On Deck Circle
An Entirely Other Day
Lens implants during cataract surgery gave me nearly 20/20 vision again. But if that's not good enough for you, there may be technology on the horizon to produce Super Vision. The system uses techniques originally developed by astronomers to sharpen telescope images distorted by the Earth's atmosphere. Human vision improvement is expected to be most dramatic in low-light contrast sensitive conditions. Just one problem though, your eyes glow in the dark.
Chicago is way ahead of other U.S. cities attempting to develop metropolitan area networks because its effort is based on a cooperative citywide policy framework. Officials behind Chicago's CivicNet, an initiative to essentially build a new fiber-optic broadband infrastructure for government, businesses, and residents, this month will begin reviewing hundreds of submissions from interested technology providers. Now if the Cubs could just win the World Series...
The new photo at top-left isn't an example of narcissism at its worst, I promise. It's just that I got a few emails from folks complaining that Lucid Confusion seemed somewhat anonymous. That wasn't the intention, so anyway, that's me over there putting on my best boyish charm. No webcam in the works though then I'd have to decorate the wall behind me.
Nearly 11 months ago we received a photo for our Visual Guest Book of newborn Scott Thomas Lindberg with his mom. Proud papa Craig notified me that Scott is making remarkable progress. In fact, so remarkable, he has his very own web site already, ScottWorld. This baby is one polished web designer, offering the latest multimedia rich content of his early life. Even started his own weblog on New Year's Day. The things kids get into these days.
Doc Searls offers Advice to young people seeking IT careers. When I began my IT career in late 1973, it wasn't called IT, I had no idea what I was getting into, no formal training or education and figured I'd work until I had a couple grand in the bank, then find out what I really wanted to do for a living. Some 27 years later, the world almost revolves around this fledgling science. I will add number 10 to Doc's list, never stop learning lest it all pass right by you in a heartbeat.
Count me in Dave, if you will tell me more.
I just noticed; there's faces in the background image of your blog!
Kinder words have never been written about us.
A voice I listened to my entire life has left this Earth. "Grab your radio ... tune it in just right ... it's time for the Gold and Blue to give it their best shot on this beautiful Saturday afternoon ... the hills of West Virginia resound with the sound of Mountaineer football ... the West Virginia University Mountaineers are on the air." Jack Fleming 1923-2001 So long from Mountaineer fans, everywhere.
"The unsung, neglected heroes of our society are policemen, firefighters, nurses and paramedics. These frontline troops of civilization battle every day to protect the public. Many pay a heavy price in broken personal lives, exhaustion, depression, even death. Their pay should be tripled; those of politicians and bureaucrats halved. This column gives them its highest award for courage and dedication." Eric Margolis. I couldn't agree more.
Are you interested in earning your degree but don't want to go through all the commuting, registration, and other hassles like going to class? You've tried on-campus education. Now take a look at distance learning. Degree Net offers news, gossip, books, and guides, all designed to demystify the world of study-at-home. Find out about the schools, accreditation, fees, and other tools you'll need to earn your degree via the Internet or by mail. There's contact information for the schools that offer these services and links to sites featuring corporate training, or government and military opportunities. Word up.
Where is the International Space Station right now? Is it directly above your head or hovering somewhere over Outer Mongolia? Perhaps it's that bright light at the wisp of sunset, or is that Venus? Station Location takes the guesswork out of finding some of the larger man-made objects in space. Three-dimensional graphics help you track them as they orbit Earth.
Pinpoint the space station, Mir, Hubble, or Chandra; as well as many other bits and pieces of space technology. Download the special NASA software, or follow the links to other tracking sites. Whether you're an avid sky watcher or a paranoid, space-junk freak, this site will keep you abreast of the opportunities or the danger.
As the new year begins, that means the season of award giving commences, or concludes; whichever. Nikolai Nolan of Fairvue Central is hosting the first Weblog Awards the 2001 Bloggies. You knew it was bound to happen. Actually Nikolai has done a very fine job of categorization and structuring. The design is quite nice too. Everyone up there on the left at least got one nomination. Hurry and get yours in before January 17th. (via VM and ST.)
I don't use Blogger, but there's some pretty cool folks at Pyra who built the tool. The work they have done has created a meaningful boom in the weblogging community and made the task that much easier for tens of thousands. Right now they are hurtin' for cash to upgrade their servers and improve this free service. There is a way you can help out with the cause. Contribute what you can to the Help Make Blogger Go Faster fund. Go fast now.
If you haven't visited the CoolSTOP portal for awhile, it has a fresh look and different URL for the new year. Joe Jenett has been busy with many changes at jenett webthings for the past several weeks, all positive enhancements. CoolSTOP Best of the Cool is still one of the web's most cherished awards. It's time to update your bookmark.
Faith Kaminsky has also been quite busy with web development projects in recent months. Her latest is Simtastic, the best in modern and funky style wallpapers and floors for your Sims. She redesigned her personal site in Flash, and don't forget about Boris.
