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19 January, 2004

Full Election Coverage, Right Here

Can you tell I'm not into politics? I just now realized that today was the Iowa primary election. I thought elections were always on a Tuesday. In any case, it looks like some guy named Kerry won it.

Posted on 19 January, 2004

David Fokos Photos

Doing black and white photography with a digital camera is a challenge. If I ever figure it out, I would want my photos to look like those of fellow San Diegan  David Fokos. But I'm pretty sure David uses analog film.

Using long exposures ranging from 20 seconds up to 60 minutes, I have tried to filter out what I call the "visual noise" of everyday life in order to reveal the fundamental, underlying forms of our world -- it is these forms that I think we respond to on a visceral level. My long time exposures average out all the short-term, temporal events-the visual noise-within a scene.

I'm sure that viewing these on a computer monitor doesn't even begin to do them justice. This one is called "Missing Rail."

Posted on 19 January, 2004

Coming Tomorrow: Must-See TV Ads On The Web

I just saw this at Slashdot, a reference to a New York Times article (fake name registration required) : Television Commercials Come to the Web

Beginning tomorrow, more than a dozen Web sites, including MSN, ESPN, Lycos and iVillage, will run full-motion video commercials from Pepsi, AT&T, Honda, Vonage and Warner Brothers, in a six-week test that some analysts and online executives say could herald the start of a new era of Internet advertising.

They'll just force you to download it. You have no choice in the matter.

The new ad technology, from Unicast, an advertising company based in New York, invisibly loads the commercial while unwitting users read a Web page, then displays the ad across the entire browser area when users click to a new page.

At least the pop-up blockers will stop it, right? Wrong.

The company says the technology evades pop-up blockers, but the person can skip the ad by clicking a box.

I wonder how many people are actually going to sit there and watch these stupid ads? And I wonder if they have a way of tracking how many people watch the entire ad?

Accept it folks. We users are rapidly losing control of our own systems.

Posted on 19 January, 2004

Follow-Up On Nikki's Psychic Predictions

About a year ago, I posted a link to Nikki's psychic predictions for 2003. Well, 2003 is over, so let's see how well she did. There are well over 100 predictions, and many of them deal with celebrities -- which I certainly don't keep up with. But here are a few that jumped out at me.

MORE PROBLEMS FOR MICHAEL JACKSON - MORE LAWSUITS -  Bingo!

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER RUNNING FOR POLITICS - Yep.

SEIGFREID AND ROY HAVE TO BE CAREFUL OF A CRAZED TIGER - Yes they do

PRESIDENT BUSH WILL BOMB IRAQ - Wow! He did!

SADDAM HUSSEIN - HEALTH PROBLEMS - You could say that

BOB HOPE DEAD - Yes he is

All in all, she may have gotten about 5% of them right.

Posted on 19 January, 2004

Old Blues Songs

The RSS feed for the Internet Archives just told me that a bunch of old blues songs have been added to the Open Source Audio section. These are mostly from the 1930's, and feature artists such as Charlie Patton and Blind Lemon Jefferson.

You can't expect good sound quality, but the music is great (if you like old blues). If you want to sample one, try Geechie Willey's Skinny Legs Blues.

Recorded circa March 1930 in Grafton, Wisconsin. Don Kent says: "If Geechie Wiley did not exist, she could not be invented: her scope and creativity dwarfs most blues artists. She seems to represent the moment when black secular music was coalescing into blues."

Posted on 19 January, 2004

Peter Yang Photos

Photos by Peter Yang. I like his style.

Posted on 19 January, 2004

ET Corn Gods Language

I think this has been around for awhile, but I'd not heard of it: ET Corn Gods Language.

In 1985 George R. Simpson, a notable engineer and inventor, was "visited" by extraterrestrial contact. He was told that there was a hidden language imbedded in the English language and that it was his job to determine the decoding rules for revealing the hidden meanings and teach the world about the hidden messages. Simpson has worked eighteen years on this important project, first to uncover the code, then to document the decoding structure and translated messages.

