Re¢ently

  1. Marketing helps terrible beer sell.

    jake on 2009.06.23 at 03:29 pm

    More proof you shouldn’t drink ‘macrobrew’ beer.

    But beer loses flavor at that temp: […] Luckily, with Coors that makes little difference.

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  2. Happy Birthday To Us (Again)

    jake on 2008.11.15 at 12:13 pm

    Here is our obligatory “Happy Birthday” post. Seven glorious years of writing in fits and spurts. Makes ya wonder what’s in our future. Perhaps someday the comments (10371) will outnumber the posts (11032).

    We’re not dead yet!

    1 Current number of comments.

    2 Current number of posts.

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  3. Happy Birthday To Us.

    jake on 2007.11.15 at 07:09 pm

    Holy Moly. Only six short years ago Brian and I put up our first post on Re¢ently. Who would think we could keep going after all this time? In the past year we hit our one-thousandth post. Sadly even though we’re growing it’s at a leisurely pace. Luckily we do this for fun and adventure and not social status. I’m sure we’ll be writing for years to come! Sláinte!

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  4. First Personal Podcast

    brian on 2007.06.22 at 04:18 pm

    Last Wednesday, my colleague Josh Porter and I recorded an impromptu podcast as part of an experiment. The experimental software worked, and here’s part one of our podcast:

    Joshua Porter and Brian Christiansen: An Impromptu Podcast.

    In part one we discussed political campaigns’ use of the new “YouTube” medium.

    I hope to get part two up next week.

    Leave any comments here.

    Posted in: Service Announcement · Technology · Web

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  5. Oops, we hit 1000

    brian on 2007.05.30 at 12:16 am

    Hey, so with that last, lack-luster post, we here at Recently have now collectively made 1,000 blog posts. I think that’s a milestone worth celebrating.

    It’s been a fun 6 years, 6 months and 14 days. Here’s to another 6 years, 6 months and 14 days. At least.

    And for posterity, here’s a link to the inaugural post. Mac OS X 10.0 was only months old, and Jake was still building his own Windows™ PCs. It would be two years until he was no longer blogging from the dark side.

    We had no feeds, no archives, no comments and we used subhead titles (which we can still, if we’re feeling Vonnegut-esque). Yet, the basis Jake forged out of PHP and MySQL still remains rock-solid. That’s quality.

    Heres the first month archive, which gives you a little flavor on the original vibe of the blog, which at the time was open to anything.

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  6. "Cyber Monday" just as fake as last year.

    jake on 2006.11.27 at 05:39 pm

    I have to keep this short to prevent my frustration taking over. Today does not seem to be any different form any other Monday. And yet the news is making reference to the fake shopping day of “Cyber Monday.” Created by a marketing group last year. Thankfully not everyone is falling for it. Black Friday at least became a nickname for something that already existed and grew.

    Here’s a list of rational people.

    I’ll add any more I see in the near future…

    Update One: Added one more.

    Posted in: Holiday · Service Announcement

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  7. Brian's New Job

    brian on 2006.10.06 at 01:37 pm

    Well, big news from my camp. I’m pleased to announce that I have accepted a job offer from User Interface Engineering. At UIE I look forward to working on some print design and layout, some website development, and some all-around general helping out, since they are a wonderfully small business where everyone has to help out with a little of everything. My first days with them will be helping out at their UI11 conference, which is starting this Monday 9-Oct (reception Sunday). I have no idea what I’ll be doing there, but I’ll be there! Logistics, I imagine.

    I met Jared Spool, the CEO/Founder of UIE, at PodCamp Boston 2006. I was excited to see he was on the presenter list and made sure to attend his session, which was one of the most interesting there. It’s clear why he’s such a popular speaker. Anyhow, I stalked him afterwards, and asked him “Where do you find employees?” He suggested I head over to their website, read a few things and email him with my thoughts. I did, and that’s turned out pretty well so far.

    I look forward to learning a great deal from my new co-workers. It will be great to get back to my roots of design, both digital and print. I look forward to the unknown factor as well… what else am I going to be a part of? I’m terribly excited.

