Baylink - The Things I Think
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Thanks to

for catching this New York Times Magazine piece on the erosion of privacy in the Internet Age [sic]. I saw it on paper Sunday , and wanted to link it.

It leads me to a very profound thought... in the Oberlin College story I linked below, people manufactured their own psychological privacy, since the college denied them any physical privacy.

The logical corollary is that, if the sort of thing mentioned in the Times article continues, will the public not have to adjust its degree of judgementalism? Our ability to be judgemental without appearing hypocritcal has always been founded on the fact that *our* dirty laundry hasn't been aired. This is changing, fairly rapidly: *everyone's* laundry is on the line.

Bug? Or feature?

Wednesday, May 3, 2000 @ 01:25 p.m. - Comment

I do so love the Onion...

Wednesday, May 3, 2000 @ 12:24 p.m. - Comment

From the Steinberg Archives...

this panel commentary of David's, at a meeting of the Western Regional meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, April 24, 1999.

It's probably just me, but isn't it wildly amusing that the initials of that organisation are SSSS?

Wednesday, May 3, 2000 @ 12:16 a.m. - Comment

There are times when a man needs to be alone...

This was the mock slogan of a mock campaign to keep Oberlin College from removing the doors from toilet stalls in men's bathrooms on campus. It was a comedy skit broadcast over WOBC, Oberlin's exceedingly ingrown campus radio station.
So starts the latest installment of David Steinberg's *excellent* regular column at, Without a Room of One's Own... a title which puts me in mind of the old Heinlein short, "A Bathroom Of Her Own".

The year was 1963. Within the dormitories of the Oberlin campus, tucked away in a small, culturally isolated, northern Ohio town, some 1800 blossoming young men and women -- freed for the first time from the constraints and expectations of parents, home-town mores, and whoever they had been in high school -- were busy discovering, inventing, and exploring who they were and who they wanted to be as sexual human beings.

The biggest stumbling block to this most natural and primal process was that, at this politically progressive but socially conservative college, there was literally no place on campus where two people not of the same gender could be alone without violating some college rule of social conduct. And, as a few wayward students inevitably found out, Oberlin College did not take the breaking of social rules lightly.

Give it a read. He's always thought-provoking... even to me. PS: The ending isn't what you might expect.

Tuesday, May 2, 2000 @ 10:09 p.m. - Comment

Ok, here we go...

If you wondered why the AOL/Time Warner merger might be a Bad Idea, read this.

[ Thanks to alert reader Jen Nagel ]

Monday, May 1, 2000 @ 11:31 a.m. - Comment

I love a well-turned phrase

About a month ago, I coined "the next guy in the Martin-Baker" to refer to the obnoxious guy in the bar who'll be the next person tossed out (Martin-Baker make the ejection seats for jet fighters).

This week's phrase?

He's drunk the Kool-aid.


Monday, May 1, 2000 @ 09:31 a.m. - Comment

The thing I find most amusing

about the Dead People Server is that close to half the people listed there aren't actually *dead*.

The editorial comments are delightful, too; if you're into that sort of thing:

John Belushi. Dead. Stupidity.
Kurt Cobain. Dead. Angst.

For the best use *ever* of the <BLINK> tag, search for 'Schr'...

Sunday, April 30, 2000 @ 10:25 p.m. - Comment

For The Love Of Ghod...

Repeat after me:

Names Are Not Addresses; Addresses Are Not Names.

Names Are Not Addresses; Addresses Are Not Names.

Names Are Not Addresses; Addresses Are Not Names.

If we do not stop allowing people who are out to make a buck to make engineering decisions about the Internet, It Will Break.


End of report.

<loud, incoherent screech of anguished rage>

Sunday, April 30, 2000 @ 12:11 a.m. - Comment

Potato potato potato

Girlhacker posted a piece about Harley Davidson Corp filing a trademark application concerning the sound made by "[it's] V-Twin, common crankpin motorcycle engines when the goods are in use."

Pushed one of my buttons; guess what? :-)

Particularly her comment:

Its current status: "An opposition is now pending at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board." I suppose that other motorcycle maker is asserting their right to also add to our landscape's sound pollution.

