Category Archives: Computing

Regarding computers and all related technology

What is it with web “designers” and tiny boxes?

I see a growing number of web “designs” where the page is really a small subset of available viewing space. Even on a 14″ screen these boxes would take up maye two inches of screen. In other words, the lines break every half dozen words or so. Irritating. Simply irritating.

The worst offenders of decent taste are found on OSWD. Not all templates there are like this, but sadly many are and their numbers grow. Hopefully this phase will pass, as the “dark as midnight with a bit of light colored text” templates are finally, thankfully, passing into their richly deserved oblivion.

Now why do I put quotes around the words “design” and “designer”? Simple. Real design entails considering usability and function. The usability of these types of tempaltes is atrocious at best. Hence, they are not design. Feel free to call them art, but not design. Using less than a quarter of the available space and forcing users to use your little scrollbars is not usable. Making it a color other than white does not mean elementary design rules about whitspace usage do not apply.

I suppose if you really don’t have much/anything to say maybe it is useful. But then again, if you’ve got nothing to contribute, don’t.


Enterprise Application Messaging

Mail Enabled Applications, or MEAs, have great potential in an Enterprise Messaging Environment. They have the potential to cause great harm to mail flow and mailbox availability, as well as the ability to enable better communication and performance of non-email based business processes. As such a comprehensive policy should be established in every Enterprise to provide a framework for managing them. By doing so, the Enterprise can reap the benefits of MEAs while minimizing or even eliminating the dangers and risks.

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Can Widespread Broadband Save Local Governments Money, and the Environment to Boot?

It is an interesting question. And many of you are wondering what pipe I’ve partaken of in asking it. How can broadband save the environment and money? I ran across an older Real Estate related article on the demand for broadband broken up by categories of use. And I mean an old one, 2002 I believe it was. In it there was an assertion that 17% of broadband demand was for telework – working from home. See, there are the light bulbs.

Let us just run a few quick, back of the envelope calculations. Assume that 15 of that 17% could/would work from home at least 75% of the time. That would mean that using March of 2005’s daily gasoline usage in the US (yes I know about Diesel, but they are fewer. Yes I also know about E85 – much more so than many reading this!) of about 320,500,000 gal/day we could use 24,037,500 less gallons, about 7.5% (assuming I did that right 😉 ). Figuring 20 gallons of oil is roughly a barrel (bbl) of oil, that would be a direct reduction of about 1.2 Million bbl/day (again all general BOTE). We import about 10Mbbl/day. Not too shabby.

To put that into perspective, that is roughly half of our Persian Gulf imports.[1]

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Search Engines vs. “Content producers”

So, a porn company called “Perfect 10” sued Google for including them in search results. Shocking, isn’t it. Detail are given by Marc Gunther at Fortune. In his musings, he seems to think this a good thing. For some reason, people seem to be upset at search engines (and Google being the 800 pound gorilla, it is the target of choice) for making money from “their” content.

To me the first question is “so what”? Why should I care that you make money from my work. It depends on how you do it. If you take my physical property and sell it, you’ve done me wrong. In this case you have stolen from me. But what about linking to my site, where I put “content”? Does that cause me harm? By itself, no it does not.

After all, Google is essentially advertising for us. Whether or not I even try to make money from my writings, software, etc. is irrelevant. They are not selling my work. I put my work on a publically available space and did so knowing this. consider an alternative: can I prevent you from showing the pictures you took of my car at the autoshow? No. Even if you profit from them? No. The history of automobile magazines will bear this one out.

Specifically, the said company had this problem:

Perfect 10’s lawyers argued that the thumbnails, which it notes are quite a bit larger than the average thumbnail, have value to the magazine because it sells small images to a British cell phone company.

Did they put the pictures on the Internet where anyone can see them? Given that Google does not search protected sites, I would say they had to have, unless Google indexed the content from some else who would have been the infringer. Putting content and pictures on the web w/o protection (such as a password) is very much like driving your car on the street versus driving your prototype on private property behind walls to prevent people from seeing it.

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Thoughts on MTA throughput Part 1

A short while ago I was on a conference call with a certain MTA vendor who shall remain nameless (yes that means I am not terribly impressed. Nor even slightly, if at all.). They claimed their server was “500 times faster than Postfix” in “relay only mode”. They also claimed to have a throughput of “two million messages per hour”. On the same OS/Hardware.

Needless to say, as a Postfix admin I was stunned. I was not stunned that anything could be faster. After all I could write a simple relay only MTA that outperforms Postfix. What stuns me is the simple math in the above statement. Combine the claim of “two million messages/hour” with “500 times faster than Postfix” and you can see the source of my astonishment. They have been making this claim for years.

For those who did not just whip out a calculator or do some simple mental math, that means they believe Postfix is only capable of about 4,000 messages per hour. *sniff-sniff*. Yeah, I smell it too.

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