Baylink - The Things I Think
Me, The Groove, and my friends are gonna try an' move your feet.

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Oh, cool...

We're going to start our new corporate life by adopting a name that no one will be able to pronouce correctly... but it's ok: we'll fix them stoopid peepul...

Others initially pronounced Verizon as "Very-zone" but that tendency should be corrected when the company unveils an extensive advertising campaign after the merger.


Tuesday, April 4, 2000 @ 11:28 a.m. - Comment

Deconstructing 'Genie'


Some people have too much time on their hands:

I feel like I've been locked up tight
For a century of lonely nights
Waiting for someone
To release me

The central metaphor in this song is, obviously, the eponymous genie, and this metaphor is reinforced in the first verse, above. The Narrator feels like she's been imprisoned for a lengthy period of time, unable to free herself but instead waiting for a rescuer. This feeling of confinement is so severe that the Narrator is forced to use hyperbole ("a century") to express it how long it has lasted.

Tuesday, April 4, 2000 @ 10:17 a.m. - Comment

Even More Proof

that no one has a sense of humor anymore.

[ Thanks to Zannah, who actually pointed to this story, about the lead singer of this group (who just had breast augmentation surgery) -- the group [almost ?] got sued a few years ago because their first hit was called "Barbie Girl", and pissed off these people, who are currently embroiled in this controversy. Ghod... I feel like Neale, all of a sudden. ]

Sunday, April 2, 2000 @ 07:13 p.m. - Comment



Sunday, April 2, 2000 @ 06:03 p.m. - Comment


That's what I think Dr. Donald Mellman has.

He's a Tampa neurosurgeon, and he's mad as hell, and he's not going to take it anymore.

Regarding his professional career, Mellman is just as blunt. He calls managed care "the evil empire" and once came close to blows with an HMO case manager over whether it was premature to discharge a patient.

Mellman is clearly one of a kind, but his frustrations reflect the economic forces that have changed the practice of medicine over the past two decades. Some of his fellow physicians refuse to contract with certain managed care plans. Others are taking early retirement.

Sounds like my kind of physician. But why do I say he has balls? Well, it seems he got sold a bill of goods on the privatisation of Tampa General Hospital... and has the guts to admit it:

As a member of the Hillsborough County Hospital Authority, Mellman accused the board's former lawyer of unethical behavior and filed a complaint against him with the Florida Bar. He succeeded in keeping a fellow physician off Tampa General Hospital's board because of the doctor's financial contracts with the hospital. And though he originally supported privatization of TGH in 1997, he now publicly regrets that decision and says he was misled about the need for such a move.

"It was an awesome responsibility," Mellman said of his role as an authority member. "And I failed."

There's a common desire to think of doctors as infallible... but really: would you prefer that your doctor lie about it when he screwed up?

Sunday, April 2, 2000 @ 03:18 p.m. - Comment

Is 'Gay' funny?

I was asking myself that question about a month ago, and I debated doing a piece on it, and decided I couldn't prove it either way. I'm straight, of course, so it's a different proposition for me than it would be for someone who was gay, but still...

Mile Wilson, of the St Pete Times, though, has weighed in with his input on the matter, in a story I'm somewhat surprised -- albeit pleasantly -- that his editor had the balls to run.

Congrats to the editor, and to Mike; if we can't laugh about stuff, we'll kll each other over it.

Sunday, April 2, 2000 @ 03:13 p.m. - Comment


Leave Anna alone!

Sunday, April 2, 2000 @ 03:10 p.m. - Comment

Without comment


Saturday, April 1, 2000 @ 04:31 p.m. - Comment

"My Life In Porn"

A very interesting piece by the former Entertainment Editor of Hustler Magazine (:-), covering, among other things, he reactions at the shooting of "The World's Biggest Gang-Bang II" (like one wasn't enough?)...

