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20 January, 2004

Fun Web Products

Ferenc lazar posted a link to the EULA for a site called Fun Web Products, and noted that the EULA "stinks." Fact is the entire web site stinks.

The site gives away free "fun downloads."  If you're tempted to download any of this stuff, read this first: No fun with FunWebProducts.

It turned out that FunWebProducts is an operation of a company called IWon. Its software - a Web application - is essentially yet another piece of adware (often mistakenly called spyware although that is arguably a related subgenre).

FunWebProducts is notable because it acquired a large user population with remarkable speed. Iwon is responsible for a series of notorious adware products including IWon, iWon Co-Pilot, iWon Search Assistant, and MySearch/MyWeb.

What does it do?

What FunWebProducts actually does - as do a lot of other adware and spyware products - is to make it difficult to uninstall the software as well as hijack your browser by setting your home page to point to other sites. Worse still, FunWebProducts attempts to reset the browser home page should you dare to try to change it.

But, of course, anyone who downloads this free software will read the 5,000-word EULA that explains it all in incomprehensible legal mumbo-jumbo.

If you don't already have it, you should download a copy of Lavasoft's AdAware. You'll probably be surprised how much scumware is on your system.

Posted on 20 January, 2004

MusicPlasma

This is very cool: MusicPlasma. Enter the name of a recording artist, and you'll get a graphical display that shows similar or related artists.

(via Metafilter)

Posted on 20 January, 2004

Crackpots On The Web

PC Magazine's John C. Dvorak did an entire column on Internet crackpots: Don't Call Them Crackpots. He links to quite a few weird sites, and there are many more that were suggested by readers.

(via Rays of Light)

Posted on 20 January, 2004

Desktop Calendars

A calendar on your desktop, from Semafore Calendars. One image per month. These are some very nice images, and they come in a wide variety of sizes. The calendar layout isn't very practical, but who cares?

Shown here is the calendar for September, 2003.

Posted on 20 January, 2004

Eleven Seconds

Dave Pollard writes: Eleven Seconds. It's about an automobile accident.

time = 0 seconds:
You're young, and alert, and it only takes you 2/3 of a second to hit the brakes. You have snow tires, but you're on a raised bridge and it's icy. You're skidding, but staying straight.

time = 1 second:
59 feet since you saw the blockage ahead. The guy in the truck behind you sees your brake lights and it then takes him 2/3 of a second to hit his brakes. He's 60 feet behind you, about 7 car-lengths.

(via Carols' Chaotic Collection of Curiosities)

Posted on 20 January, 2004

George's Numbers

Here are some numbers to ponder. From The Independent: George W. Bush and the real state of the Union.

Today the President gives his annual address. As the election battle begins, how does his first term add up?

Posted on 20 January, 2004

Health Physics Instrumentation Museum

The Health Physics Instrumentation Museum.

Oak Ridge Associated Universities' Health Physics Historical Instrumentation Museum Collection contains more than 1,000 objects. Deemed the official repository for historical radiological instruments by the Health Physics Society, the collection chronicles the scientific and commercial history of radioactivity and radiation. The Health Physics Society has also been generous in its financial support for the purchase of items.

You'll find everything from atomic movie posters to x-ray and gas discharge tubes. Shown here is a NCA NU-TEC personal radiation monitor -- which looks amazingly like an old transistor radio.

Posted on 20 January, 2004

Rent A Coder

This is kind of interesting: Rent A Coder.

For software buyers:
Need a program created? Receive bids from our pool of 62,930 registered coders. Review work histories and resumes online, and then conduct business stress-free using our "Safe Project Escrow".

For programmers:
Earn cash with your high tech skills on 1019 currently open bid requests. Then subscribe to our newsletter and receive daily bid requests from our 21,983 registered buyers.

Posted on 20 January, 2004

Teeth Filing

Read one man's Teeth Filing Experience.

On February 2, 1998 I had four of my teeth filed to sharp points at the office of cosmetic dental specialist, Dr. Harvey Winters in Albany, NY.

I have always had something of a fascination with teeth - especially sharp teeth and fangs - and a predilection for biting. I can remember playing at "vampire games" secretly with other children as early as the first grade that involved light biting in conjunction with a tag like set of rules. As I grew and developed, so did my fascination with teeth and my love for biting.

This might seem pretty odd. But then again, we're taking about Lizardman.

Posted on 20 January, 2004

The State Of The Onion

Tonight, the president of the United States delivers the State of The Onion address. I think it's very cool that George W. cares about America's best humor publication.

* * *

Update: Oops. My fact checkers tell me that it's actually called the State of the Union address. Therefore, you'll want to join in and play the State of Union Address Drinking Game.

The general rules of this game are no different from any other drinking game. A drink is either a shot or a good gulp from a beer (or cider). Different events call for different numbers of drinks and all you do is watch the speech and play along.

If all goes well, you'll be unconscious by the time they show the other party's response.

Posted on 20 January, 2004

Baseball Uniform Numbers

From Slate: Uni Watch. It explains why some baseball players chose a particular number for their uniform.

Some athletes opt for a certain number because it communicates homeland pride: Jolbert Cabrera of the Dodgers wears No. 6 because he's the sixth big leaguer from Colombia, and former Mets Sid Fernandez and Benny Agbayani both wore 50 to honor their home state of Hawaii. Others opt for personal esoterica: Carlos May wore 17 because the name/number combo on the back of his jersey spelled out his birthday, May 17th,

Posted on 20 January, 2004

Begging On The Web

Here's another one of those Internet beggar sites: Pay for Cynthia's Wedding.

Hi, I'm Cynthia. In the beginning, I swore that we would not go into debt planning the wedding of our dreams. I set up a budget, but you know how that goes.

Things come up. And, it was really hard to cut out buying and buying and buying whatever tickled our fancy that week. So, we've added to our ever growing stack of debt to pay for this and that for the wedding, and we still have the rest of the wedding to pay for. What to do....what to do?? Hmmm, I know, start a website, and ask random strangers to help pay for our wedding? You betcha!

Tell you what, Cynthia. I'll give you a dollar if you change the pink-on-pink color scheme of that site.

Posted on 20 January, 2004

Beavis, The Man

Beavis, of Beavis And Butt-Head fame, is actually a real person.

Posted on 20 January, 2004

An Offer From Bill Gates

Breaking news: Bill Gates offers $25,000 to the families of Suicide Spammers.

Both sides of the Spam Debate erupted with outrage today when Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, keynote speaker of the annual meeting of Citizens Against Spam, announced he is offering to pay $25,000 to the families of each "Spammer" who commits suicide. Specific guidelines or instructions for the suicides were not detailed.

"I will personally reward $25,000 dollars to the families of each and every Spammer who kills himself," Gates announced to a shocked crowd.

Posted on 20 January, 2004

Cell Phone Cameras And Credit Cards

From Snopes: Thieves are using camera cell phones to capture credit card information.

Keep a watch out for people standing near you at retail stores, restaurants, grocery stores, etc., that have a cell phone in hand. With the new camera cell phones, they can take a picture of your credit card, which gives them your name, number, and expiration date. Identification theft is one of the fastest growing scams today, and this is just another example of the means that are being used. So... be aware of your surroundings.

Verdict: Undetermined. It sounds like a good scam.

Posted on 20 January, 2004

Inspired By Abbey Road

Here's a collection of Abbey Road-like photos, sans Beatles.

Posted on 20 January, 2004