Being an ex-rider, I could start a fuss about "a motorcycle is *never* noisy enough to keep you from getting run over by morons in hermetically sealed Lexii with their stereos up"... but I won't. My objection is much more esoteric.

If the USPTO grants their application for a sound that *is a natural byproduct of the design of the engine*, then they're effectively granting them a patent. But patents can be licensed, and expire after 17 years. Trademarks are forever.

No one can ever build a V-twin motorcycle engine again? Unh-unh; not in my country.

Saturday, April 29, 2000 @ 07:48 p.m. - Comment

Cause Earl Had To Die

Na, na na na, naaaa, na... Goodbye, Earl...

Saturday, April 29, 2000 @ 06:59 p.m. - Comment

Why The Internet Is Like A Penis

It can be up or down. It's more fun when it's up, but it makes it hard to get any real work done.

I love it.

[ Thanks to Wetlog, where it apparently is Penis Day. ]

Saturday, April 29, 2000 @ 01:15 a.m. - Comment

A camel, buried in a big straw stack.

I understand that Tim McGraw lyric better this week than I ever did before. I'm not entirely certain whether the social failures and the business failures are causes or effects of one another, or maybe a little of both... but if you've been reading for a while, you know that I don't descend into this sort of self-involvement here often.

Anyone got any St John's Wort handy? :-)

My mom made it up to Massachusetts tonight. She's gone for three weeks to attend her 50th highschool reunion -- we don't know if classmate Robert Morse will make it or not -- and to visit my aunt and sister, who live Up There<tm>.

Not that that's pertinent to anything above...

Saturday, April 29, 2000 @ 12:31 a.m. - Comment

About Last Night...

Well, that certainly wasn't especially life affirming.


You know, I don't *mind* standing around all night waiting two and a half hours to sing a second song. I don't mind being mostly ignored by the people around me, whom I'm putatively there to hang out with. (The rest of you know who you are.) I don't even mind tolerating all the cigarette smoke. I'm used to these things. And it's sorta nice having an audience that's actually listening.

But if all I'm gonna get out of it is what I got, I'll do it closer to home than a 110 mile roundtrip, I think.

Friday, April 28, 2000 @ 09:22 a.m. - Comment

Personal Rant: You know, being single sucks sometimes...

Well, OK; it's not so much being single that sucks.

The nice thing about being non-single is that, by default you're 'special' to at least one person. You still have to make your deposits in the relationship checkbook, but at least you know you're *making deposits*, not pissing money down a well...

I had this conversation with a couple of people in the last couple weeks, so it's polished by now...:

I got a lot of crap a few years back from bitching about being single: it amounted to "well, if you don't drop any quarters in the crane, you can't expect to get any fuzzy animals out, now can you?"

My reaction was, roughly: "yeah, but I don't have any quarters to begin with, and even if I did, I'd probably run out before I won anything... but OK, I'll try, if only to shut you people up."

I was right, of course. I finally ran out of change last Thursday... and spent 2 hours each of about 3 nights, just driving around. What's that Greenday line? "When masturbation's lost it's thrill, you're fucking breaking"?

Yeah. That's it.

It's The Gambler's Ruin: no matter how much money you have or what the odds, statistics says gamble long enough, and you'll run out of scratch. Yeah, every 10,000 flips include about 5,000 heads... but no one says *all 5,000 tails* couldn't come up first.

Oh, well... one more try.

Thursday, April 27, 2000 @ 05:16 p.m. - Comment

And speaking of that picture

Add me to the list of people posting a link to this parody of it, even though the AP doesn't want me to.

C'mon, AP: come arrest me.

Thursday, April 27, 2000 @ 01:27 p.m. - Comment

So... who owns that picture?

The Picture -- you know: Elian and the Stormtrooper? -- was shot by news photog Alan Diaz, on assignment for the AP.

And there's the rub: since he was on assignment, they own the rights to it, and he can't make any money reselling it. Is that right?

