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We all abuse

... the hand sanitizer.

Great writing.

Saturday, May 15, 2004 @ 07:22 p.m. - Comment

Man Arrested in TV Sting

42 year old mother poses as 15 year old teenage boy -- ghod; I love vigilantism.

"I think that's what made the difference, is ABC getting involved," she concluded.

I wonder if *ABC* knows it got involved? (Our local affil goes by "ABC Action News" because it's on channel 28, but cable channel 11, and they can't figure out a non-confusing solution...)

Saturday, May 15, 2004 @ 06:56 p.m. - Comment

And I thought the *other*

lawyer had a sense of humor:

The Powers Phillips Law Firm.

Saturday, May 15, 2004 @ 05:35 p.m. - Comment

Google bought blogger last year

So wouldn't you expect Google to have it's own blog?

Saturday, May 15, 2004 @ 04:29 p.m. - Comment

Mark Morford

on why my sister is right and I'm wrong. Approximately.

Friday, May 14, 2004 @ 12:21 p.m. - Comment

NPR Word For The Day

from All Things Considered:


Wednesday, May 12, 2004 @ 05:26 p.m. - Comment

Here's an interesting bit o' statistics

A chart that lists the popularity of the Florida specialty license tags. The surprise is that even after we won the Super Bowl, the Bucs tag couldn't manage any higher than 8th.

I am pleased to see that the Gators' tag outsold the Seminoles', though.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004 @ 01:24 a.m. - Comment

I never get up early enough

for Morning Edition, but you don't have to miss out.

Bob Edwards, however, no longer *has* to get up early enough; as I mentioned a month ago when the announcement got out, they've canned him as host of the show after 24... and a half years.

If you missed it too, catch it here.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004 @ 06:05 p.m. - Comment

I rather suspect that

Deborah Foreman will be pleased to know that Val Kilmer can finally drive a six-inch spike through a board with his penis.

Monday, May 10, 2004 @ 09:07 p.m. - Comment

I've been asked, a few times

to document the license difficulties I refer to concerning DJB's qmail, djbdns, and related software. My source, as it happens, just surfaced, and it was Linux Gazette's inestimable Rick Moen.

Monday, May 10, 2004 @ 04:28 p.m. - Comment

Am I

Old Or Not?

( From Matt at metafilter )

Monday, May 10, 2004 @ 12:31 a.m. - Comment

May is

National Masturbation Month.

So, if you have a partner, remember, no nookie until next month.

Oh, and there will be prizes.

As long as you're not an astronaut.

Saturday, May 8, 2004 @ 09:33 p.m. - Comment

Greek Minister Announces

He Didn't See 'Titanic'.

Saturday, May 8, 2004 @ 09:17 p.m. - Comment

Ask yourself

Will anyone ever eulogize me like this?

I used to think so.

As I age, I think so less and less.

Saturday, May 8, 2004 @ 01:10 p.m. - Comment


baby seals in the Greenland penal (a double entendre that apparently has a lot less implication there than here) system.

Speaking of which: did you hear about the woman who walked into a bar and asked the bartender for a double entendre? He gave it to her.

Saturday, May 8, 2004 @ 12:23 p.m. - Comment


No, not the radio service.

It's my shorthand for Expectation Management. It's a talent I've become reasonably good at working in the computer business:the best way to get in trouble is to go through a project the client thinking they're going to get what *they* think is reasonable, rather than what *you* think they're paying for.

But it applies to other elements of life as well. And as rarely as I win, I have to be careful to practice it on myself, as well; very rarely does any given win imply as much as I would oh, so much, prefer to think it does.

Saturday, May 8, 2004 @ 12:13 p.m. - Comment

An excellent argument

against combining your cellphone and your digital camera -- and in favor of my Handspring Visor Prism -- with *detachable* eyeModule 2 camera.

Saturday, May 8, 2004 @ 12:09 p.m. - Comment

Good *Ghod*

Are these people out of their minds?

EPA proposes to permit the dumping of radioactive waste into landfills.

There is a link wherein to scream long and loud. Go do that. I am.

Saturday, May 8, 2004 @ 12:05 p.m. - Comment

Cheney can take a cab

to the hairdresser.

Thursday, May 6, 2004 @ 01:13 p.m. - Comment

Could I just remind

those cretinae sending out spam labeled "Surprise her with a big package" that, um, Mother's Day is coming up?

Thursday, May 6, 2004 @ 12:41 p.m. - Comment

Funny the things you find

in your referer logs. Or should I say wacky.

Thursday, May 6, 2004 @ 10:28 a.m. - Comment

Disney yanks Moore

Disney is apparently going to try to submerge Michael Moore's latest film, "Farehnheit 911", which, of course, disses Resident Bush, whose brother, of course, might yank Disney's tax breaks in Florida.

Boycott the bastards.

Wednesday, May 5, 2004 @ 04:49 p.m. - Comment

Microsoft patents...


[ Thanks to Amber ]

Wednesday, May 5, 2004 @ 12:37 p.m. - Comment

More on that

Courtesy of a friend of Elli's, a link to more background from the Committee to ReDefeat the president.

Nope; sorry. Still won't capitalize it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2004 @ 07:38 p.m. - Comment

How to kill off television

The law of unexpected consequences strikes again.

Tuesday, May 4, 2004 @ 02:56 p.m. - Comment


Someone likes my posting tag at LWN...

"Perhaps I'm just too easily amused, but that line (and the one that always follows it) still makes me smile."

But who knows. Maybe it's just me.

So many things are just me.

Tuesday, May 4, 2004 @ 09:53 a.m. - Comment

Not your normal kind of TV...

Not your normal kind of virgin.

Teens: you can stay a 'technical' virgin!

I'm a technical virgin, myself, though it's in that "after-seven-years-it-grows-back" kinda way.

(Link from DaveDot.)

Monday, May 3, 2004 @ 01:28 p.m. - Comment

The Saga Continues

I'd never been to see Weird Al, before, and I hadn't been to a concert at all in some time, so even though going to a concert with your sister is kind of like, well, kissing your sister, we went anyway, and it was, of course, great.

Ruth Eckerd Hall has never been my favorite house; the RT60 is *way* too high, and intelligibility has always suffered -- and the FOH engineers never compensate for it.

These guys did. Magnificently. Except for a couple verses of The Horoscope Song, and a bit of All About The Pentiums (which I don't know well), every word was clearly understandable... and not too loud.

The Horoscope song also had one of my three favorite light cues of the evening: two red PAR cans on floor stands that did nothing else during the entire concert except illuminate "KILL THEM!" I love light-guy-hubris. Another one was the completely static monochrome white stage during "Amish Paradise", as befits the 'technologically impaired'... except for the red flood during "he'll be burning in Hell".. as befits Hell. :-)

Excellent track spot work as well... though with 20 heads and a proper controller it's a whole lot easier. :-)

And the rest of the light show was great too.

I'm not mentioning the music because I'm bereft of words.


Naw; the music was fantastic, too; there was kind of a medley in the second half that, among other things, allowed them to deprive Sting of half the royalties for Beverly Hillbillies. They played 'Melanie'! It's one of my favorite originals, and made up for the acute lack of "Franks's 2000" TV" (that name is impossible to quote reasonably in a browser.)

There was also a cute cell phone routine at the beginning of the show (before which they did in fact *not* make the customary "fully upright and locked position" announcement; likely on purpose) -- it was Al's phone; it segued into a parody I didn't recognize.

Encores included The Saga Begins and Yoda (might as well take advantage of the costume change. And tonight's "concert song" (Al commonly does, I'm told, some material in concert that he can't clear for album release) was a 'cover' of Billy Joel's trademark hit Piano Man, complete with stagehand holding up the harmonica to his mouth (and tapping his feet, and checking his watch, during the verses).

Costume changes were covered by video-projected clips from AL-TV, and other random stuff, including a classic intro segment which ended with intros of Al by half a dozen TV talk hosts, including Johnny Carson. Set list to follow when I find someone that posted one.

General wackiness ensued, and a good time was had by all.

We're eating Steak N. Shake now. G'night.

Saturday, May 1, 2004 @ 11:22 p.m. - Comment

Weight loss thoughts

for those who need them.

Saturday, May 1, 2004 @ 05:52 p.m. - Comment

Got a funny feeling...

Weird Al's gonna be great tonight.

Review to follow.

Nyaahhh nyahhh. :-)

Saturday, May 1, 2004 @ 05:46 p.m. - Comment

I haven't read all of

this, yet, but I strongly suspect it will be both a) amusing and b) generalizable.

Time to go charge the batteries...

Friday, April 30, 2004 @ 12:00 p.m. - Comment

"Sure, you can vote on paper

if you don't trust the electronic voting machines.

But we won't count your vote."

Still trusting your government, are you?

Friday, April 30, 2004 @ 12:34 a.m. - Comment

FLASH: Virginia Outlaws Homosexuality

No, to coin a phrase, I Am Not Making This Up.

Way, waaaay more from the MetaFilterians.

(Courtesy of a friend of a friend of an ex-)

Thursday, April 29, 2004 @ 02:20 p.m. - Comment

If you know anything about airplanes

(and yes, Alan, I'[m talking to you :-), hie thee directly over to this Wikipedia page and sign up for an account and do some updating.

Thursday, April 29, 2004 @ 12:33 p.m. - Comment


Yeah, they've finally decided to kill off Oldsmobile. They've been threatening it for almost 3 years, now...

