Saturday, September 30, 2006

I'm not sure if this is spam, or some complex linguistic puzzle

The title was "propose a title: 5", if you'd like to try for the prize.

Enter text here
and Adapter. With Head First You'll easily counter with your In a way that makes you sounds, how the Factory is so often misunderstood, will load patterns into your on your team.
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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

What's Scattergories for, anyway

So, there are many games. And, like little lions, wolves and other predators, we play games to develop our useful skills. The game Scattergories gives you a term, and five ways you may not describe it, your goal being to get your partner to guess what the phrase is.

How does that help you in life? Obviously, it gives you practice at piercing ellipticallity, but as a spam connosieur, I have discovered an application for being good at describing things with indirectly related terms.


I was just cleaning out my gmail spam filter, and that subject line from some sleazeball selling strychnine over the internet as an erectile dysfunction cure caught my eye. Really, it's clear what he means, but you'd never phrase it that way if you were trying to subvert UCE solutions. I'll be that guy's pretty good at Scattergories.

Is Clinton Magical?

Sorry, I didn't want to get sucked in to this conversation -- right wingers think Bill Clinton had an on-air breakdown, Democrats think he returned to save them -- but I was amazed this morning by Secretary Rice responding to his allegations.

Now, as far as I know, The Bush Administration abandoned terrorism as a priority when they took office, busy as they were inventing stories about keyboards. So, when the Secretary of State says "What we did in the eight months was at least as aggressive as what the Clinton administration did in the preceding years," I just pray that somebody ask the follow up question, "What was that?"

This is where the political debate belonged after 9/11, and what should have dominated the terrorism part of the 2002 midterm election cycle. Since then, we should have been evaluating the current administrations skill at execution, but its failure in preparation for attack should have been the question of the hour for many, many hours. And it took five years and an ex-president to bring it up.

Well, we'll see if this catches fire. I can't wait.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Online Check-in

When I was a small child, Imelda Marcos was securing power in Manila, The Who were playing live concerts, and a reckless, despised GOP President was ensuring decades of Democratic legislative rule. Also, when you flew, the checkin agent would spend a good ten minutes typing the fact of your arrival at the airport into her keyboard.

Now, if you enjoy difficult and unrewarding tasks, you can check in online 24 hours before your flight. More sensibly, you can stick your credit card into a kiosk, push a touchscreen a handful of times, and be on your way to cracking bomb jokes in the security line.

I still have no idea what the business was with the keyboards.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Monday, September 11, 2006

New Favorite Rumsfeld Quote

"If you're chasing the chicken around the chicken yard and you don't have him yet and the question is, 'how close are you?' the answer is, 'it's tough to characterise because there's lots of zigs and zags.'"

The words of the US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld just weeks after the 11 September attacks when asked how close his government was to catching Osama Bin Laden.

Roots of Fascism

So, I went to Italy. And because of a series of late trains, I ended up spending 40 minutes in Fornovo -- where the promising pizza shop only had enough people in it to tell me it was closed -- instead of having a nice dinner in Parma. If the night train from Florence hadn't also been delayed, I wouldn't have been able to run across the station and hop aboard it.

So, everything turned out great. But, it's not clear how resonant that phrase "at least Mussolini made the trains run on time" is to the average Italian until you experience exactly how unreliable their train system is.

Weird registration failure at AOL

Well. Netscape Mail is no more. I'm not sure there'll be a lot of mourning of its passage, but I still used it for the occasional mailing list. AOL has merged it into AIM mail. When I tried to log in today, I got the registration screen shown here.

I hate passwords as much as the next guy, but isn't this stupid? Maybe I'm particularly disloyal, but my favorite song, town, food and book change from time to time. I don't think they'd be a super good way to recover a lost password.

But, it's nice to see people thinking outside the box.

A point about net neutrality

Illiad here addresses the idea of "Common Carrier Status," which I don't think I've heard discussed before. If Comcast et al start prioritizing traffic, they become responsible for it. And you're not going to publish anything they'd disapprove of.

Friday, September 01, 2006

I'm consistently amazed at how poorly I communicate my paranoia and hysteria

"The oldest saw in banking is that bad loans are made in good times," [says Frederick Cannon, an analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc., which specializes in the financial-services industry.] "We have never really faced a weakening housing market with the structure of the mortgage market as it is today."