November 28, 2012

Update - I bought Nexus 7, Cant Recommend Highly Enough, Apple Is Over

The other day I wrote about almost buying an iPad Mini but the price and lack of GPS stopped me. I Came THIS Close To Buying iPad Mini!,

I went looking around today. I went to Stanford Mall, where there are Sony, Microsoft and Apple stores. I almost bought an iPad mini, but Apple talked me out of it.

... It costs too much, but I would have bought one one the spot anyway. But then I found out it doesn't have a GPS in it. To get one with a GPS you have to pay another $130 to get the cell-enabled device. ...

Apple. This is the company that charges $30 for a 5-cent cord. So, no sale. Android devices have GPS, and I have a wireless hotspot on my phone so I do not need a pad with cell service in it.

So I finally bought the Nexus 7 and I just couldn't be more impressed, especially with the new Android 4.2 OS upgrade. You can customize the OS to work the way you work, etc...

Between this and Windows 8 I feel like Apple is over, they have been leapfrogged. I'll probably get a Windows or Andriod phone next, too.

The hardware is good but their pricing ruins it. I mean, we're looking to replace a 15" Macbook Pro and I go to the Apple store and it starts at $1800 but that's with a slow 5200 RPM drive, and the lowest-available upgrade -- $10 to $20 when ordering PCs -- is $150. 512GB solid state is another $1,000, when PCs come with hybrid drives now and you can just buy a 512SSD for less than half that. Antiglare screen is another $100, etc. etc.

The "Retina Display" model runs from $2200 to $2800 before you add anything. ($3750 with more ram and a big flash drive. I don't think you can pay that much for any PC laptop anywhere.)

Posted by Dave Johnson at 5:01 PM | Comments (2) | Link Cosmos

November 8, 2012

I Came THIS Close To Buying iPad Mini!

I went looking around today. I went to Stanford Mall, where there are Sony, Microsoft and Apple stores. I almost bought an iPad mini, but Apple talked me out of it.

At the mall I went through the Sony store mostly to get from the parking lot, but then saw the new Vaio Duo, which is a touchpad and computer. (This is what the new Windows 8 enables, and I love it.) My next computer will be something like this, a full computer with a touch-screen of some sort, maybe one of these tablets with a keyboard rather than a computer with a touch-screen.

Then I went to the Apple store to see the iPad mini. This is like the perfect tablet! The size and feel are just right. After playing with one I picked up an iPad, and it was this big heavy thing. I need something to read with, and instead of buying a new Kindle, figured I get some kind of tablet, this is just perfect for this.

It costs too much, but I would have bought one one the spot anyway. But then I found out it doesn't have a GPS in it. To get one with a GPS you have to pay another $130 to get the cell-enabled device. Apple wanted to both save themselves a quarter, and force people to buy the higher-priced device. I need this for use in the car, when we travel my wife likes to be the map person, this would have been perfect.

Apple. This is the company that charges $30 for a 5-cent cord. So, no sale. Android devices have GPS, and I have a wireless hotspot on my phone so I do not need a pad with cell service in it.

Then I stopped at the Microsoft store. The new Surface is beautiful. I might have bought one except I had just been holding that iPad Mini... It's a bit early for the Surface, but it going to stomp Apple when there are enough models out there and the prices are down. And all the new touch-screen ultrabooks, etc. Just wow!

As I wrote earlier,

Apple is an aggressively predatory company. (Oh, and there is no excuse for not making things in the USA, and no excuse for their aggressive tax avoidance schemes which deny the American public good schools, etc. Apple is an aggressively unpatriotic company.)

By aggressively predatory, I meant preying on their customers. Screw that, tired of it. No matter how nice the iPad Mini is, like everything else from Apple they charge too much, (and avoid paying their taxes, and use slaves instead of paying reasonable wages, etc.) and this greed is going to catch up and hurt them.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 2:37 PM | Comments (0) | Link Cosmos

October 30, 2012

I Upgraded To Windows 8 And Love It

First, the excuses... We have Macs and PCs at home. I mostly use a PC laptop for legacy reasons. (Had to migrate from Mac to PC a long time ago for work, now everything is on the PC... Oh, and Macs cost 2-3 times as much for the same thing, and Apple just rips you off with no mercy. They overcharge for everything, even simple $2 connector cords can be $30. Apple is an aggressively predatory company.) (Oh, and there is no excuse for not making things in the USA, and no excuse for their aggressive tax avoidance schemes which deny the American public good schools, etc. Apple is an aggressively unpatriotic company.)

