2004: The Good News says every year at the end of December, major media outlets compile lists of the year's top stories. Television news stations compile poignant montages of the past 12 months. Inevitably, these images are tragicâ€”images of war, crime and natural disaster set to pensive music, only occasionally interrupted by shots of the team that won the Super Bowl, the World Series, or every four years, pictures from the Olympics. That's to be expected, of course. No news, as they say, is good news. Good news also tends to happen gradually, which makes it less conspicuous. Bad news happens in clumps. It makes itself known. In just a few hours, a hurricane or an earthquake can wipe out thousands of homes and businesses. The prosperity, wealth and rise in standard of living that created those homes and businesses took place over decades, if not hundreds of years. No one reports a new subdivision going up. Everyone's on the scene when a tornado takes one down. At the end of the year, itâ€™s easy to get so caught up with what's going on in Fallujah, the calamitous tsunamis that hit South Asia, or the threat of terrorism, that we overlook the overwhelmingly positive but subtler, more gradual trends lurking beneath the headlines.
This Dark Horizons story says: "Keen to jump into the fourth season premiere of Alias this coming Wednesday but worried that as a new viewer you won't understand what's going on? Don't panic. According to an interview up on Alias Media with creator J.J. Abrams, the two-hour opener will be easy for newcomers to follow - 'We're not going to have any reprise (of previous seasons). We're not going to have any explanation...In no way is this first episode imposing or convoluted'."
eburger68, from this Broadband Reports security forum thread, posted two PC World articles (Risk Your PC's Health for a Song?) and Protect Yourself From Audio Adware) about a potentially dangerous new development on the spyware/adware front. Windows Media files can be used to install adware and spyware.
This New York Times article says the average Internet user in the United States spends three hours a day online, with much of that time devoted to work and more than half of it to communications, according to a survey conducted by a group of political scientists.
The survey found that use of the Internet has displaced television watching and a range of other activities. Internet users watch television for one hour and 42 minutes a day, compared with the national average of two hours, said Norman H. Nie, director of the Stanford Institute for the Quantitative Study of Society, a research group that has been exploring the social consequences of the Internet.
- Farm Sim is a simple game that makes you a farmer to shoot down UFOs from abducting your precious cows (leave my Betsy clones alone, you crazy aliens!). Watch out for their bombs. I got to level 6, but don't remember the exact points (10K something) on my first attempt. Cool little tune.
- Bugs Are Coming is another simple game where you move the pink growing bubble around with your mouse while avoiding bugs (no ants?) for as long as possible. Be sure to grab those bubbles to deflate. I got to level 16 in 81 seconds as my fourth attempt.
FOXNews.com report that animals may had sensed the recent Asia tsunami. Wildlife officials in Sri Lanka expressed surprise Wednesday that they found no evidence of large-scale animal deaths from the tsunamis -- indicating that animals may have sensed the wave coming and fled to higher ground.
Internet Movie Database (IMDb) released its top 25 stars for 2004. These STARmeter rankings were not based upon critical assessments or box-office performance, but the actual search behavior of over 20 million users of IMDb.com. These results are an aggregate of weekly STARmeter rankings from IMDbPro.com.
New York Post Online's story is funny and yet sad (if true) -- "A man who drank himself into a coma and lay near death in a hospital bed suddenly woke up after hearing that his boss had commanded, 'Get your *ss back to work!'"
This Yahoo! News' story report on the recent Asian earthquake unleashed deadly tidal waves on Asia. It was so powerful it made the Earth wobble on its axis and permanently altered the regional map, US geophysicists said.