THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR
View 214 July 15 - 21, 2002
Highlights this week:
This is a day book. It's not all that well edited. I try to keep this up daily, but sometimes I can't. I'll keep trying. See also the monthly COMPUTING AT CHAOS MANOR column, 4,000 - 7,000 words, depending. (Older columns here.) For more on what this page is about, please go to the VIEW PAGE. If you have never read the explanatory material on that page, please do so.
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July 15, 2002
I am about to go to work on Burning Tower. More View tonight. Meanwhile there was a good bit over the weekend, so see last week's view and mail...
Got three new scenes done. Updated about half this web site, the rest ought to be done by morning, to synchronize what's out there with what's in here.
And I am a bit tired...
|This week:||Tuesday, July
FrontPage 2000 has one serious flaw: it won't partially "publish". If you are going to publish a web site, you do it all at once. With a site as large as this that can take hours and hours and hours, and if the connection fails during that time, even though pages have been copied, FrontPage doesn't know that, and wants to copy them again: you get to start over.
I don't know if this silliness remains in FrontPage 2002, and I suppose I ought to try that just to see. I also want to convert some of the older parts of this site to "subwebs" so they aren't copied during "publication". Eventually I'll get this thing "published" so that FrontPage will know that the sites are synchronized, but it would sure help if there were a way to do it bit at a time. I don't think there is, though.
Niven and I are moving ahead on Burning City.
And thanks to those who told me how to turn off the stupid Norton Popup.
eats Limburger cheese,
I had occasion to use the phrase 'abated breath' today, and was thus reminded...
Hollywood Bowl last night. It's a busy day. I'll catch up to this site tomorrow.
Much mail, short shrift, today.
I had reason to send a letter to subscribers today, and in the course of it I mentioned Quentin Durward by Sir Walter Scott, which led me to a web page on Mark Twain and the "Sir Walter Scott Diseaase" which I guess I have never read before.
Twain was an eccentric, and I can't say I agree with this view; but it is interesting. Scott would I think have been pleased at the attention however unflatttering.
This coverage has substantially greater depth than I've seen elsewhere, including many anti-inflammatory details.
Hurrah. It is time for some information rather than speculation. This tells more than anything I have seen yet.
And more on the varieties of Islam over in mail.
http://www.secularislam.org/viewpoints/fresco.htm Fresco Fiasco
I read in the Times (29th June 2001) that some Muslims in Italy are calling for the destruction of a medieval fresco in the Cathedral of Bologna on the grounds that it gives offence to Muslims. This is an extraordinary demand and raises many issues. The report from the Times is worth quoting in full. Muslims say fresco must be destroyed
From Richard Owen, Rome
Muslim leaders in Italy are demanding the removal or destruction of a priceless 15th century fresco in Bologna that they say offends Islam by showing the Prophet Muhammad being cast into the flames of Hell.
The row over The Last Judgment by Giovanni da Modena, in Bologna Cathedral, could threaten the already strained relations between the Roman Catholic Church and members of Italy's Muslim community.
Here's a howdy do...
Well, when and if a deal is finally made its going to be really expensive. About $100 per US citizen.
I really don't like the idea of US troops in the Jordan Valley.
http://www.bitterlemons.org/issue/guest.html Palestinian - Israeli crossfire 15/7/02 A FIFTH VIEW
Camp David--The US-Israeli bargain
by Bruce Riedel
for developments in Iran...
July 18, 2002
Lots of mail.
I intend to write an essay on the John Walker Lindh matter: it has disturbing elements.
Work on Burning Tower today.
July 19, 2002
I expect to see Men In Black II tonight. If you haven't seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding, do so: it's hilarious.
But I am not convinced I know what it is, so I don't know what it would mean if it worked or didn't. I think I am not going to join the hysteria just yet.
Cringely (did you know that I once wrote the Cringely column when I was at INFOWORLD? So did Laurie Flynn) makes one point: so far what we are going to be doing with our new powerful Palladium PC's is what we do now, and thus there's no reason to get a new PC anyway. And that does give me a slight chill: Microsoft's new "upgrades" to everything may yet patch Windows 2000 to require some kind of "Activation" and that will then let them play games with our systems. Buy a new one because your old one no longer works.
I can't think they are stupid enough to do that; but you never know. Keeping those numbers up can turn sane people into monsters who have lost both their morality and their common sense: it happened at IBM some years ago when they are convinced that PC's were "entry level systems" and just could not stand the notion that the world was changing. Can the same virus now be infecting Microsoft's management?
Still, there are too many good reasons why Microsoft will consign Palladium to the same management team as Hailstorm... See more in mail on the Life and Death of Microsoft
I've never heard of this before. Maybe you have, but to me, this is an outrage:
The headline is rather sensational, being a British publication, but this is very interesting.
Which reminds me of a wonderful line from "Fiat Lux", the second installment of "A Canticle for Leibowitz" in which a reactionary old brother asks if the scientist who is going to create life from only 6 elements will also do so while riding on horseback and simultaneously playing two trombones...
And Roland discovers that Transmeta, once the Great Hope, is laying off people:
And if we didn't have enough to worry about, Roland and others have also found patents on JPEG:
Remember the LZW/GIF controversy with Unisys about 10 years ago?
Apparently a small company named Forgent claims a patent on JPEG and nearly all uses of same.
Have a nice day.
Publish and Front Page
My practice is to use Front Page to maintain this site. I then use WS_FTP to move pages I have made changes to over to the web host. The problem is that sometimes I move pages and that makes a number of changes, not all of them apparent; when that happens I have to PUBLISH the site to be sure that everything is in correspondence.
That is fine so long as there are not massive numbers of pages to copy; but I recently changed web sites, and my local copy of Front Page thinks ALL of the pages out at the site are wrong. It wants to copy all of them; and in fact I let it run for about 8 hours once and it copied more than half. But then I had to interrupt, and the next time I tried to publish I found that it was moving the same pages again. And again. And there are about 14 hours worth to move, and that's with the satellite. (The big problem is all the pictures.) If I could tell it not to move the pictures it would get everything else; I could then publish only the pictures and all would be caught up.
I don't quite know how to manage this. Apparently Front Page 2002 has some capabilities that Front Page 2000 doesn't have.
I have no great quarrel with FrontPage; it does a very good job for what I want to do. My problem is synchronizing the home original and the web host sites.
Eric and others point out that what happens at http://www.license.shorturl.com is not necessarily what you are led to believe. I am shocked. Shocked, I tell you.
July 20, 2002
Well when I was a lad I knew I would live to see the first man on the Moon. I hadn't realized that NASA would see to it that I may have seen the last one.
I have several notes on this:
Roland says "This reads like a parody, but isn't":
and then we have
Dear Dr. Pournelle,
IT enthusiastically embraces the new Surveillance Society. First Oracle, now Sybase:
I need to study this a great deal more. We also have:
* Congress Takes Aim at Your Privacy, Increases Sentences for Computer Crime
Electronic Frontier Foundation ACTION ALERT
(Issued: July 19, 2002)
On July 15, 2002, the House of Representatives passed the Cyber Security Enhancement Act (CSEA) in a landslide vote of 385-3. CSEA is a bill that, among other things, makes it easy for the government to get your electronic communications without a warrant or probable cause. Here's a brief summary:
(see http://www.eff.org/ )
Is this a time to be worried?
I took the day off. Long hike in the hills.
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