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27 May, 2003

Nigerian EMail Conference

Register now for the 3rd Annual Nigerian EMail Conference. It will be held in November at the Abuja Sheraton Hotel.

Like most Nigerians, you're probably finding that it's increasingly difficult to earn a decent living from email. That's why you need to attend the 3rd Annual Nigerian EMail Conference. ... Registration is via a confidential money transfer.

Posted on 27 May, 2003

A Keyboard With a Keyboard

A cool idea: Prodikeys. If I had one of these, I'd never get any work done.

This interactive music entertainment device not only functions as a full-featured, ergonomic QWERTY keyboard but also comes equipped with 37 touch-sensitive music keys and accessible music controls for endless entertainment at your desktop. Coupled with the Sound Blaster audio card, you can explore a wide array of realistic instrument sounds and have non-stop fun making music right at your desktop.

Posted on 27 May, 2003

Miscellaneous Microsoft News

Just a few headlines from today's news. If I didn't know better, I might think a certain company is in trouble:

Posted on 27 May, 2003

Bonzi Buddy Settles

Bonzi Buddy. You've seen their obnoxious and deceptive banner ads -- the ones that look like dialog boxes. They are designed to trick novice users into clicking them to learn about a "security alert." In other words, this is a perfect example of Internet scum, something that is becoming increasingly prevalent.

According to this MSNBC article, the makers of Bonzi Buddy settled a lawsuit.

The maker of Bonzi Buddy software has agreed to change some of its Internet advertising practices as part of a settlement of a lawsuit that alleged it was deceptive, the attorney bringing the lawsuit said Tuesday. At issue are online ads that mimic Windows system warnings or tell users that their computers are "broadcasting" their IP addresses. The settlement, which was approved Friday in Washington state Superior Court, could have a ripple effect on other Internet advertisers who use such tricks to get clicks.

Here's the funniest quote from the article:

"Bonzi ... takes great pride in its Internet products and strives to maintain high standards in all of its business practices."

Yep, that sure seems like high standards...

This reviewer at Epinions offers an opinion about Bonzi Buddy:

The free version would be fine and fun for kids to play with, except he even annoys kids. At least 33% of everything he says is a request for you to buy new modules. In addition, Bonzi Buddy does it's dead-level best to take over your browser homepage and set it to Bonzi.com. He comes across like a friend selling Amway, and you'll want him off your computer just as fast as you want your salesman friend out of your house. My final recommendation to you is to NEVER download and/or install Bonzi Buddy. It is nothing but animated Spam.

PC Hell describes how to remove Bonzi Buddy.

* * *

And speaking of Bonzi Buddy, here's a humorous article from Broken Newz: Fans Express Disgust of Bonzi Buddiy in the Matrix Reloaded.

Posted on 27 May, 2003

Show and Tell Music

If you like weird music and strange album cover art, try this.

Hello and welcome to Show and Tell, a site that serves as sort of an orphanage for thrift store music and album cover art. Nowadays half the albums are coming in from other sources, but I like to think that they still embody the same spirit.

Posted on 27 May, 2003

Superbad

Go to the Superbad site and do some clicking. It's either completely meaningless, or extremely profound. I can't decide.

Posted on 27 May, 2003

Excel Tips From Amazon Reviewers

Here's an excerpt from an Amazon user review of Excel 2002:

[Excel] is a life saver when it comes to mathematical problems, I solved percentage, multiplication, additions etc... in this programme in a breeze. Just remember when you are writing a formular in a cell remember use this: eg.

=SUM(B1+A5)

It all works by entering the formula properly.

Using the SUM function for simple addition, of course, is not necessary. A  formula like this does the job:

=B1+A5

I bring this up because it seems to be a very common misconception among new Excel users. I've seen this sort of thing many times. I've even seen the SUM function used for simple multiplication:

=SUM(A1*A2)

Posted on 27 May, 2003

The Python Boy

From Yahoo News: Cambodians Flock to See Python Boy

Cambodians are flocking to see a three-year-old boy they believe was the son of a dragon in a former life because his best friend is a four-metre-long python.

Posted on 27 May, 2003

Obsessive Consumption

This site, called Obsessive Consumption, is very strange -- yet oddly compelling

I am Kate Bingaman and I am a second year graduate student in design at the University of Nebraska. Obsessive Consumption started on January 22nd, 2002 with the purchase of a green couch for my studio. I bought the couch at the Salvation Army on 27th street. The price was $30.00. I took a picture of it and kept the receipt and then thought I should do this for everything that I would buy for the rest of graduate school.

And she's doing it.

For example, on May 24th at 1:43 pm, Kate bought a 12-pack of Miller High Life for $6.89. It was purchased from the Gas N' Shop, at 1001 S 13th St. She rated it as "good," and also noted: "I bought beef for Richard, Justin, Box, and I while Box and Justin picked up pizza." And here's the photo of that purchase.

Posted on 27 May, 2003

The Work of a Mad Scientist?

This Anonymous Particle Reflector software looks like something a stereotypical mad scientist would create. This quote is a dead giveaway:

This is the most powerful tool in the history of cognitive science.

If your job is to create a good user interface, check it out. Then do just the opposite.

(via Muxway)

Posted on 27 May, 2003

Lower Price for Microsoft Office

Clearly, Microsoft is feeling the threat of products such as Open Office. They lowered the price for Office XP.

Microsoft is reducing the estimated retail price of FPP Microsoft Office XP Standard and of Microsoft Office XP Professional by approximately 15 percent. In addition, Microsoft is reducing the estimated retail price of the FPP stand-alone applications Word 2002, Excel 2002, PowerPoint 2002 and Access 2002 by approximately 30 percent. This means that retail customers will save approximately $80 to $110 (U.S.) on the estimated retail prices, depending on the product purchased.

And there's more:

The new Software Assurance features, which vary by licensing program, include specific benefits for Office customers -- in particular, employee home-use rights for Microsoft Office System products. With home-use rights, employees may install Microsoft Office Systems products on their home computers for both business and personal needs.

It's amazing what can happen when there's some actual competition for a product.

Posted on 27 May, 2003

Flavors of Music

If you're looking to buy some new music -- and you actually want the artist to receive some of the money you spend -- check out CD Baby's Flavors section.

It lists CDs by categories, such as:

  • Long Drives / Road Trips

  • To Have Sex To

  • Sleepy Sounds to Sooth You to Sleep

  • For Gym / Workout / Exercise

And many more. CD Baby specializes in music by independent artists.

Posted on 27 May, 2003

Waterfall Stamps

This site has a collection of something that has never entered my mind in 51 years: stamps that have an image of a waterfall.

It's an AOL site, so expect many broken links.

Posted on 27 May, 2003

Fire Safety

Helpful fire safety tips from The Onion. My favorite:

Remember: The old adage "Fight fire with fire" does not apply to non-metaphorical fires.

Posted on 27 May, 2003

1971 Sears Catalog

Scanned pages from the 1971 Sears catalog. Don't laugh... In 30 years, photos from the 2003 Search catalog will look just as ridiculous.

Posted on 27 May, 2003

Mildred's House Of Signs

A modest collection of sign photos. It's really Tracy Jo's site, but it's dedicated to her grandmother, Mildred. Some of them have some insightful comments. For example:

Odds are if you see the word "cocktail" on a sign, it'll be in a good font.

I think she's right!

Posted on 27 May, 2003