hook-up with SIP providers. Could an i-name somehow forward/link to a SIP address?

What's your i-name?

My i-name is: =frenchy

What's your SIP address?

My SIP address is

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Danger, Inc. Antagonizes Mac Users

See coverage about this from: Danger to Mac Users "Eat Sh*t and Die" No Mac Sync for SideKick II

If I read all this correctly, Mac users who buy a SideKick have no way to export their contacts from the SideKick and, even though some enterprising developers did the work for them to make their platform compatible with iSync, they refuse to make the software available to end-users. Yeah, well, I'll stick to my very capable Sony Ericsson t610 for now.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

iPod Photo is out!!!

Listen to music. Look at Pictures. What more is there to life?

iPod Photo.

Mad shouts out to this really cool blogger.

VoIP: Numbers are so 1849

Circling back again to Robert Sanders' take on current VoIP numbering attempts, I'd like to place my Xmas wish into perspective:

It appears to be widely accepted that users of disparate SIP-compatible VoIP providers will always be able to call one-another via complete SIP addresses that follow this format: . When you think about it, this is really frickin' cool. Just like e-mail ... right?

Well, hang on a second, e-mail is done over a computer with a full keyboard, whereas talking to somebody over the Internet should really emulate a phone interface, with numbers and numbers only! Because, after all, that's what people are used to.

When we sign-up with a VoIP provider we typically get a number assigned to us. We right-away confine ourselves to the mindset of using numbers to identify people. Since there is no official globally unique numbering scheme, the number we get allows us to only be able to easily call users who belong to the same provider. Users of other providers can't reach you through that number alone unless the device through which they call you allows them to type your provider's address. In a world where the traditional phone system is clumsily emulated, users need to know a "special code" that "connects" users of provider A with users of provider B. Another code will be put in place to go the other way.

All this clumsiness for the sake of sticking to numbers. Because not only do we want to emulate the traditional phone system in a new lucrative gold rush for globally unique phone numbers, we want to replace it, and we can't seem to make this happen soon enough.

That Xmas wish is the manifestation of a yearning to place a greater onus on smarter, connected devices, with better input mechanisms: keyboard, networking, address book, synchronization, interoperability, and all that jazz. All mobile phones have already been evolving this way: who actually keys-in numbers to call somebody on their mobile phone? Once human interface issues have been addressed, we should never have to limit ourselves to numbers to "call" someone: A full SIP address ought to be a perfectly viable alternative and, in most cases, completely transparent to the user.

1849: "I'll call you". 1965: "i'll e-mail you". 2004: "I'll SIP you".

Monday, October 25, 2004


A physically fit and active gymnast and cheerleader, Brandy grew up in Texas, drinking milk, eating dairy products. She kept-up this fine tradition when she studied in Holland for 2 years. I try hard to call her a midget, but frankly, at 6', I ain't that much taller than she is, yet she weighs about as much as Simon ... Adorable, Frail Thing :)

Moving to a faster pace of life in California, she feels she's lost some of that healthy weight from her College days, which she longs to gain back. That's easy, we just need to get Brandy drinking milk again!

I brought-up the idea of "installing" a couple of cows "downstairs" as a nice coercion ploy. I was about to quickly dismiss the idea when facing the dreadful prospect of waking-up early to milk them, when Brandy pointed out:
<brandy>...No Bebeeh, you don't need to get-up early unless you have an entire farm to milk!
<me> You mean I can just roll out of bed at 10, walk downstairs with a bowl of lucky charms and squeeze a tit?

Saturday, October 23, 2004

My Xmas Wish: Ultimate Handheld Device?

update #2: Check out the Research in Motion BlackBerry 7270. Robert Sanders is getting pretty excited about it: It would support WiFi and VoIP through SIP.

update: on the forums, someone posted this link of full specs for the Treo 650.