I experienced a sense of numbness on Jasmin’s set — as I would on many others — that I can only compare to accounts I have read of combat. It was the sense of being in a group of people deliberately and methodically engaged in acts of insanity. Unlike in combat, I was not overwhelmed by the horror of it, but by the grand-scale stupidity, which crystallized that day as I stood by the craft-services cart. Boiled hot dogs on cold, white buns were being dispensed. A man next to me politely passed the mustard. The bottle was sticky with K-Y Jelly. I never attempted to eat on a porn shoot again.

Funny stuff...

Saturday, April 1, 2000 @ 03:56 p.m. - Comment

Interview with the Searchengine

I do so enjoy intelligent satire

Saturday, April 1, 2000 @ 03:45 p.m. - Comment

What will they think of next?

Search with Google's Mentalplex

Saturday, April 1, 2000 @ 03:36 p.m. - Comment

Better Late Than Never

RFC 2795 has been released.

A grand tradition; I've been there too.

Saturday, April 1, 2000 @ 03:27 p.m. - Comment

Isn't the Internet...


I sure think it's cool.

Friday, March 31, 2000 @ 01:18 p.m. - Comment


Someone who's actually pointing out how great it would be for everyone to be nice to one another.

Betcha she gets nailed to a tree, like the last guy...

Friday, March 31, 2000 @ 12:53 p.m. - Comment

If I had 80 million dollars

I'd have bought a house.

But I don't.

These people do:

At 4 p.m. Thursday, Harvey and his wife went home and opened a bottle of champagne. "It ain't Bud, but it'll do," he said. And the two people on the cruise called to find out what was so urgent.

"Are you ready for this?" he said into the phone. "We just hit the lottery. . . . This is not a joke. I swear to God this is not a joke. This is not a joke.

"It ain't Bud, but it'll do."

These millionaires kill me...

Friday, March 31, 2000 @ 11:30 a.m. - Comment

One of the coolest things about

graduating from the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis is that you get to have a flyby from these guys, and hopefully you won't fling your hat up too high.

Alas, the closest they're getting to me this year is Pensacola, or maybe Punta Gorda.


Friday, March 31, 2000 @ 12:34 a.m. - Comment

Got a question? Call Deep Link.

Oh, er, um, wrong conspiracy.


This conspiracy was the one trying to keep the web from being usable -- the anti-deep-linking fight.

We won. In court.

For those of you just tuning in, 'deep linking' is the practice of pointing a link to a page on someone else's website other than their home page. It annoys some webmasters because incoming visitors aren't subjected to as many advertising impressions as they might otherwise be.


[US District Judge Harry] Hupp said deep linking is not illegal as long as it's clear whom the linked page belongs to.

"Hyperlinking does not itself involve a violation of the Copyright Act," Hupp said in his ruling. "There is no deception in what is happening. This is analogous to using a library's card index to get reference to particular items, albeit faster and more efficiently."

[Wow. A judge who's paying attention. Again. Who'da thunk it?]

Website designer Laszlo Pataki cheers the judge's decision but thinks that the case should have never gone to court.

"Why bring the lawyers in when there are simple technological fixes that could have solved the problem?" Pataki said. "For instance, Ticketmaster could have blocked all referrals from That's an easy thing to do, so I suspect that by taking the legal route TicketMaster wanted to either get publicity or squish"

I'd say Pataki's right. I'm certainly glad that the judge agreed with him -- even though which Circuit the judge sits in was not specified, and the ruling isn't precedent anywhere except in that judge's Circuit -- or even his courtroom, if he was not an appeals judge.

It's a good thing, too; otherwise I wouldn't be able to point you to the story in question.

Enjoy. I'm going to bed.

Friday, March 31, 2000 @ 12:18 a.m. - Comment

I don't remember whether I linked here

before or not. Dan Lyke, of Flutterby fame, pointed out this archive of erotica written -- very well -- by his friend (?) Jordan Shelbourne.

If you enjoy well-written erotic fiction, you need to go check his site out.


