You can do better

Filed under: — menk @ 5:43 pm

I saw a recent post about the tremendously low price of PCs Essentially for their entry level system Dell was at a $299 price point after rebate and an HP System was quoted at $339 after rebate. These machines don’t even include a drive to write a CD. How do you archive your data?

I would humbly suggest a better return for your hard earned dollar. Get a Mac Mini for $499. Teamed with your existing monitor and keyboard this is a powerful, and easy to use system virtually immune from virus and spyware. This is a Mac running OS X with plenty of capabilities and horsepower not the lowest end of the Windows foodchain.

Mac Mini

Also important to note is that most people lose track of or incorrectly file the rebate request so can you really assume $100 dollars tacked back on the advertised price.


Supreme Court hears filesharing case

Filed under: — menk @ 11:04 am

The Supreme court is now hearing a case on filesharing known as MGM vs. Grokster. The Media companies are supporting a position in which they can stiffle any technology that they view as harmful.

Whether you are aware of it or not this single case could result in severly handicapping the technologies are see in your lifetime.

MercuryNews.com | 03/30/2005 | Justices wary of barring tools for file-sharing

Mac Daddy? Don’t ask the Web.

Filed under: — menk @ 5:45 am

Here is an interesting commentary about the weight of popular opinion and the media on perception of the facts.

The real world example is the debate about the ‘true’ father of the Mac. Starting with something that at one point in time is clearly undefined a key event and it’s media coverage changes from debatable to defined (pehaps ill-defined :-) ) as a result.

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Macintosh paternity woven in Web


Jackson leans on Mandela

Filed under: — menk @ 10:01 am

Michael Jackson says ‘if Mandela can overcome a system of racial prejudice in South Africa, I can overcome the vast conspiracy to make me look like a pedophile’.


“Michael, Man that makes less sense than having cosmetic surgery so often that your nose is made of plastic!

Jacko and Mandela


Company backs off crazy bounty

Filed under: — menk @ 9:36 pm

DVForge Logo

DVForge a company with a highly Mac centric business just cancelled a bounty they had established and advertised for anyone to infect two OS X based Macs with a self propagating virus. This $25K bounty was concieved by DVForge to quiet Symantec Corp. Symantec had predicted an large influx of Mac virus’s. Symantec is inclined to scare people since they make money selling virus protection. The bounty was even publically set up so that if an employee of Symantec wrote the virus they would be awarded $50K.

Now I personally believe DVForge should have spent about 5 minutes upfront thinking through the bounty plan and come to the conclusion that encouraging people to break the law was problematic. But they did trust their infrastructure as do I so no harm no foul. :-)

Symantec free and loving it.


Schiavo Case: More than meets the eye

Filed under: — menk @ 2:08 pm

It seems to me that after some digging there is clearly more going on in the Terri Schiavo case than meets the eye. Essentially as far as I can tell there are numerous facts that are being ignored by the Right-Wingers so anxious to preserve the life of this women. From my perspective most of the folks involved or seeking to be involved are self serving and could actually care less about Terri as long as their objectives are obtained.

Since 1993 when Terri became brain dead from a heart attack brought on by Bulimia the opportunists in her family started to position. In fact it is a documented fact that the rift between her husband and her family was brought on when the family argued over the the proceeds from the medical malpractice settlement. A January 2000 article gives some background that in present day is missing from the debate.

All in all I believe that virtually everyone has their own agendas. The Politicians in Washington and Jeb Bush are using this case as some sort of platform to tout the high value they place on life. I would like to see their living wills as given their public positions on the subject anything less than a documented desire to be kept alive at all costs (even if they had the mental facilities of a ‘pet rock’) would be hypocrisy.

The family has long since lost sight of what is important with respect to Terri. Even asking for a part of the settlement awarded to Schiavo is ghoulish and discredits their opinions entirely. The Schindler’s have created a website which upon even casual review is a lame attempt at propaganda when compared to an even cursory examination of the actual facts. If it was my daughter I hope I never would use her as a pawn to get revenge after her useful life had passed. As hard as it would be I would hope that I could let go after 15 years.

