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10 February, 2004

Critical Windows Update!

Attention everyone. Microsoft has released a new Critical Update for Windows:

A critical update is available to remove unacceptable symbols from the Bookshelf Symbol 7 font that is included with Microsoft Office 2003. The Bookshelf Symbol 7 font is contained in the Bssym7.ttf file.

For some background on this font, see Microsoft Nixes Swastikas and More Swastika Stuff.

To me, a critical update is something that everyone should install because it can lead to problems. How can a font correction possibly be classified as a critical update? Do they think someone will accidentally see character 126 or 134, and then be transformed into a Nazi sympathizer?

Posted on 10 February, 2004

Get Movie Recommendations

This site is really nicely designed: What To Rent.

The idea for the What to Rent website came about one late Saturday night when Dr. Matthew Ylandava & Dr. Adam Van Nostraum aimlessly wandered the aisles of their favorite local video rental store for about two hours. Both of them wanted to watch a movie, but neither of them had any clues about what to rent.

Adam said to Matthew, "The best rentals are the ones where you get a recommendation from a friend like Marty and know nothing about the movie. You go the store, you pick it up, and you are out in about 5 minutes". Matthew agreed. The discussion continued and the idea of a computer system that would recommend great movies to rent was born.

You'll need to fill out a short questionnaire, and then answer a few questions about your mood.

My recommendation for tonight is Secretary. I've never heard of it, but I guess that's the point.

(via Cinema Minima)

Posted on 10 February, 2004

Science Experiments

A site called Bizarre Stuff describes dozens of science experiments:

This site is a museum of classic home science experiments, mainly from the 1930's-1960's. You can search the site either by the categorical listing of projects, or by the alphabetical index.

It even tells you how to make fake blood. The secret? Creamy peanut butter.

You can also do things with eggs -- like the classic "egg in a bottle" trick, depicted here.

Posted on 10 February, 2004

Links Open A New Window By Default

According to the recent poll, 41% of the readers would prefer that clicking a link opens a new browser window. Another 30% don't care one way or the other.

So I've made the change. If the poll is accurate, 71% of the readers won't be unhappy with the change.

So now... when you click a hyperlink contained in a blog entry, the page will open in a new window. If you don't like this, remove the checkmark from the "Links in� new window" checkbox. The links on the left-side menu will continue to open in the same browser window.

Those who use a tabbed browser can continue to Ctrl+Click to open the link in a new tab. This is the most efficient way to read blogs that contain lots of links.

Posted on 10 February, 2004

Earl Tupper, Inventor

Earl Tupper was the guy who invented Tupperware. He also invented some other things. Here's a link to some sketches from his notebook.

Earl Tupper grew up dirt poor and never got beyond high school. Still, he dreamed of becoming a millionaire by the time he was 30, deciding his route to success would be inventing.

Earl fancied himself to be the next Thomas Edison or Henry Ford. He carried little pads of paper in his shirt pocket for scribbling down ideas. He elaborated on them in his invention notebooks, where he also jotted aphorisms and advice to himself. His crudely drawn ideas were, for the most part, improvements on everyday devices and gadgets.

Shown here is a drawing for his "bite and wound sucker" invention, conceived in 1937.

This is from PBS's site, which has a very interesting feature on Tupperware.

Posted on 10 February, 2004

Welcome To Microsoft High School

From the Philadelphia Daily News: Park panel hears plan for Microsoft High in W. Phila.

Three members of City Council were among more than 20 speakers who weighed in last night on the proposal to build a Microsoft-themed high school on park land.

The meeting, called by the Fairmount Park Commission, drew a few park enthusiasts who railed against the proposal, but the majority of the attendees spoke in favor of the school.

School district officials including CEO Paul Vallas and Microsoft Corp. representative Anthony Salcito, pitched the school as both a technology-rich laboratory and a resource for the residents of its West Philadelphia community.

Microsoft is paying for it, right? Not quite.

Vallas said the district has budgeted up to $48 million to acquire the land and build the school. He said it was difficult to put a pricetag on Microsoft's contribution in technology, equipment and other support.

Is this a new way to brainwash impressionable teens?

Posted on 10 February, 2004

Parasite Pals

Here's a kid's web site called Parasite Pals. It deals with parasites such as head lice, tapeworms, and eyelash mites.

