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30 January, 2004

Democrats

The Democratic candidates, with their cartoon equivalents.

(via Thirdredeye)

Posted on 30 January, 2004

Super Bowl Joke

I think I heard this one about five years ago. Then I forgot about it, and now it seems like a new joke.

A man had great tickets for the Super Bowl. As he sits down, another man comes down and asks if anyone is sitting in the seat next to him.

"No," he says. "The seat is empty."

"This is incredible!" said the man. "Who in their right mind would have a seat like this for the Super Bowl, the biggest sporting event in the world, and not use it?"

He says, "Well, actually, the seat belongs to me. My wife was supposed to come with me, but she passed away. This is the first Super Bowl we haven't been to together since we got married."

"Oh ... I'm sorry to hear that. That's terrible. But couldn't you find someone else - a friend or relative, or even a neighbor to take the seat?"

The man shakes his head. "No. They're all at the funeral."

Posted on 30 January, 2004

Venomous Kate Calls It Quits

Venomous Kate, the blogger from Hawaii, announced the end of her blog, Electric Venom. But wait, now she's back with a new host.

All that in about 2-1/2 hours. When I quit blogging, I at least had the decency to wait 24 hours before announcing my comeback.

Posted on 30 January, 2004

Campaign Promises

From The Onion: Bush 2004 Campaign Pledges To Restore Honor And Dignity To White House.

"After years of false statements and empty promises, it's time for big changes in Washington," Bush said. "We need a president who will finally stand up and fight against the lies and corruption. It's time to renew the faith the people once had in the White House. If elected, I pledge to usher in a new era of integrity inside the Oval Office."

Posted on 30 January, 2004

Car Commercial

If you watch the Super Bowl, I guarantee that you won't see a car commercial as good as this one.

Posted on 30 January, 2004

Spam And Me

This blog entry is by request. I received this email:

I wonder if you could blog your method of dealing with spam. This might be helpful to others. Readers comments are useful too.

I don't think this will be helpful to anyone, but since you asked...

I've tried several spam filtering methods, and they don't work well enough t rely on. So I filter all of my spam manually. I use Outlook Express, and I've created a folder called Spam. I've also set up several email "rules" that change the color of the subject line based on the specific keywords (e.g, "Excel") or the sender (regular correspondents). OE colors these messages and makes it easier for me to spot them.

When I check my email, I start from the bottom of the list and click on the last spam message. Then scroll up until I find the first non-spam. I Shift+Click to select a whole bunch of spam messages. I then drag them to the Spam folder. I just kept repeating this until all that's left are potentially non-spam messages.

I've gotten very good at identifying spam by subject line. But I'm not perfect, and sometimes my color-coding doesn't work (i.e, I receive a legitimate message that doesn't use any of my keywords in the subject line). Therefore, every day or so I open the Spam folder and do searches for keywords in the body text. I almost always find 4-5 messages that I accidentally designated as spam. So I move those to my inbox and then permanently delete the messages in the Spam folder.

Using this method, I can process about 500 messages in a minute or two. That's a typical number of messages that I'm faced with first thing in the morning.

How much do I get? Yesterday, for example, I received 1,682 emails. Of these, 63 were legitimate email messages. The remainder were either spam or viruses. So that puts my junk mail percentage at 96.5%. The recent virus outbreak accounts for most of that. Normally, the junk mail percentage is about 75%

Posted on 30 January, 2004

My Favorite Graphics File Viewer

For those who don't know about this gem, check out IrfanView.

IrfanView is a very fast, small, compact and innovative FREEWARE (for non-commercial use) graphic viewer for Windows 9x/ME/NT/2000/XP/2003

It can handle just about any type of image you can throw at it. I've been using this program for many years, and I have very few complaints about it. But it's a lot more than just a file viewer. Check out all of the features, and you won't believe that it's free.

Just about all of the images that I use on this blog have been resized or enhanced using Irfanview (it's a lot easier than keeping Photoshop open).

I just read the About the author page, and learned that I've been mispronouncing it all this time. It's pronounced "Ear Fan View."

Posted on 30 January, 2004

Scrabble Solitaire

There are many Scrabble-like games on the Web. But this one, from The Man in Blue, is different. It's programmed entirely in JavaScript and XHTML. No Flash. No Java.

�I think that I might go a bit overboard sometimes.

It started after visiting Pholph's Scrabble Score Generator. I thought that maybe an XHTML/CSS Scrabble name converter would be more useful than using images, and so proceeded to open up TextPad to style some tiles (rhyme!). After whipping up the tiles in a couple of minutes it struck me as a bit trivial to implement just the generator and thought it might be cooler to be able to place the tiles on a board. After making the board ... what the hell, I might as well just do the whole game.

(via Kottke.org)

Posted on 30 January, 2004

1,000 Comments

Today, this blog reached a milestone: 1,000 comments have been posted. Well, actually more than that have been posted. I deleted a few along the way.

As you may know, the ability to post a comment began less than a month ago. I will admit that I'm surprised at how well it's gone. Most of the comments add something to my post, and many of them are very funny. I've had to delete fewer than a dozen so far. And I'm very glad that I haven't had to resort to making people register in order to post a comment.

