Home / 2001 History
January 1, 2001
Did you know that 61 minutes and one second after midnight it was exactly 01.01.01 01:01:01? (that's so cool.)
January 3, 2001
Anime Web Turnpike
Yay!! The Anipike has updated its link. It took a while though, I suspect they have been really, really, busy.
February 16, 2001
Sorry about the recent blackout, but the good news is that my time is going back into "Yellow" So expect a new chapter in the next week or two.
It's been a busy time, both at work and at home. Due to the "Energy Crisis" I've elected to put my money in the pockets of Lights of America instaid of the out-of-state owners of the power plants. Every commonly used lamp in our house is now the Compact Fluorescent type.
I'm pretty cross about this 'crisis' since it's only partly real, (Yes, California does need to build more power plants) and partly due to a stunningly stupid law passed a while back which says that 'everyone gets paid she same as the supplier with the highest accepted bid'. Now let me get this straight -- If you happened to own enough of the power plants in California, you could shut some of them down in order to place the state into the position of having to pay huge premiums (Like 10 times the going rate) for your power. Literally, you could generate higher profits by producing less power. I'm hard pressed to understand where the incentive is to build more power plants when there is more profit in keeping the state in 'crisis' mode.
I wonder what Ayn Rand would make of this mess. I just recently read "Atlas Shrugged" for the first time, and found it both compelling, and shallow. I suppose things looked different in 1957, but very little comment was made about the inevitable pollution that steel mills (Even Reardon Steel Mills) produce. There was one scene that took place on a slag heap, but our hero didn't have an opportunity to notice his surroundings.
I also really really wonder what she would make of Microsoft.
I also wonder if John Ashcroft has bothered to read the findings of FACT. It's just an observation, but having read those findings, all I can truly say that Judge Jackson was "Clueful". Unlike the pabulum that passes for news coverage, I could not identify any factual errors anywhere in the document.
On another note, I've cancelled my cable and switched to DirecTV and Broadcast Digital TV. Broadcast DTV is the best-kept secret today. The picture is great (not perfect) but for my viewing I'll trade the occasional compression artifact against the crumby analog signal that AT&T was delivering, and it's "Free" for the taking. Now that the FCC has finally decided on a modulation scheme, it's safe to go out and buy a DTV receiver. The scheme they chose was not as robust as the other option, but with it a compressed HDTV signal fit comfortably into one of the 6 MHz channels that has been used for over half a century. The alternative would have fit three channels into the space now allocated for four. I don't think that the analog stations would have been happy about changing their channel numbers to make room...
February 28, 2001
I've been using Mozilla 0.7 for a few weeks now, and have just discovered an interesting behavior.
My prose style sheets specify the column width by using the width attribute of the <div> tag. Seamonkey (Mozilla 0.7) sets the width of the <div> based on the font size selected by the user in the preferences panel, but unlike IE and older versions of Navigator, it does not change the <div> width if the user then selects a larger or smaller font from the view menu.
I don't know if this is a bug, but it did throw me for a loop last night. I suppose it hasn't blown my format though, since the prose is still formatted to the user's font and font size preferences, even if it may look odd if they then magnify or shrink the text thereafter. Oh well.
February 25, 2001
March 11, 2001
The Butterfly President
The Palm Beach post has an extensive article on the goings on of the Florida election. Read it quick, this paper seems to use a URL structure that will cause the article to evaporate by next Saturday
The evidence is growing that the wrong person (and party) is in the Whitehouse. Don't get me wrong, W is the President of the United States, but the news out of Florida, along with the 500,000 more votes that Gore got nationwide should offer some guidance as to what policies the Whitehouse should support.
There's lies, damn lies, statistics, and tax plans. This week the GOP leadership crammed a tax cut through the house with less debate than is usually reserved for deciding say, the national tuber. The media is doing about a c+ job of covering this story, I mean there are just so many stories that are more important than a budget that is sure to plunge this country deeper into debt.
The case for paying off the debt.
Go ahead, take a look that the US Treasury Public Debt website.
As of Feb 28, 2001, the National debt held by the public is $3,402,738,000,000. That debt is in the form of bills, notes, and bonds. Now, here's the rub. That 3.4 trillion dollars is not being invested in private industry. Were the national debt paid, we would both save hundreds of billions ($361,997,734,302.36 in 2000, to the penny) on interest service on the debt, and that roughly 3.4 trillion in principal? Well it's not going to go into mattresses, or into tin cans buried in the back yard. That money would be invested in the private sector. That would lead to greater productivity, even lower unemployment, and gasp even higher budget surpluses.
I'm just a simple country engineer, but it just makes plain sense to pay down the debt while we can. We can't predict the economy (or anything else) 10 years* into the future, and we shouldn't commit to a long term economic plan based on crystal ball projections.
*Not quite true. We do know that George W. Bush will be out of office in ten years.
March 15, 2001
BeBox mention in THE REGISTER
$3000 on Ebay? Woah.
March 12, 2001
Sony has a beautiful new laptop. I wonder when we'll see these here....
March 16, 2001
The Ranma Fanfic Awards
I received an email this morning from The Ranma Fanfic Awards It looks like a form letter, so I hope they won't mind if I quote it:
Your story has been voted into the top stories for the month of February 2001! This is a great acheivement, since many stories are written throughout the course of the year, but very few have the distinguished honor of being remembered for more than just a couple of weeks.
Your story was eligible in the category MINISERIES.