Thursday, March 30, 2000 @ 05:21 p.m. - Comment

"It's not broke, but we're fixing it anyway"

You gotta love those patent office folks, don'cha?

No, Bezos had nothing to do with it.

Thursday, March 30, 2000 @ 04:35 p.m. - Comment

If you're a gardener

like Beth, you'll hate this story...

Thursday, March 30, 2000 @ 03:08 p.m. - Comment

Stupidity is supposed to be expensive

And it's not especially comfortable to get called on it; ghod knows I know this...

But if you're not perfectly comfortable with rollerblading down a very steep hill, is that the government's fault?

Just don't do it.

How complicated is that?

Thursday, March 30, 2000 @ 02:42 p.m. - Comment

More Reports from the Scary Devil Monastery

Once I went on site to set up a computer for a school. I spend several hours setting up the equipment and configuring all the software and checking the Internet connection. When I left, everything was working perfectly.

The next morning, I got a call from the teacher, saying that the computer wouldn't turn on. Perplexed, I paid another visit. I sat down at the desk and looked at each component: the scanner was on, the monitor was on, the speakers were powered up, but the screen was blank. I looked under the desk, and, sure enough, none of the lights on the face of the computer were lit. I reached down, pushed the main power button, and the computer immediately came to life and booted up normally.

     Me: "Why didn't you try that?" 
     Customer: "The light on the brain was on...." 
She was pointing to the speakers.

Could I have a cerebral hemorrhage now...? Please?

Wednesday, March 29, 2000 @ 04:06 p.m. - Comment

The Utility Belt

I searched for that phrase on Google... and surprisingly enough for a geeky place like the Internet, very few of the references I found had anything to do with the thing you wear around your waist.

The most amusing one that did was this interview with author Greg Rucka about novelising comic strips; in particular, of course, No Man's Land, a Batman novel:

An important difference in writing a novel version of the story is having to know some facets of information that can be glossed over in the comic form. For instance, in the comic version, Lex Luthor eats a dinner of unspecified food, or Batman finds something in his utility belt by touch in a darkened room. What was on Luthor's plate and what Batman's fingers grazed while he searched may not have been necessary elements to include in the comic version, but Rucka wanted them in the novel, so he had to find out what the rich and famous would eat, as well as what the heck is in Batman's utility belt and where it's located.

"In the scene in the novel where Batman is breaking into the Hall of Records to get the information he needs, he pulls something from his belt," Rucka explains. "I wanted to make it clear if it was on the front, the back and how his arm would move. Completing that scene ended up with me calling Mark Waid and saying 'You're the only guy in the world who would know this. I need to know everything that is in the utility belt and where it's at.' Amazingly, he pulled out a reference and he took me on a tour around the belt. It was a reference from the 60's, so we were updating as we went, but we figured out where it would be."

I want a look at that list... :-)

Wednesday, March 29, 2000 @ 03:34 p.m. - Comment

I feel much better now

knowing that I'm not a thief. :-)

Courtesy of Linux Weekly Daily News, this piece from Upside which asks the question:

Into this void between what customers want and what record companies provide steps Napster. Their software provides an easy to use interface that allows music consumers to customize an incredibly wide choice of musical options. No wonder people think it's great!

The real question is [will] the record industry ever get it?

Wednesday, March 29, 2000 @ 11:37 a.m. - Comment

"Beer Bill Put On Ice"?

We obviously have to go beat the cliches out of the Times' healine writers...

But the story is interesting.

Did you know that you can only buy beer in Florida in 4 sizes of bottles?

The justifications these legislators come up with (or are fed by the lobbyists they kowtow to) are just unbelievable:

Morroni said wholesalers say a change in the law would force them to enlarge storage and sales facilities and pass along the price increase to consumers.

"I also think it would allow larger beer sizes on college campuses," Morroni added. "We're doing all we can to keep alcohol out of their hands."

