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This took balls.

Neale, of the Wetlog, who will probably never work in this town again, has put up the POD Portal.

POD stands for Piss-Off Day, and that's likely what some of his commentary on all the other 'members of the weblog community' will do.

I don't know whether to be disappointed that he left me out, or not.

He should be safe, though; he's in Oz.

Friday, February 4, 2000 @ 04:39 p.m. - Comment

It doesn't take all kinds,

we just have all kinds.

[ warning: weirdness ahead ]

Friday, February 4, 2000 @ 04:31 p.m. - Comment

404: Kidnapped

This is the funniest-ass 404 page I think I've ever seen.

Friday, February 4, 2000 @ 04:24 p.m. - Comment

Hey, Brennan!

What's wrong with karaoke?

Friday, February 4, 2000 @ 04:18 p.m. - Comment

Just for my friend Alan...

Why SUV's suck.

[ From Salon, also via Sunrise ]

Friday, February 4, 2000 @ 04:13 p.m. - Comment

Convenience is inversely proportional to privacy

And those of you who are regular readers know I'm a fanatic about privacy. Still, occasionally I'll make a trade. the High School Alumni site was one of those times. It wants a whole lot of information, but most of it's not marked 'required', and you can leave it out, so I did. It's a pretty cool site, actually, spotted at another new (to me) Pitas website: Sunrise. I hate the font, but otherwise it's pretty cool....

Friday, February 4, 2000 @ 04:10 p.m. - Comment

Sunday, February 13

is the day before St. Valentine's day. If you're looking for something to do with someone-who-may-or-may-not-be-your-honey, and you like stratospheric vocal music, you probably ought to take her to the Tyrone Mall Borders, to hear Tonya Quillen. I ran across her there, the last time she performed... and man can this woman sing. She's also gorgeous; it's a shame she's married... (well, except to her husband. :-)

Friday, February 4, 2000 @ 03:49 p.m. - Comment

Last week's rant was...

that someone was trying to trademark 'email'.

This week, it's apparently 'whois' that's on the block:

> I just ran across this in the PTO trademark database...
> Word Mark           WHOIS
> Owner Name          (APPLICANT) Verio Inc.
> Owner Address       8005 S. Chester St., Suite 200 Englewood COLORADO 80112
>                     CORPORATION DELAWARE
> Attorney of Record  GLEN K. BEATON
> Serial Number       75-742043
> Filing Date         07/01/1999
> Mark Drawing Code   (1) TYPED DRAWING
> Register            PRINCIPAL
> Type of Mark        SERVICE MARK
> International Class 042
> Goods and Services
> Computer services, namely, providing a computer database in the field of
> personal and commercial address and telephone directory information and
> other directory resources available on global information networks and
> providing search services in connection therewith; DATE OF FIRST USE:
> 1997.03.15; DATE OF FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 1997.03.15

I hate to tell these people this, but whois has been a term of art for at least 15 years...

My favorite whois server, for those of you who occasionally need this sort of thing, is the one at Geektools. It can whois anything.

Friday, February 4, 2000 @ 02:42 p.m. - Comment

Help combat this disturbing trend...

A young man using the handle "flea" uploads a pornographic picture to an Internet "newsgroup". It happens an estimated 2000 times a day, but this time, it's different. The picture shows a naked six year old, who we will call Kathy, helplessly tied in thin blue yarn... and what is perhaps even more disturbing, the man distributing the picture is Kathy's legal guardian. To this date, no legal action has been taken and Kathy is still in the custody of "flea". Why has justice failed Kathy? Why has the law not intervened?
[ Thanks to Eric ]

Friday, February 4, 2000 @ 11:05 a.m. - Comment

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Via Carpe Diem and Inessential (the first time I've linked Brent, surprisingly enough), this story on the last brigade of cold warriors -- a topic that's on my mind this week because I'm reading the new John Grisham novel, The Brethren...

We realize that if we screw something up with a nuclear weapon, its pretty major, says Lawrence.


Friday, February 4, 2000 @ 10:30 a.m. - Comment

Why Bill Gates is Richer than You

It seems time to point this out again; no one has, lately...

The Bill Gates Wealth Clock.

