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Perfect weather does wonders for one’s attitude April 29, 2007

Posted by Matsu in Family, Random.
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Today in Kentucky the weather could not have been more ideal. Sunny, but not hot. Cool, but not cold. Finally, a spring day that feels like spring.

For some reason, I love spring and fall weather best. Those seasons that buffer us from the heat of summer and the cold of winter provide a boost to my psyche.

One way in which I enjoyed the weather was watching my son play baseball. It was at the end of the day and the game lasted for about two and a half hours, so the shadows were growing long and then I watched the sun set. It reminded me of life in Green Town, Illinois. (Note reference to Ray Bradbury’s fictional town in his book Dandelion Wine.) It was wonderful.

My son played well, but his team lost by two runs. Oddly enough, the kids didn’t seem to mind and they were not as disappointed as the coach. They had a good time. As did their parents.

Summer is around the corner, so it must be time to purchase a new pair of tennis shoes.


Most Annoying Technology Products April 28, 2007

Posted by Matsu in Information Technology, Microsoft, Technology, Windows/Microsoft.

PC Word Magazine recently surveyed their readers to see what technology products are most annoying. Products made by Microsoft were listed more than once, but the real shocker was that their newest flagship product was one of them. Yes, a survey of PC World readers revealed that Windows Vista is one of the most annoying technology products.

Here is what they said about it:

No. 8. Microsoft Windows Vista (2007)

It’s one of the unwritten laws of computing: All versions of Windows are annoying. Windows Me takes the cake, but Vista has its own unlovable annoyances, like its overzealous “Cancel or Continue?” confirmation windows so brilliantly lampooned by Apple’s “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” commercials. But that’s only the tip of the Vista annoyance iceberg. Installing Vista onto an older system? There’s a good chance that your graphics card, sound card, and some of your older software won’t work properly. And even if you have a new system with either the Premium or Ultimate version installed, Vista won’t display its nifty 3D Aero interface if your PC lacks the graphics horsepower for it. No warning screens, no error messages, no explanations–Aero simply doesn’t work. That’s annoying.

Don’t worry, Microsoft Windows ME was also on the list. It won a 2nd place position.

You can read about the entire list here.

John Wiley & Sons threatens fair use April 26, 2007

Posted by Matsu in Education, News, Web, Weblog.
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Whatever happened to the fair use clause in the existing copyright law? Based on the threats reported by Shelley Batts on her blog, it appears that John Wiley and Sons is not familiar fair use. They threatened the doctoral student with legal action if she did not remove properly cited content from her post.

The comments on Shelley’s post are rather interesting. One person suggested brining back the Spanish Inquisition. Another person said getting this story posted on BoingBoing would be a good way to respond.

Something tells me that this story is not going to go away anytime soon.


Update: Within a few hours Boingboing posted Shelley Batt’s story. Even Slashdot wrote about it. Then, a few hours later Wiley & Sons contacted Shelley to tell her it was a misunderstanding and she was given permission to post the images on her blog post.

Is this really a good thing? April 26, 2007

Posted by Matsu in Education, News, News and politics.
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I just read this AP news story about a young lady that finished getting her college degree from the University of Michigan in just one year. She completed her high school classes by her junior year so she began to take college courses during her last year of high school.

Between her advanced placement (AP) classes and test scores (which gave her college credit) and the college courses she took while she was still in high school, she had enough credits to enter her first year of college as a junior. Then, rather than taking the usual 12-15 credit hours a semester, she took 27 credit hours in one semester. When talking about the course overload she commented that, “I felt I could have added even more.”

Is finishing college in one year really a good thing? Is college just about getting the courses done as quickly as possible? What about social and emotional development? Can development be accelerated like learning can be (for some people)?

This ‘quick study’ teenager is now entering law school. At this pace, she should be on the Supreme Court by the time she’s 25!

Dell has an idea storm: Ship PC’s with Windows XP April 24, 2007

Posted by Matsu in Information Technology, Microsoft, Technology, Windows/Microsoft.

After years of waiting for Microsoft’s new operating system (Vista) most companies and many home users are deciding to continue using Windows XP for another year, or two.

Dell has been aggressively moving their PC products to only ship with Windows Vista, but that’s not what customers wanted. According to Slashdot and CNET News, Dell has a “good idea”… ship computers with Windows XP. That’s got to hurt Microsoft as they must be wondering how they can get around Newton’s first law of motion: Objects (users) at rest (using Windows XP) tend to stay at rest (continue using Windows XP).

I guess time will show how effective Microsoft is at breaking the laws of physics.

Good luck with that!

Too much sun on a Sunday April 23, 2007

Posted by Matsu in Family, Humor.
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This weekend my son had two baseball games. I attended them both. Each game took place during the high point of the sun (early afternoon). One on Saturday and one on Sunday. I am a typical I.T. guy with a rather pale (okay, white) complexion. So, you could imagine what happened.

It wasn’t until Sunday that I reached my ‘quota’ of sun exposure and then entered the burn zone. Now, I am paying for the over-exposure. My skin is literally hot to the touch. Weird.

I must remember to buy some sun block before the next game.