Wednesday, April 28, 2004 @ 06:51 p.m. - Comment

Here's a pretty decent piece

on electronic voting, and why it's not inherently bad.

Even if you're not old enough to remember Machine politics, you should know that it's not 'hackers' (ie: criminals) who we're worried about having steal the elections: it's the politicians.

Read the whole piece, even though it's kind of heavy sledding in the middle.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004 @ 06:14 p.m. - Comment

Can I just take a moment to say

how incredibly sick and tired I am of ex-porn actresses trying to hang what they've decided is their bad judgement on the industry?


Bankrate: People who worked with you back then did say you exuded sexiness at a very young age.

Traci Lords: I don't take anything those people say seriously. They clearly have an agenda, whether it's to get their five minutes of fame or to use a child to hang the blame on.

Um, Traci? He, and they, were right, and that was a compliment. She was one of only half a dozen adult actresses in living memory about whom it was perfectly clear that a) she wasn't faking it and b) she was having a *great* time.

Holly Ryder, aka Lisa Marie Barbato, did this too. And Nina Hartley and Sharon Kane are *right there* to call them liars. I know who I believe more.

Quite a bit more on Traci.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004 @ 09:45 p.m. - Comment

Under Pressure

David Bowie, proving once again that he Gets It, is running a contest for the best amateur remix of his new album with his older material.

Monday, April 26, 2004 @ 06:22 p.m. - Comment

Fedex proves that it, too

isn't smart enough not to fuck around with the brand equity of the company it acquired.

Monday, April 26, 2004 @ 06:15 p.m. - Comment

Resident Bush does it again

Appoints National Archivist who doesn't want anyone to see anything.

Sunday, April 25, 2004 @ 11:39 p.m. - Comment

Well... I *thought* Tuesday

went well. Have I scared Tiffany off too? Or is she just one of those people who does email once a week whether it needs it or not?

Friday, April 23, 2004 @ 11:29 p.m. - Comment

Remember that Packet Pocket Socket poem?

You only got the half of it:

When a party writes a poem and he puts it on the net, He writes for love not money, and he takes what he can get. He writes to bring you pleasure, that's the nature of the game. He writes for recognition and he's sure to sign his name.

I wrote the poem in question, but this will make you laugh, the version circulating, is my work cut in half! Someone didn't like it, I guess that's a cinch. It passed around the internet, until it met the Grinch.

The complete version, plus the explanation of what happened, is on the author's website.

Thursday, April 22, 2004 @ 11:23 p.m. - Comment

I know these guys know we're sending them in harm's way

but do we really need to do the jon so poorly on a political level that we have to send this many home in coffins? (I say, causing the military types who made the rule which got the photographer fired to nod and say "see? We told you...")

So, it is respectful, or self important, for non-uniformed individuals to salute in such circumstances?

<hand salute>


Thursday, April 22, 2004 @ 08:14 p.m. - Comment

Lick Bush in '04

Clearly, an inability to construct a clear, concise, consistent English sentence is a requirement for working on the entire campaign:

"I want to point out that no incumbent president has ever lost a job with an approval rating over 50 percent," said Bush/Cheney spokesman Reed Dickens. "And no incumbent president has ever lost the presidency without significant third-party opposition within his own party."

Third-party opposition within his own party? How's that again?

Thursday, April 22, 2004 @ 11:35 a.m. - Comment

I'm on a mission...

from God.

Thursday, April 22, 2004 @ 12:28 a.m. - Comment



Wednesday, April 21, 2004 @ 09:28 p.m. - Comment

The Old Man still has it

About a month ago, it got out that after almost 30 years, Un-cle Wal-ter had finally come clean about feeling that he'd been jobbed when CBS elevated Dan Rather to the anchorship of the Nightly News.

Seems he hadn't expected them to pull him off the air completely, but apparently they thought that letting him continue to do features and the like would detract from Rather's newly acquired lustre. But they kept him under contract, and off the air, for many years to follow.

Recently, though, like another classic ex-CBSer, Daniel Schorr, Cronkite has turned up on National Public Radio. His commentary today was a 9 minute or so package (ghod, I love NPR) about Nikita Krushchev's 1959 visit to the US. Nice writing, as was the sound editing, fading back and forth from present day Walter to his sound clips from the late 50s.

It's good to see he still has some things to tell us... and that he still does it so well.

Thanks, Uncle Walter.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004 @ 05:22 p.m. - Comment

I spent the better part of the weekend

hanging a phone system for my ex-boss's accountant, who moved from one buildng to another in the same complex. It was a *small* phone system, thank ghod, or I'd never have survived. :-)

But it reminded me, in surfing around today, that I don't think I've ever linked to Mike Sandman's website. This guy carries just about every telephony-related product known to man, as well as a few that he invented himself.

If you spend any amount of time at all dicking around with telephone systems, or even network wiring, go check the man out. Tell him I sent you; maybe he'll send me a new catalog.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004 @ 02:23 p.m. - Comment

Happy Birthday, Mainframe

40 years ago this month -- April 8th, to be exact -- Thomas J. Watson bet the company (IBM, that is) and $5 Billion, a fair amount of money in those days, on the System/360 mainframe computer.

Something very like it is still in production today, and they still sell, and they still sell *well* -- you can get a bottom-end mainframe for about a megabuck.

And, of course, *these* days, they run a real operating system

Wednesday, April 21, 2004 @ 11:53 a.m. - Comment

I'm kinda disappointed, really...

I got though April Fools Day, and didn't get fooled once.


Wednesday, April 21, 2004 @ 01:26 a.m. - Comment


I think, as I sit here in the Bilingual House Of Pancakes (hey, they haven't have 6 languages on the menus in *years*) and check out my hit counter, that I should gratuituously link my weblog from Dave Barry's more often.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004 @ 12:26 a.m. - Comment

What do you call a 6-man jam band?

Apparently, it's a Motet.

They played the State tonight. It was wonderful, it was marvelous, I had a fantastic time.

Oh, and the band was pretty decent, too. :-)

Wednesday, April 21, 2004 @ 12:04 a.m. - Comment

FCAT results are back

and, unsurprisingly, lots of kids (and parents) aren't all that happy.

But you know what?

Tough shit. Yeah, there's going to be some pain getting from as fucked up as the Florida educational system has been for 20 years (it was 2 years behind Massachusetts when I moved here in 1981) to where it needs to be.

And it sucks if you're the kid who had to stay back.

But *enough* kids had to stay back that it's probably not going to suck quite as badly. And, really, don't we owe it to those kids to make sure they don't end up in 11th grade unable to read English?

Tuesday, April 20, 2004 @ 11:06 a.m. - Comment

Oh, by the way

Happy Patriots' Day!

Monday, April 19, 2004 @ 02:04 p.m. - Comment

Never knew somebody

knew more stuff that didn't matter."

I'm reminded, though, on further reading, that that site doesn't really hold a candle to Bob Ames' Bullets and Beer.

Monday, April 19, 2004 @ 01:43 p.m. - Comment

Da da da da daaaaah

I guess he ain't lovin' it, anymore.

Monday, April 19, 2004 @ 11:36 a.m. - Comment

I'm torn

I'm, at heart, a shooter, and a strict Second Amendmentist, even though, honestly, I don't actually own a firearm.

But most people who think like I do on this topic are voting for Bush this year.

Course, Bush and Ashcroft haven't got the best civil liberties record, anyway, and hopefully the shooters aren't blind.

Me, I'll be volunteering for The Committee to Re-Defeat The President.

(UPDATE: Clearly, I'm not alone.)

Sunday, April 18, 2004 @ 05:21 p.m. - Comment

The FCC is getting all

Stern with broadcasters.

Interesting legal analysis from Julie Hilden.

Thursday, April 15, 2004 @ 06:29 p.m. - Comment

Special to Catwoman

It doesn't, in fact, seem to be Art Deco after all.

Still checking, ma'am... :-)

Monday, April 12, 2004 @ 11:06 p.m. - Comment

Who sez there's nothing on TV?

The Onion Sez ("the Shadow" theme plays under)

(Thanks to Dave and Eric)

Monday, April 12, 2004 @ 03:40 p.m. - Comment

Certainly, gay people can get marriage licenses

Just not to marry each other.

Monday, April 12, 2004 @ 03:20 p.m. - Comment

Requiescat in Pace

Weird Al has two fewer Close Personal Friends.

I had this riff floating through my head on "You Don't Love Me Anymore", (which, ironically, I was singing Saturday night before I heard the news, but even I don't have a sick enough sense of humor to actually use it.)

Monday, April 12, 2004 @ 02:56 p.m. - Comment

A reminder:

Gnutella(-net) is the new (GNU?) Napster...

Sunday, April 11, 2004 @ 04:17 p.m. - Comment


Judeo-Christian Religious Spring Holiday!

(Thanks to Sunday Baroque for the pointer.)

Sunday, April 11, 2004 @ 12:36 p.m. - Comment

Separate is not Equal

Low intensity conflict isn't only happening in Iraq.

Saturday, April 10, 2004 @ 06:55 p.m. - Comment

'Big Tony' Scalia

is at it again.

Saturday, April 10, 2004 @ 12:31 p.m. - Comment

So, who really...

moved to France?

Saturday, April 10, 2004 @ 12:04 p.m. - Comment

I'm told

by Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me!, that a robot conducted a symphony orchestra this week; threw the musicians off because they pace themselves off the conductor's breathing ... and of course robots don't breathe.

