[..] lyberty.com / lyberty's web log  
2005
 

 

BLOG ARCHIVE: Through December 25, 2005:

 



From the Dec 26, 2005 Issue of Fortune Magazine:

Ten Most Widely Held Stocks, 2005
Name Ticker 2005 Total return1
General Electric GE –0.7%
Microsoft MSFT 5.10%
Pfizer PFE –19.1%
Exxon Mobil XOM 17.40%
Cisco Systems CSCO –8.0%
Johnson & Johnson JNJ –3.5%
Intel INTC 13.30%
Citigroup C 5.00%
Lucent LU –25.8%
Verizon VZ –18.8%

Based on ownership in Merrill Lynch accounts as of September.

Ten Biggest Funds 2005
Name Ticker 2005 Total return2
Vanguard 500 Index VFINX 6.10%
Growth Fund of America AGTHX 13.80%
Investment Company of America AIVSX 6.80%
Washington Mutual AWSHX 4.40%
Fidelity Contrafund FCNTX 16.80%
Fidelity Magellan FMAGX 6.30%
Income Fund of America AMECX 3.30%
Capital Income Builder CAIBX 3.90%
EuroPacific Growth AEPGX 17.20%
Capital World Growth and Income CWGIX 12.10%

- Tech blog...

The biggest problem/argument against having LCDs (liquid-crystal displays) replace CRTs (cathode ray tube-based monitors) that an LCD costs 50% more than a CRT. In other words, for every LCD you buy, you can get two CRTs... But it costs three times as much to power a CRT. So when you add energy costs into your TCO (total cost of ownership) calculation, the difference in cost shrinks significantly.

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Dell 2005FPW

December 6, 2005

Both Jimbo Wales ("founder" of Wikipedia) and the offended John Seigenthaler appeared on NPR's "Talk of the Nation" this morning.
Mr. Seigenthaler wrote: "For me, that pillow is a metaphor for Wikipedia." Like all old men, he doesn't understand
that the pillow is a metaphor for the internet itself, with Wikipedia being just one small facet of it.

    

Gasp! Wikipedia contains falsehoods and errors! An internet shocker!
- By John Seigenthaler, USA Today

  Wikipedia weakness: Open-source, and open to abuse
International Herald Tribune, France - Dec 5, 2005
... Some cyberexperts said Wikipedia already had a good system of checks and ... laws of cyberspace, said that contrary to popular belief, true defamation was easily ...
Truth can be at risk in the world of the Web The Tennessean
You Can't Trust Wiki Hartford Courant
Wikipedia: The Art Of Internet Character Assassination Post Chronicle
Wikipedia slander?
CNET News.com, United States - Dec 1, 2005
Will Wikipedia eventually sued on charges of defamation? Almost certainly--just as newspapers, television networks and other large ...
A false Wikipedia 'biography'
USA Today - Nov 29, 2005
... Recent low-profile court decisions document that Congress effectively has barred defamation in cyberspace. Wikipedia's website acknowledges that it is not ...

December 5, 2005

The Customs of Christmastide

X

Epiphany

 

December 4, 2005

Human Brain = Time Machine?

Your brain is a time machine with three modes that control everything from instantaneous tasks like moving to maintaining long trains of thought and ultimately staying in synch with night and day. That's what scientists are saying...

blogcred: submitted by alex.will 36 days ago (via http://www.livescience.com/hum...)

December 1, 2005 - Conchords links

"Flight of the Conchords (F o the C) have put up a website on the internet. A spokesman from the band (Bret) said it there was a five year delay launching the website online due to a 'disagreement'. Apparently there was debate over how many times letter 'W' should appear in the 'WWW' part of the web address. While Bret wanted four making the domain name wwww.conchords.co.nz Jemaine was vying for seven with wwwwwww.conchords.co.nz. It turns out that you're only allowed three anyway.

In other related news it has been decided that the news items will be consistently written in the third person from now on, even though Bret and Jemaine write them themselves. It ‘makes it seem more newsy’."

What the folk?! | bbc radio 2 link

 

OTHER LINKS:

General BBC 2 : Listen Now! (including programmes from Scotland and Wales)

The New Zealand Listener

 

November 30, 2005 - humans 25 hour clock sleep study

--begin quote--

Nature tends to follow certain rhythms. The spinning of the earth around its own axis dictates a daily rhythm, the moon has a monthly influence, and the rotation of the earth around the sun determines the seasons. In common with all other animals we have our own in-built natural rhythms. For example, we have a spontaneous circadian daily rhythm and the reproductive cycle has a monthly rhythm. Curiously, our daily rhythm is approximately 25 hours [this has been contested; see footnote 1] and is reset to 24 hours by the time clues given by our environment. During this 24 hour cycle there are two periods when the ability to fall asleep is greatly enhanced. This is maximal at about 2 p.m. and between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. These periods have been described as sleep gates ... [view figure showing measured "sleep gates"].[2]

At other times sleep may be almost impossible even when feeling sleepy - the so called forbidden zone. These gates vary between individuals both in their exact timing and intensity. For this reason sleep is not usually possible at all times during the 24 hour cycle. Here lies the explanation for jet lag and problems encountered with shift work...