Thursday, April 27, 2000 @ 01:17 p.m. - Comment

Wow, what a party...

The Sarasota country radio station, 106.5 WCTQ is two! They threw a surprise party Wednesday night for their listeners at Joyland Sarasota, which was attended by Alecia Elliot, Chalee Tennison, Keith Urban, the lovely, talented, and way too young for me Jessica Andrews (:-), the really, really tall Michael Peterson (who, luckily, sat down for most of his set), and headliners Ricochet... and 1200 of their closes friends. Happy birthday, Heath... and please try not to break our DJ's next time you're in town...

The evening was anchored by unsung country heroes One Night Rodeo (who don't appear to *have* a website; what's up with that?), and benefitted St Jude's; it was a thank you to the listeners for raising over $100,000 last month in the St. Jude's Radiothon.

Also spotted wandering the aisles were Rob, Maverick, Duane, Tracy (with her new, much shorter hairdo), and or course Wanda, in spiffy new duds that showed off her 'stuff' nicely. (If you don't get that, start listening. :-) They were assisted ably by Donna and Mark from the office staff, and Courtney, the local St Jude's community relations and promotions lady. Oh, yeah , and Dave McClure was there too.

As was Ruth. Hi, Ruth. :-)

In any event, a helluva party, and don't miss it next year. If you didn't come here from there, some pictures (including some of mine) will be up on the station's website shortly (thanks, Mark). [ UPDATE: Those pictures are now up; the warmer-toned ones shot without a flash are mine. And thanks also to Donna for chasing Mark around for my negatives. ]

Thursday, April 27, 2000 @ 10:32 a.m. - Comment

"Wouldn't it be a great world

if desperation and insecurity made us more attractive? If 'needy' were a turn on?" Albert Brooks is one of my favorites... This is supposedly the uncircumsized version of his Playboy invu, which I missed...

Wednesday, April 26, 2000 @ 06:05 p.m. - Comment

Unclear on the concept...

Check out this piece on chain letters...

I'm pretty sure someone's missing the point though:

"I don't think there's any way of slowing down these things until there's some way for consumers to authenticate where e-mail comes from," said Rubin, adding that's difficult to do.

Nope. There's no way of slowing these down until people get less gullible. By the way: did you realize that 'gullible' isn't in the dictionary?

Wednesday, April 26, 2000 @ 12:17 p.m. - Comment


From the St Pete Times:

I'm Just a Bill, Conjunction Junction, and Lolly, Lolly, Lolly (Get Your Adverbs Here) jump to life as the American Stage version of SchoolHouse Rock Live! starts at 7 tonight and runs Wednesdays through Saturdays, 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, and 9 p.m. May 5 at the American Stage Playhouse, 211 Third St. S, St. Petersburg. Under the direction of Jay Berkow, cast members pull these famous 1970s short cartoon lessons out of the television and onto stage. SchoolHouse Rock Live! runs through May 14. Tickets are $15 adults, $7 children 12 and under. This performance is recommended for children ages 6 and older. Call (727) 823-7529.

Wednesday, April 26, 2000 @ 12:03 p.m. - Comment

Time to get back into the Swing of things

Salon reports on the new movie The Lifestyle... and discovers that all is not as might be expected.

Sunday, April 23, 2000 @ 03:11 p.m. - Comment

I'm no longer Elian-free

(Oh, waitaminnit; I actually blew that a few days ago with the Michael Moore story, didn't I? :-)

There's a discussion going on over at Metafilter about the news photos of the raid; I've weighed in, down at the bottom of the page.

Sunday, April 23, 2000 @ 03:00 p.m. - Comment

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You

to Wendell for pointing out this delightful piece about my absolute all-time favorite musical satirist, Tom Lehrer. I was introduced to him by Elana Wakeman, an old friend I haven't heard from in many years -- her sister is a popular local violinist (yes, I used the words popular and violinist in the same sentence; cope with it).

[ My mentioning Elana here, of course, guarantees that I'll hear from her; the web is too small -- I still have that picture in my wallet, Squirrel. ]

Friday, April 21, 2000 @ 11:28 p.m. - Comment

Is 'guy' the most sexist English word?