    I looked at their website, and I have to say, I have no idea what they do there. -Dad

    There are downsides to the new position. One is that the office is in North Andover. OK, there’s nothing bad about that other than I have to drive from Medford to get there. Luckily it’s only about a 35 minute commute (I estimate), but I have to buy a car to get there. Now, personally, I love cars. But I’ll actually miss the public transit commute. Yes, believe it or not. I’ll also miss that I could ride my bike to work about 50% of the time. A lot. Most of my cycling was commuting. Now, I’ll have to find a new way to work that into my routine. But, now that I have my nights and weekends again, that remains a possibility. One major bonus is that my commute brings me right by the Harold Parker State Forest, which I hear is prime mountain biking terrain. I look forward to finding that out on my own. Clearly after I iron out the car, I’ll need to get a bike rack for it.

    On my other blog, I’m going to discuss the commute and the search for the new car, as well.

    Lastly, you might say What? Brian’s leaving Apple? Yes, I’m a pretty proud Apple employee. I look forward to continuing to use Apple products daily in my new job (still need to discuss this, but I have a good feeling about it). However, for the time being, I’ve mostly worked out staying on in a limited, part time role. So you’ll still be able to find me behind the Genius Bar. This is partly because I have such loyalty to my co-workers (they are truly great) and partly I have great deal of loyalty to Apple the company (they’ve earned it — I’m mostly leaving for family reasons [that is to say I need nights and weekends to see my wife and family]).

    Of course, Rain Hypertext is still alive and well.

    Posted in: Apple · Cool Info · Service Announcement · Web

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  8. Making progress

    jake on 2006.01.23 at 07:43 pm

    I am surprised that it took this long to get this thing going anywhere. Of course Brian and I have been busy, so Re¢ently was slow going. It is still not done yet. But I have made progress in at least making things a little more easy on the eyes.

    At the rate we’re going I’ll probably get sick of the design before we even finish it. Enjoy it while it lasts… ;)

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  9. Watch your Step

    brian on 2006.01.05 at 03:37 pm

    Hey, if you hadn’t noticed, we’re in the middle of a major overhaul around here. As Jake and I debate over such things as “Favicons” you’ll see us actively changing our templating around here. We have a private section dedicated to bleeding edge changes, but they pretty quickly get dropped over here.

    If you read via RSS, we’ll give you a heads up when she’s prettier than she is now…

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  10. Updates

    jake on 2005.12.11 at 10:47 pm

    I have decided that this site will not be actually updated until I just start rebuilding. So for however long it takes, you will see Re¢ently in “live update” status. I will try and make sure that the site does not lose functionality but because it’s all custom programming some things may stop working, even if I reset the template we’re using to the backup. Thanks for your patience.

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  11. Happy Birthday Re¢ently!

    jake on 2005.11.16 at 12:17 am

    I’d just like to point out that it was four years ago today that Brian and I started writing this weblog. We’re up to almost nine-hundred posts and I’m counting down the days till I can make an announcement of our one-thousandth post.

    Brian and I have been a little busy to finish off a reworking of the site. I’m a fan of Cameron Moll’s concept, but not buzz words. We’re planning on reworking a bunch of things but not just for the heck of it. We want to improve. We do not want to make everything flashy. We fall under the aligning group but I don’t think you’ll see me use that word again unless I’m talking about text.

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  12. Helloooooooo....?

    jake on 2005.10.26 at 02:40 pm

    I just thought I should throw something up since we’re posting less and less. I’m not sure what Brian’s been up to exactly. ;) But I’ve just been busy with work. Normally I have a little breathing room during the day, but I can barely keep up with reading feeds let alone write anything down.

    Personally the quality isn’t very high in posts and I’d like to try and write things with a little more grammer in the future. Which usually prevents quick blurb posts because I don’t want to just repeat the current meme. It’s difficult to decide, write fast with cliches or take my time and think about what I’m writing.

    On the design front. We’ve been live for almost four years. And this place is really showing its age. Maybe last year I should have jumped on the bandwagon and used the same basic but applied the Wicked Worn Look.

