Today, interesting rumors about Episode II were confirmed. After almost 3 weeks of speculation that was easily dismissed as totally impossible, the original rumors about a new cameo were confirmed. N'Sync will appear in Episode II.

Hey George – you need a [bleeping] vacation! I find your lack of sensibility disturbing; don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed. I've got a bad feeling about this.

.NET Passport Security

Because Microsoft recognizes the importance of security and reliability when using Internet software, we have now made available free browser security upgrades to better protect your online information.

It told me that I was safe and there was nothing more I had to do “at this time.” But at the rate at which new Microsoft software vulnerabilities are being discovered, I'll be visiting their 'security' scanner more than I'll be updating this blog.

The Boob Tube

On New Year's Day, our local NBC affiliate (KRON 4) dropped its affiliation with NBC, leaving me peacockless for the time being. Thankfully, I haven't shown any signs of withdrawal – yet. Still, I have nowhere to turn if I want to watch fresh broadcasts of Friends or Frasier. People with cable providers have been given an alternative station, but I've got a silly little DirecTV satellite that doesn't (to my knowledge) pull in local stations for free. This is San Francisco, folks. We're on the bleeding edge of technology. Problem is: we keep picking at the scabs.

Gretchen wants me to help her write 'thank you' notes for all the Christmas cards (and presents) we received this season. I'm more interested in watching a rerun of Voyager. It's a 7 of 9 episode, and those (by law) must never be missed. Of course, I don't watch television like a normal person. I stare at the screen (read: the computer screen) while the boob tube does its thing beside me. What the hell did I do with my time before the Internet came along?

Inbox (Matt Stephens)

Matt works for deviantART. If you've never visited the site before, do yourself a favor and give it a spin in your browser. Your desktop will never be the same. Here's what's on the horizon:

I thought I'd fill you in on what's happening throughout our growing community. First off, we just released a new contest with Merlin3D, a 3D software company. Second, we are about to start publicly announcing the Devvies, the art community's Oscar awards ceremony-type thing that takes place in March. Third, we will be releasing a new skinnable site on February 1.

Trojan In Grokster

It has recently come to our attention that our previous Grokster installer for about a three week period contained a trojan known as W32.DlDer.Trojan. This trojan was apparently installed by one of our advertisers, ClickTilUWin. Now that we have learned of the trojan, we are doing everything we can to minimize its impact on our users.

Yet another reason I don't use file sharing programs.

Pervy Perps

I'm sitting here, listening to David Lawrence on my clock radio (as I do every so often). The call off the top is someone in Des Moines. So? So, David's show doesn't get broadcast in Iowa. This guy has been listening to David's audio stream nightly ever since they met face-to-face at Gnomedex. Plus, the caller is a regular CFH viewer. That gave me a funny little feeling inside, kinda like the IM I got from Bobby Young a few minutes ago:

Hey Chris… something funny I noticed. Gretchen's blogs got more comments than yours.

Cute. Thanks. Good to know. *grumble grumble* I've got one up on her, though. Roland Jacobs (the CTO of Topica) and I are going to a Ruth's Chris tomorrow night. It'll be my first dining experience at the popular steakhouse chain. I'm very much looking forward to it, too. Been a while since I had a good steak. As a matter of fact, the last good steak I had was when I was back in Des Moines (for Gnomedex). The 801 Steak and Chop House is the only place to consider when you're in town.

For what it's worth, David's caller from Des Moines is having problems with identiy theft in Hotmail. He's saying that someone's logged into his account and sent porn spam to people in his address book. Here's something interesting about Hotmail: every message includes an 'X-Originating-IP' header. Use this information to track pervy perps.

Bueller? Bueller?

Ha! Here's what Gretchen said when I told her that the creator of Movable Type posted a comment for her MT rant. Her response:

Uh oh.

All things considered, Gretchen's never used any kind of blogging tool before. She's spent a total of 15 minutes (maybe) getting to learn MT. I gotta give props to Doc Searls, who was the first to blogroll my wife. And yes, I'm quite proud of that. Scoble was the second. Who will be the third? Bueller? Bueller?

Inbox (Matt McKenzie)

Thought I might submit a GnomeTIP that other readers might find useful. I was getting sick of icons in my QuickLaunch tray stealing precious space from my Taskbar so I enabled the 'Links' toolbar by rightclicking on the Taskbar, moved icons from my QuickLaunch to the 'Links' toolbar and moved it over to the left. Now I can access the majority of my proggies from clicking the wee arrows resulting a nice (space saving) popup menu. Similar to the Desktop toolbar tip submitted in a previous issue.

Senseless Blogrolling no longer offers a banner supported service. This service, that used to be integrated for free within (among others) Metafilter and Blogger, is now only available for a fee. There are two pricing options: a bannerless version and a licensed one to intregrate on your own server or resell. (The End of Free)

And I'm not the only one who likes to blog the e-mails that I receive. GMTA! Perhaps I should start posting the most interesting jumk mails that enter my Inbox, too? Nah, this site would scroll too quickly.

Geek Culture & Tech Expert: How Can I Help You Today?