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Judge corrects mistake after reading about it on Blog

Ontarios Securities Commission seeking ban on Lydia Diamond Explorations of Canada: Psychic used to attract investors

BHP Profit Down, warning for next quarter

IGL now certifies Champagne Diamonds

Angolan Brothers reunited after years of fighting on opposite sides of War

DiamondWorks Ltd. announces third quarter earnings of US $0.05 per share

Phone Spam War

Lazare Kaplan cutter to host live Diamond Cutting & Cleaving Demonstration in Colorado

Another Blog Marriage!

DTer's Christmas in the White House

Maurice Levit, Jeweler to Frank Sinatra, Marvin Zindler, The Beatles & the Harlem Globetrotters, passes away at 81 years old

Eightstar Diamonds featured on TechTV Live tonight

Hollywood & Jewelry: Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore & Faith Hill join Platinum Guild in Women w/ Heart Project: Sex & the City spawns Jewelry Fashion Trends

$3 million in Jewelry to be auctioned tonight

Morgan's Jewelry in Kansas City, Robbed

DMA finally see what the rest of the world already knows about Spam

More on those annoying optical illusions

Sotheby's fined $20 million for fee-fixing with Christie's

Jennifer Lopez MTV interview, sports Pink Diamond Ring

Horse Harmony

Club vs. Lojack

Brian McWilliams of Wired reports on the email contents of Saddam Hussein's inbox...someone broke into the account

PHP & Yahoo

Researchers probing Antimatter Atoms

Tiffany to Produce Diamonds: Goes into Manufacturing

Heid Klum: Babes & Baubles Gala, Jewelry Night in Oregon to benefit Center for Women's Health

New body formed to certify Origin of Diamonds

1983: Samantha Smith To Andropov: Congratulations on your new job!

Joel Arthur Rosenthal's Jewels: Exhibition under auspices of Lord Rothschild

Red Flags on Muhammad Began a Year Ago

Cool Site: Journalism.org

Detailed story of the Cullinan in Redlands Daily Facts

2 Canadian mining companies to merge

CIA casts doubts that Al Qaeda is profiting from the Diamond Trade

London Magazine: Bin Laden's Will complains of Betrayal


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Archive for October 2002: Up a level | November 2002 »

October 31, 2002

Judge corrects mistake after reading about it on Blog

I found out about this from Joi Ito's web. A former law clerk to a 3rd circuit judge caught an error in Judge Smith's opinion. Turns out Judge Smith is a regular reader of his blog and corrected it on the spot!

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


Ontarios Securities Commission seeking ban on Lydia Diamond Explorations of Canada: Psychic used to attract investors

Trading ban on Lydia sought.

The Ontario Securities Commission is asking for a permanent trading ban in shares of Lydia Diamond Explorations of Canada Ltd., a junior mining company that used a psychic to attract investors.
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


BHP Profit Down, warning for next quarter

Sunday Times: BHP warns of uncertainty [ 31oct02 ]

BHP Billiton, the world's largest resources company, today posted a 9.0 per cent fall in first quarter net profit and said it expected the second quarter to be just as tough.
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


IGL now certifies Champagne Diamonds

IGL, India's first Diamond Grading Laboratory, now certifies Champagne Diamonds.

Samrat Zaveri MD Trendsmith announced that all the diamond jewellery sold by Trendsmith will be certified exclusively by IGL. The Champagne Certificate will contain specific details such as weight, shape, cut and measurements, proportions (which include depth, table width, crown height and angle, pavilion depth, girdle thickness), clarity (standard clarity grading scale), finish (which includes polish and symmetry), colour grade (C1-C7) and comments by the diamond grader.
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (1) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Angolan Brothers reunited after years of fighting on opposite sides of War

Reuters AlertNet - Angolan brothers united after years of war. One of the brothers was kidnapped at the age of 15 by the UNITA rebel movement and beca,e a child soldier....

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Current Events


DiamondWorks Ltd. announces third quarter earnings of US $0.05 per share

DiamondWorks Ltd. 3rd quarter earnings announcement.

DiamondWorks Ltd. (the "Company") is pleased to announce its unaudited financial results for the third quarter and nine months ended August 31, 2002. The substantial improvement of results over comparative periods reflects the consolidation of the financial results of its recently acquired subsidiary Otterbea International (Proprietary) Limited ("Otterbea"). The Company owns 80.1% of Otterbea. All figures are stated in US dollars.
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Phone Spam War

Algorhythm points out the irony that he's paying $3 per month to SBC/Ameritech for their "Privacy Manager" to block telemarketers, knowing full well that the company most responsible for his junk telephone calls is SBC Ameritech! He asks for suggestions...

Well, as I've discussed before on DT, I used to get 5-10 junk phone calls per day at home. I used the script from Junkbusters that he said he's too busy to try. And I can say that it worked wonders. I can't remember the last time I got a junk cold call. And with a bit of modification, it can be done rather quickly.

I embellished the script a little, especially when it was clear the cold caller didn't know the law...

The most important thing to keep in mind during a phone call from one of these guys is that the person making the call is trained to overcome your objections and can be rather resistent to your script. If you don't get joy out of tormenting the cold caller and having them call you a freak, as I managed to get one really smooth cold caller to "lose it" and do, then in my experience you can speed up the process considerably with the following:

"Hello, I'm calling for MCI/Sprint (whoever) and this is a courtesy call."
(The FOR is a dead giveaway that he works for a telemarketing company and NOT MCI/Sprint/whoever. Courtesy call = junk phone call)

May I speak to your supervisor?
(I never heard a "no" to this one).

"Yes".
Do you maintain a do not call list?
(If they say no, I always say, "Do you realize that you are personally liable in court to pay me $5,000 for calling me when you do not maintain a Do Not Call List". That always gets their attention. I think the law is the company is liable, but by making it personal and scaring them, you usually get them to pay attention)

"Yes".
Please put me on it!

That's all it takes, but to be more effective, I would definitely add the following lines:

Do you work FOR MCI/Sprint (whoever) or do you work for a telemarketing company making calls ON BEHALF of MCI/Sprint AND other companies?
(Sometimes they will resist telling the truth on this one, but the supervisor generally knows the law and knows that you are a PITA who will never give up and will generally cooperate with a little prodding)

"A telemarketing company".
Can you please put me on the Do Not Call List for both MCI/Sprint (whoever)
AS WELL AS ALL OTHER COMPANIES YOU CALL FOR?

"Yes".

You're done. It takes about 2-3 months of this before you stop receiving calls. Although the concept was from JunkBusters, the fact is that it works and I'm telling you real-life experience.

Additionally, by the time this problem was going down, my brother bought me the TeleZapper for my birthday so I can't say how much it helped, but it's only on one line. And the calls stopped coming from both lines...

The only junk phone calls I have to deal with is Junk Faxes. And they sure seem to defeat the telezapper. I also have to think with the frequency of their use, that they have found a way to defeat paying any charges on their phone bill as well.

As far as Junk Faxes go, it is clearly violative of the law. And there are often urls mentioned in the fax "newsletter" and phone numbers, so I'm a bit puzzled as to why they haven't been shut down...

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


Lazare Kaplan cutter to host live Diamond Cutting & Cleaving Demonstration in Colorado

Diamond Cutting and Cleaving Demonstration.

Michael's Diamond Center is hosting a live demonstration in the art of cleaving and cutting a diamond by a skilled craftsman from Lazare Kaplan International Inc.,
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (1) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


October 30, 2002

Another Blog Marriage!

Congratulations to Susan and PhotoDude on their recent marriage. Here's their ring.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (1) | Links to this entry (0) | Wedding Journal


DTer's Christmas in the White House

As the holiday season is approaching, DT member Cassandra has Dug up her old White House pics . Pretty cool!

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (1) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


Maurice Levit, Jeweler to Frank Sinatra, Marvin Zindler, The Beatles & the Harlem Globetrotters, passes away at 81 years old

Maurice Levit, Houston Jeweler, has passed away at 81 years old.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (3) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Eightstar Diamonds featured on TechTV Live tonight

I'm sure a lot of DTers will be interested in watching Tech TV tonight at 8:30pm Eastern and repeated 11:30pm and 9:30 am tomorrow. For the full story click on TechTV: New diamond-cutting technique is creating what some believe to be the world's most perfect diamonds.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (2) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Hollywood & Jewelry: Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore & Faith Hill join Platinum Guild in Women w/ Heart Project: Sex & the City spawns Jewelry Fashion Trends

Andrew Koppell writes an article about fashion & Jewelry for the Pinescrest Tribune.

An excerpt:

More than 20 show biz types have joined with the platinum guild for the Women With Heart project. Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Faith Hill are just three of the stars who signed on to design their own heart pendant in platinum. The hearts will be auctioned off and the profits from each will be donated to different charities....

SEX IN THE CITY A STRONG INFLUENCE
It’s just a TV show and a cable one at that. But, you might think it was mandatory viewing for every citizen if you counted its influence on jewelry fashion.

We’re talking about the perennial favorite Sex in the City, the show with reigning fashion icon Sarah Jessica Parker. Among the jewelry trends she and other characters have spawned by merely wearing them are diamond horseshoes, the nametag necklace, the interlocking C-style earring and now, an up-and-coming favorite of the fall season, the four-leaf clover pendant.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (10) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


$3 million in Jewelry to be auctioned tonight

Auction of $3 million in jewelry

NORTHAMPTON - Some 600 pieces of jewelry - an estimated $3 million worth - obtained from police seizures, attorneys, store closings, estate sales and bankruptcies - will go on sale tonight in one of the more unusual auctions staged in the city. A New Jersey-based auction company says $3 million of the finest jewelry - Rolex watches and six-carat diamond solitaires - will be sold to the public. Armed guards will be on hand to protect the bounty gleaned from police departments, bankruptcy sales or customs seizures, said Julian Turobiner of the State Auction Services Inc. of Teaneck, N.J., which is holding the auction.
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (2) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Morgan's Jewelry in Kansas City, Robbed

Morgan's Jewelry robbed

The owners fought back with a gun...started firing. The thieves dropped some of their stash but got away..

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (2) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


DMA finally see what the rest of the world already knows about Spam

One of my favorite topics here is spam and how to get rid of it. As I've said before on DT, the reason that legislation hasn't worked is because of a powerful lobbying organization called the DMA. They have opposed legislation for a long time. These are the folks behind junk mail and other marketing gimmicks. Even they have finally recognized the need for anti-spam laws. This reduces one of the bottlenecks to spam- somewhat.

The only reason they are realizing this is because with spam taking over, their own members' emails are getting lost in the noise and are therefore not effective. They are so blind and self-serving that they don't understand how useless their own stand is and how their power is making everyone including their own members suffer.

And their change of heart is still rather feeble. For they still want it to be legal to send unsolicited email. In other words, Opt-out laws rather than Opt-in laws. What does this mean? It means that the emails must provide a way for you to be removed from the mailing list.

Although I'm in disagreement with the DMA on this issue, their concept of opt-out is completely unrealistic even from their own worldview. No one uses opt-out anymore because all it does is validate your email address to spammers who will then send you more emails.

It is more than a little aggravating that our lawmakers are also so self-serving that they rather listen to a PAC like the DMA rather than what is obvious to any human being with an email address. Spam should be very illegal period. If the politicians need money, they can get plenty more than the DMA is offering if they would stem the tide of this scourge of the Internet.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


More on those annoying optical illusions

We were discussing optical illusions on Diamond Talk recently. Well this helps you visually understand how it works and may give you a headache at the same time. Read it while I go get some tylenol.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


Sotheby's fined $20 million for fee-fixing with Christie's

Brussels fines Sotheby's for fixing fees with Christie's

Sotheby's has 2 months to appeal.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (1) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Jennifer Lopez MTV interview, sports Pink Diamond Ring

MTV.com: Jennifer Lopez Feels Ben Affleck's Love, Sports Big Pink Rock To Prove It

Picture of JLo's Pink Diamond Ring from MTV Interview:

Updates and Links:


Picture

Ziamond version of ring

More info on Jennifer Lopez Ring

Jennifer Lopez, Her Ring, Her Engagement & Journalism

J-Lo Glow

PrimeTime Live Article



DT Discussion

DT Discussion

Another Entry

Pink Diamonds, the Website

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (141) | Links to this entry (1) | Jewelry


Horse Harmony

Classic Flash

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Cool Websites


Club vs. Lojack

Mark Pilgrim goes into considerable detail about what I was recently discussing here on referer spam and similar topics. His basic point was that LoJack deters crime overall, but won't stop your car from getting stolen, whereas the club will stop your car from being stolen because the thief will go after another car...until such time that The Club is so ubiquitous that it will be worth the thief's effort to steal cars that use it.

What Mark failed to do in his discussion is provide an example of a LoJack type system in the world of fighting spam. I'd say the answer to that question is to make spam and all it's variants very illegal with extremely stiff penalties, far beyond what you would normally expect such a crime to carry due to the number of people affected and for how destructive it is to the community as a whole.

P.S. using the PayPal style system where they say "please enter the code contained in this blurry image with no ALT text" is a problem that spammers have solved by shipping out those gifs to humans to decode them and continuing with the automated process!

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


Brian McWilliams of Wired reports on the email contents of Saddam Hussein's inbox...someone broke into the account

Wired News: Dear Saddam, How Can I Help?

Fascinating.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (1) | Links to this entry (0) | Current Events


PHP & Yahoo

If you know PHP and like Yahoo (or used to), don't miss this.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


Researchers probing Antimatter Atoms

First measurements of a complete antihydrogen atom

It seems like the stuff of science fiction, but NSF-sponsored researchers working at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, have probed the properties of whole atoms of antimatter, the "mirror image" of matter, for the first time. Their results provide the first look into the inside of an antimatter atom and are a big step on the way to testing standard theories of how the universe operates.
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Science


October 29, 2002

Tiffany to Produce Diamonds: Goes into Manufacturing

Tiffany to Produce Diamonds

TIFFANY is going the whole way with diamonds. The celebrated jeweller is becoming a diamond manufacturer and dealer to secure the supplies of the gems that made its name.

Traditionally, Tiffany bought polished diamonds from major centres in Antwerp, Tel Aviv and New York. It is now going into manufacturing and dealing to have a greater control of the product supply chain, it says.

But the key issue is guaranteeing solid sources for diamonds, which is becoming a major concern among diamond and jewellery companies.
"The move shows how significant the issue of supply has become and Tiffany can do it because they are selling at a premium," says Charles Wyndham of WWW International Diamond Consultants. This is especially the case for customers of De Beers, which faces a shortage of rough and was looking to reduce its client list of about 120 companies by about half.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (1) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Heid Klum: Babes & Baubles Gala, Jewelry Night in Oregon to benefit Center for Women's Health

Women take a night out for serious fun

She may have left her diamond-encrusted Miracle Bra at home, but there was no mistaking who the guest of honor was.

Heidi Klum, the supermodel best known for her Victoria's Secret catalog work, was the special guest at Thursday's Babes and Baubles Gala. The event, held at the Governor Hotel, was a benefit for the Center for Women's Health at Oregon Health & Science University.

The jewelry-themed girl's night out included a showing of gowns from the downtown boutique Mario's as well as exquisite jewelry from Portland's Zell Bros and New York-based Mouawad Jewelers, for whom Klum has designed a small collection of gold and diamond pieces.