Frankly the whole argument is tainted when you start to dig in and understand the facts and motivations of those involved. I for one believe the central lesson here is everyone should make sure they have a living will that documents their desires. If only to avoid being used like some sort of political football while your organic remains age and fester in a non-recoverable state of brain death.


The Da Vinci Code bunk says the pope

Filed under: — menk @ 8:55 am
  The Da Vinci Code has been a runaway best selling book and now the Church wants to ask you to take to the streets to refute the fiction! They have developed a pamphlet that points out errors in this thrilling work of fiction. Maybe they have to have something for the defrocked priests to do.

They ask:

"How many times have you heard the questions?"

What is the "code"? … Was Jesus married? … Who is Mary Magdalene? …Are there really messages in the paintings?

You’ve seen the media coverage and heard the buzz. (and if you are a bad person,) Maybe you’ve even read the book. Now you’re curious: what’s truth, and what’s fiction? What is the Catholic viewpoint? What does the pope have to say?

A Catholic Response: The Da Vinci Code has the answers. You’ll find the most troubling and controversial assertions refuted, succinctly and clearly, with Catholic truth, in this colorful pamphlet.

They suggest: "Use the hype surrounding this book to reach out.

Pamphlets are sold in packages of 50. Buy a bunch and annoy your friends!


Apple aupports Blu-Ray

Filed under: — menk @ 2:55 pm

For some time there has been a format war for High Definition DVDs going on. (earlier post) The battlelines have been drawn and more companies are being put in a position to make a choice to support one format or the other.

Apple announced that it will support the denser standards proposal known as Blu-Ray. There are some compelling reasons for the company’s choice.

Macworld: Apple’s Blu-Ray Move


Microsoft Donkey Heads

Filed under: — menk @ 4:18 pm
donkey head image 

I am confused. Over time I have seen some totally lame ads. Particularly in the computer industry there is a tendency for a company to try to outpace the pack by creating ads that don’t even make sense.

Lotus in the mid-ninties touting Domino in the Desert was a prime example of that. What did it mean? Microsoft now has an ad that appears to equate the Microsoft Office user to a Donkey. Does Steve Ballmer think you or I am a Donkey because we are essentially forced for compatibility sake to run Microsoft Office? Does Bill Gates think of you or your co-worker as a Donkey Head?

To be fair the customers are not in fact truly Donkey’s. They do have human bodies and they dress well. But there is the Donkey heads. Why would I have a Donkey Head just because I am interested in the next version of monopoly-ware?

Well perhaps you have some thoughts? Please leave a comment and let me know if you have a Donkey Head.



Torture is always bad?

Filed under: — menk @ 3:02 pm

In recent media coverage we have been deluged with supposed dismay and surprise that the US (or any other country for that matter) has used less than pleasant methods to get information from suspected evil doers. This has put our Government on the defensive with regard to the policies in place to prevent this type of activity. I am frankly stunned that virtually everyone asked (on the record) essentially pretends to be shocked and unhappy that this persuasion has taken place. I personally believe that in the best interest of the country and the safety of it’s citizens ‘torture’ is ok.

For Example: if we had evidence to indicate that a terrorist cell was moving forward to detonate a nuclear or dirty bomb in the US, we would be insane to somehow restrict the tools and techniques we would use to get information from a known member of the cell prior to the detonation. I believe anyone that would argue against this is deluded.

I may be alone in my willingness to point out the obvious necessity for torture to the greater good but so be it.

Sarbanes-Oxley delays Crays annual report

Filed under: — menk @ 12:19 am

Cray Logo

So Cray now says SOX compliance issues will prevent the company from issuing it’s annual report. To me this is curious. How can a company that generates less than $240M in sales a year have such trouble doing accurate and true accounting.

