March 2001

February 2001 -- 2001 -- April 2001

March 1, 2001

And yet one more month has passed us by.

Bush announced the space budget for NASA, and there's good news and bad news. Overall, it looks good, as it provides $14.5 billion dollars for NASA, a 2% improvement over this year. However much of that is because of unexpected Space Station costs. Bush also wants to spend more on exploring Mars, so perhaps we might make it out there before 2025. The bad news is that a mission to pluto has been axed, though there is a possibility that it could still fly.

We've had 5 bomb threats in the last 7 days, with no signs of stopping. The first time it's sorta fun and all, but now it's just old. I sorta always wondered why they didn't happen more often though, since it seems like a good way for some idiot to get out of a test or something.

March 2, 2001

If you want to download anything off of an official Napster server, you better do it tonight, because according to ZDNet, Napster will start blocking files based on file names tomorrow. There is supposed to be over 5,600 songs on the black list, so odds are most of the big-name stuff will be gone. Now of course, mis-spellings will still be avaliable, but it makes it harder to find stuff. Never fear though, since OpenNap is avaliable. Go download Napigator and browse all the OpenNap and other various servers avaliable. Not to mention all of the other media sharing devices like Cute MX, Scour Exchange, etc, etc. And if you're still desperate, there is always the old school way: IRC and FTP.

This was in the newspaper today, and online too, about how NASA is cutting development of the X33, which was supposed to replace the space shuttle. I remember watchign some show on the Discovery Channel about how this thing was supposed to revolutionize space flight, but I guess it was never meant to be.

Seti@Home is currently down due to a optical fiber cable being cut. So if you're having trouble connecting to the SETI servers, now you know.

March 3, 2001

Was back over in Orlando today, since I4 was finally reopened. Of course went to Islands of Adventure to play DDR, and then we ate and to Rocky's Replay to play some Korean 3rd Mix goodness. It was really crowded, but a lot of fun. Man that mix has so many awesome songs that aren't in the US Mix. It also reminded me that the US Mix is a ton easier than the Japanese/1.5 mix, since the US mix is a lot more forgiving at missing steps. I also found out from one of the guys there that there is a 3rd Mix machine in Tampa, so I'll have to check that out maybe 2 weekends from now. As for Rocky's, it was fun, but it's a freakin 2 hour (100 mile) drive from my house, so needless to say it's a bit out of the way.

Looks like the Pluto mission isn't doomed after all, contradicting the news I talked about earlier that it was cancelled.

IBM is going to kick off a multi-million dollar Linux advertising campaign next week. There will be a 6 story tall ad in Times Square, along with other ads around the world. It'll be nice to see Linux in the mainstream. I just can't wait to see a Red Hat or Mandrake commercial one of these days, like there are Microsoft commercials now.

March 4, 2001

I'm very happy that I don't live in Australia, as their rights are being squashed at an ever faster rate than American's are. The latest is that it is now illegal to forward e-mails without explicit written permission since it could potentially break copyright laws. This is just one of the many scary things included in the Australian version of the DMCA, called the Digital Agenda Act. This of course, coming from the same country who censors the internet.

The Grapes of Wrath is a pretty good book. I have to read it for an English project, and I happened to pick a good one. It also helps that it's easy reading, so I can fly through it at a 120 pages an hour :) I love being able to read fast.

March 5, 2001

Check out, tech humor meets The Onion. Included are stuff like Microsoft buys Evil, Hour Lost Explaining Computer Terms to Mom, and the random Slashdot story generator.

Turns out the illegality of forwarding email was a result of alarmist mass media. Of course, it really wouldn't suprise me if one day it did come true.

Napster finally got around to doing their filtering last night, even though they said they would start it Saturday. It's still not complete, as typing in Metallica still brings up a ton of songs. However try typing in "Beatles hey jude" and you'll notice hardly anything comes up. So at least they've done some of the millions of copyrighted songs on there.

March 6, 2001

It's amazing how crowded a library can be a few days before a major English project is due.

Yet another example of the crap Microsoft pulls that most people never know about. They tried to hide benchmarks that said a major database application performed better on NT4 than on their newer (and more expensive) Windows 2000. They threatened legal action when the publication was going to publish the results. And still most Americans think Microsoft is a gift from God or something.

In a very nice twist of irony, Aimster has created an encryption scheme to rename Napster files so get around the filter software that Napster put in over the weekend. The catch is that if you tell someone how this form of "pig latin" works, then you could be in violation of the DMCA, for trying to crack an encryption device. Sweet sweet irony, as this is similar to what the DVD hackers did to crack CSS.

March 9, 2001

Sorry I haven't updated in ages. I've just been really busy, and I'm going to have a very heavy homework weekend with a huge English project due Monday.

