February 27, 2003

Fred Rogers

Small bits today, but important ones:

First and foremost, Fred Rogers, the man better known as Mister Rogers of Mister Rogers Neighborhood, passed away from stomach cancer in Pittsburgh, PA. Mr. Rogers was 74. For those of you who were raised on Nickelodeon and the Internet, this will be of really no interest to you, since you may or may not not who the man is. However, in the 1970s and 1980s he was a true pioneer in educational programming for children. What he did had a profound effect on many children, who are now today's adults, and the way they viewed the world and interacted with it. Simply put: as a kid, he made you feel good. What a legacy to leave.
More Info: NY Times Obituary on Fred Rogers (registration required, but free)

New reports and info about the Space Shuttle Columbia. Apparently an email was written that detailed what *might* happen to the Columbia in a worst case scenario. That scenario was the one that actually happened on February 1, raising the possibility that things might have gone differently if this info could have gotten into the correct hands on time.

That's it for today. I know it's not entertaining or fun, but it's newsworthy.

February 14, 2003

Operas Valentine to MSN

Happy Valentine's Day. The folks at Opera, makers of the Opera web browser, gave MSN a valentine. Apparently, MSN was coded so it wouldn't work properly when viewed using Opera; the site auto-detected Opera and served up a special style sheet which rendered the site pretty much worthless and not viewable. Now Opera has it's revenge.
Dolly's Dead. Dolly the sheep, known as the first cloned animal, that is. Does this mean clones are inherently flawed?
Valentine Advice. Time magazine's got some valentine advice for would-be Romeos and Juliets.

February 11, 2003

Spam

Welcome Back, You Have 284 New Messages... Was your inbox out of control after the holidays? You take a few days, or maybe even (gasp) a week or two off, and you pay the penalty by inbox mayhem. For the first time ever, my own business email system received fewer messages than my email account for this site. Amazing.

Everyone's getting into the act, too. Senator Joe Lieberman, now a fully-declared Presidential candidate, recently employed the services of a mass mailing e-marketer and sent out spam mail about his platform. The ironic part is that the good senator actually helpled sponsor an anti-spam bill in 2002. Apparently, that doesn't apply to him.

One more thing regarding spam: it's not just a nuisance, sometimes it's actually harmful. Case in point, last night I checked my email one last time before powering down. In popped a *.pif virus wrapped in an email attachment. Thank God for antivirus progams.

Speaking of which, here's a few that you might find useful: CoffeCup makes what looks like a good one called Spam Blocker. There's a free version available as well as a paid version. You define trusted addresses and tell it to leave those alone, but then define rules for other messages to get automatically dumped, such as those that contain things like "Free", or "porn" or "refinance your house". You can also take an email message that's in yor inbox and tell the program that "this is spam" and not to let it in again.
Another great program and one that's known to lots of readers is Eudora Mail. This is one of the most secure systems around and lets you do many of the same things Spam Blocker does.