Douglas Hofstadter thinks so.

[ Thanks to Girlhacker ]

Friday, April 21, 2000 @ 01:05 p.m. - Comment

Well, now...

*here's* an interesting page: Notable guest stars on Happy Days.

Damn, I love the web. :-)

Friday, April 21, 2000 @ 12:56 p.m. - Comment

Here's some excellent commentary

[ spotted by Wes ] on the dangers of letting the people who supply the water supply the hoses, too.

[ Um, oops. Putting the *link* in is usually a good idea. :-) ]

Friday, April 21, 2000 @ 12:36 p.m. - Comment

Does anybody really know what time it is?

Does anybody really care?

Does anybody think this is really George Bush's campaign site?

Apparently so...

Thursday, April 20, 2000 @ 01:55 p.m. - Comment


Captain Steven R. Ellison M.D.'s tribute to the previous generation.

Bring Kleenex.

[ From Jerry ]

Wednesday, April 19, 2000 @ 03:52 p.m. - Comment

As John says

over at Genehack, I guess we can say the ad campaign is a success.

Wednesday, April 19, 2000 @ 03:18 p.m. - Comment

It's all about style...

Mark makes that point quite well here...

[ Thanks to Melanie ]

Wednesday, April 19, 2000 @ 12:07 p.m. - Comment


I've been pretty much miserable all week, for reasons that are way too in-depth to get into here... so this made a nice change of pace.

Remember the Darwin Awards? They're given to the person or persons each year who have improved the human race the most... by departing it. The story usually held up as the first winner is Rocket Car:

If you've never heard the legend before (in which case I can't imagine why you'd be reading this), here's the bare bones of it: Once upon a time, in some out-of-the way part of the country (take your pick of locations) a maniac took a rocket of some sort, and mounted it on the back of a car (make and model depend on automotive trends when the story is told). The maniac then sped down a deserted stretch of highway, and when he reached an appropriate spot, he lit the rocket. Unfortunately, the rocket (which was either a JATO bottle, a surplus ICBM engine, or an experimental Shuttle booster) proved to be far more powerful than the maniac anticipated. The car reached an incredible speed in a matter of seconds (somewhere between 150 miles per hour and Warp 9) at which point the car's brakes and steering became... ineffective. This development would've been bad enough on a straightaway, but through some error in planning or navigation, the maniac found himself hurtling down a road that curved sharply, not far from where he ignited the rocket. When the car arrived at the curve, it went straight ahead instead of negotiating the turn. Pilot and car then flew like an arrow (for a distance only limited by the imagination of the person telling the story), before crashing into an inconveniently-placed mountainside.

Tuesday, April 18, 2000 @ 04:59 p.m. - Comment

You've Got Spam!

Spam, and how to get it, courtesy of Salon:

How long does it take a fresh new e-mail address to get spam? We decided to find out by creating a fictitious new Salon staffer, Wallis Sanford (a nod, of course, to the once notorious Spam King Sanford Wallace). We wanted our new "junior staff writer" to live life dangerously on the Web and see how quickly he fell victim to spammers. So we set him up with new accounts on America Online and Hotmail. We also set up a Geocities home page, posted a question on Usenet, and put him on the Salon masthead -- in each case, listing a separate Salon e-mail address set up expressly to collect spam. Then we sat back and waited to see which of the five lures would get the first bite.

Tuesday, April 18, 2000 @ 10:02 a.m. - Comment

Well, maybe

he thinks my "Greenspunized" links are creepy...

but he certainly catches good links himself.

Tuesday, April 18, 2000 @ 12:31 a.m. - Comment

If you're the Shonen Knife fan...

you might want to note that IE 5, in the typical Microsoft Quality Software fashion is showing me that site as your referrer in my logs, even though (as far as I can tell) that site has no links to me -- that is, IE apparently thinks that just because that's the most recent place you were before me, they linked you here and I'm entitled to know that, even though we're almost certainly just adjacent favorites in your list.