Oh, and while we're at it; if you haven't been on a date lately, try this. Email me your final score, and whether you were telling the truth or just saying what you thought the computer program wanted to hear...

Thursday, February 3, 2000 @ 06:09 p.m. - Comment

Here's that Harry Potter story

Why it didn't get into the Times' index, I couldn't tell you.

The Hillsborough County School District is here, should you wish to politely express your opinion.

In that vein, I'll provide a link to the Linux Advocacy Mini-HOWTO, not because Linux has anything to do with Harry Potter (although, who knows what he had under the stairs... :-), but because the document has some excellent points to make on how to persuade others to your point of view, especially in the environment in which we operate.

Thursday, February 3, 2000 @ 05:55 p.m. - Comment

Voyeur Dorm: Equal Time

If you thought Voyeur Dorm was a great idea, but you're either female or male and gay, the Dude Dorm may be what you're looking for.

My favorite quote:

The six USF students -- three gay, two straight and one of undetermined sexual orientation -- receive free tuition, free rent and a salary of between $500 and $600 a week, he said.

"Undetermined"? Wonder how long that will last...

Thursday, February 3, 2000 @ 05:35 p.m. - Comment

Bucs fire Shula

In a move that apparently only angered and surprised Coach Tony Dungy and his staff, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization announced today that it was firing offensive coordinator Mike Shula.

You can interpret "offensive" just any old way you like.


Thursday, February 3, 2000 @ 05:28 p.m. - Comment

Why names make bad email addresses

I'm in the process of setting up internal email for a client, and I've run across something for which I've been searching for a while.

The Sendmail FAQ is the location of my favorite screed:

Why Full Names Make Lousy Email Addresses:

Because full names are not unique. For example, the computer community has two Peter Deutsches. At one time, Bell Labs had two Stephen R. Bournes with offices a few doors apart. You can create alternative addresses (e.g., Stephen_R_Bourne_2), but that's even worse -- which one of them has to have their name desecrated in this way? And you can bet that one of them will get most of the other person's email.

So called "full names" are just an attempt to create longer versions of unique names. Rather that lulling people into a sense of security, I'd rather that it be clear that these handles are arbitrary. People should use good user agents that have alias mappings so that they can attach arbitrary names for their personal use to those with whom they correspond (such as the MH alias file).

The problem is even worse outside of America, where non-ASCII characters (e.g., characters with umlauts or the Norwegian ) are used in names. Since non-ASCII characters cannot be used in the SMTP envelope or e-mail headers, the full names are mangled anyway.

Even worse is fuzzy matching in email -- this can make good addresses turn bad. For example, Eric Allman is currently (to the best of our knowledge) the only ``Allman'' at Berkeley, so mail sent to should get to him. But if another Allman ever appears, this address could suddenly become ambiguous. He's been the only Allman at Berkeley for over fifteen years -- to suddenly have this "good address" bounce mail because it is ambiguous would be a heinous wrong.

Directory services should be as fuzzy as possible (within reason, of course). Mail services should be unique.

Thursday, February 3, 2000 @ 11:06 a.m. - Comment

Those wacky Baptists are at it again...

One of my favorite sites for a good laugh is Landover Baptist. If you're particularly devout in some faith, and/or have a particularly thin skin, you probably will not enjoy this site.

Bird on a Wire points to their hate mail page, which is, as he puts it, is comprised of outrage from people who don't get the joke mixed with outrage from people who do get the joke.

My kind of site, but then, I like the Onion, too, and my best friend Alan, whose sense of humor usually parallels mine, can't stand them.

Go figure.

Thursday, February 3, 2000 @ 10:33 a.m. - Comment

More on the DVD brouhaha

That is a rather euphonic title, isn't it... :-)

This letter to Jerry Pournelle sets out, quite clearly, I thought, the facts and points of view of both sides concerning the current goings-on over the whole DVD movie 'pirating' fiasco. The Motion Picture Association of America (run by arch-conservative Jack Valenti, whose opinion on the topic ran on the LA Times op ed page last week), as the author notes, isn't making themselves look especially good by locking up the 16-year old who discovered that one of the DVD player manufacturers hadn't encrypted their keys.

