Google Docs getting offline access

Google Docs getting offline access | Webware : Cool Web apps for everyone
Rafe reports: “Using the free Google Gears extension, users will soon be able to read and edit their files even when they have no internet connection.”

This is good. I hope it comes to Google Notebook soon as I am very very addicted to that little app like no other, in fact it has displaced OneNote as my adhoc note pad.

Newspaper revenues take biggest plunge on record

Ouch! Newspaper revenues take biggest plunge on record | Tech news blog – CNET News.com

Uncle Fester points us at this grim news:

“Total print advertising revenue last year dropped 9.4 percent to $42 billion from the year before, according to the Newspaper Association of America. That’s the biggest decrease since the NAA began measuring ad expenditures in 1950.

“Total advertising revenue, including online revenue, decreased 7.9 percent in 2007 from the year before.”

I want to see the percentage state of online revenue in the newspaper industry — that last paragraph infers a decline in online revenue for newspapers, which I know is not the case in the UK at least.

Demonym for Cotuit?

Today’s word is “demonym” – which is the word you use to describe the inhabitant of a country or city. Hence, a citizen of Croatia is a Croat, a person who lives in Boston is a Bostonian, Thais from Thailand. There is actually a semi-formula for working out a demonym, but note that there is some confusion on how to develop an demonym for a New World term, for example a native place name such as “Cotuit” – evidently a Wampanoag word meaning “wide meadow” which in Latin would be, of course Agros Latos, which might make residents of the village “Agroslatinos” if Caesar Augustus had managed to cross the Atlantic in that submarine he was building before the Ides of March.

That not being the case, I defer to the Sage, John Peck, he of Peck’s Boats – who has bestowed us with the demonym, “Cotusion.”

Titcomb’s Bookshop – Upcoming Events

Titcomb’s Bookshop – Upcoming Events

Tomorrow- Sunday 3.30 @ 2 pm

David Churbuck Book Signing
The Book of Rowing
Sunday March 30th, 2pm
David Churbuck is the author of The Book Of Rowing. The book was originally printed in 1988 and has been updated and re-released. The book details the complete history of the sport of rowing, includes instructions on how to improve from a novice rower to a confident expert and is filled with black and white photos and line drawings. It is the perfect book for anyone who has an interest in this classic and elegant sport.Members of the Barnstable Rowing Club will be on hand to tell you all about their Learn To Row programs for adults and juniors.

Let the clamming begin

I have my shiny new family shellfish permit and that means the clams are scared. One of these years I am going to get a single digit license, maybe camp out in a lawn chair at the Department of Natural Resources and be first in line like a teenager trying to cop some Hannah Montana tickets.

The boat is launched. The waders need patching and tomorrow on the tide I intend to go in search of some serious mercenaria mercenaria, aka the Mighty Quahog, and make me a mess of chowder.  The shellfish warden asked me, as she handed over the newly laminated license: “Where’s your favorite place to clam?”

That’s like asking me what my bank balance is.

But I told her and in return she pulled out the map and showed me some good spots where the volunteers have been broadcasting seed and and transplanting dirty clams to clean water. They were all shore spots — the kind for people who don’t have boats — and therefore the ones I tend to leave to the guys who trudge down the sand to find their bivalves. I have a boat, so I go to the places where clammers with boats can only go.

And I’m not talking about them, in fact, I am turning into one of those wiseasses who when asked at the dock, “Where did you catch that fish?” say, “In the lip.”

Bring back the fire horn

The single scariest thing in my childhood, scarier than the Wicked Witch of the East’s winged monkeys, was the Cotuit Fire Department fire horn, especially when it sounded in the middle of the night.

It was the trumpet of Satan himself: a horrible, low blast followed by a shrieking siren: an air raid horn powered by a blast of compressed air somewhere on the roof of the Fire Department on High Street.

When it went off every day at noon, it wasn’t so scary. It was expected. It was a nice noise. A reminder of lunch. And when you were on the water, furling the sail on your skiff after the Wednesday morning junior series, you would hear the fire horns all along the southside of Cape Cod go off in a weird rolling synchronization like time rolling to the west – first Hyannis, then Hyannisport, then Centerville, then Osterville, Waquoit ….all seeming to call to each other to say, “Yep. Cotuit is reporting in for lunch.”

The bullrakers in the quahog scows would set their rakes in the bottom mud, tie off to the handle and sit on their culling boards to eat a PBJ and drink soup from a thermos.

But when that horn went off at 2 am, me and every kid in town would slam awake, stare wildly into the darkness, and start to count.

Two signals meant a rescue emergency. An ambulance was needed. Someone was hurt. A car had crashed. When two signals sounded during the day, the rule was every kid had to book home as soon as possible to report in. The sirens would light up in the garage of the fire department and we’d go out into the yard to watch the intersection of Main and School Streets to see which way the fire trucks and ambulance turned. To the south, towards the Highground meant someone was in trouble on the beaches. Straight ahead to the town dock meant a boating accident, to the north meant a car accident on Route 28.

Five blasts meant a fire and the volunteers would get in their pickup trucks and stick the red bubble light on the roof and drive like maniacs to the fire house.

It isn’t a volunteer fire department anymore.

There isn’t a horn anymore.

I want the horn to come back.

In a closet in my house is an old “guide to the horn” published in 1960, right during the heart of the Cold War. Otis Airforce base is five miles to the northwest and my house is right on the landing path. Back in those days there was a ton of air force traffic as the Otis squadron were the pilots who challenged the Russian Bear bombers testing our DEW line defenses off the Atlantic Coast. I fully expected to be incinerated in a flash of light at any second as there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that Otis was an A-1 priority target. The last line of the guide freaked me out in the mid-60s. An air raid would be signaled by a “wailing” (my own, no doubt) followed by a series of short sharp blasts (and one really big one).

Safari sort of magically appears …

I hate browsers. FireFox is just fine for me, but lo, somehow iTunes snuck a copy of Apple’s Safari browser onto my desktop and so ….

Churbuck.com looks actually better in Safari — but alas, in the write mode in WordPress none of the Wysiwig editing functions appear. Which means I need to save this in draft, kill Safari, open FireFox and get to a functional window so I can post this screen grab:

So now I know what Mac people see all the time. Clear. Sorta slick. But I’ll stick with me FireFox — on both XP and Ubuntu. Life is too short for too many browsers.