Monday, June 10, 2002

for blogger wannabes or tool changers

From BlogComp: Blog Tool Feature Comparison Table. Very handy, with links to the tool sites. Cool!
posted by lee on 06/10/02 at 09:31 AM
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Tuesday, June 11, 2002

lots of good info here

SAP Design Guild - information and resources for web and software designers. Lots and lots and lots of stuff.
posted by lee on 06/11/02 at 08:33 AM
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Designing for sight-impaired people

Effective Color Contrast - Designing for People with Partial Sight and Color Deficiencies from Lighthouse International. See also their page on legible text (All you tiny font ninnies, especially, should read this carefully.)
posted by lee on 06/11/02 at 08:42 AM
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Wednesday, June 12, 2002

not a medium i would choose

Etched In Time, Art, Sports art and one-of-a-kind Collectibles by George Vlosich, who is an Etch-a-Sketch artist. No kidding.
posted by lee on 06/12/02 at 10:43 AM
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Sunday, June 16, 2002

Shrub flounders yet again

How Stupid is too stupid? Europeans discover the true depth of Bush's stupidity. It's even worse than I realized.
posted by lee on 06/16/02 at 06:45 AM
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Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Handy Info Tool

State Health Facts Online from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Loads of health-related statistics. A little clunky to use, but an amazing effort nonetheless. But it doesn't explain why our insurance premium went up 28% this year. Or why the cost of prescription drugs is rising so steeply (could it be at least partially due to commercials?), or why hospital costs are rising so fast. Or why this country is so backward -- I mean, a major country WITHOUT national health care. I know I'm more frightened about the possibility of going into debt for the rest of my life due to a major illness or an accident than I am of any terrorist.
posted by lee on 06/18/02 at 09:59 PM
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WOMBAT alert

Web gambling ban passes hurdle from MSNBC. Aren't there more important things to worry about than this? I guess gambling is only a good thing if the government is making money off it.
posted by lee on 06/18/02 at 10:06 PM
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Wednesday, June 19, 2002

Another silly “personality” test?

What your computer says about you. I think whatever psychologists the BBC are citing in this article are, for the most part, off the mark. My desktop is my workspace and, aside from my wallpaper and screensaver, my desktop icons change almost daily, depending upon what I'm working on. Most "sophisticated" computer people I know have minimalist desktops, containing only icons that are too difficult to get rid of or stuff used every day and icons for current working folders. I've also noticed technologically savvy people stop downloading the latest and greatest after a while -- wastes too much time. If the tool works well, and the handle fits your hand perfectly, why change it until you have to?
posted by lee on 06/19/02 at 06:45 AM
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Lighthouses and Fresnel Lenses

Stanley and I went with my parents, who are in town visiting from Michigan (Oscoda), to see the Sheffield Island lighthouse.


sturg1-s.jpgWhile it was interesting, it wasn't nearly as interesting as most of the lighthouses on the Great Lakes. (This website is by Terry Pepper.) My favorite lighthouse is the Sturgeon Point light, north of Harrisville, MI.

As you can probably tell by looking at the banner and background images on this page, I love Fresnel Lenses. I took these photos at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point (where the Edmund Fitzgerald went down), just north of Paradise, Michigan in the Upper Peninsula. (The museum, though small, is fascinating and the trip is worth it for the scenery alone.) You can find a lot of information about these lenses here: Seeing The Light - The Fresnel Lens.
posted by lee on 06/19/02 at 07:52 AM
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Friday, June 21, 2002

Librarian of Congress still trying to kill webcasting

The Librarian of Congress ruled that webcasters should pay a royalty rate of .07 cents (7/1000 of a cent) per song per listener instead of .14 cents per listener per song. Here is the decision: Webcasting Determination.

So, the small webcasters will only go out of business half as fast. Webcasters have one month to file an appeal -- they'll have to do it since you can bet your bottom dollar RIAA will not.

What's wrong with the percentage of revenue rate broadcasters pay now? Who's going to track how many listeners are out there, and how? Will the government know I've been listening to 3Wk, and for how long? How are the song copyright owners going to get paid? Who's going to keep track of this?

Looks like LoC Billington doesn't understand what is going on, or he's in bed with the RIAA. Probably both. Or one of the audit bureaus. Figures he'd create a huge new line of business for something that could have been fairly straightforward if percentage of revenue rules applied. Then, perhaps, copyright owners would get SOMETHING. Under this scheme, the webcasters will go out of business and the copyright owners will not only lose any source of royalty revenue from webcasting, but they will also lose record (CD) sales because people can't buy something they don't know exists.

It's a shame. I hope webcasters can somehow band together and file an appeal. Or figure out a way to tell the goverment to screw itself and continue to webcast without paying ransom to the RIAA -- maybe putting a reasonable royalty fee into some sort of escrow account that an impartial third party could then distribute to the copyright holders.

It's crap like this that makes me realize Thomas Jefferson was right. And why, if I were to ever register with a political party, it would be with the Libertarians.
posted by lee on 06/21/02 at 12:36 PM
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