Sunday, December 30, 2007

Perhaps the technical issue is with the advertising

I have started to look more at the Former Naval Person blog (NSFW), to be sure that I don't see any problems. Former Naval Person used to be my serious writing blog, but since the fall of 2006, I have increasing concentrated on pictures. Currently, I am almost exclusively posting fake Emma Watson racy pictures. I have been busy developing my graphic editing skills and have expanded beyond making ship pictures. I now am suspicious that the technical problems are caused by the advertising. What used to be called AVN Ads is now Black Label Ads.

More technical problems with Blogger?

I am wondering if we are back to experiencing technical problems with Blogger, today. Just looking at the bar chart of traffic, by hour, there are spikes when the system is working well, and deep valleys, when it is not, for the Former Naval Person blog (rather NSFW). Am I going to be forced to switch hosting? I would prefer to stick with Blogger, but the inconsistent behavior is bothersome.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

This sounds very scarey...

I as reading this opinion piece at the Telegraph, about how we may be headed towards a depression that may dwarf 1929. That will be a really great companion event to a President Obama, and a Democrat House and Senate in the US. So what is a good deflation hedge?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

I don't relish the prospect, but I agree with the conclusions

Bill Quick, writing at the Daily Pundit blog, says that we will end up with a President Obama, VP John Edwards, and a Democrat House and Senate. I am doubtful about the John Edwards part, but I can believe the rest. All I can say is hold onto your wallet, hide your money under your mattress, and be prepared for the economy to tank. I also would expect a big terrorist hit.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

One of the latest things is that behavior that is common is made illegal

People wanting to talk on the phone while driving is a fact of life. Talking on the phone for driving is just one of many behaviors that are distracting drivers while they are driving down the road. The UK is apparently jumping on the bandwagon for banning talking on the phone for driving, and not only doing that but imposing excessive penalties. That pattern is very common in the US, and there seems to be no way to stop it. If you oppose it, you are then on the side of doing bad things. These sorts of moves are unstoppable, and they result in atrocities. I can't figure out how we will be rescued from this sort of thing. I can foresee it only getting worse. Some massive societal change would be required to restore sanity.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

John Edwards

I find the fact reassuring that John Edwards really is the slimeball that he had appeared to be. The woman he was said to have had an affair with, Rielle Hunter, is six months pregnant and is in hiding, since she is so visibly pregnant. The story broke today in the National Enquirer. Given our impression of John Edwards all along, we are not surprised in the least.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

RAR Files with passwords

Some anti-social person has been posting RAR files that require a password to extract them. I thought that sort fo thing warranted trying out "RAR Password Recovery", which can recover lost RAR file passwords.

Monday, December 17, 2007

IndexTools and SiteMeter

Today, there was a big jump in traffic to the Former Naval Person blog (NSFW). The peak was several hours ago. IndexTools is now consistently showing higher traffic and page view counts than SiteMeter. SiteMeter is generally said to be the way that people judge website traffic, so there is an instant from incorrect performance, if that is what we are seeing. I have spent a small amount of time studying the visit details from SiteMeter and IndexTools, and I suspect that when a browser has Javascript disabled, and possibly cookies disabled, both SiteMeter and IndexTools are not able to tell how a visitor was referred. They both think that a visitor is from a direct link, even though it is a first time visitor. Invariably, at least Javascript is disabled for that visitor.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The continuing saga of the Former Naval Person blog and web traffic

The Former Naval Person blog seems to still not be getting any Google North America traffic. I was determined to see what could be done without Google's help. Something busted loose today, and traffic is at least 50% higher than what we have recently seen. If Google would relent and send traffic our way, we would be back at two or three thousand per day. We shall see if today is fluke or a sign of things to come. As usual, IndexTools shows higher traffic than SiteMeter and both are higher than Google Analytics. In fact, Google Analytics is giving some really strange results. We seem to be getting most traffic from direct links, with Yahoo image search coming in second. Google Analytics seems to totally miss that phenomenon and that may account for the lower count.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


A phone call set me off, this afternoon. I was the last veteran of my family. I served in the navy from Ground Hog Day in 1970 up through the end of February 1981. I entered the navy as a Seaman (E-3) and left active duty as a Lieutenant (O-3). I picked up LCDR in the reserves. My younger brother is a Viet Nam veteran. As an 18-year old, he went to Viet Nam in 1968, in time for the Tet Offensive. He was in the north at the time. He stayed for 17 months, with a break after 11 months. He was a Marine and was in artillery (105mm howitzers). My father enlisted in the navy on December 8, 1941 and served through the end of the war. He was in Leyte Gulf when the war ended, as a 2nd Class Signalman. Just like the Eastern Front, they fired off all their pyrotechnics to celebrate the end of the war. Both my uncles (husbands of my mothers two sisters) also served. One was a soldier and pushed a typewriter. My other uncle was a Marine and was wounded at Guadacanal. Both my grandfathers were in the army in 1918. My father's father served in France, where he was gassed and concussed. He was with the engineer battalion formed from the Michigan National Guard as part of the 32nd Infantry Division. My mother's father never went overseas. Both of my grandfathers had their way paid to the University of Michigan, where they received engineering degrees. My father went to the University of Michigan on the GI Bill and got his BA in Art and had started on an MA degree. He tired of school and wanted to work, so he bailed. The navy paid for my BSEE from Purdue, while I was on active duty and I used my GI Bill benefits to pay for my MS degree in Computer Science. A guy I worked with in Minnesota saw his daughter enlist in the army after September 11th. That was a common thing for parents, as young people in our present day are just as patriotic and want to fight our enemy, just as my father, uncles, and grandfathers did. We are in a war, not of our making. Our Pearl Harbor happened on the morning of September 11th, 2001. We lost 3,000 people on that morning. Most in the World Trade Center, but also at the Pentagon and in the field in Pennsylvania. We had heroes, just as they had at Pearl Harbor. I thought about the fact that my wife's uncle was working as a civilian aviation machinist at Ford Island in December 1941. Her cousin was not born yet, but her aunt and uncle lived in Honolulu. After the attack, my wife's uncle went onto the base and worked to help recover. That war lasted less than four years, but our war already has lasted longer than that. How long will we be at war? There are battles yet to be fought and enemies yet to be defeated. For better or worse, you are getting my unedited stream of consciousness.

Jeanne Assam

This is another case where someone with a gun stopped a terrible crime in progress. In this case, a woman with a gun, Jeanne Assam, shot Matthew Murray. She was a volunteer security guard at the New Life Church. The "guards" were all parishoners, some of whom were ared as was Jeanne. She had suggested having guards after hearing of the shootings at Arvada, an hour to the north, earlier in the day.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

I want my IE6 back!

I foolishly upgraded to IE7 and it is especially bad. In fact, it almost doesn't work on my machine, which has Windows XP Professional and many applications installed. I wish I still have IE6. I use Firefox as my main browser, but some sites, such as the Zogby poll, work best with IE6. (Actually, IE7 is working acceptably on my other machine, the one with Windows XP Home and fewer applications installed).