Thanks everyone! (Okay, Okay, I'll get working on part 9.)
April 2, 2001
By the way, here's the graphic for the buttons I gave out at the fanfic Panel.
I probably made an ass of myself up there*, but I did have a really good time, and for my tastes, 60 minutes were simply not enough. I did try to not talk a lot about my own stories, (Two reasons, I'm actually pretty shy, and I'd rather they speak for themselves)
There were some really great questions, and even better answers from the audience. I hope that more time next year would would allow for more of that
*I pretty much bashed the entire [DARK] genre, and it would have been better to have someone on the other side of that issue to balance my position. (Even if I am right! ^_^)
April 11, 2001
I've found a hit in my logs from Cuba! -- Welcome! Maybe it won't be too long until we start to see hits from North Korea...
BTW, I'm still waiting for Greenland and Antarctica.
April 4, 2001
May 2, 2001
In a bit of a blast from the past, some of the BeatCraft team came by the office this week.
May 10, 2001
It merely demonstrated that Bush's tax cut is not that heavily tilted to the wealthy if you ignore the portions of it that are most heavily tilted toward the wealthy.
--Jonathan Chait on the Congressional Joint Tax Committee's report on the Bush tax cut.
May 14, 2001
Again, no comment.
May 13, 2001
May 15, 2001
Got a problem? Solve it with a tax cut.
Talk about an interesting approach to income redistribution: The government gives people back some money so they can pass it on to Exxon or Shell.
--E.J. Dionne Jr. in a Washington Post article
May 14, 2001
My lips are sealed.
May 18, 2001
A Perfect Storm?
Personally, if I have to choose, I prefer people who cheat on their wives to people who cheat on our kids.
-- THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN comparing Clinton and Bush in a New York Times article
The New York Times requires you to register to read their stories online. It's free, and it's well worth the time to register.
May 18, 2001
State investigators have uncovered evidence that a "cartel" of power companies shut down plants for unnecessary maintenance to ratchet up prices....
Read more in the LA Times
There's a lot of shoes left to drop. The next really big one will be the pipline companies that have manipulated the price of natural gas.
May 20, 2001
Lies, Damn lies, and Tax plans.
The tax cut's $1.35 trillion price tag is a deception. The figure was calculated with an array of artificial devices that disguise the true cost.
New York Times, May 20, 2000.
Okay, what's the big hurry? Why is there such a big rush to pass a ten year(!) tax cut in record time? After all, the bulk of the proposed cuts don't kick in for years.
The "S" word.
Have you noticed something in the papers? Or, more to the point, something missing in the papers? Have you noticed that the top topic last year - "S", has seen scant coverage this year?
Well, it's time to bring "S" back into the discussion. Soft landing There. I've said it. I'm sorry, but it needed to be said. In case you haven't read it in the papers, we're not in a recession. Economic growth has slowed, but it has not met the definition of recession.
Don't you suppose this is what a soft landing looks like?
May 29, 2001
Supplies of fuel in California are so high that refiners could run out of room to store gasoline in 10 days to two weeks,
-- Will Woods, executive director of the Automotive Trade Association of California.
Check it out, even the conservative Orange County Register can't ignore it when markets are being manipulated. Oh my.
May 30, 2001
Five years ago California was promised cheap, abundant electricity, if only we would deregulate.
This year, the White House is promising a growing, vibrant economy if only we would cut taxes for the top one percent.
May 30, 2001
But suppose that Lott is right and Senate elections are referendums on which party should control the Senate. In that case "the moral authority of a mandate from the voters" belongs to the Democrats, who got 38.38 million votes for senator last November, compared with 37.83 million for the Republicans.
-- Michael Kinsley, in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune
So, Trent... That's 550,000 more for the Democrats in the Senate. Get over it.
June 19, 2001
Russian Light Bulb Joke
Q: How many Russian Cosmonauts does it take to change a light bulb?
(Please to be reading answer in fake Russian accent!)
A: Just one, but why change? Is not broke bad...can fix!
June 20, 2001
Smart Tags? Just say .Nyet
I've been following with some interest the reporting on Microsofts' "Smart Tag" technology.
Sorry Bill, but I didn't spend all my time to come up with a Prose Stylesheet Format so that you could come along and place squiggly links totaly unrelated to my work into my web pages.
No, it's not okay to require me to place meta-tags into my HTML to prevent your linking graffiti. My pages are NON-COMMERCIAL, and that means YOU TOO BILL. What's next? automatic Microsoft banner add added to each page? I have an idea, how about "Smart Copyright Claims" which add a Microsoft copyright notice to every page viewed?
Bill, get it together, or I may feel compelled to place my works under scripts that will prevent them from being accesed by Internet Explorer.
June 21, 2001
More and more on Smart Tags
In effect, Microsoft will be able, through the browser, to re-edit anybody's site, without the owner's knowledge or permission, in a way that tempts users to leave and go to a Microsoft-chosen site -- whether or not that site offers better information.
--Walter S. Mossberg in the Wall Street Journal
Here's my problem. www.josephpalmer.com is a 'leaf' site. Most visitors come here to learn how to make paper airplanes, or to read romatic fanfiction. Most of the visitors to my paper airplanes pages are kids, and those pages are writen to be specifically "kid-safe". I specifically do not have advertising. (And I pay for this site out of my own pocket.) The trouble with these so called "Smart Links" is that since they link to commercial web properties-- they become 'Advertizing links'.
