Nat Finds Error in Chicago Manual of Style

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I thought about naming this entry just “I found an error in the CMS” but some people think CMS stands for Content Management System and not Chicago Manual of Style. Some people don’t even know what the Chicago Manual of Style is but in brief words it is the definitive referece for publishing and has been for 100 years.

Finding an error in the 15th edition is a little like finding a mistake that a god has made.  But I found one and I let them know. Here is my message to them:

In section 9.45 there gives an example of an ISO-style date “1999-05-10-16:09:41.3″ which has a written equivalence of “May 5, 1999…”

The correct equivalence should be “May 10, 1999″.

One last thing. ISO date formats that include the time typically use a space, not a dash, between the date and time. In fact, I’ve never seen a dash used, ever. Readability is also better with a space. For example, “1999-05-10 16:09:41.3″ is much easier to parse visually. This is also the form that databases use for time stamps when converting to a human-readable format.

The question then is: how sure are you that the proper use of ISO Date and Time use a dash to separate the date and time?

Here is their reply:

Thank you for writing with this information. Although we corrected the date to May 10 in the second printing of CMOS, I don’t think anyone else has pointed out the incorrect hyphen. I’m sure you are right, and I’ll pass along your e-mail to the person who keeps track of corrections so we can fix the error in the next printing.

We appreciate your taking the time to let us know of the problem.

All the best–
CMOS Staff


SunRocket Folds

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Last week I received a notice that SunRocket has gone out of business and they gave no warning and kept my 7 months worth of service that I have left. Bastards.

One of the more interesting things is that they recommend another company called TeleBlend. Whatever you do DON’T sign up with TeleBlend. All evidence points to TeleBlend being run by ex-SunRocket people out of India with no customer service, no address, a phone number that is in the same DID range as SunRocket and the company was established on July 17, 2007–just days after the announcement.

Phone2Net is offering a contract buyout for SunRocket customers but my phone hasn’t actually gone dead yet so I’m still trying to decide.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Chore Technology

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I’ve never liked doing chores and unless you are OCD you probably don’t like it either. Today, by some strange cooincidence I found two web site that both specialize in managing chores.

Chore Wars is a fantasy gaming website for, well, people to track their chores. You choose from different fantasy characters with different skills such as taking out the trash, doing dishes, etc. You earn gold and can experience for doing chores. You can even party with othe players for quests. Last week I would have been surprised but since I saw 3DMailbox I’m not surprised by anything.

Chore Buster is a more traditional chore tracking site (if there is such a thing). Just in case you want an alternative.

For myself I use N2O, a task tracking website that uses web 2.0 technology and rocks. I also had the pleasure of designing the system but I can only give tours by appointment. Let me know if you are interested.

The Future of E-Mail is NOW

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I’ve seen the trailer for three times now and I’m still just sitting here stunned. Frankly, I don’t know what to say. Seriously. Of course I had to try it. YOU have to try it.

After setting it up I sat for an hour just watching my hot bikini-clad new mail arrive and shower. Then I watched them all dive into the pool and swim until I could read them. The I watched them lounge by the pool soaking up the sun. I turned some of them into spam just so I could see them transform into fat ugly men. Then I had to delete the spam so I could feed them to the sharks–it was most gratifying. In the end I didn’t even care about reading the e-mail, I just wanted more and more of it to watch.

I am totally blown away. I’m going to try and hook this into one of my main accounts so I can watch mail all day.

Viewing the Web Through Old Eyes

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I’m not sure how many of you know there are/were more than two browsers out there for viewing web pages. Today most people only think of Internet Explorer and FireFox (also known as IceWeasal, Mozilla, and sometimes even Netscape) but they forget that Opera is still out there plugging away and let’s not forget Safari (even though it sucks for Windows–thanks for nothing, Steve).

But in the yesteryears of the world wide web there was only one browser to begin with: NCSA Mosaic.  I saw my first graphical web page using NCSA Mosaic running on a Windows 3.1 computer in 16 glorious colors. Shaffer was working at BYU and showed me a web site that had LEGO projects. I was hooked. I started right away to build my own websites (this was in 1992).

The programmer for NCSA Mosaic then started his own company called Netscape whose browser and server became the standard. But even then I used other browsers like Cello, Lynx and Arena. Interestingly I just used Lynx again today, which is very handy sometimes.

The list of web browsers is definitely more than 3 and Wikipedia has a nice list of them. But that’s not why I am writing.

I discovered a website that will let you browse the web emulating those early browsers. Have you ever wondered what CNN would look like in NCSA Mosaic? Now you can!

Have fun!

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