Monthly Archives: December 2007

Netscape to die……AGAIN

FROM WIRED:
 
The browser that started it all is going the way of the dodo.

Tom Drapeau, AOL’s director of the Netscape brand, announced in a blog post Friday that AOL will cease development on all Netscape web browsers on February 1, 2008. The company will continue to support the current version of the browser, Netscape 9, by releasing patches or security fixes until that date. After February 1, all development will stop.

Drapeau recommends that anyone running a Netscape-branded browser make the switch to Mozilla Firefox, the open-source browser upon which the last few versions of Netscape have been based.

"AOL’s focus on transitioning to an ad-supported web business leaves little room for the size of investment needed to get the Netscape browser to a point many of its fans expect it to be," he writes. "Given AOL’s current business focus and the success the Mozilla Foundation has had in developing critically-acclaimed products, we feel it’s the right time to end development of Netscape branded browsers, hand the reigns fully to Mozilla and encourage Netscape users to adopt Firefox."

Originally released in 1994 during the nascent days of the web, Netscape Navigator was the underdog contender in the "browser wars" of the late 1990s, when it faced stiff competition from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser. Even though Netscape championed web standards and was first to market with dozens of new features, Internet Explorer shipped on the desktop of every new Windows computer. So while Microsoft continued to enjoy the larger market share, Netscape, which needed to be downloaded and installed, lagged behind. This issue was central to the United States’ anti-trust case against Microsoft.

Eventually, AOL purchased the Netscape Communications Corporation in 1999 and released its browser code as the open-source Mozilla project.

Many believe the original Netscape died with the AOL purchase. Since then, the web browser scene has been rife with change — Mozilla gave way to the leaner, faster Firefox and Apple developed its own Safari browser — and Netscape’s browser has been rendered largely irrelevant. Indeed, as Drapeau points out, his team has failed to put a dent in IE’s dominance, and the latest release of the Netscape browser is simply "a skinned version of Firefox with a few extensions."

Security Watch blogger Ryan Naraine applauded AOL’s decision on Friday, pointing out that the latest Netscape releases lacked up-to-date security fixes, leaving their users vulnerable to attacks.

Asa Dotzler, one of Firefox’s original developers, greeted the news of Netscape’s demise with a simple, "Good riddance."

AOL’s Drapeau sullenly notes that any users feeling nostalgic for the days of old can install Netscape’s theme and extensions pack for Firefox.

There’s no word yet on what will happen to Netscape browser’s small engineering team, but all development and support for all Netscape browser products will end on February 1. Support for all versions of the software will be off-loaded to the Netscape community forum. Netscape.com will continue to live on as a web portal.

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Illegals fleeing Arizona amid crackdown – Life- msnbc.com

 I never agreed to with the law with respect to its intent.  This issue is so sensitive and has more nuances to it than Baskin-Robbins has flavors.  Pearce says, "We have a free market, it’ll adjust" is as ignorant a comment as I’ve ever heard.  Landscaping, for example, done by a bunch of undocumented workers will cost you less than half if you have it done by another company that doesn’t use undocumented workers.  So now that the illegal workers have left…how does the market adjust?  You will pay more; simple as that.  Taxes?  Will go up, why–because unlike us "americans" the undocumented people paid their taxes without trying to use loopholes.  Oh yes, the government issues them a special SSN just to pay their taxes and then tells them to get out.  NICE.  So now that THAT money is gone, how will the market adjust?  You got it..they go up to make up for the loss. 

Every President since Reagan has given them amnesty.  Why stop now?

In my opinion, we (the United States) will NEVER as a country get over our prejudices with respect to color or ethnicity.  We can’t.  Most countries with various ethnicities have their differences too, but in our case its the extreme.  We had a Civil War with undercurrents that tied to race for heaven’s sake.  It’s as if, letting go of this hatred for the "different", makes us less…whatever we think of ourselves.

Women think this is a "man’s world".  That statement in and of itself is sexist.  Just as sexist as the following statement is racist:  "It’s a White Man’s world".  These two things; racism and sexism keep us from reaching our potential…perhaps a potential we may never realize.  It’s not that I don’t have faith in our system or in mankind–I’m just a realist.

Ask a typical American what "illegal immigrant" means.  And then ask them what they look like.  You’ll get what I’m saying.