ONE MICROSOFT OFFICIAL says the feature will spare users from "under-linked" sites.
As for the stories, I choose my words carefully, and I pace my scenes with great care, and I even format the stories to provide the most transparent book-like appearence. It's not up to Microsoft to decide if my prose is "underlinked", and fix it with links to Microsoft commercial properties. Those stories are meant to be read as linear narrative, without detours into commercial space.
Mark Hurst has said it far better than I could.
The more I think about this the angrier I get.
June 22, 2001
Much Ado About Smart Tags
With smart tags, Microsoft is able to insert their ads right into competitors' sites.
Chris Kaminski -- A list Apart
Okay, Okay, Microsoft, You win. I hereby grant you the right to insert ads into my website under the following terms and conditions:
Check out the article on Smart Tags at A List Apart
You need to come out in the real world and see what the other end of the Microsoft gun looks like.
June 25, 2001
Now, where do I send the bill, Bill?
After adding this tag, any Smart Tags that the author has added to the page will continue to work, but Internet Explorer will not dynamically add new tags when users view the page.
The tag is:
<meta name="MSSmartTagsPreventParsing" content="TRUE">
Thanks, Bill. I estimate it will take me just over an hour to edit and test my web pages to keep you from inserting advertizing into them. Where do I send the bill?
One more thing: MSSmartTagsPreventParsing is a bit spooky. Does this mean that I have to have a seperate meta tag to disable other smart tags? Like:
<meta name="VirusLinksSmartTagsPreventParsing" content="TRUE">
<meta name="HateSpeechSmartTagsPreventParsing" content="TRUE">
June 28, 2001
The US court of appeals has issued their findings in the case of US vs Microsoft. The short of it is that the breakup order (Which was not Judge Jackson's Idea, it came from the states) has been vacated, BUT the entire findings of fact have been upheld.
The entire ruling can be found on the CNN website. Forget the press accounts for a day or two, it's take that long to really get through the whole ruling.
BTW,a most telling entry about Judge Jackson is on page 124:
Thus, although Microsoft alleged only appearance of bias, not actual bias, we have reviewed the record with painstaking care and have discerned no evidence of actual bias.
I've read Judge Jackson's findings, and I have one word for the man: cluefull.
Put down the Smart Tag, and back away from the hole.
Microsoft has decided to drop Smart Tags, at least for now.
I installed the newest Explorer, with smart tags, and did some testing. The first thing I noticed is that very few words were tagged in my own website--just a reference to "Radio Shack" in the Theremin pages, and, of course every mention of Microsoft on my home page.
That's right. Every dagnabitdagburn instance of "Microsoft" was tagged. Not just the first, not just the last, but every stanfifflin' instance on the page. And that's just one of the fatal flaws of "Smart" tags. As an author/publisher, I would probably choosen to have only the first, or only the last reference tagged, (Or, with a nod to Hypercard, I'd have even prefered that all tags remain hidden untill an option key was pressed.)
The set of Smart tags that I downloaded was, well... anemic. I went to the CNN site and prowled around a bit. In one artical on an impending strike at "American Airlines", that term was left untagged, but a mention of "Northwest Airlines" was tagged. Looking to other pages, I did find "AMR" (the parent company of American Airlines) tagged. That's another fatal flaw. Certain words like Sony, 3Com or Xerox (Or Microsoft) are company names, and company names only. Beyond those lucky few are names that alias to all sorts of things. But even then, will every artical about the '49's playing at 3Com (AKA Candlestick) tag to 3Com Corp? (Well, maybe that's why 3Com blew the bucks on renaming.
In the end, Smart Tags are like "Smart Poetry", technically possible, but lacking the essential context that makes it valuable. Simple term match code could never be as good as a human author at deciding what words should be tagged to where, and how often.
On the other hand, if Smart Tags became part of the writing tool, then I think you might have something. If I were writing about Sharks, I could guide the tool to imbed the correct tags (make mine mako, not hockey,or tacos, please) I could select which instance was tagged, and I could select which tags make sense to include. (Neither Mako nor the San Jose Sharks are lised on NASDQ)
And... If I chose, I could even have no Smart Tags.
June 25, 2001
The Russians are coming!
June 29, 2001
The bottom line as regards the law is that Microsoft is still guilty of antitrust violations, and that these will require remedies. These will however be considered by the district court and a new judge; they might be as draconian as Jackson's remedies (perhaps more so, if a simple split in two can't be demonstrated as an adequate measure to restore OS competition), but don't count on it.
June 29, 2001
Is Windows XP the Hacker's deam come true?
Steve Gibson has been looking into the nitty gritty details of XP, and has come to the startling conclusion that the design of the network stack in Windows XP will allow hackers to mount sophisticated denial of service attacks from what is destined to be Microsoft's consumer OS, installed on tens of millions of machines.
And you thought California was having power problems. Just you wait...
July 6, 2001
Court Ruling Was No Victory For Microsoft
For no discernible reason, much of the press has unquestioningly accepted Microsoft's jubilation that the Court of Appeals vacated the trial court's order that Microsoft be broken into two independent companies. Nobody, including the government's lawyers, expected that order to stand up. Microsoft was denied even the most rudimentary hearing on the appropriate remedy. Now there is to be a hearing, and there are compelling reasons to take divestiture seriously.