So anyway, I upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 8, and I love it. I "get" it. I feel like I have been freed from the PC in the ways that the Mac made me feel that I was free to just work instead of dealing with the computer and its setting all the time.

Before you upgrade, you need to understand some things. It is not what you expect, and it is too early for most of you to do it.

Windows 8 is not really an "upgrade" to the Windows you know and understand, it is an entirely different paradigm. It will feel like you need to learn everything from scratch. Maybe, maybe not but after you have learned how to use Windows 8 it is much better. It makes the computer easy to use and gets the system out of your way.

It is going to take a while for enough people to learn Windows 8, and for the ecosystem of apps (it heavily follows an app design, like a smartphone) and programs that integrate all of Windows 8's features. So most people should just wait. Also installation can have quirks that only computer-literate people can overcome at this point. So wait.

But it's great.

And by the way, I know a few things about computers and operating systems.

Update - here's what's missing in Windows 8: a clock. On most screens you don't see the time, the way you did on older versions of Windows. Maybe there's a setting or something but not having the time visible screws me up.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 8:14 PM | Comments (0) | Link Cosmos

August 18, 2012


Apple 15" Macbook Pro, made by slaves. Base configuration w 4gb, $1,799, comes with 500gb 5400 RPM hard drive, $150 to get 7200 rpm drive -- 750gb only option.

HP Pavilion $854 base configuration with i7, 6gb and graphics card. Upgrade from 500gb 5400rpm drive to 750gb 7200rpm drive is $20

Apple charges $150 for the exact same drive upgrade as HP charges $20.

I guess both are made by slaves.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 1:26 PM | Comments (1) | Link Cosmos

September 29, 2010

Remember BeOS? Look At Haiku

Programmers, take a look at The Haiku Project. If you remember the BeOS computer operating system you'll love what they are doing.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 8:34 AM | Comments (1) | Link Cosmos

April 12, 2010

Did Apple Screw Up The Mac OSX?

My wife's MacBook Pro has been having a problem ever since the most recent upgrade was downloaded: the cusor freezes for about 10 seconds every now and then. At first I thought it was maybe the hard drive, or something else. But after investigating online I find that a lot of people are reporting the same thing (8 pages of messages on that last one). They all say that after the 10.6.3 upgrade was downloaded and installed the trackpad, mice and keyboard all started having problems.

Has Apple heard about this? Why haven't they sent users a message explaining the problem? I'll bet a lot of people are spending money on "repairs," or new hard drives or all kinds of things. Why the silence?

When will it be fixed?

Posted by Dave Johnson at 1:57 PM | Comments (1) | Link Cosmos

April 2, 2010

iPad (Updated)

I was about to get a netbook for travel, conferences, and things like that where I don't need all the functionality of a laptop and want something really light to carry around.

Now I'm thinking about an iPad instead. But all of Apple's usual shenanigans are putting me off. The lack of any way to add anything that can get around Apple making money off of you - no USB port or card slot, for example so you are entirely dependent on Apple accessories, memory, etc. The closed app market... The price is prohibitive - but it's early so it should go down later.

So my question is, does anyone know about anything coming that will compete with the iPad that uses Google's Android OS? Maybe even Palm's? The Android phones look like they will compete with the iPhone...

Update -- Take a look at this:

Posted by Dave Johnson at 11:53 AM | Comments (0) | Link Cosmos

December 5, 2009

Firefox Makes My Laptop Fan Run Constantly

When I use Firefox the CPU meter goes way up, and the fan runs constantly. Sometimes when I am watching a YouTube the computer just shuts itself off. If I run Firefox and Skype at the same time I have to anticipate the shutdown.

Does anyone else have this problem?

I have a fairly new HP laptop with an AMD dual-processor. This happened in Windows Vista and now Windows 7. I really don't want to have to switch back to IE and Safari isn't quite there yet...

