No, I'm not dead. More details to come...
Cam's Vacation Report
On the flight from LGA to DTW to LAX, I sat two rows back from a very obnoxious Elizabeth Berkley. You know, the washed up actress who spent far too many years doing that pitiful show Saved By The Bell, and then bared all in that bad stripper movie. I wasn't really surprised to see her, but I keep wondering why she was flying cattle class on a low-rent airline.
Vacation is good. I'm starting to get some writing done for my assigned chapters of the O'Reilly Mozilla book that I'm co-authoring. Getting away from the daily grind and into a new location seems to help. The bad thing is that my buddy's office where I'm hanging out has a crappy Novell/Groupwise network, so I'm unable to get my Powerbook onto the network without a whole lot of hassle. I can't even dial out becase their phone system isn't comaptible with either of my Global Village PC Card modems. On second thought, maybe not having an easy connection to the Internet is a good thing.
I'm leaving for Los Angeles today where I'll be hanging out with my old college friend Aaron. On Friday we're driving up to San Francisco to attend Fray Day 4. If you need to get in touch with me, I will have sporadic email access. If it's urgent, email my brother for my cell phone number. I might try to keep CamWorld updated while I'm on vacation but am not promising anything.
JEP: The Ideology of Ease.
The first ever New York Smackdown LAN gaming party is October 21 in White Plains. What, no Diablo II?
Macworld: Inside Mac OS X's Unix Layer
Book Recommendation: Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community [via vaccuum]
Even Internet Gurus Have To Start Somewhere is a short article talking about how Jakob Nielsen possibly invented spam. Hmmm...
Your Guide to High School Hate
Advogato: Presenting Open Source to the Enterprise - Rules of Engagement
Lotus.com: Open Source Projects Manage Themselves? Dream On. Note that this article was written by a Domino/Notes consultant.
Deja.com cuts 30% of its staff. CNet is acquiring ZDNet. ZDNet is an investor in Deja.com. CNet also recently acquired MySimon.com. I think that much of this news is to be expected. There are simply far too many of these dot-com startups with bad business plans and no non-existant revenue models. It's good that some of these companies are getting weeded out, acquired, shutting down completely, or changing focus.
On Comedy Central last night I saw the most amazing show. I'd heard about Battlebots, and knew that for years robot geeks have been building robots for the sole purpose of making them fight each other, but only now am I realizing just how freaking cool it is. I can't wait to learn where the next Battlebots show is being taped so I can try to get tickets.
TVMinder: Why TiVo doesn't have a network jack
Linux.com: Is the OSS Model Failing? As this article describes it, yes. What the author doesn't touch on is the important aspect of having a strong developer community around each project. Without a robust and functional developer community, your project may as well be toast.
The President's Information Technology Advisory Committee has released their final report containing recommendations of the Panel on Open Source Software for High End Computing (PDF).
Comfortable Bath Tub for rent, $1000/month. [Hee-hee]
This New York Times article is pretty clever. It's like reading two stories in one.
Industry Standard: Passion For Power
Stanford Open Source Research Project
Cool! This Yahoo Greeting Card contains both a coupon for a free Slurpee from 7-Eleven and the deCSS code.
Ask Tog: Elephants in the Living Room: The Destructive Role of Denial in Web Design
Your online bookstore sucks ass, so what do you do? You buy a better, smaller online bookstore in the hopes of making your pitiful dot-com stock go up.
This description of CollabNet's SF office is right on the money. Those twizzlers have been there for several months.
Childhood Flashback! I still have most of these Fighting Fantasy "choose-your-own-adventure" books. I think they're mostly the British editions. Still, I remember these books so well: drawing the maps, folding the corners of the pages to mark my spot, figuring out the puzzles, and finally solving the book. In some sense, these books were an early representation of today's hypertext, with it's excellent cross-topic and cross-document linking.
NYT: Around the Web World in 44 Days
NYT: Righting United Airlines: Nine Flight Plans [and Untied.com]
InfoWorld: If Your Pages Are Slow, Your Customers Will Go. Does this really need to be said? It seems pretty obvious to me.
Manhattan Address Locator
Tonight, I came home to find a cat in my mailbox along with the most recent issue of Wired. I don't know what to do first: take the cat apart to see how it works, or read Wired.
Hey look, it's a bullet list:
Yep, this is legal. Might as well throw it up on eBay.
The problem with being a tech journalist is that everybody thinks you're an expert and wants you to do their work for them.
MS on Linux: Thanks, But No Thanks
Microsoft knows where it doesn't want to go, Miller says, and that's headlong into the open-source camp.
Microsoft wants to stay a for-profit software company that charges for products and services. And it has
no use for open-source development models, he says, claiming that Microsoft's existing peer-review and
beta-testing processes give Microsoft better quality control than open source can provide. He also
disputes open-source backers' claims of faster time to market, claiming that, especially in the enterprise
space, Microsoft can add new features and make changes faster and more efficiently than any Linux
More on Microsoft and Open Source: Microsoft's Surgical Strike Team
Why do I hate the phone companies so much? Here's why: Ameritech, from 1987 to 1997, mis-led its customers to purchase an optional service called "line-backer" which cost an average of $3.50 per line per month. If you assume that only a few percent (let's say one million) of Ameritech's customers took the bait, and they paid this recurring fee for one year, that would have nettied Ameritech about $40-50 million. Yet, Ameritech got caught and a Class Action Lawsuit was filed against them. To make restitution Ameritech is offering two $5 calling cards, but you have to call an 800 number to get them (1-800-769-3169). This is just stupid. Ameritech broke the law. They stole millions of dollars from their customers. They should be required to reimburse every single customer they ripped off in full, not offer some lame calling cards as restitution. Ask me again why I hate the phone companies? (read the second post)
Structured data and the death of WYSIWYG
This screenshot of Word running in Mozilla looks totally faked. I doubt it's real.
IP Number Network Index
FAA: Air Traffic Control Command Center [Wow, cool! You can check for delayed/cancelled flights without having to deal with the crappy airlines!]
Jon Udell: Computers in Grade Schools
The RSA Algorithm Patent Expired, and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt
Clinton/Gore: A Framework For Global Electronic Commerce
Washington Post: Opting In: A Privacy Paradox
Dissertation Paper: An Analysis of the Hypertext Versioning Domain [PDF, 259 pages]
IBM and Apache plan their first date
I'll be in Los Angeles and San Francisco this month for vacation. If you want to get together for lunch, drop me a line. I'll also be attending Fray Day 4 in San Francisco. See you there.