Y'all might want to think about that before putting and next to each other in your IR favorites list...

Or, maybe you should just upgrade to Netscape.

Monday, April 17, 2000 @ 07:09 p.m. - Comment

The Underwear Fairy

I love that.

What the site does, in effect, is electronically reproduce your mom. Sign up with IYP's service and your underwear drawer will automatically replenish itself on a regular basis, banishing forever that awkward moment when you're forced to wrap tape around your waist because the elastic on your skivvies is shot. They'll deliver new underwear, on a regular basis, for as long as you want. In short, wants to be your Underwear Fairy.
[ Thanks to some guy on Metafilter. ]

Monday, April 17, 2000 @ 03:20 p.m. - Comment

Here's my favorite commentary...

on the new name GTE and Bell Awful have chosen, Verizon:

What is it with the "V" words? Can you match the flurry of recent and past V-names with their products? Warning: Don't get these names mixed up when you're shopping.

Monday, April 17, 2000 @ 10:28 a.m. - Comment

Tussle of the Tigers

Remember Tony the Tiger?

Exxon has a tiger too. And Kellogg's doesn't think that's too grrreat...

Monday, April 17, 2000 @ 09:39 a.m. - Comment

Thought for the Day

[ Thanks to
Phil Greenspun's Web Tools Review ]

Sunday, April 16, 2000 @ 04:44 p.m. - Comment

Carpe Noctum

That's what the billboard said.

So, thinking it might be some new nightlife site for Tampa Bay (not that Tampa Bay has much nightlife), I figured I'd go take a look.

Nope. Website for a new Dean Koontz book.

I've linked it because the author note copy on the site is delightful... and I've spared you the silly Flash splash.

Ain't I a nice guy?

Sunday, April 16, 2000 @ 01:16 p.m. - Comment

I see sanity is breaking out

Color me surprised.

Less than a month after a skater died from a head injury, officials moved Friday to improve safety on the old Gandy Bridge Friendship Trail, but they stopped short of requiring all skaters to wear helmets.

'Skating is inherently a dangerous sport, like snow skiing and scuba diving, and you can get hurt doing it," [local in-line skating instructor Michael] Schenker said. 'The nice part is that skating is just a lot of fun. We're actually lucky to live in a place where we have a lot of places to skate."

Saturday, April 15, 2000 @ 03:35 p.m. - Comment

So, what is the right answer.

David Goldman runs Hatewatch, a website that catalogs other websites run by organizations comprised of members who hate someone. Well, usually, they hate some group; you know: kikes, niggers, wops, japs, cripples, those kinds of people. People that aren't like them.

Roger Ebert thinks that's a bad idea.

This leads me to a place I go more and more often lately: does the fact that a collection of data has been made easily accessible via the web in and of itself make worse the problem that people can use that data for evil purposes?

Assuming, I mean, that the data was publicly available in the first place, without authentication or anything.

Is this a difference of degree? Or a difference of sorts?

I'd like to hear discussion; I don't have an answer, and the question's pretty important.

Friday, April 14, 2000 @ 01:02 p.m. - Comment

"The Victimization Movement"

I like that....

[ Thanks to Jon Katz ]

Thursday, April 13, 2000 @ 02:39 p.m. - Comment

New E-pinion

Mindspring Internet access... well, what's the opposite of 'sucks'?

Thursday, April 13, 2000 @ 11:39 a.m. - Comment

No, nobody said McDonalds...

But at least Ronald doesn't care.

[ Thanks to Veruca via Metafilter ]

Thursday, April 13, 2000 @ 11:18 a.m. - Comment

Apparently, I'm not alone

in agreeing with St Petersburg Times writer Martin Dyckman's piece on the flag-burning amendment. Of course, there were a couple of letters from people who just haven't gotten it, yet, too...

I find it pleasantly unsurprising just how many of the "no, there should not be a law prohibiting the burning of the American flag" letters come from veterans who've defended it. Those people understand that you cannot legislate patriotism -- and that if we see them burn it, at least we know who they are, now -- and that all it will do is make the people who are gonna burn a flag regardless into criminals.

