Bill's Blog

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Be The Envy Of Your Block

Firefox T-Shirt
Be the envy of your block with one of these amazing Mozilla Firefox T-shirts. That's right, now you can show of your support for The Fox by sporting its gear. The new Mozilla store was relaunched this week and offers free ground shipping through August. I've been awaiting this relaunch and ordered my shirt this morning. They also sell hats, polos, a plush fox and guide books.

This is a good way to support Mozilla and the work they do for the open source movement with their products. For more details on Firefox, read my previous post here.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

When Are Schools Going To Learn?

I am glad I am done with college. Now I only have to worry about the two schools I attended and the 5 others I applied to keeping my information secure.

University of North Texas - 34,000
Cal Poly Pomona - 31,000
Sonoma State University - 67,000
(Links thanks to Emergent Chaos)

I think someone I know is actually affected by the Sonoma State data theft.

This is completely out of control. These universities need to be held responsible for this data loss. They (and businesses, too) should be fined heavily as a deterrent for not securing personal information. I want to know why they have all this information still in accessible databases. Applicant records from ten years ago? Complete with SSNs? There is no reason for this.

We need personal privacy protection now!

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More On Patents

I've already posted about the state of the Patent system in the U.S. a couple times, but found a few other items worthy of posting.

The Smoking Gun, a website that "brings you exclusive documents--cool, confidential, quirky--that can't be found elsewhere on the Web", has a page up called "Plumbing the Patent Files". The page features a "sampling of kooky, classic, and bizarre patent filings" and is well worth a look.

I found a couple articles on CNET that discuss the patent system. Michael Kanellos wrote about how the Patent System's Problems Defy Easy Solutions in his column last week. Last month, he did an article on Patent-hoarding companies, Staking a Claim in the Patent Gold Mine. Both are good write-ups and it looks like he is linking them together in a series so there should be more up ahead.

Some other things of interest from the last few weeks:

Contra Costa Times: Research Schools Wary of Patent System Reform

The Register: Fortinet Loses Anti-Virus Patent Ruling

Market Wire: TCS Adds GSM Network E9-1-1 Patent to Its Expanding Portfolio

FCW: Patent Examiners Battle Stress

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Quote of the Day - 08/10/05

For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.
- Richard P. Feynman, American Physicist

Monday, August 08, 2005

Y2K Part II ?

As the media makes a mountain out of a molehill on this one, I cannot help but be reminded of Y2K. Yeah, there could be some hiccups. Yeah, TiVo might have to be patched. Yeah, I might have to adjust the time on my five year old watch and then adjust it back once it auto-adjusts a month later (or would it be earlier?).

There is plenty of time for technology makers to solve this 'problem'. But rational thinking will not win out. Products not labeled "2007 Daylight Savings Compliant" will sit on the store shelves with consumers afraid not to buy them. Marketing teams are going to eat through their budgets on this one, recreating product package complete with a new-fangled, neon colored sticker proclaiming compliance. Not to mention the TV ads they're going to have to produce.

It will be a Y2K scare all over again. I better start restocking the bomb shelter and stockpiling weaponry.

CNN: Longer Daylight Savings May Cause Trouble

Boston Globe: Extra Daylight Savings May Confuse the Gadgets

MacSimum News: Changes In Daylight Savings Time Could Cause Technical Snafus

Washington Post: What a Difference an Hour Makes

BetaNews: Daylight Saving Change to Affect Tech

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Someone's Reading

CRN picked up on a post I did last week regarding the settlement in the HP recovery partition case. I wonder if they just quoted me in an online article or if it'll be in this weeks magazine? Its pretty cool that they quoted and linked to me.

CRN: HP Settles Class Action On Recovery CDs

PA Student Loan Agency Spending

My mom showed me this story over the weekend. Having had my fair share of dealings with PHEAA, I can't say that this is surprising. I cannot believe that they think they can justify this. I hope lawmakers in Harrisburg can put an end to this kind of fraud and set this agency back on track. Seriously, $135k for a business trip (that included spouses and was hosted at a resort)???

Then again, there were lawmakers on the trip. And with the pay raises still causing a stir, they wouldn't want to act like hypocrites and stop wasteful spending at PHEAA.

We cannot allow taxpayer money to be thrown away in such lavish and unreasonable manners. I could accept a business retreat to a remote area as a way to help improve inter-agency relationships and help employees bond and work together, but to a luxury resort and allowing spouses to go (as well as lawmakers - how are they going to improve morale?)...I wonder how much team building and business work actually went on.

PennLive: Golden Junkets