Monday Meanderings

Mmm. Twinkie.Back to the grind… tech news never sleeps.
Celluloid was patented on this day in 1869. The first animated cartoon was patented in 1906. The first movie on an airplane was shown in 1925. Hostess Twinkies were invented in 1930 by bakery executive James Dewar. Post-It Notes are introduced in 1980. Windows 3.1 ships in 1992.

Kurt Cobain died 10 years ago today. Barry Bonds went long today to help the Giants win their season opener 5-4 in Houston – he’s one home run behind Willie Mays.

It’s Tomb Sweeping Day in Taiwan.

  1. Got ‘im. A 33-year old Nigerian man was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment in Wales for perpetrating a so-called ‘419’ scam. The scam begins with an email claiming to be from the son of a former Nigerian official and asking for help in laundering a large sum of money. Sound familiar?

  2. Sun and Microsoft have buried the hatchet, but it remains to be seen in whose back. Microsoft agreed to pay $1.95 billion to Sun: $700 million to resolve antitrust issues and $900 million to resolve patent issues, the remainder in royalties for the use of Sun’s Java programming language. At the same time Sun announced that it was going to layoff 3,300 employees. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said, “Our companies will continue to compete hard, but this agreement creates a new basis for cooperation that will benefit the customers of both companies.” Uh-oh. Doesn’t look good for Sun.
  3. On the other hand, maybe Microsoft is learning something from Sun. The company released the source code for WiX, its XML-based Windows installer program to SourceForge today. According to The Register, this may not be an isolated incident.
  4. California assemblyman (and former child shrink) Leland Yee is proposing a state law that would prevent minors from buying violent first person shooters like Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Postal 2. Oddly enough, Governor Schwarzenegger has no position on the law.
  5. It’s official, the MSBlast worm did not contribute to the big blackout last August. A US and Canadian task force investigating the blackout released a report today blaming human error and computer failure. The task force said the blackout was preventable.
  6. What do you get when you combine 660 computers, a giant network switch, Knoppix Linux, and a college gymnasium? You get Flashmob 1, an attempt to crack the list of the 500 fastest computers in the world. The project, part of the University of San Francisco’s “Do-it-yourself Supercomputers” course didn’t make the list, but it did hit 180 gigaflops and taught the class a lot about building ad-hoc supercomputers. And it made my G5 a little misty eyed thinking about the good old days at Virginia Tech.
  7. Microsoft Office 2004 for Macintosh will ship next month. Sales of Office X have been trending up. The company said they’d sold more copies last year than when the software first shipped in 2001.
  8. iTunes DRM has been cracked. Playfair removes the copy protection from AAC songs purchased at the iTunes music store. It’s a command line program that requires you have the rights to the song. I’ve tried it and it works swell.
  9. The founder of Ikea, Ingvar Kamprad, claims he has not surpassed Bill Gates as the world’s richest man. A Swedish business magazine is set to publish the story next week that the 77-year old furniture mogul is worth $52.5 billion, considerably more than Gates measly $46.6 billion thanks to the strength of the kronor compared to the US dollar. Ikea says that even though the company is worth that much, Kamprad is not. Apparently it’s much cause for debate during the long dark Swedish winters.

Listen in tomorrow at 6:45a for my weekly news commentary on KGO 810 AM in San Francisco.

18 Replies to “Monday Meanderings”

  1. Good to see the Mayor back at work!
    Your musings are always entertaining and informative. Was wondering about Sun’s status these days both financially and technologically?

  2. It’s nice to see TLR being updated.
    Luckily your segment on KGO is at 9:45 AM for those of us in the Eastern time zone.
    Have a good day Leo!

