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15 Minute Post

I am allowing exactly 15 minute for this post. I have been busy this last week with converting old content to my Idiotprogrammer Home Site . I’ve posted essays on my section for Computers, Instruction and Professional . Some of these articles appeared in modified form on my weblog.

Yahoo has started a new “Advice” Service. Great idea. Too bad Google Answers did it first, and before them, Expert City.

Scott Granneman wrote a 4 part series on basic security. This includes hardware , software (spyware) , email and browser/passwords . Speaking of security, here’s a good list of current browser vulnerabilities.

Good article on the supposed “skill gap” in IT. I could write a book on this topic.

Good article about why creative geeks tend to congregate in certain cities like Austin. They could depart just as quickly though.

Another good article about the reasons why TV should be eliminated. This was on my mind while watching the NBA playoffs. If I could create a sport whose structure maximized the amount of possible commercial interruptions , basketball would be it.

While trying to troubleshoot my mozilla email client, I learned about SMTP. Yes, it’s possible to send email solely through telnet. Next week I plan to set up sendmail on my server, so that should be handy.

I’ve been learning about security recently. Here’s an article about zero knowledge protocols.

Here’s an article about Cycorp, a company that tries to program commonsense knowledge into a computer. Guess what? They’re located in Austin and hiring (if only I could bone up on my LISP programming!).

Here’s a nice description of the difference between an online diary and a weblog. Yes, it’s rather obvious, but I liked the definition: “A weblog (sometimes called a blog or a newspage or a filter)– is a webpage where a weblogger (sometimes called a blogger, or a pre-surfer) ‘logs’ all the other webpages she finds interesting.” ? Jorn Barger, Weblog Guru

I guess it’s not surprising that Hollywood has sued Audiogalaxy for copyright infringement. Although I don’t know enough to comment about the law, I’ve noticed that audiogalaxy does a pretty good job of blocking songs by really famous singers. A search for Eminem reveals that most of his songs are blocked, but a search for Liu Wen Zheng lets you download any song you want. Wonder why?

Finally, a wonderful interview with Norton Juster, author of one of my favorite books as a child, Phantom Tollbooth.

Stephen Windwalker wrote a commentary about why the Authors’ Guild should not oppose the sale of books. Two points. First, note how basically anyone can post articles on amazon, and as long as they contain links to book titles, it will be published and widely distributed. Second, I have always loved used bookstores, but I no longer buy books there anymore. It just is too convenient to be able to find a hard-to-find book using Half.com . On the other hand, used bookstores offer the thrill of discovery. With online book sellers, one might almost think that books published before 1995 never even existed.

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