Simpson found that, indeed, the hidden language has been encrypted in English words by "God". This is an unprecedented appearance of "God" - to teach mankind. The decoded words/messages are often corny, silly, fun, and something very boring; they are always brutally true criticisms of our present world.

The site lists the 12 translation rules, and provides some translation examples. Such as:

Man: M is 13. 13+66+66 = 145, Ne, book 16, letter P. A is 1, Roman Numeral i; N has Atomic Number of 7, G.
Therefore: Man = "Pig"

Windows: "IN DOS": i is Nine, N's cancel. N is 14, 1 is 01, backwards is 10, atomic number of Neon, backwards is No en. O is 15, 1+66+66+66 = 199.
Therefore: Windows = "95, AD 1995 End DOS"

There's also a game.

Posted on 19 January, 2004

Free Catalogs

Free catalogs from B&H Photo. Available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

I requested their Professional Lighting SourceBook a few weeks ago, and forgot all about it. Imagine my surprise when a book the size of a telephone directory arrived in my mail. It's much more than product listings. It contains lots of useful information.

They also offer a Digital Photography SourceBook and a Professional Audio Sourcebook.

Posted on 19 January, 2004

Beatle Boots

Get your Beatle Boots, direct from Liverpool.

The 'Cavern' boot is an exact replica of boots worn in the Cavern Club all those years ago. It is available in a choice of low or high cuban heel and finished in black calf leather or black suede.

If you prefer, there's also a Lennon Boot. And even something called a Winkle Picker.

Posted on 19 January, 2004

Quoting MLK

Happy Martin Luther King Day. Here's a quote:

"___ _  __ ____ ___ __ _____ _  ____  ____  ____
__ ____ ____ ____ __ ____ ___ ___ __ __ _  ____
____ __ __ __"

You'll need to fill in the blanks. Why? Because...

You need a license to quote Martin Luther King Jr.

The King family, you see, holds a copyright on the 1963 speech along with most of MLK's papers, writings, and images.

Publish or use these without permission and you likely will find yourself receiving correspondence from the family's lawyers, which begins: "You have been sued in court."

USA Today discovered this when it reprinted the full text of the "I Have a Drea-" oops, I mean The Famous Speech On The Mall - and was sued for copyright infringement. Gannett, which owns the paper, settled out of court for $1,700, plus legal fees.

Posted on 19 January, 2004

Cross-Breeds

Here are some photos of real hybrid animals.

The animals in this collection really do exist. The development of these animals was by either human intervention or a freak act of nature. A genetic (or biological) species is defined by the ability to produce fertile young. When individuals can interbreed and produce fertile young they are described as the same species. "Same Species" animals can interbreed and are descended from the same created "kind".

Another option: create your own cross-breeds at the Switch Zoo.

Posted on 19 January, 2004

Bagel Hole

This is an interesting site: Bagel Hole -- The center for information about low-tech sustainability for individuals and communities.

I found these items on the Miscellaneous Directory page:

Posted on 19 January, 2004

Jesus Movie Pack

This would be funny if it were a parody. But it's even funnier because it's for real: Jesus of Nazareth Movie Pack. Only $69.95.

This gift basket includes Jesus of Nazareth (DVD, 2 disk set), 2 bottles old fashioned root beer, 4 pouches microwave gourmet popcorn, 5 movie pack boxes of candy, Bubble Yum bubble gum.

Well, I think it's for real. It's advertised on a site that seems to be serious. But on the Internet, one never can be sure.

Posted on 19 January, 2004

Mood-Light Objects

Here's another cool application for LED lighting: Mood-Light Objects.

They have a few styles of bowls, as well as a $239 wine chiller (shown here). Use the remote control to program the color changes in the object.

Posted on 19 January, 2004

Math And Physics Applets

Paul Falstad's interactive and animated Math and Physics Applets. These are fun, even if you know nothing about math and physics.

