Will America's Tolerance for Gas Guzzlers Remain Forever?

Reposted from today's CommuterPageBlog:
The answer is, eventually no, according to Stein Leikanger writing in an editorial today (Congestion Charging at The Energy Lean Buffet, April 26, 2007) on The Truth About Cars blog. Specifically he says "Whether it takes a cataclysmic economic shock, or a gradual increase in gasoline prices, or environmental concern/lobbying, the U.S. will eventually move more in line with the European model and begin adopting European 'energy lean' solutions." According to Leikanger that means more fuel efficient transport. He cites the fact that Warren Buffett is moving his money to trains, green energy alternatives and electronic cars as a harbinger of things to come.

The author discusses London considering an "emissions influenced charging" to it's current Congestion Zone pricing, meaning that gas guzzlers would pay more to get into the City than other vehicles and other European cities that are considering emissions-based road pricing. Leikanger's point is that if you want to see our future, look across the Atlantic to Europe, where he says they are a decade ahead of the U.S.

All very interesting stuff and worth the read.

Chris Hamilton is the Commuter Services Chief for Arlington County, manager of CommuterPageBlog and a biking/Metro commuter from Rosemont in Alexandria.


Is Windows Vista in Trouble?

Surely not!
The Inquirer.net is running a story about what they consider two powerful indications that Vista is failing in the marketplace. One, Dell has reintroduced PCs running Windows XP on its website due to customer demand. Two, Microsoft is conducting a worldwide firesale on a bundle of Microsoft Office 2007/WindowsXP Starter Edition. According to Inquirer.net, at least, these are signs of serious problems selling Vista. Are we seeing the stumbling of the Microsoft Juggernaught with the slow adoption of Windows Vista?

Feisty Fawn is Here!

Yep, newest release for Ubuntu, Feisty Fawn, is here. No, I don't know where they come up with these names. But I've noticed the upgrade button on the Update Manager so I moved from 6.10 to 7.04 this week. Here are some Slashdot articles on this topic:

Seven Essential Tips For Using Ubuntu Feisty Fawn, Friday April 20
Matthew Newton, a columnist at PC World, has a great article up on seven things you'll want to change as soon as you start using Feisty Fawn. Some are as simple as making sure the Alt key works right, another gives you step-by-step instructions for turning on the impressive Beryl interface. 'I could spend a whole 'nother column telling you about all the great packages that are not installed by default, but for now I'll just leave you with this bonus tip: If you're running Ubuntu on a laptop and your Wi-Fi card is not detected or supported, try installing the Ndisgtk package (listed as such in Synaptic, but as 'Wireless Windows Drivers' in Add/Remove Applications). Then select the new System, Administration, Windows Wireless Drivers entry in Ubuntu's menu bar.'
Really excellent article that's linked there, I tried out the Desktop Effects and liked it enough that I enabled Beryl - and it's a blast! Note that this is my work machine so it's a little beefier than my home linux workstations... so I may just have to enjoy the benefits here only. And speaking of Beryl...

Beryl User Interface for Linux Reviewed, Monday April 23
OSWeekly.com has published a review of Beryl, a very cool looking UI for Linux. Matt Hartley writes, "This release, in my opinion, was the most over-hyped and bug-filled to date. You will have to really hit Technorati to see more of what I'm talking about, but Feisty is as buggy as the beta I tested a short time ago. After completely tossing into the wilds of the ubber-buggy "network-manager," anything running with Edgy supported RT2500 driver shows up, but it will not connect without a special script. Those of you who are on Feisty and need help with your RT2500 cards are welcome to e-mail me for the bash script."
I don't think I'd agree with the buggy part - but that may be because I've bee upgrading from a working 6.10 install rather than from scratch. I've not experienced any problems though.


Pic of the Week 20070420

Great Big Sea concert tonight, wheee!! But not too busy to post up a pic of the week, so cheers!