eh, i'm in the market for a handheld device that'll have the following features:
  • update: 10/10/2005: MUST allow me to program multiple calling cards, just like the t610 does. This goes with my original requirement of "it must be a good phone". The Treo 650 lacks this feature and it just kills me. Sure most carrier plans include long-distance minutes, but I'm using to call France from the t610.
  • update: 10/10/2005: As a general rule, it should at least have all the features of the t610
  • A good phone
  • Multiband GSM and/or 3G with switchable SIM chip, so i can roam in Europe or use a local provider's SIM chip
  • carried by T-Mobile. T-Mobile rocks my world
  • Supports 802.11x with full IP stack
  • Supports Bluetooth
  • compatible with Apple's iSync: Address Book & Calendar
  • Comes with a configurable SIP client: should have easy pre-sets for popular and nascent SIP providers such as,, and EarthLink
  • update: 10/10/2005: Actually, SIP should be integrated at the core functionality of the phone, and work hand in hand with address book entries: If an address book entry possesses a SIP Address, and if the phone is connected to a WiFi broadband connection, it should attempt to make the call through the cheapest possible route, and possibly allow me to customize those heuristics, in some advanced menu.
  • has a Full keyboard
  • Extra bonus for a configurable jabber client
  • Extra Extra bonus for AIM client
  • Extra Extra Extra bonus for Yahoo IM client
  • Extra Extra Extra Extra bonus for Java J2ME support, some SDK or some way for me to write and install my own applications
I'm already very happy with the Sony Ericsson t610. This Xmas season, I'm after connected mobile nirvana.

I want Apple to add a "SIP address" field to the Mac OS X Address Book. I want everybody I know to get a VoIP SIP account. I want all of them to e-mail me their address. Upon updating my address book, i want all those contacts to be synced to this dream device. When entering a trusted 802.11x network, I want the phone to give me a visual cue of this fact. I want to be able to easily get into "VoIP" mode. In this mode, the address book interface should "surface" contacts for which I do have a SIP address.

I want to be in my home and leverage the 802.11x link to the broadband connection to make VoIP calls from my dream device.

And it's all gotta be insanely sexy.

I can dream, right?

Security Report: Windows vs Linux

The register is running a detailed assessment of vulnerabilities on both the Windows and Linux platforms:
The results were not unexpected. Even by Microsoft's subjective and flawed standards, fully 38% of the most recent patches address flaws that Microsoft ranks as Critical. Only 10% of Red Hat's patches and alerts address flaws of Critical severity. These results are easily demonstrated to be generous to Microsoft and arguably harsh with Red Hat, since the above results are based on Microsoft's ratings rather than our more stringent application of the security metrics. If we were to apply our own metrics, it would increase the number of Critical flaws in Windows Server 2003 to 50%
This reports' scope appears to be server systems, systems that run networked services for the public or within the enterprise.

While it is interesting to analyze design strengths and flaws in server edition of various operating systems, I believe those discussions tend to divert one's attention from what truly matters: a server's security and integrity depends GREATLY on the skill, experience, and diligence of who administers it. Linux/Unix/*BSD systems may have achieved greater, accelerated security-promoting-maturity through transparency, but in the end, it only takes one flaw to compromise a system. No server operating system will ever supplant the constant vigilance of a good systems administrator. Such a system is, by its very essence, constantly listening for incoming connections, ready to be engaged by any machine in the world, to execute a piece of logic triggered by foreign data input. From this process, layers of potential security breach are plentiful. It is not one human operating a single machine. Instead, an infinite amount of foreign systems, which may or may not be operated by humans, are interacting with your machine.

A consumer operating system, on the other hand, should be the exact opposite from a server operating system. Out of the box, upon initial installation, it should not "try" to be a server operating system by enabling ANY network services: consumers do not need to run services on their computers. If a user does, after initial installation, consciously choose to run such services, they should be made aware that they're running a hybrid consumer/server system, with the security implications this entails. Ideally, compromising a consumer operating system should only be the result of a user "doing something wrong" in their every day usage. A good consumer operating system will seek to anticipate such behavior and put safeguards in place. From this scope, a comparison between Mac OS X (consumer, aka "client" edition) and Windows XP would be more relevant.

As far as i'm concerned, the only "rational" reason to use Windows as a consumer operating system or as a server operating system, is to build and run .NET applications. All other reasons have to do with existing inertia, habits, uninformed perceptions, and a $100 to $500 price difference at the cashier, before hidden costs of having to separately purchase anti-virus and firewall software to maintain workability of a networked windows machine, and time lost dealing with viruses and spyware are factored-in.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Pour Ton Retour Final - by EnDlEsSjOe

Halloween is upon us and for you my readers, I have a gift, courtesy of EnDlEsSjOe:

Pour Ton Retour Final

It's very, very dark. I like it a lot, even though I typically am not into this style of music. Not casual listening material. Fits very specific moods. Soul-seeking, deeply tormented vampires, ghosts and un-dead beings now have a soundtrack for their existence.

