Thursday, September 29, 2005

Justice John Roberts

With the new Chief Justice now sworn in, it is time to blog a bit. It is surprising the connections I have with this stranger. First, we both went to the same very small high school in Indiana. LaLumiere School at that time was boys-only with less than 100 students. But I graduated four years before, so I never meet him. But I was taught by the same teachers he was, played on the same sports fields, went to the same classrooms, ate and servered in the same dining room, and lived in the same dorms. These were good teachers. My brother who is two years younger did attend school during the same time. And my sister dated a guy in Robert's class.

Another connection is that we both grew up on the shore of Lake Michigan. His small town was east of Michigan City and mine was west of Michigan City. So we both took long bus rides to our Catholic grade schools. I don't know if he was a sailor. I was not a golfer. He still practices in the Catholic faith, I don't.

And finally, we both worked summers at the Bethlehem Steel mill in Burns Harbor. This was a strong union environment where high school graduates made good money. Beer only came in steel cans. Shop stewards were respected. Our fathers were management. And the Lake Michigan shore line became industrial.

I don't know how much any of this influences John Roberts. Living on the shores of Lake Michigan was a great place to grow up. And the Catholic laymen of LaLumiere were good, ethical people. I don't know if I'll support his views from the bench, but I believe he is a safe, ethical and intelligent person to have on the court.

Hopefully I'll get to meet him one day.

Monday, September 26, 2005

War of the Web: Revenge of the Dynamics

Excellent editorial on about programming language, frameworks and generators with a look into the future. CGI/Perl, Ruby on Rail, to JavaScript. Work a read. I’d add that the new Macromedia/Adobe not only has Flash and .pdf, they also have thousands of people using Dreamweaver.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Email Sudoku to a Friend

Just release a new verision of where you can email a game in progress to a friend.  It sends it as an HTML email showing the board as well as provides a link to go to and play the game.

 6          2      7          4 
         8              2         
 2  7          1          5  9 
         7  6      5  4         
         3  1      8  9         
 4  5          3          9  6 
         6              5         
 3          4      6          1 

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Sudoku at

While I’ve been using my laptop more than ever, I’ve not posted much to my blog lately. Since early July I’ve been working on JavaScript function to provide a tools for playing Sudoku. I’ve put them all together at Sudoku Tools for Beginner or Obsessed.

The site is still in early beta, but I’d appreciate any comments you have. I’ll post notices where when I update the site. Thanks.  

On the Path Again

As this is posted, hopefully I’m somewhere on the bike path again. I’ve long wanted to make the trip from Washington DC to Cumberland, Maryland, on the C&O Bike Path. We’ve planned using the C&O Bike Guide. Thanks! So just before my son is off to college, we are doing a three day father-son trip. Now this should be a vacation to remember.

Mainstream Media: Impact of Air America Radio

It is hard to separate the rise of political bloggers and Air America Radio. It is a coevolution. But it was Air America Radio – so called Liberal Radio – that drew the fire of right wing radio commentators like Rush and Sean. Commentators would even go so far as to say that it would never find an audience. We now know that prediction, or hope, was wrong.

So we now have mainstream media. By staking out the niche of Liberal media, Air America Radio, has changed the vocabulary of all opinion media (bloggers and talk radio) on the left and right to talk about mainstream media. The New York Time, Washington Post and TV networks are considered mainstream media and no longer the liberal media.

This reposition of journalistic institution is a very good thing. We don’t need news outlets being slandered by a label. We still need the watch how they behave which is easy to do by Googling “mainstream media” or looking in Blogdigger.

Gulf Coast, Not Just New Orleans: Bias in the Media

A good friend of mine and his family survived on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. His livelihood did not. We all know that this area that got the strongest impact of the hurricane. Yet, the media coverage is dominated by stories about New Orleans. And even then primarily about the city itself.

The bias of the media is a leading reason for the neglect of those areas outside New Orleans. TV depends on pictures and thus cameras. Getting the cameras with satellite uplinks with mobile power is expensive and thus there are not many crews from any one network. And sense reports tend to flock – for a variety of reasons – we are seeing primarily coverage from New Orleans. It has only been on Countdown that I’ve seen a long piece on the Coast.

However, on radio I’m hearing different coverage. I’m hearing stories from different parishes throughout Louisiana. I’m hearing rural stories. I’ve heard voices from Memphis. I’m getting coverage from where it is easy to get a microphone or telephone. The coverage is geographically different.

There is a bias in the media because of the technology. We’re seeing this in Katrina coverage and we must be aware that there is more to the story.