Illegals fleeing Arizona amid crackdown – Life- msnbc.com

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2007 Inventory

Now as the year winds down, I reflect on how this year was unique, challenging, and do an inventory on myself.  I also want to take the time to mention those who have made an impact on my life this year (for better or worse).  Don’t be discouraged if you are the ones that have made my life more difficult–look at it as though you have made me better in a way.  I will elaborate later in the post.

 

January

At this time, I didn’t think that I would still be doing work as a contractor for a major financial business.  I thought that I would be somewhere in Japan or something, but DPuggie and company were where I felt I needed to be.  From New Years I was busy.  I was asked to train some marketing Microsoft employees on SharePoint, so I made a trip up to campus right after their horrendous ice storm and tasted Dixie’s BBQ and met "the man".  A few days later I was off to Switzerland to participate in the first MCT (Microsoft Certified Trainer) Summit for EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Asia).  Got a tour from a great friend FSanchez, who took me to a Wine and Spice shoppe.  DANKE!  I learned the value of loyalty and friendship.

 

February

I was pissed the whole month because my favorite sports team, The Chicago Bears, lost the Superbowl to the frickin’ Indianapolis Colts.  I will stop here because I will go into a rage.  Suffice it to say–this month I learned to keep my tongue in check. 

 

March

I was introduced to a company (Synergy) that is quite the remarkable enterprise.  They flew me out to Hawaii to meet the CEO and wanted to know if I would pool my resources with theirs and form the LATAM branch.  Everything seemed nice and I wanted to run some numbers.  So I did and I agreed.  I learned that the numbers aren’t always correct.  And that I should divide in half whatever I think I have and double whatever I think the liabilities are.

 

April

My second triathlon.  I beat my previous year’s time and moved up in the ranks.  The swim seemed easier and the bike seemed effortless…it was the run that kicked my butt.  I learned that I should train for twice the distance.  Really.  I also spoke at the MCT Summit for North America in Redmond, WA. 

I was also invited to participate in a private gathering where a couple of Microsoft Senior Executives and Steve Ballmer answered questions in a panel setting.  It was a virtual "Who’s Who" in the industry: Karen Forester, Mary Jo Foley, Mark Russinovich, Mark Minasi, Doug Barney, Jesper Johanssen, Jim McBee, et al.  I was lucky enough to get the microphone to ask Bob Muglia a question.  To my (and everyone else’s) surprise, he said, "You’ll have to ask my boss that question".  When SteveB came in, it was obvious he had been briefed on the question posed to him and the FIRST thing Ballmer commented on was directed at me.  I was an easy target…I was sitting smack dab in the middle of room about 20 feet away.  I *was* going to say (in my best Al Sharpton voice) something to the effect of why there were no blacks in that room…but reason shook me back to reality.

While I was in Redmond, I also received a prelim interview with COfori of the SharePoint Enginering Team at Microsoft.

This month I overdid it.  I tried to achieve and do too much and my stress level went WAY up.  I achieved everything I set out to do, but it was too much and the assimilation hurt.  Volunteer for half as much and do it twice as good.  That’s what I learned.

 

May

Went to Brazil for the MCT Summit for LATAM.  My evaluation scores were very high.  On a 0-9 scale (9 being highest) I got several 10s.  I was flattered.  I learned that LATAM is much more formal in the workplace than in the US. 

I officially drank the Kool-aid this month (joined Microsoft).  I learned that I could have pushed my start date out, which would have been more to my advantage, so not being so anxious to start something and wait for the BEST things is the way to go.

 

June

Attended TechEd in Orlando.  Started house hunting in this month.  Got blown out of the water when I saw the prices! 

 

July

Attended the MS Company party.  Very nice.  HUGE.

 

August

I start working on my first feature for a product.  Lots of ramp up to do.  I learned that putting the research work up front is WAY better than trying to do it as you go along.

 

September

My bank fails!  They still owe me over $1000 and I’m pissed!  I also attended my first Company Meeting which was Bill Gates’ last meeting as an employee.  Steve Ballmer even shed tears at the occasion.  Very surreal.

 

October

My aunt passes away almost a year (to the day) that her son (my cousin) passed away.  It was a hard week.  A "friend" that I had showed their true colors and it hurt me. I thought I had learned a lesson here, but I was mistaken.  It wasn’t until the next month that I really learned it.