Detzner said a study done for wholesalers indicates that the law would cause a 26 percent increase in the inventory that retail stores would have to carry and put many high-alcohol-content beers in the hands of college students.

Um, free markets? If we want to pay more, I guess we will. My heart simply bleeds for these poor wholesalers who might get strongarmed by their major suppliers have to actually do their jobs.

Wednesday, March 29, 2000 @ 11:26 a.m. - Comment


Here's the sort of story I don't usually expect to link out of the St Petersburg Times: the Florida Senate has introduced a bill to give tax breaks to people to build a NAP in South Florida somewhere.

Miami has been mentioned; apparently no one remembers that 60-ton power transformer that disappeared off it's concrete pad during Hurricane Andrew and was never seen again...

[ Thanks to Times Capitol bureau reporter Bill Yardley for pulling the bill number out of his hat for me. ]

Wednesday, March 29, 2000 @ 11:08 a.m. - Comment

Who wants to be an eighty-millionaire?

Or, as my karaoke hosts put it last night:

"If I had eighty million dollars..." (It's a pop-song thing ; if you didn't get it, just let it pass... :-)

Wednesday, March 29, 2000 @ 11:03 a.m. - Comment

Napster-bation, a form of relaxation...

Napster-bation, a game we all enjoy. Hey!

As you can no doubt infer, I installed Napster this week. I can fully understand why the RIAA is so unhappy... although I haven't much sympathy for them. If I add up all the money I've spent over the years for tracks on albums that I've never played once, and then subtract for all the tracks I've Napstered that I can not get on CD at all, the number is still enough to buy me a car.

My boss asked me the other day "what's these guys' bit? They're not running ads, and they don't charge; how can they make money?"

I've come up with an answer, but it's more Machiavellian than I think they're capable of, and I'm not sure you could pull it off if you wanted to. It requires them to fight Napster as hard as possible every step of the way...

and lose.

Don't you think the recording industry would just love to get their hands on the unadulterated data those Napster server could capture about what people are searching for...?

Wednesday, March 29, 2000 @ 10:51 a.m. - Comment

I wonder why I came up in a search for...

"aloe vera plant"?

I know why I came up in a search for "real doll"...

The one that worries me is: why was someone looking for "Ashworth CIA"...?

Tuesday, March 28, 2000 @ 09:52 p.m. - Comment

One guy you won't see on television

is John Sugg, the not-very-widely-liked-by-other-journalists (bitch to your browser maker if that didn't wrap) editor of the Weekly Planet.

He explains why in the piece:

Three weeks ago, the producer of the WFLA story, Amy Sharrit, called and wanted to interview me. She’s a freelancer who formerly worked for WFLA, and she said she had independence in pursuing her report. I said that was super, and that the issue needed to be explored because publishers are mercilessly pounding the FCC and Congress in an effort to end the ban on joint ownership of TV stations and newspapers in the same city.

I also warned Sharrit that I doubted she would get her story on the air if I appeared.

Sharrit didn't believe him. Was he right?

Read the story and find out.

Tuesday, March 28, 2000 @ 09:48 p.m. - Comment

HPV Virus Targetted

From the St Pete Times, this piece on research advances in finding a vaccine to combat the virus that causes cervical cancer.

These doctors today, I tell ya... :-)

Monday, March 27, 2000 @ 12:03 p.m. - Comment

Kris Hundley

of the St Pete Times (no relation to Dave Hundley, of Focus Magazine), wrote a fairly interesting piece on the AOL 'command center' is (big surprise here) Reston, VA.

For me, the most interesting part of the piece was the pictures, which you don't get online -- AOL is running a room full of HP Unix boxes.

Sunday, March 26, 2000 @ 03:22 p.m. - Comment

Nope, I was right after all

Netpliance, the people who make the iOpener (see below) are in the control of the 'marketplace' (read: a bunch of greedy bastards who are only interested in money).

