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News for March 2005


Radiation tri-blade symbol 31.mar.2005 - Evan (far right) sent word he thru up his own web site: his first footprint in the digital world: wollenbergphoto. Evan is pursuing a degree in Photography from Brooks (graduates next month). It's obvious from the photos he's got talent.

We went backpacking in Yosemite a few years back, when he was dating Lani. Being an ex-Eagle scout, he made the experience (my first) more enjoyable, since he had all the equipment & knew all the tricks (such as the best way to poop in the woods). Except he was outsmarted by the ingenious Yosemite bears, who managed to climb a tree (25 feet up) & make off with our food. =(

You may recall previous photos he sent, such as his cute New Kitty, the high-flying Big Air at Pismo, (aka 'Yes it broke') and the ever-scandalous Wash Me.

Radiation tri-blade symbol 30.mar.2005 - Broke up the Rad Freeware guide into 4 separate pages. It was getting looong, and is becoming increasingly popular, so I tidied 'er up a bit. Made it look a little more presentable. Instead of a single, unwieldy 60-KB page that scrolls on forever, I now have four pages of ~15-KB each (not including ~10-KB worth of gfx).

Dr. Jakob would be proud. He says small, fast-loading pages are are a key element to designing web usability.

Radiation tri-blade symbol 29.mar.2005 - Been tinkering with the style & format of the ads. Was hoping to simply use one of Google's pre-designed styles (color schemes), since they offer a dozen varieties. But it looks like I'm going to have to play designer, which is not my strong suit.

The biggest change is adding a vertical tower (Google calls it a "skyscraper"). Took me while to figure out how to do that. I went to other site's that displayed this style of ad & noticed (view source) they coded in a separate "table" around the ad. So I ripped off (copied) their code & did likewise.

My goal is to maximize clicks with minimal intrusiveness. Note that I didn't use the "wide skyscraper", which hosts 5 ads instead of the 4 you see. Trying to avoid getting greedy.

Google only pays for clicks, so clicks, not number, or prominence, of ads is the goal. I had originally devised my own design, but trashed that and decided to use Google's optimization guide. I figure they're the experts & know what's best. No sense in re-inventing the wheel. What you see now conforms to their suggested guidelines:

The remainder of today's entry is blogged here:> Tweaking style & format of ads

Radiation tri-blade symbol 28.mar.2005 - Titans clash this week. Hollywood squares off against the Tech industry. The Entertainment industry heads to the Supreme Court, where they'll try for a third time to bend the US legal system to their will and reverse two California court decisions that protect makers of file-sharing software.

The remainder of today's entry is blogged here:> Supreme court hears MGM vs Grokster file-sharing case

Radiation tri-blade symbol 27.mar.2005 - Happy Easter.

"He is not here; for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you." Matthew 28:6-7

Radiation tri-blade symbol 26.mar.2005 - Evan (sophomore at UC Santa Barbara) sent word from his surf-trip to Costa Rica. Being from the East coast, the surf culture has always fascinated me. See here for some cool surf lingo & experience the Pura Vida for yourself:> E-dawg surfs Costa Rica

Radiation tri-blade symbol 25.mar.2005 - Updated the Guide to Norton Ghost to included reader feedback. Appreciate the suggestions. See entry for 23.March (below) for more info.

Radiation tri-blade symbol 24.mar.2005 - Had a conversation today on the topic of cell phone etiquette. Why is it, when two people have a face-to-face conversation in public, it seems perfectly natural? Yet when one person talks on a cell - say, in a restaurant, for example - it seems distracting, annoying, rude even?

The remainder of today's entry is blogged here:> Cell Phone Etiquette

Radiation tri-blade symbol 23.mar.2005 - Updated the Radified Guide to Norton Ghost: the site's single most popular feature. Also updated the PDF's: both downloadable zipped (90-KB) and printer-friendly (150-KB) versions. It had been ~9 months since the last update. The guide was first posted in the summer of 2000, almost 5 years ago, and has been updated many times.

Radiation tri-blade symbol 21.mar.2005 - Been busy incorporating Google's AdSense code into these web pages. Tedious work. Copy-paste-upload-check .. copy-paste-upload-check. There's more pages than I thought. My eyes are bleeding.

Had a heck of a time with the blog, which is controlled by a suite of *templates*. The blog currently contains some 172 entries/pages, which I originally thought I'd have to edit individually. That would've been a nightmare. But I was able to add the code to *one* template (individual archive template), which subsequently updated all 172 pages. (Thanks to the folks at MovableType forums for guidance.) Whew.

The remainder of today's entry is blogged here:> Pasting Google's AdSense code into web pages

Radiation tri-blade symbol 20.mar.2005 - Spring solstice today. Also called the the spring equinox and the vernal equinox. The day when hours of light = hours of dark. The word 'equinox' means "equal night". Man has been celebrating the day from the beginning of recorded history (and apparently earlier).

The exact time (when sun crosses the equator) is 4:34 AM (Pacific Standard). Today is one of only two days each year when sun rises directly due east and sets due west. The other is the Fall equinox (~ September 21st). More info at Wikipedia.

