Archive for October, 2003

What is up with this weather?

Wednesday, October 29th, 2003

So, its 2 days before Halloween and I’ll be damned if its not 85 degrees here in good ol’ McKinney. I’m protesting today and wearing shorts. How silly is this?

Well, here in Texas we’re used to the funny weather so I’m sure this does not phase you Texans out there. This past weekend was so great though. All Sunday watching football with it in the 50s outside just reminded me how much I love this time of year. Oh and football too.

Adware vs. Spyware?

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2003

So Gator is now forcing companies who call their product “Spyware” to remove that terminology and call it “Adware.” I am not going to put my opinion down in this medium or try to classify it one way or the other, but is this a new way for companies to justify their software?

C-Net has an article that says the following…

“The distinction between such ‘adware,’ which can report back to its creator with information about the computer user’s surfing habits, so as to allow for supposedly more effective ad serving, and ‘spyware,’ which similarly monitors surfing habits and serves up ads, is sometimes a hazy one.”

So it seems like the only difference here is one serves targeted ads, and one is less targeted?

Gator has recently come under some serious scrutinization because they replace ads that are on common web pages with ads they specifically send you. Meaning, Google might have a vendor that pays for a specific ad to be shown, but instead you get Gator’s ad. Are we crossing some sort of boundry here?

My biggest beef with Gator is that it is generally installed on your computer without your direct knowledge. Yes, the user authorizes its install in SOME cases, but with things like Kazaa and other peer-to-peer networks, their installer will put it in your system without your direct knowledge. These deceit practices just seem to be screaming ethical violations everywhere.

Even worse, what data is being transported back to Gator? How do they maintain it? How do they SECURE it? The fact is, Gator uses YOUR CPU cycles, YOUR network bandwidth, and YOUR disk space to run its operations, generally WITHOUT your knowledge. I can’t begin to consider the numerous implications this posesses for companies whose users have inadvertantly installed the application. Is IP being leaked? What a great opportunity for corporate espionage?

So, while this author will not publish an opinion one way or the other (lets face it folks, neither are “good”), what do you think?

Music Review Tuesday

Tuesday, October 21st, 2003

Yeh, its time to review some of the new albums that have come out that I bought over the past couple of months. Yes, some of these are not recent, but deal with it.

Dave Matthews, Some Devil
The first official solo project from Dave Matthews is much darker than that of the early records from the band, and even darker than Everyday. As my buddy James very aptly said, “Everyday was really the first solo album.” If you are looking for the days of Crash and Under the Table and Dreaming, you won’t find it here. What you will find is some very poetic music with some extremely talented musicians.

Howie Day – Stop All The World Now
This much anticipated release is the second studio release from this talented musician. While his first release, Australia, was recorded in short segments and took Day a year to complete, this album was finished in three solid months of recording. Day has a way of writing some really great songs that you can sing along to and enjoy, and he also has a dark side of him that pops out. He is an incredibly talented musician and in a few of the songs on this CD, his creativity is unleashed.

John Mayer – Heavier Things
There is not enough good things I can say about this album. This is the third studio release from Mayer and it is such an amazing combination of upbeat and slow songs that can really make that long car ride enjoyable. The CD comes with the lyrics for all of the songs and various other trivia such as the tempo of each song, where it was written, what part of the body the song touches, etc. If you liked No Such Thing you will LOVE Heavier Things!

Guster – Keep it Together
This recent release from Guster is one of their best releases to date. Their unique sound has a modern Beatles feel to it. If you like simple, up-beat songs, you should seriously consider this album. Their simple melodies are fun to sing along with, and they put on a great live show if you happen to catch one!

Vertical Horizon – Go
The last album from Vertical Horizon, Everything You Want was a very big departure from the classic Vertical Horizon sound. Older releases from the band have a folk feel and their new sound has been described as “Generic Radio Pop.” Go is the same generic sound with the same chords, but new lyrics. It will get quite a bit of radio play I am certain, so you can take that however you like (good or bad). At any rate, I was personally disappointed and will be keeping my old VH CDs in the rotation more than this one.

I hope you all enjoyed the brief blurbs I put here! See you later!

FINALLY

Monday, October 20th, 2003

I’ve got my home computer all feeixed up. Needs some memory, but I’ll work on that later.

At any rate, check the Photo Gallery as I have gotten all of the pics to-date updated there. Basically, everything since our vacation. Have phun!!

What the F?

Thursday, October 16th, 2003

Yeh, SLACKER! Please, bring it on. I’ve been busy on the job hunt for myself, but also for Chris. What a busy few weeks. Not to mention the mid-terms from hell and projects out the wazoo (yes, I said wazoo).

My home PC has just about had it as far as the current installation. The hardware is fine, but it is doing some VERY strange things. I’m probably going to be doing the fresh install thing this weekend if I can get some time. Once I do that, I have a ton of pictures to upload. Why can’t I upload them now you ask? Well, quite simply, the makers of Batch It!, iRedsoft, just seem to think that their program is bug free and it must just be my computer that is breaking it. I don’t have time to debug their issues (I guess that’s what you get when you pay $30 for a program), so I’m just avoiding things until I format.

Anyway, boating tomorrow, and I certainly hope to get this job thing wrapped up in the next week. LATER!