Ubuntu Linux News

LinuxCouple of articles on my new favorite Linux distro. On Thursday April 19 Slashdot noted, "Ubuntu Feisty Fawn Released":
Lots of readers told us about the official release of Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn (screenshots here for Ubuntu and Kubuntu). Some readers report that the distribution servers are being hammered. Here is a review of Feisty Fawn. Reader LinuxScribe sends us to LinuxPlanet for the story on a pleasant Java surprise in the release.
I upgraded my work machine today, was completely painless. And, as I already had Ubuntu's Multiverse repository enabled in my sources file, I got the Sun J2EE stuff too. I'll have to poke around some more and see what else has changed.

And, if you're wondering just how much Dell is really into Linux, "Michael Dell Using Ubuntu Linux At Home":
whoever57 sends us a link from the Dell site noting that Michael Dell is using Ubuntu Linux at home (7.04, Feisty Fawn) on a Precision M90 laptop loaded with Openoffice.org and Evolution. If one were betting on which distro Dell will eventually ship pre-installed, this factoid might be food for thought. Oh, and Micheal Dell's gaming system uses XP Media Center edition.
As noteworthy as that is, I'm still left drooling over the pair of 30" Widescreen UltraSharp Flat Panel Monitors he uses at work... Mmmmm...

U.S. Soldiers Hate New High-Tech Gear

Another story from Slashdot, this one from Wednesday.
Land Warrior, the Army's wireless equipment package featuring helmet cams, GPS, laser range-finders and a host of other state-of-the-art electronics, is finally ready for deployment on a global battlefield network in Iraq after 15 years of R&D at the Pentagon. But in a report for Popular Mechanics, Noah Shachtman not only tries on the new digital armor — he talks to troops who don't like it at all. As if that wasn't disheartening enough for the future of tech at war, the real Land Warrior system doesn't even match up to its copycat gear in Ghost Recon 2.

I'm still waiting for the Starship Troopers -type armor... (From the Heinlein novel, not the movie.)

Sony DVDs in Trouble Again

Couple of stories from Slashdot point to more woes from Sony. They just can't seem to get basic customer relations right, as in "Thou shalt not blatantly screw the customer over..."

New Sony DVDs Not Working In Some Players Sunday April 15
It seems that the most recent DVDs released by Sony — specifically Stranger Than Fiction, Casino Royale, and The Pursuit of Happyness — have some kind of 'feature' that makes them unplayable on many DVD players. This doesn't appear to be covered by the major media yet, but this link to a discussion over at Amazon gives a flavor of the problems people are experiencing. A blogger called Sony and was told the problem is with the new copy protection scheme, and they do not intend to fix it. Sony says it's up to the manufacturers to update their hardware.

They seemed to have cleared it up now though - not that they will have learned their lesson or anything (as evidenced by past behavior...)

Sony Fixes Problems With New DVDs Wednesday April 18
Following up on reports that DVDs for some Sony titles were causing problems, Video Business is reporting that Sony has fixed the copy-protection problem on recent DVD releases, and will provide replacement discs to customers. The problem was with the ARccOS DRM system. The company issued the following statement: 'Recently, an update that was installed on approximately 20 titles was found to cause an incompatibility issue with a very small number of DVD players (Sony has received complaints on less than one thousandth of one percent of affected discs shipped)... Since then, the ARccOS system has once again been updated, and there are no longer any playability problems.' Customers can call 800-860-2878 to inquire about replacement discs.

Sure, hardly any complaints at all, notice how quickly they point that out...

Was Videogaming Better Back in the Day?

An anonymous reader from Slashdot wrote on Monday:
Sean Sands at Gamers With Jobs looks back at the dawn of videogaming, when we were all kids just typing in our games, one line of BASIC at a time. And he finds the present lacking: 'The dreamers became assets instead of leaders, and the rockstar designers became, well, Rockstar ... or Blizzard, or Valve. Publishers with cash-rich money to spend bought the creative process, and the minds of marketing professionals replaced four guys hopped up on sugar doughnuts and generic cola. So, how dare I be surprised that the price of today's gaming blitz is a little piece of last generation's soul?'
What do you think? Simplicity or complexity? Play games for mindless entertainment or for the intricate storylines?