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Former Naval Person traffic tracking

Needless to say, I am pleased that SiteMeter is showing a higher level of traffic for the Former Naval Person blog. I imagine that when I made the transition to the new stylem Blogger template, I changed the SiteMeter script to a version that doesn't work with browsers that have Javascript disabled. Now, instead of SiteMeter being way below IndexTools, IndexTools has been way below SiteMeter. I have opened a support ticket with IndexTools, pointing out the current issue. There was an outage today, and afterwards, traffic was shown to be higher, although still not at the levels shown by SiteMeter. In case you had not picked up on this, Bloggers are always interested in getting accurate traffic counts. There has long been a concern that the standard tracking with SiteMeter might undercount the real traffic.

Friday, November 30, 2007

SiteMeter tracking for Former Naval Person

Apparently, when I converted to the new layout with Blogger, I used the wrong Javascript for SiteMeter tracking. What I used did not record visits where the browser had Javascript disabled. I have that fixed, now, thanks to SiteMeter support, so I am hoping that the disparity between IndexTools and SiteMeter figures will be reduced.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

How about a little global warming?

In an Opinion Journal piece called "The Lowdown on Doomsday: Why the public shrugs at global warming", Jonathan Adler explains why that is true. The reason apparently is that the environmentalist explanation of the problem as excessive pollution and the solution being increased limits is unacceptable. Do you agree with my interpretation?

Monday, November 26, 2007

There continues to be a big disconnect between IndexTools and SiteMeter

I don't understand what is happening with respect to web traffic on the Former Naval Person blog. For a long time, up until this summer, IndexTools and SiteMeter traffic tracked together pretty closely. After a big SiteMeter outage, there has been a great difference between the two. Yesterday, the IndexTools figures were about twice those from SiteMeter. SiteMeter was saying 111 visits and 197 page views. IndexTools said 254 visits and 413 page views!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Kindle looks cool

Ann Althouse mentioned that she bought a Kindle from Amazon on her blog. I just looked at it and it looks like what I have wanted for some time. I have wanted a way to view images of documents without needing a computer. From what I read, a Kindle would work. I would have to email documents to the Kindle, but Amazon provides the wireless connection, using the wireless data capability that is used in digital wireless phone networks.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Be nice to Google

I would suggest being nice to our benevolent overlords at Google. I must say that I am a big Google customer. I pay for extra storage with Gmail, use Blogger, and even have tried Google Documents. I also appreciate Google Books and would like to see more, expecially if I could pay to see more so that writers and publishers would get a cut while I got access.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

SiteMeter traffic sources

I have the premium version of SiteMeter for the Former Naval Person blog. If you look at Search Terms, it looks like you can't tell what the search was. In fact, by looking at the details, you can almost always tell why someone visited. Overwhelmingly, people are looking for Emma Watson racy pics, almost all of which are fakes. There are also a few readers looking for pics of Michelle Manhart or Eva Ionesco.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The job market must be getting better

Not only did I only have four days off between jobs, I am getting many contacts from recruiters about job opportunities. I am off the market, but I am glad to see this. There was a time in the Dallas area when job opportunities were non-existent. I had to work in Minneapolis during that period. Now, IT consulting and fulltime jobs seem to be much more plentiful. If you aer looking for an IT consulting job, my recommendation is to use a service such as (which is what I use) and have an active resume. I don't look for jobs there. Instead, recruiters contact me about jobs that do not show up in listings.

IndexTools vs. SiteMeter

Yesterday, there was a huge disparity between the IndexTools and SiteMeter traffic figures for the Former Naval Person blog (NSFW). I hope it is because of SiteMeter and not a problem with IndexTools. SiteMeter changed in some fundamental way earlier this year, after a severe and extended outage on the server used for Former Naval Person tracking. Since then, IndexTools has continued to reflect values consistent with what has become typical.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

There are some mails about IT that I instantly delete

There are two topics, in particular, that when I receive an InfoWorld or SD Times email, I immediately delete them. One topic is "Virtualization" and the other is "SOA". The reason is that those are markets in which I am not interested and even find boring and probably unimportant in the long term.

Friday, November 9, 2007

My new phone: a Sanyo S1 Sprint Vision phone

I love my new phone. I just started a new contract at a place that does not allow camera phones. The only Sprint phone that my favorite Radio Shack had was a Sanyo S1 Sprint Vision phone. I only got it on Tuesday afternoon, but the user interface is very similar to the Katana, so I was able to use it right away. The local Sprint repair facility transferred by phone book, so I was immediately in business! I like the fact that the phone is so thin and narrow. They do a good job on the key lock issue, as well.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Phoebe Maltz

Megan McArdle, the center-left libertarian blogger, now blogs at The Atlantic. Today, she commented on Phoebe Maltz's assertion that hipsterism might be over:

Hipsters have been around at least since I was in college, which, as any fogey can tell you, is when the universe began, anyway. To be sure, we did not have iPods, and without cell phones we had to engage in rather elaborate signalling mechanisms so that people would know what bar you were likely to be at on Saturday nights circa 11 pm. But the ironic cynicism, the clothing rumpled with exquisite care, the chain smoking, the obsessive competition over who could discover the obscurest band, all these we had. We even had the habituating of coffee shops, though I'm not sure one could then procure a triple chai latte with soy milk. We used to write in them, you see; we had this stuff called paper that was very useful for creating parodic autobiographies of Karl Marx penned in the style of John Irving.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Frank Rich on "neo-con dead enders"

Our buddy Frank Rich, at the NYT, has an opinion piece where he blames "neo-con dead enders" for the Bush administration threats against Iran. From the tone, he may be using "neo-con" as a codeword for people with last names like Goldberg, Wasserman, and Meyerson. That is my sense, along with a healthy dose of BDS.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The candidate sex rumour

Mickey Kaus mentions the sex scandal that is rumored about one of the major presidential candidates. My guess is that the rumor involves a Democrat. Otherwise, I would think that the press would have leaked the story. The story is in addition to John Edwards, not the story about him.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Some more Google censorship

"Joe's Dartblog" points out another instance of Google censorship, but this time it seems to be politically motivated. Maybe no one else wonders this, but I wonder how long Google can keep censoring and keep their business from shrinking. Almost all the traffic on "Former Naval Person" now comes from a Yahoo-related search. Almost none comes from Google (admittedly, a dubious achievement):

Yahoo 28.30%
Altavista 25.13%
Direct 16.26%
Google 5.70%
AllTheWeb 4.12%

The reason for this is the source of the traffic: all Emma Watson, all the time. Google is apparently suppressing Emma Watson fake racy pics in a big way. That is my explanation, anyway. Tell me if you disagree:

emma watson 52.89%
emma watson nude 8.43%
emma watson fake 7.93%
emma watson naked 5.12%

Megan McArdle

I had thought that Megan McArdle was at least a center-left blogger, but now that she is at The Atlantic, she seems to have moved much further to the left. She is at least a left-leaning libertarian. I am willing to accept her as having libertarian tendencies. On the other hand, she prefers that we have private health insurance and give children vouchers for schools, so that they can attend private schools, if they want.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Google Analytics by date

I received a reply from Google Analytics support that explained how to set the date range for a report. I did not want to see "from the beginning of time" until yesterday for reports. I wanted to see what was happening for the last week. The trick is the date range in the upper right corner is "clickable". I reset that to the last week and saw what I wanted to know about where the "Former Naval Person" referrals were coming from:

Sources Visits % visits
yahoo (organic) 323 25.27%
altavista (organic) 290 22.69%
(direct) ((none)) 187 14.63% (referral) 103 8.06%
google (organic) 89 6.96%

The reason is the Google will help with Emma Watson fake racy picture searches. Yahoo and Altavista have no compunctions with Emma Watson fakes, so they now predominate the referral percentages. The others are still significant, but go in descending order from Alltheweb.