    The actual date Re¢ently turns four is November 15^th^. Brian and I have been playing with some ideas on a new look. If we’re lucky we’ll at least start building by the birthday. If we somehow figure out how to slow time we’ll have it done by the birthday.

    Hopefully once we spiff the place up I’ll get to start playing with some of the backend features again and we’ll both start writing with more frequency.

    Here’s a geeky question for our eight regular readers. When we’re done cleaning do you think the version number should finally hit 1.0 or do you think we should jump all the way to 2 because it looks totally different?

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  13. Survived Sugery

    brian on 2005.05.16 at 10:11 pm

    Just wanted to mention that I had surgery today at New England Baptist Hospital remove a stone from my prostate. Everything went exceedingly well. I was asleep the whole time. I’m still kinda groggy and smiley from the various drugs they put into me. Thanks to everyone there for making an uncomfortable experience relatively painless.

    Now I think I’ll try to sleep off my medicine-enduced fog. Then perhaps an on-topic post!

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  14. News about News

    brian on 2004.11.26 at 10:11 pm

    Hello sports fans. Not much from me this past week or so, which is unusual, but it's been a very busy week! I have some news to pass along soon, and once things calm down a bit (two 7am shifts this week, thanks to the capitalist holiday today) I will return to a semi-normal posting schedule. Thanks for tuning in!

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  15. Happy Birthday Re¢ently

    jake on 2004.11.15 at 07:26 pm

    Wow, other than the fact that the first post really didn't say much (heck it even made some incorrect statements) we've been doing this here web site for 3 years.

    This all got started because Brian had noticed a few weblog type web sites that he was frequenting and keeping abreast of information. Back then you were really a geek if you had one of these things.

    We decided that we were big enough geeks to do something like this. And heck, neither of us had full time jobs at the time. So shortly after graduating I started writing up PHP code and hoping to make something that would be easy to use and expandable. We ended up with this place. It never really got rid of its rough edges.

    Although it did acquire more readers. For a while we were getting a few hundred a day. This month we're averaging over 1,000. And looking to double our 16534 unique visitors from last month.

    Now three years, and some Google tweaking, later we still have the same basic design. The code running the place has been updated multiple times and is getting more and more streamlined, but the frontend is not too exciting.

    I'm hoping in light of its third birthday we can update the look of this place a little and I can learn to write a bit better.

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  16. More standards coming soon.

    jake on 2004.09.16 at 07:43 pm

    I'd say I just thought of it, and feel stupid. But I pretty much have had this in the back of my mind for too long, and feel stupid. Althought this place validates and uses CSS it needs a little something more. It's not structurely sound. So I'll start playing with front end things as opposed to meddling with the underlying stuff as soon as I finish a few things. It is almost this place's 3rd Birthday and we haven't had any major cosmetic changes. Thoughts Bri? Anyone?

    Posted in: Design · Service Announcement

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  17. The big 5 are now the Big 4

    jake on 2004.07.21 at 05:33 pm

    I'm surprised this is going through the system. With the RIAA being huge assholes to the public you'd think people would think twice about extending their monopoly.

    Those poor independant labels.

    I'm surprised an initiative hasn't come about to join forces against them. Get a bunch of high profile acts, who make loads of money in other ways, to build and work with a new label to build up distribution and other usual overheads creating a new company that offers better rates for CD compensation. Join up with Apple and other download services to give customers what they want. Profit. Only instead of the shrugs of the underpants gnomes you'd have a sound business model.

    The big problem would be building support so that the Big 4 couldn't push around the people you're trying to do business with. Of course if you document all happenings you could produce a large lawsuit and then use the money to run them into the ground.

    I imagine this must be much more difficult than I can fathom, but it's not impossible and with a few huge acts moving over after contracts cease with their current labels you'd be huge right from the get go.

    Too bad no one who has the means to do this cares about the public and smaller artists. Maybe some of the many losing ther jobs can come up with something.