[read more]

--end quote--

[1] A study -- by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) -- released in June 1999 contested the commonly accepted "25-hour sleep clock for humans" theory, and claimed instead that the internal clock for humans was 24 hours and 11 minutes. See article A and article B; also news release from BMH .

[2] From "Handbook of sleep-related breathing disorders" J.R. Stradling. Oxford 1993.

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Azeroth Photograph & Portraits - Verse

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Dell PC - Dimension 3000 Desktop with Intel Celeron D Processor, $300 ($250-$50 rebate), before shipping...
>> >> renamed as Dimension B110 = Intel 325 Processor (2.53 GHz, 533 FSB), integrated (crappy) video, 1/4 GB (256MB) RAM, 40 BB (38 GB) HDD.
also, Dell W4200HD Plasma TV, $2,600 ("$2,549")

November 28th 2005 -

Microsoft is using the new XBox 360 as a "loss leader" (for hefty returns on the games themselves, and on the XBox Live subscription fees) --
Research firm iSupply opened the lid and found the parts alone cost more than $550. The box retails for $400 (USD$399)...

 

Book Recommendation:

"The Post-Truth Era"
by Ralph Keyes

ABOUT THE BOOK

FROM THE PUBLISHER

Research suggests that the average American tells multiple lies on a daily basis, often for no good reason. Not a finger-wagging scolding, The Post-Truth Era is a combination of Ralph Keyes's investigative journalism and solid science. The result is a spirited exploration of why we lie about practically everything and the consequences such casual dishonesty has on society.

SYNOPSIS

While " America has always been a nation of blarney peddlers," Keyes contends that lying has become the norm. Drawing on research on deceptive behavior, the Ohio-based author reviews the history of lying, the ethics of situational dishonesty, and the contribution of modern technology and such role models as politicians to a culture of truth trimming. His case for honesty entails parental modeling and the strengthening of social bonds. The book is not indexed. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

FROM THE CRITICS - Publishers Weekly

"Casual duplicity picks at the threads of our social fabric," Keyes warns, and not just because it creates a greater tendency toward suspicion and mistrust. The consequences of letting people get away with lying can be severe: when somebody gets a job based on a bogus resume, for example, he or she deprives those applicants who didn't falsify their work credentials. Keyes deplores what he dubs an "alt.ethics" that has made lying more acceptable, and he points to a variety of contributing factors in society, from postmodernism's denial of a literal truth to the ease of making unverified statements online. This largely anecdotal broadside essentially replays David Callahan's The Cheating Culture, though with fresher stories that address recent incidents like the Martha Stewart trial and the controversies surrounding several authors and journalists who have blurred fiction and nonfiction or simply fabricated their stories. Keyes takes a relatively nonpartisan approach; he criticizes Bill Clinton and Al Gore for their false statements, but attacks George W. Bush as the "quintessential baby boomer," accusing the president, and an entire generation, of a self-righteous refusal to confront, let alone speak, the truth.

Film Recommendation:

"Shattered Glass"

movie info from rottentomatoes.com

ebert review | other reviews

This film is based on the article "Shattered Glass" (Old liars, young liar) by H.G. Bissinger (as "Buzz Bissinger") which appeared in Vanity Fair, September 1998.
You can read excerpts from the article here.

NOTES, from “The Post-Truth Era”, a book by Ralph Keyes (2004, St. Martin’s Press)

(full title: Post-Truth Era: Dishonesty and Deception in Contemporary Life)

 165 –

Glass: New Republic, Jun 29, 1998; Time, May 25, 1998; Newsweek, June 22, 1998; Buzz Bissinger, “Shattered Glass,” Vanity Fair, September 1998; Samuel Hughes, “Through a Glass Darkly,” Pennsylvania Gazette, November-December 1998.

 Keywords: “Creative Journalism”, “New Journalists”, “Driven Narratives”

CSCO Blog

The house
. . . has many rooms.
But only one
. . . leads to another world.

"Narnia: The Lion The Witch, and The Waredrobe" --
in theaters Friday, December 9th, 2005.
( That means you have only a couple of weeks left to read the book... )

or you can listen to children read the book, from BBC radio (this is cute)!