Action and Reaction

I'm not really going to say much about this week's tragedy at VA Tech, except to post an article that seems to put it into perspective. It's not about pointing the finger at the guns or the video games, as I'm sure will happen soon:
This week a horrible person with horrible intentions did something unconscionable and unredeemable. He strapped on a bullet-proof vest, loaded-up with ammunition enough to wage a private war and slaughtered students at Virginia Tech. And, now there will be tears and rage, confusion and blame.

In the aftermath, as people search hopelessly for answers enough to square the tragedy away conveniently into an understandable box, easy and convenient culprits will be dragged into the national spotlight and lambasted with great and furious hyperbole by people with an agenda. You will hear the usual suspects mentioned sometimes with explicit accusations of causality and sometimes just with a sense of guilt by association, and politicians already in the fresh throes of a coming campaign will trot out platitudes and rhetoric.
My heart certainly goes out to those affected, and I'm wearing a orange and crimson ribbon today in remembrance. Yet I do inwardly cringe at the condemnations that will most assuredly follow...


Pic of the Week 20070417

This one's to make up for last Friday. I still plan on popping one up this coming Friday. Enjoy!



Oxhorn is a genius machinima creator. He was just interviewed at WOW Insider. His films have won awards at the Xfire Summer Movie Contest. And this one has, quite literally, made me ROFLMAO.

Pure genius.


Philly/Bal'mer Day 5.0

Back home again. Long day, won't take the time to blog much now, nor upload the pics. Donna and the girls are already in bed asleep, and Donna's got a helluva weekend ahead - demo and ball tomorrow, wedding cake Sunday. Yikes.

So, the short roundup: Checked out of the hotel and went to Fort McHenry - that was especially cool, if not frigid from the wind chill. Managed our way downtown to the Science Center, when we got there everyone was leaving - construction nearby cut the power to the whole grid right there by the inner harbor. Lovely. So got back in the car ($5 for 10 minutes of parking) and headed further downtown to see the Washington Monument. Then proceeded to Arundel Mills Mall, hiked the circumference (that's a whole lotta mall), spent some time in girly stores as well as Books A Million (BAM!) and then caught the 7pm show for Medieval Times. Just as enjoyable as the time Donna took me, actually more so as we were able to enjoy it through our kids this time. I never knew Carrie could get so bloodthirsty. A little disconcerting to see my gentle and perky 7-yr-old leaning over her table screaming "Booooooo!!! I hate the red knight!!" (This after our knight, the blue one, got the stuffing beat out of him. He was nice, but not very good.) And Carrie got the princess' favor banner from our knight, so she has a blue ribbon sash that says something like "Queen of Beauty and Love" or some such. Made her night (no pun intended). I know Katie was getting into it as well - she was seated right next to the yellow section, and got into yelling matches with the 16-yr-old and 7-yr-old sisters next to her. Knowing her lungs, it was a short contest. :-)

Right, that's it for now. We'll blog more this weekend once we get the pics uploaded and gotten some sleep, somewhere along the line.



Philly/Bal'mer Day 4.1

Aquarium was lots of fun, but hellish on the already stressed legs. Dolphin show was enjoyable as always through the eyes and rapt expressions of the little ones - in this case Nick and AJ. Funny tho how Carrie and even Katie are still enamoured by them after all these years, and were quick to clamor for attendance at the show.

Seems as if they've almost doubled the size of the Aquarium, and yet it seems smaller than when I was younger. I don't recall how old I was when I was first there, certainly a teenager, but it just seemed to stretch on and on, one aquatic wonder after another. And while my feet would be quick to disagree with me, it all seemed to end rather quickly. Once we actually started on the tour, of course, and outside of bathroom breaks and the like. Gift stores have multiplied, as have cafes, but the quality/variety/quantity of merchandise has improved as well.

(Side note: As I sit here typing before turning in, Katie's talking up a storm again... I need to make sure I warn her prior to her going off to college about the potential downfalls of sleep-talking once one has a roommate...)

Ugh. I ate too much at Phillips. The seafood was sooooo good tho... I had a Mahi-mahi in peach chutney sauce which was to die for. Oh and a crab cake as well. After the cheesy crab dip. And salad. Hmm, wonder why I feel so stuffed...

