Category Archives: Technology and Society

The Fox In Bill’s Henhouse

The New York Times has a story about the explosive growth of Firefox, and how Redmond’s screwed, at least in the short term. There may be only one way out, as Scott Ott amusingly points out.

But another article says that Thunderbird, its email client companion, won’t be able to make as many inroads against Outlook, no matter how insecurity-ridden that program is, because of the energy barrier necessary to change email clients.

Email and Usenet are the biggest things keeping me from switching to Linux for my desktop–I just have too much legacy data in Eudora and Agent, and no obvious way to transition over to things like Thunderbird and Pan. I use Mozilla for browsing, but I’m still using Eudora and Agent, until there’s an open-source solution for this problem.

A Century And A Year

A hundred and one years ago today, the first controlled, powered, heavier-than-air flight took place. There was a much bigger deal about it last year, centennials being much more newsworthy than hundred and first anniversaries, and it was spiced up by the first supersonic flight of SpaceShipOne on the same day. In fact, looking back now, that’s probably the event that started off a very remarkable year in space–2004, even though it was a couple weeks early. I’ll put together a year-end review of what happened in space this year. In very many ways, it was the most exciting year, and one more filled with hopeful portent, since the 1960s.

I had pieces on the Wright brothers’ accomplishment at National Review, TechCentralStation, and Fox News. Those who didn’t read them then might find them of interest today.


I’m not sure just what the Texas officials’ problem is with this:

Hunters soon may be able to sit at their computers and blast away at animals on a Texas ranch via the Internet, a prospect that has state wildlife officials up in arms.

A controversial Web site,, already offers target practice with a .22 caliber rifle and could soon let hunters shoot at deer, antelope and wild pigs, site creator John Underwood said on Tuesday.

Texas officials are not quite sure what to make of Underwood’s Web site, but may tweak existing laws to make sure Internet hunting does not get out of hand.

Seems like a great idea to me. It would let you bag venison from the comfort of your own home, from anywhere in the world. It would be a good way to keep the deer from scenting you, and could reduce the overpopulation in many states.

It also sounds like just the ticket for John Kerry. He could crawl on his stomach in one of his own mansions, with his virtual shotgun, instead of having to go out in the cold and mud.

[Update on Thursday morning]

The deer aren’t going down quietly. It seems they’ve adapted the tactics of the Islamakazis, and are taking us with them.

[Update early Thursday afternoon]

For anyone who wants to give it a try (shooting over the internet, not crashing into deer), here’s the web site.

[Another update on Thursday night]

We’re under siege.