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4 June, 2003

Welcome Porn Lovers!

Today, a popular porn site (not safe for work viewing) listed my Bill Gates Inbox spoof as their "surprise link of the day." As a result, this blog is getting lots of new visitors -- even more than when my Nigerian Email Conference piece was linked by Slashdot.

Welcome, guys. Take a look around, and then return to your previous activities.

Posted on 4 June, 2003

Another Worthless BSA Piracy Study

The Business Software Alliance released yet another worthless study that purports to measure software piracy around the world. I've already discussed some of the problems in these high-priced studies -- problems so serious that the results are virtually meaningless (see this and this).

This time around, they include a historical chart of global piracy rates.

So, the 2002 world piracy rate has declined from 40% to 39%. They claim:

Aided by considerable decreases since 1994 in the piracy rates of each of the six regions defined by the study, the 2002 world piracy rate of 39% is 10 points below the piracy rate measured in 1994.

The world piracy rate had decreased every year since 1994 until it increased in two consecutive years, 2000 and 2001.

But what they fail to mention in any of their reports is the margin of error. Given the fact these results are based on many, many assumptions, I would guess that the margin of error is at least in the neighborhood of 10%. In other words, it is not possible to say, with any degree of certainty, what has happened over the past nine years. Once again, they throw out some numbers, and expect everyone to believe them.

Here's a quote from the "Methodology" section of the report:

To ensure a high level of confidence, BSA member companies reviewed the results of the study and their input was used to validate and refine the study assumptions.

I wonder what that means? We'll never know.

Note to BSA:
You guys might want to read up on Open Source software. You know, the stuff that is free. It's actually possible for a company to purchase 1,000 PCs and not spend a penny on software -- and it's all perfectly legal. It just so happens that Open Source software is increasing in popularity throughout the world. You might want to take this into consideration in future studies.

Posted on 4 June, 2003

Clean and Proper

Today's worthless trivia. In many parts of the world, Mr. Clean is known as Mr. Proper.

(via B.A.'s Weblog)

Posted on 4 June, 2003

The Bimbo Awards

Read the news, and you'll find many candidates for a Bimbo Award.

The Bimbo Award recognizes dumb public comments made during the year. The criterion for nomination is that the speaker causes the listener to believe exactly the opposite of what is said. The award is a reminder that repeating negative words only reinforces the negative message as well as misses the opportunity to convey the right message to the reader or listener.

This month's winner is from Iraqui police captain Majeed Fayyad, who is part of the American effort to re-establish a local police presence:

"We won't take bribes unless there's an urgent need."

(via Bloggedy Blog)

Posted on 4 June, 2003

Famous Last Words

People say the strangest things when they're about to die. Here's an extensive list of last words -- by real people and fictional characters. A few examples:

"I am not the least afraid to die." - Charles Darwin
"Win one for the Gipper." - George Gipp
"This is it! I'm going. I'm going." - Al Jolson
"Why not? Why not? Why not? Why not? Yeah." - Timothy Leary
"Drink to me!" - Pablo Picasso

Posted on 4 June, 2003

Time Lapse Photography

The Playing With Time web site has a huge collection of time lapse images, in the form of Quicktime videos.

Watching a woman transform during nine months of pregnancy is pretty amazing.

This time-lapse animation was created from a series of still photos. The woman stood in a set position before each picture was taken. The pictures were digitized, transferred to PhotoCD, and aligned with a computer graphics program. The images transform gradually through the use of a process called morphing.

Posted on 4 June, 2003

Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia

This site, sponsored by Ferris State University, is guaranteed to raise some controversy. It contains hundreds of racist images from the past and present. But their intentions are good:

"Our mission is to promote racial tolerance by helping people understand the historical and contemporary expressions of intolerance."

In addition to the web site, there's actually a "real" Jim Crow Museum in Big Rapids, Michigan.