Shown here is an applet called Cavity Modes -- it shows electromagnetic waves in a 3D rectangular cavity..

Posted on 19 January, 2004

Mmmmmm.... Stuffed Camel

According to Snopes, this is a real recipe: Stuffed Camel.

Here's a list of the ingredients:

1 whole camel, medium size
1 whole lamb, large size
20 whole chickens, medium size
60 eggs
12 kilos rice
2 kilos pine nuts
2 kilos almonds
1 kilo pistachio nuts
110 gallons water
5 pounds black pepper
Salt to taste

Serves 80-100.

Posted on 19 January, 2004

Who Gets Pop-Ups Anymore?

On Saturday, I posted a link to a site that features links to Amusing Microsoft Knowledge Base Articles. This site is called Jilly's Drive-In, and it's done by Jill Dybka.

I also posted that link to a private newsgroup for Microsoft MVPs -- mainly because many of these folks spend a lot of time at MS's support site, and most of them have a sense of humor.

I was surprised when someone posted this reply:

Warning: When I went to this page, NAV stopped a Trojan that attempted to download from a popup.

I was surprised for two reasons:

  1. Why would Jill Dybka go through the trouble of creating a good web site, and then ruin it by using pop-up windows?
  2. Why would a knowledgeable person (i.e., a Microsoft MVP) not use a pop-up blocker?

I looked at Jill's HTML, and found out that she uses the services of a company called Popuptraffic.com. Apparently, Jill is earning $3 - $4 for every 1,000 pop-ups that she serves (maybe she gets a bonus if malware gets installed).

Jill, if you read this, I hope that you're able to retire early with all of that extra cash. And thanks for supporting Internet scumbags like Popuptraffic.com.

Now my question: Who is not using a pop-up blocker? And why? Please reply in a Comment. I'm really curious about this. I wonder how many links that I provide result in a barrage of pop-up windows?

Those who still use Internet Explorer can take advantage of Google's pop-up blocker. But the best solution is to dump IE and use Mozilla Firebird. In addition to its 100% effective pop-up blocking, Firebird offers many other advantages over IE.

Posted on 19 January, 2004

A High-Tech Jacket

The ultimate jacket for tech nerds? It's called SCOTTeVEST Version Three.0.

The new VERSION THREE.0 line allows users to discretely carry multiple electronic devices in the concealed, ergonomically designed pocket system, as well as connect gadgets with the patent-pending Personal Area Network (PAN) licensed by SeV's parent company, TECHNOLOGY ENABLED CLOTHING (TEC).

The PAN consists of hidden channels that allow users to connect devices without any visible wires. Now, it's easy to connect cell phones and music players to PDAs, power sources, and/or listening devices, such as earbuds and headphones. In addition to connectivity, special pockets are designed to accommodate digital cameras, portable keyboards, GPS devices, small laptop computers, two-way radios, bottled water, airplane tickets, magazines, wallets, keys, and much more. In cities and areas requiring hands-free devices while driving, the PAN is the ideal solution.

They also make a baseball cap.

Posted on 19 January, 2004

Spam Poetry Contest: The Winner

Congratulations to Matt. His untitled poem is the winner of the 2004 J-Walk Spam Poetry Contest.

The voting couldn't have been any closer. In fact, Matt nosed out Eric D. Dixon by a single vote.

  • Untitled," by Matt - 110 votes (46%)
  • "even by moonlight," by Eric D. Dixon - 109 votes (45%)
  • "Urgent Utilisation Assistance," by Sarpy Sam 21 votes (9%)

Here is Matt's winning entry (yes, it actually rhymes):

Matthew, you have a card from Denise!
Is d.e.b.t. bringing you to your knees?
Take a look at GRants
your pen15 enh4nc3d
meet s.x.y. woemn no fees

$20 for 600 human growth hormone
listen to Laura moan
tidy your debts
lose weight through sweat
500 minutes and free mobile phone

Kill all your SPAM
she got big baps daymn!
PURCHASE Genric V_I.A.G.R_A
RE: Joolie will let you shag her
make big bucks in ham

eBay Security Measures:Verify your identity
pert yung b00bs (all under twenty)
find the perfect stocking filler
SARS! The holiday killer!
Christmas gift ideas aplenty

Request for urgent business relationship
buy intels latest chips
cut price books
improve your looks
cut price replacement hips

Matt's victory is even more remarkable, considering that Eric attempted to sway the vote using the power of the blog. Sarpy Sam, on the other hand, resisted the temptation to use his blog to solicit votes.

