Archive for the 'blather' Category


Comments off

Sunday, October 12th, 2003

I’ve turned off comments until I can figure out how to turn them back on without getting inundated by fucking loser spammers with tiny dicks.


Friends and Family

Thursday, October 9th, 2003

My younger daughter Rachel turned 6 a couple of weeks ago, and Jasmine turned 11 just this week. I’ve been working too hard and too long of late. How do I know? Rachel read me “Hop On Pop” tonight – by herself, phonetically sounding out the words she didn’t know. It’s a woeful testament to my recent levels of work obsession that this surprised me.

With people like Roland so ably blogging the play-by-play at BloggerCon and the recent BlogWare launch, I’ve been talking to my wife Clare at dinner about these local Toronto guys Ross and Joey. So Rachel says “Ross and Joey? Are they the guys on Friends?”.

Kids, ya gotta love’em.


Farewell Concorde

Wednesday, October 1st, 2003

Tim Aiello IM’d me to tell me that the Concorde was about to land at Toronto for its last time as part of its three-stop final North American tour.

Since I happened to be at a client’s office right on the other side of Highway 401 with a third-storey panoramic view of the runways, I was able to stand at the window and watch it land (unfortunately on the northernmost east-west runway so it was a bit small but still fantastic).

End of an era of commercial supersonic flight.


Lovin’ the Zaurus

Sunday, September 21st, 2003

I’ve said before that I’m not a PDA type. No interest at all in schedules, address books, tasks list, sync with my pc. I’ve never carried a datebook, no use me trying to start with an electronic one.

I’ve always said that I’d never get a handheld until it was a real computer. The Ipaq is almost there, but with no keyboard and having to use the addon sleeve before you can add anything of value to it, not quite where I want it to be.

With all that in mind, I’ve gone and bought myself a Sharp Zaurus SL-5500. They aren’t sold in Canada, so I bought a refurbished one from Nikotools on Ebay.

I also bought 128Mb of SD (Secure Digital) memory and I already have a 256MB and 2x16MB compact flash cards. To round it all out, I ordered a PC-Card to CF adapter so I can use my existing 10/100 ethernet and 802.11 Wifi PC Cards.

I’ve been visiting the Zaurus Software Index and picking up all sorts of neat stuff such as VNC (viewer and server), Gaim and such Linux staples as less, top, perl, joe, openssh, sshd, and even Midnight Commander.

Once I have the Wifi happening this week, I’ll be discovering the wireless world that surrounds me.

If I want, I can load up Apache, PHP, Mysql, PHPMyAdmin – you name it – this is a REAL Linux box in the palm of your hand.

Makes a good MP3 player, too.

Now if I can only get my 6-yr-old to stop wanting to play with the “Cute Little Computer”.


Verisign Breaks DNS

Tuesday, September 16th, 2003

Yesterday, Verisign put a wildcard A record into each of the .com and .net top-level-domain records. The effect of this is that every time anyone requests a lookup of a non-existent second level domain name in either .com or .net, they will be supplied with the address of one of Verisign’s servers.

Go ahead – try this link:

For web browsing, this means you are directed to their “site not found” page.

For email, this means that every misspelled address will mean that Verisign can receive that email.

For programs which rely on DNS lookups (and lookup failures) to perform their duties, EVERYTHING in .com and .net now resolves successfully.

What a boneheaded move. I can’t say it’s out of character for Verisign, who in my opinion has treated their entrusted stewardship of top-level internet naming monopoly as their own personal playground for quite some time.

Ahhhh – here we are – now they want you to use a different method to resolve names than the one in universal common use. I wonder how long it is before a paid license or key is required to perform these lookups?


Simple spam Filtering with SimpleFilter

Sunday, September 14th, 2003

It’s been about 18 months in the making. An idea, then a prototype, then some hard work, then more hard work, and a whole bunch of testing, tweaking, and refinement.

Tim Aiello and I just launched our new spam-identification service this evening. It’s called SimpleFilter.

SimpleFilter is a service for anyone who uses POP3 email. Go have a look for yourself at It’s free to try out. It’s highly accurate, doesn’t require any software installation or messing with settings.

The biggest lesson to be had in making Simplefilter is that it takes A LOT of work to make something simple. Big thanks to all the beta testers – you know who you are.

Now go tell all your friends. Both of them. 🙂

Did I mention it’s Simple?


Well-behaved DHTML

Saturday, August 23rd, 2003

Aaron Boodman of fame, who like me has been fairly sparse on the blogging of late, writes a fantastic case study on well-behaved DHTML.

Ooh – while he’s at it, he’s finally added an RSS feed. Yippeee!


It’s not just a little russian dog

Thursday, August 21st, 2003

Here’s an interesting little hotspot appliance. Interesting too how they seem to be centrally managed and all that.

Looks like Dave Sifry is a partner in Sputnik. Dave is best known in the blogging world as the man behind Technorati, something that I didn’t quite fully grok until Doc Searls explained it to me when he was in town earlier in the year.

Dave also covers the wifi sphere in Sifry’s Alerts.