ROBERT H. BORK AND KENNETH W. STARR --
This is a tough one folks, see, it's "News" when Gates proclaims victory, and that the case was about the "Freedom to innovate", but having read the findings of fact, the findings of law, and the ruling of the appeals court, I (And in the opinion of couple of folks here who I will probably never be invited to lunch with) agree that it was about something else altogether.
That said, I'm not so sure that splitting up Microsoft is the right remedy. The facts are that the most of the illegal behavior has a nexis in the 'secret' contracts that Microsoft makes. Not that we don't know that these contracts exist, it's the terms that are secret. Perhaps piercing that secrecy is the correct way to go.
I guess I was right, It was a slow news week, what with no Cuban boys to getting 24-7 coverage. (I remember seeing one particularly poignient film clip of Elian throwing a paper airplane, which promptly nosed into the ground. My first thoughts were "Dear God! Will no one show him how to make a proper paper airplane?)
Anyway I suppose the summer lull in the news has caused the editors to fret a bit about all that blank paper. I can see them now, sitting around thier offices:
"What do you think? Would the pillage of the US treasury be a good lead story?" asks one.
"Naw, too many numbers. All that fuzzy math." Replies another.
Oh, how they miss the Bill and Elian show.
But lo, in this dark age of journalism, do I see a light?
None of this should come as a surprise. Anyone who was paying attention knew that to sell the tax cut Mr. Bush's people deliberately underestimated the cut's impact on revenues; deliberately underestimated the cost of delivering on the administration's promises on defense, education and prescription drugs; and deliberately swept under the rug other budget issues, like the need to fix the alternative minimum tax, that will inevitably subtract hundreds of billions from the surplus. In short, the claim that the tax cut was easily affordable given other priorities was what is technically known as a "lie."
--PAUL KRUGMAN in the New York Times
It's happening again.
July 5, 2001
Slow news week
Here in the states we celebrated our independance yesterday, and since the fourth fell on a Wednesday, it seems that a lot of folks made it short week. (Page Mill Road is usually stop and go for a mile or so, this morning it was near empty.)
July 8, 2001
The Nuclear Option Revisited
The (California Power) system that had rolling blackouts at a 28-gigawatt load last winter is the same one that comfortably delivered 53 gigawatts two summers ago. Half its power plants didn't suddenly evaporate. Rather, there's apparently been adequate generating capacity--if power plants ran as reliably as they did before utilities sold them.
As an engineer, I am convinced that Nuclear Power plants could be built and operated safely, but I am unconvinced that we have an answer -- either practical or ethical, for the long term disposition of the highly radioactive waste.
That's not even the issue here, the problem with nuclear is that it's simply not cost effective. Even without the taxpayer subsidies that nuclear depends upon, the newest natural gas power plants deliver lower cost power. That's not to say that burning fossil fuel (in the form of natural gas) is a long-term solution either, both because of its limited supply, and because of the pollution emitted while extracting the stored energy.
In the foreseeable future, we will have pumped all of the easy oil and natural gas, and it will become so expensive and rare as to be used only as a raw material for plastics and such. We have less than a hand of centuries of fossil fuels remaining, but that's the not really a long time at all. (I've slept in rooms that are centuries old -- great for perspective).
We will turn to solar, wind and other renewable sources of energy. Hydrogen will replace hydrocarbons as the storage medium for energy.
We will use more efficient means to heat and light our homes, and to transport goods and deliver services. The only question is when. The only responsible and moral answer is as soon as we can.
I sometimes despair in this age of television, because it seems the more frequently a falsehood is spoken, the more legitimacy it gains, and the more often that a simple truth is spoken, the weaker and fainter it becomes. Truth is that we all must, today, in 2001, begin to trod more softly upon this Earth. There is little point in worrying about the half-life of nuclear waste if our actions have otherwise by then made our only Earth uninhabitable.
Conservation is not just a personal virtue, as our (newly bionic) Vice-President opined; it is the singular responsibility of the human race -- to conserve for future generations so that they too may live well upon this Earth.
July 10, 2001
Chapter 9 is up.
Update: Danger is this wireless firm's real name (2)USA Today
July 9, 2001
Update: Danger is this wireless firm's real name
An article in USA Today.
July 11, 2001
So yes, it is crude and naïve to picture Mr. Bush stealing money from the piggy bank and giving it to his rich friends. Refined, sophisticated analysts know that what he has actually done is to undermine America's fiscal integrity in order to provide big tax breaks to his rich friends.
By Paul Krugman, New York Times
July 24, 2001
The Expected Response
Microsoft has pulled the add from their Swiss site. (I wonder why...) The good news is that it's been picked up by Ad Critic.
Why did it dissapear? Did the Taliban ban it?
July 26, 2001
Tax and Steal
Of the Americans who hold these funds, these (US Treasury) bonds, the famous top one percent [own] forty-three percent.
Daniels repeatedly characterizes paying down the debt as essentially giving money to bondholders, and other Republicans have started to echo the line. What he neglects to mention is that this is money the government owes them, and until it's paid back, the government--and that means we taxpayers--has to pay interest on it.
JONATHAN CHAIT, in The New Republic
August 1, 2001
I got this message in my Paper Airplane Guestbook this morning:
Hi Joseph. Your homepage was introduced by the radio program in Japan today. I decided to attempt to see immediately because the interest was very deep. I thought that PL-3 is a very odd -shaped paper airplane. This weekend, I give off PL-3 which I made in the sky!
