Thursday, August 31, 2006

New stuff coming soon

[Image: Blogger logo]My blog has finally become able to switch over to the new Blogger platform, I must say that I somewhat disappointed right now.

The only feature that I want out of this whole deal is the tags. I want to make it that much easier to organise my blog. Other than linking my blog to my Google account, I don't even care for many of the other features.

I'm really surprised that there really isn't much of a change to the whole interface. I expected there to be the biggest revamp ever, but nothing really changed. The only change that I have to get used to is the fact that I need to use a different username and password to log in with. It is a little weird though, that everything is updated instantly, a big change from sitting there while it updates.

Perhaps others will be getting more use out of all this, but to me, this is a long wait just to get use of tags. I could always switch to some other system, but I have no idea how to modify templates. Blogger gives me what I need, and has the ability to migrate all this to my own server, if I ever get one, or just leave it hosted freely here until that day arises.

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12:22 PM | Posted by mike | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

SAT scores are lowest in years

[Image: SAT Logo]According to the news SAT scores have fallen more than any other year, for who knows how long. Although I do agree with this at any other time, that it is troubling, this particular headline doesn't mean anything to me. There is more to this than what the news is telling you now.

Back in April of this year, there were reports of how The College Board graded 4000+ tests incorrectly. There really isn't any way that you can compare the most recent test to any of the others because of the fact that they messed up on part of the scoring, and you don't know if that happened for the rest of the tests. The other is that they just recently modified the test.

Right now there is talk about how they blame the new writing section for the drop. I think that this could have some effect because I personally don't like to write on a time limit, and that writing is hard to score on because of the fact that there is no definitive right answer, and the way you score greatly depends on the person scoring you test's point of view.

The drop was only a few points, and really I don't see it as any concern. If, however, test scores fall short multiple years in a row, then there may be a reason for concern. People are just making too big of a deal about this.


6:09 PM | Posted by mike | Comments (1)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Is Windows Vista just too much

[Image: Windows Logo]While I perfectly understand the whole reason that they feel the need to come up with a high-class looking OS, I'm thinking that Vista is perhaps a little to focused on the looks of the system. I would much rather have something as basic as it is now, but have outstanding performance.

Windows XP is basicly all you will ever need. It meets all the requirements of today's demand, and everything is made to work for it. When/if Vista comes out, I will be one of those who won't buy it. Unless it's a free upgrade (which it's not), I'm not going to dish out all the money to upgrade an OS that is doing fine already.

The whole reason that I see that XP did so well is the fact that things performed so much better then the prior. The whole reason that I use XP as compared to other versions is merely the fact that things just ran better. Only once have I been greeted with the BSOD and it has been a few years since then, while the pre-XP systems come across it every couple of months.

Then to top it off, there have been rumors floating around the internet about Vista costing $120 for the basic upgrade. There are other versions, costing up to $279, and that's only the upgrade. If you were ever to reformat your computer, the upgrade disc would require you to install XP and then run the upgrade disc. If you want the full version, you would lose everything on your hard drive, but you could always reinstall whenever you like. The most expensive upgrade is $450. That's a bit overboard. I'll get a laugh if this becomes Microsoft's most disappointing initial sales ever.

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9:21 AM | Posted by mike | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Why do teachers do this

I never understood why teachers feel the need to assign homework during our summer recess. The very last thing that anyone even wants to think about is trying to finish their report in the last few days. I'm now starting to work fairly hard on my reports as I only have about two weeks left before it's due.

There are a few big reasons that they shouldn't even bother with the assignments. One: nobody wants to do them, and the always get put off until the end. Two: teachers even admit that the assignment isn't really for a grade of how well you did, but rather more about how much effort it seems you put in it. Three: teachers even complain about how much work it is to grade them all.

This year I get to at least read a book that I expect will be interesting. It's by Bill Bryson, an author who I've previously read part of a book by. Of the other book, In a Sunburned Country, he gives a humorous touch to a travel book, so I would expect the same of this one. The other looks like a feminist book, not at all interested in reading it.

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4:47 PM | Posted by mike | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Stealing to suing

It's amazing how stupid people are. I've linked to the most complete posting of the story as I could. Apparently some guy hotlinked images from someone elses site, not saving them to his own server, then the owner of the images changed the location of the images and destroyed the hotlinker's site. The hotlinker thinks that he can sue the guy because the removal of the images hurt his business. I guess the hotlinker never heard of copyright laws, and he doesn't understand that the owner has every right to change the images on his own site. I guess you would have to put it into perspective for the guy by not removing, but switching images, where the site owner could have done even more damage.

Read the story.

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4:28 PM | Posted by mike | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Blogger in Beta

After what has probably been much more of a wait than it should have ever been, Blogger is now fessing up to an upgrade. Blogger has always been my blogging platform of choice, but we'll have to see if they can live up to it after the upgrade. Here are some of the features they have listed, and what I think about them:
  • Feeds - Feeds and comment feeds are great, but I think they're getting a little too carried away by making a feed for every post's comments.
  • Dynamics - This is a great addition, at least for those hosted through Blogger. I honestly can't believe that they have used static pages this whole time. Now, the pages will be created when you access them, not from files that require updating manually to change.
  • Access control - According to this, they plan to allow you to limit the access to your blog to those that you choose. Based on email, you list who you want to see your blog, which is a great plus seeing how some people only use their blog to cater to an audience of a few people. You also have a better idea of who sees what you post, rather than the world in general.
  • Labels - This is something that Blogger really needed years ago. They are just now allowing you to use labels to sort posts. I would love to be able to use labels, because it gives you way to read posts by topic, rather than sifting through the whole blog.
  • Layouts - Here is something that I don't really care for. Although Blogger is catering to a larger audience by making it much easier to create the look and feel you want, I see it as making things too easy. When it is set up through a control panel to allow to change colors, you make it easy enough for what I would expect to be preteens and teens who think that using every color ever created is cool. Much of the reason that I never look at blogs hosted on Xanga is because of the fact that you give options to easily create the most disgustingly colored page in history. While this won't be the case for all, I do see it happening.
  • Google accounts - Perhaps one of the greater things of the upgrade is the fact that Blogger is finally being integrated into Google. This means just that many less logins and passwords to remember, and allowing you to connect all of your stuff better (like Gmail).
I can see there might be a bumpy transition, and some getting used to, but I hope that this is a change for the better. With any luck, all the greatness of the old Blogger will still be there, but with the addition of all the new features.


5:48 PM | Posted by mike | Comments (0)
Barack Obama for President