German-born Klum, 29, all doe eyes and cheekbones, said it made perfect sense to her that the evening theme was No Boys Allowed.

I think it's wonderful,she said. It's usually a man's world, isn't it? This is a great way to turn it around. It's also a great cause. Women need to be reminded to take care of themselves; we're used to nurturing other people.

The sold-out event was the brainchild of Portland philanthropic leaders Arlene Schnitzer and Julie Neupert Stott. Schnitzer, who is co-chairwoman of OHSU's Campaign for Women's Health, said the idea for Babes and Baubles came about during preliminary meetings with Jake’s restaurant, which provided the evening’s lavish fare.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (1) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


New body formed to certify Origin of Diamonds

New Body is Formed to Certify Diamond Origins

New Body is Formed to Certify Diamond Origins

Business Day (Johannesburg)
October 29, 2002
FORMER KPMG head of certification, Jim Keegan, has formed a new body to certify the origins of diamonds under the Kimberley Process.
The new company, International Diamond Certification, will take on WWW International Diamond Consultants as an associate for its expertise in the diamond industry.

"The new company has been established to meet the growing demand from across the diamond industry for credible independent audit and certification relating to the Kimberley Process," it said in a statement.

The launch of the company comes three days before the World Diamond Congress starts in London and less than two weeks before the landmark meeting at Interlaken, Switzerland on November 5, which is expected to ratify the adoption of the Kimberley Process by the European Union for implementation beginning early next year.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (1) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


1983: Samantha Smith To Andropov: Congratulations on your new job!

Sam.jpg

I remember Samantha. This was the 10 year old girl who wrote a letter to Soviet Leader Yuri Andropov and got a letter back and an invitation to the Soviet Union. She got to meet Andropov and the local population. Put a face to the people in the Soviet Union. An interesting letter to see how a child of 10 perceives the world and politics. Life should be so simple and in some ways, it comes down to her questions: "I have been worrying about Russia and the United States getting into a nuclear war. Are you going to vote to have a war or not? If you aren't please tell me how you are going to help to not have a war. This question you do not have to answer, but I would like to know why you want to conquer the world or at least our country. God made the world for us to live together in peace and not to fight."

I didn't know and am rather sad to hear that she died at 13 in a plane crash.... As the saying goes, the good die young...

samsmith.gif
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (5) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


Joel Arthur Rosenthal's Jewels: Exhibition under auspices of Lord Rothschild

Celebrating the jewels of JAR

. On display at Somerset House in London is the work of the world's most respected and reclusive jeweler, who hides his name like he buries a diamond in a gem-set lattice. . Behind the acronym JAR is Joel Arthur Rosenthal, an American artist-jeweler in Paris, who has been working for 25 years for a clientele as elite and rarefied as his one-of-a-kind creations. . "The Jewels of JAR, Paris" (from Nov. 2 to Jan. 26) is being held at the Gilbert Collection under the auspices of Lord Rothschild. The only other display by the intensely private designer was a one-night show (also by torchlight) in New York 15 years ago.
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (17) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Red Flags on Muhammad Began a Year Ago

Yahoo! News - Red Flags on Muhammad Began Year Ago

Suspicion began swirling around John Muhammad about a year ago in this coastal town with rumors about his gun, a mysterious cash flow and his reputed desire to live near the Canadian border so he could quickly flee the country.

AP Photo


Local authorities also say they heard about how he wanted his rifle modified to fit a case, and how he talked of wanting a silencer so he could kill police officers.
They heard various people's concerns in October, November, December and June. And twice, investigators visited the homeless shelter where he lived to see about children in his care.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Current Events


Cool Site: Journalism.org


Journalism.org - Research, Resources and Ideas to Improve Journalism

This looks like a great site. The Project for Excellence in Journalism has merged with the Committee of Concerned Journalists. They want to elevate their profession and that is a laudable goal.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Cool Websites


October 28, 2002

Detailed story of the Cullinan in Redlands Daily Facts

Happy story of the king of diamonds

Learn how the Asscher Brothers transported this gem and the history of the Cullinan. Great article!

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


2 Canadian mining companies to merge

The Financial Times reports that Iamgold and Repadre Capital will merge.

An excerpt:

Consolidation in the gold mining industry continued on Monday as Canada's Iamgold and Repadre Capital announced an all-stock merger that values the latter at about C$340m (US$217m).
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


CIA casts doubts that Al Qaeda is profiting from the Diamond Trade

WTNH reports on Al Qaeda funding sources.

An excerpt:

The CIA also casts doubt on press reports that al-Qaida is profiting from the diamond trade in war-ravaged parts of Africa, saying it has uncovered little evidence to verify those reports.
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


London Magazine: Bin Laden's Will complains of Betrayal

almajalah.jpg

Reuters: Bin Laden's will, dated December 14, 2001, obtained.

A London-based magazine said on Friday it was publishing a will written by Osama bin Laden, the world's most wanted man, in which he complains of betrayal by fellow militants in Afghanistan.

The Arabic-language al-Majallah said the will, typed and signed by bin Laden and dated December 14, 2001, was obtained a week ago from a "very reliable" source in Afghanistan.
It said the will, typically packed with verses from the Muslim holy book the Koran, depicted a man who appeared desperate and on the verge of death.

"Reading it, you get the impression of a dying man. It may be that he was wounded and felt he was dying," Majallah Editor-in-Chief Hani Nakshabandi told Reuters of the will, which is due to be published on Saturday.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Current Events


Rusian Rocket Explosion may have been sabotage

Ananova - Russian rocket explosion may have been deliberate

The head of Russia's space agency say an explosion which brought down a rocket just after launch may have been malicious.

One soldier died and a multi-million pound scientific satellite was lost during the incident earlier this month.

Yuri Koptev said the explosion was caused by an unidentified object in the fuel line.

He said investigators are considering "malicious intent" among other possibilities.

The Soyuz-U rocket blew up within seconds of liftoff October 15 from the northern Plesetsk launch pad.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Current Events


Beltway Sniper Suspect John Muhammad audio tape joking w/ court personnel on formal name change

The Smoking Gunhas found an audio tape of Muhammad requesting a name change in Pierce County District:

MUHAMMAD ON TAPE A jovial, laughing John Allen Muhammad can be heard on an official audio recording of the alleged sniper's appearance last year in Pierce County District Court to formally change his name. In April 2001, Muhammad made a brief appearance before Judge Molly Davis to request that his name be formally changed from John Allen Williams for "religion purposes" (he had converted to Islam years earlier). When Davis granted the name change after only a few perfunctory questions, Muhammad joked, "I feel cheated," since he was not called on to present witnesses or paperwork or approach the bench. "These are fairly routine," Davis said.
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Current Events


MyWay.com: Yahoo-killer?

I've been waiting for someone to do this and IWon.com's founders have taken up the challenge. They have a replacement for My.Yahoo.Com, now that yahoo is so overcommercialized. They have a long way to go before I'll make it my home page, but I have high hopes. Even though IWon.com was pretty commercial, they did it in a smart way and I bet they'll be smart about this too. I never really used IWon.com, btw, but I have more respect for them then the NYTimes article seemed to. That article was again on the same page as the other 2 I mentioned today.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (91) | Links to this entry (0) | Cool Websites


XML is the future. Article on Office 11 and XML

I'll believe it when I see Office 11 but this guy "Co-Inventor of XML" Says Office 11 is "A Huge Step Forward for Microsoft". I don't know about that headline as co-inventor, but unless Word saves its docs as XML by default, this story is way overblown. Nonetheless, when developers catch up with the importance of XML, there will be HUGE advances. People have been talking about it for awhile, but it will be mostly talk until developers make something of it... But the potential is indeed huge and the blogging world is at the forefront of actually doing anything about it. And IMO, they haven't even scratched the surface... If you're technical and don't know anything about XML, learn learn learn. It's the future...

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


Another update on referer spam

Simon reports that my prediction already is happening. Not only that, but it's happening on Bulletin Boards too. But we are more protected because they need to register first...

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


Referer Spam update

RowBoat identified Mr. Mastodonte and he's from Montreal. When I clicked on the referer he didn't seem to have any ads up. And I doubt he ever will. The porn spammers are smarter because they never told you what they were doing and it took some detective work to figure out what was going on...

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


GPS Cellphones

Joi Ito is trying to convince Casio to make a Blog Camera. Great idea.

And today on the same page as that article on Mitch Kapor, is an article on Shazam's cellphones. If there's a song playing in a cafe for example, it will compare it to a database of 1.6 million songs and name that tune for you. I have doubts about the need for such a device, but I thought of something else that would be cool.

First some background. A few years ago I bought a present for my tech-gadget crazy cousin (yes, it runs in the family). It was a GPS. He loves sailing, you see.

Well one day, I'm in the car with him, visiting a corporate customer of his and he had been there once before 2 years ago. He pops open the GPS I gave him and blip blip blip, there's one blip where we are and another blip where the customer is. Had I bought it a couple of years later, he tells me, we could have been given directions and had streets laid out in front of us.

Anyways, yesterday I was in a car going to that Halloween party and had to call my friend to get directions, which were given but weren't that accurate. I thought it would be cool if standard with cellphones would be the ability to send the co-ordinates from one phone to another so you could see exactly where you have to go.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (2) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


Riding a Motorcycle

Gen points out an interesting article in NYTimes about the physics of riding a motorcycle. But if you like motorcycles, don't miss his article published here.

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Another episode of scamming the Nigerian Scammers

Another one who scams the scammers. Enjoy!

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Mitch Kapor makes the NY Times

Mitch Kapor made page C3 of the NY Times today. As mentioned before, he is building what many are calling an outlook killer even if he is humble enough to view it differently.

I think Microsoft is not unshakeable in the position they're in. I believe they have weaknesses and Kapor's project, if successful, can spawn many others. Just for some examples. The web is so central to what we do. Yet there are a bunch of things that microsoft never fixed in their browser as they have done for Word, Excel etc.. (e.g., right-click and copy image location to clipboard, upgrade the excellent webtools that used to be available to ie 5 users but disappeared after the "upgrade" to ie 6. Easier access to "open link in new window", and a bunch of others).

There is an army of out of work developers who are more than capable of creating and launching the best browser out there. Microsoft stopped innovating after they beat Netscape...

I'd love to see it happen and I think Mitch Kapor's example is a great one to follow. Good luck Mitch!

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (1) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


50 years later, Chuck Yeager breaks sound barrier again!

Congratulations Chuck!

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Sky Witness

Sky Witness

In the name of History something like this may turn out to be quite valuable and important. But somehow I cringe at the way it's done. Despite the lack of ads, it feels like 9/11 and big events are being memorialized in a bit of a crass and even commercial way...

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US Diplomat gunned down in Jordan

Seems like something like this is happening almost every day now..

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Glass Engine

The IBM glass engine is really cool!

The IBM glass engine enables deep navigation of the music of Philip Glass. Personal interests, associations, and impulses guide the listener through an expanding selection of over sixty Glass works.
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Some good news from Formula 1 for a change

F1 rejects radical change

Although change is badly needed, those proposed initially and finally rejected, are far worse than it is today. Here are the changes that WILL happen and were ratified:

The changes agreed for 2003 are as follows: The single one-hour session on a Saturday has been abandoned in favour of two one-hour sessions - one each on Friday and Saturday. Cars will go out one at a time for single flying laps. The points system will change in a bid to keep the championship open for as long as possible and to award points down to eighth place rather than sixth. The new system awards 10 points for a win, and will then go eight, six, five, four, three, two and one. Team orders that affect race results have been banned. The Belgian Grand Prix has been struck off the calendar because of a row over tobacco advertising. Tyre companies will be allowed to custom-make tyres for each team they supply.

In particular I like the ruling that the team can't decide who wins. This shouldn't be too hard to enforce. It would be rather obvious and which driver that is in the lead will be willing to give it up if they can point to a rule as their backup?

I also like each car getting a chance by itself on the race track. It's about time.

The cars will go out on Friday in championship order. And the faster car on Friday will get a second chance last on Saturday.

Good news for F1 fans.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Sports


Tetris is hard

Tetris is Hard (warning, link is PDF file)

An article for you technical types who also happen to like tetris.

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What Spammers are going to do next

After reading an entry on Instapundit, once again I am getting angry.

Apparently, Wired Magazine is reporting on a new phenomenon. Referer advertising. A couple of companies have created an advertising model where they send a false referer note in your logs saying that a user arrived to your site (blog) from another site. Actually, I've seen this long ago on Diamond Talk and wondered how someone got to, say Diamond Talk, from a porn site. It's only now that I realize it was "referer advertising".

Unfortunately, it's rather obvious what the next step will be. Trackback and Pingback advertising. These parasties will abuse the friendly nature of the net and destroy the entire protocol of pingbacks and trackbacks like they destroyed usenet.

I take that back. What will probably happen there is the designers of software supporting these protocols will have to create filters where each trackback or pingback will have the option to be moderated before it is allowed to appear on a blog.

The wired article is here.

Astute readers of Diamond Blog will recognize that the line in the article about "Some bloggers publish a list that automatically updates links to sites that have linked to them" may have been inspired by the work of a frequently cited (at DB) blogger, Mark Pilgrim, although other fine sites like plastic do the same.

In the scheme of things, I'm still far more upset by spam porn to children than fake referer advertising, although all these practices should become illegal.

Parents, there is something you can do to protect your kids. DT member Song described the steps she took. Bravo Song!

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (2) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


Guardian Report: Oryx, claiming multimillion damages from BBC for wrongly linking it to Al Qaeda, now accused by UN of link to Mugabe Army

Oryx 'link to Mugabe army'

Here is an excerpt:

Diamond mining firm Oryx Natural Resources, which is claiming multi-million damages from the BBC for wrongly linking it to the al-Qaeda terrorist group, is now alleged to be a front for the Zimbabwe Defence Force. Unless Oryx can disprove the latest claim, its mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo faces closure within four months and its claim against the BBC - potentially the largest of its kind in UK libel history - will be jeopardised.

A United Nations Security Council report lists a number of damning allegations against Oryx, including a claim that it smuggled diamonds out of the Congo, and channelled money to the Zimbabwean military. It recommends sanctions against Oryx unless the firm can refute the allegations.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Blood Diamond Talks Begin

Blood diamond talks begin

The World Diamond Council is meeting in London to discuss moves to crack down on the illegal trade in gems mined in war zones - so called blood diamonds.

Proceeds from the sale of blood diamonds are used to fund some of Africa's bitterest conflicts, including wars in Sierra Leone and Angola.
Pressure has been mounting on the industry to find a way of stamping out trafficking in the gems.

The WDC Chairman, Eli Izhakoff says:

"I'm confident that we will be able to come up with a type of system that will be workable...But putting the certification system in place clearly is going to make it extremely difficult for anybody to try to deal in this type of diamond. Anybody who is trying to sell diamonds better have proof where those diamonds come from."

I'm curious to know details of this plan.... The number of issues to overcome in a plan of this nature is truly of a magnificent scope.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


DRC Mission Ends

allAfrica.com: DRC Mission Ends

THE last batch of Zimbabwean soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo is expected home next week, after the Sadc allies agreed to withdraw all their forces by the end of this month.