Taisuke -- Hokkaido Japan
August 2, 2001
O R D E R Upon consideration of appellees' motion for immediate issuance of the mandate, the response thereto, appellant's petition for rehearing, and the response thereto, it is
ORDERED that the motion for immediate issuance of the mandate be denied. It is
FURTHER ORDERED that the petition for rehearing be denied. Nothing in the Court's opinion is intended to preclude the District Court's consideration of remedy issues.
United States Court of Appeals, For the District of Columbia Circuit, Re: No. 00-5212, Microsoft's request for a hearing on the "integration" the browser into the OS.
Transaltion: No, Microsoft, the findings of Judge Jackson stand: "You 'integrated' the browser into the OS in order to protect your monopoly."
August 8, 2001
Surplus? What Surplus?
Thanks to Congress' insistence on hurry-up tax cuts and an inability to restrain spending, coupled with the economic slowdown, the $5 trillion, 10-year surplus predictions from January have melted like a snowman in August.
Ooops--there it is.
August 13, 2001
Fanfiction - Colors - Manila
Manila is a brand new, complete Colors story!
August 15, 2001
From the Ranma Fanfiction awards:
Congrats! Your story has been voted into the top stories for the month of July 2001! This is a great acheivement, since many stories are written throughout the course of the year, but very few have the distinguished honor of being remembered for more than just a couple of weeks.
Your story was eligible in the category MINISERIES.
The story chosen was:
(rank) (title) ---------------------------------- 3. Colors: Yellow
The contest covered Chaper 9 of Yellow.
August 22-25, 2001
Recent Back Links
August 26, 2001
The missile defense planned by the Bush administration may be least able to destroy warheads from countries that are thought to pose the biggest threat, federal and private experts say.
The trouble is that so-called rogue nations, like North Korea, Iran and Iraq, would fire wobbling, rudimentary warheads during an attack, and those turn out to be among the hardest to hit.
WILLIAM J. BROAD in the New York Times
It's like football I guess, if you want accuracy, you put spin on the ball. But, if you really rather have the receiver miss the ball, you tumble it. Think back to the very first time you threw a football. Was it a perfect "spiral"? Do you really think that a rogue nation, launching their first intercontinental warhead will get a perfect spiral? That's really, really hard to do. What if you wanted to induce a tumble? That's really, really easy.
August 28, 2001
G.L. Sandborn's The Great American 'Outback' Fiction Page has landed at http://home.kc.rr.com/sandborn/
Now that you've got the new address, go have a look at "Nabiki-New Horizons", or if you're a Robotech fan, "The Fox Squadron. I got sucked into the Fox Squadron well before seeing any "Robotech". Now that I've seen a few episodes, I can tell you the Fox Squadron outshines the original.
August 29, 2001
The Failure of Tech Journalism by Steve Gilliard
I only wish that it was only Tech Journalism. Take averything he says here and apply it to ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and Faux.
The fact is, Bush has turned his administration over to people who actually think to memorialize a 145-acre heap of rotting garbage as a notable part of our heritage. And it's not just the deed, which might be a minor lapse except it occurs when Americans of both parties wonder how an administration can be so utterly tone-deaf to concerns about stewardship and a clean environment.
John Balzar -- LA Times
This story could have been right off the front page of The Onion.
Sometimes irony is pretty ironic.
August 30, 2001
THE TRILLION-DOLLAR BREACH OF CONTRACT: Social Security And The American Worker By NEIL H. BUCHANAN
September 1, 2001
The essence of the government's antitrust beef with Microsoft is that the company limits competition by leveraging its dominant position in the marketplace (it's important to remember that monopolies are not illegal--abusing them is). To prove its case, the government focused on the browser wars and the harm done to Netscape by Microsoft's inclusion of a free web browser in the operating system.
In my opinion, the browser issue pales in comparison to the egregiousness of the bootloader situation.
If you have any doubts about the Microsoft case, please read Mr. Hacker's article.
Lately I've been thinking that Microsoft should simply be forbidden to sell Windows. I'm not saying that Windows must be withdrawn from the market, or that it be taken away from them, what I suggest is that since the nexus of Microsoft's illegal behavior has historically been in the OEM contracts, we (the people vs. Microsoft) demand that they must simply stop making contracts.
I'd suggest that as either part of a settlement, or as part of a remedy, Microsoft (In recognition that the Windows OS is well and truly a monopoly) must produce a single, public contract by which all copies of the OS are sold. This contract must not contain the sort of language that prevents OEMs from installing OS alternatives (As documented in the Byte article, above), or from installing alternate browsers or media players, or if the OEM chooses, even alternate ham sandwiches.
Microsoft would ship the Golden Masters off to licensed distributors, who would make copies available to one and all under the terms of that public contract. Microsoft itself would be forbidden from making any other private contracts with any OEM who purchases the Windows OS.
Further, I suggest that officers of Microsoft be forbidden to make private contact with any OS customer. Feedback from OEMs should be in public forums, not in smoke filled rooms.
So, where does this leave us? Microsoft still gets paid for their wares. The PC industry gets their OS, and the consumers see a little crack in the monopoly.
P.S. Recently the press has been reporting the pricing for Windows XP, and guess what? It's more expensive.
Today you can find a Gig of RAM, or a Gigahertz processor, or a 40 Gigabyte hard drive, each for comfortably under $100. How can it be that the OS is the only part of the computer that gets more expensive over time? After all, A Gig of RAM is... well... 8 billion transistors. ALL of which must be manufactured for each and every copy sold, and ALL of which must work. The same holds true for the processors, except that it costs more to develop a new processor than it does to write a new OS. Hard Drives? They contain motors, and high precision bearings, and each and every one must be assembled to tolerances that would make a Formula 1 engine maker hang their heads in shame.
