The Children of the Corn

Sunday, 24 October 2004, 11:55 pm
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Petaluma Corn Maze

John Donabie Segment

Saturday, 23 October 2004, 1:00 pm
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My segment with John Donabie on CFRB, Toronto just aired. If you missed it live you can listen to the MP3 or subscribe to the podcast to have it, and all the TLR audio, delivered automatically to your MP3 player.


Las Vegas Flash

Friday, 22 October 2004, 11:33 pm

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Rio Floor Show

Friday, 22 October 2004, 11:33 pm

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I went to Vegas but they said Comdex was cancelled. What’s that all about?

Toronto Book Signing

Friday, 22 October 2004, 6:39 pm

We’re working on setting up a Toronto appearance and book signing for December 11. Stay tuned for details.

Thursday’s Thingamajig

Friday, 22 October 2004, 3:02 am

Time for a news dump…

Excuse me a moment while I fix my hair. OK, ready for my closeup.

Thomas Edison perfected the carbonized cotton filament light bulb in on this day 1879. Wernher von Braun and his team moved from the U.S. Army to the newly created National Aeronautics and Space Administration on this day in 1959.

  1. Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, says that hackers are getting smarter. But so is Microsoft. Nevertheless he says it’s naive to suggest the company can eliminate all security vulnerabilities. So let’s see. Hackers smarter. Windows will always be vulnerable. Hmm. But the good news is 106 million copies of Service Pack 2 have been downloaded to date, more than 90% through Windows Update.
  2. Microsoft’s earnings were up this quarter. The company netted $2.9 billion, or 27 cents per share, on revenue of $9.19 billion for the three months ended Sept. 30. That’s up from last year at this time and better than the company had expected due to strong PC sales. They also noted that XBox sales beat Sony’s PS/2 for two months running with 1.5 million pre-orders for Halo 2.
  3. Google made its first earnings announcement, with revenues more than doubling last year’s, $805.9 million for the three months ended Sept. 30. Net income also doubled to $52 million, or 19 cents per share. Ebay’s revenue was up 52% exceeding analysts estimates.
  4. Apple says it will stop supporting iTunes 4.5 and earlier. If you want to buy songs from the iTunes Music Store, you’ll have to upgrade. Newer versions of the software contain changes designed to thwart popular cracks to Apple’s copy protection.
  5. Intel has speed bumped the Pentium M – the top-of-the-line 765 runs at 2.1 GHz with two megs of L2 cache and costs $637.
  6. Astronomers have found proof that Einstein was right when he theorized that the earth’s rotation stretched the space-time continuum. Scientists at NASA and the University of Maryland noted that satellite orbits shifted minutely due to the pull of the earth on the fabric of space.
  7. The Register is saying that music sales are up, despite the best efforts of the recording industry. CD shipments are up 10% over last year, revenues grew 4%. Nevertheless, the RIAA says, “we are rising out of a deep hole and still have a long way to go. Piracy, both online and on the street, continues to hit the music community hard, and thousands have lost their jobs because of it.”
  8. New US passports will have RFID chips in them that can be read remotely. The ACLU says “Americans in the know will be wrapping their passports in aluminum foil.” Good, it will match my hat.
  9. First Halo 2, now thieves have stolen a prerelease copy of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The sequel to the best selling computer game of all time. GTA:SA was due to ship next week.
  10. Sharp is joining Sony and Toshiba in backing off from the PDA market in the US. Sharp has announced it will be ending US distribution of the Linux-based Zaurus SL 6000. Citing poor sales and increased interest in smart phones, the company said the Zaurus will only be sold in Japan from now on.
  11. Forget three or four megapixels, Samsung is readying a cell phone with a five-megapixel camera. It will be available in Korea later this year. Not sure how useful it would be here in the States without a much faster network for sending those massive images out.
  12. TV-B-Gone is the hottest invention on the net – a universal remote that does only one thing: turn the TV off. The keychain sized device is already sold out and traffic to the site shutdown the server. Customers are clamoring for Car-Alarm-B-Gone, Sub-Woofer-B-Gone, and Cell-Phone-B-Gone.
  13. The Republican National Committee and the official Bush-Cheney web site were offline for six hours on Tuesday. No one knows if it was a technical glitch or hackers, but the sites do run on different servers.
  14. Bush and Kerry have both answered a 12 topic questionnaire from the Computer Technology Industry Association. Bush (or, more likely, his staff) responded to each question with detailed, thoughtful answers that showed, for the most part, a good understanding of the issue. Kerry, unfortunately, did not. When asked about the Federal government’s role in fighting spam Bush replied, in part, “The problems associated with SPAM cannot be solved by Federal legislation alone, but rather require the development and adoption of new technologies.” and pointed to the CAN-SPAM act as a step in the right direction. Kerry’s answer, in its entirety, “I am open to considering the best means available to ensure people do not receive unsolicited email.” John, love ya babe, but get some staffers with a clue.