"A bridge too far"

The Supreme Court is considering a case where Congress is trying to suppress child pornography, but is so broad that it is trying to include images that are not real. Stopping the production of materials that show adults having sexual contact with children in all its forms is a reasonable goal. To act against created images that do not show real children is overreaching, but is reflective of the present climate of hysteria where a prosecutor was ready to go after the movie maker of "Hounddog" for making child pornography.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Web pages that automatically update

One of the things that I find with Sprint Mobile Broadband is that I shy away from pages that automatically update after a set period. The "Broadband" in Sprint Mobile Broadband is not that "broad", so the automatic updates essentially hang my laptop when they are occurring. Because that is so annoying, I close any updating page when I realize what is happening. I just closed out of the Dallas Morning News when I found that it was updating.

Friday, October 26, 2007

SiteMeter Premium

SiteMeter Premium gives me about as much information as you could want about vistors. When I look at "Recent Visitors" "By Search Words", I can the last 20 without doing anything. I can then look at previous visitors, back for up to 4,000 visitors. Even where there are no "Search Words" or "Referring Web Site" listed, by clicking the "Detail" number link, I can see "everything". The last one was blank, but the detail showed that it was "Emma Watson". Right now, almost all traffic is "Emma Watson"-related and NONE of it is from Google Image Search in North America. Right now, most is from Yahoo Image Search. Since July 2007, Google North America has been censoring Emma Watson from image searches. When for a few brief periods they stopped, by traffic ballooned back up to previous levels. Right now, they are blocking that sort of search for racy Emma Watson "fake" pictures.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Too many images

I have problem at "Former Naval Person" that seems to be driven by "too many images", so that page load time is negatively affected. The answer would seem to be going back to pop-up images, rather than inline. I have a concern about how that will work for Blogger-hosted pictures, but at least I have all the images, so that I could recover, if Blogger "lost" them.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Another Firefox complaint

After having a string of problems with SiteMeter, I have been using IndexTools as my primary web traffic tracking tool. Today, with Firefox, I have been having trouble with hanging. When I use IE6, it works, both on my laptop and work machine. This seems like another case where there is some problem associated with using Firefox. This is not the first time for this. To download attachments from Gmail, I have to use IE6, as well. That is true with both Windows 2000 and Windows XP Professional.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

California burning

My wife is from southern California, and has family and friends near the fires. On her last trip, she had driven by the Presbyterian church in Malibu that had burned. The problem is caused by the lack of rain for a long period, aggravated by the high winds. That is a recipe for disaster, which is what is happening. California has attracted more people than the land and resources can support, so that is behind much of what happens there. I can imagine that the odd politics isn't a help. Why aren't there resources being rushed in from surrounding states? Perhaps they are and we are just not hearing about it, but it may also be the case that California has not made friends, with what they have been doing. Still, there must be aid on the way, don't you think? A nasty feature of life is that problems are usually "self-correcting". The correction can be very unpleasant.

Monday, October 22, 2007

I would vote for this Al Gore

Tom Maguire, at JustOneMinute, has a piece about "Rendition". Tom has this quote of Richard Clark (my emphasis added):

in 1993, the White House Counsel, Lloyd Cutler, demanded a meeting with the President to explain how it violated international law. Clinton had seemed to be siding with Cutler until Al Gore belatedly joined the meeting, having just flown overnight from South Africa. Clinton recapped the arguments on both sides for Gore: Lloyd says this. Dick says that. Gore laughed and said, 'That's a no-brainer. Of course it's a violation of international law, that's why it's a covert action. The guy is a terrorist. Go grab his ass.'

I would vote for the Al Gore who said that to the President. Al Gore is a better guy than he makes out, these days. He is trying to impress the wrong people. If he said what he really believes, he would have been elected in 2000.

The Holy Land Foundation trial

The Holy Land Foundation trial verdicts read today only confused matters, not solved them. The one so-called acquittal is actually in doubt, not an accomplished fact. Ed Morrissey, at Captain's Quarters, fills in more details than I have seen locally at the KRLD Radio website. My main concern about this prosecution is that it is not clear that the funds from the Holy Land Foundation were used for anything but charity work. The problem is that the Palestinian charity organizations receiving the funds were part of Hamas. Since Hamas is on the list of terrorist organizations, therefore sending funds to the Hamas charity organizations was declared to be illegal. There seems to be a small bit of truth that this was equivalent to "driving while Black", except it was conducting charity work in Palestine as a Muslim.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Michael Heraghty on Google

I have a friend who is concerned about Google's use of personal information. Michael Heraghty, at Media Junk, writes about a Sunday Times article about Google's goals. I am a big Google customer, so I am playing right into their hands!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A huge disconnect between SiteMeter and IndexTools

Google Analytics is so bizarre that I don't pay much attention to the traffic numbers. I only look at SiteMeter and IndexTools. For several months, there has been a large disconnect between the two services. Right now, SiteMeter has visit numbers that are less than half of the IndexTools visits. Their page view numbers are exactly half the IndexTools page views. I cannot even see the current day numbers for Google Analytics, I can only see yesterday's numbers. Google Analytics has always given such strange traffic figures that I stopped taking time to read them. SiteMeter still has the advantage that I can see the real time search terms, although only for the premium edition.

Friday, October 19, 2007


Comcast is in the news because they seem to be blocking some uploads to BitTorrent. AP tested that and verified that it is true. The AP story is posted at MSNBC. I am prejudiced against cable companies, so even though there are benefits, I use Dish Network for television and a fixed wireless solution for broadband internet access.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Possible technical issues with "Former Naval Person" blog

I need to take the time to look at the "Former Naval Person" blog more frequently. I have refrained from doing that, as I did not want to unnecessarily inflate traffic. Given that there seem to be "technical issues" that affect page loading, I need to take the time to check. Possible issues seem to involve loading images hosted by Blogger and possible issues with AVN Ads.

More information is available than what SiteMeter notices

I notice that on many SiteMeter visits that SiteMeter doesn't see the search terms, that I can still see how the visitor found the "Former Naval Person" blog. All you have to do is to look at the referring URL. One that SiteMeter couldn't recognize was from a Dogpile image search, looking for "Lindsay Lohan Breast". I am still seeing major discontinuities in traffic, during the day. I look at big time blogs, such as Power Line or Ann Althouse, the bar graph of traffic for the current day is pretty continuous, while varying as to time of day. For the last few days, "Former Naval Person" traffic has big positive spikes, a lower look to the curve and some deep valleys. I attribute it to Google censorship, barring a better explanation. I would be interested to know the real explanation, if it is different. The official statement on the subject says:

Does Google censor search results?

