Friday, December 28, 2007

Netscape Brand Dies: RIP

Most of the people that read this will have no clue what or who Netscape is. But Netscape and its founders changed the world as we know it today. And on February 2008, the Netscape brand will be shutdown. All 'old school' computer geeks, I'm sure will be saddened by this. Netscape brings memories.

In the beginning...

In the beginning, the online world was small. A handful of bulletin board systems created ad hoc communication networks (ie: FidoNet) across the world, connecting thousands if not millions of users thanks to volunteers, hobbyists, and scientists. During this time, Prodigy and CompuServe were still existing and were young companies. They too wanted to connect people with their computers and 300 baud modems, but their idea was to charge monthly rates.

The hypertext world (The World Wide Web), created by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989, was still in its infancy. Nobody wanted to use it because it wasn't easy. It wasn't friendly.

But something happened.

Uber-geeks came to the forefront of innovation. Marc Andreessen and his friends at the newly formed Mosaic Communications Corp, created Netscape. It made web browsing so easy, so unique, and so much fun. Gone were the ANSI graphics, the boring door games and the monochrome colored text found in BBS systems.

The World Wide Web became a new home for those hungry for change online, inviting other geeks to come and see the glorious colors of hypertext and the wonders of GIF layered animation (Flash was just a forethought). The Internet before Netscape was a puzzle. But in the end, Netscape could not last a fight against the Microsoft giant. They took notice of Netscape's rise and created their own web browser. Bill Gates even admitted they did not take the Internet too seriously until Netscape came along.

Thanks to Netscape, competition began and web innovation took off. The magic we all enjoy, the things we all see today on our computer monitors, on our Web TVs, our PS3 browsers, XBox Live graphics...all of it could be traced back to Netscape. It may not have been everyone's favorite browser (1 out of 10 didn't like it), but it helped in the Internet revolution.

Goodbye Netscape, may you rest in peace.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Benazir Bhutto (1953 – 2007), a martyr

Farewell to Pakistan's Benazir Bhutto
Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated today, exactly two weeks away from Pakistan's general elections.

If you do not know who Bhutto was, you will know today -- with media outlets from around the world showing horrifying scenes of a well-planned assassination. The assassin(s) used a combination of bullets and explosions to inflict the fatal blows. It occurred shortly after Bhutto left a political rally. She was hit twice, once at her spinal cord and another shot near her chest.

Her legacy
Bhutto is well known for her stance of moderation in Islam. She opposed Al Queda and more recently, the Taliban, for branding their message of hate across the region. She opposed restrictive rights on women. She was the youngest prime minister ever elected in Pakistan and the only woman to have that office.

Educated at Harvard and Oxford, she was one of America's last hope in bringing stability and democracy in the nuclear-armed Pakistan. Unfortunately, cowards did not want her to be voted in again by the people and killed her.

She is a martyr for the cause of democracy, she is a martyr for the cause of women's rights in the Islam world, and a martyr for the average Pakistani. My condolences to the people of Pakistan who are hurting right now and to her friends and family, who have yet suffered another tragic loss (Bhutto's father, another former prime minister, was also killed before).

Monday, December 24, 2007

Cruise with a Mission 2007

So I just got back from Cruise with a Mission yesterday. Over 300 young adults (and young at heart) went to Belize and Guatemala to help with orphanages, hospitals, schools, and other service projects.

People from all over the world came on a 55,000-ton ship (Holland America's Veendam) to assist others and to have a great time with other young adults who believe in the gospel commission of Jesus Christ.

I took roughly 1,200 photos, so its going to be about a week until I can get it all uploaded. But some have already uploaded their pictures online and I would like to invite people to email me at so I can post their links here:

  • David Stephan's Pictures
  • Monday, December 10, 2007

    Huckabee and Clinton - the race I want to see

    Over the past few months, I have said little about the 2008 U.S. presidential race. But after watching a few debates, having read every one's positions, and seeing the polls, I have some early predictions on the two party's nominees.

    I believe it would be a great race if Clinton and Huckabee were the presidential nominees. They both represent the two most active voices in American politics: social liberalism and religious conservatism.

    Here are some of my positive thoughts about these two:

  • Huckabee is a gentleman. When former president Bill Clinton was being pounded in the media regarding his promiscious affairs, Huckabee, the governor of Arkansas at the time, refused to attack Clinton. It is easy to kick someone when they are down, but it takes a gentleman to refuse joining the lynch mob.

  • Hillary is a survivor. Bill Clinton's numerous affairs undoubtedly have hurt their marriage. Despite the public spotlight on their marriage, she sought to reconcile and recover. Some say her ability to forgive is a weakness, but to me, that is one of her greatest strengths. Being able to stick by your husband despite the public humiliation speaks strength and conviction and values that are hard to come by in a society where divorce is so rampant.

  • Huckabee has conservative values that are biblically based. He is the answer to many Protestants' Christmas wishes, someone that isn't afraid to mention the name "Jesus" on public television and yet someone that knows how to separate church and state. He is against murdering babies, and he believes that the Bible is the Word of God, not an inspirational book.

  • Hillary supports socialistic health programs. I believe she can help with Medicare. Taking care of our oldest citizens that can no longer work, or have trouble being functional due to stroke or other diseases need government intervention. We cannot simply ignore the people that cannot help themselves and let them die. We need to support our nursing homes and outpatient therapy clinics. I do disagree with Hillary on more broader socialistic programs -- where the government is paying for people that have the ability to work and make money on their own. The last thing I want is spending tax dollars on lazy folks that do not want to work. (The Bible commands us to work six days a week, Exo 20:9, "Six days shalt thou labour...")

  • Huckabee's flat tax program would remove the IRS and install a new taxing agency to collect sales tax across the board in a fair manner. Economists say this could work. The basic idea behind the current tax system is, the more successful you are, the more you are punished by taxes. If you work less, the more you are rewarded. I think a flat tax rate would make it equal across the board and get rid of this idea to punish successful, hard working Americans. Equality is the key value here.

    These are just some of my thoughts and I'm sure I will type up more later, but let me know if you agree or disagree.
  • Friday, December 07, 2007

    Congress: Take Care of Our Seniors!

    Congress: Take Care of Our Seniors!

    Support HR 916 / S 450, “The Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act”

    Imagine if your grandma fell due to a stroke. In order to walk and talk again she needs outpatient rehab. But after Jan 1, 2008, Medicare will only pay $1810. After that amount is gone, even if she can't walk or talk yet, she is on her own.

    We need to tell Congress that Medicare needs to take care of our parents and grandparents. They paid for Medicare all their adult working life only to be taken when they need it most.

    We need to fight this injustice.

    Call your congressman and senator and ask them to support The Medicare Access to Rehabilitation Services Act (HR 916 / S 450). Please no more blind therapy caps.

    Help spread the message and post this on your bulletins/blogs/myspace.