Try to get out and enjoy the first day of spring. Here in Laguna, I'm sure Lagunatics will be heading up into the mountains, where they'll crawl into their sweatlodges, or down to the beaches, where they'll bang their drums. Can't help feeling festive. We'll be up at Crystal Cove.

Radiation tri-blade symbol 19.mar.2005 - Received a note today from the folks at Google. Details blogged here:> Your AdSense Application has been approved

Radiation tri-blade symbol 18.mar.2005 - A friend is writing a novel (political thriller) based in Ireland. He flies there every so often to do a little more research. If you've seen the news these last few days, you might've heard of the deal with Sinn Fein (Shin Fey-n) & the IRA.

For a closer look at the issue, I blogged a note I received, complete with color photos. Pretty interesting. See here:> Sinn Fein & the IRA

Radiation tri-blade symbol 17.mar.2005 - Happy St. Patty's day. Erin go braugh and the luck of the Irish.

I've been researching Google's AdSense program, in which they pay for clicks. For year's I've endeavored to maintain a purist site, unadulterated, free from the evil influences of capitalism.

But there was an interesting write-up on AdSense in the business section of USA Today last week (the 11th). The program seems pretty straightforward. You submit your site. Google reviews it to see how their ads might play out. You add code to your site to incorporate their ads. Go to your mailbox and collect your check.

The remainder of today's capitalistic entry is blogged here:> Google AdSense

Radiation tri-blade symbol 15.mar.2005 - People who want to post digital photos online, but don't want the hassle of creating a whole web site, might be interested in PBASE. For US$23/year, you get 200 megs worth of space. That's a good deal. For Radified, I pay $16/month, which buys me 350 megs. Of course, I get many features PBASE doesn't offer.

But those who want nothing more than a place to post their digital photos should find PBASE a good deal. Post your photos online and send your friends the link.

$60 a year gets you a whopping 600 megs. Several friends use PBASE, such a Nikolai. Many of the photos posted there are very good, taken with high-end cameras. Many are handy with Photoshop. Plenty of vacation shots. Some local, some remote. There's plenty for animal lovers and car lovers alike. Cuties & kiddies galore. Some are funny. This one made me laugh.

Radiation tri-blade symbol 13.mar.2005 - Saw Gunner Palace last night. Kinda like home movies taken by soldiers stationed in Iraq. Trailer looked interesting, and the reviews were positive, but I came away disappointed. Almost walked out: something I rarely do. After the first 10 minutes, everything else seemed like a déjà vu. The music was the best part.

Somewhat enlightening, but I was enlightened within the first 10 minutes, bored thereafter. Went to In-n-Out afterwards for a double-double to try & get some satisfaction, but even that tasted lame. Shoulda stayed home.

Radiation tri-blade symbol 12.mar.2005 - ieSpell is a third-party plug-in that allows you to spell-check text entered in text-input boxes when using Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser. ieSpell is accessed via the drop-down "Tools" menu in IE, or by right-clicking in the text field.

Comes in handy, especially if you spend any time in online forums. Unobtrusive. It's not one of those programs that tries to take over your computer. I've been using it regularly. Oh, and did I mention it's free (for personal use)? Added to the Favorite freeware page.

Radiation tri-blade symbol 11.mar.2005 - Received another update from my buddy, Battman, who has been traveling the globe. His latest update (from Nairobi) is blogged here: Nomad Mike's World Tour Update v5. See entry for 21.february (below) for info on previous World Tour updates.

Radiation tri-blade symbol 06.mar.2005 - Saw The Sea Inside (Mar Adentro) last night. Based on a true story. It won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. I originally planned to see Hotel Rwanada, but changed my mind while standing in line when a couple came out of the theater and stopped to chat with the people behind me, who asked what movie they saw.

When the guy said, "The Sea Inside," I turned and asked him how it was. I could tell from the look in his eye and by the way he said, "Excellent," that he was impressed. So I changed my mind. I wasn't planning to see it cuz I knew what it was about and it sounded depressing.

The remainder of today's entry is blogged here:> The Sea Inside (Mar Adentro) - Best Foreign Language Film

Radiation tri-blade symbol 05.mar.2005 - Saw Downfall last night: film about Hitler's last days in his bunker. Based on historical archives from people who were there, presented in the book Der Untergang. (English version: Inside Hitler's Bunker). German dialogue with English subtitles. Strong reviews. Nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. Wikipedia has this to say:

The film is neither a paean nor a denunciation of Hitler or the crimes his Nazi regime perpetrated, it is moreover a testament based on eyewitness accounts and the personal testimony of the people who knew the Führer.

This is how I prefer historical information presented: objectively as possible, allowing me (the viewer) to form my own opinions, come to my own conclusions. Obviously, I realize it's difficult to separate anything about Hitler from the subjectivity of emotion, but I feel this film succeeded better than most I've seen at trying to present the information as objectively as possible.

The remainder of today's entry is blogged here:> Downfall - Inside Hitler's Bunker

Radiation tri-blade symbol 03.mar.2005 - Reminder for those of you who live locally that today is the First Thursday Art Walk here in Laguna. Best to get an early start (6PM). Gorgeous day. Hope to see you out on the town.