Posted on 4 June, 2003

Up All Night

This email arrived in my inbox this morning:

I stumbled into your website about 11:30 PM last night and it's now 8:40 AM! I just wanted to let you know I thoroughly enjoyed reading all you had to say and I even visited most of the other website links you put up. While I can't normally stay up all night, I want you to know I got a real 'kick' out of the site and certainly will add your site to my list of favorites. Thanks for a very enjoyable evening (night). You are doing a FINE job! Thanks!

So who needs artificial stimulants?

Posted on 4 June, 2003

Nigerian Scam Email Generator

Attention Nigerian scam artists!

Save time and effort. Use this handy Business Proposal Generator to create your emails. Your potential victims will think it's a personalized invitation from you.

Posted on 4 June, 2003

Folk Art in Bottles

Talk some folk art and put it in a bottle. The result: Folk Art in Bottles. Actually, the art is constructed inside of the bottle.

The earliest known examples of the art form date from the eighteenth century, but most seem to date from 1880-1930. The most well-known form is a ship, but almost anything that can be built or whittled has been put into a bottle and can be seen here.

Shown here is a clock built in a bottle, done by Carl Worner.

Posted on 4 June, 2003

Roy Clark's Fan Bus Tour

Take a photographic tour of Roy Clark's fan bus.


Here's a little secret: Anyone can take the tour. You don't really have to be a fan club member!

After taking this tour, I was left feeling a bit sad. Roy Clark is a great picker. He certainly deserves a better tour bus. That green carpet has got to go!

(via Incoming Signals)

Posted on 4 June, 2003

Email and History

An interesting article at Slate: The End of History

An enterprising historian writing about World Wars I or II can draw on the vast military records at the National Archive, as well as letters from Churchill, Roosevelt, de Gaulle, and others.

Twenty years from now, if someone went looking for similar memos by Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Richard Armitage, and Elliott Abrams on, say, the Bush administration's Middle East policies, not many memos would be found because they don't exist. Officials today e-mail their thoughts and proposals.

Posted on 4 June, 2003

The Not So Correct Dictionary

A list of amusing definitions and acronyms. A few examples:

BARIUM: v. What doctors do when treatment fails.

BIGAMY: n. One wife too many. Monogamy: same idea.

FINE: n. Tax for doing wrong. Tax: fine for doing fine.

SAAB: acro. Swedish Automobile - Always Broken.

Posted on 4 June, 2003

Asya Schween Self-Portraits

These self-portrait images defy description. Haunting? Disturbing? Like totally weird?  I like 'em!

Posted on 4 June, 2003

Airline Spoon Collection

As collections go, this one is fairly lame: Airline Spoons.

Welcome to the largest collection of airline spoons on the Internet!

Lame indeed. Let's put it this way. If I had a collection of seven airline spoons, then I would have the largest collection.

Posted on 4 June, 2003


For only $700, you can get your very own Eyetop.

Eyetop is the 1st fashion eyewear to integrate a high resolution screen. Enjoy watching videos, images and any other visual information whenever and wherever you like. Highly fashionable and designed for indoor and outdoor activities, Eyetop is simple to use. You just need any type of device equipped with a standard video output.

Posted on 4 June, 2003

Therefore, God Exists

If you need some arguments to prove that God exists, go here. You'll find 519 arguments.

This page is a resource for Christians and Christian apologists. Its goal is to create a comprehensive list of all the arguments for God's existence, used in discussions with atheists and other non-believers.

The arguments have been specifically formulated to make the underlying logic behind each one clear, and credit for the arguments are given wherever possible

It's actually a joke site -- or at least I think it is.

Posted on 4 June, 2003

Martha Stewart's New Magazines

The folks at National Lampoon published Martha Stewart's "Doing Time" magazine parody a while back, but it's even more relevant today. You'll learn how to make a wonderful shiv cozy, a very nice cigarette gift basket, and marvel at the beauty of making license plates. And, of course, you'll find many cell decoration tips.

And here's another: "Martha Stewart Living Behind Bars". This one has a recipe for jailhouse chili, instructions for polishing handcuffs and leg irons, and laundry tips for removing pest blood stains.

Posted on 4 June, 2003