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March 28, 2006

Internet Explorer Security Woes

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols who writes for eWeek, said in a new article, "Why Is Anyone Still Using Internet Explorer?":

"OK, how many times must Internet Explorer be ripped open like a hot 16-year-old in a summer slasher movie before people finally get it: IE is not safe. Period. End of Statement."

Well... if you read the article, you may be asking yourself that very question.

Posted by Steve MacLellan at 05:19 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 24, 2006

I'll trade you this paperclip

paper-clip.jpg 100x67Kyle MacDonald used to play a game when he was a kid. He would trade something small for something bigger, and keep trading up until he got something he wanted. He claims he wasn't very good at it. Now he is trading a paperclip for a house... well, sort of....

The game is called Bigger and Better. He thought about this game when he decided he should have a house, but can't even afford a down payment.

According to an article from the Halifax Herald:

For the paper clip, he got a pen. He traded the pen for a doorknob. He traded the doorknob for a camping stove. For the stove, he got a generator. For the generator, he got a neon Budweiser sign, an empty beer keg and an IOU to fill it. That party pack netted him a snowmobile, which he traded for a trip to the Canadian Rockies. He traded the trip for a van.

He says he is considering writing a book about his experience. But for now, if you would like to see how he is getting along you can bookmark his blog at www.oneredpaperclip.com. You can also use a link on his blog to submit your own trade offer.

Posted by Steve MacLellan at 10:04 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 16, 2006

Can We Make a Deal with Aaron White?

I was reading an article from the Halifax Herald this morning about a gentleman, Aaron Glenn White, who owes $30,000 for 30 convictions of driving a car without any insurance or license. He claims he only tries to drive to get to work or get groceries. In the small town of Bridgewater, police officers recognize his vehicle and pull him over and fine him every time they see him.

He told Judge John Nichols, that if he can build up some savings that he would like to go to jail to pay off his fines because he doesn't feel he will ever be able to pay this amount. The judge said:

"You’d be in jail the better part of five years to pay that off"

I did a quick search for the yearly cost per inmate in Canada and found at the bottom of a CBC article, Doing the crime and doing the time, that medium- and minimum-security inmates cost taxpayers more than $70,000 a year. So in order for Mr. White to be incarcerated for 5 years to pay off his 30K fine, it would cost us $350,000.00.

Maybe they should consider cutting that expense in half? Why couldn't the province give someone the job of being his personal chauffeur for 5 years; pay this person $35,000 per year, and than absolve Mr. White of the debt he owes? At least he wouldn't be convicted of anymore traffic violations during this period and we save ourselves (taxpayers) $175,000.00.

All-right! Maybe this is a little absurd. Do you have a better idea?

Posted by Steve MacLellan at 06:52 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 15, 2006

Psst! Bored at work? How about some TV?

AOL is offering free TV shows to watch on your computer.

"It will allow consumers to stream full-length episodes from favorite series such as Welcome Back Kotter, Sisters, Beetlejuice, Lois & Clark, La Femme Nikita and Growing Pains free and on-demand on the Web. Along with full-length episodes,..."

This is probably something that you don't want to get caught doing if you are not self-employed. And those os us who are self employed can probably find more productive things to do through the day. Still if you would like to know more about it just go to http://television.aol.com/in2tv.

It is only available for Windows® XP, 32 bit or 64 bit operating systems. So for those of you who don't use XP, don't trash your TV just yet;-)

Posted by Steve MacLellan at 02:35 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 09, 2006

Why do some people bother buying?

first-cover-small.jpg 225x245 I am the author of the product to the left which is a series of tutorials that show someone how to use NVU and some other free programs to build and attractive, functional website. The biggest problem faced by people wanting to start something of their own online is not understanding how to put it all together. On newsgroups and discussion forms you can often see posts from people looking for help. But the topic covers a broad range of knowledge, and it isn't something that can be answered in one reply.

A reason for a refund I issued today was because the customer said:

The templates, I have them already free from the internet.

Yes, the product offers a link to some free web templates and shows one how to edit them in NVU, but I'd like to think that a person's entire reason for buying my product isn't just because they want access to free web templates. That's crazy! The free web templates are used in examples of how to work with the programs. I never thought someone would buy this product because they figured it was a resource, full of free templates.

To close it off the person said:

When you have a good deal in the future I do not mind buying it from you.

Hello?

Pleezze... don't do me any favors.

