MOTD::Archive::Summer 2006 (19 August 2006)

Spring 2006 MOTD

Week Ending 19 August 2006

GDT::POTW and QOTW Collections Continue to Grow
The GDT::POTW collection grew over Summer Break 2006. The collection enters Fall Semester 2006 with 480 entries. {GDT::POTW:: Pictures Collected During Summer Break 2006}

The GDT::QOTW collection grew over Summer Break 2006. The collection enters Fall Semester 2006 with 450 entries. {GDT::POTW:: Quotes Collected During Summer Break 2006}

GDT::Fall Semester 2006 Begins
The Fall Semester for 2006 has started. My first semester of teaching was during Fall Semester 1997; therefore, I am starting year number nine at SCC and this year I will be teaching math exclusively (i.e. no computer classes).

MOTD::Summer Break 2006 MOTD Has Been Archived
This is the final posting for the Summer Break 2006 MOTD. MOTD version 28 has been created to support Fall Semester 2006.

[19 August 2006 (summer break 2006 is history; 102° at 4:31pm) top]

Week Ending 12 August 2006

Computing::What's a Click?
How do you define a "click"?

I know a "click" is when you move the mouse over an object (e.g. a hyperlink or image) and while hovering over that object you depress and release the mouse key. I also know that just one click can end up getting many Internet users in trouble.

Click fraud has been and continues to be a problem with respect to the WWW.

   "As part of an effort to combat advertising fraud, 
    Google and other search engines are searching for 
    a standard definition." What Constitutes A Click?

Computing::Dept. of Homeland Security Worried About Windows
When the Department of Homeland Security issues a computer security alert, it is much more than a "flaw." It is a defect and Windows has consistently proven itself to be defective for many, many years.

Simple man statement: Windows is just good enough software, but when it gets connected to the Interent it comes just bad enough software. U.S. Warns of Windows Security Flaw

[Extra] According to TechWeb, Microsoft has "patched almost as many critical vulnerabilities in the first 8 months of 2006 as it did in 2004 and 2005 combined."

Biotech::ASU Moving Forward with Biomedical Informatics
The East Valley Tribune reported the following.

   "The University of Arizona and Arizona State University 
    will spend $1.5 million this fall planning the next 
    phase of a biomedical campus in downtown Phoenix."

   "The phase includes the completion of the UA's College of 
    Medicine and complementary programs in pharmacy and nursing."

   "ASU's component of the initial phase is a new department of 
    biomedical informatics."

Biomedical informatics at ASU was announced a long time ago and this grant money, which isn't a lot, will help get the biomedical informatics up and running. We attempted to do a bioinformatics course and SCC, but nobody there was only one student who expressed an interest in taking the class. The bioinformatics course was going to be co-taught by me and a TGen bioinformatician, but I couldn't get it to happen.

[12 August 2006 (we got some rain and it cooled us off; 75° at 5:33am) top]

Week Ending 05 August 2006

Computing::Business Week Digs Kevin Rose and
Business Week did a cover story on Silicon Valley by featuring Kevin Rose and

   "[...] his idea to change newsgathering, letting the masses 
    'dig up' the most interesting stories on the Web and vote 
    them onto his online 'front page' on"

The Business Week story ended as follows...

   "The tech bust notwithstanding, the Valley is still the only 
    place on earth where geeks with good ideas can become celebrities 
    overnight. But wannabes be warned: As nearly everyone found out 
    six years ago, the fall from rock star to pariah can be just as 
    quick -- and not nearly as much fun."