Sadc allies announced at the end of a one-day meeting in Kinshasa on Thursday that the last of their troops, which have been helping the DRC repel a Rwandan and Ugandan-backed invasion, will pull out of the Congo next week.

President Mugabe joined President Joseph Kabila (DRC), President Eduardo dos Santos of Angola and President Sam Nujoma of Namibia at the Kinshasa meeting, to formalise the withdrawal of the allied forces from the Congo.

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Hindustan Times: Gold loses its sheen this festive season

Gold loses sheen this season

New Delhi, October 28

The yellow metal seems to have given up its place of pride for the Indian woman with diamonds, pearls and polki (diamond chips) fast catching up with her fascination.

Heavy sets in gold are out, small, trendy and westernised designs in white gold, diamond, silver and platinum are in -- and this is the fashion statement for the coming season, say top designers.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


October 27, 2002

Madonna sings "Die Another Day", latest Bond Flick

Madonna: Die Another Day, hear the title song.


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Mt. Kilimanjaro's glaciers melting...

American Researchers have reported that the glaciers on Mount Kilimanjaro are melting!

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Giants Prepare for Game 7

Barry Bonds and the Giants prepare to battle The Anaheim Angels (aren't they supposed to be called the California Angels?) in game 7. Yesterday was actually a very exciting game. I even caught the beginning and for the first time saw Lucy Liu, Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz open it up on Fox Sports...seems Charlie's "Angels" are "Angels" fans.

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In honor of Conrad Johnson Montgomery County transit

About two dozen buses from several states proceed around Washington's Capital Beltway after leaving the Silver Spring Metro Station as part of a funeral procession for sniper shooting victim Conrad Johnson Saturday, Oct. 26, 2002. Banners saying 'In honor of Conrad Johnson Montgomery County transit' are draped on several of the Ride On buses, carrying transit employees and other area residents to the funeral.

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On Remembering

On remembering.

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Lots of info on Moscow Hostage story

Instapundit points out that Overlawyered indeed has lots of interesting information and links relating to the hostage crisis that just ended in Moscow.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Current Events


Microsoft PR

A PR firm thought up some bizarre ad campaign for microsoft. They are putting butterfly decals on government property in NYC, claiming to have permits, then apologizing for defacing property, all as a result of an official complaint from the MTA.

Perhaps the PR guys subscribe to the philosophy that there is no such thing as bad publicity....

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


Tip for Verizon cellphone users

Jake has a great tip for Verizon users:

Dial *228 once a month to update your list of towers on your cellphone. Sounds like the "hosts" file on your computer :)

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


$50 million dollar lawsuit between Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt & Damiani settled with new ad campaign

The NY Post reports that Aniston, Pitt & Damiani have cut a deal stemming from the lawsuit over Damiani's internet advertising. Numerous celebrities have appeared on Damiani's website wearing Jewelry, including Claudia Cardinale, Penelope Cruz, Catherine Deneuve, Mena Suvari & Geraldine Chaplin. As a result of the new agreement, Pitt is designing a line of Jewelry for Damiani and Jennifer Aniston will model.

Here is an excerpt of the NY Post report:

Diamonds truly are Jennifer Aniston's best "Friends." This is a first look at the 33-year-old Emmy Award-winning actress in a new ad campaign for a pricey Italian jewelry company she and husband Brad Pitt once sued. Aniston and Pitt resolved their $50 million ring-rage lawsuit against Silvia Damiani in January over claims Damiani's company had made cheap knockoffs of their wedding bands and made them unwilling participants in one of her Internet advertising campaigns.
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (1) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


If it's fish, It's a Red

Singing like a Hummingbird.

This is a great story of a company that revolutionized fishing, with depth finders and eventually imaging. They initiated a stock option plan for employees who landed a 2,000 percent gain in value. Bravo.

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DeBeers puzzled by inclusion in UN allegations on DRC

Mining giants puzzled by UN allegations

De Beers spokesman in South Africa, Brian Roodt, told IRIN the diamond company was puzzled by its inclusion in the report. "We're trying to get hold of the UN to find out what the specifics are in relation to their allegations," he said.

Meanwhile, Anglo American issued a statement saying it has had no operations in the DRC "for several years".

"The group's interests have included a couple of potential projects, only one of which ... proceeded beyond the earliest form of pre-feasibility stage. It was precisely because of the company's concerns with regard to broad governance issues surrounding mining in the DRC that Anglo American hesitated to become further involved in the country.

"We discussed our concerns with the World Bank and participated with groups involved in the drafting of the new Mining Code which we fully support the objective of which was to increase transparency in the allocation of mineral rights and set clear rules," the company said.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Agere & Ericsson make agreement. Wi-Fi to take another leap!

Wi-Fi enthusiasts should love this Announcement.

Mobile phone maker Ericsson and communications components manufacturer Agere Systems, yesterday announced their plan to create Wi-Fi solutions, which could mean users will no longer have to connect to designated hotspots or even stick to one service provider. The companies are working on Wi-Fi solutions that connect to service providers' network hubs to enable user authentication and billing, meaning users can roam between networks. "Together with Ericsson, we will clear the last hurdle to enabling widespread deployment of Wi-Fi networks in public spaces," said Ron Torten, vice president of Agere's networking and entertainment division.
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Record Companies vs. Kazaa, Gnutella & Napster clones

Music giants target workplaces

Trade groups representing record labels, film studios and music publishers are to send a letter to 1,000 big corporations asking them to implement a system to stop illegal downloads.

The industry has been fighting a constant battle against websites such as Kazaa, Gnutella, and the now defunct Napster, which offer download services for free, dodging copyright fees.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


Politics as usual

3 members of the house sent a letter to their colleagues:

Here's the note to the New Democrats from Smith, Kind and J. Davis:

Support Innovation in Cybersecurity -- Sign The Attached Dear Colleague

Deadline: Friday, October 18th

Dear New Democrat Colleague:

Attached is a letter that is being sent to Dick Clarke, the Chair of the President's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board. As he shapes the "National Strategy"on cybersecurity, it is important to affirm that government R&D should be made available under intellectual property licenses that allow for further development and commercialization of that work. Licenses such as the General Public License (GPL) are problematic and threaten to undermine innovation and security. I urge you to sign this letter.

As you know, the basis of the Internet - the TCP/IP protocol - is a result of federal R&D efforts at DARPA. The advancement and commercialization of this research provided significant economic growth as well as gains in productivity and efficiency.

Public-private partnerships have been hallmarks of technological innovation and government has played a positive role in fostering innovation by allowing the private sector to develop commercial products from the results of publicly funded research. As such it is important that the National Strategy reject any licenses that would prevent or discourage commercial adoption of promising cybersecurity technologies developed through federal R&D.

The terms of restrictive license's - such as those in the GNU or GPL - prevent companies from adopting, improving, commercializing and deriving profits from the software by precluding companies from establishing commercial IP rights in any subsequent code. Thus, if government R&D creates a security innovation under a restrictive license, a commercial vendor will not integrate that code into its software. So long as government research is not released under licensing terms that restrict commercialization, publicly funded research provides an important resource for the software industry.

New Democrats have long supported public-private partnerships -- it's important that any licenses do not compromise a company's intellectual property rights in their own technology. I encourage you to sign the attached letter to Mr. Clarke. If you have any questions, please contact Mike Mullen (Rep. Jim Turner; 5-2401) or John Mulligan (Rep. Adam Smith; 5-8901). Thank you.

Sincerely,

Adam Smith Member of Congress
Ron Kind Member of Congress
Jim Davis Member of Congress


Text of attached letter to Mr. Clarke

Congress of the United States
Washington DC 20515
October 8, 2002


Honorable Richard A. Clarke
Chair, President's Critical Infrastructure Board
The White House
Washington, DC 20500


Dear Mr. Clarke:

We are writing to submit our views on the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace that you circulated for comment on September 18, 2002. We believe the National Strategy should explicitly recognize that overall cyber security will improve if federally funded research and development is made available to Americans under intellectual property licenses that allow for further development and commercialization of that work product. This is a long-standing federal principle that should be explicitly stated in the National Strategy.

The leading example of this principle is DARPA's research in the 1970s that resulted in TCP/IP - the key set of communications standards that form the technical basis of today's Internet. These communications standards were made available under licensing terms allowing their integration into commercial software, which in turn enabled a wide range of companies to develop innovative communication and networkingservices.

Taxpayers are still realizing a tremendous return on that federal investment through Internet driven productivity gains, economic growth, job creation, and individual empowerment that could not have been predicted by the federal, academic and private sector researchers who developed TCP/IP. However, none of these returns would have been possible unless the research was made available under licensing terms that allowed the private sector to commercialize TCP/IP. Nor would the government and industry have enjoyed the fruits of this economic activity-- fruits that have funded additional research and development-- unless it had been made available for commercialization.

It would be very unfortunate - indeed, couterproductive and contrary to the public-private partnership that is at the core of the national cyber security strategy - if companies were reluctant to adopt promising security technologies produced by federal research for fear that doing so may compromise their intellectual property rights in their own technology.

For these reasons, it is essential that the National Strategy affirm federal tradition by explicitly rejecting licenses that would prevent or discourage commercial adoption of promising cyber security technologies developed through federal R&D. We commend your hard work on an issue of pressing importance, appreciate the opportunity to participate in this process, and trust you'll consider our views when you issue the final version of your report.

Sincerely,

(signed)
Tom Davis

(signed)
Jim Turner
Ranking Member, Reform Subcommittee on Technology

.

These things go on every day on a variety of issues. It's very rare that these things get reported.

For more info, click here.

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Do you want to understand what happened with the DDOS attack on the Internet's Root Servers?

Then check out this interview.

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Woodie Woodie: Is Diamond Mine owner's stock undervalued?

Woodie Woodie gets the magic 10-year mine life - smh.com.au

Confirmation that Michael Kiernan's Consolidated Minerals has established a 10-year mine life at its Woodie Woodie manganese mine should have generated a little more interest in the stock.

That's the view of some analysts who believe that the Consolidated share price is now due for a re-rating.

The argument is that the company has been trading on a low price/earnings ratio for some time largely due to the fact that it hasn't hit the magic 10-year number on the projected mine life of Woodie Woodie.

But having boosted resources from a successful exploration program, Consolidated has now identified 8 million tonnes of manganese at Woodie Woodie which should generate additional confidence in the overall project.

According to Intersuisse's Gavin Wendt, the Woodie Woodie upgrade should add another 25 per cent to Consolidated's current 65c share price.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


October 26, 2002

News from the "other" Diamond

Barry Bonds continues to impress. I'm not a big baseball fan but no matter what sport, when someone takes a sport to a new level, I tend to watch. He just hit a tough slider out of the ballpark. And when I say out, I mean OUT.

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Algerian gunmen kill 21 family members

Algeria gunmen 'kill 21 family members'

This is just horrible:

The Algerian news agency says suspected Islamic extremists have killed 21 people from the same family, including a three-month-old baby.
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Washington Post publishes sniper letters

Some analysis of the Sniper Letters.

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Curt Schilling analyzes every pitch on a computer

This is an amazing Sports Story. I always wondered just how detailed sports stars got with television analysis of games. Here's an excerpt:

Schilling relies on technology to maintain every edge possible on the mound. "Before, I was using TVs and video to look over hitters," Schilling says ..."And each hitter had his own little videotape, which was somewhat time-intensive and bulky. This system is portable. I've got 475 hitters and 20,000 pitches on about 85 CDs right now. I can pull up any pitch I've thrown, any count, any at-bat, any situation I want over the last nine years." Yes, we've come a long way from the old pen-and-paper charts that guys once kept to track which pitches worked and didn't work against different teams' lineups. Up comes Schilling in freeze-frame. We're looking over his shoulder at the catcher. It must be old footage from an interleague game, because Schilling is wearing the red pinstripes of his former team, the Philadelphia Phillies, and that's Yankee Derek Jeter in the batter's box. Schilling taps the keyboard, and the video rolls. Pitch follows pitch in rapid sequence -- no home-run trots, no tiresome throws over to first base, no dugout shots of the manager picking his nose. And because each pitch is a separate MPEG file, cross-referenced every which way, Schilling can play with the data all he wants.

"If I go to, like, Derek Jeter here," Schilling says, switching to a data-entry screen, "I can ask for all the first-pitch strikes I've thrown him." Up comes a list of 15 pitches. "Six of those 15 are swinging, which tells me that early in the count, he's not a very aggressive hitter. Now I can look at the balls he did put in play" -- back to video -- "and see where they were. Or go through and watch all the outs and see just exactly how I got him out." Click. "Fastball away." Click. "Another fastball away. I do this for every hitter."

And every game. Between starts, Schilling formulates a plan to retire each hitter he may face up to four times -- "In this count you should do this, in that count you should do that, and if he comes up late in the game, in a big situation, you could potentially do this." He records his observations in a spiral-bound notebook he brings to the dugout, and refers to this ledger between innings.

For the data, the software, and the computer, Schilling pays about $15,000 a year to Hertz Consulting, a political polling firm in Petaluma, Calif., with a sideline in sports. (Richard Hertz, the president, is a catcher in an over-30 league.) All season, Hertz collects videotape from the Diamondbacks, digitizes the relevant data, and ships updates to Schilling. "I'll pitch a game on Monday against the Padres," Schilling says, "and I have to pitch against them on Friday, and [Hertz will] have my video burned to a CD and back to me on Wednesday."

Hertz has a few other baseball clients, but they're all hitters, and none is as committed to the technology as Schilling is. "It gives me less reason to get beat," Schilling says, trying to explain why, for him at least, there's no going back. "A lot of guys are afraid to make the leap simply because this type of technology entails responsibility. I don't have excuses. I'm expected to win. I know what they pay me for, and I couldn't do the job as well as I do without this."


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Liquid Metal to replace Titanium?

LiquidMetal is harder and stronger than any other alloy.

Think plastic," John Kang says with a smile, holding up a small slab of blue-gray metal and passing it over for inspection in his Lake Forest, Calif., office. The shiny ingot doesn't look or feel like plastic. It looks more like coal and hefts like gold.

But when heated in its raw form to 750 degrees Fahrenheit at Kang's new factory in South Korea, the mysterious alloy does something that amazes even the most unflappable metallurgist. It softens into a viscous tar that can be molded like plastic. Then, when cooled rapidly, it congeals into a solid that's twice as hard as titanium or stainless steel, and so smooth that paint won't stick to it. The alloy, which scientists liken to "metallic glass" is called LiquidMetal.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Aspartame: made from poison, isn't even sweet

Is Diet Coke bad for you?

Joi Ito points to a shocking link...I didn't know about this at all. Some highlights. Aspartame isn't even sweet. They add dextrose to make it seem sweet. Contains a neurochemical to fool your brain into thinking that foods you eat with it are sweet. Any food you have while you, say, drink a diet coke, will taste sweet. It's constituent ingredients are poison... Unbelievable!

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Police Auctions: Jewelry Section

This is a Cool Site.

Some officers decided to make the police auctions more profitable and manageable and created this online police auction site. The link above is to the Jewelry section.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (1) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


"Lost" ring found in bathroom by good samaritan!