    From: Metafilter

    Posted in: Music · Service Announcement

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  18. Alternative Browsers

    jake on 2004.07.16 at 05:54 pm

    I've been trying to wrap my head around this all day. Wired has an article touting the changing of your browser. With all of the security problems out there for Internet Explorer it makes sense not to use it. There are other reasons, since I'm a designer (and not a writer) I'll touch on those aspects in a second but let me start with security.

    The article lists off five alternatives. Two of these recommendations are flawed. iRider and Deepnet Explorer are shells that wrap around Internet Explorer. They add a bunch of functionality and with things like pop-up blocking are arguably more secure. But they are still running IE under the hood and therefore are still perceptible to not all, but some, if not many vulnerabilities. The real kicker is that iRider has a walkthrough to make browsing with their software more secure. But all the settings you are changing while going through the process are actually Internet Explorer settings. You are actually making Internet Explorer more secure, which is a good thing, but things they mention, like running Windows Update, should be happening anyway.

    Both of these browsers (yes I downloaded them) add a lot to the browsing experience and iRider has a tabbed interface similar and beyond Omniweb's (for Mac), which I love. But if you want to actually be more secure I'd go with one of the other offerings mentioned, like the Mozilla Suite, Opera, or Safari (only for Mac).

    The other big gripe I have with IE wrapping browsers is their inherent lack of standards support because of IE's crappy standards support. In not updating IE since 2001 (besides security issues) Microsoft has left what was once the king of standards to stagnate. Now many of the hacks and workarounds that web developers used to have to do with Netscape 4 we have to do for IE.

    It also can not display PNG image files correctly. So many of the nice things like million colored icons with full transparency, something many WindowsXP and OS X users take for granted now on their desktops, can not be translated to the web.

    Many end users don't really care about making developers like us happier just because we would have an easier time with making web sites. But I implore you to think about the other things. If all you want to do is make your browser a little more secure and get some nice new features then go get one of the two wrapper programs mentioned above. They'll give you some nice new features and if you follow that security page you'll be a little safer from jerks out there. Just don't forget they're wrapped around an unsafe browser to begin with. If you want something completely different go get Mozilla or Opera and browse away to your hearts content.

    Remember it's basically impossible to actually remove IE from your system so if you come across a page that says it's IE only then open up IE and just go to that page. Just don't use it for everything.

    Posted in: Service Announcement · Software · Standards

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  19. Happy Independence Day

    brian on 2004.07.04 at 11:52 am

    What better way to celebrate the Independence of America, then with America's favorite economic model? Capitalism! That means you'll find me at work today! Woo-hoo. Wonder if they'll appreciate me bringing in sparklers?

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  20. More about Used Car Salesmen

    jake on 2004.06.21 at 04:35 pm

    Autoblog also links to an interview related to something we posted on a while ago. It doean’t really add a whole lot to the story. But it’s something more people should know about. The undercover work is also part of a book published from Edmunds.com called Strategies for Smart Car Buyers.

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  21. Personal ways to reduce air conditioning costs

    jake on 2004.04.19 at 05:44 pm

    This doesn't quite work for me since I live on the first floor of a house as an apartment. But a study done a while ago points out how doing things like changing the roofing of your house can reduce your cooling costs.

    From good 'ol Boing Boing

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  22. Libraries issuing chapters to entice readers.

    jake on 2004.03.26 at 07:02 pm

    I found out this great news from techdirt. A few years ago when employees complained of not having the time to read Suzanne Beecher started sending them a small portion of a book through email to inform them of good reads. It bloomed into a full scale company that works with libraries to get visitors interested in reading. This is a great story by itself. I’m keeping my fingers crossed it expands and major publishers don’t try and stop something that obviously helps them make money.

    Posted in: Books · Service Announcement

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  23. OPML Updated

    jake on 2004.03.09 at 10:37 pm

    Well I have a small update, other things are floating in my head, but there's something immediate that's about 90% done, like everything else I do.

