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November 2006
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Warning: Stone 10th Aniversary India Pale Ale

Merry Christmas!

I have a warning for all micro-brew fans.  If you happen to try the Stone 10th Anniversary India Pale Ale it is highly recommended that you read the fine print at the bottom of the bottle.  Specifically the acknowledgment that it is 10% ALC/VOL.

We got home from Christmas Eve church services, and had a light dinner before watching Funniest Home Videos and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition with the family.  And I was still a little loopy by 9:30 p.m. while we were making final presents under the Christmas tree  preparations.

It is a great India Pale Ale.  I highly recommend it. ;-)

Stupid DRM Photos From JC Penny

I was shocked to learn that our 2006 family and kids Christmas pictures we took at JCPenny have digital rights management (DRM) features that makes it relatively impossible to scan into a visually usable graphics file using a recently purchased scanner.

When I scan them on my HP C3100 I end up with a grainy, very unattractive picture.  I was getting all mad at the scanner for sucking until I read the back of the pictures with the following warning: "Kodak Professional Endura Paper - Professional Images Are Copyright Protected - Do Not Copy."

Darn right frustrating! :-(

If there is a DIY hack, please let me know.  I'm off to investigate, and I'll keep you posted.

Special Podcast from FriendsInTech - "Island Of Misfit Geeks"

The very talented members of FriendsInTech (FIT) have put together another special Christmas podcast that should be out on Dec. 18, 2006 over at

This original story and production highlights "Lucky the reindeer and his friend Herbert's adventure to find the Island of Misfit Geeks and save Christmas for Santa."

Here is a promo:

The team did this last year for Christmas (2005), and we also did two custom Halloween casts: 2005 & 2006.

Two Great Food Recommendations for Washington DC Area

I had two great dinners at two very good restaurant during my recent business trip to Washington DC:

I had the four cheese ravioli at San Vitos which was very cheesy and had a great sauce.  And I had the bison meatloaf at the Montana Grill which was very flavorful.

I highly recommend both places.

Additional Thoughts On The Cobalt Qube

Dave Winer reflected recently on the Cobalt Qube

I loved the device when I got one for a quick reaction information technology (IT) infrastructure project I was responsible for back in 1999. 

I used a Qube & a Snap server, and had a team of engineers and scientists running off a 24-port hub in less than a day.  It worked for nearly one year flawlessly before it was replaced by a more robust set of servers and services, but for rapid IT prototyping that enabled directory services, email, web, calendar, file sharing, discussions, etc. it was perfect from my perspective.  Better yet it met all the operational requirements.

I didn't get too many complaints from the users who were all on Windows NT workstations running Office.  I did get a lot of grief from other IT folks about the lack of robustness, and some features issues around  integration with tools like Microsoft Outlook.  I think the cuteness and small form-factor was hard for many old-school IT folks to get warmed up to.

You can pretty much do the same thing today with open source software and any white-box PC or go completely hosted via ISPs or other service providers.  But at the time, it was just plain neat.