The piece? Beethoven's 5th, of course.

I'd have expected A Fifth Of Beethoven, myself, but I guess not.

Saturday, April 10, 2004 @ 11:48 a.m. - Comment

This May Be The Coolest Thing EVER


Friday, April 9, 2004 @ 10:19 p.m. - Comment

Hollywood is like a meat grinder

it chews people up, and then it spits them out again.

Take, take, take... No, wait. I got carried away. :-)

But it is true that really popular actors and actresses softly and silently vanish away. And this guy's right; Kim Richards was the all-time most beautiful teen actress. Even better than Drew, though Drew's grown into herself now... Course, she's a lot younger than Kim is now, too... ;-)

Friday, April 9, 2004 @ 12:05 p.m. - Comment

What happens when you don't win the Pullet Surprise

Also courtesy of Doc, this interesting piece on what wen ton as far behind the scenes of this year's Pulitzer Prize judging as we're permitted to get, from the Poynter Institute, the only non-profit foundation in the United States to own a daily newspaper.

Thursday, April 8, 2004 @ 05:03 p.m. - Comment

I suspect my sister hasn't yet noticed

The JumpTheShark page for (Star Trek: )Enterprise.

Some of the commentary is classic, and I especially enjoy the top three vote getters.

Wednesday, April 7, 2004 @ 11:19 p.m. - Comment

Channel 9

That's the channel on United airliners over which, if the pilot hasn't turned it off, you can hear him talk (presumably) to tower and enroute control.

Some developers inside Microsoft, Doc Searls tells us have started a weblog of the same name, to give us a looksee inside the development mind of Microsoft. He likes it, he says, because it's not coming out a PR orifice.

Well, I dunno, but my first reaction, upon reading this in the current entry:

Joe Beda, development lead on the Avalon team at Microsoft, discusses whether Avalon will be the technology that Microsoft uses to replace the Web.

is to say "if this is how the unfiltered developers think, then I stand by my prediction about Microsoft".

"the technology Microsoft uses to replace the web"

Didn't they try that once before, and learn their lesson?

(UPDATE: One of their team dropped me an email and pointed out that, had I watched the video clip, I'd realize that that was *not* what Beda was saying; he was saying the opposite. Video clips? Oh, is *that* what those black rectangles in the middle of the pages are? (Checks page source. Yup. Embedded Active-X WMV. *That's* gonna work real well on my Linux box. Or even, come to think of it, on Safari on all those Macs. And they're targeting a technical audience, who are *much* more likely to not be using Internet Exploiter.) What is it I keep saying about having monopoly reflexes, and that's what gonna kill them faster? Though, to be honest, they're in a bind: do they acknowledge that technical audiences are *more* likely not to be using *their* rah-rah technology, and use something more... well, useful. Or do they just cheerlead, and be less useful. They're Microsoft; which direction do *you* think they're gonna go? The people down in the technical catacombs may not have malign attitudes, but they're *still* inside the Microsoft Reality Distortion Field. What does WMV really mean, anyway? Weapons of Mass...?)

Wednesday, April 7, 2004 @ 09:38 p.m. - Comment

Oh, why the fuck

am I not surprised a this?

"I wanna do something to be different....just like everybody else."

Wednesday, April 7, 2004 @ 07:08 p.m. - Comment


and the lying liars who tell them.

Should lying be a crime, even if it's not under oath?

Sure. Sometimes, at least.

The lie about getting off the telephone is a ubiquitous one in our culture. Some people enjoy long telephone conversations, and others look for ways to escape them.

It is also a relatively unimportant lie. Telling it is not an example of shocking dishonesty, and refraining from telling it will also not lead to dire consequences.

Lies, however, can be far more destructive, such as - to pick a purely hypothetical example - misleading the nation into supporting a war and sending young men and women to die for a cause of which the people are unaware and may not support.

Wednesday, April 7, 2004 @ 05:51 p.m. - Comment

Gmail: G-Men?

Like Charles Cooper at CNet, I'm not too happy with Google's new Gmail idea. But I'm not at all sure he's equipped to pontificate on it. He says, about new seaching techniques in Longhorn, which he thinks this is aimed to compete with:

And after getting (rightly) slammed for all its privacy woes, my guess is that Microsoft will be more Catholic than the pope, when it comes to e-mail privacy and search. Besides, what better way to draw an invidious comparison with the competition?

Think so, do ya', Charles?

You been around the last ten years?

He continues:

Google was not first to market with search, but it was better than the rest and ultimately became No. 1. Microsoft can say the same about Internet browsers, spreadsheets and word processors.

No they aren't. They just took advantage of their monopoly position to stomp out Netscape, Lotus, and WordCertainlyAcceptableForWhatIDo. Their programs, by and large, suck.

Better work on your history if you wanna be a pundit, dude...

Wednesday, April 7, 2004 @ 01:03 p.m. - Comment

I guess this is what you get

when you type:

$ man woman

(Courtesy of Dave, who, while he may need a manual, at least has a woman on whom to practice. :-)

Tuesday, April 6, 2004 @ 01:14 p.m. - Comment

I always thought of

Russ Nelson as "that ethernet driver guy".

Turns out he's an economy guy, too, and writes a weblog on the topic.

That's why the price of identical services can vary wildly. Only after the service has been performed can you be sure that it's identical. One vendor might do the same work in less time, or poorer work in less time. Another vendor might take longer, be harder to schedule, and charge more, and still produce a service whose value to you exceeds what anyone else can do by a sufficient amount to make it worthwhile. For example, when we had our kitchen cabinets done by a local Amish craftsman, we had to get on his list a year in advance. When he came to measure the cabinets, he told us what cabinets we wanted where. The cabinets were at least a week late. On the other hand, the cabinets were made from solid oak. And when the 12' x 12' J-shaped counter came in, it fit right into the space allotted for it with no more than 1/8th inch error.

I love this kind of stuff. I wish more people with in depth knowledge of certain topics blogged it. As he notes elsewhere, it's advertising, but unlike most advertising, it is itself the public good.

Tuesday, April 6, 2004 @ 12:34 p.m. - Comment

Free Books

and some that cost money; all electronic, though: a semi-complete list of eBook publishers and distributors. (Courtesy of ReadAssist; thanks to Eric at Baen for the pointer; see below)

Monday, April 5, 2004 @ 06:20 p.m. - Comment

Free Books: Baen

Go read Eric Flint's Prime Palavers, particularly #8, about blind readers, and then grab a free SF novel by your favorite author.

Monday, April 5, 2004 @ 04:49 p.m. - Comment

Janis Ian

(anyone remember Janis Ian?) on the music biz.

Outstanding piece. And here's some more on the topic, from other people who aren't talking out their hats.

Monday, April 5, 2004 @ 03:33 p.m. - Comment

We missed an important date

Almost 5 years ago, September 13, 1999, the moon was blasted out of orbit by an explosion at a nuclear waste dump.

Such was the premise of "Space: 1999", the Martin Landau/Barbara Bain vehicle that, well, almost anyone who was a space nut watched. It only lasted 2 season -- 48 episodes -- before dying an ignominious death. But it's been revived, as you might expect these days, on DVD.

But it was when I was at the Carrollwood Borders the other day that I discovered That Which I Had Not Known.

There was a 49th episode.

It was only 7 minutes long.

It was a series finale.

Until very recently, it was only shown at conventions (for, say it with me, now: 'licensing reasons').

It was produced by the fans.

It starred an original cast member.

And it appears it was pretty damned decent.

Several Space sites have epguide entries for it, and they all, pretty uniformly, tend to treat it as Episode 49 (or S3E1).

Take that, current day fandom. :-)

Sunday, April 4, 2004 @ 01:37 p.m. - Comment


For most of you in the US, 0159EST tomorrow will be immediately followed by 0300EDT.

Don't forget to put a new battery in your smoke detector, too.

Saturday, April 3, 2004 @ 11:23 p.m. - Comment

Google is

um, hiring

Thursday, April 1, 2004 @ 07:09 p.m. - Comment

There's gonna be a movie!

They're making "Dave Barry's (Complete) Guide To Guys" into a movie!


Thursday, April 1, 2004 @ 03:07 p.m. - Comment

A pretty amusing disclaimer

here, from, who out scam companies. Their current target is Sky Way Global, whose bucket trucks look pretty, but whose busines plan is apparently a crock.

I knew that...

Thursday, April 1, 2004 @ 01:32 p.m. - Comment

Like all technologies...

camera phones are neutral. They can be *used* for good or ill, but the technology itself? No inclination.

An excellent illustration of that, courtesy of FindLaw.

Thursday, April 1, 2004 @ 12:43 a.m. - Comment

See? Statutory Masturbation *is* a crime

It was, perhaps, inevitable that sooner or later, some moronic prosecutor somewhere was going to file a case against a teenager who took and posted or distributed nude and/or sexual pictures of him- or herself.

Needless to say; I'm posting this; It happened.

Now, the thing I find *really* interesting here (and would you 'pedophelia' ranters go hide in your holes; 15 year olds are *not* the target of clinical pedophiles) is the "sexual abuse of a child" charge.

I've read many statutes similar to the ones under which the charges were filed against this 15 year old girl (who, almost certainly, was doing this of her own free will -- and let us not get into any "15 year olds can't consent" arguments for the moment, either, shall we?), and I can tell you that these statutes *do* *not* *contemplate* that the charges will be filed *against the minor in question*.