But that's ok, after making incredible amounts of noise about how the code in question is a trade secret and should be protected at all costs, their lawyers submitted to the court files, and didn't tell the court to seal it.

If this does not fatally flaw their case, I'm flying to California to rabble-rouse for the replacement of a judge.

The judiciary must understand the technical details of a case such as this, and they must recuse themselves if they're not able to learn. It's really just that simple. We have enough problems with respect for the law due to lousy legislation that isn't enforced by cops who know it's lousy. We don't need judges to lose their good reputations, too; OK?

I'm outta here. I better get outta here, I'm screwing too many things up. See you all tomorrow.

Thursday, February 3, 2000 @ 12:40 a.m. - Comment

This is why friends don't let friends use AOL

AOL, as I noted previously, did a horrible job on the 5.0 upgrade -- at least from the user's point of view.

Taking the same "we made it easier for idiots by making it dangerous to people with a clue" approach that has served Microsoft so well at the bank -- and pissed off so many computer maintainers -- they set the 5.0 upgrade up so that it, effectively, disabled any other Internet service setup you might have on your computer.

In a rare manifestation of decency overcoming corporate greed, they're getting sued. Very sued.

Oh, hell; let's be honest: some law firm saw really deep pockets after that merger announcement, and wanted to make lots of money.

Am I ethically allowed to be happy about that?

Thursday, February 3, 2000 @ 12:28 a.m. - Comment

A bunch of quickies I need to unload...

If you're involved with the technology of the Internet, you ought to check out The Internet Book, by David Hoggan. This is one of several books that are available on the net in full text, another is Phil & Alex's Guide to Web Publishing, by Philip Greenspun, an MIT professor who gives away an unbelievable amount of free stuff, including the click tracking server I use to keep track of this site.

If you like to read, and you think that Amazon sucks for trying to patent one-click ordering (the major reason my book links point to Borders), then you'll no doubt be interested in BookSense, a service to allow you to "shop online at your favorite locally-owned, independent bookstore". Their page, frankly, isn't all that impressive, but Left Bank Books has a much nicer one...

Advogato posted a nice interview with Donald Knuth, Stanford mathematics professor and author of (so far), volumes 0, 1, and 2 of The Art of Computer Programming. I see from that web page that someone wimped out -- that's what they were called when I first saw them, but apparently someone changed it.

[ A quick search of Google for '"Volume 0" Knuth' comes up empty, so perhaps my memory is failing. I am getting old, you know... :-) ]

Those of you who love to hate Microsoft will enjoy Notes from the Dirty Tricks file, a pretty-much 'Microsoft Sucks' page that, for a change, documents the "here's why" that so many people leave off.

Those people open to looking at love and relationships with a non-socially-blinded eye may find Stef's Poly Post Archive, a FAQ on polyamory, interesting; my favorite entry: "Can you be poly if you hate Heinlein?"

I come a bit late to the "Bruce Tognazzini pans Apple for OS/X / Aqua" commentary. But I must agree with Tog, Apple appears to be losing track of the user-interface usability standards that they developed and promoted in the first place.


Gregory Aharonian sent a very interesting note to the editors of Linux Weekly News a couple weeks back.

It seems, you see, that Geoworks (to whom I won't link, merely out of spite :-) is trying to enforce some patent rights to which they think they're entitled, against the people of the Wireless Application Protocol forum.

As I noted in a Slashdot posting a while back, WAP sucks. But I like Aharonian's idea, anyway.

Only a couple of loggers noted that the FCC finally bent on low power radio. As another author pointed out, and I'm damned if I remember where -- some print editorial this past week, and I've left the papers at home -- if there are still a bunch of unlicensed local pirates this time next year, the FCC won't have pushed hard enough.

It's also worth noting that Internet people may have the chance to do some good in this market: we already understand everything except the FM. And, also, that this just misses being moot -- the Internet is advancing fast, but not quite fast enough.

And finally for this batch, this thing is really cool, and it'll drive Sony's pricing down from about $800 for the same thing, but what happens when someone hacks it.

Note that I said "when", implementors of such consumer products almost never do their homework properly on security. "Why would someone break into that?" Because they can. "And, here, Auntie Em, is a picture of" "Oh, my God!" .