Thursday morning I saw the shuttle lift off to visit the International Space Station. It's so cool that I can see it lift on since I live in Florida.

Now a whole slewdge of interesting links over the last 3 days:
Amazon lost another battle in their one-click patent court battle. It won't be able to continue a preliminary injuction against Barnes and Noble for using a "One-Click" type process.

Someone wrote a great page on how to write unmaintanable code. It guarentees job security if you're the only one who could ever fix or add features to your code. There is some truly evil things in there :)

Crackers love NT, as shown by the wave of cracking done in Europe. The sad part is that they just exploited known vulnerablities that lazy system administrators didn't bother to path. Is it really that hard to update your software?

Doubleclick's ad banner patent was busted, and the person who broke it got a $10,000 bounty. It's always nice to see a bad patent get squashed.

The world's first webcam is being taken down. It's original purpose was to watch a pot of coffee to see if it was full or not so as not to waste time walking down 4 flights of stairs only to discover it was empty.

You can now break CSS off of DVD's with only 7 lines of perl. So elegant it is! Of course, I wonder if by linking to it on my website I'm breaking the DMCA.....

March 10, 2001

Still working on that English project, it seems as though the longer I work on it, the longer it's going to take to finish.

I'm also cleaning out my "New" mp3 folder. I had 173 songs in there, and I'm guessing I haven't even listend to a quarter of them. It's so easy to just login to Napster, download a bunch of stuff at random, and then forget about it. I've found some good stuff to that I didn't even relieze I had :)

I got a snazzy yellow swimsuit today for the cruise I'll be taking in a week over Spring Break. Yea Me!

ArsTechnica has an in-depth article on the cr/hacking in Europe that I mentioned below. It's scary to think that your favorite online company could be being blackmailed into not reveling they've been cracked.

March 11, 2001

I finished my English project today, which is a good thing considering it's due tomorrow. It's 4,520 words long, and has a total of 46 pages, including poems I printed from the internet and copied articles of critisism. I'm just happy it's done.

The mp3 list is updated. I've been busy downloading as you can see.

The dot com world is crazy. This one guy got hired and layoffed on the same day because his company went bankrupt. I know when I graduate from college I'm going to be wanting a stable job, and not some dot com hype thing.

March 12, 2001

All Your Base Are Belong To Us has even made it to the comics now! Foxtrot featured it in today's comic strip . Of course when I pointed this out to people at school know one knew what the heck I was talking about, but what else can I except?

March Madness has begun! The bracket was announced yesterday, and the University of Florida, where I'll be going to college next year, is the 3rd seed in the South region. I love the NCAA tournament, especially the first 2 rounds where they play 48 games in 4 days. College is much better than the pros.

In what can only be described as pure bliss, I found out this morning that Rocky's Replay would be getting a 5th Mix Dance Dance Revolution machine. It'll be brand spankin' new since it was just released like today or something. The only bad part is that it's a 2 hour drive to Rocky's, but for 5th Mix and 3rd Mix Korean DDR, I think I can sacrifice it! Also in DDR news, DDR Freak relaunched today with a cool new look.

And finally, to prove once again there really IS a website for everything, I bring you the The Official Rock Paper Scissors Strategy Guide. And you thought it was just a game of random chance.....

March 13, 2001

Teachers just love to cram tests in the last week before Spring Break. I have 3 tests tomorrow, 4 Thursday, and one more on Friday. I'll be glad when this week is done.

One of my great and wonderful readers reminded me that there is a play-in game tonight to see who gets the 16th seed in the Midwest region. So technically the tournament starts tonight. However considering that CBS isn't even carrying it (it'll be on TNN), it doesn't seem much like the actual tournament.

Looks like even the geeks are having trouble finding jobs. I'm still confident I"ll be able to get a job as a computer engineer when I graduate in 4 years though, as I still see computer peoples being heavily needed.

March 14, 2001

Happy PI Day!!!! It's the day, 3-14, to celebrate everyone's favorite constant, 3.14.... It's been calculated to 206,158,430,000 digits, and so far there isn't any repeating. You can also download the first 400 million digits.

Survivor is on tonight in case you forgot. The NCAA tourny is going to start tomorrow, so Surivor got moved to an earlier night.

Only 4 more days till our cruise on Sunday.

March 15, 2001

The Madness has started!!! The NCAA Final Four tounament began today, and already there has been some nail bitters. I was watching the Maryland/George Mason game, and the 3rd seeded Maryland just barely beat them. It's stuff like that that is the reason I love this time of the year.