    If you look to your right... no not that far, the right of the page. You have some basic info about the two authors here, Brian and I. One of the links is for OPML. I took a script from Clint Ecker and started modifying it. I still have some work to do with it but it's functional for both of us. In fact I added a little bit to produce XHTML lists and a bit of hierarchy for my NewsDesk opml file. Since categories are exported, you can see how I organized my feeds.

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  24. Pulling closed captioning on various programming

    jake on 2004.02.17 at 12:15 pm

    I came across an interesting post about a bunch of shows losing closed captioning. I'm not sure what to make of it, I found it first at Boing Boing, which led me to a post at Neil Gaiman's blog. This pointed out an article and the list of actual shows "censored."

    Of course everyone is chiming in with opinions. So far I've seen a bunch of stuff about the lack of programming containing witchcraft material. But it goes a lot further that that. And mostly it doesn't make sense.

    It's based on five people who don't know each other and didn't have any collaboration, probably they were asked to take an overly simplified survey.

    We have found the identity of one of the panelists. This individual tells us that he never knew he was on such a panel and that his views would be used for censorship. No panel was convened. The five panelists were contacted individually and separately.

    Along with the witchcraft shows, a bunch of cartoons, including The Simpsons and Scooby Doo were flagged, and a lot of sports programming. Mostly live telecasts of events. Which is going to go over well in bars where you can't hear the audio.

    The big thing I noticed was the discrepancies... some shows that were flagged while similar ones were not. The writers pointing out witchraft mentioned that Sabrina is being blocked. But only " Sabrina, The Animated Series" is mentioned. So syndicated versions of the live action (yes I know they were closed captioned in the past) are still going to be able to taint our youth. ;)

    But beyond that smaller problem I have trouble believing this one... A show that is still being cc'd is Amazing Animal Videos, a show where you watch family pets and the occasional wild animal do something stupid on camera.

    See some amazing videos of animals of every shape and size misbehaving and acting out of character. With interviews explaining the stories behind the footage.

    While two other programs, Emergency Vets and K9 to 5 are not being cc'd. This is odd when you consider the comment that was made to the The National Association of the Deaf

    The National Association of the Deaf says the government used to caption these shows but abruptly changed course, deciding that the shows don't fit the required definition of "educational, news or informational" programming.

    Am I wrong in thinking that closed captioning programs should be covered by the Disability Act? I'm not sure where all this is going, but censoring any show, regardless of content, should not happen.

    Posted in: Service Announcement · Television

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  25. PS3 artwork making rounds as Sony concept

    jake on 2003.12.02 at 05:50 pm

    PS3 artwork by Julien VanhoenackerThis is the first time I have first hand info that a concept piece is fake. It's more annoying than anything else. kanex at GFXartist created a 3D render with Rhino3D and Brazil of what he thought would be a cool looking Playstation 3.

    In the last 24 hours his work has been published in a few different places as a concept image from Sony. Sorry, but this image was created back in July by Julien and I think he should get credit. gameindustry.biz thinks it's not actually a concept image, but I'd just like to prove that it's not before it makes the rounds even more...

    Posted in: Art · Media · Service Announcement · Technology

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  26. Server Failure

    jake on 2003.11.17 at 04:37 pm

    What an exciting weekend... After noticing an irregularity on Friday night I sent in a support request to our host on Saturday. Apparently the hard drive with this site on it had a physical failure. I imagine without paying someone a lot of money it won't come back. I assume it wasn't a simple recoverable failure.

    There is also a faulty backup of the data, and no backup of the MySQL data. Why this was the way things were run is beyond me. According to our host, they have upgraded everything because of this failure and have a backup system in place.

    I plan on figuring out a backup method for everything, especially the MySQL data for my own future well being.

    We only lost a couple weeks posts as I had most things downloaded to my machine at work and Google Cache had a fairly recent snapshot of the front page.

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  27. CD money coming back

    jake on 2003.06.18 at 04:56 pm

    A judge has ruled in favor of consumers. The recording industry will have to hand over a large sum of money to anyone who filed a claim. This result comes from allegations of price fixing in the music industry.

    The ruling, however, does not stipulate exactly how much consumers will receive or when the checks will be distributed. More than 3.5 million consumers filed claims, now estimated at $12.63 each.