NFL at EarthLink!

Now we earthlink members don't even have to leave the comfort of our cozy Start Page to get basic NFL News, Scores and Standings.

Brought to you by a cadre of SportsML-wielding geeks who love their own dog food 8)


Thursday, October 21, 2004


Educational Video, thanks Dan.

Disturbing Sims Reality Show.



Bad Pinky

And ... today's favorite:

Tit Girl: Look at the girl right behind the home plate, from the audience, to the left of the batter. Thankfully, I have divine lip-reading powers, and have henceforth transcribed the conversation for you, my readers:
TITGIRL: oh my gosh so like i think i'm on TV right now!

FRIEND: noway???



TITGIRL: whuuh?


TITGIRL: OHMAHGOSH NAWW, hahaah OK let me check if it's there, yeah my tit is there. OHMAHGOSH i can't believe myself ... heeheeee

FRIEND: OK OK wait for the pitch ... NOW!

TITGIRL: wooohoooo *shows tit* OHMAHGOSH I DID IT! I DID IT! OHMAHGOSH. *giggles* *hides*

VoIP Numbering

Robert Sanders is offering a perspective on the current various attempts at numbering in the VoIP field.

In the process of trying to clarify my own confusions about Peerio, I dug a bit further for what they were doing with GNUP:
    Downloadable from , Peerio GNUP™ involves tree easy steps:
  1. It registers user to enlist all VoIP applications existing on the their device
  2. It assigns user with the GNUP™ number.
  3. It identifies other GNUP™ users, creating a presence.
Upon user's authorization, GNUP™ places the user's number at the GNUP™ Yellow Pages section at for public availability.
... So it's looking to me like they're creating some sort of a "meta numbering scheme", that still relies on a central system to manage presence, addresses and name spaces, while creating their own P2P protocol ... that'd also work with SIP ... somehow, and require everybody to use their software or a device that integrates their libraries (for a licensing $$$ fee).

I may very well be totally wrong, but it would appear that Peerio is trying to go for a land-grab at basically being an official unique number registration authority. The same way Network Solutions used to manage Internic ... which is now managed by ICANN.

I also hear they're using a numbering scheme similar to our PSTN numbering scheme. I really hope they'll avoid intersections with PSTN numbers: I don't really want some jackass to register my home PSTN phone number with Peerio just to confuse people.

Again, this is all wild, likely misinformed speculation on my part, hoping someone will dig through this and educate me.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004


It's pouring rain right now. The little concrete "yard", that slants slightly inward toward the bottom unit of my house, is doing its swimming pool thang. Sandbags and bricks are holding fine.

I got the system down 3 years ago when I experienced the first spring rains at the house. A bit freaked out by the water accumulating, I had tried various obnoxious contraptions involving boogie boards and wood panels, in failed attempts at preventing the water from piling-up in the yard and directing it toward the side of the house. The neighbor loved the sight. Not. heh. But it turns out I don't need to do anything fancy. The small wall and sandbags are enough to retain the water which starts overflowing to the side of the house beyond a certain threshold. It all works itself out.

First thing tomorrow morning, I'm'a throw Simon in "the pool" for having been such a bad kitty over the weekend. HAH HAH HAH. not.

Many fellow Southern Californians are funny about overcast weather and rain: they welcome it as an exotic nicety, a welcome change of pace.


RSS Loves Mac OS X

RSS allows web sites to easily syndicate and share content with people and "other systems". Once somebody subscribes to your "RSS Feed" through their "RSS Program", they've got a "live link" to you: As soon as you update your site, they know about it, and can read some or all of what you just wrote. We Mac OS X users are very fortunate to benefit from a rich developer community around RSS.

DrunkenBlog interviewed a few key Mac OS X "RSS Program" developers on the future of their applications.

A key line of questioning revolves around Apple's recent involvement in the field by building RSS-capabilities into the future version of their own web browser, Safari.

Interesting answers.

