Off to OSCON!

In a few minutes, I’ll be heading to the airport to fly to Portland, OR, for this year’s O’Reilly Open Source Conference. I’m really looking forward to this year, and I hope to be blogging about it regularly. For those not going, but wish they were, check YouTube – the organizers have resolved to post as much video of the sessions as possible.

More Later!


I’m not a big phone fan – I don’t like to call people, and not a lot of people call me (email and IM mostly serve that function). Still, the phone is a necessity in today’s world, so there’s no escaping it. And like it or not, most of us have a home phone, a work phone and a cell phone, and all of these have voicemail to manage. With all that, and the few calls I get and make, I still get annoyed by some of the limitations I’m faced with in managing these. Enter GrandCentral.

One thing to note, first, however: I got my invitation to the closed beta yesterday, so I’ve had my account less than a day. And while I’ve spent a good deal of time poking around the interface, recording greetings, uploading my contact list, etc, not too many people have the new number yet, so I won’t be claiming it changed my life just yet. The potential is definitely there, though. Read about my initial impressions after the jump.
Continue reading GrandCentral


Smudge, in the Library, With the Mac He’s been a part of our house-hold for almost a month, so an introduction is a little overdue. Smudge came home on June 16, a rescue from Michelle’s work, and he was around 3 months old. A few flea baths later, and he was running around the house like he owned it. Well, after he and Widget straightened a few things out, anyway. Now they seem to be getting along fairly well. Except for the playfighting, but hey, they’re kittens!

You can see more pictures of Smudge (and Widget) here.


This is a test post…

(update) I had just upgraded WordPress, and new posts were being lost after I tried to save or post them. Well, one RTFM-moment later, I copied my .htaccess file back into place (like the docs say), and hey! everything works!

That is all – as you were…

Once on the ‘Net, Always on the ‘Net

While working on a website recently, I was given an article to post containing a quote with the person’s name. Normally, you would think, this wouldn’t be a problem. But given the context and the fact that I wasn’t given any addition information, I removed the name. Later, the author contacted me, asking why I had removed the name. I explained briefly that once published on the website, it would be out on the Internet, for all intents and purposes, forever, and that for certain things, we needed the permission of the person or persons being named, with their acknowledgment that they understood the implications. The author talked to me later, asking for a longer explanation, not quite understanding what I was getting at.

The point is this: once set free on the ‘net, it’s out there for anyone to find, at any time in the future. Case in point: I listen to a number of podcasts, and a new one recently talked about a song that was released on the artist’s website for free. What I didn’t realize was that I was listening to this podcast some time after it was released, and they failed to mention that the song would only be available for a short time. When I went to the site, the song was no longer available (in fact, there was no trace of it at all). A quick Google search for the song title led me to a blog that had the link to the original mp3 file on the artist’s site (which generated a 404 – not found – error). A Firefox plugin called “Digger” gives me a context menu with an option to “find page in the Internet Archive”, and a click on that gave me a link to the mp3, which I downloaded and now have.

Things you say (or are quoted as saying, and in certain contexts), or things you publish, even if you intended it to be temporary, on the ‘net, are usually still accessible. In the case of an audio file, it means continuing to give your content away for free. In the case of things directly tied to you: thoughts or opinions, well, consider the implications of, for example, a future employer doing a quick online search for your name before an interview.

(As a disclaimer, the posting of the article mentioned at the start was in no way detrimental to the person being quoted, but having been given no indication that they had given consent to be published, I had decided to err on the side of caution. It turned out to be good for starting a discussion.)