|Sunday, 30 December 2001, 8:48 pm
Tags: Microsoft, Security, Windows
Excellent article in The Register about Microsoft and security, increasingly an oxymoron. I agree with the author, Richard Forno, wholeheartedly. He says:
Unfortunately, Windows XP doesn’t protect you from Microsoft, an entity some argue is more dangerous than any cyber terrorist or hacker gang.
It’s one of the reasons I’m using OS X more and more. I’m just plain afraid of Windows XP!
|Sunday, 30 December 2001, 12:20 am
If you’ve visited the Leoville Pix page lately you may have noticed I’ve redesigned it. There are now four cams to choose from, each displayed in its own automatically refreshing window.
The original Screen Savers cam and my home office cam are unchanged. They’re both 3COM HomeConnect USB cameras connected to desktop computers running WebCam32 from SurveyorCorp. Over the years I’ve increased the size of the pictures to 320×240 and upped the refresh rate to 10 seconds to accomodate users with faster connections. But the 3COM cams are USB and don’t do a great job especially with typical office lighting.
I just found an amazing Macintosh program that really blows away the competition. Oculus 3.1 ($20 shareware from International Web, Inc.) has every feature I’d want in a webcam and then some. It supports any cam that works with Quicktime and has a VDIG driver. I’m using it with my Canon DV camera over Firewire and the image quality is noticably better.
Oculus can also capture the computer’s screen, so I’ve added a screen capture window for the truly nosy. There are many other features, including amazing captioning capabilities. Look at my iBook cam to see the clock and weather extensions combined with a standard text caption. The weather automatically updates itself from NOAA. If the camera is off the captions are replaced by an inactive message. But here’s an example of what it looks like when it’s live:
I can also use it to detect motion or sound, and to create time lapse movies. I’ll give that a try down the road. Since Oculus is written for OS X (there’s a MacOS 9 version, too) it runs in the background perfectly and undetectably. I only wish there were a Windows program as good. If you know of one let me know!
|Tuesday, 25 December 2001, 5:58 pm
Henry got a trick bike. Abby got a drum set. Thank goodness for the barn.
|Tuesday, 25 December 2001, 6:33 am
I like to do my shopping on Christmas Eve. It helps me feel solidarity with all the other fathers and husbands who venture out just 12 hours before Christmas hoping to find the perfect present in the 10 minutes before all the stores close.
“A battery operated swizzle stick! I know she wanted diamond earrings but… it’s perfect. Do you gift wrap?”
Abby and I went to our local outlet mall where we bought such useful items as a magnetic clothes pin and a cheese fondue set. What’s with all the fondue sets? Is fondue back? Or is it just that I’m shopping the remainder bins?
Then we headed downtown where I bought a gift certificate for a swedish rock massage (as opposed to, Abba, a Swedish rock group) and a level four transformer toy. Guess which family member each was for.
I was surprised how crowded everything was. I guess I’m not the only dad who waits to the last minute. I did catch a break at the grocery store when, as I froze trying to calculate which checkout line was moving fastest, one of the clerks shouted, “hey Screen Savers! over here!” Celebrity has its privileges. I guess.
Tonight we brought Christmas cookies to neighbors, then drove around looking at the over-the-top Christmas decor. One of the houses even had its own radio station – a micropower FM station broadcasting Christmas music – and a sign saying “tune to 88.1.”
I hope we’ll get a chance sometime this week to watch my favorite Christmas movie, Jean Shepherd’s “A Christmas Story.” I grew up listening to Jean on the radio, WOR in NYC, and still idolize him. He passed away in 1999 but you can still hear him on Live 365.
Well the presents are all under the tree, and Santa has hung the stockings with care, so I better get to bed. Abby is getting a drum set tomorrow. I have a feeling I’ll be up early.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.
|Sunday, 23 December 2001, 6:48 pm
Scott Herriot posted this message yesterday on the message boards.
Hello y’all…Scott here. Last night, the 21st, CNN’s “Newsnight with Aaron Brown” ran a story I sent to them about the Loneliest Road in America. During the intro, Aaron said, in essence, “We’d like to hire Scott, but the big boys say we don’t have the money. But perhaps enough emails might change their mind.” The email address is email@example.com. If you ever found me remotely amusing on ZDTV/TechTV, I’d appreciate any positve feedback you could throw their way. If you found me simply annoying, please send positive feedback anyway, since, for God’s sake, it’s the Holiday season. Much Love, Scott.
P.S. Once again, the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tell your friends and get them to email, too. Let’s get Scott that job!
|Friday, 14 December 2001, 10:50 pm
Tags: Parties, TechTV
We had our Screen Savers/Call for Help holiday party last night at a little neighborhood bar named Il Pirata. It wasn’t as lavish as in previous years, but very fun nevertheless. I had a great time anyway.
I probably shouldn’t post this picture, but it wasn’t as bad as it appears. Honest!
|Thursday, 13 December 2001, 10:33 pm
Tags: Appearances, TechTV
Oops. I forgot to mention. I’m filling in for Dvorak on Silicon Spin Thursday and Friday. I did the first one today at 3p Eastern. It will rerun at 2:30a, 7a, and 10:30a Eastern. And I’ll be back with the Friday roundtable at 3p Pacific tomorrow.
Spin is fun – I’d been pitching a McLaughlin Group style roundtable since my days with c|net – but Dvorak’s job is safe!
|Saturday, 8 December 2001, 8:12 am
Tags: Interviews, Star Trek, TechTV, The Screen Savers
Well even if I don’t get to interview Dean Kamen (see the previous post) at least I’m meeting Capt. Jean-Luc Picard. I’m flying to LA for the day tomorrow to see the new Jimmy Neutron movie and interview Patrick Stewart (who voices one of the characters).
|Friday, 7 December 2001, 10:43 pm
About 80 pounds. Bad joke.
Monday on TechLive I’m going to spend an hour with Dean Kamen, the inventor of the Segway HT, that amazing new scooter that was known as Ginger or “it” until its debut last week.
Over the past couple of decades I’ve interviewed many of my heroes, from Walter Cronkite to Buzz Aldrin, Jimmy Stewart to John Cleese, but I’ve rarely been as excited about an interview as I am about this one. We’re going to block off the street in front of the studios and I’ll get to put the Segway through its paces. Stand back!
Steve Jobs said the Segway was the most important invention since the PC. Many believe it will revolutionize urban transportation. I personally consider Kamen the Edison of our era. I am so stoked that I’m going to get to spend an hour with him.
(LAST MINUTE UPDATE:) I spoke too soon. Kamen cancelled. Oh well. Patrick is going to the press event Monday morning so we will have some coverage on The Screen Savers Monday evening anyway.
Hey, even if Patrick’s right and it’s just an over-hyped motorized scooter, it’s gonna be cool!
Tune in or Tivo it. 4-5p Eastern on TechTV.
|Monday, 3 December 2001, 11:22 pm
You may have noticed that the Blog has rolled back in time. There seems to be a bug in Greymatter that caused the archives to fail when more than 100 comments were added to an entry (that’s my story anyway and I’m sticking to it). I restored from tape and I will restore the missing entries by hand when I get home.
And to insert graphics, too. So