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. (^_^)

Friday, October 08, 2004

GeekStuff: Cool Amazon XUL Appp

While this appears to mainly be a proof of concept, and bit rough around the edges, I still think it's insanely cool. You can open it in FireFox or any of the Mozilla browsers. In Mac OS X it looks and feels like an OS X App: all the controls and UI elements are native to the OS. Here's a screenshot.

This application appears to leverage the Amazon Service API.

XUL Apps can be loaded over HTTP/The Web, or opened locally from a user's desktop. In each case, the application looks, feels, is responsive and behaves just like any other regular desktop application.

XUL is an open, community-driven standard and framework, that builds upon mature Web Standards.

XUL Applications will run in any Mozilla browser.

All Mozilla browsers, including FireFox, run on all computers, all platforms.

Yet another compelling reason to give FireFox a try :)

Thursday, October 07, 2004

GeekStuff: 37Signals: Web Design Patterns

Great stuff about designing a site around the information it tries to convey.

Be Your Own Telco and Media Mogul

Easy. Quoth the article:
With the exception of local channels, which come from an antenna, all of Andrew's video content comes from a C-band (big dish) satellite receiver (receivers, actually), and is fully paid for. "I buy the channels just like a cable system does or a motel that wants to offer HBO, from the National Programming Service," says Andrew. "And as a result I pay wholesale prices. People don't realize how much of a markup there in is the cable business. The Discovery Networks, for example, cost me $0.26 per customer per month. The IP laws in both the U.S. and Canada say that if I have legal access to this content I can store and use it. And the over-the-air channels, of course, are free."

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

GeekStuff: FireFox Users: Customize GMail!

For those of you who have made the switch to FireFox, has developed a cool custom stylesheet you can install in FireFox to view GMail in a whole new light.

Would this have been possible if GMail had been built as a Flash application? Nope.

Here's to Web Standards: XHTML and CSS.

GeekStuff: XULMaker - GUI for building GUIs!

I'll be keeping my eyes on these guys.

XUL needs more momentum.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Scobleizer: Great Roundup of Ballmer/iPod Reactions

In his usual candid fashion, Robert Scoble is offering a nice roundup of reactions from the blogosphere, on Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer pretty-much calling iPod users music thieves.

Here's my $0.02: I really am a small-time iTunes Music Store patron. Yet in less than a year, my "Purchased Music" collection shows 115 songs. That's $115. Prior to purchasing music online, in the past 10 years, I might have bought at most an average of 2 CDs a year, which I've ripped and make-up the rest of my MP3 collection.

The RIAA is a Big Girl, she'll do fine without Ballmer's "help".

EarthLink Free Calling + Goodies

EarthLink just released their free online calling for members. What I like is that I can get voicemail sent to my earthlink e-mail address. That's really cool and something Skype isn't in the business of doing. And I'd venture to guess that as time goes by, we should see more convenient integration between voice calling and other earthlink services. This is really cool.

Like any other EarthLink member, I've got 8 online accounts, out of which I haven't been making any good use, but I'm thinking of handing out a couple of accounts to Mom, Dad, and Little Sis back in France, so they can more easily call me from their computers. WAY COOL.

In other news, I've been meaning to try out the new Total Access for Mac that was just released a couple of weeks ago. I've been told there's a nifty RSS News Reader bundled with it?

Tentative Slashdot Submission:
EarthLink today just launched their free SIP-based phone service. While PC to PC voice calling hardly is a novelty, their press release also mentions their service will interoperate with other major SIP phone providers, such as "Free World Dialup" and "SIP Phone". More significantly, EarthLink is making it easy for 5 million users to experience one of many cheap/free alternatives for Voice communications, thereby dramatically increasing consumer awareness of VoIP, without subjecting them to creating and remembering yet another online account username and password.