I don't know if Silicon Valley is the "only place on earth" where talented computer geeks can get rich, but I do believe it is easier there than in Arizona's Valley of the Sun. Valley Boys

Math::Domain Created for GDT::BABs
On 4 August 2006, I registered the domain name. Currently the domain re-directs to the GDT website at, but the domain name is registered for three years and it will become "active" sometime in the future. { [opens new window]}

RoadHacker::Portland, Mt. Hood, Columbia River
It took a while, but RoadHacker finally got his Portland slideshow posted to the web. {RoadHacker:: Portland, Mt. Hood, Columbia River [opens new window]}

[05 August 2006 (only one week of summer break left; 82° at 6:00am) top]

Week Ending 29 July 2006

Computing::Google Labs--Bell Labs of the West?
When I ran into Larry Page at the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge, I asked him if Google was becoming the next Bell Labs? He didn't offer much of a response given I was a form of human spam, but on 24 July 2006, ARS Technica posted a related article. Bottom-line: corporate research and development is anything like it use to be and that is problem for the United States of America.

   "In today's more agile economy, where workers hop from job 
    to job and businesses spring up from nowhere to dominate 
    an industry in the span of half a decade, there's no longer 
    anything in the private sector like the enduring safety of 
    the Ma Bell monopoly to lavishly support a blue sky research 
    lab. The closest we have today is Google's '20 percent time,' 
    where engineers are encouraged to spend 20 percent of their 
    time working on whatever research project strikes their fancy. 
    But 20 percent isn't 100 percent."

I agree with the following statement: "With today's short-term corporate focus on maximizing shareholder value by inflating the stock price at all costs, the pressure to innovate comes from the boardroom and the marketing department." Hopefully companies like Google will help change this way of doing business. AT&T Labs vs. Google Labs: not your grandfather's R&D

Computing::U.S. Programmers Continue Excellence Decline
I'm not sure what we can do to turn the tide, but the United States of America must do something. Each year the ACM sponsors a contest for computer programming students all over the world. These days U.S. students are not doing well.

   "From 1977 until 1989, the winner was always a U.S.  college 
    team. And American students were among the top finishers 
    until the late 1990s. But since then, Asian and East European 
    students have won most of the top prizes. This year, only one 
    American college team was among the top twelve. Last year, 
    there were none." U.S. Computer Programmers Losing Ground

RoadHacker::Portland, Mt. Hood, Columbia River
RoadHacker spent four days visiting Portland, Oregon. The roadtrip included visits to Portland's Washington Park, Oregon City, The Dalles, Mt. Hood, Stonehenge Memorial in Maryhill Washington, and the Columbia River. A slideshow of the 353 mile roadtrip will be created sometime next week.

[29 July 2006 (humid, humid, humid; 84° at 9:16am) top]

Week Ending 22 July 2006

EDU::East Valley Tribune's Weird Editorial
The East Valley Tribune published a weird editorial about how ASU and the UofA should not get too friendly. The newspaper equated academics with sports. In addition, they tried to get us to believe that everybody in Arizona cares about the ASU/UA football game. {GDT::Speaks:: East Valley Tribune Editorial on ASU and UofA Collaboration}

Technology::RFID Applications are Limitless
I don't know why, but this seemed odd to me: RFID chips being attached to surgical stuff to help ensure surgical stuff doesn't get left in surgical patients. This must be a frequently occuring problem. Prior to "closing" a patient up, the patient is read by a RFID reader to see if they are littered with surgical stuff. RFID Chips Could Help Surgeons Avoid Leaving Sponges In Patients

TempeHiker::Downtown Phoenix
Over the span of almost ten hours, TempeHiker wandered downtown Phoenix taking pictures. The following three slideshows were created.

RoadHacker::Heading for Portland, Oregon
On Tuesday of next week, RoadHacker is heading to Portland, Oregon, to do some Open Source stuff and some roadtripping. {RoadHacker:: Portland, Oregon, Roadtrip Plan}

[22 July 2006 (dog days of summer are upon us; 97° at 6:22am) top]

Week Ending 15 July 2006

Computing::Google Understandably Likes Ann Arbor
Google Inc. plans to hire 1,000 workers over the next five years in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Ann Arbor is the hometown of the University of Michigan. Michigan's governor is quoted saying, "This is a huge, huge, huge, huge thing." And that's probably an understatement. Congratulations to Michigan, Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan for the arrival of Google to their state. I believe Google will find lots of happiness in Ann Arbor (despite the cold winters). Writes About Carly Fiorina
On 25 August 2005, Carly Fiorina was added to the GDT::DreamTeam. I suspect her "Tough Choices" memoir will be good reading material and I'm looking forward to seeing her on "60 Minutes."