This is a common thing for legislators: not being able to figure out that making some things illegal will not stop them from happening: they've done it again, too.

Thursday, April 13, 2000 @ 10:34 a.m. - Comment

Ok, I give in...

I guess it's finally time for me to become Epinionated...

Wednesday, April 12, 2000 @ 05:26 p.m. - Comment

What is the Geek Gap?

Arne Flones, in a LinuxCare opinion column pointed to by the Linux Daily News, opines that there's a geek gap between what we know to be good engineering (and other) practice, and what we see being introduced as legislation in the many Houses around the US: that is, that we, as geeks, are not being proactive enough on these topics:

The free software movement forms the core constituency of the larger Internet-centered technological revolution. We know this to be true because amongst our members are the very people who invented the Internet. Unfortunately, we still have to struggle to be heard outside our core. We have our own information infrastructure and even our own press. But when I listen to the radio, watch television news, or read a newspaper, the geek gap is all too apparent. What is the geek gap? That yawning chasm between fact and public opinion. Particularly when it comes to topics dear to geeks, the accuracy of information in the press is abysmal. If our message is getting out at all, it isn't very effective.

Now, of course, he's right, but I'm not sure I agree with his reasons:

It's time to stop reacting and become proactive. Our community is strong and united when things go astray, but we seemingly don't have the wherewithal to anticipate social and political entanglements until it's too late. We can design the best technological solutions on the planet, but we don't seem to be able to unite in the political sphere.

He's right: we don't have the wherewithal. Look at who our opponents have been: The MPAA and it's dozens of lawyers. The RIAA and it's dozens of lawyers. The US Government (IE, theoretically: us), and it's hundreds of lawyers (ACLU et al v. Reno -- The CDA case).

Is anyone beginning to see a pattern here? I'm minded of a quote from a book I can't place just now: "you give me $5,000 and I'll lay such a burden of discovery on these people that this case won't go to trial until it doesn't matter anymore."

The problem is not with ourselves, but with our Stars.

Wednesday, April 12, 2000 @ 02:43 p.m. - Comment

Well, it's a start...

The City of St Petersburg has come to a compromise with an adult book and video store in St Pete.

"As far as I know, it has been a very respectable place," said Carrie Ford Ellis, who lives in an apartment off the alley just south of the business.

"To tell you the truth, I didn't even know it was there until about a year ago," said Lillie Thomas, of 523 14th Ave. S, about a block behind the business. "We don't have any problem with it in here."

Gee, now there's a big surprise. The Albertsons near my house reportedly bought out the adult video store that was renting the old bank building in front of them to close them down -- because it didn't fit their image, presumably -- but the never took the signs down.


Wednesday, April 12, 2000 @ 12:41 p.m. - Comment


Michael Moore, of TV Nation fame, weighs in with his opinion on the Elian Gonzales situation, which, to date, I have managed not to comment on.

My only real question, I guess, is: are these people related to Miriam Gonzales, who was in the "Millenium Playmate Search" and may be The Most Beautiful Woman On The Planet. :-)

Sunday, April 9, 2000 @ 06:45 p.m. - Comment


Well, what would you call fake grassroots marketing?

Astroturf, of course.

I expect the people who make the real Astroturf won't be especially happy about it, but that didn't help the folks at Hormel... They finally gave in.

And, BTW, what's that happenin' background music on the SPAM<tm> home page, anyway?

Sunday, April 9, 2000 @ 06:23 p.m. - Comment

Here's a wonderfully well balanced

piece on the scandalization of the net. I'm a bit surprised, actually, to see this caliber of thought in a general circulation outlet.

Pleasantly, of course:

However, those who condemn the Net, and seek restrictive measures against it, also often have a larger agenda. They not only want to suppress child pornographers, but all sorts of other information and imagery that is available on the Internet. They would like to limit what other people see, talk about, and look for. They take an offensive issue, child pornography, and use it to forward other agendas.