 

November

I spoke at two conferences this month; SharePoint Connections in Las Vegas, and IT Forum in Barcelona.  Both were great!  It was this month that I learned some hard emotional lessons.  I will never forget them. I got slapped around by some dear friends for which I am very grateful.  I thought November was a bad month, but in reality–it was an exercise is tough love and how to be the owner of my feelings.

 

December

The lessons continued (and continue).  I was diagnosed with bi-lateral pulmonary embolus; put me in the hospital for 3 days.  Had to take 2 stomach injections of Lovenox a day plus Warfarin (rat poison) to keep the clots from forming in my lungs.  I still am under therapy but I worked out for the first time since I left the hospital today and I feel GREAT!!  Lesson I’m learning:  moving on should mean moving UP.  So far, so good.  Looking forward to Berlin in a few weeks.

 

MY GOALS FOR 2007 as stated in DECEMBER 2006:

a) Hit 190 lbs.  I went on a health kick in 2006 and it has yielded beautiful fruit.  I would like to put myself into 2nd gear and hit 190 lbs with a BMI (body mass index) of 13%.

GRADE:  A-  I hit 189.5 but my BMI is 18%.

b) Buy a new laptop.  The one I have currently is a HOSS (RAID controller; 4GB RAM, 17 inch screen…) but I need something that weighs less than 10 lbs (!)

GRADE:  This was made under the assumption I was still an independent consultant.  No grade.

c) Be nicer.   This is one of those internal changes that will require effort each and every day for the rest of my life and probably can’t be measured except externally.  By "nicer" I mean *less* mean, *less* sarcastic, *less* condescending, etc  Yell less, speak softer more.

GRADE: D  I am not a nicer person, and probably towards the end of this year got LESS nice.  I need to work on this.

d) Be smarter.  Another of those almost intangibles.  I’m not necessarily talking about getting an advanced degree (no time) but I could read a good book or two (or three).  I’ve decided to read one fiction, one non-fiction, and one political (right-leaning of course).

GRADE: C+  read fictional and political , but not non-fiction.  I am smarter in other ways; hence the +.

e) The last (but no means least): Be more spiritual.  Let the reader decide what I mean by that.

GRADE: F  I failed miserably here by my own standard.

 

Some people say I am my hardest critic.  And why shouldn’t I be?  I’m the one judging me and I think I’m being fair.  Harsh, yes; but fair.  It shouldn’t be that much harder to be smarter, so I’ll keep that goal.  My new goal for physical fitness will be to not just hit 15% BMI, but to do another triathlon or marathon this year.  Being nicer will take an ENORMOUS amount of energy, but I should work toward it.  The spiritual part…whew…does it make sense to make a goal if you are wondering if you will accomplish it?

 

 

2007 Shout Outs

The following people are the ones who have made a difference in my life.  If it was for worse…you’ll know.

EJ (Lisa)  Thanks.  You know what for.  Just slap me upside my head when I whine too much.

Johnson Har You ROCK!  We’ll find a way for the Kool-aid mix to get to you.

CRandall.cafe means nothing without a difference of opinion to keep it exciting.  More than a worthy opponent, you are my conscience sometimes; keeping me honest with myself.  Here’s to another year of jousting.

DFriskKeep being harsh.  I need it sometimes.  You only do it cuz I bother you and you care.  Thanks.

EDenekampThanks for your comments and encouragement.  They are appreciated.

KimmeesookYou come and go, but when you come you leave poignant messages which keep me thinking.  thank you.

KKinghornYour counsel is worth twice its weight in gold.  Decisions will be made soon.  I promise.

DPruettThanks for the jacket!  I love it!  I look forward to working with you a lot more this coming year.  thanks for everything!

CSmithGo for the MPH.  You are definitely Mensa material.  Keep it real.  Look forward to the future!

RFournier –  We both knew it was just a matter of time.  Your friendship has been unconditional  Both you and LA helped me buck up and move on.  Thanks!

 

I was chided for "defaming" people; not true–but it was their opinion.   I was simply exposing what other thought to the public to see if they saw what I did.  I have changed my mind in calling them out.  I will simply say this to them:

You have no place in my mind anymore.  Too much energy was wasted on you and your thoughtless, careless and ungrateful dispositions.  Ironically I need to thank you for making me stronger and helping me be more careful as to whom I trust or for whom I perform favors or help.