It's going to be very interesting indeed to follow this case.

A quick glance at Findlaw doesn't show it yet. More When I Know More(tm).

Thursday, April 1, 2004 @ 12:20 a.m. - Comment

Spyware Stomped Out

Utah Governor Olene Walker clearly learned something along the way (though i suppose she may not have actually learned it directly from former Utah CIO Phil Windley, since he was fired while current EPA head Mike Leavitt was still governor). She's signed with I'm told is a fairly sane anti-spyware law.

LWN has a feature story on it, which you can only read if, like me, you send them money every once in a while. This story is good enough you should send them the money. It was written by Groklaw's Pamela Jones, and points, among other things, to Ben Edelmans's excellent and indepth analysis; he apparently was involved with the pertinent legislative staffs during the composition of the bill.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004 @ 03:22 p.m. - Comment

This Is... Broken

Cool looking site. But they mispelt 'borken'. :-)

Tuesday, March 30, 2004 @ 10:55 p.m. - Comment

Some very interesting legal musing

on Mayor Gavin Newsom, the US Constitution, and gay marriage at FindLaw.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004 @ 05:58 p.m. - Comment

Beisbol ben bery bery good...

The undefeated Tampa Bay Devil Rays beat the winless New York Yankees this morning, in the 2004 season opener... at 5:30 this morning, in Tokyo.

That phrasing due, thanks, to Bob Seymour, WUSF-FM news.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004 @ 05:35 p.m. - Comment

In My Humble Opinion

Cecil Adams' Teeming Millions aren't nearly as amusing as the crowd of Adverbians who have sprung up from nowhere since Dave Barry's Weblog got a comment section.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004 @ 11:55 a.m. - Comment

Moon over Tarpon Springs

Price of general admission plus shipping charges for one day at the con: $35.00

Price of a latte at their cafe: $4.00

Price of a parking garage ticket: $7.00

Seeing Connor Trinneer sign Dominic Keating's "bum"...


Tuesday, March 30, 2004 @ 11:19 a.m. - Comment

@ - Comment

Fair, and Balanced

And then, there's Fox News.

They just lie. Outright.

Monday, March 29, 2004 @ 10:41 p.m. - Comment


Thanks to Chrisnull, thanks to Boing Boing, here's a link to a story on the municipality that bought the DMHO story.

Monday, March 29, 2004 @ 09:01 p.m. - Comment

Definition: 'robust'

(composed as an explanation to my sister)

Said of an implementation of a computing algorithm, it implies that the programmers who wrote the implementation were smarter than you are.

Monday, March 29, 2004 @ 07:57 p.m. - Comment

You're Fired!

Well, if you're a piece of pottery, I guess...

Monday, March 29, 2004 @ 07:16 p.m. - Comment

My Kind of Church...

Courtesy of my webuddy Elli, a link to...

Cumming First United Methodist Church.

Monday, March 29, 2004 @ 06:37 p.m. - Comment

The New York Times

was kind enough to print, one of the Flutterbarians was kind enough to link, and Google was kind enough to keep you from having to register to read (:-) excerpts from the testimony in the Supreme Court Pledge of Allegiance case (and yes, Polly; you spelled it right :-).

Monday, March 29, 2004 @ 01:23 p.m. - Comment

More great FindLaw:

Playing Paintball While Muslim

Sunday, March 28, 2004 @ 02:25 p.m. - Comment

One nation...

under God?

Michael Newdow doesn't think so. He's an atheist, you see, and also a lawyer. And though he'd never argued a case in court before in his life, he was granted permission to appear pro se in front of the Supreme Court of the United States to argue that his 9 year old daughter should not be forced daily to hear that he is wrong not to believe in God...

by having to recite the Pledge of Allegience in it's current (modified) form.

Findlaw has an absolutely excellent explanation of why he is right, and why you should support him even if *you* *do* believe in the Judeo-Christian deity.

Sunday, March 28, 2004 @ 02:18 p.m. - Comment

I guess I must be the perfect man...

My friend Kaleena has a pie chart posted on her (warning, sillyass Geocities popups ahead) website, and I can't see any of her annotations I can't live up to...

Saturday, March 27, 2004 @ 12:09 a.m. - Comment

What *was* W Thinking?

He's arguing *our* side, now?

(Remember, the answer to 'What *were* they thinking?' is *always* 'They weren't.' Ask yourself: is that the president *I* want? Regime Change begins at home, I guess...)

Friday, March 26, 2004 @ 12:27 p.m. - Comment

All Things Considers...

Di-hydrogen Monoxide.


They did a *nice* job. :-)

Apparently, some *legislature* has gotten scammed...

Thursday, March 25, 2004 @ 04:45 p.m. - Comment


doin' a lot more these days than they used to.

Thursday, March 25, 2004 @ 11:58 a.m. - Comment

Stacking The Deck

Though I'll probably regret it.

I posted a new picture at HotOrNot, link above.

All votes welcome; those higher than 6 will earn bribes. :-)

Wednesday, March 24, 2004 @ 11:55 p.m. - Comment

When Harry Searched Sally

Hugo Mialon is a graduate student who spends a lot of time thinking about orgasms. This by itself is perhaps not terribly atypical. But Mialon, at least part of the time, thinks about orgasms in connection with his dissertation research.

Like so many before him, Mialon was led to focus on orgasms through the study of constitutional law. More specifically, he was thinking hard about the Fourth Amendment, which makes it harder to get a conviction when the police search a suspect without probable cause. As a budding economist (one who is just completing his Ph.D. at the University of Texas), Mialon asked all the right questions: How does the Fourth Amendment affect incentives for both criminals and police, and how do those incentives affect behavior?

Ok, I'm not quite following this, yet...

Tuesday, March 23, 2004 @ 10:03 p.m. - Comment

"What does this mean for Microsoft?"

It means Microsoft is *so* fucked.

But everyone knows what I think, there...

Close of business 2005, guys. Not much later. If anyone makes a bunch of money on the futures, remember, you owe me 5%. :-)

Tuesday, March 23, 2004 @ 09:52 p.m. - Comment

As I link to this interesting

piece at about threats on the president, I ask the Secret Service to note that *this is not a threat to the president*, since they clearly seem to be getting bad at figuring that out.

Note also that Google spiders me roughly daily, so this comment will get spread widely enough quickly enough that the black helicopters won't be able to erase it, should you decide to do something foolish anyway.

It's illegal to threaten the president. I don't think it's illegal to threaten the SS agents. :-)

Amusingly enough, this came up because I was link chasing Andrei on the Nikola Tesla *opera* I wanted to send a note to Spider Robinson on.

(My apologies that that's a front page link; if I can find a permalink, I'll update it.)

Tuesday, March 23, 2004 @ 05:29 p.m. - Comment

Stopping Power

My friend Alan sent me a link to the review of J. Neil Schulman's book containing the longest single interview with Robert Heinlein, at (whose order page seems to have died; did they go out of business?).

In the process, though, I think he missed the other book their by Schulman, Stopping Power, which is a very well researched and sourced treatise on why gun control is bad.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004 @ 02:25 p.m. - Comment

Courtesy of Flutterby

a link to what looks like The Thrilla from Manila, 2004:

Al Franken v. Some Conservative Guy ;-)

I haven't actually read it yet, but it looks good.

Monday, March 22, 2004 @ 11:54 a.m. - Comment


My sister is sitting next to me reading to me a screed about how far from accurate Buffy is on the topic. This engendered a search for the case which established Wicca as a religion: Dettmer v. Landon, courtesy of the Temple of the Screaming Electron, always a good source for interesting stuff.

Sunday, March 21, 2004 @ 07:02 p.m. - Comment

Oh boy...

does the News from Lake Wobegon from this week's rerun of A Prairie Home Companion resonate.

(I'd have linked the transcript, but apparently they don't transcript the monologue.>

Saturday, March 20, 2004 @ 07:45 p.m. - Comment

New e-Pinion: ePinions searching

Yet another ePinion: turns out they have a place now to comment on themselves (see how long I've been gone?): It's the search, stupid.

Saturday, March 20, 2004 @ 11:56 a.m. - Comment

New e-Pinion: Shrink Rap

Another Parker novel, this time Sunny Randall. Wrote it last year, for got to post it.

Friday, March 19, 2004 @ 11:05 p.m. - Comment

New e-Pinion: Bad Business

I read entirely too fast.

It's a bug, believe me. Most people get to enjoy the new Spenser novel for a week, or more. I had, what, 2 hours? Tops? :-{

It's good, though, and I probably pick up more reading it twice than people who read it slow. Go find out what I thought of it, then come back.

I promise, I'll start writing at least one a week. I can do that, right?

I went from 242 pounds to 212 in 3 months, I can write one review a week. (Lazy-Man's Atkins: the "no, I don't want fries with that" diet, for those who are wondering.)

Friday, March 19, 2004 @ 10:27 p.m. - Comment

For those of you who

who didn't *get* the side reference in the Earthlink screed below, read this. It was doom, all right.

Or this.

I am Mr. Cynic when it comes to large corporations, and I can testify here: 1) it was like that when he ran it, and 2) it sure as hell ain't, anymore.

Friday, March 19, 2004 @ 03:51 p.m. - Comment

It's not quite April 1st yet...