[ Much of that is, yes, stuff I found other places, and I no longer remember where. Apologies to the folks who did find it, and see below. --j ]

Wednesday, February 2, 2000 @ 11:43 p.m. - Comment

One of the interesting things...

about the Pitas engine is that the "recently updated pitas" list that many people follow has two cool effects:

  • It calls your attention to pitas you wouldn't otherwise know existed, which is good both for authors, and for readers.

  • It rewards authors who update more frequently: the name of the game is repeat readers, but you only get them but getting first time readers -- and then being interesting. Or funny. Or both.

    I'm still in envy of Jon (of Twernt) who is much funnier and more sarcastic than I manage on my best days. I guess I'm just too hapy lately. Good {acting,performance,comedy} requires that you have a small ball of pain to wrap yourself around...

    My small ball of pain goes away when I take Tagamet, and that's just not quite the same thing.

    I've also decided that, while I'm pointing to things I find interesting, and some of those things -- well, ok, most of those things, lately -- are things I find in other people's 'logs, it's feeling like a bit of an oligopoly, and I feel like I'm recycling a bit too much lately.

    So I'm going In Search Of original content (which is to say, stuff written by others, to be sure, but at least stuff I didn't find in one of the twenty(!) weblogs I read every day...

    Oh, yeah: Hi, Tammy.

    Wednesday, February 2, 2000 @ 11:32 p.m. - Comment

    Ohmigod! Witchcraft!! Burn Them!!!

    Here we go again...

    A school library in Carrollwood (a subdivision in Northwest Tampa) has apparently decided not to buy the second and third volumes of the Harry Potter series of childrens' novels "because the staff are worried that parents might be uncomfortable with the witchcraft themes therein".


  • Can you say 'chilling effect'?

  • Does the Tampa Tribune really expect me to pay $1.95 to read the old story? Does anyone pay them that? And don't even get me started on link-rot.

  • This story was originally in the St Pete Times, from whence I expected to link it.

    Their search engine hasn't got a clue; "Harry Potter" got me 4 obits. <sigh>

    Wednesday, February 2, 2000 @ 11:16 p.m. - Comment

    CERT Alert: Mailicious HTML Script kiddie games...

    Here we go again...

    "Convenience is inversely proportional to security."

    "Active content can be dangerous".

    Remember both of those truisms and keep them wholly, while you read this CERT alert, concerning nasty things people can do to fields on website forms to cause you trouble.

    They also have a tech tip for web developers, and the Apache webserver people, from whose alert I took this, have a page of commentary and suggestions on how to deal with the topic as well.

    Paranoid programmers who think 'taint' at all times have probably already dealt with this, and the only possible problem you might have here could come from things I'm typing, since unlike, say, Slashdot, no one else can post things here but me, so you should be safe.

    But it's a problem... the Apache page might be a good place to start for more in depth info on the problem. It can't practically be solved by visitors, short of turning JavaScript off in the browser; this one has to be fixed on the server side.

    Wednesday, February 2, 2000 @ 04:31 p.m. - Comment

    HIV can be transmitted orally? No shit.

    (No pun intended :-)

    This article, from today's Associated Breast newswire, quotes among other things, a California researcher involved in a study that showed that 8 percent of gay men who contracted HIV engaged in no other risky behaviors than oral sex.

    My favorite quote:

    He said the study was very carefully done, and the men were able to pinpoint exactly when they became infected.

    Shyeah, right.

    This is pretty important stuff, here, folks; do I really have to explain the problems inherent in self-reported studies, especially on a topic this touchy?

    Unfortunately, the only possible alternatives are locking them up or following them around, and neither of those is any better.

    Anyone got a good solution?

    Wednesday, February 2, 2000 @ 10:50 a.m. - Comment

    Plus ca change...

    GirlHacker has made another great catch -- maybe the Titans need to hire her?

    "I'm sure this article about Colorado College replacing college entrance exams with a Lego building test is being linked to from everywhere." she says. I'm not through with my daily list yet, but she's the first place I've seen it. It's a pretty cool story, actually.

    My personal favorite test of a potential programmer is to sit and watch them play Lemmings. I was going to insert a link to Psygnosis, the people who created the game, but apparently they've retired the original game. <sigh> There are a couple of 3-D versions, but frankly, I don't think they'd measure up.