    CNN.com

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  28. The Photographer's Right

    jake on 2003.05.30 at 07:29 pm

    Kottke posted about this a few days ago. Bert Krages has posted a downloadable flyer about what to do if you're confronted by someone while taking pictures in a public place.

    The right to take photographs is now under assault more than ever. People are being stopped, harassed, and even intimidated into handing over their personal property simply because they were taking photographs of subjects that made other people uncomfortable. Recent examples include photographing industrial plants, bridges, and vessels at sea. For the most part, attempts to restrict photography are based on misguided fears about the supposed dangers that unrestricted photography presents to society.


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  29. DNS Issues wreaking havoc

    jake on 2003.05.09 at 12:42 pm

    Yesterday the site started having problems because the DNS provider for our host screwed things up. I'm trying to resolve issues with this domain and default files, right now I will be posting all the things from yesterday I missed.

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  30. Masked man stops small time crime

    jake on 2003.05.05 at 06:27 pm

    CNN reports, in England a man has been seen running around in a cape and mask, scarying off "hooligans."

    The Kent and Sussex Courier said it had received letters from "stunned residents" of the town of Tunbridge Wells, southeast of London, who saw the man in a brown mask and cape scare off hooligans and return a woman's dropped purse.

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  31. The Doe Network

    jake on 2003.05.04 at 09:04 pm

    I saw this a couple weeks ago. I really need to stop leaving bookmarks for stuff and reading it weeks later.

    Wired had an article about this web site. They post information involving John and Jane Doe's for the public to hopefully identify.

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  32. Cheney profits from War

    brian on 2003.04.05 at 09:23 pm

    If you're not familiar with the US Vice President's business affairs, you should really read this short primer on Mr. Cheney's business dealings just within the past 20 years or so, from Citizen Works. It includes gems like...

    "Cheney, who served as [Haliburton] CEO from 1995 to 2000, continues to receive as much as $1 million a year in deferred compensation as Halliburton executives enjoy a seat at the table during Administration discussions over how to handle post-war oil production in Iraq."

    "A few weeks ago, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers awarded a no-bid contract to extinguish oil well fires in Iraq to Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR), a subsidiary of Halliburton. The contract was granted under a January Bush administration waiver that, according to the Washington Post, allowed "government agencies to handpick companies for Iraqi reconstruction projects.""

    "Halliburton held stakes in two firms that signed contracts to sell more than $73 million in oil production equipment and spare parts to Iraq while Cheney was chairman and chief executive officer."

    Halliburton subsidiaries have also done business with Azerbaijan, Burma, Indonesia, Iran, Libya and Nigeria, despite various US regulations which prohibit dealings with some of these countries.

    Posted in: Politics · Service Announcement

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  33. The Rainforest Site

    brian on 2003.04.01 at 09:56 pm

    While visiting the Breast Cancer Site (see previous), I noticed it had a sister site, The Rainforest Site. Everyone has their pet cause, and mine is the environment. I was happy to see this, and I was proud to see the site was built with WebObjects.

    Posted in: Service Announcement · Technology

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  34. Indefinite Detainment

    brian on 2003.04.01 at 07:45 pm

    The Patriot Act is downright frightening. Here's an excellent example of why. A well known employee of Intel, Mike Hawash, was detained by federal authorities on March 20th 2003 and is held in solitary confinement in an Oregon Federal prison without a charge. His home, which was occupied by his wife and three children, was stormed by uniformed and armored FBI agents carrying assault rifles.

    Apparently Mike's only crime is being born in the territory of Palestine. Mike's been a US citizen for 14 years and wife is US-born, along with their children. I hope I don't look at an FBI agent the wrong way, or I could be next. Show your support for Mike and check out this website, dedicated to his plight.

    Posted in: Politics · Service Announcement

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  35. The Breast Cancer Site

    jake on 2003.04.01 at 07:36 pm

    A buddy of mine sent me an email last night about The Breast Cancer Site. I go to this site everyday in my daily routine, so I figured I should put out the message to the masses (without sending a mass email.)

