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12 December, 2003

Boxers On The Web

According to Web Undies, they're the "home of the best selection of fun boxer shorts and underwear on the internet!"

No doubt, they have a huge selection -- including this pair of "pledge of allegiance" boxers.

Posted on 12 December, 2003

Complying With The Can-Spam Act

If you think that the new Can-Spam Act (which goes into effect on 1 January) has a chance in hell of reducing your spam, read Ed Foster's GripeLog article: Happy New Year for Spammers.

Since it looks like we're going to have to live with the Can-Spam Act -- or, as I prefer to call it, the "Yes, You Can Spam Act" -- we might as well see what it's going to be like. Well, two days after Congress passed the law, I received my first spam purporting to be in compliance with it. So that gives us a place to start.

His conclusion:

So what's life with the "Yes, You Can Spam Act" going to be like come the New Year? Well, it's going to be pretty cool ... if you're a spammer. And if you're into spreading viruses, mobilizing Zombie computers, or orchestrating denial-of-service attacks, it appears 2004 will present you some wonderful new opportunities for hoodwinking e-mail recipients. But for those who'd like a more secure and more usable Internet, or even one that doesn't get appreciably worse, it looks like we're in for a very bad year.

My prediction: I will get more than twice as much spam in 2004 than I did in 2003. So that should push me to the enviable 1,000-per-day level.

Posted on 12 December, 2003

Help From Microsoft

Need to fudge your expense report? Microsoft will help. See: Excel 2003 Sample: XML File. It's described as:

This download contains sample XML data that you can use to create a fictitious expense report.

Posted on 12 December, 2003

Today's Pet Peeve

In the whole scheme of things, this pet peeve is trivial. But it's starting to drive me crazy. Here it is: The use of the word "welcome" by software.

Whenever I re-start Windows, I see a screen that says "Welcome." In the majority of cases, the first thing that you see when you install a new software product is "Welcome."

Welcome? Welcome to what? It's a piece of software, for chrissake! I'm not entering your house. There is no need to welcome me. Thank you.

Posted on 12 December, 2003

Some People Are Morons

At my Excel site, I keep a fairly extensive set of links to other Excel-related sites. I also have a web form that can be used to submit a new link to me.

Lately, I've been getting one or two spam submissions every day. These are links to sites for holiday rentals, passport services, wealth-creation, handwriting analysis, and other crap. They all seem to be coming from the same guy (who uses the name seo). They appear to be manually entered, not generated automatically.

It's not a big deal, because I just ignore them. But I wonder what this moron is thinking?

Does he think I'll actually post those links to my site, even though they are completely irrelevant? Does he think that I'll click on his links to check them out? Does he think that I'll actually buy anything from these sites?

Why is he wasting his time? Are spammer really that stupid? I guess they are.

Posted on 12 December, 2003

Microsoft Nixes Swastikas

From Reuters: Microsoft to Cut Swastikas from Fonts.

Microsoft Corp. said on Friday that its latest version of Office software inadvertently contained a font featuring two swastikas, and said it would offer tools to remove and replace the offending characters from the program.

The swastika, which was made infamous by Nazi Germany, was included in Microsoft's "Bookshelf Symbol 7" font. That font was derived from a Japanese font set, said Microsoft Office product manager Simon Marks.

"It was discovered by one of our customers a couple weeks ago," Marks said, adding that there was "no indication of malicious intent."

If you're curious, the symbols appear for character codes 126 and 134.


Posted on 12 December, 2003

Blondie Gets Married

Some information about the Blondie comic strip.

Everyone knows Blondie. More than 2,000 newspapers publish the comic strip in fifty-five countries and thirty-five languages. The "Dagwood Sandwich" has made its way into Webster's New World Dictionary. Blondie Gets Married presents twenty-seven drawings, classic examples of Chic Young's much-loved creative wit, selected from the gift of 150 works by Jeanne Young O'Neil, the artist's daughter.

I will admit that Blondie is one of about a dozen comic strips that I read every day.

Posted on 12 December, 2003

Test Your Etiquette Awareness

Take this 13-item test to see how much you know about etiquette.

I missed 7 out of 13, so I guess I'll need to attend one of their etiquette seminars.

Posted on 12 December, 2003

Dealing With Snow

Lots of interesting information about snow: Have Snow Shovel, Will Travel (a history of snow removal).

Early attempts at snow control simply involved citizens going into the streets to level the drifts for sleigh traffic. Ordinances in many cities required homeowners to clear their sidewalks of snow, but snow removal was not yet practiced on a citywide basis. In order for residents to travel by carriage, or for merchants to receive goods (and customers), they were responsible for clearing their own streets. Snow shovelers were frequently hire to do this for them. As a result, wintertime travel in the early 1800s was still mostly by foot.

(via Incoming Signals)

Posted on 12 December, 2003

Bond Mini-Cars

Photos of some very strange-looking vehicles.

Sharp's Commercials, Bond Cars (and finally Reliant Motor Co.) produced a wide and diverse variety of vehicles and scooters between 1949 and 1974. At certain times during these years, other products such as the commercial vehicles, boats, power skis, trailer tents and even a roof mounted suitcase were investigated and produced with varying degrees of success.

Shown here is the Mark C, from 1952.