But if you're sitting around work bored, and you want to get dirty looks from people for laughing too loud... and you're the *least* bit geeky... it's likely you;ll find *something* amusing in 2meta's giant Internet April Fools collection. I'm in there. 1997. See if you can spot me. :-)

Friday, March 19, 2004 @ 03:42 p.m. - Comment

Long saga tomorrow...

on a Laptop hard drive upgrade, and yes, you *can* get Earthlink(/Verizon) CDMA Wireless to work on Linux; mine works just fine. If you need help with that, click the comment link and ask.

Thursday, March 18, 2004 @ 01:41 a.m. - Comment

Courtesy of

John at genehack, the delightfully named O'Reilly Network piece What I hate about your programming language.

This is even funnier to geeks, in light of the ACM having taken a stand -- in the aftermath of it's publication of Edsger W. Dijkstra's 1968 paper Go To Statement Considered Harmful -- that it would no longer publish papers taking so assertive a stance on a programming style, according to the pertinent entry in The Jargon File

Sunday, March 14, 2004 @ 02:27 a.m. - Comment

Went bowling tonight

with Heidi and WCTQ. Well, ok; I didn't actually *bowl*... I was too busy taking pictures. They're now up on WCTQ's website; I had a bet with myself that he'd take about 30% of the ones I sent him, which in turn were about 50% of what I shot; I was right, though there were a couple I figured he'd run that he didn't.

I *wasn't* surprised, though, that he didn't run the one of Heidi.

But I will...

(I'll inline that as soon as I get it shrunk down below 288KB)

In fairness, of course, I should probably link the picture she took of me, and I'm gonna link the one I took of my friend Faith, just cause I like it. :-)

Saturday, March 13, 2004 @ 10:07 p.m. - Comment

Chrysler doesn't suck, after all...

If you have a Chrysler with the A604 4-speed electronically shifted automatic transmission, and it's giving you trouble (or even if it isn't yet :-), This web page is all that and a bag of chips.

Go there, print it out, take it to your favorite mechanic, and see what he says. I'm going to. (Mine's giving me trouble).

Friday, March 12, 2004 @ 05:49 p.m. - Comment

Sanity Breaks Out In Senate!

I'm quite proud that it was *my* US Senator, Bob Graham, who's advanced a bill in the current Congress to amend the wildly misnamed Help America Vote (the way *we* want them to, whether they like it or not) Act, to require a voter-verifiable paper ballot.

WUSF-FM mentioned this in the last two days in a local news segment during ATC, but mischaracterized it as a 'receipt'; I'll chastise them later.

If you're on this horse -- and if you aren't, why the hell *not*? -- call the Senator's office at (202) 224-3041 and tell them you support S.1980. I'm told they're re-drafting it at the moment, but the call still can't hurt.

Friday, March 12, 2004 @ 10:46 a.m. - Comment

Flesh Public Library

It's named after someone.

The URL had the expected unexpected side effect.

The part *I* personally find amusing is that they didn't *fix* the dumbass filtering programs, they just changed the domain name. Losers.

Thursday, March 11, 2004 @ 12:51 p.m. - Comment

W is

on the campaign trail...

Wednesday, March 10, 2004 @ 09:52 p.m. - Comment


April Fool's Day is coming. Don't be a fool.


Wednesday, March 10, 2004 @ 07:17 p.m. - Comment

Yes, Virginia, there *is* a Black AmEx card.

My, but I love Snopes.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004 @ 07:12 p.m. - Comment

I just luuuurve

satire that you know the intended recipient won't get.

Monday, March 8, 2004 @ 12:33 a.m. - Comment

I'm not sure why...

The Family Circus was the book that attracted all the attention, but apparently it's the place to post parody reviews.

If you find these amusing, well, I'm not exactly certain *what* that says about you... :-)

Sunday, March 7, 2004 @ 01:46 p.m. - Comment

I see here

that Bubba The Unemployed Sponge has gotten his employers in trouble, and that the chairman of Clear Channel Radio has gone up in public to apologize.

Now, does anyone here believe for a minute that any of the following things is true?

  • The PTB at Clear Channel *failed* to ever listen to Bubba to see what he was doing.
  • The *advertisers* had no idea what they were paying to be advertised on.
  • Clear Channel management didn't sit down and say "well, we'll eventually have to yank him and apologize, but the money we'll make off having the raunchiest morning show in the market in the meantime will more than make up for the salary and fines we'll have to pay."

Hypocrites. They're not 'sorry' at all; just as they knew they would, they made millions off of Bubba.


Sunday, March 7, 2004 @ 12:29 p.m. - Comment

I was misinformed

People are shorting SCOX.

Sunday, March 7, 2004 @ 12:13 p.m. - Comment

If Parker wrote smut

It would read like this.

Ghod, I love parody. Pastiche on parody is even better.

Saturday, March 6, 2004 @ 12:05 a.m. - Comment

Happy Birthday!

It was March 5, 1994 -- exactly a decade has passed since immigration attorneys Canter and Siegel sent out that fateful message:

Green Card Lottery- Final One?

Reports indicate that the lawyers weren't all that scrupulous anyway; they've since lost their licenses.

Spam is ten.

Friday, March 5, 2004 @ 11:44 p.m. - Comment

No, it is *not*

especially likely that good head will give you (or someone you, presumably, love) cancer

Friday, March 5, 2004 @ 04:43 p.m. - Comment

In Defense of Marriage

I have to agree with the Religious Right, this whole strictly biblical marriage amendment sounds like a pretty decent deal...

Reminds me of the Dr Laura screed that ended up in a West Wing Episode. ( Thanks to Mark Morford's (Semi-)Daily Rant. )

Friday, March 5, 2004 @ 11:13 a.m. - Comment

Nice to know I'm not the only pedant in the world

Commentors at Sgt Stryker bitch about Hollywood screwing up on militariana.

Friday, March 5, 2004 @ 12:11 a.m. - Comment

Have I mentioned lately

that Earthlink is not my favorite corporation?

I *so* can't wait until Charles Brewer's noncompete expires.

Wednesday, March 3, 2004 @ 03:56 p.m. - Comment

Review: For Us, The Living -- A Clean Sweep

"You must keep it on the market until sold."

That's Heinlein's Fifth Law of commercial writing.

Robert James wrapped his afterword to Robert A Heinlein's first -- and last -- novel with it, and I cannot do any better to open my review.

I'm widely known to be a rabid fan of both the Admiral and his unofficial protege, Spider Robinson, who wrote the foreword, and even as a fan, I can understand entirely those who assert that For Us, The Living (the title taken from Lincoln's Gettysburg Address) is not by any means the Master's best work.

But you wouldn't *expect* it to be. Most writers don't come out of the gate with their best work. Even Tom Clancy's The Hunt For Red October, while an excellent novel, even these 20 years later, does not quite measure up to some of his followups (like my favorite, Without Remorse).

It's been widely reported that many of the recurring themes to be seen in later Heinleiniana will be found in their nascent form in this book, and indeed, you can see the seeds of Coventry, Revolt in 2100, "If This Goes On--", Methuselah's Children, and most of the rest of the future history in this tale of 1930's Navy pilot Perry Nelson who (though an amazingly lame deus ex machina :-) ends up in 2086, adopted by beautiful professional dancer Diana No_Last_Name_but_lots_of_numbers.

But for me, there were three aspects of this book that stood out head and shoulders and which seem not to be being mentioned by anyone else I've read on the issue.

1) It's surprising how many of the nails Spider likes to hammer on in his writing, which Robert typically did *not* explicitly mention (but more let you figure out for yourself, as Spider did), he *does* hammer on in this book, often in almost *exactly* the words that Spider later used. Spider? Are you *sure* you only got to see this book last August? :-)

2) If you ever read Coventry, and wondered what would have *happened* to David MacKinnon had he *not* chosen to be sent to Coventry, this book will tell you. In fairly great detail. It's sort of comforting, actually; it's a world I think I could live in... except that it doesn't address, as Utopian novels usually don't, that annoying thing where we don't seem to *get as much done* when we don't have an enemy. Enemies are fairly scarce in Utopia stories.

3) It's amazing how much of the 'history' of the interregnum *seems to be written about right now*. I haven't decided who's Scudder: Spider (and my boss) think it's Cheney; I'm voting for Ashcroft, myself. Frighteningly prescient. We *are* living in the crazy years. Anyone wanna float a constitutional amendment?

In any event, required reading for any "true" Heinlein fan; for everyone else, don't start here. Try The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, Friday, or The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress.

Or, heck, any of the juve's; Have Space Suit, Will Travel still holds up marvellously for me, 32 years (and 8 or 10 readings) after I first picked it up.

If you do buy it, buy it now, at full hardcover price, in a small bookstore: earnings from the sale of the novel will go, through the estate, to fund The Robert A. and Virginia Heinlein Prize for Accomplishments in Commercial Space Activities. See for more.

[ This was the text of my review to e-Pinions for this book. I hit "Continue" and it barfed; we'll see if it's allowed to post; if not, you heard it here first. Idiots. ]

Tuesday, March 2, 2004 @ 09:38 p.m. - Comment

For Us, The Living

It's a quote from Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, and it resonated for Robert A Heinein back in 1938 when he wrote his first novel, unpublished until this month.

It is, as several reviewers have noted, not really his best work, as might be expected from a first novel. But if you're a Heinlein fan, you pretty much have to go buy this book. Remember; the authorial profits go through the estate to the Heinlein Society Prize Fund, to promote space travel.

