Rick Steele

eyeing over google apps

Over the past week or so, for reasons both professional and personal, I have been fooling around with Google Apps, checking it out as an IT administration tool for small businesses and organizations.

Confessions of a conflicted book worm

As a literary nerd by training and a computer nerd by profession, I confess to feeling very conflicted about the ongoing controversy over the Google Book Search project.

a brief history of the combat helmet

I spent last Remembrance Day, as is my habit, watching old war movies and thinking about the bad old days, when I was young enough to think that war was a kind of entertainment.

going nowhere in wee argleton

As the season of snow, darkness, cold comes upon us, it is comforting for me to know that I have a place I can go to escape such inhospitable realities: Argleton, Lancashire, in England.

Got them waiting for the iPhone blues

This week, I went through one of my brief periods of local radio fame, talking on the CBC morning show about the pending arrival of high speed cellular service in Whitehorse.

Seeing through the cloud

I returned just last Friday from a three-day junket to Banff, where I attended an information technology conference about something called "cyberinfratstructure" That word may be as difficult to type as it is to pronounce, but it has a specific and justif

On the hook of the criminal phishery

It has been a bad week for webmail service providers. First came the story that some 10,000 Microsoft Hotmail e-mail accounts had had their passwords compromised.

the wave of the future

A few columns back I spent some time grousing about internet e-mail, and how this antiquated, badly designed old communication protocol was running up the financial and infrastructure costs of internet communications because of all the junk mail it allows

get some manners yahoo

This past week, I needed to install Yahoo Messenger on my new computer at work, and the experience brought home to me what a pushy, desperate pain in the posterior the Yahoo corporation has become, these days.

picking the bones of nortel

Having come at last to a protracted and painful end through public neglect and corporate incompetence, Nortel seems to have become more interesting as a corpse than it was as a living entity.

the beatles the one after 090909

Sometime in the summer of 1967, when I turned 13, I was listening to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band on the gramophone in my bedroom, and made the decision to grow my hair out and become a groovy guy.

confessions of a scrabble holic

I hereby confess that I am a hardened and unrepentant Scrabble-snatcher.

its time to get innovative about funding innovation

In the course of my duties at Yukon College over the past month, I have been doing some research into the state of research and development funding and outcomes in Canada.

bad memories from the good old days

My column two weeks ago about how horrible the internet e-mail system has become seems to have struck an unexpected nerve with many of my readers.

WolframAlpha: Just the facts, mam

These days, I have become the techno- Cliff Claven of the Gold Pan Saloon here in Whitehorse.

the end of e mail

For almost 15 years now, the e-mail check has been a standard part of my morning routine, preceded only by the morning shower.

when air conditioning was just a hot idea

The high temperatures in Whitehorse over the past week got me thinking about the technology of air conditioning - partly because I am painfully lacking in any of that technology, either at home or at work, and partly because it started to bother me why we

is it smart to go face to face with facebook

Early this week, I found a connection request from one of my out-of-territory nieces on my Facebook account, and followed the link to accept the invitation to be her friend.

Computers for Schools: Moving it out, and moving on

Early one morning, a couple of weeks ago, I was at the tail end of my constitutional around the Millennium Trail when my cellphone rang. It was Phil from Raven Recycling with some interesting but problematic news.

a chrome plated techno future

The hot news in Nerdland this week was Google's announcement that it is going to use Chrome, its recently released web-browsing program, as the basis for a whole new computer operating system. I did a write-up about Chrome in this column some months ago.