It's nice to hear stories like this once in a while..

To the honest person who Oct. 16 found my diamond ring in the bathroom at Meijer on Columbia Avenue and turned it in to the courtesy counter. This ring is very special to me and I was devastated when I realized that I had lost it. Thanks to your kindness, I now have it back. You truly are my guardian angel. - Ellie L. Rothchild, Springfield
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67 Hostages Killed

67 Hostages & 34 Rebels Killed

Russian security forces ended the siege. On the positive side, hundreds of hostages were freed....

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October 25, 2002

Richard Harris

72 year old Richard Harris passed away...

BRIT ACTING LEGEND DIES

Actor Richard Harris has died at University College Hospital in London, a spokesman for the family said.
"With great sadness, Damian, Jarid and Jamie Harris announced the death of their beloved father Richard Harris.
"He died peacefully at University College Hospital, London, at 7pm today," the spokesman said.
The 72-year-old actor had been receiving treatment for Hodgkin's Disease at the hospital after falling ill earlier this year.

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Senator and Family members killed in Plane Crash in Minnesota

Senator Wellstone and family members killed in Minnesota plane crash

The sources said three staff members and two crew members also died in the crash.

The plane went down in a wooded area about 7 miles east of Eveleth-Virginia Municipal Airport. Officials said bad weather was reported in the area, and the last contact with the plane was at 10:20 a.m. CDT when the plane was about 2 miles from the Eveleth airport.

Choking back tears, a Senate colleague expressed his sympathy. "He was such a good man, and his wife too," said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont. "All of these people had families and they had friends and this is a horrible, horrible thing."

The plane, a twin-engine turboprop King Air manufactured by Raytheon Aircraft, took off from Flying Cloud Airport in Eden Prairie, a southwestern suburb of Minneapolis. He was scheduled to attend a funeral in the northeast, followed by a campaign stop in Duluth.

Wellstone, 58, won his Senate seat in 1990, the only challenger that year to unseat an incumbent.

The son of Russian immigrants, Wellstone was raised in Arlington, Virginia, and was a champion wrestler at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, where he earned both a bachelor's degree and a doctorate.

The charismatic Wellstone, who had multiple sclerosis but was not incapacitated by it, was a champion of health care coverage expansion, veterans affairs and environmental concerns, and was considered by many to be one of the Senate's most liberal members.

His death leaves a void in the state's election for the Senate.

Under Minnesota law, if a nominee in a Senate race dies during a campaign, his or her political party can select a replacement candidate no later than four days before the general election. Election Day this year is November 5.

The Republican National Committee had shown a strong interest in defeating Wellstone.

When the senator broke his promise to serve only two terms, Republicans took it as a challenge to ensure his defeat.

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Carbon Monoxide Computer: IBM scientists build circuits with individual molecules

IBM Scientists Build World's Smallest Operating Computing Circuits--IBM Press room-Press Release

The new "molecule cascade" technique enabled the IBM scientists to make working digital-logic elements some 260,000 times smaller than those used in today's most advanced semiconductor chips.

The circuits were made by creating a precise pattern of carbon monoxide molecules on a copper surface. Moving a single molecule initiates a cascade of molecule motions, just as toppling a single domino can cause a large pattern to fall in sequence. The scientists then designed and created tiny structures that demonstrated the fundamental digital-logic OR and AND functions, data storage and retrieval, and the "wiring" necessary to connect them into functioning computing circuitry.

The most complex circuit they built -- a 12 x 17-nanometer three-input sorter -- is so small that 190 billion could fit atop a standard pencil-top eraser 7mm (about 1/4-inch) in diameter. A nanometer is a billionth of a meter; the length of five to 10 atoms in a line.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


Thieves pose as officers in Bayside and tie up owner, steal Jewelry

Thieves pose as officers.

I always thought this was the weakness about our police system... You can't just trust people because they flash a badge at you. There should be some well-known procedure for police entering a home. For example, real officers should not knock on a door and ask to be let in, unless they have a police car as well. If there is no police car out front, the standard procedure should be that the owner be asked to call the precinct and confirm the identity. This procedure should be made public knowledge so that bold crimes such as this cannot happen.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Current Events


Blog Metadata Initiative

The Weblog MetaData Initiative

NZ Bear is proposing a new weblog metadata initiative. Great idea. He also asked for some comments, so here goes:

DMOZ: I'd add Yahoo as well. Those 2 are the best-known categorization systems. What if you have a site that doesn't match a DMOZ category but does match a Yahoo category?

Also, it would be nice to provide a mechanism to use DMOZ as a starting point and allow new categories to be applied. A self-categorized web.

This is all quite interesting to me because what NZ Bear is doing is something similar to what a techie suggested to some friends back in 1996...he was right but years ahead of his time....

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


Moira Forbes: Article on Bulgari

Richard Heller & Moira Forbes: Fight to Quality

Here's an excerpt:

Richard Heller Francesco Trapani sees a safe haven for Bulgari in top-of-the-line jewelry. After buying Elizabeth Taylor a ring in the Sixties, Richard Burton remarked, "I introduced Elizabeth to beer; she introduced me to Bulgari ." On Sept. 26, 40 years later, Christie's auctioned the ring in New York for $80,000, with the proceeds going to the actress' AIDS charity. It may not have been the world's best investment, but it garnered Bulgari lots of free publicity the second time around.

Such is life in the estimated $5-billion-a-year market for expensive rocks, where $684 million( 2001 sales) Bulgari is a major player. Amid a downturn in demand for luxury goods, the Italian company's chief executive, Francesco Trapani, 45, has decided to reemphasize jewelry priced in excess of $70,000. "I believe in this market; it's what made us famous, and, economic downturn or no, wealthy customers are still buying high-priced luxury jewelry," he says.


  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Microsoft and Disney join forces: MSDSNY

Joi Ito reports: Disney and MSN Join Forces

Microsoft, Disney Unveil Release of Upgraded MSN Internet Service Stocked With Disney Content

You can read the original report here.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


October 24, 2002

Is this the sniper team?

Let's hope this is it....

Members of the sniper task force arrested an ex-soldier and his stepson early Thursday at a freeway rest stop. Sources told CNN the two were considered suspects in the shootings that have killed 10 and wounded three in the Washington area. Sources identified the two as John Allen Muhammad, 42 -- a Gulf War veteran named in a federal arrest warrant for firearms violations who was being sought as a material witness in the sniper case -- and his 17-year-old stepson John Lee Malvo, a Jamaican citizen.
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Current Events


Engagement gone sour? Don't take the law into your own hands. Take it to Judy. Judge Judy

Couple air laundry before TV judge

Jim Baird parked a block from Main Street, got down on bended knee in the parking lot and pulled out the diamond chip ring he bought online from Target. "Will you marry me?" Baird asked. Then-girlfriend Jo Ann Morin said yes, and the Beverly Hills couple began planning a June ceremony -- her second marriage, his third. Happily ever after? Not quite. This engagement story ended not with a trip to the altar, but with a trip to the Judge Judy television show.
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Wedding Journal


Harry Winston Family vs. Deutsche Bank in Billion Dollar Dispute

Harry Winston's son is trying to protect the family jewels.

Wow, quite a battle...here's an excerpt:

Bruce Winston claims about $1.3 billion worth of diamonds, rubies and other inventory have been siphoned from the family business since his father's death in 1978, and accuses Deutsche Bank...Winston believes Bankers Trust...bought by Deutsche Bank in 1999...allowed inventory and jewels worth approximately $700 million to disappear during the past 24 years. With interest, the value would be $1.3 billion...

Harry Winston has long been the diamond maker to the wealthy and famous [like Serena Williams]...earning a mention in Marilyn Monroe's famous rendition of "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend." Winston was also the maker of the 18K gold Maltese Falcon statue that appeared in the Humphrey Bogart film of the same name...

It's where Ben Affleck bought J. Lo a yellow and white diamond bracelet, and Kate Hudson got her diamond engagement ring.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


October 23, 2002

Nigerian Scammers

The Nigerian Nightmare - Who's sending you all those scam e-mails?

Brendan I. Koerner at Slate wrote a great article on the Nigerian Scammers. I've seen these scams on Compuserve back in the late 80s. Boy have they grown...

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (1) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


Seppelt mine the new Argyle?

Excellent results from Seppelt.

Diamond explorers operating in Western Australia's Kimberley region got a boost yesterday on news of some impressive bulk sampling results from Striker Resources. A 183-tonne bulk sample of Striker's Seppelt 2 kimberlite pipe in the northern Kimberley yielded 412 carats of commercial-size diamonds. Striker said the indicated average grade of 2.25 carats per tonne was on face value, a world-class grade. Normally, grades at operating diamond mines are measured in carats per hundred tonnes.
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Armed men take Moscow theater audience hostage

Men take Moscow theater audience hostage

The story is lacking some details as to why...

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Current Events


Tiffany & Co. opening boutique in Paris

Tiffany & Co. to Open Boutique At Le Printemps in Paris

Tiffany & Co. plans to open a boutique this November at Le Printemps in Paris. Located on Paris' famous Blvd. Haussmann, the boutique occupies approximately 105 square meters (1,130 square feet) on the first floor of Le Printemps. Tiffany currently has a store in Paris at 6, rue de la Paix that opened in 1999. The new boutique will feature many design elements of the company's famous New York flagship store on Fifth Avenue, including cherry wood accents and stainless steel detailing on the showcases and vitrines. Among the designs that will be offered are: Tiffany Mark(TM), the company's newest watch collection; Tiffany Lace, a jewelry collection of diamonds and platinum; and Lucida(TM), Tiffany's patented diamond engagement ring, as well as other engagement jewelry. Also included are some of the incomparable designs of Jean Schlumberger; Elsa Peretti and Paloma Picasso. Other celebrated collections for men and women include Tiffany Atlas(TM) and the 1837 Collection(TM), as well as writing instruments, timepieces, baby gifts, and sterling silver accessories.
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


De Beers and Attawapiskat reach agreement on Diamond Mine

Timmins Daily Press: DeBeers and Attawapiskat reach deal

Attawapiskat and De Beers have finally reached an agreement to move forward with the possible development of a diamond mine.

After weeks of talks, the two sides announced Tuesday an agreement has been reached to proceed with the winter program for the Victor diamond project, 90 km west of the First Nation community on the James Bay coast.
Thomas Tookate, band councillor and general manager for Attawapiskat Development Corporation, said the community is happy the winter program will proceed.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (1) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Diamond Dealer denies Diamond Plunder

'Retired' Diamond Dealer Shefer Denies Diamond Plunder

East London Israeli businessman Niko Shefer, whose SA Tandan Holdings diamond company was in a United Nations (UN) report which accuses criminal cartels of plundering resources in the Democratic Republic of Congo, says he has retired from business. Several Zimbabweans also in the report have denied its claims. Fifty-four individuals are mentioned in the report, which was chaired by Egypt's ambassador Mahmoud Kassem. Congo, Rwandan, and Ugandan authorities were also fingered.
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Chris Childs robbed of Jewelry and Cash outside Manhattan Restaurant

Everything recovered except for Diamond Chain.

New Jersey Nets point guard Chris Childs could have used an assist yesterday when four men robbed him at gunpoint in a Chelsea parking lot of about $30,000 worth of cash and jewelry, police said.

His problems were compounded later in the day when the Nets suspended him indefinitely for failure to be in playing condition.

Police caught all four suspects after a long chase through various downtown train tunnels. All Childs' property was recovered, except for a diamond chain one of the men tugged from his neck, police said.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Current Events


Diamond Ghost Tale for Halloween

Ghost Tales

'Tis the season to be frightened, and tales of haunted buildings on the campus of Augusta State University do the trick for many faculty and students.

The legendary spirits in several Civil War-era homes and a former military arsenal on campus prompted history professor Ed Cashin to include a chapter about them in his book, "General Sherman's Girlfriend and Other Augusta Stories."

"There are lots of weird things going on that people swear to you that they can't explain," Cashin said.

The most interesting story, he said, revolves around Bellevue Hall - the oldest building on campus and former home of Emily Galt, a 21-year-old woman who legend says killed herself after her fiance died in the Civil War.

The couple had argued bitterly about him joining the fight, the legend says. After he was killed in battle, Galt leaped to her death from an upstairs window in Bellevue.

Before killing herself, Galt used her diamond engagement ring to etch "Emily Galt, 1861" in a window on the second story. The etching can still be seen today.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Opening links in new windows

Mark Pilgrim doesn't like links to open in new windows.

Although I understand his arguments, I don't agree. There are times when you want to open links in a new window and times you don't. Hopefully the web designer will be sensitive to how the user wants it. What probably winds up happening is that the web designer designs it how he/she likes it half the time.

On DiamondTalk, we added these links all over the place so the user has more choice.

Generally when looking at blogs I prefer when a link opens a new window. Others may have different preferences. But the markup is there for a reason and the truth is it isn't the designer's fault if the preference doesn't match what the user wants. No matter which way the designer goes, there will be some users that like it one way and others that don't like it that way.

I do think it's the fault of the designer of the browsers. IE and Netscape used to have great new features coming out all the time. Ever since IE totally defeated Netscape it's been a long time since IE or NS has done anything too exciting and interesting (debatable, I know, just my opinion).

Why can't the browser be given the option to have his/her own default? Why isn't there an easier way to switch between opening in a new window or not?

Say one click for same window, double-click for new window...

Anyways, that's my take on the question...

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (3) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


Photography in Infrared

A Blog Ringing in the Empty Sky

This blog has a great photo in infrared...interesting effect.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


Ultimate Guide to NY

This Guide to NY is making the rounds on the net and the blogosphere...

The hassle. New York is a hassle. It will drive you crazy, this will help:


Cabs change shift at around 4 (am and pm), this means that from 3:30 to about 4:45 it is impossible to get a cab.

There are no cabs in the rain.

Cabs are legally obligated to take you to any destination in the 5 boroughs, if they refuse, say you'll report them and make a scene.

Try not to engage cabbies in conversations, lest you be hearing about all sorts of things you don't wish to know --

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


Now those are big shoes to fill

Now this is one big shoe:



  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Current Events


Surviving a car crash in the water

It's a shame this news story: Woman Survives 34-Hour Ordeal in Bog didn't take this opportunity to go into why people who wind up submerged in water in their cars often drown:

A woman was recovering in a Dublin hospital on Tuesday after surviving 34 hours in a car submerged in a bog, the Irish Independent reported.

An air pocket which allowed her to breathe was believed to have saved English-born Lisa Landau, 39, after her car swerved off a road in County Wicklow south of Dublin on Saturday night and sank upside-down in the waterlogged bog, the paper said.

Power windows mean that as soon as the car is submerged, you can't open the window because the power short circuits. The water pressure is very difficult to deal with and as the car is submerging, attempting to open the car door is extremely difficult. The best time to try and open the car door is after there is, yikes, sorry to say this, water pressure evened out because water is inside the car...don't panic...stay alert and think. Even though the car may be full of water, if you keep your wits about you and focus on what to do, you may get out alive. If you have a strong sharp object, smash the SIDE WINDOW right above the lock. That is the weakest area and is built to be breakable. Don't bother with the windshield....

