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14 January, 2004

Need A Bigger Disk?

From LaCie: A 1-terabyte disk drive called (unimaginatively) the Bigger Disk. One terabyte, by the way, is equal to 1,000,000,000,000 bytes (or, 1,000 gigabytes). The interface is Firewire or USB.

How much can you store on such a drive?

With this unsurpassed storage capacity, the LaCie Bigger Disk allows users to store nearly two years of continuous music and up to one month of non-stop MPEG-2 video1.

The cost? A very reasonable $1,199.

(via Slashdot)

Posted on 14 January, 2004

Style Invitational

I read an interesting post at Ed's City Lights blog about a "Style Invitational" contest by the Washington Post.

As it turns out, this is a weekly feature for the newspaper. And here's a link to 100 Style Invitational columns. I've only read a few of them, but they are excellent. There's enough stuff here to keep you entertained until July. 

And it's been going on for a long time (much longer than 100 columns worth). Here's how they described the column on its 10th anniversary:

Hard to believe, isn't it? The Style Invitational, which began as a disreputable little newspaper contest with crummy prizes and no sense of decency, has now become a disreputable little 10-year-old newspaper contest with crummy prizes and no sense of decency.

Posted on 14 January, 2004

Bush Approval Ratings

Here's the latest Bush Approval Rating chart, incorporating the most recent data -- a poll conducted between 9 January and 11 January (source: CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll). The chart shows the percentage of respondents who approve of George. W.

Following a low-point of 50%, the approval rating is beginning to creep back up to pre-war levels.

Now let's see how you feel.

Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president?
Don't Know
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Posted on 14 January, 2004

Sand Art

Watch Zand. Where sand is the medium, and an overhead projector is the canvas. Very cool.

Update: Thanks to Quasimike, here's a link to the artist's Web site. His name is Ferenc Cako, and his site is well worth checking out.

Posted on 14 January, 2004

More On Adobe's Anti-Counterfeiting Feature

Last week, I mentioned the new anti-counterfeiting feature in the latest version of Photoshop. Now this, from Wired: Currency Detector Easy to Defeat.

Anti-counterfeiting provisions in the latest version of Adobe Systems' flagship product have proven little more than a speed bump, but company representatives insist that including them was the right thing to do.

So, even though it's completely ineffective, spending development resources on a worthless feature is "the right thing to do." No wonder Photoshop costs so much.

Connor said that Adobe has been working with the central banks for several years, but that earlier generations of anti-counterfeit technology caused too many performance problems. The latest version of the software, he said, had solved those problems.

Yep, problem solved.

Posted on 14 January, 2004

Carpool Cheats

Here's a site called Carpool Cheats...

This website is dedicated to all those who abide by the rules and brave the traffic on our freeways everyday. Many of us who commute everyday aren't able to avail ourselves of the carpool (HOV) lanes for one reason or another. When I don't have passengers, I stay out of the HOV lanes and slog along at a snail's pace to get to work or home.

I've talked with hundreds of other commuters that are annoyed by those individuals that think they're above the law or better than the rest of us, or privileged... or something... and can consequently drive solo in the HOV lane.

You'll see lots of photos (and license plate numbers) of carpool cheats in action. The guy shown here seems to be verifying the number of passengers in his vehicle.

Posted on 14 January, 2004

Very Long Words

Here's a handy list of long words. Try to use as many as you can in your next business proposal. Here's a good one:

45 letters; a lung disease caused by breathing in certain particles) is the longest word in any English-language dictionary

The site has 18 other pages of word oddities and trivia.

Posted on 14 January, 2004

Mumford Time Machine

If I didn't already have too many photographic toys, I'd consider getting a Mumford Time Machine.

The Mumford Time Machine is a programmable controller and intervalometer for special photographic effects. It allows you to trip the shutter of your camera or fire an electronic flash at specific intervals or in response to events. These trigger events can be sound, light, motion, or electrical signals. A wide variety of sensors are available for use with the Time Machine.

Check out some of the cool examples at their site.

Posted on 14 January, 2004

Eating Meaning

Try the Eater of Meaning. Enter any URL, select a mode, and see how that site looks after it's been eaten.

The Eater of Meaning is a tool for extracting the message from the medium. Format and presentation are unaffected, but words and letters are subjected to an elaborate nonsensification progress that eliminates semantics root and branch.

(Thanks firq)

Posted on 14 January, 2004

Spam Poetry Contest

Yes folks, it's the first-ever J-Walk Blog contest. More specifically, it's a Spam Poetry Contest.