How can it be that Microsoft can demand more for the OS, while each and every every other part of the computer becomes less expensive?
September 2, 2001
More Fanfic Backlinks:
September 5, 2001
Even More Fanfic Backlinks:
Ashfae's Fanfiction Links Looks like Ashfae's been doing some redecorating! (Very Nice! Oh, and umm... thanks [Blush])
September 11, 2001
The Events of Today
I'm listening to the radio. The borders with Canada and Mexico have been closed. Every Airline flight has been grounded. Schools and public offices all over the country have been closed. Southern Manhattan is being evacuated.
I can't imagine that today anyone is really interested in reading fanfiction, or making paper airplanes, but I'm not going to shut down this web page today. Today I don't know how to put it into words.
I will pick that day.
September 13, 2001
On the TV last night... A news-being stops a fireman to ask him to describe what he'd seen. The fireman said: "Words Fail."
I don't ever want to speak a language that has words for what he saw.
Forward to normal.
Fresh air. Walking. For a few moments the Atlas weight of rage left behind on the sidewalk. Back to Normal? No. We can't go back. We mustn't go back.
Forward. What does the normal future look like? What should it look like? What should we do different?
On the news last night, one guest noted that the networks spent the summer talking about a Congressman and a missing intern. Just doesn't seem so important anymore, does it? With 24 hours a day to fill, it was a simple story. No complicated facts, more time spent in makeup than in reseach.
OJ, Monica, Jonbenet, Elian. These stories don't really "Resonate with the public", these stories resonate with the 24 hour news media. A story gets amplified, and fed back, and amplified, louder and louder, until it drowns everything else out.
...untill something real comes along.
October 8, 2001
Webcam in Antarctica
When they say "World Wide Web", they really mean it. Antarctica has its own TLD (.aq) and there's even a webcam at Scott Base.
October 7, 2001
Where did everything go? It's all here, over there on the left under "History".
October 10, 2001
I'm still trying to put my own thoughts into order on this, but in the meantime, once again The Onion says with sarcastic humor things that are hard to say any other way.
Please read Freedoms Curtailed In Defense Of Liberty
WWJD? In this case, it's "What would Jefferson do?"
October 12, 2001
What was most revealing, though, was what you didn't say: You offered no vision of the future. This was probably your last will and testament — I sure hope so — and you could have said anything you wanted to future generations. After all, it was your mike. Yet you had nothing to say. Your only message to the Muslim world was whom to hate, not what to build — let alone how.
THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN in The New York Times A response to bin Laden's taped telecast
A month ago the broadcast media had nothing to say except jingoistic platitudes, and nothing to show but the horrifying tape of the second crash. And they showed it, over, and over and over again. We watched it, over and over and over again, with some insane hope that it would end like; "Oh look! this time it missed and landed safely!"
A month ago the web came of age, writer/reporters could say things that they might take back, then pause a moment, fingers poised over the backspace key to decide if what they'd written matched what was in their hearts. Some wrote nothing, some wrote volumes, but it seemed that words were so precious and hard to find that only the best came out.
It seems to me in the last week or so that the signal to noise ratio (at least) has returned to normal, which is perhaps a bad thing.
Friedman makes a critical observation; bin Laden's vision of the future includes only destruction. The distinction between good and evil is as simple as this: it is good to create, it is evil to destroy.
October 17, 2001
Ack! I've been Farked 3500+ hits to the paper airplane page just today!
October 12, 2001
Nyanko-web is a stunningly beautiful collection of photographs on the web. The site is in Japanese, but navigation is pretty easy, and in most cases the URLs are in English, so when you hover over the links you get a nice hint.
P.S. "Neko" Means "Cat", and "Nyan" means "Meow".
October 30, 2001
Hiring and training 18,000 professional airline security personnel--men and women who actually know what they are doing and are paid an honest wage--is apparently a mark of socialism, while throwing $15 billion at the airlines to shore up their profits is an act of national fiscal prudence.
By ROBERT SCHEER in the LA Times
This is a case where I can clearly see both sides of the issue. As things stand, the security personnel at each airprort are 'hired' by the airline, but so are the aircraft mechanics, and airframe safty has been improving over the years. We didn't have to nationalize the mechanics to get there.
The no-nonsense wide-awake securty forces in Europe are not Government employees either, they are private airport employees. Well trained, well paid private airport employees.
One thing both sides should agree on is that if we want better security we need better people, and to get better people we're going to need to pay them better. We must not let the corporate spreadsheet has become the greatest danger to our safety.
October 31, 2001
...It's time for Churchillian courage, we're told. So how would this crowd assure that future generations will look back and say, "This was their finest hour?" That's easy. Give those coal producers freedom to pollute. And shovel generous tax breaks to those giant energy companies; and open the Alaskan wilderness to drilling, that's something to remember the 11th of September for. And while the red, white, and blue wave at half-mast over the land of the free and the home of the brave, why, give the President the power to discard democratic debate and the rule-of-law concerning controversial trade agreements, and set up secret tribunals to run roughshod over local communities trying to protect their environment and their health. It's happening as we meet. It's happening right now.