It is Google's policy not to censor search results. However, in response to local laws, regulations, or policies, we may do so. When we remove search results for these reasons, we display a notice on our search results pages. Please note: For some older removals (before March 2005), we may not show a notice at this time.

If that is the case, then perhaps the explanation is some sort of outage, perhaps with the Blogger server. That seems unlikely, although I have had troubles uploading images for the last few days. An outage has to be a possible reason for the odd behavior.

More weird behavior from Blogger or Google

The last two days have been really grim, for no discernable reason. My theory, and this is only a theory, is that Google has cut back on putting the "Former Naval Person" blog in image search results. Right now, in the premium SiteMeter Search Words, I can see that an abnormally high amount of traffic, such as it is, is coming from non-Google sources. At least it is non-USA Google, as there are visits coming from Google in other countries, as well as DogPile, Altavista, and Yahoo Image Search. The search words tell me that there are many visits that were looking for Emma Watson and that came from Altavista. Altavista is not limiting fake Emma Watson pic searches, while Google in the USA seems to be censoring them.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Let me say this reluctantly: the latest version of Firefox sucks

I have been increasingly aggrevated at the Firefox browser. The first problem was downloading images in a zip file from Gmail. I had to start using IE6, as the download would hang with Firefox. That was especially aggrevating with Sprint Mobile Broadband. The latest is that Firefox is interfering with the Blogger image upload dialog. Of course, Blogger is being balky today, anyway, but Firefox started blocking the upload dialog, regardless of my options settings.

Outages with Blogger?

Pictures are my bread and butter at the NSFW "Former Naval Person" blog. When I can't upload pictures to my blog, I am dead in the water. Right now, I can't upload, so there you are. Also, in the last several days, traffic has been really odd. There are large spikes and dips down towards zero. And that is in consecutive hours. That has not been what the bar graph has looked like until lately. Do you suppose Blogger is having troubles (read Google, as they own Blogger now)?

There seem to be higher rates available for consulting

I have been in the software consulting business since the early 1990's. Rates peaked for me in 2000-2001. After a precipitous plunge following September 11th, rates have gradually recovered. I just saw a Monster job posting that listed rates in the $55-$65 an hour range, with some specific skills required. This is just another instance that proves the naysayers wrong, when they said that rates would never recover to their levels, prior to 2001.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Google seems to be blocking certain searches

I have some insight into what the most common search terms are today for the NSFW Former Naval Person blog. What I see gives the impression that Google in the United States is blocking certain search terms. People are finding the prohibited content using search engines, such as Altavista, Yahoo Image Search, and Google and Google Image Search from other than the United States. Even Google from Canada can find the content, but people can't from the United States, using Google.

The real Randi Rhodes story

Brian Maloney, writing at The Radio Equalizer, has the real Randi Rhodes story:

A police source said Rhodes never filed a report and never claimed to be the victim of a mugging. Cops from Manhattan's 17th Precinct called her attorney, who told them Rhodes was not a victim of a crime, the source said.

Rhodes' lawyer told the Daily News she was injured in a fall while walking her dog. He said she's not sure what happened, and only knows that she fell down and is in a lot of pain. The lawyer said Rhodes expects to be back on the air Thursday. He stressed there is no indication she was targeted or that she was the victim of a "hate crime."

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Bjorn Langstrom is not a climatologist

For some reason, I had thought that Bjorn Lomborg, the Danish writer who is skeptical about Al Gore's solutions to global warming. He rightly questions some of Al's claims, as well, as they are intended to inspire panic, not to be accurate. Bjorn has an opinion piece in the Boston Globe.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Oracle wants to buy BEA Systems

BEA Systems is an industry leader in the Java application server business. If Oracle succeeds in buying BEA, you have to wonder what will happen to the Java app server market? Oracle has been a non-player in a market dominated by app servers, such as the BEA WebLogic product, IBM WebSphere, the open source JBOSS, and others.

The 2007 Weblog Awards

Kevin Alyward has opened nominations for the 2007 Weblog Awards.

The 2007 Weblog Awards

Kevin is proprietor and founder of the Wizbang! blog.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

"E. M. Zanotti"

"E. M. Zanotti" is now blogging at "The Corner" at NRO. I "used" to read her blog "The American Princess". There was a time when she had agressively suppressed any pictures of herself, but that has stopped. I believe that her name is Emily M. Zanotti, a 25-year old lawyer in Michigan.

Are discontinuities due to outages?

I often see very continuous curves of traffic, as reflected in the SiteMeter and IndexTools bar charts for the day. In this IndexTools bar chart for the NSFW blog "Former Naval Person", the discontinuities certainly seem to be caused by outages. The traffic curve for the day usually incrementally changes during the day. Depending on what is happening, the traffic will peak and then slowly decline. Often, oddly enough, there may be a rise late in the day, only to drop off in the early morning. At 2am, which is midnight, Pacific Daylight Time (Google?), there is a percipitous drop to a low level. At the 5am hour and again at the noon hour, there are drops that are discontinuous with the traffic before and after those hours. So what is happening? Interestingly enough, there was very little traffic for the first 1/2 hour of the 12 o'clock hour. The last part of the hour was very high traffic, as if the hour would have been much higher, but for an outage, early in the hour.

I keep seeing signs of technical problems, perhaps with Blogger

When I look at a bar graph of traffic in a day and I see one or more isolated hours where traffic is very low, with traffic on either side being much higher, I suspect a Blogger outage. This is early in the morning, so traffic is usually lower, although today is very low. Blogger is certainly a great free service from Google, but I often think that "you get what you pay for". You can't see the IndexTools reports and graphs, but the SiteMeter reports and graphs for this blog and "Former Naval Person" (very NSFW, but much higher traffic) are open for viewing. For 3 or 4 months, there has been a discrepancy between IndexTools and SiteMeter. After a major SiteMeter outage, I switched to using IndexTools for tracking traffic. I use SiteMeter for a check, and for the premium SiteMeter service, I can see real time search terms. That has been very useful for understanding what is driving traffic and allows me to reinforce content that meets search criteria.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Things seem to be in turmoil at Sprint

I see signs that Gary Forsee being forced to resign at Sprint (or at least he bailed when he saw that the board was looking for a replacement) has thrown Sprint into turmoil. Initially, the move may have pushed the stock up, but now it is falling, just a day later. We have a hard time telling how much of what has gone wrong was his fault, and how much was just structural. From my perspective, replacing the "old time" Sprint executives with Nextel executives was a good move. Some really destructive initiatives were halted with the move, such as the largely failed outsourcing to India. What has been bad has been decision to not bid on the Networx Universal contract and then to dump customers that needed more customer service time than others. The long term issue with Sprint is customer service, according to my sources. I agree with the investors that they need to fix their core business issues, and do it fast.