After sounding fairly level-headed and intelligent on the topic of geeks modifying their computers -- which they were selling below cost because they though they had a Better Fucking Idea (give away razors, sell blades) -- their stock tanked.

So, they put on their "we're money grubbing assholes" hat, as noted in the Wired piece, above, and their stock immediately rebounded.

Public-corporations-should-be-abolished rant goes here.

Unfortunately, they've tarnished not only their own reputation with the hacking community, but that of every other public company -- who now are less likely to be trusted. I'm sorry, but I'm afraid that was not their check to write.

Friday, March 24, 2000 @ 10:45 a.m. - Comment

Things are not always as they seem

and I get bit, too.

The Netpliance folks, who make the iOpener "Internet-for-your-Aunt-Milli" terminal I mentioned earlier this week, apparently are not going non-linear about the crowd of people buying their (subsidized) $99 appliances to hack them into Linux boxes -- at least not yet.

Netpliance didn't appear to be too worried about the hacks, either. Instead, they're thinking about tapping into the kind of engineering expertise that's hard to hire at start-up companies.

"We are interested in putting together a program to collaborate with the Linux community that essentially harnesses their knowledge," said Munira Fareed, a spokeswoman for the company.

"We are not about taking legal action (or) resisting the open-source community," Fareed said.

You heard it here third, folks. :-)

[ Thanks to Linux Weekly News, where you heard it second. ]

Thursday, March 23, 2000 @ 05:05 p.m. - Comment

Encryption: it's not just for spies anymore

Here's a very nice piece, from a contributor to this week's RISKS Digest (which I actually beat Flutterby to for a change; thanks for going out of town, Dan :-) on why you should use encryption.

Thursday, March 23, 2000 @ 04:06 p.m. - Comment

My question is:

Where's the penis finish line?

[ Thanks to Zannah ]

Thursday, March 23, 2000 @ 03:20 p.m. - Comment

"It was then that I resolved to become a Bed Person"


No, <chuckle>.

No, I think it must be <ROAR>

What I wasn't able to find was any sort of documentation about how to start a bed-person program.

Think about it. Bed Person is a great gig. It involves two of my favorite activities: Lying Down and Eating. No more guilt about fat grams and carbohydrates! No worries about fashion! And, if you reach a weight higher than any other Bed Person has before you, you get on TV! Fame! Notoriety! All because I could pack away more food than most.

[ Thanks to Beth ]

Thursday, March 23, 2000 @ 02:55 p.m. - Comment


this, was what I needed to cheer me up.

Oh, and to my reader at Microsoft: note that the Supreme Court has ruled that parody does not constitute dilution of trademark. :-)

Wednesday, March 22, 2000 @ 10:22 a.m. - Comment

Don't like the weather?

Well, waiting a while may or may not help, but, as Linux Weekly News' Jon Corbet explains in this feature story at least you can get some help in finding out how long you'll have to wait:

FSL took a different turn, however, with this announcement last September that it was installing a new, $15 million supercomputing system provided by High Performance Technologies Inc., also known as HPTi. This isn't just any supercomputer, though: it's a Beowulf-style Linux cluster. It is, perhaps, the first system of its kind. Government agencies have been piecing together clusters for years, but this may be the first that was purchased as a supported commercial product.
I'd actually thought the Beowulf cluster being used by Amerada Hess Corporation for seismic studies was a 'product', too, but I might be wrong. In any event, nifty story, indeed.

Wednesday, March 22, 2000 @ 10:05 a.m. - Comment

Maybe this would help me relax

Then again, maybe not. [ Thanks to Margaret ]

Tuesday, March 21, 2000 @ 11:44 p.m. - Comment

This world would be so nice...

if it just didn't have people in it.

Can you tell I'm in a shitty mood tonight?

I got stood up. Second 'real' date in 2 years, and I got stood up.


Tuesday, March 21, 2000 @ 11:39 p.m. - Comment

Speaking of women with nice breasts...