On the way back from the O's game, we tried to catch the game on the radio (since we had left after the 7th-inning stretch) but the usual 1500AM station was playing some other team... only after going around all the AM stations several times did we realize they were broadcasting the Nationals. Bah. Friggin' traitors. So what if the O's still suck. (Actually that was their only saving grace tonight, that the Royals sucked as badly as they did.)

Best part of the game: A high fly into the upper deck, and none of the fans could hold onto it, so it dropped onto the lower deck. Guy in front of me turns to his buddy and says, "See, even the fans suck."

Second best part of the game: Carrie got into the whole deal so much that whenever they did the "CHARGE!", she was still going "Charrrrrrrggggeeeee" for several seconds afterwards. And she took such pity on the O's batters when they struck out. "Oh that poor guy..." I think we have a better chance of making the girls into baseball fans than football fans, which is fine, at least we can afford baseball tickets...

Philly Day 4

Philly-NOT We're in Baltimore, hon! Today was CRAZY, but a lot of fun. I've never been to Bmore for more than the day, so this is kind of cool. Met Mary, Nick, AJ and Aunt Kim at the Aquarium today, and spent the day in the Rain forest Sauna and looking at weird fish and frogs.

Had dinner at Phillips- EXCELLENT crab cakes- and then we hiked it to the O's game. Carrie didn't want to go, but ended up yelling and cheering and getting a kiss from the Bird, and now wants to play for the O's. It's hard not to have fun at the game. We left during the 8th inning cuz we were FREEZING and the girls were wiped, but they were excited to see on TV that they won in the 10th inning finally 2-1. We ate the traditional hot dog and sang "take me out to the ballgame" along with the 7th inning stretch tradition of "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" that's been played for years. The girls know that one cuz we play it at home. Yea for John Denver!

Found it interesting. Carrie loves all the sites and sounds, and wants to see everything. All the city noises seem to make Katie a little jumpy and longing for her quieter country home. She had a great time, but wishes it wasn't so loud. :)

My legs hurt soooo badly! We've been everywhere today. They did add a whole new building onto the Aquarium, and it has an Australian exhibit. Very exciting- except for the bats hanging overhead, and very hot, almost like the rain forest. Got to see my Puffins, but they weren't very active. Girls had a blast down at the bottom cuz the scuba divers were feeding the rays and they played patty cake through the glass with Carrie. Katie got a high 5. It was really funny. As always, they loved the dolphins, too. They got balloon animals made on the street in shapes I'd never seen before, saw the USS Constellation, and had a great time today.

Da bird

At the O's game


Philly Day 3.1

George Washington's Memorial Chapel at Valley Forge was truly awe-inspiring. I went up first as the girls were involved in their movie and Donna's feet were sore. Just out of nowhere, this towering Gothic belfry loomed, and inside was a scene of such peace and tranquility, I just had to go back (after numerous snapshots) ans get the rest of the family inside.
Now it's not a large chapel by any means - you'd be lucky to get 40-50 people inside. But the sheer magnitude of detail and painstaking effort that went into the intricate woodwork of the banisters and organ, and the majestic tapestry of colors of the stained glass windows, simply took my breath away. Really, it did make the whole day worth it. I cannot more highly recommend a stop at this place if you go anywhere near Philly. And I did appreciate the historical and military aspects of Valley Forge Park as a whole, but the Chapel was the crowning event. I'm so glad the gent at the visitor center recommended we stop there.

So yes, we're in Bal'mer now. Decided to stick it out, as we'd just lose the money anyways cancelling this late (one of the drawbacks of using Expedia). The girls seemed to fall asleep with less effort and fuss tonight, factoring in their own exhaustion and sickness, as well as the more comfortable and roomy beds (queens vs. doubles). So maybe we'll have a better day tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

Philly Day 3

What a long day of driving! Nothing was close for the campaigning continental army, or for those who want to go see what they did. We drove about one Barbie movie in between each stop today, so it was LONG. We were able to hear all 3 of the Barbie Fairytopia movies to their completion, along with Quest for Camelot. JOY!!