Harold Ford, Jr. is engaged to Emily Threlkeld

The buzz is that Harold Ford, Jr., U.S. Representative from Memphis, is engaged to Emily Threlkeld. He is the sort of Democrat who is pretty acceptable to Republicans, because he is at most, center-left, if not center-right.

Someone leaked a vital secret

Rita Katz, of SITE, says that within a short time after her company supplied the government the last Bin Laden video, it was leaked to the press. That caused Al Qaeda to shut down the communications network that the company had been exploiting for intelligence. The Jawa Report says that her claim is untrue, and explains why.

Monday, October 8, 2007

There could be technical problems with SiteMeter and Blogger

We are on the "receiving end" of SiteMeter and Blogger (or Blogspot), so we don't have a great deal of insight as to what they are doing. I was concerned that when I went to SiteMeter from this blog that it was slow to access. When I tried to look at details, there was a failure. I have been trying to understand what is happening with traffic to my blogs over the last few months. We are essentially doing the same sort of thing but have been getting variable results. My higher traffic (NSFW) blog "Former Naval Person" has been very variable. The peak was over 4,200 visits earlier in the year. Routinely, we were seeing above 2,000. Most of the traffic was coming from "Emma Watson" and the fake pictures of her. I have assumed that in July, Google North American started to censor image search results. The traffic was coming mostly from Google Image Search in North America and the UK. The other European countries seem not to be censoring this search. Since July, we have been diversifying content and promoting Altavista, Yahoo Image Search, and AllTheWeb, as they seem to be able to find "Emma Watson". Inexplicably, we occasionally see "Emma Watson" searches from North America and the UK. We would have expected Google to be consistent, so these deviations are confusing, although they are welcome.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Weight Watchers continues to work for me

As of today, I have been doing Weight Watchers for 85 weeks. I started the last Saturday of February 2006. By mid-May 2007, I was down to my goal weight and had lost 59 pounds. I have stayed within 1-3 lbs of my goal weight since mid-May and am a "lifetime member". What I especially like, besides that it really works, is that I don't have to not eat foods that I really like. I may not be able to eat some of them as often as I might, if I were not following the program, and I do not eat as much as I used to when I was overweight, but on occasion I can have a filet mignon or a piece of cheesecake. Besides that, I eat a biscuit and potatoes essentially every day! That may not be right for you, but it has been working for me, based on results.

Friday, October 5, 2007

High on the list of reasons why I like Christopher Hitchins

Christopher Hitchins has a long commentary in Vanity Fair about a young man who died in Iraq. He was a lifelong Democrat and progressive who was moved to join the Army in part by Christopher Hitchins' writing. Christopher Hitchins is a British Socialist who opposes Islamic radicalism and who wrote in favor of the war against Saddam, even if he has qualms about the execution of the continuing war in Iraq. Christoper Hitchins shows in this piece why I admire his writing so much.

Some odd results from Google Analytics

I am not saying that Google Analytics is producing odd results, although I often suspect that is the case. What I am saying is that when the "Former Naval Person" blog gets more traffic from Yahoo search than from Google, that is strange. Even stranger is that traffic from Altavista is almost as large as from Google. Google Analytics does not seem to count Google Image Search as a "search engine" and that seems very odd. A high percentage (65.57%) of traffic comes from Google Image Search from North America. Google Image Search from other countries, with the UK being the next largest, accounts for a good deal of traffic, as well. We do know from SiteMeter and IndexTools that the most prominent search term, "Emma Watson", is being minimized by Google North America, while they let those searches from through from Google Image Search in the other European countries.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Someone is unhappy with Sprint management

There is a subscription-only article about investor Ralph Whitworth, who is unhappy with Sprint CEO Gary Forsee, the board, and the management that they have been providing. The persistent buzz I am hearing is that customers are unhappy with Sprint customer service, mainly with respect to the wireless business. As a long time Sprint customer, I have had only good experiences, but that is not true of my colleagues. CNBC has a story "about the story".

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

"Double Dispatching"

Double dispatching is one of my favorite techniques in Smalltalk. Its use eliminates a lot of checking of "is kind of" and if-statements. I implemented an server-based system in Smalltalk, in 1998 and 1999 that generated dynamic HTML from objects and handled the web requests and responses. This framework heavily depended on double-dispatching. I had assumed that you needed a polymorphic language to implement double dispatching and that it was not possible in Java. I found this article about how to do double dispatching in Java, so I guess I was mistaken.

Whoopi Goldberg is an embarrassment

I am embarrassed for Whoopi Goldberg. Mary Ann Akers, at "The Sleuth" writes about what Whoopi Goldberg said on "The View" about wanting to have a three-way with Nancy Pelosi and her husband Paul. Whoopi has no decency, apparently, and assumes that no one else does, either. Just look at her affair with Ted Danson.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Britney Spears and Kevin Federline

Kevin Federline is being made out to be this great parent, while Britney Spears is supposed to be so horrible. The result is that Kevin now has custody of their two young sons. The Baltimore Sun has the sad story.

Monday, October 1, 2007

"Our guy", Tony Romo

This is some year. The combination of a new coach, Wade Phillips, his staff, and quarterback Tony Romo have made football fun, again, in Dallas. Dallas Morning News columnist Tim Collishaw says: "Romo adds to legend in Cowboys' win".

More Carol Anne Gotbaum

I am starting to think that there is more to this story than we have heard to date. Carol Anne Gotbaum doesn't look like a crazed lefty who would be going crazy, and accidentally kill herself. Still, my rereading of the story matches my original assessment, sadly.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Long suffering Lion fans finally have something to cheer about

I used to watch Detroit Lions games on my grandparents TV in Detroit in the early 1950's. Have been rooting for them since, although it has been difficult, for quite a long time. They are finally showing some life, as they are 3-1, after beating the Chicago Bears today.

Carol Anne Gotbaum

The story about Carol Anne Gotbaum is very nasty. She was irate and unruly at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, so she was arrested and handcuffed, because she was struggling. While in a hold cell, she died while trying to free herself from the handcuffs. She was apparently a "progressive" who felt entitled and was determined that she did not have to follow the rules.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Ann Althouse has some great photographs of New York and Brooklyn

I have been reading Ann Althouse's blog since 2004 or 2005. Besides being a law professor, she went to art school at the University of Michigan after I did. She has some very artistic photographs of the Manhatten skyline and street scenes in Brooklyn and, I think, Manhatten.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The blonde Berber girl

The Berbers of Morocco have a minority blonde component. The Daily Mail has an article, with a photo, of a Berber family. The father is holding the young blonde girl. This article was pointed out by DavidB, writing at Gene Expression.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Using Google Trends seems to not be an immediate help

Any Google Trend-motivated blog posts seem to not affect the immediate search results. They may show up some days later, but not immediately. Any seeming surge for such posts does not actually show up when I check the "Recent Visitors by Referral Search Words" in Premium SiteMeter.

Monday, September 24, 2007

We're finally able to enjoy football again in Dallas

Bill Parcells did not fit in, in Dallas. He is an East Coast guy. Wade Phillips knows Texas and is a perfect fit. Wade and his staff have reinvigorated a talented Dallas Cowboys team that Bill Parcells couldn't motivate. We have a good quarterback in Tony Romo, and Terrell Owens is liking how things are going and is doing well. Steve Silverman, at MSNBC, has a good analysis.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Are there some technical issues affecting web traffic?

