My Next Car

I’ll confess – I’m a little envious of everyone driving the Hummers around these days. I want a vehicle which looks down into every other car and truck on the road (but not drive a semi). So I was thrilled today to find out that the Army has another future consumer ready vehicle in the pipeline. The Army’s brochure (250K PDF file so be forewarned) doesn’t describe the fact that the Stryker comes with a 40-pound computer and Ladar system capable of driving itself. I will so be in the lap of luxury when this baby goes mainstream in several years….

URL Spoofing

Pardon the post title. This falls into the category of technically obscure, but I ran across a handy tool and wanted to make you all aware of it.

First of all some background. Internet Explorer is the browser most of us use to browse the internet. I’m not a big fan of the browser, but the reality is that many websites are designed to work exclusively with it. OperaMozilla, and Netscape can’t display some web pages. Unfortunately, because IE is so prevalent, hackers and online con artists have found ways of deceiving web surfers by disguising websites. There is a hole in IE’s security which allows individuals to set up web page links that look innocent but that take you to their own sites. Once there they attempt to deceive you in to disclosing personal information or worse, sending them money.

Microsoft has published an alert on the topic attempting to heighten awareness. They should fix the browser, but until then they have some weak and feeble advice. The best of the bunch is to copy the following script into the address bar of IE and then hit enter.

Highlight the following, copy the text, paste it in to the address field and hit enter:

javascript:alert(“The actual URL is:\t\t” + location.protocol + “//” + location.hostname + “/” + “\nThe address URL is:\t\t” + location.href + “\n” + “\nIf the server names do not match, this may be a spoof.”);

Update: Microsoft has issued a secuity patch which renders this script only interesting – but not necessary.

New House / New Blog

I’ve put pictures of Mother’s new house up on the web. Like everything else this is a bit of an experiment. The blog software I use for this site is MovableType. I would guess that it is the most popular self hosted blog software available. I have been very pleased with it. The feature set is better then any other package or service I have found.

Unfortunately, the underlying technology does not always play well with the web hosting environment I have. MovableType is a LAMP kind of product and I’m running in a Windows server environment. File management especially regarding the photo gallery has been a continuing struggle.

So I have installed a .net based blog package called .Text. It is no where near as mature a product. I won’t go in to a critique in this posting. One thing it does well though is upload pictures to a photo gallery. The link above steps out of the MovableType News From Troy blog and in to the .Text News From Troy blog. The new blog will remain empty for now except for pictures. If and when I decide that the new version is worth using full time I’ll move everything here over to the new version.

The jury is still out.

Portland Trip

My Grandmother’s 90th birthday was on January 1st, 2004. Since most of us don’t get to see that milestone, Mother organized a ‘surprise’ birthday party. By the time I arrived, it wasn’t much of a surprise – I won’t go into my flights to and from Portland (I hate O’Hara airport). Mark, Lisa, Tom, Mother and I flew into Portland to help her celebrate her birthday with her friends. I’ve put up a photo gallery for the event available here. I’ve put the pictures inline below.

Unfortunately, I am still not the photographer many of my relatives are. I discarded as many as I took. For a variety of technical reasons, I have been unable to get the better pictures taken by Mother transferred to my PC and then on to the web. Mother, when you get a chance, it would be helpful to get those pictures on CD and mailed to me. I’ll put them in the gallery. If anyone else has pictures they would like included, please let me know.

The trip was a success. I think the residents greatly enjoyed the party. Most importantly Al and Adalene looked like they enjoyed the party.

Online Political Parody

I was just rumbling around and ran across the “official” White House web site. I’ve got to admit, it looked real long enough that I had several moments of disbelief that the White House would publish this kind of thing. If Rush is your hero don’t go here. The establishment is definitely the target here. If you can appreciate the humor without regard to the politics then I highly recommend the web site.