Gmail Downtime

Even the great Google suffers downtime. It’s a bit reassuring when a machine I administer goes down for an hour or two to reflect that even a mega-corporation with a tremendously large number of servers and outrageous redundancy can have comparable problems from time to time.

The Big Switch

As I mentioned before, Sarah and I are in Randy Picker’s Tech Policy Seminar, which has so far produced three weeks of really good discussions. The last two weeks were spent discussing Nicholas Carr’s The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google. It was a very interesting and provocative read. While I think much of Carr’s concern is misplaced, I think many of the concerns he expresses are real cause for concern.

Check out the discussion at Picker Tech Policy Seminar.

Tech Policy Seminar

Both Sarah and I are going to be blogging and commenting at Professor Picker’s Antitrust & Intellectual Property seminar blog (called, for some reason, the Tech Policy Seminar blog) this quarter. The current topic of discussion is Jean-Noël Jeanneney‘s Google and the Myth of Universal Knowledge, translated from the French Quand Google défie l’Europe: Plaidoyer pour un sursaut (“When Google Challenges Europe: A Wake-Up Call”) by Teresa Lavender Fagan. This paranoid little work of eighty-nine pages from the now-former president of the French Bibliothèque Nationale was written less as a “wake-up call” to Europeans than as an assertion of the importance of Europe in the face of its declining influence on the world. Nonetheless, the blog features some interesting discussion.

New Toys!

I just got a brand-new, top of the line, Dell Inspiron 8500. Suffice it to say that I like it. 🙂 Features:

  • 2.4 GHz P4 processor
  • 640 MB DDR RAM – plan to upgrade to 1 GB soon
  • 15.4" widescreen display with 1920 x 1200 resolution – screenshot
  • Windows XP Pro
  • Office XP Pro
  • 40 GB 5400 rpm hard drive
  • Modular DVD/CD-RW drive
  • And more!

I like it. We also got an Epson CX 5200 printer-scanner-copier, which is also quite nice.

Meanwhile, I found a better spam filter. Spammunition doesn’t work well with Office XP and Norton Antivirus 2003, so I found a filter called K9, which happens to have a much prettier interface and better statistics; it also runs with programs other than Outlook, as long as you’re on Windows 95 or higher, since it works as a proxy. So far, it’s doing quite well.

My dad used a gift certificate to get an anti-bark device for the dogs; we’ll see how it does. It just arrived today

Finally, I think I have my new super-app figured out, in my head. I just need to put it into code and do a ton of testing. First, though, I have too many other things to do, as usual…