I think it would be nice if cars were designed to have the windows cave in once there was a certain uniform water pressure from outside. Probably easier said than done, but the task given to engineers, I bet they could come up with something...

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (2) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


Arliss is gone

HBO pulls 'Arli$$'; Wuhl to stay on

I can't believe it's been on for 8 seasons already.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Sports


Massive DDOS Internet Attack..only minor damage for one hour

Attack on 13 root servers.

I'm amazed that there are only "13 root servers".

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


October 22, 2002

Super Mario gets his ring

Nice article about Super Mario...

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Sports


Sheet Computer

Now this is cool.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


Google Voice

Try the Google Voice Search Demo!

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


Vignette 7 coming out

Vignette Takes Wraps Off New Content-Management System

Visit the link for the news. The only thing I wanted to know is something they didn't even mention. Will they have normal urls in this upgrade?

Someone mentioned that the more complex and feature rich the web content management system, the more complicated the url :)

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


Office 11 coming out

Microsoft releasing next version of Office.

This should be big news. They are supporting XML and .net in a big way. But somehow I don't see Microsoft leading the way in XML and .net the way they managed to control the desktop...

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


Godfather: The sequel

Publisher to commission "Godfather" sequel

Interesting...so it will be a series...Sopranos copies Godfather...becomes huge hit...so let's bring back the original...anyways, if you like books on tape, make sure to catch the UNABRIDGED Godfather books on tape..10 tapes..the guy who played Don Corleone was fantastic and listening to the whole thing on tape, with an ensemble of actors reading the different parts...it was better than watching the movie...

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Books


Outlook killer?

Mitch Kapor's Weblog is the talk of the net today. He was the co-designer with Jerry Kaplan of Lotus Agenda (I used to use it, btw). Will it be an Outlook-killer? Who knows...but I'll be happy with something that just does a good job with Spam. Poco is better than outlook, but I wouldn't mind better than Poco even if it didn't do anything else.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


The Photo Shop

The Photo Shop - Photo Enhancing Tips and Techniques

This is a cool site for photoshop and similar program-enthusiasts.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Cool Websites


Russian diamond giant Alrosa to expand business in Angola

Russian diamond giant Alrosa to expand business in Angola

Alrosa is thinking about acquiring an interest in the Luo property, which includes two new diamond pipes and which could yield up to $400 million in diamonds per year.
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (3) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


UN Names Miners in Billion Dollar Congo Scams

Kinshasa: UN Names Miners in Billion Dollar Congo Scams

The United Nations Security Council has recommended financial restrictions be imposed against 29 companies active in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In addition, the report fingers dozens of other public and private companies for violating commercial guidelines in relation to Congo dealings. The sanctions are being proposed by the UN to curb "illegal exploitation of raw materials" in the war ravaged country by "criminal organizations and persons". The DRC has become a cookie jar for the brave with seven regional countries involved in the civil war which has mostly to do with the spoils accruing to mining concession holders, both legal and illegal. The UN report says the stripping of the DRC is being orchestrated by three circles of influence involving Zimbabwe, Uganda and private individuals trying to get their hands on diamonds, cobalt, copper, germanium. The UN Panel believes more than $ 5 billion of assets have been transferred from the State mining sector to private companies in the past three years without any public treasury benefit.
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (1) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Jewelry for dogs?

I don't know about this one:

They say a dog is a man's best friend - and it would have to be if you're considering forking out £1,000 for a silver dog bowl this Christmas.

It may sound a bit far-fetched but there are some wealthy people who won't think twice about popping to jewellers Rudell to treat their pooch to such an extravagant gift.

The jewellers, which has branches in Wolverhampton, Walsall and Harbourne, has today put on sale its latest luxury item: A solid silver dog bowl. And animal lovers may snap it up.

Some may consider it a bit on the frivolous side to splash out a "grand" on a pet but it is really down to choice, said sales director John Harlow.

They also mentioned something a little more up my alley. Turns out I'm not the only chess nut. They sold one for 1 million pounds sterling. I wonder if it was this one?

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Charles & Colvard announce stock repurchase

Charles & Colvard Announces Follow-On Share Repurchase Program

MORRISVILLE, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 22, 2002--Charles & Colvard, Ltd. (Nasdaq: CTHR - News) today announced that its Board of Directors has authorized the repurchase of up to 1,100,000 shares of the Company's common stock. Repurchases may be made from time to time over the next 12 months in the open market at prevailing prices or in privately negotiated transactions at prices at or below prevailing open market prices. As of October 21, 2002, Charles & Colvard had approximately 13,324,555 shares of common stock outstanding. In September 2001 the Board of Directors of Charles & Colvard adopted a similar share repurchase program under which the Company repurchased 133,800 shares at an average purchase price of $2.24 per share.
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Athletes to wed

Pittman to wed

JANA Pittman is taking on another big challenge in life - this time off the track. The 19-year-old 2002 Commonwealth Games dual gold medallist announced her engagement to her partner of 12 months, 30-year-old Rohan Robinson on October 14. Robinson, Australia's top men's 400m runner, proposed to his golden girl twice; once overseas with a substitute ring where his presence was a surprise to Pittman and again in Sydney with a white gold, 1.2 carat princess cut diamond, given to the couple for half-price by Parade Jewellers in Central Plaza Sydney. "It was incredible," Pittman said. "We couldn't wait any longer. He asked in Switzerland. He got down on his knee with a bunch of 20 red roses and a fake ring. Then he proposed again in Sydney with the real ring. It has been a long time of engagement celebrations."

No pictures of the ring were available.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (2) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Tiffany prnewswire release on Yahoo

Tiffany Lights Up the Holidays With Gifts of Dazzling Jewels

They've released a photo of this watch:

One of this season's timeliest evening accessories is an eighteen-karat white gold and diamond cocktail watch on a red satin strap from Tiffany & Co. The vibrant color contrasted with dazzling diamonds create an ultra sleek and totally chic timepiece that brilliantly accents eveningwear from gowns and dresses to tuxedos. (PRNewsFoto)

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Congo loses $800 million per year to fraudsters

the deputy minister for mining and oil has said that the Congo has last $800 million per year to illegal exports of Diamonds

KINSHASA - Since the outbreak of war in the Democratic Republic of Congo four years ago, the vast central African country has lost some $800-million a year to fraudsters who illegally export diamonds, the deputy minister for mining and oil has said. "Our country, the world's leading producer of industrial diamonds, has lost $800-million a year since the start of the war of aggression" in 1998, Ambroise Mbaka said, citing statistics published by the High Diamond Council. The government of the DRC hopes that the application in November of the so-called Kimberley Process - which establishes standards for national certification schemes for trade in rough diamonds - will curb the fraudulent export of diamonds from DRC.
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


He made it!

Congrats to GlennFrazier for making the Inc. 500 with refinery.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore

Many of you old enough to have seen the excellent movie "Network" are familiar with this battle cry. Nothing makes me feel more like this than the issue of Spam. From what I hear, the best site for information about spam is at
spam.abuse.net. If you read the page at the link above, perhaps you will be as shocked as I am that they seem to not even have hope. Not even hope at stopping pornography from reaching the emails of children. It is unfathomable that we cannot even hope to stop people from sending pornography to our children. I will say this again. It is unfathomable that we cannot even hope to stop people from sending pornography to our children.

I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore.

I would like to hear feedback from anyone who cares as much about this issue as I do and let's see if we can do something.

Let's get our best minds together on these questions:

1. What is our best hope of containing this problem?

2. How can webmasters/bloggers/internet users help make this happen quicker?

My answer to question number 1 is to make spam very illegal, meaning the penalties should be VERY SEVERE, and we need to put tremendous pressure on our governments, local and federal, worldwide, to take the issue seriously and go after these people in the strongest way possible.

My answer to question #2 is that we need legal & government experts in the webmaster community to get together on this issue and offer some good advice on the best program to create to attempt to bring in some regulation and law enforcement on the issue. Once there is an international organization in place that is well-funded and intelligently aims to showcase what laws need to be passed in what countries, and even politically who is behind the initiative and who is not, then webmasters can collectively unite to back this one powerful initiative and put pressure on governments, who frankly are doing pretty much nothing about this plague.

All who are with me, please follow the advice of Paddy Chayevsky and then drop your comments here:

I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's worth. Banks are going bust. Shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there's no one anywhere that seems to know what to do with us. Now into it. We know the air is unfit to breath, our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had 15 homicides and 63 violent crimes as if that's the way it's supposed to be. We know things are bad. Worse than bad. They're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy so we don't go out anymore. We sit in a house as slowly the world we're living in is getting smaller and all we say is, "Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster, and TV, and my steel belted radials and I won't say anything." Well I'm not going to leave you alone. I want you to get mad. I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot. I don't want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crying in the streets. All I know is first you've got to get mad. You've got to say, "I'm a human being. God Dammit, my life has value." So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out, and yell, "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!" I want you to get up right now. Get up. Go to your windows, open your windows, and stick your head out, and yell, "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!" Things have got to change my friends. You've got to get mad. You've got to say, "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!" Then we'll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open your window, stick your head out and yell, "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!"

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


Nelson artifacts go for 2 million pounds

Nelson Auction results

Nelson artefacts fetch 2m... A collection of rare artefacts associated with Lord Nelson, Britain's greatest naval hero, have raised more than 2 million at auction. One of the star lots, a blood-stained silk purse containing 21 gold coins which he was carrying when he was killed during the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, sold for 270,650, including buyer's premium.
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


MSNHL?

Following on the heels of the "success"? of MSNBC, Microsoft and the NHL have announced
that they will team up to deliver Web hockey.

Apparently almost every goal, every save will be available for $30 for a full season. That is one subscription I would happily pay for. Bravo.

The NHL needs to do something to get the word out that Hockey is an exciting sport! This is not a bad move at all.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Sports


Former Diamond Broker to buy Enron tower

Gary Barnett, former Diamond Broker, sees gem in Enron tower.

Former diamond broker Gary Barnett may be relatively unknown in the Houston real estate community, but his days of anonymity are numbered.

Last month, the head of New York-based Intell Management and Investment Co. agreed to pay $102 million to buy downtown's most notorious landmark.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Current Events


Push: the once future king

Algorythm reminded me of a time, not too long ago when push was "the once-future king of content delivery". What a great line :)

Wow, I can't even remember the name of the company, but it was so cool, everyone installed this screensaver with stock quotes ticker on your screen, the latest sports scores. This company was going places. I am amazed that I can't even remember the company name, that's how low they went. At least Netscape survived in some form even if it was sold....

I remember when Backweb (was that the name? Another future-king Push company I can't recall the name of...) came out and I was shown a beta copy by a CEO who was so excited by it. Everyone was talking about this like it would revolutionize the Internet. And I'm looking at the product and thinking, boy are the tech media overblowing this. People won't want data brought to them that way.

I think the power of the Internet is not that content providers can push data to the end consumer, but that the consumer can find just about anything they want with pull technology.

Mark Pilgrim's problem with bandwidth is related to the fact that content aggregators are pulling his data too frequently. I'm not quite sure why he titled his entry "Push", to tell you the truth...maybe I'm missing something...

But one solution that would help his problem was mentioned by Fishbowl. The content aggregators would check first to see if content had changed before whacking the page....

This is actually the ideal situation for push technology. I don't think end-users especially appreciate push. But from a content producer to a news aggregator, I think it works well. Even Blog-to-Blog. You have new content, you inform a tool that either publishes or aggregates content that you have new content. Then the user can visit the aggregator any time he/she wants and find everything. No reason for the aggregator to pull. So why is there pull here? Because the content publisher is providing an RSS feed, and any aggregator is welcome to come by and pick up a copy.

An alternative would be a subscription mechanism whereby all aggregators could subscribe to a feed, would provide an address to push the feed to, then each time there is new content, it would be pushed to the subscribers.

This would work great for an application, but alas I don't see this working well as part of a spec.

P.S. after going to the link provided to Mark Pilgrim I saw and therefore remembered the screensaver push company name that would be as big as Yahoo...Pointcast!

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (1) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


Sapphire Blue

Over on Movable Type I noticed a blog I hadn't seen before called sapphireblue. Naturally, the name caught my eye.

So even though I'm late on the congratulations, I know how much our readers love to see rings, so here's a couple of pics and the engagement story.

Belated congratulations, guys!

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


October 21, 2002

Blogs in Doonesbury

Mark Pilgrim points out Doonesbury is doing weblogs.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


Plunder in Congo

Plunder goes on...

A United Nations monitoring group is warning that the plundering of forests, minerals and precious stones - by both domestic and foreign soldiers - persists. BBC News Online business reporter Jeremy Scott-Joynt examines the group's call for sanctions against the culprits.
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Fenelon enters into agreement on Exploration for Diamonds

Fenelon enters into agreement with Majescor.

The Fenelon Joint Venture Partners (the 'JV Partners') (Fairstar - 38%, Taurus - 62%) have entered into an agreement dated October 15, 2002 with Majescor Resources Inc. ('Majescor') whereby Majescor has been granted a three (3) year option to explore the property exclusively for diamonds. The option may be exercised upon written notice to the JV Partners, an initial advanced royalty payment of $25,000 ($9,500 net to Fairstar) and an agreed upon program and budget for further work.
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Police after 2 Europeans in theft of 1.5 Million Dollar necklace

Bahraini Police are searching for 2 European Men.

Bahraini police are searching for two European men suspected of stealing a $1.5 million diamond necklace...

The necklace was an exquisite creation of renowned jewelers Cartier, on display Friday at the Jewelry Arabia exhibition when the two men struck.

"An employee at the stand handed it to them (the suspects) to inspect, then turned to deal with another customer," the paper said, quoting an official at the shop which ran the stand.
"When he turned back, one man had vanished with the necklace and the other man melted into the crowds in the ensuing confusion...

Renowned jewelers such as Chopard also had their glittering ware on display.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Zales updates Expectations

Zale Corporation Updates Expectations for First Quarter

DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 21, 2002--Zale Corporation, North America's largest specialty retailer of fine jewelry, reported today that it now expects comparable store sales to be flat to down 1% for its first quarter, ending October 31, 2002. The Company indicated that based on these current sales trends it now expects diluted earnings per share for the first quarter ending October 31, 2002 to range between a net loss of $0.19 and $0.21.
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


October 20, 2002

Blogging Tip: Add blockquotes to your bookmarlet

I noticed the Movable Type community has a couple of great resources out there to help with this blogging software, so I thought I'd help out with a tip of my own.

There's this thing called a bookmarlet, it makes it very easy to post an entry into the blog from any page you are surfing from. So if you are on say Yahoo's most popular stories page and want to link to it, you simply select some text and click on the bookmark and it will automatically pop up a box with a link to the site you were just on. And to make it even nicer, the text you selected will be there too.

The thing is, when I'm quoting I always like to slip in blockquotes and this has to be added manually. So I came up with a way to have it inserted automatically.

