News for January 2005


Radiation tri-blade symbol 27.jan.2005 - Today is the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Sixty years ago today, the Russian Red Army rolled into Auschwitz and liberated the infamous concentration camp from Nazi control. PBS is broadcasting a 6-part series (2 parts at a time) titled: Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State.

I've seen the first 4 parts so far. This series is particularly interesting because it attempts to reveal the Nazi mindset behind Auschwitz and their reasons for trying to exterminate a whole race of people.

The remainder of today's post is blogged here:> Auschwitz: 60th anniversary

Radiation tri-blade symbol 21.jan.2005 - Today I have a special treat for you. We're proud to announce a new release, which we've quietly been working on for ~ nine months now.

The entire production team is recovering from an exhausting last-minute push. But now that we've had a chance to review the final product, we feel it came out perfectly and couldn't be happier with the results. See here for this special edition:> Rad Jr v1.0 (75-KB).

Radiation tri-blade symbol 10.jan.2005 - Been getting mail & phone calls asking, "Did you hear about the nuclear sub that ran aground near Guam?"

I spent a few years stationed aboard a nuclear sub. It was home-ported out of Pearl Harbor, but we spent several month-long stays in Guam ("Where America's day begins"), which is in the middle of nowhere. [aerial photo]

My memories of Guam are not pleasant. We worked long hours (not a problem when you're 20 years old) and it's hot & humid there, even at 5AM. I remember pulling dirty clothes out of my dirty clothes bag, because they were cleaner than the ones I was wearing. But that's another story.

The remainder of today's entry is blogged here:> US Nuclear Sub Runs Aground

Radiation tri-blade symbol 09.jan.2005 - In reference to the post from 06.jan.2004, about the new software (Answer.com) from the folks at GuruNet, which claim "no adware" yet present an ad-supported model, here's their 'answer'.

The remainder of today's entry is blogged here:> Adware semantics

Radiation tri-blade symbol 08.jan.2005 - Several readers sent notes saying they found RADIFIED via a link posted in this thread (bit-tech forums), which poses the question: What should a personal site contain? Good question. One (obviously intelligent) poster replied thus:

Interesting content is the main thing, and regular updates. My favourite 'personal' site is Radified . Although it is blog based, I think the quality of the blog is what makes the site so popular, along with a serious amount of interesting and useful content.

Well put. Many readers say they come for the technical material; others seem to prefer more personal content. Still others favor a mix, which is what I do.

I try to limit each day's entry to a single topic, for the sake of simplicity & focus. If I don't have anything worth saying, I wait until I do. In other words, I never make an entry just to write empty words. But long-time readers know I'm rarely at a loss for something to say. =)

For example, today I was trying to decide whether to mention the interesting story behind a common phrase found on local bumper stickers: Eddie would go, .. or the new burning program people are raving about: Droppix Recorder, which supposedly rivals Nero. And then there's the article on caffeine (a favorite topic of mine) found on the cover of this month's issue of National Geographic. It's usually just a matter of taking the time to sit down & organize my thoughts.

I also make an effort to write clearly & concisely. I figure that, if someone is willing to spend their valuable time reading what I've written here, the least I can do is take the time and put forth the energy to ensure they don't waste their time trying to figure out what I'm saying. (That's usually where the caffeine comes in.)

Radiation tri-blade symbol 06.jan.2005 - The clever folks at GuruNet sent word about a (similar but) new product they just released: Answers.com (beta version). Both are free (sort of). While the free version of GuruNet limits the content at your disposal, Answers.com provides access to full content, but is based on an ad-supported model, similar to the one made popular by companies such as Google.

If you purchased a subscription to GuruNet, they will continue to honor and support it, but newcomers are being pointed to Answers.com. They even have a plug-in available for Firefox. For more 'answers', their 3-page Reviewers Guide is here (178-KB PDF). Their 3-page Position Paper, titled Birth of the Answer Engine is here (33-KB PDF).