Bill Moyers In The Keynote Address at the Environmental Grantmakers Association conference, Brainerd, MN October 16, 2001
November 1, 2001
Last night I hear on CNN that Microsoft has reached an agreement with the "Justice Department".
The first thing I do is go to News.com and click on the story.
November 4, 2001
"The last time I saw a public policy issue as important and difficult as Microsoft decided under impossible time constraints and without a chance for adequate public review was when California passed its electricity deregulation bill,"
I'm so mad about this 'settlement' I can't write.
November 5, 2001
Republicans and Democrats in the Senate voted 100-0 to take airport security away from private companies and entrust it to federal employees. But President Bush and House Republican leaders stand in the way. Why? Because, says House Majority Leader Dick Armey, under the proposed law, "Everybody that is screening at the airports must be a federal employee and, thereby, a member of the union."
Bill Press at CNN
Dick Armey is an idiot. "Member of the union" yeah, just like the NY police, and NY Fire departments are members of unions.
All my heros belong to unions.
IT MAY seem an unworthy thought, but it appears the Bush White House has taken advantage of the nation's preoccupation with other matters to slip a patently self-serving executive order past Congress and the public. That order, quietly drawn up and quickly signed the night after it became public, gives President Bush the power to veto the release of any presidential documents from the archives of his predecessors, including his father.
A Go Memphis editorial
When Elvis died it was front page news. Is this the death notice of open Government?
November 7, 2001
In many ways, these numbers are astonishing. They reveal (1) that during the [GHW] Bush years of 1989-1992, Americans actually saw a decrease in their total net worth when inflation is taken into account; (2) the Clinton economic boom of the past eight years was beneficial to all groups of Americans; (3) the group that benefited the most was the top 1 percent, who now own over 34 percent of our total wealth, up from 30 percent in 1992; (4) the top 1 percent now own more than the bottom 90 percent of the population do. No other industrial country comes close to matching this imbalance between the very rich and the rest of society.
Leon Friedman in The American Prospect
To paraphrase SNL; "The 90s 'been berry berry good to 'da top one percent" I suppose that's why the first thing that the new administration did was push for a tax cut, 41% of which went to these folks. The trouble is, this caused the budget surplus to evaporate, and like miners in the company town, we're now working double shifts and only digging deeper into debt.
November 14, 2001
Methinks that somewhere there's a sign that says "'denly everything..
November 24, 2001
Just got back from Japan! Yes, that's Fuji-san as seen from the flight into Kansai International Airport. I've got about 600 pictures to go thru, then I'll post a few of the good ones here.
P.S. This was my first all digital trip, my 30 year old Nikon F stayed home. I really love my 990! (But it loves batteries!)
November 25, 2001
An improvement right now of 2.7 miles per gallon would eliminate our need for all Persian Gulf oil!
Yet the Republican Congress in 1995 made it illegal for the Environmental Protection Agency even to study higher CAFE standards. The result is that America now has the worst energy efficiency in 20 years.
By ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR. in the New York Times
Okay. This article has far too many exclamation points. (I've found that in general, if an author over-uses exclamation 'points' it's because the points they are making are weak.)
On the other hand, if we'd stuck to our knitting, we'd probably be getting 10 MPG better mileage.
Winston Churchill said, "America can always be counted on to do the right thing, after exhausting all the other possibilities."
Now maybe in 500 years, we (well, our descendants) will look back and shake our heads at all of this. I hope so, but in the near term it looks like our energy and natural resources policy will be based on what's best for next quarter's balance sheet.
November 30, 2001
When I was growing up in the 60's, there was 'personality test'; which Beatle are you most like? Were you John, (rebellious) Paul, (romantic) George (spiritual), or Ringo (joyful). I was Paul
Today I see each of the Beatles in me, and I owe much of my spiritual feelings, not so much to George Harrison, the quiet, complex, fragile human being, but to "The Beatle George", the spiritual chapter of the narrative that is the Beatles. No, I didn't follow Beatle George to India, but his journey inspired me to embark my own.
Thank you George, I'm a better man for having known you.
December 5, 2001
With his doctorate in economics, Lay undoubtedly will argue that he has improved efficiency. But now middlemen are everywhere in the energy system. A kilowatt hour of electricity can be bought and sold ten times between the time it is produced and the time it is consumed. As Wall Street has discovered to its chagrin, it is sometimes impossible to understand the transactions of a company like Enron.
Deregulation was been sold to the public in the zealous name of "efficiency", but that's not what we got. What we got was Enron, and to an Enron, "efficiency" means ruthlessly maximizing profits realized between the energy producer and the energy consumer. That's what they do. And if their spreadsheets models show that more profit can be realized in a state of shortage, (either artificial or real) then that's "efficient".
Deregulation has torn apart the tightly knit electricity system. Suppliers no longer are responsible for maintaining reliability. Partly as a result, transmission lines are overloaded.
In the last l2 months California alone has lost some $50 billion largely as a result of deregulation. Enron's collapse represents a loss of $70 billion in debt and equity. In other words, Kenneth Lay turned a sleepy, even stodgy energy system (which, nevertheless, was the world's lowest cost and most reliable system) into a go-go, take-no-prisoners, wildly competitive landscape.
-- David Morris AlterNet
What I want to know is; where did that $50 BILLION go? That $50 BILLION wasn't just numbers on paper, it was real money, real notes and coin, paid by real people. Where is it? Where did it go?