For the record, here's the 1,000th undeleted comment. It's from firq krumpl (the guy who has no Shift key) and it's from the Pizza Poll item:

i would love to see a study based on whether or not the participants recognize that anchovies are essential on pizza.

i bet those who don't

drive 55 in the fast lane; think michael moore and al franken are enlightened and psychologically healthy; have websites with lots of floating puppies, mouse trails, neon colors; think peter jennings is sophisticated and smarter than just about anybody; think fidel castro would make a better president than g w bush...... and etc and so on and so forth and blah blah blah

Who's the most prolific commenter? I ran a query, and there's a three-way tie for first place. The top 5:

firq krumpl (45 comments)
Larry (45)
Zaine Ridling (45)
glenn (32)
Toad (30)

Posted on 30 January, 2004

Verifying A Digital Image

This is interesting: Canon Data Verification Kit DVK-E2.

Canon today announced the latest version of its Data Verification Kit, the DVK-E2 kit is designed to deliver validation of an unmodified original image from a single camera body. This kit is aimed at law enforcement, insurance, news and other such agencies and can detect single bit discrepancy in modification of an image since it was taken.

(via DigitalSLR.org)

Posted on 30 January, 2004

Angelina Jolie Super Hi-Res

Earlier this morning I posted a link to a site that had six super high resolution images of Angelina Jolie. Someone reported that the link attempted to download some type of malware, so I removed the link.

Apparently, the site was serving different content, depending on the location (it worked fine for me).

I save two of the images, in case anyone wants to see Angelina up close. These thumbnails link directly to the ~11 megapixel images on my server.


2909 x 3948 (1.02 Mb)

2789 x 3891 (676K)

 

Posted on 30 January, 2004

Nothing But Online Clocks

Long-time reader Wendy shared her collection of clock links.

And here are some others that I just found with a quick Google search:

If you know of another clock, post the link in a Comments.

Posted on 30 January, 2004

Andy Kaufman: Faked Death?

Did Andy Kaufman fake his own death? The guy who runs Andy Kaufman Lives thinks so.

The main reason I have decided to set up this page is the fact that I do not see anyone discussing the concept that Andy Kaufman really faked his death. I read a lot of info discussing opinions about Andy and his performances. On many occasions someone will bring up the possibility that he faked his death but always with a wink, wink, nudge, nudge, attitude. The occasional message board comment will start out "do you think he could be alive?" then after a few replies someone throws out the death certificate or some other "fact" and the discussion ends.

I am taking this opportunity to say that I have always firmly believed and will always firmly believe that Andy Kaufman faked his death.

I only wish it were true. That would be the greatest comedic act in history.

(via The Museum of Hoaxes)

Posted on 30 January, 2004

Unhelpful Anti-Virus Companies

Here's an interesting article by Brian Martin: Anti-Virus Companies: Tenacious Spammers.� It's about a topic that hardly anyone talks about -- all of the bogus "virus alert" messages sent out by anti-spam software.

For roughly three years, the Internet has seen worms that spread via e-mail, often taking addresses out of the infected machine's web cache, user addressbook or other sources. Some of these worms will also forge/spoof the "From:" line so the mail appears to be from someone else, in an attempt to make the mail more 'trusted'.

So far this morning, I've received dozens of these completely useless messages.

Anti-Virus companies are well aware of this trait present in many "mm" (Mass Mailing) worms. Reading through their descriptions, they document each worm that spreads itself in this fashion

It seems that most vendors keep these emails turned on by default. Since probably 99% of them are bogus, maybe they should reconsider.

And finally, this:

The ultimate in irony. I received blatant spam from McAfee advertising their product as a solution to this worm. This is not the first mail I have received from McAfee during a worm outbreak.

Sometimes I wonder who's side these people are on.

(via The Presurfer)

Posted on 30 January, 2004

Ambigrams

I've been reading Dan Brown's Angels & Demons novel. The novel reacquainted me with ambigrams (an ambigram is a word that's written in such a way that it reads the same when it's upside down).

Dan Brown's Web site has some information about ambigrams, and I also found Gef's Ambigram Gallery. The best one I've seen is this ambigram for Victoria (found here).

Posted on 30 January, 2004

Super Bowl Legends

From Snopes: Super Bowl Legends.

A two-week build-up of massive media coverage leads into a day of partying, overeating, drinking, wagering, and the (anti-)climax of a football game itself. As we should expect, an event of such tremendous national importance has engendered its own unique set of legends, legends that express a number of our national values. Anthropologist Alan Dundes has noted that "Super Bowl legends usually involve numbers and a sense of enormity. The idea of big numbers, of being bigger than other people, is very American."

We now present a review of some of the more commonly-known legends associated with the Super Bowl.

Posted on 30 January, 2004

Hide The Beer

Make a can of beer look like a soft drink: Beer Disappear.

Our high-quality Beer Label adhesives can turn your beer can into a soda can! Our Beer Labels are sold in packs of six.

It's like magic.

Turns into this:

Posted on 30 January, 2004

Save Martha?

A pro-Martha Stewart site, run by John Small: Save Martha!

I was thinking this morning about why I care so much about what happens to Martha Stewart and her company. I wondered why I write for SaveMartha.com and what it is about Martha and her unique brand that inspires me to fight for her.

He got all wrapped up in her magazine.

I became organized inside my home as well as outside my home. I could suddenly make the most delicious chocolate pudding imaginable, thanks to a recipe in Martha Stewart Living magazine. I was paying my bills on time, remembering friends' birthdays and arranging fun get-togethers with friends and family. For a guy in his mid-20s those are big accomplishments! And it was all because Martha Stewart made me understand that there are so many everyday reasons to be happy and so many fun and exciting ways to make day-to-day life more enjoyable, more organized and more efficient.

I wonder... If John Small was in trouble with the law, would Martha Stewart come to his defense?

Or, maybe John is just trying to make some money with his line of Save Martha merchandise.

Posted on 30 January, 2004