I occasionally check other blogs to see how they are doing for traffic. Most blogs use an open SiteMeter, as I do, so checking is easy. For example, I checked Brian Maloney's "The Radio Equalizer" blog, and his peak day of the last 30 days was also September 13, 2007. His peak was much higher than I have achieved, but the overall pattern is similar. Tom Maguire's JustOneMinute blog has a rather different pattern, although he too had a spike on September 13.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Software engineering concerns: coupling

Back in the dark ages, prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union, we used to care about software engineering concerns, such as the degree of coupling "between modules". What that even means, in this day, is a contentious issue, but I found my self successfully arguing about coupling a few weeks ago. A move that was motivated by tidiness lumped some code that had been separate into a common jar file. Now, unrelated modules were suddenly tightly coupled. I can't describe the circumstances, but that coupling recently created a nasty problem, due to the need to not deploy the latest version of one component, while the others needed to be deployed. The tight coupling that had been unwittingly created caused otherwise unnecessary pain.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Yahoo mail

I have been using the new Yahoo mail for the last few days...until tonight. My connection speed is so slow, tonight, the Yahoo Mail AJAX code was killing Firefox. I had to kill the browser, restart and switch to the old Yahoo mail. After that, the connection is poor, but I can use the browser, at least.

Tom Maguire has a good summary of the Jena business

Tom Maguire, writing at JustOneMinute, has an excellent description of events in Jena that have drawn the protestors. His blog post is more illumnating than what was in our local newspaper.

So much for Google Trends

Choosing topics from Google Trends seems to not be a panacea for building traffic. While there seemed to some effect to doing that, something has happened to lessen its value. Part of the problem is that spammers are putting Google Trends hot topics on their pages to (successfully) get picked up on the list of articles that match the topics. That means that Google would react to try to block that sort of thing from being effective. Anyone else, like us, is simply collateral damage. They weren't looking to "take us out", we just got "took out" because we were in the line of fire.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I just got my first Amazon Associates income

At first, it seemed like I was earning a penny or two per month. There has been gradual growth from my Amazon ads to the point that I received my first payment. Brian Maloney, at The Radio Equalizer says that he gets a modest but regular income from Amazon. He puts more work into it, so he sees more in return. I just like the fact that I am seeing enough to get paid.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

"How's the Google War going"

The answer to the question about how the war with Google is going is that we are in retreat. I don't understand the reason behind what is happening, but routinely at 2am CDT (Midnight PDT), traffic drops off. I spend the day doing things to build it up, except that every day the peaks are lower. The high water mark of my last offensive in the undeclared war was on September 13, when Former Naval Person hit 2437 vistors on Sitemeter. Page views were 3430 for that day. I am doing the same thing that I have been doing, but Google keeps evolving. One phenomenon that I have observed is that there are more spam web sites and blogs that I have previously noticed. I am trying not to be one, but still using Google Trends to pic topics for blog posts. I have also seen someone put up common search terms in their blog. I am not sure what effect that has, but it has a spam flavor to it. The pure spammers just list hot terms and hope for traffic that might click on their advertising.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I was wrong, thankfully

Ben Bernanke kept us out of trouble and got the Open Market Committee to lower the federal funds rate by 1/2%. The market reacted positively, as you would expect. If they had not done at least 1/4% cut, the market would have tanked. Some people thought that the cut would only be 1/4%, so that was factored into the market prior to the announcement. Yahoo Finance has the story.

I have no confidence in the Fed to act reasonably

The Federal Reserve is expected to lower interest rates today, but if they don't, the market will go deep into the tank. Ben Bernanke seems reasonable, but that is more than I can say about many of the other members of the board. There are many governors on the board who keep trying to keep wages from recovering to where they were in 2000 and early 2001. They view such a recovery as "inflationary". Yet, it would finish the repair job on the economy. We shall see what happens in not too many hours.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The ongoing combat with Google

I am not sure what our benevolent overlords at Google are doing, but they seem to have made another change at midnight, Pacific time, that has knocked traffic down a half-notch. I assume that there is some search topic that they were allowing that is now being censored. The "big one", back in early July, was when they censored Emma Watson fakes out of Google Image Search. I am uncertain what their latest move entails.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

An odd feature of Google Trends

I have noticed, quite a few times, that some topic is hot on Google Trends, but I can't find any news that is the cause. I am seeing that again, today. For example, for Megan Hauserman.

Clayton Cramer on the "Uninsured Problem"

I have been wondering about what should be done about the medicine for the uninsured through emergency rooms problem. On Friday afternoon, I heard an emergency room nurse talk about the problem and the bad response from one hospital, which was to reduce the size of their emergency room to discourage people from using it, due to the wait and many surly staff. Clayton Cramer writes about the subject:

There's a widespread argument that the government needs to do something about health insurance for the uninsured. I'm more sympathetic to these concerns than I used to be, partly because using emergency rooms in place of a doctor's visit is terribly inefficient. What should cost $40 at a doctor's office becomes $150 in an emergency room. Worse, from both a human suffering standpoint, and because of the costs, some poor people, because they have no coverage, wait until a minor problem becomes a major problem.

Is Alan Greenspan living in Fantasy Land?

I was dismayed the Alan Greenspan would write that he thought that Iraq was invaded over oil. If that was the reason, we made a big mistake. You know that was not the reason, however, but because we considered Saddam a security threat who needed to be "taken out". Everyone agreed that was a good idea in early 2002. We just weren't ready, for some reason, until 2003 to start the job.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

"Google Trends" works

I have been picking topics from Google Trends for about 10 days and in that time, I have greatly increased my blog traffic (2.5 to 3 times). If you blog, and not just pictures, you might help your cause by picking hot topics from the latest Google Trends "Hot Trends" list.

Friday, September 14, 2007

While looking for Erykah Badu pics I saw this one

I saw this pic on the "Crate Soul Brother's Radio Show" page, while I was looking for hot Erykah Badu pics (assuming that there is such a thing). I am a sucker for girls in super-short skirts:

InfoWorld is a big SOA promoter

SOA (Service-Oriented Architecture) seems to be much more popular with managers than with developers. InfoWorld seems to be a big SOA promoter, for whatever reason. A company that I have worked for tried to generate some buzz by being semi-SOA compliant, but I don't know that it went anywhere. There are a bunch of related buzzwords, such as Enterprise Service Bus. I will be interested to see if the idea survives the next five years, much less the next decade.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The new Lamborghini

Yahoo Finance has the Reuters story about the new Lamborghini Reventon. This is not a car for everyone, since the price tag is $1.4M. The Reventon debued at the Frankfurt international autoshow.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

A hate crime

The rape and murder of Channon Christian and the murder of Christopher Newsom, both University of Tennessee students closely resembles a hate crime. In this case, black on white hate. The national media is ignoring the story, because of that aspect. WVLT has the story and photographs of the victims and killers.

