Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ramblings

As time goes on I'm getting reconciled to the idea of working remotely for the majority of my week.  I've been able to spruce up my work area in the house and in my off hours have been wading through multiple years of accumulated "stuff".  I've sent several garbage cans of junk to the local landfill but have managed to try my best to recycle.  Old books and "fine" paper, as well as cardboard have gone to the recycling center and I presented the local library with a couple of boxes of empty CD cases so that they can replace the damaged cases for their loaners.  I find myself going to the library about every second day to borrow some new music to have playing in the background to supplement Pandora.

Unfortunately it sounds like Pandora is on the ropes.  According to a Washington Post article cited by jkOnTheRun, the Copyright Royalty Board in March, 2007, drastically raised royalty rates (including 17 months' of retroactive payments) for Internet (streaming) radio stations.  This is going to basically kill my ability to listen to... are you ready... freestyle.  I'd never heard of this genre before I was introduced to it by a co-worker, and the only other source I have at the moment is WKTU in NYC.  Unfortunately the FM reception in the house is not that great and listening to their stream over the net is abysmal (I hate the gaps left by commercials they can't play over the Internet).

Although I can't use them for work (information Security issues don't ya know) I've been playing with some Internet collaboration tools which could be really useful if I ever get the cash to go back to school for an MBA.  At one time I had thought about setting up a SharePoint server to work on things collaboratively but the licensing fees are prohibitive.  I also looked at using a hosting service but that too turned out to be cost prohibitive given a $40K per year tuition.  However using Microsoft office Live Workspace in conjunction with Windows Live would be an acceptable solution (that would be even better with support for OneNote... Are you  listening Microsoft).  If you don't want to be tied to Microsoft Office then a Google account making use of Google Apps would work just as well.

As it is now my office solution is Microsoft Office with SharePoint which works quite well.  I can reach out to my team with IM using Microsoft Communicator but the one piece we are missing is an on-line collaboration/presentation system although I've been told we're working on hosting our own internal LiveMeeting servers that would do the trick. 

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