Official Rules:

  1. Examine your spam, and use the actual spam subject line to create a poem of any length.
  2. Post your poem as a Comment to this entry.
  3. Contest ends at midnight Friday (16 January).
  4. The most creative poems wins. I will be the sole judge.
  5. The lucky winner gets an autographed copy of Excel 2003 Power Programming With VBA (you can probably sell it on eBay for $30).
  6. Offer void where prohibited by law.

Example Spam Poem:

Here's a simple example that I threw together in about two minutes, based on a half-hour's worth of spam. Obviously, I'm expecting much better.


Rates are low!
Fresh offers JUST arrived
Top confidential transaction
For your cable box

Your Dr. says lose weight.
Do it like a champ!
Get paid doing it.
Your girlfriend will thank you

Au-pair looking for a job
Japanese girl VS Playboy
No more loneliness
Are you up to it?

Poem �John Walkenbach and Alan Ralsky

Posted on 14 January, 2004

New Excel Book Alert

Yesterday, I received my ten author samples of Excel 2003 Power Programming With VBA.

At 1,020 pages, it's my thickest book yet. Now I need to update my other web site, and make room in the garage for 37 pounds of books.

I remember when such a shipment was a major event. But now that I've done about 40 books, the excitement just isn't there. In fact, I haven't even looked at it yet. The cover is nice, though.

I may be writing yet another book in the near future. The contract hasn't been signed yet, so that's about all I can say.

Posted on 14 January, 2004

Monster Truck Ministries

Check out the Monster Truck Ministries, from Sweetlips, Tennessee.

Watch as JESUS crushes and destroys all of his enemies then finishes them off with the STIGMATA BLASTER. All in the name of GOD!!!

My favorite part of this site is the Cease and Desist Gallery, featuring letters from the 700 Club and the Jimmy Swaggart Ministries.

Posted on 14 January, 2004

Baseball In January

Last night I watched a baseball game: The Padres vs. the Mariners. It was a great game. The Pads scored six runs in the 9th inning in a stunning come-from-behind victory.

How can that be? It's the middle of winter. Every Tuesday night, a local TV station shows a re-run from the previous season (it's always a Padre victory). Even better, they edit out the boring innings, and have very few commercials.

And speaking of baseball. Use this Quiz Generator to create an online quiz dealing with baseball rules.

Posted on 14 January, 2004

A Simple Formula For Attractiveness

From Nature: An equation for attraction.

According to a Hong Kong study, the best way to judge a woman's attractiveness is to take her volume in cubic metres and divide it by the square of her height. The researchers call the figure her volume-height index, or VHI.

Posted on 14 January, 2004

Henry Needs A Wife

Yes, Henry would make an excellent husband. This guy lays it all out.

Surely, someone out there will have him.

My age is now 64, but my genetic endowment predisposes me to live, in good health, for at least one additional generation... I am a man that has a bald head, and a very big tummy, and I like to talk a lot... I am a very nice man. I very much want to share myself with a very nice woman.

Posted on 14 January, 2004

Abandoned Bikes In The Big Apple

Lots of photos of Abandoned Bicycles of New York.

New York has a lot of abandoned bicycles. I don't know why. Do people forget the combinations or keys to their locks? Do they forget they had a bike? Most of the bikes pictured here are pretty cheap bikes. Some of the bikes appear to have been abandoned long ago. Consider this ever-growing photo album a way to remember those forgotten bicycles.

Posted on 14 January, 2004

Those Adobe Lawyers

This is pretty funny, from Adobe's web site: Proper use of the Photoshop trademark.

Trademarks help protect corporate and product identity, and Photoshop is one of Adobe's most valuable trademarks. By following the below guidelines, you can help Adobe protect the Photoshop brand name.

First of all, why would anyone (except Adobe) want to protect Photoshop's brand name? Most people who have purchased this software feel like they've been ripped off. It's clearly one of the most over-priced pieces of software out there.

Here are some examples of correct and incorrect usage:

CORRECT: The image was enhanced with Adobe� Photoshop� Elements software.

INCORRECT: The image was photoshopped.

INCORRECT: The image was Photoshopped.

INCORRECT: The image was Adobe� Photoshopped.

And, remember: Trademarks must never be used in possessive form:

CORRECT: The new features in Adobe� Photoshop� software are impressive.

INCORRECT: Photoshop's features are impressive.

Who says the world doesn't have too many lawyers?

(via Attu Sees All)

Posted on 14 January, 2004

Free Usernames and Passwords

One of my biggest pet peeves are those sites that make you register before you can access the content. News organizations, such as the NY Times and LA Times come to mind. Most people, of course, just enter some bogus information.

Here's a site that collects name and passwords that anyone can use: Bug Me Not. So far, 59 sites have been "liberated."

Posted on 14 January, 2004