 

I think I will add one more goal for 2008:  NO WHINING!!  Too much energy is wasted in whining.  I think I will replace the "Be Nicer" with "No whining".  That way I don’t have to tolerate it from anyone else. Hmmm

So, just watch my "Where am I" web part and you’ll see that I will be traveling extensively in the first quarter.  Suriname, then Berlin, then possibly Egypt and then to Brazil–in the first TWO months of the year!!

 

Looking forward to a prosperous and happy 2008!  and wish the same for all of my friends and family.  Take care!

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Well…at least we beat the Packers!

With a dismal record of 6-9, the Chicago Bears are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.  Every win is for pride and every loss, well..means nothing.

 

The Bears mauled the Cheeseheads 35 – 7 yesterday at Soldier Field under conditions that we Chicagoans like to refer to as "Bear weather".  Thing is, it is usually an advantage over teams from the West Coast (like SanFran, or Los Angeles, or San Diego) and not so much against teams like Minnesota or Green Bay.  But, Brett Favre actually claimed it was the worst he had seen in 17 years!  Ok….

Looking at the stats…don’t make too much sense to me.

 

Team Stat Comparison

              

1st Downs
13                           14

Total Yards
          274                        240

Passing
          149                        101

Rushing
         125                         139

Penalties
        1-10                         6-30

3rd Down Conversions
       3-12                          6-15

4th Down Conversions
       1-3                            2-3

Turnovers
         2                              0

Possession
     26:27                        33:33

 

With the above stats, one would think that the score would be closer.  the only thing are the 2 turnovers by GB.  Both resulted in TDs.  The franchise player of the year Brian Urlacher even got his first TD on an interception, and rejoiced exceedingly in the end zone.  He’s having a GREAT CHRISTMAS!!

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Nothing like deprivation to boost appreciation

I am currently sitting listening to a Christmas cantata. I cannot fully appreciate the fulness of the voices or music. At my last physical exam, the first after my release after my hospital stay, the doctor saw that I had an excess amount of ear wax. He sent the nurse to clean out my ears. The pain was excruciating and didnt result in the full cleaning. Meanwhile, both of my ears became stopped up and every sound is muffled–like Charlie Brown’s teacher’s voice.

I like music. All kinds. Especially classical pieces around the holiday season. Sitting here and trying to appreciate the music is an exercise in frustration. Although I cant appreciate the music, I do appreciate my hearing…or what I used to have, anyway.

I have another appointment 29 December. I need to get this fixed.

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Some things that made me think. Hard.

"The search is what anyone would undertake if he were not sunk in the everydayness of his own life. To become aware of the possibility of the search is to be onto something. Not to be onto something is to be in despair."- Walker Percy

 

"The unexamined life is not worth living." – Socrates
"But it’s probably just as true that the over-examined life is not worth living either." – Craig Boyd


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Choose Ye this day….or else…

Hard decisions to be made

EJ said, "You’re too soft";

There’s truth to that.

Always looking for the easy road can make you soft

Sometimes it’s better to take the road less traveled

and take your licks

Maybe not.

Sometimes there is only one path

and the choice to not take it

makes you soft

I believe this is my case.

 

The habit of choosing not to choose

has made me averse to making hard decisions

and has made me soft.

Not choosing to choose can atrophy your mind

and spirit

Thus it is better to choose the unsavory

and its consequences

than to allow the consequences of the unsavory

simply happen to you

leaving you unprepared and distraught.

 

Lessons cannot be learned by choosing not to choose.

I have come to the conclusion that choosing not to decide

is strategic, not tactical.

I have allowed myself to be acted upon

instead of acting upon situations

Being reactive is not always a good thing.

 

I used to believe

that we could all "just get along"

I don’t believe that anymore

It can’t be true

Some things simply cannot co-exist

Some people simply cannot be together

Not everyone can be friends with one another

The concept that we can’t all be friends

was anathema to me

but the truth is now made painfully and plainly clear to me

 

 

Now that the concept is taught

Now that sense has been made

The time for hard decisions has arrived–

Where do I go from here

What will I do

and when?

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