Oh, and don't buy it from Amazon, or even Borders or Barnes (though I did); buy it through a small bookstore. They need all the help they can get.

Full review to follow after I've had time to let the fisrt two readings settle.

Sunday, February 29, 2004 @ 01:42 p.m. - Comment

Happy First Birthday

to all those 8 year olds born on February 29th, 1996.


[ Um, "oops". The 2000 exception goes the other way; there *was* a 29 Feb in 2000, where there shouldn't have been one.

Sunday, February 29, 2004 @ 01:29 p.m. - Comment

Why Your Wife Won't Have Sex With You

Cause she ate some wedding cake?

Thursday, February 26, 2004 @ 03:40 p.m. - Comment

He buys his applesauce in 6-packs?

It's all because of the gays and lesbians getting married! I know it is. And I bet if you looked at your own marriages (those of you in breeder partnerships), you too would see these cracks appearing in the strong facade of your relationship. We're all falling apart. Clearly, the institution of marriage needs protecting. I can't take much more of this.

Thursday, February 26, 2004 @ 03:25 p.m. - Comment

Those evil, evil formatters

A Salon piece, via Dan Gillmor, about training and real life at a computer support outsourcer, whom I'll bet is Sykes, though all names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004 @ 10:35 p.m. - Comment


321 Studios lost in court!

Why is that a 'yay'?

Cause if they win in the *appeals* court; it's precedental. I'd actually like to seem them lose there, too, for reasons which should be intuitively obvious to... well, anyone who reads *me* on a regular basis. :-)

Monday, February 23, 2004 @ 11:01 a.m. - Comment

Another cuppa

for Fiona: Sun opening Java? Not likely, says ESR.

Sunday, February 22, 2004 @ 09:21 p.m. - Comment

Well, there goes an entire Saturday

Note to self: when the remote's in friggin Havana, leave the house earlier.


Saturday, February 21, 2004 @ 04:38 p.m. - Comment

A really well written analysis of

what "happened" to Bare Naked Ladies.

I missed it; I don't follow music, I just listen to it.

Friday, February 20, 2004 @ 11:05 a.m. - Comment

For those who *didn't* think

Amerika was quite a police state yet, ask Dudley Hiibel, who was arrested for failing to show his 'papers' to a cop.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004 @ 11:42 p.m. - Comment


for closed captioning?!?

( thanks to Boing Boing )

Wednesday, February 18, 2004 @ 11:36 p.m. - Comment

I see Betty Dodson

has some competition...

Wednesday, February 18, 2004 @ 10:32 p.m. - Comment

Unclear on the concept:

Spotted in my referer logs: sexy nude women for kids under 12 to see pictures of them and wont be blocked.

-10 points: no apostrophe
-10 points: bad construction
+15 points: wants them to be *sexy* nude women.


Wednesday, February 18, 2004 @ 09:20 p.m. - Comment

Aw, crap

Apparently, the rumors that the BMW 1-series would be a re-badged Mini (which, oddly, I wouldn't have objected to) are false.

It's more of this flowy, goopy crap that everyone hates but BMW are going along with, anyway. The morons. They'll learn. Like with Microsoft, you heard it here first.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004 @ 10:43 a.m. - Comment

It's amazing, sometimes,

the old friends you run into on the web... with their own domain name... and decent photography... who turn out to have turned into writers. Though given how literate and eloquent Cathy was when she was 15 (and I was 21), I suppose I shouldn't be all that surprised.

I'm guessing her dad wouldn't think I was too old for her now...

Tuesday, February 17, 2004 @ 11:18 p.m. - Comment

Even More Evidence

to support my corporations suck rant.

[ thanks to Alan ]

Tuesday, February 10, 2004 @ 01:37 p.m. - Comment

Phil Greenspun hits it

Java is the SUV of programming languages.

[ This one is mostly for fiona, though I don't know she actually reads me these days. ]

Tuesday, February 10, 2004 @ 01:10 p.m. - Comment

What too much religion will do for you...

Remember the "John 3:16 guy"?

He went nutsabago.

Too much religion? Too much TV? Whatever...

Monday, February 9, 2004 @ 09:10 p.m. - Comment

Why people ranting about

why certain programming languages are not their favorite is not my favorite thing.

Read the comments...

Monday, February 9, 2004 @ 12:54 p.m. - Comment

Lose Stuff Much?

I thought my sister was just trying a polite way to tell me I'd left something at the house, but no, <voice type="announcer">she was trying to tell me about the great new Internet-powered way to get your stuff bak, er, um, "back"</voice>.

Sunday, February 8, 2004 @ 07:04 p.m. - Comment

Ghod, I love columnists.

Absolutely the last word on Janet Jackson's right tit.

Thursday, February 5, 2004 @ 08:02 p.m. - Comment


Kelsey. :-)

Wednesday, February 4, 2004 @ 11:52 p.m. - Comment

Oh... *that's* where the traffic is coming from...

Yes, it was real boobie, yes, Justin's probably in trouble, no, IMHO Janet did *not* know it was coming (the argument the press is using is that she was wearing a "tassel". You know, a pastie. :-)

It wasn't, it's a piece of jewelry, as is clearly visible at Ron Diaz' Playas Party website, where, unsurprisingly, you get to see the iso footage from that camera, which, unsurprisingly, leaked almost immediately. The cameraman -- and this is why he works for the networks -- bounced in on the closeup, damned near instantaneously.

[ Update: apparently, the audience (or at least, the half with a penis) loved it but won't admit it, *everyone* is up in arms about how *HORRIBLE* and *DISGUSTING* it was -- *even* the people who loved it... and it was planned, after all. ]

That's some Aztec sun piece of nipple jewelry. She was almost certainly *not* expecting this. And local Tampa producer Bob Best, who's done the last 20 halftimes, in addition to the Olympics ceremonies for Salt Lake, certainly didn't know about it.

Naw; Justin just got horny. I'm waiting for a press release from Brit-Brit.

[ Further Update: PROOF! This incident was the most-rewound moment in the Super Bowl by TiVo viewers -- in fact, the most rewound moment ever since they started keeping stats. Hypocrites. ]

Monday, February 2, 2004 @ 08:06 p.m. - Comment

Or I would have

blogged the commercials, if Pitas hadn't been down all day yesterday. Hope you enjoyed the game and the boobie, Andrew :-}.

In any event: yesterday was Superbowl 38. And the ads were actually pretty mediocre. Chevy Truck/"Oh Shit" and Budweiser Clydesdales/"Donkey" were close to the top of the pack, though I'll have more comments after I watch the tape.

But the genesis of all this blockbuster Superbowl advertising, arguably the first Big Ad ever was 20 years ago, in Super Bowl 18. It was from Apple.

"On January 24th, Apple will introduce Macintosh.

And you'll see why 1984 won't be like '1984'."

Monday, February 2, 2004 @ 01:27 p.m. - Comment

Super Sunday

And it looks like we might have burned off all the crappy weather yesterday, too. I'll be at my private party with the 2100 lumen projector, 12 foot screen, and 15KW sound system; hope you have a fun gameday, too. :-)

I'll be blogging the commercials, as I usually do; keep an eye out, if you can't actually watch the game.

Sunday, February 1, 2004 @ 10:26 a.m. - Comment

"A Republic..."

"if you can keep it."

That was Benjamin Franklin's famous reply when asked, upon leaving the Constitutional Congress, what sort of government the Founding Fathers had bestowed upon us.

I do believe the GOP misunderstood him.

Sunday, February 1, 2004 @ 10:00 a.m. - Comment


No, no, it was just the State of the Union, and thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU to John at Genehack for locating this point by point, annotated factual rebuttal to that load of expletive deleted which president Bush dumped on our doorsteps last Tuesday night.

Wanna know what's *really* going on? Read up.

Thursday, January 29, 2004 @ 07:40 p.m. - Comment


Kentucky Fried... Fish

Tuesday, January 27, 2004 @ 08:54 p.m. - Comment

Why the government should not be

permitted to, well, govern: Creator of DeCSS off the hook, but are we?

Tuesday, January 27, 2004 @ 12:43 p.m. - Comment

Very rarely

do I wish my HotOrNot ship would come in as much as now.

So, either she won't want anything to do with me...

Or worse, I won't be able to put up with her. (I should have such problems...)

Monday, January 26, 2004 @ 09:32 p.m. - Comment

I am a major webstud

I went from 0 to two spiffy websites in one short weekend.

Bring me the finest muffins and bagels in all the land; I am a major web stud.


Monday, January 26, 2004 @ 11:36 a.m. - Comment

Oh, crap

Dean is apparently in favor of a national ID card.

This is a litmus test issue for me; in light of the demonstrated ability of the government to encourage capability creep wherever possible (appropriate name, isn't it?), I will not participate in such a plan, and I am *not* a terrorist.

But if that's really what he thinks, I'm gone.

Monday, January 26, 2004 @ 11:04 a.m. - Comment

Couldn't hurt you

to drop a note and say hi, Squirrel...

Saturday, January 24, 2004 @ 11:21 p.m. - Comment


more than you ever wanted to know about my close, personal friend, Al.

Saturday, January 24, 2004 @ 06:18 p.m. - Comment

Eat your heart out...

Ann Miller.

The raven-haired life long dancer, immortalized in film, on Broadway... and in the AP for the Rocky Horror Picture Show, dead at 81.