Listen in Friday at 8:35a Pacific for my weekly news commentary on KFI 640 AM in Los Angeles.


Mountain FM

Thursday, 21 October 2004, 3:15 pm
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I just completed an interview with Mike and Rebecca on CISQ, Mountain FM, in Canada’s Whistler-Squamish area. The audio is available on the TLR Podcast channel or you can download it directly. It’s a 14 minute MP3 that includes some of the pre-air chatter (for you radio voyeurs).


New Servers Up and Running

Thursday, 21 October 2004, 1:19 pm

If you can read this you’re using the new server. Overnight Vizaweb transferred and to the new monster server. You should notice a significant improvement in responsiveness. Tonight we’ll move the message boards, too.

Let me know if anything seems amiss, and thanks again to Vizaweb!

Monday’s Mini News

Tuesday, 19 October 2004, 6:05 am
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newspaper.jpgA couple of quick stories that caught my eye, today. I’m going out of town tomorrow but will update the news on Thursday.

  • Rock band U2 has made a deal with Apple to sell custom iPods promoting the band’s next album. Steve Jobs and Bono will announce the special black iPod at a press conference on Tuesday, October 26. The MP3 player will be loaded with the band’s new CD plus songs from older albums. The iPod should ship November 23 – just in time for my Regis appearance. How thoughtful of them.

  • The real question, though, is will Apple announce the rumored PhotoPod with a color screen that stores both music and images at the same event?
  • Dell is once again the number one PC maker, gaining ground on second place HP. Gartner and IDC both reported that the PC maker had increased shipments by more than 20 percent over last year to give it an 18.2% market share. IBM, Fujitsu, and Toshiba round out the top five.
  • According to USA Today, Googles new desktop search tool can index Hotmail and other webmail caches, so if you’re on a shared computer with the desktop tool installed, someone could theoretically read your email.

Listen in Tuesday at 6:45a Pacific for my weekly news commentary on KGO 810 AM in San Francisco.


Viva Vizaweb

Monday, 18 October 2004, 12:47 am
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We had kind of a meltdown on Leoville today during the radio show. So many people were hitting the server simultaneously that it bogged down completely. We have two dedicated servers already running 2GHz Celerons and 1GB of RAM each — and run on one, the message boards on another — but they still couldn’t handle the traffic. We peaked at just under 8MBits/second several times during the show.

So far this month has used an astounding 409GB of bandwidth. (That doesn’t include the message boards or this blog. This blog is at 25GB for the month; the boards 41GB. All told the Leoville sites are on track to do nearly a terabyte in October.)

Vizaweb, my host, very graciously donates all that bandwidth, and I’m sure it’s a lot more than they bargained for. Their solution? Instead of giving up and asking me to move somewhere else they’re suggesting an upgrade to a dual Xeon 2.8GHz with hyper threading so it registers as 4 CPUs, two 73GB SCSI hard drives, and more RAM. Wow!

There may be a slight disruption during the move — the blog and the radio wiki will probably close temporarily, and some stuff may not work quite right for a day or two, but once the kinks are worked out we should be so much better off.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Vizaweb!

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