Others have written about this problem: Firefox: Heat and the CPU usage problem

Posted by Dave Johnson at 6:23 PM | Comments (3) | Link Cosmos

October 24, 2009

Windows 7 Nightmare

So I updated to win 7 last night. It took almost 5 hours.

Partway through it stops on something like "checking files 21%..." It just stuck there, so I started checking online, and people were saying it does that and to just wait. So I waited and AFTER AN HOUR it started going again.

It "does that," but Microsoft doesn't TELL YOU it does that.

Finally installed but everything seems really slow now. Firefox does its "not responding" tihng and goes dim every few minutes. This is a modern computer with a fast processor and plenty of ram.

So after I get it all upgraded it turns out that the anti-virus/backup program I use doesn't work - AND IT'S FROM MICROSOFT!!! It's called Windows Live OneCare. Microsoft doesn't TELL me that this program that I pay a yearly fee for and have a bunch of time left on isn't going to work with their own new operating system.

Here is the worst part - that program is what I used to make backups, and only OneCare can read the backups it makes, so my only backups depended on it working. I can't access the backups any other way, and I can't install the program under Windows 7. I haven't lost anything, but I had to start making a new backup from scratch today because I am going on a trip tomorrow and do not want to travel without a backup.

So get this -- the Windows 7 backup program has been running SINCE 8 AM and it is going on 3 now. And it isn't even halfway done yet!

It looks as though the Windows 7 upgrade is going to take more than 24 hours. And THEN I'll know what is working or not.

Microsoft has a complete monopoly granted by the Bush Justice Department AFTER they lost the anti-trust court case. Remember that? They gave a bunch of money to the Republicans and their think tanks etc., and got let off from all consequences AFTER being convicted? And that is why so many people have to use Windows and Office. Bill Gates still the richest person in the world?

Yes, I know about Mac's I had one of the first Mac software companies. But I have a zillion dollars of software and would have to replace all of it after paying the Apple tax which is about 3x the cost of a comparable PC. But it is looking like I am going to have to switch to Mac.

Update - Total time for updating and several attempts that led to finally getting a good backup made was about 28 hours. I'm on my trip.

So... I said it's looking like time to get a Mac... Well my wife forgot her MacBook Pro power cord so we had to stop at a Mac store and get a new one. $80!!! The Mac tax.

Should I pay the Mac tax and get a Mac or stick with PC?

Posted by Dave Johnson at 2:50 PM | Comments (8) | Link Cosmos

September 2, 2009

Quicken -- Ugh

Is there any way to downgrade to an older, simpler version of Quicken? It used to be an OK program but they have "improved" it so much that it is pretty much unusable now. I just want to track my checks and balance my checkbook, just like I always did. But they made me upgrade - for as much as the original version cost. So now I am stuck with a program that is very, very hard to use, messes with my my checking account, and just makes it hard to do anything.

Is there a program that I can export all of my checking data into that will do this, so I can get released from the Quicken trap?

Posted by Dave Johnson at 3:06 PM | Comments (1) | Link Cosmos

February 11, 2009

OpenBeOS Haiku Approaching Alpha

Go take a look: BeOS Lives: Haiku Impresses

Posted by Dave Johnson at 2:29 PM | Comments (2) | Link Cosmos

December 3, 2008

The Bug Tax

My wife is a graphic artist. She has a Mac. Because Adobe has a virtual monopoly on graphic design software she has to use Adobe's Creative Suite, and the cost for this is hundreds and hundreds (and hundreds) of dollars. In fact, it is much more than the Mac itself.

She recently upgraded to Microsoft Office 2008. This brought out a bug in DreamWeaver CS3, where you cannot copy from Word and paste into DreamWeaver. Adobe won't patch the bug, instead requiring users to upgrade to CS4. The cost to upgrade just DreamWeaver is about $200.

Adobe could just send out a patch that fixes this bug, but is instead extorting this $200 from their customers if they want a working version. Read that page, they're not even shy about it.

The modern corporate business model is about harvesting the customer, not providing quality and service.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 10:38 AM | Comments (1) | Link Cosmos

November 10, 2008

AOL Webmail Question

For a friend: Is there a way to set AOL Webmail as the default mail program used by the web browser, the way you can do for GMail and Yahoo Mail?

