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Google: Noun or verb? October 29, 2006

Posted by Matsu in Humor, Information Technology, Open Source, Technology, Web, Weblog.

A few weeks ago I heard Chris DiBona from Google talk at the Ohio Linux Fest open source software conference. At one point in his speech he used the word “Google” as a verb. He immediately corrected himself and briefly explained that he was not permitted to do that, any more. At that time I thought he was just joking. But, now that I read this blog post on the Chronicle of Higher Education blog site, I believe he was serious.

It turns out that last week the official Google blog site posted this message by Michael Krantz (a member of the Google Blog Team, whatever that is). Google, Inc. does not want anyone to use their name other than in reference to the corporation or the product they provide. When I say, they don’t want anyone to use Google as a verb, I mean no employees, friends, neighbors, Americans, foreigners, nobody. Not you, and certainly not me. (OOPS!)

So, do you ever use Google as a verb? I do. Will Google be able to stop it? I rather doubt it. Was Hormel able to stop people from using the term “Spam” to represent unwanted junk e-mail? No. Was Xerox able to prevent people from saying things like, “Xerox this for me” when their copier was not made by Xerox? Nope. So, why does Google (or the people who work there) think they can stop the world from using their company name as a verb? I suppose they must try in order to protect their trademark.

I guess the funny thing is everyone uses Google as a verb. Go ahead, google it and you will see for yourself!


The modern hospital: Wi-Fi everywhere! October 24, 2006

Posted by Matsu in Family, Information Technology, Technology.

This evening, while I was playing racquetball, I received word that my daughter was feeling very ill. So ill, in fact, that she needed to go to the emergency room at our local hospital. That was about 4 hours ago.

I don’t have much to report about my daughter’s condition (she asked me not to post pictures), but I can tell you that a little while ago I decided to get out my laptop to see if maybe they have an open wireless network. Wonder of wonders, they did. It was even named in a way that I felt like I was supposed to use it (the word ‘guest’ is in the network name). So now I’m checking my e-mail and surfing the net as I wait hour after hour for a diagnosis on my daughter.

Is this normal? Do many hospitals provide Wi-Fi throughout their buildings for patients and visitors to use? Where I am in the emergency room, there are eight ‘visible’ wireless access points that I can see with my laptop software. So, there is very good coverage.

Hopefully, my daughter’s test results will rule out an appendicitis, but if it doesn’t and they must keep her here over night, I should be able to communicate back to the office and update them on my schedule. That is very helpful.

Update: My daughter did not have an appendicitis, but she did have an infection that took a couple of days to clear up. She is doing much better now and is back at college.

Sun in a box – a very BIG box October 21, 2006

Posted by Matsu in Apple, Humor, Information Technology, Technology, Web.
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Sun SemiThanks to Chris J. Davis, I discovered this new product from Sun. No, Chris, you can’t have one for your cubical. And, it’s too big for your parking space, so you’ll have to do without one.

Have you ever wished that your data center could be moved with very little effort and be set up quickly once it reaches its destination? Well, Sun Microsystems is glad to announce that your wishes just came true.

They call it Project Blackbox . Sun describes it as the worlds first virtualized data center.

The good thing is you don’t have to ever unbox it, just plug it in and it’s ready to go in the box! I suppose the wheels are available as an accessory.

Hmmm. Is this like PODS? And, will Apple be coming out with their own “iPODS” data-center-in-a-box? If they do, I bet it will look a lot better. After all, everyone knows that Apple has great packaging.

Blog Comment Spam October 21, 2006

Posted by Matsu in Information Technology, Technology, Web, Weblog.

If you have your own blog have you noticed that comment-spam has increased in the past couple of months. Three or four months ago I would get only 1 or 2 spam comments a week. Now, I’m getting 30 to 40 comments that are spam on my blog each week. So, what’s up with that?

I guess the good news is most of it doesn’t ever show up where people can see it. Instead, the WordPress folk detect it and block the posting. But, I am seeing one or two spam comments get through each week. Not a huge problem, but it is amazing how bad it could be without the spam detection. I pity the person who has set up their own blog server without some form of spam content detection and blocking.

Quote of the week October 12, 2006

Posted by Matsu in Information Technology, Open Source, Software.
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In one of the Educause sessions a California university mentioned that they had developed a student information system and are integrating it into an open source project. When asked by a member of the audience about the language or development platform they used, the response was:

“We used Smalltalk, the Betamax of software languages.”

Do you agree? Have you ever written any project in Smalltalk?

Arrived at Educuase October 9, 2006

Posted by Matsu in Information Technology, Random, Technology.
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Last night, I and two of my colleagues arrived in Dallas, Texas, USA. We are here for the Educause higher education technology conference. Today I am in a couple of pre-conference meetings, but overall the schedule is not too demanding.

Tomorrow, the keynote speaker is Vint Cerf. That should be interesting.

Today’s quote worth remembering is, “Catch on fire with enthusiasm and people will come from miles away to watch you burn.