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Shein on Spam: Stupidity

Here is an interesting article. Not interesting because it's so right, but quite the opposite: interesting because the main subject, Barry Shein, is such an incredibly poor example of someone "fighting spam the right way" that the article is tainted beyond the point of recovery by his, i dunno, "crap."

Poof! Name that Movie

bnt.jpgThink you can name the movie you see to the right? Want to give it a shot, bucko? Go ahead, try your hand at "Invisibles" by Invisibles presents you with eight still shots from movies with all traces of flesh removed. All you see is costumes and scenery? Can you tell what the image to the right is (one of the easier ones from the 106th Invisibles challenge)? I got four out of eight (I wonder how picky they are on the spelling of things like "and" versus "And" versus "&"). Not too bad for my first shot, I think...

Legalities of Blogging

Beware or you too could get sued! This Washington Post article covers the legalities of blogging, and surmises that because most bloggers don't have a background in publishing, the laws affecting libel and the like are unknown to them. Ignorance does not make you innocent...


iConquer_screenshot_small.jpgiConquer is a pretty nifty little game of Risk that I've played off and on for five minutes at a time lately. At $12.99, it's fairly inexpensive, and is a great looking application capable of fitting on most Macs running OS X (beware early iBook/iMac users). What's better, the author recently presented at a BANG (Bay Area NeXT Group) meeting, and his slides are online.

Gullible Friends

Have any gullible friends (cough, ahem, Brad, cough) who aren't afraid of the Terminal (even though they should be, as this proves)? Tell them to run this:


foreach i (`cat /usr/share/dict/words`)
    touch $i

Tee hee hee. 🙂

Hacking XP

Could they make it any easier?

The first vulnerability is present in the Microsoft Windows XP operating system. This vulnerability can be exploited when a user simply lets the cursor hover over the file icon for the malicious MP3, or opens a folder where the file is stored.

Jeez… And people wonder why I run UotD (Unix on the Desktop). Y'know, Mac OS X.

Put Me On It!

According to SlashDot, the FTC is considering new legislation that would create a national "do not call" list for telemarketers. The legislation would also require telemarketers to have caller ID enabled and to limit the "hangups" that predictive dialers generate. There are some loopholes for charities or businesses you've bought from (i.e. my car dealer bugging me to come in for an oil change), but if it gets AT&T to stop calling me, so be it. Sign Me Up.

Scaling the Walls

rc_harness.jpgNo, that's not some kinky sex toy you see here...

Gabe and I went rock climbing yesterday. While it's safe to say he's quite a good deal "more monkey" than me, I did fairly well I guess. I think big feet are a minus, as is "weighing a lot" and having more upper body strength. For someone who types all day, I have surprisingly weak fingers. We climbed at Coral Cliffs in Ft. Lauderdale (ugly site, but not a bad joint all told).

“Unsolicited” is Right

Gabe and I were flipping through our respective spam corpuses (corpii?) today and came across some interesting statistics or examples.

The word "unsolicited" appeared in 144 spams, 0 real emails. The benign "trust" has appeared in 47 spams, 0 reals. "toner" is 181/0, but that one's pretty obvious if you've ever gotten those stupid ink jet refill spams. "success" is 0 for 98. "spacer.gif" is 0 for 317! "serif" has struck out 141 times and gotten no hits, but that pales in comparison to "font" which shows up in 13054 spams (but 288 valid emails, giving it a probability of 0.500). "cash" = 291 spams, 2 real. The best words, all with 0.010 probability of being spam? "usb", "", "beta", "cocoa", "moreinfo.fcgi", "maildrop", "phil", and "stupidity" (among a few hundred others).

Patent Schmatent

First Amazon patented clicking. Now, it seems, AOL has been granted a patent on instant messaging networks.

The patent (6449344), originally filed in 1997, and granted in September this year, gives AOL instant messaging subsidiary ICQ rights as the inventor of the popular IM Internet application. The patent covers anything resembling a network that lets multiple IM users see when other people are present and then communicate with them.

Some Accident!

Just a few days ago I finished listening to "Accidental Playboy" by Leif Ueland via iTunes (courtesy of It's a fairly interesting book written about one unassuming journalist's tale on the Playboy Millennium Search Bus. It's witty, amusing, and is a nice, light bit of non-fiction in the usual mix. Some parts were flat out funny, but I'm sure any lulls that existed may have been smoothed over by the fact that my brain can much more easily tune out an audible reading of a book than it can when I'm doing the reading. Now, back to "Twenty Years After," by Dumas. It's good so far (about 1/5 of the way through).

Proper Design: BBEdit?

bad_dialog.gifBBEdit is one of my favorite applications. I use about 1/10 of its power (we supposedly use the same percentage of our brain power at peak usage) because it typically follows good standards, stays very much "out of my way," provides keyboard shortcuts throughout, and so on. In short, it's a very good "citizen" of Mac OS X as John Geleynse likes to say. It's even got an animated dock icon when doing massive find/replaces or uploading files to FTP servers.


My friend Ron and I had a nice evening at Outback one time (nice = I got to eat steak). The time flied as we bitched about various women in our life, and how seemingly illogical they can be... y'know, guy talk. Sports, work, women, and steak. Guy stuff. Part of my goal that evening was actually to ask out a waitress named Michelle, and as I'd yet to do this by the time we'd completed our meals, I said "yes" to "would you like to order a dessert or coffee?" The waiter came back, we ordered (me a sundae, Ron nothing as they had poor coffee). Waiter Boy put the sundae between us and said "you guys are sharing right?" Uhhh…

XML? Phooey

Perhaps someone can explain to me just why in Sam's tarnation XML is so wonderful. Why? Because I'd really like to know. I feel like I'm missing the boat here, and that XML is something I've already seen and done. Except I called it "tab-delimited text" or something.

Pop v. Soda

popvsoda.gifWhich side are you on?

I've always said "pop." At Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week (hi Kelly, hi Molly) we pretty much figured out that the dividing line for PA was about mid-state (and vertical).

Anyway, it's "pop" darnit. Actually, whatever it is, it better not be Pepsi. For me anyway.

When you're all done with that, take the dialect survey. Be forewarned: it's pretty long and will have you talking to yourself like a crazy person.