My friend Rebecca has released her new CD. Her website is spartan, and a bit fluffy, but if you like beautiful blondes, I'm sure you'll get over it.

Tuesday, March 21, 2000 @ 05:20 p.m. - Comment

Here's a website...

of a girl with very nice breasts.

I wonder if we can get someone to do a painting of her...

Sunday, March 19, 2000 @ 08:02 p.m. - Comment

Bad Panty Days

Or maybe that should be Doggy Panty Days. I don't read Beth nearly as regularly as I probably ought to; she's quite good.

Sunday, March 19, 2000 @ 07:50 p.m. - Comment

I'm buying a camera

It's quite expensive, in real terms, although it's a pretty good deal. In consequence of this, I'm doing more working than writing -- and that was before I had two routers crash that I have to fix.

I'm not sure they were cracked; it might just have been luck...

The camera looks like this, although that's not that one I'm buying. I've been vaguely unhappy with pushing bits full time for a while now, and seeing that camera for sale crystallized what I should do about it. I haven't done any TV to speak of for a couple of years, and I miss it more than I thought I did.

Plus, maybe running around under a camera for a while will drop me back to the 190 I ought to way, instead of the 220 I weigh now.

Sunday, March 19, 2000 @ 07:43 p.m. - Comment

Here we go again...

Netpliance has introduced their "iOpener" 'Internet Appliance'. They're selling like hotcakes; Circuit City can't keep the $99 boxes on the shelf, but not for the apparent reason...

This Wired story describes the modification created by Las Vegas hacker Ken Segler -- mounting a hard drive inside the machine, and turning it into a mostly full-fledged PC.

Poor folks at Netpliance -- selling hardware isn't really what they were after:

The Internet service side of its i-opener bundle is where the loss-leading company fills the financial gap left by the dirt-cheap hardware price. But while some geek-lovers of the product may be planning to use the ISP, most are clearly bent on the hardware alone.

Netpliance is pleased to find additional customers for the product, targeted or not. But the company also has a business model to protect.

Well, tough damned shit. If you don't want people to buy things, don't sell them. I believe I've ranted about this before; something about eBay bitching because people were trying to make their auctions _more_ visible.

Or, maybe, if Netpliance simply hadn't included a hard disk interface on the board...

Naw; that would make too much sense.

Thursday, March 16, 2000 @ 11:58 p.m. - Comment

And you know what?

More fuckin' power to Marc Ewing.

Wednesday, March 15, 2000 @ 11:32 p.m. - Comment

Lovegety redux

Slashdot proves that it is all over 5 year old social trends.

Tuesday, March 14, 2000 @ 12:33 p.m. - Comment

"The cost of a Ferrari is a rounding error..."

Wesley M. linked the latest set of observations by my personal hero, and I guy I'd love to work for, Phil Greenspun, on the topic of trying to buy a Ferrari to use as a promotional premium for his employees:

Only one minor problem remained: to get a few Ferraris to park in the lot out front. I figured that we'd all share them until someone had accumulated enough referrals to take personal possession. The first problem was finding a Ferrari dealer. I visited They linked to a Boston-area dealer but the phone company said that the number was disconnected. I telephoned some other Ferrari dealers in other cities where ArsDigita has offices and they told me that (1) there was an 18-month waiting list for a new F360, (2) the old Boston-area dealer had gone belly-up, and (3) a new dealership, Ferrari of New England, could be reached at (617) 559-0123.

Hey, Phil? Is that offer only open to current employees? :-)

Tuesday, March 14, 2000 @ 12:08 p.m. - Comment

Sometimes, you just gotta scratch that itch

My question is: will these kids be charged as adults?

[ Another one thanks to pixelbaby ]

Saturday, March 11, 2000 @ 07:05 p.m. - Comment

Rub whom the right way?