Thursday, January 22, 2004 @ 07:17 p.m. - Comment

Yet Another Reason Why

I'm glad I don't get laid much.

And women say men have all the power in the US. Bullshit.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004 @ 02:17 p.m. - Comment


Proof that I am not the only weirdo in town, thank-you-very-much.

Not Fooling Anybody is a site dedicate to those companies -- you've seen them -- who buy and move into buildings that were constructed very specifically to be ads for the chains who built them: McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Ponderosa, Taco Bell.

They've certainly never fooled me, and I'm pleased to see that I'm not the only one who's noticed this.

( Spotted at DaveDorm. Congrats on the new job, buddy. )

Tuesday, January 20, 2004 @ 10:29 a.m. - Comment

How to get lots of hits on your web page

Do something stupid, yet spectacular.

Say "y'all watch this".

Monday, January 19, 2004 @ 10:15 a.m. - Comment


See below about Delta CG.

Received, installed, tested...

Works just great. :-) Not quite as slow as I remembered, even. 68020-20 notwithstanding. Anyone got any 4MB 30-pin SIMM's? Preferably a complete matched set of 16?

Thanks to Luger, the seller, for his patience, and thanks to Henninger Elite Post in Nashville for, presumably, going out of business and not formatting the drive. :-)

Friday, January 16, 2004 @ 09:19 p.m. - Comment

Two different hotlines you could call

...if you were having problems with Microsoft software.

Friday, January 16, 2004 @ 01:47 a.m. - Comment

What would you do with 100 billion?

Some of the Flutterbarians (yeah, that's apparently what we're called :-) have some velly intelesting ideas, indeed.

Friday, January 16, 2004 @ 01:33 a.m. - Comment

Partway Gay?

For some teen girls sexual preference is a shifting concept

Alas, damnit, none of them prefer aging, overweight geeks. :-{

( Spotted at, of all places, Jerry Pournelle's mailbag, which, clearly, I need to start following again. )

Wednesday, January 14, 2004 @ 08:53 p.m. - Comment

18 year old boy, 15 year old girl

15 year sentence.

Oh, did I mention he's black, she's white, and they live in Georgia?

Isn't it nice we live in such enlightened times?

Wednesday, January 14, 2004 @ 02:49 p.m. - Comment

Even more stuff that's...

cool as schidt.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004 @ 01:27 p.m. - Comment


Spotted in my referer logs:


There are, *maybe*, 4 people on Earth (or, as Fast Eddie would say it, "Oit") who would be making that particular search... I wonder which one it was.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004 @ 01:41 p.m. - Comment

Oh, crap...

now Linux users have to worry about Lord Voldemort??

Monday, January 12, 2004 @ 12:26 p.m. - Comment

I've posted this before...

but I was reminded it of in an email I sent to someone, and this seems as good a time as any to blow my own... horn again, since no one else is doing it lately. :-)

Some years ago, before domain registration Went Commercial, the Department of Commerce (for no apparent reason) decided it was *their* gig to solicit comments on how that process should go.

So I wrote some.

Hopefully, as I noted then, you'll find them comprehensible, rather than compost.

Sunday, January 11, 2004 @ 11:49 p.m. - Comment

And the ends-of-a-era

just keep on coming.

The man-with-the-voice, Casey Kasem, retires today from his 4-hour weekly radio countdown show, American Top 40, after 32 *years* on that particular air. He's being replaced by American Idol host Jason Sechrest, and, according to this New York Times piece (which studio-local paper Contra Costa Times apparently paid to pick up), he's taking his Long-Distance Dedications with him when he goes.

Meanwhile, Ryan Seacrest, the host of "American Idol" on Fox Television, will become the new host for "American Top 40." The show's format will change, which means, among other things, that long-distance dedications will be replaced with interviews with musicians. Kasem said he was leaving the show to "really go after the No. 1 radio format, and that's adult contemporary," though one cannot help feeling that he is being put out to pasture.

On the air and off, Kasem is by and large a creature of compulsive habit. It is in his personality, he said, to be "extra careful." Every week, he works meticulously on his show, even listening to the final broadcast for any hiccup in his delivery, any phrase spoken too loudly. What he describes as a rare tantrum once found its way out of the studio, where the sound of his iconic voice reeling off expletives about U2 and a long-distance dedication about a dog named Snuggles became an underground radio hit of its own.

Kasem didn't know the blooper had been made public until 10 years later.

"I'm not proud of what I did, but it is funny," he said.

We thought so, too, Casey.

My sister-who-wrote-down-every-song-in-order in a book for *years* and I were going to track down his last show this weekend on local radio -- we haven't listened in years, as we got too old for pop music -- until I read in the piece that he didn't do anything at all different on his final show.

So I guess I'll stick with remembering what it was like, oh, ten and twenty years ago when last I listened. But I can still work up a tear or two without working too hard. It's funny, isn't it, how loudly we can mourn the death of something we haven't really given a damn about for years...?

I'd have put a link in this story to AT40's own website, but, typically for syndicator Premiere's parent Clear Channel Radio, the show doesn't *have* it's own website, though, also unsurprisngly, fan websites and books abound.

I can't do any better, I guess, than to close with the man's own sentiment, delivered more than 1200 times over, lo, these many years:

Keep your feet on the ground, Casey, and keep reaching for the stars.

And you keep your web-browser pointed right where it is. :-)

Sunday, January 11, 2004 @ 11:15 a.m. - Comment

Holy Broadcast, Batman!

AudioVault -- five- to six- figures.

Rivendell... priceless.

It's hard to productively mix Christianity and business. I think this is an *admirable* approach to a project by Salem, and my hat is off to them.

Friday, January 9, 2004 @ 03:15 p.m. - Comment

Did his ass really

get infected, Coach?

It's an intriguing question... if you have the balls to ask it.

Friday, January 9, 2004 @ 03:09 p.m. - Comment

Even before

we had flying cars...

one comp'ny promised

to send you to Mars

Burma Shave.

Friday, January 9, 2004 @ 01:01 p.m. - Comment

An indepth overview of

Mac OS/X, linked mostly cause I want to read it later, and don't want to forget where it is. :-)

Thursday, January 8, 2004 @ 04:17 p.m. - Comment

And this is my other daughter,


(I simply cannot beat the head written by my source for this story, SFGate's newsletterist Mark Morford.)

Wednesday, January 7, 2004 @ 04:42 p.m. - Comment

It was twenty years ago today...

Sergeant Stallman taught the band to play.

Me'at is off to the Dyuke. We often take issue with him, but global-scale change *requires* hard-liners.

Monday, January 5, 2004 @ 02:35 p.m. - Comment

Preliminary Investigation Were Started

Note: the following email, which you may get, or have gotten? Not real. :-)

Ladies and Gentlemen, Downloading of Movies, MP3s and Software is illegal and punishable by law.

We hereby inform you that your computer was scanned under the IP . +The contents of your computer were confiscated as an evidence, and you will be +indicated. You get the charge in writing, in the next days. In the Reference code: #4958, are all files, that we found on your computer.

The sender address of this mail was masked, to protect us against mail bombs.

- You get more detailed information by the Federal Bureau of Investigation -FBI-
- Department for "Illegal Internet Downloads", Room 7350
- 935 Pennsylvania Avenue
- Washington, DC 20535, USA
- (202) 324-3000

Yes, that is the FBI's real phone number: yes, they do know about it; no, don't call them; no, you're not in trouble.

Saturday, January 3, 2004 @ 04:26 p.m. - Comment

Ok, that's two

attractive women who laugh at my jokes whom I've scared off within one month.

Clearly, I am doing something wrong.

I promise never to be enthusiastic again, really.

Friday, January 2, 2004 @ 02:01 p.m. - Comment

But even if Linux is *there*...

you might not hear about it. And this is A Good Thing.

Friday, January 2, 2004 @ 10:52 a.m. - Comment



I've said it before -- for almost 4 years now -- but I'll reiterate, just so we're clear: If Microsoft is still in business at all by close of business 2005, the company will look nothing whatever like it does now.

Friday, January 2, 2004 @ 10:22 a.m. - Comment

Pushing The Envelope

Miserable pun, but it really is amazing what the USPS will deliver.

Friday, January 2, 2004 @ 12:20 a.m. - Comment

Happy New Year


I mean, hell, it can't help but be better than last year, right?

And, thanks to a web-searcher this morning, if you needed a new year's resolution, here's one.

Thursday, January 1, 2004 @ 12:33 p.m. - Comment

I've never really known why

they call it "First" Night -- it's the last night.

It's still fun, though, and doesn't require you to drink anything that would preclude you driving home safely. But do check your tag sticker and your taillights before going out.

We'll be watching the fireworks at midnight from a friend's conveniently located pier in Snell Isle; thanks, Larry. :-)

Tuesday, December 30, 2003 @ 07:58 p.m. - Comment

I have been predicting

in these 'pages', for some time now, that if Micro$oft survives until the close-of-business 2005 at *all*, it won't look anything like it does now.

Now comes along what might be the first nail in that coffin: Their numbers were reportedly *flat* last quarter. Now, since they've been playing games the numbers for years -- the fact that their stock price has continued to rise (in general) has been due to the fact that their stock price was rising, which is just as circular as you think it is.

But if even those games weren't good enough, things might be much worse than I thought they were.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003 @ 11:03 a.m. - Comment

Ok, now

... this shit is cool.

