Tuesday, January 31, 2006

IE 7 Beta

Internet Explorer 7 Beta is out. Read the full review at PC Magazine. If 6 of 8 reviewers uninstalled it, then it's not for me!

Monday, January 30, 2006

Google Toolbar 4 (Beta)

If you like to be the first on the block with thelatest tech stuff, check out Google's new tool bar. Reviewed by PCMag here.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Video games

Once again Steven Johnson's blog had me in stitches. It's nice to read the thoughts of a regular guy (who just happens to have a book published that was recognized by Bill Gates).

It's interesting to read what Gates and Schmidt say about the net and its future.

I can't seem to find what Gates had to say about video games and education.

This new study is pretty interesting though. Guess all us pong players are having kids.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Davos on Video Games

Quote from Steven Johnson's Blog (he is in Davos speaking on video games):

It seemed surprising enough to me that World Economic Forum wanted to do a panel on video games, much less one called "Video Games Driving Social Evolution." But I figured that given all the world-saving panels going on elsewhere, our little session would attract a few stragglers who couldn't get in to see Bono. Imagine my surprise when our panel was one of the first to fill up in its time slot, and eventually attracted a packed room with more than a few media CEOs.

But maybe the most telling thing about the session -- which was skillfully moderated by the Times' John Markoff, whom I had somehow never met over my decade or so of conference-going -- was the overwhelming consensus in the room that games were largely a force for good: complex, challenging, and full of promise for future application in more traditional educational contexts. The few skeptical notes were voiced almost with an apologetic, I'm-just-playing-devil's-advocate tone. It was great to see; I hope the audience enjoyed hearing the discussion as much as I enjoyed participating in it.

That is worth repeating...

full of promise for future application in more traditional educational contexts..

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


One of the best ways to keep informed of news and information on the web is to monitor many websites. I look to sites such as the NYTIMES, Tech Bargains, the TED Blog, Steven Johnson's blog, Woot, PC Magazine's New Product Reviews, and the like, to keep updated on the latest goings-on (and shopping deals). Going to each site is time-consuming (and sometimes worthless--nothing new).

The latest way to organize these sites is to create RSS "feeds" to one site. You can subscribe to as many sites as you like, and all of the new information will feed to it. One of the many sites that allow this is Bloglines. I click on it each day and see any new information. It shows a snapshot of the latest headlines within the site. Setting it up is really easy (just copy and paste the URLs into the Blog or Feed URL box and click "subscribe". You can also go through their listings and subscribe to sites as well).

So if you want to go to a blog (like this one) only when something is new, subscribe to it!

Friday, January 20, 2006

The Next Computer Generation

My sister sent me an email with this photo in it. It came as an attachment. Immediately I thought it was one of those "Friendship" attachments ("Send this to someone you care about, etc. etc."). I've asked her NOT to send those to me, yet I suppose she still does it with good intentions (or is she really just trying to annoy me?). Nevertheless, I almost deleted this one like the others, but I opened it instead. I had heard about these new projection computers but this was the first I'd seen a photo of it. I've seen the virtual keyboards on sale for $200 but haven't seen the whole system yet. How nice it will be to go through airport security!

Monday, January 02, 2006

New Year

January 29, 2006 is the first day of the Chinese new year. If you were born in 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, or 2006 - you were born under the sign of the dog. Like the dog, you are faithful to those you love, although you also can be very stubborn at times!

Famous people born in the Year Of The Dog include Michael Jackson, Andy Roddick, Bill Clinton and Jennifer Lopez.

According to legend, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve animals came, and Buddha named a year after each one of them. He told that the people born in each animal's year would have some of that animal's personality.

The Dog is the eleventh animal among the twelve; the rat, ox, tiger, hare, dragon, snake, horse, ram, monkey, rooster, dog, and boar rotate annually.

I was born under the sign of the horse. Here is what they say about "horse people":

Thank goodness for open spaces, because the Horse needs plenty of room to roam! Energetic, good with money and very fond of travel, Horses are the nomads of the Chinese Zodiac, roaming from one place or project to the next. All of this Sign's incessant activity and searching may be to satisfy a deep-rooted desire to fit in. Paradoxically, Horses feel a simultaneous yearning for independence and freedom.

Horses crave love and intimacy, which is a double-edged sword since it often leads them to feel trapped. Love connections tend to come easily to Horses, since they exude the kind of raw sex appeal that is a magnet to others. This Sign tends to come on very strong in the beginning of the relationship, having an almost innate sense of romance and seduction. Horses are seducers in general; check out any A-list party and you're bound to find the Horse in attendance. This Sign possesses a sharp wit and a scintillating presence; it really knows how to work a crowd. Surprisingly, Horses tend to feel a bit inferior to their peers, a misconception that causes them to drift from group to group out of an irrational fear of being exposed as a fraud.

An impatient streak can lead Horses to be less than sensitive to others' needs. These colts would rather take a situation firmly in hand as opposed to waiting for others to weigh in or come to terms with it. The lone wolf inside the Horse can at times push others away, but this also makes this Sign stronger and is a key to its success. Horses are self-reliant and, though they might lose interest fast in a tedious, nine-to-five day job, are willing to do the work necessary to get ahead.

Horses tend not to look much at the big picture; instead they just follow their whims, which can result in a trail of prematurely ended relationships, jobs, projects and so on. This Sign really knows how to motivate others, though, and get a lot accomplished. Once they find some peace within themselves, they can curb their wandering tendencies and learn to appreciate what's in their own backyard.

The most compatible match for a Horse is the Dog (1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006) or the Tiger (1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998).

I tend to agree with most of what is written (love that "exuding raw sex appeal part"...*grin*).

Does the year in which we're born govern who we are? Perhaps the atrological zodiac affects us (Mantra of the 70-80's: "What's your sign?" I'm an Aquarius).

I'm thinking that when and where we're born has some cosmic effect but, more than anything, who we are is determined by what we've become.

As I look back on 2005, I can't say that it has been uneventful but I am ever grateful for this year. It has changed who I am. I battled cancer and won. I live to enjoy and appreciate each day. I'm not so concerned with how someone perceives me but how much I can take from life and give in return. I live each day and work to make my mark just a little bit darker. I'm not out for fame and fortune (though it wouldn't be bad); I'm out to do my share to make the world better and, in return, grow each day. Live, love, laugh--a cliche that isn't a bad mantra for 2006.