Posted by Steve MacLellan at 08:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 05, 2006

Let's have a laugh

After being married twice, divorced twice, and involved in numerous other failed relationships, I think I am at the point where I am qualified to offer the worst possible relationship advice imaginable. No doubt about it! If you have a great relationship with your spouse or significant other, I'm sure I could help you sour those warm fuzzy feelings. And to top it off, I think I would like to be paid for this invaluable service.

"Dr. Robert H. Coombs, Professor of Behavioral Sciences at UCLA, conducted a review of more than 130 published empirical studies measuring how marital status affects personal well-being. He concluded that scientific investigations, conducted from the 1930s to the present, "attest that married people live longer and generally are more emotionally and physically healthy than the unmarried." Coombs specifically looked at the areas of alcoholism, suicide, morbidity and mortality, mental illness and self reports of happiness."

After my second divorce I joined a "support group" but I didn't stay with it very long. Man, you talk about negative people! Heck, if I wanted to feel worse about myself and situation, I was in the right place. It was crowded with people talking about crazy things like suicide, drugs and alcohol. Yes, I went home and made myself a stiff drink and turned on the TV to watch a re-run of Seinfeld. If his petty character was worthy of enjoying the single life, mine was too. Granted, we might be less "emotionally and physically healthy" but I don't see where it says we can't be just as happy! As George Costanza said:

I'm disturbed, I'm depressed, I'm inadequate, I've got it all!

I don't think people should wallow in self-pity, or have to listen to others who are just as miserable. In fact, I've been toying with the idea of putting up a website that would take a light-hearted look at divorce and failed relationships. Perhaps a column like "Dear Abby" where people could write in with their marital woes and receive the worst possible advice — maybe a discussion forum where we could share some laughs.

What do you think? Does this sound like fun?

Posted by Steve MacLellan at 02:18 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 04, 2006

Man beaten to death on Edmonton bus

I was reading through my news feeds this morning when I came across a story, Edmonton man beaten to death on transit bus. I spent 20 years of my adult life in Alberta and find it appalling that Ralph Klein can brag about his 7 billion surplus this year, dole out his "Ralph Bucks" checks to every man woman and child, but continues to let this type of thing happen.

This isn't something new. For years there have been many recorded incidents of attacks on people using the public transit systems in Calgary and Alberta. Attacks of a very serious nature too. Many newspaper reports, over the years, have portrayed innocent victims who were shot, brutalized, raped and mugged using the public transit systems in these two cities.

And to think, I have two children living there.

The story goes on to say:

Out of a fleet of 800, only nine city transit buses are now equipped with camera systems. ETS is now looking at upgrading the technology but outfitting every route in the city would cost about $4 million.

Security needs to be upgraded in Calgary to, and not just the buses. The LRT system needs better security too.

I'm sure there are better uses for the surplus rather than just throwing it to the wind.

Posted by Steve MacLellan at 08:46 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

March 02, 2006

If you can't trust Caller ID...

An article on USA Today reports about Caller ID spoofing and that...

"spoofing websites are used by people who buy stolen credit card numbers. They will call a service such as Western Union, setting Caller ID to appear to originate from the card holder's home, and use the credit card number to order cash transfers that they then pick up."

They say there is also a service called Spoofcard.com that you dial into, to spoof your number, and also have the option of masking your voice to make it sound like you were a member of the opposite sex.

This kind of takes the fun out of thinking you know who is on the other end. But I've noticed with a lot of long distance calls my service often prints the message "out of area" to the display screen. And too... it is easy enough for someone to block their number from being displayed.

Apparently spoofing your number is legal; just some of the callers might not be.

Posted by Steve MacLellan at 04:54 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Buying a new computer this year?

I was browsing some stories at eWeek and saw a column by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols titled Why Windows Vista will suck.

"The truth is that very, very few people are going to be upgrading their existing systems to Vista. To make it work well, you're really going to need a new computer. If you didn't buy your PC in 2006, I wouldn't even try to run Vista on it."

He says he has 20 computers in his office and there is only one out of the 2o that will run Vista.

He says it is a Gateway 835GM which has an Intel Pentium D 2.8GHz dual-core processor, an Intel 945G chipset, 1GB DDR2 (double data rate) DRAM, a 250GB SATA hard drive, and built-in Intel GMA (graphics media accelerator) 950 graphics.

I think from reading the article that he is a bit bias towards Microsoft systems but the point I think he is making is you're going to need a powerful computer to run it and unless you just bought a computer this year, there is a good chance you will be out of luck.

I say, "Let's be optimistic!" It means a new computer for everyone, in the not so distant future.

Posted by Steve MacLellan at 03:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack