Thursday’s Thimbleful

Abraham Lincoln's last photo, March 6, 1865News clues.
The Unreal Tournament 2004 demo is out. Looks like it’ll be another wasted weekend for me.

Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln were born on this day in 1809.

  1. For the first time ever scientists have cloned human embryos and grown them to the stage where their stem cells can be harvested.

  2. It’s the end of Doom today. The MyDoom virus is scheduled to stop attacking SCO today ending the most virulent computer attack to date. Of course the backdoor trojan and keylogger it installs are still alive and could be used for additional attacks any time.
  3. The FCC is preparing to issue a landmark ruling on Internet telephony. The California Public Utilities Commission joined several other states in voting yesterday to regulate Voice over IP (VoIP) providers like Vonage just as they do the old-line telecoms. The FCC is expected to block such moves in a ruling this week.
  4. A US District Court Judge in Seattle has issued a ruling that the jury in the upcoming Microsoft vs. Lindows case must consider whether the term “windows” was generic before Microsoft Windows 1.0 was published in 1985. That’s widely viewed as favorable to the Lindows cause. (Recent judgments in the Netherlands and Sweden have gone against the Linux distributor.) Lindows counsel said, “The court’s ruling confirms that a company, no matter how much money it spends, cannot buy a word out of the English language.” Microsoft will appeal.
  5. Former web search giant Lycos is restructuring. The Spanish based company laid off 20% of its US work force yesterday as it transitions “from a generic portal business to a tight network of interconnected vertical sites focused on personal connections.” Most of the wonderful Webmonkey team was laid off – and that’s a real loss.
  6. Spammers have set up a phony “Do Not Spam” site and are placing it at the bottom of their emails. The site,, harvests addresses for future spam campaigns. Now more than ever, do NOT click the “Remove me” links in spam. In fact, don’t open spam at all – it just signals your presence. Delete spam – don’t read it.
  7. Speaking of scams, eBay is rife with “matrix” offers that are nothing more than pyramid schemes. The listings send the gullible off-site to participate in buying clubs to win iPods and other items. An eBay spokesman said, “We have 20 million items on the site at any one time. In the grand scheme of things it is insignificant.”
  8. 321 Studios, the creator of DVDXCopy is turning its attention to copying games. GamesXCopy can crack PC game CDs and place images on your hard drive for later play.
  9. At O’Reilly’s ETech Tuesday EBay said it plans to add better SOAP and Java support to the auction site, turning it into an application platform as much as a web site. Eventually you’ll be much more likely to participate in EBay auctions through standalone client applications than your browser.
  10. Remember that big blackout last summer? According to Security Focus, it was caused by a software bug.
  11. Jerry Sanders III, the Quixotic chairman of AMD, is retiring. Current CEO Hector Ruiz will take over. Sanders founded the chip company in 1969 and led it to success as a rival to the behemoth Intel.
  12. Meanwhile Intel is demonstrating its first chips based on photonics. The new chips will bring the cost of high-speed optical switches down to PC price points.
  13. MacMall is selling off the Macintosh G5s that were part of the Virginia Tech supercomputer project last Fall. VT is replacing the tower cases with XServe rack mounts. I ordered mine last night. Look for a G5 price drop any time now.

12 Replies to “Thursday’s Thimbleful”

  1. congragulations on ur g5 purchase!
    i wish i could afford any type of apple computer.

  2. I am a computer science engineering major here at VT. I still am shocked that we build that supercomputer only to break it down and replace it with xserves. Rumor has it there was a bit of a flop (no pun intended) and the higher integrity of the xserve memory was overlooked. In anycase, that rig cost 5 million dollars, a small fraction of the two super computers in the world ahead of us (Los Alamos being the second, Japan Earth Simulator the first). In anycase, the sight of all those machines running together is magnificient. If michael vick wasn’t enough to get Virginia Tech on the map, hopefully this will. We’ve wanted to be a top-30 research university for as long as i can remember. In anycase, if you guys want to talk shop, feel free to fire me an e-mail. Leo I want to work for you guys!! hahaha.

  3. Leo you are a madman. Who else would impulse buy a $2800 computer while doing a live TV show at the same time!!!!! But thats why we luv ya, your enthusiasm is contagious, thanks for putting a smile on my face every day 🙂

  4. Leo I’m getting the impression that you’re ready to leave TechTV. If you could do a radio show home in your sweats, work on a few books, do the occasional guest appearance in a national market, and some public appearance work I do believe you would say adiós. You don’t appear to act like it’s that much fun anymore. The suits do tend to take the fun out, don’t they? I would miss seeing you, but 6 years is a long gig.

  5. wow ron, was there any implications of him leaving tech tv?
    leo IS techtv. without leo, i dont even know if i’d watch the screensavers.
    Wow techtv will just go downhill without this man.

  6. The UT2K4 demo is quite nice… nothing really huge, just a few solid additions while refining the original gameplay into something even more twitchy and fun.

  7. how did you explain it to the little woman? it’s my job, I need to be current… the show was a hoot tonight. looked like you forgot your meds again.

  8. Okay, Unreal… played it all weekend… its soooo much fun.
    Haven’t played Halo yet so the whole team vehicle thing is new to me and I love it.

  9. Thanks Leo, was wanting to buy a G5, but since you bought one I can expect a price drop and performance increase. Thanks!

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