Sunday, April 9, 2000 @ 03:41 p.m. - Comment

Yet another...

business proves that it's only going to honor it's commitments while it's convenient. Last week it was Netpliance, this week it's Cox Cable:

"You are running Napster and may be running other server software," Cox's network management team wrote to 350 customers. "This email serves as a 72-hour notice to reduce account activity to compliant usage levels and to remove any servers." The email was sent April 4.

If you're selling bandwidth, sell bandwidth. If you're not selling bandwidth...

get out of the business, because that's what people want to buy.

Saturday, April 8, 2000 @ 01:41 p.m. - Comment

Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

Pinellas County middle school teacher Joel Melvin.

His lifeline?

Four of his students.

What I wanna know is, are they gonna call him "Mr. Melvin" on the phone?

Saturday, April 8, 2000 @ 01:06 p.m. - Comment

One of my new regular reads

is Sarah's Syrup (diggity) dot org. She's in Hawaii, you see... and she's female and cute, adn writes about sex. The perfect post-geek feminist.

Her latest catch is this list of "things to do to show me you love me"... although the writer wimped out on labelling it.

I agree, Sarah; they make me feel all warm and fuzzy too.

Night, ya'll.

Friday, April 7, 2000 @ 05:37 p.m. - Comment

Chad has just the porn you're looking for...

Unfortunately, it's gonna cost you.

This is an excellent example of "pay attention to the world around you." Stupidity is supposed to be expensive...

Friday, April 7, 2000 @ 04:27 p.m. - Comment

World's Oldest Bookseller Dies

Internet found in alley with bloody knife.

The decision to end trading at its famous St Vincent Street address has sent shockwaves through the Scottish book world. Its store at Byers Road in Glasgow's West End will also close, with the loss of 50 jobs.

This is a sad, but predictable consequence. I don't know how to feel about this; it's well and good to say "well, Smith and Son misinterpreted what they were really selling and whom they were selling it to", but, c'mon...

The worst part about it is that they were put out of business by three companies who can't make any profit, and are being *rewarded* by the morons in the stock market for this inability.

How many more traditions must die...?

Friday, April 7, 2000 @ 04:14 p.m. - Comment

Our lunch guy is called

Al Santana, theirs is named Al Santos.

What; does even the guy's name go with the format?

Thursday, April 6, 2000 @ 05:25 p.m. - Comment

All I can say is...

It tastes just like chicken!

Thursday, April 6, 2000 @ 04:55 p.m. - Comment

Stolen from Metafilter

Rate your risk of being murdered.

No; I won't tell you mine.


The hell I won't; I scored an 8.

They did, however, forget to ask the question "are you dating a woman with an unstable, violent ex-boyfriend"...

Thursday, April 6, 2000 @ 12:34 p.m. - Comment

A Little Cross Pollination

I love it (to paraphrase the A-Team) when two threads come together...

I've talked a bit, in the past couple of weeks, about two topics dear to my heart: the stupidity of trying to legislate around poorly designed cryptologic security systems, and the stupidity of trying to outlaw deep linking.

This Salon story combines the two, in a discussion of whether a US judge should be able to outlaw people linking to the DeCSS program -- created by two non-US hackers to break the encoding on the CyberPatrol parental control application.

In January, a federal judge prohibited 2600 and two other sites from posting DeCSS. (The judge had ruled that DeCSS was a violation of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which considers anything that subverts "access control mechanisms" to digital content to be illegal -- regardless of whether the modifications to the mechanism are used to access the content or to copy it.) Now the MPAA is trying to keep 2600 from even linking to other sites that have posted the program.

But wait. Can hyperlinks be outlawed? Only last week, a California judge ruled, in a case brought by Ticketmaster against, that it's not illegal for one site to link to another. Among other things, that suit concerned "deep linking." Ticketmaster alleged that by bypassing its home page and linking directly to "inside" pages, violated its copyright. The judge, however, held that "hyperlinking does not in itself involve a violation of the Copyright Act."

Thursday, April 6, 2000 @ 11:57 a.m. - Comment

I was thinking the other day

I know that's dangerous, but ... cope.

