1989: An Amazing Year for NASA/JPL

Note: I actually wrote this in January to explain the background on an item I had put up for auction. It was deleted once the auction was over, but a reader wanted to be able to point someone at the text because he thought it was interesting. So here it is. –RC It Was Truly … Continue Reading

This is Not a Drill

When it Comes to “Big” News Stories, I like to focus on some of the smaller points — the parts that illustrate the “thinking” aspects of the stories, or what should be the “lessons learned” from them. Hawaii’s “ballistic missile” incident is a perfect example. Let’s start with my take on it, from True’s 14 … Continue Reading

The Robot Will See You Now

We’re in Las Vegas this week, where Kit is speaking on ADD in entrepreneurs at Affiliate Summit. I came along since it’s always interesting to do some networking, and I was able to set up a few meetings while here. Including, by the way, with someone I’ve known for years that works on Mensa’s national … Continue Reading

Podcast 017: How to Lose Everything, Instantly

In This Episode: More on the story about the loss (to fire) of the Hewlett-Packard archive of papers about their early formation, with a special guest connecting in from the coast to talk about how that could have been prevented. Because H-P’s loss has a lesson for all of us, which is why I called the story “Wake-Up Call”. Plus, another segment of No Longer Weird.

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Duck and Cover

While Working, I Have My police/fire/ambulance radios running in the office, which helps me anticipate being called out (Kit and I are volunteer medics, as you probably remember). Today while working on the Premium newsletter I heard the local cops head over to the school for a “lockdown drill” — tying in nicely to the … Continue Reading

Watching the Internet Grow Up

A Note from Darryl in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, suggests, “I know you have been around since the beginning of the internet as one of the longest (and also I would say one of the best) running e-newletters. I ran across this story in Time magazine and thought it would be an interesting article to … Continue Reading

Podcast 011: Cassini: The Bigger Picture

In This Episode: From California, where I came to see and reflect on the End of Mission for the Cassini spacecraft — its so-called Grand Finale. This isn’t about the mission per se, but rather the thinking behind it, how that fits into True’s mission, and how that ties into this week’s Honorary Unsubscribe! In other words, The Bigger Picture.

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The Biggest Mistake People Make Online

The threat from criminals online continues to grow. It’s not just “hackers” but actual criminal activity, backed by organized crime, and perhaps even some governments. They want your passwords, especially for bank and other financial accounts, so they can drain them for you, and they use some pretty tricky and often sophisticated means to get them, either from you, or from sites they break into.

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Crash Boom Bang

I’ve been using computers for many, many years now, and finally had something happen to me that has never happened before: a disk crash. It happened yesterday. “But you have backups, right?” you might wonder. But of course! I back up to a network disk system every night. And that’s what crashed: my backup disk!

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Twitter: Why You Should Care

Chris in Washington asks:

Randy: you’ve mentioned Twitter a couple of times, and I see you have a link on TRUE’s home page to your Twitter page. I’ve looked at Twitter a couple of times, and I just don’t get it. Do people really care that their friends (or favorite celebrities) are “Waking up to face the day.” or “Eating a bologna sandwich for lunch.”? Why?

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Identity Theft: Protect Yourself

or,

They Really Are Out To Get You

I’ve been warning about spam in True since 1996 — ten long years. My warnings have been summarized in my Spam Primer, which is now on its own site. As I predicted more than 10 years ago, it’s gotten worse — much worse. And the stakes are much higher than just clogging your inbox: your life savings are at risk.

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Dell Hell

A Few Reader Horror Stories
Updates: A Happy Ending?
Conclusion — and Lessons Learned

I’ve recommended Dell computers for many years. But my confidence in them was shaken when I got a new laptop in Fall 2004, and I ended up in “Dell Hell”. As you might expect, I run my computers pretty hard since I work 10-14 hours/day, seven days a week to bring you True and other stuff, so I get a new one every three years or so. This time I decided to switch to a full-time laptop; I gave my desktop to my new assistant and ordered up a new Dell Inspiron laptop.

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Why oh Why2K?

or, Ponderings on the New Millennium

“I would like to take you seriously, but to do so would affront your intelligence.” –William F. Buckley, conservative newspaper columnist.

It all started as a bit of musing in my author’s note in the first issue of the year 2000. Then, the more comments from readers I published, the more they streamed in. Let’s recap. In the issue published 7 January 2000, I pondered:

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