In the last two days, my spam has tripled

Just in the last two days, the volume of spam that I receive through my Yahoo account has tripled. I half-wondered if "we are under attack", for the 9/11 anniversary.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Google seems to be censoring Miley Cyrus pics

Google, and perhaps other search engines, are trying to suppress the Miley Cyrus semi-racy pics. I have them at Former Naval Person, but I had to use Bloglines to find them. Back in June of 2006, when I was looking for the naked Heather Mills pics, I found them with Bloglines, before they showed up anywhere else.

Ann Althouse's picture of New York on September 11, 2007

Ann Althouse is living in Brooklyn for the next year. This morning, she photographed Manhatten, minus the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2007. Six years ago, I was sitting stopped in traffic on eastbound I694, on my way to Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, to work. I was listening to Bob Edwardsd on Minnesota Public Radio talking about an apparent accident in New York, where a twin-engined plane of unknown size had hit a World Trade Center tower. We followed events at work on a radio and on the Internet. When we learned of the second plane, we knew it was terrorism. Bob Edwards was eventually sacked for not being a strident-enough radical leftist.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The "Scott Thomas Beauchamp" story

I am subscriber to The New Republic, although I am not thrilled about their lurch to the left, after the latest staff changes. They seem to be operating in the same way as CBS News, under Dan Rather, where they are trying to promote a narrative with "fake, but accurate" stories. The stories told by "Scott Thomas" Beauchamp seem to fit that pattern. "Hot Air" does some follow up on the story, and Fred Foier, the current editor, doesn't want to talk.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The Princess and the Marine

The story about the "princess" from Bahrain has bubbled back to the surface, again. She had sneaked out of Bahrain in 1999, masquerading as a Marine. She married her Marine boy friend, who was demoted a who became a parking lot attendant. I guess that Meriam Al Khalifa thought she could do better, so she divorced Jason Johnson. "48 Hours" has the older part of the story on their website. "Mr. Wave Theory" has the links and a pic of them together.

Chuck Hagel bails

I hate to say it, but I am glad to see Chuck Hagel give up and leave the Senate. The Omaha World Herald has the story. He also says that he is not running for President, which is just as well, as there is little constituency for him and what he has been doing as a senator. He has supported the extension of government power over people and business, has not been firm on defending the country, and has taken action that has infringed on our rights to free speech, in supporting Senator McCain's so-called campaign finance reform initiative.

Michigan was vastly overrated at No.5; now Oregon stomped them

Ahmad Rashad really enjoyed the stomping that Oregon administered on Saturday to Michigan, the pre-season number 5 in the football rankings. Michigan showed again how greatly the number 5 over-ranked them when they were beaten decisively by Oregon, Ahmad Rashad's alma mater. Ahmad Rashad was born in Portland, Oregon, so his times run deep. The Oregonian has the story.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

The Australian submarine AE2

I will be interested to hear more about the AE2, and Australian 'E-class' submarine lost in the Dardenelles campaign, circa 1915. ABC News, in Australia, had a story on this about 10 days ago. The E-class submarines were sturdy and workhorses in the Great War. has a page about the E-class.

Friday, September 7, 2007


I have been a big Google fan and am a big customer. I use all sorts of Google services, some that actually cost money. The best new thing from Google is "Google Trends", followed by the large Gmail storage for a fee. I tried this morning to find the nude Vanessa Hudgens picture. I tried Google first and gave up and used Altavista. I found it quickly with their search (which I used to use all the time).

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Nancy Siriani (Jackie Martling's ex)

Nancy Siriani is a hot item. Howard Stern plays her song, with the Scoldees, among other things. Dean's Planet has the story.

Kathleen Willey

I find it telling that I had to use Altavista to find a more current Kathleen Willey pic than I could find with Google. Kathleen Willey is in the news because she says that someone stole her manuscript for a tell-all book about the Clintons. Google had better watch out, as if they continue to play games with search results, they will hurt their cause. This pic is of Kathleen Willey (on the right) entering the Clinton Presidential Library, circa 2005. I am chiding Google, but have been a big user of all things Google, and still am.

A spammer with an id that displays as "news"

There is a spammer sending me junk that has an email address that displays as "news" in Yahoo Mail. The subject line is always some provocative thing like " Republicans in Colorado Oppose Counting Each And Every Vote" and "Whoopi Goldberg defends Michael Vick on The View". Another says " Shorter doctor hours don't affect U.S. deaths". I peeked at one mail I remember it being something like a Viagra ad. The Republican thing sounds almost like "push polling".

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Strategies to build blog traffic

There are a number of different strategies that have been suggested and used for building blog traffic. One that I had used in the past was to be a commenter on higher traffic blogs that allowed comments. Another was to cross link by various blogs and websites. One thing that really helps with Google is to be posting frequently. Of course, your posts need to be about topics that people want to read. A colleague of mine suggested that I use Google Trends to help find the current hot topics. Google Trends did not initially give the latest information, but the current incarnation is very helpful. You get real-time indications, with a ranking, of hot search terms. Of ocurse, another technique is to have images in your pages, either with img tags or with text links. Google Image Search started rewarding images with traffic in October 2006. A key point is to have relevant text to your images. You don't need alt tags, or to "hot link" in the usual sense, where someone else's images appear "inline" with img tags. Text links are sufficient. I like to add the 'target="_blank"' to the alt tag so that when the link is clicked, it opens a new window.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I like this: Bill Richardson says that it is "God's will" that Iowa's caucus be first

Ed Morrissey, writing at "Heading Right", has a piece about Bill Richardson's speech saying that it was "God's will" that the Iowa caucus be first, before any other caucus or primary election. Bill probably just disqualified himself with much of the Democratic party and their lefty fellow-travellers.

Getting totally blasted periodically is not healthy

If you periodically get totally blasted or dead drunk, you are taking a big risk. Dallas area musician Carter Albrecht is dead as a result. Well, the result of being drunk, out of control, and a home owner who was a bit quick on the trigger. The KRLD radio website has the story.

Monday, September 3, 2007

The resurgence of rule-based systems

Given our experience in the 1980's with rule-based systems, I am having trouble understanding their resurgence since 2000. From what I can tell, the various products are using the old, weak methods from the past. They are easy to understand and can give explanations for what they decide. They continue to be brittle and inadequate. I keep hearing that some product is being used, despite those facts. "Strong methods" are statistical-based or neural-network based. They can produce impressive results, but are difficult to understand and the results can't be explained easily. My efforts right now are limited to applying weak methods to machine translation. My usual application is translating Dutch to English. Web translators, such as Babelfish, are hampered by lack of vocabulary. Leading edge machine translation is using statistical methods. They have the drawback of depending on having corresponding texts the the source and the destination languages.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

My wife liked 'Nancy Drew'

My wife and her friend saw the movie 'Nancy Drew' yesterday, and she liked it.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Do you think that Michigan might have been overrated at number 5?

Since Michigan got beat today by a team they should have clobbered, we can imagine that their number 5 rating was undeserved. The Canton Repository has the story.

