Archive for July, 2005

First glance at Internet Explorer 7…disappointed.

July 28th, 2005

IE 7 beta 1 was released today to a select few. Thankfully, since Zunch is a Microsoft Certified Partner, we are “select”. So you think I’m writing this from IE 7, huh? Wrong. Still Firefox.

I know it’s sad, but I may completely boycott IE 7 before its even out of beta! I can’t find a single area where the browser made significant progress. Let’s run down the list of new features:

1) Tabbed Browsing: Welcome to the new millenium.

2) RSS Support: See above.

3) PNG Support: See above (and it looks like they didn’t even get this completely right).

4) CSS Improvements: This is where IE was the furthest behind, and they fixed a grand total of two CSS issues. Two! The browser should fully support the CSS2 standard by now, but it hasn’t even gotten CSS1 right. Simply unacceptable.

5) Security: Every browser has security issues, as no programmer or programming team can predict everything. There will always be security issues. IE7 includes a phishing filter, but it is off by default. News flash: The folks who fall for these evil deceits will have no idea how to turn on the filter. Heck, these are the same folks who go to Yahoo at search for

After the release a VirtualEarth (a capable product) and major advancements to their search offering (despite losing market share so far this year), I had really expected more from MS. I guess I was wrong.

Tyson Technology

Another shuttle mission…oh boy!

July 26th, 2005

Those who know me well have heard me say that if I were elected president, I would close the doors to NASA. I feel its an enourmous waste of tax dollars. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for learning about our world and exploring, but isn’t the Earth big enough? Honestly, how many nations could we feed with the $16 billion we plunked into NASA this year?

So with this in mind, I got to thinking even more about the space program, and these questions came to me:

1) With fuel prices at an all-time high, is there a chance the shuttle might move to a hybrid engine like is in those new Accords?

2) If NASA was closed, my two favorite sports teams, the Astros and Rockets, would have to be renamed. But what would they be? (I couldn’t really think of an appropriate team name for Houston except for one, the Houston Humidity!)

Tyson Politics

Google Toolbar for Firefox…don’t waste your time.

July 9th, 2005

As I posted over in the Zen-Sem Blog, I think the recently released Google Toolbar for Firefox is a waste of time. Firefox already has the Google search box built-in, and there are plenty of good extensions that give you PageRank and any other feature you could want. Google just wants your click-thru data, and I’d rather you didn’t give it to them. :-)

Tyson Search, Technology

Beating the terrorists…what must be done?

July 9th, 2005

After contemplating the London bombings all week and then learning of the Birmingham evacuation now in progress, I’m reminding of our lack of progress in the war on terror. And while I concede up front that its an unfair war in which a 99.9% success rate is unacceptable, we do still have to do something about the monsters before they kill us. Since 9-11 we have had no victories in this war, and the terrorists have had at least 3. (A victory to me would be foiling an attempt to terrorize, not merely catching or killing someone who might.)

Based on some recent readings and a bit of common logic, here are my keys to success:

1) Intelligence. We have none, and we need much. We need covert agents inside the Taliban headquarters, in the inner circles, on the internet. That means freedom-loving Muslims are going to have to step up in the CIA and go to the front lines to get this information.

2) Occupation. Dr. Robert A. Pape has written a fascinating book called Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism. In this book he analyzes over 400 suicide missions around the world carried out by Islamic terrorists. He outlines that suicide terrorists are always motivated politically, not just by hatred. The suicide missions are in response to military occupation of an Islamic nation.

Consider these facts: Before Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982, there was no Hezbollah suicide terrorist campaign against Israel. Before the 1990 invasion of the Arabian Penninsula, Al Qaeda didn’t target Americans. And, true to form, there had never been a documented suicide attack in Iraq until after the American invasion in 2003.

So, what, the 1990 Gulf War was a mistake and we should pull out of Iraq tomorrow? Of course not. That would be the mistake of the century. But we should look at the facts and understand that as long as we are in Iraq and Afghanistan, we will be targetted. Their motivation is less of hatred and more political than we think. Look at the past two major bombings, Spain and London. It’s not a coincidence that those countries are also helping us in Iraq, and common wisdom as well as intelligence shows that Italy is likely to be next.

There you go…Tyson’s words of wisdom for winning and un-winnable war.

Tyson Politics