Monday, 07 February, 2005
Odd lots at the beginning of what promises to be yet another odd week:
- I went searching the New York Times web site for an address where I could send my reactions to Greg Easterbrook's review of Jared Diamond's book Collapse. I stopped looking for the address after I saw the discussion forums, where it seems that I'm not the only one who thought Easterbrook's review was tripe.
- I don't watch TV and I couldn't care less about football, so I obviously didn't see the new Super Bowl ads yesterday. But I heard about them all day long during office conversation, and even saw the GoDaddy.com ad that had been pulled. Two things:
- You probably won't catch that 6-pack if you dive out of the airplane after it;
- Is it true that the Super Bowl is about the advertisements and the football game is just a bunch of inconvenient content?
- I've played with Mambo enough to know that it doesn't have all of the features that I want for this Web site. I think it would work, but it lacks some of the blog-specific features that I'd like to have. I guess I could install a blogging module and component for Mambo, but so far I haven't seen one that I like. I'm looking at MovableType, which is designed specifically for blogging. I don't know yet whether it will be able to handle the other types of content that I have or am planning. More as I explore. If you know of a good CMS that has blogging capabilities that are comparable to MovableType, I'd sure like to hear about it.
- On recommendation of my good friend Jeff Duntemann , I picked up a copy of John Barry's bookThe Great Influenza and am working my way through it. Jeff posted a detailed 3-part review (currently here and to be archived here) in his Web diary and recommended the book highly. So far I concur with his recommendation, but I'm only partway through the book.
- About halfway through Saturday's bike ride, I ran over a piece of glass while zipping down a hill at over 20 MPH. The resulting catastrophic blowout was quite exciting, although not so bad as to cause Debra (who was directly behind me) or me an unexpected dismount. I had a spare tube but the tire was destroyed. (I'd have a picture, except I broke my camera by storing it in a bag on the top tube. Cheap plastic parts do not fare well under steady vibration and repeated shocks.) Not even the dollar bill trick would have gotten me home. As I was on the phone asking a friend to come pick us up, a young guy in a car drove up offering help. When he learned of our predicament, he drove home and came back with a replacement tire! I'll never again complain about all the spare tubes and mechanical assistance I've given to unprepared cyclists over the years. There are good people in this world. My only regret is that I didn't have the presence of mind to get the guy's name and contact information. Whoever you are, Thank You!
- Following up on yesterday's entry regarding referral log spamming, I did a little research and found that I don't have enough information to determine if the increased traffic is due to spam bots or to real clients. If it is spam bots, they're covering their tracks well. I suspect compromised browsers with spoofed HTTP_REFERRER header fields, but I can't prove it and I haven't found any concrete information on the Web that identifies such a vulnerability in any browser.
- The latest entry in the Web of Infinite Amusement: Diction-Araoke. "Audio clips from online dictionaries sing the hits of yesterday and today. The fun of karaoke meets the word power of the dictionary." Description doesn't do it justice. You really do have to experience it. Some people have way too much time on their hands.