Besides that though, we went to Washington Crossing State Park, to see where Washington crossed to Delaware on Christmas Eve with his troops to attack the Hessians. This had a lot of buildings and would have been pretty cool except that they had a school there and wouldn't let us in some of the buildings at all because of it. The boathouse was cool though. It let the girls see how big the boats really were, and the interpreter there showed us what it took to fire a cannon, which the girls thought was pretty neat. I was kind of depressed that we drove all that way though and didn't get to see much. Not the best start to the day.

Another long drive put us at Valley Forge, and that was much nicer. We got to see a movie, lots of exhibits, and then out to the fields! Carrie's favorite part was the little Washington statue that you could stick your head in and take a picture - she did this several times. Looked more like Napoleon to me...

The girls loved the huts that represented Mulenberg's Brigade. 12 men to a hut was a little out of their realm of understanding... General Washington's Headquarters was cool, though Carrie was done by that point with all things old. She just wanted to explore passageways and run around - understandably! I was frustrated and tired by that point, when we found the memorial chapel. I could have easily spent hours in the place checking out every last carving and detail. I've never seen one like it anywhere. It's a placed that makes you want to be silent and contemplate. The stained glass windows, which were on every one, showed pictures of Washington and the revolution stories among others like the eagle and capitol in DC. Beautiful, ornate work. That made the whole day worth it! We also saw some scrawny deer that need spring to come, but were still pretty to watch. One fawn was loosing his spots, but still had a few near his belly. The girls loved them.

We're finally in Baltimore after circumventing all of Philly today. I'm never sleeping with Katie again - I got NO sleep last night. Made today incredibly difficult to stay awake for. Nice hotel though for the price, and tomorrow we go to the aquarium and an Orioles game, so the rain better go away! The ups and downs of vacation are always interesting, but it's time with family, so that's what counts. :)


Philly Day 2.1

Not too much to add. I really did like the market that we trekked to solely for the cheesesteaks. Reading Terminal Market has been housed in the same building since 1893. The historic building takes up a whole block. Supposedly the cheesesteak guy, Rick, is the grandson of the guy who invented the cheesesteak. Dunno about the accuracy of that statement, but it was a yummy cheesesteak all the same. With, of course (meaning with onions).

I think seeing the Liberty Bell was very cool, but it was a bit... distracting from the whole historic experience to have it housed in such a modern building (and passing through the border patrol security check to get to it). Now Independence Hall, on the other hand (same border patrol notwithstanding) was a much different experience. Standing in the same hall as Adams, Washington, Jefferson, Franklin... wondering what was going through their heads when they tried to plot a course for a nation to take, and create a charter that might be able to change with the times and still provide a firm guiding hand... it was awe-inspiring.

Oh yes, and Bahama Breeze was very cool as well. I had some exotic tropical mixed drink with two different kinds of rum, banana liqueur, and orange and pineapple juices in it. Mmmmmm.... I do recall the rest of the meal, really. Especially the overindulgence of the key lime pie at the end. Mmmmmm.... (Do you detect a trend in my vacation blogging? Should I watch more Rachel Ray reruns?)

Have you ever wondered where the phrases "Upper-Case" and "Lower-Case" came from? Well, as the friendly typesetter at Ben Franklin's newspaper publishing shop explained to us, this was where the letters were stored: The capital letters were in the upper case, and the small letters in the lower case. How's that for trivia?

Oh and apologies to Kevin, we didn't get to swing by Tun Tavern, the birthplace of the Marine Corps. It's on the map but not nearby where we were traversing. We are going to try and stop by the Washington Crossing park and Valley Forge before we head out tomorrow.

The girls' behavior hasn't really been conducive to our getting much sleep, nor has it encouraged us to look forward to spending two more nights in hotels this trip. We're seriously considering just day-tripping back to Baltimore for Thursday's trip to the Aquarium and that night's Oriole's game. Even if we have to pay a penalty for cancelling at this late date...

Philly Day 2

OK, day 2 was an improvement. MY FEET ARE KILLING ME! We walked all over Independence National Park, which includes the PA state house, better known as Independence Hall, Congressional Hall, the outbuildings included in Independence Square, the Visitor's Center, The Liberty Bell Center, Franklin court (where his house used to be and museum), the Graff House where the Declaration was written, and 6 blocks to this really cool market to get a Philly cheese steak where they started from. All in all a LONG day, but really cool.