An 8th grader in Georgia accidently discovered a new mathmatical theorm by just messing around with triangles during a free period. The article says it doesn't have any practical applications, and it's quite vague on what exactly the theorm is, but it's still a neat story. And it also says that having a mathmatical theorm named after you will not get help you get a date, so there goes my plan :)

MIR is expected to come crashing down on March 22nd in the Pacific Ocean. So if I were you I don't think I'd want to be around that area at that time. It's also interesting to note that MIR has the second highest mass of any body orbiting the earth, the moon being the one with the greatest mass.

March 16, 2001

I reliezed I've barely spoken of the cruise I'll be leaving for on Sunday over Spring Break. It'll be on Royal Caribbean and the ships is the Monarch of the Seas. We fly into San Juan on Sunday the 18th, and then get back the following Sunday. We'll be going to Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas - Philipsburg, St. Maarten - St. Johns, Antigua - Castries, St. Lucia - Bridgetown, and Barbados. It'll be my first cruise, and the thing I'm most looking forward to is the food, since my family places really low priority on dining out and hence I hardly ever get to eat anything more expensive than Pizza Hut. So I plan to pig out on steaks, desserts, and everything else they have to try! So what does this all have to do with you? Well, it means you'll have to do without my terrible writing and boring content for a whopping 7 or so days! :) Somehow, someway, you'll have to make it through that week of torture. Take comfort in the thought thought that I'll be suffering from internet withdrawl syndrom!

75 years today, Robert Goddard started the Space Age. He launched the worlds first liquid-fueled rockets, which is the basis of the rockets that NASA and other countries still use today. Unfortunatly he did not become near as famous as the Wright brothers or others, which is a shame.

Remember that Seatle earthquake a while back? Well it turns out earthquakes can create art. It is pretty neat what a sand pendulum can do during an earthquake. But I don't see a big demand in earthquakes so that art like that can be made :)

March 17, 2001

Happy St. Patricks Day!

Today I went to an UF Honors thing, where they talked a whole lot about the honors program at UF and about the opportunities that'll be available for me there. I'm looking forward to college more than ever now. Only about 3 and a half more months and then I'll be in Gainesville.

And dont' forget about March Madness or the MIR burning up this week.

March 25, 2001

I'm Baaaaaaack!

Wanna hear all the really boring details about the cruise I took this past week? Well for those that are truly insane, I've written a longer synopsis of my trip. However for those with shorter attention spans, here is the short summary: Good Food, Good Ports, Good Time.

And since I just came back today, I'm hopelessly out of touch with everything that went on in the past week. Such is part of living in the information age. The major points was MIR crashing into Earth, Florida lost in the second round of March Madness, and William Hanna (of Hanna-Barbera fame) died. I also got confirmed into the UF honors program while on vacation. Oh, and the US PSX version of Dance Dance Revolution was released in incredibly small quantities. The pads are supposed to be released April 10th, again in very limited quantities. The main push is going to be May 5th, when the game/pad bundle will be released. So I guess it's yet another month of waiting for a game that was originally supposed to be out in January.

March 27, 2001

Well, I have now ordered the official US Mix of Dance Dance Revolution. I got it from, and hopefully it should come in sometime next week. The pads are going to be released April 10th, so I'm hoping I'll be able to find those online, as just playing the game with a regular PSX controller is sorta dumb. But then again, so is playing it via the keyboard on the computer, which I've done tons of times. I'd suggest those who are interested in the game though wait till May 5th, when the game/pad bundle will be released. Then you can save $20 by getting that instead of the game and pad seperately. Plus it'll be a WHOLE lot easier to find then, as at the moment no store I know of near me is carrying it; hence why I bought it online, and yet another reason why I love the internet. If you're interested, here the email (Update: No longer there) that Konami sent to many DDR players on the internet, including me, that explains the pricing schemes and where to get it. Again, I VERY HIGHLY suggest buying this game when the bundle comes out May 5th, as it's one of the funniest games I"ve ever played in my life, and it's an awesome party game too. You won't be dissappointed.

Looks like the MIR crews had some fun times in space. I'm just glad they didn't get too drunk and crash the space station. Drinking and Driving in Space: The Final Frontier. Oh, that reminds me of a cheesy joke. "Are you in Calculus? Then don't Drink and Derive."

Salon has an interesting piece on CD copyright protection in an effort to stop piracy. The problem with their solution though, is that I find it a whole lot more convinent to rip a CD and have it on mp3 format on my hard drive, than to have to constantly switch out discs in and out of the cd-rom drive. Hence, they want to limit the ways I can listen to the music I bought. Sounds suspiciously like the DVD/MPAA/DMCA fiasco, where the movie labels want to control how you view the movie you bought. Will media artists ever get a clue?

Humor page is updated with two more sigs: "Life is fatal" and "A Blackhole is where God divided by Zero."

