BEST SELLERS SOUND OFF:
The Airlines vs. Air Dale
I was recently asked to comment on private versus commercial
aviation. Here goes:
Private and commercial aviation both have their pros and cons,
mostly in terms of time and distance:
I'll fly commercial airlines rather than fly my own plane any time a
flight is longer than 8 hours of flying in one day, or two legs (one
stop). 8 hours will get me about halfway across the U.S., which is
from northwest Nevada to north-central Arkansas where my Dad
lives (about 1,600 miles).
Because of long delays at security and because airline traffic often
means speed restrictions, I can beat the airlines to almost any
point west of the Rockies, and come pretty close to almost any
destination west of the Mississippi (except Dallas and Chicago which have direct flights from Reno). In my
plane, Reno to Los Angeles takes about 2.25 hours. Flight time is only 1.25 hours on the airlines, but if you add
in waiting and security screening time it's closer to 3 hours.
Sharing The Submariner Experience
In every generation since the historic transition from sail to steam and from wooden hulls to steel, no type of ship or sailor has played a more vital, versatile role in peace and war than the naval submarine and her crew. From harbor defense to fleet escort, from marauder of enemy seaborne logistics to reliable sinker of surface combatants dozens of times their own size, subs and submariners have been there, done that to the max.
Whether their vessels were (or are) powered by human muscle, or gasoline engines or diesel and batteries, or by nuclear reactors, or by several different kinds of air-independent technologies, submariners have always been a breed apart. For raw courage and grit, for long separations from family, for extremely rough living conditions in crowded and claustrophobic spaces deep under the waves, no other branch of military service compares.
WHY NORTH KOREAN NUKES ARE GOOD
North Korea announced this week that they intend to conduct a nuclear test in the near future. Recent estimates show that the North Koreans have enough fissionable material to make a dozen moderate-yield nuclear bombs.
Naturally, Secretary of State Rice became frantic and planned to go somewhere to hold high level talks and discuss what to do about the North Koreans. This is the wrong face to show the world.
With nuclear weapons comes national responsibility and an emergence into greater national maturity. The model I’m thinking of involves China, the Soviet Union and later the Russian Federation. China and the Soviet Union were distrusted by the Americans from the time they obtained the bomb through the end of the century, but rather than make use of nuclear weapons to win global domination, both countries soberly backed off and grew up.
SAVING THE CLIENT FROM HIMSELF...
The explosive growth of the Internet has created a high demand for experienced web page designers. But the web is so new that few have experience. Many of today's so called web designers are trying to adapt the knowledge of their previous professions to web publishing. As they try to convince themselves, while trying to convince their customers, their words remind us of the old fashion snake oil salesmen, "Our web designs will cure all of your business problems!" Unlike their predecessors, they are not trying to mislead their customers. They honestly believe that their expertise is perfectly suited to the Internet. Unfortunately, much of what they are selling can actually harm your business.
Many web designers come from advertising backgrounds. They have been trained to believe that a picture is worth a thousand words. On the web, each square inch of uncompressed full color graphic requires as much time to display as that same thousand words of text. Web surfers tend to make snap decisions about whether a page has anything to offer. You can't afford to force them to wait for fancy graphics or multimedia presentations. It's too easy for them to hit a few buttons and move on to your competitor's web site. If you have no regard for their time, bandwidth, and access charges, they will probably not return to your site for a second look.
Graphics are important, but they should be used to decorate your pages, not dominate them. If there is a large graphic that you think your customers should see, display a thumbnail of the graphic that links to the larger, more detailed graphic. Give your customers an option, forcing them to wait may force them to leave.
Many web designers come from technical backgrounds. They live on the bleeding edge of technology, and they are always ready to try the newest release of everything. They honestly believe that a good web site uses all of the latest features the web has to offer. But most Internet users do not keep up with the latest web technology. They do not have the time, expertise, or disk space to load all of the latest software. Simply put, if an Internet user can't display your site, you have just lost a potential customer.
Most web designers will want to demonstrate their products on their systems. They have the latest software and high speed connections to the Internet. Just remember that a considerable portion of your potential customer base has older software and accesses the net through slower dial up modems. Insist on demonstrations that take these factors into consideration. If possible, find a friend who dials into the Internet with a slower modem using software that is at least one year old. Ask the designers to give you the web address of their demonstration and take your own look at their work under less than perfect conditions. The end result could save you considerable time and money.
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New SGI supercomputer to scale Linux to 1,024 CPUs
The National Center for Supercomputing Applications will use it for research
Silicon Graphics Inc. is building an Altix supercomputer for the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) that will run a single Linux operating system image across 1,024 Intel Corp. Itanium 2 processors and 3TB of shared memory.
Rob Pennington, interim director of the NCSA, which is based at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, said the new machine will be very different from the existing machines at the facility, which include several Linux cluster supercomputers. Until now, the largest shared-memory supercomputer available to scientists there was an IBM p690 machine with 12 32-processor nodes.
Linux users say 'Sue me first, Microsoft'
Bring it on, Brad Smith
In an unconventional request, some users of Linux and other open-source software are inviting Microsoft Corp. to sue them.
The users have put their names on a public wiki as a way of protesting Microsoft's recent claims that Linux and other open-source software infringe on at least 235 of its patents. They've listed the open-source OSes and software they use, along with frequently snarky comments.
"If you would like to invite a visit by Brad Smith, Microsoft's head litigator, please feel free to add your name here," according to the wiki, part of a blog by Digital Tipping Point, a video project centered around open-source software.
Microsoft maintains it has no immediate plans to sue, although it is encouraging companies to license its intellectual property. Open-source advocates on the list want Microsoft to prove that it has valid patent claims against Linux.
CIO study finds Linux ready for prime time
Survey says nearly 50% of businesses will be using Linux for critical roles in five years
Nearly half of all companies will be running mission-critical business applications on Linux in five years' time. That's according to survey of IT directors, vice presidents and CIOs carried out by Saugatuck Research, which questioned 133 businesses worldwide.
The Westport, Conn.-based firm predicts a steep rise: Only 18% of businesses will be using Linux in business-critical roles by the end of 2007.