It's amazing to stand where Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Ben Franklin, John Adams, John Hancock and more stood. To know that this is where our country really began, and that it wasn't set in stone, or already figured out. They were trying something untested- living by the will of the people and free elections. Philosophy from John Locke and the like put in to place for us to have a different kind of life, rights, and no king. The kids don't get how important all of this was, but I hope that some day they will. I'll hope they will understand how special it is and how lucky we are to live here and still live by that same constitution over 200 years later.

We actually had a real Philly cheese steak, which was pretty good. The market was cool, too. It reminds me of the one at Boston, though. That one was more fun for some reason. Oh well. Still really neat, and tomorrow we see Valley Forge and Washington Crossing Park before moving on to Baltimore. More familiar territory. Should have planned another day or so here though. So much to see! The kids are making us crazy and I don't think we could have taken it. Ate at this great restaurant called Bahama Breeze. Felt like we were in the Carribean and the food was amazing. Carrie got mac n cheese as ALWAYS, but Oh My Goodness, it was the best stuff any of us have ever had, and I would say I'm a connoisseur of it! I had almond crusted talapia in lemon butter sauce. YUM...


Philly Day 1.1

Two quick comments to follow Donna. One, it is entirely too freaking cold out for April. And I still hear people claiming there is no global warming...

Two, this road was designed by morons. Well meaning morons, but morons nonetheless. It took me a half hour trying to return to the hotel from Walmart (forgot to pack the SD card reader to upload pics) to figure out that you can NOT make a left-hand turn across NJ rt-38. You take a right, then a quick veer left again to come to a light, where you can either go left (essentially a u-turn) or straight (which would have been a left-hand turn across 38). Confused? You have no idea, my friend, no idea at all....

Philly Day 1

Ok. Vacation. Been waiting for weeks for time off together. Started from Mom's for the trip after Easter. The girls were hyper, we couldn't visit the Herr's Potato chip factory this morning like planned, and we never made it Valley Forge at all. We are on our Philly vaca and haven't been to Philly yet after our whole first day! HAd an interesting time, though. On the way up above Aberdeen, we stopped at a covered bridge, one of the only ones left. Pretty cool, though falling apart.

Went the Herr's factory tour in Nottingham, PA. Took our time and got to see how chips, cheese curls, pretzels and such are made, which the girls loved. Got free samples of chips that just came outof the oil and salt-still warm! Never seen so many kinds of chips- we bought ketchup flavored to try them...

Had dinner at Bertucci's and are trying to find our way around Cherry Hill, NJ which has some wierd roads. Think I'm getting a cold just in time for vacation! Tomorrow we are supposed to go to see the Liberty Bell, Betsy Ross's house, Independence Hall and all that. That's what I want to see. I'm excited about that! We'll see how I feel after walking around Philly all day tomorrow... I'm hoping for a cheesesteak for lunch tomorrow in the city that created them!


Serenity Trounces Star Wars

Another Slashdot post, this one from back on Tuesday.
The BBC is reporting that the film Serenity has been voted the number-one Sci Fi film of all time. Serenity is a followup to the series Firefly. The 2005 film beat out Star Wars better than two-to-one for the top honors. This result came in a poll of 3000 readers of SFX magazine.
All hail Joss Whedon. Interestingly, I was just thinking about George Lucas' downfall while reading an article on Gamers With Jobs, by Elysium: Georgie Come Philately – A Brief Nerd Rant.
Strolling into the post office today I noticed a banner on the door helpfully informing me that Star Wars stamps would be available soon. Great, I thought, because I'd just realized that my written correspondence was the only thing left in my life to which I couldn't affix R2D2. Now, finally, the people I send mail to, mainly people who send demands for money with return envelopes, will know of my secret longing to become a jedi.

Look, I like Star Wars as much as the next internet nerd (read: a lot), but I think it's finally time to let the whole thing sink under the waves like Leonardo DiCapprio in Titanic. Much like Star Trek, which has been solidly dead to me pretty much since Gul Dukat and the pah-wraiths killed Dax, I think finally I can move on, and find something else on which to get my geek all over. Dammit, Joss Whedon, will you hurry up and make something so my inner fanboy has something to do.
May the schwartz be with you! (Personally, I liked Spaceballs: The Flamethrower.) Granted, I am a huge fan of the Star Wars literary universe (I have one of the paperbacks from said franchise in my bag). I would LOVE to see such literary opportunities extended to the Firefly/Serenity universe.