   "In October 60 Minutes will air an interview promoting her 
    memoir Tough Choices, due from Penguin days later. Though 
    the manuscript is under wraps and Fiorina isn't talking, 
    the parts on HP will be 'unflinchingly honest,' says William 
    Weisser, associate publisher for Penguin's Portfolio imprint." Carly Resurrected

Computing::Scary News--Microsoft Pledges Quicker Upgrades
When I worked with GuyT at Discount Tire, Guy would constantly tell management: "If you want it bad, you'll get it bad." Instead of a quicker upgrade schedule, I'd think Microsoft customers would prefer fewer security defects.

   "The next version of Windows, called Vista, will be the
    operating system's first major overhaul in five years.
    Windows sits on 90 percent of the world's computers and
    accounts for nearly a third of Microsoft's total revenue."

Ballmer says: "We'll never have a gap between Windows releases as long as the one between XP and Vista."

I say: "Never say never."

[15 July 2006 (hot in the Valley of the Sun; 95° at 5:32am) top]

Week Ending 08 July 2006

CSC@SCC::Forced Retreading for CSC and GDT
There is gossip taking place claiming the Dean of Instruction quit SCC because he wanted to be a President he felt being an aging white man was not good for him and his dreams. If the gossip is true, the Dean of Instruction was probably wise to quit SCC and the Maricopa County Community Colleges.

On 5 July 2006, I sent an email message notifying others at SCC and the MCCCD that CSC had been "killed" at SCC. Later on that day, the following was posted to the SCC website.

   One of three additions to the 
   AGEC (Arizona General Education Curriculum) Course Matrix
   CSC283 -- Bioinformatics and Scientific Computing

   CSC283 was awarded a CS General Education Designation.
   CS in this case stands for Computer/Statistics.

SCC cannot offer CSC283 because it "killed" CSC. If a student wants to learn about bioinformatics, they might be able to take a CIS bioinformatics course at SCC. For some reason I am not allowed to teach CIS courses anymore. [Note: I cannot teach bioinformatics; however, CSC283 was going to be co-taught by CSC and BIO (or industry). I worked with a TGen bioinformatician about putting on course, but I couldn't guarantee him enrollment].

GDT::Computing::Bit:: CSC at SCC Has Been "Killed"

Math::US Hwy-61 and the Great River Road Roadtrip of 2006
This roadtrip resulted in the creation of 16 BABs. In addition, numerous square numbered and prime numbered highway signs were discovered. { GDT::BAB:: BARS From the US Hwy-61 and Great River Road Roadtrip of 2006}

RoadHacker::US Hwy-61 and the Great River Road Roadtrip of 2006
We used St. Louis, Missouri, as a hub for a 1475 mile five-day roadtrip around the Mississippi River that had us in the states of Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas. The roadtrip included visits to the hometowns of Mark Twain, Popeye, Superman and Casey Jones. We found a palindromic zipcode in Barlow, KY, bison in Tennessee, the world's largest catsup bottle and an effiel tower. We discovered the town of Louisiana, MO, that was full of murals. We visited the Gateway Arch and Mud Island. We returned to Main and Main in Basco, IL, and the Warsaw cemetery and Point. We drove The Trace through the Land Between the Lakes. We ate "pig with an attitude" on Beale St. in Memphis and we had rolls tossed at us at Lambert's Cafe. {RoadHacker:: US Hwy-61 and the Great River Road [opens new window]}

[08 July 2006 (the monsoon is upon us; 83° at 6:00am) top]

Independence Day 2006

Congratulations to NASA for a successful launch of Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-121). It was very cool that the United States of America returned to space while it celebrated its 230th Indepedence Day. Let's hope this mission ends successfully so we can continue working toward finishing the International Space Station by 2010. Maybe we will be able to experience space travel in the mid-2010s.