Note that these people will make you *any bumper sticker you want* for the same price (or substantially cheaper in quantity -- 100/$89).

Monday, December 29, 2003 @ 07:32 p.m. - Comment

Backend problems threaten VoIP

Didn't I just rant last month the free ride couldn't go on forever?

(On re-reading this piece, I see that they're actually talking about interoperability difficulties betwixt the many pseudo-telcos doing this, which isn't really actually what I ranted about. But it's still a fit topic to rant about. :-)

Monday, December 29, 2003 @ 11:03 a.m. - Comment

Information wants to be


Wikipedia needs help. Go slap 'em a fin.

(Clearly, Wikipedia is the shit; their Paypal balance is something north of $23K already. But don't let that stop you; they're great. Link, obviously, left out for the moment, not that *my* site is gonna Slashdot them... ;-)

Monday, December 29, 2003 @ 10:33 a.m. - Comment

Welcome to the

1964 New York World's Fair!

But I *still* don't have my flying car.

I was promised a flying car

Sunday, December 28, 2003 @ 03:28 p.m. - Comment

Hey... where can I find a

pizza near here.

Saturday, December 27, 2003 @ 11:20 p.m. - Comment

Here's an amusing one...

Google is playing doodle games with their logo, for the holidays, and apparently, a bunch of people are searching the engines (of doom?) for "google logo"...

which is bringing them to this 4 year old Metafilter thread wherein Jason Kottke and I debate whether Google's front page is Too Big, Too Small, or (my assertion) Just Right.

I know this cause a bunch of them are taking the self-link, which points here.

Friday, December 26, 2003 @ 10:34 a.m. - Comment

Best of the holidays

to (here's my big chance to piss people off :-) Alan and Liz, Mom and Pam, Chel, Ann, Michelle, John, Joanna, Angela, Brett, Doug, Pauline, Dave, the other Dave, and Jeannie, the *other* Dave, Beka, Noelle, Krystal, Billie, Patty, Heidi, Kathy and Mike, Fred, the *other* Heidi, Larry and Jo Lynn, Jim, Steve, Nick, Jamie, Amanda, Chrissy, Charlene, Mark (and whomever is his girlfriend this week)...

and Faith. Love ya', babe.

Thursday, December 25, 2003 @ 06:21 p.m. - Comment

The Christmas Price Index

... that's the price of 5 golden rings, 4 calling birds, 10 lords a leaping, and the like ... is up a record 16% this year.

I present this story as penance for forgetting to post a link last night pointing to the DoD's NORAD Santa Claus tracking site.

Thursday, December 25, 2003 @ 06:17 p.m. - Comment

7 ELEVEN has decided to stop

trying to be your parent, after 17 years.

Focus on the Family (Focus? They hardly even know us!) -- that organization for parents who don't know how -- is, predictably, incensed.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003 @ 06:17 p.m. - Comment

Yet more sloppy DMCA coverage

this time, from C|Net, who really ought to know better.

The piece, which discusses the *second* acquittal of Norweigan programmer Jon Johanson -- who was prosecuted effectively at the behest of the MPAA -- continues to promulgate the MPAA and RIAA's characterization of the use of such tools as DeCSS as "piracy".

DeCSS, the software too which Johanson wrote, unlocks the encryption applied to the video track files on a commercial movie DVD disk.

Notwithstanding the fact that Johanson wrote it so that he could play commercial disks he had purchased on his Linux computer (for which no commercial DVD player software was then available, the United Stated saw fit to make it illegal not only to *publish* the code, but to *link to it* -- a clear violation of the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

And clearly the program is *not* a tool for 'piracy', as that term of art is generally understood in the music and movie industry: commercial pirates -- people who are duping disks for sale for money -- are making image copies of the disk, intact, and burning or stamping copies, with no need to actually *open* the track files.

You only need to do *that* if you want to play the files. So, also clearly, this is solely a customer-control tactic -- the studios, at the behest of the MPAA, trying to force people to use only the player software *they* have blessed (which doesn't happen to run on my machine, nor Jon's).

So, finally and also clearly, the MPAA is lying.

I'm shocked. Shocked, I tell you.

There is one bright spot: the US Federal judiciary is, more and more, trumping such attempts to make improper use of the DMCA, and copyright law in general, to do things which they were never meant to do (but which make amoral large corporations happy).

Wednesday, December 24, 2003 @ 04:05 p.m. - Comment

Oh, crap.

BSE. WA. OMG. (Cause he said it best...)

@ - Comment

Mail Server Crash

For the ... 2 or 3 people who might think to look here: I had a mail server crash last night; tried to hotwire it and it wouldn't quite work. So it'll be running today, and your mail will trickle in. Those who really need to get in touch with me (cause, y'know, popular guy :-) no doubt have my AIM or phone number.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003 @ 11:19 a.m. - Comment

Can you hear me now?

No? You lousy bastards...

Monday, December 22, 2003 @ 04:28 p.m. - Comment

Why it's not good to be

a single woman in Texas...

Monday, December 22, 2003 @ 04:05 p.m. - Comment

Wal-Mart gets into the music D/L biz

Needless to say, they suck at it.

Monday, December 22, 2003 @ 02:00 p.m. - Comment

Merry Christmas,

Al Q'aeda wants to kill you.

Sunday, December 21, 2003 @ 10:07 p.m. - Comment

Well, everyone is *telling*

me, from EmergencyEmail to CNN, that we're *supposed* to have been at Threatcon Orange since, oh, about 1330 or so. But even DHS's own site says no, so apparently someone has their head up their ass.

Presumably, when DHS remembers that they have a web dissemination system, you'll see Bert over there turn into... Ernie?

Sunday, December 21, 2003 @ 02:23 p.m. - Comment

The Three Stages of Life

  • You believe in Santa Claus
  • You are in Santa Claus
  • You look like Santa Claus

Saturday, December 20, 2003 @ 02:20 p.m. - Comment

The New Netscape

Likely, the last Netscape, is out. As always, I recommend going to the Full Installer page, downloading the package file and installing from that -- assuming whatever browser you have now will permit you to download a file that big.

This is newer than 7.02, which I recommended last: apparently, Netscape, for whom 7.02 has always meant 7.2 in the past, have decided that now, 7.02 means 7.0.2. Idiots. Anyway, 7.1 is the newest, and if it's any thing like earlier releases in the 7 line, it's the shit. And it doesn't have lots of Micro$oft bugs and "features". Great popup killer, great anti-spam in the mail client.

And you don't *have* to register for the Nutscrape Network if you don't want to... just click Continue on the first registration screen, and Cancel on the second one.

Versions for Windows (with and without email), Linux, *and* the Mac -- go git 'em, while they last: Netscape wants out of the browser biz.

Friday, December 19, 2003 @ 08:34 p.m. - Comment

Wanna learn about economics?

Go to the EconLib.

I haven't pored over this place very deeply; it came up in my search (below) for the Law of Unintended Consequences. But it looks pretty cool.

If you're the sort of person who can like economics. :-)

Friday, December 19, 2003 @ 02:46 p.m. - Comment

There's this thing, see...

called the Law Of Unintended Consequences. It's rearing it's ugly head again in the matter of peer to peer file sharing, and by extension, the popularization of personal encryption.

Clay Shirkey has an excellent piece up on the topic, explaining how the RIAA is succeeding where the cypherpunks failed. Amusingly enough, they're doing it with the acquiescence of the government, even though the government are the people least likely to appreciate the results.

The irony is *tasty*.

Friday, December 19, 2003 @ 02:21 p.m. - Comment

Well who knew?

You can find *anything* on the Internet.

Dana Wheeler-Nicholson was on Boston Public last month, playing an FBI agent investigating a possible terrorist teenager (um, yeah).

It reminded me of her delightful turn back in (oh my *Ghod*, was that) 1985, playing Tim Matheson's wife in the Chevy Chase vehicle Fletch. She was off beat looking, but I've always preferred my pretty girls that way.

In any event, I dug out the VHS I bought back in 2000 but haven't ever watched, and watched it tonight. It was pretty good, if you like that sort of thing. She was, unsurprisngly, as hot as ever.

But *that* led to me doing the obligatory Googling. The real stuff is pretty thin on the ground, though she's done a lot more stuff than I realized... but what I *did* run across was A Fletch fan site. Pretty nifty. And as the site implies in a couple places; Gregory McDonald's original novels are *much* better than the movie.

Except for the lack of Dana. :-)

Friday, December 19, 2003 @ 12:53 a.m. - Comment

I'm trying to sell

ncurses to a software vendor, so they can stop maintaining their *own* (much more limited) package which is getting in some customers' way (and they don't much care).

Some research led me to ncurses 5.3.

Note two things about that webpage: the license is MIT, not GPL... and GNU carefully fails to mention the license *at all*. Accident? I don't think so...

Thursday, December 18, 2003 @ 12:07 p.m. - Comment

This guy is a


Strange bedfellows, indeed...

[ Thanks... thanks oh so much... to Doc (who needs a link from me like he needs another hole in the head) ]

Thursday, December 18, 2003 @ 12:20 a.m. - Comment

The National Past-Time

to archive a bunch of stuff. There's always more good stuff around the turn of the page... (including a couple entries I posted just *before* archiving, instead of the customary just *after...)

Happy Chris-kwanz-ukkah, folks.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003 @ 11:46 p.m. - Comment

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