More Junkmail from Bob!

Wednesday, February 28, 2001
Important Stuff.

For the web version, which looks better, go to

The Aircam Flew!

It's hard to believe, but not only did the plane Mike, James and I built fly, but it also landed. There were no permanent injuries. Bill Leftwich was nice enough to come check out the plane and test fly it last weekend. Here he is in action:

        Img_7682.jpg      Img_7683.jpg

Jonathon vs. the SEC

Jonathon got caught hyping stock on the Yahoo message boards. He would pick out a company that was fairly unpopular, buy some of it, post a bunch of messages hyping the stock, and then sell it when the price went up. The SEC didn't like that, so they filed charges against him. The funny part (although it's not so funny for Jonathon) is that he's only 15 years old. He's a high school student in Illinois.

Active Bar Codes

In a few years, it will be possible and probably economical for active bar code tags to be used on products you buy. By active bar codes, I mean radio transmitters like a Pike Pass or EZ Pass. When activated by a signal, the active bar code tag will transmit its unique ID number, which can then be used to look up the product, manufacturing information, purchase information, etc.

For example, you could buy a box of cereal. When you buy the cereal, its number will be read electronically at the cash register and the information recorded. After that, the tag will still remain active. When the cereal box is trashed, it would be possible for a company to have barcode readers to record the information.

Some people consider this a privacy problem. If a company went around reading barcode tags from people's trash, they could find out who threw away that cereal box and when. A person's purchasing habits could be watched and marketing could be targeted at an individual level. I don't have a strong opinion one way or the other, but I think it's pretty interesting.

Alzheimer's Progress

They're making progress against Alzheimer's disease. Bristol-Meyers Squibb is conducting tests on a beta-secretase inhibitor in humans. It looks like they'll have partial treatment, if not a cure, in just a few years. I wonder if they can keep me from forgetting things all the time. I wonder if I'll ever figure out what day it is. I was accused of having Alzheimer's when I was about 18. It's better now. I don't remember any better, but now I don't care.

Microsoft Rules the Court

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington seems to be siding with Microsoft, against the Justice Department's case for breaking up the company. Judge Penfield was liberally poo-pooed by the court. Bill Gates said to his lawyers, "I TOLD you hiring all those political types would help." Or something like that.,1283,42071,00.html

EToys is History

Almost. EToys is planning to shut down next week, after filing for Chapter 11 this week. Goldman Sachs has been trying to find someone to buy the company for a few months, but I guess nobody wanted to assume $274,000,000 in debt and other liabilities. EToys said its common and preferred stock "have no value" and are "worthless." I guess they won't get in trouble for hyping their stock. Chairman Toby Lenk said, "But nobody told us we were supposed to make a profit!"

The eToys web site is still up, but I'm not sure who would ship what you buy. I think they laid off everybody a couple of weeks ago.

Even More Clinton Dirt?

Denise Rich visited the White House 19 times while Clinton was President. The Clinton pardoned Marc Rich. Movie Producer Thomason called Clinton to have a couple of buds pardoned. Clinton called CBS to ask them to pay Thomason and his partner a million dollars or so. They did. You can read details almost anywhere.

Even Clinton's former chief of staff is embarrassed. Leon Panetta said, "If that's true then it really is an inappropriate use of presidential power to get involved in a personal financial dispute. I think that crosses the line."

Clinton apparently doesn't even care to keep up a good appearance any more. I expect more dirt will come out when they release all the names of the $5,000+ donors to the "Clinton Library."

Miami Herald: Bush Still Won.

Gore: Keep on Counting!


Things have been shaking around Seattle. Here's a picture of the concrete at Boeing Field:

It's hard to believe, but they've closed a runway there. Here's the latest notam. I think the tower is closed too.

        !BFI 03/006 BFI 13L/31R CLSD

Pictures of Today -- Things that fly.

Space Station Alpha, 2 weeks ago:

        s98e5314.jpg      s98e5310.jpg

Ducks on the Missouri River near Omaha, yesterday:


Atlas One, a flight of two B52s last week:


The Space Shuttle and a couple of pterodactyls, 3 weeks ago:


and finally, N3251E, 3 days ago:


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