Now blogging at diego's weblog. See you over there!

tonight's ingredients

a) Frozen pizza (it's not as bad as it sounds)

b) Bananas (for dessert)

c) A rented copy of Matrix Reloaded on DVD. (The release was... today).

Mmmm... pizza....

Categories: personal
Posted by diego on October 10, 2003 at 6:20 PM

forget the typewriter, fire up those modems

Quite strange news from's Declan McCullagh:

The FBI is convinced that I'm an Internet service provider.

It's no joke. A letter the FBI sent on Sept. 19 ordered me to "preserve all records and other evidence" relating to my interviews of Adrian Lamo, the so-called homeless hacker, who's facing two criminal charges related to an alleged intrusion into The New York Times' computers.


Leadbetter needs to be thwacked with a legal clue stick. The law he's talking about applies only to Internet service providers, not reporters. Section 2703(f) says in its entirety: "A provider of wire or electronic communication services or a remote computing service, upon the request of a governmental entity, shall take all necessary steps to preserve records and other evidence in its possession pending the issuance of a court order or other process."

Last I checked, electronically filing this column to my editors does not make me a provider of "electronic communication services." Nor does tapping text messages into my cell phone transform me into a "remote computing service," as much as I may feel like one sometimes.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on October 10, 2003 at 2:00 PM

and about that arnold thing...

Simply put: mind-bending. Here are two articles on the subject, particularly from the media/celebrity/etc point of view, that I found interesting: one (from Salon) and two (from The Guardian).

One can only hope that the whole mess will end up well (more or less ... -- regardless of the politics). California is too big, too important an economy to stay screwed up for long.

Categories: geopolitics
Posted by diego on October 10, 2003 at 1:50 AM

a couple of ms-related news items

I had seen this when it came out but since I was in no-blog-mindset I didn't note it. Then today I saw that Grant had linked to it and ...

I'm talking about this article on Microsoft's newly obtained patent on IM. Quote:

Microsoft has won a patent for an instant messaging feature that notifies users when the person they are communicating with is typing a message.

The patent encompasses a feature that's not only on Microsoft's IM products but also on those of its rivals America Online and Yahoo. The patent was granted on Tuesday.

Isn't it weird that someone at the patent office would think that something like this is a non-obvious, never-done-before invention? Have these people actually used computers before? The article also mentions AOL/ICQ's patent, on which I wrote last year, in particular in this entry where I did a deeper search for prior art on that patent. It was interesting to revisit that in the context of this new patent as well.

Another MS news item that I found interesting was this one:

Web developers want to light a fire under Microsoft to get better standards support in the company's Internet Explorer browser, but they can't seem to spark a flame.

Gripes have mounted recently over support in IE 6 for Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), a Web standard increasingly important to design professionals. Web developers and makers of Web authoring tools say the software giant has allowed CSS bugs to linger for years, undermining technology that promises to significantly cut corporate Web site design costs.

Seeking to goad Microsoft into action, digital document giant Adobe Systems last week unveiled a deal to bolster support for CSS in its GoLive Web authoring tool with technology from tiny Web browser maker Opera Software, whose chief technology officer first proposed CSS nine years ago. Opera maintains an active role in developing CSS through the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

But standards advocates said it was unclear whether Adobe's action could prod Microsoft into better CSS support, given the lack of browser competition.

It was "unclear [whether Microsoft could be prodded]", said standard advocates. They have a penchant for understatement, it seems. :)

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on October 10, 2003 at 1:44 AM

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