I can only assume that Cray was taking some serious accounting shortcuts and is working overtime to figure out how they can get compliant and gloss over the past ‘accounting tweaks’. No big surprise that Cray’s stock is trading at slightly more than $2/share. (I personally would sell now)


Jobs bets on Apple Stock

Filed under: — menk @ 5:21 pm

Once again when Steve Jobs contract came up at Apple he arranged for a salary of $1/Year. This is an executive that knows the value of the company is paramount for the investors and demonstrates he understands that completely. His entire compensation is based on the value of Apple Stock. In March of 2003 he was granted 10 Million shares (somewhere around $10/share) that vest completely on the third anniversary of that date or sometime in March of 2006.

If the stock price remans roughly the same as now Jobs will net approx ~$620M. (a stock price increase to $41 and a 2 for one split)

Nice Job Steve! Keep Apple kicking butt!

Jobs Salary $1 Again


Here Comes TellMe

Filed under: — menk @ 12:19 pm

I worked with Mike McCue and the team at TellMe for about a year as the VP of Government and Channels until some now fully resolved health problems necessitated a more locally based job for me. They are as smart and hard working a group as exists in the business world today. When you do package tracking at FedEx by voice and are seeking an 800 number on the 1-800 Directory TellMe has built and is running those applications on their voice infrastructure.

tellme logo

Keep an eye out for the IPO since According to BusinessWeek TellMe is breaking out in a big way!


Audio Books on Shuffles from Library

Filed under: — menk @ 12:00 pm

Now we are seeing MP3 players with the capability and price point of the iPod Shuffle used in ways that were not initially contemplated. A Library is now renting the iPods with Audio Books from the iTunes Store already loaded on them.

It would be nice is you could go to the Library with your iPod and get the book from them at no cost. But the IP breaks at that point. A collision of business models with traditional services.

Wired News: Library Shuffles Its Collection


Is IT ready for the real shakeup?

Filed under: — menk @ 5:07 pm

According to Charles Cooper at CNet IT managers may have a new advantage in working with hardware and software vendors -pay as you go capacity. He suggests that this can remove IT managers from the upgrade treadmill.

If organizations expect to benefit from a pay as you go strategy they need to have a way to bring servers and appplications up so the available capacity can be provisioned and used. Without the ability to manage those servers and applications in a quality and efficient manner and the pay as you go model is reduced to just the pay model.

Datacenter Automation technologies like Opsware provide the ability for IT groups to capture their environment and best practices in a way that can be applied to making good use of either traditional enterprise IT or pay as you go models. Before you worry about getting more capacity gain control of that you already have and reduce cost.


$16K for a Silicone Bag

Filed under: — menk @ 6:44 pm

What a deal. A former stripper (Tawny Peaks) selling her used breast implant on ebay. Think you might want it? Be prepared to shell out over $16 Thousand dollars as it now is listed at $16,766!

Breasts for sale: $14,000 and rising - Mar. 3, 2005


Menk.Com Traffic

Filed under: — menk @ 4:40 pm

There are a number of areas in the overall menk.com domain. I thought there might be some folks that were curious about the volume of traffic on menk.com overall. The statistics below represent what I would guess to be arond two thirds (2/3) of the total traffic on the site as it is exclusive of the portals, and the wiki.

The traffic statistics are for February 2005 start to finish. Serving up almost a Gigabyte (1GB)of the content and accruing almost Ten Thousand (10,000) visits is pretty impressive at least to me. I’ll keep blogging and posting if you keep visiting.

Monthly Statistics for February 2005
Total Hits 85133
Total Files 61510
Total Pages 21763
Total Visits 9903
Total KBytes 971512
Total Unique Sites 3590
Total Unique URLs 3592
Total Unique Referrers 1152
Total Unique User Agents 538
. Avg Max
Hits per Hour 126 3146
Hits per Day 3040 6064
Files per Day 2196 3720
Pages per Day 777 1067
Visits per Day 353 473
KBytes per Day 34697 72390

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