  3. Leo, im sorry to see you leave Tech TV. I hope you’ll sometime soon, be able to clear up the stupidity of Volcan Ventures. Oh, Leo I have one question, why are you working for such sicking conglomerate such as Clear Channel Communications? Recently C.C. bought one of this areas most treasured independent radio stations in this state (W.I.S.L. am, fm) and, has transfromed it into a simalcast of Bill 95 country. We’ll I guess iv’e come on to strong, it’s just that C.C. has a monopoly in entertainment, television, and radio, which allows them to control what you watch, or hear. I hope Clear Channel doesn’t try to screw you over.
    sincerely William
    Selinsgrove Area highschool, junor
    Support locally owned radio stations

  4. Forgot to mention how much I enjoy reading your books. I just don’t see why Tech TV would let go the corner stone of their company, my question is how will Tech TV survive without you? Thankyou for your time then, and now.
    William

  5. LEO! I love the tech guy…. But the radio is not the place for you..
    You my friend have a face for tv, not for radio…
    Please keep all of Leoville, informed of the situations… And if there is anything we can do to help you out..
    Have you seen this guys petition? : http://www.PetitionOnline.com/LP040401/
    Sign it to have Leo reinstated!

  6. Hey Leo, I may have lost you on TV, but I have gained you on the internet here. I love the news updates, they’re great. Thanks!

  7. That’s interesting about the proposed state law preventing the sale of M rated games to minors. If I remember correctly, a few years back it was heavily enforced in the state of Florida. Anyway, before anyone begins to regulate the sale of M rated games I’d like discount chains (such as Target and the ‘Marts) to actually attempt to regulate the sale of R rated movies. During my years as an electronics manager at Target Stores it amazed me that video games or music with occasional bad words would have to be scrutinized to the death but no one seemed to care if a preteen bought an R rated movie with sub-pornography, ultra violence, and adult language.
    …then again, who would WANT to buy Postal 2?

  8. Kinda makes you marvel at the speed that technology has progressed…Windows 3.1 released 12 years ago Monday, today is Matrix Revolutions on DVD. The special effects alone in the movie are more complex than win3.1 was, just a decade or so down the road.
    At what point though, will tech advances slow down due to the limitations of the creators? Human beings and human minds are not evolving at a rate anywhere near the rate tech “evolves.”
    All this is reminding me of Deep Thought from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy…

  9. Hey Leo and anyone else interested,
    I worte last night to Vulcan about the whole Techtv situation. Suprisingly they responded today as follows:
    Thank you for your email about Leo Laporte. Please note that Vulcan Inc. no longer owns Tech TV, and was not responsible for any programming changes there. We would be happy to forward your message to the programming department at Tech TV, however, so that your opinion can be heard by their management. Many thanks for writing.
    Please people, support the man who is responsible for helping so many lives become tech savy. Email the companies and let your voice be heard, because apparently they are listening.
    All the Best,
    Jeff

  10. Say is aint so Leo! I’ve just returned from my six week trip to Southeast Asia to find out that you’re not at TechTV. It’s sad to hear your not there anymore, it’s hard to watch the show without your witty comments and meanderings. But there are ALWAYS bigger and better opportunities out there; this is why these things happen. Hopefully we’ll see you hosting your own show on the G4 channel once the transition is over.
    Best of Luck!
    Vijay

  11. Leo, I heard you on KGO when you did that first news commentary setup a couple weeks ago when Baxter said it was going to be a regular feature. Kudos! Nice long segment. I hope it lasts longer than that C}Net Radio segment they tried after it went off the radio airwaves. In fact, it should be expamded to 3 or 4 hours… say… on a Satuyrday evening. AH THE Good Ole days!
    RE: Twinkie-
    I think I had that first Twinkie yesterday. It was still “fresh.”
    Re Matt: Your questions intrigue me. But I am afraid I cannot answer them. But after years of careful thought I know who can. I refer, of course, to the “ubergeek” that will come after me. That will be my project. Designing him.

  12. Hello Leo,
    I just got my cable TV setup and of course I started watching G4. I am looking forward to seeing you on that station. I think it will be just like being back on ZDTV again.
    I will be good just see your face and see you take the show and give it a lot more class.
    Thanks for the past 6 years Leo. You’re the greatest.
    Gene~

  13. With all the people who, are sorry, I am on the other hand am not. I’ve been waiting for this day for quite a while now. And it finally came this douchebag is off Tech Tv. FINALLY. THANK GOD FOR THIS GLORIOUS DAY.
    Now I can finally watch the screen savers and call for help and FULLY enjoy it.
    ONCE AGAIN FINALLY.
    It’s a happy day for me.

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