    Wednesday, February 2, 2000 @ 10:06 a.m. - Comment


    Someone finally found where this site got to; I've been looking for it since I started this 'log. For those of you who have nothing better to do (like me, I guess) than speculate on the contents of Britney Spears'... medical bills, this site.

    Personally, after seeing her in the dress she wore to the last awards show, I can't imagine she had surgery, but I know there will be those who disagree...

    Tuesday, February 1, 2000 @ 08:13 p.m. - Comment

    Guys: if you've ever wondered just how you measure up...

    cut this out, paste it on a piece of cardboard, and see.

    And, Cam? We all did "No sex please, we're geeks" about a week and a half ago. Where you been? :-)

    Tuesday, February 1, 2000 @ 08:05 p.m. - Comment


    maybe the Jeeves people don't really deserve too much credit for having a good sense of humor. They have a page that purports to show "the questions people are [a]sking Jeeves right now".

    But, you know, I've seen the questions people ask Magellan, and I have no particular reason to believe that people's spelling, grammar, capitalization and punctuation suddenly improve, just 'cause that butler's standing there wearing a tux...

    UPDATE: Lilly, the GirlHacker herself, points out that what we're seeing is the questions Jeeves synthesizes from people's inquiries. I knew that, actually, because I once ranted at them, and they said so... but that's not what the site says, which was my point. More interestingly, neither Lilly, I, nor the guy I stole the link from noticed that there was a typo in the link. Apparently they've registered, too.

    I don't know whether to admire them, or go barf in my shoe.

    Tuesday, February 1, 2000 @ 04:12 p.m. - Comment


    to my reader on a Ricochet wireless modem. Apologies; the site isn't exactly optimized for wireless reading... although I have tried to keep the graphics down.

    I hear they're going nationwide sometime soon; do you know anything I don't?

    Tuesday, February 1, 2000 @ 03:51 p.m. - Comment

    Does anyone know...

    what has happened to Zannah? isn't resolving at all. Bummer.

    We hope you're ok, /girl.

    Tuesday, February 1, 2000 @ 02:48 p.m. - Comment

    Copyright is right, right? Wrong.

    It doesn't really matter whether you consider youself a contact creator or not, you need to read this story in OpenSpaces, courtesy of Cam.

    far too many people, including lawyers, have major misconceptions concerning copyright. These misconceptions are causing a dangerous shift in copyright protection, a shift that threatens the advancement of knowledge and learning in this country. This shift that we are experiencing in copyright law reflects a move away from viewing copyright as a monopoly that the public is willing to tolerate in order to encourage innovation and creation of new works to viewing copyright as a significant asset to this country's economy.

    The short version is: lawyers for the big media companies, abetted by the people you sent to Congress, are making it impractical for anyone to create anything for anyone else except those big media companies... and you're going to pay.

    Tuesday, February 1, 2000 @ 02:08 p.m. - Comment

    I scooped AnnaBelle!


    AnnaBelle Newsom is the editor The Associated Breast, a daily feature of news related to sexuality and adult entertainment. It's hosted by Danniele Ashe's site, Danni's Hard Drive, which was one of the earliest "professional" adult entertainer sites -- even though Danni started off the hard way: she learned it.

    She's way too busy to write code these days (or answer her own email, damnit :-), but my is she making a good living.

    In any event, she's running today the Salon piece I pointed to last night about having your kids' bathtime pictures developed at the local Eckerds.

    I don't suppose I have to comment on the wonderful American hypocrisy inherent in the fact that, regardless of what many people profess in public, adult entertainment has been the driving force in the commercialization of both home video and the Internet.

    No; I didn't think so.

    Tuesday, February 1, 2000 @ 12:17 p.m. - Comment

    My, but the Jeeves people have a good sense of humor...

    "What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?"

    [ Thanks to Brad ]

    Tuesday, February 1, 2000 @ 12:10 p.m. - Comment

    You've heard about anti-matter...

    Well, what about "anti-traffic"? Random Walks, who has apparently killed off his cool header graphic (pout), had a pointer to this story about a guy who has discovered the solution to traffic jams on the interstate: Drive Slower.