I don't mean the AOL program, I mean AOL webmail.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 9:51 AM | Comments (0) | Link Cosmos

October 14, 2008

New Mac Notebooks - Still No Blu-Ray

Apple's new notebook line is announced. They still cost about double what a PC costs, and still don't offer Blu-Ray drives for watching HD movies. Oh well, I was hoping...

So, I hear you can install MacOSX on a PC. What's up with that?

Posted by Dave Johnson at 12:03 PM | Comments (3) | Link Cosmos

September 17, 2008

Firefox and Flash

I'm still having a problem with Firefox and Flash. I either can't play videos like YouTube, or there is no sound. If I reinstall Flash it works for a day or two then quits again. Everything works fine in Internet Explorer, except I hate IE.

Do you think the Firefox people will ever fix it?

Posted by Dave Johnson at 12:36 PM | Comments (1) | Link Cosmos

June 23, 2008

Speak Out California Is Back Up And Running!

This post originally appeared at Speak Out California.

One day your website is yours, and the next day it is someone else's. Organizations, businesses and regular people are at the mercy of a confusing deregulated system.

A little over a week ago the Speak Out California website suddenly disappeared, and viewers instead saw a website full of advertisements.

We had no way of even knowing what had happened. It was just a surprise. One day typing "" into a web browser took viewers to our website, the next day it took viewers to an ad site that someone else managed.

Some of us are more sophisticated and internet-savvy than most citizens so we were eventually able to track down some information. I'm not going into details here, except to say that no one at Speak Out California received any notice that this was going to happen. It took several days to even track down where the domain name (this is what internet addresses like are called) had been registered, who had registered it, and contact info for the registrar. Then it took several more days to restore the domain name to us and get it working again.

Here's the thing: the only way we were able to get this name back and get the site operating again is because some of us are much more internet-connected than most people. Most people would have no idea where to even start to look for information and help solving a problem like this.

This is certainly not an uncommon problem. My wife had a business named Dancing Woman Designs with a website at, and then one day she didn't. She received no notice, nothing. It was just there one day and gone the next and if she wanted it back it was going to cost her. It was going to cost her a lot. And so she doesn't have anymore and that address takes you to an ad site. A whole business that took years to get going and build is history now. It was wiped out in a minute because someone was able to get the web name.

A larger business is more likely to have the resources to hire the necessary experts to fight something like this. But it can be an expensive proposition and it can take time.

This is the difference between regulation and deregulation. Regulations protect regular people. Deregulation enables and protects scammers, schemers, and cons. The Internet is largely unregulated and is full of scammers, schemers and cons. Most of the businesses and organizations on the internet are good, honest, credible and legitimate but regular people are also left completely at the mercy of numerous cons, scams, schemes and rip-offs and the burden is on us to find a way to tell the difference.

We got Speak Out California back up and running. It only took us a week and a little money. But we are sophisticated, internet-savvy and connected -- and lucky. Hmm ... maybe some new legislation is warranted.

Click through to Speak Out California

Posted by Dave Johnson at 11:12 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack | Link Cosmos

Gmail Problems

I've been having problems with Gmail for a few weeks. It's extremely slow, sometimes doesn't come up at all, sometimes won't send mail. Is anyone else seeing this?

Posted by Dave Johnson at 7:17 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack | Link Cosmos

May 15, 2008

Bush Authoritarianism Opens HUGE Corporate Security Problem

The Bush administration insists on the right to search and download to keep the contents of any memory device or hard drive taken across a border. That means that the government can now make copies of any laptop hard drive or "thumb drive" crossing the U.S. border.

Travel group warns: Corporate data at risk from laptop searches at border,

Companies need to review their policies to see if such searches will cause privacy problems for them or their customers, she said.

"For example, if you are carrying personnel information on your laptop, there are certain privacy violations that can ensue" if that data is accessed and downloaded as part of a border search, Gurley said. Other kinds of sensitive and proprietary information -- including intellectual property -- can sometimes be exposed via such searches, she said.

Many companies, especially in Europe, are having compliance officers look at the broader implications of such searches and have begun curtailing the kind of information their executives can carry on their laptops when traveling to the U.S, she said.