Paul Graham's new essay on "How Not to Die"

Paul Graham's latest essay is about "How Not to Die", in reference to technically-oriented "startups". Paul says, among other things:

So I'll tell you now: bad shit is coming. It always is in a startup. The odds of getting from launch to liquidity without some kind of disaster happening are one in a thousand. So don't get demoralized. When the disaster strikes, just say to yourself, ok, this was what Paul was talking about. What did he say to do? Oh, yeah. Don't give up.

Friday, August 31, 2007

I am impressed that Eclipse can display the extended character set

Notepad shows extended character set characters as black rectangles. In the Eclipse IDE, however, show the correct character. The ones that I have were produced by OCR on Dutch books with the Cuneiform OCR product. Java handles the characters without a problem, as that was a design requirement.

Trivia time: what was the name of Anoop Gupta's brother?

Anoop Gupta developed a Prolog implementation for the TI Explorer Lisp machine in the 1980's. I used to know his brother's name (I think of all sorts of goofy things and then try to remember or find the answer). In the latter part of the 1980's, I was doing Defense-related AI work, so I got to talk some interesting people were still involved. By 1990, all that had collapsed. The main thing that I had gotten out of it was a good library of books and papers. Many of the books were recommended to me and the rest I just bought, because I was buying every AI book in sight. I also have copies of a lot of great papers, such as David H. D. Warren's thesis about compiling Prolog and Carl Hewitt's thesis from MIT. I have some off-beat things, such as the Rosie Manual.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

My first real glitch with Sprint Mobile Broadband

About 20 minutes ago, I was knocked off my connection with Sprint Mobile Broadband. I use a USB modem to connect, but when I try to reconnect, it tells me that it detects a roaming situation and cautions me against connecting. There are reasons why this is a very odd situation. I have not seen this issue before now.

I sprayed Diet Coke when I read this

Megan McArdle, at her new blog at The Atlantic, quotes a send off on "24" about "ecoterrorism". It is worth reading, as when I read it and laughed, unexpectedly, I sprayed Diet Coke (I guess that is some sort of test).

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

We had storms today

The "chief meteorologist" for KRLD radio, Brad Barton, had thought that storms today would be off to the east. He was almost right, but from about 3pm, we had strong storms pop up and roar through the Dallas and Fort Worth area. They were gone by about 5:30pm. Still, there was enough thunder and lightning to disrupt power. My two computers were knocked down and the clocks were reset. We needed the rain and we got a good amount. We have not gotten any rain in two weeks. The present forecast, likely to change over time, is for a chance of rain every day for the next ten days. We seem to be into the fall storm season, nationally, not just here. Where my mother lives, they had a strong enough storm that they were without power for over a day (in southwestern Michigan). You have heard about all the flooding, including in Minnesota and Ohio.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

We saw a total eclipse of the moon, early this morning

It sounds like song lyrics, but we saw a total eclipse of the moon, early this morning. We are in a full moon phase, but I immediately recognized that we were seeing a lunar eclipse. I called my wife out and we watched as the last sliver of light disappeared before I hit the road. This must have been about 4:30am. Yes, I got up ridiculously early, because my two year old dog started whining about 3:30am. She had gotten me up at 2:30am, and I never got back to sleep. Since I knew that I needed to take care of my son's cats while he is gone, I got going. That is when I saw the moon. The Dallas Morning News has pictures.

Monday, August 27, 2007

I am thinking about getting back into Smalltalk programming

I started programming professionally in Smalltalk in late March of 1992. I depended on Smalltalk consulting for income for much of the 1990's. My last job that involved programming in Enfin and Object Studio Smalltalk was in Minneapolis in 2002 to 2003. I have had some natural language processing code that was in VisualWorks 5i and 7.1, but I don't think that I have a way to run the images. At some point, they started to build in knowledge of paths into images and that seemed to be a very bad thing. When I lost the paths that they images ran in, they "broke" when I tried to launch them. This morning, I sent an email to James Robinson, at Cincom, in the off chance that he will reply and can help. He is seemingly still product manager for Smalltalk at Cincom. In the meantime, I have downloaded Squeak to see if that might be the place I do new Smalltalk development. I had only a small experience with Squeak in 2003 to 2004, when I was still in Minneapolis, and at the time, Squeak underperformed in running my translation code. I don't even know if I will really do this, again, but "it might happen". I have a lot of Dutch text that was created with OCR that I would like to translate in a batch fashion. I have word and phrase dictionaries to use. I just need to get running code, again.

We are glad to see Albert Gonzales resign

We always thought that Alberto Gonzales was in over his head as Attorney General. His predecessor (John Ashcroft) was an idealogical choice. Alberto Gonzales was a reliable friend, but not really up to the job. He has now bailed. Ed Morrissey has more about the story.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Beldar taunts Senator Kerry

Bill Dyer ("Beldar") taunts Senator Kerry over the "Swift Boat" controversy. Bill throws down the gauntlet to Senator Kerry and dares him to sue him in Federal Court in Houston.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The job market in software

I get daily emails from with jobs listed from searches. I actually found a job that way two years ago. The Texas job listings right now from Monster seem to be particularly bad. I hear, though, that there are many Java development jobs in the Dallas area. So why the disconnect? I suspect that, as usual, recruiters are finding people for jobs that they don't want to advertise, because they don't want other firms to find out about them. Even before the World Wide Web, that was true. I had started in the consulting business in early 1992, when you had to use one of the services to broadcast your resume to contract companies. Now, you can just post your resume at Monster or one of the other competitors.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Sorry, I accidentally posted "the wrong stuff" here

I did not mean to, but I accidentally posted pictures here that were intended for the "Former Naval Person " blog (NSFW).

All my serious commentary has moved to "Former Naval Person Too"

If you are dismayed by what we are doing here, you should look at "Former Naval Person Too", where I am now doing my current events commentary.

This is an old blog post by Frans Bouma, but I think it is still true

If you are lucky, you do not know about SOA (Service Oriented Architecture). In some quarters, this is the buzzword de jour. In my work in earlier 2006, I was involved in two projects that were trying to look credible as SOA's, since the term was so hot among marketeers. My impression is that the thud of it going nowhere is loud, but InfoWorld is still hyping SOA. This old blog post (from 2005, ancient history) by Frans Bouma still seems relevant: "This SOA hype is getting out of hand". To a large degree, this is a "green eyeshade" topic, so you are welcome to go back to sleep. When "web services" didn't totally conquer the world, the marketeers went to work to figure out a better buzzword, so it would. SOA was the result and the rest was history. By the way, Frans's explanation of the SOA in Dutch means "sexually transmitted diseases" (Seksueel Overdraagbare Aandoeningen).

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Megan McArdle looks glamorous

In her Talking Heads video with Dan Drezner, I thought that Megan McArdle looks glamorous, even, especially without makeup.

John Mauldin says that we will "muddle through"

While the meltdown in the housing market and sub-prime lending, John Mauldin, at Real Clear Politics, has a long article where he says that we will survive the crisis and will "muddle through".

Return to serious blogging

Where "Former Naval Person" (NSFW) has ended up, I wanted to have a blog for "serious blogging" about current events and politics. "Former Naval Person Too" is now that blog.