Edit the bookmarklet. The original version should look something like this (I had to break it up a bit because the width was messing up the layout):

javascript:t=document.selection?document.selection.createRange() .text:document.getSelection();void(window.open ('http://www.YOURDOMAIN.com/PATH_TO_mt/mt.cgi?is_bm=1& bm_show=trackback,category,allow_comments,allow_pings, convert_breaks,excerpt, text_more&__mode=view&_type=entry&link_title='+escape (document.title)+'&link_href='+escape(window.location.href) +'&text='+escape(t),'_blank','scrollbars=no,width=400,height=760, status=yes,resizable=yes,scrollbars=yes'))

depending on your settings of course. But what you want to look for is this "escape(t)" because that is the part that stores the text you have selected on the page. So you need to add blockquote before and after. But you need to watch out because there is some special javascript syntax to worry about. So directly before the single quote:

'

and directly after:

text=


you want to add:

<blockquote>

then directly after:

escape(t)

and before the comma:

,

you want to add:

+'</blockquote>'

so the end result will be:

javascript:t=document.selection?document.selection.createRange() .text:document.getSelection();void(window.open ('http://www.YOURDOMAIN.com/PATH_TO_mt/mt.cgi?is_bm=1&bm_show=trackback, category,allow_comments,allow_pings,convert_breaks,excerpt, text_more&__mode=view&_type=entry&link_title='+escape(document.title)+'&link_href='+escape (window.location.href)+'&text=<blockquote>'+escape(t)+'</blockquote>','_blank', 'scrollbars=no,width=400,height=760,status=yes,resizable=yes, scrollbars=yes'))

and your selected text will then always be surrounded by blockquotes.

The downside is that if you have selected no text on that bookmark, you will have an empty tag in the page. So you'll either have to manually remove or leave it in, which won't hurt much other than having a little extra html markup in your page.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (2) | Links to this entry (0) | MT Tips & Tricks


Brendan Diamonds opens shop in Louisville

Business First reports: Retailer William Gross returns with jewelry store in Springs.

Retailer William Gross is back in Louisville and has opened an upscale diamond and fine jewelry store in Springs Station on Dutchmans Parkway.
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (3) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Search for the perfect tagline

If you're into marketing, or how a company gets a tagline like "A Diamond is Forever", you'll like this article.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


Jennifer Lopez, engaged to Ben Affleck?

To tell you the truth I'm not that interested whether or not Jennifer Lopez & Ben Affleck are engaged. I've seen several stories on it but I'm just trying to find one with a good picture of the apparently Pink Diamond Ring.


  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (6) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Diamond Fields

Clay Thompson of The Arizona Republic offers a nice history of the name Diamond Fields in Arizona.

Turns out:

In 1872, a pair of prospectors named Philip Arnold and John Slack walked into a bank in San Francisco with a bag full of diamonds and rubies and other gems they had found at a site that they refused to divulge.

They were, of course, crooks, and the gems were industrial-grade stuff they had picked somewhere.

Nonetheless, they conned a pack of investors into setting up a $10 million syndicate in what became known as the Great Diamond Hoax.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (1) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Brains in Bahrain a draw

All that fuss and only a draw??? Chess should have overtime and keep going until someone wins :)

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Chess


Red Rock Road Trip

Whenever I go to Vegas, I skip the casinos and enjoy the best the area has to offer. And part of that is Red Rock Canyon. And PhotoDude has a done a great job of documenting the area during one of his trips...

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


Politics

Although politics don't interest me too much, Taegan Goddard's Political Wire is a great resource for anyone who is interested. You can really get state by state information.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Current Events


Blogging Community

Our readers are new to Blogs so it isn't quite clear to many yet how this works, but Joi Ito is right when he says:

User Radioland now has an ExplorerTool that lets you browse other bloggers RSS feed subscriptions. This context is very interesting to me. This community space is what is the difference between blogs and POWP's (Plain old web pages). It is CONTEXT, TRUST, COMMUNITY. This is NOT a static medium. The way the blogs and readers relate with each other, this distributed, decntralized network of trust and referrals is where a lot of the value...
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


I want coke as an advertiser

Halley wants coke as an advertiser. She also makes a couple of points about advertorials. Halley, did you catch the CNN links story?

BTW, I like Coke too.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


October 19, 2002

Now your fridge can surf

Emmanuelle reports that fridges can now surf the internet. Genial!

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


War against Bootlegging Movies

Instead of Jamming camcorders in movie theaters it would be cool if they would jam cellphones in theaters.

Meanwhile, Cinea this week scored a $2 million grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Advanced Technology Program to develop a system that it claims will stop audience members from videotaping digital movies off theater screens.
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (1) | Links to this entry (0) | Entertainment


New Bike Desk

This Bike Desk goes right along with the Get Smart Shoe phone. I like it!

Model Tamie presents the new 'bike-desk' from Danish SIS International company from Helsinge, during a preview show of the International fair for office funiture and objects ORGATEC in Cologne, Germany, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2002. Exercise while at work, to fight fatigue and loss of concentration, should be not only for fitness freaks. About 1,000 companies from 46 countries will present their ideas and creations round the modern office from Oct. 22, until Oct. 26, 2002 in Cologne.
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (1) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


Million Dollar Necklace Stolen in Bahrain

Well it seems that show in Bahrain attracted a thief. CNN.com: Million dollar necklace stolen at exhibition

The Cartier necklace was stolen Friday night from the stand its owners, a well-known local company known as Asia Jewelers, had set up at the Bahrain Exhibition Center. The jewelry show, which opened October 15, opened as planned for its last day Saturday. Asia Jewelers officials were not available for comment. Police and exhibition security officials told The Associated Press they had two suspects but no arrests has been made. They declined to elaborate. It was the first such theft at the annual exhibition, which began in 1992. "I think it is done by a professional," said Younis al-Jama', owner of Home Secure, which has provided surveillance cameras to the event for the past six years.
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


From Marine Biology to Jewelry Designer

Weiss abandons marine biology for jewelry making.

When Jessie Weiss was at the College of Charleston in South Carolina she was like a fish out of water. "I was a marine biology major," Weiss recalled, "but it just wasn't working out." She didn't care much for the study of mollusks. However, the pearls they produced were another story. Now a jewelry designer, Weiss will be among the artists at the 11th annual Jewelry Show and Sale, presented by Bennett Galleries and the Wellness Community.
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Opals in Idaho

They have a population of 38. But Spencer has one of the largest opal deposits in the United States and is home to rare star opals. Though white is the most common color worldwide, Spencer miners find rarer blue, pink or red gems.
Click here for the full story.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Antiques in a Warehouse?

Carson Antiques uses relocated warehouse. Should be fun browsing their Jewelry section.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Popup Junkmail?

How bad can it get? Now you don't even have to turn on Internet Explorer to get a popup. What's next? Popups without even turning on your computer?

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


The Ring

With a movie title like "The Ring" I had to see it. Not bad. But this entry has little to do with the movie, it has to do with this review of The Ring. Which also barely discusses the movie. But I did find the article interesting because it gives you an idea of how Reporters work. Well, a bit of an idea.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Entertainment


Landing on Mars

Let's hope the landing on Mars will go well this time.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Current Events


Kramnik's game 7 tie Slashdotted

Michael@Slashdot wasn't as convinced of Kasparov's excusing "himself (unconvincingly)" about Deep Blue's win being backed up by humans, but either way, the above link is somewhat interesting for Chess Geeks.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Chess


Cellphone and PDAs

When the cellphone first came out, I got one. Same with PDA and the teeny tiny pagers. But I dumped them all to spend some time away from technology when I'm away from the computer. The new BlackBerry may lure me back one day. Anyone try their version of the PDA/cellphone?

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


Catch me if you can

I was shocked tonight to see a trailer for the film Catch Me if You Can. I read the book years ago. It was excellent and illustrated a long time ago the lack of security on the airlines among other things. I never met anyone who actually read this book besides me, so it's surprising to see a decade later that Steven Spielberg made it into a movie with Tom Hanks and Leonardo. Even though he's not my favorite actor, from the clip he seems to do a good job at looking the part.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Entertainment


Reeds promotes 81 facet Venus Cut

Reeds Jewelers, a Wilmington-based mall jewelry chain with four Triangle stores, coming off a dismal holiday shopping season last year that saw shoppers snubbing jewels for creature comforts such as electronics, furnishings and accessories, is taking an aggressive approach by promoting a new diamond that's exclusive to the chain. Called the Venus Cut, the diamond is from Russia and cut with 81 facets instead of the typical 58 to give the gem more sparkle.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (5) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


2 Bloggers meet in Pirillo's Chat Room, to be wed

This is cool. Chris Pirillo Reports that GeekGrrl met Milbertus in his chatroom and now they are getting married! Congratulations guys!

Here's the ring.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (1) | Links to this entry (0) | Wedding Journal


Women in Espionage

From the We have brains weblog comes a link to an exhibit on Women in Espionage. Interesting.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (1) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


Geek fired for working on Open Source project

Dorothea has an interesting post about tech employees being watched in their after hours activities and fired for working on other things. If you know any techies who are the type to work on Open Source projects, they tend to be the kind of employees that with little effort will be loyal, hardworking and productive forever. But it's probably a blessing because it's about the only thing that will get them to find work where they will be appreciated.

Ain't this depressing. (Nod to the Security Blog.) A salaried programmer had his job threatened because he worked on open-source software during his off-hours. But if you're salaried, there are no off-hours, it seems. This poor soul's employer told him to quit doing the open-source work or quit his job. He chose the former:
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


Alternative Energy

Joi Ito Talks about ECD today. Very interesting stuff:

Stan Ovshinsky founded the company in 1960, he set out to solve the world's problems by creating technologies that solved the energy problems with renewable energy. End the dependence on fossil fuels and take carbon out of the energy process. People are finally talking about the "hydrogen economy" today. I saw a photo of Stan in 1960 with a picture on the board of photons from the Sun splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen and the hydrogen being the storage method to transport the energy. The energy was converted later into electrons. Photons->Hydrogen->Electrons... The basic elements of the universe. In the photo, he has a canister of hydrogen and is demonstrating how this will work! Finally people are talking about the relationship of information and energy. Stan was talking about this in 1960 and in 1981, he minted these commemorative coins with information on one side and energy on the other. By pioneering the field of amorphous and disordered materials and thin films, Stan was able to pioneer the field of NiMH batteries, the first TFT displays, fuel cells, the first EEPROM (Intel was the foundry for the project back in 1970 when he build the first devices), amorphous photovoltaics, optical disks, and many more technologies in both energy and information using the basic principles of creating new materials to convert and energy, information just being a form of energy...

What can I say? Not a moment too soon.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Current Events


Chess quote

Glenn Frazier quotes a chess maxim.

His purpose was to discuss politics, but I'll leave that to other people. I'm more interested in Chess:

Chess has many maxims. One of the most well known (and yet least followed by beginners) is "The threat is greater than the execution." Like all maxims, it is really a shorthand for a more complex understanding, and thus cannot be followed blindly with success. The basic notions behind it, though, are pretty simple:

If a rational opponent sees what is threatened and does not like it, they will be inclined to react to it before, rather than after, it happens;

To some degree or another, the future is not practically knowable, and so how real a danger a given threat poses is often uncertain;

Thus, the threat, if reacted to, may be more powerful than the actual execution of the threat, which could have turned out to fail, had it not been prevented; and also

Executing an aggressive action always involves an exchange (loss of material, weakening/overextension of position, change of initiative, etc.), even if it's a net benefit to you;

So getting the opponent to react to a threat can sometimes achieve the same result at less of a cost, compared to actually executing the threat.

This is absolutely true. It's amazing how much effect the act of attacking and bluffing is important in real chess. I can't stand playing against a computer. The psychology and "magic" is gone from the game.

I'm sure many people learn a lot from the computer but the few times I've done it the games have felt so empty. When you watch real masters playing it is so much fun. They often have great humour and the confidence or lack thereof when they make a move has a tremendous effect.

It's been years since I've watched a game with the best Speed Chess player I ever met, an old acquaintance of mine, Dean from Croatia. He is a master Speed Chess player, but he doesn't hang around the chess scene in Santa Monica anymore. If anyone reading this knows his whereabouts, let me know. And if you ever get a chance to watch him play, don't miss it! The guy is incredible. He will play anyone with 1 minute on his clock to 6-7 minutes for the other side. He will know how he will answer your move, no matter which one you choose, before you have decided on your move. And his hand will hit the clock a millisecond after yours does, time and time again. All you need to do is survive without a checkmate for one minute. But I haven't seen too many people win around him...

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Chess


Next browser trick: URL Prefetching

I agree with Simon Willison' comments about this new url prefetching mechanism. It is a nice enhancement. Soon we'll hear articles about Google giving higher rankings for url's linked to with the prefetch tag and then SEO specialists and Porn sites creating splash pages with Linkrels to get google to increase their pagerank. The truth is, on DSL I don't personally feel the need for prefetching but on dial up it can sure come in handy.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


Sotheby's Alexander Davison Collection

EDP24 News covers the sale of Nelson Treasures...

Money is pouring in to the National Maritime Museum as we race against time to save remarkable Nelson relics from being scattered abroad.

With only two days to go before the Trafalgar Day auction of treasures amassed and preserved by the Norfolk-raised naval hero's closest male friend, hopes are rising that key items may yet be rescued.

The Sotheby's sale of the Alexander Davison collection ranges from a blood-stained purse with 21 gold coins which was in the admiral's pocket when he fell, to a diamond anchor brooch entwined with the initials HN.

In addition there are swords, guns, medals, porcelain, glass and plate %u2013 all having been packed away in trunks and unseen for almost 200 years.

But the heart of the collection may lie in scores of letters which throw new light on the love triangle between Nelson, his mistress Emma Hamilton and Frances, his deserted wife.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Antique Jewelry & Watch show

The Miami Herald has another article on the Antique show:

In a month or so the snowbirds will make their annual migration, winging it down from the harsher climates of New York, Greenwich, Montreal and Toronto, the recent sagging of the Dow notwithstanding; these birds have well-padded nests. Nests with 18-karat eggs. The Antique Jewelry & Watch Show this weekend at the Miami Beach Convention Center gives buyers a chance to feather their nests a little more -- with platinum and gold, diamonds and sapphires. There are no rhinestones among this bunch.
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


October 18, 2002

13 carat American Star on display in California

It's a 13-carat gem that even has a name, "The American Star".

The rare diamond carries the highest rating ever for clarity and color. It's flawless and considered to be the "perfect cut". It's said to be worth 2 million dollars.
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Blood Cellphones?

There has been a lot of talk about Blood Diamonds. This article discusses charges from an organization about cellphones. Although I think part of the reason for the Blood Diamonds debate is that people are very concerned about the symbolic value of their diamond and don't want it to be tainted by blood. A cellphone is a bit different. But with globalization, anything you buy may be "tainted". A couple of years back there was a great story on 20/20 about clothing manufactured in "America", even though it was built by worse than a sweatshop, basically by slaves in US Pacific Islands. They were lured onto the island by having their family save up to pay for one of their kids to come to the freedom of America only to wind up in an American island as a prisoner making cloths. And most of the major clothing manufacturers bought some of their clothes there. I recall Ralph Lauren. Liz Claibourne, The Gap & others implicated..