Posted on 12 December, 2003

Water Skeeter

Water Skeeter is another one of those useless Shockwave apps. Just move your mouse around and watch what happens.

Posted on 12 December, 2003

Dog Sled Equipment

Dog sled season is here. Go to Black Ice for all of your dog sled needs. They even have bumper stickers (for your motor vehicle, not your dog sled).

Posted on 12 December, 2003

Google Number Searching

Man, those Google people never stop. Now they've added search by number.

Parcel tracking IDs, patents and other specialized numbers can be entered into Google's search box for quick access to information about them. For example, typing "fedex" followed by a space and a FedEx tracking number will return the latest information on your package.

Posted on 12 December, 2003

Partial Symmetry

Another Photoshop contest from Worth 1000: Partial Symmetry.

The rules of this game are thus: Take an object, person, or animal that is not completely symmetrical to begin with and make any aspect of them completely symmetrical. Try to make it as natural looking as possible in regards to the rest of the image. (i.e. the entire image cannot be symmetrical, just some elements of it).

Posted on 12 December, 2003

Spam For The Holidays

From The Washington Times: Spam sours in holiday season.

The volume of unsolicited e-mail will spike by as much as 1,000 percent this holiday season, as unsavory marketers ramp up their spamming campaigns to prey on weary shoppers.

Between 80 percent and 90 percent of all e-mail sent worldwide between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day is likely to be spam, according to companies that scan and filter out unwanted e-mail.

Fortunately, we in the U.S. will soon have the CAN Spam act. Then we'll be rid of spam forever.

Posted on 12 December, 2003

The Halliburton Fiasco

From ABC News: Pentagon finds Halliburton overcharged.

A Pentagon investigation has found overcharging and other violations in Iraq reconstruction contracts worth $15.6 billion that were awarded to Vice President Dick Cheney's former company, two defense officials said Thursday.

Oh, I'm sure it was just an accident. Surely they've cleaned up their act...

The allegations of overcharging are not the first against KBR. Last year, the firm paid $2 million in fines to settle charges it inflated prices for repairs and maintenance at Fort Ord, Calif.

Posted on 12 December, 2003

Good Riddance, Casey Kasem

Casey Kasem, a guy who pretty much represents everything that I hate about radio, is being replaced (see CNN story).

"American Idol" host and DJ Ryan Seacrest will replace radio icon Casey Kasem as host of the weekly pop countdown show, "American Top 40."

Kasem has been the primary voice of "American Top 40" since 1970, best known for his long-distance dedications and relating the stories behind the songs.

Actually, I think he's best known as a guy with a bad temper and a foul mouth. If you've never heard the famous Casey Kasem outtakes, go here and have a listen.

Posted on 12 December, 2003

Noel Neill

Do you remember Noel Neill? She played Lois Lane in the original Superman TV show.

Noel Neill defined the role of Lois Lane over the last 76 episodes of the series and was easily one of the most beloved women of 1950's television. Neill's version of Lois was more vivacious and less serious than Phyllis Coates. In fact, sometimes, she and Jack Larson (as Jimmy Olsen) were simply comic. But, in an time where women were usually portrayed in the kitchen or vacuuming in high heels and pearls, Lois Lane was an independent woman who worked for a living, side-by-side as an equal, if not more, with her male counterparts.

She also had a cameo role (sort of) in the 1977 Superman movie:

Margot Kidder was signed to play the role of Lois Lane, but the producers were also careful to try to include members of the old cast. There is a scene, the majority of which ended up on the cutting room floor, which showed a young girl staring out the window to watch a young Clark Kent race the speeding train she was riding in. This was supposed to be a young Lois Lane witnessing her first super-feat. Noel Neill and Kirk Alyn played the parents of the young Lois who scold her for exaggeration. In the final cut of the movie, we see the young girl watching the speeding Clark, and get a glimpse of Neill and Alyn, but none of this is explained nor is either actor credited for their parts.

She's 83 years old. The photo here was taken in 1997.

Posted on 12 December, 2003

Less Than Helpful Excel Help

From Microsoft's Knowledge Base: You Cannot Add a Row in a Filtered List in Excel 2003.

When you try to insert a row in a filtered list in Excel 2003, rows may contain data that is not true to the filter clause.

For example, if you create a list of various numbers in a worksheet that is filtered to display only the rows that contain the number four, and then you insert a row, rows may appear that contain numbers other than four.

This behavior occurs because you cannot add a row in a filtered list in Excel 2003.

To work around this behavior, do not add a row in a filtered list.

(Thanks Bob Umlas)

Posted on 12 December, 2003

Getting A Ship Into A Bottle

Did you ever wonder how they get a ship into a bottle? Find out here.

The secret of getting the ship in a bottle is the masts. The simplest and most widespread way of inserting a ship into a bottle is turned back masts with a long thread running out the bottle neck. The mast has a hinge at the bottom, which permits the mast easily lie back.

The site also has a gallery with quite a few ship-in-a-bottle photos.

(via Iconomy -- she's back!)

Posted on 12 December, 2003

Search Engine Relationships

Here's a cool interactive chart that shows how the various Web search engines are related. I have no idea how accurate it is, but it's kind of interesting.

(via The Ultimate Insult)

Posted on 12 December, 2003