And just what is the right way, anyway? ;-)

Pixelbaby spotted this K.C. Star piece on the adult male writers of teenaged female singers' sexy, suggestive songs. There's much good thought in here, but perhaps it goes a bit too far?

Doesn't anyone remember all the "you're 16" songs sung by 30 year old men in the 50s and 60s? No one questioned the motives of those singers, or writers... we all understood that it was "just" music.

These days, of course, we're so insecure as parents that we don't think our kids will know any better... and of course, they probably won't, because we deserve to be insecure as parents, most of us suck at it.

Saturday, March 11, 2000 @ 06:55 p.m. - Comment

Innocence... when you've never slept with a bull elephant.

Ghod, I love my referrer logs. I Needed a good laugh like that to start my day; thanks, Bryant.

Saturday, March 11, 2000 @ 01:35 p.m. - Comment

Government has clue,
Slashdotters morons

Now there's a switch.

According to this Slashdot thread, the government has decided that they can actually prosecute "cyber-criminals" (ghod, how I hate that phrase) using just the laws they've already got available; they don't need any more. The AOL attorney involved in the anouncement is named John Ryan... hmmm; wonder if he goes by 'Jack'?

In related news, mochaone is just primed to be whacked with the clue-by-four for blowing his stack about the "mothers_maiden_name" and "last_brushed_teeth" cookies on his browser with Slashdot's name on them. Needless to say, other Slashdotters rose to the challenge... not that it did any good. :-)

Friday, March 10, 2000 @ 04:22 p.m. - Comment

Public Acceptance

That was me, Brennan. No biggie.

[ For those of you who are wondering what the hell this is all about, check here. ]

Friday, March 10, 2000 @ 04:13 p.m. - Comment

Lawmaking with Abandon

Well, the legislature of yet another state, New York, has finally discovered that it is arguing with the weather.

The scions up there, like those here in Florida, are trying to figure out a way to encourage girls who would abandon their newborns to at least do it in a safe place.

Now, of course, it hasn't occurred to them that being anti-choice and anti-usable-sex-education (as opposed to teaching only abstinence -- how long has it been since you reached puberty?) might have some bearing on this topic, right?

Someone needs to do a cause and effect lecture with these people. Or toss them out and replace them with 18-50 year old's with real jobs.

Friday, March 10, 2000 @ 02:39 p.m. - Comment

Another big lie?

I'm installing software on my Windows machine again today... so it's a good thing I have my Zantac with me. :-}

While I was doing this, I thought: "gee, I'd better shut down my other running programs, so nothing breaks." Then I thought "you know, if I was running Linux, that wouldn't be a problem..." Then I thought "Hey! Everyone in the commercial software industry is always bitching about how the multitude of different possible library files you might find is what makes building commercial Linux installs for the products hard. But, you know what? Windows is the same way; it's just that programs install their own damn libraries -- even if that will break other programs that worked just fine before!"

And so we're supposed to think that is better?

You don't want to know how much time I've spent fixing a client's Premiere video editing workstation because Microsoft mucked with DirectX without warning.

And people wonder why I want the designer of WindowsUpdate murdered in his sleep.

Friday, March 10, 2000 @ 02:25 p.m. - Comment

Windows 2000 Datacenter Edition

In late June, Microsoft will ship Windows 2000 Datacenter Edition, supporting up to 32 processors and 64 GB of memory, making it Microsoft's most powerful Windows server yet.

Datacenter Edition, which has mainframe-like reliability and manageability features, will likely steal market share from Unix and proprietary servers such as the AS/400, IT executives and analysts said, though no one anticipates that will happen overnight.

"It's going to take a while for Microsoft to convince folks this platform is adequate," said analyst Rob Enderle of Giga Information Group. "These applications run the business. When they go down, you send all your workers home."

Yeah; no shit.

Would anyone like to hold the bets on which major corporation goes out of business first?

The story is here.