December 5, 2001
TECHNOLOGY PIONEER STEVE WOZNIAK JOINS DANGER, INC.'S BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Co-founder of Apple Computer to Lend Technical Knowledge and Creative Expertise to Company
PALO ALTO, Calif., (December 5, 2001) -- Danger, Inc.™, creator of the hiptop™ mobile service and device, today announced that one of Silicon Valley's most notable figures, Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer, Inc., has joined the company's board of directors. Wozniak helped shape the computing industry with his design of Apple's first line of products including the Apple I and II, and influenced the popular Macintosh. Wozniak, a recipient of the National Medal of Technology, the highest honor bestowed by the President of the United States to America's leading innovators, today joins Jeff Brody, founding partner of Redpoint Ventures, Greg Galanos, managing director at Mobius Venture Capital (formerly SBVC), and Danger founders Andy Rubin, Joe Britt and Matt Hershenson on the company's board of directors.
"Danger embodies the excitement, enthusiasm, and passion that innovative technology is capable of producing. It reminds me of Apple's early days and the focus on building products easy enough for anyone to use," said Steve Wozniak. "I'm impressed with the way that Danger has filled a void in the market and created mobile technology that is smart, affordable and user-friendly."
Wozniak, or "Woz" as he is affectionately referred to, has joined Danger's board of directors, marking the first company board position he has taken in more than four years. Wozniak also advises local Silicon Valley companies and organizations such as the Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose, Silicon Valley Ballet, iCommerce, and Electronic Arts.
"As a preeminent Silicon Valley figure, Woz brings a wealth of creative expertise and technical knowledge to Danger," said Andy Rubin, CEO of Danger, Inc. "We are excited and honored to have him as part of our board of directors. We look forward to exchanging ideas and tapping into the invaluable knowledge he has gained over the years."
Danger provides an integrated solution for wireless service operators consisting of a back-end service, a standards-based platform that uses programs written in Java and hiptop hardware designs. The Danger solution is designed to evolve with advancements in hardware, software and network standards, providing a low-risk, future-proof platform for content and service delivery.
The Danger hiptop is a live device that seamlessly connects to wireless networks providing consumers the freedom to browse the Internet, exchange instant messages and send and receive email with attachments. Additional hiptop features include a full-featured phone, personal information management (PIM), entertainment applications, and a camera accessory.
The hiptop will be introduced to the consumer market in early 2002. A flash demonstration and photos of the hiptop are available on the company's website at http://www.danger.com In addition, Danger will exhibit at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) held in Las Vegas, January 8-11, 2002.
About Danger, Inc.
Founded in January 2000, Danger, Inc. is a privately held company based in Palo Alto, California. Backed by leading venture capital firms and corporate investors, Danger was founded by former Apple, WebTV and Philips veterans Andy Rubin, Joe Britt, and Matt Hershenson. Guided by the principles of style and affordability, Danger has created an integrated wireless Internet experience that delivers the freedom to communicate where you want, when you want and how you want. Additional information about the company, its products, partnerships and employment opportunities is available at http://www.danger.com.
My picture is on the employment page. I'm the grumpy looking one.
December 6, 2001
Holy moley, we'd have four congressional investigations, three special prosecutors, two impeachment inquiries and a partridge in a pear tree by now. The Republicans would all be drumming their heels on the floor in full tantrum.
Molly Ivins, of Creators Syndicate, in Enron-gate Where are the investigations of Bush's liaison with the bankrupt company?
December 10, 2001
The Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Asa Hutchinson, the former GOP congressman from Arkansas, has announced rules to ban certain brands of a wide variety of foods -- "beer, cheese, coffee, corn chips, energy drink, flour, ice cream, snack bars, salad oil, soda and veggie burgers" -- if they contain trace amounts of THC.
Ann McFeatters, in the Post Gazette
Asa, get a grip. The problem with America is not that there are trace amounts of THC in foods.
December 10, 2001
Can Anyone tell my why Sailor Mercury is standing behind a BeBox?
December 13, 2001
Scott Imes, manager of a popular Minneapolis science-fiction and fantasy bookstore whose passion for the topic made him an authority on the genre over the counter and beyond, died Tuesday.
I always try to stop at Uncle Hugo's when I visit Minneapolis, and much of my science fiction collection was found there.
December 26, 2001
I'm seeing loads of hits from BeOS users in Japan today, irashai!
P.S. I have plans to place pictures of my BeBox on the site soon, (It's a 2/133 that was autographed by all of the Be employees!)
December 21, 2001
I received this email this morning ^_^
A hearty congratulations!
Your story has been voted into the top stories for the month of November 2001! This is a great acheivement, since many stories are written throughout the course of the year, but very few have the distinguished honor of being remembered for more than just a couple of weeks.
Your story was eligible in the category ONESHOT FICS. The story chosen was:
Thanks to everyone who voted! I'm especially honored since Manila was released to my website on July 26, but due to software problems with RAAC Moderation scripts, the notice that the story was released was not posted until 8 weeks later! (Also, I didn' post the story, only a link to the story, so those who read it, read it here!) Arigatou, minna!
Click the picture to go the the Ranma Awards site.
Why not join the over 1800 people who've read read Manila?
December 27, 2001
July 23, 2001
The Unexpected experience
A visit to Microsoft's Swiss website has an unexpected surprise. Click on the picture to download the mpeg movie. (I'd judge it PG-13 in the USA, but okay for broadcast TV in Switzerland. Go figure.)
Thanks to The Register
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