Michael Brown asks the rhetorical question, "Wow, did I check out or what?" When I went to Florida before Christmas, I didn't so much as touch a computer for eight days (except to download some photos from my digital camera). Didn't miss it one bit. With the webmistress and six|and|one recently retiring from daily weblogging burnout, perhaps the periodic break isn't such a bad idea. Call it a new year's stress relief resolution.
And that reminds me to remind Graham. Time to get a new ISP. Say, were you awake at 01:01:01 on 01/01/01? Binary poetry.
January marks a big milestone for Internet Brothers, our fourth anniversary on the World Wide Web. I built a couple sites in 1996, one about computer performance evaluation and another silly postcard idea, but the IB concept sprung to life in the first month of 1997.
It started as a venue for our travel photography that included national parks and other breathtaking mountain scenery. My brother Dave and I (the Internet Brothers, get it?) began dabbling with the new digital photo technologies, seeing some great sights and having a ton of fun along the way. The site was originally stored on the GeoCities servers and was mostly developed using Microsoft FrontPage. No promises everything still works. It is, after all, four years old.
As my HTML and overall development skills improved, 1998 initiated the IB Helpware philosophy. Titled 1998 on the Web (now there's an original name), it offered beginner's tips and tutorials about rudimentary site building with an overused black background (popular at the time) even had computerized international translations. Beta DHTML tricks were deployed to distract you from the otherwise mediocre presentation. They weren't known as weblogs back then, but I kept a daily new technology diary throughout the entire year. Just like today, however, nobody read it. And, the Internet Brothers logo was first introduced in 1998.
1999 ushered in our full-blown introduction to the Helpware community. For the first time, every page was completely hand-coded. No more WYSIWYG. I named it aptly Internet Brothers: Helpware for the Cybercommunity. We introduced comprehensive tutorials about planning a web site, HTML and DHTML, graphics editing, digital photography, desktop publishing and site promotion. In April, we moved from my six meg ISP webspace to our very own domain, internetbrothers.com. Finally collecting some decent attention, I even had a couple proposals to buy the site. Sorry, no dice.
Continuing to update and enhance our tips and tools through 2000, we also undertook a change in focus. Switching to a less commercial, more independent philosophy, we introduced the Internet Brothers Community and added more excellent interviews with some of the Web's leading developers. With the help of dozens of Net friends, I built the Digerati Project, a cornocopia of thoughts about motivation. Today, January 1, 2001, also marks the first anniversary of this weblog, Lucid Confusion. I'm still somewhat confused, but definitely more lucid. Last year on this day, I was talking about cheeseburgers.
It's been a great four years. We have learned a lot, shared many wonderful experiences with like-minded individuals, and continued to grow and improve as developers. We have retained nearly everything through those years as the site has now reached well over 500 pages. If you look hard enough, you will find them. The new year holds terrific promise for us, and our guests. Welcome to the New Millennium, and the Internet Brothers 4th Anniversary Celebration. Should be a gas.
Sunday means Bluzz of the Week. Through this feature, I'm searching for the brightest, funniest, most controversial or otherwise intriguing comments from the previous week's forums and blogs. There was a lot of motivational writing out there this week as people related their holiday experiences and prepared for the new year. If you find a true treasure you'd like to nominate for future Bluzz of the Week, even if you wrote it yourself, please let me know.
My favorite this week came from Eric Brooks, that paradox of decency and virtue. Eric's family suffered a myriad of problems this year, most he kept to himself. There were hints here and there, but to his credit, Eric never did whine or complain. He just went about his business in quiet solitude. Finally opening up after positive resolution, Eric astounded me with the seriousness of what he had to endure. Read all about it in A Holiday Wish. Here are a few excerpts:
"The story begins in June, 2000. My wife just bought out a company that she hoped would pull us out of the hole of debt we were in. The previous owner promised a lucrative amount of contracts and work for her and her business partner. In reality, it pulled us to the edge of our sanity. A nightmare we sometimes feel we'll never awake from..."
"Ten days of my children crying themselves to sleep; Ten days of her calling collect from prison, crying hysterically, begging me to get her out; Ten days of me not sleeping, or eating; Ten days of me finding out everything she tried to protect me from, and finding out how really bad it was... That's when the miracles began..."
"Through the help of friends and family, the biggest miracle happened: What her "sellout" lawyer said was impossible...We raised enough cash to pay the outstanding warrants to not only get her out, but to insure she'd never have to look over her shoulder... or our hearts to stop beating with every phone/doorbell ring..."
"My holiday wish for you all is to see the daily miracles in your life. You know, the ones you take for granted. Little acts of kindness & mercy when you least expect it. I never stopped believing in Santa either. This time of year, there's always a spirit of benevolence that falls on people. A change you can't quite define, or even expect." Eric Brooks
Copyright © 1997-2004 Internet Brothers. Not that you'd want any of it.