VoIP: DUNDi, Peerio

DUNDi, covered by the VOIP WebLog:
... simplifies the process of connecting users directly, and is able to completely bypass the PSTN ...
In other developments, Om Malik and a few others are pretty excited about "Peerio". While I got all pumped-up from their enthusiasm, going through the Peerio FAQs, I failed to understand what the excitement was all about. I'm waiting for constructive detailed analysis of this thing to share in the excitement ... Here are a few questions I'm asking:

I thought SIP was all about enabling Peer-to-Peer communications. Peerio is compatible and will interoperate with SIP ... which FWD, SIPPhone and EarthLink offer, so what other magic peer-to-peer mojo are they using for a Peerio user to do a P2P session with another Peerio user? Peerio will offer a PSTN gateway which the pure-play SIP players don't ... okay ... but Skype does ... but Skype isn't SIP or open ... okay.

I think the main thing is that they're building a software platform that developers can reuse to build SIP/VoIP apps, part of that platform is open source, another part of it could be licensed to build their ware into embedded devices, which is pretty cool ... i guess. I guess they're trying to further develop the array of entities that could initiate SIP calls? Instead of having to buy a separate ATA device, or license and use one of many clumsy SoftPhones, you could use their software foundation to build your own SIP client, while extending the potential realms of what type of hardware that client might be? I'm really thinking out loud here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

GeekStuff: PowerPoint Killer: XHTML SlideShow Toolkit

The JavaScript WebLog over at WebLogs, Inc., has a good round-up of the latest release of S5 Slideshow toolkit, by Tantek Celik, Eric Meyer and Co.

I'm obviously kidding ... with the "PowerPoint Killer" thing. It seems these days people are into killing things, so I figured I'd bandwagon along.

Still, I wouldn't underestimate the appeal of a highly portable and accessible presentation, from a single "document". For example, this presentation loads just fine on my T-Mobile / Sony Ericsson T610 GSM/GPRS phone :) Update: it really needs to be WAP for my phone, but all i need to do is use Google as a gateway.

While this format for presentation doesn't readily allow you to create snazzy animations, it's a nonetheless interesting framework that could be further built upon.

If I was a corporation, I'd throw a couple of my geeks at building a cool web-based application living on the intranet, that would enable employees to easily create company-branded presentations, in like, minutes. Whatever gets created would instantly be retrievable over HTTP and presentable over projectors, to web surfers, and mobile device users. A laptop user would only need to access the presentation over HTTP *once*, prior to bringing the laptop over to the projector. The file being valid XHTML, a public presentation is nicely indexed by all search engines, and easily accessed by all web surfers. Same goes for mobile users.

Not to mention that it would likely be a fairly trivial task to package their framework into a standalone Mozilla XUL App. While the browser in itself already is quite sufficient, a XUL-based "Presentation Viewer" could further polish things quite nicely with standalone sweetness.

To Recap:
  1. Web-Based Presentation Builder automatically publishes "presentation files" onto a ...
  2. Web-Based Directory accessed by ...
  3. ... just about anything that speaks HTTP, including web browsers, mobile devices, custom XUL apps
  4. ...
  5. Profit?

Good stuff 8).

California Reports Massive Data Breach

Read the article at SecurityFocus:
The intrusion appears the be the largest public disclosure so far under California's anti-identity theft law "SB1386," which requires companies and state agencies to inform Californians of any security breach in which such personal information is "reasonably believed to have been" compromised. In cases involving over 500,000 people, the organization can warn the potential victims en masse through a website posting and by alerting the media. "That's why we're asking folks for help," says Ramos.

Monday, October 18, 2004

EarthLink Protection PackPLUS Launches

On the heels of its nascent VoIP offerings, EarthLink this morning launched its "Protection PackPLUS" for $9.95/Month.

This allows people with their own internet connectivity to benefit from all the products and services EarthLink has to offer, with, on top of it, two Norton Products that are otherwise available for an extra $5.95/Month to existing customers: Norton AntiVirus/Personal Firewall Suite.

These future customers should also be eligible to toy around with EarthLink Free Online Calling.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

EarthLink Debuts Broadband over Power Line (BPL)

Om Malik is rounding-up a good coverage of EarthLink's foray into Broadband over Power Line, following the green light from the FCC.