About the programme :
BBC Radio Ulster serialises CS Lewis' timeless adventure The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, with school children from all over Northern Ireland reading excerpts from the book in a 30-part series of five minute installments.

 

November 15, 2005 -

November 14, 2005 -  Updated: "Attack of the Show" show notes, better links.

 

November 13, 2005 - Further updates to "Character Codes" article.

Average House Prices, San Jose, California, for October 2005  [F]

zip 95112: $565,000 (MEDIAN. Change: + 17.7%. $468 per square foot. )
~ local~ [image/scan, 357 KB]

more numbers: http://www.dqnews.com/ZIPSJMN.shtm

 

November 11, 2005 - Quitting Smoking Using Nicotine Polacrilex Gum -- my advice  

Today will be seven days since my last cigarette.

Here's my advice on the Gum, based on my experience:

  1.
Get the Gum, not the Lozenges.
 
Why? Because the lozenges seemed, at first glace, to be a good idea,
but turned out to be pretty impractical. You're supposed to just let this
huge lozenge (more like the size of a piece of candy) sit in your mouth
for 20 minutes while you:
- don't chew it
- don't suck on it
- don't swallow too much.
Just makes your mouth gummy, and I can't help but
lodge it to my gums (which you shouldn't do).
Also, you can't control the dosage and timing--as you can
with the gum-- except by taking it out of your mouth
entirely.
 
 2.
Get the regular ('original') gum, not the "Mint", "Orange", or other flavored kinds.
 
Why? Because you need to be able to tell when the gum has
released a sufficient amount (dose) of nicotine, and the flavoring
interferes with your ability to do so.
 
It's not supposed to be a candy gum. Here's how it's used:
Nicotine gum is a medicine and must be used a certain way to get the best results.

 Chew the gum slowly until it tingles (you should experience a "peppery" taste).
Then park it between your cheek and gum.
When the tingle is gone, begin chewing again, until the tingle/taste returns.  Repeat this process until most of the tingle/taste is gone (about 30 minutes).

 Avoid eating or drinking for 15 minutes before chewing the nicotine gum, and while chewing a piece.  
To improve your chances of quitting, use on a regular schedule (i.e. 1 every hour, 1 every two hours, 1 every four hours, etc., according to your needs; regularity is more important than frequency. ),
and do not stop using the gum prematurely (especially during the first two weeks).
 If you experience strong or frequent cravings, you may use 1 piece every hour.  However, do not continuously use one piece after another since this may cause you hiccups, heartburn, nausea or other side effects. Do not use more than 24 pieces a day. Stop using the nicotine gum at the end of 12 weeks.  If you still feel the need to use nicotine gum, talk to your doctor.  
Store at 20-25 degrees C (68-77 degrees F).  Protect from light.
 
I've been using the 4 mg gum, 1 piece every 3 to 4 hours (more if needed). I might have been fine with the 2 mg gum, in retrospect...
 
Here are the manufacturer's recommendation:
 
"Before using this product, read the enclosed User's Guide for complete directions and other important information.

Stop smoking completely when you begin using the gum.

If you smoke more than 25 cigarettes a day; use 4 mg nicotine gum.

If you smoke less than 25 or more cigarettes a day; use the 2 mg nicotine gum. 
Use according to the following 12 week schedule:
Weeks 1 to 6     - 1 piece every 1 to 2 hours;
Weeks 7 to 9     - 1 piece every 2 to 4 hours;
Weeks 10 to 12  - 1 piece every 4 to 8 hours."

 
Good luck!

More advice:

Native Americans used licorice or birch, the Chinese use radish; also try boiled oats/alkaline foods...


another resource: http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/index.htm

 

 

"Domino" based on a true story; Bounty Hunter Found Dead in Bathtub

"Domino Harvey, the model-turned-bounty hunter whose adventures inspired director Tony Scott's film "Domino," starring Keira Knightley, died unexpectedly Monday at the age of 35 after being found unconscious in her West Hollywood home bathtub."

"According to Reuters, New Line has confirmed that they're not going to change either the film content or the recently moved up August 19th release date in the wake of the death. In recent weeks the film had been pegged for a November release date but the studio shifted it back to fit in with Keira Knightely's promotional schedule.
Harvey had been arrested last month in connection with a drug-trafficking sting in Mississippi. Daughter of "Manchurian Candidate" actor Laurence Harvey, Domino worked as a Ford model, nightclub operator and firefighter before going to work for a Los Angeles bail bond agency as a bounty hunter."

[Posted: June 30th, 2005; Source: Reuters ; Author: Garth Franklin]

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Online articles, must, as a rule include: .. [read more]




 

November 3, 2005 - sbc phone service cost; "no frills"; "no truth in advertising"...