[ UPDATE: one of my correspondents sends this along:

By the way, I can really appreciate your "When they go down, you send all your workers home." comment this morning. The ERP cluster is down here this morning, and my boss is scrambling to bring everything back up. Meanwhile, discussion in the halls (at least within the accounting department) centers around what to do if they just take the rest of the day off.

Friday, March 10, 2000 @ 12:21 a.m. - Comment

Don't cough if you're having a heart attack

Well, you can try, but it's not likely to help much.

If you got a piece of email about this, it's a hoax. Both the current RISKS Digest, and Jerry Pournelle's mailbag are carrying the definitive dis of this idea. While the original and the rebuttal may both sound believable, remember this: the reason you want to listen to the rebuttal isn't the name that's on it, it's the name that pointed you to it. Jerry and the RISKS editor, Peter G. Neumann, are both very easy to find, and have reputations to protect.

We're moving into a reputation economy. Don't forget that.

[ So, what should you do? Take two aspirin, and call an ambulance. ]

Thursday, March 9, 2000 @ 11:55 p.m. - Comment

More on the Amazon patent mess...

I was wrong.

Jeff Bezos, of Amazon, isn't an asshole.

He's posted his own open letter, in response to his conversations with Tim O'Reilly, and it's actually remarkably believable and well thought-out.

I've received several hundred e-mail messages on the subject of our 1-Click ordering patent. Ninety-nine percent of them were polite and helpful. To the other one percent -- thanks for the passion and color!

Before I go on, I'd like to thank Tim O'Reilly. Tim and I have had three long conversations about this issue, and they've been incredibly helpful to me as I've tried to clarify in my mind what is the right thing to do.

He seems to have some excellent ideas on what can be done about software patents, and while -- like Tim O'Reilly -- I'm not ready to let him off the hook of whether software patents need to exist at all, if we have to have them, I'd rather have them on his terms than the terms we have them on now.

I liked his parting shot, too:

On an important meta-level, one thing to note is that this episode is a fascinating example of the new world, where companies can have conversations with their customers, and customers can have conversations with their companies. I've been saying for 4 years now that, online, the balance of power shifts away from the merchant and toward the customer. This is a good thing. If you haven't already, read the cluetrain manifesto. If you want the book, can get it at several places online...

Stylish, Jeff.

Now let's make with the substance.

Thursday, March 9, 2000 @ 10:59 p.m. - Comment

Email Nastiness Alert

<loud annoying beep> This Is Not A Test.

There's a tapeworm crawling around the net again.

If you get a mail message with a .VBS file attached, trash the attachment, unopened. If your mail program has an "Automatically open attachments" switch, find it and turn it off. If you don't know whether it does or not, find out, or have someone find out for you.

The one I got a copy of today, off a mailing list, was LINKS2.VBS. It contains a bunch of encrypted Visual Basic code that does we know not what, including, apparently, mailing copies of itself to the first N people in your addressbook.

Let me state that again: these messages look like they came from someone you know. You still can't trust them.

Are we beginning to understand the problem, here? :-)

I've written on this topic before; page back, and you should find it. If you have a virus checker, note that it probably needs to be told that .VBS files might be a problem, see this alert from Network Associates, among others...

It would appear that this program only affects Microsoft Outlook mail addressbooks -- yet another good reason to use something else. :-)

Thursday, March 9, 2000 @ 10:48 p.m. - Comment

Margaret's been at it again...

Taking pictures, that is.

She also writes, occasionally... and sometimes babbles.

Thursday, March 9, 2000 @ 09:53 p.m. - Comment

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If you're down here it's because you decided you wanted to link to me. Wow. Cool. Thanks. :-)

I use Phil Greenspun's clicktracking system to keep track of my traffic, and I like to use it on inbound links too, when possible; it's interesting to know where the traffic comes from, and theCounter isn't quite as spiffy as I'd like. If you could use the following link code to link to me, I'd appreciate it:

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and just make up a YOURTAG that's somewhat descriptive. Thanks again for your trouble...