You can just imagine that big Republican corporate donors will see an opportunity here to get competitive info. "YCorp's patent guy is crossing the border at 11. Get us all the data on his hard drive." And if you and I can imagine it, you can be sure that YCorps' people are thinking about it, too.

So as a result of this every single corporate employee in the world is going to have to clean up everything on every device that might cross an American border. And this kind of cleanup is not easy. It is cumbersome, inconvenient, expensive, and might not be enough. I can foresee policies requiring installing fresh hard drives before any travel. (This includes Canada and Mexico.

All of a sudden corporate cronyism isn't looking so good to all those corporate types.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 7:06 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack | Link Cosmos

January 17, 2008

Apple's New Tiny, Thin Notebook Computer

Who will buy Apple's new expensive, ultrathin laptop? It doesn't even have a CD drive! This post gets it exactly right: Why does the MacBook Air make so many so dumb?

... [T]his notebook will be Apple’s next step in a strategy to infiltrate the enterprise.

[. . .] [T]he MacBook Air is aimed at a narrow upscale segment of the market. These customers care about style and what that style says about them. It’s all a part of their personal brand.

. . . When they open this machine at a meeting, it may say more about them than a $300 haircut, or a bespoke suit.

Will these users worry about connecting FireWire for digital video or external storage? They may worry more that a heavy briefcase filled with a heavy notebook could wrinkle their suit before a meeting. Listen, if one of these persons needs an power outlet because the battery is heading towards critical, someone will find them an outlet. And besides, there’s plenty of juice for notebooks and mimosas in the first class cabin.

What’s great about the MacBook Air is that this machine appears to be a new twist in Apple’s stealth campaign into the enterprise. The MacBook Air is all about switchers.

Who will be customers of this classy machine? Captains of enterprise and commerce. Traditionally, these customers have been Windows users. But now they will buy Apple’s new ultralight and join the ranks of switchers.

Yes, that's me all right.

But I do want one.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 8:55 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack | Link Cosmos

October 6, 2007

Haiku Operating System

This isn't my usual subject, but I encourage all the techies out there to take a look at the Haiku Operating System, and tell techies that you know to take a look.

Haiku is an open source operating system currently in development designed from the ground up for desktop computing. Inspired by the Be Operating System, Haiku aims to provide users of all levels with a personal computing experience that is simple yet powerful, and void of any unnecessary complexities.
Also take a look at BeBits.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 6:08 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack | Link Cosmos

June 23, 2007

Blank Paper Utility

At last, the product we all have been waiting for: Blank Paper Utility!

When you need a blank sheet of paper, use this product!

Posted by Dave Johnson at 8:39 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack | Link Cosmos

April 12, 2007

A Technical Point About Those Missing E-Mails

Here is how e-mail is typically stored: There are at least three hard drives where an e-mail is located: The sender, the server and the recipient. If there is more than one recipient of an e-mail the other recipient's hard drives will also have copies. (Webmail is another story...)

Even supposedly-deleted data would still be on each of these hard drive - marked as deleted but still there - unless it has been overwritten. That is not as likely these days with very large-capacity hard drives. A data recovery effort would locate the e-mails or report why not. If the erasure was due to normal file overwriting, this would be apparent. And if it was due to intentional erasure, this would also be apparent.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 11:27 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack | Link Cosmos

January 11, 2007

Macworld Expo

I went to Macworld Expo yesterday. Here are my notes.

Boring show, many companies not there. Many booths selling luggage. Lots of empty space. Average attendee age 50+. Ecosystem is dying. The second hall didn't have paying companies at all, was dedicated to lots of chairs while someone showed how to edit photos...

the iPhone looks great - extremely expensive, is it true only Cingular will have it? Ugh. Isn't that what they call an attractive nuisance -- luring people into something that can harm them?

... later:

The Mac ecosystem did NOT look healthy. Few 3rd-party products at all. Apple itself is clearly refocusing on consumer goods. They even took "computer" out of the name. Must have been ten booths offering iPod skins.

Several companies showing products not related to Mac or iPod - like cameras. Several booths of printers, some also sell cameras.