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Current Events


4 diamond miners fall to their death

Four miners plunge to death

Barkly West - Four men were killed in a Northern Cape mine accident on Thursday. Managing director Deon Kotzé of the Loxton Exploration diamond mine at Barkly West said on Friday a hauling cable snapped on an underground cage suspended in a shaft. The four men were in the cage when it dropped a distance of around 180 metres to the shaft bottom.
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


The moon? Only in Vegas

A development team is hoping to interest some developers in a project that is, shall we say, Pie in the Sky.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


UN may end sanctions on ngolan rebels

Reuters AlertNet: U.N. considers ending sanctions on Angolan rebels

"With Angola's long civil war at an end, the U.N. Security Council voted on Friday to consider lifting within a month sanctions imposed on the now-defunct UNITA rebel group over the past decade. With Angola poised to become a member of the council in January for a two-year term, the 15-nation body unanimously approved a resolution immediately ending a travel ban on UNITA leaders while leaving other sanctions in place for at least another month."
  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


The Great One retired Jersey

I've enjoyed watching Wayne Gretzky for a long long time. And it was definitely a special moment to meet him one day as he happened to be walking towards my home. Well, his Jersey is now retired in Los Angeles.

I'll never forget one of the two hat tricks in his final postseason for the New York Rangers. In the clutch. The puck took a weird bounce behind the net and wound up on ole Wayne's skate with no one between him and the goalie. As if he did this every day he stayed as cool as ice, like he was walking to the store or something, he simply deflected the puck onto his stick and put it in the net. I don't think words can convey the matter of fact manner he pulled this one off. By then his scoring touch was long gone, but come playoff time, thinking gets turned off and some athletes just do what they do naturally. Playing like he did those days, you felt like he could get a Hat Trick every day at 40 (almost). Too bad in the back office they were planning to let Messier go and the on-ice chemistry messed up NY. They didn't get the cup that year and haven't been back to the playoffs since.

Anyways, let me just say one last toast to #99 and enjoy the memories.

P.S. This didn't happen without controversy. I remember there being other issues but "puckupdate" cites a USA Today article saying that 99 wouldn't participate in the Kings' ceremony until McNall was allowed to participate. I don't know what's going on behind the scenes, but I'm glad Mcnall was there. I don't know much about that coin fraud thing buthe did bring 99 and vitality to Hockey in the West Coast.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


Same time next year

Every year this family takes a picture. Cool progression.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


October 17, 2002

Reality TV? You mean "Cheaters" Cheats?

OK, is reality TV supposed to be real? The TV show Cheaters was caught cheating. They apparently hired people to act out the episode. So in a way, it is reality. The show is called Cheaters and that's what they did.

Does anyone actually believe any of the reality shows are real? I haven't seen more than a couple of minutes of any of them but I never much believed them. I got confirmation when a friend of mine was discussing another friend who was a body double on Survivor. Huh, you ask? Body double? But that's a reality show?? :)

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Entertainment


CNet reports that "CNN.com slips ads into news slots"

I think that this article prompted CNN to take action because when I scanned their site I saw on top of those links.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


What's your preference? Ring or Insurance?

I don't know if this lady's suggestion will go over that well with people :)

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Liz Taylor & Jewelry on Newsday

Liz's True Loves

Newsday has an article on Liz Taylor and Jewelry. Here's an excerpt:

"When Elizabeth Taylor bumped into Britain's Princess Margaret years ago at a wedding, the royal was rather stunned by Taylor's ring - a grandiose diamond worthy of Stonehenge, and utterly vulgar in the opinion of the princess. "Why don't you try it on?" Taylor offered coyly."

Margaret obliged, and the two stood a moment, taking in the brilliant, sparkling rock. "Not so vulgar now, is it?" Taylor said.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Why Yahoo ads are too much

Although I really didn't like the Yahoo ads lately, I didn't realize exactly what bothered me until
now. It's one thing to stick a popover or popunder. Even if it gets in the way of reading what you want to read. Don't get me wrong, that is supremely annoying and I really hate it. But loud music????. They've graduated to a whole new level of annoying.

That's just disturbing the peace a bit too much. I will now actively seek to replace everything I use Yahoo for.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


Me & My Hand

Kris Frieswick has written a really funny article about what has happened to her hand since she got engaged. Our readers should get a real kick out of it!

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


New Telemarketing CounterScript

I'm happy to report that the techniques described here worked fabulously and from 5-10 calls a day it is very rare that I get a cold call at all.

EGBG has published a new counterscript.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


Saddam Hussein re-elected

In a shocking victory, Saddam Hussein won 100% of vote. He was the only candidate.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Current Events


FAA considers Passenger Ban

The Onion reports that the FAA considers Passengers to be the number one threat to safety. They are testing no-passenger flights to determine if this would improve the situation.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (1) | Links to this entry (0) | Current Events


Uh, Curling

I played this cool online game of curling but I don't know who won?? How can I tell?

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (2) | Links to this entry (0) | Cool Websites


Interesting article about Soldier's Reluctance to Kill during battle

I found this article rather interesting.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Current Events


More on the Microsoft Story

My only purpose in bringing up the following is to show how some stories are more thoroughly investigated online than in the media. This is partly why blogs captivate the media so much. John Gruber did a fine job tracking down almost all the elements of the story. Along with everyone else I've read on the story, he did miss a couple of people and things I found from looking at all the links from the original story and googling it. But overall he did a better job than the media.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


Deep Fritz evens the score on Queen's Indian defence

CNET.com reports on Kramnik's loss. I hope he can jump ahead again and also look forward to the rematch with Kasparov.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Chess


Crocodiles in the Congo

The Financial Gazette has an interesting article about the fighting in the DRC.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Russian - African Cooperation

RUSSIAN and African officials met in Moscow for session aimed at promoting trade and investment by Russians in Africa.

It would be great to see more cooperation between the two. But there are many obstacles.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Goldsmith shop in New Hampshire hosting grand reopening

Fran Cook's Goldsmith shop just moved into new digs when a pipe burst damaging the store and causing them to redo what they spent one month doing. Now they are reopening.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


October 16, 2002

Jewelry Adorned XMas Tree

This is a cool idea!

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Antique Jewelry & Watch show

Miami Beach hosts Antique jewelry show.

On display will be 80-carat diamond necklace; a 30-carat diamond bracelet & a 10-carat diamond ring.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Scamming Nigerian Scammers

As we know, there are a lot of Nigerian letters going out. Well Simon Willison has found a site that scams the scammers. Enjoy.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (4) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


Dog GPS

Mark Pilgrim who lost his dog for awhile, found this interesting device that helps make sure you don't lose your dog. Ah, technology.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (2) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


Microsoft, influential W3C member, creates redesign that breaks W3C rules

Some others show MS the way.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


The camera project

Dave Winer took a Cameric self-portrait. Following in the footsteps of some other projects, is he trying to start a new one? If you find other bloggers doing the same, comment here.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


Speaking of those Switch Ads

Microsoft is releasing some new consumer products. As many of you know, I like to follow how journalism is being done and how news becomes news. So this little spat was a natural for me to read.

As a result I found a nice blog from a fellow I recognized from a tech TV show: Chris Pirillo.

Turns out he has a switch ad too.

He also believes 010000110110111101100110011001100110010101100101001000000110100101
11001100
10000001
1000100110010101110100011101000110010101110010001000010010
0000010100000110
01010110
0101011101000010011101110011001000000110100101110011001000
0001110100011010
00011001
01001000000110001001100101011100110111010000100001
00000000
. Let's see which of our readers can figure out what this means first. I mean, beyond the fact that he's a geek and so am I for knowing what he said without even being a drinker of either.

Don't miss that cool interface he has. At the top of the page.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


Discussion of the Emerald trade in Afghanistan

There is an article discussing the Emerald trade in Afghanistan. Here's an excerpt:

"The internal emerald market in Afghanistan reflects longstanding tradition that may or may not mesh with President Hamid Karzai's economic strategy. The emerald prices are set by a group called the Boury which is made up of Afghan merchants and representatives of the local government. Buyers pay 10 percent of the sales price as a tax to the province government. And until they pay the tax, the stone cannot be removed from the local government office. Local prospectors like to sell to Northern Alliance veterans. ``We prefer to sell to Mr. Rashid [Mohammadi]," said Farid, a local miner. "He has a great reputation." Mohammadi wants to enhance that reputation; in summer 2003, he plans to host the first ever Afghan jewelry exhibition in Kabul. He expects dealers from around the world to come see the yield from the Hindu Kush mountains.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


How to be a good witness

With all the shooting going on lately, here's an article discussing how to be a good witness. Some of the tips:

Facial shape: Is it square, oval or round? Is the person plump? Thin? What's the eye color? Note the presence or absence of facial hair, jewelry, scars or piercings.

Investigators suggest immediately writing down what you remember.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Current Events


Kansas International Museum puts on Czars: 400 Years of Imperial Grandeur

The exhibit features over 250 Russian artifacts including portraits, artifacts and Jewelry.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Chambersburg, PA paper has nice story on Ludwig's Jewelers

The Ludwig Store is preparing to go from 4 generations of Jewelers to the 5th.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


2 Diamond Bracelets stolen in Delaware County

Boscov's Robbery Recorded By Surveillance Camera. The store surveillance cameras recorded the thief getting the clerk to open the jewelry case and then the suspect made off with the goods.


State police say the suspect stole two diamond bracelets worth $5,000 each, but dropped one in the parking lot.

If you have any information on this robbery, call police at (484) 840-1000.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Diamond exploration firm, Archangel, loses $1 billion lawsuit again Rusian Oil Company

Archangel loses Denver court decision.

"Denver-based diamond exploration firm Archangel Diamond Corp. lost its $1 billion lawsuit against the largest oil company in Russia and its subsidiary in Denver District Court. "

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Heir to Zimbabwe's President linked to "blood diamonds"

Independent Online : Mugabe's 'heir' linked to blood diamond trade

"Zimbawean President Robert Mugabe's likely successor, speaker of parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa, has been implicated in a shady deal involving money laundering and the trading of blood diamonds from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)."

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Victoria's Secret 2002 promotion features 60 carat diamond

ExtraTV has an article about the Victoria's Secret's 2002 Star of Victoria fantasy bra and matching underwear, bejeweled with thousands of rubies and emeralds. And right in the middle right is a big 60-carat diamond.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


October 15, 2002

Man wins lottery twice using the same numbers!

There's a French saying I'll try not to misspell here. Tu change pas une equipe qui gagne!

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Current Events


Tension in DC

Glenn Reynolds linked to a fascinating story today about the tense situation in DC these days. The post to read is at 6:25 am.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Current Events


Microsoft: "Oops"

So yesterday I'm reading Joi Ito's excellent blog and read an early version of his entry about Microsoft fighting back at the popular Switching to Mac ads, but using a stock photo as the person who made the switch, rather than real people as Apple did.

Today I'm surprised to find out that this story made Yahoo's Most Popular list. It turns out that they tracked down the "writer" and it is someone hired by Microsoft.

Here is a good illustration as to why blogs are popular. You learn so much more about a story by reading blogs with all the citations and the collective research of a community of people reporting a story. While AP reporter Ted Bridis, who has written some impressive articles on technology before, did a fine job on this one, the Yahoo version of the story lacks any good links.

By going to the Wired version of the same story, you get almost the same story, but some links that are invaluable in digging deepers into the story. Like a relevant page in slashdot rather than their front page as Yahoo did. The original ad as it appeared on Microsoft's site, with the original picture. A link to the original stock image from Getty (Yes, the people responsible for this mistake used a Getty image instead of Microsoft's Corbis). And finally, a link to the original document from Microsoft's site.

Indeed, if you follow the instructions on the Wired story, you will see PR firm Wes Rataushk mentioned.

I can't imagine that the writer left in her name and employer on purpose. She was probably using her home computer and left in references she shouldn't have.

The truth is, this was one of a series of articles. Barbara Sehr wrote one called The meaning of Life and Office XP. She works freelance and also worked for Getty Images, which may somewhat explain how Getty images rather then Corbis images wound up in Microsoft Ads.

At the end of the day, when you actually read those ads, or even the Mac ads, it isn't all that convincing. It's pretty clear that this is just marketing. The concept of "fighting back" at the Mac ads was a big mistake in the first place. That kind of ad plays well for the underdog, not for a giant. And if you are going to do it, you better make sure the whole story is not faked.

Sometimes I like to look deeper at these kinds of stories not for the story itself, but just to analyze how it is reported in the traditional media vs. how the Internet has changed reporting and allowed you to go deeper into a story.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (2) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


Happy 90th Birthday to Studs Terkel!

Master interviewer Studs Terkel on May 16, 2002, celebrated his 90th Birthday!

If you've never read his books you are missing out on something. He interviews people from all walks of life about all kinds of topics and really gets you to see what life is like from different angles. A great learning experience. Happy to see he is doing well and his website just looks great!

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


The eBay Toolbar

Internet toolbars are trendy these days. eBay is the latest to offer one up. Has anyone used it? Is it any good?

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


Bait cars help stop crime

This Bait car is a great technology. It would be cool if they could add this technology to regular cars. Imagine calling the police, informing them your car was stolen and they lock the thieves in your car & pick them up!

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


They met @ Match.com, he gave her a ring then she disappeared

A man is attempting to file a claim w/ his insurance company trying to recover cost of a $12,475 engagement ring. He met a woman online, apparently she lied about her identity and once she received her engagement ring she disappeared.

Although the "Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled in 1999 that an engagement ring is a conditional gift that must be returned if a wedding does not take place...failing to abide by that standard would be considered a breach of contract, rather than a criminal offense."

This is a very unfortunate story and really shows how important it is to play it very safe on the internet.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


Independent Woman

This is rathergood.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (1) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


October 14, 2002

White box truck seized by DC Police

Truck abandoned. Let's hope this will lead to some clues that will help find the killers.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Current Events


Kazaa, smoke and mirrors?

In P2P Smoke Shelley argues correctly that the claims of kazaa being totally peer to peer is a bit overblown. I think there is a long battle ahead and that P2P won't win. Although there are some laudable and fair uses of this technology, the unfair uses are far more prevalent and go against powerful rich forces.

Power will kill this technology. And it seems the only ones with the wherewithal to fight it are associating themselves with spyware and slimeware, which their customers hate so I don't really see how this can wind up being a long-term success. But you never know..

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (1) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


Help review this book

Books are a topic near and dear to my heart. I love books. I love reading them. I love writing. I love learning about the industry and talking to authors. It's nice to see when a publisher like O'Reilly, a consistently top shelf tech publisher, has the guts to use the technology they teach people about. They have opened up to the public the upcoming book called Practical RDF. There is a public online review. Everyone is welcome to post comments.

Best of luck Shelley! Great use of the medium.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


Cool Site: Vino

Vino!, which dubs itself as The Guide to Wine, looks like a promising new site. Enjoy!

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


Rules of Marketing: Lion's Gate goes against the flow, uses Kazaa to market film

In a weird development surrounding the RIAA & Kazaa battle, a movie studio, Lion's Gate is working with Kazaa in the promotion of their new film.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (2) | Links to this entry (0) | Current Events


Important: have you ever seen popups on DiamondTalk? Please read this!

A couple of people have reported seeing popup ads on DiamondTalk. We have never and will never have popup ads on any of our sites. If you ever see this, it is because there is some software installed in your computer that creates popup ads and makes it look like it's coming from a website. This page can help you detect programs that install "spyware" onto your computer. Ever been asked to install Comet Cursor? Looks like something that will give you cool cursors, but it will give you more than that.