March 28, 2001

I had a Mu Alpha Theta math competition today. It was the only one we're going to this year unfortunatly, but I did have a great time doing math and hanging out with my friends. I got the high (though low compared to most of the other schools) score on our team, so that was nice :) I was also forced to listen to rap music on the way to USF (where it was held) so now I'm probaly scared for life.

Mozilla 0.8.1 was released the other day, so pick up your hot and fresh copy. It's getting closer and closer to a 1.0 release.

Copyleft has a very cool shirt out now that is actually illegal to wear. It has that seven line perl DeCSS code on it, thus by wearing it you are "...a circumvention device forbidden by 17 USC 1201(a)(2). Do not manufacture me, import me, offer me to the public, provide me, or traffic in me or in any part of me. You have been warned." Pure sweetness. And on the subject of geek shirts, I saw a guy at USF in a radio booth with a Got Root? shirt on. It was the first time I'd ever seen someone else with a thinkgeek or copyleft shirt on in real life.

March 29, 2001

Slashdot had a run of Quickies last night, so here are the better ones (IMHO) (Update: Unfortunatly many of them are now down): A sculpture that cooks birds that fly over it, a cool thing to do with a microwave, Coke wants to put a tap in your house (to go along with some carbonated milk), and Google has a very cool new section for the Swedish chief in us all.

My copy of DDR USA for the PSX has shipped, and should be at my house on Saturday. Too bad the pads will have another 10 days to go before I'll be able to buy them.

March 30, 2001

DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION HAS COME IN! I originally was not to get it in till sometime late next week, to allow for the "7 to 10 days for shipping" clause on playstation's website. However once it shipped and I checked Fed Ex's site, then it said it should come in on Saturday. However I came home today and my mom said there was a package for me, and of course it was DDR!!!!!! This game is so awesome, even without the pad. It has some incredible beginner help stuff, so even complete newbies will be able to play. Plus it has some modes that even the arcade game doesn't have, and it also includes a workout mode (I burned 30 calories dancing around pretending I had a pad to play on :) And to top it off, it has some songs that DDR USA and the original US DDR doesn't have, like Drop The Bomb (awesome awesome song), If You Were Here, and Smoke. Anyways, the pad will be released on April 10th, so when those come in then it will truly rock!

I found an awesome site about Red Neck Linux. It's a collection of "You might be a redneck if..." that are absolutly hillarious, such as "Your computer has a rifle rack." or "You have a SKOAL Can in your CD-ROM Drive." Even if you dont' use Linux you'll still find most of them funny.

A huge security hole has (once again) been found in Microsoft Explorer. It affects versions 5.0 and 5.5, and lets a malicious website run any code it wants on your Windows computer. Need I remind you that most problems that come from stuff like this is due to people not applying the patches (such as DNS servers still being cracked due to admins not applying patches that are months old), so update ASAP.

On a brighter note, the 2.4.3 Linux kernel has been released. I'm still on 2.2.17 since I haven't gotten any of the 2.4.x kernels to boot for me yet. But I'll try it again with this one.

Oh, and Jerri got kicked off of Survivor last night, so all is good in the world.

March 31, 2001

Daylight savings time starts tomorrow, so if you live in the US, then the 2 o'clock AM hour no longer exists for tomorrow. Be sure to set your clocks ahead, unless of course you live in Arizona, Hawaii, or part of Indiana.

Sega is officially going to make games for the Microsoft XBox. However games for the Nintendo Gamecube and Sony Playstation 2 are not out of the question, so perhaps we can still get Sonic on a Nintendo system. Who would have though that'd even be possible in the early 90's?

AOL is declaring war on Jabber, the open protocol Instant Messanging system that also supports AIM, MSN, Yahoo, etc, and so it's affecting 3rd party AOL Instant Messanger clients everywhere. The client I use, Gaim can no longer support the AOL Oscar protocol since AOL is making it so that only official AOL clients can connect to it. They have written a paper explaining what exactly is going on. This doesn't affect me too much, as I can still chat with my AIM friends via Gaim when I'm in Linux, but I use Jabber in Windows so my only solution there is to use AOL's client. It is yet another example of a major coporation trying to squash out the competition. Now all this stuff could have been avoided if these coporations would just get together and create an open protocol so that anyone could create a client for it, and so that everyone could connect with everyone else. But alas we do not live in a perfect world unfortunatly.

The Daily Show, the hillarious "news" program on Comedy Central, has won the Peabody Award for excellence in broadcasting, due to it's "Indecision 2000" coverage. If you've never watched this show, you are missing out because it's sorta like The Onion for TV.

February 2001 -- 2001 -- April 2001