Apple understands that people are locked into their software, especially if they have paid their thousands and thousands for the Adobe monopoly and the upgrade payment scheme. So instead of boosting market share they stick it to the users who are stuck. I saw an ad in the paper - PC desktops with everything including 19 inch LCD monitors were $700, a Mac desktop was $2500. Etc...

Update - One more thing. The Apple TV device -- I still can't figure out what it does. It does NOT have a TV tuner. It does not do what a Tivo does. It doesn't do what Windows Media Center does. It has a hard drive and wireless. An Apple marketing guy was explaining it to me and he couldn't come up with a coherent explanation. He kept talking about how it lets me show things that I have to PAY FOR from iTunes, on my big TV. It appears to be a scheme to get me into one more subscription service that drains my checking account every month. I think.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 8:26 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack | Link Cosmos

October 26, 2006

Today's Voting Machines Story

Ars Technica is an online magazine for techies. They're covering the voting machines fiasco.

How to steal an election by hacking the vote,

What if I told you that it would take only one person—one highly motivated, but only moderately skilled bad apple, with either authorized or unauthorized access to the right company's internal computer network—to steal a statewide election?

[. . .] Thanks the recent and rapid adoption of direct-recording electronic (DRE) voting machines in states and counties across America, the two scenarios that I just outlined have now become siblings (perhaps even fraternal twins) in the same large, unhappy family of information security (infosec) challenges. Our national election infrastructure is now largely an information technology infrastructure, so the problem of keeping our elections free of vote fraud is now an information security problem. If you've been keeping track of the news in the past few years, with its weekly litany of high-profile breeches in public- and private-sector networks, then you know how well we're (not) doing on the infosec front.

The article goes into technical detail on how to accomplish the theft of an election. But then,

Finally, it's extremely important to note that, in the absence of a meaningful audit trail, like that provided by voter-verified paper receipts, it is virtually impossible to tell machine malfunction from deliberate vandalism. Pioneering election security researcher Rebecca Mercuri has told me that she's actually much more concerned about "disenfranchisement of voters due to the strategic denial-of-service that currently masquerades as malfunctions," than she is about "manipulation of election equipment and data files in order to alter election outcomes, although both remain problematic."

When you have a rash of voting machines that have their memories wiped, their votes erased, or their number of votes mysteriously inflated; when you have reports of machines that crash or refuse to respond; when many machines record a vote for the wrong candidate—all of this could just as plausibly be construed as evidence of fraud as it could be of spontaneous malfunction, because there's simply no way to tell the difference in most cases.

And, toward the end,
In conclusion, let me summarize what I hope you'll take home with you after reading this article and thinking about its contents:

* Bits and bytes are made to be manipulated; by turning votes into bits and bytes, we've made them orders of magnitude easier to manipulate during and after an election.
* By rushing to merge our nation's election infrastructure with our computing infrastructure, we have prematurely brought the fairly old and well-understood field of election security under the rubric of the new, rapidly evolving field of information security.
* In order to have confidence in the results of a paperless DRE-based election, you must first have confidence in the personnel and security practices at these institutions: the board of elections, the DRE vendor, and third-party software vendor whose product is used on the DRE.
* In the absence of the ability to conduct a meaningful audit, there is no discernable difference between DRE malfunction and deliberate tampering (either for the purpose of disenfranchisement or altering the vote record).

Posted by Dave Johnson at 10:19 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack | Link Cosmos

October 13, 2006

A Software Question - Sony Clie

I have a question that maybe someone can answer. As you know I am reconstrcuting a hard drive. Does anyone know how to find the Palm Desktop that works with a Sony Clie SJ22? If I install regular Palm Desktop, will that do the HotSync with a Sony Clie or not?

And for years others with this problem can read your answer here after searching on Google.

