Bloody Worms, Competitive Stuffing of One’s Pie Hole

Posted in Technology on September 1st 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: A couple of days ago, I started receiving random e-mails, 82 of them since Aug 31st, each infected with the W32.Sobig.F@mm worm. What a pain in the ass. I’ve run the removal tool, which confirms that the worm isn’t on my machine, but the feckin’ e-mails keep coming. Every one gets caught by Norton Antivirus and automatically deleted, but I don’t know how to prevent them from coming in. The Symantec page includes a list of IP addresses correlating to the master servers, so I added those to my firewall restricted zone.

*sigh* One wishes those who waste their lives creating destructive worms and viruses might do something productive, like discover girls, or breath through their noses instead of their mouths. Or at least consider getting a life.

:: Tomorrow I’m on campus to deliver a couple of short presentations during Orientation’03, and then teach to 110 Chemical Engineering 200 students. Classes don’t actually begin until Wednesday. The hordes are back, long live the hordes.
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Road Trip

Posted in Random Thoughts, Technology on July 12th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: The day has been spent preparing for the drive tomorrow, on the way to Winnipeg. I am not a fan of that long drive anymore, but am looking forward to being in town to attend the high school reunion, and see a few good friends. Today I enjoyed a 90-minute full-body massage, and later in the afternoon, met Avalee and had a very enjoyable two-hour coffee visit with her. Thanks, av, I enjoyed it and hope you did too. Av and I are fellow EFMF volunteers. She’s moving to Toronto soon to study web design.

:: There is too much happening, too much to do, all the time, all the time…

:: While exiting my car this afternoon (decarring?), I shut the door on my watch band and broke it in two. *sigh* I have no idea how that happened.

:: I just discovered that my new HP 5550 printer does double-sided printing! Trees will be saved. Lordy. It’s a noisy little bugger, though.

Farewell to PDA’s?

Posted in Library, Technology on May 25th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

Do you own a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant)? I don’t, but have been thinking about it for some time. Yet technology seems to move faster than one can keep up in the 21st century. Ephraim Schwartz, editor at large at Infoworld writes that General Motors believes the time may be approaching for you to get rid of your PDA.

General Motors announced last week that it will partner with wireless carrier Nextel to use Nextelís Motorola cell phones with data capabilities to market a field-force management application to its commercial truck fleet customers. The announcement casts a shadow over the future of handheld devices in the business marketplace.

By selecting a cellular phone, GM in essence said no to Palm, HP, and Microsoft.

IT departments should consider the reasoning behind GMís decision before recommending a handheld solution of their own.

The technology includes GPS, Java, and push-to-talk, and in tandem with ease of use, it becomes hard to chose a handheld over a handset. Cell phones are also considerably cheaper than PDAs.

Can someone slow technology down for just a few minutes, please? (From: Roland Piquepaille’s Technology Trends)

“What’s So Great About Really Deep Thoughts?” Wiki Wiki!

Posted in Blogging, Observations, Technology on May 15th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: Here’s a compelling and interesting essay from Andrew Grumet: Deep Thinking About Weblogs.

:: I didn’t buy shoes tonight, but gave the idea some deep thoughts.

:: Seen this term popping up lately?: social software. Here’s an article about it by Stowe Boyd. There is a social software blog. There is a Social Software Alliance Wiki. Wiki?

:: In an effort to keep up with developments in all things web-like, Wiki came up in conversation today. I investigate a few sites before my brain exploded, including the original site and the FAQ, which notes that “this Wiki thing” is: “A collection of web-pages which can be edited by anyone, at any time, from anywhere.” Wiki Wiki is Hawaiian for “quick”. One major project is the Wikipedia, a “multilingual project to create a complete and accurate open content encyclopedia. We started on January 15, 2001 and are already working on 120,700 articles in the English version.” How did they create 120,700 entries in just over 2 years? Regardless, the creators think Wikipedia is great. A Wiktionary is also being created.

:: An entrepeneur in Spokane purchased 10 Segways, and is renting them to people looking for cheap, quick transportation. He couldn’t do this if he lived in San Francisco, however. In the end, it may not matter.

:: We try to stay in at least the slow lane on the information superhighway, but lately I feel like I’ve pulled over on the offramp to change a flat tire.

The Dual Boarding Bridge

Posted in Technology on May 14th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: This is way cool. WestJet, the Canadian indie airline, and DEW Engineering have introduced a dual boarding bridge (or OTW: Over The Wing) at the WestJet operations base at the Calgary International Airport. The bridge allows passengers to enter and leave the plane from the front and rear doors.

Libraries Are Cool Again. Oh Really?

Posted in Library, Music, Technology on May 12th 2003 by Randy Reichardt

:: In today’s Edmonton Journal comes a column by Scott McKeen, titled: Civilization’s safe after all. Libraries are cool again. Um, er, well…duh. Those of us in the profession have a news flash for Mr McKeen – our hallowed halls of employment were never uncool. Dude. McKeen observes that when All Things Pop Culture exploded (in the 90s, I presume), such as computers (read: Internet), home theatre, big box bookstores, instant gratification, and so on, the prediction was people would stop frequenting libraries, and by extension, their services. I’ve been a librarian for 25 years, and don’t recall any particular point in time when my colleagues and I thought the sky was falling on our vocation and the buildings in which we work(ed). Read McKeen’s column, and one might conclude that it’s a modern miracle libraries didn’t collapse from within when the Internet and Napster and stadium seat theatres and Digimon and all these fast food thrills took hold of Planet Earth. Well, public libraries at least. In academic and college libraries, we’ve spent the last 10 years doing our best to help students understand why the Internet isn’t the Answer to Everything, and why their research and studies will take them to the library and its resources. *Cough*. (BTW, am I the only person who thinks the Edmonton Journal’s web site really, really sucks? Like, badly? Unfortunately, the EJ website is the mirror image of all newspapers in Canada owned by the National Post.)

In fairness to McKeen, he does sing the praises of (public) libraries, and notes that Alberta municipalities are lobbying our provincial government for higher library grants. Um, I won’t lose sleep waiting for that to happen very soon – increased library funding in Alberta could lead to a better educated populace. God forbid that might happen here.

:: Speaking of public libraries, this is such a cool idea, I wish someone in Canada would do it, too: The Third Annual New York Times Librarian Awards for public librarians across the United States. This year the awards have gone national in the USA.
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