SBC Consumer Marketing = The Opposite of Up-front Pricing

SBC Phone service ad in the mail last week (November 2005):

"RELIABLE 'NO FRILLS' HOME PHONE SERVICE SOLVES YOUR TOP CELL PHONE PROBLEMS."
"CONNECT WITH EVERYDAY SAVINGS"

SBC offering ""NO FRILLS" UNLIMITED Local Calling Just $10.69 per month"
Ad Campaign focused on people who have dropped overpriced land-land
because they just use their cell phones.

Well, guess what. I have this plan already.
And you want to know what "Just $10.69 per month!"
means when SBC says it?

$20.00 per month.
($19 after "taxes, fess, universal service, extended area, ZUM 3 calling and subscriber line charges".)

"We lie to you because we can." - Linda Muscat, Director, SBC Consumer Marketing
Call 1-888-840-3332 today!

project a, project b, winxp newsletter sample

Featured Download:
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Link Log / Article Updates

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Dream Island Obsessional Park: download the long version of yume no shima shinen ?(right click, save file as.... mp3)::
Paranoia Agent

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lyberty.com: what's on this site you ask? Here's a sample.

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Random Archive Selections:

The Art of Constuctive Critism


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Kids plays video games you may have loved when you were a kid (from Blog 2004)


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3-D Web environments: evolution case study: Adobe Atmosphere

 

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blog, June - July

 

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Internet Explorer goes retarded after installation of XP Service Pack 2:
(googlism: Internet Explorer blocks showing active content javascript XP2 SP2 annoyances)

  SKIP THE DETAILS; JUST SHOW ME THE SOLUTION!

Macromedia compounds stupidity by suggesting you add a text string of "<!-- saved from url=(0014)about:internet --> " to all your web pages to trick IE into thinking it's in "The Internet Zone"...

Why this is retarded: (more hilarity from Microsoft):

The 'Local Machine' Zone is not configurable because "...any files already on your local computer are assumed to be very safe, so minimal security settings are assigned to them, You cannot assign a folder or drive on your computer to a security zone."

However, Windows XP SP2 has introduced a new Zone - "Local Machine Lockdown Zone" with high security settings (with security settings which are higher than those for the Local Intranet Zone). Files on the local machine are now no longer deemed to be 'safe'! and are assigned to this new zone. The Pop-up-blocker is turned on by default and the security zone is not configurable using Internet Explorer.

LOL! What an annoying solution to IE's security problems. In service pack 3, (or, more likely, in Longhorn) you can look forward to this:

To help protect your security, Internet Explorer will not let you view any web page until you click three times to let it know you really want to view the page.

 

And in the Retarded Macromedia Fireworks department:
(googlism: Fireworks MX 2004 enable check in (enable checkin) site definition editing files site disable site check-out open image file

From the Release Notes for Fireworks MX 2004 fix 7.02:

Opening Image Files from Dreamweaver

In earlier versions of Fireworks MX 2004, opening image files from within local Dreamweaver MX 2004 site folders took a significant amount of time if the Dreamweaver site preference for “Enable file check in and check out” was turned on. You should find that the 7.0.2 updater makes Fireworks MX 2004 much faster when opening image files from within Dreamweaver MX 2004 site folders who's site preference to "Enable file check in and check out” is turned on.

What this should actually say is "If you use Fireworks MX 2004 to try to open a file that happens to be in a site folder (which, since you're working on web images, is probably 95% of all files you open), Fireworks will hang indefinitely while it trys to check out the file from the FTP server. If you click anywhere on the screen while this is happening, Fireworks will silently crash, but continue to run, invisibly, as a hung-process in the background.

Commonly, the user will attempt to relaunch Fireworks, and it will crash again on startup, again, running invisibly as a hung process in the background. The user can sometimes have up to 4 Fireworks processes running invisibly, taking up more and more system memory, and will have no way of knowing if the user does not think to try Cntrl-Alt-Delete to manually kill all of the hung Fireworks processes."

So screw your fix: tell me how to disable site check-in/check-out for Fireworks! (Let me use Dreamweaver for file check in check-out; at the most, all Fireworks should do is tell me that the file is in read-only mode / is locked for editing).

Yes, I know I'm worked up, but if they want to charge $800 for their products (or thereabouts), the software better be god-damn bullet proof...

Wednesday, October 19 , 2005

> Javascript & CSS: Background Slide Show

> updates: tech/terms/usb.html & kb_kilobytes.html

Friday, October 21 , 2005

> updates: tech/terms/usb.html & kb_kilobytes.html

 

 

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Last Updated: Sunday, September 10, 2006 11:14 AM .