    Yes, that's right. He has a cool animated graphic to show why, and everything.

    If you spend a lot of time on 275, 75, or I-4, this is probably a piece you need to read.

    [ Note to myself: it helps when the link points somewhere. Sorry about that. It's been an absent minded week... ]

    Tuesday, February 1, 2000 @ 11:42 a.m. - Comment

    One of my hobbyhorses..

    is crappy design. The title on my business cards says "Designer", so I guess I'm required to get annoyed at that... One of my favorite books is The Design of Everyday Things, which was retitled from it's original -- and I think much better -- title, The Psychology of Everyday Things" because sheeple are stupid.

    In any event, this book explains, among other things, that if you come upon a door that has a push plate, but pulls, it's the door's fault (or, more accurately, that of it's designer), not yours.

    Courtesy of Strange Brew (now with 90% less purple!), I came across this site, which looks like it's going to be an amazing amount of fun...

    It appears to be a web-mercial for someone's human factors consulting business... but that's ok. I encourage such people. Customers are only listening to you if you charge them enough. Good advice free is useless.

    [ Thanks to Christina for noting that 'Strange' has an 'R' in it... :-} (note: here there be 'toys') ]

    Monday, January 31, 2000 @ 10:04 p.m. - Comment

    If you've ever had someone say...

    that they don't think the switches and levers of your face are wired correctly, maybe you need to take a lead from Eric.

    Of course, as a different Eric points out, "didn't his mother ever tell him that if he kept making that face...?"

    Monday, January 31, 2000 @ 09:56 p.m. - Comment

    Garth Brooks to play for Mets

    Damn, I wish I were Jon:

    The already-confusing press conference was thrown into chaos when fictional character Chris Gaines burst in, screamed "Sic semper Tyrannis!" and fired three shots at Garth Brooks before being tackled by security.

    Jon, you're just funnier than me.

    Monday, January 31, 2000 @ 09:17 p.m. - Comment

    On the lighter side...

    A note on the most dangerous people involved in the 'drug war'.

    Monday, January 31, 2000 @ 09:08 p.m. - Comment

    Well, I guess I know what today's theme is going to be...

    Flutterby caught this Salon piece. I share his disgust, but that's not the point here.

    This could be you. Do you really feel the need to be threatened by the police for somthing like this? Or perhaps arrested... and tried in the court of public opinion. To quote Michael Crichton, in Disclosure: "If he isn't very careful -- and very lucky -- his live is over."

    Monday, January 31, 2000 @ 08:35 p.m. - Comment

    Is this an adult site?

    Well, you know, that's a very good question.

    A big battle was fought, two or three years back, over the "Communications Decency Amendment", just the latest (then) in a series of attempts by the "moral" minority to control the way everyone else is allowed to behave and think.

    It went to a panel of federal judges, whose ruling showed a remarkable degree of sanity and understanding of what the Internet is really all about.

    They threw it out, and spanked the government soundly.

    The government, those people we elect to do our bidding, are at it again... and they're losing again. This quote seemed especially apt:

    The content on the Internet is as diverse as human thought," wrote Judge Reed in his decision this afternoon. "[P]erhaps we do the minors of this country harm if First Amendment protections, which they will with age inherit fully, are chipped away in the name of their protection.

    So, these things said, is this an adult site?

    Yeah, probably. My definition of an adult is "someone who can think for themselves, and who doesn't fly off the handle and scream for protection when presented with a thought they don't agree with... or which scares them". It's not necessary that you be 18 to fulfill this description, obviously... and indeed, I know many 40 year olds who cannot.

    If you've been a regular reader here, you probably had already figured that out. If you aren't, I hope it floats your boat. If it does not, you are welcome not to come back. You are also welcome to forbid your minor children not to come here, if you wish. Just spare me the threats of lawyers, guns and money. Ok?

    Monday, January 31, 2000 @ 08:12 p.m. - Comment

    The Finals

    Well, we here at Baylink Superbowl Central were rooting for the Titans, but if ya gotta lose a Superbowl, I guess that's the way to do it. The line had it exactly, Rams, by 7.

    Our pick in the Ad Bowl?