    If detected early, the five-year survival rate exceeds 95%. Mammograms are among the best early detection methods, yet 13 million women in the U.S. are 40 years old or older and have never had a mammogram.

    This site is part of a group of web sites. I started by going to The Hunger Site a couple years ago. In fact I own a t-shirt I bought from there. Go to these sites and just click the button. It's free and you can help others with the carpal tunnel inducing action.

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  36. Mr Fission can trade stocks, too.

    brian on 2003.03.30 at 05:05 am

    From Yahoo News:

    NEW YORK -- Federal investigators have arrested an enigmatic Wall Street wiz on insider-trading charges -- and incredibly, he claims to be a time-traveler from the year 2256!

    I really can add nothing to this, you simply must read this article. It's very amusing. And the Mr. Fission remark was an allusion to Back to the Future...

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  37. EFF will deliver us

    brian on 2003.03.30 at 04:08 am

    Court reverses decision after EFF files suit: truth does take precedent over copyright. MY LORD. Remind me when I get a full time job to donate to EFF. They may one day save my ass, too.

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  38. Cell phones and fires

    jake on 2003.03.25 at 04:17 pm

    Thank God! I can still use my cell phone while filling up my gas tank. I get soooo bored standing around for those five minutes.

    Wired is reporting that the email that's been making the rounds for a while about cell phones causing bodily harm is an urban legend.

    "It is in fact an urban legend," Larson said. "We have not come across a legitimate news source that has reported that gasoline or gas fumes are being ignited by a mobile phone."

    I really enjoyed this statement. It just shows how little silly we can be when it comes to fear and understanding technology...

    "Likewise, the claim that a 'cellular-phone ringer uses more than 100 volts for excitation' is a curious artifact of the regular telephone era: Cellular phones don't have ringers. They produce audio tones that simulate the sound of a ringing telephone."

    found at Gizmodo

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  39. Best Headline of the Day

    brian on 2003.03.21 at 12:48 am

    NCAA tourney moved to ESPN so CBS can broadcast #1 seed United States vs. #16 Iraq

    via FARK

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  40. Thursday Night Schedule

    brian on 2003.03.12 at 01:05 am

    9pm: Men's College Basketball Big East Tourney, (east #2 seed) Connecticut vs the winner of the Wed. night (west #3) / (east #6) matchup, ESPN.

    11:35pm: Late Show with David Letterman, hosted by Will Ferrell and guests include Chris Rock.

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  41. Electronic voting. Easier to cheat than cemeteries?

    jake on 2003.02.27 at 02:11 pm

    Wow, so two stories popped up today, and though very much related, they don't mention each other (though they both reference the same law suit.)

    Kuro5hin Speaks on a more broad topic of voting machines. There are a lot of dealings going on with voting machines and elected officials. All this money going back and forth can be looked at as a problem. Simply because the machines keep internal information. If there is an error, there is no proof.

    This could easily be used to cheat the system, there is no way of knowing what everyone voted. I agree with the suggestion that a piece of paper should be printed out as a receipt which could be used if there was a problem with the machine.

    Wired also reported a more in depth look at something that was referenced at Kuro5hin.

    Dan Spillane was fired from his position working with VoteHere. He claims that he pointed out many "defects" with the machines they were building, but upper management squelched his statements. And he was fired after he tried to contact a group of organizations and senators with the problem.

    I love technology and having it simplify large tasks like vote counting or paying my bills. But abuse should not be taken lightly. There has been a movement to put electronic voting machines out there. If they screw it up and we still have problems like the last presidential election the trust will be destroyed. Let's hope that doesn't happen.

    Kuro5hin - Voting machines
    Wired - Dan's story

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  42. A man in Santa Fe is detained for chat room convo.

    jake on 2003.02.27 at 01:43 pm

    So what happens if I knock Bush in this blog?

    I noticed at MetaFilter this morning a man was quiestioned by police after using a university library computer. He supposedly threatened Bush in a chat room while at the library.

    O'Connor recalled saying that Bush is "out of control," but that "I'm allowed to say all that. There is this thing called freedom of speech."