The ability to find reliable information ("answers, not just links") on virtually any subject with a single click cannot be overemphasized. It represents a powerful new paradigm in the Information Age. Referring to their product as The New Standard in Reference is not braggadocio.

The only question I have is: How can their ad-supported software claim to contain no Adware? Is this only for the beta version? If you check their Bloggers Testimonials page, you'll find a comment there taken from Ye Olde Rad Blog. More info and downloads available at the Answers.com site.

Radiation tri-blade symbol 05.jan.2005 - The tsunami. I'm getting letters, from all over the world, asking why I haven't mentioned the biggest natural disaster in our lifetime. For days now, I've been meaning to say something, trying to find the right words, but honestly don't know what to say in the face of such devastation. And regular readers know I'm rarely speechless.

I usually start my day by checking Google News. Back when the death toll was at 20,000, I thought it must be a type-o. I mean, I could see 200 deaths. Maybe even 2,000. But 20,000 couldn't possibly be right. Yet it was .. and that was just the beginning. What I'm saying is that I'm having trouble comprehending the magnitude of this thing.

So I apologize if I seem callous. I can see how one might get that impression. I'm trying to grapple with the impact of this disaster. Maybe this is why I've tried to post content that is uplifting and light-hearted the last few days.

The remainder of today's entry is blogged here:> The Tsunami

Radiation tri-blade symbol 04.jan.2005 - The national championship is on the line tonight at the Orange Bowl (Miami) when the #1 ranked Trojans from USC meet the #2 ranked Sooners from Oklahoma. (What's a sooner, you ask?)

Both teams are undefeated. It promises to be one of the best bowl games in recent memory. While some are predicting an Oklahoma upset, we'll be rooting for the hometown favorite. I've spent much time at the USC campus. Here on the Left coast, the pre-game show gets underway at 5PM. Can't wait for kickoff.

Radiation tri-blade symbol 03.jan.2005 - The Pew Internet & American Life Project conducted a study that found a big boost for blogs in 2004 (58% jump over last year). The study, whose findings are contained in this 4-page summary (PDF), found that if you are familiar with the term blog, you're most likely:

  • male (57%)
  • young (half are under age 30)
  • a broadband user at home (70%)
  • an Internet veteran (82% have been online for at least six years)
  • financially well-off (42% live in households earning over $50K)
  • well educated (39% have college or graduate degrees)
  • good-looking (90% are described as either 'beautiful' or 'handsome' by a jury of their peers)

The reminder of today's entry is blogged here> Blogs Surge in Popularity

Radiation tri-blade symbol 02.jan.2005 - Here's a tweak (3, actually) for Firefox that really works. Makes browsing noticeably zippier.

Enter the following command in the address window: about:config (note the colon; best to simply copy-n-paste the entry). Double-click on each of the 3 entries to make the following changes:

  • network.http.pipelining to "true"
  • network.http.proxy.pipelining to "true"
  • network.http.pipelining.maxrequests to "30"

The reason why these are not the default settings is discussed here.

I love the style of the referring site: forevergeek (reference entry: 26.december). Clean, simple, easy to read. Understated colors. My kind of site. I don't like things flashing at me while I'm trying to read.

If you haven't downloaded a copy of Firefox yet, shame. Grab it here (4.7-MB). More Firefox tweaks here. Been getting rave comments about Moox's CPU-optimized builds.

Radiation tri-blade symbol 01.jan.2005 - Feliz año nuevo. We went to a party here in Laguna last night where it seemed we were the only Americans. Everyone else hailed from some other country. Most were French. There were several Brits, a handful of (white) South Africans (Germans), a real German or two and even a Pole. Oh, I almost forget the Scot. But most were French.

The conversations were something else. Everybody spoke multiple languages. I've always been intrigued by the perspectives of people from other cultures, which is what made me want to go.

The remainder of today's auld lang-drivel is blogged here:> New Years 2005