Here's to hopes of larger bandwidth at lower costs.

Ars Technica also covers related FCC Rulings over BPL and Fiber To The Premises (FTTP)

Related Blog Posts:

iPod Killer? hah-hah

Christmas season is upon us and online mags are already musing, *AGAIN*, about an "iPod Killer".

Here's why I believe these "other guys" are looking at a sizable challenge:

iPod has struck the ultimate balance of features, portability and usability. The "other guys" are trying hard to match this balance, but they inevitably run into the next problem:

Brand. Apple was first to market with the best player, worked very hard on developing a killer brand. This brand nearly touts the iPod as fashion statement, for cool, hip people. All the kids want it:

Friday night my Girlfriend and I were eating at Taiko, a Japanese restaurant right by our favorite cineplex. A lady and her daughter sat by us. At some point in their conversation, the mom asked the daughter what she wanted for christmas. She almost right-away blurted "an iPod!". The ensuing dialog had quotes such as "all the other kids have it or want one".

The other interesting thing is that on one hand you have the iPod, and on the other hand you have "everything else that's trying to beat it". That pretty-much gives everything else an aura of "second-rate items". Kids know this. I don't see parents likely to risk going for "second-rate" on their one yearly attempt at spoiling their little brats rotten, just to save a measly buck on similarly spec'ed devices: "thanks for the BrickBox, Mommy".

Disclaimer: I don't own any Apple stock. I really should get with the program though.

Saturday, October 16, 2004


I guess Christmas came a bit early for me this year, thanks to Ernest. Always eager to make the Internet a better place with his mad CSS chops, he surprised me tonight with a proof of concept for a redesign of this blog. I immediately integrated it.

Ernest is my Hero.

Issues2004: Opacity

Somewhere between 2 and 12 years of economic sanctions, it would have been "useful" for U.N. Nations to get together, cut the bull crap and acknowledge why those sanctions were in place: nobody could trust saddam hussein in unchecked power of a country with such large amounts of money-yielding natural resources, which they knew would keep feeding his military machine. Weapons of Mass Destruction were a concept simple enough U.N. nations could rally around as a legitimate front to the slightly touchier root cause of the problem: hussein had the proven power to singlehandedly disrupt the last bastions of stability in the middle east. Clinton himself denounced hussein as a dangerous mounting threat.

It is truly unfortunate that our administration had to justify a military intervention in Iraq within the context of an immediate threat following 9/11, and WMDs. Had world leaders done their job a decade ago, we wouldn't have had to rely on a shallow case for war before digging him out of a stupid hole.

While our credibility as a country has been shattered to bits through failed diplomacy, I do still think Iraq was a strategic point of the war on terror. The legitimacy for military intervention has stood for a decade, for reasons others than what this administration invoked, and failed to rally the big wigs around:

In spite of U.N. exhortations, resolutions and sanctions, hussein has spent the better part of a decade leading an opaque regime. If we were ever going to be serious about hunting-down al qaeda, we had to be taking a good look at what fuels this terrorist hate machine that perversely hides behind the Muslim Faith. 12 years of starving Muslim Children as a result of failing to enforce a continuous stream of resolutions, hasn't exactly enhanced the credibility of the United Nations in the eyes of an average Muslim ... Each year we've allowed saddam to remain in power has further fostered Muslim hatred against "The West". This very hatred has done nothing but serve al qaeda's agenda. The only viable avenue to effectively and permanently end economic sanctions against Iraq, was to put an end to saddam's regime, and with it, another piece of the hatred pie.

Of all the misleading crap that has come down from this administration, I do believe one school of thought to hold true: "A free, democratic Iraq and Afghanistan will be powerful allies in the war against terror".

I've supported Kerry's campaign since day 1 against all other democratic candidates, especially Dean, precisely because I believed at the time he shared the crux of those views. I was hoping his campaign would point out and dwell on the Bush diplomatic failures, while still acknowledging the strategic importance of a free Iraq for fighting terror, which, in my mind, was consistent with his vote.