    I have to agree, unless he made an actual threat against the President, he should not be harassed. Brian and I don't agree with many things the President does. That shouldn't mean we can be targeted. This is not a dictatorship. Bush should be more careful, Saddam does stuff like that.

    Personally I think we need to start learning from past mistakes, and not try and act like we own the world.

    American Libraries

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  43. Moore's Law

    jake on 2003.02.21 at 01:06 pm

    c'mon media, it's not that complicated...

    So over the years I've noticed something with the media. They dumb down everything. This includes especially technology. Well at Blue's News this morning I was pointed to an article at Ars Technica that explains and elaborates on the missconception that Moore's Law involves processor power, ie. MHz/GHz.

    "The number of transistors per chip that yields the minimum cost per transistor has increased at a rate of roughly a factor of two per year."

    The article explains how Moore's Law is multifaceted, and in basic terms discussed transistor quantity and chip cost. If you're interested in getting a firmer grasp on these concepts I suggest you head on over and read this article.

    Ars Technica

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  44. Stupidity Amasses Stateside

    brian on 2003.02.21 at 01:49 am

    The stupidity and fear of the current US administration seems to seep into new things daily.

    Example one. A Canadian-Indian woman was intercepted by the US INS at Chicago's O'Hare Airport. She was simply switching planes, to complete her trip from visiting family in Dubai to her home in Toronto. But since the INS didn't like her passport, she got shipped back to Dubai via Kuwait, with a voided passport. Wonderful. World: know that the American people don't hate you.

    Example Two. Homeland security. Panic makers. (BTW, Iraq is bad, too!) Unbelievable. If you didn't read the previous posts on this topic, do so. Well according to this, "Ready.gov doesn't shoot straight." Lord help us.

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  45. Everyone posts about Iraq and Terror

    brian on 2003.02.17 at 10:36 pm

    I guess I should too. Well, no, this wasn't really my motivation. Nevertheless, here are two links that I find useful when forming an opinion on the current situations the United States finds itself in.

    On Nuclear, Biological and Chemical use by terrorists, before you panic, perhaps you should learn just a little about these forms of warfare. This is an excellent, quick summary of facts I've read elsewhere over the years (although I'm no hawk, I have been well read in military matters for many of my literate years).

    On Preemptive attacks on Iraq, I've seen more compelling anti-war arguments, but this is a terribly interesting (entertainment, at least) list of "The 50 Most Ridiculous Things About the Upcoming War in Iraq."

    If you're against the preemptive strike, you might want to check out the resources of MoveOn.org. MoveOn is a PAC, which I normally don't like one bit, but they've been doing some good work of late.

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  46. Big Brother was a wimp

    brian on 2003.02.08 at 12:42 am

    Or what Ashcroft would do if he was king

    Dangerous. That's what J Edgar Hoover was when he headed the FBI He investigated anyone he wanted willy nilly, ruining lives left and right, at his whim.

    Scary. That's what Richard Nixon was, when you consider how he wanted to treat the information his office used to make decisions with when he was President. For his eyes only, even if he shouldn't legal should have had the information.

    Absurd. The treatment that the current Executive Branch is giving the US public in regards to locking up whatever documents it doesn't want us to see. It's cool that our national energy plan was made by US energy executives meeting in secret with our Vice President?

    And then there's John Ashcroft. No adjectives can adequately describe a former Senator from Missouri who was defeated by a former Governor of Missouri, who was post-mortem for several weeks. Usually, when a state makes that kind of statement about their representatives, they are rid of them. Instead when this one was sent packing, his exile was to become King of American Justice.

    His first "victory" was the the US Patriot Act. A shady piece of legislation rolled through Congress in less the six weeks. Now, he's written a sequel. And like nearly all sequels, this one's much worse than the original. How bad? A draft has been leaked to the Center for Public Integrity, a non-partisan watchdog group. The draft was then revealed to the American public on NOW with Bill Moyers. They have the full-document on that episode's webpage

    Can you say "Secret Arrests?"

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