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February 2006
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March 2006

Subway Entertainment

Subway EntertainmentWE KNOW we are near our Manhattan hotel because of the backbeat in the air. Breakdancing tracks are popular and the pavement performances very athletic. Our favourite has been a one-metre-tall Michael Jackson, moonwalking with black fedora and glistening white glove. (Image of dancers and text snapped and sent mail-to-blog from Nokia N70 in Pendick's while munching on a hot dog.)


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Visiting New York

On top and countingWHEN VISITING NEW YORK, we have a short list that includes using the subway without referring to our paper map (we bought a Metrocard this time and plan to act less conspicuous), walking in directions we've never gone before, and returning to places to sort out stuff we promised ourselves from the last time. So besides going to the top of the Missionary Servants of the Blessed Trinity Convent to look out at a cityscape, we have a few other things to accomplish. If we get all of them checked off, that means we have hit the pavement on sunny days before 10AM on our two-day trip to the Big Apple. We've never been that ambitious before but it always pays to have a list of things that you want to do do that you know the opportunities you're missing when you roll over for another hour of sleep.

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Story of eBay Phishing

AS WE WALKED around a three-story collection in Lancaster of antiques, primitives and odd objects that many find on eBay, I heard Darthoz's story about being phished from his sales stall. "Let's see: Suspended after 3,000 positive feedbacks from 3.000 people and 4,200 positives with 100% feedback with NO negatives. Account was compromised with the theft of my password and the perps loaded my Ebay guides and voted with thousands of votes." There seems to be no recourse for this unfortunate occurrence.


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H-P Close to Bone

HEWLETT-PACKARD shares have kept going skyward for the year since Mark Hurd took the helm as CEO. The streak is now cooling, according to recent reports in the Wall Street Journal. An important challenge faces H-P--sales have to expand.

I have seen the data centre relocation plans that give H-P some of its cost savings and I think they could compromise sales growth. They look like relocation schemes near executives' homes instead of consolidation for company savings. More importantly, some of the consolidations will pit competing enterprise computing functions in head-to-head queues. The H-P data centres will try to satisfy runs by finance while simultaneously churning through sales staff orders. If H-P fails to expand its sales from month to month, I would look at the order fulfillment process. Some might be subordinated in queues they never had to join before the era of data centre consolidation.


Christopher Lawton -- "H-P's Pricey Stock Has Skeptics Playing the Odds on Growth Story of Chief Hurd" in The Wall Street Journal "Money&Investing", March 28, 2006.
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Visiting Amish Country

Visiting Amish CountryMORNING BREAKS later in Pennsylvania Dutch country than in Ireland because the latitude line places the Lancaster Amish closer to the equator than the Irish. Our morning light comes through slits cut into the walls of the barn where we have stayed for the past two nights. The barn is the Pheasant Run B&B, certainly the best B&B we have ever visited. The fittings, the furnishings, the welcoming and the friendly horse in the pasture behind our room make this pastoral ambience the most refreshing stay we have ever enjoyed when visiting the States.

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Searching for Bluetooth Keyboard

MY FIRST foray into Bluetooth land in search of a Bluetooth keyboard for the Nokia N70 took me to an O2 Experience shop in Dublin's Grafton Street where I got a generic Bluetooth keyboard that will not connect to the Nokia N70. Without a two-fingered keyboard, the N70 is merely a cameraphone. I think the phone is smarter than a piece of optics so I may spring for the Nokia-branded Bluetooth keyboard when I visit New York Nokia shops. As it is, I spent more than EUR 100 on a keyboard that is good for use as a brushed aluminium coaster but little else. Plus I paid a euro's worth of WEEE fees that more knowledgeable techies say I should have avoided.


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Hard drives in Lancaster

Lancaster StationIN MY HOMETOWN of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, the local papers write about being order to hand over hard drives belonging to reporters accused of compromising an inter-departmental county communications web site. In early March, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal to hand over four hard drives belonging to reporters who wrote stories containing confidential information from on-going medical examinations. The State thinks the reporters got a password to a county-wide communications website and now wants the hard drives to prove their point. The mere fact that the Supreme Court ordered the release of the hard drives to the attorney general sends a chilling effect to newspapers and bloggers.


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