Friday, October 31

San Francisco. It has been almost two years since I was last here, after having spent a week every 4-6 weeks for the prior three years. It is amazing how quickly I forgot how beautiful it is out here. On my first day, after having a wonderful Mexican chocolate with my brother Tim, I drove down the Pacific Highway to watch the surfers for a while, and then headed down 280. It was gorgeous. I remember the first time I drove around the hills of San Franciso and thought that some prince was holding San Francisco in a small globe, and that I and everyone else here was part of his exhibit. I love the people here too, it is so invigorating to see the diversity. And the food is wonderful, there seems to be a great Chinese and Mexican restaurant on about every block...
11:47 AM; digg

Tuesday, October 21

Palm has been on the ropes since its brilliant founders sold it to 3com a few years ago. What was 3com thinking? You can not get rid of the innovaters when the market is still evolving. As soon as the founders left, Palm sat idle. Zero innovation. They are getting killed. A small but recent sign of desparation is that Palm is now selling its mailing list. I know this since I use coded email addresses. I contacted Palm, and the snotty person in legal that I spoke with said they had every right to do this, and I should read their privacy agreement for more info. I used to be one of the biggest Palm supporters around. I used to champion them against the evil empire from Microsoft. But guess what-- Microsoft actually understands privacy. I now look forward to the death of palm. Long live Pocket PC, and Microsoft.
3:06 PM; digg

Monday, October 20

Tonight I went to my first political fund raiser ever, for John Kerry. It was pretty great. I've always disliked politics but I am so furious at Bush's Iraq mishandling and his lying to us, and at his abuse of American reputation in the world, that I am now very motivated to see regime change in DC. Kerry was articulate and knowledgeable on a very wide set of issues; he gave detailed answers to questions on Israel, anti-terrorism military tactics, social security, economy, etc. Kerry appeared genuine and confident, without the sliminess you get from most politicians. I now think Kerry is the one to beat Bush, as Kerry is the only candidate with substantial experience in military, national security, international relations, and national domestic politics. Wdyt? Take the test at but not before you enable the popup blocking via the Google Toolbar or similar.
11:30 PM; digg

Saturday, October 18

Make-overs. TV is getting more and more bizarre. There are now a bunch of TV shows where someone can be nominated to get a "makeover", everything from a new wardrobe to a facelift or more. E.g., Extreme Makeover. So I've been thinking. I desparately want anyone to defeat Bush in the next election. And I like many of the Democratic candidates. But frankly, some of them are just not Hollywood enough to win votes. So how about a new show called "Political Makeover" where you could nominate a politician who has integrity and great ideas, but who needs to look better...
1:08 PM; digg

Friday, October 17

Social Security Numbers. Recently comcast requested my social security number when I signed up for cable service. I asked the sales person if this was absolutely required, and she assured me it was. This seems really, really bad. I did give it to her, but I called back today to speak with someone in customer service about it. I told her I do not want them to have my social security number. She said no problem, she claimed to remove it from my account, and asked me instead to choose a numeric PIN that they would instead use to identify me whenever I called in the future. Why isn't comcast forced to not ask for social security numbers in the first place? Just what are the laws for who can and can not require that you provide your social security number? For example, are all cell phone service providers allowed to require this? Here are some more links on this topic:,,, Jamie Court...
5:09 PM; digg
Red Sox lose, in this case probably not due to the self-defeating second-class loser status of many (e.g., stupid press like this). Maybe Grady Little is too nice a guy and/or lacked the confidence to be a manager, bowing to our spoiled Pedro's arrogance. Or maybe, since Pedro always shows us his direct connection to "God", that God is real, and is punishing Pedro for throwing a 72 year old man to the ground a few days ago. At any rate, while many fans were crying in their beer, my son and I rejoiced in what a fantastic year we have had as Red Sox fans. The only thing infuriating to me during the year was listening to all the negativity of the fans and the press, even while the Sox were having one of their best years ever. I do sometimes wish we could fire all of the Boston radio/TV/newspaper sports reporters, and replace them with fresh, smart, optimistic reporters.
10:37 AM; digg

Tuesday, October 14

Another Whack at Spam is tbray's suggestion of making everyone pay 1 cent per email. This old idea has never succeeded for good reason: it has an unsolvable chicken and egg problem, requiring too many parties to make changes to their setups. Instead, we should just make a law to require ISPs to have SMTP throttles, not allowing any ISP to let one of their users send out tons of email. Give the law 12 or 18 months to be implemented, which will be more than enough time to have dozens of high quality, low cost solutions to allow ISPs to do an effective job throttling volume. See my spam/law page for more info.
4:56 PM; digg

Monday, October 13

Domain names. Ok, I'm obsessed with names, and yes, I own quite a few domain names (over 100). I get each of them with a specific idea of what to do with it. I probably have a few dozen active sites, and the others sit idle waiting to be used by me at a later time. I get inquiries about once a month asking to buy one of my domains. I have never sold a domain for profit to me, since I think the concept is offensive. However, I have come up with a pretty good solution for how to handle the situations where I do agree to give up a name. I ask the buyer to make a donation to a charity that I suggest (and they approve), and then if so, I give them the domain. This way a good charity gets some money, I don't profit, and the person who wants the name gets it. Usually this works really well. This morning a guy called me about one of my domain names; we quickly agreed on $1,000, he made the payment online to Partners in Health, and I then approved the domain name transfer. All within a few hours of first contact, with no paperwork or lawyers! On the other hand, I've also seen these transfers literally take months when we had to get lawyers involved. Uggh. In one case we used; in another, we setup a good IP attorney as escrow.
4:12 PM; digg

Sunday, October 12

19 years later, innocence comes home; What if Dennis had been executed via a death penalty? See also IP.
3:12 PM; digg

Saturday, October 11

I recently used the new LG VX6000 camera phone from Verizon. When I first played the bowling game, it was like !!WOW!!-- reminded me of the eye-opening thrill I got when I first saw the high quality video game arcades from Japan in the late 1970s.

The US has been behind the rest of the world in cell phone software quality and quantity forever. But I believe the cell phone hardware is finally of the quality that will allow some *serious* gaming, which should finally push the US ahead of other countries in cell phone software quality and quantity deployment. (We are the entertainment capital of the world, after all. :-)

One of the hottest new platforms is the
Nokia N-Gage. Cool!
10:13 AM; digg

Wednesday, October 8

safemailto shows how to put your email address on a webpage but to keep spam spiders away. Later I'll put tools there to make it easy to add your own safemailto links, complete with automatically generated images.
9:34 AM; digg

Sunday, October 5

Google News Alerts is wicked cool. For example, I can now get any news about my friend "Paul Farmer" as soon as it appears. (see also)
12:45 PM; digg

Friday, October 3

Randal told me about a certain camera for sale.
9:17 AM; digg


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