I don't get it. These are all cute little characters. After playing around on the site, I think every kid will want to get infected and collect 'em all. But the objective is to sell Parasite Pals toys.

Shown here is Zzeezz, the bedbug.

Zzeezz is a good friend. He is always sleeping, but sometimes biting. He lives in Holly's bed makes here happy with dreaming.

Yeah, someone didn't proof read the text very well.

Posted on 10 February, 2004

Automated Phone Hell News

From Wired: A Way Out of Automated Phone Hell.

Getting transferred from one automated message to another while stuck in a company's convoluted telephone system is enough to make even the most unflappable individual's blood boil.

A solution that may prevent violence against handsets comes in the form of a new software program designed to detect callers' frustration and transfer them to a human operator.

The system works by analyzing not only what callers say, but also how they say it. Callers get transferred if they start to spit out expletives or if they simply sound angry.

Good idea. But I've found that simply pressing the "O" button will transfer you to a human about 70% of the time.

Posted on 10 February, 2004

A Doughboy Fan

Tara is a big fan of the Pillsbury Doughboy. Visit her Doughfan site.

I love my little doughguys, they make me giggle even on the worst day. I love to hear about and see other people's collections, so feel free to brag about yours! Sometimes I have difficulty locating new items, so I thought creating a site might help get the word out faster. I want to build a doughboy collector's community!

Yes, I have a life! I work in the Internet Technologies Industry and find it tedious and boring at times - this is my "Have Fun" "Relax" "Meet People" "Find Doughboys" site!

Shown here is a Doughboy refrigerator magnet, one of many items in her collection.

Posted on 10 February, 2004

Secret Web Site Decoder

Discover secret messages hidden in Web site with Cryptographever.

It is possible to analyze any text with criptographever. You only have to past it in a form and to click a button. A server-side procedure scans the text and allows you to see if a secret message is hidden.

I submitted the text contained in my FAQ page. Sure enough. It found the secret message that I hid there:

The plan is ready we can go.

(via boynton)

Posted on 10 February, 2004

Science Photos

From The Why Files: Cool Science Images. These are arranged in six categories.

Shown here is a solar-powered race car.

Posted on 10 February, 2004

Guitar Chords

This is, perhaps, the best guitar chord application ever written. It's at chordbook.com.

Posted on 10 February, 2004

Shoplifting How-To

Note the disclaimer for The Art of Shoplifting:

This is the original article on shoplifting featured in Rabelais that is at the centre of this issue. This article is not reprinted to encourage any person to commit any illegal act, but for purposes of informing discussion of the issues at hand.

Posted on 10 February, 2004

Northern Lights

Aurora Borealis photos by Sigurdur H. Stefnisson.

Posted on 10 February, 2004

The Last Supper On The Titanic

Find out what they served as the Last Dinner on the Titanic.

Titanic sank during the last years of the Edwardian era before World War I where the privileged ate and drank with an abandon guaranteed to increase girth and shorten lifespan. Food was rich and fatty, and courses were accompanied with wine and liquor in sufficient variety and quantity to yield magnificent hangovers. As you go over the following menu, take it slowly and try to imagine the impact of each successive course as if consumed in the robust fashion of the day.

It was a 10-course meal, with a different wine for each course.

Posted on 10 February, 2004

Old Billboards

This guy sells old billboards: Billboards of the Past.

These billboards haven't been seen by anyone for as many as 50 years. They are all original and never been used. The billboards vary in size but most are about eight and a half feet by twenty feet. I now have pictures to some of the billboards.

This Olympia beer billboard can be yours for $1,800.

Posted on 10 February, 2004

Whitehouse.com May Be Available

From the Guardian: Pornographer to Sell Whitehouse Web Site.

The Whitehouse.com Web site, one of the best examples that the Internet isn't always what it seems, is getting out of the pornography business. Its owner says he's worried what his preschool-age son might think.

Parisi said he doesn't know yet how much the names will fetch; he claimed the Whitehouse.com site - it advertises pictures of "hot interns'' and once included a "first ladies'' section - earns more than $1 million each year in revenues and said he's invested more than $7 million since 1997.

Posted on 10 February, 2004

Random Jargon

Here's a random jargon generator. It's from Scott Kim's site -- which has lots of good stuff.

Posted on 10 February, 2004