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16 December, 2002

Male Pregnancy

In the past, pregnancy was pretty much limited to females. But recent advances in medicine have changed all that. The Dwayne Medical Center at RYT Hospital has successfully impregnated a male. Read all about it.

If you haven't heard about RYT Hospital, you will. They're doing some ground-breaking work in other areas, including GenoChoice and some startling work with mice.

Posted on 16 December, 2002

Spam: Good News and Bad News

First, the good news. A spammer has been fined nearly $7 million in damages. The bad news: The victorious party is America Online. Story here.

Posted on 16 December, 2002

Calculating an Inverse Popularity Index With Google

Google has many uses. Here's one more. I used Google to find the "sucks index" for various phrases. This index consists of the number of pages returned for a search query that contains the phrase "xxxx sucks."

Here's an example for popular video game consoles. The obvious conclusion is that Xbox sucks the most. In fact, it sucks more than twice as much as Nintendo.

Xbox Sucks   1,450
Nintendo Sucks   629
Playstation Sucks   182

What about U.S. states? The results below indicate that New York sucks a lot more than California. And, despite its diminutive size, Rhode Island sucks a bit more than the much larger state of Montana.

New York Sucks   720
California Sucks   334
Rhode Island Sucks   27
Montana Sucks   20

Here's another one, a bit more thought-provoking. Does George Bush really suck more than Iraq, Osama Bin Laden, Clinton, and Gore combined?

Bush Sucks   7,180
Iraq Sucks   1,510
Osama Sucks   1,220
Clinton Sucks   690
Bin Laden Sucks   358
Gore Sucks   334

And yet another:

Microsoft Sucks   5,550
Windows Sucks   4,400
Linux Sucks   4,150

The leader seems to be George W. Bush. But the results are not conclusive (it could also include his father, and even others who are not related to him).

In my search for something that sucks even more than Bush, I found one entry:

Everything  Sucks   15,400

Posted on 16 December, 2002

Still More About "The Dude"

OK, this is the last time I mention Daniel Feussner. It's a link to the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club. It appears that "The Dude" was a member of this organization. The article probably tells you more than you need to know about this guy.

Dr. Daniel Feussner, classification "Software Development," Director of Operations at Microsoft, gave a Power Point presentation for his Classification Talk. He started at the beginning, identifying members of his family: his partner, Marcia Da Costa, who also works at Microsoft and is a gemologist; his mother, Beatrix, and his father, Siegfried, who live in Munich, Germany; his two brothers, Christoph, Daniel's twin, and Markus. Christoph excels in advanced drinking skills and has little hair, while brother Markus plays the didgeridoo.

Daniel was born second on May 6, 1970. In 1992, he got his first computer, and that set the direction for his life's work. His last haircut was in 1987. He likes Rock n Roll ...

After graduating from the University in 1993 and 1994 (It took two years to graduate!), his first job was to develop the Alta Vista search engine in '95. Later, he worked on bi-lingual software and taught at the University of Munich as an Assistant Professor. He earned his Doctorate degree in 1996 and in 1997, he came to Redmond. In 1998 he got a cat, and in 1999, he met Marcia. Daniel brought his UNIX knowledge and experience to Microsoft for linking to Windows.

Posted on 16 December, 2002

Photochopped Celebrities

This site has been making the rounds lately, and I'm not surprised. It's a gallery of 29 celebrity photos, manipulated so they appear as the opposite sex. If you like this sort of thing, you should bookmark the main page for Worth1000.com.

PhotoShop Contest is another site that features manipulated photos.

Posted on 16 December, 2002

The Singing Cat

Most singing cat Flash presentations are fairly lame. This one, however, is worth viewing because it features a song by Chris Rea (one of my favorite artists). It's called Christmas Winking Jeff and His Driving Kittens.

It was created by Phil Price, who also has a blog.

Posted on 16 December, 2002

Nigerian Spam Scam Correspondence

Chances are, you've received at least one of the "Nigerian Scam" emails (I average about 5-6 per month).

Here's a site that contains (supposedly) unedited transcripts of an email exchange with a scam artist. Even if this is completely fabricated, it's still very funny.

In the unlikely event that you are not familiar with this topic, go here to read about it.

Posted on 16 December, 2002

Feussner vs. Ralsky

Over the past few days, many people have been finding their way to this blog by searching for either Daniel Feussner (the ex-Microsoft employee) or Alan Ralsky (the Spam King).

Currently, a Google search for either "Daniel Feussner" or "Alan Ralsky" displays The J-Walk Blog at position #8. I have no idea how this site warrants such a high ranking in the search results.

BTW, a Google search for "Alan Ralsky" yields 1,060 sites. Searching for "Daniel Feussner," on the other hand, results in only 222 sites -- but I'm guessing that this number will increase quite a bit this week.

Posted on 16 December, 2002

Top-20 News Stories for 2002 -- Per Lycos

The folks at Lycos (yes, there are other search engines besides Google) analyzed their search requests, and came up with the top 20 news stories of 2002:

  1. Winter Olympics
  2. September 11 anniversary
  3. Chu Mei-Feng sex scandal
  4. War on Terror
  5. Super Bowl XXXVI
  6. Enron scandal
  7. West Nile Virus
  8. R. Kelly sex scandal
  9. World Cup 2002
  10. Singer Lisa Lopes dies
  11. Washington snipers
  12. War in Afghanistan
  13. Stem cell research
  14. Daniel Pearl kidnapping and video
  15. War in Iraq
  16. NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon divorces
  17. Aftermath of Anthrax scares
  18. Porn star Linda Lovelace dies
  19. Shock jocks Opie and Anthony fired
  20. 2002 midterm elections

Some of these seem very surprising. In particular: #3, #8, #10, #14, #16, #18, and #19.

Opie and Anthony?

Posted on 16 December, 2002

Disputing the RIAA's Statistics

In an article at the Boycott-Riaa.com site (RIAA's Statistics Don't Add Up to Piracy), George Ziemann takes a close look at the numbers provided by the RIAA. Consistent with other analyses, he concludes that downloading music is not a significant factor in the decline of CD sales. But, of course, the music industry is able to juggle their numbers to support their own cause.

Ziemann also declares July 4, 2003 to be "Independent's Day." Interesting stuff.

Posted on 16 December, 2002

Snow Crystal Photos

I've heard that no two snowflakes are identical. Living in San Diego, I don't get much opportunity to test this assertion, but these photos of snowflakes certainly tend to support the theory.

Posted on 16 December, 2002

Microsoft Security Updates?

When Microsoft offers a patch to one of their programs, I've learned wait a few months before applying it -- If apply it at all. Often, the "fix" causes other problems that didn't exist before.

According to this eWeek article, I'm not alone in my distrust for Microsoft updates. What really pisses me off is that Microsoft forces me to enable JavaScript in order to download a fix.

For example, Windows Update requires that users first enable active scripting and the automatic download and initialization of ActiveX controls. Both of these technologies, while commonly employed on popular Web sites, can be used to exploit various security vulnerabilities. Windows Update users also must have the security level in IE set to medium or lower, which would enable automatic downloads of some content and would allow the browser to take other actions without prompting users.

Others don't particularly like the fact that a "security update" is a sometimes just a disguised marketing pitch.

After receiving an alert from the utility, which is similar to Windows Update but delivers notices about critical security fixes only, the user went to the Microsoft site and discovered that the update was simply a pitch to upgrade to IE 6.0. "I read everything about the upgrade but saw nothing 'critical' about the upgrade," said the user.

Posted on 16 December, 2002