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13 September 1999

Well, here's one solution to the affiliate problem: If you make your 'buy this book/CD/movie/whatever' links go through their site rather than straight to Amazon, any kickback you would have gotten will instead go to a nonprofit organization of your choice (or, if you choose, to one randomly chosen from a list). The more folks buy through such links, the more money these worthy organizations will be paid.

This means, in my case, that I can promote art I like with links to GiveQuick and avoid giving the impression that I'm recommending things solely so I can get a kickback.

Read more about GiveQuick on their get involved page.

I'll put their graphic up next time around.

I tried to watch The Blair Witch Project Friday night. Repeat, tried. Couldn't make it all the way through; the jerky camera movement combined with the closeness to the screen was too unsettling for my inner ear, or something. With blossoming headaches, both my companion and I decided that wellness was the better part of valor and rescued our equilibria by bailing out.

As far as the movie itself, it was just starting to get nicely creepy; the kids had just found the hanging totems. I'd actually like to see the rest of the movie, just on a smaller screen where most of my field of vision isn't affected by the constantly jittery camera work.

Rating: incomplete

Disney's finally starting to issue their movies on DVD, thanks to the demise of DIVX (ha-hah!). Of course, it wouldn't be a Disney release without arbitrary restrictions:

  • Disney on DVD: Nine Animated Classics in Limited Release [Amazon]
    The nine Disney titles featured here will be released on a staggered schedule ... and they will only be available for 60 days after their release date.

    Once they are placed on moratorium, it will be as long as 10 years before many of these DVDs reappear on the market.

Anyone thinking about an ORB drive will probably want to check out these performance tests (it did pretty well):

  • Macintosh ORB drive speed vs others [Barefeats]
    Conclusion: Although not quite as fast as a typical sealed hard drive, the ORB is faster than any other removable, recordable medium I've tested. ... For reliability, it's hard to beat a CD-ROM burner but the ORB is an interesting alternative for quick backup or transfer of data by the gigabyte.

I'm still waiting to see the danged FireWire version being sold anywhere. They announced it in January, saying they expected to ship it in the second quarter of 1999 ... well?

[some searching later]...uh oh, I hope they're not going to stay this expensive...

When Bill Bradley gave his official 'I am running for President' speech in Crystal City, MO this week, the podium he spoke from had his URL on it. How far the Internet has come in four years... now any space large enough to print a URL is marketing space.

It's a bit annoying that they're using .com and not .org (though they do own and are therefore polluting the meaning of the top-level domains (his is explicitly a not-for-profit organization, is it not?), but I suppose that horse has left that particular barn. If you're not a .com, you are harder to find (the logic goes).

And who am I to talk, anyway: I'm not a company [yet?], but I went for the dot-com domain too.

Related question for the audience: There's a store I'm advising here in town whose ideal .com (and .net) name is taken; how wrong or annoying or inappropriate would you consider it for them to use as their URL for commercial purposes? Does .org still equal 'non-profit' strongly enough to make it bad idea?

My recommendation has been to just accept a less-than-ideal .com URL, but in fact they already own the .org name; they bought it before they really knew what they were doing (and before they talked to me...).

Opinions welcome.

"After this, our roundtable with Bill Kristol and George [...big pause...] STEPH-A-NOPOULOS!": If I were George S., I'd be pretty hacked off at Sam Donaldson by now for over-dramatizing my name every! single! time! he says it. It was cute once, maybe twice, but Donaldson does it every dad-blasted week. It's his name, Sam, not a joke you're telling. You don't shout "George...WILL" or "Cokie...ROBERTS", do you?

This is a smart guy:

  • Will Linux conquer the desktop? Not without Linux Lite by Bryan Pfaffenberger [Linux Journal]
    I know Linux is inherently much more secure than any consumer operating system, but that's true only if you know quite a lot about Linux. Some Linux [versions] install all kinds of junk that puts users at risk; others do a better job, but inevitably leave a hole or two that an intruder could exploit.

    And here, Linux people are perhaps their own worst enemies. When people run into security problems with poorly configured Linux systems, Linux experts sometimes say, "Oh, you were supposed to comment that line out. You know, you shouldn't run Linux unless you're willing to learn the fundamentals of system and network administration." Dream on, folks. Most users just don't have that kind of time.

Seen on, I highly recommend that you take this poll:

Strangely, the one I chose is clearly in the lead, meaning that my presumably-random choice was the same as a disproportionate number of other people's presumably-random choices.

This leads me to question free will.

The anarchist librarian Jessamyn will be swinging through Saint Louis at the end of this week, making her the second net citizen I will have met in person after first encountering them online. Hey Brad the First, wanna get together with us Friday?

Beer is nine bucks.
I don't see many drunks.
O inscrutable Orient.
-- "The Millennium World Tour: Singapore" by Eddie Campbell in Bacchus #46

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