Oooh, I'm gettin' all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it...

BTW, for the impatient, or for those who detest clicking links away from another page, here's the top sci-fi movies:

1. Serenity
2. Star Wars
3. Blade Runner
4. Planet of the Apes
5. The Matrix
6. Alien
7. Forbidden Planet
8. 2001: A Space Odyssey
9. The Terminator
10. Back to the Future

Slashdot on Vista

Just a pair of interesting Vista articles I found on Slashdot, as I wrap up the news before I go on vacation.
Hardocp.com has published "30 days with Vista" — with the same author from "30 days with Linux" doing the evaluation. And he doesn't like it. From the article: 'Based on my personal experiences with Vista over a 30 day period, I found it to be a dangerously unstable operating system, which has caused me to lose data [...] Any consideration of the fine details comes in second to that one inescapable conclusion. This is an unstable operating system.'
And the bad news for Microsoft continues to mount, as a new survey finds that few intend to migrate to Vista.
A recent Harris Poll has found that while most online computers users are aware of Microsoft's Windows Vista, few are intending to switch over to the new operating system anytime soon. The Harris Poll of 2223 US online adults in early March found that 87% were aware of Vista. Unfortunately for Microsoft, only 12% of Vista-aware respondents were intending to upgrade to Vista in the next 12 months.
I think I'll stick with my home-brew machines for now. Unless I get a laptop sometime in the near future. Then again, those new MacBook Pros look pretty sweet...

Pic of the Week 20070406

Belated happy birthday to my wife, she didn't get much of a day yesterday but hopefully I can make it up to her this weekend... speaking of which, we're off to the in-laws for Easter and then on to Philly and then Baltimore for the girls' spring break next week. I know doesn't sound like much of a hot vacation spot, but we're going to be soaking in the cultural and historic sites - good stuff.

Anyways, here's the pic for this week. I may or may not blog next week from vacation, I believe we have internet access from the hotels so maybe I'll get some pics up then. In the meantime, enjoy and click on the pic for the full-rez version.

Yes, they finally discovered the Bush Administration leak.


Why You Should Always Watch What You Say Around Kids

This 3-yr-old was asked what she would do if a monster came into the house...


The Blame Game

This is an excellent, thought-provoking article from Gamers With Jobs. Rather than join the parents-are-to-blame or the games-are-to-blame camps concerning school-age violence, momgamer (I adore her writing, she is one eloquent lady) shows us the middle path:
Who is to blame for what happens when kids do bad things? When something awful happens everyone trots out his or her pet theory. The usual videogames- media- comics- weather- whatever- are- to- blame crowd chimes right in. And on the other side a lot of people throw the whole issue over the wall and blame parents when it comes to violent behavior. Since it's the parents' job to monitor their kids, if something goes wrong it must be the parent's fault. This is particularly popular in the game industry, but it's not exclusive to it...

I don't buy any of it. I submit that people who reflexively blame parents for troubled kid's actions are just as at fault as those who reflexively blame video games. And none of the blaming does any of us a damned bit of good.
Definitely a worthy read. I wish an article like this would gain mainstream press. However, I now have the inescapable urge to lock my children up and keep them this way forever.

At the end of the day, all we can say is that we've tried our best to raise them well.


How Sick Exactly Can A Dog Get?

I've always wondered at the term "sick as a dog". I use it often though, just a phrase I grew up with. I cannot use a better description for how I'm feeling now though. Lost my voice sometime last Wednesday and haven't found it yet. Maybe it went on vacation to Florida without me. Anyways, got back from the doctor's today and I've developed a pretty nasty infection. If I could just get some sleep I'd kick this thing... Well, missed work today, most likely tomorrow too. Starting to feel guilty about taking vacation next week for the girls' Spring Break... ok, not all that much really, but maybe just a tiny, lingering guilt...