    The Tabasco commercial, linked below, the clear winner. We're split between "We just wasted 2 million bucks", FedEx, and the Budweiser "colt" spot for the next three places.

    Those of us who will be up that early tomorrow morning, will not be watching Good Morning America to see what they thought, sorry guys.

    Oh. And if I hear one more pro sports player who thinks he's a preacher...

    Sunday, January 30, 2000 @ 10:05 p.m. - Comment

    Can't believe I forgot this...

    Poking through the hit log tonight, I see that General Electric has two firewall/proxy machines called Mason and Dixon.


    What I forgot, is that I've already had something to say on this topic: RFC 2100: The Naming of Hosts.

    Sunday, January 30, 2000 @ 09:19 p.m. - Comment

    I wonder what the record is...

    for a receiver carrying a tackle on his back to move the ball...

    Sunday, January 30, 2000 @ 08:57 p.m. - Comment

    This is why I don't play football

    Blaine Bishop being wheeled off the field, apparently in one piece.

    The Britannica ad gets the "most balls" award, and the Budweiser Clydesdale ad gets the "Awww..." trophy.

    But he still should'a called the horse by name.

    Sunday, January 30, 2000 @ 08:41 p.m. - Comment

    Hands down.

    The Tabasco commercial

    No question. Hands down. Period. End of report.

    Sunday, January 30, 2000 @ 08:20 p.m. - Comment

    New favorite

    Ok... maybe the FedEx spot.

    Sunday, January 30, 2000 @ 07:45 p.m. - Comment


    Sorry about that, folks. Apparently there's a hole in the internet between here, at least, and, the host of the GameDay Live applet. so if you can't get to it, that's why.

    So far, our picks of the ads here at Baylink Superbowl Central are the eTrade '2 million bucks' spot, VISA (I hope they're paying that voice what he is so clearly worth), and the Oldsmobile ad -- Gary Numan just made his living for the year...

    Sunday, January 30, 2000 @ 07:14 p.m. - Comment

    Double Click may be bugging you worse than you realize...

    Thanks to Considered Harmful for catching this page on 'web bugs', invisible graphic images on web pages that make it possible for companies unrelated to the one in which you're interested to keep track of where you're going on the web.

    Unlike cookies, these things aren't even switch-off'able in your browser, with the exception that you can always switch off all images... not that that's especially practical these days.

    The only real solution to this sort of privacy invasion is going to be a groundswell of public sentiment directed at the companies who participate in these sort of programs -- and I don't mean Doubleclick. I mean the people who pay them.

    Or maybe, these days, that's "the people whom they pay".

    "What do I want the Internet to be"? Certainly not a tool to be used against me by big corporations, who don't care because they don't have to -- "they're the phone company".

    No customer is small enough to piss off anymore.

    Sunday, January 30, 2000 @ 04:51 p.m. - Comment

    New RISKS Digest

    Dan, from Flutterby, damn his lousy soul to hell, beat me to the latest issue of the RISKS Digest again. :-)

    As usual, it's filled with interesting, informative, scary information about what this world (by which I mean the Internet, of course) is coming to.

    Particularly interesting are the pieces on identity theft, and the Simon Garfinkel and Paul A Taylor book reviews at the end. I should also take a moment to thank Lindsay Marshall, who webifies the Digest, and who, I've recently learned, also writes the Bifurcated Rivets weblog, as well.

    Thanks, Lindsay.

    Sunday, January 30, 2000 @ 04:24 p.m. - Comment

    Yet another missive from the Great White North

    Mt friend Marie, who doesn't read this 'log (:-), moved up to South Ca'lina a few months back. I don't think she was entirely prepared for the 2 feet of snow, but she is finding something to do with her time.

