Bruceb News


The Internet is turning into just another broadcast medium – a limited number of channels controlled by big companies, designed to maximize revenues to copyright holders and megacorporations. And we’re facilitating the takeover.

A thought-provoking and disturbing study shows that the Internet is shrinking, collapsing in on itself. Here’s some statistics:

  • More than half of all time spent online centers around the web sites run by four companies – AOL Time Warner, Yahoo!, Microsoft, and Napster.
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The dish is on the roof. Consumer-class two-way satellite service from Pegasus Communications.

Equipment was delivered about three days after I placed the order, and the installation took place about eight days later – almost exactly what was promised. The installers arrived on time and did a nice job – about two hours total. […] continued

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There’s been an unpredictable development in the world of handheld devices. Palm is no longer the king of the hill.

In fact, Palm is struggling. Here’s an article with details of the various problems – an inventory glut, dwindling cash reserves, a depressed stock price, and more. It faces a tough competitor in Handspring, which is marketing a very attractive Palm-compatible device. […] continued

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Disposing of old computers is a headache. They’re hard on the environment (monitors are no longer permitted in landfills, I believe), but the schools and traditional charities aren’t interested in computers that are more than a couple of years old. Hewlett Packard deserves kudos for beginning an extensive recycling campaign. For a fee (from $13-$34), HP will pick up your old equipment, refurbish it if possible, and recycle it in an environmentally friendly way if it can’t be refurbished. […] continued

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If you’re bored, here’s a couple of things worth looking for online (especially if you have a broadband connection):

  •, one of the more creative sites playing streaming movies over the Internet. Check out Creature Comforts, an oddball five-minute film from Nick Park and Aardman Animations, creators of Wallace & Gromit.
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From Slate magazine:

The Wall Street Journal “Washington Wire” has Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill’s penetrating defense of the Bush energy plan’s proposed expansion of nuclear power: “If you set aside Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, the safety record of nuclear is really very good.”

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According to this article, Outlook 2002 features indexing and search functions for all content in Exchange 2000 Server – including messages, documents, contacts, tasks, calendar items, and other data.

That’s a limited feature, because most small businesses aren’t using Exchange 2000 Server. But it’s a valuable addition to Outlook if you are using Exchange 2000 – and it’s yet another good reason for a small business to look into Small Business Server 2000, which includes Exchange Server 2000. […] continued

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There’s a lot to learn about the copyright issues symbolized by the war against Napster. Copyright owners are waging a concerted battle with a single-minded goal: to make your every exposure to copyrighted material into an event that costs you money. In 1998 the Digital Millennium Copyright Act was presented as a benign update to old law, but its horrible consequences are going to reshape our world. […] continued

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Pegasus took my order today for residential service. Lots of information about it at this page. Call (877) 471-7488 to place an order. Cost is $499 for hardware, $199 for installation, and delivery and installation is promised within ten days. It’s a little unclear how easy it will be to share this connection with multiple computers – it depends on how their software works. […] continued

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A good article by Jimmy Carter in the Washington Post about “misinformation and scare tactics” coming out of the Bush White House to justify environmental atrocities. Sample:

“No energy crisis exists now that equates in any way with those we faced in 1973 and 1979. World supplies are adequate and reasonably stable, price fluctuations are cyclical, reserves are plentiful, and automobiles aren’t waiting in line at service stations. […] continued

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A nice chat today with one of the technical types working on developing satellite service for Pegasus.

Background: Hughes’ DirecPC division is rolling out “two-way” satellite service – always on, no modem required, unlike previous DirecPC service. It’s being offered through partners – Earthlink, Juno, a couple of others, and Pegasus Communications. […] continued

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I’m a fan of Media Jukebox for playing, recording, and organizing .mp3 files. Each of the main players – Windows Media Player, RealJukebox, and MusicMatch Jukebox – have annoying quirks or shortcomings that drove me to distraction. Media Jukebox does a lot of things with a minimum of fuss and a great deal of control. […] continued

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Pardon me if I’m a bit distracted today. I just lost the hard drive with the operating system on my main office system. When this happened a couple of weeks ago, it was my fault. This time, it’s just a hard drive failure, nothing more. No data’s been lost, I’ll be back up and running in a few hours – but jeez, I’m bored with reinstalling programs. […] continued

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If you’ve been holding out, then your next PC should be a Christmas present to yourself. When Microsoft rolls out Windows XP at the end of October, you’ll see a tremendous amount of hype – and for a change, it looks like the hype will be justified. It is a remarkable operating system, combining tremendous stability with some very appealing new features. […] continued

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In the last chapter, our hero had sent a purchase order to Pegasus Communications for Express Plus two-way satellite service – business class, reasonably priced.

This week, Pegasus abruptly fired all of its Commercial Sales Managers for broadband. A nice e-mail from the departing salesperson says that as far as he knows, Pegasus still plans to provide service to me. […] continued

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