What I was thinking about was the lengths that naturists (you know; that's what we started calling them when 'nudist' became pejorative?) go to to make clear to everyone that their nudity has nothing to do with sex -- you'd think these kids at the family resorts were created by binary fission, they try so hard never to mention or even think about sex.


What's wrong with sex?

David Steinberg's new Comes Naturally asks, and answers, that question, rather admirably, I thought.

Tuesday, April 4, 2000 @ 03:59 p.m. - Comment

Stolen unattributed

from a posting on a network mailing list:

I shudder to remember the Large Mercenary Bank that, when told that BGP would not give them load sharing at the granularity of single servers, responded "Clearly you aren't worth what we pay you. Please give us the phone number of the person in charge of the Internet." That's not an un-representative customer.
[ For those of you who didn't get that, BGP is a routing protocol that cannot be used to do what that bank wanted; it's roughly like saying "What? You can't put out my burning building with a garden hose?"

Tuesday, April 4, 2000 @ 02:52 p.m. - Comment

Aw, Crap, twice...

I forgot: I rolled over this morning. The Verizon-is-stupid piece is here... assuming you're in a hurry.

Otherwise, feel free to stroll around a bit...

Sorry about that.

Tuesday, April 4, 2000 @ 02:44 p.m. - Comment

Aw, Crap!

I wanted one of these, really bad...

[ Stolen from Metafilter ]

Tuesday, April 4, 2000 @ 02:37 p.m. - Comment

I was up waaay too late last night

reading the Nurses' Drug Reference, and all I can tell you is...

there are a whole bunch of diseases you just do not want to get.


Tuesday, April 4, 2000 @ 12:10 p.m. - Comment

Here's an editorial piece

from the San Diego Union Tribune that says what I think about the 'utility' of your Internet connection. This isn't true of everyone, yet, but the Internet is becoming a utility very quickly -- just like your power and telephone and water; the expectations upon ISPs are growing fast.

Can they catch up before the government forces them to? Yeah.

Will they?

I rather doubt it, unfortunately...

Tuesday, April 4, 2000 @ 12:05 p.m. - Comment

Right on, Martin!

Flag-burning as a political protest is so rare that to see it done you'd have to pay someone to do it. Almost any day, however, you can sit for free in the gallery of a state legislature or the Congress and watch votes being sold. Though you might not know it when you see it, and the lawmakers would not admit it even to themselves, the circumstantial evidence is overwhelming.

Both forms of conduct are protected, of course, by the U.S Supreme Court's interpretation of the First Amendment.

When majorities of the Senate voted last week to reduce the Bill of Rights for the first time, which issue did they think worth such a drastic remedy?

I don't have to answer that, do I?

Goddamnit! How long will it be until I can't say 'goddamnit' anymore because the religionists have overpowered the legislators, too?

I'm mad as hell, and I'm voting for Harry Browne in November.

Tuesday, April 4, 2000 @ 11:56 a.m. - Comment

Half a million bucks of pot?

How much is that anyway?

Also indicted in the same case were Abel Hisham Hamden-Salinas of Mexico and Alejandro Tamayos-Ramos of Howey-in-the-Hills.

Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida.

I love that!

Tuesday, April 4, 2000 @ 11:49 a.m. - Comment

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If you're down here it's because you decided you wanted to link to me. Wow. Cool. Thanks. :-)

I use Phil Greenspun's clicktracking system to keep track of my traffic, and I like to use it on inbound links too, when possible; it's interesting to know where the traffic comes from, and theCounter isn't quite as spiffy as I'd like. If you could use the following link code to link to me, I'd appreciate it:

Link Text

just copy the link and make up a YOURTAG that's somewhat descriptive. Thanks again for your trouble...

Um, d'oh! Wes Felter points out that it would be nice if the link pointed to *me*... Fixed.

And for those people who think I'm trying to be subversive with the status line crap, it's merely functional: *I* like to be able to see the URL, too. If anyone has suggestions on the (I think insoluble) 'making the link change color if you saw it somewhere else' problem, I'd love to hear them.

And, of course, actually *having* some text to link to helps too...