Week Ending 01 July 2006

Computing::SCC "Kills" Computer Science
On 29 June 2006, I learned that Scottsdale Community College has officially "killed" Computer Science. Ironic, SCC kills CS right when we are entering into the next era of computing. The Maricopa Community Colleges is one of the largest community college districts in the United States, yet only three of its ten schools offer Computer Science. If Scottsdale residents want some Computer Science instruction, then they will have to go to Mesa (or Glendale or Chandler-Gilbert).

Computing::Artificial Intelligence Turns 50
They have been doing Artificial Intelligence (AI) for a long time, but I didn't know they have been doing it for five decades. We are going to see significant advances in AI during the 21st century. Many are hoping to see human intelligence augmentation for anybody who wants it. { Artificial Intelligence Turns 50}

RoadHacker::US Hwy-61 and the Great River Road
My son and I had a successful 5-day roadtrip into the states of Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas. The roadtrip report is a work-in-progress. Early in the roadtrip we encountered the town of Louisiana, Missouri, and it was full of murals. {RoadHacker:: The Murals of Louisiana, Missouri}

[01 July 2006 (the 2nd half of 2006 has started; 88° at 5:30am) top]

Week Ending 24 June 2006

Technology::From Seattle To Charlotte
eWeek issued a report listing the top 10 non-Silicon Valley cities that are becoming strong technology cities. The top 10 cities were Seattle (#1), Atlanta (#2), Boston (#3), Washington DC (#4), Dallas (#5), Philadelphia (#6), Chicago (#7), Orlando (#8), Los Angeles (#9) and Charlotte (#10). { Beyond Silicon Valley: 10 Blooming U.S. Cities for Tech }

Math::Father's Day 2006
Last Sunday was Father's Day and the holiday was used as fodder for a Basic Arithmetic Bit (BAB). {GDT::BAB:: Father's Day 2006 in the U.S.A.}

RoadHacker::Time to Drive US Hwy-61
RoadHacker and Tyler are flying to St. Louis today beginning a five day adventure that includes driving about 1400 miles around the Mississippi River. Some of the driving will occur on US Hwy-61 and the Great River Road. We will hitting the states of Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas. {RoadHacker:: US Hwy-61 and Great River Road via St. Louis, Missouri}

[23 June 2006 (rare Friday posting; 106° at 1:44pm) top]

Week Ending 17 June 2006

Computing::Pittsburgh's Been Supercomputing for 20 Years
The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center celebrated its 20th birthday. The center was established in In 1987, the PSC started the first biomedical supercomputing program external to the NIH (National Institute of Health). { Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center Celebrates Its 20th Birthday}

Computing::Brin Goes to Washington
Sergey Brin, a co-founder of Google, went to Washington, DC, to promote "Net Neutrality." News reports indicate he wasn't well received and the news sources made a big deal about how he was dressed. The Washington Post stated: "Wearing blue jeans, silver mesh sneakers and a black T-shirt and jacket, the co-founder of Google Inc. found out that while he may be a multi-billionaire, he's nobody to some on Capitol Hill." Brin experienced what we already know: Washington is full of 20th century politicians and that's a problem. Capitol Hill is void of 21st century leadership.

RoadHacker::Horseshoe Dam and Lake and More
RoadHacker took a 120 mile, six hour, roadtrip in search of a saguaro cactus called the "Grand One" located in the Tonto National Forest. He found some big saguaros, but he doesn't know if any of them were the "Grand One." It was RoadHacker's first visit to Horseshoe Dam and Lake. {RoadHacker:: Horseshoe Dam/Lake, Sears-Kay Ruin, the "Grand One"}

[17 June 2006 (wow, June's more than half over; 79° at 5:31am) top]

Week Ending 10 June 2006

Math::BABling Away
On 8 June 2006, the 26th BAB (Basic Arithmetic Bit) for Summer Break was created. One-half of the BABs are BARS (Basic Arithmetic Road Signs). I suspect that over 100 BABs will be created this summer. {GDT::BAB:: BABS Created During Summer 2006 Break}

Computing::From Knuth to Eco
Umberto Eco has one of the most impressive CV (Curriculum Vitae) I've ever seen. Knuth used the following quote from Echo when writing about email. I'd be happy without any email addresses and Eco's quote prompted me to add the following quote to the FreedomQuoteGiver: Freedom is being able not to receive any messages.

