Biodiesel Aid

Biodiesel may well be the next huge subsidy for big farmers, but it may also be a great alternative (to petrolium) fuel source. I like down and dirty, simple fuel solutions. There seems to be a big push for hydrogen and/or fuel cell vehicles. But, biodiesel may work without requiring us to build hundreds of nuclear power plants or drive unsafe automobiles. Though hydrogen sounds neofantastic, it's real life application has roots in real life physics, where it takes several generations of lossy energy production to reach the end-user's automobile. Biodiesel, on the other hand, works in old fashioned diesel engines that are available today.

Pop Culture and Sexual Exploitation

This weekend several family members including my children were watching MTV's Pimp My Ride. It completely missed me how wrong it was for my nine year old to yell out "Dad, please get your ride pimped!" It did not miss my father, who walked in and bellowed "Stop saying that word!" After his quick chastisement, it dawned on me that he was right. It is a disgusting word, and connotes disgusting and illegal activities. My children shouldn't use the word, and it shouldn't be peddled as a culturally acceptable term under any circumstances. Pop culture truly is filth.

The Music Industry Combats Filesharing With Innovation

Sometimes it's shocking how bullheaded the music industry has been about progressing technologies. Filesharing started long before Shawn Fanning bought a hand full of programming books and hacked out Napster. By 1999 (the year Napster hit the internet), the average college student was broadband enabled through university tech infrastructure and busy downloading all sorts of files through newsgroups and private filesharing networks. Suffice to say, the industry had a good heads up that their most lucrative target market was busy pillaging songs through the internet.

Blackout Zones for Broadband Phone

Maybe you've heard of companies like Vonage, Lingo, and the like that offer home phone services over broadband internet connections. It's a very inexpensive way to add lines for your family or perhaps circumvent long distance fees. However, if you live in Cullman, Alabama it's simply not an option.  At least, you can't use it as a local phone service.

Enjoying The Industrial Jazz Group

I just downloaded The Industrial Jazz Group's album City of Angles from Emusic.

As I first listened to this album, I got the feeling there was something wrong with their playing, that they were missing time somewhere. I wondered if they were just missing their sync and missed it in production. But, then I thought, surely a group this skilled didn't get lazy in the studio even if it was very subtle. I listened intently and realized they weren't making mistakes. That's what messed with my head! It was like I was listening to academics playing jazz, and my brain was disturbed.

Winamp Crashes Without Administrator Privileges

Running Winamp 5 as a limited user (specifcally in a domain operating with active directory permission controls), the program crashes. Microsoft's resolution suggestion is to contact Nullsoft for an update. Specifically, the problem appears to be related to the limitations placed on a restricted user. This problem can be easily resolved by running Winamp as administrator, sharing your harddrive with simple networking, and turning off your firewall. While you're at it, it's a good idea to turn on Messenger Services in Windows XP and remove all passwords from your users.

Open Office Groupware, Good or Bad Idea?

Is groupware a rabbit hole? And, if not, is it a good idea for the Open Office developers to start working on an open platform, open source, server/client groupware project?

First, let's remediate what groupware means. Groupware is a centralized system of some kind that allows people to share files and other information. The modern incarnation of this concept has basically been spearheaded by Microsoft's Exchange Server (promise as much as delivery) integration of office document management and calendar sync services. It's nice to know that Bob in accounting is going to meet with Phil the IT manager, and that you can sit with them to discuss your specific needs on Monday at 1:30pm, then sync with your documents in a central repository... or skip the whole face to face and work through the groupware system.