    Making the rounds:

    30 Harsh Things to say to a naked guy

  • I've smoked fatter joints than that.
  • Ahhhh, it's cute.
  • Why don't we just cuddle?
  • You know they have surgery to fix that.
  • Make it dance.
  • Can I paint a smiley face on it?
  • Wow, and your feet are so big.
  • It's OK, we'll work around it.
  • Will it squeak if I squeeze it?
  • Oh no... a flash headache.
  • (giggle and point)
  • Can I be honest with you?
  • How sweet, you brought incense.
  • This explains your car.
    [ footnote: this one meshes nicely with my friend Eric's favorite thing to yell at guys Ricky-racering it down the road or through your parking lot: "I'm sorry about your penis!" ]
  • Maybe if we water it, it'll grow.
  • Why is God punishing me?
  • At least this won't take long.
  • I never saw one like that before.
  • But it still works, right?
  • It looks so unused.
  • Maybe it looks better in natural light.
  • Why don't we skip right to the cigarettes?
  • Are you cold?
  • If you get me real drunk first.....
  • Is that an optical illusion?
  • What is that?
  • It's a good thing you have so many other talents.
  • Does it come with an air pump?
  • So this is why you're supposed to judge people on personality.
  • I guess this makes me the early bird

    And we wonder why so many men feel insecure... :-)

    Sunday, January 30, 2000 @ 04:06 p.m. - Comment

    It's Super Sunday...

    ... and, although we know you're really watching it for the cool commercials, you're not alone.

    According to several surveys, between 7 and 10 percent of the people who tune in the big game aren't actually there for the football, they're there to see the ads. The tradition started, most advertising mavens believe, with the Ridley Scott directed Apple ad in the 1984 Superbowl, "1984". That ad cost over $700,000 to produce, peanuts today, but an incredible amount of money 16 years ago.

    Now, if you are in it for the football (and you can still stand the NFL, after last week's widely deprecated instant reply ruling on the catch in the Bucs-Rams game) but you're stuck in the office, check out today's feature link, which is to the NFL's GameDay Live java applet. This program can fit the entire play by play of the game into a 640x480 window...

    except for the grunts and groans. Sorry...

    Sunday, January 30, 2000 @ 03:24 p.m. - Comment

    More computer folklore than you'll know what to do with...

    If you're the sort of person to whom stories about programmers making disk drives walk across rooms and blowing up printers are fun, you should enjoy this page, which I came across again tonight whilst bookmark surfing.

    It's a collection of older postings from the Usenet newsgroup alt.folklore.computers, all about things just like that, only different.

    My favorite:

    Peterson and Silberschatz (Operating System Concepts, Addison-Wesley, 2nd edition, p.121) point out the importance of good scheduling algorithms when one is designing an operating system:

    "Rumor has it that when they closed down the 7094 at MIT in 1973, they found a low-priority job that had been submitted in 1967 and had not yet been run."

    And remember the motto of its sister newsgroup, alt.folklore urban:

    "It could have happened, therefore, itmust have happened."

    Saturday, January 29, 2000 @ 07:27 p.m. - Comment

    John Sykes has lots of money.

    Big deal.

    Is it possible to get to have lots of money without becoming a jerk? Ok, maybe Sykes isn't personally a jerk, but corporations tend to take on the personality of their heads, and Sykes Enterprises, I'm told, has a corporate culture that I certainly wouldn't want to be involved in.

    Ok, so the guy gave a lot of money to the University of Tampa, but would you really want to work for a company like this?

    [ While I don't especially like Dave Winer all that well, I have no reason not to trust his judgement (on whether or not to post this) -- you'll note some of the followups don't believe it; I do. Make your own decision. ]

    Saturday, January 29, 2000 @ 06:29 p.m. - Comment

    You have to go out...

    you don't have to come back.

    That's the unofficial motto of the United States Coast Guard, and yesterday was the 20th anniversary of perhaps the greatest tragedy that service has faced in its 85 year history.

    The cutter Blackthorn collided with the tanker Capricorn in Tampa Bay, hard by the old Skyway Bridge, since replaced. 23 sailors lost their lives, 27 survived.



    Saturday, January 29, 2000 @ 06:13 p.m. - Comment

    77KB is maybe...

    ... just a bit too much. Sorry about that. Hi to any stragglers from Slashdot; the rant is here; it was time to do an archive. If you're back a second time from coming here via that rant, glad you found something you liked.

    I'm babysitting all day Saturday, so there will be much more to read... but as always, there's a link at the bottom of the page pointing to earlier entries.

    Friday, January 28, 2000 @ 08:36 p.m. - Comment

    Much more cool, and still current, stuff behind here.


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