Update -- Installing the software for my wife's Palm Zire worked just fine.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 3:51 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack | Link Cosmos

October 12, 2006

Computer Problems

My hard drive crashed - actually it looks to be a Windows problem? - so I had to reformat and reinstall everything. I've been at it since this morning... Back to normal by tomorrow.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 7:18 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack | Link Cosmos

July 10, 2006

Update on Spam

I made a mistake in the numbers. I wrote yesterday that I'm getting about 8,000 spam e-mails since turning off my filters for a few days. Well, for the heck of it I didn't delete any spam for 24 hours, and checked the number. The number as of right now is 18,044, about 170 MB.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 9:00 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack | Link Cosmos

July 9, 2006


I have a number of spam traps set up on, to filter and delete unwanted e-mails. I'm testing to see if I am missing any e-mails, and turned off the spam filters for a few days to see what is filtered.

So it turns out I am getting about 8,000 spam e-mails a day now! I filled up a gig and a half mailbox on about a week. So yes I'll be turning it back on! With the filters on I only get maybe 20-40 spams a day now.

So what percentage of Internet traffic is spam now? 90%? Sheesh. What would our costs and response times be if this weren't happeneing? Is this the blessed "deregulation" that Republicans praise?

Posted by Dave Johnson at 2:35 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack | Link Cosmos

June 5, 2006

Social Network Analysis - Quiz Tomorrow

I have been studying Social Network Analysis lately. (Much more here and here.)

This is the study of interactions in groups, discovering who the key people are who hold the group together and get the group doing things. If you track this with sophisticated computer software you can learn some very interesting things. In politics, think of the value of knowing who are the key people for reaching and influencing large numbers of voters...

What special role does Susan play in this group? And Claudia?

So read up, there WILL be a test.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 8:24 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack | Link Cosmos

May 31, 2006

The Death of The Internet

A clip to watch, on Net Neutrality.

If you let the big corporations decide what you get to see on the Internet, you won't be able to see anyting but Rush Limbaugh.

Do you think I'm kidding? Turn on your radio and listen to what happened there.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 8:50 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack | Link Cosmos

May 13, 2006

Net Neutrality and the Blogad

There's an ad in the right column that reads "Don't Regulate the Internet." This ad comes from the telecoms/internet service providers who want to be able to decide which websites - and blogs - they will let you see. I initially rejected the ad, until I was reminded that I complain when TV networks reject ads because they disagree with the viewpoint. So I decided to take ATT's money -- and let you know what they're up to. I also linked to MoveOn's campaign, and put up a free Save the Internet ad. Go visit them.

Matt Stoller writes about this,

This time it's a negative hit piece, backed by a massive blogad campaign. The telcos, so you know, are spending millions of dollars a week on this fight. This ad is an example of it, repeating the lie that the government had no role in the internet's success and that bloggers are a bunch of irresponsible rabble.

... The ad makes a couple of claims. One, that web site operators don't pay for the internet. That is a lie. They pay massive sums of money for bandwidth, on the order of $10 billion last year alone. So does the public in tax subsidies for telecom companies, perhaps as high as $200 billion over the years (though it's hard to tell with all the mergers and weird accounting). Yes, that you read that right. Two, they claim they have never degraded a web site or service. Of course, executives for these companies are on record discussing their plans to do precisely that. The telco sponsored legislation would strip the FCC from being able to deal with degraded service or blocked web sites. Three, the telecom companies claim that net neutrality means intrusive government regulation. This claim is a bit harder to unpack, but it's worth following me here since what they are saying is in fact 180 degrees from the truth.

Go read the rest.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 11:09 AM | Comments (15) | TrackBack | Link Cosmos

May 10, 2006

Quick Mac Question

I have a quick Mac question. Can anyone tell me why something called Apple VNC (corrected from VCN) would be running on a PowerBook (running the latest OSX), without the owner knowing it's there?

Posted by Dave Johnson at 11:40 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack | Link Cosmos

October 30, 2005

Virus Warning

I just received the following e-mail. In the message I received the words "click here" is a link. But I noticed that the link is to an FTP site, and not a web page. It was going to download an ".exe" file. That means a program.

You have received a postcard !

Hello friend !
You have just received a postcard from someone who cares about you!

This is a part of the message:
"Hy there! It has been a long time since I haven´t heared about you!
I´ve just found out about this service from Claire, a friend of mine who also told me that..."
If you´d like to see the rest of the message click here to receive your animated postcard!

If you receive something like this DO NOT CLICK! It will run a program on your computer.

Posted by Dave Johnson at 12:36 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack | Link Cosmos