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Moving Tim’s Head to a new home

September 4, 2006

I’ve been working on a couple of new sites that are *mostly* finished.  The first is the new home of my blog on the internet, Tim’s Head Blog.  It’s going to be my personal blog but it’s also going to be a blog for my other site, Tim’s Head Tech Tricks.

I explain what Tim’s Head Tech Tricks is all about on my new site, you should go check it out.

I won’t be posting here anymore.

For real.

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How to Write a Chick Flick

August 28, 2006

Ha ha, Cracked.com published a primer on how to write a chick flick.  Next I’d like to see one for writing an action movie, since they’re just as formulaic only with stuff guys like instead of love stories and terminal diseases.

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Iran tests new missile, 5 days before UN deadline

August 27, 2006

Iranian military forces tested a sub-to-surface missile today, a new addition to their growing arsenal. This is a warning of sorts to Western powers who are growing increasingly anxious about Iran’s nuclear ambitions. It’s probably not a coincidence that they’re testing this missile only 5 days before a deadline given by the UN Security Council for them to quit enriching uranium.

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UN Aid to Hezbollah

August 27, 2006

The Weekly Standard published a damning report of UNIFL activity during the recent Israel-Lebanon war. UNIFL stands for United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, and they have been in Lebanon along its border with Israel since 1978. While they are officially a neutral organization, they put detailed, nearly real-time information of IDF (Israeli Defense Force) troop and weaponry movement on their website, ironically published as “Press Releases“.

Uh, sure, press releases…for Hezbollah maybe. If UNIFL was truly neutral, wouldn’t they also have published information about Hezbollah or simply refrained from publishing this information? From The Weekly Standard’s story:

Yesterday and during last night, the IDF moved significant reinforcements, including a number of tanks, armored personnel carriers, bulldozers and infantry, to the area of Marun Al Ras inside Lebanese territory. The IDF advanced from that area north toward Bint Jubayl, and south towards Yarun.

All of the press releases I sampled that were released during the war contained information about Israeli troop movement while only vague information about Hezbollah. Here’s an example from the August 4th press release:

Hezbollah Information

Hezbollah fired rockets from various locations at a reduced level compared to the record of the previous day, but in large numbers nonetheless.

It was also reported that Hezbollah fired rocket from the vicinity of two UN positions in the general area of Alma Ash Shab and At Tri.

Israeli Information

The IDF has maintained their presence and continued to operate in the following areas inside Lebanese territory: between the villages of Al Duhayra and Ayta Ash Shab in the western sector, and between the villages of Yarun and Sarda in the central and eastern sector. Intense shelling and exchanges on the ground were reported in these areas, including the urban areas of Al Duhayra, Tayr Harfa, Ramyah, Ayta Ash Shab, Markaba and Tayyabah. In some areas, the IDF operates a few kilometers inside Lebanese terriotry. The IDF reinforced their presence in the area of Marwahin, Marun Al Ras, Hula and Sarda.

As you can see from the excerpts, information about Hezbollah is vague and worthless at best…they mention “reports” that rockets were fired from certain locations, but they aren’t nearly as certain and credible-sounding as the IDF information. Perhaps it was harder for UNIFL to find out concrete information about Hezbollah due to their guerilla tactics, but in that case no information should have been published in order to stay in line with their alleged neutraliy.

UNIFL has lost sight of what it means to be neutral. Publishing detailed troop movement and weaponry reports was nothing more than a scouting report for Hezbollah and a death knell for Israeli troops.

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Playa Hatin’ about Blog Definitions

August 23, 2006

Last week Robert Scoble set off a firestorm in the blogosphere when he questioned a claim allegedly made by the GM of Windows Live that Live is “now the largest blogging service on the planet.” Scoble believes that the metrics Microsoft used to come up with that claim don’t hold up, since many Windows Live Spaces are not used as blogs, many of those that ARE blogs are private (and hence not worthy of counting according to him), and a lot of people sign up for Spaces accounts and then promptly quit using the service. He offered his definition of a true blog which of course pissed off everybody who disagreed.

Taken at face value his comments seem overly harsh and a bit ridiculous. Why would anybody care who claims to be the largest blog provider? True, it’s a bit of FUD from Redmond, but aren’t we used to that by now? Plus, can’t we all just have our own definition of blog?

Not when we’re talking about advertising revenue. Microsoft can say “Look here, Mr. Advertiser, we have more blogs than any other company so you should pay us more money.” Suddenly the word blog means money, and unless everyone is using the same definition advertisers are left comparing apples to oranges. When those advertisers are people who own small companies, people like you or neighbor, and you’re getting screwed due to Microsoft FUD, you’re going to care about the definition of blog.

Think about it. Would you want to advertise on Mom-and-Pop blogs about corn fields and Depends or on major blogs that thousands of people read? Unless you sell Depends I think you’d opt for the major leagues.

It seems that a lot of people, notably Dare Obasanjo (PM for Microsoft Live Messenger), took offense at Scoble’s comments. In the comments on Robert’s first post Dare says:

Since that post, two people who work on the product have pointed out that we don’t think the number of blogs is relevant (it isn’t) and number of engaged users is more interesting. According to ComScore we have ONE HUNDRED MILLION of those per month (not counting China where we are the most popular blogging service).

…but it doesn’t matter if the guys writing code think the number of blogs is relevant. What matters, and what I think Scoble was saying, is that it matters what Microsoft’s leadership is saying, cause that’s what’s used to justify higher prices for advertisers. In this instance Microsoft’s leadership is represented by the GM, and he’s calling Spaces the largest blogging service on the planet.

I do have to give props to Dare though, because the only reference he makes to the nastiness between him and Scoble on his own blog is to call it “the recent round of player hating on Windows Live spaces…” Anybody who can write code and also talk about player hating (although I would have called it playa hating) has to be a pretty decent guy. I would like to hear the GM give a straight-forward statement much to the affect of Dare’s:

We are more interested in the number of people who actually use our service and get value added to their lives by being able to share, discuss and communicate with their friends, families and total strangers.

But alas, we ARE still talking about Microsoft’s leadership and we’re not living in Never Never Land, so that’s not going to happen. Until then, please, feel free to player hate all over my comments.

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WordPress Comment Feed

August 23, 2006

I just found another cool feature in WordPress. It provides an RSS feed for your comments, so if you’re like me and you have an RSS reader open all day you’ll know when somebody leaves a comment just by updating your feeds.

I put a link to the comment feed in my Sidebar just in case anybody else ever wants to keep track on the comments in my blog. Fat chance of that happening, I know!

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Trying Out Windows Live Writer

August 23, 2006

Along with the switch over to WordPress I decided to try out Windows Live Writer, a standalone blog posting utility recently released by Microsoft. It supports WordPress with one glaring exception that I’ve found–it doesn’t allow tags to be added to posts. I’m trying tags out to see if they help me get a higher Google rank or not; I watched some videos Matt Cutts (SEO guru who works for Google) created and one of his tips for moving up the ranks in Google is to use targeted tags for your posts.

Other than the lack of tagging support, though, I like Live Writer. It’s really nice on a dual-monitor setup. I have Live Writer open on one monitor and Firefox open on the other which allows me to browse the web and make comments without the need to continously maximize and minimize windows.

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