Also see: Cnet's take on this topic.


  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (1) | Links to this entry (0) | Technology


Music that sounds like it's coming from inside your head

Maybe this new technology will be able to improve the art of lip synching. I'd love to test this out. The special speakers can focus like a laser beam and make it appear as if the sound is coming from anywhere.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


Kramnik loses game 5

Kramnik loses game 5 to Deep Fritz.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Chess


Economics commentator: "limiting the flow of diamond based money to war zones would not end wars and violent conflict in Africa"

An economics commentator, Dr. Brett has written a paper about Botswana & the Diamonds Trade. He contends that Botswana became an African success story almost from day one using its diamond resources to sustain an unprecedented rate of economic growth.

The way Diamonds are bought & sold, often with cash, nothing will stop them from being sold from any country. A ban may make it harder, but the people dealing in these diamonds will continue to do so and will never have trouble finding buyers.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (1) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Smash & Grab @ Benchmark Jewelers ends in 3 arrests

Three men who committed a midday smash-and-grab robbery Saturday at a Palo Alto jewelry store were captured after trying to escape officers.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


October 13, 2002

Norman Lear puts "The People's Document" on the road

A shopper at a flea-market buys a $4 framed painting and finds an original copy of the declaration of independence in it. Eventually it sells to Norman Lear, creator of All in the Family, in a Sotheby's online auction for 8.1 million dollars. I found his words very well spoken:

"It occurred to me that I was looking at the United States of America as it had been written for the first time."

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (2) | Links to this entry (0) | Current Events


Diamond Miner's Tale

The Sydney Morning Herald has an interesting article about Namakwa, a diamond mining company. They're averaging 28 carats per 100 tons but need more investment.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


In 1979, 9/11 victim Randy Scott sold his beloved motorcycle to buy his fiancee a Diamond Ring

In 1999, she returned the favor. Now she rides to his memory. Like too many lately, this is a very sad and touching story. Too many people are wearing rings in a chain on their neck instead of where it belongs.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Current Events


Hearts on Fire Article

The Times Recorder in Ohio has a story on Hearts on Fire.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Chess: Brains in Bahrain

Although Leslie Walker introduces this story in an unfortunate way, she does write some interesting articles. This one is about the latest GM (grandmaster) showdown between Kramnik and Deep Fritz.

I can understand why someone who doesn't know much about chess may find this comment by Walker true

"it might have all the thrill of watching paint dry, but the most novel entertainment on the Internet this week is at the "brains in Bahrain" Web site",


but as an avid chess admirer, I remember before most people heard of the Internet, watching probably the very first webcast of anything. It was Kasparov against some challenger, and if you know chess, it's a lot of fun.

I've seen some coverage lately on this topic and find it unfortunate the way Kasparov's match in '97 is characterized as a loss for him. I seem to remember him objecting to the conditions of the match. In between games, apparently some IMs (or was it GMs) reprogrammed Deep Blue to deal specifically with how Garry was playing. That's not the same as playing against an algorithm at all.

Unfortunately, I cannot find any online reference to those statements. I was able to find some comments at Kasparov's website about the current match though.

Here's the URL for the Brains in Bahrain showdown.

Here's Bill Gates' thoughts dated well before the match where Kasparov lost.

A final thought. Can the game of chess be "solved" by a computer like Tic Tac Toe can? In other words, is there one or several best moves for every single position? Strangely, people used to think no. I always thought it did. Although there are an infinite number of moves (if each side moves their queen between 3 squares indefinitely, the match could go on forever), in fact there are a finite number of positions that each piece can legally be in. Just figure out every possible outcome of every position and chess is "solved".

This is more complex than meets the eye, because of the infinite variety of moves, but I believe that the right algorithm can achieve a "solution". Caveat, I am not a mathemetician.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Chess


War against Spam

Joi Ito, who runs a top notch Japanese/English Blog, links to some cool tools he uses. One of them seems like a real gem. TMDA, Tagged Message Delivery Agent. It plays more or less on some of the ideas mentioned here.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


A Professor on Blogging

Daniel W. Drezner writes about blogging as a scholar. I've found the part about electronic communication to be as true about forums as they are in email ;)

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


Messages from God

CherylIP has tracked down the God's Billboards links. Enjoy.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


October 12, 2002

The Daily Photo Project

c71123, a web designer for Andrew Sullivan, sure does seem to take

a lot of pictures of himself. One a day.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


Sotheby's Auctions featuring unique pieces

At the upcoming Sotheby's auction there will be a rare pair of pink and blue diamond, pendant earrings with matched stones. The earrings feature pear-shaped fancy intense blue and fancy purplish pink diamonds, weighing more than 4 carats each. They expect to go for $1.3 million.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Invited to a "Wild Wedding"? Bring pepper spray!

Adventurous Weddings are "in". Here's an article with some pointers.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Wedding Journal


Nicole Kidman's Bvlgari Oscar Necklace to be on display in Singapore

The Bvlgari Oscar necklace will be on exhibit until Oct 14 at the Bvlgari Hilton boutique.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (8) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Employee steals from Brinker's Jewelers

I read this twice but something still doesn't make sense to me.

"He started to suspect one of his employees, Kimberly Spicer-Vanzant. She recently had the store's craftsman place a large diamond into a ring she owned, so the store owner asked her to bring in the ring to check it out.

"When she brought her ring in," EPD Detective Dan Winters said, "it had a cubic zirconium diamond, which is not a real diamond, set in there. And they knew at that point that they had a theft."

If anyone reading the story can make sense of it, please explain in the comments. Thanks!

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


1 Billion Dollars Worth of Jewelry on display

JEWELLERY worth $1 billion (BD378 million) will go on display on Tuesday at the Bahrain International Exhibition Centre (BIEC). Over 25,000 people are expected to attend.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


October 11, 2002

Further reading

Mark Pilgrim has rightly reduced the visibility of incoming links so that the "words" in the "Further Reading" list become more important than the popularity. Here is an excerpt:

"Anyway, my further reading lists now include excerpts from the referring page. The visitor counts are still around, but they're now stuffed in the title attribute of the links (hover your cursor over the links to see them). I hope that, if anyone are going to do any judging around here, they'll judge based on people's words and not on their relative traffic. "Words, words, they're all we have to go on."

Great idea Mark! So if the words are what counts, why are you sorting the comments by the amount of incoming links ;)

Maybe you can create a new AI tool that sorts by intelligence of posts? :)

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


Falwell protest turns violent

Rev. Falwell made some remarks on 60 minutes that made headlines. A protest was planned and Riots in India ensued. 5 killed, 47 injured.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Current Events


Diamond Project in Brazil

Diagem announces some results on their testing.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Photoshop Roadmap

Thanks to kadyellebee for pointing out the newsletter "photoshop roadmap". This looks like a great newsletter for people who use graphics and Photoshop especially.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


Scientists find earliest Roman London Plaque

Yahoo! News - Scientists Find Earliest Roman London Plaque

This is interesting:

"Archaeologists excavating an ancient site in London said on Friday they had unearthed the oldest known plaque inscribed with the city's Roman name. "

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Science


EU is close to approving DeBeers Plan

This just in: "The European Commission is close to approving a new diamond sales program by South African mining giant De Beers that could reshape the multibillion-dollar luxury market, a source in Brussels said on Friday."

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Dallas: The movie

Dallas is being remade into a movie. They better find an excellent JR, because Larry Hagman defined that role.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Entertainment


Another shooting at a gas station

Unfortunately, here's another one.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Current Events


More discussion on copyrights

Here is an old speech on the topic.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Books


Mr. Swartz Goes to Washington

Hmmm, what do you think of this?

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Books


Tivo suffers from first-movers disadvantage

For those interested in marketing and some history on innovative companies who didn't succeed with a new product, this Slate article, is worth the popup ad you have to close before reading it.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


Carter wins Nobel Peace Prize

President Jimmy Carter has now won the Nobel Peace Prize. Some interesting blurbs from the story:

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for his peace mediation efforts and promotion of human rights in what the awards committee said was a criticism of current U.S. policy and "a kick in the leg" to those following the same line.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee cited the 78-year-old Carter's "decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development."
The award worth 10 million Swedish kronor (US$1 million) singled out Carter's "vital contribution" to the Camp David Accords between Israel and Egypt and his efforts in conflict resolution on several continents and the promotion of human rights after his presidency.

"When I was at the White House I was a fairly young man and I realized I would have maybe 25 more years of active life," Carter told the Cable News Network.

The secretive, five-member committee made its decision last week after months of deliberations as it sought the right message for a world still dazed by the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks

while Sadat and Begin shared the 1978 Peace Prize for their efforts, the Nobel committee said Carter was left out due to a technicality — he was not nominated in time.

Funny, I had always remembered it as Carter having shared the prize with Begin and Sadat, but I guess I remembered it incorrectly.

Update

"OSLO, Norway (AP) - In a rare show of discord, members of the Nobel Peace Prize committee criticized their chairman for using the award Friday to former President Jimmy Carter to speak out against the Bush administration's threats of war against Iraq."


  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Current Events


Congress Passes Iraq Resolution

Congress Passes Iraq Resolution (washingtonpost.com)

The House and Senate voted overwhelmingly to grant President Bush the power to attack Iraq unilaterally, remove Saddam Hussein from power and abolish that country's nuclear, chemical and biological weaponry.
Moving the nation closer to a possible second war with Iraq, 77 of 100 senators and 296 of 435 House members voted to authorize the president to "use the armed forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq."

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Current Events


October 10, 2002

Minor League Sports

A friend of mine caught a Minor League game recently and said it was a lot more fun than at the pro level. I think I will follow suit. With what is happening in baseball (despite the Yankees not going beyond first level this year for a change) and Formula 1 and other sports, seems the little leagues still retain some spirit in a way that majors don't anymore. Too bad it had to get to this level.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


Newport: Cash reward offered for loss of 3 ct. ring

A three-carat diamond ring is beautiful, but without proof of ownership, potentially very hard to sell or pawn. A Cincinnati couple hopes that fact will prompt the person who picked up their $30,000 diamond-and-platinum ring to come forward and return it.

Anyone with information about the ring should call Newport police at (859)292-3625.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Singer, Antique Jeweler, Prospers at both

A kiss on the hand may be quite continental. But diamonds, Linda Thompson will wholeheartedly assure you, are definitely a girl's best friend. And she should know.
Since the release of her last album, 1985's "One Clear Moment," she's handled rare and exotic gems at her busy little antique jewelry shop on London's Bond Street. After amassing a stunning catalog of work with her husband Richard, the legendary folksinger was happy to disappear into that business, where she offered her clientele diamonds, little Victorian and Georgian things and "some really nice stuff."

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Ring of Dicken's wife sold at auction

A Victorian gold, enamel and diamond serpent ring once owned by the wife of Charles Dickens was sold at auction Thursday for $8,200.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Diavik Diamonds Project Update

Diavik Diamond Mines Inc. (DDMI) is
pleased to report that construction of the Diavik Diamond Mine at Lac de Gras,
Northwest Territories continues to progress within project schedule and
budget.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Tony Soprano's blog

Hahah. Looks like Tony Soprano woke up this mornin' & got himself a Blog

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (1) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


22 Arrests in Jewelry Fencing Bust

Newsday Reports police shut down a multi-million dollar fencing ring, arresting 22 people and padlocking a dozen Manhattan jewelry stores where stolen gems and gold were bought from burglars then melted down or resold overseas, authorities said Wednesday.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said two brothers - Igor Kataev, 33, of Jamaica, and Alexander Kataev, 35, of Flushing - ran three jewelry stores in the Diamond District that were "a major artery" in the illegal operation.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (1) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


55.08 carat Kimberley Diamond up for bid at Christie's

Christie's fall sale of Magnificent Jewels offers shimmering highlights in a vast selection of exceedingly rare natural colored and white diamonds such as the 55.08 carat Kimberley Diamond, named after the most important mine in South Africa; and the Musketeer Diamond, weighing approximately 25.01ct.

Another exquisite piece is an antique diamond and emerald necklace that Queen Victoria gave to her sister-in-law, the Duchess Alexandrine of Saxe Coburg and Gotha.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Man kills woman for 2-karat [sic] Diamond Ring

25 The WPBF Channel reports this sad story: Man Allegedly Kills Woman For Diamond Ring.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Houdini

Houdini was an amazing and interesting magician and human being. Inside Magic does a fine job in talking about the man who died this very month in 1926.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


October 09, 2002

Another shooting: VA. Gas station

The Washington Post reports: Man Shot Dead at Va. Gas Station. Hopefully they will find the perpetrators soon.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Current Events


New info about what led to Cuban Missile Crisis

FWIW, Castro is interviewed by Barbara Walters and he claims that Krushchev Lied to JFK on Missiles in Cuba.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Current Events


The NY Times

The NY Times has a blog. Sort of...

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


The weblog for wives and girlfriends

This Blog, pick up your own damn socks, catering to wives & girlfriends, sure has an interesting name :)

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


Sniper Roundup

Jim Henly, over at Unqualified Offerings has a Sniper Roundup with the latest info and speculation on this story.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Current Events


Britain returns stolen treasure to Italy

If this story: Britain Returns Stolen Sunken Treasure to Italy becomes a habit there would be a HUGE reshuffling of wealth around the world!

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Sextuplets mug for the Camera

The Headrick sextuplets got their picture taken together after 6 months of life.


  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (1) | Links to this entry (0) | Babies


The Wedding Planner

Rosemary McGuiggan talks about wedding planning.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Wedding Journal


Blarney argues for synthetics over "real gemstones"

kuro5hin.org || Synthetic or Real?. Seems the popular forum at Kuro5hin has been debating the merits of sapphires.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


World's largest crystal octahedron custom designed for GIA by Swarovski

Unique Crystal Creation from Swarovski to Beautify GIA. It will be place atop the entrance tower of GIA's headquarters in Carlsbad.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Mining for Gems in Upstate NY

The Saratogian tells us that it is possible to mine for gemstones in upstate New York...

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Gemstones from Afghanistan

'Gem Hunter' display Afghani Gemstones to Florence, Myrtle Beach. A lot of the world's gems are not in easy to reach places :)

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (0) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


New Planet-Like object found in our Solar System

New Planet-Shaped Body Found in Our Solar System
and National Geographic has a nice picture of it.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (1) | Links to this entry (0) | Science


Escher's work in Lego

A couple of guys managed to recreate Escher's "Ascending and Descending" in LEGO.

And here are some more works of art Lego'ized.


  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (1) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous


October 08, 2002

Researchers find way to grow diamonds faster

Researchers find way to grow diamonds faster. Will be interesting to see how this story develops...

I found the original reference.


  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (2) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Tiffany goes to Canada

Tiffany announces that they are opening a diamond cutting office in the mining town of Yellowknife.

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (1) | Links to this entry (0) | Jewelry


Welcome to DiamondBlog.com!

Welcome to DiamondBlog.com. Some of you may be new to this but it should be a lot of fun to experiment! Check out some of the links on the left to get a flavor of the bold new world of Blogging!

  by GilbertZ | Leave or Read Comment(s) (1) | Links to this entry (0) | Miscellaneous








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