I don't even have an e-mail address. I have reached an
age where my main purpose is not to receive messages.

-- Umberto Eco {via Donald Knuth at; Knuth's diamond signs } [life/freedom]

RoadHacker::Two-Day, 631 Mile I-40/Route 66 Roadtrip
RoadHacker has a busy summer scheduled. On the last day of the May and the first day of June, he did a two-day, 631 mile roadtrip that included driving on AZ Hwy-87, I-40, Route 66 and US Hwy-93. {RoadHacker I-40/Route 66--Winslow to Flagstaff to Kingman [opens new window]}

[10 June 2006 (1st June posting for 2006; 91° at 10:44am) top]

Week Ending 27 May 2006

Computing::What's DOPA?
20th century politicians (and school officials) are starting to learn that the Internet is a powerful tool when it comes to group formation. Group formation is a key component to social-networking websites. Currrently, politicians are considering legislation called the Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA) and, if approved, it would "block access to online social networks in libraries and federally funded schools." In a nutshell, politicians (and school officials) feel kiddies need protection from websites such as MySpace and FaceBook. { School District Creates MySpace Pledge}

Computing::Defending the Profession
There was a "Letter to the Editor" in the 27 May 2006 Arizona Republic in which the author wrote that the Y2K problem was "overhyped." That prompted to me to submit the following letter.

   Sonny Shrivastava doesn't "see evidence" that Phoenix 
   is experiencing a "real estate 'bubble' bursting." Sonny
   thinks talk of a housing correction is being "overhyped
   like Y2K."  Nobody knows if there is a real estate 'bubble' 
   getting ready to burst for one simple reason--nobody knows 
   what is going to happen in the next nanosecond.  Computer 
   professionals knew that on midnight, 31 December 1999, the 
   year was going to switch to 2000 and that computer systems 
   all over the world would crash if they weren't fixed.
   The Y2K bug was not overhyped.  Computer professionals 
   realized during the mid-1990s that Y2K was a calamity 
   waiting to happen and luckily for us they did an excellent 
   job fixing the problem.

TempeHiker::Graffiti Here, Graffiti There, Graffiti Everywhere
TempeHiker has been wasting his time documenting the graffiti that has invaded Tempe. {TempeHiker:: Tempe has a Graffiti Problem}

[28 May 2006 (rare Sunday posting; 71° at 6:00am) top]

Week Ending 20 May 2006

GDT::Spring 2006 MOTD Archived
This posting begins the 27th Version of the MOTD. The MOTD was created during the Fall 1997 semester. The Spring 2006 MOTD has been added to the MOTD Archive.

TempeHiker::Does Tempe and Phoenix
TempeHiker did a short hike on Camelback Mountain, visited ASU at the Tempe campus, and downtown Tempe including Hayden Butte.

RoadHacker::Winkelman, Hayden, Kearny
RoadHacker took a 7.5 hour, 210 mile, roadtrip to Winkelman. The roadtrip included scenic drives on AZ Hwy-77 and AZ Hwy-177 along with stops in Miami, Hayden, Kearny and Superior. {RoadHacker::Arizona:: 7.5 Hour, 210 Mile Roadtrip to Winkelman}

[20 May 2006 (version 27 of the MOTD has been started; 84° at 8:30am) top]

Author: Gerald D. Thurman []
Last Modified: Saturday, 05-Jan-2013 11:17:47 MST

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