March 2005


I am The Cyberwolfe and these are my ramblings. All original content is protected under a Creative Commons license - always ask first.
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Archive for March 14th, 2005

AIM Terms of Service update

Posted in Geekery on March 14th, 2005

I told you when I wrote the first post on this topic that I was knee-jerking, and I was right.

Posted earlier today was a response from the folks at AOL, claiming that the section of the TOS that was quoted in the Slashdot article referred, in fact, to their bulletin boards and forums, and that they did not monitor the Instant Messaging conversations.

This brings things a little more into perspective. Still, I am glad to be quit of any and all things AOL. I created the account originally to converse with one person, who also uses Y!Messenger, so there is no need to keep my AIM account active.

Still, there is a good bit to learn about this: if you plan on making money from an idea, be very careful who you tell it to and where you tell them. For the price of an envelope and postage, you can irrefutably stake your claim to any original work. Write it down on paper, stuff it in an envelope, and mail it to yourself. The cancelled postage will have a date stamp you can use as proof of prior art in court (provided the seal is intact until you get it to court).

For those truly worried, most banks offer free or nearly-free Notary service. Once again, you write everything down and take it to your bank to have a Notary witness and stamp the work. Voila, almost as good as a patent.

For the rest of us out there, it pays to remember something I read in a David Eddings book:

“No crime is complete until you’ve tidied up.”

Woe for the common man

Posted in Life on March 14th, 2005

Today I ran head first (yet again) into a cliche.

I delivered a computer to a customer. Now, this customer is obviously an intelligent man – he has built his business up from nothing, and is doing well. Phone calls for new customers were coming in as I worked, and I could tell he knew his business.

When it came to the computer, though, the man was not only completely ignorant of basic operations, he had no desire to learn how to use this most powerful tool. A tool that could save him countless hours in handling the mundane aspects of running a business, yet he could barely (with my direction) check his email.

On the one hand, I find it abyssmally sad that this man of means and intelligence had no desire whatsoever to learn how to use the tools at hand to make his life easier. Stuck in his ways, he will spend much time needlessly doing things by pen and paper that could be automated, thus granting him time to better his business or enjoy the fruits of his labor.

On the other hand, I know I’ll be back in a matter of weeks when he runs into problems, and he’ll be paying me to fix them.