Matt left no identifying information, so he will need to contact me in order to claim the prize. If I don't hear from him by Wednesday, then Eric will be able to claim the book.

* * *

Update: I've heard from Matt, and he even made an acceptance speech:

I'd just like to thank my Mum, my children Louisa and Jackson, my partner Sal and the entire population of Nigeria. And Florida.

Posted on 19 January, 2004

Drainspotting

You'll find 700 photos at a site called Drainspotting.

Drainspotting is all about paying attention to your surroundings. Manhole covers, drains, grates, trench covers--someone had to design all of these. Functional and ornamental, there's a lot of interesting stuff happening down by your feet. Check it out.

Here's a square manhole cover (or something), found in Tepoztlan, Mexico.

Posted on 19 January, 2004

DRM Watch

Here's an interesting site: DRM Watch. The site is geared towards companies that use DRM (Digital Rights Management), not consumers who are forced to use it.

DRM Watch analyzes the latest developments in the emerging field of Digital Rights Management. Our goal is to help IT managers be prepared to make decisions that will affect the intellectual property of their corporations.

As regular readers know, I absolutely abhor the concept of DRM for media products. The main problem is that it's based on today's technology. And everyone knows that today's technology soon becomes obsolete. So, there is absolutely no assurance that the the DRM-protected media you purchase today will still be playable in the future.

Posted on 19 January, 2004

100 Jokes

Here are the 100 funniest jokes of all time, compiled by Don Steinberg. Here's #29, a classic:

A lady at a party goes up to Winston Churchill and tells him, "Sir, you are drunk." Churchill replies, "Madam, you are ugly. In the morning, I shall be sober."

Posted on 19 January, 2004

Bush Revealed

A Christian anti-Bush site: Bush Revealed.

This website serves as notice to Christians across this nation that President George Bush over the past few years has compromised his "Christian faith" by promoting evil and openly supporting wickedness. It is our hope and prayer that he would Repent and turn from such blatant sin. He is not our friend and cannot be trusted.

This website is dedicated to providing up-to-date factual news information tracking the president's anti-Christian and ungodly behavior. We encourage you to pray for Mr. Bush.

(via Love and the Happy Cynic)

Posted on 19 January, 2004

Messy Workspace Contest

Here's a contest to find the messiest workspace. Here's a random entry. They get much worse than this.

(via Geisha asobi blog)

Posted on 19 January, 2004

Microsoft Offers $10 For Mikerowesoft.com

From Ananova: Microsoft not pleased about mikerowesoft website.

A Canadian teenager called Mike Rowe who added the word soft to his name for his website title, has been ordered by Microsoft to hand over the domain.

The 17-year-old has been told by the company that his site infringes on their copyright and could confuse their customers.

Ha! Microsoft's customers are really stupid enough to be confused by a Web site done by a 17-year old?

And it gets better:

He requested a monetary settlement and Microsoft countered with an offer for $10 (about �6), which was his domain registration costs.

Even more humor comes from another article.

It took a while for Microsoft to come after Mike Rowe Soft, but on Nov. 19, Rowe got an e-mail from law firm Smart & Biggar, claiming he was infringing copyright...

Smart & Biggar? Since when do they name law firms after spam subject lines?

Here's a link to mikerowesoft.com. It's getting slammed today, so you may not able to access it.

Good luck, Mike. Maybe some law firm will volunteer their time to help you fight this case.

Posted on 19 January, 2004