But Kerry started seriously worrying me with statements such as "saddam hussein didn't attack us", and repeated uses of "colossal error of judgment", and the oh-so-famous "wrong war, wrong place, wrong time". Which all really smacks of the short-sighted Howard Dean rhetoric. Kerry did repeatedly ferociously clamor that he will "hunt down and kill those terrorists", that he will not give veto power to other countries over our own security, that he will make us safer. I believe that he means well, and I truly want to believe that he will succeed. But I'm seriously worried about how he will execute on his strategy.

Terrorists are never going to form their own little geographically localized country from which they'll be firing off WMDs, so we can easily justify bombing them in order to permanently obliterate them. They will infiltrate many countries in the world, they will favor friendly opaque regimes, preferably of predominantly Muslim Faith, that either don't have the ability to, or flat out will refuse to hunt down terrorists. Tough calls might have to be made to hold specific Muslim world leaders to their commitment to fighting terror. Such tough calls might, again, prove to be unpopular.

By running his campaign on quotes such as "saddam hussein didn't attack us", I believe Kerry is painting himself into a very dangerous strategic corner.

Also see Jeff Jarvis' blog on issues2004. I truly share his views on Iraq and he's got a thought-provoking wish list regarding the candidates:
And so I want to see a candidate give me a strong and clear plan for bringing security to Iraq and for supporting open and peaceful elections. Then I want to see a plan for ongoing security. And then I want to see a plan for other American relationships with Iraq that will build a stronger connection, especially business connections to create jobs and prosperity. That will defeat Islamic extremism better than anything.
(Emphasis, mine).

Thursday, October 14, 2004

GeekStuff: CSS, Pushing the Limits

Yet another fine presentation by Douglas Bowman. You'll notice a lot of stuff from one of his other presentations.

Windows Users Rejoice: Desktop Google Search

Google has finally released its much anticipated desktop search application for Windows. We mac users have had utilities such as Quicksilver for quite some time now. But the kicker will be Apple's Spotlight feature in OS X Tiger coming out in "the first half of 2005".

Update: Check out their screenshots. Look at the last one. It's frickin' brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Fun: Shadow-Hunting

I had to look really close to see something that vaguely resembled a human shadow, but I think the author of that page is mostly imagining things. In any case, see for yourself. *shrug*. I did find the faint sound of chirping birds a very nice touch.

Monday, October 11, 2004

EarthLink: VoIP with other providers

EarthLink UberGeek Robert Sanders has just set-up a blog dedicated to VoIP. His first post outlines instructions for EarthLink Members to call other VoIP providers such as Free World Dialup and, and for members of those systems to call EarthLink members. This process is also known as "peering".

I've called an FWD-using friend through EarthLink's software, it works peachy.

I've also set-up a Washington phone number to point to my EarthLink SIP hone number, via It's free. It's really cool, I called the number from the cell phone, since I wasn't online at the time, the EarthLink system took me to my voicemail. I left a message, which showed-up seconds later inside my EarthLink e-mail, as a WAV audio attachment. Mac OS X's plays audio attachments inside the e-mail. So I could just click "play".

When setting-up your ipkall account, in the field that asks for a proxy, use You might need to wait a few hours before your washington phone number starts sending calls to your SIP phone number.

Reminder: As EarthLink members, we get 8 online accounts, each of which has its own e-mail address, and should now be able to get its own SIP phone number. I'm starting to spread the love:
  1. Create New Account(s)
  2. Register it/them

Sunday, October 10, 2004

GeekStuff: Mozilla nsiAutoCompletePopup Error - workaround

After googling around for some weird error I was seeing in my FireFox console triggered by a script I've been working on, I finally stumbled upon the root of the issue in Bugzilla, in the form of Bug # 236791.

As of this writing, this bug only has 9 votes. It is caused by altering via scripting the focus() of a text input box. Someone pointed out that adding autocomplete="OFF" as an attribute of an <input ... /> element makes the error go away, which I've verified.

If you're a developer and care to make this bug go away in a near future, please vote for bug # 236791 in the Bugzilla system.

Thanks :)

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Fun! Ode to eBay

This is good stuff, and this post goes out to Lindy-Pie, a very resourceful eBay entrepreneur :)

Speaking of eBay, there's a cool tool we EarthLink members can use on our start page: "My eBay". I've had an eBay account since 1999, but had never used it until EarthLink's interface to it went live.

Plus i hear the guys who worked on it are incredibly good-looking and real geniuses. (^_^)